Stephen Fry’s docu – “Out There” being gay

October 26, 2013

Stephen Fry’s opening phrase on the question of why do people hate gays, “It’s like someone who spends their whole life trying to get rid of red telephones” – why bother? They don’t hurt anyone.

Watch episode 1 of this brilliant 58 minute documentary aired on the BBC on October 14th 2013 and let me know what you think.

or watch this on youtube

In summary:
01:30 Fry is interested meeting people who hate gays because he is gay, but more importantly because: “Homophobia impacts on all of us. It diminishes our humanity”

For Bahais this is like the principle of equality: “The world of humanity has two wings—one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be.” (p 302, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá)

02:06 Fry in response to that statement that the UK seems to now have laws that exert equality: “It is not a question just of laws. It is a question of the broader outlook of people in society

… part of me wants to bury myself in a blanket and let someone else do any cheer leading for good causes …

It certainly isn’t my job to push things down people’s throats. … “

“One can not just stand by and sing justice if there’s one more horrible case … of a child hanging themselves… because they are being tormented … you have to speak out in the hope that things get better.”

“…With respect to your question concerning the position Baha’is are to take regarding homosexuality and civil rights, …”
“Baha’is are enjoined to eliminate from their lives all forms of prejudice and to manifest respect towards all. Therefore, to regard those with a homosexual orientation with prejudice or disdain would be against the spirit of the Faith. Furthermore, a Baha’i is exhorted to be “an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression”, and it would be entirely appropriate for a believer to come to the defense of those whose fundamental rights are being denied or violated.” (p 302, Universal House of Justice, 27 Oct, 2010)

03:00 “It is incredible how much has changed for gay people in Britain in my life time …”

“It has only been legal for me to be gay since 1967”

03:33 Fry then attends U.K. civil union and sheds tears at the melting of hundreds of years of prejudice.

06:00 “It seems as if the world is going in two directions at once …”

06:33 “The fear that people hates us makes coming out difficult”

06:38 “For me as a teenager in the 1970s it was a terrifying prospect because there was still so much shame attached to being gay”

06:48 “But then in 76 something inspiring happened. One of the most famous and successful pop stars on the planet risked it all …”
07:10 “It was a game changing moment for me and countless other gay teens who had locked ourselves away in the closet”

07:30 A candid and heartwarming interview with Elton John and his partner.
08:40 Elton John on choosing to have a civil union in 2005 “We did it really to make a political statement but the actual service and actual occasion was so moving that it really changed our relationship.”
David Furnish: “We did it for symbolic reasons and then had this tremendous sense of contentment afterwards.”

“When, therefore, the people of Baha undertake to marry, the union must be a true relationship, a spiritual coming together as well as a physical one, so that throughout every phase of life, and in all the worlds of God, their union will endure; for this real oneness is a gleaming out of the love of God.”
Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 117

10:12: World Gay Pride in London: “Rights can be taken away as quickly as they are given”

11:12: Stephen Fry speaks with various gays at the World Gay Pride in London. One who had been imprisoned for 12 years and made the statement that before British colonialism there were no laws against homosexuality in his country.
12:05 “Out of 84 countries that still criminalize homosexuality roughly half are x British colonies using old British laws, though none of these are among the 5 that currently put gay people to death”

12:55 “If you let words and insults go by unchallenged … if you don’t allow the dignity of gay people … then slowly … “ (to image of young men being hung in Iran)

14:00 Interview with an Iranian gay seeking asylum in the U.K.

17:33 Fry decides to travel to Uganda to speak to some “…of these tyrants to hear how they try to justify themselves and their prejudices”

18:00 Uganda: “… since 2009” “a new law which proposes a death penalty for homosexuals”
18:40 His debate on a Kampala breakfast radio show with a Pastor Solomon Male Executive Director of the Arising For Christ ministries.

19:00 A heated and interesting debate – Fry challenges Male’s claims that Christianity is traditional. Fry makes fun of Male’s focus on broken penises and other physical ailments.

19:21 A private conversation between Fry and Male where Male focuses on anal sex which Fry says is not what all gays engage in. Fry “It is about love… I am not interested in sodomy… this is so sick…” And then he floors Male by saying he has never had anal sex.

23:30 Fry addressing Pastor Male: “Most gays don’t. …Your obsession with sodomy says something very peculiar about you. It is quite extraordinary”

And listen to the Pastor’s response to this, it is a hoot!

24:28 Fry speaks with other Ugandans on the law. One states that he thinks it should be passed because it could never be enforced.
24:55 Fry meets and talks to some Ugandan gays.
26:00 A Lesbian who was raped at 14 in what was called “Corrective Rape”
29:30 Fry: “… to be raped in order to be cured of their inner feelings … it is just insane …”
30:00 Fry meets a gay support clinic, Ice Breaker in hiding in Kampala
35:00 Fry meets the Ugandan Minister for Ethics and Integrity Simon Lokodo who makes statements as if it is unlawful for gays to even meet and has threatened to put people in jail if they do not report on gays to the authorities.

39:30 Fry musing over Lokodo’s idea that gays promote homosexuality “As if being gay was something you could talk people into or out of”

39:50 Fry flies to Los Angeles to find out about Reparative Therapy (therapy that claims you can cure homosexuality)
40:20 Interview with a young Christian man and his mother about why he underwent reparative therapy and its affects on him. “I begged God to make me straight”

42:20 Fry meets and interviews Joseph Nicolosi the man behind NARTH and Reparative Therapy

43:30 Joseph Nicolosi:
“We resolve the conflicts behind homosexuality”

43:40 Joseph Nicolosi: “We believe it is based on trauma”
43:50 Joseph Nicolosi: “We believe it is about the parent”

Watch the rest yourself but at this point Joseph Nicolosi lies about his success rate being roughly 1/3 and the rest of the documentary shows how. See my blog where Spitzer comments on the few cures Nicolosi had over the years.

I find it horrifying that most of Nicolosi’s clients are teenagers and adolescents brought in by their parents.

49:30 Fry interviews a man who trains actors to sound less gay.
54:00 Fry interviews actor and producer Neil Patrick Harris who came out as a gay in 2006.

57:40 And Fry hits it home with this: “…Things do move forward. It is three steps forward and two steps back but in the end it is always progress. People learn.”

Thank you Stephen Fry for going out there and letting us in!



  1. So called homophobia is an invention, a straw man used to deflect legitimate dialogue on the question of homosexuality. Over thousands of years, and across all the cultures of the earth, homosexuality has been recognized as a deviant form of human sexuality that leads to any number of anti social conditions. There is no question of fear involved. There is no hatred. It is simply a matter of recognizing the difference between health and disease. True to form the issue of homosexuality is being used. for reasons unknown but whose purpose we can only surmise, to destabilize society, to weaken the family, which despite all its faults is still the incubator of true human relations and freedom of thought, and create more opportunity for ever advancing state control.

    • brandig you wrote “homophobia is an invention”

      There are two ways to respond to this.
      1. Such a statement is as invalid as saying racism or sexism is an invention when we can see all around us examples of discrimination in diverse societies against those who identify as LGBTQ or those who are not white or women. The term is only an invention in the sense, that it is only in recent years that people have recognized that this discrimination is wrong and socially harmful.

      2. Strictly speaking “homophobia” refers to a fear of homosexuals when the term these days is used to refer to those who either discriminate or show prejudice towards gays or lesbians.
      However, I personally think this is a useful term because I’ve found so often when I encounter prejudice against gays, it boils down to a fear. Be it a fear of change or a fear of sexuality in general, a fear of one’s own orientation or fear of the unknown.

      Your other comment: “Over thousands of years, and across all the cultures of the earth, homosexuality has been recognized as a deviant form of human sexuality that leads to any number of anti social conditions.”

      To claim that in the past there was discrimination as an argument for continuing this discrimination would be like saying, in the past women had to stay in the home, or didn’t have the right to vote, so now they can’t … or any other centuries held form of discrimination such as slavery should be continued because it has been around for a long time. Obviously arguing to continue discrimination because it exists doesn’t make any sense for a religion that has equality as a major teaching.

      Abdul-Baha’s injunction applies to all people.
      “We are all servants of one Threshold, attendants at one Court, waves of one sea, drops of one stream, the dust before one door and plants of one garden. There must arise no trouble to deprive one from that which is the real purpose. The beloved of God must be friendly even with strangers and intimate even with outsiders”

      Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu’l-Baha v2, p. 394

      The above applies clearly not just to heterosexuals. It is a Bahai teaching to work at reducing discrimination for all people.

    • I agree there should be no discrimination. We should apply the same level of care and love to everyone. When someone is ill we should lovingly inquire into the nature of the illness and as much as possible alleviate the distress and dysfunction, eventually to find a remedy.
      The issue turns on how we understand homosexuality. It is not discrimination. It cannot be compared to sexism or racism. I think there is enough, indeed overwhelming evidence to claim, as I did in my first post that it is a deviant form of human sexuality that leads to any number of anti social conditions.
      (e.g. the top six male serial killers were all gay.
      • Donald Harvey claimed 37 victims in Kentucky;
      • John Wayne Gacy raped and killed 33 boys in Chicago, burying them under his house and in his yard;
      • Patrick Kearney accounted for 32, cutting his victims into small pieces after sex and leaving them in trash bags along the Los Angeles freeways;
      • Bruce Davis molested and killed 27 young men and boys in Illinois;
      • A gay sex-murder-torture ring (Corll-Henley-Brooks) sent 27 Texas men and boys to their grave; and
      • Juan Corona was convicted of murdering 25 migrant workers (he “made love” with their corpses).)

      One hundred years ago homosexuality was generally viewed the same way we view pedophiles today. You call this progress. I call this a creeping degeneracy fulfilling many prophecies describing the ‘latter days’. No doubt one hundred years from now pedophiles will be commonplace, unless something happens to bring us back to our senses.
      The bible is not perfect but its condemnation of sexual deviancy, both in law and in story in the Old Testament and the New Testament is very clear. The same holds true for the scriptures and traditions of other religions, including the Bahai Faith. The individual is not condemned, but the activity is.
      This is not hate. This is simply clear observation of human behavior, and the guidance that we find in timeless wisdom.
      Peace to you.

    • Labeling a group of people as deviant when clearly they are not, is hate speech in my view.

      Your list made me smile. You forgot Hilter or Gengis Khan – oh I get it, you looked for 6 gays who were criminals and then made your list!

      It is hate to go looking to blame the evils of society onto a group as far as I am concerned. I hope one day you free yourself from such prejudice.

  2. “Fry and Laurie Reunited” A 2012 documentary about the meeting up of the two British comedians: Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie after 30 years http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiDgeNBsMEA

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