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3 Oct 2008

Palin: Being gay is a ''choice''

Republican vice presidential hopeful Sarah Palin not only says that sexual orientation is a "choice" but it can also be "prayed away" in a recent TV interview. And on Thursday, Palin and her Democratic rival Joe Biden say they oppose same-sex marriage but are agreeable to other civil rights.

Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin attempts to appear gay friendly have fallen flat when without being asked mentioned one of her best friends who happens to be gay but who also "happens to have made a choice that isn't a choice (she herself would) have made."

The Alaska Governor, who was little known until she was announced as presidential hopeful John Mcain's running mate on August 29, was responding to a question posed by Katie Couric of CBS News.

"I have one of my absolute best friends for the last 30 years who happens to be gay. And I love her dearly. And she is not my 'gay friend.' She is one of my best friends who happens to have made a choice that isn't a choice that I have made. But I am not gonna judge people."

Her revelation came after she was asked about her views about "conversion therapy" and a Focus on the Family-linked 'Pray the Gay Away' program promoted by Wasilla Bible Church, a church she attends when she is in her hometown.

Palin told Couric in the second part of an exclusive interview which aired on Tuesday: "But what you're talking about, I think, value here, what my position is on homosexuality and you can pray it away, because I think that was the title that was listed on that bulletin. And you know, I don't know what prayers are worthy of being prayed. I don't know what prayers are going to be asked and answered. But as for homosexuality, I am not going to judge Americans and the decisions that they make in their adult personal relationships."

Her comment has attracted a sharp rebuke by Jon Hoadley, executive director of National Stonewall Democrats.

"For Governor Palin to suggest that individuals randomly choose their sexual orientation based on nothing but a whim is wrong and it repeats the talking points of the anti-gay special interests which continue to control the McCain/Palin campaign and the Republican Party," Hoadley said in a statement.

At the much-awaited vice-presidential debate of the 2008 presidential campaign on Oct 2, Palin and Democrat Joe Biden - in a rare moment of agreement - said they did not support same-sex marriage but are agreeable to accord same-sex couples "visitation rights in the hospitals, joint ownership of property, life insurance policies, etc."

Biden said in the televised debate: "In an Obama-Biden administration, there will be absolutely no distinction from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple."

"The fact of the matter is that under the Constitution we should be granted - same-sex couples should be able to have visitation rights in the hospitals, joint ownership of property, life insurance policies, et cetera. That's only fair."

When asked if he supports gay marriage, he said: "No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage."

Palin's responded, "My answer is the same as his and it is that I do not," she said.

Massachusetts and California are the only U.S. states that allow same-sex marriage, though several states allow gay civil unions.

Excerpt of transcript of the vice presidential debate moderated by Gwen Ifill of PBS

IFILL: The next round of - pardon me, the next round of questions starts with you, Sen. Biden. Do you support, as they do in Alaska, granting same-sex benefits to couples?

BIDEN: Absolutely. Do I support granting same-sex benefits? Absolutely positively. Look, in an Obama-Biden administration, there will be absolutely no distinction from a constitutional standpoint or a legal standpoint between a same-sex and a heterosexual couple.

The fact of the matter is that under the Constitution we should be granted - same-sex couples should be able to have visitation rights in the hospitals, joint ownership of property, life insurance policies, et cetera. That's only fair.

It's what the Constitution calls for. And so we do support it. We do support making sure that committed couples in a same-sex marriage are guaranteed the same constitutional benefits as it relates to their property rights, their rights of visitation, their rights to insurance, their rights of ownership as heterosexual couples do.

IFILL: Governor, would you support expanding that beyond Alaska to the rest of the nation?

PALIN: Well, not if it goes closer and closer towards redefining the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman. And unfortunately that's sometimes where those steps lead.

But I also want to clarify, if there's any kind of suggestion at all from my answer that I would be anything but tolerant of adults in America choosing their partners, choosing relationships that they deem best for themselves, you know, I am tolerant and I have a very diverse family and group of friends and even within that group you would see some who may not agree with me on this issue, some very dear friends who don't agree with me on this issue.

But in that tolerance also, no one would ever propose, not in a McCain-Palin administration, to do anything to prohibit, say, visitations in a hospital or contracts being signed, negotiated between parties.

But I will tell Americans straight up that I don't support defining marriage as anything but between one man and one woman, and I think through nuances we can go round and round about what that actually means.

But I'm being as straight up with Americans as I can in my non-support for anything but a traditional definition of marriage.

IFILL: Let's try to avoid nuance, Senator. Do you support gay marriage?

BIDEN: No. Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that. That is basically the decision to be able to be left to faiths and people who practice their faiths, the determination, what you call it. The bottom line though is, and I'm glad to hear the governor, I take her at her word, obviously, that she think there should be no civil rights distinction, none whatsoever, between a committed gay couple and a committed heterosexual couple. If that's the case, we really don't have a difference.

IFILL: Is that what your said?

PALIN: Your question to him was whether he supported gay marriage and my answer is the same as his and it is that I do not.

To read the full transcript, click on to cnn.com

United States

Reader's Comments

1. 2008-10-03 20:43  
Being gay is as much a choice as it is for Palin to be a total bitch.
Comment #2 was deleted by its author
Comment #3 was deleted by its author
4. 2008-10-03 21:24  
i'll pray for Palin....... to be one (gay) then :p
5. 2008-10-03 21:50  
I wonder if this is going to cost her some gay votes with her "choice" of words
6. 2008-10-03 22:13  
I hope being gay is really a choice because i really wish I can refuse to take this choice
7. 2008-10-03 22:49  
Palin oh Palin ...the Two Headed Alaskan Snake ...ewwww...
8. 2008-10-03 22:54  
i was hoping the obama-biden administration will explore legalising gay marriages though...
but i suppose the same issues in the states
as we face in singapore
in not being able to appeal 377a
jus so to appeal to the religious conservatives...
which will cost them votes...
9. 2008-10-03 23:41  
i think Palin is great. We can now pray away the gay!!


So now we have settled that, we can pray away everything, cancer, aids, stds, cold, flu, polio, hepatitis,etc...

just pray and it goes away

Oh sorry what is we dont want it to go away?
10. 2008-10-04 00:49  
I like Biden better. He put himself forward in arguing gay rights as same as civial rights. Palin was visably uncomfortable at the subject. I would term her as anti-gay and anti-abortion. She would put us back before the time when those rights were given to gays and women. I would be really afraid if she was elected with McCain.
11. 2008-10-04 01:04  
any chance we might be able to "pray Palin away" ???
12. 2008-10-04 02:26  
WELL . . she won't have that best friend too long.

Alaska has the highest Lesbian population . . I have ever experienced. And they hate Puttin . . . and a lot more.

Palin reminds me a lot of S'pore. Crap!
13. 2008-10-04 02:43  
Btw, n one small flicker of hope . . at least we know Palin MADE A CHOICE to acting, behaving, and living straight for the rest of the straight and gay world to look up to. Or did I misunderstood?

Somebody slap her now! O Lord it's *&%#@!

What a nut case . . .
14. 2008-10-04 07:30  
I have known of Palin since she was in high school in Wasilla, Alaska. I have set in meeting with her and worked with her on different issues. I am telling everyone that can vote please do so.......vote against this anti-gay, anti-abortion nut case. We will be back in the stone age if we get this team in the white house. We are ready to impeach her as governor in Alaska for screw ups she has done. Just think what she can screw up in this powerful position.
15. 2008-10-04 07:32  
who cares what she said, with a face like hers, do you think she is getting much action down in her pussy?
16. 2008-10-04 07:33  
maybe she can tell Bush he can pray recession away too!
17. 2008-10-04 07:40  
born again
right to lifer
Right wing
looks like a duck and it quacks
The Americans will love her
18. 2008-10-04 10:39  
Tolerance is in the minds of dictators, fascists and communists, seldom uttered.
In a free society, nothing less than acceptance should be tolerated.
19. 2008-10-04 10:42  
she probably has problems naming which newspapers or magazines she read that being gay is a choice.
20. 2008-10-04 11:13  
OK... they can spin it anyway they want.... her daughter concieved at least one child out of wedlock.... being gay is a choice that can be prayed away... Is being a slut a choice too??? can you ignore it or pray it away?????
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22. 2008-10-04 11:26  
Well, this just goes to prove the point I made a couple of days ago in another thread, regarding use of terms like "Gay Pride" and "Proud to be Gay".

Proclaiming that we are "Proud to be Gay" gives and propagates the impression that being gay is a deliberate choice. Therefore, a large section of the heterosexual community has little sympathy for gays. Their attitude is, "Well, you guys asked for it. You made the choice, as you yourself boast, and this is what goes with the territory."

And, what's worse, homophobes pounce on this opportunity to use this point to assert that gay people make this choice deliberately in order to indulge in bestial acts.

See how Sarah Palin does it here? She talks of her "gay friend" who has been "her dear friend for 30 years". Do you believe that after 30 years of friendship with a gay person, Palin still does not know that being gay is not a "choice"? She just uses the ammunition that we ourselves so obligingly put into her hands by using words like Pride.

It is no use saying, "look, we say "Pride" as a reaction to the Shame associated with being gay." This argument doesn't work. Are you going to go around explaining this reasoning to homophobes? Perceptions are what count in life, not your explanations.

So, stop using terms like "Gay Pride" and "Proud to be Gay". Call it something else; like "Gay Acceptance" for example. Acceptance of yourself for what you are, and acceptance from others for what you are.

Now I can see the yowls of dismay. "What! "Gay Acceptance"?!!! So UNCOOL! You crazy?"

It's not about being cool or uncool. It's about getting the results that we seek.

What we need to do is look at what else is possible beyond what we have been doing and saying all these years. Shouldn't we make changes to our approach if we find that what we have been doing doesn't produce results? Isn't that what you yourself would advise anyone you find repeating the same thing over and over and failing each time?
23. 2008-10-04 12:48  
Maybe she should've developed a program to "pray" away her pregnant teenage daughter? Hmm?
24. 2008-10-04 14:09  
Being gay n being straight is the same...being straight cant love man right...so does gay cant fell in love in oposite sex..science have proved that straight woman has the same brain structure as gay men n vice versa...for me i thought my sexuality can be changed...but it cant...its not a choice...moreover...love..is beautiful...no matter its between man and woman...or same sex..
25. 2008-10-04 14:19  
Will the day come for a Homosexual to become President?
26. 2008-10-04 16:14  
As respond to MyManFriday:
Yes, to have Pride or not, it is a choice, but being gay, you and I know it is not. We can either choose to have Pride and stand up for ourselves or choose not to, its totally up to individual.

Homophobes like Palin will always have ways to either 'pray away' or using reparative therapies to change gays, EVEN if it is scientifically proven that being gay is not a choice. So what if you are inborn, it is still 'imperfection' and we still can change you! Just like once a religious fundamentalist said, "Even a born blind person is given a choice to have sight, considering the medical advancement". The thing is what if that person is happy with the way it is and do not want to change?

They just never leave us alone. There are still many bigotry statements, unfair policies, ill treatments, discriminations and prosecutions going on. There are times that we need to counter back. Therefore, we need to have Pride in order to counter back. It is not about being cool and catchy statement. Feminist groups chose to have Pride to fight for women's rights. Blacks chose to have Pride to fight for their civil rights. We all need to have Pride in our work to do a good job, produce a great piece of art Pride is inside everyone of us, in our daily lives, in our culture, in our nation. People who do not have Pride will not do anything positive to up bring themselves, not to mention fight for rights. Why can't we choose to have Gay Pride then? Because of Pride, I can see most of us here are angry about Palin's statement. If we do not have Pride, we wouldn't be bothered to make a comment here, would we? That including you MyManFriday. Its only the methodology that you are arguing about.

However, many of us believe that it is Pride that drives a community to take actions and stand up for themselves. That's why choose to have Gay Pride is very important. For those who do not choose that, it is your choice too.

What we should really ask is what's wrong of being gay? Besides those religious people who will always say its because God prohibit (but is God really prohibit?). Without using religion, no one can actually tell you what's wrong of being gay. Therefore, it is not about being gay as a choice or not a choice we should seek from the straight people when fighting for equality. It's the respect for differences!

Many gay people think we should show that we are inborn, we have no choice and we are just like everyone (straight) people, therefore they (straight) will accept us. Well honey many homophobes like Palin don't buy that, OK! Speaking of that, how sure are you that being straight is inborn? No one has ever done a research on that? Why? Because it is not seen as a 'problem', but being gay is seen as a 'problem'. If we cannot find what's the problem of being gay, then why do we need to find out whether its inborn or not, choice or not a choice?

Not all human being are the same. We are different in skin colours, hair style, shapes, size, cultures, religions, education backgrounds, social status, beliefs, thinking, way of life to be able to live in peace and harmony, again, is not to make everyone the SAME, its to respect DIFFERENCES and live with it.

By the way, I do not see using 'Gay Pride' do not progress, we are indeed progressing a lot if you compare to Stonewall time. 'Gay Pride' was originally started from there.
27. 2008-10-04 17:58  
I have to go pray away these nonsense to Kuan Yin now . . .
28. 2008-10-04 18:22  
29. 2008-10-04 18:59  
In part, I agree with Ms. Palin.

While I don't agree that being homosexual is a choice, I think that choosing to live honestly and open is a choice. The baths, parks, washrooms and chat lines of the world are full of men (and women) who choose to deceive others, including their families and themselves, into believeing that they are straight, while at the same time living out what they really want to do, or be, secretly.

If I do any praying for anything, it will be that the Sarah Palins of the world will accept people as they are and realize that a gay life style offers a reprieve from over population while at the same time contributing in a very positive way to our society as a whole.

Judge me not by whom I love. Judge me for my for my overall contribution, my honesty, my tolerance, understanding and acceptance of those who may not think the same as I do.

T. Taft ~ Hanoi

30. 2008-10-04 19:24  
It is such speeches from fundamentalists which give me the confidence that we are on the right track. The evil spirit comes to steal, kill and destroy becos it hated Jesus. It is the same old fundamentalistic spirit that crucify Jesus.

Know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

Jesus humbles Himself to become a human being, even to the point of being a homosexual in sexual orientation (but no sex) in order to fulfill the Law for us. He went through all the 'suppression' of feelings, get wounded in the spirit, to set us free so that we no need to get wounded in the spirit by 'suppression' anymore. He is wounded for our sake. We can come directly into His presence freely, even we have same sex orientation. With the Law fulfilled by Him, we can get married to our same gendered mate under His grace and mercy, knowing that God is good and gracious.

The evil spirit just comes and inflict guilt to homosexuals via fundamentalists. It knows that the more they feel bad about themselves, the more they stumble and fall, spread diseases and behave like a fanatic. But if any homosexual would understand that God loves them till the point of being a gay man Himself on earth, but with no penetrative sex and thus fulfilled the Law, so to set us free , that we can come into God's presence with our same gendered spouse in marriage and sex, his self image will increase.

If I would be able to choose before I was born, I would not choose to be a human being, or at least to be a heterosexual woman under certain conditions. But Jesus plans and CHOOSES to be gay. God loves us too much!

The evil spirit just uses fundamentalists to drive away God's beloved homosexual children from the Good News. But God is sovereign, and fact will surfaces through time. But remember that Jesus also loved those who cruxify Him and says 'Forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.' So we must forgive the fundamentalists too, and do good to them until they open their eyes to see the truth.

Go and understand what it means when Jesus says: 'I come so that those who are blind should see, and those who see, should become blind.' and 'I desire mercy rather than sacrifice.' Meditate on these verses until you get a revelation from God.

The evil spirit hated Jesus for destroying its work, thus it by all means find ways to steal, kill and destroy women, Jews, homosexuals, who are related to Jesus directly or indirectly.
31. 2008-10-04 19:26  
Some people persist that women should wear dodong in order to please God, otherwise they will go to hell. But this does not give them the right to force all women to wear dodong in the fear that God will punish them, and also punish those who tolerate/ support women who do not wear dodong.

United States is just another Iran, but with a different faith.
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33. 2008-10-04 19:51  
ericgohctmy, I appreciate your rather emotional response.

However, I don't think you really got what I was trying to say. My point is that we can only be proud of things that we have actually achieved, things that were within our control, and not about what came about because of acts of nature, outside our control.

Let me repeat some examples I gave in the other thread. Do any of the following make sense to you?

I'm proud that I have five fingers.
I'm proud that I was born at 10 minutes past 8pm.
I'm proud that a rock rolled down the Grand Canyon yesterday.

Did you have any control over any of these things? So too, did you have any control over been born gay or straight? What are you proud of then?

You could be proud of having made a success of your life, having helped someone else, and things like that over which you DO have control.

In any case, I couldn't honestly tell you that I am "proud" to be gay.
To tell you the truth, I would probably have been a lot "prouder" to have been straight. At least I could have avoided a lot of the problems that I face now. I could have had a decent married life with no complications, walked hand in hand with my partner down the street without an eyebrow being raised, kissed and embraced my partner in full public view, attracting envious glances rather than disgusted sneers and loud expletives, ...

That's why I believe we need to change this slogan. Not only is it meaningless, but it can also work against us, and does work against us.

What gay people really need is acceptance. Two kinds of acceptance:
1. They learn to accept themselves for what they are, and
2. The rest of society learns to accept them for what they are.


To respond to ThayT's post:

Unfortunately, "living honestly" is not always an option for gay people, primarily because they form such a small minority in society: less than 5% I believe, is that right?

Gay people are surrounded and physically outnumbered by violent abusive homophobes who shoot first and ask questions never. People get discriminated against in the workplace, bullied at school, attacked on the streets, evicted from their apartments, and so on. There are plenty of examples for this. At the very least, they have to put up with cheap and vulgar jokes at their expense all the time. One would have to be really thick-skinned to feel that jokes don't matter. If you aren't aware of all this, you need to go out more.

The justification used for these attacks is yet more mindless accusations, mainly of pedophilia and child rape.

We all know that the majority of child rapes taking place around the world are done by heterosexual men on young girls. This is logical, as over 95% of the population is straight, and half of this straight population consists of men. And yet these same heterosexual child rapists label decent gay people as pedophiles with impunity, and use it to attack them. You cannot reason with these haters. They don't stop to listen to you in the first place. The law also turns a blind eye to such abuses and violence against gay people. So, ThayT, "living honestly" is not the easy option for gay people that you seem to think it is.
34. 2008-10-04 21:31  
my gay brother MyManFriday had one good point that i will agree with.
"learn to accept themselves for what they are"
That means to me asian brothers, not marring out of obligation to the family and ruin another person/persons lives. That is the height of a selfish,self centered act. Not running away to another country to hide again from family and using the worn out old excuse,"I don't have a choice". Stand up for yourself and by doing so then that would be something you could be "PROUD" of.

35. 2008-10-05 11:16  
hmm there goes Palin's gay vote.

anyway pray the gay away isn't new. singapore's churches have been doing that for years.
36. 2008-10-05 14:32  
This stupid bitch needs a fuck, thats her problem, she has a pussy thats her choice to, why put shuit like this on the net, just ignore nuts like this, she needs a penis, tell her if being gay is a choice, having a hole in her arse is a choice, in her case it should have been in her mouth, because thats all that comes out of it. The idiot that even waste time placing nmuts on her is as bad as that uneducated nut, she wants attention, get her a penis for christ sake...
37. 2008-10-05 14:37  
myman friday
no its 10% at least and growing. the rest did it but never admitted it so its 100% played with the same sex at one time, if they deny this they are absolute liars. As well ijn the 80% you have straights? who have sex with animals, their neighbors, their relations, their mates same sex, and ewven thgis nut writer did, she just can't get over the girl attraction she had, They are the facts, that is the truth.. who cares for such a female crackpot.
38. 2008-10-05 15:36  
10% or more are gay, eh?

Deanieweenie, you cannot afford to dismiss people like Palin so casually. The world goes by perceptions, not by truth or facts. The universe may be governed by certain truths, but the world runs on perceptions. It will run on facts only when those facts match the perceptions of people.

Haters like Palin create the perceptions that fuel and propagate homophobia. Gay people need to take such haters seriously. We will need to work hard at changing people's perceptions to match the facts.

That will not happen by just tossing a few crude curses at homophobes and then moving on with an "Okay, what's on TV?", which is what much of the gay community does. All that this will do is make the gay community look even more degenerate in the eyes of the haters. The way they perceive it is: "You hate her for telling the truth about you. And, your crude language just goes to prove that she is right about you."

Gay people need to start applying their minds more effectively and also start using the right language in correcting these wrong perceptions.
Comment #39 was deleted by its author
40. 2008-10-05 16:39  
MyManFriday, your analogies about being "proud that you have five fingers," " proud that you're born at 10 minutes past 8pm," etc, isn't at all what "pride" in gay pride is about.

The word pride is used the same way pride is used in the terms Asian or black pride. It's when one is in a minority and when society tries to make members of a minority group assimilate by denying or hiding certain traits to be more like the majority. At some point, one may decide to not go along with what's expected and instead celebrate or dare I say parade that identity. So does it mean that just because one's born a certain race or with a certain trait, one can't feel or take any pride in it?
41. 2008-10-05 18:40  
One of the great tragedies will be that a significant portion of the gay vote will go to Ms. Palin and her man John. Had there been more unity with the gay vote in the year 2000 we never would have had to have George W in office in the first place. I find it amazing that many educated people will still buy the Republican myth and vote that way even when the same guys they are voting for, are putting together laws denying them their fundamental rights.....
42. 2008-10-05 19:22  
American friends tell me that the Republicans always, always, end up ruining the US economy, and leave it to the Democrats to balance the budget and clear up the damage. Sometimes they allegedly deliberately overspend just to limit the options of the Democrats when they get in.

This time they haven't just ruined the US economy, they've ruined the world economy. It's a shame we don't all get a vote.

As for Palin, it's good to see a woman in the race, they are 51% of the electorate, but this particular woman being a heartbeat from the presidency behind such an old guy is a pretty scary prospect. But maybe the Republicans don't even want to win, given the mess they've created.
43. 2008-10-05 21:19  
Gosh, as an backward Asian, I thought America is the epitome of democracy, equality and tolerance.
But, dear friends, your responses make me sad.
Apparently, American hets are trying to kill their homo countrymen.

This is lucky, though.

Asian het strategists are murdering their homo "friends" in a conspirative way.

Palin tells you since you choose to be gay, you deserve every punishment that they, in the name of God, want you to go through.
Asian het strategists tell you since you are so gorgeously gay, you must enjoy being crucified to redeem their small errors. (with a naive smile.)
44. 2008-10-05 22:00  
I agree with MyManFriday on his earlier view. I find it totally refreshing to have someone looking at the whole issue with insight. I am a gay person who like many, am struggling to define a sense of self-worth constantly, seeking acceptance and respect from the community. However, I do think it is a case of we (the gay) giving ourselves a bad name. I think most would be familiar with this popular Chinese idiom (There is no wave without wind). 无风不起浪。wu feng bu qi lang - the fundamental grains of ugly truth are there, which were abused and blown out to unfair proportion. Finger-pointing in my opinion pierces, an action that does not sooth nor heal. I think we gays should start living by example and really give the world some good role models to talk about. Let the world know that the gay culture has more than just bathhouses, internet sex ... etc to offer. There is nothing more effective than good publicity.
45. 2008-10-06 09:23  
Be yourself, be proud, you don't need anyone's approval. Live your dream, not theirs.
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49. 2008-10-06 09:53  
Shiro, it's nice to have your support on this issue.

Kellen, as I've mentioned in one of my posts, I do understand what the gay community means when it uses the word Pride.

I've also gone on to point out how the word "Pride" is perceived or projected negatively by the straight community.

I've also then gone on to point out that perceptions are more important than facts. The world runs on perceptions, not on facts. It's not what you intend it to mean that counts, but how the other side perceives it.

I've also pointed out that haters deliberately twist this word "Pride" and use it as ammunition to "prove" that being gay is a choice.

It seems we are only too happy to provide them with this ammunition, with our pigheaded and intransigent attitude of refusing to read the signs or take the pulse of the straight community.

As a community that forms a small minority in society, gay people are grossly outnumbered. We are not in any position to set stringent conditions or dictate unconditional terms to the straight community.

The world is not the US. In the US, the courts may fine a large corporation billions of dollars because the corporation hurt the feelings of an old lady's pet cat. And of course, the big bad greedy bullying corporation needs to be taught a strong lesson, right?

The rest of the world, unfortunately for us, works on a different principle: whatever is convenient for the majority works. They call it "for the greater good". Especially so when the majority is like 90%.

So, we cannot afford to take an adamant stand, saying that we are perfectly right, you are perfectly wrong, we will change nothing about ourselves, it is up to you to change everything about yourselves, and all that sort of stuff. That is an "all or nothing" approach, like gambling on the toss of a coin.

We need to work with the straight community in this issue, especially with those that are sympathetic to our cause. What we seek is not merely legal protection, but also acceptance as well as support especially from those sympathisers within the straight community. That support means everything to us, and can come only when we can help them understand us better; when we try to understand their fears and avoid words and actions that would fuel those fears.

Mere laws can achieve little if public support is lacking, especially when we form such a tiny minority. We cannot afford to have a situation where it is only the law that stands between the gay community and the straight community.
50. 2008-10-06 09:54  
Hey Ms Palin, I just realized how awfully backward the US really is hahaha.
51. 2008-10-06 11:25  
The United States is in DESPERATE need of educated, intelligent, inspirational, and charismatic LEADERS who can set that country back on-track. 8 years of a numb-headed, inarticulate puppet, with a long, consistent track record of business failures has thrown the country into a coma. Time for americans to wake up, get out of denial, learn fiscal responsibility, focus on their commonalities, re-join the rest of the world, and refuse to continue accepting mediocrity. Palin and McCain DO NOT meet the criteria.
52. 2008-10-06 11:39  
Can we please avoid obsessing symantics, and avoid parsing words? PRIDE...self-respect, self-esteem...satisfied with and grateful for who we are. Exactly what's wrong with that? We know we didn't choose to be gay, that's for sure. But we can choose to cast-off our shame, guilt, social stigmas, and in their stead, instill PRIDE in ourselves and our community. Let's be the best queers we can possibly be. Live our lives responsibly, give freely, (especially to those to whom giving is difficult), of our immense talents and special abilities.
53. 2008-10-06 16:47  
Mymanfriday, one of the best ways to change perceptions is to come out of the closet, even if only to people who know and respect you.
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56. 2008-10-07 02:53  
Steve, can you tell us something about your own experiences in coming out?
How easy or difficult was it?
What problems, if any, did you face and continue to face?
Also, what aspects of your life got better after you came out?
How does one come out anyway? How exactly do you bring up the subject, and in what context?
Is it possible your friends would prefer that you hadn't told them about it and placed them in an awkward position where they had to decide how they felt about it? (I think about some of my own friends and get the feeling that perhaps this is the way they may feel about it if I ever brought this up with them.)
57. 2008-10-07 08:26  
choice? why the fuck would i choose to be gay? is it so i can be treated less than human and be judged because of my sexual orientation and not by my character? ugh, this bitch needs to educate herself. i can't stand her. she thinks she's sooooo funny. well i got news for you: your "cute" humor gets old.
58. 2008-10-07 08:28  
Sure, but it would be a long boring article rather than a post here, so perhaps better to mail you. Briefly though it's often more a question of what you stop doing or saying that leads people to assume you're straight. I've never had a negative reaction, even in ignorant seventies Britain, present day Singapore, Hong Kong, and the most positive reaction has been from Malaysians.
59. 2008-10-07 09:04  
I agree with post by 'GrantHilton'.This woman is very irritating to say the least. To say the VERY least.
If more than 50% of Americans vote for this twittering idiot as their vice President, Ive got say Americans DESERVE her. Those who dont want want her to be second in charge of their country need to start now by encouraging all who agree to VOTE, and NOT to vote for her. God help America/Americans, and god help the world.
60. 2008-10-07 12:54  
Our being is something within our control. Be happy, be courage, be confident, be honest... including be proud. Our circumstances are something out of our control. Yes, we can list out all negative circumstances that become obstacles for us to stand up, come out and even to voice out... Let's take control of our being rather then let circumstances dictate our being and lead our life. Let's focus on our being in order to take actions. If one strongly feels the current trend of gay advocacy work does not effective enough, one should be brave, be confident, be initiate, be positive minded to get involve in gay community work, not necessary must come out publicly, you can be a silent volunteer, and lets make the changes, strive to make a difference! Be strong, be persistence, be responsible, be proactive and... be proud is just one of the qualities that we need, not for who we are, but what we do, that we be proud of our actions.

No point we keep on debate on the usage of words here within the community. The real debate is out there with the homophobes and educate those who want to understand.
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64. 2008-10-07 21:18  
Thank you MyManFriday. You made another valid point which I would like to add more to.

Even as a community that is very much misunderstood and many times misjudged, it is still not right that we leap across the fence, set up barricades and start firing at the enemy. There is a reason why Section 377 stands, and with good reasons too. We have to dig deeper to see what sort of fear is driving these homophobic citizens to stand against us. If we look hard enough, we will realize that they are just simply holding up shields when they see a few but highly visible gays walking around with pointy-spears in the name of using such spears to ward off homophobic attacks. These homophobes, like most people, gay or otherwise, quickly take these spear-wielding few to be representative of the entire war-hungry gay population. That perception is our greatest enemy, not the straight population, who also happens to be the majority! I could be wrong but I think my above point was what MyManFriday was trying to put across in his exchanges with Kellen. It is totally alright to be proud. Although, I also think there is a fine line between being proud and being blatant. One can be easily mistaken for the other.

Bottom-line - Why strive to achieve a win-lose or lose-win or worse, lose-lose situation by taking the "PRIDE"-road (meant to be the proud-road). The gay community's "take it or leave it" mentality endorses exactly that. Somebody HAS to lose. With the gays going, "If the straights do not accept us, to hell with them. I continue to live my "PRIDE" life." And the straights going, "To hell with them, let the law take care of these perverts." Where does that leave us? Why does someone have to get hurt? Why can't we all win?

We (the gays) have to kick-start our win-win operation. Education and setting good examples are keys to achieving a win-win situation - where we can be who we are, and still gain acceptance and eventually I hope, love.

You might ask - why should we start and not them? Easy. History has shown that the minority are always the spear-headers. Like it or not, the truce means more to us than to them. Good day to all :)
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67. 2008-10-09 19:35  
Shiro, I agree. People are certainly free to be "proud" of anything they wish to.

However, IMO there's no need to exhibit an "in your face" kind of illogical pride that only reinforces myths that being gay is a choice, and also provides the haters with ammunition to use against us. It seems some people simply don't want to get this point.

Had we been born straight, would we have said that we were "ashamed to be straight"?

The irony is that this kind of pride is an impossibility that goes against the very definition of the word "pride". We make use of an impossibility to provide ammunition to homophobes to use against us!

It's easy to delude oneself into thinking that all it takes is to stand tall and declare that you are gay, and the straight world will smile with you. The following article in another link in Fridae, about the young Korean gay actors who committed suicide recently after coming out, unable to stand the attention and the persecution that followed, shows the reality.


It didn't take physical violence to kill these people. Society has other, more potent ways of getting back at them; to get them to kill themselves, for their "filthy choice" that we ourselves so proudly imply that they have made.

Perhaps those among us who are responsible for propagation of the myth that being gay is a "choice", through their pigheaded use of terms like "pride", should also take the responsibility of ensuring the safety and the wellbeing of those who come out and then get attacked for "making this choice".
68. 2008-10-09 20:50  
I think I see a budding romance between you two! ;)
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70. 2008-10-09 23:19  
Hello Steve,
It was just refreshing to know that someone out there saw something deeper and yes, although I have not met nor talked to him in person yet, I do find MyManFriday incredibly hot! I get turned on by intelligent but more importantly sensible men. But seriously, we really need to do a gay culture stock-check,, especially here in Singapore where the anti-gay views are harsher. :) Don't you think so?
71. 2008-10-10 02:02  
Well, his profile pic is of an amusing vegetable, so I'm not sure how seriously to take him ;)

I'm not totally clear on the point you're making; I don't know precisely what you mean by a "pride" life or by the the "spear-waving" but the things I think you may mean are a result of the homophobia, not the cause of it. Also a result of generally having insufficient access to counter the misinformation. You must have noticed that gay rights movements generally arise in places where being gay is illegal and serious injustice is very blatant.

For me personally, Pride marches and festivals have become increasingly irrelevant with the almost total acceptance of gays in society, but I recognise they are important to other people, particularly those who have been suppressing or hiding their sexuality for a long time. Even the new Conservative mayor of London took part in the last London one, as well as government ministers; so the parades may start off as being seen in a bad light, as they originally did in London, but most people eventually see them as good fun and part of the diverse scene of a cosmopolitan city and they attract a lot of tourist dollars.

Your use of the word "blatant" to describe some gays honestly makes me cringe; it suggests some internalised homophobia on your part, as well as a belief that some gays are better than others. Have you heard of someone being blatantly black, or being blatantly disabled?

I recognise the red/black game in your analogy; we all love a win-win situation, but what does that look like, say, in Singapore? What does a win-win situation look like to you? How do you reason or negotiate with a fundamentalist who has a rigid fixed belief?

I'm not being facetious, but what would be a win-win situation for a Southern farmer and a black slave in 19th century Alabama? Or for Matthew Shepherd? Sometimes there is simply injustice and bigotry. A win-win may be for everyone to see that.

What are your precise proposals to overcome ignorance, prejudice and misinformation where you are?
72. 2008-10-10 14:35  
Steve, I don't understand what you mean by saying that there is now "almost total acceptance of gays in society".

Are you serious? Which society are you talking about? And what would be your definition of "acceptance"?
73. 2008-10-10 15:13  
i such a bisexual these days, so attracted to Sarah right now, she is great . .. didn't become a spin machine for the last ten years like Hilliary . . . being plucked from obscurity makes her really honest and mistake prone, but I like her alot . .. all the candidates are a bore on gay issues . .. just give the low taxes speech dear Sarah and I will think about voting for you next month or so!
74. 2008-10-10 15:45  
Steve, I don't understand what you mean by saying that there is now "almost total acceptance of gays in society".

Are you serious? Which society are you talking about? And what would be your definition of "acceptance"?
75. 2008-10-10 19:39  
First get rid of the silly notion that there is a God and that praying will accomplish anything other than a loss of time.....peace, acceptance, and tollerance will soon follow.

My intention is not to offend anyone. It appears that the West's(and Middle East) need for religion only breeds ignorance and wars.
76. 2008-10-11 18:24  
I watched a movie awhile ago by John Waters Titled 'Serial Mom' guess who reminds me of the character in the movie...well I will agree with one thing, we do have choices, may be not over our orientation but over our lives as homosexual men or woman, to be a decent Gay person that projects pride dignity and blazes a trail for others to follow or a 'skanky queer' whose personal behavior negatively impacts on the wider GLBT communities...we all have that choice.
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80. 2008-10-12 01:54  
Hi Steveuk,

Thanks for your comment. I believe the following forumers have either implicitly or explicitly explained/argued/come to an understanding about the idea of "choice" in the earlier posts so I won't elaborate much.

Your example of someone being "blatantly black", or being "blatantly disabled" suggests that they have a choice for being black or disabled. Did I get that right? I find that an argument a little too far-stretched. Cos' from the way I see it, although we do not have the choice to be either black or disabled, we have the choice to be blatant about how we behave in the eye of the public, no? I can't help but notice the fundamental glitch in your comparison. Although I am not internalizing any homophobia on my part, I must admit I am not very tolerant to any party strong-arming the opposing camp with "blatant" display of behaviors, straight or gay. That is my own personal view which I "chose" :)

I don't have all the answers to your questions about how a detailed win-win strategy should be. Cos' if I do, things would have been a lot easier. But this I know, all solutions can only be conceived when relevant parties from all sides come together without their own political agenda. A good place to find the answers to your question on how we can reason or negotiate with a fundamentalist who has a rigid fixed belief would be looking back at history. History has shown that nations are best united/ mobilized/ motivated not by force/ intimidation/ tyranny but by great leadership, which brings me back to my earliest post - the need for gays to set good examples so that people will not only accept, they will follow. Here is your win-win solution.

And yes, it is easier said than done but cliche as it may sound, "Rome was not built in a day". The cause is not yet lost. :)

81. 2008-10-12 18:54  
I have seen enough of this lady to vote Democratic, better not take a chance with the future. I am delivering my overseas ballot tomorrow to the postal service. Bye Governor Palin.

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