Welcome to Deviance

Nine | 21 Apr 2008

Hello and welcome to the Deviance section. It used to be the LGBT section, but now it’ll be covering a broader range of topics along the gender & sexuality spectrum. And, having conducted numerous behind-the-scenes focus groups, I’m all too aware that some of you are going to be less than thrilled about this. So I’d like to take the opportunity to say sorry; but also, tough. I hope your fears will be unfounded and that you’re going to enjoy the read.

Once it was decided that the change would go ahead, the name of the section was definitely the hardest bit. Sexuality & Gender was rejected for being too textbooky. For a while, the section was going to have a logo instead of a name, but I was scared people would think I was trying to be Prince. For reasons that I still can’t quite fathom, Rupert rejected my suggestion of Fuck You And Your Fascist Labels. And then finally my friend Clare came up with Deviance. She dresses up in geriatric drag for queer tea dances, so I reckon she knows what she’s talking about. (Shameless plug: More T Vicar, 24 May, 2-6pm, The Drill Hall, 30-36 Dalmeny St, Edinburgh. Check out www.myspace.com/more_tvicar for details.)

So do we really think you’re a ‘deviant’ if you’re queer or trans or a sex worker, if you’re into bondage or you’re asexual or you have a thing for Tesco checkout assistants? No. Deviance is subjective; no-one’s got the final say on what is ‘normal’. Nor do I subscribe to the belief that everything and everybody featured in these pages is by default edgy and groundbreaking – but I’m looking to see more honest and less sensationalist coverage than we routinely encounter in the press. Maybe it’s more about redefining ‘normal’ rather than dwelling on ‘deviance’. But Normal would’ve been a crap name.