Nureyev

The premiere of the ballet “Nureyev” in the Bolshoi Theater (Moscow) has been canceled by the authorities – because of “gay provocation.” This decision is unfortunate for art, for gays, and for the general public.

Nureyev was one of the most liberated people on the planet. And one of the most talented. He was gay, and in certain periods of his life – bisexual.

Here are some photos of this bright dancer and man.










Everybody lies

Yesterday I read an impressive article ‘Everybody lies: how Google search reveals our darkest secrets’ by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz. You could find the full text at http://bit.ly/2twyG2j

I would like to share with you some interesting bits, including sections on gays, which is of course relevant to my blog. I will highlight in bold these ´gay´ sections.

Here it is:

…Many people underreport embarrassing behaviours and thoughts on surveys. They want to look good, even though most surveys are anonymous. This is called social desirability bias…

How, therefore, can we learn what our fellow humans are really thinking and doing? Big data. Certain online sources get people to admit things they would not admit anywhere else…

The power in Google data is that people tell the giant search engine things they might not tell anyone else. Google was invented so that people could learn about the world, not so researchers could learn about people, but it turns out the trails we leave as we seek knowledge on the internet are tremendously revealing…

How many American men are gay? This is a regular question in sexuality research. Yet it has been among the toughest questions for social scientists to answer. Psychologists no longer believe Alfred Kinsey’s famous estimate – based on surveys that oversampled prisoners and prostitutes – that 10% of American men are gay. Representative surveys now tell us about 2% to 3% are. But sexual preference has long been among the subjects upon which people have tended to lie. I think I can use big data to give a better answer to this question than we have ever had…

Countrywide, I estimate – using data from Google searches and Google AdWords – that about 5% of male porn searches are for gay-male porn. Overall, there are more gay porn searches in tolerant states compared with intolerant states. In Mississippi, I estimate that 4.8% of male porn searches are for gay porn, far higher than the numbers suggested by either surveys or Facebook and reasonably close to the 5.2% of pornography searches that are for gay porn in Rhode Island.

So how many American men are gay? This measure of pornography searches by men – roughly 5% are same-sex – seems a reasonable estimate of the true size of the gay population in the United States. Five per cent of American men being gay is an estimate, of course. Some men are bisexual; some – especially when young – are not sure what they are. Obviously, you can’t count this as precisely as you might the number of people who vote or attend a movie. But one consequence of my estimate is clear: an awful lot of men in the United States, particularly in intolerant states, are still in the closet. They don’t reveal their sexual preferences on Facebook. They don’t admit it on surveys. And, in many cases, they may even be married to women.

It turns out that wives suspect their husbands of being gay rather frequently. They demonstrate that suspicion in the surprisingly common search: “Is my husband gay?” The word “gay” is 10% more likely to complete searches that begin “Is my husband…” than the second-place word, “cheating”. It is eight times more common than “an alcoholic” and 10 times more common than “depressed”.

Most tellingly perhaps, searches questioning a husband’s sexuality are far more prevalent in the least tolerant regions. The states with the highest percentage of women asking this question are South Carolina and Louisiana. In fact, in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average…

And here are some other sections which also impressed me:

In our sex-obsessed culture it can be hard to admit that you are just not having that much. But if you’re looking for understanding or advice, you have, once again, an incentive to tell Google. On Google, there are 16 times more complaints about a spouse not wanting sex than about a married partner not being willing to talk. There are five-and-a-half times more complaints about an unmarried partner not wanting sex than an unmarried partner refusing to text back.

And Google searches suggest a surprising culprit for many of these sexless relationships. There are twice as many complaints that a boyfriend won’t have sex than that a girlfriend won’t have sex. By far, the number one search complaint about a boyfriend is “My boyfriend won’t have sex with me.” (Google searches are not broken down by gender, but since the previous analysis said that 95% of men are straight, we can guess that not many “boyfriend” searches are coming from men.)

How should we interpret this? Does this really imply that boyfriends withhold sex more than girlfriends? Not necessarily. As mentioned earlier, Google searches can be biased in favour of stuff people are uptight talking about. Men may feel more comfortable telling their friends about their girlfriend’s lack of sexual interest than women are telling their friends about their boyfriend’s. Still, even if the Google data does not imply that boyfriends are really twice as likely to avoid sex as girlfriends, it does suggest that boyfriends avoiding sex is more common than people let on.

Google data also suggests a reason people may be avoiding sex so frequently: enormous anxiety, with much of it misplaced. Start with men’s anxieties. It isn’t news that men worry about how well endowed they are, but the degree of this worry is rather profound. Men Google more questions about their sexual organ than any other body part: more than about their lungs, liver, feet, ears, nose, throat, and brain combined. Men conduct more searches for how to make their penises bigger than how to tune a guitar, make an omelette, or change a tyre. Men’s top Googled concern about steroids isn’t whether they may damage their health but whether taking them might diminish the size of their penis. Men’s top Googled question related to how their body or mind would change as they aged was whether their penis would get smaller…

[on Google] users sometimes ask questions such as “Why are black people rude?” or “Why are Jews evil?”

A few patterns among these stereotypes stand out. For example, African Americans are the only group that faces a “rude” stereotype. Nearly every group is a victim of a “stupid” stereotype; the only two that are not: Jews and Muslims. The “evil” stereotype is applied to Jews, Muslims, and gay people but not black people, Mexicans, Asians, and Christians. Muslims are the only group stereotyped as terrorists. When a Muslim American plays into this stereotype, the response can be instantaneous and vicious. Google search data can give us a minute-by-minute peek into such eruptions of hate-fuelled rage.

[In the days following the San Bernardino attack] In his speech, the president said: “It is the responsibility of all Americans – of every faith – to reject discrimination.” But searches calling Muslims “terrorists”, “bad”, “violent”, and “evil” doubled during and shortly after the speech. President Obama also said: “It is our responsibility to reject religious tests on who we admit into this country.” But negative searches about Syrian refugees, a mostly Muslim group then desperately looking for a safe haven, rose 60%, while searches asking how to help Syrian refugees dropped 35%. Obama asked Americans to “not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear”. Yet searches for “kill Muslims” tripled during his speech. In fact, just about every negative search we could think to test regarding Muslims shot up during and after Obama’s speech, and just about every positive search we could think to test declined.

In other words, Obama seemed to say all the right things. But new data from the internet, offering digital truth serum, suggested that the speech actually backfired in its main goal. Instead of calming the angry mob, as everybody thought he was doing, the internet data tells us that Obama actually inflamed it…

In my work with Google search data, the single most telling fact I have found regarding hate on the internet is the popularity of the word “nigger”.

Either singular or in its plural form, the word is included in 7m American searches every year. (Again, the word used in rap songs is almost always “nigga”, not “nigger”, so there’s no significant impact from hip-hop lyrics to account for.) Searches for “nigger jokes” are 17 times more common than searches for “kike jokes”, “gook jokes”, “spic jokes”, “chink jokes”, and “fag jokes” combined. When are these searches most common? Whenever African Americans are in the news. Among the periods when such searches were highest was the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when television and newspapers showed images of desperate black people in New Orleans struggling for their survival. They also shot up during Obama’s first election. And searches rose on average about 30% on Martin Luther King Jr Day. …

Can We Handle the Truth?

I can’t pretend there isn’t a darkness in some of this data. It has revealed the continued existence of millions of closeted gay men; widespread animus against African Americans; and an outbreak of violent Islamophobic rage that only got worse when the president appealed for tolerance. Not exactly cheery stuff. If people consistently tell us what they think we want to hear, we will generally be told things that are more comforting than the truth. Digital truth serum, on average, will show us that the world is worse than we have thought.

But there are at least three ways this knowledge can improve our lives. First, there can be comfort in knowing you are not alone in your insecurities and embarrassing behaviour. …

The second benefit of digital truth serum is that it alerts us to people who are suffering. …

The final – and, I think, most powerful – value in this data is its ability to lead us from problems to solutions. With more understanding, we might find ways to reduce the world’s supply of nasty attitudes…

I hope you enjoyed this article, and perhaps discovered something revealing, new and useful about yourselves and the society, including gays, as I did. And thank you, Seth, for doing this research!

Skier Gus


Augustus Richard “Gus” Kenworthy (born October 1, 1991) is a British-born American freestyle skier from Telluride, Colorado who competes in slopestyle and also the halfpipe. Kenworthy won the silver medal in Men’s freestyle skiing at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Kenworthy is the youngest of three sons of an English mother and an American father, Pip and Peter Kenworthy.
Kenworthy won AFP World Championships overall titles in 2011, 2012, and 2013. In 2014, he placed second at the Olympics in Sochi, Russia (silver medal).
Kenworthy gained international media attention as a result of his former boyfriend, Robin Macdonald, texting him a photo of five stray dogs—four puppies and their mother—during their stay in Sochi, at the 2014 Winter Olympics. He stayed behind for more than a month to save the family of dogs, and others, while he fought to bring them back home. Their adoption of these dogs helped bring further attention to the problematic rise of the stray dog population in Sochi, which grew significantly during the Olympics.
In October 2015, Kenworthy came out as gay. Rolling Stone noted the “freestyle medalist is the first action-sports star to come out.”
(from Wikipedia)

Below are his three recent Instagram photos. He is a larrikin, isn’t he? And he is gorgeous.