Monthly Archives: April 2011
On April 15th, I will be joining GLBT bloggers across the nation for a tremendous cause (at least I hope many of them will be doing it again this year), the National Day of Silence which is aimed at preventing anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.
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.
I will not be able to practice this at school since I am a teacher and must teach throughout the day. I will however continue my efforts to stop the use of derogatory language and the bullying LGBT kids. Since my school would never understand being silent for a day, I have decided that instead of blogging this Friday, there will only be this post (even though I usually do not post on Fridays anyway.)
For someone who suffered unmercifully throughout my school years, this is an important issue for me. When I was sixteen, I even tried to commit suicide to end the daily torture I endured. Luckily, I was unsuccessful and learned to love myself and do my best to ignore the ignorance around me. It’s not easy being a gay kid in the Southern United States, especially in redneck central.
I have done my best to stop anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying, and harassment, and my straight friends know that there are certain things you just don’t say around me. I will not tolerate: “That’s so gay!” or the words “fag,” “faggot,” or even “queer” if it’s said in a derogatory fashion. If we all stood up for ourselves, we can make a difference. When you hear someone use a derogatory word towards LGBT people, make a stand and show that person how wrong they are. If I can make one young persons life a little easier by stopping ignorance, I believe I have made a difference.
The male body – said to date back to between 2900-2500BC – was discovered buried in a way normally reserved only for women of the Corded Ware culture in the Copper Age.
The skeleton was found in a Prague suburb in the Czech Republic with its head pointing eastwards and surrounded by domestic jugs, rituals only previously seen in female graves.
“From history and ethnology, we know that people from this period took funeral rites very seriously so it is highly unlikely that this positioning was a mistake,” said lead archaeologist Kamila Remisova Vesinova.
“Far more likely is that he was a man with a different sexual orientation, homosexual or transsexual,” she added.
According to Corded Ware culture which began in the late Stone Age and culminated in the Bronze Age, men were traditionally buried lying on their right side with their heads pointing towards the west, and women on their left sides with their heads pointing towards the east. Both sexes would be put into a crouching position.
The men would be buried alongside weapons, hammers and flint knives as well as several portions of food and drink to accompany them to the other side.
Women would be buried with necklaces made from teeth, pets, and copper earrings, as well as jugs and an egg-shaped pot placed near the feet.
“What we see here doesn’t add up to traditional Corded Ware cultural norms. The grave in Terronska Street in Prague 6 is interred on its left side with the head facing the West. An oval, egg-shaped container usually associated with female burials was also found at the feet of the skeleton. None of the objects that usually accompany male burials such as weapons, stone battle axes and flint knives were found in the grave.
“We believe this is one of the earliest cases of what could be described as a ‘transsexual’ or ‘third gender grave’ in the Czech Republic,” archaeologist Katerina Semradova told a press conference on Tuesday.
She said that archeologists had uncovered an earlier case dating from the Mesolithic period where a female warrior was buried as a man.
She added that Siberian shamans, or latter-day witch doctors, were also buried in this way but with richer funeral accessories to appropriate to their elevated position in society.
“But this later discovery was neither of those, leading us to believe the man was probably homosexual or transsexual,” Semeradova said.
The Corded Ware culture takes its name from the frequent use of decorative cord impressions found its pots and covered much of North, Central and Eastern Europe.
It is also known as a single-grave and battle-axe culture due to separate burials and the habit of being buried with stone axes.
My lover stole my heart, just over there
– so gently! – and stole much more, my life as well.
And there, all promise, first his fine eyes fell
on me, and there his turnabout meant no.
He manacled me there; there let me go;
There I bemoaned my luck; with anguished eye
watched, from this very rock, his last goodbye
as he took myself from me, bound who knows where.
If, through our eyes, the heart’s seen in the face,
more evidence who needs, clearly to show
the fire within? Let that do, my lord, that glow
as warrant to make bold to ask your favor.
Perhaps your soul, loyal, less like to waver
than I imagine, assays my honest flame
and, pitying, finds it true – no cause for blame.
“Ask and it shall be given,” in that case.
O day of bliss, if such can be assured!
Let the clock-hands end their circling; in accord
sun cease his ancient roundabout endeavor,
so I might have, certain-sure, – though not procured
by my own worth – my long desired sweet lord,
in my unworthy but eager arms, forever.
What in your handsome face I see, my lord,
I’m hard put to find words for, here below.
Often it lofts my soul to God, although
wearing, that soul, the body like a shroud.
And if the stupid, balefully staring crowd
mocks others for feelings after its own fashion,
no matter. I’m no less thankful for a passion
pulsing with love – faith, honor in accord.
There’s a Fountain of Mercy brought our souls to being
which all Earth’s beauty must in part resemble
(lesser things, less) for an eye alert to truth.
No other hint of heaven’s here for our seeing,
hence, he that a love for you sets all a-tremble
already hovers in heaven, transcending death.
- Spread the word: You’ve may have worked for weeks to get the word out about the Day of Silence, so keep it going! Make sure students, teachers and administrators in your school know that the Day of Silence is happening and what to expect from participants. Notifying people early is the key to a successful and effective Day of Silence!
- Be visible: Red is the official DOS color, so if everyone participating wears red you’ll be sure to stand out. And don’t forget t-shirts, buttons, stickers, face-paint—these are all ways you can help draw attention to your action.
- Be respectful: The Day of Silence is about ending anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in school. To do this, it’s important to treat people with respect. There are likely people at your school who will try to challenge your silence, your activities or your beliefs. Treat these people not as they treat you but with the same respect you hope to be treated with. Remember, the Day of Silence is a peaceful demonstration!
- Know your rights: Remember, you DO have the right to remain silent between classes and before/after school. You do NOT have the right to ignore your teachers’ requests during instructional time. If a teacher asks for you to speak during class, do it! Please don’t put your education at risk. Review this document, which outlines some of your rights during the Day of Silence. (Lambda Legal PDF Download)
If you have any questions or ideas, or if you want to tell the organizers what you’re planning for your Day of Silence please email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This weekend, Netflix sent me The Big Gay Musical. I’ve been wanting to see it for a while, but I only recently was able to convince Netflix of my new address. I’m loving my Netflix again. But that is beside the point. The Big Gay Musical was directed by Casper Andreas, a gay Swedish director, who has made several gay films that I have seen. After seeing Andreas’s other films, truthfully, I didn’t have much hope for this one. Not that the movies are awful, they were entertaining, just not great gay cinema. At least in my opinion.
The Big Gay Musical blew me away though. The plot is fairly simple. Paul and Eddie have just begun previews for the new Off-Broadway musical “Adam and Steve: Just the Way God Made ‘Em.” Their lives strangely mirror the characters they are playing. Paul is looking for the perfect man and Eddie is dealing with how his sexuality and faith can mix. After yet another disastrous dating experience, Paul has an epiphany. He is done dating and just wants to be a slut like the sexy chorus boys that share his dressing room. Eddie has to tell his parents that he’s gay and is starring in a show that calls the bible the “Breeder’s Informational Book of Living Examples”. Eddie comes out to his family and Paul goes on Manhunt. Eddie’s parents are destroyed by the news and Paul can’t even have a good one-night stand. But after musical numbers with scantly clad tap dancing angels, a retelling of Genesis, televangelists, a camp that attempts to turn gay kids straight, and a bunch of show tunes.
Here are two clips:
1. “I Wanna Be A Slut” – The Big Gay Musical
2. “Sing Me a Love Song – The Big Gay Musical
The reason for this post is because in last Thursday’s post, Are Gay Guys Obsessed with Sex?, I got a lot of responses that made think. (Thanks to all those who commented.) A lot of us seem to have gone through a slutty phase, but have since calmed down. The two clips above featuring Daniel Robinson as Paul/Adam, struggling with the same issue. Some have always been looking for love and still searching, but have yet to find it. I am much the same way, I have always been looking for someone to love and spend my life with, but I am still lonely. Too often the guy I have tried to date either don’t want someone with intelligence, have an image of a guy they want, or just want a one night stand. At times, I have been horny enough to go for #3, but I usually don’t fit the other two. Oh well, the search continues.
Watch The Big Gay Musical. It’s a fun and feel-good movie. Have any of you seen it already?
Many guys are obsessed with sex, gay or straight, it doesn’t matter. And contrary to what many people believe women are just as obsessed with sex. Gay men do often get stereotyped as the world’s biggest horn dogs, but there are good reasons for this.
For one, we’ve got plenty of testosterone. Gay or straight, testosterone does increase the sex drive. When the hormones start flowing in our teenage years, a fascination with the human body emerges, and soon after we figure out how to masturbate and the world changes for us. For straight guys, they become fascinated with women, and the world accepts them and welcomes them to the world of machismo. For gay guys, we become fascinated with men, and we are told that we are perverts and should be ashamed of ourselves. When it comes down to it, gay men and straight men are no less obsessed with sex, it’s just the amount that we get to show our obsession. Gay teenagers often have to hide this obsession and it just grows until there is a point where we are able to express it. Often this point becomes our slutty phase.
The expression of that obsession, though, may be a bit different. Women experience tremendous pressure to refrain from promiscuous sex. If a woman has many sex partners, she’s labeled a slut or a whore. If a man has many sex partners, he’s labeled a stud – and his buddies might give him a high-five. Sexual promiscuity among men isn’t as taboo as it is among women, and in some ways, I think this gives men a mental green light. And when you have two men with mental green lights together, well… there’s no brakes.
So we might have lots of testosterone, less of a stigma on promiscuity and no path to marriage – but I wonder how much more sex we’re actually having? Are gay men actually more promiscuous?
It’s worth noting that there are plenty of gay men that aren’t promiscuous (I’ve been through my slutty phase and I’m not very promiscuous anymore.). And that the sex-obsessed label that is applied to our community isn’t accurate for all people, everywhere. It’s obviously a stereotype. It’s also worth noting that I don’t think promiscuous sex is necessarily a bad thing, so long as the parties involved find it fulfilling – and, of course, that it is practiced safely.
When all is said and done, I think the obsession with sex isn’t a gay thing. It’s a human thing. I think that in our younger days, we often deny ourselves, sometimes even denying who we are. When we finally comes to terms with who we are, we can go wild a lot of the time. Think of it like this, it was always the preachers daughter who was the wildest. They are constantly denied, then when the got the chance they went wild. I think a lot of us as gay men are the same way. We finally free ourselves of our mental restraints and then we are able to explore more freely.
A little madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King,
But God be with the Clown —
Who ponders this tremendous scene —
This whole Experiment of Green —
As if it were his own!
A Light exists in Spring
Not present on the Year
At any other period —
When March is scarcely here
A Color stands abroad
On Solitary Fields
That Science cannot overtake
But Human Nature feels.
Then as Horizons step
Or Noons report away
Without the Formula of sound
It passes and we stay —
A quality of loss
Affecting our Content
As Trade had suddenly encroached
Upon a Sacrament.
The Latin phrase pollice verso is used in the context of gladiatorial combat for a hand gesture used by Ancient Roman crowds to pass judgment on a defeated gladiator. However, the type of gesture described by the phrase pollice verso and its meaning is unclear in the historical and literary record.
In modern popular culture, it is assumed that “thumbs down” was the signal that a defeated gladiator should be condemned to death; “thumbs up”, that he should be spared, a view popularized by a widely reproduced painting by the 19th-century artist Jean-Léon Gérôme, whose Pollice Verso (usually known in English as “Thumbs Down”) depicts a triumphant gladiator looking up into the stands for the verdict of the crowd.
To see the painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme, click to see more below and go to the second part of the post.