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Comment: What is ‘gay’?

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  1. Another very interesting commentary.

    I think its difficult to establish a firm answer to all of the questions that Edmund poses. What may seem to be the logically (and emotionally) correct response to each of those questions to me (as a gay man) may seem entirely wrong to other people (whether gay, straight or otherwise).

    I do firmly and strongly believe that utilising the phrase “gay rape” does infer that somehow that rape has a different severity, different impact or different seriousness to that of a “straight rape”. I disagree, rape is rape. Edmund considers whether we should delineate between rapes as straight rapes and gay rapes. This is self defeating as it further polarises society and also misses out on those rapes by a man defining as a heterosexual who rapes a gay man so they can control the gay man and have power over them – is that rape gay or straight – the answer (to me) is neither, its simply a rape.

    As for marriage, we do not refer to marriage as a “straight” .

    1. … marriage. Nor do many commentators in countries such as Sweden, Spain or Argentina that permit gay couples to marry, refer to a mixed sex couple marrying as having had a straight marriage. In fact in Spain, NYC, Iceland etc marriages tend not be labelled as gay or straight – although the composition of the couple may be mentioned eg “a gay couple getting married”.

      How we as individuals perceive the answers to the questions (and others) posed by Edmund are individual responses. We should not feel imposed upon either by the LGBT society or wider society to conform to social norms (provided that our conduct does not cause harm to others).

      I detest the phrase straight acting, but I will defend the right of someone to use it – if they feel it is appropriate for them.

      I am no “screaming queen” (and I hate that phrase) but I am clearly gay to many people who get to know me – although some people are very surprised when they find out. There is a spectrum of behaviour that all …

    2. … people (regardless of orientation) display. Some will appear more camp, some less so … some more jolly, some dour … some more reserved, some extremely expressive. We should be honest to ourselves and not feel that because we are gay that we should either “straighten up” to appear more straight acting or “camp up” to meet the demands of certain aspects of LGBT society.

      The label gay is helpful in some circumstances. When I work with a new colleague and we are driving to an incident, and personal relationships come up. It sometimes is helpful to give some context and say “I’m gay”. I wouldn’t say “I’m in a gay marriage” – I would say (when and if it happens) “I’m married, my husbands name is …”. I wouldn’t say (in the event I was talking to a very close friend about the sexual assault I experienced) that “I was gay raped”, I would say “I was raped”. I wouldn’t say “I had a gay birthday party”, I would say “I had a birthday party”. I would say “I went to a great gay …

    3. … bar” or “I went to gay pride”. There is a time and a place for the use of “gay” as an adjective. There are times it is perfectly correct, and times it is clearly inappropriate. I am sure that in a debate msot of us would disagree on when some were and were not appropriate because of our individual views and approaches.

      I am gay. I am proud to be gay. I am happy to be gay. I am in a relationship with a gay man, thats not a gay relationship (to me). I want to marry my man, it won’t be referred to be us as a gay marriage (simply a marriage).

      I want equality, that means a combination of being proud about who I am (I am gay) and expressing it in ways which are meaningful to me. It also means not using the word gay as a divisive tool. Using the word gay with issues such as marriage, rape or relationship is (in my view) self defeating and damaging. Using it to descibe an aspect of who I am, is honest.

      1. It will be referred as a gay marriage, because marriage for homosexuals is not going to happen, that will be on the back burner now, Dave has far more important things too deal with.

        1. I’m sure parliament are more than experienced at multi tasking.

          Marriage is going to equalised. Same sex couples will be able to marry.

          All major political parties support it.

          Any political party with any level of respectability support it.

          Only people like Mugabe, the Anti Gay Institute and the BNP for people with CRB clearance (aka UKIP) actually are against it …

          Your outmoded, outdated, irrelevant, ignorant and demented Aiden (or should I say Keith!)

          1. You seem very self assured, mind that is most likely your millitance and arrogance.

            Marriage will not be equalised, I’m not outdated, or ignorant, I say what I see and what I feel of what I am entitled to do so without abuse.

            Your fighting a losing cause, thats why you stoop to insults and jibes, when someone is not agreeing with your millitant behaviour or opinions.

            Oh and I am not Keith, so your wrong there too!

          2. Ok. Maybe you are not Keith … regardless, you are still an ignorant troll blinded by your anti gay militancy and indoctrination.

            Marriage will be equalised. You are just deluded to the fact that it will not.

            You can keep on bleating on gay sites saying it won’t, but you are preaching to a community sure in their rights and humanity – your lack of humanity and despair are obvious in your posts.

            We are winning in our fight, and the fact Finland, Denmark, Mongolia, Nepal, Colombia, Luxembourg, Ireland, France, New Zealand, Australia, Rwanda, and many other states are considering movements towards marriage of same sex partners – along the 10 countries and numerous individual states and territories is a demonstration of the moral rollercoaster that supports human rights that is spreading globally – your histronics and hissy fits will not overcome the fact that the majority of rightminding people support equality and human rights.

            You may call me militant – I would call you extremist

        2. You seem very self assured, mind that is most likely your millitance and arrogance.

          1. Who was that to, Liz?

    4. When gay men and women do marry, we all will need to say something like: ‘my brother or sister just got married’ someone say, ‘who is she or he’… Isn’t the word gay clearer to add to marriage? Just saying marriage automatically suggest straight.

      1. Spanner1960 3 Apr 2012, 8:54am

        No, that’s the whole point. I often refer to my ‘husband’ to people I don’t know as ‘my other half’ – if they wish to assume they are female, let them. One should not chastise me for other people’s narrow perspectives.

      2. I usually refer to my boyfriend as my partner or other half. People I socialise with regularly or work with etc know he is male. Those who do not know can either ask, or assume all they like.

  2. Hopefully we’ve moved past the point where whether a person is left or right handed makes any difference, and yet we still say ‘left handed’. There’s some interesting points here but politics aside language is useful!
    The article touches on some of the same things that (usually straight) people say about the danger of labels (one naive and optimistic friend said to me recently “I don’t know why people should have to come out anyway!”). I am a man who is sexually attracted to men, 100%. Without a word to describe that communicating on the subject of relationships becomes convoluted and confusing.
    I hope that we can one day get to a point where sexual orientation is as relevant as being left and right handed, but to expect a tailor to say “because the right side of my brain tends to be more dominant I require scissors that can be wielded with the left hand” is maybe thinking to hard about it

    1. Brilliant – I really like the left handed / right handed analogy.

  3. There’s a basic flaw in your logic: you’re assuming from the start that the word “gay” means the same thing to everybody all the time. Meaning is not inherent in words, unfortunately. Your article is basically you coming to the conclusion that gay is a buzzword, one that I came to long ago — one that will trigger an emotional response, but probably does not mean the same to speaker and hearer.

    To me, the word in a sexual sense means same-gender sex, but to others it does not (e.g. those who call themselves MWHSWM).

    To me, the word in an identity sense means that whatever Cosmic Entity formed me let me know when I was very small that my ultimate earthly happiness will be achieved with someone who is the same gender as me.

    To me, the word in a social sense means camp. This is possibly due to my age. Some may be offended by that, but I would retort that I’m only offended if it comes on and off like your clothes.

  4. Rape is just that “Rape” but of a female by a male, does the law not state that a man cannot be “raped”? The addition of the Tag of Gay rape will only confuse the issue not only in the Gay community but the Straight community. I don’t see why were trying to redefine what it means to be Gay as it means so many different things to different people.
    Marriage is to me is totally worthless in this day and age, if two people love each other and wish to commit that, then a civil decollation should be enough. Wishing to get married in “The eyes of God” is also a folly why should we want to follow the heterosexual community in this venture?
    If as stated we do away with the tag of “Gay” and remove the distinction of us and them do we then seize to be a Gay community

    1. A “civil declaration”? You mean marriage?

      Remember, civil marriage has nothing to do with god.

      As for why we want to ‘follow the heterosexual community’… I don’t see why being attracted to men should have any effect on how my parents raised me and the influences that shaped my desires and asperations.
      My husband is also Japanese… Does the fact that I’m in an inter-racial relationship mean we should not seek to ape the ‘same race’ society by having our parents at our wedding or going to our hometown for Christmas?

      I don’t see how being gay would mean you have any less desire to get married than if you were straight as we are not raised as ‘gay kids’ in gated gay communities.

      There is a danger of forcing unwanted radicalism on young gay people who don’t define themselves by their sexuality.

      And I think it’s wrong to define someone (or your expectations of them) by their sexuality… whether you are gay yourself or not

    2. The law is perfectly clear that both men and women can be raped. A woman can only be convicted of carrying out a rape if she somehow assists a male in the perpetration of rape eg administering a drug, deception, use of force etc. The actual rape itself is penetration of vagina, mouth, or anus with a penis without consent. Given that a man has a mouth and a anus – a man clearly can be raped. Given the number of convictions in the UK where men have been raped (not as many convictions as there have been offences, sure – but nonetheless convictions all the same); this demonstrates clearly men can be raped and are raped.

      1. Spanner1960 2 Apr 2012, 3:26pm

        You learn something every day.
        I was unaware that forced oral sex could be classified as rape, but simply ‘sexual assault’.

        1. Hi Spanner1960

          It was changed in 2003. Prior to the 2003 act coming into place forced oral sex would have been seen as an indecent assault, now it will usually be viewed as a rape.

          The actual wording is:
          Rape has been redefined to read:

          A person (A) commits an offence if—
          (a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis,
          (b) B does not consent to the penetration, and
          (c) A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

        2. The law was changed in 2003.

          Rape has been redefined to read:

          A person commits an offence if—
          (a) he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person with his penis,
          (b) The other person does not consent to the penetration, and
          (c) A does not reasonably believe that the other person consents.

        3. It changed in 2003, prior to the new act coming into force then those forcing someone into oral sex would probably have been charged with indecent assault (now regarded as simply sexual assault)

          Under section 1(1) SOA 2003 a defendant, A, is guilty of rape if:

          _ A intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of B (the complainant) with his penis;

          _ B does not consent to the penetration; and,

          _ A does not reasonably believe that B consents.

          The new offence of rape in section 1(1) SOA 2003 includes oral and anal penetration with a penis. This is a change from the previous law which was only concerned with vaginal penetration and used other offences to criminalise these forms of sexual violence (such as indecent assault). The person who commits the offence of rape must be a man (as the penetration has to be with a penis). However, both women and men may experience rape. If the penetration is with something other than a penis then the offence is assault by penetration

        4. The law changed in 2003 prior to this forced oral sex would have been regarded as an indecent assault (which is under the new Sexual Offences Act is regarded as a sexual assault).

          The new offence of rape in section 1(1) Sexual Offences Act 2003 includes oral and anal penetration with a penis. This is a change from the previous law which was only concerned with vaginal penetration and used other offences to criminalise these forms of sexual violence (such as indecent assault). The person who commits the offence of rape must be a man (as the penetration has to be with a penis). However, both women and men may experience rape. If the penetration is with something other than a penis then the offence is assault by penetration

        5. Sorry guys that my attempts to post that happened a few times, 2 disappeared into the cyber ether for over 10 hours, hence the other posts!

    3. Gay rape identifies man on man or woman on woman…
      Need to first have something to replace it with.

      1. So when a heterosexual man rapes a man – is it gay rape or straight rape or “I’m not quite sure” rape … its none of the above its simply rape or rape of a man …

        Your linking it to orientation is offensive, repugnant and vile.

  5. Forgive me if I missed it, but the article seems to have jumped straight from the suggestion that the word “gay” refers specifically to same-sex sex acts to the notion that it is merely a self-assumed badge of some ill-defined counter-cultural identity in a sexual sense. I’m not sure I caught the bit in the middle where it is a term used for people who are sexually attracted to members of their own sex. That’s not some arbitrary, subjective self-identity label.

    In other words the article seems to think it’s either “acts you do” or “how you see yourself” and ignores entirely the more usual usage “inborn psychological predispositions you have”. That’s kind of jumping from eighteenth century prescriptivism to wacky postmodernism without stopping at sanesville on the way.

    1. Actually, the article doesn’t say any of the things you think. It merely asks what happens to the word, or identity behind, ‘gay’, when you remove sex out of the equation? Equally, it asks what our push for ‘equality’ and ‘assimilation’ means for that word, or theme, or identity. Just adding ‘-isms’ to a sentence doesn’t really amount to a refutation.

      1. But “sex acts you have done” was never a part of the definition of the word “gay”. Indeed, people came up with it precisely because they didn’t want to just be characterised by things they have done. Sexual attraction – a psychological predisposition – was always at the heart of it. What the article does is to presume it’s either “sex acts” (prescriptivism) or “identity” (postmodernism) rather than dealing with what it ACTUALLY is – a simple descriptor of a psychological characteristic. The premise of the false dichotomy is flawed, because it presumes there are only two alternatives, neither of which is an accurate characterisation of the situation. Thus the shaky structure of ponderings built on top is pointless.

        1. That is dangerous historical revisionism. Please look up ‘gay’ in OED. The appropriation had everything to do with the act. The second thing is ‘sex’ has never meant just merely the act. It is not a verb. In its use, it has always been metonymyic, in that, the psychological predisposition you speak of, is subsumed by the word sex. To have sex with someone is to have that predisposition. The act is a necessary consequence of it. Thirdly, the article never implicitly or explicitly assumes a dichotomy. It merely says there are two common modes of thought in thinking about the term: ‘sex’ (subsuming that natural inclination) and a larger field of ‘identity’ (which is not merely a postmodernist term, the roots actually go to the Early Modern era). It says clearly that there is a compass in our wish to understand what we mean by the term, and it asks, rather than presume, where we should place the term along it…

    2. As such the word “gay” is a useful adjective to distinguish PEOPLE who are attracted to members of the same sex, but is not appropriate as an adjective for things which are not people given that those things are not possessed of psychological dispositions. A gay person might get raped or rape someone else, but the act of rape isn’t gay any more than it might be Australian or Black or Disabled or like chocolate ice-cream.

      Likewise, marriage is not defined in terms of the psychological dispositions of the participants. Two straight men can get married to each other in jurisdictions with marriage equality if they like, and a gay man and a gay woman can marry each other too. So, technically, it’s not gay marriage but same-sex marriage, if we need an adjective to distinguish it from other marriages.

      I suppose we do talk about “gay sex”, when technically it should probably be “same-sex sex”, but it seems close enough to the psychological predisposition in nature to be appropriate…

      1. Same-sex marriage like mixed sex marriage is about sexuality and not technicality.

      2. @ VP: Totally agree with you. To me, the word gay has always been a descriptor of romantic, sexual and emotional desires.

  6. As long as vaginas and penises and sexes still exist I’m pretty sure the need to differentiate between acts involving them with “gay” and “straight” will as well. I am only attracted to men, therefore, I am different from someone who is only attracted to women. Hence the need for convenient labels like “gay”, “straight”, “lesbian”, “bisexual”.

    I don’t buy in to this pansexual-washing of human interactions.

    Gay rape will still be gay rape because the act of raping someone does not dissolve the genders and sexes of the people involved. It is trivial because rape is universally appalling, but it doesn’t just vanish away vectors through which it happened.

    Physicality aside, just because there are a million shades of purple is does not mean red and blue cease to exist. I am perfectly justified in defining as homosexual because homosexual experiences and attraction are all I feel.

    It’s not a matter of artificial construct but is something entirely tangible and real.

    1. Niall

      Rape is never gay or straight.

      A man can be raped by a heterosexual man.

      A woman can be raped by a gay man.

      Its not about orienation, its about power and control.

      Its offensive to describe rape as linked to a loving sexual orientation.

    2. While much of what you say is true, using the phrase “gay rape” leaves a very unsavoury implication that for the average non-gay person, might somehow tarnish gay orientation in general. In speaking of a particular case of rape, all that needs to be done is to convey the information that both parties were of the same sex. To call the act of rape itself “gay” is not needed. Or you could say “male-on-male rape” if you really needed a phrase to describe it.

  7. I believe the word ‘gay’ serves a purpose. I don’t think that the institution of marriage requires the adjective gay, nor do I think acts such as rape require the word gay attached to it. Marriage, rape, birthday, etc. are self-explanatory and can stand on their own. Where I do think it becomes helpful to many people are when the word ‘gay’ is used to describe something as a bar. Everyone, and especially the ‘gay’ community would like to know in advance where they will be received in a cordial and respectful manner with reduced risk of bodily harm. I would say ‘Chinese’, ‘Italian’, ‘Greek’ restaurant to let you know what to expect when you get there. Words do not have to be derogatory when used as an aid to expound on what you are saying. I don’t think that the word ‘gay’ is necessary but can be helpful at times.

    1. That makes a great deal of sense to me.

  8. Most male-on-male rape occurs in prison, where the perpetrator is most likely heterosexual and the victim may be either straight or gay. To call this “gay rape” is not only inaccurate but offensive, and leaves the impression that it is an act committed by a gay man. Man-on-man rape, while awkward , would be a better term.

    “Gay marriage” seems not so bad, but I prefer “same-sex marriage,” which seems more correct. Or just “marriage.”

    The general use of the term “gay” is only a matter of convenient description, as we humans seem to like to categorise and describe each other. It should have no more import than tall, short, blond, left-handed, or any other descriptive. I can imagine it’s significance decreasing in the future, but I think we will always tend to use these descriptive terms to some degree.

    1. I would dispute that most rape of men occurs in prison.

      I doubt there are sufficient statistics either way to demonstrate the reality. Firstly rape survivors are often unwilling to report their assaults to police, men even more so, prisoners (for obvious reasons tend to dislike the police and are unwilling to turn to them or “grass”).

      My experience both as someone who has been raped and a former police officer who has investigated rape – is that rape of men happens with in society, with a great deal more frequency than the police (let alone the media) are aware of (most cases do not come to police attention and the majority of those the police are aware of are not subjected to media reporting).

      If an Asian women of Canadian nationality who is blind is raped in England – would you describe it as a straight rape, or a disabled rape, or an Asian rape or a Canadian rape? I would hope not – all those decscriptions would be offensive. What would you do if you knew the …

      1. … perpetrator identifed as gay themselves? The assault was not about the sex, but about having control and power over the woman and humiliating her? Would it be a gay rape or a straight rape? Neither! It is a rape – horrendous in its own right and without need of any further label which either attempts (whether consciously or sub consciously) to intensify or weaken the occurrence. Rape is horrendous regardless of any adjective that is added to it.

        Rape is rape, its nto gay, straight, black, white, Irish, Yemeni or disabled. Its simply rape.

      2. I think its perfectly reasonable to describe this case as Canadian woman raped in UK

        1. It would be a Canadian woman raped in the UK, but it would not be a Canadian rape or a UK rape or a straight rape … just a rape – perpetrated on a Canadian women of Asian ancestry in the UK by a male who may or may not have been heterosexual.

          1. Is ‘sodomised’ a better term to describe a man on man rape

          2. No its simply rape

      3. The one that always gets me is when they refer to someone’s “gay lover” or “lesbian lover”. Who not just say male lover or female lover? If you are male and your lover is also male, the gay part can be more or less taken for granted.

        sorry to hear about your experience with rape

        1. Completely agree, that irritates me enormously.

          ‘John and his gay lover Michael’ – well, it’s not really likely to be a non-gay lover, is it?!

        2. Thanks, nzchicago.

          I agree my lover may be gay (he is!), but he’s not my gay lover – he’s my lover, buddy, soulmate, partner … but none of those need the additional adjective of gay. He is a guy, so am I – so both of us are either gay or bi, I would suggest ….

  9. Generally there is no need to use adjective to describe an activity because there is a natural assumption among majority of people that it refers to heterosexual world by default and to use one would be like stating b!ideeng obvious.

  10. I always think this kind of thing comes from people who actually dont like being homosexual and do their best to diminish it. We have to have some term. Im gay. Doesnt mean I like Sinitta or go clubbing or snort poppers. But I am a gay man.

    1. I’m gay and I don’t even know what Sinitta is. For a moment there I thought you meant Frank Sinatra. I guess I’m not gay enough! But I agree with your point…

  11. Why do these articles always have that photo of two men holding hands, taken from behind, with the camera pointing at their bums?

    1. Because photo libraries dont have photos of homosexuals holding hands from the front…

      1. @ Aiden

        Yawn

  12. There is no such thing as “gay”, “straight”, etc. If we define people merely by whom they are attracted to we become monsters.

    1. Staircase2 2 Apr 2012, 3:34pm

      er…no we don’t…

    2. Lumi Bast 2 Apr 2012, 5:47pm

      It’s not defining people just by who they are attracted to, it’s defining one part of them. Gender, nationality, hair color, occupations exist, and you still would mention that as part of who someone is.

      Whether you like it or not, sexual orientation exists. Not everyone is bisexual like some clueless people say.

  13. MIkeBless 2 Apr 2012, 1:16pm

    I think the world around us is answering this question for us.

    Where I live (London), most people I encounter use the term partner to refer to their primary relationship. Thus, the gender of their partner and legal status of that relationship is not immediately exposed. I believe (and hope) this trend will continue. The specifics just aren’t relevant, unless the specifics are the subject.

    We don’t have separate words for people who prefer oral vs. anal vs. other types of sex. (At least, not when the issue doesn’t concern negotiating or describing sexual activity.) As equality becomes reality, I think this will expand to include what we consider today as sexual orientation. (I’m not saying orientation is a choice.) People will meet and if one wants to hook up with another it will be more like “I’m a MOSM, interested?” Who knows, maybe we could even develop a hankie code.

  14. After slogging my way through those unedited noodlings, I find it astonishing the author should describe Foucault as “unreadable”. I can certainly believe that the author has never read Foucault, who compared with many French thinkers writes with great simplicity & clarity, which the author of these wafflings could learn much from.

  15. I think it all boils down to Humanity’s need to ‘label’ and therefore attempt to make sense of everything around us. When you think of it there is a label attached to everything and unless the entire Human Race has a collective attitude change overnight then these labels will stay and continue to be used. We can talk until we are blue in the face but my point is it is Human Nature to label and this will never change.

  16. Insofar as I actually understand any of this sociological gobbledygook, this argument depresses me beyond belief.

  17. Staircase2 2 Apr 2012, 3:34pm

    Bless you – but I did fall asleep after several paragraphs despite my best intentions…

    I found it unnecessarily verbose & long-winded

  18. The distinguishment is needed when those who self describe as LGBT need allies from the larger, straight community, in achieving political empowerment, equal opportunity, and equality under the law. This is really the only time we need distinguish ourselves in the public realm. Otherwise, it distinguishes us from others and becomes a labelling exercise which is divisive, tribal, and which is used as a device by the haters to continue to demonize and villify us. When the mainstream media reports on straight people’s behavior, they don’t use the label “Straight”. For instance a news report, “A straight man murdered his two innocent children last night…”. No, a person’s sexuality or sexual orientation does not need to be announced unless it the the MAIN REASON for the story or explanation. Even then, I question the motivation behind it as the majority are straight.

  19. It’s good to talk about this stuff and thanks for raising these issues.

    However – my (sexual and emotional) orientation is predominantly gay. I have gay sex with my Civil Partner who I wish to marry, and my gender is male.

    Now does everyone understand that?

    1. You & your lover have a state given partnership that has limits; you want the two of you to have a marriage licence that insures the rights given by known law. Simple!

  20. Lumi Bast 2 Apr 2012, 5:25pm

    Gay = homosexual – sexually, physically, emotionally/romantically attracted to members of your the gender
    Bi = bisexual – sexually, physically, emotionally/romantically attracted to memebers of both genders
    Straight = heterosexual – sexually, physically, emotionally/romantically attracted to memebers of the opposite same gender

    -Sodomy is a stupid term because it’s degrading and the story of Sodom in the Bible being destroyed isn’t true because the Bible is not true
    -Marriage should be called just that. Not gay marriage not straight marriage. I don’t my marriage to be something separate I want completely equal civil marriage
    -This site is dedicated to LGB stories bc of the lack of them in conventional news outlets and because a site that caters to LGB news is most likely going to be more accepting. We don’t want Fox News doing the reporting
    -We need to differentiate because people are different. It’s like saying there’s no such thing as gender. People just need to be more accepting

    1. Lumi Bast 2 Apr 2012, 5:26pm

      Straight = of the same gender*

      Messed up my copy and paste :P

      1. Lumi Bast 2 Apr 2012, 5:26pm

        opposite*

        messed it up again >_< Sorry

  21. What is gay?

    Gay means happy. Always has since it was highjacked.

    Homosexual = A male that likes other makes, sexually attracted to the same sex – homoerotic, homophile, lesbian.

    1. Lumi Bast 2 Apr 2012, 5:45pm

      Well I can say I’m happy with my sexual orientation, I guess it fits then ;)

      1. I’m gay about being gay

        1. Your just in a class of your own Stu, First Class dickhead.

          1. At least I know what to do with one!

            At least I don’t hide on Christian or UKIP websites and seek to antagonise them (oh wait, they wouldnt let me, they don’t have the backbone to take criticism!)

            Whereas, you who clearly are an anti-gay militant seem to thrive on seeking to antagonise gay people.

            It doesnt work – I feel a smidgen of pity for you – but thats it.

  22. The word to Identify being a man that will love a man physically or a man that will love a woman physically (note how long it took to scope those words). I’m no scholar but simple still rule. What if genital herpes was the subject; implying area as a place of origin (not mentioning exact placement), frontally or the back… The word ‘herpes’ is still the effect of a viral strain. And that simply given, a quick short understanding of who, what, is just that.
    I rather say gay then homosexual; why? Because its’ short and to the point.

  23. chris lowcase 3 Apr 2012, 1:05am

    some people would probably say im bisexual. i’ve always been attracted physically to both men and women. but due to experiences its clear to me only relationships with men really work. so i say im gay.

    (warning post may contain horrible mental image)

    i know somebody recently got stoned for saying something along those lines. but none of it is a choice for me. i could tell people im bisexual, but due to the fact that the attraction to women is purely physical… i dont think my friends need/want to know that.

    1. @Chris

      Whilst technically you probably are bisexual from what you describe, you clearly prefer to define as gay – that’s your call. You also seem from the comment (and thats purely face value) quite sorted about it. Some people arent and arent self aware about where on the spectrum of orientation they sit, Your seem pretty aware.

      Thats a good thing I think.

  24. “Gay” and “straight” are descriptors, just like “black” and “white” or “rich” and “poor.” They can be used offensively or not. They also can be used to distinguish unfamiliar things, such as marriage (gay marriage is still a relatively new concept). On the flip side, it can be used to make something seem more unfamiliar than it should be, also such as “gay” marriage.

    If I’m walking in the park and see a really cute kid do something funny, I merely say, “Look at that cute kid.” It would be awkward to say, “Look at that cute ___ kid” (insert white, black, Latino, or any other ethnicity), if it was obvious which kid I was pointing to. Hopefully, one day, people will talk about married couples or about people getting married, and it won’t matter whether it’s straight or gay. That’s why folks want to stop saying “gay” marriage, because in reality we want recognition that it’s still marriage. It creates a division where there needs to be no division.

    1. Absolutely!

      Gay can be a positive descriptor, but it can create division or fester division where division is unnecessary.

  25. My opinion is that, in a world where the majority are X and you are Y, you are happy to be recognised as Y provided that the understanding is that X is equal to Y and thus you can have a sense of individual identity but also a feeling of being one with everyone else. The term “gay” these days, in this country, satisfies that. The institution of marriage is different. You can be married or unmarried, that is your sense of identity and either one is equally acceptable in this country. However, the fact that gay people do not have access to marriage means the options are either umarried or sort-of-married. The sort-of-married is not equivalent in the country yet, nor will it be as long as it is distinguished from the accepted term “marriage”. As such, asking for access to the universal “marriage” is necessary. So what we’re asking for is the same as everyone elses, not a special one of our own, that’s why it shouldn’t be called “gay marriage”, it is, to me, two separate issues.

  26. You have some very convoluted thoughts there! I prefer plain speaking, personally.

    The issue with calling same-sex marriage ‘gay marriage’ is that it is exactly what we’re trying to get away from with wanting same-sex marriage legalised.

    Simply by naming it ‘gay marriage’, it infers it’s a different kind of marriage (one that isn’t equal? Or as meaningful?).

    We just want marriage to include us so that straight and gay relationship blur into one in terms of their value and meaning.

    I believe it is that which underlies most people’s issue with the phrase…

  27. You can stray very quickly into complexity with this subject.
    1. You mention the context of writing for (PINK ?) and dropping the prefix ‘gay’ before ‘rape’ or ‘marriage’. So here’s a contextual logic that your readers have asked for and you have willingly obliged. However, i would add, that rape in general is not widely discussed in great depth and there may be motivations and differences between the way different gender combinations commit rape which promotes using differentiation by identifying a rape as gay in certain contexts. So it remains complex.
    Therefore i think you can look for new generalized ways of re-presenting ‘gay’ life as you ask in your article but also you shouldn’t assume generalised approaches are always appropriate. There’s also the danger of absenting ‘gay’ specificity where it is already subject to taboos that keep mention of it absent. This could be applied to both marriage and rape in many contexts.
    So it seems you have to be something of a diplomat.

  28. please go away, the growns-ups are trying to talk.

    1. Grown-ups (no need for sic ppd) are indeed talking and your comments obviously show that you cannot comprehend what we are talking about. Hence my request that you move on, you aren’t going to change minds here, or offend us beyond a sort of horrified amusement at how your brain works so why bother trying? I just wonder why people have such a fascination with our love lives and go so far as to troll anything relating to lgbt culture.

      We don’t need, and have heard most versions of a bigot’s fatuous comments merely typed with the intention to offend, thank you, so no need for further lgbt stalking.

      Regarding your assertions on the gay gene, I think you may be on the wrong site and rather confused on what constitutes a solid argument.

      Take care hun and leave the hating behind, so much stress so little time!

  29. *yawns* Can we have just one place somewhere, where these deviants cannot come and harass us with year 4 straw man arguments?

    Marriage for gay couples was around before Christ and we will have it again. No stopping us, history will look back on folks like you with the same disdain as we have for the rabid Christian pro slavery arguments.during the abolishment era.

    We don’t have stupid people marriage or black marriage or witty people marriage, we just have marriage and in many countries this is becoming an option for same sex couples too. I won’t be calling it gay marriage any more than I called it straight marriage, which was never. Marriage is two consenting adults joining together for life in love, how wonderful, I feel for those who cannot see that and only spout vile hatred and bile.

  30. the only one with a mental disorder on here is you am guessing your a religious nutter because the religious seem to come out with what you have wrote no right minded person would believe in a fake god when there is no proof that such a creature lived. never mind what goes around comes around you will have kids someday and learn the truth. if you have kids now i really pity them

  31. I don’t understand why someone like yourself (with obvious problems) would come onto a LGBT website and start spouting utter rubbish. Surely there are other websites out there for insecure people like yourself to spout your biggoted rhetoric. As Liz has rightly said we have heard it all before and quite frankly are bored with people like you and their crap. I firmly believe those with attitudes and apparent mental disorders (whereby you cannot accept reality)like yourself need to see a specialist and should be pitied. Poor soul.

  32. Silly bishop

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