Dear Tony Adams,

Screw you. 

Last week’s article “I’m Not Gay. Your Not Gay. We Were Never Gay,” is an insult to the LGBT community. Men and women have died for the right to live openly and be “gay.” 

Despite what you think we are not entering a “post gay” era. 

We have entered a Trump era and our rights are on the line. This is not time to go back into the closet. We need to come out more than ever. 

I am proud to be gay. But you dismiss our gayness as nothing more than a fleeting sexual preference that can changed on a whim. Not true. 

Being a top or bottom may be a sexual preference. But being gay or lesbian is not. If that were the case virgins would have no sexual orientation. But most gay men knew they were gay long before they knew they were a top or bottom. 

Gay men still bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic in this nation. That’s just one reason we need labels. If there weren’t any such labels the medical community and our service organizations would not know who to target. 

Just because you visited Island House in Key West and witnessed “a wide variety of sexual appetites,” doesn’t mean being gay no longer should exist. You cite prison sex as a way to bolster your argument. But a straight guy in prison having sex with a man has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Just because a straight person can engage in sexual activity with someone of the same sex doesn’t make them gay. Just like many gay men had sex with women in their younger days but do not identify as straight or bisexual. 

Being gay is an orientation – not a preference. 

Your arguments are the same ones conservative and religious people have used against us for decades. They don’t like the concept of sexual orientation. For them there is one orientation and that’s heterosexual. Anything else is a sin and should be outlawed.

You say “call us all horny, but don’t call us gay.” Wrong. I am horny. And please call me gay.   


— Brent Shanks 

Wilton Manors