April 16th, 2010
There’s an interesting minor dust-up taking place over on the Bilerico Project. Publisher Bil Browning published a post about “Hot Mormon missionary boys masturbating” and that led one of his contributors, David Badash, to quit the site.Badash explains his reasons this way (while helpfully providing links to the content he objects to):
I recognize the need to “pay the bills,” and sadly, I understand that “Prince William’s penis pictures,” “First all Israeli gay porn movie,” and even “Top 10 Stores to Pick Up Gay Men” (three of the top-ten most popular posts on The Bilerico Project) may serve that purpose, but as a journalist, I have to believe that these are the easy way out, and, just as I wouldn’t expect to see that type of content coming from a think tank, or mainstream journalism site, I don’t expect to see it coming from what I thought Bilerico was. And perhaps that was my mistake.
Browning counters that the Bilerico Project is sex positive, and his editorial decisions go beyond merely figuring out how to “pay the bills.” He denies that any of the posts amounts to porn, and besides that, he posits that such criticisms stem from the desire to maintain a facade of respectability which he calls “the losing strategy behind the closet”:
The reason we have been ostracized for centuries from “normal” society is because we don’t conform to the community expectations about penises and vaginas. We need not neuter our sexuality to advance the cause. The best way to press our movement onward is not by trying to convince the public that we’re “just like them.” We’re not. We do not need to assimilate to gain acceptance; respect is not won by submission and false exteriors.
I would have to agree with Bil’s reasoning. And I’d also add that defining and maintaining a particular tone on a web site is both the Publisher’s responsibility and prerogative. And yes, we do need to pay the bills; that’s why you see advertising on this site as well. And I believe we do see ourselves as sex-positive, but that kind of judgment is always in the eye of the beholder. We certainly don’t avoid topics touching on sexuality, but we tend to approach those topics with a certain seriousness. That’s probably because BTB sees itself as an oh-so-serious web site that resists stooping to the lowest common denominator of base sexuality to promote our site. Are we too serious? Maybe. Personally, I’m a big consumer of what could be described as lowest common denominator-type stuff, and I can’t say I have any qualms about it whatsoever. But our readership doubles in size every nine months quite dependably simply by providing you with what you’ve come to expect: news, analysis and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric.
And speaking of news and analysis, the world welcomed singer Ricky Martin as he publicly declared that he was no longer in the closet. Which brings up an interesting question: when a performer comes out of the closet, it’s natural to speculate on how it will affect that performer’s art. After all, if sexuality is something that all people see as one of their core traits, it would seem that escaping the closet would be a freeing experience and that this experience would be reflected in the artist’s work. So in an attempt to provide further data to this artistic theory, we present Ricky Martin’s very first promotional video since coming out and let you be the judge.
Update: The promotional video isn’t exactly new. It was filmed in 2007, but Martin tweeted it to his followers this week. Featuring tatood messages like “find yourself” and “change your life,” Martin said, “It’s all about positive affirmations.”
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.
In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.
The FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.