The Cartoon Gallery
A Coming Out Story
New and Improved!
The Story So Far archives
My Myspace Profile
Bruce Garrett's Profile
A Tenable Belief
A Brooklyn Bridge
Box Turtle Bulletin
Cherry Blossom Special (E.J)
Mike Daisy's Blog
The Disney Blog
Dispatches From The Culture Wars
Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia
Joe. My. God
Made In Brazil
Pam's House Blend
Progress City USA
Some Guys Are Normal
Straight, Not Narrow
Truth Wins Out Blog
The Rittenhouse Review
Steve Gilliard's News Blog
Steve Gilliard's Blogspot Site
Page One Q
Talking Points Memo
Truth Wins Out
The Raw Story
NIS News Bulletin (Dutch)
The Local (Sweden)
Pleasant Family Shopping
Discount Stores of the 60s
Photos of the Forgotten
Comics With Problems
HMK Mystery Streams
Mercedes-Benz Owners Club of America
MBCA - Greater Washington Section
June 11th, 2013
How It All Ends
by Bruce |
This from Truth Wins Out…
Several weeks ago, Tennessee student Marcel Neergaard made a lot of news when he, at the ripe old age of eleven, led a campaign to have an education award rescinded from vehemently anti-gay Tennessee lawmaker John Ragan…
Bullied eleven year old stands up to political bullies in the Tennessee statehouse. It’s a very heartwarming story. And there’s a follow-up everyone should have expected, but I’ll bet his parents didn’t completely…
Sharon Kass is one of the strangest anti-gay activists out there. As far as I can tell, she’s never actually held any official position with an anti-gay organization, so she’s not making money off of being unhinged. But unhinged she is. That may be putting it lightly…
She wrote a letter to the kid’s parents. You can read it in full at the link above and be completely disgusted, as any sane person would be. But this is how the struggle ends. This is how the heterosexual majority finds out this fight has always been between all that is fine and noble in the human heart, verses the human gutter.
It has always been that fight. We win it when heterosexuals finally come to see we all share a common human heart after all. And when they do, they become the enemy too, and the gutter will turn on them as well. And when they finally, Finally see the honest face of what has been preaching at them all these centuries, this fight is over. That is how the story of this struggle ends.
Not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a tiny little tin voice babbling on and on and on and on and on about gayism.
May 21st, 2013
by Bruce |
Via Huffington Post…
Dominique Venner committed suicide on Tuesday in front of the altar of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The death of the 78-year-old essayist and historian sparked numerous reactions from French nationalists.
Several executives and members of the country’s far-right National Front party took to Twitter to praise Venner. Directly referencing Venner’s last blog post, National Front party leader Marine Le Pen called the writer’s act an “eminently political” gesture destined to “awaken the people of France.”
“All our respect to Dominique Venner whose last gesture, an eminently political one, attempted to awaken the people of France. MLP”
There is no doubt in my mind that he did it to incite violence against gay citizens and provoke a political crisis for the current government. One final grand gesture to rouse the hatred of the street, wave the bloody flag, shout to the army of the gutter that their indecision was wretched. He died for the cause of civil war against the hated Other. In June of 1865, Edmund Ruffin, American white supremacist, ardent supporter of the Confederacy, killed himself after Lee’s surrender, wrapping himself in a confederate flag before shooting himself in the head. Venner wrapped himself in a French Catholic church.
Just saw this on the Christian Science Monitor site..
Hours after the suicide, a message apparently written by Mr. Venner was read by a friend on a conservative radio station: “I believe it is necessary to sacrifice myself to break with the lethargy that is overwhelming us,” the friend read on the air. “I am killing myself to awaken slumbering consciences.”
Yes…that was what this was all about. France Awaken!
March 16th, 2013
The Lost Cause
by Bruce |
Ever wonder how so many southerners can claim with a straight face that slavery was a benign, even beneficial institution toward black people? Ever find yourself chuckling under your breath when you hear one of them refer to the civil war as The War Of Northern Aggression…?
The Civil War is like a mountain range that guards all roads into the South: you can’t go there without encountering it. Specifically, you can’t go there without addressing a question that may seem as if it shouldn’t even be a question—to wit: what caused the war? One hundred and fifty years after the event, Americans—at least the vast majority who toil outside academia—still can’t agree. Evidence of this crops up all the time, often in the form of a legal dispute over a display of the Confederate flag. (As I write, there are two such cases pending—one in Oregon and the other in Florida, making this an average news week.) Another common forum is the classroom. But it’s not always about the Stars and Bars. In 2010, for instance, Texas school officials made the news by insisting that Jefferson Davis’s inaugural address be given equal prominence with Abraham Lincoln’s in that state’s social studies curriculum. The following year, Virginia school officials were chagrined to learn that one of their state-adopted textbooks was teaching fourth graders that thousands of loyal slaves took up arms for the confederacy.
At the bottom of all of these is one basic question: was the Civil War about slavery, or states’ rights?
Read the whole thing and if you’re of a certain age you find yourself remembering how the further south you went, the more ridiculous their version of the civil war became. And you remember something else…how you just laughed it off and went along, because there was no sense rubbing their noses in it after so long. The war was a thing of the distant past…a relic of history, a plot device in spaghetti westerns and TV shows. The union won, slavery was defeated, a new South was born from the ashes. Well…yes…but so was the Ku Klux Klan. And almost one-hundred and fifty years after the war the party of Lincoln is now the party of John C. Calhoun, the intellectual godfather of the confederacy.
That has had consequences, among them being continuing and relentless political attacks not only on the rights of minorities, but more basically on the union itself that so many northern soldiers fought and died for. And since the nation’s first black president was reelected it’s only gotten worse, the outright calls for succession louder.
How did it happen that we seem right back where we started, minus only the slaves in chains but little else. It was the bloodiest war this nation has ever fought and in the spirit of healing and reconciliation the valor and bravery of confederate soldiers was honored, even as we all seemed to agree that the cause of the war, slavery, was a stain on both the southern slave holding states, as well as the northerners who kidnapped black Africans and and sold them into southern slavery. But almost immediately the south began denying it had any culpability at all in that war, and the victorious north eventually just accepted it as yet another of the south’s peculiar institutions. It was a mistake. When I was a kid in the 1960s we treated the lost cause mindset as the source of lighthearted joking…
My boots have touched Yankee soil! Now I’ll
have to burn them!
Yes, yes…war of northern aggression…whatever… But it is no joke. Compare modern Germany’s acknowledgment of its Nazi past, and the horrific crime of the Holocaust with the south’s of its antebellum past and slavery, and then compare the political mindset of even conservative Germans nowadays with that of the southern republican base and you see what cultural denial buys you.
…an audience member from North Carolina, 30-year-old Scott Terry, asked whether Republicans could endorse races remaining separate but equal. After the presenter, K. Carl Smith of Frederick Douglass Republicans, answered by referencing a letter by Frederick Douglass forgiving his former master, the audience member said “For what? For feeding him and housing him?” Several people in the audience cheered and applauded Terry’s outburst.
They cheered. They didn’t look away in embarrassment and discomfort, the way a German audience would if some lout among them defended Hitler for improving the lives of Jews by taking Germany out of economic depression. They cheered. They cheered because they grew up in a world where all their comfortable conceits about themselves and their history are never disturbed, lest they find themselves asking troubling questions about whence they came and who they are.
We did not start a war that killed more Americans then all our other wars combined just so we could keep other humans in slavery…we did not kill hundreds of thousands of our fellow Americans, our neighbors, for the cause of white supremacy…it’s a lie…we’re good Christian people…
And thus the sins of the fathers became the pride of the children, and all the racism, sexism and homophobia, all the bitter hatred of a democracy that protects the right of black people to vote, let alone drink from a white man’s water fountain, and all the acid resentment toward a world that insists on moving forward to that better tomorrow, despite their best efforts to hold it down so they won’t have to acknowledge what their Heritage actually Is.
After the presenter, K. Carl Smith of Frederick Douglass Republicans, answered by referencing a letter by Frederick Douglass forgiving his former master, the audience member said “For what? For feeding him and housing him?” Several people in the audience cheered and applauded Terry’s outburst…
The lost cause isn’t lost because it was defeated, it is lost because it leads people into an endless darkness from which few ever return.
March 15th, 2013
Your Son Will Die Of AIDS…Not That We’re Praying For That Mind You…
by Bruce |
Now drops the other shoe, as it reliably will…
Two things that people need to see to realize what this fight has always been about are the humanity of gay people and the bottomless vitriolic hatred of our enemies. Behold that process in action: a son comes out to his father who sees the son he loves, not a homosexual monster. This father declares his love for his son has opened his eyes. Thank you Mr. Portman, but reality isn’t through with you just yet. Now that your eyes have opened, you get to see who the real monsters are.
Prepare yourself. You may think you have seen the bottom of the human gutter. But it has no bottom.
March 7th, 2013
Out Of It.
by Bruce |
I’d planned on going to the NOM rally and counter rallies at the Supreme Court later this month to document it all with my cameras. I’ve got so much now in my photography archives relating to the gay civil rights struggle that I’ve witnessed over the years. But my heart isn’t in anything lately and the more I contemplated doing it the more I just didn’t want to. I don’t want to touch my cameras or my drawing tools at the moment. And I was never really that good at any of it. So I’m not going. History can go on its merry way without needing me to photograph it.
February 27th, 2013
No…I Will Not Stand Side-By-Side With The Likes Of You…
by Bruce |
A one time shooting buddy of mine offhandedly remarked that my support of gun control democrats over right to keep and bear arms republicans was, of course, all about my favoring sex and my sexual orientation over my right to self defense. I countered as I usually do when that comes up, simply by stating that while I think a lot of gun control rhetoric is simplistic and naive at best, at least it’s grounded in one basic fact, that guns are dangerous, whereas getting whipped up in a hysteria over homosexuality not only makes no sense whatsoever, by attacking people’s ability to love and accept love from another you’re actually making civilization that much harder to sustain. To nurture civilization, nurture things in its people like love, sympathy, trust, kindness. A little more love, or for that matter even a little more carefree happy sex, would probably go a long way toward making this poor angry world a much more peaceful one. If I have to come down on one side of it, I will come down on the side of love, Every Time.
But there is also this…
Last week, we reported that Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America joined conservative talk show host Stan Solomon to warn about President Obama’s alleged plans to incite violence and bring about a race war against white Americans.
I can’t begin to describe how much I despise it that people like this man have so thoroughly identified their cheapshit racism and hatreds with gun ownership. I can appreciate how it is that bigots and thugs like guns. But in a decent world they’d be keeping their mouths shut about it for the same reason Klansmen kept their faces hidden. No sense in telling the cops who to talk to when there’s been a beating or a lynching.
Behold, the human gutter…
Later, Solomon mused that “the best thing that can happen to a liberal is to be mugged,” and wondered why Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) still supports gun control after she was mugged in 1995, to which Pratt replied: “Well, maybe she liked it.”
There’s the other reason I’ll stand with the democrats on this issue, even if it means they go further than I’d care to see on it. This element needs to be thoroughly defeated, humiliated, at the polls, so we can set about building a more peaceful and prosperous tomorrow. The root of violence, the root I put it to you of all criminal behavior, is right there, in that man’s sneering contempt for a women who was mugged.
February 20th, 2013
That Pleasure You Feel While Victimizing Others That You Keep Mistaking For A Sense Of Humor
by Bruce |
The thing sociopaths never get is the difference between laughing at the powerful and laughing at the oppressed. Apparently some Colorado state representative spoke up recently in favor of a bill banning the carrying of guns on college campuses. Now I happen to think that’s a perfectly reasonable position for everyone, gun owners and second amendment believers like myself to take. I also understand perfectly that the likes of the NRA and other Kultur Krieger would howl bloody murder over it for reasons that have essentially nothing to do with the ability of people to defend themselves from violence.
To the extent that any argument is being made here, it’s that guns in the hands of women can prevent rape, therefore banning guns from college campuses makes rape more likely to happen to young women, therefore if you believe in banning guns on college campuses you must think rape isn’t so bad really. The level of cheap bar stool demagoguery here is breathtaking. But wait…there’s more…
Naturally the right wing noise machine kicks into gear and tries to make this Colorado state representative into some kind of liberal Todd Akin. The problem with doing that when you never saw anything wrong with Akin’s crack about legitimate rape in the first place completely escapes them…
There’s this new hashtag #LiberalTips2AvoidRape that’s now on its second day of trending on Twitter: A really, really great expression of our shared humanity, and of the possibilities of feel-good, thoughtful conservative satire… this is not…
Satire, as every political cartoonist knows, is a powerful weapon against the brutal and the ignorant. And never more so than when the brutal and ignorant try wielding it themselves. It’s like one of those magical swords in fantasy stories that turns on its unworthy bearer. Behold…
If you have the stomach for a torrent of rape jokes you should go browse that hashtag on Twitter. Pay attention to what’s going on here. This isn’t about guns. This isn’t about the second amendment. This isn’t about the ability of people to defend themselves from violence…
The ability of the common man and woman, and particularly of the weak and vulnerable, to be secure in their homes and their streets, to defend themselves from violence, is an eminently liberal concern. That is not what the reactionary right is about. They vigorously thump for their own right to self determination and self defense and sneer when the powerless and outcast assert those same rights. This is about culture war. Nothing else.
Here’s how some liberals are responding to the hashtag…
That’s the right approach. And in that spirit I have some of my own.
#LiberalTips2AvoidRape: Focus on putting violent offenders in jail, not pot smokers
#LiberalTips2AvoidRape: Remove judges that think women provoke rape by dressing slutty and walking alone
#LiberalTips2AvoidRape: Teach boys their manhood does not depend on their ability to dominate women
#LiberalTips2AvoidRape: Prosecute those who protect rapists from the law, even if they happen to be Catholic priests or the Pope
#LiberalTips2AvoidRape: Fire any politician who even utters the words “transvaginal probe” in the context of an abortion bill.
February 14th, 2013
by Bruce |
Good morning, all you happy not lovers!
In a special speech to honor Valentine’s Day and discuss the meaning of love, the Bishop also said that being gay is a ‘condition’ that can be dealt with through a ‘life of chastity’.
“This Valentine’s Day we would also do well to focus on a more authentic understanding of the word ‘love’”, says Bishop Paprocki. Love is never having to say you’re sorry for destroying other people’s hopes and dreams of love and happiness.
So, Happy Valentine’s Day, all you lonely gay singles living out your righteous lives of celibacy. The Bishop of Springfield says, “You’re Welcome!”
February 13th, 2013
We’re The Victims Here, Not The Kids We’re Spitting On…
by Bruce |
…because after all, they deserve to be spat on…they’re homosexuals.
Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. It always comes down to this. It is the one unmovable unshakeable belief more essential to the faith than the Resurrection. Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. Behold…
“dates”. “dates”. “dates”. The scare quotes say it all.
This is the mindset. You will not reach it with reason or appeals to sympathy. It is simply incapable of seeing the people for the homosexuals. In its regard, comparing what homosexuals do with the higher, nobler feelings of love that heterosexual couples experience is an insult, a profane slur, an attack on our very humanity, on love itself. They are not attacking anyone, they are defending ourselves from attack by those who sink to practice the most degrading form of base animalistic lust imaginable which, by demanding that it be regarded as the equal of normal heterosexuality, can only drag civilization itself into the gutter. “dates”. “dates”. “dates”.
The Superintendent of Schools who oversees the Indiana teacher who told a local news station that gays have no purpose in life is supporting the teacher’s exercise of her “First Amendment rights.” Dr. Mark A. Baker, who is in charge of Sullivan County’s public schools system, the Northeast School Corporation, released a statement noting that special needs teacher Diana Medley ”at no time was … representing the Northeast School Corporation,” but indicating she had the right to publicly state her beliefs, presumably without endangering her position.
I see. So if she told that reporter her students were a bunch of retards you’d stand up for her right to publicly state that belief.
December 14th, 2012
Cold Hearts, Bloody Streets
by Bruce |
For a technologically advanced country as wealthy and capable as this one is, we are an astonishingly violent country. Whenever one of these mass killings happens I keep finding myself forlornly wishing we could have an honest national conversation about why. But we won’t. Already it’s instantly turning into yet another argument about guns and then it’s all just flag waving and static and nobody is listening anymore, except to themselves.
I wish we could have a conversation about violence. And in particular, about male violence. I honestly don’t think the image of the sex driven violence prone human male is accurate. I think it’s a careless stereotype. I think, like the way it can be with certain dogs, you beat it into males one way or another. You annihilate their capacity for sympathy, kill their ability to trust and love, and what is left, that all too human capacity for aggression and hate, well you just let it take root and grow, uninhibited. You beat the heart out of a boy, one way or another, and then you fill the void with hate…and it doesn’t matter who they hate, just that they hate, and that they are afraid not to hate.
From the bully culture in grade schools, to the pulpit thumpers who preach male supremacy over women, to the militaristic warrior culture that reaches from the pentagon to Wall Street, teaching a kind of human law of the jungle, dominate or be dominated, we systematically dehumanize our male citizens. Some days I look at what school kids have to go through, at the casual acceptance by our courts of male domestic violence, at the routine business-as-usual culture of predatory capitalism, at a conservative politics that claims letting working citizens to perish of sickness and disease is the highest kind of social morality, and I wonder that we aren’t even more violent than we already are.
I wish we could have this conversation. But no. We will have another bitter pointless argument about guns, and wash, rinse, repeat, until the next time some walking time bomb goes off and kills. And then we’ll do it all over again. And the bullies will still rule the school hallways, young men will still be fed the idea that their manhood depends on dominating women, predators in business suits will still raid and loot the life savings of working people and be exalted as job creators, preachers will still preach that god hates atheists, liberals and homosexuals and that god made man to rule over women, and politicians will win votes by promising to take food out of the mouths of poor people and be regarded as statesmen in their hometown newspapers. And we will go to bed some nights when the news is horrifying, wondering why oh why can’t Americans look at one another and see a neighbor whose life is worth cherishing too.
December 2nd, 2012
Yes It Was A Tragedy. More Specifically Though, It Was A Murder.
by Bruce |
I saw the story of that Kansas City Chiefs murder/suicide fly across my Google news page, and reading the coverage I kept thinking, over and over I am not kidding, what about his girlfriend…?
The way that story is being covered, that taken-for-granted focus on the football player and the invisibility of the woman he killed, disgusts me. I read three news stories and I don’t even know the name of the woman he killed. But I know about the man who killed her in detail. Oh, such a tragedy, he was such a tremendous athlete, he had followed his dreams to the NFL…one of the stories I read ended on that note…and so on. But…wait a minute…he killed his lover and his child’s mother. Whatever his dreams were, honor and decency didn’t seem to be a part of them. And what of the woman he killed…what of her dreams?
I’m not saying the people close to this aren’t thinking of her…his team members, his coaches…they probably knew her personally. But…what of the news media? The way they’re reporting this so far as I’ve seen it is pretty disgusting.
That particular kind of crime completely sickens me, and I don’t understand the reflex I see sometimes to feel sorry for the killer too. How on earth do you lay a hand in anger on the body of the one you have laid down with? Yes, yes…I know lovers quarrel all the time and that’s just human nature. And I know what it is to be dumped, and there is nothing in the world that hurts like it. Nothing. But to strike…let alone murder…it just boggles my mind how you cross that threshold.
If love is gone within you, never mind the other, then walk away from it man. It can’t hurt so much because you’re still in love, if you’re swinging at them too. If you still loved them the hands that once caressed that body simply would not strike that body. You just couldn’t do it. So just walk away from it man, because that isn’t a broken heart it’s a wounded ego you’ve got, and if that’s all it takes to make you kill then what did you let yourself become. Go away and think about that while you’ve still got a soul worth having.
October 29th, 2012
Hungry Wolf Is Always Hungry
by Bruce |
This from Michelangelo Signorile this morning…
In 2006 Romney went on to stop the publication of an anti-bullying guide for public school students, because the term “bisexual” and “transgender” were used in a passage discussing harassment against students. These and other actions were a stark turnaround from when Romney had, in his Senate run in 1994, told gay activists that he was better on gay issues than Ted Kennedy, claiming to support an array of rights for gays and saying that his voice would have more weight on the issue than Kennedy’s.
What seems clear now, looking at Romney’s record, in which he made a lot of promises to gays in those early years but never delivered, is that the pandering he did was to gay activists and the voters of Massachusetts, as the devout Mormon used that state as a stepping stone to the presidency.
This. Romney’s constant verbal flip-flops and outright lying over the years make him appear to be a total panderer. But he isn’t. Look at his record, both in and out of public office. There’s the man. Bigoted. Cruel. Predatory.
October 28th, 2012
Dear Values Voters…
by Bruce |
If you’re still committed to vote for this man admit it…you don’t care that he’s a brazen in-your-face liar. You care about something else. Maybe it’s the president is a darkie. Maybe it’s the homosexuals are after your children. Maybe its rape is a gift from God. Whatever.
You’re going to vote for the liar. Because he shares your moral values.
October 11th, 2012
Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory…
by Bruce |
A friend posted this photo to his Facebook wall the other day…
…to which another friend remarked, “Some churches seem to self-select for the ignorant and the gullible. But I like the comment someone left: “Take this sh*t seriously. It’s all fun and games until someone starts shooting.”
And in other news…some days this dream I had back in April of 2005, somewhere in George Bush’s America, still bothers me…
In this dream I’m driving to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to visit some gay friends.
From Baltimore, Gettysburg is not all that far away. This is a day trip I’m taking, and I have three gay friends with me…a full car. We chat easily as I drive with the windows down and the moon roof open through some very lovely Maryland, and then Pennsylvania countryside. I don’t recognize anyone in the car with me…never saw their faces before in my life. But somehow…in this dream…I know they are all friends of mine.
It is a beautiful day. Perfect actually. Not too hot, not too cold. The air smells sweet and crisp and clear. The sky is a perfect blue, with just a few fluffy clouds in it here and there…just enough to make it beautiful, but not so many as to block the sun. A perfect day. My companions and I are feeling as sunny and cheerful as the weather. Peace and contentment and companionship. A perfect day.
Eventually we get to a small and cozy old cottage house in Gettysburg. Somehow I know it is not far from the battlefield nearby…somewhere over the rolling hills of grass and trees. But the sight of such a charming little house puts all thoughts of that terrible war out of my mind. It is so cozy and peaceful to look at. Like something out of a Currier and Ives print. There is a large plot of land around it, with a very nice stone walled garden on one side of the house. Inside we meet more friends, There is a table of lovely snacks and wine. Delicious. I chat with a few of the folks inside, get a few snacks from the table and a small crystal glass of wine, and walk out into the garden…back out into the perfect day.
I don’t recognize any of these people. But somehow in my dream I know that they are all gay friends of mine. We chat about this and that in the beautiful garden. The couple who owns the house has clearly done years of careful loving work on both house and garden. The garden is surrounded by a low stone walls that I think must date back hundreds of years. Inside the wall are so many beautiful bushes and flowers it just takes your breath away. A little paradise.
It is a very peaceful, tranquil setting, and I feel a warm, serene ease being there, and being in the company of these other gay folks. I don’t know any of them, yet I feel that we are all compatriots…comrades somehow. Kindred. I am sitting on one of the low stone walls. A guy about my age is sitting beside me on my right. Several other guys are standing in front of me. We are chatting easily about this and that.
As we chat, about a dozen bright yellow birds, American Goldfinches, land on the wall near us. We watch as they fly a short distance to one of the garden’s Azalea bushes, now in full rosy bloom. Yellow birds hopping around in a rose red bush, looking for some food I suppose. The sight is lovely. One of my companions remarks on how colorful they are, and I agree.
The goldfinches fly off, and almost immediately about a dozen or so starlings land on the stone wall a short distance away from us. My companions ignore them. Some people don’t like starlings, they’re not very pretty birds, but I like and even admire them in some ways. But starlings are not welcome in most places because their flocks can get Huge and they make a lot of mess.
My companions ignore the small flock of starlings. As I watch one of the birds starts walking very awkwardly on the stone wall, over towards where I’m sitting.
As it gets closer I can see its feathers are unkempt…ruffled…disordered. Some look broken. It’s little pointy yellow beak is broken and bent in the middle. It comes closer, awkwardly waddling on little stubby bird legs. I can see eyes are just two black holes in its head…empty sockets in its little bird skull.
It walks over the stones to me and then it stops, fixes those empty socket eyes on mine, and in a little dry, gravelly voice, begins singing The Battle Hymn of the Republic to me.
Mine eyes have seen the glory
of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage
where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning
of His terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah!
His truth is marching on.
…and then I wake up.
September 28th, 2012
by Bruce |
The culture war is a battlefield with many dead hopes and dreams, mostly unseen and forgotten…
Tucked in a corner of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender closet is a little-known group: straight women and men in heterosexual marriages whose husbands or wives come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender after marrying them as “the right thing to do.” Finding the marriages too difficult to maintain due to their hidden sexual orientation or gender identity, they eventually say, “Honey, I’m gay,” or, “I need to become the woman or man I am,” or their mates discover signs of a same-sex lover or an opposite-gender wardrobe. Though some couples work out ways to stay together, most divorce, their children now in a broken family. As divorced LGBT partners begin to live their lives with integrity, their straight ex-partners are left in shock, their own identity, integrity, and belief system shattered. The spotlight on the disclosing partners, few outsiders think about their wives or husbands. “They’re straight! They’re normal. No problem.”
No problem… For the culture warriors anyway. Years ago, when I became involved in the struggle of a gay teen who was forced into ex-gay therapy against his will, I had my eyes opened to a bitter little corner of the culture war that was mostly under the radar of mainstream notice. The many good and decent people scarred horribly from the experience of putting themselves, or having been put through, a relentless gauntlet of shame, allegedly for the sake of saving their souls. But as is usually the case, the saviors were less interested in the people they were theoretically saving then in building their own stepping stones to heaven. They didn’t follow up, they didn’t give a shit whatsoever about the fate of the saved. It was all just theater. Grist for their bar stool conceits about their status as God’s own right hand. And you never saw it more clearly then in the human suffering of straight spouses, mostly heterosexual women, who were nothing more then useful tools for the haters of homosexual people.
Straight spouses are injured by the very anti-gay or anti-trans/pro-straight factors in our society that caused their mates to marry them — “collateral damage,” some say. Those in mixed-orientation marriages, like their partners, feel unfulfilled by the sexual mismatch, often blaming themselves and accommodating their partners’ wishes at the expense of their own.
There were the gay folk themselves, but also parents shamed into believing that their son’s homosexuality was their fault. And there were the spouses of homosexual men. One thing you notice right away listening to the stories of the survivors of ex-gay therapy is how little attention is paid to women. In the manner of righteous misogynistic patriarchal thugs, those women never mattered. Lesbians were seldom a target of the ex-gay outfits. They were focused almost exclusively on male homosexuality. And so of course, heterosexual women lured into marriages with gay men didn’t matter, except as tools to cure men of their homosexuality.
Once they know the truth, the vast majority divorce and must pick up the pieces of their fractured families to create a semblance of normalcy for their children. In addition, a number keep their ex-partners’ “secret,” wanting to avoid the latter’s rejection by community, workplace, or place of worship, and to protect their children from taunts. If their partners disclose publicly, they are rightfully praised for their courage, while their straight ex-spouses are forgotten. Keeping the secret or feeling discounted, straight spouses retreat into their own kind of closet, invisible. Some find peer support through the Straight Spouse Network. Few find the knowledgeable professional help they need.
There is another victim of this human tragedy as well, unseen, unacknowledged, possibly even unaware themselves: other gay men, who might have loved, and been loved by those gay men, had they grown up in a world where their sexual nature was not used against them, for the sake of the righteous.
So much love lost to the world, to so many hearts left to wander the world alone. So the righteous could make their stepping stones to heaven out of other people’s hopes and dreams of love.
I am not an atheist because I have a grudge against religion. I stopped believing simply because I had to finally admit to myself that belief had stopped making sense to me. But I will acknowledge that it was helped along by that relentless torrent of hate flung at me and at so many other good hearts simply for what we were. It forced me to question the biblical truths I was raised to believe. I think eventually the questions would have come anyway. Having had the father I did, the whole concept of original sin, and being held guilty for acts not of my own doing, struck me as monstrously grotesque the moment I began of fully understand it. But there is no doubt the questioning came sooner, and more forcefully, because I had to think about why such a wonderful, beautiful, life affirming thing as falling in love was, for me, proof that I was an abomination.
I’ve had it good, golden even, compared to what other gay people have had to endure. I was never thrown out of my house, never had to hear my own parents tell me they hated me for what I was. But I am alone. I have been alone my entire life. And I have seen the faces of others, so terribly alone as am I. We homosexuals are a minority. In the best of all possible worlds it would still have been a harder road to that place of peace and joy for us. It didn’t have to be made worse. Yes mother, yes father, I will take my heart, and all its hopes and dreams of love and devotion, and put them in this little coffin and bury it. Because I am your good son…
I am an atheist. I love life, and this good earth, and I try to love the people who come my way in it. I try to be a good neighbor. I want love to succeed, if not for me then for others. There is no despair in me in knowing that the end is the end. It means that this life I have now is what I have to make right, make good. To leave this world in some better way because I have walked in it is enough. There is nobility there for me. And hope. But if there is a judgment day coming, I would rather answer for the life I’ve lived then have to answer for the life of someone who told a gay man to get himself married so God would not abandon him, and then be shown all the broken and destitute hearts that he thought on that day would be the proof of his love of God.
Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com