Gay former Tory MP: ‘There’s no such thing as the LGBT community’

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Former Tory MP Matthew Parris has said that the LGBT community does not exist.

In a comment article entitled “Why I want to leave the LGBT club”, the Times columnist claims “The bolting together of dissimilar groups distorts understanding.”

Writing in today’s newspaper, Parris explains that being a gay man makes him happy, but calls the abbreviation LGBT “more joyless than any of its constituent capitals, lowering the spirits further with the addition of every latest capital letter”.

Parris goes on to speak for bisexual men, arguing that “they do not self-identify much as a group or feel drawn particularly to each other for friendship and fun”.

He criticises students and local government in particular for the language they use when discussing issues surrounding gender and sexuality.

On what he calls “student ridiculousness”, Paris says, “the undergraduate pantomime on gender and orientation issues must finally caricature itself into obloquy”.

The former Conservative member of parliament for West Derbyshire hits out at what he describes as the “[Ken] Livingstone virus”, arguing that the former London mayor embedded an idea into the minds of those working in local government that “all oppressed minorities are basically on the same side”.

Parris says he believes gay men “are no longer prime victims of oppression”, but clarifies that his stance against the use of term LGBT does not equate to a belief that other struggling sexual minorities should be “left to flounder”. Instead, he emphasises that they must have different struggles.

In a 2010 interview with TotalPolitics, Parris said he wished he had come out as gay while he was a Tory MP in the 1980s.

“I think I could have got away with it in retrospect, but I think it would have been a close run thing. I had the nicest constituency and the nicest association and it would have given them an awful shock”, he said.

In 1998 Parris notoriously ‘outed’ Peter Mandelson during an episode of Newsnight, when he said that the then cabinet minister was “certainly gay”.

Parris was himself outed by the News of the World in 1987.