Sunday, September 25, 2016

Softly and Tenderly



Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling, 
calling for you and for me; 
see, on the portals he's waiting and watching, 
watching for you and for me. 
Refrain: 
Come home, come home; 
ye who are weary come home; 
earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling, 
calling, O sinner, come home! 

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading, 
pleading for you and for me? 
Why should we linger and heed not his mercies, 
mercies for you and for me? 
(Refrain) 

Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing, 
passing from you and from me; 
shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming, 
coming for you and for me. 
(Refrain) 

O for the wonderful love he has promised, 
promised for you and for me! 
Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon, 
pardon for you and for me. 
(Refrain) 

The other day, a friend of this blog, Lesley, contacted me because she has started a Facebook group for LGBT members of the Churches of Christ (https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheLGBTChurchofChrist/).  She has also started a blog (http://churchofchristlesbian.blogspot.com), which I found to be quite wonderful. In one of her posts she tells about her background and that my blog helped her return to the church because she read my blog posts about the Churches of Christ. Here is what she said:

About that time I was also saying if I found it was okay to be a lesbian and in the Church I would go back and give it my all. I found that answer through some searching and reading. I then asked God if this is the path I was to walk and if so to show me a sign. That morning I went to a service and was given two. In the sermon the preacher said "Pagans run" and I have been my whole life. I was and am tired of running. Then he said, "Come home" and I knew right then that I needed to go back to the Church of Christ.

When I read about coming home, I could only think of the song above. It was composed and written by Will L. Thompson in 1880. Thompson was a member of the Churches of Christ, where several of his hymns and gospel songs continue in use. "Softly and Tenderly" is the most widely known of his compositions and has circulated far beyond its origins in the American Restoration Movement. It is among the most prolifically translated gospel songs and has spread appealingly into the repertoire of various fellowships of Christendom.

Softly and tenderly, Jesus was calling Lesley home. Welcome home ,Lesley. Check out Lesley's blog and feel free to join her Facebook group.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Monogamy


After all this talk of open relationships and polyamorous love, a new study has just found that younger gay couples are trending toward monogamy once again. At least, according to a new study.

The study, titled “Choices: Perspectives of Younger Gay Men on Monogamy, Non-monogamy and Marriage,” was conduced by researchers Blake Spears and Lanz Lowen. They surveyed over 800 single, monogamously-coupled, and non-monogamously coupled gay men ages 18-40 years about their relationships. A handful of “monogamish” men were also interviewed.

More at: https://www.queerty.com/monogamy-making-comeback-among-younger-gay-couples-study-finds-20160922

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Bisexual Awareness Week



Even though roughly half of the LGBT community identifies as bisexual, they’re seldom represented in the media. Nevertheless, more and more millennials are beginning to view themselves as bisexual and sexually fluid. A recent YouGov study discovered that a third of 18-24 year olds in the U.S. and Israel put themselves along a continuum of sexuality, rather than at either end. In the UK, roughly 50% don’t view themselves as 100% gay or straight.

Even though there are a huge number of bisexuals, and the number of bisexual-identifying people is growing, they often feel invisible. They often feel alone.

This feeling of isolation contributes to a slew of mental health issues that highly correlate with bisexuality. Bisexuals have high rates of depression, suicidality, self-harm, smoking and alcohol abuse, and intimate-partner violence. Recent data from a Human Rights Campaign study revealed that bisexual youth are less likely than lesbian and gay youth to feel there’s a supportive adult they can talk to.

These feelings of isolation also keep bisexuals closeted because they don’t feel as if they have a bi community. They don’t think people will accept us. It's estimated that only 28% of bisexuals come out. Research from Dr. Eric Schrimshaw of Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health revealed that most bisexual men know their sexuality. Their reasons for not disclosing it don't arise from confusion, but rather they don’t come out because they fear rejection from their partners and ostracization from their families and communities.

Bisexuals face additional hardships that monosexuals (either gay or straight) don't experience. The only way to change this is through visibility. This is why this week—Bisexual Awareness Week—is so important. This is why bi-visibility matters. This is why it’s crucial that bisexuals come out as often and to as many people as we can. Not only will your decision to come out create more visibility for others, you will also start to meet other bi folks, and can become an integral member of the bisexual community. So please, come out and share you story. Let’s make it easier for the next, growing generation of bisexuals to be out, comfortable, and proud of who they are.

By the way, Celebrate Bisexuality Day is observed tomorrow on September 23 by members of the bisexual community and their supporters. This day is a call for the bisexual community, their friends and supporters to recognize and celebrate bisexuality, bisexual history, bisexual community and culture, and all the bisexual people in their lives. First observed in 1999, Celebrate Bisexuality Day is the brainchild of three United States bisexual rights activists: Wendy Curry of Maine, Michael Page of Florida, and Gigi Raven Wilbur of Texas.

Adapted from an Out Magazine article.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Those Kinky Romans




When we think of Ancient Rome, we immediately think of excess. The kind of excess that means balls to the wall, non-stop drinking and orgy-fueled ridiculousness, leading to their eventual fall from grace. And in this excess was a shameless, extravagant community of homosexuals. Though there was no Latin word for ‘gay’ per se, men were getting down with each other in Ancient Rome like it was their damn job, often in ways that, by today’s standards, are highly disturbing. Here are a few of the more bizarre activities and habits that the boys got up to in their spare time:

1. Bestiality Role Play

Emperor Nero, who reigned from 54 to 68 AD, was a frisky guy. And by frisky, we mean psychotic pervert. The infamous fire of Rome that took place during his reign is often thought to be intentionally sparked to make way for his Golden Pleasure Palace, paid for with the taxes of Roman citizens. One of the gayest activities that took place in said palace was what he called ‘The Animal Game’. It began by tying and binding naked men to various posts set up around the room. Nero would then don himself in animal skins and be put in a cage. When released from the cage, he would wildly begin to ravage each of his victims however he chose. Whatever you say of the man, you can’t deny that he was imaginative.

2. Freaky Gay Marriages

Considering the great lengths to which the modern world has fought for gay marriage, it seems odd that it would have been a perfectly legal practice in the ancient world. But the practice of gay marriage was a bit more fetishized and falsified than the union we know today. Everyone’s favorite emperor Nero was a frequenter of this practice, as was the emperor Elagabalus. These two would proudly display their male lover du jour in a full, official ceremony, complete with bridal veil and a dowry. Nero even bent genders, participating in two ceremonies where he ‘played bride’. But this is all fine compared to the men he castrated to be his true ‘bride’.  

3. Tiberius’ ‘Tiddlers’ also known as 'Minnows'

Swimming pools are a perfectly understandable breeding ground for the erotic. You’re having a good time, you’re half or completely naked, and usually with one or more persons feeling your carefree vibe. So who could blame Emperor Tiberius for being a prolific swimmer, especially when his empire had such decadent bathhouses and pools so readily available? However, Tiberius’ underwater excursions were accompanied by a league of helpers he referred to as his ‘tiddlers’. These tiddlers were young men (and often even younger boys) who were trained to swim beneath him and provide pleasure through light nibbling and coddling. In other words, actual humans were trained to act as sexual minnows in the emperor’s private pond. No word on how long these tiddlers had to hold their breath, but assume it was on the longer side.

4. Road-Side Sex Stops

Everybody has those urges that seem so desperate, they must be filled immediately – it’s a normal part of being a horny human. But for those in Ancient Rome with money and power to spare, these urges could be fed however they pleased. The most creative outlet was surely the road-side sex stops, set up along whichever street or riverbank the lucky member of aristocracy happened to pass through. These were quite literally tents that would be prepared ahead of the wealthy man’s journey where a male prostitute would lay in waiting to be ravaged before their lord would continue about his stroll. Think of it like a McDonald’s stop, but even more satisfying.

5. Learning by Pictures

Another innovation made handy by the randy Emperor Tiberius, entire rooms in his palaces were devoted to paintings depicting every sex act imaginable in vivid detail. These were not just for decor; Tiberius had these works created for learning purposes. He would reportedly bring in scores of his new male prostitutes to these chambers to learn the finite details of how to please an emperor; that way there could be no question about one’s duty in the bedroom. It was a practice rarely seen before in ancient times, yet oddly one that mirrors the way young gays today learn from their elders via pornography on screen. Guess Tiberius’ gross libido did some good. Many bathhouses had these depictions as well. Pompeii is known to have had many such depictions of sexual acts in their bathhouses.

From: https://dandydicks.com/blog-entry/a-brief-history-of-all-the-gay-shit-that-went-down-in-ancient-rome

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Song of the Open Road, I


 
Song of the Open Road, I
By Walt Whitman

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.
 
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.
 
The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.
 
(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)