Sunday, July 27, 2014

Balance of Power


    No this will not be a post about politics  or any  current world events that would make any sane thinking person to the conclusion that the world has lost it's collective mind. No...the loss of sanity I would like to talk about today is much closer to home. Finding the balance of power within your relationship....be that married, dating, domestically partnered, or any combination there of.....dividing up responsibilities such as who stays home, who pays the bills, who cleans what, who gets the kids to school can be more than a little crazy making....and a constant source of relationship negotiation.

Being both Gay and a stay at home dad, I think a lot of people may get a skewed idea that gay couples struggle both more and less than others do in this area. There are those who are still so hidebound in their notion of gender roles that anyone who stays home gets labeled as "the mom", with the working parent as "the dad"...and then, on the other end of the spectrum are the people who's only exposure to gay couples is on TV. To them we are all independently wealthy enough to afford nannies, have immaculate homes, and dress our whole family like an Abercrombie and Fitch catalog, all the while maintaining our perfect gym bodies. Yeah, right....as if...my tummy begs to differ.

Nope, we struggle the same as the next couple does with all the same issues as any other couple and being two men or two women does not alter the dynamics of coupledom much. Which is probably why one of the fights I am most likely to have with my husband is about "who" did "what" all day(or did not get done)....and what we think we are entitled to as a result. This can spark the flames of argument like nothing else.

 Sound like a recipe for disaster? Is it a sign of relationship problems?....pour yourself a cup'o joe and lets discuss...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Toward A More Perfect Union



LGBTQI....

It is a term many of us struggle to pronounce let alone wrap our minds around what it means. Indeed, when I came out in the 90's the term was already in flux from various forms of GLB to LGB. Not long after, I learned we had added the "T" and a whole bunch of people freaked out about that. However, in spite of all their histrionics about the addition of Transgendered to the label our community wears...it stuck, and has been the (mostly) accepted lingo we have used for most of my adult gay life. Most recently, we have added Intersex and Queer/Questioning to include a spectrum of experience that transcends both sexual orientation and sexual identity. It may be hard to say, but until we invent a single word to describe the experience...it is the best we have.

While it may be an awkward term to explain to those outside our community. We have to explain what each letter means and why it is used. More often than not, their expression reads as if I had tried to explain life on another planet. However, they are not the only ones...Some who fall under it's 
broadly inclusive banner also struggle to understand what links us all together. For example...

In a totally bewildering exchange that took place on Americablog. John Aravosis, a writer I have respected over the years has written an article titled The End Of Gay History . A piece initially meant to speculate on the future of gay activism and orgs in the face of the victories they have achieved. The actual question asked being, "Are we at the end of gay history?" However, what actually developed by the end of the story was less about the relevancy of gay activism in the gay community...and more a wild veering off into the perceived fractures between the letters of our movement. And I used the word "perceived" for a reason. The whole thing was one massive /facepalm moment.

That this post devolved into a fight  between "gay white men" and the Transgendered community, left me bewildered and scratching my head at just what the hell any of these people were thinking. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

Among the issues that surfaced  were...Who are we as a community? What binds us together? And as we see progress on one front, how do we treat the others who aren't advancing as fast?...at least, that's the nice way of phrasing what they posed much less nicely. Pull up a chair and your favorite cup'o something and lets tackle this messy business head on...

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Great Truvada Debate



When we talk about gay rights...and how far we have come as a community, I think many people would think first of the tide of marriage equality that has been steadily advancing across the nation. This is what makes the news and has become a defining movement for the community. And indeed, we have come very far in the legal recognition of our lives and loves, thus beginning to stem a tide of injustice that was just an accepted and given part of gay life as I knew it when I came out. It is amazing to be writing this to you as an out, gay, and married man with a family as those things were so far beyond my dreams not too long ago.


But there are other issues and conversations that move us along as a community with equal momentum. Some of those conversations are quite heated and so emotionally laden that they are hard to approach. Today's blog is one of those for me. Living the life that I have, and coming to terms with my sexuality when I did....I understand the debate over Truvada affects me, as it does all of us....but another part of me feels so ill prepared to tackle it with the breadth and understanding I think this topic deserves. However, there are few topics today that can cause such heated division as Truvada...and PreP therapies in general. For something sold as an "advancement in HIV prevention, it has engendered such a divided response, with both sides digging in their heels in their positions...that it leaves anyone looking in from the outside confused as to why this drug that can save lives should get this much controversy.

Is there actually a meta-conversation going on underneath the outward discussion of facts and transmission rates? Are we still grappling with old fears and ingrained self prejudices that is keeping us from see this drug as anything other than another tool in the fight against HIV? As the debate swings from one heated comment to another...what are we saying to ourselves, about ourselves?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Milestones...Daniel Graduates Junior High


For some, graduating Junior High may not seem like a big deal. Heck, even the school itself doesn't call the act "Graduation" anymore. They call it "promotion"....a weird term at best, and begs the question of what they are promoting to, and does it come with a raise? But there I sat, in the rows of identical, red folding chairs, set up on the lawn in the warm spring sun, looking at a ring of chairs set up for the graduates and realized.....this is happening. Next year my son will be in high school. The little boy that I once knew, was being replaced by a young man. Another world was passing away and all of us, as a family are standing on the doorstep of a new one. It feels like just yesterday that Daniel was a third grader and a new student to our little charter school. As proud as I am to be here to celebrate this moment with Daniel, the time just seemed to have gone by too fast and I could not help but  look back to remember all that had brought us here...