Catching Up With The Realities Of Sex
There should be no question that our world has changed when we now have had National Coming Out Days for our gay sons, daughters, relatives, friends, and strangers who are members of the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender-Queer (LGBTQ) community that now has over a hundred gender identities. And it’s happening all over the world. In May of 2019 Taiwan legalized same-sex marriages, becoming the first Asian country to do so. Over 170,000 people celebrated Gay Pride Day in Taipei this October. More than 2,000 Taiwan same-sex couples have married since the law was approved. Henry Wu, a heterosexual teacher, brought his five-year-old son with him to Pride Day so his son could learn about the LBGTQ community: “I support marriage equality because ir is a basic human right. Taiwan made huge progress in legalizing same-sex marriage---I feel very proud we are the first in Asia to do so.”
Right-wing cardinals in the Vatican are trying to get Pope Francis to resign because of his famous rejoinder when he rendered his answer about the LBGTQ community’s acceptance or lack thereof in its churches around the world: “Who are we to judge?” There is no question why many Catholic churches are being sold to become fast-food joints. The pews have been emptying for years by the teachings of the church on homosexuality, contraception, and abortion.
It seems that the hardest lesson to learn about gender identity and fluidity is that determining sex by visible genitalia is totally wrong and can be harmful for a lifetime. Gender is biologically determined by genetics, hormones, and brain chemistry. These determinants are all invisible. The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education recently published “Male and Female He Created Them” which discussed gender theory and gender ideology. The document was not signed by Pope Francis, indicating he did not approve what was contained in the document. The document contains discussion among philosophers, older theologians, and repeats statements written by Vatican conservatives—and contains no research or statements from members of the LBGTQ community. There is nothing about the fact that sexuality is not chosen by a person but is rather part of the way they were created.
Let’s Discuss Just A Few Members Of The LBGTQ Community
Demisexuality is a genetic term that’s been around for over a decade. A 27-year-old woman named Lidia Buonaiuto describes her position on the sexual spectrum: “I don’t fancy people. I don’t have a primary sexual attraction to anyone the way most people do, ever. I identify as straight and I’m not in any way a prude, but I need to have a deep emotional connection with someone before any sexual feelings appear. Demisexuality is not a preference or personality trait. I’m not celibate. I have sexual urges but it’s only when I’m in a relationship that has come out of an intense emotional connection first. I don’t have a physical ‘type.’ It doesn’t matter what they look like. My sexual fantasies are never physical.”
There are four major groups within the sexual spectrum: opposite sex (heterosexuals), same sex (lesbians, gays), both sexes (bisexuals, transgenders), and asexuals (no interest in sex at all). The group Minnesota Asexuals organizes discussions, activism projects, and social activities for asexuals. Asexuals have to fight the idea that not having sexual feelings at all is beyond the realm of possibility according to most people. In a play about asexuals, the character Clare states: “I’m embarrassed. I’ve never had a boyfriend. I can’t relate to any of it. I usually just try and keep my mouth shut and hope nobody puts me on the spot.” Asexuals make up about one percent of the population and are difficult to understand because humans generally believe that everyone is wired to react to sexual arousal. The leading authority on asexuality is Anthony Bogaert: “Asexuality provides an interesting lens to look at sexuality differently and understand it more deeply.”
Let’s Move On To Intersex, Perhaps The Most Difficult To Understand
Much of the information used in this section comes from a Planned Parenthood document, an organization that keeps current on sexual matters. First, let’s define intersex. Intersex people are born with biological characteristics that are “female” and others that are considered “male.” Estimates are that 1 in 100 born in the U.S. is intersex. An intersex person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the usual definitions. Sometimes an intersex is assigned female or male at birth through surgery, if external genitals are not obvious. Intersex babies are usually assigned a legal sex, but some parents are protesting this premature action. Sometimes when they grow up, their gender doesn’t match the sex selected for them. Being intersex is a naturally occurring variation in humans, and it is more common than people realize.
This is where intersex gets rather technical. There are many variations. Some intersex have ambiguous genitalia or internal sex organs. Many have both ovaries and testicles. Other intersex have a combination of chromosomes that is different than XY (male) and XX (female), like XXY. Some intersex are born with what looks like totally male or totally female genitals, but their internal organs or hormones released during puberty don’t match. If born with intersex genitalia, they might be identified as intersex at birth. For people born with more clearly male or female external genitals, they might not know their intersex until later in life, like when they go through puberty. Sometimes a person may live their entire life without discovering that they’re intersex. Sex is sure complicated.
Ken Koehler, a resident who regularly protests at the Fargo abortion clinic and believes the LBGTQA community is “intrinsically disordered” and controlled by Satan, wrote in the Fargo Forum that “God is the Creator and the Designer of sexuality and gender.” If we believe the Bible verses that say God checks out everybody while in the womb, we must assume that he has approved all fetuses for birth, gay or straight. Evidently the Creator and the Great Designer also has approved all members of the LBGTQA+ community, including transgenders as well as cisgenders. Believers can’t have it both ways unless they interview Satan and get his take on the subject. Ken wrote he Googled for the number of genders and the answer was 112 at the present time. As Ken thinks God created only two completely straight genders, male and female, we have to give credit to Satan for bending genetic science for the other 110 genders. What religious nonsense!
Will The Supreme Court Decide That LBGTQ Members Are First-Class Citizens?
On October 8th the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case that will decide whether LBGTQ workers can be fired for their sexual orientation or gender identity. The case involves a sky-diving instructor who was fired for being gay, a talented social worker with great performance reviews fired for being gay, and a funeral home worker who refused to hide her transgender identity. The court decision will be announced in the spring. Only 21 states protect gays from being fired because of sexual orientation or gender. The ACLU says this is the most important LBGTQ case ever brought to the Supreme Court. The Trump Administration and its rabid followers in the conservative evangelical Christian and Catholic religions want the Court to reject the law that would make it illegal to fire LBGTQ workers because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. That’s what the Bible tells them to do.
All Americans who believe LBGTQ members are “disordered” and chose to be gay should read Jeffrey Scott Smith-Yiscah Smith’s article “My Journey Embracing My Gender Identity To Teach And Embody Authentic Jewish Living.” Jeffrey was born 68 years ago with what is now called Gender Identity Dysphoria. He knew almost from birth he was somehow “different.” By age five he thought of being a girl. When he was 20 he ran away to Israel. He returned to New York in 1975 and immersed himself in the Jewish religion.
In 1985 Jeffrey moved back to Israel with his wife and three children and became an ultra-Orthodox Jew. He dedicated his life to his faith. But he felt like an imposter. By 1991 he felt like a complete fraud. Jeffrey changed his name to Jessica and began his transition to womanhood. On his 60th birthday in 2011 he became Yiscah Smith and completed his trangender identity to female. Yiscah Smith works at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem and travels the world giving speeches and lectures on the Jewish religion. A documentary about her life will soon be available. Meanwhile she describes her life in the book “Forty Years in the Wilderness.”
While Yiscah continues to prove she is not under the power of Satan, 18 transgenders have been murdered so far this year in the U.S. All this while the good Christian Reverend Franklin Graham went on an angry rant about Gay Pride Week and the flying of the gay pride flag: “The flag is offensive to Christians and millions of people of other faiths around the world.” But even Graham’s hometown newspaper called his views “moral manure, fringe, and gloriously irrelevant.”
A St. Louis Jury Sends A $20 Million Message About Discrimination
Sgt. Keith Wildhaber of the St. Louis County Police Department is a 15-year veteran who applied for promotion to lieutenant in 2014. He ranked third on tests taken by 26 candidates and his personnel record was absolutely clean of infractions. But he has been passed over 23 times for promotion. The problem? He is gay. He took the county to court because a member of the St. Louis Board of Commissioners told him: “The command staff has a problem with your sexuality.” After a week-long trial during which the police department was accused by Wildhaber of being anti-LGBTQ with a history of retaliation, a jury awarded him $20 million.
When asked about the amount of the penalty, the jury foreman said: “We wanted to send a message. If you discriminate you are going to pay a huge price…You can’t defend the indefensible.” Wildhaber had proved retaliation because after the latest rejection of his application for promotion he was transferred to a precinct 27 miles from his home where he was put on the night shift of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. With his unblemished record, the jury thought this was way out of bounds. Another gay employee of the department testified at his trial that she had “experienced harassment, humiliation, and embarrassment almost daily.”
To Evangelicals And Catholics: When Did Jesus Christ Condemn Homosexuality?
The answer is “Never.” I guess people believe what they want to believe, but Catholics need to remember that perhaps the two leading intellectual and artistic Roman Catholic geniuses of all time are Michelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci. They both did some decoration for Vatican buildings. Both were gay. Alexander the Great ruled much of the civilized world at one time. Evangelicals need to know he was gay. For the modern evangelical crowd, we need to remember that CEO Tim Cook of Apple is gay. He seems to do a pretty good job running the wealthiest private company in the world.
Saturday, December 14, 3-6 p.m.Junkyard Brewing Company, 1416 1st Ave. N, MoorheadPlay a game of winter Hammerschlagen and giant Jenga while sipping on a tasty beverage. Stumbeano's Coffee Roasters will be on site with hot coffee,…
When I was knee-high to a grasshopper, I met Sam Walton. My father’s hand dwarfed mine as he and the Walmart founder talked from inside a convenience store in Rogers, Arkansas. My memories are vague, but I remember an elderly and…
I am a voracious reader of anything culinary and a subscriber to several culinary periodicals. I like to hang onto them as I find it hard to throw away these culinary nuggets of information with their adventures to distant lands. …
by Greg Carlson
By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comJennifer Kent’s “The Nightingale” will not attract the same cult following or breadth of widespread fan devotion as “The Babadook,” but her latest marks significant progress in the…
by HPR Contributor
By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comFounded in 1991, Springboard for the Arts’ mission is “to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information, and services they need to make a living and a life.”…
Perched along the banks of the Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela Rivers and tucked up into the surrounding hills, Pittsburgh’s 90 distinct neighborhoods are connected by more bridges than Venice. Commuters and travelers enjoy…
by HPR Contributor
by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…