X-Message-Number: 16623
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 18:37:00 EDT
Subject: Gay/Hetero discussion

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In the last cryonet discussion, Mr Epstein makes several assertiions:

To Deathist Lurker Girl, Mr. Epstein asserts:

>If you turned into something not-you
>deluded that it was you,you/it wouldn't
>really be you.

Mike Darwin Said:

>> I don't demand equal treatment except under the law.

And Mr. Epstein replied to Mike Darwin:

>Well,the interpretation of that can
>extend to things I think inappropriate.
>There should,I believe,be certain advantages
>to one's sexual relationships being heterosexual
>ones because these are more useful to the species.

I'm soooooo interested in what Mr. Epstein thinks "inappropriate" about all 
people receiving equal treatment under the law.  
How can you even type something like the above without your fingers bleeding 
and your ears imploding?   (I can't wait for the next cryonet, where Mr. 
Epstein I expect will assert that he doesn't think people shouldn't receive 
equal treatment under the law.. unless he finds it not according to his 
interpretation. You know - assuring gays equal rights- too inconvenient or 
icky for Mr Epstein.)

When pressed to consider tolerance for diversity in the human genome Mr 
Epstein asserts:

>I'm certainly familiar with that
>slippery-slope attitude,which
>equates any eugenic motivation
>whatsoever with a desire for
>death camps in every town.

>But no,my interest is clear,
>strictly in weeding out TRAITS.
>And it doesn't extend to sterilizing
>anyone mentally competent to refuse.

How gracious.  But sterilizing the mentally incompetent is fine?  How will 
that be decided?  Will it apply to the mentally ill?  Who will set up those 
guidelines?  So if someone has a nervous breakdown, or suffers from 
depression, Mr Epstein can whack their balls off with impunity?  What a 
lovely world that is.  And so worth living in. Where's my coffin, please?  Do 
me a favor and shovel in the dirt, there's a good fellow.

Mr. Epstein also asserts:

>I doubt immortalism is in genes.

I think it wonderfully ironic, though, that a disproportionate number of gay 
and non reproducing hetero people apparently spearheaded and funded the 
cryonics movement.  Could it be that immortalism is weighted more towards gay 
or non reproducing heterosexuals?  Mr. Epstein possibly has a better chance 
at achieving immortality by remaining celibate- as evidenced by Mike Darwin's 
tremendous essay regarding gays in the cryonics movement. 

Mr Epstein then asserts how disturbing it might be to wake and find his 
sexuality changed without his permission! :

>But yes,certainly interests can be
>abused.I remember a line in Spider
>Robinson's CALLAHAN'S LADY,about
>the operator of a bisexual bordello:
>"Lady Sally tolerates monosexuals,
>but doesn't understand them"...and
>can imagine a future government that
>doesn't so tolerate telling a cryonics
>organization that those in suspension
>must be modified..."they come out bi,
>or it's bye-bye"...and no,this idea
>doesn't thrill me.

But apparently the idea of remaking everyone else into his guidelines gives 
Mr Epstein quite the cheap thrill.
Imagine how fond I am of Mr Epstein, who would "weed out" the characteristic 
that makes it possible for me to love 
another. And imagine how kindly I viewed Lee Corbin's assertion that they 
could remake me into a hetero. I found it horrific to contemplate. Yes, even 
Mr. Epstein admits 

>If you turned into something not-you
>deluded that it was you,you/it wouldn't
>really be you.

And yet, again, I return to the reason I originally posted my short message.  
I don't think this is the right forum for gay rights, at all, but it is a 
forum to assert that I don't want anyone editing my genome or memories or 
sexual orientation without my permission.  

Mr. Epstein doesn't understand the horrors he proposes, I am convinced.  And 
I think that is shown over and over in his posts.  When he likens his myopia 
(an eyesight deficiency)  to my homosexuality ( which he views as a 
genetic/sexual deficiency) it shows the depth of his ignorance.  To further 
the metaphor, I've decided that Mr Epstein is right about his myopia.  And I 
think it should be weeded out.  Should we trust him to close his eyelids and 
keep them closed, or should we surgically remove his defective eyes so they 
don't offend us anymore?

Recently, a rather sophmoric high school level exchange occurred on cryonet, 
prompted (as I remember) by James Swayze's comments regarding his physical 
difficulties with some aspects of sex.  Many commented inanely, with assinine 
assertions that chemical stimulation of his brain would produce the desired 
alleviation of his discomfort. 

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST.  Is that what you people think SEX is about?  if sex 
was solely about reproduction, we could do it by mail order. If its about 
getting your jollies, we can stick a wire in our brains and drool in a corner 
all day.  For ME, and I hope for the rest of you, sex is about communicating, 
loving, and pleasing your partner... its about forming families and caring 
and support- its about the ephemeral joy that can change our entire 
consciousness with the illumination that we are loved.  Perhaps this is what 
Mr Swayze was talking about.  I hope he makes it to the future, and I hope he 
finds true love there, and a healthy body to celebrate it with.

As for Mike Perry, who is celibate- how indelicate and awful the comments 
that suggested he would be just so much happier if he just got some.  Well, 
Mr Perry, I hope you stay as you are, for as long as you like, and if you 
ever want to change your sexual behavior, I will neither applaud nor deride 
you for any position on sexual activity or celibacy- what you want for 
yourself is fine with me and I sincerely hope you are happy- whatever, and 
whenever, you decide as you may.

Sorry, but on a planet of 7 billion, I don't think reproduction or survival 
of the species is threatened by homosexuality.  

So, for Mr Epstein, or Mr. Corbin, to think about weeding out my 
homosexuality, remaking me into a heterosexual- what a broken, horrible sad 
creature I would be then, with no ability to remember those I'd loved and the 
reasons I'd loved them- with alien memories, or replaced memories of unreal 
people or events- or desires that are alien to my memory.  Take my eyes 
first- but not shatter my consciousness and paint a happy smile on an idiot 
robot you might conceive to take my place.

And finally, Mr Epstein, so intent on judging others, something I find 
distasteful and to be avoided when possible- what a strange black and white 
world of good and evil you live in, with your God to give you moral 
certainty.  But I've finally decided you're not worshipping God, you're just 
sucking up to him because you want his job- being so obviously convinced you 
can do it better than he.

I've observed extropianism/transhumanism/cryonics for the better part of 20 
years.  The flaws I've seen come to this- perhaps we are reaching to the 
stars, but too often in our desire to be transhuman, we deny our feet of 
clay, and our very real nature as human.  I think it necessary to weigh our 
choices carefully.  I think it necessary to admit our capacity for harm is as 
great or greater than our capacity for good, and that all that can save us is 
the choices we make.  Don't be afraid of differences.  Let go of hatred and 
fear.  Celebrate life.  And if you get to the end of the universe- have 
something more to celebrate about your years than the fact you made it.  Life 
without value is not worth living.   Hurting others- Mr Epstein's assertions 
that gay men should only be celibate, in response to their pointed out value 
in society- makes me shudder and sick to my stomach.  

Mr. Epstein carefully avoided responding to Mike Darwin's reversal of his 
position on gay/hetero values- and still, still, still, I believe, harbors a 
terrible prejudice.  What harm that gays have relations and families and 
love?  What harm, Mr Epstein?  Why can't I love someone, share a life, marry, 
adopt, even; if I desire, water the lawn, take out the trash, walk on the 
beach at sunset holding hands, lay in bed in the middle of the night and 
watch my lover's face as he sleeps, make love in the early morning light, 
read the paper aloud at the breakfast table, delight in small kindnesses and 
have someone who is a best friend and a lover and a partner in life, for as 
long as we desire?  Can't I call that man husband, and share his insurance 
benefits?  Can I adopt his children, and devote myself to them even if my 
husband should die? If I go to the hospital, can't he be there to help guide 
the doctors in our wishes?  If I should die or become suspended, can't he 
inherit my estate?   Why not? Why not?  Why not?

Michael Donahue


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