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Archive for November, 2011

November 23rd, 2011

From An FDR Democrat To A Reagan Conservative…

…Thank you for reminding me that not everyone who calls themselves a republican is a nativist bigot who hates the idea of the United States as a rich and beautiful melting pot.  These days, that’s a very hard thing to keep in mind.

The paranoid nativists warn that we are too culturally chaotic to survive. They are right. America dies over and over again in a thousand different ways, like the cells in your skin. The real test of a culture is not whether it dies, but whether it regenerates itself. What frightens these folks is our nerve-racking dynamism; our accelerating pace of reinvention.

We are in fact living through the end of white America. That “end” will be just as catastrophic as the end of Puritan American, the end of Colonial America, the end of White, Male Landowner America, the end of New England Whaling America, the end of Slaveholding America, the end of Rural America, the end of Pre-Industrial America, the end of Jim Crow America, the end of Industrial America and all of the other endings America has experienced in her short history.

In other words, we can be confident that this ending will be yet another in a jarring series of gateways to an ever freer, richer, and more powerful future

The real test of a culture is not whether it dies, but whether it regenerates itself. Yes.  Or as Dylan put it, he who isn’t busy being born is busy dying.  What I have always loved about my country is that every day it is busy being born.  My great sadness lately has been a nearly overwhelming feeling that the paranoid nativists had finally strangled that.  The more conservatives I see standing up to them, the more hopeful I can allow myself to be that it will not happen.  Thank you David Frum.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on From An FDR Democrat To A Reagan Conservative…

November 22nd, 2011

Why I Don’t Give A Good Goddamn What Mom’s Side Of The Family Thinks About The Fact That I Don’t Go To Church Anymore…

Via Fred Clark

“Jacob, I honestly don’t know how to write it,” I said. “I know what I want to get across, but I can never find the right words.”

“Dan, you need to write it. Don’t give up. I’m telling you, it needs to be said.”

I paused. “You don’t understand. It’s too heated a subject. It’s something people are very emotional and touchy about. I’d be lynched.”

My friend hesitated. “Dan, you are the only friend I have that knows I’m gay. The only freaking one,” he said.

“What do you mean? I know you’ve told other friends.”

That’s when his voice cracked. He began crying.

“Every single person I’ve told has ditched me. They just disappear. They stop calling. They remove me on Facebook. They’re just gone,” he said. “They can’t handle knowing and being friends with a gay person.”

I didn’t know what to say. So I didn’t say anything.

“You don’t know what it’s like, man. You don’t know what it’s like to live here and be gay. You don’t know what it’s like to have freaking nobody. You don’t know what it’s like to have your own parents hate you and try and cover up your existence. I didn’t choose this. I didn’t want this. And I’m so tired of people hating me for it. I can’t take it anymore. I just can’t.”

Go read the whole thing.  Happy Thanksgiving!

[Update…]

A few responses to the above post

Tonight I was going to kill myself. I had it all planned out. I had all the items to do it sitting in my bedroom. I don’t know if I would have done it but I sure was planning to. Ever since I told my parents and a few close friends that I was gay life has gotten worse and worse. My parents who go to church twice a week have tried to force me to go to this boot camp that’s made to force the gay out of you. They’ve told me more times than I can count that as long as I’m gay I’m not their son and that if I loved them or God at all I would do whatever it takes to not be gay anymore. They’ve even talked to my only friends and they all had a gay intervention for me and told me that they couldn’t be in my life if I was going to keep saying that I was gay.I’ve never been with another guy. I’ve never told anyone else. All I’ve ever done was finally get the guts to tell the people I was closest to in my life that I was gay and they’ve all turned on me. This all started about six months ago and I’ve never been so alone in my life.

Anyways I just was on Facebook trying to decide if I should write a goodbye note and somebody posted a link to your Christian/gay post. The post was super good, but the comments are what kept me on your site for hours. The love people who didn’t even know Jacob were showing gave me hope I guess, and then somebody posted a video called it gets better and I’ve never seen these videos but I watched it and then a bunch more and for the first time I have hope that maybe it will get better I just know now that it probably won’t get better for me here. But somewhere maybe.

So if you will, please tell your readers that they saved a life and tell them thank you because I didn’t really want to die I just really didn’t want to live with this anymore. I can’t wait to turn 18 and get out of this place. Pray for me. I’m going to need it.

Go read the others.  Remember them the next time you hear someone say Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Why I Don’t Give A Good Goddamn What Mom’s Side Of The Family Thinks About The Fact That I Don’t Go To Church Anymore…

November 20th, 2011

Everything New Is Old Again…(continued)

If I can just get my ass in gear someday and finish more episodes of A Coming Out Story, I might soon get to the part of things where I relate what is probably the central reason why I seemed so confused about my sexual orientation back when I was a kid.  Looking back now it seems obvious: I was always attracted to the other guys, and never once felt the slightest shred of sexual desire for the girls.  But when I was fourteen years old I sat in a sex ed class, taught by our gym teachers, that included a brief, but very brutal lesson on homosexuality. I’ve written about it many times before

I was 12 years old. By the end of the year I would turn 13, and enter my teen years in an America where the common view of gay people were that we were sick tortured twisted sexual deviants who ought to be locked up for the safety of the community. When I was 14 I would sit with my grade school peers in a sex ed class, taught by our gym teachers, who told us that homosexuals typically killed the people they had sex with, and preferred to kidnap and rape children and seduce young heterosexuals, rather then seek out other homosexuals for sexual trysts, precisely because we knew how dangerous we were. They taught us that homosexuals would become so excited during sex that we often mutilated the genitals of the people we were having sex with. They taught us that we were confused about which gender we were, and hated ourselves, and would take out that hate on other people by killing them horribly. Most unsolved murders we were told, were committed by homosexuals. That was the world I came to know myself in.

And every time I relate this, I just know that some people are going to think I’m exaggerating.

No…I’m not..

Pastor: “Homosexuals account for half the murders in large cities”

Senior Pastor Tom Vineyard on Tuesday, November 15, proudly stood up in front of the Oklahoma City Council and railed against a bill that would, if passed, extend a little bit of equality to a much-​maligned minority: LGBT people. The bill passed 7 – 2, and added “sexual orientation” to Oklahoma City’s anti-​discrimination law. But Dr. Tom Vineyard, a Baptist Minister, used the occasion anyway to do as much damage as he possibly could to the LGBT community — no doubt, some of whom are his own congregants.

“Judge John Martaugh, chief magistrate of the New York City Criminal Court stated, ‘Homosexuals account for half the murders in large cities’,” Pastor Vineyard decried…

…the good Pastor Vineyard said, “Homosexuals commit more than 33% of all the reported child molestations in the U.S. Many homosexuals openly admit that they are pedophiles because they cannot actually reproduce, they resort to recruiting children.”

There’s more at the link, including a bit of research someone did on where this man got his figures.  Turns out it was from a judge who, back in the 1950s, led a crusade against perverts in his city.

That was the almost universal mindset back then when it came to gay people.  We just weren’t human.  We were dangerous psychopaths who were responsible for most of the violent crimes and murders. We killed people and raped children to turn them into homosexuals too.  That was what I was taught about homosexuals and homosexuality, in school, by my teachers, in 1968-69.

And for years afterward, no matter how strongly attracted to the other guys I became, I figured I couldn’t possibly be a homosexual because I didn’t want to kill or rape anyone.  In a way, and perhaps ironically, the shear brutality of what they taught me kept me from that period of self loathing and self hatred other gay people of my generation suffered through.  The image of The Homosexual I was given was so completely grotesque I just couldn’t fit myself into it no matter how strongly attracted to other guys I became.  So I glommed onto a phrase I’d often heard the adults using: He’s  going through a phase.  And that’s what I told myself for years, though I had not the slightest idea of what it meant.

I didn’t hate myself, but what I was taught had its effect all the same.  During a time when all my heterosexual peers were tentatively beginning their way through the dating and mating maze I stayed away from it, telling myself that all that sex and romance was boring, a pastime for idiots, but not me.  I would go live on a higher plane, above all that confusing sex stuff.

And so when the day finally came that I fell deeply in love I had no idea what to do about it, and I was terrified.

It isn’t homosexuality that kids are recruited into.  Gay or straight it happens naturally, of its own accord.  You are what you are.  What kids are recruited into is hate.

“Judge John Martaugh, chief magistrate of the New York City Criminal Court stated, ‘Homosexuals account for half the murders in large cities’,” Pastor Vineyard decried…

Hate.  And…loneliness.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Everything New Is Old Again…(continued)


Everything New, Is Old Again

Some days I feel like nothing at all has changed in forty years

At Saturday’s GOP presidential forum in Iowa, newly minted frontrunner Newt Gingrich tore into the Occupy Wall Street movement, pointing to it as a symbol of exactly what’s wrong with America. “All the Occupy movement starts with the premise that we all owe them everything,” he explained. “That is a pretty good symptom of how much the left has collapsed as a moral system in this country, and why you need to reassert something as simple as saying to them, ‘Go get a job, right after you take a bath'”

There is an unpopular war going on, protestors are in the streets, cops fly into sickening displays of police brutality at every peaceful protest they show up at, and right wing politicians are telling the dirty fucking hippies to take a bath.  When did 2011 turn into 1972 and can I at least have my eighteen year old body back?

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Everything New, Is Old Again

November 14th, 2011

Choice: Six Of One, Half Dozen Of The Other

On Towleroad today I see that James Hormel has a new book out about his time as ambassador, and he’s apparently making the TV rounds promoting it. I also see that he’s making the same mistake a lot of very well meaning people make when it comes to the nature of bigotry…

James Hormel, who was appointed United States Ambassador to Luxembourg by President Bill Clinton in 1999, and was the first openly gay ambassador ever to serve, spoke with ABC News about his new book Fit to Serve, as well as DOMA, and what he sees as the #1 problem for LGBT rights today.

Says Hormel: “The number one problem today as I see it is that people think that being gay is a matter of choice, and they somehow distinguish gay people as having made a choice to be tormented by their society.”

Hormel calls DOMA “the most heinous piece of civil rights legislation in a century.”

Yes about DOMA, no about whether people think being gay is a choice. Look…nobody questions the fact that race isn’t a choice and that has never made racists question their racism as far as I can tell. Hell…they have their own junk science industry proving that blacks are genetically inferior so prejudice against them is morally justified…

When the New Republic devoted almost an entire issue (10/31/94) to a debate with the authors of The Bell Curve, editor Andrew Sullivan justified the decision by writing, “The notion that there might be resilient ethnic differences in intelligence is not, we believe, an inherently racist belief.”

In fact, the idea that some races are inherently inferior to others is the definition of racism. What the New Republic was saying–along with other media outlets that prominently and respectfully considered the thesis of Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein’s book–is that racism is a respectable intellectual position, and has a legitimate place in the national debate on race.

-FAIR, Racism Resurgent, January/February 1995

When the day comes that sexual orientation is generally seen as biologically innate, the homophobes will simply shift gears and start babbling about how homosexuality is a genetic deficiency that makes us unfit for…well…everything. The nature verses nurture argument is a distraction. The reason some people are homosexual does not matter to bigots. They just hate us. That hate is what comes first. The justification for it comes later, and takes whatever shape the bigot needs it to have to justify that preexisting hate.

All everyone else needs to see about our lives is that we are as human as they.  That we love, we cherish, we long and we need, just as they do.  Once they see that, once they can look at a same-sex couple and see in that couple’s happiness their own, it won’t matter to them why we mate to our own instead of the opposite sex.  That’s the problem.  Not the Nature verses Nurture debate, but the lie that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.  That is what we have to kill.  And we do it by living our lives openly, by resisting the pressure hate brings to bear upon our lives to stay hidden.  Bigots we will never change.  But every moment we live our lives openly so that we can be seen as neighbors and not some strange alien other, we defeat hate.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Choice: Six Of One, Half Dozen Of The Other

November 13th, 2011

The Futility Of Time Travel

Ultimately, your relationships from grade school will always be what they were. Years go by and you happen chance to cross paths with someone you knew once upon a time. Maybe they are someone you paled around with.  Maybe it’s someone who bullied you.  Maybe it’s someone you were, and still are, deeply madly in love with.  And the two of you tentatively reestablish a link between you.  And maybe you both decide not to let the past happen again.  You’re both grown up now.  Things will be better this time.  And for a time they are.  And then, slowly but it seems inevitably, you both fall back into the old patterns of behavior.  It feels like you are trapped in a time warp, no matter what you both do.  And perhaps in a sense that’s what it is.

It’s like the time travel paradox. Say you have powerful regrets about events in your past…so you invent a time machine, so you can go back in time and change what happened.  Maybe it’s something you regret doing, or that was done to you.  Maybe it’s a chance you wish you had taken.   So you invent your time machine and go back in time and you fix that thing you have wanted to fix all these years.   But now the present stops being what it is and so you live your life with no powerful regret, and no need to go back in time and change anything.  And so you don’t invent that time machine after all, and you don’t go back in time…and so nothing gets changed after all…

The universe does not permit paradoxes like that to happen.  Somehow, someway, however it must, time will not allow itself to be mucked with.   It isn’t about you.  The universe does not care about you.   It doesn’t care about your regrets, about your wounds, about all the chances you never took.  All it cares about is its rules are never broken, it’s mechanical structure never breached.   The laws of time and space are what they are and they don’t give a good goddamn about you.  Time must flow…perfectly…

I have a theory: Whenever you reconnect with that old school friend, or pal, or enemy, or crush, you are going back in time and your attempts to change that relationship will inevitably be defeated. Because time won’t let you do that. The physical universe just works that way.

And if you can’t move on, then just let it be.  You endured that regret all this time, you can live with it a little longer.  Maybe.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Futility Of Time Travel


Message In A Bottle…

I wonder if you know…

…I wonder if you know…if you understand, really, that all this time, when I’ve been showing you this stuff I’m into…all the things I do nowadays, all the things I have accomplished, all the things going on in my life…that I’m not bragging.  Really…I’m not.  Sometimes I think that’s how you take it.  But that’s not it at all. All this time I’ve been trying to prove to you that I’m worthy of your time.  I’m trying to impress you. I’ve been trying all this time, to convince you that I’m not the dweeby little nerd you saw way back when, who kept gawking at you like he’d just seen an angel…who kept embarrassing you in front of your friends…that you were always losing patients with.

…well…yes…I guess I still am.  But I can Do things.  I have accomplished stuff.  It isn’t bragging.  I’ve not been bragging at you all this time.  It isn’t gloating.  You act sometimes like you think I am.  I’m not.

I’ve been making you offerings.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Message In A Bottle…

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