On Josh Weed

So this past weekend a guy named Josh Weed outed himself to the world via blog post. The neat thing about this particular exit from the closet is that Weed is a committed Mormon with 10 years of marriage to the proverbial girl-next-door, and three kids to boot. A few quotes:
I was 13 when I told my dad (a member of the Stake Presidency—which is a lay leader in the Mormon church—at the time). My parents were incredibly loving and supportive, which is part of why I believe I’m so well adjusted today. They deserve serious props for being so loving and accepting—I never felt judged or unwanted or that they wished to change anything about me. That’s part of why I have never been ashamed about this part of myself.
7. Why do you not choose to be “true to yourself” and live the gay lifestyle?

First of all, I understand that when people refer to a “gay lifestyle” they are talking about a lifestyle that includes gay romantic and sexual relationships. But I want to point out that because I am gay, any lifestyle I choose is technically a “gay lifestyle.” Mine just looks different than other gay peoples’. My hope is that other gay people will be as accepting of my choices as they hope others would be of their choices.
If you know and love somebody who is gay and LDS (or Christian), your job is to love and nothing more. Let go of your impulse to correct them or control them or propel them down the path you think is right for them. Do what you need to do to move past that impulse.  Do not condemn the choices your loved one makes. Love. Only love. Show your love in word and deed. Embrace them, both literally and figuratively. I promise they need it—and they need to feel like they can figure out this part of themselves in a safe way without ridicule and judgment. It’s what Christ would do. It’s what your loved one needs. Accept them. Love them. Genuinely and totally.
I happen to be a mirror image of Josh in a lot of ways (wants to marry a girl/have kids, is religious, has thought about being a therapist, male) and a polar opposite in others (straight, believes homosexuality is compatible with Christianity) and I think the post is really helpful and useful because it lives in a space of privileged heterosexuality (a strong belief of many Americans) and acceptance of homosexuality (a belief often not held in common with the former). How many people do you know that truly believe its ok to be gay, but that straight marriage is still better?

The most frustrating thing about this post is that it still seems biased against same-sex marriages. It's always seemed a little silly to me for straight-marriage-only proponents to jump on that bandwagon, when straight-marriage has been so diseased as an institution for so long, given high divorce rates and so on. Same-sex marriages are much better family units than broken homes, but somehow they are seen as the "threat" to the American family.

The other interesting thing for me is this quote, from a reader of Andrew Sullivan's:
But I don’t quite agree with your assessment of Josh. While he certainly makes, by FAR, the most clear-headed, honest and endearing appeal I’ve ever heard from an ex-gay (I know he doesn’t use that term, but that’s essentially what he is), I don’t think his story is benign. In a perfect world - one with no homophobia or religious intolerance towards gay people - gay men who want to marry women should be free to do so without criticism.

But we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a world where rampant homophobia means that millions of gay couples are desperately fighting for the right to marry and protect their children, where young gay kids are killing themselves at astonishing rates and where far too many young gay men and women are torturing themselves in therapies that promise conversions to straightness. Taking stories like Josh’s at face value hurts all of us.

Josh seems like a nice guy who may not intend to use his story to influence other men in similar situations, but rest assured, his story WILL be used as fodder by the anti-gay industry. Every homophobic Mormon (or Catholic or Protestant or Jew or Muslim) who reads this will now have at least one more story where a gay man was able to overcome his desires ("see, just because you’re born that way doesn’t mean you have to act on it!"), only helping to cement their intolerance.
This is one of the big struggles between liberalism and conservatism - in a world where the tide flows in one direction, is it ok to judge testimonials like Josh's with a handicap? I don't think so. We should be able to say that this is honest account is helpful and a useful window to someone's life, and decry a culture that would twist and abuse it. I don't think Josh is responsible for how his story is used, any more than the leaker that blows the cover off of a scandal and ruins an otherwise healthy political career. Yes, your leak has "harmed" the political agenda of your party, but is that your fault? Or when others cast blame on the accusers of rape, because the visible source of discord is the speaking victim, not the attacker (who is often known and respected). Sometimes speaking truth creates discord, or allows it. The only people who should be judged for that are those who do it professionally - Rove, etc.

We aren't more creative, but we do have powerful computers

Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit | David Graeber | The Baffler: Might the cultural sensibility that came to be referred to as postmodernism best be seen as a prolonged meditation on all the technological changes that never happened? The question struck me as I watched one of the recent Star Wars movies. The movie was terrible, but I couldn’t help but feel impressed by the quality of the special effects. Recalling the clumsy special effects typical of fifties sci-fi films, I kept thinking how impressed a fifties audience would have been if they’d known what we could do by now—only to realize, “Actually, no. They wouldn’t be impressed at all, would they? They thought we’d be doing this kind of thing by now. Not just figuring out more sophisticated ways to simulate it.”