Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Christian Comes Out

National Coming Out Day was last Sunday, October 11th. I'm (obviously) already out, and even though I was looking for something to do to celebrate, I ended up not doing much.

A friend of mine, however, decided to take advantage of the day and come out to everyone he knows. On Facebook. Wow. So, at 12:01 am on October 11th he updated his Facebook status to say, "...wants his friends to know the real me: the real me who likes guys. yep, its true. I'm gay. :)"

This friend of mine has been struggling with his sexuality for a few years, is a Christian, has gone to Christian counseling to help deal with his attractions to the same sex, and as a result, has a mix of friends--conservative Christian, gay, and those somewhere in between. So, the coming out process hasn't been that easy for him. While a lot of people can depend on most of their friends to be there for him, he wasn't sure that was going to be the case with all of his.

After a couple of days of getting emails with just a "?' as the content, my friend decided to write a lengthy note on Facebook to describe where he was coming from. The note was very clear and thorough as to his motivations, and in it he thanks his friends that have been supportive, asks those that disagree from refrain from using the, "I'll love you but..." lines he had already seen, and then goes on to describe why he came out.

He talks about not wanting to hide his orientation and attractions anymore, not letting some friends into his whole life while others are in the dark. He discusses his attempts to change his own orientation through counseling and therapy, and discusses his views on his own salvation in light of his coming out. Most importantly, though, he talks about his struggle with coming to terms with being gay and how he dealt with depression and thoughts of suicide. This wasn't a decision he came to lightly.

I'm proud of him. I know how hard it is to come out, and its especially hard when you have friends from such varied backgrounds. Unfortunately, not everyone was as proud, and a rather heated discussion followed. Here's a few excerpts from those people that disagreed (all of whom referred to themselves as Christian):

"[You have] taken God's name, thrown it to the ground, and pissed on it."

"In as much as you do that [fall to homosexuality], you flaunt it and Christ's sacrifice as meaningless to you. I do not know how long this flaunting can go on before you are beyond reach."--and that was one of the nicer ones. Nothing like doubting salvation to win points.

"my heart is breaking for you...for that delightful, engaging, talented, and intelligent young man who has chosen a path to self-destruction."

"Do not listen to those who approve of this; their words are poison and their advice deadly. White-washed tombs is a compliment to them."

And my favorite of all--"Mark, you must unfriend the young and impressionable in your friend list. You may choose this, but it's wrong to expose kids to it."

Here's a new one (added after the original entry). Notice the use of the word "homo" at the end. Classy: "Second, America is the land of the free and home of the brave. I have just as much right to hate, dislike, make fun of, put down, support, encourage, or agree with something or someone just as you have the right to be a homo."

So there you have it. The responses of "loving" Christians to someone that just came out. And to someone that had already talked about how hard it was, and even talked about how terribly depressed he had been for years dealing with this. This is how they responded to someone in need.

A commenter on another blog asked me the other day why Christians always get blamed for being anti-gay when other religions have similar views. Maybe this is the answer. In fact, in a comment chain that went on for over 50 comments, only two people that disagreed with my friend's coming out did so with love and compassion. Pretty unbelievable.

Maybe examples like this will show those Christians that think homosexuality is wrong why their message isn't often falling on friendly ears.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy National Coming Out Day!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Gays Still Recruit

You know, I honestly thought that it was only the far right fringe (the Paul Cameron, Peter Labarbera, and James Hartlines of the world) that still accused gays of recruiting their kids. I honestly really did. Apparently I'm still a bit naive (or maybe it's just me being too trusting in the inherent goodness of people).

But I was wrong, as you might have guessed. Yesterday on my drive home, while listening to a local conservative talk show host named Michael Berry I heard the recruitment accusation come up again. It was just in passing; some drawn out monologue about parental responsibility that eventually led to him saying that "alternative lifestyle" clubs are really just recruitment clubs. Berry was guest hosting the nationally syndicated Mark Levin show, and I've always found his views to swing more far right when he guest hosts for Levin, but I was still shocked by what I heard.

I always found Michael Berry, while conservative, to be fairly level-headed and fair. He was a popular city councilman in Houston until he term-limited out of office. I typically enjoy his show. And then I hear this.

So now I wonder if people that make these kinds of claims are really just that ignorant of homosexuality (do they honestly believe we want to recruit kids?), if they are that hateful of gay people (to make such a slanderous claim), or if they just don't care--they want ratings, and they want to win the "culture war" at all costs? Is it that much of a stretch for me to see a connection between a statement like "gays recruit kids" as a reason we still see gay people getting beat up in the streets? I'm starting to think it's not.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Texas Judge Agrees to Divorce Two Men

A state district judge in Dallas agreed to divorce two men that were married in another state and went on to say that the Texas ban on gay marriage violates the US Constitution. Sure the judge in the case is a Democrat (can you imagine if this came from a Republican), but this is Texas, so it's a big step either way, and I'm glad to see her take such a stand, even if it's likely to be overturned on appeal.

Oh, and before anyone goes on whining about "activist judges," and "unelected officials" let's remember that we elect judges here in Texas, we don't appoint them.

I guess all those voters are glad they voted to change the Texas Constitution to outlaw gay marriage. Because of that move, this court ruling isn't really going to go anywhere. Unless, I suppose, this were to make it's way up to the US Supreme Court. Unlikely, but hey, we were the state involved in getting rid of those pesky anti-sodomy laws for good, so you never know.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

It's GLBT History Month

Welcome to October. Beginning of fall and cool weather, the birthdays of both my dad and my younger brother, home of Halloween, and most of all, GLBT History Month.

I bet most of you didn't know it was GLBT history month (I barely did), but it is. And, to keep you more informed, there's a whole website about it. The site is going to honor one new gay icon per day for the entire month. The list includes famous gays from past and present. To be honest, I only recognize about half of the list, so I'll have to take a closer look at the site to see who the others are.

That's that, I guess. Maybe we can debate how worthy some of those on the list are. Or, we can just be thankful that we have gay people to look up to in the first place. Gay people that even the most ardently anti-gay could be proud of in some cases. Your call.

Oh, and hopefully I'll be back with an update before this, but in case I'm not--don't forget about National Coming Out Day on October 11th. I've only participated once, and it was on a minor scale. I'm completely out now, so I'm not sure what I'll do. I feel like I should do something, though. Any ideas?