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
Envisioning The American Dream
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
January 20th, 2014
A Coming Out Story – Episode 17: What I Learned About Homosexuality (Part 1)
by Bruce |
In which it is made clear that our young hero is growing up in the 1960s, not the year 2014…
Episode 17 of A Coming Out Story is Here…or go to the main page Here.
This is part one of a three part mini story arc about the horrible sex ed class I had back in junior high, and why it badly skewed everything I thought I knew about myself and about all that sex and love stuff. The rest of the story going forward will touch back on this repeatedly, as I begin wiggling my way out of the straightjacket of what I was taught in this one week of sex ed.
January 14th, 2014
by Bruce |
All in all, I had it pretty good compared to a lot of other gay teenagers back in the day. I need to remind myself of this from time to time. It wasn’t the best, not by any means. But I never doubted that mom loved me. Even so, we had an unspoken don’t ask, don’t tell agreement almost right up to the day she died. It was okay for me to read gay novels and bring gay newspapers into the house. It was okay for me to not date girls. It was okay for me to draw sketches and take photos of beautiful guys. It was okay for me to march in gay rights protests. I just had not to say it. Sad to think, but this was actually a pretty good deal for a gay kid back in the early 1970s. But not every gay kid had that deal. Not by a long shot. And even now, for some gay kids of my generation, it will always be a time before Stonewall.
Der Spiegel asks the question…
A gay couple that was seeking to open a restaurant near the Bavarian town of Freying received an anonymous letter early last year. “Stay away. We don’t need people like you here,” it read. Additional threats followed, including a faked obituary and an open, though anonymous, letter claiming that one of the two was HIV-positive and that there was a danger that diners could be infected. The restaurant was never opened.
That it’s still hard for a gay kids in Bavaria even now is unsurprising. It’s…Bavaria. And it was probably a lot harder to be a gay kid in Bavaria, or from a Bavarian family, back when I was a teenager. Probably still pretty hard for those gay Bavarian kids, even now, all grown up though they may be. Impossible even.
Secondary school teacher Gabriel Stängle is likewise concerned about public school students in Baden-Württemberg. The 41-year-old, lives in the Black Forest and launched an online petition in November of last year that had been signed some 90,000 times by last Friday evening. His campaign is entitled: “Future — Responsibility — Learning: No Curriculum 2015 under the Ideology of the Rainbow.” Stängle’s primary concern is what he describes as sexual “reeducation.”
Stängle is angry with the state government — a coalition of the center-left Social Democrats and the Green Party — which is currently developing an educational program for public schools which will include the “acceptance of sexual diversity.” Students are to learn the “differences between the genders, sexual identities and sexual orientations.” The goal is to enable students to “be able to defend equality and justice.”
Stängle sees this as being in “direct opposition to health education as it has been practiced thus far.” Completely missing, he writes, is an “ethical reflection on the negative potential by-products of LSBTTIQ (which stands for “lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, transgender, intersexuals and queer people) lifestyles, such as the increased danger of suicide among homosexual youth, the increased susceptibility to alcohol and drugs, the conspicuously high rate of HIV infection among homosexual men, the substantially lower life-expectancy among homo- and bisexual men, the pronounced risk of psychological illness among men and women living as homosexuals.”
Most of the petitions’ signatories live in the rural, conservative regions of Germany’s southwest…
That would be Bavaria…
…and the majority wishes to remain anonymous. Some signed with handles such as “The Gay-Hater.”
And probably a lot of them have gay kids of their own. Who they love very much. Conditionally.
Stay in the closet…get married…don’t disgrace your family…or we won’t love you anymore…we’ll hate you for disgracing us… Still hard for a gay kids in Bavaria even now. Probably a lot harder back when I was a teenager. Just saying.
January 2nd, 2014
To Whom It May Concern…
by Bruce |
December 10th, 2013
The Persistence Of The Closet…(continued)
by Bruce |
Slate today runs an article riffing on the New York Times article I linked to yesterday. They headline theirs The American Closet Is Bigger Than We Thought. I assume the ‘we’ in that headline is “heterosexuals’, with maybe a side of ‘those of us also in the closet’, because you don’t live in this country as a gay person without seeing or at least glimpsing that vast nation of the closeted first hand. No kidding there’s more of them than you thought…
But if that Times article helps the heterosexual majority to see, really see, the damage that was done, and is still being done, then good. Seems a lot of folks are noticing that bit in the Times article, about wives in less tolerant states checking Google for advice on whether their husbands are gay. But there was also this…
Craigslist lets us look at this from a different angle. I analyzed ads for males looking for “casual encounters.” The percentage of these ads that are seeking casual encounters with men tends to be larger in less tolerant states. Among the states with the highest percentages are Kentucky, Louisiana and Alabama.
Back in the 1980s, what I think of as the BBS days, I did volunteer work for a gay community BBS whose creator intended it not to be a hookup site but a serious information and educational resource for gay people. He realized back then, as I did when I connected to those first primitive amateur computer networks, what they could do for us as a people. The BBS advertised in the local gay newspaper, and I think in one of the alternative City Papers, and the ads included a phone number for help getting connected. He told us he would get desperate phone calls on that number in the middle of the night, from men who’d been caught in police vice stings…trolling the parks or some public lavatory…needing emergency legal advice. He said without exception, without exception, those men were all married, and none of then identified as gay. At least, they wouldn’t over the course of that phone call. That was the 1980s.
It’s still going on…
One could leave these findings angry at all these men for not coming out, but Stephen-Davidowitz’s concluding anecdote—about a retired professor who has been married to a woman for 40 years and “regrets virtually every one of his major life decisions”—articulates my overwhelming emotion: sadness.
That’s fine, but anger is still a good reaction to have and I hope the heterosexual majority cultivates it…not at the closeted, but at the Righteous and the Upstanding who keep teaching young gay people to hate themselves, so that they can have scapegoats, someone to gloat over, so they don’t have to look at their own failures of moral character. Be angry at them. Ask yourselves what kind of person turns anyone’s basic human need for intimate companionship against them, makes them deeply ashamed, even fearful, of their own human heart…
Sometimes even I get tired of looking at aggregate data, so I asked a psychiatrist in Mississippi who specializes in helping closeted gay men if any of his patients might want to talk to me. One man contacted me. He told me he was a retired professor, in his 60s, married to the same woman for more than 40 years.
About 10 years ago, overwhelmed with stress, he saw the therapist and finally acknowledged his sexuality. He has always known he was attracted to men, he says, but thought that that was normal and something that men hid. Shortly after beginning therapy, he had his first, and only, gay sexual encounter, with a student of his in his late 20s, an experience he describes as “wonderful.”
He and his wife do not have sex. He says that he would feel guilty ever ending his marriage or openly dating a man. He regrets virtually every one of his major life decisions.
He regrets virtually every one of his major life decisions… What kind of person does this to another, takes pride in doing it, and can look in a mirror and see a righteous person? Look at that. Really look at it. It’s okay to get angry after looking down into that Pit. But don’t look into it for too long, because Nietzsche was right about an abyss gazing back into you. Just remember what you saw the next time you hear one of them yapping about their sincerely held religious beliefs.
December 8th, 2013
The Persistence Of The Closet
by Bruce |
Via John Becker at Bilerico, I see this New York Times article on that age old preoccupation of the heterosexual majority, How Many American Men Are Gay?
What percent of American men are gay? This question is notoriously difficult to answer. Historical estimates range from about 2 percent to 10 percent. But somewhere in the exabytes of data that human beings create every day are answers to even the most challenging questions…
While none of these data sources are ideal, they combine to tell a consistent story.
This is probably where the answers come from, finally. Because it was true before Stonewall, it was true in the post Stonewall gay lib phase, and it’s still true now, that many gay people will simply not tell even anonymous surveys the truth about themselves, let alone tell themselves the truth…
Additional evidence that suggests that many gay men in intolerant states are deeply in the closet comes from a surprising source: the Google searches of married women. It turns out that wives suspect their husbands of being gay rather frequently. In the United States, of all Google searches that begin “Is my husband…,” the most common word to follow is “gay.” “Gay” is 10 percent more common in such searches than the second-place word, “cheating.” It is 8 times more common than “an alcoholic” and 10 times more common than “depressed.”
Searches questioning a husband’s sexuality are far more common in the least tolerant states…in fact, in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.
This is unbearably sad. I’ve said before that for a lot of gay people in my generation it will always be a time before Stonewall. But it’s Still happening. And unsurprisingly, it’s happening where the ideal of married life is being systematically denied to gay people.
How I escaped this trap is part of the story I’m telling in A Coming Out Story. But I came out into a world where the soulmate, the beautiful lifelong love story, was almost impossible to find. I still haven’t found it and now I’m 60, and looking at the end of a lifetime of being alone, not having that intimate other. And that was not, as the stereotype would have you believe, because gay culture was and is obsessed with casual no-strings attachment free sex, but because so many gay men who would have been searching for the same things I was, were instead desperately searching for a way not to be gay.
We were taught…By The Righteous…to believe that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex. And for many gay men as it also is for many heterosexual men, that’s just dandy. But for others it meant, and still means, “a huge amount of secret suffering”. We believed because we were taught…By The Good People, the Decent Upstanding Citizens we looked up to…that homosexuality was a tragic psychological perversion, a denial of normal healthy functioning heterosexuality. We were taught, not by gay culture but by heterosexual culture…that to be a homosexual was to be trapped in a hopeless cycle of empty sex searching for fulfillment we would never find. We were weak contemptible faggots, or we were dangerous sexual psychopaths. What we never were was people in love. The first crush, the first date, the prom, the Big Question. None of it was ours to have. Homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex.
For some people that life of casual sex and serial loves is just fine. They live, they love, they go their separate ways, they remember fondly and are remembered fondly. But other hearts have other needs. And for those, to be told that the One Love, the soulmate, the intimate other, is not possible, is a heartache that never heals. It is always there, just below the surface. You would do anything to make it not so. Because without that intimate other, life is so very very desperately lonely.
…in 21 of the 25 states where this question is most frequently asked, support for gay marriage is lower than the national average.
So many hearts that could have found their beloved other, instead locked themselves in the closet and watched their love lives wither away to graveyard dust all the same. But at least nobody knew their terrible secret…that their desires were foul, that they were unfit for love. So many hearts turned finally to stone, so the righteous could make their stepping stones to heaven out of our dreams of love.
November 8th, 2013
by Bruce |
This came across my Facebook stream just now…
At 16 I thought being attracted to guys was just a phase. By 18 I’d pretty much figured out that thinking it was a phase was the phase.
October 14th, 2013
Once Upon A Time In Washington…
by Bruce |
On this date in 1979 the first gay rights march on Washington took place, with about 100,000 demonstrators. I was one of them.
Here’s an ad placed in the Washington Blade after the march for the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club and in it the photographer caught me when I was walking along with the Maryland contingent. This is a scan from the copy of the Blade I saved, so the quality isn’t the best, but it’s all I have. The Stein Club made posters with this shot and I’ve regretted ever since that I didn’t snatch one up.
I’m there in the lower right hand corner with, oddly, my Argus C3 around my neck. It was a (very) poor man’s Leica and I was probably experimenting with it. The Canon F1 was probably in my backpack. I’d worked all summer long at a fast food joint in 1971 to be able to buy the F1, but apart from a couple lenses for it and a really nice German enlarging lens I wouldn’t be in any position to buy nice photographic equipment for decades to come.
I think I had color loaded in the F1 and Tri-X Pan in the Argus. At some point I need to post a gallery of my shots here in the “Life and Times” section of that demonstration and other gay rights events I attended and photographed. I wasn’t working for anyone at the time, just documenting my life and times and the struggle I found myself a part of whether I wanted to be or not.
When I came out to myself in December of 1971 I wanted what most of us want when we’re young…the significant other, the soulmate, the happily ever after. What I got was not that. Yes, it’s so much better now than it was back then, but we had a lot of work getting from there to here and we still have a long way to go before every gay kid can dream the dream of love and joy and contentment without fear or shame or guilt. The young guy you see in this ad would never have thought in his wildest dreams he would live to see the day he could get legally married anywhere, let alone in his home state of Maryland, to the man he loved. But that day came. If only I’d had a better world to grow into adulthood in, I might have found him.
October 9th, 2013
My Privileged Life
by Bruce |
Today…I was told to “check my privilege”. Okay…I’m checking it now…
I was raised by a divorced single working mother. My dad died trying to rob a bank. I grew up in a series of small apartments, wearing mostly second hand clothes and going to public school, where in the 1960s, because I was the product of a “broken home” I was treated like a problem child even though I was pretty well behaved. That didn’t change until high school. I was the first male in dad’s side of the family to finish grade school and get a diploma. I did three semesters of community college and then had to go to work to support mom and me. For most of my life I had no idea how I was going to earn a living and resigned myself to a low income life lived in rooms rented in other people’s houses. Before I started earning a good living as a software developer I had no car, and no prospects. Seen from within, the life I am living now seems an absolute miracle to me.
And yet, in some quarters, it seems I am a “privileged” Boomer, which strikes me as a real joke coming from younger people who got their college degree and found good work at a living wage at an age when I was still doing Manpower temp jobs and living with mom. But there it is…I need to “check my privilege” and shut up about my own experiences in life, and what I’ve seen happen politically in my country during my lifetime with my own two eyes, whilst Millennials discuss amongst themselves how privileged we Boomers are and how we fucked everything up for them. Because god forbid anyone should hear from someone who was actually there what he saw for himself while on the road to where we are now.
Whatever. I get that that Time Magazine article got your goat. You don’t seem to get that it was supposed to. But if playing Wall Street’s game of Blame The Other Guy We’re Screwing Too works for you fine. Enjoy the cheap thrills of the blame game while I watch people who wish to bury the past, keep on grimly repeating it.
I’m not afraid of terrorist bombs, I grew up during the cold war figuring the world would probably nuke itself to death anyway. My privileged life taught me how to duck and cover and never count on tomorrow being there. I’m not afraid of sudden poverty. My privileged life taught me how to live on a poverty line income. I’ve watched republicans tank the economy over and over and jackasses keep voting them into office anyway. Figure it will all just keep happening. C’est la vie! And…pay attention now…I don’t particularly care if people who don’t know me from Adam hate me for being something I can’t help being. I was fine with that even before I knew that I am gay. I learned how not to give a flying fuck about that even before my grade school teachers told me I was a problem child because my mother was divorced. I learned how not to care long before all that, while being hated, or at best patronized, by members of my own family for being my father’s son. And I will not wear your goddamned labels.
October 7th, 2013
Repost: Fifteen Years Ago…
by Bruce |
I posted this five years ago. Seems appropriate now, since the kook pews are howling again, the haters who would have looked the other way had they come upon the murder taking place, and insist everyone else should too, to revisit it.
Nothing has changed…there is nothing mysterious or hidden about what happened that night…the ghosts still talk among themselves…if you are willing to take the same walk I did one night in Laramie, you can still hear them…
The wind never seems to stop here on the plains. It is October in Wyoming, and the wind carries with it a chill now. The first tentative breath of winter dances restlessly over rolling hills of sage. The days have grown short, the nights cold. And long. Very long. And quiet, save only for the sound of the wind.
Take a walk tonight across the rolling hills of Wyoming sage. Leave the town lights twinkling in the distance behind you. Walk toward the mountains in the darkness ahead. There is only you here tonight. You, and the wind, and the stars in the sky, so far away. So very far away. Around you are only rolling hills of grass and sage, fading into the night. There are remnants of what looks like a small wooden fence here, that was torn down some time ago.
Listen to the wind. Listen carefully. There are ghosts here on the plains. Hear them talk tonight among themselves…
No one knows why Matthew was determined to go to the Fireside that night, or why he left with Aaron and Russell. It was karaoke night, which would not ordinarily have interested him. There was some speculation that he was buying drugs from Aaron and Russell, but his friends find that implausible. A close friend thinks that depression may have weakened his judgment, and wonders if he had taken a heavy dose of Klonopin before he went to the bar. "When he was depressed," she says, "he would just grab a handful." Romaine Patterson remembers how in the coffee shop where she worked Matthew "would just talk to anyone-people no one else would talk to, like this weird old man…. He had no discrimination in his person."
Shortly after midnight on October 7, 1998, 20-year-old Shepard met McKinney and Henderson in a bar. McKinney and Henderson offered Shepard a ride in their car. Subsequently, Shepard was robbed, pistol whipped, tortured, tied to a fence in a remote, rural area, and left to die. McKinney and Henderson also found out his address and intended to rob his home. Still tied to the fence, Shepard was discovered eighteen hours later by a cyclist, who at first thought that Shepard was a scarecrow. At the time of discovery, Shepard was still alive, but in a coma.
Aaron Kreifels first met Matthew Shepard in a dream last Thursday night, the night after he discovered his fellow University of Wyoming student badly beaten, barely alive and tied up to a fence outside of Laramie.
Although Shepard was in Fort Collins by then, kept alive by an array of life-support machines in Poudre Valley Hospital’s intensive-care unit, Kreifels said the gay student, who was beaten beyond recognition, allegedly by two young Laramie roofers, perhaps because he was gay, came to visit his rescuer in a dream that night. Kreifels doesn’t remember much of the dream, but he said Wednesday that he awoke the next morning comforted by the vague sensation of having met the person he found in such bad shape two days before.
Although early reports indicated that two mountain bikers had discovered Shepard on the crude fence on an old, double-rutted road, Kreifels was alone that evening, struggling on his mountain bike through deep sand and for some reason ignoring a desire to turn back and find another, easier way back to town. Before he knew it, he had fallen. He was on the ground, his front wheel broken beyond repair. He was unhurt, but what he saw as he got up struck him cold.
"I got up and noticed something out of the corner of my eye,” he said from his room in a freshman dorm at the University of Wyoming on Wednesday. "At first I thought it was a scarecrow, so I didn’t think much of it. Then I went around and noticed it was a real person. I checked to see if he was conscious or not, and when I found out he wasn’t, I ran and got help as fast as I could.”
As the former high school crosscountry runner traversed the quarter- to half-mile of scrub prairie between him and the nearest house in the nearby Sherman Hills subdivision, his thoughts froze before quickly accelerating.
"It was distressing. I was panicked for a couple minutes, because I wanted to make sure I could do all I could do to help save him,” he said.
-The Denver Post
Officer Reggie Fluty: When I got there, the first – at first the only thing I could see was partially somebody’s feet and I got out of my vehicle and raced over – I seen what appeared to be a young man, thirteen, fourteen years old, because he was so tiny, laying on his back and he was tied to the bottome of the end of a pole.
I did the best I could. The gentleman that was laying on the ground, Matthew Shepard, he was covered in dry blood all over his head. There was dry blood underneath him and he was barely breathing…he was doing the best he could.
I was going to breath for him and I couldn’t get his mouth open – his mouth wouldn’t open for me.
He was covered in, like I said, partially dry blood and blood all over his head – the only place that he did not have any blood on him, on his face, was what appeared to be where he had been crying down his face.
-The Laramie Project
Shepard suffered a fracture from the back of his head to the front of his right ear. He had severe brain stem damage, which affected his body’s ability to regulate heart rate, body temperature and other vital signs. There were also about a dozen small lacerations around his head, face and neck. His injuries were deemed too severe for doctors to operate.
At the Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, Matthew lay in bed down the hall from Aaron McKinney. Matthew was comatose; his brain stem which controls heartbeat, breathing, temperature, and other involuntary functions – was severely damaged. He also was suffering from hypothermia and had a red welt on his back, a red mark on his left arm, bruised knees, cuts on his head, neck, and face, and bruising in his groin.
Dr. Cantway: I was working the emergency room the night Matthew Shepard was brought in. I don’t think, that any of us, ah, can remember seeing a patient in that condition for a long time – those of us who’ve worked in big city hospitals have seen this. Ah, but it’s not something you expect here.
Ah, you expect it, you expect this kind of injuries to come from a car going down a hill at eighty miles an hour. You expect to see gross injuries from something like that – this horrendous, terrible thing. Ah, but you don’t expect to see that from someone doing this to another person.
The ambulance report said it was a beating so we knew.
-The Laramie Project
Exactly a week after his tragic discovery, Kreifels, 18, an architectural engineering major from Grand Island, Neb., said he tries not to think about the condition in which he found the classmate he had never seen before. Authorities say Shepard’s assailants repeatedly beat him with the butt of a .357 Magnum, fracturing his skull. Kreifels doesn’t talk about it.
"I don’t really want to go into details about that,” he said.
-The Denver Post
Aaron Kreifels: I keep seeing that picture in my head when I found him…and it’s not pleasant whatsoever. I don’t want it to be there. I wanna like get it out. That’s the biggest part for me is seeing that picture in my head. And it’s kind of unbelievable to me, you know, that – I happened to be the person who found him – because the big question with me, like with my religion, is like, Why did God want ME to find him?
-The Laramie Project
[Edited a tad...]
October 1st, 2013
My Own Private Dark Corner, In The Happiest Place On Earth…
by Bruce |
This came across my Facebook stream just now…
Non-Bavarians and other foreigners tend to believe that the raucous festival amounts to nothing more than a collective drinking binge, a massive party with rollercoaster rides and erotic displays of tight dirndls and deerskin trousers set to the oompah-pah of brass bands. But there is something more refined going on beneath all the noise and clinking of beer mugs. Oktoberfest is actually a 35-hectare (86-acre) stage where performances of great importance play out simultaneously.
They are about the odd, prosperous southern German state of Bavaria, which at its heart has remained a small, proud nation. They are about the state party, the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU), which, in the frenzy of costumes and successful election campaigns, portrays itself as the legitimate successor to the abdicated monarchy. They are about a society’s touching devotion to tradition and local celebrities. And they are about a city where six global corporations listed on Germany’s blue chip stock exchange, the DAX, compete for power and influence — and thus as many seats as possible in Oktoberfest beer tents…
Ah yes… the odd prosperous southern German state of Bavaria. It is not the Bavaria you see in Epcot Germany. Something I learned: You can take the boy out of Bavaria, but not Bavaria out of the boy. He might flee to Disney’s Bavaria, which as you would expect is a happier, small world after all kinda place. But that is the Disney version, in a place where dreams come true, and all the ever afters are happy, and the Bavaria in the boy will always remind him that it isn’t real, dreams are merely dreams, life is short and bitter, but at least there is beer.
June 17th, 2013
Couldn’t You At Least Pretend We Have Facts On Our Side?
by Bruce |
This comes across my Google news stream this morning…
News organizations are far more likely to present a supportive view of same-sex marriage than an antagonistic view, according to a content study by the Pew Research Center to be released on Monday.
Yes, yes… I hear they take a pretty positive stance on the theory that the Earth is round too.
We’ll be hearing all about how this proves the news media is biased against Christians from the kook pews for years to come, but what’s happening is that the Proposition 8 trial pretty much destroyed the idea that the case against same-sex marriage has anything to support it other than animus. Think back to how completely taken by surprise so much of the press seemed to be after that trial was over, that there wasn’t more to the case against letting same sex couples marry. Those of us who have been in this struggle for decades knew exactly how empty their rhetoric was, how utterly bogus was their junk science. For decades they’ve been burying the political debate in bullshit and you have to admire how energetically they went about it. Their think tanks and research institutes produced tons and tons of deceptive, mendacious, carefully crafted bullshit and the fact that there was just so damn much of it coming out of them seemed to convince even tolerant middle of the road types that there was something to it, that homosexuality was if not an abomination, at least a tragic outcome that ought not to be encouraged if possible. And then came the trial, and they had to put all of that bullshit on the witness stand…
“In a court of law you’ve got to come in and you’ve got to support those opinions, you’ve got to stand up under oath and cross-examination,” Boies said. “And what we saw at trial is that it’s very easy for the people who want to deprive gay and lesbian citizens…to make all sorts of statements and campaign literature, or in debates where they can’t be cross-examined.
“But when they come into court and they have to support those opinions and they have to defend those opinions under oath and cross-examination, those opinions just melt away. And that’s what happened here. There simply wasn’t any evidence, there weren’t any of those studies. There weren’t any empirical studies. That’s just made up. That’s junk science. It’s easy to say that on television. But a witness stand is a lonely place to lie. And when you come into court you can’t do that.
“That’s what we proved: We put fear and prejudice on trial, and fear and prejudice lost.” -David Boies
There were never any facts. It was always about prejudice. It was always about hate. That’s not trivial. Hate has motivated the passage and enforcement of laws that persecute homosexuals for generations. But hate is factual only in the sense that it exists, not that its excuses are themselves factual.
So another way of putting the outcome of that Pew study is that news organizations are likely to give greater weight to the facts than to bullshit, even passionately squawked bullshit. And that’s because, at least in theory, newspapers are supposed to report the facts. And there are no facts that support bans on same-sex marriage. There are only myths, lies and superstitions. Those are the facts.
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.
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.
Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com