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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 284 > CLIFF JOANNOU

CLIFF JOANNOU

Fear is a very useful tool for control

OPINION

WHEN YOU WERE A KID how many times did your parents tell you frightening stories to “keep you safe”? I remember my mother warning me about the crazy man who lived up the road. His house was an unruly junkyard of items that spilled out into the garden. It was unlike the carefully maintained home my parents took pride in.

We’d moved into the white, very English, middle-class neighbourhood of Norbury, South London when I was five. My parents quickly befriended the neighbours; they wanted them to see our Greek-Cypriot clan as worthy of living on their street. But I never once saw them talk to crazy junk guy. As impressionable young kids we developed a wariness of him through our parents’ disapproval. As I grew older and learned to make my own judgments, crazy junk guy turned out to be a harmless eccentric.

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About Attitude

On the cover, Adam Peaty, the first British Olympian to win gold at the Rio Olympics. Plus: Amini Fonua, the Tongan swimmer who famously challenged a homophobic attack from the media at the Rio Olympics; an exclusive look behind the scenes at GCHQ and the new generation of gay men following in Alan Turing’s footsteps; ten years of queer Glastonbury with an exclusive look at the history of The NYC Downlow; and writer Juno Dawson on why she thinks lots of gay men are really trans women.
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