Tag Archives: homophobia

Jerry Buell Is A Bad Teacher!


There’s this story in the local press regarding a teacher in Mt. Dora, Florida, Jerry Buell, who was suspended for posting what one could consider hatred towards gays on his personal Facebook page.

‘A Florida high school’s “Teacher of the Year” has been suspended for an anti-gay post he wrote on his Facebook page last month.

Jerry Buell, a history teacher at Mount Dora High School in Mount Dora, Fla. wrote on his Facebook page that he “almost threw up” when he was having dinner and news came on of New York’s decision to allow same-sex marriage showed up July 25.

“If they want to call it a union, go ahead,” Buell wrote, according to ClickOrlando.com. “But don’t insult a man and woman’s marriage by throwing it in the same cesspool as same-sex whatever! God will not be mocked. When did this sin become acceptable???”

Left out of the above, but included in a story on FOX Radio, was this statement from Buell:

“And now they showed two guys kissing after their announcement.”

See…here’s the deal, Mr. Buell. You, Sir, are a teacher. Teachers are role models for students, who often look up to them for advice when troubled. Your job is to guide the student in the quest to make his or her own logical decision regarding a topic, not to give them your personal opinion.

You are there to instruct the student, not pontificate. That includes posting on a Facebook page that you made public by choice. Do you have students as friends on your Facebook page? Do your students view your Facebook page? Of course they do.

Therefore, you have failed in your responsibilities as a teacher.


I’m not going to delve into your supposed First Amendment rights. Your obligation to your students trumps any rights of personal expression you may feel you have in the public atmosphere.

Teacher of the Year? You don’t deserve that honor, Sir.

NOTE: Discussion of this topic can be found on my forum.You’re welcome to join in!

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The Dishonor of Capt Honors


The following is a video (from four years ago) of Capt. Owen Honors, a Navy Top Gun; made while he was the Executive Officer on the USS Enterprise, a nuclear powered aircraft carrier manned by over 6000 men and women.

Purporting to be funny and produced without the knowledge of Capt Honors’ commanding officers, the video is not funny and considering it was made with our tax dollars by the ship’s Public Affairs Office, I seriously doubt Honors’ commanding officers knew nothing about it.

Aside from being unfunny, the video is rampant with homophobic and sexist overtones; as well as simulated masturbation. Certainly not what is expected of the second-in-command on a world-class fighting vessel; and certainly not an example of leadership from a man expected to lead. One would hope this childish behavior has no place in today’s military.

With the misguided furor and protestations of a small number of military officers (including Capt. Honors) over the repeal of DADT, I would think that the military would have far larger concerns with bigots like this in it’s ranks.

From Wired:

Honors, an ex-Top Gun, made several “XO Movie Night” videos while serving as second-in-command on the aircraft carrier Enterprise from 2005 to 2007, presumably to entertain the crew. They’re like Funny or Die joins the Navy: a series of salty Late Night-style sketches, like Honors in his bathrobe, crossing his legs casually while a sign saying “Little XO” stops the viewer from seeing his privates. A clip about masturbation shows Honors vigorously jacking a rubber chicken doll, with gooey white paint splashing on a crewmate’s shoes. F-bombs are deployed with vigor.

And then there’s the material that’s causing the Navy to launch an investigation, as it told the Virginian-Pilot, which found the videos. Making fun of the ship’s Surface Warfare Officers, Honors refers to one as a “fag SWO-boy” and shows a sketch featuring what he calls his “favorite topic: two chicks in the shower.”

Today, Capt. Honors is the Commander of the USS Enterprise. With the impending Navy investigation of these videos, Capt Honors will be released from his duties prior to the planned deployment of the Enterprise in the coming weeks.

In the wake of the repeal of DADT, it’s obvious behavior such as this cannot and will not be tolerated.

UPDATE 6:35pm: Capt Honors has been relieved of his duties pending Navy investigation. Good!

UPDATE #2: I’ve just been informed that the same person who derided my service to the country as a gay man was an enlisted man on the Enterprise. What’s even funnier is that in his elitist little mind he felt my duties as a Personnel Technician didn’t qualify me as being a “real servicemember”. I guess I should have been an XO somewhere making silly little movies on the taxpayer’s dime. 🙂

The Right Thing To Do


Last week history was made. President Obama signed the repeal of DADT into law. This was an especially meaningful moment for me as a former gay member of the military and as a vocal advocate for repeal for several years.

My military experience as a gay male became a cornerstone of my life and psyche. Forsaking two full four year scholarships to outstanding universities, I decided instead to join the military. Knowing at the time that I was gay, I made the difficult decision to lie on my enlistment application. I joined the Air Force in a time beset by the end of the Vietnam War and the beginning of social change within our country.

My military career as a Personnel Specialist started at the 615th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron in Neubruecke, Germany; a bit of a homecoming for me as I had spent my formulative years in Germany as a military brat, and had just returned to the States less than two years earlier. A small, tight-knight unit housed in an old Army hospital from the post-war period, we worked alongside NATO forces, Canadian Air Force, and the Army protecting and serving our country. It literally was a facility where everyone knew his fellow soldier.

During my years here I enjoyed great success in my military career, having been selected as the unit’s Airman of the Year and was one of four nominated for the command-wide USAFE (United States Armed Forces Europe) Airman of the Year. My personal life was also rewarding me with the completion of my college education through the University of Maryland and a formulative relationship with my best friend whom I care for deeply to this date.

Following my tour in Germany, I was assigned to Ellsworth AFB, in South Dakota. Continuing to be involved in the community and matters that involved my fellow soldiers, I was elected President of the base’s Air Force Sergeant’s Association, and (thanks to my language skills) was nominated for a special duty assignment with HUMINT, located at the Pentagon.

Later, I was transferred to Eglin AFB in sunny Florida, and spent the remaining four years of my military career there. It was during this period that I began to embrace the fact that I was gay, and without a stable relationship since I left Germany, I immersed myself in what I found to be a fairly large gay community in the Fort Walton Beach area. A community composed of civilians and an alarming (to a young me) number of active duty, former military, and retired Air Force members.

Of the one hundred or so Air Force personnel at the Consolidated Base Personnel Office (CBPO) where I worked, there were nearly ten of us who were gay, including the Chief of Personal Affairs and the Chief of the CBPO, a Major. 

For many years as a Personnel Technician in the Air Force my job was to process administrative discharges for cause. Some of these were otherwise outstanding men and women, discharged for being gay. Of them, a few just “wanted out”. Others accepted their fate and were willing to move on. Some were the targets of “witch hunts”, and were exposed to the full impact of homophobia in the military. Those I knew, I spoke with at length about my trepidation and the implied hypocrisy of my position in processing their discharge. We agreed that I was merely doing my “job”, and I had to be convinced several times to not speak out as it would affect my career.

I left the military and moved on with my life. Over the years, the fact that I was gay became less of a “chore”. That may be an unusual statement to make, but you must understand first that my entire life, up to this point, revolved around keeping my sexual orientation a secret from authorities: My family, led by a career military man; and the military, led by the institutionalized homophobia fueled by ignorance.

To say that being free from these constraints of society was challenging would be an understatement. On two occasions I was the victim of extreme hate in the form of gay-bashing, with the last incident leaving me seriously injured, physically and mentally, at the hands of a law enforcement officer attending training at the FLETC in Brunswick, Georgia.

As a result, I’ve become increasingly an advocate for gay rights and equality. More so after someone (a former Navy enlisted man) had the following statements to say (on an internet forum) about me a few years ago:

With those assumptions… and your own admission… I can safely say that you falsified government documents to gain employement in a government position under false pretenses.  That is a federal crime.

…a guy who admittedly broke the law and lied to his government for almost 2 full decades.

Howey is a guy that illegally served in the military.

The fact that you lied to your employer and broke the law for your entire career.

A man can not serve his country while breaking the laws of the land.  

…gay person that made a false statement to gain employment with the government commited a federal crime.

If someone lies about their eligibility to serve, it is fraud.

…you are a liar and should be in jail for defrauding the United States government of money you don’t rightfully deserve.

I’m glad to see current service members don’t agree with those statements, as well as our Service Chiefs, Congress, and a majority of Americans. What I see is the opportunity for gay men and women to continue serving for, and dying for, their country without fear of reprisal and shame merely because they happen to love someone of the same sex.

The President is correct.

It was THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

You Just Don’t Realize It Yet…


It’s becoming more and more obvious that my prediction the other day foresaw the future of DADT, that archaic and bigoted law that has made second-class citizens of our honored men and women in the military for no other reason that they happen to be gay.

When I was in the Air Force, my job was to process administrative separations at Ellsworth AFB in South Dakota and at Eglin AFB here in Florida, including those of gays. Although I occasionally felt a ping of remorse and hypocrisy (why is a gay kicking out gays?) I was comforted by the fact that (as far as I recall) 100% of these discharges were, a. Straights who couldn’t really handle the pressure of military life and just wanted out; or b. Gays who were the victim of the homophobia and hate within the workplace.

Fortunately, I merely processed the paperwork, preparing the documentation, forwarding it to the Judge Advocate’s office for his or her review, then to my Chief Personnel Officer (Surprise: He was gay too!), then on to the Unit Commander (none of these cases were “serious” enough to be sent to the Wing Commander for signature) who signed the package. All in all, it was an expeditious manner to accomplish the service member’s goal: A quick discharge with an Honorable Certificate of Service.

Oh. Back to my prediction. I said:

“Why Would any “next guy in office” take the chance of reducing the size of the military by 10% by kicking out all the open gays in the military following such a pronouncement?”

It’s becoming obvious, day to day as the death knell tolls for the end of DADT, that the simplest way for it to die is happening…

Let DADT die on the vine. Tie up a half-hearted appeal in the courts. Make it so hard to process these discharges that it just isn’t worth the effort, time, or leaving the decision in the hands of five people with a lot more pressing things out there to worry about…like Afghanistan and Iraq:

At present, discharges will now require approval of the service secretary, who would consult with Defense undersecretary Clifford Stanley and the general counsel Jeh Johnson, putting the entire separation process in the hands of political appointees.

DADT is dead. You just don’t realize it yet.

The End of Independent Thinking?


I’ve come to a realization in the past few days.

I guess maybe my age is showing but it’s becoming increasingly evident people are unable to think for themselves. I remember as a child, I built model cars built by AMT, JoHan, or Revell; piecing and gluing each individual part, following instructions meticulously, painting each door, body and engine to perfection, assembling the final product and marvelling in it’s creation. 

I was taught Mathematics, Geometry and Algebra (along with other advanced courses) in High School; as well as the English language and the construction of our language. In order to solve mathematical problems we used the Slide Rule, a device complicated enough to require it’s own learning process. Remember diagramming? To take it even further, some of us were fortunate to learn other languages which enabled a deeper understanding of the construction of, and more importantly, the deconstruction of words and sentences.

I remember when I joined the Air Force and was being considered as a Language Specialist. One of the tests to determine the ability to learn new languages involved the development and structure of a “non-language” (The exam was the Defense Language Aptitude Battery).

Each of these facets of learning had one thing in common. The ability to reason, or quite simply, “figure it out”. One actually had to think in order to formulate a response and/or answer to a particular situation. Whether it was a mathematical formula, a sentence, or even putting together a model car, the success and gratification was in the accomplishment of the final product and the thought that went into it.

It’s not like that today. Today our children (or more importantly – their teachers and school administrators) focus more on passing state standard exams such as the woefully useless FCAT in Florida. Today we don’t buy model cars to put together, they already are. Today our High Schoolers depend on expensive electronic calculators to merely show them the correct graft or equation on a little green screen. Today the art of learning a language, nay…the art of learning the discipline of language, is lost in Google Translator. Today, people are spoon-fed information without the need to think about it.

As is our ability to research. Again, and once more – think for ourselves! Case in point: A few hours ago someone I know (without a computer) called me and asked me to Google a personal Hurricane Evacuation Plan for him.

Aside from the obvious fact that A. You get in the fucking car and head west!, or B. It’s all in the fucking phone book! is the most distressing: C. You couldn’t figure out A and B for yourself?

Which brings me to one final epithany.

Our country has always been one of political partisanship. The Constitution was written with the goal of perpetual discussion of the merits and demerits of a democracy. The process of our government has been under the microscope of evaluation for centuries.

What’s missing today, especially on the right, is Reason. We have pundits, politicians, prognosticators, and populists even networks throwing out wild theories and accusations. Why? Because they know the folks who listen to them are totally incapable of the thought processes needed to think things out. They are incapable of processing the words they hear, they can’t think it out…

When we have leaders of the Republican Party telling people ridiculous stuff like “The President’s not born in America!”, or “Brown people are illegal and don’t deserve rights”, or when people like Bill Wilder say “I want to see Florida a fag-free state!”, or the Attorney General of the State of Florida state that he doesn’t want a child raised by two loving people, or the outlandish Islamophobia coming from politicians and lilMike‘s keypads, we’re in a conundrum. Those of us with the intelligence, and reason, to realize this is bullshit, aren’t the targets.

It’s those who just don’t get it. Those who lack the intelligence or ability to “think it out“.

Think about it…

Stupid Is As Stupid Does


From the “Duh Department”….

For those of you who don’t know, I live in the beautiful state of Florida. Home of our Governor, Charlie Crist, a career politician lacking a political agenda for the State…unless it involves furthering his political career.

For several years now, he’s been flipping back and forth from being a Liberal Republican to a Moderate Republican to a Center-Right Republican to a Right-Wing Republican in his quest to please the Republican hierarchy in our state and nation.

Today, he’s given up on running Florida so he can run for U.S. Senator in a seat (formerly held by Mel Martinez) in what he thought a few months ago was a cakewalk. Hell, he even managed to appoint a Do-Nothing Lackey, one George LeMieux, as a temporary caretaker to the seat in the Senate he so desires in his quest for personal satisfaction, the Presidency.

Yet, Gov. Lisp, as I affectionally call him, has somewhat of a shady past. After a quickie marriage and divorce to a lesbian in the eighties, he’s spent the better part of his career as a “confirmed bachelor”.

Over the years, rumors of his sexuality spread through the Florida government and populace. When I first met Charlie thirteen or so years ago, I was impressed with the fact that one of his “aides” never left his side at functions. A well-dressed, handsome young man. Reports of his dalliances littered the political landscape for years, and his sexuality became “The Worst Kept Secret in Florida”.

Until the day, almost two years ago, when Charlie decided he wanted to be Vice-President. A few overtures to John McCain later, the name of Florida Governor Charlie Crist started showing up on short lists of possible VP nominees.

Unfortunately, Charlie had baggage. A past. So he concocted a whirlwind romance with a handsome divorcee and a quick engagement to her. Then paraded her in front of McCain during a visit to McCain’s compound in July, 2008.

I guess even that didn’t convince McCain or his people, as the chosen VP nominee turned out to be Sarah Palin. But that’s a whole other story!

Which brings us to today…

Charlie’s in a losing battle for the Senate seat he so desperately needs. Losing to an extreme right wing state legislator from South Florida, Marco Rubio. Now Charlie’s in the process of reconfiguring his political stance once again.

So…What does he do? In an astonishing announcement (and another flip flop on a previous stance) regarding the repeal of DADT, the St. Petersburg Times reports:

“We are a nation at war. The governor believes the current policy has worked, and there is no need to make changes,” Crist campaign spokeswoman Amanda Henneberg said.

Yup. Gov. Lisp is telling gays in the military to stay in the closet.

Go figure.

DUH!

Super Hypocrisy


I guess the whole world’s waiting to see the Super Bowl ad sponsored by the Right Wing-Conservative-Political-Hate-Group-Disguised-As-A-Religious-Entity Focus on Family. Apparently the ad will document the decision ex-Florida Gator Tim Tebow’s mother Pam made to not have an abortion after contracting an illness while pregnant with him.

Resulting in what I’m sure some right wing Christian zealot bible-thumping idiots consider the…

Second Coming of Christ

I really don’t care that Focus on Family runs this ad…although I find it amusing that over a thousand employees of the organization lost their jobs in order to pay for it.

Nor do I care that the thousands of young, impressionable, and stupid Christian teenage girls and young women watching the ad will entertain the thought of putting their own life in danger when faced with pregnancy complications in the future…

Because Focus on Family tells them they might be carrying the next Tim Tebow!

What I do find quite silly is the reasoning CBS is using to run the ad. Historically known for not airing controversial commercials during the Super Bowl, CBS had the following comment to make:

“We have for some time moderated our approach to advocacy submissions after it became apparent that our stance did not reflect public sentiment or industry norms,” said spokesman Dana McClintock. “In fact, most media outlets have accepted advocacy ads for some time.”

Yet, CBS has refused to air the following commercial during this year’s Super Bowl:

Ok. Sure. It might portray a stereotype of a certain subculture of gay life. Is that a reason to not air the ad? Nope.

How about this commercial? Also refused by CBS?

Even less inoffensive.

Unless, of course, you’re a homophobic bigot afraid of seeing two guys kinda-sorta make out!