Sunday, November 30, 2008

I know I'm supposed to.....

Instead of the obligatory "I'm thankful for..." post that I know I'm supposed to write, I'm just going to post a couple of new pictures of the boys in the store today.

In case you're wondering, yes - I am thankful for oodles of stuff, but these pictures are more fun than a long list of things - especially when these little people (and the big person pushing the cart) top the list. It's all about love, baby. THAT I am supremely thankful for.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's autumn, and that means....

First off, autumn means a hot breakfast - unless you're 18 months old and it takes a million years to eat anything. Regardless, I made the boys some new pancakes this morning because A) we were out of pancake mix, and B) the recipe said that they are full of protein - which Peanut desperately needs. So, cottage cheese pancakes, scrambled eggs and bacon. I know - they sound icky, but they are pretty good! The texture is weird, but they are low in carbs and high in protein. Meatball ate them well (because he loves almost everything), but Peanut was skeptical as he is with all food. Nothing some blueberry syrup won't cure!

Secondly, autumn + blueberry syrup = hot bath. Tub time is always fun. They spend a lot of time pointing to the fish on the shower walls and yelling "Weeeeesh!" (That means "fish" if you're a toddler...)

After a trip to the store, a nice long nap and some food, we went outside to play. And by "play" I mean that I wander around the back yard looking for doggie doodie to clean up while the boys kick balls, play in the dirt, and chase the cat.

Finally, autumn means raking the leaves. Well, this year it does. It has NEVER meant that in the ten years that we've lived here. We have never cleaned up the leaves because, honestly, we live in a perfect position for weekly wind that comes out of the canyon and blows all of our leaves into neighboring lawns. It's nice. However, since Meatball likes to try and eat every apple left on the ground, I figured that it was high time that I do some clean up. The last thing I need is him sucking up a worm or something....

So, I started raking the leaves and Meatball promptly sat in the middle of them. This means that he also sat right on some squishy and gunky apples, but he was having fun. Mr. Helper (aka Peanut) saw me raking and proceeded to go down the big hill and onto the porch to get the broom. He loves to sweep the porch, so that's what I thought he would be doing. The next time I look up, here comes the skinny little squirt dragging the broom behind him. He dragged it all the way to the top of the yard so that he could help me "sweep up" leaves. However, by the time he got it up there, he was pooped, so he just sat in the leaves with his broom and his brother.

Did I get all of the leaves and apples into the compost pile? Nope - but that gives me a chance to take more adorable pictures next weekend!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wanda comes out

Comedian Wanda Sykes comes out during a rally in response to the passage of Prop 8 in CA. She and her wife were recently married, and now their union faces an uncertain future. Here is part of her speech:

"If we had equal rights, we shouldn’t have to be standing out here demanding something that we automatically should have as citizens of this country. But I got pissed off. They pissed me off. I said ‘You know what? Now I gotta’ get in your face.’

And that’s what we all have to do now. They pissed off the wrong group of people. They have galvanized a community. I mean, we are so together now, and we all want the same thing, and we’re not gonna’ settle for less. Instead of having gay marriage in California – NO – we’re gonna’ get it across the country!

How can you stop people from lovin’ each other? How can you get upset about love?

I love you all. Now, let’s go get our damn equal rights!"

Her remarks came at the same time as hundreds across the nation as part of a coordinated effort to hold rallies in all states at the same time. It was quite a success. So, at the same time that she was speaking, the boys and I were with 2000 other people in SLC listening to some pretty powerful local speakers, too. It was a fun, but chilly, day. We missed Bub, though. She just started a new job, and had to work.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Now a fan of Keith (Olberman, not Richards - although who isn't a fan of Richards?)

I have no idea how to embed a video, and I really don't want to take the time to figure it out.

HOWEVER, this YouTube clip of Keith Olberman's statement on Prop 8 is fantastic. It will soon be on every gay blog (and many, many straight blogs) very soon.

Oh, and it made me cry. At work. I hate it when that happens.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Second-Class in the Midst of Amazing History

The morning after the historic election of Barack Obama was marked by tears in our house. Even though the race was close on Tuesday night, I was sure that I would wake to find that California’s Prop 8 had been defeated and that same-sex marriage would still be legal. I was shocked to find that I was wrong. Not only that, but Arizona, Florida, and Arkansas passed anti-gay laws and amendments. After some tears and much of the day spent in mopey sadness, I was finally happy to come to terms with it. I guess it’s always good to know where you stand, and my status as a second-class citizen is firmly in place. Yes – sarcasm and bitterness fully intended.

Since that time, there have been many protests against the LDS church since its members contributed more than half of the funds used to strip civil liberties from the G&L population in California. Many, many people in Utah (including the LDS church leadership) are upset over the protest locations – outside of temples – but after a lot of thought and reflection, I’m not.

Here’s a scenario: the KKK bankrolls legislation intended to re-introduce slavery. Appalling thought. Horrible possibility. Would we protest the local business that sells confederate flags or would we show up at the front door of the KKK and make our voices heard?

Another scenario: Microsoft funds legislation that prohibits mixed race couples from adopting. Are you kidding me? Get your big business out of my family, right? So, would we stand outside of Circuit City with our signs and placards simply because they sell computers? Nope. We would be on Bill Gates’ doorstep demanding equality for all parents and children.

So, I guess my message is this: If you don’t want political action close to your places of worship, don’t get involved in politics. Don’t dish it out if you can’t take it. Oh, and don’t position your corporate offices next door to a sacred place of worship. Temple square is just too convenient. Don’t encourage your members to be involved in politics without expecting our members to be as engaged. Look. I promised NOT to get married in your sacred buildings if you promise to keep your religion out of my MARRIAGE (and it will be someday).

So, as a group, we’re finally pissed, but this begs the question: Where was the outrage in Utah in 2000, 2007, and Amendment 3?

I think that we, unfortunately, just expect defeat here in the land of Zion. We expect that things will change but that we will NOT be on the cutting edge of that change. Instead, we'll be the bleeding, burger-like, stumpy appendage dragged along behind because it couldn't be successfully amputated (no matter how hard its church leaders tried). And, we just seem resigned to that.

Outrage in California isn't a shock because people really believed that it could happen. Their proposition even received funding for its battle. Money for any GLBT battle in Utah is very hard to come by. We’re all too busy thumbing our noses at our oppressors by swilling our wine over beautifully appointed tables filled with exceptionally tasty food. We’re all too happy to spend our money in the beer garden at Pride Day instead of bundling up the babies and packing baby food and diapers for a rally on Capitol Hill. Funding? Involvement? We haven’t had the voice. We haven’t had the guts. It’s like standing up to the bully on the playground or that bitchy cheerleader in the locker room.

So, why then do we suddenly have actual outrage spilling over into our state? Maybe because California seemed to be a surrogate for all of our hope, and when that hope was aborted at the hands/funds of the very group that oppresses us daily, we finally started to open our eyes. We finally started to realize that we don’t need to be silently oppressed. (Don’t get me wrong. We live in Utah. We are gay/lesbian/bi/transgendered. We will be actively oppressed. We may not be quiet about it anymore.)

Marriage. It’s just a word, right? It used to be a sacred religious right, but that’s just not the case anymore. People marry acquaintances for green cards. Gay and lesbian friends marry so that they can obtain health insurance. Property rights, child custody, tax breaks… None of these things are sacred. It’s just a word.

Like “parent.” That’s just a word, too. Imagine a world where a parent must be biologically related to the child in question. This means that all adoptive parents wouldn’t really be parents at all. How ridiculous! Imagine a world where a parent must be the same color as their child. This means that kids of racially mixed parents would have legal access only to the parent who most closely resembles them. How stupid!

It’s just a word. For some, it’s a sacred word, and I expect that they treat the institution in a sacred manner – loving, respectful, non-abusive relationships that never end in divorce. Oh, wait! Doesn’t happen all of the time, does it? For some, it’s a word that represents a legal contract, and I expect that they approach their lives in a business-like manner with no emotion involved. Hmmm…… doesn’t make sense.

For me, it represents both the sacred and the contractual. My love for Bub and our boys IS sacred. She is my life, my liberty, and the thing I continue to pursue to find happiness. And, I want to “do right” by her and our family by having a legal, binding contract that obligates me to them and them to me, that ensures fairness to them (especially Bub), and that gives our boys the same rights and privileges as all children of straight parents.

In the end, all I know is that SEPARATE IS NOT EQUAL. As long as I don’t have access to the word itself, I am not equal.

And, let’s face it. Marriage is not just a word. It’s a CIVIL right. Until the word applies to me and my love for Bub, I remain a second-class citizen. And, I’m tired of it.

Straight people: It’s about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…. MY happiness – not yours. You already have your happiness. MY happiness is a CONSTITUTIONAL right to be afforded to ME in the same way that it is afforded to you. And it will be.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Time and perspective

Time #1: The fall time change is stupid. The spring time change is stupid. Both of these things are downright MEAN things to do to families with little kids. Schedules all out of whack. Tired and grumpy, whiny and disorganized... and the boys are all messed up, too! But, we managed to have a great time today. We played, and played, and tickled, and marched, and danced, and learned to do flips off of mommy's legs, and played with tupperware, and pulled books off of the shelves about 17 times, and banged on the piano, and helped with laundry, and fed the dogs, and dumped dog food everywhere, and took the dogs for a walk, and pulled the cat's tail, and read stories, and finally went to sleep. Can't go wrong spending the day with the men you love!

Time #2: It took me longer to drive the six blocks to the county building and find a parking spot (right in front) for early voting than it did for me to actually vote. Contrast that to North Carolina where two of my BFFs - IsabelleV and AlysenQ - waited in line for 6 1/2 HOURS to cast an early vote! Luckily, they were in line with M.E., their handsome husband. Can't go wrong spending the afternoon with the man you love!