25 May 2010

Recommendable Gay Flicks

These are possibly two of my favorite gay-themed movies I've seen, at least the best I've seen in a long time. Mulligans was interesting enough, but the acting was pretty terrible in parts, and the script made me roll my eyes sometimes, so it does not make the cut. :-)

Torch Song Trilogy - Not as over-the-top as I expected. Pretty dern gay, but in a very human, down-to-earth way. I really liked the simplicity of it and had no idea such a frank, heartfelt portrayal existed in the eighties. It's still quite relevant today, particularly for those coming from conservatively religious families. Some prominent themes of the movie include a gay man's strained relationship with his religious mother, the desire to settle down with a partner and build a life together, adoption, mixed-orientation marriage, and desire/need(-iness) for acceptance. It's rated R for language and subject matter.

Save Me! - A young, gay, drug-addicted man is sent to a Christian ministry called the "Genesis House" which focuses on a twelve-step program centered on the gospel of Jesus Christ to overcome homosexual inclinations and live according to God's word. Of all the gay-themed movies I've seen, this is probably the most balanced, complete exploration of ex-gay ministries so far and has a Christian-oriented resolution. Mind you, I still don't think it's going to change a lot of minds on the issues raised, but I really appreciate how it doesn't demonize or even necessarily preach but explores the very human motives for the decisions people make and the attitudes they adopt. It's not rated but would be R for subject matter, for some language which is appropriate to the characters (not exaggerated or especially pervasive and gets milder), and for drug abuse and a sex scene between men in the beginning which is meant to establish a dichotomy of lifestyles and is, despite only showing dim, partial butt shots, fairly graphic. You could skip the opening scene without missing much if you're concerned about that content.

17 May 2010

Hottest Position

The hottest exercise is the free-weight decline bench press. Just sayin'...

14 May 2010

Crushables Update

Two long-standing mini-crushes I've been watching a bit of lately (on SNL and Ugly Betty):

Clearly, I have a bit of a thing for cute-nerds. I think Henry Grubstick's uptight accountant personality would grate on me after a while, but I find his nerdy, honest simplicity very endearing. Seth Meyer's dimply snark on the weekend update makes me grin with delight and shake my head at how taken I am with him.

Two new mini-crushes I've just discovered in the last week on The Doctors and Dead Like Me:

The latter clearly fits into my tendency towards a certain "type" with his slightly awkward appearance and quirky personality, but the doctor kind of breaks from that. Every once in a while, I'm a bit smitten by an all american jockish type if he seems like a nice and fairly intelligent guy and has cute expressions and a pretty lean build.

This last one isn't as much a crush as a heart-rate enhancer or somewhat of a knuckle-biter, primarily because of the only context I've seen him in, but I would probably look twice if I saw him walking down the street, unless he seemed cocky, in which case I'd roll my eyes and move on because I do that. Regardless, I certainly keep watching the same 4 1/2 minutes with guilty relish:

Happy Friday! I'm off to enjoy the sun and fresh air!

13 May 2010

Jumping Off Of Pedestals

Part of why it was hard to "come out" as gay (or "same-sex attracted") was that I was the stalwart of the singles wards, the Institute go-to guy, the social facilitator. Most people in the three local singles wards knew me, and I was respected as a teacher and held leadership positions. If I were wrong about "accepting" my homosexuality or talked about the issue the "wrong" way, or if I eventually, down the road, gave in to temptation and got romantically involved with a guy, my example might lead others astray, which I didn't want. If I was going to follow the truth the best I knew how, and that somehow led me to places the official church doctrine or leaders couldn't support, I wanted it to be my decision and mine alone, without influencing others, enticing any to follow my potentially errant path, trying to convince anyone else that I was right, or giving the impression that the way I was handling my issues was the way all people should. But on another level, I had developed some of my identity around being a role model of sorts. I wasn't the funniest guy, I wasn't the best conversationalist, I wasn't the best looking or most athletic or best-read...but I was a stalwart, and I felt a sense of usefulness and responsibility and worth around that, and I was a little afraid of what would be left of me if I wasn't Mr. Churchy. I recognized that fear, though, and I knew it shouldn't motivate me, so I deliberately started to dismantle those self-perceptions in order to freely examine myself and figure a few things out.

That's one of the reasons I pulled back from prominence in ward callings or activity when I really started "facing my demons". I didn't have some illusion that the masses would be led astray by my perspectives and decisions, but I wanted to do this quietly, on my own, without grandstanding, without trying to prove I'm right. I needed to explore without the pressure of being "Mr. Institute" or "Peter Priesthood" limiting my ability to look honestly at myself. I needed to step back from my context, the role I was "supposed to" fill. I let go of needing to preserve an image of being "Mr. Discipline" with the ladies or providing a needed example, and I focused inward while leaving whatever role model vacancy might have been left for someone else to fill for a change.

Then came the moho community, where I met many people, started blogging, and apparently became a somewhat recognized presence to certain circles. I know there are some who looked up to me because they told me so, or other mutual friends told me. A couple even used the word "hero". A mother or two told me they wished other young "SSA" LDS guys had my perspective or that I was an example to their boys. The more I heard things like this, I cringed. I understood where they were coming from, I think, but I also knew I was a work in progress and wasn't sure where I'd end up. I knew I had doubts about certain things and had yet to figure some things out...or rule some things out. I also knew it was possible to live a chaste, church-active life, even with doubts, and to do so happily (I truly was), so in that sense, I acknowledged their sentiment and tried to graciously accept the compliment. And again, it was nice to feel like I was accomplishing something, helping people, providing personal proof that you can be happy and generally well-adjusted as a moho.

But I remembered the past, and this time, I didn't let that sense of usefulness box me into a persona I felt obligated to maintain. And in the back of my mind, I was wary of how eager some people are to set up some paragon to idolize and in whom to invest all their faith and hope in something. I've seen too many people place their hope not in truth but in individuals, and invariably, they are eventually let down or have to learn to respect the examples of individuals but rely on principles and truths, not on humans. I refused to allow anyone to do that with me: make me their hope for how to deal with homosexuality in the church happily or whatever. My gut reaction was to go whore around a bit just to keep myself off of any pedestals people tried to place me on, but I knew that wasn't what I personally wanted for myself, and I recognized the impulse was just an emotional reaction. So I just tried to vocalize the fact that I was far from perfect, far from having it all figured out, but yes, I was happy, and there are principles I believe led to that which I would share with people when they were interested. But "hero"? No way. Because one day, I may do something or take a direction which will cancel my "hero" status.

Now, I have almost certainly fallen from the "hero" status I might have once occupied in the minds of certain individuals. I am no longer someone to look up to as an example of how to live happily as a single, gay man in the LDS Church. I may have moved up in respectability among those who support gay relationships or among agnostics. Some may be celebrating the "self-discovery" of another "liberated" LDS gay boy turned agnostic. But I don't feel the awkwardness of people placing excessive weight on some role I'm supposed to fill, and despite feeling a bit adrift and wondering how I will leave my mark on the world next, it's relieving. Some might claim I'm relieved only because I'm less accountable. That's poppycock, though it might be true in certain cases for certain people.

**NERD ALERT** It makes me think of Aragorn in the The Lord of the Rings: he was the reluctant king, reticent to be placed above anyone or revered above what any one man merits, but eventually realizing that men needed their symbolic king in order to muster the hope and valor necessary to rescue the destiny of mankind, yadda yadda yadda. At least, that's my slightly simplified interpretation. So yes, sometimes people need their kings; they need someone tangible to look to, to find hope and motivation. And no king is or ever has been perfect, so the roles are filled by the imperfect. But all too often, the roles are filled by those who don't recognize their own self-flattery, their own need for praise, their own inability to stand and honestly say they live what they preach. And all too often, though they were fit to be kings when they humbly started, when they outlive their suitability for the role, they cling to it out of obligation to tradition, or expectations, or to hold on to the power and glory, not realizing their power and glory have become shells of what was, making their pride that much more laughable.

I've never been thrust into the role of a king or anything like it. I've just somehow found myself in positions where people regarded me as an example. And when the time has come for me to either crush their expectations or play the role to save face, I've tried to opt for authenticity, stepping down as quietly and discretely as I could so as to not make a scene of it, avoiding ironic grandstanding in my descent.

I still feel very much accountable: to myself, to friends and family, to truth and principle. It's not about refusing to be an example so I can do whatever I want. It's about refusing to play a role to please others or keep them comfortable when authenticity finally demands that I step off of the stage or into a different role. That may not be comfortable to people who can't handle change (usually because they're so insecure about their own instability), but authenticity trumps comfort in my book. Shoot, I just know I'm going to eat those words...

In short, I'm used to jumping off of pedestals I didn't build and didn't climb onto. I can do it as many times as I need to. But I'd prefer to just keep walking without the hassle, so please: place your hope in truth, not in an individual, and especially not in this one. But I think most of you know that quite well by now. ;-)

11 May 2010

As long as you put "it" in the right place

So there's a point of frustration to many, including active LDS in committed same-sex relationships and atheists whose lives are, aside from the whole going-to-church and believing-in-God thing, more in-line with church standards (service, taking care of the body, sexual standards, etc) than the BYU poster boy who's schtupping other BYU poster boys like there's no tomorrow. It seems most guys with this frustration regard such double-life behavior as remarkably hypocritical and don't understand how LDS people can be OK with that while reviling the sexually restrained heathen who's living an upstanding, open life. And I relate to the sentiment.

But you have to remember the mind of an LDS person, and the doctrines they believe in, to see something a little more complicated and nuanced beyond your basic, bigoted hypocrisy. Despite popular LDS culture which sometimes tends to measure the righteousness or goodness of a person by external appearance and outward obedience to church policies and standards, the scriptures and teachings of the prophets are full of references to the heart being what matters most. In short, obedience is hollow without faith in Christ (there's no redemption and eternal joy without the atonement), and your actions don't matter as much as where your heart is, or, in other words, the direction in which you're trying, at least, to go.

What many conveniently overlook, sometimes, is the Alma-style "change of heart" which leaves no more disposition to do evil but to do good continuously, and is reflected in the life of the one whose heart has been changed. But even then, the alternately slutty and penitent Peter Priesthood may dismiss his pattern of "slipping up" by saying he's just lapsing into "losing sight" of his goals or what he wants and repeatedly returning to an eye single to the glory of God, or recommitting himself to "doing the right thing". Christ can forgive infinitely, so they're banking on that.

We all slip up, after all, no matter the goal. When dieting, training for a marathon, trying to gossip less, learning a musical instrument, working towards a promotion, trying to get good grades, or trying to live the church's standards, we "slip up". You might sneak a candy bar, or skip a workout, or share the really juicy tidbit, or forget to practice, or spend too much work time Facebooking, or choose social time over homework, or put your hands down a hot guy's pants. Just because you ate a candy bar once or twice doesn't mean you don't want to lose weight, and there's no sense beating yourself up and abandoning the effort to lose weight just because you caved to carnal lusts once or twice. You redouble your efforts and move on. By reaching for something higher, and risking failure on occasion, you grow and expand.

But if you're alternately sneaking junk food and recommitting to your diet all the time in a seemingly endless pattern, at some point you've got to own up to the fact that you either don't actually care about losing weight enough to do what it takes and have determined your priorities, with satisfying your junk food lust being a higher priority than losing fat, or you're at least going around satisfying your cravings despite wanting to stop, but you're saving face by proclaiming you're "trying" to lose weight so everyone will cheer you on and pat you on the back rather than calling you out on the fact that you won't stop stuffing your freaking face!

***breathing, deep breaths....OK, calm***

So anyway, I understand that you must try to look on the heart of a person, and I hope I'm not about to shove someone into the box of their past to satisfy some sense of self-justification or cover my own insecurity, as so many do. If someone says, "My heart has changed (my goals and desires have changed): I know where I need to go, and I'm committed to getting there," I'm not going to force their past in their face and say, "But you did this, so you ARE this, and you can never leave this behind!" That's not what this is about.

But when I see my LDS friends distancing themselves from me because my beliefs have changed, even though most of my principles, values, and standards have not, while they openly embrace those who say they're toeing the church line but who clearly (to those who know the secret "them") are confused and unsure and not living in a way congruent with or productive to what they say they want but who say they believe the right things, it's hard not to feel bitter about that. It's hard not to feel senselessly rejected. It's hard to bite my tongue when I want to shout, "I make mistakes, and I fall short of my own standards sometimes, but at least my actions have been consistent with my beliefs, and my doubts, and I've been open and up front about those beliefs and doubts! I have no relationship or behavior that I haven't discussed with those close to me, so there is nothing to compartmentalize and shove under the rug! No, I don't believe as you do or as I used to, but I am getting (and seeking) far less action than most of the self-righteous LDS boys who claim they know what they want but whose actions tell a very different story from the version their lips tell. You revile me for being more open to a committed, monogamous same-sex relationship, because that's not "trying" to get married in the temple, but you turn a blind eye to your own frequent, unprotected trysts or forgive them in others because they either keep them a secret or say they won't do it again, for the fifteenth time! More importantly, I'm living more in line with what I do believe and am maintaining stricter standards than most of these active LDS guys but for my own internal reasons. I'm accountable to myself and to my friends, with no magical deity to clean up my messes for me or make my lack of integrity somehow OK because I said I was sorry and promise not to do it again, and admitting when I made a decision against my own beliefs or standards rather than pawning it off as some devil-made-me-do-it "slip-up"! And not once have I insisted you should "lower" or change your standards of behavior for yourself, but you'd rather push me away and huddle together with the other faithful guys who are much more likely to try to get into your pants because it's safer to mess up with them so you can both write it off as something you've repented of and affirm each other's desire to follow the prophet while holding each other's...ARGH!!!"

...But I don't shout those things. I get it. I know the other side. Well, kind of. I never did have a pattern of fooling around, but I tested limits here and there, and I know that when you believe the gospel as taught in the LDS Church, you want to surround yourself with others who believe similarly for various reasons, many of which are quite reasonable and rational. There are also some insecurities: when a heathen defies someone's preconceived notions of what leaving the church or dating the same sex is supposed to look like, it can be threatening to the preconceived notions upon which certain faithful have always rejected those beliefs or decisions. It's always easier to vilify than to rationally refute, even if rational refutation is possible. Which is also why I shy away from shouting "Hypocrite!" when I'm feeling unjustly rejected or scorned. Even if there is hypocrisy, I'm probably not going to change a hypocrite's mind by calling them one, so I sometimes try a more measured, rational approach, and if they persist in pushing me away, I stop fighting it and turn and walk away. It's not about forcing "my lifestyle" on others: goodness knows I'd hate to feed that perception.

It seems that, for some people in LDS society, where you put your penis is just not very important as long as your heart is put in the right place (i.e. you claim to believe the right things), but as soon as you don't believe the right things, your penis is very much on trial. But in a way, that actually makes sense, given the doctrine. If you believe the only "justification" any of us have is divine intervention in the form of atonement, and that all sins are swallowed up and cleansed only by true repentance, then it's quite literally true that any who choose not to be a part of that covenant will be on trial without their advocate. In a weird way, their rejection may not be hypocritical but may be done out of defensiveness or concern or sadness or fear for me or for what they might become or what it would mean to face the reality of their decisions without the soothing balm of divine redemption. It may be frustrating, and it may be terribly wrong, if the whole perception is built on false mythology. It may be disgusting to me that certain BYU boys feel free to use each other to screw around and repent later and are praised for their faith while I feel the icy blast from the cold shoulders of the faithful, but I'm going to do what I believe is best, just as they are doing, and try to overlook what I think are their errant ways as I wish they would overlook what they think are mine. In those terms, the anger is dissolved, and I move on in quiet, respectful confidence.

Note: I don't mean to generally characterize all mohos or LDS people as fitting what I've described here. It's just certain circles or individuals. And as I've implied, a lot of this is coming from specific feelings of rejection I've experienced over the past year, which is an emotional place for sure. I've had positive experiences with church members who are very understanding and respectful of my decisions and standards, and I have many moho friends living happily and with integrity in church activity. But a guy's gotta rant/vent sometimes.

Addendum, August 2010 - If you're interested, also see my related post, "Fighting bitterness over moho hypocrisy", and its follow-up, "Showing forth Afterwards..."

07 May 2010

Rekers is not 'gay' and never has been (now with video!)

So he says, and he's reportedly threatening legal action over being defamed as "gay". Goodness gracious, has anyone bothered to ask him, then, if he "experiences same-sex attraction"? I mean, everyone knows "gay" means "actively seeking same-sex romantic and/or sexual companionship or partnership", which has nothing to do with arousing but non-sexual rub-downs by attractive, young luggage assistants for 10 days in Europe. Getting touched by a hot stud isn't "sexual" if nobody ever climaxes, never mind whether certain manparts are "at attention" because we all know that just "happens" and needn't be considered "erotic". Why don't people get that?

***waiting for the one or two of you who just said, "Amen!" to notice my tongue firmly planted in my cheek...***

Don't get me wrong: I, myself, have insisted that just because Mr. Perky says, "I'm ready!" doesn't mean you're intent on going at it, nor that what you're doing is necessarily "sexual". For example, I got all hot and bothered once while sitting on a full couch watching a movie with my mostly exposed arm pressed against the really buff, mostly exposed arm of an acquaintance with a hot physique, but you could hardly say sitting on the couch next to each other was sexual activity. Had he made a move (even if there hadn't been 5 other people there), I would've pushed him off and yelled "rape!" because my heart and brain didn't really want to go there, regardless of Mr. Perky obeying only my raging hormones. But when we're talking about nude massages daily, with genital caressing and persistent arousal throughout (a claim reportedly made by the hired young man in a phone interview with a well-known blogger), that's a whole different story, folks.

This is a bit much to defend, assuming anything the escort is saying is actually true, which is likely since Dr. Rekers, himself, hasn't denied it and has evaded clarification by using words to which he probably ascribes non-standard definitions, such as "sexual" (messy), "inappropriate" (unable to be justified against the inerrant word of Baptism using contortions of motives and pliable word definitions), and "gay" (Pride prancer).

In all seriousness...or at least sincerity, I can easily believe Rekers doesn't have "sex" ("that which finishes in spilled seed") with his escort(s). I can believe he considers their massage activity "non-sexual" by his own conscience-easing definition (as above). I can believe he hoped to teach the young man the joy of leaving the homosexual lifestyle (and instead paying for massage by hot young guys for the rest of his life). I can believe he hoped to share the "gospel" with the young man (ask any repressed BYU boy: it's much more comforting to test boundaries with someone who shares your beliefs).

I know it sounds like crazy excuses to a lot of people, but most people don't "get" the mind of a repressed, conservatively religious homosexual. He may very well be sincere. Now, if what the escort claims really occurred, it is certainly not "normal" behavior. But what's "normal" isn't always right or best or healthy. Sometimes, what's abnormal is healthy or helpful for someone in abnormal circumstances. Truly. I can even believe he might not view nude massages including genitalia as "inappropriate", which brings me to my concern. Yes, there's a point to all of this rambling!

I think one big reason I'm so interested in this story is that while Dr. Rekers' justifications or "explanations" sound foolish to many people, they're not entirely unlike lines of thinking I've heard among certain individuals in gay LDS circles. While part of me wants to defend him and tell people to stop being so presumptuous in assuming he actually had sex with the guy, as if nobody would ever hire an escort and not do the nasty with them, another part of me is concerned that some friend or acquaintance of mine may, one day, find himself in the kind of mess this man is in, either not seeing how very abnormal his behavior is or lying about secret behaviors in a double life (again, assuming what the escort describes actually happened).

Despite being skeptical of certain underlying theories, I don't oppose certain practices, such as (theoretically) therapeutic holding, which may seem "weird" to people who don't understand the circumstances, context, and underlying theory. And to be clear, "holding therapy" is a totally different ballpark from genital massages. I don't think everyone who subscribes to reparative theories or certain therapies of homosexuality is simply justifying getting his jollies and calling it "male bonding". There are practices which don't involve odd behavior and which may be helpful in certain ways despite my skepticism of the theories behind them. But some acquaintances have exerted so much effort immersing themselves in repressive lines of thought, or seeking out contact with other men in ways which definitely bring motives into question, that I worry they'll be lulled into the kind of self-deception which heaps on layers of masks and eventually reveals itself decades down the road in scandals like this. Let's just make sure we're trying to be honest and accountable with ourselves and with others and trying to keep our motives in check, OK boys? OK.

Enough about this. I'm going to the gym to hang out at the hot tub for an hour then sit in the locker room sauna facing the showers for another hour to connect with the men who chat with me. Then I'll watch an uplifting movie and spoon semi-nude with a friend for some intimate, non-sexual bonding time, and we'll caress each other while discussing how there is no joy in same-sex relationships...

Note: FYI, NARTH has released a statement on the issue.

Update: I couldn't NOT post this video from CNN's AC360:

06 May 2010

Articulation Complication

I have so much more to say about agnosticism and what I do believe, but a couple of things tend to hold me back:

a) Time: to really articulate it all requires quite a bit of explanation, which requires time to sit and sort out my thoughts coherently for readers, similar to how explaining to someone the ins and outs of LDS doctrine can't really be done in a page.

b) Appearance: trying to explain what I do believe is likely to come across to many or most LDS faithful as me trying desperately to find meaning while spouting off what amounts to a tinny and hollow view of life and eternity if it doesn't necessarily include deity and the atonement. At least, that's how I thought people sounded when they tried to explain how there was happiness and meaning in the world apart from or in the absence of "the gospel". And it's likely to come across to others who don't believe in Christianity as me trying to "justify my values" or appear credible to people whose belief system is archaic and silly. And I'm not trying to convert people to my way of thinking. So I wonder who I'm even trying to say it for, besides myself.

So I tend to sigh, say it's not worth the effort right now and I have more engaging things to do, and wait until I have some time and the drive to sit and hash something out. I'll get to it because I think, if nothing else, I need to write it for myself. It just may take a while and happen in segments.

Anti Gay Rights Lobbyist's Hot, Young Travel Stud...er...Assistant

Note: if you're susceptible to provocative images and want to avoid such, you should probably stick to the sites I've linked to in my post and NOT follow links from there to other sites referenced. Just giving you a heads up.

I wasn't going to comment on this because I was sure moho blogs would be buzzing about it, but so far, I've only seen a mention or two in moho blogging circles. What's the story? An officer of the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality and co-founder of the Family Research Council, Dr. George Rekers, is embroiled in a scandal unleashed by The Miami New Times (the credibility of which source I don't know): he was photographed on vacation with a young man who was discovered to be an online male escort.

Gay blogs have been abuzz over this for the last day or two, mostly lambasting Rekers and presuming him guilty of all manner of whoredom. Predictably, Dr. Rekers released a statement in response, on his own blog. Of course, that statement is now revised from what it originally was. He originally said claims that he hired the young man as a prostitute were false and that he just needed someone to carry his luggage. He also said several family members and friends offer to help him. He did deny that anything illegal or sexual happened between them. Of course, that doesn't mean nothing involving "healthy touch" didn't happen. Maybe a little healthy massage, which happens to take place in the nude? According to the escort, that's what happened. But hey, he could be just an escort seeking a moment of fame to take down a staunch gay rights opponent. Oddly, Rekers did not specifically deny having used the escort service web site or knowing the boy was an escort until after the boy came out saying Dr. Rekers is gay and received nude massages daily at the hot young stud's hands (I read his statement on his own blog when the story initially broke and again after seeing a BBC article on the subject, and the statement had been revised).

But I've gotta say, while I know some people who are just eccentric and would do the sort of thing this guy is saying he was doing--spending time with sinners hoping to share the gospel and the happiness of "leaving homosexuality"--even if he does honestly think his motives were pure, even if he didn't knowingly hire an escort for a little homoerotic (even if "non-sexual"--which is often little more than code for "I didn't ejaculate") male companionship, and even if it's true he hired the boy through some means other than the sexually graphic web site the boy's profile is on, and even if the boy is lying about the naked massages, I have to say I think Rekers has let his repressed desires express themselves here. But then, that's only my hunch. Short of a confession on his part (which seems highly unlikely), or hard evidence (also unlikely), this is, at best, an eccentric decision from which he can't possibly be surprised there are repercussions.

That said, what if he's really just an eccentric old man who wanted someone to travel with who could help with his luggage and wouldn't cost too much? What if nothing sexual or "inappropriate" happened between them? What if he appreciates the company of attractive young men and did hope to bring one of them into the fold of the Kingdom and help him realize there are alternatives for his life other than selling his body? What if he wanted the boy to realize someone could appreciate him as a person, not just a plaything? I know it's a stretch because most of us would certainly not have paid for a hot, young travel companion without ulterior motives, but what if he really believed his heart was in the right place? What if he were your dad? I'm not being cheeky, here. He could just be a dirty, hypocritical old man who needs to be removed from his pedestal of power from which he stomps the rights of gay people everywhere. But I'm just saying it's easy to call into question the integrity of someone you don't know, but most of the time, the story is a bit more complicated than it appears.

05 May 2010

No To Adoption

OK, so adoption can be a really emotionally charged issue, but it's important, so I think it's worth discussing. I have thought a lot about my feelings on adoption by "alternative" households and whether the best interest of the children is in mind or whether it's more about people getting what they want for their own happiness or sense of accomplishment and acceptability.

After all, in a way, when you're voluntarily bringing children into a household in which they are going to face social ridicule, socially atypical gender roles, or behavior and beliefs which most of society agrees is deviant and even unhealthy, how can adopting children be seen as anything but selfish?

Children raised in "alternative" homes often tell of persecution at school, emotional and psychological pressures far beyond what their peers must deal with, and isolation from their community for being part of a family they didn't choose to be with. There's a whole set of common problems unique to their situation.

Many of these children grow up to live differently from their parents, but being raised in a household so outside social norms and standard behaviors leaves them ill-prepared for life within their community or with someone of the opposite sex who grew up in a more socially stable, normal environment.

The most loving and selfless policy is to make sure children up for adoption find homes headed by parents who do not bring these inherent stressors and deviations into their lives. Adopted children are already in a volatile enough position, coming from orphanages and foster homes, so there's no sense in adding complications to their already sensitive lives. They're better off living as most of society lives to give them the best chance at success.

We shouldn't be making decisions affecting the welfare of the nation's children based on the shrill cries of activists who seek validation and selfishly want to fulfill their fantasies about raising children in their deviant homes. Besides, they chose to live the way they're living and could've chosen to live differently if they wanted children. Therefore, I've come to the conclusion, based on concern for the children and logical analysis, that adoption should not be allowed for the Amish.

Speaking of piecing together statistics from where I want them, studies have shown major depressive episodes to be far more prevalent among people from the south, and substance abuse much higher among certain Native American populations, so those populations should probably be barred from adoption as well. Oh, and far more 26-49-year-olds are treated for depression and substance abuse than other age demographics, so adoption should probably be limited to people under 26 and over 49. Shoot, suicide rates jumped 20% from 1999 to 2004 among people aged 45 to 54, which is a disconcerting trend, so we should put them on hold too, until they stop offing themselves. Some studies in the past have shown domestic violence to be higher among African American populations, so black people shouldn't be allowed to adopt and bring children into such a violent environment. Speaking of which, interracial couples should be barred from adoption because the social troubles inherent to such a home would be overwhelming in many areas of the country. And Mormons may carry a facade of mainstream family values but are really cult members who lead their children away from the true Christ and his grace into a path which leads to eternal damnation by the arrogance of their doctrine, so it would be better for the children if they were placed in Christian homes where they'll be brought up with values and truth. As for a southern black/white Mormon couple in their late twenties, well they should be required to have their tubes tied.

Shoot, I say leave the kids in the orphanages where they won't be messed up by selfish people bringing them into misled, sinful, stressful, abnormal homes of people who belong to demographics with high-risk statistics for mental disorders and substance abuse. Think of the children.

Kindred Subset

One of my favorite singer-songwriters, Vienna Teng, recently tweeted: "Dear snarkosphere: people don't blog/tweet/etc because they think the whole world cares. They do it because some tiny, kindred subset might." So true.

04 May 2010

Words, Words, Words

Ironically, I have a heck of a lot to say on this subject, but for now, I'll post this video that often comes to mind when I'm thinking about the many people who tend to say they believe something or know what they want or value but whose actions and behaviors tell a very different story or don't at all substantiate what they claim to believe or value, whether we're talking about a relationship or their beliefs. This song pretty aptly conveys my general feelings towards people right now...including myself, actually. I'm a tough crowd. :-)