Saturday, May 30, 2009

Blog Spot of Shame

After the recent disasterous ruling by the California Supreme Court on Prop 8, I decided that someone somewhere needed to keep a list of the cowards, the zealots and the outright homophobes in our times. My list will include not only the hatemongers, but the people who fear change, who follow the "status quo", and the hipocrites in life who preach "values" but do not follow them. Feel free to send me your own lists and suggestions and I'll take the famous, the infamous and the local people who preach intolerance and self-righteousness.

Here goes my list of shame:

(1) Dick Cheney- former co-President and architect of torture and war

(2) George W. Bush- former President and pawn, brush remover

(3) Pope Benedict- largest perpetuator of homophobic religious dogma

(4) Rush Limbaugh- entertainer who pretends to be interested in politics

(5) Ann Coulter- entertainer/media whore who pretends to be interested in politics but is more interested in self-promotion

(6) Sean Hannity/Glenn Beck- Fox "News" entertainers who want to be as rich as Rush Limbaugh but neither bright enough to stand alone

(7) Michael Savage- entertainer who will say anything to get ratings

(8) Rick Warren- Christian minister who cannot control his impulse to eat, yet expects gay people to "control" their sexual urges

(9) Fred Phelps- Spawn of Satan

(10) Heather Wilson- sexually ambiguous and repressed former US Representative from Arizona

(11) Virginia Foxx- US Representative from NC without a soul

(12) Newt Gingrich- variable ethics opportunist and entrepeneur, cleverly manipulates the moment to his advantage

(13) Tom Tancredo- US House Representative and blowhard

(14) Joyce L. Kennard, Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, Ronald M. George, Mind W. Chin, Marvin R. Baxter, and Carol A. Corrigan- California Supreme Court justices (and cowards) for voting to validate Prop 8 and create a second class citizenship for gay and lesbian Americans

(15) Lindsay Graham- sexually ambiguous U.S. Senator from SC and right wing tool

(16) Rick Santorum- former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania with questionable intelligence

(17) Rick Perry- weak Republican governor of Texas, idiot hypocrite (we hate the bailout-give us money!) successionist

(18) Mark Sanford- governor of South Carolina, hypocrite who would rather make a political point than help his state, Christian adulterer

(19) Kenneth Starr- legal whore who will work for the highest bidder

(20) Pat Buchanan (and his sister Bay)- irrelevant columnist(s) and right wing tools

(21) Carrie Prejean- Miss California USA, shallow non-natural "beauty" queen with fake hair, fake skin color, fake tooth color and fake boobs, with no known talent or skill other than pleasuring herself on video, posing semi-nude and then claiming a superior morality to gay people

(22) William Kristol- neocon pundit, supporter of "preemptive" war and anti-intellectual

(23) Jeff Sessions- U.S. Senator from Alabama, overt racist

(24) Norm Coleman- Former U.S. Senator from Minnesota- Republican tool and hypocrite

(25) David Vitter- U.S. Senator from Louisiana, adulterer, hypocrite

(26) Larry Craig-Former U.S. Senator from Idaho, tortured repressed soul and hypocrite

(27) Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia- U.S. Supreme Court Justices and radical right wingers who legislate from the bench about issues they find important

(28) Karl Rove- sexually ambiguous architect of attack politics and mastermind of getting religious zealots to vote against their own best interests.

(29) Sarah Palin- Hypocrite; example of what NOT to do as a parent (have a teen who gets pregnant, go on the campaign trail to further your career and leave your infant child with special needs at home, etc.); set up an unethical fund to defend herself from ethics charges, ignorant narcissist

(30) Pat Robertson- tv evangelist (in decline) who has the record for highest level of narcissism in a single human being- hypocrite, homophobe

(31) James Dobson- supposed "psychologist" who uses his degree to promote his personal beliefs and values from a "Christian" perspective- very anti-gay

(32) Joseph Nicolosi- debunked psychologist who believes that sexual orientation can be changed, despite lack of empirical evidence of effectiveness of his treatment practices and the evidence of potential harm to the people he treats (never met him but wonder about his own sexual "fluidity")

(33) Michelle Bachman-U.S. Congresswoman from Minnesota- unafraid to expose her ignorance in public regularly

(34) John Ensign- U.S. Senator from Nevada- hypocrite, conservative Christian adulterer

(35) John Kly- U.S. Senator from Arizona-racist, hypocrite- rails on Obama's bailout plan, but continues to accept the money.

(36) Joe Wilson, Republican Representative from South Carolina- showed lack of impulse control during President Obama's address to Congress which is at a minimum immature, and possibly indicates deeper seated racism

(37) Max Baucus, Democratic Senator from Montana- in the pocket of health insurance lobbyists, refused a seat at the table for single payor advocates, no public option in his committee's plan

(38) Chuck Grassley, R from Iowa, Mike Enzi, R from Wyoming, Olympia Snow, R-Maine, Kent Conrad, D- North Dakota, Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico, Max Baucaus, D- Montana- "Gang of Six" intent on killing public option and true health insurance reform in a "bipartisan" manner

(39) Charlie Crist, R Governor of Florida- sexually ambiguous "bachelor" who is virulently anti-gay despite many rumors of his own sexuality

(40) Mary Cheney, Republican right wing tool, hypocrit, anti-gay open lesbian

(41) Ken Mehlman- sexually ambiguous anti=gay Republican operative

(42) Jason Chaffetz- Republican US Representative from Utah, strongly anti-gay, "big government in your bedroom" believer

(43) Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan- Catholic bishop with strong anti-gay bias

(43) Don Carcieri- Republican Governor of Rhode Island, anti-gay bigot, against law to allow gay partners to claim bodies of their deceased partner and make funeral arrangements

(44) U.S. Rep Parker Griffith- Elected democrat switching to Repub because he didn't get his way with the Healthcare bill although his constituents elected him to represent the Democratic Party. Good riddance.

(45) Bob McDonnell- Republican Governor of Virginia who recently signed an order to take gays and lesbians off the nondiscrimination policy for the state.

(46) Roy Ashburn- Republican State Senator from California, fiercely anti-gay who was arrested for DUI after leaving a gay bar with a male companion

(47) Nancy Elliott- Republican State Representative from New Hampshire, who has an intense fascination with the details of anal sex, yet remains fiercely anti-gay politically.

(48) Bryan Fischer- radio host for the American "Family" Association who laughingly believes that homosexuality should be treated like drug abuse.

(49) Donald W. Wuerl- Catholic Archbishop of the Washington DC diocese- anti-American homophobe who decided to eliminate spousal benefits for heterosexual employees of Catholic Charities there rather than comply with DC laws that require domestic partners of gay employees to be covered.

(50) Randy Neugebauer- Republican Representative from Texas who impulsively shouted out "baby killer" after Stupak made a compromise move to support the Health Care bill. Too bad we have so many people in public office who have no manners or self-control.

(51) Bart Stupak- Democratic Representative from Michigan, who decided that his religious beliefs should supercede the beliefs of others, signaling once again rampant egomegaly in our political process.

(52) Mitch McConnell- Republican Senator from Kentucky, who believes that his right-wing Kentucky constituents represent the rest of America apparently. Sorry Mitch, but take a look around.

(53) Jan Brewer- Republican Governor of Arizona who removed domestic partnerships in Arizona and signed into law the most hateful immigration law in the country. Sarah Palin with malice.

(54) Maureen "Rene" Portland, former head coach of Penn State U's women's basketball team, homophobe responsible for harassing many young women over her 30 year career and ultimately destroying careers. Female equivalent of #55 whose personal sexuality is questionable.

(55) George Rekers, Extreme anti-gay minister and co-founder of the Family Research Council recently caught with a male prostitute

(56) Ed Schrock, anti-gay Republican U.S. Representative from Virginia, caught on tape in 2004 soliciting sex from a gay male prostitute

(57) Andre Bauer, anti-gay Republican candidate for Governor of South Carolina, unmarried and purportedly gay

(58) Meg Whitman, anti-gay marriage Republican candidate for Governor of California and former CEO of E-Bay who says that she voted for Prop 8 because civil unions guarantee "virtually" the same rights as marriage

(59) Mark Souder, anti-gay "family values" Republican U.S. Representative from Indiana who admitted having an extramarital affair with a member of his staff simulataneously abusing his marriage vows and his position of power as an employer

(60) Andras Kiraly, anti-gay zealot and member of the Hungarian religious political party Jobbik, who was photographed frolicking with other males, smoking pot at a Toronto gay pride festival on his vacation

(61) Troy King, anti-gay Alabama Attorney General purportedly caught by his wife having sex with a male Troy University student.

(62) Richard "Dick" Curtis, anti-gay former Washington GOP state representative, caught cavorting with a male prostitute, offering to pay him for sex

(63) Bruce Barclay, anti-gay Republican commissioner of Cumberland Co., Pennsylvania, accused of the rape of a 20 year old male and after his home was search by police, hundreds of videotaped encounters with men were discovered including one that proved the rape accusation was false and the sex was actually consensual

(64) Robert Allen, anti-gay Florida state representative, arrested for offering to perform fellatio to an undercover cop in the men's room of a park for $20.

(65) Joe Barton, GOP Representative from Texas, who "apologized" to BP for "Obama's shakedown" when he asked them to set up a fund for victims of the oil spill. Turns out, the oil industry is a major donor to Barton, imagine that.

(66) Linda Lingle, GOP Governor of Hawaii, who vetoed a civil union bill for same sex partners, stating that unions were so close to marriage, that she couldn't support it and that the "voters" must vote on such an important issue

(67) Tom Minnery, Focus on the Family, anti-gay homophobe, very worried about "sexual tension" erupting in the barracks if Don't Ask Don't Tell is repealed.

(68) Tony Perkins, Family Research Council, anti-gay homophobe who appears to believe that the majority of the American public is stupid for supporting the repeal of DADT

(69) Penny Nance, Concerned Women of America, anti-gay homophobe and "concerned" woman about terrorism and the "Mirandization of the Christmas Day Bomber"

(70) Elaine Donnelly, Center for Military Readiness, anti-gay homophobe posing as "concerned" for the military

(71) Retired Admiral James Lyons, long-time anti-gay homophobe, who quotes navy policies from the "late 1900's" when "homosexuality was rampant" in the military

(72) David Keene, American Conservative Union, anti-gay homophobe who believes that he knows what's best for us all

(73) Ben Quayle, son of the worst vice president in the history of the US and GOP congressional candidate in Arizona, who is running on a "family values" platform after having spent time writing blogs for a porn website. He also sent out flyers with a picture of him and his wife and two little girls, implying that they were his daughters (he has no children) and in fact, they were his nieces

(74) "Dr." Laura Schlessinger- right wing radio talk show host, homophobic and racist, who believes that she is better than all of us and understands right from wrong. Recently used the "n" word on the radio 11 times while simultaneously mocking an African American caller

(75) Albert Mohler- President of the Southern Baptist Convention, homophobe and now, believes that Christians shouldn't practice Yoga because it's inconsistent with Baptist teachings. Perfect example of a false prophet who possess no real spirituality, but only proclaims his personal beliefs under the protection of the church

(76) Larry Brown- NC State Representative recently discovered to have sent out emails referring to gays as "queers"and "fruitloops". Not only did he send them to 60 people, he doesn't think there's anything wrong with it!

(77) Andrew Shirvell- Assistant District Attorney of Michigan, overt homophobe obsessed with an attractive Student Council president at a state university. He spend most of his non-work time making rainbow flag swastikas to post on his blog and "demonstrating" outside the student's home. Can't really explain his extreme attraction to following this young man around and spending hours thinking about him every day.
(78) Carl Paladino- Republican candidate for Governor of NY, extremely ignorant homophobe (which usually means that there's some secret in the closet!!!)

(79) Fred Davis- GOP public relations guru responsible for some of the most reprehensible political ads on the airways. Interviewed on CNN and refused to answer the question of whether he would create a campaign ad for someone that he didn't think was qualified to hold the office. Me thinks he's a bit of whore who will help elect anyone to office, using whatever means necessary, as long as he gets paid.

(80) Virginia and Clarence Thomas- Ginni is a consultant for the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation who recently attempted to force her version of the truth on Anita Hill about her husband's sexual harassment history. Sorry Ginni, he did it. Clarence is the unfortunate excuse for a US Supreme Court justice with no original thought in 20 years, choosing instead to allow Scalia to tell him what to do. Too bad neither of them understand integrity.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

Today, I just want to take a moment to honor the veterans of all US wars and conflicts, particularly those of color and LGBTQ.  It takes a special form of courage and honor to fight for a country that does not recognize you as having the full rights of citizenship.  Thank you.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

OutLook Video

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of appearing on a segment of our local GLBT TV show, Outlook Video, to talk about my latest book, "Loving Ourselves".

Check it out here -> Outlook Video on YouTube.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tomorrows Reflection

A couple of months ago, I blogged about the evilmeister Dick Cheney in a blog I called "The Dark Side". In that blog, I was discussing my desire to see Obama give the green light to prosecution of the Bush administration for war crimes and torture.

To make my point, I reflected on the Biblical premise of Jesus as a "pacifist" and I wondered allowed if even Jesus wouldn't eventually get angry when there was extreme injustice. I was reminded of one of the more well-known passages that describe Jesus becoming angry at the moneychangers who had set up shop in the temple, overturning their tables and throwing them out. I am hoping that Obama becomes fed up with Cheney's constant criticism, when he has no moral leg to stand on, and allow the attack dogs to go after him for his role in torture and war.

In that section, I cited, and linked to, a website called "Tomorrow's Reflection" blogged by teaching pastor, Jeremy Jernigan, where he had included a post about Jesus as a pacifist.

Not long after I published my post, I received an email from Rev. Jeremy himself who had noticed that I had linked to his website and he then check out Gray Shades.

Here it is:

Dr. Hardin,

My name is Jeremy and I’m a teaching pastor at Central Christian Church in Arizona ( I’m also the author of the blog,, which you referenced in your post called “The Dark Side” on March 15. I’m not sure how you found my blog, but as a result of your link I found yours. All of this to say that I would be interested in beginning a dialogue with you about the issues that you are passionate about. I’ll admit that we probably approach the topic of homosexuality from very different viewpoints. However, I don’t personally know many openly gay people and I would like to know more about your perspective and better understand how you see things. I believe that this is a topic that the Church (collectively) hasn’t handled well and I believe will be an even greater issue in the future.

You may be interested in hearing a pastor’s perspective or at least sharing your thoughts with one. I have no desire to preach to you or try and get you to think differently, I’m simply offering the chance to learn from each other. I realize this email is probably catching you totally off guard and for that I apologize. If you have no desire to talk with me about this, then no worries. If you do, then I’d be glad to learn more and try and understand a different perspective than mine.

I was impressed with (and curious about) his sincerity and honesty so I agreed to a dialogue that he could post on his website since I sensed a good opportunity to try to break down a few barriers between good Christians and good gays.

So far, two pieces of our dialogue have appeared on Tomorrow's Reflection and I was very pleased to see an overwhelmingly positive response so far.

In the second dialogue, I sent Jeremy a letter that I was asked to write for a small church in Pennsylvania by the pastor with whom I volunteered on the Gulf Coast with the Red Cross after Katrina. In the letter, I gave a fairly detailed accounting of my experiences growing up in a fundamentalist Christian home in the rural South and my spiritual evolution. It's pretty long, but there have been about 12 comments and I'm very encouraged at the lack of hostility or toxic judgement.

Rev. Jeremy seems like a pretty brave guy to me. Kudos to him.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Miss California and Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover

My Bisordi girlfriends and I have a morbid fascination with pageants.

I don't know why exactly, maybe it has to do with being from the land of pageants (the South is all about crowns and trophies) or maybe there is something about my gay genes that makes me appreciate the fantasy of it all.

After all, there's nothing more exciting than the old "rags to riches", "shopgirl makes it big", story that I can watch over and over again. Cinderella come to life as it were.

I even have to admit (I hope you're sitting down), that as a teen, I was the accompanist to not one, but TWO, lovely Miss Rutherford County pageants contestants, one of whom performed Natalie Cole's 70's horny classic "I Got Love On My Mind" and the other was a drop deadon imitation of gay icon Barbra Streisand's "Evergreen". Both contestants, by the way, won the talent portions of the contest, I like to think because of my excellent but subtle piano improvisation in the background. These pageants were among the few ventures outside of church music that I sashayed into during those intensely closeted years. Oh God, was the writing on the wall or what???

I can still get a little excited even now when I hear that a national pageant is being televised.

Recently, Dana and her mother Marilyn and I attended the Miss Redwood City/Miss San Mateo County pageant after becoming re-invigorated by watching "Toddler and Tiaras" on TLC. Local pageants are really nothing like the big "show stopping" nationally televised pageants since this is where they weed out the real talent from the wannabes. Think early rounds of American Idol.

One thing you learn early on if you're into these things is that Miss America and Miss USA pageant systems are VERY different from each other.

"Why do we need BOTH a Miss America AND a Miss USA?" you ask.

First, Miss America's the one where you have to have a talent of some kind. This is the part I live for. Sure, there are plenty of singers, from Broadway to Opera and pianists, and dancers, but the ones I live for are the "nontraditional" talents, the bizarre and the excuse for talent in the non-talented.

Like the ventriloquists who move their mouths or the BAD soliloquies from the stage. Or baton twirling...hehehe.

Sometimes, Miss Americas actually have real talent, although it's pretty rare that they have risen to the heights of Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America later dethroned for racy photos and now starring in "Ugly Betty".

The Miss America system also figured out years ago that it was much more PC to begin trying to encourage women to enter for the scholarship money, rather than for beauty alone. They kept the swimsuit competition however, referring obliquely to it as the "health and athleticism" aspect to being a well-rounded woman. Gotta love that.

Miss USA however makes no bones about what this competition is all about. It's all about the three B's: beauty, boobs and butts. There ain't no talent and their ain't no serious interview questions. It's all about fake tans, faker teeth and hair and silicone.

These women don't pretend that they want to be attorneys or surgeons or teachers- they are in it to be models, spokesmodels or ...well, umm...models! They want the prize money and the furs, and they are not afraid to shake it to get it.

Here's an explanation of the differences taken from the Miss America website:

Is the Miss America program different than Miss USA?

"Yes. In 1952, Catalina Swimsuits founded the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants as product promotion tools. Developed by the Miss America Organization, the Miss America program exists to provide personal and professional opportunities for young women to promote their voices in culture, politics and the community. Almost all contestants have either received, or are in the process of earning college or postgraduate degrees and utilize Miss America scholarship grants to further their educations. The Miss America Organization is the leading provider of scholarships for young women in the world. Although some young women compete in both Miss America and Miss USA, the two systems are completely separate".

A few years back, noted beauty expert Donald Trump purchased the Miss USA pageant system, partially explaining, I believe, why many of the winners often look like Ivana and other Trump women.

This year, apparently as a frontrunner for the Miss USA crown, Miss California Carrie Prejean, a 21 year old woman from a small town called Vista in southern California, was asked by openly gay celebrity gossip guru Perez Hilton, whether she supported same sex marriage in her home state of California.

You know, first of all, I have to wonder if he knew the answer that he would get from her before he even asked. It probably wasn't too hard to predict her response if you knew anything about her background raised in an evangelical family. The party line is always the same "marriage is between a man and woman" or some such nonsense.

At 21, how mature could this aspiring model be?

Or maybe he thought that since most evangelicals don't usually bare their abs and a significant portion of other body parts, maybe she had put some of the religious fervor behind her. I mean come on, I was raised in a fundamentalist evangelical family in the South and walking around in stilettos and a string bikini on stage was definitely verboten.

And maybe Mr. Hilton was supposed to ask something controversial to boost ratings. After all, when was the last time you talked about the Miss USA pageant?

Maybe she was used to generate publicity for the pageant.

She's probably not a bad person. And she's probably no rocket scientist.

But she is likely someone who will do or say almost anything for attention and publicity. She lost the title, but immediately got to make the rounds of the morning shows and suddenly became a spokeswoman for the anti-gay marriage movement. Guillible? Opportunist? Both?

That's where Carl Joseph Walker-Hooper comes in.

If you didn't read about his story, he's the 11 year old boy who hung himself after school mates taunted him for weeks for being "gay". Sadly, there was no evidence of what his true sexuality was, or would be, but his bully peers felt a need to pick on him and persecute him. Until he couldn't take it anymore.

Just over a year before that, also in California, eighth grade student Lawrence King, age 15, was shot and killed by a fellow student, also later labeled a crime of hate.

When I was a kid, I knew I was gay, and I knew I needed to hide it. I must have been good enough at it to escape the likely torment I would have received by the fundamentalist Christians around me- fundamentalist Christians like Miss California Carrie Prejean.

When Miss California says something "innocent" like she believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman, she tells children everywhere that being labeled gay means that you are second class and should probably kill yourself.

And she covertly nods to the crazy ones out there that want to hurt or kill poeple, even children, who look, act or in face actually are a sexual minority.

Miss California, I hope your fifteen minutes of fame end soon. You are too young and too immature to have a platform. Go back to Vista.