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HEADLINES: The Lesbian Novelist Who Fell In Love With a Gay Writer

theobaldarnott

• A lesbian novelist who didn’t care for bisexuals meets a gay novelist. Then Stephanie Theobald and Jake Arnott fell in love. [Guardian]

• Out gay Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, who’s demanding investigations into the deaths of gay Iraqis, says he’s considering introducing an overarching equality bill. [Washington Blade]

• Australian Sean Rich was gay bashed at age 13. And again, at age 20. [Northern Star]

• Tax tips from porn stars reveal how deduct condoms, porn, and lube. [The Sword]

• Speaking of lube, KY isn’t shy about what it can do for you. [Jezebel]

• Gays sign up for “Boot Camp” — but just to get fit, not join the military. But everything is more worthwhile when it has a sexy army theme. [Musto]

[Photo: Linda Nylind/Guardian]

By:           editor editor
On:           Apr 16, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,
  • 75 Comments
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      Hmpf, she was always Bisexual.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 12:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      These travels on the sexual continuum are making me dizzy!

      Apr 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Santos
      John Santos

      I dated a guy who said he would occasionally date women just to get attention; to stand out in the crowd. That’s all these two are–attention seekers–with books coming out soon, which need promotion.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 1:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @John Santos: They started dating about four years ago, it looks like.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 2:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joey
      Joey

      That whole thing is just fucked up. “Gay men commonly sleep with women”. Since when? What is this world coming to?

      Apr 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joey
      Joey

      @Alec:

      So? Those two are just messed up people. Simple as that.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @“Joey”: Why are they messed up?

      Apr 16, 2009 at 3:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      If they’re in love and happy who cares? It’s nobody else’s business.

      If we were made to fit into boxes we’d all have barcodes stamped on our foreheads.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 3:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @strumpetwindsock: Oh boy are you going to get it…a treatise from “Joey” on the evils of bisexual conduct….

      Apr 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joey
      Joey

      @Alec:

      LOL We’ve been through this conversation before Alec. I have nothing against bisexuality. I just have a problem with people who seek to undermine the traditional definition of homosexuality and, as a result, undermine the whole gay community and movement.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 3:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joey
      Joey

      @strumpetwindsock:

      Why are you on a website that is called “Queerty” (meaning QUEER, as in homosexual) if you don’t believe in the traditional definition of homosexuality?

      Apr 16, 2009 at 3:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @Joey: Wiki suggests this site should only be for bottoms, then:

      Subsequently, for most of the 20th Century, “queer” was frequently used as a derogatory term for effeminate gay males who were believed to engage in receptive or passive anal/ oral sex with men, and others exhibiting untraditional gender behavior. Furthermore, masculine males, who performed the role of the ‘penetrator’ were considered ‘straights’. [3]

      3… The most striking addition to the picture offered by D’Emilio and Freedman is aworking-class sexual culture in which only those men who took the passive orfeminine role were considered ‘queer.’ A man who took the ‘active role,’ whoinserted his penis into another man, remained a ‘straight’ man, even when he hadan on-going relationship with a man who took the passive role.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 3:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joey
      Joey

      There’s a reason many schools prohibit students from using Wikipedia for work. Anyway, regardless, I think you understand my point.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 3:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Joey:

      I think that decision is up to the actual moderators of the site, isn’t it? They could easily pre-approve registrants if they want, but evidently they want to hear something other than just the sound of their own voices.

      And regarding the definition of the word “queer”, mine is a bit different than yours. I know plenty of gay men who hate the term and consider it demeaning (I had that very discussion one time with an advertiser when I worked for an organization with “Queer” in its title).

      For me and most of those I know it is an umbrella term that includes LGBT and even straight-leaning people (like a lot of cross-dressers) who have a fluid gender sensibility.

      I don’t want to get into a debate with you; but that’s how I define the word. I’m sure you’ll get a range of definitions if you ask around.

      Anyway, you’ve got no more authority to call the shots here than I do- and no call whatsoever to get on my case.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 3:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @John Santos:

      I so AGREE.

      You know how you have some lesbians and gays who LOVE attention and throwing about their orientation to prove some political point??

      These TWO.

      I’m sure they are happy which is really cute and sweet. They get off on the fact that they can be a ‘taboo’.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 4:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John from  England(used to be just John but there are other John's)
      John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

      @strumpetwindsock:

      I do!

      I actually have a barcode stamped on my head.

      I think slaves used too didn’t they?

      Pah, we’re all products of this sick, sick world..

      Apr 16, 2009 at 4:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Santos
      John Santos

      All this does is propagate the belief that homosexuality, or lesbianism is a choice, that one can choose not to engage in. All queers need are the “right” man, or woman to set them–for lack of a better term–straight. It further fosters the ridiculous belief that the only relationships that are long-lasting are those of opposite sex couples. And what’s with the UK being littered with all these queers hooking up with people of the opposite sex and declaring they are still gay? Must be something in the water. Or the gin.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Santos
      John Santos

      You know how you have some lesbians and gays who LOVE attention and throwing about their orientation to prove some political point?

      Yeah. And you know how straight people can be really closeted and never talk about their relations…Oh. Never mind.

      How many articles appeared about these two and their promiscuity before they hooked up with each other? I’d hazard a guess that it was none.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @John Santos:

      All this does is propagate the belief that homosexuality, or lesbianism is a choice, that one can choose not to engage in.

      Well, no one has argued, to my knowledge, that sexual conduct is compelled by one’s orientation, only that desire is fixed. He has stated that his orientation is predominantly homosexual; that’s consistent with a continuum view of human sexuality; I don’t read anything into it.

      And what’s with the UK being littered with all these queers hooking up with people of the opposite sex and declaring they are still gay?

      It’s that damned Torchwood show. This is all the fault of that damn John Barrowman and his marriage hating ways.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pragmatist
      Pragmatist

      @John Santos: Hi, John.

      You wrote: “All this does is popagate the belief that . . . All queers need are the ‘right’ man, or woman to set them–for lack of a better term–straight.”

      I think you’re letting binary, all-or-nothing thinking lead you to a conclusion that doesn’t make sense. Who thinks this couple has been set “straight”? If they break up, what is the probability that they’ll each end up with an opposite-sex partner again? Probably very low, at least to the extent that past behavior can be used to predict future behavior.

      So it doesn’t give fodder to the argument that homosexuals can be set straight. It just gives fodder to the argument that a lot of homosexuals are actually bisexuals who are only attracted to the opposite sex once in a blue moon, or that homosexuality can be defined with some leeway to allow for occasional nonconforming behavior. (Those are flip sides of the same definitional coin, as far as I’m concerned.)

      Apr 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tavdy79
      tavdy79

      @Joey: I have nothing against bisexuality. I just have a problem with people who seek to undermine the traditional definition of homosexuality and, as a result, undermine the whole gay community and movement.

      That both bisexuality and homosexuality are real and distinct is something I have personal experience of as a genderqueer person: I have twin libidos – one is that of a gay man, the other is that of a bisexual woman. Does that somehow make me less queer because I do have a bisexual side, or because my gender identity is more than merely male? If anything I consider myself more queer because of this rather than less. The dictionary definition, from which the slang originates, is “strange or odd from a conventional viewpoint; unusually different; singular” (dictionary.com) – and I’m certainly far more “queer” (when compared to cisgendered heterosexuals) than any gay guy.

      The dictionary.com page has this interesting footnote which undercuts your assumption quite succinctly. Emphasis mine:

      Usage Note: A reclaimed word is a word that was formerly used solely as a slur but that has been semantically overturned by members of the maligned group, who use it as a term of defiant pride. Queer is an example of a word undergoing this process. For decades queer was used solely as a derogatory adjective for gays and lesbians, but in the 1980s the term began to be used by gay and lesbian activists as a term of self-identification. Eventually, it came to be used as an umbrella term that included gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgendered people. Nevertheless, a sizable percentage of people to whom this term might apply still hold queer to be a hateful insult, and its use by heterosexuals is often considered offensive. Similarly, other reclaimed words are usually offensive to the in-group when used by outsiders, so extreme caution must be taken concerning their use when one is not a member of the group.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 4:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Santos
      John Santos

      Sorry Alec and Pragmatist, but that entire relationship is nothing more than attention grabbing. This is nothing more than a couple of small fish in a big pond trying to make waves. And clearly it has worked. All this does is set gay equality furhter back. Do you really believe anti-gay people are going to see these two as examples of “fluid” sexuality? Of course not. It’s two queers who finally found the right man and woman to settle down with. Ahh…now ain’t that loverly!

      Apr 16, 2009 at 4:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @John Santos: Well we’ll have to agree to disagree, here. I mean, there are plenty of examples people can cite to, and the immutability or inflexibility of a trait doesn’t guarantee equal treatment.

      Anti-gay people don’t even care if orientation is fixed. What’s the point of caving into their demands?

      Apr 16, 2009 at 5:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      @John Santos:

      I agree that most people are not going to think “fluid sexuality” when thinking about this couple.

      If their goal was to get attention, it was successful because I had not heard of these people before today.

      Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve noticed more attention paid to the “continuum” for gay people since Jack Wrangler’s death hit the news. His (apparently happy) marriage and dozens of straight porn flicks despite identifying as gay kind of makes him a trendsetter.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 5:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Santos
      John Santos

      Anti-gay people don’t even care if orientation is fixed.

      Yes they do. As far as the’re concerned there is only one prientation–straight. Everything else is a perversion of heterosexuality.

      What’s the point of caving into their demands?

      There is no point in doing that. However, these two presenting themselves are the paragon of queer identity, is a diservice to the queer community.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 5:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Santos
      John Santos

      His (apparently happy) marriage and dozens of straight porn flicks despite identifying as gay kind of makes him a trendsetter.

      I’m sorry Anthony, but all I saw was a gay man terrfied of AIDS, desperate to be the center of attention and realizing with the advent of video, that he was no longer a big fish in a small pond. I’d dare say he was merely an opportunist. Joe Gage is another example.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @John Santos: Nah, anti-gay groups still argue that homosexuality is immoral even if people can’t change their orientation. The Catholic Church even recognizes that change may be impossible, but still calls for individuals to be “chaste” and abstain from gay sex.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 5:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Anthony in Nashville
      Anthony in Nashville

      @John Santos:

      I have not watched the documentary on Wrangler so I don’t know what motivated him to go into straight porn, it could’ve been all for attention.

      I don’t think he was the only gay man scared of AIDS in the early 80s.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Celia
      Celia

      @John Santos: Do you really believe anti-gay people are going to see these two as examples of “fluid” sexuality?

      I fail to see why we should care what anti-gay people think in this context. People can sleep with whoever they please. Heavens, I thought that was exactly what our movement was all about! What anti-gay people really do like, though, is when us LGBTs turn on each other instead of getting to what’s really fucking things up for us – which is the anti-gay people and their insistence that we have to bow and scrape to them and make sure our lives are led in ways they can comprehend and feel comfortable with. Seriously, don’t give them the satisfaction.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 5:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @John Santos:
      In other words, you don’t think they’re really in love?

      If I wanted to get attention I can think of more effective and easier ways of doing it than finding an apartment and spending all my quality time having sex with someone I wasn’t genuinely attracted to.

      As it is I think the only people scandalized are those who think the gay movement is so fragile that two people shacking up can make it crumble.

      And besides, there are plenty of gays and lesbians who marry each other for matters of citizenship, convenience, or *shudder* LOVE, sexual or not.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 5:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John Santos
      John Santos

      In other words, you don’t think they’re really in love?

      I think they either got tired of slutting around; or being ignored; or feared dying alone; or not “fitting in”; or wanted to give their careers a boost; or simply wanted attention.

      Let’s face it, this is a common thing among older queers. Why? I think that we’re too afraif to examine the why is this says much about us and the state of our affairs. We’re begging for marriage equality, but it seems so many of us are running for the straight-appearing hills.

      If I wanted to get attention I can think of more effective and easier ways of doing it than finding an apartment and spending all my quality time having sex with someone I wasn’t genuinely attracted to.

      As I wrote above, this story came out at the same time they’ve both got books coming out. Coincidence? Doubtful.

      As it is I think the only people scandalized are those who think the gay movement is so fragile that two people shacking up can make it crumble.

      You’d be surprised. Especially when it appears the only queers shacking up–and getting publicity for it–are those doing so with opposite sex partners

      Apr 16, 2009 at 6:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Yeah, let’s play up the failed and unfalsifiable thesis that sexual orientation is but a social construct… This is a joke. If it were, why is there such uniformity cross culturally and observed in the behavior of different species? Gender isn’t sexuality nor sex. Many studies on sexual orientation indicate that genetics play a major role in the formation of sexual orientation through a fetus’ exposure to certain hormones. Nurture doesn’t=culture, either. But biology impacts culture, and anyone who suggests otherwise has no understanding of psychology, anthropology, and evolution–at least as they are currently understood. Sexuality and any other topic of discussion relevant to mainstream culture doesn’t exist in a bubble separate from the hard science; and if one wants to say something meaningful about sexuality or any other empirical phenomena, they better make sure that their claims are testable, or else they’re not saying anything factual–or in this case, about sexual orientation.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 6:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pragmatist
      Pragmatist

      @TANK: There is no such uniformity. In fact, the concept of sexuality has been comprehended (and expressed) in wildly varying ways depending on the location and period in history.

      One historian notes:

      To impose such categories as “homosexuality” and “bisexuality” upon a society or conceptul universe, whether non-European or pre-nineteenth century, in which they would not have been understood in the same sense that they are currently understood, if indeed at all, and in which behaviour often followed patterns quite different from those we associate with them in our own societies, is unwittingly to hide from view the experience of those very historical subjects whom we seek to comprehend. Even the word “sexuality” invites misinterpretation, so clarification is in order. By “sexuality,” I do not mean fixed sexul orientation, as late twentieth century speakers of English tend to do, for instance, when they refer to a particular individual’s “sexuality” — meaning that person’s place within the currently canonical trinity of “homosexuality,” “heterosexulity,” and “bisexuality.” For much of the period examined in this study, the notion that each individual possesses a deeply rooted personal identity based on the biological sex of the preferred sexual object or objects (and specifically whether it is the same as or different from her or his own), and the tripartite taxonomy of sexual types that has resulted from this construction, held no currency in Japan, nor had they emerged even in the West.

      (G. Pflugfelder, Cartographies of Desire: Male-male Sexuality in Japanese Discourse, 1600-1950, pp. 5-6.)

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      1950…before hard science could, ya know…provide studies with brainscans. Idiotic foucaultian claptrap. There is uniformity, though. It used to be that there was no term for sexual orientation, and only sexual acts (until quite recently) were considered…does that imply, then, that sexual orientation didn’t exist until there was a term (and more specific terms) for it?

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      How much of an antirealist are you? DOes it extend to atoms and electrons, too?

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @TANK:

      It was actually published in ’99, I think. But it has nothing to do with sexual orientation as a scientific phonomena. NOthing at all..and is perhaps based on those same failed assumptions that it’s a social construct.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @TANK:

      As such, it may be an interesting piece of cultural anthropology, but has no weight in suggesting that the rates of sexual orientation fluctuated over time or in different cultures, or that sexual orientation’s a social construct completely divorced from biology…merely that they didn’t have concepts and words for the relevant phenomena.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pragmatist
      Pragmatist

      I see. Any academic work or empirical observations that originate outside your preconceived ideology can be dismissed as (for example) “idiotic foucaultian claptrap.” Good to know.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark in Colorado (aka Mark from the other comment thread)
      Mark in Colorado (aka Mark from the other comment thread)

      @Joey: They both came to the realization of their bisexuality with a strong preference for the same sex. There’s no disingenuousness here. In addition they get to enjoy the benefits of heterosexual privilege whether they want them or not. It’s a win-win for them and really not much of a controversy. That Jake Arnott interprets the sexual behavior of others the way he does is not a surprise either.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Pragmatist:

      No, it just doesn’t make any falsifiable claims about human sexuality. As such, it’s not relevant to any scientific examination of it, or factual claims, really. That is, it makes statements about the universe but without any way of substantiating them or testing that they’re true or false…like religious claims.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @TANK:

      And that’d be fine if there weren’t any alternative explanations…but there are, and they’re better…because they’re useful and testable–and provide results.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alec
      Alec

      @TANK: What do you make of Greek pederasty and, more to the point, I guess, its institutionalization and pervasiveness? Gender segregation?

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pragmatist
      Pragmatist

      Right. And part of your ideology is that sexuality must be testable by current methods of so-called “hard science.” Never mind that attempts to study a social phenomenon from a “hard science” perspective require the application of arbitrarily selected definitions in the modeling of the problem. And never mind that, in the particular case of sexuality research, hard science has yielded little more than a string of inconclusive results.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      The greeks didn’t have a word for homosexuality; sexuality didn’t exist for them. Second, Greek pederasty emphasized the role of an instructor or teacher over the sexual aspect of the relationship. Third, same sex sexual activity amongst adult males (and, specifically, citizens) was sharply criticized and censured; there was quite a bit of stigma attached to a male citizen engaging in same sex sexual activity… There was also not a clear understanding of sex, either. Perocles’…lover (who I think he divorced his wife to marry) was a hermaphrodite (and a renowned whore).

      I don’t think that it speaks to the social construction of sexual orientation, though, for it is quite clear that homosexuals, and famous homosexuals (those with reported lifelong attractions to just men…like zeno of elea and plato) existed.

      The oikos polis distinction is more reflective of…the rampant misogyny in ancient Athens.

      The spartan practice of segregating gender didn’t reflect sexual orientation, either.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      pericles, and I was referring in the first paragraph to athenian society.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      In fact most if not much of the mentoring (greek pederasty) didn’t involve sex at all…which vindicates the claim of most mainstream people who study sexual orientation empirically.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @Pragmatist:

      Well first, any claim about the world…any purported empirical fact…needs to be testable if it’s an empirical fact about the world…like any other, e.g., the door is open. I think that your antirealism should be consistent, at least. I think you should embrace it not just for sexual orientation, but electrons and chairs… You could say that repeatability in experimentation is just an arbitrary value. The thing of it is, though, that the truth values don’t change regardless of how you change the explanation for the same phenomena, which implies a simple use/mention mistake.

      Is there any measurable difference between saying that sexual orientation is a social construct and it being innate? No. Is only one of them testable? Yes. Therefore, one is clearly superior in terms of finding out things about sexual orientation than the other…which isn’t testable…and says nothing, then, about sexual orientation.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 8:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pragmatist
      Pragmatist

      @TANK: And that’s where we disagree, or at least one major point at which we disagree. If I understand you correctly, you seem to be suggesting that because one paradigm is easier to work with than another, it is superior.

      I don’t think that’s a proper basis for choosing a theoretical model of human behavior — at least, not if one is advocating the chosen model as “the” truth. (If one is merely selecting the model so as to enable certain predictions to be made, then that’s fine, provided the limitations of such a choice are admitted. For example, we all use Newtonian physics for everyday applications because it seems to work well with them. That, however, does not imply that Newtonian physics is itself the underlying reality. It’s just a model that, conveniently, requires simpler math.)

      The problem I have with this sexuality debate is that it seems to draw out bizarre, absolutist positions. An abundance of documented anecdotal evidence contradicts those positions. Which, in turn, usually prompts the proponents of such positions to contend that the subjects of these anecdotes are simply mistaken for some reason — which is, of course, self-serving, circular, and not testable either.

      I’ve never had a problem with the use of labels per se. (Their use creates vexing definitional issues, as we’ve seen, but that’s another point.) Apart from that, labels are a perfectly useful way of describing general tendencies within limits. A man who only experiences an attraction to a woman twice in his lifetime may be theoretically bisexual, but for all practical purposes is homosexual. For some people, that information is useful to know.

      The problem I have with labels — or the only problem I really care about — is that for many people, they’ve become tools of oppression and constraint, rather than convenient ways of describing general tendencies within limits. A rather extreme version of that kind of distortion can be seen in these threads, where “JOEY” has made all kinds of outlandish and contemptuous assertions regarding “impure” homosexuals.

      If assuming that human sexuality can be divided into three categories enables you to more conveniently research spending habits, for example, be my guest. If assuming that one’s degree of sexual attraction to the same/opposite sex is a fixed ratio enables you to more easily model mate selection, go right ahead.

      But please don’t elevate a model to some kind of inviolate truth that supersedes the experiences of actual humans. That’s no way to seek truth, and depending on the context, it can be quite hurtful.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 8:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Pragmatist
      Pragmatist

      @Pragmatist: I do have one other issue with the fixed-sexuality model, a political issue.

      I believe that tying the GLBT equality movement to the model of sexuality as a fixed, discrete, and biologically derived trait has two major drawbacks:

      First, I don’t think it’s a solid foundation upon which to build the foundation of equal rights. Future developments could contradict or obviate the model. For example, assuming that sexual orientation were determined genetically, a future gene/engineered viral therapy could make it possible to “undo” homosexuality. What then? Should GLBT people still enjoy the rights they acquired? Or should they relinquish those rights because it would then be technologically possible to “choose” to be different?

      Second, by tying the movement to this model, we’ve all but guaranteed internal war between our various constituencies. Which has been plain for all to see.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 8:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • getreal
      getreal

      As someone who believes sexual orientation is genetic and doesn’t change this couple is a bit mystifying. Someone brought up the matter of straight privilege. I wonder would these two people even attempt to live as a straight couple if not for the perks of straight privilege?

      Apr 16, 2009 at 8:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark in Colorado (aka Mark from the other comment thread)
      Mark in Colorado (aka Mark from the other comment thread)

      The LGBTQ Resource Center of the University of Missouri provides a list of some of the benefits of heterosexual privilege:

      If you are heterosexual (or, in some cases, simply perceived as heterosexual):

      you can go wherever you want and know that you will not be harassed, beaten, or killed because of your sexuality (16 people were known to be murdered in 2000 because of being perceived as gay, 29 were killed in 1999, and 26 in 1998)

      you do not have to worry about being mistreated by the police or victimized by the criminal justice system because of your sexuality

      you can express affection (kissing, hugging, and holding hands) in most social situations and not expect hostile or violent reactions from others

      you are more likely to see sexually-explicit images of people of your sexuality without these images provoking public consternation or censorship

      you can discuss your relationships and publicly acknowledge your partner (such as by having a picture of your lover on your desk) without fearing that people will automatically disapprove or think that you are being “blatant”

      you can legally marry the person whom you love and you can receive tax breaks, health and insurance coverage, and spousal legal rights through being in a long-tem relationship

      you can express yourself sexually without the fear of being prosecuted for breaking the law (sodomy laws were enforceable in 16 states and were used to deny civil rights to lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals until 2003)

      you can join the military and be open about your sexuality

      you can expect that your children will be given texts in school that implicitly support your kind of family unit and that they will not be taught that your sexuality is a “perversion”

      you can approach the legal system, social service organizations, and government agencies without fearing discrimination because of your sexuality

      you can raise, adopt, and teach children without people believing that you will molest them or force them in to your sexuality. Moreover, people generally will not try to take away your children because of your sexuality

      you can belong to the religious denomination of your choice and know that your sexuality will not be denounced by its religious leaders

      you can easily find a neighborhood in which residents will accept how you have constituted your household

      you know that you will not be fired from a job or denied a promotion because of your sexuality

      you can work in traditionally male- or female-dominated occupations without it being considered “natural” for someone of your sexuality

      you can expect to see people of your sexuality positively presented on nearly every television show and in nearly every movie

      you can expect to be around others of your sexuality most of the time.

      You do not have to worry about being the only one of your sexuality in a class, on a job, or in a social situation

      you can act, dress, and talk as you choose without it being considered a reflection on people of your sexuality

      if you were to commit a sexual crime (such as rape or incest), it would not be viewed as a direct result of your sexuality

      you can teach about lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals without being seen as having a bias because of your sexuality or forcing a “homosexual agenda” on student

      Source: What is heterosexual privilege?

      Apr 16, 2009 at 9:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • getreal
      getreal

      Thanks for posting this. The next time I’m canvassing and someone tells me gays already have equal rights I will have this list of straight privileges to draw upon.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 10:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • afrolito
      afrolito

      What’s the big fucking deal? From what I read in that article, bith of them have always been BISEXUAL, if only in name. Now they’re together, and being true to themselves. Get over it.

      Jake Arnott is a great writer. I love his work, and who he ia married too isn’t gonna change that.

      Apr 16, 2009 at 11:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      And that’s where we disagree, or at least one major point at which we disagree. If I understand you correctly, you seem to be suggesting that because one paradigm is easier to work with than another, it is superior.

      No. Some explanations or theories aren’t easy to work with, but but are true because of the way the world is (complex, in this case).

      I don’t think that’s a proper basis for choosing a theoretical model of human behavior — at least, not if one is advocating the chosen model as “the” truth.

      The easiest model is the best? Sure, I don’t think so either. It would be easier to not explore our environments and come up with fantastical explanations for observed phenomena in the absence of any empirical investigation. This is the basis of religion. Are religious explanations of observable phenomena just as good as scientific? No. They both causality on some level, and causality is better explained through scientific methods and actual investigation of our environments. It’s not a true statement that the rock falls to the ground because a magical force.


      (If one is merely selecting the model so as to enable certain predictions to be made, then that’s fine, provided the limitations of such a choice are admitted. For example, we all use Newtonian physics for everyday applications because it seems to work well with them. That, however, does not imply that Newtonian physics is itself the underlying reality. It’s just a model that, conveniently, requires simpler math.)

      As a realist, I’d say that most of it is pretty much contained, and sustained by einsteinian relativity. It was tweaked, and the replacement theory built off of that one plus the insight of relativity. And further, bringing up QM complications as an appeal to ignorance aren’t really relevant here…most antirealists love to rely on QM to make their points (e.g., double slit experiment). I don’t see that they have one…or a coherent doctrine.


      The problem I have with this sexuality debate is that it seems to draw out bizarre, absolutist positions.

      I don’t now what you mean by absolutist here, and if pressed… I bet that you don’t, either.


      An abundance of documented anecdotal evidence contradicts those positions.

      That human sexuality is divided up gay, straight, and bi? I don’t think that they do. I think this is not only a useful scheme to interpret human sexuality because of its predictive and explanatory power, but that it actually does explain the phenomena observed. This has little to do with sexuality being innate vs. a social construct, though.

      Which, in turn, usually prompts the proponents of such positions to contend that the subjects of these anecdotes are simply mistaken for some reason — which is, of course, self-serving, circular, and not testable either.

      Well, I don’t know if people do exist outside of the scheme…to have options.

      I’ve never had a problem with the use of labels per se. (Their use creates vexing definitional issues, as we’ve seen, but that’s another point.) Apart from that, labels are a perfectly useful way of describing general tendencies within limits.

      Yes, labels and concepts enable us to understand the world around us…concepts are very helpful. Without it, we ah…(nothing understandable ;)).

      A man who only experiences an attraction to a woman twice in his lifetime may be theoretically bisexual, but for all practical purposes is homosexual. For some people, that information is useful to know.

      Sure. I think that person would be bisexual with more information on why, specifically, the attraction occurred. One can claim to be gay if they wish…one can claim anything they want if they wish. Doesn’t affect the truth value, though…that’s mind independent and indifferent what they label or believe.


      The problem I have with labels — or the only problem I really care about — is that for many people, they’ve become tools of oppression and constraint,

      They can be, if a belief or attitude is added to the label (negative one). But the label alone doesn’t imply that. I don’t think many people here hate bisexuals. At least I don’t.

      rather than convenient ways of describing general tendencies within limits.

      It’s more than just a convenient way to describes things if those things happen to be reality. In this case, it does.

      A rather extreme version of that kind of distortion can be seen in these threads, where “JOEY” has made all kinds of outlandish and contemptuous assertions regarding “impure” homosexuals.

      I’m neither defending nor am I aware of many of those.

      If assuming that human sexuality can be divided into three categories enables you to more conveniently research spending habits, for example, be my guest.

      but why would it do that? Look, as should be clear, I’m not a pragmatist nor am I an instrumentalist (tho…with instrumentalism, I’ve been known to push an argument or two)..basically, what that means is that I’m not an antirealist. I’m a realist; and relevant to this conversation, I don’t believe that our social conventions are determinative of reality. Assertions are true or false and their truth and falsity is serenely indifferent to what we think about it. And further, I believe that these classifications describe mind independent reality. I believe that these classifications refer to sexual orientations in reality. They aren’t mind dependent social constructions justified, say, on their usefulness. Because it doesn’t matter what you call it, or don’t call it, sexual orientation is a fact unaffected by the names or lack of names we give it. We could ,for all intents and purposes, make up a term fey…and say it’s someone with exclusively same sex attraction and an enjoyment of the color blue… If all you’re saying is that a culture omits such designations impacts whether those designations exist, then you haven’t made your case that sexual orientation’s a social construction (mind dependent). For you can’t infer the nonexistence of them based upon omission (ignorance of human sexuality), or different concepts to refer to the same thing. For all that says is that if we were to adopt their classifications or concepts, we would saying what they’re saying, and no one’s disputing that. But it doesn’t mean that what they’re saying has any purchase in mind independent reality, or that the reality in question is a social construct. What makes what we’re saying have such a purchase is testability and observation…a reality indifferent to our beliefs about it.

      But please don’t elevate a model to some kind of inviolate truth that supersedes the experiences of actual humans.

      I don’t. It is not up to me…I don’t determine reality.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 12:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      Pffft…

      All this nonsense about heterosexual privilege and bisexuality undercutting the gay community just bullshit.

      If what they are doing is honest love then it’s good.

      And if they are sacrificing their lives and happiness for a few headlines or the safety of “hetdom” then they are certainly paying a price for that, and time will tell.

      In either case it’s nobody’s fucking business.

      Of course there are certain privileges to being straight, white or rich. But I think sometimes the resentment is sometimes born of jealousy and shame.

      Any mature person learns you have to play with the hand you’re dealt. Generally that means learning to love and be proud of who you are, not moaning about how better off others are.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 12:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @strumpetwindsock:

      Are you denying the injustice the heterosexual privilege represents? If not, what are you saying? Not to address it? Complacence?

      Apr 17, 2009 at 12:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      Heterosexual privilege’s existence undercuts the gay community, strumpet. It exists by oppression.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 12:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      ANd if you’re saying it’s not that big of a deal, then why aren’t you saying the same of homophobia in general? Not that big a deal…..jesus christ, man! Wake the FUCK UP.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 12:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hardmannyc
      hardmannyc

      @Joey: ” the traditional definition of homosexuality”

      There are so many things wrong with that phrase, I can’t even begin to go there.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 12:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @TANK:
      I thought I was pretty clear in my last post.

      Privilege certainly exists, and fighting the system is the right thing to do.

      But who people choose to have sex and relations with is nobody’s business.

      If they honestly love each other then I’m happy for them.

      But if either or both of them are suppressing their true feelings for that short term and dubious payoff then they’re gonna pay for it, now or later.

      And even if they don’t it’s none of our damn business. Not everything comes down to politics – especially love.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 1:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark in Colorado (aka Mark from the other comment thread)
      Mark in Colorado (aka Mark from the other comment thread)

      @strumpetwindsock: I suspect you are not a stupid person, but you keep repeating the same stupid statement:

      “In either case it’s nobody’s fucking business.”

      “And even if they don’t it’s none of our damn business.”

      The whole reason this particular comment thread exists is because they have put themselves and their life into the public sphere. Therefore they have made it everyone’s business.

      Had they kept their life private, then it would be none of our fucking business.

      And frankly, they’re both butt ugly, so it’s no loss that they aren’t available to any same-sex partners. In fact, please, please, please, I hope they stay together. The garden doesn’t need anymore weeds.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 2:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Mark in Colorado (aka Mark from the other comment thread):

      Yes, and I may have to repeat it again.

      From the picture above it doesn’t look like they’re lounging around on a stage or a storefront window. Did you notice any full-page newspaper ads that read “Hi Everyone, We’re Fucking?”

      Like it or not they are both public figures and there is going to be a reasonable amount of interest in their private lives. If that interest did not exist their lives wouldn’t be in the news. How much of that is their responsibility alone?

      Are you saying that what they are doing would be okay so long as they were never seen together in public and stayed in the closet about it?

      And besides, if they tried to hide (so as not to upset peoples’ delicate sensibilities) guess what would happen? The media and prying fools looking for something to be offended about would just turn THAT into a story about how deceitful and ashamed of their orientation they are.

      I’m resisting repeating that sentence, because really, that is all the justification that is needed. Perhaps saying it a different way will get it through to those who may not not understand or accept the fact:

      If you don’t like someone’s personal business you should not pay attention to it, and being scandalized about it just makes sure that MORE people will hear about it.

      So really, you’re part of the very problem you are complaining about.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 10:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark in Colorado
      Mark in Colorado

      @strumpetwindsock: Projecting much commenter #8, 14, 30, 55, 60, and 62? Not everyone on this thread is scandalized about their life. I made that clear in my original post.

      People have a right to express their point of view. If you don’t like their views, well that’s your problem. Get over it.

      When one puts oneself into the public eye one becomes open to public scrutiny. The discussion around their public revelation can be useful to understanding the situation or not. They’ve made their sexuality and by extension their sex life everyone’s business. We’re not dealing in the abstract here. Unless of course everything has to be spelled out in black and white and in exhaustive detail for you. Which wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 11:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Mark in Colorado:
      Mark, I’m not the one who is saying they should be in the closet.
      I have no problem with them being in the news.

      If they are honestly in love I’m happy for them, and I disagree with the assumption that every part of a public figure’s private life has a public/political motive.

      But as I also said, if they are in fact media whores then they’ll pay a price for that, and if you don’t like it the best way to thwart it is to ignore them.

      Those who make a big stink about it should realize they are part of the publicity wave they are complaining about. Really, Someone who has a problem with it should really be blaming The Guardian and Queerty for publicizing it (and themselves for being sucked in by it).

      But be my guest. If someone wants to take out their own full-page ad condemning them for flaunting their sexuality in public I can hardly stop them. That should keep a lid on things.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      You’re going to have to spell it out in greater detail. He’s got the alzheimers… Normally I wouldn’t type that, but it’s not like he’s going to remember.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 11:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark in Colorado
      Mark in Colorado

      @strumpetwindsock: I really doubt this comment thread rises to the level of a “publicity wave.” “Family” disagreements are a good thing. But you are still taking the whole point of this comment thread to a place I don’t believe most commenters here are going. I understand your points I just don’t believe they apply here.

      That being said, we do have a partial point of agreement! Queerty misrepresents the original article with their headline. Jake Arnott clearly states in the article that labeling himself as gay was a matter of convenience, but his bisexuality has always been a part of him. Queerty’s headline paints a completely different picture. I believe Queerty is being mischevious in doing so–stirring the pot so to speak.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 12:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @Mark in Colorado:
      I understand your points I just don’t believe they apply here.
      You can’t just end a disagreement by declaring someone’s position invalid if you fail to undo it with logic.

      My two points – whether they are truly in love and whether it is our business – might just have a bit of relevance.

      And I also recognize and agree with much of your position. I think the difference between us is which takes precedence. For me I think they, literally and figuratively, have made their own bed and have to lie in it. If it’s all a stunt they don’t need us yapping at them for karma to bite them in the ass. It will happen all on its own.

      But I think we should just agree to disagree on some of this.

      @TANK:
      I had no idea I got under your skin so much the other day about that gun control thing. It actually wasn’t my intention. I honestly thought you were in the NRA.
      I’m sorry you seem so hung up on age, since like it or not you’re going to wind up old if you’re lucky enough to last that long.
      I should tell you life at the doddering old age of 47 affords one a lot more freedom, enjoyment, and appreciation than at 20, or 14 or however old you are. And frankly, I feel a lot happier than I did back then too.
      You’re welcome to turn into a withered, crotchety ugly old fool if that’s how you see the process, but I’d recommend looking at things differently.

      Apr 17, 2009 at 11:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      What’s there to agree to disagree about? You flat don’t understand what’s at stake, and what’s at issue.

      All this nonsense about heterosexual privilege and bisexuality undercutting the gay community just bullshit.

      You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. Old gray mair…she ain’t what she used to be, huh?

      Apr 18, 2009 at 12:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @TANK:
      That’s “mare”, darling.

      Apr 18, 2009 at 1:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      @strumpetwindsock:

      Is it? Changes nothing.

      Apr 18, 2009 at 1:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @TANK:
      And go back and read that comment in the context of my full quote.

      I said het, white and rich privilege exist, and they are discriminations that should be challenged.

      And I said that if a couple wished to hide behind that privilege that was their business, and they would pay for it in different ways.

      My main point was that I think some (not all) people who begrudge them taking advantage of a heterosexual disguise may be just a little jealous that they are able to do that.

      I think it’s a pointless diversion from what we should be focusing on – pride in who we are – rather than moaning about how much better off some couple are because they can pass for straight.

      It’s like religious people complaining about others’ shortcomings while ignoring what they should be doing to help themselves.

      Apr 18, 2009 at 1:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      No, mr. winkle, your reasoning was used to insulate them from criticism for cashing in on their heterosexual privilege. They aren’t exempt from that: no heterosexual couple who cashes in on it is exempt from such criticism.

      And now anyone who criticizes heterosexual privilege and those who cash in on it are jealous? Yeah, sure. If you know what it is, one has just as much right to be pissed off about the injustice that it represents as jealous of the benefits it confers through oppression.

      Will they pay for it some way or another? Religious and old. That seems about right.

      Apr 18, 2009 at 1:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      One of the ways that we are helping ourselves is by criticizing the unjustifiable bigotry responsible for heterosexual privilege.

      Apr 18, 2009 at 1:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TANK
      TANK

      No one’s begruding them anything, either…and that’s a fact. And it’s relevant to bring up bisexuals with heterosexual privilege, because it undermines their claim that they’re even more discriminated against than out and proud lesbians and gays.

      Apr 18, 2009 at 1:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • strumpetwindsock
      strumpetwindsock

      @TANK:
      Will they pay for it some way or another? Religious and old. That seems about right.

      Actually I was thinking more about a couple living behind a facade just to sell books and piss of a bunch of jealous people, even though they’re not attracted to each other.

      If that’s what’s going on here then I expect they will break up or wind up bitter and jaded.

      That’s how I was thinking they might pay, but feel free to invoke the last judgement if you think their crimes merit a more eternal retribution.

      It just seems odd. I presume you wouldn’t actually want to do what they are doing, so unless you are actually wishing you could pass why are you even thinking about them at all.

      Besides… they might actually be in love, which kind of blows the conspiracy theory out of the water.

      Apr 18, 2009 at 2:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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