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Trans group “Military Freedom Coalition”: Statement on resignation of Chuck Hagel

Monday, November 24th, 2014
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Chuck Hagel resigns (Photo credit NBC News)

Originally seen MilitaryFreedomCoalition.org

The following is a statement from Staff at the Military Freedom Coalition – a leading organization lobbying for the removal of the Transgender Military ban. Advocating both nationwide and in Washington D.C. – represented by Transgender Navy SEAL (Retired) Kristin Beck:

“In May of this year Secretary Hagel said the ban on transgender service people would be reviewed. On August 5th of this year a new DOD Regulation was passed that removed the medical regulation that prohibited transgender service. In the following month I sat down with DOD officials and further reviewed the regulations and procedures to include open transgender service in the US military – the same open and equal service by transgender people seen in eighteen other nations including the UK, Canada, Australia and Norway.

Secretary Hagel has moved the rudder of the ship, but nothing has really changed for the individual transgender person. Over 15,500 Americans still serve in fear for their livelihood and sometimes their lives. We just want to serve our country with honor and integrity – “OPEN” and honest.

The services need to comply with the new regulation (DODI 1332.18) and update the policy. Or the new SECDEF needs to delineate and write very plainly what needs to happen to bring equality of service into the military. Steps have been taken and reviews are underway.
SECDEF Hagel, thank you for this and your service to our country. I look forward to my next meeting in the Pentagon with new staff to continue on this journey to freedom.” - National Transgender Military Liaison, Navy SEAL (Retired) Kristin Beck 

In a second statement:

During today’s press conference Hagel committed to remain in his position as Secretary of Defense until a successor has been named. During his remaining time, it is our hope that Hagel will keep his word about reviewing the ban on Transgender Servicemembers (11 May 2014).

“I do think it continually should be reviewed,” he told ABC’s Martha Raddatz. “I’m open to those assessments, because, again, I go back to the bottom line, every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it.”

As the White House struggles with it’s own foreign policy, the battle for transgender rights in the military wages on. There can be no mistaking the controversy that surrounds this day. The war in Afghanistan, ISIS (ISIL) and Transgender Servicemembers… all issues that Hagel has left open ended. While we cannot expect anyone to be selected during the current Lame Duck Session (between now and end of the year) – it is our sincere hope that the Senate Republicans will work with Democrats and name the successor in a timely and equitable manner.” – National Transgender Coalition Liaison, Ashleigh Barraza

For further press inquires contact Sean@MilitaryFreedomCoalition.org

 

“God’s Cock” – A Gender Stereotyped “god” Who Hates Trans people? – By Kristin Beck

Friday, November 21st, 2014

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“God’s Cock” – By National Transgender Military Liaison Kristin Beck 

Originally seen on MilitaryFreedomCoalition.org

I grew up very religious as a youngster and have read the Bible, parts of the Koran, Kabala, Book of Five Rings, Siddhartha and many other foundations of religion books. I served in the military for 20 years and worked with people from around the world; many people who believed in many gods. I appreciated and respected all of the people I met along the way, even the ones who were trying to kill me.

So why the “cock” and why did God send it? I am told many things and most of it I don’t agree with. I am told that I am transgender, from male to female. I am told I am evil, Satan, weird, miscreant, infidel and many other things. I even am told that I should be put to death. Most of this hate and misunderstanding  comes from religious people. The more you look the more you see that religion is the basis of most of our pain, suffering, war, scourge, guilt and punishment. Religion has gone sideways. So “God’s Cock” is a ROOSTER that is telling you religious folks to wake up!

The religion of today’s world is going to destroy the earth. I really believe this is true. I don’t worry about global warming or the politics of China or communism; I worry about religiosity.  The two biggest culprits today are the Christians and the Muslims with communism (void of religion, but full of indoctrination and zeal) – taking up a poll position. The Christians had their Crusades and Inquisitions and their hunting of outcasts and naysayer; which includes people like me throughout time (I will not drink hemlock). Now Islam seems to be following suit and maybe, thanks to modern technology and greater population density could out kill the Christians.

The worst or funniest part is that all of the hate, discontent, killing and war between Christians and Muslims are ironically that they are from the same tribe! They are all from Abraham – the same God.

Religion based killing and hate is destroying themselves and the world with it. So why do I even have an opinion worth stating?

In my position of being hated by all of the religions with equal zeal I guess I can have an opinion and maybe it’s worth it. I am living my life as my spirit guides. I prefer two-spirit or twin flame. I am not in the wrong body and I have transitioned nothing; I have not changed. My life now, showing two-spirits has put me in direct fire of the prejudice and outright mistreatment toward women, minorities and people who live outside of norms. I see the issues and weep over the subjugation of women and minorities around the world. I lived as a man and now as a woman; I am living a path of two-spirits and the religious zealots say, “This is against god’s plan.” I ask you, “How do you know?”

What if my journey while here on earth is to live in both genders? What if this is god’s plan? This body is not mine and it is not forever. This mortal body you see is just a shell and my color, race, gender, sex, height and weight mean nothing in the end. You can’t bring your money or your penis to the afterlife, if there is such a thing. My spirit is forever… my spirit and energy is made in a creator’s (god’s) image, not my body. Be sure that you understand that your actions while here on earth are forever and your spirit will not forget. Everything you do leaves an imprint on others and yourself. Regardless of what religion you are, look into another person’s eyes and tell me you could hate that person? Tell me they are different than you and are less than you. Can you see the spirit or just their body? Everything I do while in this body should be in the spirit of love, kindness and promoting others to do their best.

Why don’t we teach love and compassion in religion? Why do most religions have so many rules that are based on worldly possession and power? Why is division such a vast array between us? The differences between us are less than a millionths of the eye of the needle?

Its foundations are covered in religion – In reality based upon kings and power, the dominion over the masses of people. It is control and manipulation of the ignorant and the peasant. Don’t tell me that female circumcision has any basis in care or the wearing of clothing that covers every inch of skin is healthy. Wearing your hair a certain way or tying your beard up under your chin. Are any of the religion based prerogatives healthy or care-giving and to whom? Who requires prayer, tithing, confessions and all the trappings of religion? Who thought of magic underwear, fish on Friday, walking 6 steps behind and promises of virgins in heaven?

Does god need money and power or numbers in a congregation? Does anyone really think that a creator or god cares about any worldly possessions or rituals in minutia? How about The Children’s Crusade? Would a creator or god of love only endorse Fatwas of hate and suffering? Of killing and bombs connected to power, oil and land grabs… When was the last Fatwa of PEACE? When was the last Crusade to feed the poor? A Fatwa/Crusade of compassion and understanding would go a long way in god’s eye, believe me.

God’s Cock is a rooster that is crowing really loud around the world for you to wake up and stop all this madness of hate filled agendas. Religious leaders need to WAKE UP and start leading the flocks of followers on a path to understanding and compassion for each other.  Every person is responsible for themselves. You have one chance to live and your spirit is forever. Start living well and good. If your leader is teaching hate, call them out or lead yourself.

God’s Cock is crowing loudly to end the Fatwas and Crusades of hate.

Remembering #RyanWhite and the Gay Men Who Died During the #Aids Crisis

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

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Remembering Ryan White and the millions of gay men who died during the darkest days of our AIDS crisis

By C.L. Frederick

Featured on SeanSala.com

It’s easy for the LGBTQ community to forget the past, since we are always looking forward and breaking down the societal barriers that have held us back for eons.  I for one have been guilty of forgetting our past struggles for the sake of moving our community forward socially and, in all honesty, because I never believed our history applied to my life.

Then I was diagnosed with HIV. That was certainly was expectedly a life changing experience, but it also changed the way I looked at the gay community.  Stories from our past became my saving grace.

I found myself being re-introduced to the era of the death sentence and I realized that I owed a debt of gratitude to those who came before me during the early days when medicine and treatments were not advanced enough to save lives, those who died during the time when HIV/AIDS was looked at as the “gay disease,” when hate and ignorance were mixed into one’s fight to live.

I was just a boy when AIDS began to enter the public consciousness, and I acutely remember hearing news reports and adults in my life discussing this “gay epidemic.” I just wanted to know why so many people were dying and why people on the news and the grown-ups I respected lacked sympathy for them.

I picked up on the vitriol being spewed at gay men with HIV/AIDS and it was jarring for me. News reports on TV seemed to shame these men and I was confused as to why that was. Then a few years later I heard about a boy named Ryan White who acquired HIV/AIDS through a blood transfusion.

He was a boy close to my age and I found myself paying attention to his story.  He seemed so strong and was so well spoken.  Here was a boy fighting for his life, growing gravely ill from his disease and treatments, a boy who encountered a great deal of hate and ostracism from all over the country because he wanted to simply go to school and be a part of his community.

Such hostility aimed a boy who did nothing to deserve the social prejudice added to his fight to live!

I could identify with Ryan and I continued to follow every bit of information concerning his journey as a youth with AIDS. This was not an interest that I could share with my family or friends, but my soul was rooting for him.

Ryan did not survive his fight against HIV/AIDS and when I learned of his death I was quietly heartbroken. Ryan’s life was quite possible the first human interest story to have an impact on my own humanity.

The years following Ryan White’s death saw HIV/AIDS treatments advance and prolong lives.  I began to come into my own as a gay man and started to forget about those who had died. People with HIV/AIDS were living longer and issues like LGBTQ equality and gay marriage were on the cusp of national and worldwide attention.

I would think of Ryan’s life from time to time, but I failed to realize how globally impactful his story was and should continue to be.

After learning I was HIV-positive, I found myself searching for stories to relate to, stories to comfort me in my time of need.

One night I watched the HBO movie The Normal Heart, and I was reminded of the struggles gay men with HIV/AIDS dealt with at the onset. I don’t cry much, but watching the movie was an emotional rollercoaster for me.  I have never been moved to that extent or cried so much because of a film.

To be reminded of those who came before me was a painful and humbling moment. The cards were stacked against them during that time: medications that would put a body through hell, men fighting to live only to be beaten down by society and ignorance in the process, and the fact that most knew they were dealing with a death sentence.

I am able to live a fairly normal life as a positive man today because of their voices, their fight and their bravery to live in the face of so many painful obstacles constantly working against them. Living with HIV/AIDS today still has its challenges. It is still a mountain of obstacles to overcome to remain healthy and get access to medications and treatment.

But the fact is that I only deal with a fraction of the challenges that those who came before me encountered. We have lost millions of voices that could have told us billions of stories. And I can’t help but think how different life would be today if we never had to lose any of those men.

What plays would have been written? What art created? Would one have become our first gay president? Was one my soul mate?

I get to live today, but I fully realize that all who have died of AIDS deserved to live just as much as I do.  I will never again forget the legacy of Ryan White and the men who came before me.

How to Tell if Someone is Gay

Friday, November 14th, 2014

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Marriage Equality Round-Up – November 7th

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Here’s our daily quick round-up of the marriage equality and LGBT rights stories that don’t warrant a full posting on the blog, or that we just didn’t have time to add. We’re able to get more news and analysis to you this way every day – enjoy!

Greece: The Greek Ombudsman is prodding the government to pass a civil unions bill for gays and lesbians. full story

Latvia: Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics just came out. full story

Malaysia: Three transgender women in Malaysia have won their lawsuit against an Islamic law that prohibits “cross-dressing.” full story

UK, Northern Ireland: After being threatened with fines for refusing to make a marriage equality cake, a bakery is still refusing to apologize. full story

UK, Scotland: Gay Star News profiles the men who will be the first same-sex couple to marry in Scotland full story

USA: The schism in the Presbyterian Church over marriage equality is continuing. full story

USA: A new report says that inconsistent marriage laws across the country cost businesses $1.3 billion every year. full story

Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 6.30.50 AMUSA: We have a new marriage equality map from Wikipedia. full story

USA, Illinois: A married gay widower today sued for spousal benefits denied by the Social Security Administration. full story

USA, Kentucky/Michigan/Ohio/Tennessee: The ACLU says it plans to appeal the Sixth Circuit ruling directly to the Supreme Court. full story

USA, Michigan: Reacting to the circuit court ruling upholding his state’s marriage equality ban, Gov. Rick Snyder said defending the ban is a duty, not a matter of personal preference. full story

USA, Missouri: 26 wedding vendors in the state discuss why they support marriage equality. full story

USA. Missouri: After a judge legalize marriage equality in St. Louis, many other counties are not following suit. full story

USA, Montana: Attorney General Tim Fox filed a brief in the state’s continued attempt to stave off marriage equality. full story

USA, New York: The Empire State Pride Agenda announced the launch of its second annual Transgender Awareness Month. full story

USA, North Carolina: The chief administrator of North Carolina’s courts reiterated his order that all magistrates must perform weddings for same sex couples. full story

USA, Ohio: In the wake of the circuit court ruling upholding the state’s marriage equality ban, FreedomOhio says it will go ahead with a petition drive to put repeal on the ballot. full story

USA, South Carolina: The focus of the Charlotte marriage equality lawsuit is the children of same-sex couples. full story

USA, Texas: State officials have cited the Puerto Rico judge’s anti-marriage equality decision in their own defense of their state’s ban. full story

USA: State Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas, and Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, are joining with colleagues in the Texas Senate on Monday to file legislation to repeal the state’s ban on marriage equality. full story

Featured Gay Wedding Vendor: Pendleton House Bed & Breakfast, Pendleton, Oregon

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Pendleton House B&B

Periodically we’ll feature one of our vendors here to let our readers know about some great people who can help you plan the perfect wedding.

Gay Wedding Event Location in Pendleton, OR, USA. Historic mansion and beautiful garden/event area for your special day. Encounter the charm of western heritage, historic grandeur and the welcoming aspect of gay-owned and operated business that caters specifically to you and your guests.

See the Pendleton House Bed & Breakfast Expanded Listing on Purple Unions Here

Gay Friendly Wedding Vendors in Oregon

Transgender Navy SEAL – It’s time to forgive the Human Rights Campaign .@HRC

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
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Kristin Beck – National Transgender Liaison Military Freedom Coalition (Far left) and Human Rights Campaign President – Chad Griffin (Far right)

 

 

 

Recently HRC president Chad Griffin apologized to the entire transgender community for HRC’s past exclusion of transgender people in it’s advocacy work. Many in the transgender community are still upset with their track record. To add to the dilemma there are still people in the gay and lesbian community who don’t even understand the transgender community, and wonder why we are here and part of HRC. I’m not even going to mention the armies of haters and prejudice toward the entire LGBTQ community, but maybe just point out that the prejudice and hate is through the same lens.

 

Why the exclusion and now why the apology? The gay and Lesbian focus for quite some time has been on marriage while the transgender community is just trying to stay alive and not be beaten up in the streets. The gay and lesbian community is about three decades beyond the rights most of us in the transgender community are fighting for today. This time delay between the “LGB” and the “T” Needs to be addressed and remedied.

 

We, the transgender community don’t want to be left behind anymore. This recent HRC apology is building a bridge, but many on both sides are not willing to traverse from either direction. A bridge never used is useless.

 

I was a leader in the SEAL teams and know a few things about team work. I see the LGBTQ  team made up of some very remarkable people. People with different views, different goals and from all walks of life. This is a team or even better a family and like every family we don’t always see eye to eye. Also like a family we need each other and need to work together if we want to get anything done. It is going to take all of us, and sadly from my point of view there is still a rift in our family. I want to get past this and move on.

 

Many in the gay and lesbian community will remain focused on marriage equality and that is OK, but don’t forget your brothers and sisters. There are a hundred differences between us, but there are thousands of things that are the same. A dream of true equality can come true. The bridge is there, we need to use it and join the team… all of us.

 

I accept the apology from Chad. I hope the entire staff of advocates really live up to HRC’s new agenda to include the transgender community in all of its efforts. I also implore the rest of the LGB community to get to know your transgender brothers and sisters and understand that we are part of your family and your culture. We don’t want the back of the bus anymore.

 

I am asking the rest of the transgender community to take a step back, put away the past and work with HRC and the other advocacy groups. For us just being out is activism, but the time to join forces is now. The time for all of us is now. Together the entire LGBTQ community is strong. I for one want my dream of equality to come true; we can achieve this. I believe in all of us. That is why this year, myself and other Military Freedom Coalition leaders are honored to have been invited to the HRC gala – an olive branch.

 

There are going to be many things here and there that we hope to change – building dialogue.

 

We have to stop pretending our leaders are perfect. We must let leaders be human. It’s time for a radical shift. It’s time for that radical love and forgiveness we always talk about. Today is that day. The day that LGBT walks together arm in arm towards our dream of equality and inclusion.

New Poll Refutes Purported “Drop” In Marriage Equality Support

Friday, October 17th, 2014

titleA new poll shows strong support for the US Supreme Court action on marriage equality, mirroring an earlier poll by the same organization on marriage equality in general.

ABC News reports:

Most Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll support the recent U.S. Supreme Court action allowing gay marriages to go forward in several states – including a bare majority in the 11 states in which such marriages have begun in the past week and a half. Overall, 56 percent of Americans support the court’s action, while 38 percent oppose it – exactly matching opinions on whether or not gay marriage should be legal, asked in an ABC/Post poll in June. These results reflect the public’s dramatic shift in support of gay marriage the past decade.

Even the 11 states affected by the non-decision decision show majority support, at 51%. But more importantly, this poll refutes the results of an earlier Pew Poll, which seemed to show a drop in national marriage equality support. That poll is looking more and more like an outlier.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources.

Historic – Active duty sailor routes equal opportunity charter for LGBT Military

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
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Petty Officer Second Class Ann Foster (Middle) with fellow sailors. (Photo credit: Facebook)

 

Originally seen on MilitaryFreedomCoalition.org 

In a bold and historic move, active duty Sailor Fire Controlman Second Class Ann Foster has created and officially routed a request to the United States Navy seeking equal opportunity for active duty LGBT military members. Currently there is no protection clause in place to protect LGBT active duty members from discrimination.

Recently after the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell there has been a rampant amount of complaints about discrimination within the US Military, targeting gays and lesbians. As well Pride months have been denied at certain commands, while approved at others. The abuse against the LGBT Military community sadly in some cases has gotten worse. A Commander may not be able to kick you out because you are gay, but they can make your life a living hell.

This charter seeks the embodiment of the US Constitution and upholds the highest standards of Military service, paralleling the historic times of when African Americans and Women we’re protected in US Military charters.

Ann currently serves as the President of G.L.A.S.S. (Gay Lesbian and supporting servicemembers) which is the only official chartered LGBT group in the United States Navy. She also serves as the “National Active Duty Advisor” for the Military Freedom Coalition – a non political role.

“It is my hope that we can work together with Equal Opportunity to create protection for ALL service members regardless of sexual orientation” – Ann Foster 

 

See the historic charter below:

ORIG: USS MILIUS/ DDG 69 DRAFTER: FC2(SW) Ann Foster DATE: 15JUN2014

INCLUSION OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION INTO NAVY EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY PROBLEM

As it stands, the current Navy Equal Opportunity Policy, (NAVREGS Article 1164), does not include sexual orientation as a basis of non-discrimination. According to the reference, “Equal opportunity shall be afforded to all on the basis of effort, performance, conduct, diligence, potential, capabilities and talents without discrimination as to race, color, religion, creed, sex or national origin.” By excluding sexual orientation from this policy instances of harassment and discrimination are not protected and are, therefore, easily dismissible and overlooked by commands who do not wish to “deal with” LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) issues at their commands.

DISCUSSION:

1. Current regulations excluding LGBT service members from Equal Opportunity creates an uneven playing field which varies by command. Whereas one command may provide full support and resources for one LGBT service member, another command may look the other way when discrimination takes place against another LGBT service member. This creates an issue of continuity under equal treatment across the Navy.

2. The recent existence of policies, both nationally and within the military, that outright restricted and condemned the LGBT community created a culture that can not be removed overnight. There will be lingering prejudice for years to come and may never disappear. The only way to give all people Equal Opportunity is through a command managed program that allows service members the right to grievance or resolution free of personal bias.

RECOMMENDATION:

1. Make a movement to include “sexual orientation” into the Navy’s current Equal Opportunity policy thus creating continuity between commands to protect against discrimination to all service members.

2. Provide easily accessible guidance and training for commands to implement the newly revised Equal Opportunity policy.

Dallas Pride and the “Dangers” Thereof – gay men in speedos:

Monday, October 13th, 2014

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Dallas Pride and the “Dangers” Thereof – gay men in speedos:

Originally seen on TALKHILLCREST | SeanSala.com

 

I was born in Oklahoma, in a little town called Edmond near Oklahoma City and Moore. My family eventually moved around the country here and there, including a stint in Colorado. Being the staunch Evangelical family we were, we attended Pastor Ted Haggard’s “New Life” Church. I still remember being a little guy looking up at the ceiling with flags hanging from all over the world as the Evangelical pastors prayed fervently that other nations would convert to Evangelicalism.

We eventually settled in Dallas, Texas. There, I attended a private Christian school called “Carrollton Christian Academy” which is still in existence today (just in a different location).

I was taught my whole life this one view on sexuality: Marriage is the only blessed from where sex can happen, marriage is between a man and a woman – period.

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Now remember, the nation was very different back then. We as a country were still under the legalistic maul of many of the early patriarchs of Evangelical leaders like Dr. James Dobson, Robert Tilton, The Bakers, and so on. So while “marriage was the only blessed form of sex” there certainly was no talk of “blow jobs,” anal sex, “nipple-rides” or anything of a campy sexual nature that addressed this thing called “foreplay.” While the Evangelical movement blessed “sex” as long as it was under their parameters, even speaking about sex in any way – including for education was deeply shunned.

So there I sat. I had no idea I was gay then and I didn’t even know what it meant to be gay. The first time I remember being called gay was when I was in the 5th grade. I was called gay by a very popular kid, so what did I do? I ruined that kids social life.

Like I said, I didn’t know what it meant to be gay, but I just knew that it was “deeply evil” and something to be “reviled.” This is what I was taught.

Today I am an open, out, proud gay man and I am also very open, accepting and educating when it comes to human sexuality. But this wasn’t always the case. I was raised to shame the pregnant girl, shun anyone who thought sex was for pleasure and that strippers or adult film stars were the most evil thing to walk the planet.

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Frequently in churches, I was shown dramatic and “jaw dropping” videos of “evil gay pride parades” – images of men in leather, images of men in speedos, etc. (Oh the horror I know!).

Years later, while I was on the tail end of my military service I organized the first ever Military contingent in a Pride parade in the History of the United States.  The thing that caused me to really confront this needed change was because when I went to San Diego Pride for the first time, I had never been to a Pride celebration before. I was fed images of “terror,” remember?

Well coming to this Pride celebration, I saw the men in leather, I saw the men in speedos half naked. But I also saw families, churches, policemen, fire fighters, public officials, congress members, seniors, women, blacks, whites, Asians, Christians, Jews, Unitarians, and so much more. I saw what the Rainbow flag meant: Equality for EVERYONE – a magical thing called “diversity” that I never learned in Dallas and I never learned in the military.

In the summer of 2011, there was a fire in Hillcrest. A popular and iconic bookstore in the local gay community named “Obelisk” had burned down. It had just recently seen a change of ownership as well. The store was known to be full of novelty items, sexual art, and adult films tucked away in the back. I remember when the new owner announced that upon rebuilding he was going to change a lot of things, including removing the pornography from the back of the store. Upon seeing this I posted on Facebook something to the effect of: “Glad to see Obelisk is removing porn from their bookstores. Especially since San Diego Pride is becoming more “family friendly.” I truly thought nothing of the post. Hours later, I learned that boy was I wrong.

At that same time, I had experienced a pretty big influx of social media followings, news media, and the like talking to me because of my activism with the military contingent at San Diego Pride. This led to a lot of people looking at what I was saying. I was early in this game, so I really had no idea that I was “being watched.”

There was a slew of comments, many from much older gay men, who were very angry at what I had said. Many of them called me uneducated, and a “young idiot” and so forth since I thought that porn had no place in San Diego Pride. One comment really stood out to me though:

“Porn is our heritage.”

Starting a Sexual Revolution Begins With Education

The first thing I honestly thought was “what the hell is this guy talking about? How can an adult film be your heritage?” I thought the guy was a complete idiot. We exchanged some Facebook conversation back and forth and he told me to “read up.”

And I did.

Years later I have returned to Dallas periodically. I had reconnected with a lot of friends growing up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and I have made a lot of new ones. Every time I went to Dallas, I still had so much pain, fear and honestly I was a little terrified. I would have been reluctant to admit it then, but the years of religious abuse really did leave me scared. It does to this day. Dallas gave me some posttraumatic stress.

While I have had a big amount of support from people when I came out, there are those who won’t speak to me anymore. They don’t say why, but I know why.

Recently the Dallas gay Pride parade has come under some heavy fire about their handling of “family friendly” pride celebrations. The controversy surrounding is was rumored to be “should we ban men in speedos” and “we need to make Pride less sexual.” Something that upset MANY gays and lesbians in the Oaklawn area – yet I noticed a steady group of leadership in the area was reinforcing that Pride celebrations cannot be sexual because we “want families there” and “what about the children?” I saw some liberal activists go NUTS on Dallas Pride.

So what is the answer to all of this? It’s two-fold.

Separating sexuality from Pride events is not the full story:

 

Umm…. Last time I checked an LGBT Pride parade was not about celebrating your anniversary, your sales pitch, nor a baby shower, it is about celebrating being LGBT and SEXUALITY. It kind of is a comical position when people say that sexual undertones Is “trashy” for Dallas Pride.

Pride parades have been an essential part of the gay rights movement. Trust someone who had dealt first hand with seeing a small idea such as a military contingent change America – Pride parades have impact. The more liberal areas of the United States sparked Pride. Was it easy? Absolutely not. Even the MOST CONSERVATIVE Pride celebrations were considered to be a band of “pedophiles and sexual deviants.”

Think about how people simply walking down the street were considered to be “hated by God” and “child molesters.” Yet in other Pride events, the skimpy clothes and open sexuality actually did spark a conversation nationwide in the American community. When people started to say, “I like to do X,Y,Z with men” and “I like to do X,Y,Z with women.” That actually was birthed before from the sexual revolution. Which paved the way and CREATED the modern gay rights movement. There would be NO PRIDE EVENTS nor modern gay rights movement if it was not for the boldness of activists who stood up in a sexual revolution saying “I like to have sex with men (or women).” Such a phrase may seem kind of typical to us these days, but to declare that then made those activists equivalent to someone who wanted to rape a child in the eyes of many. The boldness of sexuality has lead to marriage equality. Not conservative values, but bold, open, sexuality.

 

People that believed in Harvey Milk were not “family friendly”:

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Harvey Milk is all over the modern media now. He has gained civil rights equivalency to Martin Luther King Jr. in being awarded the posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom. During his life, though, he was considered a deviant. Even modern conservatives still today say he was a child predator (they still try to use that tired argument against us).

Yet Harvey Milk stood up and fought in one of the most liberal areas of the country at the time (still not open to the LGBT community). In the film “Milk,” viewers see images of gay men being hauled into police vans, sparking the Stonewall Movement – our gay civil rights movement. When Harvey began to stand up and demand equal justice, it was not the churches, the families and so forth who stood with him. It was the porn stars, the pot heads, the poor, LGBT teens that had been rejected, transgender men and women and drag queens who stood with him.

To sum it up, the REJECTS of society stood with Harvey for the message of the Constitution, when the majority of the country delighted in demoralizing, demonizing and instituting structural and direct violence against the LGBT community. The only people that stood with the modern day civil rights icon were those who were the FARTHEST from being “family friendly.”

We assume that people who are open and educated on sex and gender are not family friendly. Yet, they themselves play a role in their own lives in their own families. Many of us were rejected by our families. In the words of RuPaul, “LGBT people get to choose our families.” Our families are not less because they don’t have the picket fence. Our families are just as important, refugees of oppression.

 

What about the children though?

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Every parent has a right to raise their child as they see fit. On that note, I hope parents will consider this and I mean it with the utmost respect for their role in their child’s lives.

You go to a Pride parade and you see a man in a speedo and you SHIELD your child’s eyes before the “neon green speedo gets into their soul!”

Then…

  • You take a family trip to a beach full of speedos, but you only shield the child’s eyes if it’s at an LGBT Pride parade. (Ironic, isn’t it?)
  • When you walk by a mentally ill homeless person you tell your child “look at that lazy bum.”
  • When you hear rap music you tell your child “they are a bunch of worthless N*****s.” You see no problem with that? What kind of “Southern values” are you teaching?
  • When you attend Church a message that “Jesus was a capitalist” reinforces that poor people are disgusting, evil creatures. When Jesus Himself defended the validity and significance of the poor. They are a part of our society. Period. Jesus demanded that we care for them. By the way, Jesus was neither Capitalist or Liberal. He was above all of that.
  • You tell your child that the teenage girl who got pregnant in high school “is a whore.” Yet you were the father that had sex with many girls in high school and just won no pregnancy by the luck of the draw.

There are SO MANY THINGS in society that are wrong. I have met more evil Pastors using the message of Jesus to embezzle money, cheat on their wives, use Christianity to make millions off the backs of naive seniors citizens and others than I have met “evil porn stars.” Some of whom give more money to charity then some life-long Christians I know. We are so obsessed with demonizing people who are open and educated on sexuality, when instead we have children in America going to bed hungry every night.

We have much bigger priorities than to:

#1 Pretend that sexuality is evil,

#2 Act like humans don’t have sex, and

#3 Trash the liberators that lead to your gay son, daughter, cousin, Father, Mother – who now live in a world that is more open and accepting to LGBT people.

Think, did you lift a finger to make it a better world for LGBT people? The early sexual liberators laid down their lives and their names. You didn’t. Until you can sacrifice your life to stand up for expression, you really don’t have room to judge.

Finally, there is nothing wrong with being a Conservative family:

Conservative families are beautiful. I love them. I came from one. During our good years, we were really blessed people. Marriage is an amazing thing that the gay and lesbian community has fought for because we see that. We want that and we want to be recognized for our love too. Yet that does not mean that the establishment of what has been only straight society gets to demean and demand that gays act a certain way and do everything by the code to which they demand. Straight society does not get that they may be pro LGBT mostly now, but it was the rules and behavior modifications that they produced that lead to the suicides, the gender discrimination against women and so forth.

Moral of the story: There are people dying in our streets. We have a lot of work to do. The churches have a lot of work to do, rather than focus on men in neon green speedos.

Oh, and there also was that part of the Bible where Jesus said “judge not, lest ye be judged.” You’ll take so many passages literally, but when it comes to love, acceptance and understanding, you’d rather ignore that one. There also is this thing called “slut shaming” that Jesus never did. In fact, he spoke against it. (He who is without sin cast the first stone.)

Oh and by the way. It’s just a body.

Go feed the poor.