Category Archives: Frustration

Day 10 – Rally Speech

Friends, I want to thank you all for providing me a space to give voice to my angst. Let us remember that this OUR state capitol as well, and it is should not be blinded by a persons sexual orientation.

I want you to know that I come to you impassioned and angered.  I come to you battered and bruised.  But I also come to you …. Battle ready!!

Far too long we have asked … BEGGED, on one bended knee after another, to have full equality.  Far too long we have been told to be civil.  Far too long we have been degraded, harassed, violated and shamed.  I say Enough!  Enough!

All of us: gay, straight, religious, non-religious have waited long enough for equality for all human beings.  Now is not the time to squabble about definitions.  Traditional vs. Gay.   All of this doesn’t mean shit.  What matters are compassion, decency and empathy.  This war … is one waged by ignorance, fear and tyranny.

We are past the point of needing or wanting you to understand.  It is clear that the tears, heart ache, and devastation do not speak to your hearts.  We are past the point of civility, as calling us unnatural, asking us to stifle our love and promoting only one type of family as traditional is beyond being civil.  Instead, we TELL you …. We will not be diminished.  We will not be ignored and with all heartfelt sincerity, we will marry!

We will triumph.  We will walk hand in hand, with our heads held high, loving our families as we always have, only this time we will be cacooned in the warmth of legality.  We will continue to raise our daughters and our sons, only now we will be safe in the web of legal jargon.  Soon, my partners insurance card will no longer claim her to be single.  Soon, ALL OF US will be on equal playing field.

And with time …. these times of angst will be nothing but a blip in a history book.  And with time those that have fought hard against us will come to understand that they were the threat to our families.  With time, all of us will co-exsist and our grandchildren will be amazed that this rally even had to happen.

Harvey Milk said it best, “It takes no compromise to give people their rights…it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom.”

Before I conclude my speech I would like to remind everyone here that there are many groups of people that need legal help.  The trans* community needs the support of everyone that stands before this capitol.  The trans* community can not be forgotten or fought for any less than the passion you brought with you tonight.

 

Because …. Together we stand in solidarity.  Because … Together, we will be victorious!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Investment in friendships …

Too many thoughts rattle through my mind when I hear the word friendship, as of recent.  The first thing I ponder is what is friendship?  Each person has a different idea of what friendship should be.  In the past I’ve been carefree about how much time or energy we invest in other people, as I’ve proudly stated that I am a low maintenance friend, yet I find myself questioning my past ways of doing things.

Many of my friends come from an old career and since leaving, I have felt those friendships drift.  Perhaps it is because I don’t have the daily interactions  that working forces us to have.

Perhaps it is because I have changed.

Yeah, the last one is more accurate.  I find myself seeking more meaningful connections.  Connections that involve more than general chit chat.  I crave being around other “thinkers” who question every assumption we hold.  Sure I care about your day and what work is like and how bills are kicking your ass.  I also care enough to send texts, messages and invites to the big events in my life, but like so many others, these friends are “busy” with so many things that fostering a friendship is proving low on the totem pole.  My expectation isn’t talking everyday.  My expectation is just checking in with each other, seeing how life is going and having dinner every now and then, but this seems impossible for so many.

The sad truth is many of my friends seem more like strangers these days than close companions who seem invested in a give and take.

I find it ironic that I tend to be a great friend to people in need, always available when life is difficult, but when things are good in these peoples lives I am rarely a priority …

I’ve been struggling on how to deal with the situation.  Call up these friends and express my hurt feelings?  Sure, but isn’t that just a symptom of the sickness?  Is that not begging the very questions this raises?  Or, like I’ve been doing for months, continue in silence and just go along with the program?

Dave, a friend of mine, explained it well many years ago.  Those that care will put forth effort, those that are fair weather friends will slowly drift from your life, and perhaps that is for the best.  He is usually right.  And he’s stayed in contact all these years later.  And that truly is the answer isn’t it?  You continue to invest in those that invest in you.

Thank you Mike Coyle for your care, concern and presence in my life.  Though it may only be a few words on facebook every now and then, a meeting in Salt Lake for lunch, or money for London trip, TRULY, it meant a lot to me.

Thank you William Hobbs, you continually make effort to be a part of my life, even if I can be flaky and forgetful.  Thanks for not giving up on me!

In closing I’d love to know what expectations you each have about friendship.  Are there boundaries you have and if so what is a deal breaker for you?

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Filed under Frustration, My thoughts, Relationships

Second class citizen …

It is a simple process to diminish a persons worth, place them in the category of 2nd class citizen and devalue their human capacity to love.  Really, it is as simple as structuring laws around ideology of religions or “morals” or outdated notions that fetter the love of two adults.

Walking up to the counter to pick up my prescription I knew that it would be a little pricey.  I don’t have medical insurance, even though my partner of 8 years works in Law Enforcement and has excellent benefits, I cannot be added because we are not “legally married.”

That’s what they say, “you have to be legally married” as if this were an option that is available to us but we have been too stupid or lazy to take the time to wed one another.

I give the pharmacist my name and he happily asks for my insurance card.  Seems like a simple question but this question is deeper than having no insurance or having insurance.

Though I have worked since I was 15 years old, paid into the system like everyone else and had insurance up until a year and a half ago I chose (a real choice) to return to school.  Any other woman, who “chose” to marry a man with insurance could make this decision without being worried about her medical future.  I, on the other hand, am not privy to these options.

When I explain that I have no insurance the pharmacist says, “I don’t want to tell you the price.”  I ask if it is pretty bad and he again replies, “I really don’t want to tell you.”  He turns the computer screen in my direction and I notice the price $350.45.  I chuckle and say, “I expected it to be around $300.00.”  He just stares at me and then points to the bottom of the screen.  $658.45!  “I can’t pay that” was my feeble reply.  Shock doesn’t really convey my disbelief because really, I’m angry.  I’m absolutely washed over with anger, rage that can only bring about tears.

I call my doctor wanting a cheaper alternative, but I know that my call is in vain.  I understand that my call will only be met with, “not sure what to tell ya” or “sorry, there is no generic.”

Yet I can see, in my minds eye, that prescription card in my partners’ wallet, sitting there, providing a warm blanket of comfort.  A woobie of security that will not be extended to me, or be able to wrap it’s loving care of health around my shoulders.  This card is missing my name.  This card that identifies her only as single is a lie.  She is not single!

She pays all of the bills, supporting our three kids and us.  She is not single; she is happily partnered for eight wonderful years.  In this time we have made our commit for one another known to our family, friends, co-workers, fellow students, our community-at-large and quite frankly the whole world if it would let us.

In this time we have made memories as a family, each and everyday.  We eat at the dinner table every night.  We share our “best” and “worst” moments of the day while we eat home cooked meals.  We have all laughed together, often.  We have yelled at one another less often.  We have experienced loss of friends together and the birth of friend’s children.  We have taken road trips across half the nation, all five us packed into a small car, just to dangle our feet in foamy ocean waters, lay in the sun and take too many pictures of the same sand dollar.

We have spent all our holidays with our families, taking turns to go to California to visit hers, and the other years with my family in Utah.  My kids are given Christmas cards and gifts from her family and my family extends the same love of her son.

We are a family.  A family stretched across this nation through family lineage.  Our ancestors worked just as hard, as diligently and maintained their loyalty to this nation.  Yet this nation isn’t loyal to me.  This nation continues to degrade my life by simple things like insurance cards.

All of this simply because I didn’t fall in love with a man.  Simply because I “chose” to share my life with my best friend, confidante, cheer leading squad and the absolute purest love I’ve ever experienced.  That’s not good enough.  I “chose” to disrupt a societal system of dominant thinking.  I “chose” to live a life that is second class FOR love, but still, that’s not enough.  Even handing over 658.45 (which I didn’t do, simply because who has that kind of money) would it wrap me up the warm blanket of acceptance?  Would that money guarantee me that I’d never have to feel the sting of second-class citizenship?

Of course not!

The only way that I will be allowed to feel like a full citizen of the United States is when laws change.  When people, regardless of sexual orientation, recognize that my love is no less than theirs.  That my commitment to my family, friends, children and lover are no different.

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Filed under Frustration, Making a home, My kids, My thoughts

01 January 2013

The first day of the year and society tells me that I should be thinking of my future … making goals, resolutions and be hopeful.

Hope is overrated.  Hope is a way to run away and I’m done running away from the hard things in life.  I’m ready to take off the blinders and fight back, no matter the consequences.  Perhaps that’s my resolution … I’m done being overly accommodating to ignorance and discrimination.  I’m ready for cuffs and jail cells for my rebellion.   I’m ready for hateful words.  I’m ready to lose friends.  I’m ready to swing back instead of listening to bullshit disguised as “compromise.”  It is easy to call it compromise when you lose nothing.

2013 will find me on the frontlines with anger as my companion.  This year will find me creating change with writing, reading, protesting and fulfilling my life long dream of being an activist.  Finally … a career I’ve been dreaming of.

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Tan Suit

Tan suit and crisp white shirt

Another cog in the mechanism

Pull out your laptop and push aside my art

You’ve got consumerist meetings to arrange

Lock and load your dollar driven guns

Fire!  Take out those that get in the way

Jiggling jowls and pig faced

You smile out of habit

Your sweaty electronic lit face searches

For truth.

Role models in the form of dollar signs

Difference equates to anti-christ

Anti-patriotic rhetoric.

Keep your head down

Keep checking the Dow.

Your addiction to money

Had no 12-step detox.

No felony attached to your abuse.

Furiously typing

With fingers of sausages

Handkerchief slops up your

Drenched money worried

Face.

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Fire Jumping

I jumped from one fire to end up in another.  I quit my “other” job on Tuesday after a situation that can only be explained as fucked up.  Though I won’t go into great detail, I can tell you that a salesman we’ll call Dick, created such a hostile work environment that I was actually worried about my safety.

Dick came into my office last week hostile and visibly upset.  He closed the distance between us quickly, red-faced and wide-eyed, and stated, “I knew I couldn’t trust you.”  Mind you, Dick was standing up and I was sitting down with less than 10 feet of distance between us.  Confused, I told him I didn’t understand what he meant.  He went on to explain that he couldn’t trust telling me anything because it found its way “to the top” because of a friendship of mine.  I told Dick I’d never mentioned names and he was taking this too personally.  He seemed to accept this answer and was calming down.  Well that’s when Dick decided to be a dick.

He went to my office door, pulling it shut, and said, “I’m not buying it!”  Confused ,I of course, asked, “buying what?”  He replied with, “that your gay, I’m not buying it.”  WTF??  Seriously.  My mind turned to mush, as I’d never dealt with this situation before.  “Ok, you don’t have to buy it Dick, I’m not here to prove anything,” is what I responded with.  He then went on to say that he wasn’t buying it because he felt like “there is something between us.”  Oh wow, could this get any worse?  I went on to explain that it was a working relationship and nothing more.  Dick then informed me that his sister was gay.  Now my mind was trying to switch gears.  How do we go from flat-out sexual harassment to a conversation about his gay sister?  Dick then said the gay community “hated” his sister because of a child custody law suit.

Let me explain quickly.  I have a dear friend, KLJ, who lost custody of her daughter because bio mom felt it was appropriate to take her away from KLJ (non-bio mom).  Prior to this court case I didn’t know KLJ, it was the day that the Utah Supreme Court took away KLJ’s rights as a mom that I met her.  I called her, not knowing her, bawling and told her I’d hold her hand through hell to make sure she could hold that little girl again.  Since that call, I’m proud to call KLJ a friend.

Ok, back to the harassment by Dick.  So I interrupt Dick and ask him he it was the lawsuit with KLJ.  He stops, stunned and says yes.  I tell him how I know KLJ and that I think she deserves rights to her daughter.  Well Dick disagrees, because he went on to tell me that “god created man and woman to procreate.”  Wow, sex and religion in one conversation?  This guy couldn’t get anymore offensive!  He begins to tell me that all children need a father …. I’m sure you’re getting the jest of this conversation.

Did I forget to mention that the week prior Dick was talking about suicide due to his financial situation?  In true negotiator fashion I explained to him why this wasn’t a solution and would be harming his family more.  Let’s just say Dick isn’t stable in the mental department.

Needless to say I filed a complaint.   I wrote my report (something I’m really used too) and turned it in.  Dick got suspended pending investigation.  When he got suspended all I could think about is how Dick made those suicidal statements.  If he lost his job he’d have nothing to lose by taking me out before his suicidal plan.  I included these concerns in my report to HR.  I spoke with supervisors and HR and quite frankly I was stunned at the line of questioning.  “Do you have any witnesses to your conversation?”  “Why didn’t you call out for help?”  “You could have dialed 911.”

Maybe it’s my years of Law Enforcement training, but you don’t call 911 for sexual harassment.  You don’t have to scream out for help … what I’ve been taught is to defuse the situation and then take action.  That’s exactly what I did.  I talked Dick down and the moment he relaxed (by sitting down and no longer blocking my escape route) I stood up, grabbed my jacket and went outside to make a phone call to Rizzi.

Though there has been no determination on Dick’s return to work, I just couldn’t seem to get over the fact that they would even consider keeping this guy.  HR informed me that if he stayed they’d make every effort to keep him away from me.  Uh, yeah, the office is small, there is NO way they could guarantee me not running into him.  So … I quite.  NO job is worth your piece of mind or safety.  And though I hope I didn’t burn a bridge with a friend who helped me get the job, I really couldn’t drive up the canyon with that much anxiety.

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Falling

Falling

 

Falling in love is euphoria, so what does falling out of love feel like?  Lonely? Guarded? Angry?  How about falling off a cliff, clinging to the very edge, grasping for a hand that is no longer there?  Is it waking up and not feeling the same excitement of having another day together?  Maybe it’s the lack of passion when you have time together.  Perhaps its every time your frustrated with each other you mentally start packing boxes of your memories, label them with the year, not knowing if it is the last one you’ll enjoy together.  Maybe its when the sorries are handed out they no longer stop the bleeding.  It’s when you stop trying.  It’s when you stop communicating and no longer have respect enough to not trample on each other’s emotions because it no longer hurts you.

Falling is just a state of mind and when you realize that falling down, no matter how, that’s the point of impact.  That is the moment of truth.  Either way you’ll probably need some sort of help to gather all the pieces and move forward.

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Filed under Frustration, My past, My thoughts