I spoke to my cousin last night. Wait, I mean, I chatted with her on facebook. I forgot no one uses the phone anymore. What is a phone? A phone is a dumb piece of equipment that is used for status and dull entertainment. I hate my phone. I can only use it for, reading a book, finding out the status of my twitter trends, playing games, texting and reading the news. I can't use my phone to call because it doesn't work. So what is the purpose of paying T-Mobile 75 dollars a month for unlimited calling, texting and data? What is the point, when you can't even use the phone to make calls?
So anyways, I was chatting with my cousin who is a natural Blonde. She does give blondes a bad rap. She's like the stereotypical blonde; dumb, big boobs and lots of fun. She is a half and half, you know mixed race, like half Black and half White. But she is no Hallie Berry.
She asked me if I am dating. I told her, "No", but I am. Why No? She still thinks I am straight. I never told her the news that I am gay. It is much easier to let her believe I am straight. Why? Because then, I have to go into detail and scientific data why I am gay and the gene pool which I came from. Again, she is a typical blonde.
I told her, I am not dating because I don't believe in marriage. As my cousin, she knows this. From a child, I never believed in marriage. I came from a home with a mother and father, who are still together. But at what cost? My mother is a witch and my father is a nice man. My brother and I wanted my father to marry a nice and kind woman, but his heart was and still is with my mother. I think, my father is into S&M. And the my mother is my birth mother.
When I look back on there marriage, it can make me vomit. If this was an example of marriage, I don't want any part of it.
My blonde hair cousin lives in Florida and only loves Black people. She hates White people and wish for their death. She believes White people are the enemy of this world. Her father is white (German and Irish) and her mother is Black. She loves both of her parents, even her White father. Again, the girl is not bright. As a family, she's our entertainment. We laugh before she opens her mouth. So, anyways, she started to date the Black guy in Florida because it seemed that he was the ONLY Black man in Florida.You think so, after all the crap he put her through during their 3 relationship, and still didn’t get laid. I told her that there were make Black men in Florida, but she didn’t and still don’t believe me. She believes that, she needs to be with a pure African Black man in order to be accepted in the Black race. Again, she’s my cousin.I hate to tell her the bad news, “There are no pure, pure people in the world today”. You will think, she knows this, since she is mixed herself. Most of my family including myself are mixed.
So, we were talking about this marriage thing. She needs to get married, so she can lose her virginity. My family is old school. So, when she asked me about marriage and I just told her that I don't believe in it; she believes I am still a virgin; which is far from the truth.
I can honestly say I have slept with 45 to 50 women in my short sexual life. I had to make up for lost time and I don't have any STDs. Am I proud that I slept with a lot of women? No. It's what it is. I was going through some stuff in my life and trying to deal with life, love, sex and God. I figured if God made me into a strange nasty disgusting creature, I should have all my fun and then die. Now, I have a different outlook on life. I do.
One person asked me, (since I'm a Young Adult writer) if I'm a good role model for teenage girls? Due to my lesbianism and sexual acts. I told them and I am tell you, I am not a role model. But, if teenage girl want to look up to me, then let them. I tell the truth about my life and give teenage girls my bad and good examples. I listen, I feel and learn from my fan base. I love them and they love me. If I am their role model, I hope they can learn from my mistakes. Mothers forget to be role models for their daughters, so Brit, Paris, Lindsay and Snooki become a role model to them instead. I believe, I'm better then Brit, Paris, Lindsay and fat crack head Snooki.
Anyways, we were talking about marriage. I read an article about an unhappy marriage. To think about it, what is an unhappy marriage? I have learned and felt that the unhappy marriage articles and advice is BS. No one can tell you how to feel or what should do in your life. When people focus on stupid an article about the bad signs of a marriage or of dating, they tend to mess up their own marriage with laws that should never be introduced.
Each relationship is different and one should not judge how you should act or feel. The only advice I have for a happy relationship is communication, loyalty and honesty. If we followed these three words in our hearts, we will create a better world.
So to me, marriage and relationship advice is BS and brunch of nonsense. Why would you give permission to a person who you never met, to tell you want to do?
But, when you follow an article about advice or read a self-help book, you are being the stupid sheep who's following a leader who's full of BS.
The world is so sad. So you need to make it happy and joyful. It that correct?
I think so. Today, I was in my bed and nude. As sit on my bed, I look around at the four walls closing on me as if I was captured by fault of my own.
Today, is the first day I have grown suspicious of this world, I call my life. I got a phone and the Caller ID stated “Unknown”.
“Who is it?” I asked myself.
“Should, I answer it?”
“Is it a bill collector?”
“Who is it?”
All of these questions swirled around in my head like a confused mad woman mumbling nonsense.
I forget that I didn’t erase some of my voice messages and my voice mail was full, so I answered the phone.
The guy on the other line mentions my name wrong, so I was able to fake who I was. Found out, it was for a job interview. But, I was still very suspicious of the caller.
No, I am not on any drugs and I have not been drinking. But, when you see an Unknown on you phone, you have to wonder who it is.
To me, it seems I live in a fake world surrounded by cartoon characters. I always wonder if my world in real or fake. Are you real? Are you reading this and why?
We have gotten so wrapped into not connected in the real world, which we forget about the real world. We rather live in the fake world; where it is no dying, pain, hurt or nonsense. Reality TV shows are so important because it makes us forget about our little stupid problems and laugh other people’s problems who have fame and money.
In Social Media, you can have friends, dates, lovers and family without even talking to them. Currently, I am dating a girl through twitter. I have tried to have a normal conversation over the phone, but a normal conversation she can’t handle. So, we have an open relationship in the land of Twitter.
I believe, our communication will be transformed into money speak but your typing and spelling will improve.
So sad, that as a society will are scared of the outside, other people and relationship outside our four wall jail cell. We are in jail and we hold the key. This key we are afraid to use. Why? Because social media has given us a voice, but made us paranoid at the same damn time.
I have been dealing with my sexuality all of my life, since I came from an ultra-religious family.
In my present life, I have come to terms that I am a lesbian and I proud to be who I am. As a woman told me, I am a Professional Lesbian.
Most of my life, I have tried to hide the fact of who I am. Since I came out of the closet, my life has been enriched with friends, lovers, self-worth, self-esteem and love for my neighbors. I love being who I am and proud of it. I always wonder if straight people are proud to be straight. Who knows? I should ask a straight person. I wonder what they will say.
Homosexuality is the person, but unfortunately people only think of the act or the bedroom scene, so funny, because you don’t need a bedroom to have sex.
For me, I had sex:
* In front of a crowd * In a pool at a friend’s house * In the bedroom of my house * In a movie theatre room of a person’s house * In the movie theatre * In a hot tub * In a car (A Honda FIT) (if you’re fan of my podcast, you will know this) * In a office * Online * In a club’s bathroom (Most of my one-night stands) * In a parking lot * Outside
See, the GLBT community is just like the straight community. THE ONLY DIFFERNCE IS: we love the same sex.
That's it!! So why is a concern for most people? I don’t get it. But, some comments can be hurtful.
For example, on twitter, a guy told me, that if he raped me, I can be straight. WHAT? So getting raped by a straight man will cure my gayness? So killing a gay man will cure his gayness? And now, you are telling me, Homosexuality is a disease? How can Homosexuality be a disease?
1. a disordered or incorrectly functioning organ, part, structure, or system of the body resulting from the effect of genetic ordevelopmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiencyor imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors;illness; sickness; ailment.
2. any abnormal condition in a plant that interferes with its vitalphysiological processes, caused by pathogenicmicroorganisms, parasites, unfavorable environmental,genetic, or nutritional factors, etc.
3. any harmful, depraved, or morbid condition, as of the mind oversociety: His fascination with executions is a disease.
4. decomposition of a material under special circumstances: tindisease.
So homosexuality is not a disease or lifestyle. It’s just who I am. For me, if homosexuality is a lifestyle, give me week and I will be straight. I was a vegan for a month and then I smelt a WhiteCastle hamburger. The vegan lifestyle was gone with one bite.
The world always put Church, God, The bible and Gayness in one pile of nonsense. Now, I love the bible and I believe the bible is inspired by Jehovah God himself. He allowed some men to write down his thoughts in a book called The Bible.
In The Bible, Jesus states the two greatest commands: 1) Love your God with all your heart, even if your God is L. Ron Hubbard or Luke Skywalker.
2) Love your neighbor as yourself.
So if we love God and love our neighbor, why do we have so many conflicts in Christian societies? I don’t get it. The cruelest people who hurt our social structure are in Christian countries. I love God and I go to church every Sunday. I read the bible to gain more understand of God’s viewpoint on matters and read examples on how God dealt with a situation.
God is a God of love and understand. Look at King David and his undying love for Jonathan. In the bible, King David loved Jonathan more then a woman. King David also committed murder, allowed his daughter to be raped by her brother and did a lot of wrong doing, but God loved King David. God loved King David so much that Jesus (God’s Son) was born in King David’s family line.
The point I am making is we as a society needs to stop the hate because it’s so stupid; protesting for Prop 8, Yes to Marriage and so on and so on. Why should it matter who I slept and spend my time with? Why do people care?
My feelings is, straight people may have very very boring lives, so they to hate the gays so they can have meaning in their lives. Too wordy. In a nutshell, some straight people are bored out of their minds and need a release from the bore.
On my Face book page, a friend posted a link about the GLBT community in Uganda. Uganda is so Christian, that if Jesus Christ stays in Uganda for a while, I bet they will kill him because he is not being Christian enough. I do believe Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior, started Christianity, right? You know, sometimes I am slow.
Please view the videos. It’s amazing how Christians can treat another. If Christianity is filled with so much hate, why is God called the God of Love?
In her recent CNN Belief Blog post “The Bible’s surprisingly mixed messages on sexuality,” Jennifer Wright Knust claims that Christians can’t appeal to the Bible to justify opposition to homosexual practice because the Bible provides no clear witness on the subject and is too flawed to serve as a moral guide.
As a scholar who has written books and articles on the Bible and homosexual practice, I can say that the reality is the opposite of her claim. It’s shocking that in her editorial and even her book, "Unprotected Texts," Knust ignores a mountain of evidence against her positions.
It raises a serious question: does the Left read significant works that disagree with pro-gay interpretations of Scripture and choose to simply ignore them?
Owing to space limitations I will focus on her two key arguments: the ideal of gender-neutral humanity and slavery arguments.
Knust's lead argument is that sexual differentiation in Genesis, Jesus and Paul is nothing more than an "afterthought" because "God's original intention for humanity was androgyny."
It’s true that Genesis presents the first human (Hebrew adam, from adamah, ground: “earthling”) as originally sexually undifferentiated. But what Knust misses is that once something is “taken from” the human to form a woman, the human, now differentiated as a man, finds his sexual other half in that missing element, a woman.
That’s why Genesis speaks of the woman as a “counterpart” or “complement,” using a Hebrew expression neged, which means both “corresponding to” and “opposite.” She is similar as regards humanity but different in terms of gender. If sexual relations are to be had, they are to be had with a sexual counterpart or complement.
Knust cites the apostle Paul’s remark about “no ‘male and female’” in Galatians. Yet Paul applies this dictum to establishing the equal worth of men and women before God, not to eliminating a male-female prerequisite for sex.
Applied to sexual relations, the phrase means “no sex,” not “acceptance of homosexual practice,” as is evident both from the consensus of the earliest interpreters of this phrase and from Jesus' own sayings about marriage in this age and the next.
All the earliest interpreters agreed that "no 'male and female,'" applied to sexual relations, meant "no sex."
That included Paul and the ascetic believers at Corinth in the mid-first century; and the church fathers and gnostics of the second to fourth centuries. Where they disagreed is over whether to postpone mandatory celibacy until the resurrection (the orthodox view) or to begin insisting on it now (the heretical view).
According to Jesus, “when (people) rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like the angels” (Mark 12:25). Sexual relations and differentiation had only penultimate significance. The unmediated access to God that resurrection bodies bring would make sex look dull by comparison.
At the same time Jesus regarded the male-female paradigm as essential if sexual relations were to be had in this present age.
In rejecting a revolving door of divorce-and-remarriage and, implicitly, polygamy Jesus cited Genesis: “From the beginning of creation, ‘male and female he made them.’ ‘For this reason a man …will be joined to his woman and the two shall become one flesh’” (Mark 10:2-12; Matthew 19:3-12).
Jesus’ point was that God’s limiting of persons in a sexual union to two is evident in his creation of two (and only two) primary sexes: male and female, man and woman. The union of male and female completes the sexual spectrum, rendering a third partner both unnecessary and undesirable.
The sectarian Jewish group known as the Essenes similarly rejected polygamy on the grounds that God made us “male and female,” two sexual complements designed for a union consisting only of two.
Knust insinuates that Jesus wouldn’t have opposed homosexual relationships. Yet Jesus’ interpretation of Genesis demonstrates that he regarded a male-female prerequisite for marriage as the foundation on which other sexual standards could be predicated, including monogamy. Obviously the foundation is more important than anything predicated on it.
Jesus developed a principle of interpretation that Knust ignores: God’s “from the beginning” creation of “male and female” trumps some sexual behaviors permitted in the Old Testament. So there’s nothing unorthodox about recognizing change in Scripture’s sexual ethics. But note the direction of the change: toward less sexual license and greater conformity to the logic of the male-female requirement in Genesis. Knust is traveling in the opposite direction.
Knust’s slavery analogy and avoidance of closer analogies
Knust argues that an appeal to the Bible for opposing homosexual practice is as morally unjustifiable as pre-Civil War appeals to the Bible for supporting slavery. The analogy is a bad one.
The best analogy will be the comparison that shares the most points of substantive correspondence with the item being compared. How much does the Bible’s treatment of slavery resemble its treatment of homosexual practice? Very little.
Scripture shows no vested interest in preserving the institution of slavery but it does show a strong vested interest from Genesis to Revelation in preserving a male-female prerequisite. Unlike its treatment of the institution of slavery, Scripture treats a male-female prerequisite for sex as a pre-Fall structure.
The Bible accommodates to social systems where sometimes the only alternative to starvation is enslavement. But it clearly shows a critical edge by specifying mandatory release dates and the right of kinship buyback; requiring that Israelites not be treated as slaves; and reminding Israelites that God had redeemed them from slavery in Egypt.
Paul urged enslaved believers to use an opportunity for freedom to maximize service to God and encouraged a Christian master (Philemon) to free his slave (Onesimus).
How can changing up on the Bible’s male-female prerequisite for sex be analogous to the church’s revision of the slavery issue if the Bible encourages critique of slavery but discourages critique of a male-female paradigm for sex?
Much closer analogies to the Bible’s rejection of homosexual practice are the Bible’s rejection of incest and the New Testament’s rejection of polyamory (polygamy).
Homosexual practice, incest, and polyamory are all (1) forms of sexual behavior (2) able to be conducted as adult-committed relationships but (3) strongly proscribed because (4) they violate creation structures or natural law.
Like same-sex intercourse, incest is sex between persons too much structurally alike, here as regards kinship rather than gender. Polyamory is a violation of the foundational “twoness” of the sexes.
The fact that Knust chooses a distant analogue (slavery) over more proximate analogues (incest, polyamory) shows that her analogical reasoning is driven more by ideological biases than by fair use of analogies.
Knust’s other arguments are riddled with holes.
In claiming that David and Jonathan had a homosexual relationship she confuses kinship affection with erotic love. Her claim that “from the perspective of the New Testament” the Sodom story was about “the near rape of angels, not sex between men” makes an "either-or" out of Jude 7’s "both-and."
Her canard that only a few Bible texts reject homosexual practice overlooks other relevant texts and the fact that infrequent mention is often a sign of significance. It is disturbing to read what passes nowadays for expert “liberal” reflections on what the Bible says about homosexual practice.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Robert A. J. Gagnon.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- A support group for gay military service members launched an online magazine to provide information about pending repeal of the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and printed copies could be on large bases by May, the group's co-director said Monday.
An active-duty Air Force officer who is the co-director of OutServe said the magazine of the same name seeks to raise awareness that the change is coming. He uses the pseudonym JD Smith because he is gay and has lingering concerns about whether he could be discharged before the policy is fully implemented.
"The magazine helps set the tone, the idea, that it's actually going to happen and normalizes it," he told The Associated Press on Monday. "The more we normalize it, the more accepted it becomes."
The free magazine will be published bi-monthly. OutServe has about 3,000 members, and the group plans to distribute copies in places like hospital waiting rooms and on stands at community centers on military bases where other publications are available.
Military officials did not respond to an email seeking comment Monday.
The magazine also will include articles about different OutServe chapters and information of interest to gay military members. Smith said group members believe the visual presence of a magazine will highlight that gays already serve proudly in the military.
The first electronic issue includes an article on a meeting between representatives in the group and the Pentagon Repeal Implementation Team. The article pointed out that the services plan to complete training at various points this summer relating to the policy's repeal. The article also said team representatives could not give an expected repeal date because the decision is being based on training completion and how well unit commanders believe units are prepared.
The electronic edition also includes information about different gay support groups in the military, such as the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which provides free legal advice to service members affected by the policy.
President Barack Obama signed a law in December to repeal the 17-year-old "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which requires soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines to keep their homosexuality a secret or face dismissal. Final repeal implementation does not go into effect until 60 days after the president, defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff certify that lifting the ban won't hurt the military's ability to fight.
April 7th is the birthday of Francis Ford Coppola and Jerry Brown. It’s also, this year, the date of a 40th anniversary party for another northern California fixture, theBay Area Reporter (a.k.a. B.A.R.).
StarkInsider.com reporter Chris Wright takes a fond look at the country’s oldest continuously publishing newspaper serving the gay community. The publication has come a long way since the day co-founder Bob Ross delivered the first issue by means of a 1969 Ford Mustang:
“The Bay Area Reporter has seen amazing changes in its 40 years of publication,” said current publisher Thomas E. Horn. “Beginning little more than a ‘bar rag,’ the B.A.R. has become the most respected and longest, continuously published GLBT newspaper in America.”
Harvey Milk was a one-time columnist for B.A.R., as was former DA investigator Wayne Friday, whose man-about-town boldface chronicle became a must read. As part of the 40th anniversary celebrations, a special B.A.R. retrospective will be featured April 8th-13th at the newly opened GLBT History Museum.
George Lopez extended an olive branch to Kirstie Alley Friday when he invited her to be a guest on his show after she rejected his apology via Twitter for comparing her to a pig Wednesday.
In an interview with “Access Hollywood,” Lopez said his joke was “poor judgment. As they say in my world of golf, ‘bad form on my part.’”
“I’ve apologized. I think she’s accepted my apology, I wish that she had and that she would be a guest on ‘Lopez Tonight,’” the comedian said. “ I would love to have her on.”
“Listen, she has a lot of fans and when you make a joke of that type, um, it never goes over well.”
But contrary to what he thought, Alley did not accept his apology, and instead demanded one of his kidneys.
“I don’t need or want ur apology…I want your kidney dude .. on behalf of ur X and all the women uv insulted…give it back,” she said referring to Lopez’s ex-wife Ana giving him one of her kidneys in 2005.
She added, “ I don’t consider ‘I misjudged the joke’ an apology. sorta like a husband saying ‘I misjudged putting my d**k in a whore…sorry hon..hehe.”
Lopez’s original apology, which he Tweeted, read, ““I misjudged the joke. No malice was intended and I apologize to Kirstie.”
Many were not amused by Lopez’s callous “joke,” considering that 60-year-old Alley has struggled very publicly with weight issues over the years, at one point tipping the scales at 230 pounds and sparking speculation she suffers with a compulsive eating disorder.
Rather than apologizing on air during his show, Lopez opted for Twitter, using 60 characters of the 140 characters allotted. During his monologue last night, Lopez didn’t even mention Alley, but took a few minutes to make fun of Shaquille O’Neill’s weight (joking that he couldn’t be pulled away from the Wendy’s drive-through) and Kim Kardashian’s as well (joking that W magazine ran out of ink when trying to cover her assets on her nude cover).
TBS declined to comment on Lopez’s remarks.
Experts slammed Lopez’s comments to FOX411's Pop Tarts column on Thursday. "Lopez's comments were not only demeaning to Alley, who has been incredibly brave and open with her journey toward health, but they were very detrimental to women and girls everywhere," said Yana Walton, Vice President of Communications for watchdog group the Women’s Media Center. "In a country where eating disorders are an epidemic, where advertising continually implies women are deeply deficient, where media places the majority of women's worth on their appearances, this is unacceptable."
“Lopez should use his creativity to make jokes that aren’t this harmful," Walton said. "And Alley should be judged on her dancing. After all, this is a show about dance - it's not 'The Biggest Loser.’”
Terri Dougherty, editor of Women Magazine, feels some in Hollywood need to shape up and actually produce some original, funny material.
“Lopez made a cheap shot that simply was not very funny. Dancing is excellent exercise and I'm happy to see Kirstie out there. Making fun of a person's looks may be a standard part of comedians' acts, but this certainly was not a fresh or humorous take,” she said.
Author of “Love Your Body, Love Your Life” Sarah Maria said Lopez’s snide jab at Alley is offensive to all women.
“Lopez’s attempt at comedy is cruel, demeaning, and insulting. In an apparent attempt to make people laugh, Lopez chooses insults over intelligence,” she said. “Did Lopez even graduate from pre-school? Even without considering Alley’s personal ongoing weight struggle, such a cruel comment is an insult to women and men everywhere. One hopes that after pre-school, maybe at the very latest grade school, children outgrow such hurtful and inane comments.”
But it isn’t only male comedians making disparaging weight-related remarks. Just a few months ago, comedian Kathy Griffin launched a “fat” attack against last season’s “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Bristol Palin, likening her to the 350-pound fictional character “Precious.”
FoxNews.com's Hollie McKay contributed to this report.
Lindsay Lohan's mother told AOL's Popeater that her daughter will be dropping her last name and, going forward, will just use "Lindsay."
"Lindsay is dropping the Lohan and just going by Lindsay," Dina Lohan told the entertainment website. "Plus, me and [younger daughter] Ali will be officially changing our last names back to my maiden name, Sullivan."
Lindsay and her mother have had a tumultuous relationship with Lohan's father, Michael, who was recently booked on suspicion of battery and false imprisonment of his girlfriend Kate Major.
How Lindsay will be referred to in the many court cases in which she is currently embroiled remains to be seen.
The actress, 24, will be beginning court proceedings for a grand theft trial in April, and according to TMZ, authorities are still deciding whether or not she will be charged in an alleged tussle with a Betty Ford Treatment Center staffer.
When interviewing for a job, we all want to put our best foot forward, but sometimes we end up putting it in our mouths instead.
Even though you may feel comfortable chatting and making small talk with your interviewer, it’s best to leave some things unsaid.
We checked in with experts to find seven things you should never say during an interview.
1.) Don't Compliment the Interviewer's Appearance in Any Way Don’t say: “I love your skirt!”
“Compliments on appearance are just too familiar,” explains Patricia Lenkov, an executive recruiter at New York City-based Agility Executive Search. “You are there for a purpose, and most interviewers want to keep that boundary. If you don’t maintain a little distance, they might take it the wrong way.”
If you are a man complimenting a woman, Lenkov added, it might be seen as sexist or derogatory, even if your intentions are pure. Compliments in same-sex interviews can also come across as insincere because the interviewer might think you’re just sucking up or trying to get on his good side.
“You’re really taking a risk by saying something even as innocuous as, ‘I like your boots,’” says Lenkov. “What if the person hates those boots and only wore them because they broke a heel on their other shoes? It could really work against you.”
If you’re the kind of person who enjoys giving compliments, Lenkov suggests researching your interviewer’s professional achievements before the interview and bring them up during the interview.
What to say instead: “I enjoyed reading about your corporate achievements in the paper last month.”
2.) Don’t Cry Don’t say: “It was the hardest thing I ever went through, and I still break down just thinking about it.”
Crying the first time you meet might lead the interviewer to think you’re unstable, Lenkov says. Employers look for people who can handle high-pressure situations, and crying is a sign that you can’t handle the stress of being put on the spot in front of another person.
Showing a prospective employer you can manage your emotions is almost as important as showing you can manage people, adds Lenkov.
“I understand that we all cry, we are all human, but in an interview setting you have to keep composure. In most jobs, you will be asked to appear in front of executives or clients at certain times, and the interviewer needs to see how you handle yourself on the other side of the table,” says Lenkov.
If possible, avoid telling emotional stories in interviews, Lenkov suggests. If a moving story is relevant to the interview process, practice telling it as often as possible to avoid getting choked up.
“If you tell at story 50 times and break down every time, that 51st time, you may not cry,” says Lenkov. “Practice until it becomes neutral, even if it makes you sad or angry.”
What to say instead: “It was difficult, but we pulled through.”
3.) Don't Talk About Illnesses Unless They’re Relevant Don’t say: “My back is killing me, and this time of year is rough on my asthma.”
“If there is a gap in your resume, it may be because you were in the hospital or had a serious illness, and then it’s relevant to the job,” says Lenkov. “But if you’re just talking about how sick you are, then it’s not relevant.”
Of course some medical topics can’t be avoided, Lenkov says. If you walk in on crutches, offer an explanation, but keep it light.
“Don’t say, ‘Oh my god, I had gangrene and they almost had to amputate my leg. Keep it simple and be jovial when you can.”
Steer clear of anything that invites an interviewer to give you sympathy, says Lenkov. If you detail the bad flu you just got over, the interviewer will feel obliged to offer commiseration or consolation of some sort, which weakens the professional boundaries.
What to say instead: “During the gap in my resume, I was recuperating from surgery, and it hasn’t been a problem since.”
4.) Don’t Talk about Problems at a Previous Company Unless it’s to Show How You Persevered Don’t say: “I had so many problems with my former boss; he was a constant headache.”
“If you don’t specify that you found a solution to your problems, then any prospective employer will think that all you did was have problems at your last job,” says David Adams, vice president of learning and development at staffing firm Adecco.
If an interviewer asks about a problem you faced at your previous employer, she is more interested in your ability to solve the problem than the actual problem, Adams says.
“A lot of times people just use the ‘challenges faced question’ to criticize their former boss or the team they used to work with. Even if they were horrible, you have to include that key word ‘BUT,’ and then move on from there about what you did to succeed in that environment.”
Make sure your answer highlights how you overcame adversities and cooperated with co-workers.
“People who have those people skills go much further in their career and are hired much quicker when they can showcase that in an interview,” says Adams. “They see you as someone who can bring that same mindset to the new job.”
What to say instead: “I dealt with several problems, but worked through them all successfully.”
5.) Don’t Force Rapport Don’t say: “I see you have kids. I love kids!”
Don’t try and force commonalities with your interviewer, advises Adams. Items in the interviewer’s office might reflect his or her hobbies and interests, but it doesn’t mean you have to like the same things.
“If someone has pictures up of their kids, and you comment on them but you don’t have kids of your own, it feels completely fake,” says Adams. “Or if someone has a tennis trophy up and you comment on it, then be prepared to answer the question, ‘Do you play tennis?’ If you have to say ‘no,’ then it’s like, ‘why did you ask in the first place?’”
Rapport cannot be forced. If you don’t see anything you have in common with the interviewer, that’s fine; stick to small talk about the weather or ask questions about the company.
And don’t be scared of a pause in the conversation; it gives the interviewer time to
take notes or form the next question.
One of the most important things to remember during any interview is not to lie, advises Adams. You should never put yourself in a position where you have to answer a question that you’re not prepared to answer.
What to say instead: “Your offices are great. How long has your company been at this location?”
6.) Have No Questions Don’t say: “Nope. I think you went over everything. See you later!”
Not having questions is the kiss of death, says Michael Neece, co-founder of career
building site JobTacToe.com.
Not having questions communicates you don’t have any interest in the company and are just looking for a paycheck, says Neece. If nothing else, candidates should ask something like, “What would be the three major things you need me to accomplish,” or “What are the qualities of people who are very successful at your company?” suggests Neece.
Candidates who don’t ask questions also come across as unprepared and unengaged. “Interviewers are more impressed with questions you ask than with the answers you give,” says Neece. “They learn something about how you think by the questions you ask, and it lets them know what kinds of things you pay attention to. If you’re asking a question about trends or challenges in their industry, you’re really communicating, ‘Hey, I’m interested in doing this job.’” What to say instead: “I noticed that your company has won several awards. What do you think gives you that competitive edge?”
7.) Don’t Say You Were Fired Don’t say: “At my last job, I got canned.”
“Even if you were fired you just don’t want to use that word,” says Neece. “It’s a really loaded word.”
Saying you were fired could shift the tone of the interview, and a prospective employer might start focusing on your bad attributes and wondering why you were dismissed instead of looking at your positives and focusing on your qualifications.
“The truth is, you may be highly qualified and extremely good at your job, but it wasn’t a good fit at the company,” says Neece. “But if you use the word ‘fired,’ immediately, the interviewer may not be able to see past that.”
But don’t lie; your prospective employer may contact your former employer for more information. Find a way to explain the situation without using the word “fired.”
“You can say it was not a good fit and you and your employer went your separate ways,” says Neece. “Then describe what you learned from the experience and what you’re focused on now.”
What to say instead: “It wasn’t a good fit at my last job, but I learned a lot about my skills and abilities and what I want to bring to my next position.”
Tell us!: What was the WORST job you had or still have in college? E-mail FoxBusinessMoney101@gmail.com with the job you wish you could forget!
Homosexuals Anonymous (HA), an ex-gay program based in Reading, Pennsylvania, is a 14-step program modeled on Alcoholics Anonymous. It was founded in 1980 by former Seventh-Day Adventist minister Colin Cook, a charismatic leader who promoted his organization in media appearances, including the Phil Donahue Show. HA believes that homosexuality is “an illusion” that traps people in a “false identity.” It also holds the view that “homosexual activity is not in harmony with the will of God and that the universal creation norm is heterosexuality.”
To the organizations credit, it does not engage in anti-gay political activity or exploit controversial issues to increase its membership. HA says it considers such activism counterproductive because it shifts a client’ energies away from pursuing heterosexuality. As a result of its apolitical stance, HA has drawn relatively little criticism from GLBT organizations, but has also lost media opportunities that would lift the group’ profile.
HA is rather bold in its claims that gay people can turn heterosexual. An advertisement for its annual 2007conference exclaims that the event is for “All who seriously want freedom from homosexuality!” Just like Exodus International, however, HA offers no statistics or evidence supporting the efficacy of its program.
The organization suffered a meltdown in 1986 after it was revealed that Colin Cook was giving clients nude massages to “desensitize” them to the pleasures of male flesh. Cook told the Los Angles Times that he “fell into the delusion” that such therapy was helping clients. He also told the newspaper that, “I allowed myself to hug and hold my counselees thinking I was helping them. But I needed it more than they did.”
Looking for fresh start, Cook moved to Colorado in 1993 and almost immediately got involved with anti-gay organizations. He worked with Colorado for Family Values to pass Amendment 2, a referendum on a state constitutional amendment prohibiting anti-discrimination laws for gays and lesbians. However, his new career was cut short after it was discovered he was engaging in inappropriate hugs and phone sex with his clients.
“It’ like your Alcoholics Anonymous sponsor giving you a drink,” one client remarked about Cook’ improper behavior.
Tragically, the failed organization has endured under the leadership of “John J,” a man who once served time for sexually abusing boys. HA continues to grow and has chapters in twenty states and the District of Columbia, as well as one in Munich, Germany.
Exodus International, the notorious "ex-gay" organization, has just released an iPhone app that, according to its website, is "designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders." The Exodus website further boasts that its app received a 4+ rating from Apple, meaning that it contains "no objectionable content."
No objectionable content? We beg to differ. Exodus' message is hateful and bigoted. They claim to offer "freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ" and use scare tactics, misinformation, stereotypes and distortions of LGBT life to recruit clients. They endorse the use of so-called "reparative therapy" to "change" the sexual orientation of their clients, despite the fact that this form of "therapy" has been rejected by every major professional medical organization including the American Psychological Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Counseling Association. But reparative therapy isn't just bad medicine -- it's also very damaging to the self-esteem and mental health of its victims.
This new iPhone app is the latest move in Exodus' dangerous new strategy of targeting youth. In light of the recent wave of LGBT youth suicides, this tactic is particularly galling as it creates, legitimizes, and fuels the ostracism of LGBT youth by their families. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, LGBT teens who experienced negative feedback from their family were 8 times more likely to have attempted suicide, 6 times as vulnerable to severe depression, and 3 times more likely to use drugs (Caitlin Ryan, San Francisco State University, June 2009).
Apple doesn't allow racist or anti-Semitic apps in its app store, yet it gives the green light to an app targeting vulnerable LGBT youth with the message that their sexual orientation is a "sin that will make your heart sick" and a "counterfeit." This is a double standard that has the potential for devastating consequences.
Apple needs to be told, loud and clear, that this is unacceptable. Stand with Truth Wins Out -- demand that the iTunes store stop supporting homophobia and remove the Exodus app.
EL CENTRO, Calif. (AP) - Chuck Storey ran for county clerk-recorder in a remote, desert corner of southeast California on a pledge to run a lean operation in churning out government documents like property deeds, birth certificates and marriage licenses.
"Imperial County needs a businessman," he said during last year's campaign.
Less than two months in office, the low-key real estate agent became something else: a very public face against gay marriage in California. Storey asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last month to let him be the primary defendant in a lawsuit to uphold Proposition 8- if a coalition of religious and conservative groups that sponsored the measure is removed.
Though Storey represents a county that voted overwhelmingly to ban gay marriage, his hometown critics say he was disingenuous when he didn't raise his intentions earlier. Many voters thought the county's role in the contentious issue ended Jan. 4 when the appeals court ruled its board of supervisors and deputy clerk had no legal standing to defend the ban.
Aaron Popejoy, president of the El Centro Chamber of Commerce, said the new clerk didn't mention gay marriage, or give any hint of the legal bombshell he was about to drop, at a Rotary Club lunch Feb. 24, the day before he stepped into the lawsuit.
"I'm a little disappointed that he would open up this can of worms for us," said Popejoy. "It's one of those huge red flags that draw the wrong kind of attention to our community. We need to be a little more warm and welcoming."
The Imperial Valley Press editorialized that Storey was inviting misguided stereotypes that the region is "bad or backward"- the kind of attention it got after becoming the only California county that tried to defend the marriage ban in 2009.
"We can't think of one bit of good to come out of this effort in retrospect. It was a waste of time, energy and was damaging to the county's reputation. And it's happening again thanks to one self-aggrandizing man in Storey," the newspaper wrote.
Storey's supporters note that 69.7 percent of county voters approved Proposition 8 in 2008. They say he is protecting voters' wishes, unlike former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Attorney General and current Gov. Jerry Brown and other elected officials who refused to defend the measure.
They also say the lifelong El Centro resident didn't hide his views. His campaign website touted his membership at El Centro's Christ Community Church, whose members were known to promote Proposition 8.
"I don't know why anyone should be surprised," said Dennis Freeman, 50, an associate pastor at Storey's church. "All Chuck's trying to do is say ... 'This is what the people voted for, so let's see if we can give them what they want.'"
Storey, 57, declined to answer questions or be photographed by The Associated Press.
"People are trying to take things out of context and I'm not going to get into it," the graying, bespectacled widower and father of three said in a brief phone conversation.
In his court filing, Storey wrote that he was in a bind over whether to obey voters' wishes as amended in the state constitution or a ruling by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker that found the measure unconstitutional. He said he was concerned that Walker's decision "would create significant confusion for me and other Imperial County deputy clerks and officials in the performance of our legal duties regarding marriage."
Imperial, a county of 175,000 people that is battling 25 percent unemployment, is known more for its churches than nightclubs. The nearest gay bars are across the border in Mexicali, Mexico. There are no gay advocacy groups.
Lisa Solomon, a history instructor at Imperial Valley College who counts herself as one of four openly gay faculty members on a staff of about 250, says there aren't many social options for single women like herself.
"If you aren't attached, you're sort of in a no man's land," said Solomon, 50, who has tried without success to organize a campus group to promote tolerance of gays.
Phil Valenzuela, a 38-year old pharmacy technician in El Centro, has seen gay advocacy groups fizzle over the years due to lack of interest.
"We'll actually have a few meetings," he said. "They never go anywhere." County supervisors voted 3-2 in December 2009 to defend Proposition 8 after Supervisor Wally Leimgruber got in touch with Advocates for Faith & Freedom, a Murieta law firm that, according to its website, fights court rulings "that have created a society increasingly devoid of the message and influence of God." The firm represented the county for free.
Last August, the board voted 4-1 to join the appeal after the measure was struck down.
"I don't believe in strange-sex marriage," said Leimbruger, a farmer who has been married 36 years. "I believe marriage is between one man and one woman."
Dolores Provencio, then clerk-recorder, resisted pressure to join the lawsuit. She said in an interview that she felt same-sex marriage was allowed under California law and declared it "a matter of tolerance."
Provencio, who estimates her office issued about 50 same-sex marriage licenses when the practice was briefly allowed in 2008, didn't seek another term after a 31-year run, leaving the field wide open.
Storey, the brother of a former Imperial County district attorney, ran as an outsider who would clean up an office that he said was plagued by inefficiency and bad employee morale. His only previous public involvement noted on his campaign website was a six-year stint on the El Centro Planning Commission.
He took office as county clerk-recorder the day before the appeals court ruled the county had no legal standing.
Leimgruber and another supervisor who supported the county's involvement in the lawsuit lost bids to remain in office. The new board had no appetite to continue the fight.
Gail Pellerin, president of the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials, knows of no other county clerks who have expressed interest in defending Proposition 8.
Imperial County supervisors say Storey is on his own. He is being represented by Advocates for Faith & Freedom at no charge.
"We were not involved in any way, shape or form," said Supervisor Gary Wyatt, who has opposed the county's involvement. "It's a case of an individual who happens to be the clerk-recorder."
Supervisor Jack Terrazas, who has supported the county's involvement, said the court appeared to say the clerk is the only official who has a chance to prevail.
"He took the door that was left open and went right through it," Terrazas said. "If I were in that position, I might have taken the same door."
HIV is known as the virus that causes AIDS. But in rare cases, a person infected with HIV does not become sick. Scientists have been studying these so-called "elite controllers" to better understand how they avoid AIDS. Researchers have unraveled part of the puzzle. In the vast majority of people infected with HIV, the virus overwhelms the immune system. The level of infection can be measured by counting virus particles in the blood. Mathias Lichterfeld, a researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, says in most patients it might be 50- or 100,000, or even a million virus particles per milliliter.
"And in these elite controllers, [who] are really just a very small proportion of HIV-infected patients, we can't find any of it. So that's really the point: for some reason, these patients are able to maintain undetectable HIV replication in the absence of any sort of treatment." The researchers focused on a protein called p21, which is a normal part of CD4 immune cells. Those immune cells are targets of HIV, but in elite controllers, the CD4 cells successfully fight off the HIV invaders.
"And what we figured out in this study is that this protein is just a lot stronger, a lot more strongly expressed, in patients who are elite controllers," Lichterfeld explains. "And it's actually pretty intense, it's like 10- to 20-fold higher, so substantial differences in comparison to any sort of additional HIV patient and also in comparison to HIV-negative persons."
Although the exceptional p21 response seems to play a key role in why elite controllers can be infected with HIV but keep the infection in check, Lichterfeld says it is probably only part of the process.
"We don't believe that that's the only mechanism. It's probably a multi-factorial thing and it involves a number of different immunologic processes."
If those processes can be better understood, Lichterfeld says, it might point researchers to new strategies beyond the current antiviral drugs to help HIV-positive people avoid getting sick with AIDS.
Mathias Lichterfeld and his team at the Ragon Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital describe their research in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.