Saturday, February 18, 2012

Major gay news site discusses "private racism" in detail

A major gay news site has a long column today on “gay racism”, but mainly in the area of “private choices.”  It’s not so far from another concept we sometimes hear about, “body fascism”.

I somewhat disagree that minorities are ignored by gay publications.  For example, the Metro Weekly in the DC area has plenty of bar and party scenes containing women and non-white men, as well as plenty of ads.  And in “adult” (euphemism) magazines, there have long been “minorities”, all the way back to the 1980s.
In gay film, it’s a little different.  It does seem that LGBT film, when dealing with men, seems a bit white-centric.  Women are doing better on this – look at “Pariah”.

In the area of private choice, especially for dating and relationships, one is getting into an area that tramples on individual choice.  I personally don’t post my “preferences” on Facebook, but if I was 50 years younger than I am (68), I might feel differently.  (Actually, for younger people, such entries could drive away prospective employers anyway.)  But I suppose my tastes could be detected from undercurrent, from comments I make about the appearance of actors in movies, for example.  When I was a substitute teacher, that might have become an issue; a student might be able to infer my own “prejudices” from what I had written about media with the help of search engines.

Among men, race may have an accidental effect.  Among Caucasians, probably because of tens of thousands of years of evolving in colder climates, there is more difference in body hair between the genders, to the point that can be perceived as a more significant “secondary sexual characteristic” or, as clinical psychologists say, even “part-object”.  It can become a way to distinguish among men, which may have become important anthropologically to females in selecting mates in the past.  With upward affiliation, gay men could use it or make something of it (or its absence, either way) to assess the “value” of prospective partners.

The whole issue could fit into claims from the religious right (or especially the Vatican) that gay men, in particular, are unwilling to form (let alone keep) relationships with those who will depend on them, with “complementarity”, as necessary to sustain a civilization into the future. It politicizes what turns someone on, and "makes something out" out of thoughts and feelings that evolve in a person.

The article is here.  It’s an odd story to occur right in the middle of one of the most critical times in the gay marriage battle. 

Here is WJLA's video on the gay marriage vote in Maryland Friday night.  Demonstrations on both sides in Annapolis are reported to have been heated.

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