That’s Disgusting! Drumming Up Old-Fashioned Homophobia

Conservatives are losing their stand against LGBTQ rights, and they know it. With the growing number of LGBTQ individuals who are “out” about their sexual and gender identities, it’s an increasingly rare person who doesn’t know one—and it’s harder to oppose the rights of someone you know than to oppose the rights of someone you don’t know. The focus on marriage equality has also led to a public relations campaign aimed at shaping public perceptions of LGBTQ individuals, presenting them as normal people who are family-oriented and have similar goals as everyone else—and that campaign is working.

Conservatives opposing the campaign for marriage equality argue that children need a mother and a father, and that allowing gay and lesbian individuals to marry will deprive children of having a parent of each gender and thus cause them harm. This argument flies in the face of both the evidence and the fact that children are already being raised in lesbian and gay households and that denying these couples the right to marry won’t stop that. It also flies in the face of the public relations campaign in favor of marriage equality. The argument still has traction, but it’s losing ground.

This week The Gospel Coalition’s Thabiti Anyabwile suggested a new strategy. We’ll call this the “that’s disgusting!” strategy. What’s perhaps most staggering about Thabiti’s angle is that he claims that he is neither being “mean” to gays and lesbians or being bigoted. Allow me to quote from his post (trigger warning for blatant homophobia):

Here’s what I failed to do then and I’m convinced is necessary now:

Return the discussion to sexual behavior in all its yuckiest gag-inducing truth. Now to do this, we’re simply going to have accept the fact that we aren’t going to be liked. We’re going to be branded “mean” and “bigoted.” We should not in fact be mean and bigoted. We should speak the truth in love. But the consequence will be a nasty brand from the culture. I should say branded again because we’ve already been given those labels simply for being Christians. So, we don’t have much to lose and we just might re-gain some footing in this debate.

What do I mean by returning the yuck factor?

Consider how many times you’ve read the word “gay” or “homosexual” in this post without thinking about the actual behaviors those terms represent. “Gay” and “homosexual” are polite terms for an ugly practice. They are euphemisms. In all the politeness, we’ve actually stopped talking about the things that lie at the heart of the issue–sexual promiscuity of an abominable sort. I say “abominable” because that’s how God describes it in His word. I think we should describe sin (and righteousness) the way God does. And I think it would be a good thing if more people were gagging on the reality of the sexual behavior that is now becoming public law, protected, and even promoted in public schools.

So what are we talking about? (Warning: Obscene descriptions follow. If sensitive in conscience, skip the block quotes below and go to the conclusion)

We are talking about one man inserting the male organ used to create life into the part of another man used to excrete waste. We are talking about one man taking the penis of another man into his mouth, or engaging in penis-to-penis grinding.

We are talking about a woman using her mouth to stimilute the nipples, vulva, clitoris or vagina of another woman, or using her hand or other “toys” to simulate sexual intercourse.

We are talking about anilingus and other things I still cannot name or describe.

That sense of moral outrage you’re now likely feeling–either at the descriptions above or at me for writing them–that gut-wrenching, jaw-clenching, hand-over-your-mouth, “I feel dirty” moral outrage is the gag reflex. It’s what you quietly felt when you read “two men deep kissing” in the second paragraph. Your moral sensibilities have been provoked–and rightly so. That reflex triggered by an accurate description of homosexual behavior will be the beginning of the recovery of moral sense and sensibility when it comes to the so-called “gay marriage” debate.

What Thabiti says here is very familiar to me because I grew up in a family where gays and lesbians were treated with actual disgust. It wasn’t just “oh, they’re nice people, it’s just that marriage has always been a man and a woman and we think it should stay that way.” Oh no! If the topic came up at the dinner table (say, in a discussion of politics), my mother would visibly shudder in revulsion. She taught us kids the issue like this: “Gay is when men kiss on men and women kiss on women. Isn’t that disgusting?” We children agreed that it was (although at the time we thought heterosexual kissing was pretty disgusting as well). Through a million little moments, expressions, and phrases, we were taught to be viscerally disgusted by gays and lesbians (and also by trans* people, though that’s another story).

Anyway, back to Thabiti’s piece. One thing that strikes me is the extent to which evangelicals like Thabiti are moving away from widespread Christian themes in their desire to perpetuate their homophobia. For example, since when has Christianity tied what is right or wrong to whether or not something is disgusting? Even if you are a Christian who believes that God has condemned homosexuality, what does whether or not it’s disgusting have to do with it? Also, whatever happened to loving your neighbor? Whatever happened to being known for your love? Whatever happened to judging not? If someone can intentionally spend this much time dwelling on the “disgusting” things someone does in private, specifically in order to drum up visceral revulsion, and still “love” that person, love has lost all meaning.

I don’t generally conjure up graphic images of heterosexual intercourse every time I say the word “straight.” So Thabiti’s statement—”consider how many times you’ve read the word ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’ in this post without thinking about the actual behaviors those terms represent”—makes no sense. Should I be thinking about a man putting a penis in a woman’s vagina every time I see a straight individual? Because I don’t. But if we’re supposed to be constantly bringing to mind images of homosexual sex every time we come in contact with homosexuality . . . shouldn’t we be bringing to mind images of heterosexual sex every time we come in contact with heterosexuality?

While we’re on the subject of going out of one’s way to thing about sexual acts, has Thabiti forgotten his religious tradition’s tenet that merely thinking about committing adultery is a sin? Matthew 5:27—28: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Is seeing a sexy member of the opposite sex and dwelling on the thought of sexual intercourse with him or her totally sinning while going out of your way to conjure up graphic images of gay or lesbian sex is totally a-okay? In what world does that make sense?

Speaking of what one purposes to think about—has Thabiti forgotten that the Bible commands Christians to dwell on what is pure rather than what is impure? Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Does this verse mean nothing to Thabiti? You would think that if he believes gay or lesbian sex is impure and sinful, he would be bound by his own religious beliefs to avoid thinking about it. But . . . apparently not. There must be a gay sex exception clause somewhere in there . . .

There seems to be another gay exception in Thabiti’s theology as well. Thabiti says that “we should describe sin (and righteousness) the way God does.” I really hope Thabiti spends as much time calling shellfish “abominable” as he does throwing that word at LGBTQ individuals. But somehow I really doubt he does. Evangelicals often go on and on about how the Bible calls homosexuality an “abomination,” but they skip right over other things God also calls an abomination. This doesn’t strike me as very consistent.

Let’s also talk about what is or is not disgusting—and what does or does not trigger the gag reflex. I read through Thabiti’s descriptions without my gag reflex being activated. Nada, nothing. His suggestion that any normal person is of necessity repulsed by homosexual intercourse is quite simply false. While Thabiti finds gay and lesbian sex disgusting—as does my mother—there are I’m sure some people who find graphic descriptions of any sex “disgusting,” or graphic descriptions of heterosexual sex “disgusting.” What is or is not disgusting is often socially constructed, and beyond this it can also vary by person and by experience. And if we’re to be ruled by what we find disgusting, well, if you were going by the opinion of grade school children, you might well end up with a case for banning any form of sex altogether.

Also, you know what? Someone needs to tell Thabiti that there are straight couples who engage in anal and oral intercourse, and who—gasp!—use sex toys and their hands to stimulate the sex organs. Or does Thabiti only find these things disgusting when they are done in the context of gay or lesbian sex? It’s unclear—but if Thabiti finds these things universally disgusting, I feel bad for his wife. Women don’t generally orgasm without some form of manual stimulation. This also reminds me of when I was a kid and, like most kids, found any sort of sexual intercourse disgusting. So guess what, Thabiti? There are plenty of straight couples who do things you consider disgusting! Why does Thabiti put LGBTQ individuals in such a separate category here?

Look, if Thabiti finds homosexual sex disgusting, he doesn’t have to engage in it. Or think about it, actually, but clearly he’s decided to make the decision to do so. But there is nothing that gives anyone the license to ban something just because they find it disgusting. Thabiti’s article and the strategy he outlines is pure and unadulterated homophobia. Those using the “what about the children” strategy can at least pretend that they’re not homophobic. Those using the “that’s disgusting!” strategy can make no such case (even as they try to).

In the end, Thabiti’s suggested strategy boils down to nothing more than intentionally drumming up hate. In a nutshell, Thabiti is arguing that rather than approaching them like we would anyone else, we (i.e. straight people) should constantly remind ourselves of how “yucky” gay and lesbian individuals are. And then he says this isn’t about being “mean,” it’s just about “speaking the truth in love.” Oh, and this emphasis on approaching homosexuality with sheer disgust has nothing to do with why LGBTQ teens commit suicide at such a high rate. Oh wait.

What say you? What would you add? I’m especially interested in LGBTQ individuals’ thoughts, because I always worry that I may miss some important angle or point given that despite my queer tendencies I approach this issue from the perspective of an individual living a straight lifestyle and as a partner in a heterosexual marriage.

About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Conuly

    Shellfish – the cockroaches of the sea! If we just consistently use that phrase, people will stop eating shrimp. AND THEN I CAN HAVE ALL THE SHRIMP IN THE WORLD!!! MUA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

    • Hat Stealer

      So I suppose by this logic, Anyabwile must be trying to get all the gay sex in the world.

      Which makes sense actually.

      • Conuly

        I can’t think of any other reason he’s spending his days thinking luridly of his neighbor’s bedrooms.

      • Divizna

        Makes sense? But, but, if he wants all gay sex for himself and himself alone… I mean, you can eat shrimp all by yourself, but, you know, to have sex… you know… don’t you need…
        someone else?

  • AndersH

    Wow, that “OMG, you guys, shield your eyes and cover your ears, because I’m going to lay down some GRAPHIC and DISGUSTING shit on you” followed by stuff that just makes me think, though it is written in a very sterile manner, “yes, I am pretty into all of that.”

    • centaurie

      Ditto. I’ve read smut scenes in fiction that were more…graphic than that passage.

      • The_L1985

        I’ve read non-smut scenes in fiction that were more graphic than that passage.

      • centaurie


    • NeaDods

      Seriously, I’ve read far more graphic slashfic.

      • tsara

        I’ve read more graphic lists of warnings for the contents of slashfic.

      • NeaDods


      • Lyric

        If I were a sadistic little troll, I’d find some way to point this guy in the direction of weepingcock on LJ.

        . . . If I were a troll.

        (By the way—hi! It’s me, Lyricwrites! Nice to see a familiar ‘nym.)

      • Jolie

        Heh, I’ve heard there is such thing as slash fic with “real-life” characters; like politicians. (Not sure about church leaders and the like though…)
        Now, if any smartass would manage to point them in *that* direction…

      • The_L1985

        Or the godslash community. Can you imagine?

      • NeaDods

        Hey there!

        But gotta contradict you – weeping also covers het sex. If you really wanted to troll, send him to thescienceofjohnlock. On Friday.

        (Obligatory disclaimer: not an actual request for trolling. Also, for the love of your job, do not search those two terms together on a work computer. In fact don’t search the blog name at work at all!)

      • ashley

        The irony… Thabiti’s piece is helping me find more soft porn. Carry on.

      • aim2misbehave

        Oooh, even better yet, send him to a Supernatural kinkmeme! All the fun of Johnlock writers, but with the added levels of incest and/or sex with angels and/or demons!

      • Stev84

        And nearly all m/m slash is written by straight women

      • NeaDods

        Yes, I know. I think that may start changing as homosexual relationships become more canon and now that it’s much more accepted to be publicly gay. Or so I’ve gotten from slash panels at cons these days.

    • Trollface McGee

      “My Immortal’s” “He put his thingie in my you-know-what” is more graphic than this.. I think I’m more disgusted by his lack of imagination.

      • Whirlwitch

        Oh, “My Immortal”! I wanted to read the Worst Fanfic Ever, so I went and read a few pages or so, I did get as far as that line, which was definitely the most memorable bit. Anyone who uses “thingie” shouldn’t be writing sex scenes, but those girls were about 14 or so. As to this guy, I don’t know what his excuse is.

      • NiggerLoser

        Badly written with butchered english, but not the worst stuff i’ve read by far. Not by a very, very long shot.

    • Baby_Raptor

      I debated leaving actual graphic descriptions there, but I have no experience in male-on-male sex. And I doubt his readers would be half as grossed out by lesbian sex as he wants them to be.

  • TwirlyGirly

    I belong to a Yahoo Group whose owner is a fundamentalist Christian. He is also obsessed with gay sex and never misses an opportunity to talk about how “disgusting” it is. He is also of the opinion that children are BORN being “naturally disgusted” SSA and by ALL same-sex physical contact (including hand-holding, kissing, etc). Note here: this guy is middle-aged, never been married, and has no kids.
    I raised a daughter who is now 17 years old. She never reacted negatively to any expressions of same-sex physical contact – even as a toddler. (I am not gay, but have gay friends). As a matter of fact, she never even questioned SSA until one day, when she was about four or five years old, she happened to see something on the news about it (I can’t remember now what it was – might have been a story about Westboro “Baptist Church” or same-sex marriage). In other words, up to that moment SSA was just a normal part of life to her. It wasn’t until she heard *someone else* make negative comments that she questioned it.
    My reply was simple: “Most of the time, girls grow up and fall in love with boys, and boys grow up and fall in love with girls. But sometimes, girls grow up and fall in love with other girls, and sometimes, boys grow up and fall in love with other boys.”
    She shrugged her shoulders and said “Oh.”
    NOT the response you’d expect from someone who was supposedly “BORN being ‘naturally disgusted’ by SSA and by ALL same-sex physical contact,” eh?
    As the song says….”You have to be TAUGHT……”

    • jhlee

      Well obviously you turned her against her God-given instincts with your librul homosexual agenda.

      But seriously, kids who didn’t have hangups and prejudices drilled into them are often drama-free about sexuality, both others’ and later their own. Even supposing the fundies are right, though, and acceptance of homosexual behaviors and individuals turns out to be unnatural, so what? Toilet training ain’t natural, either, though there’s ample evidence that homosexuality is. Trying to deduce moral guidance from facts about nature = massive logic fail.

    • krisya0507

      My son gets gleefully happy when he sees adults doing things like kissing and holding hands. He’ll point and smile his biggest smile and say, “Look, they love each other!” He’s almost 4 and we haven’t really gone into the difference between romantic love and other kinds of love, but he basically thinks all love is great. (We have taught him about inappropriate touching, in case anybody reads this and gets concerned, which I could certainly understand.) It’s so refreshing to see him. That’s what we thought would happen, and trusted would happen, but it’s been so refreshing to have it reinforced that homophobia and hate are not natural. One of our good friends is gay and hadn’t been seeing anybody seriously until recently, then brought his newly-serious partner over for a game day at our house. My son was totally unfazed and mildly embarrassed them by seeing them and announcing very happily, “Michael and Ryan are loving each other, yay!”

      • Alix

        My son gets gleefully happy when he sees adults doing things like kissing and holding hands. He’ll point and smile his biggest smile and say, “Look, they love each other!”

        That is so adorable.

      • The_L1985

        I remember getting warm-fuzzies from Frog and Toad holding hands in the cover of Frog and Toad Are Friends. The cover always made me think of “Oh boy! Where are we going to go today, buddy?” and not freaky buttsex, but apparently you have to be a very special sort of person to read nasty things into people holding hands.

  • AnotherOne

    That dude must have the most boring sex life ever.

    • Carol Lynn

      You think his sexual experience is more than “ambidextrous”?

  • The_L1985

    The only thing I would add is that when someone is disgusted by something immoral, it’s knowing about the form and consequences of the immorality that causes the revulsion, not vice-versa.

    As I put it in another blog comment thread, I firmly believe that pederasty is wrong and find it utterly disgusting–but I don’t think it’s wrong because it’s “icky.” Rather, the reason I am disgusted by acts or accounts of child molestation is because I know that those acts cause severe and irreparable psychological harm to children and are therefore deeply morally wrong.

    At the same time, I don’t like any kind of peppers and find them universally bitter and gross (yes, even “sweet” bell peppers). However, I don’t think that eating peppers is wrong, and I’m more than willing to support my brother’s jalapeño habit.

    • Scott_In_OH

      This is another excellent example that (1) having morality/ethics does not depend on a belief in God and (2) asking how an action affects actual people seems like a much better guide to good behavior than asking how it affects God.

      • The_L1985

        I never did understand the whole idea of “don’t do things because God’s pwecious fee-fees will be hurt!” People’s feelings are hurt all the damn time. It’s part of life. I’d think an all-knowing god would be far more affected by all the murder, torture, human trafficking, and inhumane business practices in our world than by the fact that a four-year-old forgot to pray before eating lunch.

      • Leigha7

        I agree. I personally center my morality on how things affect people. I can’t see any logic to, “No one is hurt but this 2000 year old book says it’s wrong, so it’s wrong,” or “This will hurt lots of people, but my pastor said to do it, so it’s right.”

        It’s no wonder most people never surpass authority-defined morality. It’d be pretty hard to make the leap to exploring it yourself when none of what you’ve been taught actually makes sense (or, rather, there are two types of people–those who will be pushed to explore it themselves because of this, and those who will be afraid to because they assume they are incapable of it since they don’t understand the nonexistent logic behind what they’ve been taught).

    • InvertIntrovert

      Whenever someone pulls out “If we legalize gay marriage, what’s to stop us from allowing someone to marry an eight-year-old or a horse?” I always think, “you’ve basically just admitted that you can’t think of any independent reason not to commit pedophilia or bestiality. That’s… probably not what you meant to convey.”

      • Alix

        …I’m … not quite that charitable. When people say stuff like that, or similar things about how only their religion keeps them from murdering, I tend to think they’re actually serious, and therefore are people I need to not be around for safety reasons.

      • The_L1985

        I can’t always follow this to its conclusion. I’d miss my father too much, oddly enough.

      • Alix

        *shrug* Some people have a different tolerance for risk than I do. For my part, I just … can’t deal with that particular brand of bullshit, y’know?

      • Leigha7

        Yeah, people who say that religion is the only thing keeping them from raping and/or murdering people scare the hell out of me. Like, I’m glad you found religion to help you with that and all, but please, stay far, far away from me.

        I saw a discussion once over whether it was moral to kill someone if God told you to. Most people said something like, “You’re being terribly disingenuous and intentionally trying to start an argument, because God would never do that.” (Um…Isaac, anyone? Some people said that doesn’t count because God never actually meant for Abraham to kill him, but that fails because Abraham did not and could not have known that, and obeying in the hopes that God would change his mind would have been false obedience) Most of the rest said, “Absolutely, because God defines morality and nothing God says to do could ever be immoral.” The whole “God is the only think keeping from going on a murderous rampage” sentiment came up a lot. It was pretty disturbing.

      • lrfcowper

        I’ve actually told people that their statements indicate they don’t understand the concept of consent, which immediately disqualifies their morals and ethics from my serious consideration, as well as disqualifying them for any job involving the care and teaching of children or vulnerable adults, dealing with the public in a one-on-one capacity, or holding any sort of authority or power, for example minister, teacher, counselor, doctor, or political office holder.

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        These Christians don’t seem to realize that in trying to slippery-slope argue against LGBT people they have become the best friends of pedophiles and their animal-loving equivalents (while also being enemies to much of Jesus’ ancestry- if you remember the third big moral failing they believe legalizing gay marriage will lead to).

    • j.lup

      when someone is disgusted by something immoral, it’s knowing about the form and consequences of the immorality that causes the revulsion, not vice-versa.

      That’s not actually true – our ethics are a result of reasoning through our moral instincts in an attempt to assign motivation for those feelings. We don’t go through a process from consequence and reason to form our moral impulses (although we can do when we want to examine our impulses if we perceive that our impulses are based in inculcated beliefs and prejudices). Primates have an in-built sense of morality, although that sense can be defective or damaged. I don’t abhor child rape because it does harm to children – I abhor child rape because I properly find the idea of it sickening and it triggers my protective primate impulses. I can then validate my instincts through reasoning that rape hurts children and that children are incapable of consent. But when I imagine the rage I would feel if someone harmed one of my nieces or nephews, and the impulse I would feel to kill that person, it’s pure a priori instinct, not a reasoned response.

      The disgust factor in judging homosexuality comes from imagining oneself engaging in homosexual sex, and in the case of men, they usually imagine themselves being a victim of rape. (As the saying goes, Homophobia is the fear of being treated by men the way you treat women. For men who’s sense of self and masculinity is based in being always in control, always the one with power, never the one assuming a position of vulnerability, being on the receiving end of male sexual attention is the ultimate humiliation.) The self-centered individual then extrapolates from their own sense of comfort to establishing what should be the norm: ‘I don’t find the thought of another man’s body appealing, so neither should any other man.’ But this too isn’t a rational, reasoned position – it’s purely instinctive, and people who are unable or unwilling to imagine that other people aren’t like themselves, and that those differences are okay, are stuck in this kind of knee-jerk judgement.

      • Leigha7

        “Homophobia is the fear of being treated by men the way you treat women. For men who’s sense of self and masculinity is based in being always in control, always the one with power, never the one assuming a position of vulnerability, being on the receiving end of male sexual attention is the ultimate humiliation.”

        I think that’s a brilliant insight. Homophobia and sexism often go hand-in-hand (though certainly not always), and I think a lot of it–particularly with regard to the emphasis on gay men and exclusion of lesbians–is because gay men are seen as feminine, and what could possibly be worse than an effeminate man? The more someone looks down on women, the more they’ll look down on a man who they deem to be womanly. (That this is a stereotype is not relevant to the point, because they wholly believe the stereotype.)

    • J-Rex

      And along with the pepper thing, I’m sure you constantly have people telling you that if you just try *this* kind or if you just try it in *this* recipe, you’ll love it! I’ve always hated olives and have even tried them many times in my life because people keep saying I’ll love it if I just try it again. It’s revolting every time! But every time it comes up, I hear the exact same thing all over again. Holy shit, I think *I* would know.

      It’s like a much less serious version of what gay people go through when people tell them they’d be straight if they just found the right person of the opposite sex. People can’t stop and think long enough to realize that everyone has different life experiences and not everyone has to have the same preferences.

      But seriously, if you’d just try my salsa recipe you’d love bell peppers and jalapeños! /snark

  • Highlander

    I think Brussels sprouts are disgusting, lets ban them. And chicken feet soup, ban that too, too bad for the companies that make millions exporting chicken feet to China, nearly every American finds the idea of eating chicken feet disgusting so we can’t allow anyone to enjoy them.


    • MargueriteF

      I totally agree that Brussels sprouts should be banned!

      • JP

        You don’t *really* hate Brussels sprouts – you just haven’t had them prepared right yet!

        (/reference to dismissive comments made to anyone who’s expressed that they may experience anything other than heterosexual attraction)

      • Feminerd

        How do they handle “I’m mostly straight (female) and married to a man, but mmmm women’s curves”? As in, I’ve tried and like Brussels sprouts, but broccoli is tasty too?

      • Jolie

        Speaking of foodstuff (and in the previous comments, of shirtless John Barrowman), Captain Jack Harness wisdom:
        “Oh, you’re straight? So is spaghetti, until it gets HOT”.

      • JP


        And in answer to your question, Feminerd- they don’t handle it at all. Seriously, both my partner and I have found ourselves in weirdly uncomfortable conversations with people we know recently where we’ve had to *remind* them that there are orientations other than just Straight or Gay. The possibility that some of us might genuinely find multiple genders appealing is evidently some strange, insurmountable conundrum for them. It’s either hilariously dismissable or off-putting and change-of-subject-worthy.

        I don’t know. I mean, I’m the standard deviation on multiple axes in any group I’m in, and always have been. The orientation thing is just the most recent manifestation.

      • JP

        And for what it’s worth- I hate Brussels sprouts steamed, and love them roasted. Go figure.

      • Liz

        Laughing soooo hard right now!

      • The_L1985

        Mmm, Jack Harkness.

    • Miss_Beara

      And peas. I hate peas.

      Bad bad peas.

      • Nate Frein

        I love fresh peas. I hate canned peas.

        My wife loves canned peas. She hates fresh peas.

      • Stev84

        I hate peas. Never understood the hatred against Brussels sprouts though.

  • AlisonCummins

    Kissing breasts is disgusting? Since when? Isn’t it in the Song of Songs?

    • sunnyside

      Yeah, that paragraph missed the mark. Just reads like a fantasy. The first one is squicky b/c “create life” with a penis…ewwww.

      • Jolie

        When reading his description of lesbian sex I did get a tiny bit turned on ;) (and I’m a straight girl…)

      • j.lup

        His description of gay male sex aroused me quite a bit (and I’m a straight gal too).

      • ashley

        Glad to know someone else was thinking this. I was like, “well, apparently my gag-reflex is broken, but my blood-flow reflex is working just fine”. Also a straight female.

    • Jolie

      If he’s disgusted by oral sex and kissing breasts… well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want to be his wife! Tee hee hee….

    • Hat Stealer

      Yeah, if this guys thinks that nipple licking is pretty much the most disgusting thing a person can do, then he shouldn’t be given an internet connection in the first place.

      It’s sort of a weird thought to think that fundies honestly find all forms of foreplay disgusting and immoral. Are they just posturing, or do they honestly just have the worst sex in the entire world?

  • sylvia_rachel

    I read that article (slacktivist linked to it too), and I was indeed disgusted. But I don’t think the disgust was the kind of disgust the author meant to create, because what disgusted me was his juvenile and deliberately cruel behaviour toward other human beings, not the content of his (kind of hilarious) attempt at graphic portrayals of gay sex.

    This is a dude who clearly has a LOT of trouble thinking outside the box of his own limited experiences. It’s like when a certain variety of Christian proselytizer earnestly explains to you about Jesus, because surely once you are AWARE, you’ll be TOTALLY CONVINCED, and you’re like, Dude, I already know what you believe about Jesus, I just don’t find it convincing. My reaction to Thabiti Anyabwile’s “disgust-inducing” description of gay sex is, basically, Dude, I know what kinds of stuff same-sex couples do in bed. I just don’t find it disgusting (or, you know, in any way my business — much like the sex lives of straight people).

    • Mira
      • sylvia_rachel

        Of course he does.

        Notice his not-pology for using the terms “gag reflex” and “disgusting”: he regrets using these words because they were too liable to be misunderstood as hurtful, not because they were actually super hurtful.

        Notice also that he has now extended his argument that we should all be grossed out by what other people get up to in the bedroom to the sex lives of straight people. You know what? That doesn’t make it better.

      • Mira

        What I do in the bedroom is my business. Why does he think it ought to be his? Humans have been very imaginative when it comes to sex for a very long time.

      • tsara

        I’m asexual and have never had anything even remotely approaching sex with another person, and even my sex life isn’t good enough for him. Mostly because I have one.

      • wanderer

        The one thing that makes me sad is that he says he’s in Southern Africa right now. The last thing Uganda needs (if he’s anywhere near there) is someone to reinforce hatred of homosexuals.

      • sylvia_rachel

        Uganda isn’t very far south. But of course I have zero idea what he means by “southern Africa” — I’m thinking ZA, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, etc., but maybe by “southern” he “sub-Saharan”, in which case, yeah :(

        I mean, not that any of those other places needs him either.

      • wanderer

        true, Uganda is considered East Africa. I’m just so upset about what’s happening with anti-gay laws in Uganda I get nervous when anyone even gets close who would reinforce that hatred.

      • Baby_Raptor

        Of course he does. they’re always victims when people disagree with them. I mean, we DISAGREED with him! It’s *just like* feeding him to lions!

    • Kit

      Yes – my first thought on reading the excerpts posted here is “Does he think we’re all stupid?” I mean, most people know perfectly well how gay people have sex! We’re just not disgusted by it (perhaps partially because heterosexual couples can and do engage in the same sexual behaviours if they so choose) or just don’t really care about it. It has no visceral reaction at all.

      My reaction was “Yes, they do, and so what?”

  • sylvia_rachel

    Oh, and also? I have tried and tried to like eggplant, but I continue to find it gag-inducing. LET’S BAN EGGPLANT!!

    • Ariel

      When we were younger, I used to be able to squick my little brother into leaving me alone by describing, in lurid and graphic detail, what it was like to donate blood. I guess the Jehovah’s Witnesses are right and blood transfusions should be banned.

    • ako

      I love eggplant! But clearly the fact that it makes someone else squeamish proves I should never have it! I’ll just go and throw away all my eggplant now.

      • sylvia_rachel


      • Kellen Connor

        Congratulations, Ako and Sylvia: You’ve won “Best Comments.”

    • Jolie

      Eggplant-hater here too! :D More eggplant for Ako then?
      (Following the analogy by the same logic, more shirtless John Barrowman for the gay fanboys! Or something…)

      • sylvia_rachel

        More shirtless John Barrowman for ANYONE WHO’S INTERESTED, is what I say ;) (Although actually I like him with his shirt on, too…)

      • Liz

        OMG, shirtless with Ianto, please. Please…

      • Feminerd

        I like eggplant sometimes, but it has to be cooked well. Oh, and American eggplant can be crazy bitter sometimes, which sucks.

        Also more shirtless John Barrowman! I can join that call!

      • JohnDoyleCdf

        If your eggplant contains a lot of brown seeds, you need to slice it, spread out the slices on a rack and sprinkle liberal amounts of coarse salt on it. After half an hour or so much of the bitter liquid will come to the surface and you can simply pat the slices dry before cooking them. :)

      • Feminerd


  • Turtle

    I suppose he doesn’t think of gay couples watching tv, going to the grocery store, caring for each other when one is sick, arguing about money, crying at their kid’s graduation, sitting next to a hospital bed where the other is dying. No, clearly being gay is all about icky gay sex.

    • LadyCricket

      This was when I did a 180 on the beleifs I’d been taught – when I realized that same-sex attraction manifests itself as things like holding hands, going to movies, kisses on the cheek, and wanting to raise a family together, and not only as wanting buttsex.

      • Jolie

        Also, heterosexual attraction sometimes may manifest itself as wanting buttsex. works both ways :D

  • MargueriteF

    I said over on Friendly Atheist that this guy must not get out much. He seems to think that anyone who knows what gay sex involves will be disgusted. First of all, most Americans aren’t stupid, and really do understand how sex (in all its forms) works. Second of all, he seems unaware of (or is pretending not to know about) the many, many straight people who enjoy reading slash fanfiction and gay erotica– who read about gay sex in vivid and descriptive detail, and happily go read some more. Third, most of the things he describes are also done and enjoyed by most straight people (one really hopes he knows this). And finally, who cares if he or anyone else is disgusted? We don’t make laws based on anyone’s supposed gag reflex.

    But really, he’s just echoing many religious conservatives before him. If you look at the comments in almost any Yahoo article, you will see that a lot of conservatives really do think homosexuality is all about sex (probably because like you as a child, they’ve been taught to think that way). Their minds go there automatically, and they don’t think of a gay couple as normal human beings with normal lives, but as depraved perverts who engage in weird sexual practices 24/7. For example, on that Yahoo article about the gay sailor who came home and proposed to his boyfriend in public, an awful lot of the comments were of the “Ick! Disgusting! Buttsex!” variety. A man gets down on one knee and proposes to another man in a very sweet and romantic fashion, and the first thing they think is, “Ugh, buttsex!” Frankly, THEY disgust me.

    • Palaverer

      Your comment reminded me of the misconception I had as a child about sex. I knew that “sleeping together” meant sex (even if I didn’t have a clear idea what that was) so I thought grown-ups had sex all night long instead of sleeping. This guy seems to have that same mentality about gay people.

      • Alix


        I thought the exact opposite – that “sex” was just a special word for adult sleepovers – and so I was really confused how all this resulted in my siblings. XD

      • The_L1985

        I used to think how often you had sex determined whether you had multiple births–but about 3 years before that, I knew nothing beyond “We wanted and prayed for a baby, and one grew in Mommy’s tummy.”

      • Alix

        I was convinced babies were somehow arranged for as presents – my brother was born almost on Christmas, after I asked for one, and my sister was born around a week past Valentine’s Day, after I asked for a little sister for Valentine’s too. XD Mom finally told me to just stop asking for siblings because I was jinxing her.

      • The_L1985

        I used to think you could do something to make the baby turn out a certain sex. My parents had always told me how happy they were when I was born, and how nice it was that they had “one of each” when my little brother came along.

        So I figured it wouldn’t be that hard for them to make me a little sister, too. I was in middle school before I stopped asking.

      • Alix

        Hee. I remember telling Mom very seriously after she asked me to stop asking for more siblings that it was okay, I had one of each, but couldn’t I get a return on my brother and trade him in for a cuter model?


  • tdd68

    Eh, I don’t think the dude gets out much…and totally feel sorry for his poor wife. I mean even when I was having straight sex, Most of the “gross” behaviors were at least a possibility…well, I’m female so no penis-penis grinding…but all the rest. I mean, maybe I have been misinformed by pop-culture, but I though all men enjoyed mouth on penis activity. As a woman, I KNOW that I enjoy the various female activities described (and even enjoyed said activities with men). None of it is “disgusting”, although I had pain concerns when it came to any anal activity…but I knew there were ways to decrease pain/make it more pleasurable with a good partner.

    As a matter of fact, about the only type of sexual activity I find truly disgusting is the type where both(all) parties are not consenting to said activities. And given what we’ve seen so far in Libby’s review of the Pearl’s book….

  • Jayn

    The bit about ‘used to excrete waste’ seems like it could open a bad can of worms for him–I can get why he’d go with that, but the penis is also used to that purpose, so maybe we shouldn’t be putting it up where babies come from? ;)

    Also, how many people who find same-sex relationships ‘disgusting’ also have a hard time talking about heterosexual sexual acts? Maybe we should all be asexual then.

    • JP

      Liking this; but also posting the obligatory caveat that many asexual folks do not find sex disgusting, just neutral. (And quite a lot of them tell the best dirty jokes I’ve ever heard.) While defending same sex attraction is important, it’s also important not to mischaracterize other orientations.

      That said, I agree completely about Anyabwile’s focus on “waste excretion”. Seriously, dude, get your gnosticism in order, posthaste.

      • Lyric

        Hell, I know of an asexual person who writes some pretty good smut.

        Way better than his. Learn2pr0n, dude.

      • tsara

        I’ve written smut. It’s sort of cheating as a way to get character development to happen because sex is easy to write as a high-emotion thing, so I don’t do it anymore unless I’m feeing particularly lazy, but yeah.
        I’m asexual and Do Not Want to do any sex-things with anyone aside from myself. If I’m not involved, though, sex is just a thing people do.

      • Hilary

        Tsara – off topic, but I have a question for you. Do you like feminist sword n’ sorcery fantasy books? Have you ever heard of/read something by Mercedes Lackey? I was reading some old favorites and it occured to me I was reading about well-develped, emotionally healthy asexual main characters, and hey I know someone via a favorite blog who identifys as asexual, may be Tsara would like this. I thought I’d check to see if you’ve heard of Tarma, Warryl and Kethry first before recommending the books about them.

      • tsara

        Yes, I do like feminist fantasy books and no, I haven’t heard of those ones (except vaguely). And book recommendations are always welcomed. :)

      • Feminerd

        Oh, those are some of the better ones. Oathbound, Oathbreakers, and Oathblood.

      • tsara

        I’ll be sure to look them up when I have space in my book-budget. :)

      • Hilary
      • Hilary

        The reason I thought of you is because you are the only person I’ve any sort of regular contact with who identifies as asexual, (that I know of – I don’t ask about my coworkers sex lives) and two of the three main characters in those books are well developed, emotionally healthy and stable asexual people. I don’t know where “sharing comment space on a favorite blog, agreeing with each other, learning a few new viewpoints, and enjoying reading posted responses” falls regarding online friendships, but I did think you might like these books.

        Tarma is s Shin’a’in swordsworn warrior, both a warrior and a priestess of her people’s Star-Eyed Goddess. Part of the deal with being swordsworn is magically enforced celibacy. It’s something both men and women can be, and they are still male and female people but with no sex drive or sexuality at all. Her companion is Warrl, a kyree. Kyree’s are people who are sentient creatures that look wolfish but have bodies more like large cats. They can mind speak, and have three genders, male, female, and neuter. The neuter variety are the travelers, historians, and wanderers. Kethry, who provides the sorcery part of this sword n’ sorcery story, calls for a kyree familiar but when Warrl answers her call he decides to bond to Tarma since they are both fighters and both asexual.

        I’d always enjoyed how well Lackey handled gay, lesbian and bi characters, both as side characters and main characters, but it wasn’t until I’d gotten to know about asexuality as part of the spectrum that I realized these two qualified as asexual main characters.

        She’s a *VERY* PROLIFIC fantasy writer, but her Valdemar books are the best known, and my favorite. And, there is great music to go with them, several albums of professional filk music. These books are generally easy to get secondhand.


        Shin’a’in Song of the Seasons, describing the 4-fold aspects of the male God and the Star-Eyed Goddess

        The Shin’a’in War Song, describing the four tribes, Deer, Wolf, Hawk, and Cat:

        Oathbound: Tarma and Kethry’s relationship as warrior and sorceress:

        Kethry angry and ready to fight and kill with magic:

        Kethry in love, and one of the sweetest love songs I’ve ever heard from a woman about her man:

        Leslac, the bard/nemesis of the women, trying to write a song about a night in a bar, sung as a duet by Leslac and Tarma (my friend and I love singing this song together, I’m Leslac with a way over the top male falsetto)

    • Alix

      Hell, as someone pointed out in another blog post on this subject, exhaling is a form of waste excretion. Should we thus ban breathing?

      • Whirlwitch

        No, just SEXY breathing. :)

      • Alix

        Kissing, of course, is Right Out.

      • Whirlwitch

        I actually saw an anti-gay pamphlet that gets all disgusted about the fact that gay people kiss, (actual cartoon person’s reaction: Yech!) and how revolting and unhealthy swapping saliva is.

        I read it through pretty carefully, it didn’t seem to be a parody…

      • Alix


  • Christine

    Of course it’s gross. It’s sex. Why does he think that arousal gives us a higher tolerance for things that we would otherwise find disgusting?

  • ako

    When I read his description, I didn’t feel disgusted, but embarrassed. It was just so awkwardly described.

    His efforts to create disgust give me the creeps. There has been a long, ugly history of associating people with something disgusting (like rats or cockroaches), shortly before really brutal violence. It’s how they psych people up for that kind of thing, using the “Ew!” reaction to override compassion.

    I’ve gotten in one or two conversation with my six-year-old niece about sexual orientation (at her age, I talk about people falling in love and getting married), and while she does seem confused (in a “But girls marry boys! That’s how it happens in fairy tales!” way), she doesn’t show any sign of disgust. (I’m sure there are people who will insist that’s proof homosexuality is unnatural, but her ideas of love and romance are very strongly influenced by stories in general and fairy tales in particular, and I think it’s fair to consider cultural influence the biggest factor.)

    • Beroli

      (in a “But girls marry boys! That’s how it happens in fairy tales!” way)

      Try showing her some Emma Donoghue or Malinda Lo.

    • Frimp

      “There has been a long, ugly history of associating people with something disgusting (like rats or cockroaches), shortly before really brutal violence”

      That’s a really good and distressing point that I hadn’t considered.

      I sincerely hope that things don’t take a turn in that direction. But it’s good to be aware of the possibility, so we have a better chance of heading it off at the pass.

  • John Small Berries

    “Conservatives opposing the campaign for marriage equality argue that
    children need a mother and a father, and that allowing gay and lesbian
    individuals to marry will deprive children of having a parent of each
    gender and thus cause them harm.”

    The fact that they’re not campaigning as vociferously for making divorce illegal shows just how little they actually believe that argument themselves.

    • Libby Anne

      Unfortunately, some of them DO want to make divorce illegal, or at least much harder to obtain. And there is legislation to that effect, such as wanting longer waiting periods, or to mandate marital counseling before allowing divorces. Of course, you are absolutely right about the disproportional focus, at least at the current time.

      • John Small Berries

        Oh, I’m sure that any legislative success they might enjoy will only spur them to try and outlaw more and more things they find objectionable.

        But for now, my wife has never been told she’s unfit to teach children for her “unbiblical lifestyle” of having remarried after divorce; I’m not aware of any attempts to enshrine a divorce ban in any state constitutions; and I’ve never heard of anyone getting kicked out of their church for being supportive of divorced relatives (though I wouldn’t be surprised by examples of that one).

        And according to the Bible, Jesus himself condemned divorce, and explicitly called remarriage after divorce a violation of one of the Ten Commandments; it’s not just one of those lesser Biblical rules mixed in with all the ones that “good Christians” feel perfectly content to violate every single day, like eating bacon cheeseburgers or wearing mixed-fiber textiles. So one would think they would be more interested in banning divorce!

      • Liz

        Let’s not give them any ideas…

      • John Small Berries

        I’m not quite sure why that listed me as “AnotherOne”. Weird.

  • jhlee

    News flash: The mechanical facts of sex are in fact disgusting, whether homosexual, heterosexual or what have you. I heard in the DVD commentary for Atonement that the industry term for a long shot of people having sex is called “bugs f___king.” That’s how alienating it is to be on the outside looking in at the dull physical fact of sex, away from the context of intimacy and excitement. Pretending that’s only true for gay sex is beyond disingenuous.

  • Hilary

    I read his article – maybe something is wrong with me, but I didn’t get offended, I thought it was hilarious. Like, “We can’t win going against love, commitment and equality, so we’re just going to try and gross people out.” And then his descriptions of sex were so pathetic. I echo what others have said, he really needs to get out more. Seriously, dude, if you are going to try and squick people out describing sex and that’s the best you can do, you really need to read some of the fanfiction out there, not to mention slash and yaoi. (Yaoi is gay romance manga written by women, for women, FYI).

    Over at RHE’s take on this whole shebang, I thought she did a good job taking it seriously. One of the posters in the reply thread mentioned that we should absolutely focus on the sexual mechanics of homosexuality, because they were forcing all of the focus on their sexual identity. I had so much fun replying to him, I’ll share it here.

    Poster: “I just don’t approve of their sin/choices. They are forcing the world to accept their behavior as well as their personhood.”

    Me: “You know who really forces their sexual choices on people at large? Straights. You guys can’t even sell a car without sex, let alone beer or toothpaste. What about my straight coworkers with wedding rings. Do you realize that they tell the whole world they have sex with one person via jewelry? And pictures of their kids . . . please, I really don’t need to know that you had sex and successfully reproduced. I mean, each and every child you see running around is a walking admission that straight people have sex.

    High school prom, wedding planner magazines . . . . how much do you guys spend on parties to let the whole world know who you are having sex with? Then you have the audacity at work to ask your employer to support your sexual habits with legal benefits for your spouses.

    Given how much the heterosexual world revolves around people flaunting their life-long sexual choices and asking everybody to accept your sexual behavior as well as your personhood, I don’t see what’s so hard about returning the favor to gay and lesbian people.”

    To be fair, I have no problem with straight people enjoying appropriate, consensual sex, and being ok with themselves regarding said sexual activity. There are a lot of hetero people out there I love and respect, and as long as I don’t have to watch graphic details of your personal lives, I support you straights in having a wonderful, loving adult sex life. Heck, my parents are straight people, and I have never let that stop me from loving and respecting them. / very friendly, tongue in cheek snark /

    • Liz

      Oh, the two of us would get along just fine :-)

  • onamission5

    In a way, sometimes it’s a relief for me when heterosupremacist bigots come out and say what they really think. Yes, please, continue to disenfranchise yourselves from decent folk, show everyone how mean spirited and intolerant you really are, there’s your true colors, that’s a good bigot, ensure that no one with a smidge of conscience will want to be associated with you.

    On the other hand, I was already well aware that there are people who think I’m disgusting and ought to be shunned, shamed, criminalized and/or rounded up. I was already more than aware that I get better treatment from my family since I partnered with a man 13 years ago than I did the nine years before that. I’m already more than aware that falling in love with a socially approved person has my family declaring victory for jesus over my life because I’m no longer being all gross and sinful– so much that they’re willing to overlook the fact that Spouse and I are still unmarried.

    The people he’s trying to reach are the people who already believe the same way he does. That doesn’t make sentiments like his any less hurtful when they play out in reality.

  • mandassassin

    Y’know what I and many people of my acquaintance find disgusting to think about? The process of surgery. I mean, eugh. And yet somehow I’m not all. “Got appendicitis? Tough shit, surgery is icky so we’re outlawing it.”
    Which, come to think of it, is an argument I’ve seen used against abortion without acknowledging that ALL surgery looks viscerally gross to many if not most people. So argument from “ick” isn’t new for these folks, I suppose.

    • j.lup

      And not only is surgery icky, it’s UNNATURAL! Do other animals in the natural world perform surgery? Clearly we should take all our behavioural and moral cues from ‘nature’ and not do anything that other animals don’t do either.

  • Petticoat Philosopher

    Is seeing a sexy member of the opposite sex and dwelling on the thought of sexual intercourse with him or her totally sinning while going out of your way to conjure up graphic images of gay or lesbian sex is totally a-okay? In what world does that make sense?

    In the world where thinking about sex with someone to whom you are not currently married is only okay if doing so causes you no pleasure? If it feels good it must be bad. If it makes you feel utter revulsion it’s, like, totes righteous.

  • Gillianren

    Did anyone else notice that, in a discussion that includes why we shouldn’t allow gay marriage, he threw out the idea that all gays are “promiscuous”? It reminds me of the rhetoric of the early days of the AIDS epidemic–”if you weren’t out having sex with four different strangers every night, you wouldn’t come down with this horrible disease! Oh, but we aren’t going to let San Francisco pass an ordinance that would offer benefits for people in committed relationships.” I really do believe you have to pick one to be outraged about–gay promiscuity or gay marriages.

    Yes, I know there’s such thing as open marriage; I have friends in open marriages. However, a lot more people aren’t in them than are. And I doubt most people in open marriages are what I, at least, think of as promiscuous.

    And, yes, chalk me up for another person who feels sorry for the man’s wife.

  • TLC

    “Warning: Obscene descriptions follow.”

    By the time I got done reading this, my thought was BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Really, dude? This is what you call obscene? Your descriptions remind me of the attitude I had when I was 6 years old and thought boys had cooties. Sheesh. Would love to see his face when he walks by the books section in Walmart and sees a bodice ripper on the shelves.

    After reading some of the descriptions of so-called “Christian” life I’ve found here, I have been as disgusted and “gagged” by his and others’ twisting of Scripture and mistreatment of humans of all walks as he is grossed out by his image of sex. The idea that this is what these groups would choose to focus on tells me that those thoughts aren’t as “pure” as they’d like them to be.

    Libby Anne, you made all the points that came to mind while I was reading this. Most excellent post.

    BTW, thank you to everyone here who introduced me to the word “squick” in all its forms. I had not heard this word before I came here. “Squicky” is definitely how this man’s attitude toward gay people makes me feel!

    • aletha

      That’s what I thought, too. The description was about as “graphic” as my mom’s first description of sex to me when I was 5…

  • LadyCricket

    *Sigh* Yeah. I recognize all this rhetoric.

    I’ve mentioned it before, but when I first asked my mother what “gay” was, she got a very serious look on her face and said, “It’s when a man wants to marry a man. And it’s a TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE thing.”

    I had a very solid relationship with my family and my church in my youth – only solid with the family now – so when Prop 8 was being proposed in California and the LGBT community fought back, I wanted to stand up for them. I wanted to prove they were right. Throughout my teen years, I sought out the best anti-gay arguments… and found none that didn’t boil down to “God said so” or “Buttsex is gross”.

    My stance on the issue has since matured, and I’ve had an epiphany – maybe, just maybe, men can occasionally *fall in love* with other men, and women with women. And just maybe, this love leads to a romantic companionship, and then just maybe, occasionally, a desire to share your body with the one you love. As it works in het relationships. And then MAYBE, the reason LGBT people think you’re a jerk when you fight marriage equality is because you are actively trying to deny them the means to be with the ones they love.

    And, like other commenters have mentioned… ALL SEX IS DISGUSTING. I think I was about 11 when, driving home from a school meeting on the magic of puberty, I mustered up the courage to ask my mom how a man’s sperm cells got to a woman’s egg cells. The answer left me unable to look boys in the eyes for about half a year.

    • Kate Monster

      I’ll do you one further: all bodily functions are disgusting. Think–really THINK–about eating. Taking food, mashing it around with your teeth, your saliva saturating it and mixing into a strange food/spit mush. Then it wiggles down your throat, into your stomach, where your food/spit mixes with acids as your stomach walls twist and massage it around until salad is indistinguishable from steak.

      If you really think about it, sex is fucking disgusting. So is eating. So are muscle movements. So are 90% of the things the body does. All manner of other things are a lot grosser than sex. Including childbirth, which is MASSIVELY NASTY, and which these people are usually extremely in favor of.

  • Frimp

    All this strategy does is make The Gospel Coalition look like a bunch of creepers.

    Most people don’t imagine everyone they meet having sex. But TGC has just declared that they /do./ They have declared that they are completely obsessed with the sex that other people are having, and that they would like /you/ to be, too. And that’s going to be the take-away: not “gay sex is gross,” but “TGC is gross;” not “gay sex is immoral,” but “I wonder if that guy from TGC is one of those people who puts cameras in bathroom stalls?”

    They’re not only revealing their true colors; they’re shooting themselves in the collective foot.

    • wanderer

      I agree. This guy has just completely removed himself from any possibility of being taken seriously. When he started pulling out arguments a 5-year-old would use to make his point, he removed himself from adult conversations.
      I figure he can just keep twisting in the wind and the rest of the world should ignore him now.

  • Naomi

    This guy’s rhetoric is just too fascinating. Basically, he’s falling back on the martyr complex/prophetic/underdog status that has been an incredibly successful rhetorical strategy for the religious/conservative right. (“You so-called pluralists are persecuting me because my admittedly bigoted view doesn’t agree with yours.”) It also demonstrates how their rhetoric needs to be understood primarily in terms of energizing their base, NOT as making arguments that opponents would find persuasive. This is why their discourse is based in narrative rather than data.

    On a side note, his strategy reminds me of one of the forms of racism in Kathryn Stockett’s The Help. Insisting on separate bathrooms was not about race–heavens, no! It was about public health! [This said with the awareness that Stockett's book has plenty of problematic elements itself, not least of which is the idea that all racists are nasty, brutish people when the reality is that racism exists because otherwise "decent" people perpetuate it as well.]

    • Newbie

      And the way they constantly imply that homosexual people are more promiscuous also reminds me of the part if that book when Skeeter’s mom says she can’t leave her African American male worker alone with her African American maid because “they can’t help themselves.” Agh, so much wrong with that

  • Rebeccas_Daughter

    As a trans woman, I’d say you got it pretty much spot on. For instance, this: “If someone can intentionally spend this much time dwelling on the “disgusting” things someone does in private, specifically in order to drum up visceral revulsion, and still “love” that person, love has lost all meaning.”

    The only thing I might add is the observation that when on the internet I’ve attempted to engage bigoted Christians such as Thabiti on Biblical grounds, the result is not a productive conversation, but silence – they just shut up and leave their bigoted vision standing. (For instance, countering Deut. 22:5 – “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this” – with Isa. 56:3-5 – “And let no eunuch complain, “I am only a dry tree.” For this is what the Lord says:“To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant— to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever.” They really hate that! :-) )

    The good thing about such naked homophobia is that it probably does more to damage their cause than help it.

    • JP

      That’s really lovely. And I’m not even a Christian anymore. Thank you for posting it.

      • Liz

        I agree. I grew up in the church and identified as a Christian until my teens and I literally had never heard that verse before. It’s little things like that that make me a bit curious about the religion I left behind (because I know I got the super watered down version that left out all real theology), but then I venture back into Christian spaces and think… nope, can’t do that. It’s *their* homophobia, transphobia, sexism, racism, etc that trigger my gag reflex thank you very much.

    • Rilian Sharp

      I don’t get how the thing about eunuchs is a counter to the thing about cross dressing.

      • Rebeccas_Daughter

        Deut. 22:5 is what they always drag out to condemn trans people, regardless of context. So anything that says or implies something positive about trans people counters that. And I definitely fit the definition of “eunuch,” which is “a castrated male,” regardless of the fact that I’m also a woman.

      • The_L1985

        There wasn’t a separate word for gay people until the 19th century. Older books (and older translations of the Bible) use the catch-all term “eunuch” for any man who can’t, or won’t, have sex with a woman, including gay men. (Lesbians….are pretty much ignored for some reason.)

  • Lyric

    Is it wrong that one of my main take-aways from this is to snicker at his whole, “the penis, WHICH CREATES LIIIIFE!” shtick?

    It almost sounds as if he’s insecure about how little he has to do with it, and overcompensating for that. Because, okay, the penis gets things started, but the real work of creating a human being? Falls on guess who.

    But then, I think misogyny and homophobia are connected at an extremely deep level, so. Yeah.

    • Scott_In_OH

      I had the same reaction: Where the hell did that come from? The penis doesn’t create life in any sense (it does, however, excrete waste), and that phrase is so out of step with everything else in that passage I just had to laugh at how defensive it sounded.

      • sylvia_rachel

        It makes total sense if you’re getting your reproductive physiology knowledge out of ancient texts ;)

      • Anat

        Yeah, it goes back to Aristotelian views that the fetus grows directly from semen, and the woman merely provides it with a nice, warm environment.

      • Stev84

        Even then, it’s the testicles that create life.

    • Fledgeling Feminist

      Is calling one’s penis a LIFE STICK going to become a thing?

      And technically, the male contribution to the process is formed in the testicles. I’m sure this an appropriate place for a pun.

  • JP

    Libby Anne, I’ve been following the conversation around Anyabwile’s post all week, and it’s been simultaneously hilarious and depressing as hell. But your post is the first that has really resonated with me personally.

    “Through a million little moments, expressions, and phrases, we were taught to be viscerally disgusted by gays and lesbians (and also by trans* people, though that’s another story).”

    That’s the kind of family I grew up in too, as a kid who turned out to be not only bisexual but trans* (so that part isn’t another story for me, but very much a part of the same one). Both my folks were culpable in that regard, but my mom was the worst offender. It wasn’t just the fleeting expressions of disgust or the slurs (“perverts” and “dregs of humanity” leap immediately to mind), but the carefully articulated injunctions that The Queers have an *obligation* to stay in the closet, for the comfort and well-being of the straight majority. I remember my mom- and this was only maybe 5 years ago- saying that she really liked a gay co-worker of hers as a person, but he simply had to stop talking about his sexual orientation (meaning, of course, he had to stop publicly identifying as gay), because it “forced her to think about what he did in bed.” I just blinked at her when she said it; I wanted to ask her if she felt that straight co-workers who showed her pictures they took on their honeymoons “forced” her to think about what they did in bed. But it was a conversation I couldn’t afford to have.

    I didn’t come out as queer until I was 40 years old, even though I’d known I was since I was 12. The reason it was so hard for me, the reason I waited so long, was because I knew I’d lose my family over it. They’d given me a million different signals in a million different ways over the years that their self-professed unconditional love for me had some very strict conditions indeed. After three decades of pretending I was someone I wasn’t, I couldn’t take lying about myself for other people’s comfort anymore, and I finally started to tell the truth. It was a truth they didn’t want to hear, and they’re still in deep denial. We haven’t spoken since.

    Growing up as a queer kid in the kind of household that cultivates the gag reflex Anyabwile promotes is a kind of living hell. Of all the posts I’ve read on the subject this week, yours is the first I’ve seen that addresses the matter on a personal level. Thanks for bringing it all back home, and reminding everyone that this affects real people in very real ways. <3

    • Liz

      I’m so sorry this happened to you, hon. I’m just now starting to realize that, hey, the fact that I like girls kind of makes me… something. Even if it doesn’t matter so much to me, it matters very much to other people. And while I’ve listened to homophobic comments before and been upset on principle, now I hear those things and it’s like, damn–they’re talking about *me.*

    • Jolie

      Well… I can only imagine, if everyone I know ever mentionning a wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/partner, or events such as dates or anniversaries made me imagine in graphic detail what they do in bed…. I’d be very very obsessed.

    • TLC

      “They’d given me a million different signals in a million different ways over the years that their self-professed unconditional love for me had some very strict conditions indeed.”

      Yep, same with my relatives, especially my mother and my oldest sister. Their “strict conditions” go like this: “You will let us control and manipulate you any way we want, and if you don’t give us perfect obedience and let us wipe our feet on you like a doormat, you can’t be a part of the family anymore.”

      Four years ago, I went out and found my own family of people who accept me and love me for who I am, and want me to spend time with them. These people are my “family” now. I call the other people “relatives” because we share DNA.

      Please go out and find your “family” among the people who love you and accept you for who and what you are. Leave the “relatives” to stew in their hate. Tell the truth — and be proud of it! As Dr. Seuss said, “Be who you are and say what you feel. Because the ones who mind don’t matter, and the ones who matter don’t mind.”

  • Christine

    I completely forgot my second point, so I’m coming back to make it. That description is NOT what being gay or homosexuality is. That is having sex with someone of the same sex as you. Yes, it is quite reasonable to assume that someone who is doing so is gay or bi, but it’s not the same thing.

    • Rilian Sharp

      They shouldn’t assume that all sexually active gay men do the “penis in butt” thing.

      • LizBert

        Very true, oral sex is actually far more common among gay men.

  • Melody Jones

    If someone can intentionally spend this much time dwelling on the “disgusting” things someone does in private, specifically in order to drum up visceral revulsion, and still “love” that person, love has lost all meaning.

    This point, for me, was actually where I walked away from Christianity. Christians love talking about “love the sinner, hate the sin”, but how does that actually work? You believe that someone wants to murder children, but it’s okay because you still love them? You believe that someone wants to orgasm now even though it means condemning both themselves and someone else (probably someone that they’ve raped) to hell, but it’s okay (sort of) because you still love them?

    I want no part of that love. I don’t think that is love. I don’t understand how anyone can see it as love.


  • Joykins

    “For example, since when has Christianity tied what is right or wrong to whether or not something is disgusting? Even if you are a Christian who believes that God has condemned homosexuality, what does whether or not it’s disgusting have to do with it? ”

    Since always, and a lot. Every time you see the word “abomination” in the Bible, you can be sure it’s basically a disgust taboo. In fact, the purity laws from the Old Testament are pretty much entirely disgust taboos, from the kashrut laws to the extensive laws about personal cleanliness. So, the provenance is pretty clear. If you’re not familiar with Jonathan Haidt’s work on moral decisionmaking, disgust is one of the five foundations. It’s a foundation more strongly resonant with conservatives than liberals, but we all have it.

    You know, disgust is one way to react to graphic descriptions of sex acts, sure. But there’s another very common reaction and that’s why pornography is always very popular. I wonder if that reaction ever occurred to Anyabwile. I wonder if it occurred to him that his “gag-worthy” prose, pedestrian as it is, is probably going to turn some people on.

    • I.N.

      Yay for Haidt mention and explanation! There is quite a bit of psychological literature on the way disgust transformed into a moral emotion, invoked in response to perceived “social contamination”. I don’t know how much of it is accessible for free. I strongly suspect that it subconsciously factors quite a bit into all forms of sexual prejudice (homophobia, resistance to sexual education, stigmatization of female promiscuity, stigmatization of sex workers, etc.).

  • Kellen Connor

    I’ve been able to see through this garbage since long before I knew I was a lesbian. My mother tried it on me when I was 13, when we were talking about a gay friend of my dad’s. She told me (not maliciously, mind, it’s just the way she was raised; I’m sure it made perfect sense in her head) that being around gay men made her uncomfortable because of the way they had sex. I told her than men had anal sex with women, too. (And the face she made will forever be the one I associate with the phrase “blew my mind.” I honestly think the thought never occurred to her.) And when she cried “It’s sodomy! And it’s a sin!” I explained that:
    1, just because you know someone’s gay, that doesn’t mean you know they’re committing sodomy (as some gays choose to be celibate). And,
    2, just because you know someone’s straight, that doesn’t mean you know they aren’t committing sodomy.
    So at the end of the day, in order to avoid being a hypocrite, mom would have to feel equally uncomfortable around anyone who hadn’t explained their sex lives to her in great detail.

    You know, looking back, I think my relationship with my mom is better than it has any right to be.

    Anyway, what I think this guy’s doing is making a last ditch attempt to keep gays the awful, alien, Other, to be feared and shunned (or pitied, maybe, if you’re generous of heart). Us gays actually have goals, desires, and values that are perfectly compatible with anyone else’s; we want love, we want healthy children, we want to be educated, we want fulfilling jobs. We have more in common with people like Thabiti than we have differences. And he’s panicking as more and more people are realizing that. So, he gets up on his little soap box and screams, “But… no! Look at all these things that gays do that straights DON’T want to do! See? You really have nothing in common! They’re icky, ICKY, I TELL YOU!”

    I’d laugh at this guy if it wasn’t so very sad at its core.

    • Lucreza Borgia

      Some gay men just don’t like having anal sex. Penetrative sex is not the be all end all of sex.

      • Kellen Connor

        Exactly! (Whew, thanks for making that a whole lot shorter. I should take a page from your book.)

        EDIT: Actually, re-reading my comment, I don’t think I even made that clear. (Though, I might not have fully understood it myself when I was 13.) So thanks again for calling my attention to it.

  • MyOwnPerson

    If he thinks the sexual expressions he described are gross, I feel sorry for his wife.

  • Trollface McGee

    It reads like a tween who is experiencing the joy of puberty and imagining people having sex in a really immature fashion, unsure whether to be disgusted or titillated. Which is fine… for a 12 year old..disturbing for a grown man.
    Seriously, who walks around looking at couples and imagining what they get up to in the bedroom..creepy.

    • The_L1985

      I remember at one point in elementary school, being squicked because it suddenly occurred to me that all the boys in the room had penises. At that age, I still thought they were gross, instead of a marvel of hydraulics.

      • LadyCricket

        *highi fives* YES. I still remember when I finally mustered up the courage to ask my mom how sperm actually gets to the egg… the answer left me partially traumatized and unable to look boys in the eyes for about a year.

  • Jessica

    As a bisexual woman, I think you hit it on the nose. And I’d like to add that long before I even realized I was bisexual, I greatly enjoyed slash and femslash (m/m and f/f romance, respectively) of all ratings, from G to NC-17.

  • Jolie

    You know how this guy should be trolled?
    “Dear Sir, Each time I encountered a gay person- or a person I thought looked gay, or a campy character on television- I started thinking about them engaged in intercourse with various other men, in great graphic detail. I found this rather arousing,and consequently now I’m really into yaoi and slashfic.”

    • Joykins

      already done, sorta…;)

  • KnBa

    Lets talk about disgusting. Consider surgery, even fairly routine surgery: You’ve got blood going everywhere, people getting other people’s blood on them, bones possibly being cut into with saws and releasing some amount of dust, tissues being torn open, visible lumps of fat with no skin on them with tiny veins throughout, so on and so forth. For anyone even slightly squeamish, that’s pretty damn gross.

    So, by his wonderful logic, performing surgery on people is deeply immoral. I believe the technical term here is “uh-huh”.

    • LizBert

      The realization was part of why I decided medicine was not for me. I hate gross things. I’m glad that there are people out there who can handle it in stride and do a good job, but for me ICK!

    • Kate Monster

      If surgery is immoral, dentistry is a deadly sin of the first order.

  • Rilian Sharp

    The only thing he described that bothered me is penis-in-anus sex, because it’s dangerous. penis-in-vagina sex is dangerous too. I don’t do either of them.
    Edit. I don’t have an automatic “ew” reaction, I just know that it’s risky and am therefore not amenable to it.

    • AlisonCummins


      Most things we do are risky. The classic ones are leaving the house or driving a car. Eating is risky: you can get food poisoning. Breathing was pretty risky for those folks in Syria.

      “Fluid bonding” is how some people reduce risk of disease transmission. The members of a partnership (two, three or however many people) don’t exchange fluids (kiss; have unprotected penetrative sex or oral sex) with one another until they’ve been together for six months to a year and have tested negative for all the things they care about. Then they can have all the barrier-free sex they want with one another, and do things outside the partnership that don’t involve the exchange of fluids. (Kissing other people is not ok. Dog-walking and talking with other people is ok. Tying them up and whipping them is ok. Fisting them with latex gloves is ok.)

      The fact that you prefer to mitigate the risk of sexual activities by not engaging in them at all suggests to me that the issue is not the risk but a lack of interest and possibly an element of disgust that you have relabeled “sane risk assessment.”

      There are lots of risky things that I don’t do because I don’t want to do them, just as there are risky things I do because I want to do them anyway. The same goes for you. It’s not just about the risk.

      To paraphrase Mary’s paraphrase: “Yeah, I find sex a little gross and weird. Guess what that makes me? An ASEXUAL.”

      • Alix

        “Yeah, I find sex a little gross and weird. Guess what that makes me? An ASEXUAL.”

        Thanks. It’s not like I was drinking the soda that just went spewing out my nose or anything.

        …I may have to steal that paraphrase. XD

    • The_L1985

      The biggest danger is anal tearing, and I hear condoms and lube can mitigate that.

      • Lucreza Borgia

        Don’t forget the foreplay…lots and lots of foreplay.

  • Baby_Raptor

    I hate that “speak the truth in love” bullshit.

    Claiming that what you’re saying can’t be bigoted or hurtful because your personal fee-fees tell you it’s true is a cover for people who KNOW they’re being assholes but don’t like it.

    You can insist that it’s true all you want. That doesn’t make it not bigotry.

  • B.E. Miller

    For someone who claims to be disgusted by gay sex, he sure seems knows a lot about it…. and wants to tell us all about it.

    • The_L1985

      The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

  • Mary

    Youtube John COrvino’s lectures about the morality of homosexuality. He addresses the “oh my god that buttsex is NASTY” stuff, among other things.

    I completely agree with the other commenters who expressed pity for the TGC author’s wife, as well as the authors who expressed a desire to ban random things we find icky, like brussel sprouts. I mean, I could get behind that. :D

    I love one of the comments over on RHE’s response, where a person basically said “yeah, I find gay sex a little gross and weird. Guess what that makes me? A HETEROSEXUAL.” I would imagine that guys far over on the gay spectrum find vaginas icky- but I have literally never had a gay male friend tell me to keep my “rampant heterosexuality” to myself, nor are they all up in my business trying to ban Icky Vagina Sex. Maybe we, even we christians, should show them the same courtesy?

    I mean- there is no reason to be down on homosexuality unless it’s the “my religion forbids it” argument. Which is a perfectly valid one, though I may disagree with it. The thing is- why do we have to force our religion on perfectly nice people who don’t agree with us? (And since when is shaming the best way to get someone to genuinely agree with you? REALLY, people.) Hypothetically, let’s assume God doesn’t like Awesome Gayness. Even if that is true, God really only cares if refraining from Awesome Gayness is voluntary, because God cares about motives and not just following a rulebook, right? So if you’re not engaging in Awesome Gayness because you aren’t allowed to by other people, it’s not voluntary, and can’t count towards making God happy anyway….so….why? It really makes me want to headdesk, and I’m a Christian who believes that the bible is the final authority for people who are Christians. (And, in case you couldn’t tell, that the Bible does not forbid monogamous homosexual relationships any more than it forbids wedding rings or shrimp cocktail, but that’s just my opinion) Even if you believe that God dislikes Awesome Gayness, the most you should do is pray for your friends to stop being Awesomely Gay and maybe not let Awesomely Gay people preach at your church. (In other words, I’m fairly conservative on the ideological spectrum and the homophobia still makes me cringe from a theological perspective, not even getting into the whole “christian love” and “not being a bully” and all that other stuff)

    • Mary

      One more thing….. I kinda want to see the dude’s face when someone tells him that oral sex is in Song of Solomon. And it’s portrayed, rather,,, positively.

      • Alix

        I honestly think that one of the best ways to rebut this guy in particular would be to follow him around reading that aloud to him, from his favorite edition of the Bible.

  • perfectnumber628

    Yeah, there was so much wrong with that article it’s hard to even know where to begin. Like, “oh no the homosexuals have been successful in convincing people that they’re actual people with actual lives that don’t revolve around just sex”…

    Anyway my response to that post is here:

  • LizBert

    If Thabiti has sex with a woman and has never used his mouth to “to stimilute the nipples, vulva, clitoris or vagina” I have to say he’s not really doing it right.

    And give me a break, there are many perfectly normal things in the world that are also kind of gross. Being a nurse, working in a butcher shop, being a microbiologist but the gross factor is hardly a reason to ban those things. One of the grossest things that I can think of is childbirth, the entire process is really far more horrifying to me than thinking about 2 men engaged in anal sex and I’m sure the Christian Right wants to encourage that practice.

  • Christian Vagabond

    If you wade through the comments section, there’s an interesting tangent of posters citing Mark Driscoll as proof that oral and anal sex are a-okay, and Thabiti hints that he has a very low opinion of the guy.

    One thing I noticed is that Thabiti lives in the Cayman Islands. Anyone know anything about the culture there regarding LGBT rights?

  • Kevin R. Cross

    Having worked in a hospital and an abbatoir, I have seen disgusting. Animal entrails spilling out, brutal headwounds, untreated, septic (or worse, infested) wounds – yes, that sort of thing brings up the gag reflex, even in me.
    Compared to that? Certain sexual acts may not interest me, but disgust? I reserve that for the actually disgusting.

  • j.lup

    “Mainstream people dislike homosexuality because they can’t help
    concentrating on what homosexual men do to one another. And when you
    contemplate what people do, you think of yourself doing it. And they
    don’t like that. That’s the famous joke: I don’t like peas, and I’m glad
    I don’t like them, because if I liked them I would eat them and I hate
    them.” — QUENTIN CRISP

  • j.lup

    Whenever I hear the ‘bodies are gross’ complaints, I can’t help but think of this sketch: (SFW, but does contain the words ‘pee, penis, and nipples’. And a small mashed potato sculpture of boobs.) [and sorry for the giant preview picture!]

  • Dawn

    I’d just LOVE the opportunity to speak–in front of him and his congregation (if he has one–I don’t know the moron and don’t really care to)–and talk “with love” about all the wonderful and “NOT disgusting” heterosexual acts that it is now approved for “Christians” to have! It would be especially interesting if there were children in the group. I wonder if the parents would “cut and run”? (Sorry! I was just having a “sick” moment!)

  • Ahab

    “…since when has Christianity tied what is right or wrong to whether or not something is disgusting?”

    Excellent point. I think mayonnaise is disgusting, but I don’ think putting mayo in sandwiches is morally wrong. The Gospel Coalition commentary illustrates how homophobes are running out of arguments against LGBTQ equality, and are now resorting to the “eww” factor. It reflects both homophobia and discomfort with human sexuality.

    The strategy of describing same-sex intimacy in disgusting terms as a homophobic ploy reminds me of Martin Ssempa’s talk in the documentary “Missionaries of Hate’. Mark my words, this is not the first or the last time that homophobes will try to foment hatred by demonizing gay intimacy.

  • Kevin

    Her list of supposed disgusting sex acts covered all the fun stuff pretty comprehensively.

  • e

    “I feel dirty” moral outrage is the gag reflex.”

    You know, I don’t want to imagine most people I meet having sex. That doesn’t mean they should live lives of celibacy and never marry.

  • Christian Vagabond

    It’s been bugging me how Thabiti’s mindset is so much more blunt that what we’re used to hearing from the Christian Right, and I’ve been wondering to what degree his culture might be feeding into it. So I found this article about homophobia in the Cayman Islands. Depending where he lives, this kind of unvarnished hate might be the norm in his country:

  • aim2misbehave

    “We are talking about anilingus and other things I still cannot name or describe.”

    There’s a reason he can’t name them, and that’s because I think he’s pretty thoroughly covered the possible permutations of genital contact that same-sex couples can engage in… (OK, so he forgot that men can give handjobs and use toys. Otherwise, good marks for effort, and extra credit for knowing the difference between “vulva’ and “vagina!”)

    Seriously, though, I think it’s an intentional tactic he’s using to try to cause people to be more disgusted. He says all these things that are an attempt to trigger as strong of a “disgust” reaction as he can, and then he implies that’s the tip of the iceberg of depravity. So his readers are left with the idea that same-sex couples engage in all kinds of sexual activities that they can’t even *imagine*, but with the good reason that there really isn’t that much to imagine. This is something I realized as a teenager – adults in my church and stuff would hint at the “worse things”, so one day in a moment of teenage curiosity I tried to imagine what else there could be and realized that humans only had a handful of sexualized body parts, so there really weren’t any more general broad categories of things than I’d already heard about. Of course, although there were infinite varieties of kinks, I thought of them as more like the wrapping paper that the sex itself came in, where any kink could be put on any physical sexual encounter. (I still had the sex = gift analogy ingrained in my subconscious)

    • Fanraeth

      Fisting? That’s about the only thing I can think of that he didn’t mention. But straight people do that too, so he’s out of luck.

  • Composer 99

    This whole business of trying to encourage visceral disgust reactions, then turn around and lie about how it’s just “speaking the truth in love” is some of the most vile doublespeak I’ve ever encountered from Christian hegemonists.

  • galacticexplorer

    As a lesbian, I’d like to be outraged about this but… honestly… I just can’t be. As you pointed out, the entire premise is so ludicrous and full of holes that it is absurd. Furthermore, if he wants to attempt to fight against marriage equality with these sorts of tactics, I say GO FOR IT. Because it will hurt his cause more than it will help. Everyone will indeed view him as hateful and bigoted, his opinions will seem hysterical and outdated, and he will be dismissed as the looney that he is. All the better!

    The one angle that I feel you failed to mention here is that he was discussing the marriage issue. It’s important to keep in mind that marriage and sex are not one and the same. Most people are well aware of this when it comes to heterosexual couples, but there is a tendency to view homosexual marriage as a sex act, which is absurd. “They just want legitimacy for their sexual perversion” is the cry, when in actuality, we are perfectly capable of having sex without marriage. We want marriage for the sake of marriage. Marriage is not about sex, but rather about legal protections for a family. To argue against homosexual marriage because the sex acts are “icky” is a way of trivializing gay relationships and making them only about sex. I am certain that is his intention, because then he can frame it as a debate about morals rather than rights. MARRIAGE IS NOT ABOUT SEX. It is about legal protections of a family. I think this is also worth noting in your discussion. Otherwise, very thorough!

  • Bill Clayten

    Man, his block paragraphs made my pants tight…

  • Fargofan

    His article reminds me of an old, old ad against “miscegenation” – meaning interracial marriage. It was an intentionally shocking drawing of a black man kissing a white woman. On the lips, gasp! Imagine what they did in bed, oh how ungodly!

    • Jolie

      Now picturing in my head Idris Elba with Amy Acker… Don’t ask me why specifically them, but mmmmmmm… my brain thinks they’d look wicked good together.
      (Now if they could make a movie together… )

  • Taryn Fox

    I think the best indicator that trans* rights are not anywhere near the level of acceptance as LGB persons’ is the frequency with which trans* people’s existence is treated as either a dirty joke, or just plain horrifying.

    No one should have to realize what they are, or even what they like, and have that reaction to theirself.

    • Alix

      Thank you. Trans* folks, and any form of genderqueer, really.

      the frequency with which trans* people’s existence is treated as either a dirty joke, or just plain horrifying

      And not just by the usual authoritarian, conservative, fundie suspects, either, but by a great deal of progressives, too. :/