Target: Between Hard Rock Gospel and a Bad Place

Is That A Rainbow I See Dripping All Over Your Target Audience?

Today, Tom Emmer, a vociferous anti-Gay policitan and recipient of Target Corp. political monies, who is running in the Minnesota gubernatorial Republican primary, has announced he is re-oganizing  his campaign; long-time  advisor Tom Mason has left, according to an article in the Minnesota Star Tribune.

Following the Supreme Court’s landmark Citizen’s United vs. Federal Election Commission decision that was handed down earlier this year, Corporations and labor unions are allowed to contribute directly to political campaigns—to people and issues.

The Executives of Target might be wishing they hadn’t given $150,000 in campaign contributions to MN Forward (which says its focus is the creation of jobs—but gave the money and philosophical endorsement to Tom Emmer), but most observers feel that Target is just sorry it got caught.

And despite that Target Corp. money, Emmer has been struggling to raise funds for his campaign against a backlash of raising the ire of cafeteria workers whose wages, he said, should be changed (lowered), and the GLBT community, who consider his receipt of Target Corporation money via the MN Forward group, to be a double slap in the face.

Additionally, blogger Abe Sauer of The Awl, has been digging deeply into Emmer’s political history, his tendency to ‘misspeak,’  the legislation he has sponsored or backed, and his right-wing political associations and affiliation.

While the Human Rights Campaign earlier called for Target to make equal donations to gay rights organizations,  MoveOn.org is gaining nationwide momentum in its efforts to get Target to withdraw completely from the electoral process, something that Common Cause Minnesota has also requested of the company, urging it to enroll in Common Cause’s clean elections pledge.

The Emmer campaign expects to bring on a new campaign manager soon–and possibly a new campaign advisor, according to multiple Republican sources. “Tom Mason is going to step back,” said Bill Walsh, Emmer’s deputy campaign manager. He said Mason has been a “huge advisor” to the campaign since Emmer started running.

“This is a perfect time to do this,” said Mason, who said he spent 50 hours a week with the Emmer campaign last week (did Target call you? A lot?) and didn’t have the time to devote to it, given his other businesses.

Walsh also said the Emmer campaign has been working on expanding the team (no kidding!) and several Republican sources said that Emmer is looking to hire a campaign manager. One name mentioned is that of Cullen Sheehan, who managed former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman’s 2008 campaign, although there is apparently no confirmation on that.

Bradlee Dean and Tom Emmer

But what has this got to do with hard rock of the gospel variety? Quite a bit actually.

According to an article by Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent, both Emmer and Michelle Bachman have something extremely disturbing in common. On May 25, 2010, Birkey linked both politicians to Bradlee Dean frontman for You Can Run But You Cannot Hide hard rock gospel ministry. Birkey said:

You Can Run But You Cannot Hide, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit ministry that brings its hard rock gospel into public schools, has been deepening its long-running ties to the Republican Party of Minnesota. Long a cause célèbre for Rep. Michele Bachmann, who has twice lent her name to the group’s fundraising efforts, You Can Run (YCR) had a booth at the GOP convention in April, and the group’s frontman, Bradlee Dean, reports that gubernatorial candidate Tom Emmer recently accepted an invitation to visit with him at Dean’s home. But recent controversial statements by Dean — that Muslim countries calling for the execution of gays and lesbians are “more moral than even the American Christians” — have drawn the ire of some both within and outside the party.

“Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America,” Dean said on YCR’s May 15 radio show on AM 1280 the Patriot. “This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.”

“The bottom line is this… they [homosexuals] play the victim when they are, in fact, the predator,” Dean said, before going on to make a claim that has no basis in fact: “On average, they molest 117 people before they’re found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?”

A statement from Emmer’s office originally said:

“Tom is not a donor to the You Can Run But You Cannot Hide ministry, and has never appeared as a spokesman at one of their fundraising events.”

A “clarification” was put out after the original statement. It said:

Emmer’s campaign acknowledges that Emmer’s Minnesota House campaign donated $250 to You Can Run in 2008; the campaign has alerted the Campaign Finance Board because the donation exceeded the legal limit by $150.

For his part, Bradlee Dean is screaming “Foul!” and insists Birkey has twisted his words, or, well, his meaning. Mr. Dean addressed the issue on his website, and here is what he said:

To my fellow Minnesotans,

I am a preacher who is deeply tired of seeing Americans roll over in the face of the social decline that is eradicating what hundreds of thousands of our veterans fought and died for – our freedom and our civility. It is my duty to honor these men and women; to live for the principles they died for.  They did not die so we could lead the world in crime, drug use, immorality or political corruption.

Scripture refers to Christians as the light of the world for a reason (Matthew 5:14).  I am, by God’s grace, continually pouring fuel (our Forefather’s intent) on our fire to make it burn as brightly as it can.  Ours is a vision of one nation under God.

Over the last six months our radio program (“The Sons of Liberty” on AM1280 The Patriot), produced as a part of our ministry, has become more successful, and many in the drive by media have started to dissect everything we say in the hopes of finding something to mislead you about, something to spin, something to pervert.

There is a journalist in the Twin Cities – Mr. Andy Birkey of the Minnesota Independent — who habitually falsifies our message – a message that has a long and consistent history.  For years we have spoken out about the sinfulness of the gay life style without ever suggesting that gays should be subject to any kind of repression, let alone violence, either by the state or any individual or group.  We have made the Christian position clear and stated it consistently over the years:  Homosexuals are sinners who, like all sinners, need to be loved and respected as human beings by the church with a view to their redemption and transition — just as heterosexuals who engage in fornication and adultery need to be admonished because of God’s love and the love he has given us for ourselves and others as sinners in need of a Redeemer (1 Corinthians 6:9).  The media in Minnesota, even nationally, is very familiar with our message and its consistency.  And so there is no excuse for lying about it — falsifying it by removing it from its total history and context.  Birkey in particular is guilty of twisting the meaning of our ministry and suggesting that it is associated with people and ideologies we have specifically repudiated.

For example, we have specifically rejected, as all Christians do, the Islamic doctrine, and actual practice, of executing homosexuals.  But some have claimed, in effect, that by merely mentioning the execution of homosexuals (as a criminal practice of Islam), on our radio broadcast, we have suggested it for consideration.  Obviously this is absurd.  The whole point was to contrast the Islamic position with the Christian position.  This may not have been as clear as we would have otherwise planned it to be. Live radio is not scripted.  But everyone who knows us knows that this is our position because we have stated it consistently for years – long before we ever discussed the topic on the radio.  There are board members, and other supporters who can vouch for this.  We have never and will never call for the execution of homosexuals. This is a complete misinterpretation by design.

On May 25, 2010 The Minnesota Independent published an article interpreting statements that I made on the radio, some of which clearly warned homosexuals that their life-style is sinful before God, as we warn all unrepentant sinners of every stripe that their sin problem has consequences for them and our society.  All sinners, without the sacrifice of Christ, and without the acceptance of that sacrifice, are doomed to eternal separation from God.  This is the last thing in the world we want happening to anyone, including homosexuals.  When you love someone, you are willing to wrestle with them, as we wrestle with our children because we love them.  We are not apathetic, not lazy about those whom we love.  Both Jake and I were so very close to our own eternal separation from God and came to understand so vividly what an empty and frightening prospect that was, that we are sincerely petrified for anyone headed in that direction.  We are sinners who have been liberated by Christ.  And we want all sinners to be liberated by Christ.  This process can only start when we admit in the first place that we are wrong.  We are in a sinful condition.

Let me make this perfectly clear — again.  We are opposed to the state, in any country, no matter what its religious tradition, in executing homosexuals.  We are against anyone, anywhere, at any time, who executes homosexuals for being homosexual. We would hide them in our homes before we would allow that to happen.  But we would preach at them while they were there.

The gay “movement” is part of a sexual revolution that has stripped sexuality of all moral significance for an entire generation. We cannot accept the physical prosecution of homosexuals and we cannot accept the proposal that homosexuality is either private or moral.  Therefore, as Christians, we must wrestle with this human sin in order to preserve healthy, loving human sexuality for as many as possible.  We must love the homosexual and preach to him.  God must and will do the rest.  We are content with our role.

Our position is not libertarian because we cannot accept the idea that sex is a private language.  But we are not authoritarian because we do not believe that persecution is going help homosexuals.

But preaching is not persecution.  The notion, promoted by liberals, that preaching — freedom of speech — is a form of coercion, is madness, and proves that the modern liberal, so often identical with the modern journalist, does not care about keeping people free – including homosexuals.  When is the gay community going to wise up to the fact that it is nothing but a political opportunity to the liberals?  Most liberals do not care about homosexuals.  They care only for the political strategy they can build around the gay community; a strategy directed at reducing the influence of Christianity on government generally.  It is nothing but a will to power, not a will to health and well being for real people.

Using an excerpt from our radio show, taken out of context, to suggest that I have called for the execution of homosexuals is not accurate, nor is it correct.  I was not affirming Islamic law.  I was contrasting its excesses with the approach of Christianity which recognizes both the law and grace.   I have never said that homosexuals should be subject to any kind of violence.  I oppose exercising any kind of violence on them.

I preach what my faith tells me to preach – out of authentic love and commitment to the eternal souls of each and every sinner.  The media has twisted my remarks so irresponsibly, without calling me for correction or comment, as any competent journalist would have done.  Given this statement, it is clear that if any media source were to slander this ministry’s position, we will have to take action and will be likely to succeed with it.  It is time for the drive by media to start dealing honestly with dissent.

Bradlee Dean
President and CEO
You Can Run International, Inc.

But Andy Birkey isn’t buying it. For his response, he provided a word for word transcript of the relevant part of Dean’s radio show, and provided a link to the YouTube audio for context.

Here is Birkey’s transcript from a portion of Dean’s May 15, 2010 radio show:

“Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America,” Dean said. “This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians do, because these people are livid about enforcing their laws. They know homosexuality is an abomination.”

“If America won’t enforce the laws, God will raise up a foreign enemy to do just that,” Dean said later. “That is what you are seeing in America.”

“The bottom line is this… they [homosexuals] play the victim when they are, in fact, the predator. On average, they molest 117 people before they’re found out. How many kids have been destroyed, how many adults have been destroyed because of crimes against nature?”

Here’s the audio clip for context of his remarks.

So! It’s not very original for a band name, but it’s true as blue for a trite refrain: You can run, but you cannot hide!

The press in Minnesota is reporting that other corporations are beginning to contribute to elections, issues and candidates, and inasmuch as the Supreme Court has virtually declared a corporation is as legitimate a source for political funds as an individual, the list of corporate donors and their causes should prove interesting.

Posted in Homophobia, Leadership, Media Heat, News, Our History: Gays Through the Ages | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Compleat Gay Makeover

Somewhere amidst all the activities devoted to hating the GLBT Nation in the past decade, activities like, oh, lynching, assaulting, raping, killing and verbally equating Gays with perversity and pedophilia, or if you’re in Zimbabwe, rutting dogs and fornicating pigs, as well as the verbal assaults purporting to say what G-d thinks, the latest approach to “the Gay” has taken on the overtones of the worst of all the slanders and violations because it leaves a shell of a person in the wake of where a real person once was.

There exists an island of tortured confusion and fear masquerading as love dedicated to curing, or “transforming,” and “repairing” the Gay person into a Straight bastion of heterosexuality that frankly most resembles a freakiness that defies reason, employs highly questionable if not outright unethical behavior on the part of the “therapists” and is a  complete affront to good taste. It’s called “reparative therapy,” and it has become the darling concept of a small but vocal and greedy group dedicated to reversing Gayness.

Photo by Stephen Witherden

“Makeover? Talk to me dahling!”

Numerous bloggers have covered the NOM and other right-wing, so-called Christian efforts in this regard. In addition to above referenced link to a story in The Bilerico Project,  Jeremy Hooper of Good As You has done an outstanding job of watching NOM’s every move and has uncovered more than a few of their phony complaints about “the Gay agenda.”

Now, however,  we must include certain sects of ultra-Orthodox Jewry in the loose collective devoted to giving a safe harbor, even sanction, to cultish con artists who promise beleaguered Jewish parents that their errant offspring might be “cured” of one of the ‘abominations of Leviticus’ (homosexuality).

It offers a heady hope to the parents–where once their male offspring scorned Halacha (Jewish law) for some chutzpah with cute hirsute bears and their daughters took a pass on Hadassah and daily mikvah for a little quality time with Miss Thang, there will be, after expensive reparative therapy,  heterosexual relations, and, G-d willing, grandchildren.

The parents are desperate to think that maybe they can have healthy, happy, heterosexual sons and daughters. OK, so: if not happy, then at least healthy, and certainly not Gay. Into this milieu of fear and urgency steps Arthur Goldberg, a convicted felon who has managed to cull the interests of various rabbis.

Sadly, the parents of gay ultra-Orthodox offspring are often encouraged in this interest in reparative therapy by their rabbis, including some of the most respected figures in the American Haredi community. This past week, the “reparative” therapy approach to homosexuals received an implicit sanction of sorts when the Association of Orthodox Jewish Scientists (AOJS) allowed Arthur Goldberg, founder and co-director of JONAH, which originally was an acronym for Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality, to speak at a closing session of an AOJS convention.

JONAH, which bills itself as an international organization, has recently changed its name to Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing. (See what Wayne Beson has to say about that at TWO.) The original program at the AOJS convention called for a presentation by Goldman with a countering view by an Orthodox doctoral student. However, when Truth Wins Out posted an exclusive YouTube in which two Orthodox men complained of abuse at the hands of one of JONAH’S “therapists,” the AOJS rescinded its invitation to both Goldberg and the doctoral student. However, according to blogger Shmarva Rosenberg (see New York Times article on him), of the uber-vigilant and popular blog The Failed Messiah, which covers the world of ultra-Orthodox Jews, Goldberg showed up at the convention anyway and made his presentation with AOJS approval. There was no mention to conference attendees of his organizations’ alleged abuses of its clients, despite the AOJS leadership knowledge of it.

The youtube video mentions Alan Downing, a lead therapist for JONAH. The People Can Change website lists Downing  as a “Senior Trainer” for Journey into Manhood, which is a controversial retreat designed to make gay men more masculine. Described as having a “camp-like” woodsy atmosphere without shaming, judgment or, naturally, same-sex sex, Journey into Manhood seems to be several things, most of them having to do with guys getting undressed and holding their manhood in such a way as to reaffirm their masculinity. While that may sound an awful lot like masturbation with an audience, to most of us, getting in touch with one’s manhood is a cornerstone of the woodland journey into…whatever. Clearly, it is apparently not for lesbians, despite what some of us might think we have—meaning, the Gayness thing, naturally.  Downing, who acknowledges that he is still attracted to men, is one of the better-known people in the business of so-called ex-gays-via-reparative-therapy industry.

(Or, not!)

Arthur Goldberg

As for Goldberg, he is a convicted felon from the 1980′s who was imprisioned for Wall Street fraud; he was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being indicted on numerous counts of mail fraud, bribery and conspiracy. His prison sentence came after he pled guilty to mail fraud.  After spending six months in prison, Goldberg recast himself as an expert on”curing gays and lesbians.”

In a joint investigative report earlier this year, Truth Wins Out joined SouthFloridaGayNews. com in a blistering revelation that Goldberg had dropped his middle name (Abba) when he emerged from prison and decided to cure “the Gay” in a Goldberg-typical scheme designed to hide his criminal background. According to SFGN, Goldberg has his hands in numerous gay-curation schemes, including National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH) of which he is Executive Secretary, and Positive Alternatives to Homosexuality (PATH), of which he is President. PATH is a coalition of various religious, ministerial and secular ex-gay groups dedicated to promoting non-gay alternatives to homosexual lifestyle.

From The Failed Messiah:

Dr. Elliot Udell, AOJS program chairperson said “We do not make [scheduling] decisions based on YouTube. Anybody can put anything on YouTube.” To put his descriptions of JONAH’s work into a religious and scientific context, AOJS had Goldberg share the podium with three Orthodox men who have backgrounds in mental health fields and the sciences.

According to Rabbi Moishe Tendler, a former AOJS president who serves as the organization’s halachic adviser and spiritual guide, AOJS was open to Goldberg’s views, Rabbi Tendler said, because Goldberg presented his work as based on the belief “that someone has the ability to repent and to change. Reparative therapy is known in our tradition as repentance or teshuvah.”

Rabbi Tendler said he never viewed the critical video or heard what was in it. Had he known of the charges that Goldberg sanctioned practices that “are against halacha … he would not have spoken,” Rabbi Tendler said.

If there is any good news about the shenanigan of these pseudo-shamans whose practises are quite reparative to their own personal incomes, Truth Wins Out reported this past weekend (31 July 2010) that its coverage and expose of what and who is behind Jonah and groups of that ilk is receiving substantial coverage in Jewish newspapers and publications. And one would not be too far off base to think the heat this JONAH group is getting has had some motivation for the name change. Different name, same charletanism.

Posted in Gay Makeover (Reparative Voodoo), Homophobia, Our History: Gays Through the Ages | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NOM Sign: Lynch Gay Couples to Save Marriage

via NOM Sign: Lynch Gay Couples to Save Marriage.

This is all over the internet, and it cannot be shown too many times. Thanks to both Bilerico Project for the photo and story of NOM’s bus tour, and to Jeremy Hooper of Good As You, who first got The Daily Horse interested in keeping a close eye on the travelling hate mongers known as NOM.  Talk about getting thrown under the bus.

Posted in Homophobia, Legal Marriages, Our History: Gays Through the Ages | Leave a comment

On Homophobia: Rewrite for Nick

On April 15, 2010, The Daily Horse ran a piece about two lesbians and their family who were the victims of a homophobic hate crime. The photo accompanying the piece is reproduced again, below.

Today, probably in honor of Gay Pride month and all the Pride parades and festivities taking place around the world, a response to that post popped up from someone named “Nick.” It seemed to present an excellent opportunity to once again set the Gay record straight, as it were. Somewhat surprisingly, the article had a comment two months after the fact, but, who knows? Maybe “Nick” was Googling the story…or himself.

Nick said:

“how did you come to the conclusion that they were “homophobic”? do you even know what that means? are you a psychoanalyst? do you know that sigmund freud said that homosexuality is a mental disorder? maybe you should just stick to the facts. hate or disgust do not equal fear or phobia.”

Hi Nick, thanks for participating. Yes, I believe I do know what “homophobic” means, and, as I do, I believe it’s the right choice of words for the story. At its most basic it means a fear and loathing of homosexuals.

To answer your question: No, I am not a psychoanalyst.

Yes, I do know what Freud said, and while I’m not at all convinced Freud is fully relevant in this discussion, as some of his theories about sexuality (of all kinds) have brought decades of both agreements and disagreement among the mental health crowd, you brought him up, so we may as well get what he really said on record. There are many, many places one can find this information, but if you look, you will find that you’ve got Freud completely ass backwards, which he, I dare say, would find amusing, maybe even telling.

Sigmund Freud’s basic theory of human sexuality was that he believed all human beings were innately bisexual, and that they become heterosexual or homosexual as a result of their experiences with parents and others (Freud, 1905). Nevertheless, Freud agreed with Havelock Ellis that a homosexual orientation should not be viewed as a form of pathology. Freud personally found homosexuality unappealing, but that did not prevent him from trying to keep his personal feelings out of his professional views on the subject; indeed, there is some written evidence that Professor Freud the mentor was sensitive and kind to Carl Jung after Jung confessed a great discomfort working with Freud due to his own (Jung’s) consciously erotic feelings and emotional adoration of his professor.

In another instance of Freud’s professional stance on homosexuality, in a rather famous letter, written in 1935, Freud said:

Well, his handwriting is a bit difficult, so perhaps a typed transcript of part of the letter will help:

Homosexuality is assuredly no advantage, but it is nothing to be ashamed of, no vice, no degradation, it cannot be classified as an illness; we consider it to be a variation of the sexual function produced by a certain arrest of sexual development. Many highly respectable individuals of ancient and modern times have been homosexuals, several of the greatest men among them (Plato, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, etc.). It is a great injustice to persecute homosexuality as a crime, and cruelty too….”  S. Freud

So, Nick, maybe you meant Richard von Krafft-Ebing, who described Homosexuality as a degenerative sickness in his Psychopathia Sexualis.

Or maybe you meant St Thomas Aquinas who condemned both homosexual acts and other nonprocreative sexual behavior as “unnatural,” and which received official expression in his writings. He appears not to have taken on the subject of pedophilia, however, and it has continued throughout the Catholic Church. Well, it could have been an oversight, I suppose.

Anyway, Nick, it really wasn’t until the High Middle Ages that homosexuality moved from a sphere of being largely ignored to one of fertile fodder for various legal, religious, and medical political positions about which one could agree, preferably fervently, or disagree, preferably silently, if one wished to stay alive. Talkin’ ‘bout the High Middle Ages here. And, wow! Here we are  in 2010. Time really does fly when you’re Gay. A MiniBeni, if you will. Beyond that, it might be worth it to point out that homosexuality as a disease was completely removed from the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association in 1986. About 25 years ago.

As for sticking to the facts—your version, for instance, that hate and disgust do not equal fear or phobia, OK, let’s see how that would change the story. What I’m going to do is replace, with crossouts or parenthesis, all the words that were objectionable to you with your words. So, here’s the opening few paragraphs rewritten.

In yet another stunning and heartbreaking example of man’s hatred and disgust inhumanity to man, a gay couple in Cape Coral, Florida, who tried to give their 16-year old daughter a car for her birthday, awoke the evening after the family birthday party to discover that homophobic thugs people with hatred and disgust had a (nasty) hateful and disgusted surprise for them.

The lesbian couple, who did not wish to be identified out of fear that they might incur retaliation of a (worse nature) more hateful and disgusted degree were in disbelief at what the hateful and disgusted people cowards had done to their cars and front door. The women’s 16-year daughter’s birthday car was not exempt from the damage of vandalism hatred and disgust.

The (homophobic) hate-filled and disgusted messages were spray-painted across the cars. The (vandals) haters and disgusted people wrote “dykes go to hell, go home, gays don’t belong here” and “lesbians equal hell”.

The (attack) hateful and disgusted event happened earlier this week, and the (perpetrators) disgusted haters are still at large.

The couple, who have two children, said the (vandals) hateful and disgusted people also (damaged) expressed hate and disgust on several lights in their front yard, as well as (cut through) left expressions of hate and disgust on the pool’s lanai.

When you hear and see one of the mother’s talking about the (cowardly act) hate and disgust, the tremble in her voice makes one mad as hell…”

Happier now, Nick?

Posted in Everyday Heros, Homophobia, Our History: Gays Through the Ages | Leave a comment

GUEST: Ann Herendeen on “The Third Perspective”

Editor’s Note: Ann Herendeen is the Harper Collins Publishers author of two books, Phyllida and the Brotherhood of Philander, published by H/C in 2008, and the recently published Pride/Prejudice (my review here), released last month. Despite a very busy personal appearance schedule next week to promote Pride/Prejudice, Ann agreed to write a guest post. Her mini-tour schedule of North Carolina bookstores is as follows:

Thursday, May 6, 7:00 p.m.:
Blue Ridge Osondu Books and Cafe, 152 S. Main St., Waynesville.

Friday, May 7, 7:00 p.m.:
Malaprop’s Bookstore/​Cafe, 55 Haywood St., Asheville.

Saturday, May 8, 7:00 p.m.:
City Lights Bookstore, 3 Jackson St., Sylva.


The Third Perspective

By Ann Herendeen

One of my favorite Pride T-shirt slogans is: “I’m bisexual; you’re confused.”

I think of this a lot because of the confusion my writing engenders. I’ve published two novels now, under my own unmistakably female name, about bisexual men who end up happily married to a wife and a male partner. Because I’m a woman, it somehow seems obvious that if I write a “bisexual” story, even with the modifier m/m/f, it must be about a bisexual woman.

Just as the hetero world has begun to understand the concept of gay and lesbian, and as (some) segments of our society and government have accepted the idea of (some) equal rights for people of same-sex orientations, this “new” category of bisexual is causing misunderstanding and muddled thinking on all sides. Even as the B is being included in LGBT, many people who identify, sort of, kind of, more or less, as “bisexual” are rejecting the term, or rejecting the idea of labeling people at all. Especially among younger people, the idea of a sexual continuum, of “fluidity,” seems a better way to describe the variations in sexual orientation that people experience over a lifetime that can encompass seventy or more years of adult sexuality.

We seem to be moving past the finish line in some ways, even as the race for equality has hardly begun.

Many people in the bisexual community–a fragmented landscape (to use a term from the science of ecology) if ever there was one–aren’t happy with the words “bisexual” or “bi,” with their implication that there are only two sexes and three orientations, and that everybody has to fit into one of these boxes. Many “bisexual” people consider “pansexual” or “omnisexual” a better description. Some are monogamous, others call themselves polyamorous; still others will figure it out when they get there. Some simply dislike having to categorize themselves on the basis of who they’re attracted to. I’ve talked to people, men and women, who think of themselves as “gay” or “lesbian” when in a same-sex relationship and “hetero” when in an opposite-sex one. And I’m sure I’ve only described the tip of this iceberg of possibilities.

Some of the confusion comes from within those other segments of the LGBT world. Mike Szymanski, journalist and co-author of The Bisexual’s Guide to the Universe, now describes himself this way in his byline: “Mike Szymanski came out as gay and then found himself sneaking around with a girlfriend for a few years, until he came out for the second time…”

I’ve heard a number of similar stories from young men who first identify as gay, and then have to hide their genuine attraction to women from other gay men. The same problem exists among lesbians and bisexual women.

These days, it’s sometimes easier for some people to inhabit the far edge of exclusively gay or lesbian than to navigate that messy, complicated middle.

But even as the hetero world sees bisexual women as a safe, mildly kinky turn-on, we’re so used to thinking of men with a partner of “each” sex in only one or two stereotyped ways that we can’t imagine an alternative. In ancient times, the Greeks and Romans saw the man who wanted it “both ways” as the stuff of farce. It was a normal masculine desire and the basis for great comedy, as the wife and boyfriend battled it out to win the husband’s favor. In modern times, we assume the husband is “really” a closeted gay man, married for convenience or to disguise his true desires.

One person in this menage is rarely heard from, perhaps because her reaction seems so obvious there’s no need to reiterate it: the wife.

Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Guest Essay, Our History: Gays Through the Ages | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Earth Day: My Pugs and Movie Star Pug Being Green

Teddy Gets Ready to Carpool

The DollyLambi Conserving Energy (Dear, Sweet Old Girl is 14)

Posted in Everyday Heros | Tagged , | 4 Comments

Gay Family Victims of Hate Crime

Still from Video at WINK-TV

In yet another stunning and heartbreaking example of man’s inhumanity to man, a gay couple in Cape Coral, Florida, who tried to give their 16-year old daughter a car for her birthday, awoke the evening after the family birthday party to discover that some local homophobic thugs had a nasty surprise for them.

The lesbian couple, who who did not wish to be identified out of fear that they might incur retaliation of a worse nature, were in disbelief at what the cowards had done to their cars and front door. The women’s 16-year daughter’s birthday car was not exempt from the damage of vandalism.

The hate-filled messages were spray-painted across the cars. The vandals wrote “dykes go to hell, go home, gays don’t belong here” and “lesbians equal hell”.

“It’s more than devastating. I don’t think there are words that could explain what it would make you feel like when somebody does something this nature to you and your family,” said one of the victims.

The attack happened earlier this week, and the perpetrators are still at large.

The couple, who have two children, said the vandals also damaged several lights on their front yard and cut through the pool’s lanai.

When you hear and see one of the mother’s talking about the cowardly act, the tremble in her voice makes one mad as hell…well, it’s just too much.

Posted in Homophobia, News, Our History: Gays Through the Ages | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Bruce Vilanch & Jackie Beat Co-Emcee at SF LGBT Soiree 8 Fundraiser, Saturday 4/10/10

Soiree 8, The Annual Fundraiser for the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, is Saturday, 10 April, 2010. Advance ticket sales are closed, but tickets will still be available at the door, which opens at 7 p.m. All ticket sales will go to benefit the “direct services” offered by the Center, such as serving hot meals for homeless queer youth, offering job seeking support for unemployed adults and providing resources for newcomers to the City. The GLBT Center serves over 9,000 people each month and hosts over 3000 events each year.

Soiree 8′s Honorary Co-Hosts are Theresa Sparks and David Campos.

Special guests Jackie Beat and Bruce Vilanch will Emcee from the main stage. (See related page on how TT Thomas, on a date with Dusty Springfield,  first met Bruce!)

Bruce Vilanch, Co-Emcee of San Francisco GLBT Center's Soiree 8 Fundraiser

Recent media reports suggested that the Center is on the verge of bankruptcy, but spokespeople for the Center said this is not true. The Center has recently  been approved for a loan modification from it’s lender, and one of the stipulations of the loan mod is that the Center maintain a “reserve” account with First Republic Bank in the amount of $157,500, which the Center is currently attempting to raise. First Republic holds the mortgage on the facilities occupied and owned by the Center.

Jackie Beat

(Photo: Pinched from Jackie’s Facebook page) Jackie’s website

According to  the Center’s site:

The evening will feature performances by: Barnaby’s (sfBoylesque), Fauxnique, House of Salad, Miss Rahni, Precious Moments, Zoe Balfour & Citabria Phillips, Suppositori Spelling, Taiko Ren, Trixxie Carr and Veronica Klaus.

Later in the evening, Soireé 8 shifts into party mode, paying tribute to San Francisco’s queer nightlife. Local celebrity DJs Honey Soundsystem, China G and Nuxx will provide a late-night, high-energy soundtrack.

Guests can also bid on dozens of unique items in both silent and live auctions, including vacations, works of art and dining packages. Highlighted items include 6-night stay & airfare to Hawaii, 2 tickets and airfare to Ellen Show, 2-night stay & airfare to NYC, 7-day retreat in Napa Valley, Platinum feast for 8 at AsiaSF, Dinner for 2 at Teatro Zinzanni & deluxe hotel room, 2-day Cache Canyon river rafting trip, and more.

The Soiree 8 event will be held from 7-11:30 p.m. at Terra Gallery,511 Harrison St. San Francisco.

For those readers wishing to support the LGBT Center sponsors, here is the list: U.S. Bank is the Lead Sponsor of the Soiree 8 event. Additional sponsors include:California Pacific Medical Center, Academy of Art, Pacific Gas & Electric, M2 Lubricants, Air New Zealand, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Morgan Stanley, The Examiner, NCLR, San Francisco 49ers Foundation, Southwest Airlines, AT&T, Wells Fargo, Comcast, AAA of Northern California, Nevada and Utah, Greenleaf Produce, Hanson Bridgett LLP, Kaiser Permanente, Safeway, Horizons Foundation, Lennar Urban, Barbary Coast Consulting, Joie de Vivre, Alaska Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Betty’s List, Robert Half International, Ernst & Young, Kimpton Hotels, Smith Group, Sunset Scavenger/ GGR, Patelco, Shorenstein, Wald Law Group, Swirl Radio and Curve Magazine.

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End Run Around Constance: Fake Prom

Chris Kieffer, a reporter for the NMS Daily Journal broke the story Monday morning (4/5/10), later picked up by the Advocate and Huffington Post, that Constance McMillen was sent to a “fake” prom, attended by less than a dozen people, this past Friday evening, while the rest of her classmates partied at a private party celebration to which Constance and her girlfriend were not invited.

Photo Credit: The Advocate

Although a couple of school officials were at the event that Constance attended, it was not clear what entity actually sponsored the small party held at a local country club. Meanwhile, most other students went to a dance party at a community center in Evergreen, a nearby community. The ACLU continues to investigate what happened Friday night in the event they wish to ask Judge Glenn Davidson for sanctions.

According to Kieffer’s story: At a hearing on a preliminary injunction filed by the ACLU, Senior U.S. District Judge Glen H. Davidson ruled that the district had violated McMillen’s First Amendment rights but that it shouldn’t be forced to sponsor a prom since a group of parents had already agreed to hold an event that would be “open to all IAHS students.”

Last Monday night, those parents announced they would no longer host that prom. On Tuesday afternoon, school district attorney Michele Floyd said a private prom would be held at the Fulton Country Club, although the exact sponsorship of that event remains a mystery.

Kristy Bennett, legal director for the ACLU of Mississippi, said her organization was still gathering details about what happened Friday night to determine whether they would ask Davidson for sanctions.

Constance McMillen reported that her feelings were hurt, but, showing the dignity and grace that she has shown through the ordeal, she said that there were a few special needs young people at the event, and that they were able to have fun without being made fun of by others.

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Editorial: What’s Killing “the Gay”?

The Gay Man Who Wrote This Press Release is Dead

Keith Kimmel wrote the press release you see below on his blog 29 March 2010.Two days later he was found dead in an apartment in which he was staying. I first picked this story up from a link on a blog by a lesbian,  Oklahoma Homo,  that I recently discovered. Then I found a bit more on the story in the GLBTQ Nation, here.  Keith Kimmel was described as a Gay Activist who in February gain national attention when he filed (and later dropped) a lawsuit to secure an “I’m Gay” license plate. Then this past weekend, Keith wrote on his blog that he had been roughed up by police attempting to stop a fight (in which he was involved) at a Gay bar, and he wrote the allegations on his blog. Listen, this is really haunting. The man in the picture above is dead. He wrote the following in the proper  press release third person, but it’s eerie, now, and very sad. On her show, Rachel Maddow has from time to time made reference to the people who disparagingly refer to us as “the Gay,” as in, for instance, ‘What are we going to do about “the Gay?”‘ By the way she says it, one cannot help but smile at how she perfectly captures the disgust and the denunciation inherent in referring to us, and our issues, as “the Gay,” while she none too subtly lets our attackers know that we know how they refer to us.

According to a report in the The Oklahoman, Kimmel, who was only 28 years old, was found by a friend. She said he was in a chair in front of her computer. Kimmel had recently broken up with his boyfriend, who was a dancer at the club where Kimmel had been in the fight. An entry on his blog two days before he died said

“I am done trying to love a world that has no love for me. I am done trying to believe redeeming things about people who have nothing redeeming about them.”

He was angry about the breakup and wrote about it in the hopes of alleviating some of the pain of it.

“It relieves pain. Some people cut themselves, others take drugs, I write and — and sometimes take drugs, too.”

Although the Coroner’s office has not disclosed the cause of death pending a full autopsy, Kimmel complained that officers struck his head against a patrol car’s door frame several times as they tried to stuff him into the car. He wrote he was drinking at the club Friday night and police were called after he was involved in a fight.

His death was announced on his Facebook page, and then picked up by various media outlets, including Towleroad, which published a picture of the wounds on Keith’s stomach. On his Sirrius broadcast, The Michaelangelo Sinorile Show, Michaelangelo discussed it today.

He never did get to have his “I’m Gay” license plate because of an internal Tax Commission rule against special license tags that “may be offensive to the general public.”

Meanwhile, Keith is dead. One cannot help but wonder how offended the “general public” is now. Not very, I suggest. Whether by accident of his own hand or the purposeful banging of his head on a steel door by law enforcement, he’s dead. I’m heart-sickened at how the despair and demoralization of social disenfranchisement has led to the death of another Gay brother. I don’t care what the Coroner finds, we all know the truth. In the bigger picture of  his life, starting way before the weekend incident, but perhaps including it, hatred and homophobia killed Keith Kimmel. And it’s killing the rest of us too.

Our deaths, like Keith’s, are incremental…a hit here, a slash there, the heartbreak of disappointment and disillusionment as we see our leaders fade to neutral on issues that could save our lives, a rush of fear and anger as we see our fellow citizens resent us our pursuit of happiness by attempts to deny us our basic, human rights, and a gut-wrenching knot of bile, disdain and incredulity as we see that our incremental progress has an incremental death as its punchline.

He had no home except that car. He lost his boyfriend. He was deeply upset. He had dropped out of the community college due to financial constraints. According to his friends, he was loud and boisterous with a heart of gold, and he was tremendously generous of spirit.  He couldn’t have “I’m Gay” on his license plate, but it’s written all over his obituary and hundreds of thousands of obituaries before his. It may be written in code, even in death, but for those of us who speak “Gay,” the question remains: How long are we going to continue to appease the people who live violence, breath hatred and find purpose in doing all they can to put an end to “the Gay?”

Today, and henceforth, for Keith, for all the Keiths before him, and for our future, we are ALL “the Gay.” So, when they refer to us, and they will, as “the Gay,” you should know exactly who they are talking about, and you should easily figure out what they intend to do about you.

I am “the Gay,” you are “the Gay,” we are ALL “the Gay.”

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