Friday, December 26, 2008

Boycotting Chewing the Fat

A Christmas Message via email:

I've been very angry since reading your post about your Christmas tree. I read Chewihg the Fat because it is a disability blog and I hope to learn more about disability and the experience of disability. I overlook the fact that you are homosexual which is fairly easy because you don't shove it in our faces at every opportuntity. But I thought that blog about the tree and your relationship with Joe was close to obscene and it angered me.

You need to put some kind of faggot warning on content that is high in sin and depravity. You have a lot of readers who come from faith backgrounds and we read you because we believe that God wants us to be loving towards the person who is homosexual even though we hate their sin. In those kind of posts it's clear that the appropriate response is to hate both sinner and sin.

I have a several other friends who read your blog and we have decided that if you don't apologize for your faggy posts and promise to limit your blog to blogs about disability, we are going to begin a Christian boycott of Chewing the Fat. I've seen you stand up against things which offend you, well, we will do the same.

If you choose, you may print my email for all to read. Please keep my name off the email however. I don't want hate mail from the homo lovers on your blog.

Will you promise to focus on disability and leave out any blogs that talk about your sick and dependant relationship on another man? You say you are Christian, will you repent and ask Jesus back into your life?


What a thing to get Christmas day. It came in around 5 and I've kept it from Joe and our friends - they didn't need this kind of thing on Christmas day. I kept trying to picture someone sitting down and writing this on Christmas day. Who had time on Christmas day to send out threatening emails? Doesn't she have family obligations? Frinds to entertain? Hate to grow in pots?

I was going to just ignore this email and then I wondered how widespread was this discomforture about posts that include loving reference to Joe. I fear no boycott, this isn't a blog that makes money, nor is it a blog that concerns itself with cultivating a huge following. I just wanted a blog to share the experience of disability within my life, and in this case that would be a gay life.

I don't actually see this blog as a gay blog. I don't focus on those issues. I don't dwell on politics from the gay community. In the disputes between the gay community and the disability community - I have uniformly been on the disabiltiy side of the equation. But even though it's not a gay blog, it's written about gay life so it will have gay content.

A friend of mine has a Christian blog, she writes about faith but also occasionally writes about her husband and family. I don't shake my head and say, 'I wish she would stay way from the heterosexual aspects of her life and stick with faith and prayer.' Faith and prayer are about family. So, too, is disability.

We are what we are in relationship to others. It's in our relationship to others that we discover what our faith means. It's in relationship to others we see how our disability is interpreted. One cannot write about faith, about disability, without talking about one's private life in some way. Heck, you can't even write a cooking blog without mention of the people who eat your food.

It goes without saying, I will not apologize. I am who God made me, a powerful statement from a man in a wheelchair. I am who God made me, a controversial statement made by a gay man.

I am who God made me - take it up with him if you dare.

If you are going to join this boycott please have the courage to leave your names in the comment section so I know how many readers are going. If you don't wish to leave your name, just sign in under anonymous and leave a message.

Farewell those who leave.

Thankyou those who stay.


Sharon said...

Dave, I'm so sorry you had to read such a horrible and hate filled letter on what is supposed to be a day of happiness. I know you will have many more people who will continue to read because you write so well and we love hearing about the love you and Joe share, than those who are too blinded by prejudice and will leave.

Mitchell said...

Dear Dave,
I read your blog daily and it is an important part of my day. I have never commented before but the hateful comments screamed for a response.Your blog was not about being Gay but rather about traditions. That is something important to us all especially at this time of year.It always saddens me when I am hit in the face by the incredible hatred out there . What is worse is that it is done in the name of GOD. We all have opportunities to show our response to such hatred by letting people know where we stand and that we oppose such ignorance.This is a special time of the year for everyone and I am sorry that this misguided individual chose your blog to spew their hatred. I for one will continue to read your blog and encourage others I know to do the same. In some small way we can let you know that we support the important messages you express and how helpful they are to all of us who work in the field of human service.Thanks for all you and do and my best wishes to you and Joe for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Tamara said...

I haven't been reading your blog daily lately, so I had to go back and read the Christmas Tree post. After reading the email, I was expecting something much different! Like Mitchell said, it was a lovely post about tradition and how a Christmas tree reminds you of sweet moments in your life, which includes your partner.

Some "christians" just seem to concentrate on everything in the Bible that has to do with sex, but forget the "love your neighbor as yourself" or things about not gossiping, or that part about getting the splinter out of someone's eye when you have a log in your own ... one of my favorites as I have plenty of logs ... :-)

So - no, I won't quit reading your blog because it includes stories about your relationship with Joe.

Anyone who stops reading your blog for that reason doesn't deserve to read it anyway.

Tamara said...

And ... btw ... I like reading about Joe ... He seems like a very supportive person -

Gün Osborn said...

Dear Dave, Yesterday after having eaten our Christmas dinner, I was walking by our tree and your message came to my mind. I thought "what a lovely idea Dave had, I will take some pics of our tree and put it in our blog". Today, as sat down to do that, I read this message. First of all, thank you for the lovely message, I enjoyed reading about your family history. And secondly, I'm sorry you had to deal with such blatant bigotry, on Christmas day of all days. I'm Turkish and married to an Englishman. As a family, we celebrate both Muslim and Christian holidays. I embrace Christmas because it represents something pure; love and acceptance. Too bad for people who call themselves people of faith but cannot even grasp the idea of acceptance. Acceptance is not closing your eyes so that you do not see whatever it is that bugs you, nor is it ignoring that thing, and it certainly is not passing out judgement. Thank you for your messages, thank you for your inspirations and thank you for sharing your life with us.

Anonymous said...

I'm not anonymous, I'm Kris Stableford from Michigan (Hi, Dave). I just don't have a Google account!

In response to the Christian Hater (an oxymoron, or at least that's how I understand what identifying oneself as Christian is SUPPOSED to mean), I think you said it best, Dave: "A friend of mine has a Christian blog, she writes about faith but also occasionally writes about her husband and family. I don't shake my head and say, 'I wish she would stay way from the heterosexual aspects of her life and stick with faith and prayer.' Faith and prayer are about family. So, too, is disability."

Having a disability is part of who you are. Being gay is part of who you are. Your relationship with Joe is a BIG part of who you are. ABSOLUTELY you should write about The Big Picture, and to anyone who boycotts based on one part of the picture...well, your loss.

Hope your Christmas was lovely despite this nasty note. BTW, I loved the previous post about your tree and the history behind your ornaments. I forwarded it to a young gay man who is a dear friend of mine, as I did the blog you posted a few months ago on Joe's birthday, by way of showing that there are gay men out there who maintain long-term, loving relationships.

Thanks for all you do, Dave.

Anonymous said...

I just arrived into work and read your blog, as I do every work morning. I'm so saddened by this post. My heart goes out to you and every person who is faced with such willful unkindness. May the rest of your holiday time be peaceful, joyful and filled with love.

Janet said...

Hi Dave, I'm staying, and I'm spreading the word about your wonderful writing so more people can benefit.

Hate the sin and the sinner? How very Christian! I don't know where to start .... Maybe with the part about this person's sins? Minor, I'm sure, compared to that of loving someone of the same gender. I can't find my hierarchy of sins in order to know whose is more serious, yours or hers (or mine).

People who feel like your emailer need to understand that when they dismiss and whole category of people, they throw out some good with the bad. There's good and bad in all of us. For someone to give up on reaping the good from reading your writing, just because of what you supposedly do in bed, is sad. She's be horrified, I'm sure, to know what some of her straight friends do in bed.

But I digress! For every hater out there, you've help innumerable gay people feel a little bit less alone. Your voice is true and clear. You give me insight into the lives and feelings of people I work with every day, who can't write and speak as you do. Some people want to miss out on that? That's a shame. I hope they change their minds. I believe you have helped change their minds, though some haven't gotten all the way there yet. Don't stop.

I wish you many blessings in 2009, and many steps forward for the gay community.

luvmypeanut said...

I'm so sorry that something like that had to appear on Christmas day no less.

My first thought was, no one is forcing you to read this blog. Kind of like television, if you don't like it, shut it off! Our blogs are just that, OURS!

I wouldn't dream of boycotting Chewing the Fat. Obviously Dave you are a man who is full of love, loves and is loved and is working to make a difference in this world. The person who wrote that email doesn't get it and probably never will. So not worth it!

Merry Christmas to you and Joe. The tree post was a beautiful, touching post. I too buy ornaments each year, ones that have meaning. What a wonderful documentation of those memories! I am going to be a copycat for sure!

Anonymous said...

Dave, I too, read your blog every morning and it has become one of my daily traditions. I have never felt so compelled to comment but the terrible words written by the "Christian Hater" have evoked in me a reaction so strong I must reply. The only problem is that I have nothing decent to say. Except to say that anyone who feels that way has learned nothing from you or anyone you speak of and shame on them! I enjoy so much hearing about the relationship you and Joe share, as it is a part of who you are. God Bless your happiness together, now and forever.

Carrie said...

Are you kidding me?! I can't believe someone could write such a letter - and on Christmas of all days!!! I love your blogs and enjoy the personal touch. I support a few young gay men who happen to have intellectual disabilities, and your blog confirms that the type of support they require is no different than anyone else. Love is love - it should be nurtured for what it is, and for how it looks to each person. Advocating is the hardest part - especially when parents and other people in the picture refuse to accept being gay as just another aspect of a person, as is eye colour, height and weight. It is what it is.

Keep up the great work!!!!!!

Kathy said...

"Faggy"???!! "Faggot"??!!!?? "Hate the sinner"????!!!

And this was written by a WOMAN??? (no offense, men)

I'm ashamed, and nearly speechless.

I'm so thankful, Dave, that you KNOW that in each brain resides an individual, and we aren't all painted with the same brush strokes.

Love you, Dave, keep on, keeping on. To those whose minds are so small and closed as to not be accepting of every human being that reaches out to you in love, good riddance.

Andrew said...

It never ceases to sadden me that such hatred continues in the name of 'faith'. Having grown up in such a 'christian' tradition, I have suffered my whole childhood with such comments. I have learned to understand it says far more about the person's own fragile sense of self. They are the true definition of children in adult's bodies, and I pity any dependants such people drag up with their narrow-minded bigotry. I am truly sorry you received this email, but I am sure the individual who wrote it will not be able to stop themselves reading the counter-comments so at least they can receive our pity. Having seen you lecture in the uk, your compassion and the quiet nature in which you conduct your relationship with Joe is a testament to gay relationships and I thank God for you being in the world.

Nathan Dawthorne said...

Try not to stress too much about it. Obviously this person just does not get it. I'm sure if you weren't gay, someone would still write some message attacking something you wrote. Unfortunately, with so much diversity in interpretations and practices of religion and spiritual belief there are those out there who claim to be righteous and moral guardians of "the faith" and therefore all things in the world. What can we do about it? DON'T CHANGE! The best we can do is to be ourselves and keep on advocating and educating. Keep up the great work and enjoy the rest of your holidays. The world needs more people like YOU to keep it from going to shit!! :)

Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

I don't get how anyone could read your Christmas tree post and call it "obscene." To me, the word "obscene" makes it sound like a pornographic, blow by blow description of what happens in bed (besides sleeping). It has nothing to do with sweet, sentimental annual holiday traditions. And it does not in any way or form belong with anything about love. Love, in whatever form, simply cannot be obscene.

That the letter-writer found that post (of all things!) "obscene" I think says a lot more about the letter writer than it does about your writing. I think it says she [borrowing your pronoun] is so permeated in obscene thoughts of her own that she can't wash them out of her eyes long enough to see what is ACTUALLY in front of her. She only sees her own thoughts and beliefs projected on top of what she is reading. And that means she's the only one who can "remove" the obscenity she thinks she is seeing.

Amy said...

I'm not going anywhere, Dave. My day doesn't start until I have my cup of tea and read your blog.

I am speechless about the email you received. I wish I could write something appropriately scathing, but I simply can't find the words to respond to someone so hateful.

Anonymous said...

What a sad existence that person must have to spend any day let alone Christmas writing such hateful words. My concern besides her words are does she support people with disabilities? If you cannot accept differences and diversity how can you be honest in your support of others? Not only was she abusive to you but what abuse is she subjecting on those around her. How sad. I know you being the person you are have agreed to not post her name, but I hope she will read these comments. They have nothing to do with a stand on rights for gays, on beliefs of whether it is right or wrong in one sect of religion or not, just a concern about abuse against all people regardless of their differences. How can you have so much hate and it not spill over into all aspects of your life? MDN (maybe one day I will set up a google account - until then I remain anonymous with intials. maybe next time we are in the office you can help me figure it out!) happy boxing day shopping!

Teresa said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!! I can't believe anyone would say this to begin with - let alone on CHRISTMAS DAY!

Someone needs to get a life!

Keep on doing what you are doing! I know that we all appreciate and enjoy your stories!

Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

To Kris Stableford and to MDN, and to anyone else who wants to post under their name without a google account:

You do not have to have a google account in order to post comments under your name. Instead of clicking on "Anonymous," simply click on "Name/URL." Type your name (or screen name or initials) into the name field. If you do not have a blog site or other web page, then you may simply leave the URL field blank.

Hope this helps.

Jami said...

I read every day and have since the beginning--right after I heard your keynote at the Supported Life conference in Sacramento--not my first time to see you, but I really related to your message about bullying--having been told to "ignore" teasing my whole childhood. Regarding the "christian" commenter: You're OK. She's just mean.

I am a big person too and really appreciate how your posts represent a whole person--it's very difficult to be perceived as only one part of yourself (fat, gay, disabled, Christian) and to have people think that sums you up. I know it hurts.

My day doesn't feel started without you, Dave. I always find hope, strength, love, and humor in your writing. Thank you for all you do. Jami Davis, Novato, CA

Kat said...

Not only does this make me not want to go anywhere, but it makes me want to share this blog and your story with everyone I can. Merry Christmas to you, Joe, and everyone you consider to be your family!!!!

Leslie said...

I read your blog every day - went back and read all the archives shortly after discovering it. I love your writing. You often move me to tears with your compassion and insights. I really liked your post about your tree and the history of various ornaments. That post epitomized what the holiday season is about.

The person who left you such a hateful screed clearly has way too much time on her hands. Seems to me, as a non-religious person that a more Christian use of her time would be to go do some volunteer work rather than sending hateful emails.

Anyway, I'm not going anywhere. I love reading your blog. It's become a lovely part of my day. happy holidays!

maryanne in pgh said...

Here's another vote for staying, wouldn't dream of doing otherwise.

I cannot imagine that Jesus would have condemned homosexuality. It's as much a part of who gay people are as heterosexuality is a part of who straight people are.

One of my favorite movie lines is from (I think) "Spinal Tap" in which one of the haughty, self-important band members makes fun of the appearance of a hotel desk clerk who replies, with great dignity, "Sir, I am as God made me."

This is true for each of us, and for Dave and Joe, and for all those who we love and support in our personal lives and in our professional lives.

Dave, be of good cheer. The bitterness and small-mindedness of your emailer is a burden on her, whether she realizes it or not, and need not be your burden. Those of us who pray can (and should) pray for her, but she need not defile your blog with her meanness.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to the hater, but I can't boycott..How would I start my day. I appreciate hearing about you and Joe, it is so nice to read about a healthy mutually supportive relationship. In many ways I see it as an example of how I should support my partner with a disability and it gives me insight into how he might be feeling.

And, I do have to laugh at the reason for the a decidedly (sp) not religous person I initially struggled with the religous aspect of your posts.
I decided that true christianity is all inclusive and accepting. Those who are not able to be all inclusive and accepting are what has turned me off to any form of religion.

Rosemary said...

I love reading your blog. I like hearing about your personal and work life. You and Joe have been together as long as my DH and I, I so respect that. I wish that I knew you both "in person".
I am here for the long haul, Dave.

Beth said...

I'm staying, always.

People can be quite dumb. Perhaps she has a disability in accepting people as they are.

Wheelchair Dancer said...

So Sorry to read this. Hate is never acceptable.


Reformed Anon. Girl in Pain said...

I apologize on behalf of my faith.
To hear that someone has sent such a hateful message on the day of the infant saviour's birth is very disheartening.
I wish that person would have been brave enough to leave their name.
It seems to me if she believes in her opinion so much she should be happy to defend it, that just shows you she is not as sure as she pretends to be.

I am sorry for the hatred, I wish it would end.

Soli Deo Gloria

Reformed Anon. Girl in Pain said...

oh and I wonder if "dear" anon hating woman would dislike my blog too because I don't just stick to disability but range from disability, REformed Christianity to cooking!
If I ever got remarks to stick to a subject then I would tell the person not-too-politely to go play on the highway! It's YOUR blog Dave and I hope people can remember that!!
Soli Deo Gloria

Lynn said...

Keep doing what you are doing. I start everyday with your blog and I love it when Joe is mentioned.

Liv said...

Dave and Joe, I am a lurker, reading your blog daily since I became aware of it this summer when you were out here in Victoris. Over the years I have heard you speak in Victoria, Vancouver and even gone to Edmonton with the sole purpose of hearing you speak. When you were asked to come to Victoris this second time this summer I was called and asked what I thought would be the best subject matter from you. I gave my oppinion and promptly secured three seats for some of my staff.
By now you get it I am a fan, pure and simple. I will go to your seminars any time I can. You have influinced the way I work with people with disabilities and in how I train my staff. I will read and appreciate every blog you write wether I agree with it or not. Your inclusion of Joe in your work and in your Blog only makes it more special.
Now I realise I am puttin you up on a pedistal, I think that is where you should be, but be a pal get down and go give Joe a great big hug for me.

amazonmidwife said...

Guess I'll just have to add prayers for the author of that letter to my daily list...and I'll pray for her after I read your blog everyday.

Belinda said...

That person does not represent anyone but themselves; certainly their judgement has no place in Christianity.

tekeal said...

...a little bit late, but merry christmas! your blog is of course for you to create; those of us who are nourished by reading it do so on our own accord. period. thanks again.

Lisa said...

I am sorry you received that letter. It was so full of hate and what you and Joe are about is so clearly love! People need to grab onto love where they find it and I always find it heartening to hear about a real working and loving relationship. Every day I read your blog. I like knowing about the things you do and think and it helps keep me on the straight and narrow when it comes to teaching my students.

myrrien said...

I haven't read the comments yet but I will make my statement.

I am ashamed, and angry. How dare anyone claim the name of my redeemer and make such hate filled comments. May God forgive you.

I am a Christian, I will not claim to understand everything that is written in the bible, I leave that to God but he does not call his children to hurt and cause pain in such a way.

This is Dave's blogg, if there are things you do not agree with then leave them and dwell on the good things that are there. Or if you lack such compassion go away and stop reading.

And lastly you have no right to call for a boycott of anything - that action is for the conscience of each one.

Dave, you continue to have my support and if it can make a difference can this one follower of Christ offer an apology for the atrocious behaviour of some others who call on His name.

Kimberley said...

Hi Dave,

I just found your blog recently and subscribed to the RSS feed so I would never miss a post!

I think the post you did about your tree was lovely and very well written! If I hadn't read it and just read the letter that hateful person wrote I would have thought it was very pornographic. It was so far from that. It was a very well written post that made me thing about traditions, and family and the people I love. I can only hope to have a tree with so many wonderful memories attached.

I don't know how some people can call themselves "Christians" and act like that! And to not have the guts to even let you post her name!

If I knew who it was and found out I was subscribed to her blog I wouldn't be any longer!

If this person was a "true" "Christian" she wouldn't be using the language she did or making hateful comments.

I bet Joe is a wonderful loving guy and in the end if you are both happy together and love each other that's all that really matters!

Don't let the opinion of one person get you down. I can tell from the comments you have a lot of readers that care about you and your blog!

I'd be more than happy to exchange blog links with you if you would like!

I hope this person didn't ruin Christmas for you!

RusW said...

Dear Anonymous Idiot,

As of today at 6:00 PM eastern time according to Technorati there are 217,476,254 blogs on the internet. "Change the station"! if you don't like it.

There are plenty of hate-spewing blogs for you to spend your time at.

Climb back under your rock and good riddance.

Tori McD said...

I have been reading your blog for the last year. I am Catholic and while I disagree with homosexuality, I do enjoy reading your blog. Please do not take the words of that flamer to heart. Please also do not take for granted that all Christians are the same way. I am not out to 'cure' anything, or to hate anything (which cures nothing). I feel very sorry for the person who wrote you that email. Because I do, I want to say that I think you have given her what she wanted - your attention, and the attention of everyone who reads CTF. I think the boycott should be of this post. I for one do not plan on leaving.

~ Teresa ~ said...

I am confused... The Christmas Tree post? I just don't see how anyone could have seen something offensive about it... In fact, it brought out wonderful memories of my ornaments and what they mean to me. (worked with preschoolers with disabilities for 10 years and I received many ornaments as gifts from them.) The person who left these comments did not set the example of how many of us Christians feel on the subject of being gay. This person tried to be the judge when God is the ultimate judge. Shame on the hater.

yanub said...

Dave, I hope you are able to laugh at that intolerant raver. She's apparently made the tragic mistake of mixing eggnog and email, because a bit of sober reflection would have moved her to think about how much she needs to reform her way of thinking about others instead of demanding that others conform to her way of thinking.

I thought your post about the ornaments tradition was wonderful. It reminded me of Ces's blog post from last year about his family's ornaments (, offered in the same spirit of love and celebration.

Colleen said...

Dear Dave:

What an awful message to receive any day - let alone Christmas Day. I am sorry that you had to wake up to such hatred on a day which is supposed to be infused with love and joy.

It is my understanding that Christians of any ilk should not be in the business of oppressing or hatig anyone. I thought love was the centre of Christianity.

Please do not stop writing about your life with Joe. He sounds like a wonderful man. Your writing comes from such a genuine place and it is Dave - the whole package - that makes it real and gives it depth. Leaving out your relationship with Joe would be leaving out the centre - I think it would not work.

Count me in for the long haul Dave.

And by the way - Merry Christmas and all the best for 2009 to you and Joe!


Colleen said...

And PS - It was Joe's loving gesture of sending you off with hot tea that kept you warm when you were abandoned in the cold - I love that! Love and tea will get you through.

Anonymous said...

Hating the sinner? That is not Christianity. Keep writing and don't give that type of comment any attention. Too bad she is boycotting your blog. She could learn alot about love from your blog.

Miss Magic said...


I don't stop in as often as I should, but those comments are appalling! You know, it amazes me that Prop 8 passed in California, and that the Pope used his Christmas greetings as a bully pulpit, and that people not only spew hate, but do so in the name of Christianity.

I'll stop in more often now, and keep spreading the word about this great blog. Merry Christmas!

Leah said...

Dave, I've been reading your blog daily since seeing you in Victoria this past May. I also saw you 10 years ago in Vancouver as well. I was so happy to hear that you had a daily blog and I read it everyday before work. I have found that your writing makes me think, smile, sometimes cry, and learn. I am in a relationship with a person who uses a wheelchair (my husband of 13 years) and I so enjoy your references to your loving and lovely relationship with Joe. Thank you.

Rob said...

Hi David,

I really enjoyed your original article and was quite horrified by the hateful response.

Unfortunately, this person seems to be someone who was likely heavily indoctrinated as a child or perhaps turned to religion to solve some major life challenges that she was facing. Alas, it seems like it was 'all or nothing' for her. No room for rational thought or common sense. (or perhaps no capacity for rational thought...)

I have a disability. I am not gay, but have lots of great friends who are. My first experience with homosexuality was in highschool when one of my best friends came out. I was bewildered when some of our other friends turned away from him. It was also a real eye-opener to see the rumors start flying when I continued to be his friend.

Hatred of any kind is small minded and usually based upon fear and anxiety. You obviously shook this person up - perhaps you even made her question her simple little world of simple little rules. Clearly she couldn't handle it, so rather than think it through, it was easier to let loose on you.

Screw her! You're a terrific person and no one has the right to judge you, or anyone else, like that.

The good news is that you're likely to get many more readers as a result. Sure, a few of her whacky friends may tune out (if they ever really tuned in), but many more of us will tell our friends about this post and I'm sure your readership will increase.

Take care and keep up the good work. Give Joe a hug and know that people care about you.


house of Boyters said...

Thank you for ALL you share!

Claire said...

Been reading your blog for a couple of weeks now. I'll take this as my reminder to subscribe to the RSS so I don't miss a post.

Maureen said...

Merry Christmas David and Joe. I won't apologize for other's ignorance; however, even though I consider myself heterosexual, I enjoy reading your disability blog, with and without personal stories.

Tammy said...

WOW. I can not fathom how someone could find your tree post "obscene". I'm just flustered by that.
The email person does not seem to have ONE single person that agrees with her..hmmmm??? Perhaps because God teaches love, and not hate??
How dare she ask you to apologize for loving your spouse???
I'm straight, a christian, and not the slightest bit homophobic. I think God gives us the ability to love, it's one of His greatest gifts, and how dare someone ask you to apologize for His gift?
That was one of the most UN-christian post I have ever read and the only thing I have ever found offensive on this blog is her email.
Merry Christmas Dave and Joe.

One Sick Mother said...



Love is love. Pure and simple. And it is a gift! You and Joe have it and that is good and special. It should be celebrated and remembered always. Your tree and post were perfectly appropriate and much appreciated (by me, anyway)

Hate is hate. I don't have much to say about hate because it is not an emotion I choose to embrace or indeed, that I fully understand.

I really can't understand why anyone -especially a purported Christian- would hate *love*? That just seems very... backwards to me. Maybe because they have no love? Maybe "hate" is actually resentment?

Either way: I'm baffled.

And saddened.

And even more saddened that so many of us are wasting our time on this person, who is obviously seeking (and getting!) attention.

Maybe a boycott in the other direction would be more appropriate? Special needs parenting teaches us to ignore bad behaviour and reward good. And here I am rewarding bad behaviour with attention... (bad me!)

OK: Stopping now.

Dave: May the rest of your holiday (and life) be filled with love and devoid of hate.


Heather said...

Hi Dave (and Joe)
Wish I had some clever, wise thing to say but I don't.
So...the work goes on, trying to create a world where we are at ease in the presence of difference...whatever different looks like.
Thank you for your contribution to that work...far from boycotting you I'd like to be standing shoulder to shoulder with you.
One thing I'm thinking is that the person who contributed the post was very explicit about her prejudices- and they are extremely offensive.
I wonder sometimes how my own heart would shape up in some areas if I were put to the test. I know that there are some things in my past that wouldn't bear too much scrutiny -
( I used to work as a direct support worker in a large institution...when I learned how to do things better I tried to change the way I worked but there are things I did and attitudes I held that I'm pretty ashamed of now...)
It's absolutely right that we are indignant about the things she said...but on another subject or in a different set of circumstances then I could be her.
The focus of her faith said once that the person who was without sin should cast the first what is the response here? What breaks the cycle?
I think that it might be love and forgiveness...I'm not exactly sure how we demonstrate that here...anyone out there got any ideas?

Heike said...

Dear Dave and Joe, don't you worry about some silly troll like that. They need to go and have a serious chat with that god of theirs. It's just total nonsense, and based on what i know about christianity, it's very wrong. But then, her judgement will come. Or maybe, it's sadder than that and she's just jealous of your loving relationship. Well, let her start a CTF boycott if she likes. Who gives a toss? Good riddance to her and her ilk. Meanwhile, we love you two. Don't let this woman spoil your christmas for you...

Martijn said...

this is such a terrible thing to read. If you don't like what's on a blog, just don't come there anymore.It's not like it's a mandatory public broadcast for all to read.
Leave each other to be who they are, in dignity.
Someone who says to be Christian should know better than to do this, especially during christmas time.
Dave, I absolutely will continue to read your posts, they're part of my daily routine. Please try not to getyourself worked up about the email, although that might be a bit hard.

Dave Hingsburger said...

OK, I'm a tad overwhelmed. Thanks for your support. When Joe read that email this moring he was really really upset. Much more than I was in fact. So he's the one who has been checking in on the comments today, reading them all out to me. I think your affirmation that his role in my life is welcome in your life has given him a wonderful sense of welcome. For that, I thank you all.

Tricia said...

I grew up in a strict Baptist church and I know people who would feel that way. They are uptight, judgmental, turn up their noses at everyone, they are at church every Sunday morning and evening and Wednesday night and seem more about SHOW than having a relationship with God. These kinds of people are the reason I no longer attend church.

I'm sorry you ran into one of these people and that they had to spew their vile hatred at you on such a happy day.

I hope you managed to put it behind you and realize that they are the one with the problem and they are the one that needs to examine their heart and their motives.

I love your blog. I read it everyday. I am a caregiver for a disabled husband (he has MS and is experiencing cognitive and physical disability). My sister and her husband are caregivers for two mentally disabled people who live with them in their home. My sister is a program director for a county ARC in NY. Disability is all around our family and we are very aware of slights perceived and real to disabled persons.

Your blog inspires me. :)

Linda said...

As a reader who comment on that day's blog I have to tell you 'gayness' never even cross my mind when reading your post.

I haven't had time to read what others have written as I'm late for a family gathering but I for one will continue reading your post for as long as you continue posting.

Love to you and Joe

Cynthia said...

I didn't get to read your blog yesterday (an unusual occurrence). I'm so sorry to find that this letter was sent to you. I'm glad you spoke up. I'm so pleased that you had such overwhelming support, that I heartily join.

The writer clearly doesn't understand the spirit of Christianity. Forgiveness for all of us who are sinners. All of us. There is no one without sin. Finger pointing does not belong. That isn't our job.

I belong to a church that has one of the only gay married couples in the state (they were married in the few hours it was legal to do so). Two wonderful women who love each other dearly. Our church supports them fully, and they are active in many aspects of our church life. They aren't quiet about who they are, as they regularly give interviews to the media. It is ok to be Christian, as I know you are, as well as gay. It can be done, and endorsed by the church.

I have a close,loved family member who is gay. It is who you are, not a choice. Not many would "choose" to do something that would cause so much trouble and pain in their lives. I'm glad you share Joe with us. You clearly write for the disability community, but you also have good things to say about being gay as well. Your relationship with Joe is one of the best things in your life. Keep writing about what is meaningful to you. It is what makes your writing so engaging.

BTW, I can't see how it would hurt you if she did boycott your blog! Your good writing and good reputation are out there already.

She can't hurt you.

Anonymous said...

I am mortified by this "Christian's" email. Absolutely mortified. I know so many "die-hard Christians" who are extremely homophobic and quite frankly it scares me. I enjoy your blog and your references to Joe. As a happily married woman, I love to hear of others who are happy to love and to be loved, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Anonymous said...

I think someone got a lump of coal in her stocking Christmas day and decided to take it out on you. I read you every day, love the stories about you and Joe and everyone else who enters your life. Don't care if you are gay, don't care if you talk about it, do care if someone is as hateful as that person was. Put that e-mail out with the trash where it belongs.

Andrea Shettle, MSW said...

This one is just for Joe:

I love you about as well as a person can love someone they've never met, and whose writing they've never even read. (Dang. I HATE that I've never had the opportunity to read your OWN words! :-) ) I love reading about you and your warm, loving relationship with Dave, and also about your involvement with the work that he does. You sound like a pretty special person. And if you were to ever start a blog of your own, or to write an occasional guest post for Dave, I'd read it--whether it was about you and Dave, or just about you and your own involvement in the disability field ... with an occasional mention of Dave, just because he's part of that picture.

If you take virtual hugs from on-line strangers, I'd like to offer you one.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the blog on the disabilities of hate and intolerance. (And thanks also for sharing your holiday traditions, memories, and Joe.)

I continue to go out in the world hoping that if I put peace first, and practice love and acceptance, it will resonate out to those who have not yet recognized these concepts as more abling than not.
Some people it seems have more to learn about surprise there. (Perhaps all of this is just easier for those of us fortunate enough not to have grown up with any religious or familial indoctrination to hate.)

Write what YOU want to write.
I'll be here each morning with my coffee, knowing that you will have offered something to ponder, to laugh about, to enjoy.

I'm going annonymous I want to sign "The Nudist, Buddhist, Dyke" and don't want to hear about it later : )

Cusp said...

Well you have responded to such a mean-spirited ignorant comment as you seem to respond to most situations --- with kind, calm, accepting, loving openness and that's about the best gift anyone could give at Christmas and embodies the spirit of Christmas more than your 'boycotter'. You continue doing what you do and congtinue with the way you do it with your usual love and grace.

I'll still continue to return.

Hope you both had a lovely Christmas holiday

Anonymous said...

Dave, I'm sticking with you. Your blogs make me think and learn.

I saw you and Joe together this last year during one of your appearances and realized that you two have something that not everyone gets, unconditional love. I know, because my husband and I share that as well. I am happy to say that love does not recognize such miniscule boundaries as faith or sexual preference.

Hope you and Joe are having a wonderful holiday. Kathy in Forest Grove.

rickismom said...

Well, even though my religious beliefs are not pro-homosexual BEHAVIOR,due to specific Bible verses(I would maybe have written differently, but I am not G-d)--- that has nothing to do with all the other good stuff on your blog. You and Joe are who you are, but you are multi-facetted people. I agree with some, and what I don't agree with is your own business to take up with G-d, not my business.
If we expect everyone to agree with EVERYTHING we believe, we are really limiting ourselves.
And since when do we have to hate everyone we disagree with?

e said...


ive been back to reread the Christmas Tree blog...and reread again

sorry i missed the whole thing the emailer was complaining about...maybe you can highlight it for me?

we did ornaments here for presents this year...i was able to find some antiques on ebay...that perfectly suited each of my children.

Hope your holidays aren't ruined by

i can't even think of a word to describe someone who was born with a healthy, funtioning brain....but REFUSES to open it up and USE IT!

love ya

mom to molly kate, 8, DS.

Anonymous said...

I have been off enjoying the vacation and hadn't read your blog for a few days, so I was playing catch up.

I just wanted to say that I am sorry that someone felt that they had the right to dictate to you how you live your life.

Celebrate everything that is good to you and Joe, you deserve all of it.

Thank you for doing your part for those with disabilities.



Anonymous said...

Not much to say that hasn't been said by everyone else.

I will of course continue to read.

How terribly sad that someone has so much hate inside of them that they have to spew it out on others.
I feel sorry for the person who wrote that email.


jypsy said...

Sadly, it looks like they may have gotten the cue for their "Christmas message" from the Pope's. He's not the model for their name calling however.

"we believe that God wants us to be loving towards the person who is homosexual" -- and this is how they show that love?

It boggles the mind...

marianne said...

"The history of a lifetime spent in love"

No hatred can erase that.

a small quiet voice said...

Oh my.

I'm a few days late in catching up because of the holidays but I must comment. The message of inclusiveness has been lost on this person.

Rest assured I'll continue to read your blog and wish you and Joe the very best.

shiva said...

Well, if i had recieved that email, i would have published the person's email address (and telephone number and street address if they had included them). And i would have forwarded them to every queer and/or atheist blog, forum and e-list i could find (probably starting with PZ Myers's blog Pharyngula, which has a long history of dealing with such hateful religious fundamentalists). And that person would be getting a hell of a lot of gay porn.

But then, i am not a Christian, and tend to regard Christian ethics as more harmful than positive when it comes to human liberation.

I also disagree with those who say that such prejudice has no place in Christianity - from my studies of the Bible, it looks pretty central to Christianity to me. It always amazes me when people who are queer and/or sex-positive call themselves Christian (or Jewish, or Muslim), because negativity towards any kind of sexual relations other than heterosexual monogamy for the sole purpose of childbearing seems to be a central principle of all the Abrahamic religions.

Anonymous said...

Hi there - I just wanted to say I've been reading your blog for maybe a year or so, it's
made me rethink my attitudes towards people with learning disabilities, and I look forward to reading it everyday.

I've been without internet over Christmas, so was looking forward to coming back to reading a backlog of your posts. When I got to this one it made my heart sink.

I'm a Christian too, but people who write stuff like that horrible email make me almost embarrassed to admit it.

Anyway - merry Christmas, and thank you for writing such a challenging and entertaining blog. Don't let people like that get you down - you clearly have plenty of friends and fans who are happy to see you have such a healthy, happy and mutually supportive relationship. I might just have to organise an anti-boycott by advertising your blog to other people who might be interested.

Brenda said...

I'm. just. stunned. There's always one, isn't there? You know, the one who makes you just shake your head and ask "What's WRONG with people?!?!"

I'm not gay, nor do I (currently) have any gay friends. That's not a choice, it's just how it is at the moment. And being a preacher's kid, I've seen and heard a lot of debate on both sides. But here's what I've decided (and also what I told a family member when they came out to me several years ago): This is a crazy world, a hard world, one full of tough times and challenges. And the best way to face it is with someone you love supporting you. And if, in this nutty world, you can find that kind of love, the kind that will stay strong when everything else seemes to be falling apart...well, then, that is a special and oh-so-precious gift. Should we really care about the packaging? If you received a diamond wrapped in old newspaper, would it be any less precious? And if you received cow dung wrapped in a Tiffany's box, would it be any less distasteful? What's inside is the real gift. Whether it comes in pants or a skirt should make no difference at all. Love is love, and when we find it, we should grab tight with both hands and hang on for dear life.

I'm SO sorry that someone chose to aim their uneducated, insensitive, crap in your direction. I love reading about you and Joe, and you should not have to 'type on eggshells' just because ONE person disagrees.

Let them leave. I'm staying.

Dustin said...

Not leaving. Not phased. Those who can't learn tolerance are only bound to be left behind.

Alia said...

I'm not sure if I have commented here before, and I have not taken time to read all your comments here, but I need to add my 2 cents.

Your post was about tradition, and love, and family. There was no discussion of "nasty sex," your discussion could have been of the relationship between a man and his carer who had become close friends. Of course the relationship between you and Joe is far deeper and longer lasting than that; he's been with you since before you were disabled, just like my husbands.

I am not a Christian. Part of what that means is that I don't have any set ideas as to what form love can take, and I have no need to dictate other people's behavior to feel justified in my own life.

Please don't change how your write. Your family and your life are important parts of how you live your life, and should be addressed in your posts. And frankly, I don't think you need a reader who is choking down bile at the thought of your sex life -- let them take their dirty minds and perverse thoughts elsewhere. The thoughts of your sex life are not brought on by your stories but by his own focus on the issue. Perhaps the writer should spend a little time in personal reflection.

Anonymous said...

Well, I scanned through all the posts above and they all seemed positive. Looks like hatred and cowardice go hand and hand (as usual).

You are the person you are and it seems like alot of people respect and like you. Your relationship with Joe is a part of who you are and makes you the man that people like and respect. I don't understand why some people have a hard time understanding that.

I'm not God, or the kind of judgemental idiot who would dare to decide what's right or wrong. What I am is a guy who's met you both and thinks you're good people. That's enough for me.

Don Carrick

wendy said...

Oh my...Dave and Joe, there's nothing I can say that hasn't been said. I'm with the person who commented, "You're okay. She's mean."

lainer said...

Dave, I have been a follower and fan of yours for years now. I can not believe the negative energy and hatred this woman put into her comment. Your post was both inspiring, thoughtful and showed the true loving nature of your life with Joe. As a lesbian who works with people with disabilities, I find it surprising that advocacy for one marginalized group does not extend to all groups. I am with you.

Anonymous said...

Dave, I'm a little late to the discussion and late to show support, I love both you and Joe. You are a wonderful couple that shows the world what true love can be. Thank you.


gracie1956 said...

I'm a little late to this party since I just found this post but I still feel that I need to add my voice to the many others who are supportive of your blog.
First, let me say that I am a lesbian and I have been out for many years. I came out in a time when many of us gay folks were treated like lepers and many of us were disowned by family and friends. I lost my daughter due to prejudice in the courts. I was fired from my job even though I had many job reviews that stated what a valued employee I was. I received hate mail for years from people I had counted as my friends.
Coming out is a lifetime process because with every new person we meet there is a decision to be made about disclosing our affectional preference.
So, I have paid my dues. I have stood up in the face of hatred and continued to believe that I am worthy of love. Being lesbian is one of my many facets. I am also a mom, a wheelchair bound disabled person, a recovering alcoholic (sober for over 15 years), a sister, an aunt, and so on and so on. People that hate others will use any justification they can find.
This is what I do when faced with predudice and hatred...I pray for those people to be restored to sanity and I ask that they might find love and acceptance in their own lives. I will continue to be me and I will love whomever I love. In the face of love hatred is a pale and impotent thing that slinks away to the dark corners of world.

I will end with this...I use the pen name Gracie when I comment on your blog but for today I will use my real name.
Rita Tupin
Mineral Wells, Texas
I will not let hatred chase me back into a dark closet so I stand with you and Joe and I will never quit reading your blog!!!

mmc said...

Oy. I just have to say that I'm sorry that you had to deal with all of this. I'd been slacking on my blog reading lately but I'm going to check in every day from now on. Consider it an anti-boycott if you will.

See you (and Joe) tomorrow morning. Looking forward to it!


Dave Hingsburger said...

molly, can you email me about seeing you tomorrow, we have nothing on our schedule for tomorrow morning.

liz said...


Anonymous said...


I'm staying. Even though I don't understand your relationship with Joe, it's none of my business. Even as a christian. It's between you and Joe and God. You three can figure it out, like you basically said yourself.

I will be now be frank and tell you that yours and Joe's relationship has me challenged me. I see in your blog how much you care for each other. I really don't think any of us should point the finger at anyone else. If I were a blogger would people decide to boycott my blog if they didn't like how I spent my money, or if they were teetollers and I mentioned having a glass of wine, or if my mode of dress offended them?

I feel very sad for you when you tell us about some of things you've endured from others, especially so-called christians. You have shown the love of Christ to those whom society has marginalized.

missy in michigan

Anonymous said...

Dear Dave, I can't think of anything to say, other than I'm staying. I find your blog interesting and an essential part of my working day. Best wishes from Princeton, B.C.

theknapper said...

It's interesting that this person who wants to boycott you (& would like others to follow) ended up creating this groundswell of support/love/admiration/appreciation.
I too like to read your posts with a cup of coffee before I start my day...that won't change.
Happy 2009 Everyone!!!!

Dave Hingsburger said...

FYI, this post has generated more comments than any other in the history of the blog. The previous record was 76. Thanks for all your support ...

Cynthia said...

I'm so glad God made you EXACTLY who you are. And helped you find Joe, the Best Supporting Actor in Chewing the Fat.

Cynthia Freeman

Louis said...

I got sick and so am several months behind and am going backwards to catch up; under normal circumstances I am a daily reader and have been since almost the beginning.
I remember near the beginning having a few questions as you began to mention Joe, and that I had a little bit of the 'are they or aren't they, oh, I hope they *are* even though it's none of my business', because it would make me respect you even more - and it did.
I realize that's not fair, but it's human.
I remember how afraid I was as a teenager, and I remember watching others go through similar things, both around me and then as an adult looking around and looking back. I try to help where I can.

I read your blog as regularly as my health will permit.
I read it because I love your perspective.
And I'm going to challenge you with this comment, to take exception to something you say about yourself frequently.
You have on several occasions said that you have - I'm going to have to paraphrase here, but you've recently mentioned how you worry, expect the worst, etc. How you have something of a negative outlook.
Except that's not what I see, daily, through your words and perspective.
I come to your blog, every day if I can, because you so often see such wonder in the world around you.
Humor, yes. Insight, yes. Lessons, yes. But so often, with such *hope* for the future.
And you work so hard towards a day when more people can share and feel that hope.
I'm gay (well, it's a bit more complex than that, but I definitely identify as gay). I'm in a powerchair (post-polio). I've got severe energy-level limitations. And I work full-time and more for a Bay Area non-profit in California.
So much of what you write, just *resonates* with me, and I realize how selfish that might sound.

The post that this terrible flamer replied to, was one of these. I thought it was so very beautiful, your description of how you came to have this tradition. I could feel the love, adoration, pouring off the screen. It was and is beautiful. I am grateful to you for sharing such beauty with us, and I selfishly hope that this horrible flamer hasn't hurt you (or your life-partner) so deeply that you will hesitate to share such things with us in the future.
Your writing about such things, makes our lives that little bit better, those of us who haven't the gift for framing such images in words - we can take your gift of words and share them with those we love too. And that little candle you light, lights a few more along the way.

Sorry for rambling. Please accept a *hug* from a fellow-traveller.
Louis in the San Francisco Bay Area. I'm not posting this anonymously. If anyone here wants to reach me, you can put ldepointedulac in front of an at gmail and then add a dot com. I don't check that email box daily (I use yahoo), but I don't want to get spam in my primary email account, so I'm reluctant to post that one quite so publicly.

Melissa said...

You know, that is an absolute shame that they have to respond to a post about your life with such harsh words.

To be honest, I (the nearly unoffendable) was actually offended by the word "faggy" more than I'd ever be offended by an entire pile of happy gay men :)