One thing I didn’t mention over at Techcitement: Am I the only one a little put off by how much Barbara Walters was concerned about the feelings of gay kids’ parents in the clip from The View? She doesn’t seem to be worried about what they’ll do to their kid because of those feelings, just that they’ll have them. I found it a bit bizarre.
It’s been a week since Jamey Rodemeyer completed suicide, and like many of you, I can’t get him off my mind. I’ve been looking through Jamey’s tumbler blog, and after sifting through hundreds of Lady Gaga gifs, I found this video. He uploaded it on September 13th, just five days before his light went dark.
I see in this video the same cognitive dissonance as in his earlier It Gets Better video. In both, he said the words he was supposed to say, but he didn’t even convince himself. “It gets better, hold your head up high, you were born this way” was his mantra; the lines he repeated to get through the long days and the longer nights until the reality of his life became too strong.
As Harvey Milk famously said, “I know that you cannot live on hope alone, but without it life is not worth living.”
Jamey had run out of hope. I could fill the page with words (about 1,000 before I started over) trying to explain what happened, but it all comes down to that.
This is what the It Gets Better Project is all about. That’s why I’m From Driftwood, GLSEN, and all the LGBT rights groups exist. Ultimately, they’re here to nudge the rest of us into the hope and reality of a better tomorrow, so that one day there won’t be a 14-year-old kid who cuts and cries and finally completes suicide.
CBS is reporting this hour that the judge in the case of Brandon McInerney has declared a mistrial after jurors told him that they were deadlocked.
Bringing a gun to school and shooting someone in the back of the head — TWICE — doesn’t count as premeditated murder. At least that’s the case in the minds of some of the jurors in the trial of Brandon McInerney, the boy who murdered 15-year-old Lawrence (Latisha) King in broad daylight in front of a room of witnesses in February 2008.
Jurors on Thursday told Judge Charles Campbell they were unable to reach a unanimous decision whether Brandon McInerney was guilty of killing 15-year-old Larry King.
The brazen shooting in front of stunned classmates in a computer classroom gained wide attention when authorities dubbed it a hate crime because King was gay and evidence suggested McInerney had white supremacy leanings. Extensive news coverage persuaded Campbell to move the case from Ventura County to neighboring Los Angeles County.
The prosecution contend McInerney, who was being tried as an adult, made a conscious decision to kill King during a computer lab class. They said McInerney told others he wanted to hurt King in the days leading up to the slaying and he hid a .22-caliber handgun in his backpack before pulling the weapon out and shooting his classmate twice in the back of the head.
Defense attorneys do not deny McInerney killed King, but they said their client snapped when he heard moments before the shooting that King wanted to change his first name to Latisha.
Prosecutors now have to decide whether to re-file murder and hate crime charges against McInerney.
You want to know why straight peoplekill trans and gay people? This is why. We are seen as a nuisance to be snuffed out, and if someone actually pulls the trigger (FUCKING TWICE), it’s because the fag scared him by being faggy or something.
This is why, and honestly, I don’t even know what to do about it anymore.
To call this an appalling failure of justice and human decency would be the height of understatement.
I wish long and miserable lives for the jurors in this trial who aren’t convinced that planning and methodically carrying out the death of a gay kid is murder. Very long, and very miserable. May the memory of Latisha King’s murder haunt them the rest of their lives and into the next.
Honest to God, we in the LGBT community owe a debt of gratitude to Michele Bachmann. Her presidential bid has triggered an explosion of ex-gay industry coverage in the media. We couldn’t pay for better publicity.
But nothing we’ve been able to do has come close to putting ex-gay nonsense in front of people like a presidential candidate and her startlingly Liberace-esque homosexual husband making money off of trying to de-gayify people.
First, here’s the audio from Marcus Bachmann where he says that LGBT teens are “barbarians” who need to be (ahem) “disciplined.”
Thomas Roberts covered TWO’s expose for MSNBC as well.
Anderson Cooper featured the Bachmanns on his “Keeping Them Honest” segment.
And CBS News reported that in a 2004 speech, Ms. Bachmann said that “Almost all, if not all” gays have been abused. She goes on to say that she’s not bashing gay people, she just wants them to stop being gay, which is totally different somehow.
Thank you, Michele Bachmann. Thank you Marcus Bachmann, you silly homosexual. You have done us the huge favor of giving Americans a close look, often for the first time, at what the ex-gay industry is all about.
But for your psychological and spiritual abuse of LGBT people through “ex-gay” “therapy?” Fuck you, Michele, and fuck your husband too. (No homo.)
…Mr. Morgan took it upon himself to mention about how he feels all this gay shit was crazy and that women are a gift from God and that “Born this Way” is bullshit, gay is a choice, and the reason he knows this is exactly because “God don’t make no mistakes” (referring to God not making someone gay cause that would be a mistake).
He said that there is no way a woman could love and have sexual desire for another woman, that’s just a woman pretending because she hates a fucking man.
He mentioned that gay was something kids learn from the media and programming, and that bullied kids should just bust some ass and beat those other little fuckers that bully them, not whine about it.
He said if his son that was gay he better come home and talk to him like a man and not [he mimicked a gay, high pitched voice] or he would pull out a knife and stab that little N (one word I refuse to use) to death.
Of course, Morgan gave the usual PR-driven “I’m sorry for the words I chose” non-apology. In response, Carl Siciliano of the Ali Forney Center in New York City made a brilliant invitation to Morgan:
“We appreciate Tracy Morgan’s apology, but wish to invite him to meet with some of our young people who have endured violence and rejection from their families for being LGBT, so that he can better understand the human suffering caused by those who promote homophobia against youths.”
I hope Morgan takes them up on the invitation. It could prove to be a life-changing event.
I also hope that he brings fellow comedian and recent costar Kevin Hart with him. Hart has a similar anti-gay rant in his stand-up DVD Seriously Funny, released late last year. To wit:
One of my biggest fears is my son growing up and being gay. That’s a fear.
Now keep in mind, I’m not homophobic. I got nothing against gay people. Be happy. Do what you want to do. But me being a heterosexual male, if I can keep my son from being gay, I will!
Now, with that being said, I’m not sure I handled my son’s first gay moment correctly. Every kid has a gay moment. Every kid. But when it happens you got to nip it in the bud, you got to stop it right then. “HEY! STOP! THAT’S GAY!” Quick. “NO!”
I don’t know if I handled my son’s situation right, okay? He’s at a birthday party, right? My son’s at a birthday party, he’s playing. You know how kids play, they just play. You don’t know what they’re doing, but they’re having a good time. They’re just doing a bunch of stuff. Right? They’re moving around.
I said, okay, he’s good. I finished talking, I turned back around to check on my son again, a little boy was grinding on my son’s ass.
I didn’t know what to do. I panicked and knocked them both down. “Hey, what’s going on here? What kind of party is this? Huh? What kind of party is this? What’s going on here?”
This lady came out, she’s like, “What are you doing, they’re kids, let them play.” I said, “Well you show me another kid getting fucked in the ass and I’ll calm down.”
Will we hold the less famous Kevin Hart to the standard we seem to be holding Tracy Morgan to? So far, the answer is a disappointing no.
Just found this new video that I was sure was parody. I was five minutes into it before I realized that there wouldn’t be a blooper reel at the end, and that I wouldn’t see the Bieber wig fall off or the guy giggle in the middle of his ridiculous lines. Astonishingly, it’s all real.
Remember, all that was added was the on-screen commentary. This is the ex-gay pitch laid bare, code words (struggle, accountability, common sin, lifestyle, etc.) and all.
I feel bad for Aaron Barton. He’s so sad, so bottled up, so ashamed. Really, this video, and his act of accepting applause for lying about who he is, is a form of mortification. The only difference between him and the medieval monks is that instead of flagellating his flesh, Barton abuses his soul.
Perhaps that’s the only way he can feel.
This is his life, the life he chose instead of standing up to his family’s shame and his church’s bigotry. And for that, I feel pity for Barton.
At the same time, it’s important to recognize the sinister (to use his word) harm Aaron Barton is doing to gays who see him as validation of the irrational hope they hold that one day they’ll wake up straight.
To all those closet gays who might be tempted by Barton’s lie, I would say that the most important thing to remember is that your “struggle” is not about attraction, it’s about whether you will tell the truth or tell a lie.
Aaron Barton’s made his choice, at least for now. I hope you will choose to live with integrity.
The South Florida Times is not identifying the students, who are an interracial couple, one a junior, the other a senior. Both have good grades and one is an honor student.
The two were holding hands while walking to class on May 3 at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach. School Principal Karlton Johnson confronted and took them to his office.
â€œWe were walking to class when he rolled up on his golf cart and said, â€˜Didnâ€™t I tell you two to stop doing do that?â€™ and then he took us to his office,â€ one of the girls told South Florida Times. â€œHe gave us a speech and then separated us before calling our parents, which was wrong. My mother already knew but my friendâ€™s mom didnâ€™t know she is into girls.â€
You should definitely read the rest for much more. Surprising no one, the school board thinks what Principal Karlton Johnson did was just great. North Area Superintendent Sharon Airaghi defended his abuse in a letter to the girls.
But I think the last paragraph I quoted is the most important point and the most damaging to these girls, and to other students at Blanch Ely High. Frankly, this is one big reason projects like It Gets Better and I’m From Driftwood exist, to undo the damage done to our children and youth by bigots like Principal Karlton Johnson before theyattempt or completesuicide.
By the way, Principal Karlton Johnson’s outing these girls to their parents is unfortunately not without precedent. In August 2008 I posted about a similar story in Holmes County, Florida, where a principal punished a lesbian student and then outed her to her parents.
The court decided that the principal did wrong in Holmes County. Here’s hoping they get a chance to say the same thing about this case in Pompano Beach.
Contact information below is for non-cussing-them-out messages:
Principal Karlton Johnson:
phone (754) 322-0950
North Area Superintendent Sharon Airaghi:
email email@example.com (that’s a guess)
phone (754) 321- 3400
Superintendent of Schools James F. Notter:
phone (754) 321-2600
Email the School Board:
Last Saturday, GetEqual Ohio held a protest outside of Hope Church, host to the Ohio stop of an anti-gay Love Won Out conference that Exodus International puts on every few months. I wasn’t able to join them Saturday, but it sounds like GetEqual met some allies there on the sidewalk.
It also sounds like Exodus International pulled a bait-and-switch on their host, much to the church’s dismay.
Tom Morgan, GetEqual Ohio’s Lead Organizer, has offered this guest post about the protest.
The first thing I saw cut me like a knife.
A man in his forties drove in and got out of the car with a teenage boy. His son, I was sure. The boy’s body language nearly made me bursts into tears. Head down. Arms crossed and held tightly against his chest. Walking slowly, as if to his execution.
I remembered taking that same walk many years ago.
Everything inside me was screaming to him, “You can make it! Be strong! You ARE okay the way you ARE! PLEASE don’t give up or give in!!!”
After holding signs and “bull-horning” for a while, a man came out to talk to us. I thought, “Ah shit, Here we go,” but he could not have been nicer. Soon some other men came out with box lunches for all of us.
One man, a member of Hope Church, told us that his own daughter is a lesbian. His church wanted to be even more open, welcoming, and accepting to LGBTs than they already are. He didn’t know that inviting Exodus International was a bad idea until he told his daughter, and then it was too late. Apparently she let him know.
At one point they even offered to hold our ten-foot GetEQUAL banner. Yes, we let them. HELL YES!
What we gathered from this is that Exodus International is not exactly being honest about the content of their conferences. The attendees we met were shocked to hear some of the things we were telling them and showing them on websites from our phones.
These were sincere, honest people who care about others. There was no recruiting, no judgment. No invitations to change. ALL of their questions were about how they could help OUR people. It was possibly the best protest I have ever attended.
There ARE still some good church-going people who really are…GOOD church-going people.
Kids who are engaging in homosexual behavior often look inward and know that what they are doing is unnatural, is wrong, is immoral, and so they become depressed and the instances of suicide can rise there as well.
Of course, this angered anyone who has two brain cells to knock together, and now Barber’s back for a second round. Today, Right Wing Watch reported on a follow up interview he did with Truth* Academy’s Peter LaBarbera. As you might have guessed, Barber had no intention of backing down.
Right, as you know I’ve never been one to mince words or sugarcoat things. That’s how God hardwired me. I also shared my opinion that many of those caught-up in the homosexual lifestyle intuitively know that such conduct is sin – that it’s both immoral and unnatural behavior. Objective truth is objective truth. God has written His laws on the hearts of every man, woman and child. We’re all spiritual beings created in the image of our sovereign Lord. We are also all sinners. Scripture says that not one of us is righteous. When we sin, we create separation between ourselves and God.
God’s word also says that when we sin sexually, it’s particularly egregious because our bodies are the temple of Christ. This separation from God – a natural result of sexual sin – can lead to depression and even despair. It’s a no brainer. I pointed out that such despair and inner conflict can logically be one factor that might contribute to teen suicide. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to witness, but it’s a very painful reality.
Scripture warns that “the wages of sin is death.” Homosexual behavior is demonstrably destructive physically, emotionally and spiritually. The answer is never to take one’s own life. Life is God’s alone to give and to take away. The answer is to repent, make every effort to stop sinning and to find Life.
If realization of “sexual sin” (which doesn’t include being gay, in the opinion of many) were a major cause of suicide, rates of LGBT people would be the same as non-LGBT people. It’s not.LGBT youth are three to seven times (depending on environment) more likely to die by suicide.
UPDATE 04/01/2011: Newer studies show even more alarming statistics. LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers (Massachusetts Youth Risk Survey, 2007). LGBT youth from rejecting families are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide than other LGBT youth (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009).
What Barber means by “destructive physically” is undoubtedly diseases such as HIV/AIDS. As I and many others have said before, gays having sex doesn’t cause HIV/AIDS, nor does gays having sex innately spread the disease. What spreads HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, both in gay and straight communities, is unprotected sex.
It’s no shock that this is a bigger problem in the gay community. Sex education in schools is federally limited to abstinence-until-marriage, leaving gay boys and girls completely in the dark to a much greater degree than straight boys and girls. Homophobia and stigma related to being gay have also been shown to put LGBTs at greater risk than their straight peers.
Considerable research has been done on the higher rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide among LGBT people. None of it points to God or “sin” on the part of an LGBT person. All of it points to therhetoric of hate like Matt Barber’s. All of it.
Then there’s the part that incenses me the most, as a gay man and even more so as a Christian. It’s the part that led to the title of this post.
Scripture warns that “the wages of sin is death.” Homosexual behavior is demonstrably destructive physically, emotionally and spiritually. The answer is never to take one’s own life. Life is God’s alone to give and to take away.
Don’t rush by that statement. Don’t skim it. This is important. Really dig into it and see the visceral, vengeful hatred coming from this Religious Right leader.
In this context, what Barber is saying is not that gay kids shouldn’t commit suicide because God loves them and doesn’t want them to die. What he’s saying is that gay kids shouldn’t commit suicide because it’s God’s job to kill them.
And kill them God will, to hear Barber talk about it. He’s recently argued that gays having sex should be criminal, that it should be punishable by imprisonment, and that it should be considered domestic terrorism.
None of these are hyperbole on my part; that’s just what he said. He’s also made it clear that he sees HIV/AIDS as a just sentence for being gay.
I could give a whole angry screed on how Matt Barber is wrong and how what he’s doing is connected to the deaths of LGBT people. I could, but Julia Sugarbaker did it for me 24 years ago when a fictional character said almost exactly what he said this week.
Only two days left till the Truth* Academy. Matt Barber will be there to spread his vitriol in the House of God. If you’re in Ohio or surrounding states, I hope you’ll join me in protesting what he and his compatriots do to our community and our kids.
We have learned that Ugandan LGBT advocate David Kato Kisulle was murdered today at his home in Kampala. Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) has confirmed that the David’s body was identified at a hospital.
The details surrounding his murder are unknown at this time. He was reportedly beaten in the skull with a hammer at his home. We do not yet know whether it was a single assailant or a group of people, nor do we know any other circumstances surrounding his death.
David Kato was a spokesperson for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and one of the plaintiffs (or applicants) in the successful lawsuit seeking a permanent injunction against the Ugandan tabloid Rolling Stone (no relation to the U.S. publication of the same name). Kato was one of three applicants who had been named by the tabloid under a headline tagged “Hang Them!”
From an AlertNet article dated January 14, 2011, after the Ugandan High Court ruled that constitutional rights of LGBTI Ugandans were violated by the tabloid publishing their names:
Giles Muhame, the editor of Rolling Stone, denied that he was using his magazine to incite violence, and said that he would continue his campaign against homosexuals. He said that the apparent increase in gay activism in the country was a sign that the days of homosexuality were coming to an end.
“You know the noise that a chicken makes when a kite has snatched its chicks? This is it,” he said. [Note from Matt: It took me 30 minutes to realize that gays were the predator in Muhame’s analogy.]
David Kato, one of the plaintiffs, said that he had been living in terror ever since he was named by the newspaper.
“Since we got exposed by Rolling Stone, we have been living like fugitives in our own country,” he said. “We have to keep shifting houses for fear of being attacked. Some of the gays have decided to leave the city and head to rural areas in order to protect themselves.
Human rights lawyers say that mob justice meted out against suspected gays is fairly common. Just before Christmas, two alleged gay men were attacked by a mob at Maekerere University in Kampala. The gay men were subsequently arrested, and they are now waiting to hear whether formal charges will be brought against them.
I hope and pray that David Kato’s assassination help the international community understand the present terror in Uganda.