Tuesday, August 31, 2010

"The Artist's Corner"

"Lovers"
Unknown

"The Truth Today..."

As I've often said to people, how you say something matters... Here's a really simple video (accurate and based in facts) that explains homosexuality as we currently understand it. It's a great, light-hearted tool to educate someone who wants to understand.




Not posted for anyone in particular, but for anyone who needs to see it.

********

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 418"

"Love Is The Sweetest Fruit You'll Ever Taste..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Monday, August 30, 2010

"The Artist's Corner"

"White Roses"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker

"This Is The Face Of Bravery..."


As this young man eloquently states, it's about civil rights...


*******

"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."

"This Made Me Smile..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 417"

"To Know Love Is To Know Trust..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

"The Truth Is In The Scriptures"


Misunderstandings Common About Gays




By Mary Holler Jeffords
Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rock Hill, SC. - As the mother of a gay son and sister of a gay brother, as a teacher of reproductive health, as the granddaughter of a Methodist minister and cousin to several Methodist ministers, and as a straight woman of eight decades plus age, these following paragraphs are an attempt to create a language for Christian church folk in the South to think carefully about the current conflict within many churches about the rights and lifestyles of gay persons. I use the word gay to refer to both male and female homosexuals.

There are two very different meanings for the word homosexual. What causes misunderstandings is when someone speaks of one meaning and a hearer thinks of the other meaning. One meaning refers to a sexual act between persons of the same sex. These persons can be homosexual persons or heterosexual persons. The second definition refers to a person. A homosexual person is a person who has an innate tendency to be attracted to a person of the same sex. The opposite of this is a heterosexual person, a person who has the tendency to be attracted to the opposite sex. Most people are heterosexual. It is my understanding that about 10 percent of humans are homosexual. Any act is a choice, but the innate tendency is not a choice. This is sexual orientation.

Not in Scripture

The word "homosexual" was not used in biblical Scripture until 1946 when the RSV was published. I have studied this subject extensively. I have spoken to churches and interested groups, and I have known hundreds of gays during the last 25 years. I have been surrogate mom to some whose families have turned their back on them.

My own son died of AIDS in 1992. He told me he knew he was "different" when he was 5 years old, but he didn't know how. One of my brothers, Bill, was gay. So I have experienced the "gay world" with two generations of homosexuals. My brother Bill and his friends were "closeted." Most of the older generation of gays is closeted. This is changing to a slight degree as a result of education and media exposure.

In The Old Testament in the first three books, there is constant reference to the holiness code of the Israelites. This elaborates on the rules, laws and ways they are to live. This refers to their "sins" list. Let us picture that the Israelites, readying for a journey that we call the exodus, needed some rules for the trip. The people must keep together, stay as healthy as possible, multiply, stay pure in race and not die out before they reached the Promised Land. So good old reproductive health goes into play. No seed must be wasted. No seed must be "spilled" on the ground. That doesn't make more Israelites. No seed must be wasted during menstruation. That is a waste of seed, as pregnancy cannot occur then. No sex between men (this is the "biggie") because this wastes seed that could be planted in females to create pregnancy. No masturbation, another waste of seed.

Other biblical references that can be cited are as follows:

Role of women

During these times it was not known that the woman had anything to do with reproduction. Reproduction was all the man and his seed. The woman was the ground where the seed was planted. She was only the incubator. Seed was precious. And life expectancy was short. During the time of Isaiah and the other prophets, prostitution was rampant in the temples. There were male and female prostitutes. The story of Onam in Genesis 38 tells of wasting seed and the necessity of preserving seed. Also in Genesis 38 Tamar fakes her father out on this subject.

Genesis 19:1-29 tells about the gang rape of Lot's guests and destruction of Sodom. This is a story about a group of heterosexuals threatening same-sex acts. The townspeople wanted to belittle the guests by treating them like women. Remember, women did not have the status of men. Other similar stories are in Judges 19:21-30 and Deuteronomy 23:17-26.

In Romans 1:26-29, Paul is referring to sexual acts and is addressing a heterosexual audience. No doubt Paul was unaware of the distinction between sexual orientation and sexual behavior.

A male friend, who was gay, said to try to put him with a woman would be unnatural for him. The relationships Paul describes are heavy with lust. They are not the relationships between consenting adults who are committed with integrity to each other as faithful partners. That was something Paul could not envision.

We still choose to live by certain laws or rules in the Old Testament. Some are no longer binding, including laws in the Old Testament that are not mentioned in The New Testament. What is our principle of selection here?

For example, everyone generally agrees with the Bible's rejection of rape, incest, adultery and intercourse with animals. The Bible condemns practices that we generally allow, such as celibacy, intercourse during menstruation, exogamy (marriage to a non-Jew), the naming of sexual organs, nudity under certain conditions and birth control (some Christians still forbid this.) The Bible regarded semen and menstrual blood as unclean. Today, most people do not.

The Bible permitted acts that today we condemn: polygamy, prostitution, levirate marriage, (an ancient Jewish law requiring a man to marry his brother's widow), sex with slaves or concubines, treatment of women as property and very early marriage to girls ages 11-13. The Old Testament accepts divorce, but Jesus forbade it. In the biblical references related to sexuality, Christians today appear to agree with a small percentage and disagree with most.

Living openly

Homosexual persons wish to live under the umbrella of laws and rules heterosexuals live by. Many gay persons want to live openly in monogamous relationships, including marriage. But this raises a storm in the straight community.

It is encouraging to me that more and more churches are blessing gay unions and accepting gay women and men as pastors. More and more, we are realizing that famous persons in movies and sports are gay. Are we letting homophobic attitudes within the churches and advertising take over our image of personhood? There are as many personality types of gays as there are types of straights.

Christians look to Jesus to see an image of love and caring. We are called to love one another -- homeless neighbors, Muslim neighbors, white neighbors, black neighbors, gay neighbors, Jewish neighbors, Christian neighbors, atheist neighbors, racist neighbors and addicted neighbors.

With critical and life-threatening issues in the world today such as global warming, population growth, poverty, disease, natural disasters and starvation, what will it take to put this homosexuality concern behind us and get on to the real threats to our future existence?

I believe we have the capacity to face these huge issues together and not be caught up in the fears and feeling of threats to our persons, churches and communities around the concerns about homosexuality.

*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 416"

"Love Is The Light That Shines On Truth..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"This Made Me Smile..."

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"It's Not So Funny..."

But then again, this just might be funny... I don't like stereotypes and this seems to be all about them, but it is what it is.


Released on April 2006 this Scandinavian reality TV show featuring 9 of the most effeminate gay male contestants from Europe entering an American military-style training program. In each episode the gay recruits face new training missions of stereotypically "masculine" tasks. The final episode ends with the Gay Army battling the "real" army in a game of "war". The show was first broadcast in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. The show has also been sold to Italy, Germany and Poland.

Some LGBT rights activists protested the show's stereotyping premise. An organization of LGBT military in Sweden asked the network not to air it. Yet the show has been popular with audiences. The show has been nominated for awards at the Rose d'Or ceremony as well as the 2006 Danish TV Awards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_Army

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 415"

"Love Is Being Together In The World..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Friday, August 27, 2010

"This Is The Face Of Bravery..."

Michael Heyden is one of the bravest men in Jamaica. I've been to Jamaica and I've walked in the streets of Kingston. Jamaica is probably the most dangerous place on earth to be a gay man. This gentleman is incredibly brave and honest and my heart feels great compassion for his situation. He knows the truth... "Fear Eats the Soul" yet his fears are real and well placed. He is literally in mortal danger everyday. (This story and video is from early 2008)





GAY COP DEMANDS RIGHTS - 'I am proud, standing tall' - Says he is not being treated equally in the police force


(EDITOR'S NOTE: Some readers may find it alarming that we named Constable Michael Hayden in this article. However, it was the specific request of Constable Hayden that he be named as he is determined to tell his story, express his views and assert his rights as a Jamaican.)

Constable Michael Hayden is a very worried cop. But he is not scared of gunmen or other criminals. He is afraid of some of his colleagues. He claims they are trying to force him out of his job because of his sexual orientation.

While the 24-year-old constable admits to THE STAR that he is bi-sexual, he says some officers at the Manchester police division, where he is stationed, have been accusing him based on mere suspicion after an incident when he was almost beaten by a group of men in May Pen, Clarendon.
"I went to visit a friend in May Pen and some guys wanted to attack me, so I called Control for help," he says, claiming that his colleagues said he went to see another male.

This was the morning of January 14, 2008. In the afternoon, when he went to work, he reported that his belongings had been thrown out of the barracks where he was staying. "I saw the things scattered on the floor, my cologne was broken. But mi nuh really think nutten of it, suh mi pack up, mi tings," he recalls.

The following day, he went to the doctor to get sick days for a gunshot wound he received some years before while on the job. But when he returned to the station, he was told by a woman who cleaned that she had found his things scattered on the floor.

He says he reported both matters to senior officers at the station but nothing was done.

On January 18, he went to the barracks after leaving work to find his belongings thrown out again; and this time a few items were missing.

Constable Hayden again made a report about the incident, including the fact that some of his items were missing. He reveals he has since written a statement to be submitted as part of the investigation.

However, while he is trying to seek justice by following the law, he says he does not believe anything will be done about the situation as his most recent report was not recorded in the diary. "I am an officer and I took my problem to them and they do nothing," he notes.

Constable Hayden says he is hurt by the "lack of attention" because he has been a dedicated and fair policeman. "I love the Jamaica Constabulary Force. I always wanted to be a policeman. I always wanted to serve and protect the citizens. I do my job well, but the people on the job don't like me," he declares.

He points out that female members of the force have been very supportive since the accusations and problems started.

But the lack of attention he feels is being paid to his case and the constant snickers from his male peers has made him uncomfortable and in fear of his life. "I am worried! If the police can be against you, what about the civilians?" he asks.

He adds that since the rumours have been spreading around the parish, he has received threats on his phone. He has since moved out of the station and gone on a brief leave of absence. But he is still afraid of what he will face when he returns to work. "I do not feel safe when February comes and I have to go back to work because I am still a bisexual," he says.

When THE STAR contacted the Mandeville Police Station, a Deputy Superintendent from the Manchester Division, says he was aware of Hayden's case. He notes however that he was not told about the missing items and that he was not aware of it being reported to another officer for investigation.

The DSP admits that the allegations of Hayden being gay are circulating all over May Pen and Manchester since the cops helped him in May Pen. He says however that they sent him on a few days leave because the allegations are causing him a lot of 'emotional distress' and they wanted to give him a chance to get his head space together.

The officer reveals that they were arranging counselling for him and they are also investigating his complaints.

Meanwhile, Constable Hayden says he has not yet decided how to handle the situation as, if he remains in the force and is transferred, he believes the gay stigma will follow him although he is not ashamed of it. "I am gay, proud, standing tall," he boasts.

He has since consulted a lawyer and the Police Federation for guidance on how to handle the situation. Corporal Raymond Wilson, chairman of The Federation confirms that they have received a complaint about the matter from the officer and they are investigating.


*******


"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."

"This Made Me Smile..."



From the BBC's


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 414"

"Love Is Being Safe In His Arms..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"The Artist's Corner"

"The Milky Way"
Acrylic on canvas board

Thursday, August 26, 2010

"In The News Today..."


The truth is something that everyone has to come to grips with in their own time and in their own way. The ability to delude oneself into believing what you want to believe is an incredibly powerful force. I know, I've done it many times and just like this man, it took me the better part of forty years to accept what I knew all along, God had made no mistake in me, I am simply a same gender loving man.

Did Ken Mehlman cause harm to GLBT people? Of course he did... But I am more than ready to forgive him, for I know how possible it is to want the truth not to be. It can be a desire that possesses you so completely that you can rationalize almost anything to act out against it.

Even after he has acknowledged his truth, he is still a well placed, powerful and influential figure, and that can only be good for our cause of bringing the day of true justice, freedom and equality for GLBT people ever closer to reality.

My hope for him is the same as my hope for myself, that he can fully reconcile himself with the truth of his heart, that he may know love and true companionship, and that he can be free from the fear that eats the soul...

Former RNC Head Ken Mehlman Outs Himself



Chris Geidner
August 25, 2010

"After having had several homosexual experiences, many people still deny that they are gay. They tell themselves that they are really heterosexual, they continue to live as heterosexuals, and they maintain that their homosexual incidents or thoughts don't and can't mean anything," Michelangelo Signorile wrote in his book, Outing Yourself.

Although he didn't talk about his personal life or detail what his experience while in the closet had been, Ken Mehlman -- the former head of the Republican National Committee who ran President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign -- came out as a gay man to The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder.

In a wide-ranging interview, Mehlman tells him, "I wish I was where I am today 20 years ago. The process of not being able to say who I am in public life was very difficult. No one else knew this except me. My family didn't know. My friends didn't know. Anyone who watched me knew I was a guy who was clearly uncomfortable with the topic."

Ambinder, who also is gay, writes tonight, "Mehlman once joked in public that although he was not gay, the rumors put a crimp on his social life. He admits to having misled several people who asked him directly."

Despite this, Ambinder writes, "Mehlman arrived at this conclusion about his identity fairly recently, he said in an interview."

As Singorile wrote, "[T]his first step of identifying oneself as gay or lesbian can take many years to complete." This process, for Mehlman, is particularly interesting in light of the extensive history, as detailed by Ambinder, of questions being raised (most often and loudest by BlogActive's Michael Rogers) during that time about Mehlman's sexual orientiation.

The public and personal ramifications of Mehlman's decision to come out now are plentiful.

One of the most quickly approaching is his decision to co-host a fund-raiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights on the evening of September 22. Andy Towle reported earlier today at Towleroad that Mehlman is among the three leading hosts of the $5,000-a-head event. AFER board co-president Chad Griffin called Mehlman "an integral part of the team" at AFER and told Towleroad, "Our goal is to get as many people who aren't on the side of gay marriage on our side, and once they are here, to welcome them."

Of course, Mehlman's role as the head of Bush's re-election campaign in 2004, in which -- as USA Today put it the day after the election that year -- "[g]ay-marriage bans bulldozed to victory in all 11 states that voted on the measure: Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon and Utah," makes this coming-out less than celebrated by some.

"Mehlman acknowledges," Ambinder writes, "that if he had publicly declared his sexuality sooner, he might have played a role in keeping the party from pushing an anti-gay agenda."

Mehlman's response to Ambinder: "It's a legitimate question and one I understand. ... I can't change the fact that I wasn't in this place personally when I was in politics, and I genuinely regret that. It was very hard, personally."

Again, as Signorile wrote, "[T]he stress that the closet imposes on each of us as individuals cannot be overestimated. ... Put simply, the closet is dangerous, and staying inside can often lead to dire consequences."

So, too, for everyone -- let alone someone who has held the jobs that Mehlman has held -- is the difficulty of coming out, which is the reason why, in 1995, Signorile published an entire book about how to do it.

Mehlman already is confronting much anger from some LGBT activists for his work in advancing the GOP in 2004, not to mention -- as pointed out by Michael Jones at Change.org -- his continued support for Republicans opposed to LGBT equality. Gay blogger Joe Jervis, for example, headlined his post at Joe. My. God. about Mehlman coming out as, "Repulsive Anti-Gay Quisling Homophobic Scumbag Asshat Closeted Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman Has Come Out." With slightly more nuance, Pam Spaulding wrote at Pam's House Blend, "While it's nice that Ken has finally come out of the closet as an advocate, it's really hard to forgive him for the damage he did to the community by working actively against it for pay for years."

But, Mehlman does have support from some corners. Academy Award-winning Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black -- a member of AFER's board -- called Mehlman's role with AFER an "incredible coup" and said in a statement that he was "[t]hrilled to finally have him with us."

Even from Black, though, there's that word: Finally.

For one of the most hopeful statements of what this could mean, however, it's best to step back from the specifics, and look back at Signorile's guide. In it, he wrote of the impact of living one's life without any self-loathing about an individual's homosexuality, "[O]nce you are filled with self-respect, no matter how insumountable your problems seem, you will never think about self-destruction again."

Although every one of the anti-marriage equality amendments passed in the 2004 election remain on the books, Mehlman now tells Ambinder that "he plans to be an advocate for gay rights within the GOP."

Only time will tell on that front. For tonight, though, there is one more person who once worked against LGBT equality and has now committed himself to helping to achieve it.


*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 413"




Image Removed At The Request
Of The Copyright Owner




"Love Is This Color..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"The Artist's Corner"

"The Gentleman Caller"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 412"

"To Love Someone Is The Greatest Gift You'll Ever Give..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 411"

"Love Means Being Together In The World..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Monday, August 23, 2010

"This Made Me Smile..."

I haven't seen this yet and it's not yet available from Netflix, but if it's half as funny as the trailer, it'll be worth a watch...

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 410"

"A Kiss Is Love's Calling Card..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 409"

"A Kiss Always Says, I Love You..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"The Truth About Love..."


A group of children aged 4 to 8 were asked the question "What does love mean?" The answers they gave were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined:

"Love is that first feeling you feel before all the bad stuff gets in the way."

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth."

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."

"Love is when someone hurts you. And you get so mad but you don't yell at them because you know it would hurt their feelings."

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him to make sure the taste is OK."

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look
gross when they kiss."

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate."

"Love is hugging. Love is kissing. Love is saying no."

"When you tell someone something bad about yourself and you're scared they won't love you anymore. But then you get surprised because not only do they still love you
they love you even more."

"There are two kinds of love: Our love and God's love. But God makes both kinds of them."

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."

"My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."

"Love is when mommy gives daddy the best piece of chicken."

"Love is when mommy sees daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."

"I let my big sister pick on me because my Mom says she only picks on me because she loves me. So I pick on my baby sister because I love her."

"Love cards like Valentine's cards say stuff on them that we'd like to say ourselves, but we wouldn't be caught dead saying."

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."

"Love is when mommy sees daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it you should say it a lot. People forget."


*******

"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

"A Story to Share..."


This is a story that ran early last year before voters were duped into repealing marriage equality in Maine. Perhaps if the story had been accompanied by photos of the human faces that were impacted more people might have resisted the fearmongering of NOM and their evil allies...




March 4, 2009


Gender aside, this family's story is all about love and commitment — May I share my story with you?

I will be 60 in another month. I was born in Massachusetts, but have lived in Maine for 35 years, more than half my life.

I live with the man I married 36 years ago. He was a Marist monk from the age of 15 until 25, and attended Catholic schools as a young boy. I grew up in an Irish Catholic household. We met and married at Holy Cross College in Worcester, where Dennis was an assistant dean of students.

This weekend we will travel to Massachusetts with our family to celebrate my parents' 62nd wedding anniversary.

My Mom has lived in a nursing home for the past year because she has Alzheimer's disease. My parents will both be 86 years old this month, and nearly every day, my dad makes an hourlong, round-trip from his home to be with her.

My life partner and I have two adult sons. Our youngest lives in Portland. He is a graduate of Brunswick High School where he played basketball and baseball, and hoped to play football but was sidelined with a stress fracture in his freshman year.

Our oldest son, John, graduated from Waterville High School, president of his class and an altar boy at a local Catholic Church. He now lives outside Boston with his partner, Greg. They have been together for five years, married two years ago in Massachusetts followed by a memorable and emotional four-day wedding celebration with more than 100 guests on Southport Island in Maine. My young niece from Texas called it the ''best wedding ever!''

In the last few years, Greg and John bought and refurbished a lovely old Victorian home and got a dog from a rescue organization. We refer to Flynn as our ''grand-dog.'' We have spent the last three Thanksgiving holidays at their home, the last three Christmas Eves, and too many overnights to count.

They have an 80-year-old next-door neighbor who speaks with an Italian accent and travels to Florida for the winter. While she is away, John and Greg care for her house, shovel her driveway, and this past summer, had her and several of her friends over for dinner. Last Christmas, she called them from Florida just to tell them she loved them.

This summer, Greg's parents, who live in Mystic, Conn., spent a week vacationing in Boothbay Harbor. Fourteen of us -- all our sons, both sets of parents, my Dad, and six more friends -- met for an hours-long dinner at one of the local restaurants.

We adore Greg's parents, and they seem to like us a lot. Paul, Greg's dad, consults with schools all over New England, having been a school principal and headmaster in Massachusetts and Connecticut before retiring. Jeri, his mom, was a flight attendant. We traveled to Connecticut last year to commemorate their 40th wedding anniversary.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I think it is important to put a ''face'' and ''faces'' on the issue of same gender marriage.

It is important to know that our family is probably no different from yours. Our love for one another, covering four generations, four New England states, and marriages that have lasted decades, is the kind of family portrait that those in opposition to same-gender marriage would want you to believe does not exist.

As a psychotherapist in private practice for almost 25 years, I can attest to the fact that families come in all shapes and sizes, and relationships of all kinds have difficulty succeeding as loving and long term.

Despite all the forces at play against couples of the same gender, many have found a way, through their devotion and love, to remain committed, my uncle and his partner included. They were together for more than 35 years but never had the opportunity to marry as one died several years ago, shortly before the law in Massachusetts passed.

We have lived in Maine for all these years because we love this state. We love its values, its independence, its commitment to life as it should be.

I ask that you who believe in fairness, the rights of all individuals, and who hold a belief that family values count, join me and my family in voting ''No on One'' in November.



*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Artist's Corner"

"Unexpected Places"
Acyrlic on canvas
Steve Walker

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 408"

"Happiness Is Being Together..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"It's About Equal Rights..."



“Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere.”

- Martin Luther King, Jr. (Baptist Minister and Civil-Rights Leader. 1929-1968)

Friday, August 20, 2010

"One Of The Basic Civil Rights Of Man..."

Support Marriage Equality

"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 407"

"Love and Happiness..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"The Truth Today..."

"Target Ain't People!"

Target Corporation is paying a price for it's support of extremist right-wing animus. As it turns out, some people realize that politics matter and they're a matter for people, not corporations.

When I was a leader at Target we received training on how to deal with protests in the stores, but they never anticipated anything like this, or what is sure to come next...

I refuse to shop at my old employer and I've encouraged everyone I know to join the boycott. Target's actions have potentially caused GLBT people real harm and until they make that right, they shouldn't expect us to support them.

Sign the Boycott Pledge at MoveOn.org



"Fear Eats the Soul"

"It's About Equal Rights..."

"[T]he job of the gay community is not to deal with extremists who would castigate us or put us on an island and drop an H-bomb on us. The fact of the matter is that there is a small percentage of people in America who understand the true nature of the homosexual community. There is another small percentage who will never understand us. Our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. Nor was our aim in the civil rights movement to get prejudiced white people to love us. Our aim was to try to create the kind of America, legislatively, morally, and psychologically, such that even though some whites continued to hate us, they could not openly manifest that hate. That's our job today: to control the extent to which people can publicly manifest antigay sentiment."
~Bayard Rustin, From Montgomery to Stonewall (1986)

*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 406"

"Welcome Home, Dear..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 405"

"Happy Together..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"This Made Me Smile..."


I have to admit that this made me smile with a wide grin... I'm not really into rap, but I liked these. I guess he appeals to the "camp" that's in us all. Enjoy!



"Same Gender Loving People - No. 404"

"We're Dads too..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 403"

"Love, Marriage, Family..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Friday, August 13, 2010

"It Can Be Like This..."

H/T realgayromance.com

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 402"

"Happiness Is Being Together..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 401"

"A Kiss Is The Prelude To Love..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"In The News Today..."


RESOLVED, That the American Bar Association urges state, territorial, and tribal governments to eliminate all of their legal barriers to civil marriage between two persons of the same sex who are otherwise eligible to marry.

10 August 2010





*******

"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived..."

"It's About Equal Rights..."

“Justice denied anywhere diminishes justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.


*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"This Is The Face Of Grief..."

U.S. Army Private First Class, Bradley Manning

"He was not afraid to face the unknown, not afraid to resist the seduction of conformity, not afraid to follow his conscience, and not afraid, most important for us today ... to give us the wherewithal so that we can have enough information to follow our own consciences."
- Ray McGovern, Former CIA Analyst




I, myself haven't decided what my opinions of this young man's actions are... I suspect he may be a hero if indeed what he did was to expose war crimes committed by the United States, whether intentional or not. It is indeed "hard to shake hands with liberty" when they are covered with innocent blood...

*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 400"

"To Live Fearlessly Is To Love Completely..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

World Cinema Review - Germany




“Fashion Victims”
(Reine Geschmacksache)

Germany - 2007

Director: Ingo Rasper
Writers: Tom Streuber and Ingo Rasper
Starring: Edgar Selge, Roman Knizka,
Florian Bartholomäi, and Franziska Walser


Today's feature is a wonderful 2007 German film that I recently discovered. "Fashion Victims" is a witty and comical glimpse into the lives of a upwardly mobile middle-class family headed by Wolfgang Zenker (Edgar Selge), a middle-aged traveling salesman trading in wholesale woman's fashions. It's a story about coping with change, and yes, as are all great stories worth telling, it's a story about love.

As the film begins, Wolfgang is in the midst of a midlife crisis brought on by his stubborn desire to stifle change both at work and in his home. But as we and Wolfgang soon learn, change is inevitable and unstoppable. At work he has to deal with a young competitive colleague, Steven, (Roman Knizka) who's threatening to steal his best customers and who in more ways than one turns his world upside down. At home, he finds he no longer understands his wife and quite unexpectedly finds his marriage in crisis as well.


His young son, Karsten (Florian Bartholomäi) finds himself pressed into service as his father's driver and in their travels he falls for a handsome stranger who unbeknownst to him is his father's new young competitor. Comic mayhem ensues as the son reveals, "Dad, I've fallen in love with your colleague..."


It's a wonderfully light and airy story that manages to teach lessons about love, acceptance, openness and the importance of family. A story that leaves you wondering what happened next... "Did they get married...?" Overall it's a great film that deserves high praise for doing what many films try and fail to do... It seamlessly weaves "our" story into the greater story of life and living.


Easily a 5 out of 5 stars rating from me. I loved the film and watched it at least 6 times over the course of two weeks.

"Fashion Victims" is available from Netflix and inexpensive copies are available from Half.com.

Note: Watch for a lovely cameo appearance by Irm Hermann as a boutique owner. She is the actress who played "Krista" in "Ali: Fear Eats the Soul" and starred in many other famous Rainer Werner Fassbinder films of the early 1970's.


Monday, August 9, 2010

"The Truth Today..."


In this article, John Culhane speaks eloquently to the realities of being "open" about who we are... I agree with him that the times are changing. I can clearly see the day coming when the law catches up with the reality that "we" are only human. We live, we love, we dream...

Culhane: The Law and Life of the Closet

By John Culhane, Professor of Law, Widener University
08.05.2010 365gay.com columnist

I’m sitting in a coffee shop as I type this column. The barista and I have become well-acquainted enough to exchange more than the perfunctory pleasantries. He knows that I have twin daughters who just swam their first full length of the pool. We’ve talked about where we live, what we do, what we enjoy, and so on. Yet as I sit here, I can’t say with confidence that I’ve ever disclosed to him that I’m gay – as I could quite easily do by mentioning my “partner,” which has become code for “my other half in my same-sex relationship.” (Now that I’ve realized this, I’m going to go up and tell him. I’ll be right back.)

(It was the non-event I assumed it would be, and I used David’s name, instead of the clinical title.)

Even though I’m about as “out” as one can be, I know that the story described above is typical of so many of us. We choose, many times a day, how “out” to be. Social creatures, we crave some level of connection and don’t want to risk rejection – even by people we little know- by doing a gay cannonball into the pool. Not everyone enjoys being splashed, and some become outright hostile (even violent). So we test the water first.

Is this toe-dipping affected by the law? How do social norms and law interact? A good clue comes from Justice Scalia’s thinly veiled screed against “homosexuals” in his Lawrence v. Texas dissent. In taking angry offense to the Court’s view that morality, without more, can’t be used to defend a law’s constitutionality, he wrote:

“One of the most revealing statements in today’s opinion is the Court’s grim warning that the criminalization of homosexual conduct is ‘an invitation to subject homosexual persons to discrimination both in the public and in the private spheres.’ It is clear from this that the Court has taken sides in the culture war… Many Americans do not want persons who openly engage in homosexual conduct as partners in their business, as scoutmasters for their children, as teachers in their children’s schools, or as boarders in their home. They view this as protecting themselves and their families from a lifestyle that they believe to be immoral and destructive.”

Note Scalia’s sly blurring of the facts – Lawrence involved private, intimate activity, not “open” “homosexual conduct.” But his reminder of how the law and social norms reflect and reinforce each other is accurate, and forms the underlying cause of his concern. As the law unravels ancient proscriptions against our behavior, and then moves – however glacially – to recognize us as full citizens worthy of equal legal treatment, the basis for social discrimination also starts to erode.

Scalia furnishes a veneer – but only that – of intellectual respectability to his more primal longing for a vanishing society that socially forced all but the bravest into the closet. Few dared be “openly gay” – in part because of the laws he defends, but also because the very presence of those laws enables those who don’t want us as business partners, teachers, and so on. If you live in one of the majority of states where you can still be fired just for being gay, for example, you might worry that your boss or colleague is one of those who doesn’t “want you” as partner.

There’s not a simple correspondence between the law and social convention, of course. No one can (legally) fire me for being gay, and I’m out enough to be a columnist for a publication called “365gay.com”, for crying out loud! Yet, I still and sometimes unconsciously withhold this essential truth about myself until I’ve sussed out a new situation. Why?

I still live in a nation where my marriage isn’t recognized, and where a (shrinking) majority of folks still support relegating me, and my family, to second-class citizenship. These legal facts tell me that my reality makes some people uncomfortable, and sometimes I don’t want to deal with that – and, probably more to the point these days – my own angry reaction to it. I almost never run into problems when I disclose, but I’m still working on getting over the years I spent elaborately dancing around the issue.

Things are changing, and quickly. As more people come out sooner, this whole “gay thing” is becoming less of an issue, and the law has started to catch up with a new social reality. But as minorities, we’ll never completely assimilate. Our cannonballs are changing into cleaner dives, but we’ll always be plunging into deep water, with a high degree of difficulty.

*******

"A life lived in fear is a life half-lived"

"The Artist's Corner"

"Pillow Talk"
Acyrlic on Canvas
Steve Walker

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 399"

"Happy Comes From Being Loved..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Love Is Enough..."

"Guess What? Love can come more than once..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 398"

"Home Is Where The Heart Is..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Friday, August 6, 2010

"This Made Me Smile..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 397"

"Love Is All That Matters..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

"This Made Me Smile..."


 
While I don't generally curse and swear, this was just so funny I had to share it... 
Burt and Ernie are my favorite gay muppets.

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 396"

"To Love Is To Be Together In The World..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

"In The News Today..."





Race And Gay Marriage In Perspective
By Ta-Nehisi Coates, Senior Editor
Aug 3 2010


I woke up at two this morning, thinking about the the thread below, which got a little heated after a commenter argued that the fallen ban against interracial marriage made for a bad comparison with gay marriage. I've argued in the past that it was actually a very good comparison, but as I thought about it this morning, I found the analogy less convincing.

Let us, first, stipulate that the very endeavor of comparing "gays" and "blacks" is inherently problematic, incomplete and exclusionary. Still, I think some general truths can be teased out here. First, gays are presently waging an imminently just fight for the right to marry within their own community. In 1965, when Loving v Virginia passed, blacks already enjoyed the right to marry within their own community. Moreover, I think it's fair to say that many of blacks, at that time, either preferred it that way or were rather agnostic on the issue.

In 1960, virtually every black person in America, either was directly--and immediately--affected by housing segregation or directly knew someone who was. To the extent that this was true of interracial marriage, it wasn't just true of black people, but white people too. In other words, whatever the justness of the fight for interracial marriage, it was never "a black issue" in the way that, say, voting rights in the South were.

A comparison between gay marriage and the Civil Rights movement may put-off some--some--African-Americans because it misstates the context of Loving vs. Virginia. My sense is that most blacks supported the movement not because they wanted the right to marry white people, but because they wanted the right to compete with them. Indeed, for almost a century blacks actively resisted the notion that civil right equaled interracial marriage, because racists had repeatedly clubbed the movement with charges of miscegenation. Note that in all the protests you see during the Civil Rights movement, very little of it is organized around interracial marriage.

Much worse, the comparison with interracial marriage actually understates the evil of reserving marriage rights for certain classes of people. Banning interracial marriage meant that most black people could not marry outside of their race. This was morally indefensible, but very different than a total exclusion of gays from the institution of marriage. Throughout much of America, gays are effectively banned from marrying, not simply certain types of people, but any another compatible partner period. Unlike heterosexual blacks in 1960, the ban gays suffer under is unconditional and total and effectively offers one word for an entire sector of Americans--Die. For evading that ban means virtual--if not literal--suicide.

A more compelling analogy would be a law barring blacks, not from marrying other whites, but effectively from marrying anyone at all. In fact we have just such an analogy. In the antebellum South, the marriages of the vast majority of African-Americans, much like gays today, held no legal standing. Slavery is obviously, itself, a problem--but abolitionists often, and accurately, noted that among its most heinous features was its utter disrespect for the families of the enslaved. Likewise, systemic homophobia is, itself, a problem--but among its most heinous features is its utter disrespect for the families formed by gays and lesbians. Of course African-Americans, gay and straight, in 1810 lacked many other rights that gays, of all colors, today enjoy. Thus, to state the obvious, being born gay is not the same as being born a slave. But the fact is that in 1810, the vast majority of African-Americans--much like the vast majority of gays in 2010--lacked the ability to legally marry.

My sense is that this is an argument that will sway very few bigots in the black community. But frankly, as black person, I've always considered the logic of my humanity to be my own selfish interest, as opposed to a tool for washing racists. Given that gays are often born into straight families, perhaps my viewpoint is a marker of privilege. Still, I think it's worth considering the limits of reasoning with homophobes. The Civil Rights movement's strategy of appealing to white humanity--which was incredibly effective--has never been my way.

Nationalism is, for good or ill, at my core. Thus I see the fight for marriage rights not as a fight for a squishy, gauzy "tolerance," but as a fight for gay self-determination. The family is not just a building block of civilizations, but a defense against civilizations which, so often, prove themselves unworthy of the name. Thus gay marriage is, to me, not about relieving homophobes of their burdensome ignorance but about the right of gays to defend themselves against that ignorance.

In 1860, alchemists sought to build a country upon (among other things) their right to deprive blacks of their greatest defense--the family. So ardent were they in this hare-brained scheming, that America lost more than half a million of its bravest young men, two percent of its entire population, and arguably its greatest president. Countless, nameless deaths have come in the aftershocks. One hundred and fifty years later, having learned nothing, the alchemists have returned, insistent on their right to perpetrate the exact same folly upon gays.

They must be stopped.



*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

Linkwithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...