One Month Down

February 23, 2017 at 1:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

So, we’ve had a new President for just over a month. To show my dissatisfaction with the backward policies, discriminating executive orders and general douchebaggery that’s coming out of the White House, I marched in Chicago on the one month anniversary of the Inauguration.

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We need a leader, not a creepy tweeter!

I was not alone. Scott and I ran into a few friends at the beginning of the rally and we managed to lose them in the march. At one point, they were an entire three city blocks behind us as we all marched down State Street towards Federal Plaza, so that gives a small indication of crowd size. As we rallied before the march started, the entire crowd parted to let through a chanting line of Muslim men, women and children who were all embraced and supported by the group. We were proud to march with our immigrant neighbors and stand by their side and everything from fair and comprehensive immigration policy to upholding LGBT rights was stood up for.

We’re not stupid and we know that marching might not change the things we want to change. But we’re still showing up and voicing opinions and people are mobilizing to stand up for their beliefs like never before. Personally, I’m still writing postcards and making phone calls to Senators and other members of Congress and I’m still trying to financially support nonprofits where I can. I’m holding people accountable and I’m more politically aware than I have been in a long time. And I’m not sitting down or shutting up. Our current administration has made it clear that this will be a marathon and not a sprint and even though I truly hate running, I’m sticking with the race.

FULL DISCLAIMER: I was NOT paid or reimbursed in any way for my marching, chanting, protesting or blogging. Neither was anyone else at that march – we just really are that upset.

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July Book Club Review

July 21, 2015 at 8:50 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

For this month’s book club, we were supposed to meet at a French restaurant and read Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinberg. Well, the best laid plans of both mice and men oft go astray and this month was no different. We were told not to worry about making reservations at the restaurant because there would be plenty of tables but there was some huge company party going on when we arrived so there was no seating to be had. Did I mention this was during a major downpour? So that made finding an alternative place on foot even more awesome. Luckily, one of the ladies was smart enough to pull up Yelp on her phone and we were at Cafe Iberico with sangria in hand in mere minutes. Spanish tapas and lots more sangria – can’t go wrong with that!

They’re gonna get burned

As for the book, I didn’t actually read it (I know, a book club rarity for me!). I had a hard time finding it and the library has a huge waitlist, plus I didn’t want to pay for a new copy because I’m cheap. I needn’t have worried since only one other girl managed to get her hands on it (not such a book club rarity…). The book told the story of one of the first  transgender activists in the nation and it seems engrossing enough that I will read it, at some point. However for the month I decided to stick to another LGBTQ book and I read Spring Fire, which was published in 1952 and is considered to be the first lesbian pulp fiction novel ever to be published. It told the story of two sorority sisters who fall in love with each other only to have that love ripped apart by social convention. Many years after the book was published, the author (who wrote under a pen name at the time) said she regretted the ending she gave her characters. Basically, one of the women is committed to a mental hospital and the other decides she’s straight and never really loved the other girl to begin with. However, at the time the book was released no place would publish a story where two women lived happily ever after so the unhappy ending was required. It certainly did feel abrupt in the book but I can understand the reasoning behind the author making the choices she did. That said, the novel was very innocent by today’s standards and gave me a glimpse of what living a gay lifestyle in secrecy could have been like.

As always with book club, we had a great time and ate a lot of great food. Now if we could just always have great weather, things would be perfect!

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Better Late than Never

July 9, 2015 at 7:37 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

My blog posting has dropped off significantly as of late and I’m sure all three of you who read this are just plain devastated. Since I’ve been so out of the loop, this is a little overdue but warranted nonetheless:

I AM SO PROUD OF THE UNITED STATES FOR LEGALIZING GAY MARRIAGE!!!

This is a fight that was fought for far too long but the Supreme Court really came through in the end. Our country now joins many other countries and I just have to say – it’s about damn time.

Finally!

While I am engaged to a man, I have always and will always consider myself to be a bisexual person. It was very important for me when Indiana passed same-sex marriage because I didn’t want to get married in a state where I wouldn’t be able to marry whomever I ended up falling in love with. As it happens, the person I want to spend the rest of my life with is a man but I could’ve just as easily ended up with a woman and knowing that I could marry whoever my heart so chose just makes said heart so dang happy it could burst!

When the ruling was announced, I was back in Indiana for my uncle’s funeral. I spent two days in the company of my cousin’s kids (ages 6, 8 and 10) and we had a big talk about why they were seeing so many rainbow flags on the news on TV. I explained everything to the best of my ability and nearly cried when the 6-year-old displayed confusion because “why wouldn’t people be allowed to marry whoever they love?” That’s progress, that’s our future and that makes me so damn proud.

This all means I need to work on dropping the terms “gay marriage” and “same sex marriage” from my vocabulary. It’s all just marriage now!

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PRIDE

June 27, 2011 at 11:55 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

This weekend marked PRIDE in Chicago and many other cities, and we all had even more to celebrate since the state of New York decided to legalize gay marriage on Friday.  Kudos to them for joining the other five states that have already done so!  Now if we could get the rest of them to catch up we’d be set.  But it’s progress, little by little, and that’s what counts!

Equality Rules!

PRIDE festivities in Chicago are a long-held tradition and this year proved no different.  As I went to a Shakespearean improv comedy show Friday and had Field Museum stuff and dinner plans Saturday, I didn’t get out to Boystown until the Parade on Sunday.  A fried and I made a huge brunch complete with mimosas before heading out and the weather was the most gorgeous I’ve seen in a long time (see – God does love the gays!) so it was a perfect day for the gay ‘ole parade.  We found a spot near some shade and enjoyed float after float full of scantily clad LGBT’s and their straight allies.  There were also floats featuring various organizations, stores, bars, groups and charities.  We got covered in confetti and even had free popsicles!

One thing that really warmed my heart was the sight of so many young couples with their children walking around the parade.  Sure, men wearing little bits of leather over their…well, bits…might deter some people from bringing the kids but the overall theme of tolerance and acceptance prevailed in the end.  Hopefully if we continue to expose younger generations to ideas of acceptance, ignorance and prejudice will be things of the past.  Not to say that hatred still didn’t rear its ugly head during PRIDE – reports of slashed tires on various floats before the parade surfaced later but almost all managed to get up and running before the parade even began.  Take that, haters!

After all, people have the right to be proud of themselves, whoever they are.

Unless you’re the jerk who slashed the tires on the floats, in which case you should be ashamed and should probably go play in some heavy traffic.

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Enough to Make Me Sick

October 1, 2010 at 1:10 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

This is serious.

Raymond Chase.

Justin Aaberg.

This can be prevented

Billy Lucas.

Asher Brown.

Tyler Clementi.

Seth Walsh.

These are the names of young men who have killed themselves since July because they were being harassed for being gay.  And these are just the ones we know about – chances are there are many other young men and women who have done the same thing, come close or at least thought about it.  All because other ignorant kids bully them for being who they are.

I’m sure you’ve heard about this on the news this week, since at least three of these deaths have occurred over the last few days.  It’s attracting a lot of media and celebrity attention which is good, but the root of this problem needs to be addressed.  Despite what some people might think, children are not inherently evil and they have to learn how to hate their peers.  Prejudices come from somewhere and it’s supposed to be the job of the parents to teach their children the difference between right and wrong – unfortunately, some parents think it’s okay to hate others based on their sexuality.  I’ve never been able to understand how who someone is attracted to is anyone’s business other than their own, but apparently lots of people think it’s okay to pass judgment on things they don’t understand or aren’t even a part of.  The fact that 13-year old kids are committing suicide because of the ridicule and hatred they encounter in their day-to-day lives is absolutely unacceptable and it makes me sick.

Statistically, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) youth are FOUR TIMES more likely to take their own lives as their heterosexual peers.  If the youth in question are kicked out of their homes and/or denied family support because of their sexuality, this number jumps to NINE times higher than the rest of the population.  Obviously, these kids are not getting the support and care that they need.

I wish someone had told me when I was younger that any same-sex feelings I had were normal and not something to be ashamed of.  I managed to grow up relatively well-rounded and eventually accepted the gay in me, but I was lucky.  Many are not.  If I could say one thing to the kids out there who are struggling with accepting themselves in the face of ignorance, fear and hatred, it would be the same thing that Ellen says here.  Though she says it better than I ever could, the basic message is this: it will get better.  If anyone out there reading this is lonely, confused, frustrated or scared, please find someone to talk to.  There are many groups and organizations all over the country who specialize in helping LGBT kids through their difficult youth and Ellen’s website has some information that can help you find them.  You are not alone, and the older you get the better things become.  As Ellen said, you deserve the chance to grow up and watch that happen.

I’m not trying to go off on a political tangent but I will say that if the government repealed the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Act and/or allowed gays and lesbians to wed one another, that would go a long way to proving to kids that being gay is okay.  Hell, if the Red Cross allowed gays to donate blood that would be a step in the right direction.  I can’t donate myself, because I’ve slept with a bisexual man.  While all of the policies that prevent LGBT citizens from living the same lives that their heterosexual peers enjoy are crap, the one from the Red Cross particularly irks me because it assumes that all gays do not practice safe sex.  That’s double the crap.

So what can be done?  Calling, writing or emailing your US senators and congressmen can help, but a lot of this is going to start at home.  If you hear someone using the term gay as an insult, call them out on the unnecessary hatred spewing from their mouth.  If you see a kid being bullied, say or do something to prevent it.  If you know someone who is struggling with LGBT issues (or even if you think you know someone who is), lend your support and let them know that you’re on their side.  You’d be amazed at what a little compassion can do.

And if you don’t see the problem with “separate but equal” for the gay community, if you don’t understand why using the word gay in a negative way is hurtful and basically if you disagree with what I’ve been talking about here today, you can kindly take leave from my blog space and never come back.

This is a long list of links to LGBT support sites

Here are some more resources

The We Give a Damn campaign, for anyone who supports LGBT issues (gay or straight)

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