7-13-2012 Do We Really? Should All Our Bets Be On Gay Marriage?

Don’t tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I’ll tell you what you value.

-VP Biden

In the world of non-profit activism in the equality movement, the current strategy is starting to be called into question. If you open the paper, you’ll see any number of states fighting for marriage rights. Though gay marriage is not the only challenge facing the gay community, you might think it is if you look at the checkbook. Some would argue: Do we even really want to get married?

While no one argues that marriage should be off the table, there are questions about the priority it has been given in the equality movement. We should ask ourselves, what would Martin Luther King Jr. have said if he’d been told you can have marriage but everything else is off the table? And it is a good point to consider: When compared to HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, suicide, job training, education, care of the elderly, housing, and employment, marriage seems trivial. If we really want to protect our community, should we not put greater emphasis on getting kids into homes, getting them internships, and getting them into politics? If we put more focus on those issues, wouldn’t we have a wholly different community having a wholly different discussion about equality ten years from now?… read the full op-ed at GuySpy.com.

6-26-2012 Is High School the New Stonewall?

In June 1969, the gay rights movement began with blood, fists, broken glass, and thunderous chants. Since the Stonewall Riots, many have blamed our slow progress on everything from the politics of the Moral Majority to the AIDS epidemic. The newly reinvigorated movement is steaming forward, spearheaded by a push for full marriage equality. However, it is worth considering how relevant marriage is if even our First Amendment rights are still in question. Some of the most complex legal cases concerning freedom of expression, speech, religion, and the role of government have plaintiffs and defendants who aren’t even old enough to vote. The gay rights movement has moved out of public squares and into public schools. In the fight for equality, high school has become the new Stonewall.

Perhaps the easiest question to answer is, “Why?” Why has the First Amendment debate moved from college campuses and into high schools? It’s a simple lesson in math. When you multiply an increase in out teens by the visibility of gay heroes then divide by more rules, you get First Amendment questions that make you wonder if you’re smarter than a 12th grader. In the interest of safety and quality education, we give public schools certain latitude with making exceptions and limitations to First Amendment rights. But who decides those limits and on what grounds they are allowed to make them, has become a point of contention.

Even if you only look into the last two years, the volume and intricacy of the disputes faced by children are awe-inspiring. As you investigate each individual case, the complexity becomes almost overwhelming, as does the pain endured by some of the youngest warriors fighting on the front lines of the battle for equality. In Chicago, a judge ruled in favor of an anti-gay student who came to school in a “Straight Pride” T-shirt that read “Be Happy, Not Gay.” The student argued that it was his religious right to promote an opposing view to pro-gay shirts worn by students supporting the “Day of Silence” campaign. In the eyes of the student, the condemnation of gays was the balanced opposition to the support of equality. In this case, the judge agreed and students in Chicago are once more allowed to wear shirts that oppose homosexuality. Students have continued to wear pro-equality shirts as a public display of support for gay students… read the full op-ed on GuySpy.com.

6-15-2012 Eric Rhodes and the Big Picture

The death of a porn star shouldn’t be cast aside. The loss has a lesson for our community that it for too long has ignored, says writer Brett Edward Stout.

With his death at the age of 30, Erik Rhodes has people talking again. People have bantered about why we care if a porn star died, have said that he brought this on himself, have locked themselves in rooms in tears, and even been so crass as to say he deserved it.

His real name was James, and he was a larger than life personality who meant different things to a lot of different people.

James was an enigma who in many respects represented the apex of what the gay communality idolizes: he was young, beautiful, muscular, masculine, tall, hung, sexually insatiable, and honest about the character he played in our society. He knew he needed help, begged for it and shunned it at the same time.

It was his “inevitable demise” — words used by James himself in posts that seemed to dare death. He seemed unstoppable. In a word, he seemed “invincible.”… read the full OpEd on Advocate.com.

6-9-2012 A Return to Governing: Hope 2.0

To many, after the failed Wisconsin recall election (the most obvious aftermath of the Citizens United ruling,) hope for our political system seems bleak. But a chance still remains that all will be okay, that American politics can still work and are beyond being sold to the biggest pocketbook. Obama.

Now, your first thought may be that this is somehow an endorsement of the incumbent, but not exactly. What we face in the general election is not an approval of the sitting President but rather a rejection of a movement that believes you are not an American. This may sound like voting for Obama to spite the opposition, because it is. However, you need to understand what exactly that opposition is. By every action that has befallen us since the 2010 election, we have been boldly faced with the prospect that the deepest pocketed in this country do not consider us worthy of voting, and have acted to silence our wills with overwhelming cash and block our action by rolling back our access to the polls. They do this because you cannot be trusted and because you aren’t as smart as them.

Mitch McConnell stated publicly that the GOP’s primary objective was to deny the President a second term. In the pursuit of this goal, the party has abdicated their responsibility to govern, to ensure the national welfare, to aid in the recovery of the second greatest economic calamity we’ve faced, and to realize that this nation doesn’t belong to a party… read the full op-ed on GuySpy.com.

4-28-2012 Is Homophobia Hot?

Does homophobia make a hot guy hotter? This blanket of exaggerated hotness seems to extend beyond real homophobes like Tim Tebow or David Tyree and to envelope undeclared homophobes like Aaron Schock and Scott Brown; homophobic by association.

We see images of Schock lounging poolside or Tebow painting bible verses on his face for a game and our primitive impulses overwhelm us. Specifically, though, why does embracing a widely rejected opinion that gayness is inherently unmasculine, unnatural, and weak translate to heightened lusting? Why cling to the now archaic edifice of last generation’s machismo?… read the full op-ed on GuySpy.com.

4-13-2012 You Don’t Have an Opinion

In the age of super PAC, politics and news organizations are more interested in the sound of their own voices than answers. We’ve crossed out of the light and into the dark shadows of social bubbles. Political lies have long been spit by politicians but today lies can be espoused for national consumption without authentication or correction. Jon Kyl saying 90% of Planned Parenthood services are abortion, Mitt Romney claiming Obama doubled the deficit, Santorum reporting that California Universities don’t offer American history, and Alan West declaring that 78 Democratic members of congress are card-carrying communists: these are lies.

The dogma of political evangelism has superseded that of skeptical reason. We believe things because they sound like what we want to be true; masses praying to prophets at the podium, and apostles on TV panels.  What good is political transparency if you can make up your own facts and sell them to the highest bidding corporation?… read the full op-ed on GuySpy.com.

more op-eds will be added to this page soon.