Alex Blaze

Michael Lucas shouldn't have a column in The Advocate

Filed By Alex Blaze | June 25, 2010 10:00 AM | comments

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Michael Lucas has another bash-Europe/Muslims column in The Advocate, which has taken a pretty hard anti-Gaza line since the flotilla was raided. I noticed a few factual errors, and could probably find more if I actually googled any of his statements (does he know that French PACS aren't "common-law marriage"? Or that there aren't any videos on YouTube of "beheadings[...] of gay people" in Gaza? Or that mass migration of Muslims into Europe started before the Holocaust during European colonialism of the Middle East and North Africa?), but fact-checking Lucas sounds a lot like spell-checking the proverbial million monkeys typing away.

He's making a "My religion/culture/country is better than yours" argument, which always fall apart. If Israel is better than all Muslim countries put together because they have anti-discrimination legislation and gays in the military, then Spain (the target of his column) is even better because they have gay marriage. Spaniards, like Advocate readers, don't need Michael Lucas to "invite" them "to reason."

If you want to play the "cultural superiority is proven through gay-friendliness" game, then, seriously, don't go up against Spain. Unless you're Sweden.

That's not to say I agree with Madrid Pride's decision to ban the Israeli float (something I'm particularly sensitive to as a gay citizen of a colonial power living in Europe), or that The Advocate shouldn't publish columns about Israel/Palestine, or that Michael Lucas shouldn't be allowed to rant about how barbaric and evil Gaza is on his own personal website.

But why is someone who doesn't even know that Germany perpetrated the Holocaust, not Spain, writing columns for them when they don't even have a regular trans columnist? Obviously they're not using their platform to the best effect.


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As a Spainard by migration, I find Mr Lucas' assertions offensive and racist.

Yes, racist.
Anti-arab, anti-Spanish

As a former officer in Armada Espanola, I am outraged.

Whatever might be said about Spain, one cannot say that Spain is blockading a minority into poverty, disease and death.

The Advocate owes His Majesty's Government and the Sapnish People an apology

The Advocate owes far more to the beleagured people of Gaza


Midtowner | June 25, 2010 6:14 PM

Maura, seriously his words actually are a call to protect you and other LGBT's. Western thought is what gave you and I the ability to be free and who you and I are, Muslims and Islam would take that away from us. How can you defend a culture that systmatically destroys people like on a daily basis? Did you read just today Syria...rounded up 25 Homos at a party...very enlightned.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 26, 2010 1:30 AM

Zionists routinely ignore things like the murders at the LGBT center in Jaffa and the efforts by christians to have GLBT folks in Uganda subjected to the same kind of programs they face at the hands of the mad ayatollahs of Iran or the US armed and directed jihadists in Iraq. They deny that all three abrahamic cults are innately homohating. By doing so they imply that all muslims are murderous anti-GLBT hatemonger's and co responsible for the crimes of the islamist right. The political definition for that view describes it as racist.

Gay Palestinians, muslims and Arabs are as oppressed by the zionist bunkerstadt as they are by Hamas. http://arabwomanprogressivevoice.blogspot.com/2009/08/gay-palestinians-are-too-hot.html
GLBT Palestinians who stupidly look for asylum in Palestine are instead arrested by the colonial secret police and blackmailed and if they refuse sent to Hamas to be murdered.

How is the image of zionists defending civilization from the 'muslim hordes' different from LBJs view that the US was defending the world from the 'yellow hordes' or Hitler's hallucination of the Nazis defending the world from the 'eastern hordes'. Answer; it's not.

His Majesty's Government does not need nor will it accept direction from such a source.

WE, I repeat, WE empowered radical Islam.

The Advocate has been (too) generous in allowing Michael Lucas columnist status, giving him prestige beyond his pornography work. I have wondered whether they do this because of some quiet bail-out or donation that he provided to them when they were in dire straights not too long ago. I have not heard anything about this. It is merely speculation on my part to try to figure out why they would cheapen their image with his "serious" opinions on various topics.

Midtowner | June 25, 2010 6:06 PM

Hey Alex, Just wondering how the article would read if you were writing it from Gaza, with the villagers banging at your door trying to drag you out to stone you?

I'm wondering if your comment would read differently if you were in Gaza searching for food to stay alive because you, like 60% of the population, don't have enough to eat because of the blockade and no one was coming to your door to stone you because that's just not what happens there.

But hey I'm guessing you've spent a lot of time in Gaza and managed to survive daily stonings to write a comment about how Islam needs to be eliminated (because if they can live we all die). I don't blame you for being bitter.

Also too you might want to provide a link to that Syria story you mentioned above since Google doesn't seem to know anything about it, but even still Syria isn't Gaza so it doesn't really prove your point. I know, they all look the same, blah blah blah, but they're actually different places.

Midtowner | June 25, 2010 9:17 PM

Here's a link that story bud.. http://www.gaymiddleeast.com/news/news%20210.htm

Anyway, no I havent been to Gaza or the middle east but I havent been to outerspace either to know theres no air...

OMG, Alex, the site calls itself "Gay Middle East," and it has words like, "GME is following the case against the 25 men," so it must be, like, a totally real news organisation. And we know that there are no bylines on any of the articles because everyone's afraid of getting stoned and killed.

Seriously, Midtowner, Syria isn't Gaza, and you can't generalise about the entire Middle East based on some lurid reports. No one denies that such incidents might occur, but could we at least cease and desist from spreading stories until they're absolutely verified? And could we think about issues like history and context before jumping on the "all Middle East people are vicious, homophobic thugs" meme? There are very real and legitimate gay organisations like Helem in Lebanon that can actually fact check these stories before being told what to believe by Americans who've never even stepped foot in the countries they are so fond of demonising.

And following on Maura's point above - it's all fine and good to go on about Palestinians inflict violence on gays but, as many have pointed out, we might want to consider the several kinds of violence perpetrated by Israel upon all Palestinians on a daily basis.

And, as we can tell from words like, "Western thought is what gave you and I the ability to be free and who you and I are, Muslims and Islam would take that away from us," there's very little that separates right wing conservatives from some gays and lesbians. So let's not be too hasty in creating these distinctions between gays and those who would inflict violence upon them. Your thoughts about Islam are shared by religious and non-religious wingnuts who seek to cure you - I would ponder that a little while if I were you.

@Yasmin, while you are correct the right wing zealots and muslims have much in common when it comes to LGBT's, you do have to acknowledge that fortunately for now we are able to keep zealots of any side right or left in check and from doing harm to us. The middle east, Gaza, Syria all of the above are not friendly to LGBT's and I think that many LGBT's are shooting themselves in the feet when supporting them. This argument is not a foreign one, many LGBT's use it when they speak of Gay Republicans being self hating. The huge difference is that the Republicans right now don't round up LGBT's whereas we hear over and over how we are rounded up even killed in the middle east.

Michael Lucas point although maybe not put the most politically correct way was a very astute observation.

Midtowner,

Um, no - don't misread/misinterpret my words, please. I meant that rightwing religious zealots and rightwing gays like you have a lot in common. Your views on Islam are exactly the same as that of Pat Robertson and the rest. It's not about self-loathing - that's a simplistic analysis that is too, too convenient to make. It's about being carrying through on a certain conservative politics - how people identify in terms of party politics doesn't change the nature of their conservative politics.

And as someone who doesn't engage with the usual party politics in the US, I don't draw these distinctions between Republicans and Democrats. The fact is that both conservatives and liberal states/counties/cities continue to harass our bars and lock us up for "unseemly" conduct in public, usually by entrapping us. Don't believe me? Here you go: http://www.bilerico.com/2010/03/man_hurt_in_rainbow_lounge_bar_raid_charged_with_a.php
And that instance wasn't even about entrapment. For that, please see the many cases of gay men being entrapped for "solicitation."

And as for killing us, well, take a look at the list of sex offender laws and registries in your area. They may not kill you outright, but you can spend the rest of your life in a hell on earth and watch your life stripped away if you dare to have sex with a 16 year old - at 17. Think twinks are cute? Think again. If you're "caught" with images of young, cute gay boys who turn out to be "underage" (however the law defines that), you're down for child porn.

I could go on here, but the brief point I'll make is this: It's easy and convenient for gays in the US to go on about our freedoms but the truth is that there are plenty of laws on the books that make our lives a living hell if we're not living lives of privilege. And even then, if you're caught in the wrong place at the wrong time (if you're caught in a working class gay bar in a Texas town or in Chicago, for instance), you could find your life turned down upside down in an instant.

People in glass houses...

Yasmin - not about Arabs, but a culture that shares some commonalities (and many differences).

http://docs.google.com/View?id=dc2kxcrt_49crft3wc7

UNCLASSIFIED
Human Terrain Team (HTT) AF-6
Research Update and Findings
Pashtun Sexuality

Your views? Because I've seen elements of the same kind of thing all over the Middle East (including Israel), and hints of it in the US amongst the Religious Right too.

@Yasmin, I agree with you on so many points... I know the west has our issues, trust me I do. I know were not some wonderful utopia where everyone is happy, healthy and equal. I also know that you and I have succeeded here because of our culture. It was a culture that lets us become who we are today, again not perfect. Sometimes it's cruel and horrible but most of the time... Whereas the middle east is the otherside of the coin. It is not an enlightened place, honor killings, muders of homosexuals, forced sex changes...on and on. I know it's not everyone but it is in the culture. Maybee in a few hundred years it maybe different but right now it's how it is...

I may be over generalizing but its undeniable. The west for all its problems is much better for all people to strive, succeed and be happy and safe.
As to your point, I am somewhat conservative, don't consider myself right wing..more moderate, trying to be pragmatic. Can't stand the religious right but having trouble with the far left...so there ya have it...peace

@Zoe,

I'm writing this as a separate comment instead of hitting "reply to" because otherwise it might end up as one of those really skinny and long comments and difficult to read.

The HTT is quite controversial, given the issue of embededness of academics within the US army. Readers can find a quick overview in the links presented here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Terrain_Team

if you type in "Human Terrain Team controversial" or "Human Terrain Team controversy," you'll find more sources, including an NPR interview detailing the problems with the project.

For the record, I find the notion of embedded academics quite troubling. I don't find this report particularly credible as a source, given its origins. Even though it asserts "Extensive open-source journalistic and academic writings on the subject have been additionally consulted, some involving directly quoted answers from Pashtun interviewees. References are included for further examination.[1]", it's important to note that none of the sources referenced at the bottom are academic/scholarly sources. Instead, the majority of them are news items from mainstream publications. That doesn't mean that there's no truth in them, but I find the posing of this item as a serious scholarly enterprise quite troubling. And given what we now know about various formerly well-respected news organisations enabling the war machine, I think we should be even more wary of how we read such "reports."

That being said, let's look at what's laid out here, at least in its broadest contours. Are such things possible? Yes. And, as you point out, the Religious Right in the US has similar issues. Again, I don't the issue is simply a matter of the Right vs. the Left but let's put that aside for the moment.

I think it's worth gaining an even wider perspective about these issues of sexuality and the Other (however we construe the "Other") by asking what kinds of narratives about "our" superiority we are able to maninfest when we produce and/or disseminate such texts. When it comes to such "reports" about Pashtun sexuality, I'm struck by the complete absence of any historical context of Pashtun life and culture - it's as if it only came into being at the moment of invasion.

I would also caution everyone reading such reports - which combine reports about sexuality with several points about gender relations ("Direct questioning of Pashtun male interviewees on the subject is further hindered by the female gender of the social scientist writing") - to consider how they help us avoid the gendered and sexualised ways in which US militarism operates throughout the world.

As an example: I was listening to an NPR interview with an expert on US militarism in places like Hawaii and he made the very important point that the US always positions such lands and cultures as essentially feminised and hence rape-able territories. Combine that with the images from Guantanamo which deliberately place the Other as a homosexualised subject and then further complicates it with the positioning of Lindsey England as the white female achieving mastery over the brown male, Muslim and supposedly gay and female-loathing body. What you get is a more complicated dissection of sexuality and gender than such simplistic (and politically problematic) reports like the ones provided by the HTT.

Coco Fusco has some done some interesting work on the Guantanamo images in her "A Field Guide for Female Interrogators." While I may not agree with everything she writes, I find her analysis to be far more useful than a report on Pashtun sexuality generated by the very army that invaded Afghanistan and which continually needs to justify its presence there.

To summarise: I don't find the HTT reports credible or trustworthy given their source, but that's not to say that there are not real issues concerning sexuality and gender in many parts of the world, including the US. But in examining these issues, it's best we consider the contexts of political and economic power and domination and question our often too-essentialised ideas of gender and sexuality. That's not to say that there might not be some biologically driven aspects of gender and sexuality - but we have to question how and when we choose to separate them from their surrounding contexts.

And here's a link to the NPR interview with Damon Salesa, who discussed the colonisation of places like Hawaii (referenced above):

http://www.chicagopublicradio.org/Program_WV.aspx?episode=42820

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | June 26, 2010 1:03 AM

I thought the Advocate was dead or at least close to death.

When Lucas, a major attention hound, makes the news it usually involves some other porn producer suing for nonpayment, one of his regular knock down drag outs with his 'sigother' or his all consuming racist hatred of Palestinians.

His views about the people of Palestine, like most zionists, are the equivalent of American racists saying "The only good Indian is a dead Indian." He's unusually dense.

His sexual exploitation of young men with unsafe sex practices, his all consuming racist (zionist) hatred for Palestinians and support for the zionist colonial bunkerstadt are part and parcel of the same fraudulent outlook.

Michael Lucas is a producer of unsafe sex videos like PISS which features very young men in scenes with "Themes: Anal Sex, Cum Eating, Water Sports, - Starring: Jay Adams, Anton, Jake Brentwood, Josh Dean, Tyler Gant, Michael Lucas, Rob Marquis, and Ryan Raz - Studio: Lucas Entertainment."

That's not as unsafe as bare backing but swallowing is plenty unsafe.

Midtowner | June 27, 2010 3:02 AM

You all are so funny with with your zionist and colonialist name calling... No one has ever negated the atrocities that have befallen people in America or Isreal. No one has ever said were perfect and have our sh*t together, but you cannot deny that western thought and civilization regardless of how imperfect has provided you and I with the greatest opportunities to be who we are and want to be. Muslim societies, any theocratic society (religous right included) is the enemy of who we are. You can defended them, try to befriend them etc, but they are the enemy of us. Bill Perdue you can smuggly mock people who disagree with you, Maru and Alex you rail against the colonial establishment but it is that establishment (again as imperfect) that enables you to freely to be who you are... Why not try to perfect the imperfections without giving into the other side that wants to tear down who we are? Yasmin in your perfect world you would be wearing a Burka and be uneduacted, seriously is that what you want...you tear down to your own deteriment.

No I'm not the religous right, not I'm not a self loathig gay, no I'm not a rich middle aged white gay guy..Im just a regular person with a medium sized bank account tyring to make it in this world. Someone who would fight along side of all you to be who you are...just don't understand why youu want to rail against the opportunites that people are dying for in the middle east....

I be the homosexual and transgendered in Gaza or Iran would love to have it so easy...peace

Try having a gay event in Jerusalem without police protection; not from the Palestinians, but from right wing Israelis

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 5, 2010 5:40 PM

The murders of hundreds of LGBT folks in Iraq is the work of US armed, trained and led jihadists.

Criticism of the US genocide in Iraq and mass murder in Afghanistan and Pakistan do not imply or constitute a defense of islamist backwardness.

Support for the Palestinian struggle against zionist ethnic cleansing, starvation and apartheid is not a defense of islamist backwardness, it's what it says it is, criticism of a racist colony.

People who deny the validity if the antiwar and pro-Palestinian movements are hapless tools of anti-Palestinian racists in the WH and Congress and doing the dirty work of defending us genocide and zionist ethnic cleansing.

The US is in these wars for oil and to maintain the zionist colony for military purposes. Any of you are invited to go to a forward fighting base in Afghanistan or Iraq and explain to the GI's there that you're pleased as punch that they're fighting and dying to protect the zionist colony the interests of US and English oil companies.

The people of Iran including LGBT folks, trade unionists and workers, women and students and youth will take care of the mad ayatollahs without any help from 'regime changing' stooges for American oil companies or zionist nukes.

The huge nationwide demonstrations about a year ago prove that it's just a matter of time before the Iranians win. Then they'll hold fast, fair trials for scum like Ahmadinejad, the killer ayatollahs and a lot of cops and relieve them of life's burdens.