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NEWS: Sexual Inverts, Sacred Sites, Richard Dawkins, And A Huge Pink Dot

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Towleroad-roadicon Happy birthday to The Well of Loneliness, the pioneering lesbian novel published 84 years ago today in Britain. It hit mainstream bookshelves at the end of July, and initially drew praise from critics who appreciated its empathetic, psychologically acute depiction of "sexual inverts" (of which the author, Radclyffe Hall, was one.) From Wikipedia:

James Douglas, editor of the Sunday Express newspaper, did not agree. Douglas was a dedicated moralist, an exponent of muscular Christianity, which sought to reinvigorate the church by promoting physical health and manliness. His colorfully worded editorials on subjects such as "the flapper vote" (that is, the extension of suffrage to women under 30) and "modern sex novelists" helped the Express family of papers prosper in the cutthroat circulation wars of the late 1920s. These leader articles shared the pages of the Sunday Express with gossip, murderers' confessions, and features about the love affairs of great men and women of the past.

Douglas's campaign against The Well of Loneliness began on Saturday, August 18, with poster and billboard advertising and a teaser in the Daily Express promising to expose "A Book That Should Be Suppressed". In his editorial the next day, Douglas wrote that "sexual inversion and perversion" had already become too visible and that the publication of The Well brought home the need for society to "cleans[e] itself from the leprosy of these lepers". For Douglas the sexological view of homosexuality was pseudoscience, incompatible with the Christian doctrine of free will; instead, he argued, homosexuals were damned by their own choice – which meant that others could be corrupted by "their propaganda". Above all, children must be protected: "I would rather give a healthy boy or a healthy girl a phial of prussic acid than this novel. Poison kills the body, but moral poison kills the soul" ...

[The book's nervous publisher] Jonathan Cape sent a copy of The Well to the Home Secretary for his opinion, offering to withdraw the book if it would be in the public interest to do so. The Home Secretary was William Joynson-Hicks, a Conservative known for his crackdowns on alcohol, nightclubs and gambling ... He took only two days to reply that The Well was "gravely detrimental to the public interest"; if Cape did not withdraw it voluntarily, criminal proceedings would be brought.

Cape announced that he had stopped publication, but he secretly leased the rights to Pegasus Press, an English language publisher in France ... With publicity increasing demand, sales were brisk, but the reappearance of The Well on bookstore shelves soon came to the attention of the Home Office. On October 3 Joynson-Hicks issued a warrant for shipments of the book to be seized ...

Towleroad-roadicon Singapore's lovely alternative to a Pride Parade: A huge pink dot.

Towleroad-roadicon 200 PhD's against that ridiculous Regnerus study about gay parents:

... the author is unable to distinguish between the impact of having a parent who has had a continuous same-sex relationship from the impact of having same-sex parents who broke-up from the impact of living in a same-sex stepfamily from the impact of living with a single parent who may have dated a same-sex partner; each of these groups are included in a single “lesbian mother” or “gay father” group depending on the gender of the parent who had a same-sex relationship. Specifically, this paper fails to distinguish family structure and family instability. Thus, it fails to distinguish, for children whose parents ever had a same-sex relationship experience, the associations due to family structure from the associations due to family stability. However, he does attempt to distinguish family structure from family instability for the children of different-sex parents by identifying children who lived in an intact biological family ...

Towleroad-roadicon Bradlee Dean suggests that the LGBT rights movement is a Trojan Horse for pedophilia, and that gay blogs have refused to condemn Jerry Sandusky. He's not real hot on research, huh? 

Timbuktu Towleroad-roadicon New tween fad: Burning yourself with ice and salt. What happened to planking?

Towleroad-roadicon Jennifer Keeton, counseling student program expelled for refusing to provide secular counseling to LGBT students, loses her discrimination case.

Towleroad-roadicon A rather sunburnt looking Richard Dawkins gets 35 minutes on Al Jazeera

Towleroad-roadicon By living in sin, are you breaking the law?

Towleroad-roadicon On the import of Massachusetts's new HIV testing rules.  

Towleroad-roadicon The destruction of ancient Sufi holy sites in Timbuktu continues amain

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Comments

  1. +1 to the 200 PhDs - thank you for speaking out against that garbage.

    The righties seem to love history and science nowadays; as long as they get to rewrite both.

    Posted by: neptune | Jul 1, 2012 5:29:56 PM


  2. those of us who are mental health workers who specifically work with children and youth knew about salt and ice burning more than 8 years ago. this stuff is old but just making it into the mainstream of self-harming youth and into the media.

    Posted by: WindReader | Jul 1, 2012 6:21:36 PM


  3. "ciritics", "accute"???

    C'mon Towleroad. SPELL CHECK!

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jul 1, 2012 7:08:22 PM


  4. I don't normally criticize these things... but if you're going to provide commentary and quote 4 full paragraphs from a wikipedia article, make a separate post with its own title.

    Bothersome scrolling almost a whole page in what's supposed to be news sniplets, just to get past a boring philosophical disagreement from a century ago with references to lesbians and christianity. Ugh.

    Posted by: sparks | Jul 1, 2012 7:08:44 PM


  5. I really have to take issue with the consent to test for HIV thing. HIV rates have seen dramatic fluctuations since its first appearance in the US which means its far from going away anytime soon. This in combination with how hard it is to catch warning signs makes it difficult to tell how may infections are already out there. We have come a long way in how we deal with the diagnosis in terms of treatment; its no longer a death sentence. We have come a long way in how we regard those who have it; they aren't spreading by mere contact and many are perfectly healthy otherwise. So if we have reduced the stigma of HIV and it IS so difficult to find infections why not evolve, get the shame out of the medical process and test for it like any other disease???

    The idea of "I dont want to hear that right now" is something, I'd argue, has only been fostered and nurtured by the early ignorance and fear by anti-gay, anti-sexuality groups. Now we are EXPECTED to have the process HIV testing to be this tense, scary, drawn out scenario. That doesnt get people tested it scares them away from it. I feel as if by making testing routine in terms of patients who sit in groups of high risk it would cast a broader net and be more successful than restricting it to only those who are responsible and testing intentionally or in reaction sever symptoms.

    I dont think an HIV diagnosis should taken lightly, the same way as a cancer, heart disease or a rare terminal illness should be. But those other examples arent treated like some dirty secret like HIV is. You dont hear people saying "I dont want to know if I have cancer, doctor!" Its just something screened for because its knowledge about YOUR HEALTH. And I would wager that by the very nature HIV its even more important to clearly factor out of a diagnosis since it opens the gate to contracting other illnesses easier.

    My heart goes out to anyone who finds out they are positive but "the RIGHT" to stay ignorant about your status is just ridiculous. A doctor isn't "tricking" you, he doing what he is trained to do and giving you the best and most thorough knowledge about your health. Pushing HIV testing to the back of the medical process in any way is not going to help identify and hopefully eradicate it from the population in the future.

    Posted by: Toto | Jul 1, 2012 8:02:29 PM


  6. Thanks for the link to the article on Pink Dot in Singapore. That article you linked to had a link to the Pink Dot website with a video of yesterday's Pink Dot celebration. I was moved by it.

    Posted by: Kevin | Jul 1, 2012 8:12:04 PM


  7. It was a bit odd an accredited Journal would publish such an obviously intentional skewed research piece. Now the rat smells even more seeing this piece somehow diverted from the usual criteria for publication only to have someone involved with the paper write the opinion in it. You have to winder how big the check wad NOM wrote to the journal to get it published the way it did.

    Posted by: Michael | Jul 1, 2012 8:51:24 PM


  8. @TOTO, you clearly aren't in Kansas anymore if you think the stigma faced by those living with HIV face doesn't exist anymore. IT DOES! People are discriminated against for being positive as much, if not more, within the gay community as the community at large. It is absolutely better to know your status, for a myriad of reasons, however, no one should be able to determine that knowledge without your consent. It is used to deny people of loans, housing, insurance, and jobs routinely. Maybe not as much as it was when Reagan was burying his head in the sand, but the stigma and discrimination exists. Until that changes, I urge everyone to get tested anonymously. If you trust your personal physician, great. If you go to a non-profit, great. I agree everyone should know their status, but until the stigma is addressed, there will still be those who choose not to know.

    Posted by: Kenneth | Jul 1, 2012 9:33:23 PM


  9. An anecdote about "The Well Of Loneliness." The story goes that upon meeting Dorothy Parker, a woman starting going on and on about the brilliance of her own daughter and asked Ms Parker which girls school she would recommend for her. Dorothy Parker coolly replied, "Radclyffe Hall."

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 1, 2012 9:47:44 PM


  10. "Richard Dawkins

    Posted July 1, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink
    Thank you for your concern, but that is not the colour I actually am! The TV camera had the colour temperature all wrong. They could presumably have fixed it “in post” but perhaps they rather enjoyed the association of red face with strident anger!

    Richard"

    Posted by: mld | Jul 2, 2012 3:47:09 AM


  11. I still remember that as a 24 year old Franciscan studying for the priesthood at Catholic University, looking through the library at the Dominican House on Michigan ave, that the only thing I could find on homosexuality talked about inversion and the sinfulness and mental illness of homosexuality.I knew that i was a "good guy" and that although I was homosexual, none of this B.S. described me. So my journey for my truth began.

    Posted by: andrew | Jul 2, 2012 5:03:21 AM


  12. With all the information out there about Jennifer Keeton, I'm surprised that you linked to such an obviously biased article that leaves most of the important points in the case out -- such as the fact that Keeton's stance is in direct opposition to the ethical standards adopted by every professional counseling and psychological association.

    Posted by: Hunter | Jul 2, 2012 7:22:43 AM


  13. To see the pink dot in Singapore:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVo6U6BdB6g

    Posted by: johnny | Jul 2, 2012 7:54:52 AM


  14. Yes, anyone who has read "The Mayor of Castro Street" knows that Harvey Milk had a 16 year old boyfriend, but that does not make him a pedophile. According to the American Psychiatric Association, pedophilia is the attraction to pre-pubescent children under the age of 13. Also. back in the 70's teenagers were thought of as young adults, whereas today we think of them more as big children. You have to look at Harvey's relationship in the context of the times.

    Posted by: jimsur212 | Jul 2, 2012 9:00:40 AM


  15. @ Kenneth

    You clearly cannot read because I never said there was no longer a stigma, I said it has been reduced. Patient doctor confidentiality already covers knowledge of your status as something between only you and your doctor. And even so, your point makes no sense because once you HAVE HIV it doesnt wait for you, you will have to face a stigma about it sometime whether it be loans, housing, insurance and jobs. By that logic it is better to know when you are financially safe and the infection has developed into AIDS and you may have potentially infected someone else???

    Im talking about the practice of testing itself and one way to take away the negativity of the idea of testing is to make it more routine and highly suggested for every 5 or ten years or so. As testing is now, like I said it is mostly intentionally requested by the individual or in response to illness. Simply changing the way in which doctors gain consent for HIV testing does not make it more likely that they will even consider investigating or considering a possible HIV infection. If HIV is a serious issue it should be treated as such and testing should be something routine that all sexually active individuals do and the medical community as a whole advocates; regardless of sexuality. That way, it no longer becomes "a gay problem" but a human problem. Why half-ass it?

    Posted by: Toto | Jul 2, 2012 9:19:40 AM


  16. @jimsur212: you're right. People carelessly confuse "pedophilia" and "pederastia", which was the basis for elite education among the ancient Greeks. And, contrary to another set of popular misconceptions, the physical intimacies in that arrangement did not amount to twink-buggering.

    The infantilisation of young gay men over the past few decades is unfortunate. When being gay was not part of the daily world consciousness, men and women had to establish autonomy. Living as outlaws or at least Outsiders had huge disadvantages but also promoted both self-reliance and community. The changes are part of the process that manipulates all of us so that we are better servants of Consumer Culture.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Jul 2, 2012 9:43:09 AM


  17. @ TOTO, sorry if I offended you. I believe we agree on the destination if not the route. Cheers

    Posted by: Kenneth | Jul 2, 2012 12:02:39 PM


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