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
March 28th, 2013
Better…Like A Fever Broken…
by Bruce |
As I have said many times here, this is a life blog. Nothing more or less. And sometimes life gets a little heavy. Not to scare anyone…I’m fine now…really…but this first quarter was about the worst I have ever had. Every winter it seems the period between Valentine’s Day and April just gets worse and worse. But I think that’s over now. As they say, what has been seen cannot be unseen.
I was in that chilly gray sky of the mind state all morning long yesterday. I’d been that way for weeks and it just kept getting worse and worse. Things went badly at work. Things I should have been able to shrug off that I took to heart. My co-workers were noticing, which only made it worse. It fed on itself. And it wasn’t about nothing either. I’m 59 years old and never had a boyfriend. You can’t walk that far in a life without time spent in the arms of an intimate other and not be damaged by it. We were not made to be solitaries. And I have been betrayed by people I trusted deeply. Or maybe it was my congenital naivety. People who look like that…
So it was deep in that feedback loop that I randomly chanced across that Hemingway quote in my Facebook stream and naturally the first thing that came to mind was a kind of despair that, no this isn’t why I feel the way I do because I have no courage. I do not take risks, I run away from them. Just ask Tico. I am not a good man wounded, I was damaged goods to begin with. Unworthy. The child who was never meant to be. And right then it was as if something tapped me on the shoulder and showed me something about myself that I’d never really looked at before, that through it all I have lived an honest life, because I never thought doing that was something to pat yourself on the back for.
A feeling for beauty…the courage to take risks… Yeah…actually I’ve taken a few haven’t I? And so it goes. I felt right then as though a terrible fever was breaking. Seriously, it was like a smothering curtain had been pulled off me and I felt alive again. Life was good again. The road forward clearer, and…enticing. Then I remembered what had happened to Hemingway. You try to be rational about things, but for a moment I felt like I’d been given a lift up, from a hand that would have known the need.
March 21st, 2013
Seeing Your Gay Neighbor Through Prejudiced Colored Glasses
by Bruce |
The struggle for gay civil rights is merely homosexuals seeking approval of their lifestyle…
“The primary challenge that our side faces right now is the intense social pressure,” said Joseph Backholm, 34, the executive director of the Family Policy Institute of Washington. “To the extent that the other side is able to frame this as a vote for gay people to be happy, it will be challenging for us.”
The more things change the more they stay the same. As far back as Anita Bryant’s rampage on Dade County’s anti-discrimination law, the rhetoric has been that all the fuss about gay rights is merely the homosexuals demanding societal approval of their lifestyle. No matter how you phrase that, (a vote for gay people to be happy) it is ignorant. All you’re telling us there Joseph, is you can’t see the people for the homosexuals.
Anyone who thinks this struggle is only about approval or some frivolous desire for “happiness” has ether never loved or does not think gay people are capable of love. Happiness is in your lover’s smile, and the touch of their hand in yours. All the approval you could ever need is in their eyes when they look into yours. You would know this if you ever loved Joseph. You would know why we fight for the honor and the dignity of it if you could see the people for the homosexuals. We are not asking for approval from the likes of you Joseph, let alone happiness. What we need from you is to take the damn knife out of our backs.
March 15th, 2013
When The Homosexual Menace Is Your Own Kid
by Bruce |
I’m reading these headlines yesterday…
And thinking pretty much what Matthew Yglesias tweeted this morning: “Glad Rob Portman’s for marriage equality, but wish conservatives could muster empathy for problems that don’t directly affect their family.”
On the other hand he didn’t go on a warpath against homosexuality like some conservatives have when they found out they had a gay kid (Hello Phyllis Schlafly…William Knight…Alan Keyes…). Let me make an educated guess here: Portman thinks love is an integral part of marriage.
How many times have you heard them saying in the kook pews, in the context of arguing against marriage for same-sex couples, that marriage isn’t about love? How many of those are the sort of people who you would expect to have their eyes opened when a child comes out to them? At some point you have to conclude that this entire battle has been over the sanctity of love, and nothing else.
All some people seem to be able to see in the trappings of marriage is the authority part. I now pronounce you… They forget the part about What God has joined… I don’t think you have to be a believer to see the truth in that. The higher power isn’t in the part played by the clergyman or whoever is officiating at the ceremony. The ceremony is an act of acknowledgement; a mutual recognition, on the part of everyone concerned, of a fact that has already occurred. The higher power, the actual presiding authority, has already acted. Think of the officiator as a conductor for an ancient score. Public declarations are made, promises sworn between a couple, and between them and their community. We are here to witness… The higher power is love. What it has joined, let no one cast asunder.
What sort of person says that love is not the central fact of marriage? The same sort who throws their gay child out into the streets, that’s who.
February 25th, 2013
Notes On The Gay Lifestyle…(continued): Message From Another World…
by Bruce |
I came out to myself one December evening in 1971, and for the next couple years had no clue whatsoever as to how to find others like me, and maybe get a date, and maybe even find someone who was special enough to settle down with, and build us a life together. Until that moment everything I knew about homosexuals and homosexuality I had learned from heterosexuals, and the opinions there ranged from tactful pity to venomous hostility.
In 1971 every state but one had sodomy laws on the books. In 1971 you could be fired, you could loose your professional license, you could loose your home, you could loose your freedom, just for being discovered. Forget about a career anywhere you might need a background check or a security clearance. And the message you got from every direction was you were human filth, a danger to children, a threat to your community, a pathetic faggot at best…
Mad #145, Sept ‘71, from “Greeting Cards For The
Sexual Revolution” – “To A Gay Liberationist”
…a dangerous sexual psychopath at worst…
“The thought of turning…of turning involuntarily into one of them frightened me…and made me sick with anger.”
You were a symptom of social decay. You were what caused the fall of Rome. You were an abomination in the eyes of God. Certainly you were a thing best left unspoken of in decent company.
This was the world I came out into. The only place I knew of where other people like me could be found was a seedy bar downtown that everyone in school joked about. When I searched for books about gay people, fiction that spoke to me about life as a gay man, all I found were trashy sex novels where the gay protagonist was there only to remind everyone what a sad, pathetic life we were all condemned to. To be sure, 60s sexual liberation, at least in theory, extended even to gay people. In the Broadway musical Hair they sang “Sodomy Fellatio Cunnilingus Pederasty. Father, why do these words sound so nasty? Masturbation can be fun. Join the holy orgy Kama Sutra Everyone!” But this was, as always, gay lib as purely sexual in nature…a side show to heterosexual liberation at best. More often, sexual freedom did not include treating gays as anything other than pathetic faggots. Even in the sexually no-holds-barred underground comix world, gay people were stereotypical faggots…
Jake shows the kids how to deal with a limp wrist faggot in Larry Weltz’ “Gearjammer”, Bakersfield Kountry Komics, 1973
If not symptoms of capitalist decadence and oppression…
Guy Colwell reminds us in Inner City Romances #3 (1977),
that homosexuality in prison is but a mirror image of capitalist oppression
of the strong over the weak…
I had nothing that spoke to me…nothing that spoke to that wonderful, magical experience of first love, and what it taught me was truth; that the love between same-sex couples could be every bit as vital and life affirming as that experienced by opposite-sex couples. Then late in 1972, I stumbled across Mary Renault’s novel, The Persian Boy, and in her works finally, Finally, found what I was looking for…
“Hephaistion had known for many ages that if a god should offer him one gift
in all his lifetime, he would choose this. Joy hit him like a lightning-bolt.”
―Mary Renault, Fire from Heaven
But my community seemed still so far out of reach. I knew it was out there…somewhere…but I could find no access to it.
By the winter of 1972 I was working at a camera store that catered to the professional clientele. I did stock boy duties and one day, while unpacking a shipment of cameras from a distributor in San Francisco, I found a complete issue of The Advocate, placed neatly on top of all the balled up newspaper that was packing the contents of the box. By then I had heard of The Advocate, knew it was a newspaper produced by and for gay people, but I’d had no idea where to find a copy. And now suddenly, there in front of me, was a complete copy, placed there like a message in a bottle by someone in the shipping department at the other end.
To whom it may concern…you are not alone…
I glanced quickly around…my stock room manager was elsewhere, I was alone. I took the newspaper and placed it inside my backpack and closed the zipper. When I finally got it home I devoured it like a starving man.
I still have it…a carefully saved bit of personal history…
Eventually I found my way to a seedy “adult” bookstore where I could find copies of The Advocate, as well as the local gay paper, The Washington Blade, and several glossy gay magazines that weren’t entirely pornographic, such as Mandate, In Touch and Christopher Street (a gay version of the New Yorker that had hilarious New Yorker style cartoons). That lasted until I discovered the Lambda Rising bookstore downtown at which point it seemed like, finally, the world had opened up to me. But that first copy of Advocate felt at the time like a lifeline, tossed to me by some friendly stranger on the other side of the country. I wish I could thank them.
Notes On The Gay Lifestyle…(continued): That Little Rainbow Sticker That Says “Fire Me”
by Bruce |
The pink triangle was sewn on the prison clothes of gay Germans during the thousand year Reich. It was meant to be a stigma, a sign that here was a prisoner who was the lowest of the low. Lambda was the first symbol we embraced for ourselves, as a statement of identity and pride. It was chosen in 1970 by the Gay Activists Alliance of New York, and in 1974 was declared the official international symbol for gay and lesbian rights by the International Gay Rights Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland. It signifies unity under oppression.
I came out to myself on December 15th, 1971 (yes, I remember the exact moment), and as per my nerd genes, instantly began reading everything I could on the subject…which wasn’t much that made any sense since it was nearly all written by heterosexuals. A classmate I was massively crushing on had put an arm around me as we walked together out of school, sending me into a happy rush of delight, tinged with the feel of physical closeness to him. It sent me right into the stratosphere. I spent the rest of that day rushing over and over on the memory of his smile, and the feeling of his embrace. Nothing in my life had ever been so wonderful. That was when I finally had to admit it. Yeah Bruce…you’re gay… And in that moment I knew that everything I had been taught up to then about homosexuals and homosexuality was wrong. So when I read that it was a sickness, I simply discarded it as ignorant. In the Civil Rights/Johnson-Nixon/Vietnam years it wasn’t difficult for a teenager to know that the grownups could be astoundingly stupid.
But that was only a few years after Stonewall, and that first gay pride march in New York City, and even in such an urban place as the Washington D.C. suburbs, a gay teenager was still very isolated from his kind. It was a couple years later before I saw my first issue of The Advocate, which had been carefully added to the packing of a shipment of cameras the store I was working for received from a distributor in San Francisco. I stuffed it into my backpack, squirreled it home and devoured it (I still have it carefully saved away as a bit of personal history). There was a world out there where others like me lived. But finding it closer to home was difficult.
When I discovered, finally the Lambda Rising Bookstore downtown, a world of information and literature opened up before me. And…knickknacks! I bought a little Lambda necklace and wore it constantly. I painted lambdas on my backpacks, so expertly I had people question where I’d managed to buy one with a lambda on it. And I had a little Lambda bumper sticker for my car. Partly it was the joy of being able to identify in a way that the hostile world around me wouldn’t recognize…most of the time. But mostly it was this: a lot of us back then who didn’t live in New York, LA or San Francisco were lost and alone in a world that hated us. I wore the lambda mostly as a little wave of the hand, to anyone who might see it, so to say, Hi…you’re not alone…
Time passes…the universe expands…and one day a newer, better symbol for our struggle emerged. There is a quote…I can’t find it now but I recall it as something like a flag that truly represents its people isn’t decided on by a committee but torn out of them from their lives and their experience. In 1978 Gilbert Baker designed the rainbow flag for that year’s Gay Freedom Celebration in San Francisco. By the time I was a successful contract software developer, it had pretty much completely superseded the Lambda. So where my first car had worn a little Lambda sticker on the back, my first new car since emerging from poverty, the Geo Prism, wore a little rainbow. In the 1990s I was still saying ‘Hi…‘, though it was becoming less and less of a need.
In those days one of my contracts was at a company located in the deep Baltimore suburbs…almost in the sticks. I was doing well as a software developer, not only because I had a mind for it, but also it fit very well to be in a trade where I could go to work in blue jeans and sneakers, and wear my hair long and not get any static from management. The computer geeks of the PC revolution, so unlike the suit and tie IBM mainframe guys, were a notoriously non-conformist bunch. It was even okay to be gay…some of the big names in our field were, and the rest knew perfectly well how to evaluate a statement as true or false. The demonizing crap homophobes spread about us just did not find very good soil amongst the computer nerds. That’s not to say it didn’t occasionally take root here and there all the same.
I had been at the job site about a week, when one day I saw the manager stop abruptly as he passed my car in the company parking lot. I saw him stare at the little rainbow bumper sticker on the back like someone had parked a turd in one of the parking spaces. I went inside and shrugged it off. I wasn’t one of their employees, I was a contractor and we contractors didn’t matter. We did our work and when it was done we went on to the next job somewhere else. That was my life, and in those days I was fine with that. It allowed me to keep office politics and personality conflicts at arm’s length. And as he was managing the company IT division, I assumed he knew from experience that us computer geeks came in a lot of odd varieties. I didn’t think I would get any static about it.
But in less than an hour I was called into his office, along with my contract agency’s lead (there were several of us working that contract there), and told that I was being fired. For…ah…low productivity. I looked him right in the eyes as he said it and I’m sure my expression telegraphed exactly what I was thinking of him then. But I got up, expressed a perfunctory regret that I was not satisfactory and hoped he wouldn’t see that as a reflection on my agency, and my agency rep and I left his office.
As I gathered my things to leave the building, my rep wore a bewildered, somewhat disturbed look. “I don’t get this…” he says, “You’ve only been here a couple weeks and you’ve been doing fine. Nobody expects a new guy to be one-hundred percent in just a couple weeks…but you’ve been doing great…” Then he looks me right in the eyes…I could see his conscience was getting to him…and says, “It really makes you wonder…” All I could say was, “Yeah…I know…”
Getting a little first hand look at discrimination in the workplace are we…?
It was the height of the dot-com boom and I left there confidant I would have work elsewhere, if not the next day then within a week. My agency got me another contract almost immediately and I put it aside. There are some forms of rejection that really get to me and I can’t help it, but those are about my artwork. I have never felt the sting of it when it concerned business, and never, thankfully, when it was over my sexual orientation. I came out to myself one December evening in 1971, and in that wonderful rush of first love I saw the truth, and ever since hate has just rolled off me like water off a duck’s back. I think of my first love, and discard hate as simply ignorant. That was the last job I ever lost when an employer found out I am gay, but it was hardly the only one. And gay people are still very much at risk. But I can think of at least one straight guy out there somewhere, who when he hears that gay Americans don’t need protection from job discrimination, would know from first hand experience exactly why we do. In retrospect that teaching moment was worth getting fired for.
February 24th, 2013
Notes On The Gay Lifestyle…
by Bruce |
A militant homosexual is a homosexual who doesn’t think there is anything wrong with being a homosexual. A militant homosexual activist is a homosexual who acts like there isn’t anything wrong with being a homosexual.
I had some conservative friends…once. Not social conservatives…so they claimed. No, no…they were all about smoking pot and live and let live…so they said. Oh, they kept voting for crackpot right wing politicians who had no compunction about waging war on deviants Welfare Cadillac Mothers and the Dirty Fucking Hippies. But they frowned on making a big deal out of it. So long as they were left alone to do whatever they damn well pleased. Heinlein kind of conservatives. If you’ve ever read any Heinlein, you know the type.
One day the sister of the family mentioned off-handedly to me that I’d somehow become homosexual because I’d decided that all women were bitches. I tried to tell her as politely as I could that my sexual orientation wasn’t a matter of rejection of one sex, as my attraction to my own. Desire I said, wasn’t disdain by a different name. I was drawn to males, not repulsed by females. I Liked women. Just not that way. I don’t think she ever got that. Point of fact, I said, when I figured myself out in my teen years, I was able to relate more comfortably to women. The pressure to date against my nature was very disturbing. It made me angry and frustrated. I hated the whole thing. Then I finally came to a place where I could acknowledge that I was a homosexual, that I liked guys and that was okay, and the pressure was off and I could relax. It took a very great weight off my shoulders. But that didn’t seem to compute with her. Or any of them.
One day while pontificating about gay activists…I forget now what the specific issue of the day was…she averred that I was better than them because I was a “discrete” homosexual. I laughed, and told her I wasn’t discrete, I was Single. It’s easy to be discrete about your love life I said, when you don’t have one. I don’t think she ever got that either.
Time passes…the universe expands…and a bunch of people who only knew me casually found out what a militant homosexual I apparently was when my web site, and Facebook, made it possible for them to see my writings about my concerns social and political. And what I saw was it came as a shock to some that I really didn’t think there was anything wrong with me. That I would actually vote and act and behave like Those Other People, that I really believed I deserved the same chances for love and happiness and contentment as everyone else. It felt as though I were being called a traitor somehow. Oh…you were one of Those people all along…
Yes. I was. I am a human being. I have the same needs as any of you. Couldn’t you see that?
January 9th, 2013
by Bruce |
This flitted across my Facebook stream a while ago…I really wish I had the original because I’d caption it differently…
Having had and witnessed so many arguments with anti-gay bigots who say that marriage isn’t about love, I’m pretty sure this would fail miserably at getting the point across. You simply can’t make that point with the hard core bigot, they just don’t get that “love” stuff to begin with, or to any degree they do they regard it with contempt as a sign of weakness.
This is a good argument to make with everyone else who is open to hearing to our stories and seeing our shared humanity. But there’s a another one. I’d caption the picture above something like this:
In a world bleeding itself to death with violence and war, how rational are those
who warn that it is dangerous to allow men to love other men?
December 16th, 2012
The Common Welfare
by Bruce |
Why I keep feeling so frustrated whenever another horrific act of violence gets my country all wrapped up in another shouting match over guns: this mother’s plight is everyone’s. Everyone’s.
I live with a son who is mentally ill. I love my son. But he terrifies me.
A few weeks ago, Michael pulled a knife and threatened to kill me and then himself after I asked him to return his overdue library books. His 7 and 9 year old siblings knew the safety plan—they ran to the car and locked the doors before I even asked them to. I managed to get the knife from Michael, then methodically collected all the sharp objects in the house into a single Tupperware container that now travels with me. Through it all, he continued to scream insults at me and threaten to kill or hurt me.
When I asked my son’s social worker about my options, he said that the only thing I could do was to get Michael charged with a crime. “If he’s back in the system, they’ll create a paper trail,” he said. “That’s the only way you’re ever going to get anything done. No one will pay attention to you unless you’ve got charges.”
I don’t believe my son belongs in jail. The chaotic environment exacerbates Michael’s sensitivity to sensory stimuli and doesn’t deal with the underlying pathology. But it seems like the United States is using prison as the solution of choice for mentally ill people. According to Human Rights Watch, the number of mentally ill inmates in U.S. prisons quadrupled from 2000 to 2006, and it continues to rise—in fact, the rate of inmate mental illness is five times greater (56 percent) than in the non-incarcerated population.
Her son is exceptionally intelligent, and could have probably been diverted into a gifted child school track were it not for his sudden violent fits.
The welfare state isn’t about handing out free money to freeloaders. It is about Americans recognizing we have a common stake in each other’s welfare. That includes this child. That includes his mother and his siblings. That includes anyone who might become the victim of one of his violent fits, and also everyone who would ever have benefited from his intelligence, and his love, were he given adequate mental health care.
November 22nd, 2012
by Bruce |
This came across my Facebook stream just now…
Which is probably why some gay men of my generation stick to casual sex…why the advice I constantly, reliably get from gay friends of my generation and older, about my chronic loneliness is to just go out and get laid. It’s the cure that’s worked for them for so much of their own lives. But for some of us that would only make it worse.
You can work your way past shame and self loathing. Getting yourself to a place where you can trust another person…intimately…after so many years right when you’re so very young, being emotionally battered and bruised by your own family…your own parents…friends…that’s a lot harder. Nearly impossible for some. For some gay folk of my generation, it will always be a time before Stonewall…
November 20th, 2012
Lazy Bums On The Government Dole…
by Bruce |
This came across my Facebook stream this morning…
This seems like beating on a dead horse…probably everyone knows by now that WalMart pays food stamp wages…but there’s a point here that needs constant hammering on. If you like WalMart’s Low, Low Prices! fine…except WalMart workers are living on food stamps and probably other public support too, and that’s a large part of how WalMart keeps its prices down (another part is their pressure on companies to manufacture goods in low wage countries abroad, thereby costing American families their livelihoods and decimating this country’s industrial base). So…the difference between what you paid for your WalMart goods and what they would actually cost if WalMart simply paid its workers a living wage is the part paid for by food stamps. If you shop at WalMart, you are on the dole too. Except you could probably afford not to be.
So who’s the lazy bum wanting a government handout here, because it isn’t the WalMart worker.
November 13th, 2012
You Knew You Lost When You Started Lying To Yourselves
by Bruce |
Dan Savage this morning…
“The die is cast on this issue,” said Steve Schmidt, who advised the presidential campaigns of Senator John McCain and George W. Bush and has for years urged Republicans to accept same-sex marriage. “Why should we sign a suicide pact with the National Organization for Marriage?” Mr. Schmidt asked, saying the party should instead endorse the principles of federalism and let the states decide the matter.
Depending on how you slice and dice the electorate, you can make the case that the gay vote was decisive in this election. So what NOM is asking the GOP to do—double, triple, quadruple down on anti-gay hate—really does amount to signing a political suicide pact.
The homophobic pundits and leaders of the anti-gay industrial complex who are saying now that this election does not represent a sudden shift in people’s attitudes about same-sex marriage are right. There’s nothing sudden about the build up of pressure along a fault line either, just the release of it. The trend toward acceptance and equality has been obvious for decades now, and the haters have always known it. Witness the junk science industry they’ve been busy building since the Stonewall Riots and the removal of homosexuality as a psychiatric diagnosis. You don’t wage a bitter scorched earth war on the facts if you know the facts are on your side. The haters have always known that in the end all they had to win on was the passion of their own hate, and that eventually that would not be enough. And they have always known that marriage was the final threshold, and that it would be crossed when more heterosexuals then not would say to each other, and then at the polls, Actually, homosexuals do love.
And so it comes to this…
The Colorado Independent reports that officials from the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) have vowed to make Starbucks (along with other companies that support same-sex marriage) pay a “price” in Middle Eastern countries that are hostile to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. The statements were made during a Nov. 8 conference call, scheduled as a discussion of the 2012 elections which saw sweeping marriage equality victories in Maine, Maryland and Minnesota, as well as Starbucks’ home state of Washington.
“So for example, in Qatar, in the Middle East, we’ve begun working to make sure that there’s some price to be paid for this,” Brian Brown says in audio recording of the conference call…
And that price will be paid not merely in lost sales, but in the blood of gay people all throughout the middle east, just as they have done in Africa and wherever else they could. And Brian Brown and Maggie Gallagher and Robert George will not shed a single tear over it. Ours was always a struggle for the right to love and be loved, against an immovable need to hate the heart capable of it and all the wonder and joy of life and existence. The fight isn’t over, the sweat and tears and bloodshed go on, but the Rhine has been crossed. Actually, homosexuals do love.
October 1st, 2012
You Have To Cut The Heart Out When They’re Young
by Bruce |
One small step taken against a widely practiced form of child sexual abuse yesterday in California…
The thing to remember here is this only applies to licensed therapists, not pulpit thumping hate mongers who are still as free as ever to stick a knife in a kid’s heart and twist it in the name of Christ, and then twist it again in the name of love. But already the usual suspects are screaming bloody murder…
In a statement on NARTH’s website, the group says the law will seriously jeopardize the livelihoods of “licensed therapists in California who would otherwise be willing to assist minor clients in modifying their unwanted same-sex attractions and behaviors.” It also will “supplant the rights of parents,” the group says.
Note the reliable appeal to the rights of parents. But no parent has the right to subject their child to sexual abuse and ex-gay therapy is just that. If you think that’s hyperbole I strongly recommend you listen to the stories of the survivors of ex-gay therapy and compare them to the survivors of other forms of sexual abuse.
Kendall said the therapy he underwent “led me to periods of homelessness, to drug abuse, to spending a decade of my life wanting to kill myself. It led to so much pain and struggle. And I want them to know that what they do hurts people. It hurts children. It has no basis in fact. And they need to stop.
The self loathing. The shame. The despair. Blaming yourself for what happened. People need to look at what this practice does to children. And not just ex-gay therapy but the general cultural shaming and bullying of gay kids. Really look at it. This is sexual abuse.
But the abusers won’t stop of their own accord. Oh no…the kids really wanted it you see…
…the law will seriously jeopardize the livelihoods of “licensed therapists in California who would otherwise be willing to assist minor clients in modifying their unwanted same-sex attractions and behaviors…
What those kids want is to be loved. They don’t want to be abominations in the eyes of God. They don’t want their parents breaking down in tears, screaming at them that they’re ashamed to be their parents. They don’t want to be monsters. But who told them they were? No Mr. Nicolosi, those kids didn’t want you feeling up their souls, poking around in the most secret private places of their hearts, you just told yourself they did. That’s how it usually is with the seducers of the too young to understand.
The only purpose this practice ever had is to make gay people hate themselves, and incidentally to excuse the righteous for hating them. You don’t have to be gay, so it isn’t our fault for making your lives miserable, it’s yours for being gay. You choose to be gay, so you choose to be persecuted. There’s a political side to ex-gay therapy, as justification and cover for anti-gay politicians, but beneith the surface there’s the core value: homosexuals must hate themselves, must accept they are society’s outcasts.
The pulpit thumping homophobe who gets caught preying on minors. The bar stool moralizer with a gambling habit. The family values politician who goes for a hike on the Appalachian trail. It’s the homosexuals who are destroying the moral fiber of society, surely not any of these. Our enemies say they are fighting against the normalization of homosexuality. But it isn’t what society and culture think of us, it’s that we might stop hating ourselves they won’t endure. If open homosexuality stops being the touchstone of moral decay, then where will the fingers point when another righteous culture warrior gets caught with their pants down? It’s having to look in a mirror and admit the crying wreckage they’ve made of their own lives was their own doing they’re fighting tooth and nail to prevent.
So the scapegoat must never think themselves worthy of being loved, must never know what it is to love, and be loved. Because love is patient, love is enduring, love can nourish and sustain through the worst of times. Because love can move mountains. Because the one thing you never want the scapegoat to be able to do is move mountains.
To make a scapegoat, you have to cut the heart out when they’re young.
September 3rd, 2012
From Our Department of Bitter Regrets…(continued)
by Bruce |
Mom’s tragedy was she liked bad boys. Dad being the specific case in point. Mine is I like good boys. Decent, honest, responsible. Problem was the good boys of my generation were almost universally terrified of telling their parents they’re gay. And should their parents have found out anyway and told them to pack themselves off to a therapist or a nice ex-gay ministry, they’d pack their bags and dutifully headed to the nearest one.
Yes mother, yes father, I will put my heart and my soul and whatever fulfilled and contented love life I might have had, put them in this little coffin and bury it. Because I am your good son.
August 21st, 2012
by Bruce |
I know where each and every one of my folds are. Sometimes I try to make pictures out of them…
August 15th, 2012
The Ends Are Not Separable From The Means
by Bruce |
A movement dedicated to the right to love and be loved does not employ violence toward its end. With what arms will we embrace the lover, after we have killed in the name of love? With what what hands will be touch their flesh, that have wielded the weapon? With what eyes will we behold the lover, that have gazed upon the dead?
Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com