Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
I've been a bit absent for a while now. Sorry for being so so unleRyable.
Here's the thing: I quit my job.
The shitty one at that damn fast blocked arteries and cancer chain also known as Arby's.
While working on the front register (because that snotty little sixteen year old didn't come in to work) someone asked what healthy options we had.
I told the woman we had no healthy options here.
She asked about the salads.
I gave her a run down on how the ingredients for our salads were likely shipped from another country where the foods were grown by using ridiculous amounts of pesticides and were genetically modified to look fresh and colorful while retaining no flavor nor nutrients. Of course the leafy greens and veggies (if you can still call them that) are then topped with some kind of animal products (which parts I couldn't say).
I informed her of a place called Omar's Rawtopia--perhaps the best place to get a healthy meal in Salt Lake City if that's what you're looking for. All the food is raw and organic. Oh, and my favorite: it's all "made with lots of love."
Of course she stood there staring at me, wondering who in the hell I was to tell her about healthy food.
I do, of course, work at a fast food dump hole. What would I know?
I couldn't do it anymore.
The fat. FAT. people coming in day after day.
My soul was dying in that grease pit.
Nobody who came in and asked for "healthy" options really wanted to know where to get something that would be good for their bodies. No one wanted to hear about how our meat industries produce SO MUCH FUCKING POLLUTION.
I couldn't contradict my beliefs anymore.
I couldn't keep playing the fat, American, white man's game anymore.
So, I quit.
I afford internet anymore.
And I had to find another job.
Still haven't. But, I decided I better stop letting this fall behind.
Here I am.
Typing away as I use my friend's computer and internet.
Without a job.
Putting more stress on Addie--I hate this part the most.
And completely and utterly LOST.
RyBread Wisdom: Even if you have a cool name that you can shift words around and use to be clever, it will not help you find a job. Also, sometimes (although I can't see the silver lining yet) you have to take a leap before you get anywhere--you have to quit your job before you find a new one, for example. Eating fast food isn't the only thing that kills you. Working fast food does it too.
Friday, April 27, 2012
The next one I got was on Wednesday. I had been thinking I wanted a new one but I couldn't quite pin down exactly what I wanted. I figured I would go in and talk to a professional when the time was right. Well I was driving to the beach by myself and I passed a parlor, walked in, talked it through, decided and within the hour I was done. This one was twofold. First to remind me about my cousin’s Stephs suicide and second to remind me to be free. They go together because I need to remind myself I’m free to make my own decision so I don’t start thinking suicide is my only option again.
Thursday, April 26, 2012
This week my new adventure is the Grand Canyon.
It's something I've only ever seen from the window of an airplane where it just looks like a giant crack, like someone dropped a giant bowling ball on a piece of giant tile. But this time it'll be a bit more personal. I like personal. I'm going to get Grand Canyon dirt between my toes. I'm going to smell Grand Canyon trees and touch Grand Canyon rocks. As it happens, I'm there right now (ah, the beauty of scheduling a post), and I'm sure I'm loving it. If you haven't caught on yet, I LOVE the outside spaces. Mayhaps my next post will be about my adventure.
Anyone else out there like to adventure, whether physically or otherwise? Any favorite New Things you want to share?? I'm always looking for ideas. :)
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
After we were done recording the short films, the leaders took us to another room where our parents all sat, waiting to judge our presentations. The rest of the night was designed to be a mini "Academy Awards" gala and we were all looking forward to seeing our movies and equally anticipated the chance of winning some ridiculous prize.
Well, as we all watched the movies, there were jokes made here and there about how nervous "so-and-so" was and about how rigid "such-and-such" was. I wasn't too concerned, however, about being nervous or rigid on camera and I was super excited to see myself on the TV. I knew I was going to be an amazing "Prodigal Son" and I couldn't wait for my parents to see their budding movie star in action.
I was mortified and the look of shame on my family's faces was one of the most heart-wrenching things I remember from my youth. As the video ended, the mocking and mean-spirited comments from the young men and women who were supposed to be my spiritual brothers and sisters began. The snarky comments of my peers and the look of severe disappointment from my parents was enough for me to flee the room in search of punch and snickerdoodles.
A couple of days later my mother decided to take me shopping with her. As we strolled, alone, through the aisles of Fred Meyer, she would quietly stop and start looking at one end-cap or another before she eventually said, very casually but with a tone and look I will NEVER forget:
"You know, people at church are talking. And, you know what they're saying. And you know we can't have people saying things like that. Because you're not. So, what are you going to change? What are you going to do differently so people stop saying things like that?"
And so the conversation went; I was drilled on how to act more masculine, or rather more straight, until my mother was satisfied by my responses and convinced of my resolve.
At that moment I knew I needed to change and do something drastic and convincing. I began folding my arms tightly across my chest to try and minimize the flailing of arms and the use of hand gestures. I measured the meter and intonation of my voice and did exercises when I was alone to minimize my vocal inflections. And, finally, I decided I needed to start dating ASAP.
Prior to this point I had already familiarized myself with multiple JC Penny catalogs and the several-page spread of men's underwear in each of them, as well as the men's section of a rather old but incredibly detailed sex education book titled, "Human Sexuality." As a result I readily come to the conclusion that I knew what my type of 'man' was but I really didn't know what type of 'girl' I would be interested in dating. All while bearing in mind that I believed my fascination with men and the male form was all a phase and that I just simply hadn't cultivated my heterosexual interest in women, yet.
Sure I had lot's of friends who were girls growing up. In fact, most of my close friends were female and I loved it that way, trust me. But even though I could tell which ones were cute and which ones I enjoyed spending time with, I couldn't really tell you which one(s) I was interested in dating.
But there was a problem; both her and her mother were convinced we were soul mates and we were going to be together for eternity. I, on the other hand, did not believe we were soul mates and I hid behind the excuse that I needed to go on a mission so I wouldn't have to get married. Plus it was convenient that my parents couldn't stand the girl or her family so I had a free 'out' on that front, too.
Eventually things between us did end and I began dating a long line of other Beards. Each one was different and unique and I tried my best to find a woman that would and COULD work with my "problem." Each one was beautiful and wonderful in her own way and I am a better person because of my association with them even though things did not work out between us.
As I write this post, there are a few of these women that I want to acknowledge and thank and, honestly, ask for forgiveness.
For their privacy and mine I will just use initials.
There were many other Beards but the wonderful women above impacted my life and changed me - all of me - for the better. I am so grateful for them and for the ways they have influenced me.
Anyway, it looks like the arm-folding, vocal exercises, and fervent heterosexual dating didn't change me, ma' - I'm sorry to disappoint. It looks like the Ward is going to have something to talk about - again. Who knows, maybe I'll even make another movie...
Friday, April 20, 2012
Thursday, April 19, 2012
I want to make a difference.
I want to stand for something;
to change the world.
I want to put an end to hatred
and replace it with love,
for love can bridge the deepest of chasms,
can stop wars,
end violence and suffering.
We look at things differently when we love them.
Love is a unifier.
It brings out our similarities
and celebrates our differences.
It makes the distance between you and me
Not so very far
Sometimes I get frustrated
Feeling like I'll never have anything of value to offer this world.
I'll never have a voice loud enough for anyone to hear.
Multinational corporations suck the life out of our economies and cultures.
Businesses and "doctors" feed us lies about our very basics needs
and what is "good" and "bad" and "necessary"
just for a little cash in their pockets.
People all around are abused and neglected and treated wrongly.
And what can I do?
I am just one.
But I silently make a stand
by not shopping at certain places
by supporting local vendors
by buying organic
by using renewal energy and shopping at thrift stores.
I try to put an end to hatred
by spreading love
by talking to strangers
by getting to know people
by listening to their stories.
Everyone has a story worth listening to.
But does it even make a difference??
I'm just one voice.
But I am a voice.
I am passionate
and crazy enough to believe
that I make a difference
just by being me.
Just by doing the things I do
And loving like I love.
Even if my words never get farther than this page
I have already made a difference
simply by putting a little bit more love out into the world.
Love changes things
And I've got an awful lot to give.
Better watch out.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
* Play this song in a separate tab while reading this post :) It is amazing and I listened to it while I wrote this entire post. It’s, “The Letter that Never Came” from the Series of Unfortunate Events Film Score. Enjoy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZNTWDUrWiI) *
Dear readers, family, and cherished friends. I am writing to say how amazing things have gotten as of recently. It is surprising just how much people really do love and care for you even when you might not realize it.
Recently BYU has released an It Gets Better Video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ym0jXg-hKCI) and you may or may not know that I am actually a part of that video! It has slowly started to get spread all around the internet and it is amazing how many people have seen it and reached out to me. (It is more fascinating because I myself didn’t share the video via facebook so people are actually seeing this outside of my influence! So amazing)
I just wanted to share some of the incredible messages I have received on here to show you that the world does get better. I took a leap, made a choice and my life has been filled with love and joy as of late and your life can be too.
Amanda, “Hey. I stumbled upon a BYU “It Gets Better” video that you were in. I also watched your own video afterwards. I just wanted to let you know how proud I am of you for having the strength to accept who you are. I also want to let you know that I love and support you. I used to struggle through feelings of bisexuality. It was really hard on me, especially because I was Mormon. I thought what I was feeling was wrong, but I am happy to know that there are others who go through this. We are not alone. Thank you for your bravery.”
Michelle, “I just recently watched the ground breaking video that was produced by BYU. Im sure you will get a lot of people asking you about it. However I didn’t need to ask because I already just kind of knew. I just want you to know I love you just the way you are and hope you feel like you belong in the ward. Its not an easy thing to deal with. We all have our own things we must deal with. I know we are not like BFF or anything but I want you to know i’m grateful for our frinedship and that you are a totally amazing person.”
Holly, “I saw that it gets better video you are in. That was SO brave of you. I am so proud to have you as a friend.”
Erin, “ Just want you to know I’m SO PROUD of all of you at BYU who took a stand and posted those videos on You Tube for “It Gets Better”. Please know that I love you because you are you and you have my whole-hearted support :) You’re a rock star!”
The following were messages from friends and family sent to my mom which ROCKS!
Rachel, “My aunt up in San Fran posted a link to an it gets better video and I was surprised to see $^!( in it! Congrats on raising an awesome son. The video was so touching and moved me to tears. It takes guts to stand up and be proud.”
Wendy, “You know we’re going to be friends forever and you will never rid yourself of me right ;) Well, I’m just going to be bold and say that I LOVE your son @^(*#^. I always have and I always will. Through a link off someone’s facebook, I saw the It Gets Better clip and there was your son! I wasn’t shocked, but relieved for him and wish him ALL the goodness in the world. Now for you, as my friend, and as hi mom, I can only imagine this has been quite an experience.”
I hope you are loved and know that I love you even though I may not know you and may never meet you; still know that you are loved.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
It’s the end of the semester. I’m almost done with finals and the plan is to peace out on Wednesday, so yesterday was spent packing. And boxaging. Currently the entire contents of everything that usually contains things in my room are sitting in stacks of boxes waiting to be loaded up. It’s too bad I don’t have enough stuff to make an epic fort out of.
The end here means a new beginning back at home. A new adventure, if you will. Or something like that. So that’s where my mind is currently at. Nothing too profound, since I’ve been trying to use my profoundness on my tests and apparently I only have so much to give and it’s getting all spent up. Plus I’m a master of the cop-out. Just ask anyone.
And now, for your enjoyment, the song, which I have not heard in a lot of years, that randomly decided to grace me with its presence on this fine day:
Even if it Kills Me, courtesy of Motion City Soundtrack
I’ve got a lotta things to do tonight
I’m so sick of making lists
Of things I’ll never finish
I’ve lived here for the last 12 years
Since early 1995 all my shit has been in boxes
But if I had a little more time to kill
I’d settle every little stupid thing
Yeah you’d think that I would
But I’m too tired to go to sleep tonight
And I’m too weak to follow dreams tonight
For the first time in a long time I can say
That I want to try to get better and
Overcome each moment
In my own way
I wonder if I’ll ever lose my mind
I tried hard for awhile
But then I kinda gave up
Winter is a killer when the sun goes down
"I’m really not as stubborn as I seem,"
Said the knuckle to the concrete
But I’m too tired to go to sleep tonight
And I’m too weak to follow dreams tonight
For the first time in a long time I can say
That I want to try to get better and
Overcome each moment
In my own way
I’m not saying that I’m giving up
I’m just trying not to think as much as I used to
Cause "never" is a lonely little messed up word
Maybe I’ll get it right some day
For the first time in a long time I can say
That I want to try
I feel helpless for the most part
But I’m learning to open my eyes
And the sad truth of the matter is
I’ll never get over it
But I’m gonna try
To get better and overcome each moment
In my own way
I so want to get back on track
And I’ll do whatever it takes
Even if it kills me
Monday, April 16, 2012
I remember elementary teachers making comments like, “If the Russians don’t destroy this country, the fags will.” To this day, two decades later, I abhor the term ‘fag’ for this reason.
You see, it was a win-win scenario: all the men could screw like bunnies and kill each other off (because they were all going to die of AIDS anyways) while the rest of the world could live in peace, absent the fear of contracting the world’s most dangerous and destructive disease. To top it all off, the world would be free of the gay agenda and all of its associated propaganda.
Friday, April 13, 2012
“I breaking up with you, BYU. We’ve had this tremulous relationship of a lot of back and forth and now I’m just fed up and done. I’m sorry BYU, it’s not you. You’re great. So many people love you. But I thought that if I came here I would change and “be good”. I don’t want to be good. I want to be me. I want to be free. And you just can’t provide that freedom. So buh-bye.”
…. Or so I wish I was saying. I don’t know if I’m going to leave BYU yet. I want to. But I also want to get a degree and not feel like a total failure for dropping out. And what is funny is even if I do leave BYU I would transfer to another school so I mean I wouldn’t be completely giving up… right?
So I made the decision that I would make the decision at a later date. I have a job lined up in Provo till August and then I will decide whether I want to stay or go.
But I wanted to make a list of the things I appreciate at BYU and things that I think I would have if I let. You know a pros and cons? Plus I just like making lists :P
A prestigious degree
I wouldn’t feel like a failure for giving up
Not a bad degree/career choice
Some people ;)
… And I’m sure there is more
Being able to like a girl without freaking out about the Honor Code
More hands-on degrees
Getting to go home where I was raised
… Did I mention freedom?
I just want a break, a chance to go home for more than a few days. And to not worry every freaking second if I am doing something wrong. I just want freedom. I want to be able to tell the girl I like, that I like her, without wondering if that will get me in heaps of trouble. So BYU, you’re awesome, but you’re just not for me.
will we ever say the words we’re feeling
reach down underneath and tear down all the walls
will we ever have a happy ending
or will we forever only be pretending
how long do i fantasize
make believe that it’s still alive
imagine that i am good enough
and we can choose the ones we love
every move we make
seems like no one’s letting go
and it’s such a shame
cause if you feel the same
How am I supposed to know?
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Who wants to play Dear Abby? That’s the one you write to for advice, yeah? I have a little niece named Abby; quite the cute little kid. It’s possible that I might be just a tad biased though. But I digress: she’s not the Abby we’re talking about. Actually, we’re not talking about an Abby at all.
You’ll be happy to know that I made a friend. Or, more precisely, she made me. She’s gay. Not that that matters, except that it does. We’ve been hanging out a little bit, and it’s beginning to penetrate my thick skull that there is a very good chance that she kind of likes me…
Don’t get me wrong; a body could get used to being wanted, let me just tell you. But the thing is I think I might like her too. Which sort of presents a problem, right? Because she’s gay and I feel like it’s unfair to not be completely honest with her about how I’m the T in this situation, not gay like she thinks. I don’t really know how to broach that subject though, you know?
So that’s what’s been on my mind of late. Still not sure what I should do.
Monday, April 9, 2012
So, yesterday, he suggested we attend a strip club. As his best friend, I dutifully agreed. Next thing you know, however, we've been accosted by multiple dancers and each taken back to a dark room, covered in tacky, red crushed velvet and I'm paying for a lap dance from a topless, well-endowed girl in a g-string.
Moral of the story: Regardless of how hard the sweet stripper tried to illicit a "reaction" from me, I spent thirty dollars to let my body remind myself I'm still gay.
Sunday, April 8, 2012
One of my friends married the love of her life. Legally. That one word might not be a big deal to most people, but it is to some.
I got to see my lovely friend Lisa marry her sweetheart Sarah in Vermont (which is gorgeous btw). Marriage in Vermont is defined as between two adult persons. Don't you just love Vermont? :)
Too bad though that if Sarah and Lisa leave Vermont to live somewhere else, it's likely that their marriage won't be recognized at all anyway. But, they'll be staying, which might continue to give me excuses to visit the other side of the country. I wish I had some pictures to show everyone--gorgeous. Both wore white dresses and looked absolutely stunning.
I've been thinking a lot about marriage this weekend what with the wedding and all. Sometimes I think it'd be great to have a fancy wedding complete with punch bowls, live band, and a dance floor. It'd be great to share with everyone what Addie and I have. To laugh and dance and be with family and friends all for the purpose of celebrating our love for each other. A moment where all our loved ones can join together in seeing the amazing adventures to come in our lives. An excuse to dress up fancy and maybe even have my hair done (okay, maybe that's a little too extravagant...although I know my sister would LOVE to do my hair). We'd make vows to love each other forever even though we both already feel the love and promises won't mean anything. And we'd exchange rings together with Addie's little brother as the ring bearer and her little sister as the flowergirl.
But, even though my friends (like Lisa and Sarah) can have fancy weddings and happy celebrations, sometimes things just seem complicated. At least when it comes to making such celebrations bigger than just the two of us. What if people don't really want to celebrate with us? Maybe I worded that wrong. I know there are people who would love to celebrate. And if we ever do a big crazy-ass party you're all invited! But there's her family, for one. Marriage isn't legal, although that's not really an excuse, is it?
Even when I think about how there's not much stopping us, there's still something. Maybe it's that I don't want a traditional party like regular old heteros? Maybe I don't want the tradition, even though part of me does? Maybe I'm unsure about who we'd invite or who would come or who disappoint me the most by not coming... What do you think? Do you want a wedding--complete with white dresses (or tuxes), champagne, cake--the whole shebang? Do you want the marriage part, the legal papers? Or do you just want the family and the friends? And if you had a party, would they come? Would you be disappointed over someone NOT showing up?
RyBread Wisdom: Wedding celebrations (or celebrations of any kind, really) must always include dancing.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
My younger sister and I are polar opposites. I’m an introvert. She’s an extrovert. I tend to wear earth tones, while she wears the most colorful outfits she can find. I prefer being inconspicuous. She literally sprays herself with glitter before leaving the house.
I spent most of my life focusing on our differences. I would look at her in her bright yellow leggings and purple shoes and wonder how we were even born into the same family. And I know I bored her to tears, so she probably had similar thoughts. We just didn’t get each other at all.
Right after my son was born, she moved out of state for the summer. When she came back 3 months later, I thought my baby would be scared of her loudness. I was dead wrong. He saw her, giggled, and reached out to her. They were soul mates. As he’s grown I’ve realized that he inherited a healthy dose of his aunt’s personality.
My son and my sister adored each other, so how could I not love someone who loved my child so much? We started spending a lot of time together. It’s been nine years, and now my sister is my best friend. Somehow we were both able to let go of our old differences and allow a new relationship to form.
Now, she’s the person I go to when I need to talk, or vent, or laugh. I can be completely myself without any judgment. I laugh harder with her than with anyone else. If I’m having a really crappy day, she lets me be obnoxiously cranky and loves me anyway. I don’t know what I’d do without her friendship.
During the times that we were focused on our differences, we inflicted a lot of pain on each other. I think we sort of wanted to be friends, but we both felt so misunderstood that we didn’t know how to bridge the gap between us. We both had to get to a place where we were capable of compromise. I learned to accept all of her color and vibrancy, and even love that about her. She accepted that I’ll never be quite as adventurous as she is (among many other things we had to work through).
As I read and listen to stories from my LGBT friends, I see so much hurt caused by families. This breaks my heart. Ideally, families should be the ones who love us no matter what. But realistically, even without the issue of homosexuality, families seldom behave in an ideal way. There are layers of complication in my own family, and also in my husband’s family.
I don’t mean to trivialize the hurt or distance that some people are experiencing in their relationships. And I realize that some relationships may always be difficult. Ten years ago, if someone had told me that my sister would become my best friend, I would have laughed. But, you never know what can happen with a little (or a lot) of time. Relationships have a way of evolving.
Friday, April 6, 2012
Go to school. Get straight A’s. Date. Get Married. Have babies. Be a stay at home mom.
Repeat after me: I am Free.
Quit school. Take up cooking. Learn how to fix cars and build stuff. Listen to good music. Drink coffee. Stay out past midnight. Dance. Wear tank tops. Say “shit” when things go wrong. Kiss a girl. Travel the world. Be a surf bum. Fall in love… a lot. Possibly get married. Maybe have kids. Love yourself. Accept yourself. Think for yourself. Live for yourself…
I am FREE!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
I am feeling incredibly restless lately. More than usual. I find I often feel this way in the spring, when everything is emerging, changing, growing. But it's bad this time. It's like I'm crawling out of my skin, ready to burst. There is a change on the horizon, I can feel it. But the timing is not quite right. I can feel that too.
Anybody else? Is it just me??
I Gotta Move!!!
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
I wear glasses. That’s how you can tell I’m smart by the way, by the fact that I wear glasses. If you haven’t met me in person then you probably aren’t aware of how smart I am, not having had the change to see me in all my glasses-induced brilliance.
I wear glasses because my eyesight’s not all that good (and also so I will look smart). There were some years, though, after my eyes got bad but before I got glasses to make up for it, and I didn’t even know what I was missing. Then, glasses, and holy crap those trees’ve got leaves in detail and crud, are those individual fibers on that carpet down there? All of a sudden I could go walk around and see people with actual faces and eyes that weren’t just vague dark smudges (or buttons, but that doesn’t come up that often either way). Now I wear my glasses, and things are so much more crisp and defined, and it’s amazing what I can make out. At this point, you might think I’m marching toward a lesson on perspective or understanding or something. If that is the case, then clearly you missed the title of this post, which plainly states what my actual intention is. So I’ll just direct you to draw some lines and read between them.
Anyway, I take my glasses off, and these are still my same old eyes that blur shapes and fuzz (yep, I just verbed that noun) lines. So I never forget what it used to be like and how much better my glasses let me see. Bottom line, I don’t take my vision for granted, although I have no doubt I would without a second thought if it were up to snuff all on its own; it’s only because it falls short that I can really appreciate it as much as I should. Does that make sense?
I like that I need glasses, because this way I have a constant reminder of how amazing it is to be able to see.
So that’s my long drawn-out metaphor, which probably hasn’t turned out quite as clear as I wanted it to be. Or maybe the problem is just that you need glasses. Anyway, I’ma try and apply it now.
Something you take for granted: A body that fits with your mind.
Something I don’t have: A body that fits with my mind (but shh, don’t tell anyone; it’s a secret).
Hence: That is not something I take for granted. But it’s okay; I’m just me.
I think that’s going to be all for now, folks. My thoughts are getting tangled trying to beat each other out of my head, so I fear my point is somewhat muddled, but I’m not sure how to expound in such a way as to clarify. So we’ll just pretend that you’re supposed to take some personal application out of this and leave it at that.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Since I started writing for this blog I have gone through a whirlwind metamorphosis. In a few short weeks I have started feeling more ‘at home’ in my own skin than I have since I was a young child.
I’ve come to terms with who I am sexually, I’ve come to accept where I want my life to go, and I’ve finally begun to be ‘okay’ with being gay. It’s still a process, and I know I have much further to go, but I finally feel ready for the journey. And, honestly, I'm truly glad I have you to take along with me.
This blog has given me the opportunity to reconnect with an old friend (I love you Jo, SO much!), make some phenomenal new friends (Tiff, Ry, Dupree, Tiffany, Chris, Julie, and L. Fauset – I love all of you guys, too [and I’m sure I’ve missed a few, sorry]), and it’s allowed me to open up about some things that have burdened my soul for most of my life. I love this blog. I love its readers. And most importantly, at least perhaps for me, I love writing for it.
Writing is cathartic for me and, frankly, I think we all need a little more catharsis in our lives. We need to get our emotions and thoughts out of us to make room for whatever else life has to throw at us. So this post is a free response for me to say a few things I need to get out of my mind or off of my chest.
By the end, I hope you use the comments section to share the things you need to get out there and into the blogosphere, too.
Are you there, Gaydar? It’s me, MJ.
Anyway, as I have reconnected with friends from high school, the conversation inevitably leads to who’s recently come out as being gay (every day is Relief Society gossip day in gaydom). Some of the people I hear about surprise me but most of them do not. I guess hindsight is always 20/20. Still, it’s amazing what you can find out late at night, huddled around your old yearbooks with a Web browser open to Facebook.
Similarly, for those who know me, and have known me for along time, haven’t been particularly surprised when they found out I was gay (dammit, there goes my chances for an Oscar or Emmy). And here I thought I had everyone confuddled. Meh.
So, to respond, I think we homos all have a little gaydar in us (and maybe even a few of our adopted heteros, too). Honestly, we have all spent so much time in the closet, trying to masquerade as a shell of who we truly are, all while trying desperately to never give our deep, dark secret away, that we can see the similarities in others who MAY be going through what we once went through. There’s no surefire way of knowing but it isn’t hard to suspect…
Homophobes are USUALLY Homos
Really, my cathartic thought on this subject is that there are certain individuals who are in positions of authority in the Mormon church, (i.e. President Boyd Kenneth Packer) as well as perhaps other faiths (WestboroBaptist Church – http://www.godhatesfags.com/) who are so consumed by their own self-loathing that they turn their bitterness on others.
I can’t seem to think of any other reason.
On God, Religion, and Love
So… I'm on ‘friendship timeout’ with God. And, if we are going to start pointing fingers, it’s religion’s fault (see anything said or written by Boyd K. or spend more than three seconds at http://www.godhatesfags.com/), or talk to a gay friend living in the southern half of the Bible Belt.
Scripture teaches that God is love, that Christ was sent out of love, and that the greatest commandment is to love God, thy neighbor, and thy self (see John 15).
If God is love, and tells us to love everyone (including ourselves), why the Hell are leaders of churches across the globe preaching so much hate from the pulpit? It baffles my mind. Honestly, their prejudice and bile have become a sounding call for my religious renouncement.
I much prefer to do my best to love all of everything on this planet and surround myself with others who love me. Seems to behoove my personal well being much more than hearing how ‘second class’ I am because of my genetic predisposition.
While on this subject, I have a dear friend who lives in the deep south at the bottom of the Bible Belt who is also gay. He's in a similarly difficult situation being gay and Christian (no, his congregation doesn't describe themselves as being Baptist, or Pentecostal, or any other specific denomination - just 'Christian') in Alabama to how I feel being gay and Mormon in Utah.
His faith preaches similar messages about homosexuality as ours does. He explained to me this week that all things are for the glory of God. In all that is good and righteous, God is elevated and glorified. In all that is bad and sinful (including being gay) God is equally elevated and glorified through his destruction and condemnation and casting out of the 'bad.'
Hmmmm. Define bad, please. Because I tell you what, there are a lot of terrible, horrible straight people who do nothing but shroud their hate and ignorance in religious vespers to condemn their fellow man. The very 'neighbors' they are commanded to love. Grrr.
Sex and Stereotypes
The homosexual world is filled with stereotypes propagated by members of both the straight and the gay communities. Let me first say that physical relationships are great, I love them. But, then again, who doesn't like expressing love and sexual passion?
I need to address several thoughts on this issue, though. First let me say that we don't all look like muscle gods. We don't try to screw everything that walks, and we aren't all trolling bathrooms and back allies for sex. Some are, but most of us are not.
Also, the vast majority of us aren't pedophiles just like the vast majority of heterosexuals aren't pedophiles. Pedophilia is a sickness and there is no correlation to homosexuality. NONE. I swear if I hear one more person associate the two of them together I am going to flip. Or bestiality. For the love of god, being attracted to men (or women for lesbians) does NOT equate to being attracted to any other animal. We like humans of our same sex. Not dogs, horses, donkeys, or any other species that is not Homo Sapien.
I have more to say but that's probably sufficient for this particular post.
Born Gay, Proud by Choice
“I’m all for equal rights, but why do they have to shove it down my throat?”
I’ve often heard the expression, “you can only beat a dog so long before he starts biting back.” Have you? I don’t think I made it up, but it makes sense, right?
Well, turns out, I’m the dog. I am sick to shit of being told that I’m inferior, that people I adore are detested by God, and that my sexuality predicates my value to society. I’m done. Society, and culture, and religion, and family bigots have all told me for far too long that I am a failure for how I was born and I can’t take the beating anymore. I am going to start biting back.
There's a reason our voices ring out in support of each other. There's a reason we don't go quietly into the night. There's a reason we want to be seen as equal. Why? Because we are all human beings and we all deserve to be treated with the same degree of humanity that everyone else wants and expects. Dammit.
Thank you for reading and thank you for commenting. I love all of you and I hope you each love yourselves! We are all in this together!