5 responses

  1. Josh
    December 29, 2012

    A question on phrasing: “He also entered into at least five heterosexual relationships, including a common-law marriage with Kitty Kelly”–is “heterosexual” strictly correct? “Heterogender” (or some similar, hopefully better-sounding, alternative) seems to be the actual idea.

    I don’t mean to be insensitive about this; I’m mostly just curious.

  2. Steve
    December 29, 2012

    It’s correct. He identified as a man, and sexual orientation is labeled according to the gender people present as.

    For example, a transwoman who is into men is straight.

  3. Ben in Oakland
    December 29, 2012

    I have a clipping I’ve been carrying in my wallet for 40 years, quoting Symonds. It has informed every one of my actions and beliefs regarding gay people.

    “We maintain that we have the right to exist after the fashion which nature made us. And if we cannot alter your laws, we shall go on breaking them. You may condemn us to infamy, exile, prison– as you formerly burned witches. You may degrade our emotional interests and drive us into vice and misery. But you will not eradicate inverted sexuality.”

    Seems an appropriate posting both to commemorate Symonds and to give a ready middle finger to The Inquisition…

    Pardonnez moi, s’il vous plait. The congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

  4. Midwestern mom
    December 29, 2012

    I remember when the Catholic Church issued that 1975 statement. I was a student at a Catholic college at the time, and most of the clergy there were liberals hoping for more positive change after Vatican II. The edict was received as an insult.
    Even more insulting was the sermon delivered one weekend by our official chaplain. He spent half an hour lecturing against masturbation, premarital sex, and gay sex to a congregation that consisted mostly of nuns. The nuns were furious, not least because it was well known that we’d been saddled with him because of his reputation as a drunk and a womanizer. The Church had no problems sending this man first to a girls’ high school and then to a women’s college. No one I knew would go to him for confession or consent to be alone with him. Yet he lectured the rest of us on morality.
    That was one of the last times I ever went to a mass, and one of the main reasons I stopped attending. I went infrequently after that in order to accompany my mother on occasions like Mother’s Day, and I raised my kids as happy secularists.

  5. Josh
    December 30, 2012

    Steve said: “He identified as a man, and sexual orientation is labeled according to the gender people present as. For example, a transwoman who is into men is straight.”

    Sorry I wasn’t clearer; “straight” in this context matches my experience. “heterosexual”–which is perhaps by definition synonymous with “straight”?–just seemed a little odd.

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