In Large Type

brilliant ideas in a big font… often gay interest or political topics.

10 Benefits of Being Gay

Posted by bert5 on 24 June 2009

I had a thought that being gay might need a positive marketing message.  It’s not like I’m going to convince anyone to turn gay.  I don’t believe you can choose your sexuality [See blog post: “Is being gay a choice?“].

So what are the benefits?  I mean it used to be an argument to convince the straights that gay people are serious and fixed in their orientation that, gee, no one would choose to be gay.  It’s just too hard.  Well, nowadays in America it is getting to be less hard.  Don’t get me wrong, I may need to separately and clandestinely write a negatives post to provide balance, and there are some downers out there, but there some little noticed or poorly understood perks I will now highlight.

I’m going to first have to apologize to the womyn out there, because this may be a little male centric…

  • Everyone likes being thought of as unique.  Being gay is a real distinction.  An elite crowd if you will. You are instantly interesting.  I’m already starting to sound sarcastic, but seriously it can lead to interesting conversations, generally with people who aren’t gay who don’t understand a thing about it.  It can be a very intellectual and fun philosophical  exercise.
  • Currently an excuse not to get married in some geographies.  I say this a little quietly, ashamedly and mostly jokingly, because the right to civil marriage is a serious thing, and I think many gay people at least want the option (if only not to be treated like a 2nd class citizen, and giving idiots yet another excuse to bash).  But commitment is a tough thing for guys.  Why buy the cow or in my case, the bull — oh, the milk analogy doesn’t quite work, or does it? — and all that.  There is a little side benefit here for those unsure about this big step, which seems to be more and more people these days.
  • Gays have their own ready-made cause which adds extra flavor and meaning to their lives.  They are still an unequal minority and underdogs in their quest for equality.  There is always work to be done, even if it is just writing another semi-coherent blog post.  I think many gays would lead very conventional boring and nihilistic lives, contributing less to society, if they were straight.  At least, I think I would.
  • Lots and lots of sex, all the time!  I should just stop right here.  This is actually a big deal.  I hear straight guys complain all the time.  I mean if I were on the fence, this might just be the thing to push me into the full on gay camp.
  • No Venus versus Mars.  It is almost true that men and women are from different planets.  It takes effort to understand where women are coming from.  My side interest in behavioral psychology helps, but without it, I think I would be lost understanding even my mom.  Men make sense to me.  I understand how they work.  I’d probably get along better with men even if I was straight.  Guys might just be more compatible in cohabitation, not just because of toilet seats, but also well adjusted priorities on cleaning, importance of a good sized TV (visuals are important!), talking about politics, doing stuff outdoors, and sports watching (well not in my case, but anyway).
  • You get practice seeing the other side of issues.  I mean people might get this practice some other way — gays don’t have a monopoly on the school of hard knocks — but they don’t tend to escape attending that school either.  I think you might be a little more compassionate person if you’re gay.  If you’re a Buddhist, this is treasure: like gold to a 49er.
  • As a gay male, you are by definition, not a neanderthal.  This is a definite positive.  I am always surprised/appalled/amazed at guys trying to demonstrate their manliness through brute force and risk taking.  I mean I understand why: women do make mating decisions based on observed testosterone levels.   I think that sort of behavior doesn’t win over the gay guys.  I mean gay guys don’t need to find a mate to procreate with and discern suitability of 9 months investment based on his testosterone level.  Gay guys base mating choices on appearances alone, okay I’m exaggerating, but you get the picture.  So, as a gay guy, you will tend to need to take fewer stupid risks and probably live longer because of it.
  • You don’t need to see Queer eye.  At least as far as looks, gay guys know what looks good on a guy, and by simple extension how they should try to look appeal to other guys (and women, in case they have one as a boss or client).  Of course, it’s not foolproof, but definitely handy and a time saver as far as shopping.
  • Gays are great at “theory of mind”.  One of the key aspects of understanding other people is understanding what they know and that you may have different information from what they know.  From a young age until coming out to everyone — which is actually a continual process — gays have extensive practice in understanding instantly the difference in what they know versus what other people know.  Having such practice can make them great teachers, actors, advisers, negotiators, spies and even friends.
  • Excuse for not having kids (grand kids).  This one is a bit male centric, may be viewed as selfish and clearly not for all, as I think the lesbians certainly will not agree at all.  A high percentage of  married women want kids.  But for guys having kids may not be as rewarding — they’re generally just not wired (or plumbed) that way.  So being gay could mean, a reprieve from the onerous aspects of parenthood: the late nights, put food on the table ladder climbing, possible career ending or at least on hold/serious doubt for at least a few years, and other soul crushing responsibilities that come with having a child.

I could even mention a few more right now: the free acting lessons as long as one decides to keep the charade going, locker rooms, the cool flag.  But right now I’m heading off to sleep and the awesome dreams you get when you’re gay.

[Gay males benefit society!]


Posted in gay, opinion, psychology | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

The gay male and his genes benefit society

Posted by bert5 on 22 August 2017

What’s good for society in having gay males around?

Some discussions have centered around the fact that gay uncles take care of nieces and nephews since a gay uncle is less likely to have kids of his own. But that’s still somewhat self interested in that helping nieces and nephews helps his own genes at 1/4 match per child.

How about more generally?

I think gay males and their genes are a glue actually. Gay males generally like other males and spending time with them. Everyone knows the many male anti-social behaviors such as being hyper competitive, wanting to beat others to a pulp to gain power, and other Machiavellian and criminal behaviors. I think gay males and related genes help even straight males to see beauty in other males, to be attracted to the well spoken and charming ones, and to be more willing to cooperate rather than beat each other down.

Seen in this way, gay genes might just be a civilizing influence — the building block of male friendships and camaraderie.

Posted in evolution, gay, psychology, science -ish | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Not your mule

Posted by bert5 on 8 March 2016

I happen to agree. It’s nice that someone can be an ally to every diverse person’s cause, but it shouldn’t be assumed that other minorities can or should ride others coat tails.


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Why a large percentage of women are bisexual

Posted by bert5 on 2 September 2015

My main theory is that having a good understanding of the attraction women can hold is an advantage to those women themselves. If a woman knows what looks sexy about a woman to a man, they can gain an benefits in attracting their favored male partners. Likely this can’t be a learned thing.  It might have to be instinctual to be effective and so this might be why women have some element of bisexuality by default. There is a kind of arms race of trying to look attractive to men, especially since men treat women’s looks as a priority, and so evolution has favored some amount of bisexuality in women.

In light of that I am amazed by contrast at how clueless straight men are about the attractions of men in a visual sense. For example, many straight men choose to shave daily such that they have faces and bodies as smooth as school girls. I think most girls would say it’s unmanly and unattractive, while I would actually go further and call it repulsive. For some reason, it is more rare for men to be bisexual. I think it is possibly because women don’t find looks as important in a man. Status and perhaps money can be more important factors to a woman, so a man who knows how to look attractive, appearance-wise, to a woman just doesn’t get much advantage from it, and so bisexuality in men did not evolve to be as common as in women.


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Short guys: are they nicer? are they gayer?

Posted by bert5 on 17 May 2015

I have always found that short straight guys are at least superficially nicer than tall ones. There are exceptions of course. Why might that be? They’re smaller and so they tend to need friends to avoid being punching bags. Also, they don’t stand out to women. Women are big on height, so short straight guys need their friends’ help to find a woman. So by default a short straight guy tends to be pretty friendly. Are they genuinely nicer as a close friend? I’m not so sure (maybe not after they’re married).

What about short gay guys? They’re probably nicer than your average gay guy, but not as nice a short straight guys. Why? Because short gay guys aren’t after women. They’re after gay men. Gay men don’t care about your height so much, just that you look good.

Okay, do gay guys tend to be shorter than straight guys? I think statistically it may be true, but the effect is very small. Maybe a quarter or eighth of an inch? The only reason it could be true is that gay guys tend to be statistically more likely to be younger brothers of older brothers. Younger brothers are slightly shorter on average perhaps because their mother is older when they have them.

Posted in gay, lgbt, psychology, science -ish | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Is being gay a choice?

Posted by bert5 on 29 March 2015

Short answer: no. Long answer: depends on what you mean by ‘being gay’ and ‘choice’.

Many people experience sexual orientation as fixed. Meaning, for as long as they remember they were always sexually attracted either one sex or the other. I count myself in that group. Among these people, those having fixed same-sex attraction, I would assert that being gay is not a choice in a similar (maybe not exactly same) way that someone can say they are attracted to: danger, public speaking, durian, and heights. There are not perfect analogies, but there are things that one likes that are basically immutable. What made you that way? Who knows? (I suspect genetics and biology.)

Sure, in the end, the brain can hide these desires or lack of them. If you dislike public speaking, you can force yourself to make a speech and hide your stage fright, but it may come at a severe cost to yourself in terms of your sanity and your health. As I mentioned it is not quite a perfect analogy, but some may call this hiding of desires or lack of desire a kind of ‘choice’. I.e. you can chose to act on your dislike of public speaking or not. But I argue this is not really a voluntary choice that people mean when they ask the question: “is being gay a choice?”.

What about bisexuals? Aren’t they constantly expressing a voluntary choice? Actually I think if we follow the above framework, the answer is no. Bisexuals are attracted for certain people for the attributes that are not tied to appearance as male or female. At least, it is not of paramount importance to them (or the attraction of the two sexes are equally powerful and thus neutralized). Nevertheless, I believe they experience this sexual attraction without significant voluntary control. I.e. being bisexual is not a choice.

But are we missing an important point? Why does the element of voluntary choice come into play into discussions of whether it is fair to denigrate gays, bisexuals and lesbians? If it was entirely voluntary and I ‘decided’ to like/be attracted/have sex with men, why shouldn’t that be allowed? Why should I be discriminated against for that?

Posted in gay, lgbt, psychology | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Gays and Evolution: Exclusive focus on opposite sex is detrimental

Posted by bert5 on 26 November 2014

You all know the straight guy, a player, who has next to no male friends. He’s only interested in female companionship. It gets a bit lonely for some bits. It just seems like it might be detrimental to be too far extreme in the lack of any same-sex interests for survival advantage. It helps to have some same-sex (male) allies to be on your side to fight others in a dangerous world. This leads to the idea that homosexuality is a variation, albeit a fairly extreme one where it essentially replaces opposite sex interests. I think this is a ‘nice’ theory, but not terribly convincing as a full explanation.

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Grower vs Shower

Posted by bert5 on 23 November 2014

In cold climates and waters, penile shrinkage actually prevents heat loss and might have led to survival advantage. My guess this was an evolutionary development.

Posted in evolution, opinion, science -ish | Leave a Comment »

Amazon vs Hachette

Posted by bert5 on 1 October 2014

A publisher served as a gatekeeper for expensive printing resources. If you have e-books which cost nothing to make, and a good writer is just a good writer — with or without the editor who only affects the quality around the margins (pun intended) — doesn’t getting rid of the publisher make sense?

Worst case, the author hires an editor on her/his own.

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Is there an ulterior motive behind so-called ‘Pro-life’ position?

Posted by bert5 on 9 July 2014

‘Pro-life’/anti-contraception male: a woman should not be able to goal-tend my ‘score’.

Notice how close this is to the legitimate rape male: forceably impregnating a woman should be ‘legal’ and she should carry that baby to term even though I probably won’t claim paternity unless I’m forced to. It’s nice to have offspring without responsibility, just like in the prehistoric times. (But such males forget in prehistoric times the woman could abandon/kill her offspring too if her new boyfriend didn’t do it first.)


Posted in Politics, psychology, religion | Leave a Comment »

Right wing double-speak translation engine

Posted by bert5 on 22 June 2014

Religious liberty – where extremist Christians have the right to stop non-Christians from exercising their religion or freedom from religion; plus we want to allow Christians to discriminate in providing services to people we don’t like including the gays, transgender individuals, Muslims, and sometimes even Jews.

Pro-life – where the key is protecting life between conception to birth and not afterwards; and as well an unspoken: “jail/execute African Americans”

Traditional marriage – not the very old tradition of polygamy or the new tradition of same-sex marriage, but just the early 20th century one, not considering the Mormons

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Copycat gun crimes or just normal life

Posted by bert5 on 5 June 2014

Not long after the Santa Barbara shootings, we have the Seattle Pacific and Canada events. But I also see a rash of shootings in Chicago and Detroit. But Seattle Pacific and Canada are fairly high profile and seem like they could be copycat crimes. However the shooter didn’t kill themselves. In the Canada case, it seems possible the firearms are non-restricted rifle type. I wonder why something as deadly as a rifle is non-restricted. I guess in Canada, the right to ‘hunting’ was preserved.

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Economist Brits on Charlie Rose

Posted by bert5 on 20 May 2014

Was watching these Economist magazine guys basically say they like Conservative David Cameron and wish Obama would be more centrist and have listened to Simpson-Bowles which from some analysts say was actually a mostly conservative proposal and would have given up a lot of ground to the GOP. I was just appalled. I think they should go back to England where they like it. When I hear those British accents I get annoyed because I think it is used as a way to gain credibility in the US because people are taken in by those accents.


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