Category Archives: Discussion

Importance of Pride 🏳️‍🌈

Vermont Pride 2019

June is Pride Month 🏳️‍🌈. Did I really need to write that? LOL I did so because I wanted to make a point, obviously. I have seen any number of social media posts either deriding LGBTQ+ merchandise or taking to task companies that use pride merchandise or advertising during Pride Month to make money. Some of those companies do support anti-LGBTQ+ politicians or organizations. All of these criticisms have valid points, and a lot of the pride merchandise is tacky. Some organizations seem to only be pro-LGBTQ+ during the month of June, and they support anti-LGBTQ+ efforts the rest of the year. 

Representatives Pramila Jayapa (D-WA) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently listed (and derided) on social media companies who were celebrating Pride but continue to support anti-LGBTQ+ politicians and organizations. As a general rule, I like Rep. Jayapa, but Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is a different story. In my opinion, AOC is an annoying, pandering, and shallow politician who wants to get attention, but I am getting sidetracked. Yes, these companies need to be told to do better and show support of the LGBTQ+ community all year round, not just in June, but do we want these companies to ignore us completely? We should be happy for the support, and instead of criticizing them, especially coming from non-LGBTQ+ people, we should be encouraging these companies to do better.

Pride itself has its faults: whitewashing, trans exclusion, corporate assimilation, etc., but how many of us grew up seeing absolutely zero LGBTQ+ representation anywhere. If we did, it was either very negative or stereotypical. Most gay representation I was aware of portrayed the LGBTQ+ community as having HIV/AIDS, being sexually deviant and/or promiscuous, and all too often, pedophiles. I always found it interesting that when same-sex couples wanted to get married, conservatives were against the idea, but the same people hated same-sex couples because they saw them as non-monogamous and (gasp) unmarried fornicators.

Most of us did not grow up with any positive LGBTQ+ representation anywhere. Growing up in rural Alabama, I may have known of three or four gay people. I did not know any personally. So, while I understand the criticisms of Pride, I think of what it might mean to a closeted teenager who has never seen a positive representation of the LGBTQ+ community. What would it have meant to me as a teenager to see positive LGBTQ+ representation? If we had been reinforcing positive attitudes all along, would things be different? 

In 1988, a National Opinion Research Center/General Social Survey/University of Chicago poll found that 67.6 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, 10.7 percent of Americans supported it, 13.9 percent of Americans neither agreed nor disagreed, and 7.8 percent didn’t have an opinion. A May 2015 (one month before the historic Obergefell v. Hodgesdecision), a Gallup poll found 60 percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage, 37 percent opposed, and 3 percent had no opinion. Those numbers continue to improve. A June 2021 Gallup poll found that 70 percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage, and 29 percent were against it. Positive change leads to positive LGBTQ+ representation.

Pride is a celebration of life in the face of oppression and repression. For 335 days a year, we are told that our body is sinful and sick, those who we have sex with and who we love should be kept hidden, our body is weird, and the scars are ugly, our clothing, hair, fat, penis, breasts, arms, legs, or flesh itself is disgusting, vile, and “unnatural” … For 335 days of the year, we walked around in fear. We hid who we love or our body. We dropped our lover’s hand in public or refused to kiss our lover goodbye in front of our workplace. We feared violence walking home at night or in the broad light of the afternoon sun. Those are all situations many of us dealt with in our lives. We had to hide who we were and are. Pride month is about visibility and freedom from repression.

During that month, we usually have one day where there is a pride parade. It took me going nearly 5,000 miles from home to go to my first pride parade. I went to the Pride parade in Paris, France, while on a study abroad trip during graduate school. We arrived in Paris on the day of Pride, and as soon as they let us loose on the city by ourselves, a friend and I headed straight to the parade. I have been to a few since, mainly here in Vermont (we hold ours in September here, not June.) If you’ve ever been to a Pride celebration, you know that the people watching is one of the best parts. The sense of belonging is probably the best part, but people-watching is a lot of fun. There are colorful outfits, elaborate costumes, cute kids, couples holding hands, and more. There’s also no small number of people basically wearing nothing, maybe just skimpy underwear or tape over sensitive areas, but that’s half the fun.

For this one month out of the year or even just that one precious day of the pride parade, we can be ourselves without fear of judgment. For one month, we can be a symbol of acceptance and freedom, and we can love, laugh, dance, have sex, and walk around in our underwear if we choose. We have this one precious and special month (and possibly even just a day) when we can celebrate our body, flesh, love, passion, life, and sexuality. We should celebrate, embrace, and love it all. For what it is, and not the commercialization of the celebration. There are companies out there that genuinely support the LGBTQ+ community in many ways.

If you are interested in what companies truly support LGBTQ+ equality, check out the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices, and benefits pertinent to LGBTQ+ employees. The HRC website also lets you search for how your federal elected officials stand on legislation that impacts the LGBTQ+ community on their Your Elected Officials page. I, for one, am happy that even the companies that don’t have the greatest track record on LGBTQ+ issues show some rainbow colors and Pride during Pride Month. As far as I remember, no company did this at all while I was growing up.

A few questions for you to either discuss in the comments or to just ponder:

  • How do you feel about the commercialization of Pride? 
  • Is the exposure of corporate sponsorships a good thing? 
  • Should we be openly criticizing companies (or boycott companies who aren’t always the most LGBTQ+ friendly but do support Pride? 
  • Or should we work to make those companies do better LGBTQ+ allies in the future while being happy they do support Pride? 
  • Is it all just commercialism, or does it also have a positive effect on societal views of the LGBTQ+ community and Pride?

I’d love to know your opinions.

Trolls, Flamers, and Cyber Bullies…Oh My!

For a few years now, I’ve had commenters who hide behind anonymity and leave nasty comments on my blog. Usually, they are on politically-oriented posts, but not always. On my 10th anniversary post, someone left a comment that had no place there, and I deleted it.  Often these comments are made to inflame me and my readers, but this one was aimed solely at me. I’m sure it was meant to “put me in my place.” One thing they said was I hide behind anonymity, yet, they left their comment anonymously. The commenter was just another hypocrite. Why do people feel the need to be cruel or unkind? Why are so many ‘Karens’ showing up these days harassing people? What makes the tinfoil hatters come out in droves?  Lately, it seems people are on the attack, and wild conspiracy theories abound. I tend to think it is because the current president has done so much damage to civility. People no longer feel manners are needed. Role models are being disparaged everyday so the weak and mean-spirited can feel better about their own worthless selves.

Social media is a huge part of our lives. It’s used in everything; it’s everywhere. And at some point, nearly all of us will undoubtedly be subjected to some form of negativity there. These negative people earn the titles: troll, flamer, or cyber bully, and as a rule, are just rude and mean. But what exactly are trolls, flamers, and cyber bullies and how do they differ? Trolls are people who post non-relevant, often offensive content on message boards, forums, blogs, or social networking sites—anywhere they will get a reaction. Their goal is to start a flame war which means successful trolling. That brings us to the flamers. Often, these are the people who respond to the trolls’ inflammatory posts. They begin warring with words about the content using name-calling and threats to try to get other flamers to back down. Flamers, like trolls, tend to come off as idiots due to their neglect of standard grammar and spelling. Flaming can be closely related to cyber bullying. Cyber bullies are not limited to the Internet; they sometimes use texting to intimidate their targets. Cyber bullies are unique from flamers and trolls in that they sometimes target people they know in real life rarely bothering to keep their identity a secret. 

Trolls, flamers, and cyber bullies are bountiful on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you have a blog or just read them, you’ve likely come in contact with them at some point. Facebook gets particularly intense when there are national or international events going on. When you are friends with conservatives and liberals on Facebook, your feed can feel like entering a literal boxing match of words. Arguments are endless, and comments from both sides try to get a rise out of each other. These days, I look at Facebook less and less. There are too many people showing their utter ignorance. People post some of the stupidest unsupported ideas to push their political agendas. It was bad during the Obama Administration with barely concealed racism, but with Trump in office, it has become more intense, and is getting worse with the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests. It should be noted that having arguments doesn’t mean trolling is taking place. Sometimes they are just ignorant. Someone who makes a wild, unwarranted, and insulting comment is trolling. Someone who brings something off topic into the conversation to make a person mad is trolling. Flamers feed off a troll’s comments but come off as complete imbeciles, because their grammar and spelling are usually terrible. Quite often, it is so bad, it is barely comprehensible. Cyber bullies may do the same things, but it’s usually personal.

Social media is an excellent way to engage with the world around you, and a great way to make friends. In the 10 years I’ve been blogging, I’ve made some wonderful friends. But while it can be a positive experience, you’ll probably run into trolls, flamers, and cyber bullies on the Internet. The Internet is often brushed off as unimportant by those who spend little time there, but the social implications of its nearly anonymous status are bigger than most people would like to admit. The anonymity is the only reason trolls and flamers can get away with their abusive speech. 

I’ve been criticized for remaining “anonymous” and using a pseudonym, but here’s the kicker, my name really is Joe, and if you pay attention to what I write about my life, it’s not hard to figure out my real identity. Like Superman and Clark Kent, if people had just paid attention, they would have noticed they were the same person not that I am comparing myself to Superman. People who have contacted me by email usually get to know who I am as I learn who they are. I like getting to know my readers, and I work to have a positive place for them. I’m not always positive; sometimes my depression comes through. People have said I complain too much, but is it really complaining if I’m just being honest about my current state of mind or health? Shouldn’t I have the right to say what I want on my own blog? I often wonder why trolls and flamers continue to read what I write if they hate it so much. I discuss my sexuality and mental and physical health so that someone out there can relate and not feel alone. I know how lonely you can feel with an issue you think is singular to you.

A therapist once told me I hide my pain. In the past, people who knew me often didn’t know I was in constant pain from migraines. They didn’t know when I was sad, depressed, and/or anxious; they didn’t know my sexuality. I put on a brave face and hid my pain, and who I really was. Those who really knew and cared about me could always tell when something wasn’t right. They knew when I had a migraine or when I was sad, but most people never saw that part of me. Southerners, like me, were taught not to complain. But in the last 10 years, a few things have changed: I live openly as a gay man in Vermont; and I’m generally more honest about how I’m feeling. So, when I have a bad migraine and don’t feel like writing a post, I explain why I’m not posting that day. I know some of you would wonder why I didn’t post, and I don’t want to cause anyone to worry. 

One of the differences between the North and the South is when someone is asked, “How are you doing?” A Southerner is going to respond with “I’m fine,” no matter how they are feeling. When you ask a Northerner the same question, they are likely to tell you everything that is wrong with them. Maybe it’s living in Vermont, maybe it’s writing this blog, or maybe it’s because I’m more comfortable with who I am, but I hide my pain less now. I try to be more open to who I really am. I think it makes me a more honest person, not a complainer.

And for future trolls, flamers, and cyber bullies who come to this blog, I hope they will read and remember my rules on posting comments:

  1. Always be kind and considerate to others. 
  2. Do not degrade other people’s way of thinking. 
  3. I have the right to refuse or remove any comment I deem inappropriate.
  4. If you comment on a post that was published over 14 days ago, it will not post immediately. Those comments are set for moderation. If it doesn’t break the above rules, it will post.

A Commentary That I Wanted to Share

I read this yesterday, and the commentator made some interesting points. So, I wanted to share. I’m not sure I fully agree with everything, but I’d like to know what y’all think.

If HIV was God’s punishment for gays, then coronavirus is punishment for conservative Christians


You couldn’t swing a cat in the 90s without hitting an evangelical who believed HIV was God’s punishment for homosexuality. But that logic isn’t on their side today.


Commentary by Mark Segal Wednesday, April 15, 2020


When it comes to the pandemic, I can offer two truths: we are all in this together and this will come to an end, even though we don’t know when that will be or what life will be like afterwards.


Despite those truths, religious extremists are blaming the virus – as they do with all the ills of the world – on the LGBTQ community. But if you take their own hateful rhetoric the facts actually show the reverse.


Here’s the way it almost always goes. They blame it on the San Francisco liberals. All sins start in that bastion of homosexuals.


Fundamentalists apparently consider San Francisco the capital of the LGBTQ world. This all started with the AIDS crisis when evangelicals said that God proved his anger at homosexuals by putting that plague on their capital city.


Now those conservative Christians are saying that COVID-19 is God’s revenge on a world that accepts gays.


So, according to their logic, if God showed his anger on the issue of LGBTQ equality by striking San Francisco with AIDS, then God must now be angry with religious people by striking the headquarters of the world’s religions with the COVID-19: Rome, headquarters of Catholics; Athens, the headquarters of Greek Orthodoxy; Moscow, the headquarters of Russian orthodoxy; London, home of the Anglican communion; Mecca, home of Muslims; Jerusalem, home of Jewish faith; and Salt Lake City, home of the Mormons.


Now let’s compare and see what God’s wrath is. San Francisco has under 1000 cases and only 12 deaths. All of the headquarters cities of the world’s major religions, religions that at one point or another have discriminated against the LGBTQ community, have more cases and more deaths than San Francisco. San Francisco is the least affected of all the cities.


As the extremists always say: God’s plagues are aimed at those who utter hate speech against their chosen followers. It turns out, in this case, the chosen people is the LGBTQ community.


And that’s not getting into how churches have become hotbeds of coronavirus transmission while some church leaders defy social distancing rules to continue holding services, with some tragic results.


I don’t take any of this lightly. We’re going through a tough time unlike any other. Times like this are times to band together.


So, to those preachers still spreading hate, I say: stop blaming people and start helping people. Your homophobic sermons only harm your followers by spreading misinformation.


The truth is, we’re all here to help one another. That’s how you get through a moment like this.

We in the gay community have understood that since day one. We know the value of working together, and we’ve seen that it works.



I don’t often get a lot of comments. At best, I get one or two per post. I know from my statistics page, that I get about 1000 page views a day, sometimes more, sometimes less, but it averages about 1000. Yesterday, I got (at the time of writing this), nine comments on my morning blog piece. That’s a lot of comments for me. If so many people are going to my blog consistently, why aren’t you commenting? Don’t think I’m scolding my readers for not commenting. I’m definitely not doing that, I’m just asking. Is it because I don’t often ask you questions? Is it because what I say is not commentable? I love hearing from you guys. It makes writing this blog more enjoyable, and I love writing this blog.

So here are some statistics. The top ten countries visiting my blog are: the United States, France, Spain, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Indonesia, Russia, Australia, and Italy. Y’all are a diverse group of people. I also know that over half of you use Chrome as your browser. But these are just statistics. I’d like to know who you are. I did a post years ago which I think was titled: Age, Sex, Location. So I’m asking you guys to answer this if you will (Ladies out there, since it’s impolite to ask your age, I won’t be upset if you skip that one). But I’d love it if you commented with your age, sex, location, and something about you, and if you’d like to comment about the number of comments I get, please do so. I just want to get to know my readers better. Thanks.

Ginger Men

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, lets have a look at what makes a redheaded man so hot. Ginger guys have a hard time. So much so that there’s been talks of whether ‘gingerism’ is as bad a racism. True story. Photographer Thomas Knights released an entire exhibition in New York’s BOSI Gallery trying to bring down stereotypes of ginger men and promote their eternal hotness..

Not convinced yet? Here’s 21 reasons red-headed guys are actually ginger Gods amongst men.

1. Their Confidence

All those years of playground torture have molded them into the hardy, self-confident MEN they are now. They know who they are and aren’t about to let a few sh*tty put-downs change that.

2. Their Personalities

Because they haven’t always had to rely on their looks (that unforgiving inch of red hair has worked ’round the clock against them), 9 times out of 10 they will have naturally winning personalities.

3. Their Ginger Beards

When they grow a beard it actually MATCHES their face.

4. Their Sense of Humor

Due to the fact everyone has been poking fun at them their entire lives, they know how to take a joke and have a good old laugh at themselves.

5. Their Freckles

Ahhh, those freckles. Sexy AND cute.

6. They’re Fireballs in Bed

Ask anyone who’s been there to confirm – for some unknown reason they are ALL dynamite in the sack.

7. They’re Unique

They’re a rare and exotic breed (approx. 0.5 per cent of the world’s population), so unlike the hoards of blondes and brunettes out there, they will always keep your attention. Which is a big bonus in the apparent modern day “hookup” culture we live in.

8. They’ll Age Well

The sun and red heads will never be friends. So unlike other men who will grow leathery and awful, their skin will be primed for perfection well into old age.

Another plus: if you’re being selfish about it, they will make you look extra bronzed for half the tan-time.

9. Their Straight Forwardness

That fiery temper will always let you know where you stand; there are no mind games. When a ginger guy is pissed at you, you will know about it.

10. Their Sense Of Style

Ginger guys in suits – guaranteed HOT.

11. Their Eyes

That fiery red hair and porcelain skin only accentuates their stunning blue/green/gold eyes.

12. Their Passion

They are passionate and feisty people in all aspects of life, and what’s hotter than that?

13. They OWN it

They always have a slightly mysterious vibe going on.

14. They’re Classy

For some reason we can’t quite pinpoint, they are automatically kinda classy.

15. Their Tan

When they actually manage to get a tan it’s like you’ve got one of the rarest jewels right in the palm of your hands.

16. The Hot Accents

Can you ever imagine a ginger man who doesn’t have a glorious accent? Scottish? Irish? Count us in.

17. They Have No Egos

Usually they don’t realize how unbelievably hot they really are, so there’s no battling with ridiculous egos.

18. They’re Strong Minded

They know what they want and go for it. Damian Lewis, Prince Harry, Tom Hiddleston – they live their dreams.

19. They’ll Protect You

Science says ginger people have higher pain thresholds than the rest of us. What woman doesn’t want a strong man?

20. Their Spawn

If you manage to reproduce with this man you could be in for the most bitchin’ hot family of red head babies ever.


There’s just something about ginger guys – they’re rare, they’re precious, and they’re IN demand.



 I’m still not feeling 100 percent, so I thought I’d do something a bit different today. I want each of you to look at this picture and tell me what comes to mind. It can be one word, a sentence, or even a paragraph. 
For those of you who this picture evokes no particular thoughts, I’m going to give you a prompt. It obviously looks as though he is thinking something, pondering, you might say. What is he thinking about?

I obviously like this picture, but I want to know: What does it say to you? What feelings/emotions does it evoke? Do you even like the picture?

Feel free to answer one, all, or any number of the question. I’d like to hear your thoughts today.

Thinking with Your Penis


Guys, have you ever noticed that when you have an erection that you think differently?  Maybe it’s just me, but if I have a hard-on my mind can have some pretty dirty thoughts.  I find things I wouldn’t normally find attractive/sexy, I find irresistible when I’m already turned on.  Urban Dictionary defines “thinking with your penis” as cognition which is tainted by horniness or when a man makes decisions intended to satisfy the short term goals of his penis and fails to consider the long term consequences.  So do you think with your penis?

A Difficult Climb


Most people do not fully understand how an amendment can be proposed and ratified. As someone who teaches history and government, it’s part of my job to understand this process. Article V of the Constitution lays out the processes by which constitutional amendments can be proposed and ratified. It begins with the proposing of the amendment which can be done in one of two ways.

In the first method which takes place in the U.S. Congress, both the House of Representatives and the Senate must approve the amendment by a two-thirds supermajority vote, a joint resolution amending the Constitution. Amendments so approved do not require the signature of the President of the United States and are sent directly to the states for ratification. The second method, which has never been used, requires two-thirds (or 34) of the state legislatures to ask Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments.

Of these two processes, it is unlikely that a new Equal Rights Amendment as I outlined on Monday could pass by a supermajority of both houses of the current Congress. The atmosphere is highly politicized with Republicans largely against equality for LGBT Americans and Democrats largely for LGBT equality. With Democrats not holding a supermajority in both house, it is highly unlikely to be able to move through Congress.

However, 34 states legislatures could call for a national convention. The likelihood of this is fairly slim because it’s never been done before, and the majority of state legislatures, roughly 60 percent are controlled by Republicans. However, the majority of Americans, even if you go by state-by-state polls, favor same-sex marriage. At least, two-thirds of the states have 50 percent or more of its citizens who favor same-sex marriage. If the majority of citizens in favor of marriage equality in those 34 states became vocal enough, then state legislatures might be convinced to vote for a national convention for proposing amendments. This is also a tricky prospect because it would depend on who the states sent to a national convention and whether or not they would even even choose to propose a new ERA. The precedent set by the original Constitutional Convention would point to a national convention throwing out their mandate and proposing completely different amendments.

If a new ERA were proposed by a national convention, then it would move to the states for the ratification process. Again, Article V recognizes two ways for this to be accomplished. An amendment could be added to the Constitution if three-fourths of the state legislatures approve it. States may also choose to call ratifying conventions in which three-fourths of the states approve it. This method has been used only once, to ratify the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition.

The fact is, I realize this is a dream. Even with the 30 states that currently have same-sex marriage legalized, not all of those states would want to agree to a constitutional amendment for LGBT equality. Some polls show that in 38 states, there is a majority or near majority of people who believe that same-sex marriages should be recognized. The Pew Research poll which looked at regional support of same-sex marriage showed that only 34 states supported same-sex marriage, with basically the old Confederate states of the South, plus Kentucky, Oklahoma, and West Virginia being opposed to same-sex marriage.

Of the thousands of proposals that have been made to amend the Constitution, only 33 obtained the necessary two-thirds vote in Congress. Of those 33, only 27 amendments (including the Bill of Rights) have been ratified. It’s a long shot but with enough momentum and support behind it, it is a possibility.



Equal Rights Amendment


Just over four years ago, I wrote a post about the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). In that post I suggested that a new ERA be proposed. The original Equal Rights Amendment was designed to guarantee equal rights for women. The ERA was originally written by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman, and it was introduced in the Congress for the first time in 1923. Though the ERA was introduced in every Congressional session between 1923 and 1970, it almost never reached the floor of either the Senate or the House for a vote—instead, it was usually “bottled up” in committee. In 1972, it passed both houses of Congress and went to the state legislatures for ratification.

The resolution in Congress that proposed the amendment set a ratification deadline of March 22, 1979. Through 1977, the amendment received 35 of the necessary 38 state ratifications. Five states later rescinded their ratifications before the 1979 deadline, though the validity of these rescissions is disputed. In 1978, a joint resolution of Congress extended the ratification deadline to June 30, 1982, but no further states ratified the amendment before the passing of the second deadline. Several feminist organizations, disputing the validity and/or the permanence of the ratification deadline, and also disputing the validity of the five rescissions, continue to work at the federal and state levels for the adoption of the ERA.

The language of the 1972 ERA was fairly simple and read:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.

In all likelihood, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is dead and will never be ratified to become the 28th Amendment. The fight to ratify the ERA is still ongoing and is not quite over. More than three decades after the deadline set by Congress, advocates are working to advance the amendment’s cause at the grass-roots level as some in Congress work to either repeal the amendment’s deadline or start over.

Advocates say the Supreme Court’s June 30 ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby has energized interest in the ERA. That 5-4 decision said the 2010 Affordable Care Act can’t require certain businesses to provide free insurance coverage for birth control if they object on religious grounds. Pay equity is another factor driving renewed enthusiasm for the Equal Rights Amendment. Women on average are paid 77 cents for every dollar men are paid, according to the ERA Coalition.

Congress is considering amendment resolutions that take two different approaches: the three-state approach and the fresh start approach. The “three-state” approach, sponsored by Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., and Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., would repeal the ratification deadline and make the ERA part of the Constitution when three more states ratify it. The “fresh start” approach — by Menendez and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y. — would start over with a new resolution and no ratification deadline. Menendez and Maloney also are co-sponsors of the three-state approach legislation.

I believe that they should not only push through with the fresh start approach, but I think there should be a Federal Amendment that would extend the ERA to include barring discrimination because of sexual orientation or identity. I propose that the new language of the amendment read:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. All laws infringing on the rights of individuals because of sex, sexual identity, or sexual orientation shall become null and void immediately upon passage of this amendment.

I think it should also be proposed that a possible Section 4 might be added that would define sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.

Section 4. Definitions of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Section 4.1. Sex shall be defined as the biological and physiological characteristics that define men and women.

Section 4.2. Gender shall refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities, and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. Gender identity shall be defined as the gender, male, female, with which a person identifies exclusive of their biological secondary sexual characteristics. The gender identities one may identify as include male, female, both, somewhere in between (“third gender”), or neither and may or may not correspond to the sex assigned to them at birth.

Section 4.3. Sexual orientation describes a pattern of emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction to men, women, both genders, neither gender, or another gender. Sexual orientation is enduring and also refers to a person’s sense of personal and social identity based on those attractions, behaviors expressing them, and membership in a community of others who share them.

Though some might believe this fourth section is too strict or defined. However, whenever the debate over gay marriage is brought up, the ideas of polygamy, bigamy, and bestiality are always raised in the debate by crackpots. I think these definitions would clear up any debate about the meaning of the terms. It would also not allow for a great deal of interpretation of the meaning of the amendment by the Supreme Court or the state ratifying legislatures.

If this amendment were to be proposed and ratified, the debates over GLBT rights would effectively be ended. Gay marriage would be forced to be recognized nationwide and we would no longer be holding our breaths as court cases continue in nineteen states. Furthermore, school bullying would be against federal laws. Teachers could not be fired because of their sexual orientation. We would have definitive protection once and for all. I realize this is a dream, but I think it is a great idea. What do you think? Should we all push to have this amendment proposed, passed by Congress, and ratified by the states?

I am going to be discussing more about this idea this week. I want to look at whether it is possible for a new ERA to pass through Congress and what would happen if it reached the states. Though I believe that the federal courts are moving in the right direction, court decisions can be overturned. The Supreme Court has reversed their decisions before, and let’s face it, the Supreme Court is as political as any branch of government and with that the balance of the Court could move away from LGBT rights. I think a constitutional amendment is the true way that LGBT Americans to be equal once and for all.

To Be, Or Not To Be


To be, or not to be hairy is not the question I was asking yesterday. I was however, trying to make a statement about being happy with the bodies we have and being content with nature. Just because someone, such as JiEL said in the comments, being naturally hairless is “not less manly.” Running my hands over a smooth chest is just as luxurious to me as a hairy one. I remember a particular dancer at a gay bar in Houston that was shaved, but was letting his hair grow to a stubble. I remember being incredibly turned on by that “sandpaper sensation.” The tactile sensation of hairy, hairless, or somewhere in between does not, however, mean that there is not a aesthetic pleasure to seeing a man in all his natural beauty, hairless or not.

Of course, all of this is a matter of personal taste, and when it comes down to it, I completely agree with Damien, who wrote “So I guess I mostly like the person beneath the skin, the skin beneath the hair, the hair beneath the shirt.” I also agree with Bodhisbuddy who said that his tastes have changed. As a preteen through early twenties, I too preferred as little body hair as possible on a man. As I grew older, I began to appreciate well groomed bodies with hair, and now I’m to the point where hairless looks much less appealing. Though my tastes do occasionally change, I rarely look for the very hairy. It just doesn’t appeal to me that much.

I also agree with Damien that Nick Jonas is getting too much attention over these photos. Me personally, I find his ass the most appealing thing about him, then again, I’m an ass man, so that kind of figures I’d find his attractive. It’s a nice round bubble butt.

I also agree that there is a double standard when it comes to male and female celebrities, especially those who were child stars/wholesome Disney personalities. However, and I may be adding to this double standard, but I believe that Miley Cyrus and Nick Jonas took two different paths when they decided to break away from their squeaky clean personas. Miley appeared to eschew all the values that she previously seemed to embrace. Nick Jonas may be making racier photos (and not all people, were upset over Miley’s racy behavior) and he may have taken off his purity ring, but he still seems to have kept some core values. “This is a real growth in me and not something [wearing a purity ring] I’m doing anymore. But I’ve got my set of values, things that are important to me now at this point in my life and that’s all that matters,” said Jonas in a recent interview. “I’ve had an incredibly intense journey with faith and religion and my own growth. My belief in God is still very strong and important to me as a person and I think that’s all that should matter,” he continued. “I grew up in a church environment and still have love for the church.”

So i think the photos and the publicity have brought to light a few interesting things about our culture. I do believe that the lack of outcry is a reflection of the sexism still prevalent in our society. As Damien out it “Boys will be boys but girls should be ladies!” Also, the little bit of hair he shows in the mildly revealing photographs has at least raised the question of manscaping or not. I honestly think it makes for some interesting conversations, though not many are talking about it in those terms.

Thank you all for your comments. I don’t often answer comments directly, but know that I read every one of them. Please keep commenting and keep the conversation going.