I’ve just watched a programme called “The Making Of Me” on the BBC, which is a new series which tries to look into what makes us who we are and how much influence external factors can have on certain issues.
For the first episode in the series, they asked John Barrowman to explore the possible roots of his homosexuality and attempt to address the age old question of ‘nature or nurture?’
I am in mixed minds about how this programme was presented as although I am pleased to see that a programme on an issue such as this is deemed ‘prime-time’ viewing by the BBC, I sometimes thought that the presentation of some of the issues surrounding this was a little slap-dash. Similarly, I found that they took a lot of suggestive and speculative unquantified research and tried to turn it into fact, which I disagreed with (especially towards the end).
I also felt that none of the options / demonstrations in this programme were directly applicable to me really, as all of the tests that focused on the genetics (which are the most likely cause, and something I’ve always believed in) were done on the basis of comparing them to another, or an older, male sibling. Alas, I have two younger sisters, meaning that the only ‘test’ that I could do was the finger length test – which is highly suggestible and in no way scientific. Therefore, I felt a little disappointed that I was unable to take as much out of the programme as I’d hoped to be able to.
The story of Peter Price’s ordeal at the psychiatrist had me in floods of tears. I had to pause the documentary for a few moments. All I can say is that what he went through in a bid to ‘cure’ himself to make other people happy was disgusting and nobody should ever have to go through ‘testing’ like that to determine / ‘cure’ something as pointless and immaterial as their sexuality.
In summary, I thought that this was a good programme, however I was disappointed to find that I learnt nothing new from it. I think the real benefit of this programme is that lots of curious mothers, fathers, grandparents and other relatives may have seen it, and may now be able to relate to the whole idea of ‘gay’ a little more now. I know that some parents get upset and think that they have nurtured their son/daughter to be gay, and so hopefully this documentary has helped to steer them away from that notion. With around 7 million gay people in the UK, the majority of them having one or more parent ‘in the know’, then I think that is really where the positive impact of this programme will be felt, and the BBC should be commended for ‘doing their bit’ in my opinion.
Episode one is currently on BBC iPlayer, and is scheduled to remain available until 21:59 on Thursday 31 July.