Prince Harry (Source: www.princeofwales.gov.uk)
UK gay rights activist Peter Tatchell has dismissed claims that Prince Harry’s comments in a controversial leaked video were homophobic.
In the video, which was filmed in 2006 when he was a cadet at the Sandhurst military college, Harry is heard to say off-camera to a colleague: “How do you feel? Gay? Queer on the side?”
While the British gay rights group Stonewall has demanded that the Prince apologise for the statement, Tatchell said: “We should kick up a fuss about real homophobia, not imagined prejudice.”
He added that, “I cannot see anything offensive about the context and manner in which Harry used the word queer. It wasn’t said with hate, aggression or malice.”
Tatchell said that in his opinion Harry comes across as quite gay-friendly in the video.
“Later in his video diary the prince mouths to another soldier ‘I love you’ before kissing him on the cheek and licking his face. Kissing another bloke in front of his mates and putting it on film doesn’t seem very homophobic to me,” Tatchell said.
The private video was published online by News of the World and has led to a furore primarily over the racist language that the Prince also uses in the clip.
While Harry has apologised for the racist remarks, he has not commented on the so-called homophobic language in the video.