Browsing: Summer Sex Issue

July – August, 2005

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MANY YOUNG GAY MEN are perceived by themselves and others as “whores,” but it’s a label that other gay youth are consciously rejecting. An earlier generation of gay men embraced sexual liberation as the driving goal of gay liberation itself, and found it empowering to be a “whore” or a “slut.” “Sexual objectification is a focus of our quest for freedom,” declared “A Gay Manifesto” of the 1970’s (by Carl Wittman). But gay youth culture has changed dramatically since then. Gay young people in general have veered toward a more heterosexual definition of their sexual relations. Few would agree with the sentiment expressed in another manifesto of early Gay Liberation, that of Martha Shelley in her classic essay “Gay is Good”: “straight roles stink.”

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A recent study published in the journal Child Development found that, in terms of psychosocial health, school behavior, and romantic relationships, teens with two mothers develop as well as those raised by heterosexual parents. As a high school teacher and the daughter of same-sex parents, my academic assessment of this finding is a resounding “Duh!” …

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JEAN COCTEAU proclaimed friendship to be his only politics. “I would rather be celebrated for constancy of the heart than for any doctrine of the mind,” he remarked in his essay “On Friendship.” Cocteau considered friendship to be an art and equated it with the “fellow feeling” of Walt Whitman. “It continually corrects itself, sets itself aright, and avoids the wars of love. Friendship maintains its balance so that we can maintain ours in it.” …

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