Dec 30, 2015

Even Stevens: Shia Labeouf's Gay Subtext Teencom

Today Shia LaBeouf stars in quirky independent movies, but in the early 2000s, he was the Disney Channel's Next Big Thing, given as much screen time as Simon and Milo music videos. He starred in two Disney Channel movies, Hounded (2001) and Tru Confessions (2002); he guest starred on  The Proud Family and The Nightmare Room; he appeared on all of its reality programs, including Express Yourself, Movie Surfers, and  Super Short Show.

And he starred in Even Stevens (2000-2003), about Louis Stevens, a mischievous middle-school boy who bedevils his upper-middle class Jewish family, especially his older sister Ren and older brother Donnie.

Not a big fan of the gay community, Shia Labeouf today is the source of casual heterosexism, makes casual homophobic comments, and punched a guy in the face for "accusing" him of being gay.  But his Louis Stevens would probably be a strong ally.  He is intensely girl-crazy, and gets a steady girlfriend by the third season, but he is surrounded by gay people.  





His best friend, Twitty (A. J Trauth), is flamboyantly feminine, rarely expresses any interest in girls,  and has an obvious crush on him.  










A.J. Trauth's soft features and flamboyance prompted many real-life gay rumors, particularly when he was photographed wearing a t-shirt that read "Boy Toy."  A boy toy is an attractive younger man who has sex with an older man in exchange for money and gifts. 

But he is apparently heterosexual.  Today he lives in Odessa, Texas and performs in the band Maven.











Ren has a gay-coded best friend, Nelson Minkler (Gary LeRoi Gray), who is prissy, intellectual, not interested in girls, and obviously interested in Louis' older brother, Donnie.  After Even Stevens, he starred as a gay teenager in Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom (2003), the film sequel of the Logo tv series about a group of gay black men.

Donnie Stevens (Nick Spano) is a bodybuilder who wanders around the house shirtless, providing ample beefcake.  He also expresses no interest in girls; in one episode he states that he has "a date," but carefully avoids pronouns, to leave the question of his date's gender open.  However, he is frequently seen with boys, and he has a particular interest in his coach (Tom Wise).




Prior to Even Stevens, Nick Spano played mostly muscular hunks who were required to take their shirts off, or everything off.  He starred in two gay-themed movies, The Journey: Absolution (1997) with Mario Lopez, and Defying Gravity (1997).  No word on whether he's gay or straight in real life.

With all of that gay-friendly talent and gay subtext, Shia must have felt rather uncomfortable on the set.

See also: Shia Labeouf's "Female Fans"

Dec 27, 2015

What We Do in Shadows

What We Do In the Shadows (2014) is a mockumentary about four vampires sharing a flat in contemporary Wellington, New Zealand:

1. Viago (Taika Waititi, who also wrote and directed), a Byronesque partyboy.
2. Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), a sexually voracious Dracula.
3. Deacon (Jonathan Brugh, left), a newby (only 183 years old).
4. Petyr (Ben Fransham), an 8,000 year old inarticulate Nosferatu.




They are old-school vampires who vaporize in sunlight, have no reflection, and dislike crucifixes, but they have modern problems, like problems over chores, squabbles with friends and slaves, and how to meet potential victims in the increasingly tech-driven world of modern New Zealand.

Vladislav (left) butts heads with a shrewish female ex-lover, and another re-unites with his long-lost girlfriend.  There are no identifiably gay characters.  I counted at least one homophobic slur.  Yet there is a strong gay subtext in the struggles of four men living together.







Particularly with the newly-vampirized Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), who displays no heterosexual interest, before or after, and who "comes out" as a vampire to his best friend Stu (Stu Rutherford) in scene full of gay symbolism.

Vampires think of humans as either slaves or prey, so human-vampire friendships are scandalous.  Yet when Stu starts hanging out with the vampires, they all come to love him.  Then Stu comes as Nick's date to a vampire-zombie-witch masquerade ball, and they risk their lives to save him from becoming an appetizer.




None of the cast is apparently gay, although in interviews they often compare vampires to gay people, who also must "walk in shadows," hidden from a persecuting world.

In 2014?  Really?

Still, a perfect little vehicle for getting your mind off the roar of Christmas.








Dec 24, 2015

"The Crazies": A Gay-Free Hollywood Iowa

In order to get my mind off Christmas, last night I watched The Crazies (2010), which at least has nothing to do with egg nog, wrapping paper, or Saint Nick.

That's the only good thing I can say about it.

Picture it: a small town in Iowa as only Hollywood can imagine it, where everyone drives tractors and goes to the dime store downtown, where all the women are young blond supermodels and all the men are middle aged, bald, and scuzzy-looking, except for the young, hot sheriff, (Tim Olyphant) who happens to be married to the young blond supermodel town doctor.

Really, really married.  I mean, wedding rings gleaming in every single shot, "I love you" every five seconds, announcements to everybody in earshot about how they can't live without each other.

The young blond supermodel wife is barely pregnant, not showing yet, but they have already furnished an elaborate nursery, so eager are they to demonstrate that they have reproduced.

Got it?

Ok, here's what happens: at an idyllic small-town high school baseball team, one of the middle aged, bald, scuzzy looking men pulls out a shotgun.  Another middle aged, bald, scuzzy looking man kills his young blond supermodel wife and son.  More people turn into homicidal maniacs, but mostly off-camera.

Just as the Sheriff and the Doctor figure out that a virus has infected the town water supply, the military marches in, blocks off the town, and separates the sick and the well.  The well are taken to the bus station to be sent to Cedar Rapids, and the sick to isolation. The Doctor is identified as sick, along with most of the young blond supermodel wives, while the Sheriff and most of the bald middle-aged scuzzy-looking guys are identified as well.




But the Sheriff can't live without his wife, remember?  After roiling with condemnation at a friend who doesn't love his wife adequately, he breaks into the isolation facility and breaks out the Doctor.  They join up with the Deputy (Joe Anderson) and the Deputy's girlfriend, and try to escape.

After some trials and tribulations, including a murder attempt in the nursery, the Girlfriend dies, the Deputy sacrifices himself to save the married couple, and the Sheriff and the Deputy rush out of town just as the military drops an atom bomb on it.

You're probably wondering about the gay content.

None.  Zilch.  Zero.  Everybody is heterosexual -- this is Hollywood Iowa, after all -- but, apparently, only two are heterosexual enough to escape together.

No beefcake either.  These shirtless shots are from elsewhere.


Boy, do I hate this movie.

It's a remake of a 1973 George Romero stinker, with the location changed from Pennsylvania to Iowa, and a new cast of young blond supermodels and bald middle-aged scuzzy-looking men added.

And an endless paeon to heterosexual marriage.




Dec 23, 2015

Noah Fleiss: 1990s Child Star Homophobia

Gay teens in the 1990s liked teenage Noah Fleiss for the beefcake: he appeared in his underwear in nearly every movie, often in the midst of autoerotic activity.

They disliked him for his roles as troubled, wounded, and abused kids in depressing, usually homophobic movies.

Josh and S.A.M. (1993).  Concerned about "accusations" that he is gay, Josh (Jacob Tierney) concocts a wild scheme to prove his straightness, including convincing his brother Sam (Noah Fleiss) that he is a cyborg (S.A.M.).

It's not a comedy.


Chasing the Dragon (1996): A woman becomes addicted to heroin, and her son suffers.

Bad Day on the Block (1997): A deranged firefighter terrorizes his family, including his son.

Joe the King (1999): An abused kid commits crime and slips in and out of reality (left)

Things You Can Tell Just By Looking at Her (2000).  A woman is shocked to discover that her son  is sexually active (top photo)






Double Parked (2000): A mother is concerned when her asthmatic son (Fleiss) becomes friends with the son of her abusive ex-husband.

Storytelling (2001): Brady (Fleiss) worries about the gay rumors concerning his older brother Scooby (Mark Livingston).





Brick (2005): While searching for his missing girlfriend, Brandon encounters the sleazy, gay-vague drug dealer Tugger (Fleiss, left).

Ok, but has he done any gay-positive roles?

Two of them:

The Favor (2001):  straight teen Steve (Fleiss) agrees to buy gay porn for his closeted friend Boomer (Jared Hillman).

The Laramie Project (2002): he plays Shannon, one of the friends of homophobic killer Aaron McKinley, who thinks it's all a big joke.

Dec 22, 2015

The Naked Ghost of Hylton Castle: A Gay Murder Mystery

Hylton Castle in Sunderland, near the Scottish border, is closed now, but for centuries staff and visitors reported seeing a naked teenage boy wandering the hallways.

When they approached him, he moaned "I'm cauld"(cold),  and vanished.

Dubbed "The Cauld Lad of Hylton," the ghost had a helpful side.  He lit fires that had gone out, and tidied rooms that had been left in disarray.

But he also had a mischievous side.  He would slam doors, knock books over, blow candles out, and move objects around.

Besides, what could be scarier than a naked teenager complaining about the cold?

According to legend, the ghost was Robert Skelton, a stableboy in the employ of the young Baron Robert Hyland during the age of Shakespeare.  On the morning of July 3rd, 1609, he overslept and didn't have the Baron's horse ready for a trip.  The enraged Baron killed him.

Some versions say that he chopped the boy's head off; others, that he stabbed him with a pitchfork, or hit him with a riding crop. 

Historical records do mention that a Robert Hylton was tried for the murder of Robert Skelton in the fall of 1609.  He claimed that the murder was an accident, and was pardoned by James I.

But the 20-year old Hylton wasn't the Baron yet.  His older brother, Henry, was.



In English Fairy Tales (1890), the famous anthology by Joseph Jacobs, the Cauld Lad is turned into a monster.





Most modern illustrations make him human, but  much younger than a real stableboy of the era, and not nearly as naked.

This leads us to a question:  Ghosts usually appear in the outfit they died in.  Why was Robert Skelton naked?

Elizabethans didn't sleep naked, even in the summer time.   Unless they had thrown off their clothes in the heat of passion.

So Robert Skelton must have been having sex on the night of July 2nd.  Who was is partner?

Some legends give him a forbidden romance with the Baron's daughter, but in 1609 Robert was too young to have a teenage daughter.



Robert Hylton himself, then?  But why would Hylton then be surprised at Skelton's oversleeping?


Maybe his brother,  24-year old Baron Henry Hylton? Shortly after the murder, Henry went to live with his cousin Nathaniel Hylton, and stayed for 30 years. He never consummated his arranged marriage.  He was characterized as reclusive, eccentric, and "mad."

Picture it: Robert finds his older brother and the stableboy in the midst of a sexual encounter and, outraged at the breach of etiquette, grabs a pitchfork.  Robert is able to use his social position to get a pardon.  Henry never recovers.

And Robert Skelton wanders the hallways, moaning "I'm cauld..."

See also: The Gay Ghost of Davenport House.

Dec 21, 2015

The Jackson 5: Beefcake Brothers of 1970s Soul

In 1964, the Jackson Brothers, consisting of  Jackie (age 13), Tito (11), and Jermaine (10), began performing r&b and soul in their hometown of Gary, Indiana.  Five years later, they added younger brothers Marlon and Michael to the group, changed their emphasis to soul-enhanced bubblegum pop, and, with some savvy promotion from Motown Records and Miss Diana Ross, burst onto the teen idol scene.





They had four #1 hits in 1969: "I Want You Back," "ABC," "The Love You Save," and "I'll Be There."

The lyrics were incessantly heterosexist, always about dating and romance, with "girl" every other word, so gay kids weren't impressed.


You went to school to learn, girl, things you never knew before
Girl, since you been away
Goody girl, let down those curls.


But they were impressed by the semi-nude and beefcake shots splashed across the teen magazines, almost unheard of for African-American performers in the era.  Jackie had the most impressive physique.

The Jackson Five appeared on such white-centric series as The Andy Williams Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, and The Jim Nabors Hour, not to mention their own razzle-dazzle pop show.

I watched their Saturday-morning cartoon series (1971-73).  Michael was the star, involved with pirates, mad scientists, fairy tales, and even a Wizard of Oz parody that presaged his role as the Scarecrow in The Wiz a few years alter.

Their popularity peaked in 1971,  but never waned.  In 1975, after Michael had struck out on his own, they continued to perform as "The Jacksons."  Later Jermaine left the group, and younger brother Randy joined.  Sisters Janet and LaToya have careers of their own.

Raised in the extremely homophobic Jehovah's Witnesses sect, The Jackson family varies in their levels of homophobia.  Jermaine made the nasty comment "We're not faggots."  Marlon said "There's nothing wrong with it. I have gay friends." Janet supports gay marriage.

Tom Cruise: All the Wrong Moves



If I were to compile a list of the gay community's biggest enemies, it would include the usual suspects, the preachers who want gays killed, the politicians who want them classified as subhuman, the producers who litter their movies or tv programs with offensive stereotypes.  But near the top of the list, I would place an actor who hasn't said or done any of those things: Tom Cruise.

In 40 movies over a period of 30 years, we find few, if any offensive stereotypes.  In innumerable public appearances, we find few, if any complaints that gay people are plotting the destruction of civilization.  Yet by suing anyone who suggests that he might be gay -- for huge sums -- Tom Cruise continually broadcasts the message that gay people are unspeakably vile.  He is not merely correcting misinformation, he is defending himself against allegations that he is a monster.

Was there ever a time when gay people could find even a moment of hope in any of his vehicles?

Not in the gay-free Mission: Impossible franchise.  Not in his alien-fighting family man in War of the Worlds (2005), heterosexual lives in ruins in Magnolia (1999), or "show me the money" Jerry Maguire (1996).  

But before that, there are many gay subtexts:

Interview with the Vampire (1994): the vampire Lestat (Tom Cruise) bites Louis (Brad Pitt), and they form an alternate family.

Days of Thunder (1990): race car drivers Cole (Tom Cruise) and Rowdy (Michael Rooker) move from enemies to buddies.






Cocktail (1988): novice bartender Brian buddy-bonds with his mentor, bartending pro Doug (Bryan Brown).

The Color of Money (1986): novice pool hustler Vincent (Tom Cruise) buddy-bonds with his mentor, pool hustler pro Fast Eddie (Paul Newman).

Top Gun (1986): a homoromance between air force pilots Maverick (Tom Cruise) and Goose (Anthony Edwards).

All the Right Moves (1983): up and coming football player Stefen (Tom Cruise) buddy-bonds with his mentor, coach Nickerson (Craig T. Nelson).




What happened after 1994 to end Tom Cruise's buddy-bonding roles and transform him into an enemy?  His marriage to Nicole Kidman?  His conversion to the Church of Scientology?  His friendship with John Travolta (who is also quick to "defend" himself against allegations)?

His first lawsuit for a "gay allegation" came in 1996.  Maybe he suddenly realized that gay people existed, that subtexts were possible.

Dec 19, 2015

Florida Beach Boy #2: Jack the Grocery Store Clerk

When I was living in Florida, I got cruised by a guy in the Publix Supermarket.  He said he was a friend of my ex, Wade the Beach Boy.  So naturally I called Wade to "get the dirt."

Wade said that he was very nice, with a very nice physique, but they were incompatible.  He wouldn't go into details.

Intrigued, I accepted the date.

The rest of the story is too risque for Boomer Beefcake and Bonding.  You can read it on Tales of West Hollywood.

Dec 16, 2015

Get Your Beefcake on Route 66

Speaking of buddy-bonding tv,  Route 66 (1960-64) was before my time and never rerun, so I've only seen a few clips on youtube, but older Boomers tell me that it was one of the gay-friendly lights of the early 1960s.

It starred clean-cut Yale undergrad  Tod (29 year old Martin Milner, who had just appeared in a loincloth in the risque Private Lives of Adam and Eve).  Tod -- not Todd -- and his boyfriend traveled around in a blue 1960 Chevy Corvette "in search of America," like Jack Kerouac before them.













His first boyfriend,  Buz (not Buzz -- evidently the producers didn't care for last letters), was a streetwise former juvenile delinquent from Hell's Kitchen, played by 32-year old George Maharis.  A 1973 Playgirl centerfold, Maharis was gay in real life.













After 2 1/2 seasons, Maharis dropped out, citing the grueling schedule and a bout of hepatitis, Tod quickly found a new boyfriend, haunted ex-GI Lincoln (30-year old Glenn Corbett, recently of It's a Man's World). A former Physique Pictorial model, Corbett was bisexual in real life.












They didn't stick to Route 66; they crossed the U.S. and Canada several times, surfing in Southern California, working on a lobster boat in Maine and a ranch in Wyoming, going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, vacationing in Toronto. As usual in road series, they got involved in the private dramas of people they met along the way.

The buddy-bonding seems rather intense, and virtually none of the episodes involved getting girlfriends. However, there were little else for gay kids to watch:
1. Very few rescues (usually they were taken hostage together).
2. Insufficient beefcake, considering the number of bodybuilders in the cast (these pictures are from other projects).
3. And the series ended with Tod getting married, his youthful spirit -- and his same-sex romance -- giving way to heterosexual destiny.

But sometimes just an intense friendship is enough.

After Route 66, Martin Milner starred in the beefcake-heavy  GidgetAdam-12 and Swiss Family Robinson (with Willie Aames).  Glenn Corbett starred in The Secret of Boyne Castle and a few Westerns before moving behind the scenes.  George Maharis had guest spots on many tv programs, performed in nightclubs, and pursued a second career as a painter.  

Jason Gedrick


Born in 1965, Jason Gedrick broke into show business with The Heavenly Kid (1985), a comedy in which the nerd (Jason) wins The Girl with a little help from a dead teenager from the 1950s (Lewis Smith).  In the process, he bonds with the teen angel (and exhibits the usual 1980s homophobia), and shows off an implausibly buffed physique.

The actioner Iron Eagle followed (1986): avid video-gamer Doug (Jason) rescues his dad from Islamic terrorists, with a little help from an older pilot (Louis Gossett Jr.), who is distraught over the many kids that he has seen die over the years, and isn't about to watch Doug die, too. More buddy bonding.



Promised Land (1987): Davey (Jason) and Danny (Kiefer Sutherland) pursue an elite-working class friendship through high school and failed marriages.

Teen magazines paid some attention to him, displaying his dark, sultry pout and lean muscles.

Gay teens in the 1980s saw a pattern developing: his characters always had girlfriends but found meaning with guys.

The pattern continued in Rooftops (1989): a homeless teen named T, who lives on rooftops, has a girlfriend, but is also in love with a boy.  When his boyfriend is killed by drug dealers, T vows to use his dance-combat skills to clean up the neighborhood.









The pattern continued in Backdraft (1991), with Kurt Russell, and Crossing the Bridge (1992), with Josh Charles.

And we saw more of Jason's body in the nude shower scene.











I lost track of Jason in the 1990s.  He apparently moved into television, playing a college boy in Class of 96 (1993), a Hollywood star accused of killing a teenage girl in Murder One (1995-96), and an ex-con trying to go straight in EZ Streets (1996-97), plus significant roles Desperate Housewives, Luck, Necessary Roughness, and Dexter.  I haven't seen any of them.


But in 2007, for old time's sake, I saw Jason in  Kings of South Beach (2007).  He plays Chris Troiano, a New Yorker who moves to Miami to escape the Mafia and start a new life.  He opens a nightclub and takes bouncer Andy (Donnie Wahlberg) under his wing.

Andy is actually an undercover cop who must choose between his love for Chris and his job.

There is a palpable chemistry between Andy and Chris which almost moves from subtext to text.

Dec 9, 2015

10 Snappy Comebacks to Your Crazy Fundamentalist Relatives

Summer is coming, which means you will probably be dragged out of the safe haven of your home and family, shoved onto an airplane, and forced to spend ten days "back home" in the Straight World.

Where, inevitably, one or more of your crazy fundamentalist relatives will spend the entire 10 days hitting you with a Bible and shrieking "God hates you!", presuming that you have never heard the message of hate before.

Or, if you are not out, walking around the house muttering "God hates gay people!"

When faced with such a relative, I suggest leaving.  Get out of the house.  Go to the gym or the park.  Maybe you'll see a cute guy lifting weights.

But if you can't get away, or you are tired of the homophobic diatribes, here are 10 facts guaranteed to have an impact.  Maybe not change their mind -- haters gonna hate -- but surprise them enough to shut them up.

1. "Gay people are more likely to be religious than straights." According to a recent survey, gay people are just as likely to be religious as heterosexuals.  In fact, gay men are more likely than straight men to think that going to church is "very important" in their lives.

2. "Most churches accept gay members."  About 40% of Protestants in the United States belong to denominations that accept LGBT members.

3. "There are some gay churches." There are five Protestant denominations with a mostly gay membership.  The largest, the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, has congregations in over 40 countries around the world.

4. "There are only five verses in the Bible used to claim that God is a bigot, and they aren't about gay people at all." 

5. "There was no word for gay people in ancient Hebrew or Greek."  The word "homosexual" in your Bible is a homophobic mistranslation of the Greek  arsenokoitai ("men who have sex"), and malakoi ("men who are soft").

6. " The Sodomites weren't gay." The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is about being inhospitable to strangers, a terrible sin in desert cultures.

7. "According to the Bible, eating shrimp is worse than being gay." That verse in Leviticus, "Thou shalt not lie with man as with woman," is a reference to temple prostitution, not a general prohibition.  Leviticus also states that anyone who eats shellfish, disobeys their parents, or engages in interracial marriage should be stoned to death.

8. "Most straight weddings have a celebration of a gay couple." The Bible verse often used in wedding ceremonies: "Where you go, I will go...your people will be my people," was spoken by Ruth to Naomi.  A same-sex couple.

9. "Jesus made a pro-gay statement." Jesus didn't mention gay people, but he did mention eunuchs, who often engaged in same-sex activity.  He liked them.

10.  "If God hates me so much, why didn't He say anything about it when I talked to Him this morning?"







Dec 6, 2015

Shock-headed Peter: Castration and Gay Panic in a German Children's Story


When I was in Germany a few years ago, my friend Doc took me to a restaurant called the Struwwelpeter Apfelweinwirtschaft (The Slovenly Peter Apple Wine Tavern).

Its logo was a boy with wild blond hair and long sharp nails like Edward Scissorhands.

Nearby there was a statue of the same boy, along with some other children.

"You've never heard of Struwwelpeter?" Doc asked.  "He's a national hero, like Bart Simpson in America!"









Turns out that all German schoolchildren read Der Struwwelpeter, written and illustrated by Heinrich Hoffmann (1809-1894), about children who misbehave and get their comeuppance -- usually a violent retribution.

A girl who plays with matches burns to death.
Kaspar, who won't eat his soup, wastes away and dies.
Hans, whose "head is always in the clouds," falls into a river.
Robert, who goes outside in a storm, blows away.

Hoffmann was a psychiatrist, though he lived before Freud's discovery of the unconscious, and many of his stories have been analyzed for their psychosexual undertones





The most obvious gay connection is in the story of Konrad, der Daumenlutscher (the Thumb-Sucker).  

Though his mother warns him to not suck his thumb, Konrad persists in the bad habit.  Then he encounters the Tailor with the Scissors (in modern versions, the monstrous Scissor-Man), who cuts both of his thumbs off.  

Oral fixation, symbolic castration, gay anxiety, and a 19th-century Freddie Kruger!

The stories have been translated into several languages.  They were adapted into a 1955 movie (available on youtube), an operetta (1992) and a musical (1998).  

In 2010, Richard Mansfield filmed an explicitly homoerotic shadow-puppet version,  of the Daumenlutscher story, "Suck-a-Thumb." It made the rounds of the gay film festivals.

In an even more explicitly gay sequel, Konrad is sent to a psychiatric hospital for a brutal "cure."

Don't worry, that's a door handle, not what you're thinking.

Bible Beefcake

When I was a kid, our church forbade any books except the Bible.  My parents were more lenient, permitting comic books and Scholastic Book Club selections, but the Bible had an advantage -- you could read it anywhere, during choir practice or Sunday school or a screaming hellfire sermon, and the adults would pay no attention -- or they would think you were especially devout, as you got your quota of beefcake, bonding, and sex.  Not to mention violence.

1. Beefcake.  David looks like a veritable Conan the Barbarian, wearing only a loincloth, wielding a magic sword as he stands over the slain Goliath.  And who knew that Cain assaulted Abel by kicking him in the crotch while they were both naked?




2. Bonding.  David and Jonathan had a love "surpassing the love of women."  That is, their homoromance far surpassed hetero-romance.  If only David didn't insist on bring Goliath's head along on their dates.  And why did Joseph reject women's advances to spend all of his time schmoozing with the Pharaoh ? (Photo below is Donny Osmond in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat).





3. Sex.  After the Flood, Noah was lying around drunk when his son Ham "uncovered his nakedness."  But to "uncover" someone's "nakedness" means doing more than sneaking a quick peek, and God got so upset over the incest that He decreed that Ham and all of his descendants (the Africans) should be slaves.  The Biblical support of slavery caused the first chip in the edifice of my fundamentalism.

Fast-forward a few thousand years to the New Testament, and Philip the Apostle sees an Ethiopian eunuch on the road, invites him to spend the night in his tent, and in the morning baptizes him.  Eunuchs are castrated, unable to have sex with women.  So who do they have sex with?  Just ask Philip.  (In 1986, my roommate Alan used the story of the Ethiopian eunuch to try to get with my boyfriend.)



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