jesusland – on bug-smashing faggots

While i love the Internet for many things, my deepest appreciation concerns how it has helped queer youth come into their own without killing themselves. This is only possible because of the possibility of community and support, people from different geographical regions with good hearts working to help each other make sense of the world.

When i returned to queer youth spaces during my first year of graduate school, i was horrified to find that what was once a safe space for queer youth had become a place where the fundamentalist Christians could attack them. I spent many nights on boards with these kids, hearing how they were attacked by people offline and online, not sure who to trust, not sure where to go. The niche communities that had helped me find grounding were terrifying. I was truly saddened by this.

Max Gordon has just composed an essay called Jesusland where he talks about queer youth, Christian fundamentalism, political anti-queer rhetoric and the responsibilities of a society to take care of its people. We hear about the Gay/Straight alliances but we don’t hear about SAFE – students against faggots everywhere. We don’t hear about what the anti-same-sex marriage is doing to youth. I can’t help but wonder, is there a safe refuge for queers kids now or will the suicide rate just rise?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

3 thoughts on “jesusland – on bug-smashing faggots

  1. Sinner

    danah boyd,
    I read your blog enough to know that you spell your name with a lower case d, that you’re gay, and that you’re really smart, and really young. …Bringing a little balance to your blog comments:

    Hatred is never acceptable, but strong beliefs are. When others express that people are “homophobes” it is simply derogatory, offensive and should not be used. Does it truly define these individuals, or does it truly define a personal world view? Please tell others to stop the name calling with this term. Those who believe the gay lifestyle is wrong should also not name call or generally express hatred in any way.

    Even if you are convinced you are gay, you do not have to remain gay. Deception is the enemy’s rouge. Just like straight men do not have to be drawn to porn in such a way that it ‘feels’ like it’s the way they were born and (addiction sets in). It’s a choice. I hope that someday you will come to an understanding that Jesus died for all of our sins, loves us in our sin, died on the cross for us, and helps us in times of great need TODAY. You simply have to come to a belief that Jesus is the Christ (the messiah). Confess: please forgive me of my sins, and help me to come to a true understanding of you.

    I love your blog, and I love you. My prayer is that you will explore well beyound the pain you express often, and seek out the One who heals all pain and comforts with peace that no human can give. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and keep writing such wonderfully deep thoughts…

  2. Terri Senft

    Dear Sinner,

    Interestingly, the word “gynophobic” exists separate from the word “misogyny,” with the former indicatating a fear a women, and the latter indicating a hatred of them. There is no word like ‘mishomony’ to indicate a hatred of homosexuals, so fear and hatred tend to get lumped together.

    Calling someone homophobic (and btw, dana doesn’t use the word ‘homophobe’ in this entry, but if she did, she wouldn’t be off the mark) is not an act of hate speech, but rather a statement of fact. Homophobia describes an irrational fear of homosexuals, lesbians and trans-people, not hatred of them per se.

    True, the upshot of this fear may be violence.Just as often, however, it takes the form of a well-intentioned but ultimately cruel suggestion that one might pray for redemption from…oneself. To be quite honest, I cannot think of a less Christ-like gesture than the one you’ve offered here in the name of wisdom and experience.

    I’ll be praying for you this Christmas.


Comments are closed.