Friday, March 05, 2010

Me . Age 10.

Me. Age 10.

One of my all-time-favorite pictures of me.

I'll update this post soon with the details behind the picture. (Preview: Note the scabs on my face - and the uneven bangs.)

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Video: The Known Universe by the American Museum of Natural History

This is a fascinating video! It really makes me realize how small we really are.

The video's description:
The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world's most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010.

Though I think the background music is fine, I think Pink Floyd's Shine On You Crazy Diamond would fit better.

Try it yourself: Start both videos at the same time. Then turn down the volume of the top video and turn up the volume of the bottom one. Then only watch the top video.

Things NOT To Ask A Gay Guy

I read Davey Wavey's blog mainly because he does all his video posts shirtless. (Yes, I am shallow.)

He does have some insightful posts though. He discusses "Things NOT to ask a gay guy" in the below video blog entry. (He calls them talky blogs.)

For the lazy/curious, here are the questions. You'll have to watch the video (NSFW - language) for his answers.

1. "Who's the woman in your relationship?"
2. "I know you like guys. Are you attracted to me?"
3. "When did you decide to be gay?"
4. "Aren't you worried about AIDS?"
5. "How do you know if you're gay if you've never slept with a woman?"

Letter from My Parents to the Catholic Church

Both of my parents are quite active in the Catholic church. They brought me and my two sisters up Catholic. We went to Catholic school - one of my sisters and I for 13 years, my other sister for 9 years. They have always gone to church every Sunday, and required us to do the same until we left home at 18 or so.

Currently, my mom is an usher and my dad is a lector for their parish's weekly masses.

When they found out that the New Orleans Archbishop donated money for the recent campaign to stop civil unions in Maine, they contacted the Archbishop, whom they have known (on a first-name basis) for 30 years. (He was a priest in our local parish when we lived in another area of New Orleans.)

Here is what their letter said.

February 17, 2010

Archbishop Gregory Aymond
[his address]

Dear Greg:

The action that you took donating $5,000 to stop civil unions in Maine hurt us deeply.

We personally have two children who were raised in the Catholic Church to love God and love their fellow man without any reservations. God created them in His image and even though their sexual orientation may be different from yours or ours, they should not be marginalized or denied their civil rights because of this.

Christ's actions, when He was here on earth, were to accept everyone as equal. We have a moral responsibility to live the way Christ taught us by His example, which is to love our fellow man - even though he or she may be different from us.

We urge you, in the future, to reach out just as Christ did to those individuals who may be different from us whether in ethnicity, sexuality or in religious beliefs instead of trying to ostracize them.

We wish you much success as we all strive to live our lives in the image of Christ. Thank you so much for your time and we hope to see you soon.


[my parents]

I am very proud of them for taking a stand - and for taking the time to make their feelings known!


The Archbishop replied to them. I do not have a copy of the letter, but I do remember bits of it:
- "Granting civil unions to homosexuals would undermine the sanctity of marriage."
- "Though I disagree with your opinion, I respect it."
- "I was not the one who gave the $5000. It was the previous Archbishop, though I agree with his decision."

(If/When I can get a copy of the letter, I'll update this post.)

What a bunch of crap!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Article: It's Not God Saying Gays Should Be Put to Death, It's YOU

Filed by: Waymon Hudson (pictured below)
February 24, 2010 4:00 PM

Alright. Let's get one thing straight, fundie homophobes- you don't get a pass when you "quote" the Leviticus Bible verse saying:

If man lies with a man as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.

This may come as a shock to the "hate the sin, love the sinner" set, but by quoting that verse, it's not God saying that gays should be put to death - it's YOU. It's not simply a personal religious view or a debatable "political difference" or a great talking point. YOU are saying that I should be put to death.

This week we've heard it from everyone from a Ugandan Pastor to another California Beauty Queen, Miss Beverly Hills 2010 Lauren Ashley. And despite them both saying they 'don't hate gay people', there's not much love in saying I should have 'blood upon me.' That's not really a debatable point.

Of course we've all heard that Leviticus quote in every debate about homosexuality and LGBT rights that comes up. Everyone from Focus on the Family to politicians to Westboro Baptist Church throws that verse up as a bump-sticker quote that explains why they hate us- and why it's beyond their control that they do.
They just can't help it- God says so.

Uganda's Porn Peddling Pastor Martin Ssempa uses the quote to explain why his country should pass the "Kill the Gays" Bill, even while at the same time he says he doesn't hate gays. It's just about the act, not the person. It's out of his hands- that verse means we should die. It's not up to him.

Even the new Miss Beverly Hills 2010 Lauren Ashley uses the verse to explain why it's okay if she hates the gays:

The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. In Leviticus it says, 'If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.' The Bible is pretty black and white. I feel like God himself created mankind and he loves everyone, and he has the best for everyone. If he says that having sex with someone of your same gender is going to bring death upon you, that's a pretty stern warning, and he knows more than we do about life.

Yet in the same breath, she says she personally doesn't hate gays, we just have a friendly difference of opinion:

That isn't really the issue. I have a lot of friends that are gay, and ... I have a lot of friends who have different views, and we share our views together.

See? It's not Miss Beverly Hills who thinks you should die - just ask her gay friends!

This verse has become a homophobic cover for people to try to wash their hands of the damage they are doing and the violent, extremist views they hold. It's become an accepted talking point for bigots and haters, parroted without any real thought about the consequences of saying a swath of people should be killed because their personal idea of 'God says so.' (Oddly, the same people breeze over other 'abomination' verses in the same book and put on their mixed fiber clothing and eat their shrimp scampi after church.) I've personally heard that 'gays should be killed verse way too much in my life. It's what started my life as an activist when a skycap played it over the intercom in Fort Lauderdale Airport as a joke. Because saying I should die is simply hilarious.

Think it's a stretch to mention the Ugandan Pastor and a California Beauty Queen in the same post? It's not. It's the "trickle down" hate effect. Leaders crow about how gays should die and then small-minded bigots use it in casual conversation. It's all the same hate.

That's why it's important that we don't give passes to people like Miss Beverly Hills. She invoked 'death for gays' in a discussion on gay marriage (and pageants) and wasn't challenged by the interviewer. That's how accepted the talking point has become. That's what we are facing.

And that's why we have to always call it out.

Let's be clear: when you trot out this Bible verse, you are endorsing it, embracing it, and wrapping yourself in it. No amount of "I have gay friends", "it's just the act", or excuse-making will soften it. YOU are saying I should be killed.

You can't wipe your hands of it, you can't act shocked when violence happens to LGBT people, and you can't distance yourself from it. YOU own it. YOU are part of it.

And no amount of fancy pageant walking will change that.


The original article is here.

Here is a related article about the "beauty" queen.


Finally, here is a related sign.