Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Transgender Day of Visibility - March 31st


I just learned today is a new holiday. So new, I bet Hallmark doesn't have a card for it yet. Transgender Day of Visibility, started by a college student who wanted something more positive than Transgender Day of Remembrance (which is important but sad as it is about victims of hate crimes).

As a biologist, I'm rather "so what" about LGBT folks. There's variation in nature.
As a human, I'm also "so what" about LGBT folks. I just expect people to be kind and decent.
I'll end with a great quote I just read on StraightButNotNarrow.

"God didn't ask us to understand each other. God asked us to love one another." So even if you don't understand, that isn't what is most important. Compassion, respect and treating others the way you want to be treated - that is what matters.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

hey Jude...you've taken my sad song and made it better

It is now that I celebrate life! Well over a decade has passed since I found myself returning to the Netherlands. Throughout the duration of the flight, I prayed to God begging Him to somehow open up a hole in the aircraft and suck me out while the pilot would safely land the remaining passengers at the nearest airport. Nearly twenty years I had lived and here I was still trying to come up with a way to end it all without embarrassing my loved ones any further.

The airplane landed safely at Schiphol where I was met by my family; my mother and father and my beautiful little sister who I have grown to look up to and admire for her insight, compassion and willingness to empathize with any individual’s situation. We walked arm in arm as we made our way through the airport parking lot. This would be the first and only time I’ve made the trip to Europe without experiencing the torturous jetlag that so often accompanies such a journey. My feet were on the ground.

Three months had passed; my family and I took a stroll through the small village that we would call home for the next few years. Although the Netherlands is known for its very progressive attitude toward equality, the village we resided in was a small Catholic farming town. Imagine my surprise when we walked toward the Centrum, in front of the church, there was a billboard advertising quality mattresses. On one side of the advertisement two young, attractive women were lying in bed together. The other side portrayed an equally attractive (ok, they were hot) male couple.

Every emotion known to mankind welled up in me as I tried to hide the excitement I felt regarding what seemed so normal for the townspeople I lived amongst. For fear I would out myself, I said nothing and tried not to stare as we walked past the happy gay couples on the billboard. Was it possible for me to actually live with this?

My sister, along with a very good friend, introduced me to several new and interesting people. I found myself learning the public transit system, hanging out at the pubs and going to discos. I was exposed to so much more than I could have ever imagined while growing up in small town USA.

It was during one night while my sister and I were at a local disco with two of our friends; playing a game of truth or dare I nervously announced “I’m gay.” The response I received was nothing like I had expected. You see, I had been carrying the world on my shoulders for my entire life. I was known for being angry and reactionary. I had overcompensated for so long in order to mask the truth. And for my sister to now know what had been the driving force for my anger, she wept. It was as if she understood, in the time it took me to state those two little words “I’m gay,” every experience and every moment that got me to this place and time. I made it.

The first person in my family that I was truthful to, she allowed me to lie when I needed to lie and she has always been there to fight my battles when I needed help. My sister, my advocate, told no one of my secret. She respected the space I needed in order for me to come to terms with who I am. She had the faith in me to know that I would.

Quite a bit of time has passed since that night. I’ve repeated those words, “I’m gay,” an infinite number of times. I would say the first thousand or so times was just as difficult as that night at the disco. But I’ve found that with the support of my family and the many friends I’ve made along the way, coming out of the closet has gotten much easier.

There was a point at which I didn’t believe I would make it. Because I said those two little words that evening at the disco, I received the encouragement I needed in order to carry on. I have been extremely fortunate for having crossed paths with the many who remain respectful and supportive with regard to my status and are rising to the challenge to help secure my status as a soon to be equal citizen.

Prior to getting to the place in which I could discuss activism, I had to learn to accept myself. Neither could be accomplished without the acceptance and conviction of my straight allies.

We so often forget that when we come out, our straight allies must also come out. When my parents explain why I am not married to their fundamentalist neighbors, when my best friend speaks out against the colleague for their homophobic “jokes,” they continue to come out to proudly uphold the truth and what is right. Thanks to the unyielding support and unconditional love I’ve received, my song continues to get better.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Today creates tomorrow


Next week, the governor of Vermont is expected to veto a same sex marriage bill that has passed in the Vermont legislature. You can information on the web where to raise your voice.

So what is this post about? The link is for the testimony of a young gay man, a teenager, in Vermont, given before the state legislature. It is heartfelt, eloquent, rational and takes the high road. It's one for the record books.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Turn your compassion into passion

One of my closest friends, for many,many years; is a lesbian. She is smart, wise, fun, beautiful, understanding, forgiving, loyal and compassionate. I told her I had volunteered to be the organizer for the Million Gay March in my town. In her usual compassionate and wise way, she genuinely thanked me for caring so much.

Then she asked me a question that caught me off guard. Why? Why this cause? After all, I'm straight. She knows I care. My husband and I are good friends with she and her partner.

She pointed out that there are many other things that I feel strongly about. Child abuse, global warming, drunk driving, animal abuse, autism, cancer research, kidney research, poverty - you name it.

I thought about it. My first reaction was simply the word passion. I can't explain why I feel strongly. I just do. But there was one element I could recognize. Standing up for the rights of someone else, for LGBT folks, carries some risk. There's no risk in running a marathon to raise money for cancer. Who is against cancer research? Who is against most of what I mentioned? (Except of course for Republicans who don't believe in global warming and cold hearted people who don't mind watching people live on $1 a day). These causes are worthy and many people work hard to motivate others to support them. But they aren't particularly controversial. No one is taking a personal risk for advocating for autism research.

Someone has to take the risk of speaking up for the rights of others. Because the world is too scary if we don't. Not enough people spoke up in Nazi Germany. Not enough people spoke up during the Civil Rights movement. The stakes are too high for all of us. Gay people run the risk everyday of being called names or physically hurt. I've never had to live behind that kind of shield. And no one else should have to either. Making my opinion known let's others know where I stand. And I'm not afraid of the "opposition". My rights are everyone's rights.

And there's another reason. I live in a country that once upon a time prided itself on human rights, freedom and treating everyone equally. We were enlightened and always at the forefront. Now we are behind not only European countries and Canada, we are behind South Africa! How's that for missing the boat? I want to be proud to live in America. But I'm not quite there yet.

Your passion might be something else. Use it. Don't be almost alive. Light your candle. Let others see your heart and convictions.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

OutInWisconsin.org Finally Gets Logo

Good Afternoon,

Out In Wisconsin has just received our new logo which has been long waited for. As you may or may not know, Jay from jaysays.com had created the draft design you see on the left of the words for outinwisconsin.org. When sending it in to a professional design company it was touched up to create this beautiful logo. As most of you are aware, having a professional logo for a website is a big thing and tends to draw more viewers as people see you are serious about whatever you are involved in and it is also eye catching.

Out In Wisconsin is still waiting for my business card design and our letterhead design so we can go even further. Thank you Jay for submitting a draft to Out In Wisconsin. As you can see the final touches of the design turned out wonderfully. Thank you also to all my friends out there in the LGBT communities around the nation and especially to those close friends who are helping the website and my personal blog to grow. You have been of great support in helping me get started out in the world and you have continued to give me great support in our personal friendship as well.

I think dearly of each one of you and hope our friendship continues to grow as well as our love and concern for our other fellow LGBT citizens out there. They need each and every one of us to do our part to help in the cause of equality. Even though some continue to be silent. Each and every one of us has made some sort of difference in the lives of others. We have worked hard to get to this point and must continue to work hard to accomplish what we have set out to do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Love is never wrong - Melissa Etheridge

Poster from a gay rights march

"I'm here

I'm not queer

Love is love

Get used to it"

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Yes I am a lesbian, and I'm happy about it !

When I was growing up there was a lot to deal with.  The group of people I grew up with - I will call them my family - was really messed up.  My mother was actually the  dominant head of the family, and my father (my step-father) did whatever he was told and was treated pretty badly.  My brother (step-brother) was younger but treated me as though I was younger - and that was acceptable to them. 

Religion had very little to do with how my household was run or with how people were treated.  My family group was Jewish.

As I was approaching puberty I kept having thoughts which surprised me.  These thoughts were about girls, not boys.  I kept telling myself that I was supposed to think about boys, but my brain kept getting mixed up. I had an old black and white tv in my room and stayed up late watching the old movies.  (This was in the late 50’s and in the 60’s.) I would watch the movies to find out how I was supposed to act.  See - my family kept going out of their way to make nasty comments about “fairies, fags, flaming fairies”,  dykes” and all sorts of other horrible names. (Sorry to use such horrible language, unfortunately just telling it like it was - and this was in southern california.) I didn’t understand why they felt that way but I also didn’t understand how you know when you like a boy.

When I was 16 a classmate called and asked if I wanted to go on a blind date.  I got the information - and all my mother needed to hear was “rich” and “Jewish” - and she rushed me off the phone to get ready.  I figured I was getting out of the house and getting to meet some new people.  Neat.  We had the date and kept seeing each other - everybody seemed to like this guy - so that meant I was pleasing the family and it felt good for once in my life.  I was even so good that I married him - we were both 19.

Rushing ahead to the late 80’s.  The past few years I realized that it was okay to be who I am and not just be his wife, their daughter, etc.  So, I started to let my likes and dislikes surface.  I even started thinking a little about those thoughts that didn’t belong in my mind. Wow.  It didn’t take long at all for me to realize that I really did not belong in this marriage. Again, rushing forward in time but this time to the early 90's.  I had filed for divorce and it was final. 

Then we get to the folks I called my family in the beginning of this.  Mother decided that the family preferred my former husband to me.  I went to their house I found his pictures all around and in photo albums - instead of mine!  I was nowhere to be found.  Fast forward again a few years.  I said my last goodbye and drove off. (No I didn’t burn rubber because my father was at the curb yelling to his 38 year old daughter to, “come back here this instance, young lady”, and I wanted to be very calm and very decisive.)  

Fast forward a few more years.  After spending some time dealing with lots of loss and a couple more bad tries at hetero dating I decided it was time to acknowledge my true self / the true me.  I am a lesbian. The first time I said it out loud in my house I felt soooo good, so I kept repeating it.  I felt a peacefulness I had never ever felt before.  All those thoughts (that I thought I wasn’t supposed to have) came flooding back, and new thoughts came in.  I welcomed them all. 

I haven’t met anybody yet but I also haven’t gone out much to social type events.  I will soon.  I guess I wasn’t quite ready to put myself out there just yet.  I have been absolutely enjoying getting to know me (and liking me) and noticing the type of woman I am and the type of woman am attracted to. I’ve also been reading and I do have a favorite lesbian mystery writer.  

So yes I am a lesbian and I’ve become a bit of an activist.  I was married more than 15 years and I can say for absolute certainty  - homosexuality is biological - we are born this way.  (I faked being happy in the heterosexual marriage for as long as I could.)  I gave up a lot to be who I am and I have no regrets.     

Folks this is the first time I have “guest blogged” (thank-you for the opportunity), but I have never even blogged before.  I would also like to thank-you for the opportunity to share my thoughts. 

Friday, March 20, 2009

There's nothing like a best friend

Last week I visited my best friend from grade school. We were inseparable in 8th and 9th grade. Then my family moved to Wisconsin, we kept in touch, as friends do. The letters and phone calls became farther apart until at times they were decades apart. There would be an occasional call or card. Then, last spring, we reconnected and vowed that we would not lose touch again.

We had not seen each other in 15 years. I think we were both apprehensive. Would we have anything in common? Would we find anything to say, besides reminiscing about our early teenage years? Would it feel forced and fake?

Then magic happened. It was like I saw her yesterday. The conversation just flowed. Funny stories, stories of hurt and loss, stories of tipped over boats and practical jokes. For four days we hung out on the beach, ate, visited with a few of her friends, walked, and talked. And talked. And talked. We listened to each other's story of life going by, wondering at our different paths, sharing our troubles, our passions and our sense of humor. We still "get" each other. We've known each other for forty years. And for all that we have changed, all that we have been through, we view life so similarly. The love in our friendship blossomed and I could have hugged her forever. She has a beautiful smile, a kind heart, a fun spirit and a sharp mind. She's a survivor, a trooper and a strong woman. I feel so lucky that she was part of shaping my life.

We did more than reconnect. We built a bond that will last until the day we die. Or perhaps beyond.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Want To Send A Message To The Pope?

Anyone feel like sending a message to the Pope? Here is where to send it. Time and time again he speaks out against homosexuality and homosexual acts. Just in the last couple of days he spoke about abstanence rather than using condoms in the fight against Aids. I would like to know just how long a person who thinks about sex can go without it before completely going on a rampage and having all the sex they could ever want with whomever they want. So if people cannot maintain at least the condoms are their to try to help. Banning condemns is only prolonging the inevitable.I say the Pope just wants to control everyone elses sex life because he has none of his own.

A simple message to him on this issue would be "Get out of my bed and return to your own." Better yet, "Get out of my pants". I do not have Aids, but I am a homosexual. In his eyes I am a pervert, humanity needs to be saved from people like me because I love people he doesn't. Who all is in favor of producing one big letter and having LGBT members send it to him?

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
00120 Via del Pellegrino
Citta del Vaticano
The Pope’s email address (for English correspondence) is: mailto:benedictxvi@vatican.va

Million Gay March

Well, I have gone and done something crazy. (My husband would say that this is not news). The folks at http://www.milliongaymarch.org/ are looking for people to help organize marches nationwide on June 28th. This is the anniversary of Stonewall. I wrote and said that I would help.

They sent me a very nice email explaining some of what I need to do. Get a permit, a parade route, find other people to help, then it got to people videotaping and all of a sudden I thought "This isn't a bake sale - I need technology? Oooooh dear......" So I will be knocking on the door of every LGBT group in town, a 53 year old, somewhat overweight, with graying hair, white straight woman saying "Oh hello! Anyone here want to help me put on a march for gay rights?"
I've already contacted the LGBT folks from my church and they are so tickled that I'm doing this. Their reply was "WOW" and "how can we help?"

So send your ideas, suggestions, cautions and support. I'll keep everyone informed of where this goes.

Hello bloggers

I am totally delighted that friends have taken up my offer to be an author on this blog. Now I get to have the fun of opening my own blog and finding a story. I also feel the pressure. I'm just not as good of a writer as my fellow bloggers. Can I possibly be so eloquent? What cause do I have? A white, 53 year old woman who has had a pretty good life, good parents, good education, good job, good husband, good friends.

My cause is the world that I see when I look out. My cause is unraveling my confusion over how the world can be this way. Yes, there are many good people. And then there are people who are discriminated against, poor, people who live on a dollar a day, slaves, countries where children are sold, women are practically hostages, people without clean water, without healthcare, education. It becomes overwhelming. I start to collapse emotionally and mentally when I think of all that needs fixing. And the saddest part of all is - most of what is wrong can be fixed. We know how to feed the world, we can provide health care, we can educate people.

And then I remember. One person doesn't have to fix the whole world. If one person helps just one other person, think of the change and the ripple effect. The Obama's are going to plant a vegetable garden on the White House lawn. How fantastic is that! He's lifted the ban on stem cell research, voted with the U.N. that homosexuality is not a crime (shame on the Pope - I'm sorry, but shame, shame, shame - I have no respect for him because of this), and Obama is giving money to help develop better electric cars. He's done more in two months than George did in eight years.

Plant a garden. Plant "seeds" of compassion and support inside another person. Raise your voice when needed. Listen when needed. You might be surprised at what you hear.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

U.S. Finally Signs U.N. Document Decriminalizing Homosexuality

In an article today by Reuters, the U.S. government finally did a responsible deed. In what the LGBT long waited for was the U.S. to sign a document joining up with other countries who signed on to decriminalize homosexuality. According to the Reuters article it states that 77 countries right now criminalize homosexuality, with 7 countries that have the death penalty for homosexuality.

Though this is a win for the LGBT communities around the nation, it still does not promise to enforce anymore legal rights to the LGBT in the U.S. By signing this document the U.S. is still under no obligations, only to state that they are among many who do not criminalize homosexuality. So, we still have a long way to go but this is indeed a win for the LGBT.

Read reuters complete article here: http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSTRE52H5CK20090318

Monday, March 16, 2009

Jerry Lewis And The MDA Telethons

Jerry Lewis has used some offensive words in remarks in two of his recent telethon appearances. Using words like "fag" and "faggot". I have not viewed the telethons in some time, but many do and a great many people donate money for a good cause. Jay brought up a good question on one of his blog posts recently on his website at jaysays.com. Now it has developed into a conversation with others in our group as to if Jay should get a petition or some other means of contact going from the LGBT community to the MDA. The MDA has done wonderful work and is involved in a good cause. Therefore, the association should not allow someone like Jerry Lewis to be giving out these negative words on his telethon. Please contact Jay and discuss the matter further about what the community could do to help.

Friday, March 13, 2009

So Many Things Are Happening

Happy Friday the 13th to all. I know that sounds a little weird to say considering Friday the 13th is sometimes looked at as scary. I've been so busy this week with a new project I started which shall remain hush hush at the moment except to only our closest members. So many errands and business stuff I had to do this week and started getting my brother's house more cleaned up and also did some of my own cleaning around here. Though both houses need more work done, at least my house is not all that bad compared to my brother's. So between errands, business, blogging, activism, cleaning houses, and the normal chores associated with taking care of a mother, animals and house it has been a very tiring week. One which I am glad to be seeing an ending to.

I've also had the opportunity this past week to speak on Google chat for a little bit to Father Bob O'Connell. Remember, the Catholic Priest from South Carolina. He is really quite interesting to talk with. Just seems to be a normal guy to hang out with. He had been practicing Roman Catholicism for many years but left that and has a wife he's been married to for some time. A Catholic Priest being married. It is quite amazing. He only recently became ordained as a priest in 2006. He left Roman Catholicism some time ago and is what he calls an "Old Catholic". The homosexuality issue never really came up in our conversation, it was mainly us just hanging out and talking.

What's different this week? I've just been invited to be a contributor on It Is Always Today. A blog authored by a friend who lives in the Madison, Wisconsin area. Jaysays.com has a new look to his website which I think is neat. Apparently Jay has been getting some mixed views about his new look on there. It has ended up more or less of a tie so far on who likes it and who doesn't. Rebecca Campbell from Truth And Love After 40 has another new blog going called Blogging For Truth which you can check out. Also, Jay's partner Christopher has had a website going for just a bit called christophersays. This one is really worth checking out.

I have also finally been getting somewhere with a company who has been making my logo for my main website Out In Wisconsin. Jay from jaysays.com had originally came up with a draft of this particular logo and with some help from a company who makes professional logos at affordable prices, we have been going somewhere with it. Things were backed up for some time and so it took quite awhile to get back and actually pick the specific logo I wanted that they had drawn up for me. So now a business card design and a letter head design can be made up rather quickly and I hope I can be introducing the new logo to all of you soon.

So, that is what has been happening with me. I hope all of you are well and doing a great job working for equality for all of us. Wish you well!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Story, and I Do Have One

It is always today has been kind enough to extend an invitation for me to contribute to this blog. I am honored, humbled and very insecure. Why insecure? When I write for my own blog I can choose whether to be whimsical or serious, pointed or repugnant and not worry whether the post has typographical errors or grammatical mishaps. When writing for someone else, the rules change; your sources must be cited, your theories sound, and your hypotheticals must be possible. Putting all that together in my head overwhelmed me, and thus, I became insecure. Then it occurred to me, I am a blogger. I am free.

In reading some of the posts on Its always today, one stuck out, It's Elementary. Stop bullies. I remember the taunts in school, "faggot, sissy, queer..." I decided I would tell the story of what a typical month or so in high school was like for me - no "study" needed, but a visual of what I looked like in highschool is provided.

At my highschool there was one young man a grade lower than myself that was particularly effiminate. He was the one that everyone called a sissy and accused of doing drag (which actually became true later in his life). He was tall, slender and blonde with the most amazing, infectious smile. We never spoke to each other - I was "out" and he was not. Back then, coming out in highschool was instant popularity, for better or for worse and usually for worse.

There was one section of hallway where this man and I would cross paths daily. In my entire highschool tenure, this hallway was the only place we ever crossed paths, albeit silently. One occassion particularly stands out to me. I was walking behind a heterosexual couple (or presumably so as they were holding hands) as the young man past me in the hallway heading the opposite direction. The man in front of me turned to his girlfriend and said, "They should put those people in all girl schools." As his girlfriend gave him a quizical look, he turned around to point at the young man, instead he found me standing behind him, smileless and infuriated. At 6'2" and 195 pounds in high school, I was physically threatening - and I was one of the ones that was well known to be a homosexual. We stood facing each other silent for a moment. Finally, the man in front of me smiled and said, "Sorry dude," before turning abrubtly and half ran/half walked away.

Like most schools, my school had a "redneck" or "kicker" crew. During my Junior year, I befriended a Senior girl, Anna, who was part of the "kicker" crew by default (she worked at a local redneck bar but was totally a rocker). We had lunch together every day, but our relationship rarely extended past the lunch hour. One day at lunch, Anna seemed particluarly distracted. Eventually, she told me the story of being at work and the "redneck crew" approached her saying things like, "Why do you hang out with that faggot?" and "You're a fag lover." I was horrified when I realized for the first time that not only are gay people in danger of this sort of harassment, but those who remain our friends and allies are in danger as well. But Anna always had a way about her and said, "I told them to go F*&$ themselves."

A few days later I was walking past the "kicker crew" when one of them began screaming "faggot." It didn't take long before 5 or 6 more joined in the chanting. I turned to face them and realized I was seriously outnumbered and a pacifist. Then I thought about Anna. I threw my bags to the ground and screamed back. I can't recall my exact words, something like, "Bring it on, I'll kick all of your a$$e$." Alas, my warrior self was defeated, not by the group of rednecks but by the assistant principal tapping me on the shoulder and telling me to get to class.

A week later I was walking out ot my car getting ready to leave for the day. I noticed someone had "keyed" my car and just rolled my eyes at it, paying it little attention as the keying wasn't deep and looked as though it could be buffed out easily. I drove around, never thinking much more of it. Then, I went to the car wash. After washing the car I grabbed a buffing cloth and set out to remove the scratches from it. Perhaps because I was standing further back, or perhaps because I had washed off the dirt, I could now clearly read the word, "FAG."

Those are a few examples of what highschool was like for me as an openly gay man. I was lucky as I survived without killing myself or someone doing it for me. Not all LGBT kids are as lucky. 7 out of 10 gay men report considering suicide and 33% report attempting suicide. Our society is teaching our children to hate themselves if they are gay, and hate gays if they are not. As long as we continue to teach this sort of ignorance, children will continue to die and children will continue to kill. Evangelicals argue they are trying to protect our children yet what they are really teaching is how to kill our chidlren... after all, they are the one's praying for the end of the world.

But, It is always today and that was yesterday. Now, I'm being invited to contirbute to a heterosexual's blog about LGBT issues. Now, I am the warrior in front of the rednecks, the buffer against the keying and the voice that, like Anna, can say to those against me, "Go F#*$ yourself..."


1138 rights denied to gay couples


I see lots of posts of websites where people claim that gays have all the rights as straight people. I really love the "a gay man can marry a woman". Can an argument get more moronic than that?
The next time someone tells you that domestic partnerships or civil unions have the same rights, just point to this website. While some states have given some rights, there are many federal rights that are not extended to gay couples, even those that can legally marry.

Also, the website has some very heartbreaking stories. I asked a friend at work if I was being too political, as I occcasionally send LGBT allies information, asking them to sign petitions, etc. Her answer? You can never be too political when people are being denied basic rights, hated, killed and feared for just being who they are and not hurting anyone.

Good point. May your heart be open and mind clear and wise.

It's My Blog and I'll Block Who I Want To

I had my first anonymous comment from someone who wanted to point out that all the Rush quotes I had were either lies or taken out of context. Hmm. That could be true I suppose. But I have trouble believing that the source was unreliable.

But it was a lesson. From now on I will simply post Youtube videos so people can hear his words for themselves. He offers no solutions, he is inflammatory and divisive, he calls people names. Anyone who would pray for our President to fail is crazy. I prayed for Bush to do things right. Rarely happened.

Last, but not least, it's my blog and I'll block who I want to. Others have different philosophies. That's ok. I don't mind healthy disagreement and I want to get facts straight. But this blog is for friends and hopefully new friends, not people looking to just argue. There are lots of newspaper blogs where people can argue. Not here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009



Intimacy by the Corrs

Intimacy - that elusive feeling of oneness when we find a person who makes us whole
Intimacy - feeling understood, known and accepted
Intimacy - a special bond between two people
Intimacy - the need to not be alone

What is intimacy for you?

Monday, March 9, 2009

What really threatens marriage?

Gay marriage - the threat to marriage and even our very existence. So.... if gay people live together, we're not threatened. But if they get married and have legal rights that are the same as straight people, we are hurt..... how? Children might learn there are gay people? They will learn it anyways. It's way TOO LATE to shield my kid. We have good friends who are gay. Our son grew up knowing that some people prefer members of their own sex. He was four when he asked me if it was ok for a girl to love another girl - and I said yes. Is he gay? No. Does he know gay people? Yes. Does he care? Not one iota. He's more interested in their personalities, outlook on life, and common interests.

Isn't marriage about love, understanding, honesty, trust and commitment? You want to preserve the sanctity of marriage? Just check out the following article about a website called AshleyMadison.com. Their purpose? A place where a married person can find someone to have an affair with. I'm thinking I'll start to email some right wing politicians and church groups and ask them to publicly denounce this practice. That is, if they can find someone among themselves who is without sin to cast the first stone.


Seriously folks, just what is there to be afraid of? I've not heard one convincing argument. Not one. And hasn't anyone figured out that marriage is conservative? My generation invented living in sin. Our parents were horrified. Gay people are asking for radical things like the ability to get married, settle down, have job security, education, children, live their lives without fear, join the armed forces, visit their significant other in the hospital, share their pensions and donate blood to help people save lives. How is any of this damaging or radical? If I didn't know better, I would say it sounds almost Republican!

The best fear I've heard is "I'm just worried they'll register someplace expensive since they have better taste".

Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's Elementary. Stop bullies.

I just saw this amazing documentary on LOGO about a film made in the 90's called It's Elementary. It's a teaching tool about LGBT people for grade school children. The most surprising part is that the filmmakers just simply asked the kids what they knew about gay people. The kids did most of the talking. And true to form, a third grader can tell you that to call somebody names and beat them up, when they didn't do anything wrong, is wrong. The film is not about "recruiting children" or "sexual behaviors". It's about gay people and growing up gay. I highly recommend it to anyone. See if your library has it. Or watch LOGO's website to see when it will come back on. The film has been shown in hundreds of schools, with parents included and has helped change a lot of minds.

Yet, the world is still not safe for LGBT children. They are bullied and taunted. Check out the information below:

I copied the following from the nmha website because this is a subject that I feel very strongly about. Kids being bullied. Kids being bullied for anything. But I especially care about LGBT youth. Read these statistics. Pass this along to a homphobic minister, group, school administrator, talk show host and ask them, no - tell them, to stop using these words.
Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk
While trying to deal with all the challenges of being a teenager, gay/ lesbian/ bisexual/ transgender (GBLT) teens additionally have to deal with harassment, threats, and violence directed at them on a daily basis. They hear anti-gay slurs such as “homo”, “faggot” and “sissy” about 26 times a day or once every 14 minutes.[1] Even more troubling, a study found that thirty-one percent of gay youth had been threatened or injured at school in the last year alone![2]
Their mental health and education, not to mention their physical well-being, are at-risk.
How is their mental health being affected?
Gay and lesbian teens are at high risk because ‘their distress is a direct result of the hatred and prejudice that surround them,’ not because of their inherently gay or lesbian identity orientation.[3]
Gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual counterparts.[4]
How is their education being affected?
Gay teens in U.S. schools are often subjected to such intense bullying that they’re unable to receive an adequate education.[5] They’re often embarrassed or ashamed of being targeted and may not report the abuse.
GLBT students are more apt to skip school due to the fear, threats, and property vandalism directed at them.[6] One survey revealed that 22 percent of gay respondents had skipped school in the past month because they felt unsafe there.[7]
Twenty-eight percent of gay students will drop out of school. This is more than three times the national average for heterosexual students.[8]
GLBT youth feel they have nowhere to turn. According to several surveys, four out of five gay and lesbian students say they don’t know one supportive adult at school.[9]

Don't be in such a Rush


Why Rush is Wrong. Even fellow conservatives can recognize that Rush Limbaugh doesn't have values or ethics.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Campbells or Liptons?

A few blogs back, I wrote about how I got the boxed Lipton chicken soup as a child when I was sick, which I preferred to Campbells. After all, I only got it when I was sick. But recently, the "I have the right to run your life" people tried to pressure Campbell's to pull ads that showed a lesbian couple who were professional chefs. Campbells resisted. This prompted people in the LGBT and Straight Ally community to write a thank you to Campbells. This is what they wrote back. The sentence in bold is my emphasis.

"Thank you for your support regarding our advertisement in The Advocate. Over the last several months, we have received an outpouring of support. While gratifying, it makes it impractical to write back to each of you personally. Nonetheless, we wanted to acknowledge receipt of your email and thank you. At Campbell, our mission is to build the world’s most extraordinary food company by nourishing peoples’ lives everywhere, every day. People from all walks of life enjoy our products—from Swanson broth and stock, Campbell’s soups and V8 beverages to Pace Salsa, Prego pasta sauce and Pepperidge Farm breads, cookies and crackers. You can be assured that diversity and inclusion will remain important to our company because these principles are important to our business. This fact will continue to be reflected in our global marketing plans across our portfolio. Our position on diversity in advertising is simple: we will continue to advertise our products to a broad array of people in ways that are relevant and meaningful to them. Again, thank you for your support. Sincerely yours, Chris SlagerVice President – MarketingCampbell Soup Company"

Hmmm, hmmm, good.Now, if the good people who make food can figure out to show everyone respect, can't our government? Aren't we "customers" of the government? Don't we "pay" them (it's called taxes) to provide us with security and protection? Maybe we should have more say in whether or not we want to fund certain government expenditures. Put it all on eBay or Craigslist. When you pay your taxes, donate them to what works for you.

I know... crazy. But... I think I made a point in there somewhere. How amazing that capitalism is light years ahead when it comes to the LGBT movement. Many companies provide benefits for domestic partners, have anti-discrimination rules. They know what is good for business. If people who want to make a profit can do this, why can't the people who claim to serve our country, and the people who claim to serve God, do the same?

Note to self: Now I have the excuse I need to buy Pepperidge Farm cookies in those cute little bags.

Rush Limbaugh follow up


Goodness. Does this fall in the category of "be careful what you wish for"? Yesterday I blogged about Rush and today I get an email from the organization above. They are soliciting slogans that will express disappointment with Rush Limbaugh's arrogant and immature behavior. A contest!!! I am so excited. Then I panicked. I'm sure I couldn't think of anything creative enough that will make people think.

So I'm thinking... I might just find a whole bunch of Rush quotes that are mean (that's easy!) and have a T shirt printed. Good Lord, the best argument against this man is his own words.
Enter the contest! I don't think there is a prize... except maybe scoring brownie points with God. I don't think she approves of Rush either......

feedback from a reader on the UCC post

I want to share an excellent comment left by a friend. Thank you! I had never looked at it this way. I don't know if separation of state and church applies as TV networks are privately owned, but it made me realize I've never seen an ad for a particular religion. Or if I have - it went over my head. I can't even begin to imagine if the churches that I disagree with started to run ads. TV networks want to just run their business (except for Fox, sorry can't help but throw that in). Besides, I can barely survive political ads and I can't survive the commercials on late night cable. :)

I will say I think the ads are clever and make people think. But then, I'm biased. :)
Here's the comment
"While these are good commercials and showing that their should be equality in the churches and the United Church of Christ shows equality in their churches, the issue here really would be separation of church and state. If these TV networks allowed religious commercials about churches on public broadcasting then separation of church and state here would really appear like it is null and void.I realize they have some TV programs to do with religion sometimes and some programs to do with talking about homosexuality and stuff. But to show commercials in the religious category I think would be something a little different and all other churches, no matter which denominations and no matter what they stand for could get in on commercials to the public view also if the United Church of Christ were to be allowed to air this on national TV stations.So while I agree this is great for the UCC to do and I appreciate the fact they accept everyone. It would not really be a good thing to advertise it as a commercial on these TV networks. "

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Rush Limbaugh - and I thought I didn't hate anyone.

I recently saw a video of Rush Limbaugh speaking as if he were compassionate. I don't know which feeling was stronger. Wanting to punch my computer screen or throw up.
Rush Limbaugh "Conservatives Love People"


Let's just review a few of the things Rush has said. Then tell me what you think.

Top 10 Racist Limbaugh Quotes
By Casey Gane-McCalla October 20, 2008 9:45 pm

NOTE: I only copied 8.

Here’s Our Top 10 Racist Rush Limbaugh Quotes
1. I mean, let’s face it, we didn’t have slavery in this country for over 100 years because it was a bad thing. Quite the opposite: slavery built the South. I’m not saying we should bring it back; I’m just saying it had its merits. For one thing, the streets were safer after dark.

Okay Rush, slavery was not a good thing for the millions of African Americans who were enslaved, raped and beaten. The streets weren’t at all safe for African Americans. Slavery not a bad thing? Someone should put Rush on a plantation for him to see how great it is. Keep on fear and race mongering Rush, you might get to Goebels status.
2. You know who deserves a posthumous Medal of Honor? James Earl Ray [the confessed assassin of Martin Luther King]. We miss you, James. Godspeed.
Martin Luther King is a national hero, not a black hero. Everybody in the United States celebrates his birthday, children are taught to look up to him as a hero in school. He’s earned the respect and admiration of the world and you believe the man who killed him was a hero? This is beyond racist. This is evil, mean spirited, subhuman. Praising the assassin of one of our great American heroes is beyond the scope of regular racism.
3. Have you ever noticed how all composite pictures of wanted criminals resemble Jesse Jackson?
No but I’ve noticed that all racist bigots think like Rush Limbaugh. Comparing a respected black politician and minister to common criminals is Jim Crow racism. Maybe all black people look alike to him, but I’ve never seen a picture of a wanted criminal that looks like Jesse Jackson. A serial killer that looks like Rush Limbaugh on the other hand.
John Wayne Gacy

4. Right. So you go into Darfur and you go into South Africa, you get rid of the white government there. You put sanctions on them. You stand behind Nelson Mandela — who was bankrolled by communists for a time, had the support of certain communist leaders. You go to Ethiopia. You do the same thing.
The communist connection is an old way of dealing with black leaders. They used it on Martin Luther King, they’re using it on Barack Obama and Limbaugh used it on Nelson Mandela. By siding with the racist apartheid regime over a world-wide symbol of peace and freedom, Limbaugh has shown he’s a global racist.
5. Look, let me put it to you this way: the NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There, I said it.
Limbaugh is once again fear mongering and race baiting by associating professional black athletes with criminals and gangmembers. He continues the fear mongering association of good, decent, hard working African Americans as criminals.
6. The NAACP should have riot rehearsal. They should get a liquor store and practice robberies.
Now Limbaugh is saying that an organization with a storied tradition of representing the positive black people for change in their communities are criminals and rioters. An organization that has been represented by intelligent professional African Americans, that has played a part in the Civil Rights movement and continues to be an intelligent, concerned voice for the African American community is degraded to common criminals. There you go Rush. Keep racism alive!!!!
7. They’re 12 percent of the population. Who the hell cares?
Decent human beings care Rush. Someone out of that 12% may just become President of the United States. Not caring about black people? Even George Bush wouldn’t admit to that.
8. Take that bone out of your nose and call me back(to an African American female caller).
Okay Rush that’s classy. The old African bone in the nose stereotype. Wasn’t funny when the racist white school kids called the black kids that and it’s definitely not funny when a grown man with audience of millions of easily influenced dittoheads says it either.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

United Church of Christ - ads banned by networks

We go to a UCC Church and we love it. They accept everyone. They understand the bible was written by humans in a particular time and culture. They understand it has been translated and mistranslated. And they also understand the true meaning of compassion and love. Their commericals are great.
Astonishingly enough, the commercials were not accepted by many major networks, not just Fox, but also CBS, NBC, ABC. I don't know how long ago that was. Today might be different. But just imagine. Banning a commercial for a church that accepts everyone.

Just what WOULD Jesus think? Or Martin Luther King? Or Harvey Milk? Or any decent person?




Well, it actually started yesterday

Monday, 3/2/09. Jim is diagnosed with strep throat and I have a sore throat. Not missing a beat, I call my doc to say "If he's got it, I have it". I go in, they give me antibiotics, I go home, feeling like crap.

We both toss and turn and we both stay home from work today. I haven't been sick all winter so of course, here it comes, 10 days before a vacation. So, I sit at my computer because I still have work. It feels like a day of watching the banner scroll across the bottom of CNN. I drink fluids, chicken soup, pee a lot, try to sleep, it doesn't work, try to listen to music, it doesn't work, try to watch tv, it doesn't work.

Work email after work email I deal with. So much for it really being a sick day. I toggle between work email and my personal email. First comes an email from Human Rights Campaign that hate crimes legislation will start to hit the floor of Congress. Can't remember if it is the House or Senate first but it is the Matthew Shepard Act and, goddamn it, ten years after that horrific murder of a young man who did nothing wrong, it is just TIME to get that act passed. So I sign the petition and email it to everyone I know. I am tempted to email everyone I don't know but I don't know how to do that.

More work, I beg my husband to buy Liptons boxed chicken noodle soup when he goes out for a medicine run. He tells me it is awful for me but it is comfort food because that is what my mom made when I was sick. I always preferred it to Campbells but we always had Campbells. Except for when I was sick. I guess because my mom was nice to me. And so is my husband.

Tea, juice, water, chicken soup, crackers, a few chocolate covered raisins, then more work, then more personal email.

Another piece of legislation!! A Congresswoman has introduced legislation to overturn Don't Ask Don't Tell. Two in one day for LGBT rights. I email my representative, then duh, realize, it's Tammy Baldwin, the only open lesbian in Congress so of course she will vote for it. Still, my voice is heard and once again I send it to everyone I know.

It's 5pm and now I wonder. If I stay home tomorrow, will I get an email that DOMA will be repealed? If I stay home on March 5th, the day of hearings in California for Prop 8, will it get repealed? Can all gay rights be obtained by me staying home sick? Should I stop the antibiotics to ensure they all get passed? I mean, I have like - 40 sick days. If the laws are all federal, I think we can squeeze them all in during 40 days. Kind of like Noah and the flood. Kind of like..... like I don't know what.

But sadly, I pretty much have to go to work. Just sssshhh. Don't let any legislators know.
Stay well and watch what you put down your throat.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

worst person in the world


You can't make this stuff up.
Thank you Keith Olbermann.