Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Last Day of Gay Pride Month

Today is the last day of gay pride. I have decided to put all the things that I had on the blog into this one post - there is the picture from Kelly's blog (Rambling Along in Life), the quotes from That's So Gay and a few other things I had posted. It was a good month with lots of celebrations all over the world and some very positive and powerful messages. I enjoyed reading other blogs as people celebrated Gay Pride. Here's hoping that next year will bring more for us to celebrate.

We have come a long way,
but still have a long way to go.
Thanks to all those who have paved the way,
Some even gave their lives...
Keep their fight alive...
We won't forget!!

These quotes are taken from That's So Gay
"Soldiers who are not afraid of guns, bombs, capture, torture or death say they are afraid of homosexuals. Clearly we should not be used as soldiers; we should be used as weapons". ~Letter to the editor, The Advocate

"More people have been slaughtered in the name of religion than for any other single reason. That, my friends, that is true perversion."
~ Harvey Milk

"The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision".
~Lynn Lavner

"Maybe what a gay icon is, is a person who is rooted for – in other words, cheered on by people who feel different"
~ Liza Minelli

"Family need not be defined merely as those with whom you share blood but for those for whom you would give your blood"
~ Nathan Lane

"Love is the big booming beat which covers up the noise of hate"
~ Margaret Cho

"I believe that we, the lgbt community, need to continue to dialogue among ourselves about the issues and concerns that effect us. We are often banded together so often against a common foe, we forget to take the time to talk to each other about our lives and feelings as gay people. We are not all the same, we do not all have the same goals and desires and we do not always agree on everything just because we all share a common sexuality or struggle"
~ Sean Breen

"There's no life without humour. It can make the wonderful moments of life truly glorious, and it can make tragic moments bearable"
~ Rufus Wainwright

"The idea that your parents influence your sexual orientationis ridiculous. Because if it were true, I'd have my mother's taste in men, and i've never dated a guy who falls asleep in his chair during Jeopardy"
~ Bob Smith

"We all came into this world naked. The rest is all drag"
~ RuPaul

"Parents have to understand: if your kid isn't you, don't blame the kid"
~ Chastity Bono

"Tolerance and acceptance are not enough for me-it's celebration I'm aiming for"
~ Kevyn Aucoin

"Sexually progressive cultures gave us mathematics, literature, philosophy, civilization and the rest, while sexually restrictive cultures gave us the Dark Ages and the Holocaust"
~Alan Moore

"On the surface, civil unions are a politically safe middle ground, an attempt to highlight the artificial divide between secular unions and the religious rite of marriage. But the fact is that marriage is a civil institution just as much as it is a religious one, and therefore religious objections to same-sex marriage shouldn't be an obstacle. We allow atheists to marry and we do not refer to a wedding performed by a secular judge or justice of the peace as a 'civil union'."
~ William Jelani Cobb

"...there was something reassuring about watching my best friends joking around. It was what we did, how we engaged with each other. Silly but witty chit-chat about inane things. It's funny how meaningful inane things can be- comforting, easy things like family. And they were my family."
~ Tommy's Tale (Alan Cumming)

"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination"
~ Oscar Wilde

"For flavor, instant sex will never supersede the stuff you have to peel and cook"
~ Quentin Crisp

"I was raised around heterosexuals, as all heterosexuals are, that's where us gay people come from...you heterosexuals."
~ Ellen DeGeneres

"I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don't make that mistake yourself. Life's too damn short"
~Armistead Maupin

"No government has the right to tell its citizens when or whom to love. the only queer people are those who don't love anybody"
~ Rita Mae Brown

"They are preserving the sanctity of marriage, so that two gay men who've been together for twenty-five years can't get married, but a guy can still get drunk in Vegas and marry a hooker at the Elvis chapel! The sanctity of marriage is saved!"
~ Lea DeLaria

"I have come to fully understand that tolerance is only a fraction better than intolerance but a world away from acceptance"
~ CawfeeMate

I'm Proud!

You can read my other posts related to Gay Pride by clicking on the picture below.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Prayers For Bobby

Last night I watched the movie Prayers For Bobby. It was a Lifetime movie and as you can probably guess it was pretty sentimental. I related a lot to the movie, not so much with my parents but with just the general attitude of people about gays and lesbians and I definitely related to Bobby and his feelings. One part of the movie really got to me - that was when Mary made a speech to the Walnut City Council. Below is a video of the speech from the movie and the transcript.

" 'Homosexuality is a sin. Homosexuals are doomed to spend eternity in hell. If they wanted to change, they could be healed of their evil ways. If they would turn away from temptation, they could be normal again. If only they would try and try harder if it doesn't work. '

These are all of the things I said to my son Bobby when I found out he was gay. When he told me he was homosexual, my world fell apart. I did everything I could to cure him of his sickness.

Eight months ago, my son jumped off a bridge and killed himself. I deeply regret my lack of knowledge of gay and lesbian people. I see that everything that I was taught and told was bigotry and dehumanizing slander. If I had investigated beyond what I was told, if I had just listened to my son when he poured his heart out to me, I would not be standing here today with you filled with regret.

I believe that God was pleased with Bobby's kind and loving spirit. In God's eyes, kindness and love is what's it's all about. I didn't know that each time that I echoed eternal damnation for gay people, each time I referred to Bobby as sick and perverted and a danger to our children, his self-esteem and his sense of worth were being destroyed. Finally, his spirit broke beyond repair.

It was not God's will that Bobby climbed over the side of a freeway overpass and jumped directly into the path of an 18 wheel truck which killed him instantly. Bobby's death was the direct result of his parents ignorance and fear of the word gay.

He wanted to be a writer. His hopes and dreams should not have been taken from him but they were. There are children like Bobby sitting in your congregations.

Unknown to you, they will be listening as you echo 'Amen' and that will soon silence their prayers. Their prayers to God for understanding and acceptance and for your love. But your hatred and fear and ignorance of the word 'gay' will silence those prayers.

So, before you echo 'Amen' in your home and place of worship, think. Think and remember that a child is listening."

Mary Griffiths

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Something to Ponder

I found this cartoon and I thought it spoke volumes even though it is such a simple drawing. I am not trying to say anything in particular but I thought it was something to ponder.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

An Orchid and Many Poppies

I have a few orchids and I have trouble getting them to bloom a second time. I attended a talk at Tropic of Capricorn earlier this year and learned some incredible information about taking care of my plants. Last year one of my orchids bloomed (this was only the second time, the first was when I bought it) and I was so excited - even though I have no idea what I did to get it to bloom. For about a month I watched as my Phalaenopsis sprouted a stalk. I made sure to follow everything I learned to help this plant to bloom again. Today I was rewarded - when I got home from work I had a beautiful bloom awaiting me. I hope the reason it bloomed was because I did all the right things and if that is true I hope it will bloom again next year.
My Oriental Poppies on the other hand have been incredible. I have had this plant for about eight years now and each year it grows more and I get more blooms. I really don't do anything special to it - I treat it like every other plant in the garden. It must like the location because it is one of the hardiest plants in the garden. This year I have had 11 blooms so far, and I have 5 more yet to come. I am hoping that this plant continues to grow and bloom for years to come.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Little Lesson on Some Gay Symbols

To celebrate gay pride I decided to do a post about some of the common symbols used in the gay community. I have to tell you it was a lesson for me as well. I learned about symbols I never knew about and learned more about others. So here are a few of those symbols and at the end of the post there will be links for you to find out more if you are interested.

The Lambda
The lower case greek letter was adopted by the Gay Activist Alliance to help members of the gay community identify each other. No one is really sure what the symbol means or meant.

The Rainbow Flag
This is probably the most widely used and recognized of all the symbols of the gay pride movement. Red for life; Orange for healing; Yellow for the sun; Green for nature; Blue for art; Violet for spirit. There are many variations of the flag used to represent individual groups within the gay community.

The Pink Triangle
The pink triangle is a symbol taken directly from the Nazi concentration camps. It was used to identify homosexual prisoners. There are other versions of the triangle to represent individual groups.

The Red Ribbon
The red ribbon is used to recognize and honor friends and colleagues who have died or are dying of AIDS. It was inspired by the yellow ribbon used during the Gulf War. The red color was chosen to represent blood since HIV and AIDS are blood related diseases.

These are only a few of the symbols. You can read and learn more at Lambda GLBT Community Services and Stonewall Society.

Detached Retina . . . One Year Later

Today is one year to the day that my retina detached. I was a little worried because last year June 4th was on a Thursday and I worked that day and I worked today. So I kept thinking all day that everything is the same as last year and I sure as hell hope my retina doesn't detach again this year. Well, so far so good! Even though a year has passed I still remember how I felt when I covered my right eye and realized that I couldn't see out of my left. The anxiety and fear are still vivid. But I have a lot to be thankful about. After four surgeries and countless hours in a face down position; after being very still and inactive for a full summer and after numerous doctor visits I do have vision in my left eye. In February I saw my regular eye doctor and had my glasses updated and in March I saw my retina specialist and things were looking pretty good. I do still have some blurriness in the left eye and if I cover my right eye it is still a little difficult to see things clearly. The good news is that I can walk and not bump into things with just my left eye - there is still some problems with details. But I continue to notice small improvements as time goes by. Dr. Wyant told me that patients sometimes notice improvement even a year later. So I am optimistic about things. My eye pretty much feels normal - no itching or watering and it isn't red anymore. I also have better depth perception and that makes getting around easier. All in all things pretty darn good. I am just keeping my fingers crossed that this doesn't happen again.

Detached Retina (Update #12)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Am What I Am

Continuing with the gay pride thing I found a video of I Am What I Am on YouTube. I have always liked this song and it really speaks volumes for the way a lot of gay people feel. I decided to include this version with John Barrowman in this post - this is the first time I have heard him sing the song and I really like it.

I also took the time today to see when Santa Fe will be celebrating pride. This year they will be having Pride on the Railyard Plaza. There are quite a few activities going on starting on Saturday, June 20th and going through Sunday, June 28th. They have also changed the route for the parade. The parade will be on Saturday, June 27th and will start on Don Gaspar and continue down Paseo de Peralta to the railyard. Click on the picture to view a map. I attended Pride in Santa Fe when I first moved here but that was quite a few years ago. I probably won't attend all of the events but I will definitely attend some and will be at the railyard on June 27th. I am interested in seeing the "Gay Art Show". They haven't announced the location yet but I am keeping my eyes posted.

I have been looking at other blogs and reading about gay pride. One of the blogs is planning on posting a gay related quote a day. You can find them at That's So Gay. Or you can look at the top of my sidebar - I decided to make a list of them there. I also noticed that Idle Eyes and A Dormy is also blogging about gay pride. I don't know why all of a sudden I am interested in following and blogging about gay pride but I have a sneaking suspision that it has a lot to do with marriage equaility and the lack of justice in California. Anyway, I plan to blog a little throughout the month if you care to read more.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A Time to Celebrate

I would not call myself an activist, although I do have my opinions (which I voice occasionally, much to the dismay of friends and family) and I don't usually post on this blog about my sexuality, but considering that June is Gay Pride Month I thought I would write a few things. I was reading a blog this morning and the gentleman posted the picture you see at the top of this blog - this was Kelly from Rambling Along In Life and it got me to thinking.

I remember as a kid always feeling different. It wasn't until my teenage years that I realized why I felt that way. When all of the boys were talking about girls it didn't interest me and I felt alienated. Of course I made every effort to fit in - I was so scared someone would find out about me. I would listen to people make fun of gays, they would call them names and even threaten to kill them if they ever met one. I even remember my dad talking about a singer on TV - he said "They should never let that little fag sing on TV". And twice during my high school years I was beaten up in the locker room because someone suspected I was gay. Through all of this I kept my feelings to myself. In college I met a man and was able to talk freely about who I was and what it all meant. I was still very secretive with friends and family because I wasn't sure how they would react. I eventually transferred colleges and the one I transferred to was smaller and there were very few men. It was a woman's university and they allowed men into their allied health fields and graduate programs (there were probably around 100 men enrolled when I attended). This did not encourage me to come out. The few men on campus were the same as the ones I grew up with - they made fun of gays and called them every derogatory name they could think of - so I kept it all to myself, well at least at school. I did manage to meet some gay men away from campus and get to examine myself better.

It wasn't until I was doing my internships and getting ready to graduate from Physical Therapy school that I realized that what I was doing was just plain stupid. I was living my life the way I thought those around me wanted me to. I wasn't happy. And then I met the most wonderful man - Thomas. There was an immediate connection and I knew I couldn't let this opportunity go by just because I was scared. It didn't take us long to know we wanted to be together and even though I had planned to take a job in Louisiana I decided to take the biggest chance of my life and move to New Mexico to see what would happen. That was twenty years ago and we are still together - I guess I made the right choice - right! Not long after Thomas and I got together I knew I needed to tell my family and friends - I wasn't about to hide the fact that I loved Thomas and that we were a couple. So I slowly started telling people and each time I came out it made the next time that much easier. I apparently have some very good friends and a great family because for the most part they were all very accepting. There was one incidence where a friend informed me she was a born again Christian and couldn't be friends with me since we wouldn't be together in the after life. Surprisingly this didn't bother me - after reading her six page letter I tossed it into the fireplace and moved on. I always thought I would be devastated if one of my friends or family rejected me because of my sexuality, but I wasn't and I realized this woman wasn't a real friend and if she couldn't support me in my life then I didn't need her in my life.

Thomas and I officially got married on October 11, 2004 in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Even though the rest of the country doesn't recognize it we still feel very strongly about that ceremony. We shared it with our closest friends and family and one day I hope that it will be legal anywhere in the United States. I know we are still dealing with Defense of Marriage Acts, constitutional amendments in a lot of states banning gay marriage and Prop 8 in California but I have faith that marriage equality will be here during my lifetime. There are so many people out there fighting and I can't let myself think that it is all in vain. I believe that it will make a difference.

Kelly's blog also talked about Stonewall. The events that took place that night really helped gay rights. Those men and women were so brave to take on the police and stand up for who they were. Thomas and I had the opportunity to visit Stonewall on a trip to New York. We sat and had a drink and talked about what it must have been like to have the police barge in and question you just because you were out with friends in a gay bar. I really admire those people for paving the way for Thomas and I to have such an open relationship. Stonewall took place on June 28, 1969 - the events were possibly flamed by the passing of Judy Garland. She passed away on June 22, 1969 and was buried on June 27, 1969. A gay icon was gone and it seemed that a lot of gay men were mourning and they had had enough.