Friday, June 21, 2013

Methodology of Bully-Response, 101

I repeatedly find myself admonished for giving bullies and neanderthals
(a.k.a. religious zealots and bigots) my energy and attention. The advice
I'm given is to 'just ignore them' and not give them any undue power.

It's a wonderfully idealized concept to imagine that we can just pretend
that constant harassment has no impact on us. But to 'simply ignore' a
bully does not teach them that they can't get a rise; it teaches them that
we are willing victims and their abuse will be tolerated until they tire of
dishing it out.

That's depowering and passive and horribly ineffective, whether on the
playground, in the courtrooms, online, or at our work and homes.

Fighting back says that you're worth fighting for.
It draws a line in the sand.
It opposes the harmful action and expresses.
It teaches us how to combat the inappropriate and injust of this world
(and yes, that can be a constant battle.)

Is suffering a bully gladly a time-honored means of building personal
character and strength? Some times.

But what of all the kids and adults who aren't as formidable--who buckle
and are adversely affected by the pressures and attacks of bullies of all
shapes and sizes? Do we throw them to the wolves and let them fend for
themselves? I don't think so.

And that's why I do what I do. Not to grant significance to douchebags
and self-congratulatory schmucks and posers. Not to engage assholes
who think hurting others is their appointment in life. Not to maintain a
sense of victimhood or powerlessness.

No, I address the dicks who try and make our lives miserable so that
those who think they're alone know they're that those who don't
think they can stand up for themselves realize they can....and to let those
who think it's their job to 'shut up and take it' know that they have a choice
and a voice. And of course, to send a clear and vocal message to assholes
that we are off limits to their shenanigans.

We can have as good a life here as we're willing to fight for. And our enemies
are for damned sure organized, so we'd better learn to be as well.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Exodus International closes doors, offers 'Apology'

The following (below in blue lettering) is the letter in whole, which
I clipped from the website Freedom Requires Wings , an incredible
website I highly recommend to all! (Thanks!)

I don't include it here because the apology means shit to me.
But it may mean something to millions of others hurt and destroyed
by the manipulations, fraud, and abuse conducted by this organization
and all the humans that ran it for the last several decades, even after it
was clear how wrong they were.

Maybe this will mean closure for some.
Maybe it will be long-sought vindication.
Perhaps it will assist healing.

I would hope that the peace of finally being told "Hey--you're not crazy--
you were right! And we took something very precious from you." might
be of some solace to many. A drop in the bucket, and long overdue, but
solace nonetheless.

I had my own experiences with Exodus at a young and vulnerable age,
and I have recounted that elsewhere. Suffice it to say it did great harm
and I am still recovering.

I'm printing this letter not to ask for forgiveness, but to let folks know;
all the lies told have now been exposed. All the other agencies and groups
and 'rehab centers' run by the Bachmanns and others are the same or worse.
There is no 'cure,' save self-acceptance and peace within self (and the utter
destruction of sexually-repressed and hateful religious fanatics and zealots.)

It's a long, hard road, and it starts with no longer buying into the lies.


To Members of the LGBTQ Community:

In 1993 I caused a four-car pileup. In a hurry to get to a friend’s house, I was driving when a bee started buzzing around the inside of my windshield. I hit the bee and it fell on the dashboard. A minute later it started buzzing again with a fury. Trying to swat it again I completely missed the fact that a city bus had stopped three cars in front of me. I also missed that those three cars were stopping, as well. Going 40 miles an hour I slammed into the car in front of me causing a chain reaction. I was injured and so were several others. I never intended for the accident to happen. I would never have knowingly hurt anyone. But I did. And it was my fault. In my rush to get to my destination, fear of being stung by a silly bee, and selfish distraction, I injured others.

I have no idea if any of the people injured in that accident have suffered long term effects. While I did not mean to hurt them, I did. The fact that my heart wasn’t malicious did not lessen their pain or their suffering. I am very sorry that I chose to be distracted that fall afternoon, and that I caused so much damage to people and property. If I could take it all back I absolutely would. But I cannot. I pray that everyone involved in the crash has been restored to health.

Recently, I have begun thinking again about how to apologize to the people that have been hurt by Exodus International through an experience or by a message. I have heard many firsthand stories from people called ex-gay survivors. Stories of people who went to Exodus affiliated ministries or ministers for help only to experience more trauma. I have heard stories of shame, sexual misconduct, and false hope. In every case that has been brought to my attention, there has been swift action resulting in the removal of these leaders and/or their organizations. But rarely was there an apology or a public acknowledgement by me.

And then there is the trauma that I have caused. There were several years that I conveniently omitted my ongoing same-sex attractions. I was afraid to share them as readily and easily as I do today. They brought me tremendous shame and I hid them in the hopes they would go away. Looking back, it seems so odd that I thought I could do something to make them stop. Today, however, I accept these feelings as parts of my life that will likely always be there. The days of feeling shame over being human in that way are long over, and I feel free simply accepting myself as my wife and family does. As my friends do. As God does.

Never in a million years would I intentionally hurt another person. Yet, here I sit having hurt so many by failing to acknowledge the pain some affiliated with Exodus International caused, and by failing to share the whole truth about my own story. My good intentions matter very little and fail to diminish the pain and hurt others have experienced on my watch. The good that we have done at Exodus is overshadowed by all of this.

Friends and critics alike have said it’s not enough to simply change our message or website. I agree. I cannot simply move on and pretend that I have always been the friend that I long to be today. I understand why I am distrusted and why Exodus is hated.

Please know that I am deeply sorry. I am sorry for the pain and hurt many of you have experienced. I am sorry that some of you spent years working through the shame and guilt you felt when your attractions didn’t change. I am sorry we promoted sexual orientation change efforts and reparative theories about sexual orientation that stigmatized parents. I am sorry that there were times I didn’t stand up to people publicly “on my side” who called you names like sodomite—or worse. I am sorry that I, knowing some of you so well, failed to share publicly that the gay and lesbian people I know were every bit as capable of being amazing parents as the straight people that I know. I am sorry that when I celebrated a person coming to Christ and surrendering their sexuality to Him that I callously celebrated the end of relationships that broke your heart. I am sorry that I have communicated that you and your families are less than me and mine.

More than anything, I am sorry that so many have interpreted this religious rejection by Christians as God’s rejection. I am profoundly sorry that many have walked away from their faith and that some have chosen to end their lives. For the rest of my life I will proclaim nothing but the whole truth of the Gospel, one of grace, mercy and open invitation to all to enter into an inseverable relationship with almighty God.

I cannot apologize for my deeply held biblical beliefs about the boundaries I see in scripture surrounding sex, but I will exercise my beliefs with great care and respect for those who do not share them. I cannot apologize for my beliefs about marriage. But I do not have any desire to fight you on your beliefs or the rights that you seek. My beliefs about these things will never again interfere with God’s command to love my neighbor as I love myself.

You have never been my enemy. I am very sorry that I have been yours. I hope the changes in my own life, as well as the ones we announce tonight regarding Exodus International, will bring resolution, and show that I am serious in both my regret and my offer of friendship. I pledge that future endeavors will be focused on peace and common good.

Moving forward, we will serve in our pluralistic culture by hosting thoughtful and safe conversations about gender and sexuality, while partnering with others to reduce fear, inspire hope, and cultivate human flourishing.

Alan Chambers


* see also related blog "God & Gays" on OWN

HOT TV Tonight! "God & Gays"

Some astonishing and highly necessary Thursday night
viewing is on tap tonight--meaningful to any LGBTQ person
or the people that love them, and especially anyone struggling
with the issues of religion/spirituality and homosexuality.

Oprah Network's (OWN) program is called
"God & Gays" hosted by Lisa Ling (an episode
of "Our America" actually,) and it debuts tonight at
10 P.M. EST. (Not to be confused with the 2006
documentary of a similar name, "God and Gays;
Bridging the Gap.")

The focus of the piece is Alan Chambers (infamous
leader of the organization "Exodus International"--see
my other blog post for more news there) and their
controversial and harmful 'reparative therapy' practices
that have destroyed millions of lives.

For a sneak peek and more info click here;


Monday, June 10, 2013

"Oops...WE Did It Again!"

Edward Snowden, former NSA contractor, whistle blower
 Supposedly, 'Flaming Lips Sink Ships.'
Do not tell a sissy your secrets, people!

Power to the people;
Free Bradley Manning and
keep Edward Snowden free!

Britney says: "Girllll, you stole my thang!"

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Watch out for that kickback.

Can you say
"That's some muthah-fucking
overkill, muthah-fucker!" ?

Y'all step back and keep your
divisive, 18th century, pseudo-religious,
immoral, anxiety-ridden, reactionary,
intrusive, anti-gay, crazy-ass horseshit
OUT of my house, my job, my
relationship, my kid's groups, and
everything else...'fore I bust a
cap up in this Daddy-fucker.

Backlash is a bitch and a half!