the Fire Department club

We love those guys, but we'd love those women too, and what about the queers? And those are just starters, of course.

Women make up 16 percent of the firefighters in Minneapolis, 15 percent in San Francisco and 13 percent in Miami. In New York, that figure is an abysmal 0.2 percent.
The writer reports recent history as well.
... since Sept. 11, more than 1,000 people have been hired, yet only one was female.
I think we can say that the situation is even more shameful in the case of gay firemen. Tom Ryan is a strong man and pretty fearless. When the homophobic pope was presented last November with the fire helmet of Mychal Judge, the openly gay chaplain for the New York Fire Department who died in the rubble of the World Trade Center, Ryan spoke out.
Following a speech where the pope welcomed the New York firefighters and offered comfort to the families of those who perished in the attack, one firefighter kneeled before the pope and offered Judge's fire helmet decorated with a cross. The pontiff did not speak directly about Judge, a Franciscan priest who was more commonly referred to as Father Mike, or the fact that he was gay.

This part particularly bothered Tom Ryan, an openly gay New York firefighter and national president of FireFLAG/EMS, a peer support group for gay and lesbian firefighters and emergency service personnel.

"I felt a little weird that his helmet was given to the pope. I was a little put off about it," Ryan said. "Last year during Gay Pride in Rome, the pope spent a whole day in prison blessing murderers then came out and condemned homosexuals. To make us feel lower than prisoners was really horrible. I think it's a great injustice to gay people not to include that he (Judge) was gay."

I suspect that this beautiful brave man may actually be the only out fireman on active duty in New York, and this is a terrible indictment of the Department and of the City.

when i define myself by an act, i become that act. gay describes an act, i am human, with human sexuality. i am so tired of only three societal definitons of sexual orientation, and all the rules that bind each group

Hoo. Big subject.

Yes, but I see that the act became a category, especially over the last century, both because people were just fed up with concealing the act, and because those from whom it had to be concealed wouldn't accept it as an act, but only as a category.

Maybe if we are all lucky enough, eventually it will be regarded as only an act again, yet I still see it, as category, constructive both in a political and a creative dynamic.

I'm not sure of what we would gain with homogeneity.