LGBT Myths: New Book “You Can Tell Just By Looking”

A new LGBT myths book by Michael Bronski, Ann Pellegrini, and Michael Amico is called “You Can Tell Just By Looking.” You know why, don’t you? Because you often can’t. The Kinsey Institute for Sex Research found that only 15% of males and 5% of females are stereotypically gay or lesbian.

Another myth is the “born that way” controversy, previously covered in my post “Born Gay—Or Not.”

In The Huffington Post, Christopher Rudolph has provided other LGBT myths from You Can Tell Just By Looking. One example: There’s no such thing as a gay or trans child. The fact: It is possible, even likely, that even young children can be aware of their sexual desires, as well as their gender identity. This possibility would be better understood if we encouraged children to speak openly about their desires and bodily experiences — and actually listened to what they have to say.

Several others from the book:

  • Myth: Most Homophobes Are Repressed HomosexualsFact: Do all white racists secretly want to be black? Of course not. Many factors larger than the individual can make a person feel uncomfortable around those who are or seem different. It’s more accurate to address how a combination of prejudice and power perpetuates antigay violence rather than to isolate any one factor.
  • Myth: LGBT Parents Are Bad For Children. Fact: Overwhelmingly, national psychological and social-work professional groups have declared that LGBT parents do no harm to children. Good parenting does not rise and fall on the sexual or gender identity of a parent. What matters for children is that their parent or parents offer love, support, and understanding.
  • Myth: All Religions Condemn Homosexuality. Fact: This is absurd on the face of it; religions are so varied and nuanced in their belief systems and practices that it is impossible to claim they all hold any single belief. This myth is primarily promoted by conservative Christian opponents of homosexuality as a political attack on same-sex marriage.

Many readers won’t know all the info You Can Tell Just By Looking has to offer. It’s unfortunate but true that a book such as thisup to date in its reflection of current assumptions and misunderstandings the general public may have, is still necessary and valuable today.

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