right would like the word heterosexual to conjure up
demure married couples who have sex in locked bedrooms
purely for the purpose of procreation. The word
homosexual, however, they'd like to
associate with two nasty guys having anal sex purely for the
purpose of pleasure. Possibly in a public place, in
front of the children.
Gays have long
been defined by our sexual practices, and not just by
those who seek to deny us our rights. But in truth, we are
all sexual beings, straight, gay, bi, and
otherwise. What makes gay people different is that we
own up to it. We have been proud leaders in the sexual
revolution that started in the 1960s, and we have rejected
attempts by conservatives to demonize that part of who we
that we continue to do so.
We celebrate our
identities and our bodies. Our fashions and our
art are sexy, and yes, our parades include all kinds of
people in various stages of undress. We've
often championed nudity, and we aren't afraid to
talk about sex in social settings.
what's wrong with it? Safe sex between consenting
adults is healthy and rewarding, and gay people are
among the very few who proudly demand that America
evangelical Christians, with all of their hang-ups about sex
and the body, have gained power in America, there have been
calls by some gays and allies to tone down our sexual
culture in a bid to get more people on our side.
Acknowledge America's antisex culture and
we'll get a lot further, they say.
Americans would support equality if LGBT people did a better
job of hiding our sexuality is by no means a certainty, and
even if it were, we must not renounce what we bring to
the table in an effort to win equal seating.
We've faced this question before: In the 1980s and
'90s the AIDS epidemic threatened our sexual
culture, but pioneering activists like the late Eric
Rofes railed against sex panic. We can be both sexy
and responsible, he argued, and we've made it to the
present with our sexual freedom largely intact.
No matter what
our enemies may say, we must not abandon our role as
leaders for sexual liberation. That doesn't mean
emulating the downtown New York public-sex culture of
the '70s, but it does mean celebrating who we
are, including the sexuality we enjoy responsibly.
We're never going to win acceptance by
pretending that we don't like sex.