Thursday, November 30, 2006

No Surprise There

Yet another web-quiz (I love these things). This one gave absolutely accurate results.

What mental disorder do you have?
Your Result: ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder)

You have a very hard time focusing, and you find it difficult to stay on task without your mind wandering. You probably zone in and out of conversations and tend to miss out on directions because you cannot focus

Manic Depressive
OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder)
What mental disorder do you have?

I was actually diagnosed with ADD when I was in college. I had applied for an undergraduate teaching assistant position at the university's "Learning Skills Center" and during my interview the woman who ran the center (Dr. Ann Massey - I still look back and think of her as my mentor) asked a number of questions about my experiences in school before getting to college. At the end of the interview she told me that from my experiences it sounded as if I might have Attention Deficit Disorder. Now this was 1985 mind you, and ADD wasn't well known (and totally over-diagnosed) then. I certainly had never heard of it. I remember teachers telling my parents that I was hyperactive and day dreamed a lot (I always thought those two things were sort of contradictory, but apparently not). Dr. Massey told me that the LSC had the means of testing for ADD if I was interested. So I went through a battery of diagnostic tests and sure enough, I suffer from ADD. After all that, Dr. Massey informed me that it appeared as if I had developed sufficient coping mechanism on my own and didn't require any intervention. So in essence I got tested for nothing. On the other hand, I got the TA job, so I was happy.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Study in Contrasts

In the past 4 weeks, there have been 4 cases of prominent people coming out as gay. Mark Foley, a Republican representative to Congress from the State of Florida; T.R. Knight, an actor on the ABC show Gray's Anatomy; Ted Haggard a prominent evangelical minister and national leader of the Conservative Christian right; and Neil Patrick Harris star of the 90's sit-com Doogie Howser M.D. and currently an actor in How I Met Your Mother on which, incidently, he plays a sleazy, womanizing, VERY straight character. What a contrast we've seen in these assorted revelations.Mark Foley comes out after being caught making inappropriate sexual advances toward Congressional pages some of whom were underage at the time. T.R. Knight on the other hand comes out to confirm rumors that had been floating around that he was gay. In a press release the actor said matter-of-factly, "I hope the fact that I'm gay isn't the most interesting part of me." Ted Haggard didn't even really come out, rather, a male prostitute exposed the evangelical preacher after a three years of "providing services" to the right wing Christian leader. Although Haggard initially denied any sexual wrongdoing (he claimed he had just received massages and bought drugs that he never took) he was suspended from his church for sexual misconduct and has since entered one of those ex-gay therapy facilities where, it is claimed, people can be "cured" of being gay. Finally we have Neil Patrick Harris who also was responding to circulating rumors regarding his sexuality, and is quoted as saying, "I am happy to dispel any rumors or misconceptions and am quite proud to say that I am a very content gay man living my life to the fullest...."

So what's the difference in these cases? In two cases we have two men who have accepted their sexual identity, are well adjusted to it and are leading happy, healthy, productive lives. In two other cases we have men who have supressed, repressed and/or denied their sexual orientation and the results of doing so are clear. Supression, repression and denial are dangerous, damaging responses to sexual identity. As seen in the cases of Foley and Haggard, they lead to self-loathing, self-destructive behaviors and dysfunctional (often dangerous) manifestations of sexual expression.

Who have led the better, more righteous and upright lives? Mark Foley and Ted Haggard by living lives of self-loathing and deception or T.R. Knight and Neil Patrick Harris by living honestly, openly and happily as gay men? I think that question pretty well answers itself.

Free Website Counter
Web Counters