Sunday, August 29, 2004

The Truth is that I am a Pissed-Off American

There is nothing about the McGreevey situation that fails to induce a string of epithets so vile as to embarrass the most blue comedian spewing from my between my clenched teeth like so much spittle threatening to drown anybody in front of me. In short, everything about the New Jersey soon-to-be-ex-governor's circumstances induces contempt and loathing in me.

The entire fracas is "chicken or the egg" in regards to wrong and right. Our societal norms and values are still sufficiently misalinged to the point that many gays and lesbians feel the need to hide their sexuality or worse pretend they are straight. American law offers no protection to gays and lesbians in the workplace; being queer is sufficient cause to fire someone. And while many Americans probably wouldn't vote out an open gay man or lesbian, being out certainly adds an extra struggle to getting elected in the first place. Relgion, of course, plays a huge role in this. While debate rages in our churches over the place of the homosexual, most religious leaders condmen and ostracize us.

I still find it hard to understand the public fear against homosexuals and the stigmitization that accompanies this fear. I struggle with how people can justify the way they treat sons, daughter, brothers, sisters, moms, dads, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. when they find out they are gay. So the American stage is set and ready for such a opera.

Still, the actors are not absolved from their roles. Simply and crassly stated, McGreevy let his dick rule his brain. Whether he put a lover in a position he was unqualified for or sexually harassed his unqualified appointment, he chose to allow his gonads to overrise common sense, professionalism, and respect and love for his wife and family.

And, returning to societal norms and values, what a condemnation of our culture and judicial system that Cipel could, for all intents and purposes, blackmail McGreevy, ostensively for being gay. This also speaks to McGreevy's apparent lack of ability to judge character. Talk about a bad trick.

Again, however, McGreevy put himself in the situation, through one method or the other. And this perhaps is what angers me the most; the complete and total abdication of personal responsibility until the moment he was metaphorically caught with his pants down. Where was the responsibility to his citizens, his state, and even more importantly his wife. I have much sympathy for men who feel the need to get married because of family or societal pressure. Simultaneously, I have zero tolerance for these or any other men who then cheat on their wives. If you need a beard, then your beard deserves to know prior to the marriage. I have actually heard that some women willing enter into a marriage with a closeted man, knowing that he will find sex with other men (and presumably they will not have sex as husband or wife). If that's what you need, go find it. If you don't know that's what you need, then you need to either honor your vows or make other arrangements with your wife.

Finally, a few "fuck you"'s are in order. Fuck you, McGreevy for your proclamation that"At a point in every person's life, one has to look deeply into themirror of one's soul and decide one's unique truth in the world. My truth is that I am a gay American." You say it as if you are out and proud; as if you have been soul searching and come upon some great truth. You were about to have your entire personal life ripped apart; otherwise, you never would have come out. You would have continued to be an adulterer and presumably making appointments according to how hard the guy made you.

McGreevy earns a "fuck you" for proclaiming gay marriage, while under the cover of the closet, as having a "detrimental impact" on his state. To his credit, McGreevy signed into law a domestic partnership act for the state, one of five such statewide laws in the country. This is still no excuse for speaking out some vehemently against gay marriage.

And lastly, I award McGreevey an honorary "fuck you" for the general timing of his scandal and exploits, giving homophobes an example to point to when arguing against gay civil rights and marriage as well as justifying gay stereotypes of being promiscuous and sex-crazed.

Societal norms, as explained above, also earns a de facto "fuck you." Cipel, for being a low-life blackmailer merits a "fuck you." (If Cipel's claim had merit, he would have persued legitimate routes of complaint.)

The HRC comes close to earning a big FU for promoting the fact they helped McGreevey in his press announcement. I have no problem that they advised him, since their advice seemed to be sound; namely that McGreevy should point out that intrinsically being gay has nothing to do with his resignation. However, I question their motive for announcing their tenuous association with him. Other than letting other closeted politicians know that they can help when they are outed and scandal ensues, what is the profit?

Lastly, fuck the press for latching on to this as a GAY affair. It's not sufficient to simply announce that the governor of New Jersey was having an affair that is resulting in his resignation. Every headline I saw in print or television blared that this was a GAY affair; providing certainly a more salacious bent to the whole thing. Hey, politicians have affairs all the time, but how much more tantalizing and tawdry is it because it's with another man? Thus proving that we still have a long way to go before society as a whole sees us as something other than perverts, sex-fiends, and/or abnormal.

August is the cruelest month

Well, this blog seems mostly dedicated lately to making up excuses as to why I haven't been posting, but most of my normal routine has been on hold since mid-July. As any regular reader knows, I've been consolidating two households with my husband, Peter. (Thanks for the kind words, Keith.) But also, I work for university housing and the past month has also been getting ready for the start of the school year. This includes helping train staff and students. This means fun, but working retreats - time away from the house, Peter, and other work functions. This means I am experiencing the first weekend without some type of work obligation since mid-July. I love my job, but this is hurricane season. So all of this is not just physical energy, but mental and emotional energy drains as well.

Routine, however, is beginning to set in and that is very welcome. The house tends to go through phases of lookng great to be junked up again as more stuff is unpacked or purchased to organize all this stuff the both of us have accumulated. It can all be terrific fun, but it is also a lot of effort.

As things settle down even more, I will be back to posting more regularly. Lots of news recently means I have lots of opinions stored up just waiting to be vented. The advent of the RNC is also sure to inspire plenty of blog material.

Another happy note is that my father is again gainfully employed!

Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Sound of Silence

From Catholic World News
Swedish minister jailed for "anti-gay" speech
Stockholm, Sweden, Jul. 06 ( - The Rev. Ake Green, the pastor of a Swedish Pentecostal church in Kalmar, Sweden, has been sentenced to one month in prison for inciting hatred against homosexuals. Green was prosecuted in January for "hate speech against homosexuals" for a sermon he preached last summer citing Biblical references to homosexuality.

Sweden has a "hate crimes" law that forbids criticism of homosexuality. According to the church newspaper Kyrkans Tidning , the prosecutor in the case, Kjell Yngvesson, justifies the arrest of Green: "One may have whatever religion one wishes, but this is an attack on all fronts against homosexuals. Collecting Bible citations on this topic as he (Green) does makes this hate speech."

Ok, this is going too far. You can't call all anti-gay rhetoric "hate speech." I know America would never pass a law this crazy (forbiding any type of criticism of an idea - although Bush has come close about criticism of his presidency in the Patriot Acts), but it gets to a problem that we experience here also. We can't shut off all negative speech.

Do I want to make it socially frowned upon to be negative towards gays, just as now it is to degrade blacks? Yes. But I want that change to come about because people think we're ok, that we are a welcome part of society. Enacting laws or going after everyone who makes a stupid remark is not the way to accomplish this.

I'm glad for media watchdogs like GLAAD, and they and others have done some truly good work, but I don't always agree with the relentless hounding they do, such as with Dr. Laura. Yes, she is an idiot; yes she said stupid, ignorant, hateful things, but is it necessary to financially ruin her because she's a bigot? Are we using tactics that the religious right would use on us?

Do we have to become the people who want to silence us and put us down? Is it necessary to meet equal parts force with equal parts force? I would suggest that this leads only not just to a cold war, but a cold world for all to live.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

A Tale of Two Cities

Well, the craziness of consolidating two households into one is subsiding somewhat. We still have a ton of stuff to do, but Peter has been wonderful about helping get things organized and set up. This time of year is one of the busiest for me at work and he's been a wonderful support of helping me stay sane during this whole time.

Internet access at the house has just recently been achieved, although I haven't had much time to post anything in any case. I was about to post something the other day during a lunch break, but became distracted and now I've lost the material that I was contemplating.

It's a fun and exciting time for Peter and me. We're finally starting our life together after five years of knowing each other and dating off and on with the last two years a fully committed relationship. We seem to both be in a good place in all sense of the phrase, and I hope that continues to be true.

The parentals are doing a bit better, but things are not as good as they could be. I hope things look better for them soon.

I cannot even begin to thank the wonderful people who took a great deal of time, effort, and energy to help us accomplish the move of two apartments in two different cities in two days: Turi, Carla, Anne, Leslie, Casey, Allan, Valencia, and last, but certainly not least, my little sis. These people went beyond being simple labor for us (and they all worked their butts off), but emotional support as well. Thanks to each and every one of you from the both of us!