S/he said: Erin Grohs, Howard Stern, Lise Eliot

compiled by Howard Israel

"We are so used to seeing the ubiquitous gay guy/straight female relationships, often reduced to the stereotype of a mutual love of shoes and overpriced pink cocktails. The idea of a straight man and a gay man being entirely platonic friends is new and different. Like anything that may be slightly viewed as outside the societal norm, most people are going to spend time trying to understand it. The emergence of straight guy/gay guy relationships in pop culture can only be considered a good thing. Especially in terms of elevating the concept that in terms of friendship, sexuality shouldn't even be a factor. What is a factor is how they communicate with each other, through mutual respect, engagement and understanding. It's a model foreign to many. I look forward to the day when more of these relationships are included in mainstream television (shows) and advertising, without making people pause and question. Straight/gay friendships are essentially exactly the same as straight/straight or gay/gay ones. At the end of the day, we all want our friends to love and support us, to make us laugh, to hold our hands when we cry or, you know, tell us when that outfit really does make us look fat."

- Erin Grohs, in her blog titled "Yep, I'm Straight," about friendships between gay and straight people, http://www.fhoutfront.com, Sept. 25.

"My feeling about gay people is that we have a responsibility not only to make gay marriage acceptable and to make gays feel accepted as much as heterosexuals. Gay people are downtrodden. They are beaten. They are abused for their sexuality, and it goes across race. In the white community and the black community gay people are the bastards of the world. And in order for things to change, because any one of you could have gay children, or gay relatives, or gay friends, we have a responsibility to make this acceptable, to get all this bullshit so that some gay kid going to high school doesn't get the shit beaten out of him just because he's gay. I'm as heterosexual as they come. What is this hang-up about gay marriage? Who cares? Get on with your life!"

- Howard Stern, issued a strong message of support for gay people on his radio show, http://www.towleroad.com, April 30.

"Caster Semenya is psychologically a woman. She has apparently always been treated as a girl and thinks of herself as female, which is why this whole controversy must be extremely difficult for her to assimilate with the whole world watching. Sports are one arena where men and women don't compete against each other, so this leaves Caster in the lurch, if further testing reveals she is physiologically too masculine to qualify. Compared to physical and athletic traits, the difference between men and women in most mental and emotional traits is much smaller and also more influenced by social learning. So if Caster was raised as a girl and thinks of herself as a girl, she's a girl."

- Lise Eliot, neuroscience professor and mother of three, in an interview titled "Good luck raising that gender-neutral child," about her book "Pink Brain Blue Brain," and the slight biological innate differences in boys and girls that are amplified over time as parents and teachers, and the culture at large reinforce gender stereotypes, http://www.salon.com, Sept. 26.

"I don't want to use a word like 'breakthrough,' but I don't think there's any doubt that this is a very important result. For more than 20 years now, vaccine trials have essentially been failures. Now it's like we were groping down an unlit path, and a door has been opened. We can start asking some very important questions."

- Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, in an article titled "For First Time, AIDS Vaccine Shows Some Success," about a vaccine that is said to protect a significant minority of humans against AIDS. After a six-year clinical trial on more than 16,000 volunteers in Thailand, the vaccine was 31.2 percent effective, http://www.NYTimes.com, Sept. 25.

"What does labor want? We want a nation where it doesn't matter what the color of your skin is ... or what sex or religion you are ... or whether you're gay or straight or what country your family's from because here, in America, we believe everyone ought to have their chance to step into the winner's circle."

- Richard Trumka, newly-elected President of the AFL-CIO, speaking at the labor federation's national convention, issued a clear call for the full inclusion of LGBT voices in the labor movement and American life, http://echelonmagazine.com, Sept. 22.

"I've never ever labeled myself. But having said that; I've never limited my life, I've never limited who I sleep with. So, whatever. Call me whatever you want. Call me bisexual, if you need a term for me. There are ways of being a role model without having to always establish yourself with a label. Let's say if you're a 16-year-old guy, and you're not sure about your sexuality, you should be as free as you want."

- Mika, 26-year-old Lebanese pop singer, in an interview in a Dutch gay magazine, http://www.examiner.com, Sept. 23.

"The temptations are out there. One of the temptations that your sons are going to run into is pornography. Pornography is a blight. It is a disaster. It is, it is one of those silent diseases in our society that we haven't been able to overcome very well. Now, I may be getting politically incorrect here. It's been a few years, not that many, since I was closely associated with pre-adolescent boys, boys who are like 10 to 12 years of age. But it is my observation that boys at that age have less tolerance for homosexuality than just about any other class of people. They speak badly about homosexuality. And that's because they don't want to be that way. They don't want to fall into it. And that's a good instinct. After all, homosexuality, we know, studies have been done by the National Institute of Health to try to prove that its genetic and all those studies have proved its not genetic. Homosexuality is inflicted on people."

- Michael Schwartz, chief of staff for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), participant of a panel discussion on "The New Masculinity," at the Family Research Council's "Values Voters Summit," http://ThinkProgress.org, Sept. 19.

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