Clarification from a Reader

I received the email below yesterday from a reader. He corrected my facts on the numbers, and humbled me just a bit. Thanks, Timothy.

One thing, though: My comment about Portia was rather tongue-in-cheek. I have no idea if her homosexuality is a fact or a matter of confusion, as it was for Anne Heche. These days, with so much experimentation and confusion among the sexes, it's hard to tell anything anymore.


I have two clarifications of fact for you.

First, you said.

Did you know that just 2.9% of Americans older than 18 identify as either lesbian, gay, or bisexual?

That is factually incorrect. The CDC report released in 2005 (based on 2002 survey) is our most comprehensive and best source. It found that 4.1% of both men and women identify as either lesbian, gay or bisexual.

It also found that only 90% identify as heterosexual with some uncertainty as to how the remained identify (about 4% said "something else" and about 2% refused to answer).

Second, you said of whom is clearly a lesbian and one of whom is clearly not..

It may seem to you that Portia (or perhaps Ellen) isn't really a lesbian. However, both have a long history of same-sex attraction, and it is that which defines who is and who is not lesbian. Having known a number of very pretty feminine lesbians (including a former model) who were quite content in their attractions, I don't think that being feminine or having long flowing blond hair tells us anything whatsoever about who is or is not a lesbian. So perhaps language other than "clearly is not" might have been a more accurate choice.

And finally, I think you are selling yourself short. You assume that you would not be touched by a same-sex wedding, that you would not tear up.

I believe otherwise. I think that if you were at the wedding of someone you know and love, someone you've seen establish, work through, doubt, wonder, come to trust, finally come to fully love, and then to make a commitment to their relationship, you would not care in the slightest whether it was a guy or a gal that they were marrying. We don't go to weddings and tear up thinking "ah, heterosexuality"; no we think "ah, love".

I bet you'd tear up too.


Timothy Kincaid

1 Response to “Clarification from a Reader”:

  1. MC says:

    Suzanne & Timothy:
    It's so refreshing to see a calm, intelligent discussion of the issues without all the vitriolic exaggerations and personal name-calling that is so prevalent today. Timothy respectfully corrected Suzanne and she was mature enough to accept it.
    So it's in that spirit that I tell you from personal experience being at the gay marriage ceremony of my brother that I did not tear up. I love and respect my brother tremendously, I like his partner and watched their relationship grow just as Timothy described. I was just personally uncomfortable during the ceremony - I can't describe it, I can't justify it, that's just how I felt even though I'm happy that my brother is happy.
    As Suzanne asserts, I don’t think I’m a bigot - I went to the ceremony to support my brother and I took my kids because they love their uncle and I think they’ll be less likely to be homophobic if they know and love someone who is homosexual. My kids see it as just one aspect of his life that doesn’t really affect them that much (just as their other uncles’ sexual orientation doesn’t matter to them).
    But to your point about 4% of the population being gay but having the gay marriage issue be so widely discussed these days, I had to sit down with my children (and different discussions due to the various ages) and tell them that all of the marriage ceremonies I’ve attended have been between a man and woman and the majority are that way. I feel like I’m always saying to my kids, “You’re seeing this on TV but this is NOT how the majority of Americans live.” But that’s a huge topic for another day.
    So I didn’t have a teary-eyed reaction and I don’t think I’m a bigot. I’m just not comfortable with gay marriage even though I love my gay brother.