Gay Relationships In Luxor

Discuss the problems that can occur in relationships with differing cultures and help overcome any barriers that exist.

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Post by Arthur »

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First same-sex weddings take place across New York City
The Big Apple said "I do" to a new era of gay rights this morning and celebrated New York City's first same-sex weddings. Chelsea residents Phyllis Siegel, 77, and Connie Kopelov, 85, got hitched at the marriage bureau on Worth Street in Lower Manhattan at 9:02 a.m., setting off wedding bells across Gotham.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is openly gay, witnessed the ceremony that was officiated by City Clerk Michael McSweeney. ‘‘It was just so amazing,’’ said Siegel, who has been with her love for 23 years. ‘‘It’s the only way I can describe it. I lost my breath and a few tears.’’ She added: ‘‘This is the first day of the rest of our lives.’’

In Brooklyn, retired nurse Michael Faurey, 63, and Bobby Amagna, 65, celebrated their nearly two-decade-old relationship in matrimony. ‘‘It’s [been] an 18- year struggle,’’ said Faurey. While the two grooms nonchalantly exchanged vows, judge Ellen Spodek, who officiated their ceremony, broke down in tears.


http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/firs ... z1YNgFZ5vY


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Post by Arthur »

From yesterday's Al-Masry Al-Youm:

Physical contact between men: An Egyptian phenomenon or an acceptance of homosexuality?

"During a friendly debate with a cab driver over the current political situation, he reaches over and repeatedly squeezes my thigh, in order to emphasize the key points in his argument. At the grocery store, the clerk hands me my change and smiles, “Here you go, sweetheart.” Whenever I shake hands with my brother-in-law, he pulls me towards him and plants two cartoonishly loud kisses on my cheeks.

In Egypt, it is not uncommon for men to display affection or camaraderie through physical interaction, often to the extent of violating what some may consider their personal space. In fact, this is common to the point where it doesn’t necessarily signify affection as much as it does regular, everyday politeness - for example, my grocer doesn’t even know my first name, but I’m still his “sweetheart” habibi.

However, for those unfamiliar with the local culture, similar examples of male bonding can be a source of confusion and, in some cases, concern. A clueless foreigner on the streets of Cairo might assume that two men with their arms linked are gay lovers. Congratulating the couple on their bold statement, however, would be a mistake that would almost definitely lead to a severe beating - and that’s the best-case scenario.

Even Egyptians such as myself, who believe thigh-squeezing isn’t as much an acceptable method of requesting someone's attention as it is a case of sexual harassment, would think twice before accusing an overly touchy male of homosexuality. Because despite what all the male-on-male kissing and hand-holding might imply, Egyptian society still operates under the firmly held belief that homosexuality is “wrong.” Furthermore, there can be no greater insult to an Egyptian man than one that questions his sexuality, or general "manliness."

Considering how hands-on Egyptian men typically are with each other, is there hypocrisy in their homophobia?

Sociologist Ray Jureidini believes that “there is no contradiction between displays of affection - such as holding hands, walking arm-in-arm or kissing - and sexuality or sexual orientation.”

Jureidini, who spent six years in Cairo before moving to the American University in Beirut, explains that the typical displays of affection Egyptian men share with one another do not necessarily translate into, nor are they provoked by, sexual attraction, adding that “men who display this type of [behavior] may be just as homophobic as those who do not. There are many [situations] when men are ‘allowed’ to display expressions of closeness without it being interpreted as homosexual [behavior],” Jureidini states. “This can be witnessed in sports, for example - particularly team sports. Egypt is no different in this respect.”

In terms of homophobia, Jureidini also believes Egypt is “no different” from virtually any other society. “In pretty much every society [you will find] homophobia expressed among males [as part of their] process of establishing their heterosexuality,” he claims. “In all societies, men of all ages express hostility and revulsion towards homosexuality. There is a state-sanctioned policy against homosexuality” which Jurdeini believes contributes to the perpetuation of homophobia.

Jureidini also points out that in Arab families, kissing and hugging between fathers, sons, and other male relations is more acceptable than in “families from Anglo-Western countries" - further evidence supporting his view that the characteristics of male relationships in Egypt and the Arab world have more to do with culture than homosexuality.

However, not everyone is convinced.

“I understand that this type of behavior isn’t perceived as being homosexual in nature, but that doesn’t make it any less hypocritical,” says Amin, a 29-year-old gay Egyptian who requested his name be changed for the sake of personal safety. “Yes, it’s a cultural thing, but that’s what it’s become today, not necessarily how it started out. I don’t think the cause behind this type of behavior is cultural - it has more to do with repression and sexual frustration.”

As a gay man who has spent his entire life in Egypt, Amin is convinced that homosexuality still plays a role in modern Egyptian male bonding, even if on a subconscious level. “Look at how repressive our society is, and consider all the bizarre manifestations of that repression - from widespread sexual harassment, to men being overly physical with one another, to the way they joke with each other and the language they use,” he argues. “If that part of the equation didn’t exist, then maybe I’d be able to see things differently. You could just as easily look at a society where child marriage is normal and blame that on cultural reasons, instead of recognizing that it must have started because some people are pedophiles,” Amin reasons.

Despite his insistence to the contrary, Amin does not speak for the entire Egyptian gay community. Thirty-year-old Mansour (also not his real name), for example, does not see any hypocrisy in the situation. “The fact that some men walk around holding hands is a cultural thing, which we share with countries like India and Pakistan,” Mansour explains. “It’s a type of intimacy not uncommon in certain countries. If you come from a Western culture, then this type of behavior will seem weird to you, but different cultures do things differently, and they look at things through a different perspective. A lot of Egyptians see how foreigners interact with each other and, to them, it seems like a cold and detached way to behave.”

Mansour also points out that the perceived incongruity between male bonding and homophobia in Egyptian society “is similar, in a way, to all the veiled women that wrap themselves in layers but still breastfeed their babies in public. It’s not like they have a secret urge to expose their breasts,” he says.

Hypocritical or not, there’s no arguing that the methods of male interaction are by now a defining feature in Egyptian society, guaranteed to confuse outsiders as much as annoy anyone with an appreciation for the concept of personal space.

Well aware that his actions were (probably) not sexually motivated, I still couldn’t help but feel increasingly irritated by the cab driver’s endless touching. Eventually, and against my better judgment, I said something about it. “You know, that’s not necessary,” I tell him, with a forced and unconvincing smile. “Squeezing my thigh like that. I can hear you just fine.”

Caught off guard, the driver remains silent for a few moments, and I briefly regret saying anything at all. Any threat of violence quickly disappears, though, when he offers a hushed, and clearly embarrassed, apology. A few awkward minutes later, as I get out of the cab and pay the driver, he leans over towards me. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you,” he says, sincerely. “I didn’t know you were getting upset. I mean, we’re just men, having a conversation.”"

http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/497542
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Post by Teddyboy »

“Yes, it’s a cultural thing, but that’s what it’s become today, not necessarily how it started out. I don’t think the cause behind this type of behavior is cultural - it has more to do with repression and sexual frustration.”

Can't you give it a rest?

(Not necessarily you, Arthur, I know.) This is half of the trouble that so many of us have with having other peoples' 'sexuality' paraded in front of us. WE DON'T WANT TO KNOW!!!!

It seems that homosexuals really MUST relate everything in life to their sexual 'needs' or practices. Normal people don't go on like this, their sexuality is a personal thing which is shared in a relationship of love (as Arthur was keen to point out, previously), not something for public consumption!

Displaying a friendly affection doesn't necessarily mean that a man is a repressed homosexual, which seems to be what this bloke is implying. It's not strange or abnormal to actually 'love' someone of the same sex without wanting or 'needing' sexual contact, just as it's not strange or abnormal to love someone of the opposite sex without wanting or 'needing' sexual contact. Some of us really can interact with other humans without wanting to copulate with them at every opportunity! Strange, eh?
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Post by Who2 »

Quote; This is half of the trouble that so many of us have with having other peoples' 'sexuality' paraded in front of us. WE DON'T WANT TO KNOW!!!!

My point exactly, but difficult as over expression of hand gestures and faffing about like a preened chicken seems to go with the territory, they have just about every law to their advantage now, so shut up keep to yourselves hopefully keep in your trousers and just give it and us a rest, please......8)
PS: There is a lot more to life than just sex. Oh! and it certainly wont help tourism in Luxor that's for sure.
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Post by Arthur »

Teddyboy wrote:“This is half of the trouble that so many of us have with having other peoples' 'sexuality' paraded in front of us.
TB, The article was about physical intimacy between STRAIGHT Egytian men.

One gay man, Mansour, thinks "The fact that some men walk around holding hands is a cultural thing, which we share with countries like India and Pakistan" and is nothing to do with same-sex attraction. Another, Amin, agrees but believes that there maybe an element of supressed, subconscious, attraction.

The sociologist makes the key point, for me: “In pretty much every society [you will find] homophobia expressed among males [as part of their] process of establishing their heterosexuality,” he claims. “In all societies, men of all ages express hostility and revulsion towards homosexuality. There is a state-sanctioned policy against homosexuality” which Jurdeini believes contributes to the perpetuation of homophobia.

Homohobic bullying is most common at the point at which young men/boys become sexually aware and are most keen to 'prove' and assert their heterosexuality amongst their peers. It seems homophobic violence and abuse is a cultural rite of passage for heterosexual hyper-masculinity. Sadly it also seems that young women are also the targets of this testosterone-fuelled need to prove one's manhood, with almost a third of girls subjected to unwanted sexual contact at school. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z1Yex61XpW
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Post by Mad Dilys »

My dear Doctor and Teddy Boy, why are you reading this thread?

I never ever read the music and entertainment forum, just not interested.

I think most of it is an over rated over paid way of passing time for people who would be better employed doing something else.

I have never owned a gramophone, record player or MP3 player. I do not use music as wallpaper. I love music of all kinds and prefer to hear it played live.

I haven't posted my thoughts on the Music and entertainment forum because my opinion is irrelevent as I have no interest in it.

This forum obviously vexes you, so why are you contributing to this thread?

Relax, you live in Luxor - Heaven and Hell on earth? :)
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Post by Who2 »

Because there have been seven now eight pages counting this one, on a subject, that has literally been shouted [ I was going to say 'shoved down my throat ] about ever since somebody asked me at 14 years old 'was my mate gay? I replied 'of course he is, another corruption thrust upon us again.
Gay = Happy in my book. Corruption takes all forms it doesn't mean we have to condone it..........8)
PS: Perhaps the 'silent majority should stay silent. How's the saying go ?
Something about ' goodmen remaining silent for...........
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Post by Teddyboy »

"TB, The article was about physical intimacy between STRAIGHT Egytian men."

Arthur, please give me a bit of courtesy here? Not all adolescent males spent their schooldays beating up the queers in their class, some of us did learn to read as an alternative to being constantly obsessed and controlled by our hormones.

It's a shame that your sociologist friend didn’t study English before he followed on the heels of you and your ‘Newspeaking’ friends (i.e. misusing the word ‘homophobia’, or has your coterie actually got around to getting that meaning changed in the 'on-line OED' as well?) or we might then have been more inclined to accept his facile and pointless ramblings as something more than just that!

“the veiled women that wrap themselves in layers but still breastfeed their babies in public. “

Here we go again; ‘sexualising’ everything in sight! What’s wrong with you people? Has your sociologist friend something deep and significant to say on the breastfeeding front, also?

I’m almost tempted to use a ridiculous expression which I first heard on East Enders many moons ago, go on then. “Get a life, why don’t you!”
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Post by TonyC »

One of the intriguing features of this thread (along with people banging on about how "real" people don't bang on about sexuality!) is TB's repeated claims that the term "homophobia" is misused, even to sneering about the online OED. The Oxford, and other, dictionaries state that it is "an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people". Is it only TB who does not accept the definition ... and why?
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Post by Mad Dilys »

Hmm that's a thought Tony, how naughty of you :)
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Post by Teddyboy »

"Is it only TB who does not accept the definition ... and why?"

Quite simple TonyC, as far as I can see a phobia is "an abnormal or morbid fear", and the general 'phobias' are all described as such, an abnormal FEAR. So why, in the case of 'homophobia' has it been changed to 'aversion'? I'm sorry, but it does rather seem to me that our language is being bastardised in order to make something which was generally frowned upon more socially acceptable. (By stealth!) The homosexual lobby seems quite adept at appropriating words into its Newspeak vocabulary.

It's a dishonest way of going about things! It also goes against the grain because changing the meanings of words in common use leaves many people at a serious disadvantage, through not actually knowing what is happening any more!

Take, for example, another type of visitor to Luxor: The female sex tourist. She comes here looking for love and sex with the younger men, and very often is left feeling used and abused and very much the poorer for the experience. The very word 'love' (apparently) means entirely different things (feelings and responsibilities etc.) to each of the players. If the foreign lady actually knew what the Egyptian man meant, when he tells her that he loves her, she would surely be much more circumspect? And all because a word, with which she is well accustomed, suddenly means something different! Although in this case, it becomes different because of a distinct difference in language and culture, and not just to suit the purpose of a minority goup. (The cynical side of me would here interject; well, maybe not!)

MD, why 'naughty', it seemed a perfectly reasonable question to me!

Also, I hope that this post goes some way to answering your question about why I am contributing to this thread.
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Post by Who2 »

Quote: as far as I can see a phobia is "an abnormal or morbid fear",

I have a phobia of being raped, I have piles........8)
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Post by TonyC »

Teddyboy wrote:as far as I can see a phobia is "an abnormal or morbid fear", and the general 'phobias' are all described as such, an abnormal FEAR. So why, in the case of 'homophobia' has it been changed to 'aversion'? I'm sorry, but it does rather seem to me that our language is being <del>*Word Censor*</del> in order to make something which was generally frowned upon more socially acceptable. (By stealth!) The homosexual lobby seems quite adept at appropriating words into its Newspeak vocabulary.
It hasn't been "changed" to aversion; it still means an abnormal or irrational fear. "Aversion" is a natural consequence of a phobia: you can't say arachnophobes don't have an aversion to spiders! And aversion can lead to active hatred and violence, even death, to the objects of that phobia. Academics, even sticklers for language, may argue over the "true" meaning of the term "homophobia" but it's been in use for more than 40 years and the world in general accepts what it means.

To quote author, activist, and civil rights leader Coretta Scott King: "Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homophobia

So what term would you use?
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Post by Arthur »

TB, it is clear that attitudes to homosexuality are becoming more liberal. The well respected British Social Attitudes survey has tracked public views on a number of issues since 1983. Last January, its 26th report stated: Over a third (36%) of people think that sexual relations between two adults of the same sex are 'always' or 'mostly' wrong, down from nearly two thirds a quarter of a century ago (62%) in 1983 http://www.natcen.ac.uk/media-centre/pr ... ly-liberal

I think you are being enormously ungenerous to the straight people who no longer, or never did, share your 'aversion' by appearing to suggest that some seemingly all-powerful 'homosexual lobby' (whatever that is?) has seized control of their minds as well as storming the Oxford English Dicionaries, taking innocent words hostage... Please...

The Al-Masry Al-Youm article written by a young Egyptian reporter picks up a theme from Tony's previous response to GD around straight male public intimacy:
TonyC wrote:
Glyphdoctor wrote:No one thinks anything of [two men] walking down the street hand in hand, they can go wherever they want anytime of the day or night and no one will question their being out and about
You used that sentence to describe illicit relationships but as a long-term resident you surely know there's nothing "gay" about men hand-in-hand or arm-in-arm in the Arab world. It's a sign of friendship – they think nothing of it and neither do their countrymen ("nudge nudge" visitors with "Oooh, get them!" comments are another matter ... and you wouldn't want to be on a par with them).
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Post by Teddyboy »

If someone has an 'abnormal or irrational fear' of homosexuals or homosexuality, then I'd call them homophobic, obviously! But for someone who doesn't particularly like homosexuality or doesn't want to be involved with strident homosexuals, I don't believe that they actually warrant a separate name or description. Why should they? Being a bit of a fat boy, I'm not particularly happy at being confined in small spaces, but that doesn't warrant me being referred to as claustrophobic, does it?

I don't want to be involved with people who habitually use Cockney Rhyming Slang in everyday conversation, so do I need a special designation? Are you going to label me a Cockneyphobe?

I'm not a highly educated man, I have no GCE's, leaving school before I was due to take them, so it's important to me to understand the words I hear and use. You tell us that "the world in general accepts what it means." If that's so, then why do the homosexual lobby keep using it when referring to people who are obviously NOT suffering from "an abnormal or irrational fear" of them? It's plainly ridiculous!
Why commandeer the word 'gay' to mean homosexual. Or 'straight' to refer to someone who is heterosexual. In my opinion, it's all an attempt to change peoples' attitudes at the expense of adulterating our language. I'm quite happy to have my attitude or beliefs changed (if changed they need to be) but not by this method, it's insidious and it's wrong!
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Post by Arthur »

Teddyboy wrote:Why commandeer the word 'gay' to mean homosexual


TB, I'm afraid the horse is nowhere in sight, even for homosexualists. There are no stable doors when it comes to etymology...

"The 2003 addition records the new slang sense which is now commonly used by many UK teenagers in informal colloquial contexts, where gay is used as a synonym for socially inappropriate or disapproved of. There is anecdotal evidence that gay in this new slang sense has been diffusing through UK schools for ten years, but the first citation here, from the US, is from 1978." http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/dic/o ... y/gay.html

But I am sure from the colourful language used in your school, as you recounted elsewhere, that you are well aware of the great number of less than happy and carefree words used by your peers towards people of my disposition. I'm sure you can't begrudge us at least one nice word that makes it through the *word censor* unscathed.

A happy note to end on from today's Telegraph... "Since they were introduced in 2005, some 42,778 civil partnerships have been formed in England and Wales, almost four times as many as had been expected to take up the new status. The ONS said civil partnerships seemed to be more stable in the first few years after registration than marriages. “Early figures suggest that marriages are more likely to end in divorce than civil partnerships are to end in dissolution,” the report said. After four years, 5.5% of marriages had ended in divorce, compared with 2.5% of civil partnerships that had been dissolved, according to figures for 2010".
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Post by TonyC »

Arthur wrote:The Al-Masry Al-Youm article written by a young Egyptian reporter picks up a theme from Tony's previous response to GD around straight male public intimacy:
Well, Glyphdoctor and I could hardly claim to have started a wider debate in Egypt... :lol:
Teddyboy wrote:Why commandeer the word 'gay' to mean homosexual. Or 'straight' to refer to someone who is heterosexual. In my opinion, it's all an attempt to change peoples' attitudes at the expense of adulterating our language. I'm quite happy to have my attitude or beliefs changed (if changed they need to be) but not by this method, it's insidious and it's wrong!
That's real "blast from the past" stuff, reminiscent of "Disgusted, Tunbridge Wells" letter writers to the press when "new" usage entered the language. Curiously, so many complaints were on the "gay" theme – and the Daily Mail and Telegraph played up to that with regular articles containing much of TB's usage: homosexual "lobby', for example; commandeering "nice" words; "strident" homosexuals; adulterating the language; "forcing" people to change their attitudes. The articles were all designed to play to people's anti-gay prejudices. They still work in some cases!

On "insidious and wrong" new usage, what about even this forum now offering a "tweet" facility when we all know it truly means "an imitation of the thin chirping sound made by small birds"? ;)
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Post by Teddyboy »

"The articles were all designed to play to people's anti-gay prejudices. They still work in some cases!"

(Maybe 'strident' wasn't the right word, I wasn't very happy with it in the first place, but couldn't bring to mind a word which would better describe what I meant. Perhaps it would clarify the meaning I was looking for if I expanded the comment to 'individuals who deliberately make a public display of their sexuality.')

Are you now saying that I have 'anti-gay prejudices'? It seems that both you and Arthur have decided that I am a 'queer basher', on the evidence that I object to the dishonest ways in which the homosexual 'lobby' (yes that's right, I'm still using that term) are intent on pushing their agenda. That act (of labelling me on the flimsiest of 'evidence') is another indicator of the dishonesty of the general policy.

I'm fully aware that dictionary compilers change the meaning of words due to common usage, whilst I may be somewhat uneducated; I'm not completely stupid! It's the intention of the common usage which I question here.

As for your 'blast from the past' section; is there something untrue or misleading in your examples? Or is it more likely that you are both so intent on furthering the homosexual agenda, that even this lame attempt at ridiculing the opposition is thought worthwhile? Although it's embarrassing to read, it must be even more embarrassing to realise that you actually wrote it!

In regards to 'Tweeting', what's changed there? A far as I'm aware the new tweeting isn't that much different to the old, is it?
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Post by Who2 »

I'm bored with this subject.....'watching my fishing float is more interesting.......8)
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Post by Teddyboy »

You're probably right Dr.
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