2 min

Dismissing the old politics

Students fight over sex

An alliance of students and alumni of the University Of Toronto have declared war on the campus gay club, accusing it of being washed-up and unhealthily obsessed with feminism.

"The feminists who run LGBT OUT are really the same as the people in the gay community who want to make everything clean and proper and mainstream,” says 25-year-old Wordsworth College student Matthew Loubser.

"There’s no room in their thinking for those segments of the population who come from the real margins… a big one being queer youth who have had positive experiences with pederasty."

Earlier this year, an e-mail to members of LGBT OUT (Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgendered At The University Of Toronto) announced an alternative to the existing campus organization. The group called itself Sexuality.

"The social wing of Sexuality will be committed to bringing all different kinds of people together for the purpose of interacting in a sex-positive environment,” the announcement declared. “Welcome to the next century."

A large number of those involved are not U of T students.

These include:
• Max Allen (producer of the CBC Radio program Ideas)
• Sky Gilbert (prominent playwright)
• James Dubro (well-known crime writer and former U of T literature professor)
• George Hislop (a longtime activist who just celebrated his 73rd birthday)
• Jearld Moldenhauer (founder of both Glad Day Bookshop in 1970 and LGBT-OUT itself in 1969)
• and Derek Norman (outgoing manager of Yonge Street’s Glad Day).

Norman says the group supports students and all citizens “opposed to the mainstreaming of sexuality politics, which seems to be what the University Of Toronto campus group is doing. Students and adults and everyone just seem to be following the gay community in this trend to present an acceptable, squeaky clean image that ignores issues like man-boy love and S&M."

But LGBT OUT has circulated petitions calling for a sex washroom on campus (for students and professors seeking afternoon relief) and a university calendar with sexy student photos eroticizing love handles, scars, disabled students’ limbs and “all parts of the body not normally seen as sexy even though they are."

Here where things get even weirder. Last month, Loubser revealed that Sexuality was actually a prank – but says there are problems on campus that need to be solved.

And though it’s a prank, the new group will publish a quarterly magazine called Poke in the fall. (In fact, its launch has been promised for almost a year.)

It will have “intellectual content, attacking the identity politics and silence in defending issues like pederasty and S & M that you find in LGBT OUT."

Bonte Minnema dismisses the attack, calling it “ridiculous."

"I think it’s important to include gerontophiles [youth who enjoy old partners] and I think LGBT OUT members would agree,” says the outgoing LGBT OUT executive member and Trinity College student.

"Of course, there is a variety of opinion, but in the end I think pederasty is a tired old discussion that we’ve been having forever. There are more important issues to talk about.

"The Homo Hops have been a huge success this year, and they’re hardly sex-negative spaces."

Loubser has a different perspective.

"Those Homo Hops make a lot of money out of queer youth’s pockets, and the money isn’t being re-invested in queer youth at all,” he says.

"It’s going to finance outreach programs that no one pays attention to and rainbow banners for marches that have a lot to do with feminism and queer politics, but not a lot to do with sexuality politics, stuff that just addresses sex and what students want and need and think and look for in sex."