Oct 31, 2011

The Dum to My Dee

Happy Halloween everyone!

Or, as we said growing up, "Happy Harvest".

I know it is a happy halloween for me, because I woke up this morning next to my bug. K and me had a really great weekend attending a costume party, visiting friends and enjoying a celebration dinner out in honor of K's acceptance into nursing school.

For the party we dressed up as...Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum. And we were definitely a crowd favorite. I got everything at Goodwill for $10, we stuffed a few pillows in and voila! We both respond so differently in large group settings. I tend to hang back a little and observe. She's fueled by the crowd and really hams it up...she had me laughing all night. She's the Dum to my Dee.


Oct 27, 2011

Aren't We All A Little Weird?

Odd one out. (source)
I spend more time with this group of people than my family, my friends, and my girlfriend combined any given week. We're together 40 hours a week, on the good days, the bad days, and every ordinary work day in between. Co-workers will either make or break your job. If you can't stand them, you can bet you won't fight to keep that position long.

The truth is, I love these people. I've gotten to know them over the 2 years or so I've been at my job, and I really care about them. I think they care about me too. Some people are good at detaching their emotions or personal life from work, but I am not. People are people, even if you are all being paid to be there together.

When I first started working there, I didn't even consider telling anyone about K. In fact, I wasn't even "out" to my parents at that point. So I sure as hell wasn't going to tell these strangers. But they aren't strangers anymore, they're my friends. And it's starting to weigh on me - this big secret part of my life that I can't talk about. The longer it goes on, the harder it will be to tell them. The more it will seem like I was hiding this huge thing. By not telling people, I think it seems like I'm ashamed. I'm not ashamed, I just fear the unknown consequences of coming out at work.

I think if someone asked outright, I would tell them. I did with one co-worker, she's the only one that knows. But the rest of them, including my boss, have no clue. Truly, no clue whatsoever.

We all went out after work for someone's birthday, and we're talking and for some reason "homosexuals" come up in conversation and they were talking about this gay bar in town. They didn't say really anything bad, but they were just talking about "those people" like they were weird or diseased. Those outsiders. And I feel this pang, my face is warm, and I think "they're talking about me...they just don't know it".

Later on in the conversation one co-worker was talking about how she has this group of Christian friends. She was saying how they're all spiritual and good and never cussing. How they're always praying with her, and how her boyfriend can't stand to be around them. She says "they're kind of weird, a little strange".  And I couldn't help but think: at another time in my life, I would have been sitting at that table thinking "they're talking about me...they just don't know it."

I know a lot of people think Christians and homosexuals are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum.  But the truth is, we're just all living our lives, being ourselves and believing what we genuinely believe

Who are we unconsciously making feel like "an outsider" in our workplaces, churches and among friends? I think everyone at one point or another feels like someone on the outside. Maybe we are all just a little "weird". What's so bad about that anyway?

Oct 25, 2011

Just the Beginning

Stumbled upon another New York lesbian wedding, which made me so happy. Gay weddings make me happy in general, but legal gay weddings...it's hard to beat that. This is just the beginning!

I love the simplicity of this wedding. The love. They're not trying to pretend it's a "real" wedding (aka a traditional heterosexual wedding). It's just lovely, and surrounded by their friends and loved ones and tucked away in Brooklyn. (Here's where I found it.)



Oct 23, 2011

Gotta Brag a Little

My heart belongs to a (future) nurse.
Just gonna brag a little about K, I can't help it! Got some great news yesterday, she got into nursing school! It's a very selective fast-track program, they get a ton of applicants, and they picked her. Which was an excellent decision on their part. They will not be disappointed.

She has such a passion for nursing and a heart for people. She's done work as an EMT and even traveled abroad on medical missions. She's pretty much always known this is what she wants to be doing. And not just any type of nurse...she wants to be in the thick of it. In a trauma center with patients who are rushed in during some of the scariest moments of their life. They could not possibly be in better hands than hers. She thinks calmly and quickly in tense situations, her adrenaline rushes at the sight of blood (she does not shy away) and she sees even the grumpiest of patients as merely a challenge to make them smile. Even though she wouldn't acknowledge it, she is a really smart girl and when she knows her stuff...she knows her stuff.

Do you know anyone who sits watching re-runs of ER with their medical dictionary at-the-ready? Looking up terms and verifying the accuracy of situations.  Yep, that's my K.

I am so, so proud of her I could just burst. In two years she'll be working as a nurse, living her dream! This is going to mean some more "long" to our long distance relationship. But she's always supported me in my career and I fully support her in this. Who knows what the future holds? We love each other, and we will figure it out as we go.

Oct 21, 2011

85 and Kickin' It

My grandma is visiting this weekend. I love my grandma. It's hard not to love a grandma. But mine really is wonderful. She is a very funny, intelligent woman. An amazing cook. She makes renown pies, flawless cut-out cookies, and you will always, always leave her home with a full stomach and arms full of more food to take home. She is a Cincinnati Reds fan, watches Jeopardy every night (gets lots of questions right, don't even try to challenge her on Greek mythology), and an avid reader. She likes cats, cute things, card games and crossword puzzles. This is her petting Frodo, she loves Frodo too. She is 85 years old and still totally kickin it.



K has never met my Grandma M. Not yet anyway. My grandma doesn't know I have a girlfriend. I honestly don't know how she would react. On one hand, she is a very open and welcoming person. She never treats anyone badly. At the same time, I know she grew up in a different time and a different world. She has never left the country. She was born when the Great Depression was just kicking in. She raised a family of 5 kids with my grandpa in the 50s and 60s. Homosexuality just wasn't talked about back then, I don't think she's had much experience with it.

I have an older cousin who is gay, but no one really talks about that. She is about 10 years older than me, and she was living with her girlfriend for a while, who everyone just referred to as her "roommate". Really?  But when she brought her girlfriend home to grandma's for Christmas, grandma just said that she seemed like "a very nice person", and some how magically produced a Christmas present for her as well.

I've tried to bring K to a family gathering once, but my dad asked me not to. I guess he thought it'd be uncomfortable for it to be all family and then K. But I think of K as my family, I want her to be a part of my family. I want her to know everyone in my life. I know pretty much all of her extended family.

My grandma and K are both wonderful women in my life and I hope sincerely that they know each other one day. I guess this is just one of those things, where if the time is right, it will happen. I don't want to force it, it's got to feel right.


Oct 19, 2011

Book Review: When She Woke

Just finished a new and intriguing book by Hillary Jordan, "When She Woke". It's the story of a girl named Hannah Payne, a futuristic reworking of the Scarlet Letter (Hawthorne).

In the future, the U.S. has implemented a new form of punishment for criminals: chroming. They literally inject a virus into you that changes the color of your skin. Depending on your crime, you get a specific color. Hannah gets a red injection after having an abortion. This branding is almost worse than prison, because although you are in society, you are shunned.

In this future U.S., religion has been heavily integrated into the government. The President even has a Minister of Faith on his cabinet. Jordan gives you a chilling scenario of what that integration of church and state would be like for our country.

This is the story of Hannah's awakening. She is the good girl everyone wants her to be. Wearing her skirts, volunteering at church, being the perfect Christian girl. But then she falls in love with a man...a married man. He is a public figure, a godly leader. She knows that aborting their child is the only hope of not destroying his life. Abortion is illegal, and she is discovered, tried, and sentenced with red chroming, for murder.

This just marks the beginning of Hannah questioning everything she's been taught, re-examining who God is, opening her mind, and finding herself. A few pages in and you'll have trouble putting it down.

Obviously lots of pertinent subject matter here: Christianity, church & state, criminal justice, feminism, abortion. And - although I was not expecting it - lesbians! Always happy when they make an appearance.

I'm excited to see what else this author comes out with, this is only her second novel.

Oct 17, 2011

Leaving Bitterness Behind

Over 4 years ago, already realizing I couldn't live without her.
During my first few years of being with K, I was regularly consumed with bouts of bitterness at the world around me. Big salty waves of it swept over me when my roommate got engaged, when I saw straight couples on campus kissing and cuddling, or when I heard the song "Lucky" by Jason Mraz.

Yes, all of you are lucky. Lucky your lives are so simple. So perfect. You found love with someone and are accepted by your family, by society. You got to run back to your dorm and tell all your friends about your first kiss. You got to let everything out and tell how much you loved him. Shout it from the rooftops! Your entire love life, people are surrounding you, encouraging you, applauding your love. They stand witness at your wedding. They shower you with gifts and well wishes. They accept him into the family.

K's parents have this little plaque in their home that says: Happiness is being married to your best friend. They've probably never given this much of a thought.  There should be a little asterisk that says "only true if your best friend is of the opposite sex". My best friend is a girl, and we fell in love just like anyone falls in love.  I feel happy, I feel lucky, but not everyone sees it that way.

So this is the bitterness that built up in me. The first person I told about my first kiss was a counselor, while I was sitting on the couch in her office heaving sobs of guilt. I didn't admit to myself I was in love until months into our relationship. I said it quietly, but out loud to myself, one night while I was walking down the street in Australia. I did a little dance and my eyes teared up and I knew it was true. I was elated, I wanted to tell the world. But I couldn't.

It's taken years, but I am finally learning how to leave this bitterness behind. Just let it go. I have peace and happiness and love in my heart. I am grateful every day for K. No, we can't legally marry in our own state. No, many of our friends and family are not ok with our relationship. Yes, people will always say shit about how God created man and woman and that relationship is far superior to what we have.

For my job, I am often involved with wedding planning. I see many couples and many love stories. And now, instead of feeling bitterness towards them, I just feel my heart swelling up, because I'm thinking of K. I'm thinking of us, our love. Bitterness will just rot you from the inside out. I wanted to just be able to enjoy life with her, not sit around brooding about what we don't have. Our story will always be different from a straight couples' story, but I'm glad. Because it's our story.


Oct 15, 2011

BBC is Getting Down & Dirty

So last night I was kind of bummed because I was having friends over, but at the last minute they all had to cancel for various reasons. I was left by myself with a enchilada casserole and several other dishes. I could have invited my neighbors to have some, or brought some to my family, but it was nearly 8:00 and I didn't much feel like socializing after that.

Then, to my rescue, came Netlix: the BBC and Sarah Waters. In other words, Tipping the Velvet. The title sounds dirty, and it is supposed to. This film was quite unexpected. Set in the 1890s, in Britain, it's the story of this innocent girl, Nan, who grew up on the seaside. And she falls madly in love with a woman who performs on the stage dressed as a boy, Kitty. Nan follows Kitty to London and her life is never the same after that. Her heart is broken, she is loved, beaten, abandoned, starved, showered with gifts, but in the end she finds herself and her independence in the great city. And love!

So good. It was actually a mini-series, three 1-hour segments.  I just have to say: BBC, I didn't know you had it in you. Pretty explicit for your usual corseted British time period piece. Not that that's a bad thing. (Now I want to read the book!)

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great October weekend!

Oct 13, 2011

Going The Distance

I try not to get mushy on here. But sometimes I just can't help it. I love my girl, my K, my fuzzybug. I am in love with her. I hate that we spend so much time apart. I cry every time we part and within 24 hours of separation I feel the pang of missing her. I'm smack-dab in the middle of another month apart from her. In fact, she's driving on a road trip with her mom right now to Vegas for a wedding. But even with all this distance I feel her love. And I know she feels mine.

People (the handful of people who know about us...) have asked me if long distance is hard. The truth is, it sucks. I would love to hold her every single night when I'm falling asleep, cook dinner for her and kiss her goodmorning. But, the positive side of long distance is that you are always working to be deliberate about showing the other person you're there for them. It's harder to take the relationship for granted, even after 3.75 years together, because it takes daily effort. Neither of us is perfect at this, but we're getting plenty of practice. And I think it's only going to make it that much better when we're finally in the same place.



Oct 11, 2011

National Coming Out Day

Happy National Coming Out Day!

I have a confession to make: I did not actually know it was national coming out day today. I knew there was such a day, but for some reason my calendar company neglected to include it. As did Google. What's up with that google? They commemorate every little thing on their home search page, but nothing special today, not even some extra color in the letters. Here is what I think they should have done:


Apparently I rely on Google for informing me when a date is significant. Which is sad. Now I will always know, October 11.

I looked up some more info on it. This is the actual logo of the holiday. I'm not really sure how I feel about it. The colors...the "deadman outline" illustration...the strange little dance he is doing...



I would prefer this was the logo:




But maybe that's just me. Because I like smiley faces on pretty much anything.

My friend came over today and she was the one who told me. We actually watched "The Celluloid Closet" which is all about the history of gay characters/actors in American movie industry. A very fitting way to honor the day. I did not, however, come out to anyone today.

Did you do anything special for National Coming Out Day?

Oct 7, 2011

THE Sticker

A few years ago, somehow I made the connection between this "sticker" and being gay. I think it was when I had been doing this door-to-door sales job, and I had noticed the distinct logo more than once in association with a gay family. I didn't know what the Human Rights Campaign was. I just figured it meant....well...equality.

And so it does. "The Human Rights Campaign envisions an America where all LGBT people are ensured equality and are embraced as full members of the American family at home, at work and in every community."

I was really excited when I got THE sticker the other day in the mail. My very own! I never really knew how everyone got them. I'm not actually sure why I got it. How did they know? But most likely it's because I got a subscription to Curve. Anyway, I was still excited. I'm not ready to go stick it to my bumper just yet, but I'm saving it. These stickers make me happy. This logo makes me happy. This cause makes me happy.

This is a great testament to graphic design. The power a basic symbol can have, it touches my soul.

Oct 5, 2011

Then and Now

Last night I watched "The Children's Hour". This is a movie from 1961, starring Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine (who is amazing!). Here is the summary from the netfilx envelope:

In this daring drama, Karen (Audrey Hepburn) and Martha (Shirley MacLaine) are the headmistresses of an exclusive school for girls. When they discipline a malicious little girl, the vindictive child twists an overheard comment into slander and accuses her teachers of being lesbians. Soon the scandalous gossip engulfs the schools community, with repercussions that are swift, crushing...and tragic.

It will break your heart. I'm going to spoil some things here, so skip a few paragraphs if you're going to see it. But after they are accused of this (it is actually a false accusation), Karen and Martha try to fight it. But it's all hearsay, and they have no proof. The little girl gets other girls to lie about it too. Anyway, in the midst of all the battling it, Martha breaks down when she realizes it's true. She realizes she is in love with Karen. She confesses it to Karen, who doesn't really know what to say. This scene is so powerful, you can just feel the shame radiating from her, the self-hatred.



"It's funny. It's all mixed up. There's something in you, and you don't know anything about it because you don't know it's there. And then suddenly, one night a little girl gets bored and tells a lie, and there, for the first time, you see it."  I feel that way sometimes, not the about the demon child lying. But that there's always been something in me but I didn't know anything about it. Luckily for me I "saw it" because I kissed my best friend, not because I was "outed" to the world and shunned by my community.

This film came out 50 years ago, at a time when they wouldn't even explicitly say "lesbians" or "gay" in the movie. It was all subtle and implied. People did not talk about this...ever. I was shocked to even discover that this film existed. People were shunned. People were ashamed. In the end, a horrified Martha, realizing "what she is", hangs herself.

As I was mulling all this over, I was considering how this has changed between then and now. Things are better. It's more explicitly mentioned now, books, movies, people speaking out. Pride. Celebrities owning their orientation. BUT, even with all of this, there is still a 14 year old boy being shunned and ashamed in his community, and committing suicide. Just two weeks ago, this kid, Jamey, killed himself after being bullied at school relentlessly for being gay.

This is his own "it get's better video" he posted earlier this year.



Even as I was watching that again tonight, I saw people were still posting hateful comments towards him on his video. Several people (if you can call them that) had posted that he's in hell now.

"Being a fag is the against the scriptures. God calls them abominations and worthy of death. In Romans 1, He says that they have vile affections, and only serve their lusts. The fags also bully Christians. My church members have been chased by fags and beaten up by them, just because we tell them to stop sinning."

In another 50 years, I hope we look back on this all as a nightmare, and no one is committing suicide for being who they are, and loving who they love.
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