The "Ex-Gay" Myth and Why it Failed Me Read More!
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Yosemite-Sam-warner-brothers-animation-30976315-800-766I’m a bitter, angry, rejected, hurting gay man. My writing has gotten entirely critical of the Church, Christianity, and Christians. I’m a spiteful gay activist that has nothing to offer except being another bitchy queen looking to rub soot in the eyes of the next religious person to cross my path.

Well, that’s the story, anyway. And some of the people who have said these things (or similar) are friends of mine, so the last few weeks have been a time of some pretty deep prayer and reflection. Am I the angry, dejected, crushed man that they claim to see? Or is there something else going on?

I’ll readily admit that I have a few triggers that send me through the roof. Usually, I’m a calm, controlled guy who keeps my emotional cards close to my chest. Rational. Thoughtful. All of that. But, touch a trigger point, and I’m every bit the bitch that you can imagine.

Trigger #1: Stupid shit

Yes, that’s very vague. But it has to be completely, incredibly asinine for me to allow something to fall into this kind of trigger point stupidity. Further, it has to be utterly wasteful, shamefully nonsensical, and be the kind of idiocy that attempts to pass itself off as logic or necessary. A good example would be almost any bill filed by Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield.

Campfield filed a few bills this year, one of them is a new, revised, and “improved” version of his opus of stupidity, the Don’t Say Gay bill. Now, not only does it prevent teachers from talking about homosexuality in the classroom, but it also says that if a child tells a counselor that they might be gay, the counselor has to tell the parents. That’s right. The counselor would have to out that kid to the parents. No questions asked.

If that’s not enough stupidity for a month of “Dumb and Dumber” movies, a new twist was added this week. Now, if this legislative turd gets passed, school counselors would be forbidden to counsel on ANY topic unless it’s about career or academic guidance. Never mind the fact that counselors are highly trained on many of these issues — specifically social issues.

So yes, that’s a trigger. The fact that these bills are filed — and fought for — by real, live legislators in the 21st century is mind boggling to anyone with half a brain. That they have a good chance of passing, well, that’s just sends me into apoplexy.

Then there’s the fact that Miss Campfield manages to find someone to co-sponsor his tripe in the lower house. Fellow anti-gay bigots John DeBerry and Joey Hensley were only too eager to give the state’s counseling industry a big black eye with a second bill that would allow counselors to refuse gay clients. For his part, Hensley has his own special kind of stupid. When asked about LGBT opposition to the bill, he had this to say:

“That community tends to think every bill is directed at them,” Sen. Hensley added. “A client is really being disserviced if their counselor has a religious belief against what they’re doing and trying to get help with.”

No, Mr. Hensley. We only “tend to think” that bills that are directed at us… are directed at us. Out of the hundreds of bills filed this year, only a few have this level of anti-gay animus. So please, don’t try to play the “aw, shucks, we’re just trahin’ t’ dew th’ raght thang heeyuh,” crap. When you’re going against the very professional organizations that accredit counselors — who say that your bill is pure stupidity on paper — then you’re clearly going with some sort of bias. In short, this would allow counselors to use their “religious beliefs” as a license to discriminate and enter psuedo-science into the mix.

That’s not just unethical. It’s immoral. Damned right it’s a trigger point.

Trigger #2: Religious patronizing

Again with the vague. I know. It’s a big category, and where I probably get the most passionate. Perhaps I should give a few examples:

Probably the most guaranteed to get a visceral reaction from me is to quote Leviticus 20:13 as a part of a discussion as to why homosexuality is ‘bad.’ With citations from Romans, 1 Corinthians, and the few other passages that are “proof-texts” for the “homosexuality is bad” crowd, nothing is guaranteed to send a chill down my spine than the only verse in the Bible that calls for the execution of people who “lay with a man as with a woman.”

I recently had a pastor friend of mine even attempt to justify the passage. “I didn’t divide the Scripture rightly,” he said. Frankly, I really don’t care what “theology” someone uses to justify that passage. But quoting a verse that implies that I would have been pummeled to death with a bunch of large rocks, and the ‘blood would be on my head,’ well — that doesn’t exactly win me over to anyone’s line of thinking. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Leviticus has absolutely no bearing on today’s culture. Certainly not in a culture dominated by Christianity. The passages that call for a person’s murder have even less relevance. Usually, to make this point, I’ll press with a simple question: “So, do you believe that I should be executed according to that verse?” It’s interesting how quickly even the most sure-of-themselves bigot is suddenly turned into a sputtering fool.

The religious patronizing doesn’t stop with the disingenuous invocations of irrelevant Scriptures. Equally off-putting are the “I’m trying to not be a total ass, but here’s what I think anyway” pre-coined platitudes of “You know, that isn’t God’s best.” and “It’s a sin just like stealing, murder and rape.”

The first takes nothing into consideration but their own assumption that what’s “best” for me and any other LGBT person out there is to completely shut down their sexual orientation, tear apart their relationships, and live a lie by pretending to be straight just to suit what you think is “best?” Yeah. No thanks.

And that whole “it’s just like any other sin” bit is just another in a long series of “I’m better than you” rules that traditional ‘churchianity’ has presented to give themselves something to make them feel better. Note how the comparison list almost always goes to the worst of the worst. Why not compare this “sin” to something a little more common in today’s churches? You know, like gluttony, sloth, envy, and gossip?

You see, even if you think being gay is a sin (which it is not) or that having gay sex is a sin (except in marriage, which you don’t want us to have), why does it always go to murder? Rape? Pedophilia? Simple: because real Christians don’t do those sort of things. Therefore, gay people can’t be real Christians. But hey, if I stop being gay (read: having gay sex)… I can join your club of fat, lazy, envious gossips.

No thanks. I’m not sure I want to get too close to that kind of activity. After all, God destroyed a couple of cities for that kind of behavior. You might be surprised which ones. If you’re interested, read Ezekiel 16:49-50.

Trigger point #3: Use lies to move forward your “Christian” agenda

This one’s a doozie. Yes, there are plenty of groups that can be called “anti-gay” because they don’t approve of same-sex relationships, but they’re not the ones I’m talking about. When Chik-Fil-A donated millions to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, I wasn’t among the throngs of gay activists demanding boycotts. It wasn’t until I learned they donated to the Family Research Council that I added my voice to theirs.

Why? Simple. The FCA does not lie about LGBT people as a matter of policy. The FCA does not use their vast resources specifically to fight against LGBT equality. They don’t go on TV with their aw-shucks personalities to tell millions of TV viewers that gay men are the same as pedophiles.

The Family Research Council, on the other hand, does all of those things. And more. I’m not just outraged that they lie so readily. My frustration centers on the fact that they have millions of loyal followers who eat up their garbage without even checking it for facts. Because, after all, it’s a “Christian” group fighting against the “homosexual activists.”

The FRC is just one of nearly 30 anti-gay groups that use a significant portion of their resources to demonize and marginalize the LGBT community. Others include the American Family Association, the Family Research Institute, the National Organization for Marriage, and the Traditional Values Coalition. All of them regularly distort facts, lie, twist, deceive, and manipulate — for the goal of preventing basic equality for LGBT people.

We call them “hate groups” because of their frequent promulgation of known falsehoods (read:lies). It has nothing to do with them being “Christian.” In fact, I would argue that there’s nothing “Christian” about any of these organizations. They are nothing more than political opportunists who have tapped into widespread homophobia in our country. They don’t deserve anything but contempt.

Here’s the point. All of these “trigger points” revolve around the dehumanization of the LGBT community. Everything I’ve listed here is focused on systemic abuse, deception, lies, and bias toward people just because they’re gay. They outrage me because they are, quite frankly, outrageous.

There’s one final trigger point, here:

Trigger point #4: Complicit silence

And I’m directing this one at you, dear reader. If you’re one of the few people who have said to me, “David, you’re too angry lately,” I ask you this. Why aren’t YOU? These people are using YOUR faith (and mine) as an EXCUSE to attack me. Yet you sit in complicit silence while whole institutions, including state legislatures across the country, work to find every possible way to keep LGBT people in quiet submission.

And you say nothing. You do nothing. Except complain to me that I’m too angry.

These people are rousing their millions of dollars and followers to keep me from being able to marry the man I’ve loved for more than eleven years. Marriage, according to the Supreme Court, is a basic human right. And you’re worried that I’m too angry.

What will it take for you to be angry? What will it take for you to wake from your silence and speak out against the vile lies that are being spread in the name of Christ?

Why should it take outrageous comments like “God hates fags” from musicians for people to take action? Why must it be so bizarre, so offensive, and so nonsensical for us to even say anything? Why must it take the nonsense from a widely-panned state senator like Stacey Campfield for you to realize that the LGBT community is a punching bag for right wing politics?

Yes, I’m angry. I’m outraged. I’m furious. I’m mad as hell.

Because you’re not.

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14 Responses to Trigger Points: Find out why I’m mad as hell

  1. Patrick Lynch says:

    This is FANTASTIC… it could have been my words… I am just glad you took the time to put pen to paper.

  2. Terry McMoore says:

    Great article and lots of great points I mean trigger points.

  3. Lisa Salazar says:

    I have a 5th Trigger Point: Now the evangelical camp is re-framing their stance with respect to the LGBT community. Stung by their loss of influence in the debate and the growing acceptance and support for same sex marriage among their congregants and how their churches are seen as irrelevant by their youth, they now are saying: "Throw the doors wide open and welcome LGBT persons and love them so much, they will come to repentance. For after all, they are a mission field, ripe for harvesting…we can't expect them to change unless they are in our midst, but if we can show them God's love and God's ways, they will want to be saved them from eternal destruction."

  4. Lucy Gonzalez says:

    Organized religion is nothing but business, no matter the denomination.

  5. David – I don't know you…which seems odd because, apparently, you live inside my head. I'm angry as hell too, and doing what I can to make things different in the Church. I have two more triggers to add to the list –

    Christians who condemn me but have never personally done the work to understand what the Bible does and doesn't say (I guess they can't be bothered by the pesky details of the faith – better to have the bigotry spoon fed).

    Christians who say we should just agree to disagree. No, we can't. The stakes are too high. The Church is doing real harm to the gay kid in the front pew. Suicide, depression, detachment, families torn apart. Anti-gay theology is emotionally abusive. It needs to change. The abuse needs to stop.

  6. Matt Cooper says:

    Great article – thanks! I'm right there with you in anger!

  7. David, I appreciate your sentiments. You will be glad to know there are at least some of us that are Christian and are not afraid to call others out for these very things. To be honest, I've been considering leaving my current denomination (United Methodist) because of their inability to fully accept gays (I know so many that like me would like to see them come out in full support of gay marriage but there's still too strong a southern contingent against it). I spend a lot of time on Facebook pages correcting those that post about homesexuality being a sin and quoting Bible verses (none of which I believe apply to loving monogamous relationships) and who knows maybe I've changed some opinions. At the least I hope I've shown some people that there ARE Christians out there (heterosexuals even like me) that believe our LGBT brothers and sisters are no more sinners than we are and deserving of equal treatment under the law AND in the church.

  8. Ann Carrier says:

    David: just know that you are loved for who you are. Should we meet someday, we could enjoy a coffee and conversation and I would so appreciate you for who you are. I know I'm not alone in this…

  9. I am increasingly seen by my evangelical friends and family as angry, bitter, and critical because I consistently correct the increasingly weird and increasingly untrue things that I am sent in emails and on FB. It's very strange to correct some of these with indisputable facts and then to be told that I am missing the point. The POINT you see doesn't apparently rely on facts or something. I'm a little confused.

  10. […] pummeled to death with a bunch of large rocks, and the ‘blood would be on my head,’ well — that doesn’t exactly win me over to anyone’s line of […]

  11. […] ACLU files a lawsuit to stop police searching smartphones without a warrant. •A gay blogger explains how right-wingers are oblivious to why he’s angry. •Ezra Klein says his support for the […]

  12. […] via Trigger Points: Find out why I’m mad as hell. […]

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