Compiled by Howard Israel
“You have to understand, this has nothing to do with your sexuality and everything to do with who you feel like inside. At the start of every LGBTQQA meeting, participants are first asked if they would like to share their P.G.P.’s (preferred gender pronouns). Mine are ‘she,’ ‘her’ and ‘hers’ and sometimes ‘they,’ ‘them’ and ‘theirs.’ P.G.P.’s can change as often as one likes. If the pronouns in the dictionary don’t suffice, there are numerous made-up ones now in use, including ‘ze,’ ‘hir’ and ‘hirs,’ words that connote both genders because maybe one day you wake up and feel more like a boy.”
-Katy Butler, a 16-year-old high school junior from Ann Arbor, Mich., in an article titled “The Freedom to Choose Your Pronoun,” about young people’s exploration of what gender means and the language they use to move away from masculine and feminine gender assumptions, http://www.nytimes.com, Sept. 30.
“The audience was not ‘booing a soldier’ during one of the video questions, as the media, president and vice president have alleged. The audience was booing the soldier’s demand that Republican presidential candidates commit to not overturning a sleazy partisan vote. It’s safe to assume that no one on the stage supported this sexualization of the military. This is not an anti-gay position; it’s a pro-military position. The basic idea is that sexual bonds are disruptive to the military bond. Soldiers, sailors and Marines living in close quarters who are having sex with one another, used to have sex with one another or would like to have sex with one another simply cannot function as a well-oiled fighting machine. A battalion of married couples facing a small unit of heterosexual men would be slaughtered. That’s why instead of pushing openly gay servicemen on the military, patriotic gays should come out against girls in the military. Fair is fair.”
-Ann Coulter, in her column titled “Does Rick Perry Have A Performance Problem?,” about the Republican presidential debate when a gay American soldier serving in Iraq was booed by the audience for asking a question about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” http://www.anncoulter.com, Sept. 28.
“What gives with all the hatred for gay people coming from conservatives, even as the rest of country is beginning to get over long-held prejudices? Part of it is just straight-up protectiveness of heterosexual privilege. Part of being conservative is relishing things (like rights) other people don’t have, and so of course they object to letting gay people have the things that straight people have always had. But quite a bit of what’s going on is that anti-gay bigotry is just one piece of a larger picture of conservative fear and loathing of all forms of sexuality. When you think of sex in terms of subversion and criminality, gay sex looms large in your imagination as the filthiest, most sexy-sex there is. Social conservatives simply can’t get past the images in their minds of dudes sticking it to one another, and it completely skews their ability to think logically and fairly about extending basic human rights to gay people.”
-Amanda Marcotte, writer about feminism and politics, in her column titled “Why Are Religious Conservatives So Scared of Gay Sex?,” http://www.alternet.org, Sept. 29.
“The harassment, discrimination and negative feelings about homosexuality that black gay and bisexual men often experience can contribute significantly to mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Racism, homo-negativity and the experience of violence and discrimination contribute significantly to mental disorder burden and morbidity in this community. If we think about a whole pie that represents factors that may cause depression and anxiety among this population, findings suggest that discrimination and internalized homo-negativity make up over 50 percent of the pie.”
-Louis F. Graham, DrPH, lead study author and a Kellogg Health Scholars postdoctoral fellow in the School of Public Health at the University of Michigan, in his study titled “Factors Influencing Depression and Anxiety among Black Sexual Minority Men,” http://www.medicalnewstoday.com, Aug. 31.