PERRY ‘VISION’ DIVIRGILIO reads a brand-new poem he wrote titled “Homophobics Anonymous,” and talks about what it means to him. Vision (Twitter: @VisionPoet) is a poet and poet coach for Philly Youth Poetry Movement and a member of Spoken Soul 215. To hear the whole show, which included a musician and a pair of theater innovators here in Philadelphia, see: http://ph.ly/JfYLL This was the start of Pt. 3 of Radio Times’ 5-part series on Philadelphia Innovators; to learn more about the series, see: http://ph.ly/__-EV

“Homophobics Anonymous”
There will be a time
My future son looks back on the decisions daddy made to judge what type of man i was.
My unborn daughter will appraise my actions against the gallimaufry of lessons i’ve imparted upon her.
They will look back at my past with rose colored scopes.
And believe their daddy was a moral man.
My children will read articles about poems l’ve penned
They’ll see clips from a CNN documentary
And beam with pride.
They won’t see the stories forced into a wiredrawn margin by revisions of an umbrageous past.
This is an attempt to show my future children their human father wasn’t always on the right side of history.

Hello,
My name is Perry “Vision” Di Virgilio
And l’m homophobic
l never gave thought to why the way others love has any affect on me
But for years i wore homophobia like a unsheathed broadsword on my back
The people me and my friends preyed on are un-named
And have unmarked memorials on their tombstone scars
They won’t remember our faces,
Only the way we made them feel.
For me it’s been mostly through inaction
But sometimes through emblazoned words spoken with a pitchforked tongue
l’ve syphoned the humanity out others with each utterance of the word faggot
Fag sprung off my tongue like ineffable artillery from a trebuchet
l have stoned my brothers who love brothers.
So my brothers who love sisters know l’m one of them.
Flagitiously feasted on the insecurities of males we deemed too garish to be men.
Like we are men,
and you are not like us, so you are not a man.
l’ve sat cactus next to men whose wrist weren’t quite as limp as my excuses to prejudge their feminine traits.
Sat mime as a friend threw a bottle at a man we deemed too flamboyant to exist
We laughed like enjoying his pain was a prerequisite for masculinity
Like we knew what masculinity really was.
Like l thought all gay men were ostentatious
Until l unknowingly went into a gay friendly bar
And saw men who looked, dressed and talked like me
dancing with men who looked, dressed and talked like me.
l left because “l don’t do that gay shit!’
i was afraid being there was a reflection on me.
There was a time l was proud to be that guy l now despise.
There are times, l am still that guy l now despise
Times l still sit mute amongst men who make jokes about men who love other men
Times l still sit mum amongst women who beg down low men to come out of the closet so they can browbeat them back in.
l’m a silent co-conspirator too afraid they’ll question my sexuality because l’ve defended another’s.
i’ve been that guy who’s been part time prejudice around straight peers
Then find solace in the basement of my morals saying, “l’m not a bigot. l have gay friends.”
l have gay friends who l can’t look in the eye sometimes knowing there was a time l judged the way they’ve made their lover’s smile
What type of ally am l
When l was almost too coward to attend a friend’s poetry feature at a gay arts festival.
When l was afraid to share a hotel room with a gay friend while on tour.
When l didn’t defend a transexual woman on the bus when she was called “lt”
l am still the homophobic boy who sometimes participates in oppression through inaction.
By not saying the things l see wrong.
By not defending someone’s right to be themselves.
Oh the audacity of wanting to be yourself.
l pray my friends don’t cast the same judgments upon me that i’ve casted on others
l am a recovering homophobe.
Fighting unfounded fear one day at a time.

There will be a time,
My kids will question why all heterosexual people didn’t stand up for gay people.
They will ask if their father was a homophobe
l will tell them there was a time daddy judged before he loved.
l will beg them not to repeat the sins of their father.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett sued the NCAA last week on behalf of the Commonwealth, claiming that the governing body for college sports went overboard in penalizing Penn State in response to the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal. In the wake of the damning Freeh report, the NCAA sanctioned the Nittany Lions with an unprecedented $60 million fine to be spent on child protection, a four-year ban on bowl games, cutting its number of football scholarships, allowing football players to transfer without penalty and vacating all football wins between 1998 and 2011. Corbett contends the collegiate sport association overstepped its authority and crippled Central Pennsylvania’s economy and Penn State’s competitive advantage in intercollegiate athletics. Starting us off with a look at the legal and anti-trust issues involved in the lawsuit is MATT MITTEN, director of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University Law School. To hear the rest of the show, which included a debate with GIL SPENCER, columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times and a supporter of Gov. Corbett’s lawsuit; and CHRISTINE BRENNAN, USA Today sports columnist and a critic of the lawsuit, go to: http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2013/01/08/gov-corbetts-suit-vs-the-ncaa-over-penn-statesandusky-penalties/

In this clip, Philadelphia School Superintendent WILLIAM HITE Jr. discusses a meeting at West Philadelphia High School with Philadelphia Student Union members who inspired him with good ideas about peer counseling and student-led initiatives to combat bullying. To hear the full interview, go to: http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2013/01/08/a-conversation-with-philadelphia-schools-chief-william-hite/

Philadelphia Schools Superintendent WILLIAM HITE, JR. discusses charter schools, one of the most controversial topics in contemporary U.S. education. To hear the full interview, go to: http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2013/01/08/a-conversation-with-philadelphia-schools-chief-william-hite/

On Monday, after four months on the job, Philadelphia School Superintendent WILLIAM HITE, JR. made public his blueprint for turning around the city’s public schools; you can find it here: http://webgui.phila.k12.pa.us/offices/a/action-plan In this clip from the beginning of our show, Dr. Hite discusses the plan and the funding challenges facing the School District of Philadelphia. For the full interview, see: http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2013/01/08/a-conversation-with-philadelphia-schools-chief-william-hite/

Philadelphia School Superintendent WILLIAM HITE, JR. tells us about getting suspended in high school, something he and Marty discussed during a break and which helps him relate to and inspire misbehaving students. For the full interview, which covered his goals for public education and his ideas about how we might achieve them, see: http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2013/01/08/a-conversation-with-philadelphia-schools-chief-william-hite/

The end of our show today featured Club for Growth vice president for government affairs ANDY ROTH on why that small-government group urged a “No” vote on the Sandy relief bill, which was later approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, and political analysis from JOSH KRAUSHAAR, executive editor of National Journal Hotline. For the full show, which included Philadelphia Inquirer Washington correspondent Jonathan Tamari, go to http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2013/01/04/sandy-relief-bill-the-fiscal-cliff-and-gop-politics/

In this clip, caller “Don from Doylestown” identifies as a Republican fed up with House Speaker John Boehner and lack of Republican support for areas devastated by Superstorm Sandy, prompting political analysis from JOSH KRAUSHAAR, executive editor of National Journal Hotline; and JONATHAN TAMARI, the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Washington correspondent and CapitolInq blogger, who joined us from the press room at the U.S. House of Representatives.

JOSH KRAUSHAAR, executive editor of National Journal Hotline, discusses the politics surrounding Tuesday night’s non-vote on a relief bill for New York and New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy, which was voted on and approved after this interview. In the interim, the opened an angry rift between NY/NJ Republicans and House Speaker John Boehner. For the full show, see: http://whyy.org/cms/radiotimes/2013/01/04/sandy-relief-bill-the-fiscal-cliff-and-gop-politics/

We get an update on the events on Capitol Hill from Washington Post congressional reporter ED O’KEEFE, who also writes the 2chambers blog following the House and the Senate. O’Keefe talks about the politics and personalities, including Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, that forged a deal at the very last minute. Hear the full hour, which included analysis from Ross K. Baker and Bill Galston, at whyy.org/radiotimes