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The covert anti-Gay email campaign

By James Moylan

I am standing in the current election as a candidate for the Senate in Queensland, but do not panic – I am not about to launch into a ‘vote for me’ pitch. Rather I thought I’d talk a little about the email traffic that every candidate receives.

Having been a candidate a couple of times I knew to expect a flood of emails into my inbox from individual voters and from community organisations. Normally these letters arrive in the form of a request for a statement regarding a policy position. Sometimes I am asked to fill in a questionnaire regarding a group of issues. Sometimes the petitioner just asks that I keep a particular issue in mind whilst campaigning.

I mostly enjoy going through these emails of a morning. I got involved in politics largely because I feel that the partisan nature of our political discourse tends to lock out the majority of Aussies from getting involved and adding their opinions to the mix. So these direct communications from interest groups and individuals can be a terrific way of getting acquainted with exactly what other Queenslanders think about all sorts of things.

However at each election there are also two segments of my email traffic that really do cause me some grief. First there are letters from individuals and groups that I disagree with heartily. These correspondents I call the ‘anti’ brigade. I receive literally dozens of emails from people and groups that are anti drugs, anti free speech, anti public schooling, anti refugee, anti immigration, anti immunisation, anti fluoride, anti live-export, anti anti-bullying, anti gay, anti Israel, anti Christian, anti Muslim, anti democracy, etc.

I have learned to largely ignore the anti emails. During the first couple of campaigns I would often agonise over a particular email and write out a long detailed response that would invariably end up in the bin. This is because even the most politely worded response, expressing even the mildest hint of disagreement, would likely prompt an indignant reply. Then sometimes, instead of a correspondent remaining a total stranger, they would transform into an angry campaigner who would certainly advise: ‘everyone I meet, from now until election day, that you are a complete and utter doofus. Yours sincerely; your enemy forever’.

The second segment of my email traffic that causes difficulties are those received from the religiously devout. During the last couple of campaigns these have usually been from individuals who are trying to save my soul or sometimes trying to save the rest of humanity from the consequences of failing to believe in whatever it is the correspondent believes in. Often they will be ‘praying for me’ or ‘praying that I follow God’s will’ or they will invite me to comment on how much I agree with them that Australia is ‘a Christian Country’.

However this election is different. During this election there has been an orchestrated campaign by the religious right to try and ensure that every candidate in the current election is inundated with emails asking that they promise to never support Gay marriage.

In the last few days my inbox has been at times flooded by these emails which are all readily identifiable as they all bear the same heading: ‘I support man-woman marriage. Do you?’

To say that I find most of these emails to be objectionable and downright misguided would be to understate my reaction. I have taken to deleting them without even looking at the contents – otherwise I get upset and distracted.

How can it be that in the 21st century there are still so many Australians that are so grossly bigoted?

These emails are often intimidating and threatening. They hint at the likelihood that I will go to hell if I dare support same-sex marriage. Or if I support the right for all citizens to marry that will somehow lead to the end of our civilisation. They also demand that we stop teaching tolerance and equality in our schools or otherwise unspecified horrors will certainly descend on our children and our communities.

I have had a gutful of all this gross intolerance masquerading as concern. So I thought I might advertise the views of this small segment of correspondents a bit more widely so that other Aussies might become aware of this ongoing letter writing campaign.

Below are a few snippets drawn from these emails (that are currently sitting in my digital bin):

  • I believe in the creation of Man and Woman for the procreation of children by God. It was God that defined marriage between a man and a woman, therefore it is my opinion that Man does NOT have the right to re define something that God ordained and put in place for the nurture, protection and optimal environment for the raising of children.
  • You and your party will be judged by the future generation on the ethical and moral outcome for the nation from this election. Further, the sovereign God of the universe is not mocked without consequences.
  • Please let me know what is your stance on marriage as it is important to my family at this election, and will absolutely determine who gets our primary vote, and also our preferences.
  • Marriage between a man and a woman is a key Biblical and social institution that transcends time and culture. It provides an optimal environment for the raising of children – and is about a lot more than just “love”.
  • Throwing children into these unnatural relationships is a social disaster!
    throw in the safe schools socialist sexual indoctrination of children, and it becomes the thing of nightmares!
  • All those involved with the creation of this deception of sexual grooming of children under the safe schools anti bullying program should face criminal charges, and be placed on the sexual offenders list, automatically dismissed from ever working in the education system!

These religious zealots are undertaking this lobbying campaign in a covert and surreptitious manner largely because they know that the vast majority of Aussies not only disagree with their stance on gay marriage but would also likely feel aggrieved if they knew about the tactics being employed in their fight on behalf of continuing inequity and discrimination.

I feel that if these people want to be able to continue to discriminate against those who are homosexual then they should at least argue their case in public and stop filling my inbox, and that of all the candidates, with a constant stream of bigoted and obnoxious opinions.

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  1. Jaquix

    And there is Malcolm blandly saying we can have a civil and intelligent debate? The man is mad.

  2. Catriona Thoolen

    Hi, I am a PUP candidate for Senate in Vic. I have had the same emails 100s of them. I have sent all to spam, but they keep coming.

    Someone should let them know that my views will not change based on them spamming me. In fact, as a mother…you nag me, you get nothing!!! grrr

  3. Tracie

    I believe in man-woman marriage.

    I also believe in man-man, woman-woman, and any other deviation that could be considered, including woman-rock marriage. As long as the marriage doesn’t involve me, I’m good.

    For all those ‘christian’ types, perhaps they should learn a bit of history. I’m sure they would have been utterly aghast at the fact that the kings and queens that have ruled them (particularly in ancient and medieval times) were brothers and sisters that have married each other. Again and again and again. I’m sure in these modern times there are now laws against this….

  4. Möbius Ecko

    Hi Catriona. You can easily set up a filter to automatically send those types of emails to spam or indeed be immediately deleted. They all use key words and/or phrases that can be used as the trigger for the filter.

    There’s plenty online on how to setup and configure email filters.

  5. Stephen Brailey

    It fills me with disgust that in this day and age with what we know of human psychology and sexuality that people promulgate these hateful and uterly false assertions. The fact that they seem to have such a disproportionately large voice is another cuase for concern and questions need to be asked at a political level!

  6. Terry2

    These emails to candidates are a worry, this is what the plebiscite will feed on.

    Anybody who has paid the slightest attention so far will be aware that the marriage equality debate is all about changes to the federal Marriage Act which has absolutely nothing to do with religion.

    Turnbull made a massive mistake when he abandoned his position and gave in to the Right of his party : he will live to regret that decision

  7. Freethinker

    This is what get into my latin hot blood :

    I do not have any respect for for those how call themselves “Christians” opposing to the right to people love each other in the name of religion and at the same time torture children and their mothers to make an example to others.
    I just wonder if the weak leader of the coalition is just a “yes man” or another barbaric person under cover.
    I hope that dose politicians of candidates with decency will do the much of they can to not help the agenda of the draconian extreme right members of the government to create more division in our society.

  8. bertr

    Speaking for myself, society mostly accepts it and I don’t really have an opinion either way. Politicians are paid to make decisions. Decide, vote and move on, and that’s what people need to do next weekend. Read…listen…THINK!!!…decide…vote

  9. Steve Howton

    The marriage equality debate in Australia is becoming divisive and vocal, with recent legal changes in many western countries (over twenty jurisdictions) entitling the gay, lesbian and transgender population to equality under marriage Law.

    One of the most frequent arguments against marriage equality is the “slippery-slope” gambit which posits that such changes will lead to polygamy, bestiality, incest and paedophilia. This, of course, is not an inevitable conclusion because there are prohibitions in marriage Laws which are based on practical reasons: Siblings may not marry because they may engage in coitus which may create children with severe intellectual and/or physical disabilities; people under a certain age because most cannot give informed consent; animals for at least the same reason; coercive marriages because one has not given consent; those already married because the appropriate Acts rely on monogamy. Moreover, countries that have legislated marriage equality as long as seventeen years ago have shown no evidence of this leading to other legislative changes to Marriage Acts.

    I have yet to see convincing argument as to why same-gender couples should not be entitled to the protections, rights and responsibilities of the Marriage Act as that enjoyed by opposite-gender couples. Arguments such as “because it is written” or “because that’s the way it is” are simply bereft of any evidential value. I submit, further, that nobody to date has shown compellingly what harm, if any, would be done to society by the inclusion of same-gender couples in marriage laws.

    Some will say that my argument for marriage equality is selfish. To a degree, yes, of course it is selfish. That, surely, is the nature of wanting something. And yet, given that I am sixty and not in a relationship, it is unlikely (but not impossible) that this will have a direct impact on my life. So I want the change for the many hundreds of people who I believe are marginalised by being denied the legal rights and responsibilities that come with marriage. Even in selfishness, there can be altruism.

    Marriage is a legal construct that is separate from any natural function. It exists in modern society purely for the purpose of protecting propriety rights over real and personal estate, although it also extends to certain personal rights in relation to providing and caring for a spouse.

    It is also claimed by opponents of marriage equality that marriage has always been a certain thing and should not be changed. However, realistically, marriage has evolved over time from being originally about property and business ties. Throughout history – and even today in some societies – families arranged marriages for couples. Most couples through history didn’t marry because they were in love but for economic liaisons. The people involved didn’t then – and in modern arranged marriages, don’t today – have much to say about the decision.

    Oftentimes, a woman’s consent wasn’t even needed in the past. In sixteenth-century England, this was a cause of concern for the Catholic Church who were striving to be the ruling Church. There appeared to be so many marriages taking place without witness or ceremony in the 1500’s that the Catholic Council of Trent decreed in 1563 that marriages should be celebrated in the presence of a priest and at least two witnesses. This, then, became the first official involvement of Churches in what had previously been a predominantly Pagan matter.

    Some argue that religious beliefs are a controlling influence on who can marry whom, with Churches setting rules about marrying divorced people or people of differing faiths. However, “Marriage” is certainly not a Christian word, having come from ancient English. The word “marriage” derives from Middle English “mariage”, which first appears in 1250–1300 (Middle English: from Old French mariage, from marier ‘marry’) long before the Church was involved in the ceremonies. Some (but certainly not all) Church believers object to the use of the word “marriage” by non-traditional couples because they say it’s “their” word.

    Marriage, as a word, is a sound or collection of letters intended to create an image. That image, depending on who uses the word, could be taken to show two people committed to each other for (hopefully) life or, in the case of carpentry, two pieces of wood solidly bonded together to form a part of something greater. Indeed, recently my mechanic married-up a transmission to the back of my Holden Statesman engine.

    Giving LGBTI people the same rights but calling it something different means it would be different – defeating the objective of equality in the eyes of the Law and Society. Rather like saying, “We’re having chocolate cake, and you can too – but yours is called porridge”.

    It is inaccurate to argue that the “family unit” was not around before organised religion. The earliest concepts of formalised marriage, related to property ownership, with offspring mainly providing cheap labour and furthering dynasties. This can be seen in arranged marriages – notably in royal families intermarrying – where a partner was chosen by others with a view to how such a marriage could benefit the families concerned.

    Many people hold the view that regardless of how people enter into matrimony, marriage is a bond between two people that involves responsibility and legalities, as well as commitment and challenge. That concept of marriage hasn’t changed through the ages.

    Looking locally, Governments across different jurisdictions have administered marriage laws in Australia since European settlement. These laws were not immutable. In fact, at various points in time, governments have seen fit to legislate on citizens’ eligibility to marry. Those considered minors by today’s standards were permitted to marry, and restrictions were placed on Indigenous Australians’ right to marry whom they chose.

    A person’s eligibility to marry could change from one state to another at different points in time. For example, the marriageable age in Australian states and territories was the same as the age of consent: 14 for men and 12 for women. However, in 1942, Tasmania raised the marriageable age for men to 18 and for women to 16; Western Australia followed suit in 1956 and South Australia in 1957.

    The definition “marriage means the union of a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others, voluntarily entered into for life.” was not added to the marriage act until 2004 when the bill sought to formalise the definition of marriage and to respond to the legalisation of same-sex marriages in some overseas countries. The Howard Government was reacting to marriage equality legislation in other countries and knew that, as the Marriage Act existed, it could not be used to prevent such legislation in Australia.

    In addition, the Marriage Amendment Act 2004 included Section 88EA in what many believe was a spiteful and discriminatory move to prohibit the recognition in Australia of same-sex marriages performed in foreign countries.

    So it can be seen that Law has fluidity about it. Some laws evolve to include and, oftentimes enhance, sectors of communities previously not entitled to protection by law. Others may be a knee-jerk reaction to events happening elsewhere and have the effect of being discriminatory and actually remove some rights and responsibilities from certain people.

    Setting legal matters aside, history shows us that some societies accepted, indeed welcomed, same-gender couplings. Some Native American tribes referred to these people as “Two Spirit” people. Not all tribes had rigid gender roles, but, among those that did, some consider there to be at least four genders: masculine man, feminine man, masculine woman, feminine woman. The presence of male-bodied two-spirits “was a fundamental institution among most tribal peoples” and, according to Will Roscoe, both male-bodied and female-bodied two-spirits have been documented “…in over 130 North American tribes, in every region of the continent.”

    Closer to home, some – but by no means all – Aboriginal clans accepted homosexual partnerships. Some groups believed certain people possessed both male and female spirits in one body. They were referred to as “Two-One” people – similar to the concept of “Two Spirit” people in North American Indigenous culture. Because of this, they were allowed to engage in relationships that were validated in their tribal culture.

    It could be fairly said that most of the communities who then accepted same-gender partnerships had not yet been exposed to Christianity. The missions became a tool for altering long-held beliefs and so, on my submission, the historical argument must fall.

    Some people argue both science and theology. I believe it’s fair to say that the two aspects are mutually incompatible. One relies on metaphorical tales based on ancient texts. Those texts have been frequently interpreted, interpolated and translated by people from varying cultures, usually to achieve a desired political result. The other is based on careful observation, study and analysis. The theory of creation as espoused in the Bible flies in the face of scientific fact and, indeed, simple logic. Most of the stories included in the book cannot ever be scientifically verified and, often, were not even witnessed by other commentators but were based on the words of one person. For example, only Moses is said to have seen a burning bush and spoken to “God”, without any corroborating witness testimony. In my submission, organised religion was based on a series of metaphors and simply pre-dates organised and democratic legal systems. It was, simply put, a mechanism for ancient rulers to control the masses.

    Another contentious issue raised is that of raising children. While this is not absolutely entwined with marriage, it is worth viewing the issue, even as a separate thing.

    I’m a homosexual man and I informally fostered a fourteen year old boy who was living in a “supported” residence. He was frequently bullied and was permitted little privacy. On the occasions when he “escaped” and turned up at my home, I would be contacted and ordered to return him or face Police action. The boy was told he was better off where he was rather than in a house with “some poof”. Now, at thirty-five, he still calls me “Dad” and I am Grandpa to his children. He has turned into a man I readily call my son. While I didn’t adopt him, he chose to change his family name to mine.

    Of course, any fool knows that he would have been better off in a family with a loving mother and father. That is a natural thing that I never argue with. However, that simply wasn’t available to him. I have done what little I could to fill that need. That upbringing is also not available to a lot of children. Some are brought up by wonderful and hard-working single parents while others, in various places around the world, are left to their own devices and oftentimes meet an awful fate.

    Given that close to 50% of marriages end in divorce, I think the “sanctity” of marriage when connected to childbirth and child-raising is getting a little thin. Moreover, given the number of children born out of wedlock, I would say it’s apparent that being unmarried is hardly a barrier to making pregnancies. Indeed, marriage has very little to do with procreation. Using procreation in a debate to deny gay people marriage rights is completely inappropriate. It could be seen as a submission that infertile couples should be denied the right of marriage, or those who firmly intend to not have children.

    Gay people, like anybody else, are capable and willing parents, either through adoption or fostering and, with proper support, children of same-gender families can be helped through the bullying that comes with that, or with wearing glasses, or even being a little larger than the usual size. Indeed, in some states in Australia, LGBT people can already adopt: In Western Australia, same-gender parents have been able to adopt since 2002, NSW since 2010 (single people since 2000), ACT since 2004 (singles since 1993), Tasmania since 2013 while here in Victoria, (a little slower than others), it will be legal as of September of this year. Queensland says yes for single LGBT people since 2009 while South Australia and the Northern Territory say no.

    From a legal standpoint, it is evident that relationships are not all constructed on just sexual gratification, but are built on companionship and devotion. Certain rights and responsibilities are enshrined in law to give those relationships legitimacy and to enhance their legal standing in the community.

    I, like in many opposite-gender partnerships, spent years caring for a desperately ill partner, but I had to have an enduring Power of Attorney to do so – indeed, even to visit in hospital.

    When he died, that document became null and void immediately, denying me the right to any decisions about the disposition of his remains or estate. Effectively, I was denied the closure needed for healthy grieving – which creates problems years later. Twenty-two years later, I am filled with feelings of unfinished business.

    Many would argue that he should have had a Will. Certainly, he could have had one. However, his legal next-of-kin could easily have that nullified with a half-way competent Probate Lawyer. Moreover, a Will takes time to execute and is, therefore, useless in matters relating to the disposition of the deceased.

    So this is very much more important than mere sexual gratification. This is a life not so very different from everybody else’s, but without legal recognition.

    While marriage equality may not directly offer anything of benefit to the broader community, people asking if it does, in itself, demonstrates a certain level of selfishness in them. Effectively, they are asking, “What’s in it for me?”

    In answer, there is probably nothing in it for you other than the knowledge that you are a part of an inclusive society that recognises some people are different and, hopefully, having pride in that. For some people, however, there is an enormous impact for them. The young people who suicide because they cannot see they will ever be accepted by society can be dissuaded from their course by a simple change of five words in the Marriage Act. A person who devotes his or her life to another can have that devotion recognised and validated in the eyes of the Law and community.

    While I read most arguments with respect and interest, I believe they fall short of offering a valid reason why gay people should NOT be permitted the right of legal marriage recognition. Given that, I respectfully suggest that they do not addressed my question, which is “Why should gay people not have marriage equality?” to a level that might sway my beliefs.

    I call on the Parliament of Australia to make the changes to the Marriage Act 1958 to replace the phrase “man and woman” with “partners”; to replace the words “husband and wife” with “spouse” and to replace the words “mother and father” with “parent or guardian”.

  10. wam

    The answer is easy. I just ask do you expect to make love in heaven? So far no christian has answered in the negative. Do women menstruate or is there no procreation involved? Don’t forget to smile and duck.
    There is a great tragedy in that the mentality that tried to prevent the sharing of love between two of my friends after the war by sending tommy to gaol is still strong in the indoctrinated christians. stance on anti-gay marriage.
    Surely, as happened then, they will make a fool of themselves.
    Keep calm with a steady reminder that the cornerstone of marriage is love not sex

  11. Sir ScotchMistery

    I would like to take this opportunity to publicly announce the engagement of my long term companion Rock, and myself.

    We have not decided on either date or venue, but we do both plan to be stoned.

    We are both hoping for a continuing river of support from our friends and families (well mine anyway) and we both hope the pebble we cast upon the waters of life will lead to further people admitting their love for and commitment to, inanimate objects.

    I don’t believe Malcolm speaks for anyone outside of the mad xtian right when he casts doubt on the love of 2 objects for one another, irrespective the state of their animation, individually.

  12. guest

    Religious people talk of a god making men and women for the procreation of children, but they baulk at the suggestion that the same god created men who love men and women who love women. They slip into vague suggestions of “life choices” and display ignorance of the complexity of human sexuality.

    The Safe Schools program draws the attention of these people because of the mention of LGBTI children. They see the program as an attempt to convert children to an LGBTI view of themselves – completely oblivious to the fact that LGBTI children in the program would already know they were LGBTI. These opponents of the program are very happy to discuss bullying generally, but seem to reject any mention of LGBTI children. This is discrimination of a perverse kind.

    There is a strong conservative element in our community which espouses a belief in the Western-Judaeo tradition. This would include any suggestion in the Bible that LGBTI people are “sinful”. But it would not allow homosexuality of the kind which existed in ancient Greece. In fact, it would have to deny homosexuality throughout history, and not just in the Western-Judaeo tradition. Unfortunately, Christianity exhibits a limited view of sexuality which leads to some unfortunate consequences for people of the faith, including its priests and nuns who are committed to celibacy and “marriage” to Christ.

    It is difficult to discuss these matters when attitudes are well established early in life. Fortunately, when one of their own “comes out”, many are able to understand and to maintain their love. Some, unfortunately, not – such is the power of dogma.

  13. Gangey1959

    Sir Scotchy.
    Let me be the first on here to say CONGRATULATIONS.
    @Tracie. You took the words straight out of my fingers.
    The whole argument has been turned from love into sex. On that note, as someone with regular contact with working girls, and some boys (I drive them and make sure they get home safely, and it pays for my petrol), sodomy is predominantly a heterosexual artform.
    Suck on that one, bible-bashers.
    Surely the ”Safe Schools” program should have been anti bullying per se. You can’t tell me that corhesanarshole didn’t bully people like georgie christiansen when he was at school for being fat, or wearing glasses, or being weird and bad at sport etc etc. Slag that he is.
    I still say that god, if there is only one, is a REALLY pissed off WOMAN, just hanging out to tell some of us men how much of a stuff up they have made of some really easy things.

  14. woywoybaz

    Which god created marriage? Marduk? Ahura Mazda? There were so many before the Christian god happened along.

  15. James Moylan

    Sir ScotchMistery: congratulations.
    I wish you and yr partner all the best.
    I have been married for twenty(mumble) years and I reckon it is one of the best things since sliced bread. Maybe even better!

  16. Sir ScotchMistery

    Thank you to all for your kind thoughts.

    My dad was a minister in the Methodist (later Uniting) church, and one of my fondest memories of him is telling me “when God created man, she was only joking”.

    Mum said the other day I must have rocks in my head to marry a pebble, but he is perfect and black and semicircular and I just adore being around him. Mum’s only concern was that I may decide not to take her fishing any longer but I know that at 89, it is something she still enjoys, so, pebbles aside, I will continue to help her with that pastime.

    Someone mentioned that Christensen thing from the lying nationalist party. He proves, as did Abbort, that lnp don’t give a stuff who represents them.

  17. Kronomex

    If Big Daddy, Sonny and Spooky appear at the end of my bed tonight and provide proof that they are who they say they are then maybe, just maybe, I’ll take what they say under consideration. Malcolm and his plebiscite, apart from being a massive waste of TAXPAYERS (not gummint) money, will be completely nullified by his toadying to the rabid right and giving them a “free” vote. A huge and jolly jape on the rest of the country.

  18. Catriona Thoolen

    Thanks, Möbius Ecko

  19. Miriam English

    It is weird, isn’t it, that most of the arguments against same sex marriage were previously used against interracial marriage. You know the ones: it’s unnatural, it’s disgusting, think of the poor children, and so on. Well, folks… the end of the world didn’t come, and most would say the world is actually a better place because of it.

  20. Sir ScotchMistery

    @ Steve Howton, and anyone who disagrees,

    Reading your story, could well have been my life lived twice.

    Openly gay at 17, after joining the navy at 15. Left after 10 years, unconvinced that working for men who knew less than me, questioned less than me, aimed lower than me, and all that was wrong with me was being gay as far as others were concerned.

    At 35 providing a non-sexually based space for a 14 year old, who eventually was allowed to live with me until he turned 18 and moved into a place with his girlfriend. I moved overseas, he has since got married and had kids. Fighting a child welfare department that included visits to my home at 11 at night to make sure I wasn’t screwing him, or sleeping with him, making sure he got to school, after 3 years with a mother who didn’t, and among the people from child welfare were those who still felt he was better off with her after several episodes of irons and pots being thrown at him.

    Sometimes I wonder what people are thinking when they make decisions based on their inbuilt prejudices. Then think back to the navy and explaining to my department head why I felt it was pointless, me working with a lieutenant without the wit to recognise I was so much beyond any point he could think about that if it couldn’t be changed from what it was, then I was leaving.

    Now at 60, I know in areas, I do make a difference, when I answer a phone call on a particular number. I make a difference when I force a parliamentary committee to rethink a position, based on something i have written and researched. I make a decision when I look a man in the eyes and accept his story for what it is, and allow him to move on in his life, past what the story contained.

    I don’t believe gay men have this themselves, alone. I know that there are many men who not only listen to stories, but help other men through them. I know that many of those men, in fact the majority, who are straight, have a place to be themselves, in honesty and in compassion. I know that among those men are many I am proud to call friends.

    I am thoughtful of the reaching out only happens as we men become elders in our space. A point where other men reach out to us, as men, to be mentored, to be assisted, to be guided even, through the forest of railroad tracks we call a life journey. A gay man can maybe have more time to do it. Perhaps that isn’t the reason, but it’s worth considering as one.

    I fostered a child with HIV when he was 11. A heroine addict, and the only people who judged me, were other foreigners in that far-off land. People who spent their retired waking hours at bars, trying to dislodge young hookers from bar stools, and convert their lonely, asinine, useless lives into something with energy, with life and perhaps with meaning.

    None of them ever succeeded in doing that, that I was aware of.

    The one man who did succeed, who was heterosexual, was deeply disabled physically, but equipped with a wondrous, alert, loving and supportive mind. I will go to my grave, thankful I had the privilege of being a part of his life.

    @Steve, welcome to my nightmare.

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