MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Men who reported a larger-than-average penis size had higher self-esteem, better general health and higher overall body satisfaction than those with an average or below-average penis size, says Annabel Chan, 29, a researcher with Victoria University.
When it comes to the penis, size does matter to men – but this has more to do with the locker room than the bedroom.
“Men are more concerned about how their overall body size compares to the perceived male ideal than they are about how their size might impact on their sexual relations,” said Chan, the study’s principal researcher.
She said the average flaccid penis size found in her study was 8.5cm (3.4 inches) and the average aroused penis size was 16cm (6.3 inches).
Chan is delving deep into the male psyche as part of the university’s study into penis size, body image and mental health.
And the investigation, one of the first of its kind, has revealed “locker room syndrome” is rife.
Chan studied at Singapore’s Tanjong Katong Girls’ School and Tampines Junior College before moving to the United Kingdom to study psychology and graphic design. Now she’s breaking new ground as she completes her PhD in clinical psychology at VU in Melbourne.
More than 700 men aged 18-76 from 43 countries were surveyed for the study, which found that men who reported a larger-than-average penis size had higher self esteem, better general health and higher overall body satisfaction than those with an average or below-average penis size.
Most respondents, 67.3 percent, said they believed they would feel better about themselves if they had a bigger penis.
The study also revealed that men who were happy with the size of their penis were less likely to engage in online dating or to use the erectile dysfunction drug, Viagra.
Chan said, because a large penis was considered a cultural ideal, the survey results were not a great surprise, but they provided fresh insight into male perceptions about their bodies.
Less than 6 percent of respondents were satisfied with their body size, with 89.7 percent wanting to be bigger.
Overweight men were found to have lower self esteem and higher body dissatisfaction, and to use the internet more for socialising.
“We have relatively little data about the body image of men because most of the research in this area concentrates on women,” Chan said.
“It means men don’t really get much help in terms of therapy, and options out there to get help.”
Archive for September, 2009
COSTA MESA, CALIFORNIA – In what firefighters described as a once-in-a-lifetime call, officials with the Costa Mesa Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue squad were summoned early Tuesday morning to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach to save another man’s penis from perishing.
The man, whom authorities declined to identify, other than saying that he was in his 50s, had apparently put his penis through the hole of a steel, ring-shaped dumbbell weight fastener, two or three days earlier.
The device got stuck, and he couldn’t remove it. The penis had blackened and swollen to five times its normal size, authorities said. In order to remove the ring, firefighters had to use a saw to cut through it.
“They said his comment was, ‘This will make me the chief of my tribe,’” said Costa Mesa Battalion Chief Scott Broussard, who like others in the department, heard about the incident the next morning.
The man thought the weight from the steel object would make his organ longer, but what he did to it almost rendered it useless, authorities said.
The steel collar-like fastener cut off circulation to the man’s penis, said Capt. Dave Kearley. As a result, blood could not flow out of it, and it swelled to the point that the man couldn’t remove the ring, Kearley said.
Broussard added that doctors at Hoag had told the man, who refused immediate treatment, that if he waited any longer to remove the fastener, the flesh in his penis would die.
“He was kind of a wingnut,” Broussard said.
Staff kept him in the hospital under a psychiatric hold and called the Fire Department to come remove the item because they didn’t have the tools to do it, Broussard said. Medical personnel tied down the man to a table and sedated him for the emergency, he said.
Firefighters had to don full surgery garb, including masks and scrubs.
The men constructed a watering system to keep the sparks from the sawing — which were flying half-way across the room — from injuring the patient as they cut through the inch-thick ring around his penis.
The delicate procedure took two hours.
“They also slid a little piece of metal between the collar and his thing, so if it slipped past it wouldn’t hit his thing,” Broussard said.
If anything, the incident demonstrated the versatility of the city firefighters’ rescue skills, Broussard said.
“If we’re cutting people out of some kind of building, or if we’re cutting right up next to somebody’s flesh and don’t damage his flesh, then it’s a good day,” he said.
from The Daily Pilot
LANGSTON, OKLAHOMA – Langston University was a choice out of three different universities. My choices were between Lincoln University in M, Tougaloo College in Miss., or Texas College in Texas. I chose Langston. I thought Langston University would give me an experience that I would never forget and it did. I had a few friends that went to Langston also, which is another reason why I chose Langston. My friends that attended Langston told me that I would have a blast, and that I would meet so many different people from different places, and I would fit in easily. Little did I know I was in for it.
The first day of school at Langston was rough because I was gay. In my elementary algebra class the class was packed and I saw one seat available. So I sat down. The guy next to me immediately got up and moved his seat from me and he told the teacher he wasn’t sitting by a faggot. Then a girl traded him seats.
Another time I was going in the restroom in Moore Hall, and as I walked in a guy said this isn’t the girl’s restroom. Then he and his friends began to laugh. As I walked to the business office a woman and her son walked by and the words “gay boy” trembled out of her son’s mouth. Then as I walked in the cafeteria to eat, people stared, mugged and whispered things about me.
Another time I was at a football game and I walked up the blenchers to find a few friends. This man told his son to close his eyes when I walked by and said, “Don’t look at that faggot.” Then when I finally got up to the top of the bleachers, my friends were sitting with their boyfriends and as I sat down their boyfriends left and told them they would see them later.
At a conference, a teacher asked me why I called this girl a bitch. I told her because she called me a faggot. The teacher said, “You are a faggot. A bitch is a female dog. Is that girl you called a bitch walking on four legs?” After that comment I left the classroom. Being at Langston has been one of the most miserable times of my life. Students are rude and mean. I ask myself what did I do to make people hate me so much. I feel like less than a person. As I walk the campus of Langston University, there’s always rude comments and laughter being done behind my back.
Why is it that I’m being discriminated against by my own race? We’re all African- Americans and our ancestors went through the same things. Our skin is the same. If someone shot a bullet at me I will feel it just like everyone else. I’m no different-just my sexual preference. We are all equal. So why is it that a lot of people discriminate against me because of my sexual orientation? I don’t discriminate against anybody and I don’t judge anybody, so why do I have to feel less than somebody? Sometimes I cry myself to sleep every night in my room, wanting so badly to go home. I just want to get my plane ticket back to California and leave Langston behind. The only reason I’m still here is because God and my mother. They gave me the strength, courage and faith to stay alive, and to not feel so depressed because of who I am. If people don’t like me that’s their problem, not mine. I must be doing something right if my name is in other people’s mouths. I’m not at Langston University to make friends or to argue with students. I’m here for my education, just like the rest of the students. I deserve the same respect as everyone else. I know I’m a good person and there is a place for me in society. I am a proud gay African-American.
from The LU Gazette
SAN FRANCISCO — Wah Cheong, a lifelong Republican and the soon-to-be divorced father of two teenage boys, sometimes surprises his co-workers and neighbors in a relatively conservative community outside San Francisco when he says he supports same-sex marriage.
“Here is my situation,” the 47-year-old chemical engineer tells them when the hot-button topic comes up. “If gays and lesbians were more accepted, I wouldn’t have married a closeted lesbian.”
Silence usually follows. Then, a spark of understanding.
Of all the constituency groups that advocate allowing gay couples to wed, none is perhaps more counterintuitive than the heterosexual spouses of gay men and lesbians.
Yet as the issue plays out in the nation’s courtrooms and statehouses, some of the wives and husbands who learned that their partner was attracted to other women or men are making their voices known in the often-polarized debate.
“We are the unacknowledged victims of the victims of homophobia,” said Amity Pierce Buxton, the founder of the Straight Spouse Network, a New Jersey-based support and advocacy group with 52 U.S. chapters. “When gays and lesbians feel they have to get married to be accepted and to have kids, that hurts not only gays and lesbians, but straight spouses and kids.”
The board of the volunteer-run organization, which claims thousands of participants, has adopted a policy of opposing laws that limit marriage to a man and a woman. Last fall, as California voters considered whether to amend the state Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriages, Buxton, 80, who lives in Oakland, wrote an impassioned opinion piece arguing against Proposition 8.
Some network participants have marched in gay pride parades, tried to persuade church groups that the Bible should not be used to justify anti-gay attitudes, and met with groups of gay fathers struggling to stay on good terms with their ex-wives. Others have expressed their views on talk shows when married politicians like former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey come out or are outed, or just quietly shared their perspectives in hope of changing a few minds.
To be sure, not all mates who discover they are in what has become known as “mixed-orientation marriages” are so sanguine. Cheong, who was married for more than 17 years when his wife told him she thought she was a lesbian, said he knows other straight spouses who voted for California’s same-sex marriage ban “out of spite for their ex’s, nothing else.”
Regardless of where they are on the acceptance scale, each spouse can pinpoint devastating moments of discovery or disclosure that rendered their marital relationships unrecognizable, if not shattered.
For Carolyn Sega Lowengart, 61, who lives outside Washington, D.C., it came after 31 years of marriage. Lowengart thinks if her husband had not seen his sexual orientation as a stigma, both of them would have been free to pursue other relationships.
After her husband moved out, “I asked him, ‘When did you know’”‘ He said, ‘When I was a teenager.’ I said, ‘Why did you marry me?’ And he said, ‘Because I didn’t want to be (gay),’” she said.
Randy Spires, 59, a former military police officer who lives in Southern Maryland, said he went through it on his 21st wedding anniversary when he found an e-mail his wife had sent to her female lover. Compounding his anger and confusion were the reactions of straight male friends who joked that Spires was lucky to be married to a lesbian.
“I’ve always compared the straight spouses with a chalk line at a crime scene,” said Spires. “The gay and lesbian community doesn’t want to associate with us because they think we are angry or what do you have to worry about, you’re straight. And then you have the heterosexual side saying wait a minute, there must be something wrong with you for this to happen. We lose our own identity. We don’t have a face.”
Spires’ ex-wife, Sue Spires, says she regrets having hurt Randy but does not completely understand why, 13 years later, he feels a need to talk about the end of their marriage, which produced two sons. But she agrees with him that if same-sex relationships had been more accepted when they were young, she would have had a relationship with a woman.
“I knew I was gay from the time I was 8-years-old,” she said. “But the socially correct thing to do was to get married. That’s what I did. We didn’t have an unhappy marriage, but if I could do it again I would be able to tell him, ‘No, I’m sorry, I can’t go through with this.”
Buxton, whose 1991 book, “The Other Side of the Closet,” is considered the definitive work on the topic, estimates there are as many as 2 million gay men and lesbians in the United States are or have been in heterosexual marriages. About seven out of every 10 involve women married to gay men, she said.
Of those who contact the Straight Spouse Network — the organization hears from five new straight spouses a day — about one-third immediately split up when the gay partner comes out. Another third stay together for a year or two. The remaining third resolve to make their marriages work.
Citrus Heights, Calif. residents Jim and Anne Marie Will are in the last category. Former high school sweethearts, they had been together for 15 years and married for 11 years when Jim told his wife in 2001 that he thought he was gay but had never acted on his feelings.
The couple, who have a 16-year-old daughter, decided to stay together and to give both of them the option to pursue sexual relationships outside the marriage, which Jim Will has done. Yet the bond between them remains strong, if unconventional.
When asked why they have remained married, both spouses say there is no one else with whom they would rather share their lives.
“Being open and honest relieved my burden of guilt and we were able to consider ways to safely accommodate my additional desires. There continues to be no one else we want to have a life with,” Jim Hill said.
“The one thing I have asked him to do for me is to not hook up with other gay married men,” Anne Marie Hill said. “I have seen the devastation these women have gone through, and I don’t want him to be part of that.”
from The Associated Press
OKLAHOMA CITY – A former Creek County judge who went to prison for indecent exposure has lost an attempt to get back his judicial retirement pay.
Donald Thompson was getting benefits after his retirement in 2004 until his 2006 conviction.
The Oklahoma Public Employees Retirement System cut off the benefits and said he violated an oath to faithfully discharge his duties when he used a penis pump in court.
On Friday, Oklahoma County District Judge Patricia Parrish upheld the denial of benefits.
Thompson plans to appeal to the state Supreme Court.
Records show his retirement pay at the time of the forfeiture was $7,789 a month.
His attorneys said he should get at least some of his benefits because of his clean conduct as a judge before misconduct was alleged. He was appointed in 1982.
Q. I have been with my boyfriend for over five years and have caught him watching soft core porn and buying skin mags before. It hurts me to know that I am not enough to keep his attention, but a few days ago I found something that really broke my heart – a guy-on-guy porn DVD hidden in our bedroom. I freaked out when I found it. When he got home from work, he told me it was because he had been having guy-on-guy dreams, so he bought the DVD to see if it did anything for him. He says he watched it twice and was relieved it didn’t do anything for him. I know he had a sexual experience with a guy when he was younger, which he says was nothing. But he’s asked me to do things like wear a strap-on, which I never did because that creeped me out. I don’t know if his dreams stemmed from built-up sexual tension because we haven’t had sex in a long time, but he always wants me when we do. If he was gay, he shouldn’t get excited from kissing me or looking at me in sexy underwear. He said he was really freaked out by the dreams, confused and scared. Could he be bi? How common is it for men to be curious about other men? — HIDING UNDER THE BED
A. Either your boyfriend is confused and trying to figure things out, or he knows and doesn’t know how to talk to you about it. If you freak out, I can understand why he might be afraid to discuss these issues with you. He is probably embarrassed that you found his stash, and when you lost your mind over it, you solidified his belief that you wouldn’t understand. If you didn’t like him watching porn, you should have brought it up at the time rather than let it fester. As a rule, guys don’t watch gay porn unless they are gay. Just because he enjoys non-traditional play in the bedroom doesn’t mean he is gay or even bisexual, but if you have concerns, talk to him about them rather than screaming.
Guys are funny sometimes. If they have a dream about another guy, they may doubt their orientation and do whatever they feel necessary to figure out the truth. You said that he had an experience with another boy when he was young. While not uncommon for youth, it could be significant for him. As long as it wasn’t an abusive situation, he was probably experimenting. Can you honestly say you have never had a dream or a fantasy — about someone of the same sex?
As far as him getting turned on by you, that doesn’t guarantee anything other than he is human, and yes, possibly bisexual. To get to the bottom of this discuss it with him. You could spy on him, but that brings up trust issues (not to mention you may look like a nut). If it is impacting him as much as you say it is, he would benefit from some support as well. And something to think about: if he watched the movie once and it did nothing for him, you might want to ask yourself why he watched it a second time?
from The London Free Press
MADRID, SPAIN — A little-known Spanish matador is breaking with a sacred tradition, agreeing to advertise on his cape while slaying bulls and endorse a soft drink that caters to gays.
Matador Joselito Ortega will be plugging a club-scene energy beverage called Gay Up and have those words embroidered into his cape in large, red cursive letters.
In Spain, matadors are seen by many as the pinnacle of macho, and Ortega’s agreeing to endorse a product geared toward gay men is raising eyebrows.
But Ortega sees no incompatibility.
“I am a bullfighter. That is not going to change. I am going to go out into the ring as I have done until now, to risk my life, and the seven goring wounds on my body prove that,” he told The AP Wednesday. “If the gay community welcomes me as an image or a symbol, that is fine.”
Topflight Spanish bullfighters are celebrities, just like football or movie stars, and it is common for them to have commercial endorsement gigs for everything from wine to cars to fancy clothes. But it is almost unprecedented for them to advertise something while in the arena.
Bullfighting writers said the only case they recall is that of a matador named Luis Reina, who signed a deal in the 1980s with the Japanese electronics giant Akai and had that brand name embroidered on the sleeves and legs of the glittering ‘traje de luces,’ or suits of lights, that he wore while fighting.
No one expects Ortega to start a trend. It would border on scandalous for a top-rated bullfighter to advertise from the ring.
Gay Up is a new product in Spain, developed by firm based in the southern city of Malaga that bought the European rights to it from a manufacturer in Colombia. There, it was made from strawberries. But the Spanish firm decided that to make it a hit with gays in Europe it needed to be an energy drink, said Jose Maria Terron, the company’s president.
“The fact that it is oriented toward the gay community stems more than anything from its name,” Terron said.
Both he and Ortega said the advertising cape is a good way to shake up bullfighting, which they described as steeped in male bravado.
“It is a matter of changing what is normal, or usual, within this world that seem so untouchable,” Ortega said.
Ortega is hardly a superstar. He became a full-fledged matador in 2006 but has been hampered by repeated and serious gorings and has not fought often, said Juan Belmonte, a bullfighting critic for TV station Canal Sur in Seville.
Belmonte said those who criticize Ortega’s Gay Up deal will be angry not so much because the product is geared toward homosexuals but because Ortega is advertising in the arena, violating a tradition.
“It is like prostituting the cape,” Belmonte said.
from The Associated Press
NEW YORK – Gay, lesbian and bisexual teenagers may be at higher risk of binge-eating and purging than their heterosexual peers, starting as early as age 12, a new study finds.
Past research has found connections between sexual orientation and the risk of eating disorders in adults — showing, for instance, that gay men have higher rates of symptoms than their heterosexual counterparts.
Less has been known about how sexual orientation affects teenagers’ risks of various eating disorders.
For the new study, researchers at Harvard University and Children’s Hospital Boston used data from a U.S. survey of nearly 14,000 12- to 23-year-olds to look at the relationship between sexual orientation and binge-eating and purging.
They found heightened rates of binge-eating among both males and females who identified themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual or “mostly heterosexual.”
Purging, by vomiting or abusing laxatives, was also more common among these teens, the researchers report in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
“We found clear and concerning signs of higher rates of eating disorder symptoms in sexual-minority youth compared to their heterosexual peers even at ages as young as 12, 13 or 14 years old,” lead researcher S. Bryn Austin, an assistant professor of pediatrics, told Reuters Health in an email.
Among females, lesbian, bisexual and mostly heterosexual respondents were all about twice as likely as their heterosexual counterparts to report binge-eating at least once per month in the past year.
Bisexual and mostly heterosexual girls and women were also more likely to say they had purged in the past year in order to control their weight.
Among males, the highest risks were seen among homosexuals — who were seven times more likely to report bingeing and nearly 12 times more likely to report purging than heterosexual males.
Bisexual and mostly heterosexual boys and men also had elevated risks of both problems — with rates anywhere from three to seven times higher than those of their heterosexual counterparts.
The survey data do not offer a potential reason for the findings, but past studies give some insight, according to the researchers.
“We know that gay, lesbian, and other sexual-minority kids are often under a lot of pressure,” Austin said, noting that these teens are often “treated like outsiders” in their own families and schools, and may be excluded, harassed or victimized by bullies.
“This kind of isolation and victimization can take its toll on a young person,” Austin explained, “and one of ways it can play out is in vulnerability to eating-disorder symptoms and a host of other stress-related health problems.”
She added that because negative attitudes and discrimination against sexual minorities are still pervasive in society, families need to be a source of support.
It is “incredibly important,” Austin said, “for parents and other family members to reach out and make sure these youth know they are loved and supported, that they can count on their families to stay by their side.”
I finally watched the film Milk this summer. I loved the movie and was enthralled by Sean Penn’s performance. But I couldn’t help but feel a bit disheartened about how little some things have changed in the 31 years since Harvey Milk’s assassination.
Sure, same-sex marriage is now legal in a handful of the United States and same-sex domestic partnerships enjoy the same employment perks as heterosexual ones at many forward-thinking companies. But between Proposition 8 being overturned in California, conservative forces using Referendum 71 to try to overturn Washington state’s same-sex domestic partnership laws, and gays in the military still expected to keep mum about their sex lives, progress seems glacial at times.
In July, Wall Street Journal columnist Alexandra Levit offered up these sobering statistics:
“A recent Harris poll conducted with Out & Equal and Witeck-Combs Communications indicated that 44% of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) participants feel unable to talk freely to co-workers about their partners, and up to 78% don’t feel comfortable bringing their partners to corporate social functions.”
Admittedly, I’ve always worked for LGBT-friendly employers. So I haven’t witnessed firsthand an officemate having to hide the details of his or her personal life.
Curious about where my gay and lesbian pals now stood on coming out at work, I took an informal poll. Their answers ran the gamut: Those with gay-friendly employers didn’t bat an eye at putting a picture of their partner on their desk or bringing them to company events. But some who worked in much more of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” environment kept quiet about their personal lives.
“I’d love to give you a quote using my real name,” said one pal who works in academia. “But I’m trying to get tenure and I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that.”
A few responses took me completely by surprise:
“I’m not flamboyant, but it was obvious from the start that I was gay,” said Michael, a pal from the San Francisco Bay Area who works at a boutique car dealership, a workplace he says is pretty macho and prone lots of locker room talk.
“I never hid my partner at all,” Michael continued. “My co-workers have all met him, and he’s always included in dinners and parties.”
What about his straight co-workers’ boasts of their latest dating conquests?
“I give it right back to them, and everyone takes it and laughs,” said Michael, who’s well aware that he and his colleagues could never get away with that much oversharing at other companies.
Say what you will about a bunch of bored office guys getting lewd around the water cooler, but the fact that my friend doesn’t have to worry about his professional reputation — or worse, his personal safety — for crowing right along with them is progress.
from The Seattle Times
PROVO, UTAH – We are so used to the idea that science can give us answers that we rarely even challenge the assumption. But according to Daniel N. Robinson, an Oxford University philosophy professor and author, we need much more than scientific facts to answer the question, “What is a human being?”
Robinson used the shifting attitudes about homosexuality and imaginary visitors from Mars to illustrate how science falls short when explaining human individuals.
“It is more or less taken for granted, by persons facing the moral and social dimensions of life in the modern world, that the surest guide to the right decisions and the right attitudes will be supplied by science,” Robinson said at the Truman G. Madsen Eternal Man Lecture, sponsored by BYU’s Wheatley Institution.
Robinson demonstrated the problem through an imaginary visitor from Mars who came to find out what types of creatures live here. After consulting with scientists, the visitor returns to Mars to give his report. “A human being is a body that is 50 to 75 percent water. The percentage of water depends on the total amount of fat. On average, each human being is comprised of enough sodium chloride to fill three salt shakers. In the infant stage, the average amount of potassium is between seven and eight grams.”
“The question that arises, obviously,” Robinson said, “is whether the Martian community, in possession of all these facts, has even the foggiest notion of just what a human being is! Offered as an answer to the question, ‘What is a human being?’ this body of facts constitutes a deception — a falsehood. … these are ‘false facts.’”
Only about 30 years ago, an essay by Gerald C. Davison argued that homosexuality should not be treated as a disease. Instead, Davison argued that homosexuality should be treated so patients could achieve more social acceptability. Robinson said that Davison’s essay had no assumption that homosexuality was immutable and couldn’t be changed.
Today the focus is on whether the homosexual impulse is inborn or even changeable. Robinson pointed to a 1991 article by Simon LeVay that found a difference in the hypothalamus structure between homosexual and heterosexual men.
“I think it is fair to say, that had such a finding been available in the 1950s, it would have been conclusive proof that homosexuality is a pathological condition, as evidenced by the homosexual’s ‘abnormal’ cellular morphology,” Robinson said.
Robinson then wondered aloud whether those homosexuals who have embraced a heterosexual lifestyle have also had a concomitant change in their hypothalamus. He asked this question, he said, to illustrate the simplification that scientists apply to the human condition.
“I offer these remarks on the scientific understanding of homosexuality to make clear that the (commonly accepted) ‘facts’ of science not only carry cultural and political weight — no matter how carefully concealed — but very often seem to be shaped and even ‘discovered’ by way of factors that are themselves ineliminably political,” he said.
Human behavior and human values are filtered in the social sciences to serve political ends, according to Robinson. “It is to abandon the mission to understand in favor of the impulse to control.”
Reducing explanations to their simplest forms has a purpose in science, but the danger is to take too much away that can explain the human condition. There is an “alphabet of man” according to Robinson — a collection of the needful things for understanding humanity. Take away a vowel or a consonant and understanding is impossible.
Robinson believes there is more to mankind that mere facts. “All animals provide some form of shelter for themselves, but this surely is not a model of the Acropolis or the Cathedral at Chartres, neither of which was intended for shelter. Patterns of aggression are found throughout the animal kingdom, but only we are prepared to die for a principle, for a belief in something higher and more significant than our individual lives.”
There is something in mankind that can’t be named, quantified or measured according to Robinson. “If we attempt to hold it in consciousness, it darts away. … It seems to be repelled by what is merely earthly. Those of its features which we can glimpse more readily in other lives than in our own suggest at once a moral and aesthetic dimension,” he said. “When this is sensed or felt, no matter how fleetingly, there seems to be an expansion of the very terms of life itself.”
from The Mormon Times
KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN – One of two teens accused of beating a gay 15-year-old Portage boy was sentenced Monday to take part in a special program at the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home that could last nine months.
The 16-year-old defendant also was ordered to obtain anger-management counseling, pay victim restitution and write a letter of apology to the victim, Steven Harmon, said Karen Hayter, division leader for assistant prosecuting attorneys in the Family Division of Kalamazoo County Circuit Court.
Steven was punched repeatedly by the 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy in mid-August in a Portage parking lot.
Steven has said that the attackers called him “faggot,” “queer” and other derogatory terms.
The 16-year-old defendant, whom the Gazette is not identifying because of his age, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault. He has been held in the Juvenile Home since Aug. 13, Hayter said.
The 15-year-old boy also is charged with aggravated assault. His next court date is Oct. 5.
Steven has said that he and a 17-year-old female friend and her 5-year-old nephew were walking home when he was hit in the head and face about 20 times by the two boys. His friend eventually shielded him from more punches.
from The Kalamazoo Gazette
LOS ANGELES – Popular reality TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” has made peace with America’s gay community by putting a same-sex Latin ballroom couple into a new round of competition and appointing an openly gay judge.
Producer and judge Nigel Lythgoe caused a furor in May when he told another gay couple he thought their samba routine would “probably alienate” a lot of the show’s five million viewers.
Lythgoe later wrote a Twitter message saying he was “not a fan of ‘Brokeback’ Ballroom,” alluding to the 2007 gay romance film “Brokeback Mountain.” His message prompted a call for action by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), a meeting with Lythgoe and executives at the Fox network, as well as an apology.
The Emmy-award winning “So You Think You Can Dance” currently in its 6th season on Fox, uses a format similar to singing contest “American Idol” to chose America’s favorite dancer through a mix of judges’ decisions and public votes.
On Wednesday’s episode, Jason and Willem De Vries danced an emotional audition routine, causing choreographer and judge Mia Michaels to tear up and drawing a compliment from Lythgoe.
“I celebrate the courage that you guys have to just expose yourselves and your hearts and your passion and who you are,” Michaels told them.
The pair told the panel they were determined to show the judges and America there is “a world of same-sex dancers.”
Lythgoe, who started his career in Britain as a dancer, told the pair; “Thank you for showing me that same-sex ballroom dancing can be very strong and very good.”
But to get through to the grueling next round in Las Vegas, De Vries and Jason had to prove they could dance other styles in a choreography test that also paired them with female contestants. The Top 20 finalists usually perform in male/female pairings.
Their inclusion followed the appointment to the “So You Think You Can Dance” judging panel earlier this week of Adam Shankman, an openly gay choreographer and director of the 2007 movie “Hairspray”.
GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios said on Thursday that the treatment of Jason and De Vries on the show and the addition of Shankman “gives America a bold example of how to treat gay people with the same respect and fairness as everyone else.”
On September 17, 2000, correctional officer Alvin S. Glenn was murdered during an escape attempt at the Richland County Detention Center. He was the first correctional officer in over 50 years to be murdered during an escape attempt.
In his honor, the Richland County Detention Center was renamed the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.
That’s all very good, but speaking as one of his children, I would rather have my father back.
When I told my father, Alvin S. Glenn, that I’m gay, I didn’t come out and say it.
I really should have though. My father was a former military man. He served 29 years in the United States Army and had an aversion to being dramatic. No tears, no dramatic pauses, and no beating around the bush. Just say what you need to say and be done with it.
But to say that I was nervous as we drove to the grocery store was an understatement.
“Pop, I said. I don’t think you need to worry about grandchildren when it comes to me.”
Granted, that this was during the time when I inaccurately thought being gay meant that you could not have a family complete with little rugrats (I say that word with much affection) running all over the place. I figured that statement was the best way the best way to break the news to him.
My father, however, said three words to me that made it all unnecessary:
“I knew that already.”
To tell the truth, I was a little shocked. But I really shouldn’t have been. No matter how I try, I’m not the most butch fellow in the world.
Maybe it’s my diva fascination.
During Halloween in second grade, I borrowed my mother’s ratty bathroom, my aunt’s cold cream and went as Bette Davis in the dressing room scene of All About Eve.
When I was in fifth grade, I had a Diana Ross fascination.
By seventh grade, Ms. Ross was replaced by Stevie Nicks.
So needless to say that I’m not exactly the “straight-acting” gay man type.
But still, my father saying that he already knew that I’m gay floored me. Apparently he and my younger brother had been discussing the matter for some time before I came out to him.
After the revealing that he already knew of my sexual orientation, my father proceeded to tell me that while he does not particularly understand why I am gay, he accepted me as his son.
I didn’t have a problem with his honesty because of two reasons. I wanted my father to be honest concerning how he felt. If you can’t be honest with family, then who can you be honest with?
Secondly, he never rejected me. This was probably because my father and I didn’t spend that much time together as we should have. We only really got to know each other during my first year in college.
Still, the main thing was the fact that he made it clear that I was still his son. Forget this mess about “God doesn’t want you to be that way,” or “how could you do this to the family.”
By the way, my father wasn’t that squeamish about my relationships either. I even got to introduce him to the man I was dating at the time.
Today, the day of my father’s death, haunts me and it will continue to do so until my dying day. But it doesn’t get me as sad as it used to.
I hate how my father was taken from me but I’m blessed to have known him and to have spent as much time as I did with him.
I was very lucky to have Alvin S. Glenn as my father.
He was a pretty cool guy.
from Holy Bullies and Headless Monsters / Alvin McEwen