Stay In The Closet

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The statements by Freddy Bernal, saying that gay people can be cops as long as they don’t say so, are apalling, infuriating and shameful. Furthermore, to see a news anchor sit quitely while such bigotry is being spewed out in his studio is even worse.

In his little speech, Bernal tries (and fails) to explain why the Police Force cannot admit people with tatoos, earrings or hippies (I have anecdote on hippy hate in Venezuela which I will leave for another post). He also explains (doesn’t) the behavioral requirements of homosexuals serving in the force, which include not flaunting their lifestyles, not wearing pink shirts, or using lipstick – because obviously that’s what homosexuals do.

(Don’t worry fellow inked, ear-adorned hippies – Bernal says you can work for the Culture Ministry).

He quickly says that he has nothing personal with these “type of folks”, making sure we know that he does not see himself as “these type of folks”.

Bernal completely eliminates the figure of the female police officer, and maintains the view of the all powerful male dominant officer – tatoo free, aggresively heterosexual, favorite color MALE blue.

Are there no women in the force? If there are, do the same restrictions on earrings, wearing pink, makeup, and flaunting lesbian lifestyles fall upon them?

For an all-inclusive goverment, Chavismo really has it against tatoos. Furthermore, what if the tatoo is of Chavez’s signature. And again, what does having a tatoo have to do with ethics and performance? This is what Bernal is naming here to be the main concerns.

Ultimately, what bothered me the most about this interview was the idea that homosexuals shouldn’t “flaunt” their lifestyles in public, and  that being gay goes against the structure of what a police officer should be. He then goes to say again and again how that is not discriminatory, how the rights of all are being respected. The only explanation he can muster on this is it simply would not be accepted, it’s not in our culture.

Bernal uses “culture” as an excuse to justify  his misoginy, his bigotry, and his homophobia.

Bernal is telling brave men like Yonatan Matheus member of Venezuela Diversa, who was kidnapped and almost murdered by the Metropolitan police in 2009, that he has no place in the new Police Force (in fact, Bernal is wrong, for Yonatan has against all odds been teaching at UNES since 2012).

Just a few days ago, Matheus and Franco from Venezuela Diversa presented the Report for the State of Human Rights of the LGBTI community in Venezuela in front of the Interamerican Commission for Human Rights. It’s sad and grim.

From goverment officials expressing agression toward the community, to the lack of legal protection for same sex couples, more than a decade of continous law projects for which not a single lawmaker will support,  and the continuous and unstoppable murder of transexuals and homsexuals (much of the time carried out by security forces) for which there is no justice.

Bernal’s solution is for them to stay inside the closet.

1 COMMENT

  1. Here is the irony of it all easily displayed in a formula for you.

    HOMOPHIA = LATENT HOMOSEXUALITY

    Everyone of these bastards spewing homophobia needs to take a good look at themselves in a mirror and realize that their self loathing is not going to go away by hating those whom they see as an expression of their repressed selves.

    • Correct formula is:

      Lack of Education = Ignorance, Ineptitude, Corruption, Crime, Homophobia = Vzla.

      Or, as our Masburro Illustrious Leader just revealed:

      “Nosotros tenemos que mantener el centro de nuestra lucha y en ello hay que actuar con un gran cerebro para pensar con sabiduría”.

        • Research by Prof Henry Adams of the University of Georgia in the USA suggests that 80 percent of homophobes get sexually aroused by gay erotic imagery, lending support to the theory that overt homophobia is often evidence of repressed homosexual feelings”.

          In Prof. Adams’s test, homophobic men who said they were exclusively heterosexual were shown gay sex videos. Eighty percent got erections. The finding was published in the US Journal of Abnormal Psychology in 1996, backed by the American Psychological Association.

          Prof. Adams says his research shows that most homophobes “demonstrate significant sexual arousal to homosexual erotic stimuli”, suggesting that homophobia is frequently a form of “latent homosexuality”.

          This data supports the theory that homophobia is often indicative of repressed, self-loathing homosexual feelings; and that many homophobes use anti-gay rhetoric as a smoke screen to disguise their own homosexuality.

          Ayyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Freddy…

          • Ohhh brother.

            So one man theorizes that arousal among overt homophobes, when these see (“nekked”) copulations between men, “is often evidence of repressed homosexual feelings”. We know not what these overt homophobes have been shown. But no matter. The loosey-goosey media regurgitates the finding, knowing it can count on many who haven’t developed sufficient critical thinking skills, or been exposed to too much outside an urban world, or need a political axe to grind.

            Hell, if you were to show horses up close and “in flagrante delicto”, or even in the act of producing semen for human collection and artificial insemination, I would venture to say that both men and women would be aroused. That does not mean that these same men or women would then proceed to bugger horses.

            Honestly, if I were to put money on the amount of crap that people produce in the name of social “science” research, and another bundle on those who believe it, I’d be very rich.

          • I liked how the “experiment” didn’t bother to check if gay people would have demonstrated “significant sexual arousal to heterosexual erotic stimuli’, and then automatically conclude how these gays are actually latent heterosexuals!!! hahaha.

            But yeah, the whole thing is a mess from the beginning to the end.

          • Syd, I am in total agreement on your low opinion of the social “sciences”. The horses… not so much. But, on the subject of sex, we are all wired “weirdly” in our own way.

          • Thank you for your support Mr. Toro. I don’t have the time or patience anymore to go digging shit up to demonstrate to these Hijos de Puta that they are just repressed homos. Freddy would be a much happier man if he just admitted to it, went out, had a few shots of Wiskey, and sucked a big cock.

            While I have the soap box, I might as well tell a joke. Do you know what the difference between a gay and a straight Chavista is? Answer: a shot of Wiskey. ?

          • seriously… stop using cliches!

            I’m no chavista, but I swear to god that sometimes I just sit and cringe at every stupidity blurted out by the opposition just to feel better than the rest.

          • Please. People can become aroused with gay porn, lesbian porn, hetero porn and lots of freaky stuff without necessarily wanting any of it for themselves. And since when is arousal sufficient and objective proof of enjoyment? …much less of some kind of “repressed desire”, I thought we had moved on from applying Freud to everything…

          • I just felt bad for the amount of money being wasted on that guy, just that he can “prove” with shoddy scientific methods stupid ad hominem attack against people who end up saying stupid things like freddy bernal does.

          • Francisco, you should know better. The kind of study you refer to is complete BS. It proves nothing.

      • Nope, nope, nope, nope.

        May be, once in a blue moon, you’ll find a true gird-up-your-loins hetero in that crowd. But for the remainder of those who bother expressing strong opinions on the matter, people like that, it’s just self-repression lashing out.

        Real men know who they are, are secure in their identity, don’t feel threatened by someone else being different and just don’t a shit about that stuff.

          • Nice troll.

            I didn’t say anything about what real men do with their privates nor with whom, ladies or gentlemen or both.

          • Sorry mate, but first you went on about how everyone in the chavista crowd is a repressed, closeted homosexual (because they are homophobic), then said “real men” are not scared of being different. So I guess according to your logic, not only is every hater a secret lover (I suppose Islamophobes are closeted Muslims?), but also every homosexual having trouble accepting that particular side of their identity is not a “real man”, whatever the hell that is.

            Also, not everyone who calls you out on your bullshit is a troll, sometimes we just don’t agree with the things you say, and ask questions for clarification.

        • I agree with Fifi , obsession with some topic often means that the person has some unsolved personal issues with the topic , except that, some people sometimes enjoy feeling great and superior about the grand moral or righteous quality of their scorns .( just part of being human) . and this can happen to people who glory in their homophobia as well as to people who glory in their morally glamorous gay rights activism .

          • “people who glory in their morally glamorous gay rights activism”. Love the so-apt phrase, which can be used for any other cause-du-jour when substituting “gay”.

  2. Dear Audrey,

    1) Did you honestly expect Bernal to be a defender of gender equality?
    2) Did you truly believe a journalist working for the State would do her job and grill him on his statements?
    3) Do you really think anyone in Venezuela cares? that these declarations will hurt Bernal’s standing or authority in any way?

        • Lo peor de todo es la que la comunidad es importante.
          There are no reliable sexual orientation demographics for Venezuela. A recent study in Britain found that 1% of the population identifies as homosexual, but interestingly, 6-10% of men have had homosexual experiences. Closer to home, in Brazil, a survey conducted by the University of Sao Paulo found that 7.8% of men identified as homosexuals and 4.9% of women as lesbians.
          Aun así los políticos venezolanos tratan el tema como la peste. No quieren ser asociados con ella en ningún momento, sólo se les escucha el “yo tengo amigos gay, yo no discrimino, hay que salvaguardar los derechos de todos y todas” y rápidamente añaden “pero yo no soy gay”. De hecho, creo el único partido que les ha dado cabida ha sido Voluntad Popular con el Movimiento Pro Inclusión liderado por Tamara Adrián.
          Shame shame shame

      • ” 3. Yes. I’m sure the entire LGBTI community cares.”

        Except! That one person who was hired by maburro, a supossed representative of said community, to broadcast a cadena just to say that Capriles was a fag because “he didn’t accept himself as he was”.

        Though the cadena was crammed with maburro’s “But I’m not gay” comments.

      • I care. And the global LGBT community would care–a lot–if only we’d knew.
        Ms. Dacosta: kudos for your consistently excellent writing. But I’m baffled by your use in this context of the word “homosexual”, a 19th century medical term, with a long history of opprobrium.

  3. Nothing new. There are too many things to be infuriated about.
    What made me smile was that is the only time ever that Tarek has disagreed with a fellow “revolutionary”.

  4. Oh how the world laughs at Venezuela right now. Some are happy to play along for money and fear of the drug gangs. But behind closed doors, the world is have quite a time watching the place. From the American “invasion” to the multiple exchange rates…it’s really quite a comedy. You just can’t make up the stuff that is happening right now. Of course the shadow of comedy is tragedy.

        • He actually said “Venezuela is not a treat it is hop.” Roughly translates as “Venezuela no es azucar es levadura” fucking dumb ass. Actually now that I think about it he is right. Venezueka is pure “levadura”.

          • That moron takes pride in his stupidity, which makes sense to “connect” with the chaburro base, who are being told the message that “studying is for pendejos, you are a vivo, so you can take anything you want from the weak because you are strong”.

  5. On a more serious note, this little media incident only serves to remind us about a widespread issue: The infamous Venezuelan Machismo. True, nothing new. Venezuelan society is remarkably “Machista”, almost as bad as the dumb Islamic crap with their Burkas and zero civil rights..

    It’s intrinsically “machista”, not just homophobic. And of course, that’s directly related to the pervasive lack of education, period. Many studies have been made, this is the first little one brought up by google:

    http://eltiempo.com.ve/venezuela/sociedad/mas-pobre-mas-machista/38431

    or just have a laugh here, with Masburro, our illustrious “primer mandatario” call the opposition, in public, on TV, etc : “Sifrinitos Mariconzotes” and accusing everyone of being “maricos”..

    Imagine any decent President of any educated, civilized country, Obama or anyone, constantly calling the opposition on the media “maricos”, and the people applauding.. pathetic lack of education, as usual.

    • The worst part is that “mariconzon” is not even a venezuelan expression. It’s cuban. We use marico, mariquito, maricon.

      • Yeah, and we use it a LOT. In a friendly manner, “no seas marico, chamo.. ” or “si, marico, pero fijate que..” Masburro and Chabrutos in general often mean it in a pejorative, ferocious way. The result is widespread abuse, crime, violence and social segregation.

        • My brother in law is gay, every now and then I’ll say to him: “No seas marico, vale,……ah, coño se me olvido que eres”

          • Ironic, how “marico” sounds the word “mariconzón”.

            I can’t unsee the guy flapping around his arms every time he says that insult, like “¡Mariconzzóooonnnn! Dx”

            I wouldn’t be angry at anyone saying me “mariconzón”, because I couldn’t contain the laughter at such a pathetic expression.

  6. The Chavistas are trying to create an uproar out of this to distract people from the real problems.
    This is an issue that does not follow party lines and considering the amount of very conservative and religious people in the opposition with views like Bernal’s this would cause arguments within the opposition. I can’t see very old copeyanos running to defend the rights of the LGBT community.
    Wouldn’t surprise me if they tackle abortion next I know @juannagel would agree with Chavistas if is about a woman right to choose what happens to her own body…

    • “Wouldn’t surprise me if they tackle abortion next I know @juannagel would agree with Chavistas if is about a woman right to choose what happens to her own body…”

      Guess what, abortion is still illegal as fuck in Venezuela.

      Also, machismo demands that the woman won’t have any choice over her body, she’ll have that kid (That she possibly can’t maintain) to stay in poverty, just like chaburrismo wants people to be.

  7. Bernal’s arguments are a thin velied version of the tired arguments for “Don’t ask, don’t tell in the US military.” The guy is full of contradictions in his own arguments.

  8. In short, a lame attempt at trying to “explain” how our machismo culture comes before civil rights and social tolerance.
    And hoping that Wladimir Villegas will stand up to any sort of government official ever? We know better than that.

  9. The strange case of a leftist-progressive revolution with a dismal record on any of the main global leftist-progressive agenda goals:

    No poverty reduction.

    No advancement in woman´s rights to chose.

    No advancement in LGBT´s rights.

    No advancement in environmental/green policy provisions.

    Well, I guess we will always have the anti-imperialistic posture.

    • Being revolutionary has nothing to do with what you do, and all with what you claim to be. It’s an attitude, you see? And a moral license to do whatever the fuck you want, ’cause you’re doing it “for the greater good”.

  10. I am going to be the contrarian on this one. Sure, he is clearly displaying his own prejudices. But, it is not like everyone doesn’t know that there is still homophobia in Latin America. What is positive is that his manner clearly shows that he knows he is swimming against the tide. He is being apologetic and trying to, even if with success, appear tolerant. The first step to eliminating prejudice is to make it socially unacceptable. His obvious discomfort and equivocation means that he understands that his intolerance is not socially popular.

  11. Funny that this govt so filled with gays or proto gays is so careful about not allowing open gays in to the policeforce . One explanation . Our culture is a Machista culture , manliness is the primal virtue , Govt oficials are always playing to the gallery , most venezuelan men are if not outright homophobic are derisively scornful of gays, so playing the liberal ‘,gay respect’ card is not likely to make the govt more popular , hence Bernals little careful speech. Nothing to be surprised about !!.

    The standard common Venezuelan attitudes towards gays are deeply rooted and long standing, going back centuries , even in the enlightened developed countries the change in attitude is rather recent., there are in our current situation bigger fish to fry , human right violations which are generally considered much more inmediately and peremptorily relevant .

    Met an old military man who was the boss of Cutie-eyes and Jesse for a while , claims it was notorious that Jesse was Cutie eyes catamite paramour . Was tempted to throw them out of the army but then decided that it wanst worth it !!, The monicker cutie eyes was Chavez own and no one can overlook how close it was to being derisive of the masculinity of its target.

    In ancient rome the practice of male homosexuaity entailed no dishonour for the man who took the active position in lovemaking . Later read a comment from Borges saying the same view existed in Argentina . Dont know how it is in Venezuela . Homos have always existed but most were careful about not revealing their condition for the social disparagement it involved.

    To judge from those in my circle , straight males for the most part dont hate gays , they just see them as laughable . Some old timers might remember the very popular Gaita de las Locas. There was a reason why they were so popular.

    • When you call someone gay as an insult, you are being homophobic
      When the joke is that someone is gay, you are being homophobic
      When you are quick to distance yourself from being gay, you are being homophobic
      If you are insulted that someone says you are gay, you are being homophobic

      • Im sorry , phobia is a greek term and its stands for fear not hatred , although usually people take phobia for the equivalent to hatred , I am biased in that sometimes I like having a nuanced understanding of the terms used to designate what to me are different emotions ,for instance to me respect is not love , nor derisive scorn the same as hatred. in hatred you feel irritated against and want to harm the object of your hatred , in derisive scorn you just cant spontaneously feel that you can recognize that person the same dignity that you recognize other persons , although you have no desire to hurt that person .

        It happens all the time in daily life , if you have contact with a goofy but well intentioned innocent person, you may not feel that you owe such person the same respect as someone with a better endowed mind or personality but you dont hate him . That is an old prejudice of people , almost a human universal . Not to grant stupid people the same measure of respect as smarter persons. With homosexuals thousands of years of cultural conditioning had made homosexualtiy something which straight people spontanously view as disgusting , such that their dignity as persons was not recognized, so strong was the conditioning .!!

        Nowadays the view has softened or even dissapeared , at least in most of middle class venezuela , many straight men and women see homo sexuality as disgusting but dont feel that because of that their practitioners are to be denied their claim to full human dignity , mind you, the practice is still condemned or shunned , but the person practicing is judged on the basis of its overall personality talents and behaviour .

        If your are in India and you relish eating meat dishes , many veggies there will see your meat eating with disgust , but that will not cause them to hate you or deny your dignity in any way , they will think your meat eating is in bad taste but they will not condem you as a person simply because of your dietary habits.

        Same with homos for most of middle class venezuelans , you just dont erase thousand of years of cultural conditioning using sermons and lofty moral recriminations .!! Making those sermons , feeling indignant about it may make you feel good about your self , but it wont change their attitudes.

        People dont realize how good their hatreds make them feel , how they are enthralled by the righteous quality of their hatreds , how it delightfully teases and flatters their self conception , hating people who are homophobic is just as pleasant to an homophilic ego as hating homos is for the homophobic.

        Meantime I suggest you respect my understanding of the terms I use just as I will respect your use of the terms even If I dont share them . .

        .

        • Homophobia is defined as an irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals.

          It is my understanding of the term that mocking, lauging or diminishing someone just for their sexual orientation is an act of discrimination, is an act of homophobia.

          The examples you state, though true, lack the degree of violence that the LGBTI community suffers from inmemorial times.

          In no way did I intend my comment to sound so High and Mighty, or even do I claim to be the SJW for the cause. I just want you to understand, that the attiude of “I don’t condem gays but I would be irritated If you think Im gay” is in itself homophobia.

          Believe me, people of the community have the right to be angry, they have the right to preach, they have the right to sermon.

          • Thank you for patiently and politely explaining your position to someone who culturally comes from a very different world from that which you inhabit . Maybe Im a hair splitter but to me disliking the practice of homosexuality does not automatically mean being hostile o violent to homosexuals , also poking fun at someone while not the most kind attitude is very different from violently harrassing them or beating them up. These distinctions are important for many people , even if they appear insignificant .to militant gay rights activists.

            Recently I saw a US comedy where two straight men had to pretend to be gays ,in one scene they had to kiss each other as part of the comedy , and their obvious repugnance at doing so drew a lot of laughter , no one thought to view their repugnance as unnatural , odd or strange , it was the normal response of a relaxed audience . There is an spontaneous repugnance among many straight people to the spectacle of homosexual acts , this does not mean that homosexuals themselves are seen as abominable or as undeserving of the dignity of human beings or that those same people on leaving the theater will start going after passing people who display themselves as overt homosexuals . .

            There is sometimes in people caught between two cultural ages an evolving process guiding their emotions which has them entertain incongruous attitudes at the same time . Take the case of President Lincoln , who fought hard to have slaves freed and recognized as free men but who did not believe that black men could be the equals of white men .!! Incongruity of emotions is commonplace but difficult to understand , people want hard and fast contrasts and boundaries to view things not as they are actually experienced but as they should be seen if viewed as perfectly defined abstract concepts.. Human nature is not so malleable or simple .It is wise not to be too demanding of peoples perfect congruity of opinion .

            A persons homosexual condition has never prevented me personally from having such person as my friend or treating them with the utmost respect , because a persons sexual preferences are not that important when considering many other aspects of a persons life or personality which make him worthy of our friendship or respect. .!!

            Thank you again for your patience and courtesy .

          • Incongruity of emotions is commonplace but difficult to understand , people want hard and fast contrasts and boundaries to view things not as they are actually experienced but as they should be seen if viewed as perfectly defined abstract concepts.. Human nature is not so malleable or simple .It is wise not to be too demanding of peoples perfect congruity of opinion .

            I agree, BB. The young(er) set, who can more easily shake off their family’s household imprint, can wag a moralistic finger at those who find it difficult to embrace a new social order. But they don’t understand that reforming certain social mores is not an overnight process, moreover on an age subset that is no longer impressed by peer group pressure.

          • Bill Bass,

            I agree with you, and would like to add that I feel like we as a society are on our way to making thought a crime.More and more, mainstream entity feels justified in ‘hating the haters’. To repeat a meme: haters gotta hate.I might not cotton to someone who hates women but I feel like he or she has the right to do so.

            I also see many who do not in any way hate gays, but who are against gay marriage.People have a right to view marriage in whatever way they wish to view it, at least where there is freedom thought.Why get hysterical for others people’s viewpoints? That just makes things less free.

            I myself am not against gay marriage, but for me it is a non issue….especially when you can get a power of attorney that gives people information and property rights etc.But I respect those who want it.

            OH THE TYRANNY of the trendy is exhausting stuff.

      • Audrey, not everyone has grown up or been exposed to, before their 30’s, certain cultural conditionings that allow homosexuality in their daily living. Without that cultural conditioning, to which you have been exposed at some moment in your development (I’d wager not in your home), and in the spirit of complete honesty with oneself, it’s not easy to throw a no-big-deal blanket over homosexuality, moreover when encountered among those of one’s own gender.

        So I understand private citizen and perhaps senior Bill Blass. And I kinda understand the not-so-senior Freddy Bernal, but not completely. For he is a government official representing a large body of people, moreover, he’s from a political party that glorifies its open-mindedness (though it does the opposite).

  12. Carlos Rangel forgot to activate “Comments” with his “Dear President Obama: Of gringos, neighbours and Pepe” blogpost. What a pity. I have a lot to say about that post.

  13. Years ago I had an acquaintance , a respected high school teacher of many years , happy father of 9 children which he doted on , a boisterous good humoured , sociable man from a rural background . He was normal in every respect except that he actually believed that the practice of bestialism , of sexual commerce with animals was a healthy and natural habit . He delighted in recollecting his youthful sexual ‘experiences’ with animals of all kinds . He was baffled when a priest we all knew firmly dissaproved of his taste for bestialism . Among people who knew him he was the but of good humoured jokes but never pilloried or hated . None of the people about him shared his taste for bestialism , none of them felt threatened by his peculiar sexual preferences , none of them took offense at the man despite his peculiar sexual preferences but they certainly felt disgust at the tought of engaging in the kind of bestial practices he relished and defended. This was a real life man ( he has since died).

    I wonder…. what people who in this blog are sensitive to the plight of homosexuals and write how disliking homosexuality ( without showing homosexuals any personal animosity hostility or violence ) is a sign of covert homosexual leanings , how any person must be considered ‘prejudiced’if they feel uncomfortable with being attributed a taste for homosexual practices . would judge this case.!!

    I sometimes suspect that people who have been unfairly victimized by some social convention of long standing develop a very hostile dogmatic posture towards any attitude which can be associated even benignly with such victimization . Perhaps such responses are natural . I remember an elderly jewish lady , a survivor of Nazi concentration camps who strictly prohibited her children from wearing black shirts because they reminded her of the black shirts worn by her gestapo guards. We all know of those who treat any disagreement with Netanyau’s policies as irrefutable evidence of hidebound anti semitism. !!

    • All social taboos have their roots in some some practical reason for prohibiting the activity. The most obvious example is the incest taboo, which exists to prevent reinforcement of bad recessive genes which can result in a high incidence of pretty horrible birth defects. In the case of bestiality, the advent of animal husbandry resulted in a series of epidemics from diseases crossing species, as humans began living in close proximity with animals. Sometimes though, taboos continue after the original reason for the taboo has become obsolete. An example is the Muslim taboo against eating pork. At one time, pigs carried a parasite that caused a disease called Trichinosis. Now, it is understood that pork must be cooked well to prevent this. Another reason for this taboo was that raising pigs in an arid climate was not economical. Pigs, which are omnivorous like humans, would compete with people for the available food supply, as opposed to ruminants (cows, sheep, etc) which can eat and digest grass (which humans cannot). In temperate climates, pigs served as a method of storing and preserving calories for the winter. In any case, this taboo is now obsolete, but it continues to exist in the Muslim religion.

      In the case of homosexuality, various human societies have, at times, made a virtue of it, and at other times, made a taboo of it. Across the world, homosexuality has existed for all of recorded history. It has also been observed in other primates, our closest genetic ancestors. Approximately 10% of all males born appear to have a tendency towards homosexuality. In some, the tendency is so strong that even a strong societal taboo against it cannot reorient their natural sexual desires towards heterosexuality. Whatever we might think about it, it is certain that this is a “natural” aspect of our species. If it were not, this genetic trait would have been culled from our species long ago. Whether or not it is expressed, depends to some degree on cultural acceptance or prohibition.

      B.B., Sorry for the lecture on anthropology. However, any discussion of homosexuality must begin with verifiable facts. If we start from the facts above, we can then determine what our own culture should do with them. I grew up in an era in which prejudice against homosexuality was quite strong, and I absorbed some of those prejudices. Since then, cultural attitudes have changed significantly, and I have long since rethought my previous beliefs on the subject. Having done so, I am now more accepting and tolerant of the entire range of human diversity. Obviously, there are limits. No matter how “natural” they may be, psychopaths (people born without a capacity for human empathy) are an abomination which cannot be tolerated and must be eliminated when identified, because they are dangerous. Homosexuals, however, present no threat that I can discern and are certainly a significant part of the mosaic of human culture. Human diversity and adaptability is a part of the strength of our species, not a weakness. As the saying goes, “It takes all types to make a world.”

      • Thank you Roy for the careful explanation which coming from you deserves my special attention . I too am curious about the origins of human taboos and tastes and the evolutionary and historical factors that foster or inhibit their behavioural expresion . In fact I ve read and reflected quite a bit on these subjects , in part because Im curious to understand why evolution being so centrally concerned with promoting human reproduction should allow some men (maybe 2% according to the best studies) to instinctively disown the natural call to reproduce . One thing to understand is that exclusive homosexuality (men who will only mate with other males) represents only part of the total number of males who may engage in homosexual acts. Homosexuality in males rises in places where they lack normal access to mating females ( prisons , all male boarding schools, the most backward muslim countries , at one point some cities in ancient greece) . Ive also found that in many cases homosexual pairings are allowed between a mature grown male and an young adolescent male but not between two ordinary grown males.

        I have a tentative idea which attempts to explain some of this . contrary to popular notions , all males are not equally masculine , nor all females equally femenine. there is a spectrum which can be biologically detected in the measure of maleness or feminity of people in each gender . biologically all males begin as females ( in the earliest stage of the fetus life) and become increasingly male as they go through a number of biological processes including periodically spaced showers in testosterone. When the young male is born and some time after his birth he recieves several testosterone showers , to the extent these testosterone showers are larger or smaller the features of masculinity are more marked or less marked . This might explain why if you gather a group of tots together all dressed in unisexual togs and with the same style of hair cuts its not always easy to distinguish the males from the females . The final testosterone shower ocurrs at early adolescence . This means that for a while some young boys who havent recieved their full testosterone shower are sometimes more feminine in appearance that other adolescent males . In fact some young males show very distinct feminine looks , more so than some females. They are in fact almost androgynous in appearance and sometimes develop attractions which are not those of males which have recieved their full complement of testosterone at the appropiate age. For men who are denied access to mating females these androgynous young males may act as a substitute to sattify their normal sexual urges .
        Of course this does not explain all cases , but it does point the way of why homosexual activity may be more extensive in certain cultures than in others and why in these cultures after a time grown men abandon all homosexual activity to become full time heterosexuals .

        The thing to remember is that for someone born with male genitals becoming a full male requires an effort at adopting a male identity away from an original female form, the little boy wants to show all he is not a little boy, a feminized mammas little boy , but a big man in the making . strong , willful, forceful , dashing , agresive , emblematically male . Some males overshoot this effort and that might explain the Machismo that exists no only in Venezuela but in so many other cultures . It might also explain why some guys who are so obssesed with showing off their masculinity need to adopt exagerated homophobia to compensate for a not fully succesful process of male transformation .

        I could go on for pages , but am embarrassed to have already taxed your patience with an overlong stream of untried conjectures .

        One thing that does bother me is anyones effort to legislate what I should spontaneously feel about certain subjects using a kind of terrorist rethoric where jagged tags are used to induce in you politically correct opinions you dont happen to profess!! i.e the tag of homophobia !!.

        • Bill, This gets into the old “nature vs. nurture” debate. A few years ago scientists isolated one particular gene that appears to have a significant influence on male sexual orientation, though no one claims that this particular gene is solely responsible. The interesting thing is that this same gene also makes females more fertile. The positive benefit of increased female fertility outweighed the negative consequence of more males without a proclivity to procreate. Thus, this particular gene was conserved. In my opinion (strictly amateur, this is not my field of expertise) the genetic component of homosexual proclivity is far greater than the learned or acquired component.

          However, as you said, the tendency comes in a range. It is not a binary (on/off) phenomenon. But consider… not all men can be the “alpha males”. There would be too much competition and not enough cooperation amongst the males of the society. It would be counter-productive and unstable. At the end of the day, we are what we are, because of tens of thousand of generations of trial and error have made us this way.

          And, I also find the “tags” used by our society tedious, and that they are often abused: Racist, Misogynist, Sexist, Homophobic, etc… These terms are so emotionally charged, that after dropping them into the conversation, real debate becomes impossible.

          • Thank you Roy for your comment . It shows you ( once again) to be a balanced, smart , well informed person . The biological explanation you offer for the existence of some men who are naturally inclined to homosexuality is interesting , there are of course others . For example Elliot Jay Gould argued that not all features in nature necessarily have a reproductive or survival function , that evolutionary processes were sometimes so intricate and difficult in their operation that they would sometimes allow some marginal natural features to develop which while serving no direct reproductive function were harmless in themselves . He called these non functional natural features ‘spandrels’ , using the name given some useles or purely ornamental architectural details or spaces which resulted from the building of the supporting arches of medioeval cathedrals . Maybe the existence of natural homosexual predispositions in some men are spandrels .Obviously If males and females share many natural features in their original fetus state and males develop through a complex series of phisiological processes which take them from an original female form into a finished male one it will inevitably happen that some female features may sometimes survive in the male ‘product’ .

            This might explain the presence in some men of natural homosexual predispositions , which strongest in some and weaker in others , so that given the appropieate external incentives (or inhibitions ) some of them will become homosexuals and others will remain heterosexuals.

            As to the tag bit , I should perhaps clarify that I find homo phobia distasteful (although my understanding of the term may be less broad that that of a militant gay rights activist) . I also feel no sympathy for people who hostilize or discriminate a person because of its homosexual preferences even though I myself also find such preferences spontaneously distasteful ,as much as I find distasteful the sexual predatory conduct of presumptious ‘machos’ against decent women .!! .As you very acutely suggested I dont think that peyorative tags should be used to morally intimidate people into disclaiming their honest naturally spontaneous feelings.

          • Thank you BB and Roy for this sincere, balanced, and in-depth exchange of views on a subject that is often accompanied by inflammatory views.

          • Thanks Bill. I also appreciate the exchange. One day, we should really sit down with a bottle of scotch and solve all the problems of the world. 🙂

            I think we have beat this particular horse to death. However, I will leave you with something to ponder… Consider your visceral reactions to the thought of male homosexuality along side whatever reactions you might have towards female homosexuality. In the differences, you will discover new insights into your personal learned biases.

          • Thanks Roy, really enjoyed the exchange, If its scotch I like mine with a splash of coconut water. !! Thanks also for the meaty ‘subect to ponder’ sugggestion .

          • References to bestiality: check.
            References to incest: check.
            Assuming that all gay males are inherently feminine: check.
            Somewhat convenient separation of “hatred” and “repugnance/distaste”: check.
            Even more convenient allusion to age (“The world I grew up in!”): check.

            If this is how a thoughtful, balanced and amicable discussion about homosexuality goes…yikes. It sounds suspiciously similar to the arguments used by the most vocal homophobes, just with better vocabulary and a couple “no homos” and “not that I have any problems with that” thrown in for good measure.

            Better than nothing? I loath to think so.

          • Oscar, it is troubling when a person manipulates statements from others in order to advance his/her political agenda. Hence, the polite response to your comments from Bill Blass and Roy.

            More directly, I will respond to your “check” on “bestiality”, as though it were remotely associated with your (pervasive) perception of anti-gay-dom in this commentariat.

            I was very clear regarding the sketchiness of the “social studies research”, written up in a seemingly flimsy manner not associated with serious academics of any sort, reported in an equally flimsy manner online, and given the blogger’s imprimateur through lighthearted banter on this commentariat.

            And given the sketchiness, which you seem to prefer over a serious study, I questioned its elements as being realistic, for the write-up had the sniff test of easy-peasy promotion of an agenda.

            In that questioning, I posed a theory related to human arousal from the sexual activity of horses. Evidently the theory was not to your liking. But surely you don’t need to manipulate my comment in order to serve your militant agenda.

            I suggest you get used to what in science is known as the rate of change. That is, when applied to humans, when dealing with cultural acceptance or rejection of certain mores. Furthermore, I would suggest that you don’t do your agenda proud, when chastising (or manipulating comments from others) in order to promote that agenda, even by enema if you have to.

          • Syd, would you please be more precise about how I am manipulating other people’s statements? All I did was list the topics that very often come up in discussions about homosexuality and its normalcy/degeneracy. I found it telling that, even while trying to keep the discussion as far from offensive as possible, intelligent people like you guys still end up hovering around the same points that less delicate people usually put in less delicate terms with less noble intent.

            My check on bestiality was based on a comment from Bill (re-read, please?). It had nothing to do with your opinion about “homophobes getting aroused by gay porn” study, which I also happen to find flimsy at best and agree with you in saying that it was more media hype than science.

            Lastly, I don’t understand how you can determine that I am a “militant” with a “pervasive” agenda. Subjective definitions of what it means to be militant aside, I can assure you I have no intention of shoving my being gay on anyone’s face. But if you expect me to read these comments and participate in this discussion while accepting that the best choice for people like me is to expect to be thought of as “disgusting/repugnant/repulsive” in private and tolerated in public…I’m sorry but you’ve got another thing coming.

          • Oscar,

            Last night, I read that study by (the late) Henry Adams, whose title was omitted by the militant Tatchell (the blog owner whose personal opinion Quico linked to in the Commentariat above). Tatchell supports Outtake! a movement that calls for a public ‘outing’ of the suspected homophobes among UK members of Parliament, by hypothetically submitting each one to a plethysmograph, a machine invented by Kurt Freund to measure penile erection, during a “scientific study”. Never mind that Freund admitted to the machine’s limitations, never mind that the social “scientists” (Henry Adams et al) who used the machine in their 1996 study, concluded that their findings had holes, which required further research. No matter. The existence of the study serves the militant faction of the Rainbow Coalition.

            The “scientific study” is actually more ludicrous when you consider that its population was all of (drum roll) 64 caucausian, heterosexual males with a mean age of 20.3 years, divided between homophobes and non-homophobes, these given a partial course credit. Anyone with a minimum of higher education (where subject matter is routinely analyzed in some depth) should be able to see gaping holes.

            I posted my findings last night. But perhaps due to the several links I provided, CC informed me that my comment is awaiting moderation. I’m hoping the stance changes. Not that it’ll make much difference, given that you, too, find the “scientific study” flimsy. But anyone else reading these comments might understand that one has to be very careful with publications (and that includes blog writing) used for political positioning.

            My position has been very clear. I understand those males who instinctually or by acculturation grew up with a discomfort for certain sexual preferences. (But not so much when they are in politics and therefore represent a wide body of people.) And I totally support freedom of thought and expression, allowing those same males the needed space in which to express that discomfort, without agenda bashing from others. I also understand, through a walk in a gay part of a city with a gay friend, that some gays, now liberated by the efforts of that Rainbow Coalition, overdo things and wonder why they create a visceral reaction among non-gay men. They, from the “I want it now” generations, don’t understand the rate of change.

            Human behavior has infinite variety in its tastes, preferences and flexibilities. And these can change over time, but often need that time to move in a certain direction.

            Just like Bill’s friend from long ago who supported bestiality (in actual fact or for shock therapy for his listeners — who knows), Bill contributed that remark to show that though bestiality was personally repugnant for him, he nonetheless maintained a friendship with the man. I’d forgotten about that bestiality mention by Bill, when you wrote your initial, sweeping statement, designed to (delicately) tar and feather those who dare to think differently from you. I thought your mention of bestiality had something to do with my comment on horses vis-à-vis that ridiculous “scientific” study that was embraced by militant Tatchell and Outtake!.

            In sum: chacun à son goût. What some do in the privacy of their homes or bedrooms is none of my business. Well, except for when mistreatment and non-consent are involved. And you’re free to create a narrative that moves your political position by mentioning that a discussion on this commentariat “sounds suspiciously similar to the arguments used by the most vocal homophobes, just with better vocabulary and a couple [of] “no homos” and “not that I have any problems with that” thrown in for good measure… Better than nothing? I loath to think so.”

            I think we’ve all beaten a dead horse with this discussion. Let’s move on.

          • sorry, Oscar. I was mistaken with my label of gay activism as the Rainbow Coalition. Nada que ver. I mixed up the Rainbow symbol for LGBT with Jesse Jackson’s movement.

          • Fair enough, Syd. I appreciate your taking the time to clarify (even though I never really based any of my comments on the Tatchell “study”).

            Sorry to repeat myself but I assure you I have no political agenda. I’m not being oversensitive just because this topic pertains to me in a real way, instead of being an abstraction that can be referred to next to anecdotes of bestiality without (I hope!) intent to equate them to it, as it seems to be for you guys. I engaged you as an eager student of how people think, how their logic works and how it relates to the way they act. My snarky language definitely didn’t help, but I hope you can see past that now.

  14. favorite color MALE blue

    The identification of pink with female and blue with male is less than 100 years old. In 1918, a baby-clothes trade magazine wrote “…pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl”; in 1927, three leading U.S. department stores recommended pink for boys and blue for girls.

  15. Finding other people’s opinion’s offensive, has more to do with the offended than the offender.

    When we have trouble allowing other people to dislike or even hate something, we fall dangerously into the category of authoritarianism.

    I could not care less if people are homophobes, or biased against women.

    I do care if they commit crimes against those they feel alienated from.

    We cannot legislate feelings and everyone has feelings and ideas that some others will hate.

    The more we insist on dictating other people’s feelings and ideas instead of just sticking to setting limits on aggressive behaviors, the more we deserve a dictatorship.

    Ranting on about whether homosexuality is this or that when nothing is proven is a waste of time in my opinion and still does not take away other people’s inherent human right to opine whatever they want.

    I don’t like this regime any more than than the rest of you, but fighting their homophobic feelings instead of fighting their criminal tendencies, looks like a giant waste of time and puts us into the same category of people intolerant to differences rather than people insisting on freedoms….haters gonna hate…painters gonna paint.Let’s get more creative than this.

    • Their homophobia is another vehicle to channel the hatred to control masses, and is also part of their criminal tendencies.

      So, they must be attacked from every angle possible, every argument they use must be discredited and they muts be exposed for what they are so the masses won’t ever trust them again.

    • I don’t agree Fire.
      If a person hates woman, they will act accordingly. If a person hates african-american, they will act accordingly. If a person hates homosexuality, they will act accordingly. I do care if people hate other people over race, sex, gender orientation or any other topics because that hate will spill over. This individual hate is what must be targeted, with workshops, laws, education, therapy, social programs, because in this hate lies the discrimantion, the violence sexual or otherwise and the economic inequality of groups.
      Was it no hate that installed seggregation in the south? Is it not hate that prevents gay couples the right to marry? Is it not hate of woman that leads to millions of deaths worldwide? (few very few examples)
      So an opinion can be had, and hate can be there, but I think it’s naive to say that such feelings will not affect the person or idea you hate.

  16. Oscar : A blog wont allow the non professional writer enough space to do justice to certain complex controversial topics , everything has to be expressed in simplified minimalist form and assummes ordinary people reading it have had access to the same literature and information as the people attempting to write about it . Of course it is not an exercise in apologetics or sectarian polemics nor an attempt to mollify the orgasmic indignations of the fanatic . I apologize for not being able to sattisfy your expectations for a hagiography of the Gay cause !!

    • Seems like “the orgasmic indignations of the fanatic” (a gem, BB!) call for everyone to follow a set pattern of thought.

    • Nice response, Bill. Though, I personally didn’t find it worth responding to. Syd, Thanks for defending and supporting us.

      FYI: I had to look up the definition of “hagiography”.

      • Roy

        This blog has always been and always will be nothing more and nothing less than a mutual admiration society( in my opinion). If you want to have your comments taken more seriously outside thissmall society then you need not worry if people are defending you or not.If you did not think a comment worthy of defending (according your high standards), then why do you thank someone for doing so?

        If this blog is , as I assume it is, a mutual admiration society dedicated to congratulating like minded thinkers while insulting those who are different, I think the blog owners should be consequential and clarify this to readers. For example:

        BEWARE:COMMENT SECTION FOR LIKE MINDED THINKERS ONLY

        A creative comment section would not pander to like mindedness, it would encourage differences, because it is only with the free interplay of ideas, and different points of view that creative solutions can be found.

        Thank God Venezuela has a divergent population, and that should be represented respectfully on this blog, or else the correct thing would be to warn others first.

    • Bill, Roy, Syd,

      Granted, my delivery was on the snarky side (well matched by your condescending reply), but my point still stands: Isn’t it telling that the three of you end up touching the same common places usually present in the speech of vocal homophobes? I’ve been a reader of the comment threads of this blog for years and I know that you are considerate, educated, analytically minded people. Hence my dismay at thinking that the only major differences between your conversation and the ones I’ve had with self-identified homophobes is that you have a better vocabulary and attempt to keep a veneer of respectability. I find that a very disheartening thought.

      You don’t need to respond if you don’t consider this worth responding. I do not pretend to be able to change your mind with a few lines. I will just repeat what I told Syd: you can’t expect me to think all is hunky-dory when people of your caliber (and I mean caliber in a positive way) see me as worthy of disgust/distaste/repugnance privately and reluctant tolerance publicly.

      • Oscar : Not knowing how homophobes defend their position I have no idea how their points may echo mine , if there is any connection please believe me , its purely coincidental . What I do note is that there is a part of what we wrote that you totally missed and its that although we find the practice of homosexuality viscerally disgusting if exposed to (for example in films) that does not lead us to feel any automatic hostility towards homosexuals same way that a veggie although repulsed by meat eating will not feel hostile towards people of carnivorous habits .Moreover that people being multidimensional in their personality there are lots of people who indulging in some distasteful practice in one dimension of their life , in other dimensions are . worthy of our sympathy and respect or even of our friendship . Its the old catholic position : Love the sinner , hate the sin . Same thing with the bestialist person I described who was well liked even by people who found his taste for bestialism disgusting. The thing is that the distaste for the practice of homosexuality is not a decision one takes , it happens at a visceral level , at a gut level , spontaneously and compellingly . In short that its natural and cant be helped. To say that it doenst exist because someone is offended by it doesnt make it dissappear . This is the way human feelings work .

        Maybe being an homosexual makes you oversensitive to any observation on the subject that refers to you condition . But it doens help you understand that our exchange was more neutral and objective than it might seem to you .!! I will not refer to this subject again , ive already turned the page and am now interested in what is being discussed about Singapore , to me a much more interesting topic than your homosexuality , I suggest you do likewise.!!

        • Way to dig in your heels, Bill.

          Anyway, we’ve said what we wanted to say and it doesn’t seem like anything else will come out of this discussion. I will just point out that I wasn’t making this about “my homosexuality”, but about your perception about homosexuality in general and the direction discussions about it usually end up taking. You calling me oversensitive or Syd calling me a militant seems to me like ways to avoid addressing my point.

          Guess I should be lucky to have the luxury of your respectable, visceral repugnance as long as it isn’t acted upon.

          On a lighter note, funny you mention about Singapore, I lived there until recently and it is a discussion I would love to engage in.

  17. This topic has led to direct and indirect explorations, sparks flying in the process, as is the Fray’s custom. Among the contributions was a link shared by Quico to a write up on the “psychological study” of homophobic arousal.

    Multiple conjectures followed, as did more sparks. I dug a little deeper. Turns out, the referenced write up is a personal opinion in a blog by the very enterprising Peter Tatchell of the Peter Tatchell Foundation (“Wanted: 1,000 people to donate £5 a month”), crusader for “Human Rights, Democracy, Global Justice, LGBTI Freedom”. I would add to that list: Avid Supporter of Homophobic Outings of Suspected UK Ministers of Parliament. Tascon List anyone?

    Under the title of “Bigots are Buggers”, Tatchell justifies his Torquemadbloguismo when he refers to the “psychological study” by Professor Henry Adams of the University of Georgia, as “the first serious scientific study to confirm the old adage that homophobia is an expression of self-hating, repressed homosexuality”. To add to the validity, Tatchell uses percentages in his arguments. Some of them are whoppers.

    By this point, the needle on my BS-o-Meter was shifting wildly. I dug some more — outside the confines of an academic library, where I would have quickly found the published source document by (the late) Professor Henry Adams. Never mind, all roads lead to Rome. And it was in a YouTube presentation that I found more exciting discoveries, among them a visual of the dum-dee-dum-dum-duhhhhhh penile Plethysmograph.

    Now I was really aroused! (Not) Found the study’s title, which Tatchell omits: “Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?”. Forsooth! Its abstract summarizes the study’s population. Turns out it’s as follows: homophobic men = 35, non-homophobic men = 29. Way to go scientists on the broad and weighty population from which you sampled!

    It gets better. In the published study of 1996, the mean age of the men (from range = 18 to 31 years) was 20.3 years. Meaning, the overwhelming majority of men were young. They were all Caucasian, heterosexual male volunteers, recruited from the Psychology Department Research Subject Pool at the U of Georgia. All participants received partial course credit. Hmmmm, bias?

    To the credit of the social scientists, for Henry Adams was not the only one involved, the paper concludes that many holes developed in the process of the study, holes that would need further research. Not that Tatchell would ever mention those holes.

    What’s more, the penile plethysmograph, or the principal tool used in the Adams et al study, is also full of holes, or rather, inconsistencies, even acknowledged by its inventor, Kurt Freund.

    Tatchell would never admit to these inconsistencies either. For in militant political activism, the end justifies the means.

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