Saturday, May 29, 2010

Small Worlds and Herculean Tasks

 Hello Everyone,

I realize my blogging has been really sporadic lately. Taking care of five kids and getting ready for an impending vacation has kept me on my toes....please forgive this harried blogger as he plays catchup with the worlds events. Namely, recent news coming from the international stage concerning the freeing of the Malawian gay couple jailed for holding a same-sex engagement ceremony and the struggle of Russian gays to hold a pride march in the face of overwhelming hostility. Both of these stories make me think about how small our world is though we often think it big enough to shield us from the suffering of others. That is, until our bubble bursts and we realize we don't stand alone in the world and that all of us are struggling in our own ways. The fight to repeal DADT touches the fight for the basic right to exist for African gays which touches a similar struggle in Russia which also reverberates outward in a spidering network of rippling effects to others as well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Selena's Graduation Day!


Hello everyone.

Few things make a parent prouder than when our kids show us how grown up they are becoming. Today is Selena's day to shine because she is graduating from Preschool! I can't believe that the little bundle of cuteness we brought home almost four and a half years ago has gotten that big!

As parents, we have to teach our kids so much before they ever attend school. They handle walking and talking well enough on their own but, potty training, learning to dress and brush your teeth, how to share and resolve your conflicts without pushing and shoving, thats alot to learn. Then we throw them in with a bunch of other toddlers and ask them to count, know their colors, memorize the alphabet, and begin writing. When Selena first came to be with us, we wondered and worried if we were up to the task of helping her reach these milestones.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Harvey Milk Day...Finding Hope In An Uncertain World






This last year I have learned more about LGBT memorial holidays than I ever imagined possible. There has been the Transgenered Day of Remembrance, The Day of Silence, Day Against Homophobia, our usuall Pride days, And Today....Harvey Milk Day. Again, its another holiday you don't traditionally buy cards for or celebrate with a alcoholic libations...but what the hell...traditions change everyday, crack out the cocktail shaker and lets talk.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day Againsts Homophobia...Defending The Indefensible

Today, May 17th is marked as the "Day Against Homophobia". (learn more)Its labeled as a day to reach out to others and raise awareness of the effects of homophobia and transphobia. Celebrated in 50 countries, it is also a day in which events are held aimed at reducing the fear, lack of information, and deliberate misinformation that creates homophobia ane the awfull actions it leaves in its wake. While a worthy undertaking, its not exactly a day in which you run out an buy all your loved ones cards or gifts....though I suppose it could be celebrated over a few margaritas.

In considering the scope of this task, it feels like moving a mountain one spoonfull at a time. This is my spoonfull. Read on:

Monday, May 10, 2010

Elena Kagan...Judicial Woman of Mystery

Recently President Obama anounced his pick for Supreme Court Nominee in the person of Solicitor General Elena Kagan. Almost immediately she became the subject of intense public interest as we all pondered the impact she could have on important Supreme Court Rulings. Indeed, to dive into the blogosphere today is to immerse yourself in non-stop news, inuendo, and speculation surrounding Kagan. The number of blog entries about her nomination nearly equal those of the George Allen Rekkers rentboy scandal....thats alot people!

Now....I am not a news reporter or a politico. I am just a house dad watching the news, so my understanding may be limited. However, from my vantage point Elena Kagal presents more questions than she does answers as to what kind of Judge she will be should she win the appointment. Her voting record has been questioned and her actions as the dean at Harvard have been examined...those in which she moved to block the military from recruiting on campus because of DADT has led many to see her as staunchly liberal and pro gay rights. Her sexuality has also been questioned leading to wild speculation on both sides of the aisle. The only thing we know for sure at this point is that she seems quite adept at offering answers to questions that don't give away her personal views. She plays her cards close to the vest.

But it is roundly assumed that her rumored sexuality will cause her to rule in favor of cases critical to the gay community...to which I say, "not neccesarily"..read on to find out why.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Stories From The Frontlines...Clifton Truman Daniel


Stories From the Frontlines is a partnership project between the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and participating bloggers, offering open letters to President Barack Obama from active duty servicemembers, urging him to repeal DADT through relating their personal stories. The most recent entry struck me deeply because of resonance with history so I thought I'd share it with all of you. Clifton Truman Daniel is the Grandson of President Harry S.Truman and has a unique perspective on the courage it takes to use the presidential pen for the good of others...even when its wildly unpopular. Read his letter after the jump..

May 7, 2010

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20500



Dear Mr. President:

Tomorrow, my family and I will mark the 126th anniversary of my grandfather President Harry Truman’s birthday. There are many reasons we celebrate his life and contributions to our nation, but in particular we are proud of his decision to desegregate the U.S. Armed Forces in July 1948, which paved the way for future civil rights advancements.

It was not easy. He faced fierce opposition from inside and outside the military. Many, including Army Chief of Staff Gen. Omar Bradley, argued that mixing black and white soldiers would destroy the Army.

My grandfather, however, was appalled that African-American service members had been beaten and lynched upon their return home from fighting in World War II. They had risked their lives to defend our nation, but were denied the full rights and responsibilities of American citizenship. Implementation of his order to desegregate wasn’t easy, but it made our military stronger and our nation a brighter beacon of democracy.

There are strong parallels between the desegregation of the military and the debate over “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the law that mandates the firing of a service member based solely on his or her sexual orientation. Opponents argue that allowing openly gay and lesbian service members to serve alongside their heterosexual comrades will endanger discipline and morale.

While I have no idea where my grandfather would stand on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” I do know that he admired service and sacrifice. An estimated 66,000 gay and lesbian Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coastguardsmen are willingly risking their lives to defend our nation, despite being treated as second class citizens.

I would hope that my grandfather would want his openly gay great-granddaughter and others like her to have the opportunity to serve the country they love with dignity and integrity.

Mr. President, as you have said many times, including in your State of the Union Address earlier this year, ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is the right thing to do. This year is the right time to do it.

I commend you for your commitment and hope the example of my grandfather, Harry Truman, will help you lead with the same courage and conviction to ensure the "equality of treatment and opportunity for all who serve our nation’s defense.”



Respectfully,

Clifton Truman Daniel


A powerfull read from a man who saw history happen from the inside. I hope our President sees this and takes it to heart.

Until next time dear readers...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain!

Ah... the Wizard of Oz...That magic moment when Dorothy and friends are cowering before the fiercesome visage of the Wizard that she has come so far and through so much peril, to see. Dorothy, in spite of her fear of the wizard, tells him that she has completed the impossible task that he had set before her and now she expected him to follow through on his promise to send her home...and then....she notices that Toto has pulled aside a curtain exposing the sham that is the "great and powerfull Wizard of Oz".

Sometimes these iconic movie moments have their paralels in real life. Take, for instance, that the loudest voices against gays and lesbians are often gay themselves. They are the wizards, trying to cow us into submission. That is...until someone pulls away the curtain to show the real person underneath the facade.

Such is the case of Professor George Allen Rekers.... Rekers is a Baptist minister and cofounder of the Family Research Council, one of the most rabidly anti-gay organzations in the nation. In his off hours, he also likes to cruise gay for pay hook up sites...of course...Its what all the conservative Christians are doing these days.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Special People

Sometimes, as a blog writer I get rather caught up in the rut of writing exclusively about gay rights. I get so focused on this one aspect of life, I forget that life has many facets and more stories worth telling. As many of you already know, our family is again involved in the foster system bringing our current household up to five children. One perk for being involved in the fost adopt system again is that the agency that represents us also runs a support group for families to help deal with the stresses that can come with fostering and adopting. Its a great program. They feed the whole family and have childcare for all our kids so that we get some time to blow off some steam while the kid get to play freely with kids that have similar experiences to theirs. It was in one of these sessions that a subject came up in discussion among all the parents, that resonated with me as a parent and a blogger. One of the parents brought up a comment we often here as foster and adoptive parents. The subject of special people...