Sunday, June 28, 2009

We Are A People With A History

1431- Joan of Arc is burned at the stake for heresy. Among her "crimes" were cross-dressing and inappropriate relationships with women........

I love history. All history, any time period, history of the Americas, Asian, African, European, Russian, Middle Eastern, Polynesian, you name it and I have studied something about it's peoples. But it wasn't until recently that I discovered the our community, the LGBTQ community, has a rich and diverse history of our own. It spans from the earliest civilizations that kept records of their own history to today. It encompasses every period that is human history, we were and are, leaders, artists, writers, poets, musicians, soldiers, bureaucrats, mothers, fathers, song writers, priests, ministers, sons and daughters, explorers, adventurers and we have made a mark on the history of all humankind.

Today, to honor the 40th Anniversary of The Stonewall Riots, I would like to list some sites that you may want to visit to learn more about OUR HISTORY.

From Wikipeidea: theTimeline of LGBT History

: An encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, transgender and queer culture.

The ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives houses the world's largest research library on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender heritage and concerns.

People With A History: An Online Guide to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* History

The Rainbow History Project
Preserving our communities heritage A Wiki That you can join yourself and add your history to the history of millions of others.

Women Of The Left Bank
Paris, 1900 - 1940

Doug Cooper-Spenser: The View From Here A blog about Black LGBT History

Russian Gay Culture:
History, links and commentary

Gender and Sexuality: publishes texts which address gender studies and queer studies, with a particular focus upon discussions of sex, gender, sexual identity and sexuality in cultural practices.

UKBlackOut's Black History Month for the UK Black LGBT community

Gay History And Literature
Essays and resources by Rictor Norton, Ph.D. Social and literary historian and writer, specializing in gay history.

About Karl Heinrich Ulrichs, (1825 - 1895) considered the father of the gay rights movement.

Queer Music Heritage "Queer Music Heritage" is both a radio show and a website, and the goal of both is to preserve and share the music of our culture.

LGBT Religious Archives NetworkA resource center and information clearinghouse
for the history of LGBT religious movements.

365gay LGBT History Video Library presents a video course on the people and events that make up LGBT history through this unique collection of bios, documentaries, films, interviews, and coverage of major events.

GLBT Historical Society The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Historical Society (GLBTHS) collects, preserves, and interprets the history of GLBT people and the communities that support them. We sponsor exhibits and programs on an on-going basis.

GLBT History Month
(October) official site.

Brandon Santos Of the Grass Roots Equality Examiner series Today In LGBT History

Black LGBT History Series
from the Bilerico Project

Gay Rights An LGBT person's guide
to the contemporary history of the United States; 1981 to the present

Google Search Results on LGBT History Millions of pages to feed your history buff.

Friday, June 26, 2009

New TX Report: family rejection, religious issues lead to higher rate of depression, thoughts of suicide

But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Matthew 18:6

Let's just stop the bigotry, OK?

First-of-its-kind survey in North Texas indicates family rejection, religious issues lead to higher rate of depression, thoughts of suicide
from the Dallas Voice, June 2009

Youth First Texas recently released the results of a first-ever comprehensive survey of LGBT youth in the Dallas metropolitan area, and it suggests there may be a widespread mental health crisis among that population. YFT officials said the study was born out of a need to determine if the nonprofit organization was meeting the needs of the youth it has pledged to serve.

Judith Dumont, director of administration at YFT, led the youth study. She said, “Any youth service provider that authentically understands their population should have a comprehensive study [of their own youth].” She said there are national studies available, but this one is the only one available “in Dallas, in Texas and even the Southwest.”

The raw data for the study was collected from 100 LGBT and questioning youth and allies, ages 14 to 22, from October through December 2008. The subsequent statistical processing was performed by Jason Mintor, a doctoral candidate at Southern Methodist University.

In terms of sexuality, the survey showed that 46 percent of YFT youth identify as gay, 31 percent as bisexual, 13 percent as lesbian, 9 percent as straight and 4 percent as questioning.

Perhaps the most revealing statistic released was that 55 percent of YFT youth had attempted suicide in their lifetime, and more than 50 percent have considered it in the last year. One out of three had made plans to kill themselves in the last year as well. Dumont, who takes these numbers seriously, also said to keep in mind that there may be “discrepancies between what youth report they are doing and what their actual behavior is.”

Still, philanthropist Mitchell Gold believes LGBT youth are indeed undergoing a “silent epidemic” of depression, a major factor in suicide. His recent book “Crisis” purports to expose “a tragic mental health crisis” affecting “hundreds of thousands of gay teenagers today.”

LGBT youth do report living in a state of continuous fear. And that, Dumont said, can lead to debilitating depression.

About 30 percent of YFT youth report depression and 22 percent report feelings of anxiety, which can originate at school, church or at home. About one quarter of YFT youth report being scared to go to school because of their sexual orientation, and about one fifth report having been assaulted at school for the same reason. Homophobic slurs are being heard on a daily basis by 45 percent of the youth.

Many youth have shifted their religious ties away from the churches in which they were raised, according to survey results. Dumont said, “Many youth were forced to choose between their identities and their church.”

The study shows, for example, that 70 percent of YFT youth were raised as Christians, but only 40 percent of today’s YFT youth identify as such.

Dumont, though, said she is excited that many youth are beginning to reclaim their religious identities by working with accepting churches such as the Cathedral of Hope and the Church of Transfiguration.

From the Cathedral of Hope website:

The Love of Christ

Jesus did a great deal to change many social customs and ideas. He elevated the position of women, and, ultimately, they were his best and most faithful disciples. He did this by example and by commandments that were absolutely inclusive of the rights of all people. Yet, in the name of the Christ whose love encompassed all, the Church has been the most homophobic of all institutions. This should not be surprising when we realize that the Church is still the largest institution which is primarily racially segregated.

The final, and central, message of the New Testament is that ALL persons are loved by God so much that God's Son was sent as a means of redemption from a disease by which we are all afflicted. The cure for this disease cannot be found in any set of actions. Neither homosexuality nor heterosexuality is redemptive. God's love through Christ was given to all people.

The Theological Reflection

For the Christian, sin must be understood as a disease that results FROM a broken relationship with God and that results IN a broken relationship with one another and with ourselves. Hence, Jesus' supreme command is to love God and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Christianity is not a religion with new rules and laws but rather is a new relationship with God. Those things that the legalists are fond of labeling “sins” are actually just symptoms of the much deeper disease of alienation and estrangement. Much of the energy of the Church has been spent dealing with symptoms while leaving the disease intact. Jesus did not seem overly concerned about the legal transgressions of those to whom he ministered. Rather, he was much more concerned with healing the physical, spiritual, emotional and relational brokenness of people. Perhaps if the Church would again give itself to the healing/reconciling ministry of Jesus, then some of the symptoms about which we are so concerned would begin to disappear.

That brings us to the question: Is homosexuality a symptom of brokenness? In a very few cases, perhaps. Yet, pointing fingers of blame and accusation is not Christ's way. Rather, Jesus accepted people as they were and allowed love and acceptance to work its miracle. However, most lesbians and gays have been lesbian or gay for as long as they can remember. For them, it is a much a natural characteristic as their eye color or their handedness. Kinsey Institute research (University of Indiana, 1981) has suggested that homosexuality may well be genetic or, at least, linked to some prenatal factors. (Sexual Preference, Bell &Weinberg) Certainly most competent psychologists would concur that sexual orientation is set prior to the age of five in most persons. It is, therefore, not a matter of choice, so it cannot be a moral or ethical issue.

Many Christians insist that God can change/cure the homosexual. In the book The Third Sex there are six reported cases of homosexuals whom God has “cured.” Of these six, at least four are known to have returned to their gay lifestyle. (Christianity Today, February 1981) Many lesbians and gays spend most of their lives trying, with no success, to persuade God to change them. It is like trying to get God to change your eye color. What option, then, is left to these persons? They have been told that they can't be gay and Christian. Since all efforts have failed in their struggle not to be gay or lesbian, then their only recourse, according to the Church, is that they can't be Christian. So, the Church has discounted or discarded as much as 10% of the population.

Cross Posted from Blogging for Truth

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

Would Jesus Discriminate? Do You?

From Would Jesus Discriminate website:

It’s often quoted, "Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

The Church (and individual Christians) certainly aren’t immune from making mistakes — horrible ones, at times. In the past, we’ve misused the Holy Scriptures to defend — and even promote — some indefensible beliefs and actions.

There was a time when most Christians believed slavery was the will of God. There was a time when most Christians believed women should not be allowed to vote. There was a time when most Christians believed that interracial marriage was wrong. Each position was elaborately supported with biblical arguments — and each position, we can now clearly see, was dead wrong.

We now understand that cultural prejudice was at work shaping the way these Christians read the Bible. It is essential, for those of us who seek to know and follow the will of God in all we do, that we learn about the errors in our history so that we never those mistakes again. Precious lives are at stake, and we simply can’t afford to be so wrong again.

Proponents of slavery used three distinct appeals: nature, scripture, and social order. They argued that the nature of African people (often seen as the "curse of Ham") relegated them to servitude. This view was bolstered by a narrow reading of select scriptures. [See note 1. ] They also claimed that human society would collapse if the status quo were not maintained.

Using the same reasons as those who advocated for slavery (nature, scripture, and social order) some Christians have resisted every attempt to improve the standing of women in society, most notably fighting against allowing women to vote. Nature and selected scripture were invoked to show that a woman’s place was in the home, not engaged as a citizen.

In June 2007, the United States celebrates the 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark civil rights case that struck down laws forbidding interracial marriage. Here is what the judge in the state case wrote:

"Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix. " — Statement by Virginia trial judge in 1959 case that led to 1967 U.S. Supreme Court striking down laws in 16 states that prohibited interracial marriage.

Incredibly, this judge was invoking the same prejudiced understanding of God, nature, and social order to make his ruling. And this was nearly a hundred years after the lessons of slavery!

Parts of the Bible, when applied in isolation without the context of the whole of Scripture and without the guidance of the Spirit, have been used to justify slavery, segregation, racism, and the subjugation of women.

So, the questions we submit are, Where else is that same error being committed today in your life and the lives of those around you? When are the same arguments (nature, isolated Scriptures, and social order) used to condemn others?

All of these historical arguments about race and gender sound hauntingly familiar people of developmental disorders, emotional disorders, to people of varied gender identities (transgender), and to people of varied sexual orientations. Even people of advanced age or unique physical features have been subject to the prejudice of "normative" society. We’ve been told we’re contrary to nature, even condemned in scripture, and that any recognition of our rights or relationships will, at the very least, strain social order.

Christian love seeks to encompass all humanity in the embrace of God and to teach each of us to love one another as we love ourselves. There are ways to read read the Bible — spiritually, intellectually sound ways — that are affirming to all. You can hold to an anti-anyone interpretation, but that is your choice. The Scriptures do not compel it.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


There is a group of young women who have decided to travel across our nation to point out the growing problem of teen homelessness. In this, the richest country in the world, we have nearly 2 million homeless teenagers. Several recent studies have pointed out that 40% of these teens are LGBTQ. Homeless only because their families reject them because of who they are....

Please visit Homeless Youth Pride Walk 2009 to support this effort, and contact your local shelters to find out what you can do to help.

From their blog:

In May, 2009, Jill Hardman, Nicole Tomlin, and Chloe Michelle Noble are walking across the United States to raise awareness for LGBTQ homeless
youth in America. They will set out from Seattle, Washington, traveling 6000 miles (3000 of it on foot) across the United States in over 6 months. They will be living out of their backpacks for most of their journey, which will give them a unique opportunity to document the lives of homeless youth all over the United States. (They will not be using any resources saved for homeless youth.)

"Almost 40% of homeless youth in America identify as LGBTQ. This diverse group of Queer youth has a unique and powerful voice. We want to support them in their progress and give them a platform to stand on. Studies show that many homeless youth who receive appropriate guidance, support, resources, and encouragement, eventually become successful members of the community. By raising awareness we hope to inspire others to make sure more resources are available to homeless youth for this reason." -- Chloe Michelle Noble

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Day Of Silence: April 17, 2009

The National Day of Silence brings attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools. Each year the event has grown, now with hundreds of thousands of students coming together to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBT behavior.

All material on this post was taken from GLSEN website to promote the Day Of Silence.

The History of the Day of Silence®

Founded in 1996, the Day of Silence has become the largest single student-led action towards creating safer schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. From the first-ever Day of Silence at the University of Virginia in 1996, to the organizing efforts in over 8,000 middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities across the country in 2008, its textured history reflects its diversity in both numbers and reach.

The Truth about the Day of Silence

Every year, more and more students participate in the Day of Silence, which began 12 years ago when University of Virginia students wanted to find a way to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment on campus.

As the day’s popularity and exposure have increased, many misperceptions have spread about what the Day of Silence is, why the day exists and what participating in it means. Here are 4 truths that address common misinformation about the Day of Silence.

1) The Day of Silence’s purpose is to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment and effective responses.

The goal of the Day of Silence is to make schools safer for all students, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. In a Harris Interactive study on bullying, students said two of the top three reasons students are harassed in school are actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender expression. Additionally, 4 out of 5 LGBT students experience harassment at school.

Students across the country participate in the Day of Silence to bring attention to this problem, let students who experience such bullying know that they are not alone and ask schools to take action to address the problem.

2) Hundreds of thousands of students of all beliefs, backgrounds and sexual orientations participate in the Day of Silence.

Anti-LGBT bullying and harassment affects all students. Slurs such as “faggot” and “dyke” are commonplace in school. The Day of Silence is an example of students, from middle school to college, working together proactively to bring attention to the anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment experienced by LGBT and straight students alike. GLSEN, the Day of Silence’s organizational sponsor, encourages participants to be counted by registering at

Students from nearly 5,000 middle and high schools registered for the 2007 Day of Silence. GLSEN protects the privacy of students and does not publish a list of students who have registered or their schools. Many students who participate also belong to Gay-Straight Alliance student clubs, of which nearly 4,000 are registered with GLSEN. The first GSA was created by a straight student nearly 20 years ago, in the fall of 1988.

3) Day of Silence participants encourage schools to implement proven solutions to address anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment.

  • Adopt and implement a comprehensive anti-bullying policy that enumerates categories such as race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender expression/identity.
  • Provide staff trainings to enable school staff to identify and address anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment effectively and in a timely manner.
  • Support student efforts to address anti-LGBT bullying and harassment on campus, such as the formation of a Gay-Straight Alliance.
  • Institute age-appropriate, factually accurate and inclusive curricula to help students understand and respect difference within the school community and society as a whole.

    4) The day is a positive educational experience.

    The Day of Silence is an opportunity for students to work toward improving school climate for all students. GLSEN advises students interested in participating to discuss their intentions with their administration and teachers long before the event.

    The day is most successful when schools and students work together to show their commitment to ensuring safe schools for all students. Many schools allow students’ participation throughout the day. Some schools ask students to speak as they normally would during class and remain silent during breaks and at lunch. There is no single way to participate, and students are encouraged to take part in the way that is the most positive and uplifting for their school.

  • For the latest GLSEN findings about anti-LGBT bullying and harassment and the school experience go to:

    Saturday, March 28, 2009

    Wear a white ribbon.......

    Gay-Teen Suicide Awareness Ribbon

    This ribbon was created by Xavier Neptus, a personal survivor of attempted teen suicide himself. He was inspired to create this campaign after hearing Jason Bolton, a young man who was thrown out of a suburban Detroit high school for being gay, speak about gay youth suicide at the 1997 Lansing, Michigan Pride March. According to Neptus, the color white was chosen to represent clarity of thought and innocence of youth. Neptus quotes on his site that an American teenager attempts suicide every five hours because of difficulty dealing with the stresses of being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. By spreading the word about this campaign and recommending professional resources, Neptus hopes to save other young people from suicide.

    If you know a LGBT youth who is having a hard time dealing with the rejection of society and their parents, let them know about The Trevor Project:

    The Trevor Helpline is a free and confidential service that offers hope and someone to talk to, 24/7. The Trevor Helpline's trained counselors will listen and understand without judgment. If you or someone you know would like to talk to one of our highly trained counselors, dial 866-4-U-TREVOR.

    Saturday, March 21, 2009

    A Young Gay Mans Journey

    I'm seventeen, a senior about to graduate in two months.
    I'm the eldest out of two kids, I have a younger sister.
    I'm a phenomenal artist.
    I'm wanting to go to college and get a degree in either art education or nursing.
    I'm also gay, but that is not what defines me.

    I guess I've always kind of known. I remember the age when boys start looking at girls and girls start looking at boys. I was the boy who watched the boys look at the girls. I didn't understand it, but I just shrugged it off.

    As I grew, I was the one always being pushed around and bullied. I talked funny, I acted different and all my friends were girls. Then came the word faggot. Automatically, it fit my description. I was harassed and school became my own personal nightmare.

    I became bitter and hateful. I spent two and a half years, my seventh, eighth and half of my freshman year hating everything. I was severely depressed, and my grandparents, who I was staying with for four years, didn't know how to deal with my problems. My parents were divorced, I was unhappy I had not come out, and my mom wasn't calling or writing anymore. School was horrible, my grades slipping and I had driven all my close friends away.

    My sister and I decided to move to a small town in Wyoming, to live with our father. I slowly became happier. I was in a new place, and I was going to start over a new life here. I was really happy for about a year and a half. However, there was still that secret part of me that it killed to keep hidden away. I knew that I should come out, else it would tear me apart.

    It was in May, near Mother's Day, when I found out my mother had passed away from a drug overdose. I was devistated. I went nearly catatonic for a week. I remember nothing but me, dealing with her death. I became depressed again. I became that hostile person I was a few years ago. I started to hate myself. I knew I wouldn't ever get the chance to tell my mom anything. I knew she didn't even know the real me.

    I started cutting. I became a pill popper, taking about 12 to 14 tylenol or ibuprofen a day. I didn't care, I knew it was downhill from there. My father, and my sister watched as I became this destructive, self-loathing person.

    That went on for a while. I got the help I needed and I stopped the self-injury and the pills. I never really was happy, and I knew I wouldn't be till I told someone.

    My sister became pregnant. We grew distant. In a final attempt to reconnect with her, I planned a day trip to go see a movie with her, and to go shopping. I was going to tell her that I was gay. And I did, on the way up there. I ruined the whole day.

    Since then, I have came out to everyone. My father knows, but is dealing with it. My grandparents know, and still accept me as their grandson, unchanged. My friends know, and love to have a gay best friend. My sister finally started to talk to me, and we've become really close again. She still loves me, and she she tells me everyday that she does.

    That was two months before my senior year. I'm finally that happy person that I always dreamed of and loved. I'm many things, and now, I can finally say outloud, that I'm a gay man.


    Thursday, March 12, 2009

    Sunday, March 8, 2009

    Blogging For Truth

    Cruise on over and check out the Blogging for Truth blog
    We would like all our readers and friends to consider writing an article about the Truth in regards to LGBTQ lives, loves and realities. Truth and Love set up this site after reading about HRC's End The Lies Wall.
    Here is the scoop:

    "Beginning May 25 through the 31st, 2009 LGBTQ bloggers and all allies are invited to write articles about the truth of our existence and lives. To blog facts and the results of real scientific studies carried out by real scientists.
    For over 30 years there have been organizations dedicated to spreading lies and false studies about our lives, our loves and our persons. These same organizations in the United States now seek to remove all rights and privileges afforded us as American Citizens, they ultimately seek to re-criminalize our love and our existence. In other parts of the world our brothers and sisters face prison, torture and even death for being "sexual deviants."
    We believe it is time to shine the light on these false witnesses. It is time to end the hate.

    Thank you for considering this! And please let your readers know about "Blogging for Truth"

    Thursday, February 26, 2009

    Groundbreaking Research on Family Rejection of LGBQ Adolescents

    I am reposting a couple of blogs from earlier, because they are very important to the direction this is going to take:

    Groundbreaking Research on Family Rejection of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Adolescents
    Establishes Predictive Link to Negative Health Outcomes

    Paper Authored by Dr. Caitlin Ryan of San Francisco State University’s “Family
    Acceptance Project” To be Published in the journal, Pediatrics

    San Francisco, CA – For the first time, researchers have established a clear link between rejecting behaviors of families towards lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adolescents and negative health outcomes in early adulthood. The findings will be published in the January issue of Pediatrics, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics...

    Major Research Findings:
    • Higher rates of family rejection during adolescence were significantly associated with poorer health outcomes for LGB young adults.
    • LGB young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were
    • 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide.
    • 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs.
    • 3.4 times more likely to report having engaged in unprotected sexual intercourse compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.
    • Latino males reported the highest number of negative family reactions to their sexual orientation in adolescence.

    “This study clearly shows the tremendous harm of family rejection, even if parents think they are well-intentioned, following deeply held beliefs or even protecting their children," said Dr. Sten Vermund, a pediatrician and Amos Christie Chair of Global Health at Vanderbilt University.

    You can find more details at THE FAMILY ACCEPTANCE PROJECT

    The video below is one teen's account of his family forcing him into "ex-gay" therapy.