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Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"Pretty"

From YouTube:  The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles performs 'I Feel Pretty' from West Side Story - done two ways with Rufus Wainwright's 'Pretty Things' tucked sublimely between the two. Tenor solos, Santo Ragno and David Cobb. Arranged by Jim Grady and choreography by Billy Rugh.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It Gets Better!!

On October 24th, 2010, members of GMCLA, along with their friends and supporters, gathered at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles to sing a song of hope to LGBT Youth everywhere.  It may sound a bit odd as it was recorded in a gym.  Listen to the lyrics and you will find that if fits all of us at one time or another. (helpful links follow the lyrics)



True Colors


You with the sad eyes
Don't be discouraged
Oh I realize
It's hard to take courage
In a world full of people
You can lose sight of it all
And the darkness inside you
Can make you feel so small


But I see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow


Show me a smile then,
Don't be unhappy, can't remember
When I last saw you laughing
If this world makes you crazy
And you've taken all you can bear
You call me up
Because you know I'll be there


And I'll see your true colors
Shining through
I see your true colors
And that's why I love you
So don't be afraid to let them show
Your true colors
True colors are beautiful,
Like a rainbow

(next week, i will start my regular postings)


LGBT links to see organizations of hope and if you need to talk or are suicidal:




Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Many Sides of B.D. Wong

Law & Order: SVU titled "Hardwired" and featuring Rosie Perez is sure to be controversial given it deals with pedophiles who claim their interest in children is an orientation like heterosexuality, bisexuality, and homosexuality.

But gay viewers will be especially interested as the episode also finally confirms what many fans of the show have long suspected — that Special Agent George Huang, M.D. played by B.D. Wong is in fact a gay man. (B.D. Wong is an openly gay actor)

The information is revealed when Huang becomes upset that a child molester is trying to argue that being a pedophile is no different than being gay or straight and that criminalizing pedophilia is akin to domonizing gays and lesbians. This prompts Huang to say it "insults his humanity as a gay man."

Many viewers have long suspected that Huang is gay (in fact naming him as the 22nd best gay character on television), but a publicist for the show confirmed this is the first time the show has confirmed Huang's sexuality or referenced it on the show.





A Musical by Robert Lee and Leon Ko, Directed by Darren Lee

A Staged Concert to Benefit Asia Society -- May 24, 25 and 26 at 8 p.m. at Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue at 70th Street, New York.

Heading East is set primarily in San Francisco from 1848-1981. This funny yet emotionally gripping musical tells the story of Siu Yee Tong, a brazen young man who travels from drought- and famine-ridden China to the shores of Gold Rush-era California determined to be the next great American success story. Siu Yee's lifelong quest to reinvent himself plays out against the tumultuous backdrop of a century and a half of American history: although the narrative spans 133 years, the characters age over the course of a single lifetime.

The cast is made up of twelve Asian-American actors playing a wide variety of roles, making the concert a celebration of Asian-American artists that coincides with Asia Society's Asian Pacific American Heritage Month programming throughout May (for details, visit www.AsiaSociety.org/AsiaInAmerica).

The actors include Cindy Cheung, Fay Ann Lee and Manu Narayan

BD Wong (Actor)
Robert Lee (Book & Lyrics)
Leon Ko (Music)
Darren Lee (Director)
Lex Liang (Production design)
Andrew Asnes (Co-producer)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gay Genetics?

Most of the following comes from The New York Magazine:

Symmetry of homosexual brain resembles that of the opposite sex.
whorl
Gay men are more likely for their hair to whorl in a counter clockwise direction.

Gay men and straight women have increased density of finger print ridges on the thumb and pinky.
thumbprint
In navigational tasks and verbal fluency gay men and lesbians tend to have atypical scores.

Gay men are more likely to be left-handed.

Among white gay men they are smaller in overall stature.

Hearing acuity is more like the opposite sex for homosexuals.
fingers
Index finger of most straight men are shorter than their ring fingers, and for most women they are the same length or longer. Gay men and lesbians tend to have reversed ratios.

The second-born son is 33% more likely to be gay than the first born, and the third is 33% more likely than the second and so on.

There is a “gay sound” as a research study found that 75% of the participants picked them out correctly.

In gay men the hypothalamus, is similar in size to straight women.

There are many generalization about gay men. For some, the only exposure to homosexuality is through the media or word-of-mouth. Unfortunately, this is how many stereotypes (often wrong) are spread. While it may fit some, it does not fit all of one type of group. Stereotyping is dangerous, can breed prejudice and hate and can really get you into awkward situations. Never assume anything, not everyone of a certain group are the same. The following information is from taking with gay men and looking at gay blogs and websites, but they are STEREOTYPES:

Gay men like Broadway show tunes.

Gay men like Divas such as Diana Ross, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor, Liza Minneli, Lady Gaga.

Gay men are more concerned with presentation and the way they look.

Gay men have a better ability to gift wrap.

Gay men enjoy the arts as leisure activity and professions (theatre, dancing, musicians, singing, writing etc…).

Gay men enjoy shopping.

Gay men often choose helping professions such as nursing, social work, therapists, teaching, etc.

Gay men have an aversion to watching most sports except for figure skating.

Gay men are more emotional.

The following information is from taking with homosexual women and at gay and lesbian blogs and websites, but they are STEREOTYPES:

They are butch.

Appear more masculine.

Go into traditionally male occupations such as construction, military, law enforcement, truck driving, etc.

Enjoy playing baseball, softball or basketball.

Man haters.

Feminists.

Short hair.

No dresses or skirts.

Tom boy.

As I stated earlier I need to see, “what the Bible says, what my experiences are, and who I know God to be in my life and must agree with the original Greek and Hebrew and within the context of the culture in which the Bible was written for it to become my own belief. What really turned things around for me was the Biblical basis for a different solid view point that used the culture and Greek and Hebrew. Also, that trends are moving forward to looking like there is partly some genetic basis, albeit, unperfect for the time. It also matches my experience with people in my life who are homosexual.  I do not believe that being gay is a choice.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Gay Statistics

“Homophobia is a social disease” ~ Author Unknown

The following is from Dr. Daniel A. Helminiak’s book entitled, “What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality:”

Thirty to forty percent of the youth living on the streets are teenagers who were thrown out or left their homes because they are homosexual.

parents-reaction

Thirty percent up to six time higher of teenage suicides are among homosexual youth. Proportionately, this figure is at least three to four times higher than for other adolescents.

It is estimated that over 400 homosexual Christians commit suicide every year.

People lose their jobs because their boss does not like “queers.”

Parents lose custody of their children or visitation rights for being lesbian or gay.

Men and women are evicted from their apartments or their houses are burned because somebody said they were gay.

Gay men and lesbians are routinely beaten up and murdered for being homosexual.
A gay man dies of AIDS in his home, locked away from every outsider, without any medical attention, because his family did not want others to know.

Much human potential is squashed and wasted in people who live for years in secret self-hatred, taught to be afraid of their own hearts.

“The white light streams down to be broken up by those human prisms into all the colors of the rainbow. Take your own color in the pattern and be just that.”
~ Charles R. Brown

The following video was made in 2008:

This video shows that Gays and Lesbians go through Discrimination everyday of their lives. To download the songs visit (http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?1­iyzcvvnwwn) and (http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?q­zynwufo0ln) thank you for watching.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Too Much Hate...Too Much Heartache!!

Originally, I was going to write an article about discrimination  and hate crimes against homosexuality and homophobia, but I am very emotional especially angry about it and found it difficult to write. But, the I remember Pierre's post which was written much more eloquently that I could never have written to his quality.  Also, I was quite distressed, appalled and horrified as six other youths committed suicide as a result of being gay within the past month in the U.S. Additionally, there have been reportedly at least four heinous hate crimes. (At the time that I am writing this post) These are only the ones that have recieved national attention...I wonder how many others?  


(posted 10.2.2010) "Asher Brown (13) from Houston, America shot himself in the head last week after being "bullied to death” because of his religious beliefs, for being small and for being gay.

Asher took his own life with his stepfather's 9 mm Beretta, which was "stored on one of the closet's shelves." There was no suicide note. His stepfather David found his body, lifeless, after coming home from work. "I thought he was laying there reading a book or something" he says. "My son put a gun to his head because he couldn't take what he was hearing and the constant teasing."

His mother Amy came home to police sirens and yellow tape at her house. "They called him different names for being homosexual," she says. "He just had enough."

Tyler Clementi (18) a freshman from Rutgers University walked onto the George Washington Bridge the night of 22 Sept and jumped over the edge, after two of his roommates secretly filmed him having sex with another man then posted it on the Internet thereby outing him as homosexual.

His last words, posted on Facebook about 10 minutes before he died, were brief and to the point: "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry." The comment gave no hint of the torment and mortification that lay behind the decision of gifted 18-year-old violinist to kill himself.

In a statement, his family said that "Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words."

(posted 07.2001) ""It happens every day. Somewhere in the world someone will the recipient of a snide remark, a malicious taunt or a deliberate verbal and/or even physical attack. Most gay people have fallen victim to homophobia in one way or another. Most people (gay and straight) have experienced and/or witnessed homophobia firsthand. However, some gay people are not as lucky as most and the results of homophobia will leave lasting scars, devastate families and shock communities. Sometimes being gay could mean a death sentence by the hands of your peers.

On 2nd of August will be the two year anniversary of the tragic death of Michael Causer. During the early hours of 25 July 2008 Michael was brutally assaulted by two other teenagers because he was gay. Michael sustained serious brain injuries and later died in hospital as a result of his injuries at the tender age of 18. This was a senseless act but what makes it worse is that Michael is but one of many who lost their lives due to homophobia. Gay bashings happens every day, every day people are attacked due to their sexual orientation and every day families and friends have to deal with aftermath of the ignorance and intolerance that is homophobia.

Sometimes homophobia’s lethal effects are not directly handed down by gay bashers. Homophobia doesn’t always take the life of a gay soul through assault. Sometimes bullying, teasing and the continued belittling of a person are enough. Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover age 11 hanged himself on 5 April 2009 after suffering months of bullying at school that included daily taunts of being gay. In July 2008 Alex Wildman age 14 committed suicide as homophobic taunts at school and physical abuse by fellow students got too much for him to put up with. In April 2009 a bully publicly said to Eric Mohat age 17 “Why don’t you go home and shoot yourself, no one will miss you” and consequently he did! Eric was also frequently called gay, fag, queer and homo, often times in front of teachers who did nothing to stop it. These are just a few tragic examples of something that happen every day, tragic examples of how homophobia kills.

Personally I too have experience the wrath of homophobia. Having been openly gay in High School I too was the victim of bullying, endless taunting and homophobic slurs. It was hurtful, embarrassing and even made me feel ashamed of who and what I was at the time. But, I was lucky – I survived it. The sheer will not to let those bastards win, to let them have power over me and to make me feel less than human because I was gay motivated me to go on and endure it. I also survived two gay bashings (at the age of 17 and then again at 18) which also made me feel ashamed. I was ashamed out of fear. I was ashamed having had to tell my parents I was beaten-up because I was gay and I feared that they would think or even say “That’s what you get for being gay”. Today I know better! All these experiences made me stronger and more determined to make a success of my life and to never again be ashamed of who or what I am. But I am one of the lucky ones.

Why is it that in a modern society antiquated prejudices are still allowed to plague us? Why do children think its ok to bully, assault and kill other children just because they are thought to be or are gay? Why do grown men prowl the streets near gay clubs waiting to pounce on an innocent person and beat the shit out of them? Does this make them feel more macho, more manly, does it make them feel better about themselves? What does it say about us as a society that we are allowing such travesties to occur?

Every one of us carries with us a responsibility to change the world for the better. I know this sound fantastic, but just sit and think about it for a minute. Homophobia is a social disease spread by people and allowed to exist by people. If people changed their attitudes and consciously fight homophobia it may just be eradicated and it will be done one person at a time. If you hear a person make a homophobic comment do you speak out? If someone says “that is so gay”, do you correct them? If you see a child being bullied do you intervene? If you don’t, ask yourself why, what are you afraid of?

Homophobia is killing our youth, it’s killing our friends, and it’s killing our brother and sisters. Just because you may not be affected by it right this minute should not preclude you from doing something to help stop it. It’s time we take a moment and reach out and help the children on the verge of suicide because they are being bullied, the gay teens struggling to come to terms with their sexual orientation who don’t feel safe in their own homes, the homosexuals living in communities and countries that’s intolerant with real threats to their lives. Get involved with your local community centres, donate whatever money you can to foundations or just do the simplest thing possible – talk to each other, be proud of yourself and be proud of our community. Anyone who has ever been affected by homophobia should know better than to be indifferent. It’s been 14 years since I was last gay bashed and I am not ignorant to think that will never happen to me again. There are still far too many with hatred towards gay people that walk the streets and if you and I stay quiet about it the next victim may just be you.

Too many gay people have been taken from us due to homophobia. Heaven is filled with angels who were sent there by the deeds of others with hatred in their hearts. Let’s never forget our brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate price for being who and what they were. Let’s honour their memory by each and every day reaching out, educating and spreading love. It only takes one person to make a difference, let that one person be you."

Per YouTube description:
ERASE THE HATE (ETH) is a positive organization for members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender (GLBT) Community and their Straight-Allied Supporters; that wish to make a positive change in the world for equality based on issues that face us all. We welcome as members; any and all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or occupation who share this philosophy.

ETH is devoted to advancing fair and accurate representation of all people, as a means of ridding homophobia and discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, and sexual identity.

Founded on July 27th, 2005, ETH is working to educate the public on a wide array of topics affecting GLBT citizens: including homophobia, transphobia, hate crimes, discrimination (public, workplace, and military), family issues, equal rights, marriage concerns, sexual orientation, sexual identity, suicide, drugs, and health issues. ETH is also engaging in extensive research, and is providing education and programming based on all GLBT Community Issues.

OUR WEBSITE: http://www.erasethehatenational.org

MYSPACE GROUP: http://groups.myspace.com/erasethehate

MYSPACE: http://www.myspace.com/erasethehatena...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Helpful Definitions

Here may be some helpful definitions which I found on Urban Dictionary

Homosexual ~  a person whose sexual preference is members of the same sex

Gay ~ a homosexual male or female

Lesbian ~ a woman whose emotional, romantic, and sexual energies are geared towards other women

Bisexual ~ A person capable of having physical, romantic, and sexual attraction attractions towards both sexes.

What bisexual is NOT: Sex fiends looking to hump everything in sight. Just a phase of confusion. A fad; though for some females it is considered "sexy" to be bisexual. A person who engages in orgies.

Transgender ~ A term referring to when one's gender and sex are not always or ever equivalent. Often used as a referrant to the person themself. This is a broad term that includes transexual (pre/non or post-op), non-gender, bi (tri & multi) gender, androgynes, etc. The state of being transgendered may or may not have any bearing on sexual preferences.




Transexual ~  a male or female that feels they were born in the wrong gender.

Transvestite ~ A cross dresser. Most transvestites are NOT homosexuals, however. Official definition from the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: A person who dresses and acts in a style or manner traditionally associated with the opposite sex.
Queer ~ Originally pejorative for gay, now being reclaimed by some gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons as a self-affirming umbrella term. Caution: still extremely offensive when used as an epithet.

Pansexual ~ A person who is sexually interested in other people regardless of gender including,males,females,transsexuals, trnsvestites, hermaphodites, intersexual, androgynous people, and etc.

Asexual ~ a person who is not interested in or does not desire sexual activity, either within or outside of a relationship. asexuality is not the same as celibacy, which is the willful decision to not act on sexual feelings. asexuals, while not physically sexual-type folks, are none the less quite capable of loving, affectionate, romantic ties to others. 

Intrasexual ~ A person that only has sexual intercourse with him/herself. They do not mate with members of either gender, rather they keep to themselves, pleasing only themselves. They are their own sex toy.

Metrosexual ~  straight man who embraces the homosexual lifestyle, i.e. refined tastes in clothing, excessive use of designer hygiene products, etc. Usually is on the brink of homosexuality, but is heterosexual.  He may also get "hit" on by homosexual men.

Ubersexual ~ a male who is similar to a metrosexual but displays the traditional manly qualities such as confidence, strength, and class - leaving no doubt as to his sexual orientation

Omnisexual ~ a male who is similar to a metrosexual but displays the traditional manly qualities such as confidence, strength, and class - leaving no doubt as to his sexual orientation

Androgynous ~ Having both male and female characteristics( appearance )that it becomes a challenge for one to decipher what sex that person is.

Gaydar ~ The ability/gift of being able to detect homosexuality in other people.

Now are you confused? If you have any changes to the definitions or definitions to add please comment. Comments are moderated, so be clean and useful with your help.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

What Do I Believe About Homosexuality?

“What do you mean, you ‘don’t believe in homosexuality?’ It’s not like the Easter Bunny, your belief isn’t necessary.” ~ Lea DeLaria.

I wonder how a person who has been a Christian for almost 30 years goes from believing that the Bible says, “ homosexuality is a sin,” to being a supporter for gay rights. I can’t wait to see the post. Oh but, it is my story and I need to write it first. Actually, by this time I’ll be done. Yes, I’m crazy!! There is so much information that I could write a thesis, but posts don’t allow for that. As a result, I will be more general.

I am not your “typical” Christian, an evangelical fundamentalist Christian which is what you see most on television. What I see and hear in the media makes me very angry as I do not believe that what they do and say are part of what a Christianity is to me. They are often very judgmental, condemning and hurtful which is directly against what I believe we as Christians are called to do. (funny, I’m being judgmental by that statement) We are called to love.

Matthew 22:36-40 says, “‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He [Jesus] said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.’” This verse is also in the old testament in Deuteronomy 6:5.

Another issue that comes to mind is that in relation to many things including homosexuality are the verses in Galatians 5:19-22. “Now the deed of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing and things like these of which I forewarn you just as those who practice such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

What I hear and see the church do is often condemning and hateful and not fruitful. I know that the first part also is part of the reason that homosexuality is considered a sin that will cause a person not to inherit the kingdom of God. (That is also why we have Jesus…long story). I will address the issue of sin later. I just wanted to address what most people see in the media and what the Bible actually says. Please keep in mind that we are in the process of becoming more like Jesus. So, I’ve never ever had a problem with loving versus condemnation as an issue within myself.
These are some of the statements and words that I found from Christians and non-Christians in relation to homosexuality: “God hates homosexuals,” “You can't be a Christian if you are gay,” “God hates fags,” “God hates gays,” “Gays are an abomination to God,” “Gays equal AIDS,” “Fag church,” “Fags will go to hell,” “Homosexuality is evil,” “All gays should be castrated,” “I don’t believe in homosexuality,” “Homosexuality is an abomination to God,” and reference to homosexuals being demonized, diseased, disordered, degenerates, etc.
“You’ll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart.” ~ George Michael, “Kissing a Fool”

“The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 to heterosexuals. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love heterosexuals. It’s just that they need more supervision.” ~ Lynn Lavner [six admonishments are not true, but what is used against homosexuality by most Christians.]

For many years, my stance on homosexuality was basically to repeat back what the church told me, but something in the back of my mind couldn’t reconcile this issue. And, that was/is not my normal way of being. I also have friends and family who are homosexual and the same sex marriage issue has exploded in the United States. I have almost always questioned everything the church has said and have had to find satisfactory answers for myself; otherwise, it does not become my faith or belief. For me, this means that several things need to agree together, such as, what the Bible says, what my experiences are, and who I know God to be in my life and must agree with the original Greek and Hebrew and within the context of the culture in which the Bible was written.

With the issue of homosexuality, it has always bothered me as to how the church approached it especially as the above statements do not sound like the character of God at all. So, for the past two years, I have been researching both sides of the argument using the internet, several books which I will list at the end and interviewing people on both sides of the argument including people who have been involved in ministries to transform homosexuals into heterosexuals.

Most of what I have found is that those who condemn homosexuality use a literal interpretation of the Bible which does not account for the word “homosexual” not being used as a word until 1892. The Greek words used in the verses against homosexuality refer to such things as rape, power differential, orgies, adultery, cultural issues, sodomy and polygamy. As a culture they did not have an “idea” of homosexuality and it was not a word that they used, it is a modern day translation. In the verses that they use sodomy and homosexuality it is generally in reference to rape or that it was against the law because it was making a man like a woman, who was subservient. Remember, the culture highly relied on a patriarchal system and wives and daughters were possessions. Male superiority had to be maintained.

According to the book Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality by Jack Rogers, “you shall not lie with a woman; it is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13). The Hebrew word ‘toevah,’ translated as “abomination,” refers here to something that makes a person ritually unclean, such as intercourse with a woman while she is menstruating. Ritual purity was considered necessary to distinguish the Israelites from their pagan neighbors.” Matthew 15 refers to the purity of one’s heart. Matthew 5 refers to Jesus fulfilling the Law.


Rogers further states, “the sin of Sodom is mentioned several times elsewhere in the Bible, but never in connection with homosexual acts. In the Old Testament references to Sodom, the sins of wealth, indifference to the poor, general wickedness and [refusal of hospitality for travelers who were often subjected to rape if no one was hospitable. Rape was the ultimate humiliation especially for men.] In the New Testament, when Jesus referred to the sin of Sodom, as recorded in Luke 10:20 and Matthew 10:15, he was passing judgment on cities that refused hospitality to his traveling disciples. A focus on the supposed homosexual aspect of the Sodom story comes only later, in nonbiblical literature, influenced by Greek philosophy, and also in the Muslim Qur’an.”

Rogers also points out that, “the definition of ‘sodomy’ has changed over time. In the Middle Ages it referred to any form of sexual expression that was not open to procreation. Then it focused on anal intercourse. Until the twentieth century, such sexual expression was viewed as wrong and often made illegal, whether by heterosexual or homosexual couples. Then, the law was narrowed in the United States to apply only to homosexuals.” So for me, I do not see God viewing homosexuality as a sin. The Bible actually, from the original versions, do not refer to homosexuality. Also, in the more modern day translations it is a very miniscule part of the Bible.
Many of the Christian arguments against homosexuality assume that it is a choice of a life style. What I am finding is that it is a very new area of research. The “opposition” mostly, take the Bible literally, passages are taken out of context of time and culture, they don't go back to the original Hebrew or Greek and they make the assumption that it is a choice. Most of the research is finding genetic components bodily differences and brain differences. However, it is still in it’s infancy of research and research needs to become more reproducible and have a larger participant count. So, scientific evidence seems inconclusive. But, for me, after what I have seen, read, talked with homosexuals and mental health professionals, I do not believe that it is a choice. It would be like forcing a left-handed person to write right-handed. They might be able to do it, but it wouldn’t be true to who they are.

Also, if it were a choice why would anyone want to put themselves through the prejudice from others and more significantly the tremendous emotional turmoil and, at times, excruciating pain that one goes through when they are exploring their sexual identity. It is a gut wrenching process to accept oneself as being gay and every homosexual has to go through this process and if they say that they never experienced that they are either in fooling themselves or are in denial.

“I don’t think homosexuality is a choice. Society forces you to think it’s a choice, but in fact, it’s in one’s nature. The choice is whether one expresses one’s nature truthfully or spends the rest of one’s life lying about it.”
~ Marlo Thomas

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Gay Gangster Fight

Caution ~ Maybe offensive to some as it simulates homosexual sex.

Friday, October 15, 2010

John Perez is California Assembly Speaker!!

Openly gay Assemblymember John Perez (D-Los Angeles) is making history Monday as he is sworn in as the new Assembly Speaker. He is taking over from Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), who is running for Congressmember Diane Watson’s seat.

Longtime political columnist Rick Orlov notes that Assembly Speaker is considered “the second-most powerful job in California politics.” He writes:
“In a ceremony being compared to an inauguration, Perez will outline his priorities – jobs, jobs, jobs and perhaps a bit on education and, oh yeah, that multibillion-dollar budget problem. He is expected to be speaking to a full house, including Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Gov. Gray Davis and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – Perez’s cousin.”
Also attending will be many of Perez’s longtime LGBT friends, including Eric Bauman, the openly gay vice chair of the California Democratic Party.  Bauman emailed that “the Speaker-elect and members of the Legislature were blessed at a magnificent interfaith service that included Catholic priests, bishops, ministers and our community’s own Rabbi Denise Eger.”  He adds, “An incredible diversity of Californians are in Sacramento to attend and participate in the swearing-in, including the Gay Men’s Chorus who I am sure will turn the house out when they sing.”

UPDATE from Bauman at 12:50p: “The Gay Mens Chorus has the house in tears with a medley of America the Beautiful and America… To be followed by It’s a Brand New Day from the Wiz… Go boys, turn them out!”

UPDATE: LA Times reports Perez sworn in at 12:56.

UPDATE: West Hollywood City Councilmember John Duran in the Capitol Gallery says: “The Assembly Chambers were filled with the spirits of the thousands of LGBT activists who strolled the Capitol halls for more than 40 years demanding justice on sodomy laws, hate crimes, discrimination and AIDS. Much blood was shed to get us here.”

UPDATE:  This just in from EQCA’s Geoff Kors:
I just left the Assembly Chambers after witnessing history as Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno swore in Assemblymember John A. Pérez as Speaker. 
From the rousing rendition of “Brand New Day” by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles to Speaker Pérez’s moving and powerful remarks, today is a day of great hope for the State of California and the LGBT community.
Another barrier for our community was shattered as Assemblymember Pérez became the state’s first openly gay Speaker.
With his indispensible leadership and stellar track record, it is Speaker Pérez who will lead California in solving the many challenges the state faces.

At EQCA, we look forward to working with Speaker Pérez as we push forward with an aggressive legislative agenda that will propel the state closer to full LGBT equality. We also look forward to working with him to ensure that the state has a budget that protects the critical health and human service needs of all people, especially those most in need.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Marry Me

Proposition 8 from the 2008 election is still a hot topic in California. Despite what everyone has heard or thinks it is right or wrong, the actual text is quite simple from what I've been able to find. The following text is from the California Voters Guide:

This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8, of the California Constitution.
This initiative measure expressly amends the California Constitution by adding a section thereto; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.
SECTION 1. Title This measure shall be known and may be cited as the "California Marriage Protection Act."
SECTION 2. Section 7.5 is added to Article I of the California Constitution, to read:
SEC. 7.5. Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.
BACKGROUND

In March 2000, California voters passed Proposition 22 to specify in state law that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California. In May 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that the statute enacted by Proposition 22 and other statutes that limit marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman violated the equal protection clause of the California Constitution. It also held that individuals of the same sex have the right to marry under the California Constitution. As a result of the ruling, marriage between individuals of the same sex is currently valid or recognized in the state.

This would seem to have been a HUGE move in the Gay Rights Movement as they were able to legally marry.  However, then comes along Proposition 8 which seems to have the same effect as Proposition 22.  But, wait a minute...didn't the courts overturn Proposition 22 as being unconstitutional?  So, it seems like we voted for the same thing twice and again there is a lawsuit to overturn Proposition 8. (Oh, yes...this is the same thing!!)

In August 2010, once again a federal judge in California rules that the state's same-sex marriage ban amounts to unconstitutional discrimination and should be immediately struck down.   Per ABC News, "Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license," wrote U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker in a 136-page decision. "Indeed, the evidence shows Proposition 8 does nothing more than enshrine in the California Constitution the notion that opposite-sex couples are superior to same-sex couples."

Walker issued a stay on the order overturning Prop 8 to allow supporters of the measure to argue why it should remain in effect while pursuing an appeal. The case is expected to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

As a Republican (don't stone me yet...I'm changing my registered party affiliation) and a Christian, I was absolutely appalled and angered at those that wanted Yes on 8 (no same-sex marriage) especially the church because they misled and LIED about what it really meant and the impact.

It has nothing to do with schools.  Local school districts and parents, NOT the State, develop health education programs for their schools.

NO CHILD CAN BE FORCED, AGAINST THE WILL OF THEIR PARENTS, TO BE TAUGHT ANYTHING about health and family issues. CALIFORNIA LAW PROHIBITS IT.  Currently, they are not taught about common law marriage!!! 

Also, with so much campaigning and discussion about it, almost every child, has probably heard about it anyway.  It doesn't make the fact that one of their classmates may be being raised by a same sex couple.

Domestic Partnerships and Marriage are not the same!! Only marriage provides the security that spouses provide one another—it’s why people get married in the first place!  Think about it. Married couples depend on spouses when they’re sick, hurt, or aging. They accompany them into ambulances or hospital rooms, and help make life-and-death decisions, with no questions asked. ONLY MARRIAGE ENDS THE CONFUSION AND GUARANTEES THE CERTAINTY COUPLES CAN COUNT ON IN TIMES OF GREATEST NEED.

It does not mean that it takes away the rights of gay and lesbian couples and treats them differently under the law.  Equality under the law is one of the basic foundations of our society.  It means one class of citizens can enjoy the same dignity and responsibility of marriage as any other couple, not more or less.

It does not mean that churches may have their tax exempt status challenged or revoked if they publicly oppose same-sex marriage or refuse to allow same-sex marriage ceremonies in their religious buildings open to the public. Ellen Aprill, a tax law professor at Loyola Law School, called Peterson's claim "a bit of fear mongering." Challenges to a church's tax-exempt status based solely on its stance on gay marriage would probably not survive in federal or state courts, she said."We have many places where we recognize religious organizations' right to free expression," Aprill said.

Adoption agencies will be forced to place children with same-sex couples, regardless of an agency's beliefs. Adoption agencies that oppose placing children with same-sex couples for religious or other reasons have already been forced to stop providing adoption services in Massachusetts and California.

However, according to the Los Angeles Times, Take the story of Catholic Charities. The service arm of the Roman Catholic Church closed its adoption program in Massachusetts not because of the state's gay marriage law but because of a gay anti-discrimination law passed many years earlier. In fact, the charity had voluntarily placed older foster children in gay and lesbian households -- among those most willing to take hard-to-place children -- until the church hierarchy was alerted and demanded that adoptions conform to the church's religious teaching, which was in conflict with state law. The Proposition 8 campaign, funded in large part by Mormons who were urged to do so by their church, does not mention that the Mormon church's adoption arm in Massachusetts is still operating, even though it does not place children in gay and lesbian households.

How can this be? It's a matter of public accountability, not infringement on religion. Catholic Charities acted as a state contractor, receiving state and federal money to find homes for special-needs children who were wards of the state, and it faced the loss of public funding if it did not comply with the anti-discrimination law. In contrast, LDS (for Latter-day Saints) Family Services runs a private adoption service without public funding. Its work, and its ability to follow its religious teachings, have not been altered.

There was and still are many false beliefs regarding Proposition 8.  But, I've done the research and looked at the legal, religious and sociology for and against.  Bottom line is that I support No on Proposition 8 and am happy that the GLBT community finally are making progress for their civil rights.  I am ready for that day when my homosexual friends can marry, have children and grow old together which is the same as most heterosexuals in the dating world...it is a human desire no matter who you love.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Gay Civil Rights Facts & DADT

“Why can’t they have gay people in the army? Personally, I think they are just afraid of a thousand guys with M16s going, ‘Who’d you call ‘Faggot?” ~ Jon Stewart

gay-soldier



This is a summary of the history of that has impacted person’s who are homosexual. Also, the Bible has been used to oppress and harass women and slaves, so I have included a part of that history as well.

In 1777, Thomas Jefferson made a liberal move at the time by proposing a revision of the Virginia law to reduce the penalty for gay men from death to castration and gay women mutilation of nose cartilage. Jefferson was considered a liberal. At the time, the most common penalty on the books was death.

In 1865, the Civil War ends and slavery is abolished and voting and civil rights are granted to blacks.

In 1892, Hungarian psychologist Benkert invents the word homosexual to describe people attracted to the same sex. This created a shift change in the medical profession to rather than it being a sin or criminal act, it was seen as a psychological condition to be cured.

In 1920, women win the right to vote.

In the 1930’s, homosexuals were among those that the Nazi's persecuted and were marked with larger triangle than for other "offences," so that it could be seen from a distance. It was a pink triangle pointed face down. It is estimated that 220,000 gay men and lesbian women were executed for this "offence." This is the reason for the usage of the triangle as a homosexual symbol. Both as an identification symbol and a reminder that they were part of the Nazi atrocities.

In 1950, Harry Hay and others found the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles, America’s first on-going gay right organization.

In 1953, the American Psychological Association adds homosexuality as a list of disorders to be addressed by psychologists and psychiatrists to treat. In 1973, they vote to remove homosexuality from its lists of “illnesses,” thus ending efforts to “cure” gays.

Also in 1953 on April 27th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Executive Order 10450, which mandated the firing of all federal employees who were determined to be guilty of “sexual perversion.” The following two decades thousands of homosexuals would lose their jobs. In all of those years, the lowest percentage for one year was 25%. I do not know what the average or the highest percentages were. In addition, all employees were required to take “loyalty oaths” for employment swearing that they are not homosexual. These regulations were not repealed until 1975.

In 1953, both, State and Local governments began to follow suit as did private employers. Although the Civil Service Commission curtailed the discriminatory policy in 1975 it still lacked sexual orientation nondiscrimination policies.

In 1956, The Daughters of Bilitis, a pioneering national lesbian organization, is founded.  Read more: The American Gay Rights Movement: A Timeline — Infoplease.com http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0761909.html#ixzz117HZGUhB

In 1923, the American Law Institute has long been one of the most influential legal organizations in the country.  In the late 1950s, it issued an opinion that stunned many: That victimless crime laws, such as laws banning sexual intercourse between consenting adults, should be abolished. Illinois agreed in 1961. Connecticut followed suit in 1969. But most states ignored the recommendation, and continued to classify consensual gay sex as a felony on par with sexual assault--sometimes with prison sentences of up to 20 years.
  
In 1963, as part of the black civil rights movement there is a march on Washington DC where King delivers the famous “I have a dream” speech.

On June 28th 1969, the “beginning” of the gay rights movement began with the Stonewall Riots in New York City. At that time, gay bars were like the bars during prohibition, blacked out, entrance in the back and lots of raids and police harassment. On this particular night at the Stonewall Inn, a New York gay bar, they fought back against police harassment which initiated several days of rioting and began an uprising from the oppression and harassment in which homosexuals had been living.

In 1973, members of the American Psychiatric Association finally stated that homosexuality was not a mental illness.They announced that they would be removing homosexuality from the next printing of the DSM-II, and spoke out in favor of antidiscrimination laws that would protect lesbian and gay Americans.

In 1977, before giving blood the American Red Cross implements that all men are asked if they have had sex, even once, with another man since 1977. Those who say they have are permanently banned from donating. The FDA said those men are at increased risk of infection by HIV that can be transmitted to others by blood transfusion.


In 1978, Harvey Milk, a gay Supervisor of San Francisco and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White. On May 21, 1979, the verdict was for 5 to 8 years for manslaughter. This sparked the White Nights Riot. The 5,000 person march turned violent as police vehicles are overturned and set on fire. Later, in the evening, police retaliate in the Castro neighborhood, arresting and beating gay men. Ironically, and much to the dismay of police, the following day 4,000 people gather for a peaceful celebration of Harvey Milk’s 49th birthday. They had already obtained a permit for such a gathering.

In 1980, Steve Gunderson is the first openly gay Republican to be elected to the U.S House of Representatives. 

In 1982, President Reagan implements Defense Directive 1332.14, it was military policy that "homosexuality is incompatible with military service" and persons who engaged in homosexual acts or stated that they are homosexual or bisexual were discharged.

In 1982,The Village Voice became the first business to offer domestic partnership benefits. In 1984, the City of Berkeley became the first U.S. government body to do so--offering lesbian and gay city and school district employees the same partnership benefits that heterosexual couples take for granted.

In 1982, Wisconsin becomes the first state to outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

In 1983, the American Red Cross bans all gay men a prohibition to give blood for life. Again, it meant to prevent the spread of HIV through transfusions.

In 1983, Gerry Studds becomes the first openly gay Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives. 

In 1987, Barney Frank comes out and becomes the most prominent voice as a U.S. House of Representatives.

In 1998, the first openly gay woman elected to the US Congress was Tammy Baldwin.

In 1988, President Bill Clinton signed Executive order 13087, which prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation for federal employment, but does not include the military.

In  1993, President Bill Clinton who campaigned on the promise to allow all citizens to serve in the military regardless of sexual orientation. However, the Clinton Administration on December 21, 1993, issued Defense Directive 1304.26, which directed that military applicants were not to be asked about their sexual orientation. This is the policy now known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell".

The full name of the policy at the time was "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue." "Don’t Ask" mandates that military or appointed officials will not ask about or require members to reveal their sexual orientation. "Don’t Tell" states that a member may be discharged for claiming to be a homosexual or bisexual or making a statement indicating a tendency towards or intent to engage in homosexual activities. "Don’t Pursue" establishes what is minimally required for an investigation to be initiated. "Don’t Harass" was added to the policy later. It ensures that the military will not allow harassment or violence against service members for any reason.

Beyond the official ban, gay personnel were often the target of various types of harassment by their comrades, intended to compel them to resign or confess to investigators. An infamous version of this harassment was called a blanket party; at night several service members would cover the face of their victim with a blanket then beat the victim. Often these beatings were severe and occasionally even fatal, as in the case ofAllen R. Schindler, Jr..  In defense of his DADT policy, President Clinton cited U.S. Navy Radioman Third Class Schindler, "brutally murdered by shipmate Terry M. Helvey (with the aid of an accomplice), leaving a "nearly-unrecognizable corpse". DADT has officially prohibited such behavior, but harassment continues.

DADT has been upheld five times in federal court, and in a Supreme Court case in 2006, the Supreme Court unanimously held that the federal government could constitutionally withhold funding from universities if they refuse to give military recruiters access to school resources, in spite of any university nondiscrimination policies.

In 2002, John Laird becomes the first openly gay member elected into the California State Assembly. 

In 2008, Jared Polis becomes the first openly gay man elected to the US Congress.

In 2008, Mark Leno is the first openly gay man to be elected into the California State Senate.

In 2009, Annise Parker becomes the first gay woman elected Mayor of Huston, Texas, with a population of 2.2 million, the largest city in the country to elect an openly gay mayor.  Read more at Suite101: Influential Gay Politicians: Elected Openly Gay Officials Increasing in Visibility http://www.suite101.com/content/influential-lgbt-politicians-a155368#ixzz117KhzZ7y

In 2009, President Obama said in his first State of the Union Address, "This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are."

In September 2010 despite White House backing and majorities in Congress, marked a low point in the more than decade-long effort to rid a policy begun under President Bill Clinton. Democrats thought this was their best chance to undo the 17-year-old measure after President Obama had won the support of Defense Secretary Robert Gates. and other military leaders to get rid of it.  This is an issue that President Obama has stated that he will continue to keep his campaign promise.

Note: I wrote all of the other parts of this post prior to Federal Judge Phillips ordered an injunction for DADT.

Gay rights advocates, however, tempered their celebrations, warning service members to avoid revealing their sexuality for fear that the injunction could be tossed out during an appeal and they would be left open to being discharged.


If the government does not appeal, the injunction cannot be reversed and would remain in effect. If it does, it can seek a temporary freeze, or stay, of her ruling. An appeal would go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Either side could then take it to the U.S. Supreme Court.


The Pentagon did not immediately comment, and a Justice Department spokeswoman said the government was reviewing the decision. Meanwhile, a group of 19 Democrat senators signed a letter sent to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to let the injunction stand.
Opponents state, "The judge ignored the evidence to impose her ill-informed and biased opinion on our military, endangering morale, health and security of our military at a time of war," said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, a public policy group. Wright said Phillips should have let Congress continue to investigate the impact of the repeal."


Phillips' order goes into effect immediately, said Dan Woods, the attorney who represented the Log Cabin Republicans, the gay rights group that filed the lawsuit in 2004 to stop the ban's enforcement.
Phillips' ruling also ordered the government to suspend and discontinue all pending discharge proceedings and investigations.


Government attorneys had warned Phillips that such an abrupt change from an injunction might harm military operations during wartime. They had asked Phillips to limit her ruling to the 19,000 members of the Log Cabin Republicans, which includes current and former military service members.


The Justice Department attorneys also said Congress should decide the issue – not the court.  Phillips disagreed, saying the policy doesn't help military readiness and instead has a "direct and deleterious effect" on the armed services by hurting recruiting when the country is at war and requiring the discharge of service members with critical skills and training.


"Furthermore, there is no adequate remedy at law to prevent the continued violation of servicemembers' rights or to compensate them for violation of their rights," Phillips said in her order.

In March 2010, John Perez becomes the first openly gay lawmaker to lead either house of the California Legislature was sworn in as speaker of the state Assembly.

In June 2010, despite the urgings of the American Red Cross, America's Blood Centers and politicians including Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the FDA voted to keep the lifetime ban for gay men in place.  It should be noted that all blood is screened including for HIV and hepatitis routinely.  This remains an area of continued discretion.

I do not agree with DADT as it does not make sense to me when implemented and it is discriminatory.  It doesn't work and I believe that it should be terminated.  The men and women serving in our military have all voluntaryily committed to fight for our country and are willing to die for us.  They all have had to go through the same training and deemed fit for combat.  Heterosexuals and homosexuals are already working side by side to implement DADT implies that homosexuals do not exist. (or the government doesn't want them to; therefore, they don't have to deal with the complexity it holds and stop the harrassment that exists now...just my opinion)

I wonder how many heterosexual military have the TREMENDOUS amount of COURAGE to "come out."  Sadly, they probably don't even know what that sentence means. The courage to be who you are and not hide behind the traditional military "macho" image.  I also believe that the American Red Cross is discriminating for reasons stated above.

DADT is quite an emotional issue for me as I wholeheartedly disagree with the policy.  As a result, I will not write about this anymore in this post.  I will say that their is slow progress.   

MatlovichGraveMB0907
The following is from my friend Mike at Golch Central's Rambling Stuff:

Technical Sergeant Leonard Matlovich (1943–1988) was a Vietnam War veteran, race relations instructor, and recipient of the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

Matlovich was perhaps the best-known openly gay man in America in the 1970s. His fight to stay in the United States Air Force after coming out of the closet became a cause célèbre around which the gay community rallied. His outspoken manner resulted in articles in The New York Times and a television movie on NBC. His photograph appeared on the cover of the September 8, 1975 issue of Time magazine, making him a symbol for thousands of gay and lesbian service members.  In October 2006, Matlovich was honored by GLBT History Month as a leader in the history of the GLBT community.






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