25 thoughts on “Growing Up Queer

  1. I can’t make sense of this. I have a teenage daughter in late high school, and all through, tolerance is taught and all the kids I know our meet are as over sensitive and terrified of ever being considered intolerant of homosexuals. I can’t think of a group more protectedby society today. I don’t object to this, but these stats must be from carefully targeted places, it’s the opposite of how every teenager I know thinks and acts

    • Well, there’s a few things to take into account here.

      1) Homophobia and abuse of gay people are overwhelmingly caused by adults more so than children. So the positive side of this is that homophobia is slowly dying, the down side is those that remain are highly resistant to changing their beliefs.

      2) Different areas of society are more accepting than others. Therefore, you can be sure that people at the school your children go to are taught respect and tolerance, and have internalised this, that doesn’t mean the same things in other schools. Firstly, plenty of independent schools don’t teach tolerance (At my High School, while not religious in any way, sexuality was treated as a “Don’t’ ask, don’t tell” rule, with any displays of affection punished). Secondly, while all the schools I work with currently teach tolerance in some capacity, plenty of kids haven’t internalised it.

      ” I can’t think of a group more protectedby society today”

      You can’t? Really? Recognise your privilege man. When major politicians, religious leaders, and speakers in society call a group degenerates, compares them to paedophiles internationally, you’re going to get some people justifying abuse and assault of homosexuals.

      ” I don’t object to this, but these stats must be from carefully targeted places, it’s the opposite of how every teenager I know thinks and acts”

      Do you think it could be possible, just possible, that the teenagers you know do not reflect the teenagers of the entire country? Because I knew plenty of homophobic students, both when I was a student, and now working in the education system.

      Incidentally, you keep on saying “This is not how the teenagers I know act”-but this data does not address how teens act. It’s measuring the experiences of gay people in Australia. The fact that a majority of homosexuals have experienced verbal abuse does not mean the majority of Australians, let alone the majority of teens, are verbally abusive.

  2. Hey JM. Some good points here.

    1 – You’re saying that gay kids are being abused by adults ? I guess that’s possible, but I’d think that any abuse of kids by adults would be a much bigger issue than kids picking on each other, so I assumed that the latter what we were talking about. One has to wonder how the adults in question even knew the kids were gay ? And surely there’s laws against adults treating kids this way that are easily enforced ?

    2 – Yes, that’s my point. I suspect the stats were created by going to a place where it was known that a low level of tolerance could be anticipated. I am saying, I don’t think this represents an average, but a targeted attempt to show the places where things are worst and present them as a norm. How old are you ? I can’t imagine any high school today not teaching sex ed. I am 45, and I went to private and public schools and they all had some form of it. Only an idiot thinks they can hide sex from teenagers ( and only an idiot parent leaves it to the school to teach them, but that’s another story )

    What privilege ? I don’t see anyone with any credibility calling gay people degenerate or comparing them to paedophiles. Sure, there’s some fringe lunatics, but the hammer comes down on them pretty hard. I’m not saying it shouldn’t, but I suspect I’d get in less trouble if I started to say racist things in polite society today, than if I said homophobic ones ( not saying I’m inclined to either, the point is about the level of protection being given ). Sure, I am a white male Christian, but the fact that I share a penis and a hymn book with many of those in power, doesn’t mean I get a phone call when power is exercised, I’m as much subject to those things as a black Muslim woman is ( but I accept I am treated better than she is, day to day, that is indeed my privilege, but that has nothing to do with my observing that homosexuals are the most protected minority group in our society today ).

    Addressing your last few points: sure, I have one teenager daughter and a handful of teenage relatives. However, I’m also a huge heavy metal fan ( and metal is, let’s me honest, not traditional a place you look for open mindedness ). I go to a lot of shows, and my facebook teems with teenagers as a result of people I’ve met there. So, I feel like I know a reasonable cross section of teenagers, but I accept it’s self selecting in terms of my own values and reasons for interaction ( I would defriend people who were racist or homophobic, but for all that, I don’t remember ever doing so ). My point wasn’t that I have all the data. It’s that I suspect that the data used to generate this report was deliberately biased to come up with something so removed from the cross section of teenagers I interact with. As far as I can see, we’re doing a great job of creating a more tolerant next generation. But, clearly the lobby groups have their own vested interest in convincing us that things are still uniformly terrible, when the most I can suspect is that there are still enclaves where such things are true. And, while no-one should ever want to kill themselves because they don’t feel accepted for who they are, that’s not a problem unique to gay people ( as I said on the facebook, one missing metric from the graphic itself is how this compares to teens in general because I am straight and I certainly experienced pretty much everything on this list for most of my teenage years ).

    So, my point was not to disagree, it was to try to explore and get some sort of context, because of course anyone pushing an agenda, loves to put out information devoid of context that may rob it of impact, and while I don’t disagree with the agenda, I’d just rather know the full truth of the situation.

    • “You’re saying that gay kids are being abused by adults ? ”

      Yes, as well as teenagers. To be clear, the article said young LGBTI, not kids. There is a difference. Young includes teenagers, way into early twenties, with interaction with many adults in this time.

      “One has to wonder how the adults in question even knew the kids were gay ?”

      The same way as anyone does-stereotypes, guesses, seeing interactions they deemed as gay.

      “And surely there’s laws against adults treating kids this way that are easily enforced ?”

      Laws exist, but that doesn’t mean they are enforced. Firstly if adults are in any positions of power to young people (employers particularly), young people have a lot to lose in complaining or seeking legal support, and not much to gain. Also, in many cases people aren’t aware of what laws protect them. You also need a lot of support to seek help from friends, and friends aren’t always going ot take your side, particularly if they could lose out because of it.

      “. I suspect the stats were created by going to a place where it was known that a low level of tolerance could be anticipated. ”

      Have you evidence of this? It’s a pretty big call to make.

      “How old are you ? I can’t imagine any high school today not teaching sex ed. ”

      I’m 28. My high school did not do any sex ed. I did do sex ed in primary school, but this was very hetero-centric, very little to no mention of GLBTI. I work in the department of education now. Schools are encoruaged to teach sex ed. Plenty don’t.

      “Only an idiot thinks they can hide sex from teenagers ( and only an idiot parent leaves it to the school to teach them, but that’s another story )”

      True. Very very true. That’s what happened in my school. We used to have sex ed at Year 9 (When most schools do it. A bit late in my opinion, especially if you haven’t had any puberty talk before hand-but that’s how it went), but parents complained and it was scrapped while I was in year 8.

      “I don’t see anyone with any credibility calling gay people degenerate or comparing them to paedophiles. ”

      Well, there’s the Australian Christioan Lobby, the Austrlaian Family association, Salt shakers, etc-all funded by major businesses in Australia (Gloria Jeans is one example). Exclusive Brethren are another one.

      They fund extremist candidates so they get elected, and in the meantime make comments about what’s wrong iwth homosexuals publically. That’s just what they do in publci-in private they intimidate organisations which hope to encourage involvement by the GLBTI community. One of the reasons gay marriage advocates are against a referendum for gay marriage is the realisation that there are a lot of organisations with a lot of money that will spend millions demonising gay people, seeing them as a threat, just as we’ve seen overseas (In America in particular).

      “Sure, there’s some fringe lunatics, but the hammer comes down on them pretty hard.”

      Cory Bernardi as been a politian for a while now. Tony Abbott is prime minister.

      “Sure, I am a white male Christian, but the fact that I share a penis and a hymn book with many of those in power, doesn’t mean I get a phone call when power is exercised,

      Privelege isn’t “People in power talk to me”, privielge is “That stuff I take for granted because it’s always been that way-that doesn’t apply to everyone”

      Priveleges include beign reasonably confident that when people know about your sexuality, they won’t discourage children from being with you.
      Privelege includes being confident in mentuioning oyur partner in a work context, without being worried about losing a potential job.
      Privelege includes knowing that if my relationship succeeds or fails, I am confident that it will not be used to judge all relationships of my sexuality.
      Privelege includes knowing that if a terrible person shares my sexuality, I won’t be asked to defend or apologise for them.
      Pirvelege means if you celebrate an engagement, you can be confident everyone you care about will recognise that engagement.

      Take a look here for many more:
      http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/01/29-examples-of-heterosexual-privilege/

      It’s alarming how much you and I take for granted that is not the norm.

      “homosexuals are the most protected minority group in our society today ”

      Now, that’s different. Seeing homosexuals as the most protected minority group is much more different than seeing them as the most protected group in society. Being a white straight male is the easiest setting there is in Australia.

      Now, it’s true that there are many protections for gay people in Australia. And they have some priveleges in that they are not as easily identified as being separate from beign “a white straight male” as women or people of colour are.

      But, at the same time, you run a racist organisation, politicians don’t take your donations. Pauline Hanson was racist in her maiden speech and was kicked out of the Liberal party. Cory Bernardi is homophobic every second week and he’s still there.

      “( and metal is, let’s me honest, not traditional a place you look for open mindedness )”

      Well, that is very much a subgroup. Seeing a change in a very particular subgroup (Let’s realise that those who go to concerts are those who have the time and money to do that. And money means more access to more people, meaning more tolerance and acceptance), does not reflect the whole. I’m out in the country, working with kids from all sorts of backgrounds. GLBTI support groups are getting death threats out here.

      Now that is not saying that this speaks for the whole of Australia. I know there are more positive places than others, and rural areas tend ot have more discrimination (Leading to higher suicicde rates in the countries, and an attitude of “Let’s get out of here and enver come back” when it comes to choosing what to do after school-which is killing our rural towns).

      ” As far as I can see, we’re doing a great job of creating a more tolerant next generation

      I absolutely agree with you here. But I think my conclusions from that sentence are different. Because you’re saying “We’re doing a good job, so I don’t think there’s much left to worry about”, while I’m saying “We’re doing a good job-let’s keep going and make it even better!”

      And the reason I say that, is because discrimination doesn’t get better when people say “Right-that’s going well, we can stop now”-it reverts. Look around the world-countries like India, Russia, America-all have made great strides in the treatment of GLBTI communities, and all who have made back steps because at some point advocacy and support became less important, because it was seen as being “Done” or “Solved” Right now, in Brazil, there is a move to ban all promotion of GLBTI groups to children, because it fears that they will turn gay. When proponents are called homophobic, they say that gay rights are solved-there are gay rights rallies, so it must be solved, and dismiss the mulitple examples of murders of homosexuals by skin head gangs.

      “But, clearly the lobby groups have their own vested interest in convincing us that things are still uniformly terrible, when the most I can suspect is that there are still enclaves where such things are true”

      Again, that is a huge call to make without any proof. You’re essentially calling gay rights organisatiosn liars.

      “I’d just rather know the full truth of the situation.”

      Then read more. This is one study. There are many more.

      Back in 2003 the NSW Attorney General reported that 56% of gay men and lesbians had experienced one or more forms of homophobic abuse, harassment or violence during the past twelve months with 85% experiencing such homophobic behaviours over their lifetime(1.NSW Attorney General’s Department (2003) You Shouldn’t Have to Hide to Be Safe: A Report on Homophobic Hostilities and Violence Against Gay Men and Lesbians in NSW, Sydney, p.2)

      Sydney University found that 59% of LGBTI workers had experienced some form of homophobic behaviour in the workplace (Irwin, J. (2002), The Pink Ceiling is Too Low: Workplace Experiences of Lesbians, Gay Men and Transgender People, Australian Centre for Lesbian and Gay Research, University of Sydney, Sydney, p.28)

      La Trobe similarly found that the number of gay nad lesbian teens experiencing daily abuse and harrasment is actually increasing (Possibly due to a belief that homophobia is solved, we don’t need to deal with it anymore) (Source: Hillier, L., Turner, A., & Mitchell A.(2005) Writing Themselves In Again: The 2nd National Report on the Sexual Health & Wellbeing of Same-Sex Attracted Young People in Australia, Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health & Society (ARCSHS) La Trobe University, Melbourne, p.35)

      I mean, when you see data which you are surprised to see, the healthier thing to do is not say “Obviously it must be lies” but to read more and find out if this is balanced out in further studies.

  3. Wow – almost impossible to reply to all of that on a forum software as weak as this one. Let me try to get the main points:

    “Have you evidence of this? It’s a pretty big call to make.”

    Well, I was not making an accusation as much as asking for evidence to the contrary. It’s not that big a call to suggest that everyone presents the version of the truth that supports their narrative, and I don’t see ANY homophobia, ANYWHERE, in society, and especially amongst young people. I see a culture that has become so concerned about gay rights that they are terrified of anyone ever thinking they are homophobic. I’m not saying this is terrible, I’m saying, I don’t see a little and this story suggests there is more, I see a culture where I wonder if straight teens feel left out and not ‘special’, because of the focus on homosexuality. So, that’s a big enough leap, and the figures given are so bad, that I don’t see how they can be an average. If the majority of gay kids live in the society I see, then there must be enclaves where 500% of gay kids have ‘been verbally abused’, for example. So, I’d like to know who was asked, so I can understand if I happen to live in a pocket of extreme enlightenment, which takes in kids across the country, and kids in what is clearly not the most cosmopolitan state ( Tasmania ), or if the data comes from a skewed data set or both. I’m asking more than accusing, but it does seem odd to me.

    “I’m 28. My high school did not do any sex ed. I did do sex ed in primary school, but this was very hetero-centric, very little to no mention of GLBTI. I work in the department of education now. Schools are encoruaged to teach sex ed. Plenty don’t.”

    In Tasmania, it’s been reported that schools are teaching kids to celebrate ( not accept ) homosexuality. My experience of my own kids would be that that’s precisely what they are doing. It may well have changed suddenly, but, I am 45, and as I said, every Victorian school I went to ( I kept getting kicked out of high school, so there were a few ), taught sex. I remember one school where our female teacher told us she’d jump up on the desk and just show us but the department would not let her. Things were not so PC back then.

    “but parents complained and it was scrapped while I was in year 8.”

    *sigh*

    “They fund extremist candidates so they get elected, and in the meantime make comments about what’s wrong iwth homosexuals publically”

    See, even in Tasmania, those people are mostly recognised as the lunatic fringe and a source of comedy. I know a few get in, but surely in the whole that’s how they are seen ?

    “Priveleges include beign reasonably confident that when people know about your sexuality, they won’t discourage children from being with you.”

    OK, I read all the list. I accept the point. I accept that being mainstream means I don’t anticipate people judging me poorly. And perhaps it’s because I’m in the mainstream ( or perhaps it’s the Aspergers ), but what I’ve always taught my kids is, there will always be people who misjudge you, or reject you for stupid reasons. I don’t think you can stop that, for anyone. What you can do, is hope that everyone has some good friends who stand by them, so they don’t feel overwhelmed by the actions of people who go out of their way to be hurtful. There’s certainly people who set out to make me feel bad about myself ( white male heterosexual that I am ), and I honestly can say that I don’t care, because my friends know who I am, and I know who I am. And, while I oppose any form of bigotry, I feel like the problem with trying to legislate to make sure we’re all nice to each other, is that we’re encouraging people to not be resilient. For example, as I’ve said, I was bullied mercilessly most of my childhood. I hate the idea of bullying laws, because they take the onus off other kids to stand up to bullying when they see it, and they make it a legal question. Surely when bullying gets as bad as I’ve read it can get, there are enough laws to stop that sort of harassment ?

    “But, at the same time, you run a racist organisation, politicians don’t take your donations. Pauline Hanson was racist in her maiden speech and was kicked out of the Liberal party. Cory Bernardi is homophobic every second week and he’s still there.”

    Well, that’s a little different, too. I think it’s a miracle they stood up to Pauline, because in both cases, they case less about what is right, and more about what will get votes. That’s why no party has the guts to be fair to asylum seekers. They’ve driven the narrative too far in to the other direction to ever do that now.

    “(Let’s realise that those who go to concerts are those who have the time and money to do that. And money means more access to more people, meaning more tolerance and acceptance)”

    A lot of people who go to concerts, save all their money to get there. Just like a lot of people on the poverty line have Austar and mobile phones.

    “I’m out in the country, working with kids from all sorts of backgrounds. GLBTI support groups are getting death threats out here.”

    Well, they all listen to country music :-) OK, I accept you’re probably right. And, I think that Rob Halford coming out of the closet was a turning point for the gay community. Metal bands sing about gay rights and gay kids being mistreated, now. So, it may well have become part of the culture, for metal. But, are there more kids in the city, or in the country ? This gets back to my first question – what group got questioned to create the statistic at the head of this discussion ? Because, while if one kid is in danger of being attacked because of who they are, that’s enough to do something about it. But, I still can’t reconcile the idea that the figures presented, are an average.

    ” Because you’re saying “We’re doing a good job, so I don’t think there’s much left to worry about”, while I’m saying “We’re doing a good job-let’s keep going and make it even better!””

    No, what I’m saying is, ‘given how good a job we’re doing, I can’t work out where these figures come from’.

    “because it fears that they will turn gay”

    It’s another topic, but this is interesting to me. Because I know scientists know at least one way that homosexuality occurs. In the womb, of course. But, because that cause is preventable, trying to discuss this with people who are not homophobic, leads to them yelling about people trying to detect it. But, our society as a whole is shunning science more and more, that’s an even bigger tragedy IMO, because it hurts everyone.

    “and dismiss the mulitple examples of murders of homosexuals by skin head gangs.”

    Well, that’s clearly awful. But, I’ve met people from the south of the USA who still talk about the war of northern aggression. I don’t think you can create a society without some bogans in it. You can make sure that everyone knows what is acceptable, and you can punish the guilty, but while I’m behind every effort to get rid of those skinheads, I doubt you ever will.

    “Again, that is a huge call to make without any proof. You’re essentially calling gay rights organisatiosn liars.”

    No, I’m essentially saying that their marketing arm is like every marketing arm. It’s presenting a view of the data that supports their cause. And if they know it’s exaggerated, they figure it’s worth it because the cause is worth it. And what charity/lobby group/special interest doesn’t do that ?

    I am suspicious of all claims given to me without any sort of sources. That goes for politics, science, you name it. Tell me where I can fact check, or I’ll assume that the story is being slanted, even if it’s for the best of reasons.

    “I mean, when you see data which you are surprised to see, the healthier thing to do is not say “Obviously it must be lies” but to read more and find out if this is balanced out in further studies.”

    I started out with just an image on facebook. Once I had a link, I read it and found that, for example, it did provide a comparison with straight kids ( but still no source ). I also admit to being time poor enough that I’d rather ask those more active in such circles to give me some sources, than to spend hours looking for them, and I don’t know enough about the area in question to know how to recognise a credible source ( although a wildly ludicrous one is easy to spot, a skewed one is less so ). If I wanted to believe a particular narrative, I know I can google until I find it. That also does not make it true.

    I also think that these studies lower the bar too much.

    “Sydney University found that 59% of LGBTI workers had experienced some form of homophobic behaviour in the workplace”

    OK, that sucks. But, what is ‘some form’ ? If someone had one person say something offensive, and then their workmates banded behind them, and the offending person was fired, that’s not really anything close to a gay woman whose male boss asks personal questions about her sex life until she’s so uncomfortable that she quits. They are not the same thing. It’s an example of a study that really is lacking in context, or detail, which leaves me unsure of how bad the issue actually is.

    Saying that we want a world where no-one is mean to you, ever, is just a pipe dream. A society that doesn’t accept people who act that way, and defends those on the receiving end of abuse, is all we can hope for. I don’t feel like a great many people realise that.

    • ” I don’t see ANY homophobia, ANYWHERE, in society, and especially amongst young people”

      That’s the thing though. You and I, as white heterosexual men (Probably with okay jobs and some sense of financial security-right?) live in a bubble where only the most extreme cases of discrimination filter in. True for homophobia, true for sexism and racism. Waleed aly wrote a great article following the spate of racist outbursts on public transport we had last year addressing this.

      We can also safely say the extremist cases-the shouting abuse at strangers in the street, the public murders all those extreme aspects-society itself condemns this absolutely. But discrimination still exists in the quiet, and by not challenging the quiet, we encourage the loud. It’s the side eye when you mention your partner, the glares walking down the street if you hold hands, the physical intimidation (which can go very far before it reaches a point where a crime could occur-thinking getting into someone’s personal space, standing over them and glaring without saying a wor.d Terrifying-and very hard to prosecute).

      “I see a culture that has become so concerned about gay rights that they are terrified of anyone ever thinking they are homophobic. ”

      And I see that culture too. But Australia’s response to discrimination does not occur equally in all areas. TI recently moved from Collingwood, Melbourne, to Shepparton, Melbourne. Talk about 180 degree change. And, to be honest, there are more areas of Australia like Shepparton than there are like Collingwood.

      ” I see a culture where I wonder if straight teens feel left out and not ‘special’, because of the focus on homosexuality”

      I think, again, this is a view coming from the reality we are experiencing different parts of Australia. I live in an area that if you are gay you are seen as wrong, even as teenagers, and there is a great fear of coming out.

      And it would be a shame if straight teens aren’t feeling special, though the eventual goal is not for anyone to feel special (That word has such negative consequences now-particularly in the handicapped community). But part of the reason we have this focus on homosexuality is because of the reality that outcomes for people, young people particularly, who are not heterosexual are poor compared to heterosexuals.

      “If the majority of gay kids live in the society I see, ”

      That’s the issue. I really don’t think they do. The majority don’t live in the society I see either. The belief of “What I see is everything” is a logical fallacy we all have, but which simply isn’t true.

      “In Tasmania, it’s been reported that schools are teaching kids to celebrate ( not accept ) homosexuality.”

      I’d be asking where that’s been reported, if I were you.

      “, I am 45, and as I said, every Victorian school I went to ( I kept getting kicked out of high school, so there were a few ), taught sex. ”

      I completely believe you. But I work in schools today, and was a student up until 2003. There was no sex ed at high school level, and while many schools are encouraged to have sex ed, they are not required to in Victorian schools today.

      “See, even in Tasmania, those people are mostly recognised as the lunatic fringe and a source of comedy. I know a few get in, but surely in the whole that’s how they are seen ?”

      That’s a contradiction there. You can’t be considered the lunatic fringe by all of society, and still get elected. While some do senate deals and all that, there is enough of support in the society to get some candidates you and I would consider lunatic fringe into parliament.

      “I’ve always taught my kids is, there will always be people who misjudge you, or reject you for stupid reasons. I don’t think you can stop that, for anyone. ”

      But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Again, this is a privelege you and I have-privelege to accept that people wil hate others for the colour of their skin, gender or sexuality, while also being fairly confident that this won’t effect us.

      I mean, the reason activism and social change occurs is not because someone says “Well, there’s always going to be people who hate you for silly reasons” but because someone says “That’s not okay, that’s not equal”

      It’s also worth pointing out that the difference between someone saying “I hate oyu because you’re gay” and “I hate you because you have red hair” (For example) is that there are no religious institutions saying that red heads are evil, no government or lobby agencies encouraging a negative view of red heads, plenty of red heads in public life and in fiction leading happy lives, and no one in government tacitly supporting negative view of red heads. Or in other words, if an idiot hates a red head, the red head is more able to be resilient to this insult due to the multiple examples of red heads they see living happy lives, and the comparatively little negative images of red heads. We can’t say the same about GLBTI youth (Especially the TI part).

      “I honestly can say that I don’t care, because my friends know who I am, and I know who I am. ”

      Again, that’s great, if you know you have friends who will support you. But there are problems with that for gay people. Firstly, gay people have to go through the whole process of “coming out” if they want friend’s support, and many can’t be certain that they will receive support by coming out, or be rejected. It’s something we straight people can’t really imagine, because we never have to come out. Heterosexuality is the norm.

      “And, while I oppose any form of bigotry, I feel like the problem with trying to legislate to make sure we’re all nice to each other, is that we’re encouraging people to not be resilient. ”

      In part I agree. We don’t want to have too many laws. But on the other hand, resiliency is easy to talk about when you and I know it’s a bit easier for us. Now in the school yards, sure kids should be encouraged to stand up for each other in response to bullying, because it will continue to exist, and kids and bullies can have an equal power balance.

      But there are other areas where being resilient may not be enough. If a boss verbally abuses a kid for looking a bit gay everyday-who’s going to stand up to him? If the boy does it, he risks losing his job. Anyone who stands up to him risks losing their job also. If they pursue legal matters or disciplinary matters, they still risk losing their job, being seen as difficult and unable to be promoted if they stick around, and being targeted and harrassed by those who remain. In this cases, and others like it where there is a clear power difference between the abused and the abuser, having access to legislation can and does help.

      But the biggest move to help gay people, particularly otuside of city areas, is GLBTI support and social groups. They can help out more than legislation or education programs can.

      “Surely when bullying gets as bad as I’ve read it can get, there are enough laws to stop that sort of harassment ?”

      Again, it’s not so much about having enough laws. In fact, if I recall correctly, apart from changes to social laws to promote equality between people, gay rights organisations aren’t calling for more jobs, just more public condmenation nad conviction of those who perpetrate the laws we currently have.

      What is being asked for is a change in society, and society’s attitude to gay people, just as its being asked for women and people of colour. To change form seeing them as not-normal, and more challenging those priveleges I described and showed to you. And the plus side is this is something where we can help. You’ve rread throguh the list, and noticed some (Though not all) apply to GLBTI people in Australia. Most of those on the list can';t change through laws-but can change through straight people like you and I challenging those priveleges when we see them, and not repeating them ourselves.

      “I think it’s a miracle they stood up to Pauline, because in both cases, they case less about what is right, and more about what will get votes”

      Well, mainstream parties have long since learnt that while racism does get votes, obvious racism does not. As in, people will vote for racist policies as long as they don’t think they’re being racist. The mainstream parties get away with that by harking about national defence, border security, while Hanson didn’t by complaining instead about Asians and Aborigines. But it shows that while the Liberal Party is trying hard to not be linked to obvious racism, they don’t mind at all being linked to obvious homophobia.

      “A lot of people who go to concerts, save all their money to get there. Just like a lot of people on the poverty line have Austar and mobile phones.”

      Well, you don’t need savings to have Austar or a mobile phones. These industries actually make a lot of money locking people into contracts which they can’t escape from, and which people sign while being encouraged to focus on the cheap start up cost.

      Whereas concerts-well it’s a ticket (Plus accomodation costs if you need to travel). No concert is trying to lock people into debt, or trying to trick people to buy a ticket, mainly because they don’t need to.

      “But, are there more kids in the city, or in the country ?”

      I don’t know, to be honest. There are more people in the city, but more kids get born in the country.

      ” You can make sure that everyone knows what is acceptable, and you can punish the guilty, but while I’m behind every effort to get rid of those skinheads, I doubt you ever will.”

      True, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Soceity doesn’t stop, culture is always changing. And if we don’t keep trying to move it forward, it will move backwards.

      “If I wanted to believe a particular narrative, I know I can google until I find it. That also does not make it true.”

      So what would you accept as evidence? I mean, this image does have a sourc,e I’ve provided you with others-what would you be accepting as legitimate evidence?

      “It’s an example of a study that really is lacking in context, or detail, which leaves me unsure of how bad the issue actually is.”

      I did provide you with a citation for this one, so you can check it out.

      “A society that doesn’t accept people who act that way, and defends those on the receiving end of abuse, is all we can hope for”

      No, we can hope for a lot more than that. And even if we don’t achieve it, we get better by getting closer. MLK wanted a world where people are not judged by the colour of their skin but by the strength of their character. He didn’t achieve that in his life time, but by aiming for this dream the conditions of black people in American did improve.

      And to be clear-we do live in a society where people who do abuse others for their sexuality are accepted. Not in all cases, maybe not in most cases, but it does happen. We have major media personalities (Pretty much all shock jocks and News Ltd columnists for starters) routinely abusing all gay people, just as they abuse “uppity” women, or people of colour. They’re accepted by our government.

      We are not on the moutaint yet, Christian. But I do agree we are getting closer.

  4. I read the list you posted. I suspect most of these are true in the USA, but that less than half are, here. But, the point is taken.

  5. OK, so my second post is visible and my first isn’t, so I am trying again.

    Wow – almost impossible to reply to all of that on a forum software as weak as this one. Let me try to get the main points:

    “Have you evidence of this? It’s a pretty big call to make.”

    Well, I was not making an accusation as much as asking for evidence to the contrary. It’s not that big a call to suggest that everyone presents the version of the truth that supports their narrative, and I don’t see ANY homophobia, ANYWHERE, in society, and especially amongst young people. I see a culture that has become so concerned about gay rights that they are terrified of anyone ever thinking they are homophobic. I’m not saying this is terrible, I’m saying, I don’t see a little and this story suggests there is more, I see a culture where I wonder if straight teens feel left out and not ‘special’, because of the focus on homosexuality. So, that’s a big enough leap, and the figures given are so bad, that I don’t see how they can be an average. If the majority of gay kids live in the society I see, then there must be enclaves where 500% of gay kids have ‘been verbally abused’, for example. So, I’d like to know who was asked, so I can understand if I happen to live in a pocket of extreme enlightenment, which takes in kids across the country, and kids in what is clearly not the most cosmopolitan state ( Tasmania ), or if the data comes from a skewed data set or both. I’m asking more than accusing, but it does seem odd to me.

    “I’m 28. My high school did not do any sex ed. I did do sex ed in primary school, but this was very hetero-centric, very little to no mention of GLBTI. I work in the department of education now. Schools are encoruaged to teach sex ed. Plenty don’t.”

    In Tasmania, it’s been reported that schools are teaching kids to celebrate ( not accept ) homosexuality. My experience of my own kids would be that that’s precisely what they are doing. It may well have changed suddenly, but, I am 45, and as I said, every Victorian school I went to ( I kept getting kicked out of high school, so there were a few ), taught sex. I remember one school where our female teacher told us she’d jump up on the desk and just show us but the department would not let her. Things were not so PC back then.

    “but parents complained and it was scrapped while I was in year 8.”

    *sigh*

    “They fund extremist candidates so they get elected, and in the meantime make comments about what’s wrong iwth homosexuals publically”

    See, even in Tasmania, those people are mostly recognised as the lunatic fringe and a source of comedy. I know a few get in, but surely in the whole that’s how they are seen ?

    “Priveleges include beign reasonably confident that when people know about your sexuality, they won’t discourage children from being with you.”

    OK, I read all the list. I accept the point. I accept that being mainstream means I don’t anticipate people judging me poorly. And perhaps it’s because I’m in the mainstream ( or perhaps it’s the Aspergers ), but what I’ve always taught my kids is, there will always be people who misjudge you, or reject you for stupid reasons. I don’t think you can stop that, for anyone. What you can do, is hope that everyone has some good friends who stand by them, so they don’t feel overwhelmed by the actions of people who go out of their way to be hurtful. There’s certainly people who set out to make me feel bad about myself ( white male heterosexual that I am ), and I honestly can say that I don’t care, because my friends know who I am, and I know who I am. And, while I oppose any form of bigotry, I feel like the problem with trying to legislate to make sure we’re all nice to each other, is that we’re encouraging people to not be resilient. For example, as I’ve said, I was bullied mercilessly most of my childhood. I hate the idea of bullying laws, because they take the onus off other kids to stand up to bullying when they see it, and they make it a legal question. Surely when bullying gets as bad as I’ve read it can get, there are enough laws to stop that sort of harassment ?

    “But, at the same time, you run a racist organisation, politicians don’t take your donations. Pauline Hanson was racist in her maiden speech and was kicked out of the Liberal party. Cory Bernardi is homophobic every second week and he’s still there.”

    Well, that’s a little different, too. I think it’s a miracle they stood up to Pauline, because in both cases, they case less about what is right, and more about what will get votes. That’s why no party has the guts to be fair to asylum seekers. They’ve driven the narrative too far in to the other direction to ever do that now.

    “(Let’s realise that those who go to concerts are those who have the time and money to do that. And money means more access to more people, meaning more tolerance and acceptance)”

    A lot of people who go to concerts, save all their money to get there. Just like a lot of people on the poverty line have Austar and mobile phones.

    “I’m out in the country, working with kids from all sorts of backgrounds. GLBTI support groups are getting death threats out here.”

    Well, they all listen to country music :-) OK, I accept you’re probably right. And, I think that Rob Halford coming out of the closet was a turning point for the gay community. Metal bands sing about gay rights and gay kids being mistreated, now. So, it may well have become part of the culture, for metal. But, are there more kids in the city, or in the country ? This gets back to my first question – what group got questioned to create the statistic at the head of this discussion ? Because, while if one kid is in danger of being attacked because of who they are, that’s enough to do something about it. But, I still can’t reconcile the idea that the figures presented, are an average.

    ” Because you’re saying “We’re doing a good job, so I don’t think there’s much left to worry about”, while I’m saying “We’re doing a good job-let’s keep going and make it even better!””

    No, what I’m saying is, ‘given how good a job we’re doing, I can’t work out where these figures come from’.

    “because it fears that they will turn gay”

    It’s another topic, but this is interesting to me. Because I know scientists know at least one way that homosexuality occurs. In the womb, of course. But, because that cause is preventable, trying to discuss this with people who are not homophobic, leads to them yelling about people trying to detect it. But, our society as a whole is shunning science more and more, that’s an even bigger tragedy IMO, because it hurts everyone.

    “and dismiss the mulitple examples of murders of homosexuals by skin head gangs.”

    Well, that’s clearly awful. But, I’ve met people from the south of the USA who still talk about the war of northern aggression. I don’t think you can create a society without some bogans in it. You can make sure that everyone knows what is acceptable, and you can punish the guilty, but while I’m behind every effort to get rid of those skinheads, I doubt you ever will.

    “Again, that is a huge call to make without any proof. You’re essentially calling gay rights organisatiosn liars.”

    No, I’m essentially saying that their marketing arm is like every marketing arm. It’s presenting a view of the data that supports their cause. And if they know it’s exaggerated, they figure it’s worth it because the cause is worth it. And what charity/lobby group/special interest doesn’t do that ?

    I am suspicious of all claims given to me without any sort of sources. That goes for politics, science, you name it. Tell me where I can fact check, or I’ll assume that the story is being slanted, even if it’s for the best of reasons.

    “I mean, when you see data which you are surprised to see, the healthier thing to do is not say “Obviously it must be lies” but to read more and find out if this is balanced out in further studies.”

    I started out with just an image on facebook. Once I had a link, I read it and found that, for example, it did provide a comparison with straight kids ( but still no source ). I also admit to being time poor enough that I’d rather ask those more active in such circles to give me some sources, than to spend hours looking for them, and I don’t know enough about the area in question to know how to recognise a credible source ( although a wildly ludicrous one is easy to spot, a skewed one is less so ). If I wanted to believe a particular narrative, I know I can google until I find it. That also does not make it true.

    I also think that these studies lower the bar too much.

    “Sydney University found that 59% of LGBTI workers had experienced some form of homophobic behaviour in the workplace”

    OK, that sucks. But, what is ‘some form’ ? If someone had one person say something offensive, and then their workmates banded behind them, and the offending person was fired, that’s not really anything close to a gay woman whose male boss asks personal questions about her sex life until she’s so uncomfortable that she quits. They are not the same thing. It’s an example of a study that really is lacking in context, or detail, which leaves me unsure of how bad the issue actually is.

    Saying that we want a world where no-one is mean to you, ever, is just a pipe dream. A society that doesn’t accept people who act that way, and defends those on the receiving end of abuse, is all we can hope for. I don’t feel like a great many people realise that.

  6. Doesn’t look like my reply is getting posted, so let me post it a bit at a time:

    “Have you evidence of this? It’s a pretty big call to make.”

    Well, I was not making an accusation as much as asking for evidence to the contrary. It’s not that big a call to suggest that everyone presents the version of the truth that supports their narrative, and I don’t see ANY homophobia, ANYWHERE, in society, and especially amongst young people. I see a culture that has become so concerned about gay rights that they are terrified of anyone ever thinking they are homophobic. I’m not saying this is terrible, I’m saying, I don’t see a little and this story suggests there is more, I see a culture where I wonder if straight teens feel left out and not ‘special’, because of the focus on homosexuality. So, that’s a big enough leap, and the figures given are so bad, that I don’t see how they can be an average. If the majority of gay kids live in the society I see, then there must be enclaves where 500% of gay kids have ‘been verbally abused’, for example. So, I’d like to know who was asked, so I can understand if I happen to live in a pocket of extreme enlightenment, which takes in kids across the country, and kids in what is clearly not the most cosmopolitan state ( Tasmania ), or if the data comes from a skewed data set or both. I’m asking more than accusing, but it does seem odd to me.

    “I’m 28. My high school did not do any sex ed. I did do sex ed in primary school, but this was very hetero-centric, very little to no mention of GLBTI. I work in the department of education now. Schools are encoruaged to teach sex ed. Plenty don’t.”

    In Tasmania, it’s been reported that schools are teaching kids to celebrate ( not accept ) homosexuality. My experience of my own kids would be that that’s precisely what they are doing. It may well have changed suddenly, but, I am 45, and as I said, every Victorian school I went to ( I kept getting kicked out of high school, so there were a few ), taught sex. I remember one school where our female teacher told us she’d jump up on the desk and just show us but the department would not let her. Things were not so PC back then.

    “but parents complained and it was scrapped while I was in year 8.”

    *sigh*

    “They fund extremist candidates so they get elected, and in the meantime make comments about what’s wrong iwth homosexuals publically”

    See, even in Tasmania, those people are mostly recognised as the lunatic fringe and a source of comedy. I know a few get in, but surely in the whole that’s how they are seen ?

  7. “Priveleges include beign reasonably confident that when people know about your sexuality, they won’t discourage children from being with you.”

    OK, I read all the list. I accept the point. I accept that being mainstream means I don’t anticipate people judging me poorly. And perhaps it’s because I’m in the mainstream ( or perhaps it’s the Aspergers ), but what I’ve always taught my kids is, there will always be people who misjudge you, or reject you for stupid reasons. I don’t think you can stop that, for anyone. What you can do, is hope that everyone has some good friends who stand by them, so they don’t feel overwhelmed by the actions of people who go out of their way to be hurtful. There’s certainly people who set out to make me feel bad about myself ( white male heterosexual that I am ), and I honestly can say that I don’t care, because my friends know who I am, and I know who I am. And, while I oppose any form of bigotry, I feel like the problem with trying to legislate to make sure we’re all nice to each other, is that we’re encouraging people to not be resilient. For example, as I’ve said, I was bullied mercilessly most of my childhood. I hate the idea of bullying laws, because they take the onus off other kids to stand up to bullying when they see it, and they make it a legal question. Surely when bullying gets as bad as I’ve read it can get, there are enough laws to stop that sort of harassment ?

    “But, at the same time, you run a racist organisation, politicians don’t take your donations. Pauline Hanson was racist in her maiden speech and was kicked out of the Liberal party. Cory Bernardi is homophobic every second week and he’s still there.”

    Well, that’s a little different, too. I think it’s a miracle they stood up to Pauline, because in both cases, they case less about what is right, and more about what will get votes. That’s why no party has the guts to be fair to asylum seekers. They’ve driven the narrative too far in to the other direction to ever do that now.

  8. “(Let’s realise that those who go to concerts are those who have the time and money to do that. And money means more access to more people, meaning more tolerance and acceptance)”

    A lot of people who go to concerts, save all their money to get there. Just like a lot of people on the poverty line have Austar and mobile phones.

    “I’m out in the country, working with kids from all sorts of backgrounds. GLBTI support groups are getting death threats out here.”

    Well, they all listen to country music :-) OK, I accept you’re probably right. And, I think that Rob Halford coming out of the closet was a turning point for the gay community. Metal bands sing about gay rights and gay kids being mistreated, now. So, it may well have become part of the culture, for metal. But, are there more kids in the city, or in the country ? This gets back to my first question – what group got questioned to create the statistic at the head of this discussion ? Because, while if one kid is in danger of being attacked because of who they are, that’s enough to do something about it. But, I still can’t reconcile the idea that the figures presented, are an average.

    ” Because you’re saying “We’re doing a good job, so I don’t think there’s much left to worry about”, while I’m saying “We’re doing a good job-let’s keep going and make it even better!””

    No, what I’m saying is, ‘given how good a job we’re doing, I can’t work out where these figures come from’.

    “because it fears that they will turn gay”

    It’s another topic, but this is interesting to me. Because I know scientists know at least one way that homosexuality occurs. In the womb, of course. But, because that cause is preventable, trying to discuss this with people who are not homophobic, leads to them yelling about people trying to detect it. But, our society as a whole is shunning science more and more, that’s an even bigger tragedy IMO, because it hurts everyone.

  9. “and dismiss the mulitple examples of murders of homosexuals by skin head gangs.”

    Well, that’s clearly awful. But, I’ve met people from the south of the USA who still talk about the war of northern aggression. I don’t think you can create a society without some bogans in it. You can make sure that everyone knows what is acceptable, and you can punish the guilty, but while I’m behind every effort to get rid of those skinheads, I doubt you ever will.

    “Again, that is a huge call to make without any proof. You’re essentially calling gay rights organisatiosn liars.”

    No, I’m essentially saying that their marketing arm is like every marketing arm. It’s presenting a view of the data that supports their cause. And if they know it’s exaggerated, they figure it’s worth it because the cause is worth it. And what charity/lobby group/special interest doesn’t do that ?

    I am suspicious of all claims given to me without any sort of sources. That goes for politics, science, you name it. Tell me where I can fact check, or I’ll assume that the story is being slanted, even if it’s for the best of reasons.

    “I mean, when you see data which you are surprised to see, the healthier thing to do is not say “Obviously it must be lies” but to read more and find out if this is balanced out in further studies.”

    I started out with just an image on facebook. Once I had a link, I read it and found that, for example, it did provide a comparison with straight kids ( but still no source ). I also admit to being time poor enough that I’d rather ask those more active in such circles to give me some sources, than to spend hours looking for them, and I don’t know enough about the area in question to know how to recognise a credible source ( although a wildly ludicrous one is easy to spot, a skewed one is less so ). If I wanted to believe a particular narrative, I know I can google until I find it. That also does not make it true.

    I also think that these studies lower the bar too much.

    “Sydney University found that 59% of LGBTI workers had experienced some form of homophobic behaviour in the workplace”

    OK, that sucks. But, what is ‘some form’ ? If someone had one person say something offensive, and then their workmates banded behind them, and the offending person was fired, that’s not really anything close to a gay woman whose male boss asks personal questions about her sex life until she’s so uncomfortable that she quits. They are not the same thing. It’s an example of a study that really is lacking in context, or detail, which leaves me unsure of how bad the issue actually is.

    Saying that we want a world where no-one is mean to you, ever, is just a pipe dream. A society that doesn’t accept people who act that way, and defends those on the receiving end of abuse, is all we can hope for. I don’t feel like a great many people realise that.

  10. Strangely, only half my replies got posted, but if I repost, it claims they are here. I’m giving up. I know it’s just wordpress, but this forum software is pretty awful :(

  11. “I mean, when you see data which you are surprised to see, the healthier thing to do is not say “Obviously it must be lies” but to read more and find out if this is balanced out in further studies.”

    I started out with just an image on facebook. Once I had a link, I read it and found that, for example, it did provide a comparison with straight kids ( but still no source ). I also admit to being time poor enough that I’d rather ask those more active in such circles to give me some sources, than to spend hours looking for them, and I don’t know enough about the area in question to know how to recognise a credible source ( although a wildly ludicrous one is easy to spot, a skewed one is less so ). If I wanted to believe a particular narrative, I know I can google until I find it. That also does not make it true.

    I also think that these studies lower the bar too much.

    “Sydney University found that 59% of LGBTI workers had experienced some form of homophobic behaviour in the workplace”

    OK, that sucks. But, what is ‘some form’ ? If someone had one person say something offensive, and then their workmates banded behind them, and the offending person was fired, that’s not really anything close to a gay woman whose male boss asks personal questions about her sex life until she’s so uncomfortable that she quits. They are not the same thing. It’s an example of a study that really is lacking in context, or detail, which leaves me unsure of how bad the issue actually is.

    Saying that we want a world where no-one is mean to you, ever, is just a pipe dream. A society that doesn’t accept people who act that way, and defends those on the receiving end of abuse, is all we can hope for. I don’t feel like a great many people realise that.

  12. There are gay woman in the Muslim community that are not recognised. True Islam does not differentiate the relationship between two women or a man and a woman. Allah is god to all people, he does not discriminate on sexuality, despite the conservative interpretations of the koran.

  13. I’ve made a mess of all this, so I am just posting at the bottom, and resigned to waiting a day to see it .

    “In Tasmania, it’s been reported that schools are teaching kids to celebrate ( not accept ) homosexuality.”

    I’d be asking where that’s been reported, if I were you.

    In media I absolutely assume to be liars. BUt, my point ( as I said ) is that the way the kids I know behave, I believe that it’s actually true.

    “I completely believe you. But I work in schools today, and was a student up until 2003. There was no sex ed at high school level, and while many schools are encouraged to have sex ed, they are not required to in Victorian schools today.”

    Wow. Just wow. In Tasmania, I am certain there’s a ton of discussion on questions of gender and sexuality. It’s definitely being pushed hard.

    “That’s a contradiction there. You can’t be considered the lunatic fringe by all of society, and still get elected.”

    Well, that’s what I was asking. There may be the odd lunatic electorate, but surely it’s an outlier, or they would be in power, not just having a few seats ?

    “But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Again, this is a privelege you and I have-privelege to accept that people wil hate others for the colour of their skin, gender or sexuality, while also being fairly confident that this won’t effect us.”

    And yet, pretty much every form of abuse I see reported on as ‘x% of gay people have experinced this at least once’, I’ve experienced more than once. No-one is looking out for me. Must be because I have a hymn book and a penis ? My point is not that we shouldn’t build a caring society, it’s that we should also build resilient people who know that if they are accepted by most people, they should not be upset about the odd person who does not like them. That’s what I have to do.

    “It’s also worth pointing out that the difference between someone saying “I hate oyu because you’re gay” and “I hate you because you have red hair” (For example) is that there are no religious institutions saying that red heads are evil, no government or lobby agencies encouraging a negative view of red heads, plenty of red heads in public life and in fiction leading happy lives, and no one in government tacitly supporting negative view of red heads. Or in other words, if an idiot hates a red head, the red head is more able to be resilient to this insult due to the multiple examples of red heads they see living happy lives, and the comparatively little negative images of red heads. We can’t say the same about GLBTI youth (Especially the TI part).”

    Perhaps in some isolated country towns, this is true. Again, every thing I see, in a major city, but also in a backwater, is that you can ABSOLUTELY say that if someone did ANYTHING to put someone down for their sexuality, and there were some teens about, they would step up and say something.

    “Again, that’s great, if you know you have friends who will support you. But there are problems with that for gay people. Firstly, gay people have to go through the whole process of “coming out” if they want friend’s support, and many can’t be certain that they will receive support by coming out, or be rejected. It’s something we straight people can’t really imagine, because we never have to come out. Heterosexuality is the norm.”

    Again, the only frame of reference I have, is groups where half the kids have ‘come out’ and no-one cares. Either a lot of kids are confused because of the messages and pressure they are getting earlier and earlier, or we went from 5% of people being gay, to about 40%, in a generation. And, I’m sure it’s not like that everywhere. But I think it’s like that often enough that I question the statistics presented here as being a national average, and not the average in Warnambool.

    “In part I agree. We don’t want to have too many laws. But on the other hand, resiliency is easy to talk about when you and I know it’s a bit easier for us. Now in the school yards, sure kids should be encouraged to stand up for each other in response to bullying, because it will continue to exist, and kids and bullies can have an equal power balance.”

    I was bullied merciliessly all through high school. My bullies and I did NOT have an ‘equal power balance’. My kids were bullied to the point that their lives were threatened and I had to call the police. Bullies, by definition, choose to act when the power balance is inequal. This is true regardless of what they choose to bully someone over. And so, I would love for ANY person who faces those sort of things, to be given more support than I was. But, I don’t think that teaching kids to rely on the law, and to report every kid they have a fight with ( which is what they will do ), is a solution.

    “If a boss verbally abuses a kid for looking a bit gay everyday-who’s going to stand up to him? If the boy does it, he risks losing his job. ”

    Well, of course. And if my boss picks on me for some other reason, why is that different ?

    “. In this cases, and others like it where there is a clear power difference between the abused and the abuser, having access to legislation can and does help.”

    Actually, it does not address ANY of the issues you raised ( such as the fact that there is a power imbalance if your boss does not like you, which can cost you promotion, or your job ).

    “But the biggest move to help gay people, particularly otuside of city areas, is GLBTI support and social groups. They can help out more than legislation or education programs can.”

    Yes, that is almost certainly true. Because it provides what I said. A supportive social group that gives people the strength to know they are accepted and can stand up to bullies.

    “What is being asked for is a change in society, and society’s attitude to gay people, just as its being asked for women and people of colour.”

    Well, you know, my daughter goes to a girls school and came home in a lather about unequal employment of women and the wage gap. I am computer programmer and I am also the development lead. When we interviewed for a senior and a mid level position, the only girl who applied, was the only person we hired for the senior job, because she was the best ( she was Indian, incidentally, therefor she is a ‘person of colour’ ). That’s how I think it works in the real world, I will hire the best person for the job, and pay them the wage I set out to give the successful applicant. There are no wage scales for women.

    But yes, of course, the first step is for people who are lucky enough to not be ever discriminated against, to stand up for those who are. I absolutely agree with that.

    “Well, you don’t need savings to have Austar or a mobile phones. These industries actually make a lot of money locking people into contracts which they can’t escape from, and which people sign while being encouraged to focus on the cheap start up cost.”

    True. But my phone costs me the price of a concert ticket, a month, and I am on a pretty cheap plan.

    “Whereas concerts-well it’s a ticket (Plus accomodation costs if you need to travel). No concert is trying to lock people into debt, or trying to trick people to buy a ticket, mainly because they don’t need to.”

    Yes, music is awesome :-)

    “True, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Soceity doesn’t stop, culture is always changing. And if we don’t keep trying to move it forward, it will move backwards.”

    Yes, I agree. But I get the feeling that a lot of the change being looked for ( no bogans for example ) are deliberately untenable, because that means the quest for them can go on forever.

    “So what would you accept as evidence? I mean, this image does have a sourc,e I’ve provided you with others-what would you be accepting as legitimate evidence?”

    I was honestly saying that if this image included a source that stated where the study was done, and I was pointed to that, I would accept it, on the basis that I trust the people running this site to point me to a credible source. But, if I just googled for one that told me what I suspect, it would not prove that my initial thought was true.

    “No, we can hope for a lot more than that. And even if we don’t achieve it, we get better by getting closer. MLK wanted a world where people are not judged by the colour of their skin but by the strength of their character. He didn’t achieve that in his life time, but by aiming for this dream the conditions of black people in American did improve.”

    Well, that’s kind of what I said. If MOST people don’t judge people that way, and the few who do, are scared to say so out loud because they know society won’t accept it, that’s as much as we can hope for.

    “And to be clear-we do live in a society where people who do abuse others for their sexuality are accepted. Not in all cases, maybe not in most cases, but it does happen. We have major media personalities (Pretty much all shock jocks and News Ltd columnists for starters) routinely abusing all gay people, just as they abuse “uppity” women, or people of colour. They’re accepted by our government.”

    Well, yes, but they make their money by appealling to the worst elements in our society. If the media is allowed to encourage such things, I do agree that should be legislated against, because it adds weight to those views in the eyes of the consumers of that media.

    This has become quite the rambling discussion. At the core, I just don’t understand how I can see nothing but acceptance bordering on privilege for homosexuals amongst the young, and yet figures like the ones quoted above can still be credible. I am still trying to reconcile what I see in the real world, with what’s being reported to me. That it’s that bad in some areas, I don’t doubt, and I hope we do something to fix that. I hope that, where-ever people live, they have the ability to feel accepted and to have friends to support them when, inevitably, there are people who are not their friends. But, I just can’t come to terms with the thought that we’re as far away from that goal as is being implied.

    • “BUt, my point ( as I said ) is that the way the kids I know behave, I believe that it’s actually true.”

      How do the way the kids you know behave demonstrating they have been taught to celebrate homosexuality rather than accept it?

      “There may be the odd lunatic electorate, but surely it’s an outlier, or they would be in power, not just having a few seats ?’

      They are in power. Tony Abbot is Prime Minister. Cory Bernardi is a member of his government.

      “And yet, pretty much every form of abuse I see reported on as ‘x% of gay people have experinced this at least once’, I’ve experienced more than once. ”

      One of the ones I pointed to you stated abuse in the last 12 months. This is relevent, and reflects the abuse is ongoing.

      “No-one is looking out for me. ”

      Except police, government officials, your church…..that’s just the people and organisations you know of already.

      “My point is not that we shouldn’t build a caring society, it’s that we should also build resilient people who know that if they are accepted by most people, they should not be upset about the odd person who does not like them. ”

      And my point is that it is easy to say that, but unless you have the majority of people openly defending you and you know it, it may not feel that way. There’s no point telling a country kid that in Melbourne he’ll be respected for his sexuality when he’s half way through high school.

      “Perhaps in some isolated country towns, this is true. ‘

      Did you read what I wrote? The priveleges I mentioned included religious institutions discriminating againt homosexuals (True for some religious institutions all over the country-some are tolerant, some aren’t). The lobby groups stigmatising gay people publically have extended and included the Liberal party of Australia. The lack of a public view of gay characters in mainstream life or media is the media of Australia. The politicians stigmatising or tacitly supporting stigamtisation of homosexuals are politicians in Canberra.

      It’s not a problem you can distance to being a tiny backwards town, someone else’s problem. It is soceity’s problem.

      “Again, every thing I see, in a major city, but also in a backwater, is that you can ABSOLUTELY say that if someone did ANYTHING to put someone down for their sexuality, and there were some teens about, they would step up and say something.”

      Teens have to really be self confident to talk up at the best of times. To talk up to a priest, particularly their family’s priest-even harder. Have you seen that happen ever?

      “Either a lot of kids are confused because of the messages and pressure they are getting earlier and earlier, or we went from 5% of people being gay, to about 40%, in a generation.”

      Or sexuality is a spectrum, and with children realising that being gay or straight isn’t an either/or possibility, they allow themselves to explore their curiosity and interest which former generations would not have.

      Not an argument here-I actually think this is a really good thing!

      ” And, I’m sure it’s not like that everywhere. But I think it’s like that often enough that I question the statistics presented here as being a national average, and not the average in Warnambool.”

      Again, your basis for this is just “From what I’ve seen”-Australia is bigger than whatever either of us can see.

      “I was bullied merciliessly all through high school. My bullies and I did NOT have an ‘equal power balance’.”

      Sorry, I used a bad choice of words there. I was actually agreeing with you, but sloppily. Bullies, true, act when they have more power, or to gain power. What I was suggesting was that it is better, when possible, for students to stand up together against the bully, rather than involve police. If that is not possible, if threats or serious violence occurs, absolutely police should be involved.

      “Well, of course. And if my boss picks on me for some other reason, why is that different ? ”

      It’s not. But again, depending on what your boss picks on you for, there is less chance that it will feed into a culture of you being less than him.
      Also, as we are both adults now, we have more freedom, and experience, to know we can challenge the boss, and have more abilities to quit and find something better than a teen would. This isn’t true in all cases, even for adults, but generally adults have more ability and confidence to challenge abuse than teens do.

      “Actually, it does not address ANY of the issues you raised ( such as the fact that there is a power imbalance if your boss does not like you, which can cost you promotion, or your job ).”

      I disagree. Knowing that legislation exists, regardless of whether you access it or not, can give someone a sense of power. If a boss is harrassing me, knowing what laws protect me allows me to look into what my options are, and tell myself if it gets so bad that the job isn’t worth it, I have some rights. It also can allow unity to develop with other staff members-if other staff members know what their rights are, they can support me.

      It’s not perfect, and it can still lead to negative consequences. Social change is still needed to help the many who fall through the cracks. But it can help.

      “A supportive social group that gives people the strength to know they are accepted and can stand up to bullies.”

      Not even that. Again, standing up to bullies is a big call to make in many cases. A GLBTI support group really helps people survive bullies, remind them that the bullies will not be with them forever, and no matter how they feel at school, there is a place they are welcomed. Have you heard of the “It gets better” campaign in America? I really loved that-it knew it couldn’t stop bullies using the resources they had available so instead they sent a message that if you are bullied at school, that’s not forever.

      “That’s how I think it works in the real world, I will hire the best person for the job, and pay them the wage I set out to give the successful applicant. There are no wage scales for women. ”

      It would be nice if that were true. But it’s not the case. Take a look at the 1reasonwhy campaign, which pointed out the many reasons unrelated to skills, knowledge or experience, there are so few women in the games feild (Not the same as computer programming I know, but some topics overlap)
      http://kotaku.com/5963528/heres-a-devastating-account-of-the-crap-women-in-the-games-business-have-to-deal-with-in-2012

      “True. But my phone costs me the price of a concert ticket, a month, and I am on a pretty cheap plan.”

      You should meet some asylum seekers. They always came up with the best phones, without any plans. By a sim and a phone at coles for $20, never add credit, wait for people to call. That’s the cheapest way to have a mobile phone.

      Also, let’s not get started on credit card debt. It’s depressing, and stuff like mobile phones and austar fuels it.

      “But I get the feeling that a lot of the change being looked for ( no bogans for example ) are deliberately untenable, because that means the quest for them can go on forever.”

      What’s the problem with that? To me, the goal of social change isn’t to reach some nirvana (We tried with communism-look how that worked out!) but to constantly aim for perfection, knowing you will never achieve it, but knowing aiming for perfection makes things better little by little.

      I fully admit this my religion coming out though.

      “I was honestly saying that if this image included a source that stated where the study was done, and I was pointed to that, I would accept it, on the basis that I trust the people running this site to point me to a credible source.”

      Well, I don’t have the details of this particular study. I did provide you with three separate sources presenting similar results, each with citations.

      ” If MOST people don’t judge people that way, and the few who do, are scared to say so out loud because they know society won’t accept it, that’s as much as we can hope for.”

      I disagree in part. I do think that getting to a point that the few who do hold discriminating views do not say them out loud (Part of the reason I support this site so much). But I don’t see a problem with aiming for a goal beyond that where discrimination does not exist. Again, it won’t happen, we all know it won’t happen, but as we aim for it, things get better. If you aim for perfection, everything that gets towards perfection is an improvement.

      “Well, yes, but they make their money by appealling to the worst elements in our society. ”

      A lot of money. Lots and lots of money. Let’s not dismiss this. There’s a general rule in journalism-there’s no money in it for progressive opinion writers. Hence why Andrew Bolt who used to work for the ABC is now regularly writing about how everyone apart from white, straight, Liberal voting men are destroying Australia.
      So in other words, they make money appealing to the worst elements in our society, but they didn’t create those elements. Those elements were already there, manifested, and now being encouraged by media voices (Amongst others).

      “This has become quite the rambling discussion. ”

      Oh, but it’s been fun, hasn’t it? I honestly think we’re agreeing on around 90% of things, it’s ust a matter of perspective. I’m living in the country, working for support agencies, which means my perspective is different from yours. But to be honest, when I was working in melbourne for Aged care support-I wouldn’t have seen discrimination like I have seen since I changed jobs.

      “But, I just can’t come to terms with the thought that we’re as far away from that goal as is being implied.”

      This is again how perspective comes out. For me, the stats are quite hopeful. All but one of them was showing the minority have experienced negative effects (And the remaining one, verbal abuse, is still less than I would have expected even 10 years ago, with verbal abuse being the easiest abuse to cause). Particularly the suicide rate-I was expecting much higher.

      I guess to me, these stats weren’t saying to me “We have so far to go” but instead “We’ve made improvements compared to the last ten years, and let’s see how we can make these stats even lower in the next ten years”

      • “How do the way the kids you know behave demonstrating they have been taught to celebrate homosexuality rather than accept it?”

        Wistfully speculating on if they might still turn out to be gay, incredible levels of sensitivity to any comment that could be twisted to be less than accepting of homosexuality, being more excited by the relationships of their gay friends than straight, just a general focus on homosexuality as the locus of their evolving knowledge of sex as part of the human experience.

        It’s somewhat semantic, but, at the core, I don’t believe the number of homosexuals jumped from 5% to 40% in a generation. I don’t think 35% stayed repressed through the last 50 years since the sexual revolution. I think kids who are still working out who they are, percieve that it’s cooler to be gay. Almost all of my daughter’s female friends are bisexual, which I believe means they’ve worked out that if they kiss one another at parties, they’ll get more male attention.

        “They are in power. Tony Abbot is Prime Minister. Cory Bernardi is a member of his government.”

        Tony Abbot is in power because of the utter worthlessness and determined self destruction of the Labor party over a protracted period. Cory is in power, but how much power does he have ? He’s an outlier.

        “One of the ones I pointed to you stated abuse in the last 12 months. This is relevent, and reflects the abuse is ongoing.”

        I don’t want to be seen to belittle all of this, because that’s not my aim. Ask a group of teenagers if they were abused in the ways mentioned once in the last 12 months, and I think you’ll find that most will say yes. Teenagers are going through a rough time and are self absorbed. One event in the last twelve months does not prove anything that is ongoing.

        And, you can’t change all of society. I don’t think you can change that a lot of gay people will feel discriminated against, at least slightly, once every 12 months. I’m not saying it’s right, I’m saying the only thing you can do to change it, is to wait for the older, less enlightened people to die.

        “Except police, government officials, your church…..that’s just the people and organisations you know of already.”

        LOL – well, none of them helped much when I Was bullied. Church does provide a social group, which I see is important, that’s why I agreed on the important roles of support groups, especially in rural areas.

        “And my point is that it is easy to say that, but unless you have the majority of people openly defending you and you know it, it may not feel that way. There’s no point telling a country kid that in Melbourne he’ll be respected for his sexuality when he’s half way through high school.”

        And I’m saying that, in my experience, they more than have that, in the cities. Which is why I think that the figures being given are skewed, as much as I support us as a society doing somethign about it in the enclaves where they are true.

        “Did you read what I wrote? The priveleges I mentioned included religious institutions discriminating againt homosexuals (True for some religious institutions all over the country-some are tolerant, some aren’t). The lobby groups stigmatising gay people publically have extended and included the Liberal party of Australia. The lack of a public view of gay characters in mainstream life or media is the media of Australia. The politicians stigmatising or tacitly supporting stigamtisation of homosexuals are politicians in Canberra.”

        Well, speaking for myself, I am impacted a lot more by how the people in my life act and what they say, than what fringe groups and politicians who I have nothing to do with, might say on TV. I’m not saying you don’t have a point, I’m just saying it’s limited.

        “It’s not a problem you can distance to being a tiny backwards town, someone else’s problem. It is soceity’s problem.”

        In some areas. Not as broadly as this report is suggesting ( as far as I can see ). And yes, that makes it my problem. I am not saying otherwise. I’m just still thinking it’s being exaggerated.

        Why does this matter ? It matters because those who would oppose this position, get ammunition when the information put out there, is slanted. It gives them the ability to say ‘it’s actually not that bad’, and thus attempt to prove that it’s not worth worrying about.

        “Teens have to really be self confident to talk up at the best of times. To talk up to a priest, particularly their family’s priest-even harder. Have you seen that happen ever?”

        No, but I’ve seen plenty of kids who hold the priest they are forced to go to listen to, in contempt. In fact, that’s what half the lyrics in 80s metal were about, rebelling against brainwashing from the Bible belt. Kids form their own social groups that reflect their own values. As a teenager in the 80s, I did not feel accepted by all of society. I just didn’t care what the people who thought I was Satanic, thought about me. And I was pretty insecure, I didn’t do that from a base of a lot of support.

        “Or sexuality is a spectrum, and with children realising that being gay or straight isn’t an either/or possibility, they allow themselves to explore their curiosity and interest which former generations would not have.”

        So long as we recognise that homosexuality occurs in a small minority of humans and only a small minority of those people are likely to be bisexual. DO you actually know what causes homosexuality ? It occurs in the womb, due to mistakes made in the baby receiving doses of testosterone. This can be proven by experimentation. I don’t know what causality could make someone bi sexual, nor is there any theory by which animals can be made bisexual. So, I have to conclude it’s more to do with other psychological issues, or just to do with imprinting, that is, if you are straight and have gay sex in response to social pressure as a teen, the fact that it feels nice makes you disposed to do it again.

        “Again, your basis for this is just “From what I’ve seen”-Australia is bigger than whatever either of us can see.”

        Sure. But I think it’s fair to say that the cities are likely to be somewhat homogenous, especially on issues where large interest groups are coming to the fore, everywhere.

        “What I was suggesting was that it is better, when possible, for students to stand up together against the bully, rather than involve police. If that is not possible, if threats or serious violence occurs, absolutely police should be involved.”

        Yes, that is my point. If the law is taught as the solution, it discourages what we should encourage, a culture of kids standing up to bullies.

        “Also, as we are both adults now, we have more freedom, and experience, to know we can challenge the boss, and have more abilities to quit and find something better than a teen would. This isn’t true in all cases, even for adults, but generally adults have more ability and confidence to challenge abuse than teens do.”

        Yes, this is true.

        I tried to answer this, this morning. I tried to finish it tonight. I don’t have time, so I’m cutting short here, sorry. If you made any points further down you would like to see me respond to, let me know. At the core, I know recent school graduates in other capital cities and I know a good number of Tassie teenagers. My 13 year old son told me today someone called him ‘gay’ in his high school ( and he handled it with good grace and humour, I am proud to say, he responded in a way that negated any suggestion that the word ‘gay’ was an insult ). I am not surprised this still happens, in lower high school. By upper high school, it seems unlikely to me that it would happen because it’s clear to me that a lot of work is done to socialise kids to eradicate it. For those reasons, my observation remains that some areas need 500% of kids experiencing abuse, to even out the figures presented here, if they claim to be averages. I think telling the truth is important. I think that providing sources to show you told the truth is important. I’d like to know the source the claims made here. I am a supporter of pretty much all the ideologies presented on this site, but this is not the first time I’ve questioned a statistic, dug down, and found it was exaggerated, so I am disposed to suggest that it’s true again, even if it was shared in good faith.

        • “It’s somewhat semantic, but, at the core, I don’t believe the number of homosexuals jumped from 5% to 40% in a generation. ”

          I don’t think they did either. But I do think that the current generation are more fluid about their sexuality which is a good thing, as long as they’re being safe about it. If the relationship between heterosexuality and homosexuality is no longer a case of “The norm” vs “The not norm” that would be when we have true equality, when someone introducing a partner of their own gender gets the same reaction as bringing home a partner of their opposite gender, where there is no need to come out, because there’s nothing expected of the child to come out from.

          That’s not going to happen in my lifetime, at least not universally, especially considering we haven’t gotten to the point where women, or people of colour are getting even close to not being seen as “The not norm” (I say especially because both groups make up a majority of the world, and in the case of women, Australia), but it’s good to aim there.

          “Almost all of my daughter’s female friends are bisexual, which I believe means they’ve worked out that if they kiss one another at parties, they’ll get more male attention.”

          In some cases yes in some cases no. In part this has to do with more acceptable of fluidity in female sexuality than in male sexuality (To a point-two girls making out may be popular everywhere, two girls forming a happy relationship, marrying and having kids is not accepted everywhere), but true, also a part to play in this is that some women use this for attention (I remember reading a study on dating profiles that showed the majority of women listing themselves as bisexual online never contacted women on their site, whereas men who listed themselves as bisexual never contacted women, only contacting men. Interesting how that plays out?)

          “Tony Abbot is in power because of the utter worthlessness and determined self destruction of the Labor party over a protracted period. Cory is in power, but how much power does he have ? He’s an outlier.”

          He’s still in power. Labor self destrcuted, true, but it’s not like they would have lost against any opponent. If the KKK had been running against Rudd, then Rudd would have lost. But people were willing to accept Abbott’s sexism and homophobia in a leader, at least temporarily.

          “And, you can’t change all of society. ”

          Ture, but you can try.

          “I’m not saying it’s right, I’m saying the only thing you can do to change it, is to wait for the older, less enlightened people to die.”

          I disagree. We can challenge what we see now. There is no guarantee that everyone of the new, and every time we say “This type of discrimination is over” members of a new generation step up to disagree (With sexism it’s particularly true. A lot of young guys are not liking women).

          “Well, speaking for myself, I am impacted a lot more by how the people in my life act and what they say, than what fringe groups and politicians who I have nothing to do with, might say on TV. ”

          True, but then again, what negative things are people on tv saying about you?

          “It matters because those who would oppose this position, get ammunition when the information put out there, is slanted. It gives them the ability to say ‘it’s actually not that bad’, and thus attempt to prove that it’s not worth worrying about.”

          I understand what you’re getting at, but….how is that different to what you’re doing now?

          “It occurs in the womb, due to mistakes made in the baby receiving doses of testosterone. ”

          That is a theory, but not one completely confirmed. Twins studies, for instance, found that homosexuality is only shared among twins in something like 50%~ of cases, which would suggest other factors come into play apart from biology.

          “if you are straight and have gay sex in response to social pressure as a teen, the fact that it feels nice makes you disposed to do it again.”

          That would definitely play a part. I don’t see the cause as coming from purely biological or societal factors but a combination of both. However, I do think we need to be careful when we’re thinking about “causes” realising that as homosexuality is just part of the natural variation of the human condition, and we don’t lookfor the causes of other variations.

          Part of the problem I have with seeing a “cause” for homosexuality, is that it again tends itself to seeing homosexuality as an abnormality, rather than a part of nature (As we see in nature, homosexuality is often the norm for many species, with heterosexuality only occurring for mating-see dolphins in particular).
          IT also simplifies what we know of gender and sexuality. And when you simplify any aspect of the human spectrum someone loses out. I mean, there are people who are romantically attracted to one gender, secually attracted to another. To those people the word “Homosexual” “bisexual” or “heterosexual” don’t really apply.

          ” If you made any points further down you would like to see me respond to, let me know.”

          No, I think we have both said what we wanted to say here.

          And it is great to hear how well your son responded. Now while I do think we disagree on the extent of the problem we can be both in total agreement that children like your son are further on their way to eliminating discrimination, and that’s something to be hopeful for.

        • “But I do think that the current generation are more fluid about their sexuality which is a good thing, as long as they’re being safe about it.”

          So long as we recognise that this does not mean these kids were repressed before, it’s because of the environment we’ve created that imprinting happens that changes what their preferences otherwise would have been.

          “where there is no need to come out, because there’s nothing expected of the child to come out from.”

          So long as 95% of people are straight, it will be considered the norm. But, you’re right, it’s no longer true, and kids are encouraged to be homosexual.

          “we haven’t gotten to the point where women, or people of colour are getting even close to not being seen as “The not norm””

          I think you work in some crappy areas and see things through those eyes, just like I live in the mainstream, where people tend to not give a damn what’s in your pants or how much melanin you have. I went to my son’s first parent teacher tonight, and the Christian school he goes to, white kids are definitely a minority. I am really happy he has practical experience with kids from many races, that will make it less of a big deal to him. Now, I realise it’s self selecting, but I can’t imagine anyone going in to that situation and caring more about the colour of someone’s skin, than the fact they are interacting with children.

          “In part this has to do with more acceptable of fluidity in female sexuality than in male sexuality”

          It has to do with women being a LITTLE more fluid, and thus willing to act that way for attention, and it has a LOT to do with the fact that all of these kids have seen porn, which tends to demonstrate how it’s almost expected of them.

          “He’s still in power. Labor self destrcuted, true, but it’s not like they would have lost against any opponent. If the KKK had been running against Rudd, then Rudd would have lost. But people were willing to accept Abbott’s sexism and homophobia in a leader, at least temporarily.”

          Well, yes, I think you’re right. He was still better than the other option ( and we only get two meaningful options in our system ). It doesn’t mean he was chosen BECAUSE of those things.

          Personally, I didn’t vote, because both parties misrepresented me so thoroughly,

          “I disagree. We can challenge what we see now. There is no guarantee that everyone of the new, and every time we say “This type of discrimination is over” members of a new generation step up to disagree (With sexism it’s particularly true. A lot of young guys are not liking women).”

          Well, that’s because they’re being encouraged to be gay !!! :P

          Of COURSE we ned to stand up for what is right, now. But, I’m just saying, you can’t get rid of it overnight.

          “True, but then again, what negative things are people on tv saying about you?”

          It’s true that things have come a long way from the 80s, when the media most certainly made fun of me ( nerds who had no ability to talk to girls or catch a ball ). I’m not saying that’s the same a homophobia, but, I certainly got only negative stereotypes of who I was, growing up. I’ll admit that I remmber someone asking me if I was ‘still gay’ because I liked to read books when they knew me. Being gay is clearly the gold plated standard in that regard.

          What the TV tells me is that most people are stupid. I don’t watch it, because it’s an insult to my intelligence.

          “I understand what you’re getting at, but….how is that different to what you’re doing now?”

          Well, this has become a meandering discussion, but in the first instance, I was asking for references to validate the claim, and speculating on why it seems unlikely to me to be true. I didn’t say I knew for sure.

          “That is a theory, but not one completely confirmed. Twins studies, for instance, found that homosexuality is only shared among twins in something like 50%~ of cases, which would suggest other factors come into play apart from biology.”

          No, it doesn’t prove that. There’s no reason to be sure that both twins would get all three doses of testosterone to be male. BUt, as I said, scientists can experiment with rats ( whose gender develops after birth ), and make them gay, repeatably. It’s a hypothesis that can be tested, and it works. There is no causality to explain bisexuality.

          “That would definitely play a part. I don’t see the cause as coming from purely biological or societal factors but a combination of both. However, I do think we need to be careful when we’re thinking about “causes” realising that as homosexuality is just part of the natural variation of the human condition, and we don’t lookfor the causes of other variations.”

          Yes, the trouble with this sort of discussion is that it’s clearly possible to work out if someone is going to be gay, and ‘fix it’ ( if you’re quick ). That doesn’t mean I’m saying we should try. But, it’s interesting ( I found out about it from reading about male/female brain wiring differences, which is another way to get yourself in trouble, but science is not politically correct, it just proves what is true )

          “, is that it again tends itself to seeing homosexuality as an abnormality, rather than a part of nature”

          Well, to be blunt, it’s both of those things. It’s clearly not adaptive. It has been proven to occur as a result of things going ‘wrong’ in the womb. But, any comparison to other ways things can go wrong in the womb don’t work, because it doesn’t hold people back, or do them harm, it just makes them different from the 95% of the population for whom things went according to plan in the womb. So, it’s politically incorrect to tell the truth, but it’s also wrong to assume that the truth is loaded with conclusions that are unreasonable.

          ” (As we see in nature, homosexuality is often the norm for many species, with heterosexuality only occurring for mating-see dolphins in particular).”

          So, no different to when men are let out of prison then ? :P

          “IT also simplifies what we know of gender and sexuality. And when you simplify any aspect of the human spectrum someone loses out. I mean, there are people who are romantically attracted to one gender, secually attracted to another. To those people the word “Homosexual” “bisexual” or “heterosexual” don’t really apply.”

          Well, sure, some people are mixed up. Again, so long as you identify that such people are always going to be a small minority, then I’m all for being inclusive of them.

          “And it is great to hear how well your son responded. Now while I do think we disagree on the extent of the problem we can be both in total agreement that children like your son are further on their way to eliminating discrimination, and that’s something to be hopeful for.”

          Yes, obviously his responses are in some ways shaped by his environment ( I’m sure with different parents, he’d react differently ), but I’m certainly proud of him.

  14. I found out my niece was ‘gay’ when she was 11 yrs old. My 17 yr old son told me. He didn’t make a big deal out of it. They were best friends. Most people in the family accepted it, including my usually opinionated parents from the days when we had black and white TV. Everyone, except her parents, who saw their dreams of grandchildren slip away before their eyes and whatever they thought she should be. We didn’t bring it up in conversation. There really wasn’t any need. She didn’t grow horns or anything. Nae didn’t look any different to me and she made her parents own up to and accept the truth. It took many years though. Nae was and is and will always be a hugely popular girl. Not because of her sexual orientation, but because of herself. She had a fabulous happy up bringing. I know one thing. You don’t choose to be straight or gay. We never discussed it unless she wanted to. It was her private business. She has fallen in and out of love and had heartache like everybody else. Maybe we should just stop making it some huge revelation and sensationalising it. Those statistics you show in your post, besides the last instance, could be anybody being bullied in this world. Gay or straight, Black or white, Disabled or Different. Rich or Poor

    • The impression I get is that teens today don’t think it’s a big deal excepting that close to half ‘try’ to be gay because the schools encourage them that it’s better. My feeling is that there has been an over correction and we’re a generation away from a sane and normal response of the sort you advocate.

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