You’re neither alone nor oppressed

The Mayor of Latta is a homophobic douchenozzle.
Crystal Moore, 23 year veteran of the Latta PD. Former Police Chief. Lesbian<—–irrelevant fact Unless you’re the Mayor of Latta then it’s relevant. Even though it has no impact on job performance.

Grrr…

It’s 2014. After 23 years serving on the Latta, South Carolina Police Department, Crystal Moore found herself fired from her job.   She had managed to work her way up to police chief and was the first woman police chief of Latta. During her time as Chief of Latta Police, she received numerous compliments and by all indications, performed her duties quite well. None of that mattered in the eyes of the CIty Council. Nope. She was fired for being a lesbian.

This is someone who has experienced true discrimination. Not the whiny, appropriative fuckers complaining about being judged for their opposition to same-sex marriage.
Jameka Evans (l) and Lambda Legal Counsel and Workplace Fairness Program Director Greg Nevins (r). (Photo courtesy Lambda Legal)

Earlier this year, Jameka Evans was forced to leave her job as a security guard at Georgia Regional Hospital bc, in addition to her refusal to dress in manner that conformed with stereotypical gender roles, she is a lesbian. She tried to sue her former employer. Both a lower court and the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against her.

In a perfect world, she'd never have experienced such discrimination. In a slightly less perfect world, the company would see sales take a nosedive as a result of their actions. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, neither outcome is likely.
Hollis Bulleit, former brand ambassador for Bulleit Bourbon. Also a lesbian. A fact that should be utterly irrelevant to her job performance, but which was apparently enough reason for her family to treat her like shit, treat her partner Cher even worse, and lead to them kicking her out of the company. That family seems nice.

More recently, Hollis Bulleit, daughter of Tom Bulleit–founder of Bulleit Bourbon–opened up about the circumstances that led to her departure from Diageo, one of the largest alcoholic beverage producers in the world, and owner of Bulleit Bourbon. In a series of Facebook posts, Hollis Bulleit, who is far from a stranger in the alcoholic beverage industry, revealed that she was pushed out of her job bc, drumroll…she’s gay (that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the homophobia she experienced over the 10 years since she came out to her family).

If you’re queer and you live in the United States, your job is not as secure as you think (here are 5 more people fired for their sexuality).  Hell, not just your job–your home is not as secure as you think. Neither is your ability to partake of public services like restaurants or hotels. As of 2017, only 21 states (and D.C.) have statewide non-discrimination protections in place for LGB people (of that number, only 19 offer protections based on sexuality and gender identity). Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is very real and collectively, queer people suffer bc of that.

The discrimination we face begins at a young age. The social stigma faced by queer youth is enormous. Familial rejection. Rejection by religious organizations. Bullying in schools. Homelessness. Alone, any one of those challenges can be damn near insurmountable for many queer youth, but to have to face more than one?  It can seem virtually impossible. And the stress such discrimination places upon queer youth can adversely affect their mental and physical health.

To my surprise (and probably  many readers), we are not alone in our struggles. The stress we face. The oppression we endure. The discrimination dealt with.  It’s not just we who have problems. There’s one group that seems to think they suffer as much as we do…that they face discrimination on par with the shit we have to put up with.  Watch the following video, Not Alone (if you can stomach it without throwing anything at your computer or wailing so loudly that you shatter your screen and torment your pets), and see for yourself just how rough these people have it:

Continue reading “You’re neither alone nor oppressed”

You’re neither alone nor oppressed
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LGBT Link Round Up 11.21.14

It should be unlawful to penalize adults engaged in consensual sexual activities.  It is no one’s business what type of sex is occurring behind closed doors.  Sometimes I still can’t believe it took so long for sodomy laws in the US to be overturned (Lawrence vs Texas, 2003).  Like the United States, Australia had its own sodomy laws (overturned in 1990) which saw more than 260 men convicted in the 95 years the law existed. Efforts are underway in Queensland to expunge those convictions.

Queensland men charged and convicted under historic laws which made consensual homosexual acts illegal are one step closer to having their records expunged – but it is unlikely to occur before the next election.

Victoria and New South Wales have both moved to pardon men caught under the laws, which in Queensland were not repealed until 1990, after the Goss Labor government took power.

After originally declaring to Fairfax Media it was not a priority for the Queensland government last month, Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie “clarified” the government’s position and sought to meet with the president of the Brisbane Pride Festival, board member of the Queensland AIDS Council and Queensland University of Technology senior law lecturer, Peter Black.

Dr Black met with Mr Bleijie and Brisbane Central MP Robert Cavallucci on Thursday afternoon.

“It was very positive, it was very productive,” Dr Black said.

“The Attorney-General certainly seemed open to the proposal to expunge historic criminal convictions for sexual activity between males, so that was pleasing.

“His questions focussed more on the practicalities or technicalities of any such scheme, rather than the merits of whether it was the right thing to do or not, so I saw that as a very positive sign.”

Mr Bleijie agreed.

“It was a productive meeting and I understand the LGBTI Legal Service is releasing a discussion paper on this issue in the near future. I look forward to hearing what comes out of the consultation,” he said.

More than 460 men had been convicted over the 95 years the law existed. Many are believed to have passed on. But Dr Black said expunging those convictions would have a healing affect on the community as a whole.

* * * *

Country music star Ty Herndon comes out of the closet

The country star opens up about his past, present and future in an interview with Entertainment Tonight‘s Nischelle Turner that rivals ABC’s country soap Nashville with its real-life drama. Herndon discussed everything from his former drug use, his failed marriages and his current relationship.

“I have an awesome relationship that I’ve been in for a good number of years,” Herndon tells ET in a new sit-down airing Thursday. “[I] love him very much and he loves me.”

Married twice before, Herndon reveals that both of his ex-wives were “absolutely” aware of his sexuality.

“I had a lot of people around me that I trusted at a time and I was like,’Hey, you know this about me but the world doesn’t. So I’m gonna need to call on your services for a little while,'” he confessed. “It was unfortunate that I had to do that, but I felt that’s what I had to do to have my career. Standing on some pretty solid legs today, so I get to tell my truth today.”

The news brings new meaning to the singer’s latest album, Lies I Told Myself, which was released in 2013. Today, Herndon reveals that the biggest lie he told himself is “that I couldn’t be gay in country music.”

Congrats on coming out Mr. Herndon. I hope you don’t face any backlash from those in the country music scene.

* * * *

Inspired by Ty Herndon, country music artist Billy Gilman comes out in a video on YouTube

I hope you don’t face any backlash either Mr. Gilman. Congratulations on coming out of the closet.

* * * *

Mutter Museum’s Out4STEM Program Aims to Attract LGBTQ Youth to Science

The first time 17-year old Jorge walked through the Mutter Museum, filled with preserved jars of fetuses, hearts, and lungs, he literally lost his appetite.

“I couldn’t eat for days,” he says. “My mom would cook all this food and I just couldn’t eat it!”

That’s changed quite a bit: now, the El Centro High School student is a regular intern at the Mutter, a division of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, where he recently cleaned the bottles, jars, and containers of human body parts as part of one of his assignments. But that’s not all: He’s created a Spanish version of a Mutter Museum brochure that narrates the collection’s gardens and was able to tour a botany collection at the Barnes that contained specimens from as far as South Asia.

“They have helped me a lot,” he says. “I’m learning new things. They are helping me with math; I used to hate math, but I’m working on it. I’m also getting a sense of what to do for college.”

Jorge is part of the College’s recently conceived Out4STEM program, which aims to train, educate, and provide peer-support networks for Philadelphia LGBTQ youth with a science and technology twist. Students are able to get academic support, career advice, and mentoring in a safe, inclusive, and, let’s just face it, cool environment: the Mutter Museum.

The idea started after the College received funding to run a Hip to Know program several years ago to normalize the process for STI testing, which was an extremely important project according to Dr. Jacqui Bowman, director of the Center for Education and Public Initiatives at the College, because of the alarmingly high rates of STI infections in Philadelphia teenagers.

“It became extremely obvious that the LGBT youth population as a subset were the most vulnerable,” she says. “There was such a need. There were kids in school who were bullied and missing classroom time, and we wanted to provide mentoring, tutoring, and inspiration to these students.”

Nina Bilynsky, an advisor at El Centro High School, has been a huge advocate and supporter of the program. She suggests that the type of work the Out4STEM students do is authentic and has real impact.

“The organization has taken our school’s required internship program to the next level,” she says. “It provides a whole other piece that enhances the experience for our students.”

* * * *

8-year-old transgender boy raps about coming out to his mother 

LGBT Link Round Up 11.21.14

Another example of a parent who responds positively to their gay child

We have all heard stories of children who come out to their parents only to be rejected. We’ve heard the horrible tales of a child being cut off from all resources, being kicked out of their home, and being subjected to emotional, psychological, or physical abuse simply for their sexuality. It’s really nice to hear the stories where that did not happen.  Yes, it should be a low bar to achieve. Treating your child like a human being and continuing to love them no matter their sexuality shouldn’t be cause to applaud.  But we don’t live in a world where sexuality is something that’s not a big deal.  This world?  This world is filled with people who kill over non-heteronormative sexualities.  Sexuality is a big deal.  So until we reach a point where “Mom, dad: I’m lesbian/gay/bisexual” is treated as not a big deal and it changes nothing in how the parents treat their child, it can be really heartwarming to hear stories of a child coming out and being accepted by their parents.

Here is one such story:  A dad accidentally discovers his son is gay.

The dad, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote on Reddit that he asked his son if he could borrow his iPad in order to browse the web.

His first port of call was Google. However, unless someone clears their search history, Google search results can automatically re-appear when you begin to type a similar search term.

‘I’m 38, and a single dad to my 13 year old son,’ wrote HeMeYou. ‘The other day I asked my son if I could borrow his iPad and he gave it to me. After my first attempt at Google searching something I noticed that he forgot to delete his history as a lot of the search terms were along the lines of “I’m gay what now?” etc…’

‘I love him regardless of which gender he loves, in fact when I was slightly older than him I had a few flings with guys, which he doesn’t know about, so I am 100% supportive.

I actually wonder if his son did that intentionally or if it was an accident.

‘He has seemed slightly down recently, as in, he isn’t as cheerful as he once was, and I desperately want to tell him that I love him regardless of which sexuality he is.

‘What are my options? Should I wait for him to tell me? Or should I make a few hints at it?

‘I’m worried that if I don’t hint at it, that he will be worried about something that he really doesn’t have to be worried about… if that makes sense.’

At this point, I had to remind myself that not all subreddits are horrible pits of misogyny and homophobia (I don’t use Reddit, so everything I know of that social media platform is the horrific crap. I know good people use it, but I only hear about such in small anecdotes).

‘Firstly, I’d just like to thank all of you who commented and gave me advice on the previous post, and because the post got so much attention I thought it wouldn’t be fair for me not to make an update.

‘As many comments suggested that I do, is to slightly hint toward the notion that I am perfectly happy with having a gay son, while letting him do the work in actually saying the words “I’m gay”, and I thought that was a very good idea.

‘I started off with talking about general media with him, for instance I mentioned how awesome it was that Tim Cook (CEO of Apple) came out as being gay and I asked him what he thought about it and I was completely expecting him to give a typical teenager response like “yeah.. its good” or something like that but he actually gave me a detailed response which I absolutely loved because for the first time in a good while I’ve actually held a conversation with my son that felt really… rewarding.

‘I also wanted to talk to him about how I’ve noticed that he’s not been acting as cheerful as he usually has and I sort of gave the cliche spiel of “I love you no matter what and I just want to see you be happy” but I didn’t get much of a response that time apart from “yeah I know..”

‘The next day as I picked him up from school I thought I’d ask him about any crushes he has, and I wanted to make sure I didn’t say a gender when I asked him, so instead of ‘he’ or ‘she’ I used ‘they’ etc.. Here is that conversation as I remember it…

Me: So, do you have a crush on anyone?
Son: Uhm… no..m..maybe..
Me: Ohhh so who is the lucky person?
At this point he sort of looked at me slightly confused, I’m not 100% sure why, but I’m assuming it is because I said “lucky person” rather than “lucky girl”.
Son: Just someone from my french class…
Me: Oh yeah… so what do you like about them?
Son: Just.. stuff..
Me: Okay.. but.. like what?
Son: I donno they’re just kinda funny I guess…

‘At this point I dropped the conversation but just before I did I told him “Well, whoever it is, they should be so lucky to have you as a boyfriend..” and while I didn’t see it, I certainly felt as though he was rolling his eyes at my cheesy comments.

‘At the dinner table the same day, while we were eating we had a couple minutes of silence, not much was heard apart from the cutlery and my son finally said “I actually wanted to tell you something in the car, but I was afraid you’d get in an accident..”

‘I looked up from my plate and looked at him straight in the eyes… I could see he was thinking about something and all I could think of was “OMG this is it…” he said “Dad..” with a couple seconds of silence “..I’m gay”.

‘I looked at him and couldn’t help myself from smiling, and I told him “____, you know I love you so much… right?” and I got up and gave him a huge hug. He even started to cry on my shoulder and because of that I couldn’t help myself but shed a couple tears.

‘We talked for a bit while finishing our dinner about how I can’t emphasize enough that I love him regardless of which gender he loves etc…

‘After dinner and after he finished his homework we both lay in our pajamas on the sofa, while I was watching the Cooking Channel and he was playing on his iPad.

‘I had my arm around him and he was leaning his head on my chest, and all I could think of was that I’m the happiest father on earth right now.’

 

If you’re the parent or guardian of a child who is LGBTQI (and you’re not queer yourself), you have no idea how important it is to continue loving your child, no matter if they come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or just curious. They are a human being. They aren’t broken. They aren’t damaged.  There is nothing wrong with them. They are still your child.  They still deserve your love and continued support. In some ways, they’ll need even further support, bc society is still stacked against queer individuals. When society pushes back (as it inevitably does), that child will need the support of their parents. I’m glad this father chose to continue loving his son and I hope more parents out there will do the same thing.

 

Another example of a parent who responds positively to their gay child

Come on out

Today is National Coming Out Day.  To those who are unaware, ‘coming out’ {of the closet} is the self-disclosure of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity (the phrase has been co-opted for other purposes, such as ‘coming out’ as an atheist, but it is typically associated with being LGBT).  For those who are LGBT, ‘coming out of the closet’ is a way of acknowledging to themselves and people around them that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.  Coming out can be a powerful way for an individual to assert themselves, telling the world that “this is who I am, and I’m proud of it.”  It often sends the message that the individual is not going to hide this aspect of themselves from others and that they are going to share it with the world. It is often an act of empowerment for the individual. Unfortunately, homophobia and transphobia are still all too common. Discrimination and oppression of LGBT people takes on many forms, and occurs across the world.  Coming out of the closet can result in:

  • financial, physical, and emotional support withdrawn from loved ones or religious institutions
  • homelessness
  • denial or termination of a job
  • being passed over from career opportunities or advancements
  • denial of housing
  • bullying and harassment
  • lynching, rape, imprisonment, or murder

and so much more.  Coming out of the closet involves a cost/benefit analysis for each individual. Some people are able to come out with little to no repercussions, while others face significant risks, and thus choose to remain in the closet.   I long for the day when the closet is no more; when people will be not be judged on their gender identity or sexual orientation, but rather on the quality of their character…when people can feel free to express themselves and identify as they choose without the threat of bigotry hanging over their heads.

Come on out

A Coming out story

It will be nice when the day comes that people can come out of the closet without being rejected by their family and friends or be threatened with violence or possibly the threat of death.  At the moment, that day is far off in the distance.  Every now and then though, the response to someone coming out is respectful and accepting.  Here is one such coming out tale.

Continue reading “A Coming out story”

A Coming out story

A son’s coming out story

James Alexander is a 20 year old college student in not conservative at all state of  Texas.  In October of 2012, he came out to his parents in an email.  In that email, he also heavily criticized them for how they treated him, and he cleared up some misconceptions they, and many people have about homosexuality:

Over the past several years, you and dad have said and done many hurtful things. You two have cause much physical, mental, and emotional stress and turmoil within my life. Both of you have tried to raise me as if I was my sister and most recently, dad has tried to flat out control me in an “alpha male” defense from his clear insecurity. I’m not my sister. I’m an individual who’s very smart, kind, passionate and strong. You may know that already, but you honestly don’t know your son at all.

For years I’ve had to hide that I’m gay because my parents own words and actions hurt me so much. I’ve had to make plans that no child should have to make that include ways I’d survive if I were to be kicked out because of my sexual orientation. You may think you raised me well and in some ways you did, I have great values, morals, and a great sense for the world around me. I’m able to sympathize and empathize in ways that not many other people can and I can see every angle on any issue because of my willingness to learn. It is clear that my own father is the exact opposite.

I’m tired of him trying to push his views on me. I’m an individual and I’m capable of making educated decisions instead of blind opinions and I’m tired of him judging anyone who isn’t white or straight. As for you, you took me to a counselor as if something was wrong with me, but in reality, I’m perfectly fine. The American Psychology Association even agrees there is no problem with homosexuality, bisexuality or any sexuality that is non-traditional and the Association goes on to say that any therapy to try and change someone’s sexuality is extremely detrimental to their well-being and does not work. Your actions hurt me. Especially when you decided to make grand assumptions that I’d go around sleeping with my male friends, that I was promiscuous in the first place, goes as far as monitoring all my phone calls and texts, and even call me a liar. I’ve avoided such confrontation from happening again by simply changing the number I text from. My friends and anyone who knows me, knows that your actions and dad’s actions are awful and they can tell it upsets me.

What I need from my parents is not someone constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure I’m being good. I need my parents to let me make my own mistakes and learn from them because the mistakes I’ve allowed myself to make so far have given me insight about the world and made me smarter and wiser. If you and dad keep trying to monitor everything I do, checking my phone calls and texts, checking my bank account, I will not be able to grow much more and if so, only at a snail’s pace.

For the past several months, I’ve been having one unique reoccurring dream which I’ve managed to decipher. The dream comes and goes and the more nights in a row I have it, the stronger and more violent it gets. It starts out with a simple dream where I speak, but no one hears me. It progresses the next night to me yelling at the top of my lungs and still, no one hears me. The next night, It’s a full on scream in you and dad’s face while you repeat the same words over and over that I can’t understand but know aren’t good. The worst it got was right before I found out I couldn’t go to the university. I yelled and hit dad while trying to understand that his son can’t change, never will change, and that he needs to accept it. These dreams stem from a place of anger that can only be fixed with the understanding and support I need from my family.

College was going to be my escape from all of that stuff. All the stress, the dreams, the anxiety; I wouldn’t have to deal with it because you two would be nowhere in sight and I’d be around tons of people who accept me for who I am, love me for who I am, and will always support me no matter what. Both of you have yet to prove you could do so and I will be astounded when that day comes, if it ever does. I desire a proper, supportive, and loving family. My sexuality is not a phase, it never was, it is not a disease, it is not a mental disability, it is not a demonic plague, it is not a choice, and it is certainly not a disgrace to our family. Both of you have a chance to become greater people not only in my eyes, but everyone else’ as well. To have a gay son and handle it so well and support and love them is a challenge, but it is also very simple. All you have to do is say “okay, I’ll do it” and to defend your son for who he is, is a show of strength many people do not ever get to experience.

Because I’m gay, I’ve gone through so many stages of turmoil ultimately leading to acceptance. I know who I am as a person. I do not waiver in my views just to fit the crowd. I proudly would stand alone for whom I am, than with everyone else, and I rather be homeless, than in a family that will treat me horribly for something that isn’t under anyone’s control. As for religious beliefs conflicting with sexuality, Homosexuality has been known all throughout history, the word for is just was not created till the late 1800’s. There were even sanctified gay marriage ceremonies back before the dark ages, only after was it forbidden because the way it was translated from Latin to English. If any religious text is read from the time it is written there are no negative ties to sexuality in anyway. Thusly, the only choice I’ve made is to be happy and proud of whom I am. The choice you must make is, are you willing to stand side by side as a family and support me, or abandon me.

After reading this, you must not know what to think, you may even want to call me. But I urge you to sit down with dad, talk with him and educate him so that you both may have an educated view on this matter. I am not going to fight you over this, I am not going to cry over this, I will not sit down and discuss anything more because this is all I have to say. If you feel that it’s not safe to be a gay male, well it is not. Buy me a Taser if that makes you feel safe. Give me money for prophylactics if you are going to assume I will have sex, but I guarantee if either of you, or my sister dare to make assumptions about me, stereotype me, say hurtful things, I will brush it off and tell you to stop, and if it continues, I will no longer be able to live in your household.

I’m here with my friends who love me. Do not call me, do not text me, and do not ruin my much needed break. I will be home on Sunday. If my stuff is sitting at the front door, then I’ll leave and find somewhere to stay and go to college. Once again, this is something for you and dad to discuss not something I feel the need to discuss any further than this letter unless you two have an apology. Once we can move forward as a family, I’ll no longer be so angry and the harmful environment should change with the values of the family. This was written because I’m tired of the hurting, tired of feeling less human, and feeling like my home is not safe, is not a loving environment, and is not supportive. I’ve done all I can do, it’s your turn to make things right.

Read the many attached articles linked below and then I will talk to you. See you Sunday.

I hope you make the right choice,

Your son, James.

The story does not end there. His parents responded.  I won’t spoil which way it goes, so if you’re curious, click the link.

A son’s coming out story

A son's coming out story

James Alexander is a 20 year old college student in not conservative at all state of  Texas.  In October of 2012, he came out to his parents in an email.  In that email, he also heavily criticized them for how they treated him, and he cleared up some misconceptions they, and many people have about homosexuality:

Over the past several years, you and dad have said and done many hurtful things. You two have cause much physical, mental, and emotional stress and turmoil within my life. Both of you have tried to raise me as if I was my sister and most recently, dad has tried to flat out control me in an “alpha male” defense from his clear insecurity. I’m not my sister. I’m an individual who’s very smart, kind, passionate and strong. You may know that already, but you honestly don’t know your son at all.

For years I’ve had to hide that I’m gay because my parents own words and actions hurt me so much. I’ve had to make plans that no child should have to make that include ways I’d survive if I were to be kicked out because of my sexual orientation. You may think you raised me well and in some ways you did, I have great values, morals, and a great sense for the world around me. I’m able to sympathize and empathize in ways that not many other people can and I can see every angle on any issue because of my willingness to learn. It is clear that my own father is the exact opposite.

I’m tired of him trying to push his views on me. I’m an individual and I’m capable of making educated decisions instead of blind opinions and I’m tired of him judging anyone who isn’t white or straight. As for you, you took me to a counselor as if something was wrong with me, but in reality, I’m perfectly fine. The American Psychology Association even agrees there is no problem with homosexuality, bisexuality or any sexuality that is non-traditional and the Association goes on to say that any therapy to try and change someone’s sexuality is extremely detrimental to their well-being and does not work. Your actions hurt me. Especially when you decided to make grand assumptions that I’d go around sleeping with my male friends, that I was promiscuous in the first place, goes as far as monitoring all my phone calls and texts, and even call me a liar. I’ve avoided such confrontation from happening again by simply changing the number I text from. My friends and anyone who knows me, knows that your actions and dad’s actions are awful and they can tell it upsets me.

What I need from my parents is not someone constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure I’m being good. I need my parents to let me make my own mistakes and learn from them because the mistakes I’ve allowed myself to make so far have given me insight about the world and made me smarter and wiser. If you and dad keep trying to monitor everything I do, checking my phone calls and texts, checking my bank account, I will not be able to grow much more and if so, only at a snail’s pace.

For the past several months, I’ve been having one unique reoccurring dream which I’ve managed to decipher. The dream comes and goes and the more nights in a row I have it, the stronger and more violent it gets. It starts out with a simple dream where I speak, but no one hears me. It progresses the next night to me yelling at the top of my lungs and still, no one hears me. The next night, It’s a full on scream in you and dad’s face while you repeat the same words over and over that I can’t understand but know aren’t good. The worst it got was right before I found out I couldn’t go to the university. I yelled and hit dad while trying to understand that his son can’t change, never will change, and that he needs to accept it. These dreams stem from a place of anger that can only be fixed with the understanding and support I need from my family.

College was going to be my escape from all of that stuff. All the stress, the dreams, the anxiety; I wouldn’t have to deal with it because you two would be nowhere in sight and I’d be around tons of people who accept me for who I am, love me for who I am, and will always support me no matter what. Both of you have yet to prove you could do so and I will be astounded when that day comes, if it ever does. I desire a proper, supportive, and loving family. My sexuality is not a phase, it never was, it is not a disease, it is not a mental disability, it is not a demonic plague, it is not a choice, and it is certainly not a disgrace to our family. Both of you have a chance to become greater people not only in my eyes, but everyone else’ as well. To have a gay son and handle it so well and support and love them is a challenge, but it is also very simple. All you have to do is say “okay, I’ll do it” and to defend your son for who he is, is a show of strength many people do not ever get to experience.

Because I’m gay, I’ve gone through so many stages of turmoil ultimately leading to acceptance. I know who I am as a person. I do not waiver in my views just to fit the crowd. I proudly would stand alone for whom I am, than with everyone else, and I rather be homeless, than in a family that will treat me horribly for something that isn’t under anyone’s control. As for religious beliefs conflicting with sexuality, Homosexuality has been known all throughout history, the word for is just was not created till the late 1800’s. There were even sanctified gay marriage ceremonies back before the dark ages, only after was it forbidden because the way it was translated from Latin to English. If any religious text is read from the time it is written there are no negative ties to sexuality in anyway. Thusly, the only choice I’ve made is to be happy and proud of whom I am. The choice you must make is, are you willing to stand side by side as a family and support me, or abandon me.

After reading this, you must not know what to think, you may even want to call me. But I urge you to sit down with dad, talk with him and educate him so that you both may have an educated view on this matter. I am not going to fight you over this, I am not going to cry over this, I will not sit down and discuss anything more because this is all I have to say. If you feel that it’s not safe to be a gay male, well it is not. Buy me a Taser if that makes you feel safe. Give me money for prophylactics if you are going to assume I will have sex, but I guarantee if either of you, or my sister dare to make assumptions about me, stereotype me, say hurtful things, I will brush it off and tell you to stop, and if it continues, I will no longer be able to live in your household.

I’m here with my friends who love me. Do not call me, do not text me, and do not ruin my much needed break. I will be home on Sunday. If my stuff is sitting at the front door, then I’ll leave and find somewhere to stay and go to college. Once again, this is something for you and dad to discuss not something I feel the need to discuss any further than this letter unless you two have an apology. Once we can move forward as a family, I’ll no longer be so angry and the harmful environment should change with the values of the family. This was written because I’m tired of the hurting, tired of feeling less human, and feeling like my home is not safe, is not a loving environment, and is not supportive. I’ve done all I can do, it’s your turn to make things right.

Read the many attached articles linked below and then I will talk to you. See you Sunday.

I hope you make the right choice,

Your son, James.

The story does not end there. His parents responded.  I won’t spoil which way it goes, so if you’re curious, click the link.

A son's coming out story

Coming Out-how a friend ought to respond

Andrew Wheeler wrote something wonderful about how friends of LGBT people ought to respond if they come out to them.  I present it here in its entirety:

 

I’ve found myself thinking about this very old essay by Andrew Wheeler on homosexuality and comics a bunch recently. Mainly about how grateful I am that he was writing about this stuff when I was just getting into comics (both as a reader and soon a writer). I’m enormously grateful for his perspective.  (via kierongillen)

Oh blummy. Always alarming to come on to Tumblr and see activity and think, “but I didn’t do anything yesterday”. What old thing just got dragged up, and is anyone going to yell at me?

And it turns out the old thing is almost 15 years old, which is shocking for all kinds of reasons – I’ve been windbagging on the internet for 15 years? More than 15 years? – but no-one seems to be yelling at me and actually it’s a nice thing. Kieron is a nice person. I’m very touched that he credits me with having any influence on him at all, because Kieron writes some of the best and most honest queer and progressive characters and stories in comics today, and I think that all comes from him. He believes in inclusion and diversity and individual expression, and that’s his nature.

I’m relieved to say I can stand by most of what I wrote 14 years ago. Some of it feels clumsy. I could have been a little easier on Warren Ellis. I shouldn’t have pounded the Boy George drum so heavily. In those days it was very easy to be dismissive or angry about the presentation of gay men as camp or fey or flamboyant because it was all we had, and it was genuinely damaging to be so constrained by stereotype.

But our acceptance of our gay identities must include camp and fey and flamboyant. We cannot push those aspects of ourselves away. My totality of self includes the capacity for both Boy George and Superman.

I’m also relieved to say that we’ve seen progress in the 14 years since I wrote this. At that time, Midnighter and Apollo had not been shown to be gay on the page. They were only Dumbledore-gay. There was no Kate Kane Batwoman. There were no gay X-Men. There was no Hulkling or Wiccan.

As I’ve written elsewhere, I still worry about how all of these things could go away in a blink, but I appreciate that a lot has changed in superhero comics because of creators like Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, Warren Ellis, Bryan Hitch, Greg Rucka, JH Williams III, Michael Lark, Marjorie Liu, Allan Heinberg, Jim Cheung, Peter David, Brian K Vaughan, Nunzio DeFilippis, Christina Weir, Grant Morrison, Gail Simone, Peter Milligan.

(I’m surely forgetting a lot of people. Also, when you look at the pantheon of LGBT characters, it seems clear that Greg Rucka and Peter David should each be name-checked at least twice for their enduring commitment to representation.)

I’m grateful for how much has changed. But my point still stands. The correct response when someone comes out – whether it’s your friend, a fictional superhero, or Zachary Quinto – is not, “Who cares?” Insouciance doesn’t erase the pain. Glibness is not an antidote to hate.

You know what the antidote to hate is.

When someone comes out, they don’t need acceptance. They need love.

Coming Out-how a friend ought to respond