Bye, Bi love

I'm not sure exactly what to do with this one, but I've had it staring me in the face, and I hate the feeling that if I don't write about it I might be censoring myself. Or worse, censoring the censoring of the latest love that dare not speak its name -- in the name of the Original Love That Dared Not speak Its Name:

Three bisexual men are suing a national gay-athletic organization, saying they were discriminated against during the Gay Softball World Series held in the Seattle area two years ago.

The three Bay Area men say the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance in essence deemed them not gay enough to participate in the series.

Not gay enough? This is as bad as "not black enough." I realize these people can do whatever they want (and there's no right to play bi baseball), but I think a good argument can be made that these self-appointed judges of human sexuality are not free enough.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Seattle accuses the alliance of violating Washington state laws barring discrimination. The alliance organizes the annual Gay Softball World Series.

Beth Allen, the alliance's attorney, said the lawsuit is unwarranted and that the three plaintiffs "were not discriminated against in any unlawful manner."

In any case, Allen said, the alliance is a private organization and, as such, can determine its membership based on its goals.

Whether the alliance is public or private will likely have to be determined in court, since the plaintiffs characterize the alliance as a "public accommodation" that's open to the public and uses public softball fields.

The three plaintiffs -- Steven Apilado, LaRon Charles and Jon Russ -- played on a team called D2 that qualified for the 2008 Gay Softball World Series, which is organized by the alliance.

The alliance's rules say that each World Series team can have no more than two heterosexual players. According to the lawsuit, a competing team accused D2 of violating that rule.

Each of the three plaintiffs was called into a conference room in front of more than 25 people, and was asked "personal and intrusive questions" about his sexual attractions and desires, purportedly to determine if the player was heterosexual or gay, the lawsuit alleges. The alliance has no category or definition for bisexual or transgender people in its rules, the plaintiff's attorney said.

At one point during the proceedings, the lawsuit alleges, one of the plaintiffs was told: "This is the Gay World Series, not the Bisexual World Series."

The alliance ruled the three men were "nongay," stripped D2 of its second-place finish and recommended that the three players be suspended from participating in the World Series for a year, according to the suit.

There really have to be rules about these things, don't there?

Sexual freedom never quite got off the ground.

It was drowned in the bathtub by activists.

MORE: They keep tossing 'em. In Philadelphia, a candidate who said he was bisexual has been "outed" as actually straight:

Veteran Rep. Babette Josephs (D., Phila.) last Thursday accused her primary opponent, Gregg Kravitz, of pretending to be bisexual in order to pander to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender voters, a powerful bloc in the district.

"I outed him as a straight person," Josephs said during a fund-raiser at the Black Sheep Pub & Restaurant, as some in the audience gasped or laughed, "and now he goes around telling people, quote, 'I swing both ways.' That's quite a respectful way to talk about sexuality. This guy's a gem."

Kravitz, 29, said that he is sexually attracted to both men and women and called Josephs' comments offensive.

Now wait just a second. Unless she has been monitoring the man's genitals for every moment in his life, how on earth could his opponent possibly know whether he is completely straight as she claims?

What's fascinating about this is that had the man kept silent about his sexuality, he might have found himself outed as gay. Anyway, he is being forced to indignantly defend the sanctity of his, er, non-closet:

Kravitz, 29, said that he is sexually attracted to both men and women and called Josephs' comments offensive.

"That kind of taunting is going to make it more difficult for closeted members of the LGBT community to be comfortable with themselves," Kravitz said. "It's damaging."

But others said the remarkable quarrel itself was a sign of progress.

"We've hit a new high point when candidates are accused of pretending to be gay to win a seat," said Mark Segal, publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News and a pioneering civil rights advocate.

"I've been doing this for 40 years, and I never have heard of this kind of charge in any race in the nation," he said. "I take that as flattery. It shows how far we've come."

I think it's a new low point in terms of sexual freedom.

In or out, gay or straight or bi, if you run for office your sex life is now the proper subject for a sexual inquisition. Those who simply remain silent are subject to charges of being "in the closet" (a terrible moral crime involving cowardice and hypocrisy), while those who think they're "out" are subject to being investigated for a lack of sexual purity.

By the new Puritans on the left, of course.

As I keep saying, the idea that the war on sexual freedom is right wing is getting very tired.

posted by Eric on 04.21.10 at 07:54 PM










Comments

What I am learning (from first hand experience too) is that gay political activists seem to be their own worst enemies with double standards galore.

Those who become overzealous in attaining their [stated] goals of equality don't seem to want to grant the same status of equality to everyone else, thereby becoming what they despise.

I am a new fan of your blog in Miami. Hope you don't mind, but I will be putting links up to your blog on my facebook, twitter and yahoo.

Xhristopherus   ·  April 21, 2010 9:42 PM

"Allen said, the alliance is a private organization and, as such, can determine its membership based on its goals."

This is pretty much the same argument that the Hibernians have been using against gay groups that have been suing to march in the St Patrick's Day parade in NYC.

You can't make this stuff up.

joewxman   ·  April 21, 2010 10:20 PM

In any case, Allen said, the alliance is a private organization and, as such, can determine its membership based on its goals.

So I can have "no gays" organization now? Great!

Bob Smith   ·  April 22, 2010 6:19 AM

Xhristopherus thanks!

Bob, your rhetorical question is a good one, and it reflects the absurd nature of identity politics.

Eric Scheie   ·  April 22, 2010 11:48 AM

This sort of issue isn't particularly new. Dan "The Smear" Savage has been saying bisexual men don't exist since his column started up. A couple of decades ago, getting bisexuality into a pride parade in Northampton took three or four years of fairly rabid activity. Bisexual women have been blamed for bringing AIDs into the lesbian community, universally being fakes, or worse.

The GLBT community tries to present a completely unified front, but even with those it heavily opposes excluded (the Pink Pistols, for example), herding cats is the metaphor that comes to mind. These people make the NRA/JFPO/GOA divisions look nice and friendly.

gattsuru   ·  April 22, 2010 4:02 PM

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