Sunday, April 13, 2014

I left my trolling in San Francisco

Andrew Sullivan, 2001 --

EASTER IN SAN FRANCISCO: Attended mass at Old Saint Mary’s yesterday .. I went with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Doug Robson, a journalist whose father, John, has been nominated to head up the Ex-Im Bank in Washington. The Robsons, like the Cheneys, are Republicans with gay children, and, as such, are surely a deep reason for that party’s slow progress toward treating homosexuals with respect. Later, Doug dropped me off in the Castro, a neighborhood that never fails to amuse. It being Easter, the streets were dotted with the usual hairy-backed homos – this time in large, floral Easter bonnets. I saw one hirsute fellow dressed from head to toe in flamingo motifs. And they say it’s not a culture. The afternoon beer-bust at the Eagle, a San Francisco ritual, was, however, a bust. Rarely have I seen such a scary crowd – and in the full glare of the afternoon sun. At times, it seems that San Francisco is almost frozen in time – roughly 1977. Gay life in the rest of the U.S. is increasingly suburban, mainstream, assimilable. Here in the belly of the beast, Village People look-alikes predominate; and sex is still central to the culture. This can be fun for a tourist, but I’d go nuts if I had to live here full-time.

Andrew Sullivan, 2014 --

The reason [why more gay men aren't on Truvada], it appears, is that being free from the fear of HIV infection could lead gay men to have lots of sex again with lots of partners. (One study we have examining this did not bear this out.) But here’s some breaking news: for vast numbers of gay men, lots of sex is already the case. Now that HIV is not a death sentence but a chronic disease like diabetes, the terror is long gone. But the virus isn’t. And rates of infection remain stubbornly high, especially in this demographic. Because, well, men are men. Betting against their testosterone in a sub-population without women is a mug’s game.

UPDATE: Bonus points for comparing Sully's logic in explaining gay promiscuity above (testosterone!) with his take on the Chait-Coates debate --

But it seems to me that in this debate, TNC (Coates) is almost willfully blind to the truth that historical legacies can create self-sustaining cultures of poverty that have a life of their own. And I think Chait is equally too pessimistic about the ability of people to transcend the circumstances into which they were born. There comes a point at which any community, which has been historically suppressed and vilified, simply has to believe that the future has potential. That’s certainly how I see the gay community in my lifetime. You can acknowledge the psychic toll of homophobia and heterosexual supremacy all you want, but it won’t help people overcome it. In fact, you run the risk of so emphasizing the crushing burden of the past you entrench the very sense of helplessness that perpetuates the problem. 

So for blacks, it's culture and a failure to transcend it. For behaviour among gay men that also features in stylized typologies of black men, it's just biology!