One of my fellow YCN contributors thought something I had posted was obscene and began trumpeting that opinion. At one point, she hysterically accused me of spreading "vileness" on the website. Insolent and abusive to the point where I worried about her mental health, this woman claimed to speak on behalf of others as well as herself. The next thing I knew, the website administrators had begun "reviewing" my content. Suddenly, they were demanding that I delete a two-part op-ed called "The Big Nasty"(originally featured at my old blog, Christ The Gay Martyr).
In an email, they told me this op-ed, which criticizes the Gay porn industry from a Christian perspective, had "language, references or ideas deemed inappropriate" for their site. Policing of references? Forbidden ideas? Yipe! Had the Nazi Gestapo emailed me by mistake? Scolding me as if I were a naughty child, they added: "Submitting content of such a sexual nature is not an appropriate use of our platform!"
Yet in the recent past, Yahoo! Contributor Network has hosted articles by "sex coach" TaMara Campbell with such spicy topics as "Why You Should Invest In Sexy Lingerie", "The G-Spot Journey", "The Art Of Pole Dancing" and "Role Play: The Dominatrix". WTF? How the Hell did content of "such a sexual nature" escape their moral scrutiny? Rather than quibble with YCN, I decided to accommodate their demand 200%: I deleted everything I'd posted. I don't feature corporate entities that address me in a condescending tone! Besides, no way was I going to kowtow to their petty, selective prudery.
Of course, this isn't the first time my writings have caused controversy. By design, I'm a controversial essayist; uncomfortable subject matter is my forté. When I venture outside my own blogspace, I've learned to expect outrage. Not everybody has the intestinal fortitude to digest my pepper-hot mix of Christianity, gender issues and sexuality. Not everybody is mature enough for the serious conversation I want to engage them in!
What's more, I've got unorthodox ideas that many people balk at. For one thing, I believe our Lord Jesus Christ may have been a Gay man in His human form. That alone is enough to ruffle lots of feathers, but I also think the Savior actually directed some of His teachings to Gay men. His lesson regarding "born eunuchs" from the 19th chapter of Matthew is probably the most obvious example. There are more obscure examples, too, like this passage from the Gnostic Book of Thomas:
Some people have wings but rush toward visible things that are far from truth. The fire that guides them gives them an illusion of truth. It will shine on them with a perishable beauty, and it will imprison them in dark delight and capture them in sweet-smelling pleasure. And it will make them blind with insatiable desire, inflame their souls and be like a stake that is jammed into their heart and can never be removed. Like a bit in the mouth, it leads them according to its own wish.
If the "people with wings" the Savior referred to are "born eunuchs"(whom the Gnostics described as Earthly angels born with the Transgender image of God), then it's likely that He was warning them against hedonism: Obsession with the "dark delight" of sex, alcohol and drugs. "The fire that guides them"? That would be carnal lust, of course.
Could it be our Lord saw thousands of years into the future, to the post-Stonewall era and its attendant bacchanalia? I'm convinced that He did. I think He was cautioning us to avoid the kind of dangerous behavior that opened the door to an AIDS epidemic in the 1980s . . . and might open that same door again.
The reactionaries at YCN accused me of obscenity just because I acknowledged the existence of Gay sex and Gay adult films. Festering homophobia will trigger irrational reactions like that! Allow me to clarify what really is obscene. On 18 Februay 2011, the online Advocate ran a disturbing commentary by a Gay physician. Dr. Frank Spinelli wrote candidly about administering health care to a certain kind of homosexual patient. I recognized this patient as the blind pleasure addict Jesus Christ described:
Imagine for a moment that you’re a doctor, a Gay doctor with a practice that predominantly treats Gay men. Now guess how many text and phone calls you might receive during any given weekend involving questions that have to do with recreational drugs, penile discharge, or the risk of contracting HIV from unprotected sexual encounters. Now, take that number and multiply it by ten if that weekend should occur around Gay Pride, (San Francisco's) Folsom Street Fair, Gay Days at Disney, or any one of the (Gay) Atlantis cruises. Welcome to my world!
Over the years I have monitored and treated Gay men with curiosity. I’ve concluded that some of the most telling insights into the Gay (male) mind come from watching my own (presumably) heterosexual nephews. At age 15 and 16, they don’t always listen to their parents, they’re eager to push the limits set by their teachers, and when confronted about their risk-taking behavior, they invariably roll their eyes to show their disinterest in having a rational conversation . . . teenagers, like Gay men, are a conundrum, baffling to scientists and doctors.
I’m not alone. My colleagues in Manhattan and Los Angeles give similar reports about their patients. We scratch our heads and wonder why the rates for syphilis are at an all-time high among men who have sex with men. And (why), with all the media attention paid to HIV prevention and risk modification, the majority of new HIV cases in the United States are among Gay men.
As doctors, we do our best. I counsel my patients about drugs and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. Although I feel confident in my abilities, I still picture my nephews’ eyes rolling into the back of their heads when I try to instill some sense of caution in my patients before a circuit (party) . . . When I was younger, I didn’t listen either, but the age of the modern-day party boy is well beyond the age when any of us should be referring to each other as "boy." I’ve read that the average age of an Atlantis cruise ship passenger is 41 . . .
On February 6 the Royal Caribbean ship Allure of the Seas set sail from Port Everglades, Florida. In what was billed as the largest Gay cruise ever, Atlantis hosted more than 5,400 passengers . . . several days later, the text messages started to arrive: "This trip is a disaster! Guys are overdosing left and right. The authorities boarded the ship and arrested a drug dealer. They have (drug-sniffing) dogs, and they’re making surprise room searches." Agents who searched a suspected dealer’s cabin reported finding more than 140 ecstasy pills, nearly three grams of methamphetamine (and) a small quantity of ketamine . . . while waiting for the suspect in his cabin, two more passengers stopped by seeking drugs, according to agents.
When I read the article online and spoke to passengers upon their return, I felt angry. In a time when Gay men and women want to be taken seriously so that we can serve openly in the military and have the legal right to marry, isn’t (it) counter-productive to read about the drug busts and overdoses on a floating circuit party?
If Dr. Spinelli finds circuit party excesses counter-productive(as do I), just imagine how he feels about HIV+ Gay porn stars who film "bareback" scenes! A few days after his op-ed ran, The Advocate's porn industry-touting editors saw fit to showcase just such a transgressor on its front page. In their cream puff of a profile, 27-year-old sexhibitionist Mason Wyler bragged about going condom-free in his latest flick with two other HIV+ actors "mostly because he wanted to." This Type-A knucklehead casually dismissed medical evidence that he could be endangering his health anew with such activity(not to mention the health of his sex partners), and he rejected out of hand the idea that he had any obligation to model responsible behavior.
Revealing vast expanses of barren territory inside his cranium, Mr. Love-2-Go-Bareback babbled: "It’s not our place to try to inform people. If that’s something that a porn model or studio wants to take on and spend money and effort doing . . . that’s great, but I don’t think it’s our responsibility . . . just like I don’t think video games are to blame for violence, or movies are to be blamed for murders. It’s entertainment!"
Wyler is overlooking a rather glaring fact: Nobody really gets killed in a video game or movie thriller. However objectionable the violence may be, it's just make-believe in the end. By contrast, he's not making believe when he exchanges body fluids on an adult film set: He's really receiving and transmitting the HIV virus on camera! There's no fictional element present in the thinly-disguised "snuff" videos he's turning out.
Moral considerations aside, I never knew the definition of entertainment included watching people court illness and death? I didn't know that kind of thing could be enjoyable; but then, I'm not a sexhibitionist like Mason Wyler is. When a man believes that sex is the be-all and end-all of his existence, and health risks mean nothing to him, wouldn't you expect him to have strange ideas about what constitutes fun? Lo and behold: He does!
In response to this reprehensible Advocate feature, a Dallas, Texas reader named Hugh observed: "This publication ran an interview on Mason Wyler's 'coming out as HIV+' several months ago. From Wyler's own mouth, we learned that he knew every step of the way that he was putting his health, and life, at risk, and didn't care . . . now, this!!!" Now, aided and abetted by Fool's Hall of Fame inductee The Advocate, Wyler is encouraging others not to care, either. If most Gay men had shared his cavalier attitude back in the '80s, millions more of us would have died of AIDS; either the man is a predatory sex criminal, or he's lost his damn mind!
Let's reactivate those aforementioned moral considerations, shall we? What Mason Wyler is doing, and what Dr. Spinelli's circuit party boys do is hardly "entertainment". Good clean fun, it most definitely ain't! What it is, is the true definition of obscenity. It's the very thing I denounced in "The Big Nasty", Parts One and Two: Reckless misuse of God's gift of Gay sexuality, a sin that's not much different from the reckless misuse of firearms. In both cases, needless death can result! The only difference is the speed at which death is brought about.
But the good doctor is mistaken to think mere immaturity is at fault here! He fails to fully understand what happened to us during those "years of confusion and confinement" he talked about. Centuries of legal, medical and religious persecution left an indelible mark on Gay men, and guess what? We're still confused: About who we are, what we're supposed to be doing with ourselves, and whether our inborn desire is right or wrong. And to be sure, many of us are still confined: Trapped in a maze of shame-based behavior that culminates in a subconscious death wish.
Last time I checked, those bad years weren't all in the past, either: Ever hear of the Federal Defense of Marriage Act? Anti-Gay bullying? "Ex-Gay" evangelism? Surely you can't have missed hearing the Pope's frequent diatribes against same-gender love? How about edicts that ban teaching about Gay sexuality in the classroom? Dig it: If society treats your desires as something so evil it's unmentionable in a public forum, and you yourself come to subconsciously believe that they're evil, how surprising is it that those desires would become a vehicle for doing evil things? Evil things which have suicidal/genocidal consequences?
What looks like mindless hedonism is often anything but! As anybody who's ever been morbidly addicted knows, the pleasure decreases a little bit more each time you feed your habit. Eventually, you're just going through the motions, chasing after a high that's no longer accessible; yet you're willing to keep up the chase until you die of exhaustion. You've become a race horse controlled by the bit in your mouth, just like the Savior described, and it's not about pleasure anymore. But what if it was never really about pleasure? What if death was the true objective all along?
The depraved death wishes of "bareback" porn stars like Mason Wyler are fueled by Puritanical fascists like those at Yahoo! Contributor Network. Gay self-hatred hardly needs to be nurtured, but it gets plenty of nurturing all the same from individuals and institutions that demonize, stigmatize and/or suppress non-prurient discussion of same-gender sexuality. This demonization shoots a poisoned arrow into the psyches of God's LesBiGay children! Attached to that deadly projectile is a message that we're pariahs who deserve whatever misfortunes may befall us.
That corrosive message is largely to blame for enabling lethal pleasure peddlers who "entertain" Gay audiences with shame-inspired health hazards. What do you bet that some of Dr. Frank Spinelli's "bareback" sex-addicted patients have been so "entertained"? It's a homophobic chain reaction that must be broken . . . and the only way to break it is by having concerned observers like you and me call attention to it. Obviously, the Mason Wylers of this world don't give a damn about Gay men's health, and neither does YCN, but somebody's got to care. Shouldn't that somebody be a Christian?
Read the "inappropriate" op-eds Yahoo! Contributor Network banned at:
There are human beings in this world who are neither male nor female, but a blend of the two. They are the ones Jesus Christ called born eunuchs (Matthew 19). We know them as Gay men, Lesbians, Bisexual and Transsexual Persons. Their presence on Earth is part of God's Covenant with humankind. Please treat them with respect!