Lila here~ I spent the weekend in NYC with a great friend. It began with the Museum of Sex at 233 Fifth Ave (at 27th St). The ground floor was all about animals and sexuality. I learned so many fun and interesting (and some slightly disturbing) things, I wanted to share a few with you. I’ll start with the disturbing thing; let’s just get that out of the way.
In many ways, 2009 might appear to be a red-letter year for supporters of gay rights. In addition to being the year in which Iowa, Vermont and Maine will begin (or have already started) to allow same-sex couples to marry, it is also the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots (which served as the birth of the modern gay rights movement), and the beginning of a new era in the White House— led by a young president who's promised to repeal the policy barring openly gay people from serving in the military. But in the midst of this past week's annual Gay Pride celebrations, and in light of all the recent pro-gay rights statements that have been made by political figures such as Connecticut's Chris Dodd, it's hard not to notice the fact that Barack Obama has, in fact, done very little to further the rights of gay people in America.
As reported in the journal Trends in Ecology and Evolution, same-sex romances have "evolutionary consequences" that may very well alter the species' structure. For example, one-third of the Hawaiian Laysan albatross bird community is lesbian and many male bottlenose dolphins have sex with each other before they move on to lady dolphins.
So, so inspiring: last week, tens of thousands of people across the country came out in support of same-sex marriage after California voters passed Prop 8, which nullified previously legal unions. From New York City to Minneapolis, D.C. to San Fransisco, gay marriage supporters turned out in huge crowds to protest the bigotry which occurred in California on Nov. 4.
The Wasilla Public Library in Alaska is refusing to shelve two books about homosexual relationships for children, Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate. But it's certainly not because the characters in the books are gay, of course. Oh, no -- the town's library director, K.J. Martin-Albright, says the books are “poorly constructed, lacked engaging illustrations and seemed to lack the ability to engage young readers...Anything on the library has to earn its real estate." Riiiight.
Will a public service announcement help make accepting homosexuality more OK among kids? Or is that idea. . . totally gay? Gawker has posted about a non-profit Ad Council PSA, which asks teens to think twice about flinging about the word "gay" as an all-purpose adjective. Made to look like a page from a dictionary, the PSA says: gay - 1. there was once a time when all "gay" meant was "happy." then it meant "homosexual." now, people are saying "that's so gay" to mean dumb and stupid. which is pretty insulting to gay people (and we don't mean the "happy" people.) 2. so please, knock it off. 3. go to ThinkB4YouSpeak.com
We all know one. The friend, cousin, dentist or colleague who -- despite voicing attraction to the opposite sex, owning the world's largest collection of straight porn, being married with kids, what have you -- everyone thinks is gay. We now know what to call these "don't judge a book by its cover"-types: strays! (Thanks to Buzzfeed for disseminating this term and Detail's Mike Albo for coining it.)