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August 20, 2003

How to be gay

David M. Halperin's University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) course "How to be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation" is drawing fire from the American Family Association. To some people that "initiation" word is like waving a red-flag before a bull and I suspect its inclusion in the course title is no accident. And given the word "homosexual" makes up about 5% of the text at AFA Michigan's website the issue of of some fascination to them. Halperin's reply:

"It does not teach students to be homosexual," Mr. Halperin says in an interview. "Rather, it examines critically the odd notion that there are right and wrong ways to be gay, that homosexuality is not just a sexual practice or desire but a set of specific tastes in music, movies, and other cultural forms a notion which is shared by straight and gay people alike.

The AFA calls the "homosexual agenda" a "hot topic". It is a hot topic alright. Too hot! Perhaps the AFA could refocus its efforts on the little known consequences those "specific tastes" to which Halperin refers can have on the psychological health of gay men. The pressure not to be a slob... choosing the right car... working on that pot-belly...

Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 20, 2003 09:26 AM

Comments

Hey there! Wish I had seen your post before I wrote mine; I would have cited it. Anyway, I flunked Halperin's course.... Still can't figure out how to spell Barbara Streisand's first name -- much less appreciate her music.

Posted by: Eric Scheie at August 21, 2003 01:55 PM

"The rise of the potbelly is a dawn-of-destruction moment for the kind of gay man who prizes the body beautiful above all else."

Jeez. We live in hope. I may not have a pot belly, but it would be a truly beautiful thing to see the gay world get a little less obsessed with having a body like a porn star. Blech.

D

Posted by: David Strain at August 21, 2003 06:38 PM