Tuesday, May 15, 2012

pennsylvania high school teacher records and distributes video of student with his transgender date, pokes fun, incites bullying

School teacher in Hannover, PA incited bullying by recording and distribution/screening video of student dancing with his transgender prom date to make fun of him.  Students begin bullying him at direction of teacher.  This is insane!

high school bars lesbian couple from entering prom

Catholic high school bans a same-sex couple from entering the prom.  Students rally in support by holding their own prom right outside the doors of the Catholic school. Love and Equality? Not a Catholic value apparently.

jay-z has not always been my favorite artist, but now he is :)

Jay-Z discusses Obama's support of same-sex marriage, agrees with President.

finally letting go - a culmination of events until now

I have been on a journey for a while, but things are starting to change.  As cliché as it sounds, I have decided that I am going to “let go, and let god” as they say.  I am surrendering all as they say.  My way has not worked at all, and the only thing that has been holding me back from accepting that reality is my worthless ego.  My ego has prevented me from accepting my truth that I have no freaking clue what I am doing… that I am now 28, and the problems I have been trying to fix in my life have still not been fixed.  Ten years later, I am still dealing with the same crap.  I am still dealing with the same pain, the same struggle.  So I am turning it over to god.  I don’t really have any other alternative, and I haven’t had any for a while now.  And that’s not why I am surrendering my ego and asking god to intervene, but because I really think I deserve to have faith.

You see, while I have openly and ruthlessly combated the so-called “Christian” viewpoint that I cannot be a homosexual and have faith, as well as everything else “Christian” just because that self-righteous view played a huge role in me ultimately losing my faith in god.  My bitterness towards mean Christians, the self-righteous, loud, gay-bashing ones you see on TV and in public if you are from a small town, just has become too exhausting.  And yes, I have been bullying mean Christians right back, and I will be the first to admit that it feels really good to bully back.  It feels validating.  Particularly now, that for the majority of my life Christians and society have both agreed that I am gross, immoral, and unacceptable, yet suddenly society’s voice in that regard has completely though gradually diminished and it is now only the mean Christians saying so.  With society at large now saying I am moral, I am beautiful and pointing the finger with me at Christians as the hate-mongers, gay-bashers, etc.  Yes, it feels great that the tables have turned and I can now be the bully and get back at them for hurting me for so many years, get back at them for diminishing my faith and my birth right to love god and be loved back.

And all the while knowing in my heart that while it feels good in a crude way, it also feels bad to become them.  Revenge feels good in one way, but not taking the high road also feels bad.  It has also become really hard to reconcile the fact that there are many, many GOOD people who are Christians and who act like what Christ would act like.  It became hard for me to lump them in to this “all Christians” category that I wanted to be mad at.  Living in Atlanta has been a different experience too.  Even the really vocal “Im a Christian” type people in Atlanta aren’t necessarily mean gay-bashers.  Being a Christian in a bigger city really does not automatically come with the baggage of being a bigot.  So its not black and white, and I KNOW its not, and always knew it wasn’t, but I was angry and hurt and bitter.  I never hid from that fact, I always admitted that I was bitter and angry.  I am not ashamed of my feelings, my feeling are real and always have been so when people who call me a hypocrite saying that I sounded bitter, I would respond with “AND?” – no shit I sound bitter because I AM! Duh. Tell me something I don’t know. FAIL!

Anyway that’s one topic, one of the many layers to this letting go moment.  Another layer is my whole attempt to fix my life.  To demand what I needed to feel whole, and to make it happen.  My parents.  My father is a Pentecostal minister who in my lifetime has had a lot of really mean, dirty, hateful things to say about gay people.  Is he the same person today that he was when he said all those things? Of course not, but he still occasionally says things that are hurtful and untrue.  He still reads Ann Coulter and all the other haters’ books stacked up next to the toilet.  He still read weird psychobabble conspiracy fringe theories about Obama being the anti-Christ or whatever.  He doesn’t really talk to me about that stuff, but its on this computer desktop, its on paper in letters he writes lying around his office.  And my Mom wants to feel safe.  She finds security in the Bible.  She find security in a belief that today’s English translations of the Bible are word for word literally what was originally written in Hebrew, Classical Greek and Koine Greek, even though it is so extremely far removed from it.  She takes refuge in the security of God wrote it, God meant for it to get to us the way it did, and any book with the word Holy Bible stamped on the front is exactly the same book that God wrote.  Mom is afraid of questions.  Mom is afraid of uncertainties, yet she and dad are both losing their son.  Mom loves me, I know that.  Dad loves me, I think.  Their definition of love is not my definition of love though, HOW they love me is not necessarily what I need from them.  So our family struggles tremendously with my gay issue.

I don’t know when I started to attempt to fix this, to get what I needed from it.  I need my Dad to accept me and affirm me and love me unconditionally, and trust that I am being truthful when I speak of my experience.  I don’t have that.  I need that from my Mother too.  Only recently has she explained to me that she genuinely believes that her belief system is in conflict with my reality.  Before that, she simply believed and even told me that she thinks Im not gay, but a demon tricked me into thinking that I was gay, and I believe the said demon and am still living in deception.  The thing is, I knew I was gay LONG before they started realizing things.  I didn’t have a word for it, but I knew what it was. Regardless, Mom acknowledging that my experience was a real experience was a HUGE step for us.  With Dad, I honestly don’t know what he thinks.  We don’t speak about it.  I never really had to courage to talk to him about it either… except for one time… the summer before I moved to Atlanta.  So in our relationship, every single time the opportunity came up, even though I didn’t have the courage, he always slammed the door shut.  And the one time I did have the courage, he struggled but then slammed it shut.  So essentially my father has made the decision each and every time to shut me out, and not hear me out.

So, I have been burdened with this for many many years, thinking that like Obama, I could somehow strategically sway my parents and calculate how to get there where I needed them to piece by piece make them understand and believe me.  Make them affirm my humanity, my orientation, love me, accept me, support me, support my desire to be in love someday, to have a partner someday, etc.

I have hit the same wall over and over and over and over again.  Maybe this time it will fall down, maybe this time, the door wont be shut in my face, maybe this time a window will open.  And after a year had passed, and another year, and another, well maybe a few more months I can fix it, and so on… and now I am 28, about to be 29, and I have wasted ten years of my life, not allowing myself to live it, but to only attempt to fix something I have no control over.  I have wasted a decade of my life, sprinting into a giant brick wall over and over, and all the while, life as passed me by.  I am not dying of old age right now, I get it, but ten years is a long time.  My stubborn ego really though I could fix this.

But I cant, and I haven’t, and its not in my control.  Who’s control is it in? I really don’t know.  But if there is a god, and if there is any truth to jesus being real, then maybe Jesus can help me. Maybe the only thing I have left is faith.  Faith that someone greater than me has a greater plan than mine, has greater dreams for me than I have for myself, has greater love for me than the love I want from my parents.  When I believed in God, when I considered myself a Christian, I felt 100% supported and affirmed by God, I really did.  He gave me scriptures, he told me profound things, he told me he created me this way and for a purpose.  And I believed him.  I had no issue with God.  His people, I had an issue with and at some point, it went from knowing him through prayer to knowing through his organized spiritual country clubs.

And there have been many many tiny tiny TINY details of my life recently that have been nudging me to surrender all and let go and let god and just humble myself.  From seeing my gay roommate’s Bible sitting on his bed as if he had been reading it, to crossing paths with outspoken Christians who had true auras of love around them, to my mother’s admitting that she no longer KNOWS what she knows, that she stands on the edge of a cliff in her spiritual journey and asks God to reveal truth about this issue, asking him if she has it wrong, then to show her the right, from famous Christians coming out of the closet and firmly holding steadfast to their faith, standing up to those bullies who scream “you cannot love gayly and love God, you cannot be a Christian and gay, you are an abomination, etc.” But standing up to them and saying “NO!” You are wrong, and I will not be bullied by you anymore!!”  Jennifer Knapp holding on to her faith, and standing up to bigot pastor Bob Botsford condemning her on Larry King Live, saying you are lost, you are going to hell, you do not know god, your faith is meaningless, etc.  She stood up to him and defended her Faith.  Chely Wright stood up to the Country music industry and defended her faith.  And they inspired me.  I started watching interviews of them and other famous gays discussing their journey to come to peace with who they are… and most of these famous folks like Ricky Martin, Wanda Sykes, etc only having the courage to come out and be at peace with themselves after entering their late 30’s and 40’s - and I am upset about being 28 and still not finding peace.  Listening to them recall the EXACT same emotions I am feeling right now. Being validated by a respectable person.

So through many many gradual events, so many I cannot name them all, not even all the significant ones, I have come to a place of surrender, a realization that I cannot carry this anymore.  I cannot carry my parents feelings about me anymore.  I cannot carry the worlds feelings about me anymore.  I cannot carry any self-professing Christians viewpoint about me anymore.  All I can carry is me, and what I believe, and my faith, my surrender, my love, my truth, myself.  That’s it, I have no more energy left from this. So I give up.  I don’t give up with a gun in my mouth, I give up my ego to whoever wants it, or doesn’t want it. I give it up because with it, I cant be happy, and I cant be whole.  I cant even breathe anymore.  I am so over it, its not even funny anymore.  Im over this blog entry too. Im so Katherine McPhee right now – OVER IT.  Ive been over, and now Im finally realizing that its not my situation that Im over, its my freaking EGO!!!  Its not important.  I don’t have to be right, I don’t have to be validated, I don’t have to be loved, I don’t have to be affirmed. GOD MADE ME!! That’s all that matters!!  Its not up to anyone else to attribute anything to me to define me to limit me to put me in a comfortable box.

Its over.

I surrender all. I let go, God I let you. Holler! You and me, that’s all that matters. I trust you.  Its out of my hands now, and its in the hand of the creator of the universe. What better place could I be?


PS. I created a new blog, a video blog putting faces and voices to this process.  I created it for mom, dedicated to her, but in truth, its what helped me find this courage to let go.  It was me that needed fixing all along.

CHECK IT OUT – momsbridge.blogspot.com


andrew sullivan (and andrew murray) discusses reaction to president obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage

As many people I imagine, Andrew Sullivan cried when he heard the words of Obama.  No one was expecting it, I certainly wasn't expecting it.  I knew all along, that after the second election, Obama would come out in full force for marriage equality, employment non-discrimination, etc. because Obama not only has morals, but also has game. He has strategy.  I would much rather want him to come out in support of gay rights after his re-election, than risk not getting one by coming out now, because ultimately, I want to have equal rights more than I want presidential approval.

Still, I had no idea what was about to happen. I did read on the blogs that there was some confusion about some off-comment idea of the white house having conflicting statements on same-sex marriage, but to me I didnt consider that news.  Obama has all but come out in support of same-sex marriage, all the while refusing to defend DOMA in court, and coming out against anti-gay constitutional amendment referendums because they are "divisive". His rhetoric has been conflicted, barely walking a line between support and non-support.  Sure, it was annoying to hear conservative folks argue "your liberal president doesnt even support you" etc. But it was a strategy, a means to an end.

Over a dozen major national polls over the past year have all indicated that a majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage, gay rights, think gays are no less moral than straights, etc ranging from 52-60% depending on the poll.  But Dont Ask Dont Tell had 80% support from Americans to repeal it and they BARELY got it repealed.  So yeah, a narrow majority does not mean a President is safe to support it publicly, so again, I did not expect him to come out before the election with an "evolution" of opinion.

Regardless, I was in California Pizza Kitchen when I glanced up at the flat screen monitors all seemingly on different news channels all showing the same thing, so it must have been something important. When my eyes focused to see what they were talking about, what the news reel said, I was surprised.  I was overjoyed, but even in the instant moment of joy, tears dropped out of my eyes without even a feeling of tearfulness. I cried right there at my table in front of everyone in the restaurant, all the while feeling pure happiness, pure peace, like some weight had been lifted from me.  His words were an opinion of moral conscience, not an executive order, not a congressional vote, not a supreme court ruling, not anything that truly mattered on bringing this hope to fruition, but the President of the United States for the first time in history stated in public for the public to hear, and in his view, I am not less than, I am equal, I am valued.  It was as if my own father was standing there saying he loved me and accepted me.  And for many gay men and women, Obama likely became an instant surrogate father to so many whose parents refuse to say that to their kids longing for that feeling on unconditional love from an authority figure.  It really changed me, it gave me hope, it gave me peace.

oklahoma republican house rep says gay is a choice, would not support anti-discrimination employment law

GOP Representative James Lankford of Oklahoma is questioned on Capitol Hill whether he would support a bill to ban employment discrimination against gay and lesbians workers.  He states that being gay is different from a race or gender, that it is a "choice issue" and he would not support protection of "behaviors".

Um... are we forgetting that religion IS a choice issue? And it is protected already - you are not born religious, but you are born with a sexual orientation.  He also contradicts himself stating that people have tendencies but simultaneously choose their orientations... which are somehow related to some type of behavior... not sure what that's about.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Christian Polling Company: Americans Split on Whether Homosexuality is Sin

The Christian polling company, LifeWay Research released a poll for May 2012 which was conducted in September 2011 - not sure why it took them 8 months to run the regression models - that concludes that Americans are split on opinion of whether homosexuality is a sin.  Their research indicates that 44% believe it is a sin while 43% do not believe it is a sin.  Perhaps they wanted to hold off on releasing their research for a time when gay folks would start making abundant progress like we are doing now.  I dont really understand why in college, we had to run regressional models for our weekly homework, but it takes 8 months for a Christian polling company to do so.  Regardless, below is their presentation work - obviously biased to only highlight "Yes" responses in most of the graphs lol.