Nate Silver: I've Sexually Gay, But Ethnically Straight
His forecasts for the 2012 election became the talk of the chattering classes. Now that he's vanquished his critics, what's next for the brainiac?
And too often we let pundits reinforce our convictions with a noisy blend of spin and hokum, whether on climate change or Romney vs. Obama. “Peggy Noonan is someone who is very, very skilled at making bullshit look like some elegant soufflé,” Silver says. “She’s very good at rhetoric and argument, but it’s still not grounded in the truth—it all falls apart every four years, but I don’t think she’ll be out of a job any time soon.”
It wasn’t just conservatives who spun the election as a close thing. Even Frank Rich, writing in New York magazine, described it as a “down-to-the-wire presidential contest,” though at almost no point was Romney in the lead. Among Silver’s critics, even on the left, there was palpable anticipation of seeing him exposed as a quack, perhaps because his brand of analysis undermines their buffoonish grandstanding.
Under the headline “One-Term Celebrity,” Politico’s Dylan Byers scoffed at Silver’s analysis, adding tartly, “this may shock the coffeedrinking NPR types of Seattle, San Francisco, and Madison, Wis., [but] more than a few political pundits and reporters, including some of his own colleagues, believe Silver is highly overrated.”
The hackneyed characterization of liberals aside, Byers epitomizes, for Silver, the kind of mission creep that is infecting the media. “I think he’s a terrible journalist,” he says bluntly, referring to an article in which Byers chastised BuzzFeed reporter Michael Hastings for his antagonistic approach to interviewing politicians. “Isn’t that the job of a journalist, to speak truth to power? The fact that this Dylan Byers guy saw that as problematic is a problem. We work in a world now where all these connections are so massaged; if you talk to someone in the State Department or the Obama campaign, you have to write three unquestioning fluff pieces for every real piece of information you get.” (Byers did not respond to requests for comment.)
Of course, for a gay, half-Jewish geek from Michigan like Silver, the establishment, like the high school clique, is anathema—one you are wise to keep at arm’s distance. He’s more at home on the outside rattling the cage than on the inside playing with the monkeys. It’s why he admires Gawker founder Nick Denton, who threw a party for him in his SoHo apartment after the election. “He’s willing to be kind of destructive and path-breaking, and to challenge the status quo; in some ways, it’s kind of more my style,” he says. (Of Silver, Denton says, “He’s not necessarily the best statistician, but he might be the best stats geek who can also write—and perform on television. His steadiness under pundit fire before the election was something to witness.”) Although he wasn’t excessively bullied, Silver spent most of high school immersed either in fantasy baseball leagues or the debate program. “High school debate is a strange thing,” he concedes. “It’s very technical—you’re not up there giving some type of Abe Lincoln speech, you’re reading different types of evidence really fast.” He compares his delivery to the old Micro Machines ads, which may explain why he still talks in such a torrent, as well as his enviable ability to apply himself to the task at hand.
“I’m very conservative in some sense because I do believe that hard work is a huge part of the equation,” he says. “It’s often not sufficient to bring about success, but it’s very often necessary if you want to be really good at something. My team won the state title in my junior year, and we were first runners-up in my senior year—had one of the best records in the history of the state of Michigan.” He pauses to let this remarkable record sink in before adding, “I probably dedicated 60 hours a week to debate during debate season.” This staggering commitment brings to mind Gladwell’s thesis in Outliers: that genius is composed in large part of perspiration, or what he calls the “10,000 hour rule,” the amount of time, roughly, that you need to practice a specific task to become an expert.
When Silver was not debating, he was playing Scoresheet Baseball with his friend Ray. They applied a kind of Moneyball methodology based on player statistics, and very quickly amassed one of the best teams in the league. Many years later, Silver would channel this passion for baseball into Pecota, a website that specialized in calculating the prospects of Major League Baseball players and which subsequently inspired his move into politics. And then there was his brief-but-glorious career as an online poker shark, largely as a way to temper the boredom of a consultancy gig with accountancy firm KPMG.
“One of the KPMG buzz words at the time was boundarylessness—it was such a good distillation of a totally meaningless corporate-speak cliché,” Silver recalls. “When people ask for career advice, I try not to be specific. I just say, ‘Don’t let yourself get bored; if you’re getting bored, you’re probably doing something wrong.’ ”
Silver eventually quit his day job to focus on cards, making $400,000 in just over two years, before realizing that bad players were a nonrenewable resource. “If you’re a bad player, you either become a good player or you go broke, and either way you are no longer available for others to beat,” he says. “Once the pond dries up, even the sharks begin to starve.” So out of the pond he flopped, and into the sea of analysis he swam.
If these pastimes—poker, baseball, debating Chinese–U.S. relations—seem atypical of the average twentysomething gay guy, perhaps it’s because gay nerds have a low profile in our culture. “To my friends, I’m kind of sexually gay but ethnically straight,” explains Silver, who came out to his parents after spending a year in London studying economics—“I don’t know how I got any work done”—and considers gay conformity as perfidious as straight conformity. He supports marriage equality, but worries that growing acceptance of gays will dent our capacity to question broader injustice.
“For me, I think the most important distinguishing characteristic is that I’m independent-minded,” he says. “I’m sure that being gay encouraged the independent-mindedness, but that same independent-mindedness makes me a little bit skeptical of parts of gay culture, I suppose.”
He recalls a series of flagpoles in Boystown in Chicago memorializing various gay Americans. “There was one little plaque for Keith Haring, and it was, like, ‘Keith Haring, gay American artist, 1962 to 1981,’ or whatever [actually 1958 to 1990], and I was like, Why isn’t he just an American artist? I don’t want to be Nate Silver, gay statistician, any more than I want to be known as a white, half-Jewish statistician who lives in New York.”
Silver, who once worked with the dating site OkCupid to calculate the best nights of the week to meet someone for a casual encounter (Wednesdays and Thursdays, apparently—“Friday and Saturday are a clusterfuck”), is not a fan of New York’s gay scene, which he thinks is too diffuse, but recalls many fond nights at Berlin, a nightclub in Chicago, where he met his former boyfriend, Robert Gauldin (the two recently separated but remain close; friends are optimistic for a reconciliation). “It was mainly a gay clientele but not entirely—they actually had good house music and good strong drinks, and it was about the right size,” he says. “And it’s also always the same—if there were a nuclear holocaust, it would live on.”
Not that Silver has time for carousing in bars. Since the election, he’s been busy with his book tour, juggling pitches for TV shows and documentaries, and working on a new book proposal—“I don’t know what yet, but certainly one idea of this election is why do people believe the things they believe; why did people believe Romney was likely to win, in contradiction to the polls?”
Then there’s the future of his blog, FiveThirtyEight. Silver’s deal with The New York Times runs out next summer, and whether he should stay there or blow it up into a stand-alone site is a question he is still mulling. And, of course, looming over it all is 2016, another opportunity for Silver to assert his dominance in the art of statistical analysis. “I expect 2016 to be spectacular,” he says, before running a litany of possibilities, including a Clinton candidacy and a field full of Republican stars that held back in 2012. As for the talking heads and rent-a-mouths, Silver’s not banking on any change there. “A lot of this is about values,” he says. “I think I have a better value system than the pundits—I care about truth, and I care about informing people, and they care about ratings. So that’s where I tend to play offense.”
- [quote]Of Silver, Denton says, “He’s not necessarily the best statistician,
Such bullshit. How would Nick Denton know one way or the other? Like [italic]he's[/italic] a statistician himself!
- Duh, everyone wants to be str8.
- Nate Silver, str8-acting stud!
- Huh ? Saaaa...wha ???
- R2 is creepy
- A self-loathing gay Jew. Color me shocked.
"I like baseball so I'm not like those other gays."
PS Only queens go to Berlin.
- I like it that many people today publicly and openly acknowledge that they are attracted to and oriented toward the same sex, but reject the notion of identifying as gay or embracing gay culture. It shows we have come far from the confining notions of previous decades. The fact is that most same-sex oriented people never will self-identify as gay or have anything to do with gay culture/gay community, and that is ok.
- "I like it that many people today publicly and openly acknowledge that they are attracted to and oriented toward the same sex, but reject the notion of identifying as gay or embracing gay culture. It shows..."
That for every step forward, we take two steps back.
Same as it ever was
- Blech. I just lost a lot of respect for the guy.
I HATE people who carry around a tired monolithic stereotype of "the gay" and then pat themselves on the back for being such an original trailblazer for not "fitting in".
We are all kinds, all types, we always were.
Keep the statistics coming, dear, but otherwise I don't want to hear from you if it's gonna be this tiresome crap.
- R8 how is that OK?
Guys who don't self-identify as gay are usually those who get a wife and think it's ok to be homophobic even though he's happy to suck dick to get off.
And throwing away notions of gay culture is offensive. It's what got visibility and attention and a point around which oppressed people can rally around.
- Nate and the ex:
- R8, maybe we should call them like that - same-sex oriented people, or SSOP for short? We already have MSM for men, though. Many people take words too seriously. Just look what using of a word "marriage" can do!
- I too have lost respect for Nate.
It is like a gay guy saying I'm gay, but I don't support equality rights like same sex marriage and scrapping DADT.
- How is it like that at all, R14? He says he's gay but doesn't identify with stereotypical gay culture. Plus he supports marriage equality so your example is just stupid.
Am I the only one who read it? Absolutely nothing offensive or wrong with how he feels. In fact, it's how most gay men under 30 feel.
- [quote]He says he's gay but doesn't identify with stereotypical gay culture.
- [quote]Absolutely nothing offensive or wrong with how he feels. In fact, it's how most gay men under 30 feel.
And they are offensive and wrong. And self-loathing.
- Silver's ethnically straight...that means he's a cum guzzling bottom!
R2 Silver's baseball predictions are so funny. The guy is such a geek when it comes to the game. It's almost as if the stats play the game according to Silver and not the players themselves.
- Being gay but not wanting to bareback while on poppers in a sling is not self-loathing. In fact, it's self-respect.
- r11, it is not self-loathing for him or any other person to say that a particular identity or culture may be ok for others, but not for them. It's call individual choice and identity.
- So if I don't endorse your view of gay culture, R16 and R17, I'm self-loathing?
Who decided that your view of gay culture was the standard that the rest of us have to meet?
- Silver decided, by setting up one set of stereotypes in order to knock them down by saying that's what he ISN'T.
Self-identifying is important too. Unless you've realized that saying you're "straight" gets all the desperate queens to drop to their knees in 3 seconds flat.
- "I like it that many people today publicly and openly acknowledge that they are attracted to and oriented toward the same sex, but reject the notion of identifying as gay or embracing gay culture. It shows we have come far from the confining notions of previous decades. The fact is that most same-sex oriented people never will self-identify as gay or have anything to do with gay culture/gay community, and that is ok."
Funny how people shun the label "gay" but not the label "straight." How many men who like women and ONLY women refuse to identify as straight? None. People who shun the label "gay" are just self-loathers. No one shuns labels when the label is a label that is embraced by society. The men who say "I don't like labels" are always bi or gay guy....straight guys never bitch about the straight label.
"it is not self-loathing for him or any other person to say that a particular identity or culture may be ok for others, but not for them."
How many men who like to fuck women and only women would say that the straight culture and identity isn't for them?
"In fact, it's how most gay men under 30 feel."
I'll never stop making generalizations based on anecdotal evidence, vows the datalounge!
- [quote]How many men who like to fuck women and only women would say that the straight culture and identity isn't for them?
Are you agreeing with Silver, because that's his point - there shouldn't be labels such as gay culture and straight culture or gay artist and straight artist.
There is literally nothing to complain about or be offended by here.
- "How many men who like to fuck women and only women would say that the straight culture and identity isn't for them?"
I don't think there is much a straight culture either, not in the sense of there being a cohesive heterosexual culture and identity that makes it somewhat accurate to speak in broad generalities about heterosexual men. And I don't hear a lot of straight men going around talking about themselves with the label "straight" either, although they certainly express their interests in women in various ways.
- "Are you agreeing with Silver, because that's his point - there shouldn't be labels such as gay culture and straight culture or gay artist and straight artist."
But no straight artist would object to being called straight. Duh. That's the point I was trying to make. Gay and bisexual men bitch about "labels" but straight men never do, because "gay" and "bisexual" are labels that are stigmatized by society while "straight" is not. You are just playing into society's hands by pretending that being labeled "gay" is shameful.
Same gender loving, or SGL, a term coined for African American use by activist Cleo Manago, is a description for homosexuals and bisexuals, particularly in the African American community. It emerged in the early 1990s as a [Black] culturally affirming homosexual identity. SGL is an alternative to Eurocentric homosexual identities e.g. gay and lesbian which do not culturally affirm or engage the history and cultures of people of African descent. Specifically, the term SGL affirms Black homosexual and bisexual men and women through its African American conceptual origins, African inspired iconography, philosophy, symbols, principles, and values[not in citation given]. The term SGL usually has broad, important and positive personal, social, and political purposes and consequences. SGL is anti-hate and anti-anti-Black.
In a 2004 study of African American men, most of whom were recruited from black gay organizations, 12% identified as same gender loving, while 53% identified as gay. Men attending Black Gay Pride Festivals in nine U.S. cities in 2000 responded similarly, with 10% identifying as same gender loving, 66% as gay, and 14% as bisexual. Because of selection bias the results of the studies are unsurprising. Recent studies indicate that African-American youths are less likely than Euro-American youths to self-label as gay male, lesbian, or transgender youths. While these studies exhibit an expected outcome, that is, going to an organization or event that is labeled and marketed as gay would yield a high correlation between participants and a gay identity such studies also illustrate the need for increased study and location of the organizations and activities that cater to same gender loving people. An example of such an organization is the National Black Mens Xchange. It is the United States of America's oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to promoting healthy self-concept and behavior, cultural affirmation and critical consciousness among same gender loving (SGL), gay-identifying and bisexual African-descended males and allies.
- [quote]How many men who like to fuck women and only women would say that the straight culture and identity isn't for them?
If you identify "straight male" culture as gun-toting, misogynist and sports-obsessed, then a lot of straight men would say it isn't for them.
DL ofter makes this generalization about straight men.
- I don't even know what this thread title means.
- He sounds arrogant, but I think that's the massive insecurity of a Jewish man who is told he has to be "great" and usually isn't.
You have no idea how much pressure is put on these people. So he's absorbed anti-gay message with his upbringing. It happens to everyone, and if he were smarter, he would have seen beyond it by now. But he isn't smart. His gambling and his derivative poll work have done well by him, but mainly through luck. There was nothing scientific about averaging other people's polls, and there was nothing remotely intelligent about trying to make a living as a gambler. Fine. That's okay. You don't have to be a genius, or humble, to be gay. At least he calls himself that, which many others in his position are reluctant to do. The rest will come eventually. You can't be an insecure little twit all your life.
- I mean this someone who brags about his high school debate team. In Michigan. High school debate is one of the least competitive areas of competition for teenagers. There are probably aren't 100 kids in Michigan who even take it seriously in any given year.
- Well if Nate is half Jewish that explains some things.
Funny how a lot of Jewish people always go around saying they are Jewish. I don't run around telling people I am a non practicing Catholic unless someone asks. But for some reason Jewish people always seem to interject their religious affiliation into conversations without asking.
Maybe he is afraid that by identifying himself as part of the gay culture that he would be saying "but as a gay person" in every other sentence.
- [quote]There was nothing scientific about averaging other people's polls, and there was nothing remotely intelligent about trying to make a living as a gambler.
If it were that fucking easy then why did so many get it wrong. He wasn't just averaging polls. He took external factors into account, assigned weights, applied scenarios and created the algorithms to give daily snapshots of the campaign. More accurate than anyone else.
- [quote] You are just playing into society's hands by pretending that being labeled "gay" is shameful.
Huh? First off, straight artists don't get referred to as straight artists, they get referred to as artists. So saying they wouldn't object is silly. And Silver hardly seems to think being labelled gay is shameful, since he openly identifies as gay. He just deems the label unnecessary.
- But I lack conviction and he's unattractive and I don't want to appear like I defend ugly so bash away.
- [quote)Well if Nate is half Jewish that explains some things.
Right there you reveal your bigotry.
[quote)Funny how a lot of Jewish people always go around saying they are Jewish.
When what he actually says is:
[quote)I don’t want to be Nate Silver, gay statistician, any more than I want to be known as a white, half-Jewish statistician who lives in New York.”
And how many times do you hear people in this country say "As a Christian, I ....."
Some of you really want to make me vomit.
- I think he was missing the point about the context of the Keith Haring mention, but there's nothing self-loathing about his point-of-view. He's saying that he's refusing to "define" himself as gay, not that he's ashamed of it!
On a horribly shallow note, either he's aged badly, or is in need of a makeover. I'm usually okay with average looking guys (being one myself!), but in his case, it's almost as though he's willfully keeping himself as blah-looking as possible or something.
- One time I was in a gay bar and this guy with a cowboy hat was sort of hitting on me. In part of the conversation he said, "I like men but I am not into the gay scene. I have no interest in going to faggity brunch on Sundays"
I asked why was he in a gay bar if he was not into the scene. He said just to meet men. I said doesn't that make you part of the scene? He was silent then waked away and tried hitting on the next guy with that line.
- What is the fixation and insistent among some here and elsewhere that every person who is not heterosexual identify with the gay community or gay identity? It is not like he is bashing people who do, he is merely saying that is not for him, not him. People have a right to distinguish themselves and be individuals.
- "But he isn't smart. His gambling and his derivative poll work have done well by him, but mainly through luck. There was nothing scientific about averaging other people's polls"
And yet he was one of the few who were right while so many others were dead wrong.
"Funny how a lot of Jewish people always go around saying they are Jewish. I don't run around telling people I am a non practicing Catholic unless someone asks. But for some reason Jewish people always seem to interject their religious affiliation into conversations without asking."
You obviously haven't met too many members of the Christian right. They love to talk about their religion 24/7.
- If he does not want to identify himself as gay, then why has he accepted Out Magazine's Person of the Year honor?
Oh, that's right, he's a dick.
- Frank Ocean doesn't like to be labeled either.
- r40, right about what, because most pollsters and pundits predicted Obama would win.
- I've heard real self loathing idiots (that "Same Gender Loving" bullshit, etc). Nate seems okay by me and fully cognizant of himself as a gay man and gay culture, etc. I understood his point about "Keith Haring, gay artist" though I don't totally agree with it.
- I would say there is some truth to people his age not identifying themselves with labels, but I think it's used far too often as an excuse.
Dose he have a problem labeling himself a statistician, sabermetrician, psephologist, and writer?
Those are all labels Dear.
- Funny, Rachel has a critique of gay marriage that comes from the opposite direction (wanting to preserve whatever remains of gay culture):
"I feel that gay people not being able to get married for generations, forever, meant that we came up with alternative ways of recognizing relationships," she explains. "And I worry that if everybody has access to the same institutions that we lose the creativity of subcultures having to make it on their own. And I like gay culture."
- If he looked hot, he wouldn't be saying this. But he's not, and has probably been rejected by every bar queen in NYC. Hence, his disdain.
- R33, most of the public thought Obama would win. Silver was hardly "swimming against the stream."
- I once won a college basketball pool even though I hadn't folowed the season, just doing my picks according to the historic strengths of the schools. It didn't mean I was a basketball genius.
- Out of the many polls, only two (Rasmussen and Gallup) had Romney ahead, and by a mere one point at that!
- Silver didn't propagate the money-making theme of a close election that everyone else, including the Times, did. That's what has his colleagues mad. Papers keep in the black with their insistence on a close race.
- No surprise here.
- R46 - Andrew Sullivan has had posts at his blog called "End of Gay Culture Watch" (regarding the "mainstreaming" of gays into the general population) for quite a while.
- On the contrary R40, I live in LA near Beverly Hills, its jew central.
Out of at least 12 friends who are Jewish, they all seem to interject it frequently. Out of the same amount who were raised Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, non seem to bring it up unless asked.
The Christian Right dont count because they are all freaks. Are you saying that all Christians act the same as the Christian Right? Hello fellow bigot!
- Those of you who think he's not especially smart must never have read his blog. Get a clue.
- Puh -- he looks pretty fucking gay to me.
- It'll be a crowded marketplace, next election. Nate was not the only "quant geek" trying to numbers-crunch the predicted outcome. There were several; Nate got on the scene first and became the most well known. He was very accurate, but so were Sam Wang and a few others. Once you try that approach and get it fairly accurate, and others copy it, the odds of your being most accurate go down considerably. Someone else is bound to get their prediction a few tiny tenths of a point closer than you did.
I knew him as "poblano" on DailyKos for a few years before he launched his 538 blog and connected with the NY Times. I still like Nate and respect him a lot. Apparently the rest of DL doesn't!
- So he is not perfect like everyone on this thread- a bit of internalized homophobia like I have had much of my life and is rife on DL.
What he has gotten spectacularly correct is predicting election results using the most rational and objective model, AND the vacuousness of the current American media. These are very very important points. He is a lone voice in the search for truth in journalism- which is what I care most about.
He's young, he'll own his sexuality and all that goes with it in time too smart not to.
- Andrew Sullivan? Really? That Conservative Euro Trash Polar Bear lost his credibility years ago when he went on a bunch of talk shows telling people that gay men should vote for Bush.
How did that work out?
- I get the "no labels" thing, but if that were really the case why would he qualify himself as "ethnically straight"? Because people like him and Frank Ocean choose to use labels when it helps them and throw them aside when they might hurt them.
Even as a joke, "ethnically straight" is really offensive. Also, the point of labeling Keith Haring as a gay artist in a memorial is so that there is exposure to the good that homosexuals have done. When talking about him as an artist, I never qualify him as homosexual because there's no need, unless the context demands it (which it seems like it would in a memorial).
That being said, I like Nate's work, and have no problem separating a person from his work. This has definitely dropped my view of him, though.
- Savage did that too, and then reversed himself just before the election.
- "Guy culture" is becoming more diffuse every year. It flowered in the 70s and the 80s and really hasn't been one particular thing since then.
I am always suspect of anyone who claims not to identify with "gay culture" without defining what he means.
- how can you be 'ethnically' straight? what does being straight have to do with ethnicity?
- [quote]If he does not want to identify himself as gay, then why has he accepted Out Magazine's Person of the Year honor?
Are you dense? He does identify as gay but doesn't prefer to be defined by it. As in "I'm gay, but it's not necessary to refer to me as a gay statistician or a gay American. Just call me a statistician or an American. A completely same and reasonable way to feel.
- And why would "hard work" be against gay culture? In what delusional place is hard work something associated with heterosexuality? This idea that he wouldn't want to be known as a "great gay poet" but only as a "great poet*"
"*gay" is clearly self-loathing and dumb.
Gay is something you should want to be associated with.
- R64 you make no sense whatsoever
- No R64, no. It implies you feel "limited" by being described as gay. As though you weren't good enough to be just a statistician or an American. Why would you think that? There are no affirmative action programs for gays (except for an experimental one at the ACLU). You only would think that if you thought being gay was bad or inferior. QED he is self-loathing.
- I mean, would he feel offended by being called "one of the great male statisticians of all time." Nope.
- [quote]Also, the point of labeling Keith Haring as a gay artist in a memorial is so that there is exposure to the good that homosexuals have done. When talking about him as an artist, I never qualify him as homosexual because there's no need, unless the context demands it (which it seems like it would in a memorial).
Quite a lot of Haring's work featured homosex or was directly related to it (AIDS in the late 80s, etc). So it makes sense to classify Haring as a gay or queer artist. Nate Silver's work has focused on stuff that is not gay/queer-specific. So the label would make no sense.
- I make perfect sense. I'm gay. That's just one aspect of my being. I'm not ashamed of being gay but it does not define everything I do.
- Not to mention the arrogance of it. The necessity of thinking he is "great" because he crunches a few numbers. Honey child, you're still just pushing paper. You are not on a par with Obama or even Axelrod.
- R64 R69 do you believe in equality rights for gays and lesbians, like same sex marriage?
- R64 makes perfect sense to me, too. Sorry if some of us, including R64 and Nate and myself, don't choose to have our orientation be THE defining attributes of our selves.
R72, why *wouldn't* R64 believe in marriage equality?
- R71, fair point - he's more a political weather-forecaster than anything else. Real accolades should go to Axelrod, Cutter, Messina and the other leaders of the Obama campaign. And to the President himself.
But Silver's approach was a cut above all the "predicting what I wanna FEEL to be true" pundits like Dick Morris - idiots who got paid well for their airtime and then were proven totally wrong. There was a rhetorical turf war over this - Silver got trashed, predictively, by the pundits. Election night proved them wrong and proved Silver right.
- Let R64 answer R72
It might surprise you, but there are plenty of gay men who do not support marriage equality.
- "I'm gay but it doesn't define me" is also a self-loathy line. Often used so you don't feel like you're treading on the toes of straight people.
Being gay effects who you settle down with, how you raise kids, where you can travel on the planet without having your head whacked off, whether or not you can expect to be discriminated against. Like it or not, being gay IS a huge part of a gay person.
- He's out, and a good representive for us (because he is smart, talented and appears to be ethical and fair-minded). He just doesn't want to be your poster child. I don't think he's being self-loathing, he's just expressing that he doesn't feel a part if the "gay scene".
I'm a baseball nut and a bit if a geek myself (tho not the super smart kind like Nate) so I can relate. People have an idea of what a gay man is supposed to be like and some of us just don't fit that mold. I've gotten flak and judgment from fellow gay men for poor fashion sense, lack of musical theater knowledge, poor housekeeping and middle-of-the-road culinary tastes. It's annoying. I don't mock other gay men for not knowing sports or sci-fi or other areas where I'm more typically "male" (because that would rightly be called homophobic), so it sucks that I get similar social derision because I'm not sufficiently "gay".
- r76 depends on the person. obviously, a lot of guys who are into guys don't experience it as a huge part of their identity or life.
- So far R64 / R69 hasn't responded to the question if he supports marriage equality as a gay man.
Maybe he is just off-line. I hope sp.
- Altering a favorite Eddie Monsoon quote of mine 'You are still an accountant, so you can drop the attitude'.
- It is entirely self-loathing R77, you as well. (I might add that straight people take a dim view of poor housekeeping as well). You are not more typically male and you obviously haven't met any gay people if you think they don't know as much as you about sports. As for science fiction, that is one of the most gay-heavy fields of fiction there is.
- [quote][R64] [R69] do you believe in equality rights for gays and lesbians, like same sex marriage?
Yea, I do. I support marriage equality, and equal rights in general. Chic Fil A is also on the boycott if you're curious.
- R8 writes:
[quote]I like it that many people today publicly and openly acknowledge that they are attracted to and oriented toward the same sex, but reject the notion of identifying as gay or embracing gay culture.
"Embracing gay culture" or "embracing straight culture" are important but not as equally important as it is to be embracing one's sexual identity. To "reject the notion of identifying gay" is to say one is not comfortable with himself/herself, may even be self-loathing, and that one prefers the idea of not being direct and honest with one's own sexual identity. In other words: There is nothing to like about that. And, in the last quoted portion of your text, that most certainly is [italic]not[/italic] "ok."
[quote]It shows we have come far from the confining notions of previous decades.
American society has always been progressive. Despite a Democratic Party not having that in their platform and taking it to the electorate like they used to do so in generations past.
[quote] The fact is that most same-sex oriented people never will self-identify as gay or have anything to do with gay culture/gay community, and that is ok.
No. That's not "most." You may think that. You may [italic]want[/italic] to think that. But it's not "the fact." What one could question, from what you have written, is whether this is more about you ... rather than it being your impression of people who are gay.
- Let's ask R77 then
As a gay man do you support marriage equality, the ending of DADT, and gay adoption?
- OK that is great to hear. Thanks for answering R64 !
- The terrifically stupid majority of these posts (who clearly didn't read the article or can't comprehend what they read) are so sad. Unfortunately, as has been true on DataLounge since day one, it fits with a history of hysterical opposition to any out gay man of distinction. I still don't understand this consistent need of so many gays to tear down any man in the public eye who simply and without shame or fear (or, in this case, any grandstanding at all), refers to himself as gay.
And, while the rest of the intelligent world admires him for his skill, judgment, and writing, an astonishing number here want to dismiss his qualities as unimpressive. There is some pathology going on with this.
- If he hangs out with Nick Denton, there's a 100% chance I misjudged him :(
- Wow, R81, way to completely misread my post. Yes, everyone who isn't like you is "self-loathing". Simple much?
I was presenting examples from my own life that go against the gay male stereotype. We are not all fabulous, listen to show tunes or love to decorate. We don't all listen to Gaga and Madonna, watch "Gossip Girl" and the housewives, and we don't all have 28" waists. And yet gay men will (and do) tease and judge those who don't all line up exactly with these preconceived notions.
I know about gay nerds. I never said I knew more about sports than any gay person. And I know plenty of gay people, I came out at 19 in 1989 and I've lived all over the country as an out gay man. Try reading slower next time and maybe you won't jump to so many stupid conclusions.
Also, if you drop by my house and make fun of a stray dustball or a stack of folded laundry in the living room, you are an asshole, gay or straight. I'm not a slob but this is my home, not Martha Stewart's TV studio.
- I had such a high opinion of nate and then he opens his mouth and says conservative=hardworking and Straight=masculine. I wish he would have stayed to numbers.
- I'm a 35 year old male who has more straight identified hobbies than gay identified hobbies. I record every basketball and football game that involves my teams. I fix cars for fun. I don't dress fashionably, I don't understand home decorating, I sincerely don't understand the desire to be waif thin. The list goes on...
But I'm gay, gay, gay. I still would rather hang out with Les Mis loving queens any day of the week. I like doing "straight" things but don't necessarily enjoy hanging out with straight people. Even the best of them (of which there are many) can't help but subtly remind you that you are very different from them.
- R77 will answer the question posed at R84
- [quote]so it sucks that I get similar social derision because I'm not sufficiently "gay".
We feel for you.
- Being gay has nothing whatsoever to do with "identifying with gay culture". If you are sexually attracted to the same-sex and not the opposite sex, you are gay, period. It doesn't matter if you refuse set foot in a gay bar or go to a pride parade.
The idea that labeling yourself as gay is a sociopolitical statement is absurd. It is nothing but a sexuality.
- I'd put my brain against Miss Silver's any day of the week and I've never felt "too good" to be a part of the gay community. Indeed, the gay community is people like me, and if Nate Silver thinks we're all a bunch of flaming lazy femmes then he's an idiot who probably lied on his resume to get his job.
- I understand what he meant, but I don't appreciate how he said it. "Ethnically straight" because you don't have stereotypical gay interests is really offensive.
That said, some of the posters in here are crazy.
- r90, why even focus and reiterate the notion that non-sexual interests are associated with any sexual orientation at all? Why not just assert you like sports without reference to any sexual orientation? I know we are having a discussion about sexual identity and gay culture here, but why the need for some to tie what gender one is attracted to to a culture, community, or interests/hobbies. If you love playing football and watching ESPN and MMA, why not do so without any reference to sexual orientation? Just be yourself without feeling pressure to acknowledge tired, archaic stereotypes.
- ***applause*** for R96
- Meh. That snippy little queen has no fashion sense. I'll bet she couldn't even discuss opera. Or her favorite FOLLIES revival.
Who needs her?
- I support equal rights across the board. I've marched for gay marriage. I've also volunteered for AIDS orgs, if that matters to you. As I've said I've been out almost a quarter century. I'm politically active (liberal) and not shy about it.
Some of you have odd notions and fixations about non-conformist gay men.
- R96, it's usually my gay friends (and my straight friends too, for that matter) who do the denoting, not me. "Oh my god, you like basketball? TURN IN YOUR GAY CARD!" It's all in good fun, and it makes me smile, but don't get mad at me that certain activities seem to be more prevalent with straight guys than gay guys and vice versa. And that many, many gay men seem to want to qualify what a gay man ought to do with his free time.
And, I would not have brought it up if it wasn't prescient for this particular thread.
- r100, perhaps you should find friends who share more interests in common with you. not saying you should drop your old friends because they are not into watching football, but since you have so much in common with sports fans, maybe you should branch out and get more sports fans as friends. just saying.....
- R101, why? As I stated prior, I prefer the company of gay men, despite the fact we often have differences in hobbies. I put no value on my hobbies versus another person's hobbies, as Nate Silver seems to be doing. I don't feel better than or less than because I prefer basketball to Project Runway. Frankly, I don't know why R96 felt the need to gently attack me, as I seem to be on his side. But since he did, I responded.
- I think Edmund White covered Nate Silver in one of his novels:
"I see now that what I wanted was to be loved by men and to love them back but not to be a homosexual....What I required was a sleight of hand, an alibi or a convincing act of bad faith to persuade myself I was not that vampire."
- Did anyone read beyond the inflammatory pull quote? That line about perhaps being more willing to question received wisdom/bullshit if you're gay is very true and not something self-loathing TOTALLY NORMAL EXCEPT FOR LIKING DICK types ever say. Having said that I think Str8 Masc Bro Nate Silver would be kind of a funny DL recurring character.
- I agree with him on this. There are a lot of young gay guys like us that are gay but don't care about porn or Liza or leather.
- I like you R90. I feel the same way.
- It is more the gay milleniums who do not define themselves with labels. And want to live by their own set of rules.
While the Gen-X crowd (who are now 30 and 40) are the ones who seem to not forget what a struggle it was and still is to achieve equality rights.
- The gay milleniums are delusional. And GAY.
And r90 is correct.
- But Harring was a GAY artist.
- Yes he does come off as douchy, conservatism = hard work, all of that. None of this surprises me because he has already be accused of being a conservative, he got in a blog war with David Sirota who eventually said that it's obvious Nate was raised by Hannity-loving Fox News viewers. Nate didn't deny it.
- [quote] There are a lot of young gay guys like us that are gay but don't care about porn
- "There are a lot of young gay guys like us that are gay but don't care about porn or Liza or leather."
Pretty much all men care about porn, whether they are bi, gay, or straight.
"It is more the gay milleniums who do not define themselves with labels."
Not really. Most young gay guys identify as - GASP! - gay.
- What in the world is "gay culture"?
I've skimmed all of these posts and no one seems to have answered.
- "obviously, a lot of guys who are into guys don't experience it as a huge part of their identity or life."
Why do gay guys say this? Unless you are asexual or a loser who never gets laid, then sex is a HUGE part of your life. That applies to straight people, too.
- Gay culture = Cher, parades, drag queens, bears and dead movie actresses from 50 years ago.
- Gay culture = being a family when your own rejects you, forming communities when the larger one won't let you in, working to make life better for future gays, and doing it all fabulously.
- I've been treated as badly by gay men as by my family, for what it's worth. To their credit, my family doesn't treats me better, in many respects.
- [quote]Why do gay guys say this? Unless you are asexual or a loser who never gets laid, then sex is a HUGE part of your life.
Um, no. Are you still 22? Sex becomes less and less a part of your life as you get older (regardless of orientation), particularly if you get married and/or partnered - assuming you're legitimately monogamous. Gay men still obsessed with sex after 40 tend to have A LOT of issues; by then they should be much more concerned, as a whole, with their professional lives and/or their partner (whereas sex-obsessed people have problems *keeping* partners to begin with). Unfortunately a lot of gay men in particular think that endless sex can fill the huge emotional holes they have inside, which it can't.
- I agree with much of what you say R118. Except that I do hope to still have an active sex life past 40! Maybe not as active as I was at 22, but still...
- "Gay men still obsessed with sex after 40 tend to have A LOT of issues"
Pretty much all men are obsessed with sex.
- [quote] Sex becomes less and less a part of your life as you get older (regardless of orientation), particularly if you get married and/or partnered - assuming you're legitimately monogamous
And who you arte married to or partnered with is a small part of your life?
You are ridiculous R118
- r112, nowhere in no time do most dudes who are attracted to other males identify as "gay." that is a fact born out in survey and study after study. only a fraction of men who are attracted to men or have sex with men identify as gay. even today.
- Gay men value bitchiness over empathy.
- "that is a fact born out in survey and study after study. only a fraction of men who are attracted to men or have sex with men identify as gay. even today."
ROFLMAO. I think you are confusing the "I don't like labels" crowd with actual closet cases. Of course there are lots of closet cases out there. But that's not what we were talking about. People here insist that younger gays identify as "Men who have sex with men" or whatever but in reality the vast majority of them just identify as gay.
- [quote] Gay men value bitchiness over empathy.
- [quote]Am I the only one who read it? Absolutely nothing offensive or wrong with how he feels. In fact, it's how most gay men under 30 feel.
I suspect it's how most gay men feel, regardless of age.
- I almost never use the word gay and never as a self identifier.
I am over 30 and under 40 and don't like the word gay. It has more baggage than I am willing to carry.
- Most gay men are more 'Will' than 'Jack'. There is nothing wrong with the 'Jacks', I think the 'Jacks' are great, but most gay men aren't into all of those drunked up drugged up dead actresses and singers and don't really give two shits about being fabulous. It's not about masculine or feminine, it's just about living your life on your own terms.
And now there is a generation that wants to fuck and have a good time and not be encumbered by labels.
It's all good. Live your own truth, whatever that may be.
- I am involved with a chick, but acknowledge my attraction to some dudes and limited past involvement with dudes. I know a lot of guys like me but a lot of us just say we are "into dudes" or "get down with dudes." I also know a lot of guys who are only attracted to guys and are open about it, but refuse to identify with the word "gay" for themselves. I know this guy from law school who says he will "vibe with dudes" but will kick the ass of anyone who calls him "gay." Guys just don't want to use that term for themselves.
- [quote] Guys just don't want to use that term for themselves.
i.e., Girls just want to have fun.
- [quote]I also know a lot of guys who are only attracted to guys and are open about it, but refuse to identify with the word "gay" for themselves. I know this guy from law school who says he will "vibe with dudes" but will kick the ass of anyone who calls him "gay."
Sounds like you and your "brahs" are SELF-LOATHING COCK-LOVING FAGGOTS but in denial about it.
- Sounds like R119 is delusional...nothing self loathing about letting go of Grandpa's words.
- r131, actually, I am not into "cock," but I sure like to get my penis sucked, if you must know. I also like ass and pussy. Since you took it to that level, I told you the details, dude.
- Why not just self-identify as bi, R133? Wouldn't that much more sense than saying things like "I vibe with dudes"?
- "Gay" is not this grandpa's word. This is nothing but a euphemism, and I've never been willing to refer to myself or anyone else as "gay". Men who call themselves "gay" are just like the women who refer their vaginas as a "hoo-hoo" or a "jay-jay". I use the word "queer" or "homosexual" if I want to be more formal. Furthermore, I don't agree with the "gay" political movement, and I have no desire to "gay marry" another man. I don't go around waving my arms around with my wrists flopping and calling other men as "Miss Thang". I just pursue success in my chosen profession, maintain my home, and live my life with dignity, and in general just attend to my own affairs. The fact that I am more sexually attracted to men than to women is just one of the things that is my own personal matter.
- ooooooo... smell you, mary lou 135.
- r134, if someone calls me bi, so be it, I don't object. But I never see the need to refer to myself as "bi." If I am talking a chick I am interested in at the moment, the person learns about my interest in women. If I am talking about a hot dude at the gym with a nice bod, the person learns about my interest in dudes. People who know me well know that I am interested in both sexes.
- The notion of not wanting to be known as a "gay statistician", "gay artist" etc. could be seen as being fairly reasonable if you see the end game as complete equality where sexuality is seen as an irrelevant factor in the way we perceive each other. But you could also read it assuming Nate and others don't like the gay descriptor because there's a degree of shame involved.
However, the scenario of complete acceptance/complete irrelevance is so, so far away trying to push this line of thought doesn't work. Far too many people around the world hate gay people and until that changes we should all be doing everything we can to wear the label as a badge of pride.
It's also true that we should be promoting the view that gay people are all different and living different lives - but you can do that without denigrating those people who live and love what might be considered stereotypical.
- This thread makes me laugh. Pretty sure all the women and men who refuse to identify as gay are also closeted about who they are partnered with, and definitely secretive about who they sleep with.
Gay means who I have sex with, who I might be capable of falling in love with. Nothing more. There is no definitive gay culture other than the politics of securing our rights. When a straight woman comes on to me I say, "Sorry, I'm gay." I don't do the preposterous verbose route of "I'm a guy who likes to have sex with guys but does not identify with gay culture"
And latinagirl needs to go fuck herself *giggle*
- "I don't go around waving my arms around with my wrists flopping"
Oh, honey, grow the fuck up.
- [quote]But you could also read it assuming Nate and others don't like the gay descriptor because there's a degree of shame involved.
If this were still 1950, I might agree with this. But I don't think it's true. No one who is plainly out the way Nate Silver is has any shame about it. The term "gay" has a lot of cultural baggage these days, like it or not. And you can reject that baggage without being "self-loathing" (I loathe that term and the way ignorant people throw it around).
In a way it's like the term "feminist" and how women perceive it these days. Plenty of women reject the term "feminist" and yet endorse feminist views.
- Lots of bitter eldergays threatened by societal change in this thread.
- [quote]R133, actually, I am not into "cock," but I sure like to get my penis sucked, if you must know.
Okay, seriously? I have NEVER heard the phrase "I like my penis sucked." You sound like an eight-year-old saying it that way. Btw if you don't like to "suck penis" yourself (as in you doing the sucking), you *very* clearly have emotional issues, e.g. you sucking cock would OH MY FUCKING GOD mean you're less into "vibing with dudes" and more into being "100% FAGGOT."
But, I guess it's more important for you to "act like a man" (talkin' about hot pussy, calling guys "dude") than it is to admit to yourself what you really, truly want - even on an anonymous bulletin board!
- Jesus. All he's saying s that he doesn't fit in with hegemonic gay culture. He clearly goes with that he takes it in the ass. Expressing that is far more important than ripping him up for not knowing the entire script of Steel Magnolias.
- [quote] Lots of bitter eldergays threatened by societal change in this thread.
The eldergays you spit on got you this far, cuntface; even to a place called The Data Lounge. Let's see what you can do.
- oh jesus
- Nate Silver and Frank Ocean should go back in the closet because they obviously haven't come to terms with their sexuality.
- You are all nerds and you have a fear of intimacy
- Uh, no, R145. Just stop with your Depends right there. The DL as a gift from the Gen-X / Baby Boomer cabal?
- "Far too many people around the world hate gay people and until that changes we should all be doing everything we can to wear the label as a badge of pride."
Your choice of using that label as a personal statement is your personal statement, personal identity, personal option. You should not mistake it as everyone else's duty or try to project your personal political agenda on every one who has a same-sex orientation. People are different and don't share your perspective on identity if they have share your sexual orientation. It's called tolerance.
- [quote]Lots of bitter eldergays threatened by societal change in this thread.
Isn't "eldergays" a term in the mainstream of gay culture? You sound kind of old fashioned.
- Disappointing that gay men still talk like this, and are so wholly unaware about themselves. Sad.
- [Pretty sure all the women and men who refuse to identify as gay are also closeted about who they are partnered with, and definitely secretive about who they sleep with.]
and you are wrong about that too kid.
- [quote]Isn't "eldergays" a term in the mainstream of gay culture?
What planet are you from? "Eldergays" is a DLism that started only a few years ago. It's not a term in the mainstream of anything, anymore than "Cheryl's pussy stinks" or spelling cake without the "e".
There are nuts on both sides of this thread. Most here seem to be arguing for or against rejecting "gay" as a label, something Silver never did nor advocated. He has openly and publicly expressed his sexuality in no uncertain terms. He might have been a bit clumsy with his words, but all he is saying is that being gay is not the only thing he wants to be known for. He never rejects the label or claims that anyone else should.
There is some serious miscomprehension, overreaction and desperate spinning of the facts going on in some of you. In your rush to jump to conclusions, you haven't really examined what was said or what was meant by it. You hear someone say "I'm not ethnically gay" (a poor choice of words admittedly) and you assume self-loathing and shame when all he's really saying is that he doesn't fit tired stereotypes or identify with typically "gay" attributes or cultural identities.
- [quote]Isn't "eldergays" a term in the mainstream of gay culture? You sound kind of old fashioned.
Actually, I came up with the term eldergay a few years ago and first used it on Datalounge after watching an old episode of Buffy or Angel in which they kept referring to the elder Gods. I thought the term fit.
Sent from my iPhone
- I will tell anyone I into dudes. I never identify as gay. It's just not my identity. Get over it, dudes.
- That was very hard-working and industrious of you, r155. You may rise to the lofty status of conservative yet!
- I have dark brown skin but I don't identify myself as Black or African-American.
Let's see how well this flys.
- R158 good...we are so tired of having to identify you that way ourselves.
You can just be a human from now on...or an American if you want to be.
- [quote]I have dark brown skin but I don't identify myself as Black or African-American.
That doesn't make sense. He says he's gay. He's not saying he doesn't want to be known as gay, he just doesn't see the need for all of his accomplishments and achievements to be qualified by it. Why can't a gay artist just be referred to as an artist? Attaching gay is like attaching an asterisk.
- r158, are you aware that most people in Latin America who have obvious African ancestry do not identify as Black? Ever been to the Dominican Republican where most people look like Blacks yet reject being labeled as Black? Labels are intensely personal and cultural. Individuals are free to define themselves how they wish.
- The Dominican is loaded with African people who refuse the label in any way shape or form. They ARE Dominicana.
- Exactly r160, attach "conservative" to me if anything. I work hard, unlike those lazy, liberal fairies who don't like sports.
- They aren't "Qualified" by it. He's saying he's better than us and that's just stupid. Who does he think staffs all the nation's gay and lesbian rights groups? Plucked drugged out circuit queens? No, they are Ivy educated volunteers with professional careers, almost every single man and woman of them smarter and harder working than one Nate Silver. He should be flattered to be associated with such people by calling himself gay. Of course he is not honest about himself. His biggest "hard work achievement" apparently happened in HIGH SCHOOL, he quit his accounting job to play poker - which sort of undermines the whole "I believe in hard work" bullshit, and his political forecasting work is obviously a job he lucked into. So he does it well, great for him. But don't be slandering the gay community that made your success possible. He has not even begun to understand the wisdom of the community he belongs to.
- R163, you're weird and creepy.
- [quote] Individuals are free to define themselves how they wish.
Sorry, dear. You might define yourself as a garden gnome, but it doesn't mean you are one. Labels work in two ways.
- Wow, R164. You're just desperate to be offended, aren't you?
- Hardly. It is Nate Silver who is "desperate" to not be part of the gay community, which makes him a repellent loser. He just undid all the mystique he had from being right about the election. Turns out he's a moron after all.
- He's an openly gay man who wants to be known for more than just being gay. WTF I seriously question the sanity of anyone who could be offended by this. Is that all you want to be known as, R168? When you introduce yourself, do you include Gay as a title?
- Keith Haring sure did, stupid R169; in fact, he dedicated the whole last years of his life to AIDS activism. He's ten times more manly that little Miss Silver, the precious LSE dropout. He would read Nate Silver's beads like nobody's business. "Conformity" in the gay community? Nobody's a bigger conformist in any gay group than Nate Silver. A conformist to Michigan antigay hate, that's what he's conforming to and he doesn't have the self-insight to see it.
- What is wrong with being mainstream or conformist, if that is your natural inclination and personality? I think most people inherently are not radicals.
- You sound nuts, R170.
- R170, get on meds. Smoke some weed. Do something because you're unhinged.
- I've no idea what reading beads means, but R170 makes it sound like a really queeny thing to do.
- r173 quit spamming this thread with your self-loathing.
- [quote]What is wrong with being mainstream or conformist
Except most of those objecting to Silver are angry he is NOT conforming to their tired old clichès about how to be gay. Nate is a nonconformist, if anything, at least in terms of how he chooses to present or talk about himself as a gay man.
The tiny brains "debating" this will not understand this, of course. They're too busy rabidly tearing down a talented, successful and out gay man for not parroting the party line exactly enough for their liking.
- I think the self-loathers are those who seek to be offended by others' beliefs. Obviously there's a lot if hatred built up inside and it gets projected on to people like Nate.
I love myself. I'm awesome.
- R175 R173 loathes you, not himself.
I don't know you but if you continue to post as you have I could learn to loathe you as well.
- This whole thread is such bullshit.
Nate Silver did not say what OP claims. He says his FRIENDS say that about him. Not that he said it about himself.
The hyper-sensitive Silver-bashing is so ridiculous. Gay people are supposed to celebrate being different. That's all he says. He's different, supports equality, but if people were surprised that he's gay because he's a nerd who likes sports, it's no one's fault but theirs.
- "If these pastimes—poker, baseball, debating Chinese–U.S. relations—seem atypical of the average twentysomething gay guy, perhaps it’s because gay nerds have a low profile in our culture."
It is only atypical to those who believe in tired, archaic, and erroneous stereotypes. In fact, it is quite common.
- R179 is reading challenged. Those are quotes from Silver, not just his friends, in that article.
- For r174, not to derail this thread, but here's some background on reading someone's beads
- Finally, more and more men are coming out of the closet and proclaiming they are gay but the backlash isn't from the straight community - it's from the gay community.
Gay people know more than anyone else what it's like to have socially-acceptable identities imposed upon them - why would they do that to other gay people?
- When the bashers come with the bat, they don't ask "Are you ethnically gay? Because, if you are, we won't bash your head in." They'll just bash your head in. You're not that special to them.
- What is "ethnically straight"?
- [quote]What is "ethnically straight"?
Exactly—what does that even mean?
- It's just a riff off of that whole "I'm culturally Mexican, ethnically white" (or any other example) you hear people say when having to explain the discrepancy between their culture and which ethnicity society believes belongs to that culture.
You know, like: You're Chinese??? But you're white?!?
As if only Asian people can grow up in China.
- Again, R185, his friends have said it, not him.
- He's saying he likes men sexually and he considers himself gay (despite the twisting of his words in this thread, he is clearly out, is not conflicted about it and makes no bones about it) but that he is not "culturally" gay--he does not identify with gay cultural markers like dance music, drag queens, musical theater, high fashion or diva-worship.
He's a math nerd and a baseball fanatic...not unheard of for a gay man, but not at all attributes one associates with gay men as a whole or gay culture in general. The things that are commonly associated with gay men and their culture (as listed above) do not resonate with him.
He does not attack gay men who do enjoy those things and he never says he rejects the gay label. All of that is coming from subsequent posters on this thread overreacting to the headline and not reading the linked article (with Silver's own words) thoroughly enough.
Is this really so hard to decipher? I mean, clearly for some of you it is, but why?
- R189, our resident histrionics will use ANY excuse possible to a) be offended by supposedly "anti-gay" behavior, even when completely unwarranted, and b) tear down a successful gay man. Combining both has brought us to this, the perfect flame-storm.
- Because this place is full of eldergays who grew up being bullied and bashed who now flip the fuck out and become hysterical and unhinged at any perceived slight, real or not.
- R161, and R162, I did mention *American* in my post.
So I'll just claim to physically black but ethically white.
- He is attacking and belittling gays R189, it's a shame you are too dumb to see it. But mostly, he's showing himself as ignorant of the "gay community." He has no idea how gays got the rights they now enjoy. He's never met anyone who worked to get those rights, and he believes what his straight family and friends said about them.
I lived for years in suburban Michigan and I know there is no excuse for this kind of stupidity.
- Can you provide quotes from this interview, R193, to back your seemingly batshit insane claims?
- [quote]He is attacking and belittling gays
Please copy and paste the portions of the linked piece where Nate Silver attacks and belittles gays. Or anyone for that matter.
All of your posts sound angry and paranoid, by the way. You imagine attacks where there are none and make all kinds of wild, speculative assumptions about what Nate means or how he feels, when a straight-forward reading of the linked article contains none of that. You sound, in a word, nuts.
- Blah blah blah he told us how he feels.
You have a pet theory about post-gays, which is a ludicrous conceit that has resurfaced about every five years since the 1980s. Nate says he is gay thinks "gay" diminishes someone and equates conservatism with hard work and does not identify with "gay culture" which he has defined by its negative aspects as seen through the lens his suburban bad-schools Michigan upbringing. It would have been smarter for him not open his mouth and show how stupid he really is.
It's not a question of paranoia. It's a question of having to correct yet another baby gay who has internalized all kind of homophobia from the surrounding culture without being aware.
- You guys never give up R196 you want all future generations to be GAY.
You can't cope with the language changing.
I am surprised you are not clinging to invert.
- So then No, you won't post quotes to backup your insanity. Gotcha.
- It's not even about the language, Silver flat out uses GAY to describe himself. R196 is just not well.
- I don't need to post the quotes because they are in OP's post dumbass R198. Is this how Nate Silver became a "debate champion," by straw men and lying about the direction of the debate? I think not. Take a leaf from your hero and bow out. You are out of your depth here. Nate Silver has some growing up to do, and that's the bottom line.
- I'm 50 years old (hence an "eldergay") but I have to say I'm gratified to see so many people here who are rejecting the old "you-must-support-gay-culture-where-do-you-think-your-rights-came-from" nonsense that I hear so often among people my age (and people like R170).
I like Nate Silver even more after reading that article.
- “For me, I think the most important distinguishing characteristic is that I’m independent-minded,” he says. “I’m sure that being gay encouraged the independent-mindedness, but that same independent-mindedness makes me a little bit skeptical of parts of gay culture, I suppose.” Nate Silver
He took the words right out of my mouth.
- He identifies as gay, but the sentiment he expresses is similar to the sentiment many, many men who have a same-sex orientation of some degree use to explain why they decline to identify as "gay."
- There is no doubt that refusing to identify as 'gay' (and Silver does identify as gay, so he's not in this category) carries with it some shame about being homosexual. Saying you are gay no more means that you're into feather boas, drag queens and wearing a skimpy bikini in a Pride parade than saying you're straight means you've got a car jacked up on concrete blocks in your front yard and like to guzzle Pabst blue ribbon. There are all kinds of people in this world, but wouldn't it be just awfully inconvenient if all of us suddenly started rejected labels altogether. "Oh, he's not straight. He fucks women but he hates the word straight because he's not into sports or NASCAR." I mean, doesn't that sound ridiculous?
- What the hell is your point, R204? Who brought up no labels?
This has nothing to do with Nate Silver. As you yourself said, he identifies as gay. And he gives credit to being gay for not being free to be different.
The idea of "gay culture" is what he says he's skeptical about and he's right. There are plenty of stereotypes around here about what entitles one to the "gay card."
Clearly Nate has no problem using the word as shorthand for his sexuality, just as plenty of us do when it's relevant.
There's nothing "awfully inconvenient" to worry about.
- So he's better than the g0ys but still thinks "gay" is limiting. Sorry, halfway is still a fuckface. The fundamental reality of gay rights is that they were won by organization, not by free riders like Nate and the rest of you butch nellies who think you are such singularities because you don't like musicals like the twelve year old boys who called you fag on the playground. Congratulations on this great display of masculinity and independence! Not.
- Damn, R206. You are really projecting your insecurities on to Nate here. It's disturbing, yet fascinating to witness such obvious insecurity and mental illness on display.
- Some people, to survive, had to adopt the isolationist, gay world only approach to life to get by. Now they can't conceive of anything else and it threatens them when people have views that don't revolve around isolation and victimization. They need the cocoon of the 'gay community' wrapped around them because it's all they know. It's natural when you've grown up or aged during a tough era. They cannot imagine it's... getting better.... and in that context, people are going to redefine gay, for themselves and for the segment of society. It is very, very threatening.
Some of the eldergays on this thread sound like the pro gun people in that they are so entrenched in their view and experience.
- R206, are you insane?
He identifies as gay. He supports gay rights.
Where in the hell are you getting anything other than he said in response to a question about people being surprised to learn that he's gay that his friends have teased him about not being stereotypical, and he's skeptical about the idea of a gay culture.
And for the record, I also play sports (I'm a triathlete) and have worked for two gay rights organizations that won several gay rights cases, including Lawrence.
I don't follow your "logic."
- r206, chill out, bro! it's not that serious, dude.
- Surely we can all agree that stating that the gay stereotype doesn't apply to you does nothing but reinforce the stereotype, which we all know is inaccurate in the first place.
Just being a self-professed baseball loving statistics-obsessed nerd did more than enough to lessen the stereotype of those people in society who automatically perceive gay people in a certain way. He didn't need to say anything at all.
If the stereotype doesn't apply to you, then that's great. Living your life the way you want will reinforce that gay people aren't all the same.
But publicly stating that the stereotype doesn't apply to you just reinforces the stereotype, and whether the intent is there or not, the "anti-stereotype" message seems to come with an air of superiority which is pretty offensive to those people whose interests might be considered stereotypical.
- I can relate a bit. I simply don't fit in to the "gay community". I've tried. I'm just not into drag, into fashion, into decorating, into "fabulousness" (whatever the fuck that is), I'm an introverted guy so all the attention whoring rankles a bit. I don't have stereotypical gay mannerisms, and no real desire to develop them (though I did try for a while in my 20s because I was so sick of people not believing I was gay, ESPECIALLY other gay people).
At this point in my life, I've basically given up. There's no real "community" in the gay community for me that I've ever found. I came close a couple of times, but it never stuck for some reason... it seems I was included because I was a friend of another guy who was included, and when he moved away, I was dropped.
- Thank you, R211. God damn.
- [quote]Surely we can all agree that stating that the gay stereotype doesn't apply to you does nothing but reinforce the stereotype, which we all know is inaccurate in the first place.
No, I don't think we can really agree. Because it seems pretty accurate to me. Go to any gay bar on any night, and you see TONS of gay stereotypes.
Given the ubiquity, it's kind of difficult to claim the stereotypes are "inaccurate". Unless you and I aren't talking about the same stereotypes I guess.
- r214, most MSM don't go to gay bars, so perhaps you need to widen your sampling.
- Most Main-Stream-Media? WTF?
- Can we review the character traits of the "ethnically straight," please?
- I can't believe it took 211 posts for someone to articulate what was so disturbing about his comments. Thank you, r211.
- No, R211, saying you don't match the stereotype isn't an insult to those who do. Interesting that you make that leap/assumption.
- MSM=men who have sex with men, or at least have desires to do that
- R220, just say gay or homosexual... don't add completely unnecessary and confusing acronyms which have far more popular meanings. Thanks.
- r205, stop being such a goddam piss ant. I said in my very first sentence that what I wrote had nothing to do with Silver. Perhaps your reading comprehension skills could use a little sharpening.
- It's incredibly serious r210, you moronic dumbfuck.
- I just don't get how he rejects gay culture outright then complains New York's is too diffuse. Is it too limiting and ghettoized or too diverse and spread out?
- I'm a young gay guy who finds nate's attitude ridiculous. He's smart, but he's also fugly and self loathing...which is a goddamn shame.
- I think we can all agree, people who don't like MUSICALS are damaged semi-people.
- [quote] but he's also fugly and self loathing
And I'm sure people like you, saying shit like that, and judging him like that, really really helps his own personal self image.
- So bored with Jews pretending they AREN'T the establishment. Bitch, please!
- [quote] So he's better than the g0ys but still thinks "gay" is limiting
R206 In the OUT article, Nate says he's half goy and that his sexuality is gay. What's your point?
- R224 are you really that dense?
Here's an exercise for you: Define "gay culture".
Get back to us with your answer and we'll see if you get the difference between the stereotype of gay culture and the reality.
- R222, can YOU read?
I said it's BECAUSE you wrote that it has nothing to do with Nate Silver that your rant has nothing to do with this thread.
And since NO ONE is suggesting we go through life without ever saying that we're gay -- including Nate Silver -- your whole "point" is just fucking ridiculous, as is most of the angst on this thread about what Silver actually said.
- Still waiting for a description of "straight ethnicity."
- I don't get the notion that someone who dislikes attributes in others that they themselves don't have are somehow self-loathing. Apparently, Silver does not care for certain attributes of gay culture that he himself have an interest in. What is self-loathing about disliking other peoples' interests? Bigoted, perhaps, but not self-loathing.
- Self-loathing is 1)defining "gay culture" 2) defining it negatively.
- How is defining gay culture self-loathing? Gay pride parades, gay films, gay clubs - all by their very nature are part of gay culture and recognizing this is not self-loathing. WTF
- Family, friends, chess, dogs, sailing, bicycling are also part of "gay culture," but left off the list. Why is this?
I am honestly astonished at how narrow-minded some gay people are about what it means to be gay, and then reject other things traditionally defined as "gay" with disdain. Which, by the way, is the very definition of self-loathing.
- r235, noting your distinction from others is not self-loathing unless you yourself share the particular attributes being referred to as a point of distinction. Distinguishing oneself from a stereotype is not self-loathing.
- [quote]Still waiting for a description of "straight ethnicity."
Maybe he meant it in the "sexually gay but culturally straight" sense. Or "racially Black and ethnically Hispanic".
- The ethnically straight thing has already been explained in this thread.
[quote]Family, friends, chess, dogs, sailing, bicycling are also part of "gay culture," but left off the list. Why is this?
Those aren't specific to gay culture, though. Gay pride parades wouldn't be considered part of Asian culture, just as Anime isn't part of gay culture even though they're not enjoyed exclusively by any one group of people.
Quit trying so hard to be offended or at least expecting others to adhere to your narrow scope of understanding.
- Parades are common in all cultures, as is animation.
- animation is common amongst the Hmong? the Tutsis?
- You guys are seriously confusing stereotypes with culture, and you don't even have a problem with it.
Sad. Very sad.
- OMG R241 thanks for concession.
- R240 doesn't understand what "culture" means. Or the idea of something not being mutually exclusive.
- R240 understands exactly what culture is. Others seem to be having a serious problem distinguishing culture from stereotype.
- [quote]Parades are common in all cultures, as is animation.
Yeah, and I said that exact fucking thing in the same sentence. You're obviously being selectively ignorant here. My guess is you're simply trolling. No one can be this dense ... RIGHT???
- Don't blame me for your limitations, R246.
- This is one of the most insane DL threads ever. Some of you sound unhinged.
- Does anyone know if Bonobo Monkeys like raspberries or cranberries?
- Clarification: a goy is a gentile. A g0y is a member of a self-loathing post gay frottage movement from the 1990s.
- :sigh: No over-reaction necessary. He is just like many of the gay people in the community who are invisible because they don't glorify fashion, the visual arts, clubbing or outward appearances. I think there could be a balance, since I skew on the nerdy side, as well, but he seems a far cry from self-loathing. He's not in a closet and says right there during the interview that he is a part of the gay scene. I know gay men and lesbian women who hate the "gay scene" precisely because they are independent and don't find any happiness in it. I think it's good for him that he's honest.
- Some of you are fucking annoying. Like, really.
1) You don't have to be stereotypically gay to be apart of the gay community. The community is very diverse. VERY diverse. That's one of the best aspects of our community. There are MANY avenues where one can find themselves.
2) This whole "I don't identify with gay culture, because I don't identify with the stereotypes" attitude PERPETUATES stereotypes. And then basically creating a divide between yourself and the community based on those same stereotypes you reject. You reject the stereotypes, saying all gay men aren't fem, flaming queens. Yet you perpetuate them by going out of your way to play this "I'm independent" card.
3) You're not very independent if you don't associate with the community because of the stereotypes you believe of the community. In fact, you're the opposite of independent. You're limiting yourself because you don't want to be associated with, or don't associate with, stereotypes that aren't even true.
4) There is nothing wrong with being fem. There is a TON of misogyny in the gay community yet most gay men have very clear fem characteristics. It's a joke. It's great to have straight friends, but for many of them, you're a token. The token non-traditional gay person to prove to themselves and others they're totally tolerant. You're a rebel. You think these fem gays are the ones rebelling yet that's exactly what you're doing when you go out of your way not to associate with the community.
5) The pretentiousness is ridiculous. You don't have to base your life on your sexuality. Most gay men don't do this. I completely get wanting to be known for who you are and what you do before being known as gay and having what others see of you be nothing but your sexuality. But here is the thing-----we ARE NOT fully accepted yet. That's the reason why we're still in the "gay author/gay athlete/gay genius/gay whatever" stage. This post-gay shit is completely forgetting that.
You want to be independent, and that's fine, but when your independence means turning your back on our community when we NEED the numbers and we need the voices, then you're not doing the right thing.
- Amen and well written, Francis
- Sorry for the long post (and this one too), but really. It is fucking self-hatred for a lot of you who make similar statements to what Nate did. I don't think Nate is self-hating at all. I understand where he is coming from and he didn't say anything for me that was offensive. He has a philosophical view I understand. I get what he meant by ethnically straight. But he's making the same mistake others are, and that is buying into the fucking stereotype. If you're going to whine about the stereotype, then stop buying into it. If you know it isn't real then that's it. I like going to bars, and I like visiting some friends and spending nights with them, who are nerdy and big into reading and are homebodies. I have friends gay, straight, bi, pan, everything. I dislike Glee but like showtunes. I like theater but only recently have gotten into drag. I'm big into football and basketball.
Whether people want to admit this or not, non-heterosexuals, we all share a lot of the same traits, life experiences, lifestyles. A lot don't want to accept or admit that, but we're all a lot more similar than we'd care to admit; we may be different in some ways but we're all the same in, at the very least one major way. That's why it makes me sad to see people tearing their people own down.
Get the fuck over what people think of you and expect from you and live your life and be free and happy. This crying over stupidity is so lame. Just think what some real independent gays went through in the 70s and 80s. That's independence. Things are so much better for us than they used to be. Be thankful for it.
- Thanks [R253]!
- Thank you r252.
Would that more of you were like Francis instead of sneering at and cannibalizing your own.
- You know what he means by "ethnically straight"? Is this a Michigan term, like Yoopers?
- Acknowledging a stereotype exists is not buying into it. The stereotypes are there, and pointing out that you don't fit what the stereotype may be is not self-loathing.
- Oh please, Francis, your "long post" is precisely why R248 says you come off as "unhinged".
Nate did NOT say he didn't associate with "the gay community." He has gay friends -- see, he does have those and clearly does not distance himself from "the community". Those friends joked that he did not fit the stereotypes. It is Nate who is countering the stereotype of "gay culture" and represents a gay person as much as anyone. He's not "whining" about the stereotype or "buying into" the stereotype. That is why he said he is "skeptical" of a gay culture -- that is, a "culture" that tells you how to be a gay stereotype.
If an African-American who likes opera and French literature was told by his friends that he's not "black enough" because he wasn't into certain aspects of "black culture", no one would think he's being ridiculous to say he's "skeptical" about what "black culture" is supposed to mean, nor would you say he's automatically self-loathing and racist.
It's people like you, Francis, who are perpetuating the rage over anyone who begs to disagree with gay stereotypes with your hysteria.
- First of all, OP misrepresented Silver by misquoting him. There is a *huge* difference in saying "To my friends..", and "I am, or I think I am."
Otherwise, Francis is completely correct.
And despite the fact that R259 argues with Frances, most of his post is correct as well.
- I unliked him on Facebook. No longer a fan.
- I'm sure he's devastated.
- [quote]most gay men have very clear fem characteristics. It's a joke.
Um, no. The reality is that you only NOTICE the gay men with very clear fem characteristics. Francis is completely correct, as much as it appears to irritate some of you who have their entire self-identity wrapped around the center of being gay: not all of us fit into your narrow identity parameters. I think Nate could have phrased his sentiments better, but I don't chastise him for not wanting to be a "gay poster boy."
- Most openly gay men have some noticeably nonmasculine attributes. However, most gay and bisexual men are not open or even acknowledge to themselves they are gay or bi and are virtually indistinguishable from heterosexual males. The guys who you know for certain are gay skew what you think most gay men are like. There is a huge group of gay and bi guys who are undetectable.
- [quote]There is a huge group of gay and bi guys who are undetectable.
That's terrible. Really terrible. That causes more harm than good. There is a special place in Hell for these gay folks.
This is Ethnically Straight:
He's not limp wristed, he doesn't speak with a lisp, he doesn't work in a salon, he's not a designer of any kind, he doesn't enjoy the theatre, he doesn't love Barbra Streisand, or Madonna, or Lady Gaga, he doesn't love Liza, he doesn't enjoy shopping, or have fashion sense, he's not into the arts, he's not cultured, he's not witty, he's not a pervert --to those who think gay men are, he's not a child molester --to those who think gay men are, he doesn't wear assless chaps in public, he doesn't have an immaculate designed home, he's not a clean-freak, he doesn't wear turtle necks, he doesn't work as an administrative assistant, he's not promiscuous, he doesn't have HIV/AIDS, he's not eff-em-inate…
He’s ashamed to be gay. But, he’s still gay. He can’t help it. I’m sure he tried though. He seems like the type.
- I wonder if Nate's model predicted he'd piss of so many people.
- W&W for r265
- R266, do you really delude yourself into thinking that he cares?
- [quote]If he does not want to identify himself as gay, then why has he accepted Out Magazine's Person of the Year honor?
- [quote]Altering a favorite Eddie Monsoon quote of mine 'You are still an accountant, so you can drop the attitude'.
That wasn't the line.
It was, "You only work in a shop, you know? So you can drop the attitude."
- [quote]You don't have to be stereotypically gay to be apart of the gay community. The community is very diverse. VERY diverse. That's one of the best aspects of our community. There are MANY avenues where one can find themselves.
BINGO! I've said this ten billion times.
"Don't associate me with 'those' people!"
That's what he's saying.
- The gay community now houses statisticians. What's his problem?
- [quote]"I'm [...] Ethnically Straight"
I guess he's better with numbers than with words.
- Nate speaks the truth about not wanting to be lumped together with a section of gay "culture" some of us find embarrassing. I, for one, applaud him for it.
- I don't like this man's terminology, but I agree with his sentiments. I am homosexual, but I will never be "gay". I knew the first time I saw a bunch of freaks put on a "gay" pride parade on television, that I would never be "gay".
- I'm happy to let some dude suck my dick if that's what he's into, bit I ain't into any gay shit.
- I am homosexual, which is a personality trait which I did not choose and can not change. But I am not now, nor will I ever be "gay". I do not want to be associated with the shameful and degrading behavior of those who identify themselves as "gay". I live my life with dignity and discretion.
Texas Truck Driver
- Look, guys. This man has told the world, "I am sexually gay." This is a great deal more than almost anybody in politics, journalism, TV, etc. does.
And yet you have to bellyache like a bunch of little whiny girls. If he'd stayed in the closet (or ever been in the closet and kept it up), you wouldn't have a beef.
- TTD is a victim of homophobia, which is why "homophobia" should not be dropped from the dictionary.
- I am a dude who is onto chicks, and some dudes. I reject political and cultural labels that some people try to place on others just because they may get down with the same sex. I have no interest on gay identity or the gay community. I am just a dude who fits into the mainstream.
- If you're so limited in imagination that your idea of "gay culture" is pride parades, interior decorators, and circuit parties, then yeah, a lot of gay people will feel they don't fit in that picture.
If your idea of gay culture is broad enough to see the reality--a gay population that includes Gene Robinson, Ellen Degeneres, Esera Tuaolo, and thousands upon thousands of people who don't fit into that stereotype, if anyone even really does--then you'll realize the truth: we are everywhere and we come in all shapes, sizes and kinds. This "I'm not really GAY gay" is retarded and retrograde: it's a throwback to Stonewall times.
- How about not believing in gay culture to start. It is not an ethnicity.
- He needs his own show.
- Your post is dishonest, r277. He has said he's "sexually gay". Nothing more is required of him.
"It's a complicated issue that maybe doesn't lend itself so well to the reddit treatment.
My quick-and-dirty view is that people are too quick to affiliate themselves with identity groups of all kinds, as opposed to carving out their own path in life.
Obviously, there is also the issue of how one is perceived by others. Living in New York in 2013 provides one with much a much greater ability to exercise his independence than living in Uganda — or for that matter living in New York forty years ago. So perhaps there's a bit of a "you didn't build that" quality in terms of taking for granted some of the freedoms that I have now.
And/but/also, one of the broader lessons in the history of how gay people have been treated is that perhaps we should empower people to make their own choices and live their own lives, and that we should be somewhat distrustful about the whims and tastes and legal constraints imposed by society."
- I had never seen him or heard him speak before and just caught him on ESPN FIrst Take.
- "My quick-and-dirty view is that people are too quick to affiliate themselves with identity groups of all kinds, as opposed to carving out their own path in life."
I don't necessarily see a tension between identifying as a member of a group and leading your own life.
I have a feeling that that Reddit response will make him even less popular with us gays. He just seems so uncomfortable in his skin - what a shame.
- I think if he he was a black man who referred to himself as 'ethnically white' there would be an uproar of anger from black people as a whole. Not to mention how racist that statement is. 'Ethnically straight' is homophobic. Nate Silver is not very happy as a gay man, no.
- I think it's interesting... are gays the only minority group that is so full of self-loathing that it actually isn't a group at all?
- OP your headline is misleading.
Silver specifically said, "[bold]To my friends[/bold], I’m kind of sexually gay but ethnically straight,” explains Silver" This implies [italic]he may not categorize [/italic]gay as one thing or another but is aware that others do.
Why did you just post the quote as written, oh- to stir up shit.
- R289, for many gays, it's easy to hide. So, they do. Pathetic, isn't it? Maybe with time, things will change. Maybe not.
- Those aren't friends, R290.
- [quote]I have a feeling that that Reddit response will make him even less popular with us gays.
"Us"? You mean the tiny fraction of the gay population that inhabits this prissy-promotion site? LOL.
And the people who go around spouting bullshit like "self-loathing"? 95% of gay people think those DL types are absolute trash - as bad as right wingers at demonizing gays.
It says something very good about Silver that he upsets both right wing kooks and the prissies here.
- 'Prissy'? You would know a lot about self-loathing, right, R293? Are you a fortysomething who still uses pagers?
- R293, are you saying you're 'sexually DL' but 'ethnically not DL'? Because you're here posting on this 'prissy' website.