Episode CCCXXXVII: No sense of humor at all »« Another fundraiser!

I’ve finally figured out how to get more diverse participation in the atheist movement!

It would be good to have more people of color in the movement, so I’m going to put on blackface and write about the woes facing my dark-skinned brothers and sisters.

I shall put on a dress and makeup so I can tell everyone that I understand exactly how women feel.

And for my gay brethren, I’m going to come out to my wife and let her know that I’ve been faking my lust for 30 years.

Oh, wait, that last one is already covered, by a Christian who has written a book about pretending to be gay.

It’s nice that he means well, but it’s a rather tasteless approach. In his promotional video to raise money for the book, he tells us that the motivation for doing this was a friend, a young woman, who came out as gay and was disowned by her family…and that he treated with contempt for her preferences as well. I’d rather hear her story than about the self-afflicted martyrdom of a Christian who put on the label “gay” and then set it aside when it came time to profit. And who also uses the treatment of the gay community to promote Christianity.

No, I’m not going to do any of those things. They don’t promote diversity at all, but caricature it.

Comments

  1. says

    It is not entirely unprecedented to do something like this, I immediately thought of John Howard Griffin and his book Black Like Me which was interesting and we’ll received. But something tells me this book is not very comparable.

  2. equisetum says

    Of course, he’ll share the profits with the young woman who inspired this experiment, won’t he?

  3. alwayscurious says

    This sounds a little similar to what John Griffin did for his book, “Black Like Me”. Without knowing more about the Timothy Kurek, I find it difficult to lambast him out of hand for attempting this stunt–as clumsy and unnecessary as it might seem.

  4. ildi says

    My book is the result of that year and it tells the story of the men and women that challenged, and ultimately changed my life’s path. It is a book about faith, and a book about doubt. But mostly it is a book about people, and how the men and women I’d always been taught to shun ended up saving my life.

    I wonder how his gay friends reacted when he told them the truth at the end of the year? And what that truth ended up being; i.e., where exactly on the continuum he ended up finding himself?

  5. anubisprime says

    Christians not only suffer from a complete absence of an integrity gene…but a lamentable misunderstanding of taste and appropriateness.

    They are socially awkward and have not a clue that they are!

    Not unbelievable…just very sad!…and extremely insulting.

  6. Sastra says

    Yeah, similar to Black like Me though my first thought was that it sounds like the book/movie Gentleman’s Agreement, where the main character pretends to be Jewish to see if the ‘liberal’ group he belonged to really had no problem with anti-semitism.

    I don’t see the problem with this book; from what I can tell from a quick read-through the author wanted to do this himself (as opposed to just interviewing people who came out gay in the Christian community) because he would be undergoing the discrimination while simultaneously being in the privileged group. That would give a different perspective — not a more “valid” one.

    PZ’s analogy doesn’t hold. It would be more similar to a male atheist — one who thinks the women are exaggerating the harassment — to enter a suspected forum with the moniker “Suzy-Q” or “Jennifer.” If he changes his mind because of his experience and reports on it, it would add a new dimension to the debate.

    Christians think that what they do is not all that hurtful or insulting — they love the sinner while hating the sin. They don’t consider gay people to be reliable witnesses because they are gay. So … put in a “reliable” witness. If he says the same thing, then it might be a head’s up to some of the folks who follow the party line and haven’t really thought the thing through.

    Not sure it will work, but I don’t think it’s tasteless.

  7. d cwilson says

    Somewhere, Ted Haggard is slapping himself on the forehead and saying, “Damn! I should have just told people I was only pretending to be gay for a book!”

  8. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    I posted these comments over at the other Blog. I do have a problem with this book and with what this man has done. It’s insulting, patronising and a sickening display of straight male privilege.

    It is not bloody brave to pretend to be gay! This is just plain insulting. He also did certainly not gain a true understanding of what gays face in their lives. He was pretending and had an escape should he need it. There is no escape from the life of a gay man.

    If he had instead decided to take the stories of gays at face value and have some empathy, he would have learned just as much. Instead, from his privileged position as a straight man, he considered the only way to validate the experiences of gays was to pretend to be one so that he could sort-of know what it’s like for himself? That’s insulting and patronising.

    It’s also insulting to think that people consider a bigot who has chosen to examine his beliefs and try to change as brave for pretending to be gay. He has been the kind of person that makes being gay dangerous at all; the kind of person who perpetrated and perpetuated a culture of hatred against a significantly diverse group of people based only on who they had sex with. He’s not brave. Gays are brave for living in his world open and proud. What he is is a misguided straight man who couldn’t just believe what gays would have willingly told him about the realities of living in the world he, for so long, perpetuated.

    He doesn’t get cookies for pretending to be like me and he certainly doesn’t get to be called brave. I’ll give him a cookie for no longer being bigoted, but I, and gays, shouldn’t have to applaud people for being decent, empathetic human beings.

    And:

    No homophobe would do this. He wanted to examine his beliefs. That’s a step in the right direction, right there. His decisions to pretend to be gay? A good ploy for selling a book and an insult to the actual experiences of gays.

    How patronising do you think it is, as a gay man, who does all those things that gay men does and gets treated in all those ways that gay men do, to have a straight bigot who wants to change his ways superficially pretend to be gay so that he can feel just like me? It’s highly insulting.

    He does not know at all what it’s like to be gay, for all the superficial pretending he did. He had not only the security of knowing that he could just end his charade, but that he wasn’t actually gay. He might have examined his beliefs as well as talking to lots of gays about their treatment instead of putting on a show.

    To think about it from the perspective of a gay man, consider: It is as though this person needed to live my life instead of just listen to me talk about it in order to confirm that any stories I’ve told him about my treatment in life are real. I don’t need his validation to know how gay people are treated or how they can be treated. No person needs to be a particular kind of victim in order to listen to them and believe them about their lives.

    I bet he did learn a lot this way, but he went about educating himself in the most insulting, patronising way he possibly could and now he’s written a story about it that promotes Christianity as well as describes, in a very privileged way, just how bad it is for the sad, sorry gays.

    You can totes believe him about how bad it is for gays because he’s actually a straight man!

  9. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    Umm, Katherine …

    Gay does not equal transgender, goddamit.

    Trans people are not doing drag. Not all gays do drag, of course, so that’s a major fail. I don’t go about dressing up as a woman and putting on cabaret for fun, but some gay guys do.

    So, yeah, gay does not equal transgender, but drag is definitely a thing gay men do.

    I guess he thought it was clever, but it only pushes a stereotype that I guess he wasn’t disabused of when he was pretending to be a gay man.

  10. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    And, of course, everybody over at Friendly Atheist thinks this project is teh awsum.

    Some people don’t think very fucking hard about much, it seems. Oh, I has tears, Ms. Daisy Cutter, Gynofascist in a Spiffy Hugo Boss Uniform.

  11. naturalcynic says

    He’s not off to a good start with that title – LGBTQ 101 fail. That immediately puts some skepticism about his ability to navigate a “gay milieu” successfully, but there must be a number of newly out gays with nearly the same naivete. What he seems to have is the basis for developing empathy for LBGTQ’s in our society, so good luck to him. Dismissing him as hopeless from the start may not be the right way to go [even if my moniker is …]

  12. carlie says

    This is very much like the fitness “expert” who made himself fat and then lost the weight again. here So now he knows all about being fat! He couldn’t ever listen to the fat people he works with, he had to force his body into a state unnatural for it and then lose it all again and come back to his own body’s natural weight right away and now he knows, man.

  13. naturalcynic says

    You can totes believe him about how bad it is for gays because he’s actually a straight man!

    Depends on who the “you” is and what Thomathy wants the “you” to do. If the “you” is Thomathy, then the author is irrelevant, inconsequential and probably patronizing. If the “you” is some fundie with inklings of doubt, then the book might have some importance.

  14. says

    Title and promotion of Christianity aside, I can’t say it’s an entirely bad thing. If this book makes Christians less likely to treat gays poorly, it’s a step in the right direction.

    I can see why some people might find his approach insulting, but I think there is some merit to it. Someone on the fence might be pushed in the right direction. I also have to wonder exactly how awkward things are going to be for the people among his friends and family who treated him poorly when he ‘came out’ after they found out he faked it – I think hearing about that might be the most interesting part of the book.

  15. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    If the “you” is some fundie with inklings of doubt, then the book might have some importance.

    I don’t doubt that he’ll reach some fundies with his message. It’s the exact point of the book. He believes he’s in a better position to get empathy from those people because he’s really a straight man. A straight white man, for that matter.

    He couldn’t just relate the stories of gays or just listen to gays. He couldn’t just believe gays, he had to experience it for himself. It’s not just insulting, actually, it’s stupid. Everyone sees the news and knows about gay kids getting bullied, committing suicide. They know the stories about the alienated gay family members or the closeted gay dad. They know about the myriad other stories of gays being disenfranchised by a culture they perpetrate and perpetuate. And some of them probably feel bad about it in some way too.

    The only world wherein his book would make sense would be one where people didn’t actually know what gay people face, the kind of bigotry that these very people are levelling at them. They’re all to well aware of that, of course. The idea that some former bigot (who hasn’t really given up being a bigot in some senses) must confirm it from the inside in order to rouse any empathy in himself or others at all is at best disturbing.

    He’s not trying to convince anyone that being gay is perfectly natural; he’s trying to stir up some empathy for the poor gays. I’ll tell you right now that without the former, the later is useless and gays don’t need to be pitied, they need the behaviour of bigots to changed so that they can have full equality.

  16. says

    It is an interesting experiment. But we know what it’s like to be a gay christian. We have real gays to tell us… and they would have the full gay life not a bit of window dressing for his friends. It all does rather smack of him “not believing” his friend and wanting to see the “real truth” ™. I’m also betting he gets Jesus’ help a lot and a big dollop of prosthelytizing.

    I also remember the story of Jesus sacrificing himself for no particularly good reason, then running off to heaven to be all happy again. His belief that he’s “Jesus in drag” (painfully insulting title to this gay) may not be too far from the truth.

    A martyr in need of a cause methinks.

  17. kayden says

    “so I’m going to put on blackface and write about the woes facing my dark-skinned brothers and sisters.”

    Isn’t that exactly what John Howard Griffin did in “Black Like Me” — very powerful documentary about a White man who darkened his skill to find out what it was like to be Black.

    I would wait to read the gentleman’s book to see what he says about his experiences as a gay man before judging. Perhaps he learned some valuable lessons about homophobia, acceptance and tolerance.

  18. Matt Penfold says

    I would wait to read the gentleman’s book to see what he says about his experiences as a gay man before judging. Perhaps he learned some valuable lessons about homophobia, acceptance and tolerance.

    Hopefully he did. But probably not lessons as valuable as those who have genuinely faced such discrimination could teach us.

    The really issue is what was the point. We know the discrimination gays face within Christianity. Can he really bring anything new to the discussion, or is it just (as I suspect it is) a big ego trip for the author ?

  19. antigodless says

    It’s great this man has tried to step into the shoes of a gay person. But, all he had to do to experience isolation is to state ‘I follow Jesus’ or ‘I’m born again’ and be a citizen of, let’s say, North Korea, and lose everything. Other countries that would cause you to lose your position, your community, your freedom, or your life includes Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Maldives, Eritrea, Somalia, Laos, Uzbekistan, China and Bhutan. These countries throw you in jail or kill you if you ‘come out’ as a Christian and you are a citizen of that country.
    Then, there are other countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Pakistan where, if you meet together as citizens of that country and as Christians, you might have a grenade thrown into your gathering, have armed men fire bullets into your group, or mobs of youth with machetes coming into your community and amputating your limbs or raping your women ….
    The USA has so much freedom that we take for granted. As you think about the way racial prejudice, gay struggles for equality, and women’s wage inequality, spare a thought for indigenous Christians not so far from your nation ….
    (Yes, I expect full empathy from Atheists …. NOT)

  20. No Light says

    Kayden – read what Thomathy and Ricardo wrote

    .
    There are literally millions of actual, real live gay people he could have asked. But oh nooo, those silly fucking queers are too prone to drama,, too unreliable.

    All those books, documentaries, and websites and blogs? Not credible enough for him.

    Can’t ask actual gays about how fucking hideous the godbag brigade is to them. I mean bloody hell, he even admits to making his friend’s life a misery.

    He isn’t brave, or inspiring, or original. First, he could stop whenever he wanted. But the big problem I have, is the psychological aspect.

    When people are telling him how evil and twisted teh gays are, that’s nothing to him. When he’s shunned or abused, again, nothing. He doesn’t lie in bed thinking “They’re right, I am an abomination( or “What if they’re right, and gay people really do end up molesting children? I have to kill myself, I can’t do to some poor kid the same thing someone did to me ”

    That’s the problem with homophobic abuse. you internalise it. You hear that being gay is purely about casual sex, drugs, disease. You want to settle down, have babies, spend your life with a woman, or man, who loves you. You don’t like clubs, dance music, partying… you’re never going to fit in, you’re going to be alone forever.

    That’s why this is so gross. It takes into account a tiny part of gay life, the visible part, and ignores the mental torture of those abused by the likes of him.

  21. says

    But, all he had to do to experience isolation is to state ‘I follow Jesus’ or ‘I’m born again’ and be a citizen of, let’s say, North Korea, and lose everything. Other countries that would cause you to lose your position, your community, your freedom, or your life includes Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Maldives, Eritrea, Somalia, Laos, Uzbekistan, China and Bhutan. These countries throw you in jail or kill you if you ‘come out’ as a Christian and you are a citizen of that country.

    And many, most, or maybe even all of us are on record here and elsewhere as being against that kind of shit. It’s basically what happens when government gets the power to push religion, when you don’t have separation of church and state.
    Are you not aware that Christians can be just as intolerant? Have you missed all the videos and links pointing to Christians calling for gays to be killed, for atheists to leave the U.S.?
    Is that a log in your eye, or are you just glad to see us?

  22. Happiestsadist says

    No Light: Exactly that. Internalized homophobia is exceptionally insidious and toxic. As is being a queer kid. As is knowing your entire life will be a series of coming-outs and calculations to recloset and the guilt the latter creates and the fear the former creates. And that asshole, with his fucking minstrel show self-promotion, thinks he understands. Because there’s certainly nothing by queer people ourselves on the matter. And it’s worse, because straight fundie douchebags will read this, nod knowingly, and think they get it now!

    Also, what Ing said @ #10.

  23. antigodless says

    To feralboy12,
    So what you’re saying, my friend, is that it is mere human nature to threaten someone’s life or create prejudice if a minority group does not conform with the majority’s values? By the way, any so-called ‘Christian’ who calls gays, or anybody, to be killed is merely a cultural Christian and not a true Jesus-follower as Jesus didn’t teach to kill the Romans oppressing his race at the time, nor did he agree with stoning a prostitute or woman caught in adultery by his Jewish leaders. True Christians follow the law of love. Killing others because they are different is not the fruit of a true Christian. What about Atheists? Could you say you would not issue a death threat to say, a Christian, if they came to a meeting of Atheists and said ‘Jesus loves you’ in a non-disruptive and gentle manner. Do YOU have a log in your eye, feralboy12?

  24. Dalillama says

    @31
    Because, of course, all those countries you mention just love Gay people. Oh no, wait, they’ll lock you up and torture and/or kill you, that’s right. So shove your martyr complex up your ass, where it can keep the dead porcupine company.

  25. Brownian says

    (Yes, I expect full empathy from Atheists …. NOT)

    So what’s the problem? You don’t even get sympathy from your Christ:

    Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    Don’t you want your heavenly reward?

    In fact, Christians should desire persecution here on Earth, rather than respect:

    Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

    Jesus was pretty clear: you can have it good here on Earth, or you can have it good in heaven. You don’t get to have it both ways.

    His rules, dude, not mine. Apostasy is always an option if you don’t like ‘em.

  26. Esteleth, Raging Dyke of Fuck Mountain says

    *watches the point go sailing riiiiiiight over antigodless’ head*

    Jebus, antigodless, will you leave that straw alone? I wanted to use that. Why are you building a strawperson and then beating the poor thing up?

  27. says

    Depends on who the “you” is and what Thomathy wants the “you” to do. If the “you” is Thomathy, then the author is irrelevant, inconsequential and probably patronizing. If the “you” is some fundie with inklings of doubt, then the book might have some importance.

    So appropriating the experiences of oppressed people, let’s call it “oppression tourism,” and reinforcing the concept that the only people worth listening to on matters of oppression are people privileged on those axes… is fine, so long as a couple of fundies change their minds.

    Nah.

    Also, antigodless, go fuck yourself with a splintered wooden cross after you’ve marinated it in urushiol. Your blithering “WAHT ABOUT TEH XTIANS?!!” idiocy is ridiculous anywhere, but it’s particularly offensive in this context, considering that jeezoids like you are responsible for homophobia in the United States.

    Also, NOBODY here is your friend. I wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire. I’d break out the marshmallows.

  28. Beatrice says

    antigodless,

    I would appreciate it if you stopped polluting and derailing threads by yapping about yourself and your religious crap. I killfiled you, but it is no good when everyone keeps quoting and responding to you.

    Kindly fuck off. Thank you.

  29. Brownian says

    *watches the point go sailing riiiiiiight over antigodless’ head*

    “Oh, boo-hoo! We’re so persecuted. We believe we get to sit on Jesus’ lap for all eternity, but we want our heads patted for the sixty years we live on earth, too! Our marriages just won’t be the same if gay people get married too!”

    Selfish, greedy fuckers.

  30. says

    Could you say you would not issue a death threat to say, a Christian, if they came to a meeting of Atheists and said ‘Jesus loves you’ in a non-disruptive and gentle manner.

    Fuck yeah, I can say that. Next question?

  31. says

    Also, as for Black Like Me, has anyone considered that the book was written a long, long time ago, while Jim Crow was still in effect? You think that 60+ years later, maybe we could fucking listen to people who are actually experiencing oppression and not rely on some Nice Well-Intentioned White Folks/Menz/Straights to ‘splain it to us?

    I mean, FFS, the internet is full of oppressed people who write about their experiences. If you want to read about what it’s like to be GLBT in the U.S., there are scores of well-known bloggers writing about it, and thousands more little-known but still good bloggers on sites like Tumblr or Livejournal.

  32. Brownian says

    Could you say you would not issue a death threat to say, a Christian, if they came to a meeting of Atheists and said ‘Jesus loves you’ in a non-disruptive and gentle manner.

    I can say that too, although if you have it too good, you won’t get into heaven, so you’re kind of fucked. Camels, eyes of needles, etc.

    You have read the Beatitudes, have you not? Or do you just want all of the benefits of Christianity, without having to do the work?

    Cultural Christians indeed.

  33. says

    Oy, this is egregious. The title alone is pure Epic Fail! The most egregious thing is that it could be an interesting project. I think this could be done well, somewhat like Black Like Me. The author could engage with his local gay community and chart his journey of discovery. He could discover how gay people talk about their lives to one another, as opposed to how they talk about their lives to fundies – because we all know you have to use really short words and speak slowly when you describe the reality of being LGBTQ to a fundy, and that’s hardly a nuanced or complete description; so he could talk about how his understanding of reality becomes more accurate and comprehensive.

    Thing is though, even if this was done well, which I doubt (I mean, Jesus in Drag? FFS!), it would only be a human interest story about one man’s attempt to become a better and more empathetic human being. I’d be cool with that, if that was how it was promoted. But what I’m seeing here is an attempt to speak for the LGBTQ community, along with the disgusting idea that he now knows more about what it’s like to be gay and is somehow more credible because he’s really straight, and that gets us right back to Epic Fail for all the reasons Thomathy, Ricardo and No Light have already talked about.

  34. says

    Could you say you would not issue a death threat to say, a Christian, if they came to a meeting of Atheists and said ‘Jesus loves you’ in a non-disruptive and gentle manner.

    Yes.

    It happens many times — I’ve been at many atheist meetings and even given lectures where Christians line up to protest and complain, and yes, they say things like “Jesus loves you”, although more often it’s stuff like “You’re going to burn in hell”.

    I have never heard an atheist utter a death threat in response.

    I have heard them say things like “fuck off” or point and laugh. That’s about the worst of it.

    The other thing the Christians do is close off their minds. They’re not there to discuss — they’re a lot like you. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve seen Christians show up with a megaphone and howl amplified imprecations at us, and not respond at all to questions, no matter how sincere or mocking. They just yell.

    But they don’t get death threats. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You’re just another liar for Jesus.

  35. says

    By the way, I’ve got the megaphone here. And if you continue your purblind godbotting, antigodless, you will be banned — it’s one of the bannable offenses here, you know. Either try to respond intelligently (if you can), or your nonresponsiveness will mark you as a useless contributor to the discussions.

  36. says

    Could you say you would not issue a death threat to say, a Christian, if they came to a meeting of Atheists and said ‘Jesus loves you’ in a non-disruptive and gentle manner.

    Yes

    As a side note, how the fuck can you go to an Atheist meeting and say that without it being disruptive or passive aggressive?

  37. qwerty says

    I don’t agree with Sastra for the simple reason the man is asking for money.

    Sure, it sounds a bit like “Black like Me,” but there is a difference. The writer of that book was able to change his skin color sufficiently enough to look like an African-American while I doubt that this man changed his sexual orientation or even knows what a gay man thinks or how a gay man acts.

    Unless he went all the way (and by that I mean had sex with another male), I doubt he has sufficient knowledge to write about this.

    But his asking for money to promote this book that has me doubting this is anything more than a scam to either make money or to make a name for himself in the Christian community. Either way, he is using the glbt community for his own gain which I, as a gay male, find offensive.

  38. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    As a side note, how the fuck can you go to an Atheist meeting and say that without it being disruptive or passive aggressive?

    Minor correction. It is aggressive, not assertive, in the context describe. He is looking for a fight.

  39. nonny says

    I can understand some of the negativity towards this book but personally, I think it’s an interesting idea.

    No, the guy will never know what it’s really like to be gay. He admits that, actually:
    This is not a book about being gay. As a straight man I am fundamentally unqualified to write that book. Instead this book is about what I could experience firsthand, and that is to feel for myself how the label of gay would affect both my external and internal life.

    but I think his experience is still valuable. First, it’s valuable to him. Even if you listen with the deepest empathy to other people’s stories, there’s always going to be things you can only understand through direct experience. I admire the guy for trying to learn and to get over his bigotry.

    Also, sadly, straight male christians are more likely to listen to him than to real gay people. He’s in their tribe. Of course, most of them will just dismiss it, but some of them might listen and that’s got to be good.

    Antigodless- Yes, it’s terrible that christians are persecuted in some parts of the world but
    1. that doesn’t make it ok for them to bully and marginalize gays in America
    2. They’re not unique in their suffering. Many gay people are being murdered all around the world. Often their murders are being endorsed by right wing christians, especially in Africa.
    http://prospect.org/article/exporting-anti-gay-movement
    I’m pretty sure being gay in North Korea wouldn’t be pleasent either.
    Athiests also suffer for their convictions.
    http://richarddawkins.net/articles/644867-calls-to-behead-indonesian-atheist-alexander-aan

    Do you have sympathy for those hurt by homophobia and anti-athiest bias?

  40. says

    @Thomathy:

    Yes I know, I addressed that later on (I realized it while posting, but got distracted before I could make a re: my post type edit.)

    I’m just annoyed by the trope because it’s used the opposite way all the fucking time. Yes, gay men do dress in drag, and yes, so do some straight men. The problem is that if I tell someone I’m transgender (want to be a woman) they’ll very likely go to the “doesn’t that just mean you’re really gay” idiocy.

    No, I am not gay. I am pansexual.

  41. Agent Silversmith, Feathered Patella Association says

    Could you say you would not issue a death threat to say, a Christian, if they came to a meeting of Atheists and said ‘Jesus loves you’ in a non-disruptive and gentle manner.

    Yes. In fact, antigodless, I promise that you or any other Christian could be standing right next to me anywhere, and you’d be perfectly safe. I wouldn’t offer the least threat of harm in response to a “Jesus loves you” statement, though depending on my mood you might get anything from a “That’s nice” to a “fuck off” to a friendly request that you procure a one-way ticket to Pluto. Your martyr complex has no legs, or in fact any viable form of locomotion.

  42. Beatrice says

    Frankly, reactions on Friendly Atheist angered me even more than the man who did this.
    I’m not lesbian nor am I pretending to be lesbian so that I could find a sense of empathy and write a book about it, but I think this man isn’t particularly brave. Yes, he probably faced some difficulties. But he sure as hell didn’t get the full experience of being gay.
    So, he learned something about other people, and maybe something about himself. That’s nice. Good for him. But pretending that he’s a brave hero is just ridiculous, especially in the face of all those gay men and women who didn’t just live the gay life for a year, for shits and giggles and book material.

    Someone already mentioned that, but I would really love to hear from gay and lesbian friends he made during his “out” year. How do they feel about being lied to? I’m not sure I’d be very impressed over being used and lied to so that some smug guy could bask in the glory and praises of his bravery.

    Oh yeah, in the video he says how he’s impressed by Jesus’ empathy and compassion when he decided to become one of us and walk a mile in our shoes. I guess a Christian can’t give himself a harder pat on the back than by drawing a parallel between Jesus and himself. That actually makes me doubt this guy’s pure motives even more.

  43. David Marjanović says

    (Yes, I expect full empathy from Atheists …. NOT)

    Huh? Of course you can expect full empathy. A violation of human rights is a violation of human rights. To kill people is to kill people.

    Is that a log in your eye, or are you just glad to see us?

    + 1

    What about Atheists? Could you say you would not issue a death threat to say, a Christian, if they came to a meeting of Atheists and said ‘Jesus loves you’ in a non-disruptive and gentle manner.

    WTF? Of course I would never issue a death threat to anyone. That’s because I’m not an asshole. Are you one!?!

  44. says

    To everyone who banged on about Katherine Lorraine’s gay drag ≠ transgender mis-step; sure there’s gay drag, but trans* cross-dressers are frequently mistaken for being “in drag” instead of being regarded as dressed en femme: and people like the writer of this appalling book are especially unlikely to be aware of where the dividing line of where an attempt at feminine presentation crosses over into over the top, hyper-feminine drag.

    Adding to the confusion are people in the wider LGBT umbrella like me, since for a very long while (partly due to stupidity and lack of self-awareness when I was younger) I thought my preferred type of self-expression meant I was a cross-dresser, whereas I was in denial about my long periods of gender dysphoria and before this year would never have thought of using the word ‘transsexual’ to describe myself.

  45. qwerty says

    I just wonder if Jesus was a drag queen what would his nom-de-drag be?

    Christina Cross?

  46. 'Tis Himself says

    Could you say you would not issue a death threat to say, a Christian, if they came to a meeting of Atheists and said ‘Jesus loves you’ in a non-disruptive and gentle manner.

    There was the time PZ Myers called Sye Ten Bruggencate a slimy motherfucker. But Mr. Bruggencate is not non-disruptive.

  47. Azkyroth, Former Growing Toaster Oven says

    Yes. In fact, antigodless, I promise that you or any other Christian could be standing right next to me anywhere, and you’d be perfectly safe.

    Speak for yourself. If they were being obnoxious enough I might go out of my way to fart. :P

  48. says

    qwerty:

    Unless he went all the way (and by that I mean had sex with another male), I doubt he has sufficient knowledge to write about this.

    Since when does having sex one time with another man make a man gay? Especially if we’re talking about having the “cred” to write about “the gay experience”?

    Nonny, he didn’t have “direct experience.” He had a cheap parody of direct experience. And, again, reinforcing the idea that the people who should be listened to on these issues are people without direct experience compounds the problem.

    People defending this should really go here and read Tony’s comment. Trigger warning for military PTSD and suicide.

  49. robster says

    These religiots have way too much time on their hands. What is it about the gay that pisses them off so much? (I think it’s because even with their useless god nonsense on their side they’re losing the battle)if they were to put their considerable resources and efforts into doing something of value to humanity, like medical research, feeding the poor, alleviating poverty etc. some actual good could be done by this vicious bunch of compromised idiots.I think they go after LGBT people ‘coz they’re percieved as being an easy target. They may have been 30 years ago, the rest of us have grown up and moved on.

  50. shawnthesheep says

    As a gay man, I’m offended by the notion of someone pretending to be gay and then writing about it as if they have some sort of insight into what it’s like. It’s as arrogant as it is naive. If he wanted to write a book about what it’s like to be gay, he could have chronicled the lives of actual gay people, and tried to present things from their perspective. But to just pretend? That reveals absolutely nothing. This just seems like a cheap gimmick to try and sell books.

  51. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort, yeah …I’m sorry. You had already addressed that, and I missed that comment.

    It’s a world of problems when a straight man pretending to be gay titles his book about his experience like he does and one of those problems is the stereotyping that it reinforces. I really can’t imagine what you face being confronted with awful faux questions about whether you aren’t just a gay man in drag, especially since you identify as pansexual. Ugh. People make me sad and angry with their assumptions, preconceptions and basic, unfeeling indecency.

    (On a side note, I believe straight men that do ‘drag’ prefer to be called transvestites. Do not quote me on that.)

  52. No One says

    antigodless, Minion of satan @ 31

    Do you actually think before you post? Which of those countries you mentioned would not threaten the well being of gays, feminists, and for the most part atheists (or humanists)?

    A christian who pretends to be gay and another who pretends to be persecuted.

    This thread has ‘em all.

  53. No One says

    Come to think of it this guy has figured a new and novel way to fleece the flock.

  54. DLC says

    No, actually, pretending to be gay for a while is not actually being gay. Whatever the author’s intent, he had a safety valve.
    He could go back to being straight at any time he chose. He could “turn it off” if it got too hot for him. Someone who really is gay cannot do this. I hope that he actually learned something from this and takes that lesson to heart. But then I also hope that he learns that his imaginary friend is indeed imaginary.

  55. says

    Could you say you would not issue a death threat to say, a Christian, if they came to a meeting of Atheists and said ‘Jesus loves you’ in a non-disruptive and gentle manner.

    I’m sure you could probably find some atheists who would make a death threat in that situation if you really looked for them, but then again you can find people in this country who will issue public death threats over the officiating at little-league softball games, so that’s kind of a low bar to set.

    I’ll tell you one thing though. If you’re reduced to telling complete strangers on the interwebz that they’d totally threaten you with death if given the opportunity, so nyaa, then you are Not. Being. Persecuted.

  56. says

    Trans people are not doing drag.

    Thomathy, I would exclude those who do dragon from being transgender. In a Venn diagram, transgender would be a big circle and cover many topics, of which one would be drag, a smaller circle.

  57. says

    Oh for crying out loud, I shoulda previewed that. I’m getting all sorts of weird typos.

    Trying again:

    Thomathy, I would not exclude drag from being transgender. In a Venn diagram, transgender would be a big circle and cover many topics, of which one would be drag.

  58. says

    The difference between this and the “Black Like Me” guy is that the black white guy did not imagine that the main point of experiencing what it is like to be black is to is to learn how best to sell skin bleach. After all, you don’t choose your melanin, but you can choose your actions, and my interpretation of an obscure and confused Bible passage says that dark people deserve to be enslaved.

  59. says

    Yes. In fact, antigodless, I promise that you or any other Christian could be standing right next to me anywhere, and you’d be perfectly safe.

    Frankly. You would be safer/happier around us than around certain christian groups. We certainly aren’t going to take your money on threats of hellfire, or punish you for not “towing the party line” at that particular church. I hear church politics can be quite the mindfield.

    I will however have to pat you on the head in a slightly condescending manner for your belief that athiests making death threats are common.

    Have you read Tony’s post? That is the norm. Christians hate gays. AS THE BIBLE COMMANDS.

    A good christian is a bad bible reader.

  60. apucalypso says

    Well, I get that what this guy did is insulting to a lot of gay people, and not really comparable to the actual experiences of gay people.
    However, given the media environment, especially in the US, with conservative media always, or at least often, alleging someone is promoting or pushing “the gay agenda” or having a liberal bias, I can see the advantage of this approach.
    As a christian he’s less likely to be accused of having a pro-gay agenda, so people with a background similar to his are indeed more likely to believe him and his experiences than they would those of real gay people..however sad that is.

  61. mikee says

    i saw a sign on a colleague’s wall which seems applicable

    “Never attribute malice to what can be explained by sheer stupidity”

    I see this man as misguided but at least attempting to gain a different perspective. It does seem manipulative of those around him, but I doubt he gave this much thought.

  62. mikee says

    I’m not going to read the book but I do wonder how far he took his “gayness”
    Did he walk down the street holding another mans hand to see what looks he got?
    Did he book into a hotel with a same sex partner to see what response he got?

    There are plenty of films and books about the experiences of actual gay people. The more I think about it the less I see the value of this guys book.

  63. says

    @Thomathy:

    Even more hilarious are the actual “gay” transwomen, who are actually lesbians, so they’re actually heterosexual prior to transition.

    Run that through your gender binaried world!

    @Crissa:

    No no.

    I’d like to be a dragon, that’d be cool.

    Rawr! I breathe fire at you!!

  64. Beatrice says

    [OT]

    Katherine,

    Rawr! I breathe fire at you!!

    Oooh, there are some people in whose direction I would like to be able to breathe fire.

  65. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    Wait …Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort, was your comment supposed to be snarky? I’m reading it as snarky. I don’t find what you describe as hilarious at all and I’m hoping you didn’t mean to imply that I do or that I believe in the gender-binary world we’re all force-fed.

    Crissa, yeah, a trans person could do drag. I didn’t mean to imply that they couldn’t.

  66. John Morales says

    Thomathy, there is no dichotomy — it was snarky, but it was also informative (and not unfriendly, by this place’s standards).

    (Try looking up “The Genderbread Person”)

  67. John Morales says

    PS Although, now that I think of it, I suspect you may be aware of that already, Thomathy.

  68. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    John Morales, that is why I’m asking Katherine Loraine about the tone I read into the comment. I’m thinking something about my previous response was communicated poorly and has resulted in a snarky comment directed at me. I’m hoping to clear that up.

  69. Thomathy, Holy Trinity of Conflation: Atheist-Secularist-Darwinist says

    Oh, that’s a …relief. Thanks.

  70. says

    Tasteless and just wrong. He could have easily talked to gay Christians about their struggles or someone who has gone through those struggles personally (for realz) should have written a book about it. If it’s not your struggle, you shouldn’t appropriate it – especially not to sell books and make a profit.

    The fact is though, the only way you’re able to sell a story about oppression or discrimination is if you’re a white cis heterosexual male who “adopts” it only for a short while. People want to try to “understand” it, but not so much that they’d actually listen to someone who is the minority (person of color, gay, trans, you name it – they don’t want to hear it actually from you, but from someone like them).

    And even worse, many of these privileged bastards don’t even see how it’s wrong and refuse to acknowledge it when it’s brought to their face. They feel entitled to it.

    </rant>