|Doubting the Doubts||email SteveS|
Letters from Steve S to Steve C and Maggie
Doubting the Doubts
Four Letters from Steve
Calverley to Steve Schalchlin:
|Date: Tue, 01 Apr 1997
To: Gabi Clayton, Maggie Heineman
From: Steve Schalchlin
I wrote a long response yesterday at another computer, but then couldn't connect to the ISP. Now i've just read Gabi's respose and she basically said everything I've been saying. So, now I'm writing a different response.
All evening long I've been thinking about your letter and I just keep getting these creepy feelings that somehow the subtle and not-so-subtle evangelizing people like Steve C. do is finally getting to you. And I'm not saying he or they are bad people. But they are people with an agenda.
In a way, your experience with them is both good and bad. You've learned that they are just folks like us. That they are kind and gentle and sweet and only want to do good. That's great. It's also very true of them.
But there's a certain brainwashing that goes on, too, which you must be very cautious of. Just because someone is attempting to do good, does not mean they are doing good. In fact, this is a central point of THE LAST SESSION. In our play the fundie, Buddy, thinks he is acting out of love when he tries to tell Gideon the gay character that he is "outside of God's plan," as Steve C. describes gay people and their "genital" behavior.
And as I've so vehemently said, it is this false and idiotic theology that lies beneath everything that informs what they teach. It is, Maggie, the rot that threatens to bring down all the bridges you are attempting to build.
It is not gay sex that makes AIDS. It is unsafe sex that mades AIDS. In my inquiries at ASOs (AIDS Service Orgs), I am told that the greatest growth in incidents of AIDS is among straight females because the straight world is now convinced, yet again, that AIDS is a product of gay sex. Well, as Wilson pointed out, we do have more AIDS, but that still does not make it a gay disease.
Are gay men more promiscuous? Only in the sense that there are no women to say no. I know locker rooms and straight guys and the ONLY conversations that take place are "Who won last night's game?" and "Did you get laid last night?" They also do not care one whit about condoms since it's easier to get the virus passively than actively. In my own small town, most of my friend were getting laid every single night. I, on the other hand, never got laid. No gays lived where I lived.
Your real question revolved around whether we were telling gay kids to go ahead and be gay when they might not be gay at all. Your concern is that we're sending them to their deaths by saying this.
Forgive me, but that's the kind of twisted logic that you need protection from. At long last, the fundies are saying things that are getting to you because you've allowed yourself to respect them and the things they say, and now it becomes a game of who can outwit whom.
Telling kids it's okay to be gay does not mean, "It's okay to go screw everything in sight." It means it's okay to explore every emotion, every feeling, everything you are. Gabi will tell you that I am clear when I tell teens to practice either abstinence or ultra safe sex. Straight or gay. I don't try to tell someone to be gay; I just tell them that only they can know, and only time will tell.
Is the gay life more dangerous? Well, ask your fundie friends: When was the last time they held a social event for gay kids where the gay kids could meet and date in a safe environment? When will they hold a dance where kids, gay and straight can dance together or play together is a perfectly safe environment?
If gay life is dangerous, it's only dangerous because this homophobic mindset has pushed us out of society forcing us to find "dates" in bushes and bars until we can finally find a gay "ghetto" where there are gay churches and gay social clubs.
If they're really concerned about gay kids, they would make this world a safer place for gay kids. Well, Mr. Steve might be trying to do this in his own way, and your other fundy friends might have "good" motivations, but none of the things that make this world dangerous for gay kids is TRULY being addressed.
Mr. Justice's problem with his kid is not that the kid's gay, it's that the kid comes from a broken home, is rebellious, and is using his "gayness" as a weapon to fight back. If he weren't gay, he'd use a different weapon.
Well, I've just about said everything I know to say. I hope I haven't made a fool of myself and forgive me if I sound strident. I just don't want to lose you as an advocate for what's right. I appreciate that you "doubted" your doubts about the existence of God. And I know you're doubting the stridency of many pro-gay activists.
But, once you've swung over and tested the ideas coming from the conservatives, be sure to doubt THOSE doubts, too. It's not either/or. It's not them or us. Each side has an agenda. Both sides react out of emotion and I don't trust any ideas born from too much emotion.
Some say "I'm proud to be gay." Some say "I'm proud to be a Christian."
Well, I don't say either. I'm not proud. I'm humbled that I am human, that
I am alive and that I have dear friends like Maggie and Gabi. Life is too
short to be anything but thankful that we are here and thankful that we
can make a difference.