Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Books in current (Fall 09) issue of Claremont Review of Books

I was glancing at magazines in the book store and saw this, and even though from the past I know I don’t often agree with the Clarement Review’s views, I want to say that I found this coverage very interesting, as I assume was intended, since it covers American history, even indirectly (with such books as one of Islam).

Will Morrisey's review of The Crisis of Islam, by Ali A. Allawi, is very good. It points out why most Americans insist on separation of church and state, and, despite the attempt at apologizing for Islam, the fact remains that Islam says, "What is ours is ours, and what is yours is negotiable." It says clearly that while someone can convert to Islam, no one can "leave' Islam. I read such things from the view of a homosexual American, and that is why liberals have supported Bush, and now Obama in their defense of America from Islamic etremists, and insist that all Muslims must agree to accept America's laws and not try to impose their religious beliefs, which say that religion and the state are one.

And that is why I still doubt the Christian Right, as covered in the review by Jon A. Shields of The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right, by Jean Bethke Elshtain. Both books try to explain what is unacceptable, and thus fail. Then there is the very good discussion of the book Lincoln at Peoria. I wonder when books will discuss Lincoln's sexuality. But I must say that I had not thought of the speech there as being that important, but it seems to have led to Gettsybug, and Lincoln's view on slavery—which should be read by Judge Bork, whose book is total nonsense as even the reviewer seems to understand. His idea of original inent is, of course, nonsense. But I was glad to see it said that the constitution does not guarantee the right to marry. And the comment that he should understand that if you can't add anything to the Constitution, you can't deny what is there!

But the Review remains consistent on the last two items, on Obama, and having Dick Cheney as speaker.

But keep going, editors! You keep my blood going.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Why do some homosexuals have more faith in America today than the right-wingers?Over the holiday i have listened to C-SPAN2 book rviews, and one final

Over the holiday I have listened to C-SPAN2 book rviews, and one finally got to me. I heard the views of George Nash and his discussion of his book, Reappraising the Right. I could not believe my ears when what he seemed to say is that they should start doing what (he did not sway this but what he said is what we have done, poor man) the very things, tactics that the movement for homosexual equal/civil rights have done, starting in 1950, ironically when he thinks the conservative movement started, and that it has lost some of its original thinkers and needs to restart.

It is strange to hear him think that programs on NPR and what I consider liberal media should be copied by the rightwingers/conservatives. I of course never listen to these sources, don’t consider them as having helped our cause and think most Americans feel the same way.

This is part of the bigger issue, a generic one that has been around, probably since the nation’s founding. But if we are to believe the polls and the media, most Americans now not only don’t like how things are going and are doubting Obama but think things were better in the past, presumably even under the last administration. How queer that most homosexual Americans think that things keep getting better and our nation has never been more like what the founders envisioned. We have more faith in our system than the rightwingers.

We have reasons, as do most black Americans and most female Americans. And most Hispanic Americans. I hope soon that will be true of most Native Americans, who still have not gotten promises fulfilled even from the Clinton administration era. Each decade since 1959 our cause has made progress. Each generation our community/movement has had a better life. I wonder why other Americans can’t feel the same way. They lost no rights by slowly granting us ours. We got no special rights that made us happier, gayer than other Americans.

It is time that intelligent Americans stop whining and realize that our nation deserves credit for having gone further toward the America the founders sought—using the constitution and Bill of rights and other guides they gave us. The system works. In a time of economic trouble, the has been no backlash against any minority—as might have been expected. The vast majority of Americans are loyal, support their government, and want it to succeed, even those who might not have voted for Obama. Our two-party system is not bad. Progress has been made under all administrations. We have reasons to celebrate, no matter which politidcal party we support or our religious beliefs or race. Let’s welcome a new year in which to continue our work to make our nation even better.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are today’s Mattachines

A most interesting sociological (and psychological) study would be learning who watches/listens to Comedy Central’s shows, especially The Daily Show (Jon Stewart) and The Colbert Report (Stephen Colbert). What only a few homosexuals may “see” is that these people are today’s version of Mattachines. It seems lost that not all “mattachines” were homosexual, including the supporters of America’s first successful organization seeking understanding of homosexuality.

This is relevant today as we see more and more print media, homosexual and non-homosexual, disappearing, and many people crying that our civilization will be the lesser for their loss. Nonsense. The sad fact is that journalism has never been the great contributor to our civilization that most people, especially academics and journalists, have told us. It is not just the faux “news” we get from Fox News that is recent and indicates a decline. It is the rare exception—Edward R Murrow—to the rule that makes us think journalism has been so good in the past or different from Fox's ignorant talkers.

That is why it is good that so many young Ameicans now get their news and views on important issues from Stewart and Colbert, et al. Like the early mattachines, who talked truth to the “leaders” of their time, which is why Harry Hay proposed that name for the first organization, it was a perfect name—sorry Dear departed Dale Jennings, although your version of the discussions held are also funny—and is a perfect name for Stewart and Colbert and their staff. But, sadly, there are no mattachines in our news rooms today. Serious Americans should ask the tv networks and local newspaper editors why a few staff members at The Daily Show and The Colbert Report can find information on people who are telling us lies and tell us about their deceit, with humor and satire, entertainingly, and NBC, Time, et al, can't with all their vaunted money and experience. And the evidence is there, even more today, on the internet.

I challenge anyone who thinks that they are getting news and good views in The New York Times, or Newsweek, or the local alternative publications such as L. A. Weekly, to watch these two shows a week and learn who is really giving you facts and the “news” and how really sad the state of journalism is. And I challenge the glbt journalists to even learn the history of their homosexual community/movement—as it seems few have even heard of Mattachine and ONE. And they may learn news from Stewart’s segment called “gay watch.” They will not learn anything from watching endless repeats of the L Word and Queer as Folk on LOGO. And they sure will not get any news—gay or non-gay—from the nightly network news shows, including PBS News Hour which seems to follow Karl Rove's idea of politics, don’t change things, just change names or the meaning of a word. And even less will they learn the truth from liberal media—which has been true from the start of the homosexual movement. We got less then and get less now from The Nation and The New Republic and The Village Voice than we got from the main street media. What a true journaolist, Don Slater, learned early was that we got more help from rightwingers of each era, such as Joe Pyne, than we got from the liberals who ignored us, including the ACLU. Our attorneys were conservatives, not liberals. Our printers were conservative, not liberal. We got more publicity from attacks from the right than we got from silence from the left. Playboy ignored us, but we got publicity when the lesser sex publications mentioned us. As any effort or cause learns, there is a serious question of whether you are better off being attacked or being ignored.

There may be a day when newspapers and magazines, major religious groups and even current political parties are no longer with us, and today's politicians are dead—some are already, except physically—but there hopefully will always be mattachines.

While it seems that the first public homosexual publication, ONE Magazine, founded in 1952, coming out of early (secret) Mattachine did do a good job, and had no competition for several years, the vast majority of later publications, like ONE, didn't have the resources to really give news and view on homosexuality, and once some got advertising and income, they seemed to go for entertainment only, ignoring the work of the movement. And most recent books seem to also ignore the serious discussion, so th3e clsoing of lgbt bookstores means little in fact as far as our community/movement is concerned.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Guest Blogger: Aristide Laurent and The Not-So-Sudden Death of The Advocate

As a person known for having an article in the very first issue of The Advocate in 1967 (under the nom-de-plume “P.Nutz”), and having been there at its birth, I take this news with mixed emotions. I continued writing and working with the newspaper and into the 1970’s when it became a glossy under Mr. Goodstein. As Todd White reported in one of his earlier Legends columns in The Long Beach Blade, I was an “accidental activist” who kept winding up at history-making events because, well, “where the action was there was I” ... starting with The Black Cat protest in abt 1968 and marching against the passage of Prop 8 in 2008. I was a personal friend of Advocate owners Dick Mitch, Bill Rau, and Sam Allen. During the late ’60s and early ’70s, we were so proud of our work and how the Advocate grew in circulation with each new issue to hit the stands, eventually becoming a household world in most LGBT households. This was during the rag-tag beginning of the gay/sexual revolution—hippies, gay-ins, pride parades, protests by the unwashed masses of gays & lesbians. It was the right thing at the right time. It was an idea whose time had come.

Then David Goodstein came along and purchased all the Advocate stock (I think he paid $4 a share for what was originally sold for $1 a share). I was one of the “anointed” whom he moved to San Mateo to set up shop. There is much debate about what Goodstein changed the Advocate to, but I’m a believer in the theory that nothing can, or will, remain the same and must adapt to its time. In those 10 years from 1967-1977, much progress was made in the battle for gay rights and equality. Goodstein, rightly or wrongly, decided that it was time for the gay community to move into the main-stream and flex our purchasing power. Still, the gay community continued to fight and demand equality without the help of the all-new-glossy Advocate. I cannot say, nor will I attempt to, say, how much influence Goodstein and the new Advocate had on causing corporations to acknowledge us as a source of income to be courted and leading to Ellen daring to come out on national TV. To me his concept was just another militant division, or troop unit, in our march towards equality.

So it seems that “new” Advocate is about to go the route of the “old” Advocate and, like the dinosaurs, become an anachronism and victim of technology and progress. One can only assume (and hope) that the new technology (esp. the Internet) will now continue the battle for equality using today’s weapons. Being an optimistic cynic, I would not be surprised that the gay community (though, perhaps in a different form) will still be standing and progressing when the rest of the country collapses into the Haves and the Have Nots. Of course, by then, we probably will no longer be known as DINKS (double income/no kids) as in the past 40 years of my activism, we have gone from sexual liberation to the right to marry and have kids.

I attended the Advocate’s 40th Anniversary party in WeHo in 2007. I felt like a dinosaur among all those pretty young things and Hollywood celebs. Stuart Timmons tried to get the editor of the Advocate to introduce me to the gathered throng as the oldest living former Advocate employee still standing and speaking out, but ... well, I think the word “oldest” didn’t go over very well with a crowd whose parents had probably not been born when the rest of us were fighting against bar raids and lewd conduct arrests for just holding hands in a bar. I told Stuart to let the issue go because I was from a different world than this generation and that was OK. I had my many years of wonderful memories, felt very secure in myself and the fact that I had contributed a little something toward their freedom to party in public and dance man-to-man, woman-to-woman without fear of being raided by the LAPD. That was more than enough for me for me.

As one-of-our-own (Rod McKuen) said in song during that period: “People change. Life goes on. Every midnight brings a new dawn.” Here’s hoping each new dawn brings continuing advances in our struggle for equality. Gay marriage is an idea whose time has come and, in my humble opinion, nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. We saw that with the Hate Bill including the gay community. We will see it with our other reasonable demands, including marriage, adoption, DADT, and things we can only dream about for the future.

The older I get, the more things from my generation pass on ... my favorite bars, my friends, my health, newspapers, etc. Thank Zeus and Aphrodite I still have my memories to sustain me above ground.

Aristide Laurent

Friday, November 6, 2009

Let's agree with the right-winges! about what we may do when we win marriage, etc.

After the loss in Maine I hear once again how the rightwingers put fear of homosexuals taking over the schools and ruining marrige if they/we win marriage, etc. And somehow we didn’t refute those false claims.

Well, as some, mainly lesbians, have said already—YES we ARE after your kids. The obvious meaning is clearer when it is women saying that, as it doesn't have the child-molester sound to it. And what we mean is, well, why shouldn't children be taught that homosexuals/glbt people exist, that some of their friends will have same sex parents, and we deserve equal rights, no matter what term is used.

The same objectors to our cause used the same objections when civil rights for black Americans were being taught in schools. And when it was taught that women should have the right to vote.

We must not run from the truth. An LGBT child in school should be protected from bigotry and from teachers and textbooks that deny us our very existence. And while we have no problem with a religious organization, such As Scientologists or Mormons or Catholics believing their version of “marriage” is right and ours wrong, the time has come to stop them from making religious rules info laws—legal rules for all citizens.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Trying to get to Shreveport while storm was going on

I left San Antonio late as all planes at Dallas were late, and in fact got on an earlier flight than they had rescheduled me for, so got to Dallas and then naturally could not get to Shreveport as that was the time the tornados and heavy rain was hitting. So after two attempts and cancellations, we had to stay in Dallas over night. And then, again, I got on an earlier flight than I had been rescheduled for, so got here at about 8:30 Friday. I think I'm the only one who hung around, and had asked, so one AA man said, well, here's a lunch voucher, but by that time the main one taking them, MacDonald's was closed, so used it for breakfrast.

I did not know, but walked around to get a little exercise and found, near, B28 gate, a lounge area with 10 chairs, half lounges and half very soft chairs, and so actually slept almost as I do when I go to sleep in my recliner.

Donnie had gone on home Thursday night to Arcadia as we knew the flights would not go, and Friday schools were out, so when I got here he and two older boys came to get me and then we immediately drove by to see the storm damage. We saw the Methodist Church steeple laying near the church. Some people saw this on CNN news who were there taping as we drove by. And then the news said the man whose car it fell on as ok, but you wonder how when you saw the picture of him in the car, squashed. His name was Williams, and wife Judy said he was ok but of course in hospital.

The tornado then skipped over to I-220 and Airline in Bossier and hit tops of condos and at least 20 roofs of house, then left on Brownlee, and I think that was it. But another one had hit Haughton, and top of Patrick’s relative's house. But streets were flooded. My area was ok. But almost everyone lost electricity.

Cats were ok, thanks to neighbor Mrs. Patrick and Donnie. Haven’t heard from Jamie. So I decided to come on to the Broadmoor library and say hi, since I couldn’t at the airport as my laptop does not have the connection to plug in-I just can use it where there is wifi or whatever it is and just plug in electricity. I gather this is telephone thing, I never knew to get it, so I could not connect at the free T-Mobile thing at the airport. And naturally after 15 moinutes of watching CNN it was same thing for rest of time. I saw repeat of Jon Stewart after i got here and he was funny but accurate about how Fox and even CNN make the news and then “report” it, but they never do more than 15 minutes, mostly of same stuff and it is not news.

So things are back to normal. Will waste time watching the talk shows tomorrow and have my usual Sunday eggs, grits and toast and Jelly. I did not lose any weight in San Antonio, as Ron and Afandi kept me eating and Ron and I led Lynn astray to Marie Callendars. Ron and I also drove to Austin to visit Toby Johnson and we drove to Lake Travis and ate at Oasis—of course the view is great.

So it is bright and sunny and probably going to be 70 here, so we are doing ok. Hope everyone else is.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What the homosexual community/movement really needs is not a “leader”

Once again we hear voices saying, after the recent March on Washington, that the glbt community/movement needs a leader. This seems to me to indicate a total lack of understanding of how this movement has been so successful in going from a single closeted organization in 1950, and a single LGBT publication in 1952 to the thousands of organizations and hundreds of publications and resources that we have today. The only question we should be asking ourselves is why there are so many glbt people who are unaware of just what this community and movement does have. There is lack of communication among the various elements.

It must be said that anti-gay bigots seem to know more about what is going on in this movement than we do. It is doubtful that many of us have actually thought about all the resources we have. I urge everyone to take a look at Gayellow Pages, the print verison or online version. Each group or publication is so busy trying to do the job it chose to do that they do not know what others are doing. It may be good that today we can have specialized resources, much as medicine now has “specialties,” but we then face the same problem medicine is facing, a lack of general physicians, since everyone wants to specialize and have more influence.

But the reason we have been so wildly successful is that mostly we have all worked for the main purpose of gaining our civil/equal rights. Only in the lat decade have we started specializing in having organizations for each of the areas, thus we have Lambda Legal and National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLAAD, et al. (as well as the ACLU) to work on legal issues. We have organizations for religious work, such as Dignity, Affirmation (Methodist and Mormon), Kinship (Sevent Day Adventist), etc. We have an organization working for youth, GLSEN, and there are groups for each profession; medicine, anthropology, law, journlism, etc.

And while most of our LGBT newspapers and magazines try to give coverage to all of our areas and groups, they don’t always seem to do a good job. It seems that many editors and journalists think that we want to know more about the latest celebrity to “come out” than we do about what activities are going on in our community. How often do papers cover our libraries/archives? Do we know fo the glbt book clubs? and the travel articles seem to think we would not want to kow where the local gay center is in major cities, but only wan to know where the closest bar and bathhouse or cafe is. We don’t need a LGBT guide to tell us where a local museum is—general guides do that.

And too often when an issue is in discussion, a “specialized” group says they are not interested in it but only in their little domain—as if a religious organization has no interest in gay bars being attacked by police, or a legal organization has no interest in films that are pro or con.

There are a few efforts to get us informed on coverage of glbt issues. Daily Queer News tries to give us links to what is in the news that we should be aware of. For entertainment news there is Coming Out Support Weekly. And there are others. But if we don't know about these resources they can not help build communication and cooperation within our movement. And thus the hundreds of good leaders working in various organizations, local and national, will not be able to support each other.

Celebrate our diversity. There is no competition among us except to se what we can all do to educate ourselves and the public on the truth about homosexuality. There is no reason to oppose a march or say we must only work on a federal/national level or that we must attack on organization that has chosen to work on only one aspect.

We must practice what we preach. We have to acknowledge that there are really gay Republicans as well as Democrats. That some of us are members of PLAGAL and are pro-life, while many of us are pro-choice. There are those who are allies and work with PFLAG, many of whom have lgbt children. And there is COLAGE, for children who have LGBT parents. There is no reason those who fear the lies of the religions can not work with those who choose to stay in the religious community and try to bring about better understanding and change.

We can be proud, of each generation that has added to our work, from the founders of Mattachine, ONE/HIC and DOB in the 1950s to those at Stonewall, and those who did the various marches and those who join us each day. THOSE WHO MARCHED Sunday will someday be pioneers. We are all pioneers, and we must have done something right, we are slowly but surely changing the world.

Some thoughts on the March, Sunday, seen on C-SPAN and CNN

I should say that I thought the March was good. The Marchers being the best part. Most speakers were good-Julian Bond of course, Cleve Jones, but a few were repetitous and the political ones were out of place (Socialists have done nothing for our community/movement) and the most embarrasing moment was that woman—who chose her?—who couldn't remember the words to the song she was “leading” (America the Beautiful).

I also am constantly amazed that idiots can keep harping on Obama, the first president to try to speak to us, and where were these “experts” on homosexuality all the previous presidential terms. I acknowledge the Clintons, but even they did not go as far as Obama has—perhaps for their time they couldn’t. But I have the right to make the obvious point that our community/movement has made constant progress since 1950, under all presidents. And many court decisions have been made by Republican appointed judges.

We may need reminding that few homosexuals even know their history, and Obama made references that many have never heard—such as the P-FLAG history, and even “leaders” may think they know it all but forget that most people don’t. Few have read a book and most know ony what they’ve seen on TV shows. And even our LGBT media has ignored books on hour history, such as Todd White’s book, Pre-Gay L. A., the last of the three books to cover the first three organizations (ONE/HIC), the others covering Mattachine (Behind the Mask of the Mattachines) and Daughters of Bilitis (Different Daughters), and when will the media book publications get aroudn to us, such as The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and even Lambda Literary Book Report?

Hotmail: Free, trusted and rich email service. Get it now.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A question to "gays" who keep asking for some other celebrities to “come out” so they can be proud of their sexuality

I just watched on Logo a show on Freddie Mercury and once again I hear the idea that “if he had come out” it would have been an inspiration to young people struggling with their homosexuality. Nonsense. What this means is that someone would only be happy to be “gay” if other cute, famous people are too. What about all the pioneers who risked their lives to change the world so that today it is possible for us to be happy and gay? Why are they not an inspiration?

Since 1953 there has been at least one (ONE) publication available in all major cities discussing the subject. Since 1950 there have been a dozen or more pioneers who were speaking out, including in courtrooms/cases. Since 1958 there has been a victory in the U S Supreme Court won by ONE, Incorporated, to gain our community/movement the right to even discuss homosexuality in publications.

Every major city has a glbt newspaper. There has been a national magazines covering our subject/lives given major publicity (Advocate and OUT) which have given coverage to dozens of cute and famous peple who have “come out.” There have been dozens of movies with gay-friendly themes, major tv shows with serious discussions on issues we face.

For years there have been organizations giving help in the legal, religious and political fields. There are lgbt centers in every major city. Thre have been marches on Wshington, and one is planned for next month.

How many people coming out does it take for all these young people to be comfortable with themselves? Perhaps the reason our cause has still got a long way to go for equal/civil rights is because too many “gays” are unhappy being gay. That is what we have been trying to educate them about since 1950. If they haven't heard us, that is their problem.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Most homosexual Americans will understand what Judge Sotomayor means

Sadly, most homosexual Americans will understand what Judge Sotomayor means when she says she hopes that someone like a Latina, growing up in a single parent family in a poor environment (not much money, hard jobs, etc.) will be more realistic about how laws work in reality than a middle class or upper class white male, at least until recent years.

What most homosexuals would say is that a black American who has suffered from discrimination in America should have more empathy for other minorities, including homosexuals, against whom laws, like the Bible, have been used to make unequal to the majority white males who have dominated America for centuries.

Monday, June 1, 2009

What others may see in the book: RE: Todd’s book and the generic issue of getting books read.

As I would understand it, Todd marshalled all the facts on what happened at ONE, and gave readers a background, starting with early Mattachine. It could be that he gave too much for average readers, but I assume serious researchers will want to see all the notes and minutes, etc. I didn’t then, nor now.

The irony as I said to everyone then is that I am one person who has always been in a position to do what I wanted to. I have made some mistakes, as I confessed to Prof. Rodney Grunes Political Science students Friday, as I think, now, that the issue of me and the Army was more my fault than theirs, although it is probably that sooner or later I would have been kicked out for homosexuality. But I was, from a logical Army view, not a very good soldier if I fell a part when they had to change the goal of sending me to Germany—unless I reenlisted and had more time. I liked the Army and was not mistreated, even when living the last few weeks on a cot in the Headquarters Company of the First Infantry Division. But I would never have stopped having sex. I also once did not showup for KP duty when I had been ordered to do so as I thought they were wrong. I went, naturally, to the library and read magazines. Nothing ever came of it.

But few people had income from a family so that they could choose what they wanted to do, as I could take a the job at ONE, which paid nothing, really, and paid really nothing at HIC. In fact, more than once I had to put money into HIC, one time $2,000 my folks gave me to help get an issue of the magazine out.

This is being said to make it clear that Dorr should have understood, and Don, that it made no difference to me personally if I were a voting member.

I said then, and poor Todd understands that now as even Don did a few times, that I would not do anything I did not want to do. So it would give me no more “power” to be a voting member. If the board instructed me to do something I didn't want to do, I simply would refuse and if necessary, leave.

Which is what I think some editor said when she had to quite ONE as she had to do work at a job that paid her salary. It is hard to tell volunteers what to do if they don't want to. that of course was Dorr's fear. Most of ours were not too smart about the workings of ONE and didn’t care, and I didn't until Dorr stupidly started fearing what I might or might not do. It was one thing for me to not show up for work a day after I had found a good Marine, but when I actually started understanding the workings, that was threating to Dorr.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Thoughts on a book lead to a good discussion of masculinity, etc. (Editorially Speaking, May issue of Liberty Press)

In talking about a book she read, Sheryl LeSage in the Editorially Speking column in the May issue of Liberty News brings up several issues homosexuals deal with—and gives evidence that more and more of our community/movement publications are going to deal with aspects of sexuality that must be faced.

The book, Androphilia: Rejecting Male Identity, Reclaiming Masculinity, by Jack Malebranche (what a name) apparently says that men have been “indoctrinated” by gay culture to be less masculine. Strange, it was my thinking that the opposite is true.

As LeSage points out, this is the opposite of the “feminist” movement which told women to have to fit a “pattern” and not be butch or femme, and as she asks, “how’d that work out for those pinch-faced ladies?”

Speaking of books, she (LeSage) also finds books about male homosexuals written by women. Sweet love stories of sweet young men. Again, the opposite of what the usual books are, lesbian sex written for men. Only sexy women will do.

What we are in reality usually doesn’t fit the molds or stereotypes. As she says, the cover of the book has Spartan helments, and they are empty and hollow and imposing and hard. Is that a good view on life?

The question is obvious? Why do homosexuals have to fit a pattern? And why are WE trying to force our idea of a good pro-gay on the community almost as much as the bigots do? And why are we so worried about which is the best term to call ourselves? Why must there be only one acceptible term? Why must we have a hetero type marriage? And how is that working for the heteros? (See current articles on growing number of single moms, growing number of heterosexuals who are living together and NOT marrying.)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Do homosexuals need a Martin Luther King, Jr to lead us? (Windy City Times, May 18 thissue)

Wayne Besen’s column “A Fractious Movement” in May 13th Windy City Times concerns an issue that our community/movement should be talking about. It is only one of the issues that can affect how successful we are and will be in gaining our equal/civil rights and helping everyone understand our concerns, which many of us don’t even understand, much less non-homosexuals.

Besen says that some of us are thinking we need a charismatic person to come lead us, something I assume like the black civil rights movement had Dr. King. That seems stange considering how successful our cause has been since 1950 wihout such a person. He is right when he says that in fact it is the diversity of people and ideas and efforts that has made us strong and more difficult to stop. An example he gives is that while most of us have problems with how religion has harmed us, some of us are working within the various religions to change them.

It was not easy when there was only “ONE” organization and publication speaking for us, even though ONE, Incorporated, always gave equal opportunity to all groups and views. But it is good today to have so many millions of us working for the cause that each of us can choose the particular part of the cause we want to work on, legal (such as Lambda Legal, GLADD, NCLR, etc.), religious (such as SDA Kinship, Dignity, Affirmation, and of course MCC), our heritage (ONE Institute, Gerber/Hart, Lavender Library, Homosexual Information Center, etc), political (such as Stonewall, Log Cabin, etc.),social service (such as the several good glbt centers in major cities, youth concerns (such as GLSEN), the military (such as SLDN) and even bloggers who alert us to what our enemies are doing, and sites such as Daily Queer News, On GYB, etc.

So anyone who wants to step forward and try to speak for us, fine, but I personally don’t want the President (Obama or whoever) to choose one person to decide what millions of homosexuals want or think. For instance, while it seems most of us are pro-choice, we have pro life people such as PLAGAL. We are strong ony when we allow diversity that we ask of others. While I don't seek marriage, I certainly do nothing to discourage those who do. And a final thought: It is very interesting, for those who read and trust polls, that while more and more people are now in favor of same sex marriage, more people now are against abortion. How do those in favor of civil rights explain this?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Where do we get our moral leadership? Preachers or tv/movies

One of the basic arguments we get from religious bigots is that without religion, their god and church, synagogue or mosque, there would be no basis for morals, integrity, and education of future generations on our heritage as a people.

Nonsense. The evidence I go by was reinforced this week by seeing some old movies and tv shows and what I got was better moral leadership from these sources than any preacher, rabbi or imam I have heard—in fact I have heard none of such people saying that the Islamist or Christian terrorists are evil and wrong.

I think members of our community/movement need to THINK. The fact is that much of our work was harmed in the early days by the failure of the media to hear us, thus meaning few people knew of our work and ideas, including homosexuals who were deep in their closet.

Much of the problem of homosexuals or people preferring homosexual sex comes from religion, laws based on religion and mental health people whose “thinking” also comes from religion more than they seem to understand.

So what have we heard from religion? Not much except how bad we are and a few quotes from a book that not only has been badly translated, but has hundreds of different interpretations, not only on the issue of homosexuality but even how to baptize or what day of the week we should give to our god.

But what have we been getting, for several years now, from the media, the “industry” and writers of tv shows and movies. A lot. All good. But does the average person know how much such resources affect our lives and how others view the world, including views on homosexuality? Idon’t think so.

In fact, often, when some person or show does try to cover our issue they get no congratulations and support but negative feedback if they don’t do and say the exact thing some pc person, self-appointed, thinks is “right.”

So here is a list of a few such shows that should have been on the radar of every person concerned with discrimination against homosexual Americans.

I watched two older movies, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Anyone who watches these two movies, and many others and doesn't consider gay-friendly and gay-supportive has a personal problem with themselves. These shows and the people behind them should be honored. And the probability is that millions of people who haveseen these shows are less anti-gay than they were before the movies.

By the way, local people seeing a new movie channel over the air (not on cable/satellite) from the local CBS station are seeing many promos for non-profits, and one is a series of ads against using the word gay negatively. I wonder if this “message” is heard in any local churches?

Most people have heard the humor on shows of John Stewart and Stephen Colbert, on Comedy Central, and know that they are not anti-gay and make fun of bigots of all sorts, again I know of no preachers who speakout against bigots like such tv shows. I do know, from seeing the dvd, that Hal Holbrook’s show of Mark Twain does.

And what is the average viewer seeing on tv shows? Good things in our area. I only am concerned that we do not know in advance when a good show is coming on. For instance last night the ABC tv show Cupid was about a teenage homosexual boy being bullied at school. How relevant since this week another such boy committed suicide in Massachusetts. Have many preachers spoken out against people who don't protect our children from gay-bashing? So we get better advice from movies and tv than from our so-called moral leaders.

We must do what we can to be sure that anyone needing support knows where to get it. That is why we need PFLAG, yet support for some chapters has been falling—such as the Houston chapter.

But why is it that some parents and school personnel still don't know about GLSEN, which exists soley to support children suffering for their sexuality.

And do glbt newspapers and magazines list resources for their area? Have such publications as Gayellow Pages been mentioned in our media?

And have we challenged the academic community and professions to provide information to students and people on their work? Do law schools cover the duty of school boards to provide protection for students? Do medical schools cover problems, mental and physical that homosexuals may face? Have history professors stopped trying to delete homosexual history from coverage, and literary professors stopped hiding the homosexuality of famous writers? It is the bigots who have the “agenda.” They fear that if the average person knows the facts about homosexuality it will make them gay? Or what?

Hopefully gay marriage, aka same sex marriage, will not only be everywhere soon, but that the process is going to educate us all on what life as second-class citizens means and thus why we and all Americans deserve equal/civil rights.

How sad that the push for civil rights for us, as was the real case for blacks, women, etc,not only does not come in most churches, but in fact that those churches harbor and support bigots who quote their ignorance of their guide book against us as they have aganst equality for races, sexes, etc. And it was they who supported the decimation of American Indians/Native Americans in the name of “saving” them and didn't stop if it took killing them to save their souls—which of course meant that “we” could take away their land.

At least when the movies gave us the good cowboys and bad Indians, they knew they were exploiting the subject and making up history and have now moved on in the real world of this century.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Newsweek's article on The End of Christianity/post-Christian america

My thoughts on reading your excellent article on Christianity today was, even agreeing with your thinking: Nonsense. What the skeptics are ignorant about is what has caused the “problem,” they have their complete misunderstanding of Jesus' teachings and what they see as the “wrong” direction the nation is taking, and the “failure” of the people to follow their personal ideas on morals (abortion, same sex marriage, prayer in school, etc.) is really the people and the true “remnant” of Christianity slowly going toward the ideals Jesus practiced as well as taught.

Most Americans have not rejected religion, just the stupid ideas, political and otherwise, of a few fanatic nuts who seem to get all the publicity in the lazy msm (main stream media).

As a person who has, following his religious beliefs from the late ’40s in a old Methodist Church in a then small town Southern town (Bossier City, LA). I took what my Sunday School teacher and church and local YM/YWCA taught and understood that the churches had been wrong about their use of the bible to support slavery and then racial legal racial segregation-never equal of course-as they were, no matter how “sincere” when they supported and voted for prohibition, antigambling laws, etc. And had the churches not been ignored by the government we would still have laws against inter-racial marriage, as these same ignorant un-Jesus -like churches still oppose same sex marriage.

Jesus was concerned with, as the article says, people, not nations. And as He did not worry about politics, history, despite what the media and many “gays” think today, the change in issues of homosexuality did NOT come from politicians until it had been changed in the general population, including, sadly, homosexuals themselves. An even sadder fact is that the change has still not come to Christian churches, nor Jewish nor Muslim or other religious groups. What a terrible indictment of the leadership of these religions.

I think this is what Cal Thomas is saying. And it seems that, as in those days when Jesus walked the earth, the people who “get it” and truly follow Him are not the politicians or church leaders, but the average person, and that is why our nation will not follow Europe and abandon religion, but just cast out the false prophets, as they had to do in the endless line of spendor (the title of a book on the history of Methodism in America).

Again, we need to educate the ignorant leaders of religions, which still kill homosexuals, beat and kill women victims of rape, that the reason we don't want prayer in school is because of the question of whose prayer will it be, and who will choose the prayer, and why would “conservatives” want government dictating religious events? No one seeks to promote abortions, but again, it is not the government’s business to control our personal lives, and that applies to same sex marriage as it did to laws against inter-racial marriage, etc. And the more equal/civil rights we get, the more Jesus-like we become.

One final warning. To anyone rejecting “Chrisianity”— be careful of letting radical Islamists replace it.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Washington Blades’ coverage of the salaries of glbt leaders

I wonder what other people thought if they have seen the news in the Washington Blade on how much money the heads of glbt groups are paid. In a sense it is only the concern of those who give money to these groups.

But intelligent donors should want to know how their money is spent—a question the Johnny-Come-Lately Republicans are asking about the current stimulus money of the Obama Administration but didn't seem to worry about when it was the Bush Administration..

But I can give a personal view, and not out of jealousy. I worked from the ’60s to today with the oldest lgbt organization, coming out of early Mattachine (and I was at the infamous Mattachine Convention in Denver that got all the publicity in Denver and San Francisco, with mostly bad results) as ONE, Inc (1952) to be the public voice, the first national publication, which won the first legal battle of our community/movement and then co-founded out of ONE the information part, the Homosexual Information Center (1965–68).

I did financial work at ONE/HIC. I helped put out the magazine. We had little income, little media support and few homosexuals supporting us. The opposite is true today. Every major media service is eager to support our cause. Where we had a few heterosexual attorneys, publishers/printers that helped, we could get no gay professionals to help us.

The opposite is true today. So the job of these leaders is not hard. And if we accomplished what we did-they sure have built on what we have done and in a sense are still doing with our libraries/archives—with so little support and money, they have no excuse for not doing a great job, but that does not mean I personally would accept their reasoning for taking so much money to do their job. Again, if we are saying the Wall street greedy people who got our nation in the financial mess we are in should not be rewarded, we should ask why these leaders with all they have, mostly donated work they if fact refused in the Prop 8 effort, need such high salaries, to do what we did with so little, and we DID succeed. Have these leaders known about Harvey Milk, or seen the movie?

I would like to know where the income of these groups comes from. I suspect lots of it is tax-payer money-I’m sure the gay center in L. A. was donated by the government and much of their income comes from the city/county/state. So we are entitled to know where the money goes. I wonder how easy it is for someone to get help from these gay centers in L. A., New York, Chicago, San Francisco. I sure can remember sitting with the only person at the L. A. gay center, on weekends when it was really doing a good job, on Highland, and few people had an income from the work.

And I suspect many people have good memories from the first days of the L. A. center, at that old Victorian house on Wilshire Blvd., when Morris et al. did something, and inspired so many at a time when it was a rare thing, not something seen daily on many TV shows, and written up often in the newspapers, etc. Do young people today who have contact with gay centers come away with a good feeling?

After all, there are now organizations specifically for help them-GLSEN, The Point Foundation, etc. And there are legal (lgbt) groups to help them, Lambda legal, NCLR, GLAD, and for military issues SLDN, etc. So what does the Human Rights Campaign do? What does The Task Force do? The name doesn't tell us who it serves.

And who knows what the professional glbt groups do. Do we know what the gay/lesbian journalists do? The gay physicians? And do we hear anything from the groups for sociology, psychology, anthropology, history, politics???

I have no doubt that if the pioneers had had the money and media support the current leaders have they could have done even greater things. I can tell you that it sure is cheaper to reach people on the internet than it was to type and mail letters, and to pay telephone bills. Of course we didn’t have to have expensive offices-sort of like those bankrupt bankers do.

I know these groups will not get any financial support from me-but they do from taxpayers. And like the call to eliminate the tax-exemptions for religious organizations that indirectly get taxpayers’ money, that may come for such groups as HRC, the centers, etc.

But like a lot of things that people seem to think were better in the old days—we did the work with no income and in fact donated not only our time and energy but our money, and it was our desire to change things that gave us the motivation.

I suggest that income for these leaders be ended and let’s see how many of them are still willing to give some of their spare time—as they earn a living elsewhere as some of us did—to the cause. Then they will deserve credit and respect. Now they don’t need that—they get lots of money as the motive.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Milk, a major ingredient, but only one of many in community/movement

Milk, the movie, like milk the drink, is important (although I understand there are some people who can't take either).

I think the movie is important, and it is educational, and in a way, entertaining. And it is interesting to consider Milk and Brokeback Mountain as movies, their timing and what they say to and about homosexuals.

Like Stonewall, Milk, the man and "event" owe a little of their success to the media. As has been pointed out, not only did the movement for homosexual civil rights (and please, that covers—despite dear Morris Kight, et al.—gay rights, lesbian rights, queer rights, dyke rights, etc.) start in Los Angeles (Henry Gerber and any others were a blip and died fast) but so were the first of everything, including riots, or as Stonewallers prefer, rebellions, happened in California but the media ignored them. And so lazy "historians" have ignored them. As they have ignored the founders of Mattachine and ONE. Has anyone wondered why there is no mention of Mattachine in the movie Milk?

Milk came to San Francisco, as hundreds of thousands of others came to California, some from New York, etc., perhaps because they knew that things were happening in California.

Hal Call came to California. He joined early Mattachine and immediately started taking over, using the clam that the founders were communists and this would hurt the cause-probably true, although some think that ONE went too far in the other direction, being mainly conservative Republicans.

There should be no question that Harvey Milk was a great person, and inspired man people, including those who heard of him in other places. But it does not take away one iota from him and his co-workers to point out that this is true of Harry Hay, Don Slater, Dorr Legg, Jim Kepner, Frank Kameny, Del Martin, Phyllis Lyon, Frank Kameny, Barbara Grier, Barbara Gittings, et al.

Such people, publications and organizations had been preparing the way for Stonewall and Milk since the early 1950s.

And that is true of Mattachine in San Francisco, and Hal Call, Don Lucas et al (Guy Strait, SIR, Tavern Guild, etc).

What worries me about Milk is its main point: success. All the marches, the victory of No on 6—how would people have thought of this if they had seen it before the loss of Prop 8? You can't miss the exact tactics used by the religious bigots on 6 and 8. Only time can tell if the people running No on 8 had learned nothing from the No on 6 people or if new times needed new tactics.

And if young people come away from Milk feeling good and hopeful, will they join an organization to continue Harvey's work? Or do they think, despite anti-gay marriage wins, Milk did it, so we can just enjoy it?

Again, Harvey, like others, came to California because they thought it was better there, and thankfully a few like Milk joined to help make it even better. I'm not sure, as the movie hints, that generic "David Goodsteins," (and his Advocate) did.

But, as in other civil rights movements, it takes many ways to a goal, education, picketing, entertainment, etc. Hal Call and his Mattachine was visible—certainly from that great good and terrible convention in Denver in 1959, when innocent people voted to praise the mayor of San Francisco for being gay-friendly, the purpose of the person who made the proposal was to defeat the mayor and what happened, as so often in life, sometimes good and sometimes bad, is that it had the opposite affect. The newspapers were not gay-friendly, but they shouted that this was a "attack" not only on the mayor but on the citizens and city of San Francisco. Think what that word meant—it sure didn't mean they were "gay-friendly."

Hal Call and Mattachine were well known in San Francisco. Later others started working the cause from different angles, SIR (social until the stupid police forced them to be activists along with the preachers and attorneys of the newly formed Council of Religion and the Homosexual), the Tavern Guild (Bill Plath, et al), Guy Strait—no comment—his wonderfully campy U S News & Cruise News newspaper. And into the mix came Harvey.

But if people get a good feeling from Milk, did they get a realistic view? And how does that compare in promoting the cause of civil rights for homosexuals to Brokeback Mountain. That is not a "gay" movie. And while today many people say to those two men, and others like them, then and now, get out of that place and go to the big city. How realistic is that today, with our economy, as it was at the time of the movie?

And do we abandon the rest of the nation to religious bigots except the blue states and urban areas? As we abandon the churches to the bigots? And is it possible that many people, seeing and feeling the pain of the men of Brokeback Mountain might finally come to a better understanding of what society has done to homosexuals? As entertainment perhaps Milk is better, as education, I'm not sure. And I wonder how I would feel if Milk had come first? But I have no doubt that both will influence everyone, even those who don't bother to see the films. And does it do any good to tell someone that they should see them?

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Arthur Laurents and Don Slater: You can be affected by and inspired by, someone you never knew

My thinking about the book I found accidentally, the autobiography of Arthur Laurents, titled, strangely, Original Story By, subtitled A memoir of Broadway and Hollywood, is proof to me that I was affected by the work of this man that I had never heard of. Yet he was working in “Hollywood” during the time I was working in Hollywood (both on Cahuenga Blvd. West across the freeway from Universal Studios and later ON Hollywood Blvd. in 2 places, 6715 and 6758.

He was working with rich and famous celebrities (actors/writers/directors) whose work reached millions in books and movies—and would today on the TV celebrity shows. We were reaching hundreds with a message that he personally needed. He wrote, and we wrote.

He reached millions, most of whom did not know who he was, but saw his work, on Broadway and in the movies. He seemed to know every famous person, and had sex with most, such as of course Farley Granger. We did a lot of talking about homosexuality—we were educational, not entertaining—but had little sex. The media did not find the work of the early people working for civil rights for homosexuals of interest, even that of the cute, sexy ones. So no one heard of Don Slater-even though his work appeared not only in ONE/Tangents Magazine but also in the pages of the Los Angeles Times, the Herald Examiner and our work was written up by Peter Bart in The New York Times, and his military work was covered briefly in Randy Shilts’s book, Conduct Unbecoming: Gay and Lesbian People and the Military, and later in the book of short biographies of pioneers edited by Vern Bullough, Before Stonewall, plus tv and radio talk shows (Joe Pyne, for instance, that day’s Rush Limbaugh?) and at college and church discussions. I was on Regis Philbin’s show, treated shabbily, and Louis Lomax’s, treated well, and a few others. As were Harry Hay and John Burnside. And so were people on the East Coast, making news, which Laurents doesn’t seem to have known about, as he dealt with his “issues.” But Judd Marmor was one of his consultants, and he worked with our movement too.

So I personally got much pleasure out of The Way We Were, and I did so then and now regardless of any “issues” Laurents had with the others who got the movie made. My overall feeling was and is that it is both a love story and how politics etc affect even those who love, and how things turn out. That was what I wondered then, and now at the age when I KNOW how things turned out. And the issues covered by the move, the black list, HUAC, applied not only to Laurents and his friends, but to our movement’s main co-founder, Harry Hay, so this all is the same even if the players never knew each other.

I feel America is better for the work of Laurents, even if we don’t know it, and that is true of the work of Don Slater.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Gay Lib New York pictures and articles in current Gay & Lesbian Review

The cover alone of the March/April 09 issue of The Gay & Lesbian Review, the two contrasting pictures of gay marches, is great history. My first thought is, tell us where the people in both pictures are today and how they view the world today? The idea of a picture of early gay lib days, the great Come Out picture (1970, New York), and the more recent picture of people in California marching in 2005 for marriage is great visual history of the homosexual community/movement.

And the article “The Look of Liberation,” by Steven Dansky, and the additional pictures should put this part of Stonewall history in place for future generations. I do wonder about the continuitng disagreement on the term to describe the event—riot versus revolution. (I cannot understand the places in the picture versus the names, but to see names such as Jim Fouratt makes this still relevant today.)

It could be another philosophical discussion on tactics, etc, when you think that the Come Out!! picture was staged and some people think only “spur of the moment” things are valid—and yet the actual photo is almost accidental and so even more valuable as at another second it could have been just another picture. And that some people are not in the picture, such as Allen Young, and others almost weren’t, such as Ron Ballard, makes it of interest as it tells us of how people had to deal with being “out.” then. And the pictures that record such things as the Effeminist Manifesto, with Kenneth Pitchford, et al., show that much was happening.

I personally was happy to see that even the people at events then now can not remember all that happened, even where the picture was taken or which house a meeting was held in, as I have the same lack of specifics on what happened, where, when,etc.

Let’s hope the people in the 2005 picture and the events since Prop 8 protests, etc will keep a record. And the article on Milk was valuable for the same reasons, to know the general atmosphere in San Francisco then as compared with today is important.

I also liked that Lillian Faderman tries to keep reality in how Hollywood really was in those early days. Some people try to make it sound gayer than it really was, and that distorts history. Wonder why Brett Abrams in Hollywood Bohemians tries to make us think stars were out and life was easy when it was not?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Christianity and Homosexuality: the major issue of our time

It is clear that all of the problems homosexual Americans have in gaining equal/civil rights come directly from religion—all religions.

So in most cases thinking homosexuals have left religion, since “religion” left/rejects them. But there are those who do not leave their religion. And so there is a conflict in the community/movement in how to deal with the opposition coming from religious institutions and people.

It is time that homosexuals stop doing to each other what bigots in religions have done to s: refuse to listen to other views, possible methods/tactics.

A resource to start this dialogue is found in such a book as Christianity and Homosexuality—some Seventh Day Adventists Perspectives, edited by David Ferguson, Fritz Guy and David Larson, published in 2008 by Adventist Forum, in Roseville, California.

The problem, as usual, is getting such an excellent tool to the very people who need it—not only members of the Seventh day Adventist Church, but all people dealing with religious issues. For while there are a few small sections that deal with specifically Seventh Day Adventist issues, over 90% of this book has material—facts and views—that are not only useful to everyone but in a few cases have not seen print anywhere else.

Since religious problems are a personal issue, the first section is from personal experience as a LGBT Adventist, and most of the writers came from a deep SDA background.

Then there is a remarkably good “history” of the biomedical history in dealing with homosexuality. The major people are covered, such as Hooker, Kinsey, and Bergler and Bieber, etc. Then there is the behavioral aspect, sociology talking. Then a scriptural discussion, overwhelming in a sense, and as is later pointed out, irrelevant to most people since logic is not a good argument to people who have a fixed view, pro or con. Then there is the question of how the church should handle the issue, how it should act over making laws—a very special issue for SDA people since the church has suffered greatly s a church that worships on Saturday and thus its members have been punished for not being like “normal” Christians.

While some homosexuals will not understand the homosexuals who insist on staying in their church, there is a good thought presented, some of us are incurably homosexual and incurably religious.

The book is mainly a product of the LGBT group of SDA members, Seventh Day Adventist Kinship International. They have been active since the1970, incorporating as a group in1981, and later had to fight a legal battle with the church over the use of the church name, which they won.

A type of thinking toward the Bible and history is called “present truth” which means having beliefs that are based on study and revelation as well as word for word use of the Bible.

There can be no doubt, as is covered in the book, that the behavior of the church has harmed young people. A good use for the book is to show to young people that there have been other SDA people who have overcome the terrible injustice of the church.

As an aside, I thought the issue of having a partner was handled well when it is said that if you can't find a good Adventist partner, it is better to have a good Methodist than settle for a bad Adventist.

One problem I have with the coverage, which is excellent on how the world has looked at homosexuality, is the complete failure, with only the usual exception, to acknowledge that the advance made in our area has been the result of the civil rights movement for homosexual citizens started mainly in Southern California in 1950 with early Mattachine, moving onward with ONE, Inc./Homosexual Information Center, later Mattachine, the Daughters of Bilits, SIR, etc. It is hard to understand why all of the writers seem to ignore or not know of this history and only think this movement started a virgin birth at Stonewall in 1969-it will not make those people happy to know that the one mention calls it a riot, since those there constantly point out that it was a revolution, a big difference.

This is relevant since there might not have been a Dr. (Evelyn) Hooker, or even a good Dr. (Alfred) Kinsey had therefore not been the help of Mattachine and ONE. Yet their work is presented in a good timeline of events and people in the long procession toward today.

The writers do accept the relationship among the various civil rights movements—black, women, etc. So it is clear that the people who then (and now) rejected homosexuals, also rejected blacks, poor, etc. (Which again makes it hard to understand why so many blacks stayed in the church that supported slavery, or women stayed as major supporters in a church that kept them as second class members, and also why homosexuals stay.

The book discuses the ex-gay movement, especially how the church accepted a fraud, Colin Cook, and it also points out that, as some relatives kept saying to those who came out as gay, you know what the Bible says, and you know the devil knows how to use it, and that applies to our movement, which seems to worry about letting our work be known—in both cases the fact is that “Satan knows the Bible better than we do” and our enemies know what is going on in our movement faster than we do.

The ideas come forth that having companionship is important, both as a support group and as a partner, and thus comes up the issue faced in the very first public discussion of gay marriage, in ONE Magazine in 1953, it may lead ot an idea that there are good/moral homosexuals, who are monogamous, and the rest who are bad and NOT monogamous.

The point is made that giving long factual arguments does not always work, and I want to say people should have read this issue a long time ago in such books as In Defense of Homosexuality, by R.O.D. Benson. Logic doesn't work with bigots or fanatics. And the more “religious” someone is, the more judgemental—an example being that relatives often constantly harassed a gay person who said he or she was homosexual.

Another aside, some of the people writing in this book should be the type of guests Ophrah has, and not all the suddenly outed celebrities, who have never suffered the loss not only of a job, but of a family, church, etc.

One of the better chapters is by the mother of a gay son. She covers all the usual stereotypes and dismisses them, and gives a list of resources.

I also found it interesting to know that the daughter of H.M.S. Richards, a radio preacher, has two gay children. So, being a leader of a church does not mean your children will not be homosexual. (I had listened to him, but don't recall him discussing this issue.)

In a list after each chapter there are resources and references, and I see some, such as Wayne Bensen, and wonder if he and others have seen this book.

An issue is raised by one writer about wondering if the church should be encouraged to start discussing homosexuality. At first thought the answer today would be no since it would be a negative one. That is like what Don Slater and ONE said about having sex courses in school: don’t, as none of them would allow the homosexual viewpoint, so it would be more harmful, and of course we see— think of the daughter of the governor of Alaska— that abstinence-only classes have proved worthless.

I don’t recall hearing before a term used, but it is used wisely. It seems in years past many people were classed as social degenerates, meaning those who were not white men mostly—and that was racism. slavery, anti-semitism, anti-homosexual, anti-poor, etc. Medicine often did not correct this anti-human view, and the writing makes it clear that while Freud did not consider homosexuality a problem, later Jewish physicians did and often caused harm, and the problems was that their views were not based on medicine or research but on their religion, and that often to try to prove that Jewish doctors were just as good as non-Jewish. Only later did sociologists etc. understand that it is not homosexuals who are ill, but society. And it is to the same of what should be a great medical school, Loma Linda, which works to make people healthy, would use medicine to harm homosexuals. And like too many medical schools, a person could graduate without ever having talked about homosexuality.

In this regard, the change in the view of the psychiatrists and psychologists is discussed, and it is pointed out that it was NOT politics that made them change their views, and in fact it was politics that had made homosexuality an illness in the first place.

The point is made that in medicine the issue of homosexuality should not be a theological or moral issue. It is past time to allow prejudice to become evidence. And no matter what the view a school can not allow bullies to harm a child, and the schollsmust be attacked legally if they do.

In the discussion of “change,” it is pointed out that if someone claims no longer be homosexual, the claim is disproved when it is admitted that when they have sex in a dream, it is still homosexual.

The church claims to be a caring church, but it turns out on this subject to be like President Bush’s compassionate conservatism: nonexistent.

A question being asked today is where in a church’s priorities is the issue of homosexuality. This church has spent much money on Colin Cook and his Homosexuals Anonymous and Quest, and lately against gay marriage. This is in direct violation of the history of the church, which suffered greatly from laws against it. It promoted separation of church and stage, as of course did early Baptists.

This church often talked about freedom. Yet has fought gay marriage. And much of the religious discussion seems to deal with Paul,strange that Christians ignore Jesus and push Paul. If the church is not ready for gay marriage, the church may not be ready for Jesus. Certainly the early religious practiced incest and polygamy, and no one talks about David and Jonathan.

But the worst sin of this church is that it is not using these wonderful resources, these fine men and women who seek to join and serve.

Certain phrases stand out: the gospel is first, the law is second. We can be “correct” and still be wrong. And the closing pages go directly to what seems irrelevant, but is pure Jesus. Rethink what is said in the story of the Good Samaritan-lawyers and preachers passed the hurt man by, the outsider did the right thing. Others would seek to call a conference to deal with the generic issue of criminals, set up a committee, find any excuse, but talk rather than act and take responsibility.

And then finally there is the return of the prodigal Son, who returns. He is given equality, which doesn't make the son who stayed happy.

The church today, has to face reality: if Ellen White could allow members to accept racial segregation if they lived in the south, and not try to end prayer in school, then it is past time for the church to deal with the fact that a Bible that accepted slavery is not a Bible that should be used to make homosexuals outcasts, and the future of our nation will not have a place for a church that is less Christ-like than the government.

This book is almost a one stop history of all issues of homosexuality. Every library should have it, and every young person should be able to read it. It gives no false hopes, but it gives a honest view of the past and present and perhaps the future, and considering the world of a President Obama, that is a good start.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Discussion on Sullivan's Blog sound like discussion in book on muckraker Lincoln Steffens, in early 1900s

As I see discussion on Andrew Sullivan's blog, of the current financial crisis, etc., I find words sounding the same in a glance at Justin Kaplan's biography, Lincoln Steffens (1974, Simon & Schuster).

In discussing financial problems of the President T. Roosevelt era, I see words such as (Page 161) Steffens saying to Roosevelt, “Fighting dishonesty as you are, you are doing more than all the rest of us so-called muckrakers put together to show the American people that the cause of graft and the result of all our corruption is simply misrepresentation in government, and that the cure is to regulate, to control, or if these fail, to own those businesses which find it necessary to their success to corrupt men and cities and states and the United States....You ask men in office to be honest, I ask them to serve the public.”

Although Steffens had been wrong about some people and events, such as Mussolini, Hitler, Spain, in the Afterword we are told that Steffesn had predicted the arrival of a time when the government would give way to a consortium of special interests.

In saying that muckraking is still needed, and this is in the time of Ralph Nader, My Lai and Watergate, the author closes the book with what sounds like a comment for today. “Never before, perhaps, has there been quite so much to expose or so strong a resistance to exposure. Never before has muckraking had to contend with such elaborate safeguards and such an advanced state of moral numbness on the one side and, on the other, so high a threshold of moral outrage in the public sensibility. Never before has muckraking-‘the letting in of light and air’-been so nakedly recriminated and menaced by men in power. Lincoln Steffens’ bold thrust and Theodore Roosevelts's seemngly operatic party prefigured a conflict of as yet unsettled dimension and outcome.”

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Outing, still an issue, and two examples in Windy City Times

It is sort of frustrating that our community/movement still has to deal with issues we had to worry about over the past 50 or so years. And in the pages of the Windy City Times we have how the more things change the issue is the same.

Does someone deserve to be outed? You I think are right in saying: only if they are being anti-gay. And so we have Tracy Baim and (Rev) Irene Monroek giving us two examples to think about.

Baim says also there is a question of how someone who has been “protected” by the glbt community and media owes it to us to “come out” in our arena, when too many celebrities come out for the publicity—a great change of course—they get from doing it on tv or on the cover of People Magazine, etc. Yet here is a public official who comes out to preempt the bigots from his being “outed” as he is about to head education, which is really bringing our movement up from the very first, to my knowledge, attack we faced, when Mattachine tried to involve itself in a school board issue—and of course children are the first thing bigots scream about—us tring to recruit the children. Yet he does come out, but not in LGBT media. Yet he is a good guy so it is not an issue, and so even if he doesn't do it, say, in Windy City Times, you can say, Thanks for coming out of the closet.

But how do we deal with a (Rev) Ted Haggard, as Monroe covers. He is not out yet. He still preaches one thing and does another. And still, even after being outed because he has acted against our community, in some ways we feel sorry for him-he sure doesn't fit the word gay. But is he exploiting the issue, trying to have it both ways? And he is only one of many religious bigots who have beedn outed.

The first person (Rob Huberman, heading the Chicago Public Schools) is a good model that young homosexuals can respect. The second person (Haggard) is the opposite, he is still deceiving himself, his family, his fellow church people, etc and watching his “story” on tv will only hopefully warn young homosexuals to NOT follow his example. Maybe both can be used as educational material.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Obama is the answer to the same sex and interracial marriage "discussions"

I believe in the years to come people will look back at this time as having ended what has for centuries been social issues of sexism and racism. And it will be President Obama who is the final answer.

The more ignorant black preachers quote the Bible incorrectly to fight same sex marriage, the more Obama proves them wrong. For ignorant white preachers have quoted that same Bible to not only approve of slavery, but until the 1960s to oppose interracial marriage. The more a few blacks complain about gays using "their" civil rights movement, the more clear it is that ALL civil rights movements are the same and work together.

I thought of this as I reread a book, Nebraska, by George Whitmore (wonder where he is today, the novel was published in 1987 but about events in 1956) and wondered if any young person reading it today would be able to “feel” the story. It is of a boy who feels guilty for having lied to another boy that his uncle had said he had sex with men, and this was later used to legally put the uncle in a mental institution after he was arrested for public sex and it was discovered that he had been kicked out of the navy, dishonorably, and loved another man.

Hopefully in a few years no one will have to deal with such a situation, and even today there are agencies to help someone in such a situation. I was kicked out of the army, so perhaps I could understand and feel the story even more than most people.

If few homosexuals can even “feel” such a situation, since they will never have such a terrible experience, either being rejected by or being kicked out by the military it is easy to understand why most Americans can not feel the problems homosexuals or people of other races, or religions, have, being in a minority.

This should have been discussed at The Task Force's Creating Change conference in Denver and the meeting of the “leaders” of the community/movement who met in Los Angeles to try to deal with the loss of Proposition 8. How do we let the aveage heterosexual person understand/feel the real issue when too many homosexuals don't even know the real issues.

How “gay” for some young leftwing homosexual to say, well, we shouldn't be in the military anyway, as if his or her choice should be forced on everyone, making them just like the rightwing bigots.

It may seem a reach, but this is exactly what an interracial couple dealt with when they fell in love. Interracial dating and marriage was opposed by the vast majority of white citizens and black citizens, and there are probably still a few people who oppose it. If they don’t want to marry someone of a different race, then they shouldn’t. But they have no right to make that choice for others. Yet they did, by law. And it was based on religion and the Bible was used to preach that such marriages were wrong.

One of the many “logical” arguments against interracial marriage was how it would hurt the children, who would be of mixed race and suffer rejection from both races.

Obama is the answer to that stupid argument. And if interracial marriage is now accepted, so should same sex marriage be accepted. And the children of same sex marriage are doing fine, just as Obama and many children from interracial marriages have.

But go back and read the terrible accusations, claims, sermons against interracial marriage even after the U S Supreme Court—making law as rightwingers always charge when they don't like a decision—ended laws against interracial marriage. The same lies are used against same sex marriage today, often by interracial black preachers.

Then let us figure out how we got from such evil beliefs to a President Obama. And see if that journey can lead to acceptance of same sex marriage.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Words and actions that don't promote the goals of an organization

I want to say something about the work in a group that is different, yet in a sense the same issue-worrying about the wrong issues or projects.

Specifically, it has been my experience in the one (ONE/HIC) organization I have worked with for over 30 years, now mostly by email, that too many people join an organization and want to participate, but when you get them to a planning meeting, board meeting, whatever, instead of ADDING something to the work, they, as the phrase goes, try to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titantic. It doesn't apply only because other people didn't allow the diversion and constant arguing to “tank” the organization.

One of the main purposes of someone coming on a board is to try to add money and energy, etc. But in at least half of the cases we have had, the new person did not donate any more money than they did before, AND made no effort to get others to donate. They did not do any more work than they did before. What they did do was to try to rearrange how we spent the money and energy we did have. In several cases we tried their new ideas and it did more harm than good, AND shortly, they left.

I am not saying these were bad people, all were (with one exception, another story since he was still a Mattachine person — J J Belanger, as he had been a lover of Hal Call — and not really a ONE/HIC person, so had conflicts and loyalty to one group made him harm our group) and they all were sincere, but merely took what was already done and tried to redo it instead of adding ideas and material.

One example was that one man (David Kennedy) thought that our financial problems could be “helped” if we changed the branch of our bank to one nearer our office—the one we had was near our first (of 3) office. He was treasurer, so almost without a discussion went and moved the account. Soon we started having troubles at the new branch, not anti-gay but just that the people didn’t understand our work. So eventually we had to move the account back to the original branch (a wonderful branch, Bank of America, Universal City, which knew how to deal with non-conforming people and groups as they deal daily with movie stars, etc.)

But David was a good worker, like all of our co-workers, and was the one who got us the attorney who sued Pacific Telephone when they screwed up our phone number, and even though technically PT&T did not lose, they paid us an out of court settlement, something they did NOT do for several other lawsuits at the time, when they had actually harmed a few businesses, etc.

That is another story of prjeudice-after several letters trying to solve the issue, we realized that two people were casing our problems at Pacific Telephone, one a bigoted Mexican American woman, then she was backed up by a black officer. What others at PT&T later admitted was that these two were so stupid that they had actually in writing and in phone conversations said prejudicial things about our work. The wise attorney said to take the settlement they offered, even though we had written proof they had made a mistake dealing with our phone when we moved from Cahuenga Blvd West to Hollywood Blvd, and to win you had to prove financial harm, and even though the sum was small, I think about $10,000, we would have a hard time winning in court. I should point out that it was PT&T that had said our use of the name "homosexual" was good as their operators got calls for such a service and had no idea who to refer the callers to, and we were the first to use the word homosexual in the phone book.

So possible generic problems in any organization should be explained to new members before it is a personal issue.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

John Burnside honored in RFD Magazine as it announces changes, new address

The Winter 09 issue of RFD Magazine (#136, started in 1974) illustrates both the honored past of our community/movement and the hopeful future, as it leaves (Short Mountain) Tennessee and moves again to Massachusetts. (It has also been in Iowa, Oregon.) So best wishes as the new people take up the work.

But after a glance at the beautiful cover (a special point as it has an older man on the front cover and a younger man on the back cover) and the announcement of the new address (SMS will still be involved as the printer is in Nashville and they will do the mailing) and the picture of a group includng John Burnside and Harry Hay, 1978, Running Water, if we read nothing more, this issue is worth the work s it has the wonderful obituary of John Burnside by Robert Cronquist.

The memories are what gives us evidence of a community, even though many of us keep sayhing there is no community. Here is a loving portrait of John, and the contrast with Harry. Often we ask what got some of us into the movement, and John's path is explained, and I know its true as I and others were there at ONE when John and Harry found each other—in fact some of us helped move material from John's house below the Hollywood Freeway, and later from their place in Laguna Beach, and visited them in San Juan Pueblo.

By the way, although I personally have said that with limited ability, we need to concentrate on one issue, as is pointed out, Harry and John were took the time to work on avery important non-gay issue in helping the people of New Mexico, Indians and non-Indian, save the Rio Grande from an unneeded dam.

Harry of course co-founded (the main impetus) the first continuing homosexual organization, Mattachine. Internal troubles with Mattachine and later the faerie group caused them pain, but they kept going, to found the Circle of Loving Companions, which may yet be important in our fight for recognition of our loving relationships in marriage equality. The fact that the group members supported Harry and John is evidence of a community-something you would think the Mormons would respect as that is one of their “selling points,” what they are famous for (as well as their choir, which we have several of also).

It is inspirational to know the life of John Burnside and how he "balanced' Harry Hay as a couple, personally and in the movement. RFD deserves thanks for this personal and honest rememberance of a good person and this part of our community/movement history. And thanks to Robert Cronquist for sharing, and the others in the Circle of Loving Companions for their devotion to these two and our community.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Creating Change Meets in Denver 50 years after Mattachine's public conference

Hundreds of people are meeting in Denver this week for The Task Force's Creating Change Conference. It has been well publicized. And it will be well received, before and after it does its educational work. That will be important for the homosexual community/movement to understand and think about. For that is far from the results of the first public homosexual meeting in Denver that Mattachine held there in 1959. What a differnece 50 years can make.

While the Mattachine conference was covered by the local media and at first was thought to be a breakthrough for homosexual events, the result was a disaster for the Mattachine members who hosted the event. Their names in the paper led to their loss of jobs and some had to move out of Denver.

A side affect of the conference was a “congratulation” proposal suggested by a stranger and voted on to the mayor of San Francisco (the headquarters of the Mattachine Society) for his being what is now called gay-friendly. This was a trick by an opponent of Mayor Christopher. As a first indication that politics can be used by both sides, the media in San Francisco as well as the public, though not gay-friendly, were furious at this attack, and supported the mayor who won reelection. The problem is that they were furious that the city had been called gay-friendly. Think about San Francisco today. Think about the movie Milk.

So how do we view the Mattachine conference today. It was both a success and a warning of how much work had to be done to change people's attitudes toward homosexuality.

Now, fifth years later it is doubtful that Creating Change's event will be anything but successful and the results will be helpful for homosexuals and the cause of civil rights for all Americans.

So best wishes to those in Denver today, from someone who was there, fifty years ago this year when a few dozen men and women met openly and the citizens of Denver heard of our cause for the first time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Important point covered in article in Windy City Times of 1-21-09

To Editor Tracy Baim:

I hope your readers understand the importance of the article in the current issue of Windy City Times (1-21-09) by Paul Marinkovich, about Sex and the Seminary.

The article discusses a recent report, Sex and the Seminary: preparing ministers for sexual health and justice, (from Connecticut's Religious Institute on Sexual Morality,Justice and Healing and New York’s Union Theological Seminary) that points out the almost total failure of religious schools to discuss issues of homosexuality. The survey covered 36 seminaries, Protestant and Jewish.

This is a generic issue, the academic community, and professional schools do not give students the needed information to deal with homosexual issues. An some universities still are afraid to hire professors who are homosexual, giving the old lie that they might push a gay agenda, as if the hetero agenda is not being pushed. So physicians, lawyers, etc come out with no preparation to understand even the issues of sexuality, much less homosexuality.

A step in the right direction is the mention on the same page that the Archdiocesan Gay and Lesbian Outreach of Chicago has completed a social justice challenge
people giving time to agencies working for change (Center on Halsted, etc).

I liked the viewpoint on the Obama inauguration of (Rev) Irene Monroe. Her thinking of the Watch Night of Dec 31, 1862, with black slaves waiting to hear of Lincoln’s, Emancipation Proclamation and Obama taking the oath puts things in perspective. And the issue of Warren, and others who rightly want to let Obama know of our community’s needs is good, but I'm sure that most of us have now heard, what we expected—as I’m sure the Obama people expected—the backlash from right-wing religious people totally, generically disliking Obama and anything he says or does, but especially furious that Obama mentioned non-believers in his speech, and mentioning the need to talk with Muslims. And it is significant that many of these haters are black heterosexual male preachers. How strange to hear them call his new administration a “dark” time in our nation’s history. So there is a push from those, who did not vote for him of course, including not only, hopefully, only a few racists who will hate him no matter what he does, but those who will dislike him if he is not “conservative” enough and just want a Republican to take over as soon as possible-hard to understand since no one could have done more damage to our nation than the last 8 years, and no one could be more “socialist” than the last months of Bush 43.

I also liked coverage by Lawrence Ferber of the Lifetime movie Prayers for Bobby. In another gay/lesbian publication (Seattle Gay News) there is discussion of whether or not TV can change people’s views, and if it can, this is a good effort toward ending parents’ hatred and fear of their child’s homosexuality. And the interview with Sigourney Weaver is very good, right questions, right answers—but then we do have our agenda so I don’t claim to be objective.

Religion and Morals, and other good articles, Seattle Gay News 1 & 9-09

I know editor don't need their inboxes filled, but I do feel the need to say how much I like some aspects of the Seattle Gay News, which has articles and view I don't see elsewhere, partly, of course, because other g/l publications aim at different aspects of homosexuality.

But I believe, as a good example, that several columns by Wayne Besen say things that a lot of us believe, and say them in words that, although perhaps said elsewhere that I don't know about and usually in such theological and legalistic language that most of us would not grasp, that his words need to be heard by everyone-gay and non-gay.

The issue of some right-wingers claiming/believing that you need a religious background to have morals-usually of course meaning Christian religious basics-is answered by much of what is said in the columns. And with timely examples of how “religious” people are often more un-Christian and un-American than people who do not claim to be religious. Many people who lost money in the Ponzi scheme of Bernard Madoff were misled by his claims of being religious-in his case Jewish. That made people, who hopefully have now learned better, know that just claiming to be religious does not mean someone IS, or that they would thus be more trustworhy than someone who does not talk religion when asking for others to trust him, either when asking for money for investment, politics, or to “protect them from the gay agenda,” etc.

So Besen is right when he says that 2008 taught wise people that religious people are not morally superior to those who are non-religious. And in fact to be doubly cautious when someone sanctimoniously asks you to trust them.

But the issue is a generic one, and certainly has been used to attack not only communists (and those falsely accused of being communist, such as early black and gay civil rights leaders) but Democrats who questioned President Bush' policies in Iraq, etc. Even Christian ministers have been accused of being traitors if they asked questions or spoke against some of the policies. But usually the argument is that you can't be "good" if you don't have religion-meaning the religion of the person making the assertion.

This is hard for homosexuals to deal with, as we try to support g/l organizations formed to change the policies in various churches, yet have to point out that those churches have been wrong not only on homosexual issues, but were violently wrong on supporting slavery, etc. The example Besen gives should be read by every black, hetero, male preacher: “As escaped slave turned abolitionist Frederick Douglass noted in his tome, Autobiography, the most devout Christians made tghe most brutal slave owners.” That is devastating to anyone who seeks to say “religion” is what ended slavery.

I also think it is true when Jim Toevs says. “We have changed the world forever” (same issue, l-2-09). He quotes (LA native, as I am) Tony Kushner as saying much of what Wayne Besen said recently, “Gay perestroika: a movement succeeds when so much has changed that there’s no going back.” When most people do NOT approve of anti-gay speech and actions, the religious bigots have lost and when people stop giving them money and approval, they will suddenly find a new pro-gay interpretation in whatever translation of the Bible they are currently using-as the Mormons have done with their book and chief twice, first giving up overnight polygamy and then suddenly accepting black priests as ok. And as even the Southern Baptists had to do when confessing their error when they supported slavery and racial segregation, quoting the Bible.

He rightly points out also that “Racism still exists, but the African-American civil rights movement changed the world forever. Sexism still exists, but feminism changed the world forever. Homophobia still exists, but we have changed the world forever....A movement succeeds not when everything is perfect but when so much has changed that there’s no going back.”

But to remind us of what we still need to do, you give us Diane Silver (Political IQ) with her list of things still needing to be done, such as gay marirage, and will members of our community/movement keep working for change or will “Stonewall 2.0” just slowly die of apathy?

But the next example, of dealing with personal issues of sexuality, shows that SGN covers issues few other publications do. I refer to Dave Tangent’s article talking about how to deal with ourselves (and others) when we do what we think is wrong-cheat on our spouse/partner/mate.

And next is the old issue of words/terms. Gerald Libonati wants to know why we call heteros “straight.” I would point out, by the way, that while Toevs is good, he has done what PC people do, changed the term for black Americans, since obviously when the civil rights movement was going full speed African-American was NOT the term most people used. It is almost disrespectful to those brave men and women, of all races, who risked their lives and didn’t spend a moment’s time arguing over the right term, negro or colored was irrelevant to the demand that all Americans have equal rights.

And I wonder how your readers think about the sad coverage given to a sick person threatening some gay bars in Seattle (with ricin). The generic question is, do we give “him/her” publicity, which may be what they seek, by covering the threat, and maybe keep people from bars, or do we NOT cover it and risk people complain later that they had no warning? But it seems that today the law enforcement people are trying to protect the community where in years past they would have ignored the threat and even made fun of us asking for protection.

Along that same thought, should the gay leaders having a meeting to prepare for future projects keep their meeting secret, as Rex Wockner discusses (these are articles from the l-9-09 issue)? I assume the thought was to keep our enemies from knowing the plans. Sadly, it seems, for our nation too, that enemies spend more time thinking about us that we do ourselves, so they will probably learn before we do what ideas are talked about. It seems some gays have a need to pump themselves up-like many politicians-by leaking the news and getting on the nightly tv news, etc.

And it is good to mention that Campbell Soup deserves our support for not backing away from ads in gay publications because of right-wing religious nuts attacking them.

And another generic issue is Gerald Libonti’s question about if “Hollywood shapes public opinion.” Psychologist and media experts have been asking this question for years. The hope is that “good” characters and story lines will lead the public to accept a black president and gay equality, but then what if “bad” characters will lead our youth to be criminals, if they see glamorous stars portray bad people.

But on a personal note, probably one I'm not alone in discussing, I understand Leslie Robinson’s pain when she says she doesn't know how to do a website, and perhaps use the internet to full advantage, yet may get some help from some 7 year old, who seem to know the system very well.

Then there’s another article/column that touches on a sort of hidden side of our community, the people who seek dangerous sex, with hustlers, as discussed by Simon Sheppard.

Then Madelyn Arnold again reminds us of how painful some religious people can be when she remembers her 15th year and Bible Camp and hatred coming from the preacher against homosexuality. It is somewhat less painful today as she sees the general good will coming at Obama’s presidency.

And hopefully some people are still interested in reading books, so will find Richard Labonte and Jesse Monteagudo's columns of interest.

Are there such discussion of all of these topics on gay TV, such as LOGO?