This Politician Just Made a Strange Comparison Between Gorilla Sex and Gay People

April 24th 2017

A Scottish politician doesn't want LGBT people to talk about their sexuality, saying it should be treated in the same way as sexual attraction to gorillas — that is, we shouldn't talk about it.

Gisela Allen, 84, is running for office in Glasgow and she has a number of controversial views. Besides her stance that women shouldn't work, and her support for castrating criminals, Allen said she is sexually attracted to gorillas, and compared that attraction to being gay as part of a deeply strange rant against the idea of a "gay community." 

The Clydebank Post published her comments on Saturday: 

“I am not anti-gay – but how can you call that a community? Sex life is everybody’s private affair. You do not come out and declare openly. Do you think I am going all over the city and saying my idea of a sexually-attractive creature is a gorilla? When I go to a zoo and I see a gorilla my hormones go absolutely crazy. I find a gorilla very attractive.”

Besides the offensive comparison of gay people to gorillas, and the unusual public admission that she's attracted to the latter, Allen's comments miss some very important aspects of the gay community and the importance of gay spaces. 

Gay spaces are important. 

As ATTN:'s Kyle Fitzpatrick wrote in June last year, gay bars and gay spaces are "historic places of belonging" for people to learn about the gay experience and build in their community. 

"Not only do bars honor gay history, but they are venues for a person to learn about the gay experience, their bodies, their sexuality, and so much more," he wrote. Gay bars offer a place for the LGBT community to come together, an experience Fitzpatrick says new dating apps can't replicate.

"This is because gay bars are the one place where LGBT persons are sure to find other people like them in a non-judgemental arena," he wrote. "Gay bars are historically the original safe space — a place where people could gather without threat — and that is still true today, no matter how large and supplanting technology seems to be."

Americans in the LGBT community have shared experiences of discrimination.

Gay Pride FlagDavid - flickr.com

A 2013 Pew Research Center survey found that LGBT people believe society is becoming more accepting. However, 39 percent of those surveyed said they were rejected by a family member or a close friend at some point in their life because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

lgbt-black-churchesStocksy/Wave - stocksy.com

In recent years, state legislatures in the U.S. have proposed and even signed a rash of "religious freedom" laws that could give businesses and organizations the option to deny services to LGBT people based on religious grounds. Last year, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a bill that would allow businesses to deny counseling, wedding planning, and adoption support to LGBT people based on religious beliefs. However, that law was struck down in July 2016, right before the law would have gone into effect.

"There are almost endless explanations for how HB 1523 condones discrimination against the LGBT community, but in its simplest terms it denies LGBT citizens equal protection under the law," U.S. District Court Judge Carlton Reeves reportedly wrote in his opinion. That such laws can still be passed, in 2016, demontrates that the "private" lives of LBGT people are still treated as a public issue.

RELATED: Why Gay Bars Are So Important

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