Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Christian singer Ray Boltz Comes Out....

Popular Christian Singer Comes Out by Kilian MelloyEDGE Contributor
Monday Sep 15, 2008

Gospel singer Ray Boltz has come out of the closet.The singer gave and interview to the Washington Blade, which posted an article on Boltz’s disclosure on Sept. 12. Boltz, the article said, has had a devoted following within the Christian community, having sold around four and a half million copies of his recordings over a two-decade career. The article said that Boltz, who came out to his family in 2004, began to emerge from the closet more publicly last Christmas." I’d kind of had two identities since I moved to Florida, where I kind of had this other life, and I’d never merged the two lives," Boltz said in the interview.
For a long time--33 years--Boltz lived as a married man, a husband and father; the cost, however, was depression, even a suicidal turn of mind, the article said.Said the singer of his gay identity, "I thought I hid it really well."Added Boltz, "I didn’t know people could see what I was going through, the darkness and the struggle."After I came out to my family, one of my daughters said she was afraid to walk in my bedroom because she was afraid she’d find... that I’d done something to myself."And I didn’t even know they’d picked it up."Finally, in 2004, Boltz told his family his secret. As it happened, he came out to them the same day as a catastrophic tsunami was in the news.Said Boltz, "I thought, ’Well, I can just do what I always do and hide the truth or I can take a risk and be honest.’"Added the singer, "That day, with the tsunami, has become very symbolic in our family."Boltz sketched out a life of struggle and secrecy, saying, "I’d denied it ever since I was a kid."I became a Christian, I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, ’I’m still gay. I know I am.’"And I just got to the place where I couldn’t take it anymore... when I was going through all this darkness, I thought, ’Just end this.’"Continued Boltz, "You get to be 50-some years old and you go, ’This isn’t changing,’" the Washington Blade article said."’I still feel the same way. I am the same way. I just can’t do it anymore.’"Though he never officially engaged in any "ex-gay" programs, Boltz reckoned, "I basically lived an ’ex-gay’ life--I read every book, I read all the scriptures they use, I did everything to try and change."The Blade article said that Boltz’s inner turmoil came through in his songwriting.Acknowledged Boltz, "It’s there on every single record."Continued the singer, "That struggle of accepting myself and my feelings. There’s a lot of pain there and it connected with a lot of people. "They weren’t struggling with the same thing necessarily but we all suffer with our humanity."Boltz’s professional career as a Christian singer was only helped by a 1997 appearance before a crowd of over a million men who had gathered for a Promise Keepers event, the Blade reported.As a Christian married man himself, Boltz said, his family life was based on genuine love."Sex was based on the fact that we loved each other and I wanted to make her happy," he told the Washington Blade. "I had sexual drives as well. You know, it’s like I never had to talk myself into having a relationship with her or that I was going, ’Oh God, here we’re going to bed again’--it wasn’t that. "I loved her and we had a very full life; it’s just that inside, deep inside, it really wasn’t who I was."And that had an impact: said Boltz, "[H]ow can you truly be intimate with someone when you don’t know who they are, when they won’t reveal themselves to you[?]"Added the singer, "I thought, ’If I can’t say this to the people I love, then what kind of life is this?’"After he came out to his family, Boltz and his wife separated; he went to Florida, and that’s where the latest chapter of the singer’s story picks up.Said Boltz, "I had a lot of questions, but at the bottom of everything was a feeling that I didn’t hate myself anymore, so in that sense I felt closer to God."Added the singer, "If you were to hold up the rule book and go, ’Here are all the rules Christians must live by,’ did I follow every one of those rules all that time? Not at all, you know, because I kind of rejected a lot of things, but I’ve grown some even since then."Continued Boltz, "I guess I felt that the church, that they had it wrong about how I felt with being gay all these years, so maybe they had it wrong about a lot of other things."Eventually, Bltz found himself performing once again for Christian audiences, bringing his personal and professional lives full circle.However, "I don’t want to be a spokesperson, I don’t want to be a poster boy for gay Christians, I don’t want to be in a little box on TV with three other people in little boxes screaming about what the Bible says, I don’t want to be some kind of teacher or theologian," Boltz said."I’m just an artist and I’m just going to sing about what I feel and write about what I feel and see where it goes."The article pointed out that Boltz is the most successful Christian musician to come out, leaving it an open question how the demographic that once embraced him would respond to any future recordings.Said Boltz to the Blade, "This is what it really comes down to: If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live. "It’s not like God made me this way and he’ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be."Added Boltz, "I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself."Kilian Melloy reviews media, conducts interviews, and writes commentary for EDGEBoston, where he also serves as Assistant Arts Editor.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Palin, Pregnancy, & Puritanical Sexism

So Sarah Palins 17 year old daughter is pregnant.

So what?

Maybe I've been blind all these years, but I have never seen such a shrill marriage of Puritanism and Sexism in the media like I have in the last few days.

There are some who question whether she can properly divide her time between her family's needs and her Veep duties. I wonder how many men running for VP or President would be questioned that way?

Worse. I think, is the hand-wringing and scandalous gossip and telling and retelling the story of the "unmarried and pregnant." And the meda are using words like "scandal," and "revelations."

Well, I got news for you folks.

First, human beings have sex, and reproduce. Thats why there's several billion of us on the planet.

Second, at the age of 17, hormones and plumbing work well. In every human, everywhere around the world.

Third, No-Sex-Befre-Marriage is a nice, puritanical ideal. I challenge every individual reading this to guess just how many people (a) wait until marriage before having sex and (b) have sex with one person, for life. Everything we know about humanity tells us that a very, very, very tiny percentage of people can claim that. Why do we require some mythical, super-human standard of perfection from others that we don't requre (or desire) in ourselves?

Furthermore, what family in America can claim NOT to have a relative who has been in this situation?

Give it up, folks...all this proves is that Sarah Palin is just like the rest of us.