Tuesday, December 16, 2014

State of Gayness in 2014

Based on personal experience, gay men execute weddings flawlessly. 
Well, it's time we look at the year in review and see what gayness 2014 looks like.  Pivotal changes that redefines gaydom as we know it. 

1. Gay Marriage: Well, many states, 25 to be exact, legalized gay marriage following the heels of the Supreme court decision. In total 35 states now allow for gays and lesbians the freedom to marry any person they choose.  Still there are 15 states to go. 
Yes, this is a "thing".
2. "Peak Beard" for straight men and gay men, 2014 was the year of "peak beard".  Facial hair has been exalted and hirsute men can rejoice.  A complete pendulum swing from shaven, boy look of the past and the future. 
"Excuse me, where is the restroom?"
3. Freedom to Gender Express yourself. Be a girl on the inside, be a boy on the outside or any combination thereof.  Gender Expression is now protected under the Miami-Dade Human Rights Ordinance. Despite the whole icky "bathroom rape" scenarios brought on by the religious right. I've used the ladies room plenty of times when the men's room was locked.

80's much?
4. "Shaven Pompadour" or the "reverse mullet" the new gay clone look for 2014.  The mullet is short on the sides, long on the top and back, The shaven pompadour is short on the sides and long on the top and in the front. Important to have one lock covering one's eye. Product is a must. 

5. Cross fit. Cult of fitness? I won't say too much about this, but it looks like a conspiracy between personal trainers, chiropractors and Lulu Lemon to make a LOT of money doing amazingly unsafe calisthenics. Not denying it works....especially if you believe that beauty is attained through pain and danger. Combined with power protein concoctions you're gonna look and feel great.

6. Ambiguously gay, gay ambiguity reigns in the millennial crowd. "Straight
Acting" to the front of the line please. No Fats, or Fems still a favorite GRNDR byline, especially among bottoms....self-hate much?

7. Truvada Whores.  Of course if you take a pill to prevent are a whore. If you wear a condom you are a.....saint?  Sex shamers demand to control your sex life, want to take away personal choices for preventing HIV.....for fear you might enjoy sex "guilt free".  What's wrong with a little condomless guilt free sex? Well, it could be like the 70's all over again....whores in bell bottoms? Well that would be bad, wouldn't it?

8. Gay Cruising....on the ship kind of cruising, not the Al Pacino "Cruising".   Whether you're doing the "SS Bathouse", "Loveboat" or with your aging mother
on Celebrity Cruises. Cruising(on ships) has taken the gays by storm. Even if you go on a "straight" cruise, there's always a "Friends of Dorothy" happy hour.  You can always find the gays at the martini bar or sauna if you don't know where to look. 
How romantic?

Monday, December 1, 2014

Coral Gables Congregational Church Restricts Internet for Members, "City of Coral Gables denies permit for a pillory in front of church" (Faith Less, Faith Lost Series, update)

Pastor Laurie at Gay Pride: A "good" witch? 
"No matter where you are in your spiritual journey, you are welcome here." is the tag line of United Church of Christ and the Coral Gables Congregational Church. The UCC is part of the original denomination that entertained the Salem Witch Trials. It's clear in 2014, it hasn't strayed too far from its roots.  Recent events, specifically a post written by this blogger, has forced the church to review the internet activities of its members and force leadership to sign a promise not to write anything negative about the church in blogs, Facebook or personal webpages.

Since approximately one third of its 600 members are on various boards and committees, they are now restricted from expressing themselves freely on the internet. The church leadership was quite swift in it's punishment of this author after writing a mild criticism of poor sermons by un-mentored new pastors and its blatant cultural insensitivity towards Latinos in it's alteration of it's long standing baptism policies.

Spouse! From now on please refrain from blogging about CGCC!

Apparently, barraging dissenting members with negative emails questioning their Christian faith, demanding spouses turn on each other "for the unity of the church" and forcing members to shun offenders is not enough.  One church leader demanded that the spouse of said blogger "take away his internet privileges." All through this the Senior Pastor, Laurinda Hafner sat in silence as leadership attacked both this blogger and his spouse.  The Senior Pastor decided to "break covenant" with our family, which according to sources, is some serious pastoral shit when it happens.

That being written, I can't express the pain that writing that blog has caused my family. My father and his family ,who are still members of the church, were upset with me for not expressing my opinions "tactfully".  The pain was especially acute for my husband, who was the "leader" of the church, who was forced to resign his leadership position over my blog post. Subsequently he was shunned by leadership and members. As recently as last week a few members asked him not to tell the church that they had wished him a happy birthday. Really, you have to hide birthday wishes to a person who you prayed next to for the last eight years? In my opinion don't even bother sending wishes at all.

Furthermore, I never realized the extent emotional entanglements that being part of a faith community entails. Family, friends, business colleagues can all be connected through church.  The subsequent awkwardness when you've chosen to leave, or they've chosen for you to leave is half pain and relief to see if they will retain the relationship or not. The hardest part are the ones who remained silent through our grief and are vaguely aware that "something is happening" but prefer not engage for fear of repercussions from church leadership.
Covenants break too.....

Finally, the holidays.  I can't express the sadness caused by loss of a faith community during the Holidays.  Thanksgiving dinner was peppered with questions about church. Lamenting losing the traditions of Candlelight services on Christmas Eve, which no church does better than Coral Gables Congregational. The fact I won't be sitting with my Dad after 20 Christmases together at that church is heartbreaking on so many levels.

 I do take responsibility for my actions. I couldn't in good faith go to an institution which showed it's true colors when I questioned the church, it's policies and it's pastor. A church that shuns, bullies and punishes members "who have stepped out of line".  Now it prevents dissent by censoring members, this confirms that the decision I made to leave was the right one.