Parenting done right

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Many parents are worried by the idea their kid might be different. Some just worry about how to support their child in such a case. A dad who thinks his son might be gay has asked Reddit how he can show his son that he got his back.

The single dad stumbled across the reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race on his son’s Netflix account. At first taken aback, the dad asked the internet about some of the language on the show.

‘I was cleaning up his room while he was in the shower and I [see] this show (rupaul) was paused on Netflix,’ he wrote. ‘He has been using different kind of phrases like “the shade” and “I’m gagging” (that one worried me at first). I googled the shade and found it was a drag term but I didn’t understand it.’

The single dad of two boys aged 4 and 15, said the older boy was having some trouble at school, because of his shyness and stutter. He also believes his son might be gay and wants advice in how to be the best father he can be.

‘Is there any advice you can give me? I won’t embarrass him and start quoting the show but when he said he was “gagging” I had no idea how to react,’ he said. ‘I would like to know how to react. I was hoping I could get a crash course on this sort of chat.’

Reddit users inundated the dad with mostly positive replies giving all him all kinds of advice. Some suggested watching the vogue documentary ‘Paris is Burning’, while others pointed him to YouTube videos of famous Drag Race sayings.

Others said they wished they had parents as accepting as this man. ‘LMAO BICTH I SCREAMED. You’re an amazing parent for doing this (well, I don’t know you, but I can only assume so),’ wrote one Reddit user. ‘I only wish I had a parent that was interested in learning and not shunning gay culture.’

Photo by Prince Rabbit from softcreatures

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Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days, my cable modem died over the holidays so I had no internet access. We’ll be back to the normal posting schedule from here on.

Is being Straight a Myth?

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This just in: A new study published by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has found that “fully straight” people don’t actually exist.

Researchers looked as the eyeballs of straight-identifying men to determine just how straight they actually were. Turns out, every single one of them was just a wee bit gay.

“It’s basically a study that assesses sexual orientation by looking at the eyes and whether they dilate or not,” Ritch C. Savin-Williams, the Director of Developmental Psychology and the Director of the Sex and Gender Lab in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University, told Broadly.

He continues, “You can’t control your eye dilation. Essentially, that’s what the whole project attempts to get at, another way of assessing sexuality without relying on self report.”

Savin-Williams and his team closely monitored the eye dilation of men while showing them a range of pornographic imagery.

“We show straight men a picture of a woman masturbating and they respond just like a straight guy, but then you also show them a guy masturbating and their eyes dilate a little bit. So we’re actually able to show physiologically that all guys are not either gay, straight, or bi.”

So what does this all mean?

“There are aspects [of male sexuality] along a continuum, just as we have always recognized with women,” Savin-Williams says. “Men have gotten so much cultural crap put on them that even if a man does have some sexual attraction to guys, they would never say it.”

Savin-Williams says another way of monitoring responses would be by monitoring a person’s genital arousal, but, he says “that gets a little invasive.” So they just stuck to their eyeballs.

Savin-Williams adds that while the study once again confirms that sexuality operates on a spectrum, it also finds that it’s not a binary system, which means that while someone can’t be 100% straight, they also can’t be 100% gay either.

The choice to be unafraid

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Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon was honoured with the Visibility Award at the Human Rights Council annual gala on Saturday — and as we’ve come to expect from him, he completely stole the show with his poignant words.

“When I was little I used to care so much about what others thought of me,” he said. “I was mindful of the way I dressed, my mannerisms, the way I talked. I was afraid people would think I was weak. I was afraid of making mistakes. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be welcomed by the LGBTQ community because someone like me wouldn’t be the role model they were looking for. Maybe I was too gay, and maybe I was just too myself. Throughout my life, I have fallen short many times. I have felt depressed. I felt not good enough. And I felt like there would never be a day where I would feel like I belong. I was living life afraid. I remember hearing the quote, ‘What would you do if you weren’t afraid?’ I remember really hearing it, and honestly asking myself, ‘What would I do differently?’

“I remember making the choice to be unafraid,” he continued. “I made the choice to not care what others thought of who I was. I was going to be truly me. This was the biggest and most important decision I’d ever made: To live fearlessly. To take risks. To let go of my fear of what others may think of me, and to always keep learning. You will find that you will have your greatest success when you wear your scars proudly. Through my shortcomings and from my successes, I’ve learned that a champion is more than a medal. It’s a mindset.”

He closed with a powerful, inclusive sentiment: “To all the young kids out there, whether you are gay, straight, bi, trans or still on a journey of self-discovery; whether you are white, black, or any color in between, you are smarter than you think. You hold more strength than you may ever know. You are powerful. No matter where you have come from or where you are going to, there is someone who looks up to you, and they will find inspiration in your strength of just being yourself. Be a role model, and never forget that you can be someone’s champion. You are a winner. When we all come together, we can change the world.”

So, what’s the actual average international Penis Size then?

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Ever wondered about the average penis size? Of course you have. Well, finding an accurate number can be tricky, because many studies depend on self-reporting, a flawed methodology that often leads to people over-reporting their actual sizes.

But the World Penis Data website is trying to cut through the bad methodology and determine an actual average penis size by averaging up measurements from different worldwide studies and separating the results based on whether the measurements were self-reported or objectively measured in a laboratory setting.

Through a bunch of statistical analysis, the website determined that the average length of a flaccid or erect penis varies a quarter of an inch to half an inch, depending on whether the length is self-reported or objectively measured.

Here are the averages the World Penis Database came up with:

  • Average flaccid penis length when objectively measured: 9.25 cm (3.6″)
  • Average flaccid penis length when self-reported: 9.9 cm (3.8″)
  • Average erect penis length when objectively measured: 13.3 cm (5.2″)
  • Average erect penis length when self-reported: 14.7 cm (5.7″)

Unsurprisingly, when men were asked to self-report their penis sizes, they typically reported them as larger. Oh, men. How predictable.

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Iceland might ban Circumcision

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Iceland is considering a law that would make it the first European country to outlaw male circumcision for anyone under the age of 18. The bill proposes up to six years imprisonment for anyone who performs a circumcision on a child that is not for medical reasons.

European religious leaders say the restriction would impinge upon religious freedoms while other people argue that a child’s welfare and bodily integrity supersedes any religious traditions.

Male circumcision is commonly practiced by Jews and Muslims. In some countries, including the U.S., male circumcision is popular across religions and ethnicities, for alleged health and cultural reasons. The World Health Organization estimated in 2009 that about one in three men globally is circumcised.

Male circumcision is “a non-negotiable element of Jewish identity,” a spokesman for Milah UK, a Jewish campaign group, told The Guardian, adding that Iceland’s proposed ban is “extremely concerning.”

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the Catholic Church in the European Union, called the proposal a “dangerous attack” on religious freedom.  “Protecting the health of children is a legitimate goal of every society, but in this case this concern is instrumentalised, without any scientific basis, to stigmatise certain religious communities,” Marx said last week, according to the Catholic News Agency. “This is extremely worrying.”

The bill reportedly has strong public support. Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, a member of parliament from the Progressive Party, said she proposed the bill after realising there were no restrictions on male circumcision in Iceland, even though female circumcision was outlawed in 2005.

“I see it as a child protection matter,” Gunnarsdóttir told Euronews. “In Iceland we acknowledge the right to believe but we also acknowledge the right and freedom of everyone to choose and have their opinions.”

She added: “I stand by that and I say people should be allowed to have their beliefs for themselves but you have to draw the line when it’s about other people. Children should also have their own rights for their own beliefs when they are adults.”

The bill says people who want to be circumcised for religious or cultural reasons can do so once they are old enough to “understand what is involved in such an action.”

Male circumcision has long been a controversial issue in Europe. In 2012, Germany considered a ban but ― following months of fierce debate ― ruled that only doctors or trained experts could perform the procedure. In 2016, doctors in Denmark deemed non-medical male circumcisions to be “ethically unacceptable” when performed on children under the age of 18. Many doctors in Sweden refuse to perform the procedure for non-medical reasons.

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The Wound

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Protests erupted over the The Wound, a queer film that premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, and its director John Trengove for appropriating African culture and publicising a secret tribal circumcision ritual depicted the film.

The traditional Xhola circumcision ritual  that is a  major topic in the film marks a boy’s passage into manhood. Considering that the ritual has resulted in over 800 deaths, it makes sense why young Kwanda, the youthful initiate in the film, wouldn’t want to go through it. His resistance forces his mentor Xolani to reconsider the traditions and the tribal notions of manhood altogether.

The actual ritual has gotten public exposure before. Former South African president and civil rights leader Nelson Mandela wrote about the experience in his autobiography.

The ritual involves a traditional surgeon (called an ingcibi) who severs the initiate’s foreskin using a spear, which is then tied to the initiate’s blanket. The penile wound is covered with a healing plant and for the next eight days, the initiate is confined to a hut (called a bhoma) and forbidden from eating certain foods. After eight days, an ukosiswa rite removes the food restrictions and marks the start of the second phase, which lasts two to three more weeks. The initiates’ seclusion ends when they race to the river to bathe themselves. Finally, the initiates’ hut and possessions are burnt, each initiate gets a new blanket and is called an amakwala (new man) henceforth.

Quartz Africa reports that protestors, like South African journalist Lwando Xaso and the current Xhosa king, say Trengrove (a white South African) appropriated Xhosa culture, particularly “jealously guarded secrets of a tradition that has managed to endure oppression and modernization.”

Xaso said, “It is not okay to subjectively delve into traditions and practices you are not a part of under the guise of sparking debate and engagement. It is not your place because you are not speaking as a member of that society.”

Two South African cinemas stopped showing The Wound over security threats, but it remains available elsewhere internationally.