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I think that I have already won this battle by simply publishing this statement
March 21, 2010 3:11 PM   Subscribe

Well, here goes. I really resent the term, but I use it because it’s recognized and accepted. I’m gay. From some seventy years of personal experience, I can tell you that there’s not much “gay” about being homosexual. For the first twenty years of my life, I had to live in the shadows, in a culture that was — at least outwardly — totally hostile to any hint of that variation of life-style. James Randi (previously), at age 81, has come out. He discusses the announcement in more detail on the JREF podcast For Good Reason.
posted by Horace Rumpole (144 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite

 
Ho. Lee. Shit.
posted by Pragmatica at 3:12 PM on March 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I thought of posting about this, because it made me smile, especially when one commenter on a blog posted: "This means James Randi really is Dumbledore, doesn't it?"

I'm only sorry he had to live so long with a secret.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:13 PM on March 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


I dunno, Mr. Randi. I'm going to need some empirical, independently verified proof of these outrageous claims.

Just kidding. Coming out is awesome, and I applaud him for doing so.
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 3:14 PM on March 21, 2010 [46 favorites]


I HOPE WE CAN BE A LITTLE FUCKING LOUDER THAN JUST A "MURMUR OF ACCEPTANCE" HERE.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:15 PM on March 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wow. Good for him. It cannot be easy at the age of 81 to be come clean. But as someone who has made a life of exposing those who are hiding things, it's wonderful to see him stepping forward with the full truth about himself.
posted by hippybear at 3:15 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Holy crap! That startled me.
I'm glad to know he's come out of the closet, that can't be easy when you're his age.
My boyfriend was really startled, he always thought he was pretty outspoken. But he never talked too much about his personal life, so that might be an influence.
Wow.
posted by stoneegg21 at 3:19 PM on March 21, 2010


Man with precious nickname turns out to be gay. Film at 11.

But seriously, good for him.
posted by greekphilosophy at 3:19 PM on March 21, 2010


Sorry about my first comment; I don't think I've ever been blindsided by a MeFi post so thoroughly.

Good on him, though. Damned good on him.
posted by Pragmatica at 3:20 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a shame he had to spend most of his life in the closet. Also, tangentially, Randi is one of the greatest living Americans and we are all richer for having him. I would talk about what the gay thing means but fortunately it's 2010 and I don't really care whether he's gay or straight.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:21 PM on March 21, 2010 [37 favorites]


I knew this about 20 years ago after hearing his infamous "phone sex tape." I decided to goad Penn about this so I asked him: "I heard this tape where Randi says he has a 9" cock." To which Penn replied: "No, but he's got balls the size of a rhinoceros."
posted by Tube at 3:22 PM on March 21, 2010 [15 favorites]


Holy. I really wasn't expecting that. Which probably says more about me than it does about him. James Randi is one of my heroes. So sad that he had to hide what he was from the morons. So happy that we have progressed to the point where it really shouldn't matter what someone's sexual identification is.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 3:23 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm happy for Randi that he's reached a point where he's comfortable sharing this. Not living openly as long as he has can't have been easy. I just wish our society was at a point where it wasn't an issue. We're getting there I hope.
posted by pupdog at 3:24 PM on March 21, 2010


So happy that we have progressed to the point where it really shouldn't matter what someone's sexual identification is.

This.

Way to go, James Randi. Thanks for everything, you old Skeptic.
posted by chavenet at 3:26 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was thinking of posting this but I was hoping someone else would, who would do it the justice it deserved.

Good for him. I'm sure he's going to get a lot of undeserved bullshit for this. He is a true hero already for the work that he does. This changes nothing. But maybe it gives him some small modicum of relief.

::applause::
posted by Splunge at 3:26 PM on March 21, 2010


I knew this about 20 years ago after hearing his infamous "phone sex tape."

There . . . there was a Randi sex tape? No, I think, on the other hand, I'm not going to look into the details of that, lest they get into my mind and get wedged there.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:27 PM on March 21, 2010


I neglected to credit WWdN as my via source for this post.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:27 PM on March 21, 2010


My brain processed the information in this order, with this emphasis:

James Rando is 81? Wow!

James Randi is gay? Okay, sure!

JAMES RANDI HAS A PODCAST? JAMES RANDI HAS A PODCAST!


Though it shouldn't be a big deal, the heteronormative voice of mainstream culture makes coming out a risky move for anyone, let alone for a loud (and not always diplomatic) critic of popular nonsense. This is a brave move, and I'm grateful to him for it.

I just wish our society was at a point where it wasn't an issue. We're getting there I hope.

And, of course, the more gay role models we have visible in our society, the sooner that day can come. Thank you, James Randi!
posted by Elsa at 3:27 PM on March 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


I guess when it comes to James Randi it's not only spoons that are bent!

I kid, I kid!
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:30 PM on March 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


"Randi is one of the greatest living CANADIAN Americans."
Fixed it.
Also, I'm more concerned with how I can grow such a fabulous beard than I am with who the guy sleeps with.
posted by crazylegs at 3:30 PM on March 21, 2010


Congratulations to James Randi! It takes a lot of courage to come out publicly, even when you're someone who's made a lifetime of speaking courageously. Good for him.
posted by Nelson at 3:30 PM on March 21, 2010


That's one hell of a reveal to a very long magic trick! It's also great news.
posted by Doug Stewart at 3:32 PM on March 21, 2010


I'm skeptical.
posted by jonmc at 3:33 PM on March 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Try that again.

fabulous beard!
posted by crazylegs at 3:33 PM on March 21, 2010


In 1987, Randi became a naturalized citizen of the United States. Randi has said that one reason he became an American citizen was an incident while on tour with Alice Cooper where the Royal Canadian Mounted Police searched the band's lockers during a performance. Nothing was found, yet the RCMP trashed the room.

Don't mean to derail, but that doesn't sound all that rational to me. Never any crappy police in the States?

Either way, I have to feel a little sad for him that he hasn't felt comfortable up until now to be public about this. But congratulations nevertheless to someone I have a lot of respect for.

Oh, and for cosmic balance in my derail there is this:

Around 1961, Randi was sent a contract for a tour in Florida. His friends in New York mentioned to him that he would certainly be working before audiences segregated by race, so before he signed the agreement, he wrote in a clause specifying that the promoters could not deny tickets to blacks or segregate the audiences in any way. Upon arriving on scene, he found that the concert promoter had ignored this stipulation in his contract. He discovered that blacks were forced to watch the show from the balcony and he immediately walked away from the tour. Appealing to the American Guild of Variety Artists (AGVA), he was paid in full for the balance of the tour.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:35 PM on March 21, 2010 [39 favorites]


I did not know it was possible for me to love this man any more. Maybe I didn't have a lot of role models growing up, but they are coming out of the woodwork now. Yay, for homo atheists!
posted by arcticwoman at 3:35 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does this mean he's changing his stage name to The Fabulous Randi?
posted by thescientificmethhead at 3:36 PM on March 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Man with precious nickname turns out to be gay. [...]
posted by greekphilosophy


Eponysterical?
posted by Saxon Kane at 3:36 PM on March 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


homo atheists

They walk more upright than most!
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:37 PM on March 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Way back in the 60's, when I was a stylish youngster, pin-on buttons with peace signs and such had just made an appearance. I was so with it that I found a catalog where one could order from a whole selection of such buttons. One of the buttons said, "I'm Gay," and I thought that was a nice sentiment, because I am pretty cheerful, so I ordered that and wore it to school for weeks. My brother finally informed me that it meant homosexual, which was not generally recognized at that time. I stopped wearing it, and I don't think that any of my classmates drew any conclusions. The AP English teacher, however, with whom I had never had a class, took a real interest in me and my rumored weekend activities after that.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:39 PM on March 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Don't mean to derail, but that doesn't sound all that rational to me.

Oh piss off, you fucking Canadian.

I still love you.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:44 PM on March 21, 2010


James Randi can do whatever the fuck he wants and be however the fuck he wants and I will fight for his right to do so even harder than I will for normal people's.
posted by cmoj at 3:45 PM on March 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


This declaration of mine was prompted just last week by seeing an excellent film — starring Sean Penn — that told the story of politician Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California.

Thanks, Harvey. Good for you, James Randi.
posted by rtha at 3:49 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Well I didn't see that coming. Need new dowsing rod.
posted by localroger at 3:50 PM on March 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


This doesn't make me love him any more or less, but it does slightly increase the chance that I give him a big ol' kiss should I ever be lucky enough to meet him.
posted by the bricabrac man at 3:50 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Good on you, Mr. Randi.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:54 PM on March 21, 2010


I'm trying to make aparanomral joke here but I can't. Yay for you James - I'm glad the world is a better place now then when you grew up.
posted by The Whelk at 3:59 PM on March 21, 2010


Go Team Gay! I love finding out about awesome, new teammates! To the Amazing Randi -- wish you could have publicly joined sooner. Coming out at 81? That is a life of courage behind today's act of courage. Bravo!
posted by missmary6 at 4:01 PM on March 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm more concerned with how I can grow such a fabulous beard

He's CANADIAN American, duh.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:03 PM on March 21, 2010


The best line on his wiki page...

"I want to be cremated, and I want my ashes blown in Uri Geller's eyes."
posted by bonobothegreat at 4:03 PM on March 21, 2010 [27 favorites]


Unexpected, but my reaction was pretty much "wow, really? OK, that's cool." It doesn't really have any bearing on his activities as the World's Foremost Skeptic. Being 81 years old, he comes from a time when homosexuals were much more persecuted (like he says), which is why I'd guess he waited so long to come out, and he seems like he was even afraid of how people would react. I would think most people's reaction, especially among hyper-rational mostly-atheist Randi fans, would be the same as mine.
posted by DecemberBoy at 4:07 PM on March 21, 2010


I remember watching him on NY television when I was a youngun' on shows like Wonderama (The Amazing Randi!) and other children's shows. Gave me a life-long interest in magic and conjuring. He had a wonderful rapport with us kids--he never talked down to us. His shows were wonderful.
posted by paddbear at 4:07 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jesus.

I was lucky enough to grow up in a time and a family where I was able to come out after only a few years in the closet. And you know what? The closet is toxic. It is soul-destroying in a very real sense, as it forces you to lie to yourself and others on a daily basis. And the longer you're in there, the more you internalize those lies.

To be in there for seventy-odd years? Jesus.

Congrats to Mr. Randi.
posted by PMdixon at 4:11 PM on March 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


I'm skeptical.

Yeah, lots of people say "I'm gay", but then it always turns out that the evidence of gay activity happens behind closed doors, with no independent observers. And when you demand to see proof via repeatable double-blind experiments in front of impartial witnesses, they act offended and find some excuse to stop talking to you!

I kid, I kid... and although I'm trying to be funny, I'm mostly just a little sad that even someone normally so bravely outspoken could have felt it necessary to keep quiet for so long.
posted by roystgnr at 4:11 PM on March 21, 2010 [15 favorites]


The slapping sound you just heard is that of thousands of alleged clairvoyants realising how they could've earned a cool million...
posted by Skeptic at 4:13 PM on March 21, 2010 [31 favorites]


Ironically, Uri Gellar had already psychically predicted this.
posted by Cookiebastard at 4:15 PM on March 21, 2010


I'm am simultaneously overjoyed that Randi finally feels like he can share this with the world, and sad that it took 81 years to happen.
posted by griffey at 4:16 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


While the guy says that there was nothing very gay about being (closeted) gay, the word had a much different connonation years ago and pretty much applied to "loose" or "playful" women. and of course the term also meant fun, as in "dress we now in gay apparel."
posted by Postroad at 4:17 PM on March 21, 2010


I knew this about 20 years ago after hearing his infamous "phone sex tape."
Why is it that I can only find information on this from UFO and other such sites and not from the Toronto Star site (who they claim to be quoting)?
posted by tellurian at 4:19 PM on March 21, 2010


I don't know how many people on Metafilter are familiar with the general atheist/skeptic community, but like any community it attracts people from a wide variety of backgrounds and sociopolitical perspectives. Yes, there are bigoted atheists. It always surprises me when I run across one, but it actually happens fairly often online.

In all cases where celebrities feel it is necessary to "come out", I feel a conflicting mix of emotions - I am happy if they are speaking from a place of comfort and safety (as Randi seems to be doing); I'm sad if their hand is forced by moralistic busybodies; I am encouraged by the thought that this is just one step towards a more open culture; I am sad that the person felt that they had to hide such an essential part of themselves for so long.

...he seems like he was even afraid of how people would react. I would think most people's reaction, especially among hyper-rational mostly-atheist Randi fans, would be the same as mine.

I'm sure that Randi, like any public figure (especially one who is vocal on the internet), receives a lot of hate mail on a normal day. His sexuality is just one more vulnerability that will be exploited by people who either resent his fame or his heart. Those of us who naturally admire and respect people like Randi would probably be surprised to see how many people vocally wish him ill.
posted by muddgirl at 4:20 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait, he expects his enemies "will jump to their keyboards in glee to notify others of their kind about this statement," and "[t]hose titters of joy will be unheard over the murmur of acceptance that I confidently expect from my friends." From over here it looks like he's got that backwards.

Oh god. Randi's wrong. Oh god, no.
posted by FuManchu at 4:22 PM on March 21, 2010


I've been a Randi fan and occasional reader for years, and I never had any -- ANY -- clue! This is hands-down the most knocked on the ground I've ever been by one of these "celeb coming out" type stories (if you can call it that). Wow!! He should have come out years ago, probably, but I guess it makes sense that he wouldn't want it to damage his credibility any as a proponent of sanity. Pretty sad if that was a consideration he really had to take into account.

Wow!! Congratulations to him!
posted by Xezlec at 4:22 PM on March 21, 2010


I'm am simultaneously overjoyed that Randi finally feels like he can share this with the world, and sad that it took 81 years to happen.

Exactly. It was a courageous decision, and I really hope that others will be helped by his example. Good for him.
posted by gemmy at 4:22 PM on March 21, 2010


To James Randi: Good for you, sir.
posted by kalessin at 4:22 PM on March 21, 2010


Go Team Gay! I love finding out about awesome, new teammates! To the Amazing Randi -- wish you could have publicly joined sooner. Coming out at 81? That is a life of courage behind today's act of courage. Bravo!

This. I can't think of a better way to say it.

Hurray, Randi! Enjoy the fresh air. Breathe deep.
posted by treepour at 4:23 PM on March 21, 2010


"I regard Randi as a national treasure, and perhaps one of the remaining antidotes that may prevent the rotting of the American mind."

Arthur C. Clarke (who was also gay)

"I am in a very peculiar business: I travel all over the world telling people what they should already know."

James Randi

These two quotes sum up my thoughts on this wonderful man. Bravo, Mr. Randi. Bravo.
posted by stringbean at 4:26 PM on March 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


!
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:27 PM on March 21, 2010


I knew this in like 1985, back when I saw him regularly and in fact had him and a group of the Chicago CSICOP people over to my house for dinner once when he was in town, and thought it was like an open secret in the skeptic and magic communities. I'm glad he's gone public, but I really thought it was such a non-issue, and everyone knew and nobody cared. Naive me.
posted by pjern at 4:28 PM on March 21, 2010


I think Randi's sexual orientation is something that's been suspected in the wider sphere for a really long time... but one of the nice aspects of the skeptic's movement is that it is really hard to find bigots, especially in regards to race or sexuality. (Not impossible, of course, but hard). I suspect that most people felt that it really wasn't their business.

I am kind of surprised that the rumor has not been used by a slur against him by his many, many credulous and scamming enemies, but perhaps they felt that such an attack was beneath even them.

I also wonder if his recent health scares with cancer and advanced age have given him a little perspective - he doesn't want to go to his grave knowing that it would be followed with the accusation that "Randi wasn't personally honest". (Technically, there will be no grave for Randi - he's expressed that he wants to be cremated and have his ashes blown into the eyes of Uri Geller, which is just awesome.)

Finally, in my general Google search I came across this completely rockin' photo of Randi: what the heck is that on his shoulder? An aye-eye?
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:34 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Super awesome for him. This was exactly what Harvey Milk was talking about.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:34 PM on March 21, 2010


To be fair, pjern, I think the current skeptic/magic community considers Randi to be a fun, old uncle. As a culture, we have a pretty big aversion to considering any older person as having a sexual life. So when people over at randi.org say "Your sexuality isn't really important", it sort of has an aspect of "You are not a sexual creature in my eyes." Which is actually sort of problematic.
posted by muddgirl at 4:37 PM on March 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


I agree that this should not be a big deal at all, especially in today's society. Yet, for many it is very, very traumatic - even in the USA and other liberal countries, not to mention places where it equals a death sentence.
posted by janetplanet at 4:38 PM on March 21, 2010


How wonderful that he feels comfortable at long last.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:40 PM on March 21, 2010


I HOPE WE CAN BE A LITTLE FUCKING LOUDER THAN JUST A "MURMUR OF ACCEPTANCE" HERE.

Why? Randi's announcement pretty explicitly said that we're much further along in terms of acceptance than when he was a young man, and that's all to the good. Our best case scenario is when an announcement like this is met with "He's gay? So what? this isn't FPP material."
posted by fatbird at 4:43 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh, so...that's where the term "beard" comes from.

I'm really not kidding: I am apparently really that naive. It would never in a million years have occurred to me that Randi was gay, and...wow, yeah, it's down to that beard. That's a stereotype-defier right there, because that's a manly as hell beard anyone would envy, especially myself, who looks like a sixteen-year-old trying to grow a beard when he grows a beard (this is why I will never do that again). Huh.

In any event, I really can't imagine it'll turn away any fans at this point. Also, I feel compelled to apologize (not because his sexuality changes anything, but just because the subject of Randi has reminded me of it) for that time I called him an evil mummy here on the blue; I forget why I did that, but he'd probably said something all Dawkins-like that just struck me the wrong way...and can I digress here for a second? Young me read an interview with him in the long-dead Twilight Zone magazine where he said something to the effect of, "What people can't cope with is the idea that the universe doesn't give a damn about you one way or another," and while I don't know whether that's true, there was something so fucking illuminating about the sentiment to me as a kid that it was like something just went pow! in my brain and I got it, understood why some people would fight to the death for the primacy of the belief system that says you're the special ones, because the alternative is not the adoption of another belief system but the absence of being special. I won't say that Randi made me an atheist, because he didn't (it's...complicated, but I guess I'm more agnostic than anything), but he sure helped me understand what there was in religion that spoke to some very frightened people, and how it maybe didn't make some of them any less frightened, and how much of what they feared really came down to ego. I learned to exchange every "God says" I heard some demagogue or another say with "I say." Funny how much that changes things. Point being: James Randi is cool, and is not an evil mummy.


In any event: Good on you, sir.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:43 PM on March 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


...and thought it was like an open secret in the skeptic and magic communities.

According to the podcast, this is pretty much the way it is. He was/is out to his friends, family and a lot of the community that he traveled in. He saw the movie Milk recently and decided it was time to come out in a more general fashion.

Which is not to take anything from what is still a very courageous move.
posted by Splunge at 4:49 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would like to give him a hug. A great big warm hug.
posted by Splunge at 4:51 PM on March 21, 2010


I'm smiling, but not too hard, because I can only imagine what being in the closet until you're 81 must feel like.

On the other hand: how very freeing. There is no feeling like being yourself.
posted by fiercecupcake at 4:57 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think making this decision at 81 is a good sign that a rationalist approach to life keeps you mentally and socially alert and active. Just because something has been the case for a long time, it doesn't mean there isn't a rational reason to change it right now. Long may he prosper.
posted by howfar at 5:02 PM on March 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


This declaration of mine was prompted just last week by seeing an excellent film — starring Sean Penn — that told the story of politician Harvey Milk

I guess we should be expecting his Avatar review in about 2 years then?
posted by geoff. at 5:07 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Interesting to see that contrast between Randi's courage in fighting for skepticism and critical thinking all his life, while all the time being closeted out of fear of of others' opinions of his sexuality.

It's a real shame that more well-known figures like Randi aren't open about their sexual orientation, because that might encourage better representation in technical and knowledge-related fields. The sciences and engineering professions are still not perceived as being particularly gay-friendly, and workplace discrimination still exists and has a measurable effect on the earning power of gay people.

At the same time, stereotyping of gay people based on our meager representation on TV and among the relatively small number of "out" public figures has an impact. OK, if you're a fabulous gay man who loves clothes, that's great, more power to you. But what about gay science geeks? I think it's hard for gay kids who've got an aptitude for science or technology to see themselves in the field.

None of this is to single out Randi for criticism. But perhaps there is an obligation for public figures who are gay to make a point of being open about it because of the tremendously positive impact that would have. This gay science geek thinks we need more diverse queer role models - not just Project Runway types, but people who'll geek out about the evolution of butterfly thoraxes or cohomology groups.
posted by 7-7 at 5:12 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


This gay science geek thinks we need more diverse queer role models - not just Project Runway types, but people who'll geek out about the evolution of butterfly thoraxes or cohomology groups.

Every time I hear homophobic comments from a computer geek, I grab their collar, yell "ALAN TURING!" as loud as I can, and run away.
posted by Tomorrowful at 5:16 PM on March 21, 2010 [56 favorites]


Wow. James Randi. Wow.

Congratulations are in order. To both Randi, for the courage to come out, and for the gay community, for being able to claim JAMES RANDI.
posted by DU at 5:17 PM on March 21, 2010


What a relief! I was worried he'd decided to play Pascal's Gambit, and was coming out as a crypto-Catholic or something!
posted by orthogonality at 5:18 PM on March 21, 2010


Bravo! In my 20 years online, I've only gotten emails back from a couple of famous or semi-famous people, yet the highlight for me was getting a nice note back from Randi after I complimented him on an article of his I'd read. I truly admire people with Randi's level of intelligence, people who are not afraid to tell it like it is. I suspect his sexuality will only serve to enrage the "believers" who he's already debunked through the years.
posted by newfers at 5:18 PM on March 21, 2010


Wait, ARTHUR C CLARKE was ALSO gay?

Damn my genes and their forcing of me to love women!
posted by DU at 5:19 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Arthur C. Clarke was the victim of some pretty nasty pedophilia accusations, which turned out to be baseless.
posted by Dumsnill at 5:32 PM on March 21, 2010


this completely rockin' photo of Randi: what the heck is that on his shoulder?

Chupacabra.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:34 PM on March 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


I am now even more deeply in love with this man and his beard than I was before.
posted by strixus at 5:38 PM on March 21, 2010


I'd forgotten about that smear (Saucer Smear's) James Moseley had with Randi years ago. I don't really remember the details, but I thought it had been (unwillingly) revealed at least back then.

Good on Randi, though. The closet is an uncivilized place to live one's life.
posted by 2N2222 at 5:40 PM on March 21, 2010


I'm not really that familiar with Randi, I had to look to read the Wiki for a refresher (not big on magic). But I thought this was a great little coming out speech - this in particular made me happy:

Gradually, the general attitude that I’d perceived around me began to change, and presently I find that there has emerged a distinctly healthy acceptance of different social styles of living — except, of course, in cultures that live in constant and abject fear of divine retribution for infractions found in the various Holy Books… In another two decades, I’m confident that young people will find themselves in a vastly improved atmosphere of acceptance.

How wonderful that he finally found a time in which he felt the tide had turned enough to come out - and how sad it is that he had to wait so long. It really makes me want to try harder to make sure that his prediction about what type of society we will have in 20 years comes true.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 5:43 PM on March 21, 2010


Huzzah! I root for his team even though I don't play for them ok I've scrimmaged a few times but anyway

Nine inches, huh? Any rationalist gay adult video producers wanna do a million dollar challenge of their own?
posted by jtron at 5:55 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


how I can grow such a fabulous beard

Cf. Whitman, Walt, and Delany, Chip.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:56 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


It would never in a million years have occurred to me that Randi was gay, and...wow, yeah, it's down to that beard. That's a stereotype-defier right there, because that's a manly as hell beard anyone would envy

kittens for breakfast: someday, you will happen across the Bears, and then your mind will melt and you will no longer be able to function.
posted by hippybear at 5:58 PM on March 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


Damn my genes and their forcing of me to love women!

I know! you're fine the way god made you, different strokes and all, but still...your father and I are a little disappointed that we'll have grandchildren.
posted by The Whelk at 6:00 PM on March 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


Kinda refreshing to see that there are basically no negative comments on Randi's own blog about this.
posted by tantrumthecat at 6:00 PM on March 21, 2010


Wow. Just wow. I join the chorus of people saying kudos to Mr. Randi and anti-kudos to the culture that had him wait this long.
posted by brundlefly at 6:10 PM on March 21, 2010


YAY!
posted by Wuggie Norple at 6:11 PM on March 21, 2010


It’s from here that I have attacked irrationality, stupidity, and irresponsibility, and it is my broadest platform. Here is where I have chosen to stand and fight.

Fuck yes.
posted by brundlefly at 6:15 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


He was in the closet? Huh. I thought that after that weird "accusation of phone sex with underage dudes" thing a long while back, it was public knowledge that he was gay, whether or not he was in fact guilty of the sleazy things that he was accused of.

I guess it wasn't. Well, good on him for coming out. Bad on him for having lied about himself for most of his life while making a career out of accusing other people of lying about things.
posted by edheil at 6:15 PM on March 21, 2010


Bad on him for having lied about himself for most of his life while making a career out of accusing other people of lying about things.

It's not like he was parading around a trophy wife like certain in-the-closet politicians. You know what? I don't say this very often, but fuck off, edheil.
posted by muddgirl at 6:22 PM on March 21, 2010 [16 favorites]


I just wore my Amazing Meeting '07 shirt yesterday! I'll have to spray it off with febreeze and wear it tomorrow. I'm proud to say I shook his hand once and even prouder now still. I don't think that is grammatically correct, but I don't care! Yea!
posted by lizjohn at 6:23 PM on March 21, 2010


I look forward to the day when no one needs to "come out". Heterosexuals don't come out — they just are who they are, no apologies, no embarrassment. It's the way things should be for homosexuals too.
posted by orange swan at 6:27 PM on March 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Well, good on him for coming out. Bad on him for having lied about himself for most of his life while making a career out of accusing other people of lying about things.

You probably think this statement credits you with a superior sense of consistency and integrity, but all it really does is showcase an appalling lack of knowledge and compassion regarding what it means to be gay and the pressures that have long existed to force people -- especially those born in the 1920s -- to live in the closet.
posted by scody at 6:28 PM on March 21, 2010 [25 favorites]


this completely rockin' photo of Randi: what the heck is that on his shoulder?


A lemur. A very skeptical Lemur.
posted by Splunge at 6:32 PM on March 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Randi has been my hero for nearly three decades. Know what this changes? Fucking nothing.

When you try to live rationally and call out the charlatans, the last thing you want is your sexuality distracting from the issue that so many of those people who prey on the weak (Jeanne Dixon, Uri Geller, etc.) need someone smart to call them out on it.

He wasn't calling people out on lying. He was calling out people who were professional con men preying on people in the worst possible ways.
posted by filmgeek at 6:32 PM on March 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


OK, let me clarify, scody and muddgirl. I don't have a problem with any gay person staying in the closet as long as they want, and I don't have a problem with Randi being gay.

In the statement "Bad on him for having lied about himself for most of his life while making a career out of accusing other people of lying about things" the bad part is the career of accusing people of lying about things.

I don't like Randi's style. I think he's a dick. (Whether or not he *likes* dick, I think he's a dick.)

I used to dig Randi's stuff, adored Flim-Flam and the rest, but I kinda got sick of him.

On the flipside there are some "skeptics" and "debunkers" and the like that I still like a lot. I have a deep affection for Martin Gardner and have pretty much memorized "Fads and Fallacies In The Name of Science." It may be the single book that I have read the most times in my life. Likewise with "Cecil Adams" (Ed Zotti) and the Straight Dope. Even Penn and Teller on the whole I enjoy. (And not just because I'm told when I shave my beard I'm a dead ringer for Penn Jillette...)

I just don't fucking like James Randi.

And looking back on what I wrote it comes off like I disrespect him for being closeted his whole life, and that's totally inappropriate of me and I apologize. And I accept mudgirl's and scody's rebuke as deserved and I take that shit back.

Explaining that I personally dislike what Randi's all about doesn't excuse it -- you're right, I was wrong to write that -- I just hope to explain that I was coming from a dislike of Randi's particular "career of accusing people of lying" rather than for a disrespect for the choice to remain closeted.

Of course it appears from a lot of people's comments that disliking Randi may be seen as a huge flaw in my character in and of itself, but there it is.
posted by edheil at 6:38 PM on March 21, 2010


Oh, scody -- "You probably think this statement credits you with a superior sense of consistency and integrity,"

Oh no. It's just a personal dislike. No superiority here.
posted by edheil at 6:40 PM on March 21, 2010


Final note -- I'm having a really shitty day today and if I were smarter I would refrain from posting entirely. If y'all think I'm being an ass, it's probably because I am.
posted by edheil at 6:42 PM on March 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


scody: well done, that's right. This is how we forcefully disagree.
muddgirl: wrong, bad, you get the rolled up newspaper. We do not tell each other to fuck off here.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:42 PM on March 21, 2010


Yeah, his career of accusing liars of lying is despicable. And his own history of not talking about his sexual preferences is equally morally indefensible.
posted by Dumsnill at 6:43 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, I was just thinking earlier that it was pretty great that we had a thread about James Randi without any fucking assholes in it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:44 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Telling people to fuck off is not nice, but I understand muddgirl's reaction.
posted by Dumsnill at 6:44 PM on March 21, 2010


I thought I showed considerable restraint by not using a different word than "off".
posted by muddgirl at 6:46 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


this completely rockin' photo of Randi: what the heck is that on his shoulder? An aye-eye?

Don't believe the charlatans above. A thorough, dispassionate investigation will reveal it to be a kinkajou.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:49 PM on March 21, 2010


I will pay Mr. Randi one MILLION dollars if he can prove scientifically that he is in fact gay.
posted by Huck500 at 6:50 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh crap, I didn't make it in before the dicks. Well, whatever. Randi is alongside Temple Grandin, Richard Feynman and Stephen Fry as members of my Dream Dinner Party, so I'm just happy to hear he's finally comfortable enough to be out. It just makes me so sad thinking of how hard it must have been to be a young adult in a time when being gay was still considered a mental illness.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 6:58 PM on March 21, 2010


I wish people could figure out that it's not cool to tell other people to fuck off in the blue.
posted by dead cousin ted at 6:59 PM on March 21, 2010


Sometimes people really, really earn it.
posted by Artw at 7:00 PM on March 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


I will pay Mr. Randi one MILLION dollars if he can prove scientifically that he is in fact gay.

/Shakes fist

Damn you Netflix, that's 2 million dollars I'm down on thanks to you!
posted by Artw at 7:01 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's Amazing.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 7:14 PM on March 21, 2010


I'm another of those people who thought it was common knowledge. Perhaps I'm just remarkably good at picking up on things like this.

Hmm.

Hey, do you guys know about Elton John? Not straight.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:14 PM on March 21, 2010


Hey, do you guys know about Elton John? Not straight.

Have you heard anything one way or the other about Quentin Crisp? I've always wondered.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:19 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Attention people of the world.

I thank you for gathering here today to acknowledge yet another miracle performed here before your very eyes. Today, James "The Amazing" Randi announced that he is gay, as I predicted in late November 2009 to a small group of friends and skeptics.

I will hold for your applause.

As you will remember, I wrote down my prediction without revealing it to the audience. If you scoff at this, please remember that there are many numbers of people out there who claim that they are psychic when they clearly not. James Randi and I are fighting the same fight, looking to rid the world of those who claim to have supernatural powers, without any evidence and without being able to reproduce their efforts in a controlled environment. We feel that once these fake psychics are prevented from preying on an unfortunate few, then a true psychic like myself will be able to practice his gift without local police interference.

This prediction was just another in a long line of amazing predictions fulfilled, such as my infamous prediction of the 1989 San Francisco World Series earthquake, made three days before the event live on an Oakland radio station during a promotional stop on my "Journey into the Eye of the Future" tour. In addition, I've predicted the outcomes of major elections, major sports events, and a multitude of other insights into the future.

And yet, none of these predictions can compare to this prediction. I made my prediction in front of a group of noted skeptics who observed me at the behest of Mister Randi. As I said on that day, I was appreciative of their efforts, but wished they had come on a better day. I was unfortunately recovering from a cold, which is one of the known weaknesses of my gift. As a result I was understandably unable to perform the specific tests devised by the JREF.

However I am grateful to my auditors for allowing me one last chance to prove myself. I assured them that I could see an amazing fact about Mister Randi. For through the ravages of illness I had been struck with a vision. Before I could stop my hand, I picked up a sheet of paper, wrote "James Randy is a [homosexual]", balled up the paper, and put it into my pocket.

Since this successful prediction clearly fulfills terms as specified in our contract1, I will expect $1 million dollars within thirty (30) days. Failure to remit payment will result in litigation.

(And congrats, Jim. )

1. contract #0007182 revision 312 section 103 subsection 12a, signed and notarized on October 11, 2009 in Fort Lauderdale, FL by representatives of the James Randi Educational Foundation and "The Magnificent" Sean Hermanos, BA, DDS.
posted by turaho at 7:30 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good for him. I only wish we lived in a society where someone's sexual orientation was neither news that had to be announced nor a surprise to anyone. It makes me so damned sad that he's had to keep something so fundamental and personal about himself a secret for decades. And even sadder that he's only one person out of millions.
posted by zarq at 7:40 PM on March 21, 2010


it made me smile, especially when one commenter on a blog posted: "This means James Randi really is Dumbledore, doesn't it?"

Dumbledore really fits. I remember the Amazing Randi fondly from childhood and adolescence. I saw him guest star on Happy Days. I saw him in Dynamite Magazine. I saw him in Games Magazine. I even read his books from the library in my junior-high school years. In fact, I never would have heard of Prometheus Books if it hadn't been for him.
posted by jonp72 at 7:46 PM on March 21, 2010


re: muddgirl telling me to fuck off --

Nah, it's cool. I deserved that.

If I could go edit my stupid original post out of existence I gladly would.
posted by edheil at 7:46 PM on March 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm pretty sure I read an article (probably via Mefi) about Randi in some skeptic's convention in Las Vegas just months ago that not only spoke about his sexual proclivity but also mentioned that he has terminal cancer -- which (to my mind) is a far more earth-shattering event. Am I delusional? (HINT: my being delusional is quite possible.)
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 8:07 PM on March 21, 2010


"It was the afternoon of my eighty-first birthday, and I was in bed with my catamite when Ali announced that the archbishop had come to see me."

-Anthony Burgess, 'Earthly Powers'.
posted by ovvl at 8:18 PM on March 21, 2010


Fuckin' awesome. Fuckin' awesome that, at 81, the world has changed enough from the world he was born into for it to be a good idea for him to come out.

also fuckin' awesome to edheil for straight-up apologizing, a skill which I see deployed more often on MeFi than anywhere else on the web
posted by KathrynT at 8:22 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now I know why I didn't get the million for my supernatural gaydar powers.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 9:08 PM on March 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wow! The Amazing Randi's 81?! I never would have guessed.
posted by irisclara at 9:10 PM on March 21, 2010


Have you heard anything one way or the other about Quentin Crisp? I've always wondered.

Well, he was English and he had funny hair, just like Elton John. I find those points quite persuasive but without more evidence I'll have to reserve judgment.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:18 PM on March 21, 2010


Count me as someone who is not really surprised that he's gay, but REALLY surprised he found it that difficult to come out now, as opposed to 5 or 10 years ago. Has the tide shifted that much? I mean, I've pretty much accepted gay people (in and out of the spotlight) since the 80s brought them into the public eye.

That sounds worse than I intend, but I'm tired and not sure how else to say it. I was 10 in 1980....previous to that I had no idea gay people existed. Boy George, George Michael, Liberace and Elton John opened my eyes.
posted by swimming naked when the tide goes out at 10:19 PM on March 21, 2010


We do not tell each other to fuck off here.
posted by Meatbomb


Fuck off, you big lovable lunkhead.
posted by StickyCarpet at 10:31 PM on March 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I recall Randi in a televised panel discussion with some phony psychic/faith-healer he had utterly rebuked. Grabbing last weapon in her arsenal, she *obliquely* threatened to out him right there on TV (eg: "Isn't it odd that he lives alone with a series of young male apprentice magicians?", etc. Stuff like that). His response -- though it shut her down immediately -- was a bit too frantic (Something like: "You may want to talk to your lawyer before going down that path.")

Anyway, I pretty much assumed it since that exchange. Didn't care then. Don't care now. Had several satisfying email exchanges with him over the years (especially the early days when UseNet was king). He's always been on my short list of heroes.
posted by RavinDave at 10:53 PM on March 21, 2010


At the risk of sounding self-congratulatory, I am kind of unsurprised at how unsurprised I am. I've always been a fan, and have been a card-carrying member of Skeptic societies primarily as a result of his work. I just never stopped to consider who he was sleeping with as it seemed largely irrelevant to what I admired about him, and now, knowing one way or the other, it still does.

Still, good on him for fighting decades of opprobrium and (possibly personal inertia) and making a statement on his own terms.
posted by Sparx at 12:20 AM on March 22, 2010


I don't care what your sacred cow is. If a comment is within guidelines, I don't see how it's OK for your response to include telling folks to fuck off in the blue.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:37 AM on March 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


Pretty Amazing, Randi. Good on ya, sir.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:20 AM on March 22, 2010


I always liked donating to JREF so I could say I was a "card-carrying skeptic." I have no idea why I am surprised by Mr. Randi's coming out, but it makes me really happy. Well done sir!
posted by acanthous at 5:50 AM on March 22, 2010


I don't see how it's OK for your response to include telling folks to fuck off in the blue.

It's not, but since the comment was made and edheil apologized, seemed better to leave it than excise it from the thread.
posted by jessamyn at 6:00 AM on March 22, 2010


I will pay Mr. Randi one MILLION dollars if he can prove scientifically that he is in fact gay.

You just want to watch. Shame!
posted by grubi at 6:04 AM on March 22, 2010


Didn't care then. Don't care now.

It's not the fact he's gay that any of us care about. It's the fact he's felt confident enough to finally come out.

And good on him.
posted by grubi at 6:08 AM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


potsmokinghippieoverlord, SF Weekly announced Randi had intestinal cancer last August. He speaks about chemotherapy here.
posted by zarq at 7:04 AM on March 22, 2010


Count me as someone who is not really surprised that he's gay, but REALLY surprised he found it that difficult to come out now, as opposed to 5 or 10 years ago. Has the tide shifted that much? I mean, I've pretty much accepted gay people (in and out of the spotlight) since the 80s brought them into the public eye.

That may have something to do with the fact that he's from a generation which held the entire topic taboo. And others have said in this thread, he may have felt that public knowledge of his sexual orientation would make convincing audiences harder.
posted by zarq at 7:07 AM on March 22, 2010


I can't help but think about what peggy hill said on king of the hill, about magicians being great at keeping secrets, and that's why most of them are gay.

But in all seriousness, I am glad he feels free to be himself now, and am, much like others, sad that he had to wait this long.
posted by djduckie at 7:30 AM on March 22, 2010


Good man.
posted by flabdablet at 8:34 AM on March 22, 2010


Please bear with me for a brief anecdote...

Years ago (1986?), I saw James Randi speak at a NY area skeptics group. The guy was awesome. I knew about him from being a bit of a magic geek, as well as knowing a little about the "skeptical movement".

Anyway... I forget the specifics of the talk, but at the end, there was an open Q&A session. Some guy got up to the mic, and after a little bit of accusatory talk ("You're not married", "You've 'mentored' young men" [referring to Project Alpha], etc.), pretty much asked Randi point blank, "Are you a homosexual?" It seemed like he was trying to make the ad hominem attack, "If you're a homo, you're a pervert. And if you're a pervert, why should we listen to anything you say?"

After the guy got booed by the audience, Randi managed to say a few appeasing words, and eventually said something like, "Would should it matter?" In general, people didn't care. But it got me wondering. I was a lot less "sensitive" at the time – had some outdated attitudes toward homosexuality. But still it made me think. Also, I had heard from a friend of a friend (guy was an amateur magician, and had worked/studied with Randi), that Randi might have a certain... "proclivity", but I never thought much more about it. Now, years have passed. I like to think I have "grown up" regarding my thoughts/feelings about all things GLBT. I hope.

All that being said, I'm glad he's come out. I'm a little sad it took so long, but I understand. The mood in the country during that 1986 lecture was not like it is today. I can only imagine what it was like when he was a young man – say, the 1940's. As others have said, this was a courageous step. James "The Amazing" Randi is a wonderful man. He's a scrapper, and a curmudgeon, and a pit bull. He's fighting the good fight. Good luck to you sir!

Please pardon my ranting/gushing...
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 10:07 AM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


“I heard this tape where Randi says he has a 9" cock." To which Penn replied: "No, but he's got balls the size of a rhinoceros."”

Yeah, see, there’s this tiny little genie who grants wishes and he’s a bit hard of hearing… It’s a long story, you’ve probably heard it.

“Those of us who naturally admire and respect people like Randi would probably be surprised to see how many people vocally wish him ill.”

Yeah, that’s the thing. I really don’t care that he’s gay. Doesn’t change my opinion of him in the slightest. So the request for something more than a ‘murmur of acceptance’ seems somewhat over-zealous if not evangelistic, at first.
But then you realize ‘holy crap, there are people who do wish him ill, and perhaps only for this.’
So while I’m not a big fan either way (although I greatly respect his thinking and skepticism) I am surprised anyone would wish him any harm or dislike him simply for this fact.

And I do agree it’s an important thing to relate. It’s ridiculous that his sexual orientation should affect whether one agrees or disagrees with his criticism or methods or anything.
On the other hand, it is an appalling thing for some folks to be judged on their merits. So many don’t and find ways to color others that way. ‘See! There must be (God, psychic powers, dowsing, whatever) ‘cause HE’S gay!’

So, in this sense, calling out the silly bastards on their silly bastardy by giving him an attaboy, s’ok.

“To both Randi, for the courage to come out, and for the gay community, for being able to claim JAMES RANDI.”
Well, he’s famous but c’mon, he’s no DaVinci or Francis Bacon or Christopher Marlowe (or as mentioned above Turing).

Someone who’s not going to be swayed to take it as read by say Obi Wan Kenobi, probably not going to get knocked over by this guy. Of course, my bias in the first place is ‘meh’ so maybe a broader list of gay folks would be a thing.

I mean I was surprised to find out there were people who didn’t know Capt. Kirk (Shatner) was Jewish. Like holy cow a Jew? In the entertainment business? Wow.

F’ing stupid we have to go thru stuff like this. And yet, yeah, seems we (as a society) do. Meanwhile who someone was, their work, what they stood for, the far more interesting conversations to be had go blurring past. (Not an indictment of the thread here, just how relevance is weighted in the larger sphere necessitating the conversation)
posted by Smedleyman at 10:40 AM on March 22, 2010


My first reaction was 'so?'. I'd never thought about it and wondered why I should care. But when I considered his fairly advanced age and he put in the context of having had to keep it a secret for such a long time I realized how lucky I am not to have had to seriously worry about such things.

I'm straight but experimented a bit in my youth - because I just wanted to get off sexually, and it was easy to hook up with a guy whereas shyness made it challenging to connect with a girl - and am androgynous enough to be mistaken as female, even with short hair and wearing a suit; and I've always reserved my right to wear earrings or my hair long at different times. People have made nasty remarks accusing me of homosexuality (including my first wife) and tried to queer bash me on multiple occasions over the years, but having grown up in a tough environment and been the skinny kid that people tried to pick on I just chalked the homophobia I'd encountered as 'more of the same BS' - the tendency of some humans to pick on the weak because they can (or think they can).

Randi's thoughtful explanation made me think about how much I'd taken my majoritarian heterosexuality for granted - even if people attacked me verbally or physically because they thought I was homosexual, I didn't take it personally because I knew their allegations were basically groundless. If I needed to connect with someone of my own gender to be fulfilled then the emotional impact of such attacks wouldn't be superficial at all. Randi shows how fame, wealth, and being a leader in your field aren't sufficient armor against bigotry directed at your fundamental nature.

It strikes me that while there's no escaping the bigotry of racism in most cases as ethnicity is not disguisable - again, something I am only intellectually aware of because I'm white, and grew up in Ireland when the population was so homogeneous that racism just didn't manifest for lack of targets - homophobia is a more insidious kind of bigotry because the private nature of sexuality offers the option and temptation for the homosexual person to keep that aspect of themselves a secret and thus co-opts them in their own repression.

Every time someone in that situation encounters homophobia - whether deliberate or reflexive, whether directly or at second hand (in media or overheard conversation) and says or does nothing about it, it's another loss of self, another little victory for fear. That must be an awful burden to accumulate and carry around.

As a side note, while I find the hypocritical homophobia displayed by closeted conservative politicians intolerable and can't help a feeling of schadenfreude whenever one of them makes the headlines, I'm also bothered by the liberal tendency to pile on and hammer them unmercifully for the hypocrisy rather than offer any kind of exit from the schizoid place they've been living in, a place they probably never chose to inhabit in the first place but which few of us have ever had to experience.

Anyway, welcome to freedom, Mr Randi.
posted by anigbrowl at 11:29 AM on March 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't see how it's OK for your response to include telling folks to fuck off in the blue.

It's not, but since the comment was made and edheil apologized, seemed better to leave it than excise it from the thread.


This seems backwards to me - edheil expresses a contentious POV, muddgirl tells him to fuck off, but, because edheil then apologized, muddgirl's fuck off is OK? I don't like any comments getting excised from any threads, don't get me wrong. It just seems like, if anyone should apologize, it ought to be muddgirl.

More to the point, I don't see any problem whatsoever in edheil's original point - that there are elements of hypocrisy in Randi's announcement - and it saddens me that people's outraged reactions to it caused it to be recanted almost immediately. This isn't even an obit thread. We are allowed to be critical of the subjects of posts. Again, the precedent feels screwy to me.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:29 PM on March 22, 2010


I don't like any comments getting excised from any threads, don't get me wrong. It just seems like, if anyone should apologize, it ought to be muddgirl.

If you want to take this to MeTa, please do. I was explaining why we did what we did. By the time we saw the thread edheil had apologized which meant that the fomenting drama was over. mudgirl should not have told him to fuck off. However if we removed her comment we would have had to remove several comments responding to it including edheil's apology and saying "hey I'm having a bad day" so it seemed on balance to be a better idea to leave it all in. Please take this to MetaTalk if you want to discuss this further. This is not about who should or should not have apologized, this is not precedent setting, this is about trying to remove the minimum number of comments and allow the topic to keep being discussed without a snarly derail.
posted by jessamyn at 1:35 PM on March 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Better late than never, and maybe this'll help some kid come out at 13 instead of 81.
posted by klangklangston at 2:08 PM on March 22, 2010


"Well, good on him for coming out. Bad on him for having lied about himself for most of his life while making a career out of accusing other people of lying about things."

I don't remember Randi claiming to be hetero; that some members of society assumed he was doesn't make him a liar.

"I mean I was surprised to find out there were people who didn’t know Capt. Kirk (Shatner) was Jewish. Like holy cow a Jew? In the entertainment business? Wow. "

Wait, Shatner is Jewish? I'm sure I'll forget this almost immediately to be shocked again the next time 'cause why does it matter.
posted by Mitheral at 9:39 AM on March 23, 2010


I mean I was surprised to find out there were people who didn’t know Capt. Kirk (Shatner) was Jewish. Like holy cow a Jew? In the entertainment business? Wow.

Heh. I'm Jewish and never knew until Adam Sandler wrote that song.
posted by zarq at 10:17 AM on March 23, 2010


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