March 23rd, 2008
Easter was a very important person in my life. I called her “Easter” and not grandma because she said she wasn’t old enough to be a grandma. She was pushing seventy when she said that. She also hated to be defined by any label, which may be another reason I called her Easter instead of grandma.
Yes, she was a remarkable woman. She was a working woman in the 1920’s and an entrepreneur throughout the rest of her life — at a time when women simply didn’t do these things. Living in Appalachian Ohio, this was doubly unusual. She hated being told that she couldn’t do something. More often than not, she’d take such a statement as a personal challenge and she’d go out of her way to prove the challenger wrong. She took up oil painting and she got a short story published, all because someone told her she wouldn’t be able to do it. The only challenge she didn’t meet is that she never learned to drive. It didn’t bother her though — that was my long-suffering great-grandfather’s job. And besides, she was a great story-teller and she loved to regale her audience with the hilarious misadventures of her lone spin (literally) behind the wheel.
But that small failure didn’t slow her down. Easter took pride in being an independent and shrewd business woman. She operated shoe stores, and she owned a grocery store and rented houses all over town — all on her own. She was also told that women couldn’t do these things, but she proved them wrong as well. You’d be tempted to say that she was a feminist but she’d just scoff at you for it. Remember, she didn’t like labels. And furthermore, I never heard her talk about politics. The only political statement I ever heard her offer was that she thought JFK was very sexy. Other than that, she regarded feminism as silly and politics boring. She just couldn’t be bothered. Her only interest was in the things that she wanted to do, and she was determined never to allow anyone to stand in her way.
I guess you could say that Easter was a post-feminist woman in a pre-feminist world.
Easter also loved the age in which she lived: 1898 to 1990. We lived just a few blocks from her house, and I’d often go over there and ask, “Easter, tell me about the olden days.” That would always get a laugh out of her. She’d tell me about her childhood and the many things she did and saw. Her stories were as captivating to me as any movie. And she’d always end with the observation that she couldn’t have been born in a more fascinating time. “I’ve seen us go from the horse and buggy to the moon. No one will ever witness a greater span of progress than that.”
My Easter was very special to me. She’s been gone for eighteen years and I can still hear the sound of her chuckle. As I grow older, I appreciate and honor her more and more. I hope your Easter is just as precious.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
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In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
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