Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement.
Nothing can be done without hope or confidence.
- Helen Keller
Archive for April, 2010
Tell Those You Love and Those You Work With (Robert’s advice)
I left another comment for Robert. I don’t really understand being married to a woman and talking all the time about being attracted to men, but that’s how it happens over at The Architect’s Garage. Robert does not see himself as ‘gay’, but merely as “having same sex attraction,” and he posts videos of himself talking about “same sex attraction”. I’ve told him many times I do not understand being in a marriage, claiming to love your spouse, and talking constantly about attraction to others outside the marriage. But, he does not see it as a problem. In the video posted today, Robert says people who “have same sex attraction” should be honest with the people in their lives, including family and people at work. I can’t see it when a person is currently married and says he intends to stay that way, but maybe I’m just clueless.
Here’s the Comment I Submitted
If everyone who was sexually abused became gay (as you suggest), LOTS more people would be gay than are gay.
That said, not everyone who is gay was sexually abused. I know you talk about it as if every gay person was sexually abused, but it’s not true.
Also, you make the assumption that everyone who identifies as gay is having sex, or has had sex, with someone of the same sex. Maybe. Maybe not. But, that’s not the issue. Your sexual orientation is part of who you are, whether or not you are with someone of the same sex.
Not having sex with a man does not make you not gay. Being attracted to men the way you are, there’s no question that it is part of who you are and your sexual identity. You just choose not to claim the label. You call it SSA. Other people call the same thing being gay. I’m guessing you’ll identify it as being gay after a few more years.
ps – I agree with the “don’t hide” advice. I don’t really understand telling other people that you are attracted to people outside your marriage. That seems like it could stir up some serious problems. But, in general, telling someone is much healthier than keeping a tightly held secret.
April 25, 2010 11:15 PM
No Creativity Today
This is a totally copied post from DIY Life (Do It Yourself). Here are their categories (in case you want to check out other articles).
Removing Oil-Based Stains From Fabrics
This post tells how to remove oil-based stains from fabrics. For those who take the time to care for their own clothes, this might be helpful. I’m posting it here simply because it looks useful, and this is a place where I’ll probably be able to find it again!
by Erin Loechner, Posted Mar 25th 2010 8:00AMLightly Soiled Oil-Based Stains
1. Soak the stained area in the hottest water the clothing will tolerate.
2. Add detergent after five minutes of soaking and begin your wash cycle (again, in the hottest water manageable).
3. After a full rinse cycle, check the stained area. If it has vanished, feel free to dry as necessary. If not, repeat another hot rinse cycle with detergent.
1. Rub cornstarch or talcum powder into the stained area and let sit for at least twenty minutes.
2. Brush off with a dry washcloth or soft dry brush.
3. If the stain still exists, repeat the treatment several times to fully remove the oil.
4. Launder in hot water as normal and check area before drying. Repeat if necessary.
Citrus oil or citrus turpine is made from natural, steam distilled citrus oils, which are natural solvents. They are not non-toxic, but have the lowest toxicity of all solvents — and smell wonderful!
1. Dab citrus oil on the stained area with a cotton swab.
2. Cover with a paper towel and run a hot steam iron over the stain.
3. The citrus oil will evaporate, along with the stain!
Christian, Singer, Gay
The terms are not necessarily mutually exclusive. She is all three.
Who Is She?
That was my question. I had never heard of her.
Carol posted about an article in Christianity Today about Jennifer Knapp coming out as gay. She quoted a few of Jennifer’s comments, and she added a few thoughts of her own.
Ray Boltz is another person for whom the words “Christian, singer, and gay” all apply. Ray also came out publicly less than two years ago. Ray also faced a backlash of hate-mail and hateful comments online.
My Heart Goes Out
Carol Boltz is a supportive straight advocate for equal rights for those who are not straight. Check out her blog: My Heart Goes Out.
Ray Boltz in Washington Blade – September 12, 2008
Ray Boltz came out publicly less than two years ago in an interview with the Washington Blade. Carol Boltz has reposted the interview on her website. Ray Boltz Original Coming Out Article.
Dirty, Dangerous, Deadly
Coal miners work a dirty, dangerous, and sometimes deadly job. They do hard physical labor in conditions that would set off an episode of claustrophobia for most of us. They work for years, and if they live long enough, they (sometimes) die of lung disease.
Why Do They Do It?
They do it for their families. They do the work that is available where they live. They do what their fathers and grandfathers, uncles and cousins and brothers have done. They work to support the ones they love.
Dying For Energy, Dying For Profits
Coal miners live and die in and around the mines. Because of their work, we have energy for electricity. Because of their work, we have lights at night, heat in the winter, and cool air in the summer. Because of their work, a few people become increasingly wealthy while the miners lose their health and their lives.
Remember the Miners and Their Families
These people served their country underground. These people showed their love for their families by spending their lives doing dangerous work. Now, once again, the families of these hard-working American people are suffering and grieving.
What Can We Do To Help?
How can we assist the families of the miners who died this week? Does anyone have links to (authentic and reputable) organizations that are providing assistance? Please post any information you have in comments. Thanks.
West Virginia Coal Mine ArticlesWest Virginia Florists Make Heartfelt Arrangements For Miners’ Funerals Weekly Mulch: Massey Energy coal costs the environment West Virginia Mine Operator Escaped Extra Federal Oversight Despite Numerous Violations Don Blankenship On Mine Disaster (VIDEO): ‘We Don’t Really Know What To Say About It’ West Virginia Mine Disaster: Help Support Victims’ Families West Virginia Mine EXPLOSION: Massey Energy Mine Had Scores Of Safety Citations EPA Proposes New Mountaintop Removal Pollution Controls West Virginia Mine Workers Stay Home To Protest Anti-Obama NRA Coercion Rescuers Search For Two Trapped In West Virginia Mine… The Energy Plant Tragedy You DIDN’T Hear About Tip of Iceberg of Massey’s Titanic Violations: 72-Foot Tidal Wave of Coal Sludge Looms Above Affected Mining Communities West Virginia Coal Mine Explosion UPDATE: Crews Enter Mine, Meet Dangerous Levels Of Gases Weekly Pulse: WV Mine Had Over 1300 Health and Safety Violations Quinn Shuffles State Budget To Prevent Cuts From Mine Safety Program After West Virginia Disaster Don Blankenship On Mine Disaster (VIDEO): ‘We Don’t Really Know What To Say About It’ Negligence in the Coal Fields West Virginia Coal Mine Explosion: Still No Response From Any Survivors Conservative DJ Roger Hedgecock Says Dems “Crave Dead Miners” Mitch McConnell Should Return Massey’s Dirty Coal Money West Virginia Mine Disaster: Help Support Victims’ Families West Virginia Mine EXPLOSION: Massey Energy Mine Had Scores Of Safety Citations Fatal U.S. Mine Disasters: A List Of Tragic Deaths In Recent Decades What Killed the Miners? Profits Over Safety? EPA Proposes New Mountaintop Removal Pollution Controls UPDATE: Obama Ends 150-Year War of Strip-Mining in 24 States! Mountaintop Removal Loses Its Groove Hot Rocks: Hidden Cost and Foreign Ownership of “Clean” Nuclear Fuel Emerging Dark Secret of World Water Day: Coal-Fired Plants Drink 1.5 Trillion Gallons, Then We Drink Backwash ‘Eleanor Roosevelt Tours Coal Mine’ — Obama Still Needs To Time-Lapse Shows Mountaintop Mining Depleting Forests Over 25-Year Period (VIDEO) Mountaintop Removal Redux: Bobby vs. Blankenship II The Women I Love (on Women’s Day): Agitators Who Stand Up to Big Coal GE Is on a Coal-Beautification Mission Amazing Video: Coal Miners Join Historic Rallies to End Mountaintop Removal An Old Prayer for Clean Coal: Strip-Mining Jesus Tree Sits, Air Horns and Helicopters: The Fight to Save Coal River Mountain Coal Industry’s Future Looking Murky Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Takes On Mountaintop Mining Magnate Don Blankenship Mountaintop Removal Debate: Kennedy And Blankenship Spar Over Coal
Change Is Possible
I do not believe I am being naive to believe that even though these kids seem to be products of an environment that promotes exclusion and cruelty towards those who are seen as other, and they have behaved in bullying behavior as a group, they can learn from this and become better people. I believe that they do not have to live in this same self-serving and other-harming way for the rest of their lives.
I agree that what they did was cruel. It was also probably against the law. And, we all agree that they went out of their way to exclude certain individuals from what should have been open to all students. I do not in any way defend their behavior.
Education and Rehabilitation
What I would like to see happen here is an effort to incorporate education and rehabilitation (in the area of emotional intelligence, awareness of the needs of others, and compassion) into any judgment or punishment that is handed down. Punishment without education (being punished without really understanding what they did wrong) will only lead the private-party students into more resentment and more of this kind of behavior.
Remorse, Reparation, Good Works
I am not giving them a pass for treating others in this way. I do, however, believe it is very easy to have a narrow view when everyone has the same point of view. I do not know for sure that learning about the world outside of Fulton, Mississippi would change things for these kids. But, I am guessing that many of them are good kids, and given the opportunity to learn from this, they could learn from this experience (from the fallout from their self-serving behavior), become more understanding of others, and regret this act of hurtful exclusion. This hurtful event, and the fallout that has followed, may be an opportunity for some of these kids to make changes that will enable them to grow personally and become people who oppose injustice and work for equality. I would like for that to be what comes from this situation: remorse, reparation, and good works in the future.
Seeing With New Eyes
I would like to see the good that can come, long term, if the private-prom kids see the world with new eyes, and learn to have open hearts and minds. I would like to see the private-prom kids have the opportunity to learn from this event and change from the inside out. They need to know that adult life is about working together, not about excluding people we do not like. They seem not to have learned that lesson from their parents. I would like to see them have the opportunity to learn it by experiencing the world outside of Fulton (by going to college and seeing a bigger view of the world). Itawamba Agricultural High School could also benefit from anti-bullying education.
The Larger Problem (Bullying and Exclusion)
The fact that the secret prom even happened is part of a larger situation of bullying and exclusion. Bullying is a big problem in high schools in this country. Itawamba is not the only place where kids are being treated cruelly. But, they have become the poster-child school for this week. I hope that when deciding what judgment to make against the students, the parents, and the school board, the judge will take the opportunity to put an anti-bullying program in place. The judge would do the town a favor by bringing in Barbara Coloroso (author of The Bully, The Bullied, and the Bystander).
Barbara Coloroso is an educator, an author, and a speaker. She works tirelessly to try to stop the epidemic of bullying in schools around this country. I went to one of her seminars several years ago. She is an amazing speaker, and she offers practical and life-changing methods for stopping bullying. She teaches that making something right, not simply punishment, is what will positively change the lives of everyone involved in bullying. In her seminar, she gives some remarkable examples of bad things high school students have done to other kids, and how they were made to set things right as their judge-ordered punishment.
Learning To Do What Is Right
It is truly amazing how life-changing it can be to learn to do right thing rather than to simply be punished. Punishment without education, punishment without making right the wrongs done, leads to why me?! thinking and resentment. Setting things right leads to changed hearts and changed lives. This situation may become a wound that does not heal, for those who were the bullies and those who were bullied. But, if handled well, it can become an opportunity for healing and personal growth if someone in charge makes wise decisions about what happens from here.
The Lesbian and the Tuxedo
It all started when a certain lesbian high school student in Mississippi (Constance McMillen) applied to go to her high school prom with her girlfriend. She also wanted to wear a tuxedo instead of a prom dress. The adults in charge said that would not be allowed.
The Lesbian and the ACLU
The ACLU got involved, and a Mississippi judge stopped just short of making the Itawamba High School allow the student to attend the prom with her girlfriend. The ruling was not made, because the Itawamba community made plans to hold the high school prom at the local country club (since the school prom was canceled rather than have to share the evening with an out lesbian teenaged girl and her girlfriend).
The Lesbian and the Country Club
On the appointed night, the lesbian and her girlfriend dressed up and went to the prom at the country club. The only trouble was that fewer than ten students were there. To make matters worse, those students had not been invited to the real party. A secret prom was in full swing over in the next town where the other students from Itawamaba High School were partying away (while the small group at the country club had their ‘Prom’).
The Lesbian and the Wrath of the Regions Beyond Mississippi
I’ve spent hours today reading blog posts and reading comments about this situation. I totally agree that what the students did, by having a secret prom and leaving out some of the students, was terribly wrong. There is no disputing the lack of compassion for ‘other’ that was demonstrated by these students who wanted to hide from ‘the lesbian’ and have a secret party without her. And, there is no question in my mind that they did not act alone. The adults in their lives were part of the ‘meanness’ that took place that night.
The Other Students and Their Post-Lesbian Future
So many of the comments by readers wish bad things on the students who held the secret prom. People are threatening to have them banned from good colleges. This is where I differ with the thoughts expressed in some of the comments I read today. Why would we want to punish their ignorant behavior by withholding an opportunity for them to have their minds opened to knowledge and to other people?
Self-Centered Behavior vs. Empathy and Compassion
None of us were born rejecting others or being mean to others. We all learned how to do that. We also learned about each other and learned to be open to each other.I’d like to see the ‘secret prom’ kids have the opportunity to learn to value others and treat others with respect. Compassion can be learned just as cruelty and a lack of compassion seem to have been learned, and if not compassion, at least a basic sense of treating others with dignity and respect. I want to believe this is true. I want to believe that living in a different environment would help these young people see the bigger picture. I want to believe that getting to know people who are different from themselves will lead to more openness of heart and mind. I really don’t see these kids as terrible people, just self-centered and lacking in empathy. I don’t wish them a terrible life. I wish them the joy of learning to really see and appreciate others. I’d like to see them all grow and change because of this experience, becoming more sensitive and empathetic people. I don’t wish them harm.
The Lesbian As a Catalyst for Change
Rather than banning these (secret prom, anti-lesbian) students from the college experience, I would like to see them all become on-campus students at universities where intellectual curiosity and the pursuit of knowledge are valued. I would like to see these students spend four years living and learning in a place where their minds can be opened to people and realities beyond the world they currently know.
The Lesbian and the “Mean Kids” Syndrome
People can be mean. Kids can be mean. Adults sometimes behave with cruelty that is shocking, since they are old enough to know better. There is no doubt about any of these things. It seems that all three of these things took place in Itawamba county, Mississippi this past week.
The Lesbian and What We Can All Learn
It is clear that ‘the lesbian’ was not popular with her classmates, but at least she did not curl up in a corner and fade away (or worse). I’m glad she acted with courage, and asked for what she wanted (to go to the prom with her girlfriend). I don’t know her feelings or her motives, but I have no doubt that it took courage to be herself in an environment where no one stood up for her. I hope that her courage will serve as an inspiration to others. I hope that other people, gay or not, will take heart and take a chance when it’s time to do the right thing. I hope that we all, each of us individually, will remember to stand up for what is right. Maybe a good place to start would be treating each other with respect and showing compassion for each other.