Happy Gay Pride Month!
It’s time, once again, to post my annual pride posting.
In my lifetime I’ve witnessed a most remarkable change in societal attitudes toward those of us on the sexual fringe. One only needs to go back 50 years in time. I was 13 years old then and I knew I was queer. When I looked out on the world around me this is what I saw. Homosexuality was deemed a mental disorder by the nation’s psychiatric authorities, and gay sex was a crime in every state but Illinois. Federal workers could be fired merely for being gay.
Today, gays serve openly in the military, work as TV news anchors and federal judges, win elections as big-city mayors and members of Congress. Popular TV shows have gay protagonists.
And now the gay-rights movement may be on the cusp of momentous legal breakthroughs. Later this month, a Supreme Court ruling could lead to legalization of same-sex marriage in California, and there’s a good chance the court will require the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in all U.S. jurisdictions where they are legal — as of now, 12 states and Washington, D.C.
The transition over five decades has been far from smooth — replete with bitter protests, anti-gay violence, backlashes that inflicted many political setbacks. Unlike the civil rights movement and the women’s liberation movement, the campaign for gay rights unfolded without household-name leaders.
And yet, I sense that soon, if it hasn’t begun already, we will experience a backlash in the dominant culture. I don’t relish the idea, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it. And when it comes, as I think it will, it won’t smart nearly as much if we know our history. And we should also remember the immortal words of Martin Luther King, Jr. “The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.”
In honor of gay pride month, a little sex history lesson — The Stonewall Riots
The confrontations between demonstrators and police at The Stonewall Inn, a mafia owned bar in Greenwich Village NYC over the weekend of June 27-29, 1969 are usually cited as the beginning of the modern Lesbian/Gay liberation Movement. What might have been just another routine police raid on a bar patronized by homosexuals became the pivotal event that sparked the entire modern gay rights movement.
The Stonewall riots are now the stuff of myth. Many of the most commonly held beliefs are probably untrue. But here’s what we know for sure.
- In 1969, it was illegal to operate any business catering to homosexuals in New York City — as it still is today in many places in the world. The standard procedure was for New York City’s finest to raid these establishments on a regular basis. They’d arrest a few of the most obvious ‘types’ harass the others and shake down the owners for money, then they’d let the bar open as usual by the next day.
- Myth has it that the majority of the patrons at the Stonewall Inn were black and Hispanic drag queens. Actually, most of the patrons were probably young, college-age white guys lookin for a thrill and an evening out of the closet, along with the usual cadre of drag queens and hustlers. It was reasonably safe to socialize at the Stonewall Inn for them, because when it was raided the drag queens and bull-dykes were far more likely to be arrested then they were.
- After midnight June 27-28, 1969, the New York Tactical Police Force called a raid on The Stonewall Inn at 55 Christopher Street in NYC. Many of the patrons who escaped the raid stood around to witness the police herding the “usual suspects” into the waiting paddywagons. There had recently been several scuffles where similar groups of people resisted arrest in both Los Angeles and New York.
- Stonewall was unique because it was the first time gay people, as a group, realized that what threatened drag queens and bull-dykes threatened them all.
- Many of the onlookers who took on the police that night weren’t even homosexual. Greenwich Village was home to many left-leaning young people who had cut their political teeth in the civil rights, anti-war and women’s lib movements.
- As people tied to stop the arrests, the mêlée erupted. The police barricaded themselves inside the bar. The crowd outside attempted to burn it down. Eventually, police reinforcements arrived to disperse the crowd. But this just shattered the protesters into smaller groups that continued to mill around the streets of the village.
- A larger crowd assembled outside the Stonewall the following night. This time young gay men and women came to protest the raids that were commonplace in the city. They held hands, kissed and formed a mock chorus line singing; “We are the Stonewall Girls/We wear our hair in curls/We have no underwear/We show our pubic hair.” Don’t ‘cha just love it?
- Police successfully dispersed this group without incident. But the print media picked up the story. Articles appeared in the NY Post, Daily News and The Village Voice. Theses helped galvanize the community to rally and fight back.
- Within a few days, representatives of the Mattachine Society and the Daughters of Bilitis (two of the country’s first homophile rights groups) organized the city’s first ever “Gay Power” rally in Washington Square. Some give hundred protesters showed up; many of them gay and lesbians.
The riots led to calls for homosexual liberation. Fliers appeared with the message: “Do you think homosexuals are revolting? You bet your sweet ass we are!” And the rest, boys and girls, is as they say is history.
During the first year after Stonewall, a whole new generation of organizations emerged, many identifying themselves for the first time as “Gay.” This not only denoted sexual orientation, but a radical way to self-identify with a growing sense of open political activism. Older, more staid homophile groups soon began to make way for the more militant groups like the Gay Liberation Front.
The vast majority of these new activists were under thirty; dr dick’s generation, don’t cha know. We were new to political organizing and didn’t know that this was as ground-breaking as it was. Many groups formed on colleges campuses and in big cities around the world.
By the following summer, 1970, groups in at least eight American cities staged simultaneous events commemorating the Stonewall riots on the last Sunday in June. The events varied from a highly political march of three to five thousand in New York to a parade with floats for 1200 in Los Angeles. Seven thousand showed up in San Francisco.
My wife gets excited when I talk about my fantasy of her having sex with another woman. She will orgasm every time I bring it up while we’re having sex. When I bring it up in general conversation she says she’s not interested. She also has a female co-worker who flirts with her frequently, but my wife says she’s just goofing around. My wife did admit to me though that at one time about 15 years ago she thought about having a relationship with a female friend. Do you think my wife could be bi-sexual and maybe desiring a woman privately?
There’s one concept that you need to get a handle on right away. Fantasy material, in your case your sex chatter about your wife doin’ another chick while humpin’ the misses, rarely translates well to the real world. That’s the beauty part of fantasy, don’t cha know. We can let ourselves enjoy the most outrageous, vulgar, lewd, disgraceful, shameful and unconscionable scenarios without actually having to mess with them in real life. And god knows that could get real messy. So I encourage you not to read too much into your wife’s lezzie fantasy, or ever expect that someday you might get her to change her mind if only you keep harping on it. Here’s a tip: persistent pestering about something like this will surely backfire.
That’s not to say that lots of people, maybe even your wife, on occasion won’t use fantasy to rehearse a sexual situation that they might one day want to live out for real. Lots of people do! But if you’ve asked your wife about this and she shows no interest in making the fantasy a reality; then why don’t ya just drop it already.
And the fact that your wife may have had a fleeting interest in another woman 15 years ago don’t mean nothin, darlin’. It sure as hell doesn’t suggest to me that she might be a closet bisexual. It does however confirm that you’re a guy with a typical guy jones. You’re itchin’ to get the little woman to munch some muff by hook or by crook with the hope she will let you watch. That, my friend, is gonna get you in a whole lot of trouble if you’re not careful.
It’s Pride Month! So we’ll be spending a little time each week hearing the thoughts and concerns of the LGBT community.
Hi, my name is Jaymie. I am a 16-year-old guy. I have a best friend (Jared) also 16, who I have been in love with for 3 years now. I know, you probably think, “he’s too young to fall in love”. Well I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s the only thing I’ve ever been so sure of in my life.
Anyways, I am bisexual. He knows that. I told him about 4 months ago that I was in love with him and he told me he already knew and that he was ok with it. A few years ago, we made out one night when we were kind of drunk and that scared him. He recently told me that he used to have feelings for me, but he got rid of them because “that’s not the kind of person he is”. I’m guessing by that he means that he couldn’t do it because he is not “gay”. He’s had a girlfriend now and they’ve been together for about 10 months and he’s supposedly in love with her. Even though there relationship is shit and they are always fighting.
We’ve always been really flirty with each other (cuddling, tickling, spooning, touching each others penis’ etc.) but all that has kind of gone down hill because of his parents catching us spooning and giving him SO much shit about it. Now we just cuddle once in a while.
I have a couple of questions, and you seem like a smart man. 1. What should I do about him? Should I give up on him? I cry all the time about it because I feel he’s the only one for me that I will ever love this much. 2. I know this might be a little weird, but when we were sleeping next to each other, I always stick my hands down his pants and play with his penis. Sometimes for fun, sometimes I jack him off while I jack off (I know, so I’m a little obsessed) he never wakes up though. He ALWAYS gets a boner when I do it but never moves and stays “asleep”. Can he get a boner from me touching him while he’s sleeping? Or does this mean that he’s faking it and knows I am doing it? If you could answer me that would be great. It’s really important.
You know what? You’re right; I’m a smart man. Smart enough to recognize that you too are pretty damn smart yourself. This is so curious to me. I know men more than twice your age who, in comparison to you, are absolutely clueless about who they are and what they desire. You, on the other hand, are very precocious. And that, my friend, is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you have extraordinary clarity about yourself and what makes you tick. On the other hand, being as advanced as you are, you leave your age peers in the dust, so to speak. The young man you mention, Jared, he is nowhere near as confident as you with regard to who he is and what he wants. That’s not unusual. In fact, as I suggest, that’s par for the course for a young man his age. You are the one who is unusual. And I’m not talking about your sexual preferences, just your emotional maturity.
I’m receiving an ever-increasing number of messages from young people, just like you, who are in the throws of adolescent anxiety. Everything seems topsy-turvy in their life including their sexual awakenings. These young people’s hormones are raging and they don’t know how to direct them.
You, Jaymie, say you love your friend. You suspect that I will disregard the whole idea as preposterous, because of your age. On the contrary, I take what you say at face value. I know for certain that young people have the capacity to feel as deeply and as passionately about things as older people. What may be lacking in younger people is a frame of reference — a means of tempering their unruly passions — because that come only by way of life experience. I hasten to add that a good number of us older folks don’t have the ability rule our passion very well either, even though we have a shit-load of life experience. This is truly unfortunate, because our lack of insight makes for some pretty messy lives and seriously diminishes the number of good role models of living healthy emotional lives. Perhaps if you get the hang of this while in your teens, Jaymie, you’ll be much better situated as an adult.
I note that you say you cry all the time. You claim you know your friend is the only guy for you and this causes this emotional distress. Here’s where I believe the whole life experience thing could help temper your passions. But since this is your first time out the gate, let me make some predictions. I’d be willing to bet my last dollar that this guy, as pivotal as he is to you today, is not the only man for you. In fact, I’ll wager that by the time you finish college, you’ll barely remember this fellow’s name. I’d also be willing to bet that most of your tears are tears of frustration, because the young man in question is unwilling, or more likely unable, to return your affections as you think he should. And unrequited love stings like the dickens. But I think you already know that part.
I have another prediction for you. You will have several of these unrequited love experiences in your life. I can predict this with absolute certainty, because lots of people just like you have traveled this same path. So if you allow me to offer you some advice, it would be to try to go with the flow. Take the joys with the pain and try not to fly apart in the process. Destiny has lots of things in store for you. And Jared is just the first of many of his kind.
As you make your way in life, particularly as a bisexual or gay man, you will discover a sad fact. Many other men with the same longings as you, some of which will be the objects of your affections, will not be able to acknowledge or reciprocate your feelings. This is because they are unable or unwilling to acknowledge their own feelings. The world is full of these kinds of men. So prepare to meet more than your share.
Jared’s pretending to be asleep while you fondle and jerk him off, is his way of avoiding both you and himself. Trust me, if he didn’t want you to do what you are doing, he’d sure enough let you know in no uncertain terms. Exclusively straight boys and men are like that. They’re like totally not down with the gay sex thing. Again, I’d wager he’s accepting your sexual advances and even enjoying them as much as he allows him himself to. What he can’t or won’t do is be upfront about it with you.
No doubt he’s scared shitless about all of this. On the one hand he’s being intensely pleasured by you, another guy. On the other he must be crippled with guilt and shame, aware of how inappropriate this is in terms of his parents value system, his religious upbringing and a good portion of our sex negative culture. I’d also be willing to bet that despite the fact that you are touching him out of your deep feelings for him, your touch only adds to his internal conflict and anxiety.
Most guys who receive the sexual attentions of another dude, but fake being absent through out, like feigning sleep or being drunk, can avoid some of the internal conflict by telling themselves that they are not like the guy doling out the sexual touch. That is in fact a delusion, but many a man gets through his life on delusion alone. You will discover this for yourself as your life unfolds before you.
Finally, to your question should you quit Jared? I think that you and I both know that despite your deep feelings for him, he’s not gonna wake up from one of your sexually charged naps and proclaim his love for you…at least not anytime soon. In fact, if you continue along the path, you risk ruining any chance that he could come to an awakening and acceptance of his sexuality on his own. Constantly pressuring him and mooning over him is counterproductive. And I also foresee a major confrontation erupting soon. Here’s a tip: some even ostensibly straight guys can groove on the whole sex thing with another dude, but they choke on the emotional attachment that often comes with the proffered blowjob.
So it’s pretty much your call, Jaymie. Will you continue to assail Jared for your own selfish pleasure knowing as you do that he can’t or won’t respond as you want him to? Or do you back off and allow him the time and space he needs to come to awareness on his own?
I think we both know what the mature choice is, don’t we? If you love this guy as much as you say, you’re gonna have to cool your jets and give him room to mature at his own pace. Remember he has some ways to go to catch up with you.
I’ve loved several women and even married and divorced one. Over the last few years, I notice having similar feelings for men around me…longing, sweaty palms, difficulty thinking and wanting to be with them alone. Is this love? Am I bisexual? Am I a sick man better off dead? I have not crossed the line and I still have great sex with women. But there’s now a guy that I think about when I’m with her! Am I gay? Bisexual? Sick in the head?
Hey, chill out, my friend, this is not all that uncommon a phenomenon. Many people, just like you, inexplicably find themselves behaving in a completely unexpected sexual manner. I would, however, love to know what triggered you to veer off your comfortable and predictable sexual path?
While you enjoy these new found feelings, beware that there’s never a scarcity of sexual fascists out there. People who believe that sexual tastes and preferences are carved in stone, or that there’s only one “right” way to be sexual. They’ll persecute anyone who doesn’t conform to their strict immutable notions of sexuality and eroticism. Despite the proliferation of these hetero-fascists and homo-fascists; they are all very wrong about the indomitable human spirit and the flexibility of human sexuality.
Humans are not sexual automatons. Given a more permissive and sex-positive culture then our own, we’d all be more fluid in our eroticism and sexual expression. Are you one of the lucky few who has discovered the joy of this fluidity? Doesn’t quite sound like it to me, at least not yet. I think you’re still in the “scared shitless” stage.
For a guy who has yet to “cross the line” and actually act on your fantasy, you sure are preoccupied with your identity. Are you afraid that someone will take away your breeder card if you actually touch a dude in a sexual way? Does having same-sex feelings…sweaty palms and all…make you a gay? I certainly doubt it! Being gay entails a lot more than a sense of longing for something you’re not supposed to have. Are you bisexual? I can’t say for sure, but you’re certainly not exclusively straight either. I suppose you have to come to grips with the self-identify thing when you have a bit more information about your burgeoning eroticism. What I know for sure is that you are not sick.
Who knows, your homoeroticism might very well be situational. It might not extend any farther than the guy you think about when you’re fucking chicks. I know all of this is can be pretty disconcerting and it can really mess with your head. But at least you know you are still alive sexually. So many people are sleepwalking through their erotic lives.
Will you act on your inclinations? Will you test the waters, so to speak? What harm could it do? Might just open up a whole new sexual world for you. On the other hand, if you do nothing, or try and repress these natural feelings, you’ll always know in your heart of hearts that you have the desire, if not the capacity, to express yourself sexually with a much wider range of humans than what you are currently used to. And something tells me that if you choose the path of self-denial, it will eat away at you until you satisfy your curiosity.
Is there such a thing as a being a homosexual watcher only? Ya know, getting an erection, but not wanting to perform?
All of human sexuality is on a continuum. Are you familiar with the Kinsey Scale? The dean of American sex research, Alfred Kinsey, his associate, Wardell Pomeroy, and their colleagues developed this scale as a way of classifying a person’s sexuality in terms of both behavior and fantasy.
This is what they developed.
0- Exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual behavior or fantasy.
1- Predominantly heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual — most likely in fantasy only.
2- Predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual — fantasy for sure and possibly behavior too.
3- Equally heterosexual and homosexual in both behavior and fantasy.
4- Predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual — fantasy for sure and possibly behavior too.
5- Predominantly homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual — most likely in fantasy only.
6- Exclusively homosexual with no heterosexual behavior or fantasy.
These pioneering sexologists also discovered that an individual may be reassigned a different position on this scale, at different periods in his/her life. It’s conceivable that one could go from Kinsey 0 to 6 in a lifetime, or just a summer in San Francisco. This seven-point scale comes close to showing the many gradations that actually exist in human sexual expression.
Back to your specific question, William, yes, someone could be a Kinsey “6” in terms of his fantasy and desire, but be a Kinsey “0” in terms of behaviors.
We’re amazing creatures, huh?