Thursday, September 18, 2008

Logo Real Momentum Profiles

Are you an LGBT person who's had an inspiring life, overcome a great challenge (not to mention homophobia), or done something extraordinary? Or do you know someone who fits the bill? Check this out:

"Logo's Real Momentum Profiles highlight real people with authentically inspiring lives. Tell us your story and you could be the subject of a two-minute documentary vignette shot by Logo that will showcase your extraordinary life."

You can read more about this, as well as read some of the profiles that have already been done (and watch the videos) at the following web site. You can also enter your life story as well!

http://www.logoonline.com/documentaries/real_momentum_profiles/

Nice idea! Go for it!

The Gay Marriage Thing

Stephanie Higgins has directed a wonderful documentary entitled The Gay Marriage Thing which looks at the debate with warmth and humor and a definitely pro-gay attitude. The film focuses on a lesbian couple who are preparing for their nuptials. Interspersed with this are comments from one pro-gay and one anti-gay clergyman, as well as interviews with gays who are marching for their marital rights and homophobes who are picketing against them. This is not only a worthwhile and entertaining film, but an excellent tool through which to stimulate discussion of this important and polarizing issue. I will be writing more about this excellent documentary in the near future in The New York Blade and my jatgab blog.

To buy home video copies: http://cinemaguild.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=HE&Product_Code=5094

To buy educational copies:http://cinemaguild.com/catalog/catalog.htm?http%3A//cinemaguild.com/mm5/merchant.mvc%3FScreen%3DPROD%26Store_Code%3DTCGS%26Product_Code%3D2215%26Category_Code%3DEEAR

To rent the video online from TLA:http://www.tlavideo.com/product/2-0-270936_the-gay-marriage-thing.html?sn=1#

Film's website:www.thegaymarriagething.com

Myspace and YouTube pages:http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=73428201http://www.youtube.com/user/sassymedia

Proposition 8 Call to Action

From the Lesbian Mommy blog, a call to action:

With 8 weeks to go until Proposition 8 comes to a vote in the State of California, in effort to strike down the measure we call all members of the LGBT community and their supporters to take action with us!We need your help to put a face on the lives of those that this proposition affects!! Help us to ‘get visible’ and let our presence as upstanding citizens of this world be seen by all. We need to raise awareness amongst all citizens of the good State of California of the need to stand up for equal rights by vowing to Vote NO on Prop 8 on the up and coming Election Day, November 4, 2008. We call all who support equality and fairness to help us "Personalize Prop 8 across the State!"

You can read the rest of the post and learn what you can do here:

http://lesbianmommy.blogspot.com/2008/09/lgbt-community-call-to-action.html

Go to it!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Kinder and Gentler?

I'm a straight woman, but it seems to me that gay men tend to be nicer, gentler people than straight men? Am I correct on this or way off-base? G.

Well I'm sure there are a lot of women who may feel as you do -- but it's probably because a gay man isn't likely to give you the grief that a straight boyfriend or husband can. Straight women can fall in love with gay men and become heart-broken, but it usually isn't because the gay man has led them on.

The image of gay men as being nicer and gentler -- that is, softer -- is why a lot of people think erroneously that gay men aren't tough enough to serve in the military. As I've often said, we're a diversified bunch. I've met gay men who are very sweet people who'd never hurt a soul, and gay men who are real S.O.Bs. Ditto for straight men. You've heard women complain about guys who say they're gonna call but never do or otherwise mistreat them? Well, some gay men often have the same complaint about the gay guys they date.

Gay men may be more open-minded and less sexist than their straight counterparts, but in general gay men come in all varieties, some nice, some not so nice. We're just people, after all. And we are men, with all -- good or bad or in-between -- that implies.

On the other side of the coin, there are people -- including, sadly, gay people -- who think that gay men are somehow worse than straight men in certain ways. In his book The Price of Achievement: Coming Out in Reagan Days (1995), which I just caught up with, Gay Republican (!) W. Scott Thompson states that gay men are more likely to steal and lie! This is probably because Thompson, who had been married with children before coming out, expected that only straight men took somebody's phone number, said they were gonna call, and didn't. (He broke up with a second fiancee by letter!!!) He also invited guests to gay parties at his Dupont Circle townhouse and some of them stole the silverware. But this is a guy who admittedly picked up good-looking tramps on the street and brought them home, supposedly to help improve their lot in life, so you can imagine his choice of party guests wasn't too ideal. [May I say that Thompson's book is stimulating, thought-provoking and well-written, but I disagree with his generalizations of gay men (possibly motivated by a degree of buried but not obliterated self-hatred?) Republicans!

Gay men are no more likely to steal from their friends or lie to people than anyone else, and it is outrageous to suggest so.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Under the Radar

Dr. Bill,

I am doing my thesis research on the differences between student opinions about homosexuality at a liberal college vs the opinions of students at a conservative christian college. Both schools are in South Carolina. Here is my problem. I have very liberal and understanding professors on my thesis board, but the president of student relations and services has to approve my topic. If at all possible can you give me words that involve the gay, lesbian, trans-gender, bisexual and other members of our community that are not too showy. They don't want me to use the word homosexual because they see it as a red flag. I am very passionate about my work and think it is important but do not want small minded conservatives to block my research and my voice. What I found in previous research is that even though our younger generations state that they are religious, they do not have a problem with gays, lesbians, bisexuals, trans-genders...living their lives with the same rights, liberties, and hassle-free freedoms as everyone else. Could you please help me. I know this is a lot but I am not sure how to word things and what to say so that I may slip under their radar. Thanks,
TS


Hi, thanks for your question. I would suggest that you use the term "marginalized minorities" or "marginalized minority groups." Or perhaps "disaffected Americans." You not only want to avoid the word "homosexual" but "sexual" as well, so sexual minorities won't do. Marginalized minorities can be just about anything, so it may not raise a red flag. I'm not certain how many people these days are really aware of what LGBT means, but it's become fairly commonplace, as has queer. So maybe "marginalized minorities" or "disaffected groups or Americans" will work for you. Let me know. And best of luck with the project.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Settling Scores

A straight guy who works at a mixed (gay and straight) bar in my town seems friendly on the surface, but when he's holding court over some of his straight friends he makes generalizations about gays that, frankly, make my blood boil. (I don't think he knows what my orientation is because I'm not stereotypical.) Gay men are this, gay men are that. I wouldn't necessarily say he's outright homophobic, but it's like he ignores the realities and diversities of the gay men who come into the bar and spews out these same old stereotypical notions. What do I do about it? Anon.

Say something. But first, go into the bar with a male date and make out at the bar right in front of this schmo. That way he'll know he'd better watch his step around you and watch what he says. Then the next time he says something stupid, definitely call him on it. Or say something before then. It's a perfect opportunity to educate someone. If he's an intelligent person, he can learn from what you have to say. If he's an asshole -- and he just might be -- then you're wasting your breath. But still try it. If this is a bar that welcomes gays and takes their money, why should you have to put up with his dumb remarks?

I can relate to what you say that even though he works in a bar with many gay customers he only sees what he wants to see. Some straight-identified men are only comfortable with gay men who fit into their narrow notions of what it means to be a gay man. It's like the rest of us are invisible. It's similar to white racists who only see African-Americans in limited terms, and can't see the diversity of that community even when it's staring them in the face.

Lastly, even people who seem gay-friendly can be homophobic or have some outdated, homophobic notions. Don't simmer in silence. Confront them on it. It may make for an unpleasant experience if the person you confront is a jerk, but maybe you'll get a pleasant surprise.

In any case, don't let him get away with it.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Question of Monogamy -- and More

You've had some posts about casual sex and promiscuity and they've bothered me. If the gay community is going to find acceptance, it had better clean up its act. I'm a gay man, but I'm not a pig. Let's face it, if gay men are filthy and spread diseases, who can they blame but each other? It's not straight people giving them AIDS. Why can't gays be monogamous and then their image will improve? Anon.

Their image, huh? Your question bothers me on so many different levels that I'm not certain where to begin, but here are some points to consider.

A.) You are part of the gay community. It's not You versus Them. And you are hardly the only gay man who believes in monogamy. Look at all the couples lining up to get married. I'd bet most of them intend to have a strictly monogamous relationship. Get past the stereotypes.

B.) AIDS/HIV affects heterosexuals as well as homosexuals. It is not a "gay" disease. Let the homophobes call it that -- you certainly shouldn't.

C.) You reveal a fair amount of self-hatred when you talk about "pigs" and gay men are "filthy." To be blunt, have you not been getting any lately? This is the kind of talk I often hear from gay men who have no love or sex lives and are, frankly, jealous of those who do. Sorry to be so blunt with you but this has to be addressed. (More on this in a future post).

D.) Whether to be monogamous and faithful or have an open relationship is a personal choice made by the two parties involved. One person -- and this is equally true in straight relationships -- may prefer a monogamous relationship and the other one does not. This leads to problems when the latter partner, gay or straight, is unfaithful. But this happens in many relationships regardless of the orientation of the individuals involved.

E.) There is a big difference between a man who is sexually active but responsible, who practices safe sex, and one who is unsafe and irresponsible. This is true of straight people as well as gay. Being sexually active does not necessarily add up to being "promiscuous," or a "sex addict" or someone who sleeps with anything that moves and is irresponsible in their sexual practices and choices. Not everyone wants to be monogamous, and I see no reason why all gay men should do so just to supposedly be accepted by a society that will hate them anyway whether they have sex with one man or many men. It is foolish to believe that if all gay people got married, adopted children, and lived monogamous relationships in the suburbs that we would find instant acceptance. Some people hate us for who we love and who we have sex with, and being "monogamous" would not change that. (And who on Earth says that all straight couples are monogamous? What a joke!)

F.) There's more to be said on this whole matter, but I'll save it for future posts.