Coaster Punchman, you've given me a lot of excellent information in comments below so I wanted to consolidate it here;
Coaster Punchman has left a new comment on your post "Finally, A Pic I Can Live With":
Hi again Alan,
Wow, I've been reading through these comments and this is quite a discussion. I'll have to check out your blog more to see if there is more mention of this college you attended, because what you wrote about them here just blows my mind. No interracial dating? As a policy? I don't know what kind of school this was (i.e. sounds like Bob Jones University) but I would stay far, far away from a place like that.
Frankly if this college (or any other kind of institution) receives any kind of public funding I think they could get in trouble for violating various civil rights laws. That is just insane.
I'm sorry you had to endure that.
Being a member of my own minority group I am familiar with the sting of institutionalized bigotry, and it never stops hurting.
The world is so f-ed up that I don't blame you for being angry. When I stop to think about all the blatant but needless injustice in the world I feel pretty damn angry myself.
Posted by Coaster Punchman to This Redeemable Life at September 13, 2007 2:01 PM
Coaster Punchman has left a new comment on your post "My Life As A Homo":
So I'm checking out your archives a bit and this is interesting. It sounds like maybe you haven't had a lot of gay friends. Maybe you should get some, because the more time you spend with them you'll find there's really nothing new or different about the universe they share with you.
Although I'm still very much aware of the struggles we face as gay people, my life to me and everyone I know is very normal. Every now and again I'll encounter someone who has all these questions along the lines of "my God, what is it LIKE?" and I don't know what to say. Sure, I can talk about the pain I suffered as an adolescent and young adult and yada yada yada (and there was plenty of it) but I don't want to think about that stuff 24/7. I live life day to day just like anyone else, and while I feel angry at certain huge injustices, I still go about my life with my friends and loved ones around and I never ever feel like I'm any less normal than anyone else.
Truth be told, unless people have a totally ignorant upbringing or serious psychological issues about sex, most of them don't seem to care what you want to do with your naughty bits because it's a) none of their business and b) generally not very relevant to anything going on around them.
If someone wants to feel I'm a freak, it's totally their problem and I honestly don't care. Really. Of course, I am a freak in many more important ways than whom I choose to have as romantic partners, but we won't go into that.
I have plenty of straight guy friends. If they ever felt any weirdness around me, I'm really not aware of it, nor do I care unless it's something they want to discuss with me at some point. I don't consider myself or feel myself to be any different from them in my daily struggles and joys with life and love. Sometimes I even get the impression they like to share stuff with me that they wouldn't share with their straight guy friends, maybe because they feel less risk of feeling unmanly or something. I don't know. They're just my friends and are just people like me or anybody else.
I hope this makes a little sense....sorry for rambling.
Posted by Coaster Punchman to This Redeemable Life at September 13, 2007 2:22 PM
Coaster Punchman has left a new comment on your post "Please Place Your Trays In The Upright Position .....":
Sexuality is fascinating and certainly complex. I think there are a combination of factors such as genes and the thoughts/sights. However, until we discover what these thoughts/sights are that can cause homosexuality (and I don't think we will) there isn't going to be a "cure" for this "sickness." (ha ha.) Which is why we just need to keep working to get society to get the f*ck over themselves about it. Really, why anyone else would care what two consenting adults want to do with each other is beyond me and always has been.
Think about it. If we weren't all so hung up on this stuff, the men & women with "gay" partners as you describe wouldn't be in the mess they're in, because whatever their sexual issues are would have been resolved long before they ended up married with children. There are LOTS of people who sleep with both genders, and none of it would be a problem if our Judeo-Christian society hadn't decided to make it one.
A lot of us are even tired of the labels, because if we were all absolutely 100% true to ourselves they wouldn't be necessary.
Think about a guy who is totally meat & potatoes, who sees no need for salad & vegetables in his life. He might at one point end up in a situation where there is an absolutely gorgeous vegetarian dish in front of him, and while he would never have thought of choosing that to eat, he came across it and was suddenly just drawn to it. He might eat it, say "well that was actually pretty good!" And then he might resume his meat & potatoes consumption and not even think about that wonderful vegetarian dish until he runs across it again one day. So he's basically still a meat & potatoes guy, but nothing is carved in stone from preventing him to try & enjoy other dishes once in a while. Or who knows, he may even go through a period where he really likes those vegetables and so he decides to be vegetarian for a while. Of course, his true calling will probably resurface because he REALLY loved that meat & potatoes and he misses it a lot after being away from it.
I think for most people, that is what sexuality would be like if we weren't so f-ed up about it in our culture.
Posted by Coaster Punchman to This Redeemable Life at September 13, 2007 2:37 PM
Coaster Punchman has left a new comment on your post "Onward ...":
Wow, I learn more with each post!
First, I'm very sorry for the trauma you experienced as a kid. From the sound of it you've had too much general trauma in your life, and I really wish you peace.
Second, I so heartily applaud you for having the courage to tackle all these issues from racism to sexuality to getting over childhood trauma. You are "one of the good ones" - and I don't mean black people, I mean MEN! Think of how many men go through sh*t and end up just f-ing up their lives in so many ways (drugs, crime, becoming complete abusive a-holes themselves etc.) The route you have chosen says so much about your character, and it is all good.
Third, not knowing you - and even if I did - your sexuality is 100% your own business and no one on earth should encourage you to be one thing or the other. You get to decide what you are and whom you love.
Finally, hereby as a self-proclaimed ambassador of the gay male community, I wish for you that you learn more about what it means to be a gay man in our culture rather than deciding ahead of time that it would just be too terrible to consider. I'm not AT ALL encouraging you to be gay; as I said, I want you to be exactly who you are and nothing else.
However, it sounds like you have certain fears and maybe a few misconceptions or, at the very least, extreme ideas about what our lives are like. Trust me, it's really not so awful! :)
To put this another way, although you acknowledge that being African American in the US has not always been easy, what would you think if one of your white friends said to you "being black would just be too awful for me. I don't think I could do it." Or how about this - if you could choose your race, would have chosen to be white because it would have been easier?
I don't mean to sound judgmental at all here - I'm just trying to present another perspective.
I will respect whatever your answer is, but can I tell you what would make me happiest to hear from you regarding that last question? This is it:
"Listen Mary, I know you think being black is some horrendous cross I've had to bear but you know what? I love my race and my culture and the richness of my people's history, tragic as it is. I wouldn't choose to be any color other than exactly what I am because I think it's beautiful!"
That's pretty much how I feel when people ask if I wouldn't rather be straight.
Sure, I'd be a lot happier if all the f-ing homophobes would go back into their caves & get off my back, but am I going to let these people interfere with my having a happy life? You bet your ass I am not!
I hope this has been some help, or at least mildly interesting if not amusing.
Posted by Coaster Punchman to This Redeemable Life at September 13, 2007 2:54 PM
This will be easier for me to comment if I ... erm ... use the comments section. Heh.