Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fischer: Fine Anyone Who Has Unprotected Gay Sex







Fischer Wants Fines For Anyone Who Has Unprotected Gay Sex
How 'bout if we have fines for people who say dumb shit on the radio?

Kathy Verbiest Baldock claims God DOES have a better way, and that way is unconditional LOVE, not condemnation, ridicule and obvious or subtle displays of disrespect.

God Does Have a Better Way | Don’t Stand in the Path of It

Grindr Senator Has History of Antigay Positions

Grindr Senator Has History of Antigay Positions


Russian Cannibal Lured Victim Over the Internet

Russian Cannibal Lured Victim Over the Internet


Truth Wins Out Plans Protest of Ex-Gay Conference

Truth Wins Out Plans Protest of Ex-Gay Conference

Preacher Ordained at 6 Years Old


Remaining Neutral in the Culture War


CitizenLink Report: Sexualizing Our Schools


Street Preachers Confront Homosexuals In Brisbane Australia


Judge Allows Choi To Pursue ‘Vindictive Prosecution’ Defense

Judge Allows Choi To Pursue ‘Vindictive Prosecution’ Defense: Lt. Dan Choi’s trial was delayed for 10 days today after U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola ruled there was significant enough evidence for Choi’s lawyers to argue the government singled him out for “vindictive prosecution.” The delay allows the government time to appeal to a higher court to overturn the judge’s allowance for such a...

Alabama Student’s Pro-Gay Shirt Censored Out Of ‘Concern For Her Safety’

Alabama Student’s Pro-Gay Shirt Censored Out Of ‘Concern For Her Safety’: Some are hopeful that the attention brought to LGBT bullying over the past year will make schools safer this year, but Hoover High School in Alabama is not off to a very good start. School officials told 15-year-old Sara Couvillon that she shouldn’t wear her “gay? fine by me” t-shirt because they were “concerned for...

Presidential Candidate-Endorsed Ex-Gay Conference Heads To Texas’ Largest City

Presidential Candidate-Endorsed Ex-Gay Conference Heads To Texas’ Largest City: In two weeks, the Love Won Out ex-gay conference is coming to Houston, Texas. Love Won Out was started by Focus on the Family, but it is now run by Exodus International, an umbrella organization for numerous ex-gay therapists and ministries. Love Won Out conferences are held around the country, promoting false ideas about the...

Lies, Lies, Lies.


Penn State Students Grill Alum Rick Santorum On Marriage Views

Penn State Students Grill Alum Rick Santorum On Marriage Views: Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has no shortage of arguments against marriage equality, particularly with his new “a marriage is a marriage” talking point, where he compares random objects to somehow suggest a same-sex marriage is not a marriage. Yesterday, during a question and answer session at his alma mater, Penn State University, Santorum spoke...

Married Same-Sex Couples Cannot Go Through U.S. Customs Together

Married Same-Sex Couples Cannot Go Through U.S. Customs Together: The Defense of Marriage Act has many implications for people in same-sex relationships who are not United States citizens. Stories of binational couples are becoming all too familiar, such as that of Connecticut congressional candidate Mike Williams and his husband, who may soon be deported. But DOMA has other immigration implications, including the very unwelcoming...

New Report Finds Growing Support For Gay And Lesbian Equality Among Religious Millennials

New Report Finds Growing Support For Gay And Lesbian Equality Among Religious Millennials: The Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) released a report earlier this week examining the views of religious millennials on gay and lesbian rights. The report, titled “Generations at Odds: The Millennial Generation and the Future of Gay and Lesbian Rights,” finds that religious millennials are much more supportive than older generations of gay and lesbian...

It's Even Worse Than We Imagined

It's Even Worse Than We Imagined


Students Reveal Teacher Brought Anti-Gay Bias to the Classroom

Weak Anti-Bullying Policy Leaves Lake County Students Unprotected

Chaz Bono Casting on 'DWTS' Attacked on ABC Website

Focus On The Family: Basic LGBT Info Is ‘Sexualizing Our Schools’

Focus On The Family: Basic LGBT Info Is ‘Sexualizing Our Schools’: A new video from Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink attempts to portray the distribution of basic LGBT educational materials to young people as “controversial” and a waste of taxpayer money. Watch as Candi Cushman expresses astonishment that young people might learn the fundamentals of same-sex orientations and transgender identities and then pushes FOTF’s pro-bullying (LGBT-erasing)...

Missouri School Resists ACLU To ‘Protect’ Students From ‘Inappropriate’ LGBT Content

Missouri School Resists ACLU To ‘Protect’ Students From ‘Inappropriate’ LGBT Content: The ACLU has been suing schools across the country through its “Don’t Filter Me” campaign, which challenges districts to lift Internet filters that block students’ access to LGBT-affirming materials while often still allowing access to dangerous anti-LGBT and ex-gay advocacy sites. Many schools have complied by adjusting their filters, but Camdenton School District in Missouri...

Tempers Flared In Courtroom As Lt. Dan Choi Took The Stand

Tempers Flared In Courtroom As Lt. Dan Choi Took The Stand: Lt. Dan Choi testified in his own defense yesterday for over three hours, arguing that his arrest for protesting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell on the White House fence was a form of censorship. Today, his attorney Robert Feldman will question Randy Myers, assistant solicitor general at the Department of Interior, why he advised U.S. Park Police...

On the edge: Religious militancy in the Queen City

On the edge: Religious militancy in the Queen City

Charlotte's Michael Brown and Coalition of Conscience are walking a dangerously short path to religious violence















_________________________________

Michael Brown and his red-shirted "God Has a Better Way" following crashed Charlotte, NC, Pride which was held this past Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011.


See more pictures at Michael Brown's Facebook page.














I've had people try to shove their religion down my throat my whole life--fundamentalists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons. To be honest, it is a huge pain in the ass. And almost always the people who approach me--in the street, at my front door--let me know within seconds that they believe that they're okay and I'm not going to be okay until I get to be like them. I am ALWAYS profoundly offended by that attitude, even when the person treating me that way doesn't have a clue about my sexuality. If someone tried this on me at a Pride event, it would ruin it for me. It would make me sick. It's as if proselytizers have some kind of disease that causes them to compulsively annoy the shit out of people like parasitical insects.

Some articles by historians addressing the Christianist lie that gays are responsible for Nazism

JONATHAN ZIMMERMAN: Did Nazis persecute gays, or were they gay themselves?


A historian’s analysis of The Pink Swastika, part 1


A historian’s analysis of The Pink Swastika, part 2


Kevin Abrams: The other side of The Pink Swastika



Of course there were gay Nazis. In it's time, the Nazi movement was sizable, so why wouldn't it have attracted a certain number of gay people? There are gay Republicans, Democrates, Socialists and Communists. So why wouldn't there have been gay Nazis and Fascists? But certain Christainists are now trying to suggest that Nazism is somehow fundamentally gay and that most Nazis were in fact gay. They are even saying that Hitler himself was gay. It's absurd.

There are gay Catholics. There have always been gay Catholics. Some even think the current Pope may be gay. But it would be ridiculous to say that Catholicism is gay or somehow represents the general pathos of gay people.

Claiming that the Nazi part was a kind of militant gay movement is as stupid as saying the Republican party is gay because of the existance of GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Judy Shepard, Neal Broverman, Lisa Bloom & Chris Jacobs On Lawrence King...


MSNBC - Married Gay Couple Anthony Makk & Bradford Wells Fighting DOMA D...


North Carolina Rep Paul Stam likens gay marriage to incest, polygamy


Dutch Husband Of Gay Congressional Candidate May Face Deportation

Dutch Husband Of Gay Congressional Candidate May Face Deportation: Earlier this month, the Obama administration acquiesced to the demands of immigration reform advocates and announced that it would review all 300,000 active deportation cases to ensure that they are consistent with the nation’s enforcement priorities. The case-by-case review will allow the government to focus its resources and efforts on high priority targets — individuals...

Support For Same-Sex Marriage Increasing In Iowa

Support For Same-Sex Marriage Increasing In Iowa: A new Public Policy Polling survey finds that Iowa is becoming increasingly favorable to same-sex marriage. Forty-six percent think marriage equality should be legal, while 45 percent would outlaw it. “When civil unions are included as an alternative, giving gay couples the same rights as marriage, 40 percent still prefer full marriage equality, 30 percent...

A Quick Guide To Debunking Minnesota For Marriage’s Talking Points

A Quick Guide To Debunking Minnesota For Marriage’s Talking Points: Minnesotans won’t vote on a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage until November 2012, but the ballot campaign is already heating up. The coalition of groups supporting the ban, Minnesota for Marriage, is now distributing a series of talking points advocating against marriage equality, claiming that anyone who doesn’t support a “new definition of marriage”...

Gay Cyclist: Athletes Should Wait For Retirement Before Coming Out

Gay Cyclist: Athletes Should Wait For Retirement Before Coming Out: Openly gay cyclist Graeme Obree has joined German soccer captain Philipp Lahm in discouraging gay athletes from coming out. He told the Scottish Sun that being gay and an active sportsman is not “a good thing” because “it would be too awkward in the dressing room,” adding, “You need to be retired first. Even now...

Why Opponents Of Marriage Equality Are Trying To Block The Release Of The Prop 8 Trial Tapes

Why Opponents Of Marriage Equality Are Trying To Block The Release Of The Prop 8 Trial Tapes: The American Foundation for Equal Rights, which yesterday petitioned a judge to release video recordings of last year’s Proposition 8 trial, has released this handy guide of “7 stunning moments” from the trial that opponents of marriage equality “don’t want you to see”: – The Proponents’ own witness, David Blankenhorn, agreed under oath that “the...

Barber: Gays Want To Put Conservatives "Behind Bars"

Barber: Gays Want To Put Conservatives "Behind Bars"

Sprigg: "Nothing That We Have Done Can Reasonably Be Called Hate"

Sprigg: "Nothing That We Have Done Can Reasonably Be Called Hate"

The Religious Right's Twisted View Of Religious Freedom

The Religious Right's Twisted View Of Religious Freedom

Rick Scarborough: AIDS Is God's Judgment For An Immoral Act










The Governor and The Christocrat: A Match Made In Texas

C. Peter Wagner: "Dominion Means Ruling As Kings"


Fischer: Criminalize Homosexuality


North Carolinians Rally Against Marriage Equality: Bigamists And Pedophiles Are ‘Waiting In The Wings’

North Carolinians Rally Against Marriage Equality: Bigamists And Pedophiles Are ‘Waiting In The Wings’: The debate over inserting a constitutional amendment into North Carolina’s constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage isn’t until next month, but proponents of the measure are already organizing in support of the effort. Gregory Phillips of the Fay Observer has this report from yesterday’s small protest: “Ana Maria Blevins, who organized the protest and brought two...

Ben Cohen kicks off gay softball world series in Chicago


Hundreds of complaints over Torchwood gay sex scenes

Hundreds of complaints over Torchwood gay sex scenes


Wonder how many call to complain about "pointless" straight sex scenes.

Census Data Reveals New Geography of Marriage for Americans

Census Data Reveals New Geography of Marriage for Americans

Rick Perry Doesn’t Like Romney Because He’s Too Gay Friendly

Rick Perry Doesn’t Like Romney Because He’s Too Gay Friendly: The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser traces the bad blood between presidential contenders Mitt Romney and Rick Perry to a 2002 dispute over the Boy Scout’s participation in the Winter Olympic Games: Perry, who proudly wears an Eagle Scout pin on his lapel, has harshly criticized Romney for a decision made while he ran the Olympics...

MTV's 'Best New Artist' Tyler the Creator Says 'Faggot' 213 Times in Latest Album

You'll always be gold in my memory, Ponyboy.


Despair

To feel like you’ve been left behind. To feel like you have nothing to offer. To feel like no one cares. To watch your life dwindle down as your hopes and dreams slip away. To know that this is where you are at, this is what you have come to--cold, lonely and broke. Deliver me from the pain of being me.

Homophobia seems unnatural

And Baby Makes Three

George finds out that merely marrying a woman isn't enough to convince everyone he's straight. He also has to have sex with her.

Tom Cruise, Timothy Huton and Sean Penn - Taps (1981)



























This was taken back before we knew Tom Cruise was crazy and homophobic. Timothy Huton seemed like the rising star. Funny how things worked out.

It's always fun to shower with a friend.

Hey there, hot stuff!







































"A pretty boy in his underwear; if there’s a better reason to jump for joy who cares…" --Anonymous

Anti-Bullying ad


Monday, August 29, 2011

Video Would Prove Prop. 8 Trial Was Fair, Lawyers Argue

Video Would Prove Prop. 8 Trial Was Fair, Lawyers Argue


Judge ‘Won’t Delay Very Long’ In Prop 8 Video Ruling

Ad in El Paso Times: Gays Are Putrid

Ad in El Paso Times: Gays Are Putrid


Jesus Hates You


Iowa Governor: Anti-Gay Views Didn’t Contribute To Anti-Gay Beating

Iowa Governor: Anti-Gay Views Didn’t Contribute To Anti-Gay Beating: During a press conference today, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) claimed that anti-gay rhetoric and opposition to marriage equality didn’t lead to the death of Waterloo, Iowa resident Marcellus Andrews, who was called a “faggot” and other anti-gay names as he was attacked by a group of yet-to-be identified assailants. “I see no link whatsoever...

















__________________

Well, of course he would say that. But who do you think taught those young thugs it was okay to hate on gays?

Beyond Alarmism and Denial in the Dominionism Debate

Beyond Alarmism and Denial in the Dominionism Debate

What Would Dominionists Do With Gays?

What Would Dominionists Do With Gays?

Video provided by Good As You is very telling


'It makes me want to throw up, the idea of two grooms -- well that's the way a lot of people feel.'


(Good As You) -- The American Family Association's Tim Wildmon, Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, and Liberty Counsel's Harry Mihet are very engaged figures on the conservative side of this modern marriage conversation. And at around the 4:06 mark of this clip, their juvenile comments, laughter, and affirmation yet again prove that this "protect marriage" fight goes well beyond constitutional concerns or civil law considerations, instead finding its most basic root in detestation for homosexuality itself...

Click on the link to watch the video. 

Michael Brown has posted his pompous and self-righteous account of Charlotte, NC, Pride that took place on Sat., Aug. 27.

When drag queens lead the way


















After reading Michael Brown’s account of Charlotte Pride, I think I know why he went--so he could go home and write a judgmental, snarky account of the event. I don’t see even the slightest amount of love or compassion for LGBT people in Brown’s comments. In my opinion, his words and actions are a blatant attempt to marginalize and defame the LGBT community and to pump up his own ego at the expensive of a group of people he knows his followers don’t like.

Back when I was a kid, my parents used to take me to the West Virginia State Fair every year. There were lurid carnival sideshows, huge numbers of men walking around without their shirts on and women in short shorts, high heels, and skimpy t-shirts. But I would not be so asinine as to reduce my fair going experience to that or to suggest that the people I saw there aren’t worthy of respect.

I lived in the college town of Morgantown, WV, for a number of years, and every single weekend there was a heterosexual orgy on High Street and the Sunnyside neighborhood. But I would not be so asinine as to reduce my experience of Morgantown to that or to suggest that the people I encountered there aren’t worthy of respect.

Furthermore, it is absolutely wicked of Michael Brown to try to shame people for getting tested for HIV and learning about how to protect themselves and their partners.




When drag queens lead the way, huh?

When I was a kid, I used to get a big kick out of Flip Wilson when he dressed as Geraldine.  My fundamentalist father and I used to watch Geraldine together.  And we watched Havery Korman on the Carol Burnett Show.  Before I was born there was Milton Berle.  The classic Bridge on the River Kwai features captive soldiers entertaining themselves by putting on a drag show.  Since when has a drag show been so outrageous?  I'll tell you when, since Michael Brown and those like him have wanted to proclaim they're better than LGBT people.

Religious Right, Oppressed Minority

Religious Right, Oppressed Minority

(The Advocate) -- Those straight white male right-wing Christians keep playing the victim card. Tony Perkins, head of the Family Research Council, has joined Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage and Republican presidential hopeful Rick Santorum in casting the religious right as an oppressed minority...

Antigay Minister Charged With Noise Violation For Pride Protest

Antigay Minister Charged With Noise Violation For Pride Protest 

Trans Person Hit in Off-Duty D.C. Police Shooting

Trans Person Hit in Off-Duty D.C. Police Shooting 

What are they trying to hide? Aug 29 Marriage News Watch


Darlene Bishop says there are homosexual demons in the church choir. Jump to the 5:00 mark.

A few Catholics still insist Galileo was wrong

A few Catholics still insist Galileo was wrong

They say Earth is the center of the universe, embracing church teachings of four centuries ago.

Huntsman Was The First Utah Governor To Discuss Policy With LGBT Community

Huntsman Was The First Utah Governor To Discuss Policy With LGBT Community: Kerry Eleveld’s overview of where the GOP presidential candidates stand on LGBT issues offers this interesting (and promising) anecdote about former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) consulting with the Log Cabin Republicans at the governor’s mansion in 2008. At the time, Huntsman was the first “sitting governor – let alone a Republican governor...

GOP Rep Who Promised To Eradicate Homosexuality If He Were God To Challenge Openly-Gay Tammy Baldwin For Senate Seat

GOP Rep Who Promised To Eradicate Homosexuality If He Were God To Challenge Openly-Gay Tammy Baldwin For Senate Seat: Former Wisconsin Rep. Mark Neumann (R) has announced that he will run for the state’s open senate seat in 2012 and will likely challenge former Governor Tommy Thompson for the party’s nomination. In declaring his candidacy during a radio appearance this morning, Neumann predicted that he will face openly-gay Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D) in a...

President Of Ghana Compares Homosexuality To Drug Abuse, Armed Robbery, Child Prostitution, And Rape

President Of Ghana Compares Homosexuality To Drug Abuse, Armed Robbery, Child Prostitution, And Rape: In a speech for a festival on the theme of “Promoting Our Cultural Heritage to Eradicate Social Vices,” Ghana’s President John Evans Atta Mills made it clear that the government would not legalize “the practice of homosexuality and lesbianism.” He claimed that homosexuality, drug abuse, armed robbery, child prostitution, rape, defilement, and other sex-related crimes...

Cameroon Arrests Four People For Homosexuality

Cameroon Arrests Four People For Homosexuality: Authorities in the west African nation of Cameroon “have charged four people aged 17 to 46 with homosexuality and remanded them in custody, their lawyer told AFP on Saturday.” Homosexuality is outlawed in Cameroon and “those arrested risk five years in prison.” Meanwhile, activists worry that the government is preparing to increase the punishment for...

German Soccer Captain: ‘I Would Not Advise Any Gay Professional Footballer To Come Out’

German Soccer Captain: ‘I Would Not Advise Any Gay Professional Footballer To Come Out’: Philipp Lahm, captain of Germany’s national soccer team, warns gay players against coming out in his new autobiography: LAHM: I would not advise any gay professional footballer to come out. I would fear that he could end up like Justin Fashanu who after he outed himself was driven into such a corner that he ended...

Bachmann: Hurricane Was A Message From God To Washington About Spending (Updated)

Bachmann: Hurricane Was A Message From God To Washington About Spending (Updated): Joining such distinguished public policy thinkers as Pat Robertson and birther evangelist Joseph Farah in seeing divine political interference in natural disasters, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) said yesterday that Hurricane Irene was a message from God. Speaking Sarasota, Florida, Bachmann suggested God used the hurricane and last week’s earthquake to tell politicians to cut spending...

Bachmann Was Just Kidding; God Didn't Pick Hurricane Irene as Messenger

Iowa Senate Majority Leader: ‘I’m Not Going To Put Discrimination Into The State’s Constitution’

Iowa Senate Majority Leader: ‘I’m Not Going To Put Discrimination Into The State’s Constitution’: Iowa Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal (D) has made it clear he will block any attempt by the legislature to advance a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, saying, “I’m not going to put discrimination into the state’s constitution.” As long as he retains his position as majority leader, Gronstal can prevent the issue from coming...

Turek: Homosexuality Is A "Road To Destruction," Like Getting Run Over By A Truck

Turek: Homosexuality Is A "Road To Destruction," Like Getting Run Over By A Truck

If Dominionism Is A Liberal Conspiracy, Why Does It Have Conservative Critics?

If Dominionism Is A Liberal Conspiracy, Why Does It Have Conservative Critics?

Dan Choi protest trial set for Aug. 29

Dan Choi protest trial set for Aug. 29

Gay Teen Killed in Bachmann's Hometown, She Won't Address LGBT Issues


Gay Teen Killed in Bachmann's Hometown, She Won't Address LGBT Issues


Concerned Women For America’s Crouse Grows Agitated When Host Contradicts Gay Adoption Claim

Concerned Women For America’s Crouse Grows Agitated When Host Contradicts Gay Adoption Claim

"The American Psychological Association has similarly concluded that 'beliefs that lesbian and gay adults are not fit parents have no empirical foundation.'"

Both The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times recently ran editorials in support of letting the public see Prop 8 proceedings

Throw open the Prop. 8 video records


Going to the Videotape

Gay marriage? State lawmakers wonder if votes are there

Gay marriage? State lawmakers wonder if votes are there

United Methodists' Gay Policy To Be Challenged

United Methodists' Gay Policy To Be Challenged

Phillies and ItGetsBetter.org


Anti-marriage-equality resource guide asks citizens to feed Maryland lawmakers misinformation

Anti-marriage-equality resource guide asks citizens to feed Maryland lawmakers misinformation

Born Gay?

Born Gay?

This is a Time Magazine article about studies of family trees and DNA that make the case that male homosexuality is genetic.

"The fact that 33 out of 40 pairs of gay brothers were found to share the same sequences of DNA in a particular part of the chromosome suggests that at least one gene related to homosexuality is located in that region."

Lying Evangelist, Marjoe Gortner, Exposed!

The World's Youngest Preacher





_____________________

(From Wikipedia) --  Hugh Marjoe Ross Gortner, generally known as Marjoe Gortner (born January 14, 1944 (1944-01-14) (age 67) in Long Beach, California), is a former revivalist who first gained a certain fame in the late 1940s when he became the youngest ordained preacher at the age of four. He then gained outright notoriety in the 1970s when he starred in Marjoe, an Oscar-winning, behind-the-scenes documentary about the lucrative business of Pentecostal preaching. The name "Marjoe" is a portmanteau of the names "Mary" and "Joseph".

NOM's Brian Brown Plays the Victim Card

NOM's Brian Brown Plays the Victim Card

(The Advocate) -- ...

"The mask of tolerance has been cast aside. We are looking into the face of a movement which wants, in the name of equality, to take away your rights and the rights of millions of decent, loving, law-abiding Americans who 'cling' — yes, I'm not afraid to call it that! — to God, common sense, and the best of America's long traditions of respect for Judeo-Christian values."

While the fight is certain to be a fierce one, Brown reassures his readers that the intolerance of gay people is combatable, that those in favor of marriage equality “can only win if they can get us to accept and internalize the second-class status they propose for us. To accept our own marginalization, to be quiet, to stand down and keep our heads down. To live in fear, instead of acting, with courage, out of hope.”

...

________________

Christianists don't want us to have the right to get married. They don't want us to have the right to serve in the military. They want employers to have the right to fire us just because we're LGBT. They fight against hate crimes legislation. They fight against anti-bullying programs in schools. But somehow WE are oppressing THEM? OMG!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Obituary: George Walton and Reg Mickisch

Obituary: George Walton and Reg Mickisch


(The Guardian) -- The loving partnership of George Walton and Reg Mickisch, who died within weeks of each other earlier this summer, aged 94 and 84 respectively, was the defining feature of both their lives...

Etienne Daho - Le Grand Sommeil (Sweetlight Remix)


Rick Santorum Says Gay Community Waged Jihad Against Him Over Gay Marriage


Hidden History


Hidden history by thierrydeparis

The boys are beautiful, and they seem so alive and in the moment, and so in love.

Burt isn't ready to settle down with Ernie.

I Dream Of A Better World

















When I read this, I laughed, and almost immediately I was reminded of how anyone who crosses the gender line --in terms of dress, or mannerisms, or interests, or sexual attraction or activity-- is questioned, and how some can't seem to stop themselves from offering up stupid theories to explain why some of us are different.

Censorship Is Stupid

Paradise is a library...with lots of naked Bel Ami boys running around.

Just hangin' out with the boys.

You tell 'em, H.L.

Girls in prison...oh, my! I'll bet they get up to all kinds of shenanigans.

Eat it, buddy.

A beautiful boy with flowers in his hair... Could anything be more lovely?

Christianists Invade Charlotte, NC, Pride, Aug. 27, 2011



























Photos taken by Kathy Verbiest Baldock of Canyon Walker Connections.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fate of King's Shooter Now in Jury's Hands

Fate of King's Shooter Now in Jury's Hands


Puerto Rican Senator Roberto Arango Caught Posting Nude Pics On Grindr

Puerto Rican Senator Roberto Arango Caught Posting Nude Pics On Grindr

The right pushes sad new homosexuality = pedophilia angle

The right pushes sad new homosexuality = pedophilia angle

Donohue Likens LGBT Rights Movement To Apartheid, Denies Ever Leading Pressure Campaigns

Donohue Likens LGBT Rights Movement To Apartheid, Denies Ever Leading Pressure Campaigns

Indonesian Lesbian Couple Forcibly Separated

Indonesian Lesbian Couple Forcibly Separated

FRC Continues Pro-Bullying Campaign, Seeking To Overturn FAIR Education Act And Erase Same-Sex Families

FRC Continues Pro-Bullying Campaign, Seeking To Overturn FAIR Education Act And Erase Same-Sex Families: The Family Research Council has released two new videos today encouraging the overturn of California’s FAIR Education Act. This recently passed law requires California schools include the contributions of LGBT people to history and culture, just as they are for other aspects of diversity. In the first video, FRC president Tony Perkins suggests that children will...

Right-Wing Foundations Behind Today’s Islamophobia Also Prop Up Anti-Gay Industry

Right-Wing Foundations Behind Today’s Islamophobia Also Prop Up Anti-Gay Industry: This morning, the Center for American Progress released a 130-page report revealing that more than $42 million from seven foundations over the past decade have helped fan the flames of anti-Muslim hate in America. These foundations rely on social conservative groups to echo their message, and some have spent years channeling dollars to anti-gay groups...

Rick Perry Signs Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge

Rick Perry Signs Anti-Gay Marriage Pledge: Rick Perry has joined Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum in signing the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-gay marriage pledge. The candidate — who had previously claimed that marriage should be left up to the states — vowed to establish a “presidential commission on religious liberty” to investigate instances of discrimination against conservatives...

Anoka-Hennepin’s Anti-Science, Anti-Gay, Anti-Trans History

Anoka-Hennepin’s Anti-Science, Anti-Gay, Anti-Trans History: Andy Birkey at the Minnesota Independent has a detailed account of the cultural controversies that have rocked Anoka-Hennepin School District. From disagreement about whether to teach creationism, to the much-maligned “no promo homo” policy that preceded the current homosexuality “neutrality” policy, to the Minnesota Family Policy Council’s state-level effort to get a part-time transgender teacher...

NOM Stirs Up Islamaphobia: Gays Issue ‘Fatwa,’ Wage ‘Jihad’ Against Christians

NOM Stirs Up Islamaphobia: Gays Issue ‘Fatwa,’ Wage ‘Jihad’ Against Christians: The National Organization for Marriage ceaselessly paints itself and its supporters as victims — alleging that advocates for marriage equality are trampling on their “religious freedom,” “silencing” them, and somehow “marginalizing” them. NOM president Brian Brown escalated this self-victimizing in an email/blog post yesterday by being more honest about the group’s Christian motivations and demonizing LGBT...

Harvey: "There's No Proof" LGBT People Exist

Harvey: "There's No Proof" LGBT People Exist

"It Is Dominion We Are After. World Conquest ... And We Must Never Settle For Anything Less"

"It Is Dominion We Are After. World Conquest ... And We Must Never Settle For Anything Less"

McInerney Defense: King Harassed, Targeted McInerney

McInerney Defense: King Harassed, Targeted McInerney


Tool Time: Gays Cause Earthquakes!


A Crucial Moment in America's Marriage Culture - NOM Marriage News, August 25, 2011

A Crucial Moment in America's Marriage Culture - NOM Marriage News, August 25, 2011


_________________

Brian Brown: "Jerry won a battle, but the jihad continues."
Scott Lively claims we're Nazis, and now Brian Brown is comparing us to Islamic terrorists. Remember when they used to say we were all ineffectual Nancy boys? :P

Farah: Marriage Equality Will "Plunge" America Into "The Moral Abyss Of Chaos And Barbarism"

Farah: Marriage Equality Will "Plunge" America Into "The Moral Abyss Of Chaos And Barbarism"

CGBG Helps Finance Rabidly Anti-Gay Liberty Counsel

CGBG Helps Finance Rabidly Anti-Gay Liberty Counsel

Bob Vander Plaats Violated His Own Marriage Fidelity Pledge, Accepted Millions In Federal Funds

Bob Vander Plaats Violated His Own Marriage Fidelity Pledge, Accepted Millions In Federal Funds: Bob Vander Plaats’ Iowa Family Policy Center accepted at least $2.2 million in government funding between 2006 and 2010 as it fought efforts to undermine the state’s same-sex marriage law, the Associated Press is reporting. The group successfully unseated three Iowa Supreme Court justices who overturned a law prohibiting marriage equality: The documents reviewed by...

Santorum: Marriage Is Like A Tree

Santorum: Marriage Is Like A Tree: Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has pointed to another random object, acknowledged a different random object, and concluded that the two are different, and thus when same-sex couples marry, it’s not “marriage.” This time, he told a reporter that a person could say “‘That tree is a car.’ Well the tree’s not a car. A tree’s...

Tell: An Intimate History of Gay Men in the Military Big Issues: GQ.com

Tell: An Intimate History of Gay Men in the Military Big Issues: GQ.com

Trevor Project Honored at White House

Trevor Project Honored at White House

Coming out- DADT


COMFORT AND JOY

by Gary L. Cottle
     Woodrow Hill was a classic bully; he lurked in the background, observing, watching for weakness, haunting our classroom, our playground, our lunch hour.  Just when you were about to forget about him, he’d lash out, go right for where it would hurt the most.  For instance, Woodrow knew just were to stick the knife into Timmy Tolliver.  Timmy was usually a quiet, wallflower of a boy, an overweight, insecure pup wanting praise and not getting it, but every now and then he’d have some little story to tell that he thought was funny, an anecdote, a yarn that maybe his grandpa told him, or his mom, or maybe just something he heard on TV.  With mirth in his eyes, and animated fingers, he’d find the nerve to relate a jocular tale to one or two who’d care to listen about a dog who would bark along with “The Star-Spangled Banner“ or about some old woman who had collected so many buttons over the years her house was now full of them.  That’s when Woodrow would step out of his shadowy world, and with a voice that was all too real, too caustic, he’d say, “Shut up, Tubby Tolliver.”  Woodrow had Althea Jones’s number, too.  When Woodrow would catch a smile on Althea’s round, dark face, he’d callously proclaim, “People with big lips should never grin.”  He was like some bitter, forsaken angel put on earth to keep our spirits tethered.
     For the most part, I escaped his most brutal, most inspired punishments.  That is until I was nine years old and developed a weakness that Woodrow, with his uncanny and precocious insight into childhood psychology, was able to see.  I returned from summer vacation to begin the fourth grade with the knowledge that my mom had stomach cancer, and that she wasn’t losing weight and feeling tired all the time because of some strict diet she had culled from a women’s fashion magazine.  I even knew she was going to die.  And it is for this reason that I was determined to make really good grades and stay out of trouble.  I didn’t want my teacher, or the principal, or the school nurse, or the attendance clerk calling my house to further dim the already bleak pall that had been cast there.  I wanted to be a trouble-free kid.  How did Woodrow know this?  And why was he so determined to spoil this last gift I wanted to give my mom?  At the time I had no answers for these questions, and he probably didn’t either if you had asked him.  But, nevertheless, he picked up on the basic nature of my desires and exploited them.  He’d taunt me relentlessly every time I was within earshot, provoking me, luring me away from my better nature, tempting me to give in to my growing need to throw the first punch.
     “Did your mommy dress you this morning, Graham Cracker?”
     “My name is Graham, Graham Hardy, not Graham Cracker,” I hissed, an admittedly feeble retort, but remember, my hands were tied behind my back.
     “I hate graham crackers.  I hate graham crackers.  Don’t give me any graham crackers.  Keep those graham crackers away from me,” he all but sang two inches from my face.
     “Funny.”
     “Look, it’s almost noon.  It’s almost your feeding time, Graham Cracker.  I’ll bet your mommy is already in the parking lot waiting for you to come out.  We all know you still suck her tit for milk.”
     In the end I outwitted Woodrow.  One day after school I ran ahead to a deserted stretch of road I knew he had to travel to get home, and I hid just inside the woods.  And as luck would have it, Woodrow did eventually walk by, alone.  I called out his name and was shocked to see the momentary panic sweep across his face when he searched around for the person daring to speak his name aloud, head and eyes suspiciously turning this way and that.
     “Over here, Woodrow.”
     He quickly resumed his tough-guy pose when the timber of my voice registered in his mind, and then he said, “Come out where I can see you, Graham Cracker.”
     I had already witnessed the crack in his armor.  I knew Woodrow had his tender spots, too, but still I was scared.  I knew that I couldn’t let him lay a hand on me, couldn’t go home with even a scratch, and it would be best if I managed to avoid getting any dirt on my clothes.  But I found my resolve, waved my hand so he could see where I was, and said, “You…come over here.”
     As he moved toward me, I stepped further into the woods so that any car that happened to drive by wouldn’t see the impending altercation.
     “Why are we going back here, Graham Cracker?  You’re not planning on sucking my tit for milk, are you?”
     When he laughed at his own joke my stomach churned, and for a minute I felt faint.  But then an amazing thing happened, something so perfect that it was like it had been planned since the moment I was born, a predestined event.  When he got near, I managed to hit him square on the nose.  Boy, was it a clean punch!  It was, in a word, beautiful.  To this day I don’t know why he didn’t try to block the blow.  Surely he knew what I was going to do.  When my hand made contact with his face, an aftershock traveled up to my shoulder and down to my gut.  Immediately blood was running down his chin, and he sank to his knees.  His swagger and sneer where wiped away, at least for the time being, in one fail swoop.
     “Damn it, Graham!  You better not have broken my nose.”  Suddenly he sounded reasonable.  Suddenly he spoke to me, used my real name and not the nick he gave me, as if we were old friends, and as if I should be ashamed for being so thoughtless.
     I bent down close to him and stated with conviction, “You better leave me alone from now on, or I’ll break your neck.”  And then I went home without any outward signs that anything had happened.
     When Woodrow came to school the next day he didn’t have a bandage on his face, so apparently I hadn’t broken his nose, but he didn’t bother me anymore after that, and that’s all I cared about.

     For several years following this event Woodrow and I didn’t have anything to say to one another.  In the interim, he went through a couple of transformations that were so quiet, so pianissimo that I didn’t even notice until one day I looked up to discover Woodrow was no longer a bully.
     At first he merely stopped digging for those sore spots.  He still observed us, I’m sure.  He was always there, but he didn’t engage.  He remained in the background for a long time, but not in a shy, timid way.  No one ever turned the tables on him; he was never bullied.  Woodrow, as I’ve stated, just stopped looking for a fight.
     And in high school he became a little more socially active.  He wasn’t exactly the life of the party, but he did have friends, and he was involved in a few things.  For instance, he was on the yearbook committee, he took pictures for the yearbook.  So he was essentially still observing, but in a way that was more useful and less menacing.
     One day in the library he was sitting across the table from me, and he looked up from the book he was studying and said in a hushed tone, “Graham, aren’t you in                  Mr. Plimpton’s fifth period geometry class?  I have him second period.”
     I was kind of shocked that he was talking to me.  Shocked that he would know when I took geometry, or anything about me.  I looked over at him and noticed his hair, how perfect it was--he must have spent a lot of time on his hair--and his glasses made him appear domesticated, safe.
     “Yeah.”
     “Could you help me out a little?  I’ve been having some trouble with it.”
     “Yeah...  Sure.”
     It was as simple as that; he asked me for help, and we started talking as if we had gotten along famously from the start.  I began tutoring him in geometry, and American history.  Within a month we were best friends.
     Almost every day after school we’d spend a couple of hours together doing our homework, or just hanging out, usually at his place.  I can still remember the first time he took me home with him as if it were yesterday.  I was surprised to learn that he and his mother lived in a makeshift basement apartment under his grandparents’ house.  He explained that his grandfather was “pretty good” at things like carpentry and plumbing, and that the old man was the one that had fixed this place up for them when his mom had divorced his father.  The apartment was functional, and it still had the semblance of a basement; the floor joists had been left exposed, and nothing seemed to match--dishes, towels, or even furniture.  The assorted belongings had undoubtedly been gathered up from yard sales, church bazaars, and the attics of aunts and neighbors.  I found that I was very comfortable there.  It was like Woodrow was on a camping trip that never ended.
     He had made a few insinuations about how hard his father had been on his mother and himself, but I didn’t know how ugly it had been until one day in October.  We had stolen a six-pack from his grandfather, took it to the deserted picnic area of a nearby park, and shared the beer while sitting across from one another.  We had grown quiet.  I looked around at the de****d trees as well as the carpet of fall colors and remembered the time I had led him into the woods so that I could punch him in he nose all those years before.  That’s when Woodrow picked his can up from the table, held it in the air like he was going to make a grand toast, and said, “This stuff can turn you into a fool or a devil if you let it.  It turned Dad into a devil.”
     He went on to tell me how his father used to spend all of their money in bars, and how he’d come home late at night drunk and abusive.  Woodrow didn’t hold anything back.  He was forthcoming with all the painful details.  He spoke of violence, both physical and verbal.  According to Woodrow, his dad would say something mean, and then jab a closed fist toward whomever was closest, using his hands to punctuate the cruel sentences he delivered to his wife and son.  I sat and listened in stunned silence and imagined what it must be like to have a father who hated me.
     On the drive back into town, Woodrow sat over in the passenger seat sullen and withdrawn.  He probably felt exposed after having revealed so much.  Maybe he wanted to take back a few of the details.  I have since learned that the children of abuse are generally secretive, but I had won Woodrow’s trust.  After being an enigma for so long, after first hiding behind technically precise insults, and then silence, and finally trendy clothes, he had given me the key to what made him tick.  I knew instinctively that I should even the score, so I told him a few things about my own father.
     I told him how I was supposed to spend the night with my aunt and uncle a few years after my mom died, and how my uncle decided to take me home early when my newborn cousin developed a fever.  I told Woodrow that we walked through the front door unannounced only to discover that Dad wasn’t alone; a woman was there with him.
     “When she left she took this overnight bag with her, so I knew she had been planning on staying the night.  When she left, Dad acted really nervous.  He asked me if I wanted anything to eat, even though Uncle Kip had just got through explaining that we had been to a sub shop before the baby got sick.  And then he asked if it wasn’t time for me to go to bed, even though he knew I didn’t go to bed until ten.  I was just embarrassed for him.  Couldn’t look him in the eye.  This was the guy that had been dragging me to church every Sunday morning and to prayer meetings every Wednesday night as if our lives depended on it.”
     I thought Woodrow might chastise me for complaining about that incident, or tell me that I should be grateful for having it so lucky--and I did have it lucky, compared to Woodrow--but Woodrow was very sympathetic.  He pointed out that I was just a kid back then, and that it must have seemed to me at the time that my father was cheating on my mother, even though my mother was dead.
     He added in a very gentle tone, “You do know that your Dad was probably really lonely?”
     “Yeah, I guess,” I stated weakly, “but we’re lonely, too, and we don’t sneak girls into the house.”
     Woodrow laughed at this and said, “Get real.  That’s only because we haven’t found a willing girl, Graham Cracker.”  This was the first time he had called me that since grade school, but now the moniker was meant to cajole not humiliate.  “I don’t know about you, but I need all the comfort from the ladies that I can get.  I’d sneak ten of them into my room if I could.”
     He gave me a playful tap on the shoulder, and I just had to smile.
     A special bond had developed between us, one that can only can be formed in youth, a time when the world is still new and the outer layer is still wet with dew.  There was only one bumpy episode between us in high school.  That was when we both announced our intentions to ask the same girl to the winter formal.  I’ll never forget how Woodrow’s expression twisted when he exclaimed that Bridget Dalson didn’t need a “soft, sniveling fag” asking her out.
     “Why would she want to go out with you, Graham?  You’re such a momma’s boy.”
     I saw then that all the cruelty that used to come to the fore when he was a kid was still there under the surface, and learning this made me sad rather than angry.  My bones suddenly felt as though they were made of lead.  It was hard for me to look up.  I simply said, “You know I don’t even have the option of being a momma’s boy,” and turned to go in the opposite direction.
     Before I lost sight of Woodrow, I noticed his expression turning from hostility to regret, but the change wasn’t enough to relieve my hurt.  I kept walking away even as he said, “I’m sorry, Graham.  For a second I forgot your mother was dead.  I’m sorry, man.”
     He hardly ever called me on the phone, but that night he did.  He said, “Look, about today…  I went off the deep end, went a little crazy.  Okay?  But I have to tell you that I really like this girl, Graham.  If you like her too, then let the best man win.  But if all you want is a date for the dance, then please find another girl to ask.  Ask twenty, but please let me have a clear shot at Bridget.”
     I wasn’t sure if I really liked Bridget or not.  I knew that I liked the looks of her, and I knew I liked the way I felt when I was around her, but Woodrow was my best buddy, and he seemed so sincere.  So I forgave him and agreed to step aside.
     With our disagreement resolved, the tension between Woodrow and myself evaporated, and the memory of our argument was relegated to the place where we kept that knowledge of our fight in the woods.  We simply never mentioned it again.  And Bridget did go with Woodrow to the winter formal, and they began to date regularly after that.  Woodrow seemed truly happy, and I was happy for him.

     That spring we graduated.  The look on Woodrow’s face at the end of that last day of class, when we had crossed the finish line, will always be first and foremost in my memory of those times.  I was walking down the hall, my feelings blank, just wanting to make it to my car.  I wanted to get out of there and let the reality of what happened sink in after I had gotten away.  But Woodrow came bounding out of nowhere and started grabbing at me, mussing my hair, jumping up against me, and finally throwing his arms around me as if he wanted me to carry him.  I did manage to hold him up in the air for a few seconds.  His joy was so infectious.  Someone, probably Mr. Hollinghurst the music teacher, had put on the Hallelujah Chorus from Handle’s Messiah and was broadcasting it over the intercom.  It was playing at full volume.  In a triumphant delivery, what seemed like hundreds of voices were singing with great conviction, “He shall rein for ever and ever.”  And then all the female voices started singing, “King of kings…  Lord of lords…” And all the male voices were stating at the same time, in a way that could not be refuted, “Forever…  And Ever…  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!”  What a moment!
     We somehow made it to the parking lot, and there Woodrow stepped in front of me, put his hands on my shoulders, looked right in my face, and said several times, “We made it!  We made it!”  A flood of emotion surged through me, and I became aware of the promise of that day: happiness, freedom, success, life everlasting.  But then a few good-natured jeers from fellow classmates--“Take a pill,” “Get a life”--brought us back to reality.  We waved one final goodbye, and we each headed toward our own cars, our own futures.  Little did I know that Woodrow would never again be so familiar after that day.  We would never again be so close.
     There was a party after commencement of course, and both Woodrow and I were in attendance, but because we both assumed we’d be getting together later, we spent that time saying so long to everyone else.  And then I started working as an intern in our U.S Congressman’s local office, and Woodrow went to work in a mechanic’s shop.  We were both busy that summer.  I found time to date, but not seriously, and Woodrow kept going out with Bridget.  Woodrow and I ran into each other a few times on the fly, but there was always something that called us away before we could really break the ice.  And then August came and I went away to college.

     I didn’t come home for very many visits that year, and when I did, I didn’t look up Woodrow.  However, I now wish I had.  I have to admit that I was caught up in my new life, and I wasn’t thinking too much about my old high school friends, not even Woodrow.  I even tried to ignore Dad, and only paid him those aforementioned visits, short visits, begrudgingly.  Now I realize I was acting like a typical college freshman jerk, and I’ll always wonder if there was something I could have done to prevent Woodrow’s downfall if I had been there for him.  But I didn’t see him anymore until the next summer, and by then it was too late.  I called him up and invited him to share a few beers with me one evening in that same state park in which he made his confessions concerning his father.  It was my intention to tell him all I’d found out in the past year, and what I planned for the future, as well as hear him out on the same subjects.  Oh, the big ideas of young men…  They could carry the world.  And here I wanted them only to carry Woodrow and myself back to our friendship, our forged brotherhood.
     I was there waiting on him in that deserted park for a long time, at that same picnic table we had shared before.  I waited a long while with my cooler there beside me.  I was about to leave when someone pulled up beside my car and came to a stop.  And then a man got out, and started walking toward me.  I was shocked to realize it was Woodrow.  The clothes he had on were covered in motor oil, his hair was greasy, and he had become very skinny, too skinny, and there was something about his color that was off, too.  He didn’t look good.
     When he got near he didn’t say anything, only nodded his head as he sat down.  My expression must have embarrassed him because he looked away.  I thought he was going to tell me he had cancer.  Really, that’s what I thought he would tell me, but on that evening he never made any attempt to open up.  He asked me what school was like, but he didn’t seem interested in my answer.  And when I asked him about work he only grunted.  I made the mistake of telling him he should go to school, or take some kind of training.  I reminded him how much he liked photography and expressed my belief that he’d make a great newspaper man.  But I must have come across as judgmental.  He retorted, “You should mind your own damn business.”  After we had only one beer when he said, “Look, man, I’m sorry, but I have to go.”  I tried to stop him, but he was already on his feet.
     A few days later I ran into Bridget Dalson in town, and I asked her about Woodrow.  I asked if he was okay.
     Her face became cold when she stated, “How should I know?  I don’t see him anymore.”  And then she made some excuse and walked away from me.
     But that night she called to apologize and asked me to meet her the next day for lunch.  The following afternoon, I found her on the terrace of the Westmore Tea House dressed very smartly, like a New York model.  When I came up to her table she lowered her sunglasses and warmly asked me to join her. 
     “Graham, you’re so handsome today.”
     She was acting very grown-up and in charge of herself, and this made me feel like I was five-years-old at first.  But then I fell for her charm.  After that the only thing that distracted me from becoming ever more mindful of her beauty was what she had to say about Woodrow.  The story she had to tell me struck at the foundation of whatever innocence I had managed to hold onto.  But I maintained my composure as I heard about how first Woodrow wanted extra money to buy a new car, and then how he had gotten involved with some guy that used to come into the shop he worked at, a dealer.  I listened as Bridget explained that Woodrow planned to sell for only a few months, but then he started sampling the goods and had gotten hooked.  And from then on he couldn’t stop selling because he needed the extra money in order to pay for his own habit.
     “My God! Didn’t anyone try to stop him?”
     This question must have sounded like an accusation because Bridget’s lips became tight when she said, “I was away at school most of the year, just like you, Graham.”  But then she softened.  “Maybe I could have done more, but last summer I realized Woodrow wasn’t right for me.  We were going in two different directions.  I tried to break it off a few times, and by the time I managed to actually do it--this was last Christmas--he really wasn’t listening to me anymore.  He didn’t even trust me at that point.”  She looked down at her half-eaten chef’s salad and added, “I had been going out with guys I met at school, and he knew it.”
     The first thing I said following this disclosure was, “Are you seeing anyone now?”
     In a bittersweet way, Bridget turned one side of her mouth up, and, with just a hint of mischief in her tone, answered, “No, Graham, I’m not seeing anyone now.”

     That summer Bridget and I started to date, and even after we went back to school in the fall, each of us would make a special effort to return home on the weekends, our common ground, so that we could see more of each other.  The next year I transferred to her school and we moved in together.
     At first we talked about Woodrow a lot, but in time we became more interested in discovering each other, and Woodrow was relegated to the back burner.  We found out that we shared a love for jazz and old movies.  We both liked reading ****ens and enjoyed talking about the social injustice expressed in his stories.  We both liked getting away to someplace quiet --a country inn, or a cottage in the woods-- more then vacations in the city or weekends at a beach covered wall-to-wall with people whose exposed pink skin glistened from being doused with sun block.
     All through school we grew closer and more comfortable with each other.  Bridget became a lawyer, and I earned my doctorate in American history and began teaching, and still we were together.  That isn’t to say we didn’t have our differences.  Bridget was more politically conservative then I was, and the lady knew how to argue her point.  She also didn’t want to start a family until she had what she termed a nest egg.  I tried to explain that the majority of children from the start of civilization had been born to parents not fortified with a “nest egg,” but she was intransigent.  And my simple need to have a son or daughter when I was young couldn’t win in the face of her logic and practicality.  But all that aside, the more we were together the more I couldn’t imagine going on without her or trying to find someone else.  So one Sunday morning I got up and made steak and eggs, and when she came into the kitchen wearing woolly boot socks, a worn chenille bathrobe that had been passed on to her by a beloved relative--I couldn‘t recall which one--and a paint splattered ball cap pulled down low over tangled bed hair, I asked this radiant creature to be my wife, to be Mrs. Graham Hardy.  And she said yes!
     Our wedding was held the same weekend of our ten-year class reunion, so a lot of our old friends were in town, and many of them were able to witness our nuptials.  I had watched Bridget’s face transmogrify from a girl’s to that of a young woman’s over the years, and since I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror every morning as I brushed my teeth and shaved, my own maturation seemed remarkably gradual, but looking out into the crowd, both at the high school gym--decorated with balloons, streamers, and welcome back banners--and at the church the morning Bridget and I said our “I dos,” and spotting people I hadn’t seen since they were teenagers, and noticing what they looked like now, how much they’d changed, made me realize that none of us were kids any more.  We were all still young, but we were adults, each and every one.  But becoming so mindful of this seemed to underscore the rightness of getting hitched.  It was time to move on, time to be a grown-up.
     There was one person’s aging process I failed to take note of that weekend, and that was Woodrow’s.  Bridget and I discussed inviting him to our wedding, but only fleetingly, and only because it seemed necessary.  Neither of us could really imagine him there, and since it was a safe bet he wasn’t going to show up at the reuinon either, we just bandied his name around a bit as we made our guest list, and then we let it drop.
     Woodrow was still in the area, but he was living on the other side of the county.  I never saw him.  Howerver, I did hear about him from time to time.  He had already been married, and divorced, not once but twice, by the time Bridget and I walked down the aisle, and he had two kids, a boy and a girl, one from each marriage.  He had also spent a couple of stints in jail, once for petty theft, and another time for passing bad checks, and he had been sent to prison for a few years for possession.  The sad thing was he had been in a car accident, one that supposedly left his handsome face disfigured.  From what I heard, he very nearly died in the accident, and the woman he hit, a middle-aged wife and mother of three, did die.  They tried to get Woodrow for vehicular manslaughter, but there was some mix-up at the hospital that sacked the government’s case against him.  The toxicology screen they preformed on him was lost before it ever made it into the hands of the authorities.  So there was no way to prove he was drunk or high when the wreck occurred, but in light of Woodrow’s history, everyone knew what had happened.

     The years slipped by after Bridget and I got married.  When we both hit our mid thirties, I saw our twenty-year high school class reunion looming in the not too distant future.  Boy, that one was hard to believe!  Hard to stomach, too.  I had become a tenured professor, at last, at a small liberal arts college, Nolan Randolph University, near our old hometown, and I was generally thought of as a pretty idealistic teacher, one that cares more about helping students then getting published.  People who knew me well were aware of the fact that my idealism had a pitina on it.  I became just a little wounded when I found out that most students don’t care about history; most just want to get credit for a required course and go on to make money, and have fun.  But I didn’t lose all hope. 
     Bridget had done well also.  She was by then a partner in the firm of Wilson, Oliver, and Tate--a firm that mostly handled liability cases--and soon after, during the month of September, she won her first big reward and walked away with a rather large bonus.  She was, and still is, the real breadwinner between the two of us.  I’ve been kind of a kept man, and I’ve been kept very well, thank you.  We have lived better then our parents ever thought about living.  It has been my general impression that Bridget works too hard, and I’ve told her as much.  I more or less assumed that once she became established, and had attained that all-important nest egg, she’d slow down.  But when she won that big settlement it seemed to only make her more ambitious.
     As for Woodrow, well, the years weren’t kind to him.  The man fell into a loosing streak early on, and he never pulled out.  Right before Christmas one year, just a few months after Bridget became such a big shot, he was in yet another car accident.  This time he wiped out a whole family--a mother, a father, and two girls--and he got himself killed himself in the bargin.  The toxicology screen was salvaged this time, and the details of that report are just too shocking to talk about.  If Woodrow had lived he would have surely went to prison for many years.
     A rather sad and ironic twist to the end of Woodrow’s story is that his mother decided to have a viewing for him on Christmas Eve and to bury him on Christmas day.  Christmas is supposed to be about birth, not death --right?-- a reminder that the dark of winter will be followed by light.  I couldn’t get my mind off of Woodrow when I read the newspaper articles and the obituary.  On Christmas Eve I found myself home alone while Bridget was at work.  I was lost in nostalgic images of Woodrow as the bullying little boy, and the good-natured young man he became for a while, a short while.  I relived that episode in the duff-shrouded park, the one where he told me about his abusive dad.  Of course, the way he looked that last day of high school haunted me.  The expression on his face had been a promise that had gone unfulfilled.  As long as Woodrow was alive I believed, somewhere deep in a hidden part of my being, that he’d turn his life around, and live out the dream that was on his face that day.  But when he died, the dream died with him.
     I was thinking about Woodrow when Bridget called from her office to ask me to wear the “good” suite that she had gotten for me that evening, rather then one of the rags for which I was notorious for wearing, at least in her eyes, on campus.  We were scheduled to go to James “T-Rex” Tate’s Christmas party.  James was the senior partner in Bridget’s firm and was called “T-Rex” because of his ability to rip apart witnesses on the stand.  He was a pompous, preppy bore who liked nothing better then to regale people with descriptions, and sometimes demonstrations, of his lastest, overpriced purchases: golf clubs, Oriental carpets, leather lodge sofas, SUVs, BMWs, purebred dogs, plasma televisions, and vacation homes.  This would not have been so bad if it wasn’t for his apparent need to be praised and supported for how he spends his money.  Under normal circumstances I would have whined and expressed my displeasure at having to endure yet another Christmas Eve at the house of that dithering idiot with the brilliant legal mind.  But as it was, I simply said, “Alright, honey,” and absentmindedly hung up and went to get out the suite in question.
     I got dressed early and then put on my warmest coat, wrapped my neck with a wool scarf, and following this, I went for a walk before it was time to go to the party.  It seemed to me that I was walking aimlessly, just getting some air.  However, within fifteen minutes I found myself standing in front of a funeral home, and not just any funeral home either, but the one in which Woodrow’s wake was to be held that very evening.  I looked around at the parking lot and saw that it wasn’t nearly as full as it was when a wake or funeral of a person who was highly esteemed was going on.  But there were a few cars there, and when I looked at my watch, I realized that it wasn’t too early to go in.  Subconsciously I must have planned on going ever since I saw the notice in the newspaper.
     The old Victorian house had been used as a funeral home for a long while.  I, in fact, couldn’t recall a time when it wasn’t used for this purpose.  It was the funeral home Dad engaged when Mom died, so it was a little surreal to walk through the door and see everything looking so familiar.  Because my recollections were that of a child, everything now seemed somewhat shrunken in size.  I felt numb as a woman who worked there offered me her hand to shake with business-like kindness and then took my coat and scarf.  I felt numb when I walked into the viewing room.
     There was a simple but handsome casket in the room, a few flowers, and only several people; I quickly looked about and counted four heads.  There was a girl, about eleven years old I’d say, in a red velvet dress and patent leather marry janes, and a slightly older boy in jeans and a gray sweatshirt, a man about sixty wearing a green ****ie work uniform, and then there was Woodrow’s mother.  She looked so much older then she did the last time I saw her, older and heavier, too.  Her dress closely matched the little girl’s in color, and her hair looked freshly done, in an out-of-date style.  I instinctively walked over to her and expressed my condolences.
     “Thank you.  Your Graham Hardy, aren’t you?”  I shook my head, and she turned her gaze to the casket.  “We’re going to say goodbye to him tomorrow.  It’s Christmas.  He’ll go to heaven if we bury him on Christmas.”  There was sadness, fear, and longing in her voice, underlined with a palpable tinge of anger.
     “Yes,” I said, even though her comment wasn’t really a question.
     “He was a good son,“ she added defensively--was she trying to convince me or herself?  And then her face went blank as she said,  “He was always trying to find his way.  He kept his eyes open…  He was always looking for a break.”
     “Yes,” I repeated, not knowing what else to say.
     When I found the resolve to walk over to Woodrow and look at him, I had to force myself not to gasp.  There was only a slight resemblence left of the young man I once knew.  The thinness of his face and body gave him a cadaver-like appearance that I’m sure he sported long before he died.  And the jagged scares on his cheeks and forehead-- souvenirs of that earlier accident to be sure--were still clearly etched into his heavily powdered skin.  I stood there a moment while I tried to recapture, without much success, the numbness I felt when I came in.  And then I walked into the next room, full of empty chairs and sofas, and sat down in a spot were I could observe the viewing room and Woodrow’s family without feeling obtrusive.
     I sat there long after the Christmas party was underway.  I was sure that Bridget would be highly upset with me, but I couldn’t leave the funeral home, especially since no one else showed up to pay their respects to Woodrow.  Everyone most likely thought Woodrow was a monster.  Most were probably glad to be ride of him.  But I knew he wasn’t a monster, or if he was, I knew that there was a time when he had tried not to be.  Maybe he used to watch us so closely because he was trying to figure out where he fit in.  Maybe he never saw a niche with his name on it, other then that of the bully, or the bad guy.  I didn’t really know.  Maybe he just hadn’t tried hard enough.  I was reaching for an answer I could understand.  I wanted to believe that things could have been different.  I didn’t want to surrender the memory of Woodrow as reprobate to the black hole of eternity.  As the minutes ticked by a mantra formed inside my head.  I kept saying regretfully over and over to myself, “It didn’t have to be like this, buddy.”
     I only bearly noticed when Christmas carols started to be played over the intercom.  I just sat there and watched Woodrow’s mother, and the man I took to be her husband, linger silently in the next room, as Woodrow’s children walked around them, looking lost and bored.  But then the somber “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” came on, a song that is incongruously not so very merry.  “…Remember Christ our savior was born on Christmas day, to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray…”
     The song brought my emotions to the fore, and I rushed to the men’s room and locked myself in; I had just turned the bolt when I burst into tears.  After sobing for several minutes, I cried out, even though I had never been particulary religious, not since I was a boy anyway, “Sweet Jesus, help me!”
     When I had collected myself, washed my face, and exited the lavatory, it was getting late.  So I retrieved my coat without saying anything more to Woodrow’s family; I just glanced into the viewing room one last time as I walked by and saw the pinkness of Woodrow’s forehead and a tuft of his hair sticking up out of the casket, and then I left.
     When I was on the porch I immediately noticed a slim, elegant woman standing under a street lamp out in the parking lot.  The woman looked like an angel.  It took me a second to realize it was Bridget.  She had on her green cashmere coat that she got especially for the holiday.  Her back was to me as I made my way across the parking lot to where she was, but when she heard my footsteps, she turned.  I thought she’d be angry, but she smiled when she saw me.
     “How’d you know I’d be here?” I asked.
     She put her arm through the crook of mine and said softly, “Lucky guess.”  When she stepped in beside me and laid her head against me, she added, “He was my friend, too.  You could have asked me to come along if this is where you wanted to be tonight.”
     I simply said, “I’m sorry,” and then I asked, “Where’s your car?”
     “I came on foot.  I wanted to walk in the snow.”  She looked up at the flakes coming down for a second and so did I.
     “Not from the Tate’s?”
     “No, of course not.”
     “Didn’t you even go?”
     “Oh, I made an appearance, and then gave my excusses.”
     As we made our way toward home, Bridget said, “I’ve got a couple of presents for you.”
     “Really?” I asked, wondering what she could be hinting at.
     “I talked it over with James, and he’s agreed to let me do some pro bono work.”
     “That’s nice.  I’m proud of you.”
     “Well, you’ll have to help me out.  I want you to look through the applications and decide which cases are the most deserving.”
     “I’d be happy to do that.”
     She hesitated and then said, “And Graham, I think it’s time we had a baby.”
     This brought me to a full stop.  All I could manage to say was, “Are you sure?”
     She laughed at how shocked I was, and then retorted, “I’m willing to have a little faith if you are.  It takes some faith to give life to a new person, you know.  Faith in the world.  Faith in tomorrow.”
     I responded quietly, and maybe with a modicum of despair, but not without tenderness and love, “Yes, I know.  Let’s go for it.”