Claire Black: 'The Dani Marti stooshie has knocked the sparkle off the Glasgay! sequins'

'SO A wee boy's arrived to stay with the guys over the road," I tell my mum as she demolishes a toasted teacake. "A cabin bed has appeared and I've seen him bouncing a ball off the living-room walls."

"Oh lovely," she says, chewing. "Do you think they're fostering? That would be wonderful. Lucky boy."

I know I shouldn't monitor my neighbours, but I make an exception for the gay couple who live across from us. They sing karaoke and get dolled up. Once we gave a particularly fine outfit a round of applause at the window and he took a bow. Who says community spirit is dead?

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I don't know these men, obviously. I've never spoken to them. Our relationship is purely window-based. But my mother's reaction to the boy's arrival, whether he's fostered or not, is something from which Culture and Sport Glasgow (CSG), the group responsible for delivering cultural and sports services in the Weege, could learn a thing or three.

I don't think my mum read The Looked After Children (Scotland) Regulations that came into force a couple of weeks ago (she prefers a good Diana Gabaldon to policy documents), but the fact that she doesn't see being gay and having a family as remotely incompatible is something from which people deficient in the tolerance stakes might just learn.

Glasgay! festival is on at the moment – its theme this year is family – and although there's the usual eclectic programme (shake your tooshie at Death Disco, take part in a debate chaired by writers Louise Welsh and Zoe Strachan, or pop along to Jackie Kay's Maw Broon Monologues) there's been a bit of a stooshie, which for a little while knocked the sparkle off the sequins.

The gist is that artist Dani Marti was commissioned to create work for Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA). He did that, using a three-month residency at the gallery and gay men's health as his subject matter. The work tackled the stigma of HIV, but before it was shown CSG stigmatised – erm, I mean deemed unsuitable – two of Marti's films and decided not to show them.

The arts community has ended up shouting about censorship and CSG has tried to argue that if a piece of art might possibly offend some people, it shouldn't be shown in a city centre gallery.

Now I don't mean to drag us into the "art isn't a cup of cocoa and a warm pair of slippers but a potentially controversial, possibly unpleasant, hopefully stimulating experience" debate, but I feel I have to. Blame CSG if you must.

The thing about art is that you don't have to like it. You can perfectly reasonably hate it, but you should be able to see it. And the thing about Glasgay! is that it's about celebrating cultures and lifestyles and interests that might be different from yours but are no less valid. Unless we've slipped back to 1989 and Section 28, and I should be wearing a ra-ra skirt.

Glasgow is celebrated the world over (not in Edinburgh, perhaps, but almost everywhere else I've ever been) for its arts scene. It's a city where hipsters, fashion designers and muso types prance around in skinny jeans with silly haircuts. It's why festivals like Glasgay! are so good. It's why the city itself is so fine. My mum loves it. Glasgow's bureaucracy should get to grips with it.