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Wednesday
Oct202010

Hatred Spills Onto The Field At Ohio High School Football Game

After all of the national attention that bullying has been getting, specifically the bullying of LGBT teenagers it is shocking to me that something like this could happen.  During a Thursday night football game between Eastlake North High School and Willoughby South High School an estimated 300 Eastlake fans (students and adults) chanted "Powder Blue Faggots" at the Willoughby South team.  In response, principal Jennifer Chauby of East Lake North High School told On Top Magazine

“We did put a stop to it as soon as we heard them chanting it, and it's totally unacceptable and they know we don't condone that type of behavior,"

Chauby also said that because so many people joined in the homophobic chant that no one would be punished.

After hearing about this story I did some digging and found a YouTube video that includes the chanting as well as some of the comments that the video elicited.  While dramatic, I think it is worth watching and reading the comments that were made.  It is hard to believe that people will still stand by and condone this type of hate speech.

I would also like to remind everyone who hasn't left their home yet, or who has the option of changing, that today is a day to show your support for the LGBT community and those that we have lost to bullying and hate crimes by wearing Purple.  If you would like to show your support on Facebook you can tint your profile picture purple by clicking here.

 


Sunday
Oct102010

One Year Ago

It has been just over a year since I launched Whatisyourgay.com with the support of a few friends and family.  Admittedly I have not been as good at keeping up with it as I had originally hoped, but I found something very interesting.  In the process of launching this site I spoke with many of my gay friends, many whom said they would be happy to record their story to share on the site.  A year later there are only three.

Over the past month it feels like the LGBT community has been delivered one piece of bad news after the next.  From a young man killing himself because of his sexuality and the thoughtless acts of his peers, the brutal beating of three men by a gang of nine, to the defeat of repeal for DADT.

These are certainly strange times that we live in.  For the past for or five years I felt like things were getting better for the LGBT community, but in the past few months I have felt things slipping backwards.  Of course strides are still being made in the fight for LGBT rights, but the news of late has been disheartening.

The easiest thing for all of us to do would be to hide, to shrink back because we are afraid.  Instead, I believe we need to band together and make our voices heard.  A project was recently launched called the It Gets Better Project which is asking people to record videos about their experiences growing up gay to help guide those that are being bullied, and give them hope for the future.

I can’t say I am not jealous as the project already has hundreds of videos and has been around for less than a month.  However, the goal of the It Gets Better Prjoect and the goal of Whatisyourgay are one and the same.  The goal is to provide hope for future generations, to let them know that this too shall pass and that they will come out on the other side a stronger person.

In honor of National Coming Out Day tomorrow October 11th I am asking anyone out there who has the means to record a video and make their voices heard to do so.  If you want to send it to me to post on this site great, just click here to see how.  If you want to post it to the It Gets Better Project great, just click here to see how, or do both.

At a time of great sadness in the LGBT community, we can either turn our backs to the world and hide, or we can stand together.  I am asking you to plant your flag in the sand and stand with me.  Share your story and your ideas of what being gay means.  Together we can ensure a better future for those that will follow.





Monday
Mar222010

The Health Care Door is Open

After years of yelling and screaming it has finally happened.  A new chapter in the story of the United States of America is about to unfold.  The passage of the health care bill last night is not the end but rather the beginning of what is sure to be a great adventure.

In many ways the passage of this legislation is like coming out of the closet.  The first step is the hardest, there is never a good time to do it, but once it is done you have opened the door for conversation and progress.  The legislation that was passed last night is not perfect.  It does not go nearly far enough in my mind and goes too far in the minds of others.  What we can all agree on is that this is the beginning.  The hardest part is over.  As the Republican’s are saying, “Obama shoved this down the throats of the American people,” but sometimes that is what is needed.

The Republicans had 8 years under Bush to change health care, to start the conversation but they didn’t.  They claim they have all these great plans that were ignored yet we never saw them.  While Republicans try to tell us they were shut out of the process, there over 200 amendments from Republicans in the legislation that was passed last night.  The vote may not have been bipartisan but the legislation as much as the Republicans will try to deny it, is.

I have learned a great deal throughout the health care debate, but something that struck me the hardest came only this past weekend.  The Tea Party in all its glory is not fighting health care, they are fighting people that are not like them.  What am I talking about?  Over the weekend as house members entered the building (specifically Barney Frank and John Lewis) Tea Party protestors yelled out insults, as well as racial and homophobic slurs.  It became pretty apparent that they were no longer attacking the legislation that was up for debate; they were attacking people that were different than them.  People that they see as being a threat to their way of life.

In some ways I am glad that they have shown their true colors.  They have lost the spirit of what the original Tea Party was actually about.  Instead of attacking the government they are now attacking individuals.  I hope that voters in the coming months will see these people for who they truly are, racist bigots.  Standing up for your rights is one thing.  Degrading someone based on the color of their skin or their sexual orientation is something else entirely.

What are your thoughts?  Are you happy about this health care reform or do you think it is the end of the United States?  Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.



Related Links:

Article on Racial and Homophobic Slurs

Watch the Debate on the floor of the House (Final comments happen in the last 20 minutes)

Transcript of Pelosi's Comments

Tuesday
Mar162010

Turning the Rainbow Green

Tomorrow marks St. Patrick’s Day.  A day set aside by many to drink and be merry while wearing green and proclaiming their Irish history.   Boston, a city known for its large Irish community has already held its parade, but something was missing.  Since 1737 Boston has been hosting the oldest St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the United States and some believe the world. With the first Parade in Ireland not being held until 1931.

You might be thinking, a parade that has been around this long surely must be easily coordinated.  What could be missing?  What is missing from the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston and indeed in many other cities is the voice of the gay community.  In 1995 the highest court in the United States voted that parade coordinators may deny entry of any groups they choose into their event.  There was hope that when the longtime organizer of the Boston parade retired last year that things would be different.  Sadly that was not the case.

It seems odd for a state like Massachusetts, one of the few states in the US to allow gay marriage to block this group of people from a parade.  Even in the Roman Catholic bastion that is Ireland the idea of homosexuality, and gay marriage has steadily been progressing.

In 1981 the European High Court of Human Rights struck down Northern Ireland’s criminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults.  Six years later the people of Ireland elected the first openly gay person to public office in the form of David Norris.  A year later Norris won his case Norris V. Ireland and the European Court of Human Rights struck down a law that criminalized male-to-male sexual acts.  Today same-sex couples are allowed to marry in Northern Ireland as they are in the United Kingdom, but Ireland remains unmoved in its definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.  In recent years public opinion polls have shown a greater percent of the population is open to the idea of same-sex marriages. In fact, the group MarriageEquality reports that 62% (as of February 2009) of the population now supports allowing gay couples to marry.

It seems odd then that gay groups are still being denied the chance to participate in St. Patrick’s Day parades.  After all there are many gay people who count themselves as Irish citizens or being of Irish heritage.  Indeed Ireland has enough gay history that author Brian Lacey has written a book about it.  For a holiday that seems to be less and less about the celebration of St. Patrick and more and more about drinking to excess, who really care’s if some of the gay community puts away the rainbow flag for a day and dons their finest green to take part?

Links of Interest:

Terrible Queer Creatures: A History of Homosexuality in Ireland by Brian Lacey

Gay Ireland

St. Patrick's Day

Tuesday
Mar092010

Man on Man Action at the Vatican

The story broke on Friday, which may have been one of the best things to happen to the Catholic Church in a longtime.  You see, not many people watch the news on a Friday.  Luckily, though it was buried in other news stories over the weekend I stumbled upon this gem.  For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, on Friday it was announced that one of the Pope’s ceremonial ushers (or Gentleman of his Holiness) has been having sex with men.  Through a contact in the Vatican Choir, the Gentleman of his Holiness named Angelo Balducci was arranging to have sex with other men.  Balducci is no ordinary usher mind you.  He had the honor of carrying the coffin of Pope John Paul in 2005.

I honestly don’t care if two men are having sex.  As we all know this is a blog about being gay and about gay life.  I do however think it is great that this scandal has landed right on the doorstep of the Catholic Church.  For so long Catholics have preached about the evils of homosexuality (I know, I had to sit through the sermons) yet we are everywhere.  Organized religions make a huge stink about gay’s being members of the clergy but lets face it, there are already gay pastors and priests.  Just as there are gay soldiers protecting freedom, so too are their priests spreading “the good word.” When are religious leaders just going to accept that homosexuality is part of nature and not something that needs to be feared? 

I think it might be time for the Catholics to let Priests marry again.  Yes, you read that correctly I said again.  Until roughly 1022 Priests were allowed to marry if they so chose.  It wasn’t until Pope Benedict VIII came along and decided that Priests should live celibate lives that marriage among the clergy was forbidden.  Not that being married stops men from having sex with each other, but that is another story for another time.

More Details:

Article on the Scandal

Info. on Priets Getting Married