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August 09, 2005

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Between this and the Medium Lobster's "Claustrophobic Techniques," fafblog is on a roll. Good thing I got my "Giblets is my Copilot" bumper-sticker early, they're going up in value fast.

5. A susceptibility to be bullied by other boys, who may tease them unmercifully and call them “queer,” “fag” and “gay.”

if people tease you, you're probably gay.

hmm.

The kids I grew up with who later turned out to be gay actually tended to act flamboyantly heterosexual, in a kind of wacky and less agressive charactiture, often played for laughs.

On the other hand, the few boys who exhibited some of the behaviors listed above just turned out to be straight. I'm talking mostly about #2 and #5, as next to no one was insane enough to exhibit the other aforementioned characteristics.

This reminds me of the pamphlets that would give my parents heart attacks by listing every negative behavior I possessed and stating it indicated drug use. The irony being I was just about the only kid who didn't.

"I raised my son in the right way. We played football, went fishing, went to wrestling matches, boxing, all that."

and then he killed his own son because he thought the little boy might be gay.

just something to think about

I remember when I was about six or seven, all the boys in my neighborhood, with whom I had always played, suddenly developed an aversion to "playing with girls" -- any girls. It really hurt, and I never understood it at all. Suddenly, it's a bit clearer.

Cleek, that story sent a chill down my spine. I'm so angry at those grown-ups, I don't know where to start expressing it.

All Hail Giblets! My favorite line was this:

"If he loses to the wolf, he's gay - it was only a wolf cub! If he beats the wolf, he is a lesbian. If he is beaten mercilessly by the wolf while apologizing for its economic agenda, he is a Log Cabin Republican. "

About Dobson--man, that is pathetic. I don't mind the fact that the guy has some essentialist theories about gender-roles, so much as the fact that his theories are so *simplistic*. Not to mention, misogynistic and (obviously) homophobic.

I mean, are people still confusing effeminacy with homosexuality? This many years after the Village People's no. 1 hit song? Lumping macho with straight, and gay with effeminate, just isn't going to cut it; if you want to start slinging around simplistic accounts of male psychology, you should start with *at least* four types, as in the Iliad.

1) There's Odysseus, a real macho man who likes to sleep with women (and nymphs and goddesses--gotta be female, though);
2) There's Achilles, an even tougher macho man, who sleeps with most anything but has a strong preference for men;
3) There's Patroclus, kind of on the wimpy side, and clearly Achilles' main squeeze
4) and then there's Alexander, the biggest wimp of all, who is also the original hetero skirt-chaser, and scores the biggest hetero prize in getting Helen. (Doubt he's a sissy? Then why did Homer give him a French name like "Paris", huh?)

There are lots of guys in all four quadrants--straight and macho, gay and macho, gay and effeminate and (my quadrant) straight and effeminate. I'm not even sure there's any *tendency* for the two issues to correlate with each other. But Dobson can only see two possibilities, just two, straight and gay, right and wrong. As though liking to hang out with girls as a boy would lead you inevitably to the all-male bath-houses as a man. Hello?

So you've got to have at least four. Better still would be to categorize guys into sixteen groups according to four distinctions of-; or sixty-four groups according to-; or--hey, how about if we just try to grant people all of the complexity and individuality that they actually have, instead of trying to stuff them into pre-fab pigeon-holes? Has kind of nice free and easy feeling to it, almost as though this were America instead of a medieval theocracy.

Edward_, I'm glad you can laugh at this stuff. As a straight guy who survived junior high school and eventually lucked out in the courtship game, I can look at all of this from a position of relatively safety. But ignorant bigots like this are an ongoing threat to gay people, and that's really sad.

1, 2, 4, and 5, as a little guy. Of course, my female best friend turned out to be a lesbian, so I'm probably one of those outlier cases that this precision test fails to calibrate for.

Edward_, I'm glad you can laugh at this stuff.

Despite the increased volume of rhetoric like this lately (due to the extreme right feeling empowered, not to an increase in folks who feel this way), I think overall the conditions for gay people in America have greatly improved in my lifetime, so I remain optimistic that trend will continue.

Bottom line is, I know they can silence us, but they're fundamentally wrong about thinking they can change us, so, morality (real morality) is on our side.

My scores:
1. Of course, doesn't everyone (except in Life of Brian)?
2. yes, yes and no.
3. no.
4. somewhat.
5. yes
6. no, yes (since somehow using long words was equated to effeminancy), yes (I was the guy who did not mind being in the Yellow section of the middle school during "School Spirit Day" (where we had to dress in our section's colors) and actually had an outfit to wear), and no.
7. no

My wife would be very surprised if I turned out to be gay.

somehow using long words was equated to effeminancy

Hmpghf! Grunts. Good.

Ah, so Tarzan was definitely straight, at least if we can judge by the "Bread: Good! Fire: Yaaaargh!!" scene.

I also have a clear recollection of the Boris Karloff Frankenstein monster trying a cigar and grunting "Smoke. Good!" And of course we know that he wound up in a stable heterosexual marriage with the Bride of Frankenstein.

(Oops--did I say "heterosexual marriage"? How thoughtless--that might be taken to imply that I think gay marriage is not a contradiction in terms! Does anyone else get the sensation of synchronized hackle-raising, both political and linguistic, when they read the phrase "marriage is between a man and a woman"? What's this "is between" stuff? It just feels grammatically awkward and stilted. Like that scene in Love and Death where the countess says "Shall we...to the bed?" and Allen responds "shall we...*what* to the bed?")

Well, at least they didn't list an affinity for Judy Garland records or a desire to someday marry Liza Minelli.

"marriage is between a man and a woman"? What's this "is between" stuff?

It does sort of carry the connotation of a "dirty little secret" doesn't it?

"'"marriage is between a man and a woman"? What's this "is between" stuff?'

"It does sort of carry the connotation of a 'dirty little secret' doesn't it?"

Husband and wife are one flesh; ergo, marriage is hermaphrodtic . . .

Edward--

No, it's not the Charlie Rich echoes ("Behind Closed Doors"). It's that it sounds like it is trying to offer a definition but missing. It's as though a geometer were to say "a circle is equidistant from the same point", leaving out the part about the circle being a set of points. The "marriage is between" line seems like you need to add in something, e.g. "marriage is (a social institution that can only be constituted) between a man and a woman" or "marriage is (the formalization of a relationship) between a man and a woman".

I have never really tried to spell out why it bothers me--it just sounds deeply, well, illiterate. But then, I have always had a strong tendency to speak and think effeminately.

That list sounds like the young George W. Bush.

That pretty much described me as a wee lad, and at least somewhat describes me now, because men are pigs and girls have boobs, so given the chance to spend time with people, I'll go for the prettier one.

And as for sexuality, I'm almost embarrassingly straight. I've tried, I tell ya. In my favour, though, I have spent a lot of time working in theatre, so my gay credentials aren't completely empty.

"an affinity for Judy Garland records"

or having memorized the Sound of Music?

Priceless, Ed.

7. A repeatedly stated desire to be — or insistence that he is — a girl.

Hey, don't laugh. I worked with a guy who indeed had a desire to be a girl. OK, woman. So he had a sex change. And became a lesbian. And married a woman. So, see? If a guy wants to be a girl, he could be a gay lesbian homosexual-marrying homo.

True story.

If any of my 3 boys would state that they felt more like a girl than a boy I would worry about transsexuality more than homosexuality; most homosexuals I know are quite happy with their own gender.

All three are quite adept in the rough and tumble area, have good motoric/sport skills and cannot be bullied easily. But the 6 year old likes pink and dressing up, hugging and kissing, rope jumping and girls. The 5 year old has a very firm opinion about what cloths he wants to wear, likes make-up and painted nails (I don't know why; I hardly use make up), loves cooking, notices when you have been to the hairdresser and has both a boy and a girl as best friend. The two year old only plays with a girl in his kindergarten and likes playing with baby dolls too.

To be honest; I am much more worried about wether they will find a true loving relationship than the gender of the other person in that relationship, so I don't really care wether any of them will be gay. But I find the notion that you can steer it utterly weird. Do people who feel that you can be 'persuaded' feel that they can be persuaded out of their own sexual preference too?

so I'm probably one of those outlier cases that this precision test fails to calibrate for.

I think we're all one of those outlier cases, Slarti.

As for me, I'm simply going to note this:

1) I'm straight.
2) I have the OBCR of every Sondheim musical (save the most recent) memorized, top to bottom.

That is all.

So who were the "pollsters" who got to pick the wee lads as "effeminate" and do they have private "bible studies"???

Say, how about that whole Twelve Men club their Messiah had -- seems that ended badly.

"I have the OBCR of every Sondheim musical (save the most recent) memorized, top to bottom."

Well, at least it isn't Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Well, at least it isn't Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Amen to that.

As for me, I'm simply going to note this:

To further muddle things, I've been in two musicals that I can recall. There might have been more, but those cast parties tend to act as an erase head, sometimes.

Add to other factors tending to distort the relationships implied:

#2 and #5 may come into play if a boy is "promoted" a year or more above his age level in school, so he's a 7-year old trying to interact socially with 9-year olds. (I gather they don't do this as much any more.)

#4 might arise if a slightly older sister, with interesting friends, is more helpful in introducing him to the real world than loving but religiously clueless parents.

And yes, like others named, I'm straight. (The proof of this is closer at hand than some of you may imagine.)

dr. ngo: (shuddering): I was skipped ahead too. The school didn't quite know what to do with me, so they 'compromised' between the grade level I was at academically and the one I was at chronologically. I think that I was probably, if anything, slightly behind my peers socially, but being put in first grade shortly after I turned 5 didn't help. My parents were faced with the same decision when my younger sister started school, and got the same recommendation, yet oddly enough they left her with her age group. I can't imagine why...

Irony alert: When I try to think of public figures off the top of my head, Barney Frank is about a thousand times as butch as, say, Gary Bauer.

I think overall the conditions for gay people in America have greatly improved in my lifetime

Overall, yes. Consider that as late as 1970, NYC actually dictated by law the ratio of men to women on a dance floor. The distance we've come is measured in the number of Americans who'd laugh at such a law today.

There's Achilles, an even tougher macho man

But artistic! He plays the lyre, remember.

Like that scene in Love and Death where the countess says "Shall we...to the bed?" and Allen responds "shall we...*what* to the bed?"

Not to hijack the thread, but I'm still smarting from seeing Melinda & Melinda yesterday. Is M&M the worst Woody Allen movie EVAR or what? I mean, Will Farrell as Woody Allen? WTF?

Consider that as late as 1970, NYC actually dictated by law the ratio of men to women on a dance floor.

...And? Don't leave us hanging here, Paul; what was the ratio? And was it a minimum number of men per woman, or a maximum? Or just a fixed figure?

2:1, according to Tim Lawrence's Love Saves the Day. According to Lawrence, pre-1971 NYC cabaret laws prohibited 3 men on a dance floor without another accompanying woman. He supports that with anecdotes from DJs and club owners, but doesn't write about the legislation in detail (being more concerned with the broader history of the music). If I find anything more specific, I'll link to it.

Brad Plumer:

"Heh, both Norbizness and Sadly, No! are having great fun with James Dobson's tips on how to tell if your son is gay—hint #4: "he hangs around with girls too much" (!!!)—but it looks like the real comedy gold in Dobson's newsletter involves his proposed cure for the gender-confused young son:

"[T]he boy's father has to do his part. He needs to mirror and affirm his son's maleness. He can play rough-and-tumble games with his son, in ways that are decidedly different from the games he would play with a little girl. He can help his son learn to throw and catch a ball. He can teach him to pound a square wooden peg into a square hole in a pegboard. He can even take his son with him into the shower, where the boy cannot help but notice that Dad has a penis, just like his, only bigger."

That's right. Want your kid to grow up straight? Put him in an environment where he "cannot help but notice" other penises. Works every time."

Dobson should get an emmy for best writing for a comedy (or Greek Tragedy, I don't know which). Is he kidding with this stuff?

I find it extremely offensive that one might want therapy for their homosexual child. It's not right. Homosexuality is in one's brain chemistry from birth. They don't need therapy, it's just the way they are. It's not a fault, it's a privelige to be able to see in the same gender what one 'normal' person might see in the opposite. Screw Christianity.

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