Rise & Fall of Ziggy Stardust

In the 1970’s when this album came out we were practising gay liberation. Before, we had been meek & mild. Now, we were the kids our parents had warned us against.

But David Bowie’s first song: Five Years, a dirge about contemporary hopelessness, included the image: “a cop knelt and kissed the feet of a priest, and a queer threw up at the sight of that”. I remember that album being played all night, over and over like a carousel, and with my newly aroused consciousness I became aware of how unacceptable it was: previously it might have been foisted off as social commentary. We adopted the label “gay” which some say descends from the ambiguous troubadours.

But it took the post-punk, post-Aids era of the 1990’s for a LGBTQ community to reclaim “queer”. No more 5 Years.


BOGOTA, Colombia — A Roman Catholic bishop has managed to offend both conservative church-goers and members of Colombia’s gay community during a speech intended to denounce discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba, the top authority at one of the seven dioceses comprising Bogota, was speaking Thursday at a conference about same-sex marriage and adoption co-sponsored by Colombia’s leading gay rights organization.

Both issues are being hotly debated in Colombia after the nation’s constitutional court last year allowed a lesbian couple to adopt a child born to one of them. Lawmakers are considering calling a referendum to extend such rights to all same-sex couples.

While defending church doctrine on marriage between a man and a woman, Cordoba said that homosexuality is not a sin and that gays are welcomed by the church.

While illustrating the point, the Jesuit priest used a pejorative Spanish term for a gay man, and wondered aloud whether one of Jesus’ 12 apostles could have been homosexual and Mary Magdalene a lesbian.

“No one chooses to be gay or straight,” Cordoba said in his speech. He also referred to male and female genitalia. “One simply feels, loves, experiments, is attracted, and no attraction is bad.”

Cordoba’s remarks stirred an uproar, with Catholic parishioners rushing to denounce what they consider blasphemous remarks about key New Testament figures. The church’s top prelates in Colombia also expressed concern.Bishop-Juan-Vicente-Cordoba2


About anton veenstra

tapestry weaver, fibre artist, gay/qr activist, multiculturalist
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