Open Thread: Homosexuality

What are your feelings on the issue?  What evidence supports your belief, thoughts, ideas etc?  Why did you come about with those feelings, beliefs, thoughts, etc?  What do you feel or think about gay rights in terms of marriage, tax status, etc?  Have you ever met a gay person or know one personally?  What were they like?  Have you ever been approached by someone that is gay?  What was your reaction etc?

If you don’t want to answer the more personal questions feel free not to.  Just some ideas to get the blood flowing to the fingers…

[Editor’s Note: I’ve made a new Sexuality category seeing as the topic seems to come up regularly and none of the other categories were a good fit.]

232 thoughts on “Open Thread: Homosexuality

  1. Wow, this thread is really smokin’ – good call, Webs.

    Consi: “There are numerous examples of polycephaly amongst many members of the animal kingdom, including humans.  Do you believe that polycephaly is “natural” in the same manner as you are presenting homosexuality?”

    Polycephaly is vanishingly rare and is a developmental error.  I would accept a figure of between 2.5% and 10% of the population as primarily gay, with a broader swath of humanity as “straight” with some gay tendencies.  The word “normal” is subject to a lot of interpretation, but the gay people I have known were quite normal in every other respect.  Surprising, this, given the negativity they must constantly endure from people who compare them to serial killers or who make bigoted assumptions about them as individuals.

    The diffuse line between gay and straight, combined with the fact that homosexuality is quite common, means it fits within my understanding of the range of “normal”.  Others, of course, prefer a narrower range as you apparently do.

  2. Me: most gays … don’t want to play with someone who’s not going to enjoy the session.

    Ragman: I always thought it one of those idiotic homophobic statements.

    Alright, mate. You have my attention. Are you having a shot at me? smile
    At the top of the page the questions are all about attitudes towards gays – I answered them.
    I am the least homophobic bloke I know. If anything, I have a great deal of empathy with them in so much as they have to put up with so much physical and mental violence from fucking ignorant retards. Why was I so lucky? I sure as hell don’t remember choosing which way to swing.
    If the questions had been about chicks I woulda said I’d always been a gash-hunter and I find them delightful creatures, usually.
    But there are some women and men I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire regardless of their sexual persuasion. wink

    Consi brought up surveys suggesting that only a very small percentage of gays exist.
    I’m glad someone else pointed out that closet gays weren’t going to admit to anything.
    Being gay (except for a few cases) is not something that’s favourably looked at in the Land of the Free. I’d like to think that in Oz we are a little less repressed but gay marriage is not accepted yet, I don’t think – but it’ll come when the young ones and more women get into power as they don’t have nearly as many sexual hang-ups as the majority of old men.
    Being gay sure as hell doesn’t give you any societal benefits.
    I’d suggest that many gays, knowing the general population’s attitude which is driven by the fucking churches’ myopic, misogynist, patriarchal attitude, would try their damndest to stay in the closet and fake it rather than put up with the guaranteed vilification.
    And why does the church have that attitude? Simple – power and money.
    If people don’t procreate they may run out of victims to perpetuate the scam.
    End of rave.  smile

  3. Crossdressing (or “drag”) is a very old practice and is present in legends, Wikipedia even has a picture of Thor and Loki in drag.

    Before I make my empassioned pro-gay post. While many of you might not find it relevant I think it is good to note the difference between crossdressing and drag.

    Cross-dressing is mostly a sexual fettish clinically known as Transvestic fetishism and offen priacticed by straight men.

    Drag on the other hand has a rich tradition in the gay community as a way of expression. Where gay men put on costumes, that are offen very campy. Wikipedia called it performance art. and that is a pretty good way to look at it.

  4. I think one of the most common questions I am asked by straight people is, How/When did you know you were gay? Most offen I give a simple response like I have always known, I was just in denile about it. The truth of the situation is that there is a very defining moment for every gay man or woman when they become sure be all reasonable doubt about his or her sexuallity. For me it was a one night when I was taking the guy I had been dating home. It was late and I had a long drive home. So he invited me to stay the night. Since it was late we pretty much just went to bed. I layed there most of the night holding him in my arms. Holding someone I cared about erased all questions in my mind that I was having about my sexuality.

    Now I could offer lots of science that suggests that there is a gay gene, but we can all find the studies. All I can say is that I grew up in a traditional mormon household. In a purely hetrosexual environment. My Father was a hunter. I played sports. Was very active in Boy Scouts. Never missed a church dance. There is no point in my childhood that I had an over protecive mother, or an absent father. No one caused me to be gay.

    Now as far as gay marrage and tax status goes. I have been in a commited relationship with my boyfriend for almost seven years. In this time I have payed about $6000 more a year in taxes just to cover him on my medical coverage. My office does provide benifits, but because he is not my spouse I have to take their contributions and additional salery and pay taxes on it. For those quick at math over the time we have been together it has cost me $42,000 just to cover him on my medicial coverage. That is more money that many families make in a year. And that doesn’t account for the money I pay because I must file as a single person. The truth is though, that all Americians need tax equality. We need fair ways to make sure everyone pays a fair amount and nothing more.

    Historially Marriage was simply a business arangement between families. It was not until the Victorian era that society came up with the idea of Marriage because of love. What I don’t understand from the anti-gay marriage people is what tradition values is allowing gay marriage going to change. Marriages in the U.S. end in a 50% divorce rate. That is a failed system if you ask me. So for those of you opposed to gay marriage I would like to ask. How will allowing gay marriage change your life?

  5. Consi, you’ll notice in my reference link that those numbers include numbers of people who have even ‘tried’ same-sex experimentation.  Not to say they are gay.

  6. My feelings on gay issues comes from a strong belief in equality for all.  I am a former teacher and my feelings come from knowing that as many as one out of ten of my students were probably gay and the ones that I know who have “come out” are all people I am proud to say were once my students.

    I am a member of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.  Our PFLAG group meets at the local Methodist church.  The minister of this church attends our meetings and is there to support gays and their families.  He helps to expel the myth of sin attached to being homosexual.  This has brought solace to many family members and I am sure to the gay community as well.

    My daughter is on leave from the LAPD.  She is expecting twins.  She is openly gay and has a life partner who is also a police officer.  Before going on leave, she worked as a liaison between the gay community and the police department.

    Yes, I have been approached by a gay woman.  I was with my daughter and friends at a gay bar and an older woman asked to buy me a drink.  Actually, I was more flustered than I thought I would be.  I told her I was married and that I had four grown children and then I talked more about my husband than was necessary.  She was very sweet and never made a pass.  Frankly, I am sorry I didn’t get to know her better because I think she would have been a great friend.  First times in any situation are difficult so I will give myself permission to have felt flustered:)

    I believe marriage is an important step in a relationship and I would like to see all couples have that right.  I find it difficult to understand why some people feel threatened by this concept.  If marriage is only for straight couples and for child bearing, then Bob and I who married at the ages of 65 and 75 should not have been allowed to marry since we are obviously far past child bearing ages.  There are many threats to marriage such as infidelity and lack of commitment that need to be addressed.  I simply do not feel same-sex marriages are a threat at all to the wedded bliss of opposite-sex couples.

  7. topncal;

    Although many people associate drag with gay drag queens, drag has historically done by both gays and straights.  I hate quoting Wikipedia but it has quite a bit of good information on drag. The Wikipedia article on “Drag (clothing)” also says that “Drag is practiced by people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.”  The article then goes on with history and examples of cross-dressing and gay and straight drag. 

    The character Dame Edna is a great example of a straight guy doing drag.  There are quite a few people who see Dame Edna’s performance not realizing that she is a (straight) he.

    Milton Berle in drag would never have been mistaken for a woman. Geraldine, Flip Wilson’s drag character, could probably pass as a female (Geraldine had great legs).

  8. Thanks for pointing that out. Your are very correct. I guess I was a little to focused on the gay issue and I shouldn’t have been.

    cheers

  9. What are your feelings on the issue?

    Is homosexuality an “issue”?  I mean, it exists, it’s there.  It’s like saying, “That rock sitting there—what are your feelings on the issue?” The issue is regarding individual and social reactions to homosexuality.

    The closest thing to an issue is the question of “Is it inborn or is it an acquired taste?”  To which my reaction is, “What difference does it make?”  If it’s an acquired taste, so what?  So’s beer, for most people.  If it’s inborn, so what?  We neither laud people nor give them a pass for how they were born, but what they do with it. 

    By which I mean, assume for a moment that it were proven beyond doubt that homosexuality were genetic or congenital, i.e., having homosexual urges was not someone’s “fault” per se, not a decision, but part of their natural condition.  Would that end the debate about whether gays should be able to do [fill in the blank here]?  If course not.  If need be, it would just show (to the homophobes) that we need to develop a medical treatment for the condition, like other genetic or congenital “defects.”

    The constant argument about whether it’s natural or acquired (or both) is so beside the point, it makes me want to pull my hair out.  And I don’t have a lot of hair to pull.

    What evidence supports your belief, thoughts, ideas etc?  Why did you come about with those feelings, beliefs, thoughts, etc?  My experience, my socialization, my reason, my conscience, my emotions … hell, throw Divine Inspiration in there, if you like. 

    What do you feel or think about gay rights in terms of marriage, tax status, etc? 

    Give them the rights and responsibilities of similarly committed het couples.  Why the hell not?

    Have you ever met a gay person or know one personally?  What were they like?

    I’ve known gay people, both closeted and un-, and one who admitted it to himself long after most of us already had it figured out.  They were … well, pretty darned human (for good and ill).  The only really obvious differences were those that you’ll find with any group that is socially marginized—occasional outre behavior from some, in a “you’re not the boss of me, my sexual conduct, or my social conformity” way.

    Have you ever been approached by someone that is gay?  What was your reaction etc?  Assuming we’re talking “approached in a way that indicated romantic and/or lustful feelings,” yes.  I was slightly uncomfortable (as I would be by being a approached by a woman the same way) and a bit complemented (ditto), and amused, too.

  10. Wow, busy thread.

    Threads usually only get this much traffic when there’s an intense arguement going on or a troll is visiting.

    I think this is the longest, polite thread I’ve ever read.

    I wonder what that means?

    Probably nothing. But interesting all the same.

    Sadie: I’ve been hit on a few times by other women. I usually appreciate it more than when I’m hit on by guys (with the obvious exception of KPG, of course),

    grin  grin  grin

  11. I find it interesting that most people who insist that homosexuality is not natural never feel like they have to provide any proof, yet demand it of those who disagree.
    Is the burden of proof entirely upon those of us who feel homosexuality is natural? I don’t think this is any more outrageous a claim than ” it is a lifestyle choice ” or such.
    So, If I may stick my ignorant neck out, I ask: Why exactly is homosexuality unnatural? And by unnatural, I DO mean the scientific variety of nature, NOT the biblical.

  12. To carry on with a point I made above—what does it matter whether it’s “natural” or not?  Eating ice cream, wearing polyester, seeing through eye glasses, or reading the Bible doesn’t seem to be “natural” to me, and braining each other with rocks and masturbation are.  Being “natural” doesn’t seem to be congruent with “moral” or “socially acceptable” at all to me.

  13. Why exactly is homosexuality unnatural? And by unnatural, I DO mean the scientific variety of nature, NOT the biblical.

    It’s unnatural because humans REQUIRE a male and female to reproduce. Two males or two females cannot physically create offspring without a surrogate mouther or a sperm donor.

    If you show me (From birth, not surgically altered) women that can emit their own viable sperm or men with a fully functional uterus, than I will consider homosexuality “normal”.

  14. ***Dave, I can accept that homosexuality may be natural, but wearing polyester… well we just have to draw the line somewhere!  tongue wink

    Seriously, I agree.  If it were entirely volitional (even though I think it is not) makes no difference. 

    Do you think masturbation is morally congruent to braining people with rocks?

  15. Moloch, by your reasoning, celibacy is unnatural, yet is is perfectly natural to some people.  The question of species survival only arises if one proposes replacing all heterosexuality with homosexuality.  As it is, having some gays in the population doesn’t seem to have undermined human fecundity at all.

    Here’s a little micro-lesson in anthropology from Bernard Berelson & Gary Steiner’s 1964 Human Behavior: An Inventory of Scientific Findings:

    1:  Some do, some don’t.
    2:  The differences aren’t very great.
    3:  It’s more complicated than that.

  16. LJ19: Alright, mate. You have my attention. Are you having a shot at me?

    Crap, bad editing on my part.  I was speaking of the “gays want to screw everyone they see” line the original quote was referring to as the homophobic phrase.  My thought process got too far ahead of my typing. 

    Sorry for the ricochet.

  17. ***Dave: To carry on with a point I made above—what does it matter whether it’s “natural” or not?  Eating ice cream, wearing polyester, seeing through eye glasses, or reading the Bible doesn’t seem to be “natural” to me… Being “natural” doesn’t seem to be congruent with “moral” or “socially acceptable” at all to me.

    Excellent point. What is perhaps most problematic for the proponents of the “homosexuality is unnatural” line of argument is their very use of the term “natural:” namely, who gets to decide what is and isn’t “natural?” Isn’t it awfully convenient to label whatever you personally hate as “unnatural?” Generally speaking, decrying homosexuality as “unnatural” seems to reveal a lot more about the people making such claims than it does about gays or homosexuality in general.

  18. “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.”
      . . . Susan B. Anthony

    I suppose you could substitute ‘Nature’ for ‘God’ in that Anthony quote.  Don’t like something?  It isn’t “natural”!

  19. Hmm, I’m probably not the target audience for this thread, since my wife and I are both bi.

    Good to know I’m not the only bi person on this thread. Consider this post my “outing”. smile

  20. Well now I’m officially amazed with how many of us are here too. As Gay Pope, I declare it a miracle.

    Welcome, Boss.

  21. Speaking on the issue that Dave brought up, about closet and outed gays? I admit, my gay friends that are less than open about it annoy me. No, not those people that you simple don’t care to find out about; but that whole “Oh no guys! Trust me, I like the boobs!” and stuff. I don’t know why it bothers me, except that it simple seems like an annoying lie and I’ve been told it to my face once or twice. I mean, it’s not that I care particularly about the reasons, but I don’t like deceptions. Which probably is why cross-dressing and transvestism/transexualism bothers me – it’s not so much that I think it’s any weirder than a man wearing green hot pants and makeup sucking on a pacifier (or even the weirder S&M get-ups I’ve seen that have nothing to do with homosexuality), but on some level I think it’s sort of like a big heaping lie that someone’s telling to themselves.

    Now, I’ve had a friend or two that I’ve known as a male and as a guy with boobs wearing a dress; but it’s almost impossible for me to make the mental leap into “it’s a woman” or even to be happy for them. I suppose what I’m saying is that it would be as if one of my black friends started trying to Michael Jackson their way into whiteness, or my daughter had an operation to remove the traces of her Thai heritage…

    Anyways, I thought I’d take the time to try to form these thoughts into words.

  22. “gays want to screw everyone they see”

    Yeah, that may be the lamest excuse for homophobia that I have ever heard. It is just as true, and untrue, for straight men as it is true, and untrue, for gays.

  23. MisterMook;

    I agree, I hate the lying too—I hate the results of not lying even more.  Their lying to you is not personal.  For a great many gays, lying to straight people about their sexual orientation is a defense and survival mechanism.  In many cases they are also lying to themselves, which is also a defense and survival mechanism. 

    In some countries, being gay is punishable by death.  In the US, it can be suicidal to admit or even to appear to be gay, just ask Matthew Shepherd, Adam Bishop, Kenneth Muldrow, Johannes le Grange, Chris Raynsford, Chris Raynsford, Jeffery Owens, Fred Martinez, and MANY, MANY more Americans who have been killed (generally as a result of a savage beating) because they were gay. 

    Even more men have been beaten and seriously injured simply because they didn’t lie about being gay.

    James Maestas was beaten so badly that his lungs were seriously burned by his own stomach acid.  His face was also beaten to a pulp. 

    A gay man in Austin, TX was drugged, tied-up, beat, cut, then sexually assaulted.

    A gay drag singer known as Aviance suffered a broken jaw broken and other injuries from a beating.

    Ryan Smith suffered a broken skull and severe brain damage from being beaten.

    The physical injuries are usually nowhere near as bad as the physiological damage caused by these beatings.

    THIS IS WHY MANY GAY GUYS FEEL THAT THEY HAVE TO LIE ABOUT THEIR BEING GAY

  24. I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires

    Reminds me of:

    Blaise Pascal: Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.

  25. It’s unnatural because humans REQUIRE a male and female to reproduce. Two males or two females cannot physically create offspring without a surrogate mouther or a sperm donor.

    “surrogate mouther” ? There’s a freudian slip for ya!  LOL
    Seriously, though, Your argument supposes that sexuality is solely for the purpose of reproduction. By that yardstick, all our sex toys are unnatural, too, but do we see them as the same sort of abomination that gay sex is viewed as?
    So, yes, homosexuality is not a viable option for the species as a whole. But I doubt any of us here, yourself included, engage in sex purely for this purpose. It’s a recreational activity as well, and that is what we generally mean when we speak of it in the context of sexuality, right?

    ***Dave, sorry for contributing to your hair loss (you can have some of mine wink  ) I agree that it doesn’t really matter whether it is natural or not, I’m just trying to point out what I see as a double standard- that one side is required to disprove the argument of another side that seems to feel no need to validate their claim. I also agree about the polyester.

  26. It’s unnatural because humans REQUIRE a male and female to reproduce.

    Someone’s, mistakenly, assuming that their genitals are only used for reproduction.  That’s like saying fingers are only used for feeling surfaces; Sometimes organs and appendages have multiple purposes—and we’re not assuming that organs were designed with intent, right???

    That’s a slippery slope to mysticism.
    Organs, appendages, and everything else in the physical world happen-stances *into* function, not the other way arround.

    rob@egoz.org

  27. It’s unnatural because humans REQUIRE a male and female to reproduce

    This will, quite soon, no longer be true.
    Thanks to the growing wisdom and ingenuity of humankind, praise be.

    Abandon the natural for the New Meta-Natural(tm)!!
    Or, be left behind.

    rob@egoz.org

  28. It’s unnatural because humans REQUIRE a male and female to reproduce

    The latter half of this statement is true only for the general population, not for given individuals. And again, it says nothing about the “naturalness” of homosexuality.

  29. It’s unnatural because humans REQUIRE a male and female to reproduce

    Just because you’re not in a position to defend it does not make it unnatural.  I think that’s what it comes down to in your case.

  30. *shrug* Just because something is dangerous, inconvenient, or simply ill-advised doesn’t stop the basic issue of something being deceptive. It’s not that I don’t understand the reasons, am unempathetic to the reasons for the deception, or can’t see that sometimes the decision isn’t even necessarily made with malice and forethought but simple wishful thinking – it’s just an emotional response to the deception. Honestly I don’t know if I could stop that twinge (which is only a twinge, a wince, nothiung at all more than an aggravation), any more than someone else could choose to stop being a homosexual by mere examination or willpower. I don’t even like it when I’m being deceptive for some good reason myself.

  31. [[1) Have you ever met a gay person or know one personally?
    Yes. I’m not but I live with a gay couple and have several other gay friends.

    [[2) Have you ever been approached by someone that is gay?
    Yes

    [[3) What was your reaction etc? ]]
    I politely turn down lesbians.  I don’t have any romantic interests in ladies. I did have a strictly sexual relationship with a couple once where the girl was bi…but that was college!

    [[4) What are your feelings on the issue?  What evidence supports your belief, thoughts, ideas etc?  Why did you come about with those feelings, beliefs, thoughts, etc?

    The best way to explain this is the way I explained it to my Mom. “People love who they love, no one can make some one gay. I think and what I’ve read on the subject confirms (I’ll cite upon request) that it’s mostly hormonal/genetic. It’s not a choice.”

    Mom then asked me “Well even if they can’t choose the way they feel they can choose whether or not they act on those feelings, can’t they?”

    To which I responded “Why? There is nothing wrong with it…would you choose to be unhappy and lonely and not yourself?” 

    And thank the stars she got it (Educate your elders!!!)

    [[5) What do you feel or think about gay rights in terms of marriage, tax status, etc? ]]

    Who am I to say what people can and cannot do?
    I think that the Gay rights issues are used to cover up greater problems. Used as a distraction from reaql issues.  People are people no matter what and should have equal right and freedoms. If what I’m doing isn’t hurting anybody else then what’s the problem???

  32. By that yardstick, all our sex toys are unnatural, too, but do we see them as the same sort of abomination that gay sex is viewed as?

    Toys can be fun, but I don’t stick dildos up my ass.

  33. … and for some reason Moloch proposes his orientation, his experience, be normalized for all humanity.

    Damn right. Hitler is my idol and he should be a model for everyone.

  34. Who says I’m “mean”? I’m just thinking what would be best for the world. I’m in no position to establish or enforce any of it, but I can dream can’t I?

    I’m not alone, I have plenty of friends that think along the same lines as I do.

  35. None of my business. Maybe if people paid attention to their own shit instead of meddling in other peoples’, this world would be a better place.

  36. Moloch protests too much:

    Toys can be fun, but I don’t stick dildos up my ass.

    Hey Moloch, if you stick your finger up your ass, does it mean you’re gay or just treating your hiccups.

    Why would one act be justifiable and another not?

    (Nobel prize winning research found that hiccups can be cured by placing a finger up the rectum.)

    I don’t think I’d want to be a part of that research team though.

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