December 10, 2009

Richard Cohen is scum.

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:27 pm by fuckyourfavoritedreams


I found these videos through Pharyngula, and though it is extremely uncool to just rip a blog post from PZ, I feel that it is important that I do this, both because of my recent becoming comfortable with my sexuality and because of a person story I have about someone I know who has been involved with Richard Cohen.

One of my favorite teachers was my junior English and French 1-3 teacher. He was very outgoing and slightly flamboyant, and several rumors circulated that he was gay. I, of course, didn’t buy into anything without seeing real evidence, which no one seemed to have. He had a Veggitales Poster in his room and a bible quote behind his desk and mentioned once that he taught a Sunday school class (but never did anything to violate my rights as a non-theist). I wondered: if he were gay, how much cognitive dissonance was going on?

Then I met his ex-boyfriend. He’s actually a friend-of-a-friend, so it was kind of shocking. He said he broke up with my teacher because my teacher couldn’t handle being gay, and was generally unstable on the subject of his sexuality. That fit pretty well with the information I had gathered about his religion. I felt very bad for him– I am from a non-religious family, so I don’t know what it is like to be threatened with eternal punishment for things I have absolutely no control over. He must be terrified every day of his life.

It doesn’t end there, though. We all had to use his computer one day for a French assignment, and I went first and I accidentally saw an email that was on the top window. I saw that it was forwarded to him and several other people, all male, and he was the only school faculty emailed. It was signed “Richard Cohen — Changeispossible.com.” I really hoped that wasn’t what I thought it was, but I looked it up after school and it confirmed my fears. My teacher was going to a gay conversion seminar over spring break. Sponsored by Pizza Hut.

And I can totally see how he bought into it. On the “Causes of Same-Sex-Attraction” portion of their site, they list: unresolved family issues, artistic nature, neglect, poor family dynamics, and being a teacher’s pet. Because of how well I know him, I know that he fits all of these. Coupled with his guilt from his religion and his parents not accepting his homosexuality, you can see why he thought that going to Richard Cohen would solve all of his problems.

I wanted to talk to him very badly and tell him that what he was doing was wrong. I wanted to tell him that his parents didn’t matter and that his religion was bullshit and that sex was a healthy expression of love between two human beings. Of course, there would be no way that I could tell him that without destroying the professional relationship we had, which would have made high school awkward as hell for the rest of my stay there. Still, I wish I had told him in some way and just said “fuck the consequences.”

Richard Cohen exists because of Christian guilt and nothing more. My teacher should not feel guilty for being himself, and he shouldn’t be taken advantage of by scumbags like Cohen who tell them that his guilt is deserved and that he should change. Cohen pretending he is pro-gay rights is insulting to gay people who are comfortable with their sexuality.

Fuck, this makes me so mad.

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