THANK HEAVEN FOR LITTLE BOYS

 

NAMBLA: North American Man/Boy Love Association

or

Nasty Asshole-Molestin' Before Legal Age?

 

Boy-fuckin'. Most open minds snap shut at the mere mention of it. The ultimate forbidden fruit, and a mite unripe at that. The love that better not speak its name, or it'll get its ass thrown in jail.

But for the North American Man/Boy Love Association, sexual-age taboos are as noxious as racial ones. They draw a line between coercion and consent, claiming that boys can choose to have loving, nurturing, butt-slamming relationships with men. NAMBLA is there to reassure the boys, to tutor them, to tongue their rectal canals. They're keen to share a smile, a laugh, a pair of balls across the nose. They love everything about boys: their imploring cocker-spaniel eyes, their slender ankles, their peachlike buttocks, and their pink little dicks.

The one thing-and let me stress that it's one thing-I admire about NAMBLA is that it has the testicular brass to organize and propagate its violently unpopular beliefs. The group was hatched in 1978 to counter an anti-pedophile "witch hunt" by Boston police. The FBI started bearing down on NAMBLA in 1982, but the group still thrives with the naiveté of an adolescent boner, counting a thousand or so proud boy-lovers in its ranks.

But they lose me when they assume the wornout stance of the oppressed minority, cloaking their proclivities in a noble crusade for child liberation. They view themselves as victims of an "ageist" culture, squashed under the same capitalist thumb which stifles women and blacks. I'd trust NAMBLA more if they dispensed with the theoretical gobbledygook and focused on their lust for boy-cock.

In their defense, they are adept at exposing hypocrisy about the mannish/boyish question. It is a touch ironic that twelve-year-olds can be tried for murder in some states while boys of seventeen are forbidden to pose for naked pictures. And there aren't many women behind bars for seducing underaged males, are there? Despite all the talk-show furor about lecherous pedophiles, the statistical majority of adult/child sex-not to mention most violent acts against children-takes place between depraved parents and their luckless offspring. "It is considered worse for a stranger to suck a boy's cock," reads one passage in the recent NAMBLA book Varieties of Man/Boy Love, "than it is for his parents to terrorize or beat the shit out of him-or even to kill him." Touché, but the offending parents don't usually have the temerity to form a friggin' club about it.

Wishing to get the story straight from the pederast's mouth, I called their New York office and chatted with Renato Corazza, one of six official NAMBLA spokespersons. Renato has an Italian accent as thick as an uncut salami hanging rudely in a butcher-shop window. He also uses some curious syntax and has a tendency not to use the plural form, linguistic quirks I preserved in the manuscript for purposes of "flavor." He didn't want to send a picture of himself, but I imagine him wearing a cream-colored leisure suit with a paisley ascot and having dark olive skin with wavy black hair (combed over to hide bald spots), a painfully thin mustache hovering above ashen, purplish lips, and thick glasses covering wary green eyes. What boy could resist him?

 

Describe NAMBLA's platform.

Platform. Well, we have several here. I don't think I can remember all of them right now, but we are for the empowerment of children. Our purpose is to educate the public on the benevolent nature of man/boy relationships and to act as a support group for other boy-lovers and boys. We support relationships-we don't initiate them, we don't favor them. I mean, we only support them in the sense that we don't initiate them and we don't-there's not a word that I can find right now, but we, when we find a relationship, we support it. We don't arrange for people to meet, in other words.

 

How would the legalization of pedophilia benefit society?

Oh, yes, in many ways. What comes to mind is the fact that teenaged boys, or a younger boy, even, that for some reason don't do very well in school because maybe the parents don't take interest in them, or they don't have any parents sometimes, but a relationship with a man, actually, has been proven that upgrades, very often upgraded their grades, make them [a] better student simply because of the fact that they have an adult that takes active interest in them and that is on their side and cheers for them. That's a very human idea, you know? And in that sense, it helps. And it helps to benefit society because it would really help to have- OK, you see, there's relationships that are, I must admit, there are some relationships that are deleterious. But some of them aren't, OK, and so there is a good side to pedophilia that is not appreciated by society yet.

 

OK. What's the most misunderstood thing about NAMBLA?

That we are lesser humans than other people. That we, mysteriously, we act upon very strange instinct. That we like all boys, which is not true. I mean, it's a personal question, a personal question of maybe biochemistry. It works in the same way that-in other words-yeah. The most misconception [sic] about us is that we are different from other. We are not different from other, we are good and bad, or bad, and [our] relationships between men and boys are along the same line that you have a relationship among or between homosexual or heterosexual relationship. There is no difference. There's certainly not the way in which they come to be are not different. [Ed.-I warned you about his syntax.] I mean, more boy meets man, I mean, brings joy vice-versa, you know, in all kind of setting. Not only the sports arena, but all kind of setting. Oh, yeah-one thing that I have to remember myself is the fact that we are against paternalism. We are against relationships-we are not against relationships, but we make a distinction. Relationships are based on an equalitarian [sic] setting, like man and boy meeting at a football game, or whatever. We view them in a different way than we view relationships that are based on some kind of a relationship of position of authority of the man. Like a priest and a student or a professor-a teacher-and a student, or a sport coach with his sports, you know, with a young boy that practice sports. In other words, we consider the sort of very guarded about relationships which are based on the fact that a man is in power.

 

Give some historical examples of man/boy love.

Well, yeah, I could go back, you know, this is not something that's new, I mean, it's been going on for millions of year. Umm, still now, in the Papua New Guinea, the social custom is for men to have relationships-at a certain time in their life, to have a relationship with boys in a separate setting away from women. And, historically speaking, well, I could [laughs], I can't remember all the occasions, but I mean, going down to the Roman emperors, when there was Antinos-I can't remember the name of the emperor, but Antinos, I think, was the boy that fell in love with the emperor. But anyway, all throughout history-Oscar Wilde- all throughout history, you find it. Marshall Montgomery of the British Army. All kind of-you know, there's an infinitive [sic] number of things that I've read that don't come right down to mind. Oh, yeah- Horatio Alger.

 

What was your first man/boy experience?

My first? My own personal first one?

 

Mm-hmm.

Uh, with another student in school, age sixteen, seventeen.

 

You were both that age?

Yeah. And then I realized that, umm-but anyway, let me see, OK, I'm sixty-two now, OK? And the first part of my life, I used to have sex with boys, often younger boys than me, you know, the age of twelve on to maybe seventeen, eighteen. Nineteen, maybe. And, umm, you know, I was a pedophile, I guess. And then at the age of twenty or twenty-one, twenty-two, I changed, maybe because of pressure of society or family interference, I changed, I decided to become gay, OK? I'm still a gay person-I'm very comfortable with it. I thought it was valid. I think it's a valid form of sexual expression and an emotional tie with somebody else. But then recently, I mean, ten years ago, I come running to NAMBLA. And my revelation was that after all those years, earlier years in which I had sex with boy, as an older boy, younger boy, it was a valid experience and it was something that I remembered with fondness. So now I consider myself both gay and a boy-lover. Both of them.

 

What can a boy give you that a man can't?

Nothing. That's why I put them on an equal pedestal. I mean, equally. There are some boy-there's boys that can give you a lot, and there's boys that cannot. So it is with men.

 

Then why the attraction or the focus on boys?

I don't know. I really don't know. I mean, again, it's [because] some boys are, you know, very fulfilling [to] your needs. Some boys are not so. But I could ask the same question, say, "What can a man give you that a woman cannot?" It would be the same game, so to speak. I'm not trying to-I may be trying to illustrate that there's no-it's individual, it cannot be collectivized.

 

Well, I guess personally, then, why the attraction for boys? What is it about boys?

Well, their mystery, their bodies, their mind, the way in which they do things. All the things that makes one boy different from another boy. You know. And...you know.

 

Can you maybe expand on their "mystery?"

It's the same mystery that you have if you're an [sic] heterosexual and thinking of women. Knowing somebody. The attraction of two persons. l don't see how-you know, I don't see how between a man and a woman. Well, they say that there is an attraction-the attraction of the opposite, maybe. So it is the attraction of the boy between man will be, also. Not the attraction of the opposite, but the attraction of the different.

 

The NAMBLA Bulletin seemed surprisingly tame. What sort of things does the law prohibit you from showing or writing about?

No, no, no, no-we are threading [sic] very well this side of the law.

 

Exactly, then, what is the-I mean, what does the law prohibit you from showing or writing about?

Well, naked boys, for instance. Not that-it's a very complex situation, because we are dealing with fifty-four, fifty-two different states [Ed.-?!?] and different laws. So, things that are permitted and thought reasonable in New York are not considered so in Mississippi. So we made very sure that we don't incur in any local position, local laws or state laws, you know, so that's why we are keep it-we know that it's a very tame publication, that's why we keep it so tame.

 

OK. What's the fiercest negative reaction you've ever received?

Oh, gosh, negative reaction-for homophobe group, I suppose. Umm, umm, there are different reaction. I mean, we have the reaction of the lesbians or not, well, the feminist rather than the lesbian. I'm sorry. Yeah, the reaction of the feminist, the feminists think that it's, uh-some feminists or lesbians-that, uh, that, uh, it's all of a masculine plot.

 

A masculine plot?

Plot, yes, to keep away, you know, to segregate away women from this type of, you know, being closer to man and a boy. Although I must say that some feminists are also on our side, and one of our spokesperson is a feminist, also, is a woman. Lesbians, they are divided: Some of them are for us, some of them-more for tolerance towards us-some of them are-it's all various things-some of them are, they mentally, you know, are hostile to us. Same thing with gay. I suppose if I have to point out the fiercest reaction that we could expect, that would be from skinheads, Nazi parties, and [the] Ku Klux Klan.

 

How would you define "perversion?"

I leave that to other people. Perversion. I don't know, I really don't know. Uh, why do you ask that question?

 

I'm sure you're aware that certain mainstream people would consider it [man/boy love] a perversion. I'd like to know personally if you think that any acts are perversions of nature.

I would prefer if you asked the question, "Is [it] unnatural or natural?"

 

OK. What would you define as natural and unnatural?

Natural is something that happens, something that has a statistical bearing, something that has been practiced throughout the ages, something that [is] very essentially harmless, and something that is in the gene, in the human gene. Uh, something that is in our brain for good. Another thing is that we consider this phenomena [sic]-well, this will be gay, actually, the gay observation that I'm making, but, umm, but you have to see all the phenomena in an historical way, you have to, uh, uh, uh-OK, there's people, like, they are boy-lovers and they are gay, also, and they've been around for millions of years, and it has a beginning and it has an end. Now, this is-please don't quote me [on this] as a spokesperson for NAMBLA-this is my own personal opinion-I say that we will see in the future, I'm talking about in terms of many, many, much time in the future, there will be a time in which, for instance, maybe-and I say, "maybe"-we have so much population increase that some kind of a natural form of birth control could be, you know, used. And the fact that gays don't have children, that would be a natural form of birth control, yeah. So I'm actually be [sic] dealing with something that are bigger than us, either than you or I. I mean, we are dealing in the twentieth century, but we don't know what happened, or how the physiology of this happened, say, five million years ago, when man came out of the cave. Or how we will be indeed, a few hundred thousand years in the future.

 

I just wanted to clarify-you would be saying that someone could be genetically predisposed to being a pedophile?

Uh, no, please don't say that, I really don't know. Genetical exposure to people to be a pedophile. [Sighs]

 

No-I had assumed that you had inferred that by what you were saying, that someone would be born, say, a pedophile.

Some people are born pedophile? Hmm. . .

 

I'm just trying to clarify whether that's-

-I appreciate your question, it's an intelligent question. I never thought about it. It would be interesting to say, "Yes, it is genetic," because people usually do things under the spur of genetic, umm, you know, genetic making. You know, if you like something, it's because your gene tells you to like it. Well, with caution, I would say yes, that it may be a genetic trait.

 

OK. The media in general haven't been too kind to you. How would you say they've distorted what you've done?

Not all the media. Actually, among the powers, the powers in this country, the media has been the most fair to us, I must say. There was a point in history in which we were in danger of being submerged by a tide of hysteria, you know, people that really don't know. I must say that newspapers, for instance, like in the New York Time [sic] and Los Angeles Time [sic, sic] have been very fair to us.

 

Is there currently a special boy in your life?

No. [Long pause]

 

OK What forms of sexual activity repulse you personally?

None, except I don't like smells, for instance.

 

What sort of smells?

Smells. Body smells. That's a very small, small thing. I don't like that-sweat. Violence, anything which is based on violence. Uh, I don't know-can you suggest anything? I don't know. Yeah-sex with a woman. As if it wasn't apparent.

 

You realize that there's an element out there that would consider what NAMBLA does [as] sick. How would you respond to those sort of people?

Well, I respond that this country is in a repressive bend, and I would say that we don't consider ourselves that much different from the sadomasochists or the naturalists or any minority, sexual or not. Or the American Indian, actually. Because it boils down all to politics. It boils down to the politics that-by our policy and by our ideology, we undermine the paternalistic power structure of the family.

 

Have you ever had sex with a child while it was still in the womb?

With the child-if I have sex with the child-

 

-While it was still in the mother's womb?

When the child was still in the mother's womb. [Clears throat] I don't think that's a very serious question.

 

OK, then, how young is too young?

I beg your pardon?

 

How young is too young?

Too young? Well, I don't know. That's depend from cases to case. Depends from the use, depends from the circumstances, depend from what type of affection-you know, is it the sex, is it fondling, is it whatever it is? It depends from that. And I can't say. I wish I could. Number one-I want to assure [you] that we don't, we are not wearing raincoats and we are not assaulting two-years-old babies. Is that clear?

 

Yeah, I'll take your word for it.

Yeah. OK, aside from that, one of the things that they crucifies us for is the fact that we don't have an age of consent. And there are many reason why we don't, OK? Number one, each individual grow, mature at different ages. So that-you know, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, twelve, whatever it is. You know, it varies, OK? We cannot pinpoint when age-twenty years, eh-beside, being the point that we don't value age of consent at all. We think it's senseless, useless, OK? If anything, it's an instrument of repression. What we value very much, very much, is consent itself. Not only consent, but consent in the capacity to understand what is involved. Informed consent, in other words, OK? If the boy, after being so, you know, advised, or so whatever-instructed, or whatever-if he continue to, decides to still, you know, carry on with the same man, that's fine, OK? There are several other reasons that don't come to mind right now, but one of them is that we favor, instead of protection, we favor empowerment. In other words, the boy should be able-the young person, actually-although we stay away from girls and female, OK-but that, yeah, the boy should be empowered, should have certain rights, like the rights of serving in juries, the rights of inherent wealth, the right to due process. The right not to be beaten or to be mistreated. The right to vote, for instance. All kind of rights that should be extended to [the] young. And the extension of this rights [sic] will substitute the protections. There's no need [for] protection if the boys know what his right are. You know, he can scream, shout, and kick, but if he has the law on his side, he will be able to do so much more better. So that's one thing that we favor-we think that protection is in the hand of other, not in the hand of the boys himself, but in the hands of other people, you know, that sometime are, maybe sometime are good, have good intention, but some other time don't. Or some of the time they have good intention, but they turn out to be ruinous and destructive for the developmental person.

 

 

(Renato Corazza also plays a starring role in the documentary film "Chickenhawk." He doesn't really look all that different from what I'd imagined.)

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