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Is this astoundingly bad timing or what?
July 18, 2002 9:33 AM   Subscribe

Is this astoundingly bad timing or what? Big Brothers/Big Sisters "will require that all 500 of its local affiliates include active homosexuals as volunteers and mentors to children", according to this article. On a side note, why hasn't this been widely reported?
posted by kablam (176 comments total)

 
It seems to me it would only be bad timing if they required that 500 pedophilic priests be included.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:38 AM on July 18, 2002


It seems to me that there's a big difference between "allowing" homosexual volunteers and "requiring" that its affiliates include them.

"C'mon, Dave. We got to know at least ONE homosexual!"
"Sorry, Fred. I'm gonna have to shut this place down."
posted by ColdChef at 9:38 AM on July 18, 2002


And that's "active" homosexuals -- you have to be gettin' some. No shut-ins need apply.
posted by luser at 9:41 AM on July 18, 2002


And as to why it's not widely reported, I guarantee it will be now. Metafilter is quite the vector these days. Just watch.
posted by luser at 9:42 AM on July 18, 2002


If as a man it would be unlikely that they'd allow me to be a big brother to a little girl, why would they allow a homosexual man be a big brother to a little boy?

If people are gay, that's fine with me. I'd prefer that they wouldn't run around wearing it like a badge, but that's my problem. However, I definitely would not want a homosexual to be mentoring and providing a role-model for my child.

And don't bother flaming me for that; it is my right to feel however the hell I want.
posted by eas98 at 9:42 AM on July 18, 2002


Is this an astoundingly homophobic posting or what? No I guess it's not that astounding...
posted by badstone at 9:43 AM on July 18, 2002


Why would BBBSA make such a requirement? Do they receive public funds?
posted by insomnyuk at 9:45 AM on July 18, 2002


On a side note, why hasn't this been widely reported?
Well, Dr. Maier doesn't site a source from BBBSA, nor does he quote a press release, minutes from the board meeting, etc. There's an opening missing at the beginning of this article:

"My friend told me that he heard the most incredible thing from a cousin of his who got an e-mail about it. Here it is:..."

Check snopes in a few days.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:46 AM on July 18, 2002


What about Arabs, eas98? How do you feel about them?

You have a point about how big brothers/sisters probably shouldn't want to score their charges. But your point ends there. Why the hell would a homosexual not be a positive role-model for your child? The gay parents I know do a wonderful job; god knows, their son is going to grow up a whole lot less prejudiced and ignorant that your kin will.

As for the policy itself; I guess it's just a form of affirmative action - a temporary action with the intent of long-term benefit.
posted by Marquis at 9:46 AM on July 18, 2002


Maybe they're only taking non-christians.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:50 AM on July 18, 2002


And don't bother flaming me for that; it is my right to feel however the hell I want.

Who could get worked up enough to flame you? Your life is obviously devoid of fabulous gay glamour and helpful lesbian hints. I picture your dull dreary existence and I weep. Your lucky children will leave your stuffy antiquated ways behind as they head into the gorgeous fun-filled future of equality and peace. Love you mean it!
posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:51 AM on July 18, 2002


Has anyone read the "article" yet? It's from the Focus on the Family website, and consists of the assertion that BBBSA requires homosexual mentors, followed by a pretty offensive diatribe about homosexuals tending to be pedophiles. No interviews, no citations of other articles, just an assertion. There is no journalistic content to this article whatsoever, and I'm taking the assertion with a large grain of salt until I see it reported elsewhere.
posted by mr_roboto at 9:51 AM on July 18, 2002


If people are black, that's fine with me. I'd prefer that they wouldn't run around wearing it like a badge, but that's my problem. However, I definitely would not want a black person to be mentoring and providing a role-model for my child.

And don't bother flaming me for that; it is my right to feel however the hell I want.
posted by Dirjy at 9:51 AM on July 18, 2002


Oh, yeah: I have no problem with gay Big Brothers or Big Sisters. Gay=Pedo is about as accurate as Straight Male=Rapist.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:51 AM on July 18, 2002


What will happen next? Are they going to start pairing up our impresionable youth with the terrorists!?

If they're concerned about abuse, why not pair up children who identify themselves as gay/lesbian with a gay mentor of the opposite sex? I agree this is horrible timing, but I think this program has potential.
posted by Fstop at 9:51 AM on July 18, 2002


Before you all get your panties in a twist, note that this story comes from "Focus on the Family", an ultra-conservative Fundamentalist Christian organization. Until someone presents some documentation other than "I read it on FoTF's Web site", it's hardly worth responding to.

A quick Google of "big brothers big sisters" homosexual sure says a lot about who's perpetuating this story.

On preview, yeah, mr_roboto gets it.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:52 AM on July 18, 2002


What about Arabs, eas98? How do you feel about them?

I have no problem with them as long as they don't insist on: wearing Burqas while being a police officer, beating their wives for reading a book, blowing themselves up to kill others, crashing planes into buildings, etc.

Thanks for asking, though.
posted by eas98 at 9:53 AM on July 18, 2002


Bad timing? How exactly? Require or allow?

I am more interested in the 'active' portion of their label. Am I an inactive heterosexual if I am not having sex right now? How long do I have to go without to be de-activated?

Focus on the family is very entertaining site. Chick lite. Perhaps they should rename it to Focus on the Homo-free Family?

"Focus on the Family wants everyone to know there is freedom from homosexuality through the transforming love of God. That's why we've created Love Won Out, a dynamic, one-day conference offering information, inspiration and hope."

However, if you're gay stay the hell away from children while god loves you!

And the stats presentation. Cola spurting from nostrils material. More proof that even a corpse can get a PhD.
posted by srboisvert at 9:53 AM on July 18, 2002


Ah, hell. Munged the link, sort of. Try this one to actually get the first page of results.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:54 AM on July 18, 2002


Enough silliness.

Until 1989, Big Brothers banned gays from serving. (source.) Some background on resulting Senate action. In Toronto, 2001, Big Brothers removed sexual identity question from its application.

Beyond that, it's hard to tell what the heck that crazy Christian site is talking about.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 9:57 AM on July 18, 2002


Nothing about this on the BBSA site. I suspect (if there's any truth underlying the story at all) that the actual policy is one of not allowing discrimination against gay volunteers, which is being translated by Dr. Meier as "require that all 500 of its local affiliates include active homosexuals". A policy of non-discrimination seems much more likely than mandating that all the local affiliates go out and find some gay volunteers. This is the same kind of doublespeak that anti-gay activists use when they accuse Disney of "promoting a homosexual lifestyle" because Disney gives domestic partner benefits to its employees.
posted by tdismukes at 9:58 AM on July 18, 2002


However, I definitely would not want a homosexual to be mentoring and providing a role-model for my child.

And what if that child happened to be gay, eas98? There's a group of kids who could probably use mentoring and role-models pretty badly, dontcha think?
posted by jonmc at 9:58 AM on July 18, 2002


More proof that even a corpse can get a PhD.

Actually, the byline describes the author as a Psy. D.: a psychologist. Which is about consistent with my high opinion of the psychological profession.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:00 AM on July 18, 2002


srb:

I am more interested in the 'active' portion of their label. Am I an inactive heterosexual if I am not having sex right now? How long do I have to go without to be de-activated?

my impression was "active" be in the sense of physically active. plays sports; that sort of thing.
posted by moz at 10:01 AM on July 18, 2002


The lesibans have already won.
posted by hackly_fracture at 10:02 AM on July 18, 2002


I can't find an original source of the BBBSA policy, but here is another article from a Christian news site that clearly talks about it in "allows", not "requires" terms. Here is an article debunking the "we want to screw your young boys" rant.

Please don't post vitrilolic bigotry like this. It just makes you look dumb.
posted by mkultra at 10:19 AM on July 18, 2002


And don't bother flaming me for that

Why not? It's not like you provide an e-mail address or anything for us to personally contact you with if we have a problem.
posted by adampsyche at 10:23 AM on July 18, 2002


It's my right to feel whatever way I want about eas98. I pity him, his small world, and his smaller mind.
posted by websavvy at 10:35 AM on July 18, 2002


What a hoot. Hey, kablam, are you embarrassed? I sure hope so. It's called research. Try some before you post something from a source like Focus on the Family again. Anyone interested in seeing the commitment to truth of groups like FOTF should check this analysis of the religious right's distortions of Michael Swift's famous "we shall sodomize your sons" Gay Manifesto from 1987. The bigots somehow always manage to omit the first line:

"This essay is an outre, madness, a tragic, cruel fantasy, an eruption of inner rage, on how the oppressed desperately dream of being the oppressor."

I definitely would not want a homosexual to be mentoring and providing a role-model for my child.

And don't bother flaming me for that; it is my right to feel however the hell I want.


Ok, Mr. Sensitive. I'll flame you for something else: not "bothering" to offer an explanation as to *why* you think gay and lesbian people shouldn't be around your precious loinfruit. You're the one posting inflammatory nonsense, dear. And did it ever occur to you that one possible reason for the continued appearance of homosexuality among animals is that there's an evolutionary benefit to have non-reproducing members of the family around so they can help in raising relatives' young?
posted by mediareport at 10:52 AM on July 18, 2002


...there's an evolutionary benefit to have non-reproducing members of the family around so they can help in raising relatives' young...

Maybe, but speaking as a non-reproducing hetero, the breeders can take care of their own brats. I've got a cat and an anime collection to look after...
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:56 AM on July 18, 2002


fabulous gay glamour and helpful lesbian hints

I dunno about anyone else, but I think I'd pay good money to have this as a tagline for this site ;-)

Perhaps Focus On The Family should focus on their own damn families. In my experience, more than half of the gays I know have been a big brother or sister. In my experience, nearly none of the straights I know have been.

I wonder if FOTF has a press release about that.
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:19 AM on July 18, 2002


I myself am puzzled how you people can sit here on this board and rant and rave all day about how we all have the right to feel how and say what we like about anything(In this case homosexuality), and then when someone else posts his feelings on the subject, you turn him into a whipping boy because he feels differently. I personally love those who say eas98 isn't worth flaming, and then go on for a paragraph or so slamming him. You might as well have flamed him. My point is this, you call him a bigot and worse because he says he disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle. But when you accuse him of such things, you're doing the exact thing you claim is his crime, judging others and their beliefs. Why are your beliefs more correct, because society tends to sway to your side? So what, that makes you no more correct in your belief. Just because he is in the minority, it makes his point no more valid or important than yours. People are all too often sacrificed on this board for posting their opinions, and instead of doing the same, it becomes a personal attack. If you don't agree, then post your opinion. These attacks do nothing but show your ignorance, the ignorance which you all so often claim to be crusading against. That is all.
posted by iceman at 11:20 AM on July 18, 2002


But when you accuse him of such things, you're doing the exact thing you claim is his crime, judging others and their beliefs

So, (and in no way do I think he is this bad), if I say I hate the KKK, I'm just as bad as they are? That's some pretty specious logic you have there.

We don't get to judge anyone's beliefs? All beliefs, no matter how hateful, are exactly equal is quality? That's an amazing level of moral relativism.

That little logical fancy aside, the ad homs on eas98 were uncalled for, but he did (unintentionally, I'm sure) chum the water for it with the "don't bother flaming me" comment.
posted by malphigian at 11:29 AM on July 18, 2002


People need to remember that not all gay members of society are trying to subvert the system.

This type of story can only promote a lot of knee jerk reactions from people. Can't wait to hear Ashcrofts opinion of it.
posted by a3matrix at 11:31 AM on July 18, 2002


Why are your beliefs more correct, because society tends to sway to your side? So what, that makes you no more correct in your belief. Just because he is in the minority, it makes his point no more valid or important than yours.

You are absolutely right that the beliefs of those supporting the BBBSA policy are not more correct just because they are in the majority. (Which is questionable in itself--they are certainly in the majority here on MeFi, but it's very much unclear as far as society at large.)

The beliefs of those supporting the BBBSA policy are more correct because there is no logical justification for discrimination against homosexuals.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:34 AM on July 18, 2002


Just because he is in the minority, it makes his point no more valid or important than yours.

What has been mentioned is that he did not validate his argument. He simply stated it. I find it curious that you ask for us to understand him, when his comments reflected the worst in closemindedness and intolerance. Metafilter is not a dumping ground for people to post opinions without at least making an attempt to back them up.

My point is this, you call him a bigot and worse because he says he disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle. But when you accuse him of such things, you're doing the exact thing you claim is his crime, judging others and their beliefs.

Not at all. Calling out the intolerant != bigotry.
posted by adampsyche at 11:44 AM on July 18, 2002


I don't mind straight people, as long as they act gay around me.
posted by RylandDotNet at 11:54 AM on July 18, 2002


and then when someone else posts his feelings on the subject, you turn him into a whipping boy because he feels differently

Oh come on, iceman. The guy still hasn't explained the basis for his "feeling" that he doesn't want gay and lesbian people around his kids. The reason there are separate BB/BS programs isn't to avoid sexual assault; it's to provide a solid example of a kind and caring figure for kids whose fathers or mothers are for whatever reason not around. Gay men and lesbians are just as capable of providing those role models as heteros, and calling out folks who deny that (and who fail to offer a single logical point in support) is hardly "turning him into a whipping boy."

No offense to any whipping boys in the house, of course. :)
posted by mediareport at 11:55 AM on July 18, 2002


And what the hell does it mean to "disagree with the homosexual lifestyle," anyway? That sure is a great substitution for a complete lack of a logical argument.
posted by mediareport at 11:57 AM on July 18, 2002


My point is this, you call him a bigot and worse because he says he disagrees with the homosexual lifestyle.

What exactly is the "homosexual lifestyle", anyway? In my experience, the lifestyle of homosexuals seems involves going to work, shopping for dinner, watching a video with your partner, maybe going for a hike on the weekend, catching a movie, dinner with friends, saving up for a vacation, etc. What's to disagree with?

Eagerly awaiting clarification on this.
posted by jokeefe at 12:01 PM on July 18, 2002


After pile up on kablam, check out his/her posting record... hey, s/he's the one who couldn't figure out why there is a Holocaust museum in the States back in the Anne Frank thread. Mental note to self: in the future, don't respond to any more of his/her postings...
posted by jokeefe at 12:07 PM on July 18, 2002


Eagerly awaiting clarification on this.

Apparently we're supposed to be taking over the world, or something.

I, for one, don't have time for that. We're having a cocktail party on Saturday, and I've got hors d'oeuvres to make!
posted by chuq at 12:12 PM on July 18, 2002


It's always "cocks" and "tail" with you people, isn't it?
posted by ColdChef at 12:27 PM on July 18, 2002


And speaking of "cocks" and "tails", its just one fucking thing after another...
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:29 PM on July 18, 2002


It's always "cocks" and "tail" with you people, isn't it?

Except for the lesbians.
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:29 PM on July 18, 2002


iceman - Let me get this straight. If someone (like eas98, say) were to come up to me and say that I should not be trusted around kids because I'm tall & have brown hair (many pedophiles are tall or have brown hair), and I were to point out that his prejudices were ridiculous, then I would be just as bigoted as he was? Interesting viewpoint.

Actually, I would only be fully matching his bigotry if I were to propose that he should not be allowed around kids due to his viewpoints. I don't think anyone has proposed that eas98 not be allowed to volunteer for BBSA.
posted by tdismukes at 12:31 PM on July 18, 2002


On a more serious note, FWIW, I had a "Big Brother" when I was a youngster growing up and he was gay. He openly admitted as much to my mother who, thankfully, was ok with it. Fortunately I was young and not yet tainted with the hatred that seems to be bred into people regarding homosexuality. At no point did I ever sense danger in his presence and it was one of the best memories of my childhood.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:35 PM on July 18, 2002


I don't think anyone has proposed that eas98 not be allowed to volunteer for BBSA

I'd worry more about letting my kid hang around a bigot than a homosexual.
posted by plaino at 12:41 PM on July 18, 2002


"because I'm tall & have brown hair"

You equate being 'gay' to being a specific race, implying that it is something genetic, which you are born with. Is there conclusive evidence that this is so? I don't know if you can choose to be gay, but you can certainly choose to have gay sex. Most people that have a problem with the 'lifestyle' probably have a problem with the sexual part.

I think people are incorrectly calling eas98 a bigot. He probably thinks that someone who is gay may not share the same values he does, in which case he does not want them teaching/mentoring his impressionable child. Maybe eas98 wants his child to learn that gay sex is innapropriate (does that make you a bigot? are you bigoted against smokers if you think smoking is wrong?). I doubt he hates gays. A corollary for me would be that while I do not hate marxists, I do not want anyone teaching my child marxism as gospel, so I would probably discriminate(I know, its such a dirty word, choosing one thing over another denotes a preferential or moral choice) against marxist teachers/mentors.
posted by insomnyuk at 12:53 PM on July 18, 2002


if the BB/BS program was about sex ed, you'd almost have some kind of point insomnyuk, not that i'd agree with it. unfortunately it isn't, so you don't, so i don't need to disagree with you.
posted by badstone at 1:07 PM on July 18, 2002


i don't see why the BB/BS people have to declare these things anyway. why can't they just have the application void of sexuality questions and leave it at that. if a parent asks if there are homosexuals involved, they can just say, "i don't know b/c we don't require that info in order to participate." as pointed out by RJ Reynolds, this question was already removed so why would is there suddenly a gay quota to meet? there probably isn't - but i guess the christian site with the info just finally caught wind of the possibility that their precious children might be tainted with unholy thoughts and twisted the whole issue around to make it sound bad. i think they should be a little more worried about the pedophile priests they so diligently follow and trust.
posted by ggggarret at 1:11 PM on July 18, 2002


You equate being 'gay' to being a specific race, implying that it is something genetic, which you are born with. Is there conclusive evidence that this is so?

You're opening up the "is homosexuality based in genetics" can of worms which the current answer seems to be "probably." People are still gathering data, but there are a few anectdotal bits worth mentioning.

1) I don't know a single homosexual person that ever "chose" to be gay. Many of them were 10 or 11 years old, noticed they were attracted to members of the same sex and that was that. No one I know that is heterosexual ever made a choice, or at least they've never mentioned it. Attraction just came naturally to both groups, as it does to you or I. Is that genetics? Instincts? It's certainly something.

2) there are numerous examples of homosexuality in nature. I know of at least one bird species, and one primate species where this behavior is seen. The closest species to humans, the bonobo chimpanzees have homosexual relationships. Did any of them "choose" to do it?

There are lots of pages about this subject, here's the first one I found from a google search.
posted by mathowie at 1:12 PM on July 18, 2002


Please, for god's sake, scroll down to the picture at the bottom of Matt's link above.
posted by ColdChef at 1:15 PM on July 18, 2002


I saw a really cool show on TV that went, step-by-step, through the argument of "Is gayness chosen, or not". It started by assuming that there might be a "gay gene". But that would imply that there would never be identical twins who were one gay, one not. They found that there were several mechanisms which created gayness, and other mechanisms which made women into lesbians. I can't remember all of the science, but the one fascinating thing that I remember was that embryos are sexless until a certain time in the womb. At that time, chemicals are released which make the baby male or female. Except that the chemicals which make a baby male aren't naturally occurring in a woman's body, and sometimes the woman generates antibodies which try to fight them. The net result is that there is a higher percentage chance of second or later male children to be gay than firstborn males, which has been determined experimentally. I found it really fascinating. Their conclusions were that gayness is a result of some genetic factors and some environmental (primarily chemical, before birth) factors.

I live in a gay neighbourhood and wondered how my neighbours ended up gay. Now I know.
posted by websavvy at 1:18 PM on July 18, 2002


insomyuk: First of all, on the topic of this semantic "bigotry" nonsense -- look it up.

He probably thinks that someone who is gay may not share the same values he does, in which case he does not want them teaching/mentoring his impressionable child.

This is precisely what I am (and others are) condemning: eas98's values. His/her messed up value-system isn't a justification for his/her ignorance, it's the problem.

As for the gay/gay sex distinction... in this circumstance, it's bullshit. There are three reasons that one might argue opposition to "gay sex", and only one of them applies here.

1. "It's wrong because it's gay sex." Inapplicable because there is no reason to believe that there is opposition to Big Brothers or Big Sisters (let alone parents) who engage in heterosexual sex.
2. "It's wrong because it's gay sex." Inapplicable because there is no reason to believe that there is opposition to heterosexual Big Brothers or Big Sisters (let alone parents) who engage in anal or oral sex. Besides, it's silly to argue that oral/anal sex is a moral issue.
3. "It's wrong because it's gay sex." And opinions such as this are doing more to harm society than Islamic terrorists, if you ask me.
posted by Marquis at 1:22 PM on July 18, 2002


ColcChef, I will be vewy disappointed if when I get home I don't find a nice story about mathowie's find on "another site". Who knew he moonlighted as a 9622 researcher?
posted by yhbc at 1:22 PM on July 18, 2002


Except that according to what you're saying, websavvy, your neighbours didn't end up gay -- they started out gay.
posted by muckster at 1:23 PM on July 18, 2002


And ColdChef, you can just ignore that last comment I made to my good friend ColcChef.
posted by yhbc at 1:23 PM on July 18, 2002


jokeefe: Mental note to self: in the future, don't respond to any more of his/her postings...

FYI, I was very careful to try to phrase the original post in as neutral coloration as possible, and haven't commented in follow-up. Nor was it a one-shot troll, as (if true) the story is both newsworthy (given current circumstances), and under reported. If you are disturbed by the subject or the arguments surrounding it, I agree that the V-chip is right for you.
posted by kablam at 1:24 PM on July 18, 2002


shhhh. I have no idea what you're talking about.
posted by ColdChef at 1:24 PM on July 18, 2002


Listen -- the debate over whether being gay is genetic or not is completely irrelevant.

Let's say I replace some of insomnyuk's words:

You equate being "Jewish" to being a specific race, implying that it is something genetic, which you are born with. Is there conclusive evidence that this is so? I don't know if you can choose to be of Jewish ancestry, but you can certainly choose to practice the Jewish lifestyle. Most people that have a problem with the 'lifestyle' probably have a problem with the religious part.
posted by Tin Man at 1:24 PM on July 18, 2002


Nor was it a one-shot troll, as (if true) the story is both newsworthy (given current circumstances), and under reported.

Kablam: if it comes from Focus on the Family, and it's about homosexuals, it's most likely not true.
posted by Tin Man at 1:26 PM on July 18, 2002


insomnyuk - "He probably thinks that someone who is gay may not share the same values he does"

Let's assume you're right on this. Personally, I thought I detected rather a bit of bigotry, but short statements in print can be misinterpreted, so let's give him/her all possible benefit of the doubt. So then the question becomes one of allowing someone to be a Big Brother/Sister based on whether they share the same values as we do. Does being gay imply a certain set of values? I'm rather doubtful. Lets pick some other groups which are openly based on certain sets of values - say Republicans/Democrats/Libertarians/Christians/Muslims/atheists/capitalists/socialists, to name a few. Judging from discussions on Metafilter, each one of these groups has quite a few people who strongly disagree with their actual or presumed values. I wonder if BBBSA should ban members of these groups from volunteering so as to avoid the possibility of a Republican family kid getting a Democrat Big Brother or an atheist kid getting a Christian Big Sister?

Seriously, I do think there are some important values that a Big Brother/Sister should have. Responsibility would be one. Caring for kids would be another. I think BBBSA should choose volunteers who exemplify those values. Perhaps you can think of some more, but I don't think BBBSA should accept people based on some people's religious taboos. I think that someone who suggests they should, without offering any justification beyond "that's how I feel", opens him/herself up for charges of being a bigot.
posted by tdismukes at 1:27 PM on July 18, 2002


I don't know a single homosexual person that ever "chose" to be gay.

If you'll excuse the self-link, then I'll be able to say that you can't say that anymore.

And to head off nay-sayers, or those that choose not to read the linked essay, I didn't wake up one morning and think, "I think I'll be a poof to piss off my parents today!". I did choose to start telling people I was gay, information they wouldn't have had I chosen not to ever tell them. Which, to me, begs the question, "Are you gay if you don't ever tell anyone?"
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:28 PM on July 18, 2002


Exactly. They ended up gay by starting out gay. I kind of expected that. What teenager, who already thinks the world doesn't understand them and that life is bleak and desolate and horrible (by definition) would also decide "Hey, I'll be gay, too! That will make things interesting"?

I think that the gay lifestyle is (or, especially, has) been a very tough one to go through, and I don't think people would select one on a whim. (Although I think that lots of people love being gay, if they are.) The existence of homophobia and AIDS makes the argument for "conscious choice of gayness" very hard to make with a straight face.
posted by websavvy at 1:29 PM on July 18, 2002


er.... and in what way is the phrase "bad timing" consistent with being "neutral"?
posted by badstone at 1:30 PM on July 18, 2002


I don't know a single homosexual person that ever "chose" to be gay.

>> If you'll excuse the self-link, then I'll be able to say that you can't say that anymore.


WolfDaddy -- that doesn't refute his statement. You didn't choose to be gay either. In fact, in your self-link, you state: "I chose that day to accept these feelings that I was having." You didn't choose the feelings. You chose to accept the feelings. That's a big difference.

In my opinion, being gay = having those feelings, whether or not you act on them.
posted by Tin Man at 1:34 PM on July 18, 2002


insomnyuk: what do you mean about "choosing to have gay sex"? We "choose" to have heterosexual sex if we're straight. What's the difference? Most gay people seem to have been "that way" since their earliest stirrings of sexual feelings. Are you implying that this is a "love the sinner, hate the sin" sort of thing? To me, that's just sugar-coated intolerance. Believe it or not, there aren't many homosexuals out recruiting for their side, they don't care who you sleep with, why should you care who they sleep with? Isn't learning to treat others fairly and being comfortable with yourself more important?

As for gay sex being "inappropriate", please. If you're gay, you're gay, "appropriate" doesn't enter into it. What's really inappropriate is trying to convince impressionable people that they can pretend they aren't gay (or straight) if they just try hard enough. Kids have enough trouble without being made to feel that there's a right way and a wrong way to be when it comes to sexual preference.
posted by biscotti at 1:37 PM on July 18, 2002


Thank you iceman and insomnyuk. While I realize you were not defending me per se, you both eloquently stated what I would have liked to say.

On this board, it seems that there are a bunch of what I'll call 'elitists' who only come here to pat each other on the backs and wait around for someone whom they can dump on. Every time they don't like what someone here says, they start with the "Bigot", "Racist", etc. and anything else they can think of that would presumably make them feel better about themselves.

It sounds like homosexuals want to be treated exactly like everyone else, yet at the same time they try to separate and identify themselves with: gay parades, gay & lesbian film festivals, gay flags, etc. Which is it?

You don't have to agree with what I think about homosexuality. You don't have to understand me, either. But you do have to respect my feelings about a subject. And calling me names is more a reflection on you than it is on me.
posted by eas98 at 1:38 PM on July 18, 2002


I've got this feeling that I wouldn't be entirely comfortable if my child (not that I've got one yet) had a gay BB/BS, but I'm not entirely sure why.

I think what it might be is the invisibility of heterosexuality to me. Because it's the norm, I don't really notice it. By having an obviously non-normal sexuality, I'm forced to recognize this person as a sexual being. Their sexuality becomes a primary "stat". And maybe I'm old fashioned on this one, but I don't really feel comfortable having my child hanging out with sexual beings (which, on preview, is the most ridiculous sentence ever, but when have fathers been reasonable about sexuality?).

I'm guessing that if I'm somehow made to realize that the straight candidates for the BB/BS were also sexual beings, then I would have a problem with them too.

Of course the rational thing to do is realize that my child will probably need a "sexual being" for a mentor because they themselves are/will be sexual.

A lot of people won't hire male babysitters. Think that's fair? Reasonable?
posted by ODiV at 1:39 PM on July 18, 2002


insomnyuk - "He probably thinks that someone who is gay may not share the same values he does"

Let's assume you're right on this. Personally, I thought I detected rather a bit of bigotry, but short statements in print can be misinterpreted, so let's give him/her all possible benefit of the doubt. So then the question becomes one of allowing someone to be a Big Brother/Sister based on whether they share the same values as we do. Does being gay imply a certain set of values? I'm rather doubtful. Lets pick some other groups which are openly based on certain sets of values - say Republicans/Democrats/Libertarians/Christians/Muslims/atheists/capitalists/socialists, to name a few. Judging from discussions on Metafilter, each one of these groups has quite a few people who strongly disagree with their actual or presumed values. I wonder if BBBSA should ban members of these groups from volunteering so as to avoid the possibility of a Republican family kid getting a Democrat Big Brother or an atheist kid getting a Christian Big Sister?

Seriously, I do think there are some important values that a Big Brother/Sister should have. Responsibility would be one. Caring for kids would be another. I think BBBSA should choose volunteers who exemplify those values. Perhaps you can think of some more, but I don't think BBBSA should accept people based on some people's religious taboos. I think that someone who suggests they should, without offering any justification beyond "that's how I feel", opens him/herself up for charges of being a bigot.
posted by tdismukes at 1:39 PM on July 18, 2002


Excuse me, but....


can someone please tell just exactly what a homosexual is? Does this have something to do with peepees?

Okay, kidding. gay, straight, bi, lesbian, whatever. You are welcome to my house for dinner at any time. And I do think you can choose to be gay. It just involves a lot of vodka and the right music.
posted by bradth27 at 1:39 PM on July 18, 2002


Insomnyuk: I wasn't gonna bother biting, but...:
- "Most people that have a problem with the 'lifestyle' probably have a problem with the sexual part."
And.. your point is what? If the sex part happens off-duty (as it should), what is the issue?
- "He probably thinks that someone who is gay may not share the same values he does" And.. your point is what? Both Evanizer & I are identified on here as gay, but have radically different values on various issues. Which of us would you identify with the most?
- "I do not want anyone teaching my child marxism as gospel.." Marxism is an ideology: in most free societies (which the US claims still to be), competing ideas are chosen by free adults to order human affairs. Additionally, adults in most free countries are allowed to choose how to express themselves sexually, as long as no harm is done. In both cases, children (usually defined as aged up to 16, though sometimes 14, and sometimes older) are excluded: from voting (to protect us from their immature decisions) & from sexual expression (to protect themselves). That is how it should be, and penalties exist for transgressions.
As a gay man who cares for his own, and other, kid(s) (professionally), I'm glad my right to work in my chosen career is not in conflict with child protection. Gays and lesbians are - & always have been - good carers, and abusers have never been.
posted by dash_slot- at 1:40 PM on July 18, 2002


Oops - my first double post. It...was the fault of the new server, yeah, that's it. Sorry.
posted by tdismukes at 1:43 PM on July 18, 2002


dash_slot: just a logic quibble...

You're saying that all abusers are straight. I don't think that's what you mean.
posted by ODiV at 1:44 PM on July 18, 2002


ColcChef, I will be vewy disappointed if when I get home I don't find a nice story about mathowie's find on "another site". Who knew he moonlighted as a 9622 researcher?

He's much too slow.

It sounds like homosexuals want to be treated exactly like everyone else, yet at the same time they try to separate and identify themselves with: gay parades, gay & lesbian film festivals, gay flags, etc. Which is it?

What's wrong with being proud of who you are and wanting to be treated equally? Why do they have to be mutually exclusive?
posted by adampsyche at 1:45 PM on July 18, 2002


And, for the love of all that is sacred and holy, can eas98 please tell us why he feels this way? What might be the bad consequences of your offspring being mentored by a homosexual? Thowing that out there without telling us why you feel that way is pretty bad form.
posted by adampsyche at 1:49 PM on July 18, 2002


"You equate being "Jewish" to being a specific race, implying that it is something genetic, which you are born with. Is there conclusive evidence that this is so? I don't know if you can choose to be of Jewish ancestry, but you can certainly choose to practice the Jewish lifestyle. Most people that have a problem with the 'lifestyle' probably have a problem with the religious part."

Analogically, this is false, because there is a difference between Jewish (a faith) and Hebrew (an ethnicity). Not all Jews are Hebrews, and while some people are born Jews, some of them choose not to practice the religion (does that make them less Jewish, I don't know). Also, there are those who convert to Judaism, meaning they choose.

Are you saying being gay is a religion?

Gays and lesbians are - & always have been - good carers

That is not a provable or meaningful statement, unless you say that there is no such thing as a pedophile who is also gay, and you believe by virtue of being gay, you become a good caretaker. I am not disputing that you are a good caretaker, dash_slot-, I would say that you are a good caretaker that happens to be gay, not that you are good because you are gay. That would be as stereotypical as saying that a man who is good at interior design is good because he is gay. I don't see the connection.

in most free societies (which the US claims still to be), competing ideas are chosen by free adults to order human affairs.

I agree, but remember, we were talking about the instruction of children. However, I and my family have no problem putting my brother or myself (when I was a lad) in the presence of my uncle (who is gay), so I don't have any particular hangup about that issue.

What's wrong with being proud of who you are

You can be proud without being tacky and obnoxious.
posted by insomnyuk at 1:49 PM on July 18, 2002


"It sounds like homosexuals want to be treated exactly like everyone else, yet at the same time they try to separate and identify themselves with: gay parades, gay & lesbian film festivals, gay flags, etc. Which is it? "

The purpose of those devices is to show everyone that gay people are everywhere. Gay people don't want to be stigmatized for what they are. Thus, gay pride day, which basically says, "Here we are. There are lots of us. We're from all walks of life", while giving the community at large an opportunity to show their support by attending and listening to really terrible dance music.
posted by websavvy at 1:50 PM on July 18, 2002


In my opinion, being gay = having those feelings, whether or not you act on them.

So, if I withhold a murderous feeling, I'm still a murderer? If I am attracted primarily to Japanese people, I'm Japanese?

No. Expressing one's homosexuality requires more than one person, and until then it's nothing but a fantasy. And it's up to a homosexual to choose to go down that path, and accept the responsibilities of his choice. Chalking it all up to genetics is just as bad to chalking it all up to a dominant mother and an absent father. Both extremes absolves the homosexual in question of any responsibility. I'd rather say I chose the way I live my life the way I do.
posted by WolfDaddy at 1:50 PM on July 18, 2002


Wolfdaddy's argument is like the fish pond at the carnival.. You consider going after it, but theres absolutely no sport involved.
posted by websavvy at 1:52 PM on July 18, 2002


You can be proud without being tacky and obnoxious.

Completely irrelevant.
posted by adampsyche at 1:53 PM on July 18, 2002


It sounds like homosexuals want to be treated exactly like everyone else, yet at the same time they try to separate and identify themselves with: gay parades, gay & lesbian film festivals, gay flags, etc. Which is it?

eas98, things can be partly the same and partly different.

Carrots and eggplants are both vegetables. But one is orange and one is purple. One is rich in one vitamin and one is rich is another. One is long and thin and one is pear-shaped. If a bunch of carrots got together and had a Carrot Pride Parade, would they have to exclude themselves from the category of "vegetables"?

In my opinion, your argument is meaningless.
posted by Tin Man at 1:54 PM on July 18, 2002


You can be proud without being tacky and obnoxious.

Tell that to these motherfuckers who keep swaddling my whole damn town in American flags.
posted by anildash at 1:56 PM on July 18, 2002


Kablam wrote: Nor was it a one-shot troll, as (if true) the story is both newsworthy (given current circumstances), and under reported.

Let's look at your neutral post, because I see two problems with it that seem like a troll.

1) "Is this astoundingly bad timing or what?"

You're trying to link recent stories about pedophile priests with the article's claim about homosexual biggerbrother/sisters. That says that homosexuality = pedophiles which is ridiculous, and you're the one that wrote is, as the phrase isn't contained in the article (they have one silly paragraph stating that some pedophiles admitted they were homosexual).

Why do you think the two issues are linked in any way?

2) "On a side note, why hasn't this been widely reported? "

There are no sources quoted in the article. Reporters like to use sources and facts when they make claims, which apparently the FoF does not.

In general, things are deemed underreported when there is some sort of hiding or burying of a good story. Since this article isn't sourcing any facts, it can't possibly be spread about. To me, a sourceless story from an organization with an ax to grind is about as useful as anything in the Weekly World News.

If you're trying to appear neutral to a subject, you should probably try harder.
posted by mathowie at 1:57 PM on July 18, 2002


Eas98 doth protest too much, methinks.
posted by websavvy at 1:57 PM on July 18, 2002


try to separate and identify themselves with: gay parades, gay & lesbian film festivals, gay flags, etc.

Maybe, just maybe, the effort isn't towards separation, but towards inviting others to understand them before they form prejudices.
posted by adampsyche at 1:58 PM on July 18, 2002


Whoever brought up the religion comparison is right on the money. Religion and sexuality are incredibly similar in my mind.

You can switch churches and change praying rituals all you like, but can you really change what you believe?

Oh, and I'm still interested to find out what you guys think about parents refusing to hire male babysitters.
posted by ODiV at 1:59 PM on July 18, 2002


eas98: Every time they don't like what someone here says, they start with the "Bigot", "Racist", etc. and anything else they can think of that would presumably make them feel better about themselves.

Or, as in this case, some of us employ the term "bigot" because it's the correct usage of the word.

(Alternate answer: On this board, it seems that there are a bunch of what I'll call 'bigots' who only come here to pat each other on the backs and wait around for someone whom they can dump on. Every time they don't like what someone here says, they start with the "elitist", "flamer", etc. and anything else they can think of that would presumably make them feel better about themselves.)

It sounds like homosexuals want to be treated exactly like everyone else, yet at the same time they try to separate and identify themselves with: gay parades, gay & lesbian film festivals, gay flags, etc. Which is it?

It's not an either/or situation.

For more examples, see: women, blacks, catholics, children.
posted by Marquis at 2:01 PM on July 18, 2002


eas98, I appreciate your viewpoint, but when you press it, you wind up saying odd things like:
It sounds like homosexuals want to be treated exactly like everyone else, yet at the same time they try to separate and identify themselves with: gay parades, gay & lesbian film festivals, gay flags, etc. Which is it?

Substitute "Jewish", "Irish", or "Italian". Part of the American ideal is striving to maintain your individual identity while accepting everyone else's.

For the record- when I think about it, of all the people I've known in my life, I can probably say that those who are gay have been more tolerant, nicer, and generally better role models than those who aren't. Don't ask me why.
posted by mkultra at 2:02 PM on July 18, 2002


>> In my opinion, being gay = having those feelings, whether or not you act on them.

So, if I withhold a murderous feeling, I'm still a murderer? If I am attracted primarily to Japanese people, I'm Japanese?


WolfDaddy, clearly you and I have different definitions of "being gay." This muddies the question of "choosing to be gay." We can't talk about whether people "choose to be gay" unless we both know what we mean by "being gay."

Expressing one's homosexuality requires more than one person

If I masturbate to thoughts of naked men, I'm expressing my homosexuality, by my definition, and there's just one person involved.
posted by Tin Man at 2:03 PM on July 18, 2002


I find it interesting that the "recovery" movement run by religious fundamentalists, which ostensibly enables gay men and lesbians to live heterosexual lives, is in more or less complete agreement with the gay and lesbian establishment that homosexuality is essentially in-born and not chosen.

The "recovery" movement simply continues to that hold that, as the Bible defines homosexual practice to be evil, that, therefore, homosexual inclinations are a disability, a cross to be borne and no more to be indulged than a diabetic should indulge himself in a 5 pound box of chocolates.
posted by MattD at 2:03 PM on July 18, 2002


the argument in which one word ('gay') is replaced with another word ('jewish,' 'black,' 'arab,' 'zebra,') is poor logic.

oh, and mediareport, you're making the erroneous assumption that evolution is cognizant to the future. evolution is completely blind to the future, except in one respect: reproduction. that is evolution's sole goal. it is not nice enough to create 'nannies' and 'caretakers' for bothered and busy parents. evolution is a system that works because it phases out intolerable flaws in the system and favors those that are stronger, faster, and more adaptable, as one would expect. that is all evolution is. as far as I know, few gay people have recognized that it is their sole purpose in life to look after the fauntlets of their heterosexual neighbors.
posted by Espoo2 at 2:04 PM on July 18, 2002


Oh, and I'm still interested to find out what you guys think about parents refusing to hire male babysitters.

Maybe I'm just generalizin' here, but I think a male babysitter would be more likely to eat all my PopTarts.
posted by ColdChef at 2:04 PM on July 18, 2002


ColdChef: bigot!
posted by ODiV at 2:09 PM on July 18, 2002


"Tell that to these motherfuckers who keep swaddling my whole damn town in American flags."

Bad taste transcends all cultures and sexual orientations... just look at some of my old websites (if they were still online).
posted by insomnyuk at 2:09 PM on July 18, 2002


Insomnyuk wrote:

Analogically, this is false, because there is a difference between Jewish (a faith) and Hebrew (an ethnicity). Not all Jews are Hebrews, and while some people are born Jews, some of them choose not to practice the religion (does that make them less Jewish, I don't know). Also, there are those who convert to Judaism, meaning they choose.

Are you saying being gay is a religion?


Insomnyuk, that was my point (although I didn't frame it very well). I'm Jewish. Suppose someone doesn't like me for being Jewish. Should I defend myself by saying, "Hey, I can't help it, I was born this way?" No.

Rather, I should defend myself by saying, "Yeah, I was born Jewish, and I could have chosen not to practice Judaism, but I chose to do so. Got a problem with that?"

Does it matter whether I was born that way or whether I chose to practice it? No.

Doesn't matter with homosexuality, either.
posted by Tin Man at 2:14 PM on July 18, 2002


Tin Man, do you advocate thoughtcrime? Because your definition of 'being gay' veers dangerously close to that position.

What you fantasize about does not, to my mind, make you anything. I could fantasize about murdering someone, but if I never express those feelings I would still be a murderer by your lights.

That's thoughtcrime, plain and simple.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:15 PM on July 18, 2002


"Is this astoundingly bad timing or what?"

You're trying to link recent stories about pedophile priests with the article's claim about homosexual biggerbrother/sisters.

Do I need to link it to recent stories? I thought that countless commentators had been trying to link pedophiles and homosexuals for months now (as dumb as that linkage is, and much to the horror of many homosexuals.)

"On a side note, why hasn't this been widely reported? "

There are no sources quoted in the article. Reporters like to use sources and facts when they make claims, which apparently the FoF does not.

Well, gee, confirmation (of something) is just one phone call away, in this case to BBBSA. Wouldn't a journalist be willing to make that call for what seems to be a 'hot' story, at least based on what people have said here today?
posted by kablam at 2:15 PM on July 18, 2002


insomnyuk: "You're saying that all abusers are straight." - No , I'm not.

To explain:
Gays and lesbians are [ = there *exist* folk of a sexual orientation, known as gay & lesbian, or homosexual] - & always have been [ they have always existed]- good carers [ they nurture effectively ], and abusers [people who, in this case, hurt children] have never been [good carers].


"I don't think that's what you mean." Damn straight.

We ought to admit it, Insomnyuk: you don't like [the idea of?] gay [-ness?folk?experiences?]. I can live with that - I don't like bigotry.
BTW, there are no gays: only gay feelings/experiences. Have no fear.
NO NAME CALLING. (",)
posted by dash_slot- at 2:16 PM on July 18, 2002


But you do have to respect my feelings about a subject.

Now who's in favor of postmodern non-judgmentalism? It's not just liberals, eh? Anyway, eas98, I don't have to respect your feelings. Personally, I think people who don't like gays are BAD people. Bad, just like racists. Now, if we want to discuss something then it would be helpful for me and others to abstain from name calling and probably also helpful for people to not complain about the fact that some folks think their opinions are morally foul. However, let's not mistake polite discussion for respect.
posted by Wood at 2:18 PM on July 18, 2002


Tin Man, do you advocate thoughtcrime? Because your definition of 'being gay' veers dangerously close to that position.

WolfDaddy: huh? I don't think being gay is a crime at all.


What you fantasize about does not, to my mind, make you anything. I could fantasize about murdering someone, but if I never express those feelings I would still be a murderer by your lights.

No. A murderer is someone who performs a murder. A gay person is someone who's attracted to people of the same gender -- whether or not that person has gay sex.

Let me put it this way. Suppose I realize at age 13 that I'm attracted to other men and not to women. But I don't have sex with a gay man until I'm 24. Would you say I wasn't gay until I was 24? What was I before then?
posted by Tin Man at 2:22 PM on July 18, 2002


eas98 - "It sounds like homosexuals want to be treated exactly like everyone else, yet at the same time they try to separate and identify themselves with: gay parades, gay & lesbian film festivals, gay flags, etc. Which is it?"

Gee, and the Irish too, with their St.Paddy's day parades & those "kiss me, I'm Irish" t-shirts. What's up with that? I'm not trusting them around the kids!

Seriously, in case that was a sincere question & not just a way to be insulting while pretending not to be a bigot, I'll attempt to give a sincere answer. When a member of a minority (such as gays), grows up spending his/her entire life being told (through ridicule/sermons/insults/repressive legislation/physical attacks/etc.) that he/she is inferior/evil/inherently wrong, it takes a tremendous psychological toll. Holding a parade or rally to reaffirm one's pride in oneself as a worthwhile person only makes sense. If you put me in an environment where the population was 90% gay and I was subject to regular persecution for being straight, I'd probably start going to hetero pride parades.

"But you do have to respect my feelings about a subject. And calling me names is more a reflection on you than it is on me."

Seems like you've got a bit of a double standard going here. A number of people on this forum are gay. Why is it okay for you to insult them(by implying that they're not fit to mentor children) , but not okay for them to insult you back? Do you have to respect their feelings about you after you've insulted them? Actually, most of the posters have tried to discuss the issue rationally and back up their views. The closest I can find above to an insult is websavvy's statement that "I pity him, his small world, and his smaller mind.". No one is calling you names, they're just disagreeing with you and presenting reasons for why they disagree with you. (Remarkably restrained, given that your post was insulting.) If you think you can back up your statements, do so, but don't pretend that everyone is calling you names when they aren't.
posted by tdismukes at 2:23 PM on July 18, 2002


Grr, let me rephrase. I don't have sex with a man until I'm 24.
posted by Tin Man at 2:23 PM on July 18, 2002


insomnyuk: "You're saying that all abusers are straight." - No , I'm not.

Actually, Odiv said that.

All I was saying that being gay does not make you a good caretaker, unless part of being gay means loving and adoring children. Being gay or straight, in my opinion, is secondary to a person being a good caretaker.

I don't hate gay people, but according to some of you, if I hold any moral position opposite of total acceptance of whatever 'gay' is (and I have seen no clear consensus), then I must be a bigot. Is it possible to disdain, disrespect a certain act without hating the person who committed it? That's a fine line to tread, I'm sure, but many of us walk it.
posted by insomnyuk at 2:24 PM on July 18, 2002


Okay, my previous one-sentence post looks really bizarre out of context.
posted by Tin Man at 2:25 PM on July 18, 2002


Tin Man: I'm with you . The gap between knowing I had gay feelings (c. 11) and experiencing gay sex (c. 21) is probably explained by being born into an large Irish catholic family. I think it also explains my nurturing, parental side. Double whammy!!
posted by dash_slot- at 2:27 PM on July 18, 2002


dash_slot: Sorry, I just really dig logic and even though I knew what you were trying to say, had to point out what you were actually saying.

I didn't meant to 'call you out' or anything. I'm just being annoying with details.
posted by ODiV at 2:27 PM on July 18, 2002


It's interesting how people draw the line saying "Gay isn't thinking about soaping down some hot naked guy, gay is when you actually do it". Which makes one think. If I'm comfortable with gays, and consider that someone can be gay before being sexually experienced (hell, I was straight before I got anywhere with women), why do these people want to draw the line somewhere else? I'm guessing that they can ride the anti-gay chariot further if they can argue that it's a chosen lifestyle. Or they're closeted, themselves.
posted by websavvy at 2:27 PM on July 18, 2002


WolfDaddy: websavvy brings up a good point.

If a man is attracted to women, wouldn't you say that that man is still straight, regardless of whether he's ever had sex?
posted by Tin Man at 2:34 PM on July 18, 2002


Do I need to link it to recent stories? I thought that countless commentators had been trying to link pedophiles and homosexuals for months now (as dumb as that linkage is, and much to the horror of many homosexuals.)

You're avoiding the question. *You* made the connection to start the post off, and I'm asking you why? What is bad timing that you are referring to and why did you say it?

Well, gee, confirmation (of something) is just one phone call away, in this case to BBBSA. Wouldn't a journalist be willing to make that call for what seems to be a 'hot' story, at least based on what people have said here today?

If the site that posted this "news" had spent the same five minutes getting some source document, this would indeed be widely reported. You asked specifically why it wasn't reported, and I'm telling you exactly why.

I doubt many reporters take on unsourced stories like this as potential leads.
posted by mathowie at 2:42 PM on July 18, 2002


Kablam, I believe that you said in a previous post that you were trained as a historian. Presumably, you were trained to evaluate sources properly, seek out contradictory evidence, and so forth. I would have thought that you would have been the first one to ask the BBBSA if this were true or not. In any event, two other posters have already suggested more likely interpretations of the situation, complete with links.

Incidentally, this is the sort of thing that the mainstream conservative publications should be drooling over, if true. Since they aren't, it might be worth asking oneself if there's a good reason why.

Given the FoF's track record on this particular issue, I would have thought that any trained historian would be about as willing to take their word as gospel truth on this subject as they would, say, the Protestant Truth Society on Roman Catholicism, or the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews on Judaism.
posted by thomas j wise at 2:43 PM on July 18, 2002


Oh yeah, I have to remember to pay my LSPCA dues this month. Thanks, Thomas!
posted by websavvy at 2:45 PM on July 18, 2002


Remarkably restrained, given that your post was insulting.

Me saying that I wouldn't want homosexuals mentoring my child is insulting?? You guys are the ones with problems then, not I.

Insulting might be if I said that homosexuals were closer in comparison to retarded people than they are to Jews, blacks, brown-haired people, etc. In that argument, it would be said that homosexuals similarly have a genetic defect that, if they were isolated from heterosexuals, in the long run would ultimately lead to their extinction. But, of course I make no such argument, so save your name-calling for someone else.
posted by eas98 at 2:55 PM on July 18, 2002


eas98, why don't you like homosexuals?
posted by turaho at 2:59 PM on July 18, 2002


eas98: There is a diffrence between a burqua and a hajab, nad licker.
posted by delmoi at 3:01 PM on July 18, 2002


Yeah, sorry bout that you two!

We could get into a silly ping-pong, ODiV: I know what I meant, I know what you interpreted it as, and I question your interpretation. It is your logic which appears faulty to me....G's & L's in the first clause is not opposed to/excluded from 'carers' in the 2nd clause - and vice versa for heterosexuals, do you see? (is it OK to abbreviate heterosexuals to straights, or is it name calling? I'd like to know).

Insomnyuk: - "Being gay or straight, in my opinion, is secondary to a person being a good caretaker". We agree again. That is consistent with my understanding of my words.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:08 PM on July 18, 2002


If a man is attracted to women, wouldn't you say that that man is still straight, regardless of whether he's ever had sex?

Would you say that there's a level playing field between homosexuals and heterosexuals in order to flip the analogy around like that?

I would say not. Heterosexuals are constantly and strongly encouraged by their culture, family, and religion to believe that their choice is so correct that it's not even a choice at all.

Homosexuals don't have it so easy.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:08 PM on July 18, 2002


Wow, what a huge flamebait this thread is. kablam, you should really be ashamed of putting crap like this on the front page without doing your homework first. If you don't like people who fuck in anything but your Xtian approved method, fine, more power to ya...but post it on your own freaking blog. Metafilter is not a personal pissing post.
posted by dejah420 at 3:16 PM on July 18, 2002


i'm feeling so...shattered....i mean, if this focus on the family website place would involve itself in such a shit piece of writing--obviously for the purpose of giving the homophobic Right something to complain about --probably all the emails BBBS gets in ALL CAPS to complain that much more eloquently--well, if they would do this, then how can i trust anything they say again?

i'll have to find a new news source, damn it. damn it all to hell i'm upset.

I doubt many reporters take on unsourced stories like this as potential leads.

Exactly, unsourced meaning, notice how the article quotes other articles and people without really giving you an actual reference? That should get your bullshit-detector going kids.
posted by th3ph17 at 3:19 PM on July 18, 2002


eas98 - 116 comments, and you finally got someone to call you a name (your call on whether you find it offensive or not). Too bad you've been accusing people of calling you names for the last 50 posts. You still haven't explained why you think people disagreeing with your (unexplained) prejudices is the same as calling you names.

"Me saying that I wouldn't want homosexuals mentoring my child is insulting??" - Only mildly. The fairly clear implication from your first post is that homosexuals shouldn't be mentoring anyone's child. I'd say that's pretty darn insulting and I'm not even gay.

delmoi - Did you figure that eas98 must actually want to be called a name or else he/she wouldn't be talking about it so much? If so, you're being kinder than I would be. When I find someone who seems most upset by facts and logic, that's what I hit them with.
posted by tdismukes at 3:19 PM on July 18, 2002


WolfDaddy, I think it's a semantic quibble, and in the interest of ending it (because I don't like to see your normally interesting contributions so bogged down), here's this:

By definition, a homosexual (n.b. the usage note, which suggests the superiority of the terms 'gay' and 'lesbian' over 'homosexual' for having stronger social and cultural connotations, rather than merely sexual ones) is defined by inhabiting a specific psychological realm, whereas a murderer is defined by an empirical, physical act he has committed. So I would rule with Tin Man in this regard. But WolfDaddy, I applaud your willingness to proactively affirm your sexuality. You can be commended not for having chosen the locus of your sexual desire, but for choosing to stand firmly and visibly uphold your right to that desire, which is what I would guess this is about anyway.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 3:30 PM on July 18, 2002


Maybe eas98 wants his child to learn that gay sex is innapropriate (does that make you a bigot? are you bigoted against smokers if you think smoking is wrong?)

What a delightfully obtuse comparison. It's a matter of levelling character judgement against someone for how they're born, end of fucking story. I don't know of anyone who was born smoking, do you? I know plenty of people, including me, who can't remember ever being remotely straight or even curious about it.

But the real reason I wanted to post was

It sounds like homosexuals want... gay & lesbian film festivals, gay flags, etc. Which is it?

Believe it or not, eas98, gay people are actually individuals, not part of some monothought borg-like hive. Being identified as different, immoral, unsuitable for children by the world at large seems to be the prime cause of queers striving to be proud of their difference. We didn't make the big deal out of being gay first, we just responded in kind.

BTW, I never did find where you say why you don't want gay people mentoring and being role models for your kids. You just seem to say

But you do have to respect my feelings about a subject.

Actually, I don't, but if I did then I guess I'd say you have to respect that I'm gay and let me participate in society. But I don't want to tell you what you have to do.
posted by holycola at 3:37 PM on July 18, 2002


Now, eas98 and insomnyuk and anyone else railing against the use of the term 'bigot' to describe someone who says, "I definitely would not want a homosexual to be mentoring and providing a role-model for my child.": I think that's a valid demonstration of bigotry. If you'd said, "I definitely would not want anyone to have gay sex in front of my child," it would be stretching it to call you bigoted towards gay people. You would be expressing your distaste with the idea of your child witnessing an action. But what you expressed your distaste for an entire category of people. You were being "intolerant of those who differ" from you, not disdainful of their actions.

So insomnyuk, yes, it's certainly possible to "disdain, disrespect a certain act without hating the person who committed it," but that's not what eas98 has done, so don't try to defend him for it. If it's gay sex you disdain or whatever, fine, I don't believe the random hypothetical Big Brother or Big Sister was doing it in your random hypothetical child's face anyway, so I don't think there's even a deal here. But if you are actually bigoted towards gay people, 'fess up. I mean, I'm bigoted towards homophobes and racists, among others. I'm not proud. I'll admit it. I definitely would not want a racist to be mentoring and providing a role model for my child.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 3:52 PM on July 18, 2002


"....evolution is a system that works because it phases out intolerable flaws in the system..." - which makes homosexuality an aspect which has yet to be phased out despite millions of years of selection....and is therefore .... desirable?

Hmm....
posted by dash_slot- at 3:53 PM on July 18, 2002


Ouch, grrarrgh00, you don't have to pull my teeth quite so hard. ;-) Seriously, I appreciate your post. It allowed me to step back from semantics at a time when semantics is causing a close friend of mine to have some pretty serious emotional turmoil. That turmoil has spilled over into my life, causing me to look at certain labels in a way I don't necessarily enjoy.

Sorry to semi-derail the thread. Tin Man, my apologies :-)
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:53 PM on July 18, 2002


Me saying that I wouldn't want homosexuals mentoring my child is insulting?? You guys are the ones with problems then, not I.

Is that a typo?
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:00 PM on July 18, 2002


Well, dejah420, if that *is* your real name, you might be gay, or you might not, but I, most certainly, am NOT an Xtian!
posted by kablam at 4:04 PM on July 18, 2002


You guys [I use the word advisedly (",) ] are not answering the question, are not empathising so as to be able to see the flaws in your own logic, and will not change your mind. I am done. Goodnight.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:05 PM on July 18, 2002


my impression was "active" be in the sense of physically active. plays sports; that sort of thing.

no, this is christian-speak, they mean active-homo as opposed to a good christian homo who is abstaining from gay sex...

What you fantasize about does not, to my mind, make you anything.

sure, it makes you [someone who fantasizes about men] which is close to tin man's definition. wolfdaddy, think of his definition not as similar to "murderer" but as similar to "shy" or "introspective" does how you think make you introspective? yes. he defines being gay differently than you, for you it is a state that describes action taken on your part, for him it is a state that defines feelings and motivations he has.

to compare it to thoughtcrime misunderstands his definition, it's not that tin man thinks he's gay because he would be willing to act, he thinks he gay because he has the desire, according to his definition he would consider himself gay even if he had no possibility of having that sex. his definition is not preemptive of an action, it's a description of whether the desire exists.
posted by rhyax at 4:25 PM on July 18, 2002


A personal story: I am the oldest of seven girls, three by my stepmother. After fifteen years of knowing me, and me being out, she has recently decided that I might sexually molest my own sisters and has disallowed them from seeing me. I still very much want to be a part of my family, and to be frank, it hurts. Her weirdness about/around me has completely freaked my little sisters out, to the point that the six year old cried the last time I came around. Think about it - their mom, the person they love the most in the world, is completely rigid with fear because I'm going to disrupt something in their world, and so of course the girls are upset too.
The 8th grade sister recently saw some "Gay's are OK" movie at school, and she came home asking questions about me. I think that my stepmother's real issue is that her daughters are growing up and becoming sexual at all, and I am a lightning rod for that b/c as someone above said, people look at me and think of my sexuality first and the fact that I like to read and make a mean cobbler second. No parent likes to admit that their kids are sexual or have sexual curiousity of any kind, and somehow "gay mentoring" brings people's sexuality far to close to the fore than some parents can deal with.
posted by pomegranate at 4:29 PM on July 18, 2002


Wolfdaddy: You're a good, uh, wolf for your comment to Tin Man.
posted by websavvy at 5:16 PM on July 18, 2002


No parent likes to admit that their kids are sexual or have sexual curiousity of any kind

...actually I think my mum was overjoyed when I first showed signs of any sexuality whatsoever. But then I was a bit of a late bloomer...


...although looking back, she may just have been glad that I wasn't gay. She's a bit of a fundy, and I'm not unfamiliar with Focus on (fucking up) the Family.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 5:19 PM on July 18, 2002


And through 133 fucking comments, eas98 still won't tell us why he wouldn't want a homosexual to mentor his kid. I have never seen someone so effectively, yet unconvincingly, avoid at least two direct questions and continue to post.
posted by adampsyche at 5:32 PM on July 18, 2002


Hey, eas98, why wouldn't you want your children to be mentored by homosexuals?
posted by adampsyche at 5:33 PM on July 18, 2002


Thanks websavvy, and you're a good ... um, savvywebthing :-)
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:51 PM on July 18, 2002


maybe This is why they are paranoid?
posted by th3ph17 at 5:52 PM on July 18, 2002


th3ph17, I hate to cast your words back at you, but you've just given us an unsourced (other than "wire reports") article with just as much spin and slant as the article that started this whole mess...just from the other extreme.

A Google search on Steven Wilsey doesn't turn up anything I'd call unbiased reportage.
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:20 PM on July 18, 2002


Pomegranate, if you make a mean cobbler, are you willing to share the recipe?

And back on point: your stepmother isn't always going to be able to control your sisters--one may hope.
posted by datawrangler at 6:23 PM on July 18, 2002


Holy whatever, this has been quite the roller coaster.

Can we just go dancing now?

Homer: Has the whole world gone gay?!

Music as the steelmill turns into a disco: Everybody dance now...ba dum, dum doo doo

Okay, one last comment. I want good teachers for my child; role models who will show him that you should judge others fairly by their actions, how to be empathetic, to respect himself and others, etc. I don't care if they bonk elephants in their spare time while wearing rhinestone corsets and ice skates. That's their business. If you are kind, open minded, gentle, considerate, all that stuff, then I am happy to have you around. If you define people through the use of dubious categories and labels, get caught up in ideas of 'us and them' with one being superior to the other, are cruel, treat others badly, and pass judgement without knowing the individual (and I do think that these things tend to cluster together) then please pass me and my family by. As far as Focus on the Family goes, I just want to remind them that Jesus said absolutely nothing, not one word, about homosexuality in the gospels, but a whole lot of stuff about loving your neighbour and not casting the first stone. You can look it up.
posted by jokeefe at 6:37 PM on July 18, 2002


wolfdaddy, yeah...i know. just wanted to illustrate that truth and opinion online between zealots is an arrow that spins round and round and round...
posted by th3ph17 at 6:42 PM on July 18, 2002


I thought the reason why Kablam wondered why this wasn't getting more coverage was because of the guaranteed conniption fits it would produce if it were true not because he thought it was being unjustly underreported.
posted by mblandi at 7:10 PM on July 18, 2002


I thought the reason why Kablam wondered why this wasn't getting more coverage was because of the guaranteed conniption fits it would produce if it were true not because he thought it was being unjustly underreported.
posted by mblandi at 7:10 PM on July 18, 2002


Damn you IE Mac 5.1
posted by mblandi at 7:11 PM on July 18, 2002


"Me saying that I wouldn't want homosexuals mentoring my child is insulting??"

-- Only mildly.


Actually, tdismukes, as a former high school teacher who's also been told by my brother and sister-in-law that I'm "great with the kids," I find eas98's statement *deeply* insulting. It's a crystal clear example of pure, irrational bigotry and eas98 deserves to be called out on it. Hard.

144 comments and counting. Come on, eas98. *Why*?
posted by mediareport at 7:40 PM on July 18, 2002


"Hey, eas98, why wouldn't you want your children to be mentored by homosexuals?"

adampsyche, let me take a crack at that one. Not from eas98's viewpoint, of course, since I don't know eas98 from...well, adampsyche. I'll try it from the viewpoint of my mother.

My mother is a God-fearing Christian Woman. Capital letters all around. Until I was about fifteen, she was a normal, typical secular humanist, or whatever people of no particular religious affiliation were being called in 1982. Thankfully, I had pretty much developed my ideas about people by then, so when she was Born Again it didn't completely shatter my worldview.

My younger brother, however, was twelve. Shortly after her spiritual awakening, "salvation", whatever you wish to call it, my parents divorced. I chose to stay with my father, and my younger brother went with my mother and her new Christian husband.

As far as I am aware, my younger brother still refers to gay people as "homos", "fags", whatever. Name the epithet, it's probably still in use at his home. I can't confirm this, since he hasn't deigned to speak to me in some five years, but I suspect things haven't changed much since the last time I talked with him.

He'd be opposed to having his children mentored by homosexuals for pretty much the same reason my mother kept him away from gay people. Homosexuals are all going to burn in the Lake of Fire for Time and All Eternity. If children see that homosexuals aren't Evil and Wicked, then when they reach their teens they might start to feel those nasty, lustful feelings towards their own sex and not be ashamed of them, and we all know where that leads. That's right, Lake of Fire, Time and All Eternity. Children must be taught to fear that attraction, in case it should ever rear its ugly head, because their Eternal Salvation depends on it.

So, to protect her children from roasting over a barbecue pit for the rest of time immemorial, a good Christian mother will never, ever allow her children to even think that gay people might be just like everyone else. This life is just a short time, after all, and if you have those feelings you can hide them away for threescore and ten in order to gain Eternal Salvation. Teaching them that gays are to be [feared, shunned, pitied, mocked, hated (choose one or more)] is the duty of fine, upstanding Christian parents.

Again, this isn't meant to indicate what eas98 might be thinking. For all I know, eas98 isn't even religious. This is what my mother and those who think like her would say.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:42 PM on July 18, 2002


This is what my mother and those who think like her would say.

Ok, and here's what I would say in return: They have been deluded by a bigoted interpretation of Christianity.

Does that make them "bigots"?

Um, er...

Yes.

But salvageable ones.
posted by mediareport at 8:05 PM on July 18, 2002


tdismukes:
I just wanted to spice up my comment, other then that I didn't really care. Actually I didn't even read much past the part where he said he didn't want cops wearing burqas

(there was an article about an Islamic Sheriff wanting to ware a hajab(sp?) on the job, they decided she could but had to where a sheriff hat on top)

Honestly, he seems to have some 'issues', since if you'll notice in his first comments he said he wouldn't want a female big sister for a boy or a male big brother for a girl. I guess he just see pedophilia everywhere.
posted by delmoi at 8:07 PM on July 18, 2002


pomegranate: That was me up there who was talking about refusing to admit to my (potential) kids' sexuality. Thanks for giving me a bit to think about where this denial might get me.

mediareport: Some guy you don't know saying he wouldn't want you mentoring his kids hurts you? People can be unreasonable when it comes to their kids. Someone up there said that according to annecdotal evidence gay people are better with kids. Should I get offended if this person decides he'd rather not have a straight person mentor? That and as I've already mentionned there are plenty of people who don't want any males around their kids (in a big brother or babysitting type relationship).

dash_slot: I'm emailing you in order to avoid further confusion. :)
posted by ODiV at 8:15 PM on July 18, 2002


mediareport, you're absolutely correct. But there's a lot of them out there, and they're completely convinced they have the infallible Word of God on their side. Never mind that so do the Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, Seventh-Day Adventists, etc., etc. ad nauseam.

I'm not questioning whether or not they're "salvageable". I'm just saying they're out there. This is their mindset, and I fear they count our Attorney General (and possibly our President) among them.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:22 PM on July 18, 2002


I'm starting to get the feeling that of the active group on Metafilter, there is an extremely high proportion of gay folks.

...not that there's anything wrong with that...
posted by rushmc at 8:23 PM on July 18, 2002


It sounds like homosexuals want to be treated exactly like everyone else, yet at the same time they try to separate and identify themselves with: gay parades, gay & lesbian film festivals, gay flags, etc. Which is it?

I never really thought of these things as 'gay' activities. The parades are an even mix of straight and gay people all trying to get beads and frisbees. The GLBT section in Hollywood Video is probably my favorite section after new releases. They're either beautiful tearjerkers, or entertaining romantic comedies that are certainly better than mainstream heterosexual comedies. Women swear that gay porn is the only way to watch porn.

If I felt left out for my flaming heterosexuality, I might take offense. Those damn gays wanting a seperate but equal lifestyle! But it never plays out that way.

I fail to see the problem here.
posted by witchycal at 8:27 PM on July 18, 2002


meidareport - I referred to that particular comment as only mildly insulting because none of us actually know eas98 and maybe no one here would actually like or want to mentor his/her kids. It was his original comment implying that gays shouldn't mentor anyone's kids that I thought was incredibly insulting. With his/her own kids, eas98 can demand that no mentors be gay/straight/Christian/Democrat/Irish or whatever. (Not that this does the kids any favor). It's when he/she tries to generalize this prejudice to the rest of the population that she/he crosses the line big time.
posted by tdismukes at 8:34 PM on July 18, 2002


mr_crash_davis's post resonated with me.

I always felt that prejudice stems from fear/jealousy/anger/frustration. People usually are prejudiced against what they fear. Or they need someone to to blame for their problems. Sometimes it is a mixture of the two. Both tend to stem from ignorance.

Beyond a certain age, it is incredibly hard to change one's mind. Unless one worked towards developing an 'open' mind, an intellectual discussion may not change one's mind. The only way most prejudiced people can change beyond a certain age is usually through direct exposure to the subject of one's prejudice. (Also orthodoxy of belief is not necessarily a monopoly of the social conservatives) To draw an example from an entirely different realm, I have a friend who is a brilliant Java developer who once quit a job rather than aid the 'Evil Empire'. On his last job he was forced to work on Microsoft technologies and he now agrees that for entire classes of problems Microsoft has very competent solutions.

A very large number of prejudiced people are people who haven't had the choice of a secular education (in a much broader sense of the word) in their childhood. This is not to say that I don't bristle whenever see a condescending remark about whatever position/group I subscribe/belong to. Only that I was brought up in rural India and I have seen how prejudices are formed and under slightly different cicumstances may have had a lot more irrational beliefs than I may have. I am not a great believer in state intervention in everyday life. But education in one area which I think should be the birth right of every child everywhere and a secular education is something a good government everywhere should be be deeply involved in. That is the only place where you can even try to get to the root of this.
posted by justlooking at 1:36 AM on July 19, 2002


154 comments: "Hey, eas98, why wouldn't you want your children to be mentored by homosexuals?"
posted by dash_slot- at 3:37 AM on July 19, 2002


dash_slot-:

note the word intolerable. intolerable, with or without italics, pretty much amounts to the same thing. true, homosexuals aren't reproducing, which happens to be the only forsighted-ness evolution has. however, homosexuality isn't entirely genetic, as it has been argued. one thing is for certain, however: homosexuals weren't put on this planet for their child-care services.
posted by Espoo2 at 4:45 AM on July 19, 2002


Beyond a certain age, it is incredibly hard to change one's mind.

I think that's an awful cop out. I've seen lots of people of all ages change their minds about all kinds of things. It's not like the arteries harden and interfere with the process. In fact, I'd say your comment was quite ageist. ;)
posted by rushmc at 6:16 AM on July 19, 2002


It's time we face the fact that we are inherently sexual creatures. We do our race (the human race) a disservice by trying to suppress that fact. We would be a much happier, peaceful population if more people embraced their sexuality and the sexuality of those around them. The oppression of sexuality by the many religions of the world is responsible for so much of the aggression we have in today's society.

- a quote by eas98 in another thread

I can understand why eas98 is reluctant to come back and post his reasoning for not allowing his children to be mentored by homosexuals. Whatever reason he gives would probably result in a dogpile from the rest of us, because his reasons would either be based on flawed anecdotal evidence ("Homosexuals are more likely to molest children"), fear based on misconception ("They're gonna teach my kids to be gay!"), or irrefutable ("It's just an irrational fear").

But still, we're curious. You don't often get an opportunity to speak directly, in logical terms, with someone about their prejudices. This is your chance, eas98, to show us that you've put some actual thought into this belief and you're not simply a close-minded bigot.

So tell us, why wouldn't you want your children mentored by homosexuals?

Do you lack the courage of your convictions to defend your views?
posted by turaho at 6:20 AM on July 19, 2002


Well, the $10,000 question seems to be why wouldn't I want my children to be mentored by homosexuals.

I'm not sure that any of you really care; perhaps you are just waiting for some more ammunition or something. But for those of you who are interested...

First of all, I will state that I am not at all religious. Secondly, I do in fact have some friends who are gay; I even happen to think that they are generally nicer and more down-to-earth than many other people that I know. And lastly, I do not have children.

All that said, however, I just do not think that a gay man or (albeit to a lesser extent) a gay woman would offer an appropriate model of behavior for an impressionable young person. It is not possible for you or I to say what would be unconsciously displayed or picked up in that kind of relationship. While I do not think that a child will turn gay because of that influence, I do think that homosexuals do have characteristic traits that extend beyond just who they prefer to lie in bed with. Unfortunately, it is difficult for me to put into words what I would like to express to you all, but basically I would expect that a child would be better served getting his 'mentoring' or what have you from someone with a stronger gender identity.

Go ahead and have fun with this...
posted by eas98 at 6:38 AM on July 19, 2002


OK, eas98.

In no particular order:

I would expect that a child would be better served getting his 'mentoring' or what have you from someone with a stronger gender identity.

Stronger gender identity? I'm a gay male. I'm a male. I know I'm a male. I'm a male I'm a man I'm a guy. I like being a guy. In fact, I love being a guy. I don't want to be a woman at all.

If by "stronger gender identity" you mean having characteristics that have traditionally been seen as male ones, then guess what -- there are gay truck drivers, and gay construction workers, and gay athletes, et cetera. There are tons of gay men out there who don't "seem" gay. The only reason you might not know this is because you think they're straight.


It is not possible for you or I to say what would be unconsciously displayed or picked up in that kind of relationship.

Not sure what you mean here. What am I going to display? What's the kid going to pick up from me?


I do think that homosexuals do have characteristic traits that extend beyond just who they prefer to lie in bed with.

Please explain what these characteristic traits are.
posted by Tin Man at 7:08 AM on July 19, 2002


"a stronger gender identity?"

So, let me get this straight (um, so to speak) - there are Approved Lists Of Things Your Gender May and May Not Do?

This is not an attack, but boy, do you have a lot to learn.
posted by ebarker at 7:12 AM on July 19, 2002


I feel gyped. That was certainly not worth $10,000.
posted by adampsyche at 7:17 AM on July 19, 2002


Tin Man:Please explain what these characteristic traits are.

I'm guessing: lisping, prancing, over use of the word "fabulous", ability to find good balsamic vinegar, knowing what a "window treatment" is, love of showtunes, u.s.w.

You know. Fag stuff.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:28 AM on July 19, 2002


ability to find good balsamic vinegar, knowing what a "window treatment" is, love of showtunes

I can do all those things and I'm not gay. I'm italian.
posted by insomnyuk at 7:48 AM on July 19, 2002


I said showtunes, not opera.

(And that's as far as I'm going, lest anyone think I'm aiming for the Don Rickles award, rather than irony).
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 7:51 AM on July 19, 2002


mediareport, you're making the erroneous assumption that evolution is cognizant to the future.

No I'm not, Espoo2. The concept of "inclusive fitness" is all I need to explain why organisms "cooperate...quite frequently, and often to the clear detriment of their own reproductive fitness". No magical interpretations of evolution necessary.

evolution is completely blind to the future, except in one respect: reproduction. that is evolution's sole goal. it is not nice enough to create 'nannies' and 'caretakers' for bothered and busy parents.

I'm not sure why you think what I wrote requires an evolution that sees into the future. It doesn't. Our understanding of genetics is clear enough to demonstrate mathematically that certain "altruistic" behaviors (a warning call to a herd that might draw a predator's attention) would be selected for, rather than against, in a group of related animals.

"...few gay people have recognized that it is their sole purpose in life to look after the fauntlets of their heterosexual neighbors."

I mention a plausible scenario for the development and maintenance of homosexuality in animal populations and you take it as me claiming that taking care of relative's kids should be the "sole purpose" of gay and lesbian people? Huh? Since when is reproduction the be all and end all of life for humans?

one thing is for certain, however: homosexuals weren't put on this planet for their child-care services.

"Put" on this planet? Who's attributing consciousness to evolution now, Espoo2? :)

tdismukes: Got it, sorry for missing that.
posted by mediareport at 8:45 AM on July 19, 2002


I just do not think that a gay man or (albeit to a lesser extent) a gay woman would offer an appropriate model of behavior for an impressionable young person. It is not possible for you or I to say what would be unconsciously displayed or picked up in that kind of relationship.

You want us to "have fun" with that? I'll pass, thanks. These aren't just philosophical questions for us. Aggressively bigoted, sexist and ignorant assumptions like "gay and lesbian people are somehow bad for kids even if I'm not really sure why" stop us from getting jobs -- jobs we love and that we'd be great at -- out here in the real world.
posted by mediareport at 9:04 AM on July 19, 2002


Since I have nothing useful to contribute, I'd just like to point out that the faithful Onion noted by implication in a recent article that while these kinds of issues certainly tend to rile us 'adults,' they are quite the non-issue to our kids (until we teach them otherwise by our example). MAKAPU!
posted by SpaceBass at 11:03 AM on July 19, 2002


....and that would benefit the kids too....

this is a real issue for me, i work in social services - a less enlightened employer like eas98 or Espoo2 would have sacked me by now, and my skills (which are seperate from and irrelevant to my sexual orientation) would be lost.
posted by dash_slot- at 11:15 AM on July 19, 2002


I do think that homosexuals do have characteristic traits that extend beyond just who they prefer to lie in bed with.

(sigh, do people still believe this shit?)

i consider 'homosexual' an antiquated medical term once used to identify a 'disorder' - its etymology and current usage defines an aspect of sexual behavior, and assumes related behaviors/traits. same can be said for terms like 'bisexual' and 'heterosexual' - they assume (for better or worse) there are a set of specific attributes that are artificially associated with the gender of one's sexual partner. dangerous and disappointing assumptions, don't even get me start on blondes.

good grief, how can you lump william s. burroughs in the same category as will(&grace) unless its just by first name? i know the comparison is cliche, and as problematic as it is to compare race and sexual orientation, Dirjy's 'black' parody of eas98's comment demonstrates how dangerous and absurd those assumptions are.

i even find offense with mediareport's suggestion that the 'continued appearance of homosexuality among animals is that there's an evolutionary benefit to have non-reproducing members of the family around so they can help in raising relatives' young'. besides reinforcing the idea that sexual behavior is indicative of other character traits, that argument assumes 1) homosexuality is genetic, 2) homosexuality plays a supporting for heterosexual reproduction (where is the fun in that?), and therefore (?) 3) homosexual humans should be tolerated because their 'condition' is a remnant of the evolutionary process or because homos will help out with diapers and driving lessons. besides, you can find much more interesting examples in the animal kingdom.

nutshell: i hope that you don't spend a lot of time contemplating my sexual performance unless we are about to hook up. that said, what's your sign?
posted by priyanga at 1:14 PM on July 20, 2002


dang there a lot of gays on MeFi.

I think the main prob w/ gays, as with other minorities, is that there is not enough personal exposure, in that they make up a very small proportion of the population.

A root of homophobia is in culture, but also I think when gay people try to pick up hetero people, such as myself.

If we were friends and there was some sort of communication it would be relatively easy to brush it off, but as nonverbal flirting it is just somehow extremely disturbing, threatening something primal within me, and I can get pissed, if this same person continues to flirt and insinuate.

Moreover I am generally a forgiving and open person; I can imagine giving myself over to my testosterone fueled tendencies, and kick some azz, much like the detested homophobes.

Before you state that I am a sissy or something, (lol showing my prejudices, but hey, I am straight), lotsa girls like me too ;) The circumstances were that this was in high school; I was immature, it wasn't a particularly open or cool environment, and they were closeted teachers. I didn't feel comfortable just telling them off, at least, saying something, to paraphrase, hey f4g I'm not gay.

With all the gay supporters on here it will be very hard to win some sympathy; moreover, I didn't exactly ace English class so I am not well practiced w/ writing. Hopefully you may be able to see or imagine my point, and the hetero view.

In a more open environment, the gayness will probably become just another incidental quality to have; however, in a closed environment, w/ nonverbal communication, it is much more of a threat, at least to me.

How can I explain? It is an aversion I have, like many others, to something I find quite disturbing and, to speak frankly, perverted. It activates something very primal. Why do people have an aversion to pedophilism? I am not gay, nor would I like to be gay, nor do I want to be shown the "pleasures" of gay, or see gay, and such. I am ok with people, but not with them trying to assert their gayness over me, or change my identity.

Moreover, as a kid I was never taught homophobia, and during my formative years *did* live in a truly awesome and open, so to speak, place (before high school).

There it is.
posted by firestorm at 7:54 PM on July 20, 2002


dang there a lot of gays on MeFi.

I think the main prob w/ gays, as with other minorities, is that there is not enough personal exposure, in that they make up a very small proportion of the population.

A root of homophobia is in culture, but also I think when gay people try to pick up hetero people, such as myself.

If we were friends and there was some sort of communication it would be relatively easy to brush it off, but as nonverbal flirting it is just somehow extremely disturbing, threatening something primal within me, and I can get pissed, if this same person continues to flirt and insinuate.

Moreover I am generally a forgiving and open person; I can imagine giving myself over to my testosterone fueled tendencies, and kick some azz, much like the detested homophobes.

Before you state that I am a sissy or something, (lol showing my prejudices, but hey, I am straight), lotsa girls like me too ;) The circumstances were that this was in high school; I was immature, it wasn't a particularly open or cool environment, and they were closeted teachers. I didn't feel comfortable just telling them off, at least, saying something, to paraphrase, hey f4g I'm not gay.

With all the gay supporters on here it will be very hard to win some sympathy; moreover, I didn't exactly ace English class so I am not well practiced w/ writing. Hopefully you may be able to see or imagine my point, and the hetero view.

In a more open environment, the gayness will probably become just another incidental quality to have; however, in a closed environment, w/ nonverbal communication, it is much more of a threat, at least to me.

How can I explain? It is an aversion I have, like many others, to something I find quite disturbing and, to speak frankly, perverted. It activates something very primal. Why do people have an aversion to pedophilism? I am not gay, nor would I like to be gay, nor do I want to be shown the "pleasures" of gay, or see gay, and such. I am ok with people, but not with them trying to assert their gayness over me, or change my identity.

Moreover, as a kid I was never taught homophobia, and during my formative years *did* live in a truly awesome and open, so to speak, place (before high school).

There it is.
posted by firestorm at 7:55 PM on July 20, 2002


Oh, yeah... that was worth posting twice.
posted by crunchland at 8:15 PM on July 20, 2002


Just when I was hoping this thread would die, you had to go and give up enough material to keep it going for another solid week. Good work.
posted by adampsyche at 8:25 PM on July 20, 2002


Dammit, I've gotta stop asserting my gayness over people. And I've gotta start using that phrase.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 8:20 AM on July 21, 2002


Well, it looks like eas98 just didn't care enough to respond.

Firestorm, who the hell is trying to make you gay? If a gay guy comes onto you, tell him you're not gay. End of story.

It sounds like you had an experience in which a closeted gay teacher came onto you and repeatedly came onto you even though you kept telling the teacher you weren't gay. If so, that sucks for you and I sympathize -- not because of the gay aspect, but because teachers shouldn't make sexual advances of any kind on their students. And if we're not talking about sexual advances, then the teacher should still have gotten a clue and left you alone.

I hope you realize that this was one incident (maybe a few, with different teachers?) and that a vast majority of gay people are not like that.

So what's with the lumping together?
posted by Tin Man at 6:52 AM on July 22, 2002


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