Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Out at work

I had mentioned in my Timetable post (although i have rearranged some things) that this summer I would test the waters of being out. Well, I officially came out to Firm. I had been emailing a bit back and forth with a young associate (whom I'll refer to as C.) in the firm who is out as gay. C. told me that the firm is very accepting of GLBT employees and actually has received very high ratings in that regard. My firm explicitly includes sexual orientation in its non-discrimination policy and includes same-sex domestic partners in its benefit plans. C.'s own experience was that everyone is very supportive and encouraging, but only want to make sure that he is comfortable. C. encouraged me to let the diversity folks know, and today I did just that. I did mention that I don't want to make a big deal out of my orientation, but I thought the firm might like to know for its diversity numbers. Because I do want maintain a modicum of professionalism, my orientation hasn't come up with my colleagues ("Working hard there, Pink Elephant?" "Why yes, and did you also know that I am gay?"). When it does, however, I pledge to you, dear readers, that I will be forthright and honest about it.

Anyway, since I am at least 500 miles from my family, I also don't think it will hurt if I check out the upcoming Gay Pride events in my city.

P.S. I inadvertently ruined my laptop power cord, so in an effort to save my battery, my posts for the next week or so may be a little more sporadic than usual.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A little perspective

Things ain't perfect here, but give me the U.S. over the rest of the world any day of the week and twice on Sunday. I'll bet you a thousand dollars that the horror that occurred in Moscow this week won't happen even in Bush's Washington.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hooray for big corporations!

Demonstrating once again that the private sector is better at almost everything than the public sector, the current issue of The Advocate has a couple of stories about how large corporations are becoming increasingly gay friendly. No, I do not have a subscription, nor do I even buy issues (what if a family member should discover it? Never mind that I am currently at least 500 miles from any relative), instead I go to the bookstore and read them there. This library method also saves money that I can spend on more "respectable" things like issues of the Economist, or um, Men's Health. I was casually thumbing the current issue at the bookstore coffee shop--which incidentally is a big step for the kid who just a year ago would walk to the magazine rack with some oversized book of presidential portraits or something, furtively slip the magazine into it and then go read my disguised Gay mag in some extremely low traffic section like "Mathematics"--and two found an article that excited me: the first is called Starbucks is Hot and the second is Corporate Pride (only one of the articles is available online right now).

Starbucks is Hot describes how Starbucks, Inc is leading an effort to encourage large companies to be more GLBT-friendly. The article notes that in just a few short years, the number of fortune 500 companies that explicitly enumerate sexual orientation in company non-discrimination policies has gone from 25% in 2000 to 86% in 2007. [Note: I had orignially and incorrectly stated that the percentage in 2007 as 65%]. Corporate Pride lists some of the gay friendly policies some industry leaders are implementing. What's more, Corporate Pride states that over 100 major corporations include gender identity in non-discrimination policies. While we still wait (and wait) for ENDA, The Big Boys are already making the issue moot. Hell, even conservative behemoth Walmart is making strides in equality.

Now, I understand that although the trend is positive, some may be skeptical that it's lasting, and a federal law would not ensure that more companies join the bandwagon, but that none will get off it later. I am not as opposed to non-discrimination laws as I am to hate crime laws (non-discrimination ensures only that protected groups are treated the same ans non-protected ones), but I am more optimistic for the reason that being gay-friendly makes economic sense!

Gay people, though a minority, make up a considerable share of the market (and I don't even mean just because of the living-above-their-means-hyper-consumer stereotype). A reputation for being gay friendly is likely going to give a company an advantage over its gay-neutral or gay-hostile competitors, by attracting not only gay customers but also customers who support the gay community. It just is bad business to be hostile and to alienate this group, along with it's supporters from a customer base by giving in to irrational bigotry. Furthermore, gays are more than just consumers, they are workers, and workers who statistically have a higher level of education than the general population. Gay inclusive non-discrimination policies attract this pool of workers, and it would be silly not to try to capture part of it.

Certainly there is an economic cost to these policies, for instance Disney's gay days that attracted boycott from the Theocrat crowd. While there may be some backlash from certain elements, the economic advantage almost certainly outweighs this cost (or else they wouldn't do it). Although many in this country are still very homophobic, one would have to be blind to think that gays haven't come a long way and that things are still improving for us. While few companies have the courage to be the pioneer in possibly controversial social causes, when public opinion shifts as I think it is, even fewer want to be the dinosaur. You may think it unseemly to break down something that is a "moral should" to something as base as economic advantage, but in the end, it's what works. Selfish motives are stronger than altruistic ones, and outcomes based on profit are more robust than outcomes based on moral guilt-tripping and especially those based solely on fiat. That's just fine with me.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

But some things are serious!

The FDA upheld it's lifetime ban on gay blood. I don't understand the ban. I'll admit gay men are at a heightened risk for HIV, but it's not a disease that affects all of us, and only us. Shouldn't any donated blood be tested for HIV and other diseases? Isn't it? I don't want to sound all victimy, but this really does smell of discrimination. Can someone please explain this to me?

To lighten a bit (but stay on topic), I am reminded of this clip from family guy:

UPDATE: Check out Bloodsense.org for more information on the FDA's incomprehensible policy.

not everything is so serious

Last night I was talking to a reader on IM, and I realized that my "blog personality" is a lot more serious than my "real personality." I definitely have opinions on serious things, and the blog is sort of an outlet for that, but at the same time, I keep reading and thinking apart from the substance, this person doesn't sound much like my image of myself (though I think in comments I can be a little more laid back). Not sure how I can inject my more fun actual personality into this virtual person I have created, or even really if I should. In fact, I'm not even sure why I bring it up except to think out loud.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Mary Cheney gave birth to a son! Let's see how long before the hate-mongers (of the left wing variety) start making asses of themselves. Oh, not long at all. Check out some of the comments on the Towleroad article about the baby.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

It's a start

I mentioned that my biggest problem so far with the senate immigration bill is procedural. That is assuaged, if only somewhat, today, because the debate and vote has been postponed until the week of June 4. That's only like a week and a half, but hopefully it will give us a little more time to examine the reform critically. Of course, a month and a half would be better, but we mustn't interfere with our Senators' summer plans (rolling eyes).

Sunday, May 20, 2007

It's funny how the internet works

Doing a narcissistic google of my myself I found this on Democratic Underground of all places.

I suppose that politics aside, gay folks have something of a shared experience.

Here's the post the Democratic Underground refers to. Now that I get a few more readers, I think it is useful to highlight once again Nick's Mom's letter to me.

Immigration thoughts

Inspired in part by Matt at Debriefing the Boys, I decided to go ahead an put my thoughts on immigration out there.

Rather than describe the actual issue, which to me is astill very complicated, I am going to start by noting my skepticism of the current bipartisan immigration bill. I am not prepared to comment as to whether it is amnesty, but I am concerned by the dead-of-the-night manner in which the "compromise" was reached. I don't think I am alone when I say I don't trust backroom Senate deals that are pushed to a vote circumventing the ordinary debate procedure. That's true even if Ted "Would you like to ride in my car" Kennedy wasn't involved. The fact that this is HIS bill makes me exceptionally wary. Call me partisan, but Ted Kennedy is on the wrong side of more issues than I can count, and nothing suggests that this is the million monkeys with a million typewriters situation in which he and I would agree.

Now, I mentioned that I am not prepared to comment on whether the bill constitutes amnesty, but I am prepared to say that given the moral hazard of amnesty, I would oppose the substance of the bill should it anmount to amnesty. Amnesty, like debt forgiveness only, reinforces bad (or at least undesirable) behavior by saying that if things get bad enough, there will be no consequences.

That said, I am a huge fan of legal immigration. I still think that we make the process too difficult for those who wish to immigrate legally, and as result coming over illegally seems like a much simpler and more attractive option. Border security aside (have we evidence of any terrorist who came through the southern border yet? I am not being snide, I'm just asking), a little streamlining of our immigration process would ameliorate this problem a great deal while allowing productive people to enter our country and contribute to our economy. If, on the other hand, we as a society do not want this many immigrants, then certainly we should do more to secure the border--but that decision should come after considerable debate and dialog. At any rate, I will not tolerate anyone coming to this country merely to leech off our overly generous welfare state.

Anyway, those are my initial, gut reaction thoughts on this issue that has finally exploded to center stage.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

ooo look what I found

Pink Elephant Cocktail Buddies! I think I may order these!


Immigration: The Human Cost

This is why we need to address this problem sooner rather than later

Friday, May 18, 2007

So apparently I can't stay away

Despite being away from home, I am still checking my must-reads daily!

I have long been a fan of John Stossel. Check his ABC site--lots of good stuff. I'm adding it to my things of interest.

Makes Me Like Rudy more

James Dobson writes off Rudy Giuliani. I disagree with Rudy on abortion and gun control, but anyone Dobson disapproves of is worth a second look in my opinion. Note, it looks like Dobson's beef is with Giuliani's position on abortion:

"Can we really trust a chief executive who waffles and feigns support for policies that run contrary to his alleged beliefs?"

This no doubt refers to Rudy's position of being personally opposed to abortion, but in favor of the right to choose it. When will Dobson learn that the President's role in abortion policy is minimal at best? Rudy claims to favor appointing "strict constructionist" judges, which would be more likely to overturn decisions supporting abortion rights (though I have my doubts as to whether "strict constructionist" means anything, especially when Rudy uses it--indeed my gut tells me that these judicial labels are nonsensical, and judges and justices only use them to justify decisions reached by naked consideration of political outcomes).

Also, I think Dobson is bluffing. Would he really prefer President Hills to President Rudy?

I know immigration is big now, and I have a few thoughts, but I'm still learning about the issue and I don't think my comments are ripe yet--I'll post them when they are.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Sorry Folks

I will be traveling through this weekend, and I am not sure when I'll next have access to the internet. If you find that I have not updated during that time, don't worry, I'll be back.

If something huge happens that I have to comment on, I'll try to find a Starbucks with a hotspot or something. In the meantime, bear with me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A day late

The gas boycott on the 15th was the most ASININE thing I have ever heard of! Everyone thinking about it for half a second will realize that instead of buying gas on the 15th, everyone will buy gas on the 14th or 16th. If we want to affect the price of gasoline we need to remember the laws of economics.

We need to stop acting like it's the big bad oil companies who are unfairly gouging us. Prices are determined by supply and DEMAND. The reason oil companies can "get away" with charging $3+ per gallon is that we the consumers are willing to pay it. Sure we may grumble and complain, but until we decide that gasoline is just too expensive to buy altogether, oil companies will be able, and perfectly justified, in charging what they do.

What if we just stop buying from certain companies until the price comes down? That idea sounds a little better, but remember supply is still limted. In order to keep up with the increased volume from the boycott of one company, rival companies will either have to raise prices, or else buy gasoline from the boycotted company.

The only way to lower the price of gas is for us consumers to stop demanding as much. Generally. Not just today or this month; we have to cut our consumption permanently. If you aren't willing to that, then you better fork over the bucks.

Oh, and if you want the government step in and require lower prices, we will only see shortages.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell

Rev. Falwell died today at age 73. I am going to refrain from saying anything ugly, except that I was never a fan of his. If he did make it to Heaven, I hope that he learns there are gays can get there too.

Oh and he is in large part responsible for my political homelessness.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ron Paul

Too bad his commitment to principle makes him a fringe candidate.

(Courtesy Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish)


I'm actually pleased with Giuliani's defense of a woman's right to choose--sure I am anti-abortion, but I, like Right Side of the Rainbow, am glad to see the once again straight-talking Rudy finally acting like a leader instead of a campaigner!

Sorry not to elaborate further, but between Right Side of the Rainbow and A Voice of Reason, I have little of my own to add.

On principle, I am refraining from endorsing any candidates until we get a little closer to the actual primaries. I just don't think I know enough about anyone to make any hard and fast alliances just yet.

I sometimes worry

I worry that my blog gives the impression i am making bigger strides than I actually am. Indeed I am making progress, but in real life I am still very shy about these issues and emotionally guarded. I'm not as closeted as I was even last semester, but I am not on the verge of being "out and proud" either.

It's nice to have some very close friends who support me, not to mention the online support I have found through this blog. Yet, when I showed my blog to my therapist she commented "It seems like you are more open online than you are in here" and she is right. In fact, I am most open to her (she was the first person I came out to face to face), but I am not as open to her as I am here. I suppose the anonymity (or illusion thereof) of the internet is enough protection to keep me from feeling as though I am "exposing vulnerability."

Friday, May 11, 2007

Meeting an old crush

I had my first crush on a boy my freshman year of college. His name was Zach. He adorably shy, beautiful (though a little short), and took great care of his body. We lived on the same floor and became good friends. Freshman year we did almost everything together: we ate dinner together in the dining hall, we studied together, we went to museums. I'll bet that people who didn't know us thought we might be boyfriends. Maybe even people who did know us.

Then sophomore year I was more standoffish. Sometimes I was downright cold to Zach. We saw each other often as we had many mutual friends, but we didn't do anything together anymore. I had realized that I had a crush on him and my solution to the "problem" was to pull away.

Fast forward to last semester, after visiting a nearby city I got an email from Zach. Apparently he had seen me walking down the street. After a short email conversation I explained that I lived nearby and occasionally visited his city and would give him a call the next time I saw him. Many busy months went by, and I wasn't able to visit. Once exams ended I made a special trip and we met for drinks.

Turns out that Zach lives in a "gay" part of his city, and he was wearing an outfit that fit the location (white linen capris). When I first saw Zach I thought to myself, "whoa, he's gay too!" Over drinks, however, my excitement waned when he said he had just quit his job and was going to move to Europe with his girlfriend, where they would probably get married.

Anyway, now someone from college knows I'm gay. I wanted to apologize for my frostiness after freshman year, but I was afraid that if I told Zach I had a crush on him it might make him uncomfortable. As much as I wanted him to be gay, now that he is planning to get married, I hope that he is straight. Sigh...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

more on crime and economics

I found this interesting little analysis of The Godfather (the book more so than the movie) on The Volokh Conspiracy. It sort of ties in with the discussion I posted yesterday.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Posner, crime, and morality

Just as Milton Friedman is my ideological hero, Judge Richard Posner is my legal hero. I'm such an economics dork. Posner's latest comment has an interesting point about crime:

The basic economic objection to crime is that a crime is a costly but sterile transaction. It redistributes wealth, which doesn't increase the size of the social pie; and therefore the costs involved in crime—the time and other inputs of the criminal, and the defensive measures taken by potential victims—are a deadweight loss to society.

But notice that the economic definition of crime as a sterile transaction (or coerced transfer payment) does not correspond to the legal definition of crime; in law, a crime is anything that the government forbids on pain of criminal penalties. Victimless crimes tend to be productive transactions, which make the parties better off (at least by their own lights). Attempting to deter or prevent such transactions are likely therefore to reduce the overall social welfare, like other interferences with the operation of free markets. Of course there may be external costs, costs external to the parties to the drug transaction or other victimless crime, that in some cases justify punishment, but this is probably not true in general.
This uses economic jargon to make a point I was considering in the shower recently (allow me to reiterate, I'm a dork). I was trying to distinguish between morals and mores. I reasoned that things that negatively affect the rights of someone other than the perpetrator are immoral--murder, theft, etc. Whereas forbidden acts that do not affect the rights of anyone other than those committing them would be against social mores--consensual, but non-traditional sex. Ultimately I abandoned this distinction as unsatisfactory.

It was unsatisfactory because I would not consider it immoral to pollute, for instance, which would negatively affect the property rights of the owner of the polluted area. I wouldn't consider it immoral because pollution is a by-product of productive activities, which increase total societal welfare (otherwise the enterprise would fail as unprofitable). No one pollutes for the sake of polluting (except for villains on Captain Planet). However, I would consider vandalism, the destruction property not connected to any other productive enterprise, to be immoral.

Posner's economic distinction--in terms of societal welfare--is more refined. Although pollution is not a victimless crime, it is not merely a redistributive act either. Certainly arguments can me made that the increased welfare from the product that creates it do not adequately compensate for the subjective losses of to the pollutee's property. These arguments are less forceful considering that nuisance law requires the polluter to compensate damages to the pollutee (but again we must factor in the transaction costs of going to court to enforce the law...it all gets very complicated).

Even if we have not been able to make a proper distinction between morality and mores, this economic distinction would be useful for law. A government (in my libertarian view) may legitimately prohibit only those acts that would infringe on the rights of others--these would be the crimes that are the "costly but sterile" transactions. The prohibition of acts that do not infringe on the rights of others, often the victimless crimes such as sodomy or drug use, are not a legitimate exercise of government power.

This brings me to an interesting question: should we consider taxation a crime? Certainly taxes are a costly but sterile transaction that only redistribute wealth. Can we find a principled reason to exempt government from criminal punishment or to exempt taxes from the list of crimes? Otherwise, we would have no government to protect us from the crimes of other citizens. Could that be enough of a governmental "product" to justify the taxes?

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Why I will not pursue a wife of convenience

For a long time I considered pursuing a wife of convenience so I never had to come to terms with being gay. I would just play the part my family wanted me to. In fact, even when I started this blog, I had not completely rejected the idea. But as I mentioned in the last post, I have come to realize that marrying a woman for a beard would be a cruel thing to do. Even if all the cards were on the table from the beginning, such a marriage seems doomed. Here is a post about a post-coming out divorce. It's not a happy thing at all.

I just HAVE to come out.

The Gospel According to Pink Elephant, chapter 2

In response to the last post a reader sent me the following:
I was struck, though, by the fact that you did not attempt to really justify homosexuality. If I read you correctly, you even acknowledge it is probably a sin. . . . It seems like you are saying, "This is a sin, but I'm going to keep doing it anyways."
That is a fair reading of my last post, not because that that is what I meant but because I was purposely ambiguous about whether homosexuality, or homosexual conduct, is a sin. The truth is, I am still working all that out. A big part of me wants to declare it not a sin, but another big part of me cannot flippantly disregard what I was taught as I grew up. Similarly, if I am able to declare homosexuality not a sin, I am the type of person that needs to be able to defend the position.

I have read some rather plausible, indeed compelling, arguments that homosexuality as we know it today is not the same thing that the New Testament writers declared sinful. I would like to latch on to these arguments, but at the end of the day they boil down to "the text is ambiguous, so let's err on the side of 'not sinful.'" I'm not sure that's enough.

Anyway, to be clear and honest, here is where I am now: I do believe that being gay is innate, not a choice (who, I ask, would choose to go through these struggles?). I also think that being in the closet is immoral, sinful even. I believe this because being in the closet is all about lying. I am not honest with my parents out of my own cowardice. I am not proud of this. Moreover, if I were to marry out of convenience that would be a terrible thing to do to a woman, especially if I really did love her, apart from sexual attraction. I also think it is immoral that society pressures me at all to live that way.

So what about the sex itself? The reader who asked the question above made a good point that sexual sin is different (not necessarily worse) from other sins. This is because sex is so closely tied to our emotions and the emotions of our sexual partners (if I was reading him correctly). Using people as sexual objects, meaning thinking of my orgasm over the emotional needs of my partners, is I think immoral and sinful. This is part of the reason I am disinclined from being the stereotypical gay (or even male) sex hound. Conversely, I can think of nothing sinful or immoral about two people sharing a committed relationship that involves sex (homosexual or not). In fact I hope to have it myself one day.

Tangent: I found this on Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish. Sully talks about his faith in far better words than I can hope to string together.

Addendum: It occurred to me that the excerpt from an email quoted above may appear accusatory in isolation. So I have decided to share more of what the reader said, which is quite insightful:

I agree that homosexuality should not be seen as the sin of sins. I will say, though, that I've always thought sexual sin in general to be particularly invidious -- not because it "counts" against us more, but because, in practical terms, it goes to the deepest thing about us. Again, I'm not saying sexual sin is "worse," I'm saying that the consequences of such sin might be of a different order than other sins. We easily can sleep off a night of drinking too much beer. But sex connects us to another person in a profound way, and I think its ramifications linger much longer than, say, a hangover. None of this is an argument for making homosexuality the sin of sins. All I mean to suggest is that sin of a sexual nature (whether homosexual or heterosexual) seems to be something of a special depth. Put differently, the profundity of sexual sin is connected to the awesome nature of sex itself.

Ironically, this, for me, is an argument FOR allowing homosexual practice. Sex goes to the deepest part of us, and fulfills some of our deepest longings for love, connecting with another person, etc. To deny this to another human being based on their orientation is, I think, deeply problematic. I am not sure what I think about all this yet. I have a hard time turning my back on tradition and parts of the New Testament that seem fairly clear (though perhaps not entirely unambiguous). I am, personally, deeply conservative. The knowledge of my own limitations and failings makes me humble in the face of tradition or even the broad sense of the Church on these matters.

Monday, May 7, 2007

The Gospel According to Pink Elephant

I am a religious person. Specifically, I am a Christian and a member of a mainstream protestant denomination. I grew up in a conservative congregation and went to an even more conservative Evangelical high school. This kind of upbringing is difficult to ignore as I am coming to terms with being gay. What is equally difficult to ignore is the reprehensible way gays have been treated by many religious groups. It's no wonder that as they come out many gays and lesbians turn their back on religion altogether.

I have discussed previously that I am confused as to why homosexuality is the SIN of SINS, being far graver than other deadlies like gluttony (speaking of which, ever notice how fat Jerry Falwell has gotten? Cheap shot I know, but I'm not sorry). Furthermore, I am not versed enough in ancient Hebrew or Aramaic to argue credibly "they didn't mean that homosexuality was a sin." Others have made arguments that the Biblical condemnations of homosexuality refer primarily to sex acts connected to idol worship. It sounds plausible, but ultimately I'm not sure about all that; however, my faith is not ruined even assuming that St. Paul was dead serious about calling any sexual acts between people of the same gender a sin.

I consider the Bible to be a reliable, but fallible, account of people trying to understand God. I don't mean to sound so "Bible as literature not scripture," but certainly I was influenced by several of my undergraduate Bible courses which tended to take a more historical and academic perspective than the Sunday school type Bible classes I enjoyed in High school. I believe that scripture was divinely Inspired, but that when humans put pen to parchment they sometimes allowed societal prejudices and mores to get confused with God's message. Nonetheless I still have faith that, God created the universe (though I am skeptical as to if he did so exactly as Genesis describes), Christ was divine, his death atoned for our sins, and Christ conquered death with the resurrection. I suppose that even despite my semi-heretical positions on the nature of Scripture, I still get to be a Christian.

The more religious among you will gasp in horror that I dare pick and choose the verses of scripture I wish to follow. "Even if humans corrupted God's message when they wrote the Bible" you may argue, "on what possible basis can I, someone two millennia removed, determine what is God's Message and what are societal prejudices?" My only answer is the same "forest not the trees" argument that the more liberal denominations have been making for some time now. Looking primarily at the New Testament (after all, that is the portion of the Bible that has the most meaning and importance to Christians) and the Gospels in particular, it becomes clear that themes of grace, compassion, and faith are foremost. Jesus ministered to prostitutes, tax collectors, and other social undesirables in bold defiance of the Pharisees, the Religious Right of Jesus' day.

Indeed Jesus spent considerable time criticizing the cold and sometimes cruel religious legalism of the Pharisees. The problem with religious legalism is that it often serves to destroy faith rather than to enhance it. That is as true today as was in Jesus' day. How many people has the church driven to agnosticism or atheism with it's harsh rhetoric condemning gay people or acts? Surely no one (save perhaps Fred Phelps) would agree that the purpose of the church is to drive people away from God because someone thinks they are unworthy. That is the real tragedy of the Religious Right. They so alienate the "unworthy" that they completely undo any evangelism to the "worthy." Besides, the point of Christianity is that we are ALL unworthy, but God gives us grace anyway.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Hate Crimes Update II

It seems the House passed the hate crimes law that includes crimes based on sexual orientation. The bill still needs to pass the senate. However, Bush has threatened Veto using a federalism argument. As I mentioned before, I'm against this legislation, and would be happy with the outcome of the veto, but I am not buying the White House's justification. Federalism is good when it comes hate crimes laws but bad when it comes to defining marriage? Hmm.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A little too much wine

Everyone seems to agree that drunk posting is a bad idea, but on the contrary I think it will make me more honest.

I am really concerned about my Mom when I come out. I have always felt closer to my mom, but I am sure she will have the biggest problem that I am gay. It's comforting to hear stories of others that Moms can be surprisingly understanding, but even so, it's not a moment I am looking forward to. I know that my not being honest poisons our relationship, but I am most afraid of her reaction.

Time for honesty: I'm pretty sure my mom knows. She has actually asked me point blank before. I lied, of course. She then said, "it's not like we would hate you, bit it's just not a life I would choose for you. It's a hard life." I made thing worse by saying, " you have nothing to worry about." The words came out of my mouth before I could consider them.

Point taken, it's not an easy life, but neither is lying to myself and others while pretending to be straight. Certainly my family has religious problems, but I know they love me nonetheless. Regardless, it won't be an easy time for any of us when I come out, and it is not something I look forward to.

I plan to come out to my parents this summer (a whole year earlier than I expected before); I hope it goes acceptably. Sometimes I really, really wish I were straight so this wouldn't be an issue. No matter how it goes, I must express my extreme appreciation for the support I have gotten through this blog. All of you are awesome! thanks!

Out on a Limb Update

The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act is up for a vote before the House. If you also agree with me about hate crimes, go here to tell your representatives and senators.

Thanks to Rob Power for showing me this.