21 August 2009

Delighting in Gap Displays

We've all seen them: the beautiful people Gap pays big bucks to model their clothes and make us all hope we'll look more like them when we put the same clothes on (somehow, it just never quite works for me...I must be wearing them wrong).

Sometimes, the much-larger-than-life pictures make me really struggle not to bite my knuckle hard when I walk in to the store. Upon seeing this one, I maintained my composure, whimpered, and went about seeking a shirt.

But what caught my attention even more were the large pictures above the different cuts of jeans, with models showing the respective fit of the jeans and labels describing them:

Authentic: a "must" in...jeans. You can see to the left is "Standard". BORING.

Bad news. Stay away from this one.

I don't know why, but I felt keenly disappointed by this one.

I don't know why, but I felt giddily motivated by this one.

FYI, "Easy" is my favorite. ...style of jeans... *cough*

OK, so "Easy" is my least favorite cut of jeans. I prefer low-rise, slim-thigh boot cut on myself with a 29-30 waist, 30-32 length, depending on the brand. You know...in case any of you are looking for a home for really sexy jeans you don't wear anymore (big thanks to my former roomie for my best-fitting pair of jeans, which aren't, incidentally, boot cut). See, I have trouble finding some that really fit nicely, and I've discovered costliness makes little difference. In fact, the more expensive ones seem to most flatten what little I have of a butt. Express, so far, shape my tukus best. It's late. I'm tired and oversharing. Time for bed. Good night.

16 August 2009

Missing The Same-Sex Marriage Mark (As I See It)


The same-sex marriage debate continues to floor me in its smoke and mirrors, its straw men, its red herrings. Both sides seem so completely fixated on their perspectives that the debate generally goes nowhere but is focusing on emotional appeals from both sides and only preaches to the respective choirs.


Couples are being limited in how they can love and told they're worthless by being denied? Bullcrap.
Moral majority setting rules is what democracy is all about, and if you don't like it, get out? Bullcrap (time marker 7:45).

I call bullcrap all around. We can go back and forth forever. Same-sex marriage proponents seem to believe this is the great civil rights battle of our generation. Same-sex marriage opponents seem to believe this is the great moral battle of our generation.


Same-sex marriage proponents declare selective limitation of the right to marry to be an unconstitutional practice and an egregious civil rights violation, not to mention a sign of bigotry and tyranny in our society.

Same-sex marriage opponents declare opening marriage to all consenting adults to be a detriment to the foundation of healthy society and a forced redefinition and breakdown of a time-honored institution for the sake of social validation, not to mention it not being a civil rights issue.

"Wait...what? Not a civil rights issue? How can they say that? Of course it's a civil rights issue." "No, it's not a civil rights issue, it's a moral issue." Here, in the definition of marriage and whether it is, indeed, a civil rights issue (which is debatable depending on your definition of marriage, as is the question of whether marriage is a natural right), is where I think the problem is. If we have two fundamentally disparate definitions of what marriage is, the rest of the debate is mostly useless and superfluous.


As I see it, to someone who believes the very word "marriage" is inextricably tied to a usually or ideally religious union of a man and a woman, generally for the purpose of raising a stable family, no matter how much that union has been abused over the years, "marriage" is not merely a civil contract but a moral, religious institution, and a heterosexual one by definition. In that sense, all people have equal access to the union called "marriage" because any gay man is welcome to marry a woman, and any gay woman is welcome to marry a man, if they so choose, as some do. If some feel they couldn't be happy in such a relationship, they are also free to choose not to marry or to enter into another kind of relationship. And from that perspective, marriage is, by its very nature, an institution which is unchangeable and fixed except perhaps by edict directly from God, so even if the word "marriage" is bastardized to include couples for whom it was never intended, it won't be authentic marriage but the government co-opting a religious institution which was never intended to be up for public revision.

As I see it, someone who believes "marriage" is a union by contract of two people who want to bring their resources and lives into one as recognized by society under the law naturally believes that to limit access to such a contract depending on sexual orientation and based on religious belief not only is fundamentally anti-American and a clear violation of civil rights but the terrible tyranny of religious beliefs mixing with government to marginalize those who don't fit an ideological mold. For some of them, their church would "marry" them if their church were allowed to, and they want the government to get out of controlling whom their church chooses to marry. Being "allowed" all the same rights under a civil union, or having a "commitment ceremony", may be nice, but feelings of degradation aside, it's just wrong to deny rights to people based on sexual orientation, and they see "marriage" as such a right.


Unfortunately, I'm afraid most people haven't even thought their own stance through to nearly that extent but have responded to emotional arguments. There are so many emotional appeals out there on both sides, and they're mostly irrelevant and specious. People who repeat them sound annoying and foolish after a while as they ring the same tinny bell.
  • We're not allowed to love who we want to. What's wrong with love?
  • Society will mock our traditional beliefs if gay marriage is allowed.

To me, the most galling examples of this were two ads during the Prop 8 campaign. The first, made by the organization sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, featured a young man saying if Prop 8 didn't pass, people upholding traditional beliefs would be subjected to social ridicule. I've rarely been so angry at a political statement, and if it's not obvious to you why that's such an offensive thing to say, it's probably not worth putting energy into convincing you. The second was an ad which targeted the church in a completely ridiculous and senselessly inflammatory way, a portrayal so absurd and so reflective of a lack of understanding that it's almost not worth mentioning.


Emotional appeals aside, there are also arguments for or against based on the motivations for supporting/opposing same-sex marriage.

I've heard from many people, including some gay rights supporters, that the gay marriage debate is not about the right to marry in and of itself but is about social validation and ending bigotry by changing cultural perception through legislation. I don't think any reasonable person would deny that there are activists who are trying to use same-sex marriage as a wedge to gain social acceptance at any social cost (though they may not believe the costs are or would be negative or grave, as many opponents do), but to say that the majority of same-sex marriage supporters are just seeking validation and forcing tolerance and not actually interested in preserving freedom and rights for all is diminutive.

I've also heard from many people, including some religious opponents of same-sex marriage, that opponents are only enforcing their morality on society and that they don't really care whether "equality" is obtained because gay relationships are inferior and unworthy of social recognition. I don't think any reasonable person would deny that there are religious conservatives who don't care whether this is a civil rights issue at all because the social good is what they're after, not equality (though they may believe, as I mentioned, that all have access to marry...someone of the opposite sex), but to claim that all opponents of same-sex marriage are bigots and homophobes and not actually interested in preserving the institution of marriage is diminutive.

Such accusations are, aside from being inflammatory and dismissive, almost entirely irrelevant because if something is right (legally speaking), it's right no matter why some people are pushing it, and if something is wrong, it's wrong no matter why some people are pushing it. If you try to tell me gay marriage should be illegal because gay people don't really want marriage because they don't stay together longer than two years anyway, and if you try to tell me gay marriage should be legal because those who oppose it are bigots, you've made no argument whatsoever. Seriously. You've just told me you're willing to deny rights or change the law based on someone else's motives, not on legal merits.

Where motives do become relevant, in the political arena, is in perceiving where a power grab is masked in championing a good cause. The greatest political players know that to accomplish anything, you have to hide behind heroism and strong ideology. So it's wise to question motives, and it's wiser still to prepare to respond to those and to negate them through negotiation or proposing alternative actions, but it still doesn't change whether something should happen on its own merits. It just means you have to be aware and wise about how legislation is worded and implemented, no matter which side you're on.

For example, most of us agree health care should be reformed, but we're cautious about what will sneak its way in with the reform, so we understandably have taken our time in figuring out what to do. We don't trust each other. We probably shouldn't. But that doesn't mean certain changes shouldn't be made, so we try to move ahead and negotiate and make sure nobody's going to use a good thing to completely overturn our country's foundation, like conservative worry about Obama's proposed health care reform pushing us towards socialism. But...then again, we don't see much open dialog there, either, mostly just all-or-nothing debate. Politics as usual.


Speaking of politics as usual, I've heard talk, in relation to the church's involvement with Prop 8, of the church's successful opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment, a position which the church clarifies on its web site as not being against equality for women but against the implications of its wording and the lack of necessity based on other avenues of procuring "equality" while "allowing for natural differences". Today, you'll provoke the ire of many if you voice a belief in inequality of women and men, yet the Equal Rights Amendment is still not part of the U.S. Constitution. Things seem to have worked out fine with women achieving equal status but without the potential mess of the ERA's apparently sloppy or vague wording.

Or, if you flip it around, is it possible that Prop 8 was a sort of counterpart to the ERA: a quick blanket fix without regard to a more gradual, nuanced approach of achieving equality and protecting the rights of religions from government control by instead hastily changing a constitution to achieve the desired effect?


And if we're going to change the constitution anyway, I propose a different change than those attempted thus far: take marriage out. I say if marriage is a religious institution, invented by and managed by "the church", then give it back to the churches, get the state out, and let the government govern the legal rights and obligations of "civil" unions, which would be required completely independent of marriage.

But aside from being very skeptical about our ability to change something that's been such a part of our history from the beginning (I can only imagine the outraged backlash from ultraconservatives, but let them fume), I think the battle would then move to civil unions and the ramifications of legalizing them and placing them on equal footing as heterosexual civil unions. Would adoption agencies not still have the same issues? Would schools not have the same ability to teach homosexuality? ...if those were ever valid arguments, won't they still apply with civil unions? Won't we still have a civil rights debate on our hands...?


I've heard it argued many times that gay people don't stay together anyway, and when they do, they have open relationships, so why do they even need marriage? It's a "farce", some say, to take gay people at face value when they say they want the right to marry because all they really want is social validation since they obviously don't know the first thing about real commitment. It's ridiculous that they even presume to be capable of marriage, others say (an idea possibly rooted in the belief that homosexuality is a symptom of emotional deficits, sexual disorder, gender role issues, men not being "wired" for monogamy and needing women to tie them down, or some such thing).

Besides, why should the majority of society bow to their whim in wanting marriage by changing the definition that has always existed and been the foundation of functioning society throughout all of recorded history, just so they can "feel" validated, especially when they can have all the same rights through civil unions and other legislation anyway?

To those who view marriage as an inherently male-female institution, this does make sense. To those who view marriage in a different way, somewhat like land ownership or the right to vote, it seems more like a copout reason to withhold rights. Once upon a time, there was no precedent for women to vote, and that was supposedly as it should be because it maintained well-working social structure and roles. Some see marriage as similarly denied based on archaic social constructs. Of course, the comparison runs into problems when sexual orientation is not seen as an innate characteristic, such as gender or ethnicity.

And of course, there may be some who don't care whether marriage is a civil right anyway because the social good overrides civil rights. Perhaps those same people are consistent in their views, such as believing uneducated people shouldn't have a right to vote because they haven't earned that responsibility, and we should therefore identify subsets of society in which lack of education is rampant and remove their right to vote. That argument certainly has been made in the past. But then, the definition of "vote" is pretty clear, so we have the added problem of debating what "marriage" means, whether a religious institution or a civil contract.

...though it may only make sense to me...

My point is that, as I see it, whether traditionalists will be socially ridiculed, and whether gay people are capable of lifelong fidelity, and whether schools will teach gender-neutral sexuality, and whether society "validates" homosexuality, and whether "love" is being denied people, and whether being allowed only civil unions makes people feel "second class" are all specious arguments. They are mostly valid concerns which should be addressed, but they do not make legal arguments as to whether "marriage" should include couples of the same sex. They're all distractions from the real discussion: what marriage is and whether it is a civil right. Everything else, like what ramifications it might have to open it or close it to same sex couples, is secondary and can probably be worked out in the long run.

It seems to me that if marriage is exclusively defined as a religiously ordained institution which is inherently heterosexual by nature, then we already have marriage equality, and any changes really are not issues of civil rights but of simple majority rule deciding whether to "change" the definition of marriage, and all talk of "civil rights" should cease as irrelevant. Perhaps then it'd be time to turn to gaining other rights that, to me, seem more important: employment and housing non-discrimination, domestic partnership rights for financial and medical protection and stewardship, etc. Here I'll admit I think of "marriage" as used in legal framework documents as inherently non-denominational, therefore subject to interpretation, and referring, in law, to civil contract by virtue of separation of church and state, but I also admit I have no formal education to support that view. That being the case, it seems to me that if this definition of marriage is adopted, government should divorce itself from the term "marriage", but we all know that's not likely to happen any time soon.

But if marriage is a civil right, then it seems to me we should grant it to all equally and pass any laws to protect or guard against possible consequences of it, such as those enumerated by Prop 8 supporters. But perhaps I'm deluded and need to face the possibility that even "civil rights" can and should be denied if there is a greater social good to be preserved or established. But that's a pretty scary philosophy, if you ask me, even if it were legal: feeling justified in telling a group they can't have rights you have because you think it's better for the republic that they not.

And if "marriage" is a vague term not well defined and under dispute, then the nation (or the states) probably should define it in its (or their respective) constitutions to clarify its role. Admittedly, if that's the case, then that is quite possibly what happened in California: the majority of the population simply decided marriage meant "man and woman" and is not a "civil right" for any two consenting adults, while the side which lost believed marriage to be a contract and therefore a civil right but were outvoted in their definition of marriage. My problem is that, judging from the scare-tactic ads about homosexuality being taught in schools and churches being forced to perform gay marriages, I seriously doubt most voters ever even considered whether they were removing someone's civil rights, and I suspect many indeed thought they were blocking civil rights for a greater social good, and that bothers me a lot. See, I'm more concerned about why people voted the way they did, on both sides, than which way they voted.

As far as I can tell, whether it's a civil right (or what the definition of "marriage" is) is still being decided and will continue to be decided state-by-state and through court cases nationwide. In the meantime, can't we have more dialog about compromise?

13 August 2009

Dropping The Soap

Well, after a late dinner tonight, I went to the gym, since I'd not worked out yet this week and have a sort of goal to not let Wednesday go by without a workout.

I hit the showers, which consist of a row of frosted glass dividers without curtains. As I prefer, and as is often the case, I had them to myself...until I noticed another guy out of the corner of my eye arriving at the stall right next to mine. I just went about my merry business, humming a song I'd been listening to on my MP3 player.

Maybe it was my being tired or the fact that I actually got a pretty good workout that left some muscles feeling nicely abused and temporarily weakened, but my soap made a break for it. It shot up from my hand as it scrubbed my shoulder and flew in an impressive trajectory away from me and into the area outside the stalls. As it flew away, I experienced one of those slow-motion moments as I reached to grab the flying soap mid-flight to no avail. It hit the floor at my stall's opening, bounced a good foot, and skidded sideways, stopping a couple of feet in front of the stall of the guy next to me.

In a flash, I ran through my options:
  • Play it cool and leave the soap. I'd just rinse, dry, and throw my towel on and grab the soap on my way out.
  • Wait and see if he reaches a foot out and scoots it over with his foot.
  • Put my towel on to go grab it so as to not seem like I was deliberately trying to give anyone a show or welcome any advances (I figured dropping soap was at least as much of an invitation as dropping keys).

After considering for about a second, I just said a light-hearted, "Oh come on," to express my amused frustration to any witnesses, and I stepped out of my stall over to my soap, picked it up with a comically exasperated gesture (for effect), and quickly went back to my stall. There. That wasn't so bad, even though I was pretty sure he'd been facing out when I did it and probably saw the whole amusing display.

I went back to showering, and the guy next to me turned his water off, grabbed his towel, and as he passed my stall he said to me, "That was funny." I laughed and nodded over my shoulder.

I finished up and went back to my locker. Guess whose locker was directly adjacent to mine? Yup. I sort of laughed and said, "Excuse me, I'm gonna get around you 'cause I'm right next to you here." He smiled politely and said, "Funny. Of all the lockers in this place..." Indeed. I hope the powers that be were having a good laugh at my expense.

I gave a chuckle and said, "I promise I don't make a habit of dropping the soap in the locker room..." You know, as soon as I'd said it, I realized sometimes a smile and a shrug is better than saying too much.

*smile and shrug*

11 August 2009

Gay Marriage Answer: Change Teams

Why didn't I think of this? To those of you who are whining on about not being able to marry, if you want it so bad, just go pop some pills and snip some parts. Duh. Gosh.

...I like The Onion.

Conservatives Warn Quick Sex Change Only Barrier Between Gays, Marriage

10 August 2009

Prayers for Bobby Recommendation

I hadn't watched this movie; figured it was likely mostly "subversive gay agenda" w/warm fuzzies thrown in to win people over to a political cause. I watched it for the first time this morning, and though the director admits to hoping it will sway votes on things like gay marriage legislation, and it's no Oscar material, it hit home for me in some significant ways. I appreciated that though it portrays the path of someone who became an activist, I think it's less about pushing an agenda and more about a deeper invitation: to try to understand, to love, to listen, to be mindful of subtle messages we send to those who are in pain or in need. I don't think you have to choose her path or compromise your faith or principles to achieve that.

I think that message is encapsulated in the final scene--the hug (try to overlook what you may not like about the parade, as I had to)--which struck a deep chord with me, since I experienced such an openly loving embrace a few years ago now from some LDS parents whose son had committed suicide, and I'd forgotten how much that moment meant to me at the time. This was before I'd told my family and friends about myself, so that kind of acceptance, not of all decisions I might make but of me, homosexuality and all, was something I’d not allowed myself to experience yet. It meant a lot to be unflinchingly embraced by faithful LDS parents who weren't phased by the knowledge that I was attracted to members of the same sex and who had welcomed me to their home one night when I was visiting friends in Utah. Fred and Marilyn, your expressions and outreach of love make a real difference, and I appreciate it so much.

So a bit late, I'm going to join the chorus of voices recommending Prayers for Bobby. I embedded the first of 9 parts from YouTube. I don't think you have to agree with everything that's said in the movie or buy into its emotional appeals at the occasional expense of reason to appreciate the underlying message of understanding and love. And it makes me realize how good I've had it with my own family and friends who have been so patient and supportive even when they haven't understood everything (as I haven't), for which I also am so grateful.

P.S.--yes, I think the guy who plays Bobby (Ryan Kelley) is seriously cute in this movie. ...hey, it's gotta be said. *wink*

08 August 2009

Thou Shalt Not Change! ...Or Something.


Well, here it is, folks. The APA has released conclusive, indisputable proof that you can't pray away the gay. I guess it's time to just go find myself a boyfriend and stop being all angsty now that the APA has come to the rescue. ...or is it?

There's more to this story than meets the eye, methinks. For a spin you might not have seen in most of the popular media, check out The Wall Street Journal's report, which emphasized the APA's acknowledgement that people should be supported in fostering their whole identity, including (not scrapping) their faith or belief system. You can also get the actual APA report straight from the horse's mouth if you're not keen on letting biased reporters filter it for you and have the energy to wade through over 100 pages.

You can even check out a response from Exodus. They seem...undeterred. Surprised? I hope not.

Addendum (16 Aug 2009): NARTH also released a study they say refutes many of the APA's claims over the years.

Despite the hard-line interpretation most people seem to take of the review as a final nail in the ex-gay coffin, and despite some whiff of political timing, I do see a concession in their comments which I appreciate, encouraging therapists to take into account a person's whole self, including beliefs about homosexual behavior, in helping them find healthy acceptance and decisions with how to deal with their own situation, rather than just telling them they're queer and should find a partner. Kudos on that front. I've always said, when people tell me to be true to myself, that I have a lot more than hormones to be true to, and I expect people to respect my choice to be true to myself, my whole self.

In relation to all of this, I'm going to ramble for a while. Follow along if you will:


Nonetheless, I do tend to shake my head and raise an eyebrow at organizations and individuals who hyper up into defense mode by shouting, "What do you mean people don't change?! Don't I exist? Am I invisible?! What do you mean it's harmful to use therapy to promote change? I've changed. Look at me. I've been married for years and made babies. Lots of them. And we practice just for fun." Good for you and your "tens of thousands" of cohorts (see the CNN report), but I don't see the evidence that such is the case for even a large minority of subjects who undergo therapy of homosexuality in that way.

Pardon my skepticism, but I have my doubts about actual "sexual orientation change" and tend to think of "change" more as a shift in thought processes and training the brain to think in less sexual and more relational terms, a change which I think is healthy but which I don't think is the "I'm hetero now" one-eighty ex-gay advocates' language tends to portray, even though they sometimes claim that's not what they mean. But alas, some people say they've changed from homo to hetero, and I'm in no place to call them liars, so I believe they've possibly changed as they say or believe they have, but I have some deep-seated skepticism based on my direct experiences with friends who have publicly claimed similarly but, over time, confess (intentionally or not) in private conversation that they aren't exactly hetero and explain what they really mean when they say they've "left homosexuality" or "changed their orientation". Who knows, right? I can't get into someone else's psyche enough to presume to know. Some of it may come down to semantics. I just know a lot more people who have tried it and were quite unchanged as far as attractions go (though often better at dealing with the emotions around it and controlling behavior and impulsive habits or thoughts), sometimes (not always) being quite discouraged as a result.


Granted, you have to want change when it comes to any psychological re-programming or treatment of disorders, and you have to have solid motivation for wanting it, and you have to be willing to do what it takes. You also have to have the skills and tools to cope and process, which most often requires a really solid therapist/counselor and a solid support and accountability system. From my observations, relatively few people fit those criteria all together, which may account for much of the "failure" of treatment. I'll acknowledge that.

(see this link, at :43, for the ultra-obnoxious, outdated reference)

I mean, I often defend the whole "change is possible for at least some" theory. Why reject it if people say they've experienced it? To satisfy some lustful need to make in genetic or biological? To justify demanding legal equality? To liberate myself from the expectations of friends and family that I might, someday, become straight and fulfill their dreams for me? I've considered the possibility of accepting "change", myself, if it were to come after years of emotional healing and growth and accountability and thought processing. The theory behind "reparative therapy" or "conversion therapy" or whatever you call the process of bringing homosexual thoughts, behaviors, and desires under control or even dissolving most (even all?) of them while possibly magnifying heterosexual inclinations is, I believe, more complex than most people give it credit for. And most people won't give it a fair hearing because the APA, for example, has said homosexuality is not a disorder or the result of any psychological problems, and that's the end of that discussion because to imply anything else is destructive and bigoted. Bah. Dogma.


But whether or not homosexual inclinations or feelings change in any given individual, I try to sympathize with the emotional trauma and hopelessness of putting one's faith in a mentor or therapist who promises something that doesn't happen and then being told it was one's own fault for not committing to the process enough. And I have my own suspicions and skepticism of the motives of those who are crusaders on the "change" battlefront. They, like their opponents, are invested. They stand to lose not only credibility but money and clients if they somehow confess they have homosexual thoughts sometimes (nevermind what they do with those or how well they "control" them).


For example, the NPR report references someone citing the numbers of those who change from "self-identifying" as homosexual as if that means they have changed their orientation. But I know several guys who have publicly renounced "homosexuality" and say they flatly reject identifying themselves as "gay" but who, when you have a private conversation with them or you observe their eyes in the gym, prove to be quite attracted to men in a more-than-straighties-are-attracted way and quite less interested in women sexually, even if they proclaim they want a relationship with a woman and are convinced that's where their happiness will be found. Identifying as gay has little to do with whether manflesh turns you on more than womanflesh.


My question to those who would denounce the entire ex-gay movement is this: what happened to "let me live my life as I choose"? Whether to identify as gay or whether to marry someone of the opposite sex is each person's decision to make, and as long as they're honest with their potential mates, let them choose how they want to live their lives and pursue the greatest happiness they know how. I hear cries from gay people everywhere for validation of their relationships against the moral judgement of others, and then they turn around and decry the morality or ethics of someone who chooses a "traditional" marriage and loudly proclaim such to be liars and self-deceived. It doesn't make sense to me.

Whether or not so-and-so ever looks at another member of the same sex with some "hubba hubba", or whether or not their spouse is the only member of the opposite sex that will ever turn them on, or whether or not they even have a sex life with their spouse, or whether they actually love and adore and enjoy physical intimacy with their spouse in a mutual and fulfilling way, or whether they really did shift from primarily homosexual to primary heterosexual attraction, it's their decision to make, both the "SGA" party and the straighty they're forming the relationship with.

Why does that threaten you as a gay man or woman, to have other gay men or women (who often prefer, for their own reasons, to refer to themselves as something less stigmatized) choosing alternative lifestyles? Sure it makes life harder for you when people say, "Well so-and-so married a woman, and they seem happy," but buck up and deal with it. You don't need anyone's validation to make your own choices.


I look around, and I personally know several who seem to be living traditional heternormative or "single" lives, many with opposite-sex partners and children or who are totally non-dating and single and truly working towards such future marriage and family. I respect these men and women and their sense of mission. I appreciate their drive to live true to their beliefs and principles. And by and large, they are respectful of the decisions of others, despite proclaiming that there are other options for those who want them, even if they regard some of those decisions as immoral or against God's will. My hesitation in wanting to follow in their footsteps is that they seem to have something in common: they seem, at least, to live and breathe the process. They may say homosexuality is incidental to their lives. They may say it's just one small part of who they are and doesn't define them. But they chair Evergreen committees, mentor others, hold seminars and speak on panels, attend and speak at conferences, write essays and books, manage web sites and discussion groups, hold firesides, attend experiential weekends over and over... I just wonder if I'd rather stay single and go about my other interests, if living a more heteronormative way comes with all of that.

But then again, I recognize that even if I'm not doing all of those things, the topic is going to be on my mind probably as much or more as it is for them. And I realize I am blogging about the topic all the time, so how can I think I'm really any different right now? At least they're framing their thoughts and focus on the issue in ways that help them live the way they want to. I have more thoughts developing on that but will save them for a later post.


What right does a therapist have to try to promote a person to adopt a gay-affirming perspective if the client has expressed belief against such? I do agree they should be very up front about the success rates, what "success" means, and the possibility that they can work through their questions and turmoil in the meantime, choosing a fulfilling life congruent with their most valued beliefs. I'm glad the APA is coming out in support of therapists backing off a bit and allowing their clients to determine who they want to be, helping them to process it all healthily even if they choose a sort of alternative-to-alternative "lifestyle". At least, I hope that's what they're doing.

Update: interesting analysis of the report from another blogger here.