Does my colostomy bag match my shoes?

I was talking with my Rush Limbaugh-quoting uncle, and gay marriage came up. I told him that gay men and lesbians wanted nothing more then their human rights. I told him that telling part of the pop

Jun 23, 2004 at 2:06 pm

I was talking with my Rush Limbaugh-quoting uncle, and gay marriage came up. I told him that gay men and lesbians wanted nothing more then their human rights. I told him that telling part of the population that they can live as "partners" but not get married is separate and unequal. He responded that anal sex is "unhealthy" and insisted that all old gay men wear colostomy bags. He said a doctor told him this. I know he's full of shit, and you know he is. The problem is that I had no research to back up my argument. I tried Googling "anal sex" and I found some great Web sites. None of them were very academic, however. So could you give me some resources that back me up?

— Suffering Under Redneck Fallacies

Some old gay guys wear colostomy bags, SURF, just like some old straight guys. Some old straight girls wear 'em too, as do some old dykes.

But anal sex doesn't correlate with any of the medical conditions that can saddle people with colostomy bags. According to The Merck Manual of Medical Information, colorectal cancer, for instance, frequently leaves its victims dependent on colostomy bags. And who's at highest risk of developing colorectal cancer? Male homosexuals? Nooooo! "People at highest risk tend to consume a high-fat, low-fiber diet," reads Merck. So you can tell your uncle that his lard-assed pal Rush Limbaugh is likelier to wind up with a colostomy bag than, say, a svelte old buttfuckee. (For the record: Not all gay men are buttfuckers/buttfuckees, and not all buttfuckers/buttfuckees are gay men. And if digging anal means you're not fit to marry, well, I know a lot of straight couples out there who don't qualify.)

But really, SURF, why bother? Even if you convince your uncle that anal sex is healthy and natural and that colostomy bags are equal opportunity waste elimination devices, he'll just latch on to some other excuse to justify his bigotry. It's not like your uncle was pro-gay until he heard the news from his imaginary doctor friend, right? He was a bigot before colostomy bags came into his life, and he'll be a bigot even after you read all 1,906 pages of Merck Manual aloud to him.

Anti-gay bigots are like that, SURF. They have a way of latching onto whatever argument is handy, no matter how irrational or easily disproved, and if someone does disprove it they quickly discover some other reason why we're sick and twisted. Take gay animals. Homophobes used to argue that homosexuality was unnatural because no other animals engaged in it. When scientists finally admitted that, yes, animals do engage in homosexual acts, the bigots turned around and insisted that homosexuality is disgusting because animals engage in it.

On the subject of homosexuality, some people who are opposed to gay rights are reasonable and some are not. When you meet a reasonable opponent, well, reason with him. But when you encounter someone whose entire argument against gay civil equality revolves around an irrational fear of anal sex, well, it's just not worth the time and effort. (What's your uncle got against lesbians? Tooth decay?) Your uncle has his head up his ass, SURF, and he likes it. Let him enjoy the sensation.

Oh, and speaking of Rush Limbaugh and the sanctity of marriage: Mr. Limbaugh announced last week that he and his wife are getting divorced after 10 years of marriage. Limbaugh is now three-for-three: three marriages, three divorces. If social conservatives like wee Gary Bauer are truly interested in protecting the marriage, shouldn't they be pressing for some sort of "three stikes" law that protects marriage from heterosexuals like Limbaugh?

Oh, and speaking of Gary Bauer, I once sat in a church and listened to Bauer tell a crowd of evangelical Christians that liberals believed "homosexual unions are the moral equivalent of your marriages." This elicited much booing and hissing. But I'm going to go out on a limb and declare my homosexual union to be morally superior to a lot of heterosexual marriages. My boyfriend and I have been together 10 years and, unlike Mr. Limbaugh and his three lucky exes, we're still going strong. If longevity is any measure of a relationship's success — and it is, according to religious conservatives, who insist that gay men aren't fit for marriage due to the alleged instability of our relationships — our homosexual union is not only morally superior to Limbaugh's three failed marriages but to all of J. Lo's marriages too.

You've praised Canada for being sensible on issues of reproductive choice and gay marriage. That's great, but these important issues are at risk in our federal election on June 28, 2004. Some candidates want to roll back gay marriage rights and limit access to Plan B, the morning after pill. And while younger Canadians tend to be more progressive on these issues, they're less likely to vote. Please engage your Canadian readers in an election discussion of their own, Dan. If they're choice-loving, gay-marriage supporting types like me, it will quickly become apparent which candidates deserve their precious vote.

— Venting on the Election

There isn't really time to engage my Canadian readers in a discussion about your upcoming election, VOTE, as it's just days away. Instead I'll just order my Canadian readers to vote for Paul Martin and his Liberal Party allies. Scandal, schmandal, people! Sensible people in the United States are relying on Canada to continue being more politically and socially progressive than our own government. It allows us to point north and say, "See? Gay marriage, a single payer health care system and moves toward decriminalizing pot won't cause the country to implode. They're doing all of that and more up in Canada, for Christ's sake, and the sky hasn't fallen." Vote Liberal, Canada!

I'm a male in my early 20s. There's this girl that I'm down with. She's sexy and smart. I could imagine myself with her. Here's the problem: There's a guy in my life, a guy I've been having a fling with for three years. I also have one of those jobs where you can never come out. I also want a family and the male dad/female mom American dream. My girl wants to get serious and my guy is frustrated because I won't commit to him. I can never live an open life with the guy, and I can hardly stand to fuck the girl. And before you call me a retard, realize that my job (don't ask/don't tell type of thing) is almost as important to me as a good relationship.

— What's My Problem?

You mean besides being a whiner and an asshole?

Look, WMP, it would be unfair — cruel, even — for you to marry some poor woman you can hardly stand to fuck. And do you seriously think this woman is going to be happy in the long run with a man like you? And while the American dream is nice — female moms, male dads, etc. — I promise you the dreary reality of faking an interest in heterosexual sex will prevent you from enjoying your family life.

As for your job, well, if you love your don't ask/don't tell job so much that you'd choose it over a man you clearly love, WMP, then have the balls to do just that: Marry your job and live alone, you selfish prick, and stop hurting innocent people.