Bright futures are better than flawed pasts

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Boom Boom Room (L) by Alan Light. Church image by claitonmp on Pixabay

This morning, in a tweet I’d rather not link to, a controversial gay public figure pushed a transphobic trope, inaccurately implying lesbians and lesbian culture are disappearing. I’m not going to directly rebut his claim here. Data show clearly that lesbians are not going extinct.

I’m writing instead about queer culture, how it evolves and changes, and particularly about how gay spaces look nothing like they used to a generation or two ago. I’ll connect the dots at the end, but first …

Once upon a time, in an era I experienced directly, queer culture was very different from what…

When scapegoating defines you, love flies out the window

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Donald M. Schiewer, LGBTQ ally and pastor of the Dust Church, formerly of the ECC.

Evangelical Christian denominations and churches that brand themselves progressive, hipster, or cool often put on good LGBTQ-ally performances. Leaders are aware most young people today won’t participate in theologies of stigmatizing and scapegoating.

It’s not cool to bash on queer folks with Bibles, and that’s becoming an existential dilemma in some Christian circles.

Gone are the days when an electric guitar and vibrant children’s programs were enough to fill evangelical pews with young adults. According to Ken Wilson, co-author with Emily Swan of Solus Jesus: A Theology of Resistance, “The heyday of evangelical growth (as a share of U.S. …

‘Christian Lives Matter’ mocks BLM and Christianity

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Photo of Syndey ‘Christian Lives Matter” protest from ‘Christian Lives Matter’ public Facebook group. Caption: “Praying the Rosary outside St Marys Cathedral right now….True Soldiers of Christ.”

Was Jesus a warrior who marshalled soldiers to drive out gay people singing and dancing near a temple? Going by events in Sydney last Saturday, some protesters believe he would do exactly that. But they didn’t wait for Jesus to return and lead them. Egged on by Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher — Australia’s top Catholic prelate — protesters got right down to some old fashioned homo-hatred in downtown Sydney.

To make matters worse, the people who organized the protest of an LGBTQ concert defined themselves as “persecuted” and called their event “Christian Lives Matter,” a stunning mockery of the…

Prism & Pen Queer Stories — February 21, 2021

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by James Finn

Browse Prism & Pen this week for wildly creative prose from Fiona J. Feng, thoughtful musings on gender presentation from Emma Holiday, Liam Heitmann-Ryce’s interview with Hornet CEO Christof Wittig, and fiction by Jeff Harvey we hope makes you think as much as it might set your teeth on edge.

Scroll down to see which P&P story is also running in the Los Angeles Blade this week. If you’re reading this newsletter on Medium, could you clap 50 times to help get it front of more eyes?

If you don’t subscribe to Medium, bypass the paywall by…

Acceptance and love? Schools say no.

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Cover art from “Call Me Max” by Kyle Lukoff and Luciano Lozano. (Photo courtesy of Reycraft Books)

The Murray School District in Utah just ended the “equity book bundles” program they launched to give children access to authors of color, LGBTQ authors, and more inclusive literature in general.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the district ended the program in response to complaints that a third grader brought in a copy of Call Me Max, a picture book for young readers that features a transgender boy. The student’s teacher read the book aloud to the class, and over the next several days, all hell broke loose. …

He celebrated AIDS and mocked gay men. That’s just for starters.

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Rush Limbaugh caricature by DonkeyHotey. (CC BY 2.0)

I wasn’t going to write about Rush Limbaugh even though I’m sincerely delighted he’s gone. Wanna know a secret? I danced a little jig when I heard the news that he lost his battle with cancer. What, what, what? Am I being insensitive and mocking the dead?

Of course not.

I was going to keep my dance private. I had no plans to write about the passing of the conservative talk radio icon, because I think most people already know he was one of the public figures most responsible for the rise of Trumpism. He worked hard to make and…

Twitter flips out over MP’s younger boyfriend

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Selfie tweeted by UK MP Luke Pollard nearly a year ago, featuring himself and his partner. This photo attracted little attention.

Sometimes same-sex relationships have age gaps, just like straight relationships. It’s not the norm, but it happens. Often when older gay men have younger partners, people flip out in outrageously homophobic ways. Maybe they don’t realize how prejudiced their reactions are, but the disparities are striking and toxic.

Over the weekend, Twitter flipped out over a photo UK Labour MP Luke Pollard posted of himself and his younger partner. While many people offered congratulations, hundreds of Twitter users reacted with what I can only describe as nauseating levels of homophobia.

Homophobic reactions to gay partners with age gaps are ordinary

Here is a sample of some of the reactions…

Think LGBTQ equality is won? You need to read this.

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Screenshot of 13-year-old Izzy Dieker (R) with her mother Tasha Cooper in an interview with KSNT Fox 43 News

I need to tell you a story about a 13-year-old girl who got punished for saying she’s a lesbian. I need to tell you about her school bus driver who lied about her and got caught lying. I need to tell you about her school principal who discovered the lie and punished her anyway. But first, we need to talk about Kansas.

Kansas is powerfully symbolic to LGBTQ people, especially older gay people like me. …

A Prism & Pen writing prompt

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Gorgeous redhead enjoys chilled coconut water straight from the source. God save us all from winter!

I know you guys in the tropics and the southern hemisphere (Hi, Wade!) aren’t freezing to death right now, but damn it, North America and western Europe are having one of those Polar Vortex events, and it’s been one hell of a winter.

Even Dallas is freezing!

I’m fantasizing about the first time I had fresh coconut water. I was sweating under a relentless sun on Jamaica, struggling to stay cool. I’m not so sure I experienced the heat as paradise them, but it sure sounds inviting now.

So let’s tell some HOT stories. And let’s feature some coconuts just…

Prism & Pen Queer Stories — February 14, 2021

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by James Finn

Don’t expect Prism & Pen to deliver neatly wrapped packages this week. We offer provocative essays from from a wide range of the queer experience. Plus an outstanding work of fiction, some soulful poetry, and a new writer, Laura Silverstein, LCSW, coming out publicly for the first time.

Writers, please check out my comment at the end of the newsletter. You can help yourselves and Prism & Pen.

Hot tip: If you don’t subscribe to Medium, bypass the paywall by clicking our underlined story links. But if you can swing the USD 5.00 …

James Finn

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

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