The ostracism incurred for being a gay man runs deeper than it does for being black or Indian. Black men and Indian men who could not provide adequate proteaion for women at least wanted to protea women – they just didn’t do it well enough. Gays, though, weren’t even trying to take care of women. So we called their unwillingness to protea women "immorality.’’ And we ostracized them – as in cutting them off from survival. Like witches, we called them heretics. The very word "faggot" means a bundle of sticks that were burned in the fire. When homosexuals were burned at the stake as heretics, they were called faggots.25

Why? Well, think about it. Gay sex meant two hours of sexual pleasure in exchange for two hours of sexual pleasure. Heterosexual sex meant two hours of sexual pleasure in exchange for a lifetime of responsibility. Heterosexuality was a bad deal! The fear behind homophobia was that no one would be providing for the next generation. Everybody would be having fun. Thus “fun" became a sign of immaturity; hedonism in many forms became illegal Most cultures, then, tolerated homosexuality only *hen they were no longer‘worried about survival (eg., the United States middle class after World War II and the Greeks and Romans once they had die security of an empire).

Do wc actually care less about the lives of men who are unwilling to reproduce and to protea? Our initial lack of attention to AIDS – until it became apparent that heterosexuals were also at risk – makes our attitude quite transparent