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PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:54 am 
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Hey guys, how about some light diversion....



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 10, 2010 5:50 pm 
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California gays celebrate summer
By Matt Akersten
2nd July, 2010

This is one of the best gay music video remakes we"ve ever seen — making us miss summer and wish we were in the Californian heat!

Ten gay dancers took to the beach to celebrate the heat, inspired by Katy Perry"s California Gurls track. Watch what happens when some visiting New Yorkers bust in on the action half-way through.

Katy"s nude antics in the original California Gurls video meant straight guys were banned during the shoot: "You weren"t allowed (on the set) unless you were a girl or you"re gay; I think that"s probably like the standard for all girlfriends," she laughed.

And it looks like no heterosexual man went anywhere near the filming of this remake video either. Take a look below.



Source: SameSame Australia.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:57 pm 
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Just people with likes and dislikes like everyone else !


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2010 3:59 am 
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Obama: being gay is not a choice
14 October 2010

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US President Barack Obama speaks during a live, commercial free youth Town Hall on Viacom's BET, CMT and MTV networks at the BET Studios in Washington, DC.

US President Barack Obama said Thursday that he believed being gay or transsexual was not a lifestyle choice but was biologically dictated before birth.

As his administration is criticized by gay and lesbian rights groups over what they see as slow progress towards repealing a ban on gays serving openly in the military, Obama weighed in on sexuality at a youth town hall meeting.

"You know, I am not obviously — I don't profess to be an expert. This is a layperson's opinion," Obama said. "But I don't think it's a choice. I think that people are born with, you know, a certain makeup, and that we're all children of God," the president said, in answer to a question. "We don't make determinations about who we love. And that's why I think that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is wrong."

The president's position is likely to anger some conservative, evangelical Christian groups, which argue homosexuality is a sin, and therefore involves choice.

Source: Breitbart AFP.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 6:57 pm 
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So you want to be a fag hag?
By christianbaines82
29th March, 2011

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You mean well. You"re just a fun loving straight chick who enjoys a good, trashy night out with your gay mates. And for the most part, we love having you as part of our community.

But honey, there are fag hags and there are… well, just plain hags. Nobody likes a drunken, sloppy, straight girl mess, and nobody wants to be one. So, here it is. The finishing course Presbyterian Ladies" College never taught you. The 101 guide to mixing with the boys, not looking like a tourist and getting the most out of your fag haggery!

1) Respect
While out at a gay venue, you are a guest of the gay community. Have fun, but also respect the community and its culture. Yes, there are some gays who have no concept of this either, but their example is not one to follow.

Nobody wants to be (or be around) a parasite, so if you want to party with the gay community, be a part of the community. Call out homophobia whenever you hear it. Yes, this does mean telling your brother, best mate, boyfriend or whoever"s cracking poofter jokes that he"s being a douche, and that you don"t appreciate it.

Have some basic knowledge of the icons and figures that are important to our history and culture too, and support gay equality whenever you get the opportunity.

2) Mates, not "mates"
Hopefully you"ve worked this out already, but your gay friend is not your boyfriend substitute. Going down this road is agony for all concerned — mostly you.

3) Hold your liquor
It might be unfair, but if you turn yourself into a wasted mess, your "visitor" status will count against you in the eyes of the regulars. Nobody likes a loud foreigner getting up in their face, and in a gay club, that foreigner is you. Know how much you can take.

4) BYO chaperone
Don"t come to a gay venue unless you"re with a gay friend. Please. Just don"t. This is how venues start to gradually turn straight. You have 98% of the venues in the city available to bring your gal pals or your new boyfriend. Bringing them to a gay venue "uninvited" is not going to win you any friends.

People come to bars and clubs to meet up with friends, or (ahem) make new ones. Your chances the second option are practically zero, so unless you"ve arranged the first, don"t do it.

Disregard this advice only if you"re Margaret Cho or Ana Matronic (and so can be guaranteed instant fag friends faster than you can order your first drink).

And your hens night? Don"t even think about it. Besides, if you have such an aversion to straight men that you need to have your hens night surrounded by gays you don"t know, this really isn"t a good omen for the marriage.

5) Choose an appropriate venue
The gay scene is often more diverse and complicated than it"s given credit for and some venues just aren"t all that girl friendly (the inverse is true for many lesbian venues). While you"ll certainly find the odd hag mingling in the crowd, venues like The Oxford Hotel or Midnight Shift aren"t really meant for you.

Trust your friends on this, and look for venues with a strong drag presence or that attract a big dance crowd. More twink-oriented venues tend to encourage a higher hag quota as well. Bear or leather venues? Not so much. It"s not that the bears don"t like you, but you"ll probably be better received — and feel a hell of a lot more comfortable — if you"re not the only hag in the village.

6) Plan to be ditched
If your friends are… well, sluts (and you should have figured this out by now) it is highly likely that at some point in the night they will get talking to that hottie over in the corner and suddenly disappear on you. Don"t wait for the remorseful text messages the next day. Have a plan before you go out that allows them their fun whilst not leaving you high and dry.

7) Sex happens. Get over it
Queer venues hardly have the monopoly on this, but back rooms, bathrooms — occasionally open dance floors if the crowd is thick — in certain clubs and bars there"s a chance you might spy a little action going on. No matter how open it might seem, this is not your personal peep show. You know it"s rude to stare. Also, whatever you see, keep it to yourself. Nobody likes a loudmouth or a killjoy. Some venues consider a little on site sex a natural part of their culture. New York"s The Cock didn"t get its name for serving a mean plate of fried chicken, honey. If security thinks it"s an issue, they"ll deal with it themselves. Focus on your good time and let others have theirs.

8) Blend
While you are a guest of the community, don"t expect to be treated like a celebrity guest star. This is not the Muppet Show, and your friends won"t appreciate the implication. Your best approach is to just be "one of the boys" for the night. It"ll earn you more kudos from your friends & friends of friends than you"ll ever get playing up the "special guest" card.

Happy haggery!

Source: SameSame Australia.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:02 pm 
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Out? Outrageous!
Openly gay coach works to make sports industry gay-friendly

By Tara Cavanaugh
13 October 2011

Image

Charley Sullivan says it's OK to be "outrageously queer," even in sports.

A longtime coach, Sullivan has been out his entire coaching career, even though in his field many stay closeted. Those who dare to come out make headlines - such as former Phoenix Suns CEO and President Rick Welts, who hid being gay for 40-plus years as he worked his way up in the industry. But Sullivan, a successful varsity rowing coach at the University of Michigan, has decided not to hide anything. He hopes one day that gay athletes are as unapologetically out as he is, and he's working hard to make that happen.

First, he's setting an excellent example.

'The big queer guy'

Sullivan blew up the gay blogosphere recently with a column on the popular blog Out Sports. In his essay, he proclaimed that not only is he out, but at times he's even "outrageously queer" when he manages a team. What does he mean by that? He means that he's completely unafraid to be exactly who he is - even if that self is more than a little gay. "I've found that the best way to let guys be comfortable and know that I'm comfortable is to tell jokes," Sullivan says. "I will tell gay jokes. I will take their jokes among themselves and I will turn the double entendre queer."

Gregg Hartsuff, who has coached with Sullivan since 1992, puts it another way. "The other day, Charley was demonstrating something on the rowing machine. His movement made him look very homosexual - the way he moved his body, he swayed his hips some way, and he titled his hand and his head and I could see the group of about 20 guys just sort of laughing inside at him being what you'd call the big queer guy. "I just said: 'Charley that was very gay.' And Charley says: 'Asshole, I am a big queer homo.'"

The exchange caused the young men to crack up, Hartsuff says, "because I said exactly what they were thinking. And it was one of those moments where you know not only is this OK, but we kind of like it. It wouldn't be Charley if it weren't that way."

"I really have come to take the position of - and I wish a lot of gay people would too - if there's a problem here about this, it's your problem," Sullivan says.

Pat Pannuto, a U-M graduate student who was coached by Sullivan and Hartsuff for four years, says eventually all new team members figure out that Sullivan is gay - and they don't care. They care more about winning, which Sullivan and Hartsuff help them do: the team has an impressive record, including winning four national championships in a row between 2008 and 2011. "(Sullivan is) a defining part of my Michigan career," Pannuto says. "He's a defining part of who I am. I'm still at Michigan so I see him a lot, and you can see that he stays in touch with all the alumni. He's a friend-for-life kind of character."

No one would agree with that sentiment more than Hartsuff, who learned Sullivan was gay the very first time they met in 1992 when the head coach paired them up and scheduled an introduction at a coffee shop. Sullivan and Hartsuff arrived, but the head coach was late. In pre-Internet and cell phone days, the two had nothing to do but wait and chat. The discussion turned to weddings. "He was planning to get married that spring and I had just gotten married the prior fall," Hartsuff says. "I asked him what his fiancee's name was and he said it was Rob."

"And I thought, OK, short for Roberta?" Hartsuff recalls, laughing. "He could see the look on my face. I came from a small town, so I hadn't really had any experience at all with homosexuals. If I had encountered them in my previous days they would have been in the closet."

Hartsuff, whose political views lean conservative and Republican, says Sullivan was his first introduction to gay life. Hartsuff also says Sullivan is now one of his best friends, and their athletes understand how much the two respect each other. Sullivan agrees. "I think we've helped each other grow in significant ways," he says. "He's my best ally in all this."

Forming a gay athletic community

Thanks to his years as a coach and the contacts he's made, Sullivan knows he's not the only gay male coach out there. He wants to create a space to organize and unify coaches like him. Sullivan is part of a group called the Equality Coaching Alliance. The group is so new that it doesn't even have a website yet, just a Facebook fan page. The idea behind the alliance is to provide a space for coaches to deal with coming out issues, whether it's their own or their athletes'.

The alliance could also provide a unified voice of gay coaches.

"As these sort of gay athletic issues keep coming up now, with professional athletes being fined for homophobic remarks, professional teams making 'It Gets Better' videos - which I think is spectacular - I think there's also a desire to make sure the people who comment on this from the gay community also know about athletics," Sullivan says.

Sullivan also hopes the alliance can encourage athletes not just to come out, but to be out. While many hope for a professional male athlete to come out, Sullivan says there's a bigger picture to consider. "For me the question is: when do you have the first guy, who gets drafted into the NFL, already out? Having been recruited to a top college program, already out? Having played at high school, already out? That's the goal."

As a teenager, Sullivan opted to be a closeted athlete. He hopes the world of athletics stops making those who love sports choose between being an athlete or being out. It's not such an impossibility - he lives it every day.

Daring to be an athlete while also being openly gay: it's not such an outrageous idea after all.

Source: PrideSource.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:06 pm 
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The key to a happy relationship? Be gay. Or childless. Or make tea
by Richard Garner
Tuesday, 14 January 2014

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Joe (left), 26, and partner Will; the couple has been together for almost four years

Gay couples are likely to be happier and more positive about their relationships than heterosexuals, according to a major study by the Open University published today.

However, they are less likely to be openly affectionate towards each other – holding hands in public, for instance – because they still fear attracting disapproval.

The study of 5,000 people – 50 of whom were later followed up with in-depth interviews – aimed at finding out how modern couples keep their relationships on track through life’s difficulties. It found that simple things – like making a cup of tea in the morning and taking it up to them in bed – were the most treasured by couples as examples of intimacy rather than more dramatic gestures such as declaring “I love you”.

It was on the relative happiness of people within different types of relationships that the survey threw up the most interesting insights into modern day life, however. “LGBQ participants (lesbian, gay, bisexual and queer) are more generally positive about and happier with the quality of their relationship and the relationship which they have with their partner” the research concludes. “Heterosexual parents are the group least likely to be there for each other, to make ‘couple time’, to pursue shared interests, to say ‘I love you’ and to talk openly to one another.” But it added: “Public/private boundaries of ‘couple display’ remain fraught. Many LGBQ couples, especially the younger ones, say they would not hold hands in public for fear of reprisal.”

The study, funded by the Economic and Science Research Council, found that couples without children were generally likely to be happier than parents. In addition, mothers were the least likely group to be satisfied with their partners. Asked who is the most important person in their life, fathers were far more likely to select their partner than their children. In comparison, 74.8 per cent of mothers with children under five selected a child as their most important person – increasing to 78 per cent for the mothers of five-to nine-year-olds. By contrast, less than half the fathers of five to nine-year-olds selected the child (46.8 per cent) while 51.6 per cent selected their partner.

Despite this, the mothers were “significantly happier with life than any other group”, the study found. “From this it could be inferred that children are the primary source of happiness for women rather than a partner,” it said, “something that is corroborated by other survey data”. Fathers, though, were more likely to complain of a lack of sexual intimacy in the relationship and – confronted with the statement “my partner wants to have sex more than I do,” 40 per cent of mothers agreed or strongly agreed with the sentiment compared with just 10 per cent of fathers.

The survey concluded that it was “hard to pin down” what is meant by love in a relationship, adding: “The act of saying ‘I love you’ is identified as important by men and women alike but a loving gesture is far more highly valued.”

Dr Jacqui Gibb, co-author of the report, said: “Grand romantic gestures, although appreciated, don’t nurture a relationship as much as bringing your partner a cup of tea in bed or watching TV together.”

    Case study: Aware of the stares
    Joe, 26, from London, has been in a relationship with his partner Will for almost four years

    “Although I’ve never received physical or face-to-face abuse, I am very aware of stares and raised eyebrows when holding my partner’s hand. It took us a while to have the confidence to hold hands and kiss on the lips in public, for example when saying goodbye to each other. We spent a year saying our goodbyes at home in the morning rather than on the Tube, despite us both travelling in together, out of fear of potential disapproving looks or abuse. I know in London it’s probably much easier than other parts of the UK, or other countries around the world, but I don’t think we’ll ever feel 100 per cent comfortable in public as a couple.”

The pursuit of happiness: Secrets of success

Suggesting actions speak louder than words as far as loving relationships are concerned, the people surveyed said it was the things that their partners did for them that made them feel most appreciated. These included:

1. Says thank you and notices my achievements.
2. Buys thoughtful gifts and shows kind gestures – a cup of tea in bed was especially appreciated by mothers.
3. Talks with me and listens.
4. Physical affection, with cuddles and foot massages featuring prominently.
5. Shares the household chores and/or child care.

Source: Independent UK.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:37 am 
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Can we please stop obsessing about male homosexuality?
by Alex Andreou
Friday, 14 February 2014

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Lady Gaga has already settled the 'gay issue'. Photograph: Neil P Mockford/FilmMagic

A new study of gay men in the US has found what Lady Gaga knew to be true all along: "Baby, I was born this way."

Well, sort of. They found that genes on two chromosomes affect a man's sexual preference. Although, apparently, they were "neither sufficient nor necessary, to make any of the men gay". I still had to put in some work of my own.

The genes in question are "chromosome 8" and "Xq28", which makes complete sense, since they both sound like names of Soho gay bars. I'm fairly sure I went to Xq28 once.

The mere existence of such genetic studies reveals a particular obsession, very specifically, with gay men. Nobody, so far as I'm aware, is investigating why some straight folks prefer the "reverse cowgirl" to the "missionary position". Nor why my sister's sexual past seems to be littered almost exclusively with bald men. Lesbianism, bisexuality, trans and queer identities, sexual experimentation and asexuality all fade into the background, while everything is reduced to a single issue: why do some men choose to have sex with other men? When Vladimir Putin says he doesn't mind gays, but wishes they would leave the children alone, he is talking about gay men. Whenever countries criminalise homosexuality, the crime in question, more often than not, is buggery.

Unfortunately, studies like this one very much feed the same beast. The question of nature versus nurture or choice is always manipulated in terms of ascribing more or less culpability to our sexual preference; finding the bugger and the buggered more or less responsible. Some media reaction confirms precisely this. In 1993, the Daily Mail greeted results of the genetic study with the headline, "Abortion hope after 'gay genes' finding". In that respect, the "I can't help myself" narratives become as unhelpful as gay cure narratives; indeed, they become the basis of gay cure "hopes", only this time based on eugenics rather than pseudo-psychiatry. This is because such research necessarily comes at issues of sexuality from an angle that looks at any deviation from the narrowly defined and subjective ideal, as fixable or non-fixable abnormality.

These narratives are also, evidently, completely useless. Unless one considers homosexuality as a problematic occurrence to be studied – and eventually fixed – the continual focus on what makes some men fancy other men is nothing but morbid fascination. And it is a fascination with a dangerous twist. Let us say we continue down this path and discover definitive genetic markers that can identify someone as gay. How long would it be before a black market was created for foetus selection by intolerant, but wealthy, couples? How far away would we be from countries, in which homosexuality is a punishable crime, admitting such evidence in court? Indeed, I cannot think of a single positive application for such research, other than the generic claim that it will help us understand better. But in order to understand better, one has to have a mind open to fact. The vast majority of the people who consider homosexuality a plague or responsible for floods, are hardly friends of science.

Isn't it time we all grew up and stopped obsessing about the sexual behaviour of consenting adults? I lost my father to pancreatic cancer. My mother is fighting a daily battle with Alzheimer's. In this context, that a single cent of medical research should be devoted to explaining whom I choose to share my bed with, is utterly obscene.

Source: Guardian UK.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 7:18 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: Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:52 pm 
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Homophobia in microcosm: How a savage gang attack tore one man's whole life apart
by Patrick Strudwick
Friday, 10 October 2014

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Stewart O'Callaghan was left with a punctured lung after six teens assaulted him. Benjamin McMahon

It was a beautiful, balmy summer's evening the night Stewart O'Callaghan lost everything.

At 10.30pm on 20 July, 2013, he and his partner Matt left a close friend's house and started walking home down Hackney Road in London's East End. The trees were in full bloom. The heat was just beginning to dip, a breeze picking up as their arms collided and hands linked. A few streets away, the music festival Lovebox boomed and throbbed, throngs of partygoers spilling out into surrounding roads.

For the first time, aged 26, Stewart was happy. After a childhood in Reigate, Surrey, with no money, no father, his mother on benefits and endless bullying for being gay, his early adulthood had scarcely been easier. At 20, he was diagnosed with high-functioning Asperger's: the end of the autism spectrum most likely to go unnoticed. He had learnt to manage it and had finally shaken off lingering internalised shame about his sexuality. He'd abandoned a PhD to pursue his passion – tattooing – with demand for his designs growing. And he was in love. That night, he says now, sitting astride a stool, everything felt perfect.

They turned off Hackney Road and left on to Goldsmith's Row: modern flats and a narrow pavement on one side, trees lining Haggerston Park with a wide pavement on the other. Leaves and branches obscured what little street lighting there was. They walked on, chatting intimately.

Stewart and Matt, aged 29, had met in a bar the previous Christmas: instant connection, fleeting kiss, numbers exchanged. Matt had only been with women before. Stewart helped him come out, introducing him to the joys of modern gay life in the capital: freedom unimaginable to many, a minority in exuberance. Three days before their nighttime stroll, the Queen had signed into law the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act.

Stewart did not know that this magic was about to be interrupted, that a few minutes of savagery would gradually dismantle his life. How could he? We are never told this story. We hear only of violence, the act. Tales of homophobic hate crimes are reduced to three words: Gay Gets Beaten. Reports feature only the rock, never the ripples. He returns to that night.

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In hospital, Stewart felt he had to cover up his tattoos, and his sexuality (Benjamin McMahon)

"I noticed three kids loitering on the other side of the road – from their bodies and stature, I'd say mid-to-late teens. They weren't doing anything but I must have sensed something because I thought, 'Just keep walking'. Then I saw three more kids walking towards us. Suddenly the first three were coming up behind and that's when I knew: this is orchestrated and it's going to be serious." All six teenagers had hoods pulled up over their faces, which, with the darkness, masked their faces entirely.

"As they approached I realised we were not going to escape, so I looked at one of them and said 'Don't' in a pleading voice. But they didn't stop. He shoulder-barged me and before I knew it one of them had punched Matt hard in the mouth, knocking him out the way so that it was just me, surrounded by six people." From his early experiences of being bullied, Stewart knew what to do now: protect vital organs.

"I knew I couldn't fight off six people and couldn't stay standing, giving them full access to my body, with the possibility of being knocked to the ground and my head hitting the curb. So I dropped down on to my elbows and knees." He climbs off the stall to demonstrate the position: head face-down, foetal, hands around crown. "They started kicking – my ribs, my back – again and again. Winding me. And then they started stamping. All six are on my back, stamping on me." When he rolled on to his left side, they started stamping on his right. "It was all done in total silence. Not a word uttered." They made no attempt to search his pockets or rob him. "They were out for a thrill, and we were two gay men being affectionate to each other: an easy target."

He did not know where Matt was, only discovering later that as they jumped on him, his boyfriend tried desperately to get into the circle, only to be pushed back. The ring on the hand that punched Matt had burst through his lip. "After a while I realised this situation couldn't carry on. I knew that it was only a matter of time before my chest collapsed, or one of them started stamping on my head and that that would kill me." Adrenaline surged. "I started to think clearly, that I'm not going to have a bunch of kids end my life on a road in the middle of Hackney. I wasn't ready to give up. I brought my elbows up and knocked some of their legs out the way and scrambled through the gaps I made, running, shouting to Matt as best I could to let him know I was out the other side. He ran round and grabbed me, we started shouting for help, making as much noise as possible so people in their houses would hear us."

Spooked by the noise, the attackers ran in the opposite direction. Stewart and Matt kept up the commotion, hoping customers at the nearby Little Georgia restaurant would come and help. The diners carried on eating. Stewart dialled 999. The police arrived and stopped at the other end of the street. "So rather than the police come to us, we had to walk down the street we had just been attacked on," says Stewart. "Matt was bleeding so much he thought he'd lost his teeth." Stewart was having trouble breathing – he assumed he was still winded. "Then one of the officers asked, 'Well, why were you walking down that side of the road anyway?'. It felt like we were being blamed."

Neither the police nor paramedics, in an estate car, offered to take them to A&E – Stewart assumed this was because the casualties from Lovebox would make the wait for an ambulance too long. Instead, they were told to walk to Homerton Hospital. It is nearly two miles away. There, while waiting to be seen, Stewart started feeling a bubbling sensation in the top of his chest, but all he could think about was Matt. "I was scared for him – he'd only been out of the closet since Christmas and suddenly he's having to deal with this ugly side of being gay. I felt responsible, as if I'd pulled him into this world with its daily risk of street violence."

Matt was sent to another hospital for his lip to be treated. Stewart was kept in overnight as he was still not breathing properly. He detached mentally. "I went into a kind of autopilot," he says. He was also preoccupied with another thought: the assailants would never be caught. As it was so dark, their faces were covered and their clothes had no markings, even giving descriptions to the police was impossible, let alone identifying them.

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Ten months after the homophobic attack, Stewart split up with his boyfriend, Matt (Benjamin McMahon)

"From day one of the case I knew I was f****d," he says, looking out of the window. The next morning, after several X-rays, the doctors had news. "My lung was punctured. It was at half capacity. It had detached from the top and crumpled in half." The hospital admitted him to try and save the lung and keep him alive. "They put a hole in the side of your chest and go in with a wire, which feels horrible, and feed a thicker tube over that, both of which remain attached to a box beside you, which stops the air from remaining in the chest, helping to re-inflate the lung. They said if the tube became detached or if someone knocked it and it fell out I could die within minutes."

He was put in intensive care. And then in the critical care ward. The man in the bed next to him, whom Stewart believed to be drunk and homeless, picked up the box. Stewart wrestled it off him, and asked to be moved. There were no other beds. For the next two weeks, he remained in hospital. Matt, recovering well from his burst lip, came every day and sat with him. But it was here that the first ripples began: the shame instilled by the bullies seeped back in.

"You construct a bubble around you, with people who make you feel safe, a life removed from homophobia, and then you find yourself on a hospital ward, vulnerable, surrounded by old straight men and their families and nurses who subtly reveal their attitudes towards you as a gay person – one of them stopped talking to me when she realised Matt was my boyfriend. Suddenly I felt I had to be discreet again. I felt threatened. I found myself covering up the [homoerotic] Tom of Finland tattoo on my calf. I found myself slipping into gender-neutral words like 'partner' around medical staff. The whole situation, after the attack, made me think, 'Maybe I should be that person who shuts up and isn't intimate with his boyfriend in case it makes others feel uncomfortable'."

In hospital, the police came and took a statement.

"But they said, 'If you can't identify them there's not a lot we can do'. I don't even know if the statement I gave was coherent because I was on morphine." It would be weeks before Stewart spoke to the police again.

"I phoned every day, I could never get through." He was offered an LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual) liaison officer. "But I didn't want to be pigeon-holed, I wanted to be treated as the victim of a violent crime who happens to be gay, not palmed off. They didn't explain how that would affect how the case went, or what constitutes a hate crime – what that really means. I felt like they were saying, 'Do you want to play the gay card?'."

Stewart was left unclear how the crime had been categorised. The Metropolitan Police confirm to me it was eventually recorded as a homophobic hate crime, but that no one was arrested or charged. They confirm, too, that there was a period of approximately three weeks in which Stewart was unable to reach the officers involved "partly due to annual leave". They add: "The Metropolitan Police Service is committed to tackling all forms of hate crime". The attackers remain at large.

Out of hospital, Stewart's relationship started unravelling. Matt, physically recovered, and coping better, was able to go back to work and carry on. But Stewart suffered daily with his collapsed lung. An operation to restore it was cancelled. "The surgeon said to me, 'It's not as though someone's going to kick you again'." For months he remained exhausted, breathless, losing clients from being off work, whole days spent in bed. What should have still been the honeymoon period of their relationship became like a troubled retirement.

"I loved Matt but I felt such a drain on him and so dehumanised by everything. He said he wanted everything back to how things were before the attack and I'd be there with my damaged lung saying, 'I don't know what I can do about that'. The last thing I could think about was being young and free and fun." Anxiety was also setting in. Stewart became depressed, "a recluse", refusing to go out. "I was terrified to walk around. It was one of the reasons I stopped going to clubs – I was scared of having to walk home." Because Stewart has multiple tattoos – even on his hands – he feared they would make him more recognisable if his attackers saw him again. In public, he ensured his hands were always in his pockets. He didn't wear the jacket he had on that night for months. In November, Stewart and Matt went to Berlin for Matt's birthday.

"On the plane I felt my lung pop, but I didn't tell Matt, I didn't want to scare him and I felt like he resented me already, like, 'Why aren't things fun any more?'." As the plane descended, Stewart lost consciousness. The same thing happened on the way back to London. Finally, in April, he went in for surgery to restore and reattach the lung. It was cancelled at the hospital. He lost more clients, and more money. He went in again for surgery a month later.

"It's an open-chest surgery – they pull your rib cage apart. They pull the lung out, inspect it, and then put it back in and blow it up like a balloon so it sticks." The operation, although successful, left him with three cracked ribs. He needed help even sitting up in bed. It left him with scars on his chest and side and back. He lifts his T-shirt slowly to show me.

"I became so ashamed of my body and so repulsed by my health I didn't want him to see it. Because I'd been opened up my body felt like a carcass, like it was just a piece of evidence, testament to what happened. I didn't just feel like a burden but was physically becoming one. By this point we're already falling out of love with each other..." Stewart stops and, for the first time, breaks down. Tears spill down his face. His shoulders crumple. In May, 10 months after the attack, they broke up.

"Everything became so practical – the next hospital visit or whatever – and so hazardous that it throttled the love out of the relationship. We'd been kicked to death." Matt did not want to take part in this article. Stewart hasn't been with anyone else since. He doesn't want anyone to see his scars, or, worse, ask about them.

"My dreams of marrying someone I loved suddenly got put by the wayside. Instead, I was back to being scared to walk down the street. I felt like all the progress I'd made as a gay man was a mockery of itself. I was having to pretend that everything was OK, and as much as everyone knows you're not, no one wants to hear it after a year. It's old news." Stewart's relationship with his family broke down, too.

"It took my mum a week and a half to visit me in hospital. Two days before my operation, when I phoned, they were too busy to speak. They said they would try and phone later. When they did come, they were late because they went via McDonald's. I thought, 'Get away from my bed. I don't want anything to do with this'."

Stewart still struggles physically. Although back to work at the tattoo parlour, he still can't lift heavy objects, he still gets tired, his lung still doesn't feel normal. "Every time I run or jump off a step I can feel the difference in my chest. I feel repulsed by the scars." And he is left with a strong impression about those who were meant to help him.

"Because it was a physical attack and on a gay man, there was a distinct lack of sympathy from a lot of people, the police, medical professionals. I lost so much – weight, health, mental stability, pride, my partner, all the securities I had built brick by brick I lost because of kids having a few moments of fun. I'm left with a demolished life, starting again. I could have easily died that night. Because things are more open and permissive now, with gay marriage, the general public thinks gays are having the time of their lives. Some days I want to stand in the street handing out leaflets saying what it's really like being a gay person."

In London alone, in the period 2012-2013, there were 1,008 homophobic hate crimes reported to the police, a quarter of those nationally, and a reduction of 20 per cent from the previous year. But is that because people are becoming less inclined to report such attacks? Galop, the anti-hate crime charity, says "most" anti-gay attacks go unreported. I ask on social media for gay people to describe their experiences of police reactions to their attacks. The response is wildly mixed.

"Hammersmith police were really good," says a Londoner.

"I've been attacked twice," replies another. "Both times police showed incredible inability. I told a policewoman about the homophobic verbal abuse. She asked if I was gay. I said that they perceived me as gay. When I called a few days later, the case had been closed. The reason – it wasn't a homophobic attack."

"Brighton police have been disgusting towards my complaint," adds another. "Made me feel like I was wasting their time. They couldn't give a f***."

Ben Cooper, a Labour councillor, emails to say he has made a complaint to Devon and Cornwall police about the way they handled a homophobic attack on him last month that left him unconscious. His attacker, he says, was "let off by writing a letter apologising to me for 'bad judgment'." His MP, Sarah Wollaston, is taking up the case.

Before I go, I tell Stewart that to my eyes, his scars are not repulsive, not at all. I want to tell him that it will get better, that I know it will from experience, but I know he has to discover this for himself. He looks down at his chest where two of the scars lie beneath his T-shirt, and says something quietly that all victims of hate crimes will understand. "Even when it fades it will be there for ever".

Source: Independent UK.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:57 pm 
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Being a gay man in the Turkish military
11 July 2014

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Ayşe ARMAN - ISTANBUL - Hürriyet reporter Ayşe Arman interviews 27-year-old Kaan Arter on his experiences as a gay teacher who had to serve as a soldier in the Turkish military

“I am homosexual and I just came back from military service. So far, you’ve done many interviews with gays, homosexuals and transsexuals about what they’ve done to avoid serving in the military. I want to tell you why I went there and what I’ve encountered with. Would you be interested?”

I called him immediately, and we met.

Kaan Arter really is a strong man. He is educated and knowledgeable, very sincere and honest. Moreover he is smart: A TÜBİTAK-winning mathematician. He is still a teacher and because of this he hid his face in the pictures. Arter is a person who writes about homosexuality and has a blog. He has very bold writings. He talks about how he slept with his boyfriend who came to visit him while he was at the military, when he had a leave of absence, in the toilet of a cafe. But without banality... I wish him success in his mathematics and literary life.

Here is our interview:

Your name?
- Kaan Arter.

Is that your real name?
- No, because I am a teacher. Revealing my real name would be the end of my professional career.

What do you teach?
- Math. It’s necessary for everyone. Math is life!

Very nice... Your age?
- 27.

When did you realize that you were gay?
- (He laughs) I was a little bit naive. When I was a child, there wasn’t any difference in my head between heterosexual and homosexual. The way I looked at sex was like, “Men sleep with men, women with women and some women with men because they like men.” Frankly, everybody sleeps with whoever they want to. For example, my mother and my father have sex because they like each other. And I liked one of my male friends and thought that I could have slept with him. And then one day I realized that a man should like a woman. I was horrified! I was mistaken and wrong. I had to change. But how? And the worst thing was that I also had a high-pitched voice. My father kept on warning me. “We have to make your voice low-pitched,” he said. “You are not going to use your hand like this. You are not doing say ‘oh’ or ‘hey.’ If you do, you’d be effeminate!” When I started high school, because of these pressures, I was homophobic, despite the fact that I was homosexual. You can’t run away from your essence, your own reality

What about high school...
- I was trying not to think about sexuality. Because when I did, I thought about men. And it was irritating. In college, I had a girlfriend. We were together for four years.

What do you mean? Did you had sex?
- Yes. I had my first sexual experience with a woman. I don’t have any fear of a vagina. I can be with a woman. But of course, I choose the male body. I am not bisexual. By being with a woman, I tried to be heterosexual. But how could it be possible?

Did she suspect anything?
- My girlfriend? We had very funny incidents. For example, I was staying in a two-person dorm room. As it turns out, I was in love with my male roommate. But I didn’t know it. He had a girlfriend, too, all four of us hung out. And the girls were talking to each other, saying, “These two are always together. They are so interested in each other all the time. Could they be bisexual?” They were brave girls, they directly asked us. I was so homophobic that I strictly denied it. I’ve showed an extreme reaction. I reacted for so long that finally my girlfriend said: “Okay, okay, you are so homophobic!”

And then?
- And then... You can’t run away from your essence and your own reality. After university we broke up. I started to question: “Who am I really? What I am doing? What do I actually want to do?” In the meanwhile I got a scholarship from TÜBİTAK, because I was the highest-ranking student in my department. I went abroad as a graduate student for a while. During this process, I read a lot about being gay. As I read, I said, “There are people like me!” And I’ve realized this: “In order for this society to accept gay people, they have to know and recognize us.” That’s why I started to tell people whom I trusted and believed in that I was gay. First, to my sister. Then, to my aunt on a rainy day. My aunt and I were coming back from a psychiatry seminar. Suddenly I said, “I want to tell you something!” She said, “Tell me dear” and I said, “ I’m gay!” Of course it wasn’t this easy. I was crying when I said it and it was raining. My aunt hugged me and said: “I wish you would tell me earlier, who knows what you’ve been through. I would want to be there for you while you were suffering.” I wanted to be sincere and I am...

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Your aunt is marvellous! What about your mother and father?
- That situation is unsolvable! They don’t know. I never think of telling my father, because I don’t think he would understand. It would be a nightmare for him, he would turn it into the biggest issue in the world. I won’t tell my mother either, as the poor woman will be caught in the middle; she will worry about me. I don’t want to upset anyone. We saw it in the “My Child” documentary – even educated people can’t accept their child being gay. Other people’s children can be gay, you know, we live in modern times, but their own child, never!

Is the problem society that makes people feel ashamed or is it like “In this homophobic country my children will be vulnerable. Many bad things will happen to him?”
- Both. But mostly, it’s “How will I protect my child? He will live a life and a world that I don’t know about. I don’t have any control there. Yet, if he was heterosexual, he would marry someone. He would have a father-in-law and a mother-in-law. He would have children. And then his children would take care of him. But he won’t marry anyone, because he is homosexual. Even if he does marry someone, he is not going to have any children. What’s going to happen to him when he grows old, who’s going to look after him?” Many families have these kind of questions on their minds.

How did you manage to be this brave?
- We are such a hypocritical society that I had no other choice. We say that visitors are very welcome, but if they stay a bit long, we talk behind their backs or we give messages indirectly. Why don’t we speak directly? This is a part of our society. While I was questioning what kind of lifestyle I wanted to create, I realized that the thing that I believe in most is sincerity. I wanted to be sincere too. With my existence, behaviour and writings... And I am.

What comes to gay men’s minds when they hear about “military service”?
- A lot of things. The humiliating treatment that they will get when they try to get a “certificate of disability” for discharge. The chain of command at the military, killing or getting killed, the fear of getting sexually assaulted. “How can I be comfortable living in the same environment with lots of men? Is the environment hygienic? What if they make fun of me and use offensive words? Can I take it after this age?”

Was it like that for you, too?
- I am an anti-militarist person. But I went there, I served in the military, whereas I could easily prove that I was homosexual. I live with my boyfriend. Both my aunt and my sister would come and tell them. If they want a “position picture” – although they don’t need it anymore – I could even give that. (The Turkish military had requested men to graphically prove their homosexuality to receive a waiver from mandatory military service in the past.)

But you didn’t... you didn’t even tell them that you were gay. Why? What was your reason for wanting to go to military service?
- I am already against it being mandatory. People who don’t want to go shouldn’t go. I wish that we had a legal right and a chance like that, but we don’t. A male person who is born in the Republic of Turkey goes to military service when he reaches a certain age. I was born in this land, I reached a certain age and I am male. I am no different than them. If they go, I have to go, too. If I use my innate sexual orientation as an excuse, it will be using my sexuality.

But weren’t there difficulties?
- How couldn’t there be? It is a place where there is no reason or logic. But it is tough for everyone. That’s what I’m trying to say. If you are aware of yourself and your rights, no one dares to do anything to harm you. If you are educated or active on the Internet and social media, they get frightened. See, if anybody, even commanders, try to abuse you, there are very strong mechanisms for complaints. There is the Prime Ministry Communications Center. Within a week, they say, “This soldier filed these complaints” and ask for a defense. But of course, if someone is “too effeminate” or transsexual or really don’t want to go to serve, then they shouldn’t go. There you live together with 60 men...

By talking about this, do you want to say to gay people: “You can go to military service?”
- Some of us don’t have the possibility to get a certificate of disability for discharge. For instance, if they want to work as a government official after serving in the military. Or if they don’t want to say that they are gay. If they don’t have the strength to deal with it. They are facing an enormous dilemma. They have to serve in the military, but they are frightened. I want to speak to them: Don’t be afraid, go. It isn’t that bad. And I did mine under very difficult circumstances.

What if they blame you and say “You are damaging our struggle!”
- Being gay is not a superior characteristic. It is a natural and normal feature. We can’t ask for privilege or we can’t brag about our innate features.

What kind of a place did you expect to see and what did you find?
- I thought I was going to a camp for six months. I didn’t have any expectations. I was ready for the worst. Moreover, I was sent to a place where they usually send people with criminal records: Sakarya.

What did you experienced?
Military service gives you the opportunity to get to know Turkey completely. You really feel that you live in a third-world country. The system comes from 50 years behind. You don’t have to be logical. They don’t want you to think anyway. But of course, I am myself. For example, in sunny weather, I was putting on factor-50 sun cream. I didn’t wanted to harm my skin.

Didn’t they say “What is this maniac doing” or didn’t they make fun of you?
- (He laughs) I am 27 years old. I was older than many people there. And because I am a teacher, they all addressed me as teacher. When I saw something wrong, I was able to say it easily. What is wrong with carrying sun cream? It about awareness. Also, I didn’t want just my hands to get tanned. I tried to protect my ears from the sun as well. There were building operations, too. During my leave of absence, I bought construction gloves. I put them on while I was working, so that my hands wouldn’t get damaged. I was able to live under my terms there. Nobody asked “Why do you use gloves or why do use sun cream?” Only one of them said “Is that foundation!” and I said “No, it’s sun cream.” They threw their garbage around. I taught my division that garbage shouldn’t be thrown around. Can you believe it?

How?
- Because I am a teacher, when I enter a classroom, the first thing I do is to look around. If it’s dirty, if there is garbage on the ground, I say “Everybody lives in an environment that they deserve. But I don’t deserve to live or work in this environment” and I pick up the first trash. After that, kids slowly start to pick up the trash. I never threw my garbage on the ground when I was at the military service. Let’s say we are walking and I have an empty plastic bottle and I am looking for a trash bin. My friend says: “You still couldn’t become a soldier! There is garbage everywhere. Throw it on the ground. Tomorrow they will clean the area, they will pick it up!” This is their logic. I wanted to change that. However, when I look at the commanders, they drink tea, for instance, and they also throw away the cup. They smoke and throw away the butt. Because of this, I said, “First I will start with my own environment.” One of my friends threw the cigarette to the ground after he smoked. I warned him in front of everyone and he said “Where am I supposed to throw it, there is no place to throw it!” I replied: “If there isn’t, then take the butt and put it in your pocket.” He said “How is that going to work?” And I said, “Okay, then I’ll do it” I picked up the cigarette that he threw away and put it in my pocket. “There is no way I am making you carry my cigarette butt!” he said and picked it up. This kind of perception was formed. There were also people that I taught how to read and write. Those six months were not a nightmare at all. I am so happy, if I could help a few people.

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Were you the only one, or were there other gay people like you?
- How could there not be? Moreover, I have a story. My boyfriend came to visit me. We were talking on top of the wall in front of the guardhouse at the entrance of my barracks. We were eating some food that he brought. Right next to us, there were two men, they were also talking just like us. One of them was a soldier and I knew him. We were asking if they were gay, too, because it is not written on people’s forehead. Not everyone has to be feminine either. Anyway we returned to the guardhouse and our boyfriends talked on their way back. My boyfriend phoned and said “Yes, you have another friend who is a gay soldier!”

What lesson did you learn from this experience? What did you learn the most during your military service?
- I learned how to make “lego” out of “egos!” If I had boasted about my degrees, complaining that a high school student commander was making me clean the toilets, I would be in big trouble in the military. I was there only as a soldier. I thought “I should do what every other soldier is doing!” And I completed my military service without a problem.

Source: Hurriyet Daily.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 6:26 pm 
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Tim Cook Speaks Up
By Tim Cook
October 30, 2014

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Photograph by Ashley Gilbertson for Bloomberg Businessweek

Throughout my professional life, I’ve tried to maintain a basic level of privacy.

I come from humble roots, and I don’t seek to draw attention to myself. Apple is already one of the most closely watched companies in the world, and I like keeping the focus on our products and the incredible things our customers achieve with them. At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I often challenge myself with that question, and I’ve come to realize that my desire for personal privacy has been holding me back from doing something more important. That’s what has led me to today.

For years, I’ve been open with many people about my sexual orientation. Plenty of colleagues at Apple know I’m gay, and it doesn’t seem to make a difference in the way they treat me. Of course, I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.

While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.

Being gay has given me a deeper understanding of what it means to be in the minority and provided a window into the challenges that people in other minority groups deal with every day. It’s made me more empathetic, which has led to a richer life. It’s been tough and uncomfortable at times, but it has given me the confidence to be myself, to follow my own path, and to rise above adversity and bigotry. It’s also given me the skin of a rhinoceros, which comes in handy when you’re the CEO of Apple.

The world has changed so much since I was a kid. America is moving toward marriage equality, and the public figures who have bravely come out have helped change perceptions and made our culture more tolerant. Still, there are laws on the books in a majority of states that allow employers to fire people based solely on their sexual orientation. There are many places where landlords can evict tenants for being gay, or where we can be barred from visiting sick partners and sharing in their legacies. Countless people, particularly kids, face fear and abuse every day because of their sexual orientation.

I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others. So if hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy.

I’ll admit that this wasn’t an easy choice. Privacy remains important to me, and I’d like to hold on to a small amount of it. I’ve made Apple my life’s work, and I will continue to spend virtually all of my waking time focused on being the best CEO I can be. That’s what our employees deserve—and our customers, developers, shareholders, and supplier partners deserve it, too. Part of social progress is understanding that a person is not defined only by one’s sexuality, race, or gender. I’m an engineer, an uncle, a nature lover, a fitness nut, a son of the South, a sports fanatic, and many other things. I hope that people will respect my desire to focus on the things I’m best suited for and the work that brings me joy.

The company I am so fortunate to lead has long advocated for human rights and equality for all. We’ve taken a strong stand in support of a workplace equality bill before Congress, just as we stood for marriage equality in our home state of California. And we spoke up in Arizona when that state’s legislature passed a discriminatory bill targeting the gay community. We’ll continue to fight for our values, and I believe that any CEO of this incredible company, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, would do the same. And I will personally continue to advocate for equality for all people until my toes point up.

When I arrive in my office each morning, I’m greeted by framed photos of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. I don’t pretend that writing this puts me in their league. All it does is allow me to look at those pictures and know that I’m doing my part, however small, to help others. We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.

Source: BusinessWeek.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:51 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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