The bottom line is clear: LGBT Americans are tired of having to defend ourselves. We are tired of having to ask, beg or demand our rights under the Constitution (which, time will find, are already granted to us).
What certain people of faith refuse to grasp is that this country is not a…
Yesterday, as Hurricane Irene was approaching, there was an item that began popping up throughout a few of the LGBT media outlets, the first one I noticed was Instinct magazine* online, that purported some religious fundamentalist group was blaming the hurricane on New York’s recent passing of the marriage equality bill. Sure enough, it was picked up by someone who then commented on it in one of the LGBT groups I’m a member of on Facebook and the outrage ensued.
Here’s the thing though: the origin of the story (at least the one I found in Instinct) was Christwire. If you’re not familiar with it, Christwire is a satirical site that is supposedly extremely conservative it’s views but is actually written by folks who are just the opposite. In the past, they’ve stirred up a few hornet’s nests when one of their stories was mistakenly reported as serious news by the mainstream media. I pointed this fact out in the comments on the post and then a bit of discussion happened.
Here’s the first reaction to my pointing out the mistake in reporting:
FYI Jim, Last night Pat Robertson suggested that the crack in the Washington Monument in D.C. might be a sign from God too… so it might be comedy on that particular site, which I love, but there is some crazy pastor somewhere claiming it anyway… you can bet on that.
Believe me, […] I am probably the last Atheist on the planet who needs educating about the dangerous & willful ignorance that’s essentially the basis of all religion — most especially, Christianity. And, as (another group member) said, I’m fully aware that Christwire wouldn’t be around were it not for the Fundamentalist bigots in the world who might actually believe this sort of nonsense. Just as ‘The Daily Show’ and ‘The Colbert Report’ wouldn’t exist were it not for the inane wreck of a mess that is American politics.
Because that’s what satire is, right? It’s not just comedy, but a means of holding this kind of stupidity up to closer examination by ridiculing it for the nonsense that it is, while making social critique on issues of importance as well. Quite honestly, it worries me when I see one of the Christwire pieces cited as an actual source by the LGBT media, especially when you consider the site has been around since 2008. And what group of people gets the most incensed and outraged over the site’s over-the top claims — the LGBT community; the very people who should be in on the joke. Instead, that reactionary response of ours gets used against us by groups like NOM, and people like Maggie Gallagher. *cue Star Wars ‘Imperial March’* One merely has to read any of Louis Marinelli’s accounts of his time with NOM to see that one of their favorite tactics is to work us up into such a tizzy over some inciting assertion that we lose focus and the integrity of our movement is weakened.
As one of the site’s founders said, “We write to see how far we can get people to believe our nonsense. People believe anything they read on the Internet.” I know very well that the LGBT community is smarter than that and it’s time that we stop letting anyone think otherwise.
Along with this, another group member commented that they no longer shared Christwire articles in his posts, even though he finds them hilarious, because they would always incite the outrage of so many of his friends & readers. I find that troubling. Is it lack of a sense of humor? Is it the trouble some people have with fully understanding satire? Or is everyone (myself included) just taking it all too seriously?
* Instinct magazine has since corrected their original article: (Updated reminder as my previous edit didn’t make it clear: Christwire is a satirical website set up by homosezzual activists)
“El downtown de manhattano esta muy under water. Yo sendo lifeguardos para protectando las swimmers.”—@ElBloombito (Fake Twitter account that my friend, Rachel, started to parody NYC Mayor, Michael Bloomberg’s awful Spanish in his updates during Hurricane Irene’s passing over the city. Hilarious!
I’ve been getting messages, posts to my Facebook wall, texts & tweets, all concerned for me and my safety as Hurricane Irene comes barreling this way to take a bite out of the Big Apple. I guess I’ve maybe been a bit derelict in my many social media duties (Meanwhile…When the f*ck did it become a job with ‘duties’ anyway and why the hell am I not getting paid for it, godammit!) this past week. So, I thought a little update might be in order and this seemed like as good a place to post it as any other.
In a nutshell…last week kind of sucked balls for me.
It kicked off with my dog’s horrible death (RIP Clem); then there was a freakish earthquake to shake things up; I came down with some weird-ass, flu-type bug that had me feverish & just plain sick from Wednesday on; and finally, like an orb of poo in the shape of a cherry to sit atop this total turd sundae of a week…there’s a major hurricane heading toward NYC (aka ‘My Home’). There are people with far greater problems than mine, but that’s a lot of bad (and ever-so randomly weird) stuff to cope with in one week, right?
With regard to preparations for the hurricane: I hit the 24-hour grocery store across the street at 2am on Thursday night/Friday morning to stock up on canned goods, non-perishable food, candles, and a lighter, missing any sort of crowds; I have ‘To Go” kits assembled for both myself & Louis should we need to get the hell out of Dodge real quick-like; and I saw my doctor yesterday, just in case, so I might avoid having to go to the emergency room in the middle of a natural disaster. Also, I don’t live in or even near a dreaded ‘Zone of Evacuation’, so my neighborhood shouldn’t be too badly affected by the possible storm surge flooding.
So, once again, thanks for the concern, everyone. Truly, I appreciate it. But, believe it or not…I’mma be a’ight.
If not, and something more terrible than any of us could have ever planned for happens, please have an extra-long bed for me and my wee, little dog at the ready because I will be coming to stay with several of you. I’m not sure who I’d choose, so why don’t you just all go ahead and include me in your plans as a precaution, m’kay?
Blood is needed desperately in nearly all disaster recovery efforts. The problem is: medical teams need it before the disaster strikes, right? I just thought I’d remind everyone who is able to donate, now would be a really good time to do so.
I think this comment on the Advocate article sums it up perfectly:
"Let’s assume that every single word of this is true. In fact, let’s assume it’s just the tip of the iceburg [sic], and that in fact King was coming to school every day in halter tops and Daisy Dukes with Tammy Faye Bakker makeup, swaddled in the rainbow flag, blowing kisses and throwing roses at all the boys. Let’s say he was sending McInerney flowers and chocolates and singing telegrams and doing the Macarena in front of his locker. Let’s say that everyone in the school thought he was completely outrageous and voted him "Flamer of the Millenium," which he promptly had embroidered on a sequined sash. Let’s say that he hung out in the restroom with a flip camera and liked to pinch boys asses at the urinals. NONE OF THIS WOULD EVEN COME CLOSE TO MAKING IT OK TO SHOOT HIM IN THE HEAD. PERIOD."
They’ve accepted some huge fallacies (that they created, though lets not be too confused about this, they are extremists, but they’re still operating within the trope of christianity) as being irrefutable. One of those fallacies is that any opposition they come against is, in fact, proof that…
I’m not sure how I feel about this. On the one hand: he is a kid. The thought of his future being ruined by serving a life term in prison does not appeal to me, certainly. But on the other hand: this “Gay Panic” defense simply must stop being used anywhere for anything if we’re ever to make it past all the homophobia and fear in our culture.
Brandon McInerney walked into his classroom and shot another kid, Lawrence King, directly in his head with a thought-out and calculated plan to do so. There cannot be a way to spin that as anything but premeditated. And, yes…this entire case is going to end as tragically as it began for everyone involved no matter what; there’s no denying that and I certainly feel for all of them. But the precedent that a lesser-charge conviction will set is just re-validating the use of this terrible “Gay Panic” defense.
I’ll tell you what I hear in my mind when I consider the possible success of that homophobic defense in this case: ‘If you really hate Gay people, no matter their age, color or gender, or they just scare or freak you out, we’ll understand if you feel you need to harm them. Kill them, even.’
Hell, that scares me shitless and I’m a grown man! Imagine the fear that thought must instill in a young 14-year old boy who’s trying to figure out what being Gay even means, let alone whether he is Gay himself.
I can assure you, it’s something that will stick with him for his entire life.
Last month, I ran into a woman who lives in my building walking a dog, a little Yorkie-mix that looked kind of beat up and was really timid when Louis (my dog) approached. Turns out, she was fostering the dog for a friend who had found the pup abandoned & in terrible shape in a local park, Inwood Hill. We chatted for a bit about how awful it was that someone would be so cruel and then I went about my way.
About three weeks ago, I ran into her while walking Louis (and her walking the rescued dog) and I asked whether she had decided to keep him after all. “No,” she said, “But we haven’t found anyone to take him. A few people have expressed interest but no one has followed through.”
Before I knew it, I was saying, “Well, I’ll take him!” & giving her my number. At that moment, her friend (the one who actually found the dog) walked up and was in tears when she heard that I’d take him. Then my neighbor was in tears, so excited by the idea of my living in the building so she’ll still get to see him all the time. Then I was in tears and we were all just one, big, blubbering bunch of happiness there on the sidewalk!
As many of you know, I was among the first people to find Tyler Clementi’s body last September, in the very same park where this dog was found. So, in a very small honor to Tyler, I named this adorable dog — Clem. There seemed to be a strange synchronicity to it all, these two poor souls found in the same place — one I was too late to help, the other not. He came to live with me and Louis and these past couple of weeks we’ve all been adjusting and bringing Clem into our lives. It wasn’t easy. As you can imagine, what with the way Clem had been abandoned, it was apparent he had been abused and mistreated prior to coming to live with us. He was very, very needy and wanted constant attention, but was afraid to get too close at the same time. It made my heart ache, but I did my best to make him feel loved.
Clem died yesterday in a terrible accident in my apartment while I was at work.
I came home from work to find Clem with his head wedged under the door of the crate he was in. He’d been in the crate before for extended periods, so I felt no hesitation in leaving him in there to keep him safe while I was gone. He simply found just the right spot and the exactly right angle to lodge his head into — and choked himself to death. It was an awful thing to come home to, as you’d imagine.
I feel just terrible that this poor, sweet animal had to lead such an awful existence and then die in such a horrible & painful way. I know, rationally, that it wasn’t my fault, but I still can’t help feel responsible for what happened. But more than that, I feel like I not only let Clem down by not being there for him, but that I’ve let Tyler down too. I know that’s irrational and completely unreasonable but it’s how I’m feeling. As I said, it meant something to me that I could help that little dog that was found in the park, unlike that young man from nearly a year ago. Now I feel like I failed them both and it’s weighing terribly heavy on my heart.
My original post announcing the tribute walk was reblogged several times in the past two days, so I thought I should repost this notice. The walk, sadly, has been cancelled this year. You can find further details by following the link to my post.
Another update to the story originally reported here with the first update reported here.
He uses the nickname Mabus, but his real name is Dennis Markuze.
He’s suspected of spilling his hatred on the Internet for the past 20 years, targeting scientists whose views conflicted with his…
Thought I should mention, in the interest of alerting any other Atheists out there, that I attracted this guy’s attention just a few months ago through Twitter. He attacked me with spam from what seemed like hundreds of accounts. I guess I should consider myself lucky that was all, huh?
Reading this article has riled up some unexpected anger and a renewed sadness in me. I’m sad that we don’t hear Ryan White’s name more often. I know there have been lots of tireless & brave people who’ve joined in the fight against HIV/AIDS through the years, Elizabeth Glaser comes to mind. But Ryan was just a boy, which makes his bravery seem even more exceptional to me. And not just in his battling the disease that he knew was ending his life; the strength & character to accept that and be at peace with it is something I’m not sure I could do — and I’m a grown man. But it was also his unflinching courage to suffer through persecution and unbelievable prejudice (if you’ll recall, there were many, many people who refused to even touch him) to face the media and stand as the poster boy for this disease that no one wanted to think about because it was seen as that ‘Gay disease’.
Which brings me to my anger…
As you might know the 30-year anniversary of the first case of AIDS was marked and reported throughout the mainstream media this year. Now, I ask you take a moment and consider these two events together, bearing in mind that the Ryan White CARE Act was the first legislation in the U.S. to address the epidemic and aid the thousands of people that had already contracted the disease at that time.
I see that number and am overwhelmed with anger. Because of the homophobia and discrimination against the LGBT community, specifically Gay men, almost nothing was done about “the ‘Gay disease’. By that point in time (1990) over 100,000 people had died worldwide. I know that research takes time and I don’t want to be misunderstood, my anger is not about finding a treatment or cure by that time. It’s about NINE YEARS going by before anyone really took note and actually gave a damn that they were losing thousands upon thousands of beautiful people who had the same potential to change the world that you or I may have. Why, to art alone the loss is staggering to think about (Keith Haring died that year, for instance.)
And I know we’ve come a long way in the discovery of treatments in that 30 years, really I do. But how much further along might we be if something like the Ryan White Care Act had happened even just a few years sooner? If people, most certainly our country’s government, had felt any true compassion for the people that were dying all around them earlier — Straight people, Gay people, Black people, Latin people…
Sadly, when viewing a same-sex relationship, antigay people can ONLY see sex. They refuse to realize that LGBT rights + the fight for equality are about love. It’s ridiculous & pathetic. And that’s the bottom line. Thankfully for humanity, we are progressing daily & progress
I agree with this totally. However, I would like to make an addendum:
The fight for sexual equality shouldn’t be about just love. Equality should be had also for those who wish to indulge in consensual sexual behavior, even if love or committed relationships aren’t involved. Again, not that I don’t agree with the above statement, but I can’t overlook the implication that homosexual relationships that aren’t about love aren’t acceptable and shouldn’t be fought for as well.
Generally, heterosexuals get to indulge in exploring their sexuality with hardly any negative criticism (at least for the generic nature of the activity, itself). Christians aren’t up-in-arms about teenage or pre-marital sex anywhere near the way they are about homosexuality. Teens around the country generally aren’t threatened of being kicked out of the household if their parents catch them playing around with a teen of the opposite sex. Teenage sexual exploration is pretty much an accepted aspect of growing up.
But for gay teens, that simply isn’t so. And it becomes a complicated thing when you never hear an authority figure legitimize homosexual exploration, as well. Not to say that I think kids should be encouraged to sexually experiment (at least not without proper education of the risks and how to protect themselves), but it’s not fair to ask or expect only a certain demographic to “never have sex if it’s not for love”, at least not while everyone else around you is doing so and without serious social ramifications.
Nothing is wrong with sexual exploration, and it simply isn’t fair to send the message that sexual behavior isn’t okay—something that, in a general sense, society has effectively failed at. But then stressing that LGBT rights is chiefly about fighting for the right to love but not necessarily the right to fuck, doesn’t repair the damage of those vulnerable LGBT youth just discovering their sexuality and sexual urges.
So, what if homophobes only see sex when they see a gay couple? That’s their own ignorance and their own problem, and frankly, it’s none of their business. We can’t be held accountable for the stupidity or ignorance that goes on in other people’s heads—and neither should we! I shouldn’t have to turn around and insure people, “oh, it’s okay; we’re in a committed, loving relationship.” As long as heterosexuals get to indulge in not-so-loving or not-so-committed relationships, we should be fighting to insure the same indulgences for homosexuals.
The fight for sexual equality should be about establishing and protecting the guarantee that it’s alright to be gay—and all that entails, not “homosexuality is only alright if you’re in love.”
“Newly-published research from scientists at the University of Birmingham shows significant success in “redesigning the designer drug” for potential use as a cancer-killing agent in the treatment of leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma.”
Damn! If my younger, wilder days are any indication — my ass better be cancer-free, Bishes!
I really like this article’s directness & honesty in advising us single Gay men, but there was one bit that was a little troubling to me, as I explained in my comment:
There is SO much great advice here, thanks for that! It’s refreshing to read dating/relationship advice that’s not written in general, gender-neutral terms, but specifically (and honestly) aimed at our experiences as Gay men.
If I could just make one small point: in the list of “truly ugly” characteristics, you list depression. I know this is a bit self-centered, but as a sufferer of depression who tries really hard to overcome it but sometimes loses that battle, I’d like to let you know how disheartening reading that can be. I have to be vigilant in my efforts to keep depression at bay and I do so with the help of psychotherapy and medication. I’d like to think that my depression doesn’t have to stand in the way of my finding a loving relationship. At times, that very thought is a daily affirmation for myself, actually; a reminder to help boost my self-esteem and get me out of my isolation to go out there to find that happiness.
But reading that my depression is just a “truly ugly” attribute that men will “be able to smell from a mile away”? Yeah…that’s not so helpful. As I said, I know that the point I’m making here is very specific to me individually, but I can’t believe I’m the only Gay man reading this who struggles to overcome depression.
Again, I enjoyed the article as a whole though. Thanks again!
In a comment thread about the announcement from Sesame Street that Bert & Ernie will never marry, a commenter stated that Preschoolers should never be exposed to sexuality in any way, for they are incapable of understanding sexuality at their age.
It is unbearably unbearable to be that in which you despise. I am a crystal meth addict and I hate crystal meth. I usually hate it’s users, too. They are, for the most part, shady. and make bad friends. Believe me, I have been in this enviroment and community for the better part of 10…
“Special request to all you kids returning to school in the next few days: If you see someone who is struggling to make friends or being bullied because he/she doesn’t have many friends or because they are shy or not as pretty or not dressed in the most “in” clothes — PLEASE step up. Say Hi, or at least smile at them in the hallway. You never know what that person might be facing outside of school. Your kindness might just make a BIG difference in someone’s life!”—
This status update meme is making it’s way around Facebook, but I really felt it needed further broadcasting.
“Rick Perry’s secret to job creation is no secret at all: It’s the same recipe used in places like Mexico and Malaysia. Here, companies save millions they would otherwise have had to spend on responsibility. It’s a tradeoff: Give up on public schools, healthy air, and your Constitutional rights and you can have a job.”—Geoff Berg - How Perry Created All Those jobs (via therecipe)