Powerful words from Gabby Giffords.
LGBTQ* Allies and Support (Super Bowl Style!)
Brendon Ayanbadejo, lineback for the Baltimore Ravens, plans to bring Gay Marriage to the forefront during the Super Bowl.
“Organically, it was going to happen anyway,” said Ayanbadejo a linebacker and key special-teams player in his 10th season, of the inevitable questions to come after his vocal support for upholding a marriage equality law in Maryland in November.
“There (are) still 47 or so states that don’t have it passed. It needs to be passed federally. Why not be the person to carry that message not only to the United States but to the rest of the world? I have this huge platform. The whole world is watching.
“It’s a message of positivity. It’s a message of equality. And it’s a chance to get it out. It’s not going to affect the way I play football but its going to affect a lot of people’s lives off the field.” (source)
Before any of you get terribly excited about what I am going to reveal here, just know you aren’t going to get any juicy details from me. If you want to know the stories that would make any twink porn director’s jaw drop, you can take me out for a drink. That is not the purpose of this article and I’m not going to embarrass my parents.
In any organization that involves post-pubescent boys and teenagers, there is going to be sexually charged games, teasing, and experimentation. We never talk about it in this country but we all know that it happens and most of us have probably been involved gay OR straight. It’s just part of growing up. Boy Scout camp-outs were no different. No matter how great the adult leadership might be, boys are going to sneak around doing whatever they need to do to satisfy their raging hormones. There is really nothing that national leadership for the BSA or any organization can really do to keep kids from discovering themselves.
The Boy Scouts of America started to actively deny open homosexual scouts and scout leaders as early as 1980. I don’t remember much about homosexuality and scouting until it went to the Supreme Court in 2000. I was 16 and was a camp counselor at a summer camp in southern Ohio. This also happened to be the week that my hometown troop was attending and my father was the scoutmaster. Everyone was talking about the court case that week around the grounds. I avoided the conversation at all costs. I had already been having a love affair with a boy in my hometown (he was actually in my troop but was not attending camp that week.) I was surrounded by comments of disgust and gay jokes. When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Boy Scouts they announced it at the camp assembly before dinner. The entire camp erupted in cheers and high-fives. I cheered as well but on the inside I was dead. Not only was it enough to hear from fellow scouts, leaders, and parents saying that I didn’t belong, now, the highest court in the land agreed with them! Where was I to go? What was I to say? I was surrounded. I was scared. I stayed silent.
I loved scouting. I was arguably the poster boy for scouting in my area. I started in Tiger Cubs and grew up in Cub Scouts. My life was full of pinewood derbies, rain gutter regattas, wolly-worm races, and camp-outs with the parents. I learned how to build a fire, how to save a life, and the meaning of community service. I was probably the most involved boy in my troop once I was old enough to join Boy Scouts. I held many leadership positions in my troop, I marched in the parades, and I worked on many community projects. I was Brotherhood in the Order of the Arrow, I had more merit badges than anyone, I was a camp counselor and I hiked in Philmont. I went to the National Jamboree Twice and when I went the second time I was in the National Jamboree Band, represented Ohio with my Trombone, performed on the steps of The Capitol in D.C and for the President of the United States of America, and somehow ended up on the front cover of Boy’s Life magazine! Above all, I EARNED the rank of EAGLE SCOUT. I am just as much boy as any other boy. In fact, I am a MAN you will want to be near during any major disaster, or if you are lost, or if you don’t know if the snake you found is poisonous or not.
Being gay doesn’t make me any less a man, any less a scout. It’s time to lift this discriminatory ban that keeps some of the best would-be scouts out.
I woke up this morning to a Facebook message from a gentleman who is dating a friend of mine. He wrote me because he has been asked to befriend me but has a huge problem with ‘Gays’ because he was molested by a homosexual when he was a boy. He asked why I would choose such a lifestyle and really wanted to understand. Here is my response to him:
Hi. So glad you decided to reach out to me. This actually takes quite a bit of courage for someone to come forward to not only admit that they were a victim of molestation but also look for answers. I have an incredible amount of respect for that.
First, let me start by saying that there is not a single reputable study that finds any evidence that “homosexuals molest children more than heterosexuals.” This is not to say that some homosexuals have not been perpetrators but statistics have shown time and time again that most child molesters considered themselves to be heterosexual. The Jerry Sandusky case is a perfect example of this. Although there is the argument that child molesters don’t even have an adult sexual orientation at all, there sexual nature is fixated on children regardless of the child’s sex. Here is a thorough report by the University of California in Irvine:
It is quite long but I think you should take the time to read the report. It is also important to understand the psychology of Child Molesters and what the difference is between them and the sexual disorder known as Pedophilia.
Secondly, there is something that I need to be very clear about: being goth is a lifestyle, being a health-nut is a lifestyle, being “country” is a lifestyle, being gay is NOT a lifestyle. Lifestyle means you have the freedom to choose the style in which you want to enjoy your life. A lifestyle is full of what you like, what your surroundings are, what traditions you want to hold on to. It’s completely about choosing about how you want to live your life. Homosexuals do not wake-up one morning thinking I think I’m going to like my same gender today and live a life of ridicule, stigma, abuse from bullies, and enjoy listening to my parents and preacher tell me I’m going to hell. That wouldn’t make sense now would it? I never once saw this as a choice. If it was a choice, why would I hide it? I knew that I WAS homosexual and it scared me to death. I couldn’t understand why I didn’t see women the way I see men. Remember after puberty when it seemed like any glimpse of a female body part automatically gave you a boner and you had to some how hide it under your desk at school and pray it goes away before the end of class because you were dumb enough to wear sweat pants that day? Yeah. Well, that’s what was happening to me but with men. I honestly don’t even notice girls that much. Sure I see them as my friends, my relatives, and I can appreciate Beyonce’s insane beauty, but I do not see them the way that you do. To me, masculine features are more beautiful, more attractive. I didn’t choose that anymore than you chose to like a set of nice breasts and the vagina. When I fall in love its the same way that you fall in love. You find the person beautiful, you find the person attractive, you find them to be a good person, you find them to have a personality that you love, you find that their soul just might match yours. Your heart races when you see your loved one and so does mine (at least in the beginning). When you experience heart break, I experience it the same way. The feeling of betrayal, the complete sense of loss, and the despair of feeling alone again. I feel the same as you. My Heart beats the same as you. We are human… and that is it.
The LGBT community has suffered a long time because of fear. Not our fear, but your fear of what you think we are. All humans fear what they don’t know. Many times though instead of discovering the truth we just continue to live in fear. One of the wisest things I’ve ever heard actually comes from the master of all Jedi’s, in my opinion, Yoda, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffereing.” Do not fear me or any other homosexual. The entire LGBT community did not molest you. One very horrible person did. A person that, I hope, gets what is coming to him. You know you have the power to press charges against this person even if it was years ago. Although it would be a very difficult journey you just might save another child from falling into his predator’s hands. You actually have an incredible resources near you. Contact the county victim advocate and they can guide you through the tough task of taking on your aggressor and everything would be strictly confidential. I would also suggest talking to a therapist. I know the stigma back home of talking to a “shrink” but mental health is just as important, if not more, than physical health. Don’t give those horrible memories power over the rest of your life.
I will close here with a few final thoughts. I’m sorry this is long but I think this subject deserves a thorough response. I assume you are probably a religious man and a Christian at that. I’ll point out one very simple thing about the Bible… Jesus never once said anything about Homosexuality. Not once. If that is the case, why has it been so incredibly important for some Christians to declare war on Homosexuals? Through-out my travels around the world and knowing the thousands of people I have met along the way, I have learned that none of the worlds religions are perfect, not even close. Never trust anything blindly, have faith yes, but don’t be blind. I believe there is a difference. Religion is and should always be your personal connection between you and your creator. The Bible was still written by men, perhaps ordained by god, but still written by men and men are not perfect. The never have been and never will be.
Lastly, sexual diversity resides not only in humans but in every living species on this planet. Yes, there are gay animals and lots of them actually. The myth that homosexuality is not natural is as false as Dolly Parton has never had plastic surgery. Unfortunately, it wasn’t allowed to be taught in our middle school biology classes but I would point you in the direction of the documentary Out in Nature: Homosexual Behavior in the Animal Kingdom or the book Biological Exuberance, or simply do a quick search on youtube. For some reason animal gay sex isn’t censored on YouTube.
If you have any other questions about homosexuality, the LGBT community, or anything else for that matter, do not hesitate to ask. I’m an open book. Take care.
Let me start off by saying that I appreciate all of our Veteran’s and I believe that taking care of our Veteran’s from wars past and present should be a top priority for our government. However, I can’t shake this conflicting feeling of guilt and regret on a day that we should be celebrating.
What pride everyone must have had for their veteran’s after the World Wars. We gave thanks to Veteran’s who truly fought for what we believed in and certainly for our continued freedom in World War II. When Veteran’s day was created in 1954 we had yet to experience Vietnam, The Persian Gulf War, The Iraq War, and the everlasting war in Afghanistan.
Perhaps the Vietnam war was to help fight the spread of Communism. Perhaps the Persian Gulf War was to protect Kuwait from invading Iraq. Perhaps we went into Iraq to free it’s people from Saddam Hussein. Perhaps we went into Afghanistan to find Bin-Laden. The problem is, in all of these instances, the American public was deceived and lied to about why we went and why we stayed.
We had no clear strategy for Veitnam. The Gulf War was clearly about oil, which can be justified but the “job” seemed to be left unfinished. Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction and we didn’t seem to learn anything from the USSR invasion of Afghanistan, had no clear plan for a victory in Afghanistan, and have killed thousands of innocent civilians in the process. Oh yes, its the longest war ever in the history of the US and no one is really sure why?
You know what else bother’s me? Is that we can be in a war without the declaration of war from congress. We engaged in wars with countries that had no clear ties to those who attacked us on 9/11. We have prisoners of war in Guantanamo Bay that we have yet to do anything with. We practice torture. We are flying drones into countries that we are not engaged in a war with and have killed more innocent civilians. Even being a huge Obama supporter, I can’t defend the drone attacks. It took years for the War on Terror to focus in on the world’s most wanted terrorists. With all of this we spent hundreds of billions of dollars and drove our country into debt and an ever growing deficit.
I don’t know. I suppose I find our years of war confusing. The American public finds it confusing. Heck! for the average American it doesn’t even feel like we’ve been in a war. Support for a war shouldn’t be this confusing. There shouldn’t be so many unanswered questions. There shouldn’t still be the question why?
I just have a hard time saying “thank you for fighting for my freedom” when it isn’t exactly clear the military has been doing just that.
Here is what I will say to my veterans:
Thank you for fighting for the freedom of others to have democracy in their respective countries.
Thank you for freeing Afghanistan from the Taliban and training the Afghan troops to defend themselves. I hope it continues after you come home.
Thank you for targeting and taking out Al-Queda leaders and especially to Seal Team 6 for taking out Osama Bin-Laden.
Thank you for doing what you are told from your superiors and executing your jobs well.
Thank you for willing to put your life on the line for what you believe in, and for the American people. You have true courage.
I’m sorry the wars have taken so long.
I’m sorry for any loss you have experienced.
I’m sorry for any pain you have suffered.
I’m sorry the American public hasn’t been engaged.
I’m sorry the economy isn’t as good as it should be when you get home.
I hope we will be able to find you a job, heal your wounds, give you mental strength, support your family, and keep you home.
I pray that we enter a time of peace and if we do have to enter a war again that we do it with complete clarity and true moral conviction.
NICOLE SCHERZINGER | THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA
I’m not mad about it.
Make-up day for Parker and Dizzy! I’m the villain…with a V!