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Ant-Laramie Project Forum: ZZZzzzzzzzzz

The anti-gay snooze-fest held tonight that was orchestrated by Amy Contrada and Brian Camenker was full of the usual nonsense that comes from the mouths of the gay obsessed.

Their featured ex-gay speaker, Stephen Bennett, didn't show up because he was allegedly involved in a hit and run accident just before the event. Brian and the other panelists were convinced that it was a "homosexual" who hit Stephen and drove off - providing them with a theme for the night. One speaker asked, " Where is Stephen Bennett's 'safe zone?'."

All of the speakers could not stop talking about our penises and vaginas, and what people should do with said body parts. They are more obsessed with our bodies and sex lives than we are.

Each speaker made a point to compare the LGBT community and our "propaganda" to "Nazi Germany." I do not make such comparisons, but is it not the "ex-gay" movement that sends teenagers to abusive conversion camps?

The most disturbing speaker was Dr. Diggs who reminded the predominately white audience several times that he was speaking "as a black man." He invoked the names of Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders only to assure the audience that they were never speaking about the rights of "homosexuals." He would go into graphic detail about racist hate crimes for no apparent reason at all, and then transition into incoherent discussions about transexuality. I wonder how he would feel, as a black man of course, about the fact that the people he mentioned looking up to, James Dobson and Tony Perkins, have connections to white supremacist groups. Diggs also had plenty of "statistics" up his sleeve to prove that homosexuality is a "dangerous" world that leads to a shorter lifespan, AIDS, and anal cancer. His best one liner was that homosexuality was not a lifestyle but a "death-style." Clever. I feel bad for anyone who is his patient because he is practicing medicine based on junk science.

The speakers made it a point to distance themselves from the Fred Phelps cult. But the thing is, they agree with everything Fred Phelps says. They are just embarrassed by his tactics and choice of words.

Nothing the speakers had to say was in any way related to the Laramie Project.

People were encouraged to write questions on notecards, but no questions were asked aloud. One of the "ex-gays" sorted through the questions before handing them to the panelists.

After the program one crazed Amy Contrada fan came over to us and said that we hated her lord and savior Jesus Christ because she had read what we wrote about "Queering Jesus." I assured her I did not hate Jesus, a minister wrote the post, and he was quoting a book. She said she could see in my eyes that I hated myself. I assured her that I loved myself and that I was in a loving relationship and had loving parents. I even said I had compassion towards her. She insisted that I hated myself. (craaaaazy lady!) Then I asked if she would like her picture on queertoday.com. She immediately ran back over to Amy to tell her what happened. I'm sure she will try to say that we threatened her or something even though she approached us. MassResistance has a reputation for twisting the facts.

The crowd was mostly older, too old to be parents of high school students. I would feel confident in assuming that most of them were not from Acton or had any affiliation with the school.

I will update soon with links to other blogs and news sources that covered the event.

9 comments:

Justin said...

I was wondering about Diggs' comments about transexuality too. Nothing he said seemed to be an argument.

I was going to say "an argument for why people shouldn't be allowed to have sex changes," but then I realized that the statement is accurate as it stands.

Nothing he said was an actual argument. He threw facts from the podium so twisted and abused that they could not be recognized as such. When someone engages in gender-bending it's voluntary. Fact-bending of this nature, however, is akin to rape.

Also, I was amused to hear that there is no such thing as a homosexual.

Kasey H. said...

I appreciate your sentiment that the fact-twisting was repugnant, I definitely agree. However, I think saying that his hot load of steaming bull is akin to rape is pushing things a bit too far. For some of us rape is not a metaphor, it is a very specific, very painful, very violent act. The comparison comes off as pretty glib and thoughtless to me, something that I don't think that you intended, considering the thoughtful nature of the rest of your comment. Did you mean to say that his statements are not only and insult, they are an insult to your intelligence, and breed hatred on top of all that?

Becca D'Bus said...

While I may or may not agree wth the sentiment of the comment above, I do object to it's infantalizing of the commentor above it.

Critique what you have to, but don't hold anybody's hand, paraphrase what they have to say in language that is "less offensive" and ask if that's what they mean.

You're talking to folks who've had that done to them for too damn long.

Boston Bud said...

Queer Today bloggers, thank you for being able to stomach the hate speech that Massresistance and it's followers spewed forth Wednesday night. Keep up the good work.

Kasey H. said...

Becca, if you object to me trying to have an open dialogue, then you can just shove it.

My guess is that is how you would prefer that I respond to you, since I disagree and you say I "shouldn't hold anyone's hand." I would ask for clarification, and I would give you the benefit of the doubt, but I guess you think that is insulting...and I don't know who held your hand, but no one held mine. And, since Justin is NOT an infant, he doesn't need you standing up for him. If he feels patronized, he can say so.

Honestly, I feel crappy writing this. I don't know how I can respond to you without doing so negatively, which is not exactly what either of us want queertoday to be...at least, I hope that's not what you want. I don't want to patronize you by assuming good intentions. I think finding commonality is a key to open discourse, and that clarification is necessary in a forum where we don't have oral/physical cues to the intent of a sentence, but, who knows, I could be wrong. Diplomacy is out of fashion, as our current "President" reminds us.

Becca D'Bus said...

Kasey my love.

There are many ways to seek clarification.

Just as there are many ways we can in fact close down dialogue by putting words in other people's mouths.

We've all heard them before. You know, "honey, you're not gay, you're just goign through a phase", "sweetie, you're just a tomboy", "don't call your friend gay, he's just sensitive", and that just around the one issue that most on this blog have grappled with.

And no sweets, putting words in somebody else's mouth is not "diplomacy".

Complexity, darling, complexity and nuance.

And umm, no, I'm not speakign up for Justin, I'm really speaking for how we speak around here. I'm speaking for how we can shut folks down without realizing we're doing it. I am speakign for those of us who get spoken for even when we try to.

And if you're wondeirng where the terms of affection come from, I'm a fag.

Mark D. Snyder said...

Thanks boston bud!

Jake said...

addressing comments made by justin, kasey, and becca...

i want to start this off by stating that i have never been raped, therefore i can not begin to understand what that feels like both physically and psychologically. i also want to say that i very much believe in the power of language, AND i want it to be known that i am most definitely not trying to spark anything more than discussion and not trying to shut people's opinions down, and i think that discussion about language is very important.

having stated that, i was there [hi justin! we met at the 'forum' (and i put my own air-quotes up when using the word forum to discuss wednesday night's meeting... by definition a forum is a place for open-discussion, there was no real place for OPEN discussion at this so-called forum) on wednesday] when dr. diggs made these statements, and i took detailed notes. yes, he did twist facts. he even twisted the facts from his own data-collection [to which he gave 'forum' attendees a website to check out, and singled me out personally (by pointing at me only in the crowd and reiterating that i definitely should look at the "facts" on the site)... if you want to check out how obsessed with queer sex these people are and to specifically see dr. diggs data-collection, go to corporateresourcecouncil.org , click white papers, then scroll down to see the health risk of gay sex... the "facts" he quotes in this paper are, in fact, different from the "facts" he quoted at the 'forum'. numbers were twisted, and at points even DOUBLED for the mostly anti-gay audience]... however, i do not find that these statements were anywhere near akin to rape. i personally feel, having heard all of the speakers and their platforms, that all of the speakers were there to validate the feelings of the audience. the audience was there to have their anti-gay sentiments validated. in that particular way, the 'forum' was a success. rape, as kasey stated , is a very specific, painful and violent act. dr. diggs' statements, as painful as it was to listen to "facts" that have been twisted to be used against your own community, were just not comparable to rape. in my own personal opinion, there are never any words that are comparable to the act of rape. using rape as a metaphor lessens the language and definition of what rape actually is. rape, by definition, always involves force. yes, his "facts" were twisted and abused, but as hard as dr. diggs tries, his point of view will not be forced on me, even when he singles me out by finger pointing in an audience of his peers. this is where the importance of language comes in.

i feel as though i need to specify that i am not trying to speak for anyone but myself... but i Really do think that we All need to be aware of the language we use, and be aware of the power of language. i am aware that this response is [somewhat/very] rambling, and if anyone would like to talk about in a different forum (one that calls for real open dialogue!) i am very open to discussion on the topic of language in the queer community, if anyone wants to address this.

Mark D. Snyder said...

1. It was nice to see you , Justin, at the forum :) I aree with the point justin made, and I also agree that the word rape should be used more carefully - the reasons have already been expressed by others. No big deal, Let's move on now - together!

2. I agree we should keep dialogue open and welcoming to everyone. We should all try not to put words in peoples mouths, and also all try to treat each other with respect. that means less accusing, and assuming, and snarky remarks.

3. i think we need to recognize that tone of voice cannot always be heard on a blog and so be careful not to assume someone's intentions or what they meant. using the feedback model helps - when you said, i thought it meant, i feel/could you?