…If it weren’t so threatening to seem gay, there wouldn’t be a need to police the appearance of it so firmly. Culture has been giving us a choice since the latter half of the 20th Century: seem gay or be lonely. That so many chose “be lonely” shows only the depth of our collective gay panic.
I’m not just speculating, as [Anthony] Esolen does. This is at heart an empirical question—in what conditions is platonic male affection common and in what cases is it restricted? One way to go about answering it is to explore groups of men where homosexuality is destigmatized. Do we see less emotional and physical intimacy, as Esolen might predict, or more?