Monday, April 8, 2013

Throwing Words At It

Two years later I kiss my girlfriend quickly as I head off to run an errand and I stagger at the thought that anyone could see that as morally wrong.  The thought of kissing someone else feels wrong to me, it has that weight.

Two years, and I've overcome enough of my internal homophobia that I can't understand how I became "other".  I don't feel other.  I feel just like you.

Relationships are hard.  Loving someone other than yourself is hard.  It's growing and stretching.  And an overnight getaway alone is breathtaking and beautiful.  Sleeping with her is beautiful.  And "sleeping" with her is beautiful.  It's just like it is for you.

I'm just like you.  And I'm crying again.  Because, this time, I don't know how you can push me over to a place I don't belong.  I don't understand.  How is it weird?  You have fetishized this.  I didn't.

What if they did that to your love?

(Thank you to this post for reminding me of this video.)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It's The Same, Isn't It For Me?

I'm way far into this path of mine and still at the very beginning.  But either way I'm losing patience with myself on this issue.

I can see the progress.  I can see how it took time with each and every person to let go of who I needed them to be, to let my heart heal.

Still.  It keeps coming back.  People I loved, who I looked up to, who helped me become this person strong enough to take these steps to wholeness - I see nothing else about them has changed.  But now all I can see is the ugliness.  I see other people on their journeys so like mine being fed by these same gracious people.  And there is nothing left for me now.  I don't know how to reconcile the grace with the homophobia.

I see clearly that it is their issue, their fears.  It's not about me.  And still I keep trying.  I keep trying to fix my end of it.  Really, I don't want it to keep hurting.  I want to let it go.  I want to be better than that.

I'm like a grandmother with arthritis trying to let it go.  I'll push harder today.  Today I'll try better.  Today I'll love better!  I'll come up with a stronger mantra.  "I release them from who I thought they were, I accept them for who they are."  "This is not about me."  "I approve of myself radically so that I do not need the approval of others."  "Fuck."  Nothing changes.

They helped me on this journey!  They were the impetus!  They held me up when I had to take another step, getting closer.  And then they turned their back on me when I got here.  They say this wasn't an acceptable place to go.  They take the grace I leaned on and pull it out from under me.

And I don't want  it to keep hurting me.

The closest I've gotten is Mr. Rogers.

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

Sometimes People Are Good

"Sometimes people are good
And they do just what they should.
But the very same people who are good sometimes
Are the very same people who are bad sometimes.
It's funny, but it's true.
It's the same, isn't it for me and...

Sometimes people get wet.
And their parents get upset.
But the very same people who get wet sometimes
Are the very same people who are dry sometimes.
It's funny, but it's true.
It's the same, isn't it for me and...

Sometimes people make noise
And they break each other's toys.
But the very same people who are noisy sometimes
Are the very same people who are quiet sometimes.
It's funny, but it's true.
It's the same, isn't it for me and...

Sometimes people get mad
And they feel like being bad.
But the very same people who are mad sometimes
Are the very same people who are glad sometimes.
It's funny, but it's true.
It's the same, isn't it for me and...

Sometimes people are good
And they do just what they should.
But the very same people who are good sometimes
Are the very same people who are bad sometimes.
It's funny, but it's true.
It's the same, isn't it for me...
Isn't it the same for you?"

Monday, January 7, 2013

Shame and the Me Inside

Come to find out, there's still a me that thinks "If people knew . . . "

The road I took wasn't without serious muddy pits along the way.  And, funnily enough, not all of them  are ones I would wish away.  Some of those mud baths left me far more beautiful.  And some of them still suck at my ankles and make me feel like I am less than the person I portray.

And that makes it hard to tell my story.  And holds me back.  Because I'm not ready yet to say that every step that helped me get here was good.  Some of it feels too ugly for that.  Even when I love deeply the people who were there with me.  Even when I love the beauty it brought into my life.

I am not that person now, and it's hard for me to wrap my arms around the woman who did the very best she could at the time and tell her that it was enough and she's enough.

I have to do that though.   I have to be proud of all of me.  I have to love myself like I would love anyone else.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Don't Talk To Me

Don't talk to me

If you haven't asked me

about my story

Don't talk to me about coming back to God

If you haven't listened

While I tell you

About the nights I cried and begged Him

And knowing.

If you don't know I dropped my daughter off at school to

Cross the street to the church and sit in front of the cross on my knees

And ask and cry and promise and wait

Five days a week.

Don't talk to me about restoring my marriage

If you haven't listened to my voice break

When I said I would love him more the day we divorced

Than the day we married

If you don't know about the night he said the words because I couldn't

And I sat on his lap and cried and cried.

If we didn't feel your arms around us as we stood in front of the judge

Ok.  And proud of the way we were doing things

You have no clue.

I wish you wouldn't pray for me

If you never held my hand and prayed with me

If you didn't hold me while I shook,

If you didn't watch me meet god.

If you don't know, if you never asked,

What it was like to wake up brokenhearted to be alive the morning after I overdosed

On your lies.  The morning after I chewed and swallowed the words

That said she would be better off without me

And washed them down with the poison in the way you smile

Knowing everything.

If you didn't sit in the ER with her that night

Or wait at home with him

You are not my father or my mother or my friend.

You don't belong in this beautiful creation I call life

This crazy, wonderful, hard, incredible thing I embrace, naked, with all my heart

If you haven't asked.  If you haven't listened.

I have a story to tell.

I went there.  And I came back, we all do,

With a story.  It's bigger than you imagine.

Don't talk to me.

If the only story you've heard is yours.

If you haven't asked and you don't listen.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I saw the possum before.  I liked his feet.  I think people wanted to throw rocks at him.  He was where he didn't belong.  When everyone went away he came down.

I saw him on a night.

He was dying.  And I pulled over and I blocked traffic!

And I couldn't take one more thing I couldn't fix.

I couldn't fix.

It wasn't his time to stand.

The police came and they did not protect him.  I dialed numbers like in dream and there was no one to help him. It was up to me but I couldn't.

I saw him tonight.

In the hurricane rain I had listened to all day.

Dry.  He stood nose to nose with the hunter.

And he was safe.

Monday, October 22, 2012

"O-B-E-D . . . " WTF?

"Obedience is the very best way

To show that you believe:

Doing exactly what the Lord commands,

Doing it happily.

Action is the key--do it immediately,

Joy you will receive!

Obedience is the very best way

To show that you believe."

Well that's just groovy if "the Lord" has been sending you clear messages written in the sky in three point outlines. I can't help but wonder if those three point outlines weren't actually the ones contained in editorial sermons and that was what we were supposed to be following exactly, immediately, and happily. It's a heck of a lot less abstract that way.

In my parenting, I'm kinda dropping the word "obey" from our discussion, at the very least for right now. It might be more for my frame of mind than for hers, I'm not sure yet. I just, personally, am not seeing where obedience is a useful adult skill. I working constantly on respect and gentleness. So a lot of "obeying" stuff falls into those for us. And I think a lot of the rest can be categorized as following instructions - I think that's an important adult skill for her. I want her to think independently. I think adults choose every day what rules they will obey and which ones they won't. I don't drive over 9 miles over the speed limit because it's not worth the consequences. I do indulge in buying raw milk. So this morning instead of saying, "I need you to obey." I said "I need you to follow these instructions right away." I'm not putting it out there as a parenting philosophy for everyone, I've never parented anyone other than my child, but I think this might work better for my baggage and for her need for very clear, non abstract language. And I'm not very stuck on the idea that the KJV (1611) uses the word "obey" or that my biggest parenting goal is to teach her to "obey" God.

I think, whatever God is, there is a lot more room for learning and feeling and nudging and responding and finding your "alignment with truth", and then following that - sniffing your way along, "Oops not that way, where did that track go? There it is, there it is!", than that song ever hinted.

 I don't think that song was ever about God actually. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

To My Young LBGTQ Brothers and Sisters on Spirit Day

** unable to credit this as I borrowed this from a friend who found it elsewhere - if you know who this belongs to I would love to give credit where it is due

Friday, October 12, 2012

Belief and Beauty

Belief And Beauty

Belief and beauty and truth.
(these I hold)
That the earth is rounding and thankfull -
That it is full and greeting.
Like the smell of coffee -
And the bright eyes of children running.
Change and hope and seasons and dismay -
The beauty of trees, as bear as an old man.
Long established customs like the human greeting -
Laughter and humanity and meaning and dignity
An ideal world of memory and warmth
An ideal world of hope against hope

Alan Johnstone

Used with permission from Ethan Johnstone
Photography and Tattoo by JJ Ohlinger of Relentless Tattoo

Thursday, October 11, 2012

In Case You Missed The Announcement I'm Gay, "It Gets Better" Is For You, Melissa Etheridge Lyrics, And Other Thoughts On National Coming Out Day.

I'm gay.  I'm queer.  I'm (gasp!) a lesbian, though that's the description with which I am least comfortable.   It says less, I think, about who I am.  In case you missed that announcement, I don't want to leave anybody in the dark.  It IS National Coming Out Day, after all.  And there is a lot to be said for coming out, both for personal wholeness and for the bigger picture - for saying out loud "THIS is what gay (queer, bisexual, transgendered . . . ) looks like.  I'm not a political position.  I'm not a theory.  This is me."

I can't imagine National Coming Out Day though ever not being, for me, about the people who aren't out.

Two years ago today I sent tons of love to my brave beautiful sister.  And I tried to stand up as an ally and a supporter, and inside I ached, physically ached, to be able to say "Me too!".

One year ago I posted a picture on Facebook of myself wearing my bright pink "OUT" hoodie with the tag "NCO Day 2011".  I couldn't catch my breath as I hit "Post".  I purposely did it just before I left the house for the evening so that I couldn't monitor the reactions in real time.  My heart pounded while I was away.  And, ironically, almost no one caught it.  In fact I don't think anyone who didn't already know learned that I was gay that day.  I mean, come on, it's a blurry picture and "NCO" is pretty vague.

Today my Facebook cover photo is the first picture I publicly shared of me kissing a woman - the woman I adore.   (And it includes three gorgeous dogs and the little girl who lights up my life.  Just sayin'.)   This year I get to write this blog.  This year my friends list is different, and my "irl" friend list is even more different.  And I am so flipping grateful to be here.

Because I don't think brave people come out and people who don't have the guts to live honestly stay in the closet.  I believe I am blessed to be at a place and live in a world where I have everything I need to BE ABLE to live life authentically.  I believe as Melissa Etheridge sings "every day I lived in hell I chose to stay", but I also believe that the moment that I had the love, the strength, the people, the hope to come out -- that was the day I started that journey.  And it took courage and strength and tears and all I had,  it took so much of me that I can't even comprehend it all yet, but there also was no other choice.  The day everything was in a place I could do nothing BUT begin the baby steps I had to take.

And too many places in the world, in the South, and in my dear closeted friend's homes, it's not safe to come out.  There are people starving for authenticity who can't do it yet.  So that's what National Coming Out Day means to me.  It's the day I remember them, I remember me, and I want to send them, and me,  all the love in the world.  I want to tell them this:  I watched those "It Gets Better" videos.  I saw the pictures.  And I WISHED they applied to me.  I thought they were for the people who were brave enough to come out - who were on that journey and were struggling.  And they are for them.  But they were also for me.  They were for the girl who chose to spend one more day in hell because she couldn't face rejection, and loss of friends, and loss of support from the people she leaned on the hardest, the girl who wasn't ready yet to lose everything she knew because she didn't yet know that, if she let go of the cliff edge she was hanging from, the ground was only a few feet away.   I didn't know that these two things were both true -- It was going to hurt more before it got better, AND living the way I needed to right then, hiding that huge chunk of me, was already the hardest thing I'd ever have to do.

And I live in the US of A.  I can't wrap my mind around the plight of my glbt family around the world who have so much more to lose.

So that's my post.  I'm out.  I'm gay.  To my LGBTQ family who aren't out - oh heavens, I love you!  I remember how this day hurt.  It's ok.  Be where you are.  And when everything you need is in place, you'll walk out into this gorgeous sunny world and all the love you need will be here for you.  All that love is already wrapped around you right now where you are.  I hope you feel it today.

(Photograph by Austin Robert Photography)