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Posts Tagged ‘homophobia’

Tradition and history tells us that we must accept the results of a Presidential election and move on. There have also been those people who have been taking pleasure in telling me I must “move on.” “move forward,” “suck it up,” and many other little phrases that have done nothing but infuriate me.

I’m not there yet. I’m not ready to “move on.” I’m grieving, and I’ll take all the time I need to grieve the loss of The United States of America as I have known it.  The America of immigrants and diversity. The America of religious freedom and a press who did the work and could call themselves journalists without fear of retribution.  The America where women were starting to make their way to being equal and gay rights were a reality, not something we spent years marching and protesting and dreaming of.

With the election of Donald Trump, my America is gone. Angry white voters made sure of that, and Republicans in the House and Senate will put the icing on that big white, gun-toting, racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, homophobic cake. Life as we all knew it, is over.

But, that’s what the disenfranchised voter wanted. That’s what they voted for, that’s what they honestly believe will “Make America Great Again.” No religious freedom, unless of course you are a Christian. No gay rights, but extra bonus rights for Christians to discriminate against “the gays.” No women’s rights, and again, extra bonus rights to the Christians who will do whatever needs to be done to not allow a woman to make any decisions when it comes to their bodies. No access to healthcare, unless you’re rich and can afford to go wherever you want.

The list of what he wants to do the first 100 days is stunning:  http://www.npr.org/2016/11/09/501451368/here-is-what-donald-trump-wants-to-do-in-his-first-100-days

So, no – I will not be “moving on” any time soon.  I will continue to support people of color, and respect people of all religions, and I will continue to send contributions to Planned Parenthood and any other organization this Administration will try and destroy.

And the moment this Republican run government starts to take God-given rights away from gays, immigrants, women or any other group of Americans, I will be marching and protesting and fighting – and I won’t be alone in that fight.

So, you all go ahead and build your walls, and ruin the land, and throw millions of Americans out of the Country. Go ahead and forget about equality and diversity and charity beginning at home.

At the end of your Presidents term, we will still be here. We’ll still be gay and transgendered, and Muslim and Jewish, and Mexican and women and democrats and independents and black and white and – well you know – Americans, and we’ll be more than happy to take our Country back when your little experiment has imploded on you.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  Thomas Jefferson

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So, what happens after the winner is determined in this preposterous presidential election? Where do we all fit into the scope of what is now The United States of America? We’re certainly not united, nor are we even on the road to inclusion. I’m not sure there’s even a path…

Will all the meme’s and words that brought us to the point of unfollowing, blocking, restricting, and unfriending our “friends” on Facebook suddenly disappear? Will we simply just click the buttons and return to the way it was before this election brought out the worst of human nature?

For me; the answer to these questions and many more, are a real struggle.  There is family involved – family who have stopped speaking to me. Family who lectured me on doing what was best for the country, but when I made my choice, stopped speaking to me. No more discussion, no more anything…   How do you come back from that? How do you start the discussion? More to the point – is it a discussion worth having?

The thing is: A vote for Donald Trump is a vote against everything I believe is right and just in America.  He’s against basic human rights – gays, blacks, Hispanics, Latinos, Muslims, women – he’s against God-given human rights for those of us who fall into any of these categories. So, if you vote for him, you’re voting against these human beings – You’re voting against me, and millions of people like me – we aren’t just phantom people in a tweet or a stump speech. It’s personal.

Misogyny, xenophobia, homophobia, racism – you must believe in these things to vote for Donald Trump. You can try and spin it any way you want, but the truth is, if you can vote for him, then you have these feelings in your heart, and this I will never be accepting of. It’s not my vision of what I want America to be.

If you’re thinking: “I just can’t vote for Hillary” – that’s your choice.  Just don’t be naïve about who and what you’re voting for.  Own it, that’s all I’m asking.

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I was informed by an email awhile back that my family wasn’t a “real” family. The woman who wrote me this email went on to explain that my family couldn’t possibly be a “real” family because I’m a homosexual. God would never deem to allow me to have a loving family since I am a sinner in the largest sense of the word.

Susan, my partner of 33 years has 4 children and in the course of those 33 years – her children have also become my children. I love them – I worry about them – I support them – all the things that Mothers feel for their children – I feel for these 4 children.

Along with the children have come spouses and grandchildren and pets and friends. Girlfriends and boyfriends and proms and graduations. School plays and competitions and dressing as angels and wise men in Christmas pageants at church. Weddings and divorces and fights and hugs and love and yelling and laughing and adventures in Las Vegas! Standing in front of Stonehenge crying on my sons shoulder, sitting with my daughter in a courtroom trying to be the strong one for her and my grandchildren. Picking kids up at school, driving all over town to find just the right gift…

Does any of this sound like a real family to you?

Sitting at my daughters house yesterday laughing with the grand-kids and just enjoying all the love in the room – I understood how blessed I was to be surrounded by this family that makes my heart so happy.

I thought of the woman who wrote me that vile email and I sort of felt sorry for her – sort of.  I feel sorry she will never understand or accept the love that flows through our family. I feel sorry that she will never, ever know the joy of loving someone for who they are – and I’m sorry that her “faith” is such that she is filled with such loathing.

I’m sorry that she doesn’t know that “family” is all about the people who love you and accept you and support you – no matter what. It’s not always about blood – it’s about love. Sometimes the whole blood thing is just too complicated and way too judgmental. I don’t know why that is – I don’t know why the people you want to love you the most just can’t… or won’t…

I never thought I wanted to be a Mother – I never thought I’d be a very good Mother… I was wrong – on both counts.  I love these children and grandchildren more than they will ever know – I hope they know they can count on me – I hope they know the joy they have brought into my life, I hope they know how they fill my heart with such joy just being in the same room with them. I tell them – I just hope they know.

That vile, email woman is wrong…   2 Mothers – 2 Grandmothers loving you, supporting you, accepting you, baking for you…   Who doesn’t need that?   Who doesn’t want that?

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How morally correct is it to continually badger Democrats until they agree that marriage equality is the right thing?  Are we really changing hearts and minds or are they simply changing their opinion to get the press off of their backs?

For the past few days The Huffington Post has put the pictures of the Democratic Senators who oppose marriage equality on their front page.  I’m a lesbian – and I found this to be offensive. I don’t want someone to change their vote to get the press off of their back – I want them to change their vote because they believe it’s the right thing to do. I want them to vote for equality because they know in their hearts it’s what is right and just for every American.  I want them to vote their conscience – I want them to vote what they believe.  They should not be bullied into voting a certain way –

These Senators may have been bullied into their vote – but if they still look at gays and lesbians and think: Fags and Dykes – ick…  then you have accomplished nothing. If anything – they may be even more entrenched in their homophobia and in that – we haven’t gained any ground at all – we’ve actually lost ground.

Is it only about their vote – or is it about changing hearts and minds? I can guarantee you that to bully someone into doing what you want will not change their mind. We may get their vote, but they will never respect us or care about our well-being or think of us as anything but a bully.

Personally – I’d rather have their respect. If I have their respect – there is always a chance I can change their heart and their mind

I don’t want to have to bully my way into equality – I want equality because it’s the right and just thing for every American. To bully our way into anything makes us no better than – well – you know who you are…

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If any of you are still wondering why it is I’m still writing about gay rights and equality and homophobia and tolerance – let me share with you an experience I had just last evening.

There was a discussion on Facebook about the Boy Scouts and the fact that they were excluding gays. It all was started by a statement that simply stated that the Boy Scouts had a lot of nerve not allowing gays to join when they have scout masters that sexually abuse their members.

I agreed with that statement, but others did not.  I’m just going to copy and paste here so you can see that I’m not making this up.

  • D: I would consider a man who rapes a boy a homosexual predator. So that may be their logic ?
  • ME:  You do know that every homosexual does not rape boys, right? You do know that straight men also rape boys, right? Does the name Jerry Sandusky ring a bell with you?
  • D:  Straight men rape boys ……….. wow you gotta be a liberal.
  • Me:  Actually D – I’m simply an American who cares about the facts and the truth. You might want to get your facts straight – unless, of course you don’t care about the facts or the truth. 98% of males who raped boys reported that they were heterosexual. [Sexual Abuse of Boys, Journal of the American Medical Association, December 2, 1998]
  • D:  Sorry Barb but when one male sticks his penis somewhere in another male he is gay. LOL …LIBS !
  • D:  Still laughing OMG

I stopped my conversation at this point because well – you just can’t fight stupid.

I’m trying not to judge because I know this person is allowed their opinions and feelings, but I am totally amazed at the ignorance involved here.

I could sit with this person for the rest of my life and show them fact and figures and studies and all the information I could find about this subject and they would never see the truth. They would never see it, because it’s not their truth.

It’s not on their wheel of things to ever believe. This person’s wheel is full of ignorance and homophobia, intolerance and hatred, and sadly, they will pass that wheel of fortune on to their children and grandchildren and the cycle will continue for generations.

And therein lies the problem with racists and homophobes and any of the other ists and phobes that exist in our world today; Ignorance and a lack of wanting to know the facts about something or someone.

Yes, I must be a liberal because I have a brain and common sense and I like to know that what I say is true and not some made-up, fear-mongering babble.

But – I’m not judging…  “Still laughing OMG.”

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My partner Susan and I were driving to the San Diego Zoo yesterday afternoon and we drove through the route of the San Diego Gay Pride Parade.  We started talking about maybe changing where we sit this year and in that conversation we then decided that we couldn’t do that because we’ve been sitting in the same spot for 10 years now and that kind of makes it a tradition!  I found as we were talking that my heart was just filled with emotion, and my spirit was lifted just remembering my first Pride Parade 10 years ago.

Gay Pride Parades aren’t just about gay men stomping about in tight short shorts and dykes riding their motorcycles in leather pants and no tops! Not that there’s anything wrong with either one of those things, and the motorcycles are certainly worth looking at, but, it’s really about so much more.

10 years ago, I was 50 years old. My life had been spent in hiding and had been filled with so many lies and so much hurt and anger, I never imagined there was a way out. More specifically, I never dreamed there was a way for me to come out.

But – there I was – this 50 year-old Lesbian, sitting on the corner of 6th and University in San Diego waiting to see my first-ever Pride Parade.  I was a stranger in a strange land – and yet I felt more at home on that street corner than I had ever felt in my home-town.

My move to San Diego and to Susan had been filled with doubts and fear and oddly,  this great sense of relief that I was finally away from most of my family who had then, and still have now, no tolerance for “the gays.” It goes against what they believe are their fine Christian values.  I had started a job here in San Diego at the La Jolla Playhouse that had placed me exactly where I needed to be to understand that being gay was not the end of the world – It was in fact the beginning of my life.  Friends like Candie, Thom, Terry, Jenny, Gigi – all openly gay – all living this life I had only dreamed of, showed me on a daily basis how life is just life and who you love and can never, ever be questioned or regulated.

Susan insisted that seeing the Gay Pride Parade would change my life and I remember thinking – really? A parade is going to change my life?   When the “Dykes on Bikes” came roaring up the street to lead-off the Parade – my small-town eyes flew wide open. I’d never seen anything like this in my 50 years, ever…

The Parade was filled with floats and bands and organizations walking the walk of gay pride openly, without fear.  Policeman, Firefighters, churches all showing pride and banners for tolerance and acceptance.  It was nothing I had ever seen or heard in my life.  I clapped, I laughed, I cried.  At the end of the Parade there is this huge rainbow flag that people put over their heads and walk under it down 6th avenue to Balboa Park.  The flag must cover a full city block. It was an amazing sight to see.  Susan insisted I get under this flag, grab hold of it and walk the remaining blocks to the Park. I whined – it was hot – I was tired – blah, blah, blah – Susan insisted.  The moment my hand touched that flag I started to cry, and I cried the entire way to the Park.  I cried for the 50 years that I lied about who I was, I cried for the freedom I was now feeling, I cried for the peace that had entered my heart, I cried for finally, finally understanding and accepting this person I had become, I cried and cried and cried.

Every year we go and sit in our spot on the corner of 6th and University. Our Granddaughter usually joins us along with our close friends, and neighbors.  We yell and run into the street and hug our friends who are marching with the military folks, and our friends who are walking with their church.  I laugh, and sing, and enjoy these few hours of peace and sweetness. At the end when that big rainbow flag comes down the street filled with people whose hands are holding on to that flag with tears running down their faces – I cry right along with them…  Susan was right; The Gay Pride Parade had changed my life.

Gay Pride Parades are about so much more than tight shorts and motorcycles…

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Yesterday morning I wrote this: “When the current President says his feelings on gay marriage are evolving – what does that mean? You either support it – or you don’t.  If The President can’t – or more to the point – won’t – make a decision and express it to the country – why on earth would we expect the people who live here to be any more accepting than the President?”

I can no longer say that. For the first time in the history of the United States, a sitting President has had the courage to voice his support for gay marriage.  I’m proud of him for having the courage to do the right thing.

Yes, it’s huge, and yes, it does give us validation, but realistically – what exactly has changed for the gay community?

The folks, who hate us, still hate us. The laws of the land which discriminate against us are still the laws of the land and continue to discriminate against us. This personal evolution by the President will do nothing to change the hearts and minds of the haters, for they will hate no matter what. My concern is that President Obama’s walk on the gay side will only inflame the fires of those who wish to see us rotting in their little version of hell and spur them into an anti-gay Flash Mob at the polls in November. President Obama losing this election would set gay rights, women’s rights, and all sorts of legislation concerning the rights of many American’s back decades.

It’s important to understand that politically, President Obama did not have to make this statement of support to the gay community. He may have pissed us off on occasion, but when push came to shove he totally had the support of the gay community. Obviously, he didn’t do it for political gain; he did it because it was the right thing for him to do as a man; as a human being.  I don’t believe you can be President of the United States and stand for anything but equality for all Americans.

Every gay/lesbian/transgender person has a story to tell. Every one of us has evolved in our own lives at our own pace. Some threw caution to the wind and followed their bliss from the moment they knew they were gay. Some, like me, knew we were gay and still, for all the wrong reasons – family, religion, and culture – we decided to hide our gayness under a bush (so to speak!) The journey isn’t always easy and there is always the possibility that you will lose more than you could possibly imagine. However, what you will gain in self-respect and inner peace will far outweigh the negatives.

As I’m writing this – I’m sitting at my neighborhood Starbucks and the couple sitting beside me is talking to their teenage son about President Obama and his support of gay marriage.  They aren’t happy, they are talking religion, and they are talking sending money to the Romney campaign. I’m hearing the words liberal, fags, uppity…   I’m thinking the words racist, homophobic, ignorant…  I want to tap the woman on her shoulder, point at myself and say: “gay.”  Before I found the courage to do just that their son told them to “shut-up” and he walked out.  This young man restores my faith in the young!

These two ignorant fools aren’t the anti-gay flash mob I spoke of, but, it is the beginning of the backlash that will come as hope and change become a reality here in the United States of America.  There is still much work to be done; there are still many changes that need to be made politically, socially, monetarily, religiously, educationally, and a whole lot of other lly’s.

But on this day; I will stand a little taller, feel a little prouder to be an American, and be thankful I have a President who has the character and courage to support me – a gay American.

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