A Gay at the Races

People used to tell me "Opinions are like arseholes - everyone's got one but no one wants to examine each other's".

They used to tell me that quite a lot - and chuckle as though it were (a) funny (b) insightful (c) true and (d) something I hadn't heard a hundred times before.

Opinions can be like arseholes of course - there's usually a big hole at the center, there's a lot of shit behind them, some people seem to spend their lives sucking up to someone else's, I don't show mine in public very often, and they generally benefit from being strongly fucked occasionally.

The same people used to tell me things like "Everyone is genetically nationalist so there's no point in fighting it" or alternatively "Everyone is naturally xenophobic but I've overcome it through willpower". As though these were not the arsehole-like opinions they'd opined about earlier.

Different people told me things like "Black on black racism is a myth created by white racists", or "The whole notion of race is pseudoscientific rubbish and if only everyone realised that they'd stop hating".

(In fact there is a useful - though vague - idea in biology called "race", which neither racists not anti-racists differentiate from its pseudoscientific namesake. Neither group knows or cares about science, in my experience.)

By a quirk of fate, I'm currently spending half my waking hours with middle eastern men. No, not like that - I'm helping out with the wordprocessing side of writing PhD theses. With the nice side-effects that I'm (a) getting acquainted with fascinating and complex ideas in genomics and proteomics, and (b) getting acquainted with people who can help me get a well paying job sometime soon.

Yes, they know I'm gay, and have so far shown no inclination to throw rocks, tell me I'm evil, or cast out demons - which places them some way above the local evangelical christian church, which did once order Satan to stop controlling me. Though it also provided me with a boyfriend for a week in 1992.

But oh dear. What should I hear from my scientist friends in a conversation about an African colleague who'd just left the room? "These black people - if you look at them the wrong way they'll kill you".



  1. "Opinions are like arseholes - everyone's got one but no one wants to examine each other's".

    Tell that to the aliens who kidnap people for rectal probings!

  2. Would you stop punning with your titles, please! I don't need to laugh when such serious topics are under the microscope. Besides, I like the Marx Brothers

    So, what you need to do is kick your scientist friend hard in the bollocks. Then say 'It's not just black people, you know,' before carrying on as usual.

    Captcha: schli - method for kicking scientists in the bollocks.