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One small step for a gay man, one giant leap for . . .


joined:12/31/69

joined:
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For the last few days I have allowed myself to get bogged down in anger and frustration at what I, as a gay man, find myself having to deal with in our society today. And this has bothered me mostly because I KNOW that, while a reaction of anger can be justified, a choice to dwell in negativity and resentment leads to nothing but harm for myself. So I have been searching my thoughts and feelings as to what I could do to move forward, because it is STILL my life that's occurring while I breathe.

There has been, of course, the recent focus on the election, which has led to some obvious outlay of energy in campaigning, fundraising and the like. However, that hasn't dealt with my primary unease, mostly because I see no real solution to my problems coming from either result of this election.

SO, what to do? I know there have been many who have sacrificed their time, energy, talent and money to whatever cause that has motivated them, so I can't share with you any flash of awareness or action that will lead to a new path. All I can do is share with you what I have decided to do, and the steps I've taken to reach those goals.

It struck me that the old saying is true - children are the future. And, as some may know from my other posts, I have involvement and access now to primary and secondary educational venues. And I figure if hatred can be carefully taught, then so can the alternative.

I have contacted a few friends here in the heart of conservative California and made arrangements to reach their students in a variety of ways concerning gay issues. Some of the scheduled events include school assemblies, classroom lectures/discussions and after-school interaction with clubs and established organizations.

Now, mind you, I in NO WAY present or consider myself as any sort of 'expert' on anything other than being ME. But that, in-and-of-itself, could be a door-opener to a level of acceptance that these kids have never had the opportunity to consider.

The reason I am choosing to share this is to hopefully encourage others, who are feeling such frustration and helplessness, to consider whatever options they may have at their disposal to add something POSITIVE to the experience of the community in which they live. You never know what effect your actions may have. All we can do is move forward with the intention of peace and openness in our hearts, and let that expression have an effect on those around us.
Updated On: 9/25/04 at 03:47 AM
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Marquise
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I think that's awesome D. I was out tonight with some friends, two of them are gay, the other two are straight and gay-friendly and me, I'm bi-sexual.

My two gay friends have been out for a long time, and they're very frustrated at the way things are and they've just about given up. My friend Sam went so far as to say that he has fought most of his life for gay rights and equality within society, and he know feels that it's all for nothing. He just completely broke down about this.

It's sad. He even went so far as to say that he now understands why some gays opt not to come out of the closet. He feels why should they subject themselves to discrimination. So much for the land of the free.....

Me, myself I've had to struggle with my sexuality all my life. I grew up in a very rough neighborhood in the South Bronx. There was no way in hell I was going to subject myself to discrimination, ridicule or a beat down from my peers. What's a guy to do in that situation? Supress it.

Now, I still find women attractive and i have no problem having a relatioship with a female. But I found myself in a situation where I was equally attracted to men and it wasn't until I reached my twenties that I finally gave in to those feelings and allowed myself to explore that part that I had closeted...and let me tell you it was the best thing that I did because I finally felt that i was being true to myself. The thing is I didn't allow myself to do this until I was no longer living in the Bronx.

I'm still not completely out to everyone, only to my close family and friends. I think it's sad that we live in an allegedly "free country" where people are condemned because of their sexual orientation.

Updated On: 9/25/04 at 04:08 AM
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Marquise - then perhaps your greatest statement and contribution is simply to share your story honestly and openly as you have right here. Who knows who might see, and learn and understand.
Updated On: 9/25/04 at 04:14 AM
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jacobtsf
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Our country is in a state of turmoil, both abroad and here. We are fighting for other's freedoms, and yet our President doesn't want some Americans to be free. "All men are created equal" this is a moral truth but not a scientific truth. There are differences in the minds of people, and that is what makes me, me and you, you. However that does not justify the discrimination that goes on in this world.
If you agree with this post then I consider you read "How the Mind Works" by Steven Pinker. It seperrates the scientific from the moralistic while still believeing in both
How The Mind Works
David walked into the valley With a stone clutched in his hand He was only a boy But he knew someone must take a stand There will always be a valley Always mountains one must scale There will always be perilous waters Which someone must sail -Into the Fire Scarlet Pimpernel
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PalJoey
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DGrant--I think that's a really admirable thing for you to do. If you need help coordinating topics or a curriculum, you can contact an amazing organization called GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network). Founded by Kevin Jennings, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

Your local PFLAG chapter could also help.
Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
Dollypop
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"Long live God!" (GODSPELL)
Updated On: 9/25/04 at 10:20 AM
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mominator
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DG, once again I say "you are so awesome!"
"All I ask of you is one thing: please don't be cynical. I hate cynicism -- it's my least favorite quality and it doesn't lead anywhere. Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen." Conan O'Brien
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Zola Q. LaPlaya
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DG, cool thread. Thanks again for just being you.

No gay man or lesbian should be under the illusion that this election does not matter. No gay man or lesbian should be deluded by the ineptitude of the Kerry campaign or the obfuscation of the Bush campaign to think that both candidates are equivalent on the issue of civil right for gays. If gay people don't vote in this election, they have no right to sit and sulk -- too much is at stake.

Tell every gay man and lesbian you know who is not registered to vote to do so NOW. Most states' deadlines are the first week in October.

This election will define the course of our country for the next generation. We sit out at our peril.
Stop worrying about what I'm doing -- focus instead on what you're eating.
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Thanks Pal - VERY helpful.
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sweetiedarlinmia
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That is absolutely amazing, DG. I wish someone could do that at schools where I live (SC). I fear for these kids everyday b/c this state has some of the biggest bigots on the earth who rap it in their christianity. Hopefully your actions will change the beginnings of bigotry that might exist in the hearts of the students, and inspire others to do the same.

KUDOS!
broadwayguy2
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SammyGal
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It's all about education and knowledge and VOTING!

Our school GSA this past year held discussions with a lot of classes about the term "heterosexism" and what it means to be a gay student and hear "Fag" and "gay" coined as meaning stupid all day.
It got a lot of conversations going and sparked some debate.
I'm hoping people went home and thought about it.

National Coming Out Day is coming up, Oct. 8 and so I'm hoping that goes well in our school too. :)
On a clear day I can see myself for miles ~Taboo
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One of my twin 15yo nephews just joined the GSA at his school in Colorado. The greatest thrill for me was him saying that NO ONE has given him a hard time about it - it's just accepted that that's something he's interested in because he has a gay uncle. That's the type of progress that gives me hope.
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jrb_actor
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We can't lose sight that there HAS been major progress in the last decade or so. There will be ups and there will be downs. We can't get too excited during the ups, nor too depressed during the lows. I truly believe that marriage will be legal for all Americans in my lifetime and that many other laws will be passed allowing for equal rights and protections for all Americans regardless of their sexual orientation.

Part of this continuing progress does include putting a leader in the White House who will not advocate discrimination, nor the stalling of civil rights progress.

I do believe that the younger generations are more progressive than the older generations on the subject of sexual orientation. Time will inevitably bring change on its own. Everything we can do now will just further that.