Angry at life insurance premiums being higher for gay men due to being a HIV ‘high-risk-group’, Massow made millions by providing financial services to the gay community that didn’t penalise applications on the grounds of their sexuality. Then in 2003, after years of working as rivals and Massow criticising their policies, financial giant Zurich apparently apologetic for it’s actions of the past approached Massow offering him a deal. There was more money to be made. Did Massow see a solution to finally eradicate the need for a separate league of insurance for gay men? or did those pound signs blind him? The deal was Zurich would borrow Massow’s company £320,000 in the deal, in return for selling their insurance. Massow alleges part of the deal was that Zurich would stop asking people about their sexuality and drop HIV tests for gay men. He’s now in court Zurich’s lawyers claiming they have not changed their policy and that Zurich “tried to ruin him”. Zurich demanded the loan back and Massow refused to pay it.
Many in the gay community were dubious and refused to believe Zurich had changed when Massow signed the deal back in 2003. They were right and poor Ivan has gone home with his tail between his legs (truth be told actually he’s “festering in exile in Barcelona because of corporate homophobia” – according to this article in the Independent. People in exile rarely have a page in a national newspaper, and it’s doubtful he’s ‘festering’, I wouldn’t be surprised if living was pretty easy for Massow now in Spain, a stones-throw from the bustling muscle mary gay resort of Sitges.
Massow must have also neglected to read up on the shameful long list of homophobic tory policies (section 28, opposition to partnership rights, gay adoption, good and services, trans recognition the list goes on..) when he joined the Conservative Party aged just 14. At the Conservative Party Conference in 1999 Massow was Lady Thatcher’s escort, a time when plenty of harmful anti-gay emissions were still being propagated by the ‘nasty party’.
It feels like Massow’s principles are something he’s been working on for a long time. They come second to his business interests. Many admire him for coming from a poorer background and then going on to make millions in his twenties which is fair enough. It’s a shame because Massow could have been more of an ally and an advocate for the greater queer rights movement that at one time could have benefited from his support. Sadly the record’s too scratched now. By selling us out in the name of good intentions Massow’s current credibility is zero with large sections of the gay community who once saw his visions as revolutionary.
Is Massow an integral part of the modern Gay Mafia? Remember it’s a concept, like the illuminate or the secret service their existence is denied. If there is a Gay Mafia operating in the traditional ‘gang-land’ sense then Massow’s not one associate to worry about any more. If anything you should feel sorry for Massow, he’s been chewed up and spat out.
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