Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘opinion’

I’ve had to remind myself this week that I still live in the United States of America. I had to check and make sure the Constitution was still in place, and, for good measure, I checked to make sure the Bill of Rights hadn’t been changed. My fear was that rich, white men were the only ones who were now entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

My main thoughts and most of my focus, much to my dismay, has been on religion.  The President was to sign an Executive Order that would grant exemptions for religious believers, schools and businesses, to federal laws they disagree with – mainly LGBT and abortion rights laws.  You know – an Executive Order that would allow people of faith to discriminate based on their beliefs – they called it – “Religious Liberties.” Thankfully, but much to the dismay of the evangelical folks, these exemptions were not included in this Executive Order.

This whole thing has made my head, and my heart hurt.

I do not understand anyone who goes to a church who tells you it’s okay to discriminate. Even if you believe in your heart you don’t agree with discrimination, my thinking is this; if you can sit in that pew and listen to the sermons, there is a part of you that does agree. And even if you say to yourself, I don’t agree with that – If you give them money, you’re supporting discrimination. I’m sorry, but that’s just how I feel.

I’m gay, so perhaps my take on anti-LGBT preaching’s may be different that a straight person, but they shouldn’t be.  I just know I could never support a church that tells me it’s okay to discriminate or that someone is less than simply because of who they are.

Personally, A church that tells anyone they are less than, is not a place I want to be. A church that tells anyone they must pray the gay away to get to heaven, is not a place I want to be. Any church that feeds the hungry, clothes the poor and does good works, and yet discriminates and pickets and marches against LGBT people – well, that’s not a place I want to be either. You either love all people as they are, or you don’t. You either believe God made us all in his image, or you don’t. Period.

This is the reason I no longer attend church. The picking and choosing of who we should vote for, who we should discriminate against, what passages of the Bible we should read…  It’s not for me.

We are all human beings. Every one of us. I want the same respect given the straight woman who lives her life just trying to help people. We’re no different in the eyes of God.

As a nation, we already have “Religious Liberty.”  The Founders made sure of that in The First Amendment.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

What these evangelical people want, is the freedom to discriminate. Against women, against LGBT, against anything and anyone who doesn’t fit into their little religious box.  They not only want it, they want it to be the law of the land.

We are all searching for something. We’re all just trying to make our way in this world as best we can. Personally, I do what I know to be right and just. I write and march and protest for everyone to have an equal shot at this thing we call life. I believe that equal rights are human rights.

I don’t hang with people who are negative and have hate in their heart. I walk away from people who like to tell me I’m bound for hell because of who I am.

I try and spread kindness, and I do what I can to let other gay people know it’s okay to come out. It’s okay to be who you are. It’s okay.

And it is okay. No matter what your family, your church, even your government may throw at you…

It’s okay.

You’re okay.

Your life matters.

You matter.1-DSC_1766

 

Read Full Post »

These are my thoughts: Feb 8, 2017.

“Nevertheless, She Persisted.”
If I were to have a gravestone, that’s what I would want engraved on it. In BIG BOLD LETTERS.

My mother was a strong, stubborn woman; just not when it came to women’s issues. She didn’t believe a woman belonged in politics, in the military, in the ministry, in the cockpit of a plane. Her list of what women should never do went on and on and on.

She had no time for the Gloria Steinem’s of the world. She would say: Be a secretary, a seamstress, a housewife, a teacher, a mother…

I can remember how thrilled I was when Geraldine Ferraro was put on the Democratic ticket. I can also remember vividly how my brother mocked her, and me, and how my mother agreed that she had no place in politics.

I don’t know where my sense of feminism came from. I was raised in a family where men could do or say anything, and women simply cooked the meals, did the laundry, raised the children and tried to keep the status quo.

This wasn’t me – ever. It drove my mother nuts!

As I do my DNA/Ancestry research I’m seeing some strong women who most certainly were not secretaries or housewives. Perhaps it is simply in my DNA to not settle for less than what it is I deserve as a human being.

Now, I’m in my 60’s and living openly as a lesbian. My partner of 34 years and I march and blog and do whatever we can for our share, and every other woman’s share, of dignity in Trump’s America. We also march,blog and do what we can for gay rights, but that’s a whole other blog!

It’s not about gay or straight, and I wish it wasn’t about Republican or Democrat. It should be about women being treated with respect. It’s about men who don’t value a woman and women who simply accept that as what their life is. We need women to value their life more, value their feelings more, value their worth more.

“She Was Warned… Nevertheless, She Persisted.”

As one does…

Read Full Post »

So, this is what our American government is now in 2017? These are our values? Building Walls, and banning immigrants and refugees at our borders. Telling the press to shut up, shutting off phone lines to the White House, which by the way, is the people’s house. Taking healthcare away from millions of citizens, telling women once again what they can and cannot do with their bodies, and so much more.  Being able to legally discriminate against LGBTQ folks is an Executive Order waiting to be signed, so; all races, creeds, colors and genders will be covered on your little trip to white, straight, male, Christian autonomy.

If you voted for the man whose name I will not utter, this is all on you. Every bit of it – it’s on you.  Then again; this is exactly why you voted for him, isn’t it? To discriminate, to alienate, to divide, to put women in their place, to rid your world of LGBTQ folks (that would be me), and you did it all in the guise of Making America Great Again.

I’m ashamed of you – all of you.

What you failed to even comprehend when you cast your bigoted vote for this man, is that when bad things happen to me, they are also going to happen to you. Unless you’re in the top 1%, you are going to suffer along with all the people you voted against. All those folks you wanted gone, and wanted to suffer, well… you’re going to suffer right along with all the rest of us.   So, good on you for voting against your own best interest.

Again, I’m ashamed of you – all of you.

You know you’re not patriots, right? You know you’re just racist, misogynistic, xenophobic, misguided, gun-loving folks, right?  Hillary never said she was coming for your guns, you just didn’t want a woman telling you what to do. And her evil emails… You do know that your president and his staff are now doing the same thing, right? Of course you do, but you don’t care, because you’re making America great again.

I’m ashamed of you – all of you.

We are not now, and we will not be united under the reign of this little, little man and his even smaller minions. It’s hard to unite folks when you’re throwing them in the dirt and simply walking over them as you go on your way.  It makes it hard to follow someone when you are losing everything and there is no lifeline for you to hold on to.

So, we are at war. Not with another country, but with each other in our own country. On the one side are those of us who believe in the Constitution and the rights and equality of every America–  and on the other – those of you who voted for this little man who is hell-bent on taking away everything our immigrant, refugee ancestors fought for.

Good vs Evil.  Dark vs Light.

There can be no compromise when it comes to oppression.

#resist

th

Read Full Post »

Saturday, July 16, 2016 was the annual San Diego Pride Parade – or as it’s known at our house – Reaffirmation Day!

Pride Parades are always a day filled with joy and love. It’s a day of singing and hugging and making new friends, and letting my soul be renewed in its gayness as I touch that big gay flag at the end of the parade.

But this year – this year was different.

This year it wasn’t just those of us watching that needed to be there. Those who were walking in the parade needed to be there also. They needed their souls to be renewed, they needed to be seen, they needed to be loved. It was like nothing I had ever seen before.

I had a San Diego Police Officer come over to me and take my hands and in hers and thank me for being there, for supporting them. Seriously? Through tears I told this woman: “No, thank you for being here for us.” There was a hug – and then she was gone.  My heart was just full.

There were over a hundred people marching under the Qualcomm banner. Cheering and waving with smiles of pure joy on their faces.

Walmart, HP, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, The San Diego Padres, Harrah’s all there – all marching – all waving, all proud to be human beings not being judged or in fear of losing their jobs.

A high school marching band made up of gay kids from schools all over the county – marching and basking in the glow of the roar of the crowd as they passed by.  No fear of rejection or bullying or condemnation. Just love – lots of love.

Military personal – Army, Navy, Marines, Airforce, Coast Guard – all under the American flag, all walking tall and proud with some tears streaming down their faces.

Police, Firefighters, Sheriffs, Highway Patrol – all walking, riding, waving, hugging, smiling – all joyful.

Almost 4 hours of churches, businesses, politicians, community services walking, waving, singing, hugging, laughing, loving…

This is what happens when no one is forced to hide. This joy is what happens when people are accepted for who they are. This love is what happens when there is no fear of rejection, no thought of discrimination, no laws that divide us one from the other.

Whatever your political leanings may be, I simply ask that before you tick any box this November – you think about what can happen when people come together in love and the knowledge and acceptance that we are our brother’s keepers. It’s not about black or white or Hispanic or whatever ethnicity you may be. It’s not about being a Christian or Muslim or Jewish or whatever religion you may or may not follow. It’s not about gay or straight or transgendered. It’s not about men and women. It’s about the human race. It’s about all of us sharing this life we are blessed to be living.

Your thoughts should not be about hate and walls and guns and laws that divide us one from the other. Your thoughts should be about what you can do to unite us as a people, what you can do to make things better for you, for your neighbor, what you can do to stop discrimination, what you can do make peace in your family, in your community, in your own life.

For me, my peace is grabbing that big gay flag at the end of the parade. That’s where I promise myself to never look back, to never go back, to never settle, to help where I can, to hug and love and keep talking and writing until I’m no longer able to do so.

And grabbing that big gay flag is about love. My love for Susan, for my kids, for my grand kids, for my brother, my nephews and their wives and their families. For my friends, who are also my family, I want the world to be kind to them, I want them to grow up in a world where they are free to be whoever it is they are. Not who or what the world thinks they should be – but who they are.

DSC_0966

 

Read Full Post »

I’ve been asked numerous times why it is that “you gay people” need a parade.  One person suspected that it was merely a chance for me to “prance around in your underwear.”  Let me be clear – I have never pranced around in my underwear in public – ever.

My first Pride Parade changed my life. It was the first time in my then 50 years that I allowed myself to acknowledge in public that I was gay. When I saw that 300 ft flag and my sweet Susan insisted that I go and grab hold of it – It was the first time I openly wept and accepted who I was, and it was the first time ever that I understood I was not alone.

For some of us Pride is a life-changing, life-affirming event that changes how we look at the world from that moment on. There are those that like to focus on the drinking and partying but if you were to ask my friends – they will tell you that Pride is really about – Pride.

For as long as I can remember being gay in a straight world has been a struggle. Prejudice, ignorance and intolerance tend to make the environment in which we live unhealthy and unsafe. We were dragged behind trucks, beaten unmercifully, spat upon, and killed for nothing more than having the courage to live our lives as who we are.

Pride was the one time it felt safe to stand on the street and be your gay self. It was a day to refuel and brace yourself for the coming year – for the struggles and battles that were looming. It was a day of celebration – our day of jubilee.

Pride has a whole new meaning this year. There is less hiding and more celebrating as laws change along with the hearts and minds of the American people.

I won’t be in San Diego this year when that 300 ft. flag comes down Sixth Avenue. I won’t be able to walk out onto the street and grab hold of that flag that changed my life 11 years ago, and gather strength and courage from the thousands who are walking under and around this beautiful flag.

I may not be there in person – but my heart will be under that flag and with all of you as we celebrate the wonderfulness of Pride.

San Diego PrideHappy Pride…

Read Full Post »

I’m anxious about this week.  I’m concerned that no matter what the Supreme Court Justices decide the LGBTQ Community, which includes Susan and me, will have to deal with the backlash. Once again we will be placed in a position of people loving us and hating us all at the same time.

Those of you who are straight and married – imagine every day having to wonder what it would be like to think of the relationship you share with your husband/wife in terms of being taken away from you. Imagine if someone just said – Oh, this marriage – your marriage – it doesn’t count – this love you feel – well – it’s just wrong and you are ruining the values of our Country.

Imagine loving your children more than life itself and doing anything and everything you can to protect them and teach those children values and morals and love of Country only to have the government of said Country tell you that you aren’t “fit” to raise your own children.

Imagine having a loving family/home/life and then having nothing because you said the words: “I’m gay.”  Imagine being told you were special and loved and you would always be cared for – only to have that all taken away in the blink of an eye simply because of who you are.

Imagine growing up in a church that taught you to love your neighbor and how Jesus was all about love.  Imagine being baptized and taking the classes and being confirmed and singing in choirs from beginners to Senior.  Imagine that this was the only church your family every attended and sat in the same pew week after week.  Then imagine that same church turning its back on you, making you unwelcome and pretty much throwing you under the Satan bus.

I don’t have to imagine those things – this was my life.  This is my life still on some level.  Change is coming – for good or for bad – change is coming.

Still – I’d like you to try to imagine these things and then maybe you can understand why I am anxious…

For all of you who do more than you will ever know to support me – I love you all more than I can ever put into words.  Thank you.

Read Full Post »

I’ve been introduced to Bronnie Ware and her book: “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” – which in turn has introduced me once again to my life.

Bronnie Ware is a palliative nurse in Australia who has spent several years caring for patients who are in the last 12 weeks of their lives.  She states:  “When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently,” she says, “common themes surfaced again and again.”

Here are the top five regrets she has witnessed:

  1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
  3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  5. I wish I had let myself be happier.

Anyone who reads these five statements and doesn’t take a moment to review their own lives is missing the point of what life should be.

“I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”  It’s like hearing my own voice in my head when I read this.  I understand this more and more the older I get. I’m 60 and the “I should haves” are taking more and more precedence in my life.  When I was in my 20’s I most certainly did not have that sort of courage, I’m not sure I had any sort of courage at all.

Most of my generation – born in the early 1950’s – knew what was expected of us. I lived in a small, rural town and was raised by a Mother who was quite strong – but also quite a traditionalist. I knew from a very young age what was expected of me, and it most certainly was not to be a Lesbian. I was to be a wife and a Mother and not question – anything.

So, instead of questioning or finding any sort of courage – I lied and cheated and hurt many people on my path to living the life that was expected of me. Oh yes indeed – “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

I think of my parents and I wonder what they may have regretted at the end of their lives. Mother never really discussed her feelings and I would never even be able to make an educated guess about her regrets, or even if she had any.  My Father was a complicated man – and a stubborn man – when given the chance to make amends and get some things in order before he passed – he refused and died with things unsaid and unsettled. Did he regret that – I have no way of knowing – but I most surely wish he would have made the effort.

This list of regrets by those who have gone before us is a gift for those who want it to be so.   While you have the time – do what you need to do to be happy in your life – Your life. Not your Mother’s or your Fathers or your husbands or your wife’s or your partners or your friends. – Your life.

Perhaps making peace with ourselves will bring peace to our lives.  I’m not sure one can ever live a life without any regrets – but I like to believe we can live a life which brings us pretty close.

At 60, I am well aware that there is more of my life that lies behind me than lies before me.  When I went home for my mother’s funeral – I understood it was time to let go of some anger I’ve been harboring for many, many years. Anger at family, at a town, at memories… I apologized for things I needed to apologize for, I listened when others spoke to me, and when I got on the plane to leave – I left it all there.  I didn’t want to carry it with me for one more moment in my life. I was no longer concerned about keeping peace or keeping quiet or being angry. 60 years was long enough…

Go back and read the five regrets. How many of them apply to your life? And how many of them can you change right now?  What are you waiting for?

Life is not about the destination – it’s about the journey…

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »