Saturday, September 1, 2007

Adding Perspective to the Tearoom Trade

In the wake of the Larry Craig case, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has produced an excellent article about the "tearoom trade."

After all, St. Louis was the site for Laud Humphreys' groundbreaking study, Tearoom Trade: Impersonal Sex in Public Places. The Post-Dispatch story provides lots of background about the Humphreys' study and its aftermath.

Interestingly, some of the same actions that got Craig in trouble--toe tapping, etc.--are described in Humphreys' study from 40 years ago.

1 comment:

Bay said...

I remember that. I lived in St. Louis at the time. Loved to sit in the bleachers and talk to Lou Brock. Rossino's pizza.. the best. Seems I remember reading a similar article maybe 10 or so year ago in the Mobile Press Register.
Al Weed from Va. posted about Craig in his blog October 18th, 2006.

It’ll take more than that to end Republican hypocrisy

There is much dispute in ethics and the gay community over whether it is acceptable to “out” gay public figures. One side of the argument is that sexuality shouldn’t be a public issue at all — it’s none of our business — and that sounds pretty reasonable to me. But the other side also sounds pretty reasonable — that when someone uses their public position, as a politician or a pastor or a political operative, to make it a public issue, they lose that claim to privacy. Either way, you’d better be reader to back it up big time.

Well, one of the activists who works in the “uncomfortable truth over comfortable lie” camp just outed Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) because he has, for years, passed moral judgments, and furthered legal restrictions on people who share the very trait he himself has allegedly been hiding from view. I’m not going to get into any of presumably-about-to-be-disputed facts, but you can go read if you’d like them.

I wish I could say that this will only be an issue of hypocrisy, but I don’t want it to turn into a matter of whether we should let gay people into Congress. Hypocrisy alone is enough to hurt this guy bad, what with so many of his votes and his money and his popularity stemming from aggressively anti-gay sources. But virtually every national Republican (Sen. Craig included) has profited by making our private lives into political issues; I won’t feel any sympathy if the attack dogs they trained come back to bite them in the ass.

Add comment October 18th, 2006