Conflicting Ideologies (July 13, 2005)
Conflicting Ideologies: There are two important questions that must be answered when discussing the issue of homosexuality. We may answer both of these questions in a meaningful, open, and honest discussion. The first is how does one become a homosexual. This question is best framed and answered in this way. Who one is, a homosexual or what one does, homosexuality? The case for the latter is much stronger, so when talking about homosexuality, it is a discussion about behavior. Those involved in this behavior of homosexuality can only answer the second question. This question is how should homosexuals relate and interact with the society that they are a part of. Homosexuals use two terms in trying to answer this question, assimilation or liberation.
For many homosexuals, gay liberation - and what it means to be gay - was inextricably linked to sexual freedom. The right to have sex anytime, anywhere, and with anybody they choose was, for them, inalienable. (Andriote, Victory Deferred: How AIDS Changed Gay Life in America, p.73)
In the 1960s and 1970s, the gay and lesbian movement had pursued many goals - the right to be open about sexual orientation and the right to be equal in the eyes of religious bodies and the law. But one of its earliest and most basic objectives, especially for gay men, was sexual freedom: the right to have sexual lives that were untrammeled by the conventions and limits of social norms. (Allen, The Wages of Sin: Sex and Disease, Past and Present, p. 125)
Not all homosexuals advocate for homosexual sexual liberation, but seek to assimilate homosexuality into the culture and society. For them homosexuals are like heterosexuals except for whom they have sex with.
This past April here in Boston an incident arose where these conflicting ideologies by homosexual groups could be seen. GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network) of Boston an organization that advocates for assimilating homosexuality into the culture and society held their annual conference for high school and middle school students on the Brookline High School Campus. The Fenway Community Health Center a homosexual organization that advocates for homosexual sexual liberation had an information table and distributed literature during this conference. One booklet titled the Little Black Book handed out contain information that was not age appropriate for many of those attending this GLSEN Boston 2005 student conference.
It must be remembered that this is not the first time GLSEN Boston has this same problem at their annual student conferences. This is the third time, the first two being in 2000 and 2001 at GLSEN Boston annual student conferences held on the Tufts University campus. It was at the 2000 conference in a workshop lead by Massachusetts State Department educators that there was a discussion of these same practices that are found in the Little Black Book. You may remember that GLSEN Boston 2000 conference by the name it earned fistgate. Of the two state employees who helped to lead the workshop, one was terminated and the other reigned from their positions with the Massachusetts Department of Education. The following year at the GLSEN Boston 2001 conference held again at Tufts University Planned Parenthood representatives handed out safe sex kits that were designed for fisting and oral sex. So why is anyone surprised about the problems from the GLSEN Boston 2005 annual student conference held on Brookline High School campus.
GLSEN Boston first denied on May 18 that this booklet was obtained during their 2005 student conference held on the Brookline High School Campus. The following day on May 19 a retraction was published on their website, www.glsenboston.org.
Yesterday we released a message stating that GLSEN Boston has strict policies against sexually explicit content and materials at the conference. We stated that we have monitors in every workshop and take many other precautions to ensure that all policies to assure safety for all are followed. We also said that the materials were never present at the conference and that the allegations were false. We believed the statement to be accurate at the time.
The Fenway Community Health Center has issued a statement apologizing, recognizing the materials were inappropriate for the audience and has taken full responsibility for the mistake.
An article from BayWindows online published on May 19, 2005, titledGLSEN-gate, take two contained the following quotes.
Once again the annual conference of the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network of Boston (GLSEN Boston) has become mired in controversy over exposing young people to sexually explicit materials.
Initially GLSEN Boston denied that the manuals were distributed, arguing that either Article 8’s claims were false or that anti-gay forces had planted the manual on site. Yet on May 18, GLSEN Boston Executive Director Sean Haley said after further investigation GLSEN discovered that "The Little Black Book" had been distributed to attendees, including middle-school and high-school aged youth, by an outreach worker from Fenway Community Health’s Peer Listening Line.
Fenway confirmed that its outreach worker had distributed the manuals. "Fenway Community Health regrets accidentally making available a small number of copies of the Little Black Book, an HIV prevention publication for gay and bisexual men over the age of 18, at an event where young people were present," said Dr. Stephen Boswell, Fenway Community Health’s president and CEO, in a statement.
This last quote has been edited with the removal of the first letter of one word at the end of the quote.
The manuals, produced by AIDS Action and intended for use in outreach to adult males, contained explicit sexual content, including photographs of someone inserting a condom on an erect penis and an article laying out the relative risks of different sexual acts such as fisting, watersports, rimming, and "-uckin’" and "suckin”