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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Venti Anni...

It constantly blows my mind that I'm old enough to have things that happened 20 years ago. That I actually can utter statements like "Wow, that was 20 years ago". I don't feel old enough for that possibility, but here we sit, I am old enough, and I'm face to face with it being 20 years.

On Wednesday, April 30th, 2014, it will be 20 years since my friends Mari & Liz killed themselves. Twenty years. I swear to you, there are moments when I get a stab of pain over it that feels like it was last year, or last month, or sometimes even yesterday. I still do. And it's been 20 years. Spring is a weird time for me, I'm guessing that's the case for more people than just me. It's the end of winter, the lead into summer. But it also signifies the end of life for my 2 friends, and the beginning of a new kind of life for those of us left behind.

I say "left behind" because at the time, that's what it felt like. Like they had left us and frolicked off together to some greener pasture that we couldn't go to. And we were left gobsmacked, upset beyond anything we could comprehend, not understanding what had just happened, terrified of what life would be like with this pain, and what it would be like without them. Left behind. Do I still feel that way now? I don't think so. But there are too many unanswered questions for me to put my finger on exactly how I feel.


That's actually what led me to write this blog. My beautiful friend Anne, who was one of my partners in all of this pain, sent me a great article a couple of weeks ago: Confessions of a Suicide Survivor http://narrative.ly/survivors/confessions-of-a-suicide-survivor/ . I felt...some kind of way...after reading this because, even though it's been 20 years, I still have guilt, I still wonder what I could have done, and I still wonder why. The rational adult in me knows that it wasn't my fault, and that there is nothing I could have done, and I will never, ever know why. No matter how many times I beg the universe to bring them to my dreams to answer that question, I will never know why. The article validated me, because for many years now, among all the other "Whys" attached to suicide that I ask myself from time to time, I have been asking a couple new ones..."Why is this so hard for me to get over? Why does this still hurt like new sometimes?" As the author says "The expression 'time heals everything' does not often apply to suicide survivors." There's my why...doesn't matter how much time passes, the nerve is going to be exposed for the rest of my life.

It strikes me how much of my adult self was molded by their deaths. How much of my adult self was molded by the guilt of not being able to do anything, or stop them. I have ridden that guilt into basically every.single.friendship since then. I have worried about another friend of mine falling through the cracks, and I have loved my friends so fiercely, because I never again want to feel like I am not good enough at being a friend. Yes, I felt like I wasn't good enough at being a friend to Mari & Liz. Saying that feels good. Because I've been ashamed of feeling that way for so long, which...I don't think I should. It's a totally unsurprising way to feel when someone you love kills themselves. I felt like I wasn't good enough at being a friend to them. 

The silver lining to all of this has been my friendship with Anne, which was born out of the pain of losing Mari & Liz. We weren't close before then, now we're 20 years strong, and I look at our friendship as proof that Mari & Liz are watching out for us. Knowing that we would need each other over the years, knowing that when 20 years came around, we'd have an amazing friendship to celebrate alongside the commemoration of the beautiful friends that we'd lost.

Please don't misunderstand me, I am not unhappy, or miserable, I'm quite the opposite, actually. I have accumulated so much happiness in my life over the last 20 years, I feel a little bit like a hoarder. I selfishly wrote this for me, I needed to because I still think about this, it still hurts me, I still ache at their loss even though I'm not sure if we'd even still be friends today. And yes, I wonder about that.

I will spend a lot of my day tomorrow thinking about Mari & Liz, the days weeks and years afterwards. Thinking about specific moments in time with them, trying to remember the way their laughs sounded...god, I loved laughing with them. I'll spend time looking at the pictures I have of them, smiling at their smiles. I'll spend time talking to them. I will think about the people who held me up during that time, who held me up after, who still hold me up today. And I'll remember that it's not wrong to still feel this, I'll remember that it's not my fault, and I'll remember that I'm strong, I'm okay. And more than that, I'm happy.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

We all have some learning to do...

I wrote the following blog a few weeks ago, and I needed to marinate on it for a bit, which is why it took me a minute to post it. But the time has come...


As you all know, I am a member of the LGBT community, I'm an L. Although I really consider myself a G, since I think G should mean all the G's, men and women, and I believe the L in "LGBT" is a little useless since it ends up separating the women from the men. And it feels stupid to separate us. I mean, if someone asks me "are you gay?" I never say "no, I'm a lesbian". I'm a G, through and through. A G that likes the L's(ladies). AnyLGBT, I am a member of this community, and I have long struggled with my feelings and my understanding of the T's that are part of it.

That probably sounds horrible, I feel horrible about it, and at times, I've been passionate about my feelings regarding the transgender community. For me, gay rights, the fight that *I'm* fighting, has always been about me being able to legally marry the woman I love, and for other gays to be able to legally marry the same-sex person that they love. I wondered what I had in common with the transgender community, since my understanding is that it's not about who they want to have sex with and marry, it's about which gender they identify with. It's about being born with parts that don't match what their brain says. I know that's a very simplified explanation, but I best understand things when they are made simple. But this is why I've struggled, because for me, my fight is absolutely about who I want to have sex with, it's absolutely about being able to legally marry the person that I want to have sex with. It has nothing to do with the plumbing I was born with. I've often come to the decision that our fight isn't the same, because if a trans person legally changes their sex, they can then enter into a heterosexual marriage. So...how is our fight the same? I wondered if the T community was thrown in with the G's simply because we're different from the heteros. I wondered if they even wanted to be there with us. I'm starting to realize that it doesn't matter that it's not the same fight, they are a community I *should* be fighting for, and a community that I'm proud be a part of.

Like most G's, I was floored by hearing President Obama talk about Stonewall in his inauguration speech, and then follow it up with this: "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well." I was a hot mess of snot and tears, trust. That was the first time a president mentioned us on a stage that big. It was incredible to hear, and something I will never forget. I was living in a state of bliss about it until I saw an article about an essay written by an 11 year old transgender girl in response to Obama's speech. I saw it, and I read it, and I started to have my eyes opened to just how fucking hard it is for the transgender community. I've thought that before, don't get me wrong. But it's been a passing thought, it never stuck with me. So after reading this essay written by this beautiful girl named Sadie, I started reading some more, searching out articles, I read something called "15 Things to Know About Being Transgender", I watched interviews and videos, mostly of a young girl named Jazz, who is a transgender 12 year old getting ready to start puberty, which, from what I recently read and heard, is a terrifying thought to a transgender child. Can you imagine? It's already scary as shit, but to go through it as a little girl who was unfortunately born with a penis, who, if allowed to enter into puberty without blocking the testosterone, will get a deep voice, will sprout hair...everywhere, it's unimaginable. Jazz loves mermaids. I mean, LOVES THEM. Wants to be one. Why? Because they have nothing "down there". And nothing down there is far more preferable than the penis she was born with.

I can't imagine how hard it must be to loathe your genitals. I can't even deal with the idea of hating my vagina...I mean, I hate mine once a month when it's an axe wound, but the rest of the time, I love it. I can't wrap my head around not ever wanting to look down at myself, or see myself naked in a mirror because what was down there didn't match with what was up here(you can't see me, but I just pointed to my crotch, and then to my head). This is what our transgender brothers and sisters deal with every.single.day. There are doctors who won't treat them, bathrooms they can't go into, sports teams that won't let them participate, and millions of people who won't open their minds and educate themselves. I was one of those people. I still don't fully understand, and I'm kind of thankful, because to fully understand is to be transgender, and that is a cross I'm not sure I'm strong enough to bear. What I do fully understand is how important it is to learn more so I can know more. How important it is to fight with them, stand up with them and next to them, and be open-minded about their struggle. And I also fully understand that any time there is a group of people that aren't being treated like everyone else because they are different, no matter what that difference is, that is *always* my fucking fight.

I encourage you to learn more if you don't know much. I encourage you to read Sadie's letter, and watch Jazz's story. Those are just 2 of the countless transgender people who are brave enough to live their truth. And I want to apologize to a community that I wasn't sure was mine...how happily wrong I was.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/transgender-girl-obama-speech_n_2533298.html

I Am Jazz
Part 1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Wh6NecfMiE
Part 2 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuoJEy70XjE
Part 3 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KwoYrYLtkJA


*if I thought coming out as gay was hard, I need to try and think about how hard it is to come out as transgender. But in saying that, my hope is that transgender people continue to come out, and hopefully at a more...rapid pace. The more people get to know you, the more they'll know your struggle, and the more they will fight to make it right. The more they know...the more we all know. Ugh, I guess NBC had the right idea with those PSA's...

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Where does the good go

My life has been weird as shit lately, and this morning it caused me to go into a thought process that has me reeling a little bit. You know how there are two sides to every story? I mean, I shouldn't ask, that's a true statement, there are two sides to pretty much everything in this world. It shocks me that people can see the same situation in two totally opposite ways. And no, I'm not talking politics, or why some people think Two and a Half Men is funny when it absolutely isn't. I'm talking things that happen between people, discussions about things that happen between people, one on one kind of shit. I got to wondering what that's all about, these colossal differences in the way we see things, and started thinking about it in terms of my own life, in terms of my own sitches that are happening in my hemi(situations in my hemisphere for those of you that prefer full words).

We all tell ourselves things about ourselves that we come to believe about ourselves. I've always told myself that I was a funny person, a hard worker, kind of ethical, sort of moral, a pushover, supportive, giving, loving, nice...I really see myself as a good person. And I tell myself that. I know I can be catty, and gross, but I don't think I'm intentionally mean, and I don't think I'm attentionally mean(this is a phrase i just made up. like if you pull focus from someone when they are talking about something that they are struggling with to get the attention on yourself. another use would be if you do/say something that you don't believe to get attention from someone/many people at the cost of hurting a friend/loved one. i don't know. i kind of like it). Anytention, the bottom line for me is that I have always told myself I was a good person, and kind.

There have been a few sitches, and I won't say if they are personal or professional. I mean, maybe there's a few of each! Or two and one! Or one and two! Or three of a kind! Or ten of bunny! What? I don't know. But I was getting myself through these situations(sitches was starting to bug) by telling myself the things I believe about myself, and wondering how the differing side wasn't seeing these things I believe about myself, why they weren't taking these things I believe about myself into account and realizing that I was "right". Did they not see that I was a good person, and kind? When retelling the stories to the VERY few people I retold them to, my goodness, and my kindness, were at the center of these retellings. They were the things that I rested my argument on, my "rightness" on...the beliefs about myself made me know that what I was saying, what I believed to be true about myself, could not be argued with and therefore, I was "right". How could this be? How could anyone see anything different than what I see when I am a good person, and kind?

Because they were going into these situations thinking the same damn things about themselves. That they are a good person, and kind, so how could *I* not see that? How could *I* have such a different view of the situation? No one thinks they are a dick, right? No one really things that. And that's why people see the same situation very fucking differently. No one tells themselves "I am a huge fucking dick. And not the penetrating kind. The total asshole kind". Everyone tells themselves they are a good person, and kind. We tell ourselves things about ourselves that we believe about ourselves, and these are the beliefs that we take into every new room with us("room" now means situation because situation was starting to bug).

I'm not saying that people can't be good people, or kind. I'm not saying that I'm not good, or kind. I just am realizing that I have self-belief blinders on when I walk into different rooms. All of us do. I have told myself these things so much for so long, they have so many uses. They help heal my heart when it breaks, help console me when I make a bad choice, help calm me down when I think my world is over...these beliefs are there to protect me...from me. But sometimes, I can't see past them and get a clear view of the room that I'm in. I need to remember that a lot of the time? I'm in a room with someone who also thinks they are a good person, and kind, and they probably are, just like I probably am. Unless of course, I'm dealing with an actual dick. You know, the total asshole kind.

Another thing I need to remember? Is that sometimes good and kind people aren't going to see things the way I do, and that doesn't make me less good, or less kind, and that doesn't make them less good, or less kind. I need to remember that a person doesn't become evil simply by disagreeing with me. Unless of course, they are an actual dick. You know, the total asshole kind.




*This has given me a little pause. A little food for thought for myself. A "something to work on", if you will. Maybe I'm not as good of a person as I keep telling myself I am. Or as good of a person as I used to be. That's okay, it doesn't have to be permanent. Maybe I've let myself rest on that idea and started to slack off, rather than continue to work on it. I worked on it for a really long time, and I mean, that happens sometimes. We get good at something, we get cocky, we slack. Maybe these days? What I'm good at? Is not being a person, but being a liar. Time to pick up the slack :)


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chick-fil-Gay...

Oh, Chick-fil-A, ne'er has one of your crispy, greasy, breasts passed over my lips, yet somehow you are still giving me gastrointestinal issues that only the overeating of your food should bring about. As all of you above-ground dwellers have surely heard by now, there is controversy surrounding Chick-fil-A and the cities of Chicago and Boston. Last week, Chicago Alderman Joe Moreno made what had to be a tough decision by declaring his plans to block the development of a Chick-fil-A in the Logan Square neighborhood that he represents. The plan was backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and now the backlash is being felt by both. Some nasty words and statements are being thrown around in response to this, and normally I would be blissfully unaware of them, but I made the mistake of reading the comments people posted at the bottom of some of the online articles. When will I learn? And by the way? There are some people out there that are straight bringin the cray. They make me sad and a little scared. Anyway, back to the breast at hand...mmmmm, hands on breasts...uh, sorry...

I have given this issue a lot of thought in the last week. I've gone back and forth, and forth and back. I believe in free speech, so unfortunately I believe that people have a right to disagree with gay marriage based on personal or religious-based beliefs. But I also believe that gay marriage isn't about the biblical definition of marriage, but rather the marriage as defined by each state individually. So that being said, I believe that Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy has every right to run a Christian-based company that supports what he believes is the "traditional family". And he had every right to say that when it comes to having an anti-gay stance, his franchise was "guilty as charged". I think it was a bad decision, but I believe he had every right to say it. But I also believe that people have every right to stand up against that stance in any way that they see fit, which is what I believe Alderman Moreno is doing by saying "no" to them.

Lez be honest, we all knew that Chick-fil-A was a religious company, they're closed on Sundays for fists sake. I mean, they must be hardcore, because Sundays are one of the biggest days in terms of a need for hangover grease, so it's ballsy of them to stand firm and lose lots of hangover money. So, hearing the Christian thing was no big surprise. And a lot of us also know that they have donated millions and millions of dollars to anti-gay organizations over the years...millions. Not just one million, but millions. And "anti-gay" is being kind, they support organizations that would like to make "gay behavior" illegal, and would like to treat us as exports and just ship us out of the country. A lot of us know that, and based on that knowledge, I choose not to spend any of my money in any of those establishments. So I guess I also believe that consumers have a right to choose where they spend their money. This is why I was going back and forth and forth and back. I was fighting with myself internally, because I think consumers should decide where they spend their money. They can either go about things in a blissfully ignorant manner regarding the companies they support monetarily, or educate themselves about where the money goes, and choose to support places that support their own beliefs. BUT...big but, HUGE badonkadonk...I think what Alderman Moreno is doing in this case is the right thing to do.

The owners of the downtown Chicago Chick-fil-A are coming out saying that each franchise is independently owned and operated, which yes, they are. They've said that on an individual franchise level, they donate to a "wide variety of causes, including everything from churches to gay and lesbian organizations", which I don't doubt. You can be Christian and still like gays. You can be religious and still love a homo. I am a non-practicing Catholic, and what I mean by that is that I was baptized Catholic, raised Catholic, got confirmed, went to church, etc. I made the choice to stop going, initially because I was in my late teens and there was no fisting way I was waking up early to go to church. Eventually it was based on a lot of different reasons, mostly because of the Catholic church and their stance on homosexuality. Why the f*ck would I spend money and time supporting a religion that DOES NOT WANT ME and thinks I'm an abomination? Now, an argument has been made to me that there are certain Catholic churches that are very accepting of gay people. To that argument I say "so the f*ck what?". Just because some of the franchises under the Catholic church umbrella support a variety pack of people including gays and lesbians, does not change the fact that the huge-ass umbrella thinks I'm an abomination. And just like the Catholic church, just because a few of the franchises under the Chick-fil-A umbrella donate some of their dollars to a variety pack that includes gay & lesbian flavors, that doesn't change the fact that the huge-ass umbrella donates millions of dollars to causes that actively discriminate against gay people. That actively are spreading messages of hate about gay people. Actively. The money is working to help actively discriminate against tax paying citizens of this country who don't have equal rights. Shit is active.

The message that Chick-fil-A is sending, not just through Dan Cathy's words, but through their hefty anti-gay donations, is that same sex couples are not worthy of the same recognition that straight couples are. That gay couples are not deserving of the legal benefits, or rights, that are afforded to straight couples. That gay people are an abomination. The message that Alderman Moreno is sending is that he doesn't want to send THAT message to the people of Illinois, especially the ones that live in the neighborhood that he represents. He knows Chick-fil-A's message is a dangerous one, and what would he be saying to his people if he didn't say "no" to that kind of message? This is a man standing up for what he believes in. Intolerance and organizations that promote discrimination, and hate, are not going to be welcome in the neighborhood that he represents. And THAT is a message that I can stand with and support.

So Alderman Moreno, I thank you for your continued support of my community, as well as the human community. I applaud you for being able to make the hard decisions and stand by them.

And Chick-fil-A , if you don't want politics in your businesses, then keep your religion out of the chicken.


**This piece is obviously just my opinion, which I am entitled to. And if you disagree with my opinion, you are absolutely entitled to do so, but I'm not looking for a big ol fight, so if you try to engage me in one, you'll be ignored...and a pox will be put on your house**

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nobody said it was easy...

I think I'm sick of people trying to own "hard". I mean, everyone in the world knows hard. At some point, every.single.one of us has thought that life, and whatever particular experience we were dealing with in that moment, was hard. You know what? We were right. Every time we felt that or thought that, we were right. Regardless of  what it was we were dealing with, and regardless of how it stacked up to someone else's hard, in that moment we felt that way, life was hard and we were right. It is. Life is hard.

People tell me their hard a lot. And I mean "THEIR hard" not "THEY'RE hard". Though I am getting a lot more people telling me they're hard now that I've been sporting highlights on the regular. But like certain hams, I'm off the bone, so telling me *that* does nothing but make me giggle. And look to see if a tent is being pitched. Anyboner, people tell me about their hard, and I'm glad I can be someone that they feel they can trust with it. I like to think I'm not the kind of person that would follow up listening to their hard by saying "You think that's bad..." and launching into one of my hards, or even someone else's hard. I hate it when people do that to me, so I try not to do that to anyone else. I really try not to do that. When someone is going through something, and they've *trusted me* enough to bring it to me, share it with me, release some of the pressure of it to me, they deserve nothing but my sympathy for *their* situation, even though I've had hard, I know hard, and I know other people with hard. In those moments, one hard does not trump another hard, because we ALL have hard.

I'm not stupid, I know that there are people who have experienced things that I can't even imagine, have stood tall through some of the worst sh*t I could think of, and through stuff I might not even be able to think of because it's so horrible. I know that. I'm glad that so far, the hard that I've had hasn't destroyed me. So far, it hasn't been unimaginable. And maybe there is someone out there who, if they ever heard my hard, might find it a little unimaginable. But to me, it's not unimaginable, the hard that I've had to deal with. There are people whose lives I cannot imagine. But I get to decide that for myself, I shouldn't have to hear from someone else "you think what you're going through is bad...". None of us should have to hear that. Because it's not a contest. We have to stop making it a contest.

I talk about the luck in my life a lot. Like, a lot a lot. I bet it's probably annoying for some, and if you're one of those that gets annoyed by it, well stop stalking my blog, you twatbonnet! It's not that I've had an extremely easy life, it's just that every time something has been hard for me, I've made it through. Every.time. Even when I didn't want to, or shouldn't have, I've made it. And maybe I'm lucky because a lot of my hard stuff happened when I was younger, a late teen/early 20's-aged person. So these days, now that I've given myself a voice, it's easier to talk about the luck since the hard is farther away. When I think about my hard, which I do frequently, the luck is never far behind.

I'm not going to rattle off a list of all the hard in my life, because that's not really my style. I talk about that stuff when it seems appropriate, believe me, but laundry lists of negativity ain't my thing. Positivity, yes. Negativity, no. I'm just following the rules of basic English really. But for almost every "f*ck you, world!" moment that I've had, there is something good that I attach to it. For every decision that cost me something, there's one that gave me something else. I can't say for sure what the hardest moment in my life was, because I try not to make it a contest within myself either. I do want to give an example though, and if I'm giving an example, the one that really stands out for me is when 2 of my closest friends killed themselves my senior year of high school. They killed themselves and it set off a chain reaction in my life that could have gone way south, and very nearly did. I stopped going to school, failed or got an incomplete in all my classes that semester, which left me short on graduation credits, so I did not graduate with my friends, my peers, my class...class of '94 what what!!! So...drop out and f*ck school, or deal with the embarrassment of being a 5th year senior, and just f*cking do it? I just f*cking did it. I ended up making amazing friends, friends that I adore to this very day. I finally had a positive high school experience that involved actual schooling. And I ended up having great relationships with teachers, which was f*cking foreign to me back then(shout out to Ms Levine!!!). That year, which could have been, should have been embarrassing and f*cking horrible, ended up being one of the best years I've had. You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the Facts of Life, the Facts of Life...

Great. Now I'm thinking about Blair. Which is not the point. The point is, I'd rather spend more time thinking about the good that came out of everything hard. I do spend time thinking about the hard, I like to remember the people I've lost, and appreciate the experiences I've had. But I choose to spend more time thinking about the good, the luck. Out of this tremendously hard thing came this realization, or this friendship, or this overwhelming feeling of support. I let myself think about the hard things, but I make a *choice* to focus on the other stuff, the good stuff that came of it, the luck.

So if I seem happy to you, if you know people who seem happy a lot of the time, it's not because life has been easy, breezy, beautiful, Cover Girl, it's because of what we're choosing to focus on in those moments. Hell, we could be going through something hard right before your eyes, but our focus is on something good. And maybe that good is as simple as being in the presence of a friend. I know for me that's usually all it takes. I have my moments, we all have our moments. Sadly for some, their whole life is their moment, and what a miserable way to be. I'm a mostly happy person, mostly, but that's a choice I make every day. That's a choice. That I make. Every day. Because life is hard, I know hard, we all know hard. But we're all still here, aren't we? So why not make the most of it...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pride (In the Name of Love)...

For the first time since I was 21 years old, I will not be attending Chicago's Pride Parade. Holy fucking shit. I feel like I just got kicked in the crotch, and not in a good way. I mean, I'm missing it for a completely valid, and completely debaucherous reason, I'm off to Las Vegas with 8 buxom.......men. That's right, I will be playing with the boys in LV during Pride Weekend, and don't ask me how that happened, but no doubt it will be epic. But I still kind of can't believe I'm missing the Pride Parade, my gay bread & butter.

I know I've talked extensively about my parents and their support of me and my fellow gays. I know I've told the story about my first Pride Parade, how my parents surprised me by walking in the parade with PFLAG, causing me cry uncontrollably, and when the people around us realized I had no idea they'd be there, they lost it too. I know I've talked about how my parents have walked with PFLAG almost every year since then. I know I've talked about how my mom is the president of the local chapter, my dad is a member, and they've attended endless conferences, meetings, traveled to Springfield multiple, all in support of the gay cause. I know I've talked about this. But I would like to take today to talk about someone who I haven't personally thanked, even though she has been there for 31 years of my life, and was my backbone the entire time I was coming out, and has continued that support ever since. My sister.

I don't know how I've never singled Emily out before now when writing one of my Bartles & James "Thanks for your support" blogs. I've thanked my parents, I've thanked my friends, and obviously, Emily is one of my friends, but she's so much more than that. Emily was the one by my side when I told my parents I was gay. Maybe not literally, I can't remember if she was in the room because I was practically blacked out with fear. But she was by my side. She was by my side when I started coming out to our friends, I can remember Christmas Eve that year, being in Keldra's bedroom with a few girls, telling them...Emily was by my side. She was by my side when I came out to my whole giant family, the silent support that I ALWAYS felt, have felt ever since. She was by my side when my parents came walking up to me during that first Pride Parade, she knew they would be there, she didn't say anything, but she knew she had to be there, she wanted to be there...for me...just like she always had been. She has been by my side at almost every Pride Parade since, wanting to be there for me, and wanting to be there for our other gay friends. She was by my side the day The Joyous One proposed to me, she helped set up the surprise, then gathered our friends at a bar to celebrate it afterwards. She was by my side when I "married" The Joyous One 8 years ago, she was with me all day, was with me all the days before that, she wrote and read an incredible speech for us. She was by my side the day The Joyous One and I got our legal civil union papers, and she stayed by my side for our day-long celebration. She was by my side the day my dad signed our papers and made us legal. She will be by my side this Sunday, even though neither of us will be at the Pride Parade...we'll both be thinking about it, and she will be by my side. And someday, when The Joyous One and I get legally married on a federal level, my sister Emily will be by my side. By my side, she is always by my side, no matter physically or not, she's always by my side.

I cannot begin to thank you, Emily. You have been the strength that holds my head up, the support that has let me to be myself, and the love that has allowed me to have no fear. You're the best "side dish" a sister could ever ask for.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Innie or outie?

And no, I'm not talking about belly buttons. Although maybe I should. I can fit a short stack of dimes into my belly button. I probably could do pennies, but it felt like a tight squeeze when I was testing coins. I was ambitious, I tried a quarter first because I figured my button was probably pretty stretchy, but alas, not stretchy enough for a quarter...or a nickel...and the penny was iffy. But the dime, well the dime was a good fit. Like the glass slipper to Cinderella's foot. Only more like a dime to a belly button. So yeah, I can fit dimes in my belly button. But that's not the main point of this...anymore.

Yesterday, Jim Parsons declared his membership to my church. A few days before that, Jillian Michaels had her membership confirmed, which lez-be-honest, was fantastic to hear, because although she has gay-face, she has fucking hot as hell gay-face, and our congregation could use some more caramel-y goodness. My god, the shine of her hair, the rasp of her voice, the ripple of her muscles, the throbbing of my...I mean, her um, veins. What I wouldn't give to lick her abs, among other...crap, I just blacked out. Sorry. So...what? Oh yeah, Jim and Jill, out of les closet.

The best part about this news, besides the hotness of Jillian, was that it...wasn't really news. At least not huge news, or mind blowing news. In fact, if you read the People article too fast, you wouldn't have even noticed the mention of Jillian's partner, some bitch named Heidi, who I'm sure is perfectly lovely, but Jillian's hair and muscles and hot face would go so much better with my curls and softness and cartoony looks...I LOVE YOU JILLIAN!!! Okay, I just splashed some water on my face, I'm fine. Anymuscle, the news wasn't earth shattering, it was more matter-of-fact than anything, and THAT'S the huge news.

I've long been a believer in the need for being "out". And by "long" I mean I decided this like, 3 years ago, and ever since then I talk about it a lot and I'm sure I've written about it before. Whatever. Harvey Milk has been my inspiration in this. He said "If they know us, they can't vote against us" and I absolutely believe this to be the truth. Coming out is the only way they'll know us. It's a terrifying process initially, and one that never truly ends, but my Gaga, it gets easier each time. There was one group of girls in particular who were older than me, and pretty, and fun, and just...they made me a little nervous. We became friends when I was just a puppy-queer, and I was terrified about being gay in front of them. But you know what? They could not have been more amazing to me. They could not have treated me with more kindness. And we could not have had more of a fahckin ball together. And I was out and gay the whole time we were friends. Any time I get nervous now, I think about those girls and that time in my life and I know it'll be gravy. Fahck, gravy...on Jillan's abs. It'd have to be low fat gravy, naturally, but still, lickin gravy off Jillian's abs. Abtastic. I need more water...

The more out we are, the less scary and hard it becomes, and the less "news" it will make when someone famous joins our congregation. I'm hopeful that down the line, it won't even be news, it will just be. Gay will be the new normal. I mean, if 70 can be the new 30, then gay can be the new normal. Fahck, maybe someday, coming out as straight will be news...because you know me, I think everyone is queer and bisexual and unfortunately, society needs to see sexuality as something that is black and white when really, it's the grayest fucking thing in the world, but that's a rant for a different time. Catch me after a few whiskeys, that's the perfect time(insert wink here).

"If they know us, they can't vote against us"...come on queers, let's introduce ourselves.


Oh, and I love you, Jillian.