Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?







Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Candlelight Vigil

I was able to make it to the FSU candlelight vigil last night,
held for the recent rash of gay suicides. The Tallahassee event
was filled with some bizarre moments, including three Christian
students who asked to lay hands on me, having "FAG!" shouted
at me when my van went through an intersection, and a gang of
hecklers making anti-gay remarks during the lighting of candles
and reading the names of the killed.

Pride Student Union and The Family Tree held the ceremony,
and they did a nice job with the preparation. There were large
color posters of many of the recent suicide victims, including
* Justin Aaberg, 15
* Tyler Clementi, 18
* Seth Walsh, 13
* Asher Brown, 13
* Raymond Chase, 19
* Aiyisha Hassan, 19
* Billy Lucas, 15

(Other recent suicides attributed directly to gay hate speech
and/or harassment include:)
* Zack Harrington, 19
* Jeanine Blanchette, 21
* Chantal Dube, 17

These are only the cases we know about. The cases where the people
involved made it known why they were ending their lives. The cases
where family, friends and authorities didn't cover up the identity of the
deceased.

In addition to the fact that most anti-bullying teachings in schools don't
include understanding and 'tolerance' for gays and lesbians, the religious
group 'Focus on the Family' (assholes!) is actively seeking to exclude
gay and lesbian students. Evidently, the only good gay to them is a dead gay.

Tyler Clementi wasn't the first homosexual-related suicide THIS YEAR at
Rutgers University.

With the pumped up anti-gay campaigns from the Tea Party, Sarah Palin,
other  overzealoused GOP members, religious groups, OM, the 'Don't Ask
Don't Tell' conflict swirling around, and more, the visibility of gay and lesbian
issues is in the air more than ever. This leads to a permissiveness for kids to
act out on the intolerance and disgust they see emulated on the television and
and in the home. It also leads gay and lesbian kids to feel 'less than' and
hopeless.

My greatest fear is that anyone--gay, straight, bi, transgendered, questioning,
and even allies--give in to the idea that we are not powerful. The volatility and
extremism of the opposition can make them seem larger than life. The fact that
they claim God on their side, and righteousness, and majority...means less than
nothing. They are paper tigers.....wooden soldiers. Their words mean nothing.

It is incumbent upon all of us to find strength and purpose in opposing this
lunacy of cruelty and spiritual apartheid. No person is superior to another. We
are all of equal value. Every hurting and lonely scared person must know this.
You must remember this when things get bad; don't get sad....get angry.

No one has the right or ability to take your joy. No matter the circumstance,
you can prevail. Don't let them win. Fight. Fight back. Speak up. Claim what
is yours.  We don't have to take mistreatment from anyone.

You are not alone.

*********************************************************
It Gets Better project on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IcVyvg2Qlo


Free to all schools from Southern Poverty Law Center:
"Bullied" anti-gay bullying video
http://www.splcenter.org/


Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays
http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2


"That's so gay" PSA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uEpBYKOs3ys

If you need other help, contact info, or resources in your area,
post comments below or send an e-mail through the link on this site.
There are others who have been through this and can advise you
on how to survive and thrive. There's no shame in feeling tired or
overwhelmed; the world can be ugly at times. Let those who have
forged ahead help you do the same.

Peace,
Robert

Monday, October 11, 2010

National Coming Out Day

Living a life of fear is no way to live.

Each of us is born with immeasurable unique qualities
and incredible personalities to share with the world.
Living out loud as our true, purest selves is what makes
life worthwhile. Far easier said than done!

We have become a world that values comfort and
avoidance over striking out in defiance. The illusion of
inclusion is appetizing to us. I am as guilty as anyone of
avoiding my real purpose, being distracted, living for
others, lying to myself, and even using drugs/food/sex as
a means of escaping the real me.

I knew early on that I am homosexual. Others did too.
It made early childhood a nightmare at times. I didn't get
to develop as others do; I was too busy fighting and
defending myself. Too busy promoting a toughness that
I was too young to understand. Survival can often lead
to living incompletely; it's hard to be well-developed when
you're on guard all the time.

Not much has changed since the 1970s and 1980s when
I was in school. Kids are horrible, teachers look the other
way, parents are oblivious or--in some cases--even part
of the problem. But there are a lot more resources, and there
is a lot more opportunity for networking and getting information.

No child--or adult--should feel that they are alone in the world.
I encourage everyone to let all their friends and family know
who they truly are. Offer to answer questions. Recommend books
and websites if that's more comfortable. Support the groups that
are reaching out to gay and lesbian teens. Promote understanding
in whatever way you can.

We have voices and a passion to help one another for a reason.
We have a choice every day; love....or fear.
I would rather be concerned about what might happen to me for
standing tall, than worry about what will happen to my soul and
others if I say and do nothing.
**************************************************
The all-new, all-improved Inspiration Mobile will be making its debut
in Donalsonville today for National Coming Out Day. I'll try and get
some pictures posted for you all soon!
**************************************************
http://lgbtq.gmu.edu/programs/nationalcomingoutday.php

http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=194&srcid=-2

http://www.glsen.org/cgi-bin/iowa/all/home/index.html

http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

http://www.heartstrong.org/

Thursday, October 7, 2010

"What the What?!?!" with all this week's KRAZY

Sometimes it helps to know that what you see and
feel are not unique; to know that what you are going
through is widespread. To realize that everyone on the
planet suffers, struggles,  and knows what heartbreak is
can make the process of coping easier since you understand
you aren't being singled out.

But enough already--ENOUGH!

The last week or so following the full moon has been
Nut City! Every person I know is having a string of extra
difficulties. Tensions are high at work and home. People are
flipping out, getting aggressive, paranoid, etc left and right.
So, wiggy as it is, at least we know it's not in our heads, right?

Thank goodness for small favors! The insanity is not isolated!
Recognize it for what it is; a passing phase. A torment. Not
something that has to be followed or joined in with. Be the bigger
person....walk away. Smile. Defuse the situation. Avoid drama
where possible. Give people their space.

Share a kind word where possible. Overlook an insult.
Forgive.

I'm working overtime on not letting my defensiveness over
attacks and hurts lead my behavior. Hard work to say the least.
What I'm working on is that other people are caught up in their
own turmoil, and nothing they do or say is really personal....no
matter how personal it gets. (People lash out to release their
demons. People lash out at others out of fear. It's a call for
help more than a call to arms.)

I'm trying to let people be exactly who they are, and not get
nuts thinking I need to change them or that anything is 'wrong'
with them. A friend told me last night that everybody has some 
good in them, and our job is to find it, focus on it, and embrace
it.  I'm trying...so hard.

When I start to lash out at another because of how they have
behaved, I am trying to stop myself and recognize; No one who
feels well would act that way. Don't further someone's misery by
saying or doing something designed to add hurt. Don't lack the
strength to be compassionate when someone is obviously on the
edge. Don't insult someone, their thoughts, their means of support...
even if they have done the same to you.

That animal urge....that human condition of warring and rending
asunder...defending ourselves at all costs....it's powerful. But if
we don't stop the back-and-forth, where does it end? When does
the cycle stop? I'm trying hard to be a better man.

If I can't overlook and embrace, then let me respect space and
steer away from those personalities it seems impossible to make peace
with. I want to learn discipline and control, but if each attempt to
reconcile between ' being peaceful' and 'getting the upper hand' is
a painful stalemate....best to leave well enough alone.
Let me remember the aftermath of a biting remark can last a lifetime.
My petty, false sense of triumph is fleeting and hollow.

In the moment of passion, remembering that there's a hurting soul
on the other side of a conflict is easily lost. Maybe if I can just
remember the difference between my defiant, public self and my
vulnerable, private self, I could remember that others share the
same split. We share so much more than we realize.