Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Christian School Teaching Hate

This story is so disgusting it just makes me angry.  A 5 year-old girl has been kicked out of a private Christian school after the school learned that her parents were lesbians.   According to the Advocate, Mt. Erie Christian Academy summoned the parents to the school to talk with them, had a prayer with them, and then proceeded to tell them, "You guys don't fit the criteria, we don't condone homosexuality."  

The kid was not removed from the school because she was unruly.  She did not have any type of learning disability that would prevent her from performing in class.  There was no tuition they were unable to pay.  The kid was banned from attending because her parents were lesbians.

OMFG this makes my blood boil.  I am so sick of institutions like this that continue to preach and practice hate.  And don't get it twisted - this is hate.  This is not following God's word. This is at its core a school wallowing in bias, prejudice, and bigotry.  Behavior like this is not only not Christ-like, it should be illegal.  But because they fall under the categories of private and Christian, they can get away with whatever malicious, vile and evil actions they want.

I've said before and I'll say it again; institutionalized homophobia, spiritual abuse, and social stigma are the primary reason LGBT folks suffer from lowered self-esteem, low self-worth and they're why we either attempt suicide or live lives on the down-low and don't share who we are honestly and authentically.

But this kid isn't gay.  This kid is just fortunate enough to have two devoted mothers who love each other and care for their daughter and wanted her to attend a school that they thought would educate her, uplift her, and hopefully instill in her some values and morals.  Well let me be the first to say, the morals this school is teaching, I DON'T WANT!!!

F*CK this school.  And F*CK you if you think it's okay for schools to behave this way.  This is not of God and this is not Godly.  First Corinthians, Chapter 13 states, "love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always, perseveres."

YES!!! God is love.  What this school practices is HATE!!!  And it is so very difficult for me to sit back in silence after learning actions like this still continue to happen.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Rest In Peace: Sache VanCartier

I met Sache VanCartier (aka A.C.) many years ago, shortly after Chris and I first relocated to Phoenix.  Somehow I got involved with N.C.C. (National Capital Cities Pageantry System) and pageant owner Jalissa Andrea Michaels.  To be honest, I still don't remember how this came to be, I just remember that somehow they had me competing in the Mr. Southern Regional competition.   
Sache was a title holder in the N.C.C. system at the time. She would go on to earn several titles by the way, but at this time in the late 90s, we were both pretty new to this pageantry stuff.

I was a Mr. contestant and would frequently share the stage with the likes of Byron Lord and Sean Boone.  We were usually left to our own devices but occasionally the misters would be invited out to share the stage with the drag performers.  

It was a lot of fun and I met sooo many interesting folks during this time.  Sache was one of those folks.  I remember Sache as being approachable, friendly, warm, and always smiling.  She was soft spoken but charismatic.  She seemed shy but easy to engage.  Whenever I had to attend a show of NCC title holders, if Sache were there I always ended up talking with her most of the evening.  Though we never got really close, I remember how easy it was to have a conversation with her.

Life happened and my time attending drag shows decreased as I became more focused on career and school and  activism.  Then my time going to bars altogether disappeared.  One day I had to make a rather unpleasant trip downtown to court to deal with a ticket I had received.  While making my way through the lobby who did I run into, none other than AC.  He had mentioned to me previously that he worked in law enforcement [side note, never stereotype female impersonators, some of them work in the most difficult, most masculine jobs there are].  It was interesting to see him in this environment. We chatted about me seeing him for the first time in his uniform and he scolded me about not taking care of my car's registration.  And then we went our separate ways.    

Several years later I ran into him at a friends wedding.  I noticed he had lost a lot of weight and I complimented him on how good he was looking.  Being that we hadn't seen each other in years, we took a few moments in the back of the church to catch up with each other.  He asked about my partner Chris.  I asked him how was work going and how were his shows going.  It was a pleasant although brief exchange.

Then today I saw a post on FB that someone heard that Sache passed away.  I called a friend who verified what I had read was true.  Sache died last night after several years fighting cancer.  When I saw her she did not disclose this personal ordeal she was going through.  When I see people who've had a tremendous weight loss, I am never one to assume the worse.  I thought her weight loss was an achieved goal of her's.  But let's be honest, no one is going to reveal their personal health obstacles with an acquaintance they hadn't seen in years.  I know I wouldn't.

Nevertheless, it is still very saddening news for me to learn about the drag community's loss of Sache VanCartier.  Sache, you were always so nice to me and it was always a pleasure to be in your company.  Maya Angelou once said, "People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."  This is the reason I'm mourning this loss. It was always a pleasant feeling I had when I was with her.  It is indeed discouraging knowing that I will never again have one of those chance encounters 


On Friday evening I made it out to the theater with a group of friends to see the new Stonewall film.  I had already seen the trailer and I already knew about the boycotting, but I decided I wanted to see this for myself to form my own opinion.  Let me just say this, there is something to be said about going in to see a film with very low expectations.  When you’re not expecting the film to be good, then can you appreciate the few shining moments that unfold before you. 

Before I criticize this project, I have to admit, there were a few things that Roland Emerich got right. First, while the film was white-washed, just by taking a look at the movie poster, you can tell that it was not totally void of effeminate men and people of color.  While the star was a young, cis-gendered, white male, the movie did a great job celebrating the diverse cast of characters that made up Christopher Street and that frequented Stonewall.  I took joy in seeing black and brown, young and old, cross-dressers and transgender folk on the big screen.  While they were not the focus of the film, their characters were developed enough for us to see how complex they were, and how much of a community these individuals were to each other.  It’s just unfortunate that these characters took a back seat to “Danny” (Jeremy Irvine).

Also, in this film, we’re introduced to Marsha P. Johnson.  YAASSS!!!  Ms. Johnson was an integral figure in the story of Stonewall and an important character in the history of Christopher Street.  I thought Otoja Abit did a fantastic job bringing to life this legendary character known for her mothering spirit to the kids of this community and for her humility.  Having Marsha in the film was definitely something the film got right.

And finally, I have to appreciate the film for giving us a sense of how horrible it was to be a “sexual deviant” during this time.  Whether you were gay or lesbian or trans, it was horrible living during this time.  The constant fear of being arrested just for who you are had to exhausting and burdensome.  The tale did not end with an arrest; an arrest meant being outed as being gay.  Being outed meant losing your job and losing your social standing.  We were considered mentally ill and a threat to the general population.

Those are the things I loved about the film. But here is where the film majorly FAILED!!!  (Can I say SPOILER ALERT when this is all evident in the trailer?)  The film gives all the credit for Stonewall to the white kid.  It’s like Marsha P. Johnson, the kids of Christopher Street, the members of the Mattachine Society served no purpose.  All of these folks supposedly garnered all their inspiration, their rage, and their ability to fight back thanks to “Danny.” The film did give credit to Marsha as being the first to shove a cop but that moment did not start the riot. It was Danny that was the catalyst that started all the Stonewall patrons to get angry, it was Danny that excited everyone to start fighting back, and it was Danny who gets the credit for throwing the first brick.

This was not okay.  Stonewall was the most important moment in the history of LGBT civil rights in the United States.  The historical significance of this event can not be underestimated and should not be minimized and we should NOT re-invent the evening and give credit to someone that does not deserve it.  It is disrespectful and insulting to the actual heroes of that night. 

I walked away actually able to say that I enjoyed the film.  It is a period piece that does a great job capturing what it was like for queer and trans folks during this time.  I loved the fact that we got to see Marsha P. Johnson.  And I appreciated the fantastic cast of characters that added to the menagerie of this movie.  My only issue is that Danny gets so much credit for the Stonewall riot.  And let’s be real, if this film is about the riot, then who gets credit for the riot is a hugely important part of getting the film right.  And this just didn’t happen.  I’m  glad I went and saw it. But for those that are boycotting, I must tell you, you’re absolutely right, the film is a misrepresentation of history.  But honestly, what film ever is?!?