Thursday, February 3, 2011

Love Drop: February -- Ethan & Alex

Last month the Love Drop Team raised over $2,500 and boxes after boxes of goods and items to help Jill and her family get through a hard time in their lives (homelessness & financial worries). We did this in 1 month. All 400+ people came together and gave a few bucks each to impact one family's life. If you participated in this, THANK YOU.

This month we start all over again and circle around 2 beautiful kids with severe autism -- Ethan & Alex. Our goal is to raise $13,000 so we can get them a highly trained service dog. And if possible, two iPads so they can speak again (they can't even say "I love you" to their mom -- these iPads allow them to get their voice back).

Here’s what you can do to make this Love Drop special for Ethan and Alex:
Join the team – Become a member by paying whatever you want. Even $1.00
Join our blogger network – Blog about our Love Drops once a month! It’s easy, it’s rewarding, and it REALLY helps spread the word (which in turn helps the families!). We’ll give you all the content you need. Give a gift – Gift cards, clothes, a homemade scarf, a bike, whatev.Provide a service – Web design, tax help, legal services, etc.(Email all ideas/questions to team (at), we’ll make it happen)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Love Drop!

I'm posting as part of the Love Drop network of bloggers. Love Drop is a micro-giving network of people who unite as a communityto help one person or family a month. The idea is simple: once a month we bring our community together to help a struggling family, both financially and with goods, services and gifts. To keep it brief, you can think Extreme Home Makeover with an twist of Oprah thrown in. It's basically a web show shot in video installments, with the founders literally traveling to the family's house at the end of each month to do the Drop. This project is all about coming up with creative and fun ways to make a difference for someone. The very first Love Drop we’re working with Jill and her kids in Chicago, who’ve lost everything in a fire and are now homeless for a second time. They’ve been through a lot, but you’ll be amazed at how much they continue to give back.

Here’s what you can do to make our first Love Drop special for Jill and her family:
Join the team – Become a member by paying whatever you want. Even $1.00.
Join our blogger network – Blog about our Love Drops once a month! It’s easy, it’s rewarding, and it REALLY helps spread the word (which in turn helps the families!). We’ll give you all the content you need. Give a gift – Gift cards, clothes, a homemade scarf, a bike, whatev.Provide a service – Web design, tax help, legal services, etc.(Email all ideas/questions to team (at), we’ll make it happen)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A girls gotta do

I have struggled all my life with what I now recognise as the *unreasonable expectations of my mother; and my coming out to her has coincided with my decision to stop torturing myself so I can make her happy.

That said, when I came out to her a few weeks ago she took it well but since then we've had a few intense conversations where she hinted that I was being selfish in "choosing" to be gay, because otherwise I would have thought about how it would affect the people who love me, and if I had thought and cared about how it would affect them clearly as a good daughter/sibling I would have continued to stifle myself in the name of their happiness. Before that line of conversation got out of hand I cut it off by summing up my sentiments thusly:
If I could be different to make you happy I would, but that's not an option and I'm not going to change, I don't care what you think of it or if you call it a choice, I don't care how you want to rationalise it and how you think we can fix it, forget about all that cause I'm not interested in changing. I love you very much, and I know this is difficult for you and we're just as the beginning of this process. I'm not asking you to accept it or like it. But this is where we are, I'm gay and I'm not changing and you don't like it, so use your energy to figure out how we move forward from here.

Since that conversation she has been very silent, I've called her twice and gotten the lukewarm shoulder. I understand that this is very difficult for her because of her personality [sic disfunction] as well as her religious beliefs. But the thing is, after all these years of angsty bending over backwards to see to her comfort and make her happy, I suddenly find that I am fresh out of the desire to see to any one's comfort but my own. I love my mother dearly, and I know I need to allow room for this to be difficult for her, but now that I recognise how unfair our relationship has been all these years I feel like it's her turn to deal with not getting what she wants so I can be happy.

So, if she's gonna be frosty to me because I came out and told her don't waste her time trying to manipulate me straight, then that's her problem now, and I won't spend my time calling her out of guilt, and suffering because I feel like I'm being an unreasonable daughter. I'm gonna take all that valuable time and emotional energy to accept that I am actually not an unreasonable daughter and I have every right to follow my own path wrong or right, and I deserve to be happy because THIS is my life. Mine. Even though it makes her unhappy because if she wants to be happy, that's not my purpose, she's got her own life for that.

*In an nutshell she's always made it seem like every mistake I've made or choice that she didn't agree with was a huge trangression against her and meant that I didn't truly care about her, because if I loved her I would never do anything to make her unhappy (and I mean EVERY, y'know like not washing dishes, or cleaning my room). Nobody wants to hurt or disappoint a parent and it's a great point of suffering for all of us if we ever do, and after dealing with her reactions a few times, I bought into the idea that if you loved someone you never did anything to hurt them. So if I ever had any desires that were contrary to what I knew would make her happy I struggled with the guilt of being a bad daughter. And more, I truly love and appreciate my mother, and the idea that she wouldn't know that was intolerable to me so I was willing to do anything to prove it. So for most of my life I've had to deal with that terrible feeling that every choice I made was potentially something terrible I was doing to her. Unless you've a similar relationship with your mom you cannot begin to understand what a huge burden that is.

Monday, November 16, 2009

This might be the easiest coming out story yet.

I didn't tell my girlfriend when I was gonna come out, I mentioned to her a few times over a two week period that I was tired of hiding and I had a feeling one day I was gonna just tell my mom; and that's pretty much what happened. I got tired of that knot of anxiety every time I thought about my mother, so I picked up the phone and said "I need to talk to you about something and I'm really not sure where to start." She sighed a little and said "Just tell me." And I said "I'm gay." I'd imagined that it would have been a lot more difficult than that, and a lot more disastrous. She definitely isn't ok with it, but she took it very calmly and looks forward to "helping me make the right decision that will help get me into God's Kingdom." Seriously, she pretty much said that. She's happy I told her so she can help me. So, really I know the worst is yet to come.

After I spoke to my parents and my brother and a close cousin, I told girlfriend I'd come out the most important chunk of my family and it had all gone very well. She was a little blown away I think and said "Yours must be the easiest coming out ever."

I think she's right, and I think I owe a bit of that to my sister. Last November my sister-in-law said to me "Your dad seems to think you're gay. Apparently your sister called him and said something. Nobody wants to say anything to you, but I think you should know, and, are you?"

Being gay is not something I felt I had to or wanted to hide from the rest of my family, so my concern about it being known was the possibility it could get to my mom. I had to call my sister and ask what she'd said to my dad so I could nip that rumour in the bud, but she swore she hadn't told him anything. I am as certain that she did tell him as a person could possibly be without confirmation so I was hurt and pissed that she didn't tell me the truth. First off, noone in my family would have absolutely any reason to question my sexuality, and secondly my dad repeated to my brother - and my brother to me - verbatim what I'd said to her.

I'm still very wounded that she not only betrayed my confidence, but that she also lied to me when I asked her about it. However, despite my hurt and slight loss of faith in her it turns out she actually did me a favour and I am grateful. If she had not betrayed my confidence last year, coming out to my dad and brother this week would have been a lot more difficult than "It's true, I'm gay."

I suffered no stress whatsoever over coming out to my dad and siblings, I'd given it a couple passing thoughts over the years, but I had no angst left over from worrying about my mom to truly worry about them, so I just called them a bridge I'd cross after I dealt with my mom. My sister saved me any stress about them because when she outed me even though I didn't confirm it when I spoke to them both last year they made it clear that it wouldn't change anything between us. My brother said "if that's what you are I don't care, you're still my sister and I love you, and just be yourself." and my dad said "Baby, you're still my daughter, it doesn't change anything, and it doesn't change your last name."

Sunday, November 15, 2009

for me, such a revelation, but the world carries on without so much as a ripple.

In my opening post I said I believe my purpose in this life is to face my truths. I knew if I were untrue to that I would suffer so I started this blog to help me mitigate the effect being closeted would have on my life, but:

It failed, rather than helping me with the burden of keeping my secret, every time I logged in was a reminder of my my failure to live up to my purpose. Also, it turns out the only real way to alleviate the pressure of a truth untold is to tell it.

So I did. I came out to my mom; and it went as well as can be expected.

I will continue to post here, but now with the comfort of being who I am rather than as a daughter hiding from her mother.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Let's talk about - lesbian - sex baybee

I had few and far between girl on girl sexual experiences while I identified as Bi; so really and officially I largely consider my current relationship my initiation into the lesbian world.

One of the things I'm being educated about is the spectrum of gender identity. I don't think that a lesbian HAS to identify on - and stick to - either side of the masculine:feminine ratio. My take is do whatever makes you happy, and I took it for granted that it was like that in the community, but I'm figuring out that there are rules and expectations about how you're expected to behave based on how you look and identify.

For myself I look like a femme but don't necessarily behave as one in our relationship while my girlfriend looks like a butch but doesn't necessarily behave like one in our relationship. It's very fluid and we're happy with that.

I can't see it being any other way; so when she commented to me the other day that she's happy to be able express her feminine side in our relationship I was a little surprised. When I asked her why she thought something like that's a big deal she explained that in the past she's had women lose interest when she behaved less aggressively. Wow.

For a minute I thought that was really whack cause I think it's acceptable to want what you want and be who you are. But I gather it's not really ok in some areas of the community. There are some women who identify as very butch, and some women who want only that; and some women who identify as super femme and some women who want only that. I think that's ok. Where we run into trouble is by not talking about it before we enter a relationship ,we get our wires crossed and end up with a woman who's a poor match and we create situations where women feel like they can express only one extreme of their aggressive/submissive self.

Before she and I started dating we had conversations about our expectations; she expressed certain "butch tendencies" that I explained I wouldn't find satisfactory in a relationship and told her what my ideal situation is and she did the same thing. We discussed what would make us most comfortable in our relationship and we still continue to talk about it.

In that way, I've come to be with a woman who is (and is happy to be) a great balance on the butch femme scale for me rather than the extreme butch I first started talking to and would not have been very comfortable in a relationship with.

I'm sure this isn't going to be true to every situation, but it kinda shows how important it is to talk about what's important to you on this scale, and to make room if necessary for each of you to flex whatever muscles - or not - you desire.

So, I think we should put it like safe sex, on a list of things you need to discuss before you make that big step into a relationship

Monday, November 2, 2009

Atlanta Pride

I had been planning for months to go to Atlanta Pride with my girlfriend, but we're doing the long distance thing and in the end it was just too expensive for her to come; and since so much of my plan to go rested on her being here I almost didn't go at all. But:
I've lived in 3 different Cities since the beginning of the year - and spent a few months in another country and did not manage to make it to any of the Pride celebrations that were going on so it was really important to me that I get off my ass and get to Atlanta Pride. Cause I love Pride and all.

And that's what I did, after moping around Friday and Saturday I got off my ass on Sunday and went by m'self; and I'm glad I did.

There were some great resources there and some really cool booths. I saw some cuties, some boobs and got hit on - once - am I getting old?

I almost didn't watch the parade but I'm glad I did; it was good to be in that moment of whooping and cheering for gayness. And I teared up a little when the PFLAGers came marching by the with their I love my gay kid signs - probably because coming out to my mom is heavy on my mind these days.

Aaaanyway. Atlanta Pride? Awesome. But there are no two ways about it.. the girlfriend better find her ass here next year.