Monday, June 05, 2006

Happy 25th Birthday AIDS, Part 2

Leave it to courageous Gavin Newsome, mayor of San Francisco, to nail the issue this morning on Good Morning America calling President Bush on his cynicism, that he would introduce the anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment on the 25th anniversary of the diagnosed case of AIDS.

And, of course, who is off to Washington DC to testify in big speeches supporting this act of hatred against gay people? The "exgays" like Randy Thomas. Like Jews racing off to support the Holocaust, these professional exgays cannot stand the idea that their fellow gay men and women, who refuse to denounce their heritage and their people, might want to get married and live openly, honestly and happily.

All the more reason why Jimmy and I wrote "The Big Voice: God or Merman?", and all the more reason why our show needs to make it to New York. We aren't a perfect couple, folks. No one is. In our show, we expose all our warts and our failings, but that's the point. We're just as human as any heterosexual -- but more than that, we have a home and a life and we love each other.

Happy 25th Anniversary of AIDS. Why not bash the gays while they're mourning the tens of thousands of friends that they've lost? I still do not know how these people sleep at night. I really and honestly don't.


Anonymous said...

They sleep at night by convincing themsleves their right. Then they get caught lying, cheating or screwing prostitues in Motels rooms.

I know. I used to be one of those prostitutes.

Anonymous said...

.....typos. Drat.

Anonymous said...

I don't quite understand why Randy Thomas from Exodus was so excited to be off to save the "sanctity" of marriage. Why is Exodus concerning itself over this issue? Unfortunately Randy won't allow comments on his blog. I find this interesting since he makes his blog public. Hopefully he will answer this question when he gets back.

Anonymous said...

Exgays, so sad and pitiful.. Spending all their time fighting and hating themselves. And now they've decided to fight those who have the courage they lack. OK, it's personal, do what's best for you but when you reach out actively to hurt others it's just mean, to say the least.

Steve Schalchlin said...

I don't quite understand why Randy Thomas from Exodus was so excited to be off to save the "sanctity" of marriage. Why is Exodus concerning itself over this issue?

No matter what you may think of the people in Exodus, they are not intentionally dishonest. They do believe very strongly that they are standing up for a principle. We can't see it through their eyes and they don't seem very interested in seeing it through ours.

Imagine what would happen if the congress were debating whether exgays should be allowed to marry an opposite sex partner. They would be outraged that someone was actually discussing their personal lives this way; and deciding whether or not to control whom they can love and marry. The cries of "Christian haters" would ring from the rafters.

And yet, in my discussions on this issue with Randy, he dismisses it as if he's doing nothing more than avocating a "Do not walk on the grass" sign on the White House lawn. the sense and the gravity of their actions don't seem to have dawned on them. They don't realize that they are directly attacking us personally.

Steve Schalchlin said...

Exgays, so sad and pitiful.. Spending all their time fighting and hating themselves. And now they've decided to fight those who have the courage they lack. OK, it's personal, do what's best for you but when you reach out actively to hurt others it's just mean, to say the least.

I agree with your statement except maybe for one item. I don't believe that "exgays" lack courage. I think it's a very difficult choice to make. For some, that's part of the attraction; that they are going against the culture current, which they feel is depraved and lost.

Also, when a gay person renounces his or her gay identity and then begins attending a church where he's the only one in the crowd, he or she is viewed by all the naive straight couples with suspicion and fear. In their eyes, until they get very comfortable with it, they will see that "exgay" as still being gay.

In a way, it's a very lonely life for "exgays." They are vilified by gays (especially if they choose to war against our personal lives), they are seen as being rather freakish by church members, and they are being used as cannon fodder by political forces who see them as little more than a way to war against gays and lesbians.

I disagree with their choice because I feel it's completely unnecesary to try to extinguish something that lies at the core of all your emotions and attractions. I feel it's unhealthy to suppress something that is so natural and beautiful and is such a part of you.

But to say they don't have courage? I would disagree.

Christine Bakke said...

Steve, I agree with everything you've said here. However, I do have one thing to add, for what it's worth. I am sure this is not the case for all ex-gays, but I know that some are attracted to the idea of being a celebrity of sorts in the Christian world. When you've been vilified and feel like you are an outcast in church, it is an intoxicating feeling to suddenly be celebrated and held up as an example of someone who is "following God no matter the cost."

I found in my own journey that many in my church did not treat me with suspicion or anything negative, but instead liked to use my testimony whenever they got a chance, to show the extent of God's love and grace, "even to the homosexual!" and how with God anything was possible. It is uncomfortable sometimes for me to look back on that, but I have to admit that if I want to be honest, I have to honestly admit as someone who really wanted approval, it was a heady drug.

Of course, the problems come in when you can't keep it up any longer, or you start having doubts. Then, watch out. They will turn on you faster than anything...

Christine Bakke said...

Oh, and it made my stomach turn to read about this here and at XGW, especially after the recent comments Randy made here. I don't even have words...

Remember this, Steve?

He said, way back in the day:
This politically fixated speech has to stop and the gospel must be put into action. I want to see the Coral Ridge leaders start serving the gay community instead of fighting them. I want to see them lay down their own agendas and start picking up God's, which is salvation, not the next election. Our future does not lie in Washington D.C.; it lies in the palm of God's hand and I want to bring as many with me as I can.

That is the Randy Thomas many used to know. He has indeed experienced "change" - just not the kind he proclaims.

Steve Schalchlin said...

Christine, thank you for detailing your experiences here. I oppose the exgay agenda, but I don't want to demonize them. I think, more than ever, we only have to tell the truth. And thanks for that old quote from the old Randy Thomas. Yes, attention must be quite gratifying. Today he was a guest of the President because of his support against gay marriage. To be called into the halls of power is, indeed, an intoxicating experience.

Anonymous said...

Steve you are quite right, it must take courage to be an admitted exgay. That must be quite a desperate journey. I must admit I was feeling a bit harsh today after all the Bush jabber.

I remember years ago when Little Richard went on that journey. He stopped wearing his bling, colorful suits, his pompadour, sang only gospel type music, and appeared only on PTL Club type shows. I remember it was like all the light had gone out within his usually vibrant self, and though he never said the word "gay", he talked about his behavior being changed and that it was a struggle. About a year later he was back in his old garb and being his "I invented rock and roll" self.

Steve Schalchlin said...

I had forgotten about Little Richard. And you're right. There's a lot of darkness in that world. They seem to want to suppress everything interesting about a person.

Anonymous said...

Steve--I agree with you that Exodus is not being dishonest. I have been trying very hard to understand things from their point of view, which is why I was asking what Exodus has to do with 'saving marriage.' Randy did answer.

And I hate to admit it, but Randy does seem like a nice guy despite everything he is doing that is directly affecting my life whether he wants to admit it or not. I've always had a soft spot for possible villians--like my weakness for Alexis Carrington on Dynasty. She acted mean and awful, but I always felt there was something good inside her just waiting for the right moment to come out! :)

Christine Bakke said...

Wait, what? How is Exodus not being dishonest?

I feel it's very dishonest to keep talking in vague terms about "change" when they know that it almost never means a change in orientation, but a change in behaviour.

They know that the desperate parents and spouses see "change" and envision orientation change. They know that those of us who went the ex-gay route saw "change" and thought we were going to see more than a change in behavior (which for many Christian who are struggling with same-sex attraction doesn't mean much of a change in anything since a lot of folks have been too scared to do anything about their attractions in the first place).

I believe it is incredibly dishonest to keep throwing out numbers of people who have "changed" when they don't have any data to back that up. I believe it is incredibly dishonest to keep trying proclaim "the truth" when it is based on lies, conjecture, dishonesty and junk science.

I believe it is incredibly dishonest, not to mention disingenuious, for Randy to come to this blog and act like he is a compassionate friend when he is at the White House the next weekend applauding an ammendment to the constitution to take away rights we never had.

I used to feel differently about Randy, over everyone else. Which perhaps is why his current politics and the politics of Exodus feels so incredibly hurtful to me now... I feel much more pain over what Randy and Alan (and Melissa and FOTF for that matter, since they're all on the same money train now) say and do than what Fred Phelps says and does. Without question.

Sorry to get all passionate about this, but as someone who has followed Exodus for years, since way back in the days before Randy and Alan were a part of it, back in the days when Randy said that politics had no place in this issue, as someone who gave up a lot of my life and put myself through a lot of hell because of the dishonesty of Exodus et al., I just can't not say anything...

Steve Schalchlin said...

Christine, if you look back at the context of my statement that, while they are seriously self-deluded on the subject of gay marriage, I only meant that I think they honestly believe the things they are saying.

So, I'm not disagreeing with what you're saying. I just want to be careful to be very specific about what I think their dishonesty entails.

Anonymous said...

Christine--I guess when I said that Exodus was not dishonest is that I think they actually believe in what they are doing. I hate what they are doing and I hate the fact what that little junket to Washington really had the potential to hurt a lot of people (more than potential--it did hurt a lot of people).
I'm a relative newcomer to the whole Exodus mess, so I am happy to be proven wrong! :)

Christine Bakke said...

You're right, Steve. I do think they believe what they're saying (but I look at it a bit like how I believe the guy in the mental institution who thinks he's Jesus really believes he is Jesus). Doesn't make it any less crazy or toxic for those of us who have to deal with it. I guess maybe that's what I was trying to say.

And yeah, of course we are saying much the same thing, aren't we.

I'm sorry for not reading more carefully what you guys were saying - the statement Kevin made just seemed like such a blanket one, and well, I just got going, I guess. (hey, I should get my own blog, huh? Oh...wait).

Sorry Kevin and Steve! :)

Steve Schalchlin said...

Christine, I loved your comment. It's always important to remember that well meaning people can still cause a great deal of harm to the innocent. Right now, even as we're speaking, they're holding another big LWO dog and pony show and, right now, there are some wounded and frightened, insecure and hurting families listening to their lies, slander and "hate in the name of love." Right NOW, it's happening. And we must never forget them. The Pain Wagon keeps on rolling.

Anonymous said...

Hey Christine--no need to apologize to me! After reading your blog I can see how Exodus has affected you, so I can also see how what I said could be taken. I'm feeling very lucky that I haven't had any personal experience with Exodus!