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I always find it interesting when a heterosexual thinks they have the ability to understand what makes someone gay. Texas governor Rick Perry compared being gay to being an alcoholic.

Speaking in San Francisco Wednesday night, Gov. Perry said, "Whether or not you feel compelled to follow a particular lifestyle or not, you have the ability to decide not to do that. I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way."

I sure wish it was that simple, then, years ago, I could have simply done a twelve-step program and enjoyed a nice, unfettered heterosexual life, without all the persecution and the status of a second-class citizen, by not enjoying the same rights as straight people. I mean rights as far as enjoying a relationship with someone I love or at least care about, without fear of being arrested or harassed for doing so. I could also then marry, if I so chose to do so and not be restricted to a life of so much loneliness.

Then, in my own state of Oklahoma, a Republican Tea Party candidate, Scott Esk, who is running for the state's House of Representatives, thinks it would be okay to stone gay people to death.

In a Facebook post Esk said, “I think we would be totally in the right to do it." Then he added to that post, "That [stoning gay people to death] goes against some parts of libertarianism, I realize, and I’m largely libertarian, but ignoring as a nation things that are worthy of death is very remiss."

Then when he was asked to clarify, he said, "I never said I would author legislation to put homosexuals to death, but I didn’t have a problem with it."

Of course, he gets this from the Old Testament of the Bible, from the book of Leviticus. I wonder if he also feels it is all right to stone adulterers, since that same book says that is what should happen to them too.

Republicans, especially male Republicans, believe they have some special insight into the will of God. They not only believe they should have the right to decide what is right for gay people, but also women, African-Americans, Hispanics, poor people in general and everyone and anyone who is different from they are. Somehow, they feel they have been put in charge of us all and they should be ruling the world.

Governor Rick Perry is not gay as far as I know but perhaps he is an alcoholic; I do not know for I do not know his personal life. I have known quite a few alcoholics in my lifetime and even though it is a tough thing to break, it came from a choice in their lives either to drink for the fun of it, or to relieve the stresses in their lives. Alcohol finally killed someone I love very much, my aunt Genene who died of cirrhosis of the liver, which was caused by her drinking every day from morning until she finally went to bed. She tried to quit a few times but she never managed to do so. Still, she would be the first to tell you it was a life's choice made at a young age. She was 33 years-old when she died.

On a personal note, I have been gay all my life, since at least 11 years-old, when I remember having my first desire. For the last several years, I have lived a life of celibacy, not so much from choice but because the right person just has not come along for whom I would wanted to have any kind of intimate relationship with, let alone a sexual one.

Still, even though I have not had sex for many years, I am still gay, and that is because it is part of who I am. Nothing I can do can change that, no more than a black person can become white or a zebra can lose its stripes. Not all the twelve step programs in the world will cure me because there is nothing to cure; it is who I am, at least in part. It is not a lifestyle, nor is it a phase I am going through, which is the answer my mother had for it when I first told her I was gay at 18 years-old. She realized when I was in my fifties and still gay, that it was indeed not a phase.

As far as stoning me to death, certainly, I can be stoned and that may stop me from living but as sure as I die, there will be another gay person born into the world somewhere and into some family. It does not matter if that family is conservative or if they are liberal, because we gays pop up everywhere and in every country in the world, under every religion and into almost every family. Our numbers will always be limited because being gay is not something one is recruited into being and unlike a person's race; we cannot go out and produce more of us. It is just something that happens, randomly and without reason.

Most of the gay people I have known over the years, who have been fortunate to have children somehow, never wish upon their children to grow up gay. That is because - at least from the past - we all know how difficult it has been to be gay ourselves, and the persecution and the hatred shown toward us and we do not want that for our children. We all hope that will change and all gay children will eventually grow up in a happy environment and one that will be accepting of who they are.

Rick Perry and Scott Esk have both decided in their minds of who we are and how we should be treated; to be scorned and punished unto death, or to be cured like some diseased creatures. They know nothing about us in the least, no more than they know about why women have abortions or why African-Americans and Hispanics are without jobs. They lack empathy and compassion because of their ignorance. Perhaps voters should also judge them for the words that have come out of their mouths, which clearly show that neither should be leaders in any form of government whatsoever.

This is a republish from my website: Fidlerten Place

Originally posted to Fidlerten Place on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:47 AM PDT.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

    by fidlerten on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:47:50 AM PDT

  •  As a gay man myself, I find Perry's statement (6+ / 0-)

    shows a total lack of understanding of basic humanity. Esk is probably one of those people who is terrified of "Sharia Law" but would institute the Old Testament version of such in a heartbeat.

    The ignorance of both of those men is simply astounding.

    You know, I manage to both gay AND a Christian. I can walk and chew gum at the same time, which is more than I can say for those asshats.

    By the way, I hope the right man comes along. He will.

    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

    by commonmass on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:13:32 AM PDT

    •  I can too... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Silencio

      If you read some of my blogs, you will see that.

      I learned along time ago that God loved me just as much as anyone else. He made me this way and He certainly does not expect me to change. As long as I walk in love and worship Him in spirit and in truth, that is all He expects out of me.

      I appreciate your comments commonmass.

      Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

      by fidlerten on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:29:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You are entirely welcome. I'll miss marching (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fidlerten, Silencio, sfbob

        with our Episcopal contingent in Pride this year because I'll be up here at the Rock (our family's island cottage) this weekend and my dad is coming up for Father's Day to get things ready for my brother who will be coming up in a week or so from Texas with his wife and kids. The Episcopal Diocese of Maine was instrumental in fighting for marriage equality here in Maine and is all over LGBT rights.

        Yep. God made me this way. God loves all his creatures, even the gay ones. My late husband was also an Anglican. The Dean of our Cathedral gave him his last rites. Two hundred people--some Anglicans, some of other religions, some atheists--turned out for his funeral.

        SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

        by commonmass on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:59:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You say (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fidlerten, commonmass

    "Nothing I can do can change that, no more than a black person can become white..."

    This is not directly to the point of your diary, and I'm not trying to fuss or fight.  But I think there are good reasons to doubt the italicized part of your statement.

    Race is not some biological or metaphysical essence.  Many people argue that race is a power relation, not a given fact about a person.

    •  I think you should... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Silencio, commonmass

      clarify a bit better of what you mean. Race is not something someone can change.  

      I don't understand what you mean, that race is not biological. Please explain this to me.

      Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

      by fidlerten on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:46:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Race has changed. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fidlerten, commonmass

        There is a ton of research on the historical formation of "whiteness" and "blackness."  Irish and Italian and Jewish immigrants were not considered "white" when they began arriving in the U.S.  They became "white."  (There are published studies that trace the history of this.)

        "Whiteness" as an identity doesn't begin to coalesce until about the late 1700s, early 1800s.  Barack Obama has a "white" parent and a "black" parent; yet we all of us automatically regard him as "black."  That's a choice, a decision, not a statement of indisputable "fact."

        The meaning of "blackness" has changed historically.  Is it the "one drop rule"?  Is it "genetic"?  Is it skin color?  The target (i.e., meaning) keeps moving.

        What Simone de Beauvoir said about "women" applies to "blacks": "One is not born a woman...one becomes a woman."  In the white supremacist U.S., whites decide who belongs to what race.  As I said, there's a lot of literature on the subject.

        •  Silencio.. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Silencio, commonmass

          I believe I understand where you're coming from, though I think it misses the point. We are still who we are, meaning that if our skin color is black or chocolate brown, or just tan or white or whatever color, we cannot change that fact.

          Of course, Michael Jackson tried being as white as he could by having his skin bleached but he was still from African-American roots. I am considered white but I have Cherokee blood in me and a mix of other races. My skin would be considered white but I could also say that I am Native American, French, Dutch and whatever other race that has been mixed in.

          I think what I was relating to, was the color of one's skin cannot be changed but then, I suppose to some extent it can. A zebra probably could have a dye job and lose the stripes but it would still be a zebra at heart. I'm saying there are some things we can change with a little makeup, bleach or dye, but there are some things that make us who we are and really cannot be changed because it's part of who we are as a person. Being gay is like that.

          Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

          by fidlerten on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:12:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, de Beauvoir as also once described (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fidlerten

          as "An alarm clock inside a frigidaire". Perhaps the most classically sexist statement ever.

          My family is bi-racial. Well, my brother's end of it is, anyway. I think race is an artificial construct. However, it remains very real. Anyone who thinks the obstruction and opposition to the President doesn't have to do with "race" is really asleep.

          SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

          by commonmass on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:16:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It's intellectually lazy and dishonest (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Silencio, fidlerten, SCFrog

    There is a tendency to, on the one hand, make distinctions between people which are not reflections of reality and, on the other to make comparisons which are inappropriate.

    Ultimately, race is an artificial construct, the main intent of which is to divide and control. We are, after all, one species; the differences are pretty much superficial ones even though we insist on making them significant.

    If one were to make a comparison between homosexuality and some other characteristic it would be more appropriate to compare sexual orientation to left-handedness or to eye color. Yes, there is a distinction but it is not a distinction that should really matter. Nor is there any reason why sexual orientation, left-handedness nor being blue- or brown-eyed should need to be "cured."

    Alcoholism, if I understand correctly, is a medical condition that is subject to treatment but apparently not to cure. There are people who can drink to excess for a shorter or longer period of time and then moderate their behavior while others are faced with the choice of either progressive decline or permanent abstinence. But abstinence doesn't equate to a cure; it is in fact an acknowledgement that a cure (for them at least) is not feasible.

    About the only thing Rick Perry said that is in any way accurate is that both homosexuality and alcoholism appear to be at least in some sense genetically determined, though the causality is far more complex than that than a simple mechanical explanation would account for. While it may be true that alcoholism runs in families, the children of alcoholics are not guaranteed to become alcoholics themselves. While there is likely a genetic component to sexual orientation, that gets expressed in a variety of ways and for a variety of non-genetic reasons, most of which are not clearly understood and it does appear that to sexual minorities in fact may serve some evolutionary purpose. So neither one is a simple cause-and-consequence phenomenon.

    The reason why Perry's analogy breaks down is that many other human characteristics are clearly genetic as well but that does not necessarily make them problematic even if some people foolishly think they are.

  •  Scott Esk just keeps on digging (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fidlerten, SCFrog, zitherhamster
    "I never said I would author legislation to put homosexuals to death, but I didn’t have a problem with it."
    Well isn't that just charming? "I personally wouldn't kill a gay person but if you want to do it yourself, go right ahead." With such a view, why would he even be fit to hold the office of town dog catcher, much less to serve as a state representative?
  •  Just a question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fidlerten

    If one's Blackness is subject to change, i.e. "passing", why is it not possible for our President to "Pass" as White?
    Genetically he has an equal percentage of "White" blood.
    Sexuality and Race have many common factors but in no way is denial a healthy course to take.
    Blackness does not need to be "cured" nor does one's innate sense of self, which includes affectional, psychological and social imperatives.

  •  LIFE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fidlerten

    Fidlerten, nice article.

    My one concern for you is the state you live in. I gather you never got the hell out of Oklahoma because of your family? To be honest, life for us is so much better in States that are gay friendly. I am lucky enough to have been born in NYC and lived here most of my life. I can not even imagine living in an ultra red state.

    I hope you get to live FREE and CAREFREE soon.

    •  Truth is... (0+ / 0-)

      I moved to Los Angeles in 1984 and lived there for over 14 years. I came home to Oklahoma because I got tired of some of the coldness of L.A.

      I have to admit, though there are some good things about Oklahoma and there are some good people here too, I do wish though I could afford to up and move to Colorado, which is not far from this state. I would love to smoke weed until I'm blue in the face. I don't buy it illegally here because to be caught might mean my job. Perhaps someday I will but right now, my finances say that I stay here.

      I do have a job that does not care that I am gay, which helps but there are lots of narrow-minded individuals who cannot see past their bigoted noses. I just don't allow those kinds of people to rule my life.

      Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

      by fidlerten on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:32:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  To the main subject of the conversation here... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JGibson

    I think the main point is, when it comes to your race or your nationality, it does not matter really what color your skin is or even what you prefer others to consider you as. It is your family and your roots you cannot get away from. Sure, you can leave them behind, as I surely did in my life, but they are still your family and your roots will always be your roots.

    Barack Obama has roots coming from two different cultures and though his American family is the dominant influence in his life, being that he was born here and raised by his mother, his father's side of the family has something to do with how he views the world also.

    He has been judged harshly and unfairly because of his roots on his father's side. He's been called a secret Muslim, which just is not true. One's religion is not something one hides. Just like Christianity, you don't hide your Muslim faith under a bush. Barack claims he's a Christian and there is no reason to doubt him on that, especially since he also goes to church and was long before he became president.

    Let's not forget that he also has been criticized for his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, who for me, is a typical preacher. I grew up in the Pentecostal church so I was quite use to the fire and brimstone message, though I agree with it or not.

    Rule the Day, Let not the Day Rule You.

    by fidlerten on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:43:22 AM PDT

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