An old girlfriend of mine used to be an avid reader of Venus Magazine. I didn’t read it much myself, since it wasn’t targeting Eurasian bisexuals, but black lesbians and gays, but I did enjoy many of the articles I read while my gal vacuumed. I was completely taken by surprise this morning when I read that Venus’ publisher, Charlene E. Cothran, had taken the magazine in a completely new direction: fixin’ us homos. Quite a few sites made it seem as if this was going to be a gay-bashing publication, but I went to check out the magazine’s site. It doesn’t seem like good ol’ fashion hate-crime propaganda to me, but the religious bent, well…I’ve always been ambivalent about Christianity, so I’m not the best judge. Instead of a gay magazine, it’s now dedicated to educating people on how to leave the “lifestyle” and accept God. Personally, I’d be royally pissed if I received my gay subscription and saw the cover story was all about how to “redeem” myself. Even more so if I’m confronted with the assumption that my sexuality is sinful.
I’m almost as disturbed about what I read on the site as I would be over some rag advocating violence and hate. I understand that for many people it is a struggle to overcome the religious conditioning they’ve had all or most of their lives. I never had that added burden, for which I thank my lucky stars. What I take exception with is the passive-aggressive notion that non-heterosexuals are afraid of Christianity. Beyond the bullying, I mean. In a letter to the editor, one woman wrote,
What I am seeing is God moving on the heart of some very prominent homosexuals. Is that the fear…that you may be next to open your heart to His love and healing? That your hatred towards committed Christians may one day turn around?
Yes, we’re afraid of bliss, love, harp-bearing angels, and holy healing, not repression or the religious right’s agenda to sweep any non-Christians off the face of the earth. We fear living without hatred. How silly.
I don’t deny anyone the right to publish such opinions, but to pull a 180° shows a complete lack of class and respect. Charlene E. Cothran sent out those subscriptions knowing full well that the magazine’s erstwhile target audience would be less than appreciative. Far from informing people of the “miracles” of religion, she was making targets of her readers, pummeling them with anti-gay propaganda.
What a slap in the face.