Homophobic Heads Explode… In a Heartbeat

So a few days ago I watched a little animated short about a boy experiencing a crush… On another boy (it’s great! Watch it here!)  It was just a cute little story about something almost all of us have gone through at some point, but the fact that it involved a gay youth caused Conservatives collective heads to explode.  I stumbled upon an article (found here) linked on Reddit, that was written by one such Conservative.  I replied to the article in length on the blog, but I’m sure it will be deleted because of their very biased comment policy (it’s basically “we delete anything that doesn’t agree with us.”) The following is my response to the article (quotes from the article in blue, my responses follow):

“It will further undermine strong, healthy — extraordinarily necessary — male adolescent relationships.”

Why do you assume that? It’s not about those types of relationships.  In spite of what you may believe, young gay people exist.  You wailing and moaning and pretending they aren’t there doesn’t change that fact.  They are human beings born a little different than you, and you and yours frequently harm them with your diatribes, which aren’t based on any actual research, but on an ancient text written over 2000 years ago by farmers and nomads with no education.

“Once boys and adolescents are herded toward gayness”

Nobody is “herding” anyone “towards gayness.”  That’s not how it works.  You’re either gay, or you’re not.  Nobody can make you gay.  Do some people switch back and forth? Sure… Those people are called “bisexual.”  

“the very common experience of social anxiety”

Social anxiety is a real problem, but this film isn’t about that.  

“directed to question their sexual orientation, their sexuality risks becoming ‘re-wired.”

Nobody is telling boys to “question their sexuality.”  It’s you and those like you that are trying to force young gay kids to ignore their sexuality and pretend to be something they’re not (straight.)  The ideology that you spew into the world drives LGBT youth to suicide pretty much every day.  You may think you’re helping people, but really you’re just killing them or driving them into severe depression by making them feel like monsters.  

“And once ‘re-wired’ in that way, it’s hard to undo.”

You can’t “re-wire” your sexuality.  Why do you think conversion therapy has been banned in the U.S. and pretty much all other democratic societies? Answer:  It’s because it’s useless, harmful, and it just doesn’t work.  I get the idea from your statement that you believe your sexuality was “re-written”, but it’s more likely that you were bi-sexual and have chosen to deny attraction to the same-sex.  For those of us who are exclusively gay, that’s not an option.  

“The red-haired boy who is pictured is not a “closeted boy.”

Yes he is.  The writers decide what the character is or is not, not you.  If they state he’s a closeted boy, he’s a closeted boy.  It’s their story and it’s not up for your reinterpretation.  You can interpret it whatever way you want, but you’re wrong.  It’s as simple as that.

“They show us a boy who demonstrates an extremely high level of social anxiety.”

The boy suffers from anxiety about having a gay crush because we live in a society where people like you tell him he’s a monster. We live in a world where he might get bullied, beat up, or even murdered if boys raised by people like you find out he’s gay.  That’s why a majority of gay kids out there suffer from anxiety.  Because of people like you and the views that you vomit out into the world.  

“by so doing [he] demonstrates his debilitating discomfort and inability to relate to his male classmate.”

He has “debilitating discomfort” because of the reasons I stated above.  People like you and their hateful little children tell him he’s a monster deserving of eternal torture simply because he was born differently than them.  Of course he’s going to be nervous about showing his feelings to his crush.  In the real world there would be a very real possibility that he would be bullied, beaten, or killed for revealing his feelings to the wrong person.  

“The fact that the red-haired boy hides behind a tree to avoid him reveals just how unnerving his feeling of not being accepted by his male peers troubles him.”

Exactly.  Bullies and homophobes like you  (apparently a self-hating homophobe) drive LGBT youth to feel like they have to hide in shame rather than be comfortable with who they actually are.  That’s your fault, not theirs.

“Shy boys at that age aren’t searching for romance with their same-sex peers.”

At what age?  The video doesn’t specify what age the boys are.  By their appearance, they could be anywhere from 12 – 16, well into puberty, and yes boys that age are “searching for romance” with their opposite-sex or same-sex peers (depending on their sexuality.)  That’s generally how puberty works.  

‘They want just one thing and they want it desperately: acceptance.”

Yeah, kids want acceptance, but your ignorance on sexuality is blatantly obvious.  Teenagers are a mess of hormones, and pretty much all teenagers in existence do nothing but think about sex.  That’s how puberty works, unless you’re asexual (which is also a thing by the way.)  

“The red-haired boy is not romantically attracted to the second boy”

Yeah he is.  The writers wrote a story.  That’s what the story is about.  Did you not watch it?

“He’s attracted to a boy who is his opposite, self-confident and trouble-free.”

You’re right.  He’s romantically attracted to that other boy; who we don’t really know is his “opposite” based off of the 3 minute video. It could very well be in that world that the writers created that the red haired boy is extremely confident unless he’s around the boy he’s attracted to, which is very common for people (even adults) who have a crush on someone else.  

“The movie’s creators misinterpret their own character”

No they didn’t.  It’s their character that you are misinterpreting to fit your own homophobic agenda.  

“He’s not ‘closeted’ and he’s not “outed” by his own heart.’”  

Yeah he is.  That’s the story as written by the creators.  Do you not know how fiction works?  

“He simply experiences a very high degree of social anxiety.”

Yeah, around a boy he has a romantic crush on. Many people in that situation are awkward and nervous around their crush (I know I always was!).  

“And the answer for this young man is not ‘romance’ with another boy.”

Yeah it is.  That’s why the end shows them spending time together with the red-haired boy’s anxiety disappearing completely.  Again… Did you even watch the entire thing?

“The answer is acceptance”

I’d say we agree, but I’m sure your intentions for that statement aren’t how I would mean them.  He does need acceptance… He needs to be accepted for who he is; which is a boy discovering that he’s gay and falling in love with another boy at his school.  

“Romance between males is a mirage, always proving to be elusive.”

Ah, I think I get it now!  You’re a gay man who never found love, so you’ve convinced yourself that love between gay people is a “mirage”.  It all makes perfect sense! Here’s a reality check though;  love between members of the same-sex is completely possible and happens every day.  Maybe it wasn’t possible for you (which is probably because you’re a bitter, angry, self-hating homophobe…) but I’ve found it, and so have so many other happy gay couples in the world living in successful, long-term relationships.  Some of which span decades!

“The movie promotes escaping social anxiety disorder by “coming out” and being “gay.”

No, it promotes gay kids being accepted by those around them for who they are, not who homophobes think they should be.  It shows gay kids that it’s ok to be who they are and that their attractions are normal for them and nothing to be ashamed of, in spite of what hateful / ignorant people in society may say.  

“But this is an escape from the disorder, not a means of healing it”

A gay kid may very well get over his anxiety when he realizes his friends and family will accept him for who he is.  Once you realize your fear is unfounded (in this case, being rejected because he’s gay), it’s amazing how fast anxiety dissipates.  “I should know” (as you put it.)    

“Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, an expert on marital and child healing, told LifeSiteNews that the movie is “psychologically harmful to youth”

Your supposed “expert” is a religiously biased fraud who’s worldview convinces parents to throw their innocent LGBT kids out on the streets and drives LGBT youth to suicide every day.  He is outrageously guilty of allowing his religious views, born out of the dark ages, to influence his practice of medicine, rather than basing his practice of medicine on study, experience, and sound research methods.  His teachings on homosexuality are the equivalent of using leeches to cure the plague.  They just don’t work and actually cause more harm.   

“not helpful to kids experiencing social anxiety disorder.”

The film isn’t about social anxiety disorder.  It’s about a gay kid with a crush on a boy who he isn’t certain is gay also.  

“Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is the most prevalent of all anxiety disorders. A 2011 study of 10,000 American adolescents revealed that anxiety disorders were the most common disorder in youth, occurring in approximately one-third of adolescents.”

And yet… The film still isn’t about that.  

“Research has shown that youth suicide risk decreases by delaying self-identifying as a homosexual. One study demonstrated that suicide risk among youth with same-sex attractions decreases 20 percent each year they delay labeling themselves as gay.”

What research?  Where’s your source for this?  Even if it were true, it would most likely be because the kids aren’t experiencing bullying by other kids raised by homophobes like yourself.  It’s amazing how much lower the suicide rate is among kids who aren’t bullied every day by their homophobic peers! What a shock! /s

“Michael Glatze, now a Christian pastor and subject of the movie, I Am Michael, was a practicing homosexual and gay activist until he experienced conversion to Jesus Christ.”

…Who apologized for his anti-gay rhetoric and has stated he’s “perfectly fine being referred to as bisexual.”   That guy’s a mess psychologically (by his own admission) and isn’t the best example you could use (…but is probably the only one. I guess beggars can’t be choosers, right? )  

“We go from guy to guy, looking for someone to love us and make us feel OK”

The first mistake in that sentence was the word “We”.  That may be his personal experience (which he’s backtracked on) but it doesn’t define the experience of all gay people.  Before I met my boyfriend I was a virgin who had never been in a single relationship.  He’d only been in one.  Neither one of us have ever been the type to sleep around, as Glatze describes.  None of the other gay people I know are like that either.  Besides that, there are just as many straight people who sleep around like Glatze accuses gay people of.  Why do you think “dating” apps for straight people, like Tinder and bars are so popular? (Hint: It’s not because straight people want to find “wholesome” Christian relationships.)  Why do you think church leadership is plagued with sex scandals?  

“The world today, influenced heavily by the LGBT community and an undiscerning media,”

LOL! Yeah sure! The “world today [is] influenced heavily by the LGBT community!”  What a joke!  That’s why we have to constantly fight to keep what few hard-fought rights we have.  That’s why LGBT youth are constantly thrown out of their homes, LGBT people are constantly being murdered, that’s why it’s still legal to fire us from our jobs or kick us out of our home in so many states; and that’s just in the U.S.! In other parts of the world it’s perfectly legal to kill gay people in the streets or bust into their homes and beat them to death! But yep! The world today is “influenced heavily” by the LGBT community! Sheesh! It’s like you’re oblivious to what’s actually going on in the world!

“undermines close relationships between adolescent males”

Gay people exist now, and have always existed.  They’ve never had a single effect on friendships between straight individuals of the same-sex and they never will.  The only men or women who are afraid people might think they’re gay if they’re friends with someone of the same-sex are homophobes far too concerned with what other people think about them.  They need to get over themselves.  Nobody cares who they’re friends with!

“causing them to question their romantic and sexual orientation.”

Puberty is a time when all youth discover their sexuality.  Their bodies change both inside and out.  Of course they’re going to have questions.  Unless they are gay or bisexual they don’t seriously wonder whether or not they should be attracted to the same-sex! That’s not how sexuality works! You’re either attracted to someone or you’re not.  It’s not a choice.  

“This is precisely what this video sets out to do and is why it is so dangerous.”

Kids asking questions about sex / sexuality isn’t “dangerous”.  That’s why schools have sex-ed.  It’s a necessary part of their journey into adulthood.  Keeping them in the dark and making sex seem like something evil or wrong is what is dangerous.  Keeping kids ignorant leads to them experimenting in unsafe ways, which leads to STDs and teenage pregnancy.  Sex and sexuality are both normal parts of being a human.  Just because you and yours repress your own sexuality (to your own detriment) doesn’t mean those who don’t are evil (except in your own deluded mind.)  

“Can’t a kid just really like another kid without it being interpreted as either romantic or sexual?”

Sure! But in the case of this story, the red-headed boy had a romantic crush on the other boy because he is gay; as the writers have said.  Gay people… gay youth… exist, in spite of how much you want to stomp your foot and pretend they don’t.  

“ALL boys want close friendships with other boys.”

…And some boys want romantic relationships with other boys.  Again… LGBT kids exist.  You plugging your ears, closing your eyes, and insisting otherwise doesn’t change that fact, and it never will.  Sorry to burst your religious bubble.  

-James Garcia (August 6, 2017)

The New Color of Pride?

Over the last week I’ve seen several articles regarding a change to the rainbow flag, the instantly recognizable symbol of unity for the LGBT+ community.  The change, while seemingly minor, has started a heated debate within the community, of which I found myself getting involved in.  The change is a simple addition of brown and black stripes to the top of the traditional rainbow flag, which is meant to represent people of color within the LGBT+ community.  Upon first reading about the change, I found myself completely against the idea, and I argued that way.  I even had a few arguments that I felt were quite logical, which I’ll go over now:

  1. The rainbow flag is meant as a symbol for sexuality / gender identity minorities.  It’s not about race.  Bigotry against both racial minorities and those of sexuality and gender identity is extremely prevalent in our society, but nevertheless they are still separate issues.  Combining the two will inevitably cause one issue to be overshadowed by the other, and due to the fact that a majority of those within the LGBT+ community are white, I can’t help but fear that it will be the racial minorities that are overshadowed and left out, with blatant racism being ignored.  
  2. We shouldn’t allow bigoted people to force LGBT+ people of color out of the community.  The rainbow flag is meant to be a sign of pride and equality for all LGBT+ people and creating a new symbol gives those that are hateful a big win.  It says “fine, take the rainbow flag, we’ll go make our own.”  
  3. Racism isn’t exclusive to the LGBT+ community, so only focusing on the racism within its boundaries is far too limited.  We should be attacking the plague of racism in all of our communities, and working to drive it out to change our society so that racism isn’t acceptable any longer.  

As I said, to me, these arguments seemed completely logical… They still seem completely logical, but they just aren’t strong enough arguments to deny that something needs to be done. If making even a small change makes people of color and other minorities feel more included, then why not make the change?  What’s the harm? The argument, my own argument, that began to make me rethink my stance was number 3.  Racism isn’t exclusive to the LGBT+ community.  It’s a problem that plagues the entire country, if not the world, as Donald Trump’s rise to power has shown us.  It definitely needs to be fought on a much larger scale, but that is an even better reason to start “small”, right here inside our own community.  Mahatma Ghandi said be the change you want to see in the world” and starting small, changing the way our community presents itself to those in the outside world, in order to make it a better place for everyone, is the best way to start.  If we can’t end racism within our own community how in the world can we expect to end racism in our states, our country, or the world?

Within the LGBT+ community almost all of us have fought our own personal battles; many have been driven to suicide or murdered by bigots, and LGBT+ people of color have had it harder than anyone else.  Not only have they had to deal with hatred against them because of their sexuality or gender identity, they’ve also had to deal with hatred against them because of their skin color on top of that. Even within our community, a community that is supposed to be “all inclusive”, they’ve been ridiculed and driven out.  But in spite of that, they have so often been the leaders in the LGBT+ movement.  From Bayard Rustin, fighting for Civil Rights and LGBT+ rights right alongside Martin Luther King Jr., to Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, heroes of the Stonewall Riots, LGBT+ people of color have been leading the fight for equality for all of us for as long as there has been a movement.  Those within our community have proven again and again that we are strong and resilient, that we’ll keep on fighting until we are no longer physically able to do so, and our LGBT+ brothers and sisters of color have been some of the strongest among us, right on the front lines.  

In a world that continues to see those representing hatred and bigotry growing bolder on a daily basis, our community should stand up and say we won’t allow it to divide us.  We have to say loudly and clearly that we won’t allow the Donald Trumps of the world to infect our community with their poison and that we are better than that.  We have to “be the change we want to see in the world”, and if that change starts with something as simple as changing the rainbow flag to make LGBT+ people of color feel more included, then those that truly want to end racism once and for all should embrace that change gladly.  Yes I was against the idea initially, but after doing some soul-searching and giving it some serious thought I’ve realized that it’s the least… the very least… that we can do.  

James Garcia – 6/16/2017