Mar 31, 2011

FROM THE DAILY OFFICE: ¨Prayers for Alcoholics and Addicts¨ by Josh Thomas

The 12 Steps as a Confession of Sin
1. I confess I am powerless over alcohol (add other substances here) – that my life has become unmanageable

2. I believe that God can restore me to sanity

3. I decide to turn my will and my life over to the care of God

4. I make a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself

5. I admit to God, to myself and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs

6. I am entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character

7. I humbly ask God to remove my shortcomings

8. I make a list of all persons I have harmed, and am willing to make amends to them all

9. I make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others

10. I continue to take personal inventory and when I am wrong promptly admit it

11. I seek through prayer and meditation to improve my conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry that out

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, I try to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all my affairs.

Prayers for Alcoholics and Addicts
For Those in Immediate Danger*

Heavenly Father, save all in immediate danger due to addiction. We no longer trust ourselves or anyone else; but help us to trust you as our only way out. We beg for your help right now: to pick up the phone, to make the call, to let someone know, to admit the truth: that we have lost the war with alcohol and drugs. It is over, now, Lord, you are our last, best hope; our only one. We can’t even believe that you would stoop so low as to pick us up. Yet you are ever strong to save and eager to love us, despite our overwhelming sins and grief. Lord, by whatever means necessary, help us to surrender now to your loving power. Put aside our pride, heal our shame, calm our nerves, quiet our hearts and show us, O Lord of Power, that you will get us through this to new and better life, if only we are humble enough to ask in the Name of Jesus. Lord, we never knew we needed a Savior; but we do. Amen.

For Active Users*

O Lord, I’m still drinking and drugging. I don’t enjoy it or get high anymore, and I do see the consequences of using in my body, my finances and my relationships; but I tell myself I’m not ready to quit, that I don’t know how, that I’ve failed before, that maybe I’m beyond hope. I know other people succeed, so why can’t I? Lord, in my heart of hearts, I know I’m just afraid. But fear overwhelms me, and meanwhile I need this stuff. What if I reach out to you and you’re not there? Help me listen to your answer, Lord, help me do the things I should; I know I can’t go on this way, but I’m scared. And there’s one other thing, Lord: we’re taught to be self-reliant, to stand on our own two feet. I’m not doing that, I’m barely crawling these days, but I don’t know what it means to let go and let God. Please work with me, Lord, while you still can. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

For Those Contemplating Suicide*

Holy God, Giver of life, whose every creation is touched by beauty: Look with special favor on those in whom depression and loneliness have taken hold. Relieve them in your infinite mercy. Speak to them of your intimate love. Hold them in your bosom as a mother. Comfort them with the promise of contentment. Visit them in the person of new friends. Help them to ask for what they need; provide them with caring helpers and refresh them with possibilities. Save them, Lord, in their emergency, for our Savior and Messiah, a tempted man alone on a mountaintop, named Ya-hoshua, He Who Delivers. Amen.

Concerning Temptation*

O God, you offer us heaven, but for years I’ve chosen hell; my way is alcohol, while your Way is love. Help me get free of my trap, Lord, and onto your path. When I lead my life, I head for self-destruction and death; when I submit to you and take your direction, I find myself headed for fulfillment. Quiet the voice of temptation and pride in me, Lord; help me stop rebelling against my one true Master Jesus Christ, who died for my sins. Fill me with your Spirit and keep me in your presence. I need your healing, Lord; I won’t survive without it, but you are mighty to save. Amen.

For Recovery of Health (BCP p 458)

O God of heavenly powers, by the might of your command you drive away from our bodies all sickness and all infirmity: Be present in your goodness with your servant [N.], that (my) weakness may be banished and (my) strength restored; and that, (my) health being renewed, (I) may bless your holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Submitting to God’s Guidance (BCP p 833)

Almighty and eternal God, so draw our hearts to you, so guide our minds, so fill our imaginations, so control our wills, that we may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated unto you; and then use us, we pray, as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

For Discerning God’s Will (BCP p 832, Guidance 2)

O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see light, and in your smooth path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thanksgiving for Recovery (BCP p 460)

O Lord, your compassions never fail and your mercies are new every morning: I give you thanks for giving me both relief from pain and hope of health renewed. Continue in me, I pray, the good work that you have begun; that I, daily increasing in bodily strength, may so order my life and conduct that I may always think and do those things that please you; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For the Spirit of Giving and Service (Step 12) (BCP p 260)

Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be served but to serve: Bless all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of others; that with wisdom, patience, and courage, they may minister in his Name to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy; for the love of him who laid down his life for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

For Dependence on God Alone (Steps 1, 2 and 3)*

I give myself over to your care and direction, O Lord. You are the One I trust, and you have been strong to save me. Help me respond to your love according to your will. You give the orders now, Lord, and I will take them, one day at a time. I am here to serve you and not myself; at your direction I will serve my fellow alcoholics and all others with whom I come in contact. You are a kind Master who gives me unlimited freedom; let me return again and again to ask what I can do for you. I have found in my new freedom that serving you is the greatest job a human being can ever have, as those who lose their lives for your sake will gain them in eternity. Thank you for every direction you give me; make me open more and more to hear your Word. Keep me from the sin of elevating my own desires instead of your Son Jesus, who now reigns on high with you and the Holy Spirit, one God in perfect fellowship. Amen.

For a Fearless Moral Inventory and Making Amends (Steps 4, 5, 8 and 9)*

Give us grace, Good Lord, to make a fearless moral inventory of our faults, sins and offenses against you, our neighbors and ourselves. Give us the courage to be honest; give us resolve as we confront these painful truths. Make us mindful that recovery depends on the clarity and fullness of our thinking. And once we know our faults, O Lord, move us to take decisive action to rectify our mistakes, to ask for forgiveness of all whom we have harmed and to pay our every debt, except where to do so would cause a further harm; that at the last we may approach your divine majesty with our accounts and lives in balance; through Jesus Christ, who is ever quick to forgive and strong to save. Amen.

For Removal of Resentments*

O Lord, forgive us our resentments, as we forgive those who keep old quarrels with us. Blot out distorted memories of those we thought had harmed us, for now we know we were not thinking. Help us let go of all angers and irritations, that we may find the grace to let you direct our lives. Make us humble, Lord, for we have learned that lives of self-propulsion inevitably end by running out of gas. Amen.

For the Spirit of Tolerance (Step 12)*

Heavenly Father, you alone are the Judge of our souls: Help me to embrace with a spirit of tolerance all those I meet, knowing that however we differ in background, beliefs or conception of you, I am not their better; I am a lowly sinner whom you have saved from certain death. Help me to find what is good and holy and true in each human being I encounter, holding fast your Son’s teaching that I shall love the Lord my God and my neighbor as myself; with the aid and comfort of your Holy Spirit. Amen.

Prayer for Continued Recovery*

Holy God, it has now been (period of time) since you began the miracle of recovery in my body, mind and spirit: Great is your power and holy is your Name. Continue that work today, Lord, and give me a meek heart with which to respond to your great love. Give me strength when I face temptation; give me power when I can do some good; give me joy in the gift of this new life; give me health that I may labor in your vineyard; and give me peace when work is done, that I may glorify your Son Jesus, who opens to me the gates of eternal life. Amen.
Prayer for Restoration of Families & Friendships*

Holy God, you have knitted us together as solitary persons into families, and given us the gift of friends we love: help us to restore these relationships so dear to us. We did not wish to cause our loved ones harm, O Lord; but we made wrong choices willfully, and did cause hurts and disappointments. We neglected our responsibilities and got caught beyond our power to make things right. Now let us seek those spiritual repairs which grace alone enables; make us grateful for every hour spent with those we care for; and grant that we can be useful to them in sober joy, that we can be intimate once more; through Jesus Christ, the great forgiver. Amen.

For Growth in Fellowship (Step 12)*

Lord, we know that in recovery, we can’t go it alone; we need people more than ever, for their wisdom, their guidance and their acceptance. You have given us a fellowship, as well as work to do; bless our meetings, that they may spread your healing power to encompass us with joy. Help us look after one another with sensitive care, avoiding all gossip and self-seeking, that we may yield with readiness to the Healer in our midst, your Son Jesus, our most blessed Savior. Amen.

For Restoring Finances & Career*

Lord, I pretty much wrecked everything with my drinking and using. I plunged headlong down the path of separation that leads to death. I couldn’t stop myself, Lord; it took a miracle, when I had no right to even think of one. And then I cried, Lord, I can’t function without you; hear my prayer. To my amazement, you heard and understood, though I lay at the bottom of the mountain, torn and bleeding, half delirious. You picked me up and wiped my face and forgave my sin; then you sent me on my way, to do the same for others. So now I have a job, a calling, a career; I don’t know how to live, but I do know how to pick people up and wipe their faces. I ask you humbly for stronger muscles, more washcloths, and money for food and shelter; that in my new vocation I may learn to prosper over time, that I may share your abundance with those who need me. Let me be your servant, Lord; you’ve already given me my pay. Amen.

Prayer of Rejoicing (BCP p 451)

Now there is rejoicing in heaven; for you were lost, and are found; you were dead, and are now alive in Christ Jesus our Lord. Abide in peace. The Lord has put away all your sins.

Compiled by Josh Thomas
Original prayers marked by asterisk* are © Josh Thomas 2006-2010, All Rights Reserved. HERE
All others from the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) 1979

·  Thanks to The Daily Office, sidebar
·  Thanks to Josh Thomas
·  Thanks to the Book of Common Prayer

Mar 30, 2011

GODS TRUTH: ¨According to church dogma, homosexuality is a sin foisted on humans by demons who take possession of their bodies and compel them to act against God's will.¨

Some Pentecostal Christians believe the deliverance rite can exorcise the demons that cause homosexuality. The truly shocking part is that God-fearing gays keep signing up for the traumatic ritual.
Deliverance: The True Story of a Gay Exorcism

"You need to be delivered from homosexuality," the prophet said into a microphone so that all the church could hear. Kevin was embarrassed, but he stayed put. This was no normal preacher—she spoke God's truth. According to church dogma, homosexuality is a sin foisted on humans by demons who take possession of their bodies and compel them to act against God's will. These evil spirits can be exorcised by those trained in spiritual warfare in a ritual known among Pentecostal Christians as deliverance. Perhaps, Kevin thought, this prophet could finally deliver him from his demons.

The prophet placed her hands on Kevin and began to pray over him. "Come out, come out!" she shouted. "In the name of Jesus, I command you to come out! You gonna free him right now!"

Kevin closed his eyes, thinking to himself, "There's something wrong with me; I need to change." A part of him believed this prophet could do what no one else had been able to do during previous deliverance attempts—make him heterosexual. But the prophet was loud and she looked at him with disgust and contempt as her chants became more and more belligerent. Even now Kevin can't bring himself to repeat the most hurtful things she said. He soon began to cry. And then, with the prophet still exhorting the demons in him to depart, he blacked out and collapsed. When he regained consciousness, he stood up and returned to his seat. His shame was turning to rage. He searched his mind and thoughts and found he was unchanged—he was still attracted to men. In the past it had been family members—his mother, his aunt, or his uncle, the church's pastor—who performed deliverance on him. This time it was a stranger, and she had pushed him beyond the breaking point. Never again, he decided, would he allow himself to be treated this way.

It was, by Kevin's count, at least the 10th time since he was 16 that he'd subjected himself to gay exorcism...¨ please read it all, HERE

·  Thanks to Matt Mcallester
·  Thanks to Kevin Cooley, Photo
·  Thanks to Details
·  Thanks to Beyond ExGay, sidebar

Mar 29, 2011

ACTOR and NOTABLE CITIZEN -- FARLEY GRANGER, RIP: He lived the vulnerability of bisexuality in his real life

Actor Farley Granger has died aged 85. Granger was known for bringing a surprising vulnerability to performances that could have otherwise been dismissed as bland handsome leading man roles.
¨The actor came out about his bisexuality in a 2007 memoir and revealed his affairs with the likes of Shelley Winters, Ava Gardner and Patricia Neal as well as playwright Arthur Laurents and musician Leonard Bernstein. He lived with his longtime partner Robert Calhoun since the 1960's through to Calhoun's death three years ago.¨ HERE

¨Granger refused to play the publicity or marrying game common among other gay stars and turned down roles he considered unsuitable, earning a reputation – in his own words – for being "a naughty boy".  HERE

·  Thanks to Towleroad, sidebar
·  Thanks to Dark Horizons, sidebar
·  Thanks to ¨Out¨ LGBTI Notable Citizens

ARTICULATING AN AUTHENTIC FAITH: Are you reluctant to refer to yourself as a “Christian” because the term has come to mean something you don’t connect with?

Frank Schaeffer
Have you found comfort, hope or meaning in your faith, but don’t know how to express that to others? Does it seem like most organized religion isn’t describing the God of your understanding? HERE

¨We invite you to join us on April 2nd to hear best-selling author Frank Schaeffer describe a hopeful vision for genuine faith in a messy, mysterious and unexplainable world full of contradictions and paradoxes. He describes a faith for people who don’t always know all the answers and who are tired of pretending they do.

The author of Patience with God -- Faith for People who Don't Like Religion or Atheism believes that the vast majority of people inhabits a middle ground between the two fundamentalist extremes battling one another for followers in the world today. From the beginning, there has been a compassionate, mystical approach to faith in God. The Jewish and Christian faiths, among others, offer an alternative, or parallel tradition, to the well-publicized literal-minded, dogmatic and judgmental thread in the tapestry of faith. Many people get tongue-tied when attempting to share their faith and church community with others because loud voices seem to be focused on what to believe or not believe. Join us to reflect on an authentic faith in the contemporary world that focuses on how to live rather than what we should it all, HERE

·  Thanks to Frank Schaeffer, sidebar
·  Thanks to St. Peters Episcopal Church, Carson City, Nevada

Mar 28, 2011

THE WORST HOMOPHOBIA: Using God and the Bible to justify one´s own dysfunctions and hatred

¨Preoccupation with Gays and same-sex activities usually denotes emotional/sexual dysfunction; discrimination against LGBT people usually denotes both emotional/sexual dysfunction and the harboring of hatred that causes the suffering, suicides, assaults, and murders of LGBT people!

And of all types of homophobia, religiously based homophobia is the worst, as the appeal to God and to the Bible are used as seeming justifications for the externalization of one's own dysfunctions and hatred.

All homophobes have blood on their hands, and out of all of them homophobic clergy are the worst of them!

In the case of intellectually and spiritually honest people, studying the issue and talking with LGBT people can cause one to relinquish one's homophobia, but only if these dysfunctions are absent. When emotional/sexual dysfunctions are present, it is often impossible to change the minds of rabid homophobes, regardless of the evidence presented...please read it all, HERE

·  Thanks to The Reverend Dr. Jerry Manker
·  Thanks to A Christian Voice for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights, sidebar
·  Thanks to Flickr Photo Sharing

Mar 26, 2011

ABOUT ¨BEYOND EX-GAY¨: We believe that ex-gay experiences cause more harm than good.

Beyond Ex-Gay is an online community and resource for those of us who have survived ex-gay experiences. So often healing comes through community and through sharing our stories and experiences with each other.

Our kinship in this journey gives us the opportunity to hear each other deeply, particularly in a world that sometimes scoffs at the many things we have done to change or contain our same-sex attractions and gender differences. Many of us have found healing, wholeness and understanding through facing our pasts.

This is your space to connect with other survivors, read survivor narratives and to share your own.

We believe that ex-gay experiences cause more harm than good. Certain people who currently identify as ex-gay say they are content as such. We don’t seek to invalidate their experience. For us such a lifestyle was not possible or healthy...¨

Not that it was all bad: Some of us received positive help through our ex-gay experiences. We grew to understand our sexuality better and in some cases even overcame life-controlling problems.

But for most of us, these experiences brought us inner turmoil, confusion, and shame. We are still in a process of recovery from the damage. Through sharing our stories with each other, we find wholeness and healing...¨ please read it all, HERE  (photos and bold emphasis added by Leonardo Ricardo)


-The parliament of Liechtenstein unanimously votes to institute civil unions. HERE

-The mayor of Barcelona, Spain dedicates a memorial to LGBT people. HERE

-An immigration judge suspends the deportation of an Argentine lesbian who’s legally married in Connecticut. HERE

-Wendy Gritter offers a nuanced response to Lisa Ling’s “Pray Away the Gay?” special. HERE

-The Obama Administration prepares a declaration calling on the UN to work to end criminal punishments for LGBT individuals around the world. HERE

-A civil unions bill is introduced in the Delaware state senate. HERE

-The Mormon church fires a man for refusing to disassociate from his gay friends. HERE

-The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refuses to lift the stay on Judge Walker’s Prop 8 ruling. HERE

-John Gruber, the last original member of the Mattachine Society, passes away. HERE

-The Montana senate kills a bill that would have overturned all LGBT rights laws in the state. HERE

-The California Republican party elects an openly gay board member. HERE

·  Thanks to Beyond Ex-Gay, HERE
·  Thanks to Ex-Gay Watch, HERE
·  Thanks to Gay Uganda, HERE
·  Thanks to Flickr Photo Sharing

Mar 25, 2011

IN THE THICK OF REALITY: ¨What my husband hadn't counted on was the fact that his same-sex attraction issues belonged entirely to him.¨

¨What my husband hadn't counted on was the fact that his same-sex attraction issues belonged entirely to him. I had nothing to do with them and certainly could not do ONE THING to help in his battle to overcome them.¨

¨I found out my husband was attracted to other men during a two-hour nighttime road trip down a lonely stretch of HWY 30 between Abilene and Fort Worth, Texas. He came clean with me there in the car as he drove.

A Survivors Narrative
¨I remember drawing my knees up to my chest, fighting the urge to cry uncontrollably, while at the same time suppressing the constant gagging reflex to throw up. I can't remember a time when I more longed to be held and rocked by my Daddy than that moment. The pain was so overwhelming, so intense, that I felt dwarfed and small in the face of it.

Thinking back on it takes me to a place I do not like to be. A place from whence I've come that was dark and filled with despair.

For many months after the revelation, I was haunted by the fact that he had been forced to tell me. It was not something he had shared willingly. While he wasn't currently "acting out" or cheating on me at the time of the reveal, my emotional health had disintegrated to the point of near suicide from difficulties in our still new marriage.

It was his former best friend, and best man at our wedding, who forced the issue of his "coming out" to me. This married friend had been in a three-year love affair with my husband prior to our getting married. My husband married me believing he could once and for all overcome his then unwanted attractions and have a successful marriage with me. In his estimation, I was the perfect woman for him. He was probably right about that. However, he was wrong about pretty much every other assumption he had made about marrying me.

What my husband hadn't counted on was the fact that his same-sex attraction issues belonged entirely to him. I had nothing to do with them and certainly could not do ONE THING to help in his battle to overcome them.

This is the message I feel most adamant about when communicating with other women who may find themselves in similar circumstances. Your husband's attractions to other men have absolutely nothing to do with you. There is nothing you can do to make it go away or to make him be sexually attracted to you.

In fact, the more you try to do overt things that you may think will help, the worse the situation will probably become. The very best thing you can do for your husband, in truth, what any wife can do for her husband, is to work on your own emotional, physical, and spiritual health. Then, no matter how your journey proceeds, you're good. If, as in my case, it turns out that your husband determines to identify or re-indentify as gay, you can walk away a stronger, more loving, tolerant, and understanding individual than you were before. it all, HERE

·  Thanks to Gay Uganda, sidebar
·  Thanks to Pam Ferguson. survivor
·  Thanks to Beyond EXGAY, sidebar

Mar 24, 2011

THANKS BE TO GOD and UGANDA: Anglican MP David Bahati´s Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 Reportedly Dead at Parliament!

President Museveni wanted this Bill to go away?
Frank Mugisha, Director for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), is reporting that the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 is dead.

Frank Mugisha,  Director of Sexual Minorities Uganda
Frank posted the following on his Facebook Profile:

Anti homosexuality bill should not be discussed not needed redundant and unnecessary says Ugandan Government...The government has spoken despite all efforts by Bahati to pass the bill , it will not be brought up for discussion in the 8th parliament.

Last week MP David Bahati and Stephen Tashobya were interviewed about pursuing the Bill in the 8th Parliament. A series of Wikileaks from early in 2010 indicate that President Museveni is interested in seeing the bill go away.

More updates will be added to this post as they become available:

Gobierno ugandés descarta Proyecto de Ley que criminalizaba la homosexualidad

¨El Gobierno de Uganda descartó hoy un Proyecto de Ley que pretendía endurecer las penas contra la población homosexual.

El ministro de Información ugandés, Kabakumba Masiko, dijo hoy a los periodistas que un subcomité de Gobierno concluyó, en un informe, que no había motivo para adoptar otra Ley contra una práctica ya penada por las leyes de Uganda.

"El informe que nos llegó ayer apuntaba que había partes del proyecto de Ley que ya están cubiertas con otras normas", indicó Masiko.

El iniciador de la propuesta, David Bahati, diputado del partido gobernante, el Movimiento Nacional de Resistencia (NRM), insistió en que el texto debería pasar a un comité parlamentario que decidiera su futuro.

"Creo que el Ejecutivo es consciente de que el 95 por ciento de los ugandeses no toleran la homosexualidad", declaró Bahati.

El proyecto de Ley fue iniciado en 2009 y pretendía incrementar las penas contra los homosexuales con arrestos prolongados o incluso con la muerte en algunos supuestos, como cuando el imputado fuese seropositivo.

Este proyecto fue duramente criticado por los grupos defensores de los Derechos Humanos y por varios líderes mundiales.

El pasado 26 de enero, un destacado activista gay ugandés, David Kato, fue asesinado en una urbanización de las afueras de Kampala, dos meses después de que su fotografía fuera publicada por una revista local que desarrolla una campaña contra los homosexuales...¨  aqui HERE

·  Thanks to African Activist, sidebar
·  Thanks to Frank Mugisha, Director for Sexual Minorities Uganda
·  Thanks to Box Turtle Bulletin, sidebar
·  Thanks to International

UGANDAN POLICE CONCLUDE KATO MURDER INVESTIGATION: In a ¨excellent development¨ the case has been moved to the Uganda High Court

David Kato, LGBTI Activist/Uganda
¨The murder case of late gay rights activist David Kato has been transferred to the Ugandan high court during the third hearing on 17 March 2011, at the Grade II Magistrate court in Mukono, however the actual date for the next hearing is yet to be announced.

Frank Mugisha, Director for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) told Behind the Mask that the accused was brought to court for the hearing and that since police seemed to have finished the investigations they asked the court to forward the murder case to the high court and the magistrate approved.

Mugisha said that once again the court room was filled with activists who came to support and journalists.

He also explained that the accused was handed a “document with charges of murder” and was asked to find a lawyer or ask the government to give a lawyer, however the accused didn’t say anything and was further remanded in custody.

During the last court appearance in the case of the Republic of Uganda vs. Nsubuga Sydney Alias Enoch, the case was mentioned in court and adjourned without a hearing for further investigation. The first and second court appearances were held on 17 February and 3 March 2011 respectively.

Ongoing Questions About the Murder Investigation

Human Rights Watch released a report this week documenting the torture, forced confessions and killings by the Kampala-based Rapid Response Unit (RRU), the very unit that located and interrogated the suspects in the murder of David Kato.

The unit's mandate is to investigate violent crime...Human Rights Watch also found that the unit routinely uses torture to extract confessions. Sixty of 77 interviewees who had been arrested by RRU told Human Rights Watch that they had been severely beaten at some point during their detention and interrogations. In 2010, at least two people died of injuries from beatings during interrogations, and four people were shot and killed in the course of an arrest...Several former detainees told Human Rights Watch that RRU personnel forced them to sign statements under duress, while the detainees were being beaten or threatened with further violence.

We know that MP David Bahati, author of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 about to be considered by Uganda's Parliament, and the supporters of the bill, Pastor Martin Ssempa, Giles Muhame and Scott Lively, provided motives for David Kato's murder to the world press five days before the arrest and interrogation of the prime suspect. The motives prefigure the confession of Enoch Sydney Nsubuga almost exactly.

In a 9 February 2011 editorial in The Monitor, Ugandan journalist Charles Onyango-Obbo wrote:

So, here comes the hard part. It is possible Kato was murdered by the anti-gay brigade. The Uganda Police is not famous for its great investigative skills, so any time they quickly parade suspects who confess to a crime, the public has every right to be suspicious that the whole show has been fixed.

In a similar vein, blogger Gay Uganda has consistently questioned the Kato murder investigation in the context of the Rapid Response Unit. He wrote today about the Human Rights Watch report:

This is common knowledge in Uganda. The beatings, the torture, the confessions. This is why I doubted the 'confession' of David Kato Kisule's purported murderer. I don't know whether he killed him or not. And, I don't know whether I can trust the police on a high profile case like David's murder became. Not with such outside pressure and interest...The people who do these things, the numerous security agencies that do these, are effectively immune.

The European Parliament has called on Ugandan authorities to investigate individuals who publicly called for the killing of David Kato:

Calls on the Ugandan authorities to carry out an in-depth and impartial investigation into the killing and bring the perpetrators to justice, and to do so in respect of any act of persecution, discrimination and violence against LGBT people and all other minority groups; calls on the Ugandan authorities to investigate individuals who publicly called for the killing of David Kato, as well as their organisations, role and funding.

The Uganda High Court

With the police investigation concluded, it is an excellent development that the case has been moved to the Uganda High Court which recently issued a permanent injunction against the Rolling Stone for publishing David Kato's picture under the caption "Hang Them."

Perhaps the Uganda High Court can sort through the evidence in an unbiased way so that David Kato receives justice. ¨ please read it all

¨Torture, Beatings, Confessions, Courtesy of Uganda Police...

This is common knowledge in Uganda. The beatings, the torture, the confessions.

This is why I doubted the 'confession' of David Kato Kisule's purported murderer. I dont know whether he killed him or not. And, I dont know whether I can trust the police on a high profile case like David's murder became. Not with such outside pressure and interest.

Here is the article,from the New York Times and a large excerpt. Rights Group Accuses Ugandan Police of Torture and Killings..¨ please read it all HERE

Prayers ascending for Justice for David Kato and all the ¨kuchus¨ in Uganda

·  Thanks to African Activist, sidebar
·  Thanks to Gay Uganda, sidebar
·  Thanks to Frank Mugisha, Director for Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG)
·  Thanks to Behind the Mask, sidebar
·  Thanks to The New York Times

HONORING OSCAR ARNULFO ROMERO DAY: ¨...we are all made of sand and teeter on sand foundations looking for solid love... which is more like air than we know...¨ Margaret+

¨A devotee participates in an event to commemorate the death of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero in San Salvador March 19, 2011. Romero was murdered by a hired sniper while celebrating mass at the Divina Providencia cancer hospital on March 24, 1980...¨ read more  HERE

Libya. Egypt. Wisconsin. Indiana. California. Gaza--Palestine. Japan. Desperate violence... love built of sand....
¨...we are all made of sand and teeter on sand foundations looking for solid love... which is more like air than we know....¨

¨When the church decries revolutionary violence, it cannot forget that institutionalized violence also exists, and that the desperate violence of oppressed persons is not overcome with one-sided laws, with weapons, or with superior force. Instead, as the Pope says, revolutionary violence must be prevented by courageous self-sacrifice, by giving up many comforts. As long as there is no greater justice among us, there will always be outbreaks of revolution. The church does not approve or justify bloody revolution and cries of hatred. But neither can it condemn them while it sees no attempt to remove the causes that produce that ailment in our society. This is the church’s stand, one that makes it suffer terrible conflicts, but one that also makes it feel faithful to God’s justice and to the gospel of Jesus Christ.¨ --Romero, February 12, 1978

·  Thanks to Margaret+
·  Thanks to Leave It Lay Where Jesus Flang It, sidebar
·  Thanks to Reuters, El Salvador
·  Thanks to Bishop Oscar Romero

Mar 23, 2011

Dinner With ELIZABETH TAYLOR: Just me, my coworkers, our round ¨silver¨ table and 2,500 others at the Bonaventure Hotel, Los Angeles



Early evening on September 19, 1985 a group of specially invited guests -- including the fabulous/beautiful and bejeweled friend to all, Lillian Bernie Wallen Ezer (RIP) of Beverly Hills, who was the only female present at our party and later served as hostess at our table-- gathered at my duplex near Fourth and La Cienega--just a few blocks from Cedars Sinai hospital.  Champagne corks popped and drinks flowed and we were lucky to all be alive! We were having a little pre-party before a very special dinner later at the downtown Los Angeles´ Bonaventure Hotel.  All were thrilled and dressed  elaborately, rented several limousines and with great thanks to my somewhat homophobic ¨employer/dinner-sponsor´ in New York, Sirco International Corporation, Burt Siris (RIP), Chairman, we were ready to attend a ¨star studded¨ dinner after purchasing a ¨Silver¨ table (I don´t think I knew there were ¨Gold¨ tables available for purchase or I would have pushed for a ¨Goldie¨)  at the AIDS Project Los Angeles’ Commitment to Life dinner.  Intertestingly, Dame Elizabeths face, hair and lovliness is exactly the ¨minds eye¨ image (above, although she wore a gorgeous gown) I recall it to be as she made her presentation at the dinner that night.  It was the start of decades of her warriorlike activism when fighting HIV/AIDS!

“I have to show up because it galvanizes people. [They] know . . . I’m not there to sell or gain anything. I’m there for the same reason they are: to get something done.” The discovery of HIV/AIDS not only changed the world forever, but also the life and purpose of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. Elizabeth was the first person in the entertainment industry to stand up and take charge when few were willing to listen, and even fewer were willing to help. “Elizabeth did something when it required real courage,” said Elton John. Since then she has remained at the forefront of the battle against this disease, a loyalty that has earned her the name the “Joan of Arc of AIDS.”

In the early 1980s, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named a new disease called AIDS—acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Although the cancer like symptoms were found in heterosexual hemophiliacs, needle users and recipients of blood transfusion, America and the world were closing their eyes to the AIDS epidemic because the disease had been wrongly portrayed as a gay man’s disease, known in the media as the “gay cancer”. Because of rampant homophobia, there was an instant stigma attached to AIDS. “But when I saw the kind of hypocrisy that was going on, I thought it was terrible,” Elizabeth said. “The industry knew homosexuals were being hit hard, but instead of extending a loving hand and saying, ‘You helped me get to where I am today, without you I wouldn’t have made it,’ they turned their backs.”

“I remember complaining, ‘Why isn’t anybody doing anything? Why isn’t anyone raising money?’” asked Elizabeth. “And it struck me like lightning: ‘Wait a second, I’m not doing anything.’” But she would. Elizabeth Taylor had a plan of action.

“I decided that with my name I could open certain doors, that I was a commodity in myself—and I’m not talking as an actress. I could take the fame I’d resented and tried to get away from for so many years—but you can never get away from it—and use it to do some good. I wanted to retire, but the tabloids wouldn’t let me. So I thought, If you’re going to screw me over, I’ll use you.” Elizabeth’s plan to use the media could only work. They had followed her every move for decades, and by attaching her name to the AIDS crisis, they would have to acknowledge it. Elizabeth Taylor would breakdown the stereotypes associated with the disease and enlighten an ignorant world. AIDS was not a gay man’s disease. AIDS has the potential to affect everyone and no one can hide from it.

Elizabeth Taylor’s first order of business was the AIDS Project Los Angeles’ Commitment to Life dinner. She was approached by APLA to lend her support to the event in January 1985. Not only did Elizabeth agree, but she and her publicist, Chen Sam, also planned the dinner from a small office they rented. “I didn’t want to be honorary. I wanted to actually do the work, make the phone calls, because this was going to be a toughie.” Elizabeth again saw the bigotry surrounding the disease when she tried to recruit longtime friends and peers to lend their support for the dinner. “I have never had so many ‘no’s said to me,” remembered Elizabeth, “They didn’t want to come to the evening, didn’t want to be associated. Some very big names [said no].” Elizabeth also said that “People not only slammed doors in my face and hung up on me, but I received death threats. Something happened to the world, and I think it was massive fear.” However, Elizabeth ignored the senseless threats and pushed forward.

While planning the APLA dinner, the disease became even more personal for Elizabeth. In July 1985, it was revealed that Elizabeth’s friend and two-time costar, Rock Hudson, was dying of AIDS. This only helped to further fuel her desire to overcome the dreaded disease. Elizabeth would discover that AIDS had ravaged his body and mind so much that he didn’t know her when she came to see him. It was during this time that Elizabeth spent time with Dr. Michael Gottleib, Hudson’s doctor. Dr. Gottleib was one of the true heroes in the early days of the AIDS crisis. “He has taken no credit for anything,” said Elizabeth. “He’s remained quiet as a mouse, and he is the one that people should be thanking.” The lack of a medicinal treatment for Hudson was one thing, but the way he was being treated by the press and the public was awful. Elizabeth’s daughter-in-law, Aileen Getty, recalled reading through letters that were sent to the actor saying that he deserved the disease, and it was God’s way of punishing him. But even with the hateful ignorance of public opinion, AIDS finally had an identity. AIDS now had a face.

On September 19, 1985, the inaugural Commitment to Life dinner was finally held. 2,500 people packed the Bonaventure Hotel and although it initially proved difficult, Elizabeth’s peers in the entertainment industry did lend their support. Elizabeth’s old friend Sammy Davis Jr., was among the first to agree, and Burt Reynolds emceed. Other luminaries such as Abigail Van Buren, Cyndi Lauper, Rod Stewart, Stevie Wonder and Cher all appeared. That night Elizabeth spoke emotionally of a crisis that was dividing a population. “Never has a disease left so many helpless, leaving loved ones and families reaching out only to frustration and fear”. Also read were statements on behalf of Rock Hudson and President Reagan. The evening was a success and one million dollars of desperately needed funds were raised that evening. But it would be too late for Rock Hudson. Less than two weeks later, Hudson was dead.

An important announcement was also made that September. Elizabeth knew that if there was to be any sort of breakthrough, the clout of the entertainment industry would have to align with those in science. The result was amfAR, an amalgamation of Dr. Michael Gottlieb’s National AIDS Research Foundation and Dr. Mathilde Krim’s AIDS Medical Foundation. Elizabeth would be amfAR’s Founding National Chairman. amfAR was also pioneered by Chen Sam, Bill Misenhimer, Dr. Arnold Klein, and David Geffen. The foundation benefited greatly in those early days from a $250,000 windfall left by Rock Hudson. amfAR would prove to be a leader in the fight, and the organization stood tall alongside other heroes like Ryan White, Larry Kramer, and Elizabeth it all, HERE

"Why shouldn't gay people be able to live as open and freely as everybody else? What it comes down to, ultimately, is love. How can anything bad come out of love? The bad stuff comes out of mistrust, misunderstanding and, God knows, from hate and from ignorance."  Elizabeth Taylor, 2000
·  Thanks be to Elizabeth Taylor, RIP
·  Thanks be to Burt Siris, RIP
·  Thanks be to Lillian Bernie Wallen Ezer, RIP
·  Thanks be to Sirco International Corporation, Bueno California Division
·  Thanks be to Towleroad, sidebar
·  Thanks be to Wounded Bird, sidebar
·  Thanks be to God

Mar 22, 2011

HOW DUMB ARE WE?: ¨I view Christianists* and pathological liars to be pretty much synonymous¨ Michael Hamar

NOM Liars dupe the ignorant public
Newsweek has an article that looks at the abysmally low level of knowledge of the much of the U.S. populace. The article is appropriately titled "How Dumb Are We?"

¨As regular readers of my personal blog know, I view Christianists and pathological liars to be pretty much synonymous. Never is this more the case than when looks at the propaganda put out by the National Organization for Marriage ("NOM") and its anti-gay allies. Unfortunately, their lies and disinformation campaign are aided and abetted by the ignorance of far too many Americans about historic facts and this nation's underlying founding documents...¨ read it all HERE

*"So let me suggest,"  Adrew Sullivan is quoted in Time, "that we take back the word Christian while giving the religious right a new adjective: Christianist. Christianity, in this view, is simply a faith. Christianism is an ideology, politics, an ism. The distinction between Christian and Christianist echoes the distinction we make between Muslim and Islamist. Muslims are those who follow Islam. Islamists are those who want to wield Islam as a political force and conflate state and mosque." HERE

Victoria Jackson wears the fearful, uneducated confusion that informs the Christian right worldview on her sleeve.
Victoria Jackson Is The Best Religious Right Spokeswoman Ever

¨We had fun this morning with Victoria Jackson’s latest column, where she admirably typed words in what appears to be the English language, about how scared she is of the Muslims, and also the gays.

Now, she has gone on CNN to defend herself, and as I said above, she is the best Religious Right spokeswoman I’ve ever seen. Unlike the polished, media-savvy voices of Tony Perkins and Maggie Gallagher, Victoria Jackson instead wears the fearful, uneducated confusion that informs the Christian right worldview on her sleeve. Brava, Madam!¨ check out the video, HERE

·  Thanks to The Bilerico Project, sidebar
·  Thanks to Michael Hamar
·  Thanks to Newsweek Magazine
·  Thanks to Time Magazine
·  Thanks to Andrew Sullivan
·  Thanks to Truth Wins Out, sidebar
·  Thanks to Evan Hurst

IT GETS BETTER--THE BOOK: ¨Every story will touch you, move you and encourage you to do better for LGBT youth...¨

¨Nearly 10,000 of you have filmed videos which have been watched over 30 million times across the globe. Now the It Gets Better Project is ready to publish "It Gets Better: The Book" on March 22nd, six months after the launch of the project.

The book is a collection of stories from many people you recognize and some people you don't, but each and every story will touch you, move you and encourage you to do better for LGBT youth.

It Gets Better Project (TM) has turned into a worldwide movement, inspiring nearly 10,000 user-created videos and over 30 million views.

Order the book today to ensure you get a first edition copy! HERE

Then spread the word to all: IT GETS BETTER!

Dan Savage is contributing his earnings from It Gets Better, the book, in support of LGBT youth and the more than 100 authors with essays in the book have contributed that work gratis.


Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I'll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that "It Gets Better."What is the It Gets Better Project?¨ HERE

Mar 21, 2011

Ethics ministry closed down in Uganda: Another lack of ¨ ethics¨ and ¨integrity¨ mess created by former incompetent/scoundrel Minister James Nsaba Buturo revealed!


Sunday, 20th March, 2011

OFFICIALS and workers of the Ministry of Ethics and Integrity were on Monday morning stunned when they were blocked from accessing their offices at National Social security House in Kampala.

The offices on the First and second floor of the former Udyam house were closed by property managers Knight Frank over a 600 Million shillings debt.

The Building’s Manager Moses Kagwa said the ministry had not paid rent since July last year, at a rate of 75 million shillings per month. He said the offices were locked after the ministry ignored several reminders for clearance of the arrears.

About six huge padlocks were cuffed on the ministry’s doors locking out all staff that remained stuck.

The tale comes just a week after the ethics and integrity minister Dr. James Nsaba Buturo resigned his position. ¨  read it all, HERE

¨Ethics and Integrity State Minister Dr. James Nsaba Buturo has handed over office to State Minister in the office of the Vice President James Baba.¨

PLEASE NOTE HERE--Among the countless dangerous actions and blatant lies that betray  ¨dignity and basic integrity¨ that James Nsaba-Buturo perpetrated against LGBTI citizens during his term in office.

1. Madness Alert Uganda: Dr Nsaba-Buturo answers any LGBTI Ugandan who writes to their member of parliament saying that they should not be persecuted.

2. Is President Museveni/Uganda ¨cleaning house? ¨ Unprincipled officials turned out:

3. Living through HELL in Uganda thanks to Dr. Nsaba-Buturo and his accomplices:

4. ¨The bullies drive me into a corner and I can not sleep and somewhere I read that MP James Nsaba Buturo, Ethics and Integrity Minister, was once a witchdoctor¨

5. James Nsaba Buturo has accused the United Nations of a surreptitious mission to impose homosexuality on soverign countries.

6. There is a murderous ¨anti-Homosexuality Bill¨ pending at the Parliament of Uganda and it is being loudly and enthusiastically promoted by Fundamentalist Protestant religions, The Ugandan Anglican Church and Dr. Nsaba-Buturo ¨Ethics and Integrity¨ Minister.

7. "The state of moral health in our nation is challenging and we are concerned about the mushrooming of lesbianism and homosexuality," Ethics and Integrity Minister James Nsaba Buturo.

8. The Christian community in Uganda has now declared war on the lives of Gay Men and Lesbian Women in that Country...and they have been abetted by American leaders in the anti-gay and ex-gay ministries and James Nsaba-Buturo.

9. ¨Dr Buturo told Africa's Sunday Monitor that there is no need to beef up security for anti-gay activists in Uganda because God is protecting him/them.¨

10. The government’s venom is chilling: ¨Homosexuals can forget about human rights,¨ James Nsaba Buturo, who holds the cynically titled position of minister of ethics and integrity, said recently.. read it allHERE

Minister of Ethics and Integrity, ¨Cooking the Books?¨ MP James Nsaba Buturo.

Senior officials at the directorate of Ethics and Integrity spend public money without accountability, an audit brief has revealed. The officials, whose job is to champion of ethics and integrity in the country, stealthily banked office imprest into their personal accounts.

The officials also spent Shs672.8 million between April and June in marathon workshops to exhaust the budget before the end of last financial year on June it allHERE

· Thanks to Sylivia Nankya
· Thanks to New Vision Online, Kampala

Mar 19, 2011

MP DAVID BAHATI´S BLOOD QUEST: Demonizing rhetoric and dehumanizing ideology against LGBTI Anglicans/others will have grave consequences in Uganda

Will there never be enough injustice directed toward LGBTI citizens to satiate the pride driven and blood thirsty sadistic monster MP David ¨kill all the Gays¨ Bahati (Anglican Archbishop Henry Orombi is his ¨spiritual advisor¨)?

Uganda's NTV television network is reporting that consideration of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009 will commence next week. According to the report, "MPs in the 8th Parliament want it debated and passed before their term expires in May this year."

MP David Bahati, lead sponsor of the bill, is lobbying to make sure the bill clears committee and is passed in the Parliament.

I’ll be working with my colleagues to talk to other members of Parliament to ensure that this bill is debated and concluded before we close the Eighth Parliament...We are working with religious leaders, we are working with people in the legal fraternity, we are working with parents and schools.

Departing Minister for Ethics and Integrity Dr. James Nsaba Buturo has also been lobbying for the passage of the bill.

I ask you to put pressure on Parliament to debate to amend the Anti-Homosexuality Bill where necessary and to pass a law.

The NTV report correctly describes the penalties in the current, unamended version of the bill. Persons committing aggravated homosexuality will be sentenced to death. The bill also includes penalties for anyone promoting homosexuality in Uganda. HERE

Henry Luke Orombi, Anglican Archbishop of Uganda excommunicated Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo for offering spiritual comfort to LGBTI Ugandans who were battered, cast out of from their homes/society and suicidal.  Bishop Henry now wishes to legalize the further punishment of anyone offering counseling or spiritual/emotional support to LGBTI Ugandans and their families/friends.
PLEASE READ AND MAKE YOURSELF AWARE OF THE ENTIRE BILL, click here Bill No 18 Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009

What will recently reelected President Museveni do to hault the proposed further legalized Persecution and Pogrom directed against  LGBTI (and their family and friends) innocent citizens ?
·  Thanks to African Activist, sidebar
·  Thanks to Bishop Christopher Ssenyonjo, Uganda
·  Thanks to Gay Uganda, sidebar
·  Thanks to Amplifying Africa's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) Voices

Mar 18, 2011

OWN IT FOLKS BECAUSE IT´S YOURS: ¨I have lost all patience with the holy haters and their cynical enablers in politics and religion...¨

¨After so many years of this, I have lost all patience with the holy haters and their cynical enablers in politics and religion. To all the "moderates" who want to make "peace" on this issue between the two sides, I say no justice no peace. Few things send me round the bend with outrage more surely than claims of "persecution" by the phobes when violent people demonstrate for all the world to see that demonizing rhetoric and dehumanizing ideology have consequences, sometimes life and death consequences, and someone calls them on it. They rightfully find themselves in the dock of public opinion, and then do a fan dance with palms of martyrdom claiming persecution for their faith. Others scurry backwards like panicked crabs away from the scene of a crime emphatically denying any connection between what they advocate and any particular crime. I say own it folks because it's yours.

And so, to all the preachers and advocates of hate for my kind out there, all of you who would like to see me and all others like me eliminated from the earth by "cure" or by other measures, all of you from Tony Perkins to Newt Gingrich to Scott Lively to Martin Ssempa to NOM to The Family to The Family Research Council to Your Graces Bishops Orombi and Akinola to all the ex-gay groups to Your Holiness the Pope to Your Emminences the whole College of Cardinals to President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad to Grand Ayatollah Khamenei to all the Religious Guardians of Islam to Fred Phelps and to all the very reverend rest of you, I say in all Christian charity, fuck off and die...¨ read it all, HERE

Birds of a Feather: anti-lgbti preachers and advocates of hate flock together 
· Thanks to Counterlights Peculiars, sidebar
· Thanks to Flickr Photo Sharing

BEING A ¨PARIAH¨ IN AFRICA: ¨I am a pariah. And, good hearted believers in god and gods will seek to kill me in the name of the purity of the country and continent I share with them...¨

Another bleak message from Uganda

¨You know, I cannot seem to leave this topic. Cause, I am queer, and African, and I am bashed left right and centre by people who claim they know god.

Friend of ours has been having problems. He is straight, married, with family. A believer, a Christian. But, he is also a friend to us, a gay couple. Doesnt believe in the bigotry that the rest of the believers have. He is friends with kuchus in Uganda generally.

But, that is the problem. He is eating with sinners. Maybe he promotes the sin? The sin of homosexuality....!

So, he was thrown out of his church, with his family.

Talking about being more Christian than Christ.... don't know the details. Heard them second hand. Doesnt stop me from being mad, mad, mad. Because, far as I know, Jesus did eat with sinners.. and he was condemned by Pharisees for that. I don't mind being called a sinner. Fellow Ugandans think I am worse than a demon. Their pastors tell them so. But, my friend minds, and so I have to mind....

African activist takes a look at the constraints that religious people in Africa generally hold on our human rights. Not as just against gay people. An article worth reading actually. He examines the stance of the former president of Botswana. Clearly, the guy has his concerns. And, he is logical. He doesnt understand the stand by the zealots to violently condemn what they don't understand. Or, what they don't believe. Why arent gay people worth of human rights. [Of course, unless they are not human....]

¨I did not come out in support of gay rights but I did come out in support of human rights. I am not a pro-gay activist. I say I don't understand the sexual preference but they are entitled to it and therefore they should not be discriminated against, it should not be criminalised.

I can't understand why you say that homosexuality is un-African when there is evidence that it has always existed and exists today as it does elsewhere in the world. And therefore it appears to me that homosexuality whether we understand it or not or whether we like it or not is as African as it is European as it is Asian...We are trying to pursuade the rest of Africa and show them that homophobia is unjustified.¨

Being an activist does not make me lose my sense of what is logical, and the fact that my ally may find it tough to support me. I accept what my ally offers to me, a space for dialogue, as opposed to those who want no dialogue, because, quote, being gay is un-African...¨ read it all, By Gay Uganda, HERE

·  Thanks to Gay Uganda, sidebar
·  Thanks to African Activist, sidebar

Mar 17, 2011

TWO SPIRITS: ¨The bravest choice you can make is to be yourself¨

I relished my private time to do something I hadn´t done for quite a long while--I indulged in self hypnosis...

This morning I found myself alone in the house.  It´s a rare treat for me to be all alone as I´m usually busy with helpers working in my art studio and most mornings and afternoons the housekeeper comes and puts my comodos living conditions in order.  So, this morning I decided to gather the doggies and let them sleep on my King Sized bed as I closed off all the outside sounds of my small village life in Central America.   You know, exotic birds chirping, street dogs barking, donkeys hauling wood/big bags, riders riding horses and the constant outside human movement that is created when workers work from dawn into the night.

I relished my private time to do something I hadn´t done for quite a long while--I indulged in self hypnosis after I closed all the windows, darkened the rooms and prepared to relax and let let go of the everyday tensions, my deepest noisy memories, conscience and not, and a tendency I have to think I must constantly strive ¨to be¨ in charge of a life that I can´t really control in many ways...a life that often does very well when I simply show up and participate in it calmly and observe it happening around me instead of dominating it with demands.

After the dogs began to snooze around me I started relaxing in ways that were taught to me years ago by my therapist, the well-known, around here and beyond around here, Dr. Jean.  Dr. Jean died over six years ago, in her fifties, after spending a lifetime as a paraplegic.  A paraplegic who refused to accept the mind boggling physical limitations that had come her way.  Dr. Jean was a clincial psychologist, a brilliant friend and a specialist in post-traumatic stress related disorders.

As I drifted into the place of ¨letting go¨  I started visualizing, one by one, friends who had left life and my life many years ago (some natural causes and some sadly not).   Not fearful ghosts materializing around me but more like the essence of dear friends who in a renewed state of emotional and spiritual wellness had come to visit, one by one, in my bedroom, this morning from places far away from me...from timeless decades ago they began to take shape and flow in and out of my subconscience mind.  Their visits gradually made me fill-up with a warm wave of gladness and well-being.

I felt comforted and rejuvenated by these unusual visitors but it was more than that...I was able to see, feel the authenticity of real human beings who came to me from afar, and once had struggled hard with themselves (and others) to ¨be¨ themselves...courageous friends with strong personal character who had a thread of commonality in the reality they were Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people and dear friends of mine who had found happiness and peace of mind. People much like me who somehow survived difficult personal and emotional/spiritual/social adjustments to become exactly who they/we are--we had become the people we were created ¨to be¨ and I saw it clearly this morning in my own darkened bedroom, sprawled out on my bed, surrounded by sleeping dogs, as current images flickered, then emerged, from my past.

Later I came out of the trance, moved to the computer and saw immediately this inspiring story about a TWO SPIRITED person:

Fred Martinez was a Navajo boy who was also a girl. In an earlier era, he would have been revered. Instead he was murdered.

(San Francisco, CA)-- Two Spirits interweaves the tragic story of a mother's loss of her son with a revealing look at the largely unknown history of a time when the world wasn't simply divided into male and female and many Native American cultures held places of honor for people of integrated genders. Powerful and moving, Lydia Nibley's Two Spirits explores the life and death of Fred Martinez and the ancient Native American two-spirit tradition. Two Spirits will premiere on the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Independent Lens, hosted by America Ferrera, on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 10PM (check local listings.)

Fred Martinez told his mother he felt as if he was both a boy and a girl, and she explained that this is a special gift, according to traditional Navajo culture. But the place where two discriminations meet is a dangerous place to live, and Fred became one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at sixteen. Between tradition and controversy, and freedom and fear, lies the truth--the bravest choice you can make is to be yourself.

Two Spirits explores issues of national concern including the bullying and violence commonly faced by LGBT people, and the epidemic of LGBT teen suicide, and reveals the range of gender expression that has long been seen as a healthy part of many of the indigenous cultures of North America, and of Navajo culture in particular.

The Navajo believe that to maintain harmony, there must be a balanced interrelationship between the feminine and the masculine within the individual, in families, in the culture, and in the natural world. For the first time on film, Two Spirits tells stories from the Navajo tradition of four genders. The first gender is the feminine woman. The second is the masculine man. The third is the male-bodied person who has a feminine essence--nadleehi. The fourth is the female-bodied person who has a masculine essence--dilbaa.

In Navajo, nadleehi means "one who is transformed," and as the film traces the ramifications of Fred's murder, it also shows the transformation being undertaken by Native activists who are working to restore the rich heritage of two-spirit people and to claim their place within their tribal communities.

"The film team is working with over sixty organizations nationwide to have six million people see the film and to help expand the national conversation about gender," says the director of Two Spirits, Lydia Nibley.

Lois Vossen the producer and founder of Independent Lens explains, "Two Spirits is an important film that tells a modern story with deep historical roots and does so in a way that is surprising and striking. It's a film that shows humankind at both our best and worst. It's gut-wrenching at times, but also hopeful and very engaging."

To learn more about the film, and the issues involved, visit the companion website for Two Spirits at Get detailed information on the film, watch preview clips, read an interview with the filmmaker, and explore the subject in depth with links and resources. The site also features a Talkback section where viewers can share their ideas and opinions.¨ HERE

·  Thanks to Dr. Jean, RIP
·  Thanks to Eternal Friendships
·  Thanks to Fred Martinez, Jr, RIP
·  Thanks to "nadleehi," a Navajo term referring to a two-spirit person
·  Thanks to  Dr. Jillian T. Weiss
·  Thanks to PBS-Independent Lens
·  Thanks to The Bilerico Project, sidebar