How one gender-queer foster kid is affected by a foster care system that can’t handle his gender expression:
Annie: Gay sonâ€™s actions at college trouble parents
Dear Annie: Our son, â€œColin,â€ is 19 years old and a sophomore in college. He was always helpful and a good student. Last spring, Colin became rude and condescending. We found out he was living with a 33-year-old man who is infected with HIV. This man was controlling and used sexual blackmail to keep Colin in line. We finally got our son back home, but it was a long, difficult summer.
When Colin announced that he was gay, my husband and I sought advice from several clergy. Most of them said to turn our backs on him until he asked for our forgiveness for living sinfully. We decided instead to take the advice of our priest, who said to accept his orientation, hard as that has been.
All weâ€™ve asked of Colin is that he do well in school, get a job to help pay off the legal bills that resulted from extricating him from his previous relationship and not be sexually promiscuous. Colin contracted various STDs and should avoid sexual contact anyway. Our requests seemed reasonable to us.
Unfortunately, when Colin returned to school, he became sexually involved with at least two different men and even asked to bring one home for the holidays. Of course, we said no.
We could live with his orientation if he would live a moral lifestyle. So far, he has not tested positive for HIV, although that is still a worry. We have told him we will not pay any more medical bills, since we canâ€™t afford it. From the horrible way he treats us, I regret that we were so kind to him over the summer. Counseling didnâ€™t help him see the error of his ways. He is a bad influence on his little sister. How should we handle this? — Heartbroken Parents
Dear Parents: We know Colinâ€™s sexuality is disturbing to you, but try to separate his orientation from his impulsive lifestyle. He is 19 and living away from home for the first time. In college, many children, gay or straight, become sexually active. Unfortunately, some also are promiscuous, drink too much, do drugs, engage in risky behaviors and otherwise behave like wild animals let loose. Most kids settle down eventually, and the hope is that they donâ€™t do any permanent damage in the interim. Please contact PFLAG (pflag.org) for some emotional support and practical suggestions.
“If that doesn’t work, I know a number of ex-gay summer camps we could ship him off to. Just let me know if you need a number! Maybe Andrew Shirvell’s?”
If scientists won’t show us this gene that can tell parents whether or not they’re having a gayby, how about we start putting pre-pubescent children through a brain scan so we can tell whether they’re going to end up trans? Researchers at the National University of Distance Education in Madrid say they’ve discovered the brains of trans people happen to look like the gender they identify with, not born with.
Antonio Guillamon’s team at the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, Spain, think they have found a better way to spot a transsexual brain. In a study due to be published next month, the team ran MRI scans on the brains of 18 female-to-male transsexual people who’d had no treatment and compared them with those of 24 males and 19 females.
They found significant differences between male and female brains in four regions of white matter â€“ and the female-to-male transsexual people had white matter in these regions that resembled a male brain. “It’s the first time it has been shown that the brains of female-to-male transsexual people are masculinised,” Guillamon says.
In a separate study, the team used the same technique to compare white matter in 18 male-to-female transsexual people with that in 19 males and 19 females. Surprisingly, in each transsexual person’s brain the structure of the white matter in the four regions was halfway between that of the males and females (Journal of Psychiatric Research, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2010.11.007). “Their brains are not completely masculinised and not completely feminised, but they still feel female,” says Guillamon.
The development is big news, since prior to this research these types of brain scans could only be performed on the deceased. And while such research might trigger an initial reaction of fear â€” Are they eventually going to scan kids’ brains and get rid of all the trans ones? â€” there is a practical application: If doctors can identify trans brains in kids before puberty, there can be a better informed decision about medically delaying puberty as to help a gender reassignment procedure years down the road. That is, a FTM trans boy could be identified as such before he starts growing breasts, and doctors could halt the process entirely so he wouldn’t have to undergo a double mastectomy later on.
Of course we’re talking about kids and psychology and biology here, so there’s a big grey area. If only things were as clear as all the white matter.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Savage Love may be coming to MTV.
Columnist Dan Savage is working on an advice show for the network.
MTV has ordered a pilot that follows Savage as he tours college campuses giving his brand of brutally honest (and sometimes graphic) sex and relationship advice. In the format, Savage takes questions from an auditorium audience (similar to his recently completed college tour).
Savageâ€™s advice column Savage Love is long known to readers of The Onionâ€™s AV Club, and heâ€™s currently the editorial director of Seattleâ€™s alt weekly The Stranger. Last year, MTV covered Savageâ€™s â€œIt Gets Better Project,â€ where gay and straight adults submitted videos assuring teens struggling with sexual orientation issues that their lives will eventually improve. The openly gay columnist has also clashed with right-wingers, particularly over rights issues (in a Newsweek Q&A alongside Jane Lynch, he recently declared gays have won the culture war).
James Franco addresses the constant questions about his sexuality, and the reason he chooses so many gay roles, in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly:
“Itâ€™s funny because the way that kind of stuff is talked about on blogs is so black-and-white…Itâ€™s all cut-and-dry identity politics. ‘Is he straight or is he gay?’ Or, ‘This is your third gay movie â€” come out already!’ And all based on, gay or straight, based on the idea that your object of affection decides your sexuality…
…There are lots of other reasons to be interested in gay characters than wanting myself to go out and have sex with guys. And there are also lots of other aspects about these characters that Iâ€™m interested in, in addition to their sexuality. So, in some ways itâ€™s coincidental, in other ways itâ€™s not. I mean, Iâ€™ve played a gay man whoâ€™s living in the â€™60s and â€™70s, a gay man who we depicted in the â€˜50s, and one being in the â€˜20s. And those were all periods when to be gay, at least being gay in public, was much more difficult. Part of what Iâ€™m interested in is how these people who were living anti-normative lifestyles contended with opposition. Or, you know what, maybe Iâ€™m just gay.”
Presdient Obama today re-nominated more than 40 judicial candidates, sending them to the Senate where they will face scrutiny from the Judiciary Committee.
“They may face an additional round of committee hearings, a Senate aide said, but that will be determined by Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and the ranking Republican, likely to be, according to a Senate aide, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa).Â Hearings or no, the committee will have to vote on each candidate again before sending them back to the Senate floor for final consideration. And with more Republicans in the chamber than there were for the past two years, the nominees’ chances may be slimmer.”
Among the nominations is Edward Carroll DuMont of the District of Columbia, nominated to beÂ United States Circuit Judge for the Federal Circuit. DuMont would be the first openly gay federal appellate court judge in the nation. DuMont was originally nominated last April.
Palm Springs Police ChiefÂ David Dominguez resigned today over remarks he made during a sting operation targeting gay men in the city’s Warm Sands neighborhood in 2009, the Southwest Riverside News Network reports.
Dominguez came under fire after a June 2009 operation in the Warm Sands neighborhood. The sting, which netted 19 arrests, was done in response to what police said were complaints about drug use, public sex and prostitution in Warm Sands. However, it drew complaints that police were targeting gay men unfairly.
During a pretrial hearing, one defendant said a police officer could be heard using a gay slur on a video recording in an undercover vehicle. An attorney for some of those arrested said Dominguez was in that particular car.
The lawyer lodged a complaint, alleging Dominguez disparaged the arrestees to his officers.
â€œWhat a bunch of filthy mother (expletive),â€ Dominguez allegedly said. â€œYou guys should get paid extra for this.â€
Dominguez also apologized last week, but issued this statement today: “â€œAfter careful consideration of the events surrounding the Warm Sands undercover operation, I believe this decision is in the best interest of my family, the city and the Police Department.”
This is the theater group that gave us a donation after their production of the Laramie Project. If you want to support local theater people, here’s your chance.
Tomorrow we open our world premiere play and we are so excited about this event that we are hosting a special performance tonight just for you!
Tonight at 8pm come check out a special preview performance exclusively to our Newsletter subscribers and facebook friends for only $5.00 (that more then a 50% savings off the general admission price!)
If you cant make it tonight then don’t fret! We have 8 performances scheduled for the next two weekends. Check out the link below for Show times & Info and to purchase tickets.
See you at the theater!