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Boys On Film 2: In Too Deep

BOYS ON FILM 2
In Too Deep
Peccadillo Pictures
2007
5 060018 651637
peccapics.com

Boys on Film 2: In Too DeepThe title of this collection In Too Deep (sounds, well, it is, a bit ‘nudge-winkery’, but the reference is to one contribution (Kali Ma), set near a swimming pool, and implicitly to some sexual / emotional encounters in the nine movies on offer here. Two are from the USA, both set in New York City, two from Australia both set in Sydney, and one each from Sweden, Canada, France, Mexico (Bramadero, a word meaning number of – ambiguous – things. It is practically a dance piece, two beautiful men meet, it is hardly social-realism, maybe it is ‘magic realism’ in a building which was either abandoned in mid-build, or possibly it is on a major public holiday but the occupied buildings we see are not en fête; no bunting, no banners, no people, and is deserted. The men have sex, and… stirring… it is). The actors and director, as in the rest if these reviews, will be unnamed, as they are available on Peccadillo’s website.

Canada’s and one of Australia’s contributions are very short, The Island shows the Director-performer, (Trevor Anderson) trudging through northern Alberta, the snow is deep, but so packed he can walk on it – for a person from damp, ‘temperate’ Ireland, it’s just a bit seeing him walk on water. ‘The island’ is imaginary, a macho man phoning-into a US talk show suggested that all “homos” should be dumped on an island to “give each over AIDS”, and die out. Do such people think we breed? Where do Gay women fit in? And are there no bigots in Canada? If there are, no Canuck seems prepared to own up to it. While going walkabout in snowy Alberta Trevor daydreams about this “homo Utopia”, at which point the film bursts into full glorious [Techni(?)]color and animation. The full northerners’ nonsense notions about warm countries comes in full spate. Sun, check; sex, check; sangria, or vino anyway, check. There are no typhoons, hurricanes, or tsunamis. This too-short short is a real charmer.

Love Bite involves two teenage blokes (mid / late teens), in one of their bedrooms, smoking a spliff. One attempts to tell the other, very handsome, bloke, that he has a secret. For some reason said bloke thinks he is queer and is disgusted, a wee piece unlikely in a major Oz city these days, but let that particular hare sit — the boy is a werewolf. The end of the vid is very gory. The performers are Will Field and Aidan Calabria. The other item is Working It Out about the problem of a couple in a commercial gym, one is consumed with jealousy. His partner tries to calm him down. The chap isn’t having it, he is the sort of person who ‘dresses’ for the Gym, his ensemble is red, including a baseball cap he wears reversed. (Is this a ‘dig’? The fashion among US teens died the death about 1990.) Needless to say Mr. Jealous is the one who gets off with the guy who joined them on their exercise machines. The tale is a bit glib, the performers were not terribly engaging and gyms are not very photogenic. This is not an ex cathedra statement, probably everybody else who has watched this little comedy of modern manners thought it was hilarious. I was slightly bored, and would have gone on to the next item, if i were not in ‘reviewer’ mode. The actual next (and last) ‘item’ was Futures & Derivatives.

It was interesting because one could barely grasp the gist of the thing. It is, on the face of it, about a portly ‘businessman’ trying to impress a (very Big Business)-man on how up to speed is the accountancy (?) firm he works for. It isn’t, really. An outside expert is brought in to put a ‘presentation’ onto DVD, said ‘expert’ works through the night. There’s an arnacho-hippie under that suit’n’tie. He creates a serviceable DVD, though it also contains images of calm seas and cloud formations. He decorates the office walls with large paper flowers and other decs. Which turn-on the office drones when they arrive the next morning. Mr. Big, Mister Beauchamp (pronounced ‘bo champ’) seems to be able to take all the extraneous effects in his stride, and the contract (content unspecified) is given to the company.

Lucky Blue refers to a budgerigar, the pet of a travelling family, ‘carnival’ workers, in Sweden. An image of Lasse, the cute son of the family, is on the cover of this vid, behind his shoulder is the back of Kevin (Kevin? – in Sweden?) the tall, slender, blond boy he lusts after. The end of the yarn has Lasse singing a silly love song to Kevin. It is, officially, a contribution to a ‘talent show’ – the boys kind-of get away with it. And, implicitly, live happily ever after. Yes, it is sweet, but not tooth-, or mind-rottingly so.

The puzzlingly named Cowboy, from Germany, features an estate agent or surveyor, played by Oliver Scherz, sizing up a farm that has fallen on hard times; rusty machinery, a house dissolving into the overgrown vegetation. He encounters the only resident, a beautiful wild boy; tall, slender, blue-eyed, blond (any devout Nazi’s wet dream, Pit Bokowskipossibly more than metaphorically), played by Pit Bokowski, (info for impatient persons who may want to Google his ‘particulars’ asap). They meet at the ruined farmhouse and out-buildings and engage in interestingly explicit sex, the wild boy remains on the farm while the estate agent drives away to his city home, and girlfriend.

Weekend in the Countryside features the lovely Théo Frilet and Pierre Moure, and a ‘mature’ man who seems to be the owner of the farm, or small estate, the two young men are staying on. The narrative is slightly off-centre. Théo’s character is afraid of the dogs the man keeps. The latter is relaxed about the matter, (it is not stated – but the great Napoléon was, after all, – terrified of cats), but Pierre Moure’s character, apparently is not. Théo / Charles, goes to swim in the nearby river and encounters the three barking dogs. He takes to his heels, trips, and takes up a self-defensive, fœtal, posture, lying on the ground. The dogs’ master calls them off and apologises. Théo leaves the town by train, the other young man goes to the station, and sneers through the train window, “pedé”, Englished as “faggot”, but he had approached Charles in the shower. He placed his hand on Charles’s (rather lovely) bosom – and was, gently, rejected. So who was the queer? This is an interestingly ambiguous ending – it probably would not be as effective in the Anglosphere. It’s not that we are ‘superior’, or more ‘advanced’, we are actually more crude. Think of the situation bisexuals find themselves in, in the US and the UK, despite the – English, in particular, taking a high and mighty attitude to ‘America’. Incidentally, this isn’t ‘Anglophobia’, a Mortal Sin according to Ireland’s ‘revisionists’, – it is a observable fact of sexual culture.

Kali Ma is set in New York City, and features what is (or was) called in the US an ‘East Indian’ mother and son i. e. not a Native ‘Red Indian’ (a designation deeply resented by Native Americans). ‘Ma’ is played by Kamini Khanna, who is, well… oblong  She is seen, in the opening scenes dancing, singing – and cooking.  Almost simultaneously, it seems, we see her son in, presumably his High School, ogling a honkie athlete (?) showering. He then goes to the

Manish Dayal

NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 04: Actor Manish Dayal attends the “The Hundred-Foot Journey” New York premiere at Ziegfeld Theater on August 4, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)

locker room and changes his clothes, we see his (Manish Dayal)’s fine, quite athletic, body. There is a close-up of his neat bum, wrapped in his gunks (underpants for the uncultured). He gets beaten up by a honkie (Brendan Bradley) and is seen lying in the locker room with messages written all over his naked body. One is the ambiguous “Property of Kit” (it may not be ‘Kit’ as Manish’s lovely neck is not flat), “Fag” is prominent. ‘Kit’, if my well-out-of-prescriptionBrendan Bradley specs are not failing me, is not the boy in the shower.

This is where cuddly ‘Ma’ (I hope this isn’t a Hindi or Urdu word) becomes ‘Kali’ (goddess of destruction and even death). This has happened before, and her son had told her the bullying was a thing of the past. She is seen martially tramping to the house of the honkiie boy, (on a rather grand Estate / Scheme, the kitchens are 21st century ‘state of the art’ (yes; I live in a hovel)). When she raps on his door, he (Brendan Bradley) is sneerily amused. He makes crude remarks about the boy he enjoys bullying. She chases him around his own house, and and out into a swimming pool area. There they have a (very funny) fight, choreographed by Ron Keller of KFX Entertainment. Miraculously, she ties him to a metal chair with her pashmina, and tosses him into the pool.

Her son (his name is spoken in the course of the action, but I can’t interpret it, yes, not merely poverty stricken, but ancient too) appears at this point. He dives into the water, unties ‘Kit’ and revives him.

In the next scene, the boys (in the same now very dry-looking, clothes they were seen wearing in the course of the action are sat at a table. ‘Ma’ places the feast she has prepared before them. Then orders them to “EAT!” They look slightly rebellious at first, but when she barks the order at them, they grab – at the same piece of bread. Neither of them really objects to this improper piece of table manners.

What happens next is left to the viewers’ imagination[s] – fevered in my case…

This wee gem, sorry for the cliché, – but it is, – was “Written and Directed by Soman Chainani, and was “Made in partial fulfillment of the Degree Requirements of the MFA [Master of Fine Arts – we hope] Film Program at Colombia (New York City – we hope, arís – upstart]. Not being familiar with Indian sub-continent languages, and too idle to ‘Google’, we don’t know this person’s gender, (possibly a Gay man?)
If this spritely, professional-looking movie is only ‘partially’ part of a Colombia University degree, they are clearly worth having.
There is one slip in continuity, as noted above. Other ambiguities are meant to be there.

Seán McGouran

 

Links:

Watch an Intimate Scene Between Young Men in 'Charlie'

Gay Times Logo

Charlie Movie starring Shawn Ryan

Breaking Glass Pictures

Written and directed by Shawn Ryan (Bones, America’s Got Talent), who also plays the film’s title character, a young man named Charlie who goes mute after putting his abusive past behind him and then faints in front of the Sanderson family home on Christmas Eve.

“Charlie” was nominated for the Emerging Filmmaker Award in the American Pavilion at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, and Ryan won Best Actor at the Riverbend Film Festival. The film was also recognized as the Best Short at the Gulf Coast Film Festival, and Best International Short at the Shropshire Film Festival.

You can watch it now on WatchBGPfilms.com.

Stunning Portraits Of LGBT People Show Where Love Is Illegal All Over The World

Editorial:  I make not apologies for putting this up on our site, whilst we in Northern Ireland have hopefully moved on, there are still elements who would have us treated as second or even third class citizens, and ho attack our homes and even us as individuals.

Please remember,

HATE IS NOT ACCEPTABLE IN A WELCOMING, SUPPORTIVE, AND LOVING SOCIETY

 

Photographer Robin Hammond has created a stunning photo series exploring what it’s like to be LGBT in the places where loving someone of the same sex is illegal.

Portraits from the ‘Where Love Is Illegal’ project span seven different countries, and explore the intolerance, abuse and hatred that many LGBT people are subjected to.

Hammond told National Geographic: “My projects often come from an experience or a view of an injustice, something that makes me angry. It became vital to me to tell these stories—the ones that had not yet been told.”

 

WHERE LOVE IS ILLEGAL

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Further Reading:

Two Male Dancers Break Your Heart With Their Muscular Bodies

Posted: Updated:

 

Two male dancers express what it is to be in love and then…

For most of us, the aftermath of a breakup involves a pint of ice cream and a box of tissues. For those of us who possess talent in the realm of dance, however, heartbreak sometimes leads to higher artistic outpouring.

Allow CODECdance to show you what we mean. In the short film below, the New York-based multidisciplinary dance company shows what happens in those final moments when a relationship fades into oblivion — well, at least for those of us who engage in serious choreography with our romantic partners.

Cry it out, people. And get more ballet fixes here, here, here and here.

In 'Time' Video, Steve Grand Cozies Up To Model Daniel Williams, But It's Far From A Perfect Love

Posted: Updated:

 

Singer-songwriter Steve Grand finds — and loses — love in snowy Chicago in his latest video, “Time.”

The out star, 25, gets cozy with hunky model Daniel Williams in the clip for the piano-driven pop ballad, which is a cut from his debut album, “All-American Boy,” released March 23.

The video explores the entire course of a relationship — from the couple’s first meeting on an empty train station platform to a fiery breakup, with a playful snowball fight in between — in just over five minutes. Still, there’s a surprise twist at the end.

“My lyric style is definitely very story-driven,” Grand, who has cited Billy Joel, Lady Gaga and Bruce Springsteen as musical influences, told HuffPost Live earlier this year. “I try to tell stories from my life, whether it’s one single moment in time or something that’s been recurring in my life.”

The album, he said, “is an arc, and every song is a plot point on that arc.”

Love in black and white

Love in black and white: Farm’s pair of gay Humboldt penguins celebrate their first anniversary together

  • Peso and Squaddle coupled up after shunning females looking to mate
  • A year on, two-year-old Humboltd penguins only have eyes for each other
  • Staff gave couple a false egg during breeding season but they threw it out

These gay penguins have been together for a year, but are still as loved-up as ever.

Peso and Squaddle, two-year-old Humboldt penguins living at Folly Farm Adventure Park and Zoo in Pembrokeshire, coupled up a year ago after shunning females looking to mate.

While their fellow penguins prepare for breeding season, the pair only have eyes for each other as they get ready to celebrate their first anniversary this month.

Happy anniversary! Peso (right) and Squaddle (left) got together after shunning females looking to mate

Happy anniversary! Peso (right) and Squaddle (left) got together after shunning females looking to mate

Two's company! Zoo staff had given the couple a false egg during breeding season, but they threw it away

Two’s company! Zoo staff had given the couple a false egg during breeding season, but they threw it away

Staff at Folly Farm say the young lovers have no interest in procreating.

They had been given a false egg, so that they wouldn’t feel left out during breeding season – but they threw it out of their love nest.

Penguin keeper Catrin Thomas said: ‘We’re approaching breeding season and at around two years old, penguins become sexually mature, so we thought this year they may show some interest but they haven’t as yet.

‘All the other penguins are busy making nests at the top of the penguin beach, scrambling around hurriedly and gathering twigs, but Peso and Squaddle stay by the pool preening each other.’

Penguin posers: The Humboldts, who live at Folly Farm, Pembrokeshire, are celebrating their first anniversary 

Penguin posers: The Humboldts, who live at Folly Farm, Pembrokeshire, are celebrating their first anniversary

They only have eyes for each other! The pair have no interest in procreating and threw the egg of their nest

They only have eyes for each other! The pair have no interest in procreating and threw the egg of their nest

She added: ‘Peso and Squaddle don’t seem to be interested in anything else but each other, and certainly not procreating.

‘They’re just enjoying each other’s company.’

Tim Morphew, Folly Farm’s zoo manager, said: ‘We wanted to mark the occasion and the year anniversary of Peso and Squaddle getting together.

‘Everybody who comes to Folly Farm says theirs is a really sweet love story and we wanted to celebrate the fact they were still going strong a year on.’

Humboltd penguins, who are monogamous and mate for life, can take a partner aged between two and eight-years-old.

CAN PENGUINS BE GAY? FROM THE FAMOUS SAME-SEX COUPLE TO THE BEST PARENTS EVER 

Penguins have been observed engaging in homosexual behaviour from as early as 1911.

George Murray Levick documented the sexual behaviour of Adélie penguins in Antarctica, but his notes were considered too indecent to publish at the time. They were rediscovered and published in the journal Polar Record a century later in 2012.

More recently, a pair of chinstrap penguins called Roy and Silo became a famous ‘gay penguin’ couple after the New York Times published an article about them in 2004.

The penguins, who live in New York’s Central Park Zoo, were noticed performing mating rituals in 1998, by staff – although they were never seen to perform sex acts.

They were then given an egg to hatch and raise as their own – a practice copied by zoos across the world. Their chick, named Tango, grew up to form a same sex relationship with another female penguin.

Their story was the basis for a controversial children’s book in 2005 called ‘And Tango Makes Three’. But the couple later split, and Silo paired with a female penguin.

Last year, a pair of Humboldt penguins, called Jumbs and Kermit, from Wingham Wildlife Park in Kent, adopted the chick of a female called Isobel who had to abandon her egg to find food.

Staff at Wingham Wildlife Park said they were the two ‘best penguin parents’ the zoo has ever had.

But a French study in 2010 said penguins only have gay ‘flings’ because they are lonely, but ultimately end up in a heterosexual couple.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2991709/Love-black-white-Farm-s-pair-gay-Humboldt-penguins-celebrate-anniversary-together.html#ixzz3UGKQ2kvW
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Book and Movie – LOVE AND DEATH ON LONG ISLAND

 

LOVE AND DEATH ON LONG ISLAND
by Gilbert Adair
138 pages
Published by Minerva

This novel might be described as a gay Lolita, or more properly a modern Death in Venice. The tile seems to hint at this connection, and while the main character does finally meet and speak to the object of his desire, the same fruitless ending follows.

Giles is a middle-aged writer who lives in near seclusion. On impulse he goes to the cinema complex to see a film of a Forster novel. He goes to the wrong cinema and sees instead Hotpants College II, and falles hopelessly in love with Ronnie Bostock, one of the stars.

Giles embarks on a search for details of his beloved. He discovers Teen Dream Boat and other fan magazines. He even enters the world of video rental. Then he finds himself pushed to buy Toy Boy and superimpose the head of Ronnie on the nakes bodies from the flesh mag. When he reads that Ronnie is to wed, he goes in desperation to the States to meet him. This he finally manages, and flatters Ronnie with an intellectual analysis of the crap films he stars in. When he does finally declare himself to Ronnie, he is rebuffed.

The novel is told in beautiful spare prose, and (contrary to what this brief outline might indicate) it is funny and amusing. Adair, who is an accomplished film commentator and author of Hollywood’s Vietnam, manages to filter the world of cinema through innocent eyes, and this shed new light on it.

the obsessive nature of love is superbly captured, and this (Gile’s declaration to Ronnie) captures the style:

I found myself clinging to his wrist, to his hand, holding him back to then, in a fierce whisper, forcing frommyself the inevitable,: irreplaceable words, hackneyed and sacre d’I love you!’
When Ronnie has left, he wonders:
Dear God, I said to myelf, what have I done?

This short book says more in its space than many an overweight ‘page-turner’. It will appeal for its fine handling of a gay theme with poise and humour, while not flinching from the pathos that lies at the heart of so much love.

AH

Fearless love in a gentle soul

The Rev. Canon Albert Ogle – SDGLN Contributor
August 9th, 2013
The Rev. Mervyn Kingston
ENLARGE
The Rev. Mervyn Kingston    The Rev. Mervyn Kingston
Mervyn Kingston was born with many challenges. He grew up in Ireland where it was illegal to be LGBT for half of his life. He grew up in an evangelical Anglican church in Belfast at the height of the sectarian violence and although the evangelical world condemned him for being gay, he ended up his own reconciliation project with Richard O’Leary, who was a Roman Catholic from the Republic of Ireland.
They were a transformative couple over their 24 years together and entered into civil partnership in 2005. He was to all outward appearances a “nerd” and his life as a Church of Ireland clergyman for 34 years was not exactly about setting the world on fire, but behind these appearances was a remarkable man the world is missing already.
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RGOD2: Fearless love in a gentle soul
RGOD2: Fearless love in a gentle soul

Fifty years in the making

I knew Meryvn since I was 11 years old and we had a lot in common, though we didn’t know that until relatively recently. We attended the same grammar school, “Grosvenor High” in Belfast, and I remember him as a Prefect in the Sixth Form … about five years ahead of me. He was most memorable for a very pronounced stammer and it was butt-clenchingly painful to listen to Mervyn read from Scriptures at morning chapel when it came his turn. Sniggers and pure discomfort were all around and there was a kind of “please Lord – help him just get through this” kind of prayer some of us offered to the Almighty.
My connection with him grew initially from these painful encounters because I too had a stammer and I knew how incredibly difficult it was for Mervyn to stand up in front of an audience of about 1,000 people knowing he was going to stutter on every fifth word! So I was a secret admirer of his courage and shared his wound.
A form of self-sabotage
There are many theories about stammering and some would claim it is a kind of self-sabotage. It is a way of limiting our ability to communicate and between anger and self-knowledge, it was a kind of social disguise of not being too articulate for one’s own good.
People around you could hurt you if you really spoke your mind in this Irish working class and violently homophobic culture of the 1970s. So, like the nerdy, churchy costume that Mervyn wore, I too was influenced by these kinds of survival skills. “The King’s Speech” has wonderfully portrayed the issue of stammering that has been an unexplored taboo for most of my life and there is often a misinformed parallel drawn between stammering and having a learning disability. It is socially and professionally debilitating when a stammer chats and robs you of public speaking skills or simple conversational aptitude. People who stammer don’t when they sing and so Mervyn was a big part of the school’s music program.
Our paths would cross many times and most significantly during the ordination process. I was ordained before he was, even though he was older and I reckon my speech impediment issues were not as much as a concern for the authorities as his were. I worked very hard at overcoming my stammer and what began as my “thorn in the flesh” forced me to develop my communication skills. I love public speaking and preaching and with God’s help, the journey to this place has not been easy, but here we are. We are witnesses of the miraculous in many simple ways and sometimes it is purely about practice and honing skills that others take for granted.
Impediments to ordination to the priesthood
What Mervyn and I did not know about each other was that we were both struggling with issues of sexual identity and its relationship to us becoming priests at a time when being gay was illegal.
In many ways, my stammer was much more a serious practical impediment to my ordination that my sexual orientation given the amount of public speaking and social intercourse required by the work. Yet, I knew God loved me and if God could call a couple of Irish stammers into the priesthood, then he could probably handle my sexual orientation and the men who came into my life over the past 50 years. They too shaped this imperfect priest and God was present in these deep relationships. God always calls the most unlikely people into ministry and leadership and the pattern usually follows that we feel totally inadequate for the task, yet with God’s help and the beloved community around us, we find a way to move shuffle forward.
Moses had a similar speech problem which rabbis claim was most likely a stammer and he is reluctant to take on God’s task of liberating the Egyptian Jewish slaves because he feels he just cannot speak properly. So God provides Aaron to do his public speaking and the reluctant stammerer Moses –reluctantly leads.
Mervyn was a relatively rare and early ecumenist in the sectarian violent Northern Ireland society of the 1970s and 1980s. At his ordination in east Belfast in 1973 he invited a Roman Catholic priest to prominently attend, ecumenical actions he repeated in the 1980s when he was serving in the parish of Glencairn in exclusively Protestant loyalist west Belfast. In sharp contrast his next appointment was as rector to the group of parishes which included overwhelming Catholic and republican south Armagh. Mervyn quickly established fruitful relationships with his Catholic neighbors. Mervyn saw his ministry and social outreach as one for all the people – Protestant and Catholic, loyalist and republican.
A pioneer of LGBT pastoral care and rights in a difficult global context
When I was fired from my work in a parish in the Republic of Ireland in 1980, Mervyn and many clergy friends were sympathetic but the church was a bastion of homophobia and no dissention or discussion on these issues was allowed.
I can understand the religious climate in Russia or Africa where Archbishops still rule with impunity. In Russia today, any LGBT sympathetic clergy are simply excommunicated. It is not that long ago when we clearly had the same experience in Ireland both within Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism. I had to leave Ireland and Mervyn and others like him stayed to do the difficult work of transformation. He met Richard O’Leary, a delightfully sweet and self-effacing academic who later taught at Queens University in Belfast, and they began to work really intentionally at bringing Ireland into the 21st century around LGBT rights and faith. His obituary reads:

“The Revd Kingston was a pioneer of the gay Christian movement in Ireland since the early 1980s as well as a member of the Northern Ireland Gay Rights Association (NIGRA). He was a serving clergyman in the Church of Ireland for over 30 years until he retired in 2003 on health grounds as rector of the Creggan and Ballymascanlon group of parishes which straddled the Irish border. In that same year he co-founded Changing Attitude Ireland (CAI) as a group of Christians, gay and straight, lay and ordained persons, which has campaigned for the full inclusion of LGBT persons in the churches.”

Early retirement

In 2002 Mervyn was diagnosed with cancer and retired early at 60 in 2007. He claimed his church pension and sought to establish Richard’s entitlement to a survivor’s pension as his civil partner. He then had to fight the Church of Ireland to ensure his FULL pension rights could be transferred to his legal partner and when I spent two years back in Ireland in 2007, Richard and Mervyn were in the throes of this important battle. Eventually, Richard was given the same right of access to pension that other married clergy are entitled to and the pension policy was changed for other civil partnered couples.
Although Archbishop Alan Harper was pastorally supportive of him, Mervyn’s own bishop refused to license him to preach or celebrate the eucharist in his local parish church. (Ironically, a memorial service was held there this week). The Bishop of Down and Dromore, Harold Miller, is a contemporary of mine and like Mervyn comes from evangelical roots, but this “good cop- bad cop” strategy by our church leaders is a far cry from the ministry of Jesus. I don’t know what version of the Bible these guys read.
I remember often visiting them and walking on the beach near their seaside home and listening to the exhausting effects of a church that simply could not deal with the realities of having to engage fully with a gay person (or clergyperson), even when they had dedicated most of their life to its mission, as Mervyn had done. The courage and the tenacity, the sense of justice was palpable. These were holy men who were engaged in their own process of grief and loss with Mervyn’s terminal illness, while they were vicariously fighting for the rights and dignity of others. It was another remarkable witness behind all the apparent conservative exterior, there was a lion, a tower of strength, a prophet crying in the wilderness. Fearless love in a gentle soul.
Comrades in the global battle for LGBT equality
We continued to communicate when I returned home to the U.S. and worked together on a video and some publications. Mervyn was the editor of “Share Your Story: Gay and Lesbian Experiences of Church” (2010, CAI) and the author of “Church Needs To Listen To Its Gay Clergy” (in “Moving Forward Together: Homosexuality and the Church of Ireland” 2011, CAI). They supported the work of our St. Paul’s Foundation and hosted Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyonjo once in Ireland.
I always considered Mervyn and Richard were bravely dealing with as difficult a religious context as any African country because they remained totally excluded from the life of the mainstream church and were treated as a kind of pariah by many of their contemporaries (especially almost all of the bishops). If these bishops had only approached this situation differently, their legacy and their common humanity might have been more compassionate. These bishops remain on the wrong side of justice and have failed to offer any significant contribution to the public debate, which has now passed them by.
The Church of England mirrors much of this similar response. History will judge these acts of cowardice disguised as a concern for church orthodoxy. Not to permit a dying priest permission to celebrate the eucharist or share the Word of God through preaching just because he is in a legal partnership with another man is simply another form of clergy abuse by Bishop Harold Miller.
Mervyn died on Aug. 2 and was buried in Downpatrick on Tuesday. My love goes out to Richard, who remained at his side even during these tough years when the institutional church failed them.

A tribute to our heroes

In remembrance of Rev Mervyn Kingston

So it has been a difficult week for me with the burialof two LGBT heroes, Eric Lembembe in Cameroon and the Rev. Mervyn Kingston in Ireland. In tribute to both of them and representing the LGBT diaspora, I share one of my favorite poems written by an early LGBT theorist from the late 19th century and Anglican clergyman, Edward Carpenter. These men lived and loved deeply and have shaped who we are and what we are becoming. They rest in the earth’s womb which brought them forth and inspired them to do the kingdom work that we are all invited to participate in doing. Unlikely leaders, yes. But what wounded and challenged them became their strength and shaped their legacies. They shaped us.

”The Lake of Beauty”

Let your mind be quiet, realizing the beauty of the world, and the immense the boundless treasures that it holds in store.
All that you have within you, all that your heart desires, all that your Nature so specially fits for you- that or the counterpart of it waits for you embedded in the great Whole, for you. It will surely come to you.
Yet equally surely not one moment before its appointed time will it come. All your crying and fever and reaching out of hands will make no difference.
Therefore do not begin that game at all.
Do not recklessly spill the waters of your mind in this direction and in that, lest you become like a spring lost and dissipated in the desert.
But draw them together into a little compass, and hold them still, so still.
And let them become clear, so clear- so limpid, so mirror-like;
At last the mountains and the sky shall glass themselves in peaceful beauty.
And the antelope shall descend to drink, and to gaze at his reflected image, and the lion to quench his thirst,
And Love himself shall come and bend over, and catch his own likeness in you.

RGOD2, written by the Rev. Canon Albert Ogle of St. Paul’s Cathedral in San Diego, looks at faith and religion from an LGBT point of view. Ogle is known around the world for his work in support of LGBT rights and HIV-prevention efforts. He is president of St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation. Donations to the foundation can be made by clicking HERE.

 

Further information links:

 

  1. LGBT History Project
  2. Irish Times – Church of Ireland priest who championed gay rights and ecumenism
  3. Letter to Irish Times from Rupert Moreton (Revd)

A Mom Almost Talks to Her Gay Son

By: Gay.com
5.10.2012

The Non-Normative Conversation:
A Mom Almost Talks to Her Queer Son

Words by The Mothership

I was looking for a parking space in West Hollywood the week before Gay Pride.

“Mom, what’s Gay Pride?” said my eight-year-old daughter, Shannon. I guess she’d read the signs while I was trying to park.

“It’s a big party for gay people,” I said.

“What’s gay people?” asked her brother, Danny, who was five.

Whoa, I thought. This is a Formative Moment.  This is One of Those Discussions They Remember Forever and I am without a thought in my head. How strange.  I have plenty of long-time gay friends, I’ve lived in West Hollywood—I’ve even done summer stock!  I should know what to say.

“Well,” I tried. “Boys who are gay like boys better than girls, and girls who are gay like girls better than boys.”

There was a long silence from the back seat.

“Mom, are we gay?”

Truth is always good, right?

“Well,” I said. “I’m not. But you might be.”

You can cringe if you want. I completely understand. To this day, I’m not sure if I gave the World’s Best Answer or the World’s Worst Answer, or if I just said something stupid. But then that describes all of parenting—you’re never really sure if what you say or do is good, bad, harmful, lame, ridiculous, or might actually make an impact and turn these moldable little creatures into magnificent human beings.

The parental paradigm, in other words, is always shifting.

So when I got the email from Danny, now in college, that started, “Well here’s an email for you, potentially surprising (probably surprising), maybe totally predictable, but read all of it, and understand that things will be different once you read it!” was I surprised? Yes. No. Maybe a little.

Dan apologized for coming out via email. His father had been visiting him at school and he told him the night before. Now Dan wanted me to know. He wrote, “Something about the ‘coming out’ proclamation

seemed totally unsuitable for me, so I never wanted a grand statement. But I think the reality is, this kind of relationship is effectively non-normative, and there is no social apparatus for talking about it (at the beginning) normatively.”

Uh…

Normative (Adjective)
1: of, relating to, or determining norms or standards <normative tests>
2: conforming to or based on norms <normative behavior> <normative judgments>
3: prescribing norms <normative rules of ethics> <normative grammar>

The boy always did love his vocabulary. But I saw he was right. I wanted to find a common language with my son. I wanted to talk about it, normative or not, but somehow like that day in the car, the words just didn’t come as easily as I thought they should.

So Danny and I took refuge in the language of academia. And Google chat. And text messages. Sometimes I think that Danny is impatient with what must feel like my slow grappling with this information. When I asked him if he told his sister, he wrote, “Yeah, yeah. I will. The whole point is to not make it a big production.”

“It’s kind of a big production,” I wrote back.

“I mean,” he responded, “it’s just like there’s not a societal apparatus for having non-normative sexualities. Your difference has to be announced, which is problematic, and useful, to be sure, in a political way.”

And then the killer: “There’s something symbolically violent about the identity game. IS THIS PERSON SO-AND-SO, I TOTALLY KNEW IT.” And then, even more damningly, “Which, for the most part, is done by traditionally straight people, done from a position of stable gender identity.”

That’s me. Stable gender identity. I suppose I have something that Danny, at this point, does not. And even pre-“announcement,” I totally knew he was gay. And I felt so very traditional, almost embarrassed, when I read those words.

A few months ago, I asked Danny if he wanted to come home for spring break, maybe even bring his boyfriend, Scott. (“I prefer partner,” Danny responded, which was refreshingly earnest non-gender-based early-twenties enthusiasm for the current relationship, which will undoubtedly go on forever.) During his previous two years of college, Danny had always politely refused. But this year, he emailed, “You know, I think I would.”

I told Danny I would like to give a party.

“That might freak Scott out,” Danny wrote.

“He’ll deal, “ I wrote back.

“Who would you invite?” Danny asked suspiciously.

“People,” I responded.

“I might not book something yet,” Danny said. “Scott might be totally embarrassed.”

Some general talk about plane fares followed, then “Scott is voicing his anxiety about being thrown a party” and then a plea for money to buy “suit things” for an upcoming interview.

Another message appeared on the screen: “Scott is attacking me for mincing his words. He, in fact, WANTS a dinner party, thus…throw a party!”

I hesitated before sending the invitations. By calling Scott “Danny’s boyfriend” am I making an “announcement”? Turning the event into a “production”? Where are the rules? Where’s the handbook?

I finally settled on “special guest, Scott,” figuring it was about as neutral as I could get.

Immediately, Danny emailed back, “Why is Scott a special guest?”

“Why not?” I answered.

“It’s a little weirdly ambiguous is all, I mean,” he wrote. “I guess our relationship will be news that night!”

The party was a huge success. People either figured it out, or didn’t, or were just glad to see the young man who was once the chubby-cheeked little boy that they knew and loved. But when one friend offered to take Danny and Scott out clubbing in West Hollywood, Danny told me, “I don’t know about that!” Danny was only willing to take his new self so far. The living room was fine—more or less—but Santa Monica Boulevard? Not so much.

And here’s the odd thing, or maybe it’s not: Danny and I have never once spoken in person about his new—ah, what? Identity? Orientation? Newest personality that Danny’s trying on for size? In all honestly, I’m a little worried to talk about it. Gay or straight, it’s not easy to negotiate the ground rules with a newly formed adult. As much as I’m not sure what my role is, I’m not sure he knows what his role is, either.

A few days ago, while I was at work, Danny sent me a message with a link to his newest college project website. I clicked on the link and QUEER CULTURE: ART, STABILITY AND CHANGE in very large letters popped up on the screen.

“Look, everyone!” I said with pride. “It’s my kid’s newest work!”

I told him it looked fantastic.

And he told me that meant a lot.

We stumble on.

Images: Photos.com, for illustrative purposes only.

 

When I read this article it reminded me of this book published in 1975 by Laura Z Hobson “Consentint Adult” – a series of letters from other and son on him coming out, and how impacts on the family.  There are 37 years of history between the book and the article, but in some ways I must ask has society really moved on?