Friday, November 30, 2007

Renee of Opine Editorials: Feminist or "LAF?"

Renee, the token female blogger over at Opine Idiotorials, posted an article and several comments two days ago that warrant further attention. Now, Renee often meanders around topics, goes into depth about her lactation experiences, mistakenly calls herself "liberal" and "feminist," and posts irrelevant, unscientific articles that she believes prove how male-female "coitus" (as she calls it) and heterosexuals are superior, all in the name of "protecting children." I have already addressed how most children don't need her "protection."

But two days ago, she won the award for biggest internet fuckwad. She posted this article on her blog.

After her pal, Fitz, predictably converted the discussion of an article detailing why biological dads are better than step-dads into a diatribe againt same-sex marriage and feminism being evil, Renee ended up closing her thread to all comments, ending with this remark:

"Renee said...
Ok, I'm closing the thread. Real feminists make men accountable, they don't bash them.

Penises aren't that scary either."

(I had questioned why Fitz turns everything into a blame-game on "feminism" as the most evil enemy of the state. And told him, along the way, that vaginas are really not that scary.) Because yes, I do believe that the anti-feminist is really anti-vagina. And anti-woman. Just watch how he blames feminism and women's studies majors on the decline of marriage. At. Every. Chance.

Yes. Seriously. RENEE is now trying to hand out "feminism" badges.

ha ha ha *snort*

Little Mrs. Too-Eager-To-Please-Her-Opine-Idiot-Male-Counterparts to stick up for women's rights, is now declaring who is and isn't a feminist. This is the same woman who believes men and women aren't equal, they are "complementary." Sounds strikingly familiar to the LAF. For those of you who don't know what the LAF is, it stands for "Ladies Against Feminism." Their slogan: "Promoting Beautiful Womanhood."

Apparently Renee believes that lesbians can't be feminists because they don't like sex with men.

She reminds me of the "feminist" women portrayed on "If These Walls Could Talk, 2." In the movie the heterosexual feminists at a certain college made the lesbians leave the organization, because they didn't want to be labeled as "lesbians" and they felt the lesbians were giving them a bad name. I feel that Renee's hatred of gays and lesbians is similar to that. She frankly tells Fannie she is not a feminist without any further explanation. And when Fannie coherently addresses Renee's charge, Renee replies with her typical non-sequitor rife with unintelligble sentences.

Sorry, Renee. Real men don't bash feminists (the way Fitz does constantly). And real feminists don't bash lesbians (the way you do).

And real feminists don't write articles denouncing gay men, other women, lesbians, step-dads, and anything other than your heteronormative cookie-cutter family.
Sorry Renee, it seems to me like you're a little too eager to please the "men" over at Opine.

Oh, and watch her talk (or cut-n-paste other people's articles, more accurately) about many irrelevant-to-the-issue concepts of biology and "coitus" here and here and here and here.

As if, no really, we gays and lesbians just don't understand basic human biology. And maybe if we understood it, we wouldn't have the audacity to be gay anymore. Because she doesn't approve of gay people. Just maybe.

Watch her protect her Opine boys when they insult women [oh wait, they deleted her "real feminists don't bash men" comment]

Watch her flinging insults as she runs out the door to receive the obligatory pat on the head from the Opine boys. [oh wait, they deleted that comment, too]. For a collective group of people who complain and whine about censorship, they sure as hell know how to do it. And no wonder they claim they do not make personal attacks on their site, they delete many of the personal attacks that their own contributors make! Have to keep up that "reasonable" nice-guy image, I suppose.

For, after Renee tells Fannie that Fannie is "not a feminist," she offers no explanation, and then restricts all comments to Opine "team members."

This censorship coming a mere day after Opine's "On Lawn" moniker claims,

"But we at Opine have never fallen short of taking the message to them. We've never left the discussions, only been kicked out."

Perhaps On Lawn shouldn't speak for all "at Opine" when he talks about leaving discussions.

Watch him claim:

"Only it is rather naive to think that if they think their carefully constructed message is so fragile that they have to retreat for safety to their own echo-chambers, gnashing their teeth and claiming victimization, that it is at the same time compelling for people to accept as truth. If John is doesn't let them out f the queue, if Fannie and Jane are so ready for the delete button on their sites, then I have to say that their message depends more on propaganda style control of the discussion more than any reliance on what they claim is truth."

Yes. Let's all ponder that.

(Did he really bring the Bible back with that "gnashing of teeth" bit?)

But back to Renee. She can hammer out the insults and anti-gay epithets like a pro, but when people start responding to her, she can't take it. She closes down her articles to commenters, and I've also seen her be aggressive and hostile towards other gay bloggers and then whine about people's nasty remarks back while she was pregnant. Oh, we're sorry, Renee. We forgot. You are involved in the Very Important Process of Baby-Making. Oh wait, we didn't forget. Because you never fail to remind of us of the baby-making process.

I have this to say to Renee: If you can't handle the heat, then stay in the kitchen. But if you're going to keep throwing out insults, others are going to expect you to stand behind your convictions instead of hiding behind your apron and breast-suckling babies.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Apologies for the Delay

More real-life stuff going exams, work, etc.

I'll be around with occasional comments and perhaps a blog in the very near future.

Until then, Peace.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ken Hutcherson: From Pro White-Basher to Pro Gay-Basher

Somebody please stop this bully. I have mentioned him before, as one of the founders of hate group Watchmen on the Walls.

Black, conservative ex-NFL player Ken Hutcherson, who is now the leader of Antioch Bible Church based out of the same home--Redmond, WA--as Microsoft has vowed to make Microsoft his number one enemy if they keep supporting gay rights bills in the state of Washington. These are bills that would make it illegal for employees to be fired soley based on their sexual orientation.

In his own words, "...I am probably one of the worst nightmares that this corporation can have. I'm a black man, with a righteous cause,with a great deal and a whole host of powerful white people behind me..."

The entire 2007 Microsoft shareholders meeting can be found here. Hutcherson's comments are at about 38 minutes in, so you don't have to listen to the beginning.

52 minutes into the meeting, another shareholder asked what shareholders can do to support the corporation in opposition against "hurtful and hateful positions," specifically in regards to Ken Hutcherson. Microsoft Senior Vice President, Brad Smith, responded with:

"As a company we've had a clear policy with respect to the way we treat our people. It's a policy of non-discrimination...I think that was reflected last year, when over 97% of you and all of our other shareholders stood up and agreed to stand with us...and we very much appreciate that support."

But seriously? Does Hutcherson really think he is more influential and powerful than Bill Gates? Mkay. Get down with your bad self, Ken.

This is the same man who joined the NFL because it was the easiest way for him to "hurt white people." (until he became a born-again Christian).

Apparently now, his mission is to hurt gay people. My take on Hutcherson is this: he's a typical schoolyard bully, used to using his size, race (there, I said it), and strength for pushing people around and getting his way. Everyone, fear the Angry Black Man, or so he wants us to think. It's sad that he is trying to use his race as leverage for forcing hate on others. His self-ascribed nickname is "The Black Man."

He's very outspoken in his opposition to the black civil rights analogy to the gay
rights movement: "You tell me what I went through as an African-American, when they talk about discrimination, compared to what gays go through with discrimination - it's the difference between night and day, not even close. I even get upset when people say, 'Well, you got to understand what they go through.' Not when they've chosen to do what they do. They can stop choosing what to do what they do, and they can hide it anytime they want. They can hide their homosexuality. Could I take a 'don't ask don't tell' policy as an African-American? I could try even to pretend I was Puerto Rican, but I'm still going to get blasted for my skin color."

Hutcherson is missing the point. As with any analogy, the comparison is never exact. The gay rights movement isn't making claims that gay people were ever held as property or sold into slavery. They aren't saying they ever had to sit at the back of the bus. It's never been a contest of "who's suffered more?" However, in a contest of "who's suffered the longest?" one has to wonder. I also wonder how members of the gay black community feel about the analogy, as they are really the only people who can answer from their own experiences.

I don't think many people would deny that gay people have been persecuted throughout history in many ways, and as societies progress to a more tolerant view of homosexuality, we will inevitably be forced to deal with arrogant, ignorant, dangerous fuckwads like Ken Hutcherson.

Good for us that most people (besides those in his congregation) just see him for the bully that he is. Watching his videos, I can see a certain charisma that may charm a vulnerable person, but underneath that giant smile and scarily wide-open eyes I see crazy. In one YouTube video, Hutcherson crazily repeats "I'm not threatened, I'm not threatened at all by gay people. Do I look threatened to you?!?"

In the video, in which the interviewer is a gay man, he appears to instead be sizing up the gay man. It's as if he says, "see me in all my black, ex-NFL football player glory, how can I possibly be threatened by a little white sissie like you?"

Honestly, "Reverend" Hutcherson. Yes. You do look threatened.

You certainly act it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


A good friend of mine emailed this story to a bunch of us a couple days ago, from Ellen DeGeneres' website:

HUMMINGBIRD (Ellen Degeneres)

"While I was making my morning coffee, I had one of those coffee ground volcanoes. You know when the filter collapses and coffee and grounds go all over the counter? So, I'm wiping up this little mess and something catches my eye out my window. I saw a little hummingbird flying. It was just sort of hovering and then it drank from my fountain. I was just staring at it, mesmerized, and I forgot how about how aggravated I was just a few moments before. I realized that I had been given this little tiny gift. Thank you little hummingbird. It lasted just a minute, but it changed my mood and made me happy and I was able to hang onto it all day.

That's our choice. We can choose to focus on spilled coffee grounds or the hummingbird outside our windows. You just need to take the time and be very still and quiet. I know that right now there is a mother of one or two or four or seven saying, 'That's easy for you to say, Ellen. You don't have a baby in a high chair crying and throwing their eggnog…or whatever babies eat.' I guess what I'm trying to say is, when you're lucky enough to see something beautiful like a hummingbird outside your window, take the time to appreciate it."

I agree.

Too many people are so focused on complaining about the sad state of affairs their lives are in, or this country is in, that we forget that we actually live in one of the most comfortable countries in the world. A country with a Starbucks on every corner and a couple McDonalds in every small, rural town. A country where it is an expectation to receive the best available medical care there is, even when one has no way of paying for that medical care. And a country where the biggest problems facing the coming generation is student loan debt and the psychiatric diagnosis du-jour.

What is more annoying, for example? Learning about a couple of completely wacky, outnumbered "Christian" fundamentalists, or living in a country where there are over 1,000 AIDS deaths per day? Where men don't even care about knowing their HIV status, because it is seen as such a burden, thus apathetically infecting dozens more women by their unprotected heterosexual sex.

Yet many people in the U.S. still find things to complain about that just aren't that big a deal. Maybe it's just a part of societal evolution. If people don't complain, how does society as a whole work towards making anything better?

My point is that complaining is just like an addiction. People become so used to complaining, and putting themselves in the position of victim, that it often seems like nothing will work to get them to stop. Because they like the position it puts them in.

Which brings me to my second point. Our anti-gay opponents are so concerned that the U.S. is going to hell in a handbasket, they are so pessimistic about human nature, I feel they often don't stop to see what they really do have. And oftentimes, that is (or, as we are led to believe) wonderful, loving spouses and children.

If they are so happy with their own lives, why are they so set on attacking other people? Why are they focused on turning gay people into the "enemy of Christianity?" Why, if they are so happy and loving, do they need to scapegoat other groups of people who have nothing to do with their lives or their problems?

They are so focused on everything negative they believe is happening, it often seems they don't stop to look at the so-called humingbirds along the way. Instead of enjoying their alleged happy lives and loving spouses, they would rather construct enemies out of groups of people who are doing nothing to harm said lives.

"Save the 'Institution' of marriage from the homosexualist agenda!" they scream.


"Stop mainstream acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle!" they bleat.


"Make America more 'Christian,' this is 'one nation, UNDER GOD' after all!" they preach.


"Bring Back Prayer in the Schools, and put the 'Christ' back in Christmas, even in this country that has separation of church and state!" they shriek.

Every single day, I get a new AFA Action Alert with Dom Wildmon complaining about something new. Something unintentional. Something usually harmless. For example, a couple days ago, they sent out an Action Alert screaming that the department store Lowe's had called Christmas trees "Family Trees" instead in their ads. And I quote from the Action Alert, itself, "Lowe's evidently did not want to offend any non-Christians, therefore they replaced "Christmas tree" with "Family tree." Of course, if Christians are offended that is evidently ok."

Riiiight. Because it's okay to force your religion on others. But make something neutral so that no one is excluded, it's a damn shame.

But I digress, the ads, as it turns out, were actually due to a marketing error, not any deliberate attempt to exclude God or Christ from the trees. Especially since their website includes many references to "Christmas" instead of the more religion-neutral "holiday."

But before finding out the truth, the AFA was all set to have their sheeple boycott Lowe's, as they have done with Ford. The next day, the AFA had to send out a sorry-ass email explaining what had really happened.

Here is the letter that was supposedly sent to AFA from Lowe's:
"Randy, Thanks for taking my call this morning. Let me reiterate my apology that we had an advertising error that created a stir. Here's a statement that we'd appreciate your posting on your web site, if possible:

Lowe's has contacted the AFA and assures us that it is proudly committed to selling Christmas trees this year, as it has done for more than 60 years. The company apologized for the confusion created in its 2007 holiday catalog when it headlined the page of Christmas trees "family trees." The error was not caught before the publication was distributed, and Lowe's says it is disappointed in the breakdown in its proofing process.

Lowe's assures us that they refer to trees as Christmas trees in this season's television and magazine ads and in its advertising flyers. The company says it is redoubling its efforts to proof its catalogs in the future to prevent this issue from recurring.

We appreciate Lowe's for listening to its customers and responding appropriately to our concerns."

And don't even get me started on the Watchmen on the Walls:

"We are against cohabitation, divorce, abortion, adultery and other behaviors that weaken the marriage-based society on which civilization depends. But we are especially focused against homosexuality, because those who practice this self-destructive vice, and have organized themselves into a political movement, are the chief enemies of the natural family." [emphasis added]


"We are seeking clear-thinking men and women of every nation and ethnicity to join with us. We don‘t want cowards who, for example, speak out against “gay” marriage but are afraid to say that homosexuality itself is wrong. And we don’t want bigots who hate homosexuals in the same way they hate races other than their own. We want brave people of conscience who love and respect the natural design of the human family and want it to be promoted, established, strengthened and protected as the foundation of every society on earth.

We are the Watchmen on the Walls and we will not shrink from our duty."

Oh really? And what duty is that? In their poor, little misguided--not to mention delusional--eyes, they actually see themselves spreading the word of God and love. Because surely if Jesus were alive today, He would approve of their speech and actions.

It reminds me of those bracelets everyone wore in grade school. "WWJD?" Surely not any of the above.

Which brings me to my third and final point. What if everyone were to throw down their weapons, their defensiveness, and their hatred for one minute and actually try to empathize with the other side?

Usually, when people complain, they don't want solutions. They don't want cheering up. They want empathy.

In an US (gay rights advocates) vs. THEM (AFA/Watchmen/Opine) battle, empathy is usually what is lacking in the debate.

So here it is, my empathy to THEM: "Wow, your lives must be terrible, and I see you are burdened with so many problems! I had no idea, as I go about minding my own business, that others like you are suffering so much. I don't know how you deal with all the problems of this country's morality on your backs. I certainly wouldn't be able to do it. It must be a horrible way to live. Thanks for tackling it for us all. I realize you are tackling an insurmountable beast that will likely fail in the end. I know how frustrating that can feel, and now I understand why you are often very hateful towards people like me. May you one day find peace."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Do We Have a Ghost?

I thought Halloween was over. Apparently not.

My girlfriend and I just moved into a new place in September. It's in a big, old building in the heart of the city.

Ever since moving to the new place, one of our end tables has been moving completely unassisted at random times. I've seen it. My girlfriend has seen it. And my dog, apparently has seen it, too. This table is the same exact one we had at our last place. But now, the top part of the table (I have negative lesbian carpenter points), which is glass, has been sliding around by itself. The top part of the table is completely connected to the legs.

Here is a picture of this haunted table, post-movement tonight. (as in 20 minutes ago). My dog was staring at something on the wall right behind the table as it was moving:

Does anyone see anything that I don't?

I decided to do a little research, and this is what I found out, from the International Ghost Hunters Society:

"What are Ghosts?
Ghosts are departed souls who have lived and died on this earth, but for some reason have elected or been forced to remain on this earth plane after death. It is my belief that the intelligence and the emotions that made up who we were in this life survives the death process. This energy may be considered as our souls, energy that can't be destroyed at death, but is transformed into another configuration. This energy is detectable with EMF meters that measures milligauss units. Since we can measure the physical energy emitted by these entities, we know that ghosts are not figments of our imagination as some skeptics suggest...


The Girlfriend and I were just sitting on the couch watching tv and staring at our dogs, and the Girlfriend's laptop just fell off the haunted end table. Everyone was at least 2.5 feet from the laptop and its wires.

This is getting weird.

The Girlfriend is calling her mother, who knows about these kinds of things. Maybe she can help us.

In the meantime, here is info from another website:

"If you do have a ghost, be certain that it's a problem.

Even experienced ghost hunters, are startled by ghosts now & then. We also jump when someone steps out of the shadows, when a car runs a red light, and any other time the unexpected happens. We're merely startled. It's not a problem.

Many people feel as if they have something odd and unseen in the house. They don't mind sharing the space with the ghost(s). In fact, the majority of haunted houses are happily co-habited by the living and the spirits."

Oh. Great. It's a "problem?!" WTF?! OMG?!

Further down on that website, it states: "If your ghost is a problem, here's what to do. You'll probably want to print out this page, as it offers many solutions from our research as well as folklore. Start with one or two of these remedies. It should not be necessary to use them all."

Among the "remedies:"
-speaking to the ghost and telling it to leave.
-holy water (I do heart Buffy)
-prayer and religion. (a-wha?)
-garlic (I heart Willow, too)
-incense and space clearing
-convex mirrors
-flat mirrors

And, my favorite remedy, "sand, rice, split peas, etc." Because apparently you should, "Randomly toss rice, split peas, sand, salt (but not sugar as it leaves a sticky residue), coffee beans or grounds, or anything small and granular, on your kitchen floor when you go to bed at night (if that's when the ghosts are most bothersome).

According to folklore, the ghosts will pause to count the grains of whatever-it-is. They aren't very good at counting, so they have to start over again, repeatedly, or they forget the numbers.

Clean up the mess in the morning, and do the same routine again at night.

After a few nights of this, the ghosts will leave."

ha ha ha *snort* seriously?

(but don't think I won't try it, if it comes down to it)

I'll be sure to keep you updated if anything else weird happens. For now, the "ghost" isn't hurting us. And I'm a little intrigued.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

On a Lighter Note: My Sad Dating History

Because I am in the midst of wrapping up some end-of-the-quarter projects in school right now (which means they are due today, of course), I decided to write on a much lighter topic.

On the way to work this morning, my girlfriend and I had an interesting conversation about actual pick-up lines/actions that people have used on me before in bars. And the assortment of just weird people in general that I have dated.

As a nurse, I realize it is common to attract weirdos and/or people with unstable personalities and/or mental disorders in real life. Or maybe it's because I'm pretty non-judgmental. Must be that nurturing quality.

As a result of this, I've decided to make a list of things people have said or done while simultaneously trying to hit on me:

1. Someone (a straight woman) once told me she has genital herpes about a week before she told me she has a major crush on me and fantasizes about doing sexual things to me.

2. Someone, in an attempt to bond with my experiences working on a psych unit, told me all about her trials and tribulations with bipolar disorder and lithium the first night we met.

3. Someone else has informed me of her borderline personality, and the fact that when her last girlfriend tried to break up with her, she tried to commit suicide by throwing herself out of a moving truck.

4. I've dated people who have attempted and/or threatened suicide upon me breaking up with them.

5. And I've been asked out on a date while crying, literally minutes after breaking up with a long-term girlfriend. Seriously. Because doesn't everyone want a new girlfriend who has a ton of emotional baggage?

6. A girl in a bar once followed me around all night, saying "you must think I'm crazy!" She was divorced, not sure if she was gay, and had a kid. All that is fine and dandy, but the fact that she had to continuously reassure me that she wasn't crazy actually had the counter-effect of making me think she really was crazy. Plus she was a cop. And, plus she tried to take my rings (from my best friend and from my grandmother) and hold them hostage until I called her. I grabbed my rings and got the hell out of Dodge.

Yes, I'm sure that makes you all think that I think I'm hot, or something.

Maybe I am. Maybe not.

But the reality is that I used to be a sucker who was more scared of hurting people's feelings than doing what makes me happy. And the above types of people totally take advantage of that when they see it.

Most of the above scenarios happened several years ago, by the way.

And before the bigotry brigades come and say this is all the more evidence that lesbianism is immoral/wrong/destructive, I also want to mention that I have also had some very good, meaningful relationships with normal women. And, most of the above people, I never ended up dating or having any sort of relationship with.

Anyone else have any fun stories?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Are the Watchmen on the Walls a Hate Group?

Fannie posts her opinions here.

Decide for yourselves.

Friday, November 9, 2007

An Unnatural Fear of Teenagers?

No stranger to long-winded, pseudoscientific rants, Renee's second-latest, greatest article discusses Today's Immoral Teenager and Its Reluctance to Form Lifelong Relationships While Still a Teen.

Her article is based largely on an article entitled "Nation of Wimps", by Hara Estroff Marano. The Nation of Wimps' website explains this alleged phenomenon: "Armed with hyperconcern and microscrutiny, parents are going to ludicrous lengths to take the lumps and bumps out of life for their children today. However well-intentioned, their efforts have the net effect of making kids more fragile. That may be why the young are breaking down in record numbers or staying stuck in endless adolescence.

What's more, parents are seeking status and meaning in the achievements of their children. The trouble with turning tots into trophies is that the developmental needs of the young are sacrificed to the psychological needs of adults. But the biggest problem with pushing perfection may be that it masks the real secret of success in life. As any innovator will tell you, success hinges less on getting everything right than on how you handle getting things wrong. The ultimate irony is, in a flat world you don't make kids competitive by pushing them to be perfect but by allowing them to become passionate about something that compels their interest."

I don't have much of an opinion on that article. It sounds to me like it's more someone's opinion than actual research or fact. There are parts of it I agree with it to some extent, but I don't think at all that our kids are "wimpy." There are some parents who are completely overbearing. The yuppie soccer moms and dads who micromanage their kids sports, diets, academics, music lessons, etc. And a lot of times, when those kids have their first taste of freedom (usually at college), all hell breaks loose. I've seen it happen before.

But I think those parents are relatively rare. Who has the time and money for all of the above? Most parents end up doing the best they can with what they have, and the kids turn out okay.

Frankly, I don't understand Renee's weird fear of/for the next generation. I suppose each generation has their curmudgeonly older people who live in fear of "today's youngsters with their newfangled ideas." I'm not sure what their fears are exactly, but it is probably rooted in a basic human resistance to change. (even when that change is good).

Observe Renee's paragraph, which follows an excerpt from the article she quotes:

"A popular concept is group dating for teenagers, parents think teens are safe, but it is nothing more then just hanging out with friends. Hanging out isn't learning about a person or talking to them on a personal level face to face. Something teenagers need to understand before becoming an adult. The hooking up style of non-relationships or friends with benefits has not left women feeling liberated. In fact men have all the power, because there is little to no possibility of any personal relationship developing when men and women engage in 'hanging out'. If you do get time alone, then the only expectation is casual sex. Many teenage girls could only imagine the power of choice to say, 'no, thank you', to a male peer who asks her out for coffee or lunch rather then trying push off a drunk with his pants around his knees at a co-ed sleepover. Now everything is a regrettable intoxicated hook-up, that borders in many instances date-rape, except without the actual date." [emphasis mine]

So now it appears that Renee has become the expert on teenage dating. I wonder if she has any stats to back her claims, or if this entire rant is just her opinion. If so, then she would do best to not state her opinions as common knowledge.

Especially the part about how "hanging out" in groups has given men all the power.

Well, I'm no "culturologist" or anything, but I do know that hanging out in groups is a normal part of teen psychosocial development. They are understandably less focused on forming serious monogamous relationships while still in high school, than they are with fitting in with their same-sex peers and the start of dating. I acknowledge that high school is the time people start forming lifelong friendships and relationships, but it is largely a time of social experimentation, as well. While most teens start to develop a legitimate interest in the opposite sex during high school, I would be worried if that was the main focus of my teenager's life.

I would be more worried if my teen were, in fact, in one very serious committed relationship and only spent time with that person, than if he/she were hanging out more with a group of his or her friends.

That would seem weird to me. Anyone else?

She says, "Young men and women are wimps in relationships. If teenagers understood relationships, all the causal sex would diminished dramatically because they would have a better grasp how their emotions and hormones are suppose to work together. They would stop wasting their time screwing around and find someone to love."

Renee seems to think that the teen years are the time for children (because they are still children by all mental and emotional developmental standards) to find their life partners. I don't agree with that at all. Teens are largely learning how to form relationships during this developmental stage.

When looked at from the Erickson model of stages of psychological and emotional development in children, which is largely accepted in the medical world, it would appear that all of the problems Renee mentions are part of the eight stages. One can peruse that link for a more in-depth description of each stage.

My point is, it isn't fair to hold teenagers--who are still overcoming different stages of their own emotional development--to adult relationship standards. In no way would I expect, or want, my teenaged child searching for his or her spouse in high school. Why limit oneself to your pool of high school classmates when the world is so much larger?

For example, as one website describes "Each stage is regarded by Erikson as a 'psychosocial crisis,' which arises and demands resolution before the next stage can be satisfactorily negotiated."

To be fair, Renee has valid points that I do agree with to some extent: "The larger problem is that millions of teens don't see any functional relationship behavior in their own families. Children, whose father hasn't been in the picture since they were a baby and a rotation of boyfriends by their mother. Some children seen [sic] dad walk away from the family through divorce or seen [sic] mom just think of herself when dad simply didn't make her happy anymore..."

However, her focus on her ideal family form, which I'm sure means male and female dual parent households completely leaves out gay and lesbian parents (which most of the current research has shown to be just as effective as dual heterosexual parent-headed households). I won't delve into the merits of child-rearing by gay and lesbian parents here, but her omission is predictable.

I find it disturbing that Renee, a self-ascribed feminist, focuses more on the passive "absence" of a father, yet when a female leaves a family, it is because she is actively "thinking of herself when dad didn't make her happy anymore." She implicitly places more blame and guilt on a female who leaves than the more expected/accepted scenario of a dad leaving.

What I also find disturbing is that Renee (and others) automatically assumes the worst for the millions of children that are headed by single-parent families. Give them some credit. I refuse to believe that the single reason a child turns out "bad" is because he or she was raised by his or her single mother (or father). Get real. Sometimes relationships and marriages fail against all odds. Sometimes adults make mistakes and marry the wrong person. There are always extenuating circumstances, and people are rarely just selfish assholes who choose to leave their children and spouses.

But let's not automatically discount their children's abilities to forge ahead to lead successful lives just because a "fatherhead" or "motherhead" is missing from the picture. I refuse to believe that kids are not resilient by their very nature. They are the most adaptable of all human age groups, and often make it despite their parents' mistakes, even in the worst of all scenarios.

While the two-parent household is the ideal, of course, it isn't fair to assume that it is ALWAYS in the best interest of the child for the parents to stick together. Sometimes that causes more harm than good (abuse, addiction, fighting, etc).

Let's give our single parents and our children a little more credit, instead of self-righteously declaring that they need to be "saved" from anything.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Watchmen on the Walls and Opine Editorials: A Comparison

When a website's editor-in-chief displays dishonest tactics it is difficult to take his blog and his cast of characters seriously.

What is even more difficult to take seriously is when that editor-in-chief compares himself and his blog to dangerous, violent anti-homosexual hate group.

Observe this exchange:


"The effort to undermine the importance of the family existed before gay identity and it will exist after."


"After gay identity? What do you mean by that?"....

"Do you think gay identities are going to disappear someday? That homosexuality is a trend? That gay people are like platform shoes or parachute pants?"


"That question doesn't even make sense. How are people like articles of clothing to you? Then maybe I can answer."....

"Comparing people to clothing, like discarding responsible procreation, is just another example of the unreasonable notions that follow from an initial belief in identity politics."


"I wasn't really making a comparison between people and articles of clothing. Does anyone REALLY think I was?"

[No, Grace. Intelligent readers get that you were asking Op-ed if he thought gayness was a fad, like parachute pants. But alas, the dishonesty progresses....]


"Here is what you wrote: [emphasis added] "That gay people are like platform shoes or parachute pants?"

If that's not a comparison, you need to tell us what it is. Because otherwise we only have what you actually wrote to go by."

[Everyone, note how Op-Ed dishonestly deleted the crucial beginning to Grace's thought which, when left unedited, reads like this: "Do you think gay identities are going to disappear someday? That homosexuality is a trend? That gay people are like platform shoes or parachute pants?" Details Shmetails, "Ed." Sorry man, but I'd fire him. At best, he's sloppy. At worst, he's intentionally lying. Is this the kind of "Editor" they value? One whose only consistency is distorting the other's sides arguments? Because they are better than his own "arguments?"]

What is funny, and scary, is that the point of this post was for the members of Opine Editorials to compare and contrast themselves to the hate-group Watchmen on the Walls. Seriously. Observe how Op-Ed and his tiny clan masturbate each other's bigotry and hatred, and feed off each other's rationalizations of their anti-gay stances:

The initial article was this (because On Lawn is never one for words:)

"We are the Watchmen on the Walls.[Jane's note: Opine posted a hypertext link to Watchmen on the Walls]

This might be a good place to discuss how much Opine has in common, and not in common, with their statement.

Your comments are welcome. Are homosexuals the chief enemy of the natural family? Are they thinly veiled hate-mongers? I will save my commentary for the comment section also."

Chairm said this: "...I'm not in favor of villifying same-sex attracted people for the sake of their experience of same-sex attraction.

I'm not in favor of gay identity politics and its corruptive influence even on the rhetoric, if not the thinking, of those who defend the natural family and defend the nature of marriage.

With those qualifications, there is much to agree with on the website." [emphasis Jane Know's]

Like what, Chair? What exactly do you agree with if it is not for villifying gay people? Because you sure could've fooled me. And many others.

Read what the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Hatewatch Blog" says about this violent group:

Among other things, the SPLC says about this violent hate group "The anti-gay tactics of the Slavic evangelicals in the U.S. branch of the Watchmen movement are just as crude and even more physically abusive than Fred Phelps' infamous Westboro Baptist Church, and they're rooted in gay-bashing theology that's even more hardcore than the late Jerry Falwell's. Slavic anti-gay talk radio hosts and fundamentalist preachers routinely deliver hateful screeds on the airwaves and from the pulpit in their native tongue that, were they delivered in English, would be a source of nationwide controversy."

Perhaps Op-Ed and his clan should be more careful with which hate groups they compare themselves to instead of blindly (and stupidly) agreeing with everyone who says "gays are an abomination."

Or perhaps Chair and Op-Ed agree because of these ideals, by Scott Lively,a longtime anti-gay activist who is now the chief international envoy for the Watchmen movement, "Lively identifies 'the enemy' as not only homosexuals, but also what he terms 'homosexualists,' a category that includes anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, who "actively promotes homosexuality as morally and socially equivalent to heterosexuality as a basis for social policy."

Sound familiar?

I wouldn't be so proud. Lively was just ordered by a civil judge to pay $20,000 to a lesbian photojournalist he dragged by the hair through the halls of a Portland church in 1991. A quick google search of "Scott Lively" also found that he is your state AFA (American Family Association) affiliate for California. Are all these people connected? Jeesh.

Lively is also credited with writing the book "The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party." A book that blames gay people on everything from South African apartheid and U.S. slavery; to, predictably, the Holocaust.

The book was largely and logically discredited by legitimate historians and in a 2005 Intelligence Report article. Stephen Feinstein, director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota, said the book was "produced by a right-wing Christian cult and is as correct as flat earth theory."

[side rant: Lively is also close friends with "Pastor" Alexey Ledyaev, the head of the New Generation Church, an evangelical Christian megachurch based in Riga, the capital city of Latvia. Ledyaev is close friends with televangelist Pat Robertson--"a man who once predicted God would punish Florida with hurricanes and other disasters because Disney World had allowed a "Gay Days" discount — and was invited to the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast hosted by President George Bush."]

Let's play a new game: How many degrees of separation from one man in power to dangerous men on the brink of it?

The group of Watchmen also associate with ex-NFL player Ken Hutchinson, "the African-American founder of Antioch Bible Church, a Seattle-area megachurch. "Hutch," as the ex-NFL player is known, played a key role in persuading Microsoft to temporarily withdraw its support for a Washington bill that would have made it illegal to fire an employee for their sexual orientation. In 2004, his "Mayday for Marriage" rally drew 20,000 people to the Seattle Mariner's Safeco Field to oppose legalizing same-sex marriage."

I'm sure they think this means they have the full support and backing of the entire black community now that "Hutch" is on their side.

Back to the issue of Lively, In August he spoke in Russia about the hate crime death of Satender Singh, a 26-year-old gay Indian man who was beaten to death by Russian-speaking gay bashers in a park near Sacramento, Calif., a hotbed of militant anti-gay activism among Slavic immigrants.

Here is his own personal take on the murder:

"I’ve been working with the Russian community in Sacramento. And I want to tell you this is an example [that] will show how bad things are in the United States. There was a situation in Sacramento a few weeks ago in a public park. There was a group of homosexuals and they were very drunk. And one of the homosexual men was taking off his pants. And there were children in the park. And a Russian man went over to these homosexuals and he was rebuking them. And there started a fight. The Russian man punched the homosexual [audience applauds and laughs]. No, no… don’t.

The homosexual was very drunk and he fell down and he hit his head and he died. And now [audience applauds] no … no.

And the Russian man has been accused of murder. And the FBI is seeking him. And all the powers in Sacramento have been accusing all of the Russian community of being murderers. And the goal is to silence everyone who speaks against homosexuality. And this is a very dangerous situation."

Back to the issue of Opine Editorials comparison of themselves to The Watchmen, apparently, the only problem they have with this group is their focus on "identity politics." They don't care about the violence against gay people, because to them, gay people don't exist. Gay people to the Opine Editorials are just pandering to an anti-family, anti-religious bias, on their mission to destory American Families, and using their "gay identities" as a means of that.

Yes. That is really how delusional they are.

Note the following exchange:

Op-Ed started it here..."I'm not saying the Watchmen are doing any of the above. I'm just saying clearing away the identity politics rather than appearing to embrace them will do more to accomplish the Watchmen's goals.

10/23/2007 10:30:00 AM
op-ed said...
Correction: What the Watchmen really say is this:

'But we are especially focused against homosexuality, because those who practice this self-destructive vice, and have organized themselves into a political movement, are the chief enemies of the natural family.'

So they don't really blame 'homosexuals,' but rather those who are promoting this particular brand of identity politics. I still think focusing on just one brand of identity politics misses the point. The effort to undermine the importance of the family existed before gay identity and it will exist after.

10/23/2007 11:32:00 AM
Marty said...
I don't see gay identity politics as seeking to destroy the family. I see those seeking to destroy the family using identity politics to get that goal accomplished.


So, there you have it. If the Watchmen stopped feeding into homosexualists' "identity politics," they would have a hell of a lot more in common with Opine Editorials. Because feeding into identity politics makes one immoral. Thus, by their own logic, not playing identiy politics makes one a moral, righteous savior of the American Family, regardless of who gets killed and hurt in the process. Shall I break down into simple logic, Op-Ed style? Nah. I think you get it.

They call homosexuals "thinly veiled hate-mongers."

I have yet to see gay rights groups focus on killing, beating, denouncing lifestyles, etc. to get their messages across. Yet groups like Opine and Watchmen will do or say whatever it takes to spread their messages and ideals. And to them, it is all okay because they are "religious" or it's in the name of preserving families. Or something.

My favorite is the last quote by Chairm, ever the master at creating his own vocab: "Treating the both-sexed combinations as one-sexed would discard the core of marriage. And that presupposes that the gay model is superior to the conjugal relationship. The merger would be a takeover.

Gay identity politics corrupts on multiple levels. But it is promoted as some sort of cleansing agent that will improve society."

Right. A "cleansing agent." That is the purpose of proponents of gay marriage. To cleanse out all those "yucky" heteros and take over the world. bwah hah hah.

But for real, Op-Ed is attempting to associate himself and his blog with this radical right-wing, violent hate group. A group that laughs at and mocks the killing of an innocent gay man. You either don't care that they support his death, or you agree with it. Ignorance is no excuse. So which is it, Op-Ed? Would you like to see them kill more gay people? Is that your ultimate goal? That we will just go away? Everything you write certainly suggests that.

Yet, to Chairm and Opine Editorials, homosexuals are the ones that want to "cleanse" society?

Then answer these questions: How can making something more inclusive lead to "cleansing" and/or exclusion? How does tolerance lead to exclusion of heterosexuals or families?

I'll stick with my allies and ideologies. And Opine Editorials, you stick with yours. Have fun with that.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Concerned Woman for America: Jose Solano

What do I hate even more than straight male homobigots speaking for the black community and the gay community?

Straight male homobigots speaking for "women."

I googled "Jose Solano and homosexual" and came across some very interesting websites. One of them, a story from 11/2000 in Concerned Women for America, quotes Jose Solano as an opponent of an Oregon measure to approve mention of homosexuality in schools.

"'I completely respect the civil rights of adults that want to be homosexual, but don’t tell me I have to tell my students that it’s OK' (Washington Times, 11/1/00). Teachers like Solano want to introduce students to the health risks of homosexuality and to the lack of scientific evidence that homosexuality is genetically caused."

Another question: where are all the "concerned women," in Concerned Women for America?!?!

One would think that an advocacy group of that caliber would have enough PR common sense to have women speak for them, and women as Policy Directors. Instead of quoting the men in the organization.

I'm starting to wonder just how many "Concerned Women" there are. Probably too many, but they are probably okay with letting their men speak for them. Or perhaps, over at CWA, they are merely giving their men access to the equal opportunity they are denied in so many other areas of life and employment. Understandable.

Jose Solano, from one Concerned Woman to another, I salute you. Mkay, girl?

Girl power.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What's Funnier than Funny?

Buying all 7 Harry Potter books for your children: roughly $120.00.

Watching all 5 Harry Potter movies in the theater plus popcorn and snacks for Traditional Fundie Family of Four: $500.00.

Learning that your beloved wise-old man mentor character is a Homosexual, the lifestyle of which you publicly and hatefully condemn on a daily basis: Priceless.

Guess which fundies are bleating now. The winner gets a free spellbook.

Jose Solano's daughter has read every single Harry Potter book, that he probably bought for her, and now he is pissed that Dumbledore is gay!

hahahahahahahahahahahaha. *snort*

It's hilarious because he probably didn't care at all that she was reading this "homosexualist propoganda" because IT. ISN'T. HARMFUL. TO. CHILDREN. but now all of a sudden, he's bleating away about the Occult, and spells, and the series' non-Christianity in general. Something he probably didn't care one iota about until he J.K. Rowling made her announcement last month. Why does Jose all of a suddent sound like he's a paranoid accuser at the Salem witchcraft trials?

He says " Clearly it would have been a financial disaster as the vast majority of parents don’t want to entertain the notion that kids are going to get magic lessons from a homosexual. It was bad enough for many that they were going to be instructed in a Godless, occult, witchcraft world where all sorts of demons can be conjured up but where no one ever thinks of praying to God for guidance or help."

Ha. Fucking. Ha.

Yes, Jose. Because we Americans should all be held to YOUR particular religious standards. In fact, even authors should write about your religion only. Publishers should only publish works of God. And further, our wittle kids in America should only read and learn about Christianity.

In fact, all the Idiots at our least favorite blog are bleating away about it.

They've resorted now to attacking the beloved Dumbledore, and even attacking Rowling herself, and her talent. It's insane. And once again proves that their blog is based more on attacking gay people and much less on protecting "families."

Jose says, "Well, my children haven’t heard about it and guess what? I’m not telling them"

Thinking you have absolute control over what your children hear and see from sources other than you? You guessed it. Priceless.

If he weren't so hateful, I would pity him. But he doesn't deserve my pity.

That's right, Idiots. You're right and the rest of the world is wrong. Rowling is now a talentless satan-worshipping witch that has now played a "cruel joke" on the innocent children who read her books.

Just keep telling yourselves that. Whatever it takes to "save the family and protect tradition."

Monday, November 5, 2007

Health-care professionals and empathy

Earlier today, I read an article in Newsweek titled, "Sorry, But I Can't Help You: One study found that, in doctors, the brain circuits associated with empathy were suppressed."

The article went on to discuss one chemical engineer's path to find new and improved cancer treatments because his wife had dealt with breast cancer (and survived). The chemical engineer, Mark Davis, has been successful, thus far in the research process, in finding a better treatment for certain types of cancer. (read the article if you are interested in the specifics, it's not pertinent to mine).

The article ended by saying that David has had to stop answering his phone because potential subjects (cancer patients) kept calling, and he hated having to tell them his study was full.

"So I've stopped answering my phone, because I can't keep saying no to people. It's depressing. I guess doctors learn how to tell people they can't help them. But I'm not a doctor," he was quoted as saying.

Newsweek went on to claim: "He's right about doctors. Jean Decety, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, compared a group of doctors with laypeople, watching a video of patients receiving a painful acupuncture treatment. In the laypeople, parts of the brain associated with pain and with empathy were activated, but in doctors those circuits were suppressed, Decety found. Instead, they showed activity in areas associated with logical thinking. Decety said he wasn't surprised by Davis's experience.

'Doctors see people dying all the time,' he said, 'and if they couldn't modulate their emotions, they couldn't get through the day.' So you may be smart enough to cure cancer, but first ask yourself: are you tough enough?"

While the article is misleading in that it barely mentions empathy and doctors, it did get me thinking about how my experience of "empathy" has changed since I have been a nurse.

And for the record, doctors don't "see people dying all the time." Nor do nurses, or nurse practitioners. It is largely dependent on area of focus and whether you are in an acute care setting or primary care setting (or research, or some other setting). I doubt primary care providers, for example, have seen many (if at all) people die right before their eyes. And I doubt they would not feel empathy if they perceived one of their patients in extreme pain. I don't know that anyone, aside from someone antisocial personality disorder or an autistic person, could completely lack that kind of empathy.

Thus, the distinction should be made between "clinical empathy" and "layperson empathy" (for lack of a better term right now). Perhaps there are different parts of the brain involved in the two. I think it is misleading for an article to insinuate (or lead its readers into the assumption) that doctors are no longer able to feel empathy towards patients because they are so desensitized to pain and suffering.

A general definition of empathy is "one's ability to recognize, perceive and feel directly the emotion of another. Since the states of mind, beliefs, and desires of others are intertwined with their emotions, one with empathy for another may often be able to more effectively define another's mode of thought and mood. Empathy is often characterized as the ability to "put oneself into another's shoes", or to in some way experience the outlook or emotions of another being within oneself, a sort of emotional resonance."

To contrast, "sympathy" is feeling sorry for someone and wishing to share in their suffering. That is a big no-no in the health-care world. Not only would it be impossible to carry the burdens and suffering of every single patient on our backs, it is insulting to the patient to assume they would want us to do so. It is not our sympathy that patients want, it is our empathy. People with empathy can put themselves in another's shoes. And while we may never exactly understand what our patients' experiences are, it is important to try. For, by trying, we are letting them know that we will be their advocates and help them to our professional capacity. It is through empathy that we do our best to do what's best for our patients.

I did a quick internet search of "empathy and nurses" and "empathy and physicians" and honestly did not find as much material as I thought I would. When I have more time, I would like to do a scholarly search. Right now, I have enough work cut out for me.

In the internet search There was a story of a breast cancer survivor, also a former nurse, who had a horrible time in her hospital, thanks to unempathetic nurses who didn't explain anything to her or offer anticipatory guidance or patient education. I can't imagine working on an oncology floor and becoming so desensitized to the suffering of the patients, that I mindlessly wheel a breast-cancer survivor down to discharge while complaining about breast-feeding.

I've had similar experiences with nurses, too, when I go to my doctor. (yet not that extreme)

For example, I go to my doctor no more than once a year, and it's only for my annual exam and bloodwork. When I am sick, I tough it out without ever calling my doctor, because I know that most of the time, I have a virus. Being a nurse, I am careful to not be one of those annoying patients calling all the time, asking for special treatment, prescriptions for needless antibiotics, etc. The nurse (I assume she is a nurse, though she never actually introduces herself and doesn't wear a name-tag) places me on the scale, takes my vital signs, and leaves. I call for my results 2 weeks later, and she acts like it's the biggest hassle in the world. Once a year. If that. I won't be back there with my insurance money, because I know that the services I am requesting from her are like a 0.01 on the scale of easy to hard nursing duties.

And that's ignoring the times I have seen nurses mistreating my relatives and others in hospitals.

On the other hand, being a nurse, I have been lied to, screamed at, cursed at, physically threatened, hung up on, manipulated, and used as a verbal punching bag by patients in my career. I've been belittled for being young, for being a woman, and for being "only a nurse." I've been hit on, asked way too personal questions, thrown up on, shat on, peed on... I've seen nearly every body fluid that exists. And I have seen people on the brink of death. It could be very easy to become disillusioned with this career.

Thus, I am often torn between wanting to stick up for the millions of people in my profession who I know are overworked and underpaid, and chastising them for being so cold and uncaring during the most difficult parts of people's lives.

Now that I have been on both ends of the spectrum, I can try to find some common ground.

Do nurses become less able to empathize with people over their careers? Are they so burnt-out from dealing with thousands of ungrateful patients year after year who take advantage of them and the system?

This is the career I have chosen for myself. Not only that, I left my first career for this one. Do I have any right to complain as I did four paragraphs earlier? I knew what I was getting into when I went back to school. My mom was a nurse, after all.

It's all about finding that middle ground, so I'm learning. One can be nice, have empathy, be knowledgeable, and at the same time not take any crap from manipulative people who try to take advantage of your system.

There are simple rules I have learned in my short career to positive, successful interactions with patients/clients:

Most people have good intentions.

Most people are incredibly vulnerable and scared when they are sick or injured. Oftentimes, all they want is a friendly face.

Most people are seeking someone who will try to understand their position.

Most people are extremely grateful when you let them know you are trying to help them, when you introduce yourself to them, when you make eye contact with them, and when you are nice to them.

The nicer you are to patients, the greater the chances that they will NEVER sue you for malpractice.

Letting people know you are trying to empathize with them greatly increases the chances that the interaction will be positive.

If someone is immediately confrontational or combative (but without threat of physical harm) let them know you are trying to understand where they are coming from.

Anyway, I think the key in any "caring" profession (social work, nursing, teaching, etc) is finding a job that you love, that you are dedicated to, and that will keep you looking forward to work each day. I have found that, so far, and feel extremely lucky. My employer's mission is very similar to my life's/career mission and that helps me keep my focus, and keeps me from losing my ability to feel empathy towards our patients.

I'll end with a nursing quote I found earlier:

"Nursing encompasses an art, a humanistic orientation, a feeling for the value of the individual, and an intuitive sense of ethics, and of the appropriateness of action taken."

~Myrtle Aydelotte, 1992

More on that later...

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Food for Thought

Earlier today, I half-jokingly posted a link to the "Hitler Youth" entry in Wikipedia, as a reference to my latest AFA Action Alert regarding the status of the "Truth for Youth Bible" that I (full-jokingly) ordered from the AFA. I insinuated that like the Hitler Jugend during the height of the Nazi regime in Germany, the AFA is recruiting tens of thousands of children to join a similar propaganda-ish "anti-state" regime in its war on homosexuals. They should be ashamed. But I digress...

I was bored tonight, and did a little more wiki-research on the topic. Enter the wikipedia topic "History of Homosexual People in Nazi Germany and the Holocaust." Among other disturbing tidbits I found:

"Nazism declared itself incompatible with homosexuality, because gays did not reproduce and perpetuate the master race. For the same reasons, masturbation was also considered harmful to the Reich, but treated lightly. There was also a fear among Nazis of a "gay gene" contamination."


"Hitler believed that homosexuality was "degenerate behavior" which posed a threat to the capacity of the state and the "masculine character" of the nation. Gay men were denounced as "enemies of the state" and charged with "corrupting" public morality and posing a threat to the German birthrate."

Scary, huh? How little some people's views differ from Der Fuhrer. (sorry, I don't know how to do umlauts on this blog)

Anyway, this is a case in point as to why, generally speaking, those who are very intolerant of anyone "different" from societal norms are dangerous. And why, as my "about me" section states, the ideals of love and acceptance are better than hate and intolerance. There are limits to that, of course, without going into a diatribe on polygamy, incest, bestiality, murderers, etc. But when it comes down to two consenting adults who aren't harming themselves or another person, no one should be able to dictate what another person does.

Oh, and FYI: "After the war, homosexual concentration camp prisoners were not acknowledged as victims of Nazi persecution.[3] Reparations and state pensions available to other groups were refused to gay men, who were still classified as criminals — the Nazi anti-gay law was not repealed until 1994, although both East and West Germany liberalized their criminal laws against adult homosexuality in the late 1960s.

Gay Holocaust survivors could be re-imprisoned for "repeat offences," and were kept on the modern lists of "sex offenders." Under the Allied Military Government of Germany, some homosexuals were forced to serve out their terms of imprisonment, regardless of the time spent in concentration camps.

The Nazis' anti-gay polices and their destruction of the early gay-rights movement were generally not considered suitable subject matter for Holocaust historians and educators. It was not until the 1970s and 1980s that there was some mainstream exploration of the theme, with Holocaust survivors writing their memories, plays such as "Bent", and more historical research and documentaries being published about the Nazis' homophobia and their destruction of the German gay-rights movement.

Since the 1980s, cities around the world have erected memorials to remember the thousands of homosexual people who were murdered and persecuted during the Holocaust. Major memorials can be found in Berlin, Amsterdam, Montevideo, and San Francisco.[4] In 2002, the German government released an official apology to the gay community.

In 2005, the European Parliament marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz camp with a minute's silence and the passage of a resolution which included the following text:

"...27 January 2005, the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Nazi Germany's death camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where a combined total of up to 1.5 million Jews, Roma, Poles, Russians and prisoners of various other nationalities, and homosexuals, were murdered, is not only a major occasion for European citizens to remember and condemn the enormous horror and tragedy of the Holocaust, but also for addressing the disturbing rise in anti-semitism, and especially anti-semitic incidents, in Europe, and for learning anew the wider lessons about the dangers of victimising people on the basis of race, ethnic origin, religion, social classification, politics or sexual orientation,..."

The memorial to the gay victims of the Holocaust in Berlin says, "Totgeschlagen - Totgeschwiegen." ("Struck dead, hushed up"). Let us learn from past atrocities and fight so this never happens again.

As I've stated before in other arguments, I am optimistic that the tide is swiftly changing for the better in the US. Stand up against hate speech. Stand up when someone says "fag" or "that's gay" or "dyke." For in the end, we can all say we were on the right side of justice and equality and not have to live with past embarrassments and regret.