In 1948, a man named Alfred Kinsey created a now famous scale for human sexuality. On one end of the scale is the exclusive heterosexual; the Kinsey zero. On the other is the exclusive homosexual; the Kinsey six. Between those two extremes is a range of bisexuality that is rather large. Effectively speaking, you are talking about an approximate sixty-six percent of people who are bisexual. That's a lot of people.
Some who have these feelings will act on them, others will not. The worse you can paint the actual carrying out of homosexual urges, the more likely you are to keep a bigger share of that sixty-six percent from taking a walk on the Wilde side. American society thinks thinks there is something inherently wrong with that sixty-six percent majority. Therefore, it only stands to reason that society is going to do whatever it can to discourage the sixty six percent that hang between Kinsey one and Kinsey five from acting on those "sinful" urges.
There have been many articles, comments, and opinions about Senator Larry Craig at this site. This is yet another one, with a bit of a difference. This one is more about gay culture, and what drives many gay (and bi) men to public bathrooms (also known as tearooms), and other kinds of anonymous and/or casual sex.
The thing for which Larry Craig was busted for is nothing new. There is a very long tradition for sex in public restrooms. It has existed as long as public restrooms have existed. It is something that cuts across time and space.
Wherever there's a public restroom, there is the ever present possibility that two randy men will find each other, and either consummate there, or go somewhere else to take care of business.
Before we get to the real meat of this article, there's one overriding law that makes all this operate. As a general rule, men are continuously horny pretty much from the time they pick up their first pubic hair. For myself, once the magic of puberty started winging its way through my tortured body, my up to then overly friendly relationship with my penis transformed into a full-fledged love affair. And since I never made the great leap to heterosexuality, I was suddenly surrounded by lots and lots of other males who were going through the same process. To say this was an intoxicating development is to be a lot more understated than I usually am.
But I am getting ahead of myself a bit. It also has to be said that I was molested at age six by three teenagers who lived across the street from my family's house in the Old West End of Toledo. Two were female, one wasn't. In one day, I sampled all that the human body offered, and guess which body offered what I liked. Yes, pretty much from that day until now, I have known what it is I like sexually, and what I don't.
Unfortunately, like many gay men my age or older, I had no one to come to with my problems and concerns about what it was like to be adolescent and gay. The Pope, the mainstream media, and the general prevailing attitude at that time was that gays were completely wrong, bad, and evil. We were sick, and needed either prayin' or slayin' to make us better. That attitude remains today, even though overall, gay liberation has come a million miles from the time of the Mattachine Society , and the Stonewall Inn riots.
There was a time in world history when homosexuality was seen as someone's private business. In Ancient Greece and Rome, there was no distinction between men who had sex with men, and men who had sex with women. The prevailing attitude with the Greeks was that sex with women was strictly for carrying on the family name. Sex with men was purely for pleasure, and for the sheer beauty of true love. It was also a way to cement deals, create alliances and yes, secure political favors. Things were pretty much the same in Rome. Homosexuality was a non-issue. People were more amazed at men who were Kinsey zeroes than they were with men who were Kinsey sixes. Gay marriages were prevalent, and blessed. Homosexuality was also not a reason to deny one military service, as shown by Alexander the Great and the Sacred Band of Thebes,
This blissful acceptance of our queer existence continued until about the end of the middle ages. Gay marriages were STILL very much commonplace at the time. They were also fully sanctioned by the Catholic church according to author John Boswell. The practice of gay marriage eventually started to fall out of favor. The money made from gay weddings was nothing compared to the money that could be received from hetero weddings, which resulted in new parishioners, and therefore, more money.
Sometime thereafter, homosexuality became a capital offense in the UK. Somehow, it became accepted that for some reason, homosexuals were inferior, and cursed. The hand of protestant christianity is undeniably all over the change. Everything the catholic church did was suspect. Since they were in the business of marrying men, that was suspect. It didn't take a lot of looking to find something "against" homosexuality in the bible, thus was the stage set for the ultimate routing of a class of people for no better reason than who they found sexually attractive. Thus was the stage set for the generation of a secret gay subculture. That subculture included public restrooms, public parks, back rooms at gay bars, and so on.
The closet was created more as a place where you could avoid being hung by the neck until dead than a place to hang up your clothes. It became an unwritten law that in order to survive, you had to "butch it up", or otherwise sublime your nature. Forming healthy and nurturing gay relationships was not only unheard of, it was downright dangerous. One need only look at the life of Oscar Wilde to know the truth of it!
I have made comments under just about every article that has been written here about Larry Craig since the story originally broke. In all of them I have condemned the actions of Larry Craig in as far as being the willing lapdog for a group that wants nothing more than to have he and his kind removed from the world by any means necessary. If I have shown any sympathy at all for him, it's been shown because of the willingness of the Republican party to throw him under a bus, while ignoring the real criminal actions of other Republicans in congress. Larry Craig's being forced out of office is NOT about the fact that he did a criminal act. It's about the fact that he A-T-T-E-M-P-T-E-D to perform a homosexual act in a public place. And it's not even about the fact that he attempted said act in public. No, it's solely about the act being homosexual in nature. I cannot be convinced of anything else.
One need look no further than the smarmy creep, Mitt Romney, to know what I say is the truth. That heretical bastard (Mormonism is heresy in the classic sense of the term) just couldn't wait to, as Keith Olbermann put it, "throw [Craig] under the bus, back up, and run him over again." And every speech was the same: Larry Craig is a sinner. There was no loyalty. There was no accounting for the fact that Craig was part of the Romney campaign in Idaho. There wasn't even a, "I feel sorry for his family." Nope, it was all about hellfire and damnation! He's a sinner! Oh boy, lock up the children and put on your male chastity belts...there's a homosexual in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport men's room looking for dick!