Picking Apart Poetry
For the English portion of my project I analyzed and gave some background information for the poem, God Is Gay by Eliot Darrow. I then took the inspiration I got from reading that and other poems and wrote my own poem, What If I Was Gay. Through this poem I described personal experiences and also stereotypes.
My poem, What If I'm Gay, is from the point of view of a girl coming out to her parents. She questions if her friends and family will still love her and treat her the same even though she's gay. It brings in the stereotypes of God hating gay people, being shunned from families, not getting jobs or getting into a good school, etc. because of being a part of the LGBT community.
What If I'm Gay by Katie Clement
Mom, Dad, what if I’m gay?
Do you think you’d still treat me the same
or would you shun me from the family?
Would you tell me this is only a phase
or accept my decisions?
I don't think the decisions I make in my love life should affect how you
look at me.
Mom, Dad, what if I'm gay?
Do you think my friends would still treat me the same
or would they ignore because of my sexuality?
Am I still going to get a job and go to a good school
or is my entire future on the line?
I don't think my preference in people should change where I go in life.
Mom, Dad, what if I'm gay?
Is it possible for me to still get into heaven
or am I already halfway to hell?
I don't think my preference in love should choose my fate.
Mom, Dad, what if I'm gay?
I promise I'm still the same kid I've always been
and I'm still your little girl.
Mom, Dad, what if I'm gay?
Mom, Dad, I think I'm gay.
God Is Gay by Elliot Darrow
God Is Gay
What if I told you God is gay?
Do you think belligerent bible-belters
Would still holler hate speech to the hilltops
In His name?
Or do you think they would reread the scriptures
They say they swear and survive by
See, I’ve been reading the Bible again lately
And I think I’ve taken a leaf from their holy book,
Picking passages for my purpose
Which is in short
To let you know it’s very possible God is gay.
I mean think about the book of Genesis
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth
And it wasn’t just good, it was fabulous.
I mean what else is our planet but the pinnacle
Of exterior design, and I don’t mean to generalize
But it certainly seems like that the Garden of Eden
Was designed by queer, I mean divine eye for the straight guy
But some Christians would go as far as to call
God’s creations abominations
Heretics calling themselves faithful
When their faith is full of belief that only God may pass judgment
Matthew 7:1 Judge and you too shall be judged
Luke 6: 37 Condemn not and you shall not be condemned
Fred Phelps 2006: You’re going to hell! God hates fags!
A history lesson: A faggot is a bundle of sticks
Originally used as kindling for fires that engulfed gays
When they were burned at the stake, people were firewood
But Moses came across wood on fire and saw God in it,
What is a burning bush but bundles of branches
On fire, isn’t it funny how faggots and God can look the same sometimes?
Keep in mind Jesus had two dads and turned out just fine
In fact, Jesus had two dads and a surrogate mother
That never had sex with either of them,
Maybe Mary was a lesbian
And I remember the prayer going
“Hail Mary, full of grace”
Not full of sin,
“Pray for us sinners”
For we have become blinded by bigotry.
And forgotten that God gave us the rainbow
As a promise that we will never be flooded again
Either with rain or ignorance
And now all the homosexual Homo sapiens
Stand more united under God’s rainbow
Than all of his denominations do around the cross.
I was brought up believing that my Savior loved us all
And never had to specify “no homo”
But if you have hate in your heart
Say it don’t pray it
Don’t teach it and for the love of God don’t preach it
Because I am tired of these fire and brimstone sermons
Slinging slurs when they’re not firing brimstones
From voices that should be filled with love and praise
Instead of raised with hate and rage
I am a Christian, and I believe in saying the Christian thing.
Which used to sound like “Love thy neighbor as thyself”
But now sounds more like hate at the top of your picket signs
The closest thing to God being “Hell, is waiting for you”
They’re passing out damnation pamphlets
Filled with out-of-context Bible verses
Trying to define God
When his meaning is clear.
He is acceptance, He is pride, He is humility, He is just,
God is perfection, God is protection, God is love,
But most importantly
God is gay
A peek into the art process
For the art portion of my project I decided to make a painting of the LGBT flag that was created by Gilbert Baker in 1978. He gave me a lot of inspiration to make the painting and put the meanings of the colors on the painting. Everyone looks at the flag as being showy, but no one really looks into the symbolism of the colors and what they mean to the members of the LGBT community.
Anti-LGBT vs. Pro-LGBT
For the history portion on my project, I put myself in the shoes of someone that is against gay rights and someone that is for gay rights. I researched Scott Lively, the founder of Redemption Gate Mission Society, who is also anti-LGBT. His decision to become very religious and believe in the things he does because of the way he was raised. He grew up without a father figure and went on a bad path of drugs and alcohol and I think that's the reason he found God and looked into believing in those things. He believes that the gay community is the cause of Nazi's coming together, which is what The Pink Swastika is about. The video below is of Scott Lively explaining his point of view on gay rights.
Scott Lively: Anti-LGBT
December 14, 1967 - Born in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts
1979 - Became an alcoholic at age 12
1983 - At age 16, his father was committed to a mental institution to never return
1986 - Graduated from high school
February 1, 1986 - Became a born again christian on this day while staying at an alcohol treatment facility in Portland, Oregon.
1986-1996 - Spent these years drifting around the U.S., often homeless, sleeping under bridges and begging for spare change.
1987 - He encountered his former drug dealer and found out that he was Christian also.
1988 - Lively began campaigning against abortion in Portland
1988 - He received his ministry when a pastor showed him pictures of aborted children
1989 - He joined Oregon Citizens Alliance and worked on the pro-life ballot measure for the general election
1990 - General Election
1991 - Lively and OCA shifted focus from abortion to homosexuality
1991 - Lively assaulted a woman, Catherine Stauffer, in a Portland church during an OCA event
1992 - Stauffer received a judgement of over $31,000 against Lively and OCA
1992 - Became the communications director for the OCA, backing the state’s Measure 9 vote
1996 - The Pink Swastika was published
August 28, 1997 - Redemption Gate Mission Society was founded
1998 - Seven Steps to Recruit Proof Your Child: A Parent’s Guide to Protecting Children from Homosexuality and the “Gay” Movement was published
2000 - Why and How to Defeat the “Gay” Movement was published
2007 - he asserted that homosexuality is a personality disorder that involves various, often dangerous sexual addictions and aggressive, anti-social impulses
2008 - Lively started the Redemption Gate Mission Society, a church that seeks to “re-Christian” the city of Springfield, Mass.
2009 - Redeeming the Rainbow: A Christian Response to the “Gay” Agenda was published
2009 - He want to Uganda to speak at a major conference on the evils of homosexuality
August 30, 2013 - Lively wrote an open letter addressed to Vladimir Putin in response to anti-LGBT legislation in Russia
Harvey Milk: Pro-LGBT
May 22, 1930 - Born in Woodmere, New York.
1943-1947 - Attends Bay Shore High School. Still in the closet about his homosexuality, but finds opportunities to meet other men in New York.
1947-1951 - Harvey attends New York State Teachers College at Albany.
1951 - Harvey Joins the United States Navy during the Korean War.
1955 - He is discharged from the war. Rumors spread that he was dishonorably discharged for being gay.
1956 - Milk meets Joe Campbell, a beautiful younger man, whom Harvey stays with for the next six years.
1962 - He stops seeing Craig Rodwell, a man he is dating, when he realizes Craig is involved with fighting for gay rights. Harvey prefers to live a peaceful, closeted life.
1963 - He begins working in a Wall Street investment firm.
1970 - After nearly a decade of living with the influence of young hippies, Harvey is fired from his job in finance when he refuses to cut his long hair.
1972 - Harvey and his new boyfriend, Scott Smith, move to the Castro in San Francisco. The neighborhood has been a gay mecca for less than a decade.
November 1973 - Harvey runs for supervisor for the first time. He is not backed by most of the gay political clubs and organizations. He loses the campaign.
1974 - Harvey organizes the Castro Village Association of local merchants, and helps launch the first Castro Street Fair.
November 8, 1977 - Milk is elected to the Board of Supervisors for District 5 in his fourth run for elected office. He is the first openly gay man elected to public office in the United States.
June 25, 1978 - Harvey rides in the Gay Freedom Day Parade, urging bystanders and television viewers to come out to their families, friends, and coworkers. Although Harvey never comes out to his parents.
April 1978 - George Moscone signs the San Francisco Gay Civil Rights Ordinance – a bill that Harvey introduced.
November 7, 1978 - Proposition 6, which would have authorized the firing of gay teachers and their supporters, is defeated due in part to Harvey’s diligent campaign against it.
November 27, 1978 - Dan White assassinates Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone at City Hall. Despite his short career in politics, Milk became an icon in San Francisco and a martyr in the gay community
1982 - The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk, by Randy Shilts is published.
March 25, 1985 - The Times of Harvey Milk wins the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
June 14, 1999 - Time Magazine names Harvey Milk one of the “Time 100 Heroes and Icons” of the 20th century.
May 22, 2008 - On what would have been his 78th birthday, a sculpture of Milk is unveiled in the Ceremonial Rotunda of City Hall.
September 30, 2008 - Harvey Milk’s birthday, May 22, is said to be a state day of special significance, which has been passed by the State Assembly and State Senate, is vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
February 22, 2009 - After being nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, the film Milk wins Best Original Screenplay (Dustin Lance Black) and Best Actor in a Leading Role (Sean Penn).