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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…

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When I started writing my first blog I had no idea what I was doing. I just started writing because I needed to vent. There was no method – there was no point – other than me writing down how I felt. It was therapy and the more I did it – the more I enjoyed it – and the more I started to feel better about who I was.

Writing changed my life. I was in a pretty dark place when I started writing. The more I wrote about the darkness the lighter my world became.  The more I let things go, the easier my journey became.  My bitching and complaining became embracing and rejoicing.

Then somehow my writing became about how many people were reading and commenting and tweeting and retweeting and liking and sharing.   When no one would comment I started to think I wasn’t writing well and wondering what I was doing wrong.  I started writing what I thought people would want to hear, and I started questioning my writing ability and wondering how I could change to get more likes, more hits, more followers…

This is so not who I am. So – I’ve decided to go back to the beginning – Back to where it’s just me and my laptop having some therapy time. Back to writing about what matters most to me – back to not concerning myself with the numbers but concerning myself more that the content comes from my heart –

I don’t know if this happens to you; But I most certainly got too wrapped up in getting validation from others that I am indeed good and kind and thoughtful and all those others things that puffed me up!

I’m just going to try and be good and kind and thoughtful every day, and not really worry that others might not know that.  I will know that I’ve tried my best and that I don’t need likes, shares, tweets and comments to validate who I am.

Don’t get me wrong – I love when people read and I’ve helped them or they feel better or they see something from a different point of view – I’m just choosing to not let their comments or lack of comments define who I am. I just need to write – that’s all.

So – those of you who are reading this – I thank you – genuinely thank you – for taking the time.  I know you have a million other things to do – and I appreciate that you spent just a little time with me.

Remember – you don’t need others to validate who you are – look in the mirror and smile at that face looking back at you.  Be kind to yourself and to others.

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When did we stop caring about one another? When did the welfare of others escape from our view of the world? And when did we become so mean?

I knew when I started writing columns for online newspapers that not everyone was going to agree with my point of view – and I’m certainly okay with that – in fact I sort of welcome the dialog.  I rather enjoy a civilized discussion of different points of view. The operative word there is “civilized.” However – when you attack me or bully me or simply tell me I’m an idiot with nothing but your anger to back up your words – well – I certainly won’t listen to anything you have to say.

I’m not just talking about my writing. I’ve noticed on some of the writing sites I write on, people who comment on articles for the simple reason of starting a fight or for the sole purpose of degrading the writer – what on earth does that prove? With the exception of proving that the person writing the comment is a mean-spirited moron – it proves nothing. The snarky comments draw other snarky comments and soon it’s just this disgusting, high-schoolish bunch of nonsense. I stop reading and writing and move on to other things. The writers who truly have something to say are lost in the shuffle of this childish behavior. It’s sad and ridiculous.

Because someone puts their feelings in writing and sends it out in the world – that doesn’t give you license to attack them or bully them simply because you believe they are wrong – who are you to believe you have the right answer? There are decent ways to talk to people, there are kind and respectful ways to critique, and there are non-combatant ways to discuss. If you can’t do any of those things – then just do nothing, just say nothing.

Why must people delight in trying to destroy another person’s sense of worth? And where does this sense of entitlement come from. This – You’re wrong and I’m right and how stupid can you be – attitude.

I’m not a fan of yelling – about anything.  It can be civil rights, gay rights, guns, abortion, education, healthcare, immigration, government, conservatives, liberals, drugs, booze, football, baseball – it can be whatever – If you yell – I will not listen to you.

Tell me you don’t agree with what I said – and tell me why in a tone that’s not condescending – and I’ll be more than happy to discuss with you what you believe. We can all learn from one another, but lately all I’ve been seeing are people just being mean – and this teaches all of us absolutely nothing – well – except to be mean.

Lighten up people. No one is perfect and no one has all the answers. Perhaps instead of yelling and writing scathing remarks – one could listen and learn. Maybe not – but you won’t know unless you shut your mouth – take your fingers off the keyboard – and open your mind. The world does not revolve around you, and you do not know everything.

Stop being so mean, and try a little tenderness. Wait – that sounds like a song… ♫

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I’ve been asked numerous times why I write so much about gay issues. Why can’t I just let things go? Why can’t I just let others have their opinions? Why must I protest and tell people not to shop at certain stores? Why do I think my opinion is right?

To be clear; it’s not my opinion, it’s my life.  I think if we all understood this, we would understand why it is I write about issues that affect my life.

Also – to be clear; I don’t think my opinion is right, I just believe that my life has as much meaning and deserves as much  love, respect and dignity as the person who follows me around a room reading their Bible to me telling me I’m going to hell.

Just because I’m forever trying to educate people about how it feels to be gay doesn’t mean I think I’m trying to force my gayness on to you.   What it means is that a straight person will have a different view of their life than I do, and if you don’t even bother to listen or educate yourself on how other people live, how can you possibly know that what happens in other people’s lives matters to the world at large?

I’ve been asked why I’m so hard on some people of faith, why do I feel the need to attack them, why can‘t I just let them be.   I would love nothing more than to just let them be, if they would simply do the same for me.  Just let me be.  For some reason though, who I am doesn’t jive with what they believe, so in order to keep me in line – they spend millions and millions of dollars passing laws that prevent me from living my American Dream.  Will I write about that? You bet I will, and I’ll be listing names of the people and the organizations that feel they have the right to say my life doesn’t matter.

To tell anyone they don’t matter, for any reason, is just wrong, and any religion that teaches you to hate and pass judgments on others is wrong.  No exceptions.  I don’t understand why more people don’t get this.  The more we are divided, the more we lose as a people. If you’re not offended because the Boy Scouts of America won’t let gay boys into their troops, you should be.  If you’re not offended that women are losing access to birth control – you should be.  If you’re not offended that United States Citizens are being denied their right to vote by the thousands – you should be.  If you’re not offended by Chick –Fil- A (a fast-food restaurant) giving money to a group known as Exodus International who mission statement is: “Mobilizing the body of Christ to minister grace and truth to a world impacted by homosexuality.” You should be.  These things matter; not just to me, but to every single one of us.  It shouldn’t be people thinking of ways to divide us, it should be people thinking of ways to unite as one open, giving, accepting society.

It’s hard enough just living from day-to-day sometimes. We all, regardless of faith, sex, and orientation have the daily struggles of life, death, illness, family, jobs, money… We don’t need hate, anger, bigotry, thrown into the mix.

Being straight isn’t an opinion – it’s a life.  Being black isn’t an opinion – it’s a life.  Being a Muslim isn’t an opinion – it’s a life.

Being gay isn’t my opinion – it’s my life.

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