Posts tagged ‘Exodus International’

December 16, 2011

Anya Ayoung-Chee throws her weight against hate.

The petition to demand the Trinidad Express apologize for running an offensive advert that, among other things, described LGBT  people as ‘broken’  has been slowly picking up speed thanks to social networking and ActUp.org which posted an article but the pace was infuriating. Yes, the signatures tripled in two days but to have a mere 600 signatures for a subject that affects the  lives of so many people was disturbing to me. I am not broken and I will scream it out to the world

Sign the petition here.

Read the ActUp article here.

This evening the wonderful Anya Ayoung-Chee ( winner of Project Runway season 9 in case you haven’t been following this blog) came on board this evening via Twitter and Facebook. It was interesting that I was being treated to an early birthday dinner this evening and my friend Peter asked why I hadn’t encouraged Anya to join the fight. I didn’t have an answer- it was such an obvious thing – and then – as if to  admonish my sorry ass – she tweeted the ActUp post on Twitter followed by a post on Facebook to sign the petition – synchronicity.

The results have been extraordinary and the petition signatures have accelerated. Poor Anya, who is such a sweet person, has had to endure a fair number of hater comments on FB and even personal  attacks for her posts but she stands up for what is  right and we all need to be proud of her. This might be the pivotal moment in this campaign. A small battle but a significant one  for the LGBT community in T&T.

On another front,  a newspaper response is being arranged for the ignorant and cowardly bullies. Copy is being done by a Trinidadian living in the US with great credentials and the funding is being arranged as we speak.  The bigots may have achieved exactly the opposite of what they planned.

So on behalf of all the young lives that have been insulted by this ad  – a giant video bitchslap  to the evil people who posted  it  – from just a few of the wonderful and most definitely not broken people out there like me.

 

And finally, as posted before – for all the  LGBT kids who were driven to suicide because of the hate of people like the ones who posted that advertisement.  Never forget!

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December 13, 2011

Preaching the Gospel of Hate

On Sunday the Trinidad Express published a vile advertisement that can only be described as hateful, mean spirited and  a pack of lies. I missed the ad when it ran but thanks to Colin of CAISO|GSPOTT posting it on Facebook it became a subject of much discussion and anger. Naturally, as is typical of such adverts, the usual suspects are mentioned as the saviors of  LGBT people – the ‘pray the gay away’ crowd of evil clowns.

Reputable psychological associations worldwide and even the WHO have indicated that human sexuality is naturally diverse and being lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans is not in any way shape or form a mental illness. Of  course the advertisement doesn’t even use any of those terms because they show that sexuality is only part of the equation that makes us human and also includes such things as gender identity.  The  people who write and publish such things don’t really care about the people they condemn –  they are just fodder for their  moral egos – humanity has no place in their warped and blinkered world. Even they can’t  honestly believe the rubbish they write.

They say they are doing it to save LGBT people from certain hell while doing an excellent job of creating a hell for them in the here and now. If they really want to save large numbers of people from Hades perhaps they should take out ads condemning the wrongs of Islam or Hinduism – there are a lot more Muslims and Hindus than there are LGBT people I assume. The problem is they can’t. Most countries including Trinidad and Tobago have strong laws against inciting religious hatred. So what the bullies do is pick on the ultimate marginalized and often not legally protected group – queer people.

Unable to fight inexorable progress towards full equality in their home countries ( or having lost the fight in places like Canada) they are now trying to export their hateful ideas to the developing world – often in countries where LGBT people’s lives are already threatened.  It is ironic that the advertisement here was placed one day after World Human Right’s Day and a few days after US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s groundbreaking speech to the UN on equal rights for LGBT people.

One can safely assume  that any intelligent person would find the ad laughable and dismiss it ( quite rightly) as a feeble attempt by nasty bigots to inflict harm on another group – that is not the worry. The real worry is that some little kid somewhere who is beginning to feel the first stirrings of his or her  attractions might see it and genuinely believe he or she is ‘broken’. If a kid feels he or she is ‘broken’ and knows instinctively that he or she cannot change – they might pursue that one avenue that has seen us lose so many great kids over the years.  The only ‘broken’ people are the ones who can’t love and accept, who can’t resist imposing their beliefs on others, who don’t care about the hurt and damage they can cause and who are the very hypocrites that their Jesus would have soundly condemned.

They should remember that their savior spent his short life with people on the margins preaching the message of love.  They need to remember words ascribed to Jesus at the Last Supper – “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love “one another.”  They also need to go back to the New Testament and count how many times Jesus discussed the ‘sin’ of  homosexuality.

There are some people in T&T and around the world who aren’t taking this hateful ad placement on the chin. A petition is being circulated demanding that the Trinidad Express apologize for publishing it.  Please sign it as every signature makes a difference. As my  friend Bruce in Nova Scotia  points out there is some problematic wording about ‘lifestyle’  ( it isn’t a lifestyle – it is a life) in the petition but we can forgive that for the while as the general point is still there.

The other great news is that after I tweeted the lovely folks of ActUp.org , an international LGBT activism group, to retweet the petition  – they did – and they went further and posted it as a news article on their site.  Read it here.

It is sad that the petition is taking so long to build up momentum but given the fact that  gay sex is still criminalized in T&T (though seldom if ever applied) and there is still much stigma perhaps it isn’t that surprising. Still, standing up for our rights and the rights of others is a measure of our humanity and I am still hoping that more people show their humanity in this regard.

UPDATE

As a media advertising person who I used to work with just noted on a friend’s FB page –

Besides this advertisement being malicious and disgusting…it is also illegal. The Advertising Standards Authority prohibits ads to be published without a clear indication of who is paying for the ad and re-dress information. Letters should be sent to the Media Complaints Council (800-4622); Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA); Chamber of Commerce (Media Committee); and MATT.

October 28, 2010

My friend Alvin marks the birth of a movement.

 

My very close friend Alvin - who is mad as hell.

 

 

We have had this  Ex-Gay minister here for a week and apparently the LGBT  community has reached a boiling point. A second  protest was held today at the University of the West Indies  for this vile and peculiar person to spout his misinformation. I assume that UWI will also be hosting the KKK when they arrive on these shores.

In any case the CAISO group sat there in their protest t-shirts which said:

HOMOSEXUAL AGENDA

  1. Buy Crix
  2. Spend time with family
  3. Work for equality

By all accounts it was all very peaceful.  Unfortunately for them my best friend Alvin was also there. He decided to stand up in the middle of the gospel meeting and ask the strange Pastor questions. I guess the pastor now knows that saying weird things to an audience in this part of the world is not the same as Uganda.

Alvin posted this on Facebook.

Today I witness first hand a “bully” disguised in a blanket called
religion as he tried to influence young folks into believing gay persons
will go to hell and they are Sinners who are the cause of spreading
diseases to mankind.
This former United Airlines flight attendant/homo (talk about flying the friendly skies) whose days living in San Francisco and, one would guess, wearing flowers in his hair; suddenly had a vision one night and the “Homosexual Chains” were broken. Now this brings several questions to mind.

1.Were the chains holding up a sling with you face up on it?

2. Were you doing a David Carradine at the time?

3.Was it a S&M routine gone bad or were you caught with Granma’s pearls again?.

Nevertheless some Bad Romance or Experience has made this poor soul into a self hating homo who is on a relentless pursuit to convince the world that Homosexuality can be cured and he’s living proof of it. Mind you if I was gay and looked like Phillip Lee I would hate myself so much that I also would start wearing polyester shirts and spread hate. Anyhows the born again Pastor not only passed judgment on those whose bedroom business is no concern of his and his flock of fools but went as far as to say that we are all rampant drug users who practice promiscuous sex and are trying to bring down the Church with our forbidden lifestyle.I am trying to find right now at least 1 Anti-Heterosexual group or religion but it seems we “Children Of God” are much too busy just trying to live our lives which may just be a great bother to Pastor’s like Lee and other Men of the Closet..sorry Cloth or just maybe they are missing out on that extra 10% of our salaries to help furnish penthouses for their boytoys and taking them on getaways to Ibiza .

Your rantings are not god’s word u ignorant red neck. And if that is what your ministry believe is salvation then drag me str8 to HELL. The messengers of HATE must not be allowed to spread propaganda to the young minds. Love yourself no matter if you’re Gay/Straight/Black/White/Poor/Rich . Do not ever think you are a Sinner because of who you choose to Love or have Sex with. We are no longer a silent minority ..Let your voices be heard..Be Proud of who you are..This is our time..SPEAK UP.

CAISO has published their own comprehensive take on the minister and his activities here.

October 27, 2010

Interview with Brendon O’Brien of CAISO

This interview with Brendon aired today on ieTV Channel 1 on the FLOW cable network. The group CAISO ( Coalition Advocating for the Inclusion of Sexual Orientation) is the one that held the t-shirt protest against a visiting ex-gay minister on October 20, 2010 – the first such protest in the country. I guess as Bob Dylan famously sang – The Times They Are a-Changin

For those puzzled by the first list item, “Crix” is a  cracker made in Trinidad & Tobago and is widely considered a food staple.

(NEW) on Vimeo as one high quality video

or on YouTube in two parts

CAISO has just posted an entry on their blog about the issue. Read it here.

October 26, 2010

Putting a face to the issue

Brendon O'Brien of CAISO

I conducted an interview today with Brendon O’Brien of the group CAISO ( Coalition Advocating for the Inclusion of Sexual Orientation) . This is the group that conducted a t-shirt protest of a visiting ‘ex-gay’ minister visiting from the US. They attended one of his seminars , making up about half of those present , and asked questions. Afterwards the group went to a local mall for dinner still wearing their t-shirts. In many other parts of the world this would be no big deal but here it was a pretty radical act.

Brendon is only 20 and , being a spoken word poet, very charismatic and a good communicator. His passion for fighting for equal rights was palpable and I think it made for an interesting interview. Heck, just having someone young talking about the subject in these parts is interesting enough. We discussed why there is suddenly a voice on the subject now and how social networking is a powerful tool for organizing young people. He seems very confident that the movement for changing  the society here will grow from strength to strength as he noted that people of all orientations are joining in. We shall see. One thing is for certain the fact the group escaped any violence or verbal taunting puts T&T miles ahead of Jamaica in that regard.

As usual the best part of the chat was with him and the other members of CAISO after the cameras stopped rolling – but what happens after the interview stays after the interview.

The interview will air tomorrow on ieTV at 7pm ( streaming  on Ustream live) and will be on YouTube at the same time. It will be linked here tomorrow.

Addendum – The video has now been uploaded and you can click here to see it.