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Late night pen pal

by Jeremy Hooper

200805031201New York City, Friday, May 2, 11:35ish PM. Jeremy Hooper, fresh from a relaxing night with the mister consisting of a wonderful dinner and a sub-par play, is pulled out of his world of peace and calm and right back into the world of "pro-family" when Peter LaBarbera decides to send an email regarding how he views a recent post about the protest at Smith College.

Now, normally I would have let this all go. But since in my opinion, the subsequent email exchange is somewhat revelatory in terms of how the pro- and anti-gay forces truly view the fair exchange of ideas, the appropriateness of militancy, what does and does not constitute decent and humane discourse, and this whole "culture war" in general, I will now post it. Pete is aware I am doing so:

(please excuse any typos)


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Jeremy responds:

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space gay-comment gay-G-A-Y-post gay-email gay-writer-jeremy-hooper

Your thoughts

seems like pete has a man-crush on you

Posted by: queerunity | May 3, 2008 12:24:08 PM

That was fantastic. He completely baits you, and then when you call him out on it, he tries to play it off as the same tongue-in-cheek style that G-A-Y writes with.

I guess the difference is that G-A-Y had never made a sentence-long post that's tantamount to a kid yelling "you're stupid!" That's not tongue-in-cheek, Peter, that's tongue-tied.

By the by, if you're reading this, Peter, I think there are actually a *few* emails from your blood donation challenge that you've yet to respond to. I can understand you might be busy, and that you may have have received a lot of responses to your challenge, but if your emails are all similarly "clever" and to the point, getting a response out can't take THAT long now can it?

Posted by: zortnac | May 3, 2008 12:38:08 PM

Well and another thing in terms of style, zortnac: ANYTHING I respond to of Peter's is exactly that -- a response to his attacks against gayness! He throws a stone, and I respond to. So there is an innate difference in what we do.

As for the blood challenge; What's most annoying about that is he SPECIFICALLY asked people to write him with their thoughts. And yes, I know for a fact that any people have written him because I've been BCCed on more than a few!

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 3, 2008 12:45:00 PM

G-A-Y, I got to hand it to you. There's not many people who'd waste their time conversing with somebody who thumps the bible in one hand, and chases after nude men with his video camera in the other hand. Not to mention filming men having sex in various locations (mostly private adult businesses), and distributing it without their consent. There's much better gay pornographers out there to talk to or interview LOL

Posted by: Scott | May 3, 2008 2:47:51 PM

Simply fantastic, Jeremy. He hurls insults, you call him on it, and he whines that you're being childish and mean. What a sad little man PL is...

Posted by: rycam | May 3, 2008 6:24:21 PM

I also love the "I'll pray for you" tactic. Every time I read that, I imagine a hand patting me on the head in an exceedingly condescending way.

Posted by: Benton | May 3, 2008 6:41:59 PM

It's interesting that, while he criticizes the sinfulness of others in his email, he commits sins of his own which he doesn't seem very sorry for, such as:
* Bearing false witness (regarding free speech & the Constitution)
* Having other gods before God (his gods are namely the bible and the law, not God or Jesus)
I wonder if, when he says his prayers at night, he says he's sorry for these infractions? I'm guessing not.

Posted by: Larry Seiferth Jr. | May 3, 2008 7:30:04 PM

"Go read your First Amendment, guy!"


Sorry, it was too easy and I couldn't resist.

Posted by: Angry Biscuit | May 3, 2008 7:53:17 PM

Nobody disarms these people like you do, Jeremy. They need to get you on TV!

Posted by: Mike C | May 3, 2008 7:54:01 PM

". . . blatantly antidemocratic disruption of a scheduled speach." I don't think one could really label a lecture as being 'democratic.' If anything lectures would be more authoritarian or even dictatorial. And, whether one agrees with the actions of the Smith students or not, you certainly have to agree that majority rule (even if it is by force) is more 'democratic' than 'antidemocratic.'

Perhaps Pete is equating the less democratic judicial branch of our system of government to 'democratic.' A judicial branch that could step up and defend the minority (in this case Sorba's speach.) Where's the activist judge when you need one?

Dick Mills

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 3, 2008 11:00:32 PM

It's LaBarbera that's being the childish one in the exchange. He will not answer your questions either. I love how he tap dances around the 'health issues'. I mean other than STD's, which affect the hetero community too, what are the risks?

A prolapsed anus?

Posted by: Reverend Antonino Stefano Pelliccia | May 3, 2008 11:21:32 PM

good smackdown jeremy.

and for the record, when peter can't dispute when faced with the lies he tells, he likes to pull the "I consider your blog childish" card.

I know this from experience.

Posted by: a. mcewen | May 3, 2008 11:45:54 PM

This is typical Peter. I've got tons of little exchanges like this in my e-mail box, with him and other of his ilk, that follow the same basic narrative.

He's had a hard week, though. Getting called out for lying about Andy Marin on his website, and then petulantly refusing to take it down...always being "right" has to be stressful, you know?

Of course, he started it by trying, desperately and immaturely, to discredit Andy Marin by implying that he supports Peter's work, so, as usual, Pete deserves it.

Posted by: Evan | May 4, 2008 1:15:35 AM

Thanks for sharing that exchange Jeremy! I can't believe how childish Peter is. He picks a fight and then runs. He tried all he could to back out of it, and finally had to hide behind his christianity: "I will commit to praying for you" it takes him 4 emails to decide to act on his christian beliefs?

Posted by: keltic | May 4, 2008 8:28:57 AM

For most of my adult life I have worked as a designer in a field perceived to be a little gay. Consequently, guys who are in the closet do a lot of overcompensating; "dude", "my friend", and "man" become shorthand for "I have sex with women". After about 20 years in my field I've seen it dozens of times. I can only assume that there is something about the presumed prissiness of the industry that must be nibbling away at these dudes' closets enough to turn them into a caricature of a frat boy at a beer blast.

Mr. LaBarbera rings my alarm in the same way. He has complained in the past on his blog about being "accused" of being gay; well, no wonder. He may or may not be repressing his sexuality, and really, I don't care. But something is causing him to want to fill his life with the comings and goings of gay men. These emails are like so many relationships I've shared with my coworkers - lots of weird attention and then when you call them on it they insult you by telling you to "get a life".

Good work, Jeremy. Thank you for wading through this so we don't have to!

Posted by: andrew williams | May 4, 2008 9:10:46 AM

Wow. I teach high school, and this looks very familiar. Kid A throws an insult, or sometimes a ball of paper, at kid B. Kid B calls him on it, and first Kid A denies it, then after some exchanges switches to bringing up something else: "Yeah, well, you told so-and-so this-and-this yesterday." How juvenile! Even if it were true, it has nothing to do with the matter at hand. At least he didn't pull a "Your mom" joke like my kids always end up doing. Now THOSE are annoying!

Posted by: Lisa | May 4, 2008 3:12:21 PM

Well, neo-Freudianism would say his agression towards you represents a desire to...uh...have you, in a sexual way. And since botched up Freud and their distorted Bible is all these disappointed, frustrated ex-gays have to prove their truth, maybe this is an unconscious come-on.

Poor Peter...perhaps he needs a bear hug from his substitute father figure to get over it?

Posted by: revtj | May 4, 2008 7:58:19 PM

Yeah I think this is totally not helping our cause out. It is disrespectful and only serves to divide us more as humans. Personally, I'm not very proud of this. :(

Posted by: Forky | May 4, 2008 10:09:52 PM

"Go read your First Amendment, guy!" -- Peter LaBarbara

How pitiful and ironic that a person who presumes to school you in the First Amendment doesn't realize that the First Amendment has NOTHING whatsoever to do with prohibiting citizens from suppressing the speech of other citizens. I don't believe citizens should do this to other citizens but that is a personal opinion not a directive from the Constitution. The First Amendment ONLY prohibits the GOVERNMENT from suppressing the speech (and expression) of its citizens; something, more ironically still, that the anti-gay LaBarbara's of the country FULLY support.

So Petey, it's YOU "guy", "my friend", sweetheart, pun'kin, sugar plum, who needs to read up on your First Amendment and maybe take a class or two if you can fit it in between all your undercover "investigative" (YEAH, "INVESTIGATIVE", bwaaaaahahaha!) reports from back rooms at leather bars and bath houses (NEITHER of which THIS gay man has ever been to).

Posted by: Zeke | May 4, 2008 10:33:12 PM

Not proud of what, exactly, Forky?

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 4, 2008 10:44:59 PM

"Poor Peter...perhaps he needs a bear hug from his substitute father figure to get over it?"

You mean Coach Daddy Daubenmire?

Posted by: Scott | May 4, 2008 11:38:07 PM

I sat down yesterday and read Sorba's anti-“pro sodomy” compilation of mostly discredited claims, "The Born Gay Hoax." It was the working (and unpublished) version that is available online as a pdf.

If this is the book that he is hoping to publish, then I’m surprised that anyone would invite him to lecture. The first thing about it is the fact that there really isn't anything new in it. That’s coupled with the fact that he makes a childishly annoying attempt to couch the discussion in a condescending tone by continuously referring to the gay rights movement as the “pro sodomy” activists.

But, the biggest reason that it is a worthless read (IMHO) is the fundamental dishonesty of it. That dishonesty becomes evident when one tracks down the first couple of indirectly referenced sources – only to find that he references a source which merely repeats the previously debunked claim from another source. And, some of them are more than once removed.

But, that sort of intellectual dishonesty probably plays well in the circle within which he travels.

Dick Mills

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 4, 2008 11:40:17 PM

You did a good job, but winning the hearts and minds of Christian extremists can only be done on the theological battle field, in short we need Christians to speak out on our behalf, explaining clearly how the bible comes from a language with no work for homosexual, and the ways that the king james is a very flaky translation with multiple error.

It is not enough for them that every person should be equal, because they don't believe this. As shown when they say "everyone is allowed to get married, but marriage is a bond between only a man and a woman..."

I pray for them, and hope I can find someone who talks on their wavelength, but isn't maladjusted to the society we live in.

Posted by: Corvidae | May 5, 2008 6:03:21 AM

Corvidae: Well, this is just one email exchange -- not the sum of the work. Putting the Bible in a historical context and pointing out the translation gaps is something frequently done here on G-A-Y, and something that will certainly continue in the future.

But beyond even that, we have to see a change in the common evangelical mindset. There has to be a willingness to listen, and to admit that this complex thing we call life is not made up of oversimplified absolutes.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 5, 2008 7:03:01 AM

Peter doesn't allow comments on AFTAH because hatred and silliness would take over?

That made me giggle... and I'm not much of a giggler.

I wonder what his site would have to look like for LaBarbera to see it as silly and hateful.

Posted by: Timothy | May 5, 2008 1:20:29 PM

Annnnnd this is why I write about NASCAR and pandas. *sigh*

Thank you for informing us, for entertaining us, for revealing the mindsets of the LaBarberas of this world, and for putting up with nonsense from the same. Please know it's appreciated.

Posted by: GreenEyedLilo | May 5, 2008 1:54:19 PM

Good one Timothy... I think mine was a chuckle or hoot not giggle but close.

JH: Yes what's up with Forky?

What a way to ruin a possibly great post-evening evening... your mister may ask you not to 'computer.' until later.

Even Monday after work it doesn't sit too well.

But you all did see the AP release that some:
Conservative Christian leaders are 'coming out' to say that 'evangelical'
has lost its religious meaning and has become too political.

They do go on to say that many WingNuts, and Xtians disagree! Course they don't exactly interview our side to find out if we agree or disagree now do they?

Posted by: LOrion | May 5, 2008 7:58:22 PM

That was the press release that said that Christians become "useful idiots" for whatever political party. I've always believed that, and am quite frankly shocked that any of them actually believe it enough to say it.

Posted by: Dick Mills | May 5, 2008 9:47:51 PM

Peter, on the off-chance that you're reading these comments, please know that I'm praying for you, that someday you may know the true love of God that will cause you to leave behind this life of hatred and dishonesty.

Posted by: Jon | May 6, 2008 10:49:17 AM

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