Munch's Scream on Prozac

Scary new potential Surgeon General

I love the way the Bush administration has a knack for appointing individuals whose records demonstrate a tendency to do the opposite of what they're being appointed for. If their job is national defense, they actually put the nation in greater danger; if their job is to safeguard the environment, they pollute it; if they're an attorney general, they actually trample over the constitution, etc.

In this case, Bush is nominating Dr. James W. Holsinger, Jr. as Attorney General. If appointed, he'll send the science of medical inquiry decades into the past. On top of that, he's on the record for saying that "Homosexuality isn't natural or healthy."

But enough blathering. Here's the news report.
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Another professional athlete comes out


Amaechi to come out publicly
February 7, 2007

AP - Feb 7, 1:55 pm EST

John Amaechi is gay, and now the first NBA player to come out publicly is ready to talk about it.

Amaechi, a center who spent five seasons with four teams, is scheduled to appear on ESPN's Outside the Lines on Sunday, and his autobiography "Man in the Middle," will be released Feb. 14.

"He is coming out of the closet as a gay man," Amaechi's publicist Howard Bragman said Wednesday.

NBA commissioner David Stern said a player's sexuality is not important.

"We have a very diverse league. The question at the NBA is always 'have you got game?' That's it, end of inquiry," he said.


Three years after his playing career ended, Amaechi has become the sixth professional male athlete from one of the four major American sports (NBA, MLB, NFL, NHL) to publicly discuss his homosexuality.

Former NFL running back David Kopay came out in 1977, and offensive lineman Roy Simmons and defensive lineman Esera Tuaolo came out more recently. Glenn Burke, an outfielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Oakland A's in the 1970s, and Billy Bean, a utility player in the 1980s and 1990s, also have come out.

"What John did is amazing," Tuaolo said. "He does not know how many young kids he has saved. He does not know how many lives he's saved by speaking the truth."

Martina Navratilova, perhaps the most famous openly gay athlete in the world, also praised Amaechi's courage and wondered why so few athletes have made the same decision.

"We are the most closeted of any profession, especially on the men's side. It's astonishing how few have come out, considering how many athletes there are," she said. "It's all about education and making us tangible instead of a group you can say terrible things about."

In his book, Amaechi describes the challenge of being gay in a league where it is assumed that all players are heterosexual. He writes that while playing in Utah, coach Jerry Sloan used anti-gay innuendo to describe him.

Sloan said Wednesday that although his relationship with Amaechi was "shaky" because of the player's attitude, he didn't know Amaechi was gay. Sloan had no comment about Amaechi's contention that Sloan used anti-gay innuendo when referring to him. Amaechi said he found out about it in e-mails from friends in the Jazz front office.

When asked if knowing Amaechi was gay would have mattered, Sloan said: "Oh yeah, it would have probably mattered. I don't know exactly, but I always have peoples' feelings at heart. People do what they want to do. I don't have a problem with that."

Amaechi, 36, who is British, competed for Penn State, then played 301 NBA games over five seasons. The 6-foot-10 center averaged 6.2 points and 2.6 rebounds in the NBA. He began his career with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1995-96, then spent a few years playing in Europe. He rejoined the NBA to play for the Orlando Magic from 1999-01, then played two seasons for the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz traded him to Houston, which traded him to the New York Knicks. When the Knicks waived him in January 2004, he retired.

AP Basketball Writer Brian Mahoney and AP Sports Writer Doug Alden contributed to this report.
userpics, Democrat

Faith, Homosexuality and the Bible

Lately, I have been discussing the writings of Bishop Spong and I wanted to share with the community a Q&A from his newsletter that an old friend emailed to me.

For many of us in this community, we are torn between our identities and our faiths. John Shelby Spong, the retired Episcopalian Bishop of Newark, writes about this issue at length in the book, "The Sins of Scripture - Exposing the Bible's Texts of Hate to Reveal the God of Love." If you're interested Wikipedia has an succinct entry on him, particularly the text under the heading New Reformation, here:

Back to the email from an old friend. He, like so many of us, has experienced a crisis of faith. The crisis isn't with the faith itself but with the other followers, especially those who use the Bible to oppress any other people. I thought I had lost my faith. I thought I was driven out of God's care because of what was in the Bible. It turned out that like my friend, my faith in God and the Son of God has always been intact, it was my faith in the Son of Man that was and is still in crisis.

Why I chose to start reading Spong's books has to do with the Q & A the friend sent me. For many of you, I think you will find it like it was for me, a revelation to read something so dynamitic and honest from a person of the cloth. Spong's work isn't going to find a home with everyone in this community and I'm not preaching or proselytizing, merely sharing an experience.

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I live in a suburb NE of Atlanta and my county library system had just about every one of Bishop Spong's books and multiple copies of each, at that. 

As for my lion icon, I am, of course, referring to the hatemongering so-called Christians who need to act and speak more like Christ and less like the Christians they have become. I made the icon from clip art and anyone is welcome to use it and spread it around. I have a larger non-icon version of it, too, if anyone is interested.  In my galleries and my userpics, I've identified which items I made for myself and the various communities of which I'm a member.  Anyone may copy and use anything I've made.

Off my soapbox for now ;-)
userpics, Democrat

I Shall Be Heard

Dear lbgtnews_viewers

There is a non-partisan website called I Shall Be Heard, where you can register (simple and with no obligation) and you can rate your elected Federal officials (President, Vice President, 2 Senators and 1 Congressperson from your state.) Mine, being Republican, religious Fascists, all got F's. It felt good to be the teacher giving out the grades!

The site will compile all the report cards and send them to the officials and the media. The "grades" are multiple choice answers to 10 or 12 questions.

Make yourself heard today!


Faith and Homosexuality

By Brian Smith

Since October, I have, with my family, been attending a non-denominational church here in Plymouth. For the most part it has been a rich experience.

But there have been a few parts of it that bother me.

We began attending the church during a series on the Ten Commandments. One of the early weeks was a discussion on Exodus 20:14: "You shall not commit adultery." The Senior Pastor, a brilliant public speaker and someone very well connected with the Bible, gave the traditional warnings about faithfulness to one's wife. But then he spoke to sexual integrity as a whole, and referred to the abomination of homosexuality as stated in Leviticus. I took it as a challenge to find out what my place within that church was.

I found my place a few weeks ago among the members of the church's college ministry. The past two weeks have included incidents that have led me to question the motivation of the people I surround myself with, and led me to contemplate the marriage between faith and homosexuality.

Last week, a fellow college student was discussing a paper he had to write regarding homosexuality, and how he derided homosexuality in the paper as a sin "...but they are good people." I stood alongside, watching this happen, and was silent.

This week, I was riding home with someone I've known for several years, but have just rediscovered in the church setting. We were talking about the church and she made a comment on how southern boys rock. And I said, "Yeah they do." And she turned around at the red light, giggling insanely as if I had just made this amazing joke. And again, I said nothing.

So I am left this morning to examine myself, to wonder why I was silent. To wonder why I didn't say anything, why I didn't stand up for who I am. I am a good person. Why must I hide my true self to make it a step closer to acceptance? Would someone with less self-esteem than I feel even worse about himself than I do now?

I think God and gay have a place together. They are not mutually exclusive to me. Because of what I have been through in my life, I feel that God has indeed been watching out for me. EVEN IF (and I'm not saying I believe that it is) homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible, the Bible also teaches us that Jesus died on the cross to absolve us of our sin and adopt it as His own. So those who say that homosexuals are going to Hell do not understand the Bible themselves. Romans 6:23 tells us, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord."
Phil, Spring 2010

Phil Bildner's New Gay-Themed Teen Novel, "Playing the Field"


I know I’ve contacted a number of you individually so if you’ve received an e-mail from me directly, or if I’ve contacted you through Myspace I apologize in advance.

I’m trying to get the word out about my new gay-themed, teen novel “Playing the Field” that just came out this week.

I’m reaching out to Gay-Straight Alliances, young adult reading clubs, teen pride groups and other such organizations because I think the novel will be of interest to you. “Playing the Field” is an over the top look at high school life, and the main storylines are focused around the school’s GSA.

Without question, the novel is already rubbing some people the wrong way. Because of the subject matter, some reviewers have refused to review it and some schools have refused to include it in their collections. Whatever.

To be quite honest, the language and sexual content is rather tame (comparatively speaking), but what adult readers are not quite able to grasp is how frank and evolved the characters are.

My intent was never to create the next great piece of teen literature. I wanted to create a fun read with a cool message of tolerance, and I think I did.

“Playing the Field” is available in stores (Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, etc.) and on-line (Amazon and Barnes & Noble). I’ve also included a synopsis of the book below, lifted from the inside flap copy. If you know of anyone who might be interested in the book, please spread the word. In the world of teen novels and young adult literature, nothing beats word of mouth and Myspace!

I’d love to hear from you, and if you hear of others who have read the book, please encourage them to contact me as well. I enjoy the feedback...even negative feedback because that’s when you really know you’ve struck a chord!

Increase the Peace,

Phil Bildner (we’re rebuilding the site right now so some of the links may be a little off)

Playing the Field:

"Insightful, provocative, and laugh-out-loud funny…An inside-out look at high school sports."
--Pete Hautman, National Book Award winner for Godless

"Phil Bildner's screwball comedy sings with wit and originality and a refreshingly frank and funny exploration of bias and discrimination against gays. Like Darcy Miller's magical pitching arm, it sinks a fastball straight into your heart."
-- Tracy Mack, author of Birdland

All Darcy wants is to play on the baseball team, to hear her name announced, "Now batting, Darcy Miller," to play the field. Is that so much to ask?

Unfortunately, it might be. In a few short months, Darcy Miller goes from typical senior in high school to candidate for Jerry Springer. Her mom has started dating Darcy's principal, the very principal whose son Darcy happened to have started a huge flirt-fest with, now brought to a screeching halt. When she decides to let her mom go to bat (so to speak) for her to play on the baseball team, Darcy thinks things are starting to look up. After all, Principal Basset caves and decides to let her play. But he has two conditions that shake up her entire game: She must pretend to be a lesbian (WHAT?) and she must join the GSA, the Gay-Straight Alliance (WHAT? WHAT?), the president of which happens to be her best friend -- make that her ex-best friend, Josh. Okay, Darcy's senior year might seem complicated at first. It's not. It's insurmountably, unforgettably, and -- most of the time -- hilariously complicated.

But if anyone can handle it, it's Darcy. She'll do anything just to play the field.
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(no subject)

NGLFT releases opinion on Alito nomination

Basing article: Here

By Brian Smith

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released their opinion on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Samuel Alito.

A statement released Wednesday by NGLFT executive director Matt Foreman says in part, "The confirmation of Alito would put in mortal danger the constitutional and other legal rights and interests of LGBT people across the country."

Any battle by liberal activists to attempt to block Alito's nomination is sure to be an uphill one. The Republican-controlled Congress will fight, politick, and manipulate their colleagues from across the aisle, until they get their way.

As mentioned in a previous article in this community (Here), Harriet Miers was the best middle-ground nominee that the LGBT community could've hoped for.

I think the best option we as Americans have now is not one of opposition. That's not going to work now. What we CAN do, however, is resist. It's somewhat the theory, we may have to accept it, but we don't have to accept it lying down. Mid-term congressional elections are coming up in November, so the more we voice our opposition, the more likely a congressional shift will be next fall.

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