Not quite a couple of weeks ago, I got an email from Alex Cooper.

That, in and of itself, was not unusual. I have received emails from people who have visited and read my blog before. However, it was the first time I was ever asked if I would endorse a product/website on my blog. And, to be honest, at first I thought Alex was pulling my leg. But, after emailing back and forth and assurances that it was a legitimate offer, I agreed to do so with the understanding that I would first “test drive” the product. If I liked it, I would endorse it and add a link to my blog roll. If I didn’t like it, nothing would go up on my blog. No harm, no foul and no damage done to anyone’s reputation.

So, the fact that I am writing about this at all means, obviously, I did like the product.

Of course, the fact that Alex knew from my blog that I am a Barry Manilow fan and just happened to have a t-shirt in stock that might appeal to that part of me certainly didn’t hurt in any way! LOL

Here I am wearing my new t-shirt.
I received the t-shirt yesterday and put it through the washer/dryer test first. It passed with flying colors. No shrinking, fading, bleeding, peeling, or unraveling of any kind. Best of all, it was actually in a size I could wear comfortably. I like my t-shirts to be a little loose fitting, but seldom can find any like that from an online source. So… bonus points there!
Anyway, T-Shirt Grill is a UK website with hundreds of different designs from funny slogans, to sports teams, to musicians/bands, and “as worn by” designs (t-shirt designs worn by celebrities). It’s a straightforward and easy to navigate website, so you shouldn’t have a problem looking for and finding that t-shirt that’s your style. They also offer hats and pull-over hoodies.
Just based on the quality of the shirt I received, you won’t be disappointed if you order from T-Shirt Grill. But if, for some reason, something isn’t quite right, they do have an extended 28 day return policy and if you live within the UK, they’ll cover the postage for the return.
At any rate, it never hurts just to take a look.
Thanks Alex!
And if you want a t-shirt just like mine… look in the Retro Music section on the left side of the screen. 🙂

My Thoughts…

I’ve been thinking a lot… taking in comments from both sides, both praise and criticism… and the thing that I find most disheartening in all of this is that the very people who taught me acceptance for all human beings regardless of who/what they are… the ones who taught me to live by “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”… the ones who taught me Christian values… are the very people who say how wrong I and everyone else in the LGBTQ community are over something we did not choose, but how we were born.

I did not ask for scorn, ridicule, judgment and outright hate from others. All I want is to love and be loved just like everyone else. And when I do fall in love with someone. I want to be able to marry them, to commit myself to them for the rest of my life. If they’re ill or injured, I want to be able to visit them in a hospital and help make medical decisions for them, like any other spouse would be able to. Share an insurance plan, like any other family can. Share a life and a home, and be assured if. God forbid, tragedy struck, I’d still be able to keep that home were the person I love suddenly gone.

The thing that bothers me the most… all of this is done in the name of Christianity.

And don’t throw that old Sodom and Gomorrah story at me again. First of all, forced rape does not equal homosexuality. Rape is not an act of sex. It is an act of violence, of degradation, and of power and control over someone else and it has nothing to do with sex. But, even that isn’t what is said to be the sin of Sodom in Ezekiel (16:49)

“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.” KJV

“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” NIV

The great sin of Sodom and the reason it was destroyed was inhospitality/indifference to the need of others/showing no kindness or mercy, not homosexuality. And isn’t that ironic???

As for Leviticus 18:22 – In the original Hebrew: V’et zachar lo tishkav mishk’vey eeshah toeyvah hee. 
Translation of the first part: And with a male you shall not lay lyings of a woman…  Which doesn’t make a lot of sense. And the second part isn’t totally agreed upon by scholars. Can be abomination, or grievous, or detestable… or all of the above. But somehow, it has been translated and re-translated to the point where “homosexuality is an abomination”.

But if you look at all the verses around Leviticus 18:22 it is between a bunch of verses referring to idolatry and the ritual practices of idolatry. If that is the case, isn’t it likely that verse 22 also has to do with the ritual practice of having homosexual sex before an idol in a Temple not all homosexual acts as a whole?

Well, it’s not like any moral, righteous Christian would pay any attention to what I say or what I have studied. After all, I am an immoral, sinful Bisexual that God hates and I’m going to burn in Hell for all eternity.

But tell me this… if God is infallible, if He does not make mistakes (and I believe He is and doesn’t)… then explain to me why homosexual behavior has been found in more than 1500 species (excluding species that are asexual or hermaphroditic, in which homosexuality is not an issue)? And those are just the ones studied so far. If homosexuality is truly wrong, and God is the author and creator of all life… why would He create so many beings with same-sex attraction built into their genetic code, whether it be homosexual or bisexual?

I struggled most of my life with how I was born. I went through decades of self-loathing, denial, and hiding. I cried out to God to make me straight more times than I can count. I could drown in the number of tears I have cried while trying to be “normal” and a “good Christian”, all the while knowing that I was different. I studied the Bible and prayed and studied and prayed some more… Please God… change me. 

And nothing about me ever changed.

I believe that God knows everything. that He hears every prayer. And I believe He answers them, we just have to learn to listen. Well, I finally heard what He had been trying to tell me. “Why do you assume there’s been a mistake. I don’t make mistakes. You are as I created you.”

No. God does not make mistakes… I am not a mistake or wrong in being who God created me to be.

Sometimes, I think Mohandas K. Gandhi had it right: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Jesus didn’t suffer and die on that cross just for Christians. He didn’t suffer and die on that cross for everyone but homosexuals. He isn’t about the exclusion of anyone. He’s about loving and accepting everyone and hoping they will accept Him and the gift of Salvation.

Honestly, I’m pretty sure Jesus is disappointed in the fact that people so effectively exclude others, practice bigotry and outright hate in His name.

Oh, and to those who told me, when I came out last year, that they would “pray for my salvation”… Keep your prayers. I’ve prayed for my own salvation and it’s between me and God.

Dan Savage… It Won’t Get Better If You’re Not Better

Usually, I like what Dan Savage has to say. I’m an avid reader of “Savage Love”, I like the mix of his off-beat humor and no-nonsense, frank discussion about sex and it’s many, uh… complexities.

And I absolutely applaud his efforts with the It Gets Better Project.

However, this past week, he made an error that, to many, has negated his efforts to end bullying… the core of why he started the It Gets Better Project in the first place.

Dan made an appearance as the keynote speaker at the NSPA/ JEA’s annual High School Journalism convention, Journalism on the Edge. The main topic was about bullying, but, as he has been known to do, Dan veered off on other sub-topics and one of them was the Bible.

Honestly, here is where I have to question whether or not the organizers of this event actually knew anything at all about Dan Savage and what he does/has done. If they had done a proper amount of research into not only the It Gets Better Project, but Dan, himself, and his core beliefs they might have been wiser not to have had him as a speaker for High School students. Or, at the very least, could have given fair warning to those in attendance that some of what he said may be deemed offensive by this group or that group and given said groups the opportunity of opting out of attending in exchange for some other activity to get their grades. Some have said attendance was voluntary… but I don’t remember attendance to anything in High School being voluntary. It was “you attend, or take an incomplete and fail”.

At any rate, Dan began to speak about the Bible and, as he did, a group of Christian students in attendance began to leave. Here’s a short video from that part of his presentation, and what has been garnering all the criticism.

To be completely fair, Dan didn’t call anyone “Pansy-asses”. He described their reaction to what he was saying as “pansy-assed”. 
Ah… isn’t semantics a wonderful thing?
However, we’ll just go ahead under the allegations of name-calling and not get nit-picky.
The thing is, he had some great points in what he said about the Bible, and then he pissed them all away carelessly.
 Is what Dan Savage did any different from what certain Christians/Christian groups do on a daily and repeated basis? No. And that’s why he gets criticism from me on this while others might say that turnabout is fair play.
Do I think this was anything more than a momentary lapse and careless slip of the tongue that we all sometimes have? No. Do I think it really merited this kind of controversy? Again, no. But it doesn’t surprise me either, because those with the weakest arguments will point at any and every little thing that will divert attention from that fact.
Bottom-line: Dan Savage negated his entire argument against bullying with one careless sentence. With that one sentence he went from being the bullied to being the bully and, in a world where too much of that is going on and children are dying at an alarming rate by their own hands because of it, it is utterly unacceptable! You cannot convince the world bullies are wrong by stooping to bully tactics. You have to be better than that. You either ignore what offends you, or you respond to it in a respectful way. But you don’t throw around thoughtless comparisons to belittle the group that has offended you. That behavior makes you no better than them.
Dan, you have to be better than them, man. You have to respond as a clear-thinking, open-minded, respectful adult in the face of their murky-logic, close-minded, immature disrespect of you and others in the LGBTQ community. You must be better if you want your message heard and believed.
We all, who know better, need to be a voice of sanity in the insane chaos that is the rhetoric of hate.