Saturday, April 30, 2011

What The Light Reveals

There are some events, that when they occur, shine a light on our society and ourselves in such a manner that it can leave us shocked, outraged, and saddened that such things can still happen. The most recent example of this was the terrible beating of Crissy Lee Polis that was filmed by a McDonalds employee who did nothing to assist her as she was beaten to the point of seizures. The video footage sparked outrage and was seen(rightfully) as an example of the dangers that Transgendered men and women face in our society as they go about their everyday lives.

For the most part, the response to the video was positive. Even those who were outraged at what happened did so from a place of support. But something else began to emerge that was disturbing. Racism and Transphobia again reared there ugly heads...except this time it wasn't coming from outside the GLBT community...but from those who claim to be within a community that should know dam well what discrimination feels like and have sense enough not to do it to anyone else.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why Marriage Matters..Where The Rubber Meets The Road

Too often if debating/fighting/struggling for marriage equality it can become a conversation grounded in abstract concepts and principles. Pro-equality advocates(like myself) are fond of using the constitution and it's promise of equality for all as the grounds for debate. We make the the correct assertion that we as LGBT Americans are just as entitled to marriage, military service, fair housing, and employment as any other American. Anti equality forces generally respond with arguments that center on morality and religion. They claim that the granting of any gay rights is actually an attack on religious rights. When they don't want to use religion as the basis for resistance they fall back on characterizing us as strangers and outsiders, refer to LGBT rights as "dangerous social experiments". Both sides miss one essential point....the human cost of discrimination.

It is our real lives and stories that are our "why" for marriage and a recent video from Freedom To Marry makes my point. The video details the life, love, and loss of Ron and Tom. Together for 58 years and only legally married for three, they were together until Tom recently passed away leaving Ron as the surviving spouse...except...the federal government doesn't see it that way. Video after the fold...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Update On The Beating Of Crissy Lee Polis

To clarify...both girls who attacked Crissy Lee Polis have been arrested. The 14 year old is being tried as a juvenile and the 18 year old as an adult. However, what this video does not mention is that McDonalds has issued a statement condemning the incident and is in talks with the Franchise owner about the conduct of his staff. Also, the employee who shot the video and posted it to YouTube and Facebook has been fired.

As an aside, I took heart that the news anchors simply referred to Ms. Polis as a woman. They made no mention or allusions to her trans status. Not even CNN can seem to manage that. But for everyone wondering how Crissy is doing, I will allow her to tell you in her own words....

Happy Easter everyone and....until next time dear readers...

Happy Easter Everyone!

Some of you may celebrate the holiday...others not. But from our family to all of you may you have an awesome day and may the Easter Bunny leave you special...and hopefully edible, surprises!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

No Samaritans

All of us would like to think that if something truly horrible happened to us that someone would step forward to help us. If we are in a car accident or having a medical event, we would want someone to call the paramedics. If our house is on fire we would want a neighbor to call the fire department. And if we are being attacked by someone we would hope that those around us have enough compassion to call the police. However, what would you...could if you were being attacked and instead of getting help...bystanders filmed your attack and laughed?

That is exactly what occurred recently at a McDonalds restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland. A trans woman attempting to us the restroom was confronted by two young woman who then attacked her and beat her to the point of the meantime a McDonalds employee filmed the event and laughed. Only one elderly woman stepped forward to help and was rewarded with a punch in the face from one of the attackers. Video after the fold...

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Son's First Crush

Every day our kids get a little bigger. Sometimes that growth is easy to see, like when we they learn how to tie their own shoes or when we mark another inch on the growth chart. But along with all the changes they are making outside, they are also maturing inside and it's those changes that can sometimes catch us very off guard as parents. I mean...we know their coming at someday in a theoretical future...but when they actual get here it's still hard to imagine that those words are coming out of your childs mouth. This last week my some has been blowing me away and making me wonder were the little boy has gone. My son Daniel likes a girl...and likes her enough to tell her so in front of his friends. Oh man...I am proud of him and scared to death all at the same moment. Who would have guessed that such a simple part of growing up would fell so complicated.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Thank You For Voting Us Best Daddy Blog!

I owe everyone who voted at Circle of Moms...and Circle of Moms themselves...a huge thanks for all your efforts. Who would have guessed that daddy blog contest would hold so much drama?!

I have to admit...I am still a little retiscent to claim victory since Circle of Moms has not made an official anouncement. They closed voting due to possible fraudulent voting practices...and that just seemed to be winner anouncement. So I'm left a little nunplussed. But at anyrate, I wanted to thank everyone who put so much effort into helping us win and for showing your support for this blog and it;s harried daddy blogger. Every week we try to bring the best we can while trying to be daddies first and sometimes that's quite a challenge. Thanks for showing the love!

Bryan, Jay and the niblets

A Taxing Situation

It's that time of the year again when Americans across the nation receive their tax documents in the mail with all the joy of a jury summons and discover that half of them are STILL missing, Scream at their computer screens while trying to navigate clunky and down right byzantine tax prep software, and watch the calendar with mounting dread. For many of us Tax day means the annual migration  to the post office at 5 minutes before closing for the great convocation of chronic procrastinators. However, you do get them done, it is generally a pain in the keister for everyone. However...if your gay and partnered in some legal form, the government has several ingenious ways to screw us even more.  For most gay couples doing our taxes has never been simple..the Defense of Marriage Act sees to that...but this year the government has invented some new ways to drum up extra cash and again let us know that they don't regard LGBT couples as equal to our heterosexual counterparts.

so we found out when we began this years tax odyssey...

Monday, April 11, 2011

One Culture War...Two Warriors

Of all the actual wrongs in the world, why are we singled out as the single worst? There is murder, natural disasters, horrible diseases, poverty and many things to fight and yet stopping homosexuals is at the top of every bodies short list of the ills of society to eradicate first. Hell...If I had a dime for every time I've heard someone equate homosexuality to murder, I could pay off the national debt and buy everyone coffee afterwards. The groups that spend enormous amounts of time and money fighting equality are many, and the individuals that they attract come for their own Personal reasons. Some are true believers who are truly frightened that the acceptance of homosexuality signals the breakdown of the world they grew up in. Others use the issue to create fear in the public and raise copious amounts of money for themselves and the organisations that sign their paychecks. But whatever may bring an individual to see their fellows as the ultimate evil, the fact remains that they are still just human beings...the same as those they fight against. Being human means they can make mistakes, change their minds and grow, or take the crazytrain all the way down into madness. Two stories have surfaced this week that highlight that this struggle isn't one fought on the basis of abstract issues or morality...but a battle fought to recognize the basic humanity and rights of LGB..& T people.

For your consideration I present the stories of Ryan Sorba of CPAC who believes that Conservatives should not use the word "gay" all....and Louis Marinelli, a former member of the National organisation for Marriage who has given up his work for NOM and endorsed marriage equality after actually getting out in the world and meeting some gay people....go figure.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Foster Parenting Can Tuff...Saying Goodbye

Day two and I am still at the hospital and may be here until tonight. Meanwhile, the baby went back to his uncles this morning and I'm a little weepy about it. This is the same baby who had me pulling out my hair the first two weeks of his time with us, but I knew that with time would come attachment...and so it was. I will miss him at the same time that I am glad that he is in a good home with family members. Be well baby boy my thoughts are with you...

Talk to you all very soon I hope and...Until next time dear readers...

Saturday, April 2, 2011

10 Years of Same-Sex Marriage In the Netherlands...Happy Anniversary!

Wow I remember when this came over the news and it sure doesn't feel like ten years ago. Man how the time flies.What is it your supposed to give at the ten year anniversary?...Gifts of tin in the old tradition and Aluminum in the modern tradition so says the intertubes. Well....we'll have to just be creative with that one I guess. However, we would like to give a hearty Congratulations to married, Dutch gay couples and to the Netherlands itself for reaching the ten year mark of allowing gays and lesbians to marry and beginning a trend that has begun to take hold around the world...however slowly. Along with the report of this fantastic milestone has also come some interesting stats on marriage in the Netherlands that help to highlight the actual rather than the imagined effects of same-sex marriage.