Friday, October 22, 2010

How to discuss gay rights like a reasonable adult.

Argument from Personal Responsibility
"If you choose to act in a certain way, you have to accept the consequences. For example, if you go walking and a bunch of thugs beat you up and steal your wallet, that's just the natural consequence of you going walking, so stop whining."

Argument from Lack Of Variety In My Entertainment
"Why do the gays have to keep bringing this up all the time?"

Argument from We Gave You The Vote And Everything
"Gay people are allowed out in public and we don't even lynch them that much anymore, and now they want more?"

Argument from Anal Sex
"I'm sorry, but I refuse to tolerate a group of people who get their kicks by grasping each other in a harsh, brutal kiss that turns suddenly tender, falling together into bed with their hands stroking all over each other's muscular, sweat-glistened bodies and working their way slowly, teasingly to each other's cocks, caressing each other to a state of delicious anticipation before one of these disgusting perverts gently slides first his lubricated fingers and then his huge rock-hard beautiful cock into the soft warm anus of the other."

Argument from Children Starving In India, New Millenium Edition
"Why are we even arguing about this when our economy is in the state it's in?"

Argument from Gays Starving In India
"Why are you worrying about some poorly chosen words when gay people still get beaten in other places?"

Argument from Blind Faith
"The number one, most important tenet of Christianity is to hate gay people. It's the entire foundation of my faith. Look at the first page of the Bible: "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth, and don't be a faggot."

Argument from Blind Smugness
"Look at these stupid christians (yes I spelled that lower-case, take note) who don't know that their entire religion is a scam lie for idiots and that Richard Dawkins has the real truth about your magical sky wizard. Try reading the Origin of Species morons!"

Argument from I Confused Myself With Wikipedia
"I don't want to pass judgement on anyone, so it's important that we keep a neutral point of view and respect everyone's opinion equally. You want to ostracize and persecute gay people, and he doesn't, and I think you both have valid points on this complex issue."

Argument from I Confused Myself With The United States Congress
"I don't think it's right to tell other people what to believe, so if someone believes that homosexuals should all be sent to re-education camps in Siberia, that's their First Amendment right."

Argument from I Won't Tolerate Your Intolerance Of My Intolerance
"For a bunch of people arguing for tolerance, you sure aren't very tolerant of my opinion that homosexuals are pervert scum."

Argument from Can I Interest You In Our Line Of Deluxe Closets
"Look, I don't care what someone does in their bedroom, but why do they have to go around announcing it to the world? My wife totally agrees with my opinion here, as do my mom and dad."

Argument from La La La Can't Hear You
"It doesn't matter what you say, this is just what I believe."

Argument from La La La Nobody Can Hear Anybody
"Well, that's just your opinion. Everyone has their own opinion."

Argument from I Walked To School In The Snow
"These whiners need to realize that life is tough for everyone. I got bullied in school too! Just man up and deal!"

Argument from Hate The Sin, Condescend To The Sinner
"I have nothing but love and respect for homosexual people, but I cannot approve of homosexual behavior."

Argument from The Children
"It's one thing if people want to be homosexuals, but I draw the line at exposing children to that kind of thing."

Argument from My Right To Be A Jerk Is Really Really Important
"We've had enough of this 'political correctness.' It's just one '-American' after another. First they told me to stop using racial slurs and now they're taking away my homophobic slurs? WHERE DOES IT END?"

Argument from It's Hard To Be White, Middle-Class, and Male, Yo
"The real victims here are the straight white male Christians that everyone demonizes and discriminates against!"

Argument from You're Already Allowed To Marry A Woman
"Why should gays get all these special privileges that normal people don't, like being allowed to marry and being allowed to serve in the military?"

Argument from Look Mom I'm Using Naughty Words
"Who gives a shit about some fucking faggot shitpackers and ugly bulldykes?"

Argument from What If We Gave Everyone Rights, What Then
"Next thing you know they'll be allowing polygamy because they are all 'consenting adults' too, right?"

Argument from Guh?
"Being gay is a choice, therefore it's wrong."

Argument from I'm So Fucking Funny
"Be careful not to drop the soap, or there'll be a whole Pride Parade swishing their limp wrists at you and calling you 'thexy!' "

Argument from Discrimination Justifies Discrimination
"If being gay is so great, why is it illegal for them to get married? You know homosexuality is harmful from how many gay youth are depressed or suicidal!"

Argument from Opposite Day
"If these heterophobes get their way, normal heterosexual marriage will be illegal and we'll all have to participate in their debauched lifestyle!"

Argument from Undertrained Gag Reflex
"I just don't want their deviant lifestyle shoved down my throat!"

Did I miss any?

The sad thing is I probably did.


  1. These are wonderful. May I suggest:

    Argument from Evolutionary Teleology:
    "Those sex organs aren't meant just for having fun, you know."

    Argument from The Fall Of Heterosexuality:
    "If we tolerate gays too much, everybody will become gay and that's the absolutely worst thing that could possibly ever happen"

    Argument from Unrelated Crime:
    "Most pedophilia is male-male, therefore lesbians shouldn't raise children."

    Argument from HIV:
    "Anal sex has high transmission risk, therefore lesbians should fuck with men."

    Argument from Uganda (for use outside of the West):
    "Social progress doesn't belong to our culture."

  2. These are awesome. I have some to add. All three of these came from the same woman, in order:

    Argument from Selfish Condescension:
    "I hate that stupid Lady Gaga is doing this DADT thing. People just don't realize that this issue is a lot more complicated than that and affects other people!"

    Argument from But Then There Will Be Less Pie For ME!:
    "Military benefits are already dwindling as it is. If they repeal DADT, that will lead to them having to recognize gay people's families and give them benefits too, and that's bad for me because then I'll get less."

    Argument from The Privilege to be Invisible While in a Heterosexual Marriage is Nice Isn't It:
    "Yeah, well I was bisexual and in the military!"

  3. Argument from Evolutionary Teleology:
    "Those sex organs aren't meant just for having fun, you know."

    Another version of this argument: "Penises are made to go inside vaginas! Period!"

    ...To which I always ask: if the human body is designed strictly for heterosexuality, why do guys have a spot inside their asses that's stimulated by penetration (by, for instance, another guy's dick)? Why do women have the clit on the outside where it could be reached by, say, another woman's tongue?

    Nobody's ever been able to give me a good answer on that. :)

  4. p.s. the Argument From Anal Sex is fabulous (I'm still giggling) and reminds me of a quote from, I think, H.G. Wells:

    Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.

  5. The position of the clit is something I always wondered about, too. I don't think evolution is any kind of guide to how we SHOULD behave, but it's a pretty useful tool in figuring out why we're built like we are. To increase reproductive success shouldn't the the super sensitive spot be well inside the vagina?

  6. Mousie, I don't know if this is true but in the movie Roger Dodger some people are having a conversation about the location of the clit and one of them says that since cavewomen used to die in childbirth a whole lot, it behooves them not to get a whole lot of pleasure from sex, and that's why the clit isn't on the inside.

    Seems to me it might just be because male and female bodies are analagous to each other, though: our clits are on the outside because your penises are on the outside and it's basically the same structure.

  7. Seems to me it might just be because male and female bodies are analagous to each other, though: our clits are on the outside because your penises are on the outside and it's basically the same structure.

    I think this is the likeliest answer. Historical constraint always trumps ideal design.

    In the meantime, Holly wins the entire internet and I will shortly send it to her wrapped in a pretty bow.

  8. Argument from It's Your Job to Make Sure I Do What's Right

    If queer people have sex, heterosexuals will stop wanting to get married and have kids.

  9. The Rodger Dodger explanation sounds sketchy to me (dying in childbirth occasionally is better evolutionarily than not having sex, and sex ain't SO bad for women, really now), and I'm going with "the clit is up front because the penis has to be up front and the clit matters less reproductively so it just ended up where ever."

  10. Argument from Completely Bugfuck Analogy
    "So is it okay with you if a necrophiliac marries a goat, then?"

    Argument from Merriam-Webster
    "The dictionary says marriage is between a man and woman. It's in the dictionary."

    Argument from I'm So Fucking Compassionate
    "I don't hate gay people, I just want to help them heal... from being gay people."

  11. I once had someone tell me that if we allow people to be gay then we will end up with gay teachers.
    I said we already had gay teachers they just are not aloud to be open about it.
    He said that was good because if they could they would just spend all day teaching the kids to be gay.
    I replied that if that was so - why didn't hetrosexuals teach heterosexuality?
    He said "What is that?"

  12. "So is it okay with you if a necrophiliac marries a goat, then?"


    (They never know what to say to that.)

  13. Brilliant! Just 100% awesome from start to finish (but wait, there's also get BONUS arguments if you stick around for the comments!). I am going to quote you, with the appropriate reference to author/source, if you don't mind :)

    I should just sent this epistle to my batshit conservative relatives...

  14. I shared it with the Facebook world. Complete win, Holly.

    @Grasexuality: SO FUCKING TRUE. It makes me want to kick someone in the face. I hear this at work CONSTANTLY.

  15. "So is it okay with you if a necrophiliac marries a goat, then?"

    Is that like when a vampire marries a werewolf?

  16. Nothing to add. That was great!

  17. Some luser said
    Did you add the
    "Like 99% of everyone but complete fucking psychopaths already accept you, WTF are you talking about?"

    Being a white sixty year old working class hetero guy I make a pretty good spy for the "other side" and damn if I've heard anyone, in a bar, or in church, or at work, or anywhere, talk shit about gay this or that or anything for about 20 years, and I live in redneck coal country. I know gay couples, no one says or does mean shit to them, or snubs them. WTF? Most everyone knows gay folks and/or has out family. It stopped being an issue some time back when Clinton was in office.

    Sure, you got crazy people, but they'll fight with anyone given an excuse. Will they they try to use the "he came on to me" as an excuse when they get in front of a judge. or to keep from being punked in jail? Maybe, if they're too stupid to think of anything better.

    Don't blame the straights and don't blame the church. That's fights over, the horse is dead, stop beating it.

  18. Anon - Oh, is that why we let them marry and serve in the military and give them an easy time adopting children and visiting each other in the hospital and everyone talks about them totally fairly and kindly and no politicians have made a platform out of restricting their rights and they're at absolutely no more risk of assault or harassment than anyone else?

    That explains so much!

  19. Holly, don't you know those laws are just silly remnants from 100 years ago? Like the laws that say you can't ride a horse backwards on Sunday and all that. Nobody *cares* about them!


  20. You know, I'm actually saddened by this post. When I first read the title, I had hopes of actually hearing a discussion of gay rights by reasonable adults. Instead I see that it appears to simply be mockery. I'm sorry Holly, but I expected more from you.

    Signed, Cade.

  21. Argument From I Live in My Parents' Basement and Never Go Outside or Watch the News:

    Most everyone knows gay folks and/or has out family. It stopped being an issue some time back when Clinton was in office.

  22. @perversecowgirl: ahahaha, perfect.

    Yeah folks, we feel really damn accepted knowing that almost every time our rights have come up for popular vote, the general population has decided "fuck em." And those spiking hate crimes stats that inevitably follow passage of anti-gay laws. Those're such fun-times too.

    Cade, the reason you don't see more "discussion of gay rights by reasonable adults" is that the only reasonable discussion to be had is "oh, we're denying you rights?, ooopsie, let's fix that then," anything else is blatantly unreasonable, what with being about discrimination and the denial of basic rights.

  23. Yes, because it is CLEARLY Holly's responsibility to devote her blogging to living up to the unmentioned standards of "Cade" as "reasonable and adult", rather than mocking commonly employed arguments that, uh, aren't actually that reasonable or adult when their chain of logic is stripped to the core.

    I might develop the slightest shred of sympathy if and when I have an argument about gay rights on my own blog that WAS meant to be grounded in reason and we're-all-mature-adults that does not garner several comments that simultaenously belittle me for being a silly little girl unaware of the hardships men face from exposure to gay men and complain about the ickiness of anal sex.

  24. This is so full of win. Thank you. I shall link off of my blog.

  25. Anon learned to logic with the folks at the Yale newspaper, who replied to the pro-rape chants outside the women's housing units with "The Women's Center reaction is histrionics because the feminist in Yale have already won."

  26. Perverse, I know it's fun to do, but it's bad tactics to mock or dismiss good faith observations by people who are not actually dead set against you.
    If you'd listen for a second or two, I'm saying that around here, in a part of the country you'd think to be full of gay bashers, the very people you fear and loathe appear to have moved past hating and loathing you. The way you are working the politics assumes they hate you, and that the church hates you, and that, I think, is a mistake.
    This isn't my fight but I watch with some interest from the sidelines, because I really do want better lives for my friends and family. If you want help fixing the stupid old laws, don't insult the people who votes and have to help you if you're going to win.

    And generally speaking-
    what happens to your assumptions and tactics if the reason why most people who oppose gay marriage don't oppose it because they hate gays? Just as a thought experiment?

  27. it's bad tactics to mock or dismiss good faith observations by people who are not actually dead set against you.
    I'm not a politician and I don't expect this blog post to change hearts and minds, just to entertain and express frustrations.

    The way you are working the politics assumes they hate you, and that the church hates you, and that, I think, is a mistake.
    I didn't really bring up the church as a major player in this. (Certain churches are, no question, but I don't think there's a The Church that is The Enemy.) People guarding their own misbegotten idea of gender roles for purely secular reasons are jerks too.

    what happens to your assumptions and tactics if the reason why most people who oppose gay marriage don't oppose it because they hate gays?
    I think that's bullshit. I think opposition to gay marriage is almost entirely predicated on an extremely visceral, base, almost childish hatred of gay people. Or at best a severe misunderstanding of them, I guess? But I don't think that you can hold in your heart genuine acceptance of LGBT people as just folks like you and me and simultaneously oppose gay marriage.

  28. If you'd listen for a second or two, I'm saying that around here, in a part of the country you'd think to be full of gay bashers, the very people you fear and loathe appear to have moved past hating and loathing you.

    *snerk* Around HERE, in Canada, where we have legalized gay marriage and where gays are allowed in the military, there is a guy in my lab who has suddenly stopped speaking to me because I got upset about gay teens committing suicide and told him homosexuality wasn't a disease.

    My mother still doesn't believe I like girls and threatens to send me to a psychiatrist any time the topic comes up.

    And obviously, these experiences are minor compared to the bullying, violence and sheer ignorance tons of people around my country and Holly's encounter on a daily basis because they're gay. Go read the comments on any news story about DADT posted on a general news site to see some of the disgusting things those people who--you assure me!--don't hate and loathe me are thinking.

    Forgive me if I doubt--or die laughing at--your assertion.


  29. ...I'm saying that around here, in a part of the country you'd think to be full of gay bashers, the very people you fear and loathe appear to have moved past hating and loathing you.

    I'm glad. But, dude...that doesn't mean everyone in the entire world is getting together for a group hug.

    I mean, you specifically said that homophobia hasn't been an issue since the Clinton administration - and Clinton was the guy who eschewed "Gay people have every right to live their lives as they please, including being in the military, and I expect everyone to support this" in favour of "Um, well...maybe gay people can enlist as long as they don't tell anyone they're gay?"

    And correct me if I'm wrong but didn't all this Proposition 8 bullshit happen pretty recently (or maybe it's still happening?)? And didn't Holly just make a post a few days ago about people at her work being all weirded out because (gasp!) there was a gay couple there?

    Fear and hatred of gay people has not stopped being an issue.

  30. what happens to your assumptions and tactics if the reason why most people who oppose gay marriage don't oppose it because they hate gays? Just as a thought experiment?

    Hate them in the "I think gay behavior should be outlawed/gay people should be beaten" way? No. Not exactly.

    Again, this particular dialogue is one I've run many times, sometimes even quite civilly. But every time I get down to the logical brass tacks, one of a handful of basic logic changes emerges, and pretty much all of them are based on the idea that there's something about gayness or gay people that makes them lesser or their relationships not real or their families illegitimate.

    "Marriage is to produce children"

    Except that there exist zero, zip, no social movements whatsoever to bar infertile couples or couples who have no intention to raise children from marrying. Likewise,

    "Children are better off with a mother and a father"


    "Marriage is a sacred religious institution, you just don't understand"

    I am an atheist married to an agnostic and we have no current intent to have and raise children. I got married in front of a justice of the peace with a witness borrowed from the diner next door.

    There is NO legal or social bar to any heterosexual couple getting married provided they are not already married, and even then no one bothers to check beforehand and bigamists are rarely caught or prosecuted. If you intend to have children without marrying or being part of a couple, ditto no legal and only minor social barriers. If you can get the sperm and egg together, bam, you're a parent, and nobody suggests taking your kids away because the situation is not ideal. You have to reach pretty fucking extreme levels of "not ideal" before anyone thinks it's legitimate for the government to intervene in that family.

    If the same standards brought up to why gay people shouldn't be allowed to get married are routinely not recognized, violated, or otherwise simply not applied to heterosexual marriage, then the motivation to bar gay marriage really can't be about anything BUT "gay people just are somehow not good enough". Maybe you see an important distinction between that and hatred, but to the people affected it's a distinction without difference.

  31. Lab Rat, you don't have to convince me about that, my wife and I planned to not have kids when we got married due to genetic issues in her family. Didn't mean we didn't love each other.

    My whole initial take on this was coming from the Dan Savage It Gets Better POV, and from my perspective it has. Some guy was rude to his lab partner and now his lab partner won't talk to him. Sometimes it's because you're just a jerk. (I should know) Oh and his Mom really wanted grandkids. Our Moms wanted to send us to see a shrink too, most Moms want to be Grandmoms, and we had to be kinda crappy with with them before they'd shut up about it. I'll say it again, from where I stand, what people say about gays has Changed in the last 30 years, you've won. You've come 1000 miles, and marriage is the last 10 feet.
    (And by the way, by calling it marriage, you couldn't have picked a more divisive goal if you'd tried, so I assume whomever picked it did. That was a deliberate slap in the face of the older more conservative generation of breeders, showing them that you'd won. Right? That does tick me off, but I blame that on politics and the loss of so many of the older guys to HIV, so the movement lost a lot of its wisdom, and most of it's class in the 90's. And an awful lot of my friends.)

    Anyway, sorry about my stinking up your board with my contrary politics Holly. You're a great writer and I intend to keep lurking.

  32. Yeah, you're...missing the point. My mom didn't just want grandkids. Gay people can have kids. My mom thought there was something *fundamentally wrong* with me. I tell her, "I don't want kids," and she says "You'll change your mind." I tell her, "I like girls," and she goes pale and looks at me with such intense hatred I might as well have said, "I just killed someone."

    Also, nice to know that the gay movement had no collective wisdom held in its older women. Nope! Lose the older guys and there goes all the brains.

    -Andy, wanting to marry a girl just to slap you in the face since 2005.

  33. And by the way, by calling it marriage, you couldn't have picked a more divisive goal if you'd tried, so I assume whomever picked it did. That was a deliberate slap in the face of the older more conservative generation of breeders, showing them that you'd won. Right?

    Here's a thought experiment for you: rather than being aliens, gay people get raised in exactly the same culture as straight people do that venerates love and views loving commitment, embodied in the institution of marriage, as legitimizing relationships.

    They don't want marriage because they want to slap breeders in the face, they want marriage because they want to be happily married to the people they're in love with and have families just like other couples.

  34. LabRat, thank you for saying exactly what I wanted to say more calmly than I could say it.


  35. I don't see how the "blind smugness argument" fits into the picture here. One may find Dawkins fanboys rude (in this way it's a " I Won't Tolerate Your Intolerance Of My Intolerance" Argument in a general christianity debate, which this is not the topic here), but in which sense is atheism an argument pro or contra gay rights?

    (no trolling about pro/contra god, I'm just interested, maybe i missed an aspect of the debate in US, i'm from Germany)

  36. and also no trolling against gay rights, o.c.

  37. I've often wondered if my theory about homosexuality in men makes me sound like a jerk. Here it is - it's documented that the odds of homosexuality in men is increased based on the number of brothers his biological mother produced before him. Environment has been removed from this equation by including statistical analysis of children separated from their families. I can't quote the study exactly, mostly because I'm too lazy to go looking for it, but if memory serves, by the fourth son, odds of being gay are increased by five times.

    Now we all know (or might know) that death by old age is a survival mechanism. Resource conservation is an impossibility if no one dies off and stops eating. What if homosexuality is a survival mechanism? What if removing the attraction to the opposite sex was meant to stem the tide of rampant reproduction - especially considering the suggestion that as more males are born to the same mother, the likelihood of being gay increases. After all, men can father hundreds of children during the time it takes for a woman to produce a single one. We have to be stopped somehow.

    One could ask, why not remove the ability to reproduce instead of the desire for the opposite sex? Simple, if a disaster occurred, killing off large members of the group, the physical tools would remain to perpetuate the species.

    That's not to say that the desire to parent is removed, it's obvious that gays and lesbians can be loving and dedicated parents.

    I guess what I'm saying is that gay people are born that way, and not as a defect, but as a valuable survival mechanism for resource conservation. It's a simple evolutionary answer if you ask me. We might just owe our very existence to them.

  38. I would like to award you the entire INTERNET for this. Particularly, tho', I liked "Argument from What If We Gave Everyone Rights, What Then". I never have gotten a good answer to "... sounds OK to me?".

  39. @evo-discussion:

    Actually, previously death in childbirth used to be a whole lot lower; apparently, our pelvises, like our tooth structure, used to be able to accommodate stuff a whole lot better. (Significant narrowing of the jaw has been shown in some populations, specifically Chinese families that have relocated to the cities.)

    I tend to prefer the "evolution isn't a goddamn inter-species Olympics" argument, myself. When you consider our ridiculously low fertility rate (few successful implantations, lots of early spontaneous abortions), our social structure (clique-bonding), and the fact that sexual pleasure is a pretty good way to bond for our species... it's pretty hard not to come to the conclusion that our species is pretty niche, and we weren't supposed to have children all the time at all.

    Also that PIV leads to UTIs for many women (esp. with too much penetrative sex - leads to inflammation, etc.), suggesting that the clitoris is a first choice instead of an addendum.
    Also that, logically, if the rough "goalpost" of successful evolution is to continue the life of that species, overbreeding is a sincerely BAD thing.
    Also that children born farther apart (6+ years) are generally kinder to each other; I've never met closely-aged siblings without rivalry. Sort of the Catholic stereotype - there are non-Catholics with guilt problems, but ain't Catholics without 'em.
    Also that the offspring of women who have more children are LESS likely to survive (because their mother dies; because of lack of resources in the area to feed more humans; because mother's care and time is spread between more people).
    Also that intra-species competition actually leads to stress (which will kill you ded in nature, either by dropping you straight-up, making you vulnerable to infection, by making you vulnerable to predators - all of which are deadly in nature, suggesting that stress & unhappiness = BAD! in nature) rather than a strong gene pool. (Darwin's idea of "survival of the fittest" actually referred to inter-species competition; that's why suggesting evolution as being intra-species competition is called "social Darwinism", although it's become the popular definition lately, having been divorced from eugenics.)

    So, I'm Team Sex All The Time, Because We Are A Sexual Species And It Is A Bonding Activity Which Makes You Happy, Which Makes You More Likely To Survive.

    ... then again, after really thoroughly reviewing the contemporary opinions on evolution, I've come to the conclusion that none of them are satisfactory if your sight isn't being skewed by a generally anti-nature hysteria (you'll get sick! you'll die! predators will eat you! EVERYTHING WILL BE SO HORRIBLE YOU CAN NEVER EVER CONSIDER OUR CIVILIZATION AS ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE BEST POSSIBLE CHOICE).

    I like Kropotkin - he was a Russian biologist who advanced the idea that nature works in tandem, symbiotically instead of merely competitively, which was not in vogue at the time and pretty much hasn't been since. "Competition" gives an easy excuse for people who want to preserve the status quo: well, they WON.

    Oh yeah, and hi! I love your blog. I love your posts. I hope you're fully recovered from mono now - that's gotta suck, seriously. I'm female-bodied/genderqueer and poly. Roughly. I have a girlfriend and I adore her, but we haven't found anyone else that we'd be interested in and cool with us.

  40. Well, I could add one that someone actually told me
    Argument from I Am Fucking Lazy
    Well, it's just much easier to appease the homophobes rather than strive for equality. I mean, there ar e roughly equal amounts right?
    Also: Argument from Its Icky Just Because
    There are so many things wrong with being gay!
    Like what?
    Oh come on,do I really have to say? Surely the idea of people expressing love for each other despite some people not wanting them to is wrong.

  41. This might be a bit late, but having read your blog over the last week and having seen the 'keep it away from the children'-argument quite a few times, I think I have something worthwhile to contribute to that point.
    I was told about sex (vaginal _and_ anal) when I was five, nine and twelve. I was told about drugs when I was nine, twelve and fifteen (and both these numbers are only the times I know about and it was explicitly mentioned). I was told about condoms all the time. I was told about HIV regularly as soon as I was able to form coherent three-word-sentences. I was told about polygamy and/or cheating when I was six. I was told about homosexuality for the first time in terms of 'there's those two men and they are really cute together and happy and in love with each other and this is completely normal and really cute'. I was, in summary, told a lot of things considered inappropriate at an age considered inappropriate.
    This did not traumatize me, it did not make me addicted to drugs or porn or sex, I was not abused and as far as I can tell it did not have any negative effect on me or my personality.
    It led, however, to me knowing that I can talk to my father about anything. I know how to protect myself from unwanted pregnancies and STDs. I know how and where to get help if something goes wrong. I have some idea on what things are considered 'safe' and which are not. When I discovered internet, fandom and, eventually, gay romance/porn, I was not shocked or horrified or angry, confused or anything, I was just happy that there was apparently some kind of romance I could read and enjoy. When my best friend told me he was gay, I said 'really?' then I said 'okay' and then live just went on.

    I'm pretty certain most of this would not be true had my father not raised me and my siblings with this uncompromising frankness. And I know this is not proof of anything, but I think it makes a point of why 'this will hurt/confuse/damage the kids' is pretty much nonsense.

    Oh, and just so this doesn't sound too weird, most of my upbringing and education was also on doing things properly and thinking on my own and generally being a good person and all those things. Some of it was just about all these things and sex.