Friday, July 28, 2006
How to come out!
Thursday, July 27, 2006
The Advocate had a revealing article
by David Luc Nguyen who had suffered through Portland Fellowship, an "ex-gay" ministry in Oregon. He says that the victimizing
experience nearly made him commit suicide.
"I remember staring at my reflection in the bathroom mirror six years ago. The hot water was running. I had a razor blade in my hand, and I was prepared to do the unthinkable. I couldn't deal with the war raging inside me any longer. For as long as I could remember I had struggled with the shame and guilt instilled in me by my Christian upbringing."
It appears that he places much of the blame at the feet of Jason Thompson
, the leader of Portland Fellowship
and one who often counsels youth
"I had come out to my family a couple of years before, and they pressured me to seek help from a guy named Jason, a counselor with the Portland Fellowship, a ministry of the 'ex-gay' group Exodus International. For about three months we prayed together and read scripture, and he shared his own personal struggles with homosexuality. If I stayed in the 'homosexual lifestyle,' I would always be 'dysfunctional, never a whole person, and never know peace,' he told me. Our sessions only deepened my sense of self-hatred."
Mr. Thompson is the same dishonest man who reprehensively refuses to answer what happened to the group's former leader Phil Hobizal. Mr. Hobizal stepped down in 2003, according to Porland Fellowship's newsletter, after an "emotional entanglement" with a man. Thompson refuses to explain what this actually meant or if Hobizal is still active in ministry. He refuses to say why this example of possible failure is not mentioned in Mr. Hobizal's rosy biography.
Please e-mail Jason Thompson and tell him to stop lying about gay life, tell the truth about Phil Hobizal and refrain from putting childrens' lives in jeopardy:
I don't suppose most straight Americans would give a damn about the sexual orientation of a military linguist that decoded a message that stopped a terrorist attack. But, it appears that those who support the Don't Ask/Don't Tell policy care more about discharging gay linguists than protecting the homefront. This is just plain madness.
A decorated sergeant and Arabic language specialist was just dismissed
from the U.S. Army under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, though he says he never told his superiors he was gay and his accuser was never identified. Bleu Copas, 30, told The Associated Press he is gay, but said he was "outed" by a stream of anonymous e-mails to his superiors in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C.
More than 11,000 service members have been dismissed under the policy, including 726 last year -- an 11 percent jump from 2004 and the first increase since 2001. The GAO also noted that nearly 800 dismissed gay or lesbian service members had critical abilities, including 300 with important language skills. Fifty-five were proficient in Arabic, including Copas, a graduate of the Defense Language Institute in California.
Discharging and replacing them has cost the Pentagon nearly $369 million, according to the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
What a blight on America. If we get hit by the bad guys, we will never know if the right wing helped cause the attack by supporting a policy that limited the number of interpreters.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Timothy Kincaid pointed out today that the Washington Supreme Court's decision that gay couples are not entitled to equal protection under the Constitution because they can change. Judge Barbara Madsen justified her bigotry this way:
"Laws challenged on the basis of race or sex discrimination are generally subjected to more searching review. But Justice Madsen wrote that the plaintiffs were not entitled to such review because they had not demonstrated that homosexuality is an immutable characteristic like race or gender."
Thanks Timothy for the heads up!
An Austrailian reporter confronts hateful anti-gay activists. To watch this short comedy sketch CLICK HERE.
Lance Bass, the former 'N Sync stud, reveals that he is gay, in an interview with People Magazine
"The thing is, I'm not ashamed – that's the one thing I want to say," he explains of his decision to come out. "I don't think it's wrong, I'm not devastated going through this. I'm more liberated and happy than I've been my whole life. I'm just happy."
Isn't coming out a beautiful thing? Congratulations to Lance and we wish him the best of luck and much happiness.
The state Supreme Court today upheld Washington's law
that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, rejecting the argument of 19 same-sex couples that they've been unfairly denied the right to wed. The 5-4 ruling -- signed by Chief Justice Gerry Alexander and Justice Charles Johnson -- also noted a hardship for same-sex couples, however, and suggested that the legislature "may want to re-examine the impact of the marriage laws on all citizens of this state."
(Mike Haley, Former Hooker)
I have long complained that it is nearly impossible to find recloseted homosexuals ("ex-gays") with normal or successful backgrounds. In my book, Anything But Straight
, I call these people "the formers" because they are all former
junkies, prostitutes, sex addicts or head cases. Instead of taking personal responsibility for their own poor choices and failures, they conveniently blame their sexual orientation.
It turns out that Focus on the Family's Mike Haley fits the description of a "former." Denver Post columnist Cindy Rodriguez has revealed
that before Haley was a holy-roller, he was a hooker:
During his gay years, he had a series of relationships with men. He even got arrested for prostitution. (He says he wanted to see how much someone was willing to pay for him.)
Yeah, right and he didn't inhale. He was simply doing research on how much his booty could fetch and had the misfortune of getting busted on his first sexcapade. Sure, we believe you, Mike.
The truth is, Focus on the Family has long used "experts" on gay life that lack credibility and are not qualified to talk about anything, really. One wonders if they troll gutters behind gay bars looking for fall-down drunks and street walkers that they can convert with the help of big fat paychecks?
This practice is rather immoral and predatory and speaks to the lack of values at Focus on the Family. If James Dobson
were an honest man, he would only recruit recloseted homosexuals who came from backgrounds of decency, success and valor. After all, if the GLBT movement uses educated and accomplished spokespeople, why can't Focus do the same?
But, I submit that Dobson would have a very difficult time finding such people, because they are well adjusted and strong-minded enough to have moved beyond right wing propaganda. These gay individuals lead, happy, rich and fulfilling lives, so they have no need to sell their souls. Stuck with this dilemma, Dobson is forced to dig up dregs; throwing them in the shower, slapping on a suit and pushing them out on stage to offer false testimony - for a hefty fee.
This freak show element to Focus on the Family's Closet Assistance Program is vividly portrayed in Rodriguez's column:
They [Focus] had a tent, and it might as well have been a circus. ("Step right up and meet our amazing 'ex-gay' employees!") I was waiting for the bearded lady to show up.
There would never be a bearded lady, because Dobson surely would have made her shave before he pushed her in the spotlight. However, if Rodriguez would have waited around long enough, she would have seen a lady who is a beard. Her name is Mrs. Haley.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
To mark their ten years together, George Michael and his American lover Kenny Goss had been looking forward to an Elton John-style gay 'wedding' ceremony followed by a lavish party.
But plans for the nuptials are off
- after the singer was seen emerging from bushes following a sexual encounter with a pot-bellied, jobless van driver.
"They are reassessing their relationship at the moment so there are no immediate plans," said a source close to 43-year-old Michael. "Things are very much up in the air."
A few years ago, my boyfriend (now an ex) and I walked into a chain bookstore while on vacation. Only minutes before, we had mended fences over a fight about nothing. While traversing the maze of books, my boyfriend noticed an unusually hot young man staring at me. "Do you know him?" he irascibly inquired, threatening an end to our fragile ceasefire. Before I could answer, the mystery stud bounded in front of us and blurted out, "You're Wayne Besen, aren't you?"
I nodded and the young man lit up and in a very Kathy Bates moment gushed, "I loved your book, Anything But Straight! I'm your number one fan!"
While looking directly in my eyes and pretending my partner was invisible, the number one fan became a number one flirt. While I was certainly flattered, this adulation wasn't adding to the duration of my relationship.
I bring this up to make a simple point: The public eye rarely helps private relationships succeed. If someone like me had my relationship threatened on a few occasions by foam-at-the-mouth fans, imagine how it must be to carry on a normal relationship if you are mega-stars like Ellen DeGeneres or George Michael?
The GLBT community is in a Catch-22. For public relations reasons, we need to showcase our most glamorous marriages, yet, by nature, these relationships are the ones most likely to get burned out by the inferno of the spotlight.
This was painfully driven home this week when Julie and Hillary Goodridge, the poster couple
in the successful Massachusetts gay marriage suit, called it quits. The Goodridges were among seven gay couples whose lawsuit, Goodridge vs. Department of Public Health, fueled a national firestorm on this issue.
The two women were attractive, professional and dream spokespersons for our movement. They lived in a charming Victorian house and were even raising a young daughter. In short, they were perfect on paper. But we all know how easily paper burns when thrown on a fire. We owe these women our gratitude for their courage and resilience in fighting for our freedom to marry. But, their "amicable" split reinforces the necessary danger of placing the spotlight on "perfect couples."
Even more disappointing, crooner George Michael
, who is scheduled to marry his boyfriend Kenny Goss this year, is embroiled in a new sex scandal. The London tabloids are having a field day because Michael was allegedly caught in the fields with his pants down. Despite damning pictures, right now, Goss is still standing by his man.
Courting couples that eventually spiral into double trouble is nothing new. In the early 1990's, millions of gay men latched on to the illusion of perfection offered by the buff bodybuilder boyfriends Bob Paris and Rod Jackson-Paris. Bob was a former Mr. Universe and Rod was a strapping blond model. The musclemen even wrote a book together, "Straight From the Heart: A Love Story," that was described in the El Paso Herald Post as "Heartwarming," and in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer as, "Compelling...Soul mates tell their story of love and take a stand for gay self-esteem."
When the heartwarming story soon turned to heartbreak
, many people in the GLBT community felt as though they had been let down. But in retrospect, the odds of this couple succeeding were not very high. Every move they made was magnified and they were surely subjected to countless temptations as they traveled across America.
On a much larger stage, America witnessed the implosion (or was it an explosion) of Ellen DeGeneres's doomed relationship with Anne Heche. Heche soon went from lesbian activist to the wedding chapel...with a man. The right wing group Focus on the Family exploited the break-up by hiring Anne's mother, Nancy Heche, to supposedly show that gay people can change. To Anne's credit, she denounced this opportunism by saying that "the ex-gay even...make me sick."
The right wing's desire to take advantage of the Goodridge break-up and Michaels' affinity for doing the nasty in nature is running into a wall called reality. It is hard to make the case against the longevity of gay couples when straight couples are dramatically stealing the spotlight.
For example, New York Giants football star Michael Strahan is in the middle of a bitter divorce
with his sexy wife, Jean. He is accusing her of spending profusely and she returned fire by saying that he had engaged in an "alternative lifestyle." Strahan had to go on a sports radio show to deny he was gay. Meanwhile, all of the aforementioned domestic disasters are mere warm-up acts for the utterly spellbinding Christie Brinkley/Peter Cook train wreck
It seems that placing a spotlight on stable marriages too often makes them unstable. Maybe we are better off without unrealistic model marriages or former models preaching matrimony. If the past has taught us anything, it is that relationships in the public eye too often turn into eyesores.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Straight pastor Lars Clausen unicycled 1000 miles for Equal Rights. He cares so much, he's giving his exciting new book, Straight into Gay America away free on his website
. So check out what I'm sure will be a interesting read. Clausen is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, and holds the Guinness World Record for the longest unicycle tour (9136 miles).
With all hell breaking loose in the Middle East, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flew in to help end the violence. Why am I not confident? Wasn't she the one who missed the Bin Laden determined to attack memo?
The sad truth is, the Lebanese government did not not get rid of Hezbollah and allowed these lawless terrorists to flourish. The Palestinians elected the blood-thirsty Hamas. They comically claim to be "resistance" fighters, but all they have ever resisted is peace. Have they recognized Israel's right to exist yet? Have they denounced terrorism? Let's face it, they recently got land from Israel and then launched a war from this new territory. Clearly, their aim is to be in a state of war, not create a functioning Palestinian state.
When you support or vote for Jihad, which the citizens of this region did, this war is what it looks like in practice. It is a lot more fun to talk holy war in a tea house than to actually be in a real one. Perhaps, the Palestinians will be a little wiser the next time they go into the voting booth. When you elect terrorists who promise war and the destruction of a neighboring country - and then they work to carry out their promise - you lose your credibility and right to complain about the disastrous results.
The lesson here: Elect moderate leaders who care about peace and prosperity, instead of ideological extremists who promise death and destruction. The same lesson should not be lost on Americans who voted their fears in 2004, instead of their dreams, and left America with a nightmare foreign policy than has created a more dangerous world.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Jim West, 55
, the former mayor of Spokane, Washington, who was recalled from office in 2005 because of an Internet gay-sex scandal, died Saturday
. The cause was complications from recent cancer surgery, the Associated Press reports.