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Archive for February, 2009

Getting Outed by the Phrase “Suck My D…”

February 13, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

It’s not my fault that I forget there are were members of my family that didn’t know about my homosexuality.  Actually, it’s not that they didn’t know, it’s that they were too young to understand when people use the word “gay” it applied to “Uncle J.”

I refer to two of my nephews.  I adore my nephews and nieces and great niece and nephews, but the family decided early on that we would just let them grow up with us without saying, “He’s gay.”  My nephews that “didn’t” know are now 13 and 9 years old.  They are at the age of “that’s so gay” and kids make fun of each other for being gay, but this isn’t a story about the result of their finding out as much as it is a story of how they found out.

Earlier in the week, my nephews were outside playing.  Their parents had gotten them walkie-talkies so they could communicate with the home front and each other.  The result is that my sister-in-law can hear many of their conversations with each other.  The youngest nephew (let’s call him Hal) paged the older nephew (will call him Cal) to advise Cal that another boy had invited him over to play.  Cal responded to Hal’s request with “Tell him I said he can ‘suck my d…'”  Of course, their mother (we’ll call her “Bikeresque”) overheard this exchange on her walkie, but didn’t really know how to respond.  She called my brother (we’ll call him “the Butthead” because I’m still holding a grudge for him missing my live performance) and advised him of what she had overheard.  The Butthead said to pretend she didn’t hear anything and wait until he gets home from work and he will handle the situation.

That night, they were all sitting around the dinner table when my brother turns to Cal and says, “So, I need to clear something up with you.  What’s it like to have your d… sucked?”  I won’t go into how I feel about this sort of parenting, but when I heard that, I gasped and laughed simultaneously and since I’m not a parent, I’m hardly a parenting expert.  Not exactly the direction I would have thought to go with it, mostly because I’d be afraid I would get an answer!  Cal turned ghostly pale.  My brother continued, “Well, I understand you wanted [the other boy] to suck your d…, are you gay?”

“No.” Cal’s col0r still hadn’t returned.

“Then I don’t understand, you don’t know what it’s like to have that done to you but you told another boy to do it to you and you aren’t gay?”

Cal meekly stated, “No, I’m not gay.”

The Butthead went on, “Well, it’s ok if you are gay.  I just feel we would need to know that so we can talk to you about specific health concerns and what that will mean.”

Cal reaffirmed his heterosexuality, “I’m not gay.”

My brother, not one to back off when he’s trying to make a point said, “Well, if you are gay, you know you can always talk to Uncle Jay about it…”

This is the point where the gasps from Bikeresque broke into the conversation.  I’d been labeled as “gay” to my nephews forever more.  She asked, “You guys do know that Uncle Jay is gay and Christopher is his partner?”

Both Hal and Cal responded… “Noooooo.”

Needless to say, the purpose of the conversation (to make Cal understand that such vulgarity is inappropriate and open to unusual interpretation) was now nearly forgotten.  I firmly believe that my nephews have always “known” that Christopher and I are a couple in some form, but never associated us with the word “gay.”  I can only imagine what that must be like for them considering the word “gay” is so often used in a negative way.

NOTE: I was not present when my labeling occurred.  The quotes above are based upon how the story was relayed to be by Bikeresque and may not be completely accurate quotes.  In fact, I’m fairly sure they aren’t, but the substance is the same.

UPDATE: You’ll note the absence of my own feelings regarding the above.  Since I was asked, I thought I’d express my opinions.  I’m honestly not too worried about them “knowing” I’m gay.  Although, I do have those moments when I wonder if they will worry that giving me the big hugs we normally share will mean they are gay.  Kids, who knows what they think.

As if DADT and DOMA Weren’t Bad Enough – Clinton at Odds Again

February 12, 2009 By: jaysays Category: LGBT News, Marriage Equality

As if in response to my posting looking at DOMA in a very optimistic light (in spite of my distaste for the legislation), change.org has published: Gay Rights – Change.org: Why is Bill Clinton Helping Supporters of Proposition 8?.  The title was enough to make me want to immediately delete my previous post and pretend it never happened.

Then I read the article.  Clinton will be patronizing the infamous Manchester Hyatt, a hotel who’s CEO donated $125,000.00 to the Anti-Marriage folks.  His appearance there will mark a speach in front of the International Manufacturing Association.

I suddenly wasn’t so worried about the DOMA posting and thought:  “I wonder if anyone is making a fuss at the International Manufacturing Association.  Are they not also supporting anti-homosexual legislation by paying for the hotel services and Clinton’s fees?”

So, here’s my effort at making a fuss to the International Manufacturing Association.

Why DOMA was Actually a Pro-Gay Move.

February 12, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

I recently read the article “The Land of the Till Murder” written by an African American author in 1956 for Ebony magazine.  I was so moved by the words of the author, I thought I would share them:

So he fights integration on every level, puts up more and bigger white-colored signs, enacts more laws, writes new ones when these are found unconstitutional, forms more economic pressure groups, boards more bullets, taps more phones, listens to more speeches painting the “horrors” of integration.

And the tension rises, thickens, tightens, until the grip of it is agony and something must be done to relieve it and sometimes the relief is found in violence. — Ebony (April 1956): 91–96; By Clotye Murdock.

I felt as though articles I’ve read or even written more recently mimicked the words of Clotye Murdock.  Each time LGBT people are successful on one law, another is passed that reads “differently” in order to fit the requirements of the constitution, then that law is deemed unconstitutional by the Courts and another law is put into place.

In the mid-1990’s, it appeared that Hawaii would become the first state in the United States to recognize same-gender marriage.  The fundamentalists began screaming for the Federal government to do something before we fell into a horrible pattern of sin (similar to the argument against racial integration).  Pressure was on for an amendment to the United States Constitution.  Clinton then did something that enraged LGBT people; he signed the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) into law.  Although obviously an unconstitutional action, DOMA remains in full force and effect today (with the small exception of an Internal Court Order of the 9th Circuit deeming it “unconstitutional”).  In spite of this, DOMA may be considered the smartest pro-gay action of any president.

I can hear it now: how can you consider DOMA to be “pro-gay”?  What sort of activist would say such a thing?  Frankly, at the time DOMA was passed it was VERY likely that the United States would ratify an amendment to the Constitution banning gay marriage.  Such Amendments, although repealable, are much more difficult to pass and even more difficult to repeal.  In fact, to repeal the constitutional amendment, ratification of an Amendment repealing it would have been required.  Such ratification of a Constitutional Amendment to repeal a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage would require either a 2/3 votes of the legislature (2/3 House, 2/3 Senate) and acceptance by the state legislatures or a Constitutional Convention [which has never been used to amend the U.S. Constitution].  With DOMA, we can argue the case in Court and the Court’s have power to repeal it without the super-majority requirement.  This is not to say that the laws provided for in DOMA are in any way, pro-gay; however, the repeal of DOMA will certainly be an easier hurdle than a repeal of a Constitutional Amendment.

Pot Heads Give Up Pop Tarts In Kellogg Boycott

February 11, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

Either I have a case of the giggles, or the recent movement by pot smokers to boycott Kellogg over ending the Phelps’ contract is the funniest thing I’ve seen since this video.

Phelps has even taken precedence to the poisoned peanuts upon calling customer service.  According to reports, the line now reads:

If you would like to share your comments regarding our relationship with Michael Phelps, please press one to speak to a representative.  If you’re calling about the recent peanut butter recall, please press two now.

First, how are pot heads going to get the energy to make this a success when they’re high, and second, how are they going to resist a pop tart stuck in their face when they’re high?

Now, Michael Phelps undulating under water has always been something I enjoyed, so can I boycott them because I want pictures of him in a speedo on my Corn Flakes box rather than showing my support of marijuana (invocation of my 5th Amendment privilege)?

Pro-pot group smokes Kellogg for axing Phelps – Olympic Sports- nbcsports.msnbc.com.

How Far is Too Far for Civil Rights

February 11, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

Yesterday, I received a text message from a very dear friend.  For purposes of this story, we will call her Irene and her employer XYZ Corporation to protect the identities of both.  The message was to advise me that she had just been “written up” at work for using racial slurs.  I was shocked.  Irene is not someone I would ever consider to be a racist.  In fact, she is a triple minority (a woman, part Asian, part Hispanic).

I messaged her back, “what happened?”

The response was nothing like what I expected.  Apparently, Irene was to have her picture taken for a new security badge.  She remarked during that she did not want to have her picture taken, because she “would look like Yoko Ono, just like every other Asian.”

This resulted in the reprimand for “racial slurs.”  An ugly blemish on her employment record because she stated what she believed was a fact about herself – that she looks like every other Asian person. The particular funny part is why she believes this to be a fact.

After her graduation from college, she received an email from another friend advising that her Alma Mater had just placed a picture of her on the front page of their website.  Irene was so excited, she forwarded the link to everyone, including her fiance and her mother as well as to me.  We were all so excited for her.  After a couple of months passed, I received a phone call from Irene.  She asked if I remembered the photo and I said, “Of course.”  She then told me it wasn’t her in the photo, it was another Asian girl. I was floored.  Not only did I believe it to be a picture of her, but she believed it, her mother believed it, her fiance believed it… etc… etc… I pulled the picture back up and looked closely at it.  It was Irene, not another Asian girl.  Then I realized that the girl in the photo was wearing her “chords” which were not part of Irene’s ensemble and was shaking the hand of a different person than Irene had at her graduation.  Thus, Irene’s theory that she looks like every other Asian was seemingly true.

The question becomes, have we gone so far in our efforts to obtain “civil rights” that we have become humorless, unforgiving clouts?  Should Irene have been written up for her remark about her own race and how being within that race has made her “look like” other members of that race?  Is such an off-hand remark a “racial slur?”  It can’t be, but had it never happened, I wouldn’t have spent the better part of yesterday evening calling everyone of my friends and relaying the story while laughing hysterically.

For the record, Irene is recovering from this tragic enforcement of anti-discrimination policy. In fact, the entire time she was being reprimanded, and well into last night, she was laughing about the situation.

Having Laid My Eternal Soul to Rest

February 10, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Religion

As many of my readers know, I am an atheist.  This does not mean I lack faith, morality or inspiration; it merely means I find such outside of “God” or “Jesus” or “Allah.”  I find my faith, morality and inspiration from other people and from within myself.  Lately, however, I’ve come to some moments of questioning.  This is not to say I am questioning whether or not I believe in God; that is something that I feel is unquestionable.  I do not.  I’ve recently allowed myself to open discussions with people of the Christian faith and in so doing have realized something that may be a source of religious unkindness toward me; I have closed my heart and mind from religion.

Yesterday, my partner of 11 years, Christopher, was having a conversation with a friend.  The friend offered Christopher some coupons she had for Chick-Fil-A.  Christopher advised her that he is no longer eating at that establishment because of their contributions to organizations which continue to support violation of equal civil rights for homosexuals.  A person nearby, purporting to be a Christian, approached the conversation and emphatically stated that mariage was between a man and a woman, the Bible says so.  As you can imagine, Christopher was angry and frustrated that this person, who was in no way part of the conversation, felt obliged to approach him.  He relayed his story to me and I began pondering the question I pose here:

What is it about my eternal soul that makes Christians feel they have the right to deny me my mortal joy?

This is particularly relevant in my case because, as an atheist, I laid the idea of my eternal soul to rest years ago.  I don’t believe I have an eternal soul and therefore don’t feel it needs to be saved. Although Christian Fundamentalists may feel they are doing the right thing in attempting to save me, I feel they are degrading my personal beliefs, choices and sense of self.  Am I a danger to their eternity?

As I thought about what happened to Christopher, I became more and more angry; then it hit me.  I’m angry and passionate about my own belief in civil equality and I expect them to listen to me, but I refuse to listen to them; am I thus a hypocrite?

I’ve always considered myself to be a free-thinker, open minded and very kind and loving.  These are the qualities I thought best defined me.  But I realized I had closed my mind to religion and dismissed it entirely, not just to those within religion that have caused our people [LGBT people] to suffer so greatly.  In fact, I had become so entangled in my own disdain for religion, that a simple “God Bless You” after a sneeze would result in me rolling my eyes.  So, today I emailed a Baptist Pastor, who has extended an offer to me to join him for lunch after his church service, to advise him that I accept his offer.  I’m looking forward to the opportunity to better my understanding of his faith and, with any luck, open a door in my heart to religious people that has been closed for many years.

British Military Support of Transgender Persons Criticized

February 10, 2009 By: jaysays Category: DADT, Discrimination, LGBT News

A policy has been issued by the British Military titled, The Policy for the Recruitment and Management of Transsexual Personnel in the Armed Forces.  The Policy, which defines transsexualism and discusses how not to discriminate against transsexuals is drawing much criticism – but not because it supports transsexuals in the British Armed Forces; it’s apparently a matter of money.

The rationale behind the Policy being a waste of money revolves entirely around the fact that there are few, if any, transsexuals in the British Armed Forces.

My head is spinning round and round on this one.  On one hand, there is the argument that with such rare occurrences of transsexualism, the money is wasted when it could be used elsewhere.  On the other hand, there is the argument that perhaps there the rare occurrence of transsexuals in the military is because the military discriminates and harasses them.  Either way, it demonstrates how superior the British military is to the U.S. military in dealing with issues revolving around the LGBT community.

Read more about this: MoD accused of wasting money after producing 33-page guide on dealing with transsexuals in the Armed Forces | Mail Online.

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Fundamental Basis of Marriage Excludes Gays

February 06, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Stupid Things People Say About Gays

Maureen Mullarkey, an artist best known for her “gay inspired” subject matter including cross-dressing, made the following statement after being “outed” for her contribution of $1,000 to the anti-family Yes on Hate – aka Prop 8 – people:

…marriage is the union of husband and wife–a premise so simple, so fundamental that nature and civilization itself both testify to the truth of it.

Apparently the artist feels:

Moreover, regard for individual gay persons does not require assent to a politicized assault on bedrock social reality and the common good.

First, Ms. Mullarkey, marriage is only the union of husband and wife because of a politicized assault on social reality induced by religious sentiment.  Perhaps you, like most, are unfamiliar or unaware of some of the historical wonders in the history of marriage – for example, did you know that in the centuries past “marriages’ were performed, in Christian fashion, of same-gender couples?  There are even famous art pieces believed to represent these “ceremonies” and there is historical documentation on the matter.   What happened to this former acceptance of same-gender marriage? Not the “common good” but the “common god.”

Perhaps the reason LGBT people are upset with you is because so many LGBT people supported you and your work, and purchased your work.  Now you’ve taken our money and given it over to our enemies.  Your art work is actually just a way of mocking the gays and lesbians you portrayed.  There are many words that come to mind, hypocrit, traitor, hater, but all I have to say to you is this “I forgive you, and now I forget you.”

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: Children of Gays Trying to Fill Void Left by Parents

February 05, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Stupid Things People Say About Gays

I’ve been following this article on topix, and noted that the comments started referring to yours truly (uhm, that’s me). So I started watching the comments and ultimately found inspiration for this “Stupid Things People Say About Gays.” It also provided me with the unique opportunity to respond directly to causation.  The comment thread read, in part (and I keep it in its original in spite of the grammar issues):

Curious Questioner: Do you all really believe it is fair to a child to have gays get artificially pregnant and have a child to raise? What kind of life is that kid going to have? I draw the line with children.

Too many retards: Ask a adult child raised by gay parents

Curious Questioner: Well, I’ve only ever met one. The kid was a mess. These idiots are not thinking about the life of the child when the try this. They are thinking only of themselves and still trying to fill some void they’ve never been able to with a relationship that isn’t dysfunctional.

I felt obligated to respond as I’m generally overly optimistic:

Have you stopped to consider why the child is “a mess” as the person you know? Perhaps it’s because he is taught by people like you that his parents are horrible people and will damage him. Perhaps its because he sees homosexuals being bullied, outlawed, beaten, raped and sometimes murdered and wakes up in the morning and wonders, “Will my mommies be next?”

LGBT Advertising Geared Toward Other Minorities?

February 05, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

It seems there is a trend in “pro-gay” advertising that I’m only just starting to notice.  Every photograph or ad I’ve come across lately of a happy same-gender couple, particularly regarding families and adoption, features a multi/bi-racial couple and a minority child.    I can’t help but wonder if this is intentionally targeting other minority groups based upon race or ethnicity, as if saying, “See, we have minorities within our minority.”

The HRC's campaign in California to support same-gender adoption.

The HRC's campaign in California to support same-gender adoption.

Regardless of why, I think it’s a wonderful approach.  I seriously doubt a person who would take issue with a bi-racial couple would be very willing to “accept” a same-gender couple; however, associating ourselves with other minorities may make them take notice.  But have we focused too much on the “Gay is the New Black” campaign?  Have we really “hi-jacked” the civil rights movement as others have claimed:

The way things are going, every day of every month will eventually be a homosexual-inspired event of some kind. Homosexuals seem determined to hijack every day of the year and every historical event in our past. This is absolute nonsense.  — Homosexuals Try To Hijack Civil Rights Movement | From Traditional Family Values site.

Well, I didn’t know the civil rights movement belonged to any one group, but that’s not the point here.  The point here is that LGBT activism must focus on people that are one of the following:

  1. Apathetic homosexuals;
  2. Moderate with slight left or right tendencies; and/or
  3. Other minorities.

At this stage in the game, we must remember not to focus our energies on groups like traditionalists (which makes me wonder how far back in tradition we need to go before they are satisfied), but instead on more moderate groups who can understand the nuances of discrimination, the effects of such and why ending legalized discrimination is important.