Being gay isn’t a choice, bad journalism is

Who do you have to sleep with to get a gig writing for the New Republic?  Because, clearly, you don’t have to be an actual writer with a novel idea.

To wit: Our favorite self-loathing Jerry-Falwell-educated homosexual dancer Brandon Ambrosino, who, although he can’t actually write, keeps getting published in places like the Atlantic, TIME and the New Republic seemingly because he’s gay and contrary.  And nothing gets pageviews like a little online gay-bashing, especially if it comes from a fellow gay.

And while Ambrosino’s latest carnage, titled “I wasn’t born this way, I chose to be gay,” isn’t head-on rhetorical gay-bashing, like some of his earlier works, indirectly it proves just as harmful. Ambrosino, you see, is one of those gays who thinks it’s a “choice” being gay, which is idiotic and intellectually sloppy, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

Uh, no you really didn't.

Uh, no you really didn’t.

I’ve noted before that Ambrosino isn’t a terribly good writer.  And it’s a point that’s growing in importance as there has to be some reason these editors keep publishing his clearly college-level essays.  And I doubt he’s sleeping with all of them (though apparently he could “choose” to, even if they were women), so it’s more likely the publications are looking for eyeballs in an increasingly difficult online media environment.  And nothing gets eyeballs like a gay who’s willing to throw his own people to the lions.

Let me give you a sample of the quality of Ambrosino’s latest writing:

 Ambrosino is a graduate of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University.

Ambrosino is a graduate of Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. “Liberty is very different from what you might think of it. It gets a bad rap because of a few of Falwell’s soundbytes, but all in all, I really enjoyed it.” – Ambrosino.

We’re at a very exciting time in history when it comes to LGBT equality. Yes, there are setbacks almost daily in America—to say nothing of Uganda and Russia, two countries that demand our immediate attention. But here in America, we are edging ever closer to post-equality. With that in mind, should we continue to believe that people will only accept our gayness if they are made to believe we didn’t choose it? Should reluctant, obligatory acceptance be the goal of our activism? Well, that certainly isn’t my goal.

It reads like college, at best.

Ambrosino didn’t get the job because he can write – he got it for the polemics. You see, Ambrosino is a magical kind of gay – a fairy, one might say – who likes to play with penises, and really doesn’t like vaginas, but can magically decide tomorrow, if he so wills it, that penises will no longer hold sway with him, while vaginas will suddenly become the cat’s meow.

The entire notion is patently absurd, and intellectual both sloppy and lazy.  More on that in a moment.

Here’s Ambrosino on his sexual orientation:

I could, in fact, change this if I tried, if I wanted to. I chose this.

Yeah?  Prove it.  I’d love to see the Great Ambrosino in action, willing an attraction to a gender where, only moments ago, there was none.  It’s never happened in the history of the world.

Ambrosino is likely not formulating his thoughts terribly well (which happens when magazines hire people who can’t write).  He’s not describing gay people actually choosing their sexual orientation. He’s talking about either bisexuals (or people who are predominantly of one orientation, but still have enough attraction the other way that if the right person came along they could act on it), or he’s describing people who legitimately have seen their orientation morph over the years, through no causation of their own.  But all three of those categories are not people who “chose” to change their sexual orientation.  They are simply people who chose to act on the already-appealling meal placed before them.  Ambrosino didn’t choose to find men sexually attractive any more than I choose to love chocolate.  I can choose whether to partake in chocolate, but I can’t choose to turn on and off the underlying desire for the sweet.

If buying into the religious right talking point that being gay is a choice wasn’t bad enough, Ambrosino also just had to get into the whole “gay civil rights aren’t the same thing as black civil rights” canard.  It’s a popular trope with homophobes (and some in the uber-left). Here’s Ambrosino:

One of the reasons I think our activism is so insistent on sexual rigidity is because, in our push to make gay rights the new black rights, we’ve conflated the two issues. The result is that we’ve decided that skin color is the same thing as sexual behavior. I don’t think this is true. When we conflate race and sexuality, we overlook how fluid we are learning our sexualities truly are. To say it rather crassly: I’ve convinced a few men to try out my sexuality, but I’ve never managed to get them to try on my skin color. In other words, one’s sexuality isn’t as biologically determined as race. Many people do feel as if their sexuality is something they were born with, and I have no reason to disbelieve them. But as I and other queer persons will readily confirm, there are other factors informing our sexualities than simply our genetic codes.

Sexual behavior?  That’s what being gay is to you, Brandon – just sexual behavior?  Actually, if you want to get technical, it’s about sexual attraction, not sexual behavior.  A gay priest, who has devoted his life to celibacy, is still gay.

As for Ambrosino’s “I’ve never managed to get them to try on my skin color,” the gay haters at the religious right couldn’t have written it any better.  Ambrosino, possibly unaware, is paraphrasing a famous quote that Colin Powell used to defend the oppression of gays and lesbians in the military back in 1993.  It’s a quote the religious right frequently uses to this day in their ongoing efforts to deny us our civil rights.  How beautiful of Ambrosino to give the hateful quote new life.

Regarding the whole “black vs gay” thing, Ambrosino should read up on his Coretta Scott King, who showed no reticence over the link between homophobia and racism.  Here’s Mrs. King in various speeches over the years:

Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.

On the common struggle:

We have a lot more work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. I say “common struggle” because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry and discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination.

And writing about ENDA:

Like Martin, I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others. So I see this bill as a step forward for freedom and human rights in our country and a logical extension of the Bill of Rights and the civil rights reforms of the 1950’s and ‘60’s.

Then there’s Ambrosino’s bizarre take on being transgender:

The aversion to that word in our community stems from belief that if we can’t prove that our gayness is biologically determined, then we won’t have grounds to demand equality. I think this fear needs to be addressed and given up. In America, we have the freedom to be as well as tochoose to be. I see no reason to believe that the only sexualities worth protecting are the ones over which one has no control. After all, isn’t trans activism fueled by the belief that the government has the responsibility to protect all of us regardless of our sexual choices? And aren’t protections for bisexuals based upon the same presupposition of sexual autonomy? Perhaps the L and G factions of our community would do well to follow the political lead of the Bs and Ts on this issue.

Okay, seriously, are there no editors at all at TNR?  Trans activism is fueled by the belief that government has the responsiblity to protect sexual choices?  I’m far from being America’s top expert on being transgender, but being trans has zero – and I mean ZERO – to do with a sexual choice.  It’s not sexual, and it’s not a choice.  It’s about which gender you identity with, not who you have sex with.  And who has ever alleged that being trans is a choice, as if any of us could simply become transgender for the afternoon, you know, for the fun of it? How did Ambrosino’s editor even let that sentence slide?

In the end, all you need to know about Brandon Ambrosino is in this essay he wrote about what a great place Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University (his alma mater) is, and what a great pro-gay, but sadly misunderstood, guy Jerry Falwell really was:

Liberty is very different from what you might think of it. It gets a bad rap because of a few of Falwell’s soundbytes, but all in all, I really enjoyed it….

When I think of Jerry Falwell, I don’t think about him the way Bill Maher does. I think about the man who would wear a huge Blue Afro wig to our school games, or the man who slid down a waterslide in his suit, or the man who would allow himself to be mocked during our coffeehouse shows. I think about the man who reminded us every time he addressed our student body that God loved us, that he loved us, and that he was always available if ever we needed him.

I never told Dr. Falwell that I was gay; but I wouldn’t have been afraid of his response. Would he have thought homosexuality was an abomination? Yes. Would he have thought it was God’s intention for me to be straight? Yes. But would he have wanted to stone me? No. And if there were some that would’ve wanted to stone me, I can imagine Jerry Falwell, with his fat smile, telling all of my accusers to go home and pray because they were wicked people.

Falwell wouldn’t have wanted to literally stone the gay to death.  That’s a pretty low threshhold for “gay-affirming.”  But when you’re desperately messed up about who you are, I guess you’ll grab at anything.

I’m sorry Brandon, but your sexual orientation isn’t a choice any more than someone chooses to find only redheads attractive today, while tomorrow he’s decided to only get hot-and-bothered by blonds.

But you know what is a choice? The Atlantic, TIME and the New Republic publishing sub-standard homophobic garbage, with no thought as to the ethics involved, journalistic or otherwise, simply because they’re in need of pageviews.


(I’m told that in order to better see my Facebook posts in your feed, you need to “follow” me.)


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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373 Responses to “Being gay isn’t a choice, bad journalism is”

  1. Nisa Taft says:

    It’s hard to be gay. But it’s also harder to go against gays when you’re one yourself.
    __________________________________________

    sign letters

  2. cleos_mom says:

    Wow, the LGBT community’s very own Marabel Morgan. My condolences.

  3. scottnsanfran says:

    He went to Liberty of his own free will but a free will baptist he most certainly is not. Ambrosino is a Southern Baptist and proud of it and of Jerry Falwell. Yes that Falwell. A man who Christopher Hitchens rightly claimed was vulgar, a fraud, and a crook. The evil he did, well it did live on and we have it in the life of this sorry, ignorant little man, Mr. Ambrosino.
    Why does Ambrosino hate connecting gay people to the civil rights of other oppressed people?
    Black people thats why. His Southern Baptism is so strong it stuns thinking people in its ignorance and implied right to rule. His misunderstanding of genetics, that black people are seperate from white people is ignorant and dangerous. His racist world view colors everything, even his sexuality and most important his Christianity. But its crumbling, his world view, and he just cant understand why. Just like his “brethren” after the Civil war. How could god do this to us?
    Mr. Ambrosino cannot accept that god made him gay. He cant accept anything that will challege that fact. To accept that god made him gay would mean that god has done evil in his mind. His little Liberty Universe mind, that place no thoughtful person can understand unless they try to know the South and its perversions. God help us all if these people get power over the federal government.

  4. Raising_Rlyeh says:

    Ambrosino seems to view himself, and gay members of GOProud, as the “good gays”. You know, kind of like the good black people that knew their place and never made waves. I know for a fact that being gay is not a choice, but I do think that it is an interesting debate to have like a lot of hypotheticals. Hypothetically, if you could choose your orientation, even if you chose to be gay it shouldn’t matter because being gay does not negatively impact others.

    Of course Ambrosino also makes that stupid argument that equates sex with orientation. I could choose to have sex with women, not ever going to happen, but that does not mean I have an orientation to women. To put it into a somewhat bad analogy think straight men in prison. A lot of men in prison will have sex with other men for convenience, but that does not make them gay. They could possibly be bisexual, but that’s another point.

  5. Raising_Rlyeh says:

    Unfortunately my decision to also become a member of homo superior has not worked out … yet.

  6. Tysalpha says:

    His essays seem increasingly amateur and uninformed, as you said, John.

    It’s laughable–except it’s contemptible. He is a total pretender. A pretender as a writer (at last check, “dance” was not an equivalent field of study as English, Journalism, or Communications); and a pretender as an expert on LGBT culture and experiences (someone who has no knowledge of the history of the LGBT rights movement, and seemingly can’t comprehend much less articulate gender identity v sexuality, or attraction v behavior).

    The publications owe their readers more intelligent and polished material–or they will find their reputations in the gutter they are chasing for audience. As for Brandon, his motive is clear: ‘becoming a professional dancer is hard! I’ll just write and become some sort of go-to voice about issues! Academic degrees and LGBT experience are overrated!”

  7. Mimihaha says:

    You mean ‘their language isn’t imprecise..’ right?

  8. Mimihaha says:

    If I were gay, I’d throw him out of the club.

  9. JDH says:

    Well put. With as prolific as he’s been recently (I imagine it only takes a few hours to write when you don’t bother with syntax or editing), there’s a lot of regret in his future.

  10. JDH says:

    Fair enough. I think too much, and it comes out as thread derailing! Apologies! <3

  11. Who chooses their sexual attractions? I’m quite serious. Who walks in to a bar, not having any attraction for men, sees a hot guy, he does nothing for you, but you close your eyes and say “I am going to find that guy’s ass hot,” and you open your eyes and now suddenly the guy’s ass is hot, but it wasn’t hot before? I’m sorry, but that’s just ridiculous. And no one is talking about choosing relationships or identities, the discussion is about choosing orientation, aka attraction before you actually see the gender in question.

    As for orientation not being entirely biological, yes that’s true, and wholly irrelevant to this conversation. I really don’t mean to beat up on you, but we have this discordant coversation every single time this issue comes up – people bring up bisexuality and fluidity as though that has anything to do with the discussion and it doesn’t. We are not talking about rigidity of a unitary sexual orientation, we are talking about whether people choose, on any particular day, which gender they are going to find attractive before someone of that gender walks into view. That is preposterous, regardless of whether someone’s orientation is fluid.

  12. That’s why I said in an earlier piece that he’s practicing journalism as psychotherapy.

  13. That is smart, though it can also tick people off potentially.

  14. JDH says:

    I have taken no queer theory classes, and I don’t really study it. Though I do enjoy listening to people (skeptically) without assuming they are lying about anything that doesn’t match my experience.

  15. JDH says:

    He’s especially sad since so many of us can identify with exactly where he is at in his journey. I would have written something exactly like this (albeit with a stunning vocabulary) when I was fresh-out of a Pentecostal college and newly out of the closet. It’s embarrassing to remember, and cringe-worthy to read.

  16. JDH says:

    I completely agree with your point, and I have often thought of it myself. Clinging too tightly to the “choice” argument is playing ball in their court. We’re beating them at their game, but I feel that a shift towards transcendence is going to be the way forward in the future.

  17. JDH says:

    You can’t have a discussion about choice and sexual orientation without acknowledging the existence of people who anecdotally have some element of choice in their attractions and subsequent relationships and identities. Though I freely admit that filtering the signal from the noise is extremely difficult when you have noise like Brandon blaring so loudly.

    I’m not going out of my way to be contrarian for the sake of it, but I do think that it is remiss to speak in absolute terms about sexual orientation when it isn’t always so absolute. Yes, the overwhelming conclusion of science is that sexual orientation is almost exclusively biological. However, I insist that we be vigilant in not playing into the hands of our opponents by cornering ourselves in this “no choice” absolutism. There’s still a lot we don’t understand about a lot of different sorts of people.

    So while I got a little off topic, I think it’s fair to criticize a reaction to an obviously damaging, misguided op-ed that could itself be damaging to already-vulnerable and misunderstood people.

  18. NedFlaherty says:

    Brandon Ambrosino is too uneducated, too inexperienced, and has too small a vocabulary for the subjects about which he attempts to write: sexuality, gender identity, sexual orientation correction therapy, anthropology, sociology, and prejudice.

    To his unsubstantiated claims he often adds words such as “we” and “our,” but he stands alone in his random neural firings, and represents no one from any of the LGBT communities.

    Among America’s 310 million residents are tens of millions of LGBT people. Among them there are about 20 attention-getters like Ambrosino, eager to chat about their hypothesis that sexual orientation can be altered via prayer, celibacy, denial, therapy, and a fresh set of friends, clothes, music, and haircuts. But Ambrosino and all of his fringed, lunatic friends are too rare — and too disqualified — to be worthy of any serious consideration. There’s never been one shred of valid, peer-reviewed, scientific evidence to support their claims. It’s worth noting that most of the people selling the quackery that Ambrosino believes in also earn revenue doing so.

    Ambrosino’s blend of ignorance and superstition matches that of the climate deniers, who, with no embarrassment, happily assert, “My front yard feels chilly today, so I believe that there’s no global warming, anywhere, at any time.”

    It’s ironic — and hilarious — that Ambrosino in TNR writes about whether an identity “cracks under the pressure of its own linguistic limitations” because he himself is a perfect, unwitting example of what happens whenever a cracked identity is scuttled by linguistic shortcomings.

    Brandon Ambrosino might be fun for those who enjoy the rambled musing of an eighth-grader’s daily “Dear Diary” entries. But in The New Republic, which is supposed to reflect what well educated, successful people are saying, Brandon Ambrosino always disappoints.

  19. Ogre Magi says:

    Never trust anyone who loves jerry Fartwell

  20. Zorba says:

    But did you get her ruby slippers???? ;-)

  21. karmanot says:

    There is that, yep.

  22. karmanot says:

    OMG! You nailed it EndlessNonsence is actually Charles Krauthammer.

  23. karmanot says:

    Whatever….next

  24. karmanot says:

    Annoyed you huh? Repeat: Read Sun Tzu.

  25. karmanot says:

    Only by her stench after she had left a room.

  26. karmanot says:

    I’ll leave the third rate Hollywood hack writers and dilettante classicists to you.

  27. karmanot says:

    Thank you!

  28. karmanot says:

    OMG….that sounded like David Sedaris! lololol

  29. karmanot says:

    YES!!!!!

  30. karmanot says:

    A ‘moron’ button would also be a good idea!

  31. karmanot says:

    It’s amazing how many straight men can be ‘cured’ at an interstate truck stop.

  32. karmanot says:

    Especially love!

  33. Butch1 says:

    What can one expect; it’s bad education at a bad university. This equals bad information. What was that old adage in the early computer age: “Garbage in=garbage out.” What this unfortunate lad learned at “Liberty University” shows in his writings and his knowledge of psychology or homosexuals. He never properly learned the material or the material was never correct and came from bad rejected sources. How else can it be explained?

  34. BeccaM says:

    No, I hadn’t, although normally I do. Very strange, that history. The odd thing is at one point John (somewhat sarcastically) asked ER if he was actually Ambrosino. Now I almost have to wonder.

  35. Edward Willis Bruce Davidson says:

    Jerry? Falwell? University? There ain’t no such thing; it’s an oxymoron (literally a sharp-dull). We see the morons in the picture above.

  36. The_Fixer says:

    I don’t think it was a great number of guys, if it happened. Most straight guys who engage in gay sexual situations are maybe under the influence of some substance, or perhaps experimenting in an effort to determine what their orientation is. They determine that they’re straight after the fact, of course.

    As far as his ability based on looks, well, I don’t know. What some people find attractive ranges far and wide; I do know that he lacks certain equipment that straight men find attractive.

    In the end, he confuses fluid sexuality with bisexuality, and apparently, straight with bisexual. Or something – one thing I do know is that he is confused.

  37. The_Fixer says:

    Out of curiosity, did you read some of his comment history? Like the stuff that is about 10 days old and older from other sites? Very interesting.

    Although he says he’s happy being gay, he also believes that it is a naturally-occurring abnormality that he hopes someday will be cured. He also believes that homophobia is a naturally-occurring trait of all straight males, and cites wolf-pack behavior in support of that idea. At least that’s the best summary of his ideas I can make based on my understanding of his beliefs – perhaps I’m interpreting snark as the real thing, though.

    Very interesting kind of troll. But a troll nonetheless, and not worthy of response.

  38. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    Reminds me of Something Awful and how you can pay $10 or $15–I can’t remember the exact fee–to change some any other user’s avatar image.

    I’ve thought, by the way, that SA has some really good ideas on how to encourage its users to spend money on the site, ideas that other forums should emulate. The general idea is that anyone can use and post on the site for free but if you want features like the ability to have a custom avatar, the ability to search the forum archives, the ability to send private messages to other users, and so forth, you have to pay for that.

  39. wmforr says:

    And speaking of What Ever Happened to?, what ever happened to the gay-for-pay porn star and darling of the right Matt Sanchez?

  40. wmforr says:

    And then his reality show: “Make Me Fluid”, where various women compete to turn his fluidity into hetero-lust. And at the end of the season he chooses the winner. See? It’s a choice.

  41. lynchie says:

    Excellent point about choice. No one ever says that heterosexuals chose to be that way, so naturally framing the argument against the gay community that you choose to be gay means that you can be “cured” and that somehow you are weak and not strong enough to make the correct choice.

  42. BeccaM says:

    Yeah… I can can almost deal with someone I disagree with, but who is actually consistent in his position. But ER couldn’t even seem to make up his mind where he actually stood.

    Which is usually a sign of someone who cares only about causing strife and arguments, and who isn’t actually serious.

  43. Simon M. says:

    Social construction is an enormous academic tradition that continues today in sociology, political science, philosophy, biology, and of course, gender studies. For social constructionist critiques of science, see Anne-Fausto Sterling, Joan Roughgarten’s work, or Priscille Touralie’s work.

    Also the argument isn’t that homosexuality is a 19th century invention created by scientists; the argument is that the focus on “sexual abnormality” in science and medicine in the 19th century created a category that would become a recognizable, diagnosable “homosexual” in the beginning of the 20th century (which would be a mental disorder until it was removed from the DSM in 1973).

    Just, y’know, FYI.

  44. Diane Phillipa says:

    Thank you for the courage of speaking out :)

  45. Diane Phillipa says:

    Well said! I didn’t choose, I have never chosen, this is me.

  46. Thom Allen says:

    How about an “Out the Troll” button that automatically changes the troll’s icon to something like this?

  47. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, the tone of the article is “I choose to be gay out of moral weakness, and since Christians are so loving they’ll forgive me for being a disappointment”

  48. Anonymous says:

    Yep. He’s still recovering from an obvious Fundamentalist childhood that has permanently shaped his being.

  49. StraightGrandmother says:

    I sure don’t miss Jerry Farwell nor that guy, what was his name, the one from the Manhattan Declaration, the one who went to jail for Nixon.

    And I’ll add I don’t miss Thomas Peters either.

  50. StraightGrandmother says:

    Do you really think (and I have seen his picture) that he has been able to con the straight Christian men he hangs out with, into having sex with him? Maybe he means that they let him give them a BJ? I don’t know I’m a straight woman (older) It is hard for me to speculate, it is beyond my comprehension.

  51. StraightGrandmother says:

    Well now we know where he got the money to buy the car?
    And he is married to a woman but plaing the gay card?

    Sounds like Robert Oscar Lopez to me

  52. Anonymous says:

    Screaming for attention like this is generally a cry for help.

  53. LAguy323 says:

    yeah, both of them

  54. Well, he seems to think writing is useless, or dangerous, or something. I gave up on trying to figure out what he thinks several hours ago. Finally got bored and got rid of him. In the end, he’s not serious about having an honest discussion here.

  55. “You can’t reason a person out of position they didn’t reason themselves into.” Love that.

  56. I dropped a house on her. She ain’t coming back.

  57. You think writing for a living is simply a pastime? Have you heard of the Ancient Greeks or anyone other famous and influential writer in the past 3500 years? I don’t even know how to begin to respond to that asinine, ill-informed, uneducated, and condescending, a comment.

    And by the way, as I always tell people who think writing is somehow easy, or simple, or not a real job – you try it. Most people can’t write well, and they readily admit it, and it’s actually their nightmare being tasked to write something.

  58. Actually, you just contradicted yourself and agreed with me. She chose to IDENTIFY as gay, as you note – she didn’t choose to BE gay. Yet, she said publicly that she chose to BE gay. And she was wrong. And I’m sorry, she wasn’t talking about choosing to live a gay identity, not at first. She explicitly said that she knows this is going to get her into trouble, and for others it’s not a choice, but for her it is. Using this supposed definition of choice, choosing to live a gay lifestyle (oh let’s just use the phrase), then we all choose to be gay. Whether we choose to live in a gaybhorhood, or we choose to live in a straight area, we choose to either be gay or less gay, in terms of having a more or less gay lifestyle. So, if that’s what she meant, then it makes no sense that she said other people won’t agree with her – EVERYONE agrees that we choose our friends, and our neighborhoods, and we choose how much “gay” culture we want in our lives. But she didn’t say that.

    This isn’t a discussion of fluid queer people. I’m pretty sure that even in queer studies they didn’t teach you that can magically decide today you’re going to find breasts a turn on, but tomorrow you’re going to dislike breasts and find a guy’s butt a turn on. That’s what this discussion is about, and that’s what you’re suggesting. And it’s simply not true.

  59. That’s an interesting observation. Finding the quotes about Falwell earlier today explained a lot about what’s going on with all of these hideous articles. He comes across as a bit of a mess. And as I mentioned in an earlier response to him, it comes across as someone’s effort at very public therapy. At our expense.

  60. He mentioned all of us, gays, I believe the ACLU and Planned Parenthood too. It’s late, I dont’ feel like googling, but it’s easy to bring it up – it was he and Robertson.

  61. Anonymous says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if it was Ambrosino himself

  62. Anonymous says:

    Couldn’t have said it better

  63. BeccaM says:

    It’s totally fine, Mike. Please don’t sweat it at all.

  64. teeveedub says:

    Wow. So Jerry Falwell now gets points for not wanting to stone someone?

  65. randomfantard says:

    This guy and Jack Wu are made for each other…

  66. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Yes Becca, I had a brain fart. I had friends over this evening, and we were talking about my late husband. I really loved my husband, and we often found ourselves looking at the same guy. Yes, we were attracted to him, but we had no intention of doing anything about it.

    Sometimes I just require several hours to think about something, but don’t expect me to become less impulsive.

  67. benb says:

    ” I’ve convinced a few men to try out my sexuality…”

    Huh? If a guy isn’t emotionally excited to be with guys then he’s not gettin’ the gay sexuality thing, I’d say. It’s just putting lipstick on a pig.

  68. BeccaM says:

    Try not to take his ignorance personally. You’re an incredibly brave and courageous person, deserving of dignity, respect, honor — and yes, love, too.

  69. etseq says:

    You have taken too many queer theory classes – I’d suggest some science to balance out your view of reality. “social construction” is at best a metaphor but some in the humanities have invested it without almost religious power. Stephen Murray once dubbed it “linguistic creationism” and he was correct. This notion that homosexuality is a 19th century invention by scientists is absurd and no one takes it seriously besides the few foucault nuts left in literary theory departments.
    Rictor Norton debunked this crap years ago…http://rictornorton.co.uk/extracts.htm

  70. Anonymous says:

    Falwell basically agreed with the terrorists who were motivated by anti-West, anti-liberal religious sentiments. Religion is the darndest thing

  71. Stasi says:

    His assumptions about trans people are ridiculous. I can tell you as a trans person that it isn’t about choice. The very thought that I would choose to be like this is upsetting. I resent it. I resent that my biology forced me into constantly worse dysphoria until the only choice I had left was kill myself to end the despair or start hormones and transition. (Guess which one I picked!)

    I lost my family, my friends, employment prospects, and I got raped. Who would choose this? And it was all because I made the only choice I could.

    Despite how I lament those losses (and rape, which really, really, really sucks), I’m happy when I look in the mirror for the first time in my life.

    And this guy just launched a salvo on my entire struggle, the outcome, and put words in my mouth. Sigh.

  72. JDH says:

    I’m sorry, but I don’t think that’s an apples-to-apples comparison. Gay and straight are more than just sexual orientations, and they are ever-evolving, amorphous terms. Specifically, both terms refer to social identity as much as – and sometimes more than – who you just have sex with. That’s why you can say “straight MSM” and still refer to something that actually exists.

    For all intents and purposes, Cynthia Nixon was “straight” before she was “gay.” She chose to be with a woman, and she chose to identify as gay. She wasn’t imprecise in doing so, she was just communicating something about her social status/identification that was misconstrued as an ironclad statement about sexual orientation.

    “Gay” as social construct is not new. It’s almost exclusively Western despite same-sex relationships all over the world. Either way, the word “choice” needs to be defused. I understand that we don’t want to contribute to an already-damaging weapon of the religious right. But at the same time, we shouldn’t erase the more sexually-fluid queer people who exist just for the sake of winning an argument.

  73. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    “Fat smile” doesn’t seem like praise exactly, by the way. Is Mr. Ambrosino betraying a touch of disgust toward his hero?

  74. DN says:

    “And if there were some that would’ve wanted to stone me, I can imagine Jerry Falwell, with his fat smile, telling all of my accusers to go home and pray because they were wicked people.”

    Just like how Falwell blamed 9/11 on feminists, abortionists, and gays? One of the few times someone links to a Snopes.com article with a “TRUE” rating: http://www.snopes.com/rumors/falwell.asp

    Would Mr. Ambrosino care to respond to that? Would he care to respond to that hateful statement with an assumption that Mr. Falwell would have a fat smile and tell anyone who spoke like that that they should pray to overcome their wickedness?

  75. DN says:

    Mr. Aravosis, thank you for nealty summing up everything I’ve thought about Mr. Ambrosino since he leapt onto my radar about six weeks ago.

  76. BeccaM says:

    As you and I have discussed in the past, I’m sometimes hit with the same thing as Ms. Nixon, although I try to be more precise in how I respond to questions.

    Believe it or not, sometimes when the subject of my wife comes up, I sometimes just let them assume I’m gay. Often I just don’t want to deal with the inevitable “what it actually means to be Bi” conversation every frickin’ time.

    Oddly enough, if my actual sexual orientation comes into the discussion, for some reason I’m nearly always asked if the fact I like men as well as women somehow makes our marriage more difficult (Sorry Mike). Or if it means I fool around on the side, or at least want to. Answer: No, no, and no.

    Or, I’ve had people flat out tell me I must not be Bi because (1) I’m in a committed relationship which must therefore label me ‘lesbian’ or else (2) to insist I’m Bi must mean I sleep around or be desperate for it. Which I don’t and am not.

  77. BeccaM says:

    Seconded.

  78. Heep says:

    This really wasn’t very well written, either. Reads like college, at best…

  79. John Masters says:

    The closest I come to agreeing with him is that we did, somehow, allow the whole idea of choice overtake the arguments. Of course it’s not a choice, but that shouldn’t even be a part of the discussion. The krazy kristian kooks co-opted the idea comparing it to equality based on race. Our movement never did a good job (before that argument gained a foothold) of pointing that religion is certainly a choice, but we also protect people based on that choice. I don’t know, I guess it’s better to be true (i.e. it’s not a choice), but I wish we’d some how beaten them to punch on that argument, so it wouldn’t even be on the table.

    All that said, I find no common ground with Ambrosino. My reasoning is very different. I am talking about tactics in the fight, while he’s trying to argue a false reality.

  80. LOL actually, I”m surprised Disqus doesn’t have one.

  81. Anonymous says:

    Hmm, k. So I guess political dissidents, groups killed by genocide, heretics, etc. all deserved it? We must feel pretty silly now knowing they were all forward-thinking.

  82. Actually, Cynthia Nixon was crucified for botching her explanation of her own lived experience. She claimed that for her being gay was a choice. What she apparently meant was that she chose to go date a woman instead of a man, because she’s bisexual. But she was wrong when she said she chose to be gay. Just because someone is speaking about their own personal experience doesn’t mean that they’re language isn’t imprecise, or incorrect. When I lived in France, I told the baker once that I only had one hand. I meant that I only had one hand free. I had told him that I had lost a limb. Was I telling him about my personal experience. Yes. Was I correct in what I told him. No.

  83. John Masters says:

    You know, he and Robert Oscar Lopez would make a very nice couple.

  84. Anonymous says:

    Another zing

  85. nicho says:

    John: if you install an “ignore” feature, I will donate to help pay for it.

  86. BeccaM says:

    I’m not sure, but I think he’s trying to talk you into giving up blogging altogether. Both because (1) blogging is ‘merely a pastime’ and (2) blogging is dangerous and does nothing but empower our anti-gay foes. How those two assertions don’t cancel each other out, I have no idea.

  87. John Masters says:

    Uh, while the behaviors you describe might be considered “high-value” in the psuedo Christian religion practiced by many (who he’s hurting, riding whichever wave will carry him the furthest, etc) a true Christian would be more concerned about his fellow man, and wouldn’t be interested only in his own well-being, especially to the detriment of others…so choose one or the other. He’s either a Christian, or he’s a self-promoting, self-centered quisling, but you can’t be both.

  88. John Masters says:

    Not long ago I read one of the most accurate comments I’ve ever read, and it applies to Ambrosino. In short, it’s what Marc is saying, “You can’t reason a person out of position they didn’t reason themselves into.”

    I share a little bit of that fundamentalist background. Thank heavens my mother didn’t buy into it, only my father for a while. I completely understand. I remember an Easter Sunday a few years ago seeing a young man on a street corner after church with a big sign all about going to hell. With a picture of Jesus turning away a person drenched in blood. It occurred to me, who would ever be interested in a God like that, but if you do buy into it, what a burden it would be.

  89. Thom Allen says:

    “all over the place” is putting it mildly.

  90. Thom Allen says:

    No, it doesn’t confirm this as effective opposition. And you haven’t addressed your misuse of the word “credibility.” Your arguments and opinions shift with each heartbeat.

  91. Thom Allen says:

    Previously, you said that “all” of his audience felt one way. Now you’re saying that they don’t care. You have no position on any of this. You shift your “arguments” from minute to minute.

  92. Thom Allen says:

    Hmmm, painting with a very wide brush again,aren’t you? “All” fundamentalist christians do this. “All” of Ambrosino’s audience does this. It’s one thing to say that a majority does something but to decide arbitrarily that all of any group does is not only gross a over-generalization but also inherently wrong.

  93. MeathBedloe says:

    This quote, “When we conflate race and sexuality, we overlook how fluid we are learning our sexualities truly are,” sums up how young and homophobic he is. Everyone is on different points on a spectrum of sexual orientation, and while some studies suggest women are more fluid with their sexual orientation than men, “we” are not busy learning how fluid our “sexualities truly are” unless we’re teenagers, or still on the verge of admitting to ourselves and others which gender we’re attracted to. This notion of his about fluidity is about hope that things will somehow turn out different for him, that one day his fascination with something or other to do with women, will turn into actual sexual attraction and “save him” from being gay. He may honestly believe that he can will himself straight because he still can’t come to terms with being gay, and therefore, he actually believes it’s that way for everyone in the LGBT community. Of course he’s completely wrong. The day he stops believing that being gay is just a choice and comes to terms with his orientation, he’ll probably stop writing these terrible opinion pieces because he won’t be so desperate to convince everyone else as a byproduct of trying to convince himself.

  94. EdmondWherever says:

    I don’t know what it would prove, but I’d take a selfie from Ambrosino. He may be a misguided dumb-ass, but he’s pretty! I’d teach him a thing or two about choice.

  95. PeteWa says:

    if I would have known I would have made that bi choice years ago!

  96. karmanot says:

    How droll. That’s the best you have?

  97. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    True, I do listen to the occasional Rush tune.

  98. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    Ah, incapable of thought yourself, so you must provoke it in others! Clever! I must remember that trick, whenever I run out of thoughts.

  99. EndlessRepetition says:

    You know her.

  100. karmanot says:

    “Get a hold of yourself.” I do, but at my age only once a day.

  101. EndlessRepetition says:

    Getting a rise out of someone is getting to them. I can’t guarantee what the product might be but it’s optimistic to believe that some thought might result.

  102. karmanot says:

    Given that Morlocks are cannibals, rational people do not feed them or compliment them on their terrible table manners.

  103. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    Does anybody?

  104. Monophylos Fortikos says:

    Ah, the “I got a teensy bit of a rise out of you, therefore I must have gotten to you”, self-defence. The sustaining belief of conspiracy theorists everywhere: “They deigned to respond to me, therefore they must be scared of the truths I speak!”