Althouse | category: homosexuality



a blog by Ann Althouse

"Qatar’s vision for the World Cup did not just require the building of seven stadiums and the refurbishment of an eighth."

"The country also needed an entire network of roads and rails to transport fans between the arenas and dozens upon dozens of hotels to house them — nothing less than an entirely redrawn country, rising from the sand in a $220 billion nation-building project. To achieve it, Qatar recruited hundreds of thousands of migrant workers from some of the poorest corners of the planet, swelling the country’s population — which grew by 13.2 percent in the last year alone — and drawing intense focus on the laborers’ treatment, their rights and their living conditions. How many have died over the last decade or more is not known, and may never be. Many thousands more have returned home sick or injured or deprived of the pay they were promised...."

From "The World Cup That Changed Everything/The decision to take the World Cup to Qatar has upturned a small nation, battered the reputation of global soccer’s governing body and altered the fabric of the sport" (NYT).

"A new wave of migrant workers has arrived, meanwhile, to staff the hotels, man the stadiums and serve the food.... Qatar shocked FIFA and fans alike on Friday by deciding, only days before the tournament’s opening match, to go back on its promise to allow the sale of beer at its eight World Cup stadiums..... The about-face raised new questions about whether everyone — particularly LGBTQ+ fans — will face the kind of welcome that Qatar’s organizing committee and FIFA have consistently guaranteed. This month, Khalid Salman, a former Qatari national team player now deployed as an ambassador for the World Cup, did not seem to have heard the organizers’ messaging. 'Homosexuality is haram here,' he told a German documentary, using an Arabic word that roughly translates as forbidden. 'It is haram because it is damage in the mind.'"

ADDED: Is $220 billion really that much? It's just 5 Twitters.

AND: Imagine forbidding everything that is "damage in the mind"? What would escape forbidding?

"They just needed a disease and they don't need it anymore."

 That's what I said out loud — just because I wanted to blurt something out — after reading the NYT headline "What Happened to Monkeypox?" 

I'm reading the article now, and I see that it's not about the political use of this disease. It's about how the cases are declining — down 85% since August, we're told.

"Experts" cite 4 factors:

First, vaccines helped slow the virus’s spread (despite a rocky rollout). Second, gay and bisexual men reduced activities.... The third reason is related: the Pride Month effect...

That is, apparently, during Pride Month (June), gay men had "more parties and other festivities [that] involved casual sex.

The fourth factor, experts tell us, is that a disease that spreads through close contact is "harder to transmit" and therefore "self-limiting virus." 

So what do you think of my knee-jerk, it's-all-politics answer? Was I just amusing myself, imitating a cynic?

"I am the person meant to 'see myself' in 'Bros,' to be 'represented' by it, to celebrate the 'milestone' it marks."

Writes Matt Brennan, in "The real lesson of ‘Bros’: It’s OK to let gay art bomb" (L.A. Times).

I am of Eichner’s generation, or close to it; of his race, his gender, his sexuality, his industry, his city....

The freedom “Bros” extols, or tries to, is not just sexual freedom. It is the freedom to fight over, criticize, even ignore the artworks that claim to represent us — and, on the flip side, the freedom to keep making and consuming gay art whether straight people show up for it or not....

“Bros,” a film expressly about the refusal to butch up one’s voice for a straight audience, isn’t for everyone, and it doesn’t need to be. It can be for us, to argue about on Twitter or at the bar before “Drag Race,” outside the circuit party, during our own dates (or orgies). And it can be for us to decide it’s not worth our time or our money, that we would rather watch some other queer film or TV series out of love, instead of watching this one out of obligation. ...

May the next quarter century bring still bigger swings, still more revolutionary incursions into the mainstream, still more films and TV series “too gay, too niche” for straight audiences and not gay enough — never gay enough — for us. That’s progress.

Bombs away.

For you edification and amusement, I've lined up 10 TikToks. Some people love them!

1. Very nice slow-motion photography.

2. This dinner makes itself.

3. AI shows "Simpsons" characters as real people.

4. You are ugly. He can help.

5. Mississippi John Hurt sings "That Lonesome Valley."

6. Buck Dancing, filmed in 1894.

7. An ocean is forming within Pakistan.

8. Teens are asked "How gay are you?"

9. An impression of a Gen Z person on their deathbed.

10. And let Ricky Gourmet help you with the overbearing heat of summer.

Here are 7 TikToks to while away the next few minutes. Let me know what you liked best.

1. Ricky Gourmet goes sugar mode.

2. Whatever happened to the boy who played Charlie in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"?

3. I'm not sure if it's right to do this, but I think all versions of Obama look just great.

4. Spending the night with your irascible Southern grandma.

5. Committing to a "capsule wardrobe."

6. Why do some women knowingly marry gay men?

7. "Fly Me to the Moon."

"Except the T has interests that are diametrically opposed to those of the LGB. How so? By denying that homosexuality is same-sex attraction..."

"... and attempting to replace it with 'same-gender' attraction. Whence the spectacle of bepenised straight heterosexual males who identify as 'trans' (and thus consider themselves 'lesbians') browbeating actual lesbians into considering them as sexual partners, with the inevitable accusations of 'transphobia' raining down on lesbians who insist that they are only attracted to women. Think I'm kidding? Google 'cotton ceiling.' Or have a look at this:"

Banjopotato gets some pushback from BuffaloGal78:
Trans people are not transitioning so they can pass as gay or straight. Trans people transition because of who they ARE. Are you trying to say that no one is actually gay or lesbian? Or that only non-trans people can be gay, and everyone who transitions is doing so to trick their potential partners? That's not how any of this works. 
Banjopotato responds: 
I am saying that lots of people are gay and lesbian. And being gay or lesbian means being exclusively same-sex attracted. And that intact straight male "trans" "lesbians" accuse lesbians, especially, who insist that they are same-sex attracted and therefore not interested in the male-bodied, of "transphobia" as a way of intimidating them into compliance. All of this is very well documented and one needn't look far to find examples. Or, to put it succinctly, being gay is same-sex attraction. A male who is attracted to females cannot be a lesbian: he's straight, regardless of how he feels or thinks about himself. I haven't speculated about motivations, but there is some evidence that older "trans" males mostly transition after decades of transvestic fetishism (autogynephilia) and that sexual gratification is the driving force in that urge to transition. See, for example:

"I walk around the neighborhood that encouraged me for so many decades, and I see the reminders of Harvey and the Rainbow Honor Walk, celebrating famous queer and trans people."

"I just can’t help but think that soon there will be a time when people walking up and down the street will have no clue what this is all about."

Said Cleve Jones, who lived in the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco for 50 years before moving out of the city altogether, to live in a small house with a garden, quoted in "Once a Crucial Refuge, 'Gayborhoods' Lose L.G.B.T.Q. Residents in Major Cities/Many are choosing to live elsewhere in search of cheaper housing and better amenities. They are finding growing acceptance in other communities after decades of political and social changes" (NYT).

It's not just about housing costs:
L.G.B.T.Q. couples, particularly younger ones, are starting families and considering more traditional features — public schools, parks and larger homes — in deciding where they want to live. The draw of “gayborhoods” as a refuge for past generations looking to escape discrimination and harassment is less of an imperative today, reflecting the rising acceptance of gay and lesbian people. And dating apps have, for many, replaced the gay bar as a place that leads to a relationship or a sexual encounter....

“What I see in Houston is we are losing our history,” said Tammi Wallace, the president of the Greater Houston L.G.B.T. Chamber of Commerce, who lives in Montrose, the city’s gay neighborhood. “A lot of individuals and couples are saying, ‘We can move to different parts of the city and know we are going to be accepted.’”...

 The men and women who established these neighborhoods “wanted to segregate and be surrounded by gay people,” [said urban planning professor Daniel B. Hess]. “In contrast, when you ask young people today what they want, they would prefer an inclusive coffee shop. They don’t want anyone to feel unwelcome.”

Are some people nostalgic for the time when their group was more oppressed? Or is this really about competition for real estate? As for the "young people today" who will say they want "an inclusive coffee shop" where no one feels "unwelcome," well, of course, that's what they will say. But what do they want? 

I can see wanting the "gayborhoods" to remain gayborhoods. There's the diversity of accepting everyone into a neighborhood, but there's also the diversity of neighborhoods being different from other neighborhoods. This issue makes me think of Jimmy Carter's disastrous gaffe about "ethnic purity" back in the 1970s — a time when I was very happy to move into the gayest neighborhood in NYC.


Now, there's something weird about this article, which is written by Adam Nagourney. In the beginning, we're told that Jones "left for a small home with a garden and apple and peach trees 75 miles away in Sonoma County after the monthly cost of his one-bedroom apartment soared from $2,400 to $5,200." But much later in the article, we're told that Jones's "landlord asserted that he forfeited his rent control protections by living in Sonoma County, effectively forcing him out by more than doubling his rent." 

That makes it sound as though Jones already had the house in the country/suburbs, and the apartment was one of 2 homes, which disqualified him from participating in rent control. The Times ought to be straightforward about whether the landlord had the law right! Either Jones was entitled to rent control or he wasn't. How long did Jones have the house before the landlord figured out that rent control no longer applied? This is a legal dispute that ought to be presented with clarity, and breaking up the information looks like an effort to make the facts fit the story the journalist wants to tell.

Why did the rent "soar"? Was it because of a greedy landlord or market forces or was it because of the forces of rent control and Jones's disqualifying himself by buying the house in Sonoma County? 

"For some readers today... ['Heather Has Two Mommies' is] a wholly sanitized version of same-sex coupledom, palatable to the masses...."

"Without the slightest hint of sexual or romantic attraction between the moms (not even a peck of a kiss) the book seems to say, 'Fear not, we’re just like you.'... Dr. Nathan N. Taylor, Ph.D., an assistant professor of education... said the story traffics in homonormativity.... The book 'allows some people to be a part of the American Dream — in this case, upper middle class, cis-gendered, partnered white women'... While we undoubtedly need to multiply the number and kinds of queer narratives in children’s literature, the value of 'Heather' to my daughter and family unit has been immeasurable. A little before she turned 2, Marty, the only child of queer parents at her day care, began asking after her 'father' in various iterations. 'Who’s my daddy? Where’s my daddy? I want my daddy.' It was heartbreaking because my partner and I could only counter with, 'You have two mommies.' (How else to explain the complicated series of events that resulted in the creation of our family?) That’s when I remembered we had a copy of 'Heather,' the 2015 version, sitting on our bookshelf where I’d left it a few years ago...."

Writes Stephanie Fairyington, in "'Heather Has Two Mommies' Is Still Relevant 30 Years Later/My daughter started asking for her daddy, so I turned to Lesléa Newman’s classic picture book and it changed everything" (NYT).

This article was originally published April 17, 2020, but it is featured on the home page of the NYT right now, presumably because this Sunday is Father's Day.

"Disney has never endorsed Gay Days... Nor has it tried to rein it in. There isn’t much the company could do anyway."

"For red shirt days, attendees buy tickets like anyone else. The planning is handled by private companies like One Magical Weekend, Gay Days Inc., and the lesbian-focused Girls in Wonderland.... Would the anti-L.G.B.T.Q. vitriol that has surrounded Disney in recent months spill over to Gay Days?...  On Saturday morning... Gay Days participants streamed into Disney World. Many of them wore red shirts with the words 'SAY GAY' on the back....  [Disney's] Parks & Resorts division celebrates Pride month with a barrage of rainbow merchandise in its shops, including a button featuring Mickey Mouse and a rainbow along with the slogan 'Belong, Believe, Be Proud.' There were also rainbow-themed desserts... [and] Pride-themed photo backdrops.... There were no protesters. There were no cautionary signs. The only tension I saw came from a gay man who was cranky that a Disney manager had told him that his shirt could be viewed as inappropriate. It featured Pluto in leather gear and the phrase 'I like it wruff.'"

From "After a Political Storm, Gay Days Return to Disney/An L.G.B.T.Q. tradition at Disney World took on new significance this year, when Disney was ensnared in a heated cultural debate" (NYT).

"[W]hat we want is them to know that all are welcome and loved here. But when we put it on our bodies, I think a lot of guys decided that it’s just a lifestyle that maybe..."

"... not that they look down on anybody or think differently – it’s just that maybe we don’t want to encourage it if we believe in Jesus, who’s encouraged us to live a lifestyle that would abstain from that behavior.... It’s not judgmental. It’s not looking down. It’s just what we believe the lifestyle he’s encouraged us to live, for our good, not to withhold. But again, we love these men and women, we care about them, and we want them to feel safe and welcome here.”

Said Tampa Bay pitcher Jason Allen, quoted in "'We don’t want to encourage it': some Rays players refuse to wear Pride logo" (The Guardian).

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