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Remember it

Some people say homosexuality is a sin. It’s not. God is perfectly cool with it, God feels the exact same way about homosexuality that God feels about heterosexuality. Now you might say, “Whoa, slow down. You move too fast. How could you have the audacity, the temerity, to speak on behalf of God?” Exactly, that’s an excellent point and I pray that you remember it.

- Ted Alexandro

Don’t be surprised

Don’t be surprised when I bring up current events related to the LGBT community.

I read LGBT news because it covers issues that are important to me. I need to know about changing laws around marriage equality, and which Washington scumbag is currently attacking other members of my community for political gain. If one of those stories pisses me off enough, I am probably going to bring it up in our conversation. Where you might complain about the inflated costs of fuel, I will complain about how the Republican party still embraces gay conversion therapy.

Don’t be surprised if you hear me playing music by a gay artist.

When I hear that a pop singer has stepped out of the closet, I might purchase their album as a show of support for their bravery. I also might buy it just because I realize there are many others who won’t for all the wrong reasons.

Don’t be surprised if you see me watching a gay movie.

There aren’t many positive examples of same-sex relationships in mainstream Hollywood movies. Imagine growing up without seeing your crushes or romantic interests reflected on the big screen. When the entertainment industry offers me a chance to see LGBT relationships – good or bad – I jump at the chance to support their efforts. I once drove over two hours to get to the nearest theater that was showing Brokeback Mountain.

Don’t be surprised if I act defensive sometimes.

When you grow up knowing you are inherently different from almost everyone around you, it makes it downright impossible to not view yourself as an outsider. While that can deeply affect a person, it can also alter their perspective of the world around them. I see my own world through gay-tinted glasses, so to speak. Because I know the first thing that crosses someone’s mind when I walk in the room is “Brian’s gay,” everyone I encounter gets quickly judged. Any perceived hostility is almost immediately blamed on homophobia – regardless of whether that is the actual reason. It’s just the first thing my brain jumps to. Dealing with that on a day-in, day-out basis would make anyone cranky.

Don’t be surprised if I want to talk about my experience.

The easiest way to change a person’s opinion on something is through back-and-forth conversation. I have had countless people tell me that getting to know me has changed their views on gay rights. They never knew a gay person in real life, or they just never had the opportunity to talk with an openly-gay person before meeting me. Sometimes all it takes is learning that the person you thought you feared is pretty much just like you. The only way to learn that is through conversation. That is why I am more than happy to discuss my life experiences and sexuality with others. I know I am being provided with a chance to challenge or even alter their opinions.

Don’t be surprised if I act super-gay sometimes.

When I know you aren’t judging me and I know I can completely be myself, I might act really freaking gay. It’s just that I spend so much time repressing that part of myself for various reasons that knowing it won’t cause you to detest or attack me means I can really let my hair down. I might act silly. I might dance my butt off to some gay music by a gay artist. I might just really queen out. Just understand it means I trust you and I can really be myself.

And try not to act too surprised.

Everything we learned from the ‘Duck Dynasty’ fiasco in one sentence

Noah Michelson, the editor for Huffington Post’s Gay Voices, summed up the brouhaha over Phil Robertson and A&E in one (extremely long) sentence.

You can say whatever you want, including that gay people are sinful and full of “murder, envy, strife, hatred” and are in the same league as those who enjoy being penetrated by barnyard animals and that black people were “happy” and were not “singing the blues” when Jim Crow laws ruled America, and as long as you later tack on “I love all of humanity” and I would “never incite or encourage hate” and throw around the word “tolerance,” and as long as there’s enough money and publicity swirling and more ready to be made, you will face absolutely no consequences and if anything you’ll be celebrated as a hero and lauded as an icon of freedom — some will even go so far as to call you the “Rosa Parks” of our generation — while the people you were talking about will still be vilified and will have to fight even harder against society’s belief that they are — even in the 21st century, even in a country that is not supposed to be ruled by religion or heartless, hateful zealots — at their very core all of those vile and (let it be said once and for all) patently untrue things that you said about them.

Ain’t that the truth!

‘Bridegroom’

Just watched Bridegroom on OWN, and I’m feeling a myriad of emotions. Heartbreak over the death of a talented and beautiful man in his prime and in love, anger over the way his partner of six years was treated after his passing, and an even deeper appreciation for my partner and our relationship.

I wish both of my parents would watch it. Even though we have afforded ourselves some legal protection with wills and powers of attorney, I still worry about what might happen if one of us dies. People who make an effort to accept a son or daughter’s spouse for the sake of family unity might not be so inclined once their child is no longer in the picture. I don’t want to consider that my partner could be scorned by my family upon the event of my death – during the very time he would be struggling through the grieving process. It is unimaginable.

20 common myths about gays and lesbians

gay_men_holding_hands

  1. We want to sleep with you
  2. You can spot us a mile away
  3. One is the “man” and one is the “woman”
  4. We can’t have children
  5. We can’t be monogamous
  6. We are into feathers and leather
  7. We have a choice
  8. We want to convert your children
  9. We hate the opposite sex
  10. We don’t have long-term relationships
  11. We had overbearing mothers and absent fathers
  12. It’s a sickness and we can be cured
  13. Our lives are tragic and sad
  14. We are promiscuous
  15. It’s just a phase and we can change
  16. We’re pedophiles
  17. We just haven’t met the right man or woman
  18. We like to flaunt our sexuality
  19. We’re the cause of AIDS
  20. We are not entitled to equal rights

*seen on a tshirt, edited by yours truly

Quote

A new perspective, a new insight

Until recent years, many citizens had not even considered the possibility that two persons of the same sex might aspire to occupy the same status and dignity as that of a man and woman in lawful marriage. For marriage between a man and a woman no doubt had been thought of by most people as essential to the very definition of that term and to its role and function throughout the history of civilization. That belief, for many who long have held it, became even more urgent, more cherished when challenged. For others, however, came the beginnings of a new perspective, a new insight.

Slowly at first and then in rapid course, the laws of New York came to acknowledge the urgency of this issue for same-sex couples who wanted to affirm their commitment to one another before their children, their family, their friends, and their community. And so New York amended its marriage laws to permit same-sex marriage. New York, in common with, as of this writing, eleven other States and the District of Columbia, decided that same-sex couples should have the right to marry and so live with pride in themselves and their union and in a status of equality with all other married persons.

DOMA seeks to injure the very class New York seeks to protect. By doing so it violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the Federal Government. When New York adopted a law to permit same-sex marriage, it sought to eliminate inequality; but DOMA frustrates that objective. DOMA’s principal effect is to identify a subset of state-sanctioned marriages and make them unequal.

DOMA undermines both the public and private significance of state sanctioned same-sex marriages; for it tells those couples, and all the world, that their otherwise valid marriages are unworthy of federal recognition. This demeans the couple, whose moral and sexual choices the Constitution protects, and it humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples.

DOMA is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and to injure those whom the State, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity.

- Justice Kennedy on DOMA