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JOISEY muddle puzzles
by SaveFreedom @
Saturday Aug 21st, 2004 12:11 PM
Is the closet life worth living?
Many observers, queer and otherwise, are scratching their heads over the resignation of the closet-gay governor of New Jersey.

NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" show calls it "the year's weirdest political scandal".
That's a rash call, IMQO, since this weird year ain't over yet.

Here's the view of one university student, from The Triangle -- which, despite its name, isn't a queer paper.
Instead it's the student newspaper at Drexel University, in Philadelphia, PA. (Hunh? Well, Philly is near NJ....)
[ ]

And down under, Roger Franklin asks,
"Will Kerry be buried by New Joizee doyt?"
[ ]

One interesting article, reprinted in the SF Chronicle (Aug. 20), spotlights closeted lesbians and gay men
who feel forced to marry straight spouses:

"In an era of ever-expanding gay rights, gay awareness and gay pride, New Jersey Gov. James McGreevey's lifestyle seems antiquated: a gay man twice married to women and the father of two children.
But, say experts and formerly married gay men, pressures to live straight
still override sexual orientation. Churches, the corporate world and
family relationships continue to push gay men and lesbians into the
closet, with a straight spouse as the perfect cover.
"There's an inordinate pressure for people to fit a certain mold," said
Mark Shields, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C., the country's largest gay and lesbian organization.
Gays "stand against so many things you've been taught implicitly and explicitly from the moment you were born in this culture."

The number of gays or lesbians married to straight spouses is difficult to
determine. Currently there are 6,000 to 7,000 active members of the
national Straight Spouse Network, said Executive Director Amity Pierce
Buxton in El Cerrito [CA].
Buxton has been researching gay/straight marriages and speaking with some 9,000 spouses since the mid-1980s, when her husband came out as gay.
"He led a perfectly straight life, and it nearly killed him," said Buxton, "
[For more, please go to:
(\IL8A7C61.DTL ) ]


An ancient philosopher tells us,
"The unexamined life isn't worth living."

We might ask today,
"Is the closet life worth living?"

-- SUN
[ ]
by Deb Price
Monday Aug 23rd, 2004 8:01 PM

Monday, August 23, 2004

McGreevey shows cost of marginalizing gays

By Deb Price /
The Detroit News

[ ]

Just as only those folks unlucky enough to be caught in the path of
Hurricane Charley can fully grasp its devastating impact, only people
whose lives and dreams were ripped apart by Hurricane McGreevey know
the extent of its wreckage.

Stoically standing beside her elderly mother-in-law as New Jersey
Gov. James McGreevey told the world "I am a gay American," the
governor's wife, Dina, looked exactly like what she was: Someone who
had unwittingly built her life upon the sand and has just watched it
be washed out to sea by a storm she hadn't seen coming.

Dina McGreevey had been clueless about her husband's homosexuality
and infidelity, according to Lori Kennedy, a friend summoned to the
governor's mansion when — just three nights earlier — James McGreevey
came out to his wife. "She was totally shocked. Never in a million
years did she know," Kennedy told the Newark Star-Ledger. She added
that the distraught young wife, the mother of a toddler, asked, "How
can this be?"

The answer: Our nation stubbornly insists on residing in a dangerous
Hurricane Alley by sending the unmistakable message that anyone who
wants to, say, marry, serve in the military, hold elective office or
be treated with respect had better be heterosexual — or pretend to
be. So, in a land that boasts of "liberty and justice for all,"
millions of citizens still feel compelled to hide or lie — often even
to themselves. As Gov. McGreevey eloquently put it, "I forced what I
thought was an acceptable reality onto myself."

Inevitably, reality ends up storming through fragile fabrications,
tearing off the closet doors of gay people too afraid to come out.
The human cost of all this needless chaos is incalculable.

Despite what folks who balk at embracing those of us who're gay might
think or even wish, the damage certainly isn't limited to gays. That
much should be painfully obvious to anyone who saw Dina McGreevey's
stunned expression during her husband's coming-out and stepping-down
press conference.

She had the look of someone who, in the words of Amity Buxton, has
discovered, "I have been living someone else's lie." Founder of the
Straight Spouse Network, Buxton has preached for decades that
marginalizing gay people hurts everyone.

Describing his self-destructive avoidance of the truth, Gov.
McGreevey declared, "I do not believe that God tortures any person
simply for its own sake. I believe that God enables all things to
work for the greater good."

I pray he's right. In the cleanup after New Jersey's cyclone, serious
questions about the governor's personal and official behavior need
answers. But part of the "greater good" I hope comes from Hurricane
McGreevey is that more people will know the closet can never be safe.

And I'd like to think the storm's aftermath will bring greater
understanding of the phenomenal costs of anti-gay prejudice and the
lies, inequities and sham heterosexual unions it breeds. James
McGreevey had already had one brief marriage end in divorce. But
straight spouses aren't the only ones forced to pay a high price.

In McGreevey's case, next in the "damaged" line are his parents,
daughters and staffers. And the voters of New Jersey? If the
governor's side of the story turns out to be true, the closet left
him — and their state government — vulnerable to extortion.

In every state, the costs of living in Hurricane Alley are enormous.
Thousands of the inactive reservists being recalled to serve in Iraq
and Afghanistan wouldn't be needed if the military had not booted out
gay service members qualified to do that work. Uncle Sam collects $1
billion less in taxes every year than he would if he recognized same-
sex marriages, according to the Government Accountability Office.
And, as a Safe Schools Coalition study found, 70 percent of school
kids victimized by anti-gay bullying are actually straight.

The storm warnings are clearly visible: All sorts of people will keep
getting hurt until the day that closets are only for clothes.


Copyright © 2004 The Detroit News.

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