This Memorial day, think of and reach out to the partner or spouse of a dead soldier, or to a living one who carries the memories of war with them. Gay or straight, sexual orientation does not play a role in the remembrance of a soldier, as it should not play a role in their being allowed to fight for us.
“Tears In Heaven” – by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings
Would you know my name If I saw you in heaven? Would it be the same If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong And carry on, 'Cause I know I don't belong Here in heaven.
Would you hold my hand If I saw you in heaven? Would you help me stand If I saw you in heaven?
I'll find my way Through night and day, 'Cause I know I just can't stay Here in heaven.
Time can bring you down, Time can bend your knees. Time can break your heart, Have you begging please, begging please.
Beyond the door, There's peace I'm sure, And I know there'll be no more Tears in heaven.
Would you know my name If I saw you in heaven? Would it be the same If I saw you in heaven?
I must be strong And carry on, 'Cause I know I don't belong Here in heaven.
While experiencing something new or the thought of it can be frightening, comfort can be the trap in which your life ebbs away.
Why does it continue to be necessary to lie to your country in order to die for it?
Obama is looking kind of old lately; cowardice will do that to the human spirit. Taking a stand is invigorating, sitting on the fence and breaking promises takes its toll on the soul.
If we can’t stop a catastrophic oil leak at the bottom of the ocean, perhaps we shouldn’t be drilling one. Man should never do something irreversibly harmful to the environment, it will kill us.
Social networks are sanitizing. It is easy to be rude to a picture staring back at you or worse to ignore it. I think we all need a reminder that there are real people behind those pictures who live, breathe, and bleed. It’s never been easier to be callous.
It is the beginning of happiness. It can come at the beginning, middle, or end of your life. Sadly, for some, it may not come at all. Happiness without it is hollow and fleeting. Life always has that “not quite right” feeling if it is missing. Its void is often temporarily filled with things like drugs, careers, and sex, but nothing can really take its place, there is no good substitute. It can’t be given or received as a gift to or from another. Your happiness and well being depend on it, but it must come from within you. It is self acceptance of who you are on this planet despite what anyone else may think.
Self acceptance is the foundation on which a happy life exists. Yet it seems easier to accept others as they are than ourselves. Without self acceptance we are an imitation of who we are meant to be. It is kind of like when you hear a classic hit song made famous by a legendary singer, sung by someone else; it’s not quite the real thing. Our lives are unique meant to be lived uniquely by us. When we live in a manner that solicits the acceptance of others as opposed to our own self acceptance, our life is fear based and our happiness and self worth is transient as it is based on the approval of others.
The reasons for not accepting ourselves are many, but the common denominator is fear. If I’m Gay and I choose to stay in the closet, I’m afraid of what will happen if I come out. The consequence will ruin my life and impact those I involve in my life. If I try to live a heterosexual life and marry, I’ve now involved another person in my lie, if I have kids; they become involved, and so on. My friends and family are never given the opportunity to know who I really am and the chance to accept me of reject me. I also deny myself a chance at real love and moving in social groups that truly accept me as I am. Sexual orientation is just one example where a lack of self acceptance will cause misery, there are many others. It could be body type, gender, sexual proclivity, looks, desires or anything that makes us unique.
Living in a city there are many chances to observe people. I often see some very unique people. They seem to go through life oblivious to the fact they look or act a little different than seems socially acceptable. Where once I judged them, now I can appreciate them and admire them. It seems totally freeing to me, to be able to interact with society on your own terms, perhaps not because of obliviousness but purposefully due to self acceptance, as if any other way would be foreign.
At the end of life, looking back, is it better to say I lived as a unique creation and was happy or I kind of faked it and made others happy and more comfortable to be around me? Is it better to say I lost some friends and family who couldn’t accept me when I accepted myself, but made some true friends who did, or I kept friends and family at the cost of living a lie and denying my own uniqueness?
I don’t know what about yourself you struggle with. I don’t know what it will cost you to accept yourself and live as you are meant to be. I do know that until you do, you are not yet living. Many people go to the grave after long lives without really living. I think that is a higher price to pay than what you might loose by loving and accepting yourself and going through life genuinely you. Think of what you might gain, because at the end of life as you tally up the years, the regret column needs to be the smallest.
The Gay community is angry with the Catholic Church for many reasons. Most recently, there seems to a propensity for Catholic schools to not admit children of Gay couples. They cite the reason being that the parents are living a lifestyle not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. It is obvious to most that the child, whose sexuality is not an issue, is being victimized. It is obvious to most that the Catholic Church is doing the victimizing. It even seems obvious to one Catholic diocese, as they have offered one child from a Gay family admission to another one of their schools. In doing so they chose not to overrule the Principal of the school, a priest that refused the child admission. Overruling this principle would have been justice, but justice does not come easy for Gay families when it is coming from the hands of the Catholic Church. Is the Catholic Church the only one doing the victimizing in these cases? I don’t think so; I think we need to take a hard look at the Gay parents as well.
Why would Gay parents choose to place their child in an environment that does not support who they are as people? Why would Gay parents pay tuition to an institution that is outspokenly engaged in activities to deny their humanity and civil rights? If you are a Gay parent, and your child is in a Catholic run school, are you prepared for the day your child hears you are a sinner going to hell because of your sexual orientation? Are you prepared for the upset your child will endure, and the questions he or she will have for you?
If your answer is, it is the best school in the neighborhood; it isn’t a good enough response. You owe it to your child to place him or her in a loving nurturing environment that is supportive of his or her family structure and values. Move if you have to, but it is irresponsible of you to place your child in a school run by any religious institution that does not value your family structure and your humanity. They have your child everyday. How can you not be concerned about what he or she is being taught about you? Is it any different than placing an American child in an Al-Qaida run school, because it is the best or closest in the neighborhood? The Catholic Church terrorizes our community attempting to demonize us in the eyes of our neighbors.
The Gay community is at war for its identity and civil rights. Placing your child in the hands of one of our enemies to be educated is irresponsible and demonstrates a lack of understanding as to the seriousness of the civil rights war we are engaged in. It is time to come out from within the enemy’s midst and take a stand. It is certainly not the time to hand your child over to one of the perpetuators of our discrimination. What are you thinking?
The Gay community needs to understand the dept of our discrimination. We continue to spend money with companies that have anti-Gay policies in place. We continue to spend dollars with businesses and organizations that donate to religious institutions that use our own money to fight our equality. Our community continues to suck up to, and support politicians who break their promises to us.
In the war on terror, one of the primary weapons being employed is seeking out and identifying the funding sources of terrorist groups, and then cutting off the money flow. Until we employ this technique and stop funding political parties, businesses and religious institutions that discriminate against us, we are only playing at wanting civil rights and full equality. We are a doormat and the world knows it.
On May 25th 1998 I was living in Connecticut and contemplating a move back to New York City. I had been in Connecticut for a couple of years having moved there for a good job and career move. On that day, I was on my way out, one foot through the door, when I heard the phone. Normally, I keep going, but this time I hesitated and went back. On the phone was this guy who needed the electric motor of his car window replaced before driving it to Nashville where he was moving in a few days. He heard through a friend that I knew how to work on cars and had gotten my number. Minutes later we met at a diner for coffee and to talk about his car.
It is now May 13th 2010, twelve years later, Patrick and I have spent those years building our life together. We have gone through our share of ups and downs as in any relationship, attended weddings of friends and funerals of family on both sides. If you are together long enough you get to experience a lot of life.
On May 13th 2006 Patrick and I legally married in Boston Massachusetts. Somehow a bond that was strong got even stronger at that ceremony. It’s hard to explain how a commitment like marriage can make you feel about your relationship. I remember taking out the garbage the day after our wedding, and thinking I’m doing this for my husband. I think I glowed a little that evening, with that thought. Getting married might not be for everyone, but everyone should be able to.
Our relationship continues to be loving, comfortable, interesting, exciting, surprising, and despite it being twelve years, it still feels new and mysterious at times. I hope it always will. Happy anniversary honey!
It looks like Obama may have nominated a Gay woman to the Supreme Court, but he is too timid to say, and she is too scared to be proud. It’s no time to be closeted; it’s time to stir some shit up.
The house next door to us just went up for sale. They were showing it to multiple perspective buyers last night. My husband and I put out our rather large Rainbow flag in response. It’s our neighborhood, we were here first, and people should know it. After all we can’t just let anyone in.
I’ve come to believe that most discrimination is religious or fear based. I’m also starting to believe that the reason Gay people don’t have equal rights, is Gay people.
I’m not using the word “lesbian” anymore when I write. Gay is Gay and we have too many descriptive divisive letters.
Unless you are a minority you really don’t understand the daily life of one, even if you are minority friendly. A smart minority group will use it to their advantage; a stupid one will do nothing but whine about it.
I was standing on the sidewalk in 1945 In Jacksonville, Illinois When asked what my name was there came no reply They said I was a deaf and sightless half-wit boy But Louis was my name, though I could not say it I was born and raised in New Orleans My spirit was wild, so I let the river take it On a barge and a prayer upstream
Well they searched for a mother and they searched for a father And they searched till they searched no more The doctors put to rest their scientific tests And they named me "John Doe No. 24" And they all shook their heads in pity For a world so silent and dark Well there's no doubt that life's a mystery But so too is the human heart
And it was my heart's own perfume when the crepe jasmine bloomed On Rue Morgue Avenue Though I couldn't hear the bells of the streetcars coming By toeing the track I knew And if I were an old man returning With my satchel and porkpie hat I'd hit every jazz joint on Bourbon And I'd hit everyone on Basin after that
The years kept passing as they passed me around From one state ward to another Like I was an orphan shoe from the lost and found Always missing the other And they gave me a harp last Christmas And all the nurses took a dance But lately I've been growing listless I've been dreaming again of the past
I'm wandering down to the banks of the great Big Muddy Where the shotgun houses stand I am seven years old and I feel my dad Reach out for my hand While I drew breath no one missed me So they won't on the day that I cease Put a sprig of crepe jasmine with me To remind me of New Orleans
I was standing on the sidewalk in 1945 In Jacksonville, Illinois
(P.S. I started this Blog last May and thought to myself I would give it a year and decide what I want to do with it. The first things I wrote were very different to where I've ended up. I like that, stagnation is death to me. Although I haven't decided, at this point I'm leaning toward ending it here and sticking it in my memory file. MT )
Earthquakes, oil spills, terrorism attempts, volcanic eruptions, when everything seems to be going wrong, it may be time to listen up and change direction.
Why are we tasering teenage boys for running onto a baseball field? People have been doing this since the game was invented.
I’m a citizen of the United States who does not have equal civil rights because of my sexual orientation. How come there aren’t any nationwide protest and out cries of injustice for me as there are against Arizona’s new law impacting illegal immigrants?
Wishing someone harm is detrimental to the one making the wish and is a choice we make. I choose not to wish anyone harm.
There are more things that connect us than things that keep us apart. It depends on what you choose to focus on.
Don’t spew hate it the name of God, you’re embarrassing yourself.
The recent resurgence of direct action and civil disobedience protests in the LGBT community has been encouraging. It is good to see a disenfranchised people open a new front in the civil rights war other than protests, phone calls, lobbying and letter writing. All valuable tools in the arsenal but none that can get the job done without assistance from additional weapons of freedom. What is not so encouraging is the lack of media coverage these direct action campaigns are getting from local and national news organizations. For the most part they seem to go unnoticed or are minimally covered at best. Let’s take a look at some reasons for this;
We live in a time when special effects can realistically portray the destruction of a major city. Unprecedented disasters such as the earthquake in Haiti and the oil spill in the gulf are covered without censorship and available on our televisions in our homes on demand. When we watch events unfold like the attempted bombing in Times Square, it’s easy to feel removed from the averted tragedy and view it as if it were just another unfolding movie plot with little affect on our own lives. We have become desensitized to the misery and tragedy of others that does not touch us directly. It is the product of modern technology and fantasy. There was a time when one assassination could sadden the world but that time has passed. Much of Poland’s government perished in a plane crash a few weeks ago and the world barely blinked.
So we see LGBT activist chain themselves to the White House fence, first three, than five, than maybe ten or so. The LGBT community goes nuts with excitement but the rest of the country barely takes notice. I applaud and respect the acts of Get Equal but I acknowledge that they are not enough as they have little to no affect on the general population or the American government.
We need LGBT actions that are disruptive if we are to be noticed and reckoned with by those withholding our civil rights. We need to put aside our fear of making the general public angry. Perhaps if they get angry enough, that anger could be redirected at those withholding our rights, and those groups would then feel the pressure of a nation. There is a certain respect you get when you’re willing to piss off everyone for what you believe in. Right now we are fighting a war surgically, taking great care not to inflict any harm or cause any negative reaction from the general public. In doing so we are tying our hands in the same way our soldier’s hands are tied in Iraq by the limiting rules of engagement.
We need to have actions that disrupt the everyday life of this nation in order to get noticed and effect change. While space limits my ability to brainstorm ideas, we need to be prepared to disrupt functions of life that will impact the nation. Things like the commute to work, the business of local and Federal government, the ability of businesses to do business, the ability of enemies like the Catholic and Mormon churches to pass the collection plate on Sundays. We need to begin and maintain this level of activity until we are noticed and covered my national media with the same attention given to foreign wars and natural disasters. We need to change the media’s reaction from “ho hum” to “UH OH”.