Published in: May-June 2012 issue.


Don’t Recruit, Convert! Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith has reminded us of the Latter Day Saints’ practice of “baptism by proxy” whereby a person not raised in the LDS faith—or even aware of its existence—can be baptized posthumously and thereby converted to Mormonism. Of course, this immediately raises the question, if Mormons can do it, then what’s to stop every religion from posthumously baptizing people of other faiths, producing a free-for-all for every creed in search of new souls? And what about those (actual) Mormon souls; how safe are they? Not very, if a group calling itself All Dead Mormons Are Now Gay has anything to say about it. This on-line service will gladly convert “the late Mormon of your choice” to a new sexual orientation, making him or her “gay for eternity.” And the benefit to the new convert? Presumably a new version of heaven that’s way more fabulous than the old.

Down Low and to the Right  The recent CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee) confab in Washington featured the usual gallery of gay-trashing rogues, but that didn’t stop quite a number of conventioneers from using the occasion to seek a same-sex hookup on Craigslist. Some managed to work the idea of conservatism into their sexual pitch, such as “Patriot with a Daddy Complex” and “Home-wrecking Hate Fucker,” who remarked: “For a guy who says he’s into the conservative type, CPAC must be like Vegas coming to his hometown.” Others were well aware of the fearful contradiction of their long weekend. “Paranoid Hornball” included as a requirement “just be as scared of being outed as I am”; while “Reluctant Penetrator” specified, “I’ll literally kill you if you threaten to tell.” Many were written in an oddly arch style that almost seemed like a private code. Thus, for example: “Uber-repressed group action must be arms and limbs and flag pins flyin’ around like crazy. Hot.” Guess you had to be there.

Straight Women and Gay Liberation  A recent article in China Daily noted that some sixteen million Chinese women are married to gay men. Social pressure on men to marry and procreate leads some ninety percent of gay men in China to get married. The article stressed what a bad deal these marriages are for the women who get stuck in them, for all the obvious reasons. So, Chinese women are gaining a greater awareness of the problem, and some are starting to demand a divorce—which raises an interesting question. Now that the word about gay husbands is out on the street, isn’t the logical next step for women just to avoid marrying gay men in the first place? One might anticipate a new kind of social pressure for gay men not to get married, reversing the ancient mandate. This, in turn, would presumably force gay men to band together and form a Western-style gay subculture, which is essentially a bachelor society of non-procreative males. Indeed the rise of such a subculture in the West occurred in tandem with the rise of women’s power in society—and especially their power to choose a mate. In short, once women have the right to expect certain things out of a marriage—hitherto unmentionable things—can gay liberation be far behind?

Twenty Sweaty Men  Police in the Kaliningrad outpost of Russia recently arrested a group of some twenty joggers that they thought were staging an illegal gay pride parade. The joggers, who were in fact part of a right-wing faction, took to the streets of Sovetsk, a small town in the Baltic exclave, carrying Romanov flags of black, yellow, and white emblazoned with the words “Russians choose sport.” The group was released when their leader assured the officers they were not rallying but gathering for a sporting event. What convinced the police that these joggers were gay is anyone’s guess. That they were carrying a multi-colored flag? That they were in good shape? And shirtless? Perhaps the fact that they were twenty sweaty guys out in public together was enough. In any case, the troubling thing is that they were arrested in the first place on suspicion of being a gay group—and that they were released so quickly once the police realized that they were right-wing nationalists.

How Not to Raise a Slacker A recent study of teenagers compared GPA levels for students raised by heterosexual parents and those raised by same-sex parents. Sons of gay parents outperformed those of straight parents by a mean score of 2.9 to 2.65, while daughters were virtually tied at 2.8 and 2.9 for gay and straight households, respectively (as reported on The story was spun by the GLBT press as proof that gay parenting is just as good, and possibly better, than heterosexual parenting. Actually, the real story here is the extent to which boys with straight parents are lagging behind all three other groups, whose scores are virtually identical. Much has been written about the crisis of American boyhood that’s putting young males at a distinct learning and educational disadvantage. For whatever reason, it appears that being raised by two moms or two dads is somehow shielding these teenage boys from the pitfalls of underachievement.

That “Times Square” Moment  Marine homecomingThe legalization of gay service in the military in a time of war was bound to produce a photograph of the first homecoming kiss of a same-sex couple being reunited stateside. And the winner is: this photo of a Marine (Brandon Morgan) and his hometown sweetheart (Dalan) on his arrival home from Afghanistan. This, at any rate, is the photo that went viral after Brandon posted it on a Facebook page for gay Marines, though there have been other photographed gay reunions. Perhaps it’s their difference in size that struck a chord, and the fact that the soldier is the little guy (and refers to Dalan as “my giant”), who knows? The photo has been viewed by tens of thousands of people and seems to be the “Times Square Kiss” that will forever symbolize, not the end of a war, but the end of an assault on the rights of a patriotic minority.