A Different Reaction to Gayle Haggard’s New Book

Gayle Haggard has been appearing everywhere from Oprah to Larry King Live to talk about her new book Why I Stayed: The Choices I Made In My Darkest Hour.

The title is in reference to the decision she made to stay with pastor Ted Haggard, even after he admitted to cheating on her with a gay male escort. Gayle now says Ted ” was ‘cured’ of his homosexual compulsions.”

A couple years ago, I had a chance to interview Mike Jones, the aforementioned gay male escort who brought this whole story to the media’s attention.

He said then that he was sad that no GLBT groups or progressive groups were reaching out to him or really even acknowledging his existence.

When Gayle’s book came out this week, I wondered what Mike’s reaction was to all the recent publicity. I figured attention on the Haggards’ story might also mean renewed attention on Mike and his book.

I was wrong. It looks like everyone is still avoiding Mike.

This is what he wrote to me in an email (he gave me permission to post it):

“It is not hard to have a happy marriage. If you are faithful to the one you love, everything else will fall into place.” “Being a hypocrite is the worst thing you can be in the eyes of god.”

These are just two of many statements Ted Haggard has made through the years. Ted was not only a hypocrite with the gay community but with the heterosexual community. Yet when Gayle was asked if Ted is a hypocrite, her answer [was: every] one is a hypocrite.

It is very difficult for me because no press will talk with me. Not even the gay press. The hell with the gay community. I no longer fight for gay marriage. I hope they lose every case. I have learned that it is a phony, vindictive, jealous, and intolerant group.

The gay community should be so outraged at the Haggards right now, but you do not hear a peep. They are saying that being gay not only can be cured, but it is the dark and evil side of life. WHERE IS THE ANGER!

I exposed myself to expose this man and no one really cares. My life has been in shambles and the Haggard’s are making money again because the Christian community is coming back to them. I only wish I could have that kind of support.

Gayle Haggard knows more than she is letting on and the question I wish someone would ask Ted is, was Mike Jones your whore or your lover?

Yeah… he’s still upset. And he has some good reasons to be. The GLBT community has been relatively muted when it comes to speaking out against Gayle Haggard’s book. I haven’t heard much from them, anyway. (That said, I still support gay marriage, the repeal of DADT, etc.) They’ve done little outreach to Mike after he exposed one of their greatest foes as a hypocrite.

While the Haggards have been making money off this whole escapade, Mike has been moving from job to job, afraid of getting fired every time the Haggards make a media appearance.

Also, as he said in the interview, by exposing himself, much of his family distanced themselves from him.

It’s not like Mike’s background is perfectly spotless, but he has little to show for having the courage to come out publicly as an escort in order to bring Haggard’s secret life out in the open. Meanwhile, the Haggards have come out like heroes.

I asked Mike if he had any desire to see Ted Haggard again — maybe to accept an apology from him or just to speak his mind in person. Mike said he had done that, too:

I have always been open to meeting him. In fact, I wrote him a letter about a year ago, suggesting that but he never responded. So, I tried.

After all this, I get why Mike is frustrated. And I wish him all the best.

  • Eliza

    The HRC is notorious for promoting the all-American gay family image, often at the expense of the transgendered community, for one. I’m not at all surprised at the distance. The GLBT has too much to lose when their side of this is a broken marriage, drug addiction, and male prostitution brought on by “homosexual tendencies.”

    On the other hand, Christian fundamentalists LOVE failure. Absolutely nothing can ever be blamed on God – either it’s Satan wrecking havoc or the person turned their back on faith, whatever. Religion didn’t harm Ted Haggard, it saved him! Just like ol’ Dubya, snorting coke and disappearing from the military, but it’s all fine now because he found Jesus, a magical Etch-a-Sketch figure.

    What annoys me is how bisexuality is never mentioned in this coverage. It’s entirely possible that Haggard is a miserable bastard who hides his homosexuality behind an oblivious, dumbstruck Christian Barbie wife, but it’s also likely that he enjoys the pole and the hole and the forbidden fruit… People do all sorts of stupid things to jeopardize their relationships and public image, but he had a tremendous lot to lose with a male escort and meth habit. That’s not just tapping your foot under a restroom stall for some airport buggery. That’s real serious passion.

  • WK

    I always had respect for mike because once and for all, he proved how much of a lying hypocrite we all knew Haggard was. Sure, mike’s not exactly squeaky clean, but the whole point is that he never pretended to be.

    I do wonder why he’s shunned by the gay community. Is it because he wasn’t the perfect role model working class law abiding homosexual man, or is he just a snitch?

  • http://whoreofalltheearth.blogspot.com Whore of All the Earth

    I hadn’t considered Mike’s perspective before. Thanks for bringing attention to him.

  • muggle

    “The gay community should be so outraged at the Haggards right now, but you do not hear a peep. They are saying that being gay not only can be cured, but it is the dark and evil side of life. WHERE IS THE ANGER!”

    I’ve been wondering the same damned thing. In fact, I have wondered why they haven’t come out in defense of him. Usually when someone gay is so attacked in public they do.

    I also understand this feeling: “I exposed myself to expose this man and no one really cares.”

    Different circumstances, of course. But all those years after skipping state with my daughter to protect her from an abusive father, I always felt that if I could only prove I wasn’t just a vindictive bitch out to screw my ex-husband, I could say something about children’s rights and all that.

    10 years later, he was arrested for child molestation. I’m in an unique position to say, see, I told you so and guess what? That’s right nobody cares.

    There’s an organization here in Albany, NY whose whole purpose in being is to expose and fight child abuse. I called them with my story and asked what I could do to work with them. I was willing to tell my story. All they did was try to get me to volunteer, come in, stuff envelopes, cover phones and that weekdays when I was working. They were not at all interested in using my story to further their cause. Of course, maybe this is why they aren’t making much of a difference.

    I retire in, at most, three years and my daughter and I are already working on working out our finances so that it will be next fall at the latest whether or not I get the disability. Guess what I won’t be doing in retirement?

  • littlejohn

    Surely Mike understands he’ll never be the poster boy for gay rights. He is, or at least was, a prostitute and a drug dealer. He didn’t want to marry Ted Haggard, he wanted Haggard’s money.
    Gayle was on Larry King (so to speak) last night. She is so pathetic, standing by her man as Ted explains that he was never “really” gay, he just had a mental illness caused by childhood trauma. The symptom of that illness? A compulsion to snort meth and have sex with men. He’s all cured now. Apparently Gayle is swallowing all that.
    And the Haggards told us WAY too much about their personal life. They have sex nightly and that never stopped, not even at the height of the scandal. I didn’t need to know that.

  • http://frankcornish.wordpress.com Frank Cornish

    Thanks for telling Mike’s side of the story. He may have been a drug dealer and a prostitute, but he is a human being and deserves to be treated much better. Nobody should be defined for what they have done in the past this way, and what he has done took a great deal of courage.

    Mike, if you are reading this, please know that you are good person and I hope that you are able to find happiness and resolution.

  • TychaBrahe

    Look, some people should just stay in the confessional. No one wants to hear about your sick twisted relationship. If you want to sleep with fundamentalists, fine, but don’t expect me to accept it as normal.

  • Ron in Houston

    If you look at any story that involves a prostitute, the prostitute is only newsworthy while the titillation factor holds.

    I have some empathy for the guy but honestly what does he expect? He’s only newsworthy because he prostituted himself to some wacky gay bashing Christian.

  • Carlie

    I’m really shocked that he hasn’t gotten more support. I understand that some groups might think his story doesn’t fit well in their narrative for their marketing, but not to provide any support for a nationally-known whistleblower who now has a hard time finding a job? That’s pretty cold and immoral. Not that anyone owes him anything, but there should be some measure of acknowledgement that he stuck himself on the line to expose a hypocrite at the top eschelons of a national and politically important religious empire.

  • Sobex

    As littlejohn said, Mike won’t get defended because he’s a prostitute. I prefer the term “sex worker” because it’s not as laden with historical stigma.

    Sex workers are one of the remaining “lower rungs” of society that are still shunned by most. Why is that? I find it shameful that we run away from those who engage in sex as a profession, as if they are indefensible. If it’s simply a matter of political strategy – that is, if progressive organizations are remaining silent on this matter so as not to upset the growing popularity of the gay rights movement – it’s understandable but still shameful and regrettable.

    Look, some people should just stay in the confessional. No one wants to hear about your sick twisted relationship.

    The only sick twisted thing I see, is the opinion expressed above. We don’t want to know “your kind” exists eh? Sounds familiar? Humanity sure knows how to segregate and separate, it’s what we’re (unfortunately) good at.

  • Rick M

    I call bollocks on Mike Jones.
    In your interview with Jones, he says, “ So I think I gave some people encouragement for self-esteem. And you know, I was a personal trainer for twenty years also, and I took people that hated their bodies so much and transformed them into self-confidence.” This is from a personal trainer who admits to supplying his clients with highly addictive, illegal drugs, of dubious origins. It’s no wonder to me why mainstream gay rights groups like HRC would want to steer clear of a man who procures meth and risks the health of his clients by engaging in multiple concurrent sexual partners, two scourges in the gay community.

    Speaking of unnamed “gay groups”, he “…hope[s] they lose every case.” What a lack of maturity and perspective.

  • Sobex

    Way to go Rick M, you missed the entire ****ing point of what Mike was trying to say.

    The point is, Ted Haggard railed against behavior in which he willingly participated, indeed in behavior which his community despised, yet his community supported him financially and has reaccepted him. Mike Jones, on the other hand, honestly exposed himself to expose Ted Haggard, and is he lauded for that? No, he is a pariah wherever he goes. That’s the point, that’s the travesty here. Say whatever you want about why people may not like Mike Jones, but to attempt to justify why no one should listen to him when wolves like Ted Haggard are allowed back into the flock so he can feast on the flock again is truly disturbing.

  • Jerry Priori

    From my perspective, cheating, lying, and hypocrisy are what evangelists with mega-churches do. There have been so many preacher scandals now that even when a new incident is reported it all feels like yesterday’s news. I don’t expect more from them as a group, so I’m not surprised when they sink to my expectations of them.

    I’m not exactly sure what Mike Jones wants. I remember listening to OutQ on Sirius Radio back when the story broke. Michelangelo Signorile interviewed Mike on his afternoon show, so he wasn’t ignored. Then Ted Haggard went away and people lost interest in the whole thing.

    When Ted resurfaced with his “new and improved” straight persona (complete with an HBO documentary), I thought he was nothing more than a joke. He’s trying to get back in the spotlight, but he’s just a pathetic fool. That he and his wife are whoring for attention and money isn’t interesting to me at all.

    I get angry about a lot of things. I’m not angry about Ted and his wife because they are obviously hypocrites holding onto the spotlight for as long as they can. I don’t find them interesting. Until reading this piece here, I had no idea that Mrs. Haggard wrote a book–that’s how little I’ve been following what the Haggards have been doing.

  • Rick M

    @ Sobex –
    From the interview,
    Slow, but sure, groups are coming around. I got the [Harry Britt] Lifetime Achievement Award… And there’s another award called — there’s an author called Paul Monet, and him and his lover are both dead, but there’s this trust out there, and they give awards every year. They gave me the activist award this year. I’m going down to Pueblo, Colorado in a week. This is their first PRIDE ever… I’m the keynote speaker… MCC of New York City is flying me out there in January to be their guest speaker… I’m just saying, little groups, slow but sure.

    pariah?

    So Jones and you are disingenuous saying that no one recognizes his whistle blowing. He was lauded. I’m not suprised that the Haggards are going to be supported by their fellow Christians. The forgiveness rap is a big part of their message. Exactly what level of praise does Jones want and how does bashing DADT and marriage equality gain him support in the gay community?

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Meanwhile, the Haggards have come out like heroes.

    Seriously? Ted Haggard is still the butt of jokes, and all but but the dimmest understand his “cure from Teh Gay” is utterly bogus. Now that Gayle wants to make herself a public figure by writing a book ( I presume they need the money), she herself will become the butt of jokes and have her motives subjected to scrutiny.

    Ted Haggard Is Completely Heterosexual

  • Dan

    This may just be the way it always will.

    The Christians accepted Ted back, but they’re all still hypocrites. I don’t think they REALLY accept Ted, with all their hearts. They’re just pretending, because that’s what’s required of their kind. They think they’ll get into heaven for it (like their god can’t really see in to their hearts), and they’ll look good to the rest of the populace here on earth.

    But they’ll still feel pain and struggle inside, in private. In their hearts and minds. I believe this, they will forever feel a sense of discomfort because they aren’t being true to themselves.

    MEANWHILE – the gay community is kind of in the same boat, just in a different way. They’re ignoring one of their own, presumably to take the high road – seeing as he’s a prostitute and drug dealer, so of course you have to ignore someone like that. They’re trying to display their own positive view of the gay community. Forgiveness is not one of them, because they don’t have to present the world some god that requires that. They’re in the business of shaming: shaming the people who block gay marriage, shaming parents who disown their gay parents, shaming hate crimes, and shaming all the negative stereotypes.

    The gay community it trying to make themselves look clean and respectable too. They make a mistake by holding public sex parties disguised as gay pride parades. But you have to also shame the homosexuals who get caught fucking strangers and doing drugs. Because I know for a fact that LOTS of gay people fuck strangers and do all kinds of drugs.

    I feel like a lot of homosexual men act like 17 year old straight girls.

    I really don’t like either side in this story.

  • http://www.thatpinkmouse.com/bloggy Jenny Bliss

    the poor guy sounds rather bitter and angry, though frankly i cant say i blame ‘im, being disillusioned with the comuninity of people in the same boat as you (figureotivly speaking) and being distanced by family, thats an enough to make somone extremly lonley, and lonleynis breeds contempt, bitterniss and anger (been down that road before myself when i was outed at a previous job but thats another story)

    truth be told though hadnt heard anything about this until very recently (no one tells us british anything heh or rather i dont normaly look at news over the pond)

  • http://eshtoart.blogspot.com Eshto

    There is no “gay community” because homosexuality arises more-or-less randomly across all cultures and demographics.

    What we are dealing with is the silence of what some of us like to call “Gay Inc.”: organizations like the Human Rights Campaign who hobnob with politicians and take it upon themselves to represent all gay people everywhere – and reject any “image” of gayness that doesn’t fit their agenda. Or as Carlie above put it: “some groups might think his story doesn’t fit well in their narrative for their marketing”.

    But you can be assured that many of us individual gays hate Ted Haggard with a white hot hatred and aren’t afraid to say it.

  • Darwin’s Dagger

    I’m not sure what the world owes Jones. Clearly he miscalculated the level of support he would receive for exposing Haggard and now wants to whine about the lack of a payoff. I was already pretty sure that Haggard was a slimy hypocrite before any of this sex and drugs shit hit the fan, so I didn’t find the revelations particularly interesting or important. The people who should be thanking Jones are the Christians, he exposed Haggard for who he was. But the Christians are far too deluded to appreciate the truth.

  • Alan E.

    I leave you with this song about dear ol’ Ted. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZmHC75FDqQ

    The best part is at 2:10, but watch it all the way through.

    *edit* I guess Reginald beat me to it.

  • http://www.truthwinsout.org/category/blog/ Evan Hurst

    I call bullshit.

    First of all, the political gay media has talked about Ted Haggard and his story since it happened. Every gay blog I read (AND THE ONE I WRITE FOR) has discussed Gayle Haggard’s book in some capacity or another. Our site is dedicated to exposing the bullshit of the religious right and the “ex-gay” business, and in fact, both Wayne Besen and I wrote back-to-back pieces on the subject the other day. Those are here:

    http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2010/01/6432/
    http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/2010/01/6435/

    What exactly does Mike Jones want? Mike Jones is essentially a whistleblower, but that mere fact doesn’t entitle HIM to be treated as some sort of celebrity, and if Jones’ aims were true in exposing Haggard, then he shouldn’t have done so for his personal publicity.

    Our site will be be publishing the videos and commentary from the Haggards’ Larry King appearance last night, and I’m sure the other ten biggest LGBT blogs will too. But my impression is that we have all the information from Mike Jones that we need. If there’s something else, he’s free to contact any number of people, but the story has moved out of the realm of “This one guy Ted Haggard” and into the canon of “Christian fuck-up leaders emblematic of the pitfalls of that ideology.”

    So I’m very sorry if Mike Jones thought that telling on a wingnut pastor would lead to fame and celebrity, but those of us who participate in the fight against those forces every day are far more concerned about telling the stories as they happen and refuting what needs to be refuted than building some sort of pedestal for Mike Jones to stand on.

    Evan Hurst
    Truth Wins Out

  • littlejohn

    I’m not being terribly judgmental about Mike. It is an objective fact that he’s a drug dealer and a prostitute. I don’t condemn him for those things and I don’t want him to go to jail for them, I just don’ know why he thinks he should be some sort of cultural hero.
    I’m not gay, but if I were I could think of a lot more gays (Barney Frank comes to mind) who have actually contributed to society that I would hold up as good examples.
    Mike outed another closeted right-wing gay-basher. Good. He charges for unsafe sex and dangerous drugs. Bad.
    Nobody remembers the name of the cop who outed Sen. Larry Craig, another closeted right-wing gay-basher. And he doesn’t sell sex or drugs.

  • http://www.teamsmileandnod.com Kara Sherman

    Fear. The Christians fear scandal and take Ted into their arms and heal him! If Jesus saved him once, Jesus can save him again!

    Fear. The well-know LGBT organizations fear the association with a sex worker/ drug dealer. Gotta keep the assimilated picturesqe image.

    Fear. Mike fears becoming jobless. His fear translates into discounting the entire LGBT community (population?).

    So if everyone could get past the fear, the Christans would dump losers like Ted, the LGBT organizations would sweep up Mike and give him a job, and Mike could heal.

  • Beth B.

    @ littlejohn:

    Then again, the cop didn’t take on quite the same personal risk as Mike Jones in arresting Larry Craig. The arrest was part of his job. Craig’s role as a politician gave him power in Washington, but Haggard’s role as megachurch pastor gave him power over the spiritual lives of thousands of people, influencing this and the next generation’s opinions and prejudices from the ground up.

    I’m not saying Jones has done as much for gay rights as other prominent LGBTs, but at considerable personal risk he did destroy the credibility of a major public respected (in the right circles) gay basher. Whether or not there are now people who believe that Haggard has been “cured”, I would guess the majority of people have lost one more spiritual authority figure telling them how wrong homosexuality is.

  • Staceyjw

    @Dan
    So, after saying how many gays have sex with strangers and do drugs, you follow with ” so many act like 17yr old hetero girls”.
    WTF?
    Many? Really?

  • Neon Genesis

    Speaking as a gay man, I think gay people and our supporters can sometimes have unrealistic expectations of what gay people are supposed to be like. There’s a tendency to think of gays as always being open minded, non-judgmental, and fabulous, perfect superhumans. The truth of the matter is that gays are just ordinary human beings like everyone else and like everyone else, we aren’t perfect and can make mistakes. But just because Mike Jones realizes that gay people are human beings, I fail to see why this means gays should not deserve equal rights or he should justify being mistreated by mistreating all gays. And was Ted Haggard that big of a Christian figure anyway even before he was exposed? I can only speak for myself in any case that I never even knew who Ted Haggard was before this case came out.

  • Joe

    Not sure if anyone is aware of this or not but Mike Jones is not the only gay relationship Haggard was having. There was another, a young church memeber and which the New Life Church was essentially paying off not to talk about it.

    http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/18553208/detail.html

    Hypocrites indeed

  • cathy

    “How dare you see the fact that I am not getting attention as less important than civil rights? A-holes!”

    My energy is far better invested in nondiscrimination work than in starting a war when christian right loonies wives make apologies for them. And I promise that if you quit paying attention to me, I won’t through a childish tantrum.

  • Neon Genesis

    If it’s true that a gay prostitute who smoked crystal meth can only get an audience with atheists, does that say something about the state of atheists in the U.S.?

  • AnonyMouse

    Well, I can see that this topic is… divisive, to say the least.

    Frankly, no matter who Mike Jones is – prostitute, drug dealer, etc. – he did a very brave thing by calling Haggard out. And he deserves to be treated with a little compassion on account of that. Which means not treating him like a non-entity, maybe even giving him a second chance. WHOA, whatta concept.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant Mehta

    Just fyi, Mike was not a meth user and he never did any drugs with Ted. He says this in his book, so I’m not sure where people are getting different information from…

  • Kourou

    I’d agree with the commenters who feel sorry for Mike.

  • Vas

    My view of the gay rights movement…

    I will start by saying that I have a bit of a problem with the gay rights movement in general, and it’s not what you might think. I strongly and vocally support their struggle for equal protection under the law including their right to marry. However I think there is a dark side to their tactics. In the not so recent past, and indeed to this day the gay community has been marginalized. In an effort to come into the mainstream they now regularly attempt marginalize other sexual minorities both homosexual and heterosexual as well as transgender people of either homo or hetero orientation. In order to appear more mainstream they often reject, particularly at an institutional level, anyone who does not conform to their new wholesome gay image. In an effort to further their cause they are willing to throw others under the bus. How better to seem mainstream than to claim shared values with the mainstream and marginalize subsets of their own group or others who do not conform to the wholesome image they are so intent on projecting. They really, really, really, (yes 3 really’s) want to take the sex out of homosexual because Americans love to claim to hate sex. Besides rejecting homosexual hustlers and drug dealers and/or users, they also go to great lengths to marginalize the gay “leather” crowd, twinks and fairies, all S&M, BDSM, D/s, power exchange people, kinksters, poly people including leather families, drag queens, transvestites, transsexuals, pro Doms, purveyors of adult materials including pornographers and those involved in the sex toy trade, swingers, and a host of others both gay and straight. In kind many of these groups go on to marginalize their fringe elements in the belief it will make their group more acceptable. The whole thing strikes me as rank. I wonder how these groups treat gay atheists, I’ll bet they are awfully quite about it hoping no one will even notice there are any gay atheists, (gay atheists feel free to let me know how your are received by the greater gay community particularly the gay activist community). For the record I am a kinkster and have seen this behavior first hand, the gay rights community sees me as a liability and shuns me and my lifestyle often and I’m not even gay. I have many gay friends who are kinksters as well and at least in L.A. it seems we have more common ground than vanilla people no matter their sexual orientation. To be perfectly blunt homosexuals have no shortage of kinky fuckers in their ranks, and I call bullshit on this wholesome family image they are trying to sell.
    How could Mike Jones be oblivious to this all along and why would he expect the gay community to have his back? Mike said “The hell with the gay community. I no longer fight for gay marriage. I hope they lose every case. I have learned that it is a phony, vindictive, jealous, and intolerant group.” OK I’ll admit that I kind of agree with that last sentence, (not for every gay person but for gay rights groups in general and “leadership” and press in particular) but that is not a good enough reason for me to rail against them and hope they continue to be treated as second class citizens, I don’t have to like a group to see they are being treated unfairly. I personally will continue to support their efforts because I think it’s the right thing to do. I find Mike Jones’ statement to be childish and vindictive in tone. What did Mike expect the fabled “hooker with a heart of gold” happy ending? Sounds to me like Mike fucked up his own life and he should unfuck it himself.

    God bless Peaches,
    Vas

  • cathy

    Vas, my experience is that the gay community, overall, is far more atheist friendly and quite a bit more friendly about kink, BDSM, etc. Are there still prejudices? Yes, but these are just extensions of the prejudices amoung wider society. We have this notion that a minority will always be more accepting of other minorities, but this is not always true. Minorities grow up within a culture that still has these biases and it is a lot easier to see the ways in which you are oppressed than the ways in which you oppress others. The gay community is not especially hateful towards other marginilized groups, but that does not mean that it is immune from prejudice either.

    Also, Vas, it bothered me extrememly that you put ‘gay rights groups in general’ in this anti-sex bunch. Ever checked out NGLTF, the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, the Transgender LEgal Defense Fund? In general, LGBT rights groups are fairly good about these things, but, it is not LGBT groups in general who get represented in a lot of mainstream news or politics. The HRC is a pretty disliked group, but there tactics have a lot of push because they have a lot of money and political position. Blindly accusing a majority of LGBT organizations and activists based on your very limited exposure to these issues is pretty ignorant. How many activists have you actually met? Do you know the difference between NGLTF and HRC? Shoot, even the very mainsteam blog bilerico has debates on these issues. It would be best if you educated yourself more about the complexities of these discussions with LGBT/queer movements before you start making statements about ‘gay rights groups in general’.

  • Neon Genesis

    Speaking as a gay man, I couldn’t care less what you think of me. If you think I should be anti-sex or more sexual I don’t really care. I’m going to live my life the way I want to and I don’t see why it should be dictated by what you think I should do. I just don’t get why one user complains gays act like 17 year old girls (nice job at being sexist to girls there) who are evil perverts that like to have public sex parties and another user comes along and says we should be more sexual. Think what you want but just know I don’t really care.

  • Vas

    cathy,
    I only have a second to respond as I have to run out right now but I want to touch on a few points quickly. 1) What makes you think I have only very limited exposure to these issues? 2) In answer to your question of how many activists I have actually met, the answer would be a shit ton, (that’s vernacular for a great many, a lot, not just a few, a whole bunch). However in the interest of self education I will review the groups you recommended, while I am familiar with some I will revisit the subject and familiarize myself with the position of those new to me, (the transgenders Legal defense fund is news to me, the rest are not). I am quite familiar with the complexities of the discussion, just because I’m not gay does not mean I am ignorant of what happens in the gay community. I continue to support the push for equal rights, i.e. equal protection under the law. Ever hear of the term ally,(and no not as in Dore ally but as in alliance) well guess what we do exist. It appears your experience and mine differ greatly. When you say, “that the gay community, overall, is…quite a bit more friendly about kink, BDSM, etc.” I wonder, quite a bit more friendly than who? Of course you are welcome to dismiss my concerns and personal experiences and even accuse me of ignorance and blind accusations if you wish, but please know that it does not hold much traction with me having been on the short end of the stick. You know it is possible to offer information without taking the tone of a personal attack.

  • Neon Genesis

    Someone please explain why we have one atheist arguing gays act like 17 year old girls who have public sex parties and another atheist who says gays hate sex, you’re kidding right?

  • cathy

    “it does not hold much traction with me having been on the short end of the stick” As what? A straight dude amoung queers? As a bisexual woman who has experienced homophobia from some fellow BDSM folks, and anti-BDSM sentiment from some other LGBt folks, I think it is bullshit that you try to pretend that kinkster communities are somehow perfect and that the gay community has power over hetero kinksters. “I wonder, quite a bit more friendly than who?” Hetero non-kink folks, society in general. The very reason that pushing anti-kink attitudes is beneficial to groups like HRC is because these attitudes are so dominant within American culture in general.

    “1) What makes you think I have only very limited exposure to these issues?” I was giving you the benefit of the doubt that your offensive statements about LGBT rights groups were the result of lack of exposure, rather than bias. You said you agreed that the description ” phony, vindictive, jealous, and intolerant group” being applied to LGBT rights groups in general. I find that to be a pretty homophobic statement. If I said that I found sex workers rights groups to be, in general “phony, vindictive, jealous, and intolerant group[s],” people would justifiably assume that I have issues with sex workers. And if you have to state that you are an ally as a defense or “I have gay friends” is a pretty good indication that your statements were homophobic, just as ‘I have black friends’ or ‘I have friends with disabilities’ when brought up as a defense to an acussation of bias is a pretty good indicator of bias. Let me refer you as well to The Angry Black Woman’s (her own blog id, not my description of her) “The Do’s and Don’ts of being a Good Ally”, most notably number 5

    5. Don’t play Oppresion Olympics. Really, if you’re in the middle of a conversation about racism? Now is not the time to talk about how hard it is to be a white woman and deal with sexism. Being oppressed in one area does not mean you have no privilege in another area. Terms like intersectionality and kyriarchy exist for a reason. Also…that’s derailing. Stop it. (http://theangryblackwoman.com/2009/10/01/the-dos-and-donts-of-being-a-good-ally/)

    Are kinksters and polyamourous folks disriminated against? Yes, and I have experienced this personasly. Are LGBT folks discriminated against? Yes, and I have also experienced this personally. What you are doing, Vas, is called oppression olympics, I found your statements about queer movmements to be homophobic. Straight kinsters are still straight and still have straight privilidge. You should consider how your heterocentric notions are affecting how you are talking about and dealing with these LGBT groups.

  • Maria

    Eliza, the first commenter, put it best. I agree with everything she said, especially the bisexual part. Reprint below.

    “The HRC is notorious for promoting the all-American gay family image, often at the expense of the transgendered community, for one. I’m not at all surprised at the distance. The GLBT has too much to lose when their side of this is a broken marriage, drug addiction, and male prostitution brought on by “homosexual tendencies.”

    On the other hand, Christian fundamentalists LOVE failure. Absolutely nothing can ever be blamed on God – either it’s Satan wrecking havoc or the person turned their back on faith, whatever. Religion didn’t harm Ted Haggard, it saved him! Just like ol’ Dubya, snorting coke and disappearing from the military, but it’s all fine now because he found Jesus, a magical Etch-a-Sketch figure.

    What annoys me is how bisexuality is never mentioned in this coverage. It’s entirely possible that Haggard is a miserable bastard who hides his homosexuality behind an oblivious, dumbstruck Christian Barbie wife, but it’s also likely that he enjoys the pole and the hole and the forbidden fruit… People do all sorts of stupid things to jeopardize their relationships and public image, but he had a tremendous lot to lose with a male escort and meth habit. That’s not just tapping your foot under a restroom stall for some airport buggery. That’s real serious passion.”

  • Vas

    First off Noen, I never said that gay people hate sex, never. I never said you or any person should be more sexual, never. I’m not dictating anything about how you should live your life or what you should do with your junk, your business not mine, I don’t care what you do as long as your actions are not attempting to marginalize me. If you go to sex parties or choose to be celibate makes no difference to me. Do what thou wilt.

    For cathy
    You make an awful lot of assumptions and misrepresent what I have said. I never said I was “a straight dude amongst queers”, what I said was I am not gay, and that leaves a lot of room and a lot of options. I also never said nor implied that kinkster communities are somehow perfect either, “I think it is bullshit” that you try to claim I pretend something that I don’t and never even implied, but having built that nice straw-man you go on and knock it down. There are a lot of problems within the Kinkster communities not the least of which is their often times poor and/or dismissive treatment of gay people,bi people and switches which I find deplorable and this is one of the reasons I mostly operate outside of the kinkster community or at least outside the mainstream of that community. You have seen this attempt to marginalize as you have indicated and so have I, no one is pretending it does not exist. But hey that would be topic Y and we are talking about topic X. As far as Hetro non kink folks I have quite a few friends who are Hetro non kink folks, (does mentioning this make me Hetrophobic and likely bias against Heterosexuals?) and I’ve never run into any of them that are unfriendly or hostile because of my high kink factor which I am quite open and sometimes quite talkative about. In fact most of them are curious about it having little information or perspective on the subject rather than coming to the discussion with a built in bias via a wealth of misinformation, i.e thinking they already know the score. I don’t find them a bit less friendly to kink than the gay community, again this is based on my personal experiences. As for society in general… I live in the Los Angeles area so my perspective on society in general is limited to the society I live in, and that society is where I seek to make changes, but again from this perspective I don’t think society in general is less kink friendly than the gay community in general, in my geographic area.

    So you find my statements offensive, so without hesitation you call me homophobic, what a crock. This is nothing more than an ad hominem attack. Under this logic Mark Jones would also be homophobic and homosexual at the same time, an odd combination, entirely possible I suppose but odd. Besides anyone who does not agree 100% with every gay issue or tactic used by a given gay rights group is not automatically a homophobic. Lots of people have issues with HRC but it’s not a fair assumption that because of this they are homophobes I say I’m an ally, so I’m homophobic? if I state the fact that I have a lot of gay friends, I’m bias? I don’t mention these fact as a defense, I’m framing my perspective, and it’s the truth, I’m not saying I have A gay friend or two therefor I know what I’m talking about. I never claimed being an ally made me beyond reproach or endowed me with any kind of immunity. You choose to justify attacks against allies to a cause because you are personally offended, and the odd thing is, if what you say about yourself is true you are no more qualified to say you are gay than I am, it would appear from the available information we are both of us allies to the same group. Having a problem with an institution is not the same as as “having issues” with individuals. Although you may assume that having a problem with a sex worker advocacy group justifiably leads to the conclusion that a person therefore has a problem with sex workers, I do not share this view. As for “Oppression Olympics”, I think you are off the mark yet again. this thread was not a discussion of gay rights and how to achieve them, it was a discussion of a single gay person who may be being marginalized by some gay institutions. That is what this thread is about, Mark being given the cold shoulder and why this may be. From my perspective you appear to be attempting to derail the discussion because you no longer want to engage in issue X, (gay rights groups possibly marginalizing others) but would rather discus issue Y, (the proposistion that Vas is an offensive Homophobe, is bias, makes blind accusations is ignorant, and thinks the kink community is somehow perfect. all false premises by the way ).

    Thanks for the link but I must point out that Karnythia is not in a position to dictate the rules, to me or anyone else, while she may have some fine points she is just a blogger, a person with an opinion like anyone else.

    cathy “As a bisexual woman who has experienced homophobia from some fellow BDSM folks, and anti-BDSM sentiment from some other LGBT folks”, (BDSMphobia?) why are you so intent on negating my personal experiences by writing “As what? A straight dude amoung queers?” is this what you mean by “Oppression Olympics”? You of course are free to dismiss my personal experiences as trivial or meaningless as I suspect they are to you, but they were real experiences that had a negative affect on me despite what other areas of my life enjoy. privilege. Why so quick to dismiss others and their opinions… Allodoxaphobic? (this is an example of an ad hominem attack… see it is poor form).

    In the end I’m still not surprised by Mark’s treatment for the reasons I originally posted, I think Mark made some bad choices and is responsible for his own state of affairs. I still don’t understand why he would expect support from a group known to marginalize others. I understand he is pissed off and why but I still think the situation is of his own making. The fact that he is still trying to sell a book and can get no press coverage must be disheartening, guess his publisher should have had a better game plan before pushing forward with his project. What outcome did he realistically expect?

  • cathy

    ” if what you say about yourself is true you are no more qualified to say you are gay than I am” Now bi people aren’t queer? Appparantly, you don’t count bis with LGBT/queer community, but I damned well do. I do not consider myself an ally to queer folks, I consider myself a queer person who is part of the LGBT community. You made it clear that you do not consider yourself part of the LGBT/queer community and name yourself an ally, which is a pretty weird thing to do if you were LGBT, so I read you as cis and straight. The fact that you exclude bi people from LGBT/queer community demostrates your fucked-up view of queer people.
    Also, there is not some Queerocracy that has power over hetero kinksters. Straight kinksters still have straight priviledge. Did you even read the ally points I sent you, because it included this:
    “Don’t expect a pass into safe spaces because you call yourself an ally. You’re not entitled to access as a result of not being an asshole. Sometimes it just isn’t going to be about you or what you think you should happen.”
    Besides, you are contradicting yourself. You said: “How better to seem mainstream than to claim shared values with the mainstream and marginalize subsets of their own group or others who do not conform to the wholesome image they are so intent on projecting.” So, if heteros love kinksters so much, why would assimilationist orgs like HRC feel the need to distance themselves?
    Also, it is pretty screwed up that you are now pretending this is all about the HRC when you said that gay rights groups in general are “phony, vindictive, jealous, and intolerant”. And now “why he would expect support from a group known to marginalize others”. What group exactly? And, if you actually read the background, you would find that Mike’s only mentioned employment discrimination was from a hetero christian institution and, though the HRC was unfriendly, another queer group gave him an award for his actions. “it was a discussion of a single gay person who may be being marginalized by some gay institutions.” Yeah and it was YOU who tried to say that it was all about special levels of kink hate amoung queers. And, I fail to see any evidence of marginalization from within the queer community here except a past instance of negative press from the HRC. “Nobody pays attention to me constantly and wants to promote my books” does not equal marginilization. Also, ironically, he did get a mention on the biggest gay blog bilerico, when he announced his book plans (http://www.bilerico.com/2007/06/mike_jones_book.php). You are so eager to see kink hate amoung queers that you seem to be unwilling to actually address the facts of the situation. Let’s review, a non-LGBT business fired him, non-LGBT relatives distanced themselves, one LGBT group was negative about sex work, another gave an award. Yep, I see the special queer kink hate rolling off of that situation.

  • Vas

    Wow , you come across as being incapable of having a civil interaction with someone you disagree with. Your level of vitriol and constant name calling is completely uncalled for. While you hurl accusations at me you constantly keep switching terms as if they are interchangeable and I don’t think they are interchangeable at all. LGBT=Queer=Gay=Bi, in every case across the board… I think this is not the case. I never said bi people were not part of the LGBT “community”, some are and some aren’t, but being bi is not the same as being gay anymore that it is the same as being straight. You self identified as being bi and I took you at your word, if you had self identified as gay or queer I would have taken that at face value as well. If you think being bi also makes you queer that’s fine as well but not everyone who is bi identifies as queer. You have now labeled yourself as queer, and LGBT while you are free to place any label you wish on yourself you lack authority to insist that others self label according to your guidelines. Also you don’t get to pick which groups anyone else consider themselves a member of, I do not self identify as LGBT, (that’s a lot of things for one person to be) or a member of the “LGBT Community” nor the “kink Community” for that matter. I don’t exclude anyone except myself from the “LGBT/queer community” I don’t have the authority. Can bi people claim membership in the “LGBT/queer community”, sure, are they required to, no, (or maybe I missed some rule a random blogger posted that says they must). I also do not self identify as queer or gay, you are free to assume that this means I’m a “straight dude” but I do not self identify as straight either even if you choose to label me as such. Not every person who is Lesbian Gay Bi or Transgender is required to claim membership to some so called community, and a great many do not. You may think this demonstrates a “fucked up view of queer people”, why because I will not lock step with the prevailing opinion? Is it just me or do others who share my opinion have a “fucked up view” as well, I know for a fact that I’m not alone in this opinion. Why must anyone with a differing view be classified as having “fucked up view[s]” anyway?
    I did indeed read the ally points you linked to however I do not feel bound by some set of “rules” posted by some blogger, I am not a signatory to any such contract and do not subscribe to the notion that someone can dictate the terms of my support for any cause. That was just Karnythia’s opinion, if I choose to post on the Angry Black Woman blog then I will abide by her terms, but outside of that space I have zero obligation to follow her dictates or yours. And again, I never claimed being an ally made me beyond reproach or endowed me with any kind of immunity.
    I never said heteros love kinksters , never, what I said was that I don’t find them a bit less friendly to kink than the gay community, I don’t think either group loves kinksters. Perhaps your rage is what causes you to misrepresent what I say. I never said nor implied that there is some sort of “Queerocracy” that has power over kinksters, but at the same time I don’t buy the notion that gay people or groups are powerless or incapable of marginalizing others. You choose to pretend that my only problem with gay rights groups is their sometimes ill treatment or dismissal of kinksters ignoring the fact that I also see them marginalizing many others such as, homosexual hustlers and drug dealers and/or users, gay “leather” crowd, twinks and fairies, all S&M, BDSM, D/s, power exchange people, kinksters, poly people including leather families, drag queens, transvestites, transsexuals, pro Doms, purveyors of adult materials including pornographers and those involved in the sex toy trade, swingers, and a host of others both gay and straight. Also bisexual people, I see that a lot and well know the snide comments and regular accusations of being in denial or just lying or being confused and male bisexuals are much less tolerated and more likely to be confronted and challenged directly than females. I fit into some of the above groups and other I don’t, however I am concerned by the oft times ill treatment of them whether I’m an insider or outsider, I don’t reserve my concern only for issues which negatively effect me. I think the notion that you must be the group with the most power to marginalize other groups is a false one and I further think that gay rights groups marginalize others at times even as they themselves are marginalized. It’s not a far out concept and the fact I have seen this in action in one community does not mean other communities don’t do it as well. I don’t pretend that “this is all about the HRC” again you misrepresent what I said, (actually you just made that one up). NGLTF makes many statements I disagree with as well such as insisting that LGBT is a single group who cannot be separated while at the same time claiming LGBT people work in coalition with each other, either they are a single group or different groups working together, I think it’s phony to claim every Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender person is part of or represented by a group, or that they are all part of one big inseparable community, it’s just not true. I have problems with quite a few groups and their stated positions, There are lots of groups out there not just the few big ones. I’m not indicting the entire movement but at the same time I don’t subscribe to the notion that it is somehow a perfect movement and that I am somehow obligated to agree with everything they say and do. You claim I said that gay rights groups in general are “phony, vindictive, jealous, and intolerant” again you misrepresent what I said, what I really said was , “OK I’ll admit that I kind of agree with that last sentence” this is not the same as authoring the statement or even wholeheartedly endorsing it. I meant what I said, I kind of agree, I get it, I understand where Mike is coming from and have seen this sort of behavior myself, after all these groups are made up of individual people and all the traits Mike mentioned are common to all people including members of gay rights groups in general. At times people representing these groups make a public display of these very traits. For instance I believe boycotting and picketing a restaurant because one of the managers contributed $100.00 to Yes on 8 is vindictive, hence I kind of agree with Mike. Even though I opposed prop 8 and spent many hours convincing friends and family member that it was important to vote against it, (and my efforts changed many minds on the subject) I still didn’t like seeing this misguided vindictive behavior against someone merely associated with the donor (it was a manager who made a personal donation to support prop 8, not the restaurant) which was initiated, organized and encouraged by a gay rights group. This is just one example but there are many more which will illustrate any of the four words Mike used. I’m less angry and more tempered than Mike on this but I understand what he is saying, on the other hand I don’t agree with the first part of the statement at all. Mike is quoted as saying “The hell with the gay community. I no longer fight for gay marriage. I hope they lose every case.” I don’t say the hell with the gay community, I will continue to fight for gay marriage and I hope they win every case. I’m not required to take an all or nothing stance on everything someone says. Maybe Mike does not feel marginalized or betrayed by gay rights groups or the LGBT community, which is probably why he has such nice things to say about them like, “I mean I have taken so much crap… I have been yelled at in public. I’ve been called every name you can think of in public. I’ve been spit on in public. That’s just by the gay community” or “I have been ostracized by the gay community” or, “I’ve always been a bit disappointed in the gay community and some gay groups. I have been ostracized by the gay community. I contacted groups [note the plural] like the Human Rights Campaign when my world was coming apart for help. They refused to even return my phone call. In Denver, I have been spit on, I’ve been yelled at, I’ve been called just a whore. And I would be lying if I didn’t say that hurt.” Yeah sound like a ringing endorsement of the gay community and its institutions from Mike.
    It seems to me that in your estimation the fact I disagree with you gives you license to make all sorts of slanderous accusation about my character and hurl vile insults at me, to attempt to marginalize me by painting me as some sort of hate monger and an enemy of your cause or the gay cause or LGBT people or whatever gives you reason to feel it proper to attack me, but it’s just not true, I am not some opposing force, I’m not this awful person you seem to think I am. You are engaged in character assignation. I find this particularly odd considering our sexualities are not so very different from each other, gender and the labels we apply to ourselves seem to be the biggest difference I can see from the available information, but then again not so odd seeing as how you seem to intensely dislike me and want others to dislike me as well.
    You are tilting at windmills, I am not some evil giant, I am just a person with a different opinion than yours.
    I have neither the time nor inclination to continue to defend myself against your misguided personal attacks. Feel free to continue your assault if you feel it necessary, write whatever you wish but know I’m finished with this thread and will not be back for more of your abuse. Who knows maybe you can even convince future readers of this archived thread of what a monster I am.
    Good luck with that.

  • http://www.strertrttre.biz/ Johana Almon

    Bertrand Russell~ Guy needs for his happiness not only the enjoyment of this or that but hope and enterprise and alter.


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