Kindness looks too much like weakness

When Peter Herman has guest blogged here before, he has been introduced as a  “veteran NAMBLA activist”. After four such fanfares over the years, enough already! This description was a fine badge of honour, but for his post today, his fifth, I am upgrading him to “veteran Heretic TOC blogger” :-). The NAMBLA connection remains though: that esteemed organisation has kindly permitted me to re-publish Peter’s article following its recent appearance on their own site: a privilege indeed, and testimony to our harmonious relationship. My own commentary on Peter’s important thoughts follows directly after his piece.     
 

WHAT DOES THE CURRENT TURMOIL HAVE TO DO WITH US?

By Peter Herman

Here we go again. Once more, another Black man is killed by a policeman in full view of cameras. Who knows how many more such killings and countless indignities occur hidden from view? Even mass shootings where many youths and even small children have been killed do not seem to bring about sane policies.  What we do know is that each horrible incident has been followed by heartfelt protests, yet nothing much changes. Can we expect anything better in a society where a large segment tolerates an Offender in Chief, two Supreme Court justices with dodgy histories, namely Thomas and Cavanaugh, and a craven Congress?
Though we of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) have many reasons to distrust the police, this is not an exercise in piling on but one of examining systemic conditions that lead to predictable outrages like the killing of George Floyd by police – or the far less noted May 14th vigilante assassination on his doorstep of registrant Mattieo Condoluci in Omaha by a stranger who found his name, address, and photograph on a law-enforcement website. Of course, not all members of a community’s police are cut of the same cloth, but all are exposed to the general societal biases, and participate in the same systems of injustice and institutionalized violence.
Ironically, certain classes of people are seen simultaneously as weak and dangerous. Because they are weak, abuse can be heaped on them without much consequence. Because they are seen as dangerous, consciences are salved. This was the case for Jews under Nazism and is still too much the case for African Americans today.
Those of us who love boys too are seen as simultaneously weak and dangerous. “Sexually violent predators” is the label put on individuals who would never hurt a fly but are feared because they yearn for the mutually desired embrace of man and boy. Some among us have come up with the label “kind” to counter the hideous label, but kindness is too easily equated with weakness.
“White privilege” is a key concept that has risen to the top of public discussion in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel ably explained it recently. Those who are White and hard working, he said, may not feel particularly privileged. What that loses sight of however is that if you are White you never face the indignities of having store clerks watch you suspiciously as you shop or being refused the use of a bathroom in an emergency or having the police called if you are in the wrong neighborhood or even being shot at when knocking on a door for help.
Those who have an innate love for boys and are White (heaven protect those with the double jeopardy of also being Black) may not be immediately visible, but in a different way are denied much of “White privilege” and are ideally positioned to understand Black anger.

Black Lives Matter is definitely the message these mainly White statue topplers in Bristol seek to convey as they give slave-trader Edward Colston the heave-ho into the city’s harbour. White MAPs are among those well placed to understand Black anger – perhaps more so than these privileged (so it is said) protesters.

If you have an exclusive yearning to be close to boys, that aspect of your personality must be constantly checked and hidden at all costs from family and friends. You constantly must pretend to be who you are not. You hear of essentially life sentences for “crimes” that were once not crimes or whose definitions keep changing. You hear of those who have been falsely convicted because, once they dared “come out”, any social associations with youngsters was seen as “they must have done something”. You hear of thought crimes where police will scrutinize every frame of legal nudist videos for a single frame interpretable as lewd and lascivious. You hear of individuals who, despite what they feel are unreasonable laws, would never break them. And yet police will exploit yearnings for forbidden love in despicable entrapment schemes.
In his book, The End of Policing, professor of sociology Alex Vitale writes “Whole segments of our society have been deemed always-already guilty.” He could be talking about boy-lovers as much as Black men. “This is not justice; it is oppression. Real justice would look to restore people and communities, to rebuild trust and social cohesion, to offer people a way forward….”
We who love boys do not riot or hurt members of the police. For this we are easily exploitable and ideal scapegoats. We are “kind.”
N.B. NAMBLA is sympathetic to all sexual minorities, but we can only speak to our own experience. We invite other groups to share their thoughts and experiences so that we may see where our concerns intersect.
 
DO KIND LIVES MATTER?
A response to Peter Herman, by Heretic TOC host Tom O’Carroll
Peter is absolutely right that White BLs (and GLs too, I would say) “are ideally positioned to understand Black anger”. We should all be outraged by the murder of George Floyd and by the oppression of Black people, going back to the slave trade – in which Britain was a huge player, as protesters over here vividly reminded us by toppling the statue of Bristol slave shipper Edward Colston and dumping it in the city’s harbour a few days ago.
Truth to tell, though, many of us are so beaten down and depressed by the daily hostility and oppression we face as kind people – I’ll come back to that term – that we can barely get it together to be angry on our own behalf, leaving us little head or heart space for passionate engagement with ethnic injustice. Instead, we all too readily internalise our pariah status, beating ourselves up over our sexuality. This is a bigger problem for the “virtuous” brigade, to be sure, than for heretics here; but there is spillover that makes political activism a tough gig for us.
There is also a major structural difficulty in that regard as well. Gay men and lesbians discovered the power of militant anger in spectacular style, in the Stonewall uprising of 1969, which marked a turning point after quietly putting up with police harassment for years, and the beginning of the end for an era when self-loathing among “homosexual perverts” had been as pervasive as it is now among “paedophile predators”. The difference for us kinds is that we are far less clubbable. We do not gravitate to a single venue, like the Stonewall Inn, or the other gay and lesbian bars and clubs of Greenwich Village, New York, that joined in the rebellion against police raids. So there is no easy focus for the anger we should be venting.
Nor is it easy to ally in militancy with our young friends, because we know and love them as individuals, not collectively. Likewise their feelings for us. People mock, saying they do not see kids marching in the streets to support us. But with relationships necessarily secret it could hardly be otherwise: there is no way to congregate and find common cause.
Do we, in these unfathomably difficult circumstances, have any way of being effectively rebellious, as opposed to emphasizing our kindness? – a quality that is a true virtue in a parent or a teacher or anyone whose sexual orientation is kind, but which is not the quality you need in order to challenge injustice. Radical change requires a much steelier mindset. Peter is right: toughness, the fighting spirit, is what wins respect, not exploitable kindness.
But how can we earn such respect unless we are visibly united in large numbers, on the streets like any other militant demonstrators? I am reminded of a classic schoolboy put-down:
Aggrieved boy makes an empty threat: “I’m gonna get you!
Zinger response: “Oh, yeh, you and whose army?”
We have no army.
We can express our solidarity with Black Lives Matter. That’s good. But will they join our struggle in return? Can we expect to hear “Thank you, brother! Your life matters too! We will work with you to end your oppression!” Don’t hold your breath.
Where do we stand on Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts, whose statue in Dorset is under threat on account of his alleged racism? He has his defenders, including those seen here.

It was because a militant fight in the traditional style looked so impossible for us that Heretic TOC, among others, has searched in the past for different ways in which our cause could gain traction. The deepest thought given to political tactics and strategy was expressed in a blog here five years ago called After the Ball and After the Fall. The title was a reference to a 15,000-word anonymous political plan called “After the Fall: A Beginner’s Guide to Destroying Pedophobia in the 21st Century”. This plan was itself inspired by an earlier and very successful one called “After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the ’90s”, co-written by Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen.
My blog drew on these two plans, a particular feature of which was the suggestion that careful attention should be paid to language, not least as regards what we call ourselves. This is where I introduced the word “kind” as an equivalent of “gay” for minor-attracted persons (MAPs). The original choice was “kindly”, which with the benefit of hindsight might have been much easier to use without distracting ambiguity. I mentioned in the blog that I had discussed my idea with feminist journalist Julie Bindel when I was interviewed by her for Standpoint. Referring back to the 1970s, when activists in Britain did not shy away from the word “paedophile”, and we called our organisation the Paedophile Information Exchange, I told her:

I would have quite liked [to be labelled as] “kindly” because “kindly” . . . relates to the Dutch and German kinder – children. So yes, being intimate, but also being nice with it. I would say that if someone had sexual relations which were in the realm of what I called earlier the “kindly” sort then that would not be abusive.

So “kindly”, or “kind”, sure beat “abuser” as a self-description; these terms are also much better than “paedophile” if we bear in mind how toxic the word has become over the years. That is why I adopted “kind” at Heretic TOC, and why it has also been taken up by a number of heretics here. I suspect they will agree with me, though, that it is actually a surprisingly difficult word to use in practice. It is not as writer-friendly or as reader-friendly as might be supposed. This could well be a major reason why it has not exploded into universal use among the minor-attracted, along with the reservations Peter has ably expressed above.
These last five years, since Heretic TOC introduced “kind”, have also seen the rise of MAP, a term which has a usefully umbrella quality, covering those attracted to youth of all ages, both sexes, and as many genders as youngsters care to perform.
So, prompted by Peter’s blog today, I feel I should now concede that “kind” has not been a great success and it is time to admit that MAP is the more useful term. So MAP it will be here at Heretic TOC from now on, although other words, including BL, GL, CL and even paedophile, hebephile, and more, will continue to have a place here for specific purposes.
 
 

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shaman

Some might enjoy this one:
[LINK DELETED BY MODERATOR]

Christian

The word “kind” resembles “gentle” and “nice”, translated into French as “gentil.” You can get that compliment when you help a small lady to fetch a thing on the top shelf in the supermarket. Otherwise, it is the consolation prize, being called kind / gentle / nice means not being sexy, attractive, fascinating, brilliant, … I once was called “gentil” by a woman I had tried to date, precisely when she told me she did not want to see me any more.
The word MAP is inappropriate, because “minor” is a legal term unrelated to sexual development. At age 17, you are a legal minor, but a young adult in terms of sexuality and physical development. See Andrew Meier’s comment.
Maybe a better metaphoric word to designate child-lovers will arise in the future, it cannot be artificially coined.
The concept of “white skin privilege” is absurd. In France, the word “privilege” refers to the privileges of the nobility that were abolished by the Revolution. Being treated as a normal human person, instead of being subjected to discrimination and hatred, is a basic human right, not a privilege. Thus it is racism that must be abolished, not “white skin privilege.”
To develop a thread initiated by Dissident, identity politics and excessive stress on questions of race are characteristics of the middle class or petty bourgeoisie, for which the individual is the all and the masses are next to nothing. Their politics is an addition of sectorial struggles.
On June 20 there was an international day for the defence of migrants. In Paris, there was a demonstration in support of their demands: closing of administrative detention centres, papers for all, decent housing, etc. It assembled workers, the majority being African Black migrants. Never any racial or identity slogan or demand was raised. Among the participants, there was the French Jewish Union for Peace, a group of Jews defending the rights of Palestinians and fighting against the racism that targets Muslims and Arabs; someone I know saw that several Blacks helped to carry their banner during the march. This shows the unity of the working class, across religious, ethnic, and racial differences, in defence of its common demands.

Khad Wang-Bang

Looks like for some the Lockdown is over. At least during this pandemic, there has been other things to panic about other then the ‘paedo’. But as many pointed out in the comments, a packed beach looks like hell on earth. Unless of course it is full of sexy kids, then we would fry to death with a smile.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-beaches-crowded-weather-sunshine-boris-johnson-a9584391.html

[…] or the subhuman pedos who still believe the Left will ride to their rescue, and are currently in deep philosophical crisis as to what the correct virtue pedophile signalling thing to do is regarding the […]

Dissident

Thank you for your own thoughtful responses to Peter’s essay, Tom. Just two quick things:
Instead, we all too readily internalise our pariah status, beating ourselves up over our sexuality. This is a bigger problem for the “virtuous” brigade, to be sure, than for heretics here; but there is spillover that makes political activism a tough gig for us.
This is a major rub. Too many of us still think we should be beating each other up over our feelings. Hence, we have a much more difficult time presenting a united front than do contemporary blacks and LGBTQ people.
The second rub is that any future uprising from us that has any real significance has to be two-tier. It has to come at a time when the youth liberation movement likewise acquires a lot of momentum and younger people have won much more civil rights than they currently have. Presently, the youth lib movement has too little momentum and is too dominated by adults. As a result, large portions of the movement want nothing to do with MAPs, considering us anathema to their movement.

Dissident

Thank you for a thoughtful blog, Peter. A few things I want to make clear, though, and understand that I need to make this brief.
What that loses sight of however is that if you are White you never face the indignities of having store clerks watch you suspiciously as you shop
Not true, Peter. It is common in America for poor white people to be similarly scrutinized by immigrant Asian store owners, who do not like or trust white people. This has happened to me and white friends numerous times. But these things are not often discussed, because when white people are discriminated against for being white, this is not considered an issue by liberals. The same when men are discriminated against just for being men, as we all know.
or being refused the use of a bathroom in an emergency Never in my life have I seen this happen in the big city that I live in and share with numerous blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and people of Middle Eastern ethnicity.
or having the police called if you are in the wrong neighborhood
To be fair, this does happen to black people, but almost always in the suburbs, not the big city. Further (also not much discussed or any major concern to liberals) is that as soon as a white person from the city who walks into the suburbs is discovered to be from the city, he is suddenly considered “white trash” and treated accordingly.
or even being shot at when knocking on a door for help.
This can happen to any stranger of any color anywhere.
I do not have the space to go into the myriad reasons why things do not seem to change for the better whenever a tragedy like that which befell George Floyd occurs, but one of them that is of great relevance here is this: the response from the Left tends to of a sort that sows divisions rather than unity, focusing on race or gender etc., instead of the class issues that force the vast majority of white and black people, men and women alike into extreme economic insecurity regardless of identity. Thus, I respectfully disagree with Mr. Kimmel and you that these issues of identity trump that of class/economic issues. Quite the contrary! Truly privileged celebrities like Mr. Kimmel have a strong vested interest in obfuscating the class issues in favor of those that are more politically “acceptable.”

Peter Herman

Hi Dissident,
Thanks for your kind words. I will plead guilty to using the term “never.” I was repeating Jimmy Kimmel’s argument, and for all I remember he may have said “seldom” instead of “never.” I should have known to never say “never” unless I am speaking of an actual absolute. Of course Whites sometimes get the shorter end of the stick too, with the obverse that there are even a few Black millionaires. But exceptions do not disprove a general rule. The fact is that everything being equal, Blacks generally have been and are still dealt an inferior hand.
I do tend to agree with your further observations concerning the so called Left and the problems relating to class. No matter the color of your skin, if you do not have the good fortune of benefiting from decent shelter, good nutrition and healthcare, excellent education and a basic income that frees you from stress and worries you are in a lower class and bound to not do well. For historical factors, Blacks have in general been in an inferior position to get a more secure foothold in American society and elsewhere. This has of course changed over the decades, and people are more likely to protest when they are not completely downtrodden and finally see possibilities for complete equality — hence the current worldwide turmoil.
As for the Left, notwithstanding some of its progressive ideas, I am not impressed with their dogmatic mindset.
Where does that leave MAPs? I think that there is plenty we can do, and I will soon present at least one initiative I have recently become aware of. Perhaps the things we can do will not bring great success, but doing nothing will definitely not bring any.

Dissident

Hello, Peter.
Poor white people, along with anyone who is poor, are dealt an extremely bad hand. How you may or may not be scrutinized when you walk into a suburban store does not have the same impact on your life as the fear of going homeless, not being able to feed yourself and your family, working extremely hard for little pay, and being saddled with extreme debit of various sorts all of your lives. This is the reality of virtually every person of every race and of either gender who lives in the big urban environment that I do. Black people who have managed to make it into the ranks of the elite act no better than those who have not, and they manipulate race-baiting to benefit themselves and all others in the ruling class to divert attention away from these class issues that affect all of us to preserve the system that allows the few truly privileged individuals to maintain the system that allows this to continue.
We only play into their hands when we play the race-baiting game instead of looking at the crux of the matter every time a tragedy like the George Floyd murder occurs. Real change cannot occur if the real source of the problem is overlooked in favor of selective concerns over only a sub-portion of the working class. This only pits the various sub-groups of the working class against each other instead of uniting us against the system that causes so many of us to be poor and mired in economic insecurity in the first place.
Thank you for listening. I look forward to seeing your future musings on where this leaves MAPs.

Khad Wang-Bang

I read somewhere that the Policeman that killed George F knew and worked with him as doormen in the past, and that there was anamostiy between them; so just maybe this was not a ‘race’ issue?
As for getting stopped by Police; growinng up in South Wales there were not many black people about, but plenty of young white people who are cast with suspicion by the Police everytime there were out in their car. I remember one weekend getting stopped three times. A few years later I was chatting to a Policeman in my gym, told him “you pulled me over once”, he asked what car I was diving at the time, I told him an ORIAN GHEA Injection, he just said,, that’s probably why I stopped you.

Nada

>But exceptions do not disprove a general rule.
That’s great – deny logic and MAPs (or whatever general term you prefer) will have their Utopia.
What basis for solidarity could exist between those obsessing over race, sex, any number of gender and such trivialities, and the likes of us (who take the role of the bogeyman/the “privileged”, should we even be considered in their analysis)?

Peter Herman

For goodness sake Nada, I was not referring to a scientific law or a mathematical statement but to a well documented observation that, everything being equal in American society, being Black confers much less privilege than being White. Limited exceptions to the aforementioned general observation do NOT make it false.
I find it a bit bothersome that one needs to dot every i and cross every t to be understood. These discussions are not meant to be legal briefs.
I have tried to parse the meaning of the rest of your response, and I am left with the impression that you did not get the sense of my guest blog. My main point was to highlight the fact that the pairing of our weakness with the perception of the dangerousness attributed to us is a great liability. I have no illusion that just because we share this misconception about us with other downtrodden groups we will automatically gain their sympathies.
What I do hope to do shortly is present at least one way we can leverage our strength.

Peter Herman

For goodness sake Nada, I was not referring to a scientific or mathematical statement but rather to a generally observable fact that to be Black confers fewer privileges in American society than if you were

Khad Wang-Bang

And not all gays agree with the LBGT Pink News narrative, such as Dougles Murray points out here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FX8u9-asJpA

Peter Herman

Even if we could afford funding focus groups for identifying alternatives to “kind” or “MAP” it is unlikely we could find a term that would catch fire. Even the term “gay” has always sounded to my ears as frivolous and lacking purpose. It always brought to my mind images of prancing feckless individuals.
The original purpose of my post was to highlight the contradictory combined attributes of dangerousness and weakness perceived of Blacks and of us as well. It was not to suggest an alternative term. Such a universally acceptable label (or labels) may eventually develop spontaneously.
Perhaps the fear of sounding weak is why a Muscular Christianity concept came about. Depictions of Jesus as a kind person may have seemed too effeminate and needed a new image for macho men of the Christian persuasion. I say this only half tongue in cheek that perhaps we need to develop our own muscular kindness.
To this, I have some ideas for action that I would like to present in a future post and hope my suggestions may gain traction. As Tom rightly points out, we do lack an “army,” but there may be other ways of gaining friendly constituencies.
There is usefulness in discussions of the sort practiced by us Heretics, but I fear that if we do not then move on to pragmatic actions we may suffer a fate similar to that of Winston Smith of the novel 1984. Readers may recall that after his being made to go through psychological tortures he is assigned a sinecure consisting of attending endless meetings only to await a final bullet to the head. Let’s not let this happen to us even if the bullet is only metaphorical.

Khad Wang-Bang

“LOL! I suspect this gives your age away”…..Not sure that’s true; Plenty of that sort of flamboyance going on at Gay pride marches; some hate it when the kiddies are invited I recall. It must be an embarrassment to those masculine homosexual types. Was that not one of the arguments when homos were distancing themselves from up heterosexual pederasts, that we are usually more masculine and likely to prefer younger youth and’ god forbid’ women.

La Vilaine Hikari

Hey Tom, it’s Hikari. I can’t log in to my main WP rn so I’m using my side account 🙂
>The difference for us kinds is that we are far less clubbable. We do not gravitate to a single venue, like the Stonewall Inn, or the other gay and lesbian bars and clubs of Greenwich Village, New York, that joined in the rebellion against police raids.
Aren’t places on the web like BoyChat and Twitter kind of like our version of clubs? We congregate there, and occasionally get raided/banned en masse, even when we violate no rules. Though it is not in person, so we don’t get that face-to-face value.
>People mock, saying they do not see kids marching in the streets to support us.
Yes, not to mention even as kids, a lot of us are fully aware that supporting pedophilia is dangerous. That was one of the reasons I barely spoke up as a kid, even though I wanted to, badly. For the most part, I only did it anonymously online. The moment I told someone in person, all hell broke loose and I got sent to therapy. At best people will think you’re delusional, and at worst, you’ll be seen as a “disgusting” pedophile enabler.
With regard to Kind, and MAP, I like both and I think I’ll continue to use both. I like MAP when discussing things in a more serious context, like age of consent laws, and I need a more value-neutral term. But I like Kind because it has a little cheekiness to it 🙂 Plus, sometimes I go to kids’ centers and they have the rule “Be Kind” tacked up on the wall, and that makes me giggle.

Khad Wang-Bang

No I think yes the word paedophile is tainted, but we must just own it. There is no confusion about what you are refering to. Remember Lindsay Ashfod…His first introduction was “hello I am a paedophile”.

Andrew Meier

Euphemisms and dysphemisms abound in the tug of war over emotive topics. Personally, I don’t like the term MAP, because it invokes a legal threshold (the age of majority), thereby conflating biological norms with legal norms, and perhaps invites pathologisation of attraction to adolescents, which is surely nigh on universal (at least in men), perhaps even more ‘normal’ (at least in men) than attraction to those well into adulthood.

Dissident

Your concern about tugging at conflating biological with legal factors is quite valid, Andrew. For what it may be worth, however, the term “MAP”–Minor Attracted Person–is a modification of an ancestor term once widely used in our community, “MAA”–Minor Attracted Adult–intended to be less age-exclusive and to include the many young adolescents who are beginning to realize they have preferential attraction to pre-pubescent children. Is it a perfect term? Of course not, no term will ever be completely ideal or please everyone. But I think it is currently the best, most inclusive, and value-neutral term we have yet come up with for the community. Can we do better? Possibly. We will just have to wait and see how terminology evolves in the future.

Andrew Meier

Interesting. I wasn’t aware of that, so thanks for enlightening me. I’d have the same issues with minor-attracted adult, for the same reasons, but no term is perfect, as you say, and value-neutral isn’t a bad thing.
While I’m on the topic of terms I take issue with, I consider ‘ephebophilia’ to be nonsensical. As I said above, I take attraction to those in mid to late adolescence to be more ‘normal’ than attraction to those well into adulthood. If one takes mainstream pornography as the world’s largest self-report study (which in many ways it is, without the problem of participants deliberately skewing the results), the search term rankings consistently show that men of all ages are going for teens and ‘barely legal’. So much so that producers of pornography will pass off young women in their mid twenties as teens in order to boost viewing figures, while women in their late twenties and early thirties are already categorised as milfs. A quick search for something along the lines of ‘milf seduces teen’ will show that, more often than not, it’s not immediately clear who is meant to be the milf and who is meant to be the teen.
I also take issue with the term ‘hebephilia’, again because attraction to those in early to mid adolescence strikes me as biologically valid and statistically normal. As with ‘ephebophilia’, it seems to me to have been coined and subsequently revived in order to make a name for the scientists involved.
If the radical misandrists have their way, perhaps in due course we’ll see a term coined to pathologise attraction to women aged 18-25 in men aged 30+.

Khad Wang-Bang

” I consider ‘ephebophilia’ to be nonsensical. As I said above, I take attraction to those in mid to late adolescence to be more ‘normal’ than attraction to those well into adulthood”….Yes that is the problem I have with it. I suppose if you’re only attracted to a fixed age group, that term has some use.

French Frog

(repost from BC)
Kindness is not weakness…
… and people who think kindness is weakness are truly weak.
It doesn’t matter what kindness looks like, it doesn’t matter if we appear as weak. Weakness attracts sympathy and empathy. Weakness encourages dialog. Weakness makes cooperation possible. We should embrace our weakness. Not to pose as victims, but to acknowledge our humanity. Humans are weak, and so we are.
Our problem is not that we appear weak, but that we are mostly invisible. As we French say: “far from the eyes, far from the heart”. Gays have gained acceptance by making themselves visible. Jews could get mass-murdered by nazis because they got them isolated from the general population, out of sight. The struggle of blacks and “colored” people is mainly about getting their place among whites and privileged people, fighting against apartheids and ghettos.
If we want to gain acceptance, we need to show ourselves as we are, as men and women who do not differ from other people, except for a stronger attraction to children and teens. This is a huge challenge, because at the individual level, hiding is by far our best card to play.
I agree, though, that the word kind seems to lack some sort of balance or ring for us to easily appropriate it. I’m not a native speaker, but it sounds awkward to me to say “I’m (a) kind”, “Are you kind?” or “the problems faced by kinds”. Replace kind by gay and it sounds natural; I suspect it is not just a case of popular use and getting used to it. But this is only a language / phonological issue I believe, not a problem with the meaning of the word itself.
MAP can be a useful word, of course, but this is way too cold, too medical, I think, for a day-to-day use and a positive interpretation by the society at large. It sounds like the name of a diagnostic. Like “homosexual”, it is a heavy word, lacking positivity and liveliness.
I personally identify as “kind”. Not the word, but the meaning. Because what matters to me, as a living subject, is how I interact with children, how my attraction dynamically changes who I am, how it can make me a better man. The descriptive “MAP” is useless in that regard.

Eric Tazelaar

As one who has just “washed up on your shore” having been directed here by BoyChat, I’ll say what I said there, with some revisions, of course as one must continuously do.
“Kind” always set me to mind (is that the right phrase?) of “Mr. Chips,” the fictional British public school teacher, for some reason. He was an inspiring master and beloved by his pupils (but just how “beloved” was he?) but he was also remarkably inoffensive and, yes, “kind.” I think that may be the problem with “kind.” It doesn’t “put much stick about,” and to the problems at hand, does it? (I learned that phrase from Ian Richardson’s portrayal of Francis Urquhart in “House of Cards,” a great, great series).
And for what I said at BC, in reply to Jessy, now modified greatly from the original: “Jessy, the terms are important, for public-facing strategy if nothing else. Which is why I am, and remain, a “boylover” when representing myself or those who are, indeed, boylovers. When referring to a broader, “MAP-like” group, I would have preferred “intergen” but that has gone even less far than “kind” since I suggested it some years ago. I do occasionally use MAP but have problems with “the big tent” approach favored by the youth who see no reason to make gender distinctions and probably because they are greatly imbued (I would say “programmed”) with gender indistinction in their very beings. However, we’ll see how they do. Best of luck to them. But they’re going to have to get used to those of us who do make gender distinctions and call ourselves by our specific preference. It may just be a matter of them waiting for us to die out. Probably like “homophiles” had to die off for everyone to become “gay” in the far reaches of time now inaccessible to current activists. It must be said, “homophiles” was a pretty awful term.”
So, it could be that “kind” just wasn’t butch enough for demanding our rights. Although I don’t think much of “MAP” on that score, either. The “MAP,” as it were, is all over the place. I remember when “Negro” fell into disfavor as “Black” shot strait to the top of the popular lexicon. I remember having discussions with my parents about it (“What should we call them? “Black” seemed so brutal.) Now THAT was a powerful word that conveyed a sense of “Ain’t gonna put up with no more shit!” The Afro hair-do’s, AK-47’s and dashikis helped there, too. Some of them even carried real spears! Maybe THAT’S what we need to do and then it really won’t matter much what we call ourselves.
One last, desperate pitch for “Intergen” must be made, if you’ll allow me: it has the advantage of being a term that can be used by both the YOUNGER and the OLDER party in a relationship! I think that’s a real plus. In addition, it conveys a sense of an actual relationship between the two as if something special and mutually desired is really going on. I guess that’s from “inter.”

Peter Herman

Thanks Tom! Your essay is a perfect complement to mine.

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