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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Amazing Randi comes out

Toronto-born James Randi, famous magician, skeptic and writer, is gay. He came out of the closet today on his blog at age 81:
Well, here goes. I really resent the term, but I use it because it’s recognized and accepted.

I’m gay.

From some seventy years of personal experience, I can tell you that there’s not much “gay” about being homosexual. For the first twenty years of my life, I had to live in the shadows, in a culture that was — at least outwardly — totally hostile to any hint of that variation of life-style. At no time did I choose to adopt any protective coloration, though; my cultivation of an abundant beard was not at all a deception, but part of my costume as a conjuror.

Gradually, the general attitude that I’d perceived around me began to change, and presently I find that there has emerged a distinctly healthy acceptance of different social styles of living — except, of course, in cultures that live in constant and abject fear of divine retribution for infractions found in the various Holy Books… In another two decades, I’m confident that young people will find themselves in a vastly improved atmosphere of acceptance.

Before publishing this statement, I chose to privately notify a number of my closest friends and colleagues — none of whom, I’m sure, have been at all surprised at this “coming out.” I’m prepared to receive the inevitable barrage of jeers and insults from the “grubbies” out there who will jump to their keyboards in glee to notify others of their kind about this statement, which to them will be yet further proof of the perfidy of the rationalist mode of life that I have chosen. Those titters of joy will be unheard over the murmur of acceptance that I confidently expect from my friends.

Congratulations, James, on finally having the courage to take that big step. I know from personal experience how hard it can be, and I hope you will find (like I did) that anyone who is important to you will be nothing but supportive.


Anonymous said...

I'm at the other end of the spectrum,I've decided to re-enter show business where I sing,do voice impression,singing impression,some basic dance steps,play 7 instruments and now adding 3 more,do comedy as a solo act,and like classic show-tunes.
I can also do some Tenor Opera impressions and a couple of female voices of famous Broadway Stars.

My problem is that I'm NOT gay,I have lots of females to prove it and not one male to even assert I'm Bi-sexual.
Imagine that,a multi-talented male in most of the areas dominated by Homosexuals that females don't fear and yet along comes a guy that actually opposes scantly clad exploited females on stage while eager to enjoy a private time with one of them behind closed doors.

Yes folks,I'm str8,there ...I said it and feel so good that Show Business will have to accept me or just $crew off because I'm a solo act and if I have to build my own Hotel and Theatre to be the main Act,then so be it. to the radio said...

I know someone who is gay and won't acknowledge it.
Forty plus years old and never had a girlfriend.
I know back in the day we were all effing fag this and that but times have changed.
And I think we know better now.
We've risen up beyond our parents prejudices.
But he won't and it might actually help him in his career.

To me, I can't like him or trust him until he tells me the truth.
You can't run a flophouse for fifteen years with no girls in it and tell me it's all above board.

And I don't care I just want the truth.

Anonymous said...

Nobody should be ashamed of being gay. On the other hand I am tiring of the intercene war going on between gays and straights. (real conservative)

dollops said...

Amazing indeed, that Randi has beat the odds and survived such a life style into old age. The old scribes merely recorded what dispassionate nature dictated in matters of dietary and behavioural threats to human health and well being. Today it is safer to eat pork and live promiscuously because of better food storage and preparation, and improved hygiene and healthcare but that doesn't mean that those ancient prohibitions were wrong.

Eric said...


Why would you automatically assume Randi leads a promiscuous "lifestyle"? In fact, in an interview he gave yesterday he revealed that he has been in a long-term monogamous relationship for over 20 years and plans to get married if and when gay marriage becomes legal in his home state of Florida.

You are perpetuating a stereotype of gay "lifestyles" which is not the reality for many homosexuals (neither for that matter, is the heterosexual "lifestyle" always about chastity & monogamy).