Kiss those gay bars and gay pride
parades good-bye as a new generation of homosexual men rise to empower
themselves away from stereotypes evolved out of the infamous Stonewall
riots of June 1969. The time is right to define a new identity said
Jack Malebranche of Portland, OR.
Androphilia: A Manifesto
Rejecting the Gay Identity, Reclaiming Masculinity, written by
Jack Malebranche describes the "gay lifestyle" as one that replaced
true masculinity with self-loathing, perpetual victim hood, effeminacy,
and overall a synthetic approach to life.
Homosexual desires are not fixed-oriented or a sexual fetish, but
Malebranche, 32, declares it is simply put: The love of men. It is time
for homosexual men to break away from a "politically charged gay
community that does not represent their interests or values," he said
and suggested men reject any notion that limits male identity," and
reclaim their rightful place among the brotherhood of men.
"In this age of tolerance there is ample opportunity for those critical
of gay culture to found a new homo-masculinist culture, not as a mere
subset of gay culture but in tribute to the rich history of masculine
culture itself," Malebranche said.
author Jack Malebranche
Photo by Kenji Mizumori
& Ask caught up with
Malebranche to discuss his book Androphilia, which is
scheduled for release in mid-March 2007.
He said there is a lot of baggage with the term "gay" and prefers to
use the term homo (or homosexual.)
"Being gay still means being effeminate to most people, and I think
there must be a great deal of fear --as I think there is with many
young men who decide they are attracted to other males-- that this
discovery of sexual preference is demands a sort of psychological
castration. Manhood is very important to most men --it's a powerful
thing-- and gays and straights alike promote the idea that manhood and
homosexuality are incompatible.
"Challenging that idea is really what my
work is about," he said.
While Malebranche does not imply that all homosexuals embody or embrace
the stereotypes often used to define "gay men" he points to the
differences between those men who are sold on what "radical academics,
activists" and corporations define as a potential marketing niche.
"Whenever advocates for the gay community speak out against
stereotypical portrayals, I find it hard to swallow. The gay world
itself celebrates gay stereotypes that others see as negative," he said.
When Malebranche was a teen, which was well
after Stonewall, he recalls how the gay stereotype did not fit
his world, and even since that time there has been a far more
acceptance for homosexual teens and men. "Young homos seem to be more
more comfortable with their sexuality simply being their sexuality,
which is a key theme in Androphilia.
The need for this separate gay identity is decreasing, because young
homos and bisexuals are better assimilated and their peers and are far
more desensitized to the idea of homosexuality."
Ridicule and harassment continues he said, but such practice is limited
today. "Growing up is hard. Being different is hard. It always will be.
Everyone has some sort of bullshit they have to deal with in life." At
this stage however, Malebranche determined that being a homosexual is
not the worst identity to own. "And kids are seeing that it
have to define them. They deal with the fact that they're a little
different and get on with their lives. I think that's great,"
Young homosexual men don't need to define themselves by moving to what
is often referred to as gay ghettos of San Francisco's Castro, West
Hollywood, CA, or New York City's Chelsea neighborhood. "I'm going to
sound like a dad here...but I really think the best thing for young men
who feel they may have some same-sex attractions is to bond with guys
their own age -- homo or hetero or whatever." A same-sex attraction
should not disenfranchise a young man from his peers, but to surround
one's self with males who are genuinely kind.
"A lot of gays will try to convince young people with same-sex
attractions that they're really different and that they don't belong
with straight guys, and that gays are 'their people,'" said
Since homosexual men make up roughly 4 percent of the population the
relatively small group of men have a limited audience with each other
to fulfill needs women cannot. "It's a different kind of friendship, a
unique dynamic that can be really rewarding in its own way." Male to
male friendships, even outside of the homosexual realm, are different
all together explained Malebranche. "Being able to relate to and bond
successfully with other men is really important for most men; it gives
them a sense of well-being and confidence.
"I think it's wrong and unhealthy to encourage homos to cut themselves
off from that. When they self-segregate, they miss out on a whole world
of experience and as they become increasingly dissociated from other
men, that ultimately becomes a sort of social handicap. It's extremely
limiting," he said.
Childhood and the 'Compadre'
Malebranche grew-up in rural Pennsylvania and he described his parents
as good, hardworking people. As is normal by all standards there was
some friction of course, "but I'm kind of an extreme personality," he
said. As an adult, Malebranche describes his relationship with family
as appreciative, supportive, and said his sexuality is not an issue.
Furthermore his family accepts and gets-on well with Malebranche's
partner, whom the author refers to as his "compadre" Lucio.
The couple will have been together nine years in April 2007.
Malebranche said that key to having a successful male-to-male
relationship is honesty, trust, and respect. "I think a big part of it
is balance. Some people assume there's some sort of yin-yang balance to
it, but I find that kind of offensive."
Neither of the men fills what Malebranche calls a female role in the
relationship, which is a point played out in Androphilia. "It's more
like the balance that any two guys who depend on each other are going
to find -- a balance of personality traits, strengths and
weaknesses. I always say that at the end of the day it's not a husband,
wife thing, it's Bert and Ernie or Joey and Chandler [television
characters in the United States.] We're two guys who live together and
who take care of and respect each other," Malebranche said.
"Lucio gives me a lot of support and patiently listens to all of my
crazy ideas... He made a lot of sacrifices so I could devote my
time and energy to the book. I do think being in a relationship gave me
the confidence to speak with authority about what a good male-to-male
relationship might feel or look like. So many 'relationship experts'
seem barely able to keep their own houses in order," he added.
As with Malebranche's approach in Androphilia, the
stereotypical ‘gay’ press did not publish the book. The author meet the
owners of Scapegoat Publishing, who are heterosexual men, and the
publishers were eager to put Androphilia
to press. The book was in the making for about two years and evolved
over time as Malebranche researched identity issues. "The final version
took a few months of constant work, but at that point I knew where I
was going," he said.
"They'd read some of my early essays on homosexuality and thought I was
saying something that needed to be said. They're also interested in
controversial material that really makes people think and question
popular assumptions," Malebranche said.
And perhaps one could even conclude that by reflecting upon his circle
of friends, which is largely representative of the male population in
general, how indeed Malebranche was able to redefine a homosexual male.
"There's this idea out there that men are emotionally stunted
Neanderthals who can't express themselves or connect with one another.
I don't see it that way. Men often form really intense bonds.
"Women think men are unable to
express themselves because men don't express themselves in the same way
that women do. But really good male friends are really there for each
other. Men have often formed fraternities to promote this sort of
'brotherly love.' Many soldiers that serve together remain friends
through old age -- they've been known to form extremely profound bonds
that surpass even the bonds they have with their wives," Malebranche
Androphilia, at a
simple level, reflects one man's desire to add the sexual component to
a strong bond between men. "Some men are into that. Some aren't. As
long as we respect each other's preferences here, as long as we respect
each other's manhood and personal sovereignty, it can almost be that
Men and Masculinity
Well before Androphilia
went to press, Malebranche set-out to discuss his thoughts on Internet
message boards. The results were largely mixed, and some attacked the
author's ideas head-on as a true threat to the "gay community."
According to Malebranche such criticism is part of reinvention and
change. He also believes that from discussions there is great interest
in his book from heterosexual men.
"I've joked that Androphilia
is for homosexual men who really liked the movie Fight Club -- for
reasons more profound than a shirtless Brad Pitt. Homos who never
really bought into gay culture, who always wondered why the culture of
men who love men, was so emasculated and victimized. Guys who have
always imagined something more male-culture oriented, who don't just
love men for how they look, but who love who men are and what they do."
The study of men is an ongoing issue Malebranche contended. "People
love to complicate that issue with exceptions and all sorts of bitchy
rhetorical masturbation. But there's also a simple universality to it."
He added that there is plenty of opportunity to redefine and examine
male relationships, for which he said could eventually lead to another
Until then, Malebranche says of men that they are best defined by
strength. "Not just physical strength, but strength of character. A
willingness to stand your ground, carry your own weight, assert
yourself when necessary, to get the job done when others won't do it."
"If you look at what is considered effeminate behavior, you'll see a
lot of signals, actions and gestures that objectively telegraph a
willingness to submit. Being a man all seems to come back to strength,
assertiveness, and self-reliance. I've read arguments that say this is
a modern, industrialized version of manhood, but that's so plainly
ridiculous that I'm amazed how many academics are willing to give it
credence. I can't think of any culture that has ever idealized manhood
in a way that encouraged the majority of its males to be weak, passive,
The author defines masculinity in Androphilia as a religious
ideal - or an idealism that comes naturally for males to bridge harmony
of surroundings with the physical condition, which is in direct
opposition with the so-called gay agenda that sets to separate
homosexual men (and include transsexuals and transgender, which has no
common thread with homosexual men) from all others.
"Many adult straight men are comfortable enough with themselves to
accept homosexual men as friends, but they also have no interest in
hearing about the latest Cher dance remix," Malebranche said.
"The book is a pretty harsh indictment of gay activists, extreme queens
and those who wrap themselves up in their gay identity and allow it to
determine their views, aesthetics, interests, etcetera," he said.
Malebranche expects there will be no love lost from his male critics
and gender feminists who "control any discussion about masculinity as
if being a female feminist somehow makes one an authority on being a
Androphilia is not
about sex with children Malebranche points out. "A lot of gays are
rather phobic about the pedophilia association. I can see why they
would have been in the past, when pederasty was the most common form of
homosexuality, but at this point most people are thinking 'Adam and
Steve,' not 'creepy child molester' when they think about homosexuals."
While it is relatively unknown how many homosexual adults had been
taken advantage of as boys (sexually) Malebranche said that part sexual
abuse comes down to identity from strict lines drawn by society in
terms of homosexuality versus heterosexuality.
"I think the gay movement, in its quest to create solidarity, has
actually made that line harder to cross—if you enjoy the experience in
any way [which can be the case for boys molested by adult men] then you
are believed by gays and straights alike to be completely homosexual,"
"I don't know if I have anything to offer victims of sexual abuse
specifically, but I do think if we allow men who have sex with men to
remain men, the trauma caused by an unwanted sexual scenario at a young
age could become easier to cope with," he added.
Same-sex Marriage and Religion
the same-sex marriage movement in detail. Malebranche, who is not keen
on the idea, said marriage as defined today does not fit male-to-male
relationships. "When I was a kid, there was this children's book I had
called Me too, Iguana.
In the story, an iguana tries to be everything (except) an iguana and
ends up looking goofy, until her friends convince her that there was
something worthwhile about just being an iguana."
Malebranche describes the frantic push for same-sex marriage as a
reform measure cloaked in anger by those being told they cannot marry.
"My position is that, because men and women are different, homosexual
relationships are simply different than heterosexual ones. I don't
think they are inferior in any way. Just different. And I think it's OK
to have a different institution too."
Malebranche would like to see a practical discussion about the real
same-sex relationships without emotional arguments based upon simply
"There are other solutions to many of the problems same-sex couples
face, and some of the bells and whistles of marriage are, for the most
part, unnecessary and maybe even a bad idea. I think a one-stop
domestic partnership agreement that guarantees things like hospital
visitation and emergency decision-making status is really all most
homosexual couples need. And I think a majority of Americans would be
happy to extend those benefits to same-sex couples.
"However, gays have
telegraphed that marriage is the ultimate goal, and I think this
overall strategy hurts more pragmatic efforts," Malebranche said.
During his self-discovery process Malebranche came across the Satanic Bible. "And I
read it just for fun. I was really surprised to find that the
epicurean, materialist, no-bullshit philosophy that Anton LaVey
codified best described my understanding of the world around me."
Malebranche describes the Church of Satan as a way to avoid
self-delusion, without angry nihilism. "It's about seeing both, the
beauty and the cruelty of nature --human nature included-- and living
life to the fullest with no blinders on." The church has no elements of
devil worship, nor does it practice the supernatural. In the view of a
Satanist, he is his own God, according to the Church of Satan website.
"Satanists treasure individualism...encourages traditional values in
art and literature," just to name a few points from founder's
documentation. To read more visit
Coming full-circle, Androphilia
challenges those blinders Malebranche contends that most people use
based upon institutional theory disallowing one to question.
"Because of this, some members of the Church of Satan are the most
interesting people I know. They traffic in forbidden ideas --not just
for the shock value-- but because they are simply not afraid to explore
or identify themselves with ideas that others avoid. I think that in
certain circles, especially gay and feminist ones, true masculinity
(beyond tongue-in-cheek posing) has nearly become an outré idea."
Malebranche is a Priest with the Church of Satan and in his words the
role gives him the authority to speak publicly about the
"The Priesthood is by invitation only, so in a sense it is also an
honorific title, indicating both a mastery of Satanic philosophy
and the ability to apply it," Malebranche said. He can marry couples
and perform other
rituals that members would prefer ordained priests to perform, but
Satanists tend to be fairly reclusive and independent, "so,
there's not a
huge demand for that," he said.
"I may do a private wedding this spring for a
great couple I met with recently," Malebranche said.
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