Friday, December 11, 2009

Hate

Before I start this blog, I'd like to apologize. I didn't really keep up with the "at least once a month" idea. I totally skipped November! Ok so, hate is a strong word right? At least that what the Plain White T's think. And who am I to argue with some one who sings a song as epic as Hey There Delilah? Yes, hate is a strong word. So if it is such a strong word, then why is it so often used as a word used to describe the emotion that the Almighty has toward homosexuality? This omnipotent being who in His own New York Best-seller book wrote that He is love. How can the epitome of love, hate? There are people out there such as Reverend Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church who would like to send a message of destruction and hate to the world. These lovely examples of "christianity" go to funerals of gay people and protest with signs saying "Thank God for AIDS" and "God hates fags"! How ridiculous of statements! One thing that I think he doesn't realize however is that his church has 81 members....70 of those members are his own family. Moving on!
If God hates us so much then why did His only son die on a cross? And why did His son say such wonderful words in the Sermon on the Mount? Let's refresh what the Good Shepherd said:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they who mourn,
for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek,
for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they shall be satisfied.

Blessed are the merciful,
for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure of heart,
for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called children of God.

Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Now it says something about mercy....what exactly is the meaning of mercy? According to Merriam-Webster, Mercy is: 1) compassion or forbearance shown especially to an offender or to one subject to one's power; also : lenient or compassionate treatment 2) a blessing that is an act of divine favor or compassion 3) compassionate treatment of those in distress. That third definition really caught my attention. Jesus was the embodiment of mercy. Christians are supposed to be like Jesus. Therefore Christians should act merciful, yes? I'm sorry, but the simple logic of the situation is overwhelming! Ok, next "hate" issue.
Many Christians believe that God "hates" gay people because of our good old friend, Leviticus 18:22 "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman. It is an abomination." Hmm...strong words. Now I'd like to dissect that word, abomination. That word abomination in English means: worthy of or causing disgust or hatred. Well sure, now it seems like God is a queer-hater. One thing that a lot of people don't know is, when the Bible was translated into English by King James, some of the meaning was lost. If we go back to the original Hebrew word "toeyvah" which is translated meaning unclean. Not just unclean, but ceremoniously unclean meaning that it went against the Jewish culture. So therefore, being against their culture meant that they couldn't partake. Another argument that is pro-homosexuality is that in those days, God was mainly concerned with procreation. He struck a man dead for (pardon the bluntness) but ejaculating on a woman's stomach because he "spilled his seed". In those days, the Jewish community was so small that any sexual activity that didn't produce offspring was strictly forbidden. Now in the New Testament, Paul also addresses homosexuality. In Romans, Paul says: "For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due" (Romans 1:26-27). Now the reason for the controversy is that in the time, the most common homosexual practice was called pederasty. This was a pedophiliac relationship between an older man (35+) and an adolescent teenager. Obviously, this kind of practice is immoral and most homosexuals will agree that that is someone taking advantage of a person's innocence. Now, most likely, this is the practice Paul was referring to. The long-term, commitment-oriented relationships we are all striving for today may not have been prevalent enough in that time period for Paul to mention. While I have barely scratched the surface of homosexual issues in the Bible, I hope that this basic introduction will encourage your exploration. If you are a devout Christian, there is no reason for you to spread hate in disgust when it comes to homosexuals. Your God loves us just as much as He loves you and I highly doubt this is what He had planned when He sent His own Son to die on the cross. While I am not trying to sway anyone's personal religious convictions for their own personal life, I would like for you to be aware of the ideas and philosophies of others. We are all struggling to find our path. As one of my good friends said, "Religion is like math. 2+2=4. But 2+2 isn't the only way to get 4. 1+3, -3+7, 18-14. The list goes on. We're all climbing life's mountain and there are many paths but only one end result." Thank you guys for listening and I hope that you leave the world better than you find it. It is part of my New Year resolution to continue this blog so look for more updates and I hope more people join in the fun. In the words of Houston's new openly gay mayor (BTW Houston is now the largest city in the U.S. with an openly gay mayor), Annise Parker, "I have always stood up for the fact that I am gay. It's part of the resume that I bring
to the table, but it's just a piece of the package."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

HIV/AIDS

I've decided to tackle yet another cultural cliche. Only gay people get AIDS. Oy vey, how many times over the past few months have I heard this ignorant statement? Way too many I tell you! That's why I'm here to clear up some false pretenses about this disease. According to WHO (World Health Organization), there are 32.9 million people living with AIDS globally as of 2007. Only 1.2 million of those poor souls live in North America. Mind you, North America and the United States specifically is, for the most part, the only population who believe AIDS is related to homosexuality. Another shocking statistic: 50% of all those people living with the condition are women and children. Fun fact for ya: lesbians are one of the lowest risk categories for HIV/AIDS. Man that's a whole lot of straight women dying of AIDS for it be a "gay" disease wouldn't you say? To be fair, as of 2006, 50% of all cases in the United States were caused by homosexual activity. But a staggering 33% of all cases were caused by "High-risk" heterosexual activity. You might ask what is the "high-risk" kind of breeder sex? I asked the same. Apparently it is sexual activity between people in high risk categories, such as: African-Americans or sex without contraception. And yes, black people are at a higher risk and no, it is not because of black people in Africa! They're still at a higher risk in the United States. Another small tidbit of brain food: African American women are at a higher risk of contraction than homosexual males. So I hope everyone sticks those ideas and percentages in their proverbial pipes and light up! HIV is not from God to kill gay people. First, all sin is supposedly the same to God and people aren't dropping dead when they gossip; The View is proof of such a statement. Second, if for whatever fucked up reason God wanted to kill us, I highly doubt the omnipotent Lord of the universe would use a virus. Third, if it were a gay disease, then only gay people would be dying of AIDS...and lesbians clearly aren't! Regardless of your personal choice in religion, don't blame God for your ignorance and bigotry. I'm sure the Almighty doesn't want His people giving him a bad reputation for being the fag killer!
In other HIV news, there is a new vaccine out that is effective in about 31% of those tested on. There was a six year study done in Thailand with 16,000 volunteers and it was funded partly by the United States. That puts to rest another incorrect Christian dogma: that in the end-times there will be incurable diseases and that HIV/AIDS is one of them. This vaccine may only be effective one-third of the time but its a huge step forward. Maybe one day Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome will be something as foreign a concept as the black plague or the Spanish flu. Now is the time for me to leave you with another quote: "The fight against HIV/AIDS requires leadership from all parts of government--and it needs to go right to the top. AIDS is far more than a health crisis. It is a threat to development itself." -Kolfi Annan. Please go out into the world and remind those out there that the top commandment in the Bible is to love the Lord and secondly to love all those around you. We are all creatures fighting our way through existence. Cherish those around you and hope for better days!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Definitions

Alright class, today we're going to learn definitions. Grab your pens, paper and dictionaries (UrbanDictionary for those that apply) and get your thinking caps! Ok, enough with that charade but seriously let's talk about current societal definitions. Person: An individual human being; a conscious form of life. Gay: A flagrantly homosexual person that likes to speak with a "lisp", carry purses, get highlights and act as feminine as he possibly can while still having XY chromosomes. Lesbian: A homosexual woman who likes to dress like a man and has a very short hair cut; possibly a lawyer, mechanic or gym coach. Tranny: A person who is confused as to what gender they want to be; a perverted and mentally disturbing individual. Now who can tell me which one of those terms is actually correct? For those of you who are unaware, there is an inclination in our society that gay people are completely and totally defined by their sexuality. When a person first comes out, it is easy to allow yourself to be dwarfed by this new reality. The truth is, sexual orientation is only one small portion of your life. Sexuality doesn't define your life, it defines who you'll share your life with. So let's go back to that one definition that is actually acceptable; Person: An individual human being; a conscious form of life. We are all just people trying to make sense of this whole mess called life. We're all trying to make our way past the stresses, insecurities, and baggage of life to find that one special person to help us make our journey. What's at the end? There are a lot of theories on that one. No one's reported back from the other side so far. When they do, I'll be sure to blog about it. As usual, I'll leave you with a quote, "Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" -Ernest Gaines Thanks again guys for tuning into my miniscule channel of ideas. Hope to hear from you soon!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Choices

Hmm....choices. They happen everyday right? Grande or Tall; Blue jeans or slacks; call-in or go to work, we all do it. One major "choice" for the LGBTIQ community is our sexual orientation. After a very stirring conversation with a family member earlier today, I decided it was time to debunk the most popular gay myth of them all: "Homosexuality is a choice." Now, many of you are thinking, "Yeah, its a choice but I still don't judge" or you're thinking, "It's absolutely a choice and a wrong one at that" or maybe you're one of the few open-minded, educated people of the world and are thinking, "Why would anyone ever think it was a choice?" The correct response is the latter of the three. No, homosexuality is not a choice. I did not wake up one day and all of a sudden think that Bob over there is a real cutie. There are many theories (real theories, like the kind tested and proven by scientists and psychologists) as to why all of us fags like each other. One of the out-dated but still plausible ideas is that in the early stages of childhood development, a person attains the affinity for the same sex. Many psychologists and psychoanalysts are now saying that if this theory is true, sexual orientation is determined within the first two years of life. A problem with that is where do some of us get the exposure? Harvey Milk said something to the affect of, "I was raised in a straight, catholic family. All the men around me were straight. If my orientation was based on that, I'd be the straightest man who ever lived." The second theory, this is backed by mounds of scientific evidence, is the genetic theory. Many people who are not well read on the subject may think it isn't true because they have not pinpointed a specific gene. No, they have not narrowed it down to one gene and there is a very plausible reason for that. The "gay" gene is best described as similar to the gene that determines skin tone. In fact, there's a whole group of genes that determines how light or dark one's skin will be. The best way to think of it is, if a black person and a white person have a child, that child will not be either black or white. Most likely, the child will be a mixture of the skin tones. That's because the different genes all meld into this new person. So one may say, "How does that relate to sexuality?" Basically, when the parents genes mix, you have a higher chance of being gay or straight, with some grey area in between. That is why there are so many different types of orientation. It's just like skin tone. Make sense? I know that probably wasn't my most coherent blog but I'm a little fatigued. So what have we learned this time? Being gay is not a choice. It would be so much easier to stay straight considering all the crap gays are put through when coming out. We don't really know why we are the way we are but what we do know is that we have to be true to ourselves. I've never made such an upset in my life over a simple choice. I am gay and have always been gay and will always be gay. That is a fact, a reality in my life. I love myself and my fellow queers. We are all unique, beautiful and incredibly strong. If you're out there and struggling with your orientation, we are all here with open arms and words of encouragement. We will have our ears ready to hear and our hearts ready to love. That is our identity, how we survive. I'll leave with another quote from one of our most beloved leaders, Harvey Milk, "If a bullet should go through my head, let that bullet go through every closet door." I love you all and thank you again for reading.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bisexuality

So I'm starting this post at 1:00 A.M. and I'm thinking to myself...wow, I officially have no life! You may ask why I'm up so late considering I have to be at one of my wonderful jobs at ten thirty later today. The reason is, I had a mission tonight. After dredging around in cyberland, I suddenly had a craving for the stash of dehydrated asian noodles I had in the kitchen. When I went downstairs to fetch the Ramen treat, I realized Mandy had packed all the dishes in order for me to make this oriental delight. Then I thought to myself, with my friends moving in soon, we are probably going to need some sort of cookware. Thank capitalism for WalMart! Open 24-hours a day and has almost anything the heart could desire! From condoms to birth control, Vogue to the Bible, they have it all. So I set out to WalMart, barefoot, and bought myself some cooking utensils. I made it home and started making my excuse for a noodle soup. While I was sitting and waiting for my Eastern Gluten to boil, I thought, "This would be the perfect time to continue on my blog." So this entire paragraph really has nothing to do with the title of "Bisexuality." Again, to help those catching up in terms of culture, I'll define this word more thoroughly. Bisexuality: The sexual desire of a person for both sexes equally. Now most of us have probably heard people say negative comments about bisexuals such as, "They're just confused" or "They just need to pick a side." Unfortunately, those phrases are just as derogatory as saying homosexuality isn't natural. The fact is, bisexuality is not a very confusing concept. It just means some people like sausage tacos instead of one or the other. Admittedly, there are a lot of gay men and women who when they first come out of the closet, say to their loved ones that they are bisexual. Most people have a conception of bisexuality as a phase; therefore, it eases the blow because most people will assume the "phase" will end quickly. I even said  that I was bisexual when I first came out. Another antiquated idea is that there are only three categories of sexuality (i.e. Heterosexual, Homosexual, and Bisexual). In 1948, Alfred Kinsey created a scale of sexuality for people to gauge their own position in the sensual spectrum. The scale is as follows: 0) Exclusively heterosexual 1) Predominately heterosexual, only incidentally homosexual 2) Predominately heterosexual but more than incidentally homosexual 3) Equally heterosexual and homosexual; Bisexual 4) Predominately homosexual but more than incidentally heterosexual 5) Predominately homosexual, only incidentally heterosexual 6) Exclusively homosexual. This is a great way for people to see how varied sexuality is. As you can see, there are more than three categories. On this system of measurement I would say I am a 5. I also like the term Homoflexible: I'm gay but shit happens :-) Now I'm going to speak directly to those people who think that they are bisexual but are not entirely sure. Let me ask you this, when you're sitting with a group of people, are you having sexual thoughts about all of them or just one gender? If you are bisexual, the only person confusing you is yourself. There is nothing unnatural or strange about it. It is just as natural as being straight, gay or transgendered. Yes, I said it, transgendered! And now I'm going to talk to those people who are "bisexual." If you are just now coming out and to shield yourself and others from the "truth" you choose to say you're bisexual, stop. First of all, you're giving true bisexuals a bad name because when you eventually do say that you're gay, it adds to the idea that bisexuals are just confused gays. Second of all, most likely, you're not fooling anyone. I wasn't! So what have we learned today? 1) Bisexuals are not confused 2) Alfred Kinsey was a pretty cool guy that was way ahead of his time considering he released his findings in the forties 3) Don't worry if you're bisexual because we will all love you the same as our gay or straight friends and finally 4) Nathan is a five on the Kinsey scale so all the girls out there still holding a flame of desire in your heart for my body can finally get some shut eye knowing it may happen one day! haha
On a different note, I have set up an email account specifically for this blog. I encourage you to email me with your questions and ideas for future topics. I really like this idea! And seeing as my Dr. Pepper is running dry and my Ramen noodles have seemingly vanished, I believe it is time to end this excursion. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read my thoughts. I hope in some way I have helped you in a way I wish someone had for me years ago. I'll leave you with this quote about bisexuality: "Homosexuality was invented by a straight world dealing with its own bisexuality." -Kate Millett

I love you all very much. Let's go and help our society evolve toward sexual understanding.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

First Things First

So since my coming out in February of 2009, my eyes have been opened to realize how many stereotypes about the gay community are nowhere near true. The conservative segment of the population has tried to demonize and vilify us homos in a hope to stop our "recruitment" process. I do think it is funny that no matter how many of their children they try to drain of open-mindedness and optimism, there still seems to be many being "recruited" daily by the homosexual community! So I would like to take the time to clear up a few misconceptions about the gay community in a hopes that we can all be more well-rounded, accepting, intelligent people. Let's begin with the most famous: "All gay men just want to be women." Let me first tell you that I am very comfortable with my masculinity. I have never worn a thread of female clothing and highly doubt I ever will barring some extreme Halloween dare. Gay men do NOT want to be women. We love having the male body and love to pursue the male body as well. Transgenderism, while a very serious and important subject, is quite different to the average gay man. So, on the the next myth.
"All gay men want to cross dress." While this is similar to the first, they are different. People tend to shy away from subjects that they do not understand. Two of those subjects being Transgenderism and Transvestism. To help all those out there who are not familiar with those terms, let's define them. Transgenderism: The desire to have one's gender be reassigned. The feeling that you were born in the wrong body as far as genetalia is concerned. Transvestism: The desire to wear clothing of the opposite sex either for sexual pleasure or a feeling of empowerment. Ok, now that we know what the difference is, let's notice that the person's sexual orientation plays no part in those definitions. Most people would be shocked to find out how many straight men cross-dress! To many of them, it is just a character. It is a way for them to not be "Mike from the office" or "James, the Mechanic". They feel like they can free themselves and find a way of self-expression not afforded to them in their "normal" gender roles. Now transgenderism. That is a very difficult subject for most people to even think about. I was also among those who considered it "weird" or "unnatural" at one point. I've since changed my opinion having learned more about the subject. People who are transgendered believe that their internal monologue, personality, and over-all demeanor doesn't suit their gender. They feel like they were born in the "wrong" body. For some reason, we (as a society) have assumed that their choice in gender is automatically the same as their sexual orientation. This is very much not true. I hear of one man who all his life was the most attractive guy. He always had the most attention from the women he was around but something never felt quite right. Eventually, he realized that he was of the transgender persuasion. She had the sex change and now she is a lesbian. As you can see, her desire for women was not affected by the gender she assumed. So next time you come across a person that is transgendered, give them a hug. Because whether you believe it is "natural" or not, the courage it takes them to do something so drastic and unrecognized by most of our society is unfathomable and I applaud them!! Next!
"Gay men are sluts." While my personal dating record could possibly prove that correct, that's not why I'm writing this! This rumor was spread around our general consciousness around the 1970's and 80's. At this times is when the HIV/AIDS pandemic hit America for the first time. Because there was a cultural revolution occurring at the time, gays were just now getting to the point where they could see one another more frequently. This was the same time that bath houses (google it) and other establishments similar to that, were gaining popularity. With all this new found sexual freedom, I admit, the gay community went a little crazy. There was a lot of unprotected, anonymous sex (which is not advisable!). Because of this sex-crazed mood, when the first few people got HIV, they spread within the community so quickly, most people had no idea until too late. This is when the conservative community stepped in and said that it was a punishment from God to condemn the homosexual promiscuity at the time. I've said all that to say this: that old stigma is no longer true. The spirit of the gay community has changed so drastically since then. At one time, the conservatives were condemning us for our promiscuity and now they're condemning us because we want to be married and be monogamous.  Wow, long explanation....moving on.
"All gay men are flamboyant and 'prissy.'" Also not true. Guys, let me just say this. How many times have you thought that the line backer on the football team was looking around a bit too much in the locker room? There are so many men out there that act completely masculine that are also gay. Masculinity and femininity have been associated with certain sexual orientations and genders for no specific reason. Let's break down those antiquated barriers and evolve as a society please!
"HIV/AIDS is a 'gay' disease." As previously stated, the gay community took a major hit from HIV/AIDS. It's mostly because safe-sex isn't as widely discussed in the gay community as the straight. Straight kids are almost all taught to use a condom. Well....more so than gay kids who generally have no parental guidance for their sexual activity. Needless to say, AIDS is not a "gay" disease. Africa and South America are being decimated by this virus and it is almost all straight men, women and children. To say this disease is a condemnation from God to kill the the gay community is a beyond ignorant statement. 

Alright, this has been a fairly long post! I think it may be only because it is my first...of many hopefully! I'm going to try to update it weekly if not more. I'll be covering a lot of LGBT issues but also my personal life. I'll leave you with this wonderful quote: "The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals.  That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals.  It's just that they need more supervision."-Lynn Lavner

Let's put aside these futile differences and live in a world of acceptance and equality! Later!