Monthly Archives: September 2012

Bullying Hurts…

We are having a problem at the school where I teach with bullying. As someone who,was unmercifully bullied in school, I believe in a zero tolerance policy. However, with the current situation it’s becoming clear that though one of the bullies has been suspended and the decision about expulsion is pending, students are beginning to stand up for the bully and ostracize the bullied, which I believe is further bullying. I just don’t know what the solution is.  Whereas, I think the policy should be zero tolerance, i.e. bullies should be expelled, those who are being bullied are still facing more problems with other forms of bullying. How do I protect these kids? I’m not the only one fighting this fight, but we have to reach these kids somehow so that we can stop this hatred and bullying.
I keep thinking of the Bible for solutions.  We are a Christian school and most of the students would profess to being good Christians, but I think they are lost lambs.  So I have been mulling over the following verses from the Bible. All of the following verses are from the King James Version of the Bible.

Matthew 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. 

Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. 

Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. 

Galatians 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

I am attending a conference tomorrow on the subject of bullying (it came at an appropriate and opportune time).  Maybe it will provide some answers.  Any advice?

Moment of Zen: Waking to a Great View

Twitter Bullies

I really don’t understand Twitter.  I know I am a blogger, but I think I blog with a purpose.  With Twitter though, and with Facebook status updates, I really don’t care what people are doing all the time.  There are a few Tweeters that I check out occasionally, but its usually so mundane that it gets boring. Nobody cares what I am doing all hours of the day or night. Twitter has also become a major issue with bullying amongst teens.  That is what I am doing this morning, having a meeting about bullying. But it’s not just teens.
Canadian university officials say they hope their new, web-based initiative will act as a “social mirror” reflecting the “pervasive and damaging” issue of casual homophobia on the Internet. Though Twitter is not just spreading homophobia.
The Candian site, called, reportedly measures the number of instances several commonly-used anti-gay terms — including “faggot” and “dyke” — are used daily, weekly and yearly on Twitter. The tally of numbers is indeed staggering: for instance, the term “so gay” was mentioned in a total of 800,000 tweets since July, though the most common was undoubtedly “faggot” (used 2.4 million times in the Twittersphere), according to the site.
Dr. Kristopher Wells, the Associate Director of University of Alberta’s Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services, said his team’s agenda isn’t to focus on individual tweets or Twitter users, but simply to demonstrate the “astonishing” frequency in which anti-gay language is used in everyday conversation.
“We make it very clear on our site that we are not in any way implying that the people who have tweeted these words were all intending to be homophobic,” Wells told HuffPost Gay Voices in an email statement. “Words have the power to hurt, but they also have the power to heal. We want people to think before they speak and to always be mindful of the power of the language they use.”
According to Wells, the site will be also supported by a variety of advertising tools, including transit advertising, posters, and a television commercial. Response from viewers, he said, has been incredibly supportive.
“People want to have this conversation,” he said. “I saw one youth who even tweeted, ‘Now you know my daily reality.'”


On Sean’s blog, Just a Jeep Guy, he posted on Tuesday “TMI TUESDAY QUESTIONS: DRINK! DRINK! DRINK!”  And I decided that I would once again participate.  So here we go:

1.  Are you a cheap date?
I can be, it all depends on what I am drinking that night.  If its tequila, then yeah, I’m a cheap and easy date.  I tend to get very flirty and horny when drinking tequila.  To quote Shelly West in her song “Jose Cuervo”:

Well its sunday morning
And the sun is shining in my
Eye that is open
And my head is spinning
Was the life of the party
I can’t stop grinning
I had too much tequila last night

Jose Cuervo
You are a friend of mine
I like to drink you with
A little salt and lime
Did I kiss all the cowboys
Did I shoot out the lights
Did I dance on the bar
Did I start any fights

Now wait a minute
Things don’t look to familiar
Who is the cowboy who’s sleeping beside me
Well he’s awful cute
But how’d I get his shirt on
I had too much tequila last night

2. What is your favorite drink? (you can have different ones for different occasions)
If I am going to be drinking for several hours, then it’s beer, usual Bud Light Platinum (though those tend to get me drunk easier), Bid Light, or if I am being cheap, then it’s Natural Light.  If I am cooking, then I like to drink wine, usually a nice Pinot Grigio. Sometimes though I am in the mood for liquor, and that is usually vodka (particularly Tito’s Vodka) and cranberry juice.  My all time favorite alcoholic beverage is a chocolate martini, they go down so smooth but will hit you before you know it.
3. Worst experience?
I had been drinking in New Orleans a few years ago.  We had gone to the opera, and I had some wine.  Later after the opera, I started drinking vodka cranberries and was flirting with a guy in one of the gay bars. As we were flirting and unbeknownst to me, he stole my wallet.  It was not a good night.  I try tot to mix alcoholic beverages, because it makes me very drunk and sick.  I broke my rule.  Also, I’m not so sure that someone had not slipped something extra in my drink, because I was far drinker than I should have been.  It was not a good night.  Luckily, there was no money in my wallet, I had my cards reported stolen the next day, and my wallet was found and returned to me.  Apparently the guy who stole my wallet, got several blocks away and less than a block from the NOPD he had thrown my wallet in the bushes at a center for troubled teens.  The older gentleman who directed the place found my wallet on one of his walks around the campus, found my mother’s number, called her and I went and picked up my wallet.  It was still a pain in the ass and a major embarrassment for me.  If you are ever in New Orleans, and you must carry your wallet, keep it in your front pocket.  This was the only time that I didn’t just take cash, driver’s license, and debit card with me in my front pocket in tight fitting jeans, and my wallet was stolen.
4. Beer goggles?
Good God, yes!  I went home with this one guy, the sex was fucking fantastic, but it was a one night stand and I never talked to him again.   I saw him a few times after that and could not believe how trashy he was.  Looks are not something that I really care about, I tend to look at personality, but white trash is one of my pet peeves.
5. What’s the funniest thing you’ve done while drinking?
I tend to be a pretty funny guy when drinking, so there are several. Probably looking back, the funniest thing I can remember is waking up one morning in bed with one of my professors.  She knew I was gay and we were both clothed, and I have no idea how it happened, but it was pretty funny.
Ever drunk dial?
 Yes, and drunk texted. It never turned out that well.

Frederick Douglass Republicans: WTF?

The other day, I came home to an odd political flyer attached to my mailbox.  It was a flyer for the Republican candidate for my Congressional district. First of all, it was odd that a Republican candidate is even trying to campaign in my district. In this district, only one Republican has ever won and that was in 1965.  The district is incredibly gerrymandered for minority voters with tentacles reaching out to take in majority African-American populations of major Alabama cities.  The current shape of the district was largely formed in 1992. It includes some of the Black Belt counties as well as portions of Tuscaloosa and Birmingham. The highly irregular shape is because this is a majority-minority district, formed under provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 as amended in 1982 to include greater representation for minorities in Congress.  In other words, Republicans have as a good a chance of winning as a snowball has of surviving in Hell (or and Alabama summer).
Alabama Republicans can be a bit strange anyhow, but this flyer introduced me to one of the weirdest concepts in modern American politics: Frederick Douglass Republicans.  I know there are many non-racist Republicans in America, but there are too few in Alabama. This congressional candidate (Don Chamberlain) is running as a Republican to receive white votes using the name of Frederick Douglass in hopes of receiving black votes.  In the flyer, Chamberlain says:

I Believe 

If Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr. we’re alive today, they would stand shoulder to shoulder in a fight that is inevitable to be waged in Washington to help me rid the poverty that has existed in the Black Belt for 30 years. 

Don Chamberlain
US Congress
A Frederick Douglass Republican

The whole concept seems ludicrous to me.  Chamberlain’s website has not mention of him being a Frederick Douglass Republican, which doesn’t really surprise me.  It’s your standard Republican website.
So who are these Frederick Douglass Republicans?
In October 2009, KCarl Smith resigned from his motivational speaking career and rededicated himself to defending liberty. This former U.S. Army officer, took on a new challenge- becoming a political agitator. He became the founding servant-leader of The ConservativeMESSENGER.
KCarl began the ConservativeMESSENGER with his flagship presentation, “The Making of A Champion Party”  and a unique mantra, A Frederick Douglass Republican™. Inspired by the life of Frederick Douglass and a student of his writings, KCarl narrowed the focus of this grassroots initiative to five specific objectives:
  • Re-ignite America’s passion for Liberty
  • Save the souls of the Politically Lost (politico-schizophrenics)
  • Restore the Republican Party’s Political Distinction
  • Change how the GOP relates to minorities
  • Create an atmosphere for political dialogue without accusations of racism.

In less than one year’s time, KCarl had perfected the Frederick Douglass Republican Methodology, advocating and expounding upon the Life-Empowering Values of Frederick Douglass:
  • Respect for the Constitution- “The American Constitution is a written instrument full and complete in itself. No court in America, no Congress, no President, can add a single word thereto, or take a single word there from. It is a great national enactment done by the people, and can only be altered, amended, or added to by the people.” ~ Frederick Douglass
  • Respect for Life – Douglass Championed women’s rights and was the face of the Abolitionist Movement.
  • Belief in Individual Responsibility – Douglass viewed entitlements as a detriment to freed slaves because it robs one the chance of self-sufficiency
  • Belief in Limited Government – Douglass believed the role of government is to protect the freedom of opportunity for its citizens.
KCarl has taken this strategy to Tea Party and Conservative groups across the country, educating and empowering attendees on how to effectively espouse the conservative message, pushing past the veil of assumed racism and Uncle Tom-ism. The result: the birth of the Frederick Douglass Republican™ Movement.
Who are Frederick Douglass Republicans? Everyday people- filled with passion and conviction- who have come together as a unified front, committed to help the Republican Party once again become the “party of freedom and progress”.
No longer satisfied with the status quo, Frederick Douglass Republicans are willing to fight for liberty and justice; and to seize the God-given right to self-rule.
Frederick Douglass Republicans are not bound by race, color, religion or creed but are bound by our rich American Heritage.
This is pure political bullshit, if I have ever seen it.   Is anyone else seeing Frederick Douglass Republicans running in your district?
P.S. They call themselves FDRs.  LOL.

September Midnight

September Midnight
Sara Teasdale (1914)

Lyric night of the lingering Indian Summer,
Shadowy fields that are scentless but full of singing,
Never a bird, but the passionless chant of insects,
    Ceaseless, insistent.

The grasshopper’s horn, and far-off, high in the maples,
The wheel of a locust leisurely grinding the silence
Under a moon waning and worn, broken,
    Tired with summer.

Let me remember you, voices of little insects,
Weeds in the moonlight, fields that are tangled with asters,
Let me remember, soon will the winter be on us,
    Snow-hushed and heavy.

Over my soul murmur your mute benediction,
While I gaze, O fields that rest after harvest,
As those who part look long in the eyes they lean to,
    Lest they forget them.

Sara Teasdale

In 1884, Sara Trevor Teasdale was born in St. Louis, Missouri, into an old, established, and devout family. She was home-schooled until she was nine and traveled frequently to Chicago, where she became part of the circle surrounding Poetry magazine and Harriet Monroe. Teasdale publishedSonnets to Duse, and Other Poems, her first volume of verse, in 1907. Her second collection, Helen of Troy, and Other Poems, followed in 1911, and her third, Rivers to the Sea, in 1915.
In 1914 Teasdale married Ernst Filsinger; she had previously rejected a number of other suitors, including Vachel Lindsay. She moved with her new husband to New York City in 1916. In 1918, she won the Columbia University Poetry Society Prize (which became the Pulitzer Prize for poetry) and the Poetry Society of America Prize for Love Songs, which had appeared in 1917. She published three more volumes of poetry during her lifetime: Flame and Shadow (1920), Dark of the Moon(1926), and Stars To-night (1930). Teasdale’s work had always been characterized by its simplicity and clarity, her use of classical forms, and her passionate and romantic subject matter. These later books trace her growing finesse and poetic subtlety. She divorced in 1929 and lived the rest of her life as a semi-invalid. Weakened after a difficult bout with pneumonia, Teasdale committed suicide in 1933 with an overdose of barbiturates. Her final collection, Strange Victory appeared posthumously that same year.

Former Owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates Comes Out

Kevin McClatchy, the former owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates and now the board chairman at the McClatchy Company newspaper chain, said in an interview with The New York Times that he is gay.

He first began to accept that he was gay in his mid-20s. But he didn’t tell anyone in his immediate family until just before his purchase of the Pirates, and did so then, he said, only because someone displeased with the deal threatened to go public with a rumor of McClatchy’s sexual orientation unless he backed out. He correctly gambled that the threat was a bluff, but alerted his sister in case it wasn’t.

The interview, which appeared online Saturday and will be in Sunday print editions, is the 49-year-old McClatchy’s first public acknowledgement of his sexual orientation. No athlete in the four major U.S. professional sports leagues – football, baseball, basketball, hockey – has come out while playing. Longtime NBA executive Rick Welts, then with the Phoenix Suns, drew attention last year for announcing he is gay.  McClatchy owned the Pirates from 1996 until 2007.

“You’re not going to solve any problem until you start a dialogue,” he said. “And there’s no dialogue right now.”  Throughout his tenure with Pittsburgh, McClatchy worked to keep his sexual orientation a secret from anyone beyond a tight circle of family and close friends, The Times reported.

McClatchy told the newspaper he frequently heard homophobic language during his days in baseball. It convinced him that staying closeted was the best course of action.  He stated: 

I think, with everybody, there’s a time that feels right, and for me this was a time. My hope is that it’s going to be able to help younger kids that want to get into professional sports and feel there are still great barriers. But I think, more important than that, it needs to create a dialogue about major league sports and sort of the void obviously that exists . . . Things have changed in a positive way, but there’s still a lot more change to go. So I’m speaking up. And I’m sure people will criticize me because I came out later, and I should have come out while I was in baseball and in the thick of it. But you don’t understand what it’s like in somebody’s else’s footsteps. You don’t understand the pressures that they’re facing at that point.

I personally understand why some people remain in the closet.  I do so at work because it is safer for my job. I think the major difference in McClatchy and I (besides his wealth) is that although he frequently heard homophobic language during his days in baseball, I never have stayed silent about homophobic language.  I consistently scold my students for using such language.  It may cause some to suspect I am gay, but I do not tolerate any disrespectful or derogatory language.  Though the article does not say he did stay silent about homophobic comments, he did not state that he did anything to stop it. What really did he have to lose by making the Pirates a welcoming environment. His response to this was:

When we took over, the Pirates were last in the league of revenues, last in the league of attendance, and everyone said they’re moving to northern Virginia or Atlanta . . . . It would have been, I think, a gamble at that point to come out and do it and if there had been negative reaction, we were living sort of on the edge as far as trying to gain support, gain the public trust to help us get the financing to get a new ball park that was going to keep this team here for the next 30 years. And so I was focused, I guess, on what was directly in front of me . . . I was frightened that my own personal situation could in some way jeopardize the whole franchise.

As I said, I understand not coming out, but why brush off the homophobic comments just to stay in the closet.  People can always take the moral high ground, but being so closeted causes the fear we face of being outed to compromise our moral responsibility.  If we constantly work for a more accepting environment, then standing up against such language would not endanger us.

Fred R. Conrad/The New York TimesKevin McClatchy and his partner Jack Basilone

When asked to what extent do you think gay athletes in the “Big Four” sports are worried that if they come out, there will be complaints from their straight counterparts about everyone changing and showering together? McClatchy stated, “I think it’s an overrated issue as a workplace issue. If cops and firefighters and people trying to protect our freedom on the other side of the globe in the military—if they can do it, sports needs to try and get over itself. It shouldn’t be that big a deal.”

So if McClatchy believes that it is an overrated issue, he should have come out earlier, but why now.  McClatchy noted that his 50th birthday is coming in January and he’s spent decades avoiding talk about his personal life.  “There’s no way I want to go into the rest of my existence and ever have to hide my personal life again,” he said. At some point, a major American professional sports figure will have to come out before their retirement, show that it is acceptable, and open the door for those in the future.  I think when sports figures come out after their retirement, then they are sending the message that it is not safe and that you cannot be out and a major American professional sports figure.

Positive Gay Christianity

Joshua 1:9 (KJV) 
Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
Strength and courage aren’t always that easy to find. Sometimes we’d rather crawl in a hole than deal with the things going on in our lives. Yet, God tells us that He will provide us with the strength to deal with anything. He commands that we face the difficult things in our lives, and He encourages us to rely on His strength to get us through.

There are so many things we face each day that bring about fear in varying levels. One of the things that we fear the most is change. Some of you may have just come out and are struggling with your faith, and it can be very daunting. Will you be able to handle the contradictions you’ve been taught? Will you allow yourself to realize that God’s love for you is what really matters, not the misguided interpretations of God’s word by so many mainstream churches?  Will other gay people accept you? Will you proudly stand and say, “I am Christian, and I am gay?” God tells us that He will be with us through it all. Sometimes we face these fears because God has more for us to do and learn. When we lean on His strength, He only makes us stronger through the sometimes difficult process. Remember Phillippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Through Christ we can be positive gay Christians.

What are Positive Gay Christians?  We are:

  • are are comfortable with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans-identified
  • are comfortable with being Christian
  • see no contradiction between being queer and Christian
  • are not consumed with defending their identity
  • are future focused
  • know God loves them
  • love themselves
  • are living for God
  • believe they are worthwhile and worthy of being loved
  • see themselves as having control over their lives

  • Are you a positive gay Christian?

    Moment of Zen: In Bed

    You must remember this…

    You must remember this 
    A kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh. 
    The fundamental things apply 
    As time goes by.

    And when two lovers woo 
    They still say, “I love you.” 
    On that you can rely 
    No matter what the future brings 
    As time goes by.

    Excerpt from “As Time Goes By”
    By Herman Hupfeld
    Casablanca (1942)