James Randi admits being homosexual

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cosmicalstorm
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James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by cosmicalstorm »

Didn't see anything posted about this. Let's hope it works out good for him. I guess this is going to be used as ammunition against him in the future.
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Swift
Written by James Randi
Sunday, 21 March 2010 12:37

Well, here goes. I really resent the term, but I use it because it’s recognized and accepted.

I’m gay.

From some seventy years of personal experience, I can tell you that there’s not much “gay” about being homosexual. For the first twenty years of my life, I had to live in the shadows, in a culture that was — at least outwardly — totally hostile to any hint of that variation of life-style. At no time did I choose to adopt any protective coloration, though; my cultivation of an abundant beard was not at all a deception, but part of my costume as a conjuror.

Gradually, the general attitude that I’d perceived around me began to change, and presently I find that there has emerged a distinctly healthy acceptance of different social styles of living — except, of course, in cultures that live in constant and abject fear of divine retribution for infractions found in the various Holy Books… In another two decades, I’m confident that young people will find themselves in a vastly improved atmosphere of acceptance.

Before publishing this statement, I chose to privately notify a number of my closest friends and colleagues — none of whom, I’m sure, have been at all surprised at this “coming out.” I’m prepared to receive the inevitable barrage of jeers and insults from the “grubbies” out there who will jump to their keyboards in glee to notify others of their kind about this statement, which to them will be yet further proof of the perfidy of the rationalist mode of life that I have chosen. Those titters of joy will be unheard over the murmur of acceptance that I confidently expect from my friends.

This declaration of mine was prompted just last week by seeing an excellent film — starring Sean Penn — that told the story of politician Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California. I’m in excellent company: Barney Frank, Oscar Wilde, Stephen Fry, Ellen DeGeneres, Rachel Maddow, are just a few of those who were in my thoughts as I pressed the key that placed this on Swift and before the whole world…

I should apologize for having used Swift as the venue to publish this note, an item that is hardly the focus of what we promote and publish here, but I chose the single most public asset I have to make this statement. It’s from here that I have attacked irrationality, stupidity, and irresponsibility, and it is my broadest platform. Here is where I have chosen to stand and fight.

And I think that I have already won this battle by simply publishing this statement.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Dalton »

I didn't see that coming. More power to him!
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Guardsman Bass »

That doesn't entirely surprise me - he's never been married or anything like that.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Mr Bean »

Did not see that coming, been a fan of Randi's work in skepticism and going after medical hoaxer's and modern snake oil salesmen. To hear that he is gay, well ok then. I don't think any more or any less of him because of that announcement. I have that luxury thanks to my upbringing of being non judgmental towards gays.

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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Guardsman Bass »

Mr Bean wrote:Did not see that coming, been a fan of Randi's work in skepticism and going after medical hoaxer's and modern snake oil salesmen. To hear that he is gay, well ok then. I don't think any more or any less of him because of that announcement. I have that luxury thanks to my upbringing of being non judgmental towards gays.
It doesn't bother me either. My initial reaction was "Huh. That's cool."
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Mr Bean »

Guardsman Bass wrote:
It doesn't bother me either. My initial reaction was "Huh. That's cool."
Pretty much mirrors my first reaction
So James Randi was gay?
Huh...

The only times it matters when someone says "I'm gay" is when it's a person of power (IE I'd love to hear one of our Presidents announce they were gay or a Supreme Court member) or even better when it's someone who belongs to the anti-gay movement and has to admit they joined to provide cover for the fact they were gay(Oh delicious irony)

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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Alyrium Denryle »

Dalton wrote:I didn't see that coming. More power to him!
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by salm »

Mr Bean wrote: The only times it matters when someone says "I'm gay" is when it's a person of power (IE I'd love to hear one of our Presidents announce they were gay or a Supreme Court member) or even better when it's someone who belongs to the anti-gay movement and has to admit they joined to provide cover for the fact they were gay(Oh delicious irony)
Eh, persons of power have come out of the closet for a long time now. Our current foreign minister Westerwelle is gay and was elected when everybody allready knew he was gay.
Athlets, esspecially soccer players, though, are where it sadly still matters. There´s no openly gay player in the entire Bundesliga.
There was an openly gay player in the UK a couple of years ago but he hanged himlelf sometime after comming out because he couldn´t deal with the consequences.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Teebs »

salm wrote:Eh, persons of power have come out of the closet for a long time now. Our current foreign minister Westerwelle is gay and was elected when everybody allready knew he was gay.
Athlets, esspecially soccer players, though, are where it sadly still matters. There´s no openly gay player in the entire Bundesliga.
There was an openly gay player in the UK a couple of years ago but he hanged himlelf sometime after comming out because he couldn´t deal with the consequences.
There's a bit of a difference between Western European tolerance levels and US tolerance levels though. I don't think there have been any equivalents to Westerwelle in the USA. Nothing even close I suspect.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by salm »

Teebs wrote:
salm wrote:Eh, persons of power have come out of the closet for a long time now. Our current foreign minister Westerwelle is gay and was elected when everybody allready knew he was gay.
Athlets, esspecially soccer players, though, are where it sadly still matters. There´s no openly gay player in the entire Bundesliga.
There was an openly gay player in the UK a couple of years ago but he hanged himlelf sometime after comming out because he couldn´t deal with the consequences.
There's a bit of a difference between Western European tolerance levels and US tolerance levels though. I don't think there have been any equivalents to Westerwelle in the USA. Nothing even close I suspect.
Yeah, but there have been Senators and other high ranking politicians who came out of the closet. Have there been any players in the NFL, NBA or MBA?

Sports apparently is a much worse bastion of homophobia than politics.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Alyrium Denryle »

salm wrote:
Teebs wrote:
salm wrote:Eh, persons of power have come out of the closet for a long time now. Our current foreign minister Westerwelle is gay and was elected when everybody allready knew he was gay.
Athlets, esspecially soccer players, though, are where it sadly still matters. There´s no openly gay player in the entire Bundesliga.
There was an openly gay player in the UK a couple of years ago but he hanged himlelf sometime after comming out because he couldn´t deal with the consequences.
There's a bit of a difference between Western European tolerance levels and US tolerance levels though. I don't think there have been any equivalents to Westerwelle in the USA. Nothing even close I suspect.
Yeah, but there have been Senators and other high ranking politicians who came out of the closet. Have there been any players in the NFL, NBA or MBA?

Sports apparently is a much worse bastion of homophobia than politics.
With only a couple exceptions (Barney Frank), most of them are actually forced out. Studs was caught sleeping with a page, Foley the same (though in Stud's case said page was of legal age and actually liked the rep), Larry Craig got caught, Jim Kolbe got outed by the gay community for his anti-gay votes.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by The Spartan »

Would Mayor of a major metropolitan city count? Because, Houston just elected an openly gay mayor.

Which is a start...
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

The fact that I never for a moment considered him gay actually makes his announcement a bit more "Cool"
I occasionally get flak about this, But I like gay people who don't "act" gay, IE the way everyone else THINKS gay people 'should' act.

If anything 'bothers' me, its simply that he seemed it necessary to go through much of his life before telling anyone the truth.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

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Err... I hope he's happy and all. Gotta say, I really don't care who he sleeps with or finds purdy, so I'm glad he's confident enough to be... well him, other than that. Whatever.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

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Alyrium Denryle wrote:
Dalton wrote:I didn't see that coming. More power to him!
Known for years. Friend of a friend allegedly slept with him
...I'm hoping it's not a bad thing that my first thought was "Lucky jerk".

In all seriousness, all power to him, and I'm surprised that I'd never really considered that possibility before.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Zor »

Good for him, i just wonder why he would take so long to come out.

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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Dragon Angel »

Zor wrote:Good for him, i just wonder why he would take so long to come out.
Coming out as a GLBT to one's peers, nevermind the world takes quite a bit of inner courage from a person...of which, even James Randi needed some time to gather, I guess.

My own thoughts...I am glad that he finally took the plunge. :)
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

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Zor wrote:Good for him, i just wonder why he would take so long to come out.
At a guess, and only a guess:

Psychological momentum. Randi grew up in an era when coming out this publically was (literally) suicide. Even coming out to your immediate friends and family was... if not suicide, close to it. He spent most of his adult life very deep in a self-constructed closet, and the idea of coming out after so long would require him to override long-ingrained instincts.

Another guess: it may not have helped that he's such a public figure in the... call it the rationalist community. Coming out would leave the community more vulnerable to gay-baiting, which may have factored into his decision to keep this a secret until recently.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by The Duchess of Zeon »

I dunno, but at least in Washington State and Oregon the idea of gay politicians is pretty normal; I'd say we have an outright LGBT wing (all L and G tho') in the Washington Legislature, with enough seniority to establish the procedural process by which we've steadily won so much here, and the effective head of the group is the one who formulated the Fabian Strategy we've used to such great effect here.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Simon_Jester »

Yes, but how long has that been true for? Randi has been a prominent skeptic and rationalist since... the mid-1970s, I think. That was right at the beginning of the era when it became even slightly viable for major public figures to come out. And the Pacific coast has been way ahead of much of the rest of the country on acceptance of open gays.

So I can definitely understand why he'd have kept the secret for so long.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Alyrium Denryle »

Molyneux wrote:
Alyrium Denryle wrote:
Dalton wrote:I didn't see that coming. More power to him!
Known for years. Friend of a friend allegedly slept with him
...I'm hoping it's not a bad thing that my first thought was "Lucky jerk".

In all seriousness, all power to him, and I'm surprised that I'd never really considered that possibility before.

Not at all, that was my first thought too. One badass hookup.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Channel72 »

While homosexuality and atheism are obviously completely unrelated concepts, the fact of the matter is that the forces of secularism are fighting a difficult battle in the United States right now, and the theistic opposition tends to lump atheism and homosexuality together under the evil umbrella of godlessness. What we really need in the United States is a high-profile, straight, white, non-divorced, family-oriented atheist. This might help to slowly edge atheistic thought into the mainstream political arena.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

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I can see very easily why so many gay people are atheist, would you want to join a religion that at very best will ask you to deny your very nature and character by never having sex with someone of the same sex? It's actually religious gay people, and I know more than a few, that makes me scratch my head most.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Mayabird »

...wait, Barney Frank is gay? *checks* Apparently this has been well known for about my entire damn life and I have no gaydar at all.

But yeah, Randi's in his eighties. He's been holding it in for a long time so I guess it would take a long time for him to be open about it.

As for sports, or at least male athletes, they've got that whole machismo/testosterone thing going on where they find gay people to be some sort of deadly threat to their masculinity. There's some psychological explanation for it but hell if I can remember it now.
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Re: James Randi admits being homosexual

Post by Atlan »

Mayabird wrote: As for sports, or at least male athletes, they've got that whole machismo/testosterone thing going on where they find gay people to be some sort of deadly threat to their masculinity. There's some psychological explanation for it but hell if I can remember it now.
I believe it's called being a bigoted shithead. No other explanation required.

And good for Mr. Randi. As others have pointed out, for someone who grew up in the age that he did it would have taken quite a lot of force to break the mold of habit that he constructed around himself.
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