Monday, March 29, 2010

Let's Not "Thank" Rick Warren

I had very mixed emotions a while back when I read that some gay/LGBT organizations were offering praise to homophobic pastor Rick Warren.

Some months ago, in an interview on ABC, Warren [pictured] -- claiming he had gay friends [no self-respecting gay person would want Warren for a friend] -- basically confirmed that he thought homosexuality was immoral and that "decent" homosexuals should abstain from any gay relations or relationships. He said that even though he was attracted to other women at times, he "abstained" from affairs out of decency. Similarly -- to his way of thinking -- a "decent" gay person should abstain his or her entire life from having homosexual relationships! "It's all about character," he said.

In other words, it was better to be a closet case, an "ex-gay," or be in a sham relationship with a member of the opposite sex than to be Out and Proud and in a happy relationship with a member of your own sex! Those of us who are not ashamed or guilt-wracked over being gay are of low character.

Okay, I get why some LGBT activists recently applauded Warren when he spoke out against a anti-homosexual Ugandan hate bill, saying it was "extreme, unjust and unchristian toward homosexuals." I get that some gay activists feel that the more "Christians" who speak out against hate bills, the better it will be for the gay community in the long run.

But at the same time -- just look at who they're praising!!!

True, Rick Warren may not want gay people to be put to death, but he wants us to lead lives of self-denial and self-hatred -- which is more or less the same.

So he spoke out against the Ugandan hate bill on youtube. Good for him -- and big deal! It's essentially attitudes like Warren's that lead directly to the extreme measures taken against gays in other nations, and the prejudice and hatred that still exists in the good ol' USA.

So, we can say that Warren may be doing the right thing here, but praising him, acting like he's an ally?

That is just ridiculous!

This illustrates my problem with the comparative weak-tea approach of gay activism today. Can you imagine New York's militant Gay Activists Alliance praising Rick Warren? We may have said he was doing the right thing for a change, but we would never have let it pass that he himself was a homophobe of the first rank, negatively influencing millions of Americans about gay men and lesbians. It's his attitude that keeps many gay people in the closet, creates self-hatred in innumerable gay men and lesbians, and leads to suicides among gay teens, especially in the bible belt.



Thursday, March 25, 2010

TV Lesbians

Not having done a hell of a lot with their dizzy gay male couple, Desperate Housewives has now introduced a lesbian couple -- sort of. It all started when one of the housewives discovered that her late ex-husband had left her a topless bar that he owned. She convinced one of the strippers to seek a different line of work, and this gal moved in with Katherine [Dana Delaney, pictured] who lived across the street from housewife one. Katherine had supposedly been strictly heterosexual to that point. In fact, she had a nervous breakdown when the man she lived with went back to his ex-wife (the same housewife one] and re-married her. Meanwhile her new roommate -- the ex-stripper -- confided in her that she was a "card-carrying" lesbian. The ex-stripper was a sexy, very feminine gal -- the kind guys call a "babe" -- and it's interesting that they resisted making her a typical TV bisexual [more on that later]. Katherine, who might more accurately be called a bisexual (although this was not suggested and the term was never used), couldn't deny her attraction to the ex-stripper, and the two not only went to bed together but more or less became a couple. This in spite of the fact that Katherine tired to convince the other gal -- and herself -- that she was really totally heterosexual. In the most recent episode Katherine decided that she wanted to pursue a relationship with the ex-stripper, but hated having her neighbors knowing all about them -- so they are apparently going to move out of the neighborhood [and perhaps leave the show?]

We all know that it's not that unusual for people to come to grips with their homosexuality as they approach middle-age or later [Katherine is 40], so I wasn't necessarily bothered by that factor. I'm not certain why a "card carrying" fully accepting lesbian would necessarily want to pursue a relationship with someone who is still clearly full of internalized homophobia. Of course, Katherine -- while not a "babe" like the ex-stripper as such -- is quite attractive, and has a lot of love to give. In any case, neither woman is stereotypically butch and I guess that's a plus. Now if only they could work on those two silly gay guys.

On a show called Melrose Place -- a new version of the old series -- there is a character named Ella. In all the press releases and write ups on the show it was mentioned that Ella is "bisexual." She's a typical TV bisexual in that she has no LGBT identity of any kind, is seen making out passionately with a couple of women, but is only shown in bed with guys. Recently she tried having a relationship with a guy named Jonah, but she found it too smothering. Maybe because she prefers women? The show simply won't deal with it. They had an openly gay guy who was Ella's boss -- and who was written out as soon as Heather Locklear rejoined the cast so that she could become Ella's boss -- but the word bisexual has never been used, and neither Ella nor her friends ever talk about it. It's as if the people behind the series said "We'll make Ella 'bisexual' to be contemporary, and maybe straight guys will tune in to see this babe making out with chicks. But she'll never be, like, a dyke."

If Melrose Place really wanted to be hip, it would have made Ella a "card-carrying" lesbian who perhaps interacted with men for career reasons [not that she doesn't do that] but for now she's just a cartoon bisexual -- or maybe not even that as they haven't shown her flirting or kissing another gal in months.

Sheesh. The shows I have to sit through just to monitor gay images!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Law and Order Gets One Right

I've already registered my dismay with what I felt was a really awful "gay" episode of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.

But, in the interest of fairness, I did enjoy an episode of the regular Law and Order program about a week or two later. This wasn't a '"gay" episode, per say, as it encompassed a number of different issues, but it certainly had plenty of gay material.

The story had to do with a gay man who is murdered, gay-bashed, by a homophobic young punk. This fellow is arrested, put on trial, and quickly convicted of the crime [a great scene has the prosecutor getting his mother to reveal her own homophobia on the witness stand]. But the members of an Innocence Project take up his cause, and claim that the jury didn't have all the facts: the gay man's lover -- actually his husband, as the two were married in Massachusetts -- was allegedly having an affair with another man at the time of his partner's death, and had even seen a divorce lawyer for advice.

How would I have felt if the gay guy were guilty of murdering his lover? Well, as long as it was made clear that it wasn't his sexual orientation that made him murderous I guess I would have been okay with it, as gay people -- like straights -- are imperfect human beings; the gay community, like any other community, has both good and bad members. Still, I won't deny that I'm glad it didn't work out that way.

From there the story took a dramatic shift into examining the possibility that some of the people who work on these Innocence Projects -- they work to overturn convictions of people they either think are innocent, didn't have a fair trial, or both -- are not only gullible on occasion but massively overzealous. The main witness at a hearing is a drug dealer who sold meth to the dead man and who now claims that the man's husband asked him to find a hit man. To say the drug dealer lacks credibility is an understatement, especially when it's revealed that a member of the Innocence Project sort of wined and dined -- and may have coached and even paid -- him.

Then there's another twist as the woman who heads the project reveals that D.A. Michael Cutter (Linus Roache), who prosecuted the gay basher and is fighting the motion for a retrial [and is also a former student of hers] never really got his B.A. due to a lack of credits [although he did graduate law school], calling his entire career into question. [What makes it worse is that she reveals this to defend a gay-basher who is not innocent.]

In a powerful scene, Cutter --- knowing he could be throwing his entire career away [and who is hetero]-- refuses to give too cushy a deal to the loathsome gay basher, so appalled is he at the thought of the man serving too short a sentence for such a heinous hate crime. It all ends on a very satisfactory note, although the repercussions for Cutter may not be known until upcoming episodes are aired.

The script, by Richard Sweren and Julie Martin, tackled a whole variety of issues, had the obligatory twists and turns [none of which were dumb and improbable as in that SVU episode], and was altogether excellent. The gay aspects were just one aspect of the story, and were handled quite well, presenting gay characters who weren't perfect but recognizably human [unlike Kathy Griffin's supposed "lesbian activist'].


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Of Priests and Pedophiles

I confess I'm getting awfully tired of child abuse among the Catholic clergy being blamed on homosexual priests and on celibacy. Homophobic Catholics want to blame all the "fags" who somehow managed to get into the priesthood, and -- to my surprise -- there are gay activists who claim the celibacy rule is responsible for the abuse. Say what?

By this thinking, the vow of celibacy is responsible for priests molesting little boys [and on occasion little girls]. But think about it: if a priest is going to break his vow of celibacy anyway, why do it with a child? There have been plenty of cases of priests having affairs with women and other adult males -- I remember one news program did a report on a priest who'd fathered about a dozen children! -- which seems to prove that even priests will go with their instincts. A hetero priest [all two or three of them] wants sex with women; a gay priest wants sex with men ...

And a pedophile priest wants sex with children.

Because, apparently, there have been more cases of abuse among boys than girls, the gay priests have been blamed for the epidemic of abuse. But any sensible person knows that there is a big difference between a homosexual and a pedophile, and that supposedly homosexually-inclined individuals are no more likely to molest a child than their heterosexual equivalents. There have even been cases where some men have had sex with boys but have no interest in having sex with adult males. And cases where men are attracted to both boys and girls, the youth being of more importance than the gender.

I firmly believe that most of the priests doing the abuse are pedophiles first and priests second. They are attracted to the priesthood the way other child molesters are attracted to other vocations because they know they will have access to young people and will also be in a position of trust. Child molesters are sexual predators, and we all know -- or should know -- the lengths to which sexual predators will go to claim a victim. On the surface it may seem absurd that a man would become a priest just to have access to children, but sexual predators are consumed with thoughts of their prey and how they can get their hands on them. Many of them seek jobs which would place them in close proximity to the very ones they want to victimize.

In any case, these priests are not gay men [hardly Out and Proud gay men in any case]. They are pedophiles. And even if they were allowed to marry or didn't have to take a vow of celibacy, they would still spend most of their waking hours scheming how to get their hands on their victims. Even the ones who honestly -- if that's the word for it -- felt the "calling" to the priesthood did so because they knew their sexual desires were verboten and placed them outside the norm. They had no problem taking a vow of celibacy because they had no real desire either for men or women. And they probably fool themselves into thinking that their actions with children don't constitute true "sex" -- in that they're right, as molestation/rape etc are not healthy sexual acts -- so they haven't broken their vows.

Moving from pedophile priests to homosexual ones, these are men who are so full of self-hatred, so ashamed of their natural desires, that they'd rather have no sex for the rest of their lives than have sex with another man. They not only have no problem taking a vow of celibacy, but indeed hope that it will help keep them "pure" for the rest of their lives -- while they go about like capons making sympathetic noises to troubled members of the parish and doing whatever it is priests do. Including denouncing the gay lifestyle and spreading homophobia.

But when they do break their vows and have sex, it isn't with children -- it's with grown-up guys.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Law and Order: SVU Hits Rock Bottom

You know I've complained that I'd like to see an honest-to-goodness gay activist on one of the Law and Order programs, but what they gave us instead on last night's Law and Order: SVU [3/3/10] was anything but.

Comedienne Kathy Griffin [who seems to have latched onto the LGBT community as some sort of audience niche] played Babs Duffy, supposedly a lesbian activist who heads a group with a cute name. Although she is criticized by another character for concentrating on lesbians instead of the whole LGBT spectrum,- -- what's wrong with that; I mean, she is a lesbian [more on that later] -- she snidely snaps at Detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Stabler (Christopher Meloni) when they say they support the LGBT community: "That's L G B T Q I A community!" [Yes, the Q is for questioning, the I is for intersexed, and the A is not for Asexual but for Allies. Stabler remarks that he just isn't up on his political correctness and I could have kissed him, even though Meloni is not my type.]

So right away we're getting inconsistencies. But it gets worse.

Babs is all worked up because she believes an unknown man is targeting lesbians. It turns out that she's right. But one of the first suspects is actually the lesbian lover of the first victim; she is a very tough, aggressive, and violent lady. The show's recurring gay character, the nice Asian-American psychiatrist, of course explains that the gay/lesbian community is just as diverse as any other community -- very good point -- and this rather butch brutal lesbian is only one type of gay gal.

It's good that this point is made because the show also has one lesbian saying "we don't hang out with a lot of men," and completely ignoring the male Stabler, when most of the lesbians I've met not only don't ignore men but have many loving male friends.

Meanwhile Babs, who's so concerned about this investigation, bothers to stop to sort of flirt with the pretty D.A., and even comes on to Detective Benson.

But wouldn't you know there's a Law and Order twist, which might have looked good on paper but is just disastrous. The strident, ever-so-lesbian Babs has actually been dating a man for the past few months and told no one. Seems that at about age forty-five she realized she was also attracted to the opposite sex. She's realized that she's actually bisexual.

At age forty-five?

I mean, she never noticed that she found some men attractive long before that? Are we to believe that? True, she may have spent most of her time with women in her adult years, but surely she hung out with some guys in high school and college. Surely she saw men in magazine and TV ads. I mean, come on!

I'm sure the writer -- a guy named Daniel Truly [truly you jest!] thought this was very clever and all pc and hip bisexual and all that -- but it's also remarkably stupid.

People may repress their homosexuality -- but their heterosexuality! I doubt it. If Babs came to realize -- rightly or wrongly -- that she was bisexual, why wouldn't she have re-invented herself as a bisexual activist long before this? I mean, they do exist after all.

It's almost as if they were reinventing that awful old cliche: a woman is only a "dyke" until she meets the right man -- giving it a pc "bi" twist. But it still comes off as Godawful!

Realism was sacrificed for the all-important twist, but Truly could have delivered the twist and saved himself from severe script embarrassment in a very simple manner. Suppose Babs had been romancing this guy not because she was bisexual, but because she suspected he was the killer and wanted to get inside his head or something along those lines. Sure, when she finds out the killer is targeting her she's understandably "petrified," but she also comes off as a pretty tough broad. In any case, the show could have come up with a more believable explanation for why she was involved with this mysterious fellow.

At least Truly resisted making Babs straight. Just as we've now got imbeciles claiming that some guys who seek out sex with men [outside of prison, mind you] are really straight, I figure it's only a matter of time before there will be dumb-nuts claiming that some women who seek out gals to have sex with are really hetero as well.

Now I have met a few obnoxious gay activists in my day, and I have certainly met a few totally obnoxious bi-identified women, but Babs -- lesbian or bi -- gets the prize for one of the most obnoxious activists of any stripe ever. In her belligerence [it is suggested she acts like a nasty "dyke" to cover up her craving for men or some such stupidity] she comes off more like a caricature than a real person. I don't think Griffin will be getting a Emmy for this portrayal; in any case she doesn't deserve one as her performance is only average.

Even more annoying is that the publicity for the show claimed that Griffin shared a kiss with Mariska Hargitay. Never happened. Instead Griffin -- as Babs -- locked lips with Christopher Meloni and asked male Detective Stabler to call her for a date.

So this is Law and Order's idea of a "lesbian activist!"

Were there changes made to the script? Did supposedly gay-friendly Griffin ultimately balk at the idea of playing a "dyke" and prefer to go "bi" instead, sharing a kiss with the male detective instead of the female? [Frankly a kiss between Babs and Olivia Benson would have been ridiculous, as Benson has never been depicted as either gay or bi in all these years, but did they have to go to the other extreme instead?]

At least the script had enough sensitivity -- if you could call it that -- for Babs to realize that many of her followers would feel betrayed [it wasn't clear if she had a lesbian lover or not, who would especially feel betrayed on more than one level] and it didn't go so far as to make them out to be "biphobic" bigots, although who knows what would have happened had there been enough time to go into all of the ramifications. Like I've said before, the fast-moving Law and Order programs throw all sorts of things and issues out at the viewer but never take time -- never have time -- to explore these issues in any great depth.

In any case, middle-aged gays who "suddenly" realize that they're attracted to the opposite sex are generally just unhappy people who want to go straight -- they are not militant lesbian activists who simply took, like, half of their lives to realize they were really bi! The very idea is not only ludicrous but idiotic; even offensive.

So I'm still waiting for a real gay activist to show up on Law and Order.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hold That Tiger!

I've been a bit disturbed with all the goings-on with Tiger Woods and his infidelities, the public's reaction to same, and his apologies to his wife, children, mother, and virtually everyone else on the planet. What for?

You might wonder why do I care about a presumably heterosexual guy and the fact that he was unfaithful with many women. The problem for me is the sheer puritanical attitude toward sex that has been displayed. Gays have been victimized by this same attitude for generations.

As far as I'm concerned, Woods' infidelities are between him and his wife. If he wants to apologize to her -- if she wants to stay with him or head for divorce court -- it's their business. Most men -- most human beings -- are not monogamous by nature anyway. This was something inflicted on us by religion and conservative mores. Certainly I don't see why a philanderer -- or anyone who's sexually active with more than one person -- has to apologize to the public for his or her carryings-on.

And the hypocrisy! Male editors ran headlines such as "Lock Up Your Daughters!" and the like with Woods' photograph, yet most of these guys a.) are also unfaithful to their wives and/or b.) wish they got as much action as Tiger did. Isn't a lot of the sanctimonious attitude toward sex due to simple jealousy? He's gettin' some and I ain't so I'm gonna make fun of him and make him pay.

The thing is: Isn't Tiger what many straight guys aspire to be: the super-stud with lots of girlfriends? Isn't virility the big bugaboo with so many guys? Isn't the need to be seen as a "tiger" with the ladies responsible for so much male insecurity, for homo guys being on the down-low or saying they're bisexual when they really aren't?

In our society guys who sleep around are "studs." Women who sleep around are "sluts." And gay men who sleep around -- you can just imagine!

So Tiger is a "stud," and the same society [men and women alike] that thinks that's what all men should aspire to be is now excoriating him for it.

You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

And even single straight guys who sleep around get that same combination of admiration and condemnation. This is one of the few cases when in a sense a hetero is being put down for his sexuality [not that it in anyway compares to gay oppression].

With a dominant, entirely puritanical mind-set like this, no wonder gay marriage is such a struggle. [Jealousy comes into play here as well. Think of all those miserable straight couples hating every minute of their married lives and the envy they feel for gay couples who actually love each other and aren't getting married for all the wrong reasons. Not that there aren't great and successful straight marriages, I should add.]

One of Woods' lady paramours claims that Woods has had sex with men. I believe this was and is unsubstantiated. You can imagine the mea culpas if Woods had been caught with his pants down in the men's room. Imagine if he really were a Don Juan homosexual. Imagine the condemnation that would come his way -- and the apologies he would be mustering. I can hear it now: "I am not gay or bisexual. I'm a straight guy who went off the path due to too much liquor or post traumatic stress disorder." Or who knows what?

Just once I wish one of these adulterous guys would say: "I should have told my wife I wanted an open marriage because monogamy is not natural. I had a great time getting laid all over town and I feel no regret whatsoever. Sex is great! Don't you wish you were having the hot time I had!"

Don't hold your breath!