Archive for November, 2010

November 29, 2010

How My Priest Helped Me Come Out | Dan Savage | Big Think

The advice columnist, normally quite critical of religion, tells us how a Catholic priest helped his mother come to terms with his homosexuality.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

November 29, 2010

Slave to the Rhythm

New York rapper and DJ Cazwell ( of  Ice Cream Truck fame) was recently in Trinidad for a performance courtesy of Alvin and Sky Bar. I wasn’t there for it but based on this backstage video it seems Cazwell had to admit defeat when faced with the dancing/gyrating skills of the locals.

November 28, 2010

Pride and Extreme Prejudice.

Via Ziffer IS-Unseen on Facebook

Copyright Ziffer on FB

Another day in Bonaire though I spent most of it on my own just writing and watching the rain. This evening I had pause to think about some issues that affect me deeply. The UN 3rd Committee vote still angers me.It has skewed how I view Caribbean governments. I had two online exchanges about it  today – the wonder of  the internet with me being on a tiny rock in the Caribbean Sea right now.

In the first exchange I was speaking to a longtime friend about the vote and he said he was proud of the stance I was taking online and otherwise on the matter of  equal rights. I might have used a few choice works about T&T’s abstention but he shared my view that it was a disgrace. The second exchange  followed a tweet I sent noting that after Haiti’s vote for removing sexual orientation from the document protecting people from extra-judicial killings I was ambivalent about whatever happened to that country. A very thoughtful friend noted that I should take a larger view and that the UN countries behind the vote were also behind the fiasco that was today’s vote in Haiti.  I respectfully noted that when it comes to human rights and the right to not be  killed  I will not take a broader view.  Haiti is not a place I will feel too deeply about and that is being polite.  I am still extremely angry about that vote so perhaps I better move along.

In brighter news – and I mean a lot brighter – India celebrated Pride Day today for the first time since the decriminalizing of homosexuality last year. They have shown the world that they are a force to be reckoned with both economically and socially. Pity the Caribbean couldn’t jump on that train but I guess Benin and Uganda were more attractive.  It seems that LGBT Indians have no problem in adopting the Western pride flag and not just in a small way :

I have never had one before but my country of the day today is India for showing that things can really change and that diversity is nothing to be feared.

It would be remiss of me to not mention a post on LGBTQNation by Brody Levesque that mirrors how I feel in general about these ‘discussions’ about human rights;

“Instead, I have to ask a simple question: “When does it stop?”

I am tired of the non-stop barrage of hatred that spews out of the mouths of these high priced Washington D.C.-based lobby outfits, whose sole purpose is predicated on their belief that their God calls them to interfere with the private sexual lives and reproductive rights of their fellow citizens.

I’ve actually read that rather quaintly outdated bit of fictional literature, and no where does it command them to strip their neighbors of dignity, happiness, and pursuit of personal freedoms and expressions of love. Yet, in reality, this is precisely what Tony Perkins, Brian Brown, and a host of these alleged Christians and organizations campaign for.

Now, in fairness, LGBTQ people do present a “clear and present danger” to these organizations.

Simply? If being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, was treated as a condition of a variant of humanity, say like one’s skin color or hair color, the there would be no need to demonize LGBTQ persons.

No campaign, no threat — equals no money.

There is the unspoken truth that organized religions will not discuss. Its the proverbial elephant in the room, as most religions have stopped being a force for good and a loving outlet to ease a human’s path through life, and instead have become big business.

Which, I need to add, according to considerable recent study of this issue by a group of pollsters and journalists, has spent an amazing $1.4 billion dollars on just waging a war against the LGBTQ citizens of the United States since 1977.

Imagine if that sum had been spent instead on food, medicines, housing, clothing, or some other form of charitable work.”

Read the rest of the excellent article here.

November 28, 2010

The things you find via social networking

Thanks to Gaurav Out N Proud on Facebook for the link.

November 26, 2010

I suppose I have to post this

Justin Bieber posts an It Gets Better video -not the most inspiring – more of a by the way sort of effort but here it is:

November 25, 2010

Trying to Understand What Triggers Hatred and Bullying

As I mentioned in a previous entry I downloaded the book pictured above to my Kindle reader in an effort to make some sense of all the hatred and bullying that affects LGBT kids. I am not fooling myself into thinking that a genetic/fetal hormone explanation for  same sex attraction will suddenly make all the ignorance go away . Last time I checked being black or Asian was also genetic and those groups still have a lot of crap to endure from the ignorati. I am hoping to see why some kids get attacked for being gay or lesbian even before they have any clue what those terms mean. Young kids have no firm grasp on what sex or sexuality is and yet even at a very young age they are often singled out by bullies and their lives are made a living hell.  I am pretty sure that the vast majority of  LGBT kids who are victimized don’t even act on their attraction until years later.

The book, written by (gay) former Harvard neuroscientist Simon LaVey  looks at many possible determining factors that might lead to someone being gay or lesbian. He  examines the more likely scientific explanations such as genes, hormonal influences in the womb and permutations of those scenarios as well as casting a scientific eye on the usual “mommy’s boy” and “daddy’s girl” theories.  His analysis is deep and determined.

I am not finished reading yet but one section stood out for me in terms of the bullying issue:

“Psychiatrists who have seen many gay men in their practices do report that such men consistently speak of having been gender-nonconformist during their childhoods. Thus, Richard Isay, himself a gay man, wrote as follows:

Each of the several hundred gay men I have seen in consultation or treatment over the past 30 years has described having had one or more gender-discordant traits during childhood. Most frequently, they report a lack of interest in rough-and-tumble or aggressive sports; many speak of having preferred to play with girls rather than other boys… . Almost all recall that as children they felt a close bond with their mothers, with whom they shared many interests.

Reports such as this suggest that the stereotypes are correct, but still, there is reason for caution in interpreting them . Typically, these reports deal with gay men, not lesbians. And they may not be representative of all gay men: Boys who are strongly gender-nonconformist are more likely than other boys to experience anxiety and depression in adulthood, and for this reason may be more likely to end up in therapy.”

Mind you it is a no-brainer to me that the reason these kids experience depression and thoughts of suicide is because they believe all of humanity views them as an aberration and a sinner destined to rot forever in hell. They are too young to sort sense from deluded religious nonsense.

Even though ( as is obvious to most of us) pre-gay kids may display gender non-conformist behaviors at an early age , the victimization problem lies squarely on the shoulders of the parents of the bullies. If they raise kids who cannot see variations from the norm in terms of appearance and behavior without attacking the difference – they have to look at  themselves as the cause.  Parents teach intolerance in many ways, sometimes they are subtle and sometimes they are overt.  If your normal dinner table conversation involves words like “those faggots” then don’t be surprised if your child ends up in court.

Without giving the game away; the author scientist seems to leave little doubt that being gay or lesbian is something that is biologically ingrained. And speaking of which who knew that sheep were closest to humans in having a definite orientation regardless of the ratio of males to females? Hello Dolly!

 

November 24, 2010

Side note.

 

If anyone is remotely interested I have been posting masses of pics of my current trip to Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao over on Flickr.

View them here.

November 24, 2010

Not much of interest to post.

Still on Curacao. Took a tour of the Kura Hulanda Museum of African History again. Wonderful that gay Dutch billionaire Jacob Gelt Dekker would spend his money on such a worthwhile enterprise.  It is a very moving and extremely comprehensive collection. Unlike anything I have ever seen.

I found the KKK display interesting because the guide mentioned those attacked as blacks, Jews and Roman Catholics. When I asked her about LGBT people also being attacked  ( to be honest she is elderly so I just said ‘gay people ‘) – she paused and then said – yes gay people too. So interesting that it has to be brought up. I was wearing a rainbow wristband at the time so she should have seen that question coming.

There is no difference. Hatred is hatred whether you are hated for your skin or for your heart.

Interestingly, this evening in Rif Fort in Otrobanda , I saw a lesbian couple walking, hugging and even kissing. Nobody batted an eye. That is when you know you are in a civilized country. Good for Curacao.

November 23, 2010

Dedicated to Seth Walsh

I am still in Curacao but after an internet conversation with my friend ( and Super-Dad)  Eric  I decided that we should all pause and remember an amazing kid who killed himself as a result of bullying. A bright light that has gone out but who lives on in millions of us. A little kid whose death has spurred many of us into not being silent and speaking out on behalf of all who are different.

Too often the internet is about short-lived things. Many of us refuse to let Seth and others be a forgettable media focus. Seth has changed lives without ever knowing his little tortured soul was that memorable. It is. I have changed my blog and  decided that whatever I do can’t be enough. Eric has started a field of study to make a difference. I can only imagine the other lives that Seth has changed.  We are determined to  stop future generations of LGBT kids being tortured and disparaged for just existing and celebrating who they are.

It is time ,we decide that every time a Matthew Shepard dies alone on a fence or a little Seth puts a noose around his neck they cause a million sparks.Those sparks should make us all work to prevent  this ever happening again. It is still happening every day. Don’t just sit there – visibility is power.

And a dedication:

November 22, 2010

In Curacao now – Internet Sucks.

Arrived in Curacao today and was driven the 4 billion miles to the isolated Hyatt Curacao Resort. Bleh.  No personality , mediocre room and ( most importantly) the internet service sucks.Staff is lovely though.   I hope the lame internet ( in a $$$$ Hyatt!) will  excuse me from having no news updates today. Once the internet and my phone ( no roaming signal) are sorted the site should be updated.

I am sure there will be much of interest to report from the Netherlands Antilles.