Saturday, May 18, 2013
For many of us it's a thorny subject. For myself, having built my family by adoption, we know that family is something more than blood or the people that may have been born to. Family are the people who actually raise you and stand by you no matter what. Yet, when it comes to political discourse over in this country, we talk a big game about family being the bedrock of our culture and society...and then forget to mention all the gay people that get left out of that definition of family. There have whole organisations who claim to want to protect and preserve families even though the bulk of them don't give a dam about families and just want to stop gays from being full participants in society (FRC anyone?). We expend an enormous amounts of energy and words talking about families and what they mean to us as a culture.....but what we experience as individuals is often something totally different.
Recently my son had the honor to read the letter he wrote to Supreme Court Justice John Roberts at BAYS....an LGBT youth leadership summit held here in the bay area. Bays is a completely youth run non profit organisation that helps LGBT young people and allies learn how to be leaders involved in their own schools and local communities as leaders and safe schools advocates. It's quite a mouthful to say but what they have put together was something absolutely amazing and we were all honored that Daniel was chosen as one of their keynote speakers.
The event was MC'd by Rupauls Drag Race Winner Raja (who did an awesome job. At one point in the evening she made the observation that about how incredible it was to have such an event in which so many young people were not only "out" but were training others to be LGBT leaders and advocates in their own schools. In the days when Raja (and myself) were in high school you couldn't even wear an ear ring in the wrong ear or you suffered the consequences. But what she said next struck home....in those days she said, we identified each other by saying "oh...they are family" and as she scanned an audience of mostly teens she wondered out loud if that term was passing away.......Was it?
Now, anyone over the age of thirty still knows that term, but I had to wonder...in a generation that can be out and accepted by friends and family in a way that many of us of previous generations never could, is that definition of family being lost because we no longer have to lean on each other as we once did? And it took me back in time to when I first learned who my gay family was and why we needed each other.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Todays title says it all really. May the 4th is a day set aside to completely wallow in Star Wars geekery...hence the phrase, "May the 4th be with you." Not that I need a special day to wallow in geekery mind you, it's sort of a 24/7 thing with me and it will always revolve around Star Wars in some way. Yes....it's Star Wars day every day for me.
Given what our family does on YouTube I have been very lucky to find many kindred spirits but...there are also just as many that don't get it at all. You can always tell when someone visits my house, see's our Star Wars collection...and then politely smiles as they back out there door with a look on their face like they just stepped into the something more like Silence of the Lambs. yeah...not everybody gets it.
So I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about how I became a fan and what Star Wars has meant to me over the years. This isn't apologetics...I'm not attempting to make myself look any less fanatical. but hopefully, those of my readers who don't have any connection with a "galaxy far far away" might begin to understand why I feel the way I do...and perhaps why all superfans(Dr. who, Star Trek, Harry Potter etc.) are really just big kids at heart.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
A while back (wow, it was June of last year!) I a post titled "Cold Case" I talked about our Daughter, Selena, beginning to ask some rather pointed questions about her biological mother and how difficult it was going to be to find anything now that state adoptions felt the case was forever closed. that launched us into becoming amateur detectives in order to track down our children's biological family. We have always been really open with the kids about where they came from and how they came to be with us, but now that they were actually wanting to know more about their family, it had caught us off guard and wondering how the heck we were going to find anything when all we had was a hand written family tree in Daniels adoption binder that only had the first names of his older siblings and their ages at the time of Daniels removal....not a lot to go on. Well, thanks to the help of a good friend and some major facebook and google sleuthing, we found a list of names of likely candidates. And so I had sent them all facebook messages, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best.
And then nothing....
We has absolutely no response at all and quietly, inside my heart I was heartbroken for the kids. We wondered if we got the wrong people, or perhaps their older siblings had been so scarred by their experience with their family that they simply wanted nothing to do with them anymore...even if they were long lost siblings. People rarely react the way we think they are going to and everyone has their own reasons for saying no to a contact that most of us would jump at the chance to realize. But we let it go, resigned to try it again later, and got on with our lives. All of us forgot about it and got caught up in the daily grind of homework, karate, fencing, foster child visits, and Youtube. And then,out of the blue...something amazing happened...
Saturday, April 20, 2013
Hello dear readers...it is nice to be back after missing last week. Over that time however, it seems as if some crazy things have been happening in the world. The Boston bombings and fertilizer plant explosion in Texas has been on mind all week as it seems as if the wounds of the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings haven't even healed yet...but....it's not those tragedies themselves that are in my thoughts these day so much as our response to them. Terrible events tend to bring us together as a people in ways I wish we would find when we aren't grieving some terrible loss.
I spend my days swimming through a see of opinion about people attitudes and opinions to LGBT people and our rights and if you can say one thing about it, it is that it is contentious. The loudest voices are often the most hateful ones and those people need to be met and countered. The path to seeing an LGBT person as a normal human being and not a national threat has been a long and loud one and we are far from seeing the end of it. Even the repeal of Doma and the passage of LGBT inclusive immigration and work place reforms will not end the culturally entrenched homophobia that still needs to be met daily with courage and truth.
But as I watch the T.V. in the wake of the Boston Bombings and hear such amazing stories of compassion...like people running toward the blast sights to help the injured instead of running away in self protection...it makes me think. Why can not this be who we are all the time? And given that LGBT people are there in these same events, suffering in the carnage and helping to heal it...when will the world learn that we have bigger problems to face in the world than two people of the same-sex getting married?