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I thought this might be an apt time to tell my personal story. There are very few people I've told this story to in "real" life, and I'm sure you'll understand why if you chose to read the rest of this article. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that this is another "gay story", and I'm aware more than one person out there might be rather tired of the subject.

Trust me, this is one subject which has truly exhausted me. Unfortunately, I don't have the option of clicking the "back" button on the browser window.

1. My Story

Ketchikan, AK

My family comes from a small town. It's real sleepy in the winter, but bustling with tourists in the summer. It rains so much there we call it liquid sunshine, and you can smell the salmon from almost any point downtown. The town was built in a mountainous area, so sometimes "stair streets" are used to walk down from higher elevations to lower ones. I used to love running down the stairs from my grandparents house on the way to my great-grandparents house. Sometimes I'd take the ferry across the way to an old Indian village. See that mountain peak in the picture? My family and I have climbed it many times. The expanses of wildflowers that bloom up there are among the most beautiful in the world.

I live in Texas now, and I have not spoken to my family in over a decade.

I started this story with a few words about my home. Truthfully, the story starts in another town, thousands of miles and many years away. I don't know how and why, but my dad settled my family in Lexington, KY. Speaking of the past was not something my dad cared for, so I know nothing of my birth mother, either. I was 15 years old, in 9th grade. I split up with my first girlfriend. We saw each other rarely during the school year, and over the summer I just didn't call her. I almost miss that easy kind of break up!

I was starting to have dreams about men. To keep it vague, I shared many beds with many men in my dreams during that first year of high school. Sometimes, I was a woman in these dreams, and I think my brain did that to reconcile what I knew about relationships. Men fall in love with women, not other men. Sometimes in those dreams I slept with women too.

These feelings slowly seeped into my consciousness, and they went largely unanalyzed for almost a year. My dad bought the family a computer when I was 16, and through AOL I met my first gay person. He told me he was 27, and we were going to meet in the park by my house. I wasn't thinking clearly because of how excited I was to meet someone who shared my otherness. The man I saw waiting for me in the park was in his 60's, and after an awkward sexual advance, I ran home.

My best friend came out to me a couple months later. She is a lesbian. I told her I'm bisexual. She said she didn't understand, so I told her that I think I'm sexually ambivalent. She laughed because she understands my dry humor, and that was all the encouragement I needed to use the line every other time there's been a question about my bisexuality.

Time passed until spring of my junior year in high school. In March when I was 17, I came out to my father. I felt like I needed to come out at the time. I felt like I had a huge secret that I was hiding. I told my dad I was dating a man named Chad. He was being heavily medicated at the time, which caused him to continue staring at the TV; I just left the room. I was relieved, really, because I thought he didn't hear me. I knew the coming out horror stories by then - maybe I had gotten off easy!

That wasn't true, though. Over the next couple weeks, my step-mother started shielding me from my brother. He was a year and a half younger. My siblings and I were very close. My brother told me that Mom was afraid I'd "rub off" on him. I was outraged! I stormed into my parents office, where they were sitting at their desks. I demanded an answer! My mother knocked the air out of me when she said:

You need to leave our house.

The sentence resonated throughout my brain for what seemed like an hour before I turned around and left the room. I should have stayed and fought for my right to remain with my family, but instead I packed a single bag of clothes and left. I was forced to drop out of high school. I need to work a full time job to support my new independence, and high school's mandatory hours did not fit into my schedule. I took the GED exam and passed easily - I was an A student taking classes a year ahead of me anyway.

For the first 5 years, I dreamed about that night. I'd wake up breathless, "You need to leave our house" echoing wildly through my head. "No!" I'd shout in my dreams. "I love you!" It was no use, of course. Waking up in a dark, 300 sq ft studio alone brings anyone back down to Earth real quick.

It wasn't long before I fled that city. I ended up across the country, dirt broke and homeless. I didn't plan my escape. I hopped a Greyhound to Portland, OR, hoping to erase my past in a foreign city. It didn't work. Turns out, your closet full of skeletons follows you everywhere. After two weeks of living under a bridge, I finally accepted an ex-girlfriend's plea for me to live with her friend. You see, it's hard to accept a gift when you think it's given out of pity.

I am now 27 years old. I live in Texas with my loving, wonderful boyfriend. I know all you married folks feel the same way about your spouses as I do about my boyfriend. Even though it's been a decade since I've talked to my family, even though I've not seen the harbor at Ketchikan for many years, my boyfriend helps me deal with my sorrow without even knowing it.

You could, if you wanted, put yourself in my shoes.

From now until after Christmas, accept no phone calls from family members and stay alone in a hotel room. Don't go out unless you absolutely have to - there are signs everywhere to remind you that this holiday is for families. Don't you dare turn on the TV, either. Feel free to make a Christmas gathering with your friends, heck, go to one or two Christmas dinners with your current boyfriend/girlfriend's family. Just try not to remember that you're substituting friends or someone else's family for your own.

2. A History of Hate

My story is bad, but there are so many others that are just as bad or worse. My best friend came out to her parents 6 months later. She was sent to a Christian "reform" school in Tennessee, and I've never heard from her again. What about the brutal violence that happens to the LGBT population on any given day?

Paragraph 175

When people like Mike Huckabee go around saying gays have never been persecuted like blacks have, so we don't warrant equal rights, you know they're ignoring facts left and right. Anyone can watch Paragraph 175, a movie about a discriminatory measure by the same name in German law. What about the Frenchman, Pierre Steel, who watched his lover be shredded by German Shepard dogs in a Nazi prison camp? German persecution is what made the pink triangle a symbol of pride for gays, the same way a headwrap became a prideful symbol for blacks and dreadlocks for Rastafari. For every story we know about LGBT persecution, there are hundreds more that we don't. Why? Because stigma surrounds homosexuality to the extent that many stories are never told.

The feeling of otherness in itself is oppressive enough, even in the absence of actual abuse. This feeling of otherness is what leads LGBT to suicide at much higher rates than their heterosexual counterparts.

Teen Suicide

3. Acceptance

“Me, homophobic? Ridiculous. I love my homosexual friends.”
-Pat Boone, following his recent editorial comparing gay demonstrators to the Mumbai terrorists.

Acceptance of LGBT people is the only solution to widespread homophobia and psychological problems felt by the LGBT population. There's a well known fact that married men troll my old neighborhood park in Cincinnati looking for anonymous sex with other men. [here, here and here] They do this because they felt forced to lead a socially acceptable lifestyle by marrying a woman. The great pain this causes their wives and family pales in comparison to the self-made prison these men make. A famous example is Larry Craig, and how he was disgustingly vilianized, even on DailyKos. Rather than spurn a healthy conversation on why we need to work on acceptance, even the Left resorted to mockery. Because of these reasons, we can't continue to legitimize homophobic viewpoints.

When I heard that Obama had chosen Rick Warren as a centerpiece speaker at his inauguration, I was really hurt. This, of all inaugurations, one of the most spectacular and historical events I've ever had the pleasure to help create, and only to have sand thrown in my face. Rick Warren is a man who confounds homosexuality with incest. He even goes as far to imply that homosexuality may in fact be the cause for the existence of STDs:

"There would be so [sic] STDs in our world if we all played by the rules." - Rev Rick Warren, when discussing how homosexuality deviates from how The Designer planned sex to be practiced

You can watch Rick Warren espouse these vile viewpoints, if you'd like. I personally haven't watched this video.


This pick for pastor at his inauguration was political calculation at its best. Barack Obama would never pick a racist preacher to head up the prayer for the sake of "post-partisanism". This was a calculated move that will ultimately offend only a small segment of society. The part of that segment that's politically aware is even smaller, so small, in fact, that Obama knows he'll face little blow back. The segment he's pandering to is much more politically active, so he's set up to receive more positive feedback than negative.

At what point will consequences of this pandering outweigh the benefits? Why do I feel foolish for hoping Obama have a change of heart?

I may never see my mountain home again. It has been and will continue to be hard road to travel. With our combined effort now, no kid will go through what other people and I have for something as simple as our sexuality.

Edit: I originally posted this last night, but it was suggested that I change the title (done!) and repost it today. So if anyone's read this twice, now you know why!

Originally posted to jamesia on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 10:34 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As you point out, acceptance is important (80+ / 0-)

    Acceptance of LGBT people is the only solution to widespread homophobia and psychological problems felt by the LGBT population.

    But I worry that feelings of hurt, betrayal, anger, and, perhaps most important, fear are keeping you from giving your family another opportunity to accept you.

    Ten years is a long time--the people you knew have changed, but for better or worse you can't know unless you talk to them. And remember, your siblings never had any say in the matter at all.

    I'm glad you were able to put your feelings into this diary. Perhaps it's a first step toward making contact.

    Wishing you courage and strength.

    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.

    by MizC on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 10:52:15 AM PST

  •  Read, Rec'd and... (30+ / 0-)

    Where's your tip jar?

    "[I]am redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna[.]" Publius Vergilius Maro, Eclogue 4

    by lamzdotes on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 10:54:16 AM PST

  •  On the positive side (43+ / 0-)

    48% voted against Prop 8.  That would not have happened 5 years ago.  I was sitting around a lunch table recently with friends discussing gay marriage and I think what I said is true.  In 25 years it won't be an issue.  In 50 years people will wonder what the fuss was all about.  One Hundred years ago people would debate the efficacy of women's suffrage.  They would use the same religious arguments to oppose it.  No one argues about women's suffrage now.

    I suspect in the future all aspects of society will become more accepting of gay people.  Remember 25 years ago the big issue was should gays be allowed to teach in schools.  I don't see that as an issue today.  In the meantime everyone needs to fight the good fight, and in the end people of good will will prevail.

  •  Never understood "gay" until reading this essay. (109+ / 0-)

    Although well into  middle age ,pretty well educated , acquainted with many gay men and women , somehow the alien or whatever , otherness I guess I mean of homosexual people remained very mysterious to me. I get it now. The emotions you feel for one another are exactly like those of straight people. Thanks. I suppose I've just "come out" as having an area of rock hard inability to understansd something that seems very simple , as compared to how it seemed 15 minutes ago. Maybe your recounting of the amazing hostility and lack of acceptance from your own parents is what got through.Hell , anyway , thank you.  

  •  Thank you for this exceptional diary (25+ / 0-)

    and for shedding light on a serious social problem that is largely ignored everywhere in the world. While I know there's no "happy ending" to this story, I was relieved when I came to the part about you living with your loving boyfriend.

    There's a really wonderful novel, called Crystal Boys, from Gay Sunshine Press, about outcast youths in Taiwan. It might or might not be something you'd want to read.

    And, fuck Rick Warren . . .

  •  So glad you reposted. (54+ / 0-)

    Whatever the original title was, I missed it last night.

    Ironically, at about the same time you diaried, I posted this as part of a larger comment:

    And there's one big thing that hasn't changed -- the 15 or 16 or 17 year old who's confused by his feelings and terrified at the reaction of his family, friends and society if he were to admit them.

    So this isn't about being 'bored without a campaign to fight'. This is about the message that Obama's sending by having the whole nation led in prayer by someone who tells that 15 or 16 or 17 year old that his very personhood is a sin, that ought to be denied rights by law.

    As deaniac83 said:

    You, Mr. Obama, are not inviting Pastor Warren to your Church. You are not even inviting him to your home. You are inviting him to ours.

    And into the home of every confused gay teen.

    And that's reason enough to fight.

    Thanks so much for this diary. Not tipped, only because there's no tip jar. But a big rec, and I hope others do the same.

    The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

    by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:12:04 AM PST

  •  I'm glad you reposted this (34+ / 0-)

    And I knew that a more sensational title would help. Thank you for taking my advice because SOOO many people need to read this.

  •  Thanks for posting (24+ / 0-)

    Have you tried reaching out to your brothers?  I would not be surprised if they have missed you as well.  While it could re-open old wounds, it could also give you some family.  

    I'm extremely lucky in that my family is so totally accepting of me and my husband.  But I know many many people with similar stories which is why I still attend pride parades and try to be politically active.  

    Best of luck with your boyfriend and creating your own family.  

    "The woman's life is misery; for God's sake, people, at least give her a few good songs". NYT review of The Color Purple

    by arogue7 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:16:29 AM PST

  •  Jamesia, I've been pondering and pondering. (10+ / 0-)

    Obama did so many things during his campaign that seemed to make no sense, but had a wicked smart outcome.  How could he make such a boneheaded choice in Warren?  I disagree that it will have little impact.  There is plenty of talk about equal rights for all on the left, and the "evils of the gays" on the right.  This choice of Warren forces the conversation into the mainstream, where people like Warren's comments about dogs sleeping with cats, people marrying houseplants or spiders whatever are sounding more and more inane.  I hold out hope that there is sound reasoning in Obama's choice.  The worldwide platform Warren will have could turn out to be the worst publicity Warren and his idiot followers could have. The adults are in charge now.  Peace.

    •  inane/insane? (8+ / 0-)

      I said the same thing last night to Joe.

      Wicked Smart move?

      Obama thanks the Reverend for the invocation and tells him point blank "including our GLBT brothers and sisters also, right?"

      Oh snap!

      Never confuse kindness and patience with stupidity and weakness!!

      by Joes Steven on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:32:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  THAT would be awesome, Steven. (14+ / 0-)

        At my uptight workplace, where nobody is out, I had a conversation with a coworker about "The Warren choice".  I really did ask him if my Sister-in-law's marriage to her partner of 20 years will cause him to divorce his wife and marry his housepet. He said I had a point.  This is a guy that listens to Rush at lunchtime if he's not cruising Drudge.  We would never have had this conversation if Obama had not chosen Warren.  Then the light came on (for me).

        •  Well, maybe there's a surprise in store! (14+ / 0-)

          I am forever an optimist, even still. I worked my butt off for Obama, I believe the best of him.

          •  I as well, Jamesia. (7+ / 0-)

            Obama seems to have an almost Rove-like (but in a positive way) view into the future where he does things or says things that seem to make no sense but end up being to his/our advantage.  And he doesn't seem to have a mean bone in his body.  A seeming blunder this huge must have a purpose.  

          •  If Obama is a saavy politician (8+ / 0-)

            I don't think he will get in the habit of pissing off the Progressive base of his party.

            If you want a case study look at Hilary Clinton, didn't work for her.

            I think he needs to demonstrate himself in a meaningful as a "fierce advocate" for GLBT rights a few times and everything will be healed.

            •  I don't think fierce is going to happen (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mcmom, lamzdotes, fearisthemindkiller

              with the financial state of the worlde in collapse and wars everywhere and global climate change happening now.  But what a way to kick-start the conversation by exposing Warren's idiot views by putting him front and center!  Rosa Parks started with a whimper, not a bang.  This is not a whimper.  This is a shout.  I hope I hope I hope.

              •  You know, I dont know. (8+ / 0-)

                I am little cool on the gay movement in its current form.  I think the focus on Marriage and Military service is uninteresting to many GLBT people who just don't see either thing as really relevant.  It is easy to live in Urban centers and never (or rarely enough) experience verbal or physical violence.

                Internet screaming about Warren just doesnt compare to Rosa Parks -- she was not an accident, but part of a larger organized plan to boycott the bus system.  In that sense, Warren is not even a pin drop compared to Rosa Parks.

                •  Interesting point, Fear. (4+ / 0-)

                  History is not a strong point in US education, and I did not know that Ms. Parks was part of a larger organized plan.  However, I don't think an inagural pulpit is a pin drop.  

                  •  Yes Rosa Park's actions were planned. (6+ / 0-)

                    No I don't think the invocation is a pin drop no no no...

                    I think the response so far has been limited to Internet flaming and that's what I think is a pin drop in comparison to the Bus Boycott.  

                    •  Still, the internet flaming has gotten Obama's (5+ / 0-)

                      attention and he has tryed to explain his decision, albeit not in a satisfactory manner imho.

                      •  Agreed. The internet is a blessing and a curse (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        for today's GLBT movement.  

                        One the one hand you can get Obama's attention like that, then there is Markos whole taking on the system thing.  Organizing and message building is easier today, no doubt.

                        Then you also have this thing about the internet which is inherently a-social -- this part that encourages people not to connect with each other face to face, and you lose many ways of communicating and expressing.  (How many times has someone misunderstood a comment I have made because they could not pick up on the tone?)

                        So in that sense, part of what you need for a social movement is for a mass of people to understand that they are being oppressed.  With the internet it is easy to escape into virtual reality and segregate yourself.  This I think is the real problem with the modern gay movement -- many don't get that they are oppressed, or don't feel oppressed enough to get out there and do the business of suffrage.

                        It is easier and quicker to build your own reality, rather than live in the one we all share.

                        •  How DO we get out there (2+ / 0-)

                          and do the business of suffrage these days?  News comes at us at the speed of, well, wireless cable.  So many issues, so many requests for support. Marching in the streets has no effect, as we've seen since the Bush administration.  Riots are not changing much of anything in Europe, as did not the WTO riots.  Perhaps exposure to sunlight in a big way, as implied upthread about Warren, is the best way to showcase the idiots and dispel their grips over the collective conscience.  

                          •  I think we are figuring out the new model now (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            golconda2, Piren, texcubsf

                            The GLBT movement could be the first major civil rights movement in the USA since the advent of the internet.

                            There is no playbook, no model for how this works.  We gotta make one up. I think step one should be a review of why No On Prop 8 failed, and why/how the Mormon's were successful.

                            My instinct is that it is about 1) Correct social marketing, 2) Leadership, 3) addressing the Meth epidemic in Urban Gay communities.

                          •  Perhaps ballot measures that are not worded (0+ / 0-)

                            in confusing ways would help.  I don't live in California but I read the prop and it was confusing as hell.  I had to read it several times to figure out what it meant.

                          •  You're on the right track... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            As an African American male who is watching plumbbob get slaughtered below...simply because his words are not being understood...while I understand what he is saying I'm sure the jewish community would understand what he is saying...his logic is being missed by those of in the GLBT community...

                            Out of all the diaries and comments I have read on this subject your comments are the only ones that make sense...

                            The GLBT is not going to be able to coattail their issues on a war that was fought in the past and is continuially being fought today...they are going to have to wage their own war and pick up sympathisers and alliances along the way...they are going to have to get Barney Frank on T.V. screaming bloody murder instead of releasing trite press releases...

                            People are watching... Obama threw you a bone...use it...he can't do it all himself

                            6 million in the GLBT voted for him and donated money...6 million should send a email, fax, and make a phone call requesting a refund...based on the Warren decison...

                            6 million should be emailing faxing and phoning their elected reps...especially the ones that claim they are sympathetic to the cause...

                            6 million should be in Washington, D.C. with WTF? tee shirts on for the inaugaration....

                            6 million should be raising holy hell right now and not slinking off into the night with the thought of here we go again...

                            Come on guys/gals people are watching if you want it step up to the plate...

                        •  You are absolutely correct. The best ones among (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Piren, fearisthemindkiller

                          us communicate to the masses and on a face to face level.  We absolutely need to do both.

                •  Living in gentrified urban centers is great (8+ / 0-)

                  for confident, mature gay people who can earn a decent living.

                  What about the "ambivalent" teenagers all over the country, from poor city neighborhoods to small town Iowa to the rural South to places like Colorado Springs? You can bet that plenty of them are living in households where Warren's opinions will gain credibility because he was invited to pray at the president's inauguration.

                  I canvassed for Obama before the election. I went to one household where two young Democratic men were living. The man who answered the door told me that they had voted early for Obama. He fit one common gay stereotype in his manner of speaking and his body language. He was so sweet and solicitous of me, offering me a bottle of water and thanking me profusely for my canvassing. And I couldn't help thinking, I'll bet he thinks that if he canvassed for Obama it would only hurt his candidate with many people. How sad is it that he would be right in too many cases?

                  That is the person I thought of when I heard of Obama picking Warren. I thought, that was a mean choice. Just mean. A slap in the face to GLBTs who "got hope" from Obama.

                  I'm an atheist, but I wouldn't think much of a president choosing Sam Harris or Daniel Dennet to deliver an inspirational speech at his inauguration. It would be disrespectful, divisive and inappropriate. If any event should be inclusive, it is the inauguration of the president.

          •  I worked my butt off, too. (4+ / 0-)

            And I just know in my heart of hearts that President-elect Obama is going to turn out to be our best advocate ever.

            If not, we'll just call Michelle and have her whip him into shape.

            Never confuse kindness and patience with stupidity and weakness!!

            by Joes Steven on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:58:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes it forces the conversation (7+ / 0-)

      into the mainstream, framed I think correctly "should a person with homophobic views be given such a platform."  So, that does signify some sort of good progress.

      The hurtful part is the answer should so obviously be "no," and the timing with Prop 8 was bad bad bad.  

      I would think it was a brilliant move on Obama's part if I thought it was intentional.  Sadly, I don't.  I think Obama had no idea there would be this kind of intense reaction and attention to the choice of a Pastor for the invocation.

      What this shows to me is the extent to which the internet is able to amplify things that before no one would have known about or cared.

    •  Obama has legitimized the "evil gays" view (25+ / 0-)

      Obama has now communicated that a person who equates gays with pedophiles is to be honored.  It legitimizes some of the most horrific discriminatory views of GLBT Americans.  I don't call that progress.

    •  Sorry, all of this about Obama doing this... (23+ / 0-) some part of a master plan to force a conversation, which leads to a national reappraisal, that O will call him out as he ends his prayer, etc., is nice to dream about but just so much wishful thinking.

      Warren's got a following and has insinuated himself into the national consciousness as a "moderate evangelist", soon to be "America's Pastor".  Obama wants a piece of that action.

      Thus, begins the triangulation.

      39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

      by Larry Bailey on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:53:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't believe Obama will call him out, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but it did push the conversation into the mainstream.  Prop 8 is only a distant memory to those who don't have skin in the game, I choose to wait till after the inaguration to see Obama's motives/plans before I make a judgement.  Today I only can hope to think what his motives are.  

        •  I know you didn't say that, but one of the... (8+ / 0-)

          ...people replying to you right up above did say that. And I understand you waiting on judgment, assuming you're not gay. As a gay person, I've got all the evidence I need with Obama's embrace of Warren to understand that the best we can expect in terms of an advance toward equal rights is a few crumbs, maybe even the end of DADT -- that policy's in shreds anyway and is getting dissed from all sides now. Obama will find that one politically easy.

          But gay marriage rights? Nah. Maybe encouragement of state civil union laws, but those are only a first step and incomplete without aligning Federal laws. We'll have to wait for a true Progressive to see that. Plus, calling for civil unions is easy -- even George Bush did that.  Jeez. Prospects are sucking big-time suddenly.

          39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

          by Larry Bailey on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:08:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Larry, I'm not gay. (6+ / 0-)

            Please indulge me while I say that my husband and I waited 20 years to marry till his sister had the right to, in her state.  Sounds like saying "I have a black friend", I know, but I am passionate about this.  It effects people I love fiercely, so it effects me.  I just question whether this an embrace of Warren or an exposure.  

            •  And I believe all that and appreciate the... (6+ / 0-)

              ...steadfastness of support. I disagree on the selection of Warren. It was calculated not to diminish the position of Warren, but to enhance the position of Obama -- all at the expense of me, mine, your sister-in-law, and tens of millions of others of us. It is and will long remain an extraordinary betrayal...for those of us who care.

              On a lighter note: "Piren" the name. That's awfully close to "Pirin", the medicine fed to a tempermental character in the movie, "La Cage Aux Folles" -- which, as it turned out, was nothing more than them feeding her a half of an As-pirin. I read your name several times and at first thought, must be a take-off on that.  Hilarious movie.  Hope you saw it.

              39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

              by Larry Bailey on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:40:19 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Larry, I think I love you. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Larry Bailey, mainefem, golconda2

                In a non-gay way, of course, since I'm a girl.  Pirin was a gag in "The Bird Cage" as well, as pointed out in other diaries.  I had to rent the movie again to recall.  Piren is my first initial, last name, Patricia Iren.  I love the relationship that people infer, however.  A great movie!

                •  Well, I hope it IS in a non-gay way, else... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mainefem, Piren

                  ...I'm going to need a couple of Pirin.

                  I love the damned movie, too, and must have seen it 4-5 times by now, mostly while captive at the house of my older Sis, who has some sort of fixation on the thing, specifically the Nathan Lane role. I'm thinking she has a drag queen fantasy, where she's the drag queen.

                  39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

                  by Larry Bailey on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:24:47 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  B-b-b-but, he's a 'fierce advocate'. (10+ / 0-)

            Told us himself, just a couple days ago.

            And people keep repeating it when explaining that after all, his other preacher isn't a bigot.

            How much fiercer could he get than that?

            The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

            by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:47:33 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely right, Larry (8+ / 0-)

        This is the first shot across the bow to the gay community.  We're going to be the focal point of triangulation in the Obama administration.  

        And to those who tell us gay folks that Obama is going to repeal DADT, pass ENDA, and do all sort of other good things for the gay community, consider this:  Obama's defense of Warren is that Warren represents views that are entitled to respect.  So, if Obama "respects" people who compare gays to pedophiles in this context, he'll likely also respect them in other contexts.  Thus, we may well find that ENDA can't be passed because we need to "respect" the fundies who just couldn't bear to work next to a gay person and that DADT has to remain because we must "respect" homophobic soldiers who can't trust a gay person in a foxhole.  

        Obama has now given his imprimatur to that kind of thinking.  We're going to hear a lot more of it as a result.

        As another commenter says, this is all about enhancing Obama's position with the fundies.  If he has to insult gay people to do it, he appears to view taht as very small price to pay.

    •  I agree completely - (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Justina, buckhorn okie, Piren

      I'm so glad I am not alone in thinking this choice of Warren was calculated with a finesse that we can scarcely imagine - think about it:

      Warren is placed in the harsh glare of the public spotlight.  He goes there willingly, confident of the support of the President elect, assured that he will make his influence manifest in the new administration. The public sees him for what he is - yet another pompous hypocrite, bloated with self satisfaction, his eyes the narrowed slits of the con man, attempting to appear calm while constantly scanning the room for signs of someone not falling for the pitch. Obama is doing us an enormous favor, luring this specimen out to be trapped in the quicksand of his own bigotry.

      Sure he will have supporters, just as he would have had he remained on the fringes. But he will also experience a great number of people who will see him for what he is, and he will discover that notoriety is not always a blessing.

      Something tells me Obama's enemies should be a hell of a lot more worried, especially when he seems to be doing something they like.

      * "If you're going to play the game properly you'd better know every rule." - Barbara Jordan

      by jarotra on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:41:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Have you tried to contact your younger brother? (18+ / 0-)

    He is older now and you cannot assume that he feels the way the parents did.  He may have missed your presence in his life.

    Maybe there is some hope for the two of you to have relationship as adults.

    I know it is difficult to be completely severed from your family but there may have been cousins or other relatives that may have been more understanding and accepting.

    I am happy that you are able to share your life and love.  Thanks for sharing your story... I wish you peace.

    The Truth is nonpartisan!

    by fedupcitizen on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:25:39 AM PST

  •  Exceptional Diary (15+ / 0-)

    I'm both sorry that I had to read it and glad that I did at the same time.

  •  Never quite in the same shoes as you, but... (17+ / 0-)

    ...I've got a pretty good idea of what they feel like, young brother.  

    Privately, treasure the solace and warmth of your dear one, and publicly keep yelling as loud as you can that we deserve every fucking right that everybody else takes for granted, AND that we will NOT go along with a calculated political strategy by our own that diminishes who we are as human beings.

    Tipped and Rec'd.

    39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

    by Larry Bailey on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:42:37 AM PST

  •   jamesia, I hope you'll join us in WGLB (16+ / 0-)

    on occasion. this diary would be a welcome edition to our continuing conversation there. Thanks for sharing and remember the old adage, you may not get to pick your relatives but you do get to choose your family.

    Support democracy at home and abroad, join the ACLU & Amnesty International and Your voice is needed!

    by tnichlsn on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:45:07 AM PST

  •  Thank you for sharing, I'm glad you survived (17+ / 0-)

    The good news is that you had enough smarts and resilience to overcome the difficulties and rejection you faced at such a young age.  I have been alienated from my family ever since I came out to them 10 years ago. But I have the most wonderful partner in the world and we have created our own family that loves us and accepts us fully for who we are.  My real family doesn't know what it's missing, and I view it as their loss.

  •  Do you truly believe that Larry Craig (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, bvig

    was disgustingly villainized here -- for being gay?

    •  Yes ... by some here (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem, jessical, texcubsf

      The criticism for his hypocrisy was and is entirely justified.

      There were many snide comments, however, that referred to his sexual preferences.

      To be fair, I chose to ignore them, when the appropriate response for a person who professes to be aggressively pro-gay rights would have been to confront the comments. Silence means acceptance, if not approval.  

      Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

      by slatsg on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:36:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  If the subtext were really about (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie, mainefem, golconda2

        Craig's sexual preferences, I can't help but notice people here are usually pretty restrained in their snideness toward other gay people; it sort of begs the question, why, if they're all just a bunch of bashers at heart. I'd posit that anti-gay comments directed at Craig need to be viewed in the context that Craig himself established: even if derogatory comments were made about Craig performing some gay sex act or other, I'd have a hard time believing such comments were not actually pointing out the man's hypocrisy and the harm he did to the gay community.    

    •  Ok, well to go a step further (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem, zett, adamantius, jarotra, texcubsf

      than what my diary said... I did feel compassion for Larry Craig. I don't think he was villainized for being gay. I think he was villainized for the irony of his actions. He did what he did, and it was very wrong. Public sex... especially in places where there will be children... is wrong! He was treated like a test case of hypocritical Conservatism. I just thought of him as another sad case, and wanted to reach out to him as a community.

      I know that might not be all to popular with a lot of folks, but it's just how I feel.

      •  You are right, of course (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zett, texcubsf

        No one can ever really know what someone else has gone through to be what they are.  The hypocrisy that perpetuates the pain (including his own) should not cause us to withhold compassion. The fact that he would most likely reject the outreach (I'm not gay!!!) should not affect the offer either.  It communicates an understanding that may not sink in for years.

        Is it always necessary to fight pain and anger with pain and anger? For it to end, someone has to stop first.

        Thanks for stopping first.

        * "If you're going to play the game properly you'd better know every rule." - Barbara Jordan

        by jarotra on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 04:52:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I can understand how seeing anyone (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        teased about their sexual preference would be a sore point, especially for someone who has experienced it. And there's nothing wrong with sympathizing with anyone currently going through it. It's just that many people who'd normally be sympathetic about almost anyone else had no sympathy for him, given the things he's done.

        Really, this was not about him being gay, or at least not just about him being gay. It's about him being gay, denying it when so many others have fought for the right to be honest about themselves, and actively working to deprive gay Americans of their rights.

      •  Ironic villainization of Palin (0+ / 0-)

        The misogynistic vitriol unloaded on Sarah Palin was, likewise, ostensibly to point out what a complete hypocrite she is. But coming on the heels of the response to Hillary Clinton's campaign, and watching it all as a working mother myself, there was something a little ooogie about reading the actual words, about how quickly they were tossed out and how venomous they were.

        And back to the "mother" part, for me. My kids are really little: I don't know if they will grow up to be gay--or born again, or Republican, or gainfully employed, or interested in other cultures, or etc., etc. So I talk about hope and love and look for the good. This election was such a joy to be able to vote FOR things instead of AGAINST.

        "History isn't a seesaw. If you have a bad regime on one side, the actions on the other side don't automatically become good." --Nicholson Baker

        by youpsy on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 08:54:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for a great diary. (10+ / 0-)

    It's shocking (and embarrassing) how often I need to be reminded of the range of effects of homophobia and heterosexism.  This is so important--as especially is the observation that Obama would never have asked to give an invocation a pastor who led a racially segregated church.

    It's a difficult issue because so many Christians are imbedded in this anti-homosexual tradition.  But the same was once true of racial segregation which was also justified by bizarre "proof texts."  We just can't let this bullshit go on any longer unchallenged.

    If looks could kill it would have been us instead of him.

    by jhannon on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:51:54 AM PST

  •  Hang in there. (8+ / 0-)

    You deserve a loving family. If you can't have your old one, I wish you the best in growing a new one.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:55:20 AM PST

  •  Larry Craig was not villainized for being gay. (28+ / 0-)

    He was attacked for being a homophobic bigot whose policies and positions (heh) hurt gay people. The fact that he sought secret gay sex in a bathroom doesn't turn him into an object of compassion--it just makes him one more "even my own rules don't apply to me" Republican.

    Great diary. Thanks for sharing.

    How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

    by rhetoricus on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:57:44 AM PST

    •  He was villainized by different people for (5+ / 0-)

      different reasons.  WE villainized him for attacking gay people from his position of power.  The Senate Republican caucus, on the other hand, NEVER villainizes anybody for THAT.  And they DID villainize him TOO.

      The road to hell has not YET been paved with Republicans, but it SHOULD be -- Corrected BumperSticker

      by ge0rge on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:04:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  True. (0+ / 0-)

        But we can't really control what Republicans do...  the best we can hope for is to help get them out of office.  If they learn to change their ways after the electoral loss gives them a good solid kick in the ass, then great, but I don't tend to hold my breath for that one...

  •  Thank you for the gift of awareness (12+ / 0-)

    of what it means to be in your shoes this Christmas.

    That's my wish for Obama.....  That he would really read your beautiful diary with an open heart.

  •  Pat Boone is a .. (6+ / 0-)

    I don't know what he is. A turd in a punchbowl?

    I actually followed the link and read his diatribe.

    I am tired of the Warren controversy. This diary got rec'd though. As far as Larry Craig goes - I seem to recallost of the scorn here was due to his hypocricy, and his self loathing "public stance."

    I'm already against the NEXT war

    by SecondComing on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:03:54 PM PST

  •  I am so tired of hearing that being anti-gay is (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AdamW, mrkvica, SDuvall

    the same as being a racist, or an anti-semite. Mike Huckabee is correct in saying that GLBT persons haven't been persecuted in the same way or to the degree that African Americans, or Jews (or, for that matter, women, or Asian Americans, or Hibernians).

    When people like Mike Huckabee go around saying gays have never been persecuted like blacks have, so we don't warrant equal rights, you know they're ignoring facts left and right

    African Americans have a truly horrific history of kidnap, slavery, etc, etc. Jews have an even longer horrific history of diaspora, holocaust, etc, etc, etc, etc. Each history is uniquely awful. Saying one is "worse" than the other diminishes each. I think it is a mistake to say that future rectifications of civil persecution have to meet some kind of bar of awfulness on a par with these in the past for us as a society to consider them seriously. The problem comes with the second part of Huckabee's statement (or possibly it comes with citing Huckabee at all), i.e. "so [GLBT persons] don't warrant civil rights".

    One shouldn't parse civil rights out only if you meet some kind of bar set to a historic degree of horrific brutality (like some kind of devilish limbo game); each person in America deserves civil rights simply by reason of being a citizen. It is clear that if a man and a man form a family unit, and one dies, then keeping the surviving partner/spouse from all of the rights granted to a heterosexual couple from the state is an infringement on civil rights. The right to inherit property without paying tax from a marital partner is a right granted by the state. It is a civil right (as an aside, when I talk to Christian Fundamentalists, the one argument that resonates most with them on this issue is that if you allow same-sex couples to marry, you extend to any children of the union the same rights to be financially supported that children of opposite-sex marriages receive).

    But trying to force understanding upon people who are skeptical of this by saying that being an LGBT person in america is the same as being African American, or a Jewish person, is, I think, a very poor argument which puts people off, rather than converts them to your cause. Trying to force understanding via these metaphors is like using a crowbar. It might work, but everything ends up dented.

    I think that the strength of America is that we deal with bad problems and then we move on to ones that are not as urgent. I think we keep getting better. Insisting that what is wrong today must be as bad as it was in the past I think ignores what is best about the arc of justice in this country.

      •  I was just trying to say that saying "this is my (0+ / 0-)

        pain" is a lot more convincing than "this is my pain it's a lot like his pain, see how painful it is by looking at his pain" is.

        •  That's nowhere near to what you said... (30+ / 0-)

          ...which was, paraphrasing: anti-gay bigots are not really bigots, Huckabee's cool on this one, and it's not a big enough problem to be put anywhere near the top of our list of issues to address.

          Like I said below, you don't have a the legal inequities, personal indignities, physical oppression, and violence suffered by gay people for virtually all of human history -- including today in this most glorious of democracies, about to be led by a man who starts his Presidency in the warm embrace of a bigoted evangelist.

          I grew up in the South in the 60's and early 70's. I know the arguments of apologists for bigotry and you've got many of them down pat.

          39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

          by Larry Bailey on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:27:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You misunderstand my position. I'm sorry that you (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrkvica, jessical

            feel I insulted you.

            •  Not just me -- you insulted all tens of millions (11+ / 0-)

              ...of us in the U.S with an apparent POV that our struggle has been somehow inferior to that of others (with whom WE have also struggled, I must add). I've read and re-read your comment several times now and frankly, I don't think I'm misunderstanding the gist of it.

              39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

              by Larry Bailey on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:59:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I just re-read the comment, as well... (11+ / 0-)

              ...and it had a streak o'homophobia in it, for sure.

              Saying that queer rights are a civil rights struggle is not the same as saying it is the same as other civil rights struggles.  It is comparable.  I'm trans.  Most places in the united states you can fire me outright or kick me out of my home because you don't like my kind.  Those are the most basic of human rights.  Dry and warm and able to earn a bite to eat.  If you kill me, you can say it was because I fooled you somehow, and evidence tends to you walking scot free, because the jury will be disgusted too.  That is a civil rights struggle: the right to be accounted a human being.  I don't care if you use a crowbar or a micrometer, but I'd do some real reworking there, if I were you.

              That said, it is not the same.  When you import a population as slaves and oppress them for generations, or steal a people's land and exterminate them, or deny people papers because they're from somewhere poor, the experience is different and it refracts meaning in different ways.  

              But don't you think that the commonality -- that recognition of humanity -- is the engine for that arc of justice, however long?

              ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

              by jessical on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:15:28 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think that it should be illegal to (5+ / 0-)

                discriminate against a person as a result of that person's sexual orientation, whether that orientation is L, G, B, or T.

                •  I got that. (4+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Larry Bailey, mrkvica, mainefem, plumbobb

                  And I think you have a point.  There's a level of priviledge here -- not in the diary (which I found excellent), but the site --which is hard to see when you're a queer person who had to leave home (I did, at 16, and that was part of it).  But then I think about 2 million people in prison, mostly african american men, or all those poor hispanic guys (all guys) waiting down across the postoffice for a pickup ride to the construction site for a day of work, when I lived in San Rafael...and I realize that just the fact I'm sittin' here and able to bitch means I have some things that others don't.  And the focus here is pretty much on white folks with computers, with a few (and happily, increasing) exceptions.  At some point, there's a way in which the emphasis priviledges certain kinds of victimization, even if that has nothing to do with what the individual posters, themselves, believe or feel.

                  I do think we get something...remarkable and precious (forgive the wording)...when we realize the commonality though, rather than just the difference.  

                  ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

                  by jessical on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:34:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I was trying to say something more complicated (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mrkvica, jessical, bruddaone, texcubsf

                    than 'you guys have it so easy; see how hard those guys had it' -- I was trying to say that when people fighting for LGBT rights say that those who are opposed to those rights are the same as racists or anti-semites -- that I think this makes the argument less, rather than more, convincing.

                    I'm a lot more moved by somebody telling me what has happened to him or to her as a result of being gay than I am by somebody who tells me that being gay is like being black.

                    I know how much I value the love of my parents. I know how much I value the love of my children. I can imagine how I would feel if I lost my job because of something that had nothing to do with my ability to do my job. I can imagine how much it would mean to me to be able to see my spouse in the hospital. I can imagine how I would feel if I were cut off from my parents, or my child, or my job, or my spouse as the result of sexual orientation.

                    I think that's much more persuasive than analogies.

                    •  In other words... (5+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      mrkvica, zett, Piren, plumbobb, texcubsf

                      Drive civil rights arguments from specific, authentic experience, rather than from comparisons.

                      Which is a dreadfully good point.

                      I think there's some strength that any disenfranchised group gets by realizing that there are universals to their struggles.  A long ago friend of mine, who started what is now a national organization for gender rights advocacy, once said "I have no interest in another fucking tranny movement" -- and while it took me years, I understand what she meant, now.  If I'm going to bleed my life into a struggle, it had better be for more than just people like me.  It had better speak to human dignity in its most basic form, or it is just about, hey stop making me miserable.

                      But the authenticity that moves people is always in the specific.  

                      Really great comment.  Thank you for persisting.

                      ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

                      by jessical on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 04:22:36 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Oh, thank god, YES! nt (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        mrkvica, jessical, Piren, texcubsf
                        •  Plumbobb's comments and the replys (0+ / 0-)

                          got me thinking.  Hold on to your hats, friends, while I veer off in a different direction.  Being born black, Asian, Hispanic or whatever is not a choice. The religion you ascribe to is a choice,  but holocast vicitms' suffering is not dismissed (except by very sick individuals) because they chose to be Jewish. Yet the Dobsons of the world justify their bigotry by claiming that being gay is a choice.  

                          •  you fucking don't choose to be Jewish. Tell that (0+ / 0-)

                            to the assimilated Germans who didn't even know they had a Jewish ancestor and had considered themselves and been accepted as Christians. They got fired and then they got swept into the camps also.

                            Being Jewish is not just a choice, it is an ethnicity: semetic. And what is funny is that the Jewish "race" is more ethnically pure than are the Germans who are mongrels.

                            While there are some converts, they are not sought and not even encouraged.

                            We are in a time where it is risky NOT to change. Barack Obama 7-30-08

                            by samddobermann on Mon Dec 22, 2008 at 09:37:32 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  If youwon't let us compare racism and homophobia (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      samddobermann, Larry Bailey

                      then you deprive us of one of our most effective tools.

                      Unlike racism, homophobia is still considered to be something upon which reasonable people can disagree.

                      Just like segregation in the 50's.

                      Homophobia needs to be as taboo as racism.

                      If we cannot draw the parallels, we will never be able to reach this critical goal.

        •  I take your point (5+ / 0-)

          But I am personally tired of the long history of anti-gay violence being completely ignored. You are aware that in many undeveloped countries homosexuality is still considered a crime? And that quiet executions go on in all the time while societies as diverse as Iraq and Jamaica turn a blind eye?

          The reason why people dislike when gays draw analogies is because of naivete and ignorance in my opinion.

          •  I think the facts of the denial of human rights (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mrkvica, Piren, texcubsf

            to LGBT persons are more powerful than analogies to the denials of rights to other classes of people who have historically been subjected to persecution for other reasons. And I think they're more persuasive. I think the pain of a father denied the ability to get visitation rights to a child he has with a male partner because they have a same-sex, and not an opposite-sex union, is a unique pain which is more powerful by not having a historical analog.

            •  I agree completely (5+ / 0-)

              But the power of those examples are in no way diminished by educating the very unaware public about the history of oppression. The fact that people basically think that being gay is safe, as long as you don't flaunt it, is worrying and tiresome to people like myself who have experienced discrimination for being black and, separately for gay.

    •  in other words (13+ / 0-)

      shut up and be grateful for what you have.

      Spoken like a true paternaist.

      It would be the first principle of sane kindness that all forms of sacrifice would be avoided, if at all possible."--Adam Phillips

      by andrewj54 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:13:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think that is what he meant (7+ / 0-)

        though I could understand how you came to that conclusion.

        Anytime anyone claims that a victim of discrimination hasn't suffered as much as another group, the argument should be dismissed out of hand. It is irrelevant. Millions of Native Americans were killed. Most of the rest were placed on reservations. Do gays or woman have to go through that in order for their demands for full equality to become legitimate? The argument is disingenuous from the start.

        All men and women are entitled to human rights without having to submit to some silly test to ascertain if they have suffered enough.

        Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

        by slatsg on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:49:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with the last part of your comment. (5+ / 0-)

          However, as to the first part, you obviously do not know much about the history of the oppression of gays.  They were put in the concentration camp with Jews and they are murdered because of their sexual orientation at an alarming rate.  When I was a teenager, rolling gays was accepted by many as a perfectly normal and decent thing.  While I agree that it is silly to compare the suffering of different groups.  In this particular case, gays have suffered their fair share.

          •  Actually I know quite a bit about that (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fabian, plumbobb

            oppression. I know about the holocaust, the murder of gays, the suicide rates ... the list is endless.

            I used the Native American reference because it was used as an argument back in the 60s during the Civil Rights struggles of that day. African-Americans shouldn't complain because Native Americans sufferd more. It was nonsense then and it is nonsense now.

            My position is that it is a pointless exercise, one that I refuse to engage.

            What is the acceptable level of suffering? Catholics faced discrimination in this country. Maybe they still should face discrimination because they haven't suffered enough. It's flat out ridiculous to even go down that road.

            Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

            by slatsg on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:37:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I think marriage is a civil right and should be (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larry Bailey, mrkvica, mainefem

            available to any one person of any sex who wished to marry any other one person of any sex, if they are both of legal age. I do not think that you should have to quantify your suffering to obtain civil rights.

          •  hate crimes (0+ / 0-)

            Type                    %hate crimes  
            Anti-black hate crimes: 34.6%
            Anti-semitic hate crimes: 18.1%
            Anti-homosexual hate crimes (excludes bisexuals): 14.7%

            If there are apparently far more black people (13.4%) than homosexuals (around 4%) or Jews(1.4%), then one would appear to have a greater chance of being victim of a hate crime for being gay or Jewish than for being black.   Of course, many gay people aren't out (and thus visible to hate criminals) and some anti-gay victims may not actually be gay and it is difficult to measure how many gays there are and there is a difference in thresholds of gayness (tried it once, do it regularly, do it exclusively, etc.).  Many hate crimes may go unreported (actual numbers 19 to 31 times higher) by victims and only about 2/3 of precincts report hate crimes.   Several states reported 0 or only 1 hate crime in 2006.   But the National Victims Crime Survey uses surveys instead of relying on police reports.  There is also significant year to year variation; hate crimes go up significantly when the republicans are churning up hate for political gane.   Only a tiny fraction of reported hate crimes are murders.

            Hate crimes motivated by sexual orientation were 18% of the total. Given that the best studies indicate about 3% of the American population is homosexual, that means that gays and lesbians are victimized at six times the overall rate.


            45% of gay males and 20% of lesbians experience physical or verbal assault
            in high school; 28% of these young people feel forced to drop out of school
            due to harassment based on sexual orientation.


            Between 1880 and 1951 the Tuskegee Institute recorded 3,437 lynchings of African Americans, as well as 1,293 whites

            "White" included Mexicans, Native Americans, and Chinese.
            That is an average of about 47 blacks lynched per year with the peak apparently occurring in the five year period 1865-1869, after the gounding of the KKK, during which time about 1500 lynchings and racially motivated murders occurred (or about 300/year).  

            Instead of being directly murdered, LGBT teens are often driven to commit suicide:

            Every day, 13 Americans ages 15 to 24 commit suicide. In 1989, suicide was the leading cause of death among gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered youths; 53% of transsexual youths surveyed in 1981 had attempted suicide. Lesbian and gay youths account for up to 30% of all completed suicides among youths.

            That is about 1423 suicide deaths.   Thus, there are about as many suicides each year as there were lynchings/racial murders of blacks in the worst 5 years in US history, combined. Black teens are 30% LESS likely to commit suicide than whites, up from about 58% less.   Blacks (primarily males), however, die from homicide (94% by blacks) at a 6x higher rate (for males) than whites.  And black homicides are four times more common than white suicides.  Incidently, females (regardless of race or orienation) are much more likely to attempt suicide than males but males are much more likely to succeed (and the male/female completed suicide ratio is higher among young people); thus females may be more likely to attempt as a cry for help while men finish the job or men may just be more effective.  Thus the predominant effect of bigotry on mortality would appear to be not so much the bigots killing gays and blacks as inducing gays to kill themselves and blacks to kill each other and that this indirect effect exceeds, for both groups, the overt hate-crime murders in the days of lynching.  The link between current racism and black murders is more convoluted as it involves gangs, the war on drugs, poverty which may partly reflect historical racism vs. current racism, education, job prospects, and a victim culture, etc.

            Suicide rates per capita of Native American teens is 2.3 times as high as whites, though probably less than gays.

            Then there is the history of Nazi Germany, which you brought up:

            These genocides cost the lives of probably 16,315,000 people. Most likely the Nazis wiped out 5,291,000 Jews, 258,000 Gypsies, 10,547,000 Slavs, and 220,000 homosexuals. They also "euthanized" 173,500 handicapped Germans. Then in repression, terrorism, reprisals, and other cold-blooded killings done to impose and maintain their rule throughout Europe, the Nazis murdered more millions including French, Dutch, Serbs, Slovenes, Czechs, and others. In total, they likely annihilated 20,946,000 human beings.



            -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

            by whitis on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 01:34:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  How can one count... (0+ / 0-)

              ...anti-gay hate crimes when there is no such thing in most atates?

              •  there may not be statutes (0+ / 0-)

                specifically imposing additional penalties for hate crimes but assault and other forms of hate crimes are still against the law and most jurisdictions tabulate statistics on the type of crime, the demographics of the victim and attacker, and the apparent motivation for the crime.   Transsexuality doesn't seem to have a separate classification, however, or wasn't summarized separately.

                And while the number of crimes may be underreported the relative frequency of different groups being targeted seems to be fairly consistent whether you are looking at incidents reported to and by police or whether people are being surveyed as to whether they have been victimized.

                With the exception of Alabama (which only reported 1 hate crime total) and North Dakota (13) it appears every state which reports hate crimes reports at least some gay directed ones.

                -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

                by whitis on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 05:48:23 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I lived in Arkansas for 16 years. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Marja E

                  <ost crimes against GLBT people were not listed as hate crimes and even rarely listed the sexual orientation of the victim.  There is not requirement to track such thing when there is no hate crime protection for such people.  Those states where you said there was 0 or 1?  You really think there was 0 or 1?</p>

                  I've been assaulted 4 times for being a transwoman.  None of them were even investigated, let alone prosecuted or labeled a hate crime.

                  •  hate crime reporting (0+ / 0-)

                    Of course I don't thing there was only 0 or 1 hate crimes in those states.   The point was that, unless a state is playing the three monkeys with regard to hate crimes, it reports gay hate crimes.   Overall, on a national level, it does not look like gay hate crimes are underreported relative to other hate crimes - but they are all underreported.   We can see this because the ratios are similar for police reports to the FBI vs surveys of people which ask about which crimes they have been the victim of.   The ratio between self reporting and agency reporting is about 20:1.

                    Your point that anti-gay hate crimes are not reported by states that don't have statutes is thus refuted.

                    Arkansas reporting looks to be poor (agencies reporting cover less than 3 million people).   In 2006, it reported 91 hate crimes based on race, 3 based on religion, 11 based on sexual orientation, 6 based on ethnicity, and 2 based on disability.  But other states that have better reporting may offset arkansas.

                    You will find some more details in one of my other comments:


                    Just because the victim is LGBT, doesn't mean that the crime was necessarily a hate crime.   Nor does self-reporting.  I am more inclined to believe the true numbers are somewhere around the self-reporting based statistics.

                    -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

                    by whitis on Tue Dec 23, 2008 at 03:57:47 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  as for your assaults (0+ / 0-)

                    you certainly have my sympathy.    That is repugnant.  Sadly, it isn't surprising. Failure to investigate those is a miscarriage of justice, though unless you had any identifying information on the attackers may have been ultimately fruitless.    Crimes are often committed when and where the perpetrators can not easily be identifiable.   Do you carry pepper spray with dye?

                    -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

                    by whitis on Tue Dec 23, 2008 at 04:07:33 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  You misunderstand my position. I apologize for (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, mainefem

        not expressing myself clearly enough.

    •  Truly, the ignorant have found their voice in you (31+ / 0-)

      I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice. But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr., said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere'...

      For many years now, I have been an outspoken supporter of civil and human rights for gay and lesbian people. Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Georgia and St. Augustine, Florida, and many other campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own...

      -- Coretta Scott King

      p.s. Too bad Matthew Sheppard isn't around to hear your wonderful explanation of why his torture-death wasn't as bad as others.

      p.p.s. I was born half-Jewish. As a gay man, I guess that earns half-credit on your 'oppressometer'. Be sure and let me know what the being gay part earns, so I can calculate my correct total.

      The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

      by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:13:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think you misunderstand my position. I am sorry (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrkvica, two roads

        I did not express myself better.

        •  You mean to be a wo/man of good will. (11+ / 0-)

          It's obvious. But equally so is that you speak from bigotry and ignorance.


          Those are men sent to concentration camps for being gay. An estimated 60,000 men were legally sentenced under "Paragraph 175," nearly all of them died, and this number only includes those documented in Germany. The number of unrecorded homosexuals, and those outside of Germany is impossible to know, but may be twice as many. This was the manner of their deaths:

          Can you tell which ones were Jewish, and which were gay? Does it matter?

          Paragraph 175 remained law, and many gay inmates were sent to prison until 1969 when the law was finally repealed.

          Consider this:

          Three young Iraqi men suspected of being gay lay in the street after being executed in Ramadi in June of 2006. In 2005, Grand Ayatollah Sistani issued an anti-gay fatwa which said: "Those who commit sodomy must be killed in the harshest way".

          Consider this:

          This is Matthew Sheppard, who because he was gay was pistol whipped, tortured, tied to a country fence, and left to die on a cold October night in Wyoming. Shepard was discovered eighteen hours later. He had suffered a skull fracture from the back of his head to the front of his right ear. His brain stem received the brunt of the attack. He was pronounced dead at 12:53 A.M. on October 12, 1998.

          Consider this:

          When I came out at the age of 16 in California, the law said that private consensual gay sex was punishable by felony imprisonment. The last of those laws in this country wasn't struck down by the Supreme Court until 2003.

          And all of the above is just the tiniest tip of the iceberg.

          Now go back and carefully consider what you wrote:

          I am so tired of hearing that being anti-gay is the same as being a racist, or an anti-semite. Mike Huckabee is correct in saying that GLBT persons haven't been persecuted in the same way or to the degree that African Americans, or Jews (or, for that matter, women, or Asian Americans, or Hibernians).

          And perhaps you will begin to understand.

          The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

          by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 03:47:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you for imputing good motives to me. My mom (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Piren, two roads

            is an actress and as a kid we had rehearsals & parties at the house at all hours with probably the only straight person being my dad (still wonder about mom). Then in college, my boyfriend roomed with three gay guys (it was a kind of famous quad, the "gay quad") and so we all hung out together, and I learned more words that I had not know existed for sex acts that I had not known existed (vocabulary lessons generally occurred during the course of cribbage games), and the guys I think even made a few up just to see my stunned expression. One went up semi-frequently to Manhatten to hang with Warhol and usually had some incredible stories to tell on his return.

            Being around these guys, when jocks threw pieces of wood at their heads in the commons, when they'd had a bad breakup with a boyfriend, watching them navigate the somewhat stodgy school we all went to and get away with the things that they did (stealing an entire wheel of cheese from the faculty club, and rolling it all downcampus), & talking to these guys, who stayed my very best friends even after my boyfriend and I split up, dancing with them at parties because they wanted to dance, but couldn't with each other, was the process that taught me the burdens they lived under every day.

            And then I moved to San Fransisco and again worked in the arts with a veritable panoply of persons with various sexual proclivities. Charles' partner had AIDS, and died, and then Charles had AIDS and I had to decide whether to let him share bites of pizza with my baby, and the guys up the street who wanted to adopt a baby, it took them about $30,000 (not counting the bribery), and an immense amount of time to get one, and they were both spectacularly good dads. Sometimes we got my son and their daughter together to play together. And now the two dads have split up and how the hell are they going to work out custody with that little girl when there is such a maelstrom out there?

            This pain, this real pain from real lives is a direct result of their being gay and in the minority and not being a protected class entitled to civil rights. and it is a tragic leftover from much worse oppression in less enlightened times, which includes the persons and historic pictures you cite above. The Nazi's crimes also included court-ordered castration of hundreds of homosexual men.

            I am convinced of the necessity of working to get civil rights for LGBT persons without references to racists and anti-semites and aborted babies and incarcerated Japanese and decimated American Indians. I think the argument for LBGT rights is stronger and more persuasive if it includes only your history and your oppression and your pain.

            I just think it's more useful to say "this is our history, this is our pain".

            Thank you for responding to my comment thoughtfully.

        •  I'm not going to sugarcoat it. (5+ / 0-)

          Your post was a pile of shit.

          When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around

          by Phosfiend on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 07:31:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  asdf (18+ / 0-)


      Perhaps you should do some heavy reading into the actual HISTORY of gays and lesbians around the world before you mouth off on a subject you obviously have little knowledge of.

      I don't have "issues". I have a full subscription!

      by GayIthacan on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:13:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's one way it isn't the same... (34+ / 0-)

      ...I don't run across too many diaries of Black or Jewish kids being thrown out by their families for being Black or Jewish.

      •  And I've not found a single diary (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KMc, zett, ZhenRen, plumbobb

        defending a politician's honoring an anti-semite or a racist. Or any contending that wanting to deny equal rights to African Americans or Jews is understandable, and doesn't make someone a bigot.

      •  Biracial children.. (0+ / 0-)

        There are lots of stories though of children being disowned by extended families for their mothers having children with black men. There are women, and men, who have lost all families connections because they had mixed racial relationships with non-whites. There are lots of children who are disowned because they disown the religion of their families. Catholics were just as hated by the KKK as Jews, blacks, gays, etc.  It's just rare for this to happen as much today--but all of this happened in our recent past (like less than 20-30 years ago).

        "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

        by jvackert on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 12:13:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I brought up Nazi persecution (20+ / 0-)

      of GLBT specifically to reiterate that they suffered the very same persecution as Jews. There were a lesser number of GLBT persecuted because there are a lesser number of GLBT people in the population. The sheer volume of Jews persecuted does not mean that they suffered "more" or "worse" persecution than GLBT people. There were all in the same camps, suffering the same fates! When the war ended, and the Nazi prisons abandoned, GLBT people were transferred from the death camps to state run prisons.

      White GLBT people are VERY lucky in the fact that we can hide in the majority. Otherwise, history has shown that we would have faced slavery just like blacks and Jews did. That doesn't mean that GLBT have suffered less.

      Would a black man have pretended to be white (if he were able) in order to escape enslavement? If he were able to, does that mean he's not entitled to equal rights?

    •  playing the persecution game is a loser (13+ / 0-)

      I agree with you on that.  Trying to say blacks have it worse than gays or gays have it worse than Jews or Hispanics have it worse than Asians, etc. etc. is a losing proposition, and so beside the point.  Yet you are playing the game yourself, which is not helpful.

    •  Sounds like... (11+ / 0-) don't have a clue.

      39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

      by Larry Bailey on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:18:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  ignore the analogies (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pd, buckhorn okie, mrkvica, plumbobb

      Analogies are imperfect and are rhetoric.  Like all rhetoric, different analogies work for different people.

      The problem described is real and can be dealt with constructively by anyone and everyone, that is what matters.

      I take the optimistic view too.  We have overcome a lot as a society and always moved on to the next thing in forming our more perfect union.  Residues of past wrongs remain very long, however.  And being who and what we are, Americans leave nothing unsaid and will engage with every correctable imperfection in American life at the moment when it becomes affordable to do so and some prospect for improvement has come into existence.  Often we first resort to what turns out to be the wrong solution first: Prohibition, instituting slavery in the Constitution, banning interracial marriage.  But each proves itself morally impossible, source and generating of wrongs, and is eventually reversed.

      We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. Martin Luther King Jr.

      by killjoy on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:27:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agree, but most often, eventually turns out to be (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mainefem, Fabian, plumbobb, two roads

        a very, very, long time, meanwhile, the misery caused by bigotry keeps on oppressing and killing.

        •  As the great man said... (5+ / 0-)

          I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. I have just received a letter from a white brother in Texas. He writes: "All Christians know that the colored people will receive equal rights eventually, but it is possible that you are in too great a religious hurry. It has taken Christianity almost two thousand years to accomplish what it has. The teachings of Christ take time to come to earth." Such an attitude stems from a tragic misconception of time, from the strangely irrational notion that there is something in the very flow of time that will inevitably cure all ills. Actually, time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be co workers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.

          -- Martin Luther King, letter from a Birmingham jail

          The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

          by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:58:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think a better analogy is to say that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      discrimination based on sexual orientation is equivalent to discrimination based on religion. In America. To try to analogize it to the black experience or the Jewish holocaust experience is not correct.

      It does fit the model of religious discimination, though, the more I think about it.

      GLBTs have the right to believe that it violates no moral or religious law to live the lifestyle they believe they were created to live. They have the right to believe this and be free from persecution or any other discrimination because of their beliefs.

      Where does that get us legally?

      For me, personally, equating the GLBT civil rights issues to the African American civil rights issue is unpersuasive. Clearly, you are born black. People can argue whether you were "born" GLBT. (They may be wrong, but they can legitimately argue it.)

      It seems to me, it's more like the right to be free from discrimination based on religion, which the Constitution also guarantees, doesn't it? Whether you "chose" it or not, you're free to make the choice free from being discriminated against by the State because of it. Right?

      Where does that leave us?  Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion or  prohibiting the free exercise thereof.  Does denying a GLBT the right to marry under State law amount to a prohibition of the free exercise of his/her religion? I'm thinking yes. However, you still have the "polygamy" arguments to deal with if you look at it like that.

    •  You don't know what you are talking about. n/t (5+ / 0-)

      Democratic Administrations are what the forces of darkness use to catch their breath and consolidate their gains.

      by expatjourno on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:18:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  How many Black have been rounded up and sent... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno, mainefem, plumbobb, two roads

      to the gas chambers??? or staked and burned by the Catholic Church???

      All I know is what I read in the newspapers. Will Rogers

      by Tulsonian on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:14:40 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  About 10 million (5+ / 0-)

        If the Atlantic Slave trade estimates are correct.

        About 200-300 black people, mostly males, were lynched in the south after the Civil War ( that we know about).

        Comparing sexuality and how to live ones life with dignity with one's inner self is not the same as the battle for rights denied because of your parentage. That's a different frame altogether.

        White skin privilege, apparently, does not stop when you are gay. It really, really grates the wrong way, and white gays had better start realising why that grates so that all of us can have the full civil rights accorded to citizens in other countries.

        •  Yea, few realize this.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          been fooled more than twice

          "...White skin privilege, apparently, does not stop when you are gay. It really, really grates the wrong way, and white gays had better start realising why that grates so that all of us can have the full civil rights accorded to citizens in other countries..."

          It could not have been written better...although the entire comment was spot on...

        •  lynching statistics (0+ / 0-)

          You are off by a factor of 10 on the lynching statistics.   See my comment above.

          Your distinction between inner self and parentage is rather arbitrary.  There are certainly differences in the nature of the discrimination but to imply that one is more acceptable is wrong.

          White skin privilege does stop when you are gay, to a significant extent - if it is known that you are gay.   Gays can be fired, denied marriage, denied medical benefits, denied partner immigration benefits, etc. without even the semblance of legal protection afforded to blacks.

          While only 11% would object to a gay pilot, 49% would object to a gay doctor or teacher (I believe I linked to the source in above post).  And teachers have morality clauses in their contracts.  Only 21% felt more comfortable with a doctor of the same race (and apparently a significant portion of that was blacks uncomfortable with white doctors).  Out gays aren't allowed in the military.  Only 3 openly gay people have ever been elected to congress; there are about 38 blacks serving in the house out of many more who have been elected.  In the professions, generally, being gay is bad for one's career. 12% of gays had reported being blackmailed on the job.  37% said their career had been harmed and another 20% did not know.  It is not just LGBTs, either; other sexual minorities are affected.   Sure, gays do well on income surveys; many pursue an education, move to more expensive metrosexual areas, and pursue their careers to compensate for alienation and to provide a financial safety net; blacks, on the other hand, may face harassment from other blacks for trying to get ahead.  And those oft cited surveys (used to sell advertising space in gay mags) may suffer from selection bias.   Other surveys show gays making less money than heterosexuals (a bad thing when you consider the tendancy to live in more expensive areas):

          On the other hand, the 1993 Yankelovitch representative survey found gay male households had average incomes of $37,400 (compared to $39,400 for heterosexuals) and lesbian households had average incomes of $34,800.

          To date only one study has specifically attempted to find whether discrimination affects the incomes of gays and lesbians. Professor Lee Badgett of the School of Public Affairs at the University of Maryland reported in the July 1995 issue of the Industrial and Labor Relations Review that data from the General Social Survey of 1989-91, a national random sample survey that asked about income and sexual behavior, showed that gay men's incomes ran 11% to 27% below average and lesbians' 12% to 30% below. Professor Badgett cites a 1988 survey of 191 employers in Anchorage, Alaska, in which 27% said they would not employ gays and lesbians, 26% said they would not promote them, and 18% said they would fire them. A review of 21 non-random surveys of self-identified gays and lesbians showed that between 16% and 46% reported having experienced some discrimination in employment.

          -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

          by whitis on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 04:11:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not Gas Chambers..but ships..... (0+ / 0-)

        Between 10-100 million were rounded up, most died, and the rest were sent to the United States during the slave trade. Blacks know pain--we should work to get them as allies. There were lots who were lynched, beaten, tortured when they got here the plantation culture that was in the South. And, when they were freed, blacks were lynched and threatend by the local and national government. Only very recently have blacks not been the subject of regular FBI probes simply because they were black--yet still I would be lots of those in the black freedom movements are still on FBI surveillance lists (rather than keep tabs on people who blow up federal buildings I guess).

        "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

        by jvackert on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 12:10:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They were rounded up by thier own people (0+ / 0-)

          and sold for cash. They were not killed by organized religion. Persecution of gay's goes way further back in history, gays consist of all races not just whites.  

          All I know is what I read in the newspapers. Will Rogers

          by Tulsonian on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 07:04:43 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •'re wrong.. (0+ / 0-)

            They were rounded up by competing people, and sometimes their own people. Lots, huge numbers, were rounded up by Muslims and sold into slavery because there is no ban against selling non-Muslims into slavery (a practice still happening today). But, regardless, the people who were "rounded up" were innocent.  

            The persecution of gays does not go back in "history" as you say. It is actually a recent phenomena that actually post-dates slavery, most likely around the 9-11th century as Europe came out of the "Dark Ages" and Christianity started to be heavily enforced by the church, and homosexuals were considered sinful.

            The "homosexual" is actually a quite recent phenomena, even though people participated in homoseuxal acts (considered private acts) for eons.  It was only the introduction of the Abramic/Judeo-Christian-Islamic influence that caused much of the world's homophobia, but not because it persecuted "homosexuals" which did not exist, but because they banned sodomy.  

            The "homosexual" began as a psychiatric and cultural stigma in Germany around 1869, and the rise of the new "gay" community in Germany at the time.

            The cultural domination over "gays" began and utilized the same devices of institutionalized bigotry and persecution that already existed against Jews, non-Christians (Protestants in Catholic areas, Catholics in Protestant areas), Gypsies, and other unwanted people.  The only problem that gays found is that as people who participated in "homosexual" acts became more culturally defined and group oriented, they were easier to target because they were defined as unwanted even by persecuted groups.

            But, you are wrong in implying that "slavery" is less bad.  Slavery, the domination of women, the persecution and sexual abuse of children are the basis of the paradigms upon which homophobia is based.

            "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

            by jvackert on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 01:07:25 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Just a note about the holocaust and a comment (3+ / 0-)

      Hitler sent gays to the camps for the final solution too, and made them wear pink triangles while still in society. Seems the same kind of persecution imho. But aside from that, why an argument by comparison? If you get kicked in the cojones and I get punched on the nose, your suffering, while greater than mine does not change the fact that no-one should either get kicked or punched under any circumstances.

      There is no sameness in suffering to be compared imho--each group has suffered in historically different ways. To me this does not mean that anyone's suffering from discrimination should not be remediated. So I agree partially, let us stop the comparisons. The bare fact that persecution of gays through beatings, killings, and denial of rights is enough to convince me that our society needs to address this intolerance. No comparisons necessary--it's bad enough by itself.

      820 Illinois-427 Senate Sponsored-152 Senate authored. Obama record on Bills. Palin record 0-0-0. Palin Lies-1 big one and counting.

      by marketgeek on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 03:41:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, GLBT persecution is merely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem, GreenDog

      a constant drip of blood.  Since the media doesn't report anti-gay hate crimes, it's easy to just avert your eyes and make these comments about "bad comparisons".

      I'm not into playing this game anymore.  

      The Great Orange Satan's Winged Messenger! (-6.62, -6.26)

      by AndyS In Colorado on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 10:48:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The point being... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I was born both gay and Jewish.  Amazingly, the part of the equation which IS mutable, being Jewish is more acccepted than what is NOT, being gay.

      But let's not fool ourselves, in the story of the acceptance of Jews in the West, the events of the holocaust loom large.  As does the subsequent establishment of the state of Israel.  It wasn't necessarily the product of Christians suddenly finding their tolerance bones.  Gay people were also victimized in the very same holocaust, but there was no one to give voice to their suffering at the end of WWII.

      The real point is there's no need for any equations of discrimination.  Discrimination, especially discrimination practiced by the state is evil.  It doesn't have to be worse than or equal to any other, they are all equally evil.  I think that's plumbobb's point, and it's understood and accepted.

      I think what we also need to keep in mind, though, is that SOMETIMES, the language of discrimination in a civil context needs to be invoked in order to get people's attention.  One need not suffer MORE than another to get help addressing one's grievances.  But for some to deny that there are any grievances AT ALL is infuriating.

      •  Gays in the Holocaust.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mainefem, homoaffectional

        Were returned to the prisons and mental institutions and social isolation once the Allies took control. We received no equal treatment. We were treated like dogs, by Americans, British, and French alike. (The Russians are another story.)

        "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

        by jvackert on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 12:15:59 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  No one says its the same (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The persecution of GLBT people is horrible in its own way.  Not as bad in some ways, worse in other ways.  But we are certainly one of the groups that has suffered massive oppression through much of history, and therefore our suffering is "like" that of blacks and Jews.

      As a matter of fact throughout European history, the persecution of Jews and gays was often in parallel, as it was in Nazi Germany.

      We were often able to escape not because we were less hated, but because we are able to hide more easily than Jews or Blacks.  But that same hiding extracts its own awful psychological price.

    •  Um... (0+ / 0-)

      ... you should be made aware of a few things.

      1. The full struggles of what GLBT people have gone through throughout the ages has yet to be told, because up until recently (not even 40 years ago), the mere mention of them was not even considered appropriate for polite conversation.  One of the biggest arguments made for the passage of Proposition 8 was that Kindergarteners would be force fed pro-gay propaganda and 'sexualized', as though the mention of gay people would automatically include something sexual and indoctrinate the poor helpless brainwashed kids for life.  Never mind that this was a red herring -- it was particularly effective and the No on Prop 8 side, and especially Equality California was so deer-in-the-headlights in response to these kind of arguments, they mostly chose to pretend these arguments weren't even being made.  Apparently, they didn't learn from the Oregon experience of 4 years ago, and failed to heed the lessons.
      1. You mentioned the struggles of Jewish people and the Holocaust.  Going back to point #1, that people have not been educated mainly because it's still being debated whether or not it's even appropriate to teach this kind of thing both in public and private schools, you apparently lack some education on this topic.  GLBT people were also victims of the Holocaust.  In fact, while surviving Jews were as liberated as they could be in the state they were in once the Axis powers were defeated and the camps abandoned by the Nazis, the surviving GLBT people were instead of being freed, imprisoned in accordance to German law.  So it wasn't enough that they had to undergo many of the same horrors that Jews, gypsies, communists, atheists, political dissidents, and many others did, but to add Ally-sponsored imprisonment to injury.
      1. We can't compare what African Americans and Jews, because the story is still ongoing.  The persecution, so I'm simply astounded when you have the nerve to say something like this on Daily Kos, a supposedly progressive blog --

      Mike Huckabee is correct in saying that GLBT persons haven't been persecuted in the same way

      WTF?!?!?!!??!  Do you know that in many countries, LGBT people are hunted down, tortured, and executed every single day?  Right as I type this, somewhere someone is going through the same kind of things you claim that they aren't, but that African Americans and Jews did go through.

      Dude, you have some serious educating of yourself that needs to be done -- pronto!

    •  Well we haven't dealt with anti-semitism or (0+ / 0-)

      racism very well. I guess we shouldn't mind that you all have moved on.

      We are in a time where it is risky NOT to change. Barack Obama 7-30-08

      by samddobermann on Mon Dec 22, 2008 at 07:28:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are so many ways to be "other" - (6+ / 0-)

    gay/lesbian is one of them.

    Fortunately, gayness/lesbianism/transgenedered are becoming recognized as mainstream issues for civil rights activists.

    Other "otherness" will take more time.

    Come visit my corner of Vermont

    by 4Freedom on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:06:01 PM PST

  •  I was thrown out too. (18+ / 0-)

    Being gay was a big part of it.

    I've since made up with the old man.... who's since gotten over his homophobia. But this is a story that's very common.

    It lends irony to the Castro's ongoing campaign against the homeless, very much including homeless LGBT kids. What have we become, that we forget these stories?

    Thanks for the un-ignorable reminder!

    xox --IP

    "the people have the power to redeem the work of fools" --Patti Smith

    by Immigrant Punk on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:06:18 PM PST

  •  asdf (21+ / 0-)

    You see, it's hard to accept a gift when you think it's given out of pity.

    Coincidentally, the other day my 12 y/o son, who has high functioning autism, had a really rough day at school, and said that he was afraid that people were his friends only because they felt sorry for him.

    I told him that wasn't a bad thing: it meant that they were good, kind kids, and if "feeling sorry for him" opened up the opportunity for them to look past the social awkwardness caused by his autism, and get to know the really great person he was, there was nothing wrong with starting a friendship that way.

    But on to the topic at hand: this will largely be a non-issue within ten years.  Most kids -- at least those not isolated within extremely religious families -- are not "accepting" of homosexuality, but see sexual preference as a difference without meaning, like having brown eyes or curly hair, or preferring vanilla to chocolate.  Our older son is 15, so we've met a lot of "typical" (that is, not jocks nor cheerleaders nor "Heathers" protecting their images).  It just doesn't matter to them.

  •  Thanks for sharing this story. (22+ / 0-)

    You and I are about the same age, but it looks like we ended up on completely different trajectories.  I didn't have the courage to come out to my parents until I was in my early 20s, in large part because I anticipated the kind of reaction that you got.  I was (am) very close to my younger brother, and my parents are very conservative Catholics.  

    So I bottled it all inside, and expected to come out in college, 6 hours away.  I didn't.  I was working as an athletic trainer and was an athlete myself, and that gave me another convenient excuse to bottle it up even deeper.  

    It took until graduate school, when I was clear across the country, for me to start getting comfortable with myself (that, and a trip overseas).  I told all my high school friends, and we're still close.  My parents took a while.  A lot of anger, a lot of tears... but fast-forward a couple of years, and they came to my wedding out in California this summer, and my mom refers to my husband as her son.  

    Maybe it's time to reconnect with your family, and to show them that things have turned out alright for you, too.  They might reject you a second time, but at least then you know that you've done your duty to your family.  And maybe your siblings want to reconnect with you?

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:08:38 PM PST

  •  Beautiful diary. (14+ / 0-)

    Lost in the Warren mess is this: what we want, what we had hoped to receive from Obama, was one thing: Respect.

    Your diary demonstrates why we want Respect.

    Obama's choice did not just "diss" us, but did so in a public way.  We feel that "diss" as we have felt it so many times before.

    "I'm just sayin... don't bring that horse in here!" -- Cassandra

    by tc59 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:11:13 PM PST

  •  Magnificent writing. Tippd and reccd nt (6+ / 0-)

    It would be the first principle of sane kindness that all forms of sacrifice would be avoided, if at all possible."--Adam Phillips

    by andrewj54 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:13:45 PM PST

  •  I Predict that Obama... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, sydneyluv

    ...will one day apologize to you.

    I predict that he will apologize to all Americans -- past and present -- for his terrible personal ignorance of this matter.

    I don't know if he will ever discuss (or explain) his political cunning for doing what he felt he must to lead the nation in 2009.

    But he will apologize.

    •  Will he? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem, Pluto, golconda2

      I read that as part of agitation the dissing of the subject is followed by the aiming of that subject at the actual problem. I haven't seen anything to suggest that the disser apologizes to the dissee.

      Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

      by JayGR on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:43:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That Went Right Over My Head (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buckhorn okie

        Can you unzip that file for me?

        •  Sorry (6+ / 0-)

          Obama learned and taught Alinsky's community organizing methods. One of the methods that I've read about was agitating the group that he was trying to motivate. Literally getting them pissed. Then they would be aimed at their oppressor. I don't believe saying sorry for getting you pissed is part of the program.

          The gay rights movement is particularly ineffective. It's basically a top-down movement that has no troops on the ground. It needs to get pissed - rubbed raw as it were. If that accomplishes the goal of turning it into a real people-powered movement then the job was done.

          That's assuming that the description of Obama as a student of Alinsky is accurate. He certainly learned and taught it and his tactics since he has been elected seem to suggest that he's simultaneously agitating the Left and pacifying the right so at least to me that's what it looks like.

          Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

          by JayGR on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:52:51 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ohhhh. Thanks. (5+ / 0-)

            I understand. Frankly, I've ignored the Alinsky meme because I thought it was a right wing thingie. Three things:

            1. That's a fascinating strategy you describe. I'm going off to learn more about Alinsky.
            1. I was thinking of Obama apologizing much later in life. In another book.
            1. I actually posted this to the wrong Diary.


            •  Oh yes he may later (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Pluto, golconda2

              in a book explain what was up and apologize in that way. If I'm right that is!

              Yeah he has no problem discussing his ties to the Alinsky school of agitation. He's all for them. His teacher says he's a natural at it.

              Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

              by JayGR on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:04:56 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I truly want to put this... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

   the least confrontational way.

            If you think 'the gay rights movement is particularly ineffective', and especially if you think 'it's basically a top-down movement', then you have absolutely no idea about the last forty years of our history.

            Better to do some studying, before making unsupportable assertions.

            The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

            by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:39:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think it's pretty apparent that it's a top-down (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              rather than people in the streets movement. How effective was HRW on Prop 8?

              Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

              by JayGR on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:05:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Um. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Again, you have no idea about modern gay history. But ignorance is bliss, I guess, and so I leave you to yours.

                The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

                by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:44:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Because sharing (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  golconda2, japangypsy

                  information is too difficult?

                  Nah. I've read enough on the subject and it's clear that the movement is operating from the top down and very ineffectively. If you have evidence that it's a bottom up movement then please share. Start with the people-powered No on Prop 8 movement if you'd like. That is most recent in our memories.

                  Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

                  by JayGR on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 04:55:39 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  You're missing the point... (0+ / 0-)

              To you it may seem that the GLBT has been on the front lines and not ran from the top down...but what about outsiders looking in...people who would probably support your cause if better informed...

              I live in California and had no idea that Prop 8 was such a big deal until after the election and saw a man jumping on top of a police car in West Hollywood...

    •  I don't know... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      DOMA and Don't Ask Don't Tell are swirling through my head...

  •  Acceptance (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, mainefem, MizC

    Truly sorry you're family wouldn't keep you in their family just for uttering the words 'I'm gay'.  Nothing changed about you in that time except for the utterance of those words.  Crazy.  And I hope you find friends and family who you can enjoy the holiday's with, though I know there is a special bond that will always feel missing.  

    I do disagree wtih the last part of your diary.  I think Larry Craig was criticized on dKOS because A) he was a married man who was cheating on his wife, Bill Clinton and John Edwards were also criticized and B) he was a hypocrit - he judged people for the same actions he engaged in.

    Monogomy is a way to prevent disease, if two homosexual or two heterosexual people sleep only with each other then STDs would be hard to spread, but it was wrong that he was implying that all gay sex is necessarily nonmonogomous.

    Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

    by bvig on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:26:09 PM PST

  •  have you looked for your brother? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, mainefem, two roads

    I'd encourage that, if you haven't already.

    the most comprehensive college hockey resource

    by AdamW on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:31:23 PM PST

  •  I am so sorry. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jessical, FishBiscuit, smellybeast

    Living in NYC where my 13-year-old daughter has a close gay classmate and whose "aunts"  are moms of her favorite third grader, I cannot believe that even as late as 1997 anyone was still being treated as you were by your family.

    I've am a straight woman who fled from a small town in upstate NY to college in NYC in 1974 and within a year or two had several friends who were gay and lesbian (albeit in the closet in the 1970s) but I've lived in the periphery of the gay subculture  ever since, for in the 80s as "Grace" whose roommate "Will" was my gay best friend. And since 1992 married to a very sexually secure straight husband who had gay and lesbian friends of his own in college with those friends and an ever changing and enlarging circle of new gay and straight friends who socialize together we cannot imagine that 1997 could sound so much like the 1950s even in small town America.  

    It's not even ghettoed subculture in my city any longer, any more than musicians are a ghettoed subculture in NYC.  I am, of course, using the term "ghetto" in the original Italian Jewish sense here.

    But On the other hand, while my workplace doesn't require the deep closet that my workplaces of the late 70s and 80s did. There is a reluctance among my coworkers who are gay to be "too gay" among coworkers who commute in from Long Island and New Jersey.

    It's getting better. I've seen it get better by increments ... often achingly tiny increments ... but it is getting better.

    Thus based on my history and perspective I can't agree with your assessment of Obama's invitation to Warren because of my thirty years around the very people who have worked for LGBT rights in NYC and NY State each of whom have taught me over the long and sometimes ugly years that engagement with those that are homophobic but willing to listen is the only way to make change for the better.


    "Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around, encouraging young things to grow. " Dolly Levi

    by Glinda on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:35:38 PM PST

    •  It's not 'engaging' (11+ / 0-)

      It's giving a place of honor, in the national spotlight... an endorsement that Warren is mainstream.

      And it's sad that after all your friendships, and this diary, and the outrage here from those of us whose very personhood is being attacked by Warren as not deserving of human or civil rights, that you still don't understand, or care.


      Much of this debate is not really about civil rights, but a desire for approval. The fact that 70% of blacks supported Prop 8 shows they don't believe it is a civil rights issue. Gays in California already have their rights. What they desire is approval and validation from those who disagree with them, and they are willing to force it by law if necessary. Any disapproval is quickly labeled "hate speech. Imagine if we held that standard in every other disagreement Americans have? There would be no free speech. That's why, on the traditional marriage side, many saw Prop 8 as a free speech issue: Don't force me to validate a lifestyle I disagree with. It is not the same as marriage.

      -- Pastor Rick Warren, chosen to be honored by giving the inaugural invocation

      My personhood is not a 'lifestyle'. My rights are not 'gay'. And insisting on justice is not a pathetic need for 'validation', except in the eyes of the morally bankrupt, and their appeasers, and their excusers.

      The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

      by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:08:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  1 question (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Floja Roja, jamesia
    1. your hometown, that picture - it looks a lot like Kodiak Island.  Is it?
    •  Oh! (4+ / 0-)

      That's Ketchikan... about a billion cruises go by there, and I encourage everyone to go up there once. It's very pretty, though probably not a good fit for everyone to make a permanent home. It's overcast almost every day...

    •  Why is it (0+ / 0-)

      that commentators like you are always the first to comment. then there are lines and lines of responses which makes it hard to find decent comments. Happened on OPOL's great diary too As with many others. Or of course the diary police.
      This is directed to JayGR

      Freedom requires effort if it is to be won and vigilance if it is to be maintained. People don't value freedom until it is taken away. Richard Rahl

      by snoopydawg on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 10:26:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  How about motivate? (0+ / 0-)

    I understand the pick offends but does it motivate you to fight for your rights?

    Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

    by JayGR on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:41:57 PM PST

    •  What a condescending response (11+ / 0-)

      To a heartfelt, moving diary.  Is there anything in this diary suggesting the diarist wasn't already so motivated?  Quite the contrary - the diary lays out quite clearly far more compelling motivation for fighting for equality than anything Obama could do.

      •  Is it? (0+ / 0-)

        There are many compelling stories but it takes a will to organize to create change. The question is whether or not enough collective injustice has been experienced so that people will stand up and be counted. Took hundreds of years for African-Americans and I hope that lessons from that long (and continuing) struggle have been learned.

        Rub raw the sores of discontent - Saul Alinsky

        by JayGR on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:21:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, this is a valid question (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mainefem, golconda2

        It's not just, it's not right, it is an idiotic mistake on Obama's part, but it has made me so fucking angry that I have discovered much deeper reserves of time and money to devote to the fight.

        And I have a new urgency speech to give to people when I do fundraising.

        One of the critical lessons I learned from my Jesuits spiritual director was how God often takes something really horrible in our lives and turns it into something wonderful that couldn't have existed otherwise.

        This may be such a case.

    •  Wow yep never thought of it that way (7+ / 0-)

      I really need Obama to slap me in the face to make me want to fight for my rights.

      My partner not being covered on my health insurance  and having to pay his health care cost out of pocket when he broke his back wasn't enough.

      My not being able to take family leave to care for him at home when the hospital released him without surgery because they found out that his insurance from his new job wouldn't kick in for two days. Wasn't enough.

      My job then sending me on work trips for the next six weeks while he was on bed rest. Wasn't enough.

      Yep I really needed another kick to get me motivated to fight for my "special" gay rights.

      Please tell me that your comment was intended as snark.

  •  {{{{{jamesia}}}}} (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, two roads, CKendall

    ... as many hugs as it takes to fill in for the loss of your mom's.

    Against silence, which is slavery. -- Czeslaw Milosz

    by Caneel on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:48:53 PM PST

  •  Someday soon (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justina, buckhorn okie, two roads

    This will be behind us and we'll look back on this wretched juxtaposition with shame.

    The longest distance from point A to point B is a hard line.

    by Sarah Pawlenty on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:51:09 PM PST

  •  I gave Obama Money.. (9+ / 0-)

    I made phone calls. I argued in public.
    Now he's slapping his supporters in the face.

    Obama can go fuck himself.
    I mean that.
    Fuck you Obama.
    You're an asshole.

    And I'm straight.

    When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around

    by Phosfiend on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:55:41 PM PST

  •  Thank you so much for this diary (5+ / 0-)

    And congratulations for keeping your humanity safe through it all.

    One finds their real strength in adversity, the strength you didn't know you had. The strength to fight for acceptance - not only for your own sake, but for those to follow. Tolerance is not acceptance, tolerance has no love in it.

    "Homophobe?  Me???  Of course not, I tolerate many gay people, no matter how damned they are. Especially the dying ones."

    * "If you're going to play the game properly you'd better know every rule." - Barbara Jordan

    by jarotra on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:58:06 PM PST

  •  This Is An Exceptional Diary. But Warren Is Not (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    left turn, MoNut, japangypsy

    The battle where you want to make your stand.  All you'll succeed in doing is create yet another arch-nemesis in the Evangelical community and endow him with power and prestige which he would not otherwise possess.

    As I have said before, I stand in complete solidarity with your cause:  Your right to marry, to have children, to work and live wherever you wish, to serve in the military, and to enjoy full and free enfranchisement as a citizen of this Republic is my cause too, and I will fight beside you, mutually pledging with you our lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.  But I will not squander the opportunity to realize the Progressive revolution I have awaited desperately now these past forty years simply because some cracker televangelist gets precedence among the sundry shamans devolving upon Washington next month for the purpose of spouting their incantations upon an indifferent federal government.  Every one of those prelates and witch doctors comes with baggage which is offensive and insulting to someone, and the cost of singling one out as particularly noxious is the risk of creating a jihad against the fledgling Obama administration, which is our last, best hope in my lifetime to really change this nation for the better.

    That said, as a father who loves his son and cherishes him as both the embodiment of my hopes and the greatest comfort of my mortal existence, my heart goes out to you for what you have endured.  I can imagine no circumstances whereby I would disavow my boy, and I think your father is one of those unfortunate men who, through ignorance and sloth, deprived himself of life's greatest blessing and the best friend he might ever have.

    God love you, my boy.  You'll be okay. I know it.

    And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

    by terry2wa on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 12:58:46 PM PST

    •  Jihad against the fledgeling Obama administration (7+ / 1-)

      What a bunch of wordy shit. horrible choice of imagery.

      When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around

      by Phosfiend on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:03:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I See Our Troll Is Back. (1+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        Hidden by:

        And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

        by terry2wa on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:06:23 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Uprated for HR abuse. (9+ / 0-)

        'Jihad against the fledgeling Obama administration' was in the comment to which Phosfiend was replying.

        Person who hr'd was author of original comment.

        The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

        by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:23:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This Is Getting Absurd. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The term "jihad" was chosen precisely because I was attempting to describe a holy war by the Evangelical community against the Obama administration.  There was one against the Clinton administration for eight long years, and I am not anxious to see a reprise.

          Second, it had NOTHING! to do with the LGBT community's reaction to the Warren invitation, and I am rather surprised at the level of emotionality which seems to be guiding this debate in this community and elsewhere.

          What I really think, my friends, is that there are elements of the leadership among all the parties involved in this controversy -- both in the Gay community and in the Evangelical community -- who are exploiting people's frustrations and pandering to their fears.  And I think it might just end up squandering a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create something better.

          And as to the quality of my prose, I don't need to apologize for it and will not to anyone.  Free expression, especially among comrades, is presumably the egalitarian principle which governs all our work and is the foundation of our community,

          I'm not auditioning for "American Idol".

          And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

          by terry2wa on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:24:00 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The identifying of 'jihad' as your phrase... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Phosfiend, alliedoc, ZhenRen

            ...was to alert others who might think that that's why the HR was given.

            So the use of such was not meant as a comment on your prose.

            It's just that otherwise, others may not have realized you were engaging in HR abuse.

            The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

            by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:50:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks, but when we need advice.. (9+ / 0-)

      ...on where to 'make our stand', we'll let you know.

      And besides, there are far better counselors out there for us to draw from...

      I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

      -- Martin Luther King

      The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

      by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:17:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I See That Diversity Is A Concept (0+ / 0-)

        Which is quickly devolving into tribalism.  Dr. King was always principled but never militant.  And he was always prudent, weighing the risk against the gain.

        I think myself that certain elements in this controversy are simply itching for a fight -- any fight -- and I think they have chosen poorly.

        I also think that intolerance is not a quality exclusive to the Evangelicals, and that to be a crusader for justice is to recognize both the righteousness of one's cause and the reality that there will always be opposition.  The goal is co-existence, not unconditional surrender.

        And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

        by terry2wa on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:00:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You clearly have no idea... (5+ / 0-)

          ...about Martin Luther King:

          Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.

          If a man hasn't discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live.

          The question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be... The nation and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.

          When you are right you cannot be too radical.

          The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.

          (T)he purpose of the direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation.

          Frankly, I have never yet engaged in a direct action movement that was "well timed," according to the timetable of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation.

          Martin Luther King was the ultimate militant, willing to die for a just cause.

          And as for 'he was always prudent, weighing the risk against the gain' -- it is breathtaking as to the depth of ignorance it reveals in your perceptions of the man.

          The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

          by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:40:10 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  How does opposing Warren endanger anything? (6+ / 0-)

      First, and I say this as someone who has been praising Obama for a solid year on this site, it is hard to characterize his administration as a progressive revolution, though he is I think a progressive and there are progressives in it. But in your own rhetoric you do not actually set forth in a credible way the danger in Obama supporters saying that they do not find the Warren choice acceptable. Is this going to derail health care legislation--how? Is this going to change the budget figures for the renewable energy bill--explain.

      Instead, this is about very hurt and very sincere Obama supporters expressing their disapproval with this choice.

      Obama said he would disagree with us sometimes but he would always tell us what he thought was right. We owe him no less than our own best counsel when he goes astray.

      "It's like we weren't made for this world, But I wouldn't really want to meet someone who was." --Of Montreal

      by andydoubtless on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:49:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What??? (9+ / 0-)

      But Warren is not the battle where you want to make your stand.  All you'll succeed in doing is create yet another arch-nemesis in the Evangelical community and endow him with power and prestige which he would not otherwise possess.

      It is Obama who is endowing Rick Warren with power and prestige, not the diarist, gays or gay-rights supporters.  Whatever our protests might be, it is Warren who will be at the podium, on camera, in a place of honor at the inauguration.  And Warren has already made himself an "arch-nemesis" to gays and the cause of gay equality.

      This diarist is telling a personal story about traveling a hard road--he is not writing about planning battles, making a stand or creating jihads.

      "Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." John Wooden

      by CKendall on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:57:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  First Of All, The "Jihad" I Was Referring To Was (0+ / 0-)

        Evangelical backlash against the Obama administration.  I thought I made myself plain, but apparently either I was vague or some of the readers are simply too quick to take offensive.

        Second, Rick Warren is simply another televangelist.  He's going to offer a prayer -- presumably for the success of the Obama administration and its agenda, which includes Gays and Lesbian Rights.

        Third, I have said repeatedly I am on your side, and it's getting damn tedious having to answer for every word I write in expressing a fairly reasonable opinion that personifying your understandable frustrations over Proposition 8 in the person of Rick Warren is good for him and bad for you.  

        There are better ways to carry this forward, ones which are less inclined to create a schism between the Obama administration and the Gay community.

        But I am really worried that some people in the Gay community aren't interested in anything less than schism, and I am afraid that they are exploiting some rather tender nerves among their constituents for the sake of some rather ephemeral news coverage.

        If you force Obama's hand on this, we'll all lose.  He will be forced to concede, perhaps; and there be an evangelical backlash; and then he'll be less inclined to lend his support on the issues where it really counts -- as in a Justice Department amicus brief to the CA Supreme Court, for example.

        And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

        by terry2wa on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:10:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  you're just a fear monger yourself... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fabian, golconda2

          "don't argue or you'll lose the race". that's your message

          Man, i hope you get tired of writing the crap that comes out of your head soon.

          When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around

          by Phosfiend on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:43:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Terry, correct me if I'm wrong, but you're... (5+ / 0-)

          ...actually more worried about the impact on Obama of a gay uproar against the Warren choice than you are about how that choice by Obama impacted gay people. Right?

          39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

          by Larry Bailey on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 03:05:13 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Without Obama, There Is Almost No Hope For (0+ / 0-)

            The realization of the GLBT agenda.  That's what I'm saying. It's not a question of either/or.  We all need each other, and if we're going to start laying down absolutes, then it had better be over serious matters.

            I am not defending Warren or the Evangelicals. What I am saying is that Warren's invocation is simply symbolic, and we have the opportunity at this moment to finally enact concrete, substantial reforms (like Gay marriage, Gays in the military, etc.).  Those concrete and substantial achievements are worth being thick-skinned over some bigoted preacher's hocus-pocus at a ceremony,

            And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

            by terry2wa on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 04:12:05 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I've read you here and certainly didn't think... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mainefem, texcubsf, CKendall

     were defending Warren or the Evangelicals. And I agree that without a Democratic President, "there is almost no hope for the realization of GLBT..." equal rights.

              But, we HAVE our Democratic President now (or will in one month) and we have high expectations of him. Thus, the disappointment-anger at his decision to bestow on an anti-gay bigot preacher the opening slot at the long-awaited Inauguration of that President -- a bigot preacher too recently at the forefront of passing Prop 8 and one with a long history of infusing anti-gay bigotry into his evangelism.

              I don't believe you really understand how deeply this affects gay Democrats.

              39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

              by Larry Bailey on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 04:39:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, Larry, Perhaps I Don't Understand (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Larry Bailey

                But I remain your ally, and I am only saying, as a true friend of your cause, that my experience tells me you will regret making Rick Warren the focus of your frustrations.

                It's good for him; it's bad for us.

                I know it's difficult to be in your situation, but I'm sure you know yourself that, satisfactory as it would be sometimes to tell the boss to F-Off! or tell the cop to stuff his ticket, the most effective course sometimes involves tackling the system rather than the immediate face of the system.

                That's all I'm saying.  You've waited a long time now for your freedom. A few more months of patience is preferable to a momentary satisfactory with decades of setback.

                I believe you're that close!

                And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

                by terry2wa on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 04:47:44 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I appreciate your loving sentiments, terry... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  ...and am pleased that you (a bright, thoughtful person and a good writer) are on our side AND advocate for us.

                  Stay with us through this anger and through the political action that I hope ensues from here. We don't want to disrupt a great moment for fellow Democrats and the nation, but the moment has already been completely disrupted for us and in a way that far transcends whatever the boss, the cop, etc., might do to us. That moment will provide a highly-public affirmation of a bigot preacher's wide message that we gay Americans (including this one, now age 58, civic-involved, full tax paying, and with the same dear life partner since 1971) are not only ALL sexual whores who need to stifle mistaken urges, but second-tier citizens not deserving of full equal rights.

                  39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

                  by Larry Bailey on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 05:28:26 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  one quibble (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Larry Bailey, tinytim

              there are evangelicals who are in favor of gay marriage. they are a minority among evangelicals, to be sure, but they exist. Warren is a conservative evangelical and close onto a fundementalist. non-conservative evangelicals would say that one can't be liberal and be a true evangelical... but, whatever. i let them fight that out amongst themselves.

    •  "All I said was..." (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      All you'll succeed in doing is create yet another arch-nemesis in the Evangelical community and endow him with power and prestige which he would not otherwise possess.

      Jewish Official: You're only making it worse for yourself!
      Matthias: Making it worse? How can it be worse? Jehovah! Jehovah! Jehovah!

      •  I Appreciate The Humor... (0+ / 0-)

        But the analogy does quite fit.

        At any rate, I'm will recuse myself from this "debate", because prudence tells me that, at least in this thread, the consensus is for enabling rather than exchange.  If you wish to be recognized as victims, rather than redress for your innate and, I believe, undeniable rights, then I'm wasting my breath.

        There will always be sanctimonious preachers, but there are very few moments in history when the elements all converge to permit you to claim your full enfranchisement.  You can swallow a camel and gag on gnats, as the saying goes.

        And all I said was that his piece of herring was fit for Jehovah...

        And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

        by terry2wa on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:42:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  i disagree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem, golconda2, texcubsf, tinytim

      the issue is also that Rick Warren is a member of the religious right. a leader of it. he does not respect and would happily tear down the wall separating church and state. i think his appearance on that stage is worth protesting.

    •  Rick Warren is the beginning..not a battle.. (0+ / 0-)

      Rick Warren is the beginning of the war, it is not a battle. This is gays saying we refuse to be thrown off the bus by another Democratic administration like we were during the Clinton administration. This time, we will fight back--in every way possible.

      "The people have only as much liberty as they have the intelligence to want and the courage to take." - Emma Goldman

      by jvackert on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 12:01:47 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent post. Adds something to the public (7+ / 0-)

    discourse. Heartbreaking story. Thank you for generously sharing and enlightening those who have not had such first-hand experience.

    I have hard family issues, too, and for me, holidays have gotten easier with time. I think for years holidays reminded me of all I believed I was "missing out on" in terms of home and hearth. Now, I just appreciate the time off work and the general spirit in the air. :-)

  •  This will sound more unsympathetic than I intend (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rainmanjr, FishBiscuit, drache

    But so be it.

    Point 1:  A gay person living in Texas who laments society's lack of inclusiveness is a bit like a diabetic working at See's Chocolate factory, complaining that the company doesn't make a more healthy product.

    Point 2:  Families are messy things, and fairness is rarely the guiding light.  My own experience, and that of many friends I've known over the years, is that what CAN be swept under the rug, WILL be swept under the rug.  Justice, if that's what you seek, mostly requires confrontation.  And most families don't do confrontation very well.  That's a pity.

    I once had a live in girlfriend for 3 years who was Black.  Coincidentally, or not, I once had a 3 year period in my life during which my parents never visited me.  But I did have an ongoing conversation with them about the matter during that time.

    Point 3:  Gays make up about 12% of the population, but not all 12% vote Democratic.  Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, I seem to come up with the term "Log Cabin Republicans."  WTF is that?  Is that like a house negro?  An Indian servant dressed crisply in pressed white linen serving up gin and tonics to some alcoholic British civil servant at a Bombay country club?  A Native American tracker guiding a troop of 19th century American soldiers to the encampment of Cochise?

    Get serious about your identity, and get serious about your pride in your identity, and get even more serious about those within your own ranks who hide their identity, and even with those who have their foot on your necks.

    The Republican Party hasn't caught one tenth of the flack over a ten year period that Obama has in the last week over this whole Pastor Rick bullshit.  There's more than just a little bit of lashing out at those who generally support you but let you down once in awhile, as opposed to resignation with those who never support you and always let you down.  Why?  Because you expect to be kicked by the GOP, and when they oblige you may wince but you don't object, because you've come to expect it.  

    Wake up and smell the minority ever "won" their just deserts, in the form of civil rights, just because it was the right thing to do by society at large.  The Native Americans certainly never did, and probably never will.  Blacks did sort of...but not before police dogs and water hoses were turned upon them, and storefronts were shattered and burned.

    Gays have certainly been the recipients of both violence and discrimination...but they've yet to have there "Selma, Alabama moment"...or to  join hands in a public, in your face way, to say to the rest of the country "this is who we are, this is where we live, and we aren't going away, and we demand a place at the table along with everyone else."

    There are a lot of very successful and very wealthy gay people out there who may not go out of their way to raise their hand and shout "I'm Gay!!  I'm Gay!!". but if they go out of their way to help move this civil rights cause I'm not aware of it either...and when it comes to civil rights struggles soft-spokeness is not an attribute.  

  •  I was raised to be accepting thank god (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IseFire, 1864 House, two roads

    When I was small I was told the guy who always came to family dinners with my mom's close cousin jerry was his roommate but years later as I got older my mom told me the truth that he was gay.

    I guess back then (I am 52) that was his parents way of accepting him was to just say they were close friends.

    I always knew the truth deep down because roommates don't stay together that many years and do everything together.

    Jerry and his partner had many wonderful years together and retired in Mexico.

    I just hate that when Jerry died most of his stuff and home went to family instead of his partner. Not sure if Jerry assumed family would give it to him or what.

    They were together their whole lives and more married than many other folks.

    I don't know what Obama is thinking or doing but I do know he is a smart guy, so let's just give him a chance. He has a whole country filled with people who think being gay is a sin and he is trying to reach those people in his own way. Let's see if it works.

    •  Tipped, but.. (9+ / 0-)

      I don't know what Obama is thinking or doing but I do know he is a smart guy...

      Precisely why there's no excuse for his choice of Warren. As for 'let's give him a chance', that day has already come and gone, see Donnie McClurkin for details.

      p.s. Back in the day of your mother and uncle, 'confirmed bachelor' was the common term.

      The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

      by two roads on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:28:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you so much (7+ / 0-)

    for telling your story.

    The poignance and power of your experience must be shared.

    Thank you James.  :)

    -7.63, -5.79 Work like you don't need the money, Love like you've never been hurt, and Dance like nobody's watching.

    by sfluke on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:18:35 PM PST

  •  people are taught to hate. (6+ / 0-)

    warren, obamas pick, teaches people to hate.

    obama agrees with his teachings or he would not have picked him.

    otherwise he could have picked a racist, but you correctly point out that cant happen.

    dont fall into a trap of thinking anyone who thinks something is wrong with you can possibly be right.

    they are toxic people , no matter who they are, family, friends etc.

    drop them and dont look back.
    you owe them nothing.

    "but I would not be convicted by a jury of my peers. still crazy after all these years".....

    by JadeZ on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:22:57 PM PST

  •  {{{jamesia}}} (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, mainefem

    I am so sorry that you had to go through this.

    I found two wonderful sons, who have graced our lives with their equally wonderful partners, because they had biological families that could not accept their sexual orientation. Coming Out Day story

    No matter how much I love them, and how immersed they are in our family, I know the pain of having their "real" families reject them has never gone away. It kills me to know that.

    I always tell people if they don't have the family they need and want, go out and make your own. It sounds like you and your partner have started that. Build your own traditions.

    And if you're ever in Wisconsin, you're both welcome at our house.

    They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. - Andy Warhol

    by 1864 House on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:31:26 PM PST

  •  So let me get this people in this thread (4+ / 0-)

    are doing the you owe me because of the past crap. NO ONE FOR WHATEVER REASON should be denied human rights. Do the gays etc have to "pay their dues" before they get them? Do we need to hind sight of well we should of done this bs. Why not stop it now. African Americans should never had gone threw what they did, Jews shouldn't of either. Gays have had their share. Hell even the Irish had theirs, all peoples have. It doesn't make it right, nor does it make it you owe me attitude either.

    I hear the you owe me line and it pisses me off greatly. Part of my family was living in the Irish slums up north. Another part did own a plantation that gave their slaves freemen papers almost a decade before the civil war, and set up a share cropping thing. They still lost everything even though they were trying to do the right thing due to the heavy taxation. Does someone owe me for those things? NO. My ancestors were owe by the time but I did not go throw it. People ARE owed for what they are going through today. The fact of the mater today there is still racism, sexism, every ism there is and for that we need to be better than our past and fix it.

    I don't care what you do in your beds, just keep your hand out of my pocket.

    by the mom in the middle on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:37:12 PM PST

    •  Yeah, that's definitely the more (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      direct route in 'refuting' the kind of talk Mike Huckabee espouses. I mean, what suffering did he go through in order to be considered equal under the law? Of course he'd reply with something about Christian persecution, so we might be left to the "compare bruises" game.

  •  Jamesia (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, jamesia, ZhenRen, texcubsf, CKendall

    I only wish this diary could have been at the top of the rec list two days ago. Perhaps then, people like me wouldn't have been thrown under the bus by fellow Kossacks.

    I only wish I had the balls to tell my story, too.

  •  Your story is why Rick Warren matters (13+ / 0-)

    There is no "tolerance" or "inclusiveness" when the kind of hateful exclusionary politics practiced in the name of God that Warren and his ilk do.  I know people with similar stories to yours, and it is in your and their name that we speak out against this "gesture" of Obama's that so many of my fellow straights seem to think is no big deal. Stomping monsters since 2004

    by hackwriter on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 01:42:27 PM PST

  •  This reminds me of the movie Milk..... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    craigkg, golconda2, ZhenRen, texcubsf

    when Harvey Tells the Mayor you give him his job back and you will lose the gay vote. I can't speak for the rest of you but next time around I would vote for Obama period. I don't care if the Republican wins, because as far as Gay issues are concerned there is no difference. As far as your story they woman that told you to leave was not your mother. A real mother would not do act like that. Regarding your younger brother, I take it that he is actually he birth son. Your family abandoned you long before you were asked to leave the house. You sound like you have a real family now. My experience is similar to yours except my family was not kind enough to throw me out. They did me like your friend put me in the "pray the gay out" religious programs psychiatric hospitals. Finally one day a young psychiatrist told my parents that they needed the therapy not me. I hope this diary helps you with your past. I think she did the best possible thing and cut the suffering for you.      

    All I know is what I read in the newspapers. Will Rogers

    by Tulsonian on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:02:59 PM PST

    •  The best possible thing would have been to... (0+ / 0-)

      love him.  Just continue to love him for being her son.  For being a fine human being who worked hard in school and had great hopes for his future.  For trying to figure out who he is and what he stands for.
      But parents are as selfish as everyone else.  They often care about their "lovely children" so long as those children are in obedience to the parents way of life.  When they aren't, parents often turn ugly.  I know many kids under 18 that have been kicked out of the house (some just for not joining the Army) and find it deplorable.  It's for this reason that I hope that I'm wrong and that there is a God.  One who makes us watch our lives and judges us.  I will suffer, no doubt, but my joy will be in seeing them suffer, too.

      "It's time to start all over/make a new beginning." - Tracy Chapman

      by rainmanjr on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 09:02:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't worry about Rick Warren. (0+ / 0-)

    Like the redneck preacher before every NASCAR race, no one will listen to him including God.

  •  Deeply felt, and understood. (6+ / 0-)

    I love my lesbian niece and her partner of 20 years. Joe loves his two lesbian nieces, as well. Not everyone of our generation is homophobic. Fear of the unknown, and lack of facts is at the basis of homophobia, IMO. Thank you for writing about your story.

    I think, therefore I am. I think.

    by mcmom on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:22:58 PM PST

  •  Take action: Unsubscribe from (13+ / 0-)

    I'm still getting emails from the Obama campaign. Well, I just unsubscribed today and I told them why:

    Because, unless the president-elect is willing to reach out to white supremacists at his inauguration, he has no business reaching out to Bible-thumping homophobes. Rick Warren is a deal-breaker for me. I don't regret voting for Obama, but I'm very disappointed that he turned out to me nothing more than the lesser of two evils, as usual. This is not change I can believe in.

    Democratic Administrations are what the forces of darkness use to catch their breath and consolidate their gains.

    by expatjourno on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:29:42 PM PST

  •  An exceptionally beautiful diary (5+ / 0-)

    about an incredible personal journey . . . all of which made me cry.  Blessings on you, jamesia.  We have your back and stand beside you.  Thank you for this extraordinary diary.

    Thank you, Feeding America bloggers!

    by noweasels on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:33:04 PM PST

  •  You Have A Great Story (4+ / 0-)

    You really should write a autobiographical book.  I really appreciated your sharing your experiences.  I was sad about the symbolism Barack chose in this situation as well, though it's not really an excuse, I think he did not calculate to offend, only to include.  The problem was, he really didn't understand this issue and he won't undo the offense now, or he compounds the problem and offends a larger audience.  He locked himself in.

    So I'm disappointed too.

    •  I would suspect taht Obama (0+ / 0-)

      had at least an idea of the outrage; he may not have seen the level of outrage that came, but I think he knew that some people would take this the wrong way.

      I'd also add that it sounds a bit condecsending to declare that 'he really didn't understand the issue'; maybe he did maybe not. How do you know? I mean unless you're in Obama's inner circle you just made one hell of an assumption.

      •  It Sounds Like You Think (0+ / 0-)

        that he may have intentionally offended GLBT communities around the country to win points with other constituencies.  I don't discount that.  But, I simply don't think, given my own sense of him, that he has that value set to intentionally offend.  I think he just did not understand how Rick Warren would fit into this issue immediately, and once it happened, he couldn't undo it or the whole situation would backfire with everyone.

        So no, it's not condescending and I don't have access to his inner circle.  That's what I think.  

  •  rather you had told me you were an ax murderer (16+ / 0-)

    that was my mother's words to me in a letter when i came out to her ten years ago.  i had kept my distance and my sexual orientation under wraps in the twenty years before then.  my step-father had died a few years earlier and it was my attempt to bridge the gap between me and my mother for a relationship that i never had with her living under the rule of my step-father.

    her reaction to my coming out to her was pretty chilly.  there are several types of reactions to expect when you come out to your family.  i got the sense, at the time, that this one would be the "they know but don't want to talk about it" scenario.  the words that followed in her letter were more of a punch to the gut.  it also included warnings against telling other family members.

    so what do you share with your family when you are not permitted to share the most important aspect of your life with them?  not much.  contact and conversations were limited to superficial stuff.  it wasn't until a few years later that i finally came to realize that i had no emotional connection with my family so i just gave up trying.

    it was about that time that someone came into my life with whom i have since developed a long-term relationship since 2002.  his family was instantly welcoming of me into the family.  that included his son from a previous marriage before my partner came out and a couple of young nephews.  to the contrary, there was no way i would ever be able to share my relationship with my family.

    the youngest nephew is still too young to understand my relationship with his uncle other than that we live together.  the older one, now 14, had some very frank discussions with his uncle on a recent visit about our relationship now that he has figured it out and was confirmed to him by his parents.  he was quite aware of Prop 8 in California and thought it was beyond stupid that his uncle and I are barred from getting married.

    my partner's son and fiancee just recently announced they are having a baby.  the timetable is a bit off due to a drug interaction with her birth control.  with that celebratory news my partner and i are now going to be grandparents and i have been bestowed the honor of being named "papa" to the coming child, my partner being "grandpa".

    it has been five years since i have spoken to my family.  the relationship i have with my partner's family is something he and i could never have with mine.  so, i have come to the recent conclusion that the dysfunctional nature of my family will no longer burden my mind.  that will now be my past and i am breaking with it.  my partner, his family and my grandchild will be my future.

    my heart goes out to you, jamesia.  move forward into your future.

    I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

    by blue drop on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 02:58:21 PM PST

  •  Jamesia, are you in touch with bros/sisters? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, gooderservice

    ..just curious--did your whole family become remote, or just the parents? Have you considered getting back in touch with your siblings, if not your parents?

    How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

    by rhetoricus on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 03:12:18 PM PST

  •  Jamesia--thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, rainmanjr

    for posting this moving diary.  I was lucky, and actually had very few problems when I came out, and I'm probably about your parents' age.  (If you need a sub mom or've got it!)  We had concerns when our daughter entered school, and were blessed when none of those things happened.  The world is changing, not fast enough, and not all over, as your story proves, but it is changing.  While I certainly decry Warren's selection, the fact that so many of us, gay and straight, are so willing to speak out about it is vastly encouraging to me.  Thank you for maybe making the journey a little easier for the next glbt kid.  Take care of yourself, heal yourself, and frankly, if they didn't apreciate you, they didn't deserve you.

    "I will sing you a song no one sang to can be anybody that you want to be

    by two moms in Az on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 03:16:48 PM PST

  •  I'm glad jamesia is good enough at saying things (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, zett, jamesia, texcubsf

    so that something I didn't understand snapped into focus as if fog had cleared from my camera lense. This essay was a great step along the journey I began walking more surely a few months back , when a Kos Kritter called Cronesense said , roughly , "Deal with each person you meet with some extra measure of kindness , because they have likely had more terrible things happen to them than you can know".Apologies to Cronesense if I got her words a little off , but her message is burned deeply into me. I don't think I've been affected by anything quite so much since , as a very young teenager , I saw on the pages of National Geographic the death of a Buddhist monk via self immolation as a protest against the Vietnam War.One step after another.

  •  "You could, if you wanted, put yourself (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rainmanjr, jamesia, golconda2

    in my shoes."

    You ask the impossible.


    I too have been alone and broke - and totally friendless - on arriving in Portland, OR.

    I was 18 at the time.

    It was - scary.

    And not nearly what you faced.  Very different story from long, long ago.

    Glad you are well today.

    Obama done bad.  Real bad.

    He couldn't really understand either.


    Still there is hope.

    We can try if we wish.

    Best,  Terry

  •  Jamesia, (5+ / 0-)

    someday you're gonna own  that mountain.

  •  Great diary (5+ / 0-)

    I have been truly fortunate. When I came out to my family, at the "tender" age of 34, I was met with nothing but acceptance. The partner I was with at the time, however, had the same experience as you; he was booted from his home when he was 16. While a neighbor took him in so he could finish high school, he never truly recovered from that trauma--one of many in his life. He passed away from AIDS quite a long time ago.

    You have indeed been blessed to have survived the ordeal your family put you through. Someday, perhaps, they will learn to accept the incredible human being they thoughtlessly discarded out of ignorance and fear.

  •  One minor bone to pick with you (10+ / 0-)

    Regarding Larry Craig. Craig is not being demonized here because he is gay. He is being demonized because of his incredible hypocrisy. He claims to be straight and, to back that up, espouses positions that are absolutely abhorrent when it comes to the rights of LGBT people. It is indeed sad that he is unable to see past his blindness and fear and come to terms with himself and his sexuality. But it is inexcusable that he took every opportunity to make life harder for the rest of us. And that is what we hold against him.

  •  Thank You For Your Courage in Writing (6+ / 0-)

    about your abandonment by your family. You write beautifully.

    I am not gay, but was enraged by Obama's selection of Warren for a place in his inauguration ceremony.  To give such an anti-woman, homophobic bigot a place of honor before the nation is a slap in the face to everyone who has ever worked for human rights.

    Thinking about it, I wonder if Obama's attachment to Rick Warren might not be a result of Obama's abandonment by his own father. That abandonment has been a central theme in his writing, in his life.

    Previously, Obama had an almost father and son relationship with Reverend Wright, but was forced to break off from him.  Then he appears on stage with Warren.  

    Is Obama still seeking a father figure; is that what Warren represents to him?  Warren certainly holds himself out as the all knowing, authoritarian putative Christian father figure.  Is that why Obama is blind to his hateful bigotry?

    I'm not usually interested in psychological explanations for political acts, but Obama's gross insensitivity to the impact of his selection of Warren on gays and women rises to the level of emotional pathology.

    Organize and Fight Back! Join

    by Justina on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 04:10:09 PM PST

  •  I share the sentiments that I can except for (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977, zett, jamesia, ZhenRen, texcubsf

    this one:

    This was a calculated move that will ultimately offend only a small segment of society.

    I hope you're not right; I hope a tremendous, huge, enormous segment of society will be offended.  I'm certainly one of them.

    When I say, "I share the sentiments that I can," I mean that I've never experienced what you have, nor will I... being heterosexual.  But that doesn't mean I don't support your right to live like I do and have every same opportunity that I do. Life is hard enough, let alone having monstrous obstacles to overcome that others don't have.

    I'm happy you found someone whom you love to share your life with.  

  •  Two corrections (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's Pierre Seel, not "Steel."

    And Paragraph 175 of the German criminal code has been repealed.

  •  I Have Read A Good Deal Of Apologia Here Today (4+ / 0-)

    For indulging offense and excusing obstinacy, but I haven't read much about proactive, concrete legislative and civil action.  Most of what's been offered here is (aside from the diarist's compelling personal story and unique perspective, which I recommended) has been a free-for-all of gratuitous abuse and self-righteous rhetoric from a number of posters comparing themselves to the Freedom Marchers and claiming the mantle of Dr. King.  Well, that's fine and I won't dispute it, although I will say that Dr. King was scrupulous about never engaging in personal attacks against individuals and observing all the proprieties of civility in his discourse.

    What I will say is you are, for whatever reasons, setting yourself up for a Pyrrhic victory if you insist on making Rick Warren your raison d'etre.  

    The best revenge is success.  I will not deign to argue the history of the Civil Rights movement with you, but I will point out that it was predicated on the principle that a righteous cause prevails when we are willing to bear any burden, endure any slight, stand united peacefully but persistently in the face of any oppressor in order to demonstrate the righteousness of our cause.

    I don't know how Dr. King felt personally about Bull Connor, and neither do you.  But he never challenged the man's character through personal assaults.  He displayed the superiority of his own character by standing resolute against the assaults of others.

    And like the drowning man, who, in despair, Doth clutch the frail and weakly straw --Thomas Horatius Delpho

    by terry2wa on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 04:36:36 PM PST

  •  This whole Rick Warren thing... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, davidkc, mph2005, khereva, texcubsf

    ...reminds me so much, and so painfully, of Bill Clinton's throwing us all under the bus with "Don't Ask-Don't Tell" in the first days of his presidency. I'm sure this observation has already been made, but I've avoided all these diaries for the most part. It's just too depressing, disappointing, hurtful, impossible.

    (¯`*._(¯`*._(-IMPEACH JAIL HAGUE-)_.*´¯)_.*´¯) It's not too late!

    by nehark on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 05:13:25 PM PST

    •  I'm rather tired of the false equilvancy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      policy is not comparable to an innovcation.  Yes it's an honor that Warren accepted but it's not policy, it's not even close.

      And frankly this is the a big part of the probelm with the discussion on this site, namely a need to infalte what's being said.

      •  The campaign is over (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larry Bailey, mainefem, khereva

        It's okay to express dissent.

        Yeah, I know, that's what you are doing, as well.

        This diary is so poignant, so heartfelt, so mindblowing and illuminating about what the LGBT community experiences in terms of abuse, that it might be less insensitive and less callous if you were to ease up with the onslaught. Please do this campaigning somewhere else. It's not helpful. You need to find within yourself a bit more sensitivity to the experiences of others.

        Sheesh, although it turns out I'm straight, I went through a difficult period in which I thought I was gay when I was a teenager. It wasn't an easy time. I'm dumbstruck by what the diarist has shared.

        This is a very special and important and meaningful diary. Please don't spoil the moment for the rest of us.

        Pretend, if you must, that you're witnessing something sacred or beautiful. Respect the peace and sanctity of another's sharing. There are other diaries in which you can debate and argue.

        •  why should I ease up? (0+ / 0-)

          I can understand that what the diarist went though was wrong on so many levels.

          However it has nothing to do with the Warren choice, is a balant attempt to play to an emotion level of outrage and then transfer it onto Warren and finally in a way I'm sick of the outrage diaries on teh rec list.

          This is what, the 5th or 6th diary where it's 'why I hate the Warren choice' how many other diaries have gone unnoticed because some people here want to throw a tantrum?

          Oh and get off your high horse and stop trying to lecture me, I'm not campaigning I was responding to the content of the diary. Though I agre that it would have been better if this was just a shared story and not tried to link to Warren. But as it was this was in the end another 'why Rick Warren is a really really bad' diary and I responded to that.

          •  You poor bitter soul... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larry Bailey, lotlizard, khereva

            The LGBT movement is becoming the vanguard or frontline of the progressive party. It is what progressivism is all about. Better get used to it, because the issues are here to stay. If you don't like reading about their suffering, their history, their issues, and their hurt and pain over the Warren choice, then don't read the diaries. I'm sure there are some diaries you can revel in that are arrogantly dismissive of all this.

            •  Well said, and I share your disgust with... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              lotlizard, khereva, ZhenRen

              ...the "arrogantly dismissive" tone of that particular poster. Sounds like he's got his and cares little about where other Progressives are in all of this.

              39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

              by Larry Bailey on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 08:02:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

              but that's actually hilarious to me. I'm far from bitter and the 'vanguard' of the 'progressive party' is increadibly subjective and open to a lot of interpratation.

              There's nothing wrong with being hurt by this choice, I have no doubt that it's not what most LBGTs would have wanted, but to let that hurt make them irrational and blind to the fact that we need to end this partisan behavior that has become so common in Washing and in the nation is wrong.

              And frankly the poor me stuff begins to wear thin becuase Warren isn't even going to be talking about anything other then a prayer.

              Finally, the only people that have been arrogantly dissmissive have been many of the people against Warren because they don't want to hear anything out of people other then 'yeah we agree Warren bad'.

              •  I see you've absorbed the campaign rhetoric (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                about "unity" and "post partisanship" very thoroughly. It's become more of an absolutist doctrine among the more zealous supporters than a real policy. One is given the choice of going along with every decision, or one is deemed to be nonsupportive of unity. That's called a "double bind," a "can't win" situation.

                Do you see unity resulting from the Warren choice? Are you promoting unity from your belligerent, intolerant behavior? Is maligning the LGBT community and it's progressive allies part of that unity? Where's the olive leaf to them? Hmmm? If this is what you call unity, I'll pass, thank you. It seems there is some degree of cognitive dissonance with these issues. How do you reconcile in your mental processes the extreme degree of divisiveness generated by the Warren pick on one hand, and the ideal of unity on the other? How does bigotry and intolerance come together to shake hands with human rights, without one side or the other losing in the process?

                There is obviously a pecking order or hierarchy in the unity pyramid, with some groups enjoying more importance and status (courting evangelicals) and other groups taken for granted or even dismissed and relegated to the bottom. With such a pecking order for unity, someone's interests will be trampled. You're asking the group at the bottom to accept their status by going along with the program.

                As to the LGBT community being the frontline of progressivism, I base that assertion on it's status as obviously deserving of equal human rights, but still fighting for that recognition within the party. Other issues are more settled and agreed upon. But homophobia runs deep. So acceptance of this group and it's goals is the frontline of the progressive movement's evolution. It's a big part of the future of our party, because the most progressive among us are forging the way into new territory by pushing this to the forefront, while others are resisting and lagging behind, stuck in the past. So it's become the front lines of the progressive debate over the identity of the party.

                •  actually (0+ / 0-)

                  I've believed that the nation was gettign too polarized and divided for a long time and while I look forward to Obama's adminstration and policies the biggest reason I voted for Obama is because he can do what I can not. I am far from perfect and I know that most of the times I don't let go of an issue or the differences of opnion. But Obama can and does and I not only respect that I admire that.

                  And I don't think your against unity unsupportive of that; I do think you're hurt and angry and acting from those emotions and that's leading you to the wrong conculusion.

                  Am I right? I truely don't know; we'll have to wait and see what happnes on Jan 20 and the months after that. I do know though that largely Obama has done what he promised and while I don't agree with him on everything I do agree enough to actually have hope for this nation.

                  As for my behavior, you can think what you want of me; I truely do not care. I stand by every decesion, every comment I made as the best decesion, the best comment I could make at that time.

                  You know it's funny, you want to talk about my behavior and yet ignore your own. I know I've screwed up at times on my comments and probably gone too far, you seem to not understand that you probably have too. Generally there's enough blame to go around.

                  As for what I was promoting, I was trying to promote reason, logic and intelligence. I have not maligned the LGBT community, you nor any I have spoken to, to my knowledge, offically represents those 10+ million Americans. You speak for you.

                  And you want to talk about me maligning my allies? How fucking dare you, do you even have half a clue how much abuse I've taken trying to promote an open intelligent discussion on this? I have just as much if not more a claim on grievence then you do. Tell me have you been yelled at? Called a troll? Had people tell you they were going to try and get you banned? Got tred just because some people can't control thier anger? What ever you may think I have done, I have not done any of that nor have I cursed at you.

                  Frankly I'd just rather assume it all cancels out even though I am not so sure it does

                  As for your snide remark about a pecking order, :shrug: I don't know why Obama picked Warren and picked this for now. Maybe it was oppurtunity, maybe he wanted to start off right, maybe something I've not even thought of. The point is that Obama decided that now was the time to reach out to evangicals and we have 2 choices as I see it: support that decesion or not.

                  I've made my case for why I support it, I stand by it and have nothing more to that arguement.

                  As for the future, :shrug: I'll worry about that whne it comes. I have no doubt that equal rights will be a part of that but to assert that it's going to be the frontline goes too far in my opnion as I don't think there is a frontline. Just causes we all care about and work on we can.

  •  I loved your diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Isara, rainmanjr

    until the last four paragraphs.

    Can I tell you that, even though I am straight, I do feel your pain? Perhaps I know only a portion of it, but it is real. I have been an outcast, I have been tormented for being who I am, and emerged from years of pain both a weaker and a stronger person for it. My experience left me with a firm belief that the struggle for gay rights is in a very real sense my own struggle too, because I know how essential it is to be one's own self.

    (Maybe you believe me here; maybe you don't. I can't make you believe me, but I've given it my best shot.)

    I think it's a result of my own personal hell that I really dislike attempts at mind-reading. I believe that making a statement of another person's thoughts or motivations has the effect of objectifying that person -- that is, it dehumanizes them in some small but real way. People are rarely one-dimensional or easily understood. Given that it's hard enough for each of us to truly know our own thoughts, it's certainly arrogant to pretend to know the thoughts of another.

    How does it make you feel when you hear someone claim that sexuality is a choice? That's mind-reading, right there. That person is staking a claim over something that you own, namely your thoughts and feelings about your sexuality. It hurts me to hear this; my guess is that it hurts you more.

    Maybe Obama is as cynical in this case as you say he is. I cannot prove otherwise. Maybe Obama is what his right-wing critics have said all along; I cannot disprove them either. Nor can Obama.

    All I can say is that I think I can clearly see a consistent narrative in Obama's words and deeds. Maybe that's my problem; maybe I'm just not objective enough, since I so urgently wanted him to win. I have no problem with him engaging with people I strongly oppose -- in fact, I'll say better him than me, because I agree with him that it's necessary that we do this, and I know he'll do a better job of it than I would.

    Be the change that you wish to see in the White House.

    by Nowhere Man on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 05:31:09 PM PST

  •  Just like Secret millionaire this week! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Did anyone see this show on fox, on Thursday I think? A millionaire from Salt lake city went to North Las Vegas and lived as a poor man. He found a place called "street kids" that helped homeless teens. The founder told him that a lot of the kids had been forced to leave home because they were pregnant or gay. Tragic stuff and this diarist story reminded me of that.

    I believe fox are airing it again next week.

  •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rainmanjr, CKendall

    for posting the interview with Warren which gives the proper context to his talking about incest and polygamy.  He wasn't, as has been misrepresented, equating them per se with gay marriage, he was equating them only in the sense of re-definitions of the word marriage as it has been traditionally defined.  But there is nothing vile about what he is saying here and he properly says Divorce is a greater threat to traditional marriage than homosexuality, and he comes out unequivocally in favor of civil unions and equal rights.  All this goes to show Government should get out entirely of the Marriage business - civil unions for all and let Religion fight over what is and is not marriage.

  •  Then the elephant shat on the stage (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DelRPCV, mainefem, whitis, golconda2

    Because of the passage of Proposition 8--which candidate Obama did but little to resist and belatedly--November 4, 2009 was bittersweet for literally 10,000s of LGBT Americans who'd given countless hours and dollars to Obama 2008.

    "Well," many LGBT supporters of Obama said to each other with a tired grin at election-watching parties that night, "at least there is the inauguration to look forward to!"

    Now the President-elect has again pulled a Donnie McClurkin and "Mary Mary" moment. There will be not one out gay person on stage at the inauguration. But, there will be Rick Warren, a leader of the religious right, who has described himself as being just like James Dobson, different only in tone.

    This situation reminds me of the occasional production of Aida at the Met when the elephant is brought out onto the stage during the otherwise stirring "Triumphal March," and then proceeds, under that hallowed proscenium, to take a giant shit before patrons and subscribers there gathered. Still, applause follows the piece--as it were. Similarly, many will applaud when Obama takes the Oath, and when the day is considered a Done Deal and hailed as a success. But (most of) the clapping will be despite the shit on the stage, not because of it. This may or may not be lost on "Pastor Rick."

    Noweasal, thank you for you truth-telling and your commitment to genuine progressivism. Rick Warren 's opinions and place on the inaugural stage is no more a demonstration of "diversity of opinion" (the President-elect's justification) than is allowing Creationism into the halls of science education. It is not the allowance of diversity, it is, quite simply, retrogression.

    Rick Jacobs of Campaign Courage said it well:

    When Pastor Rick Warren was asked to clarify this statement -- if he actually equates same-sex marriage with incest, pedophilia and polygamy -- his answer was direct and unequivocal: "Oh, I do."

    That didn't stop President-elect Barack Obama from choosing Pastor Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration -- an appalling mistake that will forever tarnish our country's celebration of Obama's historic ascendance to the White House.

    But each of us can contribute to the Repeal Prop 8 campaign. Click here.

    Sadly, it must be noted: Barack Obama continues to lack a record of "fierce" support for civil rights for gay Americans. "Fierce," you will note, is necessarily his own characterization of himself for no one else can be found to characterize it thus. A fierce record looks very different from Obama's. It includes things at even the most basic level as interviews with local gay media, something candidate Obama assiduously avoided despite being urged to repeatedly at donor events across the nation. Most members of mere city councils of metropolitan areas such as New York has done more to associate themselves with the cause of LGBT Americans than has Barack Obama.

    LGBT supporters of Obama are told time and again that Obama's intentions are clearly progressive when in comes to civil rights for gay Americans.

    Being told this time and again has become an insulting sop and pathetic substitute to proper action.

    •  Sorry,James. Posted same encouragement 2 Noweasel (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem, tinytim

      Noweasal James, thank you for you truth-telling.

      Sorry, I meant to at the very least make sure you knew that I knew who I was commenting to!

      Were you able to read Noweasal's great diary earlier today? It's here. I think you will find it inspiring.

    •  I'm sorry (0+ / 0-)

      but what the fucking hell? Obama did little to resist prop 8 because it wasn't his fight. He was trying to get elected preident, not act as the GLBT personal avatar.

      You want to blame someone for prop 8? Blame the people who did a bad job organizing and excuting that movement.

      I don't like Warren's stance on same sex marriage either but this overwrought outrage is just getting annonying.

      Obama promised to change how things are done in Washington and now that he's delivering on that you're upset? Or have you already forgotten how for the last 8 years the party in power shut out, demonzied and ignored any dissenting opnion?

      •  Calling someone a... (5+ / 0-)

        ...pedophile, or accusing them of statutory rape is not merely a DIFFERENCE of opinion. Warren is in essence lumping gay love in with criminal behavour

        Some things are just wrong. And as a heterosexual, I support the GLBT community on this one. I gave Obama a slight pass on the McClurkin kerfluffle as getting his feet wet. Just as you would not want to be seen in a picture with a criminal, or other shady characters. Obama should not want to be seen in the picture with those who don't even consider the GLBT community human, AND who thinks women who've had abortions are akin to Nazi who perpetrated the holocaust. There were other minister / pastors who are RIGHT-leaning he could have chosen. How about a RIGHT-leaning women pastor that aren't as strident as Warren, perhaps Paula White, or Joyce Meyers comes to mind. Or one of the daughters of MLK is a pastor / minister. What better way to bridge MLKs dream and the dream coming true.

        Look, I still support Obama, I think he will do some great things and he will change how politics, at the very least is conducted. However, "reaching across aisle" must be responsible reaching, not a cavalier attempt at fake bipartisanship. Surely, Obama would not accomodate the feelings of a klansmen.

        Some people are like Slinkies . . . Not really good for anything . . . . . But they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

        by sephius1 on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 11:25:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wasn't aware that having a different opnion (0+ / 0-)

          was a crime.......

          See this is the probelm, you're falling back on hyperbole with all that Nazi crap. It's much easier to simply state, I support free choice that's my opnion/position/stance whatever on the matter.

          Like it or not you can't divide people generally in black and white terms. Yes Warren's stance on same sex marriage is bad, even wrong as I see things, but at the same time to call Warren himself evil is to ignore all the other things that I do agree with and that he's done alot of work on.

          Warren further, is about as far left as the evangelicals get.

          Finally there is nothing cavalier about this and to say that shows you know nothing of the history between these 2 men and how they've tried to reach out to each other to work across the divide.

          And really, if not now then when? When is it okay in your opnion to stop the stupid partisan game playing?

          •  The Nazi crap is *Warren's*. (0+ / 0-)

            Warren divides people into "black and white" terms, right down to encouraging Sean Hannity to advocate assassination because of those misunderstood terms.

            So long as men die, Liberty will never perish. -- Charlie Chaplin, "The Great Dictator"

            by khereva on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 09:26:18 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  you keep saying that (0+ / 0-)

              and  yet won't prove it.

              And I'm so not going to just take your word for it.

              •  sweet leaping jeebus on a pogo stick... (0+ / 0-)

                Go play the video of Warren and Hannity discussing assassination. You can find it on Youtube.

                Then Google up Warren, abortion, and holocaust. You find that pretty easily.

                Then come back and apologize for lying repeatedly.

                So long as men die, Liberty will never perish. -- Charlie Chaplin, "The Great Dictator"

                by khereva on Mon Dec 22, 2008 at 07:09:22 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  you missed the boat a long time ago (0+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hidden by:

                  someone finally provided proof of Warren talking about people, not ideas like I asked.

                  And I conceeded that point as I promised.

                  You really should keep up.

                  •  In short, you were caught in a lie. (0+ / 0-)

                    Your bluff has been called, and the proof that you were lying has been made manifest.

                    And rather than apologize, you insult the persons who are telling the truth.

                    Since it's now clear that you are not engaging in anything approaching honest communication, but merely stirring up anger, you have entered my "HR on sight" list. That's why you just got this one.

                    Incidentally, here's the interview with Warren and the "holocaust" of abortion, in which he calls Obama "a holocaust denier."

                    So long as men die, Liberty will never perish. -- Charlie Chaplin, "The Great Dictator"

                    by khereva on Mon Dec 22, 2008 at 08:24:41 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  pick up your donut (0+ / 0-)

                      because that's not Trable and I'm sick of your rep abuse.

                      I got caught in nothing.

                      I asked for evidence and I kept on asking making the exact same statement and finally someone provided what I asked for.

                      Thus the condition I set out was met and I kept my word.

                      You know I did the honorable thing, something you probably would have a hard time understanding judging by your behavior so far.

                      PS if you really want this to get ugly, keep hring me and I'll bring this to the admins. Besides it's not like you've even scratched my TU status let alone put me any where near an auto ban so how about you act like an adult for once?

  •  It happened to me in 1970 (5+ / 0-)
    and I still feel your pain. And I'm sorry I have few words of wisdom to share, other than that you must find your own family to love. Hold tight to those who do love you, and make the best effort possible to never never never hurt them. You can't afford to hurt (cheat or lie to) a loved one because they are just too precious and critical to your life. People like us don't have normal families to fall back on, so we can't ever even begin to take those who do love us for granted.

    I am blessed with an understanding and loving ex-wife (often-made mistake that paid off for me)and a bunch of adopted kids,and a bushel-full of grandkids who make life more special than my original family ever could have.

    •  So right -- we "find our own families"... (0+ / 0-)

      ...and it's proof that all the bigotry in the world can't destroy the drive we have for love and happiness. I wonder how few heterosexuals know that this is how we cope with their rejection of our humanness.

      39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

      by Larry Bailey on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 07:56:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rejection of Gays (0+ / 0-)

        has destroyed so many. Hatred for Gays seems to be a force that seeps into all of us, even Gays, as we are socialized as children. I believe many Gays actually hate themselves. This will change as Gays gain more acceptance overall.
        I also think Gays do themselves a great disservice by showcasing their sexual practices in public, in particular the kinky stuff we often see in Gay pride parades. Nuns in habits and beards?? lol! It might be fun, but it's no way to represent the Gay community. That stuff only serves to shock. The Gay community needs to gain acceptance by being seen as more acceptable, not more freekish. We must make homosexuality appear to be normal for it to be thought of as normal. That's exactly how Hollywood has been able to help many to learn to accept Gay people. The right-wing media, on the other hand, just loves showing the most shocking bits of video they can find in order to make Gays seem sick and bizarre Presenting it as something that is shocking and weird ourselves will never help people accept it as something healthy.
        Me and my group of friends, Gay and otherwise, are all over 50, and most all agree. We may not have when we were younger and a bit angrier.

  •  Sad story. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, rainmanjr, golconda2

    Your experience reminded me of a story I heard about an aerobics instructor in the small town where I live. I've posted it here before. She and her husband disowned her gay son when he brought his boyfriend home at Thanksgiving during his first year of college. She gave him 15 minutes to pack up his things and get out of the house. I heard all of this from my co-workers, many of whom know the parents and son. (That's a small town for you.) The boy was going to an Ivy League school and had to drop out because his parents refused to continue funding his college education unless he "changed his mind." So he transferred to another school and is trying to pay his own way in addition to getting loans. I stopped going to the aerobics class when I heard all of this. I'm a mother myself and I can barely comprehend it. This was their ONLY child.

  •  Those who will try to keep distorting (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the real message of Jesus, which is UNCONDITIONAL LOVE .., imho, have it coming.

    Rick Warren and those of his ilk are just the new morphed version of the same old judgement call. I don't know about you all, but I'm feeling increasingly ready to take them all on ...on their playing field. On moralistic grounds.

    Those who would use this whole Prop.8, Rick Warren thing to push us into a total distraction mode operation must fail in one arena....and that is being allowed to determine what exactly IS the great moral dilemma of our time (their words). It is NOT marriage equality. It is NOT two loving individuals joining their  lives together in an orderly fashion. It is NOT freedom to choose an abortion.

    It IS Torture .It IS human trafficking. It IS pedophilia. It IS poisoning our water tables drilling for natural gas. It IS basing our economy on war "the fundamentals are strong". It IS wiping out the future of West Virginians by blowing up the very mountains that could provide centuries of clean wind power. These, and countless others, are our real and true morally compelling challenges, with the very survival of the planet now at stake.

    No one should be able to distract us from the neccessary realization that the "dominator" model has now brought us to the brink , that it is the path of vicious, pathological competition, that it is ultimately murder suicide. It needs to be replaced by the "cooperative" model ASAP, and of course that includes acceptance , on many, many different levels.

    Barack Obama greatly disappoints us when he acts as the politician that he is instead of the statesman that he is becoming.

  •  I hope someday a reconciliation will be possible (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, rainmanjr, ZhenRen

    with your family.

    I don't know if I could forgive them if I were in your shoes, but I hope that they may have sincere regrets about what happened. If not your parents, at least your siblings.

    In the 1950s my uncle got engaged to a non-Jewish European woman he'd been dating for a short time. My grandparents refused to go to the wedding. My father also did not go, so as not to offend his parents. He later deeply regretted that mistake. It created a lasting rift between himself and his only sibling.

    Anyway, I hope some healing is possible for your family.

    Thanks for this diary.

    Join the Iowa progressive community at Bleeding Heartland.

    by desmoinesdem on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 07:12:08 PM PST

  •  My great uncle, uncle and 2 cousins- all on (0+ / 0-)

    my father's side of the family were/are gay. It's just who they are. My two uncles are dead, and one cousin has disappeared, but most of us have always been ok with them. I never said to him, I know you are gay and that's ok, and reading your diary I think that might be important to him. We aren't close, but I will try to reach him and do that.
    I hope you can find some healing and peace with your family someday. At least make the gesture-you might find they would be happy to know that you are alive, at least. Don't leave it too late.

    •  Belay that. (4+ / 0-)

      I completely disagree.  They are the one's that need to show him some real love and regret.  They need to make the move and it needs to be more than a gesture.
      I agree with desmoinesdem's thoughts about the diarist's siblings.  They may well be more receptive to him.  His parents could then find him through them, if they wanted to.  Siblings can be pretty nasty, too, though.

      "It's time to start all over/make a new beginning." - Tracy Chapman

      by rainmanjr on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 09:31:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I didn't see where the diarist had any contact (0+ / 0-)

        with siblings or ANY of his family-did I miss something?
        Regardless, being that hardhearted never helps. You might be right, and it might be too late. Is being right that important?

        •  You did not miss something. (0+ / 0-)

          Someone had said that diarist should, at least, keep in touch with his siblings.  I agreed with that.  That would also always give his parents a chance to say they were sorry.  That would be the only way I'd have contact again.

          "It's time to start all over/make a new beginning." - Tracy Chapman

          by rainmanjr on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 05:12:45 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  wait and see- optimistic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    japangypsy, KS 65 woman

    I am inclined to wait and see.  I am still optimistic, but I understand why one may be very pessimistic. Let me throw out some, hopeful pragmatic, logic.  I come from the perspective of growing up in a Pentecostal (think Palen- freaker than evangelicals) home.  I am seriously repulsed by it, but understand it.  

    Warren owes Obama, and always will, for this.  Warren must listen to Obama, and have logical discussions with him.  He has to defend his hateful opinions to someone Warren has to see as reasonable.  

    1. I work in a business where I have to perpetually defend my ideas to people who can strongly disagree with my ideas.  If both sides are reasonable (Obama has done his part), the answer is almost always in the middle.  Warren will temper his opinions unless he is an idiot ideologue (see current President).  
    1. I am the only reasonable person in a family of wingnuts.  Warren is as reasonable as they come, unfortunately: he is thoughtful (relatively) and If anyone in that crazy assed world will temper ideas, he will.  
    1. Obama needs to make Warren meet and communicate with members of the GLBT community.  I have "hated" many idiots in my business, but it is difficult to truly hate someone when you meet them and have to talk with them.  Ideology does not work well when you are put in a situation where you have to communicate and defend an idea.  Ideology does not withstand much stress, it only works in a vacuum.  
    1. If Obama forces this temperance, he can also force a public statement of relative tolerance.  This could can result in a new view of GLBT for much of the country- the "pedophile and incest" freaks get pushed out.  A small shift in the right direction by a large number of people is a big step towards acceptance.  In practical terms, a small shift means fewer active protests.  GLBT rights, as prop 8 demonstrates, does not need acceptance as much as it needs fewer active protesters.  Tolerance follows;  Acceptance is next, then normality.
    1. This opens a line of communication to ~30% of the country who would never listen to Obama.  Some of the necessary change needs >55% support.  We need radical change to impact global warming.  Rednecks need to be driving fuel efficient trucks (with gun racks).

    What are your thoughts on this?  Am I mindlessly hopeful?  

  •  just to add (7+ / 0-)

    I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that this is another "gay story", and I'm aware more than one person out there might be rather tired of the subject.

    Did anyone that was black have to write a sentence like that in the 60's to fellow liberals? I was there and they didn't. We still have to deal with homophobes on the left and those who always say 'you have to wait' because there is a Republican in the White House or we're in a recession. There is always a reason why we need to step and fetch for a while longer.

    The funny thing is the same jerks who yawn about another gay story will be the ones decades from now telling tales about how they 'were there  during the struggle'.

    Thanks for sharing your story with us. I'm so glad you've found happiness in your life, and know your family is poorer for not having you in their lives.

  •  it's just my opinion, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Bailey

    but you are a sweetheart and you really have a letter to write to that family of yours.  no one has the right to tear you away from your siblings like that.  

    I really like Christmas.

    by RadicalGardener on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 08:22:34 PM PST

  •  Interesting graph. I'm not surprised. (0+ / 0-)

    Being caught between worlds, between floors of a foundation for happiness, would be very lonely.  Suicide would flourish like influenza in such an environment.
    It takes a very strong person to survive what you've been through.  And I would guess that your struggles aren't yet over.  They will probably never be over until you are.  But take pride in your ability to survive and maintain dignity.  You have a fine mind and ability to write, to boot.  You may feel great joy by the comfort brought you by your boyfriend's love but he is also a very lucky boy.
    One day this insanity against people will end.  Being only 27, you may see that day.  But it won't be soon.  Thousands more will have to suffer the same fate from conditional-love parents that you experienced.  Hundreds more will be beaten to death or killed by their government's laws.  The God of so many people will continue to make such grief acceptable.
    And so it goes.  

    "It's time to start all over/make a new beginning." - Tracy Chapman

    by rainmanjr on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 08:35:22 PM PST

  •  Larry Craig and Rick Warren (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rainmanjr, Bene Gesserit1

    A very moving diary, thank you.

    FWIW, I was one of the people on Kos defending Craig and actually urging him to fight the railroading out of the Senate.

    I see a contradiction in this diary, though, with reference to wanting to exclude Rick Warren:

    This pick for pastor at his inauguration was political calculation at its best. Barack Obama would never pick a racist preacher to head up the prayer for the sake of "post-partisanism". This was a calculated move that will ultimately offend only a small segment of society. The part of that segment that's politically aware is even smaller, so small, in fact, that Obama knows he'll face little blow back. The segment he's pandering to is much more politically active, so he's set up to receive more positive feedback than negative.

    At what point will consequences of this pandering outweigh the benefits? Why do I feel foolish for hoping Obama have a change of heart?

    You cannot change a person's heart by leaving him out in the cold. Obama clearly wants to transform America from the current bitterly divided bickering factions, and merely inviting somebody to give a benediction is not an endorsement of that person's  beliefs any more than, say, having Mary Cheney come to the last couple of Bush inaugurations meant the Bush administration was going to change its GLBT policies. OK, maybe that's a bad comparison, but my point is you don't start out by excluding people.

    My wife and I are Quakers, and the meeting we went to 20 years ago was one of the first to go through the process of deciding to marry same-sex couples in a religious ceremony. This was not without a lot of pain; many of our older members were uncomfortable with the idea, and expressed ideas that many with today's ears would consider quite hateful. But they were being honest, they were expressing what they felt. Of course, much of what they felt was from ignorance, lack of experience with gay people, and misunderstanding. But at the same time, the process of discussion made me think through some things I had assumed about the nature of religious marriage, civil marriage, and commitment. It was valuable. The "homophobes" brought something to my table, because we sat down together. And in turn, that the meeting -- by consensus -- eventually did accept same sex marriage as one and the same as "traditional" marriage meant the group had moved to a different place through engagement.

    I say this: when you look at video of Rick Warren being interviewed right now about Prop 8, you see him stumbling over the answer. It's obvious to anyone you can't make logical sense of the position, much less spiritual sense based on love and acceptance and his own religious texts and history. I saw that and thought to myself: well, maybe the guy's just a hardass bigot coming up with a rationalization, or maybe the little inner bells are going off and he's going to realize something's wrong.

    I do know this - when you include somebody at the table, when you don't throw them out of your house, as it were, that somebody may change. If you exclude them, that has removed any chance at dialogue and growth. This goes not just for rights for LGBT in this country but the abortion debate, educational policy, family planning, you name the hot button social issue. We've gotten nowhere in the last 28 years by playing to the lesser angels of our nature. Power does not give one the right to exclude those in the minority, in any sense. Reaching out is the only way to transcend this hate, which in many cases may not be hate but ignorance and inexperience. Treating others as people and not as demons -- whether for their innate sexual orientation or their religious beliefs -- has to be the first step.

    I'm not thrilled with Rick Warren being there. I wasn't thrilled to be defending Larry Craig's right to stay in the Senate. But I think this is far more than mere political calculation on Obama's part -- it's a genuine effort to start some healing. Viewing an olive branch as a brick through one's own window, especially when there are no actual policy implications for something as simple as inviting a person to pray, seems short-sighted to me.

    I don't belong to any organized political party. I'm a democrat. -- Will Rogers

    by TheCrank on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 08:56:46 PM PST

    •  I felt the same about Craig as you did. (0+ / 0-)

      And I feel the same about Obama's choice.  I didn't, at first, but views such as yours have changed my mind.  As noted earlier, I wouldn't be able to have such a conversation so it's good that Obama can.

      "It's time to start all over/make a new beginning." - Tracy Chapman

      by rainmanjr on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 09:39:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  ..... (0+ / 0-)

    First let me say that no parent should do that to a child. Your parents failed you in a way so complete that I rather wish it was punishable in some way.

    However while I sympathize and empathize, and while I can understand your reaction; it's not that simple.

    Look at that video you posted, yes the quote you gave is horrible and yet look at what Warren opens with, he admits that divorce is more of a threat and goes on to talk about how people would rather point out other's sins then thier owns.

    I understand and don't contest that Warren has views that people here don't like, however Warren isn't Pat Roberts or John Hagee or anything like that.

    We have alot of work to do and a lot of healing to do and that healing won't happen till we reach out to each other.

    Some one has to make the first move and since we think we're the more mature party it falls on us. I'm not saying you have to like all of Warren's poistions (I know I don't) but please don't just react emotionally. Think about the fact that there are most likely issues that you and Warren agree on.

    It's time to move on and learn to once again to disagree without being disagreeable.

  •  we are all the sum of our tears (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Bailey, golconda2

    Thanks for sharing your story.

    A few quotes from the great philosopher G'Kar

    We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile and nothing can grow there. Too much, and the best of us is washed away.  - G'Kar, Objects in Space

    As objectionable as the infliction of non-consensual physical or emotional pain is, precisely because too much can wash the best of us away, our pain is what makes us who we are.

    In here, Mr Garibaldi, you can not hide from yourself. Everything out there has only one purpose, to distract us from ourselves, what is truly important. There are no distractions in here. We can learn much from silence.
    Everything out there has only one purpose: to distract us from ourselves, what is truly important. - G'Kar, Messages from Earth

    I used to think that life was unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse, if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe. - Marcus Cole, Point of No Return

    This one may be a bit of a stretch, under the circumstances, but may apply to your siblings:

    But I will admit, that the part of me that is going will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

    As for Warren, to paraphrase Johny Carson, may the fleas of a thousand camels infest his armpits - or should that be the crab lice of a thousand infested homeless teenage LGBT hookers?

    Our thoughts form the universe. They are always important. - G'Kar, The Hour of the Wolf

    -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

    by whitis on Sat Dec 20, 2008 at 09:13:44 PM PST

  •  I wish that I could adopt you and hold you in the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    bosom of my family jamesia. I know that I could never replace your biological family but know that my "family" includes a twenty-three year old friend who just changed names to go with their newfound courage. I sent this email to Warren today:

    I am a Christian, African-American, straight female. I am appalled at your equating homosexuality with pedophilia and incest. Apparently you have never ministered to victims of either. Shame on you and your brand of intolerance.

    I think one day your family will look for you. Until then, know that you are welcome in mine.

  •  Your story made me cry. I wish I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    could somehow take away the pain. I wish you a miraculous and blessed Christmas.

  •  {{{{Love to you jamesia}}}} (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    jamesia, I have reread your story and  there are several things that you said that I have questions and thoughts about.  First, you said that your dad never told you anything about your birth mother. Those memories he kept inside. Pain? Couldn't speak of her because of your stepmom? Secondly, I get the feeling that your stepmother ran the household and was stronger than your dad. You said he was heavily medicated at the time that you told him of your sexual orientation. You were very close to your siblings especially your younger brother. Forgive me if I am wrong, but I am just trying to put this all together. I thing that there is hope in your situation. I believe that your stepmother besides heartlessly pushing you out on the street at such a young age without your education is someone I would have a difficult time in forgiving. I don't know if your dad actually agreed to this but was medicated and not strong enough to stand up which is unfortunate. I also believe that your siblings miss you desperately. It seems to me that she split up your family and caused you this pain. She caused great grief to you, your dad and your siblings. Your brother was very open with you and accepting. If you ever choose to, I would try to somehow make contact but not through your step-mom. I don't trust her. Not sure how you can even know where to write and be assured that your brother would get the mail but I think he would be a good place to start. I think his heart was broken also. As I said forgive me if I am wrong and hit a painful nerve. My intentions are pure. I am a mom and grandmother.
    You just sound so sweet and loveable and I want only happiness for you and commend you on your grit of surviving and finding a love to share your life with. Love to you, always.  If you would like you can email me. I'll make sure I have it in my profile.

  •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Bailey, mainefem, golconda2

    I didn't come out to my parents until I was in my late 30's.  My family live near Austin TX and are very conservative Southern Baptists... so the only family member I have contact with now is my sister (she's an atheist), and we never talk about the rest of my family at my request.

    After I sent them my coming out letter we talked on the phone once and exchanged a couple of e-mails.  I let them know what I went through, to accept who I was, and countered all their arguments.  They dismissed it.

    I don't miss my family...  my life, until I was 20, was hell, and they dismissed it out of hand.  They will never change their minds because they have faith in their KJV of the bible.  And faith always trumps reason.  I knew when I sent them the letter that this would happen, but I did hope they would surprise me.

    "Prayers for Bobby" is one of the books I read when I was first coming out and it helped a lot at the time.  Partly because my family calls me Bobby, and partly because I related to the kid in the story.

    Thank you again for your story :)

    •  I feel for you, texcubsf... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...and want to say something to you: do you remember back to that point when you said to yourself, "I am this way and I will figure out a way to be myself against all these odds"? I remember it -- age 18, on a bus from Nashville to Houston to go live with relatives there for a summer -- not thrown out, no one else knew.

      And I remember my heart opening up for the first time to the world that lay ahead -- without having a clue to what lay ahead. Just hope. And I suppose some trust in the Fates.

      That moment of realization was one of the best feeling moments in my life and, as it turned out, the most positively decisive moment of life.

      Hold on to that as you go through the years without your folks, other than your Sis, and as you do no doubt what we all have learned to do -- to create our own families via our friends. You did the right thing, for yourself and for everyone around you. Hold on to that texcubsf.

      39 Years Of Yellow-Dogging And Then 1 Year Of WTF

      by Larry Bailey on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 07:46:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it took me a little longer to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larry Bailey

        get to that point. For me it was more deciding that I would live no matter what. And realizing that you can't fix what isn't broken.

        Even after coming out it took reading John Boswell's "Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality" to finally be comfortable as a gay man.

        I didn't really come out until I was 20.  I lived in a small town Near Austin, and didn't know that there were other gay people around...

        I have created my own family, and I have been with my partner for over 10 years now.  Even dealing with clinical depression I'm happier now than I ever was before I came out :)

        I've had several moments like this

        do you remember back to that point when you said to yourself, "I am this way and I will figure out a way to be myself against all these odds"?

        I call them "ah-ha" moments, the strongest was while reading the Boswell book.

        Thank you for your comments :)  I enjoyed reading about your bus trip...  There is a freedom that comes from moments like that :)

  •  I don't think Rick Warren is aware of your pain (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    golconda2, JonathanF, texcubsf

    and the loss of love from your parents.

    I think this is true for many conservatives/homophobes. They just have no knowledge of it. I think its these kinds of experiences that feed a lot of energy into the gay rights/ gay marriage debate.

    I still maintain that civil unions are a very good idea for this country. But I think this behavior of being banished from families is much more important and cuts pretty close to the core of the gay/straight divide.

    This is a serious problem...and the so-called "family values" crowd has been awfully quiet about it.

    Seriously I think Americans need to hear more about these stories, it may help things more than some of these other ideas I've read about on this site.

    •  I agree I don't think he has any awareness. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mainefem, CKendall

      of the harm he causes and the damage he causes.  Nor does he apparently care. He is the self righteous pastor of a Southern California mega-church.  As with most mega- church pastors, Warren in undoubtedly more concerned with his book deals and his personal prestige than being personally involved in the struggles of the members of his church.

      With a church the size of Saddleback, there is undoubtedly a young man or young woman (and, statistics would suggest many more than that)who are learning who they really are and discovering their own sexual orientation.  These young people are being raised in families that hear Warren's message every Sunday. Where they learn that their church teaches homosexuals and lesbians are like pedophiles and like those who commit incest.  And that unless they change they are doomed to hell.They have a secret buried deep in their heart.  Its the same secret Jamesia and I both dealt with. They and their families are readily subjected to the spiritual violence that is the message of Rick Warren and his church.

      Chances are some of those young people have or are considering suicide as an out, rather than face rejection from their families, their church and their God.

      And Obama expects me to just remain quiet and have "respect" for Warren's POV.  Maybe when Rick Warren's Hell freezes over!

  •  The feeling of otherness in itself is oppressive (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, JonathanF

    this is exactly why the denial of gay marriage rights is so oppressive.  Even if someone isn't religious, the ceremony of getting married, the act of calling yourself married, using words like husband or wife, and being recognized socially as "being married" is culturally very important.  Even if we had civil unions and they were given the same legals rights as marriage, civil unions would not hold the same kind of meaning.

    What I'm trying to say is, the real damage of denying marriage rights to gays is that it creates and propagates prejudice.

    Most small children naturally trust their environment.  When they learn about gays and are told that gays are not allowed to get married children assume or are told outright that there is something wrong with gays, that they are misfits or damaged in some way.

    Literally everybody in our society has been taught from a yound age to have this prejudice against gays.  Until gays are "given" the same rights as everyone else and those rights are protected by law our children will continue to be taught to be prejudiced towards gays in more ways than we could possibly be aware of.  Many of us have actively dispelled the prejudice from our conscious minds but who can say if it's completely gone?  Prejudice is more than just actions, it has to do with the way we think, our perceptions, the way we perceive others.

    So, what do we think happens to the portion of our children who then learn years later that they belong to that evil/damaged/bad/horrible group of people?  What happens to the small girl who dreamed of her wedding all throughout her childhood only to learn in adolescence that according to everyone else she isn't worthy?

    It's no surprise there's a much higher suicide rate among homosexuals.  But I think of their deaths as murder.  They were murdered by society.  It's just so completely senseless.

    Thank you for your story!

    McCain does not support the troops

    by erin r on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 12:02:08 AM PST

  •  i cant believe it....your family bought (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mainefem, sunsquared

    a subscription to AOL?? It was the free discs wasnt it?

  •  A couple of things .... Wow. I hate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry Bailey, CKendall

    going to a diary when it is full.  No one will ever see this but ...

    You said, "When people like Mike Huckabee go around saying gays have never been persecuted like blacks have, so we don't warrant equal rights".  Didn't know that.  So, in other words, the amount of persecution blacks faced is the minimum that warrants action?  Not surprising that he thinks this.

    Second.  Have you tried googling your family/friends just to see what they are doing?  You might find some relief if you knew.  Maybe, just maybe, you might someday think about writing to your siblings or that friend.

    This is really sad but try to look at what you have.  My god.  You were under a bridge.  Whatever you have, you have achieved by yourself.  Not many can say that.

  •  I can feel the pain in your heart (0+ / 0-)

    I will never understand why people, even rigid religious people, treat others without the love Jesus would have shown.
    Unfortunately, your step-mom, like so many others, is ignorant. My sister & niece are both gay; my sister is also a Christian & didn't come to terms with being gay until she was 50. To this day she still believes it's an abomination to God & that breaks my heart. She's living with her girlfriend & I cannot imagine the inner-turmoil she must have.
    Even though I don't really know you, I am proud of you; you have survived & remained true to yourself. I wish there were some way the love of your commenters could fill & satisfy your heart right now.
    As for Obama picking Warren... I don't know why he did it, but I honestly don't think he's got much to gain politically by doing this. Warren's church is in a very dominant conservative Christian area ~ so I'm not sure why, but what I choose to believe is that Obama is trying to lead by example. Perhaps him accepting Warren, despite his lack of understanding, will cause Warren to reconsider his views. Imagine how many lives & opinions would change if that happened.

  •  it's down to this (3+ / 0-)

    Sorry for the quasi-Marxist interpretation in advance:

    Basically the real and true religion of this sad and fallen world (the one that really motivates what people actually DO when they aren't trying to bullshit you that they have some other, more noble motivation at heart) is Capital, the control of resources of all kinds and the power that the accrual of these external things confers on those that accrue them.  I hate to break it to all of you, but a lot of the psychotically intense and reactive homophobia we see comes from the example we (gay men) set in this paradigm.  

    But first, the Biggest Caveat of All Time: I of course do not in any way mean to delegitimize the experience of gay women, it's just that I think even a lot of them would agree that even the most ardently homophobic guys love to watch porn with two ladies getting it on.  The same dudes who'd rent a 2 hour lesbian-on-lesbian extravaganza from the video store would k-i-l-l any other guy that so much as suggested that he thought the other guy was cute or whatever, forget about actual contact!  And not all of these guys are latent or closeted either, I don't really believe that stereotype that all homophobes are secretly gays returning to the scene of what they feel, in their state of internalized loathing, is their "crime."  There's some of that, the Haggards and the Craigs and whatnot, but that is not the central issue, not IMO.

    You see, like it or not us boys who like other boys say something to the human species, which finds itself completely and utterly dominated at every level by the pernicious forces of profit-from-the-suffering-of-others, a system totally originated and predicated on the concept of (you guessed it, I hope) male-on-male c-o-m-p-e-t-i-t-i-o-n, where dudes contrive to slaughter each other for the spoils whilst simultaneously scamming chicks into thinking they are somehow sensitive lover-types.  Let's not fool ourselves: our "civilization" is essentially a dog-track, with varyingly predatory breeds of greyhound trying to race to the finish line by pretty much any means necessary.  If you doubt the truth of any of this I'd suggest you verify it with those GM execs on the way back from Congress, if you can catch up to them with their private jets that they bought with your money.  

    Again, this is not to leave out the gals, or in any way to suggest that the persecution and dehumanization they experience is somehow lesser.  It's just that women are playing on a playing field as relates to gender roles that was in most cases made up entirely by men, for their own male benefit and empowerment and to ensure the ongoing dominion of their male selves as the "dictators" in society.

    Anyway, fast forward to five minutes from now, when some humans-with-penises come along, and they are a (gasp!) couple... a unit (!!!) where two men are (hide the kids!) co-operating (isn't that word ILLEGAL yet?) as a single entity, one that lives in a spirit of total acceptance and dedication, well we can't have that, can we?  This indicates something that the slaves, uh, I mean the citizens can NEVER be allowed to figure out: that THERE IS NO DOG-TRACK.  That the tunnelvision of how we think things are supposed to be doesn't exist, because it's all in our minds and THERE IS NO TUNNEL.

    Think about the state of permanent feral greed-a-thon competition a lot of men exist in day-to-day, and the way their consciousness must always find ways to justify the things they feel they must do to survive or "get ahead" (usually of other men).  The state of slavery-that-tastes-like-freedom that the world finds itself in at the micro and the macro can only continue if the participants (us) are never availed that there's a life outside of its chokehold.  This is but one reason that gays, especially gay men, find ourselves at the stick-end of so much grief and animosity: that we by our living, irrefutable example show a world that isn't exactly what the true false gods of this world, the Adam Smith-Milton Keynes axis, have in mind for you and yours, my babies.  

    So when we roll up, two guys who love each other hand-in-hand, the eyes of the people who have lived, live, and want only to continue to live as apologists for the system that they KNOW (because they are, after all, breathing, despite appearances) is destroying them go "Tilt!" like a pinball machine that just got run over by a pickup truck, because we put that pinprick (oh there's a pun i will probably live to regret, but it's Saturday night, so wtf?) in the Beautiful Balloon that old Pharoah sent them Up, Up and Away in, that one full of so much hot air and paper money.

    Nope, those people need marriage and picket fence little pups a-poppin' out, they got a Jones to be just like the Joneses next door... they NEED to believe in the traditions as they have been or at least pretend that they do, so the very fabric of this construct that has been built on misinformation and lies can continue, even in the face of the absolute proof that it should not.

    When you hear the homophobes "argument," it kind of sounds like they are afraid that if being gay is suddenly just as "normal" as being straight, then all the previously-straight people will somehow "become" (ROFL) gay, leave their previously-essential-to-life-as-we-know-it-but-now-because-I-can-fuck-my-same-gender-who-cares-anymo re Family Units (hitherto the irreplaceable building blocks of ALL HUMAN SOCIETY, but now just a trend to be discarded for the lure of some awesome gay sex, which I can tell you is a whole lot of fun but not THAT great), stop reproducing, and the fabric of human society will instantly shrivel into oblivion because heterosexual people will JUST QUIT FUCKING.  

    The psychosexual wilderness of terrifying madness that this implies is way too complex to delve into within a single stupid dkos comment.  But just that this seems to be how they feel, and that this is essentially what they offer as explanation for why they must pre-emptively act to make me and my boyfriend's relationship worth legally less than a chicken's with its cage... well this truly shows the level of integrated insanity we are facing, and just how afraid these people are of nobody's inner desires (carnal and otherwise) but their own.

    Sorry for the longish commentary, great diary, thanks.

    "Some of you are going to die... martyrs, of course, to the Freedom that I will provide!"

    by emperor nobody on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 05:11:53 AM PST

  •  thanks for writing this diary (0+ / 0-)

    22 years ago we lost my cousin bill... he took his own life. he was a loving person, with a beautiful soul. he had a nice life ahead of him, just graduating from medical school. of course none of us knew that he was homosexual... it was just something one would not share growing up in our family in the south. hell, i didn't know that I was homosexual way back then.  per his suicide letter, he just couldn't live with being "that way". i'm convinced that if homosexuality was not demonized the way it is, bill would still be with us.

    Barack Obama... More Cowbell

    by titotitotito on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 05:34:03 AM PST

  •  At its heart, it's only the truly neurotic (0+ / 0-)

    that cannot accept gays and give them their rights.  It's hard losing your family, but take solace in the fact that you have had to let people that would continue to be toxic to you go.  Most of us have had to do that with someone in our lives, too, along the way.

    Your diary was wonderful, and I wish you well along your life's path.

  •  Keep On Being Strong, Brother! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Personally, I think family is over-rated. If you met many of them in a bar as strangers you wouldn't want to talk to them.  Your friends choose to be with you and love you.  You sound like a beautiful and loving person whom I would be honored to have as a friend.  This is not to minimize the hurt they did to you but don't dwell on your messed up family, focus on your wonderful friends.  Thanks for sharing your story.

  •  I'm so sorry you went through that (0+ / 0-)

    Best wishes to you and your partner.  I am also cut off from my entire family although it was my decision to escape from abuse and scapegoating, not my sexuality, that caused this.  I can understand your pain about this.  I think about my lack of family almost every day, especially this time of year.  Even though we have been badly mistreated it is still hard not to have your family.

    It is especially hard when someone in the family we grew up with and loved not only turns against us but turns everyone else against us.  It's an awful sort of pain and anguish.

    Congratulations on not letting it defeat you and in finding a happy relationship.

    As far as warren goes, I just keep reminding myself that Obama is not perfect - he will make mistakes and he is a politician.  I, too, am upset about this choice because of my history of scapegoating.  I believe the haters need to be marginalized not included or pandered to.  I pray every day that Obama keeps it in his heart to truly change the culture of this country.  I keep hoping, so no, you are not being foolish for hoping Obama has a change of heart.

  •  PEACE,brother (0+ / 0-)

    I hear you.I support you.I oppose Rick Warren and find it mind-bending that OBAMA is doing this.First I have to swallow Lieberman now this.Can we boo during invocation and drown him out?What would be a the best way to protest this?

    •  Go see Milk during the inauguration. (0+ / 0-)

      "Mind bending" says it all.  This is like my body is floating in space, unable to grasp reality.  This is the invocation.  There are plenty of places for homophobic fundamentalists in the process (snark).  But, why that time or place?  Now, I am not gay, so I probably represent a slightly different opinion but I just find it all so symbolic of what Obama wants to achieve in his administration.  He wants to be the President of all of the people.  Christian fundamentalists represent a much larger part of America than the GLBT (whatelse?) group.  The balance has tipped.

    •  Quietly turn your back to him while he speaks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      would probably be a good way to protest.

  •  When can people start to realize that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    homophobia and racism are BOTH issues that have to be dealt with in this country. Now that we have an African American as our President-Elect; Republicans like Mike Huckabee praise this country for how far we've come. Whenever it was Republicans who pandered to southern racists to get votes and continuously use minorities as the cause of all of our problems. Now that the LGBT community is coming to the forefront, they will continue to be resistant. But, come forty or fifty years from now whenever (hopefully) full equality is reached, they will praise our country for getting beyond our own ignorance. Your diary really touched me with its honesty so thank you for that.

  •  Family dynamics (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    jamesia, I intentionally did a short search through the posts for the word "stepmother", and found that the posts that contained this word had advise worth listening to, although there were discouragingly few posts with this word.

    Look, regardless of how you may have loved your stepmother prior to this incident, or your [fantasy] prior-perception of her love for you, the simple fact of the matter is that as a general rule, step-parents of any kind love their stepchildren far less than their own, and often view the stepchildren as unwanted competition for resources that up for grabs among their own children and themselves.  This appears to be a cross-cultural, genetic, Darwinian fitness strategy.  Think of male lions killing the cubs of their male competitors, with the net result being the passing on of the new lion's genes rather than the vanquished lion's genes.  Despite our thinking ourselves beyond the strings of Nature, the same principle is nevertheless at work in humans.

    If you wish to re-establish contact with family members other than your stepmother, do so, but do it without her knowledge, as she'll interfere in any way possible, honestly or dishonestly.  Don't expect much from your father, as he's already demonstrated that he will allow his wife to set the parameters for his relationship with his own child; in other words he's subservient to her power.  But other members of your family may be recoverable.

    Just keep in mind that your stepmother likely has some resource-- typically financial, but also often emotional, or system power-structure related-- in mind when shutting you out of the family.

    And therapy always helps in reconciling issues/events over which you have no control.

    Good luck.

    "Life is forever menaced by chaos and must restore balance with every intake of breath"-- Jean Gebser

    by rangemaster on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 09:16:03 AM PST

  •  Thanks for posting this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Some people around here need to be reminded of the kind of hate that men like Warren stir up.  He is demented and vile, and he has no place on that stage.

  •  Acceptance, yes. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Many of us for many reasons can never go home. But, if we don't give Obama a chance all will suffer.

     But, this mother's heart would have kept you close.

    Republican concept of labor: "Machines of Meat"

    by redtex on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 10:16:59 AM PST

  •  Some parents just aren't cut out for parenthood (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Mine for example. If you have such parents you are lucky to learn this early on. Then just let it go. Screwy or unqualified people can become parents, of course.

    The idea that there is strong instinctual attachment to parents, beyond the years of dependence is a myth. It is not instinctual. It is learned and can be unlearned.

    And where is it written as law that we have to have loving parents?

    Bottom line: get over the purely sentimental feelings about needing strong parental ties. Society reinforces that notion, but it's not instinctual and can be forgotten. And there is absolutely nothing sad about that, when you really think about it rationally and not from emotion.

  •  Thank you for the time you spent preparing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    this diary and for sharing your own personal experiences.

    Your diary is packed with vital information that is necessary for all of us to understand more fully just exactly what the nature of the issues really are.

    It is this kind of diary which should help educate those most in need of educating.

    Since I didn't get here in time to rec your diary I wanted to make sure you know how much I appreciated the content and the courage it took to share an especially painful time in your own life.


    WWYTR? Voting, contributing, supporting, and electing Democrats

    by PaintyKat on Sun Dec 21, 2008 at 05:15:47 PM PST

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