Bullied: A Student, a School and a Case That Made History

On the heels of Yesterday’s Spirit Day (wearing purple in honor of LGBT teens who have committed suicide and expressing solidarity with others who struggle) I watched Bullied.

If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it.

If you’d like to own this movie, you can do so for free through Teaching Tolerance.
And to maybe do some good, pass this on to an educator in your community….

Self-Torture

I owe a lot of my peace and contentment in this world to one particular insight:
Much of what makes me suffer begins in my own mind.

It comes from overthinking: taking an issue and blowing it completely out of proportion by obsessing on it, or looking at the painful past and re-inflicting myself with the pain it caused. Often, I’m creating more pain than ever really happened or is even possible in any real situation. I have come to realize that if I want to feel helpless and/or scared on purpose, I simply have to look at my regretful past or create an impossible future.

This kind of thinking is either untrue or unprovable. Period.

In other words, it’s a waste of time- and yet we talk ourselves into believing those untrue, unprovable thoughts.

How much of thinking is completely in the moment? Not much, it turns out. Most of us are either thinking about the past, worrying about the future, or constructing scenarios that may or may not happen in order to “be prepared”. How much energy is lost in this? It seems more efficient to me to stay as completely in the moment as possible, to practice awareness of the present and thinking on my feet in order to skillfully and purposefully respond to whatever happens. That means taking ownership of my thoughts and directing them, not vice-versa. It is my mind after all. I can teach it not to torture me. In so doing, I am teaching myself not to torture me….

Having said that, I know it’s not that easy. It takes work. I don’t succeed in this as often as I’d like, but I’m improving. I’m becoming more successful at staying in the moment with meditation, intentional breathing and daily reminders that I’ve strategically placed in my daily life. Side effects include a drop in stress and a lift in happiness and serenity. Loving what is- simply by acknowledging it and staying with it.

I love the following quote by Fulton Oursler:

‎”Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves- regret for the past and fear for the future.”

Time to get off that cross- it’s not my place.

New Scooby Mix

 

From my favorite DJ:

“My latest mix was inspired by my brother getting married. As I was making the best man toast to my little brother, it really dawned on me just how essential of an ingredient the right to marry is to what we so cherish as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.
So here’s a toast to one day soon, marriage equality and the “Pursuit of Happiness” for all… 

Download continuous single file: http://www.mediafire.com/?dy7hdihzd9910y5

Cheers,
John (DJ Scooby)”

 

Fall Men’s Retreat

Today I begin the Fall Men’s Health Retreat in Greenough for gay/bi men- it’s one of the highlights of my year. This is my fourth in a row, and the first without Ken (we actually met (or re-met) at the first one I attended). I can’t say enough about the positive effect that I’ve seen happen in these guy’s lives….

I really love these weekends away- it’s a rare chance for me to have a bit of time for self-reflection and teaching. It’s also a rare chance for the men of Montana to make some connections, to share some intimacy that goes beyond the ordinary and maybe discover a bit about themselves. I know I never fail to find some deeper meaning in my own life as a result of experiencing life through the eyes and lives of the guys during this weekend.

So, I’ll be out of touch for a bit, but doing some good things.

And if you’re a guy who wants a deeper connection to himself and others, you could do worse than attend one of these retreats.

Peace,
~G

It Gets Better

Our kids need to know that life changes (relatively) quickly when you’re a teenager. Dan Savage’s campaign is helping, I think. There are a lot of encouraging messages coming from a huge variety of people, and Gene Robinson’s is one of the best.
A question to the adults out there: What would you tell your 13 year-old self?


Rachel Maddow Exposes MT GOP Platform Hate


On her show last night, Rachel Maddow mentioned the Montana GOP. In the midst of discussing culture wars, the gays and the inflammation by conservative candidates, she also exposed the Montana GOP Platform Plank, reading it on the air.

If you missed it, it is here:  http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/

Thank you Rachel! Call me…

In Memoriam

Predators

I am filled with frustration, anger, sadness and pain with the rash of gay teen suicides, the hate speech being spewed by religious leaders, the hate institutionalized by organizations, the violence directed toward peaceful people, the silence by those who should know better and by my own limited ability to do anything about it.

But my frustration has led me to an important insight.

I have come to realize that the hate that leads children to take their own lives is no worse than the pedophilia crisis which shakes the Catholic Church. When a pedophile seduces a child, it is painful and disgusting because of the innocence lost which can never be regained, because of the trust between adults and children in their care which has been corrupted and transformed into the delusional, self-serving predatory destruction of a young soul. It leads many of these children down the path to self-destruction- either by suicide, attempted suicide, drug and alcohol addiction or crippling depression. We are right to be outraged.

It is a violation of innocence, of the right to exist, of the right to trust, of the right to love. It is predatory. We call them predators, because, like wild animals, they stalk, they hunt, they consume, they destroy.

And those who preach hate against gays are no different.

I have talked to kids who are terrified because they have feelings which conflict with the “normal” view of the society/community/church/family in which they live. They are not scared because “they know it’s wrong”, they are scared because an adult, perhaps someone close to them or in authority over them has told them that these feelings are wrong. That having those feelings makes them bad. They use words like “sinful”, “disordered”, “unnatural”, “disgusting”, “freak” and on and on…. They are not concerned for the well-being of the children in their care- they are driving them in shame to their deaths.

It’s time to call them what they are. They are predators. They are killing our children. They are destroying our families.

They will not win.

Three Stories You Should Know About- And One You Already Knew

Jamee Greer over at 4 and 20 Blackbirds reports on 3 stories you need to know:

  1. This weekend in Serbia, a gay pride celebration was disrupted by almost 6000 rioters throwing molotov cocktails, stun grenades and bricks – and chanting slogans like “death to homosexuals!”
  2. New York State gubernatorial candidate, Carl Paladino, told a gathering of Orthodox Jewish leaders in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on Sunday that children are being “brainwashed” into believing homosexuality was acceptable and normal.
  3. Another gay teen has taken their life, this time in Norman, Oklahoma. The 19 year old had attended a City Council public hearing earlier in the week which included discussion on the receipt of a mayoral proclamation recognizing October as Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transgender History Month in Norman. The proclamation was approved 7-1, after three hours of graphic, homophobic testimony.
  4. And, just to keep sayin‘, The Montana Republican Party Platform is still crying for the criminalization of gays.

The barbarians are at the gates….


Donald Duck Meets Glenn Beck

Hysterical. It usually is when a person’s own words are played back in a realistic context…