She/He Said: Allies, Well-Being and Propoganda

compiled by Howard Israel

"I don't know the hardships of growing up gay, or being a gay adult, but I'm not blind to the acts of homophobia and anti-gay speech in the world. Do these fears and prejudices not span the generational divide or are they just being brushed under the rug, a way to quell the anxiousness and despair these kids feel that the adults can hide or better deal with? Instead of just brandishing the 'It Gets Better' flag, why is this project not more focused on its pledge of which the main provisos that 'everyone deserves to be respected for who they are' and that you should 'speak up against hate and intolerance whenever it's seen, at school and at work,' actually make it better, instead of magicking it better. The scope of this project should be all people, both gay and straight, to spread this 'Make It Better' message."

- Jeff A. Katz, in his column titled "It Gets Better?,", Nov. 22.

"Years ago, I was working in a public school in Washington D.C., and I had a young woman come to see me. I had a feeling what she really wanted to talk about. Two weeks later she killed herself. After that, I decided I couldn't do that ever again. I might have made her feel not so alone. The issue was very divisive in the schools, and I did not open the conversation because I was afraid for myself. If our educators live in fear, they are not doing their job. I hope parents, board members, administrators and fellow teachers realize that there is not an agenda. Sometimes it is just helping kids stay alive long enough to realize that life isn't as bad as they think it is."

- Lisa Baker, Director of the Upper School, Roeper School in Birmingham, quoted in an article titled "Inside of out," about LGBTQ students in Oakland County schools,, December 2010 issue.

"The results are encouraging, but it's not time for gay men to throw away their condoms."

- Dr. Kevin Fenton, chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's AIDS division, in an article titled "Daily Pill Greatly Lowers AIDS Risk, Study Finds," about a study that found that men taking Truvada, a common combination of two antiretroviral drugs, could reduce new HIV infections by 43.8 percent in high-risk men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender persons,, Nov. 23.

"We've never changed our motto. We've never changed our pitch to new recruits. We have hardly changed our formal uniforms in 235 years. We are a religion unto ourselves, and we pride ourselves in that. But in the end, every good Marine follows orders, and if that's what the president orders, I can tell you by God we're going to excel above and beyond the other services to make it happen and be damn good at it."

- Paul Hackett, Marine Reserve Lt. Col. who has been in the Marine Corps for 25 years, in an article titled "Don't Ask, Don't Tell: Marines Most Resistant To Openly Gay Troops," about perhaps the military's biggest opponents of lifting the ban on openly gay troops,, Nov. 27.

"I think it does a lot of good. I think any time we're getting into people's living rooms showing them complicated, interesting, relevant portrayals of gay people, we're doing something right. It matters. Seeing Kurt stand up for himself, it really is a beautiful thing."

- Peter Paige, actor, "Emmet" on "Queer as Folk," commenting on the character of "Kurt" on "Glee," tackling issues including dealing with being bullied by a closeted football player,, Nov. 19.

"It's a love story, an escape movie and a comedy, all about this man who goes to incredible lengths to be with the man he loves. I like it because it's a gay film, which is to say it's a film about two men in love, and I think that's an important element of it. But it's not a film about them being gay. They just happen to be gay. I also got to French kiss Jim Carrey a lot, and I quite like that too."

- Ewan McGregor, about his movie titled "I Love You Phillip Morris," with co-star, Jim Carrey, a gay romantic comedy that takes place behind bars, in an interview,, Oct. 18.

"Oh, this is rich: The Family Research Council is upset that it's been categorized as a 'hate group' in The SPLC's report on rabidly anti-gay organizations. Peter Sprigg, FRC senior researcher Sprigg (said), 'I would much prefer to export homosexuals from the United States than to import them.' (and) argues that there should be 'criminal sanctions' against 'homosexual behavior.' Hmm, sure looks like hate and acts like hate. As the saying goes, don't blame the mirror if the reflection is ugly."

- Tracy Clark-Flory, in her column titled "Anti-gay group: We aren't hateful!," about the Family Research Council's heated complaints about being listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center's current report on the 18 most fanatical anti-gay organizations,, Nov. 24.

"Most gays are not inclined toward military service, but many lesbians are, and it is an open secret that they do well in the calling, especially in medical and administrative specialties. My solution would get the distaff part of our homosexual population off our collective 'Broke Back,' thus giving straight male GIs a fair shot at converting lesbians and bringing them into the mainstream."

-Joe Rehyansky, retired, U.S. Army and the Chattanooga, Tennessee, District Attorney's office, in his column titled "Don't hint, don't wink: An immodest proposal," with helpful suggestions about how to get rid of gays in the military,, Nov. 22.

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