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Professional homosexual. Professor. Writer. Scholar. Activist. Husband.

Our common history, experiences, and struggles demand it

Recently, I’ve become disgusted by the prominent White gay men using their platforms to engage in trans-antagonistic or transphobic behavior (or defend those who have).

In December, Andrew Sullivan played ‘concern troll’ in a string of Tweets interrogating trans actor Elliot Page’s gender pronouns, claiming he was merely exercising “skepticism toward the ideological use of language.” Right.

In February, Glenn Greenwald falsely argued to his 1.7 million Twitter followers that a reported decline in the number of gays and lesbians was owed to so many lesbians transitioning to live as men.

Then, last week, Dan Savage decided to defend Jesse…


Why are parents (literally) dying to know their kid’s gender?

Last week yet another “gender reveal party” disaster crossed my news feed causing me to ask (yet again) “Why are parents *literally* dying to know their kid’s gender?” This time it was a 29-year-old father-to-be from Upstate New York killed by explosives from some device he was rigging for a gender reveal party. But he’s not alone.

In September 2020, sparks from a smoke device started the 22,000-acre “El Dorado Fire” in Southern California that burned for 23 days and killed a fireman. …


Defending the need for separate queer spaces

My Twitter feed lit up like a Christmas tree last weekend after owners of Camp Boomerang RV Park and Campground (a soon-to-open gay men’s campground in central Michigan) posted membership criteria that would effectively exclude transmen.

Owner Bryan Quinn posted to the campground’s Facebook group that membership would be limited to “guys,” defined as those who “possess a penis, presents himself as a male, and has state-issued ID that says ‘male.’” …


Pro Tip: It’s not an “educational opportunity”!

I’ve been an advocate for diversity/equity/inclusion/justice (DEIJ)for LGBTQIA+ people on college campuses since (at least) 1992 when I was an undergrad at the University of Iowa. That activism continued into graduate school and my current position as a professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Illinois.

As one of the few openly gay faculty members on our campus, and a scholar and teacher of these subjects, I feel I have a special obligation to call institutions of higher education to account when they fall short of creating a welcoming, inclusive and supporting campus community for queer students…


The proxy war for transgender inclusion

Note: Throughout this essay I place certain words in “double quotes” to set them apart from other words in a sentence, so it’s understood they’re the focus of analysis, not my preferred language. My purpose is greater clarity, not invalidation of the perfectly legitimate word “cisgender” through the use of what are sometimes called “scare quotes.”

A few years ago I published a short piece on Medium (read it here) in which I argued that use of the word “cisgender” was an exercise in power in that displaces cisgender people from the social ‘center’ by naming what often goes unnamed…


1. I would encourage you to read more about biological determinism. It cannot be reduced to "everything's decided by your genes."

2. I would encourage you to read more about social constructionism. It cannot be reduced to "nothing is decided by your genes."

3. The best integrative argument about the relative balance between biology and society regarding sex/gender I've seen is by Anne Fausto-Sterling. She's a professor emerita of Biology at Brown University. Start with her book Sex/Gender: Biology in a Social World. Then read her book Sexing the Body.


This is a very important question I wish more trans people would take seriously. "Transphobia" is simple and short enough to fit on a bumper sticker but doesn’t really answer the question. It’s also frequently wrong.

Trans haters don’t always suffer from an "irrational fear or hatred of trans people." They’re responding to the very real threat trans people pose to a worldview and societal organization grounded in a sex-gender binary. It’s one that says there are only two sexes, gender identity unfolds effortlessly and always consistently with a person’s biological sex, and gender presentation is reliable indicator of a…


This is a much needed effort to show how the rights and histories of gender and sexual minorities are intertwined but I think you might be overstating the case for how many LGBs have joined the "gender critical" crowd. You write "several organizations" but only mention one (the UK's LGB Alliance) and many LGBs in the UK are highly critical of this organization's viewpoint (that the Ts are a threat to the accomplishments of the LGBs). Are there any such divisions with LGBTQIA+ organizations in the U.S.?

Also, I think we need to find a better argument for opposing trans-exlusionary…


"With all due respect" to the responder, who doesn't have the courage to use their own name or photo, not everything written or thought needs to focus on heterosexuals or heterosexuality. You're not the center of the universe. Other people and experiences exist. If you want to read a piece about why straight people don't want to date trans people, you should write one. I didn't. And none of the claims about "rights" you make in your last sentence appear in what I wrote. Take your reactionary, colonizing, "super straight" B.S. elsewhere.


I think you totally missed the (Libertarian) moral of “I Care A Lot”: that vigilante justice is the only way acceptable response to greedy scofflaws. It should have been titled “Guillotines and Pitchforks.” Coming immediately on the heels of the Jan. 6th sack of the U.S. Capitol, it’s an extremely dangerous message and I was surprised Netflix didn’t push back the release 6 months (or more).

I don’t want to live in a society where the vulnerable are preyed upon by the rich and powerful and the only way to stop them is gunning them down in parking lots. …

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