Althouse | category: homosexuality



an endless succession of beans and nuts.

Let's read that NYT article from 1963, "Growth of Overt Homosexuality In City Provokes Wide Concern."

I found this article because it was cited in that open letter to the NYT that we were talking about yesterday. The letter criticized the NYT for its recent approach to transgenderism, but it also went back into the archive:

In 1963, the New York Times published a front⁠-⁠page story with the title “Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern,” which stated that homosexuals saw their own sexuality as “an inborn, incurable disease”—one that scientists, the Times announced, now thought could be “cured.”

I was curious about those scientists. But it turns out there's much, much more in that 1963 article, one of the most interesting and complicated newspaper articles I have ever read. The article begins on the front page of the December 17, 1963 issue. That is, it's 25 days after the assassination of JFK.

What was this article really trying to say? We're told NYC has what is probably "the greatest homosexual population in the world," which I take to mean the largest number, though I bet it was true that this was "the greatest homosexual population in the world" in the other sense of the word "great." The article is full of material that nudges the reader to conclude that the "problem of homosexuality" isn't a proper matter for criminal law enforcement. The police commissioner is quoted saying it's "medical and sociological in nature." 

A gay male reader could easily find the parts of the article that encourage him to move to New York City. Choose "an occupation in which his clique is predominant," and he "can shape for himself a life lived almost exclusively in an inverted world from which the rough, unsympathetic edges of straight society can be almost totally excluded." 

The article contrasts the opinions of the medical experts with the activists:

Two conflicting viewpoints converge today to overcome the silence and promote public discussion.

The first is the organized homophile movement — a minority of militant homosexuals that is openly agitating for removal of legal, social and cultural discriminations against sexual inverts.

Fundamental to this aim is the concept that homosexuality is an incurable, congenital disorder (this is disputed by the bulk of the scientific evidence) and that homosexuals should be treated by an increasingly tolerant society as just another minority.

This view is challenged by a second group, the analytical psychiatrists, who advocate an end to what it calls a head-in-sand approach to homosexuality.

They have what they consider to be overwhelming evidence that homosexuals are created — generally by ill-adjusted parents —  not born. 
They assert that homosexuality can be cured by sophisticated analytical and therapeutic techniques. 
More significantly, the weight of the most recent findings suggests that public discussion of the nature of these parental misdeeds and attitudes that tend to foster homosexual development of children could improve family environments and reduced the incidence of sexual inversion. 

We're told of a 9-year study of gay men in psychoanalysis which found, in almost all cases, "some combination of what they termed a 'close-binding, intimate' mother and/or a hostile, detached or unrespected father, or other aberrations."

The "explicitly hostile" father came in for special blame, and researchers concluded that "a constructive, supportive, warmly related father precludes the possibility of a homosexual son; he acts as a neutralizing, protective agent should the mother make seductive or close-binding attempts."

The researchers claimed that 27% of their patients "achieved a heterosexual orientation." They were "firmly convinced that psychoanalysts may well orient themselves to a heterosexual objective in treating homosexual patients."

The article ends with the opinion of gay men as reported by a young writer named Randolfe Wicker. He asked 300 homosexuals to answer two questions: "If you and a son would you want him to be homosexual?" and "If a quick, easy cure were available, would you take it?"

Only 2% of the men said yes to the first question. But 97% said they would not take the "quick, easy cure"!

That's how the article ends. There's plenty in this article to offend and outrage people of today, 60 years distant from that historical era. But I wouldn't be surprised if the article writer was himself gay, thought the psychoanalysts were full of it, and intended to get out the message that gay men can have a good and satisfying life if they move to New York City. 

That headline — "Growth of Overt Homosexuality In City Provokes Wide Concern" — really means gay men ought to concern themselves with moving to New York City. 


These days, Randolfe Wicker is 85. You can read about him here, in Wikipedia. Here he is on the Les Crane show in 1964: 

200 journalists and writers release an open letter to the NYT to raise "serious concerns about editorial bias in the newspaper’s reporting on transgender, non-binary, and gender nonconforming people.”

Hell Gate reports.
The open letter, whose signees include regular contributors to the Times and prominent writers and journalists like Ed Yong, Lucy Sante, Roxane Gay, and Rebecca Solnit, comes at a time when far-right extremist groups and their analogues in state legislatures are ramping up their attacks on trans young people....
In recent years and months, the Times has decided to play an outsized role in laundering anti-trans narratives and seeding the discourse with those narratives, publishing tens of thousands of handwringing words on trans youth—reporting that is now approvingly cited and lauded, as the letter writers note, by those who seek to ban and criminalize gender-affirming care.
Hell Gate has an interview with Jo Livingstone, "an award-winning critic and writer who helped organize the open letter."

Here's the open letter. I'll highlight what I think are important parts:
The newspaper’s editorial guidelines demand that reporters “preserve a professional detachment, free of any whiff of bias” when cultivating their sources, remaining “sensitive that personal relationships with news sources can erode into favoritism, in fact or appearance.” Yet the Times has in recent years treated gender diversity with an eerily familiar mix of pseudoscience and euphemistic, charged language, while publishing reporting on trans children that omits relevant information about its sources.

For example, Emily Bazelon’s article “The Battle Over Gender Therapy” uncritically used the term “patient zero” to refer to a trans child seeking gender⁠-⁠affirming care, a phrase that vilifies transness as a disease to be feared.

Are persons seeking "gender⁠-⁠affirming care" not "patients"? If they are not suffering from a condition to be feared, then why is treatment provided? Why are they not told they are fine as they are?

We discussed the Bazelon article on this blog, here

Back to the open letter:

Bazelon quoted multiple expert sources who have since expressed regret over their work’s misrepresentation. Another source, Grace Lidinksy⁠-⁠Smith, was identified as an individual person speaking about a personal choice to detransition, rather than the President of GCCAN, an activist organization that pushes junk science and partners with explicitly anti⁠-⁠trans hate groups.

In a similar case, Katie Baker’s recent feature “When Students Change Gender Identity and Parents Don’t Know” misframed the battle over children’s right to safely transition.

I blogged that story here.

Back to the open letter: 

The piece fails to make clear that court cases brought by parents who want schools to out their trans children are part of a legal strategy pursued by anti-trans hate groups. These groups have identified trans people as an “existential threat to society” and seek to replace the American public education system with Christian homeschooling, key context Baker did not provide to Times readers.

The natural destination of poor editorial judgment is the court of law.

I had a lot of trouble understanding that last sentence. I doubt if you would understand it without reading what comes next, but let me translate. The idea is that the NYT articles have been cited in court cases dealing with legislation about children seeking transgender treatments.

Last year, Arkansas’ attorney general filed an amicus brief in defense of Alabama’s Vulnerable Child Compassion and Protection Act, which would make it a felony, punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment, for any medical provider to administer certain gender⁠-⁠affirming medical care to a minor (including puberty blockers) that diverges from their sex assigned at birth. The brief cited three different New York Times articles to justify its support of the law: Bazelon’s “The Battle Over Gender Therapy,” Azeen Ghorayshi’s “Doctors Debate Whether Trans Teens Need Therapy Before Hormones,” and Ross Douthat’s “How to Make Sense of the New L.G.B.T.Q. Culture War.” As recently as February 8th, 2023, attorney David Begley’s invited testimony to the Nebraska state legislature in support of a similar bill approvingly cited the Times’ reporting and relied on its reputation as the “paper of record” to justify criminalizing gender⁠-⁠affirming care....

David Begley! 

As thinkers, we are disappointed to see the New York Times follow the lead of far-right hate groups in presenting gender diversity as a new controversy warranting new, punitive legislation.

I think the NYT is showing leadership and not allowing itself to be led around by the doctrinaire left.

Puberty blockers, hormone replacement therapy, and gender⁠-⁠affirming surgeries have been standard forms of care for cis and trans people alike for decades....

Please cite the science. Is there some idea that medical treatments, once they've gone on for a while, must be correct and above question? Obviously not.

In that view, read this: "What the world can learn from a lobotomy surgeon’s horrible mistake." That's in the Washington Post, published yesterday, written by Megan McArdle.

Back to the open letter:

You no doubt recall a time in more recent history when it was ordinary to speak of homosexuality as a disease at the American family dinner table—a norm fostered in part by the New York Times’ track record of demonizing queers through the ostensible reporting of science.

In 1963, the New York Times published a front⁠-⁠page story with the title “Growth of Overt Homosexuality in City Provokes Wide Concern,” which stated that homosexuals saw their own sexuality as “an inborn, incurable disease”—one that scientists, the Times announced, now thought could be “cured.”

And, now, we're in a time when doctors are providing treatments for transgender persons. What is the lesson here?  

The word “gay” started making its way into the paper. Then, in 1975, the Times published an article by Clifford Jahr about a queer cruise (the kind on a boat) featuring a “sadomasochistic fashion show.” On the urging of his shocked mother, Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger sent down the order: Stop covering these people. The Times style guide was updated to include the following dictum, which stood until 1987: “Do not use gay as a synonym for homosexual unless it appears in the formal, capitalized name of an organization or in quoted matter.”

New York Times managing editor and executive editor A. M. Rosenthal neglected to put AIDS on the front page until 1983, by which time the virus had already killed 500 New Yorkers. He withheld planned promotions from colleagues he learned on the grapevine were gay. Many of his employees feared being outed. William F. Buckley published his op-ed arguing that people with HIV/AIDS should all be forcibly tattooed in the Times. Obituaries in the Times ascribed death from HIV/AIDS to “undisclosed causes” or a “rare disorder,” and left the partners of the deceased out entirely from its record of their lives. This era of hateful rhetoric also saw the rise of the term “patient zero,” used to falsely accuse an HIV/AIDS patient of deliberately infecting others. This is the same rhetoric that transphobic policymakers recently reintroduced to the American lawmaking apparatus by quoting Emily Bazelon’s Times article.

Yes, there is some bad history there. The NYT should be on guard not to make more mistakes — either similar mistakes or new mistakes overreacting to its famous old mistakes. 

Some of us are trans, non⁠-⁠binary, or gender nonconforming, and we resent the fact that our work, but not our person, is good enough for the paper of record.

What does it mean to say the NYT rejects your "person"?  

Some of us are cis, and we have seen those we love discover and fight for their true selves, often swimming upstream against currents of bigotry and pseudoscience fomented by the kind of coverage we here protest.

I do not see where they have pointed out "bigotry and pseudoscience." Perhaps they mean that the Times articles were not "bigotry and pseudoscience," but they "fomented" "bigotry and pseudoscience" in others.

All of us daresay our stance is unremarkable, even common, and certainly not deserving of the Times’ intense scrutiny. A tiny percentage of the population is trans, and an even smaller percentage of those people face the type of conflict the Times is so intent on magnifying. There is no rapt reporting on the thousands of parents who simply love and support their children, or on the hardworking professionals at the New York Times enduring a workplace made hostile by bias—a period of forbearance that ends today.

The "period of forbearance... ends today."  That made me want to go back to the Hell Gate interview to see what, specifically, this end of forbearance would look like.

The interviewer asks: "Are y'all asking the people who signed on to, for example, agree to not contribute to the Times until there is a response? Is there anything concrete like that being planned?"

Livingstone responds that there was no agreement to do anything other than to sign the letter. She adds that "there will be more letters and more kinds of venues for nonprofits and institutions to sign on" and says, "We made a gathering space that people have just come to us, ready to support."

She concludes: 

And I am proud of and grateful for everybody who is taking a risk on their future engagement by this employer, to stand with us. So when I think about all of that bravery, I feel okay, and can take a nap.

Policing the "overcalculated playfulness" of actors wearing fashions that might not align with their sexual orientation.

I'm reading "Is Celebrity ‘Queer Baiting’ Really Such a Crime? Even as gender and masculinity are more fluid than ever, it can still rankle when male stars co-opt traditionally gay codes and styles" by Mark Harris (NYT Style Magazine).

[Q]ueer baiting... is a celebrity culture term referring to performers and artists who slyly imply, whether by action, remark or passing behavior, that they might not be a hundred percent heterosexual in order to court an L.G.B.T.Q. audience, but are actually either straight or, at the very least, determined not to get specific. 
For those who make the accusation of queer baiting, the argument against opportunism is simple: How dare you reach into our pockets and take our money when you’re only pretending to be one of us (or, in any case, when you’re not telling us who you are)?... 
Overcalculated playfulness about the subject can come off as a kind of self-marketing....

This sounds like vigilance about who gets to make money off of sexual orientation, but generally, in life, the money doesn't flow to the artists who are the most authentic exemplars of the experience that is the subject matter of their expression. Actors can be rather blank and empty individuals who go into the profession precisely because they need roles to fill them up. Don't be jealous of them when the role they play is something that you believe you really are. If you object to the money they make, playing the character who you really are, you don't understand performance. Or — admit it! — you want their money.

The article author, Mark Harris, goes on to examine the discrepancy between the criticism of "queer baiting" and the Gen Z view of sexuality that (supposedly!) asserts: “You can be anything you want to be.”

Today, younger people who use “L.G.B.T.” or its longer variants do so primarily as shorthand for a range of options, from asexual to pansexual to questioning to intersex to trans-masc to bi-curious, among theoretically limitless other possibilities, the embrace of any one of which does not have to be a permanent thing....

Notice how subtly Harris seems to acknowledge gender-reassignment surgery. The "embrace" of an "option" is permanent. But this is in the NYT fashion magazine. A great thing about fashion is that it's not permanent. You put things on and you take them off. You experiment. You laugh at mistakes and throw them away. You may not be an actor, but you get to play a role.

You can try on an identity, and maybe someone will say what you're wearing is "so you." Maybe you'll think of yourself in a new way because of that color, that style.

Maybe you'll feel braver. Or maybe you'll feel intimidated at the thought of some sour-faced creature who will sneer at you and mutter something along the lines of: "The clothing of my people is not a costume! We cannot put it on and take it off as a whimsical experiment! Your jacket is a microaggression!"

Harris writes that the Gen Z position is "Nothing matters more than authenticity. There is no qualification for an artist greater than lived experience."

Is that really their position? I don't know. But if it is, I'll stand back. These are kids, and they need to grow up. They need some time to question their own authenticity and the slipperiness of the demand for authenticity. They need to enrich their "lived experience" with the experience of the work of great artists and to see that the artists are not talking about life they have specifically lived — lived authentically. They are imagining far more life than they can personally live.

Back to Harris:

What we know about an artist’s personal identity can be interesting and even illuminating; what we are entitled to know is … nothing, basically.

I agree. And maybe we're better off knowing nothing, nothing other than the art.


By the way, before I undertook to read this article and based solely on the headline, I searched the page for "Rolling Stones" and "Mick Jagger." Nothing! (No Prince either.) Where's the historical perspective? These kids today! 

Was Louisa May Alcott a trans man?

Peyton Thomas — host of "Jo’s Boys: A Little Women Podcast" — looks at the evidence in a NYT op-ed.

Alcott, we're told, "used the names Lou, Lu or Louy." And: 

She wrote of herself as the “papa” or “father” of her young nephews. Her father, Bronson, once called Alcott his “only son.” In letters to her close friend Alfie Whitman, Alcott called herself “a man of all work” and “a gentleman at large.”...

[S]he wrote, in one letter to Whitman, “with a boy’s spirit” under her “bib & tucker.” Alcott scholars agree that she felt a profound affinity with manhood....

[I]n an interview in the early 1880s, she declared, “I am more than half-persuaded that I am a man’s soul, put by some freak of nature into a woman’s body.”...

[Alcott's fictional alter-ego Jo says] “I can’t get over my disappointment in not being a boy.” When her stern older sister Meg asks Jo to behave, reminding her that she is “a young lady,” Jo answers, “I ain’t.” Jo’s delight in playing male parts onstage, her rejection of her feminine given name, her status as “son,” “brother” and “man of the family” — all are original to Alcott’s 154-year-old text, borrowed from her own experiences....

“I long to be a man,” she wrote in one journal entry. “I was born with a boy’s nature,” she said in that letter to Whitman, and “a boy’s spirit” and “a boy’s wrath.”...

But people back then thought in their own terms:

“Emerson, Thoreau and Louisa’s father, Bronson, all believed that human beings were fundamentally spirits who happened to be in a particular physical form,” [said John Matteson, author of a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Alcott], “but that the spirit should not be limited, that the spirit has an obligation to develop itself according to its own unique genius."...

Transcendental, a much grander concept than transgender. 

Moving closer to the present, the op-ed author quotes Martina Navratilova: "Do you have any idea how hard you would try to convince me I am trans if I were born 50 years later?"

Her question seems to imply a concern that understanding a historical figure as a trans man might undermine gender-nonconforming women and girls. So is it inappropriate — anachronistic at best, misogynistic at worst — to describe Alcott as transgender?

I believe Alcott’s own statements give the lie to the notion that transgender identity is strictly a modern fad.

“The historical record shows that people have felt in remarkably similar ways to contemporary transgender people,” said Susan Stryker, a professor emerita of gender and women’s studies at the University of Arizona.

Why is today's template any more true than the template Navratilova experienced when she was young or that Alcott had in her day? The op-ed author may prefer the question: What's the most useful way to think about it today? In that light, the author must contend with those who want Alcott as a lesbian icon:

Alcott did speak of having “fallen in love” in her life “with so many pretty girls and never once the least little bit with any man.” However, there is no evidence that Alcott ever had a romantic or sexual relationship with a woman....

Dr. Stryker, the University of Arizona scholar, argued it is possible to recognize the plain fact of Alcott’s identification with manhood without minimizing the impact of “Little Women” on women’s lives and literature. “We can all recognize Lou Alcott in many different ways,” said Dr. Stryker. “We don’t have to turn it into a pissing contest or a turf war.”

Oh! If it's a pissing contest, you really do want to be the man. 


There's also this about Hemingway:

Was Ernest Hemingway a raging misogynist or merely an egg? (That is, a transgender woman who never hatched, owing to the strictures of masculinity.)

An egg! I learned a new term.

Speaking of Hemingway and the possibility of his being an "egg," here's a test of how well you know Hemingway. Which of these sentences was written by Hemingway: 

1. "It was a big American breakfast with ham and eggs and it was very good."

2. "There were the programs of the team races of two hours, with a series of pure sprints in their heats to fill the afternoon, the lonely absolute speed events of one man racing an hour against the clock, the terribly dangerous and beautiful races of one hundred kilometers on the big banked wooden five-hundred-meter bowl of the Stade Buffalo, the outdoor stadium at Montrouge where they raced behind big motorcycles, Linart, the great Belgian champion that they called 'the Sioux' for his profile, dropping his head to suck up cherry brandy from a rubber tube that connected with a hot water bottle under his racing shirt when he needed it toward the end as he increased his savage speed, and the championships of France behind big motors of the six-hundred-and-sixty-meter cement track of the Parc du Prince near Auteuil, the wickedest track of all where we saw that great rider Ganay fall and heard his skull crumple under the crash helmet as you crack an hard-boiled egg against a stone to peel it on a picnic."

"We are fighting for the gay community, and we are fighting and fighting hard" — said Donald Trump.

Quoted in "Scenes from a celebration of the same-sex marriage law — at Mar-a-Lago/'We are fighting for the gay community, and we are fighting and fighting hard,' Donald Trump told a Log Cabin Republicans gala" (Politico).

Hundreds of guests in tuxedos of all styles — sequined, quilted, velvet — and colorful gowns sipped on Trump-branded champagne and martinis [and]... danced to “YMCA” and “Macho Man”....

Thursday night’s Log Cabin Republicans’ “Spirit of Lincoln” gala in the main ballroom of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago beachfront club was a joyous celebration of gay rights....

Throughout the evening, speakers praised Trump for his embrace of the gay community....

I'm reading that because Chuck linked to it in the previous post and said: "I always contended that Althouse was right when she declared (during the 2016 Presidential campaign) that she thought that 'Trump is pro-gay but he’s being cagey about it.'"

Yeah, I did say that, back in July 2016, in the comments section to my post "Donald Trump may think Pence is a safe choice." 

I was responding to a commenter, Brando, who said:

Pence--he seems plain vanilla, as in he won't hurt. I disagree that his "anti-gay" stances would be a problem--if "anti-gay" was a problem for you, you wouldn't consider the GOP anyway (Trump is at least currently opposed to gay marriage).

I wrote:

If you are correct, I should just stop wasting my time taking the GOP seriously. I put up with a lot of social conservative stuff I think should not be part of decent politics because overall I might think the GOP candidate will do a better job on the issues that he'll actually be dealing with.

To me, the anti-gay stuff from Pence is beyond the normal traditional-morals positioning. It's aggressive and stupid. The media will kill him with it and it will merge with the way they're already trying to kill Trump.

But some of you conservatives are so bent on getting back to traditional morality and using political power to do it that you're ready to leap into the risk that is Pence. I think Trump is smarter than that. I see Trump as pro-gay and being cagey about it.

"In a well-covered incident at the tournament, Wahl was detained by Qatari security guards at a stadium when he arrived to a game wearing a rainbow soccer ball T-shirt."

"Homosexuality is illegal in Qatar. Wahl, on his Substack, wrote that security guards refused to let him in, held him for 25 minutes and demanded he remove his shirt."

From "U.S. soccer journalist Grant Wahl dies after collapsing at World Cup match" (WaPo). 

Wahl, 48, had written about some of his health issues in Qatar in the days leading up to his passing. Earlier this week, he wrote: “My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you.”

He said he had a cold turn into something more serious on the night the United States played the Netherlands. “I could feel my upper chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort,” he wrote.

ADDED: The Daily Mail puts it far more luridly: "Grant Wahl complained of 'death rattle' cough day before his shock death at World Cup and received 20 minutes of frantic CPR before dying in hospital: Gay brother suggests he was murdered."

"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.

Let's read that NYT article from 1963, "Growth of Overt Homosexuality In City Provokes Wide Concern."

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