The boy kicked out at the world…

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Why it doesn’t matter whether there’s a sex scandal surrounding Stephen Gately’s death

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Ever since my article on Stephen Gately’s untimely passing went live over at Rise Over Run, I’ve gotten a lot of e-mails and comments from people telling me they feel the same way.  Stephen Gately had a huge impact on my generation of gay men, and his death has left us reeling with sadness.  Boyzone fans and the gay community in Britain and Ireland have rallied around Stephen’s husband, internet mogul Andrew Cowles, his family, and his band.  We’ve accepted the Spanish coroner’s report that he died of a congenital heart disorder that went tragically undetected.  And we’ve accepted that Georgi Dochev, the Bulgarian who claims to have found Stephen dead, was present, though why he was there and what he did or didn’t do remains murky.

PD*31824794Queerty was the first media outlet to insinuate Dochev’s presence was anything but innocent when they ran the headline “The 3-Way Sex Scandal That’s Accompnying Stephen Gately’s Death” on Tuesday.  I read with disgust, wondering how a gay website could possibly slander the name of our very own boy next door.  This outrage grew even more today, when the Daily Mail ran Jan Moir’s now-infamous column, in which she questioned the circumstances surrounding Stephen’s death, in the process revealing her own ignorance and heterosexism.  Twitter is outraged, the British public is disgusted, and Jan Moir is public enemy number one.

It is normal to speculate as to what happened that night, and with the facts we have, it is natural to assume there may be something more to this story we don’t know.  That being said, Stephen Gately was a hero to many, myself included, angeland an important figure in the history of gay and lesbian Britain.  He was, without a doubt, one of the most important figures from my childhood, and I would not be where I am if it weren’t for the example he set a decade ago.  It’s to be expected that gay Britain and Ireland feels defensive and protective of his memory–and we should.  What we recognize, and want the rest of the world to recognize, is that while yes, our minds may wander to the more sordid details of this (or any) story, why Dochev was there just isn’t important.  He didn’t kill Stephen, as Stephen wasn’t murdered.  So therefore, it really is nobody’s business.  What happened–or was meant to happen–shouldn’t be our focus.

The incredible, undeniable, charming and lovable talent of Stephen Gately and the tragedy of his passing should be our only concern.   We have lost an incredibly talented man, and we should let him rest in peace.  We may never know why Stephen and Andrew brought Dochev back to their home, and that’s fine.  Because what Stephen Gately deserves right now, more than anything, is respect.  He doesn’t deserve the British public, and certainly not Queerty and Jan Moir, speculating about the circumstantial evidence surrounding the nature of his evening as if it were true.  For all we know, Andrew slept on the floor that night.

In the end, none of it matters.  Whatever happened or didn’t happen, Stephen Gately is gone, dead from natural causes at 33.  He was too young to have died, and the world has lost a gentle soul and gifted entertainer.  That is what matters.  That is all that matters.


Written by skylarjordan

October 16, 2009 at 10:04 pm

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