Friday, February 28, 2014

Funny Friday: From George Takei

I was watching George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) on "King of the Nerds" last night on TBS.  He's a really funny guy, and as a Star Trek fan and a gay man, George is a hero of mine.  I love checking out the memes on his Twitter account.  It never fails to put a smile on my face.  I hope everyone finds these as enjoyable as I have.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Most people who do not like cats do so because of some stereotypes associated with owning a cat, including ones that they are snobby, nasty, boring, and have really no interest in being around people except when they want food and water. Cats are often seen as aloof animals who only do what they want to do when they want to do it.  The above generalizations actually apply to very few cats. Of course cats like to have some "alone time" every now and then (Who doesn't?), but just like people, cats have their own unique personalities, so their temperament and socialization depend quite a lot on simply "how they are."

HRH is my faithful companion.  By the way, the above picture is an actual picture of her.  Over the years we have become very attached to one another.  Though she may have a bit of attitude at times, especially around people she's not familiar with, she's often a very gentle cat, as long as she is treated well.  She's a bit finicky at times.  She will only eat dry cat food, she wants her bowls to be full, and she refuses to eat crumbles. She also has a fairly strict routine each day.  She's up around 6 am each day, no later than 7 am, and she is ready for bed at 10 pm.  She nearly always sleeps through the night, often beside me in the bed.  During the day, it's all about eating and catnapping.

Whatever anyone may say about HRH, she's and empathetic and intelligent cat.  She has learned how to manipulate humans into getting what she wants. And the part that makes her such a wonderful companion is her empathy.  She knows when I am sad or when I'm sick.  When I have a headache, she seems to able to sense it.  She will come up to me and gently pat my head with her paw or rubs her head against mine in an attempt to comfort me.  If she notices me tossing and turning at night have a hard time falling asleep, then she will often crawl up on top of me and lay down, so that I will stay still and fall asleep.  Now she probably only does this because my tossing and turning disturbs her, but she's learned how to calm me down.

Overall, she's a wonderful companion.  The picture above is from when I had my headache.  She was sleeping quietly beside me making sure that I was alright.  Occasionally, she'd even get up and pat my head with her paw, as a way of saying, "Get well, my friend."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


It is not that unusual for me to have a headache.  I have them all the time, almost daily, but I've learned to live with them and do what I need to do.  I also have migraines on occasion.  If you've ever had a migraine, then you know it's not your usual headache.  The pain is debilitating.  When I have a migraine, my senses become hypersensitive, especially to light, sound and smell, though touch and taste can also be affected.

I say this because for the past two days, I have had one of the worst migraines that I can remember.  Migraine specific medicine and strong pain relievers can mask the pain for short periods, but so far it has not cured the pain I am experiencing.  I even had to take a sick day at work yesterday.  (I very rarely take sick days.  Most often I work through an illness.)  I had taken some medicine before I left for school hoping that it would kick in by he time I got there, but I was mistaken.  The pain only grew worse.  So, once there, I arranged for a substitute, got some work together for my students, and went back home to bed and stronger medication that would allow me to sleep.

Thankfully, I woke up and my headache is mostly gone (these really bad migraines usually last 24-72 hours and luckily I only get then 2-3 times a year). I have a shadow of the headache still, in which the pain is considerable less but still there, and I can go about my day at school.  I hate being sick and preparing for a substitute.  When I can prepare ahead of time, I can make sure that I am in a good stopping place and can have worksheets, reading assignments, or a film for the students to watch.  However, when I am in the middle of a series of lectures, it is nearly impossible to prepare for a substitute.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Once I Pass'd Through a Populous City

Once I Pass'd Through a Populous City
by Walt Whitman

Once I pass'd through a populous city imprinting my brain for future
use with its shows, architecture, customs, traditions,
Yet now of all that city I remember only a man I casually met
there who detain'd me for love of me,
Day by day and night by night we were together--all else has long
been forgotten by me,
I remember I say only that man who passionately clung to me,
Again we wander, we love, we separate again,
Again he holds me by the hand, I must not go,
I see him close beside me with silent lips sad and tremulous.

There are many different ways in which I find poems that I want to post, but this one came to me in a rather shocking way: porn.  I've discussed on this blog before that I enjoy watching porn, so it should not be too shocking that I was doing just that the other day on my day off.  However, I didn't really expect to be inspired to find a poem for a post in a porn video.  The video in questions, in case you are wondering, is the CockyBoys video "A Thing of Beauty."  It's a pretty hot video about a threesome, but I digress.  At the beginning of the video, we see three guys enjoying a vacation, when they narrator begins to read "Once I Pass'd Through a Populous City" by Walt Whitman.  So after watching the video, and well, I will be modest and not discuss the particulars of watching the video, I looked up the poem, and what I found was fairly shocking, but I will get to that in a moment.

If one were to expect a poem in a gay pornographic video, you probably would be surprised to hear one by Walt Whitman, whose sexuality is generally assumed to be homosexual or bisexual based on his poetry, though that has been at times disputed. His poetry depicts love and sexuality in a more earthy, individualistic way common in American culture before the medicalization of sexuality in the late 19th century. Though Leaves of Grass was often labeled pornographic or obscene, only one critic remarked on its author's presumed sexual activity: in a November 1855 review, Rufus Wilmot Griswold suggested Whitman was guilty of "that horrible sin not to be mentioned among Christians". Whitman had intense friendships with many men and boys throughout his life. Some biographers have claimed that he may not have actually engaged in sexual relationships with males, while others cite letters, journal entries and other sources which they claim as proof of the sexual nature of some of his relationships.  Late in his life, when Whitman was asked outright if his "Calamus" poems were homosexual, he chose not to respond.

If you are at all familiar with Whitman's poetry, then you are familiar with the homoeroticism that exists within.

Emory Holloway, in his Whitman: An Interpretation in Narrative (1926), provided the first scholarly biography of the poet, and his experience may stand as an example of the continuing controversy over Whitman. In his research, Holloway happened to run across the manuscript of a "Children of Adam" poem, "Once I Pass'd through a Populous City," and discovered that it had originally been addressed to a man—and therefore "belonged" in the "Calamus" cluster. He was the first biographer to agonize over how to write about Whitman's sexuality. A revealing footnote to Holloway's biography is that he later became obsessed with demonstrating that Whitman was telling the truth in his claims to fatherhood in his letter to Symonds; his obsession led to his publication, after long years of research, of Free and Lonesome Heart: The Secret of Walt Whitman (1960), claiming discovery of "Whitman's son." 

Holloway's discovery here lies the interesting part of  "Once I Pass'd." Originally, this poem was addressed not to a woman but to a man, as I have done above.  Nearly every place that I looked for the text of the poem used the published version which used feminine forms.

The original story behind the poem states that in 1848, at age 29, Whitman visited New Orleans, the populous city in the poem. There he met a man, who became the inspiration for the poem.  Most scholars now reject the idea that Whitman was involved with a Creole woman of higher social rank than his own and that his sudden exit from New Orleans was due to complications deriving from this relationship. The theory of a New Orleans romance, started by Henry Bryan Binns in his A Life of Walt Whitman (1905), proposes to explain the mystery of Whitman's letter to John Addington Symonds in which he discussed his life down South and mentioned six illegitimate children (for which there is no documented evidence). It is also used to explain the dramatic change in Whitman after the New Orleans trip, his sexual awakening, and the inspiration for the first edition of Leaves of Grass (1855). Some biographers think the lines "O Magnet-South! O glistening, perfumed South! My South! / O quick mettle, rich blood, impulse and love! good and evil! O all dear to me!" in "Longings for Home" (later "O Magnet-South") suggest a New Orleans romance. Some quote the first five lines of "I Saw in Louisiana a Live-Oak Growing" as support for the idea. Basil De Selincourt asserts in his 1914 critical study of Whitman that "Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking" bemoans the death of one who was all but wife to him—the genteel New Orleans lady. Still others see further evidence in "Once I Pass'd through a Populous City," in which Whitman penned, "Yet now of all that city I remember only a woman I casually met there who detain'd me for love of me . . . who passionately clung to me." However, Whitman's earlier manuscript, which read "the man" instead of "a woman," is telling. 

When Walt looked back on his New Orleans passion, he penned a poem, "Once I Pass'd Through a Populous City" that was branded "obscene" when it was published. But when it was published, it hid the truth.  In 1925 Emory Holloway discovered the original hand-written manuscript of "Once I Pass'd Through A Populous City," showing the poet had changed the gender before the poem was published.  Only eight letters make the difference between the original and the published version.  In my opinion, those eight letters tell a completely different story.  It seems that there was a romance during the three months (from 25 February to 25 May in 1848) that Whitman spent in New Orleans, but not with a creole woman, but a man.

New Orleans has always had a long history of homosexuals, or at least fluid sexuality, so why would it be surprising that the young Whitman came into his sexual being in New Orleans, "A Populous City."

Source of the Whitman's original manuscript:  Walt Whitman Poetry Manuscripts in the Papers of Walt Whitman, Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia

Monday, February 24, 2014

Alabama High School Un-Bans Same-Sex Prom Couples

An Alabama high school that previously banned same-sex couples from attending prom has reversed its policy after an outcry from students.

Earlier this week, it came to light that Greenville High School had said it would allow only "traditional couples" –- meaning a male and a female –- to attend prom, according to local outlet WSFA-TV.

Interim Superintendent Amy Bryan abolished the anti-gay policy soon after she learned of its existence.  Had Mrs. Bryan known of the policy before it was given to students, then it would have never been an issue; however, the school administrator circumvented Mrs. Bryan in the decision process, issuing it without her knowledge or approval.

"An administrator issued a list of prom rules that included a discriminatory statement," she said, per WSFA. "No one lost their right to go anywhere. It's unfortunate it was in our rules, and all children will be welcome to the Junior-Senior Prom."

Gay student Sarah Smith spoke to WAKA-TV about the issuing of the rule. "There was actually a straight girl sitting beside me, and she was getting more mad than I was about it. So that made me feel pretty good to know that somebody was on our side," Smith said.
Smith helped bring the offensive policy to light via Facebook.

"Me and one of my friends, we actually got together and we actually wrote a post on Facebook and it just went from there. Today they [school administrators] lifted it [the ban], so we can pretty much take whoever we want to prom now, so we're all excited about that," she told WAKA on Wednesday.

Over the course of the past few years there have been a slew of controversies surrounding schools' policies on prom couples. A group of residents in Sullivan, Ind., came under fire last year after proposing a "gay-free" prom that would take place outside of school. The local high school, on the other hand, allowed same-sex couples to attend the school's official prom.

"We are conservative around here. That's just the way of this town," Nancy Woodard, who lives in Sullivan, told The Associated Press at the time. "In any town in this county, you'll find four or five churches no matter how small the town. ... The Bible is a big belief system here."

It's prom season and in conservative areas, there will be attempts at banning "non-traditional couple."  I, personally, am very proud of the immediate and swift actions took by Interim Superintendent Amy Bryan to abolish the policy.  It shows that however backward Alabama politicians may be, there are still good people in Alabama who believe in equal rights.

Interesting the first gay couple known to attend a prom together was on May 30, 1980:
First American Gay Male Couple to Attend Senior Prom 
Aaron Fricke was in his final year at the Cumberland (Rhode Island) High School when he publicly came out as gay. He asked Paul Guilbert to the senior prom (the school's most important social dance event). 
His principal prohibited their attendance, saying the move "upset other students, sent the community abuzz, and rallied out-of-state newspapers to consider the matter newsworthy." It also earned Fricke five stitches under his eye when he was attacked in the hallway. 
Fricke filed a lawsuit in Federal court with the help of the ACLU, charging that the school district was infringing on his first amendment right to free speech. "I feel I have the right to attend," he told the judge. "I feel I want to go to the prom for the same reason any other student would want to go." 
The judge agreed (Fricke v. Lynch pdf), and not only ordered the school district to allow the young gay couple to attend, but required the school to increase security in case there were any problems. 
So, on May 30, 1980, Fricke and Guilbert attended the prom, and the judge's decision inFricke v. Lynch became an important legal precedent. Fricke later wrote about his experiences in Reflections of a Rock Lobster: A Story about Growing Up Gay. He also collaborated with his father on another book, about coming out, entitled Sudden Strangers: The Story of a Gay Son and His Father.
I admit, I went to my prom with a girl, and I had a wonderful time.  However, that was long before I had figured out the whole gay thing.  Where I grew up (in Alabama, by the way), it was so completely unacceptable that it didn't cross my mind until I was in college that I could be gay, and then it took a few years to work out all the feeling. 

What was your prom experience like?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Jesus Loves Us

Jesus Loves Me. This I Know . . . Even If I'm Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgendered

"Jesus loves me. This I know, for the Bible tells me so . . . " unless you are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Intersex or Queer, in which case you are told that Jesus loves everyone EXCEPT me. Well it's time to set the record straight - if you'll pardon the expression. Jesus loves ESPECIALLY His GLBTIQ children - for the Bible tells me so! 

The Protestant Bible is like a library consisting of 66 books, written by about 40 authors over a period from about 2000 BC to about 70 AD. It is divided into the Old Testament (before Christ) and the New Testament (after Christ). In these 66 books, there are 1,189 chapters containing about 31,273 verses. The final divisions into chapters and verses occurred only about 500 years ago for ease of referencing. They are not part of the original texts. 

I believe that the Original Scriptures were God-inspired and contain the truths that God would have us to know. I believe also that subsequent translations must deal with text, where perhaps there is no comparable word for the original, and meanings of words are sometimes lost or changed. 

Translations have been written with the best of intentions by God-fearing, uninspired human beings who have done their very best to convey God's message, as they understand it, with their current knowledge of the original languages, customs, traditions and culture of Bible times, AND with their own biases, based on their understanding of what they THINK the Original Scriptures said. None of us have been brought up in a vacuum, and it is impossible not to let our preconceived beliefs influence our understanding. If these translators believed that homosexuality was wrong, then that's how they viewed the scriptures that they were attempting to translate. New research would indicate that their beliefs were indeed wrong. 

Since the concept of homosexuality as an orientation was unknown until about a hundred years ago, on that basis alone, we know that the "clobber verses" used against gays could NOT refer to homosexuality as an orientation. They refer to same-sex acts, which were understood to be perpetrated by heterosexuals, and therefore were "lustful" and "unnatural". 

There is no word in biblical Greek or Hebrew (the original languages of the Bible) that is the equivalent to the English word "homosexual". The 1946 Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible was the first translation to use the word "homosexual". 

There is no word in biblical Greek or Hebrew for "sodomy". A Sodomite was simply an inhabitant of Sodom, just as a Torontonian is an inhabitant of Toronto. It was not until after the rise of the hierarchy in the institutional Church that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah was inaccurately equated with homosexuality and the word "sodomite" came into use. Any translation using the words "homosexual", "sodomy" or "sodomite" are interpretations and are not faithful representations of the Original Scriptures. 

Wherever same-sex acts are mentioned, it is either with regard to ritualistic traditions which were intended to increase the small population of the Hebrews, or it is among the Purity Codes for the Priests, or it is with regard to temple prostitution (idol worship) which was very common among the pagan people who surrounded the Hebrews, or it had to do with rape, power and violence as in the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. 

None of the "clobber verses" used against gays refer to a loving relationship between two people, however you will find examples of same-sex love in the beautiful and romantic stories of Ruth and Naomi, a passage which very often is used in marriage ceremonies and yet it is between two women.
"And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee (Naomi), [or] to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people [shall be] my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, [if ought] but death part thee and me."    Ruth 1:16,17
- and of David and Jonathan
"The soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul."    I Samuel 18:1(b) 

"Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women."    II Samuel 1:26(b)
Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. Society and the church perceive it to be a sin, worthy of ostracizing family and friends, but Jesus never mentioned it! He talked about money, adultery, divorce, greed and lots of other things, but He never mentioned homosexuality. Rather neglectful of Him - IF being gay were such an abomination - another word usually linked to homosexuals, which has also been mistranslated. The correct interpretation of the word "abomination" refers to impurity and is usually linked with idolatry, not sexuality. 

The Bible has been perverted to uphold slavery, apartheid and segregation, to malign Jews and other non-Christian people of faith, to support Hitler's Third Reich, to resist medical science and to rebuke inter-racial marriage. It has been used to execute women as witches, to defend the racism of the Ku Klux Klan and to perpetrate intolerance and discrimination of women and sexual minorities. It took the Catholic Church 359 years to admit that they were wrong when they accused Galileo of heresy and condemned him to death unless he recanted that the earth rotates around the sun. Oh yes! The Bible has been misused and misinterpreted often over the years, and it has been misinterpreted regarding the issue of homosexuality. 

Jesus' love was INCLUSIVE! His friends were not the Pharisees and Sadducees of the faith who were always trying to catch Him breaking the letter of the law - which He often did. Jesus made it clear that the only law is LOVE.
On one occasion Jesus was asked: "Master, which is the great commandment of the law?" He answered: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets"     Matt. 22:36-40
If what you have been told does not agree with Jesus' Great Commandments, then what you have been told is wrong. God's love is for ALL, especially gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer people! Jesus was the First to reach out to the rejected of society. Jesus reaches out to us now. 

"It is never legitimate to use the words of Scripture to promote a loveless agenda." - Right Rev. Dr. Peter Short, Moderator of the United Church of Canada
"God loved the world so much, that Jesus Christ, God's only begotten Son, was freely given, that WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."    John 3:16
Jesus' friends were the marginalized of society - the despised tax collectors, the uneducated, the prostitutes and the lepers. Doesn't it just make sense that He would choose we gays for His close friends if He were here today! So smile because God has a plan for your life and "Jesus loves YOU. This I know, for the Bible tells me so!" 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Friday Funny: The Flight Attendant

I saw this on last night and wanted to share it with you guys.  It made me laugh out loud, and I hope it will do the same for you.
My flight was being served by an obviously gay flight attendant (aren't most male flight attendants gay?), who seemed to put everyone in a good mood as he served us food and drinks.  As the plane prepared to descend, he came swishing down the aisle and told us that "Captain Marvey has asked me to announce that he'll be landing the big scary plane shortly, so lovely people, if you could just put your trays up, that would be super." 
On his trip back up the aisle, he noticed a well-dressed and rather Arabic-looking woman hadn't moved a muscle.  "Perhaps you didn't hear me over those big brute engines, but I asked you to raise your trazy-poo, so the main man can pitty-pat us on the ground." 
She calmly turned her head and said, "In my country, I am a Princess, and I take orders from no one." 
To which the flight attendant replied, without missing a beat, "Well, sweet-cheeks, in my country I'm called a Queen, so I outrank you.  Tray-up, Bitch!"
 I will admit that there are some bad gay stereotypes in this joke, but if we can't make fun of ourselves, then how can we make fun of others.  I hope you all have a wonderful day, and a great weekend.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Antigay Communities Lead to Early LGB Death

Researchers of what's been deemed as "the first study to look at the consequences of anti-gay prejudice for mortality" have discovered that lesbian, gay and bisexual people living in less open-minded communities have a shorter life expectancy.  GLB people who live in communities with high levels of antigay prejudice are more likely to have a life span that is 12 years shorter than their peers who are not discriminated against.

Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health released a study, which was published online in the Social Science & Medicine journal, which identified a way to measure a community's level of discrimination, beginning in 1988. The information was then linked to death rates form the National Death Index, over a 20-year span.

"Our findings indicate that sexual minorities living in communities with higher levels of prejudice die sooner than sexual minorities living in low-prejudice communities, and that these effects are independent of established risk factors for mortality, including household income, education, gender, ethnicity, and age, as well as the average income and education level of residents in the communities where the respondents lived," the study's lead author, Mark Hatzenbuehler, PhD and an assistant professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, is quoted in a press release as saying.  "In fact," Hatzenbuehler said, "our results for prejudice were comparable to life expectancy differences that have been observed between individuals with and without a high school education."

Results showed that 92% of LGB respondents living in low-prejudice communities were still alive. In contrast, only 78% of the LGB respondents living in high-prejudice communities were still alive, according to the study's authors.

The deaths could largely be attributed to suicide, homicide, and cardiovascular diseases in the high-prejudice communities. LGB people were also more prone to commit suicide at a younger average age (37.5) than those in more welcoming communities (55.7). Still, violent deaths are more likely in more homophobic areas, where the homicide rates are at least three times higher.

Meanwhile, a quarter of deaths in high-prejudice areas were attributable to cardiovascular disease.

"Psychosocial stressors are strongly linked to cardiovascular risk, and this kind of stress may represent an indirect pathway through which prejudice contributes to mortality," Hatzenbuehler said. "Discrimination, prejudice, and social marginalization create several unique demands on stigmatized individuals that are stress-inducing."

Considering that I live in Alabama, this does not bode well for my long term health.  I think I need to start looking harder for a new job in a more accepting area.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Everywhere you look, people want to use labels: gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and straight.  Even within the gay community, we are put into types: bears, twinks, muscle daddies, leather men, queens, and the list goes on and on.  The types of gay men in existence are wide and varied, and you can find any number of lists of gay male types.  We are even expected to choose a "type," i.e. a type of guy that we are attracted to. I've often wondered what my type of guy is.  Most of my friends would say tall and skinny, but that's not always the case.

The fact is, the type of men I find most attractive goes in cycles.  Sometimes (and truthfully most of the time), I go for the smooth and muscular A&F type of guy, usually one that has a moderate amount of body hair and not totally smooth. The guy usually also has great hair. (I've never figured out my fascination with hair, but it's definitely a factor when I look at a guy.  Maybe it's because I've never had "great" hair, and I am now losing what I have.)  Think Charlie White, the Olympic ice dancer, although his chest might be a tad bit too hairy, but he has best hair.  Then again, there are times when I'm turned on by a really masculine, hairy, muscular guy.  Then at other times, I like the more pretty, slim, and somewhat effeminate guy (though I've always found the word effeminate to be offensive, but I can't think of another word to use).  Really, all of it is according to my mood at the moment.

Over the years, Ive done a fair amount of thinking about the types of men I am attracted to.  Most often, I conclude that I don't have a "type."  But I've always wondered why the type of men that I find attractive is different from time to time.   When I say my tastes change it's not like it happens from one minute to the next, I may find a particular type of man attractive for a week or more, before settling on another.  I almost always find the cute A&F types attractive no matter what, especially, if its a particular person I have a crush on.  And just a side note, baseball players always seem to get my blood flowing, but as I said that's just a side note. However, I always come back to the same question: what causes my attraction to certain types to change every so often?

I've always kind of concluded that it is the testosterone levels in my body.  Science has proven that men have hormonal cycles just like women.  Some studies say that it is a roughly 90 day cycle.  Others say that it is a 20 minute cycle, a 24 hour cycle, a seasonal cycle, or even a lifetime cycle.  The basic consensus though is that men do have daily and seasonal cycles.  The Daily cycle begins with high levels of testosterone in the morning, usually causing morning erections, and then as the day goes on, the testosterone levels drop throughout the day.  Men’s hormones cycle also happen throughout the year. In studies conducted in the United States, France, and Australia, it was found that men secrete their highest levels of sex hormones in October and their lowest levels in April. There was a 16% increase in testosterone levels from April to October and a 22% decline from October to April. Interestingly, although Australia, for example, is in its springtime when France and the United States are in their autumn, men in all three parts of the world showed a similar pattern of peaks in October and valleys in April.

I should keep a diary of my moods and changing "types" over a period of time and see if it does correspond with any known hormonal cycle, but truthfully, I'm just not organized enough to do that.  However, I have always believed that most likely when I find less masculine guys attractive, then my guess would be that my testosterone level is high, and I want to be more aggressive; whereas, when my testosterone cycle is on a down swing, I am more attracted to very masculine men.  This is just a theory of mine, and a way of me thinking out loud and sharing with my readers.

I am wondering though, do any of you have similar periods when the types of guys you are attracted to changes?  Do you always find the same type of guy attractive?  This is a bit of shallow post, because I am only basing attraction on looks, when I much prefer to get to know someone and find a connection that I am truly attractive to, regardless of looks.  So what do you guys think?  I'd really like to have some feedback and see what you think about this topic of "types."

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

There may be chaos still around the world

There may be chaos still around the world 
by George Santayana
There may be chaos still around the world, 
This little world that in my thinking lies; 
For mine own bosom is the paradise 
Where all my life's fair visions are unfurled. 
Within my nature's shell I slumber curled, 
Unmindful of the changing outer skies, 
Where now, perchance, some new-born Eros flies, 
Or some old Cronos from his throne is hurled. 
I heed them not; or if the subtle night 
Haunt me with deities I never saw, 
I soon mine eyelid's drowsy curtain draw 
To hide their myriad faces from my sight. 
They threat in vain; the whirlwind cannot awe 
A happy snow-flake dancing in the flaw.
About This Poem 
George Santayana is regarded as one of the most prominent champions of critical realism, and is a central figure in the era now called Classical American Philosophy. His first published work was a book of poetry titled Sonnets and Other Verses.  

George Santayana was a Spanish-born American philosopher, critic, essayist, novelist, and poet. He received his PhD from Harvard and became a faculty member in 1889. During his tenure at Harvard, Santayana's students included Conrad Aiken, T. S. Eliot, Robert Frost, and Wallace Stevens. In 1912, Santayana moved to Europe and never returned to the United States. He died in 1952, a few months before his 89th birthday.

Monday, February 17, 2014

King and Buchanan: America's Gay VP and President?

In honor of Presidents' Day, let's discuss two men, a US president and vice-president who may have been gay.  While Abraham Lincoln has stolen the limelight with rumors about his furtive sex life, some historians have proclaimed that America's first gay president was really his predecessor, the now-obscure James Buchanan. (He was the 15th president, serving from 1857 to 1861). Buchanan is the only bachelor to ever have held America's top office, and his private life raised many eyebrows while he was alive. There are some who think that, yes, there was a gay president.  Historian James W. Loewen is one of those who thinks that both James Buchanan (15th President of the United States) and William Rufus King (13th Vice President of the United States)  were not only gay but also lovers.  

More than 150 years before America elected its first black president, Barack Obama, it most likely had its first gay president, James Buchanan (1791-1868). Buchanan, a Democrat from Lancaster County, Pa., was  a lifelong bachelor (throughout American history this was often code for homosexual). He served as president from 1857-61, tumultuous years leading up to the Civil War.  Loewen has done extensive research into Buchanan's personal life, and he's convinced Buchanan was gay. Loewen is the author of the acclaimed book Lies Across America which examines how historical sites inaccurately portray figures and events and Lies My Teacher Told Me which examines how history books have been marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, sheer misinformation, and outright lies. 

In 1819, Buchanan was engaged to Ann Caroline Coleman, the daughter of a wealthy iron manufacturing businessman and sister-in-law of Philadelphia judge Joseph Hemphill, one of Buchanan's colleagues from the House of Representatives. Buchanan spent little time with her during the courtship: he was extremely busy with his law firm and political projects during the Panic of 1819, which took him away from Coleman for weeks at a time. Conflicting rumors abounded, suggesting that he was marrying her for her money, because his own family was less affluent, or that he was involved with other women. Buchanan never publicly spoke of his motives or feelings, but letters from Ann revealed she was paying heed to the rumors.

After Buchanan paid a visit to the wife of a friend, Ann broke off the engagement. She died soon afterward, on December 9, 1819. The records of a Dr. Chapman, who looked after her in her final hours, and who said just after her death that this was "the first instance he ever knew of hysteria producing death", reveal that he theorized, despite the absence of any valid evidence, the woman's demise was caused by an overdose of laudanum, a concentrated tincture of opium.

His fiancée's death struck Buchanan a terrible blow. In a letter to her father, which was returned to him unopened, Buchanan wrote "It is now no time for explanation, but the time will come when you will discover that she, as well as I, have been much abused. God forgive the authors of it [...] . I may sustain the shock of her death, but I feel that happiness has fled from me forever." The Coleman family became bitter towards Buchanan and denied him a place at Ann's funeral. Buchanan vowed he would never marry, though he continued to be flirtatious. Some pressed him to seek a wife; in response, Buchanan said, "Marry I could not, for my affections were buried in the grave." He preserved Ann Coleman's letters, keeping them with him throughout his life; at his request, they were burned upon his death.

"I'm sure that Buchanan was gay," Loewen said. "There is clear evidence that he was gay. And since I haven't seen any evidence that he was heterosexual, I don't believe he was bisexual."  According to Loewen, Buchanan shared a residence with William Rufus King, a Democratic senator from Alabama, for several years in Washington, D.C.  Loewen also said Buchanan was "fairly open" about his relationship with King, causing some colleagues to view the men as a couple. For example, Aaron Brown, a prominent Democrat, writing to Mrs. James K. Polk, referred to King as Buchanan's "better half," "his wife" and "Aunt Fancy … rigged out in her best clothes."  Brown may have been trying to slander King in this letter.  He was a friend of the Polks and was James K. Polk's law partner, but he was also an early proponent of secession after his years as Governor of Tennessee.  Most accounts by historians of King's political career portray him as a moderate southerner who supported slavery while emerging as a strong unionist. King voiced opposition calls by some of his fellow southerners for the South to secede from the United States during the tense decade prior to the Civil War.  King was always considered a moderate Democrat who was a staunch Unionist, which probably led to some political disagreements between Brown and King.

William Rufus DeVane King, the 13th United States vice president, has the distinction of having served in that office for less time than any other vice president and for being the only U.S. official to be sworn in on foreign soil.  He died of tuberculosis on April 18, 1853, just 25 days after being sworn into office while in Cuba on March 24, 1853.  Some historians have speculated that King holds yet another distinction — the likely status of being the first gay U.S. vice president and possibly one of the first gay members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

King (1786-1853) served in the House of Representatives from North Carolina for six years beginning in 1811 and later served in the Senate from the newly created state of Alabama from 1819-44, when he became U.S. minister to France.  He returned to the Senate in 1848, where he served until he resigned after winning election in November 1852 as vice president on the ticket of Franklin Pierce.

When in 1844 King was appointed minister to France, he wrote Buchanan, "I am selfish enough to hope you will not be able to procure an associate who will cause you to feel no regret at our separation."  Loewen also said a letter Buchanan wrote to a friend after King went to France shows the depth of his feeling for King.  "I am now solitary and alone, having no companion in the house with me," Buchanan wrote. "I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone; and should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection."  Loewen said their relationship — though interrupted due to foreign-service obligations — ended only with King's death in 1853.

Even though his vice presidency was short, fraught with illness, and uneventful, William King is remembered as a perceptive decision maker with the utmost integrity … and also, possibly, as the nation's only gay Vice President! There is no direct evidence that William R. King was in any kind of relationship with President James Buchanan, who was also a bachelor. However, they were referred to as "Siamese twins" by many people in Congress (which was a slang for homosexuals in those days.) Also, King was the only unmarried vice president in history. King actually lived as Buchanan's house companion for many, many years. Andrew Jackson invented the nicknames "Miss Nancy" and "Aunt Fancy" for King, while Aaron V. Brown referred to King as "Buchanan's wife." The only evidence that could have been salvaged were the numerous letters written back and forth between the two.

Some of the contemporary press also speculated about Buchanan's and King's relationship, but the two men's nieces destroyed their uncles' correspondence, leaving some questions about their relationship; but the length and intimacy of surviving letters illustrate "the affection of a special friendship", and Buchanan wrote of his "communion" with his housemate. In May 1844, during one of King's absences that resulted from King's appointment as minister to France, Buchanan wrote to a Mrs. Roosevelt, "I am now 'solitary and alone', having no companion in the house with me. I have gone a wooing to several gentlemen, but have not succeeded with any one of them. I feel that it is not good for man to be alone, and [I] should not be astonished to find myself married to some old maid who can nurse me when I am sick, provide good dinners for me when I am well, and not expect from me any very ardent or romantic affection."

Circumstances surrounding Buchanan's and King's close emotional ties have led to speculation that Buchanan was homosexual. Buchanan's correspondence during this period with Thomas Kittera, however, mentions his romance with Mary K. Snyder. In Buchanan's letter to Mrs. Francis Preston Blair, he declines an invitation and expresses an expectation of marriage. The only President to remain a bachelor, Buchanan turned to Harriet Lane, an orphaned niece, whom he had earlier adopted, to act as his official hostess.

Loewen said many historians rate Buchanan as one of the worst U.S. presidents. Buchanan was part of the pro-slavery wing of the Democratic Party, and corruption plagued his administration.  But Loewen said those flaws shouldn't discourage members of the LGBT community from acknowledging Buchanan's status as a gay man.  "If we only admit that really great people are gay, what kind of history is that?"  Truthfully though, even the letters written by Buchanan do not really point to more than merely a great friendship and affection that was common between men of the nineteenth century, especially during a time when women were still seen as intellectual inferiors.

A lifelong bachelor, King lived for 15 years in the home of future U.S. president James Buchanan while the two served in the Senate. In a time when Congress was only in session part of the year, and senators often returned home when not in session, it would not have been that unusual for two senators to share a home. King's relationship with Buchanan, who was from Pennsylvania, could have been a factor in Buchanan's sympathy for the South.

From the research I have done about King, he seems to be a fairly boring and moderate politician, as most Vice Presidents in history have been.  Like many men of his status, he traveled widely in Europe during his life, often as a diplomat.  He also sent his nephews and nieces to Europe as well to round out their education. The only evidence I have seen is what Brown stated to Mrs. Polk in his letter and in the way that Buchanan pines for him in his letters.

Is this really enough evidence to be the proof that Loewen claims to have?  I personally think that either man would be a wonderful addition to the list of LGBT historical figures, especially King, who I have long admired.  What do you think?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

How to Love Your Enemies

     "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you."
     "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."
Matthew 5:38-48
Here's a joke: A priest is giving a homily based on Jesus's command to love your enemies.

"Now," he says, "I'll bet that many of us feel as if we have enemies in our lives," he says the congregation. "So raise your hands," he says, "if you have many enemies." And quite a few people raise their hands. "Now raise your hands if you have only a few enemies." And about half as many people raise their hands. "Now raise your hands if you have only one or two enemies." And even fewer people raised their hands. "See," says the priest, "most of us feel like we have enemies."

"Now raise your hands if you have no enemies at all." And the priest looks around, and looks around, and finally, way in the back, a very, very old man raises his hand. He stands up and says, "I have no enemies whatsoever!" Delighted, the priest invites the man to the front of the church. "What a blessing!" the priest says. "How old are you?

"I'm 98 years old, and I have no enemies." The priest says, "What a wonderful Christian life you lead! And tell us all how it is that you have no enemies."

"All the bastards have died!"

Most of us, sadly, go through life with, for better or worse, and no matter how hard we try, a few people we may feel are our "enemies." Or, more broadly, people seem to hate us. There are people whom we've offended and to whom we've apologized, but who refuse to accept our apologies. There are people at work who we've angered, who are jealous of us or who have set themselves against us. There are people in our families who hold a grudge against us for some mysterious reason that we can never comprehend. And there are people who seem to dislike us or wish us ill for no good reason. It's a sad part of human life.

And it's a hard part of life. And sometimes, when we hear Jesus telling us to love our enemies, it seems to make things even harder.

In the Gospel of Matthew (5:38-48), Jesus contrasts what his disciples had heard in the past with what they must practice as his followers. "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye.' But I say to you offer no resistance to one who is evil," he says. "You have heard that it was said that you must love your neighbors and hate your enemies. But I say to you love your enemies." Jesus is trying to move the disciples beyond what they knew into a realm of practice that will help them follow Jesus, to live according to a new law, the law of love.

But there's a problem: it seems impossible! How are we supposed to love our enemies sincerely? Are we really supposed to pray for ... whom? For people who hate us because we are gay? For people who work against us because they think we are sinners? For people who want us to fail because they don't want us to have equality?  It seems almost masochistic -- a surefire recipe for psychological disaster.

A few things might help us understand what Jesus means. Now, I'm not going to water down these passages, but as in all the Gospel narratives, it's important to understand the context of Jesus's comments, and how they may have been understood in his time.

For example, when Jesus talks about someone turning the other cheek, many Scripture scholars feel that he's talking about a particular act. The Gospel of Matthew specifies that the "right cheek." This means the blow comes from the back of the assailant's left hand, and therefore constitutes an insult not a violent assault. So some scholars say that when Jesus says the "other cheek," the idea is that when you're insulted by a slap on the cheek you should turn away and not retaliate. It's not so much an invitation for someone to keep hitting you as it is for you not to retaliate. So that may help us understand things.

Likewise, the word Jesus used when he talks about loving your enemies is not the same word that is used in other discussions of love. In ancient Greek, the language of the Gospels, there are three words for love: first, philios, which was a kind of fraternal or friendly love (and where we get the word Philadelphia) and second, eros, a romantic love.

But the word Jesus uses here is the third kind of love, agape, a sort of unconquerable benevolence or invincible goodwill. We're supposed to agape our enemies. Jesus is asking us to agape people no matter what they do to us, no matter how they treat us, no matter how they insult us. No matter what their actions we never allow bitterness against them to invade our hearts, but will treat them with goodwill.

So it doesn't mean that we have to love our enemies the same way that we speak about "falling in love" with someone or the way we love our family members. It simply means we must open our hearts to them.

And pray for them, too. In my experience, it's easier to agape someone you dislike (or who dislikes you) when you pray for them. Because when you pray for them, God often opens your heart to seeing people the way that God sees them, rather than the way you see them. And you can often have pity for people who may be filled with anger toward you.

But even when you understand all these things, and even if you read Scripture commentaries, these remain difficult things to hear. Even harder to follow. Loving your enemies and pray for those who persecute you is hard. I remember several years ago when Westboro Baptist Church came to my grad school to protest with all of their hateful signs.  I wanted to be there protesting against them, yet what I ended up doing was going and praying for them.  I prayed that God would show them the error of their ways.  I prayed that God would teach them about love and help them realize that God hates no one.  God truly does love us all, even those who spew hate.

Over the course of many years, in light of that experience, and in light of meditating on the Gospels, I realized three things about loving your enemies.

First of all, some people may simply dislike you. So it's useless to try to "get" them to like you, much less to love you. It's useless to try to change them. You can be open to reconciliation, but you have no control over whether someone will reconcile with you. Part of this process is embracing your own powerlessness. Letting go is paramount.

Second, turning away from insults, hatred and contempt and "offering the other cheek" is emotionally healthy. Now, some schools of psychology say that you should always give vent to anger (rather than let it fester) but always responding with bitter and abusive language or vengefulness is rather a childish thing to do. Only a baby gives vent to his or her anger all the time. You can acknowledge your anger, perhaps express frustration you have in a calm way, but you don't have to respond in kind.

Basically, and to put it less elegantly than Jesus, if your enemy behaves like a jerk toward you, there's no reason you have to act like a jerk toward him.

Third, loving your enemies and praying for those who persecute you is liberating. Too often we can find ourselves in pitched battles with the people who hate us, always seeking the upper hand, always noting who's up and who's down, always analyzing every slight. You see this in families and even in office environments, where people are trapped into cycles of vengefulness. It wears both parties down and dehumanizes everyone involved. I've seen my own mother, for example, whose hatred toward those who she feels has wronged her utterly destroyed by the inability to forgive and suffers from severe depression; since she has discovered that I am gay, her hatred toward the LGBT has intensified far beyond what it ever was before. Jesus is offering us a way out of all that, a way to forgive those who we feel wronged by and to turn to love instead.

So what Jesus is telling us is hard, but it's not impossible. And it's necessary, too, because ultimately he is inviting us not only to forgiveness and charity but to something else: freedom and happiness. So you have heard that it was said, and you have heard that it was said to you by Jesus, who wants you to be happy.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Moment of Zen: Acceptance

Acceptance can be elusive at times, and finding acceptance can be quite a struggle, but when you find it, it makes your heart soar, because you are no longer alone.  It can be the acceptance of many different things, but I'm sure for most of my readers, it is the acceptance of our sexuality.  After publicly coming out, Ricky Martin said, "These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed."

Friday, February 14, 2014

How Do I Love Three?

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.
Though I usually only post poems on Tuesday, but what is more appropriate for Valentine's Day than this beautiful love sonnet.  It's one of my favorite poems and was first published by Elizabeth Barrett Browning in her book Sonnets from the Portuguese (1850).  Most critics agree that Barrett Browning wrote the sonnets, not as an abstract literary exercise, but as a personal declaration of love to her husband, Robert Browning (who was also an important Victorian poet). Perhaps the intimate origin of the sonnets is what led Barrett Browning to create an imaginary foreign origin for them. But whatever the original motives behind their composition and presentation, many of the sonnets immediately became famous, establishing Barrett Browning as an important poet through the 19th and 20th centuries. Phrases from Barrett Browning's sonnets, especially "How do I love thee?," have entered everyday conversation, becoming standard figures of speech even for people who have never read her poetry.

I wanted to post this poem for all those that I love, including my wonderful readers.  I think that my favorite part of this poem is "if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death."  How wonderful is that line.  We know that all things will be greater in heaven than on earth, so to be able to love better after death, implies to me that the love in life is as great a love as can be imagined.  Only in heaven could it be greater.  That's a powerful statement of love.  I have family and friends that I love with all of my heart, and I hope that one day I will find that love in a romantic way.  If you have found that love, I admire you and am jealous.  If you haven't, then I hope that you too will find it someday.

For those like me who are single on Valentine's Day, it can seem so lonely, but there is one thing I have learned over the years: you must love yourself.  Before you can truly love someone else, you have to first love yourself.  If there are things about yourself that you don't love, you will never allow yourself to be loved in the way we all deserve to be loved.  So love yourself, and allow yourself to be loved, too. So to ultimately answer Browning's question, "How do I love thee?" I must love myself first so that I can love you more.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014


I don't do these TMI posts from Sean at Just A Jeep Guy every week, but on occasion, I see a topic that I can't resist. Since I've been wanting to do a post on the Olympics, this one was a no brainer. I wanted to answer the question. I hope you enjoy my answers.


In general (we'll get to the politics in a few) do you watch the Winter Olympics?

Yes, especially since nearly everything else on TV has been reruns.  I quite enjoy he spirit of the Olympics, not to mention that so many of the athletes are so impossibly good looking.

2. Winter or Summer?

I prefer the summer games, mainly because of men's swimming, diving, and gymnastics.  Though all the Lycra outfits are nice during the Winter Olympics, you just can't beat a speedo, unless they went back to the original "uniform" of the Olympics, which was to be nude.

3. What are your favorite winter events? Do you follow any of them outside the game?

Though I love figure skating, speed skating will always have a special place in my heart, because Dan Jansen was a hero of mine when I was younger.  I will never forget his gold at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics.  That being said, I do love watching figure skating.  It is one of the few women's sports that I enjoy almost as much as the men's competition.

4. Which sport needs to stay and which one needs to go?

I think most of the sports need to stay.  The only ones that I have a problem with is the snowboarding events.  I don't think it is an established enough sport to really be an Olympic event.  Now Curling, I don't understand at all, but it has a long history, so I don't think it should go, no matter how odd or boring it is.  I really can't think of an event that should be gone.

5. Which is the weirdest sport?

Curling is by far the weirdest sport.  Some might think the biathlon (skiing and shooting), but most sports have a basis in military training and this is by far the most obvious.

6. What is your POV on boycotting The Olympics by countries and or athletes?

I think that boycotting the Olympics is absolutely contrary to the meaning of the Olympics.  It is a time of peace and celebration, so for me, boycotting the Olympics is turning your back on the true spirit of the games.

7. Are you boycotting NBC or any Olympic sponsors?

No, I am not.

8. Do you think boycotts are effective?

No, I think that boycotts are not particularly effective unless it is done on a massive scale, and it's hard to get enough people to agree on an issue in order to protest it.

9. If you were an athlete what would you do?

This question can be answered on many levels:  

A) Would I boycott?  No, I would not, and I don't think it's fair to,ask athletes who've spent years training, to wait another four years, especially if they are at their peak.
B) What sport would I compete in? If I were fearless and in great shape, I'd probably be a ski jumper because it looks like they are flying.  Then again, that's a bit if, because I'm afraid of heights.
C) What would I do?  I'd use my charm and Olympic body to make gay sex an Olympic event.  Just kidding, but that would be fun.  There are lots of stories of bed hopping in the Olympic Villages.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Panic in the Locker Room?

I saw a short excerpt of this Op-Ed piece by Frank Bruni on Justin O'Shea's blog and after reading it, I new I needed to share it with you guys.  It fits so perfectly with my thinking about negative reactions of athletes to gays men in their locker rooms.  Quite honestly, have you ever heard women complain about lesbians in the locker rooms?  I certainly haven't, so I think Bruni hits the nail on the head when he writes that homophobic athletes need to "woman up."  As comedian Sheng Wang said (and a quote that is often misattributed to Betty White): 

Why do people say "grow some balls"? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding.

Panic in the Locker Room!

A news flash for every straight man out there: You've been naked in front of a gay man.

In fact you've been naked, over the course of your life, in front of many gay men, at least if you have more than a few years on you. And here you are — uninjured, uncorrupted, intact. The earth still spins. The sun rises and sets.

Maybe it was in gym class, long ago. Maybe at the health club more recently. Or maybe when you played sports at the high school level, the college level, later on. Whether we gay guys are one in 10 or one in 25, it's a matter of chance: At some point, one of us was within eyeshot when you stripped down.

And you know what? He probably wasn't checking you out. He certainly wasn't beaming special gay-conversion gamma rays at you. That's why you weren't aware of his presence and didn't immediately go out and buy a more expensive moisturizer and a disc of Judy Garland's greatest hits. His purpose mirrored yours. He was changing clothes and showering. It's a locker room, for heaven's sake. Not last call at the Rawhide.

On Sunday evening, in a story in The Times by John Branch and on ESPN, a college football star named Michael Sam came out. Because Sam is almost certain to be drafted, he could soon be the first openly gay active player in the National Football League — in any of the four major professional sports in the United States.

Most reactions from the sports world were hugely positive, even inspirational.

Some were not.

"It'd chemically imbalance an N.F.L. locker room," an N.F.L. personnel assistant, speaking anonymously, said to Sports Illustrated. I think steroids, Adderall and painkillers have already done a pretty thorough job of that, and on the evidence of his comment, they've addled minds in the process.
Sports Illustrated quoted an unnamed assistant coach who also brought up the fabled sanctum of Tinactin and testosterone. "There's nothing more sensitive than the heartbeat of the locker room," he said. "If you knowingly bring someone in there with that sexual orientation, how are the other guys going to deal with it?"

To his question, a few of my own: When did the locker room become such a delicate ecosystem? Is it inhabited by athletes or orchids? And how is it that gladiators who don't flinch when a 300-pound mountain of flesh in shoulder pads comes roaring toward them start to quiver at the thought of a homosexual under a nearby nozzle? They may be physical giants, but at least a few of them are psychological pipsqueaks.

And they're surprisingly blunt and Paleolithic. When NFL Network's Andrea Kremer recently brought up the possibility of an openly gay player with Jonathan Vilma, a New Orleans Saints linebacker, he said: "Imagine if he's the guy next to me and, you know, I get dressed, naked, taking a shower, the whole nine, and it just so happens he looks at me."

"How am I supposed to respond?" Vilma added.

Well, a squeal would be unmanly, Mace might not be enough and N.F.L. players tend to use their firearms away from the stadium, so I'd advise him to do what countless females of our species have done with leering males through history. Step away. Move on. Dare I say woman up?

Or Vilma could use a line suggested by the sports journalist Cyd Zeigler on the website "I'm so telling your boyfriend you stole a peek."

The anxiety about the locker room makes no sense in terms of the kind of chaotic setting it often is, with all sorts of people rushing through, including reporters of both sexes. It's a workplace, really, and more bedlam than boudoir.

The anxiety depends on stereotypes of gay men as creatures of preternatural libido. (Thanks, but I lunge faster for pasta than for porn.)

And it's illogical. "Every player knows that they are playing or have played with gay guys," John Amaechi, a former pro basketball player who came out after his retirement, told me. It's just that those gay guys didn't or haven't identified themselves. Why would doing so make them a greater threat? Wouldn't an openly gay athlete have a special investment in proving that there's zero to worry about?

Michael Sam proved as much at the University of Missouri, where teammates learned of his sexual orientation before their most recent season. They finished 12-2, and are publicly praising him so far. Nothing about trembling or cowering in the showers.

The person who raises that fear, Amaechi said, "is a bigot finally falling over the cliff and grasping for any straw that might keep their purchase. When every rational argument is gone, you go with that."