Monday, May 23, 2005

Queer as Folk

Darn that Colin! He keeps getting me hooked on great TV series! First Buffy, then Angel, and the Gilmore Girls (still working on that one), and now Queer As Folk. I had heard good things about all of them, but tried to start watching too late in the series to figure out who was who. Now that they are all available on DVD, we can go back to the beginning and see them they way they should be watched. No commercials, and no waiting for next week!

We've watched the first 3 episodes of season one, and I'm hooked. I love the characters, although I want to shake some self-esteem into some of them. So far I know the 4 main characters, all gay men, along with Sharon Gless' Debbie Novotny, the supportive, funny and profane mother, 17-year old Justin and his high-school friend Daphne, and the lesbian couple Mel and Lindsey. Brian is definitely the leader of the pack, the alpha male vibrating with attractive sexuality. He says to heart-broken Justin, "I don't believe in love, I believe in fucking. It's honest, it's efficient - you get in and out with a maximum of pleasure and a minimum of bullshit. Love is a lie straight people tell themselves they're in, so they can get laid. And then they end up hurting each other because it's all based on lies." Yeah, Brian has no issues!

Michael the narrator is the son of Debbie, and still in love with Brian, his life-long best friend. Closeted-at-work Ted and flamboyant Emmett round out the crew of regular characters. Yes, this is a soap, and sure, almost everybody is gay. However, in my opinion, it's really about the American idea of consumerism battling with our human need for connection with those we love. This show is for everybody. Warning for young viewers, though - the sex is graphic, although the penises are usually under wraps.

Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old. - Franz Kafka

Friday, May 20, 2005

Fixing Gays

Seems that the fundamentalist right in the US has come up with a new way to attack gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, with their discredited and damaging "reparative therapy". PFOX is a leader in this faux movement; the "Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays." I'm not going to link to this group -- Google if you must. Even if it were the right thing to do (and I don't think it is), it doesn't work. See Free Z. - Testimonies: We Never Really Changed:

and Reparative Therapy - A Psuedo Science:

These people should all read the book Prayers for Bobby by Leroy Aarons. See the first few pages at

An example of the real-world consequences of this kind of crap, and the damage it can do (happening right now): (unfortunately, most of this blog has been removed, because of what happened)

Another example, from the Love Welcomes All conference:

Interesting article using Zach's case as illustration - What's 'mental health' in a theocracy?

A wonderful comic based on Zach's true story - FreeZ:

Beyond Ex-Gay:

What are the "ex-gay" crowd up to now? Ex-Gay Watch: and Truth Wins Out:

News note on Christianity Today weblog - U.K. Ex-Gay Ministry Quits Effort, Says Trying Changing Orientation Is Hopeless:

A funny/serious take on it - Doin' Time in The Homo No Mo Halfway House: How I Survived the Ex-gay Movement:

And another -

Nice summation on the subject at Wikipedia - Ex-gay:

PFLAG also has a good summation of the issue - Social Work Today:

An emotional and personal account - Jesusland, By Max Gordon:

Find some local groups at the National Directory of LGBT Community Centers:

Excellent collection of links by Gabi Clayton:

Some websites to check out, if you are confronted with this dreck:

Steps to Recovery from Bible Abuse:

Scholarly article - Homosexuality and the Bible by Walter Wink, Professor of Biblical Interpretation, Auburn Theological Seminary, New York City:

To Educate About the Consequences of Homophobia: -
Bob and Mary Lou Wallner have written a book called The Slow Miracle of Transformation.

Love Welcomes All:

Whosoever: The Bible and Homosexuality:

A Letter to Louise - A Biblical Affirmation of Homosexuality:
And see some GLBT religious organizations:
Soul Force:
What the Bible Says, and Doesn't Say, about Homosexuality
A False Focus on My Family
Christian Youth: An Important Voice in the Present Struggle for Gay Rights in America

Finding an open and welcoming congregation -, Institute for Welcoming Resources (The Task Force):

Evangelicals Concerned:

National Religious Leadership Roundtable:

DignityUSA - GLBT Catholics:
And finally, a wonderful interview with Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong, about his book The Sins of Scripture: Exposing the Bible’s Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love on KUOW radio:

Wonderful collection, GLBTQ Spirit:, and Alex Sanchez's (Rainbow Boys, God Box) links:

Three Soulforce booklets, available as hardcopy or free download: What the Bible Says, and Doesn't Say, about Homosexuality, A False Focus on My Family, Christian Youth: An Important Voice in the Present Struggle for Gay Rights in America.

Also see Open Letter to Dr. Laura concerning her Condemnation of Homosexual People:

And Marriage, the Bible, and Mr. Bush:

New group in Virginia - New gay-friendly coalition offers faith-based alternative: Organizers aim to be the antithesis of the vocal conservative Christian set:

White Ribbon Campaign

Raising Awareness about Gay-Teen Suicide

And remembering those who we've lost

Mistakes are the portals for discovery. - James Joyce

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Arise, then, women of this day!

Happy Mother's Day

Arise, then, women of this day!
Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears
Say firmly:

We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.

We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!"
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice!
Blood does not wipe out dishonor
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war.

Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions.
The great and general interests of peace.
    - Julia Ward Howe, from the original Mother's Day proclamation, 1870

Thanks to Tom Head for finding this, and Carol for pointing it out.

Friday, May 06, 2005

New Blogs!

Don't worry, I'm still updating this one. And I'm sure that my current obsession with Rufus Wainwright won't remain so strong forever. Besides, he only has 4 CDs out! I did just buy Martha's new EP though, from CDBaby.


Just to update the above, I also established a genealogy-only blog. As gen posts from here come up in conversation online, or are updated, I'll be moving them over there, and posting a link to the updated version. So the gen posts here will stay, but not be updated here.

Gen Weblog:

And I have the blog at Bebo: and on MySpace:

Happy Birthday to me!