SLUG Copy Editor Cody Kirkland rocks his SLUG pride shirt in the office (and no... his hand is not down the front of his pants--what do you think we are, perverts?)
Dear Slug Mag,
I hope there are a few decent people reading your magazine; because the well-being of young people has been on my mind a great deal. Earlier this year I was enjoying a Saturday off concerning my book for LDS families, Chased by an Elephant , the gospel truth about today’s stampeding sexuality. My husband Steve ran across the news that the annual “Queer Prom” was being held at the Library that night, sponsored by the Utah [Gay] Pride Center, which 14 to 20- year-olds were invited to attend. Since when are there dances, gay or straight, for both minors and adults? To make it worse, this was not a traditional prom. A traditional prom is based not on sexuality but on traditional gender roles. This particular dance was being held solely based not on nature and tradition but on the attendees’ anomalistic ideas about gender, sexuality, and sex.
I called the Gay Pride Center. The only option I was given was to leave a message on a machine. Lily Rodriguez, the HIV Prevention Coordinator, who told me she was heavily involved with the youth and youth programs at Utah Pride Center, called me back.
We don’t usually engage homosexual activists, but the thought of minor teens being exposed to perverse adult sexuality filled me with righteous indignation. I thought it was bizarre how she insisted the prom and their other youth programs at the Center were not about sex or sexuality, but making friends. Her main argument in favor of the Queer Prom was that “gay” kids get teased at school. One of my sons had thick glasses and got punched regularly.
I asked Ms. Rodriguez if 14-year-olds might be dancing with 20-year-olds at the prom. She said they had never had any problems with minors being molested or seduced or leaving the dance with adults which left me wondering how she could know that with any certainty at all. Anybody minding the rest rooms?
Steve and I took a drive to the Salt Lake City Library. We sat a distance away on the amphitheater steps and observed for about an hour and a half.
The first thing we noticed was that outside the entrance kids were being asked to fill out a lengthy survey. They were not asked their age, nor did they show identification. The next thing we noticed was that there were many very young teens attending the dance. I asked a young girl what the survey was about and she answered matter-of-factly, “It’s just asking about our schools and discrimination and stuff.” Steve and I realized that this dance was not just to provide “a safe place to make friends” as Ms. Rodriguez indicated. It was to gather sexuality-based data from trusting kids in order to support and further their agenda.
On the front page it explains that the survey is about finding out “how common offensive and hate-based language” and “other types of harrassment” are at their school. Ms. Rodrigez failed to mention this 15-page survey that asked underage kids explicit questions about sexuality, leading them to label themselves some alternative sexual orientation. They were to circle one of these seven (!) choices: “Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer, Questioning, Straight/Heterosexual, and Other.”
The survey also asked explicit questions about the attendees’
“In the past six months, have you had anal sex without a condom?”
“In the past six months, have you had vaginal sex without a condom (or other safer sex barrier)?” “In the past six months, have you had oral sex without a condom or dental dam?”
(You may wonder if they ever tell kids that sex is actually only safe between a faithful married husband and wife. The answer is undoubtedly no.)
In my conversation with Lily Rodriguez she added that the Center also welcomes what they call “questioning” youth, those who are uncertain about their sexual preferences. Well, I’m questioning Utah Pride Center. It’s
about time somebody questioned this problematic organization. What business do these sexual activists have messing with young kids?
Queer Prom, a place to find new friends? Perhaps, but its main purposes are to further the activist agenda by suggesting and gathering self-serving information to fuel propaganda and support legislation, by throwing kids together with adult gays, and by encouraging younger and younger kids to experiment, label themselves something other than heterosexual, and become activists themselves.
Dear Stupid Lady,
What the fuck are you talking about?! I cannot believe you called the library to see if you could stop it. Laugh out loud! Maybe next time you could volunteer to head up next year’s book burnin’. Why do you think you even get to have an opinion on this matter, let alone have the right to meddle in the lives of teenagers you have no connection with? You’re obviously a delusional mother thinking you can control the kids of today. You do the best you can, but teens do what they want. Sex of any kind happens at every kind of prom, but at least at a gay prom you don’t get dumpster babies. How can you compare your sons’ afternoon of taunting to being kicked and beaten every day, called “faggot,” looked down upon, being called an abomination and told you need to change, EVERY DAY?! Why is your husband trolling for gay teen activities anyway? I seriously question the motives of you and your husband spying on children for over an hour. Is your obsession because you suspect him of pedophilia? Is your next book called The Elephant in the Room?
The only agenda on gay people’s minds today is to silence people like you and Boyd K. Packer who preach the acrid, viral ignorance that you call faith and testimony. Look, Dumb Dumb, these kids are not having sex with 19 year olds in the bathroom at the prom—they wait until after and do it in a hotel or car like normal teenagers. They are being asked to fill out forms about sex activity and school environment so we can figure out how to best nurture these brilliant kids of tomorrow and provide them with some sort of comfort and normalcy. They are given a gay prom because you and your precious gender-specific proms are not fun and sometimes unsafe for LGBT kids. They need resources like the Pride Center and gay adults to turn to when meddling, nosy cunts like you poke in and make them feel like they want to kill themselves.
Now a warning: I think your complete idiocy is dangerous and has provoked the mama bear in me. I will be lying in wait for you and your husband at the next gay prom with a couple friends. May your Lord help you if I see you approach any of my children!
Love you. I mean it.
In Tully Flynn’s article “Rough Side of Da Tracks,” he uses the phrase “no homo” a couple of times. The fact that the phrase even occurs to him as an acceptable thing to put into print makes him appear to be a clueless asshole. Slug is an alternative magazine in a terribly repressive state, and there are very few places for young gay people to turn for media that doesn’t tacitly agree that they’re hell-bound abominations. Being an alternative publication, I imagine that hundreds of gay teens read your magazine because it gives them just a tiny bit of hope that they will not be shit on for their entire lives, and that maybe they don’t have to hate themselves or wallow in burning shame forever. I also imagine that it’s twice as painful when they see that even Slug has no problem casually printing fucked-up, disrespectful phrases if it makes a few dickheads giggle. Young gay people have it incredibly rough already, as the recent highly publicized adolescent gay suicides show. I know your hearts are in the right place, but don’t you see that this bullshit, even in jest, is not acceptable? Quick: Want to know if you really are an asshole? If the first thing that pops into your mind after reading this goes something like “chill the fuck out you whiny liberal fag, it’s harmless,” then you’ve got your answer.
Dear Fuck Us Squared,
I would like to do something we at SLUG never do and apologize if you misread Tully Flynn’s “no homo” context and found it to be insensitive. In actuality, it was a comedic attempt at urban lingo to explain sexual preference towards his fellow boardsmen. What surprises me is, as a gay man, you have forgotten what an overt statement of sexual preference could actually mean. Little secret: Flynn is a super hot hottie! It is my hope that he is on the verge of coming out and next spring I’ll be able to take him to the Gay Prom, a SLUG sponsored event. I hope that next year we will be able to ride on the front of SLUG’s gay pride float, lip-locked, as Mr. and Miss Gay SLUG in our award-winning super-gay float. Most of all, I long to write poetry of my unrequited gay love to Tully in my hella gay column that SLUG gave me because they saw the importance of having the gayest voice that matched their already amazingly diverse magazine. That was, until I saw Flynn identifies female on her FB page. Now I have to throw a beat down for muscling in on my SLUG tranny position. Anyway, Double Fuck, SLUG is the hot straight guy of the SLC publication world. The sexy kind of man meat we love is secure enough to come to our parties, bars, protests and tell homophobe pussy-lovers to fuck off when they’re being mean to us. So hot, in fact, that we let the occasional social faux pas fly because there’s a chance at the end of the night when we’re playing spin-the-bottle that we might get to make out with him.
Let’s make sure that in this dizzying time of growth and change we don’t over sensitize. We need to acknowledge the people on our side and save the fist-shaking for Stupid Lady and the numerous destructive assholes like her that try to push us two steps back.
—Princess “Chick with a Dickhead” Kennedy
I wish to apologize for my callous use of hurtful words. I did not realize I was giving into a catchy contemporary bigoted phrase. As a voice in the local culture, I realize the power I have and the last thing in the world I want is to segregate. This is a black and white issue and if the words we use direct separation then, they are preaching hate. There is no place for hate in this world, only love and creation. I am truly sorry to those I have offended.
I’ve been reading this wonderful colorful bundle of joy since I was 12, when I was in Iraq the best times were the worst days (lemme explain) being out on guard for 12 hours no time to eat in 120 pound flak jacket and gear staring off into burning trash with absolutely nothing to look forward to until we got back to the cp, and our ssgt would hand out mail. The greatest feeling is to here your name during mail call and getting a package opening it up and seeing SLUG in giant red letters....im just writing this cuz I’ve been meaning to for along time...that and im high as shit right now. Keep it real gangsters you make me proud of this city!!
Ahhh, you just gave us a giant case of the warm fuzzies! We’re glad you were able to find some sort of comfort (or at least entertainment) by reading SLUG. With all of the overly sensitive, slightly insane hatemail we’ve been getting lately, it’s nice to get a letter of praise. We’re so euphoric that we’ll even overlook the fact that your judgement was severely impaired when you came to the conclusion that we’re awesome. Thanks again!
I’ve been reading your magazine since 1989 and have never written a letter until now. My intent in submitting this is to prevent a tragic situation that occurred here recently from repeating with other artists that visit Salt Lake City and contribute to our local music scene.
The Kollective is the local promoter that brought The Legendary Pink Dots to town on October 18th. In my opinion, they did an absolutely underwhelming job of promoting the show. Many people who would have made it a point to make it to the concert didn’t even know it was going on due to poor promotion. I personally found out about it through the band’s own email list. A chimpanzee with internet access and typing skills could have put forth a stronger effort.
Instead of taking some responsibility for the relatively small number of tickets sold, The Kollective decided to let the band that had travelled from the Netherlands and driven all day from a previous gig in Seattle shoulder that burden. They were paid a paltry sum, $380 for playing nearly two hours. The promoter took 30% of the door proceeds and what was left minus The Kollective’s “claimed expenses” of $1,100 was given to the band. A decent human being would have realized the situation was not fair and would have offered to take less of a split or reduce their claimed expenses. That didn’t happen and that is why I am now writing this letter. So, a few words to the wise- make sure you have a guarantee and perhaps look into utilizing another promoter. To The Legendary Pink Dots- I’m sorry you had to deal with this and hope you will choose to visit the Vatican of the West again.