Saturday, October 9, 2010

Is it enough to make it better?

It Gets Better...

Really? Dan Savage started the "It Gets Better" campaign shortly after the fifth in a series of publicized suicides of kids who were bullied for their sexual orientation. However, I wonder, as one who was bullied for being from another town originally and dressing differently, is "It Gets Better" enough to give children in grammar and middle school and young adults in high school and college the courage and the stamina to live with daily taunting and threats to not at the least consider physically fighting back if not taking their own lives to escape this? Mr. Savage and the rest of his organization need to understand that this constant derision can set off triggers in kids that lead to clinical depression and knowing that, on average, 180 days out of every year they must face this treatment is more than enough to set off a reaction that does not appear rational to a mentally and emotionally healthy person but seems like the only response at the time to some suffering from depression or other neurosis.

Today I read of another series of tragedies that has taken place over the past four years in the same town, Mentor, OH. One child harassed for being a Croatian immigrant, one for a learning disability, one for being assumed gay and the fourth a combination of social awkwardness but also fueled by a poor home situation. The last one experts are not stating was based on bullying but did nothing to investigate the family issues and over the next two years both remaining children in the household also took their own lives.

While the results of bullying are finally making headlines, we are sorely pressed to go back over the numbers and determine how many young people found the predatory nature of school social life so overwhelming that suicide became more and more inviting every day. As a mother of a child who was not only bullied but put in a different school system due to a letter that was added to his school record by the principal when he was in fifth grade based on requirements of the anti-bullying protocol set out by the local board of education, I speak from experience. My son was the victim of a typically cagey bully, female I might add, who timed her verbal attacks so that she was not the one caught when the teacher rounded the corner. It was my son who was heard saying, "Leave me alone or I'll kill you." The principal ignored the "Leave me alone" part and focused on the "I'll kill you" based on the lies spewed by the girl that she had never harassed or threatened my son.

The bullying escalated to racist slurs when my son moved to a middle school in a nearby city where white kids were the minority. Fortunately some administrators and faculty members were more astute than the principal and put kids in their places when racial slurs were heard. He also still was taunted for being overweight, from out of town and overly sociable. Finally came high school where the racism was far more blatant and not only condoned by the principal, she herself participated in it. She also did nothing to protect LGBTQ kids in an ARTS HIGH SCHOOL!! One of my son's best friends was an out queer and a drag queen at the age of fourteen. Add to this my son being cyberbullied? "It Gets Better"?

I believe the only reason my son made it through was the fact that I was observant and he likes to talk. I made myself available to both my kids from the beginning so they generally came to me with things. When his sister left for college and their father moved out, the signs of a growing depression I'd been vaguely aware of since he was about eight became more prominent and I offered the option of talking to a therapist. We did a few sessions together and he did a couple on his own. Between that, getting out of this town, finding three excellent mentors in his new school and one in high school, my son grew a relatively thick hide. However, he did come home often and share the pain of being a target.

If the "It Gets Better" videos had been around then would they have made it easier for him? I don't know. I know as a college freshman he has watched some and they have affected him. He has a very tender heart and so some of them have brought tears to his eyes and broken that heart some. As someone who aspires to work in the entertainment industry it does mean a lot to him to hear celebrities telling him to "hang in there".

However, I think it takes more. "It Gets Better" is a great message but when you are in the middle of this day in and day out, what you want is for it to stop. When you are trying to validate yourself and determine who you want to be when you grow up, it's really hard when people are constantly telling you that your broken, a freak, fat, ugly, stupid, the "wrong" color, or the "wrong" sexual orientation. And now with the internet, the harassment doesn't stop after the kids get off the bus. It comes via Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and text messages. Providing bullies with media that they can be practically completely anonymous and attack at all hours of the day or night has only made this problem worse. It's also easier for kids who wouldn't normally do so to join in because they too can disguise their identities.

For It To Get Better will take more. It always has. We need to get back to the days when parents taught their kids that being a bully or just making a single unkind remark to someone who is different is not socially acceptable. Parents need to get back to parenting and teach kids about respect. Parents need to monitor their kids on line and on the phone. If they discover their children using the Internet or their cell phone to harass another child...TAKE THEM AWAY!! It is not going to put your kid in the state mental hospital if you lock up the laptop, pull the plug from the desktop or take away their cell phone. "But Sally needs the computer for school". So? She can still use all the word processing, presentation and spreadsheet programs if you unplug the modem and the router. Make her go to the library and use their Internet. Or start small and buy some Net Nanny software and block social networking sites. Seriously, you're the parent...grow a pair. As for schools? Most have sites blocked that kids shouldn't be on at school anyway. Administrators need to monitor themselves, faculty and security to insure that they are not protecting bullies...and YES that does happen. Think about it. Example-a meathead rent-a-cop who couldn't make it into the police academy already has that chip on his shoulder. Give him the gum machine badge and uniform and put him in the hallways of an urban high school. He witnesses kids picking on the girl with braces, the short African-American boy or the overweight guy that's kind of flamboyant. Who do you think this guy is going to side with? If he defends the kids getting taunted he feels that the perpetrators are going to see him as weak. He wants to be tough like them. So he lets them go and may even laugh at their victims along with them.

Kids need advocates in the schools. In a time when boards of education are worried about budget cuts, how hard is it to accept parents or other adults willing to volunteer a day or two every month to patrol the halls and come to the aid of the victims and/or hold meetings with students to first explain to them about respect, treating people the way they want to be treated and loving themselves? Allow outside adults who offer the chance to be advisers so the students can start a SAGA chapter in their school. If there is one and has a faculty adviser, then the rest of the staff needs to support it and publicize it and back their events. Provide for other social organizations that improve self-esteem for various groups whether race related, interest related, etc. Don't put such an emphasis on athletics. I'm not saying don't provide sports teams but offer other options for kids who just aren't jocks. Chess club, math club, drama club and then help them thrive so that the members can go to events outside of their school. Also allow them to create events that they can invite outsiders to to show off their accomplishments. Being a nerd can be really cool. Being Asian can be beautiful. Being a skateboarder can be exciting.

It can get better but I believe it takes a lot more than external videos by celebs most of these kids will never meet. Yes, Neil Patrick Harris, Tim Gunn, Chris Colfer, Ellen Degeneres, etc. are fabulous role models to LGBTQ kids. Personally I'd also like to see some entertainers I'm aware of doing vids on being picked on for being the smart kids, the fat kids, the wimpy kids and the kids with glasses/braces. There are some great Hispanic, black, Asian and East Indian role models who can do these videos. But it takes more. It takes people coming into schools and being with students one-on-one to make it real for them. It takes parents listening and talking to their kids. It takes social workers and therapists giving victims tools to fight back without becoming bullies themselves. It takes someone to make the bully look inside himself or herself and face the weakness they are hiding by projecting it on to someone else.

We all have fears. Most of them are unwarranted. Just yesterday I dealt with mine of people who look different. As one who was bullied I'd never demean them for physical or mental challenges but it is hard for me to treat them just like I'd treat myself. I worked hard on getting past that. And then I noticed that the mentally challenged woman who bagged my groceries did a far better job then most of the able-minded high schoolers who normal pack my stuff. It humbled me. It raised a bit of shame in me as it should have. We all need to teach each other that the proper way to deal with fear is to educate ourselves. If you can't bring yourself to talk to that person, just don't say anything but still nod and smile. It's a start. If you don't agree with someone's opinion don't yell them into submission, talk to them and find out why they feel that way and why you don't. If someone is different don't physically assault them to make yourself feel somehow superior. Tell yourself it's ok to be afraid of things you don't understand. Ignorance is not bliss especially if you follow a theological tradition of a deity that created people in its own image. If you use that "god" as your weapon of choice to assault people with, it is the supreme act of disrespect of that divine being who gave you a working brain and hopes that you'll use it for something more than a hat rack or an engine to conjure new manners to spew hate.

So Dan? My hat's off to you for coming up with another weapon in the newly growing arsenal against hate and harassment. But understand it needs more substance behind it. For sexual orientation issues GLESN has come up with curriculum addendum to teach students about sexual orientation issues. Other organizations to check out:

Make It Better
Not In Our Town

Stop Cyberbullying

And here is the homepage for Dan's It Gets Better YouTube Channel:
It Gets Better

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Art imitates life - ours is boring and loaded with violence

Are humans designed to be boring?  I don’t think so.  But for some reason there are certain people hell-bent on making and keeping us that way.  Start with religious rules and…actually…end with them too because those are what are used to influence civil rights and laws.  They’re also what have worked their way into jurisdiction of the media with “decency” codes. 

There was a short time however, when even “the church” opened its collective mind when it came to art.  The Renaissance was a glorious time when the human body was depicted in all its naked glory, when minstrels wrote and performed bawdy love songs and plays were filled with bright costumes and beautiful words.  Admitted women were not allowed on the stage or in the pulpit but they still adorned themselves in fabulous garments and danced with equally graceful and stunningly clad men.  Art was not boring.

Last night America again showed how much fear there is of “breaking the rules”.  Really?  Aren’t we programmed to take risks, push the envelope?  Look at the Goddess’s creation, filled with bright colors, bird that soar high and luxuriously furred quadrupeds. Mother Nature’s music is a cacophony of chirps, screams, howls and barks.  Nothing boring there.  So why have we allowed religion to take that out of spiritual writings and replace it with this austere, domineering, and judgmental deity with no spirit of adventure, beauty or curiosity? 

No people, if The Fates had wanted us to listen to boring balladeers for all of our existence on this plain, no one would be born with the talent to dazzle the eye, ear, heart and brain like Michael Jackson, David Bowie, Madonna, Christina Aguilera, or even Motley Crue.  It should not have been a risk for any of them to create the art they have.  It should not have been considered risqué to view their performances.  Life should be exciting not boring. 

I do not understand how we have come to romanticize war, murder or other forms of physical violence.  How did these become acceptable risks?  Yet we run from art that is considered even the littlest bit edgy.  Art tribes/communities are looked on by outsiders as odd, weird, hopefully go unnoticed and disappear.  Yet people will pay money over and over for movies still being made about World War II, Korea and Vietnam.  Gore can run deep and wide on the screen but a glimpse of breast or upper thigh is gasped at.  People, the human body is far more beautiful all in one piece than ripped apart on a battlefield or in a dark alley. 

Where did we lose our way?  How do we find it again?  When will beauty and creativity be exonerated, worshipped and encouraged again?  When will minstrels, actors, painters, sculptors, writers, etc. be allowed out from under their rocks and appreciated in all their weird eccentricness?

Monday, August 30, 2010

We're all ok - God don't make junk

It hit me today...we are all born beautiful creatures filled with a rainbow with another one wrapped around each new baby.  That being said, anything done to tarnish those rainbows and crush the beautiful souls is the sin.

Yes, there are basic rules of civilization that must be taught; don't hurt or kill others, don't steal, don't mess with things that aren't yours, don't lie, don't cheat, be kind to each other.  In its simplest form?  Treat people the way you want to be treated. 

When you put it in that context then it's easy to see how teaching the beautiful rainbow babies that people whose rainbows are different colors or twist instead of arc, sparkle instead of shine, spread over a different land than another is what we're supposed to be doing.

I've just read so much hate-mongering in the past week...and a lot of it people mongering are trying to claim that The Higher Power...which they also claim created all of us beautiful folk...says that some are less beautiful that others.  In fact they say that some are downright ugly and should be physically and/or verbally abused because they are different.  Wow!  Talk about stuffing God into a tiny little box.  Do they realize that they are calling the Great Spirit (1) fallible as a creator, (2) petty, (3) jealous, (4) vindictive and (5) a bigot. 

One person in particular that really made me sad and angry was the niece of Dr. King who spewed some crazy stuff about homosexuality being the eventual extinction of the human race.  Really?  Even if they've been in the closet, gays have been around since the beginning of human history and the species is now over 6 BILLION strong on Mother Earth.  I really don't see us going extinct any time soon.  In fact if we do, it will have nothing to do with non-"christians", people of color, women or LGBT's.  It will have to do with us disrespecting this planet and making it uninhabitable.  I also found it a huge insult to her uncle to say that he would be for preventing anyone from having civil rights to any race, creed or sexual orientation.  This woman needs to be time-traveled back to the days when African Americans were really treated poorly and then participate in the marches and all the other things the black community did to have their right to exist as a free person in the U.S. recognized and legislated.  She should have to go back to the days of suffrage to spend a few days as a woman with no right to vote, shamed and humiliated if she even considered working outside the home, be the property of a man.  No, Martin wanted freedom for all Americans. 

Listen, I'm not saying that after birth that something causes a switch to be flipped in a person that turns them anti-social.  It doesn't mean they're not supposed to be loved, it's just tough love.  Some people need to be removed from society so they are not a danger to themselves or others.  But when I say danger...I don't mean that because they follow a different religious doctrine or their skin is a different color or they are more attracted to their own gender or don't take to stereotypes.  When I say danger I'm talking socio or psychopaths.  People who are intent on hurting or killing someone else or themselves...serial killers, pyromaniacs, clinically depressed, pedophiles, or schizophrenics/multiple personality disorders.  An avergage Muslim, African American, woman, or LGBT person is neither a danger to themselves or to anyone else.  So to raise a child to believe that any of these people's rainbows are less beautiful than their own, pretty much spits in The Great Spirit's eye. 

Drugs are not the sin, concentual sex is not the sin, gender is not the sin, race is not the sin until they hurt someone else.  Teach the rainbow children to love one another.  Teach them to appreciate individuality.  Teach them to respect themselves and others.  And also allow their rainbows to grow and mature and be wholly theirs.  Encourage their talents, their spirit, their passions.   Teach boys that it is healthy and right for them to be emotional.  It actually makes them stronger not weaker.  Teach girls it's alright for them to be more math oriented.  Help end fear and stereotyping.  Cultivate peace, joy and love.  Embrace, encourage, be the rainbow.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

While you were sleeping...

...or allowing yourself to be boondoggled, hornswaggled, bullshitted or just scared by the U.S. media and the government after 9-11, things were festering and growing and you let them.

You allowed yourself to give up your civil and personal rights, believing the b.s. spewing from your radio and television or splashed across print and internet headlines.  "You're all gonna die if you don't support illegal acts of violence against a foreign nation (Iraq), allow us to illegally incarcerate a whole lot of people in Cuba, set up "watch" lists for air travel (sadly they're still missing all the bad guys coming into the country), and watch your activity at your local library.  And there's a whole plethora of other rights you gave up because "It's unAmerican to question such things".  HORSESHIT!

To question and call out is the most American thing you can do.  And you should do it.  The government is a bunch of fallible humans just like you.  Because you voted for them does not make them experts on running your life.  Thomas Jefferson said, when he helped pen the structuring of the Republic, it would need a good revolution every generation to keep it on its toes.  Boy are we long overdue or what?

The link above shows what happens to freedom of the press when they get scared and allow themselves to be puppets of big business and the government.  They backed off (slacked off).  Sure they got a little bit of nitty-gritty into the public eye about FEMA and the whole hurricane debacle.  Every so often we hear about some governmental indiscretion but for the most part, major media has been publishing what the publicist tell them to.  Wow, wonder how long the fed has had a PR department or at least one that has strong-armed the press the way they do now?  But the point is that now that media has a real piece of meat to sink its teeth into with the Gulf/BP mess, they're seeing the error of their ways for not sticking up for the first amendment both for freedom of the press and the right to petition for redress of grievances.

Starting in the first days after 9-11 I started preaching my mantra of "Retaining the Republic for which we stand before we become the United Police State of America".  Obviously I was a voice crying in the wilderness.  I tried to find a quote this morning but failed.  Something to the effect of not becoming the empire we sought to free ourselves from.  I remember it was from a member of the first continental congress and had to do with the establishment of the new Republic.  But at the end of the day it all boils down to this.  We allowed ourselves to be beat into submission with the constant admonition of our president about being "UnAmerican".  Nary a one spoke up loudly enough in a public forum, myself included, to say "Hey W!  Speaking out is the most American thing about America and questioning our government is the second most American thing to do!"

At the time I did start reading the free press more to learn what was really going on but I did nothing with what I was learning.  I bitched and complained to friends and people around me who would listen and sometimes agree but did we form any kind of protest group?  No.  Did I write letters to my representatives?  Not enough to count and not about the really gritty issues.  I did not call out the passing of the "Patriot" Act or the establishment of Homeland Security.  I have not questions the sending of the National Guard abroad while the regular Army stays here.  I have not demanded at stop to lobbyists or term limitations.  I am just as guilty as the next guy for being "unAmerican"

So here we are.  Government and big business goons muzzling the press.  CNN rages "How dare they?".  Well at least they're finally raging and seeing that if the small media guy gets busted, they're next.  Is it too little too late?  Or will it light enough of a spark under American journalists and their employers to finally say "STOP! Freedom of the press!" and start speaking out?  Will we find out what is really going on in the Gulf and on Capitol Hill regarding BP and when they are going to fix this disaster?  And once the big gash in Mother Earth's belly is sutured and bandaged, will the press continue to stick up for itself?  Will they call out big business for the laundry list of crap they have gotten away with mostly with congress' blessing?  We can only hope. 

In the meantime, I've found my guts.  Sure, I'm just a measly little blogger who only a few people read, but at least I will flex my right to speak freely and demand answers and air my grievances.  President Obama, I voted for you and you have let me down at every turn.  I know you don't run the show but you can get into the House and the Senate and demand that they get their collective heads out of their collective asses.  You can tell the United States what is REALLY going on.  You told me that you wanted to "green up America".  Well you know what?  There's a lot of brown sludge on her beaches that is killing the green and the animals and eventually the people.  How about you start showing me how "green" you are by demanding BP get their asses in gear and fix this shit?  How about you call off the cops, Homeland Security and BP employees who are blocking the press and doing illegal search and seizures?  How about you stick up for THIS country and stop protecting the empire we declared our independence from?  How about you start sticking up for all of our first amendment rights?  How about it Prez?  And press?  How about you join me and grow a pair?  And anyone who reads this blog, how about becoming a true American again and speaking out?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Matthew Leone

Nathan's blog about his twin

Last night I signed on to Twitter to see a post from a fan-friend follower about putting Matthew Leone, bassist for Madina Lake in her prayers.  As I'd been away from my computer all day, I was scrolling from oldest to newest so I hadn't come across Nathan's tweet with the link (above) to his blog.

Matthew Leone, identical twin brother of the band's lead vocalist and frontman Nathan, did what we are all called to do, step in and help his neighbor.  He was walking home from his brother's and walked into the middle of a fight between a man and his female significant other.  The fight was physical so Leone jumped in to rescue the woman from the man.  What he got in return was a beating severe enough to leave him unconscious on the sidewalk and then moved to the ICU of a Chicago hospital.  Both members of the couple left him for dead on that sidewalk.

Matthew is currently fighting for his life.  As a friend of a friend of the band, I know how hard they are all taking this.  As someone who is aware of the bond between twins, I can only imagine what Nathan is going through.  I met his brother once, about three years ago at The Webster in Hartford.  When I thought back on it last night, I remember Matthew having a very bright intense aura that ranged from yellow to white.  He had a bright smile and made my son and I laugh.  Later that evening when Madina Lake played the closing set, Matthew was just a ball of energy.  Together with his brother they kept the crowd wrapped around their fingers and the room was on fire.  It was a great show.  Watching the twins interact I could see that each was the yin to the other's yang

Mateo and Danny are the "other brothers" that just make Madina Lake such a special band.  Having met Dan and knowing a lot about him, he is a peaceful spirit that is needed right now.  Mateo feels like someone strong and passionate.  Again, a good person for Nathan to have around.

The bottom line is this...Matthew put a face on it Tuesday night.  He felt the compassion when he saw what was happening and chose to try to do something about it.  Now you put a face on Matthew.  He smiles.  He laughs.  He makes great music.  He could be your brother, your son or your next door neighbor.  Now put him in your prayers.  Also pray for this couple that walked away from this beautiful boy, left him wrecked on the street, that they will put a face on him too and come forward and admit to this horrible act of violence.  Shine bright Matt.  We're all out here rooting for you.  Keep pouring your love into your brother, Nathan.  He needs you now more than ever.

Peace, joy & Love from

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sometimes freedom bites us in the ass

For any of you who are unaware there is a group of people who refer to themselves as the Westboro Baptist Church.  These folks envision themselves as prophets of "god" and their message is "God hates fags!".  Ok, we know there are many religious organizations who preach a theology of hatred of many different communities-blacks, Muslims, women, etc.  But what makes the "Reverend" Fred and his followers different is that their twisted dogma states that "god's" hatred of the LGBT community causes "him" to take out "his" wrath on American soldiers stationed in the Middle East.  So, WBC takes it upon themselves to show up at the funerals of these service people and inflict their incedious rhetoric on the mourning family members.  How sick can you get?

We live in a nation that, fortunately, has a constitution that endows us with the right to free speech.  Most of the time this is a great and good thing.  However, that freedom also allows groups such as the KKK, skinheads and other hate groups to also speak their minds.  So, the courts are stuck between a rock and a hard place determining when they can successfully prosecute groups or individuals for actual hate crimes.  Now I don't know about you but I would consider what Fred Phelps and his clan pull at funerals a hate crime.  However, recently a court of appeals decided not only was the Westboro "Baptist" "Church" exercising its right to free speech but also ordered the family who brought the suit against them to pay over $16,000 in damages and court fees to Phelps & Co.  How's that for trying to find peace over the loss of your child?

This also answered another question.  How does "Reverend" Fred and family afford to travel all over the country to hold their hate vigils along with paying the daily bills and keeping a roof over their heads?  WBC is not sactioned or supported by any sector of the Baptist church so the preacher is not receiving compensation there.  As his flock is tiny and mostly family members, no one's putting money in the collection plate to provide his salary.  That leaves other wing-nuts around the country/world who send donations, gullible members of the press who will pay for an exclusive story and the poor unsuspecting families of dead children who find out the hard way that "Rev." Phelps knows very well how to work the U.S. legal system to his benefit.

How can you help stop this idiocy and offer some peace to grieving families?  Well the current victim of WBC's flouting of our right to free speech is Spring Garden, PA resident Albert Snyder whose son Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder, was killed in Iraq in 2006.  Westboro picketed his funeral in Westminster, Md.  Snyder had originally sued WBC for invasion of privacy and emotional distress over the incident and was awarded a $5 million settlement.  However, WBC appealed the ruling and now Snyder has been handed a bill for $16.5K for Fred's time, trouble and legal fees.  You can donate to the fund that has been set up to help Albert pay this bill either here: Barley Snyder LLC, 100 East Market Street, York, PA 17401 or visit Matthew Snyder. org to donate electronically.

As for future things you can do to end this lecivious behavior?  Check out this blog to see what happened when the WBC showed up at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco: Counter protest at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco  If you read the article, apparently Fred and his flock were humiliated to the point that they did not show up for their other planned outing that day, a theater where Fiddler On The Roof was playing.  Remember if you and your group do plan a counter-protest such as this you should not interact with any members of the WBC as they are experts at twisting words and situations to their favor.  I would hate to see you stuck with legal judgements that put your money in Mr. Phelps' pocket.  Also do not visit any websites affiliated with WBS or God Hates Fags as they do get paid by advertisers for site hits just like everyone else.  There is plenty of information about this group on the mainstream press sites along with blogs and wikipedia.

 Photo credits: SandwichGirl  Rubin Starset

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Real strength and courage

Interesting how a work of fiction has opened me to so many sides of love over the past four months.  I follow a WIP (work in progress) about a relationship between two guys. One suffers from post traumatic stress as a result of being gang raped in high school.  Ten years later he starts to recover after hiding behind a wall of false bravado and domination.  He has been forced to finally face down his demons, identify triggers and develop new coping skills in an attempt to re-enter society having been inspired by meeting someone who he eventually falls in love with.  His partner has his own psych issues to deal with and so the whole thing is very real, it's not a peaches and cream romance.

The first time this story came into my life on a real gut level was dealing with a family member who had just hit that point in their life where they needed to either finally let the dragons out and deal with them or crawl under a rock which would have meant sacrificing a career and a wonderful romance.  Having dealt with this person for many years but never really identifying the issues and facing them head-on, I took lessons from the story and suggested they identify their triggers.  Also to identify negativity in their life that could be avoided.  The last time we were together there was a huge melt-down on both our parts but it was something we both knew had to happen.  But this time there was no yelling one another into submission.  No nasty outbursts.  When they got angry I saw that they were angry with themselves and no one else.  The next morning we were in a whole new place.  Since then this person has been doing a great job of healing and dealing.  I'm so proud of them.

The other lesson I learned from this story came tonight and it lifted this large, heavy black veil from a mystery I have pondered for quite a while...why are men so afraid of women or other guys who are more passive?  The answer was the macho guys are afraid because they know that emotional strength is far greater than physical.  To let down one's guard, to care-especially for someone else more than yourself, to empathize, to show compassion takes so much more.  You bare your heart not your throat.  To have one's heart broken is sometimes monumental.  It is a crushing blow that is painful for a long time.  It leaves deep scars.  If you want real love you have to be vulnerable and that vulnerability just magnifies the hurt if it doesn't work out.  And I'm not just talking romantic relationships.  Think how many times you've been hurt by a friend.  Or take it another step, how about trying to help a stranger who just blows you off?

So guys get all in their heads about how they are going to protect the women folk who are weak. Ok, maybe we're physically weaker but guys?...We birth babies if you want to talk tolerance of pain.  We also schlep those babies around, open vacuum sealed jars to feed them, do laundry, clean houses, etc. etc.  Physically we don't do half bad.  But maybe we sometimes would like a little emotional protection and support.  Hold us while we cry.  Hug a kid who's had a bad day.  Sit down and hold an intelligent conversation.  See someone who is worse off than you and do something nice for them.

For any dude who wants to play the "christian" card?  Ummm I never read a story where Jesus punched someone out.  He didn't watch football or drink beer.  He didn't treat women like chattel, crap, bimbos or anything less than emotional and intellectual equals.  Hey!  I said JC!  Yeah, you're gonna pull out all those other dudes that either hung around with him or came after him that seemed to have a problem with women and passive men.  (Interject a giggle that the bible never mentions lesbians...hmmmm)   No, Jesus had women friends, followers and disciples.  He told Martha to come out of the kitchen and hold an conversation with he and Mary and the other people in the house.  I'd like to think that he apologized to Peter's wife for the neighbors taking the roof off the house and helped replace it the next day.  He did give out a number of ass-chewings to the Pharisees and their cohorts but he never laid a glove or sword on any of them despite the fact that Caiaphas and his boys pissed JC off a lot.   Jesus was a pacifist and yet, I dare any of you to be strong enough to take on the entire world's guilt and accept the death sentence of the court without any protest.  Hell, I dare you to go to jail for a year for somebody else's transgression or for sticking up for someone else's rights.

In the story, the guy who is recovering from PTSD has just been put in a position where he really sees how much stronger his is now that he has become vulnerable than when he hid behind the strut and swagger.  As I read how the realization hits him, a bright light came on for me and that big black cloth was stripped away.  I just wish that my words would give all the guys in the world permission to let down their guard.  Stop being afraid or jealous of men and women who are strong enough to care.  We're not going to hurt you and it doesn't make you any less male.  It makes you human.  Find the strength and courage to cry.  To hold someone else when they fall apart.  Allow your hearts to love even if they do get broken.  Yeah, there will be scars and residual pain but they will heal.  Try.  Please?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hey America! When did you forget how to laugh at yourself?

Dear America,

It hit me today the biggest thing wrong with this country right now...we've lost our ability to laugh at ourselves.  As a nation, not myself personally or most of my friends, we've gotten really holier-than-thou.  We think we are the shit as far as countries and governments go and that everyone should want to be like us.  Really? I mean really?

As I have stated before and will go to my grave feeling, the hippies let me down.  Unless the part of the under 40 crowd that has a sense of humor, conviction and open minds prevails we are doomed to have the time from 1964ish to the very early 80's go down in American history as a blip on the radar screen.  I pray hard every day that the loud-mouthed, rainbow colored folks twenty years my junior are successful in not allowing things like Woodstock, Stonewall and Dr. King be forgotten.

Yes, there were a lot of very serious things that happened in the 60's and 70's...Vietnam, WATTS, the Mason murders, the gas squeeze, Watergate and the Kennedy assassinations.  But those things drew us close and we poured out tons of new art like the whole rock music shift, Andy Warhol, Peter Maxx, Hair, Clockwork Orange, Kurt Vaunagut, etc.  We also birthed amazing comedy inspired by our neighbors to the north (SCTV) and the Brits (Monty Python and Benny Hill).  Saturday Night Live hit NBC and shocked us up but had us laughing insanely at our own stupidity.  We saw the rise of people like Billy Crystal, Robin Williams and Whoopi.  Political humor was biting and deep but Washington took it and for awhile still seemed to be fighting for us, just a little.  

Things have become so incredibly boring and lack-luster in the country that owns half the world's wealth.  Art is black and white photography and earth-mother pottery.  Etsy and Ebay wreak of more of the same feathered barrettes and beaded jewelry.  Books and screenplays are just rehash after re-hash.  With the death of Crichton we are left with Dan Brown as far as exciting, well-researched adventure fiction.  Tim Burton and Tarentino about the only current directors with an out-of-the-box vision.  Scorsasi is amazing but how many more years will we have him?  Besides he was a product of that 70's art explosion too.  Fortunately he's been able to hold on despite the Academy's continuing snubs.  Even some of the good ones eroded into cookie cutter bullshit, like Speilberg.  Comedy has become nothing but a conglomeration of stupid site gags.  People, Will Farrell is not clever.  And the few great satirsts have to deal with five-year old politicians who go "You're picking on me.  Say you're sorry."  Really?  That's why it's call political satire.  You chose to be a legislator, you knew what came with the job and besides its only a bit more sarcastic way of the public demanding you to do the job you were elected to do. 

As far as modern rock?  The only American old regime that stays true to their tight black jeans, eye make-up and big hair is The Crue.  Jon and Richie, Sebastian and Brett have left their spandex and Adorn behind for boring flannel and blue denim.  :::yawn:::  Yeah, Kiss still does their thing but Gene has gotten so arrogantly, irrelevant.  Even he stopped laughing at himself. 

So today I put a face on the majority of my own country.  This face has furrows in its brow, scowl lines at the corners of its mouth, and cold eyes.  I don't know what to do to bring back you sense of mirth.  You really need to get over yourself.  You're not that wonderful.  You're far from perfect but that's ok.  You're human.  You don't have all the answers but you don't seem to be open to learning any new ones.  You need to recoup your free spirits and stop with all these rules.  The government and the church are not responsible for you, you are.  There really is only one rule...treat people the way you want to be treated.  If you don't like what's on TV...shut it off.  If you don't like what's on the newstand...don't buy it.  If you don't want your kids exposed to crap...throw out the computer or put passwords on it.  Oh and while we're at a PARENT!!  But in that parenting...teach your kids to laugh...not at others who are different than them but at themselves.  When they face their own frailties, suddenly others are something to become the butt of a joke. 


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Your argument is invalid - The NOH8 trial

The past few days I have been following The Advocate's live tweets from the NOH8 trials.  Today the testimony just completely blew my mind as far as it's total lack of intelligent thought processes and conclusions.  I know, I do not have a college degree.  I took a half year of Sociology my Senior year in high school and zero Psych courses but still I know that all I kept hearing today was "1+1 = fish".

Why are churches getting involved in the politics of civil rights?  Gay "marriage" is a fight for government and legal recognition not a church ceremony.  The LGBT community wants nothing more than the same tax breaks a heterosexual couple gets for having a "marriage license" on file at the local town hall along with job protection, health benefits and legal protection of their estates for their partners and children.  There a millions of Americans who are "married" in civil ceremonies by justices of the peace.  There is no religious value at all, just the sealing of the document they just signed that gives them governmental and legal sanction of their couplehood.  Just like having an affidavit witnessed by an officer of the court.  They ask all the requisite questions and you both sign the document and the notary seals it.

No branch of the U.S. government nor any state or local agency can mandate that a church perform a religious ceremony of any kind including weddings.  They only require that clergy also be certified as Justices of the Peace so they can legally witness the marriage license. (see comment below-this is not necessarily a true fact. CT does not require JP status for clergy.  Feel free to post your state's statutes on this.  Thank you) It's very frustrating that Christians and Jews can not seem to differentiate between "marriage" and "wedding".  I'm not sure what Muslims call their coupling ritual so I apologize for not including it. 

Then to take it a step further.  Religious groups want to bring this into a "family" realm by stating that same sex marriage destroys the American family.  Really?  If a child is raised in a loving household, has parents who make sure they are safely housed and sent to school every day and living within the law, what's the issue?  How about deadbeat dads and men who have just abdicated as parents/bread winners?  From personal experience I think they do more damage to families.  And while we're casting stones, there are numerous Catholic organizations fighting gay "marriage" who are sitting back saying nothing about the pedophiles within their clergy.  Don't you think that puts a far bigger strain on a family and children if parents protect the person who is molesting their kids?  Just sayin' people.  And as a single-parent I beg the court's indulgence by asking how is my situation any stronger family unit than a same-sex pair raising kids?  Hey!  They have the advantage of two incomes and the probability of one of them being physically and emotionally available to their children more often that I do.

So lets go back to same-sex marriage having a negative affect on heterosexual marriages.  How?  Because less LGBT's will hide in a straight marriage because of the social and psychological strain of living out?  Or because they will show straight couples up with the longevity of their relationships.  They don't have to wait for a major family issue to stress their relationship because they have a huge stress-factor going in...being LGBT people.  They've already lived their lives before they were a couple with all the problems and stigma that come the fact of realizing they're not "normal".  Then to make it a non-traditional coupling.  Twice the stress.  So they tend to do very good with the bumps and bruises that come with keeping a relationship vibrant and healthy.  Many same-sex couples stay together for life and have a better track record of doing so than straights.  And if they do split that is no reason for self-righteous straights to go "Oh look.  See they are promiscuous"  Bull shit!! What about your 14-year-old slut daughter you let out of the house in a mini-skirt and tank top that has more than one condom in her purse or your spouse whose had a mistress for the past ten years?

Which brings us to the family thing.  First, I'll pick up from the last paragraph...straight does not equal good parents.  Done!  Second, straight parents can produce gay children.  In fact most LGBT kids come out of heterosexual homes.  As for same-sex couples only producing LGBT kids?  Really?  Come on.  Really?  If sexuality is genetic (which I do believe) any child of a gay or lesbian couple, has a parent of the opposite sex. Lesbians will have a sperm donor or will adopt.  Gay men will have a surrogate mother or will adopt.  The conceived children will have the genes of both its parents and their family history so even if the sperm donor or surrogate are also genetically identified as non-heterosexual that parent's parents and the member of the same-sex couple providing the sperm or egg may carry the heterosexual gene and based on historic figures, the resulting child is more apt to be bisexually or heterosexually identified than homosexually.

As far as socialization, just because a child is raised in a gay home doesn't mean they'll be gay.  More likely just more healthily tolerant.  Kids go to school.  They know there are more kids from straight households or single-parent households than from homes like theirs with two moms or two dads.  Of course with the current social climate they will be made to feel different, weird, etc. by fellow students, faculty and administration even though they shouldn't be.  As for the two moms or two dads raising their kids to be LGBT?  Trust me, not even gay parents wish that on their kids and the kids will experience it first hand before they go to school in the way that other people treat their parents.  So for me...if anything a same-sex parented family is stronger, more tolerant, and has a better grasp on how the Divine wishes this world would work.  Wanna play the "God card" religious people?  Gay/Lesbian households are living closer to your scriptures than you are because they are not teaching their kids to build walls or barriers or create labels for other people.  They're teaching them to forgive and understand and love people even in those people's ignorance. 

To the witnesses in this trial...your argument is invalid.  If run through simple tests of validity or just common sense, they don't hold water.  So just stop wasting taxpayers money.  Taxpayers?  Leave your religious crap at the door when voting for legislatures.  Providing any minority with the same freedoms you enjoy in "the land of the free" is just the right thing to do no matter what Higher Power you subscribe to.  The LGBT community is not harming you.  They are not robbing your house or burning it down.  They are not stealing your stuff.  They are not physically harming you or your children.  Validating them and their rights does not mean they're going to try to "turn" your kids.  Your children are in far more danger from pedophiles, rapists and kidnappers.  No!  Your kids are far more apt to get hit by a car or succumb to alcohol poisoning in an evening of underage drinking you sanctioned in your basement.  Your children are more susceptible to  STD's from playing at unprotected sex with a member of the opposite gender.  Your daughters are at a higher risk of becoming pregnant before they turn 18 than discovering they are lesbians.  Your sons have a higher probability of going to jail for possession of illegal drugs, dui, or causing a major accident by driving recklessly than facing that he gender-identifies as female and starts the agonizing journey of a transsexual.  Your arguments are invalid.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Walking the talk - Ray Vivier

Homeless veteran laid to rest after saving lives

This is how it's supposed to go people.  Put yourself and your puney wants on the backburner to help "the least of these".  The people this man saved didn't care that he was a recovered alcoholic who lived in a shanty most of his life.  Actually, they didn't much care that he had honorably served his country.  What mattered was that this man didn't take a second thought for himself and saved their lives.

In turn, he didn't take time to think about what color the people he saved were or how much money they made or what religion they were.  He didn't even give a shit who they slept with.  The point was that some selfish asshole decided to set their home on fire and they needed to be saved.  Their lives were more important than the building or even his own life.  He only took enough time to note that his body and mind were able enough to help total strangers.

May we all be grateful to the people who he had affected in the past that came forward to make sure that he had an honorable and respectful internment. Sounds a little like some friends of that guy who set the original example for this kind a stuff a long time ago doesn't it?  Think about labels, no barriers, no terms or conditions...just unconditional love.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Really Pat Robertson? Is your God that small?

Yeah, you keep striking fear into the hearts of people and crushing their self-esteem Mr. Robertson.  You're really doing the work of a divine and holy entity.

STOP!!  And people who are following this shit!!! Wake the fuck up!!!  A man preaching that The Fates have a bone to pick with the Haitians but wait a couple of hundred years and a whole lot of generations later to punish them?  Really?  Reeeeally Pat?  Really CBN followers?  Even the ancient Pagans felt that some acts of nature were indeed their Gods getting a bit cranky with them but it was for something they fucked up within the last year or two at the most.  Their deities didn't hold a grudge for a couple of centuries or even a decade. 

I think one of the things that is really disturbing me is that Pat Robertson is affecting educated Americans in the 21st Century.  We are not plebes under Roman rule who can't read and allow the salesman to decide how many sheckles he'll take from our hands for a purchase because we can't count.  We are not in the Middle Ages in Europe where the priest said "Pay me ten ducats and God will forgive you" and the illiterate peasants who didn't speak or read formal Latin so they had no clue what the Mass was saying, paid!  NO PEOPLE!!!  You live in post Revolutionary War America where Thomas Jefferson established a public education system to provide an educated electorate to support the new democratic republic he and his cronies in the Continental Congress had created.  If you don't know how to read and write it is only your own fault in the end.  The school was there.  It was free.  The teachers were in the school.  And more importantly than teaching you how to read, write and work with numbers....they taught you how to use you fucking BRAIN...THE SAME ONE THAT GOD GAVE YOU!! 

You want to talk SIN?  Ok, how about this.  You were born with about three pounds of functioning gray matter in your head.  Yes, there are some people that have not been equally blessed.  However, The Fates have provided them with different talents and abilities and fortunately one of them is not being blind followers of false prophets.  Yeah, yeah, there are parents of mentally and physically challenged kids who take them to church hoping they will be healed or so other crap.  But I find most of them grow up and decide to ask the Gods to show them their strengths in the conditions they are in and plug on.  But don't comment on this blog that there are fundie handicapped people...yeah, I know there are some but we're talking about you, who has enough mental and physical capacity to turn on a computer, get internet service, sign on and read this.  So how do you feel The Great Spirit, Divine and Benevolent feels about you blindly following a person who is claiming to speak the mind of this Sacred Being and not questioning the fact that when Mr. Robertson and his ilk get to the bottom line-God is this tiny little cartoon character who is screaming in a squeaky little voice at some six foot something human going "I'm gonna get you  You wait!"   Really?  Really? 

See in my book, GOD is HUGE.  It's the entire universe.  It surrounds us, it supports us and it fills us.  IT LOVES US!!!  Earthquakes, fire, hurricanes...natural occurances people.  War, terrorists, murderers, theives...people with selfish motives and personal agendas.  NOT GOD!!!

Please wake up.  See that these preachers, etc. are teaching a false doctrine.  It's not about separation.  It's not about isolationism.  It's not about a golden ticket.  It's about getting off your ass, getting over your fear and being a loving human being.  That is the greatest gift you can give back to God to say thanks for the life that The Divine gave you.  Want to serve "the purpose"?  Love each other and don't continue to feed this charleton's or any other's egos. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jesus under the couch and the Holy Spirit in the hall closet

So you found Jesus?  Really?  Like under the couch?

Seriously people, it's all about the spiritual not about a guy.  It's not who he was.  It was what he said and how he lived and you're doing it wrong in my book.

To me the Divine is something huge and genderless but genderful.  It may be many beings that fit together like a puzzle to make that one Great Spirit or it is just one gianormous Sacred thing.  It is sacred and holy because it created all this.  Alllll this.  Go outside now that the sun has set and look up.  If you're lucky enough to be somewhere with minimal light pollution you can see a bit of the Milky Way.  Think about earlier members of the human family before electricity.  The vastness of the night sky.  Now maybe you can grasp their awe of the Fates.  No science to explain lightening or earthquakes so there was respect for that which surrounded them and inhabited the earth beneath them.  Is it any wonder they paid homage and made sacrifice to try to assure one more day of life?  Yes, they had a healthy respect for all of creation and the thing that created it. 

It's not about a book.  Especially a book that describe this tiny, jealous and immature "diety" that, in one breath states that it loves its creation but in the other tells the beings it "created in its image" to create labels and classes and castes and not have anything to do with this group or that.  A holy being that tempts his creatures with the fruit of a tree and when they do break the rule the first thing they notice is that they're naked?

Ok, I was going to do some more research on Genesis but the crazy contradictions after the original creation of the heavens and earth are ridiculuos.  I got angry with the "man leaving mother, woman leaving home" or whatever.  If they were the first two people that meant absolutely nothing to them.  Oh and need we forget about Caine being sent to the Land of Nod.  And just where the hell did those people and that country come from because it sure does sound like they'd be around a while before Caine offed his brother. 

See?  The book is kind of irrelevant and there are equal conflicts of information and dumb rules in the Koran too.  Bottom line is that all three religions that do the "one god" thing have come up with this really tiny, petty, disrespectful and cliquey diety.  Then the Christians throw in this one guy who supposedly is carrying the entire outcome of the world on his shoulders and all you have to do is believe he's the son of God to get Divine parole into heaven no matter how big a shit you are and how little you're doing to support your piece of the planet/mankind.  Mind you they're not saying to look at the dude's life and see  that maybe this is a road map for better living?  That maybe you're better off if you live like him?

Here's the point.  I've made a lot of mistakes and done a lot of stupid things to get people to like me but I was fortunate to be blessed with a living angel when I was 17.  That angel taught me about the spiritual and the supernatural.  He showed me some very interesting things about that Jesus guy.  But then my angel and I parted ways.  I continued on a road of being a people pleaser and self-loser for over thirty-five years.  The selflessness wasn't out of any concern for anyone else.  I just wanted people to like me so I became a hundred different people that weren't me.  But somewhere way down inside me there was a flame.  And it always reminded me that there was something else.  Something I needed to stay connected to.  I attended a lot of different churches when I was not in the company of spiritual people trying to find the thing that fed that flame.  I didn't find it in any of them.  In fact in some of those supposed houses of God I found nothing but hate, elitism and bigotry.  For all their profession of charismaticism, they were the farthest thing from spiritual.  They did a lot of damage to me. 

I found my way back to the path though and here's what I see.  The Jesus-guy in my eyes is a concept person.  Whether or not he was a flesh and blood person doesn't matter.  It was the example that was important.  "He who believeth in me shall have life everlasting"....all of us who believe in the concept and put it in practice will live a legacy that will live on for lifetimes.  And what is the concept?  Be kind.  Love your neighbor as matter what color they are, their age, how much money they have or have not, where or even if they go to church, who they hang out with, etc., etc.  "What you did for the least of these".  We're supposed to clothe, feed, minister to and visit all of them.  ALL OF THEM.  Again, no boundaries.  No if's.  No but's.  ALL OF THEM.  Finally  "Do unto others as you would have them do to you"  So if you want them to legistlate who and how you love then do it to them.  If you want to be treated differently because of your race, creed or gender then do it to your neighbor.  And when the time comes and it comes down to your life to save your neighbor's?  Will you give it a second-thought?  THAT'S THE JESUS GUY.  It's not a person, it's YOU.  Or you if you're doing it right. 

A good man (or woman)?  Don't take what's not yours.  Don't put others in danger.  Don't hit people.  Definitely don't kill them.  Things like lust and greed?  Those are just life wasters.  Covetting?  Same deal.  If you want sex, money, a house like the guy down the street?  Don't sit home in front of your TV being grumpy.  Figure out how to change your situation.  Lust is cheap.  Try love.  Heck then you get sex with emotional and psychological support.  You get someone to share the load and the journey with.  Gluttony?  Yeah cuz you're an asshole who's pigging out while the guy on the park bench hasn't eaten in a week.  You're just filling the empty spots in your heart, mind and soul with food.  How about buying another sandwich and finding a hungry someone to share it with.  They're also hungry for a friend. 

It's not about a building or the people that reside in it a few hours a week.  It's not about what they read from a book or songs that they sing.  It's not the hours wasted in study of "holy scriptures".  It's practicing the art of living in love.  And there is something around us.  It is real, and huge and loves us back and you can tap into it to find out why that Being put you here because that's the bonus card to this life.  The Divine hopes that we have a second to really open ourselves up and try to figure out what our personal gift is and what we're supposed to do with it. 

Religious people have spent way too many years building dogma and doctrine that scares people way from exploring the spirit realm.  Yes, there are bad things but if we were taught how to descern there is so much good power that needs to be tapped to heal this fucked up world.  Open your heart, your mind and your spirit.  Listen.  Look.  Learn. 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Activism and Advocacy are not sexy...

...Or "Posers go home!"

The Civil Rights movement is not hip.  It's not cool.  I'd challenge you to find even a few posers doing it to be part of the "in crowd".  Oh, what's that you say?  You can rattle off a list of celebs that are involved in one camp or another.  Really?  Look closer.  They are people who have personal stakes in the group they are advocating.  Entertainers?  Yes, most of them were members of the music nerd/drama geek/art dweebs in high school.  They just found their balls to actually make money being the weird kids.  Big business execs?  Yeah, they were the math, language, civics and science kids in their teens.  They and the afore mentioned groups tended to mingle and blur in their adolescence.  Athletes?  Well really I find there is only one group that might have believably "fought" at one time but do so rarely now that their part of the fight was "won"...African American professional athletes.  The rest?  Nope.  Can't think of any off the top of my head nor members of any team's cheer squads.  Beauty queens? They really get me because if not for the queer nation, pagents wouldn't exist but those gals are not the most supportive of their twinks.

So really...where are the "popular" kids when it comes to standing shoulder to shoulder with the LGBTs, the African-Americans, the Latin community, the Jews, the Muslims, the pagans, women?  Yeah...interesting huh?

Which brings me to my point.  There is a group, albeit small, that has emerged from "middle America" who are supposedly now die-hard "queer peers".  On the surface this would seem to be a noble act of sacrifice.  However, it is not and it could have some very negative results if allowed to continue.  This group, who had never heard the term "fag hag" before early last summer now seem to think that they are deserving of the title...while still attending their little evangelical storefront holy roller churches, living their bigoted little lives in their white-bread hometowns and scorn the "towel heads" that run the local 7-11.  They sing the battle cry of "Marriage for all" on Twitter, fan-sites and blog posts/comments.  They send letters/emails to state representatives and U.S. congress people who represent districts far from their own.  They throw the word "homophobe" around when ever they get the chance.  How would they react if one of their kids or siblings came out?

STOP!!!!  You are doing it wrong!!

First let me take the simple thing.  "Queer peers".  Oh, you've never heard that term?  Fag hags are part of that division of the LGBT civil rights army.  We are the straight advocates for the queer nation.  We are PFLAG.  We are GSA.  We are even GLAAD (despite some of their recent short-comings in a certain incident).  We have family, friends and co-workers who are LGBT and we support them, love them and treat them like anyone human beings deserving of love and respect.

Posing as an advocate from the gay tribe is a giantic act of disrespect.  Oh!  Did I call you a poser?  Yeah...yeah I went there.  See the thing were introduced to a gay man who isn't a walking stereotype.   And by the way...most lesbians, gays, bi's and transexuals are not stereotypes.  That's why you say you've never known a gay person...because the ones you have met...blend in with all the other people.  Sadly they've learned societal camoflage along with every other shunned group.  But just so we're clear, even if they were accepted, you wouldn't be seeing a whole lot of outward changes other than a couple out and about holding hands, sharing a peck on the cheek or a hug.  Not all lesbians live in flannel and work boots and not all gay men wear tight jeans, v-neck t's and loafers without socks.

But back to that exotic cat (thanks Fae) that you give the impression you'd like to see uncaged.  The truth is the only reason you'd let him in your house is if you thought he was there to seduce you...(1) you're the wrong sex and (2) most of you are old enough to be his mom.  So really what's going on here is that he's a novelty to you because you've never been this close to an openly gay man and he's especially titilating because you "discovered" him though a TV show that up until now pumped out cookie-cutter, second-rate recording artists.  I have so many words in my head to speak of all your hypocrisy and arrogance.  I heard you all get all upset over the young man's photoshoot for a certain gentleman's fashion magazine.  You were, in truth offended that the gay boy was in erotic poses with a woman.  What you were really saying is "Oh pretty freak, we love when you spark our libidos from the stage but how dare you put your nasty queer hands on that pretty straight girl".  Sure you tried to cover it up with "I wish I was her."  What will happen when this singer is invited to revisit his acting routes and place out a romantic scene with a woman?  Do you still watch How I Met Your Mother after Neil Patrick Harris came out.  Did you stop watching old Rock Hudson romance movies when his homosexuality was revealed posthumously?  I think a few of you may have.

All I can say is that next week I hope you crawl back into your television sets and get wrapped up in selecting the next best thing and leave the gay community alone.  They're much better off without you.