Monday, December 24, 2012

“No, Your Past”

In a “Christmas Carol”, Scrooge asks the Ghost of Christmas Past if the spirit will be showing him Christmases of long past. The Ghost responds by saying “No, your past.” The bitter sweetness of the Christmas holiday is found in our individual pasts. I think growing up, and if we are lucky, into our young adult years, we experience a golden time. Though I do not think we recognize it while we are in it, we certainly long for it when it has past. The golden time for me was when all those I cared for and loved were alive and in my life.

One of my fondest memories of Christmas was sitting on the kitchen floor with my brother playing with Christmas toys, while my mother prepared for dinner and the arrival of my grandparents. Growing up in New York City both sides of my family lived in close proximity to each other. We were all within a short train, cab, or bus ride from each other. Drop ins on Christmas day were both welcomed and expected. We had a steady stream of family, friends, and neighbors dropping in for coffee and a Christmas drink. All came bearing gifts and all received gifts back from my family. On other holidays, we too made our rounds, but not on Christmas. My father insisted that we stay home on Christmas because he knew my brother and I would be miserable having to part with our toys, if even for a short time. I love him for that even today.

That was my golden time and sadly, it exists no more. It came to and end much too soon with the death of my brother while we were still small children.  I realize that I was lucky to have a golden time, as I know some kids never did. I hope they find it as an adult because everyone deserves a golden time or two in their lifetime. I woke up today missing my golden time and the people that are no longer with me. I lost my last and closest grandparent a few years back. She was my mom’s mom and though she lived until 92, I still think she left us too soon. I lost my other grandparents years before that, and my brother an even longer time ago. There are also a host of friends and other relatives that left us much too soon, and I remember them all today. In my mind, I can pick one memory that is unique to each of them, and I honor them by recalling it today. I do so with the mixed emotions of the Christmas holiday.

I do not mind my sadness, and I have learned to embrace it as I do any other emotion. In this case, I find it useful because it helps bring to mind the memory of those lost but still loved. Tomorrow I will focus on what I have today. I am luckier than most as I am loved very much by my husband, parents, and friends. I believe, if there is a God, I am also loved by him, and as he created me.

Did I mention you could have more than one Golden time in your life?  If you have never had a golden time, make one. All you need is you, the belief that you can,and most importantly this truth, you deserve one! You deserve one because you are a perfect meaningful creation and an important part of  life's soul just as you are and were created to be. Anything else is a lie.

My husband and I are in the midst of creating our own golden time. This golden time of my life is different in that I have an adult's mind to recognize it with while I am in it, and enough of a child’s heart left to see it’s magic.



Sunday, October 21, 2012

Obama, The Imperfect Presidential Choice for Gay People

I hate that discrimination against LGBT people has forced me into being a single issue voter. For many Gay people like me we have few options in the upcoming presidential election. As I see it there are three options for everyone else and one for us.
The three choices are;
Vote for a Republican candidate,stay home and don’t vote, or vote for Barack Obama.

I don’t see the Republican option as a viable one for LGBT people because the current candidate will set back our equality for at least a decade if elected. If you are an LGBT person and you think a Republican candidate might be an option for you, perhaps because you're financially well off and think the Republicans will help you protect your assets, you’re probably right. You’ve chosen your wealth over your equal rights and those of your community. If this is the case, please stop reading and leave this page because you’re too stupid to do the right thing and too selfish to look beyond yourself.

I’ve supported the option of staying home before to send the message to Democrats that we are not a sure thing. I think that is what happened two years ago in the midterm elections. Obama stuck us on the back burner, courted the center and right of the political landscape and lost big. I think he has gotten the message and has woken up. I would site his decision to order his Justice Department to not defend DOMA after the midterm elections as they did during his first two years in office, and his public coming out for equal marriage this past May. Either way the stakes are too high this time around to stay home and not vote. Gay people must come out and vote.

For a Gay man like me, Obama is really the only option for the 2012 presidential election. I don’t think he is perfect. I think he has played politics with our civil rights, and I think his first two years in office with a Democratic Senate and House were a complete waste of a mandate for change. I also think he lied about evolving on Gay marriage for three years and am happy he has now supported it and that the Democratic party has it as a platform this election.  I believe he was always for equal marriage but lacked the balls to admit it. My reasoning is this. He is a constitutional law professor. He knows that marriage is a civil right and that not permitting it for one group of people is discrimination. He also has a strong understanding of this country’s principle of the separation of church and state.

So while flawed and imperfect, Obama is our best chance at full equality in the next four years. At a minimum I believe we can count on him to not set us back from the gains we have made. At best his next four years will put and end to the issue of our equality so Gay American’s can break out of our discrimination enforced one issue voter prison and have the freedom to base our votes on a majority of important issues this country faces. A right afforded to our heterosexual counterparts since the foundation of this country.