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What Gay Men Can Learn from Lesbians

Back when I was first struggling with my feelings for men, the gay man who would have the most negative impact on my coming out told me that gay men and lesbians didn’t got along. Maybe that comment — along with the vision of growing old and becoming like him — pushed me further into the closet.

I’ve always liked lesbians — and have been accused of being one myself (on more than one occasion). My fellow Outfest Theater Managers jokingly call me “the lesbian.” A real lesbian gave me a T-shirt, “Lesbian Trapped in a Man’s Body.” (I think I’ll wear that to the gym today.)

Yesterday, as I was preparing my “Statement of Research Interest,” offering a proposed dissertation topic as part of my application to continue on for my Ph. D. in my grad program in Mythology, I quoted from Norah Vincent’s most excellent book, Self-Made Man: One Woman’s Journey into Manhood and Back (which I reviewed here) and realized given my strong praise for Mary Cheney’s most excellent memoir, Now It’s My Turn: A Daughter’s Chronicle of Political Life that two of my favorite new books this year were written by lesbians.

Maybe I like lesbians so much because, by and large, they “get” relationships. In his comment to my latest, one of my most thoughtful critics (who this time seems to agree with me) wrote:

The other thing that I think Andrew is acknowledging is that gay marriage does have different qualities than a heterosexual marriage. Its different even from a lesbian marriage. The gender of the participants does have an impact.

Yup, gender does have an impact. Lesbians are far more likely to be monogamous than gay men, indeed, may well even be more committed to monogamy than straight men.

Maybe I’m writing this, because despite the cynical words of my negative role model*, this gay man tends to get along with lesbians. Maybe it’s because they “get” me (on some level), less likely to explain away regrets I have expressed about my indiscretions than gay men do, more likely to sympathize with my longings for affection and intimacy. And better able to appreciate the full meaning of relationships.

I’m not really sure why I’m writing this. I’ve had a bit of trouble focusing on my work today and this post just came to mind. Maybe it was Patrick’s insightful comment. Or maybe it’s just that, after a hectic week with a number of obligations, I’m feeling particularly “lesbian,” longing for a tender moment with someone of my own gender. Or maybe, as the Senate prepares to debate gay marriage, I think we need to point out that many, many lesbian couples provide successful examples of monogamous same-sex unions.

And those are the types of role models we need.

My negative role model notwithstanding, I realize how much we gay men need lesbians in our lives. It’s time we start learning from them.

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

*Is there such a thing as a negative role model? If so, is that someone who gives us a bad example to follow or one who, in my case, made it more difficult for me to come to terms with my difference?

Hypocrisy & Marriage, Andrew Sullivan & Monogamy

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 3:25 pm - June 1, 2006.
Filed under: Gay Marriage

This post began as a comment to a post on Ann Althouse’s blog which really got me thinking (via Instapundit). At first I had hesitated turning it in a post because I’m not entirely sure what to make of Andrew Sullivan’s remarks upon which Ann offers some thoughts. And while I may not have come to a definite conclusion of what Andrew means by his thoughts on monogamy and hypocrisy, they — and Ann’s thoughts — did get me thinking.

Given that I had wanted to blog regularly on gay marriage this week — but other obligations have prevented me from devoting the time that I would like to this topic — I thought I would revise my comment to Ann’s post and include it here as a post of my own. In it, I offer some thoughts on monogamy, a topic which, I believe, is essential to any serious debate on marriage, gay or otherwise.

Reading Andrew’s remarks, I was reminded of comments my rabbi once made in discussing a passage in Genesis on the relationship between Abraham and Sarah. He said that the passage indicated that it’s sometimes okay to lie in order to preserve a marriage. (I wish I could remember the passage.)

So, as I understood it, if one spouse “slips up,” by having an affair, then ending it because he (or she) realizes it could compromise the marriage, he would do well not to mention it to his (or her) significant other.

In commenting to Ann’s post, Michael Farris seems to nail it when he distinguishes between “an unplanned and regretted momentary lapse in judgement” and “conscious, calculated multiple counts of infidelity with intent to deceive.” Emphasis added.

I’m not yet sure what to make of Andrew’s remarks. At first blush, they suggest (to me at least) that Andrew is not serious about marriage because real marriage includes monogamy at its core. If one enters into a marriage, one does so expecting to remain faithful to his beloved. If a lapse occurs later, it doesn’t suggest that the “lapser” was hypocritical at the time of his betrothal, but merely proved imperfect in the execution of his intent.

That said, those of use who believe in marriage should insist that marriage means monogamy. When we enter into such relationships must strive, do everything in our power to live up to the monogamous ideal, but also recognize that we’re human and capable of failure.

I believe that those not striving for monogamy are not serious about marriage. At first reading, Andrew’s remarks suggest he’s not striving for monogamy. But, note I said “suggest.” Perhaps his ideas are not so different from my own. And closer reading and further reflection might lead me to amend my initial evaluation.

I realize this post has a flavor more like a comment than my normal essayistic posts, but put it out there in the hope that it will do what Ann’s post has done — invite a discussion of marriage and monogamy, a conversation particularly important in the week leading up to the Senate debate on the Federal Marriage Amendment (or Marriage Protection Amendment or whatever they’re calling it this week).

-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com

Summertime in Paris

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:33 am - June 1, 2006.
Filed under: War On Terror

Ah, the burning embers of car shells wafting in the Parisian air.  The angry Muslim yoots parading through the burning streets.  (h/t – LGF)

Youths torched a dozen cars and hurled stones at police in a second night of violence in the troubled Paris suburbs, raising memories of rioting that rocked the nation last year.

Six police officers suffered light injuries and 13 people were detained in the violence Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, police said.

It did not appear to reach the scale of the first overnight clashes Monday night, in which bands of young people hurled gasoline bombs at public buildings and took to the streets with baseball bats. Then, police said nine officers were wounded and that they fired rubber pellets to disperse the roughly 100 youths.

The tensions are a stark reminder of the anger that smolders in depressed French suburbs, despite new government efforts to tackle high youth unemployment and racial inequalities following the three weeks of similar — but far worse — rioting last fall.

Too bad the media uses the phrase “racial inequalities” when they should say, “massive Muslim immigration influx into Western Europe”.  Folks, this is merely al-Qaeda’s Spring Offensive on Civilians.  But that won’t be reported.

car.jpg

Ahhhhh.  Summer in Paris.  How lovely. 

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Wounded Soldier Sues Michael Moore

As I always say…. if Liberals want to use the court to legislate and destroy the American way, then I see no reason not to turn the tables on them with their own tactics.  This story is priceless!!  (Hat tip:  Stop The ACLU)

GI’s Big Fat Suit Vs. Moore – NY Post

A double-amputee Iraq-war vet is suing Michael Moore for $85 million, claiming the portly peacenik recycled an old interview and used it out of context to make him appear anti-war in “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Sgt. Peter Damon, 33, who strongly supports America’s invasion of Iraq, said he never agreed to be in the 2004 movie, which trashes President Bush.

In the 2003 interview, which he did at Walter Reed Army Hospital for NBC News, he discussed only a new painkiller the military was using on wounded vets.

“They took the clip because it was a gut-wrenching scene,” Damon said yesterday. “They sandwiched it in. [Moore] was using me as ammunition.”

Damon seems to “voice complaint about the war effort” in the movie, according to the lawsuit.

But what the father of two from Middleborough, Mass., was really talking about was the “excruciating” pain he felt after he lost his arms when a Black Hawk helicopter exploded in front of him.

Damon wasn’t expressing any opinion about the war, the suit charges, but rather extolling the drug.

“I just want everybody to know what kind of a guy Michael Moore is, and what kind of film this is,” said Damon. He has appeared in two films attacking “Fahrenheit” -“Michael Moore Hates America” and “Fahrenhype 9/11.”

In “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the bandaged National Guardsman is shown laying on a gurney complaining that he feels like he’s “being crushed in a vise. But they [the drugs] do a lot to help it and they take a lot of the edge off it.”

His image appears seconds after Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) says, “You know, they say they’re not leaving any veterans behind, but they’re leaving all kinds of veterans behind.”

Damon – the dad of a 8-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy – doesn’t come close to feeling that way.

“He couldn’t have picked the worst guy to say that about,” he told The Post.

“I’m the most fortunate disabled guy. I’ve even had a house built for me [by a nonprofit group, Home for Our Troops].”

Particularly outrageous to Damon is the fact that Moore never interviewed him or asked his permission to use the old clip.

“I was complaining about the pain I would’ve been having [if it weren’t for the painkiller],” he said.

NBC is named in the suit – which was filed in Suffolk County, Mass., on Friday – along with Harvey and Robert Weinstein, Miramax Corp., Lions Gate Films and other production companies involved with the picture.

Newsman Brian Williams ends the NBC clip by adding, “These men, with catastrophic wounds are . . . completely behind the war effort,” according to the lawsuit.

That part, which wasn’t shown in the Moore movie, is a far more accurate depiction of Damon’s feelings, he said.

The truth means nothing to the Democrats and the Left anymore.  They don’t even have it in their vocabulary.

A hearty salute to American Hero — Sgt. Peter Damon of Middleborough, Massachusetts.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Throw the bums out!

From JURIST Legal News & Research:  

US Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), chairman of the US House Judiciary Committee, said Tuesday that he intends to draft legislation that would shield congressional documents and materials from being seized in searches similar to the FBI raid on the congressional office of Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) earlier this month. Speaking during the committee’s Tuesday oversight hearing on the constitutional questions raised by the raid, Sensenbrenner also said that although the constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause will not protect members of Congress from prosecution stemming from activities outside of legitimate legislative acts, the clause prevents the executive branch from seizing documents created in the course of the legitimate legislative process.

With this move Sensenbrenner has assumed a mantle of arrogance so repugnant and antithetical to the Constitution that he needs to be removed from office by the voters of his district.  He has gone beyond merely being “out-of-touch” and moved headlong into being drunk with power by assuming privileges in direct conflict with the Constitution he swore to uphold.  There is nothing in the Constitution that shields Congressmen under investigation for corruption from having their offices searched with evidence being seized once a legal warrant has been served — including official papers.  The Speech or Debate Clause does not provide Congressmen such an exemption and it is ridiculous to assert that it does.  He is claiming a “legislative privilege” as broad in scope and prone to thwarting any investigation of criminal wrongdoing by Congressmen as what former President Nixon attempted during the Watergate scandal.  If Sensenbrenner believes documents not outlined in the FBI’s warrant were improperly taken than there are avenues to resolve that, but Congress has no authority or role in exempting documents from being seized under a legally-obtained warrant.

The Rayburn House Office Building belongs to the People and the People’s investigators, the FBI, followed the Constitution in properly obtaining a warrant through the courts to search them and seize the evidence found therein.  Not even the personal belongings of individual members of Congress within those offices are exempt from being properly seized once a warrant has been served — the same as it is for each and every one of us.  What Sensenbrenner and many Congressmen are so cavalierly asserting is a ‘right’ not enjoyed by every other American citizen and this is an attempt by them to place themselves above the law.  This move is nothing but pure hubris and a direct threat to the rule of law and the Constitution.  Sensenbrenner and all of his allies in this regardless of party need to be turned out of office this November by the voters in order to preserve that bedrock American principle that no one, including members of Congress, is above the law.  Members of Congress are not titled peerage nor do they have the privileges of royalty, but instead are servants of the People and it is time that the People exercise their displeasure by reminding them of this fact because it would seem many Congressmen have forgotten.

For leaders fatuously claiming to be defending their ‘rights’ as an equal branch of Government, I do not recall Speaker Hastert, Minority Leader Pelosi, or Chairman Sensenbrenner barring an FBI SWAT team from entering their sacred inner sanctum the other day when a threat was perceived.  Curious… 

For more I highly recommend Andrew McCarthy’s superb column in National Review along with this by the editors of the Washington Post.

Hat tip:  QandO