Saturday, November 26, 2011

Holiday Traditions: Awkward Conversations With Family

I don't know if anyone has seen the the video floating around from Maggie Gallagher and the National Organisation for Marriage?  You know...the one in which she gives tips on how to talk to your loved ones about your opposition to marriage equality over a heaping plate of turkey, cranberry, and mashed potatoes. You know, I can just imagine it now...."The Turkeys just delicious this year Margaret! Did you brine it?...oh and while we are on the subject...I think gay marriage is totally wrong and the work of homosexual activists bent on redefining a sacred institution to destroy the family....please pass the yams John.......John?....Why is your face so red?. Yams please dear.".....Holiday family get togethers can often be the site of family dust ups but anyone who goes to the dinner table with conversational ammo about their views over gay marriage? about an agenda. Who knew this was something people needed pointers on?

However...Maggies psa about holiday insensitivity does bring up a topic that has long been a challenge for me personally....talking to my family about anything gay. Contrary to what I do on the internet...I am not that vocal in person and some of the hardest people I have ever had to talk to are my family. So lets go there....pass the gravy Maggie...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers who have been with us this year. It has been such a crazy busy year! Today I don't have to host or help cook a huge dinner and I find that I don't know what to do with myself now....though it is nice to let someone else do all the hard work...oh well. Even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, we here at the Leffew home wish you a great day and a happy holiday season. I am truly thankfull for everyone who reads this blog and perhaps takes the time to leave comments. It has been a very chaotic and uncertain year for us and I appreciate everyone for bearing with us through it. You guys are the heart and soul of this blog and I wish I could personally thank each and every one of you.

Anyway...go stuff yourselves, hug your relatives, and take a long nap. You don't have to celebrate Thanksgiving to enjoy those simple joys. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! :)

Bryan, Jay and The Kids

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Setting Goals For Our Kids...Report card Time

This week was finally report card time for my son and daughter and anyone who's been through grade school can remember the nail-biting uncertainty everyone feels opening up those tiny manila envelopes. Parents want to know that their children are getting the best education possible and that our kids are giving their best efforts in that regard.....and our kids are going through their own anxieties. I remember that report card time in my family meant stress for me no matter how well I did. My mom wanted all "A's" from me and anything less than that was met with a silence that I knew meant "you can do better". That pressure to perform at the top of my abilities was why, when I hit puberty, the first way I rebelled was through my grades. I just did not want to be a smart kid. Smart kids got beat up and were never popular. At least that's the way I saw it then.

Being a parent now, I thought I knew how to set a more loving and affirming set of expectations for my own children. I would not be the pressuring parent. I would let my kids know that my love for them did not hinge on their performance or their grades. It all seemed so clear and so simple....and then I became a parent and all my preconceived notions  were wiped away in the realities of day to day parenting.  I have also been challenged me to rethink how I set goals for my much for clear and simple.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


In my humble north bay town of Santa Rosa a tent city has grown on the lawn of City Hall. They are Occupy Santa Rosa. I never thought that a town like mine would see an Occupy encampment, after all....we are not a center for banking or finance. What is there to "occupy" really by a few square feet of grass on the grounds of a  city that it probably of like mind to the protesters. Much has been speculated in our local news as to how long the city will allow them to remain camped out. Everyone talks about what happened in Oakland as if it could happen here. I know that it wont, but everyday I drive by them and wonder that this movement has hit my hometown.

I have been debating writing this post for some time. Partly because it will be unabashedly political, but also because I wanted to wait and see what the Occupy Wall Street movement would become. Lately, it seems it has been in the news for all the wrong reasons and the core ideas that drove so many to protest are becoming lost in divisive and demonizing tactics on both sides of the picket line. I think it's time to weigh in because we as a gay family and a law enforcement family are a part of the 99% too.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Trouble With Quibbles or...Why We Put Our Kids On The Net

Welcome back everyone...I know my blogging has been sporadic lately. Daily life seems to be getting in the way putting pen to paper....or at least keystrokes to net. However, that does not mean that our lives have been uneventful. This week we had Halloween, my 39th birthday, and a great right up about "The Right To Love: An American Family" In the Huffington Post. That's all big stuff! Being an amateur blogger I was thrilled to find the movie being covered by such a large and well read publication...and to receive a positive review for the movie was even better. I want to say thank you to Frank Schaeffer, the author of the piece for giving his truthful and candid observations about the movie and also about our family.

I also want to address a "quibble" Mr. Schaeffer had with us as parents exposing our children to protests and the glare of public scrutiny. It's not the first time we have heard that point make and  I feel it is important enough point that it requires a response. Our kids are very important to us and our decision to include them in our YouTube work was not simple. It was however, an organic process and not a preplanned set of events.....but I will explain that further in a sec. Read on after the fold.....