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Summer Detour

So, over the week of July 4th we took a drive through New Jersey in what seems to be a new tradition. — Though, putting it in writing will probably put an end to it.

This lady, lounging atop a hill, greeted us as we entered the park.

This lady, lounging atop a hill, greeted us as we entered the park.

We chose the hottest day of the year to tour our neighbor state. It was in the upper 90s and humid.

Seward Johnson's "Forever Marilyn" (2011)

Seward Johnson’s “Forever Marilyn” (2011)

If you live in the…

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What About Protection For LGBT Families??

#MarriageEquality What About Protection For #LGBT Families?? We’ve come a long way, baby. #PrideMonth

*Note: this piece has been sitting in my drafts folder for almost a year. Since then the U.S. Supreme Court has deemed The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional and several more states have struck down their anti-same sex marriage laws. A lot has changed since I wrote it, but the sentiment remains. I’ve witnessed the damage that happens to gay couples because they didn’t have the legal protections afforded to their heterosexual counterparts. This isn’t about hurting straight couples. This is about protecting LGBT couples. Nothing more.

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Anyone who has lived through the height of the AIDS crisis understands why Same Sex Marriage is necessary.

I’ve witnessed countless gay men lose everything as the families of their deceased partners swooped in like vultures, devouring everything in sight. It reminded me of the peasants picking through Scrooge’s things in the Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol. These family members weren’t close to the deceased. In most cases they had disowned their gay son. Some were so fearful of AIDS that they refused to come visit their son or brother in the hospital, leaving the survivor to care for his sick partner alone. — Strange. Where was their fear of HIV/AIDS when they were picking through the dead man’s belongings?

It pissed me off to no end seeing these cowards walk in after the fact and claim property simply because they were family. Where was their “Family Values” when their relative was sick??

One woman had the arrogance to tell a friend of mine that his 15 year relationship with her brother was nothing more than playing house. “My husband and I have been married for ten years,” she said. “You two may have lived together, but it was not love.” WHAT?? Was she out of her friggin mind??

One of my friends challenged his deceased partner’s family. The father, who was a lawyer, told his son’s partner, “I have infinite resources. You will go bankrupt if you try to challenge me.” My friend’s case never made it to court. He was forced to move less than a year later.

Those are just two examples of the complete disregard for and discrimination of LGBT families. Did you know it is legal to fire someone simply because he or she is Gay in 29 states? Twenty-Nine States! That’s the reason ENDA is so important. AND… Gays and Lesbians can be DENIED housing in another 29 states. What the hell!

“But what about the children?”

Yeah. Conservatives love to hold children hostage over every issue they don’t approve of. For some reason, they think legalizing Same-Sex Marriage will somehow interfere with the raising of their children. I don’t understand the resistance to educating children, in an age appropriate way, about the world around them. Besides, what of the Gay and Lesbian couples who are raising children? Where is the protection for their families?

If the foundation or your marriage so fragile that it would crumble under the weight of another couple’s happiness, I feel sorry for you.

Here’s the thing. Same Sex Marriage is a conservative idea. It’s personal liberty. It’s “Family Values”

Fifteen years ago, when the idea of Same-Sex Marriage was in it’s infancy, I may have settled for Civil Unions, but Civil Unions are NOT equal to Marriage. A Marriage grants you 1,138 federal rights, protections and responsibilities   A Civil Union does not.

Depending on which state you live, it will cost you between $50 and $100 for a Marriage license. In order to acquire some of (but not all) those rights an LGBT couple must hire a lawyer and spend hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars. Why do I need to make a lawyer rich just to enjoy the same rights as any two strangers can get just because they said, “I Do” at a Las Vegas Drive-Thru wedding chapel?

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It heartens me to see that we have accomplished so much since I first drafted this post. At this moment nineteen states and the District of Columbia have given the ‘go ahead’ to same sex marriage. We still have a long way to go, but I cannot overlook the accomplishments of just this last year. LGBTs and their allies have much to be proud of.

Happy Pride Month Everybody!

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adignorantium:

#ThrowbackThursday Okay, here it is. My Senior Class Photo!
I look at this and all I see is forehead. :b
I won’t tell you what year it was but MTV was still playing music videos. ;)

Because cleveraspie and latefines asked, here it is.
The year was 1984. Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, and JJ Jackson introduced us the the word “V-Jay” — which doesn’t mean what I thought it did. :\
Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Eurythmics, and Human League had videos in heavy rotation on MTV. Fluorescent colors were a fashion statement. — unless you wore one of those red and black leather jackets made popular by Michael Jackson.
That frilly shirt/tux combo was a prop that the photographer clipped over our clothes to make it look like we were on our way to prom. It smelled musty. The girls wore a piece of grey velvet pinned to look like they were wearing evening wear. My friend Tracy told me it itched.
I hated school. I was fine with the classes and teachers. It was the social BS that came with it that I could have done without. By my junior year I had had enough. I just said to hell with it. I came out to a few friends, and later to my family. Once I stopped giving a shit about what other people thought. I was a much happier person. Every now and then that nagging voice of insecurity returns, but it’s important to remind myself that everyone, even the most popular among us, feels insecure from time to time. An old friend once told me, “Be true to yourself and happiness will follow.” She was right.

adignorantium:

#ThrowbackThursday Okay, here it is. My Senior Class Photo!

I look at this and all I see is forehead. :b

I won’t tell you what year it was but MTV was still playing music videos. ;)

Because cleveraspie and latefines asked, here it is.

The year was 1984. Martha Quinn, Nina Blackwood, and JJ Jackson introduced us the the word “V-Jay” — which doesn’t mean what I thought it did. :\

Duran Duran, Cyndi Lauper, Eurythmics, and Human League had videos in heavy rotation on MTV. Fluorescent colors were a fashion statement. — unless you wore one of those red and black leather jackets made popular by Michael Jackson.

That frilly shirt/tux combo was a prop that the photographer clipped over our clothes to make it look like we were on our way to prom. It smelled musty. The girls wore a piece of grey velvet pinned to look like they were wearing evening wear. My friend Tracy told me it itched.

I hated school. I was fine with the classes and teachers. It was the social BS that came with it that I could have done without. By my junior year I had had enough. I just said to hell with it. I came out to a few friends, and later to my family. Once I stopped giving a shit about what other people thought. I was a much happier person. Every now and then that nagging voice of insecurity returns, but it’s important to remind myself that everyone, even the most popular among us, feels insecure from time to time. An old friend once told me, “Be true to yourself and happiness will follow.” She was right.

sizvideos:

Penn and Teller on Vaccinations - Video

The thing that parents who don’t vaccinate their children forget is the danger their children pose to others. A sick child can infect someone with a weakened immune system. People with cancer, HIV, and even the elderly can become fatally ill because of YOUR CHILD!

You can bet your ass that if your child was responsible for the death of someone I love, there would be legal consequences.

gaywrites:

Happy Pride Month! Check here for a small sampling of Pride events taking place all over the world, and stay tuned all month for more Pride photos, recaps and more! 

Pride Month: Day One

Let’s be visible, folks!

  • The current visibility of the transgendered members of our community is a positive thing that needs to be encouraged and promoted. Let’s not forget that it was mostly transgendered people of color who stood their ground at the Stonewall riots, which this month commemorates.