Getting Beyond HomophobiaHe is entitled to his opinion that GLB folks are entitled to guarantees of employment, and to his hatred of conservative politicians who promote family values. But I really have trouble understanding how he can complain about gays being able to visit each other in the hospital, and then be in the business of writing court orders that prevent normal and fit parents from seeing their own kids.
In Greek mythology, Hercules slew Hydra, the many headed serpent. Unfortunately, you have your own modem day Hydra. As the hero of your journey, you will face the multifarious evil of homophobia many times before it's conquered. You've already read about internalized homophobia in chapter 7. You studied ways of managing internal fears about your sexual orientation. When you can win your internal battles, you'll be in a good position to deal objectively and authoritatively with the external battles.
Consider the following quote - an unfortunate but classic example of homophobia: "The poor homosexuals - they have declared war upon nature, and now nature is exacting an awful retribution." This statement was uttered by Patrick Buchanan, American conservative and 1996 presidential candidate.
How do you feel when you read what Buchanan said? What do you think about such attitudes?
Do you have trouble believing that these attitudes (or people) exist? If so, that probably means you're one of the lucky GBQ men whose exposure to intolerance and prejudice has been minimal, or at least manageable. But believe it: These people long on judgment and short on truth are out there. As long as there are oppressive religions and cultures; as long as there are unenlightened teachers and preachers command that homosexuality is wrong; as long as there are racists and bigots, fear and ignorance, jealousy and hate, and insecurity, there be homophobia.
Homophobia is something you'll need to face, I urge you to gather your supports around you; try to find constructive ways to educate those who are misinformed and challenge those who aim to hurt or punish. Of course if you're constantly worrying about all the differences of opinion and meanness in the world, you'll never get your work done, animals won't get fed, your fun time will be spoiled, and your laundry and dishes will pile up into a big, moldy mess. But because homophobia exists and must be acknowledged, your goal will be to get beyond it and not let it have power in your life.
Sometimes getting beyond homophobia means you have to write a few people off. Sometimes you must take a stand to let them know they’re misinformed. Sometimes you'll be able to muster up the love and passion to take time to educate them, but there will likely be few whom you care enough to do that. Sometimes getting beyond homophobia means taking on more responsibility to fight it, perhaps by being more active in community or political gay and bisexual issues.
A Personal Story
After years of living as an out gay man, I am still amazed and troubled when homophobia rears its ugly head from unlikely places and in unlikely forms. I am lucky to live in California, in a relatively open-minded (if not necessarily politically liberal) community that is accepting of diversity. Even here, however, reality sometimes brings me roughly back to earth. Not too long ago, at a board of supervisors meeting in Santa Clara County, the issue of domestic partner registration was under consideration. I was astonished to encounter an elementary school age child in the crowd of antireferendum protesters carrying a sign that read, "Please don't molest me." I cannot help but marvel at the things people choose to teach their children.
How to Respond to Homophobia
Go back now and reread what you wrote about your feelings and attitudes toward Buchanan's statement and what it represents. These feelings and thoughts are your clues to understanding your role in dealing with homophobia. Your internal reactions and logic can guide you to understand what (and whom) you are meeting when homophobia shows up at your front door or knocks you down in the street when you're walking along minding your own business.
Did you write about feeling angry at Buchanan's words? That's healthy. Are you frightened by this attitude? That's normal, as well. In fact, all your feelings are valid here; you just get to make some choices about what to do with them. ... [p.210-211]
Discrimination and Prejudice: The Real Shame
We believe that the rights of all people must be protected and guaranteed. We believe that the gay and lesbian community must be supported in their civil rights as well as their right for their sexual preference. --Coretta Scott King, The Gay Almanac
Discrimination against people because of their sexuality occurs every day Fundamental human rights taken for granted by most people in the United States are often denied to openly gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. Fortunately, groups such as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Human Rights Campaign, and the Lambda Legal Defense Fund in the United States are laboring to change the legal and political playing field by actively lobbying against discriminatory legislative measures. These groups and others are working to introduce bills and constitutional amendments that will guarantee freedom from discrimination based on sexuality.
For the present, however, gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals in the United States have no such guarantee of employment, domestic partner insurance benefits, medical visitation rights, or housing rights. We do not have the right to visit as a "family member" a partner who is in the hospital. We cannot serve in the military unless we keep our sexual orientation a secret. We cannot get married, adopt a child without suffering major legal encumbrances and social disapproval, or have legal (in some states) oral or anal sex (which is illegal for some heterosexuals, too). All of the latter rights, however, are in the process of being challenged to one degree or another by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the Human Rights Campaign (amongst others).
An additional disadvantage suffered by GBQ people is the misinformation and scare tactics perpetuated by groups such as the Moral Majority and Coalition for Family Values. These organizations, along with conservative religious and political groups led by people such as Pat Buchanan, Pat Robertson, Lou Sheldon, and Senator Jesse Helms, work to create a climate of fear among the unenlightened public. By targeting and misinforming church members, conservative families, and naive individuals, they are able to propagate false and biased information that gays, lesbians, and bisexuals want special rights and threaten "family values." There have been several recent attempts to pass anti gay initiatives in various states - for example, Colorado's approved 1992 Amendment 2, later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. [p.215-216]
He says, "These people long on judgment and short on truth are out there." That is just how I would describe his court reports. He makes no attempt to ascertain any facts, and he is much more judgmental than Pat Buchanan or that schoolchild opposing a domestic partner program.
In my case, he collected a few gripes about vegetables and hair brushing, and he wrote a court order for me to attend counseling for at least 6 months or "until released", whatever that means. He had no facts, law, or psychology to substantiate what he did. He never even asked me about the gripes, and when I offered to address them, he refused to hear it. He obviously would not like it if gays were ordered to attend counseling until released.
It seems to be that this guy is ideologically opposed to normal family relationships. He abuses his power to destroy those relationships whenever he can. He is the bigot, not me. I am not opposed to him being an out gay man. I do object to him imposing his twisted values on others.
Want proof that women REFUSE to condemn the crimes of their fellow women? Download and read this 11 page letter that Peter Nolan wrote to the International Women's Club in Dublin, requesting them to CONDEMN the CRIMES that one of their MEMBERS, who is also Peter Nolan's ex-wife, was committing against him.
Notice how NONE OF THEM would support him and condemn his criminal ex-wife:
And young men? I really do suggest you read this letter and click through to the links. It is very clear the crimes that were committed and it is VERY clear that these crimes were presented to these women as well as to the government.
Reading this letter might save your life one day.
Passing this letter to a friend might save HIS life one day.
The point I am making in this letter to these 250 women is that they have had FOUR YEARS to denounce a criminal woman and instead they have supported her and hidden her crimes from those who are new in her life.
You, as a young men, have a right to know that the VAST MAJORITY of western women take the position they can commit crimes against you with impunity. If you do nothing to fight back? Such as join CAF and register to sit on our new juries? Please do not bother me any more with your whining and moaning.
For not only have WOMEN had FOUR YEARS to be prepared to denounce WOMEN who are criminals? SO HAVE MEN. And the MEN will not do this either.
Not Jennifers father, not her brother, not her sons, not my father, not my brothers, not my best man, not my best mate, not my sons, not my male cousins, not my uncles.
Quite frankly? I am FAR more disgusted in FATHERS than I am in women.
And you fathers here ought to know that.
I can have no respect for men who are not willing to write letters like this one. I have been doing this for FOUR YEARS and in my own name MORE THAN A YEAR. Yet so many other men cower at the idea of doing the same. And so many other men REFUSE to educate themselves.
I have given you men the remedy and you refuse to use it!
Rescind your consent to be governed!
Divorce your criminal government!
Stand up on your own hind legs and tell the government and the cops that you DO NOT CONSENT TO BE A SLAVE.
And if you do not do this?
Welcome to your slavery.
Please join Crimes Against Fathers
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After completing his slipshod analyses, Dr. Gay does what he always does: gives custody to the mothers and makes the fathers take parenting classes. Mothers don't seem to need these. In Dr. Gay's opinion, mothers are perfect, even if it's proven that they neglect their children, drink and have live-in alcoholic boyfriends. He always sides with women, probably due to his fear of men. Dr. Gay is a feminine gay. From his book 'Coming Out Every Day', p. 48: 'Fear: As a therapist, I've found that the feeling most frequently blocking the way to personal growth is fear. GBQ men who are struggling with fear learned at an early age to hide, avoid, withdraw, become invisible, or even strike back. As adults, however, they are capable of identifying other options for themselves to make sure they are safe. But memories of past incidents aften interfere with the ability to be who they are as sexual beings and embrace other, more positive options.
I know firsthand the emotional and physical fear that happens when an angry person screams 'Faggot!' out the car window, shaking a fist at me as I walk with a friend down the street. Of course, your own fears may be the same or different from mine, may be conscious or unconscious, may be of past, present or future events.
One of the most common fears a GBQ man must face is that his sexual orientation will result in put-downs, snubs, or even rejection from friends or family members.'
For Dr. Gay, it's best to stay away from straight men, the one-time married men, and reward the gentle women who were once married to them.
The gay stereotype is that they have a fear of women.
Some of my readers think that it is inappropriate to call him Dr. Gay. But considering that (1) he calls himself an "out gay man", (2) he is ideologically opposed to family values, (3) he is biased against heterosexual men, (4) he evaluates women but he is incompetent to do so, and (5) he uses the authority of the court to enforce his prejudices, I say that it is appropriate to call him much worse things. His bad orders are directly related to him being a gay shrink.
I'm not sure how a gay shrink is qualified to counsel a heterosexual couple let alone address child-raising issues. Call me narrow-minded, but I can't say as a hetero male w/children I'd have even the slightest inkling of the issues surrounding being a gay male. And I have gay male friends, too, but there are issues unique to them that require "being there" to really understand if you're going to be in the counseling business. Just like raising kids in a heterosexual situation, you really have to be doing it/have done it yourself to understand all the nuances, textbooks and lectures don't even begin to cover things in the real world. Pretty intuitive as well as logical, really.
And yes, having experienced going through Johnson's court-mandated counseling I agree completely on the above comments as to his biases. Plus I just don't think he's that bright, really.
A male obstetrician can deliver a baby even tho he has never been pregnant, so someone might think that a gay shrink could be trained to give advice to a hetero couple with kids. But this analogy doesn't work. I don't think that Dr. Gay even has any relevant training. If he does, you would never know it by talking to him.
Bret Johnson is an evil greedy man, who happens to be gay. The book is most likely to promote his career as a night school teacher and sell to his students.
Johnson is on "the list" approved by the court. This means his only allegince is to the court prof.s financial interests, and has no bias other than this. I beleive he'd side with a horrible straight parent over a great gay parent if it was what the court wanted.
This "list" of "good people" as judge Kelley called them, is sort of like the list of body shops that are approved by your insurance co. to evaluate and fix your car after an accident. They are "approved" by your insurance co. because they have a single bias, which is to serve the financial interests of the insurance co.
If Johnson actually had some bias or agenda, it might interfere with the court's purposes, and he'd be taken off the list.
You'd written about Jay Muccelli. Do you think you'd have fared better with him vs. Johnson and Pearlmutter ?
The more these evaluators pretend to be idiots, the more that can be challenged, and discredited, and the more able the court is to protract the matter while the prof.s involved, as a group, gain financially.
Maybe not a great example, granted, but consider the meth. addict and his girlfriend who'd attempted to sell the baby for $25.00. Did the judge want evaluations, classes, supervised visitis etc.. ? Seems there was no money to be had, so, no.
The court can be expeditious in matters involving meth. addicts and baby sellers, but will spend years on parents who they can suck $28,0000 evaluations from and then splitting the most ridiculous hairs possible on issues, like hair brushing, vegetable selection and alarm clocks.
Evaluators, supervisors, mediators, classes and now a counselor for your kids. to decide on surfing or not ? They are working in concert to fleece...They keep the issues ridiculous, and as petty and ridiculous as posssible,adding as many onto the dole as they can for as long as they can.
Assuming that they demonstrate bias, or are driven by ethnocentrism is a generous excuse that you afforded for what they do and what is motivating them.
It doesn't matter who a used car salesman is selling a car to, he's going to cheat them all the same, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or religious values, or his own, if he has any.
obstetrics is different that psychology, regardless of gender you know where the "hardware" is and you know how it works. Lots of decent science and empirical experience derived over the years. Yes, there is a sort of psychological aspect to it in terms of dealing w/the patient, but it doesn't go into the same depths and analysis that a shrink would be doing. I realize you were trying to make a point but I thought I'd expand on it a little.
I don't doubt that these court psychologists are shameless hacks who will do whatever the court wants in order to get their fees. But there are a lot of cases where the shrinks have a lot of discretion, and the lazy judge has not bothered to learn the facts. The shrink could take either side and still get paid. What motivates him them? I don't think that it is psychological expertise, or that would be cited in the report. I think that there is an ideological factor here.
You could be right, but i firmly believe that the first time the shrink takes the wrong side that they are supposed to take, it's the last time that they get paid.
The lawers basically, install the judges, and you think that the judges aren't going to restrict the list of shrinks who are going to be serving the lawyers and other court prof.s best financial interests ?
Sure they might hrow in some ideological slant, but the outcome will always result in what the court is seeking.
I'm probably overly cynical, but I've wondred about how coincidental or not it is that you ended up with the gay and jewish elvaluators ?
Also about how the anger management folks immediatley began discussing corporal punishment with you of all things... I went to the anger management clas fo 10 weeks and the isue never came up nor was anything about it in their books or literature.
A far as judges being "lazy and not learning the facts"... They don't care about the facts and if it's apparent to all that they don't know them...Look at Morse's knee jerk reaction about immediately putting a another shrink on the dole to decide on surfing with your daughter ?
Do you think a judge might suggest a counselor to decide if the meth addict/babyseller's kid should deciding about them surfing someday, or vegetable rotation,etc ?
You don't hear dads say that it took years till it was finally resolved in family court ever. You hear them say that it ended when they ran out of money for all of it.
I personally, had between 75 to 100 encounters wth Dr. Bret Johnson, and I can assure you that he has no principles or set of values to draw on. And why should we expect a crook to posses any set of values., They are a crook. My 10 year old daughter, who was "treated" by him told me this in so many words, and I had never let onto her about my opinion of him. I was afraid of the guy, and did my best to never let on to it, so I would be able to be with my daughter as much as possible.
If Johnson said that you, as the father, cannot tell honestly tell your own daughter your own opinions, then he was forcing a radical anti-family agenda on you. Every father should be able to tell his daughter what he thinks.
No, sorry. What I'm saying is that my daughter told me that Johnson was a crook and evil, as she was being treated by him and warned me of him.
She drew this conclusion on her own as i'd never let on to my daughter that I had known about him all along, too.
My daughter told me that she felt that Johnson didn't care one bit about me, my ex. or her, and he was just digging up info from her for the purpose of making me look bad in court.
Okay, I misunderstood you. The theories about Johnson are (1) he is incompetent, (2) he abuses his power to carry out an anti-family ideological goals, and (3) he is an evil greedy man who has sold out to the biases of the family court. I used to think that he was just incompetent, but now my views are more like (2) or (3). But what's the difference? And how would you know?
I understand what your saying... What's the difference.
#3 is worse than #'s 1 and #2 combined, and I think it matters.
If he was simply incompetent and pressing his gay/jewish/feminist, etc. views and abusing his power by imposing them on others, you might be able to say that he is unavoidably, in as anyone would be, biased in the capacity of determining something so subjective as what's in a child's best interest. He might be applying what he was educated in to do what he felt was best, in his professional opinion. So, he's ruining lives based on his own stupid opinions, which he's been trained and hired to do.
If everything he does is for money,
than it can't in anyway be expected, or partially excused, somehow, nor can an attack on him be construed as an attack on his sexual orientation.
You know the difference because he's on the list. The list has no room for evaluators that may cost the court money by not sticking to what makes them money vs. an evaluator with an agenda that could diminish revenues.
He makes good money being on this list, and can't like the others on the list, build and maintain a practice.
So let's hang him for #3.
The monetary incentive explains a lot, but I still think that I should point it out when someone is driven by bigotry.
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