"Typical straight guys in favor of gay rights"

A popular new Facebook group unites men who love sports, beer, women --- and equality

Published June 1, 2009 1:02PM (EDT)

A new trend is sweeping heterosexual male Facebook users. No, they're not posting nude photos of Tila Tequila or professing a preference for clean-shaven genitals. This is way more exciting than that: On Sunday, as Prop 8 supporters rallied to celebrate the triumph of homophobia in California, an international coalition of "Typical, average straight guys  in favor of gay rights" formed. In well under 24 hours, the group, which also includes female and LGBT fans, boasted over 7,700 members and an inevitable spinoff page: "Typical, average straight gals in favor of gay rights."

The group's "Info" page contains nothing more than its founding date, and its creator seems to want to remain anonymous. But the statement he posts on the group's front page (directly under a photo of a beer helmet) says it all:

We're typical, average straight guys. We like sports, beer, and yeah, women. But you know what? We've got absolutely no problem with people who *don't* prefer the opposite sex. Live and let live. If you agree, join us.

What's most poignant about "Typical, average straight guys in favor of gay rights" is its wildly active "Wall," where group members and allies have posted enough supportive comments to choke up this straight gal. One man writes:

Just attended a beautiful ceremony between two women who were making a public commitment to each other that our state (NC) will not recognize yet. Need to work on that. If one is hospitalized the other may not be able to visit at a critical time and give support. This should not be a "Christian" issue. Can anyone who has read the New Testament really think that Jesus would have denied these rights? Live and let live! Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Another adds:

When I moved out of my folks at age 16 and moved in with some friends, 2 out of 3 of my roommates were gay (the other being my girlfriend at the time). I can't see how there was (or is, or will ever be) any difference between she and I and he and he. Love is (was, and always will be) love.

The "Wall," which is still being updated at the rate of nearly one post per minute, also includes "apologies" from Californians embarrassed that their state chose to uphold Prop 8 and a slew of comments from gay men and lesbians touched by the spontaneous show of support.

Hopefully "Typical, average straight guys in favor of gay rights" won't just be a passing fad. In an age when Facebook groups have successfully been used to plan demonstrations and coordinate other forms of activism, it's entirely feasible that members could use the page for such purposes.

After what was undeniably a miserable weekend for the culture wars, it's nice to report even the smallest glimpse of good  news. Those who could still use some cheering up should check out this clip of Sacha Baron Cohen -- as flamboyantly gay, German "Bruno" --  invading the famously homophobic Eminem's personal space at last night's "MTV Movie Awards." Gawker dismisses the moment as staged, but it's hilarious nonetheless.

By Judy Berman

Judy Berman is a writer and editor in Brooklyn. She is a regular contributor to Salon's Broadsheet.

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