Reformed Homosexual: People Need To Know Whole Truth About Gay Rights Movement.

In light of all the legitimate concern about Internet pornography, it might seem ironic to assert that the Internet helped rescue me from homosexuality.

For twenty years, I thought there was something wrong with me. Dozens of well-meaning people assured me that there was a whole, different world of homosexual men out there, a world that for some reason I could never find, a world of God-fearing, straight-acting, monogamy-believing, and fidelity-practicing homosexuals.

They assured me that they themselves knew personally (for a fact and for real) that such men existed. They themselves knew such men (or at least had heard tell of them from those who did). And I believed it, although as the years passed it got harder and harder.

Then I got a personal computer and a subscription to AOL.

“O.K.,” I reasoned, “morally conservative homosexuals are obviously shy and skittish and fearful of sudden movements. They don’t like bars and bathhouses. Neither do I. They don’t attend Dignity meetings or Metropolitan Community Church services because the gay ‘churches’ are really bathhouses masquerading as houses of worship. But there is no reason a morally conservative homosexual cannot subscribe to AOL and submit a profile. If I can do it, anyone can do it.” So I did it. I wrote a profile describing myself as a conservative Catholic (comme ci, comme ça) who loved classical music and theatre and good books and scintillating conversation about all of the above. I said I wanted very much to meet other like-minded homosexuals for the purposes of friendship and romance. I tried to be as clear as I knew how. I was not interested in one night stands. And within minutes of placing the profile, I got my first response.

It consisted of three words: “How many inches?”

My experience of looking for love on AOL went downhill rapidly from there.

When I first came out in the 1980s, it was common for gay rights apologists to blame the promiscuity among gay men on “internalized homophobia.” Gay men, like African Americans, internalized and acted out the lies about themselves learned from mainstream American culture. Furthermore, homosexuals were forced to look for love in dimly lit bars, bathhouses, and public parks for fear of harassment at the hands of a homophobic mainstream.

The solution to this problem, we were told, was permitting homosexuals to come out into the open, without fear of retribution. A variant of this argument is still put forward by activists such as Andrew Sullivan, in order to legitimate same-sex marriage. And it seemed reasonable enough twenty years ago. But thirty-five years have passed since the infamous Stonewall riots of 1969 in New York, the Lexington and Concord of the gay liberation movement. During that time, homosexuals have carved out for themselves public spaces in every major American city, and many of the minor ones as well. They have had the chance to create whatever they wanted in those spaces, and what have they created? New spaces for locating sexual partners.

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