Editorial: When hunters come out of the closet

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, December 1993:

On Sunday, November 14, at about noon, I was showing our three-year-old
son Wolf the difference between oak and maple leaves, near our home on the New
York/Vermont border, when two four-wheel-drive vehicles filled with hunters came up
behind us and slowed down as the occupants yelled sexually explicit threats. They
began with whistles, proceeded to observe that Wolf has blond hair and I have a pony-
tail, and when we ignored them, advanced to suggestions that they should stop and
sodomize us. I listened in initial disbelief––I’m used to locker room humor, having
spent much of my life as an amateur athlete––but I’d never heard a jock proposing to
rape a three-year-old, even in jest. The encounter came to an abrupt end when I rather
unwisely turned, faced them directly, and used an emphatic variant of sign language to
invite them to get out of their vehicles and debate the subject. They accelerated away in
a cloud of flying mud and gravel.

“They’re bad men,” Wolf said. “Bad men hurt animals.”
There is a growing body of psychological evidence attesting to the sexual inse-
curity of many and perhaps most hunters, whose aggressive posturing frequently covers
for inability to relate in a mature way with women, reflected in a high divorce rate;
whose fascination with weapons may symbolize repressed penile obsession; whose vio-
lence toward animals displaces sexually frustrated impotence; and/or whose evident
preference for male companions is suggestive of repressed homosexuality. The behav-
ior of these particular hunters couldn’t have more clearly exemplified the profile.
Contending otherwise, the hunters in question may assert (if ever called to
account) that they didn’t actually have homosexual activity in mind when they accosted
us, that they merely mistook me and my son for females. This would be unlikely, con-
sidering that I’m a fairly big fellow with a beard. But even if these hunters were blind
as well as warped and stupid, their behavior would be all the more offensive, as only
the worst sort of cowards abuse women and children––or animals, and make no mis-
take about it, the usual practices of hunters would be prosecutable animal abuse if done
to dogs and cats.
I have heard hunters propound a theory that their numbers are declining in part
because of what they see as a growing femininization of men: nonhunting men are,
ipso-facto, “faggots.” I have an alternative theory. If and when gay liberation actually
happens, hunting will fade into oblivion, not because any of us are the less manly, but
rather because the many latent homosexuals who hide from both discovery and them-
selves behind guns will at last feel free to lay down their weapons and be whomever
they really are. When a goodly number of the men who now hunt are less afraid of
themselves, women, children, animals and other men will all be a whole lot safer.
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