Deep thoughts about a salacious book — Scotty Bowers’ “Full Service”

Scotty Bowers in 1944I’ve been working out on a stationary bike lately, because of ongoing sports injuries.  I find this dull.  I also find that I can alleviate the boredom by listening to books on my iPod.  I’m working my way through some of the books that are available for free from my local library.

When I listen to audiobooks while biking– heck, whenever I listen to books — I have to make certain that the book is simple in both substantive content and written style.  Otherwise, if I get distracted, I lose track of where I am.

Sadly, I get distracted a lot.  While I have almost unbreakable focus when reading a book, listening to books seems to go through a different part of my brain, one with a pretty short attention span.  Because I can’t just page back in an audiobook to find what I missed, it can take me forever to retrace my steps.  The end product of this issue is that I go for simplistic audiobooks.

Last week, I found a doozy of a simplistic book:  Scotty Bowers’ Full Service: My Adventures in Hollywood and the Secret Sex Lives of the Stars. The book’s basic outline is that Bowers was a simple Illinois farm boy who came to Hollywood after WWII and quickly became the town’s best-known bisexual prostitute, as well as an even better known procurer who would happily (and for no fee) bring people together for sexual hi-jinx. The lure of reading the book, of course, is to discover which classic Hollywood stars were gay or bisexual (and according to Bowers, that was just about everybody), and what kind of bizarre sexual practices some stars enjoyed (you really don’t want to know about Charles Laughton’s alleged fetish).

I found the book surprisingly interesting, although not for the obvious reasons. Bowers certainly isn’t shy about describing various sexual encounters (and he seems to have had thousands, with both women and men, famous and unknown), but he does so in such an upbeat, yet clinical, way that it has all the sexual thrills of listening to one of those loud, cheerful gym teachers we used to have in the 70s describing the facts of life to a room full of bored teenage girls. If you’re looking to be titillated, this book isn’t for you.  (But if you’re under 18, or prefer to keep your mind out of the gutter, this book isn’t for you either.  It’s too graphic.)

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It’s a mad, mad, mad homophobic, antisemitic, anti-Christian, Leftist, Islamist world

In today’s news, we learned that Muslims in Libya kidnapped twelve men that they claimed were homosexuals in order to execute them:

Extremists say they will execute a dozen men they allege are homosexuals, whom they abducted last Thursday at a private party in Tripoli’s Ain Zara district.

A body calling itself the ‘Private Deterrent Force’, which is believed to be part of the extremist Nawasi militia group, has posted images of the men on their Facebook page. One picture (above) shows them, heads covered, standing with their hands against a wall.

At the time of writing, the picture had received 315 ‘likes’ and had received comments such as “flog them hard”, “lets see the bullets”, and “ride them like camels”.

Accompanying text describes the men as “the third sex” and says that they are to be mutilated and executed.

I posted this on my Facebook page, along with a comment saying that, lately, nothing good has come out of Libya.  Within a few minutes, a high school classmate, very gay, commented on this post.  Interestingly, he didn’t comment on the post to excoriate a culture that brutally murders his fellow homosexuals.  Instead, he said that the Middle East isn’t very gay friendly, but neither are any Christian countries, including the U.S.  Before I could take him to task for that manifest idiocy, another friend of mine — a Democrat gay man who is a closet conservative — chimed in to say that this was the stupidest comment he’d ever heard, and that it was impossible to conflate the Muslim’s murderous approach towards gays with any attitude towards gays displayed in a Western, majority-Christian country.

Since my closeted conservative friend had dealt more than adequately with this gay Leftist idiocy, I opted for a different line of thinking.  Assuming that, as a Leftist, he’s fairly pro-Israel, even as he supports the same countries that murder gays, I decided to put in a plug for Israel.  I therefore pointed out that there’s a sad, funny irony in the fact that the safest place for gay Palestinians is Israel, with accords full civil rights to the LGBT crowd.  Since I always like to back up my statements with evidence, I went trolling on Google for news stories about how Palestinian gays find sanctuary in Israel.

What I found, to my surprise, were savage attacks from the Left about the fact that Israel is hospitable to gays.  The previous sentence is not the result of a typographical error.  The Left finds it absolutely infuriating that Israel treats gays like people (just as it does women and its Arab citizens).  As far as the Left is concerned, this is all a despicable trick aimed at hiding the fact that it is an Imperialist Nazi-like nation bound and determined to commit genocide against its Palestinian neighbors.  (The Left conveniently ignores the soaring Palestinian population, something inconsistent with decades of alleged genocide, just as it ignores the genocidal, antisemitic rantings emanating from all parts of the Muslim world, rantings that have no anti-Arab corollary in Israel.)

This is not fringe stuff.  Perhaps because I was busy with Thanksgiving travel last November (2011), I missed completely a Jewish lesbian’s nasty opinion piece in the New York Times accusing Israel of “pinkwashing”:

After generations of sacrifice and organization, gay people in parts of the world have won protection from discrimination and relationship recognition. But these changes have given rise to a nefarious phenomenon: the co-opting of white gay people by anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim political forces in Western Europe and Israel.

In the Netherlands, some Dutch gay people have been drawn to the messages of Geert Wilders, who inherited many followers of the assassinated anti-immigration gay leader Pim Fortuyn, and whose Party for Freedom is now the country’s third largest political party. In Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, the extremist who massacred 77 people in July, cited Bruce Bawer, a gay American writer critical of Muslim immigration, as an influence. The Guardian reported last year that the racist English Defense League had 115 members in its gay wing. The German Lesbian and Gay Federation has issued statements citing Muslim immigrants as enemies of gay people.

These depictions of immigrants — usually Muslims of Arab, South Asian, Turkish or African origin — as “homophobic fanatics” opportunistically ignore the existence of Muslim gays and their allies within their communities. They also render invisible the role that fundamentalist Christians, the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodox Jews play in perpetuating fear and even hatred of gays. And that cynical message has now spread from its roots in European xenophobia to become a potent tool in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

[snip]

The growing global gay movement against the Israeli occupation has named these tactics “pinkwashing”: a deliberate strategy to conceal the continuing violations of Palestinians’ human rights behind an image of modernity signified by Israeli gay life. Aeyal Gross, a professor of law at Tel Aviv University, argues that “gay rights have essentially become a public-relations tool,” even though “conservative and especially religious politicians remain fiercely homophobic.”

Pinkwashing not only manipulates the hard-won gains of Israel’s gay community, but it also ignores the existence of Palestinian gay-rights organizations.

Sarah Schulman, who wrote that putrid little piece, should be given a one-way ticket to Iran or Saudi Arabia or Libya or Gaza to see what kind of “gay rights” exist in those parts of the world.  The “rights” usually boil down to “Do you want to be hanged, stoned, flayed, or beheaded for the crime of being a homosexual or lesbian?”  Of course, that’s not what would happen if she went to those backwards countries.  Backwards they may be, but they know a useful idiot when they see one.  Schulman would be feted and stuffed full of propaganda about the love Muslims feel for gays.

What’s just as bad as Schulman’s willful obtuseness is the fact that she’s got a nice platform from which to indoctrinate equally stupid, blind gays here at home.  (I’m not saying all gays are stupid and blind.  I am saying that those who believe Leftism is more important than human rights are willing vessels for this kind of propaganda.)  You see, Schulman is a “Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island and a Fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.”  Not just a professor, but a “distinguished” professor.  To my mind, she is distinguished only by being either evil, or stupid to the point of being evil.

The difference between a Sharia state and a Christian state

The Daily Mail created a lovely matched set, showing side-by-side stories that perfectly illustrate the difference between life in a 21st century Sharia state and life in a 21st century Christian state:

Life in a Sharia state:  “We, the state, are going to kill gays.”

Life in a Christian state:  “I’d like to warn you (admittedly quite rudely) that, in the afterlife God is going to have problems with gays.”

If you’re gay, neither is very nice, but one is insulting, while the other is deadly.  Those who live within a minority community, whether because of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc., might want to think long and hard about whether they want to promote a culture that kills those it dislikes or a culture some of whose members yell at them.  I mention this because the Leftist collective backs the first type of culture; while the much-reviled Western conservatives support the second.

(P.S.  For those wondering why the Daily Mail is the most popular news website in the world, it might have something to do with the fact that it identifies Ihjaz Ali, Kabir Ahmed, and Razwan Javed as “muslim fanatics.” The American press would have wondered why these three men, who just coincidentally happen to have non-American names, suddenly turned against gays — and then would have posited, loudly and often, that Sarah Palin published an ad or made a speech using coded language that triggered this mass homophobia.)

Jesus as an openly gay man

Paying work places its demands on me, but I thought you’d like to see and think about (and perhaps comment upon) an article that tries to imagine what it would be like if the newly discovered gospels reveal that Jesus was an openly gay man.  I find it a bit peculiar insofar as it seems to take large parts of the Christian message and reduce it to a guide for gay living, but that’s just me.

Oh, two things:  (1) You guys have to promise me that, even if you view this as offensive or sacrilegious, you won’t grab your swords, guns, and pitchforks, and launch a murderous assault a UN compound.  (2) As always, this is an opportunity for civil intellectual analysis against an article that can be viewed either as very silly or as yet another serious attack against core Christian doctrine.  It is not an opportunity to voice hostility to gays.  As to this last, I know that you guys are neither rude, nor homophobic, but I also know that it can get frustrating when a vocal minority uses a large soapbox to challenge cherished and deeply significant beliefs.

The fun never ends at the Watcher of Weasels place

In a sec, I’ll link to the cool blog posts I get to read today as part of my gig on the Watcher’s Council.  However, I also wanted to give you a heads up about a debate the Watcher’s Council hosted on the merits of the President’s decision to repeal DADT during war time.  Since the debaters — Dave Schuler at The Glittering Eye and Tom White of Virginia Right! — are civil and logical, you’ll probably find it very interesting.

And now to this week’s nominations:

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

It’s entirely possible that, when it comes to gay marriage and the First Amendment, pluralism won’t work.

Rodney King got his 15 minutes of fame for (a) getting beaten up while resisting arrest; (b) having his name attached to some horrific riots; and (c) plaintively asking “Can we get along?”  The last is a great thought.  I’d like to get along with people better myself.  “Getting along,” though, presupposes that people have the same goals and values.  In our pluralist society, even when we have differences, we mostly limp along all right.  Elections shuttle different value systems in and out of power and (at least when the unions aren’t rioting) Americans expect a peaceful transition.

Still, even pluralist societies have bottom line values, things as to which we’re not willing to bend (although, lately, it’s getting harder to pinpoint just what those values are).  Up until recently, one of those values was that “marriage qua marriage” was a one man, one woman deal.  In recent years, we were willing to contemplate “civil unions,” but “marriage” remained sacrosanct.

Also, because of the First Amendment, another American bottom-line is that the government cannot meddle in religious doctrine.  Some confused people think the First Amendment outlaws religion, or outlaws religious people from participating in politics, but most understand that — unless they’re calling for human or animal sacrifice, or polygamy — the American government leaves religion alone.

I have said all along that the main problem with the gay marriage debate is that, by creating an entirely new bottom line (gay marriage) we’re going to see two bottom lines crash into each other.  You see, traditional male/female marriage meshed nicely with the vast majority of traditional religious norms.  Gay marriage, however, does not mesh with traditional religion.  While Progressive churches and synagogues have opened their doors to gay marriages, more traditional ones, especially the Orthodox Jewish faith and the Catholic Church, have not done so.

When I’ve raised this concern to people, they scoffed.  One liberal told me that, even though abortions are legal, the government has never gone toe-to-toe with the Catholic Church.  He looked a bit taken aback, and had no response, when I pointed out that the Catholic Church doesn’t provide, or withhold, abortions; it simply speaks against them doctrinally.  The Church does, however, marry people, and that leaves open the possibility that a gay couple will sue the church for refusing to perform a marriage service.

Others, while acknowledging that my point has a certain intellectual validity, say that it will never happen.  I’m not so sure, especially after reading a story out of England involving a Pentecostal couple who were told that, as long as their religion held that homosexuality is not acceptable behavior, they could not foster needy children:

A Christian couple morally opposed to homosexuality today lost a High Court battle over the right to become foster carers.

Eunice and Owen Johns, aged 62 and 65, from Oakwood, Derby, went to court after a social worker expressed concerns when they said they could not tell a child a ‘homosexual lifestyle’ was acceptable.

The Pentecostal Christian couple had applied to Derby City Council to be respite carers but withdrew their application believing it was ‘doomed to failure’ because of the social worker’s attitude to their religious beliefs.

The couple deny that they are homophobic and said they would love any child they were given. However, what they were ‘not willing to do was to tell a small child that the practice of homosexuality was a good thing’.

What’s relevant to this post is that the judges explicitly held that homosexual rights trump religious rights:

Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson ruled that laws protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation ‘should take precedence’ over the right not to be discriminated against on religious grounds.

Admitted, Britain does not have a First Amendment.  However, as I noted above, First Amendment or not, our government bars, and (when Mormons are involved) actively prosecutes, polygamy.  It does so despite the fact that polygamy was official doctrine for the Mormons and is official doctrine for the Muslims.  Likewise, although Voodoo is recognized as a religion, we don’t let practitioners engage in animal sacrifice.  In other words, First Amendment or not, the government will interfere in religious doctrine if it runs completely afoul of a bottom-line American value.

If gay marriage is deemed Constitutional, we suddenly have two conflicting bottom-line values — gay marriage and religious freedom.  I’m not predicting how this will turn out.  I’m just saying that, if I was the Catholic Church or an Orthodox synagogue, I’d start having my lawyers look at this one now.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

Comparing Islamophobia to Homophobia at the NYT

I’m beginning to get a good sense of the requirements for a writing gig at the New York Times.  Their editorial and employment departments carefully cull all comers for two main traits:  an IQ that doesn’t exceed the double digits, and a complete lack of common sense and logic.  Walk into the door with those, and the ability to type, and you’re in.

The most recent cause of my renewed insight about the lunatics in charge of the Times asylum is an opinion piece trying to draw an equivalence between homophobia and Islamophobia — and then urging Americans to stop fearing Islam, just as they’ve learned to stop fearing gays.  The piece is stupid on so many levels, it’s almost hard to know where to begin.  Let me start with the fact that I always get a good belly laugh out of gays aggressively defending Islamists.  You know, these Islamists:

Gays hanged in Iran

Gay teens hanged in Iran

Gays systematically gunned down in Iraq

A word of advice to those gays who reflexively make common cause with Islamists, simply because gays hate conservatives and conservatives are wary of Islamists:  Maybe the conservatives are on to something.

Having disposed, I hope, of the foolish underpinnings of the whole “I am gay, therefore I stand with Islamists” attitude, let me examine the ridiculous moral equivalence the Times opinion piece tries to draw between people who dislike gays versus people who are scared of Islamists.

A combination of fair use laws, and a desire not to have my blog serve as a forum for stupidity, means that I’ll quote just a snippet of the Times piece, just enough to give you an idea of the direction in which its heading:

As if we needed more evidence of America’s political polarization, last week Juan Williams gave the nation a Rorschach test. Williams said he gets scared when people in “Muslim garb” board a plane he’s on, and he promptly got (a) fired by NPR and (b) rewarded by Fox News with a big contract.

Suppose Williams had said something hurtful to gay people instead of to Muslims. Suppose he had said gay men give him the creeps because he fears they’ll make sexual advances. NPR might well have fired him, but would Fox News have chosen that moment to give him a $2-million pat on the back?

[snip]

When we move from homophobia to Islamophobia, the trendline seems to be pointing in the opposite direction. This isn’t shocking, given 9/11 and the human tendency to magnify certain kinds of risk. (Note to Juan Williams: Over the past nine years about 90 million flights have taken off from American airports, and not one has been brought down by a Muslim terrorist. Even in 2001, no flights were brought down by people in “Muslim garb.”)

You can read the rest here, if you’re interested.

In deference to the last paragraph quoted, which says it’s silly to fear Muslims, because there are so many of them and most aren’t violent), let me counter with a few numbers of my own:

*Number of airplanes that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of airplanes that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  6 (with a death toll in excess of 3,000)

*Number of trains or subways that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of trains or subways that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  2 (with a death toll in excess of 2o0)

*Number of military barracks that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of military barracks that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  1 (killing 299 people)

*Number of schools that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of schools that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  1 big one (that would be Beslan, killing more than 300, most of them children), plus countless attacks on schools all over Indonesia and the Philippines

*Number of naval ships that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of naval ships that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  1 (killing 17 people)

*Number of embassies that members of the LGBT community have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their sexuality:  0
*Number of embassies that practitioners of Islam have successfully or unsuccessfully sought to destroy in the name of their religion:  3 (two in Africa, one in Iran, with the former resulting in hundreds of deaths and injuries, and the latter creating modern Iran)

I won’t belabor my point any further.  I’ll just note the stupidity driving the opinion piece’s snide implication that it’s irrational to fear Islam because a only small percentage of its practitioners do bad things.  That manages to obscure the real fact, which is that a large percentage of the carnage around the world — indeed, the greatest percentage of the carnage around the world — is committed by Muslims.  That therefore makes it reasonable to eye them askance in certain situations, and makes it idiotic to worry about gays in those same situations.

It’s an insult to anyone whose IQ hovers even near the 3 digits, or who exhibits logic skills greater than a small child’s, for a writer at a prestigious paper (although God alone knows why it is still held in such high esteem) to argue that American’s diminishing concerns about an individual’s sexuality should be used as a template to become less worried about Muslim violence.

I’ll tell you one thing that would go a long way to diminishing my fear of Muslims:  To hear them say, loud and clear, “I do not want sharia law in America; I condemn all acts of violence committed in the name of Islam and will do whatever I can to counter that trend amongst Muslims; I support Israel’s right to exist; and I have no intention of imposing my religious views or practices on the people in my community or country.”  This sounds remarkably simply, but you’ll find few Muslims who are willing to say that.  Instead, what you get are generic statements about love for country, but an assiduous avoidance of specific disavowals of the most ugly aspects of Islam.

England swings wildly between the extremes

In 1931, Nancy Langhorne Astor’s son Robert Gould Shaw III was arrested for committing a homosexual act (in a park, I believe).  This was a continuation of a long-standing British public policy of prosecuting “sodomists.”  Arguably the most famous prosecution was that against Oscar Wilde, for public indecency.  The trial, scandal and imprisonment destroyed the noted Victorian wit entirely, and he died in self-imposed, poverty-stricken exile soon after his release from prison.

How times have changed.  In 2010, Dale McAlpine, a Baptist preacher in England, was arrested for stating in a public place that homosexuality is a sin.

Have the English no sense of balance or proportion?  Do they think that criminalizing people’s thoughts and opinions is the only way to balance the scales for the humiliations they visited on homosexuals in years past?

Anyway, rather than opining more on the subject, let me refer you to my previous post on thought crimes.  I think it pretty much covers anything I want to say.

If you’d like to protest gay activists who support Islam (which wants to kill them)

You and I know the incredible peculiarities of the Leftist world, which sees feminists ignoring sharia’s worst outrages and gay activists who are out in full cry trying to establish a fully Muslim Middle East, a place in which the only good gay activist will be a dead gay activist.  As to the latter, there is a protest in San Francisco, so I’m forwarding this email for those who are interested in attending:

1. Counterprotest this Thursday, April 8, 6 PM, Roxie Theater, 16th and Valencia, San Francisco.

“Out in Israel” is an LGBT cultural festival taking place in San Francisco during the month of April, sponsored in part by the Israeli Consulate, the San Francisco and East Bay Federations, JCRC, BlueStarPR, and Congregation Sha’ar Zahav. “Out In Israel” showcases some of the best of Israeli LGBT cultural creation: art, literature, film, drama, food, dance, progressive thought and intellectual debate. The celebration includes a Hebrew language LGBT film series, theatrical and musical performances by prominent Israeli artists, cooking demonstrations, art exhibitions, literary readings, and panels discussions on LGBT culture in Israel and Zionist perspectives.

This Thursday, April 8 a local anti-Israel group called QUIT (“Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism”) will be protesting outside the Roxie Theater (16th and Valencia Streets, San Francisco) where the festival will have its opening night films. Yes, an LGBT group will be protesting Israel, the one country in the region that does not persecute LGBT individuals and groups. Yes, they will be protesting Israel, a place where LGBT Palestinians flee to seek refuge from the Islamists who harrass, torture and kill them. Yes, they will be protesting Israel, the country that that has openly gay members in its government and military. They will be supporting the agenda of Iran, a country whose leader claims it has no gays– while it publicly hangs them.

They hate Israel so much that they will not say one word about the persecution that they themselves would suffer in Gaza or Ramallah.

StandWithUs/ SF Voice for Israel will be there to stand up for Israel. We will meet at 6 PM in front of the Roxie. Look for the Israeli flags. We will have appropriate signs for this occasion as well as lots of flags. If you bring your own signs, please no signs or graphics offensive to any racial or ethnic group including but not limited to Arabs, Islam, or Palestinians. Signs in violation of our policies will not be allowed.

We understand that some of our members do not agree with Israel’s policies towards LGBT rights. However, we will continue to support Israel in this regard and, at the same time, we look forward to your support in our other activities.

Please note that parking in this area is very limited. The theatre is one block west of the 16th and Mission BART, and 4 blocks from the Church Street Muni Metro.

GENERAL NOTES FOR RALLY BEHAVIOR- PLEASE READ:

Please BE PROFESSIONAL for Israel.

Please avoid signs that are offensive and will alienate press and passers by.

We will have enough signs with strong messages for you to hold, and you can choose from many messages. Please return all signs and flags at the end of the rally.

Please follow police orders.

Please don’t engage the other side.

Please avoid shouting epithets across the street.

They cannot hear you, and it really makes us all look like we are extremists or unreasonable. REMEMBER THAT THEY ARE THE EXTREMISTS– LET’S MAKE THEM LOOK THAT WAY!

At no point should you stand in the street.

If you will talk to press, please be professional and only speak to them if you are very knowledgeable.

We will have designated people prepared to speak to the press, it would be better if you would please refer press to designated

people who will be identified.

At the end of the rally people should leave in groups and avoid engaging those on the other side who may be prone to violence.

GOALS:

To get half of any media coverage that might show up.

To educate people about Israel’s strategic threats, and Israel’s right to defend its citizens.

To specifically educate people about LGBT rights and freedoms in Israel.

To let the other side know that they will not have a free pass as they organize to attack Israel on the streets of the Bay Area.

We will bring educational materials about the Gaza War for distribution as well.

THANK YOU and we will look forward to seeing you this Thursday. Bring your friends!

Gay Pride week

The San Francisco Examiner online has a big section on Gay Pride Week.  It reminded me of why I’ve always found gay self-identification strikingly different from all other major group identifications.

There is no doubt that people tend to try to find like people, and this is true whether they group themselves by religion, ethnicity, profession, education, skin color, dog-ownership, sports fanaticism, neighborhoods, political ideology, etc.  I know that as a Jew, even a non-religious one raised outside of the Jewish community, I still have had, throughout my life, enough Jewish identity to play Jewish geography when I meet someone new who happens to be Jewish.  Opening gambit:  “Where are you from?”  Wait for answer.   Then, the question:  “So, do you know….?”

I also play lawyer geography, which revolves around “Where did you go to law school” and “Where do/did you practice law.”  It’s amazing how often one finds a nexus.  I can also play the game based on having grown up in San Francisco, especially since I went to a high school that drew students from all over the City.

What’s interesting about gay identification is that it’s the only major group that self-identifies by sexual behavior.  I know that there are arcane subgroups, people who are into S&M or some such stuff, who also seek out people of common sexual behaviors, but they’re neither a political nor a social movement.

As you know, while I’m very cautious about making swift and ill-thought out changes to our social and political systems based upon homosexuality and its attendant self-identifiers (transgender, bisexuality, etc), I’m quite libertarian about what people do in the privacy of their own homes.  I really don’t care with whom you sleep, as long as its consensual and you keep the details to yourself.  I don’t expect you, if you’re gay, to keep that fact to yourself.  After all, the mere fact that I have a husband is a public announcement that I am heterosexual, isn’t it?  Nevertheless, beyond the identity of your partner, which you are allowed to share with me, there is nothing more I want to know about your sex life.

What I’ve noticed over the years, though, is that, because the only thing that distinguishes gays from others is their sex life, politicized gays have become very opening about place their sex lives front and center.  I can see why they do it.  If they don’t, they’re just you and me, only with different bed mates.

Why does this behavior matter?  Because of the way in which Gay Pride celebrations, played out on the streets of San Francisco, tend to be overtly sexual.

Years ago, before I had children, I went to see the Gay Pride Parade, which marches proudly down Market Street, San Francisco’s main street.  It starts with Dykes on Bikes, which is somewhat amusing, if you don’t mind that 50% of them are naked women on a public street.  Then the floats come.  I have no problem with the proud police officers, and fire fighters, and lawyers, and hospital workers, and parents and friends, etc.  Even then, though, I was prudish enough to have a big problem with the proud (and naked) genital wrappers (if you don’t know, you don’t want to), or the proud (and naked) partner whippers, or the proud (and naked) whatever else should be confined to the bedroom kind of people.  (Although not as out there as the Folsom Street Fair, Zombie’s gallery of photos from that show, many of which are quite x-rated, gives you a good idea of what marches down SF’s streets on your average Gay Pride parade.)  All I could think of as I watched these people flaunt their bedroom behavior as a way of cementing their identity was “This is tourist season.  What if a family unwittingly comes across this parade?”

As for me, I think I would be very much more sympathetic to the Gay rights and Gay pride movement if it would observe a “less is more” philosophy.  When one adds to the fact that I’ve always been a bit of a prude the fact that I’m now a mother, I see in myself less and less sense of fellowship with a group that’s gone from being downtrodden to being a group that flaunts its often extreme sexuality in the very streets on which my little ones walk.  A gay lawyer is someone with whom I can identify.  A gay genital binder who uses a social/political parade to demonstrate his sexual preferences just offends me.