It is a largely-forgotten stain on human history and it is a largely-ignored evil in our present. Homophobia, the world over, struggles to be taken seriously.

Gay journalists, such as myself, may write about it. Gay people may speak about it. But where are the statues to the countless millions who have been brutalised by their own countries for centuries? And, as we hear of yet more repulsive and frightening attacks on gay people in Chechnya, where is the worldwide political outrage?

In truth, there is none. Like rubberneckers on the motorway, politicians and social commentators tut and grimace as they respond to reports of barbarism against innocent gay men - and then, they drive on.

It seems increasingly clear that the torture of gay people in Chechnya and neighbouring countries including Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan and Armenia is taking an ever-darker turn into the depths of human cruelty.

Reports from the Russian LGBT Network suggest that gay men are being rounded up, beaten and abducted; that they are tortured, their hands electrocuted and their bodies beaten. They have been forced to sit on bottles. At least three of the 100 Chechen men taken have – we are told – been murdered and activists are trying to evacuate gay men from danger.

HIV in Russia LGBT
LGBT people still face rampant homophobia in Russia and the rest of the world Getty

Rightly, the Foreign Office has condemned the Chechen Republic's leadership not only for their reported barbarity, but also for the miserably-warped claim that they could not arrest gay men in their region because there are none.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov's spokesperson, Alvi Karimov, said with Orwellian indifference: "You cannot arrest or repress people who just don't exist in the republic."

And so, gay people across that region and in so many other countries, continue to be tortured, burned alive, imprisoned, beaten, thrown off buildings, ostracised, hanged and forgotten.

Can I, as a British subject, call on a political will to demand answers from Chechnya? Can we order our Foreign Secretary to gather his international counterparts and hold a summit? There is no such will to draw upon. A condemnation from the Foreign Office has gone largely unnoticed and it's unlikely to have made any difference to the men waiting to become corpses alongside the three who have apparently already been beaten to death in a camp near the Chechen capitol, Grozny.

Ramzan Kadyrov
The press secretary of the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov says there are no gay people in the region REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov

Am I being overly-demanding, wondering if we shouldn't be offering a greater, more robust political reaction to these reports? Make no mistake, I realise how absurd I am for suggesting it. Realpolitik dictates that the diplomatic equivalent of the frown one gives to a fart in a lift is all we will offer to a country routinely abusing and exterminating gay people.

Let's allow a flight of fancy, nonetheless. Surely we are all repulsed by the murder of many minorities by the Nazis in their own concentration camps? Gay people were part of the holocaust too. They were castrated, tortured, treated like animals, experimented on and snuffed out along with many millions of other humans. Is meaningful disgust only retrospective? We ask older generations why German people didn't do something back then to halt the evil.

And yet, with so much homophobic torture around the world as we speak, shop, drive, eat and queue in Pret... We are doing nothing now.

World leaders are still in a paroxysm of indecision regarding Assad's use of chemical weapons in Syria. The media has been pouring over every detail because of the justified weight being given to the issue. We are told the chemical attack and the United States' subsequent missile bombardment could well be leading us down a dark, icy path to a new even colder war – perhaps even world war 3.

However, let us remember that this latest spasm of international warmongering was – understandably enough – ignited by the death of around 80 people in a horrific chemical weapons attack. It is right that we are appalled. It is right that any regime using genetic or chemical weapons should be confronted by the international community and any allies forced to retract their support. It is perfectly right to see the attack in the context of a supra-political stand-off between increasingly belligerent superpowers, hungry to fling missiles at one another.

And yet, aren't a hidden mass of gay people around the world suffering the very real threat of a war, not on their cities or their leaders, but on their very humanity? What is being done to save them?

I cannot help but wonder how many people are killed, tortured and ruined every week by something that is just as poisonous to human prosperity as chemical weapons: violent prejudice.

How many gay men and women are in prison today around the world? How many have been banished from their homes by their own parents? How many have been arrested? How many killed? How many so bereft of love that they have killed themselves?

On this planet, how many people today have been and are still being and will bedestroyed, just as those poor men in Chechnya are being destroyed, by the cruelty of extremists and the neglect of our own political leaders to stop them?

The media rarely demands action on gay issues. I remember one moment at the BBC when I suggested we cover a real-terms rise in anti-gay violence. My then editor replied, apologetically, "I know you're interested in that because you're gay but... It's a bit niche." I feel this represents an unspoken feeling that goes well beyond the walls of broadcasting house.

Being gay is not niche, however, it is a common reality that has no care for nationality, ethnicity or creed and, taken as one, I estimate that there are many hundreds of millions today still suffering on one level or another from an epidemic of hatred.

Chechnya is only the latest example to catch the public imagination, thanks to its links to Vladimir Putin and its echoes of Nazism.

The abuse of gay people in this world will only ever be treated with the gravity it deserves when the world respects gay people as equals. Until then, we will pass by, tut and forget.