I Suppose It’s Not Over…

A little over a month ago, I thought I was done writing this blog. I naively assumed that all would be right and that, by some miracle, prejudice would go away as soon as the SCOTUS made Marriage Equality the law. I figured that people would just realize that it was time to go on with their lives and find some other way to feel victimized. I was wrong.

*sigh*

So, what happened? It seems that the people that were silently “anti” decided to speak. The churches, not every church, that specialize in castigating others felt a need to become more vocal. The politicians that need to pander to a part of their constituency that need to feel like victims protested. That state level politicians found it necessary to try to work around the Obergfell ruling. That individuals that need to fear continued with the slippery slope arguments.

So, no, I don’t get to stop. Gonna try it again…

One of the most basic of human needs is to feel safe. One of the ways we feel that is by touching an other human. Both on a physical and emotional level we need contact. We are not designed to be alone. We need an outlet and a companion. To deny that is to deny the most basic of human rights.

It is the same basic desire and need, physical and emotional contact. The gender doesn’t matter. The need for contact does. Physical touch is important. Some mental outlet and conversation keeps us sane. Companionship gives us a sense of safety.

I love my wife. We hug a lot. If I pass her end of the couch, I kiss her hand and give it a caress. Listening to her sleep keeps my nightmares at bay. I NEED my wife as much as I need air, water, food, or shelter. Why would I want to deny anyone the same thing. Again, the gender is immaterial. The contact is the important part.

Miller, “my Bible says it’s an abomination”. The Bible says 60 odd things are “abomination”…

Miller, “St Paul said…” He said a bunch of things. Among them, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself”

Jesus said,  “‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” For me, from the perspective of my faith, the words of Jesus are the trump. If there appears to be a conflict between passages, Jesus wins. Period. 

*****

So lets veer. Suppose that my arguments have not swayed you.

What would you have someone that is LBGT do? Would you have them live without contact?  Be celibate to fit your notions?  Would you have them pretend to be straight and live a lie? Expecting them to make the best of a situation that is physically and emotionally wrong for them? To live a relationship that holds no security?

The former is cruel. Prisoners in solitary go insane. We NEED contact. There are a rare few humans that can live as hermits. There are some that can live in society as individuals without a partner. Those are not the usual human condition.

The latter is a lie. That’s worse. I’d rather have a friend that lives the truth than a friend that lives a life that is a lie, pretending to fit in. I know people that have lived trying to fit in…and finally stopped. I have huge respect for the courage that took, knowing how hard it was going to be for them to finally tell people. Then the relief to them knowing that the lies have stopped.

I am an odd individual. I am not the right partner for everyone. I have no illusions on that point. Of course, everyone is the right person for the right person. My Sweety is a good fit…for me and, probably, no one else. To tell someone that they should deny themselves the chance to find their “right person” because they do not fit our notion of what is “right” is wrong. Period.

For Z or Kelly, the “right person” is a woman. So what? How does that affect anyone else? What great societal change happens when the “right woman” for a woman is a woman? It doesn’t change their ability as a parent. It doesn’t commit a crime. All it does is make some people uncomfortable…and? There’s no right to be protected from “I don’t want to see that”. Sorry, your discomfort with someone else’s relationship is not a valid reason for them to change.

*****

I get it. I really do. In my youth, I was taught that being gay was all the different wrongs I listed. I used all the rude phrases and slurs. I was insulting and rude. I believed that I held the moral high ground. I believed that being gay was a choice and a lifestyle. I was WRONG.

In my 50’s I’m a different person. My attitude towards other’s lives has changed. I realize that it is not my place to dictate to adults how they live their lives. I’ve come to learn that there are good people…and bad that are LBGT. Just like being straight gives no lock on morality.

I’ve thought and pondered and mused and decided that the only difference between being gay and straight is the act of intercourse. That the needs for contact and security are the same.

Yes, I freely admit that some Christians will say I can not be because I refuse to consign someone to Hell or question their faith because they are gay. So be it. The first person I go to for Christian Prayer is Z. She is a Christian. She says she is and I believe her. She prays for me and I for her. She is also a Lesbian. I do not believe that God is going to send her to Hell. If that makes someone think I’m a Heretic, I’ll gladly wear that title. In fact, that is how I describe my faith, Heretic Christian.

*sigh*

My bias is shaped by the people I know. Without trying to say, “look at how proud I am of myself because my friends are diverse”, I have a group of friends that do not fit the notions of “correct” that I was raised with. Some are gay. Some are Pagan. Some are gay and Pagan. So what? The point is that morality is not the exclusive province of middle-class, straight, white, Christians. Z is a Christian…and a Patriot…and a Lesbian…and one of the finest humans I know. Kelly is a Pagan…and a Patriot…and a Lesbian…and also one of the finest humans I know.

Those Ladies have shaped my bias. They are not the only ones but, here, in this context, they are ones that count. Parts of their lives conform to what I used to think a human should be. Others don’t. I admit, again, I used to dehumanize people that were gay. To my benefit, I no longer do. If I did, they would not be in my life. That would be my loss, not theirs.

The qualities of their character and their outspoken willingness to be themselves no matter what anyone else thinks. Their willingness to be examples here by giving me permission to talk about them. Their independence and ability to not judge ME based on what demographic I fit or my past.  Their loyalty and compassion. Those qualities have worth.

For me, Z was the final straw. She accepts me. She once told me, “I love you, MDIII, warts and all”. Why then should I be any different toward her? Z and Kelly are complete human beings. Their wants desires and needs are no different than mine or yours. Their humanity is no greater…or less than my own. To deny them the safety and comfort of the love that fits them, to denigrate them because that love does not fit our own comfort, does not make them less, it diminishes us.

It becomes a matter of us. Do we think that we are greater or have more worth because we are unwilling to admit that our path is not everyone’s path? That we, as fallible humans, have a lock on correctness and righteousness? The Bible says “there is none righteous, not even one”.

That’s what it ends at. We have to figure out a way to accept “different” because EVERY HUMAN is different. We have to learn that, unless we are willing to deny our own, we have to admit the humanity and dignity of all the humans. Sure, this is an attempt to persuade people to see Z and Kelly and the LBGT Community as human and having intrinsic worth. It is also, on a broader scope, an attempt to open our eyes to the idea that we are ALL human. We have to learn that lesson. We have no choice.

Comments, Trolls, Civility and Middle-ground

I was reading comments sections on the internet…again…ugh…*deep breath*…

The internet is great. It can allow us to find information about any topic we might ever possibly dream up. We can even invent new things to become dreams. It is a tool that lets us form friendships that last for years and bonds with people we may never see face to face. Because of the internet I met the Lady that became my wife. It is a way for people to have a voice. To share views and ideas. To be able to stand up for people and concepts.

The internet is also one of the ugliest things that has ever been invented. Like I said at the top, I was reading “comments”. I should have been not surprised. I’m drawn to them like a moth to a flame. I know I’m gonna get stressed and burned yet, I still go back…

*sigh*

Civility seems to be optional. People that would never walk up to a stranger and say “f**k you, you deserve to die because you think that” have no problem doing it on the net. We don’t even think twice about it. We just type away and hit “enter” as if we are just talking to ourselves. We have decided that what we have to say really doesn’t hurt someone “out there” and even if it did, we’ll never see them so it’s ok. Normally calm and polite folk say things that they would NEVER say face to face. We castigate, condemn, and berate without a moment’s hesitation. We accuse those that disagree with us of lacking intelligence, humanity, and morality. We make assumptions about strangers and project them not knowing any more about that person than the handful of words we are responding to…and we do it without a second thought. Just hit “enter” and you’ve struck a blow for whatever cause you think you might have.

In some ways, as much as it pains me to say this, I’d rather see commentators be like the Westboro Baptist loonies. At least, they are willing to put their physical selves on the line. They are willing to take their views out with their real faces and be berated in return. They don’t hide behind a false profile and a user name. I entirely disagree with their views and the places they protest but, respect their willingness to not hide. Does that make sense?

I’ve never attempted to hide my bias. I write for and about a friend named Z. It is always personal when I write these. She is always close to the surface of my thoughts even when I’m not writing because I’m either thinking about what comes next or something triggers a thought. I’ve become more educated because I write, meaning I read both pro and anti LBGT sites. I read both the far left and far right political views. Ugh…

Again, my bias shows, I am pro-Z. In this context, that means pro-LBGT. In a greater context, it means that I want the best for her life in every possible way. I want her to be free from insult for her political views. I want her faith to be treated with dignity. I want her seen as the complete human she is and not just one aspect of that. I’ve used this space and her to try to make that point. She allows and encourages me to do that.

So, why does that last bit fit? Because we forget. We think that we have some right to be rude and uncaring. I have to hit backspace so often I think I might break the key. I read comments and it seems that people go looking for reasons to be a troll or, just as bad, on a site that supports their view, to vilify and demonize the other side. When we say “all (fill in the blank) are (insult here)” we are guilty of what we protest. Yeah, I’m guilty of that, too. It’s why I try to say “I” or “we”.

How do we fix the problem? We try to be civil. We try to understand that lives are more than a sound bite. That thoughts…even fearful and repugnant thoughts have some reason behind them. We try reasoning with people and not shouting or insulting them. We ask questions with a mind to gain insight and understanding. We don’t personalize insults or assume they’re directed at us. We presume ignorance, not stupidity, so we might educate and explain our own views. We realize that, if we can change and evolve our thoughts, given a chance, others can, too.

It is my weakness. I am guilty of what I’m talking about. Not the attacks or being a troll, on screen, as much as taking insults to the LBGT community to  be directed specifically at Z. I take comments that say “ALL Christians” to be directed at me. *sigh* Even when I realize the commenter has no clue I exist. I become defensive and stressed over the words of strangers. My keyboard takes a beating and then deletes the post I’m about to make…

Please don’t take this post to mean that I’m saying all of any group is either good or bad. There are some pure souls in any group…except for “hate groups”. There are some truly rotten people in every group, too. Mostly, though, groups are made of imperfect humans that have an inkling of a thought and it seems to fit their view. Sometimes that inkling is more well found. Sometimes it’s just what they want to believe. The pure souls don’t need to be changed. The rotten can not. The ones in the middle are the ones to teach. We, the middle people, the ones trying to muddle through and live in peace can be educated…if we are not alienated by the people that want to change our views.

I hope this made sense. I wish reason would break out. It’d be nice to be able to not be so defensive. I’d love it if I could get past the point where I take every comment that is “anti-(insert friend or cherished belief)” quite so personally. Maybe my answer is to just not read comments and insulate myself…nah…I will keep reading comments and maybe try to take my own advice. Besides, blocking, banning, hiding, and removing give such a sense of power. *grins*

Straight or Gay?

Fired for What?

Suppose this conversation happened to you…”I grilled some steaks for my wife. They were great” “Cool, glad you enjoyed your day off”

Now suppose it went like this…”I grilled some steaks for my wife. They were great” “You’re fired”

How would you react to that? In Texas, the law is that anyone has the right to be married. It also says that a married person may be fired for being married…assuming they’re LBGT.

I understand that some people will never understand that they have the right to think as they will and should never act on those thoughts.

I understand that some that share my faith don’t think being LBGT is “normal”. I get that they think that Religious Freedom should equal the right to discriminate. That they think it is fine to address someone as “abomination” or “sinner” or “Offense Against God” directly to their face. I get that they think that someone should be fired for being gay. That it’s perfectly fine to deny housing. I get it. I will never agree with it.

What you do inside your church is protected. Who you associate with is protected. How you think is protected. Those are no excuse for how you act outside of those confines. Decency, simple decency, dictates that we treat others with dignity and respect…even if we believe that they are indecent. Fairness and equality demand that we share the same rights we expect with “all citizens”. It isn’t “extra rights”. It’s “equal rights”. It is, do we make sure that we want all citizens treated with the same rights or are we so hypocritical as to believe that we are different and others are somehow less than us.

I worry for Z. I’d love it if she could be a Texan but, *she won’t, her roots are far away* I’d never encourage it. We, Texas, has this misguided belief that we are strengthening ourselves by making others weaker. *sigh* I don’t get that at all. How do we gain strength by telling some of our citizens that they have no worth. How do we gain common ground by constantly pointing out the differences? Where is our own worth when, to build ourselves up, we take away from others?

I’m glad there’s a “Gay Pride” movement. I’m glad that there’s a sense of community there. I’m glad because some of us straight folks seem to think that we are better. I’m glad that someone besides me is willing to say, “There’s nothing wrong with you being gay. I’m glad that you are. I love you just the way God created you”. That way Z knows that not all of us are jerks.

*editorial, I know there are a bunch more than me. I know all straight people are NOT hypocritical jerks. If you’re not one, apologies. Not trying to paint with a generalization. Also, not all of us Christ Followers, are anti-LBGT*

*sigh*

You know, it’d be a silly d**n thing to get fired for grilling for your wife. When it can not happen, I’ll quit writing. Till then, I’m gonna keep on…and hope for a wife for Z.

 

I Gotta Quit Reading the News

Gack…I’ve been reading the news again. It seems that some people just don’t listen to reason…or read it.

Because I’m a firm believer in “due diligence” I ask Z stuff. Sometimes it leads to an odd set of questions. Luckily for me, she’s patient and understands the reasons I ask. It’s not to be embarrassing. It’s to be able to say, here, “I asked”. For what it’s worth, the questions are NEVER about sex or stuff that’s none of my business.

*sigh*

So…to all the “slippery slope” True believers, the only slippery slope is the one you tripped on. No, the LBGT Community doesn’t want to make everyone gay. They need straight people. That’s where gay people come from. I mean, seriously, who do you think has kids?

No, they don’t want to close your churches. Some are even *gasp* Christians. Z is. She’s the first person I go to for prayer.

No, being gay doesn’t make you a pedophile and more than being straight makes you a rapist. The word you’re looking for is “sociopath”.

How many more? I’ll keep asking but, I’m getting tired of the foolishness of the questions.

Nope, bestiality is repugnant to most of them, just like it is to most of us.

Nope, it’s not about promiscuity…or sex in the street. It’s about wanting to love and be loved.

Gack…

The bottom line is, being gay and being straight are the same except for the gender attraction. That’s it. Same hopes and dreams. Same desire to live and let live. Same self-respect. Same thing…except that you don’t see the LBGT Community protesting the Straight Rights Movement. Doh.

Lordy Mercy the news wears me out. Yeah, some jerks and weird people are gay. Some jerks and weird people are straight, too. You do read the news, right? There are more straight wackos because there are more of us.

Ya know, given a choice, and I have one, I’ll pick Z’s team. I mean, her personal team. It isn’t because she’s gay. It’s because of the person she is. I write for her because she deserves a voice. It just seems the place she needs a voice is that one part that people can not seem to get past. If she were to write about it, it would just be one more author to be ignored because she’d be writing for herself. I, on the other hand, fit every demographic that her’s is allegedly persecuting. So, the only reason I have to write FOR her is because she earned it.

Think about that, if I thought she were out to get me, why would I write? If she was anti straight, white, Christian male, what reason would there be for me to attempt to protect her? Wouldn’t it make more sense for me to be an “anti”? The danger is not to me from her. The danger to her is the pushback from my demographic to her’s.

Reason needs to break out. It isn’t that hard. Our lives are difficult enough without fabricating unfounded fears. We have enough stress. There are enough aches and pains without inventing more. I do care about Z’s life. She’s family and friend and loved one and prayer partner. *editorial, Yeah, I just implied that I have no use for unneeded stress and then implied, again, that I worry for her. See the bit about how she fits my world, that’s why.*

What I don’t get is why people that have no reason to care take on stress. Why?

If your marriage is so weak that it can not handle what happens in someone else’s, that’s you, not them.

If your faith is so in doubt that you must defend it to the detriment of others, that’s you. My faith is strong enough that it won’t be shaken by the beliefs or actions of another.

There are a bunch of things that are legitimate worries. It’s just that Z isn’t one. Worrying that individuals have won the right to be treated as individuals is a silly thing to be worried about…

*sigh*

I gotta quit reading the news. It wears me out. I suppose I shouldn’t care what strangers think about Z. I suppose, by my standard, I’m being hypocritical. Eventually, the “new” will wear off of Obergfell and the furor will die down. For now, though, it hasn’t. For now, there’s still a need for a voice to try to calm the fears of people like me…if I were afraid of Z. Someday, perhaps, maybe, I will be able to quit being her voice, if for no other reason than apathy will have won and a different issue will become a focus…

Yeah, I gotta quit reading the news…*wanders off to say Hi to Z*

 

It’s Your Fault…and Mine…

Straights, gays, bi’s, men, women, lovers, haters, Protestant Christians, Catholics, Pagans, Jews, Atheists, Agnostics, Liberals, Conservatives, Dems, the GOP, Socialists, Communists, Libertarians, Anarchists, environmentalists, industrialists, capitalists, the rich, the poor, the middle class, the East Coast, California, Texas, the Deep South, Chicago, the Midwest, the West, Immigrants, Citizens, Native Americans,Yankees, Rebs,  any race you please, Vegans, Carnivores, George Soros, the Koch brothers, Apple, Google, Monsanto, Exon-Mobile, BP, junk food, fast food, Organic food, GMO’s, carbs, trans-fats, PETA, the Illuminati, the Military Industrial Complex, Welfare, Social Security,addicts, gun owners, anti-gun activists, Pro-choice, Pro-life, Baby Boomers, Gen-X, Gen-Y, Gen-IDK,  any other generation you want, *did I miss any?* Obergfell, the Civil Rights Movement, gang-bangers, andthe KKK…are ALL going to be the “downfall of American Society”…

Here’s the deal, we really aren’t. This country is strong enough, big enough, and resilient enough that there’s room for all the varieties of humans in it. There’s room for me, Z, and you. There’s room for offense to be offered and NOT taken. We can do this. We have gone from an upstart colony with an idea that “all men were created equal…” and grown to be the USA. The thing that will tear us apart is when WE forget that WE are a nation made of individuals that all, in the end, want the same things, “…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

*sigh*

We made it through 1776, 1812, the Civil War, Dec 7, and Sept 11…

Maybe, just maybe, if we quit seeing threats and start seeing humans, there won’t be any “downfall of American Society”…

*editorial, If I missed you in my list and you’d like to be included, leave me a comment*

Semi Not PC PC Post

I wrote a post, some time back, encouraging Z to play with boobies and kiss girls, “I Told Z to Kiss a Girl”. It comes up, in this context because I was talking, as much as a comment section on a blog post can be a conversation, about not being PC…

I’m not PC. I’m just cautious. There is a short list of people I do not want to offend. Z is on that list. I know and want for her to find a girl to have “fun”, read “enjoy being physical”, with. I also want her to find a girl to build a life with. I want a house with yellow roses, a veggie garden, a comfy couch, fireplace, several bedrooms for guests, and a pool. I want a long driveway for walks and a shaded porch for drinks in the afternoon. It needs to have some acres of woods and a pond with a fishing dock…

Physical beauty is fleeting. Sex lasts for a few minutes. Holding hands can last for hours. Peace of mind is for a lifetime.

I’ve said that I don’t care that Z likes girls. That’s not precisely correct. I do care because that’s what’s best for her. I love her the way she is and do not want that to change. Since the “girls” thing is a part of her, I do care. Since my prayers for her include finding love and peace, I must want the right Lady to come along. It’s just that I don’t care that she likes girls any more than I’d care if she liked guys.

Because I’ve written about and for her for more than a year and put some hundreds of hours of thought into these, she, Z, is on my mind a lot. She gets a fairly big portion of my mental energy. That’s fine. If I had a problem with that, I’d cut my losses. I’m quick to get rid of un-needed energy drains. Z isn’t one. Here’s a funny thing. If she were straight and I was single, we wouldn’t work as a couple. She likes crowds and outdoors and high energy. I’m a quiet indoor homebody. Again, that’s fine. *grins* Besides, we’d kill each other… I’m never going to want to be unmarried and she’s never going to want to be straight. Doesn’t change a thing in our relationship. I want the best for her and she for me.

I knew this had a point…If Z were someone else, I’d still want the same things for them. Not the details but, the chance to be left alone to live their life in the fashion that is best for them. She doesn’t deserve to be left in peace because she’s gay. She deserves it because we all do. Having a shot at dignity and peace is basic to being human.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”

In the end, that’s what we get, “the pursuit of Happiness”. If we are lucky, we get there. If not, we should have a chance to try, no matter if it’s gay or straight, single or married, without being hindered by the forms and conventions of anyone else.

So, yeah, maybe I do care if Z likes girls. Maybe I’ve not been right all along. It is what fits her. It is what is the best way for her to pursue “Happiness”. What I want is the best for a friend that I love…

*Disclaimer. I never use that thought to include criminal acts. That idea and justification is never going to be in here*

Who Knows? You Guys Suggest Something. If I Like It, I’ll Write It…

I have three days off and no clue what to type…I liked my last one “note to self” but, it was written over several days with Z’s input. I want to type something because I’ve learned I like to write. I think I’m a bit of a narcissist…

I really have zero idea. I don’t want to write about politics. I’ve got friends all over the political map and my views don’t really fit any party. My views are my own. *grins* I make a decision, not based on party or ideology, but on my own internal compass…

I don’t want to write about what I think of the government or environmental issues because there are enough people writing about those. Same with race issues.

I’d write a “Z Post” but, for now, there’s nothing to say that doesn’t seem like a repeat. I’d tell the people I’m surrounded with that I love them but, I’ve done it so many times they should know it…Just to make sure…Dear People that love me, I love you, too. You are an unearned gift and have my gratitude in this life and the next…

Write about my hobbies? Well I cook stuff made up from ideas I get at work, I’m a butcher, and I write a blog and I “do nice things for my wife”…That covers those…

My addiction and my past? Nope, not today, no context for it…

Same as usual? Human dignity and LBGT Rights? Not today. Today, I’m going to just think that people are civil and treat each other with respect. Today, when I think about the people I love, I’m not going to put them into the box this blog seems to have to put them in. Today, I’m going to think about the whole of them and that I want them to have all the blessings in the world…and for some nice Lady to wander across Z’s path *grins*…

So, you guys come up with something. Leave me a note under the link on my Facebook wall. Drop a comment here. Send a carrier pigeon or smoke signals. Let me know what you think. If it isn’t politics, I’ll see what I can do. If you have a different perspective I might write about my “usual”, I’ll look into that, too. *grins*

note to self

 

I’ve been writing this post over a period of several days. I’m leaving it “rough” because it was really intended to be a note to me. It turned into a “real” post. It is barely edited and going to stay that way. Guys, I’m beat. Tired. Worn out. These are what has come out of my head. Sure, it’s a post about people that are LBGT.  It’s also about a specific person and it’s really a post about us. How do we see people and how do we see ourselves. If we don’t find a reason to stop our fear of people that are different, we, collectively, are going to implode. We gotta find common ground, please.

*****

It starts out with the notes I was working from. It seems disjointed after that because I didn’t do any editing or try to make it completely connected…

It drifts off at the end and that’s gonna have to be enough. Thanks for reading it.

*****

more honey than vinegar…gently persuade…patience…time…less stress about people not seeing what I see…want to build a bunker with concertina wire and protect Z but, CAN NOT…Z more patient than me, gotta learn from her…hearts and minds…fight reaction to be a growling dog protecting The Muse…

*****

These are the things The Muse wants me to do. She wants me to realize that people won’t change just because the Law did. She wants me to be patient and try to change “hearts and minds” with kindness and being non-confrontational.

It’s hard for me. I do take words that are directed at other people than her as being directed at her. My instinct is to protect her from those words and perceived hurts. My desire is to shelter. Given my way, I’d be a dog, growling at everyone I thought came close to not loving her.

I know that’s not fair to her. She can defend herself. She is more than strong enough and completely capable.

She’s protecting me. She’s trying to make me understand that I don’t need the stress. That the frustration is not good for me. She’s trying to change my “heart and mind”. See why she’s such a Treasure. This is why. I write for and about her and she’s my protector, too…A couple of stories…

During May and June, we had a bunch of storms and flooding. Here, D/FW, it was particularly bad. I’m used to it, at least as much as you can ever be to Tornado Warnings. She was constantly calling and praying. One night we were talking and lost the chat because a lightning strike close by dumped my internet. I wasn’t worried. Again, I’m kind of relaxed about the whole thing. It either hits and is a total loss or it’s a miss. SHE, on the other hand, was worried as she could be. I had to phone her up and let her know everything was fine, just a lost signal…See what I mean, protecting me…

‘Nother part of me is that I tend to stress and worry about random stuff. In an absence of knowledge, my mind races along ’till it’s close to twisting outta control. Not a good trait of mine. I let myself wind up. I tend to inflict it on her and my wife. She peels me off the ceiling. Lets me rant and then reminds me to calm down. That it’ll be ok. Helps me to realize my fears and worries are unfounded…

My Protector helps me to be a better husband and person by doing something that isn’t her job. She’s not my wife or girlfriend so, it can’t be part of what one of those would have “signed-up” for. *editorial, no girlfriend for me, ever. I’m married and faithful* She allows me to use her as a safety valve. To dump MY stress on her. To relate my nightmares to her so I can be a bit saner. She prays for me every day and, usually, is praying for stuff that I didn’t realize I needed ’till it happens. My world is safer because of Z…

It’s an odd role reversal. I mean, these words and posts have been to help her and make her world a better place. They’ve been to build her up. That’s in here and out there. They’ve been to tell her that, to me, she’s a Hero. I’m sure she doesn’t think she is. I do. Thing is, she makes my world a better place. She builds me up. She never lets me get away with saying that what I’ve done *see previous posts about being an ex meth addict* is not also worthy of praise, too. I don’t quite understand but, she treats me like a hero…

So…how do we go about this? How do we change hearts and minds? Bashing people over the head is not working. That is my instinct. To pick up Z, shove her into the spotlight, and shout “how can you fools not love her?” To use her as a bludgeon. She’s right. That is not the way that’s going to make a long-term change.

*sigh*

A “pride” parade didn’t change my mind. A screaming rights activist didn’t give me reason to see the error of my ways. What did was more like the mountains being turned into sand by the gradual actions of the waves. I didn’t have some epiphany. It was a process. It took some years. Lots of baby steps and realizations. Z came along towards the end. She wasn’t the first step but, the last. She was the end of a line of people. She says “educate”. Her life is that way. She teaches by being herself. I should know, it’s how she taught me…

We were friends before I knew she wasn’t straight. Kind of an “how’s that?” moment, right? No context for it. I’m married, wasn’t when we met but, engaged. I didn’t want or need a date, girlfriend, or anything else. She was just someone I talked to sometimes. We’re both “chatty”. Ugh. So, it never really had a reason to be a topic. I was talking to a person and not a potential anything else. When she finally did let me know or I figured it out by reading between the lines, it was a bit of a shock…for about a day. Then my I realized nothing had changed. Same person was still the same person. I mean, we had been praying for each other for a couple of years and I didn’t know. She might have thought I knew? Ask her.

That’s how she “educates”. She lives her life and at some point you realize she’s a person you want in yours. Easy enough, knowing her. Because there’s no context, you don’t realize she’s not straight. Not that she’s hiding it, just no reason to come up. I thought she was a fellow Ally. Then she tells you. She is blunt. At which point you realize nothing has changed in your relationship.

She’s far better at that than I am. I want to shout at people. I want to force them to realize that she’s great. She just goes about her business and lets them figure it on their own.

Here’s another odd thing about the way she educates. Even though she doesn’t like it, she’s far more forgiving of people that dislike her on principle than they are of her. She’ll defend their right to speak against her while she’s snarling mad at them for doing it. That and even though she’ll never admit it, the comments hurt. Still, she keeps defending their right to speak if not their words…

****Break to go to work and stuff. more later******

Here’s what I’m thinking. For me, it becomes a matter of perception. I mean, what do I see when I look at someone? Do I see the part I disagree with and ignore the rest, first? Or, do I do it the other way ’round? Do I see the parts I agree with and ignore the disagree? There are things that I do that Z doesn’t. She doesn’t beat me up with them, she ignores them. Same with me, there are things she does that I can not have in my life. No matter, I just stay away from those things. Make sense, sort of?

She’s human with the same courage and fear as any other human. She’s capable of the same soaring triumphs and crushing defeats. She’s a mother, daughter, cousin and friend. She can be as soft as a cloud and harsh as sandpaper. She’s just the same as every other Mortal. Her fears and frailties keep her up at night…just like mine…Her shoulders carry me along when I want to quit. Human, no more and no less…That’s what I see and am glad for it.

Everyone is the same way. No two people fit the same mold. There are always things we wish people would change.

*****

While I’m writing this, here’s another thought. We, Americans, are constantly, me specifically, saying what we are against. Maybe we can think of what we are for. I’ve written all these words for Z. I’ve written to her, about her, and for her. My weakness is that I have to struggle against the “us against them” attitude. How do we include? How do we find common ground? How do we say, “you’re different but…so am I.”

I gotta learn that lesson. I gotta learn to not want to lash out. Me, I, need to be more gentle in the way I think and try to teach. Particularly, I gotta do that when my instinct is to protect.  A Wise Woman keeps telling me that I can do more with honey than vinegar. She’s right.

I wish I didn’t write these. More correctly, I like writing good things about Z. What I mean is I wish I didn’t think there was a need for them. I wish that we could find some middle path. That we could agree to reduce our total stress. That we could figure out a modus vivendi and learn to live in peace. I’m idealistic, I know. I keep thinking that we have the ability to set aside our perceptions and see what is really true. I know I struggle against myself with that. It is hard. I had to overcome years of conditioning and prejudice. I do not even pretend otherwise.

*sigh*

I suppose I’m just getting tired. I don’t have the energy to spare on fights that aren’t mine. It could be said that this one isn’t except that it is Z. That, to me, as long as she lives and I do, I have picked her side to be for, not against. Not because she’s a Lesbian but, because of the rest of her. I’m writing for the whole of the person that she is. I wonder if that makes sense outside of my head? That my attempt to persuade to see the whole still includes the parts and says the whole is “greater than the sum”?

Please learn from what I had to learn to do. I removed the good because I wanted to see only what I disagreed with. I based my opinion, not on fact but on my perception. My views were wrong. My excuses, in the end, only let me hang on to anger and stress and changed nothing. She says she “educates” by living her life. Please learn from mine, too. My mistakes don’t have to be repeated.

Some Boxes in the Attic

I’m gonna clean out the attic. There are some boxes up there that need to be poked into. Maybe there are treasures, maybe junk. Let’s see which and we can both decide…

*****

I was thinking about something I said and Z called me on. I used the phrase “predisposed to like girls that like girls”. It sounds like, in retrospect that my preference is for Lesbian friends or female friends. Z even pointed that out. It bugged me and stuck in my head. I have a tendency to waaaaaay over think things. It is possible that it is the truth, even if its not a conscious thought. I really didn’t set out to have my closest friends be women. It has struck me as odd that it worked out that way. Who knows? I mean, it isn’t part of some interview process. “Would you like to become someone I talk to and some years down the road trust? Oh yeah, are you a Lesbian?”

I don’t love Z because she’s a “girl that likes girls”. I love her because she’s Z. We don’t need a list of things that make her who she is, I would still miss stuff. It’s enough to say that she, as a person, is a Treasure. I’m not gonna think it any further through than that. I will give it this, though, if she weren’t gay, this blog wouldn’t exist in the form that it does. I HAVE to have a person to write for and about. It’s part of me. I am good with specific people, not so much a “demographic”. The numbers are just too big…

*****

Yesterday, I wrote about my addiction and it sounded like I was down on myself or putting down what I’ve done. I’m really not. Like I told someone, some days are almost easy, some are hard as Hell. It’s been almost ten years and it isn’t a walk in the park. I still have nightmares. I wake up yelling…like last night. My wife is patient, she just wakes me up and then goes back to sleep.

Anyway, not to make light of things, I’m a Meth Survivor. I know that’s a rare thing. I know I have a bunch of baggage, read “boxes in the attic”. I merely have this perspective, pardon me quoting something I said to someone else, “What I beat was done BY me. What y’all beat was done TO you. Just as you think I overcame something seemingly insurmountable, from here, it seems the same to me about you. I can not imagine how hard it was. Y’all are my heroes, too.” Does that make sense? I made my bed. I wasn’t an addict when I was born. I had a chance to stop every time I started…and didn’t. I suppose that’s why I don’t think it’s that big a deal. That and I really don’t know how to handle compliments or praise. I just don’t have the tools…

Back to my point, though. My past shaped my now. Expecting nothing from life has taught gratitude. Not being able to trust anyone has given me an appreciation for the people I trust…and a fear of trust because my mind still expects betrayal. Knowing what it’s like to beat something that usually wins means I tend to root for the underdog. Not loving myself means I am scared of it, love, now but…I am enjoying the learning process, even if it confuses and scares me. For what it’s worth, I have some people that are teaching me and I don’t know quite how to take that. I always expect conditions even while not imposing them on others. *editorial, my mind is an oddly shaped place*…

One last before this goes away. I got a second chance. I grabbed it and ran. I was given a gift beyond price. I was given Life. I will always appreciate that. If you are given a gift like that, never turn it down.

*****

I think I want to revisit the “Z thing” again… I didn’t really set out to spend as much time writing about LBGT Rights as I have. I was going to write about Religious Freedom, random stuff, Drug Addiction, love and, yeah, LBGT Rights. It just kind of turned out that The Muse needs a voice. We, she and I, use her as the example and the inspiration for these words. *editorial, “use” is not a word I like, in the future I’m gonna say “share” because she’s not a tool to be used. She’s a human* My point being, LBGT Rights have covered all the rest. If we learn that Humans deserve respect, then we learn to respect their values, even if we don’t do things the same way. When we see Z, not as a part of a group but, as the Treasure she is, then we may learn to see other people in the same way. She’s not an (insert pejorative). She’s one of the very most valuable people in my world. She’s a Treasure and a Lady. Period. She’s a cherished part of her family. She is a space in my heart that I didn’t know existed ’till she filled it.

Thing is, everyone someone denigrates is a Z to someone else. No matter what you might think of them, when you put down that person, you are deciding that you have the right to assign and diminish value. You do not. I don’t care what your reason is. Just because someone doesn’t fit what you want takes nothing away from them, it just makes you blind and it makes you smaller…

I honestly don’t care what you do with your treasures. I’m proud of mine. I’m proud of her courage and willingness to let me share her with the World.

*****

Different box…I use the word Lady with a capital because I use it as if it were a title. Same with the word Treasure…or any other random use of caps. It’s a part of me and them…*grins* I didn’t assign the titles, they earned them.

*****

It seems there are lots of boxes today…

I admit this is a bit hypocritical but, meaning I’m going ahead anyway, why are people so concerned with what other people do? Why such great concern with someone else’s life? Why not worry about your own? Yeah, I ask those while trying to persuade people to change. My point being, if you are a something and someone else is a different something, why does that make you want them to be the same something as you? Why not just treat them as a person and go on? Wouldn’t it be simpler? Maybe a tad less stressful? A whole lot less complicated than saying, “you don’t fit my box so I gotta tear down your box and rebuild it before we can interact”? It seems that way to me. I like having different perspectives in my life…even if I disagree with some. *grins* Maybe I missed something. Maybe people like their tiny boxes and feel safer in them. I like exploring my big box. It’s got a bunch of interesting stuff in it…

*****

Sometimes I wonder…other times I’m sure…I digress…*grins* I think the whole of what was stashed in the boxes was an attempt to get us, you and me, to lighten up. Life is short and can be difficult. There are principals to stand on. Loyalty, trust, honesty, and love come to mind. Why complicate things by being concerned with the details of someone else’s life when we have enough in our own that could use a bit of polish?

*****

*grins* The Muse is fishing. The Surrogate Muse is doing whatever Surrogate Muses do when they’re not around to surrogate. *grins again* So, they left me alone to see what was in some boxes…Look, I found my old blankie…Y’all have a good day. Maybe some of this made some sense? *sweeps dust off of the floor and wanders off…*

 

I Was an Addict, So Don’t Praise Me…

I love being married. I suppose I appreciate it more because I never expected it. I was long past the point where I ever expected to find someone that would want to marry me. I always thought I was “damaged goods”…

It’s funny, very much NOT ha ha, that people fight against who they are. We believe that we are trapped in a place and unable to bend or change. I was convinced I’d go to my grave an addict. I hated myself and decided God had abandoned me so, I’d abandon him. I had a warped view that allowed Hell to exist and not Heaven. I could pin down a locality for Hell, just look inside my clothes. It was wandering around in there…

I do not equate what I went through with what some friends did. I struggled against my own perception of who I was. I fought against a view that I was trapped in a pattern of MY OWN making. It is truly not the same as knowing who you are and being told by “society” that you can not be that. Addicts are islands. We remove ourselves from the world. We live in isolation out of shame and self-loathing that WE OURSELVES have created. We think the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves are the truth. We justify a continued series of criminal acts with “I can’t help myself…” We fool ourselves into thoughts that no one knows when everyone does. When we finally realize we aren’t trapped and do change, hopefully before it’s too late, we are praised…

Honestly, I don’t think that praise is earned. Why should I be praised for not slowly killing myself and poisoning everyone around me with my toxicity? What kudos for not being a criminal have I earned? If you want to praise me for doing a good job at work, fine. If I do a good job at cooking a meal and you enjoyed it, I’ll take that. Just DO NOT tell me how great I am for being an ex-addict. I shouldn’t have been one to begin with, I knew better. I am a nice guy. I am a loyal friend. I do my d**nedest to be a good husband. Those, too, do not deserve praise, they’re what I’m supposed to do…

Society also forces roles. It tells a fraction of the population that they have to be what the other 90 odd percent think they should be. Sometimes people become trapped in that spot, too. They try to conform and be what’s expected of them. Sometimes, they break free. I have a few friends that did that. I am prouder of them than I am of myself. I fought me. They fought everyone and themselves and they won. I didn’t know them when they were someone else, I only know them as the persons they are now. I love those people. That they don’t judge me based on who I was is a gift I gladly take. That they don’t hold against me that I spent more time as a criminal, yeah addicts are criminals and ex-addicts aren’t, than I haven’t is a blessing that I am grateful for.

Why do we think it’s our “right” to judge? *Yeah, skip the “criminal” part of what comes next. We can agree that crimes need and deserve to be prosecuted.* Why do we think we should be able to tell someone “you have to be what I want you to be?” Our individual lives are the only things that we will ever own, as fleeting as they may be. Possessions may be lost or stolen. Why then do we think we have a reason to steal someone’s “self” as if we own them? What reason to impose our view of what context for some life that is not our own. What reason to demean or degrade a human that has not earned our scorn?

I get that people do not understand any other human. I barely understand myself. I get that people want to think that some things are “choice” and are not. I get that we tend to impose what we think on someone without having the tiniest clue if it’s actually the truth. We assume that some people have the ability to change…not realizing they did. They changed from living a lie to living the truth. We tell them that their truth is of no value or “against my religion” as an excuse to deny them the right to be themselves *sigh* while demanding the recognize our same self-demanded rights…

I may be any number of things. What I am not is someone else. Who I happen to love is my wife. She’s the center of my world. No one ever told me I couldn’t marry her. No one ever told me that my love for her was worthless. Who someone decides they want to spend their life with is not for another human to judge except for the person they offer their love to. It is SOLELY for that person to accept or reject. It is a gift that is the greatest offering one human can give another. So, why then, do some persons think it’s their right to judge that? What possible personal reason to impose a third view where only two are important?

Does any of this make sense?

Agree or disagree with Obergefell or not. It no longer matters. What’s left is looking inside ourselves and finding a way…We, individuals, may celebrate a victory for our friends. Some of you may call it a defeat for morality. Either way, it is the law. It doesn’t matter what our, outsider, views are. How someone else views a relationship is no longer a reason to disallow it. What finally matters is what the individuals inside of it think.

*sigh*

Like I said up there, I am proud of my friends. I survived me. They survived everyone else. Letting them live their lives with the same peace and lack of judgment that I’m given is not too much to ask. So, please, look at the individuals and base your view on their individual lives and not some preconceived notion? Please, they’ve earned that much…What we should be doing is rejoicing with them that they’ve found love in the first place.