Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Monday, October 30, 2006
D.C.'s at-large City Councilman David Catania is running for re-election in the District of Columbia...so WHY this photo on the campaign flat mailer that I received today? That's an Old Town Alexandria (as in Virginia) Tourmobile trolley in the background. Well, I guess there really aren't that many iconic images for Washington, D.C.
Some pro-gay activists and politicians have declined to push for legalized same-sex marriage in the District, fearing a backlash from the conservative GOP-controlled Congress. But if the Democrats retake control of the House and/or Senate on Nov. 7, then that excuse for avoiding a debate is gone. We’ll soon see if Fenty finds the political courage to take up the issue in 2007.
My guess -- even with a Democratic-controlled Congress -- is that it won't happen. I think there will be too much opposition from the African-American relgious community. Fenty doesn't have strong ties to this segment of the community and I doubt he'd risk alienating them early in his administration, the way Clinton alienated many in the early days of his adminstration with the gays in the military issue.
But, we'll see. It would be great to see a demorcatic leader -- or a leader of any party for that matter -- actually lead on this issue.
I also wrote Mr. Galen:
I'd be less bothered by your column today if you followed up your connect the dots argument with a statement saying you thought homosexuality is a great evil and gay marriage is a serious threat to society. At least then you'd be sincere. Instead you went on to say that being gay is a fact of life -- therefore innate -- and encouraging gays into stable relationships may actually help save lives by reducing the effects of HIV/AIDS. But none of that is important for "purely political reasons."
Could you be any more cynical and hypocritical? You would really play on people's bigotry and fear for election day gains? You'd rather preserve a Republican majority than save the lives of those you mentioned with HIV/AIDS?
The first Republican president once appealed to the "better angels of our nature." Today the GOP, as you have done today, appeal to our society's worse prejudices.
Rich's reply, straight from Karl Rove's talking points:
Do you think homosexuality is a political statement? It IS a fact of life. If you don't vote then you will have Nancy Pelolsi as Speaker and see how good the angels are then.Now, I didn't mention in my first email that I was gay as I didn't want to come across as a special pleader. But Rich's response made me change my mind and I came out of the closet to him. And, as you'll see, I also reveal that the LTR and I met while working for the Republican National Committee. As implied by other things I've written here, I was a Republican. For many reasons, not the least of which is the rise of the religious right's lock on the GOP leadership, I no longer consider myself one. So no hate mail, please. I've gotten more grief from gays for being Republican than I've ever gotten from straights for being gay. But that is in the past. And, btw, I don't consider myself a Democrat, also for many reasons. Someday I will blog about it.
But my response to Rich was:
You don't have to tell me it's a fact of life...I'm gay. Been in a relationship for 20 years...in fact my partner and I met while both employed by the RNC, back in 1986.
So, this is not an abstract matter for me, you're talking about my life...in fact, using my life as a political pawn. I know from reading your column how much you value your family life...imagine if you saw your elected officials demonizing it in the public square but then turning around and saying they don't really believe it, they're just saying it to win votes.
It's a cheap, cynical trick. And it's not worthy of a Party that wants to lead the country.
Rich's terse reply:
Wait. You worked at the RNC and you're shocked that political people look at things through a political prism? Oh, please.
r.To which I said, and apparently had the last word:
Nope. Surprised that you would whip up anti-gay sentiment to win an election and try to claim you're not gay bashing. Oh, please back at ya.
But former GOP Majority Leader Dick Armey gets the real last word. Writing in an op-ed in Sunday's WashPo, Armey says:
Where did the revolution go astray? How did we go from the big ideas and vision of 1994 to the cheap political point-scoring on meaningless wedge issues of today -- from passing welfare reform and limited government to banning horsemeat and same-sex marriage?And, so I hope the GOP looses on election day, to learn Armey's lesson, so all political leaders learn it -- that cheap political point scoring, of the type advocated by Rich Galen -- will ultimately lead to corruption and failure.
The answer is simple: Republican lawmakers forgot the party's principles, became enamored with power and position, and began putting politics over policy. Now, the Democrats are reaping the rewards of our neglect -- and we have no one to blame but ourselves.
Today, on Galen's blog, he leads with this warning:
Nancy Pelosi. Naaaaannssssseeeee Pelohhhhhhsssseeeee.The last screech of the desperate?
And Nancy doesn't scare me, even if she does cavort with known homosexuals.
Saturday, October 28, 2006
Plumber here yesterday to fix leaky second floor toilet , which was leaking from the feeder pipe and caused water damage on the 2nd and 3rd floors -- this was his third and hopefully final attempt to fix it. The LTR's sister (SLTR) and two of her friends arrived for a weekend visit. And of course concert prep and a work crisis developed, and best of all, Eli (our son) arrived to spend the night. I got to visit with him for about 10 minutes before I had to leave for the concert.
I last saw him in August. He has changed so much and it's a joy to see him growing but painful to bear the gaps. He speaks more now but his words are hard to understand and it's difficult feeling like you don't know your son's language.
I spent some time with him this morning before his mom picked him up. I taught him to make scary faces and the LTR and I took him for a stroll around the block.
After he left we cleaned the third floor. Then I got ready for the concert tonight.
A busy 24-hour period indeed.
Friday, October 27, 2006
Could things possibly get more cynical, crass and ugly?
A long time ago, a president, with America on the brink of Civil War, appealed to "the better angels of our nature." Today it's about appealing to our basest fears and prejudices. If America can't be about bringing about the best in ourselves we certainly are not going to be able to "liberate" other peoples.
From Rich Galen's blog -- Rich is a Republican strategist and I actually know him:
Okay, that's predictable. But then he goes on to say:
On MSNBC yesterday morning, I made this approximate case:
If I were a Republican candidate for Congress I would immediately change my campaign to reflect the
decision. New Jersey
I would say, "Connect the dots:
If the Democrats win control of the House, Nancy Pelosi will be the Speaker.
Nancy Pelosi is from where?
. San Francisco
is known for what? Two things: A song by Tony Bennett and being ground zero for Gay rights. San Francisco
If you want Sister Boom-Boom to be the Clerk of the House, vote for the Democrat.
I know I will be accused of gay-bashing, but I am not. I am looking at this from a purely political standpoint.
I understand homosexuality exists and denying that is foolhardy. If we want to reduce the effects of HIV/AIDS on society, fostering long-term relationships - even homosexual relationships - would be one very good way to do it.
Okay, let me get this, uh, straight: You believe homosexuality is innate and that encouraging our relationships may be a good way to "reduce the effects of HIV/AIDS on society," i.e, SAVE LIVES, but you're going to scrap that for pure political partisanship? You acknowledge -- it seems -- that gays have a place in society but would deny them social tools to help them build rewarding, successful enduring relationships central to their happiness?
No, I'm not surprised to see a Republican be anti-gay. But I'm appalled at the open cyncism here -- the blatant hypocrisy, which is even acknowledged then excused for the sake of a "purely political standpoint."
This is blatant evidence of something Andrew Sullivan has been blogging about: GOP leaders are personally fine with gays but turn against us in public policy for political gains.
I would argue the Dems do it too -- they cozy up to us, get our money and our votes and attend HRC's galas, but turn around and give us Don't Ask Don't Tell and the Defense of Marriage Act. And WE excuse it, saying, they have to do that to get elected.
A pox on both their houses. But especially Rich Galen. I had once thought better of him.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
At the end of rehearsal a band member unexpectedly came up to me and gave me a hug. That was his whole purpose. He wanted nothing other than a hug with me. I don't know what motivated him, but it was a very human moment. One of those little moments that have no grand purpose in life but still provides a moment of profound beauty that gives life meaning.
Not a bad idea.
But it doesn't work.
I guess the Metro DC Police are just as good with computers as they are solving murders.
Although we cannot find that a fundamental right to same-sex marriage exists in this state, the unequal dispensation of rights and benefits to committed same-sex partners can no longer be tolerated under our state constitution," the court said in its 4 to 3 ruling (emphasis added).
In other words, we're making this up as we go along. If my Constitutional Law prof were dead, he'd be rolling in his grave.
Statements like that are fodder for the anti-judicial activism crowd. Karl Rove must be happy with this decision.
I don't know the NJ constitution, but it has always seemed to me that civil marriage cannot be denied based on the equal protection under the laws clause of the Constitution.
The other reason is that aversion to the word "marriage." Giving gays the same rights and responsibilities as straight couples who commit to each other -- good. Keeping it a separate class -- not so good. Seems that whole separate-but-equal thing hasn't worked out so well in the past. I know there is a religious connotation to "marriage" and I do believe in freedom of religion to NOT recognize same sex marriages. But -- I won't force you to marry me in YOUR church, don't forbid me to be married in MINE.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Commenting on the saga, US writer and commentator Johan Maurer noted: "If we Christians were as passionate about the mistreatment of actual human beings, including those outside the church, as we are about our symbols and the loss of our privileged place in Western society, maybe our Godward face would have more credibility in this world."Amen.
And I haven't seen the show, but knowing Madonna, it was an intentional move designed to spark protest and rile the religious right, thus raising visibility of her show. And the religious right plays right into her hands. But I guess she is their cross to bear.
"More responsive" means un-hiring Jane Fernandes, the incoming president.
over the main administrative building on campus overnight, chaining the doors and saying that school officials cannot enter until they are more responsive to the on-going campus unrest
I still don't get this. The student reaction seems dissproportionate to the alleged and vague offenses of Fernandes:
Protesters say the selection process was flawed and call the incoming president aloof, ineffective and insensitive to their needs. Fernandes so far has refused to give up her appointment, and accuses her critics of faulting her for valuing both deaf and hearing cultures.
In addition, the protestors appear to be upset that they aren't being paid attention to (absent the national media coverage, of course):
Plummer, a 25-year-old junior, said protesters are frustrated that neither Fernandes nor Jordan has approached several students who are staging a hunger strike in a tent by the main campus gate, to "find out what's going on."
The Post points out that University health officials have been routinely visiting the hunger strikers.
Seems like the protest is becoming about the protest.
The president of the University of Illinois when I was there was a WWII Vet -- in fact had served on the staff of Gen. George S. Patton. I doubt very much he was all that sensitive to the needs of a shy, rural kid struggling with deep questions about religion and sexuality.
If the protestors want their actions to have meaning beyond themselves, they need to articulate it. Otherwise their protest looks like a temper tantrum that is not serving any purpose.
Over the weekend, some 2,000 people marched to Capitol Hill this weekend to oppose Fernandes's appointment.I know the MSM is cutting back. But they might want to keep a few editors around.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
The resort's butlers will offer varying degrees of service, such as unpacking for you, drawing you a bath before bedtime and, in lieu of a plebian wake up call, will enter your room in the morning at the designated time, open your drapes, wake you and pour you a cup of coffee in bed.
At first I was resistant to the whole thing...it amounted to too much invasion of privacy. But after dinner Sat. night one of the LTR's straight colleagues insisted I let the butler draw me a bath. I only mention sexual orientation here as I don't think I've EVER had another man -- gay or straight -- insist that I take a bubble bath. But insist he did and he even contacted the butler service on my behalf to set it up. And so when I returned to my room the jacuzzi tub was filled with hot, steamy water, and the bathtub was lined with lit candles and fresh cut gardenias. Thanks, dude!
The LTR and I also decided we had to try the personal wake up service. So we set the time for 7:30 a.m.
The next morning we both woke around 7. We didn't know what to do exactly, so we killed time in bed. At about 7:29 I said I had to pee and the LTR said well you can't get up now the butler is about to come in. Finally we heard a rustle at the door and we both pretended to be asleep. The butler walked in, called at a good morning and we replied in our best, we're groggy, just waking up fuzzy headed "'mornin.'" voices.
I'd like to report that the butler was a hot 20-something strapping Pennsylvania farm boy. I'd like to, but I can't. Our butler was a nice, bubbly 20-something pretty young woman. Who actually looked like she was in Jr. High School. I think if Nemacolin wants to improve this service, they would understand the needs of those being butlered a bit better.
The president and Republicans need to be taught a lesson: We hear that a lot from conservatives. And maybe Bush and company do. But allowing Democrats to take over Congress won't achieve that. It won't lead to a Republican course correction any more than losing the 2000, 2002, and 2004 elections taught Democrats to move to the right. Politics doesn't work that way, and it never has.Hmmm. The lesson I'd like the GOP to learn is that the politics of polarization, gay bashing, torture, lack of responsibility in governance, incompetence and corruption is a losing one. But maybe Fred is right. Or maybe the lesson the GOP will learn is they need to not make lip service to the religious right and take them even more seriously.
Monday, October 23, 2006
The place was beautiful and we pampered ourselves with massage, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. And walks through the autumn-lit trees. And meals fit for a King -- a big, fat gluttonous King. There's much lighthearted to tell and I will get to it...but for now the amazing thing to me was that yesterday, when saying goodbye to the LTR, we both cried.
And we're only being separated for two nights.
Nearly 20 years on and we can be moved to tears because of a brief separation. I think this weekend -- the first in a while in which we could completely drop other agendas, relax and just be together -- gave us perspective and a chance to reflect on a quarter-lifetime of sharing dreams and disappointments, love and loss, the slipping away of youth and the glow of shared memories.
I'm reminded of this Walt Whitman verse, one that was recited at our Holy Union:
We two boys together clinging,
One the other never leaving,
Up and own the roads going, North and South excursions making...
Fulfilling our foray.
Here was the view from our room:
I promise my next post about Nemacolin won't be this sappy.
One establishment he mentioned was a club called the Krazy Kat. On July 23, 1920, Jeb's brother "tried to persuade me to go with him to the Krazy Kat, a 'Bohemian' joint in an old stable up near Thomas Circle. He told me about the conversation in there, of artists, musicians, atheists, professors."
Well, the Krazy Kat is gone, but the building isn't and it's still a club that caters to the above, and other types. It's this place.
In the 1920s Jeb lived at the YMCA on 1736 G Street, NW. That block has been rebuilt since then, in a 1970s style of blandness on a grand scale. The address doesn't exist anymore, but here's a view of the Old Executive Office Building Jeb would have had standing on the sidewalk outside the Y:
And here is Lafayette Square, where Jeb passed so much of his time cruising. He refers in the diary to a favorite park bench under a large beech tree. The LTR and I looked for a Beech tree but couldn't find any. However, this large tree would surely have been there then and I imagine this is the view Jeb would have had from his bench:
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Sunday, 7 January 1927
A cloudless day. Patches of snow on the walks. Isador arrived in a cab to pick up his belongings that had been packed by those magnificent Christians of the YMCA. I watched the scene from inside the lobby door. The packages and bags had been placed outside. Thompson, the malignant desk clerk, stood on the sidewalk with his arms crossed. The cab pulled up and Idador emerged, wearing a brown suit with a tan handkerchief tucked in his pocket, and a tan felt hat. Thompson pursed his lips as Isador, attempting a futile, jocular conversation, began to load his possessions into the back seat of the cab. He got in front with the driver and as they pulled away, his eyes met mind through the glass of the door and he waved vigorously, calling, "Thank you Jeb, dearest." Thompson turned around. My heart sank when I saw the expression on that reptilian beast's face.
Thompson wiped his feet on the mat. "I didn't realize that Mr. Pearson was a friend of yours. " I replied, "He's a classmate in my art history class at George Washington University. We share school books." "Can't you share with someone less unnatural?" My voice shook, but I told that reprehensible beast, "I consider it a valid economy to be sharing books with Mr. Pearson."
Waiting for the elevator took an eternity. I found myself imagining that I was helping Isador put his packages in the cab, until the details became so vivid that it almost seemed that in fact I had helped him. And after all, there is no benefit in having two of us evicted from the Y. It is bad enough for something so humiliating to happen to one.
I'm thoroughly enjoying reading this diary. One of my frustrations, though, is there are gaps in the narrative the editor doesn't explain -- like what was the catalyst for Idador's eviction? And, from earlier entries we know Jeb is taking an art class, but until this entry we don't know where and it wasn't clear he was doing so with Isador.
This all took place during Prohibition and Isador was a source of bootleg liquor and Jeb and his friends would party at the Y, drinking, smoking, playing the Victrola and dancing. It was also at the Y that Jeb is reunited with his college friend, C.C. Dasham, who we'll be hearing a lot more about as the story unfolds.
Friday, October 20, 2006
· In RoVa, they hope the South will rise again. In NoVa, they hope the souffle will.
· In NoVa, a lab is the family dog. In RoVa, a lab is the family meth business.
· In NoVa, people spend their dough at Starbucks, shooting the breeze. In RoVa, people spend time in the breeze, shooting does and bucks.
· In NoVa, a "fur piece" is something a woman wears on a special occasion. In RoVa, a "fur piece" is unit of distance.
· In RoVa, people pick blackberries. In NoVa, people click BlackBerrys.
· In NoVa, they listen to NPR. In RoVa, they listen to the NRA.
· NoVa has Crate & Barrel. RoVa has Cracker Barrel.
· NoVa: Chain Bridge. RoVa: Chain saw.
· In RoVa, they like freshly killed venison. In NoVa, they like Alfred, Lord Tennyson.
I fear the idea is comatose at the hands of the Bush Administration. Maybe even dead. The Administration has abandoned those values and replaced it with the safety value. We used to value "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Now it's just "life." If liberty gets in the way of keeping our lives safe, sure, get rid of habeas corpus, the cornerstone of free society since circa 1200 A.D. And let's throw in some waterboarding and stress positions to torture more safety out of people we think might be enemies.
The fear of a WMD being unleashed on U.S. soil is a serious one and as someone who lives in a prime target city is something I think about every day. Keeping me and my fellow citizens safe is something I expect the government to do...but I also expect my elected officials to protect the liberty and freedoms that help ensure that we remain a free people. Although I want safety, I also realize that liberty carries a certain risk. Freedom is dangerous. Dangerous, because I carry the burdens of the consequences of my own decisions and dangerous in the civil looseness that must exist to allows others to pursue dreams contrary to mine. It's not for nothing that the last line of the national anthem is "land of the free and home of the brave." Freedom requires bravery. In the administration's quixotic quest to make us cozy secure, we're losing both.
Moving quickly to implement the bill signed by President Bush this week that authorizes military trials of enemy combatants, the administration has formally notified the U.S. District Court here that it no longer has jurisdiction to consider hundreds of habeas corpus petitions filed by inmates at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
Thursday, October 19, 2006
This is the Willard Hotel (on right) from the 20s.
Here's a view of the mall looking west from the Capitol. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History is the domed building on the right.
The White House, circa 1920. Lafayette Square is the dark area on the other side
Saturday, 9 June 1923
I was determined to squeeze an adventure out of [Lafayette Square] tonight, and as it had only just gotten dark, I decided there would be no harm in wasting a few minutes with Randall [Jeb's former lover]. He settled in. "I've been observing your methods. You sit waiting for someone to start something. Well, you can sit a while. Then, if nothing happens, make a tour of the park. Find one that appeals to you. Then you sit down with him." He stood up. "Keep moving,"he intoned, "or you won't find one." I did stand up after he left. On my first tour I located a young boy who appealed to me, but I couldn't get up courage. Presently the boy left. I followed...I went on to the Willard [one of DC's oldest hotels, still extant] and thus lost him...Plus que ca change, plus que c'est la meme chose.
I finally came to an understanding with a well-dressed chap about thirty."
The park, the benches and the paths in Lafayette Square are still there, the gays have moved on, though. Listen, you -- don't judge Alexander and his compatriots harshly for cruising in a park...there were no gay bars then and no "legitimate" venues for gay men to meet each other. At the time, in Alexandria, VA, across the river, it was even illegal to serve alcohol to homosexuals, a law that was still on the books when I first moved here in the late 80s.
Interesting, though, Randall's 83 year old cruising tips to Jeb are still current...they've just moved indoors into gay bars and the sauna at the Washington Sports Club.
French courtesy of the LTR.
Students at Gallaudet University, the nation's premier exclusively deaf college, have protested the selection of Jane Fernandes as their new president. I have tried to understand what the student's principle objections to her are and have come away scratching my head.
These paragraphs from today's Post are the most cogent:
Okay -- but she's not in control yet...how can they blame her for this?
Fernandes promotes inclusiveness and is working on a diversity initiative, but her critics point out that there are few black or Hispanic professors or administrators at Gallaudet.
Some critics have said that her actions since May have widened the divide at the school. For example, when Fernandes defined the controversy as a question of whether she was "deaf enough," the protesters -- who insisted that was not the reason for their opposition -- compared it to playing "the race card."
But this "deaf enough" reason...or being the "wrong" kind of deaf person -- she didn't learn ASL until she was an adult -- does seem to be the reason...see below:
So is that it...Fernandes wants to open Gallaudet to "all types of deafness" and the students want to keep it narrowed to only those deaf persons who rely soley on ASL to communicate? Once again, everyone's for diversity and inclusiveness as long the right people are being included. If this is the case, the kids hardly have the moral high ground.
Technology, such as cochlear implants, has made it increasingly easy for deaf students to communicate with hearing people, rather than immersing themselves in the deaf community.
Fernandes has said that she has deep respect for sign language and wants to preserve it but that the school's future depends on welcoming students with all types of deafness and means of communicating.
It seems unlikely Fernandes will take her office in January...which means mob rule takes the day at Gallaudet.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
More pics from camp...
This is Rob, Trombone section leader...besides being a good pic of him, it reflects what it's like to sit in a band...to be surrounded by all that brass, and if, in the back row (as I am used to as a tuba player) the percussion. There is a unique comraderie that comes from playing in an ensemble like this, and this pic gives a glimpse of what it looks like.
This is the amazing Mary Bahr. Mary is one of our founding members. During the late 80s, early 90s, she played a large role in keeping the organization going as many of the men died...she cared for them and the band. Because of people like Mary, groups like ours managed to survive the darkest hours of the plague and many men learned that our gay sisters are true sisters...and sheroes.
This is Adam, who seems quiet and shy until you get him on a dance floor. I'm not sure what exactly is going on behind him. There are some things I don't need to know.
This is me with assistant artistic director Beth. I've posted this pic earlier, but put it here again because I like it. Beth has a great sense of humor and she makes me laugh. She and I both have many reasons to need a good laugh...and to steal from Robert A. Heinlein, the thing that sets us apart from the animals is...we laugh.
I have more pics from band camp, courtesy of my friend MD, but they are probably best left unpublished.
First -- we really do rehearse there
This is percussion section leader David telling Wayne, "I think you hit it with this end of the stick." And Wayne responds, "but I get a better sound if I just knock on my head."
Yours truly in his martini print pajamas he special ordered from California only to go down in flames in the cute pj contest. I was robbed!
A drunken case of spoons gone wrong, where stripping and wearing bad wigs seemed to become part of the consequences of a losing hand.
The group poses in the "Dildo Garden" at camp's end (no pun intended).
As Majority Leader, I remember vividly a meeting with the House leadership where Dobson scolded us for having failed to ÂdeliverÂ for Christian conservatives, that we owed our majority to him, and that he had the power to take our jobs back. This offended me, and I told him so.You can read the whole letter here. Hat Tip: Average Gay Joe
In a later meeting Dobson and a colleague came into my office to lobby against a trade bill, asking me to stop the legislation from going to the House floor. They were wrong on the issue, and I told them no. Would you at least postpone the vote, they asked? We have a direct mail fundraising letter about to go out to our membership, they said.
I wondered then if their opposition to the bill was driven less by their moral compass and more by the need to rile their membership and increase revenue. I wondered then, if these self-appointed Christian leaders, like many politicians, had come to Washington to do good, but had instead done well for themselves.
And I'll just quote St. Jerome: "Avoid, as you would the plague, a clergyman who is also a man of business." To which we can add "and partisan politics."
And Sancho Panza: "He preaches well that lives well, that's all the divinity I understand."
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Wednesday, 25 August 1920
"I have at last found a friend, a lovable, handsome fellow, a realization of the friend I have dreamed of during all those lonely nights while I walked alone through the streets...It happened like this: I went to Lafayette Square [a park across the street from the White House that used to be a cruising place for gay men --- Scott] and found a seat in the deep shade of the big beech. It is the best bench in the park. A youth sat down beside me, a youth in a green suit with a blue dotted tie. He has beautiful eyes and sensuous lips...His name is Randall Hare.
"We strolled down to the Ellipse, where we sat affectionately together on a dim bench. Later we came to rest in the moon-misted lawns near the [Washington] Monument. With an excess of urgent caution I gazed about, watching for some prowling figure. 'We are safe,' Randall whispered. And he was right. Nothing disturbed us as we lay in each other's arms, my love and I, while the moon beamed from a spacious sky and the cool breezes rustled our hair...Afterward, we lay close together and gazed at the stars above, becoming fast friends, exchanging confidences."
And where is the Human Rights Campaign?
Today's WashPo reports poll numbers that show defeating the measure, while not easy, may not be impossible.
When respondents were read the arguments on both sides of the question, enough voters showed a willingness to reconsider that the gap narrowed to a virtual tie -- 48 percent said they supported the measure and 47 percent opposed it, within the poll's margin of error of three percentage points.
Again, where is HRC?
I searched the venable gay civil rights Web site for information about what HRC is doing...and couldn't find anything. HRC does not even have a "steering committee" in the Old Dominion.
This reinforces my perception that HRC is an effective fundraiser but a lousy grassroots organizer. I'm not even sure they try. In 2004 they rolled over for John Kerry, used the dead-on-arrival Federal Marriage Amendment to raise money and get media attention, meanwhile, 11 states passed same sex marriage bans.
The community needs a powerful civil rights organization that can mobilize the grassroots in states where rights are being stripped away -- like in Virginia. Unfortunately, as far as I can see, HRC is missing in action.
But man, they throw fabulous dinner parties.
The good safety record is because of the elimination of the most glaring aviation risks, experts say. One of the biggest advances: an on-board computer system that warns pilots when they're approaching mountains, the ground or other terrain -- once a leading cause of aviation fatalities.
"Other terrain?" What "other terrain" could there be? "Terrain" means "ground"...and the root, "terra" means "the Earth." Does the writer mean Atlantis? The crazy island of Lost? Middle Earth?
The article references an airline "safety community." When it comes to flying*, I want to be a part of the "safety community." Where do I pay dues? Is there a meeting I need to go to?
*By safety in flying, I mean the stuff that happens on board the plane, not the silliness that is TSA.
Monday, October 16, 2006
To the Rev. Robert Cilinski
via Pat Colby email
Dear Rev. Cilinski -
I read with dismay this morning in the Washington Post that a gay man, Howard Daniel, in Manassas, is being denied a business license due to the fact that he is gay. Yes, I know, that's not what the opponents are saying but their actions (including using anti-gay graffiti) are speaking louder than their words.
The Post reports that many of his opponents are affiliated with your church.
Now, I am aware of your church's teachings on homosexuality. But no one's talking about opening up a gay massage parlor in your parish hall. Or even right next door to your church. This is a case of a well-established, former Marine reservist who has been in a long term relationship for 22 years, who, with the support of his neighbors, wants to open a legitimate business in his home. And, like the person who obtained a license from the Manassas City Council before him, would be well on his way to pursuing his dream if it weren't for the army of your congregants, marching into his neighborhood and putting up a fuss.
I don't understand this. The Jesus of the Gospel I read would not have led such a mob. He might have stopped in for a massage as he was on his feet a lot and probably suffered chronic back pain. I don't image the roads were very smooth back then and sitting on a donkey was probably not good for the lower back. Matthew 26:6-13 would seem to suggest that Jesus was not adverse to personal attention.
Further, and more importantly, such actions do not seem to speak out of the love of Christ that can be found in the Gospels. I'm thinking of Matthew 5:43-48 and Luke 6:27. If Jesus commands his followers to love even their enemies, how is it your church members are actively harming a man who has done nothing to them?
I'm not asking you to accept Mr. Daniels into your church or invite him over to the rectory for 60 minutes of deep tissue (though it sounds like some of your church members are a little uptight). I'm asking that the good people of All Saints leave him alone.
I'm also asking you to think of what harm this is doing any children in your congregation who may be gay. The church seemed to recognize that homosexuality can be innate in 1975, as outlined in the "Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics" issued in that year. I wonder what effect campaigns like the one against Daniel is telling these kids, already feeling isolated and alone in struggling with their feelings, who see their mommies and daddies unleashing anger if not hate against someone they suspect may be like themselves.
I end with the words of the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who wrote in 1986 that:
"It is deplorable that homosexual persons have been and are the object of violent malice in speech or in action. Such treatment deserves condemnation from the Church's pastor's wherever it occurs. It reveals a kind of disregard for others which endangers the most fundamental principles of healthy society. The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law."
Ratzinger must know what he's talking about, because you guys made him Pope. I hope you will call on your church members to cease and desist. It would seem to be the Christian thing to do.
Here are the facts, as reported by the Post:
Howard Daniel, 44, a former Marine Corps Reservist, is openly gay and his been partnered for 22 years. He and his partner have lived in their home in Manassas for 10 years. Daniel works full time as a DBA and part time at a local hospital as a massage therapist. Since the Manassas City Council has recently granted a home business license for another therapist to open a studio in his home, Daniels thought he would follow suit.
His neighbors signed the petition in support and showed up at the hearing to support him. Problem was, there were a lot of people there not even from Daniel's neighborhood speaking out against it. According to the Post:
The vast majority of those who have mobilized against Daniel's application do no live on his street or even in his neighborhood. Many are affiliated with Manassas's All Saints Catholic Church.
One of Daniels' supporters has had his car graphittied with anti-gay messages.
VA has long stopped being the state for lovers. It's increasingly become a state for haters.
Here's the Catholic Church.
Of course, no email addresses for any of the priests, but the church secretary, Pat Colby, is listed: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm going to write the parish priest, the Rev. Robert C. Cilinski, through Ms. Colby, and ask him why members of his congregation are harassing a member of their community. Just what are they teaching over there at All Saints?
Why don't you all join me...if the congregation of All Saints can invade someone's neighborhood and prevent him from pursuing his dreams, we're perfectly in our rights to jump to his defense.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
The LTR and I in cooler months usually take the dogs (the "Goose Dogs" in the LTR's own unique parlance, he knicknames everything) to West Potomac Park for a Sunday evening stroll (in warmer months it's Rock Creek Park where we can enjoy the cool shade).
So here's Ranger the Goose Dog enjoying a walk next to the river. She is getting some energy back from the treatment she is on for Lyme disease. Last Sunday she ran a bit more than she did today but overall she is improving.
And here's both Goose Dogs, Ranger and Buster.
That's a bit more info than what is being reported on TV at the moment.
UPDATE: A Civil Defense official from Hawaii confirmed on Fox News that power is out indeed on the island of Oahu. Scott's Take: provocative, funny, informative. You heard it here first.
BLTR reads this blog so he used this opportunity to ask questions, like, "what is a fag hag?" Funny, I don't remember using that term in this space. The LTR and I are just glad he didn't ask about Santorum. (warning: Graphic).
He also wanted to know, after visiting the Washington Sports Club with the LTR, why so many men kept coming in and out of the steam room repeatedly. I don't have any idea, do you?
The LTR and the BLTR are very close. In my family affection is to be shared only in littles and as stiffly as possible. Not so in the LTR's family...and it was touching to see the warmth and obvious affection between the two.
A good visit.
UPDATE: The term "Fag Hag" was used in this quotation from someone else. I would have been surprised had it been me...I don't routinely use either word. "Queer" and "Queen" is about as far as I'll go...and I don't think I'd use the term "hag" to apply to a friend.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
What can I say. Interesting timing. In hindsight, Rep. Studds went on to win re-election; Foley goes to rehab and proclaims molestation by a priest.
Tonight I'm inclined to think well of the dead. Gerry Studds, RIP.
In one of the bizarre twists of war, the 22-year-old college student was taken from the Taliban prison to another prison run by Americans after the invasion of Afghanistan. And the U.S. military's chief reason for holding Rahim for the past five years, according to newly declassified records, is the false confession Rahim gave to placate his Taliban torturers.So Rahim has sat in Guantanamo Bay military prison for the past five years guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was denied a fair trial. That was five years ago...today the Administration has the legal power -- thanks to Congress -- to lock up anyone it thinks is an enemy combatant.
As Rahim's attorneys say in their legal brief:
"No conceivable definition of enemy combatant would include a freed political prisoner who had been subjected to brutal torture and confinement by the enemy prior to the declaration of war"
WashPo was beaten to the punch by Circumlocuter, who earlier this week posted a list of hottie public servants, including our own mayorlicious.
Friday, October 13, 2006
To celebrate Gay History Month I'm going to post vignettes like the one I posted earlier today over the next couple of weeks.
I'd be open to sharing historical vignettes from others, if you care to share.
History is too fun to be left to the historians.
One book he references is the published diary of Jeb Alexander, a gay man who lived and wrote about his closeted life living here in 20s through 1960s. I ordered it from Amazon, I can't wait to read it and see firsthand what it was like to be here and queer in the early part of the last century.
Loughery's book provides ample insight into that - and he documents the lives of gay men who dealt with being a fairy (no one called themselves "gay" back then) in a society that didn't talk about or acknowledge, at least openly, sex of any kind.
I was particularly moved by the story of Paul Phillips, the son of a Midwestern black lawyer.
"When rumors about [Paul] being 'that way' reached Mr. Phillips, he...informed Paul that his was an 'unnatural condition' and that they would have to see what could be done about it."
The Phillips family took Paul on a road trip to the Mayo clinic. The Doctors examined the boy and returned with a verdict...yep, he's gay. And they couldn't cure him.
"After taking a while to get used to the idea, Paul's father came to a judicious conclusion. If his son suffered from an illness that couldn't be cured by the best doctors in the country, then he'd lead his life as he had to - but lead it with caution and dignity. 'Find yourself a friend you can trust,' Mr. Phillips said, 'and bring him home.' Hanging out on the streets or fooling around on country roads was dangerous 'because you never know who's going to step up behind you...What you do in your own room is your business.'"The prevailing views of the time didn't stop Paul's family from looking at their son as "sick," but I was moved by their compassionate and loving response to it nonetheless. Far more loving and enlightened than today's Catholic Church or Republican Party.
This calendar features ex-Marines who were wounded in Iraq, and all proceeds from the calendar, according to the Freedom is Not Free Web site, go to help wounded vets.
You can order the calendar here (and see the rest of the 12 months' featured beefcake).
Mr. August was a close runner-up -- nice G.I. Joe lines.
The Washington Post analyzed years of police statistics, focusing sharply on crimes this year, and found the biggest share of robberies happening at night and on sidewalks in neighborhoods north of downtown, including Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights and the U Street corridor.
I've never really felt unsafe walking around the 'hood, although my neighbor was mugged up the street a few years ago and some kids tried to steal my bike while I was on it earlier this year. The culprits were teens as are most cited in the WaPo article.
staggering statistic: The DC police solved 17 percent of their cases this year, which is near the average for police departments in cities DC's size. 17 percent! That means if you rob somebody in DC you have an 83 percent chance of getting away with it. To put it another way, I'd have a better chance of snatching a purse and getting off scott-free than getting a passing grade on an algebra test.
Almost Mayor Fenty said crime is one of his top priorities...hopefully he'll do some good. The 'hood is really poised to take off with the news restaurants, shops and Target(!!!) opening on 14th and Columbia (the epicenter of the crime spree, according to WaPo).
Since most of the crimes seem to be committed by kids, getting tough on crime, providing quality education and effective parenting would seem to be a start.
After meeting some of the LTR's gay friends at the gym, he declared last night at dinner, "Gay guys are really nice. They seem so interested in everything and are really smart."
And we throw fabulous dinner parties!
Thursday, October 12, 2006
Next we'll find out it can prevent the common cold.
I have a vague (not pot-induced) memory (perhaps I should have been smoking pot and I'd remember better) of my conservative grandmother once remarking that she'd smoke a doobie (she may have phrased it differently) if it would help her glaucoma.
That was in the 70s. My grandmother was born in 1910. With the aging baby boomers and the constant dribble of good news about a little pot smoking, surely this recreational drug will be legal someday.
Update: Christopher Scott Sarno offers more of an explanation.
You can read all about it here.
The version of The List sent to at least some of the conservative organizations originated from the e-mail address email@example.com. That is the address of a California-based group, the Health Policy and Research Foundation, an organization devoted mostly to work involving AIDS, that is run by a businessman and former Democratic National Committee staffer named Rick Reidy.In other words, the source for "the list" being sent to Republican religious nut jobs is not the political right, but the political left. It's a case of the left doing what it always does -- using gays as pawns for its own political purposes. I'm no defender of the GOP on gay issues -- but this is a blatant appeal to homophobia by our "friends" in order to further their own political ends.
And meanwhile, GayPatriot contrasts the response of the Human Rights Campaign:
No one at HRC has this infamous "list" and furthermore, no one at HRC is aiding and abetting in sending out this "list"With the more appropriate response from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:
We are unequivocally opposed to the compilation or release of such a list and it doesn't matter to us who is doing it: It's wrong. -- Matt Foreman, executive director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
A friend said goodbye to her dog companion of 14 years. It was a tough thing to face but my friend did it with dignity and grace. My own challenge with this and my dogs is hopefully not too soon but not that far off either.
I hate to be so trite as to quote a showtune, but the scene in Les Miz where Cosette sings to ValJean as he is dying, "it's too soon, too soon to say goodbye" is exactly how I feel.
Thomas Jefferson said "It is a fearful thing to love what death can touch." And yet the irony is that we humans are wired to need and love that which death will always take away from us.
It is tempting to believe in an afterlife...but I wonder if that's just a conceit to help us avoid the awful truth of oblivion. "Man is certainly crazy. He could not make a mite, and he makes gods by the dozen."
So who knows. The only thing I know is my friend is content with her decision and her dog's passing was a peaceful and beautiful ending of a life well lived.
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Truth be told, most Washingtonians get their news from cable TV, the Daily Show and Oprah just like the rest of America. Maybe we obsess over it a little more.
That said, there is something unique about living here. Politics is part of the air we breathe and this is a one company town and the corporate HQ has a big dome on top of it. How firmly this is a political city was driven home to me one morning when I walked past a homeless person who was yelling a rant at the top of his voice about the First Amendment. And as Scott's Take proves, any idiot with Internet access can put up a political blog.
So, to all my relatives who always say to me everytime they see me "So, are you fixing things in Washington?" I say, "Yeah, I'll get right on it. First, I'll tell GWB to fire Rummy, stop the torture and repeal the Patriot Act. And then we'll strike down DOMA, DADT and make same sex marriage legal." And that should shut my relatives up for good.
We also have to give her twice a day an antibiotic pill, and once a day a supposedly chewable tablet for her arthritis and another chewable to help with bladder control.
Can I say it'd be easier to shove a watermelon down a garden hose than to get Ranger to take these pills?
Regarding the non-chewable pill, we've tried:
1) Hiding it in cheese -- she spits it out
2) Hiding it in hot dogs -- she caught on and now refuses to eat hot dogs
3) Crushing it and adding to her food -- she somehow "eats around" the medicated part
4) Crushing it and mixing it into peanut butter -- she spits it out
So I'm resorted to showing the pill down her throat and holding her head p until she swallows. It's not pleasant for either of us and eventually her annoyance with me is going to overcome her love and she'll bite.
Monday, October 09, 2006
"The fact is that one in four gay and lesbian people are Republicans because they believe in limited government, personal responsibility and strong defense and they serve with distinction."Hmmm. Limited Government. Personal Responsibility. Could it be that Log Cabin is more conservative than George W. Bush? Who knew?
2) One difference is that, thus far, there is no criminal wrongdoing evidenced in the Foley matter (just wrongful behavior). Clinton perjured himself by lying to a grand jury.
3) The Dems said to look the other way then, but demand accountability from Republicans now. Hmm. As pride goeth before a fall, so too do convictions fall before a close election.
4) The reason the Monica affair didn't prove to be Clinton's undoing is that everyone knew he was a womanizing scamp and elected him anyway.
5) But the Republicans have won elections based in part to be the party of moral virtue. That worm seems to be turning, as according to the WashPo today:
More of those polled, 42 percent, now say they trust Democrats to do a better job handling moral values than Republicans; 36 percent favored Republicans on the values question.6) The other difference has everything to do with this being about gay sex. Andrew Sullivan has been publishing song lyrics and other references in pop culture that celebrate older men taking on with much younger women, including adolescents. Bill Clinton can be tarnished with the relatively mild epithet, "philanderer," while the word used to describe essentially the same actions by a gay man is the much harsher "pederast" or "pedophile." Straight men chasing after girls, "aw shucks, guys will be guys." Gay men chasing after boys? Lock em up!
7) I think both Clinton's and Foley's actions were wrong and disgusting. Both abused their positions and the object of their desire's youth and lack of status to get sex from them. Both did so while on the public payroll and in the public workplace. Clinton deserves as much condemnation for it as does Foley.
8) The only heroes emerging from this sorry affair are the gay Republican staffers on the Hill. From what we know so far, it was they who raised the alarm about Foley repeatedly. It was their elected bosses who looked the other way. Now the official GOP is trying to use these staffers as scapegoats. Those who tried to be accountable are being victimized by those who don't want to be accountable for anything.
9) It's for this last reason Congress needs to change party control. Not so much because I think the Dems will do a better job, but because voters need to send a strong message demanding accountability. We've had no accountability on anything from the party in power in Washington, from WMDs, Iraq, Abu Grahib, Katrina, lobbying, spending and now sexual predators among the ranks.
10) Sometimes a smaller issue -- like the Foley scandal -- becomes a proxy for larger ones. I think that's happening here. The Foley affair casts a clear light on all the faultlines that have led to the larger calamities facing our country. And perhaps that will be the good that comes out of this.
Friday, October 06, 2006
The vet called yesterday evening and left a msg on my cell phone while I was at the gym. She didn't come right out and say Ranger has kidney disease but her message also cut off. And she wasn't in today so I can't talk to her till tomorrow. All I got was something is up with her kidneys and we need to put her on prescription-medicated dog food.
She's becoming increasingly leaky again. I guess I need to find some doggie depends.
That news and the utterly depressing, chilly grey weather has sent moods here into a tailspin. But, I'm meeting up with Matty Dale tonight for "drinkies." That's what he calls them which means Sarah Jessica Parker probably said it in Sex and the City.
I haven't told the LTR yet -- he's on the road and doesn't take news of this sort well. And I really don't know much at this point anyway.
Can anyone tell me how to do this?
I've found Blogger help to be ineffective. They might as well place a banner over the page that says "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here."
One thing I like about this song is the technique of changing the "mood" of the song without altering the music and lyrics...it's mostly done with the performance. Justin pulls that off nicely here after the transition of the repeated lyrics "...and the rain..."
One of the best examples of this is (sorry to use a showtune example, Justin) is in Jesus Christ Superstar, in Jesus' big "All I have to say" number in Act Two, the entire tenor of the show changes 2/3 of the way through the song on the words "What YOU started, I didn't start it." Nothing is the same after that, even though the music that follows is mostly material heard earlier in the show.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
So far we've had him , him, and him.
Help me out dear readers...scouring the Internet for beefcake is, um, hard work. Let's share the load, er, burden. Who should be featured this week?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post a comment with a link.
After several soggy tries yours truly, Nurse Bedpan, was able to collect the needed urine sample from dog Ranger. I ran off with it to the Vet like an exultant Knight Templar brandishing the Holy Grail. "I brought something for you!" I said with a grin to the Vet receptionist.
Now we'll see what the test results show...Ranger started leaking again, just a little. So it may not be the meds.
As I pointed out in an earlier post, the closet solves nothing. Rank dishonesty should not ever be the foundation for public policy, whether regarding WMDS or the civil institution of marriage.
Gay men belong in the closet. It is better for gay men, and it is better for the rest of us.
You are as good an example of this as I can find. The sexual behavior of gay men is a threat to the public health, as the AIDS epidemic made clear. I'm not about to pretend that gay men behave sexually as straights do.
The old paradigm of living in the closet and marriage to a fag hag is better for gay men, and it is better for the rest of us, too. Relationship to a woman is the only way to constrain the sexual behavior of men. The sexual behavior of gay men must be constrained.
There is no civil rights issue involved in any of this. You are seriously deceiving yourself. You're just a spoiled child living in a society in which the men have collapsed and can no longer assert their authority.
This will change in the future. No society can continue to survive with gay men living without constraint. And, no society can long endure under the authority of the fag hags. The world of the fags and the fag hags is disgusting. There is something called reality.
I don't think we should throw men in jail for f***ing each other in the ass. But, we certainly shouldn't encourage it either. We should push you and your like back into the closet where you belong. Hope it happens soon.
Keep that in mind as you consider this story:
A Denver man, Steven Howards, was arrested after he expressed a negative opinion of the war in Iraq to Vice President Dick Cheney. Howard Kurtz picks up the story in his blog in today's WashPo online:
"So what happened here? Howards said yesterday that he was taking his eight-year-old son to a piano lesson two hours west of Denver when he saw Cheney at an outdoor mall. Howards then approached within several feet of Cheney and said something like, 'I think your policies in Iraq are reprehensible.' Howards says he then went on his way. The Times continues:
"About 10 minutes later, he said, he was walking back through the area when Agent Reichle handcuffed him and said he would be charged with assaulting the vice president. Local police officers, acting on information from the Secret Service, according to the suit, ultimately filed misdemeanor harassment charges that could have resulted in up to a year in jail .
"The charges were ultimately dropped by the local DA. But why was the man arrested in the first place? Who ordered him arrested?"
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
A good friend of mine from High School recently tracked me down and emailed me...a part of my life that has remained in the closet has been the part of me from high school...I came out to my closest high school buddy when Eli was born but haven't heard from him since. So, my friend Tim contacts me and after I waited a few weeks I emailed him back and brought him up to speed.
It was good to hear from him. I wonder if I will again. And yet another brick from my closet wall is gone.
She hates it. Scares her to death. She shakes all over as soon as we walk in and its one of the few times she'll climb onto my lap. Ranger is an affectionate dog; but she dislikes being cuddled. Here she wants to be held.
We tried to get a urine sample, which meant that me, Ranger and a lab assistant walked around the block. Every time Ranger squatted to piss the tech stuck a pan under her, uh, you know, and of course, Ranger froze. Imagine going to the doctor and the lab assistant walking into the bathroom to assist you with your urine sample and how difficult that would be...okay, for some of you, maybe that's not an apt analogy. At any rate, it didn't work, which means I have to follow her around the neighborhood with a damn bedpan trying to collect.
However, since I hadn't given her a pill since yesterday morning she stopped her incontinence and going on that info the Vet changed her meds. I guess my 4-H training paid off.
The Vet sent Ranger home with more than one med though...Ranger has outsmarted us at every turn on taking pills. We've tried the pill in the cheese trick, the pill in the hot dog trick - Ranger just eats the goodies and spits the pill out. I ground up her pill and rolled it into some peanut butter -- She spit the peanut butter out as well as anyone can spit peanut butter out. So we take to shoving the pill down her throat, but even then it turned out the LTR was inserting the pill in the back of her throat, she simulated swallowing (no, I don't know how she learned that trick) and then went upstairs, away from the LTR, and spit the pill out.
Tonight she shocked me by EATING one of her pills...she sniffed it out of my hand, opened her mouth and ATE it.
Maybe you can teach an old dog new tricks. There's hope for me yet. And hopefully Ranger will become a little more like her old self...energetic, happy, perky.
If my son Eli were a page or former page and he got an email from a 54 y.o. (or 30 y.o, for that matter) Congressman who was well known for liking boys, asking for his picture, I'd start asking questions. Lots of them. The first two would be: 1) why does he want your picture. 2) what OTHER communication/requests have you had from him? Any parent would ask these questions.
And when the Congress is essentially in loco parentis to these kids, it's incumbent upon them to act as good parents would. By that measure, the GOP leadership fell on its face and let the kids and their parents down.
But then again, what else is new? The GOP leadership has consistently shirked its duty to true conservative principals (fiscal responsibility to name one), oversight of the administration and promoting ethical conduct among its members (Abramoff scandal). The spawn of their failure? I give you Katrina. Iraq. And now Foley.
But the GOP doesn't hold a monopoly on dropping the ball. The Dems have consistently failed to offer a principled, rational alternative.
Where's a Roosevelt (either one) when you need him?
I think it's the meds...she got better throughout the day yesterday and I didn't give her her pill last night or this morning and she's as dry as the desert in June.
There's a thousand little lies one tells each day to self and others to remain hidden in the closet's confines. When I was in a closet I carefully monitored each word I said, making sure, among other things, to change "we" to "I" and "our" to "my." Thus with a little verbal slight of hand did I erase from existence a loving partner and the most meaningful relationship in my life.
Foley apparently has a "companion" of 19 years. The closet negated the legitimacy of that relationship.
I don't know, and can't know, (at least until Foley publishes the inevitable memoir) what role the public and inner denial of Foley's core self and core relationship played in his actions.
I don't think being in the closet leads one to pedophilia. But the closet can certainly aid and abet any type of clandestine behavior. It forces you to sublimate the most positive attributes of your being (like a 19 year relationship). In hiding the most positive aspect of yourself it's easier for the darker impulses to take over. The thousands of little lies add up to big lies about identity and activities and creates a cloying patina layers deep that, carried to an extreme can bury the truth even from one's self. The closet corrupts not just the closeted but all he or she knows.
For example. Searching on the key words "MWM" for "Married White Man" on Craig's List's "Men Seeking Men" page, I returned 100 results posted since Sunday. This is a typical ad:
MWM, 37, 5-11, 170lbs, avg body (fit), Br/Bl, semi-hairy, looking for an extremely discreet encounter on Wednesday evening. Staying with friends and want to be able to tell them that I'm heading out with buddies from work (Tysons Corner, maybe?). Only get to play when I'm traveling. Safe/Sane/Professional. Please - no one-linerThis person has chosen a life in the closet and will seek furtive sex with other men while the wife is away...that's his choice...but it's also important to acknowledge that society built those closet walls. Don't Ask Don't Tell, DOMA, bans against same sex marriage, commentators making homosexuality and pedophilia synonymous are the common architects of the closet.
Mark Foley and many, many others chose to live a life in fear in the closet...but society opened the door. The closet will exist as long as society refuses the truth...that gay people are a natural part of the human community with every right to fulfilling and long lasting relationships with those whom they love.
It's my hope that gay men and women, as we increasingly have over the last two decades, refuse to stay in the closet. It's my bigger hope that one day the closet will not even exist.