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Kevin Jennings & the Prevailing Gay Sexual Ethos

While I think some of the coverage on conservative blogs about the latest Kevin Jennings hullabaloo (James Taranto might call it a kerfuffle) a bit overheated, I have not yet found any cause to rescind my earlier call for his resignation.  Simply put, he is not the kind of man who should be supervising a program for elementary and secondary schools in the federal Department of Education.

That said, while I think it’s highly relevant to study the content of the books he recommended for middle and high school students, I don’t know how relevant it is to bring up the “youth conference” his organization GLSEN sponsored at Tuft’s University in March 2000 where facilitators* taught the finer points of “fisting” and asked rather inappropriate questions of young teens. It appears that GLSEN did a better job policing its workshops since then.***  More recent conferences apparently have not included such seminars.  (At least I have seen no evidence that they have.)

Let us hope that they fired the individuals responsible for said workshops and the person who, by including them in the conference, deemed them appropriate for adolescents.*** Anyone who thinks it appropriate to teach such things to teens shouldn’t be allowed to teach teens (or facilitate workshops for them).  Such seminars have nothing to do with teaching adolescents responsible sexual behavior nor do they help them develop an adult attitude toward sexuality.

But, the “curriculum” there does seem to be part of a pattern for Mr. Jennings, wishing to impart to adolescents an attitude toward sexuality where indulgence is the operative idea and intimacy and affection are reduced to occasional (and perhaps welcome) side effects.  And the rules of safe sex are the only limits.

As I’ve said previously and it bears repetition, we can’t make a final judgment on the nature of the books on the GLSEN list without putting the sexually explicit passages in context.  That said, books with such descriptions are not appropriate for young teens (up to age 15 or 16) and should only be recommended to older ones after first consulting their parents.

What I find troubling in this whole story is something I have encountered all too often in my own experience coming out and living as a gay man, that our (gay) culture reduces our sexuality to its mere sexual expression.  Not just that, those who put themselves in positions of guidance to gay adolescents very often just mimic the culture; they don’t try to improve it by encouraging their charges to tether sexual expression to emotional connection or even to make them aware of the importance of that connection.  They seem to have reduced sexuality to (with apologies to Catullus) a mere grinding of loins.

And Kevin Jennings seems to be no different.  But, then again, I haven’t read all his writings, so acknowledge the incomplete nature of my information.  (While I have purchased most of his books, I have not yet gotten around to reading them as I would like. (I just haven’t had the time.)) But, from what we do know, it doesn’t look very good for the Obama Administration official.

It would be nice if we could find something from his pen or from his lips where he casts a critical eye on the predominant sexual ethos of our community.  (As of today, i have found nothing**.)  Maybe he doesn’t want to stand apart.  There does seem a wariness among prominent gay men to do that, even the leading advocates of gay marriage for whom such criticism should come naturally.


*or seminar leaders (or whatever new age-y PC word they used to describe them).

**If you are aware of any such criticism, could you let me know so I can update this post accordingly.

***UPDATE, comment 3 below confirms that GLSEN did a better job of policing the conferences since then. And the seminar organizers were fired.



  1. The same people never notice the frequent parallel outrages committed in the heterosexual population.

    Feel free to point out these outrages, and watch how quickly you find out that condemnation of pedophiles is universal regardless of their sexual orientation — except among gay liberals, of course. But for some reason, poor Media Matters is never able to do that; instead, they sit there like a whining child who is claiming that everyone else’s mother lets them smoke crack.

    Meanwhile, as for Media Matters, the simple fact is that Media Matters is paid to lie about and propagandize against conservatives, just as they did when they publicized and pushed the forged Bush ANG documents, just as they did when they spread the Barack Obama lie that Trig Palin is not Sarah Palin’s son, and that Kevin Jennings was “proved” right when they produced a photo of a fake ID with no picture, no name, no address, no number, and a random birth date with no ability to link it to any specific person, living or dead. It’s not the facts; it’s the need to attack and try to destroy conservatives over imaginary slights, while ignoring the real behaviors their fellow Bushitler screamers are doing, that makes them such a laughably-hilarious modern counterpart of Goebbels and Baghdad Bob.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 12, 2009 @ 12:51 am - December 12, 2009

  2. For those of you who operate under the assumption that homosexuality is strange, bizarre, or unnatural, it is clear that any “measured” discussion is impossible.

    When gay liberals like yourself argue that it is synonymous with teaching fisting to underage children, taking children to sex fairs dressed as sexual slaves for an “educational experience”, and demanding that children as young as five be taught gay sex, then yes, it IS “strange, bizarre, or unnatural”.

    The problem here, ice9, is that gays like yourself, Jennings, and your friends over at Media Matters simply can’t bring themselves to be open about their need to sexualize and have sex with underage children, and instead need to try to smokescreen it by claiming that all homosexuals do this. Then, in a charming attempt to make sure that no one disagrees with you, you’ve started this whole screaming fit that, if you object, self-loathing gay. Not unlike how your fellow liberals insist that, if you don’t support government-controlled health care, you’re not really black, or if you don’t worship Barack Obama, you’re an “oreo”, “house slave”, and “Uncle Tom”. In the world of liberal bigotry, homosexuality isn’t confined to simply to whom you’re attracted; it’s an all-over experience that dictates what you breathe, wear, eat, support, endorse, spend your money on, and vote.

    The amusing thing is that gays like yourself and Dr Zen insist that we turn the other way and not judge pedophiles who want to sexualize elementary-school kids, but then wonder why people don’t think gays should teach in schools, adopt children, be in law enforcement, or hold elective office. You simply are making it clear that your sexual orientation is incompatible with life in a civilized society.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 12, 2009 @ 1:03 am - December 12, 2009

  3. I’m a straight guy with three kids and no fisting, though I’m flattered that I came off as gay. I vote for some republicans (though not lately since my choices have been pretty scary crazy death-to-fags types.) I favor honest political arguments over hatred, especially when the dishonest ugly hatred has real consequences upon innocent folk. I waste my time in these jabbery forums because I frequently find myself involved in this conundrum with real people and real, often life-or-death problems around homosexuality, and this is good practice at working through the logic and testing it against principle.
    To be clear: I don’t care a bit about whether your panties are bunching over being called a self-hating gay. That’s your lookout, and as a rather active participant in your own comment thread you can take care of your own delicate structures of opinion. PS your demands for being shown things remind me of the playground at Wakefield Forest, where as a third grader I was more than once called “gay” by Christians. Didn’t understand it then but it still hurt.
    I care about dead kids, and this conversation is a symptom of the disease that kills them. Get that? Ken Jennings may somewhere have increased the chance that a high school boy has at this moment a fist up his ass. Stipulated. Jennings is gay in a position of authority; he helps kids come out. You and your commenters don’t like that; the argument seems to (or should) be whether that is permitted or discouraged. Getting Jennings fired is the scalp-collecting tactic of the moment in your insurgency against the Obama administration; I think it’s cowardly and ugly and I think folks who do it are dicks.
    To get Jennings fired and rack up your victory, you have to edge fairly close to being an out-and-out gay hater; that leads to the sideshow about whether our host hates himself. Who cares; that’s secondary to the fact that gay haters kill kids. This is obvious to me, but conflicts rather dramatically with your logic that Jennings hurts kids by gaying them up. And conflicts with your alleged attraction to Jesus, but the hypocrisy there is foundational and can wait.
    I’d guess Jennings himself has made a calculation that fist-in-ass beats suicide, or something like that, but again, he’s just one person, so it’s both irrelevant and unimportant. My interest is in calling gay haters bigots and proving the point, and when possible pointing out to the most rational and attentive of them that they are a party to suicides that look a lot like murders . This may be hyperbole but is not false. Gay haters such as the people in this thread kill kids by confining them to a closed space where there are only three exits–become comfortably gay, stop being gay, or shoot yourself in the head with Dad’s second-amendment pistol. In each individual’s case—there’s that individual vs. group thing again—we can’t exactly know what’s best. Stipulated. Sometimes the best thing for a kid is being gay; sometimes not. Never the bullet, though. Nevertheless, there’s a lot of death going on. I’m a straight guy with three kids who works with lots of young people, and I can name one and probably two who are dead because of this attitude. Dead.
    That’s on you.
    By the way, I don’t split hairs over Jennings’ famous moment with the drivers-license kid. Faced with an individual actual human being in that situation, you would do the same thing, or you’re a bastard. Kids in distress don’t do preaching; usually preaching has already not worked. Sexual uncertainty is a powerful engine. Leviticus don’t stop a bullet, or a fist for that matter. The rampant, oblivious hypocrisy of anti-gay arguments is a grotesque crime against the three gay-confused-uncertain kids who kill themselves for every one kid who kills himself for other reasons (and gay fear, of course, figures secretly in many of those ones.) In other words, your much-vaunted principle is a crap argument when confronted with a kid whose parents are, well, you, and who has no exit. I have been in that situation a time or two, but I can report happily that, at least on the real kid/real parent level, that isn’t happening as much these days; fewer parents are, well, you when the actual situation arises; they go to love over hate. All the more reason to call out the haters when they make their masturbatory declarations in forums such as this one, which are comfortably removed from real decisions. I only hope that we can reduce the suicide rate, and bring the more grotesquely benighted regions of the nation into a more rational way of thinking before many more die. Jennings, and Milk, and Dan Savage, are in large part responsible for the more love/less hate problem solving going on. Jennings’ firing would therefore hinder my hope to keep a bunch of real live kids alive.
    So, to review for the slower students: when you aim at one person and derive a rationale for bigotry against a group on that basis you are making a parody of logic, of a rule of law, of journalism, or of an entire politic based on equality and liberty. If you happen to be attacking yourself in that process, that’s a second level of bonus parody (I’d call it irony, but we settled on parody so there it is.)
    If what you derive is built on shaky grounds, that’s a third level. Not saying Jennings or somebody somewhere didn’t do something inappropriate–folk got fired, after all–but that’s still shaky grounds to condemn a whole program, a whole idea, a whole class of people that seem to keep appearing, unrecruited, in the same proportions, no matter what you do.
    But you do derive, and condemn; so what do we get, what exactly? Fire Jennings before he uses his position to do some unspecified damage to kids who are already at deep risk of etc. etc. etc. Clear and present threats–the right is seldom so shy about acting on them, law-and-ordering stuff three deep. But now why so coy?
    Fire Jennings, then, and appoint someone else. Jennings was the problem, you say. The most sanitized, straight-acting gay guy in that same position is still going to face ginned-up charges and conflation of icky gay stuff with every move he ever made and every move he makes. Why indeed?
    The charge that Jennings is doing damage to kids isn’t real, or if it is real it is vastly exaggerated as a tool for political gain. Just like in the abortion debate, the idea of the threat is a political weapon, but if we’re actually going to, say, criminalize abortion or fire gay schoolteachers then the reduction to absurdity you are guilty of will look fairly pathetic in the light of the voting booth so you don’t do that, do you. It’s a loser. So you split hairs and try to hang individuals to claim the same effect. Makes you dishonest bastards, not just bastards. (you’d be more honest to call for their stoning deaths, and there’s no shortage of people doing that. But that would be impolitic! )
    “Pedophiles who want to sexualize elementary school kids”—I could not have created a better example in my wildest fevered imagination. Pedophiles are criminals; no pedophiles have been mentioned in this discussion. You mean, of course, all or some mysterious proportion of regular gay people. Under the hyperbole regular gay persons who are nothing like what you describe, who are quite normal in all respects, who are completely deserving of freedom from your (the entire right wing, choose any politician, you-you, all of you) character assassination, who pay taxes and don’t want to sexualize anybody because they understand that human beings sexualize themselves.
    This fantasy of gay danger has been gospel standard for centuries now, but it is still fake and ugly; you who purvey it benefit from a general trend to accept it because it’s been gospel standard for so long. I certainly see why you feel aggrieved as the nation moves past it, but that doesn’t excuse the weaseling and caviling, the parody of a civil discussion, the pretension to honesty and logic and proof.

    Comment by ice9 — December 12, 2009 @ 11:28 am - December 12, 2009

  4. #53: “By the way, I don’t split hairs over Jennings’ famous moment with the drivers-license kid. Faced with an individual actual human being in that situation, you would do the same thing, or you’re a bastard.”

    So, a 15-year-old boy informs a teacher that he was picked up in a bus station restroom by an adult man who took him home and had sex with him and the only non-bastard way to deal with that scenario is to say to the kid, “I hope you used a condom”? Fascinating. Since you “work with lots of young people,” what’s the non-son-of-a-bitch way of handling it, ice9? Handing the kid a pack of Trojans and a bottle of poppers?

    Comment by Sean A — December 12, 2009 @ 12:27 pm - December 12, 2009

  5. I’m a straight guy with three kids who works with lots of young people, and I can name one and probably two who are dead because of this attitude. Dead.
    That’s on you.


    I can name at least twenty people who are dead, twenty who are seriously disabled, and fifty who are medication-dependent for life due to HIV infection that they acquired through promiscuous sexual activity with older men during their teens.

    That’s on you.

    But you don’t care about those kids because you can’t blame their deaths on conservatives, Republicans, and religious people. in fact, you openly state that you don’t care if promiscuous pedophiles and child-sexualizers like Jennings damage children.

    The charge that Jennings is doing damage to kids isn’t real, or if it is real it is vastly exaggerated as a tool for political gain.

    Oh, it’s real all right.

    New HIV diagnoses for gay and bisexual men under the age of 30 have increased by one third over the past six years in New York City, according to the city’s health department. Furthermore, new diagnoses have doubled among gay and bisexual men between the ages of 13 and 19, while the rate has declined by 22% for men over 30.

    And this is in New York City, a liberal bastion in which GLSEN and their promiscuous-sex curriculum teaching gay teens how to fist, have sex with adults, and “use a condom” has been in place for years.

    In short, you don’t care that kids are being damaged by Jennings’s behavior. You are dead-set on supporting Jennings, no matter what happens. You blabber about pedophiles being “criminals”, but when confronted with clear examples of gay pedophiles and pedophile supporters like Jennings, you refuse to criticize them or condemn their behavior, even as your support of sexualizing and preying on children leaves more and more of them dead, disabled, and drug-dependent.

    Indeed, one wonders if the only thing that troubles you and Jennings about gay teens killing themselves is that it takes another trick out of your pool. You certainly don’t seem to care about the ones you kill through your promotion and support of promiscuity; maybe it’s because you were able to use them for your own gratification before they died.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 12, 2009 @ 1:38 pm - December 12, 2009

  6. “If I had a kid, gay or straight, he would be homeschooled. I don’t want any stranger teaching my children about sexual matters. That’s my business.”

    So you’ll be calling for the resignation of any elected official who wants abstinence taught in the schools when, exactly?

    Furthermore, when we follow the links from this site, to Gateway Pundit, to their ultimate source, we find Mass Resistance and Mass News, two organizations with a history of lies and deceit at their core. Anyone remember Brian Carmenker’s immortal “a kid got beat up on the playground because his parents are anti-gay activists” routine? Of course not. The irony is that the “fisting” kit portrayed at Mass News has an illustration showing its use as a dental dam for oral sex between lesbians. The “fisting” claim is made up by those wishing to sensationalize this matter–“ohhh…look at what those icky gays do!” But that’s par for the conservative course. Lie, lie, lie, sensationalize, demonize. Citing Gateway Pundit and Mass Resistance as your unimpeachable sources might impress the rubes who follow your every word, but in the real world, the world in which actual evidence and not mere claims count for something, your post here rates a fail. Nice work though, trying to get some of the crumbs from the wingnut gravy train.

    Comment by Dot — December 13, 2009 @ 8:06 am - December 13, 2009

  7. So you’ll be calling for the resignation of any elected official who wants abstinence taught in the schools when, exactly?

    So you oppose teaching children under the age of consent that they should not be having sex with adults?

    Figures. Why is it that gay liberals demand that underage children be taught sexual techniques in schools? Is it because you think it’s not rape if they’ve been “informed” in advance when you force yourself on them?

    And of course, since you can’t answer, you try smearing those who point out what you and your fellow NAMBLA supporters like Jennings do to children.

    Citing Gateway Pundit and Mass Resistance as your unimpeachable sources might impress the rubes who follow your every word, but in the real world, the world in which actual evidence and not mere claims count for something, your post here rates a fail.

    And there has been ample evidence provided of how Jennings and the gay left believe in sexualizing underage children through the schools.

    You simply are incapable of condemning pedophilia. That’s your problem. One would think that you wouldn’t have any trouble doing it if pedophilia weren’t inherent to your sexual orientation, but the fact that liberal gays like yourself not only teach pedophilia, but demand that sexual techniques be taught to underage children, adamantly oppose teaching children not to have sex with adults, and refuse to report to the law cases in which gay people are having sex with underage children, makes it obvious that pedophilia and its support are inherent to being a gay liberal.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — December 13, 2009 @ 4:28 pm - December 13, 2009

  8. […] too long ago, one of our critics faulted me for not fact-checking a line in a recent post.*  I had said something appeared to be true because the only confirmation I had (of this point) […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » AGW Guru Pachauri is Economist, not Climate Scientist — December 20, 2009 @ 7:10 pm - December 20, 2009

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