the circular runner

Posts Tagged ‘gay community’

Young People Fighting in San Francisco & Other Ugly Things I’ve Been Thinking About…PART 2

In life, media, observations, writing on January 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

Ugly Thing #2: I’m a fan of the podcast, WTF with Marc Maron. I’ve said this already a million times, but I am one to repeat myself, and I’m getting old so there’s that. But for those not in the know, this is a show in which a comedian interviews other comedians (though there have been a few non-comedians as well) about life and the art of making people laugh. Even if this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, give it a try if you like honest interviewing. Mr. Maron is like Terry Gross on Fresh Air except that he curses and he can get into topics that NPR would never allow.

I bring this up here on a post about ugliness because on the most recent show, there is an interview with a comedian who comes out of the closet. The coming-out is not the ugly part, mind you. What struck me about the conversation was that the comedian, Todd Glass, a middle-aged man, was so at pains to be honest about who he is.  No, that’s not even ugly. The really ugly part is the part that we all play in making people hide who they are–this guy is 47 and it took him til now to feel ok admitting publicly to this important part of his life.  Maybe this isn’t ugly. Maybe it’s sad. Maybe it’s both.

Now, my anti-preachy spidey-sense is tingling. Honestly, I kind of hate it when someone–usually a liberal like myself–goes off on people about their biases. It’s needlessly sanctimonious, and that doesn’t help anyone. We’re all in this stew of culture and sex and religion together, and though I get angry at the injustice of shaming people who want to love people of their same sex, it’s kind of a facile anger for me, I think. Biases/prejudices are crosses to bear, which I think is a truth that many on the religious right don’t seem to realize.  So let me rephrase. Let me put this in more personal and less political, less accusatory terms.

Listening to the podcast with Mr. Glass, I was both heartbroken and annoyed. Yes, I’ll admit I was annoyed because I couldn’t believe that this guy was having such a problem with the word, gay. I mean he came out and yet at the same time, he barely could use the word when describing himself. I could imagine there being members of the Gay community yelling at their radios, telling the guy to get over it, to be proud. Hell, I’m straight, and I was yelling. But then I had to check myself. I had to think about what it would be like to feel like you need to keep a huge part of yourself locked away.  Obviously there’s a reason this guy felt that way, and he is not the only one by a long-shot. And though there are a lot of brave men and women who still put themselves out there and risk rejection at very young ages, that doesn’t change the fact that someone like Todd Glass was brave when he was ready.

So maybe this isn’t a post about ugliness in the end. But I’ve already written it and its title, so let’s go with it. I mean even if the story ends well for Mr. Glass, there are so many people out there who can’t face their families and friends, who can’t be true to themselves. That’s sad, obviously. But now that I think about it, my first intuition was right, it’s an ugly truth that we all have to deal with that we push away people who are different from the so-called norm.

Now go listen to the interview and tell me what you think. As Marc Maron says, “DO IT.”

Roman Catholic Church in NYC…I’m not proud of you…

In observations, Uncategorized on June 27, 2010 at 11:51 pm

It’s Pride Week, but I just read an article on the CNN website that makes me, a heterosexual man and troubled Catholic, not very proud at all. St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, the church in the village that is named in the story (see link below) was where my wife was confirmed. It was a church that my wife and I attended during the last year of our time in NYC–a place known for being welcoming to all. I have no doubt that Father Joe, the pastor there, is trying his best to keep the place as open as it was when we attended, but things they are a-changing. Or maybe that’s just the problem. Things don’t really change in the RC church unless becoming more extreme can be considered change. This weekend, faithful gays were required to walk around with a blank banner so that Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of NYC, can seem like his churches are in line with Rome.

When will things change for gay Catholics? God knows.

Here’s the link:
http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/06/27/new.york.church.gay.pride/index.html?eref=igoogle_cnn

why are we all scared?

In teaching & education, Uncategorized on June 16, 2010 at 8:09 am

In a word, our discussion on sexual orientation was piss poor. We’re coming to the end of the quarter, and about half my students did not read, which made it difficult to discuss the texts. That said, we did have a little back and forth about the gay community and I was surprised to find a number of women who not only were uncomfortable about gay men, a couple were deeply troubled by it. I know that this heterosexism on the part of straight people (men and women) is no new discovery, but I can’t help but wonder what would happen if some of these women had a child who was gay. My hope is that they would learn to love and appreciate their children, but I’m not so sure from the way they spoke.

I don’t want to sound noble on this one. I have my own discomforts–not with gay men and women having the same rights as me–that’s the only moral (yes I used the word in this context) side to take. But, when I have gone to gay bars with friends, I have felt some discomfort mainly, I think, because I didn’t want anyone thinking I’m gay. If I was so progressive on the topic, why would I care? Thoughts?

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