Today the Deseret News published a “My View” letter written by Utah’s own Mrs. Gayle Ruzika. You can read her letter here. (If you don’t know who she is, Google her name. She is no friend to the LGBT community.)
A person sent me the link to the article and asked for my thoughts. Below is my reply. Continue reading →
A few months ago the people at Rational Faith asked me to create a timeline that tracked the issue of homosexuality within Mormonism. I knew it would be a time consuming task but I knew it would be mostly a work of synthesis, meaning the information was already available online and in books, I just had to compile it.
I wrote the post and sent it off last summer and forgot that it would be posted in November. When it when up I realized my citations were not included and I take full responsibility for that. I had created sources in a second document because at the time I made the timeline, I had not decided how I was going to cite sources. I realized when the post went up that I had not resolved that, so I quickly added footnotes and crossed checked the information.
As I say in the intro to the timeline, it is by no means exhaustive. Some of the first comments criticized the timeline for not including more recent developments. To this I said, “This list is more of a survey of events throughout the 20th century, that I, as the author, deemed important. I hope that that is totally obvious. I have not tried to hide anything, I have tried to shed light on events, statements, and political developments that have been forgotten, but that are essential to know.”
To create a list like this I am indebted to a few people. First, Connell O’Donovan and his extensive and thorough research about homosexuality within Mormonism is a treasure. Second, D. Michael Quinn for the same reasons. His books have proven time and time again to be invaluable resources, and finally, Ben Williams for his work in preserving and archiving so much of the Gay Rights movement in Utah. They deserve our gratitude.
The post can be read here
By chance I saw a post on Facebook a few months ago about a new project called Mapping SLC. The idea was to create a community-written atlas of Salt Lake City that maps the city’s changing histories and people through art, writing, and multi-media projects.
So I of course jumped at the opportunity to participate.
I wrote a piece called “Salt Lake is a Gay Ol’ Town!” and mapped the gay bars and gay owned or gay friendly businesses in Salt Lake during the 1970s. Then I made a map to illustrate where all these places were. I plan to continue this project in to the 80s and 90s to see the change over time, specifically, as the places where the gay community met were systematically demolished.
You can read the post here.
I recently did an interview on Gay.ru. A reporter from the site contacted me and was curious about my connection to Russia and my thoughts about the current situation in Russia regarding the inhumane laws and treatment of LGBT Russians. My connection to Russia is through a homophobic American religion who sent me to the country when I was a deeply closeted young man. I spent 2 and a half years in Russia, speak Russian and have a special place in my heart for Russia.
You can read the interview in Russian here.
For those who don’t speak Russian or want to put it through an online, translator, the text of my interview is below in English. Continue reading →
Like most LGBT Americans, I’ve been watching the horror unfold in Russia as violence, beatings, suicides, and other crimes have been committed against gay Russians. And like most LGBT Americans, I’m not sure what I can do to help. Really, what can we do when a tyrannical, homophobic government passes laws that allows citizens to brutalize others simply for existing? I’m really at a loss and only holding on to a hope that people in the international community far more powerful than me will do something. I know lots of gay bars in the US stopped offering Stoli vodka and I read that Venice is cutting ties with its sister city- St. Petersburg, but what has that done to protect people?
As I’ve been reading about the violence going on in Russia I stumbled across a blog called “Children 404″ and felt the need to contribute. 404 is the error message you get when a webpage does not exist so the title “Children 404″ is ironic on purpose because gay children DO exist, and that’s the point of this campaign. Despite the efforts of the Russian government to force them into hiding or to eliminate them through legislation, gay people do exist in Russia and in every other country in the world and always have. “Children 404″ is like the “It Gets Better” campaign but directed to gay Russian youth, reminding them that they do exist, that there is hope and that they are loved. The threat of violence and harm is so real against them that Russian gays and lesbians can’t even show their faces in their photos. What the hell is going on? What century is this?! Seriously Mother Russia!?
Continue reading →