LEAVE GAY PEOPLE ALONE!

Religion should not dictate or influence policies on social issues.  Belonging and believing in religious doctrine is a choice and should remain in people’s homes.  When individuals try to influence their beliefs in order to deny others privileges and rights that everyone is entitled to is absolutely wrong. 

I support everyone’s right to express their ideas and to voice their opinions but when you try to instill your personal religious beliefs to preach hate – I draw the line.  Many preacher’s or religious leaders from various religions continue to discriminate against the LGBT community and they continue to spread outrageous claims based on their religious beliefs.  Here are some examples – with my rebuttals in red:

“As a mother, I know that homosexuals cannot biologically reproduce children; therefore, they must recruit our children.” – Anita Bryant

Homosexuals everywhere are devising plans to kidnap as many children as we can to teach and force them to become gay so we can build our armies and take over the world.  As a mother, Ms. Bryant should have been more concerned about teaching her children how to spread love, compassion and kindness into the world – not hate and intolerance. 

“If the world accepts homosexuality as its norm and if it moves the entire world in that regard, the whole world is then going to be sitting like Sodom and Gomorrah before a Holy God.” – Pat Robertson

Mr. Robertson’s beliefs are not the same as everyone else’s beliefs.  I know many ‘straight’ people who accept ALL people for who they are.  There are great kind, generous and loving people who happen to be gay…and then there are ignorant, hateful and judgemental people who claim to be Christian.  If Pat Robertson (and so many other religious leaders, preachers, pastors, etc) believe their religious ideologies/doctrine, then they should stay silent regarding their obsession with homosexuality and let their God make His judgement Himself.

“Don’t misunderstand. I am not here bashing people who are homosexuals, who are lesbians, who are bisexual, who are transgender. We need to have profound compassion for people who are dealing with the very real issue of sexual dysfunction in their life and sexual identity disorders.” – Senator Michele Bachmann 

When you make a generalized statement that homosexuals, lesbians, bisexual and transgender individuals have a sexual dysfunction and sexual identity disorders – you are bashing them.  I didn’t wake up one morning and decide, “I think I’ll have an emotional and sexual relationship with a man today.”, because if I did – then that would suggest that anyone can make that same decision.  I wasn’t born with a disorder, I didn’t decide to become gay, I wasn’t influenced to become gay – I was born as is. 

“Let’s say we discover the gene that says the kid’s gonna be gay. How many parents, if they knew before the kid was gonna be born, [that he] was gonna be gay, they would take the pregnancy to term? Well, you don’t know but let’s say half of them said, “Oh, no, I don’t wanna do that to a kid.” [Then the] gay community finds out about this. The gay community would do the fastest 180 and become pro-life faster than anybody you’ve ever seen.  They’d be so against abortion if it was discovered that you could abort what you knew were gonna be gay babies.” – Rush Limbaugh

I wonder if Rush Limbaugh would feel the same way if they discovered a gene that would suggest a child would be born sexist, racist, homophobic and ignorant.  Mr. Limbaugh has made countless and offensive remarks about women, minorities and homosexuals and justified them by saying he’s a comedian….I don’t think comedians become comedians to justify and spread their hate.

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. Sin becomes fine,” he later added. “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men. Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers — they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.” – Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty)

Comparing homosexuality with bestiality….why do these God-fearing men and women always make this comparison.  As I proud gay man – I have no desire to have sexual inter-course with any animal and I don’t know any other gay person who feels the same.  Why the obsession with homosexuality, bestiality and adultery Phil?  Creating controversy that instills hate in order to increase viewership and financially benefit is irresponsible and not very Christian, is it?

If these so-called “Christians” like Pat Robertson, Maggie Gallagher, Brian Brown, Phil Robertson, Michele Bachmann, Bryan Fischer and so many other judgemental individuals focused on issues that would promote love, kindness and compassion into the world, imagine how much more supportive, inclusive, loving and kind people would be?  If organizations such as the American Family Association or National Organization for Marriage tackled issues of homelessness and poverty imagine the lives that would be changed.  Religious leaders need to re-focus and declare war on human rights violations, income inequality, domestic abuse, destruction of the environment, greed, gang violence, sexual eduction, rape and so many other issues of importance that will ensure positive outcomes.  From my understanding, God’s message is to support love, compassion and kindness – His message wasn’t to spread ignorance, hate and incite violence on those who are different or have different belief systems.

Larry Tomczak, anti-gay pastor, has recently made comments about the film, Foxcatcher, directed by Bennett Miller and starring Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum as well as the Ellen Degeneres show, American Idol, Glee and Two And A Half Men of being part of Hollywood’s gay agenda.  He also said professional NFL football athlete Michael Sam was a “castaway” for coming out.  Tomczak also suggested that gay advocacy groups were trying to push their gay agenda on children.  Ellen Degeneres addresses Larry’s ignorant views in a very eloquent and humorous way:

You may ask yourself why I’m writing a blog that has seems to be somewhat negative…my intention in writing this blog is to create awareness of those who may instill their ignorant views on others.  This blog is a means of providing a different view-point – and considering the subject – who do you believe has the most knowledge of the subject of homosexuality, those who make ignorant and biased statements or a homosexual?  Creating positive change in the world won’t happen with hate, ignorance and judgement – it comes from love, compassion and truth.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

A NORMAL HEART

Who do you think when someone asks you, “Who is your role model?” – Most people (I believe) would indicate an actor/actress, a celebrity, sports athlete, writer, poet, singer, etc….For me – Those who inspire me and that I consider role models are people who have and continue to create positive change in the world.  Some of my role models include:  Dian Fossey, Ingrid Newkirk, Al Gore, Harvey Milk, Martin Luther King Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, Lousie L. Hay and Mother Teresa, just to name a few.

There are so many ‘unsung heroes’ who continue to inspire and are determined to create positive change on many issues – Jane Goodall continues to inspire and create safe havens for chimpanzees, Leonardo DiCaprio inspires a whole new generation of environmentalists and those who want to curb climate change and there are doctors, scientists, environmentalists, politicians and human rights activists that are adamant in bringing their ideologies to light in order to help resolve current political and social issues.

Growing up as a gay teenager in the early 80’s, I was not aware of any gay role models who were determined to create positive change for the LGBT community.  The only things I remember in reference to my ‘lifestyle’ was that I was a faggot and that I may end up dying with AIDS.  Mainstream media talked about homosexuality in a negative way and that it was a lifestyle choice.  Homosexuals were sick and sexual predators, we were pedophiles who were going to hell because of our sin.  The only homosexuals that were ‘accepted’ by society at large were flamboyant celebrities like; Liberace, Elton John, Boy George, Freddie Mercury, etc…and they didn’t even identify as ‘gay’.

My teenage years were filled with darkness and suicidal thoughts because of how society viewed homosexuals.  I wasn’t able to live authentically until I discovered that there were countless others like me and that we lived happily and together in our own community.  Living in the shadow of AIDS and believing that AIDS was a ‘gay’ disease, I developed feelings of internal homophobia.  I started to believe all the stereotypes that heterosexuals had about the gay community – we were sinners, we were promiscuous, we partied all the time, we were sexual deviants, we dressed as woman, we were heavy drug users, pedophiles, faggots, should be killed and I thought I would die of AIDS because I was gay.

My life changed after I left home and moved in with my first serious boyfriend.  I knew he was HIV – and thought that this would not affect me in any way, I was wrong.  I stayed with him for all the wrong reasons – I felt sorry for him and found it very difficult to end our relationship.  Don’t get me wrong, I cared for him very much, but I knew it wasn’t going to last.  The best thing about our relationship was the education and awareness I received regarding HIV and AIDS.  I formed wonderful relationships with many individuals who were victims of misinformation and bigotry surrounding this disease.

I recently watched The Normal Heart, the movie written by Larry Kramer and directed by Ryan Murphy.  This movie brought up so many feelings and emotions I had during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s.  I was enraged that it took so long for governments to act to contain the spread of the disease.  I was angered at how society viewed and treated homosexuals during a time when they required compassion the most.  I felt that I could easily have been a character in the movie – I lived most of it already.  I may not have lost as many friends as the generation before me did to the disease but I certainly knew of individuals who experienced many of the same shaming, judgements, hatred and discrimination as the characters of The Normal Heart did.

So who are my role models – those who are courageous enough to tell these stories without fear of recourse.  Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch, Larry Kramer, Ryan Murphy, Brad Pitt, Matt Boomer, the entire cast of this movie.  These celebrities and the real people who experienced these stories are my role models.  People who want to see the end of human suffering and who want to create positive change in the world – those are my role models.

I remember a discussion I had with the Director of The AIDS Committee of Toronto in the early 1990’s.  A discussion that revolved around my internal homophobia in which he offered this advice:  “Think about who you are hurting regarding how you feel – yourself.  Do you want to move forward and become happy or do want to continue living a life on how others perceive you to be?”  David is no longer with us today.  He was one of the great people we lost to this disease and his understanding, empathy, compassion and love continues to inspire me to create positive change in our world.

This blog is my THANK YOU to all who continue to inspire despite the challenges they face and all the people we have lost because of the positive change they wanted to create in the world.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!