Friday, September 25, 2009

My Pledge

I pledge allegiance to the human race and all the beings of planet Earth and to the goodness of which they are capable, with humanity and dignity for all.

I decided to write my own pledge. I refuse to say the other one. I refuse to pledge allegiance to a piece of fabric or to a country that is not always right. I will support goodness where it is present, regardless of nationality. I support people, not countries. When my country is right, it has my full support. When it is wrong, it does not. The same goes for any other country on this planet.

A mother is a mother on any corner of this Earth. As are fathers and children.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Real Reason Jesus Cries

As a liberal, I think I try to look at other viewpoints than my own. I don't mean that I always agree with them, but I look at them. If they feel like they might have some truth, I look again. And if I find something in them that IS true, I admit it. But, sometimes I look at it, see it's full of shit and I say so. But, I DID look at it. I just don't feel the need to pretend I agree with it.

That being said, I don't think that all viewpoints are valid. I think some ARE full of shit. For instance, teabaggers are full of shit. What are they upset about? They say it's taxes and debt, but you know part of the reason we have all this debt? A war. A war that these SAME PEOPLE called us liberal whackos and un-American for opposing. So, it was okay to run up a stomach-churning debt in the name of killing people, but not for making sure that people, working people, can have access to health-care? Oh no, well health care? That's just like Hitler!

Uh huh. Full 'o shite.

And the people who didn't want their kids to hear about staying in school and working hard and taking responsibility for themselves and their education? Well, that's indoctrination! If Obama talks to my kids, they will turn out to be gay, socialist, bunny-hugging environmentalists! (Actually, we should be so lucky.) Don't you know that "staying in school" is just code for "socialized medicine"? And "taking responsibility" really means "global warming is real"? Come on, people, catch up!

Full of it? Oh yeah.

And gay marriage (come on, you had to know that one was coming) will destroy your marriage, turn your kids gay, human race will die out, taxes will be higher, health care will be more expensive, no one (except gays) will want to get married anymore, and Jesus will cry. If you believe any ONE of these, then you are dumb as a tree stump. But, these are viewpoints. (Personally, I think that if Jesus is real, he is crying because he saved a bunch of stupid people.)

So, should I take any of these seriously? Do I take them as a valid opinion or a paranoid's fantasy? What makes an opinion valid? I think being able to back it up with proof helps a LOT. And if you get your "facts" from Fox, then you might want to run them by a second or third source first (and Rush does NOT count). But, anytime you want to tell someone that they can't have the sames things you do, that they can't have that operation without losing everything they have worked for, when you tell your child to NOT trust the President when he tells him to work hard and stay in school, you are pushing the crazy envelope. Especially on the third one. You aren't telling your child that you oppose a policy, but you oppose the MAN. When you spread the fear and lies about how "dangerous" he is to America, how long will it be before someone decides they have to save it? Will it be you? Will it be your child? Or someone else's?

So, no, I do not take these opinions as valid ones. I agree with Jimmy Carter that the more vitriolic ones are led by the color of President Obama's skin, rather than true opposition to his policies. And I believe that opposition to gay marriage has a lot more to do with, well everything to do with, homophobia than with any form of religion.

And while I take them seriously, I will never accept them as valid. Oh, and just because someone doesn't waver in their opinion or viewpoint, that is not necessarily something to be proud of or admired. Not in and of itself. There is no justification in the defense of prejudice. Be proud of your stand, not because you stand.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Inspiration can come from the strangest places

You know, you don't know me. You don't really know if I am gay or if I am straight. But, that didn't stop you from yelling in my face, screaming the word "gay", as though it was a bad thing. That didn't stop any of you from pushing me or touching me, even though I went out of my way to have no physical contact with you.

It didn't stop you from hating me. You say you don't, but your actions say different. You say you "love the sinner, hate the sin", but your love is a strange one to me. Because I don't steal from those I love. I don't manipulate court systems to take away civil rights from those I love. And I certainly don't look at them the way you looked at me tonight. So, love? I do not think that word means what you think it means.

I don't hate you. But, I hate what you've done. I hate that you made a mockery of our state's initiative process. I hate that you shredded the Constitution. I hate that people fell for your lies and voted against civil rights. And I felt sick to my stomach with fear for this country, when I learned that the travesty that is Prop 8 is being upheld by six of the seven state supreme court justices.

But, dancing on the grave of equality? The way you did tonight? You put a fire in me. A fire that will burn long and hard. A fire that will keep me sustained when all feels lost. I will pour everything I have into defeating this. So, where tonight might have depressed me, it only inspired me to fight harder. And the best part? You started it, but you will never put it out.

Huh. Irony much?

Friday, May 29, 2009

This is NOT a popularity contest

Why is the idea of a little civil disobedience so distasteful to some people? Why is it considered so wrong to fight a little harder for something you passionately believe in? Why are people worried about offending others, about pissing people off? This isn't a popularity contest. This is a fight for civil rights, for the same rights others have. The same rights, I might add, that someone else fought for, and possibly died. Weird, huh, how that is not considered the same thing. Weird, how going to a foreign country and pretty much destroying it and killing hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, in the process is not considered worse than a sit-in or a protest.

Now, to be clear, I am not talking about any form of violence. No one gets hurt and no property is destroyed. At worst, someone might be inconvenienced. But, I would never advocate for violence and that is definitely not what I am speaking of here. I am talking about a peaceful demonstration that might be just a little outside what the law allows for. Maybe.

The thing is, we need to be heard. And the way to be heard is to be loud, to yell at the top of our lungs, that we will not keep sitting in the back of the bus. Or, as my friend, Pam put it, we will not go back into our silk-lined closets, no matter how nice they may be. You don't get heard by speaking sweetly. We've tried.

Like I said, this is NOT a popularity contest. No one needs to like us. No one needs to be us. No one even needs to agree with us. So, why do we care about pissing anyone off? Why do we need their approval?

Oh yeah, because someone allowed civil rights to be put on the ballot. Because someone thought it was okay to vote on the rights of others.

This is not the time to be nice. This is the time to take back what was ripped from our constitution. This is the time to scream back and say "NO!" This is the time to stand up and fight back, to refuse to pander to the majority so they might, pretty please, give us our rights back.

This is not a time for silence.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I do not think they are following who they think they are following

I read a quote today and really liked it. Now, I'm sure I will have people think "Really? You've never heard that before?" And to them I say:

Shut up.

Nah, just kidding. I'm really not intimidated (in a bad way), by people who are more educated than I am. Really, I just want to suck up to them and get all the knowledge I can. I like educated people. I learn for free. :) (Yeah, Jenn, you know I am talking about you here.)

Anyway, the quote. It was "Oh, I don't reject your Christ. I love your Christ. It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ." This was a reply as to why Gandhi didn't like Christians, but quoted Christ often.

"It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike you Christ." So true, so true. Gandhi also shared a story about how he had become very interested in the Christian faith and tried to go to a church service. He was told there was no room for his kind and if he didn't leave, then he would be thrown down the steps.

My friend, Emma has told me that she has been told to leave churches, because she is a lesbian. In the Book of Discipline for the Methodist church, it says that you can't be gay, because it is "incompatible with Christian teachings" as is fighting in a war. Oh, but if you are going to go and fight in a war, they still have a prayer to give you before you go. But, if you are gay, no such luck. WTH? So, it's worse to be gay than to go and fight people? Now, I'm not knocking the men and women who have fought and died for my freedom, but "Thou shalt not kill" IS one of the 10 commandments and "Thou shall not be gay" is NOT. So, not making with the sense here.

So, that a Christian would threaten to throw an Indian man down the steps, so he would not enter their church does not surprise me in the least. Saddens me? Yes, definitely. But, the truth is, they have not stopped throwing people down the steps. Too few churches stand up for what is right. They are called Reconciling churches and I used to go to one before I stopped going to church. Some denominations call them Open, or Accepting or Affirming, but it is the same thing. It simply means that they are naming themselves, publicly as a church that is open the everyone, including LGBT people.

I may be an atheist, but even I can see that's a little more Christlike.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Maybe they're not getting any...

You know, for a country that prides itself on being the "best", this is a pretty hateful country. I don't even know how to deal with it sometimes. If you are a different color, ethnicity, religion, gender-identity, or sexual orientation, watch out! You are fair game. There will be laws against you. But, most of all (and the hardest to fight), public opinion will be against you. How do you fight that?

Now, obviously, some of these laws have been overturned. Like slavery, Jim Crow laws, the laws against discrimination based on race or gender. Oh, but not gender identity. Not sexual orientation. Legally? Still free game. I tell you, it makes me just want to sit here and scream obscenities.

I feel so helpless. I am one person. And, like I said, how do you fight public opinion? Especially, when the opinion is being formed by the one thing that is hardest to fight: religion. Oh yeah, don't fuck with people's religion. First off, there is not a chance in hell they will believe you. They get that whole "what my pastor says is true" thing going. And, even if you crack through their facade, just a little, they will turn cartwheels to make sure that you will never win the argument.
I just can't understand how they can keep defending this argument? How does a person keep up this level of hate and not self-destruct? How can they care so much about something that has nothing to do with them? I swear, this is giving me a headache in my eye.

The only answer I can come up with is sex. I think that if being gay had nothing to do with sex, then there wouldn't be all this fuss about it. Same with gender identity. If it had nothing to do with the "naughty parts", then would anyone really care?

Look at birth control. These same people seem hell-bent on making sure that kids don't have it. Now, while I don't want young kids having sex, I would rather they had protected, rather than unprotected, sex, no matter what. But, what about older teens and young adults? Really, why is waiting for marriage the only way to do it? Shouldn't we be teaching that they should be waiting for love? What is wrong with learning how to enjoy each other(safely), as long as there is mutual respect and caring?

I think there are people in this world who are miserable and won't be happy till we are all as miserable as them. Except, I still think they won't be happy. I blame religion, most specifically those that teach that sex is bad (except for procreation) and that women are sinful.

My RH is talking about religion again and he is wanting to be involved in it again. Now, I am getting a headache in my other eye.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Freedom to Marry Day

Yeah, I know I'm cheating by putting this two places, but I can't help it. Not everyone will see it there and not everyone will see it here and I liked what I wrote. So, here you go...

Ah, love, sweet love. And look! It’s Valentine’s Week! That week of hearts, roses and cheesy Valentines. This is the week to sneak that little candy heart to that special person that says “Will U B Mine?”

This is also the week to get married. How romantic would that be! The Fresno Mayor has just declared this Celebrate Marriage Week. How perfect! A week to celebrate that union of love and togetherness; that sacrament called marriage.

You know, I’m not sure how much more snark I can pull off without my head exploding. Because today four same-sex couples went before the Fresno County Clerk and asked for marriage licenses and they were denied. So, this week? Not so much with the celebration. No, it was more of a “we can’t believe you people are still trying to make us sit in the back of the bus didn’t we resolve the civil rights issue forty years ago” kind of party. Except without the party part.

Today was Freedom to Marry Day. There were about two dozen of us there. Some of us were there to support. We had gay supporters and straight supporters. Straight Advocates for Equality (SAFE) had a table full of information about how straight supporters of gay rights can help out their fellow human beings in their quest for equality. We had clergy from reconciling and welcoming churches there. We had Pastor Vickie Armour-Healy from Wesley United Methodist Church and Reverend Bryan Jessup from the Unitarian Universalist Church. Both were thrilled to be there to show their support of gay marriage and sported buttons saying “Straight, but not narrow”.

However, some of us were there today to get marriage licenses. Four couples in all went in, one at a time and requested a marriage license. Each couple was asked if this was a same-sex couple and each time was given the very rehearsed sounding speech of “In the state of California, blah, blah, blah”. Short version? “No, you can’t.”

Wait a minute! Isn’t this Celebrate Marriage Week? Isn’t this the week that “we come together this week to reaffirm marriage as the foundation of healthy families and a healthy future for America”? I’m not making this up, folks. It’s the first line of the proclamation that the mayor sent to the city council on Tuesday. So, the city of Fresno says that marriage is the foundation of a healthy family and future for America. Does this mean that they support equal marriage? Because if they don’t, then based on this, one might infer that they don’t think that everyone should have a healthy family and future. I am sure, however, that that is not what they mean and that the mayor and city council would never advocate inequality nor an unhealthy family or future. But, to be honest, I would love to hear it directly from one of them.

So, today we held up signs saying “All Men Are Created Equal” and “Liberty and Justice for All”. Some held their Marriage Equality signs up proudly and everyone walked tall today. I think that “pride” is more than code for “LGBT”. It’s what people have to be when others look down on them. It’s what you have to have when the world keeps slamming a door in your face. Today, we stood together; proudly giving voice to the stand that is equality. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, straight, questioning, queer, clergy and even one of the media. This is not about whether or not gay marriage is right. We KNOW it’s right. This is about when are people going to do the right thing and support it.

Next, year, it’s going to be “yes, you can.” And I’m going to be there to see it. THEN we’ll have a party.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Smiley Tyley

Meet Tyler. I've always said that all of the babies I've given birth to are the most beautiful babies ever. Now, I have to amend that to, all the babies I've ever fed with my breast milk, are the most beautiful babies ever!

Tyler was not one of my surrogate babies. I met his mother online when I was on a surrogate website moaning about not wanting to stop pumping my breast milk. I had been pumping for about four months for my most recent surro-twins and was slightly hysterical at the thought of stopping. I didn't want to stop. Yes, it took a lot of time, I couldn't eat a lot of things, I couldn't have a drink, and I couldn't do a lot of things, because I always had to think about being able to pump every few hours. But, man, did I love it. I loved watching the milk start pouring out and into the bottles. I loved seeing all the milk piled up in the freezer. But, mostly, I loved getting pictures of fat, healthy and happy babies. I just wasn't ready to let that go.

Enter Jamie. :)

As I was online looking for support, she comes on and mentions that if anyone doesn't want to stop pumping, she has a very hungry preemie. We started emailing and a beautiful friendship was formed. I loved that she immediately sent me pictures of Tyler. I loved that he was smiling in all of them. I loved that when I went back and looked at her old posts, that she was a kind and caring IM (intended mother). Since I knew I could never do another surrogacy (RH's idea, not mine), I was not ready to give up this last thing that I could give. And this was someone who would not just benefit from my milk, but who really needed it.

You see, Tyler was born at 25 weeks and 6 days. He was 2 lbs and 7 oz and 15 inches long. He lost weight after he was born and went under 2 pounds! When I first started sending milk, he was 11 pounds at 5 months old. That was almost one year ago. At 16 months, he got to 25 pounds and is pulling himself up! He is even starting to try and stand on his own a bit! He is also very healthy and, I believe, has made it through the season this far without getting sick.

You know, I had to deal with a lot of crap from people who couldn't understand why I would do this. In case you are wondering (because IRL, a LOT of people were), no, I did not get any monetary compensation for doing this (Jamie, however, made sure I never had to pay for any of the supplies or shipping). But, I did get something from it. I got satisfaction from knowing I was helping a baby grow up into a healthy toddler. I got satisfaction from Jamie's updates, letting me know how the doctor was so pleased with how he was doing. I would get pictures, showing me his beautiful smile (hence my nickname for him "Smiley Tyley") and those gorgeous chubby cheeks. I got to know that I made a difference. And I also made a friend in the process. I consider myself one of the luckiest people I know. I am grateful everyday that Jamie saw my post and chose to respond.

In all, I got to pump for 8 months for Tyler. I cherished every minute and I must admit, there are times that I miss it. I do like my freedom, but I did have to exchange the beauty I had in order to get it. And if that beauty is in question for anyone else, look at the pictures at the start of this entry. Because most people don't get to have beauty like that in their entire lifetime.
(Note: for anyone wondering, yes, I got Jamie's permission to post this.)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Trials of Ted Haggard

Dear Ted,

I saw this movie tonight. I have to say, I am looking at you in a different way. Before, I was very angry and disgusted with you. You preached that being homosexual was wrong and that people who lived a gay life were sinners. Personally, that was enough for me to be angry with you. Some of my best friends and family are gay and I am Mama Bear where they are concerned. Don't mess with my gays. I will tear you up.

But, then to hear that you are gay. That you went to a gay prostitute and had sex. Now, I felt two ways about this. One, I was very angry that you were so hypocritical in your life. Hypocrites bother me. You know that being gay is not a choice, firsthand, yet you kept trying to "fix" gay people. But two, I felt very strongly that the church that you looked up to, forced you into this mess.

Now, I mostly feel the second way.

Ted, they have brainwashed you into hating yourself. You don't need to get rid of the gay, you need to get rid of the evangelical. It's killing you. They banned you from your church, from your state, from your home. Do you really think your God would approve of that? I mean, really? Do you really think your God would make you this way and then desert you? Because if you do, you will never love yourself. This religion has been set up to exclude an entire group of people, a group of people that society is not so fond of either. You need to break free, to recognize that you can still be a Christian and be gay. That there are people who will not desert you when you need them the most. These are the people you need, not the "only love you when you're up and throw you out with the trash when you're down" crowd. I know you seemed surprised and hurt that they didn't stick by you. I, sadly, was not surprised.

All I could think, as I watched this movie was that this is what misery looks like. You smile all the time, but you look so sad. Even with a big smile, you look like you're going to start crying at anytime. You feel like a failure, but your only failure was trusting in a belief that doesn't allow you to be human. I believe it calls it "sin". I think the real sin is allowing for a system that beats people down, makes them hate themselves, then chews them up and spits them out. I think the sin is that you were never made to believe that you were okay just the way you were.

I think there's hope for you. But, I think you need to stop hating that part of you. Embrace and love yourself for who you are, not what someone else says you need to be. You could be a role model for gay evangelicals, who are going through the same thing you are going through. Tell them it's okay, tell them they are okay. You could saves lives, maybe your own. Gay teens are at a very high risk for suicide, I would imagine evangelical gay teens even higher. You could be the life raft they hang onto. You could make a difference.

Watching you tonight broke my heart, as I saw what they had done to you. You need to undo it, Ted. Don't let them win. Keep the gay, lose the evangelical.

I still can't believe that I feel this way (remember, Mama Bear), but I am rooting for you.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The side of life

Okay, I know I haven't posted lately. I guess I couldn't think of anything to say that wasn't simply repeating what I had already said. But, something has been bugging me lately and I need to say something.

My mom saw a bumper sticker that she thought I'd like: "War for Peace is like Fucking for Virginity".


Then, I go to this website a few days ago. There is a person on this website that is always taunting political controversies in front of everyone. (Can you say troll?) I have no real issue with Republicans, but this guy is such a right-wing tool. I don't want to say who he reminds me of, but his name rhymes with Schmil O'Schmiley. I'm not even sure why I keep going to this website. I'm sure I am just harboring some deep masochistic tendencies.

Anyway, website. They were talking about Guantanamo and the percentage of people released from there who went back to terrorism. me, "went back" means that we can prove they were doing it in the first place and if we could have, then why did we release them? If we cannot prove someone broke the law, then we need to either a)release them or b)fix our system if we find we are releasing too many criminals. And by "fix our system", I don't mean kill them before we get a chance to try them. Yeah, I've heard that suggestion.

Okay, what bugged me was someone saying what I've just said and then getting the response "Give me a simple answer: are you on America's side or the terrorists' side?"

My answer? (and no, it wasn't me involved in all this) I am on life's side.

How would we react if someone came to our country and knocked down our government? And then they stayed for years and showed no signs of leaving? If our electricity, phones and water were now iffy, at best? If we had lost control of all that we had? Would we have fought back?

And how would we react if someone came into our country and stole it out from beneath us? And then pushed us into little patches of land with no way out, quite literally? Rewrote history and made sure that the rest of the world would hate us? Would we fight back?

Two different situations, I know, but kind of related in that propaganda abounds here. We only tell the one side of it. And they only tell, I'm sure, their side of it. Except, they are there. They have to live with bombs and soldiers and not knowing where the next meal will come from or if their children will live through the day. So, forgive me if I give their side of the story just a little bit more weight.

Now, I am not saying anyone is right for bombing, even in self-defense, but unless we can say that we would do it differently, how can we judge them so harshly? And, you know, if I knew that every time I did anything, I would be vilified and that every time my foe did something to me, they would be supported and loved...I think I would be pretty mad and desperate, too. One of the first things they do in couples therapy is teach the couple to listen to each other and to give each other's feelings validation. I think people are a lot less angry when they feel like someone is listening to them, that's all.