Continuing to ban lesbian den mothers and gay scoutmasters is sending a horrible message to American youth, including the scouts, gay and straight. The Boy Scouts of America made this change to take some of the heat off, and no matter what equality advocates hope for, that will happen.
When the Mormon Church officially endorsed the Boy Scouts' new "young gays OK, grown-up gays bad" position, I pricked up my ears. I asked myself, "What does this organization have to gain from it?" Simply put: everything.
I thought it would be self-evident that the end of a 103-year-old ban on gay youth in a group that's a cultural touchstone of American life is something to applaud, affirm and even celebrate. Judging by the reaction from some members of the LGBT community, though, it appears I was wrong.
What can we as gay people do when we are confronted by the face of hate simply for being gay and living our lives openly in a neighborhood which has been synonymous with gay freedom since Stonewall?
With the BSA finally dragging itself into the late 20th century, can the 21st be far behind? The answer, I hope, is that the time to end discrimination has arrived. But it isn't going to be accomplished without a lot of strife.
We've heard this "good first step" argument before. Although "don't ask, don't tell" was ostensibly an improvement on a blanket ban on honorable gay service members, it came with a steep price, because it portrayed gay people as inferior and a threat to the cohesion of the Armed Forces.
I returned to Scouts after realizing that by quitting, I had done exactly as that hardened core, which doesn't have stranglehold on my local area, wanted: to purge gays and straight allies of the organization.
Was it a major victory that the Boy Scouts of America voted to set an age limit on its discrimination or was it an outrageously offensive compromise?
A few months ago, a young adult friend of mine called me to tell me that he had returned his Eagle Scout badge because he could no longer support an organization that rejected gay scouts and gay troop leaders. He just wanted me, the mom of a gay son, to know that.
BSA's has decided to alter its long-standing position about gays in Scouting. Yesterday was a momentous day. Here are some of the thoughts that this gay former scout had:
You, a well-meaning Christian, sign on to Facebook, only to see an overweight deacon at your church downing the super-sized everything at the local fast-food joint. Are you going to tell him he's going right to hell because he is a glutton? You would have some biblical backing if you did.
Even momentarily concentrating on healthy solutions rewires psychological patterns to receive and share healthy sexual love in the present. Here are three meditations with the themes of inhibition, sexual safety, and imagination for you to ponder and practice this week.
Why the rush to justify and defend those who demand that their anti-gay prejudice be accommodated? If you think there's a difference, then what you're saying is that homophobic bigotry is somehow nobler or more acceptable than racism and anti-Semitism. And that's appalling.
The idea that gays are wealthier than straights is an inaccurate stereotype that undermines the struggle for equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.
Sometimes she says it sitting across from me in a coffee shop. Sometimes she sends it via text message. And then the conversation turns to the supposedly inherent errors of straight men and the taunting disconnect between men and women's needs. It's a fall back to the old stereotypes.
Although the increasing visibility of LGBT people and gains in equality may be associated with short-term rises in homophobic violence, these changes are merely triggers. We must move beyond superficial and individualistic analyses of such heinous events and target their root causes.
The year following graduation was a bit of a lost one as I tried to finally come to terms with my new identity. But nothing really clicked until I got a job at Next Magazine. Suddenly, my world had direction.
I was stunned when I visited a transgender support site that had reposted my article. Hundreds of trans people were leaving comments attacking transvestites, cross dressers, drag queens and other fringe members of the trans community simply because they don't want to be associated with them.
Bret Easton Ellis insists on asserting his "dudeness" by publicly splitting himself from the "elf gays." For Ellis there seems to be no realness, no masculinity, no power (and perhaps no self) without a despised, feminine, vulnerable foil.