Charming and graphic in a really funny way.
A lovely gift from France.
Charming and graphic in a really funny way.
A lovely gift from France.
A 2-1/2 minute story sharing what it feels like to grow up gay. Truly delightful, a must watch.
Someone asked me recently:
If gay people get to have sex with other people of the same sex because they are born gay, do pedophiles who feel they are born that way get to have sex with children?
In a word, No. But that answer has nothing to do with how someone was born, and everything to do with the other party.
Being born with a particular sexuality is never carte blanche for sex with any particular person. Being born straight does not give a man right to sex with any woman. She has to say yes, because ethical sex requires the consent of the other partner. Sex without consent – with a mentally retarded adult, a woman who is passed out drunk, or anyone who says no – is rape.
Pedophiles can never have the sex they desire because no child can give consent for adult sexual acts. Children, by definition, do not have an adult body, an adults morality or understanding of consequences, or an adult sexual awareness. There is no way for them to give informed consent for adult sex.
Pedophilia is a difficult topic, with some people labeling all pedophiles sick while others make a distinction between the desires of a pedophile and the actions of a child molester. Given how common child brides were across history and in some cultures to this day, the desire for sexual relationships with youth seem pretty widespread. Some modern research supports the idea that some people may be born pedophiles, making their sexuality as natural as heterosexuality or homosexuality.
But in the end the origins of the desire for sex with children do not matter. Even if pedophiles are “born that way” they do not get to act on their desires because they are only half of the equation, and the rest of us are here to protect the rights of the other party. Healthy societies must protect the innocent first, and then offer help to those with unwelcome attractions.
Ethical sex requires the consent of both parties, and a child who can never give adult consent deserves to be left alone.
One of the great things about the success of the gay rights movement comes as we include more and more people. Just think, someday everyone might experience equal respect in their lives.
As we experienced around gay marriage, visibility is everything. Some people say popular media is a cyclops, it can only focus on one thing at time, and now trans people are getting the attention they have long deserved.
Some people see being gay as a defect, a flaw, or a subversion of the natural order. A commenter on another post, who did not seem antagonistic to gay rights in general, called being gay a birth defect much like one of his own:
Another segment of the population that seems to ignore science are the gays who refuse to accept that their circumstance in life is the result of a birth defect. Lots of us a born with some kind of defect. Some have a tail, others have webbed feet or have a missing or deformed limb. I was born with hammer toes and I have no feeling or any use of my legs, below my knees. And I have scoliosis. But, I and the guy with five fingers sticking out of his shoulder, don’t go around telling everyone that we’re normal. Many gays do this all the time. There’s nothing wrong with being defective but denying the obvious seems a little odd, to me.
I don’t really like this conceptualization of defect versus variation, but since this mindset is common it is worth puzzling out: What is the difference between being atypical versus being defective?
In a normal distribution most people fall in the middle of the bell curve while others are born on the tail ends, the variations outside the norms. A defect, on the other hand, is something that doesn’t work right, an imperfection.
I am abnormally tall. At over 6’3” my height is in the 99th percentile of American men my age. Does that make my height in the outlying 1% a defect or a variation? Looking farther outside of the norms, Yao Ming defective because he is 7’6” or Peter Dinklage defective at 4’5”?
I am also gay. Given that about 5% of the population is gay, does my homosexuality in the outlying 5% make me defective or a standard variation? Statistically, my height is more “abnormal” than my queerness.
If variation is a question of statistics, defectiveness derives from a lack of proper functioning. Something is defective if it doesn’t work right.
Staying with height for a moment, Ming’s “defect” makes him a star of the MBA, while Dinklage’s “defect” makes him a star of Game of Thrones. I like being “abnormally” tall, except when confronted by tight airline seats and short beds.
As for how I experience my sexuality, it feels more like a variation than a defect to me. My body’s sexual functions work just fine, so no defect there. And just as my feet prefer hiking over jogging, my body’s sexual urges prefer men over women. In both cases my parts work just fine, they just have an orientation or preference that feel beyond my control.
Of course the primary reason gay people are considered defective is the decreased likelihood we will have children. But A) that was my choice, not a lack of ability, and B) not every human being needs to procreate for the species to survive. In fact, at our current populations, it is a benefit if some people choose not to.
My sexual preference is not the same as the majority’s, but as one in twenty people vary in this way it seems a rather unexceptional.
And my body’s sexual bits works quite well thank you, so they are not defective. I am quite sure my procreative functions work equally well, leaving the matter of procreation my personal choice, and not a defect.
Part of what I love about my people is the humor we have about being gay. OK, not everyone all the time, for sure, but c’mon… we get huge credit for the fun and laughs we have at our own expense.
Gay prankster humor hit global politics this week with the Singing Sailor, a response to months of Russian nuclear submarines violating territorial Swedish waters. A group called ‘Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society’ (SPAS) responded to the famously homophobic Russians with a neon sign depicting a sexy sailor with the message: “Welcome To Sweden, Gay Since 1944.” 1944 was the year Sweden made homosexuality legal.
And in case any passing submarines miss the sign, it also pings out Morse code into the surrounding waters spelling out the message “come this way if you are gay,” a message no submariner could miss.
So how does this help playfully funny art project help explain gay people?
Well, there is an ancient tradition of pranksters in many religions, the unexpected wisdom that subverts the rigid thinking of the day, and as gay people we often appear like unsettling pranksters. Unlike pretty much every other minority group gay people pop up unexpectedly in every family, community, religion, and culture. So at our best we sometimes play this role of sacred prankster, something like Bugs Bunny who managed to make the guy with the gun look the fool by not taking himself too seriously.
Responding to territorial incursions by nuclear submarines with the timeless icon of a gay sailor? Genius.
And just to be clear how friendly this all is, Daniel Holking of SPAS clarified in an official statement:
If there is a submarine down there and there is a crew member who hears or sees the sailor, they are welcome to join us in the Pride Parade on August 1 in Stockholm.
I love my peeps.
…for more background, and to see the sign dance:
Panti Bliss is an Irish drag queen, and an incredibly articulate person. As political controversies in Ireland escalated, she accused a Catholic lobbying group of homophobia, and got tons of blowback.
Her response, on the stage of Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, is powerful:
She followed up with a TED Talk where she got a standing ovation:
It’s only a one minute video, just watch it. So simple.
Traditional communities were often led by wise old men. So where are the gay men who should be at the peak of their careers and influence, leading the way forward, and serving as role models for the younger generations? Why are there so few older gay male leaders out there?
The answer is easy: They died.
For gay men around my generation, AIDS took many of the best and brightest, the most creative, and those most likely to be daring, extraverted, outgoing, and driven. Wars decimate generations of young men. 60,000 American soldiers died in Vietnam, while AIDS took 300,000 from the 5% of the populations that is gay. Those who survived either suffered decades of serious illness more like the end of life than the middle, or we were so traumatized by the illness – and the country’s judgmental reaction – that many of us have never really recovered.
Because of AIDS, and the lack of a quick medical response when the disease hit, gay men are lacking the cadre of wise old men and worldly success stories that we should be experiencing at this point in history.
Of course this means everything will change in the future. Leadership roles are now being filled by gay women – many of the most famous gay people in America right now are female, a wonderful thing to witness. And now a new generation arises – healthy, empowered, and ready to be the role models of the future.
Quick test: You really have to pee. Which bathroom do you use, the one with the stick figure on the door, or the one with the stick figure and the little triangle?
OK, now which bathroom should this guy use?
He was born female, but now he’s a contender for Men’s Health cover model. Everybody’s gotta pee sometimes. Where would you send him?
OK, then how about this guy? The US Army says he’s a woman, but he disagrees. Which restroom would you like him to use?
Or how about this guy? He was born female. Would you insist he use the ladies room?
On the other, uh, sex, this is Laverne Cox, one of the breakout stars of Orange Is The New Black. Where should she go to pee? She was born male, so would you point her to the men’s room?
Or how about this woman? Does she look like she’d fit in the men’s room? Would she be safe there?
Or how about this woman. Raise your hand if you think she should be using the mens room.
The idea of transgender people using bathrooms is one of those issues that should not be complicated.
Everyone needs to pee where they feel most comfortable. And when faced with the gender-sorted bathrooms, people should use the gender-labeled space that fits the gender they are expressing.
It is true this may make some people uncomfortable, but, well, lets all be nice to each other out there, people. And remember, bathrooms are not sacred spaces, their primary role is hygiene – just a place where we can drop the kids off at the pool, adjust ourselves with a bit of privacy, maybe wash our face if the paper towel rack hasn’t gone all empty again, and then head back into the world with a renewed sense of relief.
Or we could just change the signs…
It can be comforting to believe God’s laws are eternal and unchanging, but no Christian can think that is true, as Christianity itself was a dramatic change in God’s laws. The story of Jesus is of one of history’s most powerful revolutionaries, and Christianity has been toppling old ways of thinking ever since.
The New Testament, for example, was new because it was a change in God’s covenant with his people. The Old Testament is a listing of the laws and morals God gave to the Jews. In Christian ethics, those laws were superceded in Christ, and few modern Christians live ethical aligned with the Old Testament. Those who do follow those old laws are called Orthodox Jews, not Christians.
Under the laws of the Old Testament, God’s people ate a kosher diet and sacrificed animals on altars, yet Christians no longer practice those laws, because they were fulfilled in Christ. Or to use the most famous example, Old Testament morality of “an eye for an eye” was transformed through the life and teachings of Jesus into to “turn the other cheek.”
Christianity only exists because God’s laws did not continue eternal and unchanged, as Christ changed them. I believe modern Christians can also find growth within their morality. As the current Pope, of all people, said recently: “God is not afraid of new things.”
Why are gay men so promiscuous? Because we are Men.
Yeah, that’s kind of it. Gay dudes are attracted to other dudes, and since most dudes like sex, making a connection can be pretty easy. Evolutionary theory says that men are wired to sow their seeds as widely as possible, so being male means being wired for promiscuity, something true for all men, straight and gay. So two men together can be all gas pedal and no brake.
Women, on the other hand, may love sex just as much as men, but are more likely to take other factors into consideration. Before the invention of birth control in a pill, for example, women could be left pregnant and caring for a child. So traditionally, women suffered more dramatically from poor sexual choices than men. In male-female relations, then, it is often men who are pushing on the gas pedal, and women in charge of the brakes.
Of course sexual ethics still apply to men, whether we are with a woman or another man. While sexual orientation is not a choice, gay people still choose when to have sex and with whom… and a surprising number choose not to have sex at all. A recent study found that over two million gay American men had not had any sex in the last five years.
Still, it remains true that some gay men are profoundly promiscuous, but the numbers are smaller than some people think. America’s largest online dating site, OkCupid, observed their customer’s online behavior and found that gay people had almost exactly the same number of sexual partners as straight people. According to OkCupid’s data, 45% of gay people and 44% of straight people had five or fewer sexual partners, while 98% of gay people and 99% of straight people have had twenty or less. So according to OKCupid’s data, the promiscuous 2% minority of the gay members had 23% of the gay sex, which sounds about right to me. A small percentage of people, gay and straight, male and female, are particularly promiscuous, but that is not the majority.
To add an even more intriguing note – as gay marriage spreads, promiscuity seems to be dropping. According to a ten year study by the US National Surveys of Family Growth, gay male promiscuity dropped significantly during the first decade gay marriage was an option.
So to review:
Why are gay men so promiscuous? Because we are men.
And are all gay men that promiscuous? Of course not.
And do changes in tolerance and acceptance affect gay men’s promiscuity? Yes.
As someone raised deeply Christian, but born gay, I understand the dilemma modern gay life poses for faithful Christians. This post is one in a series exploring how to reconcile modern gay life with truly Christian values.
Many people use the Bible as a moral guide. Unfortunately, it offers little or no guidance for a modern gay man.
I know the Bible well. Unlike most Americans, I have read it from cover to cover, four or five times, studying it in depth each time. I find it fascinating and rich, but biblical morality is complex, which is a mixed blessing. That complexity is both its strength and its weakness, as it makes the Bible expansive, contradictory, and often messy in ways that can accurately mirror real life, but those same qualities leave it vulnerable to selective interpretation
The anti-gay language in the Bible sounds harsh at first, ripe for simplistic thinking, but a closer reading reveals more depth and nuance.
### What Jesus said
Obviously, the most important thing for Christians to know is what Jesus said about gay lives: Nothing.
Living under the Romans, who openly and enthusiastically practiced homosexuality in their social relationships and in their sacred rituals, Jesus had no comment. He was completely silent on the issues of homosexuality and gender variation.
Given that anti-gay preaching simply had no place the ministry of Jesus, it is weird to see the prominence some of his followers give it. Pope Francis recently [called that out the church](http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/world/europe/pope-bluntly-faults-churchs-focus-on-gays-and-abortion.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0″ target=”_blank) for what he called its obsession with gay sexuality. “We have to find a new balance,” he said, “otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.” Very Christlike, this Pope.
*Answers for my life’s questions*: None.
### Against nature
The Apostle Paul didn’t like any sex, including straight sex within marriage. “It is good for a man not to touch a woman,” he wrote, adding, “…those who marry will have affliction in regard to the flesh, and I would spare you that.”  He also wrote to the Roman people:
“Gay” can be such an abstract concept. It is just a word after all, it isn’t a person.
iO Tillett Wright’s TED talk is beautiful on how we define ourselves as human beings – the boxes we put ourselves into, and the commonalities we share.
And then she takes it farther, and shows the individual faces, and the eyes, of my people.
Thank you, iO. Stunning.
Note: This is a longer article than usual, as I felt the subject deserved it.
So your kid came out to you as gay. How did it go? Did you handle it well? Badly? Not sure?
Best case, you totally understood the importance and ramifications of your child’s declaration, responded with glee and hugs and positivity, and then you started making plans for the celebration!
Worst case, you choked. You blew it. You completely insulted your child’s life and deepest emotions, and you may have created lasting damage for your parental relationship with your now very angry progeny.
Most likely it was somewhere in the middle. I would hope you did your best “I love you and want what is best for you” routine, but you were probably left feeling like you didn’t know what is best for your child right now. That’s OK, because this is the beginning of your learning process, and if you are of good heart and you love you child, I trust things will work out, or at least you will not be responsible if they don’t.
One of my favorite coming out stories was from a young man who spent months fretting about telling his parents, and when he finally did tell his mother he was gay she responded: “That’s nice, but you still have to do the dishes.” Your reaction may not have been quite that nonchalant, but that is fine, for reasons I will explain below.
Most likely you and your child have a history of communications both good and bad, of things said and unsaid, and of expectations met and unmet. Well, things have just taken another big turn for both of you, and the exciting thing is this could be very good news.
This whole discussion around sexuality and gender may all be new to you, but your kid has spent years learning who they are — thinking about it, mulling it over, considering the clues, and checking their internal feelings against the larger culture to see how they fit. That’s what we do as we grow up, we grow into who we are and figure out how to be that person in the social world of other people. And somewhere along that path adolescence hits, and overpowering feelings of sex and intimacy get rolled into the mix, a process that confuses most kids and a lot of adults. The important thing for you to know as the parent is that you also get time to work through all of this. Just as your child had a learning curve, you get one too.
Change the rules of the game, and people’s behaviors change. Now that marriage is an option, some gay men are saving their virginity until they find the right person to marry. Whodathunkit, right?
Funny what happens when society treats everyone equally – as true freedom means freedom for all kinds of choices, even unexpected ones.
While America is rapidly advancing gay rights, France is working hard to disprove the old canard that Europe is more sophisticated and sexually progressive than America.
Over this last weekend, as many as half a million French people rallied in the streets to protest gay rights. Here is an irreverent take on the event at Jezebel.com.
Maybe someday the French can learn to be as sexually permissive and accepting as Utah.
The United States Supreme Court today let stand the federal court decisions across the country that ruled state bans on same sex marriage unconstitutional.
This is big. With this spark the court started the last great fire that will burn down all the old barriers to equal citizenship for LGBT Americans. All the lower court rulings against marriage bans are now in place, meaning more than 60% of Americans now live in states with legal gay marriage, and all the remaining barriers in other states should now fall very quickly.
As of today, gay couples can marry:
As the Human Rights Campaign said today: “There is no reason under the sun for federal courts not to fast-track all pending marriage cases in light of today’s news. Every argument has been made, every legal dispute has been heard, time and time again”
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis had huge hits with their songs Thrift Shop and Can’t Hold Us, and then another unexpected hit in Same Love, a song that makes the political case for gay marriage. Or as Macklemore puts it: “No freedom till we’re equal. Damn right I support it.”
More on the success of Same Love at the NY Times.
The gay vote won the election for Barack Obama in 2012.
While this might seem an extraordinary claim, consider that heterosexual voters split their votes 49/49, so the tie breaker went to the gay vote. Gay voters went for Obama 76-22, putting Obama over the top. Romney won straight Ohio and Florida votes, but lost the LGBT vote, and therefore the election.
This result also tells us a lot about the future, as only 1.6% of those over 65 are out as gay, while 6.4% of the young identify as LGBT. That means this effect will grow dramatically over the years.
While it was actually a broad coalition that won it for Obama, the gay community has finally arrived as one of America’s most important voting blocks. Call us the tie breakers.
Astonishing. Lana Wachowski tells her story, and you should watch.
Lana was one of the Wachowski brothers when they made The Matrix, V for Vendetta, and other films, and co-directed the new movie Cloud Atlas as Lana, now part of the brother-sister pair with her brother Andy.
I could tell more of her story but I recommend listening to it in her words as Lana is both charming and devastatingly powerful. Click through here to watch her powerful speech.
Cloud Atlas Movie Review
Brilliant. One of the best movies I’ve seen in a very long time. But it is not for everyone. Having read the book, I knew what we were getting into and my suggestion to any viewer: Go see it. Sit back and enjoy. Do not try to make sense of the intertwining plot threads. Enough will make sense for the movie to work, and the rest will tease your brain, but you have to let go of linear thinking.
In the end I was left thinking of Don McLean’s song American Pie. Who knows what it means, but it remains a timeless beauty nonetheless.
Cloud Atlas is not put together like a typical movie. It is a piece of art to be enjoyed for the easy parts and then puzzled over for its depths. Some of it will never make sense, but then that is true of so much good art.
The NY Times has one of its puffy cultural pieces about ex-gay men who claim they are cured of their homosexuality, but even a cursory read reveals these are some very sad men.
The story leads with a man who has wrestled against his sexuality his whole life, including seventeen years of marriage, finally finding a woman attractive in his late 50s. Nowhere does he acknowledge that the mellowing of his sexuality may have more to do with age than cures. How tragic to be nearly sixty and still craving to be like the other boys. The other testimonials are equally suspect, even on face value.
The other thread, of course, is these men are all Christians. They are struggling to square their primal hard-wired feelings with their belief that God hates them. It was hard not to come away with the feeling they need to be cured of their warped religious beliefs more than their homosexuality. I am not anti-religion but it seems clear which one is the root of their pain.
Gay adults can choose to live as straight if they want, just as straight men choose to live as gay, as they do in prisons. This should not be confused as a cure. As adults we can choose, and our choices should not be forced on people.
California took the right approach in banning therapy aimed at curing homosexuality for children. Adults can make their own choices but children must be protected from harm, no matter how well intended by guardian parents.
Until their version Christianity catches up with the realities of human sexuality, the rest of us can only pray for the well being of these men who think God curses them for exactly how God made them.
You may not be following the reality TV show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo on TLC, a humorous look at a charismatic self-described redneck family in Georgia, but suddenly we have a gay redneck spokesman.
Honey Boo Boo is a precocious seven year old who has opinions on everything, including on her Uncle Poodle, Honey Boo Boo’s name for her gay uncle Lee Thompson. (It turns out poodle is her name for all gay men… and she perceptively referred to Anderson Cooper as a poodle on his show, a month before he came out.)
As Uncle Poodle told the Georgia Voice:
Things are changing. My husband and I live in Milledgeville because we want to be out in the country. I’m gay, but I’m as redneck as I can get, and we want to be somewhere we can fish and jump on a four-wheeler, go hog wallowing. There’s probably 40 or 50 of us — gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgender people — around here, they’re all open about it, everybody knows it.
And here’s Uncle Poodle’s declaration in support of Spirit Day 2012.
I love that our voices come in from so many parts of our culture. It is one of the grand things about the gay community, we pop up everywhere!
Professional sports is a holdout of our old culture of homophobia, so it is lovely to see change arriving, even there. For Spirit Day 2012, a day in October when people wear purple in solidarity with LGBT youth and against bullying, America’s six major sports leagues all joined in: The National Basketball Association (NBA) / Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), Major League Baseball (MLB), Major League Soccer (MLS) and NASCAR.
On a more individual level, The Huffington Post just ran an article highlighting 22 straight professional athletes who are outspoken allies of the LGBT community, including people like Charles Barkley, Cristiano Ronaldo, and the adorable Ben Cohen. (Sadly it is formatted in one of those insufferable slideshows.
NFL players like Texans linebacker Connor Barwin and New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie have come strongly for equal rights, but the ripest support came from Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe.
Kluwe was responding to Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns Jr. attempt to silence Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo. Ayanbadejo spoke out in support of equal marriage for gay people in Maryland, and Burns sent a letter to the Raven’s owner saying, among other things, “I am requesting you take the action necessary […] to inhibit such expressions from your employee…”
Clearly Burns is not a bright man. It also hurts when a black politician writes on official government letterhead that political expression “has no place in sport.” The irony reels.
With that setup, Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe’s responded to Burns with steaming intellect and righteous anger. It is eviscerating, and a joy to read.
Dear Emmett C. Burns Jr.,
I find it inconceivable that you are an elected official of Maryland’s state government. Your vitriolic hatred and bigotry make me ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level. The views you espouse neglect to consider several fundamental key points, which I will outline in great detail (you may want to hire an intern to help you with the longer words):
1. As I suspect you have not read the Constitution, I would like to remind you that the very first, the VERY FIRST Amendment in this founding document deals with the freedom of speech, particularly the abridgment of said freedom. By using your position as an elected official (when referring to your constituents so as to implicitly threaten the Ravens organization) to state that the Ravens should “inhibit such expressions from your employees,” more specifically Brendon Ayanbadejo, not only are you clearly violating the First Amendment, you also come across as a narcissistic fromunda stain. What on earth would possess you to be so mind-boggingly stupid? It baffles me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify stifling another person’s right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. Mindfucking obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit.
2. “Many of your fans are opposed to such a view and feel it has no place in a sport that is strictly for pride, entertainment, and excitement.” Holy fucking shitballs. Did you seriously just say that, as someone who’s “deeply involved in government task forces on the legacy of slavery in Maryland”? Have you not heard of Kenny Washington? Jackie Robinson? As recently as 1962 the NFL still had segregation, which was only done away with by brave athletes and coaches daring to speak their mind and do the right thing, and you’re going to say that political views have “no place in a sport”? I can’t even begin to fathom the cognitive dissonance that must be coursing through your rapidly addled mind right now; the mental gymnastics your brain has to tortuously contort itself through to make such a preposterous statement are surely worthy of an Olympic gold medal (the Russian judge gives you a 10 for “beautiful oppressionism”).
3. This is more a personal quibble of mine, but why do you hate freedom? Why do you hate the fact that other people want a chance to live their lives and be happy, even though they may believe in something different than you, or act different than you? How does gay marriage, in any way shape or form, affect your life? If gay marriage becomes legal, are you worried that all of a sudden you’ll start thinking about penis? “Oh shit. Gay marriage just passed. Gotta get me some of that hot dong action!” Will all of your friends suddenly turn gay and refuse to come to your Sunday Ticket grill-outs? (Unlikely, since gay people enjoy watching football too.)
I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster. They won’t even overthrow the government in an orgy of hedonistic debauchery because all of a sudden they have the same legal rights as the other 90 percent of our population—rights like Social Security benefits, child care tax credits, Family and Medical Leave to take care of loved ones, and COBRA healthcare for spouses and children. You know what having these rights will make gays? Full-fledged American citizens just like everyone else, with the freedom to pursue happiness and all that entails. Do the civil-rights struggles of the past 200 years mean absolutely nothing to you?
In closing, I would like to say that I hope this letter, in some small way, causes you to reflect upon the magnitude of the colossal foot in mouth clusterfuck you so brazenly unleashed on a man whose only crime was speaking out for something he believed in. Best of luck in the next election; I’m fairly certain you might need it.
Sincerely, Chris Kluwe
P.S. I’ve also been vocal as hell about the issue of gay marriage so you can take your “I know of no other NFL player who has done what Mr. Ayanbadejo is doing” and shove it in your close-minded, totally lacking in empathy piehole and choke on it. Asshole.
Gallup has just conducted the biggest polling ever on LGBT people. They asked over 121,000 people across the country a simple question: “Do you, personally, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender?”
The number saying yes: 3.4%
Of course that is only a baseline number, as this was the percentage of Americans willing to come out as LGBT to a pollster on the phone. We know the real number is a good bit higher than that because of all the people who prefer to keep their orientation or gender identification private, for whatever reason.
Most importantly, that 3.4% number includes the elderly, yet only 1.6% of those over 65 years old identify as LGBT. Among 18-29 year olds the number is 6.4%, and even higher for women 18-29 at 8.3%. Clearly the number of out LGBT people will grow as this out generation ages and the closeted generation fades, and those higher numbers among the young are closer to the real numbers as they come from younger people who have grown up in a more open and accepting era.
The study has a lot of other interesting data along with this headline statistics, making it well worth a read through, including that minorities are more out than whites, that women are more out than men, and that LGBT have less education and wealth than their straight compatriots…to bust a stereotype.
We will never know the exact number of LGBT people because the questions around it are too personal and the edges that define our community too fuzzy, but clearly, we are many.
Just to give the size of those LGBT numbers some perspective: According to the US Census, out Mormons make up about 1.9% of the country, Jews 1.7%, Muslims 0.6%, and Southern Baptists 6.7%.
We are many. We are valuable. And we deserve equal citizenship rights.
Gaydar is the uncanny ability many of us have to identify homosexuality in others, as in “Oh Lordy, that young man over there certainly pings my gaydar!”
We already knew ovulating women have enhanced gaydar, and now there is evidence for part of how it works.
Scientists have found that heterosexual faces are slightly more symmetrical than homosexual faces, and the more heterosexual a face was rated, the more symmetrical it was. Researchers also found that faces rated more masculine tended to be rated heterosexual, confirming an overall sense that feminine male faces may somewhat accurately indicate homosexuality.
I wonder a bit about this study. Shakespeare said “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.” I get that facial symmetry sounds like a pretty hard-coded body structure, but I still wonder how much our faces simply tell who we’ve become over the course of a lifetime. We’d have to run this test on newborns to really get accurate data.
We know that gay men have more symmetrical brains than straight men, a structure that more closely resembles women’s brains.
New research demonstrates that higher brain symmetry gives gay men an enhanced ability over straight men to recall faces, a skill women typically excel at.
The same researchers found a corresponding correlation with handedness.
Left-handed heterosexuals were better at facial recognition than left-handed homosexuals and right-handed heterosexuals, which aligns with our knowledge that women and left-handed men have more bilaterally symmetrical brains than right-handed men.
Michelangelo is often considered one of history’s greatest artists, and his sexuality may have been part of what made him great, as that was certainly a factor in helping him break free of convention to create genius. The New Republic’s Jed Perl describes Michelangelo’s The Dream as his most haunting drawing, and it is fraught with homoerotic emotions.
The dreamer is a handsome young man, his naked muscular body decisively, dramatically posed. But the dream itself is tangled, ambiguous, dramatically confounding.
Amidst the tension between the calm of the central figure and the agitation swarming around it, Perl notes this may be a portrait of Michelangelo’s longtime lover, Tommaso de’ Cavalieri. If true this offers an astonishing portrait of their often troubled relationship.
Whatever the source, The Dream inspires, disturbs, and challenges me, or as Perl puts it:
The Dream explodes the ordinary pleasures of allegory, which are the pleasures of piecing together a puzzle. Michelangelo’s puzzle, complete but still puzzling, is irreducible allegory—a whole thought to be grasped through the experiencing authority of the eye.