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Over 20 years ago Saturday my first love slit his own throat in the closet of his bedroom. I found him, dying. He died in my arms minutes later.

We were both 17. We met at 15. It wasn't long before we were inseparable. For two years we did everything together. We fell in love. Perhaps it was teenage hormones, infatuation, but it was two years of secret bliss and I've only felt that kind of love once again since. He became my only refuge in a world of hate. We promised each other to live our lives together, forever.

Till that day. He broke our promise. His father had found out he was a 'fag', to this day I do not know how, called him a pervert and kicked him out of the home. I guess my love was not strong enough for him, his father's rejection stronger. We lost him that same day. It was over two decades ago, I go most of my life now not thinking about it. My life is so far from that pain today, a soulmate, a cherished daughter, a loving family and friends. But on days like today, the pain returns, vividly.

and now the anger...

I read a comment by a Fundamentalist the other day, the day before the 'anniversary'. He said homosexuality is harmful and causes suffering to society and individuals. The Fundamentalist right says it all the time, just read any words by Dobson, Robertson, Perkins, et. al.

It was the wrong day for me to read that.

Homosexuality causes suffering and harm?

FUCKING BULLSHIT!

It is THEY who are causing the harm and suffering. THEY ARE. The assholes. I am SO SO tired of the lies. They hide behind their false Christianity and call evil 'good' and good 'evil'. The fucking liars.The FRC calls us abusive, diseased, mentally sick pedophiles

A NC city councilman says we eat shit (yeah, i'd like him to 'eat shit and die')

and on and on.

Their words KILL, their words and lies cause suffering and harm. THEY killed my first love. THEY beat me to a pulp when I 16 because i was a 'fag', THEY made me suffer through years of 'change therapy' and wish i were dead, THEY made a friend marry a women so he could remain a 'good Christian' but instead lived years of tortured silence, THEY make it difficult to return to our home states because our family wouldn't be welcome, THEY make it so our family has to spend thousands of dollars and hours and hours to keep us legally protected, THEY are causing suffering and pain.

THEY ARE.

It is their damn lies, innuendos, fraudulent studies and hatred that cause suffering and harm. They would be the first to believe that porn causes rape and harm...

but no.. not their precious pornographic lies of hate hiding behind their false reading of the Christian message. No, those never cause harm and suffering.

They call good 'evil' and evil 'good'.

Dobson, Perkins, the FRC, the AFA, the CWFA, the bastards of the Fundamentalist right.

THEY cause great suffering and pain and the smile and use their shield of a false Jesus and say it's only their belief.

BULLSHIT!!!!!

I am fucking tired of this. I am tired of them lying and causing suffering and pain.. causing murders and torturing, causing suicides and desperation, hate and fear.

I'm tired of them causing it and then

GETTING ON DAMN THE MEDIA and portrayed as 'just another voice'.  I'M FUCKING TIRED OF IT.

They refuse a message of love from Christians but don't mind allowing the HATEMONGERS of the right on.

I AM SICK AND TIRED OF IT.

THEY CAUSE HATE AND SUFFERING and then they get to spout it on MAINSTREAM MEDIA!!

AND THEN THEY GET PLAY ALL INNOCENT AND CALL THOSE THEY OPPRESS THE OPPRESSORS!

THE GALL!!!

I AM SO FUCKING SICK OF IT!

When is it going to be stopped?!?!


ADDED I truly did not think this would be a diary that would be recommended. A bit taken aback. I posted it this morning out of raw anger and tears.. i just had to get it out. Funny, when thinking about it I decided to post it here and not on my blog. Not sure why... my blog is about joy... and i needed some ether to scream in to. THANK YOU for your comments. My life is wonderful, beyond what I ever dreamed possible, and filled with joy. But every once in a while the pain of those days is remembered and opened again and the religious right just is the salt in the wound. Your comments were wonderful. I'm going to go hug my partner and daughter tight and thank God for what I have. but i'm still angry and I am going to keep channelling that wrath to defeat those that oppress us. thanks for letting me rant.

This is what I'm talking about In another recommended diary today, citing the outrage of ABC allowing a FocusonFamily ad, one commenter defended Dobson, the FoF and their parenting help.

As I replied (paraphrased):

I don't give a shit...they are a HATE group. Pure and damn simple. HATE HATE HATE HATE. I don't care if they know all the secrets about being a good parent or how to bake the best apple pie in the world.

I don't give a shit. They are a HATE group.

Is it all right for ABC to accept ads from the KKK as long as its not about racism, but about how to bleach your bed linens and the ratings on good wood to build cross beams with?

Focus on the Family is a HATE GROUP. Repeat after me...
Focus on the Family is a HATE GROUP

Lets just keep repeating it.

Originally posted to wclathe on Mon May 02, 2005 at 10:32 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  sorry, its been a rough weekend (4.00)
    I am usually more christian and forgiving than this.

    but i just broke...

    "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

    by wclathe on Mon May 02, 2005 at 10:34:49 AM PDT

    •  S'awright (4.00)
      If you can't vent here, where can you?

      "Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw." --John Milton

      by ohiolibrarian on Mon May 02, 2005 at 10:38:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dude (4.00)
      nothing I can say can even come close to easing your pain.  And I damn well cannot understand it because I am not in your shoes, to do so would be crass and patronizing.  But I can empathize and you need to let it out like you just did.  Thanks for sharing because it really puts a human face of an individual on the insidousness of these "Christians".  I believe deep in my heart that if Jesus was there that day, he would looked your first love in the eyes and said "it's ok, I love you".  But I'm not Jesus nor a theologian, but it's just my belief of what the religion is really all about.  I am so very truly sorry for your loss and that it haunts you still to this day.

      Best regards

      "There must be some way out of here, said the Joker to the Thief" -Bob Dylan is my god

      by Jeffersonian Democrat on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:12:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As an old funk song says (4.00)
        "You can walk a mile in my shoes, but you can't dance a step in my feet"--Parliment funkadelic.  I LOVE this lyric because it is so true.  No amount of empathy ever truly reaches the level of living someone else's life.  The original poster's anger is justified.  Seeing the "I am not in your shoes" part of this reply brought the P-Funk lyric back to me. Thought I'd include it.
        •  ah P-funk (4.00)
          teaching as I do in PG County, they have been a part of the fabric for a long time.  And I have a somewhat direct connection.  Bear with me, because it is tangentially related to the diary.

          I tuaght a very gifted but troubled 8th grader a number of years ago.  He wanted his dad home, but Dad was the one in P-funk who wore the diaper on stage, and Mom made it clear she wanted Dad to continue to travel because she liked the lifestyle that came with it.

          The kid really bombed out in hs   --  I don't know if dad's continued travel and the way he appeared on stage had anything to do with it, but I do know while I taught him he would not acknowledge to his classmates what his father did, even as he knew all of his teachers knew about his Dad.

          Adolescents can be so fragile.  Those of us who deal with them every day have to remind ourselves of this -- some, like my current high schoolers, may be huge and/or fully developed physically, but still qite fragile emotionally and psychologically.  A careless remark, a negative response -- who is to say that such will be the tipping action that causes some kind of destructive behavior?  It's one thing that's more than a little scarey about being a teacher.  No matter how much a kid may piss me off (and believe me, today was NOT one of my more pleasant days as far as student behavior) I can never give up on a kid and even justifiably lash out verbally.  Sometimes as silly aas it may seem, it is precisely at such moments that I ahve to take the time to explain why I am agnry, because I am furstrated, because i care so much about what happens to them.  If I don't do that, who is to say if my emoitional irritation may not be destructive to some other kid who decides I can no longer be trusted.

          I am not a parent.  I cannot imagine rejecting a child like that.  I am reading this in the early evening.  I want to weep with you, and for your first love.  I have seen some of my students rejected by their parents for the same reason, or for other reasons that I deem just as cruel.

          Each person is a gift, absolutely unique.  Love cannot be conditional, even as particular behaviors may not be acceptable, for whatever reason -  our own values, our own failings, our own weaknesses, or even really unchallengeble reasons such as the threat such behvviors present to the safety and well-being of others.  

          Ah, I sound too preachy.  I hope this makes some sense to someone.

          Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH!

          by teacherken on Mon May 02, 2005 at 03:15:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Mojo (none)
        Hey everyone,

        Thanks for the mojo, I appreciate it.  But I must say I feel guilty for having it.  I just wanted to write from my heart to another human being in pain.  So, I don't deserve mojo for this.  However, in my next political rant, I have open coffers.

        Cheers

        "There must be some way out of here, said the Joker to the Thief" -Bob Dylan is my god

        by Jeffersonian Democrat on Tue May 03, 2005 at 07:53:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Fuck being a Christian! (4.00)
      Break!!  
    •  Wow. (4.00)
      I'd say this is some pretty righteous anger--and you a prophet.

      The UCC: to believe is to care, to care is to do. Also, they have cookies.

      by pastordan on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:33:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They're trying to kill (4.00)
      my first love

      FREEDOM!

      Those assholes have the blood of your sweet love on their hands, but we need to keep raising our fists against them

      They have no right to kill our dear ones.  no right to make us Less Free.

      Let's keep Fighting For Freedom!

      Thank you for making it real.

      Your first love is my love, too.

      A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future. Leonard Bernstein

      by x on Mon May 02, 2005 at 12:10:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank You wclathe (4.00)
      there is a time for anger and rage.  I am so happy that you have found joy in a family now - and I am so sorry for your loss then.

      There are - naturally - some strong feelings in this thread in reaction to the fundamentalist attack on GLBT people.

      I would like to encourage everyone interested to check out the work of Soulforce - we are bringing the nonviolent approach of Ghandi and Dr. King to work in our lives and on GLBT issues.

      As I write - 800 members are participating in a nonviolent direct action against Dobson and Focus on the Family - delivering thousands of letters- stories much like the one wclathe has posted - of real love - and real pain - and the suffering inflicted on GLBT persons by the spiritual violence of many Churches.

      We are working to fight intolerance, hate, and violence.

      We shall overcome.   Soulforce has been life changing for me as a GLBT ally - they gave me the words and the insight I needed to move from just shaking my head silently to speaking out - inside and outside of my Church.  

      I wish us all grace, peace, clarity, passion and justice.  

      thank you again wclathe.  I appreciate you sharing your brokenness - may the sharing of these hurts open eyes, minds, and hearts - and help us all heal.

      I support Soulforce - seeking Justice for God's GLBT children. Please join us.

      by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Mon May 02, 2005 at 12:18:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Please don't apologize (4.00)
      I love it when somebody just lets loose on this site and says what's on most Kossacks' minds. Reading this was a powerful experience. I feel your anger, and every bit of it is justified.
    •  your pain is understandable (none)
      I am so sorry to read about your experience. That's something that no one should have to go through.

      Thank you for sharing your story. As sad as it is, it's something that people need to hear.

    •  You speak for me as well (none)
      Your anger is founded in truth, and you're reaching out because you care and want change.

      I scream the same things, usually to myself but sometimes outward, every day.  We can't be silent, we have to fight the hate and the lies.

      Love and blessings to you, your partner, and daughter, from my partner and myself.  Keep speaking out.

      I got some new buttons yesterday, from CafePress, designed by kossack Jaysea.  My favorite..

      FOCUS ON YOUR OWN DAMN FAMILY

      Rock on!

      "It's not ironic, Alanis, it's UNFORTUNATE."

      by Revel on Tue May 03, 2005 at 06:30:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nothing to apologize for. (4.00)
    The assault on families is coming from the Christian Right.

    They want to be able to define it, and leave anyone who disagrees on the outside in every single thing.

    I'm so sorry for your lost love. Words do kill. They should be wielded carefully.

    Resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.-Thomas Jefferson
    We are the resistance.

    by boadicea on Mon May 02, 2005 at 10:40:07 AM PDT

    •  Aboslutely nothing to apologize for... (4.00)
      I am so sorry for your loss, the pain never leaves for good, I have found from my own experience.  We need to start fighting back.  We are sitting here, feeling cornered, while these f*ckers attack, and attack, and attack and our  government joins them on state and federal levels, we keep waiting.  
          Not so long ago, I guess around October, I got really pissed of as the HRC, or main lobby body for the queer community was repeatedly cowed by Bush admin threats of a Constitutional Ammendment to protect the sanctity of marriage for the US.  The same marriage sanctity that allows "Who wants to Marry a Millionaire, The Bachelor, The Bachelorette" and other such marriage for profit, ratings, and entertainment shows to proliferate each TV season.  The same marriage sanctity that allows a divorce rate that hovers around 50% each year.  The same marriage sanctity that allows deadbeat parents to abandon child support with impunity (for the most part.)
         Marriage is, yet isn't the issue.  Marriage is just GOP/XTian code for descrimination.  If they can legislate against gay people having the same benefits as straight people then they can anhililate our identity legally.  They can push us out of the visibility that currently brings scorn to those who condemn us.  If we are rendered invisible, then no one will care if they kill us.  This is what they want.  They don't want us saved.  They want us dead.
        So I approached some queer friends, and I said:
      You guys are in advertising, social work, tech, and law.  We NEED to create a body that can fight back on their terms, using their tactics.  We need huge advert campaigns, lobbying, legal precendents set in protecting gay interests and legal advocacy.  We need the MSWs who can create an environment of understanding as we try to brindge the gaps between middle America.  And every single friend said:
      "I already belong to the HRC, what else do we need."  
      "You're very young, so you don't see how far we have come, there's no need for that"
      "I'm too busy."
      "I'm too tired"
      "You're just paranoid."
      Well, you know what gay people.  We need to fight back.  They don't want us here.  They don't care that you have a good job and kids and a nice house and firends.  They don't care if you are poor and in need of help.  They don't CARE.  They want us GONE.  We need to fight back and we need to start now, before its too late.
      •  things a brewing (4.00)
        I've been working on building exactly what we (gays) need to overcome this onslaught.  I have the plan and have spoken to a lot of progressives here in NYC and have gotten a lot of support.  

        The HRC is the gay equivalent of the DLC.  They are do-nothing.  What gays need is a grassroots/netroots organization.

        Stay tuned and you'll see something in the next coming months.  (Once I secure seed money).  

        I've already helped National Stonewall start an online grassroots network.  

        However, the main problems with the glbt equality movement is that, as a community, we do not see ourselves as a "people".  So we dont speak with a unified, national voice.  We have no grassroots, we have no national identity.  The Democratic party is allergic to us nationally.  We let the HRC dictate our strategy and dont hold them accountable.  WE HAVE TO TAKE MATTERS INTO OUR OWN HANDS.  WE HAVE TO STAND ON OUR OWN AND SPEAK FOR OURSELVES.

        We basically have to reclaim who we are and stop letting the Right define us.  

        -R-

        •  Can you help me, please (none)
          I have mentioned before that my partner and I are selling our biz and goin back to school.  Right now I work 7 days a week, about 15-18 hrs a day.  (Thats how I get to spend so much time here, in between doing work stuff, I just sneak on over to Kos)  I want to take my new free time and use it in a way that works.  I want to start a nonprofit that advances not only gay causes, but another to do outreach to help galvanize and mobilize the youth that are marginalized by the status quo, that don't know or care about how politics effect them.  No one I know wants to work on these projects with me, and alone I just feel frusturated and lost-I don't know where or how to start.  Could you help me to do what needs to be done to start this first project, similar to your NYC based ventures?  Ideas/Directions of how to accomplish the creation of an org that truly promotes gay rights would be so helpful.  Thanks:)
          •  are you in NYC? (none)
            have you looked into helping out The Hetrick-Martin Institute (aka Harvey Milk High School)?
            •  Nope. I'm from NYC (none)
              but SF is where I live now.
              Hetrick Martin rocks though!  I was so jealous of the kids at that school, but my HS experience wasn't bad (in the gay dept. anyway)
          •  but of course! (none)
            of course i can help you!

            but first you have to decide which one you want to do.  I'm working on a non-profit that advances gay equality and progressive causes that is not specific to nyc so we can definitely talk.  The important thing is to make sure you are not reinventing the wheel.  

            as far as youth outreach, do you mean glbt youth or just youth in general?

            •  Youth in general (none)
              Youth in my old neighborhood, and the neighborhood we are moving back to.  It is predominantly African American, with terrible schools, and most of the kids are getting shafted my the state.  I want to do outreach work that will give them access to different perspectives, and access to workshops, classes, seminars etc. not only on the political process in our country and state, but to develop activism w/ their community.  I also want to  be able to provide services like tutors, and after school stuff where they can do art and stuff like that.  1/2 of that battle is won, as my firends have a 5013.c art space for workshops and shows and all kinds of stuff, and that could be the site at first.
                 As far as the gay stuff I want to do, I think that maybe the most important thing to tackle, and I would like to learn more about the project you are working on currently.  If its not going to be NYC based, maybe theres room for a branch in SF?  Please email me so we can talk further!
              Best,
              Lissy
              •  outreach is key, space is a plus! (none)
                Wow!  So first thing is first, compile a list of the workshops, classes, seminars, resources, etc you want them to have access to and speak to the people running them.  See if you can get the kids in pro bono.  There may also be some gov't subsidy or grant that would cover the costs or make it worthwhile for the workshops, etc.

                Do you have a group of kids you can start with?  If you do, you can start via word of mouth.  Be sure to talk to their parents too!  

                If you have the art space, do you have the art teachers or overseers to go with it?  also, do you have friends that can act as tutors?  

                AND OF COURSE THERE'S ROOM FOR A BRANCH IN SF!  What is your email or how do I find out without you broadcasting on the blog?  

  •  Not at all... (4.00)
    You've got every right and you are right.  I screamed bloody murder at my computer screen myself after listening to Robertson from the Crooks & Liars video cap.  I think I scared the cat I swore such a blue streak at that scum.  How could Stephanopolous (or anyone, for that matter) sit there and listen to that crap and not go ballistic on the moron?

    I'm truly sorry for your love.  I hate hearing stories like that.  It's just so wrong that anyone should have to hate themselves for love.

  •  I understand - something similar happened to me (4.00)
    a couple of years ago - and Im sure it has happened to many here.

    You aren't alone.

    And that was when I decided not to be polite anymore.

    And I never will be - fuck the pope sounds good to me, and I don't feel any responsibility to be the least bit polite about it.

    Because the people that are the problem are the enablers - the ones who aren't gay bashers "personally" but are more than happy to go along.

    Fuck them, too.

    •  And may I add (4.00)
      Because the people that are the problem are the enablers - the ones who aren't gay bashers "personally" but are more than happy to go along.

      a hearty 'fuck you' to those religious right, 'err on the side of life' 'strategists' trying to shove their vile candidates down our collective throats so that 'we' can win?

      "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

      by colleen on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:27:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I am sorry for that suffering you endured. (4.00)
    I am sorry for the suffering that caused someone to end their own life.  

    Do you want to hear something funny.  Or maybe you would be mad.  But as i began reading your diary, I didn't quite understand.  It sounded like any relationship between a man and a woman.  When you wrote that your boyfriend slit his throat, I couldn't understand why.  Until I read the gay thing.

    I still don't understand people.  How is the love you shared any different than that of any other teenage couple?  It could have easily been a boy and a girl whose parents disapprove or something.  Somehow if the boy and girl ran off and got married, it would be seen as just two young people in love.

    I have read many diaries and posts about how some seem to think homosexuality is some kind of threat to them.  How?  I don't feel threatened that my boyfriend has a best friend who is gay.  THey went up to a gay bar a few years ago, and it didn't make me think bob was gay.   he went out to hang out with his best friend.

    I keep hoping people will wake up and realize the truth... that it is their own insecurity that makes them feel threatened.  If your son is gay, what does that say about you?  why does it have to say anything?

    I for one try to make my daughter understand when she starts talking about getting married and falling in love that it doesn't have to be a man and a woman.  sometimes girls like girls.  and sometimes boys like boys.  and that is ok.  btw she is 6.  so i don't know if i'm doing any good.  but at least i am trying.

    ps- you have every right to be angry.  and your assertions are correct.  People hide behind christianity and use god as a shield to allow them to hurt people.  someday they will face the truth.  when they stand at the gates and realize that they forgot about the false prophets part of the bible.  oops.

    •  regarding your daughter (4.00)
      and her presumption of hetero norms even at age 6 ... take heart, and keep planting those seeds of tolerance.  We heard the same things from my stepson at age 7, and it intensified through junior high.  It's a reflection of the broader society, of course, but also of the peculiar dynamics of peer identity in late childhood and early adolescence.  Conformity is everything.  

      Now in 10th grade, my stepson has a couple good friends who are gay, and he spoke out loudly and passionately against homophobic hate speech when Operation Save America visited his high school recently.  

      He and I are currently watching the HBO miniseries of "Angels in America" -- which is about HIV/AIDS in the 1980s -- and he is just honestly puzzled at the reality, the normality, of the all-consuming homophobia of that era.  Things really are changing in this country, and it's our children who demonstrate that more vividly than anything.  Keep planting those seeds.  

      •  i will! i want my daughter to view same sex (4.00)
        couples the same as man/woman couples.  maybe if we can teach our kids that everyone is differnet and different is ok...  then we can get rid of this discriminatory behavior bigots today try to inflict on all of us!
        •  Last year... (4.00)
          My husband and I took our kids (1 and 5) to the Gay Pride Parade in SF....Gavin Newsom and all the gay newlyweds were at the head of the parade. God they were happy and proud. It was a true celebration that I will never forget.  

          It was historic and also a universal good, and we couldn't miss it.

          I hope my 5 year-old will remember it.

          •  My 6 yo daughter... (4.00)
            Has been attending the Boston Gay Pride parade since she was under a year old, and has marched in 4 as part of our UU church contingent.  She was absolutely devastated last year when having left that congregation we thought we weren't going to march, so we found another group to join.  This year we'll be with a couple hundred other UUs.

            My daughter has elaborate weddings between Barbie and Ken.  And between Barbie and the other Barbie. She's known same-gender couples as long as she's known, well, us. She is utterly convinced that the legal Massachusetts wedding of two friends that we went to last June was planned entirely because it was her birthday and there was a nice cake :-)

            What we teach our children now, when they are young, shapes the future of their world, and therefore ours. Everyone keep up all the good work!

            Come see Velvet Elvis at Bad Abbott's in Quincy, MA 5/6. Meet some Kossacks, hear great music!

            by brillig on Mon May 02, 2005 at 01:21:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  man. (4.00)
    I hate them because my adolescence was full of miserable solitude, unrequitted love, and no sex.

    And I grew up in the 90's.

    I can't imagine the strength it must take.

    But you should take solace in the fact that kids now have it way better than I did, and I had it way better than the generation before me.

    The right is losing, like they always do, and that's why they're screaming so loud.

    •  I had a friend who killed himself less than 2 (4.00)
      years ago.

      He was 17.

      His father is an evangelical who would not accept that his son was gay and would not let him leave, but sent him to "reeducation" centers and kept him grounded. If he could only have held a litte longer.

      •  I'm sorry Tip (4.00)
        for the loss of your friend.

        I support Soulforce - seeking Justice for God's GLBT children. Please join us.

        by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Mon May 02, 2005 at 12:03:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Sounds an (none)
        awful lot like a "reeducation camp" that Nazis might be interested in sending Jews to.

        "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." -- Galileo Galilei

        by Dittoz on Mon May 02, 2005 at 12:07:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This Is EXACTLY (4.00)
        why I spend so much of my time mentoring gay teens. I am affectionately known as "Mother Mike".

        If we can just get them through those turbulent teen years, they stand half a chance of leading a normal life.

        They say you can't fit a square peg in a round hole...They are wrong.

        You CAN push a square peg through a round hole...If you hammer it hard enough. But there's not telling how much damage you will cause in the process.

        Tom DeLay is so corrupt...<HOW CORRUPT IS HE?>...He's so corrupt that when he takes the Oath of Office, he holds his hand OUT instead of UP!

        by mlkisler on Mon May 02, 2005 at 12:24:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This is why it is so important (4.00)
        for children to learn at a young age that some people are born gay and some are born straight.  My greatest concern is that if bigotry against gay people continues to be tolerated, more young teens will take their own life.  It wouldn't surprise me if that was the number one cause of suicide in teenagers.  Teenagers want so much to be accepted by their peers and to be loved by their parents. Who doesn't?  Some of my gay friends are absolutely devastated at how the electorate voted in the last fraudulection.  Even though I am not gay, it hurts me too. I hate to imagine what that election did and is doing to young gay teenagers.  
        •  Personally, (none)
          as a bi-sexual male I resent the suggestion that I'm just naturally born this way or that I ought to be required to hide behind the cloak of nature as a way of protecting myself from the Christian re-education camps.  I freely chose to be this way and can quite clearly recall the threshold that occured between one way of desiring and another.  Subsequently I've sometimes dated men and I've sometimes dated women, but I at least experience this shift as a free choice and not nature.  Perhaps I always desired other men and didn't know it, but I recall quite clearly when I became aware of these desires and experienced it as a free act or self-definition.  Something clicked in my mind-- perhaps I'd read too much Sartre, Freud, Lacan, Foucault, Butler, and Deleuze and Guattari --and I said to myself that my desire is a free creation of who I am and that I cannot see why I can't just as easily fall in love with a man as I can fall in love with a woman.  As a very young boy (before the age of 7 or 8) I was aware that I drew just as much gratification playing games with other boys as I did with girls, so I found myself wondering at what point my sexual object choice became the exclusive domain of one or the other.  Anyone who knows anything about sexual childhood development also knows that this sort of androgynous desire is common.  I believe that human sexuality is far more fluid than people suppose and that exclusive object choices of either type is more a habit and a regulatory force of internalized power and cultural norms, rather than nature.  In fact, I'd go one step further and say that it is not simply GLBT that is unnatural, but exclusive heterosexuality; which is to say that I see it all as an aquisition that takes place developmentally, rather than something we're born with.  Under this premise, it is perhaps the heteros that ought to be sent to re-education camps.  None of this is to say that I hold it against anyone if they are exclusive as to their desire; only that it irks me whenever I'm told that I ought to desire in one way or another or that I'm simply born this way.  I choose to be this way and I see nothing immoral or wrong in this choice.  I think we concede too much to these fundamentalists when we say that it's nature, as we're implicitly endorsing their thesis that it is somehow deviant or that we ought not have the right to make this choice were it in fact a choice.  One need only look at fetishists where the object of desire isn't human at all to see that there is no innate or inborn object of sexual desire.  We all create our own sexualities, our own sexual practices, and there is no one way to desire.  The idea that we ought to only desire one sex seems to be a rather new invention, as a multitude of cultures throughout history have not only tolerated but even recognized as normal the aimlessness of human desire.  When it is suggested that we should tolerate homosexuality or bisexuality because some people are "just born that way", we're making a default argument.  This really translates to the thesis that "we ought to accept gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals because they can't help it."  Well fuck that.  What's next, we start giving gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals gene therapy to cure them?  It's only a matter of time before the wingnuts adopt this position.  No.  We ought not accept GLBT's simply because they're born that way, but because people, so long as they are consenting adults, should have the freedom to pursue their own desire and create their own desires.  I recognize that this position will be unpopular.  I recognize the political stakes involved in this particular variant of the nature/nurture debate.  But honestly, shouldn't we be struggling on behalf to make these choices freely and without intolerance by others, rather than defending ourselves on the basis of some supposed genetic "abnormality"?  Perhaps the fundamentalist will respond by saying that if I chose this I can be re-educated to be heterosexual without any psychological conflicts.  However, this notion is misguided for once you become aware that you can love and desire anyone this knowledge cannot be undone and any attempt to recondition the person is bound to produce severe depression and feelings of self-loathing as the desire is there, inextricably tied up in the neurons of your brain and the fabric of your body.  Trying to re-condition a person is the equivalent of trying to convince someone that they did not love a person they once loved.  Apologies for the ranting, but why don't we have this freedom to choose?  Why don't we respect choice?
          •  I guess my (none)
            hypothesis is that there is covert homophobia in the suggestion that people are naturally born with a gendered identity.  When expressing the thesis that people aren't born with any inherent sexual object choice I've seen liberally minded individuals recoil in horror, only to say "why would anyone choose to be gay?"  In short, while they are tolerant of homosexuality, they nonetheless see it as undesirable or deviant.  It's precisely this attitude that we need to get beyond.
          •  You're bisexual (none)

              Which means you CAN choose.

              Please be aware that gays and lesbians don't have the same choices you do. That's what separates them from bisexuals.

              And gays and lesbians are the subject at hand here.

             

            A gay Republican is, by definition, a prostitute.

            by Buzzer on Mon May 02, 2005 at 06:05:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um... (none)
              pardon me, but I'm subject to all of the same sorts of discrimination and suffering that the writer of this diary is describing, so it is indeed relevant to me.  Are you really claiming that because I don't exclusively identify with one sexual object choice I ought to be excluded from this conversation, despite the fact that I experience exactly the same sort of phenomena described by the poster above?  My point is simply that there is nothing inherently natural or inborn about any sexual orientation, be it straight, gay, or bi.  As a psychoanalyst, for instance, I have yet to encounter a single patient who hasn't commonly had encounters with members of the same sex.  This seriously calls into question the idea of heterosexuality as an exclusive object choice. We ought to have the freedom to pursue what we desire regardless of whether or not it's a person of the same sex, and we ought not have to appeal to some idea of genetics to support this choice.  The proper strategy in winning this debate consists not in demonstrating that homosexuality is an inborn characteristic, but rather, in demonstrating the heterosexuality itself is one cultural construct among others.  There's ample developmental, sociological, ethnographic, and historical evidence for demonstrating precisely this point.
            •  I always think of it as a continuum (none)
              and people fall at all points along the line - The pain comes when society decides that only some of those people are allowed to love and that the love felt by others is considered evil

              My fight for justice includes bisexual, transgendered and intersex human beings.  My line is drawn at consent.

              Well-behaved women rarely make history - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

              by jaysea on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:58:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  You were born with the ability to choose. (none)
            Some people aren't. They can't choose. It's not an option.

            You've come to terms with your bisexuality, it sounds like, and accepted yourself fully. Good for you. Given society's attitudes, that was an immense achievement.

            Now you need to take the next step, and accept that there are other people who aren't like you, and that you can't safely generalize from your own valid experience -- to everybody.

            Massacre is not a family value.

            by Canadian Reader on Mon May 02, 2005 at 07:48:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I understand the point... (none)
              that certain sexual object choices are permanent and irrevocable.  That's not my point.  On the one hand, I worry that the claim that sexual orientation is innate or inborn is simply a form of clothed homophobia.  In other words, if it isn't just a way of seeing same sex object choice as a mutation or genetic deviation.  This point is seen in those people who ask "why would anyone ever choose to be gay?"  Well gee, why would anyone ever choose to be heterosexual?  On the other hand, granting the thesis that sexual orientation is innate or inborn, other issues for GLBT rights loom in the future.  This hypothesis opens the door for genetic therapy on GLBT, for abortions of fetuses that indicate the gay gene, etc.  In other words, the struggle will appear on a new front, so it doesn't really solve the problem.  That's why I see the issue is one of promoting tolerance for sexual orientations themselves and for demonstrating just how contingent and rare pure hetero object choice in fact is.  Apologies if I was confusing on this point.
              •  Mmm... well... (none)
                I understand your worry about some people using the idea of "it's not a choice" to claim that homosexuality is a kind of birth defect. But, you know, any idea can be abused by people who are determined to arrive at their predetermined conclusion ("gays bad") by any means necessary.

                Indeed, the "it's a choice" position is being abused even worse, right now, by the very same sort of people.

                So you can't really pick a position about this based on what malevolent people will say. The most important thing is to describe what is.

                I think the truth is, it's a choice for some people, and not for others. I happen to be heterosexual, and I know I didn't choose that. It's not that I first made an "irrevocable object choice" -- it's that I was born to be attracted to men. And I was -- quite a few different young men, in my late teens. I did later make an irrevocable choice of a particular man; that's called getting married... and we've been married for forty years, so I think the relationship is pretty irrevocable by now. But, you know, even at my age, there's still a flicker or two of interest caused by the sight of a certain kind of handsomeness... and I assure you, it's never, ever caused by a woman.

                I am quite prepared to believe the accounts of those of my gay and lesbian friends who say they have had similar personal experiences, except with same sex instead of the opposite sex. They were just never, ever attracted to the opposite sex. Friends, sure. But no flame.

                I also have some bisexual friends and family members, who over the course of time had romantic relationships with people of both sexes. Most of them eventually settled into a happy long-term monogamous relationship with one special person. They had a choice, up until the time when they made their choice and stuck with it. (But I bet like most people they still get those little casual flickers of interest... and for both sexes.)

                Massacre is not a family value.

                by Canadian Reader on Mon May 02, 2005 at 08:53:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I believe... (none)
                  that I am talking about what is.  Studies of human sexual development indicate that sexual object choice is not an inborn property of humans.  At a certain point in the developmental process this choice gets fixed.  Given how much our social identities are bound up with our sexual identities, and given how high the stakes are for making any sort of object choice that deviates from socially accepted standards, it comes as no surprise that any attraction to the contrary is soundly disavowed by the subject.  In some respect the fundies are more honest on this issue.  Often they'll describe homosexuals as being selfish or indulgent.  The implicit premise of such a claim can only be that desires for members of the same sex are common, but that it is wrong that people act on them.  They are right about the first point.  Statistically those who are exclusively attracted to one sex or the other are rare, though they do exist.  They are wrong about the second point.
                •  Part of the problem here... (none)
                  is that the alternative between choice and nature is too exclusive.  In between choice and nature is the formation of body-schemas, which are patterns that come to be written in the fabric of the body, which co-ordinate our movement and desire, and which form at a primarily unconscious level.  For instance, when you're learning how to drive a car you're forming a body schema that trains your eyes, hands, and feet a certain way with respect to a car.  This schema has to adjust in new ways everytime you purchase a new car, but once these schemata are there they're largely permanent save in instances of some catastrophic accident.  Most of the learning that takes place at this level is unconscious and not directly chosen.  Moreover, it is similar to natural abilities in that it is permanent once acquired.  Sexual orientation isn't a spontaneous choice like choosing which coffee you'd like to drink today.  It's a far more gradual enculturation process that develops over a long period of time.  In its most basic, infantile state, what the body aims at is gratification.  For humans the objects that cause this gratification are highly variable and obey no natural predesign.  The sedimentation or development of sexual orientation isn't something that can be undone, though new directions or vectors of desire can emerge.  If you compare it to the aquisition of language or learning how to walk, perhaps you can see my point. We're not born knowing how to walk or talk.  And if we don't aquire these skills (especially language) by a certain age, then we'll never acquire them.  My thesis is that at birth there is no innate object choice or natural developmental sexual identity, whether it be homosexual or heterosexual.  This point can readily be seen in that very young children draw gratification from members of both sexes and objects aside from humans altogether.  It's only at a certain developmental point that object choices become fixed.  "Object choice" is something that develops over time and is a very complex process.  However, just because we're not born with it, it doesn't follow that we can just give it up once we acquire it.  This is the problem with the premise underlying the fundie re-education idea.  For instance, in your case, learning how to be bi or lesbian is about as possible as learning how to unspeak the English language.  It's possible to become bi or lesbian.  These things happen all the time.  People discover very late in life that they have sexual desires that they never knew they had.  The question is whether they always had them or whether they develop them over time.  I err on the side of the latter thesis based on my knowledge of psychological development, history, and ethnographic literature.  Others, err on the side of nature, which is politically a very useful stance.  However, once you have an orientation you have it.  It can't be undone.  And that's what makes these re-education processes so cruel and wrong.  Short of a lobotomy they just won't work.
                  •  Live and learn (none)
                    Now that you've explained what you meant more clearly, I understand the point. The parallel with language acquisition is interesting. Nobody is born with a gene to speak English. No two-year-old chooses to learn Spanish over English; which languages are learned depends on the ones that are heard. But the mechanism to acquire language at that age is hard-wired, and while people can choose to learn, or be taught, other languages as adults, they don't unlearn the languages they spoke first.

                    But, analogies are imperfect. It would be astonishing if sexual preference worked exactly the same way as learning a language. It may, for instance, be in some ways more like handedness: that is, there may be a built-in preference for the direction in which sexuality develops in an individual, and intensive pressure on children to conform to the majority state may just cause all kinds of emotional and neurological trouble. There's an age at which handedness becomes evident, but when it manifests, it's not the result of environment or training.

                    There's some evidence that the latter is the case. It's hard to know which studies to believe, though, in an area where so many researchers have preconceived notions of what the answers ought to be... or an interest in being contrarian to attract attention. I wouldn't be surprised if there are also studies that yielded, or appeared to yield, different results. (Diet is another area where for similar reasons there is little consensus, and where it's almost impossible for a layperson to know which studies to trust.)

                    Sexual preference can exist as young as age seven. Maybe even younger, but some adults will tell you they were consciously aware of it at that age.

                    My own view of infants is that they are neither a blank slate to be written on by experience, nor a pre-wired completely developed personality that just unfolds, but rather, a complex bundle of potential directions for development. They have enormous adaptability, but there are also certain directions in which they will not develop no matter how much opportunity or reinforcement they are given.

                    Massacre is not a family value.

                    by Canadian Reader on Tue May 03, 2005 at 07:07:28 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  Fabulous comment... (none)
      You summed it up in your last sentence.

      The Jeebofascist fundie-whackjobs are losing and they now it.  That's why they are screaming so loudly.

      That said, the rotten bastards are still dangerous just like a cornered animal because they are fighting for the survival of their autocratic self-righteous lunancy that was once (and still is for those Xians not consumed by hate and fear) a beautiful philosophy as to how one could live life.  Unfortunately, the haters have stolen and perverted Christianity and real Christians don't have the spine to take it back.

      As for the post--I'm simply to blown away and saddened to comment.  Every American should read it.  If they did, the 20 million or so truly whacked out fundamentalists of this country wouldn't dare speak out because they would have 280 million hating their rotten souls.

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- "It Can't Happen Here", Sinclair Lewis, 1935.

      by WyldPirate on Mon May 02, 2005 at 10:50:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You have an absolute right to feel how you do (4.00)
    Their hatred kills. You have a right to rail against them, at every turn they are trying to destroy people who just want to be able to live their lives in peace and who don't do anything to them. They hate any person of color, women and gays. These are the Dominionists and they want gays and people of color dead or turned into slaves and women relegated to the home, to make more of their babies. They are deadly and dangerous and they are trying to gain control of this country. You have every right to be upset. I'm very sorry for your loss...
  •  One thing that really Frustrated me (none)
    Is when this happened a while ago.....Suicide is higher amoung those that are Gay, Lesbian, bi-sexual....what are we doing to stop this and help support this.

    Well the federal government doesn't give two shits.  

    "Bloodworth was told it would be acceptable to use the term "sexual orientation." But that did not make sense to him. "Everyone has a sexual orientation," he said in an interview yesterday. "But this was about gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders."

    Moreover, he noted, transgender people differ from others in terms of sexual identity, not sexual orientation.

    "Unless you use an accurate term, the people you are trying to reach don't recognize themselves and don't attend," he said, adding that the agency told him he should not use "gender identity."

    "The title rewrite was one of several requested changes. Another was to add a session on faith-based suicide prevention, said Weber, who said he believes the brouhaha is all a misunderstanding. "

    And here is the link

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A27202-2005Feb15.html?nav=rss_politics

  •  Not to take away from the seriousness (4.00)
    But maybe there should be a "gay mafia"?

    Not being gay puts me at a disadvantage, but wasn't the last estimate that at least 25% of the population is either gay or lesbian? Most of whom are probably in the closet.

    You're already motivated.
    Get organized.
    Fight back.

  •  wclathe (4.00)
    God bless you.

    Lovely rant and an important reminder of how we must fight the good fight for love to save people from hate.

    Some of you rich men have to be taught that all the world cannot be bribed into condoning your offences. -- Sherlock Holmes

    by Carnacki on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:07:27 AM PDT

  •  That circuitous argument (none)
    Gays harm society because they'll ruin the lives of children.  But if people preached tolerance the same way they surrender to a "culture of life," there'd be no reason to cast shame on anyone.
    •  classic circular reasoning (4.00)
      Classic circular reasoning rationalizing.  I lost track of the number of court cases where the judge would take some kid away from a same-sex couple because he felt that it'd be unhealthy for the child to be raised by a family that'd be treated badly by society.  Or in other words ...

      "I'm going to burn your house down to prevent your neighbors from throwing a molotov through the window."

      Proud member of the reality-based minority

      by Bearpaw on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:29:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One problem: self-hating gay people (3.75)
    My guess is that your friend's father reacted the way he did because the father himself was a repressed, self-hating gay guy. Torturing his son to death was a way for him to express his self-hatred for without admitting to himself that he was gay.

    I think one of the not-so-secret secrets of the wingnut movement is that the percentage of wingnuts who are gay is at least as high as the percentage of people who are gay in any other demographic group.

    If only the wingnuts who are gay would wake up and realize that honesty and kindness are the best antidotes to what ails the world, that revolution would go a long way to ending the wingnut movement and returning control of the Republican Party back to normal conservatives.

    I can't think of the guy's name, but I think that conservative political strategist who just married his lover (now spouse) in Massachusetts is an example of the kind of action that can change the world.

    What principled gay conservatives have to do is show that peeople can be pro-free-enterprise, pro-defense and even pro-conventional-morality without being vicious, theocratic, homophobic, neo-fascist bullies.

    I'm a moderate progressive who believes firmly in the need for a two-party (or, ideally, multi-party) system and the clash of ideas, and I think, in the long run, that one of the worst things about people like your friend's father is that they end up discrediting the Republican Party to the extent that listening to the Republicans is like listening to Adolph Hitler, even when it's possible that the Republicans might have a point about something.

    •  Finkelstein (none)
      is the guy, and he's behind the "Stop Her Now" campaign against Hillary.
      •  Hillary would be a bad president (none)
        She's sort of OK as a senator (although too centrist for my taste, given that she has what should be a safe seat), and I think we should try to defend her against wingnut efforts to Swift Boat her, but my impression is that liberals who know her personally dislike her and that she would be a terrible presidential candidate. I think conservatives who oppose her nomination are doing us a favor.

        If we want to make a point of supporting a serious female nominee, why not Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas or maybe the governor of Arizona?

        Also: Political consultants should have some principles (e.g., not lobbying or handling political strategy for outright Nazis or KKK members), but, at some level, a job is a job. My guess is that most Republican political consultants are a lot more liberal on social issues than their clients. And now Finkelstein has walked at least a little bit of the walk toward virtue by taking a pretty public position on an important matter of principle.

  •  The dead are always with us. (4.00)
    I can't hear the talk on abortion without thinking of the friend I lost to a botched self-inflicted job in the days before Roe v Wade. And it doesn't take a reference to bring back the dear dead of the AIDS epidemic.  The friends who forced themselves into heterosexual marriage. And all the rest.

    It's something none of us get over. Not really. Useless, senseless, stupid, heart-breaking loss.

    Things will change.  They've got to.  I know it may sound like a platitude but the simple truth is, together we will make it change.

    •  Things will change. (4.00)
      together will will make it change.  I promise.

      I support Soulforce - seeking Justice for God's GLBT children. Please join us.

      by its simple IF you ignore the complexity on Mon May 02, 2005 at 12:22:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I read this (4.00)
      and it brings it all back.  Went to college in the early 70's, had a lot of friends who were gay, and became, like "Mother Mike", a confidante.  The big topic then was telling the family, and I usually discouraged it.  Some people were just coming out and enjoying their freedom.  I felt that they were like newly-blossomed flowers, and unless I heard really POSITIVE things about the family, telling them over Christmas break didn't sound like a good idea.

      In the 80's, I was in NYC, and many of my friends were dying of AIDS.  Well, the secret was certainly out then.  Some families were, surprisingly, very supportive.  Others raised holy hell, not letting partners in the hospital room. Other families just never appeared. But the biggest issue for me was that the US government just let them die.  They did NOTHING for years.
      People just got sick and died.

      Things change, and yet, one absolute stays the same.  Underneath all the hate and contempt is ignorance and fear, and that pisses me off the most.  There's nothing Christian about hate.  

      I am so sorry for your loss.  I cry sometimes, just thinking about the beautiful young men who used to stand in my kitchen in college, teasing me. They're dead now, and I miss them terribly.  But I do believe they watch over me, and I can't wait to see them, and I think I will.

      Peace.

      We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

      by Mary Julia on Mon May 02, 2005 at 03:50:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  John 15:12 (4.00)
    "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."

    Do the 'Christians' you speak of even think about this simple exhortation?

    Just remember this -

    Matthew 5:11
    "Blessed are you when people insult you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you in my name"

    Let's stop worrying about who will lead us in 2008 and instead work on who we'll be in 2005.

    by pHunbalanced on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:21:28 AM PDT

    •  It's interesting. (4.00)
      When they don't want to abide by old testament, they say that they use new testament. When they want to gaybash, they use old testament.
      •  God I just love that one (4.00)
        The Fuckers!!!!  This week we justify our attack from this place in the Bible......next week we justify the opposite from this other place in the Bible.  They are all fucking crazy as hell!!!
      •  However, also in the OT (4.00)
        are two stories that can be interpreted as same-sex love affairs.  I used excerpts from one for a reading before the sermon on marriage equality I gave yesterday at my UU church (I'm not a Real Minister, BTW, nor do I play one on TV).

        Check out the stories of Jonathan and David, and of Naomi and Ruth.

        Funny how the Religious Reich never mentions those... or the passages about the evils of touching pigskin, eating shellfish, or mixing materials when weaving cloth.

        Come see Velvet Elvis at Bad Abbott's in Quincy, MA 5/6. Meet some Kossacks, hear great music!

        by brillig on Mon May 02, 2005 at 01:25:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Choose your testament wisely (4.00)
      I've found that Christians are able to keep from admitting their hypocrisy for hating gay people by choosing the Old Testament God of hatred for those that are not in their in-group, and the New Testament God of love for those that are like themselves.

      It's so convenient.  Just pick the part of the Trinity that you want to back up your own prejudice.  Mask your own hypocrisy in the contradictory stance of Yahweh and Jesus.

  •  I Am So Sorry (4.00)
    Words are not adequate to describe how sick at heart I get when I read about things like this. I am so sorry at the loss of your love.

    Did the evil bastard that was his dad at least have the decency to regret his cruel words and actions?

    How can anyone reject their child this way? HOW? I will never understand...

  •  Forgiveness Is Not Passivity (4.00)
    In my uninformed religious opinion, you have acted like a true Christian--an unselfish protector.

    Forgiveness is for those who see they have done wrong and then try to make amends.  It is not for those who continually do wrong in spite of the evidence.  The latter must always be opposed.

  •  Yes, it is completely Orwellian (4.00)
    The radical right uses the language of Christian love to disseminate hate.  They destroy lives and blame those same destroyed lives on Satan, or liberals, or Clinton.  They pervert everything true for political ends, primarily by calling reality perverse.  War is Peace, Truth is Lies, and Love -- as we all know too well -- is Hate.  

    I am having a harder and harder time these days viewing anyone who participates or collaborates with that discourse with any kind of tolerance or sympathy.  I just don't know how it is possible for us to build bridges with those who would kill us if they can't convert us.  

  •  thank you (4.00)
    thank you for posting this.

    I'm convinced that this kind of honest expression of passion, feeling, belief is exactly what we need to be doing.  

    When we answer "gays are all pedophiles" with "actually studies show we're not" rather than "how dare you even say such a blatantly false thing!" we're giving them the upper hand.

    When we keep our anger, our hurt, our passion (and our faith, whatever that might be) private, and allow them to dominate the political debate, we lose.

    When we only "vent" here, and talk "reasonably" in public, we're keeping the truest parts of ourselves from public discourse and political action.  

    thank you thank you for posting this.  I hope you'll tell it to anyone who'll listen.

  •  I'm opting out! (none)
    If this is what religion has to offer, COUNT ME OUT!
    •  Not all religions (4.00)
      I can't let a blanket statement about "religion" in general go by without comment. Not all religions preach hatred, intolerance and a message that kills. My own, for instance. And there are others, the ones the Religious Reich doesn't include in their ranks.

      I understand why, for many, religion doesn't work for them. I categorically and emphatically don't believe that a person who has a religion is any better, more moral, more ethical, etc than someone who doesn't. That comes from the inside on a personal level.

      Come see Velvet Elvis at Bad Abbott's in Quincy, MA 5/6. Meet some Kossacks, hear great music!

      by brillig on Mon May 02, 2005 at 01:14:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The cruelty is rampant (4.00)
    And it isn't just against gays, although some of the most vile venom is directed that direction.

    And you, unfortunately, were as much a victim in this case.  

    Another case in point, though not directed toward gays.

    I once had a client who suffered severe depression and in the throes of that depression she reached out and had a one night affair.

    Well, her husband found out, but being a good "Christian" he would not toss her out.  But every night at dinner he would say grace and have their two sons join in and pray that she would come back into the fold and thus avoid eternal damnation.

    I last saw her 7 years ago, as she dropped out of therapy.  But I often think of her and hope she has not followed through on some of her threats that she had made in the past.

    I hope you are able to find some peace in your heart.  

    Bush, so incompetent, he can't even do the wrong things right.

    by JAPA21 on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:31:01 AM PDT

  •  Dear wclathe, (3.66)
    we, the right wing of this country, are very sorry that some of our positions cause some people this much pain, but how else are we going to raise money? Afro-American straw man and mixed marriage straw man just don't pay like they used to, ACLU straw man and Mexican straw man have never supported us like they should, we're trying to revive Charles Darwin straw man and we're still test-marketing activist judge straw man.

    In the meantime, we must survive any way we can, and nothing pays like gay straw man. We're sorry that a few people like your friend die and go to hell every so often, but heck, it's really a question of the greatest good for the greater number. If we don't have any money, it'll be harder to convert the heathens, and then we'll have even greater numbers going to hell than we do now!

    Faithfully yours,

    the Church

    For Dubya, REFORM=DESTROY, and FREEDOM=CORPORATE COLONIALISM

    by Doug in SF on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:31:18 AM PDT

  •  And they will suffer for their words... (none)
    You can count on that.

    So, I made up my own slogan, and here it is: "slogans are stupid"

    by Dmitri in San Diego on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:33:25 AM PDT

  •  anniversary anger (4.00)
    my condolences on your loss.  anniversaries often make old pain seem fresh.  God bless your lost love, God rest his soul, may light perpetual shine upon him.  At the same time I give thanks that you had each other, even for a short while.  Too many people live their entire lives without ever knowing the joy-filled experience of having their love returned.

    While I cannot take your pain away, I can hold your story in my heart, and let it give me courage to stand up to these counterfeit christians and call them what they are.  They're fundamentalists all right: fundamentally opposed to the inclusive law of love that Jesus preached.

    May our shared anger fuel both of us to keep working to wipe the hypocritical smiles off their sorry faces.  It is just plain evil for them to smile at the expense of your tears.

    Politics is like driving. To go backward, put it in R. To go forward, put it in D.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:33:52 AM PDT

  •  The Religous Fascists are always... (none)
    ...trying to shove the Bible down everyone's throat. Maybe we on the left should start a program to force The Devil's Advocate be placed in every hotel room and school across the land, anywhere there is a Bible, just to make sure they learn how to keep it in context?

    I honestly think we should start doing actions like that. When the Religous posers start screaming about it, since truly religous people wouldn't be threatened by it all, we just tell them it's the golden rule being applied to them. How do they like it?

    Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it. -Tom Paine

    by Alumbrados on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:34:01 AM PDT

    •  Not the Bible... (none)
      The problem is that they have swallowed their Bible whole, and now suffer indigestion. (Ever done that with a potato chip?)

      They are envious of those who chew the information more slowly (spitting out the pits, bone splinters, & shell fragments) and thus suffer no pain!

      Hijack their frames! Cheap, easy, effective.

      by chriscol on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:40:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It will never fully stop. (4.00)
    But there will come a day when homophobia as as shameful and closeted as overt racism.

    There will come a day when society at large regards people like Dobson as aberrations, crackpots and dangerous. James Dobson is David Duke.

    Sure, Duke still has his bizarro followers -- but there will come a day when a James Dobson joke on the Tonight show is the norm, just like David Duke jokes.

    Rage, rage, against the lying of the Right.

    by Maryscott OConnor on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:35:24 AM PDT

  •  I am so sad... (4.00)
    ...and sorry for your pain. I don't have any words of wisdom to offer, but I hope you know you are loved and accepted by many of us -- I wish I could say all, but I live in the Deep South, so I know the ugly reality.

    It's interesting to me that I experienced my first ever (and I'm 40) incident of anti-Semitism under this administration. I bring this up only because it seems BushCo has made it acceptable and proper to publicly express bigotry in all forms.

    And to me, this is why it's imperative for the whole world that starting in 2006, we Dems begin to take back control of this government.

    Blessed be, wclathe.

  •  My mom is gay.... (4.00)
    My mom is gay, and both she and her partner were "cured" during the 70's. They got married, had children, the whole nine. Then - 30 years ago this July - they met. Nothing was ever the same after that.

    Here is something I posted elswhere. It has to do with the Gay Marriage issue.

    I bring this up only to let you know that...I don't know how to express this well - that you are not alone? That Friends and Family of gay people are angry, too? You probably already know these things. I am inadequate to express what I mean. My heart breaks for you, and your friend who didn't make it through.

    In any case, I offer you this:
    _____________

    Fer cryin out loud!

    Lookit - any CITIZEN should be able to get married. I see it as a CIVIL right.
    If I am a Satanist, and sacrifice goats to the Dark Lord in my basement, I can marry any person of the opposite sex who will have me. (No offence to Satanists on Kos - I just want to make the point that this is not a exclusively a Judeo/Christian thing.)

    Or, for that matter, a religious thing at all - if I am an atheist, I can marry any person of the opposite sex who will have me.

    If I have been married six times before and have had six divorces, I can marry any person of the opposite sex who will have me. (Don't laugh - this guy my husband used to work with had EIGHT ex-wives. Sanctity of marriage my ass.)

    My husband and I went to Las Vegas and got married by the clerk at the Clark County Marriage Bureau.

    It is a legal fact that today my husband and I, the Satanist, the atheist, and the guy with more than a half dozen exes have MORE RIGHTS than my sweet, 65 year old Quaker mom and her 75 year old partner of THIRTY YEARS has.

    Do you mean to tell me that YOU ARE OKAY WITH THAT????

    I'm not.

    by Nonie3234 on Wed Apr 27th, 2005 at 10:34:51 EST

    •  no offense taken (none)
      most satanists are atheists.  worshipping a 'bad' god is cheesey.

      "It says in the Bible that the morning-after pill is wrong. I believe the passage is Pharmaceuticals 3:16." -Adrian Roy, Systems Analyst

      by mediaprisoner on Mon May 02, 2005 at 12:17:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wha??? (none)
        I am confused about that...

        How can there be no Lord if there's a dark Lord?

        •  Satanism (none)
          Actual devil worship exists mainly in the imaginations of fundies and the recreations of their kids.

          The actual "Satanists" of the Church of Satan founded by Anton LeVey, from what I recall, were basically humanists with attitudes. They don't worship Satan, drink pig's blood, sacrifice children, etc. I think "Satanism" was explicitly chosen to emphasize rejection of the Christian church rather than affirmation of a particular deity.

      •  No... (none)
        most writers of the Declaration of Independence were atheists...

        If there's no god, there's no devil, either...

        "...we want to burn out the poison of immorality which has entered into our whole life and culture as a result of liberal excess during the past years." Hitler

        by quartzite on Mon May 02, 2005 at 01:55:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wouldn't say athiests... (none)
          I would more say agnostics. Most believed fully that there was a god (I can't speak for all of them, but the only the ones I am familiar with) however knew from HISTORY (yes, that subject we no longer teach our children) that organized religion, especially when it was state sponsored, turned our badly (regarding what happened to/during the crusades, inquisition, puritans and "Pagans").

          Plus only one person wrote the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson. He wrote it by himself, brought it to the continental congress, presented it and was tasked with rewriting it based on the input from other members of the congress. Everyone else was a signatory to the document. Sorry, a matter of semantics...but I feel one that should be pointed out.

          Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity, only not as much fun.

          by Toktora on Mon May 02, 2005 at 03:53:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Deists (none)
          Most of them believed in some kind of supreme being, but weren't specific about it.  Thomas Kefferson occasionally spoke of God as did most of the others, and George Washington started the now ubiquitous "So help me, God" completely of his own accord.

          That said, I have seen very few references by any of them to specific religions or even much talk of christianity or Christ.  They tended to refer to religion/spirituality in the general rather than the specific sense.

  •  I'm so sorry (4.00)
    I wish you peace, wclathe. Or if that's not possible now, then I hope your rage is useful. It's useful to me to read it - having moved away from a small MN town to NYC, sometimes I forget how hard things were. Well, that kind of forgetting is good, but there's a cost. I'm 26, and I had such high hopes for the kids who were growing up just a few years younger than me. I really thought things were changing, that we'd see more happiness and fewer suicides. And things have changed, but the pushback from the far right is beyond anything I had anticipated, and it's killing people every day.

    It just makes me sick. I'm so sorry for you and your friend.

    "Where did it all go wrong? There ought to be a law against Henry./ -Mr. Bones: there is." - John Berryman

    by watt on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:43:10 AM PDT

  •  I am so so sorry!! (4.00)
    As the mother of a son who killed himself, I have nothing but compassion for you .. I know that pain you feel.

    I'd like to recommend a book --
    Prayers for Bobby : A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son
    by LeRoy Aarons
    Link

    This is a mother -- a MOTHER -- who rejected her son because of his homosexuality .. she was a conservative Christian who truly believed that her son was going to hell if he did not change.  She did not totally reject him, but she pressured him to change constantly, until he finally jumped from a bridge.

    She courageously sought out members of the gay community (including the author of this book) to try to come to terms with his suicide, and eventually saw the error of her beliefs .. and now she speaks before groups of parents in favor of accepting gays.  She realizes now that homosexuality is not a choice, and that in fact it is God's will.  It's a tragic story, but with a glimmer of hope, in that it is possible for these people to change if they have enough motivation.  She has turned out to be a really good person who was truly brainwashed by her religion, which she has totally rejected.

    You are absolutely right about the sanctimoniousness and cruelty of these people .. but there is hope for SOME of these people.  I don't know what it would take for some of them to change .. but some (maybe not most; certainly not most of the ones who pontificate publicly) are at heart good people who have been BRAINWASHED by the awful irresponsibility of their religion.

    In the meantime ... my heart aches for your love, for you, for Bobby .. for my son .. and for all the despairing people who were in so much pain, and could no longer see how wonderful and valuable they were!

  •  I remember "Save Our Children" (4.00)
    I was fifteen at the time, out to myself but nobody else, and I remember thinking how crazy it was that Anita Bryant wanted to protect me from myself by lying about me.

    I don't remember being suicidal, but gods know I can understand why so many kids are.

    You have my sympathies, wclathe.  I keep hoping that someday people will realize that Dobson, Robertson, etc., have just as much of a right to their idiotic opinions as KKKers ... and just as little right to any public attention.

    Proud member of the reality-based minority

    by Bearpaw on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:50:02 AM PDT

  •  It's the rare diary (4.00)
    that moves me to tears. I'm with you on this. Thanks for writing it.

    The times I was beat up, discriminated against, teased, bullied, laughed at, etc. for being gay have helped make me the stronger person I am today. I wish it had never happened, of course, but I am taking whatever good I can get out of it.

    You're right--they want us dead. But our desire to live is stronger than their effort to kill. Our love is greater than their hate. Our reason is more just than their rhetoric. And our work to make this country and this world a place for everyone will eventually be more successful than their efforts to stop us.

    It's wonderful that you have found love, partnership, parenthood, and stability. Your example proves them wrong.

    Peace.

    Culture of life? More like Republican cesspool of violence.

    by vancookie on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:52:32 AM PDT

  •  hold my hand? (4.00)
    your diary made me cry, angry, and want to reach out to you and sit with you through it.

    All of it is true.  

    Please find someone you can show this to in RL and hold their hand, cry with them.  Dont be alone, not like I feel when I read your diary.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. - Douglas Adams

    by nika7k on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:53:03 AM PDT

  •  Monsters (4.00)
    Trust me, you speak for a lot of people in your rage.  Christ's central and most essential message was love.  The hatred and filth which spews from the Fundamentalist Right and, as you emphasize, causes the death of children, makes then not identifiably Christian in my eyes.  Monstrous, indecent people.
  •  This is not a moral issue (4.00)
    This is simply an opportunity for bigots to indulge in sadism.  

    They can turn their homophobia on and off as they please, so obviously it really doesn't mean anything to them.  They just use it when it suits them.  

    That, my friends, is the face of a "Christian" attacking gays, gays who volunteer to be foster parents.  Looks like they won't be able to do that any more.  

    That's what a bigot looks like.  Can't you just feel the LOVE?  Can't you just tell that he hates the sin and loves the sinner?  Can't you just see how fucking Christ-like that piece of shit is?  

    He's a real fucking role-model ... for the modern-day Klan.  

    Christians discovered their homophobia around the turn of the twelfth century.  Since then, they've been willing to overlook the gayness of the rich, the powerful, their friends and family members.  They can turn it off.  They can turn it on.  Obviously, this thing that Christ never spoke of isn't really that important to them.  

    There are no moralizers on this issue.  There are only hypocrites, people who need to harm others to numb their own self-hatred for a while.

    For the sake of that momentary, cheap thrill, a bigot will throw someone else's life away.  

    These people are shit to me.  

    They will only be stopped when they are held up as what they are:  cynical, hypocritical, sadistic, sick.  It's a sad comment on our society that these people are supposed to be "moral."  They are sociopaths, nothing more.  

    •  After this shining moment (4.00)
      in Texas legislative history, there came another debate, this one on amending the state constitution to ban gay marriage.  

      An excerpt from the speech of Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston):

      Members, this bill is about hate and fear and discrimination. I know something about hate and fear and discrimination. When I was a small girl, white folks used to talk about "protecting the institution of marriage" as well. What they meant was if people of my color tried to marry people of Mr. Chisum's color, you'd often find the people of my color hanging from a tree. That's what the white folks did back then to "protect marriage."

      Fifty years ago, white folks thought inter-racial marriages were a "threat to the institution of marriage." Members, I'm a Christian and a proud Christian. I read the good book, and do my best to live by it. I have never read the verse where it says, "gay people can't marry." I have never read the verse where it says, "though shalt discriminate against those not like me." I have never read the verse where it says, "let's base our public policy on hate and fear and discrimination." Christianity to me is love and hope and faith and forgiveness - not hate and discrimination.

      Last week, Republicans used a political wedge issue to pull kids - sweet little vulnerable kids - out of the homes of loving parents and put them back in a state orphanage just because those parents are gay. That's disgusting. Today, we are telling homosexuals that just like people of my ilk, when I was a small child, they too are second class citizens. I have listened to all the arguments. I have listened to all of the crap.

      Mr. Chisum, is a person who I consider my good friend and revere. But, I want you to know that this amendment are (sic) blowing smoke to fuel the hell-fire flames of bigotry. You are trying to protect your constituents from danger. This amendment is a CYB amendment for you to go home and talk about.

      Sometimes I want to move back to Houston just so I can vote for her.

      (BTW, nice to see you back.)

  •  anyone wanna feel better? (4.00)
    My bro came out about 10 years ago and -

    my parents have been totally cool about it, have welcomed the boyfriends he's had and have been supportive - inasmuch as parents are generally supportive of their kids' sexuality (they never exactly cheered me on when I got laid, for instance).

    And here's our future. A few weeks ago, my 5 year old son told me he wanted to be a girl. I asked him why and he said, "so I can kiss other girls". I explained that heterosexuality is a perfectly acceptable lifestyle choice...

    peace brothers and sisters.  Those people are not Christians.

    •  Your last sentence (4.00)
      is dead on.  I'm not sure what they should be called, but I know it isn't a Christ-ian.  I see very little Christ in their actions.  

      And I don't claim to be perfect.  I'm a sinner.  Far as I know there has only been one perfect Man to ever walk the Earth.  And James Dobson, you aren't Him.  

      "I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." -- Galileo Galilei

      by Dittoz on Mon May 02, 2005 at 12:16:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I saw a sign at the Dobson protest (4.00)
    that said, "Separation of Church and Hate".

    Last week, my progressive action group hosted a forum on the religious left and church/state issues.  Our panel included a gay rights activist who spoke very movingly about being the object of hatred, and how having the power of government backing that hatred is a horrifying thing.

    I am sorry for your loss.  More and more of us are feeling solidarity in this fight, and we are gathering a large group to march in the gay pride parade.  It's not much, but it's a start.  

  •  Sticks and stones? (4.00)
    Ever since I was little that old saying about "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" always seemed very wrong.

    Because words can hurt.  Every time we let someone get away with saying bigoted things, we give those words an opportunity to hurt someone else.  It should come as no surprise that the anti-gay invective being spewed forth by Bush and the rest of the Decepticons, and amplified by the right as a whole has resulted in a rise in anti-gay hate crime, even as other crime rates fall.

    It is not Christian, it is not Right, it is not "okay" --- it is not even remotely decent.

    I, too, am sorry for your loss.  Sometimes, you really just have to rant.  And maybe, someday, our words will win the fight with theirs.

    War is NOT a preventative measure.

    by demandcaring on Mon May 02, 2005 at 12:20:15 PM PDT

  •  Wow. Just wow (4.00)
    As a one-time "opposer" of equal-rights for gays and lesbians, let me offer a heartfelt apology for past comments to many people, defending policies that deny societal benefits to any two people who are in love.

    There are many out there who have yet to be convinced about gay marriage and equal opportunity under the law.  We can, and will, reach those people as well.  If a Mormon can change his mind regarding the matter, surely millions of others will join us in this cause.

  •  When I went back to college Soph year... (4.00)
    ..I had a 'hometown sweetie'. (Talked about her in a post last night, in fact--my 'everything but' relationship).

    Anyhow, I had a friend in college, a girl I knew a bit from sharing some classes the prevous year. One night early Sophomore year, we happened to be hanging out at a party, and she drunkenly disclosed that she was a lesbian.

    The next day, when the alcohol wore off <G>, she was horrified she told me. I was the third person that knew--and the other two were her two high-school lovers. "I'm so far in the closet I'm pushing through the back wall," she joked. And a lot of that was her parents--they were anti-gay Fundy types. ANd they were paying for her schooling.

    Anyhow, we came up with a deal, somehow. We started 'dating'. She wanted a 'beard', and I didn't mind the idea either--college guys with 'hometown sweeties' get a lot of flack. I just hung out with her a lot and let the guys think what they wanted. (C., my girlfriend, knew all about it.) And all the girls on her floor thought I was her boyfriend. We were great friends, we enjoyed each other's company.

    One of the most amusing things is that we discovered we had almost the exact same taste in women <G>.

    Anyhow, the year went on. In February, C. dumped me--it was my friend at school that got sloppy drunk with me--and, after that, I was a little bit more interested in dating at school. NOt that much, though, because by March of that year I knew I wouldn't be going back to that school.

    We still hung out, and then I left. We wrote quite a bit all through the next year. She told me about halfway through Fall semester that next year she'd found a girlfriend at school.

    THe summer after Junior year, I got a letter from her. Her parents had found out somehow. They kicked her out, cut her off financially, and basically disowned her. The letter I got told me that she was staying with a friend, but it was only temporary, and she'd write again when she found a more permanent living arrangement.

    I never heard from her again.

    And I'll always wonder. Because that last letter was so awash in despair, I'll always wonder.

    "Don't call yourself religious, not with that blood on your hands"--Little Steven Van Zandt

    by ChurchofBruce on Mon May 02, 2005 at 12:44:47 PM PDT

  •  love (4.00)
    just sending you love.  I always have love for Kos friends in pain.  Love and hugs.
  •  Living well is the best revenge (4.00)
    This is a very eloquent statement.  I can understand and sympathize with your pain, and that of your lover.  It's getting harder and harder for me to not hate the people who are spewing lies and hatred that are tearing apart my country.  I don't understand how they can rationalize the way they selectively filter the bible to support an agenda that seems totally in contradiction to what I was taught in sunday school about christianity.  

    My only solace is a belief in karma.  I don't believe in some kind of mystical, ethereal type of karma.  I believe that "What goes around comes around".  Hatred poisons the person who hates more than  the recipient.  Anger sickens the soul.  We can't control others beliefs or behaviour, but we can control ours.  Sometimes the only way to deal with the anger of irrational "others" is to say "Fuck You. I'm not going to let you ruin my life. I'm going to live and be an example of all the goodness you have rejected".  

    The people who reject their loved ones because of homosexuality, or other reasons, have to live with holes in their lives of their own creation.  The people who spew hatred of "lifestyle choices" live in a world where everybody who is different is a threat, and every choice is a road to possible damnation.  What a dark, ugly world it must be.  I think of those pictures of two smiling brides on the San Francisco courthouse steps, and, even as I cringed with foreknowledge that this was going to bring trouble, I had to smile at the joy on their faces.  The people who hate these women are incapable of really understanding love.  If they could understand love, they wouldn't condemn these women.  At worst, they would empathize with their desire to be with each other, even if it violated other's beliefs.  

    Anyway, please try to let go of the wrath. It doesn't hurt them.  What hurts them is seeing you happy, seeing you living a rich, full life.  Don't let go of the memory of the anger, or the dedication that anger can lead to.  But don't let he anger be a poison in your soul.  This will be stopped in time, the same way other wrongs were stopped.  And we will look back and shake our heads in wonder that anybody could have thought "that way".  Meanwhile, enjoy your life.  Living well Is the best revenge.  

  •  You have us wclathe. (4.00)
    We who recognize human beings and resist ideological monsters when we see them. I think my own 12 year old daughter may be gay.  I told her that if she was gay she is still my Angel forever but i also had to tell her that gay people are the last safe group to hate in Amerika. I will fight for her if it comes to that. And, more importantly, she will fight for herself. That's the way we raise 'em.
  •  I am sorry for your loss (4.00)
    Do use that anger to help bring about change. I'll fight for the ending of your oppression with you. It is appalling.

    I am glad for you that you have found a family to give you joy as well.

    I suggest . . . we encourage the reestablishment of the old Soviet Union. Sure it was an evil empire, but at least it kept the Republicans busy. - Bill Maher

    by SeattleLiberal on Mon May 02, 2005 at 01:03:03 PM PDT

  •  I'm beginning to feel like a broken record (4.00)
    to myself, because I find myself posting similar comments on various threads. But I can't seem to help trying to impress upon people just how dangerous these fundamentalist bastards are. I grew up with them. I still bear the scars of their my contact with me. And what I know about them, what is ingrained in me about them, is that they want all of us to be dead. Either just like them, or dead.

    Now what's dangerous about this is that they have the ear of the power brokers. I don't think for a minute that most of the power brokers really believe in the fundamentalist shit. But they are cow-towing to it, and in doing so, they give it legitimacy.

    This is too damn close for comfort. We need to relentlessy beat these fanatical m*** f**** back into the stone age from where they came.

    Wclathe: I am so sorry for your pain. I too have lived with pain that is inflicted at the hands of the "christians."

    Like your first love, I was the person who "slit their throat in the closet". I was fortunate to survive my attempts to end my life. It has taken me half of my forty-two years to undo the bulk of the damage that these people did to my mind, soul and spirit. And yet there is still damage left to repair.

    I am so sorry for your pain. And you are right. Everything you said above is right. Never, ever apologize for what you said above. You are right, right, right.

    And may God bless you.  

  •  This is THE Civil Rights Issue of our time. (4.00)
    As heterosexuals we need to make this OUR problem, because these hateful actions are being done in our names.  

    What will you tell your grandchildren that YOU did to help create the accepting society that (hopefully) will be growing and flourishing by then.

    We may be experiencing a backslide now, but I am convinced that the vitriol of the right will bite them firmly on the ass and hopefully swallow them up!

    P.S. My new bumper sticker: Better a bleeding heart than a bitter soul.

  •  My heart goes out to you (4.00)
    and to everyone whose lives have been touched by violence driven by the hatred and intolerance of religious extremists. You will be in my meditation tonight.

    Harness your anger and emotion, use it as a strength.  Never see it as a weakness. If you do, then they win.

    Come see Velvet Elvis at Bad Abbott's in Quincy, MA 5/6. Meet some Kossacks, hear great music!

    by brillig on Mon May 02, 2005 at 01:29:12 PM PDT

  •  My letter dobson (4.00)
    I didn't go to the protest down in Colorado Springs, however SoulForce's website allowed people to send letters they would forward onto Fungus on the Family.  Here's mine:

    How is it Christian to push a hateful, anti-tolerant, homophobic agenda?  The base of the word Christian is Christ who taught us to love one another and take care of those least among us.  I believe it also says in the Bible, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."  
    You do not have love gay people, you do however have to at least tolerate them.  Your agenda continues to tell others that it is acceptable to persecute, harass, and discriminate against homosexuals.  Please stop hurting my friends.

  •  I'm so sorry. (none)
    You're absolutely right.  We'll never stop fighting these pharisees.
  •  experienced.. (4.00)
    i have the strange experience of having grown up in a fundamentalist church where being gay definantly wasnt cool. now i am beyond being out and just see me as me. Fear has caused me to lose several potential parners. Never in the way you have. But out of fear of being socially ostracized. One of my local mentors while coming out explained the expression family as it refers to the gay community. He said we would treat someone as family when their biological family would disowned them. For years there where a group of men who would meet and have thanksgiving dinner because they where 'family'. It is hard to keep a community center or even have a annual summer parade or celebration in kansas. Yes tolerance has increased in recent years. But there are still young people and adults coming out being disowned. Even in 2005 there are places who ask me to not return to their business. I still remember my er trip after a less then tolerant man attacked me with a crow bar my sophmore year in college. Thank you for sharing... united we stand never stop fighting.
  •  I am soooo angry (4.00)
    I am angry because your friend had one chance...one chance at being happy and secure and everything wonderful life is supposed to be at 17.  Damn them all for taking that away from the both of you.
    My brother is gay, but didn't come out until two years ago.  I could not be more proud of the man he has become, and I just practically roll around in his joy of finding his true partner in life. I enjoy nothing more than mentioning oh so casually in a group of "In Name Only Christians" that my brother is gay just to watch everyone's expressions. It's an amazing process.
    When one of my friend's brother died of AIDS back in the 80's, I asked her for some old baby pictures and I copied them and made buttons on our school's PTA button maker so she could hand them out at his memorial service.  Kids came in from the playground to copy and cut and make them...it was so incredible to talk and share with them what I was doing and why. It impressed them to see the "face" of AIDS...suddenly he wasn't something scary or bad or wrong...it was somebody just like them. We cut and attached red ribbons to the back of them symbolizing the AIDS fight and I believe for most kids it gave the ribbons some meaning. By the end of the day...the entire staff was sporting one of his buttons.  It opened up some good dialog and not one single person ever questioned what I had done and why.  I may look like Suzy Homemaker but I really am a Pitbull with lipstick.  
    You are not alone in your anger, and I send you good thoughts today.

    Let's face it... everybody is somebody's weirdo.

    by NapaJulie on Mon May 02, 2005 at 01:48:08 PM PDT

  •  As someone tinkering with Buddhism... (none)
    and compassion...

    I wonder what happened to your first love's father after his son's successful escape from his tyranny.

  •  They killed my aunt (4.00)
    Even though my aunt is alive and breathing, she has pretty much been dead these last ten years.  You see, she's a born-again Christian.

    I remember a fun loving, wonderful woman who was a positive and constant presence in my life all through childhood and even into my early adulthood.  Then, like a disease, she was eaten up by a barbaric and hateful religion and is no longer someone I even recognize.

    I think a lot of families have at least one.  Born-agains are like alcoholics that way.  I know many people who have that one family member people avoid talking about and have long since given up trying to communicate with.  She exists now in her own little, carefully constructed world where she only socializes with others who can help reinforce that fake reality.

    I understand my situation is not as terrible as someone who slit their own throat, and am not trying to equate the two.  But, not a day goes by where I don't feel a pang of sadness for the family member I lost.  And I know who I blame for killing her.

    "Who is the bigger fool? The fool? Or, the fool who follows him?"

    by Magnus Greel on Mon May 02, 2005 at 01:50:02 PM PDT

  •  They killed my first love, too, and I'm sure many (4.00)
    others.  It took him longer to die, and the method was drugs and alcohol instead of a knife, but 27 was too young and there was too much pain in the process.
    I keep reading that we should be polite and respectful of them and religion in general.  Fuck that.  Fuck them and their holy books.  They're murderers with the blood dripping from their hands and they don't deserve any respect.
  •  I read somewhere that homosexuals are (none)
    actually on the highest rung of the evolutionary ladder. When I think of all the talent of this segment of our population, I agree. The number of artists, poets, writers, actors, intellectuals that the gay community has produced is astounding.

    To thine own self be true - W.S.

    by Agathena on Mon May 02, 2005 at 03:12:01 PM PDT

  •  And it still goes on... (none)
    Not to be a diary whore, but today I posted about a  physical attack on a gay student at Harvard.  After finding out what happened on my own campus, and reading wclathe's emotional diary, I am starting to wonder if the BGTL community will ever find true acceptance.  I hope I am wrong, but the fight is far from over.  The 1st round isn't even over yet.

    If you're interested, you can find my diary here.

    wclathe, I wish you all the best, and I pray your life is never again filled with anguish because of the actions of the hateful.

    They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Ben Franklin

    by TheCrimsonKid on Mon May 02, 2005 at 03:18:49 PM PDT

  •  I dunno what to say (4.00)
    that could have been me.  I thought about ending my life well into my 30s.  I don't know why I never did it.

    I am deeply sorry for your loss.  

    I share your righteous rage.

    The evil words these motherfuckers use kill people.  Of that there can be no doubt.  They cause us to hate ourselves, to imagine that death is better than living, that the world would be a better place without us.  They cause others to beat and kill us, to say we "had it coming" when we are beaten or contract a fatal disease.  They're killing us.

    Recently, a report was released looking at anti-gay violence.  Here in Boston, it rose by thirty percent last year, with one-third of the attacks taking place during February or March--during the Constitutional Convention debating same-sex marriage.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Indeed, it's fairly common for anti-gay violence to increase during times of gay-related controversy.  In 1992, during the campaign over Ballot Measure 9, there was more anti-gay violence in Portland, OR than in NYC.

    We cannot be polite.  We cannot let them get away with this bullshit.  Every time they say this garbage, we have to hit them hard--they are liars.  They are hatemongers.  They are evil.

    I am a revolting homosexual!

    by MAJeff on Mon May 02, 2005 at 03:25:01 PM PDT

    •  MAJeff (4.00)
      Damn I was just in Boston. I would have loved to have met up with you.

      I was at the New England Holocaust Museum with my kids, husband and brother. Those Nazi fuckers went after the disabled and gay communities first.

      Christians use their religion to kill, torture, and abuse anyone and everyone.

      Thank you for sharing what you felt.

      All men are created equal - some just stick out more.

      by Damnit Janet on Mon May 02, 2005 at 08:19:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lemme know next time (none)
        I haven't been to the New England Holocaust Memorial yet.  Just finished reading Deborah Lipstadt's History on Trial, her account of being sued by Holocaust denier David Irving.

        The Holocaust Memorial in DC was almost too much.  They had a special exhibit up about gays in the Holocaust.  It was also the weekend in 1996 when the AIDS Quilt was being displayed.  It covered the entire Capitol Mall.  That was such a horrible weekend, being surrounded by death.  It was a necessary weekend.  It taught me in a deep way the evil that humanity is capable of, be it through planning or neglect.

        I am a revolting homosexual!

        by MAJeff on Mon May 02, 2005 at 08:44:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Talibaptists (4.00)
          God and Bush hate the same people they do.

          My mother is in the hospital since yesterday a.m.. So I'm having to deal a bit with the Talibaptists... (her side of the family)

          I have lived far away from most of that since I married. Today my Grandfather mentioned something about people with piercings and "slur for gay people"... how they can't be trusted.

          I let my anger out. I told him it sounded like I had called a Nazi by mistake. (Something you never say to a WWII Vet...) But I let it out. I had called to find out about my mother, to reach out to offer some support and I get "the "hate gospel".   I mentioned that my brother was beaten by the same redneck mentality who ASSumed he was gay because they have gay radar. That if they consider my cussing a sin, that they'd better get used to or knock off using hatermongering murderous words such as "fag".

          I normally don't have to deal with some of their shit. I am so sorry my "relatives" say such things. I can hope that maybe they'll think next time they say something around me - and just maybe that would instill them to THINK before they said it any other time...

          Part of the call...

          To make a long story... not as long... I stated it was my dear neighbors (they've now moved) who were in a long term partnership (I consider 24 years LONG TERM MARRIAGE) They were the ones who came over and helped me and the kids trim our christmas tree. They were the ones who called to see if I needed anything from the store when I was sick with the flu or they knew one of the kids was sick. They were the ones who watched my house when they knew my husband was working graveyard shift.

          They are family.

          Where were my "blood relatives"?? Too busy preaching hate and spotting "those that can't be trusted".

          I am so sorry. But my children have not been brought up that way.

          I have relatives but I have chosen who is my "family". I've never met you - but you'd be more than welcome to trim the tree with us. :)

          All men are created equal - some just stick out more.

          by Damnit Janet on Mon May 02, 2005 at 09:29:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks :) (none)
            Family is not the same as relatives.  I, too, make that distinction.  My mother doesn't understand it.  My closest friends are my family.  My grandmothers are not.  

            My mother is starting to put pressure on me to go to a cousin's wedding this fall.  I'm resisting, hard.  My cousin is marrying someone who thinks the Christian Reformed Church my cousin goes to is too liberal (that anyone would consider the CRC liberal frightens me).  My sister, the Methodist minister, said, "Well, I guess I won't be asked to officiate at that wedding."  They don't think she should be a minister.  I'd hate to hear what they'd say about me.  I'm tempted to go...and to bring a date, even if he's hired for the day....just to fuck up their little world.

            I am a revolting homosexual!

            by MAJeff on Tue May 03, 2005 at 05:14:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  We Will Fight Them (4.00)
    And we will win. No matter how many lives they take.  No matter how many politicians attack us, or how many decide it is politically expedient to refuse to defend us.  

    Just as we see the news reels of "Christians" in the 1950s and 1960s waving their bibles in hatred at black schoolchildren, one day soon our present bigots will be viewed as sources of American shame. They represent everything that is vicious, cruel and stupid about our country.  History will be very unkind to them.  

    In the meantime, we we fight them - everywhere and everyday.  We fight them by being out and unashamed.  We stand up for ourselves, politically and physically.  We make ourselves seen and heard in our places of worship, our workplaces, our schools and our streets.  

    It's almost a cliche by now, but it shouldn't be - Silence = Death.

  •  I send you love. (4.00)
    My life has been very different from yours, but I  also lost someone to suicide when I was very young.  I want to tell you about it because it might help someone reading this diary -- not because I want to change the subject from your experience and the intolerance that killed your first love and does so much harm.

    Friday will be the 40th anniversary of the day I came home from school and learned my father had shot himself.  I did not find his body; my 8 year old sister did.  I have always thought my father had some plan for someone else to find him -- possibly me -- and it just didn't work out, like so many things at that time.

    My father was depressed.  I knew there was something wrong but I couldn't believe that he would actually take his own life.

    I didn't know what to do to help my dad.  I did try several things, but one thing that might have helped never even occured to me:  to simply ask him if he was thinking of killing himself, and let him know how much I didn't want him to do that.

    It's not unusual for people who suspect someone is suicidal to fear that they would just make things worse if they talked about it.  But experts recommend that you ask, and of course get professional help.

    Over the years, I've encountered a number of people I thought might be suicidal.  It's never been easy to ask them about it, but I have never regretted it.  As it turned out, all of them were considering suicide but none followed that course.

    This is a dark time and many are suffering.  It is possible someone reading this diary is considering suicide.  There are people who want to help.  Please let them.  A national suicide prevention hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8355).

    Here's a link to one of the many organizations that works to prevent suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

    Now, about those hate groups ...

  •  Powerful (4.00)
    Hey, thank you so much for sharing this with us.  I can't even begin to imagine what it must be like to grow up while being told you're just not normal and that you have to change.  And then the FoF types have the gall to say that an increased suicide rate among gay teenagers is further proof that they're abnormal, and need to be "changed".

    Never forget, and keep telling this story.  Every gay child's suicide should be laid squarely at the doorstep of groups like these, and we need to make the public hold them accountable.  Do you mind if I link to this diary in my sig?

    Focus on the Family is a hate group

    by ragnark on Mon May 02, 2005 at 04:27:44 PM PDT

  •  Thank you (none)
    That is what they are. A hate group.

    It's been said in many a response above; we can't ever hope to feel what you feel.  All we can do is try to make this country a place where no one ever has to suffer for who he or she is again.

    My kids aren't old enough to have sexual orientation yet, so I don't know if they'll be gay.  You can be DAMNED sure, however, that they won't be Fundamentalist Christian Hate Mongers.

    I've got tons of secret evidence that proves my case. Trust me.

    by mungley on Mon May 02, 2005 at 04:47:27 PM PDT

  •  What happened to your first love's dad (none)
    I hope the guy has changed and is terribly full of guilt.  I hope he has had a horrible life.

    Check out my lte archive at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tomletters and feel free to use my ideas for your own lte's.

    by DemDachshund on Mon May 02, 2005 at 04:57:15 PM PDT

    •  I don't know (none)
      he didn't come to the funeral (believe it or not) and at the time, the LAST person in the world I wanted to see was him.

      a few months later I heard he moved.

      just never cared to find out what happened to him.

      "If you and I think exactly alike, one of us is unnecessary" "at least bleeding heart liberals have one"

      by wclathe on Mon May 02, 2005 at 09:48:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All hate, all the time (4.00)
    My stepdaughter is bisexual and polyamorous. For all I know, when/if she "settles down", it may be with a woman, or a man and a woman, or who knows?

    In fairly-cosmopolitan Seattle, she's been hassled on the bus for loving women. People who don't know her and don't care about her well-being seem bent on telling her that she's going to hell because of the people she loves. Do they care if she has enough to eat? No. Do they care that she got second-degree burns at work and was then told she was slacking? No. Do they care that she's been told she will eventually need a liver transplant, and doesn't have any health insurance? No. All they care about is restricting her freedom and her happiness.

    Frankly, we don't care who she loves, as long as the person or people treat her with the love and respect that she deserves. What we want is for her to be happy. If she decides someday that she needs to get married in Canada or Massachusetts because she can't get married in Washington, we'll go to her wedding and wish her joy, and if she wants it, her father will proudly escort her down the aisle or into the grove or whatever.

    We are trying to have a child. One thing we've agreed on, out loud, is that s/he is our child no matter what. If s/he turns out to be transgendered (like my ex-husband), OK. He or she will still be our beloved child, and we'll help make the transition as easy as possible. If he or she is gay, OK. If he or she is celibate for life, we may wonder about that choice, because of how important sexual joy is to us, but that, too, will be OK. (If s/he turns out to be a Republican fundy, we'll have quite a few words to say about that, however.)

    I have some Christian friends - not many, but some. The people who are my friends are invariably open-minded, and not just tolerant or accepting but actively welcoming, whether they are Christian, Pagan, Jewish, or admit to any other religious belief or none. I'm thinking right now of one particular friend who is Christian, bi, and poly. Her welcoming spirit is, to me, exemplary of what her religion teaches, and I'm proud to call her a friend.

    But then, we're all a pack of liberals and libertarians, most of us on the West Coast, so what do we know?

    They should all be judged soaking wet.

    by Kitsap River on Mon May 02, 2005 at 05:02:09 PM PDT

  •  Young people on our side... get their votes (4.00)
    Remember whenever you are talking to a young person (unless you know them to be a homophobe, as most young people are on our side about this) or any Republican or independent to associate the GOP with this kind of hatred and meanness and illogic and blatant discrimination.  It is completely justified at this point to associate the base and establishment and leadership and most politicians in the GOP now with the utter hatred and ill will of Falwell, Robertson, Dobson, etc.  

    Bring up all the anti-adoption bills and other insane crap being pushed by the Republicans in legislatures now.  Bring up the examples of Dems who have stood up for gay rights.

    We have to make people recognize that they in good conscience cannot vote for a party that works insidiously and evilly against the equality and humanity of their gay friends and family.  

    Fuck the damn evil GOP.

    Check out my lte archive at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tomletters and feel free to use my ideas for your own lte's.

    by DemDachshund on Mon May 02, 2005 at 05:02:11 PM PDT

  •  Gay Rights Laws (4.00)
    Just as Blacks were once discriminated against
    Just as Asians were once discriminated against
    Just as Jews were once discriminated against
    Just as Women were once discriminated against

    So too one day will it no longer be acceptable to discriminate against Gays, though it will take time. But such things do not happen on their own, it will take the actions of people.

    When we get Democrats in control of the executive and/or Congress it should be a TOP priority to push through Gay rights laws.

    "The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt." Bertrand Russell

    by Disgusted on Mon May 02, 2005 at 05:11:08 PM PDT

  •  Fight on, brother..... (4.00)
    These are the same motherf*ckers who couldn't keep their mouths shut around my then-girlfriend, when she became pregnant with our daughter at 16, and, of course, unmarried (I was 17 at the time, but none of those punks said sh*t around me, knowing I would have introduced their face to a brick f*cking wall).
    See, a certain relative of hers, a very close one, is one of these lunatic pseudo-christians, and is a card-carrying member of one of their cults, and she eventually drove my daughter's mother to very hard drugs, and all kinds of self-destructive actions, and I don't know if she'll ever be able to get herself back together, and I still to this day have no idea how to explain these things to my daughter.  
    I now, unfortunately, have to share custody of my daughter with the above-mentioned lunatic, and I can't let my guard down for a second with that asshole trying to indoctrinate my daughter into the American-Taliban, the latest issue involved "home-schooling" (ie: teaching hate and 'creationism' instead of 'that evil science', and I guess faith-based-math or some other shit...).
    I've had to deal with too many of these crazy fanatics (my mother's one, as well), and I actually live in the one of the 'bluest' parts of northern New Jersey, I can only imagine how many of these psychopaths there are in certain other parts of the country.
    But these fucks will get theirs, if there is an after-life, I'm sure there's a special spot in hell for these evil motherf*ckers, where the hatred and ugliness they displayed here will burn their asses for all eternity.
    My uncle is gay, and he's ten times the MAN that little prick James Dobson, or the rest of their ilk, can ever hope to be.

    This may be a good sign, though:  Said lunatic, who destroyed her daughter's life, and is now trying to destroy my daughter's life, must have said something disparaging about our former Governor (Jim McGreevey) to my daughter, because sometime around last August, she comes to me and says something like..."Dad, some people call the Governor names, but why does it matter that he's gay?  So what?"  I was so fucking proud of her for  seeing that at seven. (well, except for the part when she sounded like a Fox 'News" anchor, 'some people say':-)).....

  •  Post this story at freep (4.00)
    Then tally the number of "he got what he deserved" comments

    love those moral Christian Republicans... they SO don't care about the death and pain they cause.  I sure hope there is such a thing as karma.

    Check out my lte archive at http://www.livejournal.com/users/tomletters and feel free to use my ideas for your own lte's.

    by DemDachshund on Mon May 02, 2005 at 05:53:38 PM PDT

  •  If you read the Bible carefully... (none)
    ...it nowhere says that you, or even God, forgives those who are not contrite. Jesus' own harshest words were for the hypocrites, the 'whited sepulchre' Scribes and Pharisees who were the Fundy wingnuts of his time. I also didn't see much forgiveness when he was tossing the moneychanger tables around. "Forgiveness" has become a scam to get people to stop being righteously angry at those who make a mockery of genuine moral behavior, and in so doing blight and destroy lives.

    I'm so sorry for your dead love, and for what you endured in losing him.

    -- Life is tough: Three out of three die. Now shut up and deal. ~Ring Lardner Jr.

    by Eleftheria on Mon May 02, 2005 at 06:32:26 PM PDT

  •  I wish I could recommend this twice. (4.00)
    Thanks for sharing with us.  This reiterates something that I've said before.  Homophobia destroys lives and families.  I've missed being personally involved in anything this bad, but I have to say that being told that we are evil does nothing good for us.  I'm trans and I know that my path has been much harder because of the bigotry, and while my parents and friends have been fairly supportive, one of my brothers will no longer be in the same room with me and I'm sure that there will be others with similar or worse reactions as I come further out of the closet.  It shouldn't be this way, we harm no one by being who we are, and yet in many ways and in many places we remain second class citizens.  I do think that we have made a lot of progress though and I hope that someday no one will commit suicide, or have violence directed against them because they are queer.

    "I'm going to dance the dream, and make the dream come true." -Kate Bush

    by ellisande on Mon May 02, 2005 at 07:07:23 PM PDT

  •  It is their . . . hatred that causes . . . harm. (4.00)
    Truer words were never spoken. They try to make life hell for gays and then claim that the suicide rate among gays proves something about being gay. They try as hard as they can to sabotage any attempt by gays to create stable, interpendent partnerships, and then complain that gays have multiple sex partners.

    But worst of all is that they get away with saying it's all a manifestation of Christian love.

  •  Forcefully Recommended! (none)
    "ADDED I truly did not think this would be a diary that would be recommended. A bit taken aback. I posted it this morning out of raw anger and tears.. i just had to get it out."

    I think i know why it got recommended.

    I know why i recommended it, at least: your feelings are real and they are important.

    You highlighted, with your own personal testimony, precisely why Dobson and his crew can never be allowed free reign. You highlighted, for those who doubt, precisely on which side the "Fundamentalist Christians" are on the homosexuality issue.

    "Love the sinner, hate the sin" is bullshit. All the words and all the theories in the world are nice. But words and theories can be used by anyone. You are for real and your loss is for real.

    The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

    by Shapeshifter on Mon May 02, 2005 at 07:37:10 PM PDT

  •  Helping Boys Become Men, and Girls Become Women (none)
    Focus on the family is so backwards--you have to check out this page titled:

    Helping Boys Become Men, and Girls Become Women
    http://www.focusonyourchild.com/develop/art1/A0000683.html

    I was SOOOO mad when I saw that too. ABC sucks big D.

    My partner has to deal with a crazy christian right family. They are nice people but it causes LOTS of pain.

    I know 2 ex-gays--one who worked for Focus on the Family and one who is just generally fucked up.  the thing they have in common is that their fathers were both very abusive people.  they both are really messed up sad people.

    Be happy you made it.

    "I will never accept an analysis that says a leader who stands for equality and fairness and who has the courage of his convictions is doing the wrong thing."

    by CrazyDem on Mon May 02, 2005 at 07:41:58 PM PDT

  •  My high school boyfriend (4.00)
    came out of the closet after we split up in 1976.  We stayed friends over the years adn then lost touch. He was a nurse in Tacoma, Washington and I was a student in Colorado and Chicago.  In 1994, he contacted my father, out of the blue.  He was dying of AIDS and wanted to say goodbye.  He had a devoed partner who cared for him until he died. The three of us spoke on the phone from all over the world those last months, and planned how we would not let him suffer at the end.

    After his death, his family called me and asked me to come and spread his ashes.  Why? Because I as a 17 year old was the last straight partner he had, and they wanted that.  I went to Woodland Park in Kalispell, Montana, because it was where he had wanted his ashes spread. He and I had gone there in high school, and he wanted them spread in a place only I would know.  And there I met his family, and his very exiled partner, who walked behind us all. We waled along past the rose garden, and for some reason, the gardner handed us an armful of roses. I asked Scott's partner to come and help me carry the roses.

    I walked out onto the little peninsula with the urn in my hands, the family on the shore of the pond.  Scott's partner was next to me.  I held up the urn, took off the lid,

    and handed it to Scott's partner, who swung it over his head, releasing the ashes into the morning Montana air.  They caught on his hair, too.

    I never knew ashes were so heavy, or that they looked like crystals when they refracted in the light. They were gold and blue and red.

    His partner and I walked back, arm in arm, and greeted his family.

    Scott.  

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  •  Plenty of straight men, and I am one of them, (4.00)
    could chose not to understand homosexuality, to be afraid, to add to the hatred.  But we chose instead to see the common humanity in our brothers.

    So, I'm just sending you my love and support tonight.  I hope time and forgiveness help this pain to fade for you.  And remember that many of your straight brothers are fighting for you every way we know how.

    •  One of my closest friends (none)
      Is straight.  He's gone out to gay bars with me. (He's a sociologist, too, so we get a bit goofy sometimes; comparing the enactments of masculinity by the go-go dancers, for instance.)  One of the first times he went with me, he caught a little crap from some of his straight friends, "You went to a gay bar?"  He had the best response ever: "They have beer there, don't they?"  He left it at that.

      I am a revolting homosexual!

      by MAJeff on Tue May 03, 2005 at 05:02:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you (4.00)
    Thanks for posting this.  This is the first time since I have been coming to Dkos that I have wept out loud.  Some diaries have brought tears to my eyes, but not like this.  I live in Mn, in a small town, have seen first hand the bigotry and the justification for this bigotry.  I came out about 10 years ago and my family has been great, as have most of my friends.  Lately, I have grown increasingly uneasy, and frightened for my future and for all who are, or know someone who is gay.  I used to adopt a polite and make no waves attitude.  I used to believe that those who voted the way they do, for these regressive pigs who are in league with the religious bigots, for one issue or another(most are single issue voters and homosexuality usually doesn't have a thing to do with their votes), were allowed to vote the way they do, because hey, this is a supposedly free country and you can vote for who you want.  NO MORE.  I still think people are entitled to vote for who they want, but from now on, I will work my ass off year round collecting information on republicans and others and their connections to these religious bigots, and I will share, without any apology all of the information I find with people I know who vote the way they do.  I will point out time and time again how these bigots want to kill me and all homosexuals, and that a vote for these assholes will only contribute to killing me.  I am sorry for your loss, but I thank you for sharing and for helping me find my voice.  Anger is a great motivator.  Besides, since I started weeping my cat and dog have planted themselves on me and are giving me some very concerned looks.

    "They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program." - G.W. Bush; 11/2/00

    by pilotweed on Mon May 02, 2005 at 09:37:57 PM PDT

  •  You go with that anger! (4.00)
    I've been feeling that anger for more than 20 years. Ever since I saw my first dear friend die of AIDS in 1983 in the "Age of Reagan". And the bodies just kept on coming.

    I use it to call the fuckers on their homophobia and fear every chance I get. My husband is afraid I'll be attacked with the ascerbic tongue that I have been know to use against homophobes. But fortunately, I've had to do it less and less over the years. But alas I'm in the bluest of blue cities (NYC), so I can't imagine what a step back in time it would be to visit a "red" Bible Belt town.

    I truly think this is the last ugly gasp of that monster. It's the climactic scene of the movie when the monster looks stronger and more horrifying that ever -- just before the hero vanquishes it for good. And the fuckers who gain their power base by drumming up fear among the homophobes by beating the anti-gay fear drum know this is their last hurrah.

    Homophobia will soon be relegated to the tomb of marginalized belief in this country, just as was racism, anti-semitism, and anti-suffragism. Yeah, I know that racism, anti-semitism, and sexism exist still but they're more covert and socially unacceptable, and far, far fewer people are actively persecuted or die because of them.

    I know there will still be a struggle to make homophobia, racism, ethnic hatreds, and sexism disappear completely. But at some point, they will be seen as "quaint", just as anti-suffragism or belief in a flat earth is today

    I believe this in my bones!
     

    "You don't lead by pointing and telling people some place to go. You lead by going to that place and making a case." - Ken Kesey

    by Glinda on Mon May 02, 2005 at 10:26:55 PM PDT

    •  I was to young during the "Reagan years" (4.00)
      I so hope you are right!  I really hope this is the last gasp.  My dads cousin after 20 years of marriage came out during the 1980's.  He had two children and a wonderful wife.  They used to live next door to me when I was growing up.  My dad is one of those old gruff types who doesn't care what people do if they leave him alone.  During the Reagan years(I was in high school) My dads cousin David came out after having a nervous breakdown.  Leading a double life took its toll.  He and his wife divorced and remained friends.  He died in his sons arms of AIDS.  His twin brother, a good catholic boy, Donald put up a stink about having "my brother,that queer" buried in the family plot.  The drift I got was that my grandma told Donald if you don't let him be buried in your family plot I will let him be buried in ours which is right next to yours.  My grandma was not a progressive by any means but she did understand the teachings of the christian/catholic faith.

      "They want the federal government controlling Social Security like it's some kind of federal program." - G.W. Bush; 11/2/00

      by pilotweed on Mon May 02, 2005 at 10:47:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My first love (4.00)
    was a member of Falwell's congregation who had been actively gay from her young teens.  I met her when I was just out of college, and she was in her late 20's.  It started out as all relationships do, exciting and all-consuming.

    The first hint I had that she was religious was months later, the day she suddenly broke it off and explained that she couldn't be gay any longer because of her family and her decision to follow her church.

    A clean break might have been easier, but she returned again and again over the next couple of years, always giving me hope, once even proclaiming she was choosing me over God.  I was young and in love for the first time, and I tried to be understanding, even attending church with her when she felt the need.  I am not now, and never was religious.

    She eventually "asked my permission" to date a man that was in her church.  She would leave my bed to go out with him.  Eventually, they set a wedding date. Up until the actual day, it was still on again, off again with us, and it was never clear that the wedding would really happen.  It did, and I even finally agreed to be her Maid of Honor when all of our other friends refused out of loyalty to me.

    Although the wedding day was a clean break for me, she continued seeing women off and on over the years, once even planning to leave her husband and kids, until the woman disappointed her for some reason and she changed her mind. As far as I know, she's still married.

    I was young and inexperienced, and it wasn't until I had been in other relationships that I began to understand that I had been trying to fix a relationship that had no easy fix.  And at some point, I stopped feeling bad about myself because of it.  Occasionally, when Falwell make some idiotic pronouncement, I'll wonder whatever happened to her, but the pain that once accompanied her memory has dissipated.  I now hope the life she chose has made her happy.

  •  SO MUCH PAIN AND SO LITTLE UNDERSTANDING (none)
    Those that cliam to be Christian and use that to create a world of pain for others are not following Christ. He only preached about love, kindness, forgiveness and not judging others.

    I am sorry for your loss...please don't let their hatred contaminate your life.

  •  They killed my friend, too (none)
    He was Catholic, and a cop, and deeply in the closet.  He took tiny steps to reveal himself to friends, and I was hopeful on one level, and worried on another.  After a particularly rough time, he chose to put his police weapon into his mouth and fire.  I always felt I should have done something more.  He came from a deeply religious family, but his body wasn't allowed in their church because he'd taken his own life.

    Well-behaved women rarely make history - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    by jaysea on Mon May 02, 2005 at 11:48:26 PM PDT

  •  A Beautiful Rant, A painful Rant, A deserved Rant (none)
    And one very similar to the one I have been having over an over again for 45 years.  

    Don't apologize.  And I will never stop ranting and raging over this dispicable hipocracy and hatred.

    I have seen too many deaths, ruined lives, mental breakdowns, and more heartbreak than I can encompass in 45 years. . .I will never stop bringing these souless criminals to account for their hatred and the devistation they have inflicted on inocents.

    I know you won't stop either.

    Hugs for you.  I feel your pain

    Adopted Daughter series is available Right here

    by shirlstars on Tue May 03, 2005 at 12:39:14 AM PDT

  •  I'll pile on here too. (none)
    Thank-you for showing how to turn anger into action.

    I have always been amazed that if you were to murder someone your family would come to visit you in prison as often as they could, yet if you say to your family "I'm gay" they would disown you. This is the christianity they teach.

    I often wonder what future generations will think about this period in life and wonder how it all went wrong.

    Those who are willing to sacrifice liberty for safety deserve neither. (Paraphrasing B. Franklin)

    by p a roberson on Tue May 03, 2005 at 03:27:51 AM PDT

  •  Did a diary that might interest you... (none)

    Canadians care too...

    by jbalazs on Tue May 03, 2005 at 07:44:30 AM PDT

  •  How (none)
         right you are.
         The RELIGIOUS RIGHT, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, and the VATICAN, are all HATE GROUPS.
     Any group that POINTS PEOPLE at a specific SEGMENT of the population, and ENCOURAGES the rest of us to HATE that segment of the population, is a HATE GROUP.
       It bears repeating.
       The RELIGIUOS RIGHT, FOCUS ON FAMILY, and The  VATICAN are all HATE GROUPS.
       The republican party-that is to say-the CONSERVATIVES in this country had very litle-with which-to WIN an ELECTION, after 8 prosperous years with CLINTON.
        In order to have any kind of party-platform, they RESURRECTED the ABORTION issue {one more time} and decided to "THROW AWAY" our GLBT citizens, as well.
        These HATE GROUPS have nothing to do with CHRISTIANITY, GOD or JESUS.
        Jesus is nothing but a CORPORATE LETTERHEAD for the CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY, whether it is the religious right, or Dobson's crew.
        RELIGION is an actual BUSINESS for the VATICAN.
        It bears repeating.
        Any group that POINTS PEOPLE at a specific SEGMENT of the POPULATION, and attempts to focus their hatred, is a HATE GROUP, plain and simple.
        It troubles me to see the VATICAN working HAND- IN-HAND, with these groups.
        The NEW POPE does not speak out on war, racism, poverty, violence, genocide, or ignorance.
        Instead he uses his new office to CONDEMN SAME SEX MARRIAGE.
        You would have thought that any man who spent part of his youth guarding factories where JEWS were used as SLAVE-LABOR for the NAZIS, would be a strong ADVOCATE for TOLERANCE.
        Instead, he jumps-up-onto the BANDWAGON.
    Makes you wonder if the conservatives did not take a EUROPEAN TOUR, just before arriving home, in time to calibrate the DIEBOLD MACHINES, and pay-off whomever they needed to payoff , prior to the SELECTION, and the* RE-SELECTION.
         I realize I am very bitter, but when it has been a *STEADY DIET of HATRED, CONDEMNATION,
    and BIGOTRY, what do people expect?
         I am so tired of these phony Christians it's incredible.
         If we cannot DEFEND our GLBT citizens, what good are we as a political entity?
         I am about to CRAWL OUT ONTO A VERY THIN LIMB, here.
         I'm sure this will earn me some real HATE MAIL,  but I do not care. This needs to be said.
         Maybe it is time, for  AMERICAN  CATHOLICS to elect their own POPE.
        Maybe it is time for us to to BREAK  the ever-widening CIRCLE OF HATE.
        Maybe it is time for us to DEFEND our BELIEFS.
        Maybe it is time for us NOT TO LIVE IN FEAR of people, who have access to MICROPHONES.
         It is TIME for us to STAND-UP.

       

  •  Jesus would have been appalled (none)

    Well-behaved women rarely make history - Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

    by jaysea on Tue May 03, 2005 at 08:10:30 AM PDT

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