Monday, February 14, 2011

Let's catch up.......

OK, I am sorry, I suck at keeping up on the blog OK?  Actually, you know what it is? I realized finally that I don't like blogging about Lorrie and I anymore.  It feels too much like kissing and telling or something like that, LOL.  Oh we kiss still, lots and lots, and we don't wait months to see each other, although sometimes we do have to wait a few days here and there, and I can tell you all that the two of us are more in love since I moved here than either one of us thought was possible and we used to think the possibilities were enormous. I will tell you it is so damn much fun doing anything and everything together, and it is equally fun when we do absolutely nothing together too.   And I suspect when Lorrie is chasing me around the yard with her cane at 85 it will still be fun!!!!  I suspect maybe I should get over blogging about Lorrie and I.  She'll let me know if she doesn't like something, and I can apologize then...... or she can just delete it if she doesn't like it, LOL.  We just wanted to help other women like us when we started it, we can't help if we don't share the things that we have gone through.  You just won't get so many kissing blogs maybe?

Lorrie took me to New York this last weekend for Valentines Day.  We went to see Melissa Ferrick in concert at the City Winery, she was wonderful, so was Melissa Ferrick, lol.  It was the first time we stayed in a hotel since I moved here.  It was fun, not at all stressful nor bittersweet like it was for so many years......

Lorrie held my hand as we walked all over the city....... I think that was my favorite part.  I haven't told her that, but it was.  Once upon a time it worried her to hold my hand in public, people might see, people might think things, people might care.  In our travels around the city I don't think it occurred to her someone might care, I don't think she cared anymore if they did care...... We have come so far together, I can't wait to keep going further together. Always holding hands as we help each other along this path called living a life.

I am going to try to stay true to reaching out to women who came out or are coming out later in life, letting them know it's an odd little road full of twists and turns and even falls but that it's worth it, its so worth it. Even if you never find your soul mate or true love, there is something amazing and wonderful about just living an authentic life that brings its own joy. And of course, I am going to offer up my own insights into life, love and the political arena here and there, because I just can't keep my mouth shut sometimes.  And I keep on thinking of stuff, like what I really have been wanting to talk about, even if it isn't what you really wanted to read.

Can I ask you all a question for a possible future post?  Can a belief bear fruit at all?  Either good or bad? Are beliefs a fruit of the Spirit? And if one was to look at some of our own beliefs and realized they bore fetid fruit, can we discard them and replace them with beliefs that bear good fruit?   I have the opinion that beliefs do bear fruit, both good and bad.  I have the opinion that this country (and ourselves) need to take a good hard look at some of it's beliefs that are bearing a lot of fetid, rancid, sickly fruit.  Not all of them are about the gay community, but I will certainly focus on those more than the others.

Melissa Ferrick:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving, Thank God for being gay!!!

Thank God I am gay!!!!  If I were not, I would not have met and fallen in love with Lorrie.  It's a big reason to be thankful, but it sure isn't the only one. I simply am thankful, because now that I have accepted it, I am finally whole. I finally am able to love, not just Lorrie, but my boys, and my friends. I am also thankful to belong to a truly gifted set of people.  We make up a full third of all writers, more than 25% of all musicians and artists.  We are entrepreneurs, adventurers and ground breakers, news makers and news reporters.  I am thankful that there are other gays who are out there making the world more interesting and exciting if not just plain better for all.

Now while I myself am not much of a business person, nor would I be called artistic, I sure love to write.  Would I still, if I were not gay? I don't know.  How can I know?  I can't, none of us can.  Because I can't separate out any part of me without losing the whole of me.  I can't stop being gay.  If I couldn't when I was in denial, how can I do it now?  If when I was in denial, I was still gay, though I didn't act upon it, then how can I stop now?  I was created gay.  No human caused me to be gay, no human forced it upon me, nothing that happened to me in my life made me gay.  More happened in my life to have guaranteed that I was straight, but I didn't.  All of society told me growing up there was only one way to be, and that was straight, get married to a nice boy, have children, all else was wrong.  But what was wrong, was that believing misconceptions made me deny it in myself.  Had I never been lead out of those misconceptions by "that still small voice" and I was still denying my gayness, I would still be gay.  My wishing it away, my praying and fasting it away, my hoping it away did not change it.  What changed instead was my whole belief system, in a flash, in an epiphany, so to speak.  No, I don't forget that the still small voice had been speaking for 30 years, lol, see, I am thick headed sometimes.......but still, that moment, when finally I quit believing what "man" said was true about me, the moment I began to believe what God was telling me about myself, was the moment I began to live as a human, and not a shadow, not a liar, not a secret, not in a closet, but as a human, out in the open, among other humans. The truth set me free. And for that, I am eternally thankful. 

Um, Rebecca, are you outta your mind?  Let's see, the FBI just announced that gays are the most victimized of all minority persons.  There are  organizations who's sole purpose is to see that our love is re-criminalized.  They nearly succeeded in Uganda after holding a summit there, thank God that proposal was finally withdrawn after international backlash  threatened their ties to the rest of the world.  The military says that we can only serve if we are really, really good at covering up our personal lives and lying about it when asked, and if we ask our friends and lovers to lie for us.  The Feds say they won't recognize our marriages, even if the state we live in does. We are called all sorts of unsavory names, accused of many crimes against nature and children and politicians worry that if they vote for our civil rights they will lose elections, and and and and......I am thankful that there are those who don't believe the lies, I am thankful that there are those who are openly gay and are mayors, state legislators and US Congressmen.  I am thankful they didn't believe the lies and had the courage to run for office, even the one's who didn't win.  

You know what? Some of the best people I know of are out there fighting, day and night for our government to finally acknowledge that we are indeed included as "All men" when the Declaration of Independence says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  I am thankful for the portion of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that prohibits discrimination by state government institutions. The clause grants all people "equal protection of the laws," which means that the states must apply the law equally and cannot give preference to one person or class of persons over another.  I am thankful that it is there, because soon, the courts are going to have to realize that it already applies to us.

I am thankful because we already have the rights, we are already equal.  In the same way I was still gay, even when I denied it to myself and others around me, in the same way that Blacks were equal, even before the courts and then the people said they were, in that same way, we have the rights and we are equal, and someday, the courts, and then the people will realize it, because of the tireless work of our advocates, our straight allies, those online and offline, and the work we do in ourselves.  For them, for us, I am most thankful this Thanksgiving.

Thank you Jude, Jay, Autumn, Lt. Dan Choi, thank you Equality PA, The New Civil Rights Movement and David Badash, thank you Pam. Thank you Wendy, and all the others out there who I am just not thinking of right now, who make our voices heard, when we ourselves cannot always speak.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Philadelphia Story........

I think we should let you know, I live in Pennsylvania.  Just outside of Philly.

How easy and simple that sounds now.  How wonderful and exciting it is to finally be here, to have a place, at last, at long last, to call my home.  We made it, Lorrie and I made it and we did it together.  It is still sinking in, but I am here with my lady love and it is more amazing than either one of us thought it would be.

I have a Pennsylvania drivers license, I am registered to vote, have a good job and am more in love with Lorrie than I thought possible, because I thought I was already as in love with her as much as was humanly possible.

I have been here 5 weeks now. (She's on a business trip right now, so I have a little time to write, lolololol........ Lorrie said I should let you know that we have been having too much sex to write anything before now ;-)

This last year has sure seen a lot of changes for both of us, Lorrie finally decided to get a divorce this winter, and no, not because I was moving here, lol.  She just had enough, it was that simple, enough of it all.  At first, when she told me, I was sorry that they couldn't stick it out and just co parent.  But well, now, I am really glad, lol.  And that is all I will say about that :)

Just so I come back and write again, I am going to leave off there for now, I gotta tell you about Leaving Reno, lol.  It was an adventure if nothing else!  I hope you are all doing well, I miss the blogosphere, but I think last year it was better that we didn't write so much, it was a bit stressful for both of us, but now, no stress, only joy!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day my darling, my love.  Every day for the last three and a half years, our love has only grown.  You have filled my days and nights with immeasurable joy and a love so deep that I am often at a loss for words to describe it and can only hope I can show it in every thing I do and in the way I look at you.   The thought of you leaves me breathless, the sight of you leaves me weak and your touch sends my soul soaring to heights I only imagined before.  I know this will be our last Valentine's Day apart my love, and I look forward to being your Valentine every day, for the rest of our lives.
I love you Lorrie, beyond beyondly. Yes, I just love you.

Monday, January 11, 2010

The Facebook Post

My introduction to Facebook began last June. The original intention was to use it to promote the blogs, to write for LGBT rights and pretty much keep it otherwise impersonal. But as sometimes happens in life, it has shifted into something quite extraordinary and very, very personal.  I want to share some of the things Facebook has taught me, and I also want to assure my friends there that they are not at all considered fodder for this blog.

At first I joined up with people I met through this and other blogs, and they still a part of my Facebook.  There is Pam, Ceara, Jude, Jay, Mj (Judy), Monica, and others. About 60 all together.  Within two weeks some of my high school friends found me as well.. They are Robbie, Tammy, Laura, Gail, Susan and Kim, I have known them all between 35 and 25 years.  It was great to catch up a little bit with them and see where each of us are now.

I also met a few new LGBT friends through the networked blogs and groups I joined.  I would check in every now and then, put up links to stories, read what they had to say, make some comments and log off.  That was Facebook for me the first month.  Early in July things began to shift.

The shift started after Ceara invited me to join her "family" in Mafia Wars. A social game with terrible graphics and to many things you have to click.  I accepted.  I would still just check in now and then, but now would play a little bit of Mafia Wars and then log off.  I had a few other friends that were playing with us but nothing major, about 8 people all together.  I will be honest, I thought it was silly and boring but somehow felt like I should because I did sign on after all.  After nearly a month I started getting friend request from people that said they wanted to only play Mafia Wars.  I figured what the heck? Yeah!! A new audience for the blog!  Within a week I had 200 of these new friends and they started explaining the game to me and pointing out that it really was only fun if you played with a lot of people.  They started suggesting me to their friends and before I knew it, I had nearly 1000 "friends" on Facebook.

I didn't realize that having 900 crazed Mafia Wars addicts as friends would start to cause problems with the friends I originally started out with.  A big part of the game is knowing how and when to help your "famiglia" This requires everyone to send up feed posts that tell everyone else what is needed.  Things like, "war declared" "join my mafia" "help me with a job" and other bits of info, literally hundreds of little annoying posts that drive even the players crazy.  It is unbearable for those who do not play.

I apologize to each and every one of my non-Mafia Wars playing friends on Facebook for that period of time. I finally learned how to change my settings a full two months after I started playing.

So OK, what does this have to do with anything that I play Mafia Wars??  The reason I wanted to blog about this is because the truth is, playing Mafia Wars not only changed the way I use Facebook, it changed the way I view the whole world and the way I view what is necessary in our fight for human rights.

 I am serious, no joke.  Part of the sheer beauty of something like Facebook is that it has no borders at all.  Anyone, anywhere in the world can sign up as long as they have either a computer or smart device that has internet capabilities.  Because of Mafia Wars I now have friends from every State in the US and nearly every country in the world.  From Argentina to Zimbabwe.  I have friends from every walk of life, every religion and no religion, every social standing, nearly every economic level, some who have strong political opinions and some with no interest in politics at all.

I have men, women, teens and children who are in my mafia famiglia. I have gays, lesbians, one transgender (that I know for sure), bi-sexual's and yes, even straights in my mafia.  I had over 2000 at one time but cleaned out those that had signed up and disappeared.  It is now 1300 strong and I have become fond of each and every one of them. I have made good friends with about 300 or more and a big handful that are extra special to me.

So how has this changed how I look at advocating for our rights?  I don't know that I can put it into exact words, but  let me start by saying that I have had exactly one person be bothered by the fact that I am a lesbian or follow the issues or even advocate for our rights.  And she was really only worried about my salvation, and after several conversations about that and me telling her my story and my change from worshiping a book to worshiping God, we are still friends but she no longer writes to me expressing her fear that I am going to hell.  While she has never told me she changed her mind, I guess it made her think a little and I can't ask for anything more than that.   Besides, now she knows she knows a gay person, even if it is only online.

On the other hand, I have had quite a few, and a lot from Muslim countries, who have messaged me that in their countries the gays are killed or castrated or imprisoned and they feel that those policies are wrong. A few have even written to say that they have come to see us in a different light since "meeting" me.  I am touched that they let me know.  It is OK that it is a private thing between us, because many of these people would face serious consequences if it were made public.  They know I am a lesbian because of the groups they see me join, comments I leave, and especially this blog.  While they haven't all started following us, more than I ever thought have stopped by to read it, and they have messaged me to let me know what they think. So far it has all been positive.  I think that is in large part because they see me as a friend too and want to understand me as a human in that context.

I also learned some of the advocates, however, cared a lot that I played Mafia Wars.  And it wasn't just that they didn't want to see the posts clogging up their feeds.  It was that it was frivolous, not serious stuff for an advocate to be up to.  It seemed that all I was doing was playing Mafia Wars, not even blogging anymore.
They are right of course, I wasn't hurt by this attitude.  I was and still am playing a lot.  You, my readers knew for sure I wasn't blogging.  I knew for sure I wasn't blogging.  Understand that I'm not judging them for that attitude at all.  It is necessary that important issues be treated seriously and that the bearer of those messages be taken seriously.

What I started to see, however, is that it is just as important that our audience is not just those who already agree with us.  And the approach we take with them has to be a different one.  We can't just preach to the choir anymore, we need to find common ground with all humans and we can't just preach to them either.  We need to get better at just making friends first.

What I realized for me though was, that had I remained "serious" on Facebook, I wouldn't have the friends I have now, and they wouldn't have had the opportunity to have me as a friend either. It wasn't my intention at all when I started playing this game, nor when I started joining their conversations and becoming friends.  And that is why it is so extraordinary.  Many of us are real friends now, and we communicate with each other about all kinds of things. We also care about each others lives.  I have gotten into some discussions that go from Breast Cancer awareness and the color of our bras to the success and failures of the women's movement around the world.  Discussions about what is going on in Uganda with the gays, how stupid for the military Don't Ask Don't Tell is, to a friend of mine who is a lesbian that was surprised when I said I was blessed to be one.  She didn't feel blessed nor knew any one of her friends who felt that way. I hope that chat we had begins to change her view too. We also talk about each others kids, grand kids, spouses and "significant others."  Not to mention dogs, cats, vacations, schools, new cars, divorces and even marriages.

The thing is, I do care about them and we share interest on issues such as child abuse, animal cruelty, abuse of women, crime, poverty, heath care because these are universal issues, the funny thing is, because they are my friends, if they didn't care before, they have come to care about the things that are supposedly "our" issues, seeing it as "their" issue too.  They care that we are not always treated equally, they do care that American religious leaders went to Uganda last Spring and the result of that visit is proposed legislation that makes Fred Phelps proud.  They care because they care about me. I am not saying they all care, but some now do who didn't before. Maybe for the first time ever they know someone who is gay.  Maybe that makes all the difference in the world.  Maybe that is when true equality begins, when we can say to those who are different, "you are my friend." 

Oh, that picture? That picture is how my friends and famiglia on Facebook visualize me. Those Mafia Wars playing friends of mine dubbed me "Lady Love," and it has stuck.  My Godmother, Kafe, created this graphic for me, she said it fit my personality, LOL.  I love my new name and the image it evokes.  I love that my friends have taught me to be a pretty good player and have also opened my eyes to the world and changed my image of it.
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