Thursday, October 28, 2010


The following is an article that I wrote several years ago that I'd like to reprint here:

“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.” (Psalm 118:8) "This people draw nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:8-9)

One of the definitions of the term, “co-opt” is the following: “to assimilate or win over into a larger group.” (Random House Webster’s College Dictionary, 1997) It is quite easy to be co-opted by all sorts of rewards for conformity to the status quo, to the ways and means of virtually all institutions in secular society.

Indeed, to its detriment, the Church may be seen to have gladly allowed itself to be co-opted resulting in the great loss of members in mainline churches, and the loss of many intelligent, sensitive people both from the Church and from even the likelihood of them taking Christianity seriously enough to even consider it as a viable way to have a relationship with God. Indeed,
the cooptation of Christianity, frequently resulting in no Christianity at all, may well have had the effect of having many people not even want to consider God at all in their daily lives!

Rhetoric that is called “Christian” is frequently a downright embarrassment in its hateful stupidity and studied ignorance where godliness is considered to be synonymous with rank prejudice, xenophobia (fear and/or hatred of foreigners, and anyone or anything viewed as different from the person him/herself and his/her ways of doing things) and, increasingly, blatant advocacy of discrimination.

For example, as you know, I have a burning passion for full and equal civil and sacramental rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. That passion mirrors that which I had in the 1950’s and 60’s in regard to the rights of Afro-Americans.

When I read and hear hateful rhetoric, which contributes to suicides, bashings, and murders of our gay brothers and sisters, I can’t help but recall the naked hate on the faces of professing Christians who carried placards and screamed at little black children going to a hitherto white
elementary school, all the while citing select and distorted biblical passages to justify their prejudice and hate.

What makes the current climate of hate, as with the climate of hate that existed during the civil rights era, so tragic and shameful is the brutal fact that the major impetus for that hate, the rhetoric that fuels that hate, is largely coming from the leadership and their blind followers in most of Christianity’s denominations. Clearly, some denominations are much more moderate than others in their hateful rhetoric and animus. However, apart from the United Church of Christ (ads for which the major networks won’t air because they are deemed to be
“too controversial”), I am not aware of any mainline denomination that seeks full civil and sacramental rights for gay people.

Jesus seems to make it very clear that divorce is only to be had in cases of fornication, and that when one divorces and remarries, he or she is committing adultery. (Matthew 5:32) Yet, if “the sanctity of marriage” and “the well-being of the family” are the real concerns of clergy and others who rail against same-sex marriage, why don’t they deal with the actual threat to those institutions: our very high heterosexual divorce rate, and not deal with same-sex relationships that have absolutely nothing to do with these institutions?

The reason they don’t spew their rhetoric (nor should they)concerning this rational reason for the threats to marriage and the family is that many in their congregations are divorced and have re-married and the clergy don’t want to bite the hands that feed them when it comes time for the offertory.

Diverting our attention from the real threats to marriage and the family by scape-goating a minority group that, by any stretch of a rational imagination, has absolutely nothing to do with those threats, are tactics that most clergy use to please most of their constituents, just as many politicians scapegoat gay people to hustle votes and for purposes of diverting attention from a failed foreign policy and innumerable domestic fiscal and other policies that have considerably eroded quality of life and civil liberties in this country.

The Church is called upon to be the voice of the poor, the displaced, the marginalized, the hurting, and be a vehicle of compassion and ministry to see to it that our light so shines that God is given the glory for our ministries of love. However, the “Church” has allowed itself to be co-opted by opportunistic politicians and clergy where the name of God is used to hurt, demean, condemn, discriminate, ostracize, and even kill others.

That co-optation has ignored the prophetic voice of the Holy Spirit Who puts love in the hearts of all those who have Jesus in their hearts, and that is one reason why I strongly feel that we are entering a post-denominational age where God’s love will trump the Church’s co-optation by the most reactionary forces in our society, and where Christians worthy of the name will, once again, not be embarrassed by the selling out of Christianity by those who have eagerly sought to align themselves with opportunistic and reactionary secular and “religious” forces in society.

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Monday, October 25, 2010


The following link takes you to a series of articles by Don Charles Hampton that deal with many dimensions of the LGBT Civil Rights struggle.

Each of these articles are nothing short of brilliant, and are must-reading for all those who are both serious about this struggle, and who are in any way intimidated by professing "Christian" rhetoric that is used to bear false witness and defame LGBT people.

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Sunday, October 24, 2010


In my opinion, the most erudite, reasonable, biblical scholar and expositor is the Rev. Peter J. Gomes. His books: The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart and The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus are among his best, and I strongly urge you to read them.

In this brief video, Gomes elucidates the value of the Bible, and shows fundamentalism, the equation of the Bible with God, to be mere idolatry, a violation of the first of the Ten Commandments.

His approach to the Bible is sure to whet the appetite of all people who seek spiritual fulfillment in this world:

[Thanks to Trinity Wall Street}
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Thursday, October 21, 2010


I've been an LGBT Rights activist for about twenty years, and have been quite disturbed by the seeming political indolence of many professed Gay people, as well as the counterproductive frivolity and displays that are virtually guaranteed to offend the sensibilities of decent people, both Gay and Straight alike.

Unless decency and dignity, and a fire in the belly, accompany the struggle for LGBT equality, not much will be gained in this area, and much will be lost; the gratitude for crumbs of incrementalism and embracing an appeal to the electorate for equal rights will be embraced by those Gay people who are either filled with recognized or unrecognized self-loathing and/or who are not even Gay at all, despite the fact that they publicly identify as "Gay."

There must be a distinction made between being "Gay" and being a "sexual hedonist" who gets off on having sex with people of the same sex, and I truly believe that the lack of recognition of that distinction is what is going a long way toward retarding true equality and the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for Gay people.

Simply put: just because a person has and may even enjoy sexual relations with the same sex does not necessarily make that person "Gay." We know this fact from life in prisons and boarding schools where same-sex relations are not uncommon, and yet many, if not most, of these people, once out of those institutions, behave heterosexually.

It seems to me that many self-proclaimed "Gay activists" are definitely sexually involved with members of the same sex, but may not be necessarily Gay! Merely having same-sex sexual activity does not necessarily make one Gay, and the confusion of the two is what is helping to muddy the waters in the fight for full and equal LGBT equality, a fight that many of the sexual hedonists are greatly impeding!

To be Gay means to have an emotional and romantic affinity with one's own sex, that may or may not include sexual activity! For example, even if one can't have sexual relations, he/she is still Gay or Straight! Mere sexual activity does not necessarily determine one's true status.

Just knowing about one's sexual activities tells us virtually nothing about his/her status as Gay or Straight! In the sexual realm, probably the psychoanalyst Anna Freud gave the best operational definition to distinguish "Gay" from "Straight." She said the best criterion to determine who is Gay or Straight are the fantasies one has when he or she masturbates! And in the sexual realm of life, I concur with her contention.

However, when it comes to publicly defining who is Gay (and who is Straight), mere sexual activity tells us very little about that person's status but, rather, the sex of the people to whom he/she most romantically and emotionally relates.

It is the overlooking of this distinction between feeling and behavior that may be seen to contribute to the false notion that sexuality is fluid! It is only "fluid" if mere sexual activity is considered to define one's status as "Gay" or "Straight."

However, if we see that our status as Gay or Straight consists not merely in who we have sex with but, rather, to whom we emotionally and romantically relate, the notion of "sexual fluidity" is seen as the fiction it is; the notion of being "ex-gay" is seen as being a myth, as one can abstain from sexual activity and yet still emotionally and romantically relate to people of the same sex, thereby defining that person as permanently Gay; self-identified "Gay activists" and others may or may not be truly Gay, but merely enjoy same sex sexual activity.

In sum, it is my contention that a lot of vagaries will disappear if we accurately define being Gay (and being Straight) as primarily involving emotional and romantic components rather than largely defining those classifications in terms of sexual activity.

And it may well be that the frivolity, the counterproductive pageants and displays, and the gratuitous use of hateful words as self-identifiers, all of which are retarding the struggle for full and equal rights for LGBT people, are more likely to come from "sexual hedonists," many of whom view themselves, and are naively viewed by others, as "activists," who enjoy same-sex activities rather than from Gay people as defined above.
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Monday, October 18, 2010


By his kind permission, my pal, Don Charles, has allowed me to print his superb article, Trouble the Waters on my blog. This article of his is the very best article I have ever read on the subject of LGBT rights and issues, and must be read by everyone who truly cares about the LGBT Civil Rights struggle:

When I decided to move "Diary Of A Gay Wage Slave" to my new blog, Ignorance Is Plentiful, it left a hole in Christ, The Gay Martyr that needed filling. I decided to write a new 200th post, and make it a second Gay Rights manifesto. My first manifesto still appears at the bottom of this blog; it's still valid, and I have no intention of replacing it. However, I have some new thoughts about what needs to happen before LGBT equality can be realized. What follows is the closing statement I choose to leave my readership with before making Christ, The Gay Martyr completely and permanently inactive. I won't be posting any more special features here; this is it, folks!

Trolling Google Image for blog photos, as I often do, I stumbled across a stunning piece of art. You can see it yourself over the opening paragraph of this essay. It's a sculpture by the legendary male physique artist George Quaintance, completed in 1936. You're looking at two Art Deco masks fused together to make one: One mask is female, and the other male. I adore Art Deco design, and at first, all I did was admire this beautiful piece of craftsmanship. As I kept looking at it, though, a strange thrill began to course through me.

Suddenly, I realized that this wasn't just a good-looking sculpture. This was a representation of Transgender humanity: Masculinity and femininity occupying the same space, blended so as to form a separate gender all its own. Knowing something about George Quaintance's approach to art, I think that's exactly what he intended it to symbolize. If I'm right, then he did so magnificently; he totally captured the essence of inborn androgyny.

Are you an LGBT person? Then take a good look at that Quaintance sculpture. It's a visualization of your inner self. What do you think? Are you amazed? Are you repelled? Can you handle confronting the truth about what you are? Or can you only see yourself through the eyes of your oppressors?

There's an idea: Let's look at ourselves through their eyes for a moment. Most of the time when LesBiGay people are discriminated against, it isn't because of their sexual orientation. Most Straight people never see us have sex, and most of us aren't in the habit of discussing our sexual exploits with them. We are bullied, threatened, ostracised and assaulted because of our gender expression. Our voices are too high, or too low. Our hair is too long, or too short, or the wrong color. We don't wear clothing that's masculine or feminine enough. We don't have interests that are considered appropriate for "real men" or "real women". We don't carry ourselves in the way "real men" and "real women" are expected to. We don't make sense to anyone whose understanding of gender is binary. We are people who transcend gender (which is why all of us have a right to identify as Transgender), and that makes people who don't transcend it very uncomfortable in our presence.

Fighting anti-Gay bias in this world necessarily involves challenging narrow concepts of gender. Binary gender is like a book that you've only read two-thirds of the way and put down: the story isn't complete until you've read the final chapters! On those unread pages, there's a world that's populated by more than just male and female life forms. Transgender life forms also exist! We always have, we always will, and it's time for us to insist that the world acknowledge our existence.

Scientists like Simon LeVay have recently uncovered biological markers for Transgender status, but I didn't need their findings to discover who I am. I came to know my true gender from studying the Bible and Gnostic texts. Chistian scripture, widely thought to condemn Gay people, gave me the key that unlocked the truth about same-gender sexuality. The Gospel of Philip describes how Jesus Christ gifts a chosen few with "the male and female power" before birth, causing them to be born with the blended gender of God. As I've written before, parallel doctrine exists in the annals of many, if not most of the world's oldest religions.

Carrying both male and female gender in the same body was at one time widely viewed as a blessed state. We should endeavor to reclaim that blessed status, and begin to feel the pride in our uniqueness that we merely pretend to feel now. When Gay Pride becomes more than just a popular concept, I bet we'll feel less of an urge to strip down, booze up, get strung out and/or clown around in the streets under the guise of celebration. We'll no longer need to camouflage our self-hatred that way!

This thing that I call blended gender exists within all LGBT folk. So, you may ask, why doesn't it make us all Gay, or all Bisexual, or all Transsexual? Why is there variation? I think variation occurs because different people respond to its presence in different ways. Or, it may be a question of degree, with some of us possessing more gender neutrality, and others possessing less. Whatever the case, blended gender is inborn; all this bullsh*t speculating about "environmental factors" and "outside influences" should've ended long ago. You can't "learn" how to become Gay or Transsexual; core identity can't be taught to or imposed on a person! The negative experiences of intersexed individuals, forced as children into gender roles that violated their self-concept, tells us as much.

By the way, when I talk about blended gender, I am not referring to intersex genitalia. I'm not talking about genitalia at all. I'm speaking of something that exists on a spiritual level. As gender-transcending human beings, the form our genitalia takes is of very little significance. It matters in our sexual relations, and it matters if we want to produce offspring, but that's about it. The bodies our Transgender souls are born into don't define us like the bodies of binary gender folk define them; one way or another, an LGBT person will always challenge conventional notions about masculinity and femininity. We can't help but do it; it's our nature!

Gender neutrality trumps (s)expectations; it has its own unalterable norms. Cultural pressure can't change them. Punitive laws can't change them. Religious belief can't change them. Psychotherapy can't change them. Surgery and hormone treatments can only create the illusion of changing them. Blended gender is a gift that can't be returned, no matter how much we may want to.

But why should we want to? The thing to never forget is that Transgender status is completely normal. It's God's balance of nature. The sexual union of men with women is meant to approximate the gender neutrality that we received as a birthright; that's why the Savior excluded our kind from heterosexual marriage(Matthew 19). To me, it's perfectly logical: If people can be born with blended racial background, why can't they be born with blended gender, too? I see LGBT humanity as just another aspect of the tremendous natural diversity that God loves. Millennia have passed since life began on Earth, but every so often, we still hear about a previously unknown species of plant or animal; the Lord's imagination and creative ability knows no bounds! It makes a skilled artisan like George Quaintance look like a caveman carving stones; and we who possess his "male and female power" number among his finest creations.

Let me say this one last time: Nothing that God creates is queer!

I call for an end to the lies heterosexual folk tell about us! Enough of these insane accusations of "recruitment"! No more vilification. No more pretending that we prey on Straight people like Dracula preys on virgins. No more pretending that Bible scripture justifies excluding us from church sacraments. No more claims that we contaminate any environment we become part of, like the United States military. No more equating us with pedophiles and polygamists and bestialists. No more falsehoods about our relationships "threatening" the traditional family. No more papal pronouncements that our existence throws nature out of balance. No more demagoguery to the effect that God is punishing humankind because of our presence.

I also call for an end to the many delusions LGBT folk entertain. No more facetious claims of having "chosen" our sexual orientation. No more accepting stereotypes as truth. No more calling sex in public restrooms an expression of "gay culture". No more pretending that unprotected sexual activity won't result in serious consequences. No more thinking of ourselves as men trapped inside women's bodies, and vice-versa. No more pretending that surgery can remove a person's Transgender status. No more insisting that Transsexual status is an illness.

No more pretending that we're exactly the same as heterosexual folk except for who we sleep with. No more arguments that we don't "need" certain rights that heterosexual folk enjoy. No more lying to LGBT kids about bullying getting "better" when all that happens most of the time is a change in the type of bullying and who's doing it. No more believing that Scripture condemns our love(it doesn't). No more accepting religious bigots as doctrinal authorities. And please! No more pretending that heterosexist and transphobic slurs can be "reclaimed" and made empowering.

The word "queer" must go! It connotes defectiveness and perversion. It stigmatizes the blessing of LGBT identity. It belongs to an ignorant past that we must break free of. If you're in the habit of dropping this dehumanizing label into casual conversation, wash out your mouth and mind; gargle twice and spit! Starting today, I'm on a crusade to replace "queer" with the term "gender-neutral". If an umbrella term is needed, as many of us seem to believe, then this is a far more accurate one. It defines more precisely who we are and what we have in common as Lesbians, Gay men, Bisexual and Transsexual persons. Most important, it's refreshingly free of denigrating connotations.

We need to stop wearing the oppressor's hand-me-down hate speech! Dignity looks so much better on us. We must force ourselves and others to speak of blended gender with respect, and get used to hearing it spoken of in that way.

Respecting yourself is about more than just the language you use. It also has to do with the way you treat yourself, and how you let others treat you. There are a bunch of Gay activists around; just turn over a rock, and one will crawl out from under it! Yet I find that relatively few of them want to change conditions for LesBiGay people in any substantive way.

Too many of us have made our peace with the demeaning jokes, the ugly slurs, the outrageous stereotypes. We've resigned ourselves to the persecution, the stigmatization, the lack of security in our persons. Most of us just haven't got the stomach for taking the fight against bigotry to the oppressor's door, so in a pinch, phony political posturing suffices. At the end of the day, we're content to stay walled off in a little corner of the world set aside for misfits, a place devoid of dignity that doesn't even provide us with safe harbor.

We crave distractions from the injustices we suffer. We escape into pageants, parties and cliques, campy humor, mindless celebrity worship and reckless sexual excess. Numbing our pain with drink, drugs and booty, we can barely feel that boot on the back of our necks . . . why, our necks could snap and we wouldn't even notice! We'd never admit it, but we've adapted ourselves to a discriminatory status quo. Within our myriad social classes and cultural traditions, we've learned how to accommodate heterosexism, and God forbid we should trouble the waters too much.

I want to f*cking trouble those waters!

I want to trouble them so bad sometimes, I can hardly stand it! I want a Category Five hurricane, global warming crisis and tsunami all rolled into one! I want to see all the complacency and compromise and corruption swept away. I want to see the cleansing rain come down, and then I want to see the sunshine after the rain. I'm so ready!

I want this social upheaval so passionately because of the way I grew up: An effeminate boy all but crippled by shame, repeatedly beaten down by ignorance, terrified of the world outside his door. It was an intolerable way to grow up, and I can't stand to think about anyone else suffering that way. How can we settle for business as usual when we know a new LGBT generation is falling victim to hate crimes every day(those they commit against themselves as well as those perpetrated by others)? Oh, we're making a big militant noise right now, but it's still business as usual: Begging politicians for favors; nibbling around the edges of mass protest; letting the religious Right Wing wipe its filthy feet on our backs; talking up revolution whenever we get the chance, but never walking the talk. It's nothing but a lot of pussyfooting around, and I'm sick to death of it!

When we finally get serious about Gay Rights, we'll be waging the fight against discrimination in six key arenas: In religious institutions; in educational institutions; in the courts; in the streets; in the media; and in our own hearts! (Take note that I didn't mention the political arena. That was deliberate! Let's chill out with the Washington lobbying until we have some real power to wield there.)

We'll be turning up the temperature in our churches, mosques and synagogues until they become boiling pools of unrest. We'll be condemning "faith-based" opposition to Gay Rights, and correcting religious doctrine that calls Transgender expression sinful. We'll be banishing "Queer Studies" from the classroom, mandating comprehensive sex education and anti-bullying measures, and promoting genuine scholarship on Transgender identity. We'll be ripping the blindfold off of Lady Justice so that her eyes can perceive the abusive excesses of unchecked religious freedom.

We'll be making mass protest a reality, filling the public square to demand tax relief as compensation for institutional heterosexism and transphobia. We'll be demanding accurate, consistent and respectful media representation(especially in sales and entertainment media), and blowing the damn roof off if we don't see it! We'll finally have realized that a distorted portrayal can be as bad or worse than invisibility; and when it comes to rooting out the entrenched shame that comes between us and our dignity, we'll be as relentless as the Red Chinese rooting out counter-revolutionary influences. That's what serious Gay activism will look like.

I believe what the old Negro spiritual says: God's gonna trouble the waters! And just like the runaway slaves who originally sang that song, we LGBT folk must wade in troubled waters before we can set foot on the dry land of liberation.

This essay is dedicated to the memory of Haitian-American poet, editor and performance artist Assotto Saint, who showed me the path when I was not yet ready to walk it.
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Sunday, October 17, 2010


Rev. Troy Perry can be credited with significantly racheting up the LGBT civil rights movement in 1968, a year before Stonewall. He took Christianity and the Bible, the teachings and life of Jesus, and put them into action for all people, including LGBT people.

He founded the Metropolitan Community Church, later to become a world-wide denomination, and was its Moderator for 37 years. He now travels extensively, proclaiming the Good News to ALL of God's children, and hammers home the fact that God doesn't have any step-children, God doesn't make any mistakes, and Jesus came to take away our sins and not our sexuality.

He's my friend and, unbeknownst to him, a major motivator for my own ministry. Unfortunately, there has, in my opinion, been a retrogression in the LGBT Civil Rights movement since he founded MCC; a retrogression into pageants, pride parades, hateful epithets used as self-identifiers, etc.

Many of these symptoms and causes of retardation of this civil rights movement began as positive phenomena when it was necessary for LGBT people to have a consciousness of kind, a sense of belonging, and even an in-your-face vocabulary to insulate themselves from the tremendous hurt visited upon them by the oppressor.

However, those days are long past, those tactics are long unnecessary and, in fact, are counterproductive.

Hear Rev. Perry give some of his many words of wisdom in the following brief video.

Also, I strongly urge you to read, and buy, his books: "The Lord is my Shepherd and He Knows I'm Gay"; "Don't Be Afraid Anymore." Also, read the book about him and the MCC entitled, "Troy Perry: Pastor and Prophet.

Here is the brief video:

Just one more brief video. I couldn't help myself. Hear Rev. Troy Perry's words and call to fighting the good fight for equality for LGBT people, in honor of Sgt. Leonard Matlovich:

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


A couple of years ago, I wrote the article, On The Need To Grow Up that met with largely negative comments. I feel very strongly that the use of such words as "queer," "dyke," "fag," etc. by LGBT people is not only counterproductive to the struggle for equality for LGBT people, but shows a degree of shame and self-loathing that is inimical to one's being a viable participant in that struggle.

The following is a reprint of that article:

As I've written before, I would have my class think of the first word that occurred to them when I said the word "Gay." All of them said that the first thing that occurred to them was the word "sex."

As I told them, let's assume that the average couple has sex three times a week, each session lasting about 15 minutes. That means that only about 45 minutes a week is devoted to sexual activity.

Clearly all of us, Gay or Straight, are awake for far more than 45 minutes a week. All of our lives encompass far more than the engaging in sexual activity!

Being Gay, just like being Straight, is about one's whole being: his/her perceptions, sensibilities, and emotional/affectional/sexual preferences. We are all multifaceted, and to restrict oneself or others to being a mere one-dimensional sexual animal does a grave injustice to both logic as well as to Gay people themselves.

The unfortunate fact is that many Gay people, too, have bought into the false notion, inculcated by religious and secular homophobes, their very oppressors, that they are merely sexual beings who are mere "selfish hedonists", and who then, therefore, portray themselves, and view themselves, as just that: one-dimensional people who focus on sexual activity, and who define themselves by their sexuality and by little or nothing else.

Moreover, the appropriation and use of pejorative and hateful self-identifiers, as well as the engagement in frivolous activities that also mark one as an "outsider," as a "deviant," as "the other," and even as "the enemy" to what is considered to be "normal" and "moral," tells us far more about the given person than it tells us about anything else.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being into BDSM or being a member of the Leather community, for example, but the blatant hostility of the latest Folsom Street Fair, for example, was consciously and/or unconsciously designed to keep LGBT people in their place of being viewed by most of society as justifiable victims to persecute; reinforce LGBT people in taking pride in being in an "outsider" status, as "sexual outlaws," who have no desire to be part of mainstream society.

This activity and its consequences was done by unconscious and/or unconscious design! It seemed to me to be far less a celebration of the Leather community than it was a statement telling others, particularly religious people, "F***k You."

One can blame centuries of discrimination for the unconscious and/or conscious self-loathing that prompts the appropriation of the hateful epithets of the oppressors by which many LGBT people identify themselves, and the sexualization of the self as the major component of one's very being that is held by many LGBT people, but that explanation only goes so far, and gives such LGBT people too much slack when any of us put the onus of self-hate solely on those who discriminate against the oppressed.

There is a point when one has to own his/her dignity, demand the respect due to any human being, demand full and equal civil and sacramental rights regardless of the negative messages and hostility that have been visited on that person in the past, or even in the present.

And those goals will not be realized as long as the minority group accepts its inferior status, and revels in it by referring to its members by the very same terms used by the most virulent homophobes throughout history and in our midst.

No self respecting person, Gay or Straight, stands for being treated as less than fully human; no self respecting person, Gay or Straight, uses negative self-identifiers that have been historically (and contemporarily) used by their oppressors. The slave mentality is blamed on others, but the fact is that it ultimately resides within each human being whether or not to accept that mentality.

On one progressive, LGBT-friendly site, Don Charles and I tried to convince others of that fact. It was remarkable how the venom against our contentions (and sometimes against us) started pouring out from most of those who chose to comment. Deep down I'm convinced that they knew we were right, but they didn't have the guts to overcome and transcend the big lie that they deserve to be treated as second-class citizens.

They really believe that they are "sinners," regardless of whether or not they are religious and, in the case of those who had that message constantly reinforced by "ex-gay therapists," it may well have insinuated itself in their unconscious that drives them to continuous, life-long self hate. With psyches like these, there can be no meaningful activism.

When we throw into the mix political expediency, as seen, for example, with Barney Frank and the ENDA debacle; being grateful for the crumbs of incrementalism in the name of "progress"; "liberals" who go whichever way the wind is blowing; inertia where people are self-satisfied if they perceive their immediate needs are being met, regardless of the cost to their dignity and humanity, meaningful activism falls on deaf ears.

Moreover, such psyches and political anemia only serve to further embolden the homophobes, as they see these factors as signs of weakness, and the tragic conclusion is that they are right about that perception.

So, I say to those who revel in using pejorative and hateful self-identifiers, who are content with being treated as second-class citizens, who are delighted with crumbs of incrementalism, who are self-satisfied as long as their immediate perceived self-interests are being met, who tolerate the indignities attendant upon being treated as "the other," and "the deviant," who allow homophobic clergy and others to demean them with impunity: Grow Up!

When we were children we usually, and for some of us all too frequently, allowed adults to define our realities for us. Now that we're grown, we have an obligation to act our ages and demand to be treated with the same dignity and have the same civil and sacramental rights as anyone else! And not settle for anything less!

Listen to the Apostle Paul: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1Corinthians 13:11)

To the degree we act like children, either by centering our lives on frivolous and self-destructive activities, or by allowing others to define our realities for us, or by not demanding full and equal civil and sacramental rights, or by using negative and hostile self-identifiers that serve to perpetuate "outsider," "deviant," "abnormal," and "inferior" status, it is to that degree that homophobes are further emboldened; what rights that are currently enjoyed are threatened or may even be rescinded; increasing numbers of decent people will find "justification" for considering LGBT people as "not one of us," and the fight for full and equal civil and sacramental rights will be greatly harmed.

Moreover, such harmful behaviors and self-concepts are inimical to the fire in the belly that is needed to acquire the dignity and civil and sacramental rights that are enjoyed by all other citizens in the U.S.

In this vein, please read the important article, Putting Out Fire With Gasoline by my good friend Don Charles.
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Sunday, October 10, 2010


The following article is an edited version of one I wrote several years ago entitled, Why Every Church Must Be Open And Affirming, that was a sermon I preached in a Methodist Church that was contemplating becoming a "Reconciling Congregation."

Here is the new version:

The legalists and the self-righteous, smug fundamentalist professing Christians, who seem to monopolize the media, don't speak for Christianity—at least not the Christianity that I know! These purveyors of a false Gospel impose their prejudices on the Bible, selectively picking certain verses that they feel affirm those prejudices, and preach a message of legalism and perfectionism that is diametrically opposed to the Gospel of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness.

The Apostle Paul, who adamantly fought legalism (Acts 15; Ephesians 2:8-9), saved his harshest words for those who preach a false Gospel. He said in Galatians 1:8 concerning those who preach a false Gospel, "...let him be accursed."

He felt so strongly about those who preach legalism rather than the Gospel of grace that he repeated himself in the very next verse.

To be "accursed" is to be damned by God! In other words, he wrote, "God damn them." (Galatians 1:8-9) Once can't use any stronger language than that!

These preachers of a false Gospel have wittingly or unwittingly attempted to hijack the true Gospel and redefine Christianity in their own twisted image of God, the Bible, the world, and of themselves. They make Christians look like a pack of hate-mongering, harsh, judgmental freaks and I terribly resent it!

Every single church and denomination is obligated to embrace and welcome into its fellowship everyone who worships Christ as his or her savior, and afford each such person full rights of inclusion, including the partaking of every sacrament of the Church, as befit members of the Body of Christ! Yet, many denominations are struggling with issues surrounding the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (hereafter to be called GLBT) people.

The struggle is said to largely center on biblical interpretation regarding gay people and their relationships, as well as Christian tradition, despite the fact that Jesus says we make void the Word of God by our traditions. (Matthew 15:3)

Many people who seek to deny GLBT people rights of ordination, marriage, and other rights and privileges that accrue to others, may be well-intentioned, but they are misinformed. The root of this misinformation is largely the religious leadership that seeks to impose their world-views that bespeak ignorance and insensitivity upon not only other people, but upon the Bible and upon God Himself.

In the case of the Roman Catholic Church, why would we allow a bunch of celibate men, men who seemingly choose to deny a core part of the self, a deep primal urge and vehicle for the expression of deepest intimacy between two people, be allowed to define romantic and sexual reality for us?

In this vein, we must ask, "Why are so many 'religious' people, clergy and non-clergy alike, so obsessed with others' love and sexual lives that they read into Scripture, taking a few passages out of context and without regard to the original languages, justification for discriminating, stigmatizing, demonizing, and oppressing GLBT people, which judgment and discrimination is clearly un-Scriptural?" Their prejudices have clearly blinded them to the biblical mandate to love others and not judge or oppress them!

It is important to realize that homosexuality is never mentioned in the Ten Commandments, never written about by the prophets, and never discussed by Jesus. If it were that important, it would have likely been dealt with in at least one of these contexts!

Those who spend a great deal of their time condemning other people "in the name of God," by picking and choosing selected verses of Scripture without seeming regard to context and original languages, may well be materially and psychologically gaining a great deal from these endeavors, all the while claiming that they are being faithful to the Bible.

Just one example as to how these people don't seem to be as 'Bible believing' as they would have us believe: Jesus specifically condemned divorce and remarriage, saying that those who did so, absent fornication, were themselves committing adultery. (Matthew 19:9) I don't hear many homophobic clergy condemning these people and telling them that they should leave their current spouse and either reunite with their previous spouse or remain single. Nor should

My point is that many of their constituents are made up of these people who give them tithes, offerings, and contributions and they don't want to bite the hands that feed them. They have, however, helped drive many GLBT people away from the church, so these people become viewed as "safe" targets to persecute.

The Gospel of love negates any attempt to misrepresent, stigmatize, demonize, or oppress other people. Those who seek to exclude GLBT people from partaking fully in the life of the Church and society have missed the message of the Gospel!

For far too long we have listened to people who just uncritically assume that what they heard from the pulpit or Sunday school, as ignorant and hateful as it may be, regarding GLBT people is true. Being gay is not a lifestyle! It's a life! It's not a choice, any more than being straight is a choice!

Moreover, although each minority group has its own particular history, each has suffered from misinformation, discrimination, stigma, and oppression. Unfortunately, the Church has been the last institution in society to accept the disenfranchised and "least among us." As has been noted for many years, the Church has been, and continues to be, the most racially segregated institution that exists on Sunday mornings in our society.

In addition, the major justification for oppressing minority groups has been appeal to the Bible. Witness the subjugation of women, slavery, and segregation.

Even the most "Bible believing" Christian would not condone such biblical practices as stoning to death adulterers, stoning to death those who work on the Sabbath, requiring all women to wear long hair, women not talking in church, women not teaching men, not wearing mixed fibers in our clothes, etc. Yet these are all taught in the Bible!

The Bible is part of God's revelation to us. It gives us a glimpse into a small part of God's heart and a few of His many dimensions. God didn't stop talking to His children 2,000 years ago! He still speaks to us regarding His will for our lives, and to proclaim in each generation, in and for His name, the cause of justice, and to manifest Jesus' love toward others.
The seemingly oracular pronouncements regarding GLBT people and their relationships by those who parade their ignorance as "Godliness" have helped lead to the suicides, bashings, and murders of countless GLBT people. Indeed, in this connection, it is estimated that gay youth have at least three times the suicide rate of non-gay youth.

Make no mistake, every drop of blood shed by GLBT people either through suicide, bashing, or murder, are on the 
hands of all those religious leaders, their followers, and their allies who spew forth their ignorance, prejudice, and hate against GLBT people and their relationships! These wolves in sheep's clothing take the Bible, God's love letter to His children, and selectively and perversely use it as a club to condemn others, and deny GLBT people full inclusion in the Church and in society.

The tradition-bound parts of the Church have so indoctrinated people, many of whom have never even set foot in a 
house of worship, that many people even disown their own children when they "come out" and divulge their sexual 
orientation to those whom they thought unconditionally loved and cherished them. There are many children living on the streets because their own parents trusted ignorant clergy and their followers over their God-given duty and privilege to nurture and embrace their own children!

Throughout our lives, we have been bombarded with ignorant, homophobic messages from much of the Church world that don't resonate with, and do contradict, the revelation of God in the Person and words of Jesus! Let's not let the ignorant, the haters and hate-mongers, many of whom gain psychological, social, and financial advantages by their condemnation and exclusion of GLBT people, define Christianity for us.

We must rise above their ignorant and hateful pronouncements, cynically made "in the name of God," "tradition,"
"church law," and "family values," and finally practice Christianity. Hear Jesus' call for inclusion of all of His people, and
let's fulfill His mandate for us to love our neighbor by embracing in every facet of our lives His GLBT children, whom He gave as a gift to the church and society to be cherished every bit as much as He cherishes us.
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Saturday, October 9, 2010


A woman allegedly went wild in Colorado over a painting depicting Jesus receiving oral sex from another man.

If anyone wants to spit in the face of potential Straight allies, this is one way to do it; this act adds to the other ways that seemingly frivolous hedonists take the stage and feed into the stereotype that Gay=Hedonistic Sex! 

And it is this false stereotype that is a major basis whereby strident homophobes are able to bring potential Straight allies into their fold and win them over. 

Many people, even many seemingly self-identified Gay people, don't seem to see being Gay as having as its necessary component that of love, a love that is just as viable and as dignified as the love held by heterosexuals.  And it's up to those of us who truly care about LGBT equality to communicate this message as loudly as possible, in any and every venue possible.

As the small article concludes regarding this work of "art": It can, however, guarantee instant infamy
for an artist, so perhaps there's a silver lining...  

That's what it may be all about: one's 15 minutes of fame at the expense of the struggle for LGBT equality in which this artist, and so many others, play no constructive part; who act in counterproductive ways whereby they might as well be on the payroll of the most strident religious homophobes out there!

And where's the "silver lining?"  Is it the communication that Gay people are mere shameless hedonists?  Is it the communication that Gay people are irreverent sexual outlaws?  Is it in communicating the notion that one's career aspirations trump the need for dignity and decency?  Is it in communicating the belief that Gay people are not normal? 

Maybe to ask these questions of the traitors is to answer them!

As one person commented in an article I wrote: It is a hopeless cause, fighting for rights for people who don’t want them nor appreciate them.

Unless such frivolous and indecent displays, in art and in other aspects of life, are roundly condemned, and LGBT people and allies see the need to take the equality struggle seriously, full and equal rights won't come to LGBT people any time soon, and the fight for those rights will be a hopeless cause for the foreseeable future.

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Friday, October 8, 2010


Don Charles kindly allowed me to post his excellent article on my blog.  It is incisive and beautifully written, and deserves to be widely distributed by those who really care about full and equal civil rights for LGBT people, as well as their affirmation as being normal, just as God made them.

Here is his article:

The Dumb Dora Award for Ass-Backwards Activism 

"Last week, I wrote about Billy Lucas, a 15-year-old kid in Indiana who took his own life after enduring years of bullying for being Gay," wrote self-described sexpert Dan Savage in his most recent syndicated column. "(Then) I learned about another teenager (that) recently took his own life. Cody J. Barker was a 17-year-old high school student . . . countless other kids have committed suicide because they couldn't picture a future for themselves. That's why my boyfriend and I launched the It Gets Better Project . . . we made a short video about our lives and invited other LGBT adults to make and upload videos about their lives. The response has been overwhelming."

I'll say it has! This initative has swept through cyberspace like wildfire. Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman, Anne Hathaway, Ari Gold and Perez Hilton are just some of the celebrities who've jumped on the It Gets Better Project bandwagon. The ACLU's Anthony Romero and other Gay staffers from that organization have also taped encouraging messages for Gay youth. The YouTube channel Savage created for these messages is reportedly getting hundreds of video uploads per day.

"It would be great to see videos that give Gay young people a picture of the lives they can have if they just hang in there," Savage suggested. "LGBT kids who don't know any LGBT adults need to see that Gay adults lead happy and rewarding lives." Many, if not most of the videos posted have followed his suggestion. Gay people have seldom looked gayer than they do now, painting rosy pictures of life after liberation from the homophobic torture chambers many of us remember as childhood.

The Liberal blogosphere is now awash with praise for Dan Savage. You certainly can't visit a Gay blog or website without finding numerous posts that sing his praises and/or spotlight a new "It Gets Better" video inspired by his example. As for Savage himself, he's busy promoting the campaign on as many TV and radio outlets as will book him.

Why is it that just about everything Dan Savage does has the effect of splashing his name and face all over the media? Not to call the man's motives into question(although I've done so in the past), but I suspect the It Gets Better Project will benefit his reputation far more than it will benefit terrorized and traumatized children. To illustrate what I mean, let me reach back into my own past, and call up some unfriendly voices:

"Dance, faggot, dance! Dance faster! If you dance fast enough, maybe I won't have to kick your skinny faggot ass."

"You want me to stop now, punk? Have you had enough yet? Then you'd better admit that you ain't nothin' but a b*tch-ass p*ssy! Admit it now, before I kill you."

"Donny, you just don't belong here."

The first quote comes from a grade school bully who was in the habit of thrashing me when I was seven years old. He'd force me to dance the Watusi while other kids watched and laughed. The second quote comes from another thug who used to meet me on the way home from high school. He thought I was his personal kung fu practice dummy, and he always brought his friends along to practice! First he'd karate kick me in the head a couple of times, and then the rest of them would have a go at me. I must've been about fourteen at the time.

The third quote comes from a supervisor I worked under at my former job. He had a mean streak, and my effeminate nature seemed to bring it out in him. His taunt wasn't nearly as crude as those I suffered as a child, but believe me, it still hurt! A few months later, another supervisor said the same thing to me(for the full story, read my five-part memoir "Diary of a Gay Wage Slave"). It was a little over a year ago that I got this dubious job performance feedback; I'm now in my 50s.

I've had much uglier things than that said to me as a grown-up. I've been made fun of while riding city busses. I've been verbally attacked by streetcorner evangelists. A vicious cyber-stalker is harassing me right now; but I won't bore you with any more sordid details. I shared these unpleasant experiences with you just to make this point: It doesn't always get better.
Much as we hate to admit it, gender-based bullying can follow us into our adult years. Most dainty Gay men, most butch Lesbians and most Transfolk(especially Transwomen) never break free from insults, ridicule, taunts, threats, stalkings, beatings, ostracism and humiliation, no matter how old they get. LGBT status for them, and for me, can seem like a life sentence at hard labor. What we labor so hard at is keeping it together under long-term duress. It's not a task for the faint-hearted.

We managed to stave off depression and suicidal thoughts past adolescence, but we can still fall victim to those things as adults; and by the way, suicide isn't just looping a noose around your neck or jumping off a bridge! There are much slower, much more painful and debilitating ways to kill yourself: Ways that involve pills, or needles, or bottles, or unsafe sex, or attraction to lovers who use your body for a toilet or an ashtray or a punching bag.
It only gets better for some Gay people, and generally speaking, they're the kind who are "Straight-acting." It's a whopping big lie that all of us can pass for heterosexual; a good many LGBT folk couldn't act Straight to save their lives . . . and I do mean that literally!

Surfing the Web, I've encountered dozens of mostly white collar Gay men who sit at their keyboards and brag about how easy life has been for them. Life's a piece of sh*t/When you look at it sang Monty Python's Eric Idle years ago, but such is not the case for these folks. They claim to never have been bullied. They say they've never been made to feel unsafe or unloved for being Gay. In fact, they take homosexual orientation so much in stride, they think it's a gas to go around calling themselves "queers". They exchange the Q-word and other vile slurs with their Gay buddies, and they even let heterosexual friends address them that way!

I'm always itching to tell them: You're nothing but a bunch of elitist blockheads! You live charmed lives that you don't even appreciate. Your rarefied "Will and Grace" existence is miles away from the reality most perceptibly Gay or Transgender people face in this world.

Most of us out here are getting screwed without lubricant! Speaking from an international perspective, we're getting the sh*t kicked out of us! We're facing taunts and threats when we walk down the street. We're being thrown in prison just for expressing gender the way we express it. We're being preyed on in prison. We're getting raped, tortured and murdered. We're getting deported from our home countries, or made to flee them. We're being forced into heterosexual marriages. We're being forced out of our jobs and homes. We're having our kids ripped out of our arms by authorities. We're either being driven away from our faith communities, or compelled to hide behind masks in order to maintain access to them. Writer Langston Hughes, who knew a thing or two about wearing masks himself, said it best many years ago in a poem called "Mother To Son":

Life for me ain't been no crystal stair!
It's had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor . . .

Those of you who've grown accustomed to treading stairs of crystal find it so easy to say something like "it gets better". You've got one Hell of a nerve, peddling that crap to effeminate ten-year-old boys who get p*ssed on in the school restroom, or shoved down a flight of stairs, or chased home by teen thugs wielding baseball bats! You tape your lovely little "It Gets Better" videos, you post them to YouTube, and then you saunter off feeling pleased with yourselves. You're satisfied that you've "made a positive difference." What dedicated child advocates you are! Marian Wright Edelman would kiss every one of you on the lips.

I'll allow that setting yourselves up as role models for desperate LesBiGay kids might do some good, but let's not exaggerate the influence you have. Before they can aspire to a rosy future, they've got to survive their current circumstances; have you considered how very different those circumstances can be from your own? Not just in terms of personal security, but also opportunity: Did you forget that a lot of youngsters still don't have easy access to computers or the Internet? What about them? And what about those who do have easy access, but would be terrified to get caught watching videos like yours?

Suppose there were no access barriers at all: How would these self-congratulatory snippets stop Gay kids from getting bullied? Isn't that what you should be concerned about? Suicide isn't the problem, you know; it's a symptom of the problem. Exactly what have you made better by urging a homosexual or transsexual child to keep a stiff upper lip while suffering abuse? Be honest with yourselves. Instead of "it gets better," aren't you really telling them: "Others had to suffer before you did, darling, and unfortunately, it's your turn now"? How can you get any satisfaction out of making such an impotent statement?

This YouTube fad and all the talk about it being an effective solution to bullying underscores how poorly focused Gay activism is. We consistently go at the task of fighting injustice ass backwards! We brandish our weapons (such as they are) and make a lot of noise doing it, but somehow our weapons are never aimed at the enemy. For example, we train our sights on Capitol Hill and a political process that holds us at arm's length, but we ignore those mega-churches on the hill, where anti-Gay political power is concentrated. We leave our rear flank wide open to attack, and then we wonder why we make so little progress.

Similarly, we avoid engaging with a heterosexist education system that hangs LGBT kids out to dry. Instead, we target the kids themselves, as if the bullying problem were theirs to solve! Not hardly, sugar! It's ours to solve! Children depend on their elders to shield them from harm. However well-meaning they might be, bandwagon initiatives like the It Gets Better Project fail to shield them! At best, they apply a light balm to their wounds before sending them back into brutal conditions. In what other instance would it be OK to let kids keep suffering? What parents group would consider failure to protect their kids an act worth replicating?

The recent rash of Gay teen suicides signals that we're in crisis mode, just like we were during the AIDS epidemic. We need an ACT-UP group that acts up on behalf of LGBT youth safety. We need angry Gay and Transsexual adults who slam down their fists and say: "It isn't enough to tell our kids 'it gets better.' It f*cking isn't enough! We've got to make things better for them right now!"

Good intentions sure ain't enough/
If you can't keep them when the going gets rough/
Good intentions won't get you by/
They'll just become/
Another thing undone/
In your life*

Right now and not later, we must demand that school districts get off the damn dime and get busy transforming elementary, secondary and college campuses into safe spaces for blended gender students. Right now and not later, we must declare war on community insensitivity and opposition to anti-bullying programs. That means going to battle against the source of that insensitivity and opposition!
If we really give a damn about the safety of Gay and Transsexual children, we've got to have the knock-down-drag-out melee
with our religious Right Wing enemies we've been running away from for so long. Not only have Bible bigot groups like Focus on the Family, the American Family Association of Michigan and the Minnesota Family Council actively opposed anti-bullying measures, their demonizing doctrine is the very cause of rabid homophobia and transphobia in our schools! Truth be told, it's the cause of all societal                                                      heterosexism.

If we can subdue these "faith-based" manufacturers of hate even a little bit, a whole lot of what we need to accomplish politically will be easier to accomplish. Facing up to church, synagogue and mosque-based bigotry will better the lives of Gay kids in ways facing a webcam can never do! I daresay old warhorses like me will benefit, too.

I don't resent Gay people lucky enough to have had an easy time of it. I just want to see many more LGBT folk have an opportunity to climb that crystal stairway, and I especially want the youngest among us to have that opportunity. Dammit, people! It's time we started aiming at the right targets! If our aim isn't any good, then there's no sense in carrying a weapon at all.

*excerpt from "Good Intentions" by Nona Hendryx, copyright 1975 Gospel Birds, Incorporated(BMI).
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Wednesday, October 6, 2010


The following article is a very slightly edited version of the one I wrote on 10/29/07:

I can't think of any reason why most all LGBT people, and decent people everywhere, aren't outraged at the fact that our LGBT brothers and sisters being demonized, and denied full and equal civil and sacramental rights! I do think that the outrage is there, but most feel that to express that outrage, and fight for the same civil and sacramental rights as are enjoyed by all other citizens in the U.S., would hammer home a truth that few really want to confront: The fact that many of those whom they consider "friends" would turn on them at a moment's notice if they did insist on those rights, and that LGBT people and allies would have to face their needed "season of suffering" (To use Martin Luther King's apt words.) before those rights are won!

When one is both filled with self-loathing, and when one wants to be accepted, and when one wants friends and allies, it is disconcerting, to say the least, to risk realizing that their "friends" and their "acceptance" are contingent upon LGBT people "keeping and knowing their place." For example, even in churches, many in the congregation know who are Gay, and will embrace them, even giving them responsible positions in those churches, be it as teachers, deacons, music directors, etc.

However, deep down those Gay people fully realize that if they insist on the same rights as the others in that congregation, such as the right to marriage, or even anemic "commitment ceremonies" as a phony substitute for marriage, all hell will break loose, and their "friends" will quickly turn on them, and it takes someone of enormous ego strength to contemplate this reality, and have to face this reality, if he/she wants to be approved by others.

So, the choice comes between adhering to the status quo where LGBT people remain second class citizens, deprived of full and equal civil and sacramental rights and are "allowed" to be conditionally accepted and used on those terms, OR insist on being treated as everyone else with all the rights and privileges accorded others and know that their "friends'" gloves will come off and they will betray their true colors and turn on them, thereby profoundly hurting them emotionally, and have that hurt culminate in their being prevented from engaging in those ministries to which they have been called in the church; being similarly betrayed and emotionally, if not physically, hurt in secular society by many who either don't go to church or who do go to church who discriminate against LGBT people, even to the point of violence, all the while thinking that they are doing God a favor by so doing.

One of the worst mistakes we can make is to be inauthentic so that we can win others' approval, and be accepted, fully knowing that that "acceptance" is contingent upon that inauthenticity, even carrying that inauthenticity to the point where many Gay people have not only internalized homophobia but externalize that homophobia so that they demonize and condemn others who dare to assert their right to sit at the same table, partaking of the same food, as everyone else.

Jesus says, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (Mark 8:36) This admonition isn't only given for the benefit of Christians, but for all people who seek to live an authentic, fulfilling life!

If you're liked and accepted for being something other than who you are, and you compound that inauthenticity by self-loathing that manifests itself in your own misery, and you then further compound that self-loathing by expressing homophobia to others who do seek to live free and equal lives, you are not only committing a great sin against yourself, but you are committing a great sin against the truth and against others, thereby helping to retard the realization of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for all LGBT people.

This retardation can also be seen to take the form of begging, and being grateful, for crumbs in the form of incrementalism: for example, settling for Domestic Partnerships and Civil Unions rather than fight for full marriage rights; voting for a politician because, although he/she still demeans you, he/she seems to demean you less than another politician; justifying voting for reactionary candidates by viewing oneself as not being a single issue voter (In this connection, see "The Pathology of the Gay Conservative".); justifying homophobic religion by attending homophobic churches, and giving credibility and justification to homophobic clergy by attending their churches and putting money in their collection plates which also help get their message out how Gay people are responsible for assorted ills in society, such as the breakdown of the family, the ephebophilia scandals that have rocked the RC Church, and for Hurricane Katrina.

When the chickens come home to roost due to selling out one's integrity, selling out one's brothers and sisters, and selling out the principle of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for all, and LGBT people are then forced to confront the ugly truth regarding the cost paid by, and incurred due to, those sell outs, maybe it will only be then that Jesus' statement will hit home: when one sells his/her soul, when you sell yourself out, when you sell others out, you will reap the whirlwind of having sacrificed justice for living a life of illusion bereft of authenticity, justice, and love.

And, when one finally realizes that fact, despite living this inauthentic life, he/she has pushed back the clock when full and equal civil and sacramental rights could have been achieved, then he/she will be far more motivated to become meaningfully activist.

Never be afraid! Never unduly care what others think of you! And never, never, never, seek to curry favor with others by selling yourself short or selling yourself out, and/or selling our brothers and sisters out for any reason!

For to do so is no less a sin than than are the expressions of hate out of the mouths and actions of the most virulent homophobic elements in our society! Because, you see, that hate expressed by those homphobic elements is largely fueled, and made possible, because of those LGBT people and "allies" who favor the status quo so as to be somewhat "accepted" and, like all bullies, religious, political, and other homophobes are emboldened both by our silence, as well as by those who curry favor with them by selling themselves and others out, and by settling for incrementalism at the expense of justice for everyone....

Only when our outrage is expressed, when meaningful grassroots activism occurs that is contingent upon taking to heart Jesus' admonition that we are never to sell out our souls, so that LGBT people and allies demand that LGBT people be treated with the same dignity as accorded everyone else, that full and equal civil and sacramental rights will be won, and not a moment before!
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Please watch this brief video of a professing "Christian" calling in to the Michelangelo Signorile show in regard to Gay youth suicides.

Notice (and I'm sure you will) the arrogance, one-dimensional, and uncritical thinking of the caller whose evasions in the face of rationality, like most all professing "Christian" and religious homophobes, represent the same kind of evasions and mind-set as possessed by White Supremacists and haters of all kinds.
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Monday, October 4, 2010


Please watch the whole video to see not only smug homophobia in action, but see how words such as these are very likely to cause untold suffering and even suicides among LGBT youth and adults:

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Sunday, October 3, 2010


The tragedy of the catalysts likely to greatly drive the LGBT Civil Rights struggle forward, akin to the revulsion that all decent people felt during the African American Civil Rights struggle when Bull Connor turned the police dogs and the fire hoses on the demonstrators for the whole world to see, is the publicity surrounding the suicides of Gay teenagers such as these whose pain, caused by others' homophobia, was so great that they were driven to suicide.  [See here and here.]

It won't be politicians, clergy, or the general public that will enable full and equal civil rights!  Those rights will eventually come from the Courts!

However, jurists, like most people, have their decisions shaped by their own life experiences, by their interpretation of the Constitution, and by the social and historical climates in which they live.  And the public tragedies of suicides such as these can not help but call immediate attention to the tremendous damage that homophobia visits on LGBT youth (and adults), and the cry for full and equal rights in every aspect of society.

Only indecent people, those consumed with hate and/or the politics of exclusion, can fail to not only be moved by these suicides, but fail to demand in any and every venue possible the correct interpretation of the U.S. Constitution that "separate is not equal," and that all citizens of the U.S. are to be treated equally under the law.

It is tragedies such as these suicides that, unlike so many other suicides by LGBT people that are treated with silence, gain tremendous publicity to the degree that they literally shock the public conscience; it is that shock to all decent people's sensibilities that will do more to gain equal rights than anything else that I can think of at this time.
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Friday, October 1, 2010


The ex-wife of the Atlanta megachurch leader accused of coercing young men into having sex with him claimed in divorce papers that the pastor was physically abusive.

Bishop Eddie Long's ex-wife, Dabara Houston, said she was 7½ months pregnant when Long beat her with his fists. She accused her husband of having a "vicious and violent temper," according to a 1985 divorce filing obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In divorce papers filed in 1985 against embattled Bishop Eddie Long, shown Sunday at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, his wife said he was abusive and that she endured "cruel treatment."

Long and Houston married in 1981 and have one child, a son. They divorced in 1985. Houston said she endured "cruel treatment" and "had to flee [the couple's home] in order to ensure their safety," according to the court papers from Fulton County Superior Court in Georgia.

[For the full article, see here.]

When people are stridently homophobic, it's a good bet that they possess many emotional/sexual problems that can manifest themselves in many ways.

Rhetorical violence is but one small step away from, and can easily lead to, physical violence; that physical violence may or may not have as its object the object of that rhetorical violence!

Social Psychologists have long known that when a person is discriminatory against one minority group, there's a good chance he/she is discriminatory against one or more other minority groups.

And, in a society still characterized by its fair share of patriarchy, women are in this sense a minority group; wives are all too often viewed by their husbands as mere possessions, and domestic abuse is not at all uncommon in such a society.

Rev. Eddie Long, a strident homophobe who has been accused of having sexual relations with young men, also seems to have had a problem dealing with violence with at least one woman in his life.

In addition, even after all these years, I never cease to be amazed at how so many seemingly limited human beings can listen to displays such as the following and take them seriously, as we see here with the Rev. Eddie Long in action:

As I wrote in an article entitled, Why Every Church Must Be Open And Affirming:

The seemingly oracular pronouncements regarding GLBT people and their relationships by those who parade their ignorance as “Godliness” have helped lead to the suicides, bashings, and murders of countless GLBT people. Indeed, in this connection, it is estimated that gay youth have at least three times the suicide rate of non-gay youth.

Make no mistake, every drop of blood shed by GLBT people either through suicide, bashing, or murder, are on the hands of all those religious leaders, their followers, and their allies who spew forth their ignorance, prejudice, and hate against GLBT people and their relationships! These wolves in sheep’s clothing take the Bible, God’s love letter to His children, and selectively and perversely use it as a club to condemn others, and deny GLBT people full inclusion in the Church and in society.

The tradition-bound parts of the Church have so indoctrinated people, many of whom have never even set foot in a house of worship, that many people even disown their own children when they “come out” and divulge their sexual orientation to those whom they thought unconditionally loved and cherished them. There are many children living on the streets because their own parents trusted ignorant clergy and their followers over their God-given duty and privilege to nurture and embrace their own children!

The nature of those people in congregations that take seriously the displays such as the one seen here, and the one seen in the September 26th post, are those who are very likely to mirror the homophobia of their pastor that causes more harm to people than they could ever fathom.
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