I just found out about this group. I am a group member in the Forest Hill District, Newark NJ. In my district besides my lover and I, we have 3 District leaders who are gay, we have 2 gay YMD, and 1 gay MD. The other members in our district are very supportive of the gay members. As part of my mission for kosen-rufu, I write skits using Buddhist issues and themes. Well for our March District discussion meeting, I wrote a skit on finding absolute happiness from a gay perspective. The main character was unhappy. His best friend suggested that what he needed for happiness was a man. A gay Buddhist enters and tells him about being happy through chanting and persuades both of the guys to come to a Buddhist meeting. Of course, there is going to be hot men at this Buddhist meeting. So, they go to the Buddhist meeting and all ends well. Originally the skit was written straight and the gay version was an after thought. Since I didn't want the actors to feel uncomfortable, I asked the actors who are both gay given the straight and gay version, which did they want to perform? The actors felt the gay one was much more funnier and agreed to do it. On the day of the skit, I realized there was a child in the room. So, I went to the child's mother and I warned her the skit involved homosexuality and she may or may not want to remove her son from the room. She removed him from the room. A day later my chapter chief who has a gay daughter called me and said although she believed the skit was great, the powers that be thought I could have changed some of the language to be considerate of guests and so the parent would not have had to have her child leave the room. She suggested that in the future I use words like "looking for a partner" to replace a male character stating "looking for a man." Instead of saying "are there going to be hot men at this meeting" say "are ther going to be hot people at this meeting." She basically wanted me to hide any gay induendo and replace it with ambiguous terminology. In this way parents who weren't ready for their kids to be exposed to homosexuality or guest would not be offended. After my conversation with my chapter chief, I called my lesbian district leader. I told her what the chapter chief said. My district leader got very mad about it. She said that if we used words like "hot women" in a straight skit, no one would be bothered. I agreed with her and told her that I had originally written the skit straight. I didn;t expect what was coming next. My district chief blamed me for making the cause to make people feel uncomfortable by warning the parent of the only child in the room about the gay content of the skit. She argued that by discussing the skit with the parent, I was in fact giving my power away. She said I should have went on with the skit without telling anyone about the skit's content. Afterward, the parent could decide how she wanted to handle the idea of homosexuality with her kid. My district leader made me realize just how much my homophobia came out during the skit. I would like to get some feedback on this issue. How should things of this nature be handled in the SGI?

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helen , i am definitely with you...nmrk


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