Friday, April 28, 2006

Box Turtle Bulletin Hits it Big

Jim Burroway's website, Box Turtle Bulletin, is one of my favorite sources for gay and anti-gay research. The site is listed on my links area, and Jim is an occasional commenter here. He takes my curiosity about anti-gay research one hundred steps further with his incredibly detailed and researched articles.

So, I was delighted to see that Jim's site (his new article about Paul Cameron in particular) was the focus of a new post over at Pam's House Blend. The Blend is one of the most popular GLBT blogs in the blogosphere, so this is a big deal. I'm glad more people will get to see Jim's writings as a result of the post.

I had been meaning to comment on this particular Paul Cameron article written by Jim anyway, so I'll take this time to congratulate Jim and tell everyone to go read the article. It will take some time to read, but it's an amazing piece of work that completely destroys every assertion made in Cameron's newest anti-gay propaganda.

It's pretty unbelievable how easily dissected this research really is. Especially since Jim admits up front that he is not a sociologist or any kind of social scientist.

My favorite part is that the "research" is really just a summary of books Cameron found on Sounds a bit like the infamous gay obituary study. How anyone can call this science is beyond me. The Journal of Biological Science, who published the Cameron study, should really be ashamed.

All that aside, congrats again, Jim!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

We're Having a Party. Consider it a Wedding.

Well, after lots of planning and 1 postponement (for monetary reasons), my boyfriend and I have set a date for our big fat gay wedding.

Right now I am thinking it will be more of a reception than an actual ceremony. It's going to be lots of fun. I'm super pumped, and I have loved the emails my friends and family have sent expressing their excitement as well.

The date is late July. I'm sure I'll be posting more about it as it gets closer, but I wanted announce it now, since we just officially told everyone.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tomorrow is National Day of Silence

Tomorrow is the National Day of Silence, a day where gay students and their allies are encouraged to remain silent to protest harassment and discrimination of GLBT students around the country.

I was not out during high school or college (and really hadn't heard of this day until mid-way through college), so I never participated. But, I think it is an interesting way to constructively protest the treatment of gays in our society.

Personally, I think that anyone that believes that anti-gay bullying and harassment is not an issue at all is either completely being misled or lying to themselves.

Apparently the Alliance Defense Fund doesn't think bullying is a problem, though. So on Thursday they are having their Day of Truth. If they want a "Day of Truth," that's fine, but I think it is an intentional insult to the gay students to schedule their Day of Truth the day after the Day of Silence.

That, and I don't see a whole lot of truth coming from this day. For one, the poster boy for the Day of Truth (who I have mentioned on this blog before) gained notoriety with the far-right religious groups for wearing a shirt at school that said, "Homosexuality is Shameful." Since the ADF's goal with the Day of Truth is to speak the truth in love, I'm surprised they would use this kid. Since when is using a phrase like that loving? I guess they have a different definition of what it means to speak from love.

More "Truth" from their website discusses how change is possible, while never mentioning that the struggle might be lifelong, difficult and never achievable for most participants. And it never mentions that every major medical, psyhological, psychiatric, etc. organization in the country believe that change of attraction is not possible. It also goes on to quote the usual anti-gay stats. The FAQ is provided by our good friends at Exodus. Tell me again how it is loving to use highly suspect statistics and studies showing how terrible gay people are.

Here's the deal. I'm gay, and I am not promiscuous. The study on that FAQ claims that just 2.7% of older gay men had sex with only one partner (I wonder how many had sex with zero partners). But, this study doesn't mean much to me since I'm in that 2.7%. The same study claims that 47% of the men had sex with over 500 partners. I'm thinking this is a Cameronesque study (that I'll try to look into when I have time), but again, I'm not in that 47%, so what does that mean to me? Nothing. And, I'm unimpressed by any person or group that tries to use statistics like that to tell me why I shouldn't be gay. If I'm not one of those promiscuous people, I'm not going to respond like that, period.

Pardon the comparison, but this is like telling a black person that he is immoral because as a group blacks are far more likely to be incarcarated, use illegal drugs, live in poverty, etc. than any other racial minority in the country. It makes no sense, but they realize that my personal morality is not something that can be challenged. Who I am attracted to and love is not a matter of morality, so they have to demonize the group as a whole to shock people into their own support.

Let me end by saying that I would be quick to educate any Day of Truth participant that came my way, in a loving way, of course.


Here is the study (A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men, by Paul Van de Den, et al) cited by Exodus and The Day of Truth and mentioned above.

The study used over 2500 volunteers in Australia recruited from the following places, "sections of the organised gay community (radio, venues, gyms, businesses, publications); places of sexual contact within, outside, and marginal to organised gay communities (gay brothels, sex shops, beats, saunas); health centres frequented by gay men; and pornography outlets." So, outside of gay oriented businesses, they then went to sex shops, brothels, saunas, health centers (i.e. attracting men that have health--mostly STD concerns), etc.

Too bad people are claiming that this study can be extrapolated to all gay men. If they studies straight people at these places, I'd expect them to also find much higher promiscuity rates. Too bad Exodus couldn't be up front about that. Day of Truth indeed.

Friday, April 21, 2006

St. Maarten- Paradise Lost

I've been to St. Maarten once, and only for the day while on a cruise. It was beautiful and I loved it. But recently two American reporters were gay bashed on the island. Yeah, it happens everywhere, and an isolated incident is surely not going to make me stop wanting to visit somewhere.

But then a local paper in St. Maarten responded to the incident and helped me make a decision. Their editorial blamed the two victims, used defamatory names against gays, and reminisced about days past where gay bashing was quite acceptable. I can't believe civilized people still act like this.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

We're (almost) Famous!

It was a big weekend for my 10 year old sister and me.

I was interviewed and quoted extensively for the front page of the Employment section in the local paper about what strategies college graduates should use when searching for a new job.

My little sister got her little piece of Hollywood when she got her very own profile page on IMDB. She's in a movie that is coming out later in the fall.

Watch out world, here we come...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Falwell vs. Fallwell

I'm not sure how I haven't come across this before, but is a site whose intent is to directly dispute Jerry Falwell's claims that being gay is a sin. The site also goes into ex-gay issues, gay religious issues, and some other interesting topics.

The real Jerry Falwell sued to have the site taken down. However, Falwell lost the suit at the appeals level, and now the U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the case, meaning the site will be allowed to stay up.

Falwell claimed that people would be misled into the alternate site by the similar spelling of his name. However, the appeals court said the content of the two sites were so dissimilar that no reasonable person would be misled into confusing the two after entering the site.

So, congratulations to The splash page of the site was especially poignant to me, so I'm going to quote it below.

I was just 12 years old. My family and I were on vacation in Virginia. My dad and I were watching television in our motel room. Jerry Falwell's "Old Time Gospel our" was on. Reverend Falwell looked into the camera and, preaching against gay people, said, "Even animals don't do that."

That was the first time in my life that I ever felt unworthy of the love of God.
Thanks to normal guy Shorty for the tip.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

If I Could Only Be Straight

If I haven't said it here before, I'd like to make it clear that I am not romantically or sexually attracted to females at all, and I never have been. I never dated girls when I was in high school (and I still feel like I missed out on all of that), not because I didn't want to, but because I couldn't even fake an attraction to one, not in the slightest.

I've found that I'm different from most of my friends though. While most of them have very, very little attraction to females, they admit to either currently or at one time being able to be aroused by females under the right circumstances. It's not that they are bisexual, but they can at least fake it if they had to (I know that's a crude way to say that, but you get my point).

So, I was telling a friend of mine about my complete lack of attraction to females recently, and I mentioned that for a long period in my life, I was certain that if there was any attraction at all to girls, no matter how small, I would have held on to that and probably not come out of the closet. I have to admit that while I am completely happy now, and I love my boyfriend immensely, the idea occasionally crosses my mind. Life just seems like it'd be just a little bit easier.

Honestly, I love who I am. I love my friends, my boyfriend, and my life, but it's the little things (like planning a wedding and still being afraid to tell some people in my family about it) that get me all worked up.

So, to sum up this longer-than-anticipated post, when I told my friend that if I could have been straight (even just a little straight) I probably would have been, he answered by saying that God probably knew that, so he just didn't give me the option. Interesting to think about.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Is it Real? Does it Matter?

I haven't posted much on Ben over at Scattered Words lately, mostly because he has not been posting all too much, and his feud with Ex-Gay Watch has died down considerably (which is what I was posting on most anyway).

He has a new post up, though, where he hypothetically asks his readers if it would matter to them if he was real or not. Of course, many of his detractors have believed his blog was all a fantasy world anyway, but this is the first time he's actually asked readers to comment on the issue.

Would it matter if the life he has portrayed has been made up? For me, it would. I read blogs with the expectation that people are real people sharing their real thoughts, passions and even struggles. If they aren't, that's fine, but I don't want to be misled. I don't want to be tricked into some emotional attachment with someone that isn't really dealing with the life he or she portrays online.

So yeah, it matters. I'm not talking about the anonymity of the blog, though. Ben is not his real name, and that's perfectly fine, but you don't have to have a real name to discuss actual issues in someone's life.

Being anonymous is one thing. Being fantasy and passing as real is another. I could be wrong though. What do you guys think?

For the record, in case I haven't said this before, my real name is not Brady. My real name is actually unique enough that if you knew just my first name, you could find me by googling it. And honestly, that makes me a little uncomfortable. Everything I talk about here (what little personal stuff I do mention) is real though, and the non-personal stuff is my real personality and thoughts shining through--it's what I deal with every day. I just need to hide in the security of anonymity for now, so please excuse that.

Just When You Thought You Were Safe

For the record, I'd like to say that I have never been the victim of any type of discrimination because I'm gay. No one has ever even called me the "f-word" maliciously, to my face at least. Granted, I don't fit into the stereotype of a gay guy, so that may have something to do with it, but I generally feel pretty safe and comfortable.

But, it is things like this that make me stay on guard when I'm out with my boyfriend or other gay friends in the real world. Via Pam's House Blend, someone at Michigan Tech. has been writing death threats and other homophobic remarks around the campus in chalk, some of them calling for killing and mutilating gays. Take a look at the pictures here.

On a brighter side, though, the Michigan Tech campus has come out very strongly against these vandals, going as far to say that this type of anti-gay rhetoric is not welcome at their campus. Yes, diversity if a good thing, but not all types of diversity of thought (such as this) should be welcome.

Monday, April 10, 2006

New Car

My boyfriend and I bought a new car this weekend. It's super super nice, but more than we wanted to spend. I hope I don't go bankrupt now. Luckily I know all of my friends from the blog here will support me ;-)

On another note, I have been meaning to update my links forever now. I'll try to do that this week. If you want me to link your site, say hi and let me know.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ex-Gay, Anti-Gay and American Idol

The Advocate has a piece up currently about American Idol finalist Mandisa, and her possible implied support for the anti-gay and ex-gay movements.

The piece notes that Mandisa's favorite author, Beth Moore, has a book in which she discusses Satan and evil lesbians pulling a girl into the chains of homosexuality. Moore's personal website also links to ex-gay groups such as Exodus International.

In the clip of the story, it's easy to note how easily the author paints the lesbians as evil enemies of God. I can't think any gay ally would call someone writing such a piece their idol. Then, in the beginning of her song last week, Mandisa dedicatedthe song to everyone that wanted to break free of their "addiction, lifestyle or situation."

All this surely doesn't directly tie Mandisa to being anti-gay or an ex-gay supporter, but the word "lifestyle" is a loaded term used almost exclusively to refer to gay folks by the far right, so the implication certainly is there.

From what I have seen of this season's Idol, Mandisa is one of the most talented of the singers, and I was sad to see her go when she got voted off this week. I'm still not ready to say that she's anti-gay based on her fondness for one writer. But, I wonder if her song dedication made any of her gay fans start to wonder about her feelings towards gay people and their support for her.

Thanks to normal guy (that's what I'm going to call my readers from now on--or normal gal for females) Shorty for the lead!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

There's No Such Thing as an Ex-Alcoholic, Right?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but one of the teachings of AA is that alcoholism is for life. Once an alcholoic, always an alcoholic, even if you no longer drink.

So, is an ex-gay still gay, even if he no longer drinks--I mean dates the same sex?

Food for thought.

Child Pornographer

The story of this child pornographer, Justin Berry (yes, he was actually a child), is all over the news these days. His story is a sad one that makes me cringe just thinking about it. Apparently at the age of 13, Justin got a webcam and was very soon inundated with messages from pedophiles. His conversations morphed over the years from friendly chats to owning and starring in several porn websites (with monthly fees) that earned Justin hundreds of thousands of dollars over 5 years.

Don't get me wrong, I think Justin was manipulated and abused, and anyone involved with this should be prosecuted and put in prison. But, the story strikes me as just a bit odd.

Justin is the one that began setting up these porn sites and charging monthly fees to his clients. He (along with his father) expanded the operation into a very profitable business, and he is the one that chose to take trips to meet up with his online clients. No one ever forced him to get on a plane.

Sure, these guys manipulated him and took advantage of him at a very young age. But, he only knew them over the Internet. If he was being abused and molested, why would he continuously get on planes and go meet these men? The websites seemed to have been making him plenty of money, so I'm at a loss as to the reasons for the cross-country meetings.

What gets me is the lack of accountability from Justin himself. At some point he was running this operation at 18 years old--legal age. He was profiting from illegal activities, as was his father. But, I haven't heard any talk about Justin being fined for the excessive amounts of money he earned from the sites. I haven't heard him take responsibility for getting other kids involved in this porn ring.

If he was 14 and killed a person, he would most likely tried as an adult in court. But, when he is 14 and willingly openning his own child porn business, he somehow is a complete victim?

Yes, he's a victim, and yes I feel for everything he has gone through at such a young age. But at some point, he's going to have to take some sort of responsibility for his actions as well.

Monday, April 03, 2006

How Do You Define Ex-Gay?

I'm going to start this post completely off topic. I went to the gym on Saturday and then played a few hours of volleyball on Sunday, and I am way way way too sore today. This is going to be a long day. Lesson learned. This going to the gym stuff is not fun.

Anyway, on to the post.

To me, the term "ex-gay" implies that someone is no longer attracted to the same sex, just as gay means someone is attracted to the same sex. I know people that are attracted to the same sex but are in the closet and/or do not do anything romatincally with the same sex. But, they're still gay.

Apparently, though, some ex-gay people believe that the very fact that you do not engage in gay relationships means you're ex-gay, even if you are still attracted to the same sex. It's these kind of semantics that confuse the public. Trust me when I say that people like my dad believe that all of these ex-gays here hears about are now living as complete heterosexuals, and he expects that all gay people can do that too.

Via Pam's House Blend, recently ex-gay Tim Wilkins admitted to still being attracted to the same sex. I'm glad he's being honest, but I also wish he'd be that honest more often.

And, given his admission, is ex-gay the right word to describe him? If not, what is?