Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 473"

"In The Arms of Love the World is a Safe Place..."

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.

"Halloween"


"This Made Me Smile..."

"Never forget that it's okay to laugh at stereotypes..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

Saturday, October 30, 2010

"The Poet's Corner"


When I Heard at the Close of the Day From “Leaves of Grass“"

Walt Whitman



…And when I thought how my dear friend, my lover, was on his way coming, O then I was happy;

O then each breath tasted sweeter—and all that day my food nourish’d me more—and the beautiful day pass’d well,

And the next came with equal joy—and with the next, at evening, came my friend;
And that night, while all was still, I heard the waters roll slowly continually up the shores,

I heard the hissing rustle of the liquid and sands, as directed to me, whispering, to congratulate me,

For the one I love most lay sleeping by me under the same cover in the cool night,
In the stillness, in the autumn moonbeams, his face was inclined toward me,
And his arm lay lightly around my breast—and that night I was happy.


*********

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 472"

"Exploring Love and World 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.

Friday, October 29, 2010

"This Made Me Smile..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 471"

"Asleep in the Arms of 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.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

"The Artist's Corner"

"Sunset Kiss"
Acrylic on canvas
Rick Chris

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 470"

"The Look of 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.

"The Truth Is Awkward..."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 469"

"Love is from Here to Eternity..."

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 Is Awkward..."

"The Artist's Corner"

"Pillow Talk"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 468"

"Love Lives in Every Corner of 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.

"The Truth Is Awkward..."

"The Truth Today..."

Corvino: Why “Love the Sinner” Rings Hollow


By John Corvino, columnist, 365gay.com
10.22.2010

In my work as “the Gay Moralist,” I often pursue dialogue with opponents of LGBT equality. I do this for various reasons: to understand them better, to help them understand us better, to help bystanders understand the controversy better, to promote truth more generally, and ultimately to win equality.

This work gets me labeled either as a “bridge-builder” or an “apologist,” depending on the labeler’s taste for it. I think the work is more important than ever. It’s also harder than ever.

Consider, for example, Dan Savage’s recent column responding to someone who “loves the Lord and does not support gay marriage” but was also “heartbroken” to hear about recent gay teen suicides. Her message to Savage was that he ought not to make blanket judgments about Christians and bullying.

Savage responds, “I’m sorry your feelings were hurt by my comments. No, wait. I’m not. Gay kids are dying. So let’s try to keep things in perspective: Fuck your feelings.”

He says more than that, of course, but the general theme is pretty straightforward:

“The kids of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality—even if those people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way (at least when they happen to be addressing a gay person)—learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged, disordered, and unworthy,” Savage writes. The result is that they bully and harass those people—sometimes with fatal results.

But isn’t it possible to love the “sinner” while hating the “sin”?

Increasingly, in this particular case, it seems not. A huge part of loving the “sinner” is striving to be sensitive to the “sinner’s” needs and interests. It’s hard for me to understand how people who do so can nevertheless maintain that homosexuality is a sin. At the very least, the evidence of our lives ought to give them some cognitive dissonance.

But even if we put that aside—even if we grant (as I do) that reasonable, decent people can disagree on homosexuality and marriage without being bigots—there’s a glaring problem of proportion.

As Savage bluntly reminds us: gay kids are dying.

Today I learned that a 19-year-old gay student at a nearby university—someone with whom I have several mutual friends—just took his own life.

Earlier in the week, a young close friend of mine was brutally attacked outside a gay bar in Washington D.C., suffering a fractured right jaw, fractured lower left ribs, and contusions on his arm and back. His attackers repeatedly called him “faggot” while beating him with a metal rod.

A standard “Christian” response to all this is to say, “That’s terrible. Everyone should be treated with respect. But…”

Stop right there.

“That’s terrible, but…” won’t cut it right now. I know you want to reassert your Christian beliefs about the nature of marriage. While I think those beliefs are flat wrong, I’ll strongly defend your right to share them. I’m not interested in putting a gag order on your expression of your convictions.

But it doesn’t follow that every moment is an appropriate time to do so. It doesn’t follow that every conversation about homosexuality is an opportunity to showcase your theological position on marriage (as opposed to, say, your theological position on the dignity of all persons).

If Christians would spend even half as much time denouncing anti-gay violence as they do denouncing gay marriage, I might have more sympathy for Savage’s letter-writer. But the denunciations of violence are usually tepid, and they’re too often followed by a “BUT.” BUT we want to make it clear that we still think gay sex is wrong. BUT marriage is for a man and a woman. BUT we Christians are persecuted too, you know.

Even if one accepts the premises, such responses exhibit skewed priorities. They’re akin to saying that you are really concerned about feeding the starving, but first you want to make sure that they’re not going to burp at the dinner table.

It’s not just Fred-Phelps-style Christians who exhibit these skewed priorities. It’s not just Focus on the Family, which opposes effective anti-bullying legislation on the grounds that it promotes the “homosexual agenda.”

It’s every Christian who spends less time on the “equal dignity” message than on the “gay sex is wrong” message. And that’s a huge percentage. Hence Savage’s point.

“Fuck your feelings” is not really my style. But if I were responding to Savage’s letter writer, I’d say this:

If you really love the “sinner,” the best way to show it would be to prioritize the fight against the sins that are killing him. Back up your concern with action. No buts.

John Corvino, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, and philosophy professor at Wayne State University in Detroit. His column “The Gay Moralist” appears Fridays at 365gay.com. His current fall speaking schedule is posted at http://www.johncorvino.com/; his venues next week include the University of Dayton (OH) and Westminster College (MO).


*******

As always, I really admire John Corvino's opinions and thoughtful discussions of the issues of importance to GLBT people and their supporters. And I have to admit that I can rarely add anything of substance to what he has to say. But today, my ex-wife could...

One of only a few things she ever said to me that has proven to be absolutely true was this: "Whenever you say 'But,' whatever you said just before it was a lie. Now if you think about this, it's true. For instance, I've heard this a few times in my life: "I love you, but I wish you didn't (insert whatever you like here.) See, it's true, because of course if you love someone, you love them just as they are.

So, although like John Corvino, I don't generally resort to the use of strong expletives to make a point -- To those who spew "Un-Godly" hatred in the name of their purported religious beliefs, I say, "Fuck your feelings!"

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"In The News Today..."



Some 'Sesame Street' Viewers Sense a Gay-Friendly Vibe

Sesame Workshop says it's not out to appeal to a gay audience but with such recent actions as a 'True Blood' parody, inviting openly gay guests like Wanda Sykes, and an interesting tweet by Bert, some are feeling the love.




October 24, 2010
By Melissa Maerz

Reporting from New York — Bert and Ernie are not gay. In their 31 years on "Sesame Street," they've never marched in a Pride parade or plastered a rainbow sticker on Oscar the Grouch's trash can. Sesame Workshop has always contended that they're just friends who happen to live together and sleep side by side in well-tailored pajamas.

And yet, because of a comment on "Sesame Street's" Twitter account, some are claiming that Bert is officially out of the closet.

On June 11, the mono-browed Muppet tweeted about the premiere of the recent "A-Team" remake. ("Sesame Street" plans to air a parody of the movie in November.) "Ever notice how similar my hair is to Mr. T's?" Bert asked, name-checking the original "A-Team" star. "The only difference is mine is a little more 'mo,' a little less 'hawk.'"

Reading "mo" as slang for homosexual, gay bloggers rejoiced. To some, it seemed as if "Sesame Street" was aiming sly in-jokes directly at them, right under the noses of unsuspecting straight viewers. Ed Kennedy of the gay pop culture site AfterElton.com noted that the tweet came during a week when many cities were hosting Gay Pride celebrations. "The people at Sesame Street are way too clever for their own good," he wrote.

Now some people are wondering: Is "Sesame Street" brought to you by the letters G-A-Y?

In its own subtle, perhaps unintentional way, the show's latest season feels more LGBT-friendly than ever. Lesbian comedian Wanda Sykes appeared on the show in October, following in the tradition of openly gay guest stars such as Neil Patrick Harris, who played ( cough, cough) "the shoe fairy" a few seasons back. A parody of "True Blood" — the HBO vampire drama that features several gay characters and draws many gay fans — aired in September. Recently, the Black Eyed Peas frontman will.i.am appeared on the show to sing "What I Am," a song about accepting who you really are, prompting much online debate about its underlying message. "Did Will.i.am just sing the next gay pride anthem on Sesame Street?" one commenter on AfterElton.com asked.


*********



I thought it was just me... As a child, I did not like Sesame Street (Mr. Roger's Neighborhood was more my cup of tea), but even I recognized Bert and Ernie as a gay couple (even if I didn't know what it meant at the time).

I have to admit that Sesame Street has grown on me in later life. Sometimes while channel surfing, I'll catch a glimpse of the show and stop to watch for a few minutes. I recently saw Neil Patrick Harris' appearance on the show and I did more than one double take as he "camped it up" while playing the "Shoe Fairy." I was instantly convinced that a new day had arrived on the street.

Although I missed Bert's "mo" comment in June, in thinking about it, I suspect that the always "gay friendly" show may indeed be testing the waters as it explores becoming a more openly supportive friend to GLBT people and their children.

Bravo, Sesame Street!



"Fear Eats the Soul"

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 467"

"Love is Life's Most Beautiful Journey..."

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..."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 466"

"The World is for Lovers to Explore..."

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 Is Awkward..."

"The Truth About Love..."


Here is a fascinating post from a heterosexual ally which speaks to my own beliefs in a very powerful and truthful way...

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE "GAY"
by Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker


I've been an LGBT Rights activist for about twenty years, and have been quite disturbed by the seeming political indolence of many professed Gay people, as well as the counterproductive frivolity and displays that are virtually guaranteed to offend the sensibilities of decent people, both Gay and Straight alike.

Unless decency and dignity, and a fire in the belly, accompany the struggle for LGBT equality, not much will be gained in this area, and much will be lost; the gratitude for crumbs of incrementalism and embracing an appeal to the electorate for equal rights will be embraced by those Gay people who are either filled with recognized or unrecognized self-loathing and/or who are not even Gay at all, despite the fact that they publicly identify as "Gay."

There must be a distinction made between being "Gay" and being a "sexual hedonist" who gets off on having sex with people of the same sex, and I truly believe that the lack of recognition of that distinction is what is going a long way toward retarding true equality and the acquisition of full and equal civil and sacramental rights for Gay people.

Simply put: just because a person has and may even enjoy sexual relations with the same sex does not necessarily make that person "Gay." We know this fact from life in prisons and boarding schools where same-sex relations are not uncommon, and yet many, if not most, of these people, once out of those institutions, behave heterosexually.

It seems to me that many self-proclaimed "Gay activists" are definitely sexually involved with members of the same sex, but may not be necessarily Gay! Merely having same-sex sexual activity does not necessarily make one Gay, and the confusion of the two is what is helping to muddy the waters in the fight for full and equal LGBT equality, a fight that many of the sexual hedonists are greatly impeding!

To be Gay means to have an emotional and romantic affinity with one's own sex, that may or may not include sexual activity! For example, even if one can't have sexual relations, he/she is still Gay or Straight! Mere sexual activity does not necessarily determine one's true status.

Just knowing about one's sexual activities tells us virtually nothing about his/her status as Gay or Straight! In the sexual realm, probably the psychoanalyst Anna Freud gave the best operational definition to distinguish "Gay" from "Straight." She said the best criterion to determine who is Gay or Straight are the fantasies one has when he or she masturbates! And in the sexual realm of life, I concur with her contention.

However, when it comes to publicly defining who is Gay (and who is Straight), mere sexual activity tells us very little about that person's status but, rather, the sex of the people to whom he/she most romantically and emotionally relates.

It is the overlooking of this distinction between feeling and behavior that may be seen to contribute to the false notion that sexuality is fluid! It is only "fluid" if mere sexual activity is considered to define one's status as "Gay" or "Straight."

However, if we see that our status as Gay or Straight consists not merely in who we have sex with but, rather, to whom we emotionally and romantically relate, the notion of "sexual fluidity" is seen as the fiction it is; the notion of being "ex-gay" is seen as being a myth, as one can abstain from sexual activity and yet still emotionally and romantically relate to people of the same sex, thereby defining that person as permanently Gay; self-identified "Gay activists" and others may or may not be truly Gay, but merely enjoy same sex sexual activity.

In sum, it is my contention that a lot of vagaries will disappear if we accurately define being Gay (and being Straight) as primarily involving emotional and romantic components rather than largely defining those classifications in terms of sexual activity.

And it may well be that the frivolity, the counterproductive pageants and displays, and the gratuitous use of hateful words as self-identifiers, all of which are retarding the struggle for full and equal rights for LGBT people, are more likely to come from "sexual hedonists," many of whom view themselves, and are naively viewed by others, as "activists," who enjoy same-sex activities rather than from Gay people as defined above.


*********

About Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker: (from his blog profile) He is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at California State University, Chico. Married since 1962, he and his wife have two grown daughters. He is an ordained priest in the Congregational Catholic Church, a division of the Independent Catholic Churches International (ICCI). For many years, he had a weekly column in the Sacramento Valley Mirror entitled, "Christianity and Society," where he dealt with a variety of social issues from a biblical and sociological perspective. He also contributes regularly to the Online magazine, "Whosoever," that deals with topics of relevance to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Christians and their allies; He also has a web site entitled, "Radical Christianity," located at www.radicalchristianity.net, that contains some of his articles concerning "progressive Christianity," and the need for Christians worthy of the name to confront the perversions of the Gospel of grace that have gained ascendancy so as to change the face of much of the institutional "Church" in America, and threaten the very foundations of liberty and democracy in America itself.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 462"

"It's In the Light of Day that Love Shines Best..."

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..."

"Truth Shared..."


GLBT people have a history of co-opting and adopting as our own, the labels, symbols and slang others have used to demean us. I don't particularly care for this habit, and as an example I don't use the various epitaphs (e.g. queer) that we've tried to make our own.

Nevertheless, among the symbols that we've adopted, the "Pink Triangle" is probably the least understood outside of our own circles. I was talking to my friend Mark about it recently and he refused to believe that what I was telling him about it was true. But of course it is, and here thanks to an article I recently read on Box Turtle Bulletin is the first person account of Rudolf Brazda, perhaps the last GLBT survivor of Nazi Germany's Buchenwald concentration camp.

His memory and attitudes about his experience are quite remarkable and even more so considering he's giving this interview at age 97. His is an incredible story of survival and the triumph of the human spirit over evil, hatred and intolerance. After such a tumultuous experience so early in his life, that he could find the love of his life and they together find their way in the world for nearly 60 years speaks to the incredible ability of love to heal the human heart.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Times Square, NYC - October 19, 2010"

"We're still in a time of war and soldiers are still needed... able-bodied and patriotic Americans, regardless of their orientation are eligible to come on back and sign up to serve their country, openly, honestly, with integrity, acknowledging their partners, acknowledging their families and their lives as full citizens."

- Dan Choi, U.S. Army Enlistee

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"In The News Today..."


Military Recruiters Told to Accept Gay Applicants

Anne Flaherty And Julie Watson, Associated Press Writers
Tue Oct 19, 7:58 pm ET

SAN DIEGO – The military is accepting openly gay recruits for the first time in the nation's history, even as it tries in the courts to slow the movement to abolish its "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

At least two service members discharged for being gay began the process to re-enlist after the Pentagon's Tuesday announcement.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in California who overturned the 17-year policy last week was likely to reject the government's latest effort to halt her order telling the military to stop enforcing the law. Government lawyers will likely appeal.

With the recruiting announcement, the barriers built by an institution long resistant and sometimes hostile to gays had come down. The movement to overturn the 1993 Clinton-era law gained speed when President Barack Obama campaigned on its repeal. The effort stalled in Congress this fall, and found new life last month when U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips declared it unconstitutional.

"Gay people have been fighting for equality in the military since the 1960s," said Aaron Belkin, executive director of the Palm Center, a think tank on gays and the military at the University of California Santa Barbara. "It took a lot to get to this day."

The Defense Department has said it would comply with Phillips' order and had frozen any discharge cases. Pentagon spokeswoman Cynthia Smith said recruiters had been given top-level guidance to accept applicants who say they are gay.

AP interviews found some recruiters following the order and others saying they had not heard of the announcement.

Recruiters also have been told to inform potential recruits that the moratorium on enforcement of the policy could be reversed at any time, if the ruling is appealed or the court grants a stay, she said.

Gay rights groups were continuing to tell service members to avoid revealing that they are gay, fearing they could find themselves in trouble should the law be reinstated.

"What people aren't really getting is that the discretion and caution that gay troops are showing now is exactly the same standard of conduct that they will adhere to when the ban is lifted permanently," Belkin said. "Yes, a few will try to become celebrities."

An Air Force officer and co-founder of a gay service member support group called OutServe said financial considerations are playing a big role in gay service members staying quiet.

"The military has financially trapped us," he said, noting that he could owe the military about $200,000 if he were to be dismissed.

The officer, who asked not to be identified for fear of being discharged, said he's hearing increasingly about heterosexual service members approaching gay colleagues and telling them they can come out now.

He also said more gay service members are coming out to their peers who are friends, while keeping it secret from leadership. He said he has come out to two peers in the last few days.

An opponent of the judge's ruling said confusion that has come up is exactly what Pentagon officials feared and shows the need for her to immediately freeze her order while the government appeals.

"It's only logical that a stay should be granted to avoid the confusion that is already occurring with reports that the Pentagon is telling recruiters to begin accepting homosexual applicants," said Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group based in Washington that supports the policy.

The uncertain status of the law has caused much confusion within an institution that has historically discriminated against gays.

Before the 1993 law, the military banned gays entirely and declared them incompatible with military service. There have been instances in which gays have served, with the knowledge of their colleagues.

Twenty-nine nations, including Israel, Canada, Germany and Sweden, allow openly gay troops, according to the Log Cabin Republicans, a gay rights group and plaintiff in the lawsuit before Phillips.

The Pentagon guidance to recruiters comes after Dan Woods, the group's attorney, sent a letter last week warning the Justice Department that Army recruiters who turned away Omar Lopez in Austin, Texas may have caused the government to violate Phillips' injunction. Woods wrote that the government could be subject to a citation for contempt.

The White House has insisted their actions in court do not diminish Obama's efforts to repeal the ban.

In their stay request, government lawyers argue Phillips' order would be disruptive to troops serving at a time of war. They say the military needs time to prepare new regulations and train and educate service members about the change.

Phillips has said her order does not prohibit the Pentagon from implementing those measures.

Douglas Smith, spokesman for U.S. Army Recruiting Command based at Fort Knox, Ky., said even before the ruling recruiters did not ask applicants about their sexual orientation. The difference now is that recruiters will process those who say they are gay.

"If they were to self-admit that they are gay and want to enlist, we will process them," Smith said, adding that the enlistment process takes time. "U.S. Army Recruiting Command is going to follow the law, whatever the law is," he said.

The message, however, had not reached some recruiting stations.

In Pensacola, Fla., Marine Sgt. Timothy Chandler said he had been given no direction. "As far as we are concerned everything is the same. The policy hasn't changed," he said, as others in the office nodded.

Chandler said no one had come to the small office questioning the policy or asking about being openly gay and serving.

Recruiters at the Navy office next door referred all media questions to the Pentagon. Air Force recruiters said they were not authorized to talk to the media. Army recruiters referred questions to another office in Mobile, Ala.

In New York's Times Square, Dan Choi, a 29-year-old Iraq War veteran who was discharged for being gay, began the process to enlist in the Army. In San Diego, recruiters took an application from Will Rodriguez, a former Marine who was discharged under the policy in 2008.

Phillips said at a hearing Monday that she was leaning toward denying the Obama administration's request to delay her order. That would send the case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

After Phillips' ruling last week, Lopez — discharged from the Navy in 2006 after admitting he was gay to his military doctor — walked into an Army recruiting office in Austin and asked if he could re-enlist.

He said he was up front, even showing the recruiters his Navy discharge papers. But they told him he couldn't re-enlist because they had not gotten word from the Pentagon to allow openly gay recruits.

The Pentagon spokeswoman was unable to confirm the account. She said guidance on gay applicants had been issued to recruiting commands on Oct. 15.

On Tuesday, upon hearing of the changes to recruiting, Lopez said, "Oh, my God! I've been waiting for this for four years."

Lopez said he'll try again Friday and will go to a Navy recruiting office in Austin to see if he can enroll in ROTC as an officer. He is currently studying hospitality services at a college.

"I'm really hoping they can accept me," he said.


*********

Although I'm wise enough to know this issue is not yet won, what we have won is a major battle in the war and I am celebrating this momentous day.


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Because Fear Eats the Soul..."

Joel Burns - A Courageous Man

Although this video has already gotten lots of main stream media attention, because Joel Burns' message is so honest, straight-forward and powerful it deserves every audience it can reach. He understands the truth about fear...


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 461"

"Love Makes A House A Home..."

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, October 18, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 460"

"Love And Marriage Opens The Door To A Bright Future 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.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"The Truth Is In The Scriptures"

What if Jesus Were Gay?
Ian Gurvitz


Though I never read The DaVinci Code, my understanding is that it was about some double secret Vatican cult dispensing an albino hit man to terminate with extreme prejudice anyone who might have proof that Jesus was married, had a kid, and descendants living in France. Or something like that. All that fuss and murder over one non-immaculate conception. Imagine how many people would have to be smoked if it turned out there was proof Jesus was gay.

And there is ample evidence. He didn't have a kid. He was in his 30s and didn't even have a girlfriend. He had one female BFF -- a whore. (Maybe history's first fag hag.) He wore a Caftan, hung out with 12 guys, had long flowing hair, kissed a guy in a garden, and felt alienated, even forsaken, by his father. He talked about loving one's neighbor, but cleverly didn't specify the sex of that neighbor. He talked about having compassion for people. Most of the gay guys I know are very compassionate people. And upon getting a sense of his impending death, did he go out and get wasted? Gamble? Get laid? Buy a fast camel and tear up the desert? No. He threw a dinner party for his 12 guy friends.

It's all there in the book. You don't even have to crack the code. But it's still ok. Even if Jesus were gay, it wouldn't make him a bad person. It would make him the same good person, who wasn't attracted to women. Makes you wonder why more Christians don't get that. Though it does clear up quite a bit. Like the Haggards and Craigs of the world. It's a very neat little syllogism: These guys are true Christians; these guys are gay; ergo, true Christians are gay. QED. (Or maybe it's: gay people are true Christians?) Either way, it certainly explains the pope's outfit.




"Fear Eats the Soul"

Saturday, October 16, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 459"

"From Love, You Can See Eternity..."


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, October 15, 2010

"A Love Song..."

This is a very beautiful song and video about "love." And although, it's very "hetero-normative," it speaks to the thoughts and the feeling of same gender loving people too. In fact, in an almost disturbing way, it reveals some of the deep-seated thoughts and anguish that I think "we" often feel as some of us believe "our lives" can't be like this.

I myself have thought that if there were a "real ability" to choose not to be as God has made me, I don't know what I'd do... I look at couples in just the same longing way that Gary Barlow does in this video, I always have. And for a very long time in my life, I prayed that somehow God would make me not "one of the others" so that I too could know what I dreamt it must feel like to be with one's "forever love."

Mistakenly, I concluded from God's silence in the face of those thousands and thousands of prayers that went on for decades of my life that it was in my hands to try to achieve that impossible dream. Like many others before me and since, I married a woman I did not love, a woman my heart could not love. And even as I lied to her, saying I was in love, I knew that God had made my heart for a man like myself. And in that bout of self-delusion I discovered that all I had done was to inflict upon myself a terrible punishment. And it was a punishment that hurt her as well and one that left me cold and empty and alone for many years thereafter.

But it was on this day, exactly four year ago today that I sought my answer from God about the true nature of my heart and about true love and about what life could be for me and the man I had truly fallen in love with.

I prayed upon my knees that day from sunrise to sunset. And as I felt the sun moving from one window to the next as the day passed by, God spoke to my heart quite clearly. I had finally asked of Him the right questions and He answered me and I could hear Him. God revealed that He had made no mistake in me... My heart was exactly as He intended. He shared with me that He had ordained love for all His sons and daughters and He approved of all love including mine. And then finally, He gave me a warning about the fear and evil in the world that tries to destroy love. And He explained to me the dangers of loving a heart that feared, and I understood.

Late that night, I bravely declared my love to the one who had fearfully stolen my heart and my world has never been the same...

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 458"

"Marriage Is The Emblem Of True 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.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"A Song For Me..."

"Take Me To The Water" is a song about baptism and rebirth, but Nina Simone somehow made it seem to be about so much more...

Thinking back, there have been many times in my life that I've felt the way that she "sings" this song... both mournful and hopeful at the same time. One moment believing that the best is yet to come and in the next realizing that it has passed me by.

Tomorrow will be an anniversary of sorts, marking the moment when four years ago, everyday since began to feel like the way Nina sings this song. And so, this is a song for me tonight, a song to recollect the path and the pain, the love and the anguish. I chose what God offered me and this is to remind me that it was only for love and nothing else...

“There are in the end three things that last: Faith, Hope, and Love and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Cor. 13:13)


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 457"

"True Happiness Is Found In True 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, October 13, 2010

"The Truth Tonight..."


It's the 13th of October 2010 and I am strongly reminded tonight of someone and something that happened some years ago now. Although it feels like yesterday, I realize now more than ever before, there are some wounds that even time cannot heal. And so it is as I lie down to sleep, I find myself remembering, always remembering...



"Fear Eats the Soul"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"The Things That Love Says..."


In pain my only refuge
Is the heat of the rain
To just be able to forget the fear
It is then when you appear
I find that we are different
The sky always remembers those who are capable of love

-Unknown

"In The News Today..."




Serb Police Clash With Antigay Rioters

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
October 10, 2010

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Serbian riot police fought running battles on Sunday with hundreds of far-right supporters who hurled Molotov cocktails and stun grenades to try disrupt a gay pride march in downtown Belgrade. Over 120 people were hurt and nearly 190 were arrested, officials said.

Thousands of police officers sealed off the streets in the capital where the march took place, repeatedly clashing at several locations with rioters who were trying to burst through security cordons.

Several parked cars were set on fire or damaged, shop windows were broken, garbage containers were overturned and streets signs destroyed. Several shops were looted before police restored peace late afternoon.

The anti-gay rioters also fired shots and threw Molotov cocktails at the headquarters of the ruling pro-Western Democratic Party, setting the garage of the building on fire. The state TV building and other political parties headquarters were also attacked, with many of the house windows shattered by stones.

The protesters, chanting "death to homosexuals!" hurled bricks, stones, glass bottles and stun grenades at riot police. Police responded by firing tear gas and deploying armored vehicles to disperse the charging protesters in the heart of the capital even after the brief pride march ended.

Sunday's pride march was viewed as a major test for Serbia's government, which has launched pro-Western reforms and pledged to protect human rights as it seeks European Union membership.

Right-wing groups broke up a gay march in 2001 and forced the cancellation of last year's event.

"This was undoubtedly a political message, an attempt to destabilize the country and this government," said prominent political analyst Miljenko Dereta. "The rioters had political support."

He said Serbia's pro-European government still faces strong opposition from the conservative and nationalist forces opposed to the modernization and reform of the country ravaged by the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s.

The protesters hijacked a bus, ordered all of its passengers and the driver out, and pushed it down a steep street before it hit an electric pole on a main Belgrade square.

A gay-rights activist, Lazar Pavlovic, said that staging of the pride march was a "historic event." He condemned the violence and noted that the incidents and immense security measures illustrate the dangers the gay people in Serbia are facing.

Serbia's Health Ministery said over 120 people were injured. Police said 188 people were detained, 77 of whom remain in custody, suspected of violent behavior.

Serbian President Boris Tadic condemned the "vandalism" on Belgrade streets and pledged that the extremists will be arrested and punished.

"Serbia will guarantee human rights for all its citizens, regardless of the differences among them, and no attempts to revoke these freedoms with violence will be allowed," Tadic said.

Belgrade mayor Dragan Djilas said that the damage was estimated at more than one million euros ($1.39 million).

Right-wing groups say the gay events are contrary to Serbian family and religious values. Most of the rioters Sunday were young football fans whose groups have been infiltrated by neo-Nazi and other extremist organizations.

"These riots obviously have nothing to do with the gay parade or any moral values," said Democratic Party spokeswoman Jelana Trivan. "These are hooligan gangs which must be punished severely."

Defense Minister Dragan Sutanovac, vice president of the Democratic Party, said a part of the party's archive, warehouse and phone lines at the building were destroyed and shots were also fired at the building.

"It is high time that we deal in a very democratic way, through the courts, with those who call themselves members of the patriotic organizations," Sutanovac said. "Is this Belgrade or the wild West?"

Senior Justice Ministry official Slobodan Homen said that the state response will be "fierce." He said that the city center is covered with surveillance cameras and that the rioters have been identified and many already detained. He said they could face up to eight years in prison.

Vincent Degert, the head of the EU mission in Serbia, addressed around 1,000 gay activists and their supporters who gathered at a park in downtown Belgrade which was surrounded by riot police, including armored vehicles.

"We are here to celebrate this very important day ... to celebrate the values of tolerance, freedom of expression and assembly," Degert told the crowd waving rainbow flags.

The same right-wing group set the U.S. Embassy on fire during riots in 2008 to protest U.S. support for Kosovo's independence.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to visit Belgrade in coming days as part of a Balkan tour.


*******

It's funny but there are those who say our's is not a fight for "Civil Rights," but it sure looks like it to me...


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 456"

"Hatsu-Koi" (Japanese: "First 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.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"The Artist's Corner"

"Gay Couple at Home"
Acrylic on canvas
Unknown

"The Power of Truth..."


"Happy National Coming Out Day!"

Today is National Coming Out Day. I'm out are you?
Today, I'll be raising the issues of equality and the fight against homophobia with everyone I meet at work and in the community. The power of truth wins over the hearts and minds of people.


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 455"

"To Be Young And In Love Is The Sweetest Time of Life..."


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, October 10, 2010

"It's Just Love..."


"Love looks like this..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 454"

"Love Is The Only Reason..."


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 week's SGLP images are from NYC's GMHC "I Love My Boo" campaign which features real young men of color loving each other passionately. Rather than sexualizing gay relationships, this campaign models caring, and highlights the importance of us taking care of each other. Featured throughout New York City on more than 1000 subway and rail cars and in transit stations across the city, "I Love My Boo" directly challenges homophobia and encourages all who come across it to critically rethink our notion of love.

GMHC is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. Building on decades of dedication and expertise, we understand the reality of HIV/AIDS and empower a healthy life for all. GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.



Saturday, October 9, 2010

"The Truth About Love..."


"This is Love"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 453"

"Love Is The Bond That Holds The Universe 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.


This week's SGLP images are from NYC's GMHC "I Love My Boo" campaign which features real young men of color loving each other passionately. Rather than sexualizing gay relationships, this campaign models caring, and highlights the importance of us taking care of each other. Featured throughout New York City on more than 1000 subway and rail cars and in transit stations across the city, "I Love My Boo" directly challenges homophobia and encourages all who come across it to critically rethink our notion of love.

GMHC is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. Building on decades of dedication and expertise, we understand the reality of HIV/AIDS and empower a healthy life for all. GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.


Friday, October 8, 2010

"This Made Me Smile..."

When I visited Italy many years ago, I was struck by the "happy-go-lucky" nature of the Italians, nothing seemed to phase them and they could poke fun at themselves and the world (including religion) without anyone getting too upset.

This ad for Italian ice cream being run in the UK is a good example of their Neopolitan sense of humor. I'm sure the Pope and his minion at the Vatican are not amused, but I was...


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"It Can Be Like This..."


"Love is the reason..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 452"

"Love Is Our Reason..."


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 week's SGLP images are from NYC's GMHC "I Love My Boo" campaign which features real young men of color loving each other passionately. Rather than sexualizing gay relationships, this campaign models caring, and highlights the importance of us taking care of each other. Featured throughout New York City on more than 1000 subway and rail cars and in transit stations across the city, "I Love My Boo" directly challenges homophobia and encourages all who come across it to critically rethink our notion of love.

GMHC is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. Building on decades of dedication and expertise, we understand the reality of HIV/AIDS and empower a healthy life for all. GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

World Cinema Review - Mexico


“Dona Herlinda and Her Son”
(Dona Herlinda y Su Hijo)

Mexico- 1985

Director: Jaime Humberto Hermosillo (1985).
Writers: Jaime Humberto Hermosillo and Jorge López Páez
Starring: Marco Antonio Trevino, Arturo Meza, and Guadalupe del Toro



Dona Herlinda is a wealthy widow from Guadalajara, Mexico, who chooses to turn a blind eye to her son Rudolfo's unconventional relationship with his "significant other," Ramon. She even invites Ramon to live with them, while simultaneously arranging for her son's marriage to a young woman she's picked for him. What at first seems to be a recipe for tragedy and heartbreak becomes an entertaining and suprisingly loving comedy of tolerance, acceptance, and keeping up appearances.


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 451"

"Only Love Gives Us Purpose..."


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 week's SGLP images are from NYC's GMHC "I Love My Boo" campaign which features real young men of color loving each other passionately. Rather than sexualizing gay relationships, this campaign models caring, and highlights the importance of us taking care of each other. Featured throughout New York City on more than 1000 subway and rail cars and in transit stations across the city, "I Love My Boo" directly challenges homophobia and encourages all who come across it to critically rethink our notion of love.

GMHC is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. Building on decades of dedication and expertise, we understand the reality of HIV/AIDS and empower a healthy life for all. GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"The Artist's Corner"

"Happy"
Ink on paper
Mike Stead

"It Can Be Like This..."


"Love is the greatest gift of all..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 450"

"It's Only 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.


This week's SGLP images are from NYC's GMHC "I Love My Boo" campaign which features real young men of color loving each other passionately. Rather than sexualizing gay relationships, this campaign models caring, and highlights the importance of us taking care of each other. Featured throughout New York City on more than 1000 subway and rail cars and in transit stations across the city, "I Love My Boo" directly challenges homophobia and encourages all who come across it to critically rethink our notion of love.

GMHC is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. Building on decades of dedication and expertise, we understand the reality of HIV/AIDS and empower a healthy life for all. GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 449"

"It's Time To Accept 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.


This week's SGLP images are from NYC's GMHC "I Love My Boo" campaign which features real young men of color loving each other passionately. Rather than sexualizing gay relationships, this campaign models caring, and highlights the importance of us taking care of each other. Featured throughout New York City on more than 1000 subway and rail cars and in transit stations across the city, "I Love My Boo" directly challenges homophobia and encourages all who come across it to critically rethink our notion of love.

GMHC is the world’s first and leading provider of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and advocacy. Building on decades of dedication and expertise, we understand the reality of HIV/AIDS and empower a healthy life for all. GMHC fights to end the AIDS epidemic and uplift the lives of all affected.

"The Truth About Love..."


Being out and open about who we are matters...

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"A Thought To Ponder..."

I've been reluctant to post anything about the recent spate of GLBT suicides and bullying cases that have been reported on in the last month or so... It's a subject that I know too much about already and that I find hard to recollect because of my own experiences. All I can really say, and I suspect anyone reading this already knows, is that being bullied for being different when it's something you can't help and can't change is real... More so than mere physical harm, it destroys something on the inside of you, something which is very real - "the spark that is self." Most, like me do escape with our lives, though none of us escape intact.


Isn't it time we teach children about love and acceptance...?



"Caught In The Crowd"
Kate Miller Heidke


There was a guy at my school when I was in high school
We'd ride side by side in the morning on our bicycles
Never even spoken or faced each other
But on the last hill we'd race each other

When we reached the racks we'd each go our own way
I wasn't in his classes, I didn't know his name
When we finally got to speak he just stared at his feet
And mumbled a sentence that ended with 'James'

I was young and caught in the crowd
I didn't know then what I know now
I was dumb, and I was proud
And I'm sorry
If I could go back do it again
I'd be someone you could call friend
Please please believe that I'm sorry

Well he was quite a big guy, kinda shy and quiet
When the kids called him weird he didn't try to deny it
Every lunchtime he'd spend walking by himself
Round the boundary of the grounds til he heard the bell

Well one day I found him, joined him on his walk
We were silent for a while until we started to talk
I told him my family were fighting in court
He said his step-dad and him always fought

We talked about music, he was into punk
Told me all the bands that I liked were junk
I said I'd never heard the songs the sex pistols sang
I laughed back at him and then the bell rang

I was young and caught in the crowd
I didn't know then what I know now
I was dumb, and I was proud
And I'm sorry
If I could go back do it again
I'd be someone you could call friend
Please please believe that I'm sorry

It was after school in the afternoon
The corridors were crowded as we came out of the rooms
Three guys I knew pushed him into the cement
Threw away his bag and said he had no friends

He yelled that he did and he looked around
Tried getting up but they pushed him on down
That's when he saw me, called out my name
And I turned my back, and just walked away
Yeah I turned my back, and just walked away

I was young and caught in the crowd
I didn't know then what I know now
I was dumb, and I was proud
And I'm sorry
If I could go back, do it again
I'd be someone you could call friend
Please please, believe that I'm sorry.





"Fear Eats the Soul"

Monday, October 4, 2010

"The Artist's Corner"

"Untitled"
Oil on Canvas
Mark Satchwill

"A Love Song..."


"This is the truth of love..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Remembering Love's Journey"


This little birthday gift is just a small token of my esteem for you. This coin is as old I am and I’ve had it for about 30 years. I give it to you that it might be a keepsake and that,


“When this you see, you might remember me…”

Happy Birthday!




It was a gift from my mother, the only thing she ever gave to me that I gave to another...

"Fear Eats the Soul"

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 448"

"Love Is Where You Find 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.

"It Can Be Like This..."


Weddings are celebrations of love and committment

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

Saturday, October 2, 2010

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 447"

"This Is The View From 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.

"The Artist's Corner"

"Missing"
Mixed media
Gormax

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