A “strange, lonely and troubling” article from Jan Moir…

I’ve never considered myself a huge Boyzone or for that matter Stephen Gately fan and that’s why I opted not to write a post about Gateley’s recent sad and untimely death. But today I feel compelled to write a post on Jan Moir’s hideous and now famous article in the Daily Mail about the tragedy.

Until I read the article a few moments ago, the main thought I had actually been struck by after reading news surrounding Gateley’s death, was that I wish I had taken slightly more notice of Stephen Gately and indeed of Boyzone whilst he was alive.

The comments from celebrities who were friends with Gately and the way that Boyzone and Gateley’s Manager Louis Walsh have reacted and behaved around the tragedy have very poignantly emphasised over and again what a special person Gately clearly must have been.

You always see a number of gushing comments about celebrities when they pass away but the sincere warmth and the absolute genuine devastation that everyone has shown in the light of Gateley’s death has fully convinced me that he was loved and cherished deeply by all of those who knew him. It’s surely shown everyone that while he was still with these people he brought irreplaceable light and happiness into each of their lives.

I was therefore in complete shock when I just read Jan Moir’s article on Gateley’s “strange, lonely and troubling death”.

There are nasty, hate-filled comments throughout the article but two strike me in particular. Firstly, it is her insinuations about the circumstance surrounding Gateley’s death. She writes that “the sugar-coating on his fatality is so saccharine-thick that it obscures whatever bitter truth lies beneath”, before going on to label the circumstances “more than a little sleazy”.

Has she done her research? Has she not read that the postmortem results showed that he “died of natural causes”?!! Whatever else happened or didn’t happen that night is quite frankly none of her business and she certainly shouldn’t be trying to scew the facts like this to make it seem as though anything else triggered his untimely but NATURAL death.

Later in the article, and much to my disbelief, she somehow manages to print this sentence: “Gately’s death strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships,” before patronisingly adding that “gay rights activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding about same-sex relationships”.

How very dare she try to create undertones of gay-bashing through the death of a bright young star. Gately’s death has nothing to do with how ‘understanding’ we should be about civil partnerships. The only myth this all strikes a blow to is that the world is finally starting to be rid of unnecessary, hate-filled homophobic thoughts and comments like those from Moir. Clearly though we’ve still got a very big problem on our hands.

But hopefully the backlash which has occurred towards Moir over her poisonous article will be of some comfort to Gateley’s family and friends and will show them that Moir is alone, or at least in a sad little minority in her nasty opinions. According to the BBC yesterday “more than 1000 complaints” have been made about the article.

To pick on the dead is low. To pick on the dead before their family has even had a chance to grieve at their funeral is even lower. And to pick on someone who was clearly such a generous-spirited, warm-hearted and talented individual, who has never done anything to harm you, when they’ve only just been cruelly and prematurely taken from this earth really is the lowest of the low.

I’m really not sure how the woman manages to sleep at night and in an ideal world (which sadly we do not live in) I really would hope that this spelt the end of her career as a journalist. We don’t need this poison polluting our lives, there’s more than enough sadness in the world to deal with as it is, such as bright young, much-loved stars very suddenly dying of natural causes. RIP Stephen Gately.

By Sophie Hudson

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