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Queer Editorial

quiverbible.jpg Quiver

Let’s keep bible studies out of suite 341…

Excellent news dear readers: the next time any of us stays in a Travelodge we won’t have to share the space with a book we never asked for. The recent story about the hotel chain deciding to remove the Gideon bibles from all their hotel rooms is – for me at least – a welcome one. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against spirituality per se; I was brought up going to church and still value having some early spiritual guidance and perspective. But what about all the people who stay in those rooms who don’t have any formalised faith-based leanings, or cherish a holy book other than the bible? A bible-less hotel room seems like a step in the right direction in terms of reflecting the diverse multi-cultural society we live in: either that or hotels need to start providing all the holy texts. It sounds like such a little thing: a bible in a hotel room. Who cares about that? Whenever I stay in a hotel room the first thing I do is to put the bible in a place I can’t see it. And not just when I’m in the room having lots of very gay shenanigans but also when I’m in a hotel on my own, working. I wondered why it was that I always chose to hide the bible – and it took me a while to work this out – then realised it had to do with residual guilt. The church and a lot of other places perpetuated the myth that being gay was a sin and could only end badly for the sinner. My church talked a lot about hell and whose card was marked for an eternity of burning agony – and the gays never fared well. I’ve no time for that nonsense now in terms of my own self-awareness but back in the day, before I was out, I did have a period of feeling guilty. And anyone who’s experienced that – or is experiencing it now – will know it doesn’t feel good. And the bible in the hotel room taps into that. And that’s why I, for one, am pleased their days are numbered. Let’s hope other hotel chains follow suit.