If you’ve never visited Pam’s Hous Blend blog, you’re really missing one of the best LGBT blogs there is. I read it every day and this morning Pam has a fantastic post about ANOTHER GOP politician, who by the way voted against gay marriage and protecting gay jobs, that was caught with his pants down – so to speak.
Barack Obama’s decision to give Donnie McClurkin a public stage only goes to prove that Obama, like so many other candidates, is willing to look the other way when it comes to anti-gay rhetoric if it will help him win the democratic nomination. Donnie McClurkin is a Gospel singer who has publicly stated he believes that being gay is a choice, and that he “once involved with those desires and those thoughts”, but believes that he was able to overcome them through prayer.
Once again, the LGBT community is being pushed aside in the political game to pander to ANOTHER religious group in order to get votes. It’s like watching an old rerun on TV, only this time it’s in color. Instead of the Republicans pandering to the religious right, it’s a democrat pandering to churches in the black community. It feels like we’re watching someone talking out of both sides of their head. To us, he says that he wants to see change, and to help the LGBT community in their quest to have their relationships recognized through civil partnerships. To them, he puts anti-gay performers on the stage. Then he wants to reassure us that he doesn’t agree with McClurkin’s views.
It’s a tiring, pathetic observation about politics and politicians. Say anything, do anything, promise anything – as long as you can distance yourself from it later if you have to. The one thing that many of us want more than anything right now in any candidate, is someone that we can trust not to lie to us. We’ve been lied to for almost seven years now, and we’re tired of it. Obama isn’t fostering a lot of trust with his latest actions. It’s just more of the same old game, not change.
In an interview with The Tennessean, John Rich of the country music duo of “Big and Rich” voiced his opposition to gay marriage, and his support for Senator Fred Thompson. He went further to say that if you were going to legalize gay marriage, you would have to also legalize other “unsavory” things. He sites his upbringing, and his preacher, as the basis for his opinions. Later, he retracted his statement and made an apology:
“My earlier comments on same-sex marriage don’t reflect my full views on the broader issues regarding tolerance and the treatment of gays and lesbians in our society. I apologize for that and wish to state clearly my views.
I oppose same-sex marriage because my father and minister brought me up to believe that marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman. However, I also believe that intolerance, bigotry and hatred are wrong. People should be judged based on their merits, not on their sexual orientation. We are all children of God and should be valued and respected.”
I find it very comical, that in the same statement that he voices his own intolerance and bigotry, he then states that he thinks intolerance and bigotry are wrong. I’m sorry John, but you can’t have it both ways. Either you are TOLERANT and are not a BIGOT, and DO NOT believe that your personal views are more important than someone else’s right to protections and the pursuit of happiness in this country or you ARE a Bigot, and You ARE intolerant.
You have the right to believe whatever you want, you just have to realize that forcing your own religiously based views on others who do not share them means you don’t get to call yourself tolerant, or deny being a bigot. You think that you deserve rights that should be withheld from us, because you believe that you are somehow better than us. More right. More Christian. More something. From our side of the fence, listening to your words, you sir sound just like a hateful intolerant bigot.
Erik Jorgensen, the Scientific Director at the Brain Institute has been quoted as saying that a recent experiment where a gene in the brain of a female worm was “activated” causing the worm to become attracted to other female worms, may be evidence that sexual orientation is genetically based. Here is a link to the Story
My partner and I went to the CBR Bull Bash in Longview, TX last weekend. The Bull Bash is similar to a rodeo, but with only one event – Bull Riding. For those of us in the LGBT community that live out here in the country, the Rodeo is something almost all of us are familiar with. If you lived here all your life, you would be to. You would have grown up going to FFA meetings and stock shows instead of Friday night football games. My partner went to a high school that was so fall they couldn’t field a football team. You better bet they had a rodeo team though, and everyone wanted to be on it.
We had been looking forward to the Bull Bash all year long. My partner in particular is a huge fan of the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) and the CBR (Championship Bull Riders) and never misses a late night chance to see them on TV. We went to the Longview Fairgrounds early to get a good seat, bought our corny dogs, and were excited about having a great night in cool weather watching 45 Bull Riders compete for top honors.
A big part of the show is the barrel man. This is a guy dressed in a clowns outfit for the most part, who entertains the crowd in between rides. On this night, the barrel man was really very funny, and I found myself laughing out loud when he danced around on the dirt floor of the arena. But then he started making comments about a man “staring” at him while he was dancing. He continued to make comments about this fictitious man in the audience who was “staring” at him, and pretty soon I could hear comments from some of the cowboys sitting around me. Comments like “I’d have to gut that S.O.B.” and “He needs to hop that fence and kick that fags ass”.
The man out in the arena’s comments weren’t all that offensive, but what they elicited was offensive, and a little frightening. When he made one last mention of his imaginary admirer, I guess the woman sitting next to me could see the disgust on my face because she put her hand on my knee and smiled, then said “Don’t worry about that, we’re not all that ignorant.” I smiled back at her, then turned away quickly when I noticed the scowl on the man sitting next to hers face. Still, I appreciated her comment. Then I realized that for her to make it, we had to be sticking out like sore thumbs as the only to lesbian’s stupid enough to think we could go sit in the middle of a bunch of cowboys and be ourselves, safely.
We left before the Bash was over, I still don’t know who won. It was a dramatic learning experience for me though, when I realized that accepting even a little bit of bashing even when meant as a joke, leads to other less harmless voices feeling free to spew their hate filled comments. I won’t be supporting the CBR by going to any more of their functions, or watching them on TV now. My partner probably will, she’s just that much of a fan. She also tends to believe that people don’t really mean some of the hurtful things they say. She thinks it’s “just talk” and it doesn’t mean anything unless it’s directed right at you. I guess that means that if I say the ignorant yahoo in clown make up couldn’t attract a gay man if his life depended on it, it’s okay as long as I say it behind his back and without meaning it in a malicious sense? I mean, I was just joking. Just trying to be entertaining to what I perceived to be my audience. That makes it okay, right?
I don’t think so.
Sometimes I find it difficult to even relate to lesbians who live in well populated metropolitan areas. I live in a very rural area of east Texas, where there is NO lesbian or gay public presence to speak of. If you want to go to a pride parade, you can drive 130 miles to Dallas and catch one. If you want to go to a lesbian bar – same drive. There is ONE gay bar only 60 miles away, but it’s predominantly for gay men. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful that it’s there. I love the drag show, and watching the never ending stream of straight cowboys coming in to “see what’s going on behind the big red doors” is pretty funny sometimes. Still, there aren’t many women there, and the ones that ARE there, are there ALL THE TIME. Know what I mean?
If there was one benefit to being a lesbian in such an out of the way, ultra conservative, right wing place – it’s the closeness you develope with other lesbians living in your area. We develope very tight knit, almost family like, groups of friends. We have these incredible gatherings where we all get the chance to share our lives, loves, and happenings with each other. There’s a problem with these tight little groups though. I call it the “fox in the hen house” problem. When you’re entire lesbian community can fit into one living room, and you’re in a committed relstionship, having a couple break up or having a new “single” lesbian enter the mix can be disturbing. It can be especially disturbing if the group consists mainly of coupled lesbians.
I mean, think about it for a minute. If everyone is coupled up, and suddenly you find yourself “single” again. Who the hell do you flirt with? Every lesbian you know is in this room, or around the same camp fire. Each one is your friend, and is holding ANOTHER one of your friends hands. Or worse, you’ve already dated everyone in the room at least once, maybe twice. It’s not like you can run across town to the bar, or the local GLBT outreach center, and hook up with someone new and interesting. If you do make the drive to some metro area and hit the bar, and you do meet someone you’re interested in then you’re still going to have to drive 130 miles one way every time you want to see them.
What happens if you do hit it off? How do you maintain a relationship where you have to drive 260 miles just to see a movie? Who moves? Who quits their job and relocates? the “friends” around that campfire start looking real good to you. And you start looking a LOT like a fox to anyone in the group who has any insecurities about the hand their holding! What’s really bad about the entire situation, is that you may have absolutely no intention whatsoever of homing in on one of your friends partner. But you don’t have to. Now that once a week phone call that you make to someone just to say “Hi” becomes suspect. Believe me, I know it’s true because I am guilty of pointing my finger and raising the alarm about a fox being in the hen house myself.
My partner and I have been together for 5 years. Five GREAT years I might add. We’ve built a home together, and have had only one real argument in all this time. Still, when one of our friends who just happens to be extrememly attractive, was suddenly single again, I lost my perspective completely. She and my partner were very good friends, and called each other frequently. It never bothered me when the “fox” was dating someone. But all of sudden, through no fault of her own, I was feeling threatened. Then I made the biggest mistake of all. I shared my fears with another person in our little group of lesbians. I was looking for someone to tell me how much my partner loved me, and that I had nothing to worry about. Well, needless to say that wasn’t what I got. What I got instead was a not so subtle reinforcement of my own insecurities. Yep, what I got was “You better be carefull, she’s a homewrecker.” Which of course she wasn’t.
The problem is, this other friend was in the middle of a little insecurity crisis of her own. So my problem hit home with her, and PRESTO! The fox became a vicious animal who would surely ravage my happiness if not stopped. So I then made my next biggest mistake, I told my partner that I thought the fox was after her and that I had it on “good authority” that she was a homewrecker and couldn’t be trusted. It made perfect sense to me. I was trying to protect our relationship, our home, the 5 years of building we had done to get where we were. What I forgot was that by accusing her, I was also disrespecting my own partner and our relationship. She told me in no uncertain terms that our friend was NOT hitting on her, and that she resented my even thinking that it would matter if she were. It meant I didn’t trust her, and she was very angry at me. She was even MORE angry at the person who had reinforced my fears. Suddenly our little group wasn’t so comfortable together anymore.
Small circles of friends can be a wonderful blessing. For lesbians who live in the country, away from any community support, their even more so. They are our life lines, our only source for a feeling of belonging and acceptance. But they are fragile things. You can be “cast out” for creating any friction, and then you are truly alone. You see, the dating pool is more like a little bird bath here. Bottom line is that there is always going to be a “fox in the henhouse”. But you better wait until it kills a chicken to shoot it.