Monday, March 29, 2010

HIV study in DC (2)

In response to the recent HIV study in DC, people have asked why heterosexuals should pay for HIV-related health care. Let's make arguendo the patently untrue assumption that no heterosexuals have HIV. Even so, people asking that question do not seem to want to exempt me from taxes for schools, child protective services, or juvenile and domestic relations district courts. Libertarianism when it suits you isn't libertarianism at all.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Objectivism, where logic goes to die

It seems that so many Objectivists worship logic because it is so far above them that it might as well be a god. In practice, Objectivist "epistemology" is often based solidly on circular logic. Whenever I point out their circular logic to them, they either stare blankly or make a snide non-response. One such person genuinely did not understand the difference between "A is A" and "A; therefore, A."

Friday, March 26, 2010

HIV study in DC

As reported here and here, a study performed in D.C. purports to show that 14% of gay men in the capital are HIV+. On one hand, the study shows just how far we still have to go to educate people in safer sex. On the other, I have my suspicions about the reliability of the study.

The study was performed “at [unidentified] open air venues, gyms, bars, restaurants, and clubs where men who have sex with men tend to frequent....” Nonetheless, since not all gay men are club kids, gym queens, or foodies, such a study will inevitably miss those of us who do not participate so much in mainstream gay culture. This is not to say that we are closet cases -- I happen to be anything but -- but rather that many of us have lives beyond the hot spots where the bold-faced names gather. Just because A implies B, it does not follow that B implies A.

For example, the statements concerning drug use seem out of sync with the gay male community in which I participate. Then again, as I have commented before, the gay male community that I inhabit and the one that attracts all of the attention seem to run in parallel more often than they intersect.

Fundamentalism, but not of the right

Just in case anyone still doubts that far-left crazies and far-right crazies follow essentially the same thought processes, I offer this blog as evidence. The bloggers follow the same sort of rigid dogmatism and us-versus-the-rest-of-the world view that one might expect from the Freeper wingnuts. Also, like the fringe right, they rebuke the rest of the world for the heinous sins of not being exactly like them and not buying into that rigid dogmatism. They contradict themselves and react angrily whenever anyone has the gall to point out that they have. They even assert that sexual orientation is "a willfully chosen identity," since reality is of course whatever their world view requires it to be. Finally, they have come up with the most creative racial slur that I have read in a while.

The Champagne Fund

Given Lt. Dan Choi's recent activism and the complete non-response thereto by Joe Solmonese, people are increasingly saying that they are no longer supporting HRC and are even questioning what it has accomplished. I for one have all along supported groups other than HRC and have never agreed with HRC's vision of what the queer agenda ought to be. In fact, back in the early nineties, I was asked to write an article on what I considered to be the shortcomings of organizations such as HRC. In the mean time, I have yet to see anything to make me reconsider my position.

Quote of the week

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." - Philip K. Dick

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Conservative doublethink

Say what you like about Obamacare (and I have my issues with it), but at least try to be consistent. Attorneys general, mostly Republicans, are suing to stop it. I thought that conservatives, especially anti-gay conservatives like Ken "One Issue" Cuccinelli, didn't want unelected activist judges to protect individual liberty against democratically elected legislatures. It just goes to show that being a conservative means knowing when to cheer for democracy and when to say that America is a republic, not a democracy.

I also like the discussion of the interstate-commerce clause. If they genuinely think that way, why didn't they say so when the issue of medical marijuana was before the courts?

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Boy Scouts' "perversion files"

The Boy Scouts of America have long held themselves out as a private, religious organization (that is somehow still entitled to taxpayer-funded special privileges) and, as such, entitled to exclude gays and atheists. Yet it now appears that the Boy Scouts, like a certain other officially homophobic faith-based organization, may have "a national pattern of failure to prevent abuse or punish child molesters."

Explain to me again how homosexuality is very bad, but only when it's consensual and age-appropriate. When groups like this engage in their more-sexually-correct-than-thou posturing, I like to prefix their pronouncements with "Child molestation is okay, but ..." to see whether they still make as much sense.

Quote of the week

"No amount of logic can shatter a faith consciously based on a lie." - M. Lamar Keene

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A rabbi's comment on same-sex marriage

From here:

Judaism, though steeped in tradition, is an evolving religion. It is impossible for me, as a 21st century American Jew, to live by a strict interpretation of laws that were first introduced in a societal context completely foreign to modern experience not to mention current knowledge of gender and sexual identity formation.
If her point is that Biblical law cannot be reconciled with modern standards of liberty and cannot be relied on as expressing the will of an omniscient God, I am not going to argue.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gay men and manhood

Many gay men seem to take one of two extreme views of manhood. Some revere it to the point of making Tom of Finland their prophet. They often adopt what Alison Bechdel called "cosmeticized masculinity," which is ultimately self-defeating. Others want nothing to do with it, insisting on being boys forever. At least it is no longer the eighties, and the latter group do not for the most part call one another girls.

One would think that being a gay man had something to do with being a man and being sexually attracted to men. Yet saying so is a good way to be shouted down as a heretic. Ultimately, however, we cannot truly accept ourselves as gay men unless we accept ourselves as (i) gay and (ii) men.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fun with letters to the editor (2)

Unsurprisingly, someone has responded to my letter to the editor. Just as unsurprisingly, she has missed the point entirely. Why won't people answer the question? Could it be that ... oh, gosh, I don't know ... they know they can't?

Also, the fact that Christians so often play the discrimination card on this issue is causing my irony meter to overheat. No one is trying to deny Christians equal rights; some of us just think that they can make do with one fewer special right.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Help us, Big Government. You're our only hope.

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is distancing himself from Attorney General Ken "One Issue" Cuccinelli's latest crusade against queer people. Evidently, at least part of the motivation is a desire not to alienate a large corporation that is considering moving its headquarters to Virginia.

It won't be the first time that the private sector has had to rescue LGBT Virginians from big government gone mad. I wonder what happened to the dogma that it's always the other way around.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fun with letters to the editor

Our local "liberal" newspaper recently published my letter to the editor on Catholic Charities and same-sex marriage, but not before picking every nit, whether or not it affected my conclusion. Yet that same newspaper routinely prints letters to the editor, and sometimes even section-A reporting, whose anti-gay slurs are blatantly factually incorrect and easily disproved. Gotta love that "liberal" media bias.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fiction: The Encounter

Roy's friends kept telling him that he should stop trying to find hookups online and instead go to a real bar to meet men face to face. Behind every user I.D. like "musclejock19," they reasoned, was a vile troll who sent other people's photographs as his own and teased people just enough to accumulate that evening's J.O. material.

It made sense to Roy. His online experience had so far been fruitless; the few men who had agreed to meet him had disappointed him and had fallen far short of his standards. While Roy was no longer a young twink, he considered himself to be quite a catch -- masculine, with a terrific body and an ample endowment -- and wanted someone on the same level.

Saturday evening, Roy dressed to show off his assets and drove down the parkway into the city. The Ramrod bar, which had intimidated him when he had first come out, but which now seemed much less threatening, was near the 10th Street exit from the parkway. That area was not the city's safest, but Roy figured that he could chance it.

He found a parking space surprisingly close to the address, went to the door inconspicuously marked "1124," and entered. After giving his eyes time to adjust to the low light, he took a stool at the bar, ordered a drink, and looked around. So far, the clientele appeared to be an improvement, but not by much, over the tired queens whom he might expect to see at the piano bar farther uptown. He was not optimistic.

Then, he noticed that someone standing by the pinball machine was checking him out. That someone was better looking than just about anyone else in the bar and had a welcoming smile. Roy motioned him over.

The man by the pinball machine walked over to Roy and stood next to him at the bar. The way in which he held himself suggested both eagerness and submissiveness, both of which were pluses as far as Roy was concerned. "So," Roy asked, "what's your name?"

"I'm Ed." Ed extended his hand.

"Roy." Roy gave Ed the firm handshake on which he prided himself. "You a regular here?"

"I come here now and then. If you like real men, as opposed to twinks, this is the best place in town. How about you? I don't think I've seen you here before. I'd remember you."

Ed's response sounded encouraging to Roy, who responded, "I've been out of the bar scene for a while."

"Oh. Dating someone, or just tied up with work?"

"Neither. Just haven't gotten out much, I guess. Oh, and I'm not the one who gets tied up."

"I could tell," said Ed, grinning broadly. This was going better than Roy had anticipated. "So, what do you do for a living?"

"I work in the service department at Appliance Universe." Roy never appreciated that question, but Ed had asked. "Out in the Linden Hill Industrial Park."

"I work near there, in the Linden Hill Professional Center." Ed did not elaborate, and Roy was happy to let the subject drop.

"Can I get you a drink?" asked Roy.

"Sure," said Ed. Once they were able to get the bartender's attention, they placed their drink order. As they drank, they made the usual content-free bar chatter that people make to get to know one another.

Eventually, they decided to go to Roy's apartment, Ed following Roy up the parkway and the secondary routes to the garden apartment complex where Roy lived. When they got to Roy's apartment, they first made out for a while on the rather threadbare sofa in the living room. Roy was unused to hosting, and the apartment showed as much, but Ed did not seem to mind. Roy ordered Ed to strip, get down on his knees in front of Roy on the sofa, and fellate him, which Ed did with relish for much longer than Roy could remember that anyone else had done. As the night went on, Roy livened things up with his belt and with verbal abuse, both of which made Ed an ever more eager submissive. Once Roy came, they retired to the bed, Roy holding Ed tight through the night.

On Sunday, neither of them had to work, so Ed was Roy's plaything for the day. There was enough food in the refrigerator that Ed could cook them both breakfast. After that, Roy became steadily more dominant, and as the level of control, humiliation, and pain in the scenarios increased, so did Ed's ardor.

Eventually, it was time to part and to prepare for Monday morning. After Roy and Ed exchanged telephone numbers and e-mail addressed, Ed departed, promising to call or e-mail Roy soon. That evening, Roy masturbated while recalling the day's activities, as though he had not come enough times that day as it was.

Monday proved to be a slow day for Roy. In the afternoon, he had some time between service calls, so he pulled the piece of paper with Ed's contact information out of his wallet and called.

"Good afternoon," the receptionist at Ed's work number said, "Family Physicians of Linden Hill. How may I direct your call?"

"Ed, please."

"Just one moment, sir." After a pause, the receptionist returned to the line. "I'm sorry, sir. Dr. Rizik is with a patient and cannot be disturbed. Would you like his voice mail?"

"Um ... no, thanks." Roy hung up.

On Tuesday after work, when Roy checked his e-mail, there was a message from Ed's e-mail address, with the subject line "from your adoring slave." Roy deleted it unread, closed his e-mail client, and went to see who was in online chat.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Queer religion

While some LGBT theists ponder their faith and study their holy books, it appears that most gravitate to fluffy-bunny religions that keep theological rigor to a minimum. For example, when I was a Christian, I noticed that most LGBT-oriented Christian churches sidestepped doctrinal definitions in favor of keeping everything warm and fuzzy and that some of them even made a point of not committing to any particular soteriology or Eucharistic theology. Ironically, they tended to be rigidly dogmatic on secular politics.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Everyone knows .... (2)

When I was growing up, everyone knew that homosexuality was caused by an absent father and a domineering mother and that what we now call autistic spectrum disorder was a deliberate lifestyle choice. Now, everyone knows that homosexuality is a deliberate lifestyle choice, and until social conservatives have decided on a reason to hate people with ASD, we should probably not speak of ASD at all.