Will that Starbucks soy latte turn you gay in Myrtle Beach?

For Weekly SurgeNovember 4, 2013 

There’s an enemy lurking out there. Well, depending on your point of view, it could be called an enemy. After centuries of religious debate, current genome research and countless studies by the American Medical Association as well as the American Psychological Association, a well-respected rabbi has settled the debate on what causes homosexuality. It’s soy. That’s right. Soy is the new adversary to morality that makes men gayer than a summer intern for “Disney on Ice.” All of you overprotective mothers out there can enjoy a collective sigh of relief.

Ultra-conservative Orthodox Rabbi Abraham Benjamin Silberberg issued this decree within the past week. His reasoning is because soy products contain minute traces of estrogen, that it can cause men and boys to become gay. There’s probably more estrogen in the under eye cream I buy at the Clinique counter but that probably is not the most effective argument. Rabbi Benjamin claims that soy is evil because it causes unwanted sexual arousal which leads to ...well, you know. That’s quite a revelation. I thought I was feeling amorous at Starbucks because of the barista’s full sleeve tattoos and those dark brown eyes that seem to absorb my soul every time he hands me my Venti Soy Latte.

This is not by any means an anti-Semitic rant. As anyone who knows me or reads this column knows, I love all things Jewish with the possible exception of my former mother-in-law. She never really liked me. She blamed me for turning her son gay. How ridiculous is that? I mean, no matter how hard you milk me, I’m never going to produce soy. But, back to the rabbi.

Soy, as a product is certainly kosher. In fact, it has been widely embraced by the Orthodox Jewish community because it helps them to get around those tricky dietary laws regarding meat and dairy. So, where does that leave us with Rabbi Silberberg? I would like to say that he’s just another zealot with an obsessive need to redeem the world but it’s just not that simple. The problem with spiritual leaders who make irrational proclamations is that they have followers. And they usually tell these followers who their enemies are. As members of the LGBTQ community, most of us are far too familiar with being in that undesirable category.

I realize there will always be people in the world who hate us. I know who most of them are and I can usually identify the new ones within the first two semi-coherent sentences they manage to string together. Screw them. It’s the people like this rabbi who distress me. They feel they need to discover the reason why we are failures. Today it’s soy, years ago it was because I played with my cousin’s Barbies. In a world where scientific understanding advances at an exponential rate, we are still left to defend ourselves against people who believe Adam and Even rode dinosaurs dressage-style like Mitt Romney’s wife on a $500,000 horse.

I’m not extremely worried about this latest theory and I’m sure as hell not going to stop putting soy in my coffee. Besides, I don’t think he has a comprehensive study to indicate that continuing to consume soy can make a person gayer. Rabbi Silberberg also theorizes that men shaking hands can cause them to become aroused and turn gay as well. I’m not sure what a handshake involves for him but as a general rule for me, it doesn’t involve putting my hand in another guy’s pocket. He suggests that men should just gently touch fingertips. Nothing gay about that, right?

We’re getting to be a pretty advanced society. We have a remote-controlled rover on Mars and Voyager just left our solar system a couple of months ago. I think we can dismiss the soy theory without further scientific consideration. If it were that simple, guys would be dosing each other with shots of Silk in fraternities across the nation. I could more enthusiastically accept “So You Think You Can Dance” or the “Twilight” series as possible influences on sexuality. Especially guys who are Team Jacob. Seriously.

To the esteemed rabbi and all of those people with similar theories, I would like to submit a very simple truth. Being gay doesn’t have an external cause and it doesn’t need a cure. Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender is like any other gift or talent. It is magnificently engrained within the people who live their lives as members of the LGBTQ community. And also like any other natural talent or ability, the more we practice it, the better we get.


Thursday & Friday, Nov. 7-8 – Pulse Ultra Club will host the Miss Gay South Carolina US of A Pageant. The entry fee is $100. Prizes total $2,000. The winner and runner up will both be eligible to compete in the National Pageant in May. Robyn Cassadine, the reigning Miss South Carolina Gay US of A and Shae Shae LaReese will perform. Pulse Ultra Club is located at 803 Main St. in Myrtle Beach.

Friday & Saturday, Nov. 15-16 – Pulse Ultra Club will be the location for Breonna Tenae’s Midnight Cabaret. The guest performer this weekend will be Nevaeh Star. For additional information, see the club’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PulseUltraClub.

Saturday, Nov. 23 – Dancing with the Horry County Stars will hold its fundraising event, which benefits Early College High School, at the Grand Dunes Marina Inn in Myrtle Beach The event begins at 8 p.m. For more information on this event, see the Web site www.horrydancing.com.

Friday, Dec. 6 – First Friday Happy Hour/Takeover Grand Strand will celebrate their annual holiday event at the Dunes Village Resort located at 5200 North Ocean Blvd. in Myrtle Beach. This event will include a cocktail hour with appetizers, drink specials and a special dinner menu. For additional information, visit www.firstfridayhappyhour.org.

Have a thought, comment or Out & About event? Send Drew Levy-Neal an e-mail to Drew.Levy.Neal@gmail.com. You can also follow him on Twitter: @Drew_Levy_Neal.

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