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The Religious Freedom Restoration Act

Indiana Governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law this morning in a private ceremony, and I for one could not be happier!  For far too long, wonderful upstanding citizens have been forced to endure countless hours of agony thanks to the gay community.  Business owners have had to sit back while the evil gays make purchases in their stores, then be wished a nice day before those awful gays return to their life of sin.  Now, thanks to the savvy minds in Indiana, this is no longer a worry!

Business owners are free to kick out horrible lesbian couples, refusing to give them service because of who they choose to love.  Yes, CHOOSE, because being gay is 110% a choice and definitely not a way someone is born.  No longer will I have to go to my friendly neighborhood bakery and watch as two men DARE to hold hands as they leave after purchasing their muffins and donuts.  Gay, pink sprinkled donuts, no doubt.  Mike Pence has made all our dreams come true, and I’m so glad we are ushering in 2015 with this type of forward thinking!

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And no, before you say it, this is definitely not a cheap way of allowing people to hide behind religion in order to discriminate blindly against people they don’t understand, lifestyles they wouldn’t want for themselves, or other things that don’t affect them personally.  I’m not religious myself, but boy if I was, I would definitely use whatever interpretation of the bible I could in order to keep certain people at arm’s length.  It’s not hiding behind God, it’s doing His work!  Because if there was one thing we can all learn from Jesus, it’s that we are NOT all God’s children and definitely do NOT deserve equal treatment.

If Governor Pence didn’t take this amazing initiative, just think of what the great state of Indiana would devolve into?  Gays would run rampant through the streets, frequenting businesses in their community like the rest of us and enjoying life’s little pleasures.  They would likely demand that all local businesses cover everything with rainbows and glitter so they feel more welcome.  Our children would be corrupted by the sight of a loving same sex couple who has the NERVE to go out on a day trip to do some shopping.

Some local businesses are protesting the RFRA by putting stickers in their windows saying “This Business Serves Everyone.”  Clearly, these people need to find God.  Equal treatment for all is not what this country is all about!  In this day and age, we should be striving to move backward through time and return to the days where people were afraid of anyone who was different from they are, be it race or religion or sexual orientation.  They don’t call them the good ol’ days for nothing, am I right?!?

Open-for-Service-stickerSure, Indiana may be losing Gen Con, as the popular money making convention wants nothing to do with such a close-minded state, but we don’t need those costumed weirdos anyway!  The nice thing about RFRA is that not only can businesses discriminate against same sex couples, but they can also discriminate against other races, religions, tall people, guys with ponytails, you name it!  Even if you think someone LOOKS gay, out the door they go!  It’s brilliant!

Pence stated “This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it.  For more than 20 years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana.”  See?!?  This is not about kicking a gay couple out of your store to discriminate against them!  It’s about kicking a gay couple out because God says they are wrong for being who they are!  It’s totally different!  It doesn’t legalize discrimination, it just says that it’s totally okay to discriminate if you own a business and don’t like the personal lives of the people who choose to come around you.

It’s a proud day for Indiana.  Heck, it’s a proud day for the country!  Hopefully someone comes along to address my marriage next, because God knows I was totally wrong for marrying outside of my race.  And I also hope someone quickly holds an intervention for me so I can rid myself of every friend and acquaintance that isn’t 100% straight and proud of it.  This return to the dark ages is something we should applaud.  Thank you, Mike Pence, for signing this bill and making me realize how wrong I was all these years thinking that each and every human on Earth deserved equal treatment.  Thank you for teaching my child and children around the world that being different is something that should be punished.  Thank you for showing us that “separate but equal” is an idea worth returning to.  Thank you for opening my eyes to the fact that someone’s personal and private lives involving love and companionship is something we should blindly hate and publicly shun.  Thank you for showing me that I was wrong all these years I ignorantly assumed that I was doing the right thing by treating everyone fairly and openly.  Thank you, Mike Pence.  I applaud you.

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L Word Mississippi

I had a slight(ly huge) obsession with The Real L Word on Showtime.  Beautiful women whose lives were filled with drama, love and heartbreak, and truly wonderful personal journeys.  When the last season wrapped, I was happy to see two weddings but sad to see the series come to a close.  A couple of days ago, I saw a promo on Showtime for L Word Mississippi: Hate The Sin.  I missed the premiere, but made sure to record it the next time it was on.

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The title was a bit off-putting, but nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed for the next 90 minutes.  I have experienced my fair share of discrimination.  As a multi-racial person, I’ve gotten the question “what are you” more times than I care to remember.  When I lived in Georgia, I came face to face with the KKK and was made to feel less than human in my high school.  I grew up knowing what homosexuality was due to a gay second cousin, so I never gave it a second thought, but was always disgusted with the challenges my LGBT friends would face.  Even today, I see their struggles and it gets to me.  Because I’m not sheltered at all, I didn’t expect to be as shocked as I was at the stories from Mississippi.

L Word Mississippi began with the clear message that it’s not okay to be gay.  There is no holding hands in public, no kissing your girlfriend at the market, and no being free to live and love as you choose.  The religious community in Mississippi is massive, and that is a major factor in why the struggle for these women is so great.  “Praying the gay away” is thought to be something you can do.  Even some of the women featured on this documentary pray to save their own souls from their so-called sinful lives.  They have found love, but due to the teachings of the church, believe that love to be wrong and want to be saved and find a man to love.

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Rene’s story had my jaw on the floor, especially after we were introduced to her son, Devin.  Rene spent her life dressing masculine and even stuffing a strap-on down her pants in order to feel more like a man.  She stopped and began trying to dress and act more feminine after finding Jesus a year earlier.  Her son came out as gay a few years ago and she blames herself completely.  I dare anyone to look at Rene and Devin and try to tell me that being gay is a choice and not simply the way you’re born.  It’s beyond painful to watch Rene deny who she is in order to appease the church and the community.  It’s worse when she tries to impose those twisted beliefs on her son, who is happy to be who he is.

The other relationships we get to see in this documentary are truly beautiful.  Cameron and Amber are such a loving couple, and lucky enough to have a support system in the Per2yon Family, but you can still see the pain on their faces.  The level of hatred and ignorance they have to face is beyond my understanding and I give them so much credit for being strong each and every day.  Sara, who is expecting a baby boy, struggles with not only being a lesbian and the stigma that is attached to that, but is dealing with her wife transitioning into becoming her husband.  BB, a former pastor, is trying to right the wrongs of her past by helping LGBTQ youth so they don’t feel lost, ostracized, and suicidal.  The “love the sinner, hate the sin” message is strong, but it’s clear that the actual feelings of the community is “hate the sin, shame the sinner.”

L WORD MISSISSIPPI: HATE THE SIN

I don’t want to elaborate any further because I want everyone to please look this documentary up and watch it.  Regardless of your beliefs or level of acceptance, please watch this with an open mind and heart.  I want you to be as shocked as I was that this type of hatred and ignorance is not only still incredibly present, but is so widespread.  I am grateful for all the women involved for sharing their stories and hope that as more people see L Word Mississippi, more people begin to realize that it’s not the LGBTQ community that needs to change.  It’s the rest of us.

Love And Basketball

NBA player Jason Collins has decided to come out of the closet and announce that he is gay, something he describes as mind-boggling and something he hopes will encourage other closeted homosexuals to follow his lead and be open and honest with the world.  He is the first active professional athlete to do this, making his actions into a milestone for the LGBT community.  He says he did not set out to be a trailblazer but he is happy to have started a new conversation about homosexuality in our country.  He has received a lot of support from fellow athletes and definitely has people talking.

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It’s bizarre that in 2013, homosexuality still is not accepted in this country.  We are split right down the middle when it comes to gay marriage, we still have people insisting that being gay is a choice and not something one is born as, and we still see people become extremely uncomfortable and sometimes filled with rage at the sight of two men holding hands or two women having a romantic dinner.  We see people become angry when a woman dates another woman who has a more masculine appearance, asking why she doesn’t just date a guy if she’s going to date a woman we think looks like a guy herself.  We chastise men for being “sissies,” mocking behavior we think is flamboyant.  For some reason, society cannot come together and simply accept that being gay doesn’t mean a person is flawed.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a thing of the past for our military, something my favorite soldier at work is quite happy about, but it doesn’t mean that his struggle is over.  He still gets ribbed by colleagues who think if he just found the right woman, he would be “fixed.”  He’s even had a heart to heart with me where he considered trying to date women so his life would be easier.  Male soldiers are supposed to be macho and tough, something that most people don’t generally associate with being gay.  It’s the same for professional male athletes; they are tough alpha males who score the hottest models and who can have their way with whatever woman they wish.  These tough guys shouldn’t be gay because homosexuality doesn’t fit our view of what an athlete should be.

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I’ve heard a lot of people say that it’s not a big deal that Collins came out and that he should just shut up about it instead of being out there and trying to be some sort of hero.  I don’t see what he has done as an act of heroism though, I see it as no different from any public figure opening up about love or any other part of their personal life.  People like the Kardashians live their life like an open wound and it’s accepted, but a homosexual decides to be honest and that isn’t okay?  Collins isn’t dressing in rainbow-covered attire and dancing in the streets with men in speedos, he is simply making a personal statement and doing so in the hopes that his admission will move our society in a positive direction.  There is nothing to be upset about here.

Collins is right on the money by calling this mind-boggling.  As I write this, two of my coworkers are having a discussion about how this will negatively affect the team, the mood in the locker room, and the sport as a whole.  It’s mind-boggling that people still think that being a gay man means being sexually attracted to every single man they come across.  It’s mind-boggling that teammates could feel uncomfortable in a locker room with a gay man who has previously never done anything and probably will not do anything in the future to cause discomfort.  Sexual orientation is one piece among many that makes a person who they are.  It shouldn’t be the one defining piece and shouldn’t cause this much distress and outrage.

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I’ve been in a locker room with lesbians.  I’ve been in many restrooms in gay bars and clubs with lesbians.  I’ve been harassed and/or made to feel uncomfortable zero times.  The one time I’ve been harassed by a lesbian was while working at a shoe store.  There is no reason for alarm and no reason to think that a gay man can’t play a sport because his teammates won’t be able to handle the homosexual vibe in the locker room.  It’s not the gay person causing discomfort, it’s everyone else who won’t put aside their fears and who choose to focus on the fact that this man prefers the company of other men instead of women.  Yes, there are gay people out there who don’t know how to behave, but that can be said for straight folk as well.  The bad behavior of a few does not define everyone.

We need to treat the admission by Collins properly, which is to treat is as no big deal.  He took a step out of the shadows in order to grow as a person and to be happy.  He started a conversation that should be ended with acceptance and love.  His actions will hopefully show others that being gay isn’t something to be ashamed of and isn’t something people should be fearful of.  We need to rid ourselves of the stereotypical image of what a gay man or woman should be and accept the fact that gay people come in as wide a variety as straight people do.  We are way overdue to drop this terrible attitude towards the LGBT community.  None of us have the right to stand in the way of anyone’s happiness.  If someone’s happiness comes from loving the same gender, who are we to oppose?

Adam And Steve

Today marks the second day in a row that the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case on gay marriage, which is a major issue in this country that attracts a lot of attention and provokes intense feelings.  We are nearly equally divided as a nation, one side pulling for equality while the other side views same sex marriages as an insult to the institution of marriage, a sin, an abomination, or simply wrong and against nature.  Regardless of who you are and what type of life you lead, you have likely been touched by this issue in one form or another.  It will no doubt be interesting to see what results from the Supreme Court hearings.

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I am strongly in favor of equal rights across the board when it comes to marriage.  I believe any consenting adult should have the right to marry any other consenting adult, regardless of gender, race, religion, or other factor that has nothing to do with the love that exists between a couple.  If two people are of age and of sound mind, eager to commit to each other and build a life together, who are we to deny them that?  I will be celebrating my five year wedding anniversary tomorrow and I find it incredibly unfair that I get to do this while other loving couples out there are wondering if they will ever get to say “I do” and have it be more than symbolic.  It makes no sense whatsoever.

To this day, I have never heard a decent and valid argument against same sex marriages.  The various religious factors in existence that define marriage as a union between a man and a woman should have no bearing on the law.  We are not one nation under one God; many different religions are practiced and some people don’t believe in any sort of God or higher power, so beliefs should not be dictating our laws and practices.  The argument that marriage is meant to be the start of a family is invalid, as it would mean that infertile men and women also have no right to marry, which we know is untrue.  There is no valid reason for people to think that allowing same sex marriages would destroy the institute itself; if quickie weddings between two foolish people aren’t destroying anything, surely a loving union between two women won’t either.  Legalizing same sex marriage won’t affect the opposition personally; what these couples are doing behind closed doors isn’t hurting them now, won’t stop regardless of the law, and won’t affect them if the laws change.  This argument should be a no brainer.

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Being gay is as much of a choice as it is to be straight.  I didn’t wake up one day and decide that men were for me; it was ingrained in my mind and part of who I am and my intended path in life.  Likewise, no man or woman is sitting around, weighing their options before finally deciding that they would like to become gay.  Homosexuality is a part of who they are, just like hair and eye color or personality and intelligence.  To say that same sex marriages should not be legal is just as ridiculous as saying that natural redheads have no business getting married.  It has no bearing on the person in question; it is simply a way to discriminate against something we don’t like, don’t understand, or don’t approve of.

We live in a country where communication with anyone in the world can happen with a few clicks of a mouse or swipes of a finger.  We can visit a salon or a surgeon when unhappy with our looks to get something as simple as a new hair cut and color or something as drastic as breast augmentation and rhinoplasty.  We can achieve fame by self publishing a book on Amazon, being amusing on Twitter, or making a silly Youtube video.  We can cure all sorts of physical ailments and seem closer than ever to finding the cure for HIV.  We are quite the impressive nation, yet we still refuse to accept that a man can love another man so much that the pair wish to marry and enjoy all the benefits and privileges given to a man and a woman who wed.

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At one point, I was sure that in my lifetime, I would see same sex marriages legalized in this entire country.  I thought that surely people would see this battle as the modern version of the fight for racial equality or women’s rights.  I’m not so sure anymore.  I don’t know if the irrational fear can be set aside and the issue can be viewed through unbiased eyes.  I don’t know if the Bible can take a backseat when it comes to law and policy.  I don’t know if equality can exist in a nation that is also home to so many closed minds.  I don’t know if we can stop hating what we don’t quite understand and simply allow every consenting and able minded adult out there to marry any other consenting adult of their choosing.

I do have a few shreds of hope left that the Supreme Court will take a step in the right direction and that one step will be followed by many more.  The LGBT community cannot be ignored and should not be segregated.  What may have worked in the past is not always the same thing that will work in the present day.  Society evolves and laws must evolve with it.  It no longer makes sense to define marriage as strictly between a male and female and the laws should be changed to reflect that.  We must adapt and we must put a stop to this senseless discrimination.  If you want to hate homosexuality, knock yourself out, but your blind hatred should have no bearing on the law.  This is about love, the union between two loving souls, and the right of every adult to marry whatever other adult they choose.  Legalizing same sex marriages will bring about nothing but positivity.  We owe it to ourselves and to our country to make this into a reality.

Love Is Blind Unless We Disagree

I was incredibly excited to see The Real L Word back for its 3rd season on Showtime and I forced my husband to watch it with me as soon as we had a free hour and DVR access.  The third season kicked off [SPOILERS] by introducing some new ladies and by catching up with the ladies from seasons 1 and 2.  Romi, who has been around since the beginning, has finally decided to come out this season and did so in the first episode.  By come out I mean she revealed she is dating her ex.  A man.

I’m married to a guy, so obviously I’m not a member of the LGBT community and can’t see things fully from their point of view, but my reaction to seeing Romi’s new boyfriend was “Wow, really?  Weird.”  End of story.  It struck me as odd at first, but Romi has gone through a lot of changes since the middle of season 2.  She decided to get sober, which resulted in alienation from her friends who still drank and a break up with her girlfriend Kelsey who was also a drinker.  As she worked to become sober, she was forced to grow as a person and transition from party girl into businesswoman.  It stands to reason that her major life changes were a huge factor in pushing her back into the arms of her ex.  Who happens to be a man.

The reaction from the ladies was not as kind; it turns out it is not looked upon kindly for someone to begin dating the opposite sex after establishing themselves as gay or lesbian.  From what the L Word ladies said, it’s not uncommon for that person to be shunned by the entire LGBT community.  I’m not sure if it’s looked at as an insult, but it seems to be a major offense.  Romi was judged and viewed as a woman who was never a lesbian, just someone who wanted to play with girls for a while.

In the preview for upcoming episodes, Romi sarcastically commented that she guessed she was not a lesbian when she was eating pussy and falling in love with women.  She’s upset, and understandably so.  The LGBT community is one who has fought and continues to fight for equality.  They ask for understanding, for people to be open minded and respectful of their choices, and they want to be free to live and love as they wish.  This is what makes it so difficult for me to understand why they are faulting Romi for finding love and happiness with a person who just happens to have a penis.

For those of you who have seen The Real L Word, you are familiar with Romi and know she isn’t simply one of those women who goes around kissing other girls because she thinks it’s trendy or hot.  She established relationships with women, had all kinds of sex with women, lived with girlfriends, fell in love and had her heart shattered by women.  If anything, Romi is bisexual, which should not be something that should be shunned by the lesbians on the show or elsewhere.  Romi is showing the world that love knows no gender and has no gender, and if I’m not mistaken, that is something the LGBT claims is true about themselves.

I fully support the LGBT community and hope to one day see same sex couples able to marry countrywide.  I hope a man loving another man is eventually no longer a stigma, but just another couple in the crowd.  I don’t see how this can happen though when the LGBT community is discriminating against itself.  You can’t demand equality and then refuse to give it to your own community.  You can’t fault a woman for loving a man, then get mad because people don’t understand a woman loving a woman.  Romi did nothing wrong; she was not deceptive or shady, she wasn’t a spy sent to infiltrate the lesbian community, she is simply someone who was looking for love and found it.  She looked into a person’s soul rather than in their pants and fell in love with what lies beneath the surface.  I hope the rest of season 3 shows more acceptance towards Romi’s choice, because as it is, the discrimination against her is making a lot of people look like hypocrites.

Lady Boys And Manly Chicks

My husband posted a tweet on Thursday saying “Sorry transgender lady. Just because you feel a male “identity” does not make you a man. No penis, no manhood. #science.”  His comment stemmed from a story regarding a transgender woman who had yet to complete her gender reassignment surgery but was living as a man; she wished to be placed in a male dormitory but was denied due to the fact that she is not quite a male just yet.  Our society is still pretty critical of the transgender community and I was surprised that Chaz Bono didn’t receive more criticism than he did for joining the cast of Dancing With The Stars.  There’s something taboo about changing your gender, much as there is with being homosexual, and it can be quite difficult for a transgender person to be able to find a comfortable place in society as they undergo their major life change.

It is a frightening thing to learn that you are trapped in the wrong body; a male stuck inside a woman’s form or vice versa.  For them, it’s not a case of being gay or straight but a case of being born the wrong person.  I can’t imagine the frustration of being told to wear a dress and date boys, then being told you’re a lesbian, all when you are truly a straight man who loves women but is stuck in the wrong form.  Thankfully, we have hormone therapy, gender reassignment surgery, and counseling to assist in the transition, allowing a person to gradually assume the gender they rightfully are.

With all our advances, the genital surgery still isn’t perfect.  We can do a lot of things, but no doctor would be able to give me a penis like my husband’s and give him a vagina like mine and have both new organs work as well as they did on their original owners.  I can’t say for sure since I’m not transgender nor have I ever had the desire to be a dude, but I think that if I was told that my new penis would be sufficient, but would lack certain function and sensation, I’d tell the doctor to let me keep my fully functional and sensitive lady bits.  I wouldn’t want to be given something that didn’t work as it should, nor would I want to sacrifice sexual satisfaction with my partner when I’m already living as a man and satisfying her with what I’ve got.  Ideally I’d say, yes doctor, build me a penis!  However, if things that are important to me are going to be sacrificed, I’d hold back.

Another reason for holding back on the last step of gender reassignment and waiting to get your bits tucked in or added on to is the price tag.  Surgery is expensive and recovery time means time off from work.  Not all of us are fortunate enough to have the disposable income and vacation days to get this done.  Not all of the transgender community still has the support from friends and family, which could mean recovering from surgery alone and not having help getting to and from the hospital.

Finally, they may just be happy with where they have gotten and have no need for the genital surgery.  Getting to the point where you are living and feeling like the gender you identify with may be enough without going 100% and getting the full surgery.  The journey is about finding yourself, finding happiness, and finding your identity, and if it is done prior to the full surgery, then so be it.

The problem with not going 100% with the surgery is that you’re not truly the gender you desire to be, and that is the problem the woman in college ran into when attempting to live with the men.  It isn’t fair to the other men to have to share facilities and living quarters with a woman when they are paying to live solely with other men.  They have the right to be separated from their female counterparts, and the same goes for women who face a similar situation with a male living as a woman who wants to integrate fully with them.  I’m totally in support of rights for transgendered people and totally against discrimination, but their comfort shouldn’t come at the expense of others.

If a man transitioning to a female runs into me in a public restroom, chances are that I won’t care; I generally don’t see other people’s no-no bits when I’m trying to pee and I’m not in the restroom to examine people.  If I’m in a locker room, however, and Julie next to me lets her dick out while getting changed, I’m throwing a fit.  I’m in the women’s locker room because it’s penis-free and if Julie wants to be in there with me, she needs to stay securely tucked or get changed in a stall.  If I’m going to a women’s overnight fitness camp and Julie and her penis want to tag along, I think it becomes an issue.  Julie isn’t the woman who I signed up to cohabitate with and get fit with and I shouldn’t have to spot a guy while he benches 100 pounds, then have him spot me with his dangly bits too close to my forehead.  It’s not right.

I’m being a bit crude with my terminology on purpose.  This is not a matter of equality and discrimination, it’s a matter of certain activities needing to be separate when it comes to the sexes.  If you’re not 100% boy, you can’t participate in certain things, such as living in an all-male facility.  Imagine a female, who is transitioning to male and has done everything but genital reassignment, being sent to a male prison.  Rape and violence is bad enough without giving inmates a new guy to mess with who has real working lady parts.  To send this person to a female prison instead is not a matter of discrimination, but of safety and security.  It’s doing what is right, not what makes you comfortable.

If we make it acceptable for a dude in a dress to have all access to ladies only areas, can you imagine how many perverts are going to go snag a wig and a dress to get a peek at some lady parts?  On the other side of the coin, what about ladies borrowing pieces of their brother’s wardrobe in order to peek at some man meat?  The rule can’t become “if you can pass for this sex, you are this sex” because it opens the door for countless abuses.  What a person feels is important and what they identify with is as well, but what they ARE is what matters when it comes to matters involving the privacy, safety, and comfort of others.  I have all the respect in the world for those out there who are choosing gender reassignment because that journey can’t come easy.  I also think they must understand that being transgender is to be stuck in a sort of limbo where you’re in between sexes, and that limbo doesn’t grant you exclusive rights under the sex you want to be.  Until you go all the way, you have to find a way to exist in that limbo, and hopefully the rest of society will refrain from being ignorant idiots as you do so.

Gay Clothes

The One Million Moms Association has attacked JC Penney because they have crossed the lines of fashion and business and done something unforgivable.  Murder?  We could only be so lucky.  Fraud?  That is the work of a saint compared to the reality.  It turns out that JC Penney has hired the scandalous and evil Ellen DeGeneres as their new spokeswoman.  Yes, the openly gay and obviously devious and Satan worshipping Ellen.

Some of the moms state that it’s “funny that JC Penney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families” and that Ellen is “not a true representation of the type of families that shop at their store.”  They say most shoppers will be offended and will choose to stop shopping at Penney’s due to their outrageous choice of spokeswoman.  They are pushing Penney’s to replace Ellen in order to “remain neutral in the culture war.”

Let that sink in a bit.  Ellen, who is a beloved talk show host and comedian.  Ellen, who was named a Special Envoy for Global AIDS awareness by Hillary Clinton.  Winner of multiple Emmy awards, American Comedy awards, and even a Teen Choice award.  Fan of the New Orleans Saints … well, that one is a big negative for me, but I will let it slide.  The only complaint these moms have is that Ellen prefers to love a woman over a man.

Ellen is happily and legally married to Portia de Rossi, who has also changed her last name to DeGeneres, so it seems like a fair assumption to say that Ellen isn’t whoring herself around town.  She doesn’t flaunt her sexuality to the world; first coming out in the late 90s, Ellen has been seen now and again in an embrace or kiss, holding hands, or other PG activities with a female as the paparazzi fire their cameras away.  Even though there are quite a few people who would love to see the gorgeous Portia undressed, the couple hasn’t gone the sex tape or “stolen” nude photo route.  They don’t discuss their sex lives openly or boast about lesbian behavior.  They are more well-behaved than most straight Hollywood couples out there, plus they have maintained their relationship longer.

I have one problem with Ellen:  I don’t think she’s funny.  That’s it.  I couldn’t care less if she wants to endorse JC Penney, KY Jelly, or nutcrackers; her appearance in an ad doesn’t change the way I view a company because she’s just a run of the mill, scandal-free celebrity.  I doubt Cover Girl would have picked her for an ad and be planning another (pairing her with Sophia Vergara) if having Ellen as a spokeswoman was the lesbian kiss of death to a company.  Katy Perry sang about kissing girls but didn’t hurt Proactiv with her endorsement, and I doubt Ellen will hurt Penney’s either.

JC Penney is looking to Ellen for a new campaign because of her popularity, not because of her bedroom activities.  She will be endorsing clothing and household items, not sex toys and dating sites.  Her wife will not be starring in the ads as well, and I can’t see them discussing her or bringing up her sexuality at all.  We won’t catch the gay from Ellen by watching an ad or seeing her in print next to Penney’s logo.  The ads she stars in are sure to be as G-rated and as soft as most of their ads tend to be.

These moms are doing nothing more that acting like simple-minded, undereducated, dimwitted housewives with nothing better to do with their days than attack a company because they dared to enter into a business deal with a lesbian.  They also don’t seem to understand that they are giving Ellen and Penney’s a nice amount of free publicity with their public whinings about this new deal.  Hell, I want to go buy something at Penney’s just to spite them.  It’s a pointless battle against an imagined enemy.

Celebrity endorsements are great for companies; they garner a good deal of attention and the consumer is more likely to remember a product name when they have a famous face to go with it.  That being said, does anyone really believe that Sarah Jessica Parker is using $7 Garnier hair dye or that Paris Hilton really eats at Hardees or knows how to wash a car?  They’re nothing more than the attention getter and the decoration; the product itself isn’t affected by who the company sticks in the commercial or hires to speak on radio ads.  Ellen could be the leader of a hard-rocking lesbian Satanists group (catch the reference, anyone?) and it wouldn’t translate into meaning JC Penney has changed their business practices, inventory quality, or mission statement.  One Million Moms needs to shut up and get back to their families rather than continue to waste time fighting imagined battles against people and things that aren’t going away because they are doing NOTHING WRONG.

Where Does It Come From?

When I grow up, I want to struggle immensely to have children on my own or to adopt.  When I do have kids, I want their friends to make fun of them because of their parents.  I want to struggle with marriage too.  I want to be stared at when I’m in public with my girl/boyfriend and be made so uncomfortable that I’m afraid to even hold their hand or give them a peck on the cheek.  I want people to hate me without even getting to know me.  I want to be fearful of my safety when walking in certain areas.  I want to be disowned by members of my family.  A familiar story that we can all relate to….

….except that it’s not something we would ever say or choose for ourselves.  Those things are just a handful of potential issues facing any homosexual man or woman and it is one of the reasons I can not accept it when people declare that homosexuality is a choice that people make.  No rational person would choose to place so many hardships on themselves and their family.  Maintaining a loving relationship and starting a family is hard enough without adding additional issues to the mix, such as finding a sperm donor, undergoing artificial insemination treatments or IVF, finding a surrogate mother, or attempting to adopt.  I enjoy being able to kiss my husband at work without drawing judgmental stares from people around us; I don’t believe someone would choose to be gay and deny themselves that freedom, among others.

I’ve had gay friends in my life ever since 6th grade, and although they weren’t out in the open about it then, there were definitely signs that they were not a typical male or female.  The guys didn’t go flitting around like fairies and the girls didn’t dress in flannel and construction boots, they were just obviously a little different in their mannerisms and their interactions with either sex.  They had been a little different their whole lives and eventually realized it was because they were attracted to the same sex and desired to have a romantic relationship with someone who society doesn’t want them to be with.  Every single one of my friends who came out later in life was teased in middle and high school and some forced themselves to date someone of the opposite sex so the name calling would cease.  They tried to act straight but it wasn’t who they were.  Just as I can’t force myself to become a lesbian, a homosexual person can not force themselves to be straight because nature simply did not make them that way.

I watched a documentary months ago about two people, a male and a female, who were trying to be straight after having dated people of the same sex.  The male’s story bothered me the most; he was seeking help through his religion and had a mentor that was part of the church and also a “reformed homosexual.”  They treated being gay in the same way as someone would treat alcoholism, as a disease to be cured.  In seeking acceptance from their God and their church, those who go this route are burying a part of themselves and living a lie for the rest of their lives.

Being gay isn’t anything to be ashamed of and it sure as hell isn’t an illness that requires treatment so that it can be cured and a person can be straight again.  It’s not a condition and it doesn’t make someone less than human.  How is it helpful to tell a person that the only way they can be happy and go to heaven is to deny a part of who they are and force themselves to ignore what is in their heart?  It’s heartless and irresponsible for groups and churches to actively try and turn people straight, especially when their time could be better spent fixing actual problems facing the members of their community.

It is none of my business who anyone chooses to lay down with at night, just as it’s none of your concern who I share my bed with.  It pains me that it’s even an issue because I don’t see how it matters.  We’re all born a bit differently; tall or short, big-boned or rail thin, gay or straight.  It is not anyone’s responsibility to attempt to “fix”a homosexual person nor is it their right to interfere with someone else’s life in that way.  Rather than make pointless efforts to make us all the same, we should embrace the fact that we’re different and unique individuals.  I’m not asking anyone to like homosexuality or agree with it, just let it be and leave them alone.

Gender Bending

A few days ago I read an article about a lesbian couple from California who is giving their son Tommy hormone blockers to delay puberty because he is more comfortable being Tammy.  His parents, Pauline Moreno and Debra Lobel, state that “he was in his own world just completely detached and that was a problem we always had was getting Thomas to participate in life.  What we saw emerge when Tammy was allowed to be Tammy is, “Whoa!”… It was an immediate transformation. She was so giggly and she was now interacting she was now making it a point to defend herself.”

The hormone therapy that Tommy is receiving is said to have minor side effects and has been deemed appropriate for a child his age that is unsure of their gender.  It has been praised by many who say that this is fantastic for transgender youth since it gives kids and their families a chance to make the right decision for a child who feels as though they are trapped in the wrong body.  Obviously this comes with critics as well who state that Tommy, an 11-year-old, is too young to make a decision that will change the rest of his life.  The side effects of the treatment are also questioned, as is the responsibility of Tommy’s parents.  Some side effects Tommy may experience now and in the future if he continues the therapy are weight gain, venous thrombosis, headache, elevated liver enzymes, nausea, symptomatic gallstones, hot flashes, depression, and an increase in bone mass density in the femoral neck and lumbar spine.

Tommy’s parents say that he began calling himself a girl at the age of three and attempted to mutilate his genitals at seven.  Psychiatrists diagnosed him with a gender identity disorder shortly after and it was then that he began calling himself Tammy and dressing as a female.  The hormone blockers were administered a few months ago and will continue until he is 14 or 15; at that time he will be asked to decide if he would like to go through puberty or transition into becoming female.

I grew up around boys; my mother’s best friend at the time had four boys and we were always around each other.  I chose He-Man and G. I. Joe over Barbie, baseball over hopscotch, and sandboxes over makeovers.  I tried joining the Cub Scouts but settled for making the rounds with one of the boys as he went door-to-door selling items, proclaiming myself to be an unofficial boy scout.  I loved everything about being a boy and despised everything about being a girl.    When my little brother was young, he displayed feminine qualities; he loved dolls and having his hair done, he was very emotional and cried at the drop of a hat, and he hated getting dirty or playing rough.  Eventually, we both moved away from the extreme side of things as we became comfortable in who we were.  We went from being products of our environment to unique individuals.

I’m not blaming Tommy’s parents just because they’re lesbians but I am curious to know if it has had some effect on him.  Sexual activity aside, being raised by two women without a prominent male figure in his life could have an effect on him.  My son was a bit of a wimp prior to my marriage and it may have been because he was rarely around men.  I’m all for gay marriage and gay couples with children, but I also do believe that children need to be around both sexes and have role models of both as well.  I wasn’t girly as a child and still shy away from a lot of feminine things today because I spent the majority of my 30 years around boys; I’ve never gotten a manicure but I’ve knocked out someone’s teeth playing hockey, I never learned the proper way to apply makeup but I can change a tire.  It’s quite possible that Tommy identifies as a female because the majority of his time is spent around them and he is attempting to fit better into his environment.

Tommy is only eleven years old.  How many people can say they know exactly what direction they wish their life to take at eleven?  At that age, I wanted to be a lawyer and marry a guy named Mikey, play recorder until I was too old, live in Connecticut forever, and have a pet parrot.  This is a life altering decision that he is too young to make.  The fact that he was diagnosed with a gender identity disorder does not translate into meaning he should be able to start treatment to eventually become a female.  I don’t disagree that there is something wrong mentally, but I definitely disagree with the route his parents are taking.  A psychologist, Jeanne Brooks, states that testosterone plays a key role in the development of bones and muscles, and blocking the hormone could hinder normal physical development. There is also evidence suggesting testosterone impacts neural development as well, and plays a part in guarding against Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment and depression.  This therapy may be making Tommy happy for now, but is it worth these risks?

This issue is not about the fact that Tommy’s parents are lesbians and there is no reason whatsoever that any gay couple shouldn’t be allowed to raise children.  The issue is about two parents who are making the wrong decision for their child.  As smart as children can be, they’re not intelligent enough to make a life altering decision in their pre-teen years and even in their early 20s for some.  Tommy needs an outside party, a professional, to talk to and to help him work through these issues.  He needs a wide variety of options to fix his identity disorder, not just the one option to become female.  If after reaching adulthood, he still desires to become female he can do so, but for now he needs some therapy and comfort.

Tommy’s parents seem to be under the impression that he is sure of what he wants and won’t change his mind, but I believe they should be open to the possibility that it will change.  Assuming he does change his mind, he has already gone through three or four years of hormone blocking therapy, making him smaller and weaker than his peers.  He has been dressing in drag and growing out his hair to fully embody Tammy.  He may have to deal with various side effects that could harm him in adulthood.  He also may end up resenting his parents for delaying his puberty and development.  Assuming he doesn’t change his mind, he still has to deal with the possible side effects stemming from his parents deciding to mess with nature.  Unless he is somehow able to freeze his sperm down the road, he’ll never be able to have a child that is genetically his.  He’ll subject himself to numerous gender reassignment surgeries.  He’ll also deal with ignorant people who hate him for being transgender, some of which can be dangerous.

An additional thing that I don’t understand is why Tommy’s parents are so eager for him to change his body in order to fulfill this inner need.  He was born a boy, 100% unless details of him being a hermaphrodite are being kept under wraps.  Depending on what you believe, nature or God created Tommy to be a man.  I’ve consistently heard homosexuals insist that they are gay because that is how they were born; God or nature made them that way and that is the way they have to be.  I totally agree with that theory; I don’t believe anyone chooses to be gay just like I don’t believe I chose men over women.  It is what it is.  So if Tommy’s parents are lesbians because they were born that way, shouldn’t Tommy stay a male because he was born that way?  At least until adulthood anyway when he’s mentally prepared and able to make the decision.

The hormone blocking and the efforts made to change Tommy’s appearance have been called child abuse by many.  I do have to agree that what his parents are doing does border on abuse.  Delaying his development and letting him wear dresses isn’t a solution.  My child wants to be a pirate and/or a ninja more than anything, but that doesn’t mean my husband and I should take steps to convert him into a mini Jack Sparrow and take him pillaging.  Kids want a lot of things, sometimes reasonable and sometimes outlandish.  It’s our job as parents to keep them in line and not to give in to every request.  Sometimes we’ll make our kids angry when we don’t give them what they want, but we have to put their best interest before their wishes.  We’re there to nurture and protect.  We’re there to guide them and ensure they are mentally and physically healthy.  If we can not provide what they need, we must find someone who can and do everything in our ability to help and make their path into adulthood as pain-free and productive as possible.  Nothing can possibly convince me that Tommy’s parents are acting as responsible parents here.  Their choices just aren’t right, plain and simple.

UR so GAY

I was reading various articles on CNN.com today and stumbled upon an article by Jason Kessler regarding a “Super Bowl hero’s thoughts on gay marriage.”  New York is taking steps to legalize same sex marriage and has recently approved a bill.  David Tyree, formerly of the New York Giants, apparently said that the bill passing is “the beginning of our country sliding toward … anarchy.” (http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/06/16/new.york.gay.marriage.tyree/index.html?hpt=hp_p1&iref=NS1)

The article also reported that in a video, Tyree stated the following:

“Marriage is the only relationship that actually mirrors the relationship with God.”

“You can’t teach something that you don’t have, so two men will never be able to teach a woman how to be a woman.”

“We’re doing God an injustice by not making his heart known to our country.”

I realize our money says “In God We Trust” but I’m also pretty sure that there is still a separation between church and state/federal law.  Sure, the officials we have elected and entrusted to create and enforce laws have religious viewpoints and standings, but that doesn’t translate into these officials consulting a priest or pulling out their bible every time a decision needs to be made.  Most of the arguments against gay marriage involve God’s wishes and the fact that the bible says in there somewhere that he hates gays.  Even if it spells out word for word how every gay man will burn in hell forever, what does the bible have to do with state law?  The last time I received a speeding ticket, it wasn’t issued by a bible carrying state trooper who ordered me to say 10 Hail Mary’s.  If God doesn’t want same sex couples to get married, then ban them from marrying within church walls.

One of the other things Tyree stated was that men can’t raise a little girl and women can’t properly bring up a boy.  I would imagine that this comment would not only anger same sex parents, but also any single parents out there.  If I was still on my own, I wouldn’t be able to teach my son how to write his name in the snow and I wouldn’t be the best basketball partner.  That aside, I’m not an idiot and I can teach a little boy to become a man without the assistance of an adult male.  There is no substitute for a loving parent; in this day and age, kids are lucky to have just one that loves them and supports them.  My husband’s “father” didn’t do a single positive thing for him, other than contribute 50% of his DNA, leaving his mother to raise him, and my husband is more of a man than anyone I know.  Sure, it’s ideal to have a male and female influence at home, but it’s more important to have a loving home than it is to have the traditional family unit.  If a mom and dad is all it takes to make a happy home and raise successful children, will someone please explain away all these abuse and neglect cases I hear about where mom and dad fail at parenting and life in general?

ESPNNewYork.com reported that Tyree stated: “Marriage is one of those things that is the backbone of society.  So if you redefine it, it changes the way we educate our children, it changes the perception of what is good, what is right, what is just.”  Come on now.  Do you know what would happen if across America, all same sex couples were legally able to get married?  We’d have more married people.  Wedding band sales would rise.  Hopefully I’d get at least one invite to a fabulous wedding.  I’m betting the divorce rate would drop; every gay couple I’ve known has been able to find the secret to keeping the relationship strong.  Other than that, I don’t see how it’s going to affect anything.  Changing the way we educate our children?  I doubt the history books will be scrapped and math will be eliminated from the curriculum, nor can I imagine children being raised any differently outside of schools.  You think a gay couple would be more harmful to children than the brilliant parents of these kids?

Marriage, to me, is a chapter in the lives of two people who are in love and are committed to a life together.  It is a celebration of love for the couple as well as their family.  It legally binds you to another person for life (or divorce) and provides various legal benefits to the couple and to any children.  It’s a huge step for anyone to make.  If someone told me that I couldn’t marry my husband back when we decided we had to be together, I would have raised hell.  Two consenting and (mostly) sane  adults as ourselves have every right to be married and damn if anyone would have stopped us.  The powers that be may have the privilege of being able to make these laws that ban same sex marriage, but they sure as hell don’t have the right.

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