Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Years everyone. I barely got the time to get on here to today to give these wishes. Jay and I have been dashing aroung getting things for Baby Boy, who made his transition back into our home with flying colors. He is doing awesome and it's like he never left. But the hectic tone of this day just underscores what 2011 was for busy. And 2012 does not look to be any less busy. But however full the new year may be I look forward to experiencing it with my family and with all of you. So no matter where you find yourself tonight, may you have a great night and an incredible new year! See you in 2012!

Until next time dear readers....

Friday, December 30, 2011

Foster Diaries: The Return of Baby Boy

Well dear readers, it seems that life is bringing me full circle again. Many of you may also watch us on YouTube, and if know that there is a new addition coming to our home. Way back in February of this year I  blogged about a little boy who was placed with us that I had dubbed "baby boy" since we can not put him in print or video. On the first day he came to be with us he had two ear infections and a whole lot of fear and neglect issues and so he cried every night....for hours. At that time, it made me wonder whether I had the chops to handle being a foster parent. But as time went on, his medical issues cleared up and became the cutest little baby I ever could have imagined. Sadly though, the time came when social services found a family member willing to care for Baby Boy while his mom could go through drug treatment and the family reunification process. We were sad...but we also knew that this would be a part of emergency foster care and we thought it was good that he would be with family......And so Baby Boy left our home to whatever the future would hold for him. All of us shed a few tears as we said our good buys.

Except....that the future that he went to wasn't as bright as we had hoped and it seems that Baby Boy is returning to our home today....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays From Us!

Happy Holidays from all of us here at the Leffew home.

It has been one crazy holiday season and I for one am glad that Christmas is finally here so that I can just enjoy the day and forget any preparations that still may need to be done. Our gifts are purchased and wrapped, our dinner is ready to go...and Santa even made an appearance here the day before his big night. If you're on a budget this holiday season try this Overstock coupon. The store has a wide array of selection so hopefully you can pick something out for your whole family!

I know that Daniel knows the truth about Santa now...but I hope he never stops believing that magical things can happen. As he gets older, his wish list changes from video games and toys to video games and a leather jacket but I hope he and Selena always remain little kids inside. As a grown up, my Christmas wish list has changed somewhat too. I look around my life and realize that I have so much that I am grateful for, that it shrinks my list down quite a bit. But, a few things I have wished for under the evening stars are a world in which no gay person needs to fear to lose their job, their home, or their life because someone discovers their sexual orientation or gender identity. I saw a lot of violence done to friends this year and it reminds me just how far we have to go make that world more than just a wish. I'm keeping a handful of people in my prayers this year and their safety and happiness is my Christmas wish.

So I do believe in magic. It may not come with sparkles, colorful light shows, or the sound of harps, but I do believe that incredible....even impossible things happen when we hold them in our hearts and make room for them in our lives. That's just me though and I don't ever want to stop believing.

 Merry Christmas and happy holidays from Jay, Daniel, Selena, and myself....and no matter where you may find yourself this holiday season, may you be safe and warm as well as surrounded by those you love.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Meeting Randy Roberts Potts...New Friends And Old Scars

We at gay family values have been fortunate enough to meet lots of other fantastic YouTubers. The great thing about meeting these people in person is that we really get to know them as the regular people. Sean Chapin was the first YouTuber we had ever met and we had so many stars in our eyes. Also, this summer we got to meet the infamous Jim Stone and his husband and had a wonderful time hanging out together as well as eating his husbands fantastic cooking. And each "Big Gay Vacation" has brought us to YouTubers that I now count as good friends. As people often tell us that we have impacted their lives in positive ways...I don't know if you all know how much richness all of you add to ours. It's one of the big pluses of being a part of the YouTube community.

Therefor, it was with great excitement that we looked forward to meeting Randy Roberts Potts. Randy is the grandson of the legendary Evangelist Oral Roberts...a father to three awesome children...and a gay man facing his past with courage and using it to make positive change in the world. I, in particular, had a strong desire to meet Randy because of his grandfather's ministry and its ubiquitous place in my own past. I admit that I was not sure what I was hoping to find in talking to him....healing...revelation...both of those being very religiously loaded terms. But what I did find was worth so much more.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Right To Love Advanced Screening...Standing In The Spotlight

It's finally here!...."The Right To Love: An American Family" is finally finished!

... and after nearly three years I have been able to view it in it's entirety. But I can say that it was worth the wait. We were been very blessed to have the extremely talented folks of Jaye Bird Productions  take on this topic as well as and the generous efforts of the folks at Skywalker Sound take the project under their wing and donate their time to give the movie their magic touch. That ALSO meant that I got to geek out...AGAIN, by getting to see the advanced viewing held at Skywalker ranch this last Monday. After nearly three years of donating our footage, interviews with Cassie, Nena, and Christina of Jaybird productions, I couldn't believe the moment had come when I actually got to see it all come together and it was everything I  had hoped for and more. It was an emotional,.... sometimes overwhelming thing to be the focus of something like this, so I thought I would take a moment to talk about the experience that is taking our family on a whole new adventure....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Love Passes ...While The Court Dawdles On

It feels so disappointing and wrong to be writing this post on the heels of the last one. The Story of Lillian Shuziko and John Berry had it's share of tragedy...but ended in love and hope for the future. I was glad to post it. Today's story...not so much. However, I am choosing to share it because I do not think there is anything to be gained from not telling it. In fact, I think it would do a disservice to the couple it involves. There has been a slew of Prop 8 related stories this week that...when put together...paint a disturbing picture in my opinion.

This last March, an elderly couple by the names of Derence Kernek and Ed Watson had posted a YouTube video asking the Ninth Circuit court to allow Judge Vaughn Walkers decision on Prop 8 to stand because....after 40 years of being together, Ed Watson's alzheimers was progressing and the couple wanted to marry before his condition worsened. sadly, their plea fell on deaf ears and now, nine months later, Ed Watson has passed away. Meanwhile...also in the news...the Ninth circuit continues it's glacial progress to decide whether or not Prop 8 opponents even have the ability to defend the case before their bench. Also, the issue of releasing the tapes of Judge Walkers initial trial is still being fought over....and Prop 8 proponents are STILL trying to have Judge Walkers decision vacated....again. None of this is moving the Ninth circuit case forward in any's just litigation about the litigation. How silly and absurd this all seems and there just doesn't seem to be any end it sight. meanwhile...couples like Derence and Ed are still caught under the gears of justice as it's broken machine totters on.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Cost Of Love...

O.K...I began this post yesterday when it was actually in the paper, but real life kept hauling me away from the computer and preventing me from switching into "blog mode". But here it goes again. While this blog is technically a "gay blog" the story I have chosen to share with all of you is not a "gay" story. Yet I felt it was a story that any LGBT person would resonate is a story about sacrificing for love...and it touched my heart. So without further ado...lets give it one more try:

This morning....Yesterday I happened upon an article in my local paper that has touched my heart and I feel it is important to  share with all of you. During these holidays, we all need to be reminded that love is alive and can beat some pretty incredible odds and I think this one fits the bill. The article from The Press Democrat was about the passing of 87 year old Lillian Shizuko and her remarkable romance and marriage to John Berry. She, a Hawaiian born Japanese girl....Him a white American man...both of them find love together in a pre-World War II World. They were different races and from different cultures in a time that tolerated no blurring of the lines...what could go wrong?

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.....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Protect The Children

Isn't that how the mantra goes when the tide turns to recognizing equality for the LGBT community? No matter what the issue at hand might be, instead of making their stand on religious grounds, those who oppose acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual,and transgendered people twist the conversation around to one of protecting children. What really cheeses me off however, is that they are not really for protecting children at all. Few, if any, of the people who have criticized Jay and myself for raising children will ever open their home to a child in need of a family. Many would rather a child age out of the foster system never knowing a family, than see them raised by a loving same-sex family.

But the reality is that we DO have families and those children can be equally as harmed by the lack of legal recognition and protections as their parents are. A recent video from the Family Equality Council highlights this issue and shows how bans on same-sex marriage and attacks on gay rights can have a serious impact on the most vulnerable people of like mine. Check out the video after the jump and ask yourself who is really being protected by anti-gay laws?... because it's not children. I can guarantee you that.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cold and Flu Season Strikes Again

*Bleh*'s that time of year when the colds and flu's start to circulate and I am feeling like my head is stuffed full of cotton....and you don't even want to know what my nose is up to. I have tried to write at least ten times today but I can't seem to muster the focus to put together coherent sentences. (yes...I know, never stopped my before right?)

It always begins with the schools....first one classmate is gone, then another is out for a week, then they start dropping like flies...each of them spreading around something I know is gonna come home soon. Selena gives me the breakdown on who was out and for how long because she totally keeps tabs on her classmates that way. I know who got the broken arm and who barfed and had to go home because she will totally tell me everything in stomach churning detail. I often wonder why kids who are sick still end up at school but I guess when both parents work that kinda thing is just going to happen. So when a handfull of kids went absent last week I knew it was coming. And no amount of vitamin C will stop it's reign of terror.

First it was our oldest Foster boy(I call him crash) with the upset stomach that knocked him out for a night then quickly cleared up. Then it was Daniel with the same issue and now its sore throats and runny noses for everybody!...Yay!!!!!....ugh. One by one the seasonal bugs are taking us out as they do each year flu shot or no flu shot. Now all the kids are better and off at school collecting the next round of bugs that they will circulate amongst the rest of us. I

When kids get sick they get to curl up in front of the T.V. and snuggle in a warm blanket. I totally miss those days. My kids love being home, but they hate being made to sit still...even in front of the tv. One afternoon of that and they are chomping at the bit to go back to school. I was soooo not like that at there age. Any chance to stay out of school I milked for all it was worth. But today, when dad gets sick...he has to empty the dishwasher, answer emails, mind the concrete guys working in the back, and make sure everything keeps functioning. Taking time out for a nap can often be out of the question. It's just a part of the job...but I really could use a warm, soft blanket and some chicken soup right now.

Ah well. enough complaining...expecially since I know that this is only round one. check out this fridays A Gay Collab video and you will totally hear the sick in my sounds like puberty all over again. In the mean time I will go back to

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Homosexuality In Highschool...And the Uncertain Path to Self-Acceptance

(UPDATE)...during the writing of this post the owner of the video took it down. Not surprising considering he was just a regular person posting a video that they liked. I'm sure they didn't expect all the attention they got. The video itself was made by Pastor Bobby Blakey of Compass Bible Church. If I find another source for the video I will update this post again. In the mean time I hope that there will be something positive to still be gained from this post as is.
(UPDATE 2)...mirrored version of the video re-added thanks to an anonymous benefactor. Thanks!

Sometimes I run across an article or a video that can push all my angry buttons. It's not an easy thing to do since I don't tend to be a person given to anger over all...but it happens. One of the sure ways to do this is to take advantage of a persons weakness's to keep them down. Especially, when I have some personal experience. Today, Towleroad posted a video attributed to WhiteThroneFilms about the moral danger of "Homosexuality In Highschool". In the video they showcase two young men convinced that their inborn sexuality is a sin to be repented of...and since they did it at the ripe old age of can other teens. What bothers me so much about this is that these are the same kids who daily email my husband and I everyday scared, on the edge, and lacking anyone to tell them they are ok just as they are. What bothers me is the hard road they will have to walk before they can acknowledge to themselves who they are, all done in the sake of wanting to be loved. And bothers me so much because, at the same age, I was them. I could not help but have an emotional reaction to what I saw. Check out the video after the break and maybe you will understand why this hits my emotional buttons.....

Monday, October 17, 2011

Right To Love....Just Don't Pray

Many of my readers may already be aware that our family has been the focus of a documentary about Prop 8 and our YouTube activism called Right To Love: An American Family. The movie has been in production for quite a while and I am happy to report that it is   nearing completion and should be ready very soon. In preparation for release...Jayebird productions put together a new teaser trailer which I have posted above.

Now the reason I bring this up today is not really to bump the trailer but more to discuss an issue that has frustrated both my husband and myself. We have been sending this trailer out to any gay blogs we can think of in the hopes of highlighting the project, but they have been kicking it back because there is a scene with us saying grace around the dinner table. Now....blogs can pick and choose what they want to promote, and probably get inundated with a ton of requests from people asking them to promote their personal projects, I won't fault anyone for trying for controling their own content. The part that gets me, is that one blog admitted that it was the prayer specifically that made them uncomfortable. That is incredibly frustrating to me and my husband who see walls of posts on the blogs about celebrities coming out and how to check out hot guys on google maps....but no one wants to touch a project that could help change the way people see gay families because they are uncomfortable with it's rather tame and low key religious element.

My question to my readers is....Are we wrong to be frustrated by this?  It seems that we focus alot of sex, celebritities, tragedies, and hate mongers...that stuff brings the readers and lights up the comment boards....but when it comes to more positive projects, no one has any interest. Take a look at the trailer and decide for yourself. What is in there that is so provocative?....or is showing our everyday life in film format just not as provocative Zachary Quinto coming out?  You decide and let me know what you think...

Until next time dear readers....

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fear and The Power of Coming Out

Yesterday marked National Coming Day and if you listened very carefully, you may heard the sound of thousands of closet doors being ripped off their's true. Every moment, that goes by  another lgbt person is summoning the courage to tell someone the truth about themselves. They may tell a parent, a spouse, a friend,.....they may only be able to speak the words to total strangers through YouTube. It may happen through faltering words, through tears, or by courageous phone call or by letter...but its  happening everyday all over the world....right now.

National Coming Out Day is set aside to talk about the process of coming out......Why we do it, what the benefits  are and what the risks are, all in an effort to foster awareness. That awareness is sorely needed by many, both in the LGBT community and also for the world at large. When we have a clearer idea of what coming out is and what it means to people on both sides of the process perhaps we can handle that moment with a little more understanding, confidence, compassion, and grace. It can be scary and awkward to come out to someone....but it can also be one of the most powerful ways that we can change our lives and the world around us into a better place to be. Secrecy breeds fear...and even though the official day has passed,  lets blow some more closet doors off their hings shall we?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mommy Bloggers Strike Again

Life can give us a million and one reasons to lose hope. The news is full of examples of horrible things happening everyday. Some of this weeks examples include, the gay couple assaulted at a church, one of the assaulters being the father of one of the victims and the pastor of the church....Or the reports of Jurors in the Brandon McInerney trial who believe that Brandon got a raw deal and that Larry King was the "real bully" because he made "unwanted sexual advances toward Brandon McInerny( /facepalm)....Or the ever increasing climate of persecution for Gays in African countries like Uganda....Or the continued prosecution and separation of gay bi-national couples that daily  splits up people who love each other. The list of horrible happenings grows by the day. However, as I have written this blog over time I have come to the conclusion that it's not the terrible happings  that are remarkable....It is those moments of triumph, love, and acceptance that give us hope and  keep us going. And just when you need that hope the most....a mommy blogger steps in to save the day....

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Democrats Finally Stepping Into The Marriage Equality Fray?

This morning I came across a very interesting article via Pam's House Blend and originally from the Washington Blade that has been making it's way around the blogosphere....In it, the Chair of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is quoted as saying that if she were asked to, she would consider spending money to fight the current round of same-sex marriage bans in Minnesota and North Carolina. The implication being that Democrats are taking a stand in those states on an issue they have avoided till now.....and if they will do there, they may continue to support marriage equality in future state fights as well. And by "she" we are talking about the Democratic parties money. Furthermore, she goes on to mention that individual state chapters of the Democratic Party were gearing up to battle these amendments. To which I can not help but think....oh, really?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

When Your Child Comes Out

Last night I had the opportunity to attend a class put on by our adoption agency on building a healthy identity. It's subject matter was to discuss the ways in which we traditionally define masculine and feminine and what do you do when a child you may be fostering...or in the process of adopting...does not fall within those lines. We talked a great deal about coming out as gay or transgendered and the difficulties that come with first admitting to yourself that you may be gay, bi, trans, or unable to apply any label to ourselves that feels right at all. And once that self discovery is made, how incredibly hard it can be to tell a parent. hell...some of us know about ourselves early on and we still can't tell our folks until we are in our twenties, thirties, or older.

The instructor who gave the class offered it from the perspective of a mother with a transgendered child. And yet...even with that knowledge I walked into that room expecting to have to fill in some blanks for people....and it was me that got schooled instead. We watched a short movie about gender issues and when it was over, the time came for questions and discussion. "Here we go", I thought. And by one the other foster and adoptive parents began raising hands to tell their own stories and offer their own remarks. Nearly to a person, the entire room echoed with accounts of acceptance.....and it blew me away. 
why should it surprise me so much? Well...When I came out to my parents it ended up being a mixed bag of acceptance and rejection and everyday I talk with young gay people who's stories are not always happy endings. I had expected a lot more questions and some was a little bit of a happy shock to find so much love in the room.

but as these things got my wheels spinning and I thought maybe there are some parents out there who might benifit a little from the things we discussed and who might have questions of their own. Understanding some of what motivates your child to stand before you and say, "I'm gay." with fear and hope in their eyes the very least help help both parent and child navigate these uncharted waters with more most it can save a life. So what is going on in our kids heads? Do they understand the full impact of what this decision will mean for them?....and how the hell do I respond to this? I love my do I deal with this?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

NOM, The AFA, and Anti-Gay Orgs...Do We Still Care?

This post is to settle somewhat of an argument between my husband and I who have a difference of opinion on whether or not it does any good to write about the doings of antigay groups like The National Organization for Marriage or characters like Tony Perkins and The American Family Association.....correction, what he actually said was that no one cares enough about them to read what they are up to.

Every day that goes by see's these groups, and the individuals that speak for them, slide into increasing disfavor. With DADT repealed, the potential likelihood of the return of marriage equality to California via the courts, and polls that are NOT in their favor, antigay groups are having to take a different stance in the public eye...the one of the victim. If they can't win the game of spinning public opinion into fearing that gays will destroy the nation by wanting to be a part of its institurions than they will fall back on creating the fear that gays want to attack and harm them and anyone who believes similarly.

An example of this fallback strategy is NOM's creation of a subgroup who's task it is to advocate for anyone who feels they have been targeted for violence or harrasement due to their belief that marriage is just for straight people and not for gays.  NOM's newly created Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance( not to be confused the the rebel alliance)  was so laughable...and it's charter do beyond the pale that I felt practically compelled to take it apart piece by piece. But...I was discouraged to do so on the basis that no one gives a rats behind about them. Which makes me ask the question...Is it true? Have they slid so far as to have faded into irrelevancy?....because personally, I think that's a mistake.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Where Do We Stand?....Tragedy and Triumph

Yesterday saw the end of "Don't Ask Don't Tell" and one more victory was won in the long march towards equality. Celebrations are being held all over the nation and in the news. Everyone is overjoyed to see this bit of institutionalized hatred bit the dust. I know it meant a great deal to my husband, who served a tour of duty under DADT during the original "Desert Storm" operation in Iraq. Jay came to accept himself as a gay man during his time in the Army and it has always been his regret that he served in the closet and ultimately left the Army because he knew their would be no place for him in it as an openly gay man. He was particularly jazzed then to be able to make his own celebration video marking the end of DADT.

And then reality punched us in the face again....another teen had killed himself due to bullying...

Saturday, September 17, 2011

When Does It Get Better For LGBT Seniors?

"It Gets Better"....those are the words we tell every LGBT teen who is suffering alone and trying to come to grips with themselves and their place in a world that can be very hostile to anyone who is different. We tell them..."One day you will no longer be in high school. You will be far away from those who would hurt you for who you are...and there is nothing wrong with who you are. One day you will be out of your parents home and you will be able to make your life what YOU want to it to be."

That is the core of the "It Gets Better" project to me. Not that your life will be all butterflies, bunny rabbits, and magic rainbow unicorns the rest of your days...but that you will be in control of what happens to you and that can make all the difference in the world. You can seek out other gay people and find community, someone to love, and if you are so inclined and laws allow...make a family. The world will still kick us in the teeth(as it does everyone) and it may not always feel better....sometimes it still sucks...but the difference is that you are in control and can make of those circumstances what you will with a great deal more freedom. 

But what happens when we are older? Does it get better still matter when you are 50?....60?....70? I ran into a handful of articles this week that detail some disturbing(though not surprising) facts about gay seniors that have caused me to stop and think about the sentiment behind what we tell LGBT youth about survival and how it applies to growing older gay.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Fantastic Irish PSA For Marriage Equality

Check out this short Marriage Equality ad from Ireland. It is truly moving and makes me wonder why we don't make videos like these here. When marriage measures came up for votes here in California and Maine we saw only bland tv spots that seemed more intent of promoting a dumbed down and diluted image that they fult would be safe for feignt hearted American viewers rather than  showing the simple everyday faces of gay people and their families as this clip has done in such a moving say. This spot is only a minute long and yet, you are heartbroken by the end of it....I think the people who make these should come over here and make a few for us. Check it out:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Perry V. Schwarzenneger: Upcoming Live Broadcast of Ca Supreme Court

Today the California Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the next round of testimony in the ongoing battle over Proposition 8. Today's hearing will held to answer the question of whether or not and backers of Prop. 8 have the legal standing to defend the law in court if authorized state representatives decline to do so. For those who may recall, this question was previously put before the Ninth Circuit Federal Court who found that they simply didn't have enough precedent to answer the question on their own and thus sent the matter back to the State Supreme Court to verify before the federal trial could continue.....and so here we are today.

Todays session will be held at 10:00 a.m. pst on the California Channel and will also be broadcast on their website at :

If I find an embeddable broadcast, I will be sure to attach it to this post at the day progresses. Stay Tuned! 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Gay Panic" In The Larry King Trial...and The Value of A Life.

Dear readers...I am at a loss.

Perhaps a few of you may have read about the recent announcement that the trial for the murder of middle schooler Larry King by fellow middle schooler Brandon McInerney has ended in a mistrial and a hung jury. Go to any gay blog covering the story and you will read many rage-filled responses. Some including a call to violent protest. Given the fact that Brandon McInerney told a fellow student he was going to murder Larry King the day before he brought the gun to school and actually committed the crime...because the murder was witnessed by an entire classroom full of students...AND...because McInerney's motive for shooting King was due to Kings sexuality and his reported "advances" on McInerney...there really should have been little doubt that this case was motivated by hate. Yet that seemed to be a hard fact for the jury to they didn't.

No one doubted that McInerney did it, they only questioned why. McInerney's defense did their level best to paint a picture of Larry King and a gender confused young man with no sense of reasonable boundaries and Brandon McInerney as a victim of an abusive upbringing. The character assassination  committed against Larry King was rather extreme and anyone watching it couldn't help but get the picture that they were trying to show that somehow, King deserved what happened to him because he was just too gay and that his actions toward Brandon McInerney incited his classmate to murder. The unspoken statement here being that this was somehow an understandable, if extreme, response on McInerney's part. This reasoning seemed to find traction in the jury who unanimously voted to strike down the hate crimes charge. To the other charges of murder and manslaughter...5 jurors advocated for a straight up murder charge and 7 argued for first degree murder but they could not come to an agreement on whether or not the murder was an action committed in the heat of passion......really?....One result of the declaration of mistrial is that McInerney may be able to plea deal for a lesser sentence..or the less likely option of being retried as an adult.

The response to the announcement of the mistrial has been one of deep rage and can be summed up as, "Why is the life of a gay person worth less than that of his killer?" The extension of that question being, "Is this how much MY life is worth to a jury of my peers?"...and it is to that question that I would like to speak....

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Will We See A New HRC?

This morning, one of my favorite blogs, Pam's House Blend, broke the story that Joe Solmonese of the Human Rights Campaign will be resigning from his post as director of the organization. This would be the first in a series of executive staff shakeups that could change the face of the HRC as we know it. This actually comes as quite a shock to this humble blogger who has made his fair share of grumbles about the HRC and Solmonese's over-capitulation to the White House on gay issues. Time and again they have been completely unwilling to apply even the tiniest bit of pressure to affect change in an administration that on the one hand claimed to support us while the other hand was busy enforcing anti-gay policies with gusto.

 Solmonese's defense was that having a place at the negotiation table was more effective than chaining yourself to the white house fence ala Get Equal style. And yet what we saw in return for our donated dollars was HRC staff attending high profile cocktail parties at the White House where they would walk away with a fist full of promises that never came true....and the guys who chained themselves to the fences and rattled politicians cages on the news seemed to be the ones actually getting the job done. It made the HRC look weak and Solmonese like an ineffective elitist more content with rubbing elbows with the rich and powerful than actually lobbying for LGBT rights. It is little wonder that HRC's reputation has taken so many fatal hits and if Solmonese's reported resignation will be able to bring it back from the brink.

Whatever your feelings about the HRC. This recent development seems to beg the question, "Will the HRC change?" Lets explore that possibility...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Letters Of Hope

In the course of our YouTube work, My husband and I  receive many letters from LGBT people who desperately need to tell their stories to someone. Sometimes it's a Thanks for helping them to see that loving someone of the same gender and building a family is possible...sometimes its a cry for help. Very often it is both of these things, and they almost always move me to tears. It does not matter if they come from a teen in Alabama or a women in Saudi Arabia, their messages are often one and the same. Reading these emails has helped me place my own life in perspective as well as helped me understand what life is like for many LGBT people around the can be an emotional ride. I have heard stories of desperation and fear as well as stories of great triumph. In the hopes of fostering understanding and making the world a better place for all of us I would like to share a few of those stories.

In beginning this blog series I intend to share these stories with you in the hopes that you too, will look outside the borders of your life with compassion and understand why the fight doesn't end with marriage rights or DOMA's about making the world a safer place for all of us. If you take nothing else away from these blog posts....I hope its that.

And please understand.....Most of the messages I have received are from closeted individuals and those for whom anonymity is paramount. For that reason I share the story but have removed details that could identify the writer. The safety of those who write us is as important to us as it is to them. With that in mind, grab your box of tissues and please read on...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Getting Schooled Again...

While the nation considers the impact of the credit downgrade, the worst of the worst of the GOP battle it out to see who can be the most rabidly homophobic nominee for president, and the internet squabbles over petitions demanding that Bert and Ernie get married....for the rest of us, real life marches on. So it is that our summer is coming to a close, My son turns eleven, and that's back to school again.

In the next four days we will be getting our back to school haircuts, as well as shopping for mountains of school supplies and new clothes....enough for four children. With all that gear, it will be time to get back into our disciplined schooltime routines by Wednesday, the first day of school. The kids are not the only ones who are excited and bummed out all at the same time. the end of summer means letting go of all the fun things we did and the luxury of sleeping in(which I will miss most) and video games on weekdays. However, with a new school year also comes the anticipation of seeing old friends, learning new things, and making the parents proud/sad at how fast our kids are growing up. This year, should prove to be a big one...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

OCD Diaries: "Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself"

Its been some time since I first posted about having OCD. It was a very hard post to write and after I was done, I was content just to let it go for awhile. I had cracked the lid off a part of myself that I usually keep under tight lock and key in the hopes that I could find advice, support, and perhaps help someone else who might have been silently suffering as well...I found all of those things and more.

Since that first post, life has marched on...and it didn't give a dam about OCD. I finished one session of my OCD  support group and elected to return for another session that has only recently begun. My summer...while insanely fun...was also insanely busy. My kids activities kept me busy as well as hosting several YouTube friends during our "Big Gay Vacation" and more. This was not a summer of rest and that means I did not take a lot of time to face down my OCD and do the hard work it requires. Oftentimes I let my anxious thoughts and compulsions have their way rather than continue my exposure work or practicing my mindfulness meditations. The end result is a further boatload of guilt, but also a resolve to work harder when the next OCD group began....I was really gonna kick OCD's ass this time...I meant it.  But then, another major realization happened that reminded me that this is always going to be hard work.

What happened? Read on to find out...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Case Of The Lesbian Juror

Oh court drama's...I love to hate them. I never was one to have patience for Matlock or Law and Order type T.V. shows. It's doubly frustrating then, to have to wait on the courts to decide on our civil rights. It is an exercise in patience to watch them debate the merits of our lives in terms of ice cold facts and legal precedence...and then put off a decision till next year because they can't answer a procedural question. Yet, as the race for the Republican nomination is illustrating, there is no quarter given us from elected officials...our fates, it seems, depend on the courts.

Currently, there are several legal challenges to DOMA painstakingly climbing the legal ladder to the Supreme Court. If any of them make it that far, we will then be at the mercy of the residing justices. A great deal of speculation has been made concerning their individual opinions based off their personal views and the niggling detail of whether gays are considered a "suspect class". That simple designation would elevate issues like DOMA or an inclusive ENDA from the realm of partisan political whims to legally acknowledged civil rights necessities  So far...efforts to add sexual and gender identity to the other protected classes of gender, race, and religion have failed.

And then came "The case of the lesbian juror"....An odd name to be sure and the case itself seems to leave more questions than answers. however, if the story is worth it's salt, it could have extremely far reaching implications on our designation as a "suspect class" and lend tremendous gravitas to our strivings for full legal equality. Who is this mystery juror and how could her story impact the greater struggle for gay rights?...Read on to find out...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Be FAIR....

Why is it that some individuals think that pretending gays are invisible actually makes us not exist? That seems to be the functional logic behind those who are opposing the California's Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act...the bill that would mandate California schools include the teaching of LGBT history in the state curriculum. The bill, which was recently signed into law by the governor,  has conservatives all up in arms and many threatening to remove their kids from schools rather than allow them to be exposed to the notion that gay people exist....may have been pivotal historical figures...and may even have included figures that they have looked up to. *gasp*....say it's not so!

They have gotten so worked up about the notion of including LGBT people in history classes that they have launched a referendum drive in order to scare the voters of California into voting to repeal the law. Even as we speak, volunteers stand outside my local target collecting signatures and registering people to vote.

This bill is contentious precisely because it touches that nerve that NOM worked so well during the Prop 8 campaign. The one that says gays are all out to recruit children in the schools into future homosexuals. That nerve is sensitive to any mention of the words "gay" and "schools" used in the same sentence. Additionally, others have brought up the question, "What does the sexuality of historical figures have to do with their impact on history?" It's a FAIR question and it deserves a FAIR with your indulgence...lets go there....

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Its only words...

When you hear the terms "No homo" and "That's so gay", whats your emotional response? If your of a certain age, these terms are relatively new and maybe they don't resonate with you so much. At least, not to the same degree as words like fag or queer can. Words have such a curious power to illicit an emotional response from us but they only carry the meaning that we give them...or do they?

This weekend my husband Jay made a video about what he perceives to be homophobic actions on the part of a huge YouTube channel, The ShayCarls. Among the points brought up in that video were their use of the "terms "no homo" and "that's gay". is not my intention to make this post about the video or the ShayCarls. What I want to address were how many people vehemently defended their use of "no homo" and "that's gay". I was absolutely blown away by the amount of people even...who said they could care less about it....even from a guy who says he didn't want his kid to "turn out gay".

I do not like the phrase "that's gay" all. However, I was on the fence about "no homo" because it just sounds so stupid and makes the speaker look like an idiot. For that reason I tend to ignore stuff like this because it just showcases that persons lack of understanding about others. That is until Jay brought up some very good points that have forced me to reevaluate these seemingly casual words....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Case Of The Terrible Tattlers

Its was a hot, gritty summer....The kind of summer where the sun strikes shadows so deep you can swim in them and the heat drives people to do crazy things. The kinda things that always lead to trouble. And when when that trouble hits the fan who do you think they call? That's Dad Detective....

It was on one of these hot summer days, when I was in my office...just trying to keep my cool in an overheated world when she walked in. She was my Daughter Selena, and while she may have only been three feet tall.... she had a laundry list of grievances and a chip on her shoulder a mile high. "Dad! Charlie is doing back flips off the couch and now he's stealing my spot!" "Really?", I said, "If he's jumping off the couch, how come I didn't hear anything?" "Because it happened earlier when you were gone and Daddy Jay put him down for nap...but now he's taking my spot!!!!", she cried...clearly on the verge of tears. But I cut her off at the pass..."Save the water works for Daddy Jay sister...this dads seen it too many times. If Charlie committed the crime and already did the time, why are you coming to me?"  "Because he took my spot and won't give it back!"...she choked out through the tears. "Well Toots.....I'm not sure what you need me for" I replied, "Your six now and that means you know how to use your words to solve these kinds of problems." "Did you ask him for your spot back?", I asked. She appeared to think about this for a moment and then weakly replied, "'s my spot....*sniff*"  I headed her off again,...."I know, I know...its your spot. I get it. But I also know that you are a big girl and when Charlie and Marlene aren't necessarily doing what you want them to do, you come running to me instead of trying to work it out yourself first. Now you go back in there and sort this thing out with your words." To this she stomped out of the room with defeated air of one who feels there is no justice in the world. But off she went anyway.

 "Case closed", I said to myself..... Or so I thought....

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Big Gay Vacation 2011 Roundup

Welcome back everyone...another "Big Gay Vacation" has come and gone and now its time for me to get back to the real world. I am truly sad it is over because I have had to say goodbye to ten people that I grew very close to over the course of our time together. Along with our family, we were joined by...Gary and his boyfriend Clyde, Sameer and Reid, Scott, Stephen, Jerome, Ryan, Quincey, and our good friend Wolfy. Our time may have been short, but...we made the very best of the time we had.

The river home we rented for the princely sum of $6000 for the week consisted of a two bedroom main home, a detached one bedroom granny unit, and a two bedroom duplex. The grounds had a hot tub (That we made very good use of), a volley ball court, as well as a fantastic wooded property that felt like you were in your own secluded estate. There were mature trees loaded with summer plums and in the evening the setting sun turned all the leaves golden as the swayed in a gentle summer breeze. Additionally it came with easy access to the river for swimming, canoeing, and Kayaking...all things we did a great deal of in our time at the river.

I am not trying to function as free advertising for the property, but to describe a place that will forever live in my memories as a sanctuary from the world. Even though the property may have idyllic and serene...we were often anything but. Allow me to tell you a few of my fonder memories from the "big Gay Vacation house"....

Friday, July 8, 2011

Blog Update

This is just a note to everyone who may be wondering whats happening and why there haven't been new posts in almost a week. Yikes! I feel like such a bad, bad blogger! Well....It's summer and its time for our annual Big Gay Camping Trip. This year we are headed out to the Russian River to hang out with a few friends and enjoy some of Northern California's many attractions...not to mention being lazy at the river :) Who would guess that preparing to be lazy all week would be so much work!  I have spent most of this week in preparation, which has left little room for blogging.

We will be back up and running by Saturday the 16th and hopefully I will have lots of stories to tell you all. I hope everyone enjoys their summer. Its getting very very hot here and escaping into the redwoods will be a welcome relief. Talk to you all again soon!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Love Being Gay

Hello again dear readers. A few of you may know that I have become involved in a new vlogging collab channel with four other youtubers who's work I both respect and enjoy. Together with Dan (explorationB), Blair (Dirblair), Josh (joshrimer), and Paul(gaycomicgeek), we have combined our talents and differing perspectives to create one super powered channel called....wait for it....A Gay Collab! Yup, I's catchy. This project is a huge departure from anything Jay and I have done in Gay Family Values. Here, we get to be a little more fun and perhaps a little more adult than may be appropriate for our family oriented channel. So far, I have made two videos for the collab and had great fun doing it. The only down side is that I only get four minutes to get my point across and anyone who has ever read this blog knows that I can't even say "hello" in under a 100 words. Additionally some topics are so multifaceted that I often don't get to say some very important things.

This weeks viewer question hit one of those very topics. We were asked if "there was any person or incident in our lives that helped us love being gay and/or what would be the biggest loss to your life if you were forced to be strait?"...a good question and one that takes the notion of self acceptance one step further. It's a topic that I have often thought about but never discussed online before. Yet...when I was thinking about making my video response to the topic I found that I couldn't fit it all into a two minute blurb. Did I love being gay?.....Hell yes!...but why?

Friday, June 24, 2011

New York Won Same-Sex Marriage!!!!!

Holy smoke people I am so excited I can barely contain myself. This was a cliff hanger vote that literally wound the clock down to the last second. Talk about your dramatic finishes!

The final vote was tallied at 33-29 with 32 needed to pass. This would not have happened if not for the hard work of New Yorks progressive senators and the handful of republicans who frankly shocked us all with their support. In a act of swiftness uncharacteristic of any government...Governor Cuomo has already signed the bill into law and it goes into effect in 30 days. So buy your rings, your cakes, and get your registry on because your getting married New York! Congratulations!

New York Same-Sex Marriage Vote Tonight...Watch The Livestream here!

Watch live streaming video from nysenate at

O.K....two days of footdragging, political gamesmanship, and outright stalling, Senate leaders claim a vote will happen tonight. Tune in and lets see if they stay true to their word.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Legacy of Mark Bingham

This weekend we had the honor of attending a cocktail release party and very first showing of "With You: The Mark Bingham Story". For those of you who may not be familiar with who Mark Bingham is, he was one of the individuals believed responsible for storming the cockpit of flight 93 and bringing it down in an empty field rather than allow it to reach the destination that the Al-Qaida hijackers had intended. After the plane had been taken over, several of the passengers had cell phone conversations with loved ones on the ground. It was Marks Mother Alice who informed him that other planes had been used to destroy the world trade center and that they should do all they could to regain control of the plane....and so they fought back. Even though all aboard the flight were killed, countless more lives were saved due to their bravery.

Mark was among those who led the charge. So it was with no small surprise that the world also discovered that he was gay. It was a fact that many new programs would not mention. But even though it often got glossed wasn't lost on those of us who share that trait with him. It made me proud to know that one of the people responsible for saving so many lives was also someone that most of the world would not expect. Pre or post 9/11 we just didn't talk about gay heroes. Yet beyond the title of "hero" it was Marks life and the man who he much as his sacrifice...that made him remarkable.

 One of Marks very close friends and mentor states in the movie that the national experience of the events of 9/11 are not the same as the experience of those who lost someone on that day...they are just not the same. Yet this movie endeavored to share of piece of what it was to know Mark Bingham and to understand the impact he had on those around him. It was the sharing of that experience that made this movie so much more than a retelling of the events of Flight 93. People may have known that Mark was gay, they knew he was a hero...but they may not have known the man who lived, how his abiding love of his family, his friends, and his passion for rugby shaped his life...or the ripples that his passing continues to create.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On Loving...

I'm not sure that many of us were aware that the 41rst anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark case that ruled it unconstitutional to ban interracial marriage, passed just days ago on the 12th of this month. For Mildred and Richard Loving I'm sure that day must have felt like it was a long time in coming. Authorities had broken into their home and arrested them for the crime of merely being of different races and wanting to be married to each other...the year was 1958. After being tried and convicted of breaking Virginia law...again, merely for being married. They were sentenced to 25 years in jail, a sentence that would be postponed if the Lovings agreed to leave the state and leave they did. They returned to the District of Columbia, where they had been married, and began a lawsuit that would change the face of marriage for the entire nation. It took nine long years of court battles that took the long road from state courts to the U.S. Supreme Court...but they won.

In California, everyone expected marriage equality to be a no brainer and yet it has turned into a national courtroom drama that doesn't appear to have any end in sight. Yesterday a federal court gave its decision on whether or not Judge Vaughn Walkers decision on Prop 8 should be invalidated because Judge Walker happens to be gay. In a rather sharply worded decision from Judge James Ware, that answer was "no". However, the very fact that we had to endure yet another trial about a trail (and one that again attacks the integrity of gay men and women), makes think how long the road can seem when you can't see it's end....and how nine years must have felt for Richard and Mildred Loving.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What Does Pride Month Mean To You?

When you ask someone to think of a gay pride imagine it in there mind...Chances are this is what will pop up:

It's a testament to the power of these images that even someone who has never been to a parade will have some familiarity with them. They paint a collective picture of one giant Mardi Gras-like party stocked with shirtless go-go bois on floats, Scantily clad  lesbians on loud motorcycles, Drag queens in two story tall heels, and rainbows and glitter flying everywhere.

Now...everyone will have their own opinions about what pride celebrations mean. For some, it is simply a celebration. For others it may be a mind blowing first peak at a gay life. And there are those who have criticised it as being more about selling high priced alcoholic beverages and rainbow covered swag than about promoting gay rights. Some see it as a sideshow complete with rainbow colored clowns... and we all know about the crowd that condemn it as an act of "celebrating sin" and view it as an example of "the homosexual lifestyle" if we run around in speedo's and balloon costumes everyday.

 Since it is Pride Month...or Gay History Month more accurately...I have been taking some time to reflect on what it all means to me. "Gay Pride" can be a phrase that has become so loaded with cliches and judgments that it can be hard to find the meaning. What does Pride Month mean  to me?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sean Chapins..The (Don't Say) Gay Song

For those of you who may not be aware of the Ruckus out of Tennessee, lawmakers want to make it illegal for Teachers and grade schoolers in grades K-8 talk about the fact that some people are gay. You just can't talk about all. It's as if they think not talking about us will prevent kids from knowing we exist. I imagine that this will  make certain history lessons problematic(enola gay?)...but that's right, we don't teach history here in America anymore...silly me..

The response to this ridiculous bill has been to point out it's obvious logic flaws and's utter ridiculousness. In this spirit our good friend Sean Chapin has worked his magic to put together and awesome music video in a parody of Bruno Mars "The Lazy Song". Our family got to be a part of making the video along with Sean who was Director extraordinaire,  Justin Taylor as the disapproving principle, Maureen de Nieva as the Teacher. Long time viewers may recognize Maureen as the Pretty Pink Princess who falls in love with the Page from Sean's take on the banned children's book "King and King"...another of Seans productions we were honored to take part in.

This Shoot was alot of fun and allowed us all to feel like actors for a day. The kids had a great time and took direction from Sean a BILLION times better than they ever would take it from me. Sean could have asked them to jump through flaming hoops and they would have done it with a smile and I can't even get them to pick up their toys off the floor without having to use "the voice". We literally filmed all day and in nearly every room of our house. Both Jay and I we asked to do a few things that made us deeply self conscious and we honestly feared for what the final product would be...not because of Sean mind you, but because of us. When he told us there would be dancing involved, it took everything we had not to bolt out the door. But when I saw that he has finally uploaded the video on his channel, I called the kids together and we all watched it with no small amount of trepidation. What happened is that we laughed our asses off...What Sean pulled together from the tons of scenes we filmed that day is amazing and totally made us forget that it was us doing those things. After it's all said and done we were all very proud to have been a part of such a fun video and we hope that it will make you laugh and maybe think a little bit too.

please take a moment to drop by Sean Chapins YouTube Channel and let him know what an awesome job he did. And if you enjoyed this please share it with your friends!

Until next time Dear readers....

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's Time...The OCD Post

Well dear readers one thing I have always tried to be with you is honest. This blog...while being an outlet for sharing information about gay rights and marriage equality, is also about the personal lives of our family and lately you may have noticed that the posts are becoming farther and farther apart. In part, this has been due to the fact that we lead rather busy lives but...I have also been suffering from a prolonged period of writers block. While I have always agonized over my writings, I have never before had such a hard time looking out at the world and finding inspiration to talk about...I just can't feel the fire.  This is because there is something in my mind that has literally dominated my thoughts for a couple of months now that pushes everything else out of my mind...and something I have only just begun to deal with....I have OCD. Circumstances have become such that I feel I need to talk about much for myself as for those who may need to hear this.

Bear with me...this going to be a long one..

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Going On Vacation...Yaaaay!!!

Just a quick update to all my readers. Our family will be headed south for the winter...spring..well lets just say it's almost summer. We are headed to San Diego to give our kids a thanks for all that they have had to put up with in the last few months. Having to share their rooms, Dads, School, and lives with other children can be pretty taxing and they deserve something special for being champs through everything that has happened. So...we will be seeing Sea World, LegoLand, The San Diego Zoo, and a handful of kidcentric attractions that are sure to be a blast for all of us. We will miss everyone here on the blog and on YouTube but I'm sure four days will pass so fast it will be like no time at all.

Until next time dear readers....

Texas Shines

Many of you may have seen this ABC "What Would You Do?" segment that aired this last week. If you haven't...then I have to say that it's about the most amazing thing I have seen in a long time and well worth watching it all the way through. In the video ABC sets up a scenario in which a Same-sex family(all played by actors) are confronted with discrimination by a very vocal homophobic waitress(also played by an actress). The intent of the program was to uncover how the average American would act when confronted by blatant homophobia and discrimination. Now...this episode being in Texas, I have to admit that I was bracing myself for the worst. Watch the video and get my reaction below the fold...

Saturday, May 21, 2011


"It is in your weakest moments that you find your true strength" - Unknown

O.K....I'm sitting here staring at this screen trying to figure out how to put these words on the page and I am coming to the realization that I will think in circles forever and not get any closer to what I need to I am going to just lay it out there and let the pieces fall were they may...

Today many people are fretting about the end of the world because of the predictions of Harold Camping. But last night we had an all to real reminder that sometimes the world does end for some of us because the world simply will not allow us to be. Last night a young man who watches our family on YouTube..and who we have been communicating with from time to time, contacted us because he was going to commit suicide. A family member had noticed that he was friends with us online and was asking questions. He was fearful that his family would find out...he was fearful that everyone in his town would find out and that his life would be in danger. So...he decided that ending everything on his own terms was a better he took twenty of the first prescription meds he could lay his hands on. He contacted me right after he had taken the pills to say he was sorry and between Jay and myself, we talked for a very long time. In the end, I am very...very thankful to say that he did not die, though I know that is not the end of this young mans problems. There is still much for him to deal with.

All of this came about because of his friendship and communication with us through Facebook. This has my husband and I to wonder, our desire to help others feel not so alone...we are actually placing them at a higher risk of danger through discovery. We feel this way because this scenario has played out before in slightly different ways...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Gay Marriage In New York...A Shifting Paradigm?

Marriage equality in the state of New York has been a contentious battle for a very long time. Long time readers may remember some very bitter and angry posts from me around the end of 2009. At that time, marriage had come up for a vote in the State Senate only to be defeated by a handfull of Democratic Senators who chose to vote against it. Well New York never gave up and after some bitter elections in which a great many of those Democratic Senators lost their seats, we are again coming close to the very real possibility of a favorable vote on same-sex marriage in New York...and for some surprising reasons.  Republicans are beginning to step up in support of gay marriage from some unexpected quarters....yes, you heard me, Republicans....While a certain Democrat from the Bronx continues to be very vocal opposition. It all seems a bit like falling into an alternate dimension where everything is opposite...but could this be the way things are headed?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Foster Diaries....Echoes of the past

Well dear readers...due to issues with blogger I was not going to post today but sometimes things happen in our lives that are too big to keep inside ourselves and this blog has become part confessional for me in addition to being a vehicle for marriage equality....

As many of you know. My husband Jay and I have decided to be full time foster parents. It was not something we planned to do in just developed in the natural course of events. Being a foster parent can be a very rewarding experience however it also comes with some challenges. Many of the kids you will care for will melt your heart and break it all in the same moment and sometimes the pain they feel will bump up against your own pain and the memories of things that happened so long ago you didn't think it could ever reach out to hurt you again. But if you are a thinking and feeling human being you can't help but go with kids down the sometimes painful road that they are forced to walk. This is what happened to me this morning...

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Rites Of Passage...The Cellphone

One of our kids favorite movies is "Horton Hears A Who". Its a very funny movie and my kids have seen it a billion times. One of my favorite and funniest of scenes in the film is when Mayor McDodd's youngest daughter precociously asks him for a "who phone". Being a patient and prudent dad, he responds that surely the other kids in her class don't have who phones yet. Then, to his chagrin, his daughter produces her class photo and all the kids are talking on who phones....except her. It was laugh out loud funny the first hundred times the kids watched it...but little did I know that it was less light hearted entertainment and more a warning sign along the road to tweendom. This is because my ten year old son has been asking me for a cell phone anytime he thinks I don't remember who it is that is doing the asking. This has always been an "out of the question" conversation between him and I...but recently we had our own "who phone" moment that has prompted me to start thinking about kids and social technologies. But first...the background...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Who's Your Momma...

Well Mothers Day has come and gone. I hope everyone had a chance to spend some quality time with their moms to say thanks for all the little things they do for us everyday. Me and the kids got to spend some time with Grandma who turned out to be the only mother who didn't have somewhere else to be on "Mothers Day".....oh well.

I don't know if anyone saw this weeks Modern Family in which they take on Mothers Day. It included a rather funny segment in which same-sex parents Cam and Mitchel get into an argument...well...Cam has a full drama meltdown actually...because Mitchel regards him as the "mom" in the relationship. This sent Cam over the edge because because everyone treated it as if it was his holiday and this was just too much of a threat to
his manhood and it drove him to do those ridiculous things that only people in sitcoms do. It was funny enough to watch on television...until Jay turned to me and said "that is so you. You're the mom in this family. (insert sound of record scratch here).....say what?!

and of course he found every opportunity to drive the point home...including in our Mother's Day video included after the fold.