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DADU, Do Ask, Do Understand

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One might think I’d fallen off the edge of the blogosphere. Over a month has gone by without a word and not even a mention of the wondrous and last minute repeal of DADT. To say I have not thought of writing would be like saying I had not thought to look in the mirror or smile or breath even. The holidays take me places I wouldn’t ordinarily go and to people I wouldn’t ordinarily see. Some of these encounters bring relief and surprise at how embracing and loving us humans can be. Others remind me that we can pretend and assume our pretense isn’t seen through, but at least for me, the feelings behind the pretense come through loud and clear.

There are clenched teeth and tense jaws. The head cocked slightly to the left while the mouth smiles. There is the nervous ring to the voice as it says sweet words. Thankfully, the hostile feelings are held covertly and discharged carefully, as a stifled sneeze. Like the passing of gas in a crowded room, we might not know for sure from who or whence it came, but the air is suddenly tainted and the hostility palpable.

When horns blow in impatience and Christmas shoppers ignore the bell ringers, instead rudely grab things from shelves and steal parking spots, perhaps I take these felt slights and judgments too harshly. Perhaps I judge too harshly, period. Humanity isn’t the sweet species after all, or maybe it’s that we aren’t that different and it really is survival of the fittest. Call me romantic or even Polly Anna, but I keep hoping for more from us.

I’m thrilled about the repeal of DADT. I’m still floored that so many still voted against it and will no doubt fight it in 2012. In other words, I’m grateful for those who are genuinely kind, fair, loving, just. I’m grateful many who aren’t are at least pretending to be. I’m still a bit afraid of those who aren’t and don’t pretend. We fear what we don’t understand. I guess I just don’t understand.

Merry Christmas Everyone. May the New Year bring more understanding. Dear Santa…

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December 23, 2010 Posted by | The Gay Me | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Voting for Basic Human Rights

Tomorrow we vote. At least, I hope you are voting, too. I know that there are a lot of important issues on the minds of those voting tomorrow. We all probably have the one issue that matters most to us. I lean towards those pertaining to equal rights and health matters. The economy, political corruption, terrorism, taxes, war, environmental issues and countless others will be at the forefront of the minds of the American people tomorrow.

I just have a hard time getting past not being treated equally. That right is so basic and fundamental. How can we build a future or repair a present when our foundation is built on inequality and the most basic rights of humanity in our country are not given to everyone?

If you don’t know who to vote for, you have time to read up on the candidates. You can print out a sample ballot. You can even bring it with you to the polls (you just can’t share it with anyone there when you go). No matter what you had planned for tomorrow, if you care enough to read this, please vote tomorrow. It doesn’t take long. You’ll feel good when you walk out of that building, remembering that this is how we put people in office in this country. All the corruption; all the nasty campaigning, all the lobbyists, the bribes, the gifts and underhandedness cannot replace your vote. Your vote is only for sale if you give it away.

November 1, 2010 Posted by | The Gay Me, The Straight Me | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your Vote Counts Because You Count

SVG Version of Image:Hrc_logo.png, which has t...

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My daughter’s mother-in-law gave her a countdown to Christmas ornament the other night. That big days is less than two months away. The stores are full of Halloween candy and costumes. Circulars boast of sales on appliances for cooking Thanksgiving dinners and lovely turkey platters. It’s enough to almost forget about Election Day.

To the left of where I sit here at this desk is the side of a bookshelf covered with sticky notes. A few remind me of things to do. A couple are of quotes I read or heard and want to remember such as,

“The great evils in human history are commited not by psychopaths, but by ordinary people who accept the status quo,” said by political theorist Hannah Arendt, a German jew.

Most are notes about candidates running for office. Organizations like Change.org, The Human Rights Campaign and Georgia Equality help me keep track of which candidates and corporations really support what.

CNN’s theme for the morning today was, “Does Your Vote Count?” I wonder that sometimes. We live in perhaps one of our countries most politically LGBT unfriendly places. We live in a sea of Republicans with a spattering of Good Ol’ Boy Democrats, deep in the Bible belt. Even the most progressive areas are considered far too conservative for gender or sexual orientation equality according to some of our so-called former friends. Where we live, “Good Ol’ Boy”  and christian might be the most unifying factor in politics and the only description of our political office holders that matters to many of our local voters.

Yet, I know I count. I know that equality for me and my beloved Lee counts. I know our relationship counts and even makes the world a better place. I know my equal rights are as vital to our nation being a true democracy as freeing slaves and allowing women to vote.

I know that children will continue to be bullied and will continue to take their own lives as long as other children watch their parents bully by discrimination. I know children will call each other the names they hear their parents use in their own homes. As long as our country values and endorses the dollar over humanity itself, children will learn to bully by the adults who raise them, the schools who teach them and the churches who threaten them with interpretations of scripture fueled by agendas of hatred. As long as fear is disguised as religion and hate is disguised as love of family, my one vote may seem futile.

The hate and fear hide in closets and board rooms, your churches and your schools and even in your own families. It hides in the darkness behind veils of righteousness. It speaks loudly and intimidates well. It washes brains and common decency in its confusing belligerence. It slithers unnoticed as campaign contribution while your spending dollar supports its vile cause.

Your vote is a candle shining light in the darkness.

Your dollar is your voice.

Shine your light.

Sound your voice.

It’s the only one you have.

Use it well.

November 2nd is only a few days away. Spend that time educating yourself.

Your vote counts because you matter.

Your vote counts because you count.

October 26, 2010 Posted by | The Gay Me | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Awareness and a Call to Action

This just arrived in my inbox from GeorgiaEquality.org,

Dear Allison,

After the disappointing vote on the defense spending bill – what we hoped could be the beginning of the process to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” an alarming message was posted on a local blog.  The website www.joemygod.blogspot.com posted a message informing readers of the DADT Cloture Vote results.  Following the blog post, a reader responded with the comment “All Faggots Must Die.”  The offensive comment appears to have come from a computer located in the office of either Sen. Johnny Isakson or Sen. Saxby Chambliss.  The Atlanta-Journal Constitution has contacted both offices looking for comment on the issue.  Georgia Equality asks that you call the office of both Sen. Johnny Isakson and Sen. Saxby Chambliss and express your concern surrounding this issue and the need for accountability and resolve.   A sample talking point, contact information for both offices, and a link to the story on AJC and The GAVoice website can be found below.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss – (770)763-9090 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (770)763-9090      end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Sen. Johnny Isakson – (770)661-0999 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              (770)661-0999      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

“Hello, my name is ______ and I am calling to express my deep concern over the offensive and dangerous comment ‘All Faggot’s Must Die’ that was made in response to an online blog post. Claims have been made that the comment came from a computer in your office.  I ask you to please look into this issue and take the appropriate steps to identify the person responsible for posting this disturbing comment.  Thank you”

Follow the story online on AJC –
http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-politics-elections/did-saxby-chambliss-aide-618588.html

Follow the story online on The GA Voice –
http://www.thegavoice.com/index.php/blog/politics-menu/1159-sen-saxby-chambliss-investigating-all-faggots-must-die-blog-comment

September 22, 2010 Posted by | The Gay Me | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LGBT Headline News, A Banner Day

Rainbow flag flapping in the wind with blue sk...

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Several months ago, I started keeping a scrapbook of LGBT news. It wasn’t one of those pretty scrapbooks and I didn’t include stickers and little foam clip art. It was a spiral notebook and I simply cut out articles from the local paper and attached them to the pages with a glue stick. Some days, there was no news, not one article. Other days, there might be two or even three pieces.  Today is a four piece day.

Headline #1

There is, of course, the Republican blocking of the Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in the Senate. While I voted for Obama and have sung his praises and been oh so patient, to have that repeal buried in a military spending Bill baffles me. I’m beginning to feel bamboozled. I wanted to believe his support of same sex civil unions was just a politically more acceptable way to verbalize his real support of same sex marriage but fear it was a case of my own head buried firmly in the shifting sand once again. It is what it is. He doesn’t support same sex marriage. He said so. I heard what I wanted to hear. This, on the other hand, is looking more and more like a bold faced lie. I hope I am wrong.

Headline #2

Bishop Eddie Long is a famous name in Atlanta. He’s the top pastoral dog of a Mega Christian church. Two young men have claimed that the good Reverend traded them trips and gifts for sex many times over the past few years. They are now 20 and 21 and all this began when they were 17 and 18. If this is true, it another case of a Christian man pretending to be heterosexual. It’s also a case of abuse of power, betrayal and the list goes on. One of these boys was also arrested for burglarizing the church awhile back. It could be false accusations. The boys are suing the church as well as Bishop Long. We shall see. You can read more at http://www.wsbtv.com/news/25115246/detail.html

Headline #3

There is the possibility that a staffer at the office of US Senator Saxby Chambliss posted “derogatory gay slurs” as a comment on a LGBT issues blog. Bloggers evidently traced the post by “Jimmy” to Chambliss’ office. I dug a little further and found that the post was on Joe.My.God blog and said, “All faggots must die.” I wouldn’t consider that a derogatory comment. Perhaps terroristic threat might be a better description. This Joe.My.God blog was a 2008 Weblog Awards Finalist and the 2007 weblog Awards LGBT Blog Winner. On that blog, I also found Headline #4.

Headline #4

“Florida’s Third Court of Appeals today upheld a lower court’s 2008 decision that a ban on gay adoption is unconstitutional.” This was over a gay couple’s attempt to adopt two little boys they have been the foster parents of since 2004.

Score 3-4

Somehow even though today’s articles are 3 out of 4 news of continued discrimination and bigotry, it still feels good to me. The days when nothing is in the news, when no mention is made and discussion taking place, those are the days when I feel the least hopeful. It feels like when you shine a flashlight in a dark room and the roaches start running everywhere. At least when there is news, there is dialogue. The awareness is raised.

September 22, 2010 Posted by | The Gay Me | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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