The Latest

MassResistance Daughter: I Am A Lesbian

Growing Up Gay In One Of America's Most Anti-gay Homes

Share this article: facebook | stumbleupon| Digg | Del.icio.us

Two years ago this week QueerToday.com activists organized the largest ever protest of Focus On The Family's anti-gay Love Won Out Conference that features "ex-gays" who advocate sending gay teens to dangerous conversion camps. At the protest we set up a coffin to represent the many teens who have been victims of violent anti-gay crimes and those who have committed suicide due to homophobia.

Amy Contrada, of the vehemently anti-gay duo MassResistance, was in attendance that day. What none of us knew, was that she had the potential to be a "PFLAG mom."

This week Contrada's daughter Claudia is starring in the Acton High School Production of the Laramie Project despite the fact that her mother helped to organize a forum against it, and no doubt opened the door for the similarly anti-gay Fred Phelps crew to plan their own protest of the event.

In a most brilliant display of resilience Claudia is standing up as an inspiring role model for anyone, especially young people, struggling with homophobia in their homes or communities. In addition to her acting, some of the things Claudia speaks out about include animal rights, AIDS, and war.

Today in an exclusive interview with QueerToday.com Claudia has revealed that she is a lesbian.

It seems that for every young person we lose due to homophobia there are many more who are standing strong in the face of adversity.

Please leave your support for Claudia in the comments section, and purchase your tickets to the Laramie Project here.


1. Hi Claudia! Could you tell the readers of QueerToday.com what your participation in the Laramie Project has been like?

Being a part of Laramie Project is great because it’s such an important piece of theater. A lot of us in the cast and crew have been working together for a while so there’s this support we all give to each other.

2. What lesson/s do you think are important for people to come away with after they see the play?

The most obvious message is acceptance, but people also need to understand that Matthew Shepard’s murder was not just a one time kind of thing, but it can happen anywhere.

3. What is it like for you as a young woman of color in your community, school, and home?

It doesn’t really affect me that much. I mean when I was younger some immature kids would make a comment or two about my eyes or something, but now it’s not really a big deal because there are a lot of Asians in my town.

4. What is it like for you to be supportive of gay rights but have an anti-gay activist parent?

It’s difficult because we clash horribly. It’s really stressful because there’s always an argument going on.

5. What has your brother's experience been like?

He went off to college when my mom was starting up with her activist stuff so he hasn’t had to live for extended periods of time lately.

6. Do you have any advice for young LGBT people and/or their allies?

Life can be difficult, to the point where you just want to give up on it, but if you find strength in yourself and support in your friends and don’t let anything hold you back, things will eventually fall into place.

7. What inspired you to become interested in the rights of oppressed communities, and animal rights, etc.? Who are some leaders (alive or dead) you look up to ?

Well I love animals and have grown up with them so the thought of killing them or torturing them tears me up. It’s disgusting. As far as oppressed communities go, I know what it’s like to be prevented from being who you are. It’s painful and psychologically unhealthy. People shouldn’t have to go through that.

8. Do you identify as LGB or T?

I am a lesbian, which my mom still does not get. She just says that I am confused. I realized in around eighth grade, but I was in denial for quite some time because I was scared due to my mother constantly saying that homosexuality is wrong. How can it ever be wrong to love though? That’s what I’d like to know.

44 comments:

jayd said...

I support you every way I can. I think what you are doing is extraordinary-I am sure it is very difficult for you

Ryan Adams said...

Wow, it's good to know that even in the most difficult situations, people are capable of having a good head on their shoulders. Keep up the good work. Hopefully, one day, Amy Contrada will come around and support Claudia - someone who clearly deserves it.

Ryan Charisma said...

Claudia,

You are a pillar of strength. I don't know if I would have been able to come out under the circumstances you have. Good for you. I wish you the grace and poise you show here to carry onstage with you during your performance.

Good for you!

Jake said...

Claudia,

You are an extremely brave and resilient young woman. I do hope that one day your mother will be able to realize her mistakes and open her heart fully to you. Keep being who you are, an inspiration.

Adam said...

Claudia,

You are truly remarkable and as Jake said, incredibly brave. I cannot imagine what it must be like to grow up in a home like that. Good luck in the play (I hope I can make it out there to see it), and just know that you have countless supporters and allies here.

Kasey H. said...

Thanks for speaking out, Claudia. You should definitely take a look at the Point Foundation if you are thinking about college. It's an organization that provides scholarships and mentoring for LGBT students, especially those that come from unsupportive home situations. The website is: http://www.thepointfoundation.org. Anyways, just know that you definitely have supporters, allies, and folks who understand what family battles about this stuff are like.

Trevor Wright said...

Claudia,

I think it is great that you are willing to share this with us. You are so brave to come out in such a manner.

I would like to add that with the reputation of your mother there could a lot that might be asked of you, interviews, speaking engagements and what not. Do not feel obligated to do anything you are not ready for. I know what I was like being gay at 17, it could be easy to get overwhelmed with the media storm that could erupt.

You have all our support and encouragement!

Thank you for being so brave, and holding your own!

xoxox
Trevor Wright
PS sorry for calling your mother a D-bag so many times. ☺

eliz said...

thank you so much for talking about all of this, claudia. being out in high school is hard enough without even taking into account how it seems like you are saying things go at home--you are totally fierce and amazing, and i'm so grateful that you are standing up and being strong around all of this.
and also, congratulations on yr role in the play! clearly, in addition to being vocal and brave, you also have some skills!

eliz said...

and also! YES to what trevor said about being young and queer/lgbt being hard enough--it is not yr job to be a spokesperson and talk to media, etc. if you want to, that is so great, but there are enough other people out there that can do it that you shouldn't ever be forced to feel like you owe it to anyone.
thank you for everything you are doing.

Chris Mason said...

Thank you for speaking up Claudia. YOU are making a difference. You are amazing!

John Hosty said...

Claudia,

All it takes is a few brave people to step forward first and show the world there is nothing to fear. You have now taken your place in history as a courageous, strong, caring individual who thought enough to stop and make a difference, even in the presence of outrageous pressure. You should be very proud of what you have done, and the GLBT community is in your debt.

Being yourself will make all the difference in the quality of your years to come. Not only have you learned that, you have inspired it on others with your courage. Thank you!

wannatakethisoutside said...

Claudia,

Congratulations on taking a stand in a difficult situation.

Our first duty to the community is to take care of ourselves and those that we care about so I hope that you are always able to remember to care for yourself first, and keep yourself healthy and fulfilled.

Next, we work to make the world better for others. I know that your coming out has already done that for others in your school, for people that you care about who are not ready to be as open about who they are as you are, to your family (at least in some way), and now to thousands of people on the internet. You are an inspiration.

Yet, I know that it can be hard to take care of yourself when you are living in tough relationships. I hope that you take care, ask for help when you need it, and know that bad times don't last forever.

Know that there are many of us who are here for you when you need it.

Paul Jamieson said...

Claudia

Your Mother did a fine job raising you.

Paul Jamieson

louley said...

Claudia - You are fantastic! I have no idea of how you did it, but you're seriously something brave to come out to your mom. I know you could have waited until school was over, but the fact that you refused to live in the discomfort of lies is something amazing.

Maxine Dangerous said...

Keep your head up, Claudia! You've got my support and the support of many other fine people. We're very, very proud of you!

[dave] said...

Hi Claudia, I came this way via Joe.My.God... there's some words of support over there too. Best of luck, I think you're a very brave woman.

SubtleKnife said...

I came here the same route as [dave]. Joe.My.God's URL is:
http://www.joemygod.blogspot.com/

and here are the links to the story
http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2007/11/homoquotable-claudia-contrada.html

and the comments:
http://www.haloscan.com/comments/joemygod/1288546295186308431/

Jennifer said...

You go Claudia!

Mary said...

keep finding the strength you need to stay healthy and true to yourself. you are right - love is the healthy way!

heypatrick said...

congrats on your play claudia, and thanks for speaking up for animals as well!

Lucero del Alba said...

Claudia,

Respect.

Wingy said...

Claudia,

Stay strong! You have tons of support!

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Claudia is a hero to all of us!

Chairm said...

She did not grow up gay.

She may (or many not) have experienced same-sex attraction as a youngster, but gay is a socio-political identity.

No such identity is inborn.

Herding young people (such as eight graders) into these gay/straight categories -- retroactively -- may serve gay identity politics but that doesn't translate into serving young people.

That looks a lot like the pattern of claiming historical figures are gay this and gay that.

It is presumptious of you to portray this youngster as the posterchild for "growing up gay in one of America's most anti-gay homes".

Also, the accusation that Amy Contrada openned the door to Phelps ought to be backed-up -- or dropped and followed by a genuine apology.

Mark D. Snyder said...

Chairm, although you are a blogger for an anti-gay blog I will concede that not all of us feel that we grew up gay. And sexuality and gender identity/experession can be fluid for some people.

The hateful language and organizing of MassResistance consistantly opens the door for organizations like Phelp's to march into our state. They have the same goals. The only difference between MassResistance and the Westboro Baptist Church cult is that MassResistance holds back in using the word fag.

Chairm said...

Mark D. Snyder, thanks for the reply.

It is a mischaracterization to say that the blog I contribute to is "anti-gay".

Opine is a group blog with people from a wide range of backgrounds -- across the political spectrum, from different religious teachings, and so we differ on quite a few things. We do agree a lot about marriage and about opposing the merger of "SSM" with marriage recognition.

That's not de facto anti-gay. Not all who are pro-SSM are gay or even gay-friendly; not all gay-identified people and not all gay-firendly people are pro-SSM.

In fact, not everyone who would affirm "homosexual love" is pro-SSM.

Disagreement about SSM is not what you may think it is. On substance it is about the nature of marriage, not about gay this or gay that.

John Hosty said...

We have had gay marriage in Massachusetts for three and a half years now, what should we be looking for that shows how marriage equality is damaging society?

Can we get some examples of what we should try to avoid doing that endangers our neighbors?

It is a mischaracterization of the GLBT community to say we don't care about the needs of others. Most of us are listening, but we're not hearing much. We are told the sky is falling, but we are not told why, and we don't see it for ourselves. We'd all do far better if you saw us as partners rather than opponents.

Chairm said...

John Hosty, what is the damage to society of affirming that marriage is the union of man and woman?

Societies across time, geography, and cultures have affirmed this, including our own, and the sky has not fallen.

The man-woman criterion was not, and is not, an anti-gay scheme.

It merely is acknowledgement that the social institution, at its core, 1) integrates the sexes, 2) provides contingency for responsible procreation, and 3) does these things in combination, as a coherent whole.

It is the most pro-child social institution that humanity has got going.

John Hosty said...

Spinning the question back to me does not answer it. Please state what we in the GLBT should be watching for so that we can help you overcome your fears. If they are founded in fact, give us an example we can talk about.

sometimes when you have to get a conversation going that is difficult you need to explain it better. Try this formula:

"We You _____ it causes _____. In the future you should _____."

We are looking for a verb first, then the result of that verb would be the problem you wish to address that the action creates. The final blank is for you to suggest a course of action that would aleviate the problem.

Chairm said...

You, John Hosty (and fellow SSMers), advocate abolishing the man-woman criterion of marriage recognition. Without justification you have embarked on a nation-wide attack on the nature of marriage.

In the future (now if not sooner) you should stop advocating something you have failed to justify. You should stop the attack on the foundational social institution of marriage.

If you think that the best way to get what you want is to trample democracy, as per the events in Massachusetts (including the Goodridge opinion and its progeny), then, you also advocate for the undermining of the liberties of your neighbors and the undermining of the principles of self-governance in this society.

In the future (now if not sooner) you should stop advocating such anti-social and corruptive means for a project you have yet to justify.

But, more basically, you could answer the previous comment I made and get on with identifying the problem you say your proposed solution would fix. So far you have failed miserably to even make the attempt here.

It is not marriage that you wish to expand, John Hosty, but rather gay identity politics.

seo expert said...

nice post





website design New York City, website design nyc

wow power leveling said...

Three passions,warcraft leveling simple but wow lvl overwhelmingly strong,wow power level have governed wow power level my life: the longing wrath of the lich king power leveling for love, the search for knowledge,World of warcraft Power Leveling and unbearable pity WOTLK Power Leveling for the suffering wlk power leveling of mankind. These passions,wlk power leveling like great winds,age of conan gold have blown me hither and thither,cheap aoc gold in a wayward course,aoc power leveling over a great ocean ffxi gil of anguish, reaching final fantasy xi gil to the very verge of despair. I have sought love, first, because it brings ecstasy - ecstasy so great that I would often have sacrificed FFXI Gil all the rest of life for final fantasy gil a few hours of this joy. I have sought it, wow gold because it relieves loneliness--that terrible loneliness in which one shivering consciousness dog clothes looks over the rim of the world into the cold unfathomable lifeless abyss.

buywowgold2 said...

When the Wow Gold wolf finally found the Buy Wow Goldhole in the chimney he crawled wow gold cheap down and KERSPLASH right into that kettle of water and that was cheap wow gold the end of his troubles with the big bad wolf.
The next day the cheapest wow gold little pig invited his mother over . She said "You see it is just as I told you. The way to get along in the world is to do world of warcraft gold things as well as you can." Fortunately for that little pig, he buy cheap wow gold learned that lesson. And he just lived happily ever after!

3140w said...

When the Wow Gold wolf finally found the Buy Wow Goldhole in the chimney he crawled wow gold cheap down and KERSPLASH right into that kettle of water and that was cheapest wow gold the end of his troubles with the big bad wolf.

The next day the cheap wow gold cheapest wow gold little pig invited his mother over . She said "You see it is just as I told you. The way to gdpchinaget along in the world is to do world of warcraft gold things as well as you can." Fortunately for that little pig, he meinwowgold learned that lesson. And he just lived happily ever after!

hock said...

ITemplatez.com offers professional web templates, flash templates ,swish templates, dreamweaver templates, and other web design productsavailable for immediate download.

coco0610 said...

wholesale jewelry , supply vast kinds of styles handmade jewelry,mainly engage in handmade jewelry wholesale handmade jewelry,such as wholesale pearl wholesale crystalwholesale gemstone,wholesale costume jewelry,also wholesale fashion jewelry like wholesale swarovski crystal,wholesale beads,wholesaleturquoise,wholesale coral,wholesale costume jewelry ,shell jewelrycostume jewelry and discount jewelry, jewelry wholesale, just on AYpearl jewelry store.

wow gold said...

wow goldwow goldwow accountwow gold

梦中林 said...

A slim, wide-eyed mygamegoldwoman almost human in virbanksfeatures eyed agamegold the pair. Her nose was sharp, but very elegant. She had tbcgold a pale, trade4gamebeautiful face the color of ivory, and veryge for hair she wore a wondrous mane of downy feathers. Her gown fluttered as she walked—on two delicate worldofgolds but still sharply-taloned feet. “Awake, awake you are,” she said with a pvp365 slight frown. “You should rest, rest.” Krasus bowed to her. “I am ezmmorpg grateful for your ighey hospitality, mistress, but I am well enough to continue on9a9z now.” She cocked her head as a bird might, giving the mageltk365 a reproving look. “No, no…too soon, toogold4guild soon. Please, sit.” The duo looked around u4game and discovered that two chairs, made in the same ready4game fashion as the nest, waited behind happygolds them. Malfurion waited for Krasus, who finally nodded and sat.

belrion16 said...

buy wow goldAsesor ProfessionalUruguayProfessionalbuy wow goldOfficeLinksNotice

buy wow gold said...

When the Wow Gold wolf finally found the wow gold cheap hole in the chimney he crawled cheap wow gold down and KERSPLASH right into that kettle of water and that was cheapest wow gold the end of his troubles with the big bad wolf.

game4power.
The next day the Buy Wow Goldlittle pig invited hisbuy gold wow mother over . She said "You see it is just as Cheapest wow goldI told you. The way to get along in the world is to do world of warcraft gold things as well as you can." Fortunately for that little pig, he buy cheap wow gold learned that lesson. And he just wow gold lived happily ever after!.

梦中林 said...

A slim, wide-eyed mygamegoldwoman almost human in virbanksfeatures eyed agamegold the pair. Her nose was sharp, but very elegant. She had tbcgold a pale, trade4gamebeautiful face the color of ivory, and veryge for hair she wore a wondrous mane of downy feathers. Her gown fluttered as she walked—on two delicate worldofgolds but still sharply-taloned feet. “Awake, awake you are,” she said with a pvp365 slight frown. “You should rest, rest.” Krasus bowed to her. “I am ezmmorpg grateful for your ighey hospitality, mistress, but I am well enough to continue on9a9z now.” She cocked her head as a bird might, giving the mageltk365 a reproving look. “No, no…too soon, toogold4guild soon. Please, sit.” The duo looked around u4game and discovered that two chairs, made in the same ready4game fashion as the nest, waited behind happygolds them. Malfurion waited for Krasus, who finally nodded and sat.

buy wow gold said...

There are several tbcgold races stand up and take the fightakgame to the demons under assault by the Legion. The races are unaligned at character mygamestock start, and can choose to become ttgaming friendly with either Horde or Alliance over the course of their careers. Faction gained belrion with one side eventually live4game causes faction loss with the other, until the character is as much Horde or Alliance as an Orc or mmopawn Human. Each race has awowgoldget starting city with 1-20 zone content.
When you hunt, the enemies you agamegoldkill drop items, and even the most useless ones can be sold to vendors for money. Quests trade4game on the other hand give up rewards in money and items, the money gamersell part is most useful as it is usually a large sum world of warcraft rpg-tradergold. Crafting is also another alternative for earning Gold, you just choose wowpoweronany two professions and use it to gather raw materials or create gamegoodyitems which you can sell to vendors or players. Items sell egrichhigher to players since vendors have a set price and people always want to buy wow gold us ogpalat a lower price than the vendor but sell at a higher price, so there usually is a euwowgoldmiddle price world of warcraft gold. To see what the going ratemymmoshop is, type in "PC" (Price Check) in the Trade Chat window and the item you want to price check and someone should reply with the going-rate for that item

xxmy said...

Weekends to people ig2tmean that they can have a two-day wowgold4europe good rest. For example, people [url=http://www.gameusd.org ]gameusd[/url]can go out to enjoy themselves or get meinwowgold together with relatives and friends to talk with each storeingame other or watch interesting video tapes with the speebie whole family.
Everyone spends agamegold weekends in his ownmmofly way. Within two days, some people can relax themselves by listening to music, reading novels, or watching ogeworld films. Others perhaps are more active by playing basketball, wimming or mmorpgvip dancing. Different people have different gamesavor relaxations.
I often spend weekends withoggsale my family or my friends. Sometimes my parents take me on a visit to their old friends. Sometimesgamersell I go to the library to study or borrow some books to mmovirtex gain much knowledge. I also go to see various exhibition to broaden rpg trader my vision. An excursion to seashore or mountain resorts is my favorite way of spending weekends. Weekends are always enjoyable for me.

ally said...

1 Alli + 2 Alli plus 3 Alli, divided by 2 Alli, gives you 3 AlliHow many Alli do you get if you divide pastila Alli to pastila de slabit Alli?