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Houston Voice, No. 1136, August 2, 2002
File 009
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Houston Voice, No. 1136, August 2, 2002 - File 009. 2002-08-02. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 28, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3893/show/3876.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2002-08-02). Houston Voice, No. 1136, August 2, 2002 - File 009. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3893/show/3876

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, No. 1136, August 2, 2002 - File 009, 2002-08-02, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 28, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3893/show/3876.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, No. 1136, August 2, 2002
Contributor
  • Weaver, Penny
  • Crain, Chris
Publisher Window Media
Date August 2, 2002
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 009
Transcript STAFF Executive Editor CHRIS CRAIN Editor PENNY WEAVER edrttratTOustonvoice.com PrixJucrtion BONNIE NAUGLE Corrtriblltrirs LEE DAVIS, ERIC ERVIN. GARY GARRETT, KATHREEN LEE. RHONDA SMITH, KEITH TAYLOR Webmaster JEDDEMPSEY Ptlctogranhei-i DALTON DEHART, KIMBERLY THOMPSON Advertising Sales BRETT CULLUM-Account Executive bcullum:ahoustonvoice.com PETE MORRIS-Account Executive pmorrisia hoiistonvoicesom National Advertising Representative Rivendell Marketing Company, Inc. 212-242-6863 AWi Publication Publisher-WINDOW MEDIA LLC Presxlent- WILLIAM WAYBOURN EdHoriaJ Director- CHRIS CRAIN Corporate taitroler- PATRICK SUMMERS Art Director- ROB BOEGER Marketing Director- ERIC MAY General Manager- MICHAEL KITCHENS f* thecharnber tttae ^realtor hraa'gtai __ft*t chmvimr inamrwnmxM) CHARTER MEMBER Established 1974 as the Montrose Star. 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200 Houston, Texas 77006 (713) 529-8490 Fax: (713) 529-9531 www.houstonvoice.com Contents copyright 2000 Office hours: 9 am to 530 pm weekdays To submit a letter Letters should be fewer than 400 words. We reserve the right to edit for content and length. We will withhold names upon request, but you must include your name and phone number for verification. Please send mail to Houston Voice, 500 Lovett Blvd., Suite 200, Houston. Texas 77006; fax (713) 529-9531 or e-mail to editor^boustonvoicejcorri. Opinions expressed therein do not reflect those of the Houston Voice. All material in Houston Voce rs protected by federal copyrtght law and may not be reproduced without the written consent of Houston Voice. The sexual orientation ■s, witters and cartoonists appearance of names or pictorial representation does not necessarily indicate the senial orientation of that person or persons Houston Voce accepts unsoliated editorial material but cannot take responsibility for its return The editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit any subrn-rsswn. All rights revert to authors upon publication. {Madelines for freelance MtnMa-j vt Watfbfcta upon resjKt Issue 1136 Forum HOUSTON VOICE AUGUST 2, 2002 PAGE 8 viewpoint Stepping in when straight dads fail If those who breed would take responsibility for their progeny, there wouldn't be any need for gays to be Big Brothers in the first place. By STEVE FRIESS WALKED INTO KELLY Stidham's office for the first time in 1996 and came right out with it. "I'm gay" I told the caseworker from Big Brothers Big Sisters. "If that's going to be a problem, let me know now and we can save everybody a lot of wasted time." Kelly blinked twice, laughed once, told me to have a seat. "It's not a problem for us if it's not a problem for you," she shot back. That acceptance ended up costing me and my Little Brother a lot of time. Wonderful time. Time swimming. And riding rollercoasters. And eating salty french fries. And watching movies. And telling stupid jokes. And playing catch. And talking on the phone. And washing cars. And celebrating birthdays. Insidious, evil stuff, all of it. Or, that's what a group of gay-baiting bigots want you to believe. Focus on the Family apparently not content with the number of homophobia-induced suicides they likely have already prompted, has launched an all-out attack on local chapters of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America for allowing homosexuals to serve as mentors to fatherless boys and motherless girls. Mind you, most BBBS chapters have been doing this for a quarter-century This is not news, no matter how breathlessly these alleged Christians insist that Rome just started to burn. But the national organization reaffirmed its policy recently, giving the religious right its big opportunity to butt in. In doing so, they've trotted out the old canards about gay men having a propensity toward recruitment and child molestation, pointing to the Catholic priest pedophile scandal as proof. Funny how, with little-girl kidnappings now all the rage in the news these days, these same people haven't thrashed all straight men for their obviously uncontrollable compulsion to snatch children off their front lawns and mutilate them. BBBS HAS ALWAYS BEEN HYPER- aware of the potential for a molestation case that would devastate a child and humiliate the organization. They're matching strange adults with someone else's children; caution is key. That's why they run their mentors through a battery that includes an exhaustive personal background check. You must sit for a lengthy and probing psychological examination, permit a caseworker to determine whether your home is a suitable environment for children and put up with an intense interview in which they quiz you about everything from your sexual experience to your views on parenting and discipline. The Vatican should be taking notes. In the end, my partner Jim and I were matched with 6-year-old boys who are now almost 12. Their mothers were told in advance that we are gay and given the option of rejecting us as matches if they wish. Considering there were 200 boys waiting for mentors, these lucky mothers were simply grateful for the offer of our time. My Little Brother's biological father lives nearby but sees him once or twice a year. He flits in and out of this child's life capriciously, routinely disappointing him and constantly giving rise to torturous self-doubt in a boy who must wonder what he did wrong. From me, this child sees an adult male who consistently and unfailingly loves him, is in constant contact and attends his school plays. He sees that responsible men honor their commitments, work hard to pay the bills, keep clean homes, run When straight men abandoned their parental responsibility, Jim Richter and his partner Steve Friess stepped in as Big Brothers and filled the void. errands and know right from wrong with a certainty that provides him both structure and comfort. Dare I say it, too, that as a child of divorce it has even been good for him to observe my healthy adult marriage. I'VE NEVER HAD A CONVERSATION about being gay with my Little Brother. His mother and grandmother must have explained it to him, or perhaps he came to understand it because he spent lots of time with Jim and Jim's Little Brother. I do remember my Little Brother once rem-arking that he's lucky because he got two Big Brothers. But the Focus on the Family folks aren't really scared that I'll molest my Little Brother. They don't even know us, and they'd likely refuse to spend an afternoon with us even if we offered them the chance. No, what they fear is that we'll show, by example, that gays are normal, caring, contributing members of the community who live in stable relationships and fulfill their civic and personal duties. They're afraid these children will grow up tolerant or, in the sneering parlance of bigotry, that they will "come to believe that homosexu.ality is an acceptable lifestyle." What they miss is that Jim and I don't need to "advocate" for acceptance; our behavior earns it. They also miss the glaring truth that straight men, not gays, cause far more destruction and instability in our culture. If those who breed would take responsibility for their progeny, there wouldn't be any need for Big Brothers in the first place. 71 Nevada-based freelancer Steve Friess is a frequent contributor to USA Today, the Christian Science Monitor and Wired. He can be reached through wvvw.SteveFriess.coni. (^
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