Jonah Mowry

This video has been causing a stir the past few days, and rightly so.

Now regardless of what you think on the subject, we all need to realise that this is what loads and loads of kids go through. Before anyone comments, I reject the notion that religious conservatism per se causes this. Like my friend Shawn (below), there are plenty of us religious conservatives who don’t believe that believing that Christians should only engage in certain sexual practices gives anyone the remit to bully.

I do like Shawn’s response. One of these days I should make an “It Gets Better” video, ‘cos it really does, and sometimes in ways you can’t imagine.

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16 Comments on “Jonah Mowry

  1. Religious conservatism PER SE may not cause this but I don’t think you
    can so easily dismiss the fact that a lot of the messages received by
    gay people from those who claim to be Christian (so should know better?)
    are very negative.  The whole defence of marriage trope embarked on by the Scottish
    RC hierarchy comes perilously close to making gay people feel they are –
    well – just “not quite as good as the rest of us”. It may not be in
    their intention but those who preach the gospel had better be very
    careful because words can kill despite the old adage about sticks and stones. The great Cardinal Basil Hume did his
    best to explain away as technical language the poisonous effect of the
    language of “intrinsic moral evil” and “objective disorder” and I think his dismay showed when it first emanated from Cardinal Ratzinger’s office, just as those biblical literalists claim to “know that
    the Bible condemns homosexuality” per se when they actually know no such
    thing. The thing these people fail to appreciate is that on hearing this kind of thing no child trying to come to terms with his sexuality
    makes the distinction between acts and orientation; he perceives them as
    the same – something religious people say is condemned by God, the Bible or the Church.

    •  Good points Tom. Here in Scotland we unfortunately suffered under Cardinal (Not) Winning, who flat out used slurs like “perverts” in reference to gay people and then appeared to be surprised when his team (let us not forget) *lost* the Keep the Clause debate (both ethically and, not insignificantly, legally). Compare and contrast to the popular response to the death of Glasgow’s great (and openly gay) poet laureate, Edwin Morgan.  

      • Thanks Ryan. Winning was perceived among “down south” Catholics as something of an oaf or a bully who finally met his match when confronted by Peter Tatchell.

    •  Good points Tom. Here in Scotland we unfortunately suffered under Cardinal (Not) Winning, who flat out used slurs like “perverts” in reference to gay people and then appeared to be surprised when his team (let us not forget) *lost* the Keep the Clause debate (both ethically and, not insignificantly, legally). Compare and contrast to the popular response to the death of Glasgow’s great (and openly gay) poet laureate, Edwin Morgan.  

  2. I certainly know people who have attempted suicide because of the attitudes of conservative Christians – especially those who come from those kind of families or who have embarked on ex gay therapy. I just think that (understandably) conservative Christians have a degree of denial about this fact.

  3.  No offence, Peter, but that sounds like wishful thinking. As analogy: is “religious” anti-semitism the only kind? Of course not. Does that mean that privileging “religous” anti-semitism as somehow non demonstrably harm causing is either logical or moral acceptable? Again, of course not. It’s deeply worrying that , in these days, and in most civilised circles, we don’t give free passes to religious racism (or misogyny) but it is to be believed that dehumanising essentialist attitudes (and yes, your own brand of heterosexism counts) have no impact on gay people. Ludicrous. And is there not something very infantile and stupid about defending Christian anti-gay conservatives just because they (Jesus wants us all for a sunbeam) “mean well”? Is it not a fairly well established sociological fact that homophobia (or anti-gay beliefs, or whatever well-spun label you’d prefer) is stronger among the ‘religious’?  

  4. One of the significant points of the video is the remark that his “cutting” began in the second grade. This young man was suicidal far before he was sexual. Something that will never be properly studied in the hyper-politically correct world of “gay studies” is whether homosexual youth have a higher propensity towards suicide or suicide prone youth have a higher rate of turning to homosexuality (as they do with illicit drugs). The homosexual community is only too happy to take advantage of a Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc mentality and push forward with “hard cases makes bad laws”.

    •  Given that “cutting” isn’t intrinsically suicidal (most cutters are not bungling in suicidal attempts) your point is moot. And of course even if he was cutting before he suffered homophobic bullying that in no way negates the fact that the latter (like all forms of bullying) can and does lead to all sorts of forms of destructive behaviour. I’m also curious about your use of the phrase “turning to” homosexuality; how does that figure in an adolescent going from “no sexuality” to self-acceptance of the “gay kind”.  As for the studies you’re calling for, I would have thought that such a logic fan would be aware of “correlation does not imply causation” and the implications thereof. 

      • We have this whopper to begin with: “Given that “cutting” isn’t intrinsically suicidal (most cutters are not bungling in suicidal attempts)…your point is moot.”

        Near tautological statement followed by complete non-sequiter. Sort of like, “Water is wet…therefore I am a totally suave and debonair.”

        One study puts the increased relative risk for suicide among deliberate self harmers as 30 times the general population.

        Then “And of course even if he was cutting before he suffered homophobic
        bullying that in no way negates the fact that the latter (like all forms
        of bullying) can and does lead to all sorts of forms of destructive
        behaviour.” This misses my point that opting for homosexual identification itself IS more self destructive behaviour.

        The next sentence is incoherent (as I find most of cerebusboy’s writing).

        Finally we have, “As for the studies you’re calling for, I would have thought that such a
        logic fan would be aware of ‘correlation does not imply causation’ and
        the implications thereof.” Again a swing and a miss. The point is that correlation doesn’t prove causation because there is an independent factor that is causative that is being missed. The suicide risk in homosexual identified youth isn’t higher because of their self identification, rather the opposite. Suicide prone youth are more likely to self identify as homosexual. There certainly are characteristics that manifest much earlier than sexual identification that are risk factors for adolescent suicide. One could do a prospective study to see that those with such characteristics have an increased risk of self destructive behaviour such as substance abuse AND homosexual identification.

        •  If you find my comments incomprehensible (!),  than may I suggest that your apparently (although presumably but tactical and selective) reading skills are the problem. Please accept a big ol’ mea maxima culpa if I inadvertently misrepresent your views in the same manner. 

          >>>>>>Near tautological statement followed by complete non-sequiter. Sort of like, “Water is wet…therefore I am a totally suave and debonair.” One study puts the increased relative risk for suicide among deliberate self harmers as 30 times the general population.>>> Which doesn’t make them the same thing nor even prove that self-harm is necessarily but a point on the suicidality spectrum. I know cutters, and if you’d bothered to check the sub-culture (or even medical responses to it) then I think you’d find your apparent understanding of their motivations challenged (rather than appearing to view, very illogically, that an act x associated with a risk of action y somehow means that x is a essentially similar to y).  My comment, O logic fan, would only be tautological if cutting was intrinsically suicidal – an erroneous belief that you appear to believe and that is demonstrably wrong. “””””This misses my point that opting for homosexual identification itself IS more self destructive behaviour. “””” Wrong.  Coming out of the closet means saying (to self and others) that “I’m Gay”. It is in no way necessarily denotes “I am now having lots of unsafe sex”. The fact that you can’t seem to tell the difference between an (admittedly not necessarily non-ideological) *awareness* and “self-destructive  behavior” doesn’t do much for your claims to logic. Self-acceptance as gay , in and of itself, is demonstrably, factually, logically not a “self destructive behaviour”.  See also : “ self destructive behaviour such as substance abuse AND homosexual identification” Perhaps your error in viewing self-acceptance as gay as a form of “self destructive BEHAVIOUR” (emphasis mine) is the reason why your proposed study would be laughed out the room? Just a thought.  And, ethically speaking, if we’re assuming that self-cutters are suicidal (which they’re not intrinsically so, but let’s play on your turf) then surely by definition their mind is disturbed, making it very problematic to count them as “gay” or “homosexual youth”?  Attractive to a “lifestyle” that seems pathological and destructive, an attraction existing because of a disordered state of mind, is hardly the same thing as genuine realisation of being gay and subsequent coming out? 

           PS: are you new around here Billy? Your style and MO seems weirdly suggestive of someone else (no worries if not) 

        •  Oh, and this is the sentence you find incoherent:

           “ I’m also curious about your use of the phrase “turning to” homosexuality; how does that figure in an adolescent going from “no sexuality” to self-acceptance of the “gay kind”.”

           Seriously? I’m sure you genuinely believe that self-acceptance as gay is a destructive behaviour (!), but that again shows that logic is not your strong suit. A celibate gay coming out is engaged in “homosexual identification”; they are not engaged in any kind of high-risk sexual behavior. Your conflation of the two doesn’t bode well for your projected study.  

          An adolescent *realising* they are gay is not necessarily engaging in any kind of “high risk behaviour”. Do you have to do a certain amount of fisting and anal sex in order to get your Gay Card these days? (and I hope Mr – Dr? – Latin can tell the difference between reductio ad absurdum and straw men) 

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