Thursday, June 27, 2013

Where My Gays At?

Forgive the grammar, I’m channeling my inner Kathy Griffin.

What a day yesterday was!  I watched the decisions come in on SCOTUS Blog and got all choked up alone in my cubicle.  Surely there would be a public celebration later in the day and sure enough, there was.  We had a rally and parade (admittedly the world’s shortest) starting at the Federal Courthouse in Norfolk.  The local paper reported that there were over 100 people there.  Which means it probably skewed closer to 100.  

100 gay people and straight allies.  Subtract out the straight allies and we’re at less than 100 gay people.

In Norfolk, VA.  A military town.  

You can throw a stone at a Sunday softball game and hit more than 100 lesbians.

Where was everyone??

I can glance at my Facebook friends and count off at least42 gay people.  Almost half the number of people who attended the rally.  

None of them were there.  

I realize it may have been short notice and/or people may have been unable to attend for whatever reason.  But all 42?  

Where was everyone?

You are walking billboards for Equality.  You have to come out to events like this.  Your closest friends, family, and coworkers may know youre gay, but what about complete strangers?  Or maybe you’re out and proud all the time.  But it’s a numbers game, ladies and gentlemen.  We need to be seen in public at times like this in greater numbers.  

We are a minority, but we are mighty.  We WILL NOT stand for discrimination any longer.  We must celebrate together and fight together and particularly in Virginia, DEMAND OUR RIGHTS.

PLEASE, get involved.  Many of you may be doing things behind the scenes and that’s great, of course.  I need to get more involved myself.  But exposure is paramount.  We need to be seen so that we will not be ignored.  The next time you hear of a rally, please come.  

And in the meantime, I’ll try to get the organizers to schedule beer and food trucks.  That should help persuade everyone.  ;)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Scrambled blog & cheese

My girlfriend’s father is getting married this Saturday – three days after the Supreme Court rules on two potentially huge marriage equality cases. I’ve got to be honest – if we lose, that ceremony is going to be particularly difficult to sit through. Especially since my girlfriend and I are among the sanest and most committed and healthiest of the attendees. And yet, as of right now, and god-forbid Saturday, we can’t get married. Oh, we can get “married,” but not with all the legal door prizes afforded the straights.

I was thinking about the wedding earlier and decided I’d tell my girlfriend that if they have the tragic bouquet toss, that we should each do everything we can to catch it. And then I thought about what a demeaning tradition that is. Do women still compete with each other to get married? Is catching the bouquet and Mr. Right still such a desperate goal for women? It’s difficult for me to appreciate. And then I wondered if the majority of men even really want to get married. The whole thing still seems so skewed towards women. You don’t see movies about men desperately searching for and catching the right woman.

And then it occurred to me….we created all of this nonsense. We zeroed in on the biology of human reproduction and dictated the rest. If we had just recognized that different people exist and have every right to exist and can form unions any way they please instead of declaring at some point that only a man and woman could have a marriage, none of this would have to be fixed. If fifteen consenting adults want to have a binding contract sharing their money, home, and names, who gives a f*ck? Are we not adults who can figure this stuff out for ourselves? If those same fifteen people want to raise children and the children's welfare is healthy, who gives a f*ck? The Federal government offers incentives for people to marry in an effort to build stability in the family unit. Not for nothing, the divorce statistics would indicate otherwise.

Similarly, if we had treated people fairly from the beginning, there'd be no need for the Voting Rights Act (which took a hit today).  SCOTUS struck down a provision of the Voting Rights Act claiming it's no longer necessary because the states that had discriminatory practices in the past have increased the voter diversity -- because of the Voting Rights Act!  It's akin to manic depressives not taking their medication anymore when they're manic because they believe they're happy and no longer depressed...  And then, they crash into a deeper depression because they're off their meds.

And then there's dear Paula Deen.  Anne Rice posted this to her Facebook today:


Let's look beyond the wholly inappropriate use of "crucifixion" and "lynch mob," and focus on the fact that this woman has admittedly used the N-word, doesn't think it's that bad if it isn't said in a "mean" way (please see I'm Not Thinking Bad Thoughts), is very comfortable with jokes centering on Jewish and black people, and wished she could have what amounts to house slaves at her brother's wedding!

And we're supposed to feel sorry for her?  SHE DID THIS.  The people who came before her did this.  Once again, if ALL people historically had been treated fairly and as human beings, none of this would be happening. 

SCOTUS, you've dropped the ball on the Voting Rights Act and the white chick who wouldn't have gotten accepted into that college anyway.  Please pull yourselves together and DO THE RIGHT THING TOMORROW.

Leave marriage to the church. They can base it on whatever book they want.

My girlfriend and I want to get married and start a family. We’re both productive members of society. We more than hold our own in the brains and ethics department. Isn’t that a good thing? We’ll call it a civil union if that’s what it takes. The religions can trademark Marriage.

These boundaries and bindings were created out of thin air. They are discriminatory.

Enough already.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Rest in peace, Neighbor

Just checking in to report that, apparently, I’m the biggest a-hole on the planet. How do I know this? Because of this exchange yesterday, outside my house:

“Hello! Excuse me?” came from a woman across the street.

[Oh, here we go…]

“Yes. Hi,” as I continued toward my car.

“Hi! My name’s Rachel…,” expecting me to tell her mine. I didn’t. I’m not sure why. “Is that your house? Do you live there?”

[I don’t want to freely admit I’m almost never home. What if she or a friend breaks in?]

“I just…are you going to rent your house? It’s awfully cute.”

“Thanks.  That's the plan.  I’m getting it fixed up with the hope of renting it soon.” I squeaked out, uncomfortably. What was this, twenty questions?

“I thought you might be. I’ve seen the contractors and the lawn people, but didn’t see you much. My mother owns this house,” as she points behind her. “She just passed. My mother just passed.”

And this is what it took to knock me out of my standoffishness. “I’m so sorry.” And I was. Truly.

“Thank you. She had lung cancer and had surgery, but there were complications and everything just went downhill kind of fast.”

[Why didn’t I know she had lung cancer? Why didn’t I ever say Hello to her or introduce myself? She was so proud in that picture…]

“I’m so sorry. I remember the article when she bought the house……”

“Yeah...  I guess I’ll just look for a rental sign or something?”

“OK,” realizing I should give her my number or take hers, but still not willing to make that overture.  “I’m so sorry about your mom,” I concede. 


I am the biggest a-hole on the planet. Why am I so private when it comes to my neighbors? I don’t want to be in their business and I don’t want them in mine.  I've been this way for as long as I can remember. 

I remember the article about her. I had planned on going over to introduce myself. But does anyone do that anymore? No one welcomed me to the neighborhood. The only reason I even know one neighbor is because a friend worked with her and her son befriended me when he was younger. Another neighbor across the street tormented me regularly with his leaf blower and his wife only spoke to me once. She complained that my dog was defecating in my front yard and then warned me that children were cutting through my back yard. She leaned in and whispered that they were, “black,” as if that would horrify me and seemingly forgetting that she, too, was black.

I always remembered the article about her. I wanted to paint my front door red but didn’t want to take away from hers. I thought it would be rude since I knew how much it meant to her.

Beyond the contents of the article, I didn’t know much about her. She had a gray Fiat that she used to drive around the house so that she could pull forward out of her driveway. At the height of the recession, she had a grizzled man living in a trailer in her backyard, but that didn’t last long. I think she may have gotten a small dog recently.

I am a terrible neighbor.

Here’s the article. She was so proud. And she reminded me a little bit of my grandmother, Grace, in the first photo. I’m sorry, Mrs. Spear. I’ll do better.

70-year-old proves age isn't a factor in purchasing a first home