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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:17 pm 
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Grandfather, 90, came out to his gay grandson five months before he died
10 March 2014
By Joe Morgan

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A 90-year-old grandfather came out to his gay grandson five months before he died.

Grant Rehnberg, an artist from Seattle, Washington, has spoken about what his grandfather told him. He writes: ‘James Burton Rehnberg. Baptist pastor, World War II veteran (218th Counter Intelligence Corps), preceded in death by Grandma Doris, his wife of sixty-five years. Five months ago, Grandpa Jim told me he is gay. Sitting over photos of my husband Bradford and I at our wedding, my 90-year-old grandfather proudly celebrated “the balls it takes” to live openly. He told me about the love of his life, Warren Johnson, a boy he played music with at church. He told me God loves every part of us. He told me he would trade places with me if he could. He told me he loved me. I put picture of Bradford and me in his suit coat pocket and a red rose on his coffin.’

Rehnberg is hoping to create a memorial art installation in honor of his grandfather through Indiegogo.

Check out his story below:



Source: GayStarNews.

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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 10:59 am 
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What Alan Carr taught me about gay men's homophobia
by Owen Jones
Sunday, 20 April 2014

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'That homophobia remains rife among gay men is hardly surprising. They grow up in a society that teaches that settling down with a woman is the natural order of things.' Illustration by Andrzej Krauze

I flinched when Alan Carr's new ad for animal rights campaigners Peta made its debut on social media.

There he was, smiling cheekily as he posed with a set of pink wings and a pink wand, beneath luminous pink text inviting us to "be a little fairy for animals". Yuck, I thought to myself: that'll really help along the stereotype of gay men as a bunch of mincing court jesters.

When the inevitable Twitter backlash came, I quietly empathised with it. "Anyone find the Peta ad campaign really fucking offensive?" tweeted one infuriated gay man. "Basically: gay men = fairies." But then Carr faced his detractors down with aplomb: "The most homophobia I get is from gays," he tweeted back, completing his riposte with a dig at their alleged "self-loathing". And then I felt quietly ashamed to have flinched in the first place. Carr's defiant response forced me to examine prejudices I share with all too many other gay men.

This is how I could have justified my instinctive flinch. When gay people appear on TV, it is invariably as one-dimensional, caricatured camp clowns, a kind of gay minstrel show. But Carr has never claimed to be emblematic of gay men. Of course we should see a wider spectrum of gay men – including, say, the beer-swilling, football-obsessed lad alongside the body-pumping Kylie-loving scene queen – but why does that mean discriminating against a funny comedian because he's outrageously camp? What fuelled the backlash was a sense that the likes of Carr invite homophobia with their loud-and-proud campness, and all gay men suffer as a result. It is complicity with oppression, not dissimilar to the woman who suggests wearing a short skirt is asking for a sexual attack.

Gay men have a big problem with camp. Gay dating websites abound with profiles specifying "straight-acting men only". Despite the widespread myth that campness is affected – that it's all for show – most gay men think camp is deeply unsexy. Graham Norton – another screamingly camp comedian – has said that campness is "a much harder thing to accept than being gay", because it "comes with judgment all round". This anti-camp hostility partly comes from a desire to conform to traditional gender roles, which gay men have already subverted whether they want to or not. But Carr has a point: some anti-camp bashing is driven by the homophobia of gay men.

That homophobia remains rife among gay men is hardly surprising. They grow up in a society that teaches that settling down with a woman is the natural order of things. They hear "gay" casually bandied around as an insult, a synonym for crap or rubbish. They see the horror etched on the face of a straight man misidentified as gay – the sort of expression that comes from being wrongly accused of the most heinous of crimes. Gay men know that to hold hands with a partner in public risks stares and abuse. In The Velvet Rage, the clinical psychologist Alan Downs talks of an internalised shame, too: that gay men are taught "during those tender and formative years of adolescence that there was something about us that was flawed, in essence unlovable".

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No wonder gay men suffer higher rates of mental distress and suicide. But, if most gay men are honest with themselves, they can think of more subtle ways in which their own homophobia expresses itself. They may panic when someone asks if they have a girlfriend, knowing that an honest answer means coming out for the third time that week and possibly being treated differently. They may refer to their boyfriends in ways that strip their gender away, like "my other half". They may feel a sense of flattery when someone says "I'd never have guessed you were gay!", as if feeling reassured that their leprosy is barely visible. Or they may start by coming out as bisexual (fuelling a sense of "bi now, gay later", much to the annoyance of genuine bisexuals), hoping that having one foot in the straight camp might preserve a sense of normality.

There is evidence to suggest some "straight" homophobes are self-hating closet cases. A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggested that some homophobic people were suppressing same-sex desires, backing up another study which showed that prejudiced people were more likely to be aroused by gay porn. Even today, some gay people take "straight-acting" literally, trying to force relationships with opposite-sex partners, imprisoning both in the misery of denial.

This isn't to paint an overly bleak picture. In the UK, there's never been a better time to be gay: the majority of anti-gay laws have been overturned; and while 30 years ago half of Britons thought same-sex relations were always wrong, that figure has dropped to a fifth. Being gay can be a bit of a leveller, too: whether you're a millionaire or a barman, there's a unifying sense of being an outsider, like it or not. But homophobia is corrosive, wherever it comes from. Gay men may recognise it and challenge it when it comes from straight people. It is much harder – but still necessary – to recognise the homophobia that dwells within the ranks of gay men themselves.

Source: Guardian UK.

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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2014 5:02 pm 
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Chinese researchers show gay men react to male sex pheromones
2 May 2014
By Andrew Potts

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One of the departments of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Photo by Chinese Academy of Sciences

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences have released the latest research suggesting that sexuality is hardwired in the human brain by showing that gay men and women react to male sex pheromones while heterosexual men ignore them.

The scientists set up an experiment in which they exposed men and women to the pheromones androstadienone (found in male sweat and semen) and estratetraenol (found in female urine). They then showed them a video animation of a person walking made up of dots marking the various joints of the body and asked to guess it was a man walking or a woman.

Heterosexual women and gay men who had been exposed to androstadienone were more likely to guess that the figure was a man, while exposure to the hormone had no effect on how heterosexual men guessed about the figure. Heterosexual men who were exposed to estratetraenol were more likely to guess the walking figure to be female while heterosexual women were not effected by exposure to the hormone. Bisexual and lesbian women were also more likely to guess the figure was a woman but the results were not as pronounced as for the gay men in the study.

The researchers, Wen Zhou, Xiaoying Yang, Kepu Chen, Peng Cai, Sheng He and Yi Jiang, published their results in the journal Cell yesterday.

‘Homosexual males exhibit a response pattern akin to that of heterosexual females, whereas bisexual or homosexual females fall in between heterosexual males and females,’ the researchers wrote in a summary of their findings. These effects are obtained despite that the olfactory stimuli are not explicitly discriminable. The results provide the first direct evidence that the two human steroids communicate opposite gender information that is differentially effective to the two sex groups based on their sexual orientation. Moreover, they demonstrate that human visual gender perception draws on subconscious chemosensory biological cues, an effect that has been hitherto unsuspected.’

Previous research by Sweden’s Karolinska Institute had shown that the hypothalamus region of the brain lights up in gay men and lesbians when they are exposed to sex pheromones of their same sex.

Source: GayStarNews.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 6:21 pm 
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Gay dads' brains show activity akin to both parents': study
By Sharon Begley
May 26, 2014

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(Reuters) - Having a baby alters new mothers' brain activity, researchers have found, and a new study adds the first evidence of such changes in the brains of gay men raising children they adopted through surrogacy.

The men's pattern of brain activity resembles that of both new mothers and new fathers in the study.

The research, reported on Monday, could feed into the debate over whether gay men should be allowed to adopt children. Many U.S. adoption agencies will not work with same-sex couples, and some states prohibit them from adopting. The current study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, was conducted in Israel, and builds on work by neuropsychologist Ruth Feldman of Bar-Ilan University and others, who showed that the brains of new mothers become hyper-reactive to their child's cries and other emotional cues.

It was not clear if that pattern is a result of the hormonal and other changes that accompany pregnancy or a response to the experience of motherhood. To find out, Feldman and her colleagues videotaped 89 new mothers and fathers interacting with their infants at home. They then measured the parents' brain activity while watching the videos in an MRI tube, and again (to establish a baseline) while watching videos that their kids did not star in.

In the 20 mothers in the study, all primary caregivers, watching their babies triggered heightened activity in the brain's emotion-processing regions, particularly in a structure called the amygdala, which was five times more active than at baseline. "These are regions that respond unconsciously to signs of an infants' needs, and that derive deep emotional reward from seeing the baby," Feldman said.

For the 21 heterosexual fathers - who were very involved in raising their baby but whose wives took the parenting lead - watching their infant increased activation of cognitive circuits, particularly a structure that interprets a baby's cries and non-verbal cues. It is the region that knows which squirm means "I'm about to scream" and which means "change me."

The 48 gay fathers raising children with their husbands seemed to be both mom and dad, brain-wise. Their emotional circuits were as active as those of mothers and the interpretive circuits showed the same extra activity as that of heterosexual fathers'.

Ideally, scientists would perform neuroimaging on men and women before and then after they became parents, to show definitely that any heightened activity followed junior's arrival and was not present before. Until they can do that, Feldman said, she is confident that the telltale brain activity results from parenting.

One clue: in gay fathers, but not heterosexual ones, the brain also had extra communication lines between emotional and cognitive structures. The more time a man spent as primary caregiver, the greater the connectivity. It was as if playing both parental roles caused the brain to integrate the structures required for each. "Fathers' brains are very plastic," Feldman said. "When there are two fathers, their brains must recruit both networks, the emotional and cognitive, for optimal parenting."

(Reporting by Sharon Begley; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
Source: Reuters.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 4:32 am 
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New York weighs kids' gay conversion therapy ban
11 June 2014
By JOSEFA VELASQUEZ

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A proposed ban against New York health professionals trying to change a child's sexual orientation through therapy comes too late for Matthew Shurka, a 26-year-old Long Island man who says he remains emotionally scarred from five years of attempts to "cure" his homosexuality.

"My anxiety was at its worst," Shurka said of the therapy that began when he was 16. "I never attempted suicide, but I had a lot of suicidal thoughts and dreams and thinking about it, considering it."

The American Psychological Association says that there is no evidence that the so-called gay conversion therapy can change someone's sexual orientation. A task force set up by the group found that it can cause distress and anxiety.

New York's Democratic-led Assembly is set to consider a bill on Wednesday that would ban the therapy on minors. Bans against gay conversion therapy have already gone into law in New Jersey and California. A proposed ban was voted down in Illinois in April. Sen. Brad Hoylman, who sponsored the measure and is the only openly gay member of the Senate, said that he heard from a man who had electrodes attached to his genitalia to curb his homosexual desires. "On one level it's pretty nutty stuff," Holyman said, "but it's happening in New York by licensed therapists."

The Democrat said that the bill would extend to New York state licensed psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, mental health practitioners and physicians. Clergy would not be included in the ban.

Opponents of the ban say that it may infringe on a person's freedom of speech, although a federal judge in New Jersey upheld that state's ban in November saying that the law does not violate free speech.

Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, a California licensed clinical psychologist who founded the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, believes that conversion therapy only works when patients are motivated to change. "We see homosexual behavior as the client's or the patients attempt to repair something deficit within themselves, mainly masculinity," Nicolosi said. "According to the theory of reparative therapy, the male homosexual is engaging in homosexual activity to connect to the masculinity he feels he possesses within himself."

Shurka said he decided to take part in the conversion therapy after feeling scared and confused about his attraction to men. "My only focus became becoming heterosexual," Shurka said. "I felt like this was the most important thing. It was out of fear, but no one held a gun to my head and said `you're doing conversion therapy.'" While Shurka was still underage, he said the therapist advised him to watch heterosexual pornography and practice certain masturbation techniques to curb his attraction to men. He said that didn't work, however, because he instead focused on the men.

A conversion therapist also advised Shurka to avoid women- including his mother and sister- and surround himself with male friends to pick up their heterosexual mannerisms so he could become "one of the boys." After five years of therapy, Shurka embraced being gay and said that therapy wasn't going to change that.

Source: AP.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 16, 2014 5:50 am 
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Is this the funniest pro-gay marriage video ever?
21 August 2014
By Joe Morgan



Ireland is in the middle of the fight for gay marriage, and many of its opponents think if equality happens then it will be the end of the world.

A hilarious new video, from Irish pro-equality group LGBT Noise, pokes fun at this idea. Set in 2017, it features John and Mary – a paranoid straight couple – who have barricades themselves inside their home. Ever since that dreaded equality happened, they are experiencing ‘Armagayddon’.

‘So much…equality,’ Mary says, describing how the country changed after the vote. ‘Ireland was practically unrecognizable.’ John adds the couple tried to blend in but the ‘weddings were…unbelievable’. ‘I felt completely underdressed,’ he sadly notes. ‘It was at that point it became a question of survival.’

Source: GayStarNews.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:28 pm 
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Having homosexual thoughts 'is an essential part of human evolution' study suggests
By Gordon Rayner
25 November 2014

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In evolutionary terms, homosexuality presents something of a paradox.

According to Darwin, any trait that makes an animal less likely to reproduce will die out in a few generations, yet the percentage of people born gay or lesbian remains more or less constant.

Now researchers at the University of Portsmouth believe they may have found the evolutionary reason for homosexual behaviour: it helps us bond with people of the same sex. A study of predominantly heterosexual men and women found that people with higher levels of the hormone progesterone are more likely to have homoerotic thoughts. Because progesterone, which is produced by both men and women, is associated with affiliation, the researchers concluded that homosexual thoughts can go hand in hand with the need to forge same-sex alliances, which can be traced back to the teamwork of the earliest hunter-gatherers.

Dr Diana Fleischman, the report’s author, said: “In the paper we talk about why homosexuality persists, and we do explain why. "From an evolutionary perspective we tend to think of sexual behaviour as a means to an end for reproduction. However, because sexual behaviour is intimate and pleasurable, it is also used in many species, including non-human primates, to help form and maintain social bonds. We can all see this in romantic couples who bond by engaging in sexual behaviour even when reproduction is not possible. Having some degree of attraction to the opposite sex is a type of adaptive behaviour, and in any adaptive behaviour you will see extremes of the spectrum, hence some people will only be attracted to members of the same sex. But the research suggests that having exclusively heterosexual thoughts is a disadvantage – it’s better to be a little bit attracted to the opposite sex.”

Dr Fleischman said her research did not point to any correlation between environmental levels of progesterone and sexual orientation. She said that while a synthetic form of progesterone is used in the contraceptive pill, which then enters drinking water supplies, “we didn’t find any difference between women on the pill and women not on the pill”. She added that while environmental levels of progesterone have increased, there is no evidence that the percentage of people who are gay or lesbian has gone up.

Gerard Conway, Professor of Reproductive Endocrinology at University College, London, agreed, saying: “The idea of hormones from the contraceptive pill permeating drinking water is an urban myth. The amounts are so tiny you can’t even measure it. Progesterone is just not on the radar as an environmental toxin.”

Dr Fleischman’s study, published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour, asked participants to answer questions such as: "The idea of kissing a person of the same sex is sexually arousing to me," and: "If someone of the same sex made a pass at me I would be disgusted.”

By comparing their answers with the progesterone levels in their saliva, the researchers were able to establish an apparent link between progesterone and homosexual thoughts. Progesterone is produced mainly in the ovaries in women and in the adrenal glands in men. It is one of the main hormones responsible for caring or friendly behaviour and levels rise when people have close and friendly interactions. It does not, however, increase sexual desire; sex offenders are sometimes treated with progesterone to quell their sexual urges.

Dr Fleischman said that studies of other animals in the great ape family also pointed to homosexual behaviour being used to maintain and forge new friendships. She said: “The ability to engage sexually with those of the same sex or the opposite sex is common. In humans, much, if not most of same-sex sexual behaviour occurs in those who don't identify as homosexual.”

Prof Conway, however, questioned whether the research had proved anything. He said: “It is a plausible theory that there is a societal benefit from homosexual behaviour, but the link to progesterone is probably spurious. It’s a long way from proving cause and effect.”

Source: Telegraph UK.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:32 pm 
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What the Reaction To Billy Crystal Tells Us About Gay Tolerance
by Steve Friess
January 22, 2015

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Billy Crystal speaks onstage during 'The Comedians' panel discussion at the FX Networks portion of the Television Critics Association press tour at Langham Hotel on Jan. 18, 2015 in Pasadena, Calif. Frederick M. Brown—Getty Images

By now it seems fairly clear that the comic actor Billy Crystal did not intend to single out gay sex scenes in his reply to a question this weekend about how uncomfortably graphic some television has become.

He was speaking broadly about a lot of what’s on TV now of all sexual varieties, but a reporter clipped the remark for maximum impact. The scolds of the Internet, always on alert, did the rest of the work. But set aside the insane idea that Crystal — the first straight actor to play an openly gay TV role on “Soap” back when it was career-lethal and truly cutting edge — might be some sort of sex-negative homophobe. The preposterousness of that is baffling enough; if anyone in the history of the cathode ray deserves the benefit of the doubt, it would seem, it would be him.

And yet — what if Crystal’s unremarkable remarks hadn’t been sensationalized? What if, in fact, he was just a 66-year-old grandfather who finds the increasing visibility of same-sex intimacy, especially on network TV, off-putting or startling to his sensibilities? What if seeing the bobbing head of a woman as she implicitly performed some sex acts on another woman’s lower half, say, makes some viewers uncomfortable — and they have the gall to admit it when asked?

I ask because those people exist. There are, in fact, a lot of them. The smug folks in their L.A. and New York bubbles might think they’re backwards, irrelevant, and scarce, but they’d be wrong. Their points of view are easy to understand, really. And it does not make them “haters” or any of the other epithets thrown at Crystal this week.

In fact, gay activists are as responsible as anyone for the fact that a large swath of Americans who thought they were OK with gays are finding themselves surprised by their own reactions to what they’re starting to see. This is, after all, a civil rights movement that aggressively worked for many years to downplay the mechanics of gay sexual behavior.

The gay-rights push may have started in the 1960s and 1970s with its pursuit of the fundamental liberty to have consensual sex with whatever other adults one pleased and to break free of traditional gender roles, but it morphed in the 1980s into one that preached, rightly, that being gay was about much more than mere sex. When gay male intercourse in particular became equated in the minds of millions with the transmission of AIDS, the best option was to de-emphasize it and instead make the case that our relationships are the same in every meaningful way as straight ones. Also, it did nobody any good to have our parents, much less our grandparents or our teachers or our bosses, visualizing us naked in sexual positions.

This is how the fights over the integration of the military and legalized same-sex marriage were won. Every time anti-gay forces tried to gross out the nation by referencing the gritty details of, say, anal sex, gay advocates would reply by accusing them of being secretly titillated by and obsessed with it. Whenever some crusty old military hack would grouse about gays being naked in showers or barracks with straight soldiers, gay activists did everything they could to insist gay people are supernaturally capable of stifling every fleeting sexual thought even when something attractive is before them.

Gays won, essentially, by persuading everyone to view us as sexless because we knew that how we express love and lust was at best unfamiliar — and at worst repulsive — to many people. Looking back now, it was probably the right strategy, and it was definitely a successful one. It enabled enough fair-minded people to look at couples like Edie Windsor and Thea Spyer, together for more than 40 years before Thea died and the government tried to disinherit her octogenarian widow Edie, and imagine how they’d feel if the law did that to them after a lifetime of companionship. When the Supreme Court fixed that for Windsor in a landmark 2013 decision that forced the federal government to recognize their marriage, most Americans felt a grievous wrong had been set right.

But now, after decades of telling the folks that what we do in our bedrooms is not of their concern and should not matter to their opinions of us, we demand that they be happy to look upon depictions of gay sex with a big shrug or, even, a round of applause. If anyone breathes even the slightest hint of discomfort or dismay, they must be berated and humiliated. Where once the anti-gay legions used shame to scare and silence us, now it’s the pro-gay forces who think it’s a weapon.

So here’s a dirty little secret: I’m gay and I hate watching straight sex scenes in TV shows and movies. I always have. It subconsciously conjures up the apprehension and anxiety I felt when I was still closeted and tried to force myself to want to experience that. I know what straight people do, how they do it and what all of their parts look like. But I could do without bouncing breasts in every other scene of “Boardwalk Empire” and “Ray Donovan.” It’s the opposite of what I want to do or feel or see, so I wait it out and enjoy the rest of the show. It’s part of the bargain of consuming art sometimes and occasionally it actually even has a purpose.

Does all that make me a heterophobe? I hope not. Some of my best friends are straight. It’s just not my preference. And yes, in this case, we’re talking about preferences and not orientations. As Crystal said, albeit in a broader context, it’s about one’s personal tastes, nothing more.

Hollywood and its audiences are in a transitional period regarding how to cope with the modern era of out gays and the specifics of how to show and talk about it. Some straight people, especially older and more traditional ones, will be uncomfortable. Others won’t. Most will, as we gays have regarding explicit heterosexual sex scenes, come to accept it even if they never love it.

And all of that should be fine. Gays have enough actual enemies: people who really don’t want us to live happy, productive lives as our true selves. We certainly don’t need to turn our straight allies — be they grandparents or groundbreaking actors — into bogeymen, too.

Source: Time.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 24, 2015 10:47 pm 
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Titchmarsh, a gay lecturer and a row over teenage sex: TV host slams professor who 'beds youths'
By Neil Sears
26 January 2015

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Alan Titchmarsh is embroiled in a row with a University of Winchester professor - on the subject of gay sex with teenagers

As the next Chancellor of the University of Winchester, Alan Titchmarsh will be expected at all times to uphold the institution’s good name.

But, nearly six months before he takes up the post, he is already embroiled in a row with one of the university’s academics – on the subject of gay sex with teenagers.

The television gardener has attacked Professor Eric Anderson, 46, who boasted in a lecture that gay sex is best, that he targets 16 to 18-year-olds, that he had already had sex with more than 1,000 teenagers and men, and that he planned to double the total even if he had to pay young prostitutes.

Mr Titchmarsh, 65, says he is a committed Christian who deplores Prof Anderson’s comments and is worried about the pressure ‘impressionable’ 16-year-old boys face to have sex. He told the Daily Mail: ‘It’s not that I’m homophobic – I’ve got some very good friends who are homosexuals. But I’m talking about sex with young boys. There’s a fine line between the age of consent and the other side of it.’ However two years ago the TV presenter chuckled when the professor – a guest on his afternoon chat show – declared: ‘Men just want sex with many people.’

Prof Anderson – said to be planning a complaint about the criticism from Mr Titchmarsh – would only say: ‘I have not met Alan Titchmarsh since I was a guest on his show talking about the value of men cheating and of open sexual relationships.’

The American academic, who is married to a man, is Winchester University’s professor of Sport, Masculinities and Sexualities. He gave his lecture entitled ‘Why gay sex is best’ to the Oxford University Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender society in 2011, but it only recently came to light. As well as his boast of sex with ‘easily over 1,000 people’, he is said to have added that he enjoyed voyages on cruise ships because ‘it’s like sex tourism’. In response to criticism he later said ‘sex should only occur between consenting adults’. But a small pressure group calling itself Because Children Matter began a campaign for Prof Anderson to be sacked.

Winchester University said he had been reprimanded, but defended him as an ‘internationally renowned gay scholar’.

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Professor Eric Anderson says he has slept with 1,000 men and boasted of having sex with 16-year-olds

When Mr Titchmarsh was last month appointed the next chancellor, or ceremonial head, of the university, he was asked by Because Children Matter to refuse the post unless Prof Anderson was sacked. He replied that he was a committed Christian and deplored the professor’s comments, but felt it was ‘not justifiable’ to sack someone ‘because their sexual mores differ from one’s own’. However, he would have ‘no hesitation in encouraging appropriate and justified action’.

Mr Titchmarsh, a married grandfather, has now told the Mail: ‘Prof Anderson was invited on to a stimulating, entertaining discussion on my show. Two years on I encounter him again. I’m now trying to step through this enormous can of worms without being bigoted. ‘He’s talking about young boys who are impressionable. Someone who is 16 isn’t magically prepared to resist pressure into sex. We have to be tolerant of everyone’s way of life, but I find it worrying.’ He added: ‘I’d also worry about people having sex with 16-year-old girls.’

Source: Daily Mail UK.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:48 pm 
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Study: Homophobes May Be Hidden Homosexuals
by Jeanna Bryner
April 9, 2012

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A gay couple laughing on the beach. Credit: Andrew Lever | Shutterstock

Homophobes should consider a little self-reflection, suggests a new study finding those individuals who are most hostile toward gays and hold strong anti-gay views may themselves have same-sex desires, albeit undercover ones.

The prejudice of homophobia may also stem from authoritarian parents, particularly those with homophobic views as well, the researchers added. "This study shows that if you are feeling that kind of visceral reaction to an out-group, ask yourself, 'Why?'" co-author Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, said in a statement. "Those intense emotions should serve as a call to self-reflection."

The research, published in the April 2012 issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, reveals the nuances of prejudices like homophobia, which can ultimately have dire consequences. [The 10 Most Destructive Human Behaviors]

"Sometimes people are threatened by gays and lesbians because they are fearing their own impulses, in a sense they 'doth protest too much,'" Ryan told LiveScience. "In addition, it appears that sometimes those who would oppress others have been oppressed themselves, and we can have some compassion for them too, they may be unaccepting of others because they cannot be accepting of themselves." Ryan cautioned, however, that this link is only one source of anti-gay sentiments.

Hidden homosexuality

In four studies, the researchers looked at the discrepancies between what people say about their sexual orientation and their implicit sexual orientation based on a reaction-time test. The studies involved college students from Germany and the United States.

For the implicit measure, students had to categorize words and pictures flashed onto a computer screen into "gay" or "straight" groups. Words included "gay," "straight," "homosexual" and "heterosexual," while the pictures showed straight and gay couples. Before each trial, participants were primed with the word "me" or "others" flashed momentarily onto a computer screen. The researchers said quicker reaction time for "me" and "gay," and a slower association of "me" with "straight" would indicate said an implicit gay orientation. [Why Gay Parents May Be the Best Parents]

In another experiment, the researchers measured implicit sexual orientation by having participants choose to browse same-sex or opposite-sex photos on a computer screen.

Questionnaires also teased out the parenting style the participants were exposed to, with students asked how much they agreed or disagreed with statements such as: "I felt controlled and pressured in certain ways;" and "I felt free to be who I am." To gauge homophobia in a household, students responded to items such as, "It would be upsetting for my mom to find out she was alone with a lesbian" or "My dad avoids gay men whenever possible."

Participants indicated their own level of homophobia, both overt and implicit; in word-completion tasks, students wrote down the first three words that came to mind when prompted with some of the words' letters. Students were primed at some point with the word "gay" to see how that impacted the amount of aggressive words used.

Controlling parents

In all of the studies, participants who reported supportive and accepting parents were more in touch with their implicit sexual orientation, meaning it tended to jibe with their outward sexual orientation. Students who indicated they came from authoritarian homes showed the biggest discrepancy between the two measures of sexual orientation.

"In a predominately heterosexual society, 'know thyself' can be a challenge for many gay individuals," lead author Netta Weinstein, a lecturer at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom,said in a statement. "But in controlling and homophobic homes, embracing a minority sexual orientation can be terrifying."

Those participants who reported their heterosexuality despite having hidden same-sex desires were also the most likely to show hostility toward gay individuals, including self-reported anti-gay attitudes, endorsement of anti-gay policies and discrimination such as supporting harsher punishments for homosexuals.

The research may help to explain the underpinnings of anti-gay bullying and hate crimes, the researchers note. People in denial about their own sexual orientation, perhaps a denial fostered by authoritarian and homophobic parents, may feel a threat from other gay and lesbian individuals. Lashing out may ultimately be an indicator of the person's own internal conflict with sexual orientation.

This inner conflict can be seen in some high-profile cases in which anti-gay public figures are caught engaging in same-sex acts, the researchers say. For instance, evangelical preacher and anti-gay-marriage advocate Ted Haggard was caught in a gay sex scandal in 2006. And in 2010, prominent anti-gay activist and co-founder of conservative Family Research Council George Rekers was reportedly spotted in 2010 with a male escort rented from Rentboy.com. According to news reports, the escort confirmed Rekers is gay.

"We laugh at or make fun of such blatant hypocrisy, but in a real way, these people may often themselves be victims of repression and experience exaggerated feelings of threat," Ryan said. "Homophobia is not a laughing matter. It can sometimes have tragic consequences," as was the case in the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay man.

Source: LiveScience.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:48 pm 
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Homosexuality Gene May Predict Sexual Orientation of Men
By Randy Dotinga
October 8, 2015

Scientists are reporting that they've linked the way genes in certain regions of the human genome work to influence sexual orientation in males.

The findings don't explain how such variations in the workings of these genetic regions might affect sexuality in one or both genders. But the authors of the new study say they've been able to use this information to successfully predict the sexual orientation of male identical twins 70 percent of the time, compared to the 50 percent that would be expected by chance.

Twins have the same genes, so something else -- such as the way genes operate -- may explain those who don't have the same sexual orientation, the authors suggested. "Sexual orientation seems to be determined very early in life," said study lead author Tuck Ngun, a postdoctoral researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine of the University of California, Los Angeles. "Based on these findings, we can say that environmental factors might play a role in sexual orientation."

But he doesn't mean the social environment in which we grow up, such as how we're treated by our parents. "Instead, we are referring to differences that the twins could have experienced in the womb," Ngun explained.

Several past studies have linked sexual orientation to specific genetic regions, "but what's still a mystery is the specific genes that are involved," Ngun said. "Sexual attraction is a fundamental drive across all species but it is something that is poorly understood on the genetic level, particularly in humans."

In the new study, researchers sought to better understand the links between how genes work -- not just the existence of certain genes or genetic variations -- and sexual orientation. The investigators looked at identical twins because they share the same DNA. However, genes are also affected by the environment each twin experiences, so they're not clones of each other in terms of how their bodies work, according to the researchers.

The researchers began with information on 140,000 genetic regions and narrowed them down to five regions that appear to have the ability to predict -- 70 percent of the time -- whether an identical male twin is gay or straight based on how genes in those regions work or "express" themselves.

The researchers reached that level of accuracy by seeing if they could predict sexual orientation in 10 pairs of male gay twins and 37 male pairs in which one twin is gay and the other is straight, the study said. "We weren't expecting 100 percent since we are only looking at a small part of the overall picture," Ngun said.

The genetic regions in question play various roles in the body, Ngun explained, including affecting sexual attraction. Qazi Rahman, a senior lecturer in cognitive neuropsychology at King's College London in the United Kingdom, who studies sexual orientation, praised the study. While it's small, the study's design is strong, he said. Rahman added that the study "tells us something about possible environmental differences -- albeit biological differences in the environment -- which might explain the sexual orientation of men who share the same genome."

Some people in the LGBT community have expressed concern about research into the biological roots of sexual orientation because they fear it could be used to target gays and even abort fetuses who seem likely to not be heterosexual. "I am gay, so these questions have a lot of resonance with me on a personal level," study lead author Ngun said. "I do think we have to tread carefully because the potential for abuse is there. Although I think it's highly unlikely that the findings of this particular research study would lead to a genetic test, future research could ultimately lead to something like that," he added. Society is going to have to work together, Ngun suggested, "to ensure research on sexual orientation is not misused."

The study is scheduled to be presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics in Baltimore. Research presented at meetings hasn't yet undergone peer review, and is generally considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Source: US News & World Report

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:30 pm 
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Code Words For “Gay” In Classic Films
By Mallory Ortberg
May 22, 2015

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If you hear any of the following words or phrases used to describe a male character in a movie made before 1970, odds are good that they’re trying to tell you about a homosexual, a real boarding-school afternooner, someone who eats his dinner in a restaurant, a fellow who walks down the shady side of the street.

Curious

Extraordinary

Eccentric

Wears a hat of someone else’s choosing

Inconsistent

A sunset lover

Smooth elbows

A man with specific mannerisms

Sleeps diagonally

A perplexment

Rides the carousel

An evening botanist

Classically athletic

Fraternally-minded

Wears a light wristwatch

Gives a careful handshake

Gives too much change for a dollar

A fluent swimmer

A keen-eyed birdwatcher

Fond of his mother

Elegant

Built on an uncertain foundation

Fluttersome

A real jackdaw

Avowed bachelor

A gentleman of the piers

Born with the caul

Limber

An aesthete

In the way of uncles

He throws a party with an open guest list

Son of the moon

A boy from Eton

Always rings twice

Has a silk bathrobe

Not quite up-to-code

He hitchhikes instead of taking the bus

Stays ahead of the game

A skillful mountain climber

Salutes another flag

An upside-down chimney-sweep

Special comedy credit to left-handed whisperer Connor Goldsmith.

Source: Toast Net.

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