Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kim English "Unspeakable Joy"



I'm not going to rant about the ongoing and perilous Cancer of Ignorance that
strangles this country from sea to sea....

I'm not going to bash and give more attention to extremist nutso pastors who
don't even know the God they proclaim to speak for....

I'm not even going to question what they are putting in the water in North
Carolina, honey....

I'm just going to sit back and let Miss Kim English do her thang and sing
that song and feel joy....as she talks about real spirituality and real depth
and real love.

If only it were contagious.

Peace, love, respect, and long-and-prosperous-life to all of you, my brothers
and sisters. Don't let the fools and the fanatics alter your day!

************************************************************

Monday, May 21, 2012

NO H8 Photo & Awareness Campaign

"NO H8" is the successful and widespread
photography campaign of protest and
awareness started by Adam Bouska
(pictured last.)

Musicians, politicians, artists....


actors, commentators, lawyers...


people from all walks of life,


both LGBT and allies....


have been coming together to participate


in this impressive concept.


Specifically designed to counter Proposition 8


in California, it grew so much larger!


Check out the link below


to reach the website, and to read


a great piece by Abiola Abrams


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Unnecessary Torture: We Hold The Key




I have seen so many people struggling with self-acceptance
over the years. The idea of living a complete life while wholly
accepting their sexuality and identity is a foreign concept to
many folks.


It is foolish to think that everyone will become an activist, or
be open about themselves across the world. Too many places
hold tightly to old ways and backwards, repressive notions.


And I don't think most activists do have that idea in their
head; a world where every LGBT person is out for the world
to see. I can't make the oppressiveness and hate change,
but I can try to help people choose to be free and comfy in
their own shoes, whatever their level of 'out-ness' may be.

To be comfortable in their own skins and love themselves.


In small towns, in religious families, in small countries, many
will never know the freedom of living their life completely for
themselves. Being a half-hearted part of a broken whole is
more significant to them than being a complete individual.
It takes time to break from the pack and live for self.


When I watched the movie J. Edgar this weekend, it broke my heart.


I was reminded of all the hurting people I've known over the
years who lived half a life, condemning themselves and turning
away from their feelings, in pointless attempts to please and
appease other people.


Leonardo DiCaprio's performance (pinpointing the truths of
Mr. Black's brilliant script) was phenomenal with the redirected
energies, culminating as they always seem to do, in self-destructive
behavior and extending the repressive hate to others.

There are all kinds of lives, all levels of self-acceptance, every
kind of gay person.


But self-love cannot ever be wrong, no matter how much it
scares other people....(most of whom, quite evidently it would
seem, are scared and angry from not loving themselves.)


Second class citizenship is not acceptable, even if many of us
have been shamed and trained to believe otherwise.

****************************************************

Friday, May 18, 2012

"Bullying as True Drama" (from The New York Times)

Bullying as True Drama


By DANAH BOYD and ALICE MARWICK




THE suicide of Jamey Rodemeyer, the 14-year-old boy from western New York who killed himself last Sunday after being tormented by his classmates for being gay, is appalling. His story is a classic case of bullying: he was aggressively and repeatedly victimized. Horrific episodes like this have sparked conversations about cyberbullying and created immense pressure on regulators and educators to do something, anything, to make it stop.

Yet in the rush to find a solution, adults are failing to recognize how their conversations about bullying are often misaligned with youth narratives. Adults need to start paying attention to the language of youth if they want anti bullying interventions to succeed.

Jamey recognized that he was being bullied and asked explicitly for help, but this is not always the case. Many teenagers who are bullied can't emotionally afford to identify as victims, and young people who bully others rarely see themselves as perpetrators. For a teenager to recognize herself or himself in the adult language of bullying carries social and psychological costs. It requires acknowledging oneself as either powerless or abusive.

In our research over a number of years, we have interviewed and observed teenagers across the United States. Given the public interest in cyberbullying, we asked young people about it, only to be continually rebuffed. Teenagers repeatedly told us that bullying was something that happened only in elementary or middle school. "There's no bullying at this school" was a regular refrain.

This didn't mesh with our observations, so we struggled to understand the disconnect. While teenagers denounced bullying, they - especially girls - would describe a host of interpersonal conflicts playing out in their lives as "drama."


At first, we thought drama was simply an umbrella term, referring to varying forms of bullying, joking around, minor skirmishes between friends, breakups and makeups, and gossip. We thought teenagers viewed bullying as a form of drama. But we realized the two are quite distinct. Drama was not a show for us, but rather a protective mechanism for them.

Teenagers say drama when they want to diminish the importance of something. Repeatedly, teenagers would refer to something as "just stupid drama," "something girls do," or "so high school." We learned that drama can be fun and entertaining; it can be serious or totally ridiculous; it can be a way to get attention or feel validated. But mostly we learned that young people use the term drama because it is empowering.

Dismissing a conflict that's really hurting their feelings as drama lets teenagers demonstrate that they don't care about such petty concerns. They can save face while feeling superior to those tormenting them by dismissing them as desperate for attention. Or, if they're the instigators, the word drama lets teenagers feel that they're participating in something innocuous or even funny, rather than having to admit that they've hurt someone's feelings. Drama allows them to distance themselves from painful situations.


Adults want to help teenagers recognize the hurt that is taking place, which often means owning up to victimhood. But this can have serious consequences. To recognize oneself as a victim - or perpetrator - requires serious emotional, psychological and social support, an infrastructure unavailable to many teenagers. And when teenagers like Jamey do ask for help, they're often let down. Not only are many adults ill-equipped to help teenagers do the psychological work necessary, but teenagers' social position often requires them to continue facing the same social scene day after day.

Like Jamey, there are young people who identify as victims of bullying. But many youths engaged in practices that adults label bullying do not name them as such. Teenagers want to see themselves as in control of their own lives; their reputations are important. Admitting that they're being bullied, or worse, that they are bullies, slots them into a narrative that's disempowering and makes them feel weak and childish.

Anti bullying efforts cannot be successful if they make teenagers feel victimized without providing them the support to go from a position of victimization to one of empowerment. When teenagers acknowledge that they're being bullied, adults need to provide programs similar to those that help victims of abuse. And they must recognize that emotional recovery is a long and difficult process.


But if the goal is to intervene at the moment of victimization, the focus should be to work within teenagers' cultural frame, encourage empathy and help young people understand when and where drama has serious consequences. Interventions must focus on positive concepts like healthy relationships and digital citizenship rather than starting with the negative framing of bullying. The key is to help young people feel independently strong, confident and capable without first requiring them to see themselves as either an oppressed person or an oppressor.

***************************************************************************


Danah Boyd is a senior researcher at Microsoft Research and a research assistant professor at New York University. Alice Marwick is a postdoctoral researcher at Microsoft Research and a research affiliate at Harvard University.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Open Letter to Dr. Reisman

Taken from the Heartstrong newsletter:
An Open Letter to Liberty University School of Law Visiting Professor Dr. Judith Reisman

Judith Reisman: ...the aim of homosexual males and now increasingly females is not to have sex with other old guys and get married but to obtain sex with as many boys as possible. That's the reality. I wish it weren't, but it is.


Reisman also recently claimed, "Just as AIDS is a natural outgrowth of amoral sexual education and media, so too is child sexual abuse. We are breeding a new human character and child sexual abuse is increasingly part of that character."

Following Dr. Reisman's false statements about gay men and lesbians, HeartStrong founder and executive director Marc Adams sent the following open letter to Dr. Reisman, the LU School of Law and several media outlets. This was done to remind Dr. Reisman of the potential effects such pronouncements can have on young men and women as well as reiterate HeartStrong's call to be a voice for students who are unable to speak for themselves.


***************************************************


AN OPEN LETTER TO DR. REISMAN


Dear Dr. Reisman,

A few days ago I was sent a transcript of your appearance on Matt’s radio show as well as a link to an audio clip of the same show.


I was horrified to hear the things that you said about gay men and lesbians regarding pedophilia. As a former LU student and former fundamentalist Christian, I already understand the excuses that you have for believing such things.

Right about the age most kids are figuring out they are heterosexual via crushes on opposite gender friends at school, church and other social venues, I figured out I was homosexual. While I didn’t have a word for my feelings I certainly knew that I was feeling the opposite of some of my classmates in school.

When I was 14, I sat in a church service where the minister spoke about “homosexuals and faggots.” I had heard those words before but really didn’t understand what they meant. When he began describing two men holding hands in a picture in a national magazine, I immediately knew he was talking about the feelings I had for as far back as I could remember. He then went on to say that all homosexuals were child molesters and would get AIDS and die. This was 1982, long before scientific information was available about HIV transmission so naturally religious leaders and others chalked it up to a morality issue. But for that 14-year-old boy, sitting in that church, knowing I was a homosexual and believing a minister’s words that I would become a child molester, get AIDS and die, it was devastating.

Every night I would cry myself to sleep begging the God I chose to believe in to change me or take me. Every morning I would wake up disappointed that I would be one day closer to becoming a child molester, getting AIDS and dying.


The prediction of my future from the mouth of that minister continuously echoed in my ears. The prospect left me feeling lonely, depressed and desperate. I began thinking of ways that I could end my life with minimal physical pain. I was so concerned about disappointing the God I had been taught required my full heterosexuality that the only thing I could think of doing was ending my life. I decided that would be the best way to deter myself from continuing a life here on earth that I was told was destined for pedophilia, pederasty, painful illness and physical death.


Even though my fundamentalist parents deemed evangelicals like Jerry left-wing liberals, I would occasionally watch OTGH. On one show I heard him mention that God could change behavior from homosexual to heterosexual. Even though I had prayed for change as a young child, this was the first time I heard someone talk about my theory in public.

As I approached young adulthood, I was unsure when I would become the pedophile/pederast that I was promised I would become. I didn’t know if it would happen suddenly or gradually. The boys I had crushes on were my own age but that minister was very sure in his sermon that homosexuals were into having sex with children.

I rebelled against my parents and attended Liberty University as a way to find out more about how I could find this change in my life. I eventually found restorative therapy outside the school. (LU is NOT a trustworthy place if you are dealing with issues like this. I didn’t feel it was safe for me to get counseling on campus.) Over the years that I went through restorative therapy it was always difficult but I really believed I was doing the right thing. I felt that I only had two options for my life anyway; change my life or end my life. I just kept pushing to change my life.

At the beginning of my senior year I began questioning many things in my life (I know, not very politically correct thing to do at LU). I questioned mostly my racist and sexist fundamentalist Christian theology. It was clear to me very quickly that the adults in my life had taught me many things that simply weren’t true. I guess that is why fundamentalist and evangelicals are mostly against believers questioning and researching things.

In that questioning I realized that while I was feeling I had changed my behavior I had not changed how I felt on the inside. I only desired to be attracted to the opposite gender because people told me that was normal and right. My idolatry of acceptance was painfully obvious. I realized that my years of feeling broken, lonely and disconnected had nothing to do with my homosexuality but rather my believing adults like that minister whose words were obviously based on a religious belief rather than facts.

After escaping from LU, fundamentalist Christianity and the idolatry of acceptance I started meeting other people, mostly students from religious educational institutions who worshipped the idol of acceptance from their families, friends and religious beliefs. As someone who made it out of that burning building alive I decided that I had the strength to turn around and go back and rescue as many people as I could.

Since 1996, HeartStrong, the social justice nonprofit organization I founded has opened the door to truth and peace for many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students at religious educational institutions. Young men and women clinging to the edge of life after believing their lives were doomed by the words of religious school leadership and others.


My upbringing in fundamentalist Christianity, my attendance at religious schools for high school and college (at LU) authorized and empowered me to reach out and help students whose happiness and peace was stolen from them by religious school leadership and others.


The statements you made recently about AIDS, gay men and lesbians are no different from what I was taught decades ago. I have made sure that the many people who have heard me speak over the past 15 years were able to hear what you said so they know that things have not changed. The words you and others say, fuel HeartStrong to be louder and even more proactive in reaching students who suffer. Thank you for motivating us to work even harder.

I am curious when it is you think that I will become a pedophile/pederast. Since you share that belief with many others in my past I am very interested to find out when that will happen. Also, since you believe that AIDS is a punishment for immorality, can you tell me when I will become HIV+? You also stated that the media is responsible for AIDS. What media should I not listen to in order to avoid contracting HIV? You spoke with such authority and belief that surely you must have some idea when this will start for me.

Of course I am being facetious. Since your statements are false and based only on ridiculousness and your own fear of anything that doesn’t represent your version of heterosexuality, these things will never happen. You are old enough now to know that convictions based on religious belief don't make those beliefs valid or true.

I know you have extremely limited experience in this area and I know that no one has ever said this to you before, but words kill. Feeding lies like yours into the ears of young men and women who struggle to find light in the darkness you disperse, often find themselves wishing for a way out.

As a former LU student who sat in chapel services where similar lies were espoused I can say with certainty that what you say can cause someone to feel that suicide is the only way to freedom. The words you say can have a profoundly harmful effect of young men and women.

While I highly doubt that you will change your religious beliefs because I write you a letter, I wanted to make sure that someone communicated with you regarding the slanderous statement you made against gay men and lesbians and the harmful effects those words have on those young men and women who wake up every day disappointed that the God they cried out to the night before did not end their life for them.

I don’t know much about you or your life, but I hope that you don’t have children, grandchildren or great grandchildren. The opportunity for any family, religious or not, to have gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender members is the same as always. The words you have said could cause someone close to you to feel that the only way to live is to die. I might be wrong but I doubt you would want anyone you truly love to ever feel that way.

Sincerely


Marc Adams












Tragedy



"I feel sorry for him. I think it's really sad.
What a tragic character. He's tragic.
People like Ted Haggard - that's tragic.
Or Mark Foley. These are living tragedies.
They're people who want to be part of a
society that does not want them, and so
they're willing to be secretive about their
sexuality and hide who they are, and really
who they are is not bad, it's not criminal at all.
But it drives them to sort of criminalizing acts.
It's really sad."

- Margaret Cho on disgraced Senator Larry Craig.

***





Monday, May 14, 2012

OUTRAGE



I think this election year is a perfect time to remind folks about
this incredibly revealing documentary, even though it's only the
tip of the iceberg.

Closeted politicians make for dire enemies. End the charade now.

******************************************************

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Rock Bottom: Gay Men & Meth



The direness of this addiction can't be overstated.

Countless counselors list it as the most addictive substance they've seen.

The community at large has about Zero interest in helping drug addicts,
and even less with addressing the needs of gay addicts.

Increasingly, the double whammy of meth is not only the horrific effects
of the addiction and usage, but that under the influence of the drug,
unsafe sex is occurring more frequently, adding to spread of disease.

We have to take care of ourselves and one another; no one else is going
to do it for us. Please share this video with anyone you know who has tried,
or is likely to try meth.

Meth Project (More information)

Treatment

*************************************************************

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The End of the World as We Know It



The President's statement in support of gay marriage was an immense
decision. He had been on the fence about taking action, conceivably to
try and politically placate both sides of the argument. (Why certain people
are even involved in the matter and determined to create an argument
is another day's story.)
Roberts with the President for his interview
There were several contributing factors that came together to serve
as impetus for the declaration; Vice President Biden's strident and
supportive weekend comments in favor of allowing gay marriage,
an upcoming fundraiser in Hollywood where gay influence and
liberal intent is prime, ongoing pressure from all sides to make a
declarative statement on his position, and the just-passed anti-gay
marriage amendment in North Carolina (on Tuesday.)
 (A decision, by the way, with much further-reaching problems for
more than just gays and lesbians, and of course setting a precedent,
making it easier for other states to follow suit.)


Some will say he is pandering to his base, but it was the riskiest
of moves. I'm afraid I don't share my fellow Queers glowing delight
at this announcement. Proud as I am of the action, the timing may
be devastating for the greater good.
(Too little, too late?)
Homosexuality causes the most rancor and debate and division
over any other topic or civil rights issues today; it is still social
suicide, though opponents would paint a different picture of our
world, as one of liberalism run amok and Bible-lovers being
discriminated against and hard lined. Nothing could be further
from the truth.

There is a cancer of social conservatism and totalitarianism
threatening to overtake our country. Opposition to treating we
homosexuals fairly (and well) may be the foot they use to get in
the door more fully.

The Latino voter base, Black voters, older voters, and religious
voters are all predominantly vehemently anti-gay, and this 'topic'
is of the make-it-or-break-it variety.

Conflict of Interest
This is an issue of dark hatred for many. Churches still preach of
hellfire and brimstone and utter contempt for homosexuals, labeling
it as everything from demon possession to fallen men and women
to being unclean. This pathological intensity to interpret the world
through a supposedly moral lens of unflinching certainty and 'moral
superiority'  is a troubling one. These are the people, of course, who
engage in--and excuse--all manner of 'sin' and 'immorality' of their
own, but still see fit to try and condemn and regulate others as their
personal business.

They want the world to be stuck in the superstitious and frightened
lack of progressive thinking they have been subjected to.


The swing looks good on paper...but paired with a black liberal,
will pro-gay rights be the death knell for Obama?
Being anti-gay and openly, ardently opposed to gay marriage is what won Bushie Jr. his 2004 're' election. Forget the war, forget
the fuck-ups, forget the economy, forget everything; being anti-gay
was the polarizing force that pulled all his noncommittal and non-
plussed pseudo-supporters to the polls in throngs, ready for '4 more
years.' 

"Can't let them gays marry; it'd be the end of the world."


Yes, it is just that clear-cut and insane for these people.


So, too, will all doubting Thomases in the Republican--and Romney
and conservative and evangelicals--camp now be consolidated behind
Little Mitt. He's now their 'Savior-appointed' godsend to turn back
the tide of the liberal and immoral Democrats...as they see it. These
folks really believe in all this righteousness and warfare baloney.

(Silly me; I thought marriage was about love.
Don't see much love in the opposition's anti-gay stances.)
The big issue will be seeing if all the progressive young liberals who
are registered as Independent or who were thinking of voting for
Ron Paul or whatever other Indy candidate may run on the ticket
can shift their consciousness in the next few months.

They intend to idealistically use their votes to promote the unlikeliest
underdog of candidates to send a message and open the door for
future support of these reforms. But that isn't what it'll do.


I agree with taking a stand. I also agree that Obama is in many ways
'just another politician' and a part of a broken system.


He's also the far better alternative to a religious fanatic/conservative
Republican stooge who hasn't stayed the course on anything in all
his years in public office; a billionaire who has made a living destroying
businesses and eliminating jobs and living a blue-blood high life completely
disconnected from reality. A corporate thug. Romney would be a
disaster for this country, and a vote for an independent candidate will
only take away from a vote for defeating Romney; it'll be the Nader
disasters all over again.
 


Romney responded Wednesday to the president's comments by stating
that he believes personally that marriage is only between a man and a
woman. He was very casual, almost matter-of-fact, as if this is just a
meaningless thought and he isn't actually intending to impose the
obliterating of gay marriage with a vengeance.

Well, he didn't need to be condemning or vocal of the president; the
shit storm from nut bag evangelicals will be like nothing this country
has ever seen. From Fox News to talk radio to CBN and every church
in this nation, this is the new Hot Button.

Oh, and Mitt also added that his position "has never changed" (To which
he smartly added "In the campaign!" Meaning of course that Mitt did in
fact previously offer full support on the issue of gay marriage, since the
only thing he has ever done consistently is flip-flop on every major issue--
gun control, gay rights, abortion, health care, bailouts, etc.)
(Reaction to North Carolina's new amendment on Tuesday)



Can we get people to understand the severity and danger of a police
state in this country? Can we motivate people to stop being apathetic
about the Powers That Be? The ones who want to run things already
have the money, the power, the influence to get big numbers to the poll.
Because they aren't satisfied with the control they have--they want to
impose their will on everything. Minds. Schools, Actions, Rights.
Bedrooms. Words. Eradicating difference wherever they find it.
(Fox Nation's website image post-statement;
since reworded. Mm-hmm!)
Yes, there are six more months in the campaign. But many will never
hear another word on another argument after the president's proclamation
supporting equal rights. They will be fervently opposed for the duration.
Because clearly, if you're not familiar, Baby Jesus was known through-
out that Judeo-Christian Bible for telling his 'followers' to get riled up
about the personal doings of others, implementing laws for the masses
that reflect the opinion of the few, imposing religious beliefs on others,
advocating prejudice and judgement and discrimination, etc.


(These are also the same folks that go on and on about having 'less
government,' right? Hmmnnn.)
 

Somebody tell me again why people are more worked up about gay
sex and relationships than they are any other subject matter?



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

"Do's and Don'ts of Being a Gay Activist"



(Viktor Kerney, activist and author of
"Maybe It's Just Me")
This is a great article from a sister blog called "Maybe it's Just Me."

He does some great stuff, and he gave me permission to re-post
this especially well-done piece on "Do's and Don'ts of Being a Gay
Activist" that he recently wrote!

Enjoy!

****************************************************
This gay activist stuff is no joke. I had no idea what I was getting into;
but I can't complain, it's been an interesting experience. Free trips,
meeting great folks and getting great opportunities, it's truly been
rewarding.


But I thought I would share some nuggets of info for those who are
thinking about getting into the activist game.

DO know where you stand on the issues and stand firm.


DON'T just follow other activists blindly, they can and will be wrong
at times.


DO research all causes, laws and lawmakers.


DON'T accept anyone's word, without proof of truth.


DO realize that your views may not be popular.


DON'T kiss ass to be popular. Many activists try anything to get the
attention of the JoeMyGods out there. Just be yourself and stand firm
with your beliefs.


DO know the gay rights fight is long and tedious.


DON'T think our civil rights can be completed in a presidential term.


DO know the political game.


DON'T be naive about politics.


DO know how to be strategic.


DON'T go all in without plan B & C.


DO know who and what you're fighting.


DON'T fight everyone and every battle.


DO have an open mind.


DON'T suffer from tunnel vision and group think.


DO remember it's about our community.


DON'T make it all about you.


Okay, that's my 3 cents.


**********************************************************

"Maybe it's Just Me..."

Gay Blood: Not Wanted


So you've seen the ads calling for blood donors, telling
how having sufficient and diverse blood products on hand
can make the difference between life and death for folks
in an accident or facing surgery.


Well, not nearly enough people give blood in this country,
and we're always at low levels.


But the Blood Services organizations still discriminate
against gay donors. They still deny the opportunity to gay
and bisexual men to donate blood, even though the
testing process for HIV is highly sophisticated.



I asked the St. Pete-based Florida Blood Services why the
ban on gay donors exists if they have the technology to test
the blood for viability of use. The contact was unable (or
unwilling) to state clearly, but did say the testing is not
100% acurate.


So, I asked, if testing is inaccurate, then isn't the testing of
all the blood that is diseased sort of a moot point? That's
when she admitted that they are really dependent on the
questionaires and people's honesty. WHAT THE WHAT!?!


You're putting the lives of millions on the line with the magical
thinking that the American public is going to honestly answer
intimate questions about socially uncomfortable information?


In the hands of an inaccurate testing procedure?



Here's the rub; the people who are the potential problem--
the IV drug users, the down low men, the closeted Bible
thumpers, promiscuous bisexual men, etc; these folks are NOT
going to admit their private activities on a questionaire that
is attached to their name and idenity! Especially in small towns!


Especially when many times, families and coworkers go to
blood drives in groups! Come on!

So either the testing is reliable or it's not; if you're willing to
chance lives on all the folks who lied about their activities in
order to squeek by and cover up their secrets, then why not
'take a chance' on the HIV negative, the sexually celibate, the
safe-sex practicing civic minded folks who want to be a part
of their community?


The answer; There is no good reason.




What was imparted to me, though, was that it's politics and
P.R....that essentially the questions and the policy remains because
the public is still homophobic, and people feel safer about the blood
supply when the idea that there is a ban on gay men donating exists.


Wow.


So, why not employ a ban on black men, black women, and
Latin women donating blood? Hispanic and black women are the
highest increase communities in HIV infection. Sell that move to
the people. No? I didn't think so.


The problem here is simple; The antiquated notion, the mythology
that gay men are automatically at risk for HIV moreso than anyone
else, is being promoted here, and the rationale is that since the
discriminatory attitude already exists, why not pander to it?

Fear, lies, and prejudice are not valid basis for public policies.


Is the life of your spouse, parent, or child worth the continuation
of discriminatory practice?

(Originally printed at Georgia Unity)

*******************************************************

Rachel Maddow: "Pray Away the Gay?"



Worth a look; a recent wonderful expose by Rachel Maddow,
but it's only the tip of the ice berg when it comes to these groups.

If you have been involved in a religious background or an ex-gay
ministry of any kind, please check the link below to reach more on
Ex-Gay ministries and information on surviving them.

I know from personal experience how difficult and frightening it is
to face your own feelings when others have programmed you to hate
them and yourself.

(Personally, I find that still clinging to the same religion that poisoned
and abused so many is an act of self-hate, but if these websites can
serve a stepping stone for people to realize the irreparable damage
done by such organizations, that's at least less abuse being suffered.)

Patience, Robert.

More on Ex-Gays and LINKS to Support


*******************************************************



Surviving 'Ex-Gay' Groups


 There are some interesting interviews with former head and co-founder
of Exodus International, revealing many of the holes in the plans and
performance of such groups.

The actuality of the abuses and horrors of these programs can be found
in better detail on the following sites where denial and guilt doesn't water
down the truth. Thanks to all these good folks for getting the message out.

'Reparative therapy' (a.k.a. 'Pray Away the gay') is a complete and
horrific scam that causes endless pain.

**************************************************

Beyond Ex-Gay (Group for recovery of religious abuse)


Soul Force (Group for recovery from ex-gay groups)


Personal Story of an EX-ex-gay


Heart Strong (Support and Education for those struggling)


An Ex-Gay Survivor's Blog


Ex-Gay Watch (Keeps tabs on the movement)


Truth Wins Out (Exposing Myths)


**************************************************

Counter Attack

In Tampa, this wall of a business
was vandalized with inflammatory
racial remarks.

After weeks going by
without being painted over,
'someone' decided to
turn the eyesore into
a lesson plan.

'Nuff said!

***

'Alone' is not the onus we imagine


We are capable
of whatever we
choose to be.

Every adversity,
every challenge,
every hurt
strengthens us.

From any point
of doubt or
weakness,
we only have
to believe
in ourselves...
in our abilities.

Especially when no
one else does.

Approval,
acceptance,
and assistance
are all wonderful,
but not required
for success.
(Stop looking to others,
and give them to
yourself.)

The only one who needs
to understand us,
is us.

Trudge on.

***