Wednesday, June 26, 2013

What The Recent Supreme Court Decisions Mean For Me?

In case you were hiding under a rock in Siberia, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled on two cases regarding same-gender marriage today.
The highest Court in the nation declared:
  • Article III of the Defense of Marriage Act—a statute passed by Congress in 1996 that, specifically for federal benefit purposes, defined marriage as between one man and one woman—is unconstitutional.
  • The private sponsors defending California’s Proposition 8—a 2008 ballot initiative that banned the state from issuing marriage licenses to same-gender couples—did not have legal grounds to represent the state as private parties appealing the state’s position; thereby returning the case to its Ninth District Court of Appeal’s decision as Proposition 8 being unconstitutional.
So what does all of this mean for me? Strictly speaking, I am currently neither in a same-gender marriage nor am I a legal resident of the state of California. So how exactly do I have any stake in either of these rulings?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Robbie Rogers: A History in the Making

Robbie Rogers is a former midfielder for the Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer and Leeds United in England. He represented the United States at the U18 and U20 levels, and made several appearances for the United States Men’s National Team in World Cup qualifying, CONCACAF Gold Cups, and in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. He recently signed a 4-year contract with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Why is this significant? Because in his personal blog this past February, at the age of 25, Rogers publicly came out as a gay man and said he was retiring from professional soccer.
This story is not a new one—obviously American journalists have been covering Roger’s story since…well…February. And at the time, like many other Americans engrossed in soccer culture, I was greatly disappointed that he was calling it quits. He may not be the best American soccer player ever to play the beautiful game professionally, but all of us agreed that at his age with the level of talent he did have for him to retire because he was gay was simply a crime to international football.

Monday, May 27, 2013

My Coming-Out Q&A (Part 2)

In a recent post, I imitated the senior project of the high school student who interviewed the life stories of several gay people. I was inspired by the documentary, and decided to do a similar thing myself.
To recap, I previously answered these questions about myself: How old were you when you first came out? Did you always accept yourself [as a gay man]? What was the reaction of those around you? Have you ever been personally victimized or abused for being gay? What is hetero-normative society? What advice would you give to anyone who was debating about whether or not to come out as gay?
This time, I will be focusing more on the questions regarding my own perception or subjective understanding of my homosexuality. This post will be about my relation to my homosexuality itself, rather than about my relationships with others. I hope it will be just as insightful for you as before.
So without further ado, here it goes:

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Coming-Out Q&A (Part 1)

I was recently inspired by a Youtube video I watched several months ago called "Overcoming Adversities as a Gay Teen: One Generation at a Time." The video was a documentary created for a senior project by a gay high school student. In it, he interviewed various local openly gay people of all ages about their sexuality and their coming-out experiences. (This is the video—it is 90 minutes long, so I don't blame anyone who doesn't want to sit through it. But for those who do, here you go.)

To recap, the student asks everyone a series of questions and then played their responses. It is the typical interview format, but I think what was interesting was being able to see the variety of responses (or lack there of) amongst the many interviewees.
I was inspired by this project, and I wanted to do something similar. I am a firm believer in sharing our stories, because no matter how boring or mundane our story may seem to us, it is unique and has the potential to influence someone else.
So without further ado, here is my version of such a Q&A:

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thoughts On The "Red Facebook Explosion"

An interesting phenomenon happened on Facebook recently that thoroughly caught my attention. Anyone who logged on to the social networking outlook on Tuesday, March 26th and Wednesday, March 27th would have seen it. Thousands of profile pictures changed to this red and pink equals sign, painting everyone’s Newsfeeds in a sea of red.
The image being used was a modification of the logo for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC is an advocacy group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender individuals), typically a yellow equals sign with a navy background. This trend was inspired because on March 26th and 27th the U.S. Supreme Court heard cases regarding the constitutionality of Proposition 8—the California ban on same-gender marriage—and DOMA—officially “Defense of Marriage Act,” which prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-gender marriages as marriage, thereby prohibiting the federal government from granting them the 1,100 or so federal benefits for married couples regardless of which state they live in.
Now, I am well privy to the type of groundswell movements that often take place on social networks. Granted, most of the time it goes something like this: my Facebook Newsfeed is suddenly swarmed with “GO BIG RED!!” statuses, and I instantly know the Nebraska Cornhuskers are playing. But this was much bigger than that, because EVERYONE—coast to coast—would have seen it.