If You’re Just Gonna Call Us Homos, Please Get In Line

If You’re Just Gonna Call Us Homos, Please Get In Line

By Nicholas Ducote, HA Community Coordinator

People have called me fag, gay, or homo for years now.  When I was the weird, sheltered homeschooled kid, my co-workers persistently mocked me for my social awkwardness.  They usually chose to mock me by calling me some variation of a gay slur. At one point, while working at Walgreens, my co-workers created a big foam board and hung it on my locker. They decorated it with brightly-colored foam words, which read “Nick is gay.”  The managers and assistant managers laughed along with my co-workers. They only requested that it be taken down when the district management came to visit the store a few weeks later.

My Freshman year of college, roughly five hours from Walgreens, one of my new, so-called friends dubbed me “Gay Nick.”  For two years, I endured daily name-calling and shaming over my social awkwardness.  In fact, he still likes to occasionally post on my Facebook wall and call me Gay Nick.  I gave up on our friendship when he informed me that New Orleans didn’t deserve to be rebuilt after Katrina because of some racist reason.  To put it plainly, my social options Freshman year were limited.

Name-calling is the easiest way to dismiss someone. Today, another former colleague and peer resurrected this tactic and called me “homo”:

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I’ve known Josh Craddock for almost seven years now.  Josh traveled to numerous Communicators for Christ (CFC) conferences while I was interning and our team was tasked with evaluating Josh.  He wanted to be an intern, but was advancing quickly through the alumni/training programs, so we monitored him closely.  He was a hard worker, diligent, and kind.  I personally recommended him to serve and eventually he did.

It’s ironic when I consider that Josh Craddock and I were once “servant leaders” together in CFC.  We taught thousands of high schooled Christian homeschoolers how to be confident public speakers with sharp critical thinking skills.  Even HA’s other Community Coordinator, Ryan Stollar, spent three years working with CFC. In fact, Ryan was one of their original student leaders, touring with them for the first three years of CFC’s existence.  Ryan said, of his time with CFC,

“If there’s one thing I will never forget from my time with Teresa Moon and CFC, no matter how far I may “stray” from the narrow path I was prepared for, it’s to do one’s best to communicate with civility and grace, even when you disagree with someone else. This is one of the most important things I have learned — and I learned it from a conservative Christian homeschooling mom, and I am grateful for it. I am disappointed that Josh apparently did not learn the same lesson from the same individuals during his time with CFC. Even when I choose (and oh boy, I do!) to disagree with my very teachers, I hope to do so in a way that does not shy away from the disagreement but still grants the opposing side its humanity. Josh, on the other hand, is choosing the path of dehumanization. Which not only hurts what he perceives to be the side that opposes him — it also only serves to hurt “his side” as well.”

Today Josh Craddock chose to refer to us as a part of a “whiney, disgruntled cohort of self-loathing atheistic homos hell-bent on undermining the family.”  When many of the Homeschoolers Anonymous cohort (love you all!) took to social media questioning Josh, he responded with this gem:

Craddock reply tweet

For what it’s worth, I married my wife a year and a half ago in a Methodist Church in Louisiana (picture below).  But even if I was all of the things he described, that would have zero bearing on whether my message would still be worth spreading.  If you think getting a few replies is trolling, maybe you should calibrate your Troll Meter.  What you fail to realize is that Homeschoolers Anonymous, our message, and our contributors do not fit into a simple box with clear-cut labels. So if your only response to our advocacy is that I’m a homo, I’d say get in line with the scores of other people who have tried to dismiss me with name-calling.

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27 thoughts on “If You’re Just Gonna Call Us Homos, Please Get In Line

  1. Chris S (@chrisjws) June 25, 2013 / 4:11 pm

    How very Christian of him. I always wonder why so many Christians put up with the snark, condescension and hate that comes from a very vocal, obnoxious minority.

    Not my problem though.

    Like

  2. amphoenix June 25, 2013 / 4:25 pm

    His words lost my respect and attention when they became a call for the death penalty to be assessed against LGBT people. These tactics give him what he wants (attention), which is why he keeps using them. I’m all for someone disagreeing with my theology, but name calling and ad hominem attacks are not allowed in debate for a reason: they’re not persuasive, just loud.

    Like

    • Headless Unicorn Guy June 26, 2013 / 9:36 am

      His words lost my respect and attention when they became a call for the death penalty to be assessed against LGBT people.

      “IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN! IT IS WRITTEN!”

      All the pics of pro-DOMA protestors in front of the Supreme Court in DC, every one of them holding up a Bible.

      And with the news of the DOMA decision from The Supremes this morning, guess what THE sermon’s going to be this Sunday, all over the land. I’m hiding out in Ponyville; anyone want to join me?

      Like

      • Brightie June 27, 2013 / 4:01 pm

        Sure. I hear they’ve got great hay fries.

        Like

  3. Kate June 25, 2013 / 4:36 pm

    Sad, really sad to see what was once a close-knit community of ‘world changing’ hopefuls be torn apart by close-mindedness and pure hatred. I may not agree with how we were raised, but that gives me no reason to name-call anyone else. This demonstrates a complete lack of the very professionalism we were supposed to be trained in.

    Like

  4. Amethyst June 25, 2013 / 4:48 pm

    I am all the things mentioned in the last tweet except male. 😀

    Like

  5. SPowell June 25, 2013 / 5:25 pm

    Im sure he must have missed the people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care speech…….I don’t agree with everything everyone on HA says or believes, but I don’t see how name calling is going to change anybody’s mind or gain any respect for a different point of view.

    Like

    • R.L. Stollar June 25, 2013 / 6:17 pm

      I remember that speech very well.

      For what it’s worth: I don’t think anyone in the HA community agrees with everything that’s said or believed on HA. That’s just the reality of creating a community that includes agnostics, atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Republicans, Democrats, libertarians, conservatives, liberals, etc.

      We share our stories. We listen. We laugh and cry and share our struggles together in this digital space. And we try to bear our differences with respect and without invalidating each other’s experiences.

      Like

      • Refugee June 26, 2013 / 9:24 am

        “We share our stories. We listen. We laugh and cry and share our struggles together in this digital space. And we try to bear our differences with respect and without invalidating each other’s experiences.”

        I for one am so very glad HA is there. Thank you all for your courage in speaking out, forbearance, and grace towards others. Some day I hope we’ll be able to find our way out of this quagmire. HA at least gives us hope that it just might be possible.

        Like

  6. lanamhobbs June 25, 2013 / 7:56 pm

    i feel irritated that he deleted the original tweet at homeschoolers anonymous and left up the tweet about being trolled. It seems dishonest. Kudos to the screenshotters.

    Like

    • kbrightbill June 25, 2013 / 10:41 pm

      Yeah, it’s a form of intellectual dishonesty, in my estimation, at least.

      Like

    • nickducote June 26, 2013 / 12:34 am

      FWIW, Josh is not one to recant what he says. Especially when it comes to slurring gays. My biggest concern is that his hate speech is being ignored by CFC/ICC, who continues to use Josh as a shining example.

      Like

      • kbrightbill June 26, 2013 / 12:43 am

        Personally, I think his new tweet is more offensive than the original one with the slur. Now he’s just being flat out condescending.

        I don’t know how straight people who get called homophobic slurs feel about it, but I’d rather be called an out and out slur than to have somebody say something dripping with scorn and condescension.

        Like

      • nickducote June 26, 2013 / 12:47 am

        Well, even admitting he’s “rash” is something. But yes, I had to read that Tweet twice to realize how insulting it was.

        Like

  7. Aaron H. June 25, 2013 / 9:06 pm

    I think I level in the mean of this situation. I was never labeled gay or awkward due to what was labeled as my rebellion to authority or as I put it being a high functioning internal human being with curiosity. God gave it and I must follow it was the mantra of my life. Of course if a sin were being committed I could abstain from my parental and church ordained authority. I am so glad I grew up in such a system to inspire the forces of my conscious to wage war with the landscape being established for me to accept and believe. I have troubled relations with my parents not because I hate them and what they gave me, but to the contrary I love them and what they did for me. My love is viewed as insufficient and selfish for my service being focused on God not their giving back to their fleshly desires. I would rather have their mindless doctrines to initiate the skepticism within me than be totally wasted upon the circles that my professors and fellow professional coworkers give me on a daily basis. I learned and grew above the influence so I could use it to my advantage. Now of course my openness and closed mindedness cause for rocky relationships and I blame this on myself. I blame any victim for not fighting and would suggest anyone who has doubts not to reject what is being taught, but to learn it for your benefit as an added tool to be used with skepticism. Force is God and no matter how inept a person can be I believe we have been given an evolutionary step up due to how much familiarity most of us have grown to understand as half-whit truths void of understanding. Scripture is a tune not a script it is a voice not a book. God did not give his commands to Constantine and have him imbued with righteousness. That is an utter lie most Christian children grow up with accepting as truth. Pursue truth and focus on God directing your path because he warns of parental authority anchoring you to the world. Understand culture and the fact Christianity is individual not collective yet influenced together through communicative living. Ethos pathos logos. Start with the basics. Question everything and know why you do what you already know how to do well and the path will be laid before you.

    Like

  8. Retha June 25, 2013 / 11:50 pm

    Even IF (and I am not calling you this) everyone at HA was
    1) “whiny”
    2) “disgruntled”
    3) “self-loathing”
    4) “atheistic”
    5) “gay”
    6) “hell-bent on undermining the family”

    THEN
    I would still say that you do a good job
    a) telling caring home-schooling parents of ideas they may avoid, as that could be bad for their children in the long run
    b) campaigning for good oversight, to improve life for home schoolers.

    Like

  9. brbr2424 June 26, 2013 / 12:04 am

    I visit this site and Heather and Libby Ann’s site. I have noticed how civil and patient the bloggers are in responding to attacks and defensive responses from homeschooling moms. I was wondering if that was a skill honed in homeschooling or the journey out of that environment. The writing is very thoughtful.

    The deep South seems like a tough place to grow up. I can’t see that treatment you experienced on the job happening here in Northern California where I live. I think it is because this area is both economically and ethnically diverse. Kids here enjoy the lack of conformity. Also, since guys who are gay are mostly all out by high school there isn’t any point in speculating about whether a straight guy is gay..

    Like

    • nickducote June 26, 2013 / 12:21 am

      I think a lot of us credit CFC/NCFCA with giving us training in answering and dealing with questions in a civil manner. If anything, my experience before NCFCA (Christian debate league) made me into a judgmental, critical, harsh communicator. Debate taught me the importance of nuances, of being precise with your language. It also taught me the importance of finding a commonality, the moving to what we disagree on. For me, the CFC experience also taught me how to deal with groups of people with passionate niche convictions. These skills translated well into my experiences teaching debate in Jordan and Afghanistan. Once you’ve moderated a discussion between Evangelical Christian homeschoolers and Palestinian refugees about the two-state solution, homeschooling parents aren’t too difficult.

      I find that in most of my “debates” on social media or here, that people tend to agree with the actions I advocate, but they are very offended with the package I put it in (usually because I use secular language). Often, the disagreement is more a miscommunication about definitions or an assumed, but uncommunicated, premise. Debate/CFC also taught me the importance of knowing my audience and accepting responsibility if my communication fails to convince someone.

      As a whole, I developed this attitude through the opposite philosophy of my childhood (isolation). I immersed myself in other people’s lives, cultures, and motivations in an attempt to understand their perspective. I lived with Hindus and Muslims and atheists and drug users during my time in college. And I loved almost all of them! Learning to appreciate the good in everyone really broke me from the angry, hatred of fundamentalism. Gay guys are just too damn funny to hate on. Having been an asshole fundamentalist myself, I understand where these people are coming from. The most frustrating part is when people dismiss what I have to say because I don’t wrap it in an explicitly Christian package – as if human rights, love, and decency were not Christian concepts.

      Summary: If there’s one thing I learned from CFC/NCFCA it was to overwhelm the other person with kindness and organized, analytic reasoning.

      Like

  10. Fia June 26, 2013 / 6:09 am

    How is there so much to unpack about fundamentalist attitudes from two tweets? But what stuck out is: he uses words like “queer” as though they’re a bad thing. Wonder why we’d be self-loathing. Must be that crazy liberal thing.
    Jesus Christ what an asshole.

    Like

  11. Lois Manning (@lmanningok) June 26, 2013 / 6:34 am

    Thank you for your beautifully expressed, insightful and informative message. It reflects secular humanism: The Golden Rule, calling on our natural potential for kindness, is a pretty reliable guide to living happily.

    Like

  12. Headless Unicorn Guy June 26, 2013 / 9:40 am

    Hello. I’m straight. But in high school, my name was “Fag.” “FAAAAG!” has nothing to do with sexual orientation, just with being DIFFERENT. Not worshipping football, or no girl every finding you attractive. Getting better grades than everyone else while flunking PE; spending all your time in the library to keep from getting beaten up. In high school, “that’s faggy”.

    It’s not just chickens who peck “defectives” to death in the barnyard.

    Like

  13. Headless Unicorn Guy June 26, 2013 / 9:47 am

    Nick, Josh, everybody:

    As long as it’s gonna be on most every pulpit this coming Sunday, here’s a little momento from classic Dr Demento:

    (video’s pretty poor; just listen to the audio on a hidden window)

    Like

  14. Julie Anne June 26, 2013 / 9:51 am

    This whole thing was very disturbing. I asked how he could make such blanket statement about this site when I am very heterosexual and Christian, but instead of responding to my question and the others, he deleted the entire tweet.

    Like

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