Tag Archives: homosexuality

Things Jussie Smollett Could Have Done for His Career

As if things couldn’t get any stranger since the election of Donald Trump, the so-called actor known as Jussie Smollett has made a sad name for himself by apparently staging an assault on himself and claiming it was a hate crime.  Investigators in Chicago – where the alleged attack occurred – arrested Smollett on Thursday, the 21st, and charged him with fakery.  (Fakery is essentially the same as dumbfuckery.)  I’d heard of the show Empire, but I’d never heard of Smollett.  I mean, who has?  In the high-pressure universe of television entertainment, people are only as good as their last scandal.  But, if Smollett seriously wanted to advance his career, there are a number of things he could’ve done, instead of conjuring up a hate crime scenario.

To help him – and other would-be assholes who have dared even thinking of doing the same – I’ve composed a list of things Smollett might have done to enhance his notoriety.

 

  • Take acting lessons.
  • Post nude selfies to social media.
  • Get arrested with marijuana in his underwear.
  • Pose for Playgirl.
  • Announce he’s turned heterosexual.
  • Express his support for Donald Trump.
  • Rent an expensive sports car and wreck it.
  • State publicly he hates queer people.
  • Fake a seizure while on a plane.
  • Claim he had a one-night fling with Anderson Cooper.
  • Go to work part-time for Wal-Mart and say he needed the gig to supplement his income.
  • Say he has 4 testicles.
  • Travel to Acapulco for vacation and “disappear” for a few days.
  • Get into a fight with an old woman in a wheelchair.
  • Say he’s trying to find a child he thinks he fathered 20 years ago.
  • Start wearing a t-shirt that says, ‘I Beat Vitiligo.’
  • Visit a therapist claiming he’s a masturbation addict.
  • Tell everyone he’s NOT vegan and eats gluten.
  • Publicly condemn scientology.
  • Say he hates Oprah Winfrey and Ellen DeGeneres.

 

On a more serious note, I have to confess my disdain for Smollett.  I’ve known plenty of non-White people who have been victimized by hate crimes (beyond name-calling), and most of the queer people I’ve known could recount one or more harrowing tales of hate crime episodes.  For Smollett to pay someone to inflict an attack on him, just for the sake of seeing his acting career skyrocket, is an offense to REAL victims of hate crimes.  It may also prevent future victims from reporting these events, lest they be questioned and even mocked.  You know the right-wing establishment is going to have a field day with this shit, don’t you!

Fabricating criminal behavior won’t advance anyone’s career, but it can set back the progress marginalized groups have made towards equality.  The public truly doesn’t care about the notoriety of a little-known actor on a ubiquitous television show.  But we do care about people who have fallen victim to hate and oppression.  Smollett can now fade into the obscurity where he was already languishing.  Maybe Wal-Mart will hire him.

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Queers on the Altar

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Last week’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, in Obergefell v. Hodges, legalizing same-gender marriage across the country has resulted in the usual mix of joy and condemnation. A little more than a decade ago the same court ruled, in Lawrence v. Texas, that anti-sodomy laws are not constitutionally enforceable. That decision came less than two decades after the High Court ruled in Bowers v. Hardwick that states can declare same-gender sexual activity illegal.

Writing for the majority in the narrow 5 – 4 ruling, Justice Anthony Kennedy stated that “couples of the same sex may not be deprived of that right and liberty,” according to the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment. That amendment was designed initially to grant former Negro slaves the dignity of a human life; that is, they would be considered as equals to Whites. But, the nearly 150 years since, it has come to mean everyone in the United States is considered equal.

In the minority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the Court had taken an “extraordinary step” in deciding not to allow states to decide the issue for themselves, noting that the Constitution doesn’t define marriage. No, it doesn’t. And it shouldn’t. But that’s the curious thing about human rights: they’re not to be voted upon; hence the term “rights.”

Reading and listening to the plethora of responses from religious leaders and social conservatives is almost laughable. Even before the gavel fell, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee called on fellow Christians to engage in a “biblical disobedience” campaign against the “false god of judicial supremacy.” After the ruling, Huckabee told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, “I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.”

East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert warned that the Obergefell decision ensures God’s wrath upon the nation. “I will do all I can to prevent such harm,” he said, “but I am gravely fearful that the stage has now been set.” He went on to recommend fleeing the U.S., lest we all get obliterated by a massive hurricane or earthquake or a toenail fungus epidemic.

One of the best reactions came from Texas Senator Ted Cruz who bemoaned, “Today is some of the darkest 24 hours in our nation’s history. Yesterday and today were both naked and shameless judicial activism.”

Aside from the fact Cruz doesn’t understand proper verb-subject agreement, I’d like to take this opportunity to point out some of the darkest periods in American history:

December 29, 1890 – Wounded Knee massacre;

October 28, 1929 – “Black Monday” stock market crash;

December 7, 1941 – Pearl Harbor attack;

November 22, 1963 – assassination of John F. Kennedy;

March 30, 1981 – attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan;

April 19, 1995 – Oklahoma City bombing;

September 11, 2001 – Al Qaeda terrorist attacks.

Of course, Cruz may not even be aware of these catastrophic events, since…you know, he’s not from this country and probably hasn’t studied American history too much.

In advance of the SCOTUS ruling, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed the “Pastor Protection Act,” which would allow religious figures in the Lone Star State the right to refuse to conduct same-gender marriages, calling it a move to protect free speech. But, as soon as the decision was made public, same-sex couples in Texas began flocking to county offices to obtain marriage licenses. Many county officials wouldn’t issue them; claiming they had to await proper instructions from Abbott’s office. Others simply refused for obvious reasons: they don’t like queer folks and felt their religious beliefs were under attack. And we thought Ebola was scary!

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton proclaimed that “no court, no law, no rule and no words will change the simple truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.” He also falls in line with the right-wing mantra that traditional Christian family values are under attack – again – by stating, “This ruling will likely only embolden those who seek to punish people who take personal, moral stands based upon their conscience and the teachings of their religion.”

Hey, Ken! Take it easy, man! No one’s trying to circumvent your religion. But I know that religion – any religion – doesn’t trump human rights. Whenever they clash, human rights takes precedence – always and forever. Or, it should. Plenty of people feel differently. They equate the two; seeing them as symbiotic. Yet more than a few use their religion as a tool of obstruction and division.

Here’s something else though: for more than a thousand years both the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches conducted and sanctified same-gender marriages. Yes, the very same people who burned Joan of Arc to death and blamed Jews for the 14th century’s “Black Plague” may not have had many qualms letting queer people get married. In his groundbreaking 1994 book, “Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe,” the late religious historian John Boswell found evidence that some clerics oversaw these types of ceremonies as far back as the 4th century A.D.

One manuscript preserved in the Vatican and dating to 1147 bears this prayer:

“Send down, most kind Lord, the grace of Thy Holy Spirit upon these Thy servants, whom Thou hast found worthy to be united not by nature but by faith and a holy spirit. Grant unto them Thy grace to love each other in joy without injury or hatred all the days of their lives.”

According to Boswell, it’s more than just a prayer; it’s an affirmation of marriage between two men. His extensive research produced more than 60 texts from Paris to St. Petersburg that talked of “spiritual brotherhood” or “adoptive brotherhood.” Boswell, of course, had to translate scores of documents written in antiquitous languages. And, given the difficulty in properly conveying what someone wrote, it’s not fully certain if same-sex marriages actually were allowed in the Byzantine Empire anywhere during the Middle Ages. Some scholars accused Boswell of rewriting history. These “ceremonies” were not rites of marriage, they say, but rather brotherhood-type bonds between men entering the cloistered life.  But the thought is intriguing nonetheless.

Illustration of Saints Serge and Bacchus allegedly united in a same-sex union. Source: Annalee Newitz, “Gay marriage in the year 100 AD,” io9.com, July 29, 2013.

Illustration of Saints Serge and Bacchus allegedly united in a same-sex union. Source: Annalee Newitz, “Gay marriage in the year 100 AD,” io9.com, July 29, 2013.

Among North America’s indigenous peoples, homosexuality and bisexuality were widely accepted and, many cases, revered. Interpretations of various Indian languages have produced the term “two-spirit people.” While some communities clearly mocked such people, others viewed them as uniquely deserving of respect and consideration. There’s no verifiable documentation that actual same-sex marriage ceremonies were performed among Native Americans. But, with the intrusion of Christianity ideology, “two-spirit people” were relegated to obscurity and treated with disdain. Regardless, same-gender unions may not be a just a 20th century concept.

Right-wing claims that same-sex unions pose a danger to traditional marriage, but it’s a dubious argument. Divorce rates in the U.S. had reached near 50% by the 1980s, but then began dropping. Marriage rates, however, have also been dropping. Moreover the greatest threats to marriage should be obvious: poverty and other financial difficulties; unemployment and underemployment; domestic violence; and drug and alcohol abuse.

Once as taboo as homosexuality itself, divorce became more acceptable, beginning in 1969, when California became the first state to enact no-fault divorce. Ironically the law was signed by then-California Governor Ronald Reagan, an icon of conservative family values who became the nation’s first and – to date – only divorced president.

The late actress Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times. Former radio personality Larry King was also married eight times, twice to the same woman. Faux singer Britney Spears once married a childhood friend as a joke. Kim Kardashian’s 2010 marriage to Kris Humphries lasted 72 days.

Former Congressman Newt Gingrich (who tried to impeach President Bill Clinton in 1998 for lying about an affair with an intern) is married to his third wife. His first two marriages ended in divorced after he was caught having affairs with younger women. He delivered divorce papers to his second wife, while she was recuperating in a hospital from cancer surgery.

I want to point out something more personal. The day after the Obergefell decision, my parents marked their 56th wedding anniversary. They’ve lasted this long, not because they’ve just become stuck to each other, like parasites on a cow, but because they took their marriage vows seriously. They respect one another, have a great sense of humor, and occasionally spend quality time apart. It hasn’t always been easy. Like any married couple, they had their share of arguments and disagreements. But nothing was ever so bad that they had to separate. More importantly, they never felt threatened by any gay or lesbian person. The Obergefell case isn’t going to bring an end to their nearly 60-year union. In their twilight years, they’re more concerned with their own physical health and financial well-being.

In other words, they’re minding their own damn business. I recommend all the malcontents pissed off over the Obergefell case do the same.

Despite a looming rainstorm, gay couples and their families and friends marched down Cedar Springs Road in Dallas to celebrate the same-sex marriage ruling on Friday, June 26.

Despite a looming rainstorm, gay couples and their families and friends marched down Cedar Springs Road in Dallas to celebrate the same-sex marriage ruling on Friday, June 26.

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Fags in the Shower! Fags in the Shower!

Michael Sam hopes to turn his collegiate football career into a professional one.

Michael Sam hopes to turn his collegiate football career into a professional one.

The American sports world is all riled up again – and as usual, over nothing important.  Michael Sam, a 24-year-old senior defensive lineman football player at the University of Missouri, recently announced that he’s a practicing homosexual.  Sam has garnered a number of accolades for his athletic ability, including All-American Player and Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year awards.  But, his unapologetic admission to being gay has steered the conversation to a prospect more horrifying to many heterosexual men than erectile dysfunction and forgetting to order flowers on Valentine’s Day: there’ll be a damn queer in the locker room!

Professional sports in the U.S. is rife with unsavory characters and devious antics.  Like their counterparts in the entertainment world, career athletes seem to have a penchant for nefarious behavior in the public arena.  Former baseball player Darryl Strawberry had a long history of drug use, which – coupled with documented assaults on his first wife – eventually derailed his career.  Key word: eventually.  Despite his troubles, team owners and coaches kept giving him second chances.  His high batting averages appeared to gloss over the awful reality of his self-destruction.

The late Wilt Chamberlain, a legendary figure in basketball, once claimed to have slept with over 20,000 women.  His lawyer, Seymour Goldberg, declared that Chamberlain “collected women” the way some people collect stamps.  His nickname, “The Big Dipper,” came about because he often had to duck his 7’1” frame downward when he entered doorways.  But, the moniker obviously sported a more salacious definition when rumors of his romantic escapades began circulating in the media.

One of the most brutal stories of a professional athlete’s incorrigible behavior involves Rae Carruth, formerly of the Carolina Panthers.  In November of 1999, Carruth ordered a friend to murder his then-girlfriend, Cherica Adams, who was eight months pregnant.  Two years earlier Carruth had lost a paternity suit and, apparently reluctant to support yet another unwanted child, he tried convincing Adams to have an abortion.  When she refused, he allegedly planned to have her beaten up so she’d miscarry.  After that failed, he went further and set up the hit.  The two met for a date at a movie theatre.  They left in separate cars, with Adams following Carruth.  Another vehicle drove up beside Adams, and a man later identified as a friend of Carruth fired four shots.  Adams crashed and, despite her injuries, managed to dial 911 from her cell phone.  Doctors were able to save the 8-month-old male fetus.  Adams later scribbled notes for police officials describing the sequence of events and clearly implicated Carruth in the crime.  Carruth had told investigators he’d turn himself into police if Adams died.  When she finally succumbed to her injuries a month later, Carruth fled.  Fortunately, he was caught and convicted of murder in 2000, along with his three accomplices.  But, from the start, sports writers and Carruth fan were willing to give Carruth the benefit of the doubt.

In December 2012, Josh Brent, a Dallas Cowboys player, was involved in a drunk driving wreck that killed his fellow teammate and best friend, Jerry Brown.  The two had patronized a strip club and consumed large amounts of alcohol, when Brent lost control of his Mercedes.  Police officers arriving at the scene found Brent trying to pull Brown from the fiery crash.  A blood-alcohol test on Brent measured 0.18, more than twice the legal limit in Texas.  Brent’s defense attorneys tried to claim that his 320-pound frame could handle that much booze, which was roughly equal to 17 mixed drinks.  Amidst such trauma, however, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones refused to terminate Brent’s contract until after the trial.  But, the ultimate shame in this tragedy came when Judge Robert Burns announced Brent’s sentence – 180 days in jail and 10 years’ probation.

There are countless other stories of professional athletes abusing their wives or girlfriends; committing sexual assault; driving drunk; beating up friends and neighbors; and / or using illegal narcotics.  But, if you listen to the rhetoric over Michael Sam, you’d think his sexuality was as criminal as those of the aforementioned athletes.  In professional sports, it’s apparently okay for a man to beat the crap out of his wife.  In fact, many people just seem to want to shove that under the rug of illicit behavior.

But, said athlete admits that he’s gay?  Well, suddenly he’s crossed the line.  We can’t have that.  We can’t have any fags in the shower.  The same argument has been used before in the U.S. military.  It was a basis for the compromise over the pathetic “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy enacted in 1994.  Until it was repealed in 2011, more people were booted out of the military for being gay or lesbian than for being fat.

In the narrow minds of bigotry, some transgressions are inexcusable.  Homosexuality is among them.  Unless Michael Sam has forced someone into a sexually compromising position (and that’s almost always an accusation, especially towards gay men), people should focus more on his athletic abilities and his difficult upbringing than his sexual predilections.  He lost one brother to gun violence; another brother has been missing since 1998; and two more of his brothers are imprisoned.  At one point, he and his mother lived in her car.  Sam is the first member of his family to attend college.  It’s unlikely he decided to pursue a football career so he can scope out guys in the locker room.  Anyone who visits a locker room (or public restroom, for that matter) to pick up dates needs to get their ass kicked anyway.

Here’s another thing: men look at one another’s genitalia in the locker room.  Every man does; if he denies it, he’s either lying, or he’s dead.  It’s not a stare, or a gape; it’s just a casual glance to see if they measure up.  Every man is concerned about his penis size at some point in his life.  And, every woman is just as concerned about her butt and hip size during some internal squabble with her internal self.  We humans all just want to be – and look – normal.  Being gay or lesbian doesn’t cross the invisible line – but, staring does.  And, that’s just not going to happen very often.

Personally, I’m not a football fan, so I’d never heard of Michael Sam until this faux issue arose.  And, I certainly don’t plan to follow his career should be become the first openly-gay professional player in American football history.  I have more important concerns.  So should everyone else.

Local Dallas / Fort Worth sports anchor Dale Hansen tells it like it is.

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Quote of the Day

“If you make the behavior of these people … if children hear it, unsupervised children, okay who don’t have parents watching their – they might go out and experiment with this stuff… When I was a teenager and I saw James Dean smoking, it made me want to smoke…a lot of these dopey kids are confused about who they are.  They’re confused.”

– Bill O’Reilly, expressing concerns about the TV show Glee

Goddamned queers!  Always trying to make people feel happy and gay!

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Quote of the Day

“I believe that freedom of speech and freedom of religion go hand-in-hand in America.  I should be able to express moral views on social issues – especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years – without being slandered, accused of hate speech and told from those who preach ‘tolerance’ that I need to either bend my beliefs to their moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square.  In any society that is governed by the rule of law, some form of morality is always imposed.  It’s inescapable.” 

– Kirk Cameron, quoted by World Net Daily 

Meanwhile, the menopausal debutantes on The View discuss Cameron after he made a similar statement on Piers Morgan Tonight.  I say just give all of them some a box of chocolates and a pitcher of frozen margaritas!

 

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