Category Archives: Rants

Why I Am A Straight Ally

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With marriage equality being halted in Utah and with Chris Kluwe speaking up, I’m reminded of how frustratingly hard it can be to be LGBTQIA. I’m sharing this again as a reminder to myself and others…

We cannot become complacent.

WHY I AM A STRAIGHT ALLY

Occasionally people ask me, “Why are you so outspoken about gay rights?” My response is usually, “Well, replace the word “gay” with “human.

BAM!

That could SHOULD be the end of the discussion right there. What human wouldn’t empathize with human rights?

I’ve also been asked if I’m a lesbian or bisexual simply because I’m an ally. I’m flattered and say so; however, I feel compelled to follow up with a “no” because it’s important to show people what “straight allies” are – especially those of us who are outspoken about it.

To be snarky or walk off with a “gotcha” attitude, as good as it might feel, wouldn’t be fair. As straight allies, we need to recognize opportunities for education.

I have the good fortune of being loud, proud, and (mostly) unafraid. When I’m passionate about something, my friends and family, Facebook and Twitter communities will hear about it. I am the extrovert you want on your side when you need support. I march with my friends, I share controversial and inspiring news and get into heated discussions, but I also know when to use a kind, gentle approach with those who are fearful of the LGBTQIA community. We could all learn to temper ourselves in order to better serve those who have been misled and have questions. I see straight allies as not only support for the LGBTQIA community, but also as a bridge to understanding for people who are still apprehensive.

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A friend I met through PFLAG said this about his family being slow to accept his new out lifestyle, “It took me 53 years to accept myself and come out!” He doesn’t pressure others to move faster than they are comfortable. I admire that. Change can cause discomfort, which in turn may lead to fear which triggers anger. Anger often causes us to do or say things we really don’t mean. All feelings are okay, but it’s how we process feelings that matters.  It takes practice. And it can be frustrating. Enter the straight ally. Allies are typically wayyy over the uncomfortable stage, or were never there in the first place! Allies recognize the chances to engage in constructive dialogue with those who still struggle with their feelings about the LGBTQIA community. Recognizing this makes an ally a powerful agent for change.

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But we want equality and we want it now!  Again, frustration. Yet, we continue. The opposition often needs to see the struggle of the LGBTQIA community from a different perspective. Straight allies can be a bridge for helping people that are uncomfortable move to a better, more accepting place. Stay open for questions and opportunities. Never make someone feel ashamed who is misinformed just as we would never want our  friends in the LGBTQIA community to feel ashamed. This is about all of us.

Be a role model for other allies. Provide resources and information to allies who wish to become stronger. We straight allies have it pretty easy in the US. Can you imagine the courage it takes to be one in Russia right now? As an informed and active ally, I recognize that advantage and will not waste it. Our global community needs us as well. It’s a good time to be on the right side of history.

There are resources to help you in all aspects of support. If you haven’t gone to a PFLAG meeting, GO! If you’ve never marched, MARCH! Just choose one of these things and I promise you’ll find many ways in which you can make a difference.

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I go to support the LGBTQIA community but I always leave with an overflowing amount of love.

It’s the best part about being a straight ally. If you have friends or family members who are out — or even if they aren’t out yet — remind them that you love them…that you stand with them. You never know when those powerful words may support them in a time of loneliness or vulnerability.

To quote a friend, “It’s ALWAYS been about love.

I am a straight ally. It means I educate myself. It means whether you are gay, straight, misinformed,  or just confused, I am your  friend. I have more than enough love and I’m proud to share it with a community that is struggling. I march, chant and yell. I sit quietly beside you when you cry. I cry when you cry. I will have tissues and I will listen. I rejoice in your victories. I hold your hand. I hug your neck. And when we part, you will know, unequivocally, I have your back.

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The Equality House in Topeka, KS. You can support them HERE!

I WANT to be that person.

Join me. It is breathtakingly rewarding.

 

No Money, No School Lunch. This is a Teachable Moment?

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I feel so sick to my stomach right now I can hardly stand it. Here I was, riding a high from sharing good in the world, happy to be getting to bed at a decent hour, AND I had just registered for my tickets to see A Place at the Table.

So why am I fuming?

Warning: Foul language ahead.

I’m so sorry to bring this to you. I’m sorry you have to hear it. I’m sorry we’re having to talk about it. It sucks to be reminded that shitty stuff happens. To our kids. At school. In a country with an abundant food supply.

But, have you seen this?

Yeah, my day has just ended with that jack wad.

I don’t even know where to start. For now, this:

1. It’s FOX News, so I should have known better than to click, dammit.

2. Could they have found a more Douchey McDoucherson to speak about kids and hunger?

3. We have a rational woman sitting opposite him who gets, oh, about two short comments in.

4. This host…UGH! She keeps trying to soften this terrible, terrible policy and make this guy feel at home while her other guest has a strangled look. Scroll up and look at her again. I think Ms. Reasonable Guest is trying to hold it together for tv. Well, hold it together or not let the vomit actually come OUT of her mouth. Poor thing.

Unfortunately for Mr. Psychotherapist School Counselor, he chose to be the face of this policy on air and say some incredibly stupid shit. So yeah, I’m going off on him. With his big smile and nonchalant attitude while talking about hungry, humiliated children, I can’t imagine he has a fragile psyche. I wonder if he has suffered through his share of “teachable moments“.  What grounds does he have for insisting children have “teachable moments” of hunger and embarrassment? This is disgusting.

And then, while talking about kids NOT being able to eat, he jokes about not being broke even after HANDING OUT ALL HIS CASH to kids at school! What happened to the teachable moment, jerk? I thought you wanted them to go hungry so they would learn!

Learn what?

I wonder if Mr. Psychotherapist School Counselor understands the first thing about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I wonder if Mr. Psychotherapist School Counselor understands why I’m spitting fire.

You will have to forgive me. It’s late. And I’m pissed. And I should have just gone to bed. And maybe I can express myself more eloquently tomorrow.

Watch the video. I can’t break it down much more than that right now because I’m tired and too pissed. If you can’t understand my anger at this, then I probably couldn’t make you understand anyway. And I’ve already called him names and likely made my mother in law upset with my language. So, more on this later because we DO need to know more about this policy and where and how often it’s being utilized. Until then, hug your kids, high five and smile at other kids. Remind them that they are seen and that the world can be a good place with people that care.

Talk to you later.