Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What's all the Hooplah about?

(picture: "Strong Man" by Jing Jing Tsong)

It's a small town; everyone 'knows' everyone and

their business to start with. (Or, at least, they think
they do, which is even more insidious!)

But they smile to your face (sometimes) and stab you
in the back. Red-necks think two-facedness and inability
to communicate are resume' highlights; they're proud
of it.

So, everyone knows I'm homosexual, anyway.

And I'm not hiding who I am for anyone else's comfort level
anyway. (Which can make life difficult, but knowing up
front who's homophobic--or too scared to be friends with
you, despite their own differing sexuality--is a good litmus
test for who's worth hanging out with.)

But anyone who doesn't already know me can tell the minute
I open my mouth. Because as 'butch' as I may appear to some,
there are 'tells' here in the South. And the astute gossip/
worry-wart has already checked out your ring finger, your
gait, your hairstyle, your clothes, and your hand movements
long before they ever address you! It is JUST that important
to these sick bastards what is going on with everyone else!

People call me "Ma'am" all the time, unintentionally. They
are always embarrassed by having done it--or their kids having
done it--because they see it as a problem that they let it slip
how they really feel about me/gays in general.

(Which is to say that they equate being gay with not being a
real man, but being a woman. That is how people interpret it
around here. But it let's you know that they are not oblivious,
even though they avoid talking about it to your face (since
there is a stigma behind being open about who you are.)

That right there--knowing, or even SUSPECTING-- that I am
a homosexual--is grounds for people to hate my guts, think I
ought not be working for/representing "their" government,
want me dead, want me unemployed, want me shut up, etc.

The Census caving in to this ignorance is legitimizing the
ignorance. It allows it, rationalizes it, and justifies it. It's always
easier to roll over and let injustice happen. Much easier than it
is to do the right thing.

People were uncomfortable? Really? And? How did the
idea that someone is different than they are destroy their
world? If people are so uniformly incapable of existing in a
world that doesn't mirror their image or needs perfectly, then
they had problems going before little Robbie showed up.

Most people are MAD because the Census is a cluster-fug
boondoggle to the Nth degree.
They're mad at ANYONE coming on their property

They're mad at the government right now, anyway.
They're mad about the economy.
They're mad about oil spills.
They're mad about hot weather.
They're mad about being asked to answer questions they
already answered and someone incompetently lost.

They're mad about divorces and bunions and STDs and
disobedient children.
But nobody reallllllly cares that someone is gay. It's just
another scapegoat...a dog to kick because they can't wrap
their hands around their desired target. I'm easy.

Let's blow through the smokescreen and discuss what's
really happening here in this web of lies and discrimination.

I will tell that the Emperor has no clothes, no matter how
many numb nuts want to maintain the pretense that he's
really wearing the most beautiful adornments ever crafted.

It's just the way I'm built;
Just like my wonderful sexuality, God granted me the inability
to suffer BULLSHIT lightly.

I have no propensity for building a deception.
I am a Truth Seeker, Truth Speaker, Artifice Buster, and
Bullshit Detector.

I do not depend on righteous action from the world;
I know where righteousness lay.....and I will see justice done,
come what may.


It's probably the most common response.

"WHY would you choose to put a bunch of
stickers on your vehicle?"

Visibility brings recognition, which brings
thought, which brings dialogue. Hopefully
then there can be understanding, compassion
and acceptance.

But, I also saw a need to reach out to the
largest segment of the gay and lesbian
population; closeted middle America.

Most gay men and women are not on the
streets protesting and being outspoken.
The vast majority live very quiet lives,
keeping to themselves and some never
even acting on their desires.

They have spouses and families and are
terrified of someone finding out about
who they are on the inside. The old
numbers of gays being about 10% of the
population were very conservative
estimates, in my book.

People attracted to the same sex are in
every family, every town, every state.

Every race, every age, every economic
status. Every political party (as these
last months have shown) and every religion.

Sexuality has nothing to do with spirituality
or drugs or mental illness, as some myths
have promoted (and are still strong in
small towns like Donalsonville.)

If people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual,
questioning, confused, trans, queer feel
that they are the only one who feels the
way that they do, they are likely to
suffer from depression, loneliness, and
isolation. People need to feel connected.
They need to know that someone else
understands what they feel and who they

There is not one particular way to live.

If your sexuality is 'different' from what
the mainstream calls normal, you can live
any kind of life you want.

Many men could not exist without the
stability and love of their homes they have
built. They may choose not to act on their
emotions or desires, but having someone to
relate to their feelings is crucial to good
mental health. Knowing they are not alone
is a powerful medicine.

You can live as a gay couple but keep to
yourself. You can live as a single man and
drive to the big city to find companionship.

There are those who live double lives.
Some are flamboyant, some are butch, some
are just regular folks. There isn't a litmus
test for determining.

The point is not "How to figure out who's gay
and who isn't?" The point is "Why does
everybody feel the need to be up in everyone
else's business?"

So, confusing as it may be, I push the
envelope so that the idea of people's normal
expressions of sexuality are less threatening.

The more people know, the less they fear (in time.)

Having someone live outside the lines gives
a little more leeway to everyone else. If the
boundaries are pushed, minds expand. The
crazy emotions and animosity is right there, under
the surface anyway.

I'm not necessarily looking to be understood.

I'm just filling the role God gave me.
Like Dr. King said..."Men fear what they do not

I refuse to keep the silence... or my designated
seat at the back of the bus.


I Stand Up for what I believe

Not because I expect others to applaud
or follow suit
or even understand.

I Stand Up so those who cannot
will know they are Not alone.

I Stand Tall for those in hiding.

I Stand Strong for those that have passed.

I Stand Vigilant so that injustice
is at least unveiled.

I Speak Up to reveal the lack of understanding.
Whatever path you are on,
you are my Brothers and Sisters...
and I Stand Proud for your right to live
Whatever you Choose.

I Speak Up so that the Silent Oppression
loses its power
and the shackles of shame and fear
will fall away.

The Danger of Positive Imagery: May 2010

So, to combat the anti-gay stance of most all of
small, rural, Southwest Georgia residents, God
inspired me to be courageous and create a
mobile message board.

A mural on my van comprised of positive images
and quotes to help inspire people and create hope
in an area that manifests little of either.

The positive pictures were selected to be neutral
enough to not illicit violence, but 'explicit' enough to
make clear that gay and lesbian people exist and
that it's more than okay.

(I'll get into statistics later as to the number of
gays and lesbians who run away, commit suicide,
hate themselves every day, live a lie, suffer from
depression and so forth as a result of people's
intolerance and deep-seated hatred.)

So I did my van up, used the images that had been
brought into my life, wrote up the appropriate phrases
to provide ALL people with some strength and hope,
and made my Inspiration Mobile. (Dubbed by the natives,
naturally, as the Fag Mobile. Feel the love. I wonder
why I felt I needed to do something?)

Then a few weeks later the Census called. Finally.
(Cuz no one knew when or if this operation was going to
happen.) After getting over the initial manufactured
nonsense they threw at me to keep me from continuing on
with them, I showed up to training every day in my van.
Everyone saw it, everyone knew about it, everyone
talked about it. It was not a secret.

Now, here's the rub, and where the bigots ran into
some trouble.
They couldn't fire me outright based on being gay.
They couldn't fire me outright based on non-Census
related politics.
They had regulations on the books about wearing
CLOTHING with logos and slogans on them, but
nothing prepared for a car mural. Hadn't been thought

They DID have regulations against POLITICAL bumper
stickers, but here's the rub;
1) They aren't stickers and they aren't just on my bumper!

2) They aren't 'political'; there's nothing being voted on now
and they're just images, not slogans; the 2 possibly 'political'
quotes/sayings were about gay marriage and the ACLU
(interestingly enough!) and I covered them with double-faced
tape when I went out, although someone would remove them
when I stopped in a public area, generally.

(Not to mention, when I had removed my bumper
stickers during the last operation, my crew leader told me
I hadn't needed to do that, that no one was worried about it,
and that no one else was doing it. (more on that later.))

3) I know for a fact that there were Census workers who
kept their Rebel flag vanity plates on their cars (let's get real;
you can't GET more divisive than a fugging Confederate flag!)
and those who kept their "CHOOSE LIFE"/anti-abortion license
plates on their cars, so let's get real about what this is; singling
out, not equal mandate.

The images in question? That threatened to disrupt the
fabric of society and bring a small community to the brink
of destruction?

+ Wedding picture of Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi
+ Picture of Harvey Milk smiling
+ Picture of a black man's hand holding a white man's hand
(which probably engendered more rage than the sexuality!)
+ Picture of a gay man and lesbian woman at a pride march
with a sign saying "Queer and Happy." (That's another
"No-No." Being queer and miserable--and closeted--is
perfectly acceptable to these people. But do NOT try and
live your life well. It will arouse wrath.)

So, you can see why people were losing their minds.....
and calling the Census to complain.

Now, as mentioned, they couldn't do anything about it
under the existing laws.
They surely didn't want to draw attention by addressing it
openly and appearing (accurately enough) to be inappropriately
harassing me or limiting my free speech or being uncool and hence the deception.

Ah, "How do you solve a problem like Robert?"
Cover-up, lies, deceit, fear, denial, duplicity and wrongful
termination.....It is the government, after all!
All to be met with an ongoing heap of all kinds of unwanted
attention to a bass-ackwards organization. I will not lie down...
I will not go quietly. God does not hate gays; God hates people
intolerant of gays. God gave me the voice and creativity and
passion and inspiration to speak up for Him, and I will not
back down from a righteous fight.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Raising My Rainbow" (author unknown)

Raising My Rainbow is written by the mother of a slightly effeminate, possibly gay, totally fabulous son.

Is it a boy or a girl? What if it’s gay?

The same two questions I heard repeatedly during both of my pregnancies. It seemed like everyone who knew me couldn’t resist asking — though they would sometimes try, hesitating mere seconds in an attempt to seem casual.

The first question is understandable and predictable. But, why the second question?

Because my brother is gay.

And, I love him. And, he’s my best friend. And, I accept everything about him, no questions asked. He’s out as out can be and proud as proud can be. I wouldn’t want him to live any other way. He is a huge part of my life, which I would never hide or ask to play small.

Living in Republican, conservative Orange County, Calif., all of this is very new and different and hard for friends to understand. For many, my brother is the first gay person they have ever met.

My answer to the first question was always the same. I have two boys.

My answer to the second question also never wavered, though it did start to sound completely canned by the third trimester of each pregnancy.

And, my answer was: If God’s giving out gay babies, we’ll take them.

Why? Because I really didn’t, and don’t, trust them to just anyone. Better my home and my heart than those of my neighbors who still say “that’s so gay” when they really mean “that’s so lame.” Better with me than with my Mormon friends who are trying desperately to adopt a child into their family to be raised strictly in the church. Better under my care than that of the homophobic police officer acquaintance who thinks homosexuality is contagious and tied to pedophilia. Better me than a lot people. It would be my privilege and honor to raise a gay child.

So I thought. So I still think. But, raising a possibly-gay child is tough as hell.

I don’t know if my youngest son, who is three, is gay. But if I had to belly up to the table and place my bet right this moment, I’d be at least 75 percent sure that he is. Truth is, it breaks my heart. Not for any reason other than the pain he will have to endure in life.

I read somewhere that having a child is like having your heart walking around exposed outside of your body. It’s true. I have these two little boys that I’m trying to raise into men and they’re skipping through life, flinging my exposed heart here and there with every adventure. I’m vulnerable as hell when all I want to do is protect them. It seems impossible. Add to that that my baby is slightly effeminate and possibly gay — something deemed to be worthy of only teasing and bullying by so many. And it’s just about too much for this mom to take. I’m not alone.

Dad is a recovering bully who fears that karma won’t be a bitch to himself, but to his lookalike son. It’s enough to make a girl need a permanent prescription for Xanax or martinis, or both.

My brother, Uncle Uncle, soothes us. He assures us that gay people are some of the strongest people in our society. They build a thick skin and learn early to become chameleons. They are smart and clever people of character. All of that makes me feel better. They also love their mothers and are excellent sounding boards for style decisions. I breathe a sigh of relief and hope.

I haven’t been chosen to be my son’s mother to change him. That’s not my job. My job is to love him. To love him and clap and cheer for him. To be his biggest fan, no matter what.

This week he was pretending to be on an “exploring hike” with his buddies and insisted that he was wearing imaginary high heels with rainbow glitter. Hooray! He wanted to brush and braid my hair for 30 minutes every night, hoping that it would grow like Rapunzel’s. Bravo! He wanted to try on a wrap dress in Macy’s and have me tell him that he looked pretty. Beautiful!

I’m not here to change him. I’m just here to love him.

The above was an article I received from the fantastic Susan from PFLAG Tallahassee!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lady gaga's new song....

A sample of lyrics
from the forthcoming "Born This Way"
(premiering at The Grammys!)

Thanks, LG!