Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sticks and Stones Debunked

Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.
Words lead to VIOLENCE


Kim Roberts' interactive video installation "Focus on the Family."

On exhibit now through November 29 at Open Concept Gallery, 50 Louis NW, Grand Rapids

Kim Roberts, a professor at Grand Valley State University, took a year sabbatical to study evil. This art installation is the result of that work. The stories told in this installation expose the mean-spirited dehumanization of our human family and reveal the cultural, political, psychological, and personal consequences of hate crime in our society.

Ultimately, the work attempts to “re-humanize” the victims and asks all participants to reflect on the stories told and assess their own complicity in the ongoing discrimination and abuse of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.

My family had the privilege of participating in Kim's work. The Grand Rapids Press gave this exhibit rave reviews. We hope you will be able to join our family on Friday, November 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. as we host a special showing of this exhibit. To RSVP, please click here.

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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Letters to the Editor VII -- Editor vows to keep printing

In his September 30th editorial, Paul Keep, editor and publisher of The Muskegon Chronicle, addresses one reader's request to stop printing the continuing dialogue that has resulted from the article about our family's journey ("Parents choose son over friends, church").

Mr. Keep responds:
My belief is that The Chronicle's role is to provide a community forum for discussion of issues. We don't control the topics or points of view, but are glad to be the place readers turn to see what is on the minds of their neighbors.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Says pastor teaching 'opposite of Bible'

Friday, October 5, 2007
Biblical Jesus spoke 'volumes' on gays (third letter down)

Sunday, October 7, 2007
Believes 'a sin is a sin, now and always'

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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

National Coming Out Day Ad 2007 -- GR Press

This year's ad as it appeared in the Grand Rapids Press
Sunday, October 7th

Click link above or ad for full view

Congratulations to the West Michigan LGBT Coalition! This year the Coalition doubled the number of individual participants as well as doubled the number of organizational sponsors. The anonymous donors increased by only two.

Things are looking up for West Michigan!

Thank you to the Coalition for this extremely powerful celebration of National Coming Out Day!

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Goodbye, Dear One ... and Thank You.

We were together…
All else has long been forgotten by me.
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

Our community has lost a dear friend.
Steve Semer has passed away.

Steve was kind and compassionate. He was a sweet friend to me especially during Ari's coming out. After we sent what has become known as our "Coming Out Christmas Letter," we received a beautiful card from Steve thanking us for our embrace of Ari. I have kept that card and treasure it.

Steve was one who would focus on others. His burdens were not as obvious because he always seemed to be attending to what the other person was saying or experiencing. Today the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer ring over and over in my head, "We must learn to regard people less in light of what they do or omit to do, and more in the light of what they suffer."

Like so many of us on the Lakeshore, the loss of Steve causes me profound sadness. Steve left an imprint on my heart that will live on and which impacts the very person that I am.

Thank you to my friend, Steve Semer, for enriching my life and the lives of countless others. We will miss you.