Gary Markstein by Gary Markstein

Gary Markstein

Comments (22) (Please sign in to comment)

  1. Respectful Troll

    Respectful Troll said, almost 4 years ago

    I understand the “Gay/Lesbian” rights agenda in regard to marriage and adoption but I’ve not really thought much beyond that. I have to admit I’m less knowledgeable regarding bisexual and transgender rights.
    Dennis Miller once said, and I paraphrase, “there is so much hate in the world I will never deny the choice of two people in love the chance to live their lives together.” He went on to say that bisexuals were just greedy.
    There are more promiscuous heterosexuals than homosexuals by sheer numbers alone. I have always thought bisexuals to be sexually active people who if not promiscuous were certainly not committed to one person, much less one sex. If I am wrong, I would like to know.
    Transgender can be transsexual or transvestite. If the former, the person was born of one sex but through medical means is now the other sex. What legal impediments does a transsexual face? Transvestites are not always “homosexuals”, they like to dress like the opposite sex, but are heterosexual transvestites facing the same legal, not social, discrimination as do homosexuals?
    I’m not trying to be flippant here, I really don’t know. And my friends who are gay are committed relationships and all of them have told me bisexuals are just sexually active and haven’t settled on one person or one sex. They had no answer re: heterosexual transgender folks.
    Respectfully, but curious,

  2. PocketNaomi

    PocketNaomi said, almost 4 years ago

    @Respectful Troll

    FYI, a bisexual is just someone who, when they are not in a relationship, doesn’t have a preconceived notion of whether the next person they fall in love with will be male or female. It doesn’t mean they are not committed or faithful when they are in a relationship, nor does it mean they cannot be just as capable as a gay or a straight person of staying with one person for life. It just means that they don’t choose that one person based on gender. A bisexual friend of mine once explained it as, “I fall in love with people — not plumbing.”

    As for transsexual rights, they can still be fired without recourse just because of what they are. In many places, they are forbidden to use bathroom facilities which suit their current gender, even when they have had a legal and surgical transition; and they get beaten up a LOT for using bathroom facilities which the abusers don’t think is the correct one (regardless of which one they try to use, the one for their current gender or their original biological gender). And when they’re beaten up, it doesn’t count as a hate crime in most states because most states don’t have any hate-crime laws that apply to crimes against transsexuals. So there are legal implications to the social discrimination they face, and they get little to no legal help in dealing with it.

    In many states they are also forbidden to adopt children (and in some cases they lose custody of their own biological children if they draw the wrong judge in family court); they’re forbidden to use insurance for their health needs (I don’t just mean the transition surgery; I mean basic stuff after the fact, such as the hormone treatments they need in order to maintain their health for the rest of their life once the surgery is over), and those transsexuals who are in dire financial circumstances are often discriminated against by charities (which are legally allowed to do so, when they would not be allowed to discriminate on other bases). One transsexual literally died on the doorstep of the Salvation Army a few years ago, because they refused to help her out of disgust at what she was.

    So that’s a basic overview. For whatever difference it makes, I am bisexual myself, so I speak from experience there… and I’m also strictly monogamous. I am not transsexual but I have several friends who are, so I know something about what they go through.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Libertarian1

    Libertarian1 said, almost 4 years ago

    The vast majority of the LGBT community live in solid, solid blue states. NY, California, NJ, Illinois etc. It didn’t matter to the Presidential election for whom they voted. Just as it didn’t matter who I voted for as a citizen of NY.

  4. PocketNaomi

    PocketNaomi said, almost 4 years ago


    Granted that many (not as many as you seem to think, though) LGBT folks live in blue states, the numbers of them who voted for Obama make up almost exactly the difference in the popular vote between the two candidates. So they may not have made a difference in who won the election because of the electoral college, but they made a significant difference in the popular vote, which is crucial in the way people see the situation. If Obama had not won the popular vote as well as the electoral college vote, we would certainly have been facing even more obstruction than we are now, and probably lawsuits over the victory (even though it’s been settled by precedent several times now). It’s not the deciding factor in the election, but it’s not totally insignificant either.

  5. Libertarian1

    Libertarian1 said, almost 4 years ago


    You seem to ascribe the 2% difference between Obama and Romney in the popular vote to the fact that the LGBT population is similarly 2%. That is way way to simplistic. Blacks represent 12.5% of the population and voted 93% for Obama if 2% fewer blacks had voted Obama same result as LGBT, similarly Hispanic, Asian, left handers, green eyed people etc. Any 2% of the population could have been the difference. My Libertarians cost the Republicans at least 8 elections. Don’t try and make more than actually exists.

  6. fritzoid

    fritzoid GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    “The vast majority of the LGBT community live in solid, solid blue states. NY, California, NJ, Illinois etc.”

    Insofar as they’re part of the LGBT “community,” that’s possibly true. But I don’t care how small a town you live in or how Red your state is, you have gays, lesbians, and bisexuals living among you, whether you can point them out (in order to harrass them) or not.

    I just finished reading Sinclair Lewis’s “Kingsblood Royal” (1947), about a successful suburban family man, a proud returning officer from the war in Europe, who discovers that his great-great-grandfather on his mother’s side was a full-blooded Negro, making him 1/32nd Negro, and his daughter 1/64th Negro, and therefore even by the liberal standards of the North “not White.” When he “outs” himself (and by extension his mother, his brother, his sisters, etc.) he loses his job, his friends, his family ties, his entire future (for himself as well as his daughter), and ends up being driven from his home by a mob (he lives in a restricted subdivision).

    I’d imagine that someone who is LGBT but has no “community” to rely on for support has much in common with a “colored” person who could nonetheless “pass” in the Jim Crow era. Even if they can stay invisible and unheard in hostile surroundings, in the privacy of the voting booth I suspect it “colors” their choices.

  7. fritzoid

    fritzoid GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    “I am not sure the reference to ‘straight’ as a comical device at the expense of the LGBT groups is politically correct.”

    Possibly not, but I don’t imagine anyone would take offense; if anything, they’d probably appreciate the irony.

  8. Libertarian1

    Libertarian1 said, almost 4 years ago


    Totally different, but worthwhile discussion. Accurate numbers in both the US and Europe estimate between 2-3% of the population is “gay”. I have lived in San Francisco, NYC, Chicago and suburban NJ. Trust me, the gay population in San Francisco is way different than in suburbia. If the whole population is 2-3% and 80%(?) live in big cities where their friends live there is not enough of a critical mass elsewhere to determine a presidential election.

  9. dannysixpack

    dannysixpack said, almost 4 years ago

    ^you’re assuming that the civil rights issues mean nothing to straight voters. One of the big mistakes the republicans made in this election was that people vote SOLEY on the basis of their own immediate (economic) self interest. How many straight people know and are friends with gay people? how many straight people have loved friends and family members that are gay? When one party villifies groups based on sex, sexual orientation, health care, color, race, immigration status etc… they don’t just offend the people in that group.

    I am male. I can not ever have an abortion. However abortion is a topic that is a litmus test for me for privacy. When reagan tried to illegalize abortion, i correctly thought he couldn’t do it because he’d have to go after privacy, and a conservative must certainly hold privacy higher than health care – boy was i wrong. Abortion rights have been whittled down through privacy attacks to the point where it is unobtainable and therefore defacto – illegal in the majority of the united states.

    so while looking at my demographics it would be easy to assume that i would not be disturbed by attacks on abortion rights – i am white, upper middle class, male and a registered republican. I will never support or vote for a platform that attacks anyones rights, or disparages a group because of their sex, sexual orientation, or beliefs. that’s because i am a patriotic american. the things about this country that are shameful or need to be fixed, i aim to try to fix.
    so candidates that want to limit the civil rights of gays or anyone else, or limit privacy and abortion rights, or talk about judging a woman’s intent for a medical procedure (legitimate rape) will never get my vote, even though things don’t address me directly – they are absolute veto issues for me.

  10. fritzoid

    fritzoid GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    “Trust me, the gay population in San Francisco is way different than in suburbia.”

    I currently live in San Francisco, although I have not alsways done so, and of course that portion of your statement is true. But open LGBT’s are also proportionally more visible through the entire Bay Area, including the suburbs (naturally, proximity accounts for a lot).

    But I’d say that, given the narrow margin of victory the Democrats had in may of the states Obama took (as well as the narrow margin nationwide), if there’s even a 2%-3% demographic category that overwhelmingly favors one party over the other, that can be key.

    Of course there are the Log Cabin Republicans, and bless their little hearts for trying. But while a candidate may be happy to accept your votes while simultaneously not wanting your public endorsements, unless the GOP mainstream reevaluates some of their positions pretty radically I’d expect to see the number of Gay Republicans shrinking sooner than growing.

  11. fritzoid

    fritzoid GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    PS: As a straight San Franciscan (and the majority of San Franciscans ARE straight, of course), I’m more aware of LGBT issues than I would be if I still ived in the Midwest; any news anywhere that has an LGBT angle gets more play in the media here than it would elsewhere. The parties’ respective positions on LGBT issues has been (and will continue to be) a consideration when I cast MY vote, as well.

    People my age (late 40’s) are far more likely to know someone living openly as homosexual (and to accept them) than people of my parents’ generation, and my generation’s children are far more likely still. This is true whether you live in the city or the suburbs (or the country), whether you live in a Blue state or a Red one. And it’s not because the percentage of gays has risen above the 2%-3%. And nothing is more likely to change straight perception of LGBT issues than finding out that you have a few among your family and/or your friends (or your coworkers, or working at your bank, or fixing your car, or fighting for your country). As long as there’s a perceptible difference between the two parties’ attitudes towards Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Trans-genders, the GOP’s going to lose votes by increasing numbers.

  12. fritzoid

    fritzoid GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    PPS: What dannysixpack said.

  13. Libertarian1

    Libertarian1 said, almost 4 years ago


    I heard an amusing but very meaningful anecdote. Large room filled with New Yorkers. Speaker: How many here know someone who is gay? Basically the entire room raised their hands. Now how many here know someone who is a born again Christian? No hands went up. Just like when Pauline Kael was shocked that Nixon won because she did not know one single person who voted for him.

    Here in the US we live in 2 different worlds. They feel as strongly pro-life as we do pro-choice. BTW, liberals can’t take the high ground re “choice”. 2nd amendment guarantees the individual the right to keep and bare arms. (Heller/McDonald) Here liberals are anti-choice. That is hypocrisy if you say you believe in choice. I just believe in my choice.

  14. fritzoid

    fritzoid GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    As it happens, I know both Gays and Born-Again Christians; I even know at least one Gay Born-Again Christian, and certainly many who do not feel that homosexuality (even the practice thereof) is a bar against Jesus.

    Regarding “choice”, I know some people who accept that abortion is a question of choice, although it grieves them that so many choose to have one. However, even the fiercest proponent of abortion rights would insist that those performing them be licensed, and that all available safety precautions be taken. Likewise, I accept that the 2nd Amendment codifies one’s choice as to bearing arms, but it grieves me that so many choose to do so (and with such disdain for such considerations as licensing and safety).

  15. Libertarian1

    Libertarian1 said, almost 4 years ago


    Well written. All medical procedures (I am a physician) should be performed under the highest standards. Sterility, emergency backup etc.

    The RKBA just like the right of free speech may be modified by time, place or manner.

  16. Load the rest of the comments (7).