I am an Eagle Scout, and I am the Scoutmaster of Troop 179 in Springfield, OR, and I happen to be gay. For the first time in my 18 years in scouting, I can truly be myself.
My unshakable virginity was due to 40% social anxiety, 30% bad taste in potential sexual partners, 15% unrealistic expectations, 10% stupidity and 5% being a little too focused on pizza.
The framed certificate that now hangs on our wall is not a political statement or a symbol of any kind of so-called "culture war," despite what the right-wingers in my own country may think. For Joe and I, that marriage certificate is a powerful reminder to take our vows seriously.
To Tony Perkins, nothing's more dangerous to a child than a queer role model. But imagine what those role models mean to queer kids. I didn't know I was gay when I was a little 7-year-old Boy Scout. Nothing would have been more important to me than to know that I wasn't alone.
In spite of the remarkable accomplishment that will be the Equality Act when, one day, it passes and is signed into law, if one person suffers harm because of ignorance of the law as it is today because we were silent, then we shall have failed.
By allowing the religiously-affiliated troops to still ban gay adults, the BSA is making a religious exemption seem like a reasonable compromise when in fact it is allowing the very people who would discriminate to keep discriminating.
That night those two young men weren't alone -- not in spirit. Standing with them were thousands of preachers who have called for the death of gay people. Standing with them were millions who had smeared, slandered and dehumanized gay people.
The idea that the majority is under attack is reinforcing to anyone who stands on the brink of losing unearned privileges they have long taken for granted. It hurts to be taken down a peg, to discover you're no better, no more deserving, than anyone else. Better to lash out, mobilize the masses. Misdirect them at an imagined enemy. Anything to maintain that privilege.
The mid-nineties were years that seemed politically engaged on the surface, but the general tenor of youth culture was apathetic and ironic, and middle class kids who had no reason beyond their youth to feel alienated copped a pose of bored disaffection.
My brother died in a car crash when he was 18 and my family never really recovered from it. I can't begin to imagine the Prescott family's pain. We live in a world that makes it very, very difficult to be trans.
What is it about making love with another person that can dispel preconception? Is it the vulnerability of being naked that provides a conduit for communion with another? The finding out that a body so different responds so much as one's own? Or just the sensation of touch?
According to Senator Cruz, if you like a decision, the court is terrific and doing our country a great favor. But if you disagree with a decision, the court is an imperialist body of out-of-touch, snooty elitists.
The fight here is not about religious freedom. The courts have already determined what is and isn't covered, and arguments like the one presented by Jeremy Tedesco show an ignorance to the facts in order to feign oppression.
Last Thursday Senate and House Democrats, 205 in all, introduced the Equality Act (S.1858/H.R.3185). Like ENDA since 2009, it is fully inclusive, covering gender identity and expression as well as sexual orientation. That is today's reality, and will not be a bargaining chip.
After some self-reflection, I've realized that I go clubbing for all the wrong reasons, the main one being to meet other guys for romance. After months of doing this with very little success, I can confidently say that alcohol and grinding is not the way to find a well-matched suitor.
It is exciting to see our stories being told and winning awards, but should we be concerned that transgender people have little involvement in the story telling?
This past week I was at the Netroots Nation 2015 conference. In the past, this has been one of my favorite progressive events, full of both energy and positivity. This year the theme was intersectionality within the LGBT movement. I am forced to report that we are failing at it. Horribly.
When Kevin Hawkins was 16 and living in an area of Maryland still struggling to accept queer people, his mother disowned him. Down in South Carolina, Kesha Garner, who now lives in Washington, D.C., remembers growing up without adequate resources for LGBTQ people.
I am a skeptic--something I do not admit lightly. Rarely do coincidences bother me or make me think that yes, the universe really does have a "plan." But this week tested that skepticism. I began to consider that our lives, even just the lives of queer people, are indeed guided by a strange hand of fate--one with a dark humor all its own.