Miscellaneous writing

  • Foolish Thing Desire
    For gay men, the intersection of sex and race brings out the worst in a small number of people, who then make headaches for everyone else.
  • Deserve American
    Reducing citizenship to where you're born diminishes what it means to be an American for everyone.
  • This Land Is Your Land
    Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas came out as undocumented and challenged the nation on what it means to be American.
  • Daniel's Choice
    Faced with a decision between living with integrity or living a lie, West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran Lt. Daniel Choi chose honesty
  • Cross Cultural
    Cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner for my in-laws last year, things were going perfectly up until the point when I sliced off the tip of my finger.
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About Sean Bugg

  • I’m the co-publisher of Metro Weekly, Washington, DC’s biggest and best gay and lesbian publication. Over the course of my 40-something years, I've been a good little golden boy, a sub-Ivy-League college grad, an annoying activist, a very active party boy, a humorist and a journalist -- if those last two have any distinction. In addition to the magazine, I’m a freelance writer, car reviewer, book addict, gamer, amateur tennis player and reasonably successful husband. I have my hands full.
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There is nothing that can be done about the two boys hanged in July, and we could debate forever whether they were gay or exactly why the government of Iran executed them.

But there seems to be no doubt that Iran is scheduled to execute two homosexuals in Arak on August 27, and yet none of the usual suspects; Human Rights Campaign, Human Rights Watch or IGLCHR have said a thing about this new situation.

Why the silence, Scott Long and Paula Ettelbrick and Joe Solmonese?

Time is running out for us to organize protests and actions against the impending doom for the gays in Arak.

When will gay and human rights activists announce some plan of action to call world attention to the scheduled hangings, and possible halt the executions.

We need actions, organizing and forceful condemnation from our leaders regarding the latest antigay news from Iran.

I just love it when representatives of established organizations use the sweeping brush of "lack of knowledge" when someone takes an approach they disagree with.

The details of this particular case had to be flushed out, and they were. But your overall critique of Faisal was on the target. Yelling "Islamaphobia" was the irresponsible censor button here. Are we supposed to hold off on criticizing the stoning sentence of the Nigerians, because it was a Sharia court sentence? I'm sorry, but I'm not about to run everything through a neo-con smell test, which is precisely what Ettelbrick, Faisal and others did here.

I'd like to suggest that Mr. Long give the new Iranian president a year or two to implement his conservative prescriptions, and then spend some time over there.

And I say that as someone opposed to theocratic governments, not as an Islamaphobe. It's a lazy attack if I've ever heard one.

Dear Sean,
Completely bracketing your arguments about proper courses of action in the Islamic world, Faisal is right: the initial reports were inaccurate, and the boys were executed on charges of raping a 13-year-old. It simply isn't the case that "As that news began to raise the ire of a GLBT groups, sources from Iran -- including the Iranian government -- claimed that the teens had actually been put to death for raping a 13-year-old boy." Those claims came first in the Farsi press. The media frenzy was based on a truncated report on an unreliable Iranian diasporic website.

This does suggest a larger point: that the response was based not only on the photographs but on preconceptions about Iran predicated on a basic lack of knowledge, on the part of most of the press and many activists. And attributing "gay" identity to people in a culture like IRan's, out of a desire to find "brothers and sisters" that may wilfully disregard the facts, is also problematic. In this case--as Iranians see "LGBT"-identified activists in the West calling people "gay" on the sole evidence that they were convicted of pedophilia--it may have done more harm than good.

Scott Long
Human RIghts Watch

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