The Quote Garden ™
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Sexual Orientation & Gay Rights
When I was in the military they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one. ~Leonard Phillip Matlovich, Jr. (1943–1988), gravestone epitaph
If gay and lesbian people are given civil rights, then everyone will want them! ~Author unknown, as seen on a button at EvolveFISH.com, c.1998
This is a celebration of individual freedom, not of homosexuality. No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. The only queer people are those who don't love anybody. ~Rita Mae Brown, 1982
"You're a lesbian?" Mercury mocked her.
"Actually, no. I'm myself." Sparks crackled in Frazier's green eyes. "I'll love whom I choose and work as I choose and as long as I treat people with respect and politeness I don't think what I do is anyone's [g*d@m] business... I became a lesbian out of devout Christian charity. All those women out there are praying for a man and I gave them my share." ~Rita Mae Brown, Venus Envy, 1993
Being gay is natural. Hating gay is a lifestyle choice. ~John Fugelsang, @JohnFugelsang, tweet, 2013
Sex or station, clime or zone,
These to love are all unknown.
~Simeon Carter (1824–1911), Poems and Aphorisms: A Woodman's Musings, 1893
If time and space are curved, where do all of the straight people come from? ~Author unknown
Who would give a law to lovers? Love is unto itself a higher law. ~Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius
If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality. ~James Baldwin, "Disturber of the Peace," interview with Eve Auchincloss and Nancy Lynch, 1969
There are six admonishments in the Bible concerning homosexual activity, and our enemies are always throwing them up to us usually in a vicious way and very much out of context. What they don't want us to remember is that there are 362 admonishments in the Bible concerning heterosexual activity. I don't mean to imply by this that God doesn't love straight people, only that they seem to require a great deal more supervision. ~Lynn Lavner, Butch Fatale, 1992
What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains! ~Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire, 1947
The degree and kind of a man's sexuality reach up into the ultimate pinnacle of his spirit. ~Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, 1886, translated by Walter Kaufmann, 1967
The word "homosexuality" does not denote a course of conduct, but a state of affairs, the state of loving your own, not the opposite sex; it is a state of affairs in nature. One should no more deplore "homosexuality" than left-handedness. (One can condemn or prohibit acts of course; that is another matter. But one cannot condemn or prohibit homosexuality, as such.) ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex: An Essay by a Group of Friends, 1963 ["We do not claim that our views represent the views of the Society of Friends as a whole. But it can be said that the Society has recognised recently that love cannot be confined to a rigid pattern..." —tg]
...the label of "homosexuality" is misleading. People are not either homosexual or heterosexual. Most people are predominantly one or the other; most in fact are predominantly heterosexual; many are predominantly homosexual; many are attracted to both sexes fairly equally... ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex: An Essay by a Group of Friends, 1963
This section is concerned with that part of the male population to whom a happy sexual relationship with a woman is not possible. To these, homosexuality is natural; persecution will make them inhibited, mad, or suicidal, but it will not make heterosexuality any more natural for them, or increase the attractiveness of those who try and force them into it. ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex: An Essay by a Group of Friends, 1963
Before we assume that homosexuality is bad and heterosexuality is good, we should recognise that homosexuals are no more necessarily promiscuous than heterosexuals are necessarily chaste. ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex: An Essay by a Group of Friends, 1963
We shall have reason to say that sexuality, looked at dispassionately, is neither good nor evil — it is a fact of nature. But looking at it as Christians we have felt impelled to state without reservation that it is a glorious gift of God. Throughout the whole of living nature it makes possible an endless and fascinating variety of creatures, a lavishness, a beauty of form and colour surpassing all that could be imagined as necessary to survival...
It seemed to us that morals, like the Sabbath, were made for man, not man for morals, and that, as society changes and modes of conduct with it, we must always be searching below the surface of human behaviour — to discover what is in fact happening to people, what they are seeking to express, what motives and intentions they are satisfying, what fruits, good or bad, they are harvesting. Again, as Quakers, we put our faith not in traditional judgments but in the accessibility of the Grace and Will of God in every situation in our own world. ~Towards a Quaker View of Sex: An Essay by a Group of Friends, 1963
People who can't think of anything else but whether the person you love is convex or concave should be doomed to not think of anything else, and so miss the other ninety-five percent of life. ~Robert Towne, 1982
It always seemed to me a bit pointless to disapprove of homosexuality. It's like disapproving of rain. ~Francis Maude, in Daily Telegraph, 1998
— My sexual orientation? Horizontal, usually.
— I can't even think straight.
— Let's get one thing straight, I'm not.
— Straight But Not Narrow
— Closets are for clothes.
— I'm not a lesbian but my girlfriend is.
— I'm not gay but my boyfriend is.
— Equal rights are not special rights.
— Homophobia is a social disease.
— My sexual preference is often.
~Bumper stickers, late 1990s
...bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night. ~Woody Allen
If Michelangelo had been straight, the Sistine Chapel would have been painted basic white with a roller. ~Rita Mae Brown
I like my beer cold, my TV loud, and my homosexuals flaming. ~Matt Groening & Ron Hauge, The Simpsons, "Homer's Phobia," 1997
— He prefers the company of men.
— Who doesn't?
~Matt Groening & Ron Hauge, The Simpsons, "Homer's Phobia," 1997
You know what they say: You can't teach a gay dog straight tricks. ~South Park, "Big Gay Al's Big Gay Boat Ride," 1997, written by Trey Parker, Matt Stone, & Dan Sterling [S1, E4, Chef —tg]
It seems certain that a femininely functioning brain can occupy a male body, and vice versa. ~Jas G. Kiernan, M.D., "Psychological Aspects of the Sexual Appetite," read before the Chicago Academy of Medicine, 1891, reprinted in The Alienist and Neurologist: A Quarterly Journal of Scientific, Clinical and Forensic Psychiatry and Neurology, Intended Especially to Subserve the Wants of the General Practitioner of Medicine
If adjustment is necessary, it should be made primarily with regard to the position the homosexual occupies in present-day society, and society should more often be treated than the homosexual. ~Dr. Harry Benjamin, psychotherapist, 1988
This is so hard. I think I've realized that I am… I can't even say the word. Why can't I say the word? Why do I have to be so ashamed? Why can't I just say the truth, be who I am? I'm so afraid to tell people. I mean, I just… Susan… I'm gay! ~Ellen, "The Puppy Episode," S4, E22, 1997, written by Ellen DeGeneres, Mark Driscoll, Dava Savel, Tracy Newman, and Jonathan Stark [a little altered –tg]
This rhetoric used by supporters of HF 2183 may be slick but it is grossly inaccurate. What are you trying to protect heterosexual marriages from? There isn't a limited amount of love in Iowa. It isn't a non-renewable resource. If Amy and Barbara or Mike or Steve love each other, it doesn't mean that John and Mary can't. Marriage licenses aren't distributed on a first-come, first-served basis here in Iowa. Heterosexual couples don't have to rush out and claim marriage licenses now, before they are all snatched up by gay and lesbian couples. Heterosexual unions are and will continue to be predominant, regardless of what gay and lesbian couples do. To suggest that homosexual couples in any way, shape or form threaten to undermine the stability of heterosexual unions is patently absurd... All that gay and lesbian people are asking for is, if not understanding, then at least tolerance. All they are asking for is the same basic civil equality that all Americans yearn for and should be entitled to. ~Ed Fallon, speech, 1996
Beyond the executive branch's draconian outreach the Reagan administration has fostered a climate in which a barest majority of the Supreme Court caters to the passions and hatreds of the American mob, stripping away the constitutional shield outside our bedrooms and the freedom of commercial speech about products that we may like, or hate.
A sort of mob psychology — homophobia they call it — takes over when Americans see TV pictures of two men going down the street hugging and kissing each other....
The court's sodomy decision opening the doors of boudoirs to Big Brothers is outrageous, and a goosebump reminder that we Americans are drifting ever so relentlessly toward police-state status....
How tragically ironic that an administration that promised to get government "off our backs" is now so active in draping government gumshoes over every part of our anatomies.
It is time we threw the executive-branch zealots out of the saddle and began praying that the man who promised to take government off our backs will not get another chance to make the Supreme Court the great American oppressor.
~Carl T. Rowan, Chicago Sun-Times, July 1986 [This syndicated article had various titles in various newspapers — More Government On Backs of People, Old Uncle Ron Becomes a Burden, Five Justices Crumble, &c. —tg]
Thus, while many minority groups are the target for prejudice (beliefs) and discrimination (actions) in our society, few persons face this hostility without the support and acceptance of their family as do many gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth. ~Virginia Uribe and Karen M. Harbeck, 1992
This gentleman I will refer to as Herr N. suffers from perverted sexual feelings as well as nervous symptoms. He remembers when only six years old the sight of naked men in a bath gave him a peculiar pleasure. Growing up he found no pleasure in the occupations and sports of his comrades. He has an insuperable abhorrence of sexual connection with women. His brother once took him to a brothel, but he ran from the place in disgust. His speech and gesture are strikingly theatrical.
After spending a time in the country (on account of the delicacy of his health) at a monastical institution for convict boys, he now conducts one of the best establishments in Vienna for ladies' dresses and millinery, his particular specialty being ladies' bonnets. He possesses singular taste and skill in designing new shapes and arrangements. He spends his days among women, and he has often invoked the aid of imagination to induce a normal sexual desire; many a time, indeed, he has thought he has succeeded, but the next moment all his old horror has returned. It is men who appear in his dreams, but if women do appear they turn into men at the last moment.
He also complains of losing sometimes the power to control his thoughts. Ideas present themselves which he is unable to banish (Zwangsvorstellungen). Thus there are times when, notwithstanding his inward strivings against it, his highest most noble thoughts are burst in upon and jostled by the very lewdest and basest of ideas. He confirms the statement, repeatedly made by others, that individuals affected with this abnormality are able to recognise one another.
I have no intention to enter at any length into historical or ethnographical considerations, but I may just mention the boy-loves (pæderastia) of the Greeks and their Lesbian-loves, a parallel to which exists in the history of other peoples. It is, then, at least, probable that these practices are, in part, attributable to the anomalous development of the sexual instinct. In all the cases the abnormal inclination towards individuals of the same sex was congenital (angeboren), that is to say, present at the first awakening of the sexual desire, and constant thereafter.
~Dr. Julius Krueg, Physician to the Private Lunatic Asylum, Ober Döbling, Vienna, "Perverted Sexual Instincts," in Brain: A Journal of Neurology, 1881 [abridged —tg]
About seventeen years old the beautiful girl exhibited an errabund tendency. She displayed great liking for boyish games and attire, but a repugnance to suitors. She preferred muscular sports and labor. She was averse to the attentions of young men and preferred the society of her own sex. On being abandoned by her husband from a forced marriage, she went West, assumed masculine attire, became a hunter, and spent several years among the Indians. On her return she sought refuge in an almshouse, and entered a mutual attachment with another patient. The two took up their abode in the woods as husband and wife. The second patient assumed the name of "Joe," and provided for the two. In 1876 they returned, the wife introducing her "husband" to her uncle. She was kindly received, and her husband was hired to work about the place. One day "Joe" was found to be a woman in disguise, whereupon her uncle was indignant and caused "Joe's" arrest. She was imprisoned for four months, during which time the "wife" visited her. At length the neighbors prevailed upon the uncle to have the young woman released. When she came out of prison she lived with her "wife" again. Later the "husband" was admitted to the Willard Hospital for the Insane in consequence of a maniacal attack. ~Dr. P. A. Wise of New York, Alienist and Neurologist, 1883 [abridged —tg]
The Urning is a sport of nature; his bodily structure is that of a man, but his sexual instincts are those of a woman. A woman's soul dwells in this man's body, anima muliebris virili corpore inclusa. As a result of his inborn nature, he feels himself drawn by sexual desire to male individuals exclusively; his feeling toward females is either indifference or repugnance. At least one man in every 500 may be an Urning. Fellow Urnings can usually recognise each other. ~Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, c.1864, translated and paraphrased from "Forschungen über das Räthsel der mannmännlichen Liebe (Research into the Riddle of Man-Male Love)" [Ulrichs, a lawyer and Urning himself, originally published in Germany under the pseudonym Numa Numantius. "Uranian" is a slightly later term that also referred to a person of a third sex — originally, like Ulrichs' concept, someone with a female psyche in a male body sexually attracted to men, but later encompassing homosexual gender variant females and other sexual types. It is most likely an English adaptation of Ulrichs' German word "Urning." Ulrichs developed his terminology before the first public use of the words "homosexual" and "heterosexual," which appeared a few years later by Hungarian author Kertbeny. "Urning" was derived from the Greek goddess Aphrodite Urania who was created from Uranus' testicles, and Aphrodite Dionea — "Dioning" — represented the heterosexual gender. "Uranian" was used by homosexual emancipation advocates in the Victorian era, to describe a comradely love that would break down class and gender barriers. It's also used to describe pæderastic poetry and art from the late 1800s and early 1900s. Example — Love in Earnest: Some Notes on the Lives and Writings of English Uranian Poets from 1889 to 1930, by Timothy D'Arch Smith, 1970. —tg]
In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis. ~Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant, 1968
published 1998 Mar 18
revised 2003, 2015, 2021
last saved 2023 Jan 24