First, the letter from the parent:
I recently discovered that my son, who is 17, is a homosexual.
We are part of a church group and I fear that if people in that group find out they will make fun of me for having a gay child.
He won’t listen to reason, and he will not stop being gay. I feel as if he is doing this just to get back at me for forgetting his birthday for the past three years – I have a busy work schedule.
Please help him make the right choice in life by not being gay. He won’t listen to me, so maybe he will listen to you.
- Feeling Betrayed
And then the beautiful response from Amy Dickinson of Press And Sun, a paper in Birmingham, New York:
You could teach your son an important lesson by changing your sexuality to show him how easy it is.
Try it for the next year or so: Stop being a heterosexual to demonstrate to your son that a person’s sexuality is a matter of choice – to be dictated by one’s parents, the parents’ church and social pressure.
I assume that my suggestion will evoke a reaction that your sexuality is at the core of who you are. The same is true for your son. He has a right to be accepted by his parents for being exactly who he is.
When you ‘forget’ a child’s birthday, you are basically negating him as a person. It is as if you are saying that you have forgotten his presence in the world. How very sad for him.
Pressuring your son to change his sexuality is wrong.
If you cannot learn to accept him as he is, it might be safest for him to live elsewhere.
A group that could help you and your family figure out how to navigate this is PFLAG.org. This organization is founded for parents, families, friends and allies of LGBT people, and has helped countless families through this challenge. Please research and connect with a local chapter.
Another day, another case of bigotry from close-minded people.
Jeydon Loredo, a La Feria high school student in La Feria, Texas, says that his school and the school district won’t allow his photo in the yearbook simply because he is wearing a tux. Though born a female, Jeydon identifies as male and naturally wore a tux for his senior photos.
His mother, Stella Loredo, told reporters that the superintendent said Jeydon’s photo would only be allowed if Jeydon wore a drape or a blouse instead.
The Human Rights Campaign and Stella Loredo have since come together to fight to have Jeydon’s photo displayed in the yearbook. The HRC says that not only does this action from the high school violate the first amendment, “it also violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, which protects the student from discrimination, as well as Title IX, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex by any educational institution receiving federal money.” They will be bringing the matter up at a board meeting on December 8th, which is also the deadline for yearbook photo submissions.
“I just want to be in the yearbook to be remembered years down the road because people are going to forget their classmates, and that’s going to be the only way to remember each other… so that’s all I want,” Jeydon said.
It is certainly sad that behavior like this continues to go on in our culture today.
A 20-year-old waiter at Carraba’s Italian Grill in Overland Park, Kansas received a rather nasty note and a blank where a tip should have been on a receipt from one of his tables, despite the fact that the customers thought he did an excellent job at serving them. The note read:
Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD’S love, but none shall be spared for fags. May GOD have mercy on you.
Yep. Nothing like calling someone a “fag” to really show them God’s love, amirite? Way to really shine Christ’s light on their heart. I bet these people are the same kinds of people who leave Bible tracts instead of tips too. Ugh, those are the worst.
Carrabba’s has since issued a statement, saying, “We do not tolerate discrimination–from either our employees or our guests. We embrace diversity and believe in treating everyone with respect.”
Thankfully, almost all of the regular customers who have since heard about this have gone in to support the young man, offering him generous tips and sticking up for the waiter.
It’s worth nothing that Overland Park is only an hour away from Westboro Baptist Church’s headquarters, so it could have been one of those awful excuses for human beings doing this trolling. They haven’t claimed it as their own, however, so perhaps it’s just another waste of human existence being a terrible person and using their religious beliefs to cover up their own hatred.
The second episode of Stephen Fry’s two-part documentary Out There aired on BBC2 and it is applause-inducing. The documentary series essentially explores the important topic of homophobia and for the second part, Fry ventured into the very traditional Russia to gain some insight from its occupants and its lawmakers who have recently instituted archaic and homophobic laws.
In this clip, Fry goes head to head with the original drafter of the vague and dangerous “promotion of homosexuality” law Vitaly Milonov. Watching Milonov squirm in his seat while Fry cuts straight to the point in how ridiculous the laws and Milonov’s bigotry actually are is a thing of absolute beauty.
Stephen Fry should just do all the things.
YOU GO, GRANDPA!
I have my fingers crossed that this is an actual letter and not something fake the internet drummed up. A girl can dream, amirite? Because if this letter to Christine is the real deal, then some young gay man out there has the best grandpa in the entire world. Well, second best, because my grandpa has naked sailor girls tattooed on his forearms and has a kegerator in his garage…you really can’t top that.
Anyway, let’s all just pretend that this is 100% legitimate and bask in the glory of a hateful mother getting scolded by her dad.
Actor Wentworth Miller (Prison Break) was recently asked to attend the St. Petersburg International Film Festival as a “Guest of Honor.” Unfortunately for St. Petersburg and the rest of Russia, Miller is gay, which makes his appearance in the country a questionable one at best. Miller recognized this and, instead of attending anyway, penned a letter to festival director Maria Averbakh saying that he is declining their invitation because of the terrible treatment of the LGBT community in Russia.
Though rumors had circulated in the past, this letter marks the first time that Miller has openly come out with his sexuality.
There is still much controversy surrounding the hosting of the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia after President Vladimir Putin has essentially banned homosexuality in the country. Some are calling for a boycott of the games, others are asking for tolerance of the intolerant, while others, like Stephen Fry, are calling for the games to be moved. In an open letter to Prime Minister David Cameron and the Olympic committee, Fry asks those in charge to move the games, likening the persecution of the LGBT community by the Russians at this moment to be a repeat of what happened during the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Here, in its entirety, is that open letter from Fry’s website:
Dear Prime Minister, M Rogge, Lord Coe and Members of the International Olympic Committee,
I write in the earnest hope that all those with a love of sport and the Olympic spirit will consider the stain on the Five Rings that occurred when the 1936 Berlin Olympics proceeded under the exultant aegis of a tyrant who had passed into law, two years earlier, an act which singled out for special persecution a minority whose only crime was the accident of their birth. In his case he banned Jews from academic tenure or public office, he made sure that the police turned a blind eye to any beatings, thefts or humiliations afflicted on them, he burned and banned books written by them. He claimed they “polluted” the purity and tradition of what it was to be German, that they were a threat to the state, to the children and the future of the Reich. He blamed them simultaneously for the mutually exclusive crimes of Communism and for the controlling of international capital and banks. He blamed them for ruining the culture with their liberalism and difference. The Olympic movement at that time paid precisely no attention to this evil and proceeded with the notorious Berlin Olympiad, which provided a stage for a gleeful Führer and only increased his status at home and abroad. It gave him confidence. All historians are agreed on that. What he did with that confidence we all know.
Putin is eerily repeating this insane crime, only this time against LGBT Russians. Beatings, murders and humiliations are ignored by the police. Any defence or sane discussion of homosexuality is against the law. Any statement, for example, that Tchaikovsky was gay and that his art and life reflects this sexuality and are an inspiration to other gay artists would be punishable by imprisonment. It is simply not enough to say that gay Olympians may or may not be safe in their village. The IOC absolutely must take a firm stance on behalf of the shared humanity it is supposed to represent against the barbaric, fascist law that Putin has pushed through the Duma. Let us not forget that Olympic events used not only to be athletic, they used to include cultural competitions. Let us realise that in fact, sport is cultural. It does not exist in a bubble outside society or politics. The idea that sport and politics don’t connect is worse than disingenuous, worse than stupid. It is wickedly, wilfully wrong. Everyone knows politics interconnects with everything for “politics” is simply the Greek for “to do with the people”.
An absolute ban on the Russian Winter Olympics of 2014 on Sochi is simply essential. Stage them elsewhere in Utah, Lillyhammer, anywhere you like. At all costs Putin cannot be seen to have the approval of the civilised world.
He is making scapegoats of gay people, just as Hitler did Jews. He cannot be allowed to get away with it. I know whereof I speak. I have visited Russia, stood up to the political deputy who introduced the first of these laws, in his city of St Petersburg. I looked into the face of the man and, on camera, tried to reason with him, counter him, make him understand what he was doing. All I saw reflected back at me was what Hannah Arendt called, so memorably, “the banality of evil.” A stupid man, but like so many tyrants, one with an instinct of how to exploit a disaffected people by finding scapegoats. Putin may not be quite as oafish and stupid as Deputy Milonov but his instincts are the same. He may claim that the “values” of Russia are not the “values” of the West, but this is absolutely in opposition to Peter the Great’s philosophy, and against the hopes of millions of Russians, those not in the grip of that toxic mix of shaven headed thuggery and bigoted religion, those who are agonised by the rolling back of democracy and the formation of a new autocracy in the motherland that has suffered so much (and whose music, literature and drama, incidentally I love so passionately).
I am gay. I am a Jew. My mother lost over a dozen of her family to Hitler’s anti-Semitism. Every time in Russia (and it is constantly) a gay teenager is forced into suicide, a lesbian “correctively” raped, gay men and women beaten to death by neo-Nazi thugs while the Russian police stand idly by, the world is diminished and I for one, weep anew at seeing history repeat itself.
“All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing,” so wrote Edmund Burke. Are you, the men and women of the IOC going to be those “good” who allow evil to triumph?
The Summer Olympics of 2012 were one of the most glorious moments of my life and the life of my country. For there to be a Russian Winter Olympics would stain the movement forever and wipe away any of that glory. The Five Rings would finally be forever smeared, besmirched and ruined in the eyes of the civilised world.
I am begging you to resist the pressures of pragmatism, of money, of the oily cowardice of diplomats and to stand up resolutely and proudly for humanity the world over, as your movement is pledged to do. Wave your Olympic flag with pride as we gay men and women wave our Rainbow flag with pride. Be brave enough to live up to the oaths and protocols of your movement, which I remind you of verbatim below.
Rule 4 Cooperate with the competent public or private organisations and authorities in the endeavour to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace
Rule 6: Act against any form of discrimination affecting the Olympic Movement
Rule 15 Encourage and support initiatives blending sport with culture and education
I especially appeal to you, Prime Minister, a man for whom I have the utmost respect. As the leader of a party I have for almost all of my life opposed and instinctively disliked, you showed a determined, passionate and clearly honest commitment to LGBT rights and helped push gay marriage through both houses of our parliament in the teeth of vehement opposition from so many of your own side. For that I will always admire you, whatever other differences may lie between us. In the end I believe you know when a thing is wrong or right. Please act on that instinct now.
Yours in desperate hope for humanity