Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Christians and gay marriage

I believe that we will eventually prevail on same-sex marriage in the U.S. I also believe that once that happens, Christians will engage in one of their favorite hobbies, rewriting history, to say that they were always on the side of same-sex marriage, just as today they say that they were always against slavery and segregation. Then they will no doubt say how offensive it is to compare gay rights with rights for whomever they hate then.

Dating in the current economy

According to this article in today's Washington Post, the state of the economy has drastically affected heterosexual dating (and as loyal Post readers know, that's the only kind). It appears that straight dating rituals will dramatically de-emphasize the "Look at how wealthy I am"/"How wealthy are you?" aspect. That being the case, gay men can provide a model for others.

Say what you like about gay male dating, but acknowledge this much: It is comparatively pretty unusual for a gay man to flaunt his material success to get a date, and in doing so, he would much more likely alienate than attract other gay men. Of course, we can often go too far in the opposite direction, in which physical type makes the world go around and in which even acknowledging employment can be horribly politically incorrect. Still, those gay men who do get past "Dude, how often do you work out?" can concentrate on qualities that survive the recession rather than on who can treat whom to the most expensive drinks.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The blame game

Liberals blame our economic crisis on the free market. Conservatives blame it on Obama. Apparently, they have reached consensus that Bush's economic meddling had nothing to do with it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

More Republican Newspeak on marriage

According to Andrew Sullivan, the latest Republican bald-faced lie on same-sex marriage is that Republicans are simply concerned about "redefinition" of the word "marriage." Yes, that has to be it, since we all know that marriage has never before in history been redefined.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The new politically correct computer keyboard

Have you heard about the new politically correct computer keyboard? The keys are blank, since you're supposed to know what they are, even though they change randomly. The help file consists of a single sentence: "You just don't get it, do you?"

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Virginia smoking ban

The Virginia House of Delegates has approved a smoking ban that would cover most of the state's restaurants and many of its bars. Rural conservative lawmakers had long opposed such a law because it would impose on individual freedom in a way in which all of their anti-gay laws presumably do not.

Both pro-tobacco conservatives and pro-gay liberals could learn a lesson about being too quick to rely on big government. Any government that is powerful to restrict other people's liberty, even for what is supposedly their own good, is powerful enough to do the same to you.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Oscar Wilde Bookstore

I'm of two minds as to the closing of the Oscar Wilde Bookstore.

On one hand, I have fond memories of the bookstore from my coming out. In 1983, I started graduate school out of state and was just coming out. To explore this strange new world, one weekend I took the Suburban Transit bus from Princeton to New York and the subway down to Greenwich Village. While chain bookstores in malls already had small LGBT sections, those sections were dominated by Gordon Merrick and remaindered relationship guides; they certainly provided nothing like the wealth of information available in a gay bookstore. Also, the cashier's reassuring smile is burned into my memory to this day.

On the other hand, it is no longer 1983, and we have progressed such that LGBT literature is widely available both in general-interest bookstores and online. While some people complain that we are "a movement, not a market," as though those two things were mutually exclusive, I believe that such progress shows how far mainstream society has come in taking our concerns seriously. Institutions often outlive their own usefulness or even render themselves obsolete; there is no reason why bookstores should be an exception.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sadly familiar story? To whom exactly?

Have you ever read something about gay men and seen terms like "a sadly familiar story," things "we’ve all seen," and "an issue that simply rings true" used to describe something that you just don't recognize in your own life or in those of your gay male friends? It's happened again. There must be two parallel gay male universes, one inhabited by the talking heads of the media, and the other where the rest of us live.