Archive for the ‘music’ Tag

The Great Men and Women of History who were gay

“Within the typical secondary school curriculum,  homosexuals  do not exist.   They are ‘nonpersons’ in the finest Stalinist sense. They have fought no battles, held no offices, explored nowhere, written no literature, built nothing, invented nothing and solved no equations.  The lesson to the heterosexual student is abundantly clear: homosexuals do nothing of consequence. To the homosexual student, the message has even greater power: no one who has ever felt as you do has done anything worth mentioning.” -Gerald Unks, editor, The Gay Teen, p. 5. From Famous Gay People.

It’s difficult for gay Christians to come out because they don’t see a place for themselves in the world–because frankly, all the past gay people have been erased from history, or had their gayness washed away.  What could you accomplish, really, as a gay or lesbian in this world?

Famous People who were gay

There are some hugely famous people who were gay.  In fact, as an English Teacher I could design a syllabus of American Literature solely with GLBT authors and you’d think it looked like every other American Literature survey in colleges:  Willa Cather, Tennessee Williams, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman (of course), James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Henry James, Henry David Thoreau, Countee Cullen, Adrienne Rich, just to name a few.  These are hardly the marginalized authors of American literature–these are The Canon.  You can’t do a survey course without Whitman, Melville, Williams, Dickinson, Hughes, Emerson and Thoreau…you can’t.  Our culture has been interpreted and refined through their pens and their lens.

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Ray Boltz, Christian music artist, on coming out   2 comments

Ray Boltz, one of my personal heroes, came out about 8 months before I did.  I used to sing Ray Boltz’s songs at church, for special music.  I think his songs are deeply personal and passionate, and they resonated with christian audiences and congregations.  Ray Boltz sold a lot of CDs, but even more importantly, his music was a part of Christian worship for two decades.

He came out in the Washington Blade in September of 2008.  You can read the article here .  (I love how Christians who denounce Ray Boltz are actually the only places we can find the article….alas, skip the commentary, and enjoy Ray’s story)

But I think even more compelling is Ray in his music–and he has penned a new album, True.  This single from the album has a great video where it looks like Ray is typing his story….  it’s a powerful one.  It says a lot about what we think of as success, of what we guide young gay men to do, in hopes that this will change them: Ray married, Ray had kids, Ray was a big Christian music artist.  He did everything the church wanted him to do–except be who he was.  And now he is that.  And thank God!

Ray inspired me to take steps to come out.  If Ray could do it–someone with such a high profile, so much to lose–then I could take a little of that courage and come out too.

I’m still hoping to get Ray to come up to the Yukon soon.  🙂

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