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.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

Share This Post

  • Nisa Taft

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

    sign letters

  • cleos_mom

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

  • scottnsanfran

    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.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    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.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

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

  • Tysalpha

    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!”

  • Mimihaha

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

  • Mimihaha

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

  • JDH

    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.

  • JDH

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

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    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.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

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

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

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

  • JDH

    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.

  • JDH

    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.

  • JDH

    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.

  • JDH

    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.

  • NedFlaherty

    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.

  • Ogre Magi

    Never trust anyone who loves jerry Fartwell

  • Zorba

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

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    There is that, yep.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    OMG! You nailed it EndlessNonsence is actually Charles Krauthammer.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Whatever….next

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Annoyed you huh? Repeat: Read Sun Tzu.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Only by her stench after she had left a room.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

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

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Thank you!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    OMG….that sounded like David Sedaris! lololol

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    YES!!!!!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

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

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

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

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Especially love!

  • Butch1

    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?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    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.

  • Edward Willis Bruce Davidson

    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.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    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.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    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.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    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.

  • wmforr

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

  • wmforr

    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.

  • lynchie

    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.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    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.

  • Simon M.

    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.

  • Diane Phillipa

    Thank you for the courage of speaking out :)

  • Diane Phillipa

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

  • Thom Allen

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

  • Anonymous

    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”

  • Anonymous

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

  • StraightGrandmother

    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.

  • StraightGrandmother

    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.

  • StraightGrandmother

    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

  • Anonymous

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

  • LAguy323

    yeah, both of them

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    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.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

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

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

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

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    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.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    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.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    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.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    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.

  • Anonymous

    Wouldn’t be surprised if it was Ambrosino himself

  • Anonymous

    Couldn’t have said it better

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

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

  • teeveedub

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

  • randomfantard

    This guy and Jack Wu are made for each other…

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    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.

  • benb

    ” 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.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

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

  • https://www.facebook.com/etseq97 etseq

    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

  • Anonymous

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

  • Stasi

    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.

  • JDH

    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.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

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

  • DN

    “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?

  • DN

    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.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    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.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Seconded.

  • Heep

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

  • John Masters

    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.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

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

  • Anonymous

    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.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    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.

  • John Masters

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

  • Anonymous

    Another zing

  • nicho

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

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    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.

  • John Masters

    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.

  • John Masters

    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.

  • Thom Allen

    “all over the place” is putting it mildly.

  • Thom Allen

    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.

  • Thom Allen

    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.

  • Thom Allen

    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.

  • MeathBedloe

    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.

  • EdmondWherever

    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.

  • PeteWa

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

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    How droll. That’s the best you have?

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    True, I do listen to the occasional Rush tune.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

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

  • EndlessRepetition

    You know her.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

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

  • EndlessRepetition

    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.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

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

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    Does anybody?

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    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!”

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    EndlessNonsense is probably waiting for a Brandon selfie to prove his point.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Don’t exactly care for Ayn Rand, do you?

  • nicho

    Wow — same here.

  • Zorba

    LOL!

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    Eeyup. Cos if you’re destined for salvation, then obviously nothing you do, however hurtful, can possibly be evil.

    Seriously, if I had a time machine and could take one trip to the past to make one change, I wouldn’t punch out Hitler. I’d flatten John Calvin.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Ambrosino is not Hitler. He’s a paid opportunist serving LGBT opposition and used by his publishers. That’s all need be said about him.

  • JDH

    I resent gay people who sympathize with the opposition as much as this guys does. Every opportunity he has in life today was made possible by the men and women he criticizes. The fact that a gay man can even be out and published by so many mainstream outlets is proof enough of this. Every essay this man publishes is the equivalent of Mary Cheney’s marriage.

    That said, I very, very narrowly agree with a sliver of his basic concept. If you dig through all the shit he’s piled on top of it and his piss-poor reasoning for his belief, he is correct that the word “choice” needs to be de-stigmatized. Not for his benefit, mind you. Rather, for the benefit of well-meaning, sexually-fluid people who occasionally follow their hearts without realigning their social identities.

    Cynthia Nixon, for example, is a celebrity who came out when it was still a risk; she admitted that she chose to follow her heart instead of taking the comparatively easy route of finding a man. She could have fallen in love with a man and been happy, and she CHOSE to be with a woman. And she was crucified for speaking about her own lived experience. That sort of stigma should be eliminated, and people should be respected for who they are.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Who is this ‘us’ kemosabi?

  • Scott Amundsen

    Oh yes. I’d forgotten about good old Rush-Loony as we used to call him. AND Gary North. Thanks Tom.

    :)

  • EndlessRepetition

    Becca, the “amusing chew-toy” remark evidences that a few of my posts got under your skin and that’s good. I daresay you’ll think a bit deeper next time.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    I can actually sort of understand the logic behind Calvinism. As an extreme reaction to Catholic theology, it sort of makes sense: here are a bunch of priests saying that salvation is something that you can buy, which is plainly crazy, so why not rebel into the extreme opposite position that salvation is predestined and therefore unalterable by any human agency of any sort at all? But the cure was definitely much worse than the disease.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The bridge probably evicted it.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Snap! Good one! When he gets a gig with Reader’s Digest, he’ll find his true level.

  • http://twitter.com/thom1956 Tom Schott

    Oh man, i’ve been through the Calvinist churches. Awful stuff.

  • Anonymous

    He’s here to project his own agenda onto a journalist whose intentions could be totally different.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Understanding one’s enemy and feeling compassion for them are two different things. Do you have any other childish remarks to make?

  • EndlessRepetition

    One does treat the LGBT opposition as clueless outsiders. One treats the Ambrosinos around which they rally as clueless outsiders. Ambrosino’s value to the anti-gay lot goes only as far as his ability to speak for the rest of the LGBT community.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    You ain’t rubber; you ain’t glue; you ain’t real and you ain’t true. Oh, and did I mention ‘neener’, ‘neener’?

  • Anonymous

    I guess we prefer to educate people instead of holding them to the standard of chimpanzees.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I like to tell people I turned Bi for the free Cuisinart.

    I mean, really, just lesbian would only get me a toaster oven. But a Cuisinart with all the attachments is a damned useful kitchen appliance.

  • Anonymous

    K.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “What are you after here?” troll just pissing in the community well.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    So true, predestination insures that even evil ones go to heaven, which I am convinced is a Republican, whites only country club that serves creamed chicken dinners for all eternity.

  • EndlessRepetition

    I know how Christian values are used to weave a plausible identity where one is needed, as in Ambrosino’s case. They lend themselves nicely to the story he tells. Now it is pointless to call Ambrosino out for undercutting a community where he demonstrates no kinship. Nor can one ignore what his schtick has done for his career. Finally, his writing style, assumptions, and arguments seem geared well enough to the audience he wishes to please (and the controversy that his publishers wish him to generate). The original author hit Ambrosino on all these points. I countered with the fact that Ambrosino serves the audience he targets, has cred in the culture where his content and perspective are valued, and has no specific loyalty requirement to the LGBT community. So, whether Christian values or American value$, Ambrosino has enough going for him not to care what John Aravosis thinks but plenty of reason to appreciate the publicity.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “One of the better rules of war is not empathizing with your enemy” Read Sun Tzu and get back to us. You lose.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Succinct and to the point!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Past time, indeed.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Are you quoting Anus Rand?

  • EdmondWherever

    It’s effective in other ways as well. Before today, I had not heard of this bonehead. He was mentioned on an LGBT blog I frequent, and I came here to investigate. Without their outcry, he would have had one less detractor. Now, when questioned, I can give an informed opinion of him to others. I don’t know if you’re suggesting that we all simply SHRUG when articles appear that slander us all with falsehoods, but I believe that we should not give up speaking against them.

  • http://www.meetmarcadams.com MarcAdams

    Except that you cannot intelligently deal with your enemies unless you understand them. As someone who was once just like him, I can tell you that treating me like an enemy and clueless outsider doesn’t make any difference in resolving the horrible problems that come from being part of that destructive ideology. Sounds good in theory but it simply doesn’t work on people who are brainwashed. And if we really want to help people escape the shame and fear and crippling effects of their version of christianity, you can only do so by human connection. Nothing else has ever worked. For people like him who already live under christian shame, you can’t shame them out of their actions.

  • Silver_Witch

    Good choice….harley men are stronger, generally, and can drag you out of the gutter should you ever fall down and go boom.

  • Silver_Witch

    Quiche is nice…I was married to a man once that made the most wonderful quiche and oddly enough he was also wonderful in bed. Weird eh?

  • Silver_Witch

    Agreed – here, however, it is predominately Christianity and it is here of which I am speaking.

  • Anonymous

    You act like someone who doesn’t realize the dynamics of today’s world. This isn’t the mid-90s, millions of people actually read blogs now. Otherwise successful websites wouldn’t be able to fund themselves through advertising.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Your bridge misses you. Buh-bye.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    He was an amusing chew-toy while I had to wait for someone to get back to me this afternoon, but yeah — I’m done with him.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    Hey, if Calvinism is true, no prayer will save you ;)

  • Anonymous

    Meh, all religion is the same. Look at the women beating their daughters for not marrying at 10 years old in some countries.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Right back at ya.

  • EndlessRepetition

    I should have been more specific and asked for evidence that anything but the controversy matters to the publishers regarding Ambrosino’s articles. I did not intend that question to apply to everything they publish.

    I don’t consider Ambrosino’s belief in what he publishes to be relevant. He may stand behind what he writes or he may be working the topic for what it’s worth to his career. He has enough of a background and polish on his schtick to satisfy his target audience and that’s enough.

    My point is that Ambrosino gets published and will continue to be publishes so long as he creates a public outcry. You are correct that the LGBT outcry is not ineffective. It’s effective for Ambrosino.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    Lord, save me from the Calvinists. :)

  • EndlessRepetition

    You assume a contradiction where none exists. John never should have written this article. It’s only wood on Ambrosino’s fire. All the pro-LGBT posts here attacking Ambrosino as a “self-hating anti-gay apologist” make him more interesting in the eyes of those likely to publish his next similarly themed article. All the anti-gay posts elsewhere citing Ambrosino as “proof” that homosexuality is a choice accomplish the same thing. That lot doesn’t care about your opinions and you’re not likely to care about theirs. Still, the activity translates to controversy, which publishers crave.

  • Anonymous

    You know an awful lot about the “Christian values” of someone you’ve never met.

  • EdmondWherever

    How about other, non-controversial articles that appear in their magazines? Not EVERYTHING they publish is controversial, so yes, I think that would count as evidence that SOMETHING other than controversy matters to them on occasion. I’m sure that both as publishers, and as people, they have a wide range of things that matter to them besides one single qualifier.
    -
    But my point is, if evidence is important to you in discerning what a person thinks or values (and it must be, since you just asked me for some regarding the publishers), then how can you discount all the writings of a writer as an untrustworthy window into his beliefs? Doesn’t a writer’s written words constitute “evidence” of what he believes? While that evidence may not be perfect (writers can lie), isn’t it orders of magnitude MORE reliable than one article that appears in a magazine with dozens of other unrelated articles, published by a large team of many people, who will undoubtedly have a widely diverse set of priorities and personal values?
    -
    And, while controversy may sell magazines, and while that may very well be a major contributing motivation for many of the publishers involved, this is not a valid reason to abandon criticism, and allow them to issue this nonsense unchallenged. There’s no reason to believe that public outcry, even from a minority, will be ineffective.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Criticizing Ambrosino as a homophobic bigot amplifies him. Attacking Ambrosino’s message directly promotes it to the audience that already wants to believe. Generating activity here about Ambrosino’s work only serves to convince his publishers of his value.

    Ambrosino’s published opinions are already known crap. Whether he really believes them or merely works them for opportunity’s sake is irrelevant. If he’s dismissed as a paid, clueless, crack-pot who some publishers tag on a slow news day then he’ll disappear. Any more attention and his value grows.

  • Anonymous

    Your name is very apt.

  • http://twitter.com/thom1956 Tom Schott

    Oh, i think ol’ Falwell *would* have wanted to stone some gays, just knew he couldn’t in actuality — let’s not ever forget R.J.Rushdoony (deceased) and Gary North. Both in favor of stoning certain “sinners” just like the bible says.

  • Zorba

    Probably the best thing to do is completely and absolutely ignore him. He’s feeding off of the attention his comments bring.
    It’s sort of like dealing with a 2 or 3 year old child who is insistently whining about one particular thing. If you ignore them completely, they eventually get bored. (Been there, done that, believe me.)

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    You really should make up your mind.

    On the one hand, you keep telling John he never should have written his post, and have stuck around all day to keep ‘endlessly repeating’ why you think it was so incredibly awful to have written a single word about Ambrosino. Because despite all his many gigs at right-leaning publications, apparently he landed them only because what? Prescient publishers knew they were hiring him not to serve as an anti-gay echo-chamber for their right wing readers, but tangentially because progressive/liberal blogs might one day write linked posts critical of Ambrosino’s illogical apologias for intolerance?

    Then you say it really doesn’t matter one way or the other, because those who pay attention to Ambrosino and his ‘schtick’ don’t read these kinds of blogs anyway.

    First you take the position that writing posts critical of self-hating anti-gay apologists is a terrible, wrong, and bad thing to do. Then you suggest there is no point to blogging at all because it’s “just a pastime,” which nobody cares about.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    My godmother–funny, I still get a little frisson out of saying I have godparents–told me once about someone she knew from a religiously conservative Filipino family who joined the priesthood just to shut up his parents about why he wasn’t looking for some nice girl to settle down with. He was in his late teens, his lack of interest in women was starting to draw some notice, and declaring that he was called to the priesthood was the easiest way out of a social bind. Then all of a sudden his weirdness had an explanation: oh, of course he wasn’t interested in marrying, God was calling him to the priesthood! Fortunately the man was honest enough to admit to himself down the line that he’d made a mistake and he quit the priesthood–but note well that he’d already taken holy orders by this time. I’m guessing a lot of priests don’t even manage that much.

  • EndlessRepetition

    I’m not confusing the two. I’m saying that those who support Ambrosino’s message don’t care one way or the other.

  • Todd20036

    Right, because ignoring the bigots will just make them go away. Now, how often has that worked? It worked with Hitler, worked with attaining interracial marriage, worked with overruling sodomy laws…

    Oh, wait a minute…

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Then you’re a naive fool.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Do you see evidence that anything but the controversy matters to them?

  • EndlessRepetition

    I doubt that’s a coincidence.

  • jomicur

    That was certainly my experience. I wasn’t actually molested in the seminary (that would come later, in Catholic high school), but it was pretty clearly what was going on all around me. We could see some of the priests sneaking into one another’s “cells” after lights out. And there was one senior seminarian (one step below ordination) who was VERY clearly interested in us younger guys. There was also another boy who I was a bit in love with, and who felt the same about me. We were way too scared and repressed to actually do anything, but the feelings were there. I often wonder what became of him. And there was another kid was who plainly interested in me but who I had no interest in at all. All in all, Mt. Carmel Seminary was the gayest environment I’ve ever experienced (and I’ve been to two LGBT marches on Washington!).

    A few years ago there was an obviously closeted priest who used to hang out at the gay community enter here (to “minister” to the gay community, he said). One day he announced grandly, “I spent the morning at the diocesan offices, and tonight here I am at the gay community center!” I couldn’t resist; I put on my sarcastic manner and asked, “Do you notice any difference?” He was so pissed he left.

  • EndlessRepetition

    As I said, it’s a pastime.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    Why are you here then? Other than the endlessness and the repetition, that is.

    EDIT: Oh, don’t bother. I guess being treated rudely several dozen times a day counts as social interaction if there’s no other way to get it.

  • EndlessRepetition

    I’d focus on the later. It’s the least interesting.

  • EndlessRepetition

    You believe blogging is more than a pastime. We disagree there too.

  • EndlessRepetition

    When the only energy it rides upon is the reaction it generates then yes.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Absolutely nobody here in the comments, nor the proprietor of the blog, agrees with you.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Well, ‘Concern Troll’ was taken.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    Oh, yeah, Jerry Falwell would totally have defended him and told his “accusers” they were wicked. That’s just the sort of behavior I expect from a sainted altruist like Jerry Falwell.

    Ambrosino, baby, I don’t imagine for more than a second that you really believe in Falwell’s good nature, but just in case you do, look up what Falwell did to the “accusers” of Jim Bakker, a man whose fundie credentials were a lot better than yours. Falwell saw his advantage against the embattled Bakker, pretended to befriend him and said he would help him out, then joined the chorus of accusation (including, by the way, spreading rumors about his sexuality) with great enthusiasm and sucked Bakker dry.

    That was what Jerry Falwell did to a supposed friend, Brandon. And you think he would have taken your side? (No, I don’t think you do, but you’ve got your part to play.)

  • Palto

    The reason why Ambrosino is saying this could be a combination of several things. Off the top of my head: Stockholm syndrome, notoriety, money.

  • EndlessRepetition

    My suggestion should be clear by now. The original article should never have been written. In my first post I pointed out why Ambrosino and the community he encourages might ignore it or welcome it. I assume that those who publish Ambrosino’s works will continue so long as his articles generate angst and controversy. Ambrosino’s is a paid opportunist and that’s how you might describe him.

  • Zorba

    Well, he sure as hell has an appropriate username though, doesn’t he?

  • Robert Andrew

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Someone had to say it. It’s pretty shameful when formerly-reputable publications have to stoop to this level in order to drive ‘clicks.’ I have intentionally NOT read, or clicked on, his most recent pieces, because I don’t want to drive any more traffic to those sites. In my estimation, reading his dribble would make me part of the problem.

    I actually liked some of Brandon’s stuff at first. He seemed thoughtful and sensitive, and willing to challenge ‘common wisdom’ and prevailing assumptions. But it gradually it dawned on me that he was merely being a contrarian — and a disingenuous one at that — for the sake of carving out his own little niche in the digital marketplace. No thanks. I will not be reading or clicking on any more of his nonsense.

  • EdmondWherever

    There’s nothing wrong with a WBC protest making the news. Fence-sitters need to know which way to hop.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Um, yeah, because the best way to fight mendacity, Uncle Tom-ism, and evil is to ignore it exists and hope it disappears on its own, absent any refutation, rebuttal, or protest. Right…

    Y’know, my Mom used to believe the beatings would stop if she pretended they never happened. That didn’t work either.

  • EdmondWherever

    Hold on, weren’t you JUST SAYING that we can’t truly know what Ambrosino thinks, despite the written body of work he’s created? Now you want to tell us that you know what makes sense to his publishers, without ANY written clues from THEM whatsoever? What kind of communication cues do you work from, where the written testimony of writers cannot be trusted, but the silence of faceless executives can be translated into a model of their worldview?
    -
    The criticisms of readers DO matter, and they do matter to publishers. Some publishers may like to stir the pot by employing controversial people, but that only goes so far when enough readers begin calling BS.

  • Ninja0980

    Sad to say but his parents did a number on him and it shows in his self-loathing posts.

  • cole3244

    an apt description of our electorate has become dumb and dumber.

  • EndlessRepetition

    I thought that was obvious by now. I wish you hadn’t mentioned him at all.

  • BobSF_94117

    I wish he had walked up to Jerry Falwell and told him he was gay. Then he would have been out on his ass like dozens, perhaps hundreds, of other Liberty U students who were expelled for being gay.

  • EndlessRepetition

    My point was that Ambrosino is not fed by those who post here. His schtick is to lend support to LGBT opposition, who favor other forums.

  • Anonymous

    He’s full of fear-mongering, boot-licking sentiments.

  • EndlessRepetition

    TP, & BF have a lot more going for them than Ambrosino. TP and BF are able to work “the cult of personality”. I see no such gift in Ambrosino.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Another thing. Yes, that’s an important PR 101 phrase to learn. But once you did this stuff for, oh, 20 years, you become pretty good at the nuance of when to ignore something so as not to inflame it, and when to nip it in the bud lest it become dangerous. He’s in nip in the bud phase at thhis point.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Pointing out that preaching to the choir, as John did in this article, is not effective counter to the likes of Ambrosino. My first post I pointed out reasons why Ambrosino would ignore or even be encouraged by John’s criticism.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    If you think my post was in any way intended for Ambrosino’s eyes, then you’re very mistaken. He’s the last person I cared about reading this post.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I just heard he got a gig with the NYT. If that’s true, this pathetic excuse for a writer just got a lot less dangerous.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    And you’re forgetting that this post was written in part to the put the editors at those publications on notice that we’re on to them. And to an editor, it’s a far worse charge to say “I know you published drivel on purpose” than to say “I respectfullly disagree with his underlying point.” Of course, I pointed out both.

    I don’t quiet get what you’re after here. Your comments seem all over the place. You don’t like Ambrosino, you don’t like any of us. What are you after here?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    You’re just brimming full of helpful, pro-active, constructive suggestions today, aren’t you?

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    History shows us that is not the case. I doubt people like Tony Perkins, Bryan Fischer and the like will sink of their own weight. They have too much of a PR machine. These magazines function as a PR machine for this guy.

    Sorry, I have to disagree. I know the point you’re trying to make, but life tells me that things don’t work that way.

  • dcinsider

    True, just strikes me as counter-intuitive to assist him by linking to him to
    the extent that even “bad publicity” helps the media source make money, and thus help him get attention.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Keep it up and you’ll make the guy’s career.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    That’s what EndlessRepition gives us.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Shutting up about Ambrosino would allow him to sink of the weight on his message. Making him a celebrity is LGBT blood in the water for the opposition sharks to frenzy upon.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Ambrosino is not gay. He doesn’t deserve the title. he is a right-wing pervert and a collaborating kappo.

  • EndlessRepetition

    In this case it applies because any bad publicity Ambrosino receives for his message increases his profile and confirms his status as effective opposition.

  • LAguy323

    Don’t let the facts get in the way of your ignorance, Ambrosino.

  • vejo

    Bravo, John, well put!

    Ambrosino is certainly a pathetic, although harmful, mess, but the publications who print his “work” are actually more dangerous. They are the ones who should be held MORE accountable for this travesty. The media often print damaging, completely unscientific, counterfactual things in the name of “balance”, especially in articles/videos about gay-equality victories to show the “other side”. But this is a fraud. Where are the anti-woman, anti-Jew, anti-black opinion/pseudo-information pieces to create “balance” on those topics? Surely there are plenty of crazies out there willing to scribble something anti-whatever for TIME? Why don’t they get published too? Why is it only the gays who have to suffer such indignity?

    That he gets published at all is actually a huge issue, which we should address persistently at the highest levels (we should request comment from the editors, etc.). The publications and their editors must be held accountable. Words matter.

  • EndlessRepetition

    His statements aren’t where his credibility can be attacked. I refer to his credibility as a symbol and focal point for LGBT opposition. The community where his message resonates wants to believe what Ambrosino has to say. The best attack on his credibility would be against why he’s saying it.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    There’ll always be a place in right-wing media — TV, print, web — for self-hating gays, misogynistic women, and racism-excusing people of color.

    But of course we don’t have to make it easy for ‘em. Or for their nonsense to go unrefuted.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    The larger majority of fundamentalists can be written off. However, there is a percentage who can be reached.

    If these fundamentalists are allowed to keep saying what they say without rebuttal, the people who are part of the more mainstream Christian religions start to believe the crap that the far-right fundamentalists spew. It has to be countered.

    It’s not just about trying to win over a few fundamentalists. It’s about getting the facts out there to a much larger audience. That’s why we’ve gotten beyond Stonewall, that’s why we got money committed to AIDS research, and that’s how we made progress in marriage equality.

    We didn’t get all of those things by ignoring people who were spewing shit.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I’m thinking Clarence Thomas.

  • EndlessRepetition

    If by that you mean that I favor accomplishment over effort then I accept your compliment.

  • EndlessRepetition

    There are two ways to fight a war. One can have an army attack the bottom of the enemy’s society or have a few assassins attack the top. I favor the later.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Of that I have no doubt. And it’s why I’ve disagreed vehemently with ‘EndlessRepetition’s constant refrain of “oh leave him alone and nobody will pay attention to him.”

  • EndlessRepetition

    I think that’s a better attitude to take regarding Ambrosino.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    For us it’s been twenty years and every day is new. Just amazes me sometimes. What works is the foundation of friendship.

  • EndlessRepetition

    I’m saying that as long as he appears to be an effective gay anti-gay who can ruffle feathers like John demonstrated here, he’ll be paid by someone.

  • http://blogvader.tumblr.com/ Blogvader

    There’s an advantage to not blowing certain things out of proportion.

    I’ve you’ve ever attended a WBC protest that wasn’t counter-protested, they last about ten minutes, and they don’t make the news.

    Heck, Ann Coulter’s whole career is built around wagging the professional outrage machine.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Now if only you had been John at the point where he began this article.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    That’s because you have ‘just’ in your heart Mz Becca!

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    I think Imposed celibacy is a perversion; Chosen celibacy may not be (depending on the person, of course).

  • EndlessRepetition

    He only has to represent the LGBT community to its opposition. As long as he can pull that off he’s a thorn in their side. Attacking him here only serves that purpose.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Well Mike, it just takes the right woman.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I’m familiar with seminaries and religious life. I would swear that in the Catholic cult 60 percent of its religious are gay, even though only a few express it. Many hide behind celibacy, which is itself a perversion.

  • EndlessRepetition

    There goes that word “should” again. Fundamentalist Christian opposition doesn’t require a reason to attack LGBTs because irrationality is woven into their faith. That’s a given. Ambrosino’s statements serve their purpose very well among his target audience. That’s his effectiveness. Forget the tactics that work for you and start to think in terms of what affects those who support him.

  • Thom Allen

    Yes, and just because it’s an aphorism doesn’t make it a truism. There certainly IS bad publicity. Anyone who believes otherwise is a fool.

    Now you’re changing the subject again, as you’ve done previously. My issue here was that you misused the word “credibility.” Nothing that has been said here lends an iota of credibility to his statements.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Mid level trolling—move along or the real Ayn Rand will kick your ass.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Thanks for proving my point.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Rational opposing viewpoints offered to brainwashed individuals only solidify their community identity. You have to undercut opposition from the perspective of its own support.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    next

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Yeah, that one detail — his belief that Falwell would actually protect him from the anti-gay bigots — literally made me laugh out loud. I almost can’t imagine how Ambrosino manages that degree of self-delusion…save that as you say, there’s a kind of Stockholm Syndrome in it.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    So true. When reviewing entry positions for graduate school, I would automatically discard any applicants from on-line ‘universities’ and Liberty University in particular.

  • Anonymous

    You are the same kind of person who thinks any kind of protest or boycott is meaningless. Just a status quo fool afraid to rock the boat – no wonder you sympathize with another coward like Ambrosino

  • EndlessRepetition

    Blogging is a pastime, nothing more.

  • Anonymous

    Ambrosino is not an effective symbol, he’s in the minority that choose to be self-loathing. He will never represent the movement, as he claims to do.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    His “impact” is only among those who share his beliefs. His being a legitimate member of the gay community may be in question among some people.

    Shutting up about him can be interpreted as tacit approval. No way am I going to allow anyone to make that mistake about my feelings.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Pointing it out to those who already know that what Ambrosino says is bunk and raising the guy’s notoriety isn’t “taking him on for content”. The audience that feeds him wants to believe him, so long as they think he’s “real”. So I wouldn’t challenge what he says. I’d challenge why he’s saying it.

  • Anonymous

    Our reasons are pretty darn good. Their reasons are based on irrationality. That should never trump actual facts. Apply your statement to them – they have no reason to criticize us.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Ah, there in lurks a Randian rationalist. Sorry, no go. You are part of the problem.

  • Anonymous

    It’s called brainwashing; they live in a bubble of irrational thought, and they need to hear the opposing viepoint

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    “and pretend it’s not there?” Or pretend as does ER, that is a combo pizza suitable for its intended audience.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    Yes, it’s part of the subscription to the fundamentalist belief system. We’re all damned in The Lord’s eyes, so we have to Uncle-Tom to people like Falwell to please The Lord.

  • Anonymous

    They wouldn’t have stoned him personally, but they would have let thugs beat hin up for being gay, or let the AIDS epidemic go unfettered. Just a bunch of cowards letting others do the dirty work.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    EndlessRepetition—-next!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    ” looking up Ambrosino in Google will result” in frothy lollipops.

  • EndlessRepetition

    John’s cheap shots only serve to demonstrate that gays take Ambrosino seriously and that he’s having an impact. And yes, since Ambrosino’s only value to his employers is as a legitimate member of the gay community as opposed to a paid opportunist, shutting up about him except to reiterate who pays him and why is the best course of action. Ambrosino’s editors only care about him as long as the gay community appears to do the same.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Critical thinking always matters, unless you confuse propaganda for legitimate journalism. That’s the point.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    Oh, Good Grief! It’s amazing how these people can invent such ridiculous terminology.

    Yeah, because chilling and relaxing got us so far. All of those polite demonstrations that Frank Kameny headed up in the 1950s and 1960s were all fine and good, but until until people started getting radical after Stonewall (in itself a radical event), there was precious little change. Same with HIV/AIDS and ACT-UP.

    I have no use for Uncle Tom types like this guy.

  • Anonymous

    Even if he’s selling his soul for attention (like a lot of “professionals” today), there are still people who take his word as gospel.

  • PeteWa
  • EndlessRepetition

    To a people who believe in virgin births, blood sacrifices, and a long-bearded disciplinarian in the sky? Get a hold of yourself.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    We can expose and rebut his BS.

  • EndlessRepetition

    I’m saying you have to correct them in a manner that impacts each audience appropriately and at their level.

    And no, truth doesn’t matter unless those receiving it have some reason to pay attention.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Aye… but I decided to cut Mike some slack since I know he meant well and he’s a friend here in the comments.

    When I’m in a less serious mood, sometimes I’ll just say, “Being Bi just means that when I watch the remake of “Solaris,” I find both George Clooney and Natascha McElhone incredibly hot. Doesn’t mean I’d cheat on my wife with either of them.”

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    I well remember the vitriol that Falwell used to spread about “The Homosexuals” back in the day. Ambrosino would have been booted out faster than you can say the word “boot”.

    His defense of Falwell screams Stockholm Syndrome to me. And his current attitude is Uncle Tomming.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Ever hear the phrase “there is no such thing as bad publicity”?

  • Anonymous

    There are self-loathers in every corner. Reminds me of the black Republican who compared Obamacare to slavery. And these “pundits” are almost always wealthy, upper crust types who don’t have to actually deal with prejudice. It’s appalling.

  • PeteWa

    I was going to write much the same thing, it seems so obvious to me, but figured you would state it better, and it was directed to you after all.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    I’m sorry…I know you mean well by that remark, but it’s not terribly bright of you. It’s not far off saying, “I know you are attracted to other women and I really love the fact that you are so devoted to your wife. I don’t know how that works.”

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    Nothing. Probably it’s just a conscious choice (a real choice, eh there, Brandon?) to play a part that, while uncomfortable and dishonorable and certainly undignified, is nevertheless a part that pays well in the contemporary American political landscape. You’ll always make bank on being the “maverick” so long as you’re rebelling against liberalism while still pretending to the label.

    Being the maverick right-winger, not so much. There isn’t much of a market for Republicans who like gay rights or support legal abortion. Somehow the “liberal media” doesn’t pay so well for that sort of maverick.

  • Thom Allen

    You’re saying that someone from the right wing is paying him?

  • Thom Allen

    He’s working on finding his niche. Perhaps as the male version of the Bachmaniac.

  • EndlessRepetition

    He’s a single turd that continued publicity develops into that pile of which you spoke earlier. He’s a paid mouthpiece of the opposition. That, I believe, is the best depiction we might make of him.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    That’s because being bisexual and falling crazy in love with someone are irrelevant to each other. I mean, it’s like asking any happily married individual, “I see you have a wife/husband — how is it you make it work, since you’re obviously attracted to others, too?”

    It’s the same quality of loyalty, love, and commitment.

  • Thom Allen

    Hardly giving Ambrosino credibility. Perhaps somewhat more notoriety, but not credibility.

  • climate3

    It’s Brandon’s gimmick. The angrier the lgbt community gets at him, the more attention he gets. Don’t be surprised to see magazine spotlights and possibly future cover stories on “the most un-gay gay man you will ever meet.” Brandon will ride this gimmick as long as he can. It’s annoying but what can one do?

  • Thom Allen

    Thanks. I hate to piss off unicorns who have large horns . . .

  • Thom Allen

    “For the audience that buys what Ambrosino sells, he can’t be “taken down.” He certainly can be taken down.” You’re presupposing that everyone who reads him agrees with him totally and refuses to consider information that others may present to the contrary. That may be true to the rabid conservative evangelicals out there, but many of the readers of Time and the other sites that have hosted him are not that closed minded.

  • PeteWa

    I don’t even think that’s it, I think the problem here is that Ambrosino would so very much like to believe that he’s not “teh gay” that he’s made some horribly convoluted excuse for himself:

    “I’m not that bad!
    I’m not inherently gay!
    I can change, I can change, I can change!
    It’s my choice…
    and it’s just for now!
    I… caaaaaaaaaan… chaaaaaaange!”

    sung to the tune of any generic, low-rent musical.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    Oh, I know that very well. Just saying, it’s a very sharp and apt remark you made.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    John, how about you drop the cheap shots against Ambrosino and take him on for content–

    Oh, so pointing out the “lifestyle choice” fallacy he’s peddling isn’t “taking him on for content”? Or is that just a stylistic choice as well?

  • EndlessRepetition

    I didn’t respond to what wrote because it only served to raise Ambrosino’s profile as a gay anti-gay. You’re giving him credibility where he can do the most damage. Ambrosino is a mouthpiece of those who choose to use him (against you). And I suspect that he’s not concerned with those who bother to post here.

  • Lordwhorfin

    You’ve shifted your own goal-posts entirely. You began by attacking John for “cheap shots” and now you’re saying legitimate rebuttal and intellectual arguments don’t matter either? So what? Everyone who disagrees with Ambrosino should STFU because we’re not his audience and his editors won’t care? Ridiculous.

  • Thom Allen

    Monoceros, not directed at you but at the Supremes and the fact that we’re now beyond racism.

  • PeteWa

    Abrosino’s brain lives in a post-lobotomy state.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    Ouch.

  • Thom Allen

    They paid him before he even had any kind of a following. They picked him ad a gay, if that’s what he is, version of Uncle Tom. He’s doing just what the Log Cabin and GOProud hyenas do.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    So your solution to a big steaming pile of sh*t in the middle of a room is to leave it alone and pretend it’s not there? Sorry, no — I’m going to take the time to rebut Ambrosino’s rubbish essays.

    The answer to those who excuse intolerance is not to ignore them and simply hope they go away on their own.

    Or to put it another way, concern trolling isn’t the answer either.

  • PeteWa

    I also remember that day, over 40 years ago, when I made that decision.
    It was exciting to set myself apart from all the other little boys and girls, on a path none of them seemed to notice!
    The sense of alienation was intoxicating, but it was nothing compared to the bags of glitter I was bequeathed once the Gay Agenda® learned of my choice.
    I really, really love glitter, and it has kept me here in gaytown all my life.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    How do you know he’s popular, or are you him, or a TNR editor?

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I also suspect that for EndlessRepetition, there’s something about the core concept of blogging he just doesn’t get.

  • http://www.americablog.com/ Naja pallida

    It’s a place for people without the academic capability of gaining admittance to an accredited educational institution. Not far off from those late night infomercials that offer a degree program if you just write them a big check. Sadly, many people are fooled into thinking they actually qualify as an education.

  • Thom Allen

    Disagree. If Ambrosino didn’t believe what he writes about gender identity being a choice, I doubt he’d have gone to Liberty University. He BELIEVES!

    If he wanted to get a good education along with a dose of religion, there are many other schools he could have attended.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Bingo. And thanks :)

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Because spouting nonsense that’s flat-our wrong, and poorly written, and poorly thought out, isn’t enough?

  • PeteWa

    Ambrosino, what a massive assclown you are.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Um, yes truth matters. Yes, good writing matters in august publications like TIME, TRN and the Atlantic. Are you suggesting that someone who thinks trans people choose to be trans, and that being transgender is actually about sex, shouldn’t be corrected because his audience wrongly believes him, and that’s who he’s writing for?

  • EndlessRepetition

    One of the better rules of war is not empathizing with your enemy. I wouldn’t assume Ambrosino is a victim. I wouldn’t assume anything about him except what’s obvious. Ambrosino is an enemy asset and his effectiveness is tied directly to how “real” he appears. We are far better off treating him like a paid opportunist and clueless outsider.

  • Silver_Witch

    Bravo Marc…there are so many others that belong to the club of Christianity for the hope of salvation (women are you reading this) and will actually harm themselves in order to have their salvation. But as you say, salvation at what cost.

    I am so happy to never have been poisoned by the fruit of the religious tree…..

  • cole3244

    fewer people like you would definitely help the situation.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    As I think I pretty clear explained in my story above, the fact that he’s such a bad writer means that there’s some other motive for why the publications keep printing his crap. And I think it’s their own dollar-driven homophobia where they see an anti-gay gay who still loves Jerry Falwell and they think, “kachin! pageviews!” So yes, the quality of his writing is clearly relevant, as I think I adequately explaioned above :)

    And his writing isn’t even vaguely adequate for TNR, Time or the Atlantic. I’ve written for the Economist, and there’s no way in hell someone of this poor writing ability could even get through the door of those places under normal circumstances.

    Okay, just finished reading your comment again. You’re not actually responding to what I wrote at all. And your suggestion that “LGBT people are free to make their own choices where and for who they stand,” is absurd. I stand for the principle that I am a pineapple, and not a man. And I’m an LGBT person and have chosen to announce that I’m a pineapple. So under your logic, I’m right. And if I announce that I think gays really are pedophiles, does no one have the right to call me loony in response, because as you said, I’m an LGBT person and I’m allowed to say what I think, damn it.

    I’m sorry, but being gay doesn’t give you the right to just pull stuff out of your ass and put it on paper with impunity. If you can’t think well, and enter the public sphere of journalism, especially dealing with civil rights, you’d better believe that you’re going to being called out on your intellectual mush.

    And finally, a big duh to this: “Don’t assume that homosexuality automatically cements one’s politics on the side of gay rights and acceptance.” Oh trust me, I’ve never assumed that. There are far too many damaged gays out there, and sadly some of them write for TNR, TIME and the Atlantic.

  • Thom Allen

    I didn’t do it for the quiche. I moved to New Jersey, bought a house and went heavily into fondue.

  • Thom Allen

    Evolution doesn’t make judgments. It doesn’t say, “That which didn’t survive didn’t deserve it.” It says, that which didn’t survive wasn’t flexible enough and couldn’t successfully adapt. It makes no moral pronouncements on the organism.

  • Thom Allen

    Well, the Supreme Court sure bought into it.

  • Thom Allen

    “Post-equality” is a self-hating gay buzz word. I’ve heard GOProuders use it. It’s manufactured for a purpose like “pre-born.” Post-equality means-relax, chill you don’t have to be an activist, things are coming along on their own just fine. In other words, relax your guard and let the rabid straights and evangelicals take things back. Like outlawing same-sex marriage, or outlawing all marriages, allowing discrimination by businesses, etc. Ambrosino is a Judas goat. That’s why Liberty University and Falwell might have kept him around.

  • EndlessRepetition

    And what would you offer to motivate otherwise? If the the answer is nothing then you’ve provided why failure is both inevitable and deserved.

  • EndlessRepetition

    If Ambrosino and his like are able to be comfortable and remain oblivious doing what they do then you answer your own question why they do it.

  • jomicur

    Well, I can relate to that, but only to a degree. I entered the seminary myself when I was a kid. My grade school nuns basically conned me into it, telling me repeatedly that since God had made me intelligent I had an obligation to use my intelligence to serve him, and on and on. The pressure was relentless. But that was grade school/9th grade. After a year in the seminary I came to my senses and got the hell out. These guys from Liberty were college age. How anyone in his early can switch off his brain to that degree is mind-boggling to me.

    And of course there are plenty of people even older than that who behave more or less the same way. Women who buy into the Biblical crap about submissiveness to me, for instance. As I said, the religious mindset, except as a phenomenon of childhood, when people don’t know any better and haven’t learned to think for themselves yet, baffles me quite completely. And I’m perfectly content that it should, because if it ever starts making sense to me, I’ll know it’s time to get my coat and leave.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Yet we only raise his profile and value to those who pay him. Those folks, by the way, don’t care about intellectual rebuttals. They care more about presenting an effective symbol of their opposition, which Ambrosino provides. Moreso now due to this article.

  • Thom Allen

    One needs to use a little reason and logic before joining a group, much less a cult like this. And one needs to reassess his beliefs and his brethren as one gains new knowledge and discovers new ideas. Ambrosino and the other Falwell followers seem to just want to be comfortable and remain oblivious to some aspects of reality that they choose to ignore.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Then allow me to offer you some insight. One who swears them self to their church/religion is aboyt being a member of a group. Individual considerations are secondary. That is religion’s strength and the individual’s weakness.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I don’t give a flying rat’s ass whether or not Ambrosino stops writing his self-hating anti-gay reality-denying claptrap.

    But I’m not going to let it sit out there unchallenged, and if enough of us write about it — as John has done here — looking up Ambrosino in Google will result not only in Ambrosino’s abominable essays, but in numerous instances of people refuting and rebutting his nonsense.

    The point isn’t to make him stop. It’s to embarrass him and his publishers.

  • Foref1970

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  • EndlessRepetition

    My attitude is not fatalistic but it is critical. If you want Ambrosino and the like to to cease and desist their slanders then you’ll have to present them with better reasons to stop.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I do not share your fatalism, and will not stop criticizing just because you feel doing so is pointless.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I know you are bi, and I really love the fact that you are so devoted to your wife. I don’t know how that works, but you are making it work.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    It’s the mechanism of “supposed to.” It’s a particular insight that crystallized more strongly when I was in India, observing their culture with respect to sexual orientation.

    If you’re gay or lesbian in India, you’re supposed to get married hetero-style — so most them do. But the important distinction is it doesn’t matter if that’s what you wanted, and a common practice is for a gay person to marry and start a family, but have same-sex relationships on the side.

    In the West, and in American in particular, it’s not enough to simply DO what you’re supposed to do; you also are expected to WANT it. Different people deal with that expectation in different ways — one of which, I believe, is attempted sublimation and other coping mechanisms. Some young men go into the priesthood; some tell themselves they’re hetero but have no explanation for all the gay porn and anonymous hook-ups; some, like Ambrosino, tell themselves that being gay is a choice and all they have to do is want badly enough to be straight for it to happen….and go to a right-wing Christianist university as compensation.

  • EndlessRepetition

    I stopped troubling myself with what should happen many years ago. Now I focus on what does. If your “legitimate, critical, factual, ethical standards of journalism” do not shut down his slander then they are functionally meaningless.

  • cole3244

    that’s probably fair but if the left doesn’t survive neither will our democracy.

    its amazing how popular the lefts message is when the majority of people have lost hope but as long as only a fraction of the populace is desperate the lazy electorate pays no attention until that grim reaper comes calling at their door.

    our ability to empathize with our fellow citizens is a thing of the past, that’s what conservatism on steroids gets you.

  • http://www.meetmarcadams.com MarcAdams

    Feel very sorry for Ambrosino and every other “Champion” who isn’t able to get past the brainwashing we received at Liberty and elsewhere in our lives. His attempt to cling to his family, his fear of death and the uphill battle to fight the man made concept of sin is so obvious.

    When I wrote The Preacher’s Son, I expressed the same exact sentiments about Jerry. When you knew him on a personal level he was not the person displayed in the media. However, the fact that he believed the things that he preached made him most dangerous. It’s easy to categorize people like Jerry as people who did things for power and money. It’s harder to come to terms that they believed with their lives that what they believed was truth and if they weren’t faithful to their beliefs they would have to give an account to their version of god for it.

    That is what makes people like Jerry dangerous and what will ultimately put Ambrosino at a crossroads at which so many have ended their lives. The desire to belong to the club that despises not just gay people but hordes of others who have not been saved from eternal damnation is disgustingly strong. It permeates every fiber of your being. You deny your own heart, humanity and existence for the hope of what you believe will happen to you after you die. And to avoid having your god dump the blood of every person you failed to recruit on your hands on judgement day, you do everything in your power to eliminate as many gallons of that blood as possible.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Apparently legitimate,critical, factual ethical standards of journalism are moot for you.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I sure couldn’t give up men. It may be his coping mechanism, but he’s playing into the hands of our enemies. NOM will certainly be quoting from that article.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Even if that’s what he meant to write, Ambrosino remains woefully ignorant as to how we achieved the state of “edging closer to a time when we will be legally equal.”

    Repeatedly in his essays, he seems to think the way to persuade homophobic bigots to give up their anti-gay hatred is to leave them alone, and to respect their intolerance.

    No protests. No activism or advocacy. No objecting to the boot heels in our faces. In fact, worse than that: To simultaneously excuse that boot heel and to deny it’s even there.

  • EndlessRepetition

    I disagree. I believe that money talks and BS walks.

  • jomicur

    Absolutely. Naturally I asked them about that, and they both talked very frankly about how excruciating their lives were at Liberty. Having to hide in their closets, lying, dating girls for cover, living in constant fear of being found out and expelled, etc., etc. But when I asked them why they didn’t just get the hell out and transfer to a real university, neither of them was able to give me a coherent answer. They just kept muttering about how they still believed in the Bible, “that’s not the way I was raised,” etc., etc. I swear, I’ll go to my grave not understanding the religious mind. Or wanting to.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    And a young man who kept his orientation carefully hidden the entire time he was there…

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    The transgender folks I’ve known would say much the same thing, in exactly the same tone of disgust and sarcastic annoyance.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Ambrosino makes sense to those who publish his works and their audience. They aren’t us so our criticisms don’t matter much. That’s the point.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    Could he possibly be bisexual? I suppose it’s within the realm of possibility. Far more likely is his particular personal coping mechanism for not being 100% comfortable with the label ‘gay man’ is to keep telling himself he could give up men if he really, really wanted to.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    “We have no idea what Ambrosino thinks”? I take it you’ve not read much of his work then, huh?

    There are few opinion writers out there who do not express what they think through the outlet of their published words.

    Ambrosino believes that sexual orientation is a choice. He believes that to be transgender is a choice. He’s written this enough times for most of us to conclude he’s not just putting it on for the money he’s being paid.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    As I remarked in a comment above, apparently Ambrosino is ignorant of the anti-gay hysteria Falwell regularly whipped up in the 80s and 90s. As well as blithely naive regarding what Falwell would’ve ordered be done to Ambrosino as a student of LU, had Ambrosino’s sexual orientation become known then.

    Ambrosino can fantasize all he likes about the big, fat anti-gay crusader suddenly standing up to protect Ambrosino from the gay-bashers, just like I could fantasize about some rich plutocrat sending me a check for $10 million for no particular reason — but that doesn’t mean it’d ever happen. In Ambrosino’s case, he’d have been kicked out of LU.

    Any other belief is pure self-delusion.

  • Scott Amundsen

    “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. ”

    You think not, Brandon? I am not so sure. In the early days of the AIDS pandemic your beloved Uncle Jerry was one of the voices that was shouting from the rooftops that AIDS was “God’s judgment against homosexuals” and other hateful comments. I think if stoning were still practiced he would have been among the first to pick up a rock.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    I’m Bi. I’ve not made any secret of it. I can’t honestly say whether or not Ambrosino is bi or not, but I do know that one of the coping mechanisms many people have, for those who are not entirely well-adjusted with their sexual orientation, is to claim not to be gay/lesbian but to be bisexual.

    But when their dating/romantic partner history is examined, you might see a few fumbling and usually disastrous “I’m supposed to be hetero, so I’ll try to force it to be so” attempts early on, followed by nothing (or almost nothing) but same-sex relationships and sexual encounters thereafter.

    Ambrosino’s public history suggests that if he ‘chose’ to be gay, it was early and exclusive.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Evolution teaches cruel lessons. Among them are: “That which doesn’t survive didn’t deserve it” and “Winners are always right”. If the left, as you describe them, allows itself to fail then it should.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    In all likelihood, if one was able to get an honest answer from those alumni (sic), and if you asked them if their sexual orientation was generally known — especially by faculty and administration — during their time at LU, the number answering yes would be near to a big fat goose egg.

  • http://www.rebeccamorn.com/mind BeccaM

    As a writer myself, I actually concur with John: Ambrosino’s writing is awful, turgid, and disordered. His points make no sense. And his perspective is devoid of facts or even based in reality itself.

    He writes demonstrably wrong things about both sexual orientation and gender identity. About the only point upon which I could almost agree is that even if orientation and identity were a choice, we should have the freedom to choose.

    But that position is contrary to the biological science and psychological research. While a person’s particular adaptation to their orientation might change over time, the attraction itself — absent brain injury — typically does not. For example though, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more ignorant thing said about what it means to be transgender than Ambrosino trying to say that it’s a choice.

    As for his ridiculous statement about Jerry Falwell, Ambrosino is a naive fool if he thinks Falwell would’ve criticized gay bashers and refrained from kicking Ambrosino out of ‘Liberty University’ (double sic). I lived through the 80s and 90s, and Falwell was a regular on TV and in the media, whipping up anti-gay hysteria and trying to get HIV+ kids banned from public schools.

    Every civil rights movement has had those within it who benefit from the results of the struggle, yet nevertheless undercut it for their own edification. The only reason Ambrosino has a gig writing for all those papers — most of which lean conservative these days — is he’s that contradiction, a gay man who argues against gay rights.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    But, ironically he knows all the words to ‘My Fair Lady.’

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    —-Should also be conditional on WHAT his face does.

  • trinu

    John regularly criticizes heterosexuals for being homophobic bigots. I
    see no reason why he or anyone else should make an exception just
    because a homophobic bigot is a self-hating gay.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Whatever

  • EndlessRepetition

    His popularity underscores his value to those who pay him. For the audience that buys what Ambrosino sells, he can’t be “taken down”.

  • EndlessRepetition

    Hold on a moment. We have no idea what Ambrosino thinks. We only know what he writes and for whom. Considering his personal success I’ll credit him for cleverness. I will not presume on his motivation.

  • EndlessRepetition

    No but it does speak well of his finances. This is America and the real Almighty is $.

  • EndlessRepetition

    John, how about you drop the cheap shots against Ambrosino and take him on for content and perspective? To the point, his writing style is adequate, his points do serve his purpose, and his perspective is legitimate. It just doesn’t serve LGBT people or the cause of LGBT rights very well.

    Ambrosino is not the only gay man who does not consider all gays as kindred. To that effect he’s not throwing “his own kind” to the lions. He stands for a view that doesn’t necessarily include him. That’s called self-sacrifice and is, by the way, of high value in Christian culture. I believe he knows very well what he’s doing, who he’s hurting, who he’s helping, and why. I also believe he’s convinced he’s right.

    Don’t assume that homosexuality automatically cements one’s politics on the side of gay rights and acceptance. LGBT people are free to make their own choices where and for who they stand. Sometimes that’s on the side of gay rights and its current promoters. Sometimes it’s not (and for a variety of personal motivations). And sometimes a man will ride whichever wave will carry them farthest without regard to direction. (Looking out for #1 is very American.) Ambrosino is certainly no gay advocate. Of course, he’s not required to be, objections not withstanding.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    Are there people who genuinely think of The New Republic as liberal? I suppose so. In a world where people seriously claim that MSNBC is somehow equivalent to Fox in political extremism, even TNR can be regarded as a haven for bomb-throwing leftists.

  • rerutled

    Hmm. Well, it turns out — and this may surprise you — that wanting to have sex with either men or women, as Ambrosino says he does, is a more reliable indicator of bisexuality than how his face looks.

  • Norman Dostal

    all is see is gay face

  • Norman Dostal

    HES NOT BISEXUAL-I HAVE NEVER SEEN A MORE SEVERE CASE OF GAY FACE IN MY LIFE

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Perhaps you misread the course offerings Thom. That course on ‘creationism’ is actually ‘cretinism.’

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    I had a similar ‘Road to Damascus’ moment back then: was it going to be size 14 satin pumps or biker boots. I went for the guy with the Harley.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Indeed!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Good One!

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    By his reasoning we could deduce that if John Boehner weren’t orange he’d still be a straight assh**e white guy.

  • jomicur

    I’ve actually met a couple of gay Liberty alumni, and your description pretty much tallies with their accounts of being students there. And their experience certainly doesn’t tally with Ambrosino’s account of what a swell place it was (or what a swell guy Falwell was). And neither of them was ever able to gain admission to a reputable graduate school.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Actually, I would like a report from the women.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    The image of Jabba The Falwell wearing a blue Afro wig and coming down a wate-rslide just gave me the urrps.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Or whether he was pretending his lady partner was Ben Cohen.

  • Drew2u

    Isn’t that the Tax Avoidance University?

  • Drew2u

    100 bucks his bedroom is lined wall-to-wall with stained mirrors.

  • http://adgitadiaries.com/ karmanot

    Liberty University—- what a joke—-only a smidgen away from an online faux diploma mill. —-says it all!

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    Consider his background: Liberty University. Hardly a place that promotes curiousity and independent thought – it’s not what they’re known for.

  • chris10858

    It’s very short-sighted of these publications to give voice to someone like him. They might get a few thousand extra hits to their websites from people but once those folks read the assholic bs he’s espousing, many of them will self-boycott those magazines in the future.

    They’d be far better off to provide a crossfire-like environment where another writer could give a counter-point.

  • Strepsi

    LOL
    This is the surprisingly common line of defense of contrarians (I’ve heard it even from Putin claiming Russia isn’t as bad as Mississippi or Uganda) that I call:

    “Well at least a solid turd is better than diarrhea”

    … yeah, but why be happy being a turd?

  • rerutled

    Ambrosino is not a curious writer.

    Ambrosino seems to be bisexual, who believes that his sexuality is the only objective sexuality: that his sexual response must be the the entire range of sexual response experienced by all of humanity.

    This is demonstrably and quantifiably wrong; sexual response to different genders has been measured to vary from individual to individual. He could not possibly believe as he does, had he read all the scientific literature on the topic. And he can only be ignorant of this fact if he has not read it — and since he makes no reference to the scientific literature on the subject, he is clearly ignorant of it. He’s going off his own experience, and generalizing it to everyone. As a bisexual myself, and prior to being aware of the body of research on the topic, it took a few conversations with both straight and gay friends of mine to understand that sexual response varied from individual to individual. But only a few. And even if I did believe these friends were misrepresenting their experience — and I don’t believe that — then there’s that pesky whole body of scientific literature again.

    So, you ask a few friends; and, failing that, you look into the science behind the subject, and it’s impossible to reach the conclusion Ambrosino does. I can only conclude that he neither asked friends, nor read the science.

    Ambrosino is not a curious writer.

  • jomicur

    Or maybe we could take up a collection to pay him to choose to be straight. He does seem to be the type who’d do anything for a buck.

  • jomicur

    Really, John, how can you dare to say anything negative about a man who
    wore a blue Afro wig? Or about the gay chubby-chaser who idolized him?
    Chubby-chasers for Jesus! Seriously, what better indicator of a man’s
    basic decency could there be than wearing a blue Afro wig? Jeez, I’ll
    bet you’d criticize him even if he wore a GREEN Afro wig! You’re just
    one more homofascist, doing your best to persecute blue Afro wig-wearing
    Christians!

    Brandon Ambrosino is doing his best to live up to Dr. Falwell’s famous dictum, “Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no
    questions.” Who are we to criticize a man who is so obviously a good Christian?

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    Yeah, I remember the whole “post-racism” thing.

    I think what this guy meant to say is “We’re edging ever closer to a time when we will be legally equal.” However, he doesn’t specify whether that’s legal equality or social equality (which is, of course, a lot further away in terms of time).

    Again, writing quality issues here. If I can see that, he’s hopeless as I do not consider myself a capable writer.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Yeah at least he didn’t want to stone him. There’s always that.

  • http://heimaey.us/ heimaey

    Why doesn’t he change then? I”m confused. Maybe we should challenge him to fuck women and report back on how much he likes it.

  • emjayay

    If I had been brought up by evil evangelical parents in an evil evangelical world I too might have thought going to Liberty University was a great idea. No Wikipedia entry or other biographical info I could find.

    I really didn’t know anything about anything at that point. But then that was back before gay liberation (as it was called) started to happen, and back before there was one bit of general cultural information about gay people and being gay. And way before there was an internet where you can obviously find out as much as you want. Even any decent high or middle school library today has YA novels about gay kids and a bunch of books about gay history and gay issues. Brandon has no excuse.

    He does have a Facebook page. The banner photo at the top appears to be of him getting married. To a woman. WTF? And posts for example about buying a car: “This year has been very good, for many reasons. One more blessing: I just bought bought a car!”

    And a LinkedIn page, with quotes like “I am currently developing an original web series with a few other talented people to be produced this spring.” Yikes.
    So, he’s a clueless young gay Christianist. Who gets paid a bunch by major publications to write stuff. Doesn’t speak particularly well for major publications.

  • HolyMoly

    “Post-equality” seems like a term that’s contradictory to what the writer would have his readers believe it means. Wouldn’t it mean that we’ve gone past equality and “advanced” to….inequality? I guess it could work that way if you think of progress as moving in a circle and winding up right back where you started, rather than traveling in a straight line.

    Something like “post-ignorance” or “post-bigotry” could only move in a straight line. I can’t wait for the dawn of those eras, but I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for it, because then I’d enter the era of “post-mortem.”

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I just updated my post with this:

    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:

    QUOTE

    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.

    UNQUOTE

    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.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    What the hell is “post-equality”?

    In a similar spirit did someone once tell me back in 2008 that because Obama was elected President we didn’t need to worry about racism any more. Yeah. Uh-huh.

  • http://www.newmillgay.com/ The_Fixer

    Oh, this guy is not exactly an intellectual powerhouse, is he?

    I struggle to find any reason why he is getting any attention, other than to debunk his obviously errant thinking. This excerpt, for example:

    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.

    This is just stupid. What the hell is “post-equality”? That’s a nonsensical term; you’re either equal or not – there is no “post”.

    Then there’s the other logical disconnect that follows. The very reason why we say that we are “born this way” is because sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic. We want civil rights due to us because, like skin color or ethnicity, it is something that is born unto us. Any attempt to turn that around is a grade-school level attempt to be clever.
    His use of the term “reluctant, obligatory acceptance” is also incorrect. Acceptance is willing, mere tolerance can be described as reluctant and obligatory. We tolerate someone or something that we don’t accept. Tolerance is a step on the way to acceptance. First, we have to get tolerance, and this dumb-ass should understand that.

    His rather stupid attempt at separating the unchangeable characteristics of race and sexual orientation by saying that he can get someone to try gay sex but not try his skin color is baffling. Doesn’t he know that just because a self-proclaimed straight guy can try gay sex that he has not changed his orientation? If that guy continues having same-sex relationships of a sexual nature, than perhaps that guy is bisexual or was always gay?

    Why this guy is writing for national publications is beyond me. You’re right, John. He’s a poor writer and this article reflects his disjointed thinking.

  • cole3244

    if you spew the right wing agenda you can get covered anywhere by everyone but if you spread a left wing path you are relegated to the back pages or castigated as anti america or worse.

    why do most con books make it to the best seller list, first there is plenty of disposal con money and second the right are not very choosy in what they consider reading material.

    the left for all intent and purposes has been eliminated and american democracy is not far behind.

  • Jasper

    Ambrosino’s ‘truth’ about choice is his alone. He defines orientation based on who he has sex with instead of who he’s capable of making emotional commitments with. He doesn’t speak for me nor for anyone I know but apparently that’s OK with those that publish his opinions. It’s the new (low) standard in journalism today. Opinions presented as truth. Controversy over facts. Hits over quality. Wouldn’t surprise me to find NOM behind him This is the kind of tactic they’ve used before.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Bingo.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Enough said.

  • Monophylos Fortikos

    He went to Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University.

    Oh, bro-THER. I don’t think you need to say much more. Who voluntarily goes to such a crap factory except to have his evangelical religious mania validated every moment of every day in every class?

    Students will gain an appreciation of how fearfully and wonderfully made we are as they study the details at the molecular level.

    “Fearfully”? Yes, I fear many aspects of molecular biology: haemoglobin’s troublesome affinity for carbon monoxide, the susceptibility of pyrimidine bases to photochemical dimerization, and how the positive-feedback mechanism of the release of cytokines from immune cells can go mad and cause my own immune system to kill me. Or are those things part of the “wonderful” aspect?

  • nicho

    I clearly remember the day — over 40 years ago — when I decided to be gay. I suddenly said to myself, “You know, I really want to be a member of a despised and oppressed minority. This being a member of the mainstream is so, well, mainstream.” Basically, I did it for the quiche — but then I stayed for the sex.

  • caphillprof

    What is an Italian boy doing at Liberty University when he should have been at Notre Dame?

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Cynthia Nixon immediately came to mind. I’m assuming they both have normal intelligence, but aren’t deep thinkers.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    I chose to be happy.

  • Thom Allen

    I’ve seen Ambrosino dance live. His dancing is stiff and stilted (he looks like an old white Republican
    would look if he tried to do the frug, completely out of synch, no fluidity. His writing similarly doesn’t flow. Just a few sentences strung together between conservative anti-gay talking points. I’ve read about 5 of his articles by now. I can only hope that he has a third career lined up. Or, that, after Time, and the others grow weary of him, that Fox Entertainment News will beckon. Maybe he can be a co-host with Aaron Schock.

    He went to Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University. Imagine a gay man actually going to a christianist university that is overtly anti-gay. Why would a gay person go there? Trying to pass as a straight christian? Hoping to be caught and punished because, as a gay, he deserves to be punished? As a publicity stunt to make money off of getting outed on campus? Or perhaps he isn’t gay, just a straight conservative trying to pass as gay to do what he’s doing, spreading anti-gay propaganda from a “gay”person’s perspective (i.e. he’s following, to an extent, GOProud and the Log Cabin baboon troops.) I’m not sure which of those, if any, was his motive. I do know that Liberty University is an extreme right wing school that is not into diversity. And it is not highly ranked among US teaching institutions. It’s graduated include Tony Perkins (yes, THAT Tony Perkins) and convicted felon, Barry Minkow. Scholastically, Liberty offers a number of different degrees in education, bith undergraduate and graduate. Unfortunately, the Republiccons in congress seem to be doing their best to cut teachers’ salaries and total number of jobs. Looks like Liberty grads in education may be having their throats cut by their own party. They also offer science courses. From the description of their Molecular Genetics Program, ” Students will gain an appreciation of how fearfully and wonderfully made we are as they study the details at the molecular level.” I wonder how they teach creationism at the molecular level? Anyway, his choice of a college may have been made to keep him comfortable with his beliefs and not to provide a new and challenging environment to grow. It seems to have suited him well.

  • NCMan

    I tire of people who conflate “civil rights” with “racial minority rights”. Civil rights belong to everyone. In fact, civil rights laws apply equally to the members of a racial majority as they do to a member of a racial minority. The law states you cannot discriminate based on race. It doesn’t say you cannot discriminate against a member of a racial minority. So, your skin color is irrelevant in regards to your civil rights.

    If the civil rights laws are ever amended to include sexual orientation and gender indentity, the laws will also apply equally to heterosexuals and gender-conforming individuals.

    This concept isn’t that difficult to grasp.

  • alboy2

    It’s a shame that in this day and age, even a professed homosexual can hold idiotic ideas like this. The only “choice” involved is whether or not one chooses to engage in a particular strain of sexual behavior. One can “choose” to acknowledge their desires, or one can pretend that they do not exist. This, as John has correctly pointed out, deals with the idea of “attraction” vs. “behavior.” Ambrosino, on the other hand, is simply passing along outmoded, bigoted ideas as to what is “normal.” Self-loathing is apparently not dead amongst some. It’s such a shame that we can’t just leave well enough alone, and when two, three or one hundred responsible adults get together, they can pretty much do whatever they want with each OTHER. Not with me, not with you (unless you consent); other than that, it’s really none of my business who you sleep with.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    Even that wouldn’t make sense. He’d be suggesting he chose to be bisexual. No one chooses to have an innate attraction to both sexes – you either do or you don’t. But I suspect this is the Cynthia Nixon problem all over again. People who do have dual attractions confusing the choce to act on their dual attractions with the choosing to HAVE those attractions.

  • http://AMERICAblog.com/ John Aravosis

    I almost didn’t put the link to the story, but as I noted before, he’s getting published in all the best places, he needs to be taken down.

  • dcinsider

    Can I suggest you stop linking to his articles that simply increase his page views? I don’t go for censorship, but if the point is that this idiot is an idiot and should not be published, a point that I agree with totally, then the logical extension of that is to state within your article that you do not link to his crap, only comment on it.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Obviously, he’s an evil fairy.

    One could give him a benefit of a doubt. Could he possibly be bisexual, and he’s choosing just to be with men?

    However, I really don’t feel like giving him a doubt.

  • bkmn

    Grindr was made for guys like him.

  • AnthonyLook

    Brandon Ambrosino would fail in a gay trial about NOT “being born that way” if we presented evidence from his infancy with pictures and testimony from those that witnessed his upbringing ( let’s see what his coaches have to say). Now, having said that there are plenty of instances where heterosexuals “CHOOSE” to be gay; though that would be short lived and experimental. If you are heterosexual and you “choose to experiment” and it becomes habit forming it’s not a “choice” anymore, it’s a pathology because it would be against your true nature and you’d either be a hypocrite or a liar (to yourself). In the case of Brandon Ambrosino- Por favor Maria- Diva’s are born your highness and you were crowned at birth.

  • Indigo

    When trolls troll for dates, it gets . . . bewildering.

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