coming out

A Blithering Mess

Serrano, Piss Christ (detail)“Was I supposed to say that, despite my best efforts, the power of gay porn was too strong for me, and I was asked to step down because of it? Was I supposed to go into detail about the guys I ended up blowing in the bathroom at Splash that summer in New York? Though there may seem like an obvious “yes” answer here, at that point, there was still a part of me that wanted to hide that from her. A part of me that wanted there to still be a chance with her.”

Chris Hernandez

Sometimes the idea of “conversion therapy” seems more like an exercise in self-deception. Then again, those are the good days. From what we hear, most days were a bit like the Spanish Inquisition, minus the Comfy Chair.

Then again, there are those of us who tried self-therapy, and it is possible to find something positive amid the years of lying to ourselves. I got a daughter out of the attempt, and she is a result I will never resent or regret. (more…)

A Middle-Aged Reflection on Closeteering

Briefers Rock, from 'Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt'.

“A-ha! Shoot! Let’s get this thing started!”

TeddyLoid

The simplest way to explain it is that you never quite know when the difference is going to bitch-slap you with a fleshy truncheon.

Or was that a little much?

Once upon a time, everything about the song would have annoyed me, especially that pretentious voice absolutely dominating the back end of the track.

And now?

Well, yeah. Okay, that’s sexy.

Another Broken Closet Door

Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics (R) and U.S. Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland speak to journalists in Riga on November 20, 2014. (Ilmars Znotins/AFP/Getty Images)

The Gay Fray might get a lot of headlines around the U.S., and there is certainly the closet case running the morbid puppet show in Russia, but just who the hell is Edgars Rinkevics?

Actually, he is the Foreign Minister from Latvia who decided to kick down his closet door a few weeks ago:

The Washington Post: Why did you decide to come out now, and what have you made of the reaction?

Rinkevics: These decisions were building very slowly. It certainly takes time and it takes a lot of reflection. A lot of journalists are asking this, trying to find rational or irrational issues. Basically, after a lot of reflection, after also seeing how some of the discussions here in Latvia were proceeding on partnership issues, and also seeing that there has been quite some progress in understanding issues of gays compared even to 10 years ago, 20 years ago, I thought it would be the right decision not to pretend to answer questions about how is your wife doing or your family doing, but simply to make a public announcement. Probably also it helps many people who had a bit of a different situation. In general I have to say that the reaction has been better than I even expected that Thursday night [November 6]. There have been people who simply put out statements of support, there have been people who certainly made critical remarks, some hysterical remarks, but in general it has been received in a very balanced way. And I think it’s very slowly moving off the agenda and people are concentrated on foreign policy agenda as they should be.

It’s a process, and of course attitudes are changing, changing slowly. Let’s not forget that during the whole Soviet Union years and the first years of independence, there have been highly negative attitudes. Those attitudes cannot change overnight. It’s been an issue not just here in Latvia but also in many countries. Such things really take time, such things really need more openness from people.

In general terms, what I have heard many times is we really don’t care who you are in your private life so long as you do your job properly.

The interview with Michael Birnbaum of The Washington Post is one of only a few Mr. Rinkevics has given on the subject.

____________________

Birnbaum, Michael. “INTERVIEW: The gay Latvian foreign minister whose coming out stunned Eastern Europe”. The Washington Post. 25 November 2014.

The Morbid Dose

Today in news that shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone:

God is LoveThe debate continues over whether we should be amused or offended by Westboro Baptist Church’s balbutive.

• How does one earn the attention of the Secret Service? Try sharing your craven fantasies of sexual violence against Hillary Clinton with the world in a desperate bid to draw attention to your internet radio show. Very well; attention gained.

• The former Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, appointed by President Bush in 2008—you know, the guy who was in charge when agency started targeting conservative political groups?—told Congress he has no idea how it happened. It should go without saying that nobody’s surprised. (If the whole thing seems something of a confusing mess, Reuters offers a handy overview.)

• Republicans in Virginia find themselves suddenly painted into a corner. By their own hand. It’s almost funny, and actually quite an impressive feat, when you stop to thik about it.

Bolling on JacksonThe GOP’s slate is, by any fair measure, jarring. The Virginia Republicans’ gubernatorial candidate is one of the fiercest culture warriors of any officeholder in the country. The Virginia Republicans’ candidate for lieutenant governor is almost comically extreme on social issues. The Virginia Republicans’ candidate for attorney general once advocated requiring women to report miscarriages to the police—or face jail time.

It’s almost as if the state GOP went out of its way to think of a scheme to motivate the listless Democratic base, alienate as many women as possible, and drive moderate voters away from Republicans in droves.

• Oklahoma’s delegation to the U.S. Senate finds itself facing unfortunate controversy in the aftermath of yesterday’s tornado, largely because they voted against Hurricane Sandy relief.

Yep. Just another day in these United States.