Spare a thought for Mrs Blunt today, and the
little Blunts. Whatever she feels like, whatever she really thinks, despite the
public utterances to friends and family, despite the carefully chosen
expression, she starts today firmly in a closet that her husband fashioned for
There is no self determination for her. No
expression of a hard won freedom to be the person she always thought she should
be. There are no ‘Rejection Pride’ marches snaking through city centres in
celebration of her new lifestyle, no Fireman will be threatened with the sack
for not handing out leaflets admiring her ‘choice’ in life – for she did not
make a choice.
However good and supportive her circle of close
friends are, and I sincerely hope they are the most supportive circle of friends
that ever existed, they will not be inside her head as she examines her thoughts
in the early hours. They can only suggest what would be best for them in her
position as she wrestles with the thorny question of how best to protect her
children. She must now live with the fear and loathing that we are told was the
‘unbearable’ lot of homosexuals in another age.
The media and the blogs are full of supportive
messages for the ‘agony’ experienced by dear Crispin, as he steps out into the
brave new world of elegant soirees hosted by dual income partnerships, of
‘inspiring’ week-ends in Morocco, perhaps even a civil partnership celebrated in
the august surroundings of Westminster, attended by the immaculately groomed
people of his brave new world. Yes, even Westminster has a
document specially commissioned to market the opportunites of this brave new
Meanwhile, Victoria Blunt must wrestle with the
knowledge that her husband does not believe himself to have been driven to this
decision by ‘nature’, for in his own words:
Bradshaw: The hon. Gentleman perpetuates the myth that being gay
is a life style choice. It is no more a life style choice than is his sexual
Mr. Blunt: I am afraid that I
cannot accept that.
It is not just men who make Crispin’s
acknowledged ‘lifestyle’ choices. I knew a woman once who made a similar
decision to leave her husband. She too had teen-age children. If they were
surprised by the new presence in their household of their Mother’s muscular
female friend, they did not discuss it publicly. It was indeed a private matter,
as it should be.
However, their Mother was quite a little
celebrity, and one night was invited to appear alongside the ‘sisterhood’ on
national television. The opportunity was too tempting to resist; a chance to
outdo the sisterhood in their age old rejection of men – she ‘came out’ to much
acclaim. What a brave soul she was! How the sisterhood eagerly clasped her to
their ample bosoms as evidence of their hard won freedom to be ‘themselves’.
The next day her daughter had to face her school
friends, alive with the gossip. Too many sentences started ‘My Mum says’, ‘My
Dad reckons’. Children haven‘t yet grasped the intricacies of politically
correct thinking. Her daughter turned to the village Doctor, the one person she
could trust and let be known her real feelings about all this. The Doctor did
their best to alleviate the pain she felt, but to no avail,; one day she
returned home and hung herself from the stair rails.
We were all supportive of that woman in her
tragedy, it is a terrible thing to come home and find your daughter dead. She,
however, spent years campaigning against that Doctor, trying to get them struck
off for ‘failing’ her daughter, I never once heard her express any remorse for
her public declaration of homosexuality and the effect it had on a teen-age
child. Her son went on to become a drug addict – that too was apparently the
Doctor’s fault, he turned to drugs because he was ‘devastated over his sister’s
death’ – he probably was, but I would have respected her more if she had ever
acknowledged the damage she had done to her children at a vulnerable age.
Mrs Blunt will know all this, and it is she who
will find the strength to support her children, she who will feed them several
times a day when she would much rather stay hidden under a duvet, she who will
listen to her son’s fears that perhaps ‘Dad’ is not right, perhaps homosexuality
is not a life style choice, perhaps Dad had used his entire family to protect
himself from the difficulties he would have faced in the military and politics
if he had been man enough to face up to his proclivities. She who will listen to
her daughter express her fears that perhaps she too is not feminine enough to
keep the attention of a man.
She will do so whilst trying to retain faith in
her own femininity, perhaps in learning to trust another man when he says he
loves her. I hope so. If she succeeds, it will be because she is a real woman, a
woman who puts her family and the youngsters she is responsible for before
As we celebrate the right of all individuals to
make their own choice, to ‘come out’, to have that transgender operation, to
take up that same sex partner, to wear the gender based clothes that they feel
most appropriate in, we must not forget that for every one of them who is
married, there is another married person who has had that choice thrust upon
them – that so many do and manage to retain love for the person they married and
support them in their choice, and continue to keep their family together, is a
source of amazement to me.
They are the people whom we should truly be
celebrating, and supporting with love and admiration – yeah – and column inches
too, an unsung army of unselfish real men and women.
Edited to add: For anyone reading this in a
similar position, whilst there are many organisations and pressure groups in
existance to support Crispin and his colleagues, the Beaumont Society appears to be
the one and only body which has a section devoted to supporting the
partners of people currently making drastic lifestyle choices. They don’t seem
to attract any government funding in this work.