Posts Tagged ‘Marvin Bloom’

I have returned safely home from South Africa (see photos below!) only to find that I was a busy boy on-line while away.  In addition to a video interview, I at last appeared on the Flatus Show for a two part interview.

The Flatus Show!

In Part One Kentie and I chat about my sordid Christian Fundamentalist past and the ex-gay movement including the often unseen reasons why I tried to de-gay myself. Anyone who tells you that they went gay for Jesus is full of shit. I also reveal my sudden flight from Zambia after messing around with guys when I was a missionary. Sodom, Abs,  Focus on the Faggot, tops, bottoms, and so much more. Have a listen here or download from iTunes.

In Part Two I discuss transgender Bible characters, and the complicated feelings I felt (and feel) towards my former wife. Marvin Bloom makes a cameo appearance and trashes me and Kentie. Discover Marvin’s back story and wild gay past. He also dishes about romance with his partner who is a transgender man.  You can listen here or download on iTunes.

Speaking of Marvin, he appears in a video interview conducted by Robin Hankins for Just as I Am. In classic Marvin fashion he sounds crazy, says some profound things, then insults the host. Gay man or creepy gnome? Marvin reveals all. Check him out.

Robin then interviews me via video about my ex-gay past, Beyond Ex-Gay, my performance work. South Africa, and a bunch of other stuff about faith and queer identity. Watch it here.

Apparently South Africa is Gayer than Hollywood, well, at least that is the conclusion Zack Ford and I come to in our most recent Queer and Queerer podcast.

This week we discuss the public perception of LGBT people nationally and globally and particularly in the media. There are a ton of links below that inform our conversation, so check them all out, and of course, enjoy this week’s erotic poem!

Check it out here.

And now some photos from South Africa

Beach Goats. Seals?

Smirking at Cape Point

Mdumbi Village, Transkei Wild Coast

Read Full Post »

It’s National Coming Out Week, so Zack, Peterson, and guest Marvin Bloom are here to share some coming out stories. Enjoy three unique stories about coming out that don’t quite fit the usual narrative. We also discuss the upcoming NARTH conference in Philadelphia and efforts from Soulforce, Beyond Ex-Gay, and Truth Wins Out to respond to their bunk “science.” Join us in Philadelphia the first weekend in November! Oh, and you get to see what the Queer and Queerer madlib was all about. Thanks for your contributions!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

Listen to this week’s episode:

Listen to this week’s episode

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» Register now for the Soulforce symposium.

» Check out the Lift My Luggage protest!

» Read the APA’s report on reparative therapy.

» Make sure to listen the The Lesbian Mafia and The Flatus Show!

Read Full Post »

Zack and Peterson are still getting along, don’t worry! This week, after listening to a ranting voicemail from the ineffable Marvin Bloom about Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, they talk about the mysterious concept of “promoting homosexuality.” From the UK’s Section 28 to hands-off bullying policies in United States schools, the idea of erasing gay people from society has been a signature strategy for anti-gay opponents, with deadly consequences. The enshrined invisibility of gay people continues to foster not just homophobia, but gender norms and expectations. Join another rousing conversation with your own comments on the post and on our Facebook wall!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

Listen to this week’s episode

Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» Zack’s posts about the DADT decision and recent teen suicides.

» Key findings of GLSEN’s latest climate study.

» Chronicle report on the higher ed climate survey.

» Learn about the UK’s Section 28 law.

» Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation on Amazon.com.

» Check out Peterson’s new play: “I Can See Sarah Palin From My Window,” premiering this weekend in Allentown!

Read Full Post »

An atheist, a Quaker and a Jew-for-Jesus walk into the studio…

Marvin Bloom

Guest star Marvin Bloom joins Zack and Peterson this week for a conversation about religion. As a gay Jew-for-Jesus from Long Island (who makes Sarah Palin look like a mainline Presbyterian), Marvin has many questions for Zack about his atheism, and you get to listen in to the hilarity that ensues! At one point, someone IMs Zack, which is exactly what you should do if you have your own questions about atheism or ideas for the podcast! This “Atheism 101″ podcast explores intersections between religion and sexuality, but by no means offers definitive answers to any of life’s questions. We invite you to join the conversation by commenting on the posts or engaging in discussion on the Facebook page!

The Queer and Queerer Podcast!

Listen to this week’s episode

// Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» Read Zack’s recent post about coming out as an atheist.

» Learn more about Russell’s Teapot.

» Check out the Transponder podcast, featuring Moments with Marvin.

» Marvin Bloom’s YouTube Channel.

Read Full Post »

I will be off-line for about three weeks as I soak in the sun in Southern Mexico (Oaxaca) and visit my dear old friend Frida Kahlo. I have a stack of yummy books to read as Glen and I unwind on the beach. We each are bringing six books (we needed to limit ourselves). After much deliberation I offer my selections:

Any comments on these books? I am sure you each have suggestions, but they will have to wait for Spring Break. The great thing about having a professor of Creative Writing as a partner is access to so many tasty books and an instant commentary by the professor himself. I doubt I will get to them all (it’s not a contest) but it’s nice to have options for whatever mood strikes me. I typically can read up to five books at a time so I jump back and forth from book to book–Poly-literate?

Fear not, I will not leave you bereft (ah, the depths of my self-importance.) In my absence from blogging and tweeting and farting on US soil, I have scheduled Jesus Loves You tweets through a site called Twaitter. They will appear on this blog on the right, on Facebook (where you can comment if you are one of my 1750 closest friends) and of course on Twitter which you can follow here. What first started as text messages to a handful of friends has grown into a daily ritual for several hundred folks around the world. Adam, a friend in VA, wrote, I’m addicted to your “Jesus Loves You” comments. Adam, and be sure to know they are addicted to you too.

I also want to lead you to some wonderful resources to fill in the void I leave you.

Gwendolyn Glover blogs over at Open Salon. Here is a sample from her piece Thank God for Gay Boys and Girls.

I began wondering if God had something against girls. There were so many differences that seemed inherently unfair. Girls had this embarrassing and painful thing called menstruation. Girls were doomed to go through agonizing childbirth. I felt like it was nothing beautiful or magical because Mom never talked about it. She seemed utterly humiliated by the experience. Dad would only tell us birthing stories that had morals about how doctors were evil and women should have their babies at home..

Also at Open Salon check out Charles Bivona’s modest proposal: The Homo No Mo House: a Business Plan

Always entertaining and informative (with little Moments with Marvin Bloom and Elizabeth Jeremiah, two of the identies I carry with me) the Trans-Ponder Podcast with Jayna & Mila deserves your attention. Also check out their artwork: Jayna’s and Mila’s.

I’ve just starting reading Zack Ford Blogs and appreciate Zack’s insight, humor and abilities as a writer taking on issues of faith, atheism and queer stuff. In his post Why Is It “Disrespectful” and “Offensive” to Challenge Religious Beliefs? Zach writes:

So let’s consider a hypothetical example. One I face often is, “I believe homosexuality is wrong/immoral/whatever.” This belief still wields quite a bit of power and popularity in our society. I would argue this belief is totally invalid, because homosexuality cannot be immoral. Sexual orientations are innate dimensions of identity and a same-sex orientation is no more a choice than an opposite-sex one. Calling homosexuality “immoral” sounds as absurd as calling brown eyes “wrong” or calling the sun “immoral” just for existing. I work really hard to debunk this belief, because it has absolutely no intellectual merit and it is incredibly hurtful to many people.

Although Ze is taking a little break from blogging too, check out the short blog entries on gender and more that nome posts over at That’s What Ze Says.

Cracker Lilo’s Front Porch In addition to serving up personal reflections about faith, sexuality and family, this NYC-based blogger provides posts jammed with yummy links (and gorgeous vegan recipes, oh and PANDAS!)

Need a Quaker fix? Check out Quaker Quaker which offers links to scores of Quaker blogs and resources. If you want to sample the Quakers further, why not visit a Quaker meeting house? Discover the closest meetings to you over at Quaker Finder.

What are some of your favorite blogs, podcasts and cyber-distractions. Feel free to share in the comments section.

Bueno, me voy pronto. Felicidades.

Read Full Post »

Marvin Bloom, regularly contributes on Trans-Ponder Podcast with his Moments with Marvin segments and also appears in my play Doin’ Time the Homo No Mo Halfway House. Raised Jewish in Long Island, NY, Marvin is now a born-again Christian–A Jew for Jesus. In this video freaks out about Christmas and more importantly Christians Gone Wild at his church. Look out Baby Jesus!

Read Full Post »

Last night my beau and I saw the Brüno film. Seems we were not the only ones; it will be the number one film in the US this weekend. Marvin Bloom also saw Brüno. This former ex-gay and now gay Christian Jew for Jesus didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I did (which you will learn from Marvin’s video below.)

Like Marvin various groups have come out against the film. At least one anti-gay Christian group would like to see the film banned, and Rashad Robinson at GLAAD has also panned it.

The NY Daily News interviewed various comedians asking them to weigh in on the movie. Comic Reese Walters describes the genre of humor Brüno creator Sacha Baron Cohen uses,

“It’s very character-based humor. It’s almost like unscripted, character-based improvisation, is the best way I could describe it. One of the things I like about him is that he does outrageous things, but he does them true to the character. He just stays in character, stays committed to the character, and I think that’s one of the things that makes what he does work for me. I feel he does outrageous things [like handling a bag of his own excrement in “Borat”] but it doesn’t feel like he’s doing it just to be funny—it’s just the character is funny, and that is what the character would do.”

As a character actor myself, I appreciate the art and the skill behind what Cohen does as well as the social satire he presents. Does he mock gays? No. He mocks what some people believe to be true of white gay men, and he mocks what many white gay men and LGBT organizations have fought so hard to deny–campy guys who enjoy sex.

In the past few years we have been groomed and presented as gender normative, “straight acting,” asexual beings in hopes of not offending the straight voting majority. It may have been a clever political strategy (albeit with mixed results) but it has also reinforced that there is a good and a bad way of being gay. Act NORMAL. Don’t reveal the freaks among us. Don’t let people know about the sex part of our sexual orientation, in fact, don’t even say sexual orientation–just say that we are gay.

Seeing the flamboyant oversexed Brüno reminded me of my initial reactions to the “gay community” when I exited the Love in Action ex-gay program. After 17 years of trying to straighten myself out, (so crazy I made a comedy about it!) I came to my senses and accepted the reality that I was gay and couldn’t change it. That didn’t mean I was happy about it. My first forays into the Memphis gay scene appalled me.

Highly critical of anything thing outrageous or over the top (even glitter!) I resolved that I would show the world a better example of what it meant to be gay. I felt embarrassed around one of my new gay friends who couldn’t help but be a queen, and I shuddered (and not with delight) when one guy told me of his recent sexcapades in New Orleans. The hostility towards all things stereotypically gay ran deep, and although I no longer actively pursued to alter my orientation, I did wish we would all just behave.

Ah, I am so glad that I have learned to appreciate the rainbow flavors of LGBTQ folks. Some people really are bisexual–they are not confused or greedy. Some folks are not gender normative; so much of their beauty and strength come from their gender variance. Many lesbian and gay and transgender and bisexual people exude a healthy sex-positive attitude that our puritanical dishonest US society desperately needs.

No doubt the Brüno film has gotten people talking. Mostly straight people will have seen it by the end of the weekend. They will realize that someone like Brüno could never survive straight OR gay America. What Brüno does do is shock us in a way that many “self-respecting” gays have fought hard to avoid. We have dishonestly presented to the public a warped picture of who we are–a white washed version that denies the existence of our diversity–a false image designed to trick rather than invite into genuine honest public discourse.

Like much good art, Brüno will stir up discussion and debate.

I will let Marvin have the last word…

Read Full Post »

Marvin Bloom, everyone’s favorite Jew for Jesus and former ex-gay (after trying to “de-gay” he has since “re-gayed”) can be heard all over the Internets these days (Check out his YouTube Channel). He most recently took on the Q word (Queer). Like many older gays with limited education and tolerance, he has serious issues with it.

Marvin also appears on various podcasts and has been stirring up a hornets nest of sorts with all types. Over at the excellent Trans-Ponder Podcast, Marvin has had a back and forth spate of spiritual warfare with Elizabeth Jeremiah, (from the Elizabeth Jeremiah Global Worldwide Ministries in Jesus). She recently revealed that Marvin is demon prosessed. Sister Elizabeth also claims that all of Marvin’s pro-gay talk being shoved down her throat set off her gag reflex (episode 108 where she also reveals that her first husband has since transitioned to a woman). Marvin rebukes her in Jesus’ name at one point resulting in Elizabeth issuing a Jihad against him (episode 110). Marvin counters with charges of anti-Semitism (episode 111). He also sets the record straight–“I love Jesus and I love guys.”

Speaking of crazed extremists, Joe Gee, on his most recent Bored Beyond Belief podcast (episode 42) includes two messages from Marvin Bloom. In response to Joe’s Death Watch list (episode 40), Marvin offers up his own thoughts about who will die in 2009 (and proves to be strangely clarvoyant but a little off). He then gets smarmy with Joe resulting in Joe rebuking Marvin in Jesus’ name (which is something coming from Joe, a former Evangelical Fundamentalist and also a former Quaker). Do listen to the end of the episode 42 where you can hear Joe’s new Bashing Segment. A must listen for informed queers and queer allies (sorry Marvin, but I like getting under your skin too).

Read Full Post »

Some people hate the word QUEER. They find it offensive and derisive–a term no self-respecting gay or lesbian should use to describe themselves. . For many LGBT people the word carries a history of abuse, oppression and even violence.

Marvin Bloom also has severe problems with the word QUEER as you will see in his video critique.

My history with the word queer is different to that of some other gay men. Perhaps on the playgrounds in NY where I grew up, homophobes were a little more progressive. They never used the word QUEER to mock me, rather they preferred FAGGOT, HOMO, FAIRY and most often GAY. They never called me QUEER, and I have no memory of  hearing the word used in a negative context.

I first remember coming across the word in the English literature and British films I loved as a child and young adult.

Emily, it is nearly tea time and Rupert has not returned from his ride. It’s ever so queer.

All said in that lovely British movie accent of the 1940’s. Yummy. Queer to me meant out of the ordinary, odd, not the expected. It did not carry a negative connotation, rather it served as a descriptive term used for certain eccentrics or uncommon behavior.

For instance, Mary Martin (not the actress), an 80 plus year old woman in the town where I was raised lived alone with her cats, rode a bike around town, and volunteered for the volunteer ambulance corps up until the time she needed an ambulance herself. In our town she was seen as queer and was much loved by all. Although a single woman all her life, I never even considered if she was lesbian, just a little different, odd, queer in a wonderful quaint Mary Martin sort of way.

For me the word, queer, does not carry a weight of abuse and does not sound derogatory in my ear like it does for some. The word GAY once had that weight, especially when some oppressor spat the word out at me like a poison dart. Language is powerful, and I understand why some people find the word queer offensive and even irredeemable.

When I lived in the ex-gay world one of the most offensive and obnoxious practices had to do with ex-gay leaders asserting that they knew what made us gay and that they somehow possessed a profound understanding of our sexuality, our minds and our motivations. They insisted that we were blind to the truth, and it was their job to enlighten us. They provided a “one-size-fits-all” template that they demanded we follow without ever considering the individual differences between us and our own unique personal histories. They acted as the experts and bullied us (and our families) into following their theories about sexuality, identity and even language.

I find a similar type of bullying among some gay bloggers who demand that if someone uses the word queer that this reveals a self-loathing. They surmise that the use of the word queer demonstrates that the gay person still lives under the weight of anti-gay oppression. They put out a blanket statement without making any considerations for geography, generational differences, personal history or temperament. One size fits all armchair therapizing is a tool well used by ex-gay therapists. I find it repulsive when fellow gay bloggers and activists use it on me and others.

If we have gotten nothing else from the anti-LGBT oppression we survived, I do hope we have learned that it is essential to LISTEN deeply to each other’s stories. My gay experience is not your gay experience. Other voices–younger, older, various races and social backgrounds, gender expressions, etc deserve to be heard and respected.

And if someone says they find liberation or comfort or just playfulness in using a particular word to describe themselves and their experience, even if I cannot say the same, I have no business extracting that word out of their mouths as if it were some sort of linguistic rotten tooth. I can share my discomfort, perhaps even propose a possible theory, but I need to keep my pronouncements to myself.

For my part, I often say that I am queer, in fact a quirky queer Quaker. I mean, I am peace-loving Christian Quaker who likes to worship in silence and stillness , that is odd and out of the mainstream for our world. I am a vegan without a car or TV and work as a playwright/actor/activist/minister hybrid. None of this has anything to do with my sexuality–the fact that I am also gay. Add it all up and I think one can say, That’s ever so queer.

Read Full Post »

After attending a “Queer” book club, Marvin Bloom walks away with a dilemma. He is told that to be a proper gay man you have to “do it” and enjoy it. He claims that he used to “do it” when he was first gay, but since he went ex-gay then re-gayed, he has not done it with a guy and does not want to since he is a Christian. See how he tries to creatively fill in this gap in his gay development.

Marvin also appears on Episode 88 of Transponder Podcast where he defends McCain and at the same time declares Californians need to vote NO on Prop 8. (And in Arizona don’t forget to Vote No AGAIN on Prop 102–both campaigns need your money.) He also conducts an interview with Brenda, a former guest on Transponder and regular commenter. DON’T forget to VOTE for Transponder over at the Podcast Awards! (You can vote once a day up until Nov 6). Lots of voting going on! Hey isn’t there a Presidential Election too????

And since Joe G does not have enough media coverage of me this interview posted yesterday over at Lesbian Said What???

But wait! There’s more! Joe, you can also purchase Chasing the Devil in the Ex-Gay Movement, a new documentary that features me AND my dad. Bwaaaaa

And if you order now, you can also purchase Doin’ Time in the Homo No Mo Halfway House on DVD over at Filmbaby or Quaker Books or Goldenrod Music.

Read Full Post »

No President Left Behind

No President Left Behind

Yes in one week President George W. Bush will be voted out of office, and tonight I performed what will most likely be my last performance of my play The Re-Education of George W. Bush—No President Left Behind! I can’t imagine anyone wanting to  book it after the election even though the play ultimately is not about George W. and much more about us.

I performed the play tonight in Cookeville, TN at Tennessee Tech’s Backdoor Playhouse. I feel bitter sweet about laying this one down. It is one of my most ambition plays, much more complex than Homo No Mo even though it contains many of the same characters (Marvin, Chad, Tex, Rev. Meadows and Vlad). In this play I appear as myself three different times speaking about my mother,  her life, her death and her values.

In the play I also get to break out from simply gay issues and provide a series of lessons for the president about skin privilege, male privilege, the environment (and the impact our diets have on it), foreign policy, institutionalized homophobia, and change–the sort of change that needs to happen for those of us raised in a world where we have been programmed to be racist, sexist, homophobic, wasteful and violent.

Marvin Bloom, who now has branched off into his own stuff with YouTube videos and features on podcasts, serves as the host of the play. (Oh and don’t forget to vote for Trans-Ponder podcast at the Podcast Awards.)  In the Bush play Marvin is still ex-gay and a strong Bush supporter. Even so he gets to share some of the most important material including the fact that after the American and British allied forces liberated the concentration camps in Nazi Germany, they free all the prisoners EXCEPT the homosexuals. These we sent back to prison to finish their sentence. This deeply moves Marvin who finally squeaks out the statement, “But we’re the good guys.”

Vlad gives a foreign policy lesson letting the audience know where Osama Bin Laden came from, who trained him and brought him to Afghanistan. (That would be U.S.) He then does a Russian Folk Pop Interpretive Dance for Condoleezza Rice.

I will get to use some of the segments elsewhere. Just this weekend at the Our Family Matters conference in Nashville, I perform the scene where Rev. Dr. Meadows speaks about the sin of Sodom. He reminds the audience that the mob of Sodomites wanting to have sex with Lot’s two visitors has “nothing to do with what happens in the happy homes of lesbian and gay couples and much more to do with what happened at say Abu Ghraib prison.”

Tex shares with the audience just how different his life was when he lived for one week as a Black woman. This monologue is based on interviews I conducted with Black women living in the Hartford, CT area. I recently performed this scene as part of a diversity training for a school in Connecticut.

But as a whole play, I think it is over 😦 I may have an audio of it from when I performed it this summer at the Friends General Conference. I doubt I will produce a video of it, although I may publish the script some time.

Through my art I process so much of my life and pain. I worked on the Bush play as my mother slowly died of cancer. After she passed away, I was finally able to finish and only then realized that I needed to include her in the play. The performances served as a means for me to mourn her loss and share her wisdom and light with others. I feel as if I carried her through this play this past 18 months since I premiered The Re-Education of George W. Bush in Portland, OR.

Since then I have performed it in Hartford, CT, Sarasota, FL, Narrowsburg, NY (near where I grew up), Washington, DC,  Johnston, PA, Memphis, TN, Providence, RI, Vancouver, BC, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Malta, and Sweden.

My only regret is that I did not get to perform it more in the USA. Sadly many event organizers felts frightened that the play was too political and that they would get into some sort of trouble. To me that indicates that we are ALREADY in trouble, trouble that will take more than one new president to resolve.

I feel bitter sweet. I know I still carry my mother with me. Since her death I have felt a fearlessness that I never knew before. I feel grateful that we will move on from what has been eight years of a descent into political darkness perpetuated by the most corrupt government in my lifetime and perhaps in our entire history. We have deepened  our bloody history and have done dreadful things in Afghanistan and Iraq, and today are far less secure in the world than before we launched our wars of revenge.

I’m ready for a new day and to work towards a better future. John McCain says that Senator Obama is not ready to lead, that he is not tested. McCain has already been tested and has failed that test. He knows war. We need something different. We need to emerge from an old America of racism and violence and sexism and waste and homophobia. One man will not lead us out of that mess. We each have a part.

The Re-Education of George W. Bush was never about the president. It is about each one of us who have a George Bush inside of us needing to be educated. He may be out of office soon, but the work remains. In fact, our work only just begins.

Read Full Post »

Marvin interview Earthel Forester, an 87 year-old Black lesbian. Marvin’s Aunt Sylvia also calls in and I even make a cameo appearance. Oh, and Marvin responds to Elizabeth Jeremiah, thus modeling how to stand up to a spiritual bully (and if anyone knows about this it is Marvin)

Listen to Trans-Ponder Podcast #86 for an episode filled with poetry and so much more. Mila and Jayna crack me up!

OH!!! And Very Important. Trans-Ponder Podcast has been nominated for the Podcast Awards under the GLBT section. You can vote once a day this Thur, Fri and Sat. Please vote. You will make Marvin ever so happy.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »