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Thursday, December 28, 2006

Married: Over, Under & Through

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe controversy over same-sex marriage is really getting wearisome, dispiriting, lackluster, banal & just plain blah. I don’t understand how the common folk of these here United States fail to see the religious components of this bigoted dispute. Think for a moment of all of the arguments that you’ve heard concerning them “homersekshalz” wantin to get hitched…and then, apply these tests to each argument:

Three tests have been derived from various court decisions to decide the constitutionality of laws that have a religious component:
The Lemon test: This was defined in a Supreme Court ruling in 1971. To be constitutional, a law must:
• have a secular purpose, and
• be neutral towards religion - neither hindering nor advancing it, and
• not result in excessive entanglements between the government and religion.
The Endorsement Test: Justice O'Connor created this criterion: a law is unconstitutional if it favors one religion over another in a way that makes some people feel like outsiders and others feel like insiders.
The Coercion Test: Justice Kennedy proposed this criteria: a law is constitutional even if it recognizes or accommodates a religion, as long as its demonstration of support does not appear to coerce individuals to support or participate in a religion. Hello, Mary! I’m seein excessive entanglements between gov’t & religion. I’m seein some people bein made to feel like outsiders. I’m seein coercion to support biblical references. What part of this ain’t ya graspin?!

We’re obviously back to the semantics game again. The principal argument against same-sex marriage is based on antiquated biblical references. If you believe that only a man & a woman should be married, you are, in fact, accepting the belief that marriage is strictly for reproduction. Where’s the Love, children. The Constitution is very clear about our rights as citizens of the United States. It is also very clear about individual states not fucking with those rights. I’m not going to go into this again. If you would like to read more about my views on same-sex marriage, read one of my previous blog entries: COURT-ORDERED SACRAMENT. I will, however, leave you with this wonderful definition of semantics.

SEMANTICS: The scientific or philosophical study of the relations of words and their meanings. Note: Semantics is commonly used to refer to a trivial point or distinction that revolves around mere words rather than significant issues: “To argue whether the medication killed the patient or contributed to her death is to argue over semantics.”
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

REPULSED!!!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A pastor delivering the invocation at the opening of yesterday's Senate session included in his prayer a condemnation of gay marriage.

"We curse the spirit that would come to bring about same-sex marriage," the Rev. Vincent Fields, pastor of Greater Works Ministries in Absecon, prayed as lawmakers listened, heads bowed. "We ask you to just look over this place today, cause them to be shaken in their very heart in uprightness, Lord, to do that is right before you."
Earlier yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation to allow gay couples to form civil unions with the same rights as married couples.
Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), a co-sponsor of that bill, said it was "completely inappropriate" for Fields to include the issue in the invocation.
"I do not think a pastor should be using the microphone in the Senate for a prayer to open the session by lobbying for or against something," Weinberg said. "Usually, if you're going to lobby members you have to wear a lobbyist badge."
Fields could not be reached last night for comment.

And in the news following the incident:
(CBS/AP) TRENTON New Jersey's Senate is banning a pastor who spoke out against same-sex marriage in the invocation that starts the Senate session.

First of all, we don't allow our children to pray in school...so why are we allowing it in our government. Secondly, he should have been wearing "...a lobbyist badge."? That's the best you could come up with, Loretta? What the f***! And..."it was completely inappropriate." No! No, Senator Weinberg, it wasn't. It was an outright, vicious, grossly offensive attack!
You want terrorists, Bush? You need look no further than our nation's radical, overzealous, self-righteous, bigoted churchgoers.

God bless us one & all.

Merry F***ing Christmas to you too, Pastor Fields!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Coming Out: The Conclusion

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting“Guys, at your age, are often confused about their sexuality”, he said, folding his arms over his chest & leaning back into his chair. This is a gesture I would find out later revealed his apprehension of the subject. I was instantly crushed. My wonderful guidance counselor hadn’t mentioned anything of my confusion. I wasn’t confused, damn it! I was here simply to discuss how this was going to change my life…not to mull over the possible mystification of my feelings.
It was at that moment that I decided to indulge this man, even thought he seemed to know nothing of my “Gordian knot.” I would listen to what he had to say & maybe even comply with some of his recommendations, but he was definitely not to be taken too seriously.
I won’t bore you with the psycho-babble that ensued. I’ll just tell you about the stereotypical antiquated solution I was provided:
“Do you masturbate…you know, play with yourself?”, he said semi-blushing.
“Yes.”
“Do you look at pictures of men?”, he asked.
“Yes.”
“Do you get excited by these pictures of men?”, he said, almost glaring at me at this point. He almost looked as if he might even be at least curious.
“Oh, yes.”, I said smiling.
“Here’s what I want you to do…” You’ll notice that he said “want you to do”, not “would like for you to do”. Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
“…the next time you masturbate, I want you to reach the point of orgasm & right before you do, look at a picture of a woman.”, he instructed.
What!!! You have got to be f***ing kidding me. This is absurd! It’s beyond absurd. Are you really just a bumbling incompetent!
“Now each time you masturbate, I want you to increase the amount of time you look at the pictures of women & decrease the time looking at the pictures of men”, he said so confidently.
“Eventually, you will be turned on by the sight of women more than men”, he alleged.
I am getting fired up just relating this story to you. In 1973 the American Psychiatric Association removed the term "homosexuality" from the official manual that lists all mental and emotional disorders. I’m going to give my age away here, but this story took place in the mid ‘80’s, and this pompous, sanctimonious hetero was a certified degree-toting Psychologist.
Well, needless to say, I was hardly in a position to argue. I was, after all, only 11 years old & my mother, the conservative, Republican, active in the community, elder in the church was going to make sure that I “did my homework.”
I did try this horrid aversion therapy & did find the vaginal labia to be erotic, but still…I couldn’t seem to get my mind off the jocks in the locker-room.
After almost a year of seeing this moron after school, I was finally released, cured even. According to him, I had responded very well to the therapy. Of course, we all know what really happened. I simply started telling this educated man exactly what he wanted to hear.
As for the rest of my coming out process, there was the usual taunting & occasional violence up until freshman year, when I transferred to a private school that finally appreciated my unique pedigree. I did eventually come out when I went to college…hence, the title extension “: A Reoccurring Story.” And now, I am a well-adjusted happily gay American male in a healthy loving relationship with
my first love.
Now, you get to hear my opinion. It was, in fact, one of the primary reasons for relating this story to the vast expanse of the internet. The
Ex-Gay movement with its reparative therapy, aversion therapy, radical religious verbosity, & pseudo-scientific theories is a danger to itself, as well as the GLBT community. These practices are unethical. They don’t work and are dangerous and destructive. The damage that can be done by these practices is real. It can destroy someone's self esteem and faith and may lead to self-destructive and suicidal behavior. Pretty scary, huh.
On the other hand, why are coming out stories so important? While I was in college, I started a gay student organization & also belonged to a gay youth group in which I had the opportunity to counsel many young people about coming out. Sharing that aspect of themselves with others is important to their mental health. In fact, the process of identity development for lesbians and gay men, usually called "coming out", has been found to be strongly related to psychological adjustment -- the more positive the gay male or lesbian identity, the better one's mental health and the higher one's self esteem. In other words, my dear queers…Walk the Talk with Pride. Or, in a FABULOUS quote from my favorite Queer As Folk character, Emmett (Peter Paige): “I’d rather my flame burn bright, than be a puny little pilot light!”
So, there you have it! A good story with a sound moral ending & maybe even a little TMI from moi. I await your comments.

Much Love & Light, Cian

DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that if you rely on your parents for support or any kind of financial help & coming out may jeopardize that support, wait until you are more independent.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Coming Out: A Reoccurring Story

Ahh…I remember it well. I was 11 yrs old, in 7th grade. My birthday falls after school lets out for the summer, so it always appeared that I was a year younger than my peers. I had graduated from a small elementary school, where there had been (maybe) 28 fellow 6th graders, to this BIG high school with 3000+ students. To understand the import of such a large high school population in a small town, please refer to my 1st entry.

They bussed them in from every rinky-dink, hokey poke farm, gully, creek, valley & village. Oh yes, the social climate was extremely diverse…the mentality, however, was not.

It wasn’t long before I began being taunted by older students who remembered me playing with Barbie dolls with the girls in K & 1st grades. So, of course, the proverbial grapevine had become tangled & unmanageable & I was pegged, branded, declared a “FAG.” There were, I’m sure, fantastic & preposterous assertions that were added as those long days went by; but all in all, “FAG” seemed to be enough.

It didn’t help that I was tall, lean & rather gangly…and uncoordinated because of it. The hours I had spent putting together outfits from the fashion knowledge I had gleaned from my mother’s extensive collection of catalogs didn’t help matters either. I was fashion conscious, well-mannered, well-groomed & just plain pretty. These are not characteristics normally found with young men from farming, factory, church-going, beer-guzzling communities. I was different & I knew it. Now what?

Who would understand my dilemma? Who would shield me under their wing & tell me everything was all right? Who would sit me down & explain to me that these “feelings” were normal? Aha! Eureka! (insert light bulb directly over head) The guidance counselor! Of course! She would be able to see that I was special, that I had incredible potential. So, how to approach the subject?

I walked into her office with my pink & blue izod polo & white carpenter overalls, belted of course...accessorized with a new pair of Sperry Dock Siders. I was so uncomfortable, but she was very inviting & friendly. “What can I do for you today, sweetie?” she said. “I-I, I think I, I think I might be gay.” There. I said it. Now, everything will be fine. Not quite. Always be leery of very friendly people…a monumental advisory I would learn to live by.

In the conversation that followed, I told her of my attraction to the other boys, especially the large appendages attached to the jocks. FYI, the jocks in smalltown farming “cuntry” look extraordinarily like grown men. Yes, oh yes, the hormones & libido were actively growing at light speed. I continued to tell her of my desires to have a boyfriend, fall in love, marry & eventually have children. Na├»ve much?

She didn’t say, one way or the other, whether I was wrong for feeling this way, it was a sin, or anything like that. She simply listened with her kind face looking at me with such an understanding expression. She really made me feel as if I were going to be okay. There was another counselor that she wanted me to talk to at the Counseling Center in town. She assured me that this new counselor would help me understand better what was going on inside of me & help me to find my place amongst my peers. She then handed me a slip of paper to give to my mother explaining the need for further “professional” counseling, along with my hall pass to return to the combat zone.

The day had arrived. It was the day of my 1st visit at the Counseling Center. I couldn’t keep my mind on any of my classes. After all, I was going to embark on a journey that could be life-altering. How was I supposed to listen to Civil War droning or learn what happens when you mix common household chemicals together. I was about to find out why God had made me so different, so special, so exceptional, so gay.

My word! The man is really big! Like a football player ( I found out later he had been)! Not gorgeous, but handsome. Just a normal, run-of-the-mill, guy-next-door type of man. “So…why don’t you tell me what you told Ms. N.(the name has been omitted for obvious reasons)” he said. It was hard to find the words. After all, this was a man. My lovely guidance counselor was a woman. She had nothing to gain or fear from me. This big, burly, man’s man could decide he was infatuated with me & try to take advantage. We were, after all, in a locked office at the end of the hall with the other offices being further towards the front of the building. No! I had to be strong. Like Wonder Woman, yes. She was powerful. Even though she was an extremely beautiful & desirable woman, men respected her because of her strength, her wisdom & her authoritative presence. Yes, I would have to make my secret identity a strong-willed & powerful character. I must become an Amazon in the eyes of this man.

To Be Continued…