Monthly Archives: June 2012

A Prideful Sunday

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Yesterday was a beautiful day spent in Seattle celebrating some of the people closest to me at the annual PRIDE parade! The weather had been terrible the entire week prior but once Sunday rolled along the clouds parted and we were allowed a few hours of sunshine to laugh and dance and be in the presence of thousands of people supporting the gay community! I have been the past several years and while it has always been an amazing time this year seemed just a little bit more important in the scheme of things given the political events that have been happening very recently. But all in all it was a day filled with familiar traditions and relaxed fun.

The only thing I can say was different about this year as opposed to the last few was that while there are always a few protesters scattered here and there they are usually peaceful and just stand there and hold their stupid signs outside of the parade, but this year they apparently grew a larger set of balls and stood at the entrance of the Seattle center waiting for everyone to pour in. While in previous years I cant remember the protesters ever  even speaking, and the festival goers leaving them alone for the most part, this year there was hate being spewed at each other from both sides. I am in no way defending the protesters or saying what they stand for is acceptable, however they spewed their hate verbally when they were provoked by festival goers spewing their own brand of hate in their direction. I’m also not saying that the way they dealt with the protesters was wrong, everyone handles things differently but in my opinion, by those who are gay or gay supporters spewing hateful words and even throwing things and threatening physical harm they are doing nothing to help their community. If we are disapproving of the way they convey their hate for the gay community, and their views on keeping marriage between only a man and a woman, and if we are promoting Pride as a festival of love and freedom then we are doing nothing but sinking to their level of hatred while using their tactics and in my opinion that is very wrong.

Of course not everyone handled the confrontation the same way there were plenty of Pride patrons peacefully standing close to the protestors with their own signs. I saw quite a few people attempting a calm debates which I think is pretty much useless but more power to them for expressing their displeasure with the actions of those who wish to treat them like second class citizens. I remember looking around at the few young white male protestors and catching eyes with one who couldn’t have been over the age of 18. His father was clearly standing across from him and the boy had such a look of genuine fear in his eyes, his life was being threatened by hundreds of people as he stood there and I just felt for him. Maybe he didn’t want to be there but was forced to, maybe he was gay himself, and maybe he was exactly who he claimed to be but either way it was clear that his actions were not being performed by free will and choice.

All in all the day was wonderful and everyone got a renewed sense of how amazing the city we live in is. There are so many people around the country that have not got to experience such a huge celebration of pride and freedom in their own cities. Hopefully one day that will change and 40 years from now we will be looking back on this attack of human rights with a sigh of relief.

{TSF}

Time well spent

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Things I have accomplished in the 11 weeks I have been unemployed:

-I have watched every episode of Storage Wars, Lockup, Real housewives and Millionaire matchmaker. And I have watched the daytime Roseanne marathons for so many days in a row the episodes have looped around and I am now watching repeat repeats.

-I finished the entire last season of House which ended with snot pouring out of my nose hysterically crying at 2am.

-I have put an enormous amount of time and effort into growing my hair including but not limited to massaging my scalp, using horse shampoo, and talking in a delicate voice to my hair follicles encouraging them to grow like the big grown up hair follicles that they are. So far my mane is noticeably thicker, longer and healthier but I haven’t seen much growth in my tail but it has only been a couple of weeks…

-Smoked my weight in Marijuana (per day)

-Thinking a lot about losing weight and working out although I’m not quite yet ready to move the process along. I’m going to need to put a lot more time in the thinking department before I’m ready for that.

-Spent a whooooole lot of time on the internet, Hey look! A Kitten!

Other then that my days have been filled with keeping the house picked up, smoking and soaking up what little sun we’ve had on the balcony, and sex. A lot of sex. Of course all of this was done after I met the mandatory guidelines for job search as per the requirements listed on page 14 in the booklet for Washington state. All in all I’d say I’ve made fantastic use of the exceptional amounts of free time I have had. In other news Seattle PRIDE is this weekend, fingers crossed for good weather!

{TSF}

Best friends and quiet summer days

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This picture was taken two years ago this summer. Like all of my pictures I look at this and can remember that exact moment that it was taken. I was with my best friend Aaron, the same best friend who had opened his home to me when I had no where else to go. The same best friend that I met through my ex boyfriend and was so concerned that the end of my relationship meant the end of my friendship with someone who meant so much to me, but that never happened. The guy that I was seeing immediately after my breakup had taken me to this hidden spot along the green river just a couple of weeks before I took Aaron there.   This day was a much needed relief from the daily agony that I was dealing with in every aspect of my life. Aaron and I hiked to this spot, claimed two rocks and sat in the silence listening only to the rushing water going on right under our feet. We read for a while and chain smoked talking about life, having one of those conversations that only we could have. I took a lot of pictures that day and this is the only one of the scenery as I typically do not like nature photography.

I haven’t seen Aaron in about a year but we talk almost every day. We have been through so much together and I will always hold him extremely close to my heart. Aaron was a person who saw the real me hidden beneath the lost woman I was trying to be, he gently tried to pull me out of my shell before I ever even knew that I was walking around with said shell wrapped tightly around my neck. He was there for me, he pushed me out of my comfort zone so many times but in such a gentle way that I went with it. A year or two before this picture was taken he was beaten by a group of men while he was walking home from a club on capitol hill. They beat him to the ground spewing every homophobic slur you can think of and only ran away when a couple walked by and scared them off. He went to the hospital and called the next morning telling us what happened, we drove up to Seattle to be with him immediately.  I will never forget the look in his eyes behind the split lip, swollen shut eye and cuts all over. I cried while I cleaned him up and re bandaged him and he cried when he saw I was.

We may not get to see each other very often but I he will always been one of my best friends and I will always be there for him no matter where I am or what I am doing. Aaron was my rock for so many years when I was lost and alone and I have been there for him in the same way. I can say with full confidence that he is a person who helped me turn in to the woman that I am today and I will forever love and cherish him for that.

{TSF}

Split families and graduations

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A couple of weeks ago Michael invited me to his sisters high school graduation. This would be the first time I would be meeting his dad and his extended family and I was understandably, incredibly nervous. But I sucked it up and I decided to make the best of it and try not to let my fears of failure overcome the situation. In the end it was a wonderful experience. I have never felt so welcomed by such a warm family in my life. The experience I had with my last parent-in-laws was not a good one to say the least and I was so nervous that this would just be the same old thing replaying all over again. His family is dominated by strong, intelligent and warm women who remind me a lot of my own mother. I was so relieved by the night was over but it was easy not to dwell on it as my heart was on something else entirely.

Michael’s parents have been divorced for quite awhile. Michael was in high school by the time they divorced but his sister was still very young. Immediately following the split his parents moved to different states and his father spent years of silence living his own life with the woman he left his mother for. One of the things I’ll always remember Michael saying about his dad was one day early in our relationship when talking about family, he said “my dad is a good person, just a very selfish person.” After years of distance for one reason or another his dad started coming around more, calling more often, visiting a couple of times a year and trying all around to be more involved. Michael was receptive to this and slowly they began to mend their relationship, Michael’s sister on the other hand has been hesitant to do the same. Being a woman who has gone through the same thing with my own father just years older I understand completely why she wouldn’t be too receptive to his efforts. However, this being her high school graduation he flew up to watch her walk.

The first thing I saw (lets just call her K) do when she walked up to the giant group of family in front of her all cheering and clapping was put a huge smile on her face and walk directly toward her dad. They hugged for a long time, she came close to losing it but did a good job of keeping it together. I watched them and I felt a deep sadness that I could not have had the same thing. This is a large family with a long history with this man who is their father but instead of separation and coldness they put smiles on their faces and welcomed him to join the celebration for their daughter. I’m not saying everything was rainbows and butterflies but every single person stayed quiet and polite, he even took a picture with K’s mom and him together. I think it showed hugely what their character is and I was so happy that K got to have her whole family together for this occasion. There were no pieces missing, every one banned together to make it as special of a graduation as they could. But through my happiness for her was a pain in my heart that I’ve felt for a long time.

My dad left just a few months before my graduation. I spent my whole life with an intact family, a father who was the best father I could have asked for and in an instant all of that was ripped from me a long with countless other things. I tried my hardest not to let what happened effect my school work and it didn’t, I graduated with good grades. My mom asked me if I wanted him to be in the stands at my graduation. I thought about this for a long time. On one hand I was so broken apart emotionally I hated him, I was angrier then I had ever been in my life, I was crushed that the father I had my entire life was gone and worst of all he was gone and didn’t want me to follow him. On the other hand, he had been an active participant in my schooling since kindergarten, usually more active then my mother. I didn’t want to think back years later and remember that he was not able to watch me walk, I didn’t want it to be my call that I didn’t let him come. So I gave my mother the ticket and I told her to give it to him, but that I didn’t want to know if he was there or not. I didn’t want to think about him on my day even though I knew that my mind would be on nothing else.

The day of my graduation was very difficult for me. I woke up in the morning with so much pain in my heart and I went to bed that night with even more. I broke down before we even left for the ceremony, yelling at my mother and bursting into tears. I remember walking down the street, trying to calm myself like I used to always do not knowing why I snapped on my mother but knowing that it really had nothing to do with her. Normally this kind of situation would have caused even more yelling and the entire day would have been ruined and I would be blamed for it, but for the first time, maybe ever my mom allowed me to have my breakdown and then talked to me calmly. She told me she knew this was hard for me and that she was sorry, she helped me calm down and we continued with the day. It is maybe the only major free pass she had ever given me and I will never forget that.

After the graduation practice all of the graduating class was standing out in front of the amphitheater waiting for the families to show up. Before long, families and friends started flooding in to take their seats and I looked for my small group consisting of my mom, sister and her family, my boyfriend and a friend. I didn’t see them right away but who I did see navigating through the crowd was my father, program in hand, pants neatly ironed. I saw him and my heart threw out an aching jolt and I turned away, hiding myself behind a crowd standing near by. That was the only time I saw him that day, I listened for his voice in the crowd as my name was called but never remember hearing it. That next time I saw him was about a year later when my niece was in the hospital having a kidney removed. He also said nothing to me that day.

My senior year of high school had to be one of the worst years of my life but I will always remember the effort my mom put into making my graduation as special as she could. There was an absence there that couldn’t be mended by any of us and we were all still learning how to live without him, but the day was full of every one else that loved me at that time. I am so glad that K got to have the memories of her father incorporated into the rest of her family for her graduation. No matter how she feels about him right now, one day she will look back and be forever grateful that she allowed him to come. I am to this day grateful that my father came, even if he made himself invisible like I requested just knowing he was in the audience means a lot to me. That will probably be the last one of my major life events that he will ever be apart of. I can’t describe the pain that brings me but I am glad that he at least did that even if it was more for him then for me.

{TSF}

The two BF’s (Bestfriends and Boyfriends

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My roommate and I moved last weekend. We have been together for a year and consider each other soul roommates. We have been best friends since we were fourteen but the experience that we have shared living together has made her my family for life. It is of course a big adjustment going from a decent sized house to a two bedroom apartment but we chose a good apartment complex and we are very happy here. The lease we signed was for eleven months which brings me to the next bullet point of…

Was it the right decision to sign an eleven month lease? Things between Michael and I are through the roof amazing and what if we felt we wanted to make a further commitment before that time is up? One of the things we have had many conversations about is when is it a good time to move in together? We have been officially dating for eight months but steadily seeing each other for a year before that. My love for him has exceeded anything that I ever thought was possible and the potential for this to continue to grow more serious is there. I love him, but one thing that I am extremely hesitant about is moving in with someone. What I am about to say would probably really confuse most any one that knows me as I am about the most nonreligious person on this planet but I really feel like I do not want to move in with someone until I am married, or at least until an engagement. This is based on quite a few factors a few of them being:

-I lived with my ex boyfriend for three years and we had previously been together for four before (For, Four, Before oh my!) moving in together and I can say with 100% confidence that he would not have ever married me. If we had not broken up when we did for the reasons we did I would have ended up leaving him because he would not marry me. He got comfortable, had all the benefits of a wife, why would he run right out and get a ring? I really really hate to say it but I fully believe in why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free? I didn’t put that in quotations or site any one as I’m fairly certain I just made that saying entirely up.

-When said ex boyfriend and I broke up it felt as much as I can imagine a divorce would feel like. Besides court fees, hearings and divorce attorney’s what we went through was every bit of a divorce. This month will actually be two years since we have broken up and I am mostly over it however remembering back to the time of complete chaos, virtually being without a home for two months and every single thing that followed still makes my stomach turn and a tear want to escape my eye. It was painful, one of the most painful things I have ever been through and I want to do all I can to protect my heart from the same beating it has took before.The pain almost killed me once and I don’t ever want to go through that again.

-I used to think that it was better to live with a person before you are married to see if you are even compatible living together before you make it permanent, but now having lived through it I have to say I no longer believe that. When you live with a person before you marry them you think that you are actively taking steps to prevent a terrible occurrence such as a divorce because living together can be terminated at mostly any time but you have no idea the pain and the anger and the completely life changing event that this takes on you. When you find the person you want to marry, the person who makes you feel like no one else ever has, the person that you can bare your soul to you’ll know if you can be compatible living together without ever having to give it a test run first.

-I love living with my roommate. I know for a lot of friends moving in together would be the death of any well meaning friendship but it did nothing but bring us closer, make us happier and never want to leave each other. Which would be fine… if neither one of us ever planned on marrying or in her case living with someone as she is not able to get married quite yet in our state but hopefully that will change soon. The reason I signed such a long lease and felt confident in that decision was for her, for us. To not only give myself more time before I possibly commit my life to someone for the long term but to also give her and I at least that, 11 more months. I don’t know what the future has in store as far as this goes but we would prefer to be living on a compound with both of our spouses and children in the future, now we just have to convince the rest of the world that this is socially acceptable and beneficial.

Basically the only arguments I have on the side of living together before marriage is that I am not a structured, rule following person and I believe when it comes to love you need to lead with your heart, live in the moment and do what you know will make you happy. Build strong loving memories that you will either look back on in the arms of each other twenty years from now with pride or look back on from the next chapter that was written in your book with warmness  for something that once brought you so much happiness.

Neither way is wrong and I wish that I had all the right answers to all the questions that would ensure we make this last but I don’t, he doesn’t. So we are left to take it as it comes, act in the moment and put love above anything else. I used to think that love wasn’t enough and really, it isn’t a lot of the time. Not when people use it to hide behind, use love like a shield to protect them from all wrong doing simply because they think that should be enough. No, love is not enough but love is everything and without it your relationship is nothing. You can make changes and work hard to make another person happy, to fulfill their needs but you cannot change anything if the premise of love is no where to be seen.