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04/03/2013

Audio: John Stemberger warns inclusive Scouts will cause boy-on-boy molestation

by Jeremy Hooper

John Stemberger, the Florida anti-gay activist who is heading a new pro-discrimination scouting effort called "On My Honor," insists that his effort is not designed to keep gay boys out of scouts (saying it's only about gay activism). But then the man with an obvious agenda belies his key point when he warns his conservative base that inclusive scouting is going to lead to "confused" boys who will be subjected to the "tragedy" of gay hookups:


[SOURCE: Janet Mefferd; 4/2/13]

Ain't it "cute" how they make sexual orientation sound like Pokemon or One Direction: trends that can be marketed into being? Because what's more adorable than a grown straight man with a anti-LGBT record behind him telling boiling complex human sexual orientation down to a trend? [::writer roll eyes, shakes head, gives thanks that his obsessions are limited to his own inner attractions::]

Here's the thing: I, a gay boy who knew he was a gay boy, experienced a different trend. That is: the trend where beating up on the "sissy" kid was condoned and sometimes even encouraged. Encouraged by grown adults, I mean. I was one of the lucky ones in that I passed as a "boy's boy" and never had to personally suffer the cruel torments or bullying, at least not in any lasting way. But I sure saw it and I sure felt it, even if just empathically. I wanted to eliminate the trend, but I had little help, few tools, and an incredibly isolated (inner) voice.

Dropping cruel slights and forcible exclusions will not "turn" anyone gay. A boy who has no interest in kissing a boy is not going to want to put male lip to male lip simply because his world is less willing to kick his ass if/when he does. That's not the way it works. I would ask Mr. Stemberger to put his own sexual orientation on such supposedly shaky footing and ask whether his attractions are as dependent on any organization's nondiscrimination policy. Hopefully for his (and his wife's) sake, his orientation is more in place and self-understood than that.

However, dropping these same slights and exclusions just might drop some of the fear and isolation that has long defined the LGBT child's experience. As a child, I couldn't do much about the harsh realities that surrounded me. As an adult with an (outer, prouder) voice, I would be deeply remiss if I didn't take a stand. A stand ON MY HONOR, I should say.

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