Feb 28, 2012

The Fabulous Adventures of Sheriff Paul Bebeu, Part II: Fun at the Boarding School

The recently outed and disgraced Republican Arizona sheriff Paul Babeu (you can find all about that tale of woe here) is now under an even darker investigation than the ongoing allegations of threatening to deport his Mexican ex-boyfriend. Apparently, Babeu was the headmaster and executive director of the now-defunct DeSisto boarding school in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, between 1999 and 2001. Investigating reporters for ABC have uncovered the abusive policies that were going on during his time there, as well as an alleged relationship between him and a 17-year old student that both the other students and Babeu's own sister claim to have been aware of at the time. Even though the legal age of consent in Massachusetts is 16, the relationship is still highly unethical, and if proven true (the student, whose name has not been revealed at this time, has refused to talk to the reporters), would put the already seriously questionable morals of the good sheriff into an even worse light.

Honestly, at this point, any political career Babeu was hoping to have has gone down the drain. It seems to me extremely naive of him to have expected to ever survive in the world of politics with this past, especially being on the Republican side, where even were he not obviously an immoral sleazeball, the very fact that he's gay is already a death sentence. I just hope the guy gets proven guilty for at least some of this shit, and sentenced to something...

For more on this story, and the actual ABC video, go to the HuffPost.

Feb 24, 2012

Marriage Equality News 02.24.2012

The news just keep piling. After the California District Court declared DOMA to be unconstitutional, and the Maryland Senate passed its Marriage Equality bill two days ago, today we learned that Gay Marriage advocates in Maine have collected more than enough signatures to put marriage equality on the November ballot. That is the first time that our side puts the issue on the ballot, and it is expected that the majority will support it.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has sworn to stop gay marriage in Maryland. Here's what Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien, Archbishop of Baltimore, has to say about it:

Now, Maryland’s politicians unconscionably have chosen political expediency over the good of society–the fundamental charge of their office–by daring to redefine this sacred union between one man and one woman. Their action poses a grave threat to the future stability of the nuclear family and the society it anchors. The Archdiocese will continue to advocate for the preservation of both and will eagerly and zealously engage its 500,000 members in overturning this radical legislation, and will join with the hundreds of thousands of others in this Archdiocese and throughout Maryland in aggressively protecting the God-given institution of marriage.

Make sure you read the whole post at Good as You.

In other news, today GOP House Speaker John Boehner ordered Wednesday's federal court ruling that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional to be appealed. It's not so much GOP's usual homophobia and spasmodic reactions to the tide of gay marriage victories we've been experiencing that fills me with disgust, but rather the fact that Boehner is supported by Log Cabin Republicans head R. Clark Cooper and former RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman - both openly gay and supposedly proponents of LGBT rights. Labeled under "internalized homophobia" (Related - my thoughts on gay conservatives).

Al Jazeera on Marriage Equality

The video is kinda long, but worth the time investment. I still think Maggie Gallagher sounds like she had her heart broken by someone a long time ago, and now all she has left is to ruin everybody else's fun. Crazy bitch...

Feb 23, 2012

Maryland Senate Just Passed Marriage Equality Bill

As expected, the Senate passed the bill with a majority of 25-22. Gov. Martin O'Malley has promised to sign the bill, and make Maryland the eight state with same-sex marriage, which is expected to happen as early as this weekend.

The good news keep piling up this month!

Feb 22, 2012

California District Court Just Ruled DOMA Unconstitutional... Again!

A federal judge in San Francisco ruled that the U.S. government can't deny health benefits to the wife of court employee Karen Golinski by relying on the 1996 law that bars government recognition of same-sex unions. District Judge Jeffrey White said that because the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally discriminates against same-sex married couples, the government's refusal to furnish health insurance to Karen Golinski's wife is unjustified.

The Court finds that neither Congress’ claimed legislative justifications nor any of the proposed reasons proffered by BLAG constitute bases rationally related to any of the alleged governmental interests. Further, after concluding that neither the law nor the record can sustain any of the interests suggested, the Court, having tried on its own, cannot conceive of any additional interests that DOMA might further.

This is an amazing victory. Here's a quote from Jon Davidson, Legal Director of Lambda Legal:

I would say that between the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that Prop 8 is unconstitutional, the ruling we obtained yesterday reinstating our New Jersey marriage case, the passage of marriage equality in Washington, the passage of a marriage equality bill through the legislature in New Jersey, and the passage of a marriage equality bill through the Maryland House, this latest victory over DOMA shows that we have passed the tipping point. February 2012 will go down in history as the month marriage equality became unstoppable.

The full text of the ruling can be found here, and this is Judge White's full statement. More on the subject at Joe.My.God, Huff Post, Prop 8 Trial Tracker, Lambda Legal and Politico.

A (Brief) Post on Gay Conservatives

I have been following the scandal with Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu (who was recently outed as homosexual and had to resign from Romney's campaign in Arizona - google it), and it raised a very interesting question for me - can homosexuals in America be Republican? Sure, you'd say, gay conservatives have long been gathering around GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans, but there is - to my mind - a bigger problem here than finding the right group of conservatives who will accept you.

Whatever the Republican party used to be, it is clear to me that in recent decades it has progressively fallen victim to a fringe group - namely, the religious fantics. The situation has gotten to a point where a raving fanatic with medieval values like Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum can be the leading candidate for a president of the country, and moderate conservatives are left with no voice in a party that is supposed to represent them (another problem of course stems from the fact that GOP was always dedicated to serving a very small ultra rich elite, but that is neither here, nor there). As a result, the Republican party's platform is openly and viciously homophobic, barely making a half-hearted attempt at masking its bigotry behind biblical law and "traditional values" and ignoring every sane argument that people bring in response.

Because it isn't about values anymore, or about views. It's about electorate. GOP can no longer afford to part with the fanatical extremist element, as that would literally split it in half. It would take years for it to restore itself to any political relevancy, and by then it won't be one of two, but probably one of THREE major parties.

So what alternative do gay conservatives have? Who should those, whose views of economics and politics differ drastically from the Liberals', vote for? Naturally, they should give their support to the party that represents those views best, yes?


There is a line, and when that line is crossed, political beliefs MUST step back in favor of dignity and self-respect. When a party is trying to deny you equal rights, when its officials can openly state that you are a mental disorder, that what you are asking for is a privilege, and if it were given to you, it should be given to pedophiles and necrophiles as well, you cannot say "I support those people" and claim to have any respect for who you are.

Yes, I am aware of how for many gay people (and MOST gay conservatives, it seems) being gay is "just one more thing, it doesn't define me, I hate gay culture" and blah blah blah. But internalized homophobia aside, you ARE what you are. If you have accepted yourself as a homosexual, how can you support someone who openly despises you? Of course, you'll say, not everyone in the GOP is homophobic, many of them support gay rights to a moderate extent. But the question is are those people in a position to change things? Does their existence mean we will see LGBT equality should their party be put in a position of power? I think we all know the answer to that question.

So, to answer my own question, I think that gay conservatives in modern day America simply do NOT have a political alternative. The GOP definitely does not represent their interests. In the end, I don't expect any gay Republican to agree with me, but in my eyes a homosexual who supports the GOP because of what it stands for in political and economical terms, is almost as absurd as an animal-loving Jew in the time of the Third Reich, who supports Hitler for his views on animal rights. Make of that what you will.

Feb 21, 2012

The Proponents of Prop 8 Ask for a Full 9th Circuit Review

Filed under "severe annoyance". The proponents of the (now twice voted as) unconstitutional Proposition 8 will ask for an En Banc review. That means the fight to strike that disgrace down from the law is going to take longer, as the 9th Circuit has to first decide whether to take the case again, and then if it does, it's unclear as to how long it will take them to reach a conclusion. Then the haters could keep annoying us by going for a Supreme court review. After waiting for all deadlines to be nearly over of course. It is seriously pathetic to keep fighting an obviously losing fight, but they are determined to make it as prolonged as possible, out of - seems like - pure spite.

More on the subject at Prop 8 Trial Tracker.

Feb 18, 2012

A Parent or a Christian? Thoughts on Parents With Gay Kids

In a country where there is such a huge difference between levels of education, a country that covers the whole spectrum from cutting edge liberal thinking to stagnant ignorance, the topic of how to treat your child's sexual identity can't be ignored. We've all heard the horror stories - kids being disowned, kicked out of their homes, sent to Straight Camps, beaten up or simply ignored and shunned. But to be honest, this is not something I can actually imagine. It is so deeply unfathomable to me that my mind refuses to paint a believable picture of anything like that happening in a real family.

See, when I came out to my parents, they responded with awkwardness. My mom was worried about me ending up alone, my dad was deeply saddened. There is no blame on my part, it's more or less what I expected, and I have given them time and space to deal with it. But apart from the awkwardness, nothing else has changed. I am still their child, they still love and support me the same as always. Because they know something that apparently not all parents do - being gay is nobody's fault and there is nothing you or anyone else can do about it. There is nobody you can or should blame, and things just are the way they are.

I am very happy with my sexuality, but in today's society most parents are still heterosexual. And no heterosexual parent wants this for their kid. They know a different life, and that life is what's normal to them, it's that life that they want for us. There is a difference, however, between wanting something and forcing it. I was lucky to come from a country where homophobia is cultural, and more like indifference than active hatred. Children in the States have it much tougher in many cases.

But here's the big secret - your parents' opinion does not matter. Sure, they have the means to hurt you, at least for a small part of your life, but what they think is irrelevant. Because it is their duty to love and support you, and once they fail in that, they have failed you in the deepest, most personal way imaginable, and have proven unworthy of your respect. The religious homophobic cases are the most scary to me, as religious people are the ones who most aggressively defend the holiness of the institution of marriage and the ideals that supposedly stand behind it. Yet, I have to wonder, how much of a Christian is someone who is able to love Jesus more than their own flesh and blood? The truth here is much uglier, and it is steeped in hypocrisy. They don't really love anyone. They are the antithesis of what Jesus' teachings tell us, and masking their bigotry behind poorly understood words that someone else has told them.

Because in the end, parenting is about giving your child the best possible opportunity to develop as a human being. You may believe whatever you want, but in the end, you have to accept reality for what it is, and help them in overcoming the obstacles society will put in front of them, instead of being the biggest one. You can't force sexuality on anyone, and the sooner society accepts that, the sooner abominations like the cases I mentioned in the opening paragraph will stop happening. There is only one truth here: a true loving parent changes their views based on their feelings for their child, not the other way around.

Feb 17, 2012

Marriage Equality News 02.17.2012

The Maryland House of Delegates just passed the bill for marriage equality by the minimum vote of 71-67. The bill now goes to the senate where its modified version passed last year. The Maryland governor Martin O'Malley has promised to sign it if it reaches his desk.

Meanwhile, the State Assembly of New Jersey passed its own marriage equality bill, and a day later governor Chris Christie vetoed it as he had said he'd do. Now the proponents of the bill have until the end of the legislative session, in January 2014, to collect the necessary votes to override him.

Add to that the breaking news from earlier today about the Obama administration dropping defense of the military side of DOMA, and this week is shaping up to be just as exciting as the last one.

Can't believe it's still mid-February...

The Obama Administration Will no Longer Defend Blocking Military Benefits From Same-Sex Couples

Via TPM:

The Obama Justice Department has concluded that legislation banning same-sex couples from receiving military and veterans benefits violates the equal protection component of the Fifth Amendment and will no longer defend the statute in court, Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders on Friday.

“The legislative record of these provisions contains no rationale for providing veterans’ benefits to opposite-sex couples of veterans but not to legally married same-sex spouses of veterans,” Holder wrote. “Neither the Department of Defense nor the Department of Veterans Affairs identified any justifications for that distinction that would warrant treating these provisions differently from Section 3 of DOMA.”

For the full article, and more, check out Talking Points Memo and The Huffington Post. Story in progress.

"When Your 7-Year-Old Son Announces, 'I'm Gay'"

I just read this amazing article in the Huffington Post, written by a mother whose 7-year old boy came out to her. Here is an excerpt:

Fast-forward a few months. I was on the phone with a relative who had just discovered that I was blogging on The Huffington Post and openly discussing my son's crush on Blaine. I was in another room alone (I thought), explaining, "We're not saying he's straight, and we're not saying he's gay. We're saying we love who he is," when my son's voice piped up behind me.

"Yes, I am," he said.

"Am what, baby?" I asked.

"Gay. I'm gay."

My world paused for a moment, and I saw the "geez, Mom, didn't you know that already?" look on my son's face.

I got off the phone and leaned down to eye level with him and rubbed my nose against his. "I love you so much."

"I know," he said, and ran off to play with his brothers.

I find this very heartening, and I hope that it's the beginning of a a process, and something that in few decades will be the norm. This kid doesn't know the world of suck that's awaiting him, but the fact that his home environment has normalized homosexuality to the extent that he can just come out like it's no big deal, is amazing.

Feb 16, 2012

The Inglorious Comfort of the Closet - Thoughts on Coming Out

It is very difficult to write on this subject without being emotional, and also difficult to say anything new, so I feel like I need to put a few disclaimers up before I actually start this post. First of all, this is just a gathering of my thoughts, and I don't intend it to contain any particular pearl of wisdom. Not discovering America, just putting things in order for my own benefit. Second, I don't want anyone to feel judged (except for those of you that I'm actively judging, but I'll make sure to let you know specifically). It is a sensitive issue for all of us, and if there is any anger on my part, it's mostly directed at myself for waiting so long to come out, and the condition of being in the closet itself. And with that said...

What is the closet?
I frequent the "Coming Out, Relationships & Bisex Talk" section of Just Us Boys. I like giving advice, it makes me feel all helpful and stuff. But after a while, I began to see patterns in the topics that people post. Certain things invariably repeat themselves, as if it's a script someone else has written, and all those members keep following. All of them - symptoms of the closet. I will never forget that one topic - from a guy whose boyfriend was completely in the closet, complaining about how it put so much strain on the relationship - and more particularly, the answer it got from a member named TX-Beau, who I have a great deal of respect for:

Alright. While we all sympathize with someone who is in the closet, NO ONE has a right to it. It's simply this unfortunate place some of us who can't get past our fear find ourselves in. If we don't out people, it's because we know how hard it is to live that horrible life, and how hard it is to find your courage - not because closeted guys have a right to demand we respect their closet. There is nothing respectable about the closet, it's the big lie.

While legitimate reasons to stay in the closet DO exist - physical and financial security for example - most of what we tell ourselves in order to stay in the closet is bullshit. It is a trap our society creates, but it's a trap that our mind springs. It is that comfort zone which we are miserable in, but which protects us from the world - we are in control of our secret, and as long as we keep it, we are safe from the world's judgment.

When the truth is, there is nothing to judge
One of my favorite things to talk about in regards to the coming out process is internalized homophobia - that horrible mixture of fear and brainwashing that our environment has beshat upon us, which whispers to us, from the back of our own brains, that it is NOT ok to be gay, that it is shameful, emasculating, pathetic, wrong. Two out of three gay guys that I have met so far exhibit one form or another of this condition, and it is a very difficult thing to overcome, at least until you recognize it and stop caring what the heteronormative stereotypes are. Advertizing that you are "straight acting" is not a virtue, it is a glaring red flag that you are not comfortable with who you are. Anyone who thinks femme guys are to be laughed at obviously hasn't had sex with one. In the end, we all like d**k, and we have a chance to give the finger to heteronormative stereotypes of what is ok for a man to act like and do, and what isn't.

The lies we tell ourselves
In the time I've spent reading and writing in gay forums, a few symptomatic cliches stuck out from the mass of closeted paranoia:

My sexuality doesn't define me...
False. Your sexuality defines you through and through. Sure, it's not the only thing that defines you, and no doubt other things define you just as much. However, I claim that very few things, if anything really, defines you more than your sexuality. In my case, I spent the first 25 years of my life in self-deluding denial. It was a secret I didn't dare admit even to myself. Could anyone with any powers of reasoning even for a second think this hasn't defined the way my personality has developed? After I came out, it took me a few months to shed the last threads of secrecy, and then I burst that closet door wide open. Who I am today is an unbelievably different person from who I was barely two years ago, and that is again a direct result from the fact that I am gay.

...And it's nobody's business, so I am not going to flaunt it
It is everybody's business. There is no right and wrong here, it's just the way it is. I will quote TX again:

OK. First a note on sexuality. People are going to inquire, wonder, ask, look for explanations. They just are, because sexuality is an extremely public thing, and sharing that part of our lives with our friends and families is not only pervasive, it's expected. Your mother wants to know when she's getting grand-kids, your friends want to know who you're banging, it's everywhere you look, up front and out loud.

And it really is. A straight guy is never uneasy with talking about his sexuality. It is everybody's business and he is confident about it. And make no mistake - he is constantly, 24 hours a day, flaunting it. A man, coming out of a car and kissing his wife goodbye as he is taking their daughter to daycare, is flaunting his sexuality right in your face. And yet you think that your kissing your boyfriend goodbye on the street is somehow different, a thing to be kept private because it is "nobody's business"? Like I said - false.

I am waiting to find a boyfriend, and then I will come out
No, you will not. First of all, even though everyone comes out in their own time, when they are ready, it is not something that becomes easier with age. Quite the opposite actually, and it takes more and more extreme circumstances to force us out of the closet as we get older. Second, it is unbelievably harder to find a boyfriend while closeted, but I plan on writing a separate post about that. But most importantly, third - coming out is ALWAYS and ONLY about yourself. Even though we see those scenes in movies where a boy comes out to his parents, holding the hand of his boyfriend, in reality coming out is a little bit like dying. You are absolutely alone, regardless of whose support you have. There is always only one real reason to come out, and that is the realization that you can not live the lie anymore. It is about you, and you alone. Believing that someone else in your life will magically make it easier or make you more ready to face the world is being dishonest to yourself.

Not death, but rebirth
A life ends, and a new one begins. I am the living proof that it gets better, and I live every day of my life rejoicing in the choice to come out. I walk taller - my smile no longer fake - with a spring in my step and a song in my heart. The biggest secret about coming out is how little most people actually care, and the biggest challenge you have to overcome are your own fears and shame. Once you are ready to truly believe that if anyone thinks less of you, that's exclusively their problem and they can go fornicate themselves, you are ready to begin your real life. And really, there is so much more room to breathe out here...

Feb 15, 2012

"Why Gay Marriage is Inevitable"

I found this very interesting article from LA Times, written by a Harvard Law School professor. Make sure to check it out. Here's a taste:

One factor that most strongly predicts support for gay equality is knowing someone who is gay. As more gays and lesbians come out of the closet, more parents, children, siblings, friends, neighbors and co-workers know or love someone who is gay. Because few people favor discrimination against those they know and love, every gay person coming out of the closet creates more supporters of gay equality.[snip]

In recent years, many conservatives have begun to acknowledge the inevitability of gay marriage, even as they continue to strongly oppose it. In March 2011, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said on a Christian radio program that "it is clear that something like same-sex marriage … is going to become normalized, legalized and recognized in the culture."[snip]

That a particular social change may be inevitable, given certain background conditions, does not mean that opponents will cease fighting it. White Southerners continued to massively resist Brown long after most of them came to believe that school desegregation was inevitable.

Similarly, those who believe that gay marriage contravenes God's will are not likely to stop fighting it simply because their prospects of success are diminishing. Moreover, because religious conservatives are both intensely opposed to gay marriage and highly mobilized politically, they are likely for the next several years to continue exerting significant influence over Republican politicians who need their support to win primary elections.[snip]

2012 really does feel like a seriously important year for us. Three major victories, and it's only mid-February.

Feb 13, 2012

Dear America: You Have a Gay Problem

I randomly stumbled across this great article from HuffPost Canada's Gay Voices section. It is fascinating to me that a country that so many Americans view with such disdain can be so much ahead of the States in its moral and religious stand.

A few snippets that deserve quoting:

When you do [look up north], you'll discover something that might surprise many of you: We aren't all that concerned about gay people. Our Conservative government has said it has no intention of re-opening a debate on same-sex marriage, which is legal. Abroad, it has become a consistent and strong advocate for gay rights. Contrary to some beliefs, no radical gay agenda came and hijacked our society. The sky hasn't fallen.[snip]

But there's something different, something malicious about the debate in your country. The haters are too hateful and the vilification of the LGBT community has spread too far. In what other free and equal society would those seeking to be Commander-In-Chief stand silently as a crowd of citizens booed a soldier because he was gay? It is a true juxtaposition of cowardice and courage, and such a moral deficiency should automatically qualify one as unfit to lead a nation.[snip]

When teachers are afraid to stand up for their students, as were Justin's, and when leaders stand by and allow masses to trample over the vulnerable, what is there left to teach, and who is left to lead?[snip]

From time to time it's necessary that friends speak from the heart. And frankly, you need it now, because from your big neighbor to the north, not only literally, but also figuratively, you're looking kind of small.


Make sure you read the whole article. The writer, Josh D. Scheinert, says he was inspired to finally write about this after he read that same Rolling Stone article "One Town's War on Gay Teens" that inspired me to start this blog. In case you haven't read that one, make sure you do. It's not a light read - made me both cry and see red - but it is very much worth your time.

Marriage Equality News 02.13.2012

Today, at 11:30 local time, governor Christine Gregoire signed the bill for marriage equality, turning it into law for the state of Washington. Of course, things won't be finalized until the November ballot (gotta love the decades long dying convulsions of the anti-gay movement... No, wait, you don't have to love them...), but even so, this is a huge success and by the end of the year will turn Washington into the seventh state to recognize and perform gay marriage. Also, make sure you go to Joe.My.God to see Gregoire's speech. It's really touching, and I had tears in my eyes during most of it.

Also today, the NJ senate passed their own marriage equality bill with 24-16. It is expected to pass even easier in the state Assembly. Governor Chris Christie however has promised a veto, should the bill reach his desk. I am thoroughly in love with the thrashing The New York Times has given him:

A strong vote in favor of same-sex marriage in the state’s House and Senate would be a legislative achievement, and it would help set the stage to overriding a veto, as promised by Gov. Chris Christie. In light of the week’s good news from California and Washington, Mr. Christie’s vow to block the bill in New Jersey seems not only disgraceful, but against the tide of history.

And last but not least, the lovely map at the top of this post is courtesy of Marriage Equality USA (click the link for the large version), that I found on Joe.My.God.

Feb 11, 2012

Thoughts on Protecting Marriage

In the spirit of covering the basics, I want to talk a little about one of my favorite code phrases, namely the hate groups' crusade for "protecting traditional marriage" a.k.a. "don't let the gays marry". Now, in my parallel universe the absurdity of this codification is profoundly obvious, but since most people don't live here, it is far less clear to them.

First of all, let's look at the angle of protection. Protecting something implies that said something is in danger. Marriage has been on a steady decline in the States in the last few decades, with recent polls indicating staggering numbers of divorces. Could this somehow be contributed to The Gays? Not really, as we aren't allowed to marry, remember? Not in most places, and even when we are, it's still not recognized on the federal level. So if marriage is in danger, it's in danger because of those who can perform it, namely - heterosexuals. Can we ban divorce? Not really, and even if we could, it would be a bad idea to force two people who can't stand each other to live together. So we have to find someone else to blame. How about them gays? It's THEIR fault somehow that marriage is failing. Because of... uh... because of reasons! Giving us the right to marry would create more families, not fewer. Show me a straight person who refuses to marry because homosexuals also can, and I will personally thank him for not inflicting themselves on another human being since, yunno, crazy people shouldn't really procreate.

Wait, what? Procreation? CHILDREN?! THAT'S IT! We are, uhm, protecting marriage because it is not a right, but a PRIVILEGE! Yes, right, a privilege. Not a right. Ok, yes. It is an institution meant to promote procreation, and since gays can't procreate, messed up deviants that they are, they are not entitled to this privilege. More code words, more straws to grasp at. But there is already something wrong here. Shouldn't we, yunno, have fertility tests before allowing heterosexual people to marry? I mean, if marriage is a privilege saved for promoting procreation, it should be unavailable to ANY union that can't lead to procreation.

Yes, but, but, but... but marriage between one man and one woman creates the most ideal environment for raising children! An infertile couple can adopt a child (unlike those horrible gays with their loose morals and hedonistic tendencies) and raise it in a life of familial bliss. Hmm, fair enough. What happens when the familial bliss is broken by marital problems? When one parent starts boozing up? When they lose their job? And this applies to any family, not just the ones that adopted a child. Should their marriage license be revoked due to no longer providing a perfect environment for their kids?

And of course, let's just look for a second at what "traditional marriage" actually is. Despite what NOM and other hate groups and extremist Right wing nutjobs spout on a daily basis to somehow soften the inadequacy of their bigotry, marriage as an equal union based on love and commitment is a late 19th century invention. In all of human history before that it has simply been a contract of possession in order for one man to know that his woman OR women (depending on country or time period) will not belong to anyone else. Women were objects to be bartered away, and their role in marriage was to cook and give birth to children. Is THIS the "traditional" marriage you are protecting, Ms. Gallagher? Was that what Crazy Eyes Bachman was looking for when marrying her (I say this through tears of laughter) "ex-gay" husband?

Those are stupid arguments that I am making, but they are meant not to be new and insightful, but rather to show just how absurd the counterarguments for gay marriage are. There is LITERALLY NO REASON for anyone to be opposed to marriage equality. Except for the most basic one, which no "Protection" group or devout Christian will ever admit to, and they usually hide even from themselves, masking it in all this ideological bullshit. And that's the simple "Ew, gays!" revulsion. They wouldn't do it, it's gross to them, so obviously it can't be right for anyone and has to be destroyed. I mean, people being different is simply not ok, anyone must see that, right? So why is that again? Well, uh, because, um, because... because f**k you, that's why!

And in all of this absurd war on equality that they are waging and slowly losing (and they couldn't not lose it, considering how that must be THE most indefensible bigotry of modern day America, and thus all arguments for it are just laughably easy to dismiss), what strikes me the most is this one horrifying realization - can you imagine how empty a person's life must be if they have dedicated it to ruining somebody else's?

Maggie Gallagher from NOM talks about Prop 8

I love how the interviewer is obviously not cool with the lapses of logic this woman exhibits. Also, normalizing the idea of homosexuality would IN NO WAY reduce the risk of gay teen suicides...

And the adorably tasteless sketch in the end is a fresh reminder of how awesome "traditional" marriage really is. More on the subject later.

Feb 10, 2012

Howard Stern talks about Ellen, Rosie and Stuff

My favorite part:

I mean, come on! We only got one shot at life. Far as I know, you don't come back. You don't wanna make some 14-year old girl kill herself! What are you, fu****g nuts? What, have we gotten berserk??

"Choosing" to be Gay

I "chose" to be gay in 2010. It was a tough choice, really. Basically I could either be gay, or kill myself at that point, but hey, a sucky choice is still a choice, yes?

Well, no, not really. And it is strange to me how I seem to be living on a separate plane of existence from all the Christians heavenbent on saving my poor faggot soul even if it takes completely destroying everything good about my life to do so. Because - and this one is really funny - they wholeheartedly believe that homosexuality is a choice. And who knows - sexuality in general is so fluid that maybe for some 3-5% of us - those closest to the Kinsey scale middle - it really was a choice. But COME ON! Open your eyes! I know you all had your private Christian schools and go to your Christian blogs and watch your Christian channels, but are you really THAT well protected from actual facts? Do you seriously not see what is happening all around you?

And I won't even go into how none of YOU "chose" to be straight (or to live in denial, as so many of you do), as you seem to think being straight is the only normal condition. But just THINK! "So yeah, I feel like trying d**k now, cause, yunno, I am just bored and have bad role models. Does anybody wanna persecute me until I try to kill myself?" Who chooses that? Seriously, people, who chooses that ?! To be bullied daily at school, discriminated against in the workplace, risking hate crimes, and denied basic human rights (oh, I am sorry, those are heterosexual "privileges" if we don't like you) - is this a choice YOU would make if you could choose the opposite?

It isn't about values and what your religion tells you. It's about common effin sense! Nobody chooses to be hated. It is obvious, and extremely simple, and that's why your argument is invalid. Open your eyes, or tear them away from the Christian blogs for a second and look at the actual world around you. When a child is beaten at school every day for years, that is NOT the gay agenda. That is you being an idiot.

Washington Bill for Marriage Equality to be Signed on Monday

Governor Christine Gregoire will sign the gay marriage bill on Monday, turning it into law. That sets the clock ticking for all the "protectors" to start frantically collecting signatures (which they aren't allowed to do before the bill is turned into law) to put the issue on the November ballot.

Feb 9, 2012

Your Values Are Killing Children

I am constantly fascinated by the blind zeal with which bigots defend their bigotry. I am sure I will sooner or later post something on the whole "choice" issue, as well as the other code words like "protecting marriage" and "religious freedom", but now I want to just go to the very core of why sexual intolerance is wrong.

I recently read Rolling Stone's article One Town's War on Gay Teens. Through tears. And I was reminded of 2010 and another wave of teen suicides. And my mind just couldn't compute what goes on in the heads of the people who led those children to that edge, where the only possible way out they could see was to jump from it. At this point, when a 13-year old girl shoots herself with a shotgun in the bathtub, when a 19-year old boy jumps off a bridge after his personal life has being broadcast online for people's entertainment, IT SIMPLY DOESN'T MATTER WHO IS RIGHT AND WHO IS WRONG!

Even if you think it's a choice, even if your morals and what passes for conscience allow for calling an innocent child "an abomination" and "Satan", do you not realize that your actions are actively killing those children? You give yourselves names like "One Million Moms", and call what you're doing "protecting" this or that, yet you pass policies that forbid discussion of homosexuality in schools (as is the case in the Anoka High School from the article) and prevent teachers from stopping physical abuse?

Any half-wit could easily see this for what it is. Those kids did not kill themselves. They were murdered.

Of Beginnings and Acceptance

I came out in September 2010. I had recently turned 25. I come from a very culturally homophobic country. It is a post-comunism democracy, so religion is completely marginalized, but the attitude toward gay people is one of disdain and disgust. We are treated as psychologically or biologically messed up by the ignorant, but even intelligent and educated people are rarely ok with it. I knew I liked boys since I was 5, but I never once allowed myself to think of myself as gay. I guess the mind is a great weapon of self-deception. I kept trying to persuade myself that I also liked girls.

I have to sidetrack for a second. Back home I lived in a very open-minded and accepting environment. My parents are both classical musicians (so am I), I studied in a music school, and all of my friends I have met through mutual interests such as literature, movies etc. So, in a way, I knew I could come out, but I never had the balls to accept myself as something that the rest of society considered some degenerate mistake of nature. I thought that liking guys would not be a problem if I were bisexual, if I could live a heteronormative life.

But then I came to study in the States. I didn't know at the time how surprisingly GAY that particular college town was (I chose this school for a particular violin teacher I wanted to work with), but at that point I had developed strong feelings of sympathy for the people that I subconsciously knew I belonged to. Still, it was new, and strange, to live in a place where homosexuality was not only accepted, but sometimes almost celebrated, and it changed my perspective on the possibilities my life held. I guess at that time I started building up towards finally facing the music, but I was still in denial, and the burden was getting heavier.

It took me a year to get to the point where it was unbearable, and finally, when I got back home before summer session, I asked a very close (and occasionally frighteningly open-minded) female friend of mine to have sex with me. I had spent 25 years of my life without ever once feeling attracted to a girl, and I simply had to know. I didn't tell her what the deal was, but I think she knew. So we tried to do the deed, and it ended in an awkward failure (which, thankfully, didn't damage my relationship with her in any way, even after coming out).

It still took me the rest of the summer to muster the courage I needed to tell someone - as I needed to tell somebody else in order to finally admit it to myself - and it ended up being on Skype, with my best friend from back home. I felt like I was literally choking up, gasping for air. We were talking about something else, but I was barely registering what it was about, as I knew what I was going to do. Everything about my life - dreams of family, children, "normal" life - felt like it was crashing down. Then I closed my eyes and jumped off the cliff - typed the words "I'm gay" and pressed Enter quickly enough so that it would be out of my hands by the time my fears registered what I was doing.

The world didn't end.

My friend said "well that's just one more thing about you, isn't it?" and that was that. I started telling people here and there - mostly from my circle of friends from back home, but also here in the States. At first it was this big deal, the secret that shouldn't spread, but I gradually felt more confident. Still, I expected someone to freak out, to get all religious zeal on my ass, to shun me, to stop talking to me forever... yet it never happened. Everyone was accepting. Hell, some people - especially girls - started liking me more when I came out. Even when I finally told my parents, it went fine. My mom took it in stride, and even though my dad had more difficulty accepting it, there has been no drama...

...which sometimes almost makes me feel a little guilty. I had seen the movies, read the real life stories. I remembered all those tragic suicides - the tip of a much bigger iceberg, I'm sure. I knew about those conservative and strongly "Christian" (as if there is anything Christian about hating people) places where it is almost dangerous to come out as a homosexual. I knew who Matthew Shepard was. But it never happened to me. My life changed so quickly, became so much better so fast, that it was almost scary. I love myself, I love the world around me, and I feel the world loving me back. But I know I am a minority, that most people don't have it nearly as easy. And I am not complaining - it seems like it would be in such a bad taste to do that - but I do have this slight irrational feeling of guilt. As if I don't deserve to not struggle.

So what I do is, I talk about it. Try to know about current events and involve myself as much as I can, help others who have harder time of accepting themselves and finding the courage to be out. Because this feeling is wrong. None of us deserve to struggle with coming out, none of us should be IN to begin with. And as far as we've gotten, there is so much more work to be done before gay kids could grow up without even knowing what "being in the closet" means.

Introduction a.k.a. Er, Yeah, Hi There...

Hello everyone,

I'm a musician, a foreigner and I'm also gay. Two of those have defined my life as far back as my memories reach, and the foreigner part is subdued by my dazzling mastery of the English language (or something). I am currently in grad school, studying violin performance, and I am also relatively fresh out of the closet (a little over a year and a half now). And as such, I have grown really interested in the social and political environment in the States when it comes to our community. In the three years I've spent here, I've been constantly shifting between being fascinated, heartened, disgusted and borderline homicidal when it comes to the things that happen to gay people here, and the amount of blindness that - in this haven of technology and information - would be comical, were it not so horrifyingly destructive.

So, in the end, I'm guessing this blog will be dedicated to information and personal rants. The comment section is wide open should you have insights, recommendations, pearls of homophobia you'd like to share with me or anything else really.

And so...