Sunday, 8 January 2012

Love In Action!!

This is a story about what happened a couple of years ago (2005). Every time I saw the prayers and  of George Michael's fans and and the many, many 'please get well George' comments in the comments section of the UK tabloids (yay!), the moving story of this American boy popped into my mind. What do these two people, a typical American teenager, and a British popstar almost thirty years his senior have in common? Being loved! Being loved by someone who has never met you, but who still wants to help in some small way. Because sometimes you just can't stay silent. Love is God. 

What do you think of when you hear the words 'Love in Action'? I'll bet you didn't think of young kids being locked away somewhere against their will, being robbed both of their freedom and the right to be who they are. And yet this is exactly what a 'Christian' organisation called Love In Action used to do. They changed a bit, they no longer hold teenage kids against their will, sadly the other part is still more or less true.

You see Love In Action was - and still is - one of those 'let's cure the gays' groups. All mainstream psychiatrist and psychologists agree that changing a person's sexual orientation is near to impossible. What you can do however is pressure or bully someone into changing their sexual behaviour (i.e. become celibate) and claim they have now left the 'sinful gay lifestyle'. Of course many of these 'cured' men and women become quite unhappy and self-loathing. What they certainly don't become is straight!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Why we need George Michael speaking out about gay issues

This is the second part in a series about fighting homophobia. The first part is here

It takes a village. Raising a kid and teaching them about life, that is. And one of the things we need to teach our kids is that being different is just fine!

There's a school of thought in the gay community that only 'safe' and squeaky-clean men and women should speak out about gay issues or become gay activists. George Michael would be the first to admit that his image is anything but clean. A very public outing, problems with drugs, a stint in prison, the facts speak for themselves. So George needn't apply. But I don't agree: we need everyone! Isn't that what equality & diversity is all about anyway?

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Fighting homophobia with education

This is the first blog post in a series about educating our kids about diversity and gay rights. I try to do my little bit, and of course I was inspired by a certain mister Michael to become actively involved. Heh, it's amazing to me how this one man I never met has inspired me to do things I never knew I could do and discover hidden talents along the way.

As some of you may know I'm in involved with our Dutch LGBT organisation, COC. I'm a member of their education group (in Dutch: voorlichtingsgroep). This is what we do: a team of 2 members of our group goes to a high school (by invitation only of course) and we become substitute teachers for a day. We teach a class about gay rights, or rather we don't teach so much as we use our expertise to let the kids teach themselves about gay rights. Teenagers are usually quite bright, if you encourage them to think things through, they can usually come up with the answers themselves.

Utter Delight: A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon

Reading is probably my biggest hobby. There's nothing better than going on a free holiday in the world of a good author. One of the reasons I love England so much is they've got charity shops filled with pristine second-hand books even in the smallest villages. Here's a book I picked up on my last London trip a few weeks ago.

Normally I wouldn't recommend a book that I haven't finished yet, but I can't help myself with this one. A Spot of Bother is just frickin' hilarious, and I can't recommend it enough.

Mark Haddon is the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time; but I haven't read that one yet. I don't usually read the books that everyone is raving about, at least not until the furore has died down a bit. I'm funny that way. But I'll certainly pick up The Curious Incident from the library once I'm done with this one.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

From twitter rant to tabloid fodder

George Michael is back to his 'foulmouthed ranting self' on twitter as he predicted a few weeks ago. That's our George, such a charming way with (naughty) words! And how nice is it to see him back on twitter getting worked up about something or other. He really is getting better!