Kathy Griffin, “Strong Black Woman”

Kathy Griffin is my queen and I will love her until the day I die. We share the same birthday and the same sick sense of humor, not mention we also don’t give a fuck what we say. I imagine that has to do with us being Scorpios but… that is all conjecture.

When I saw her photo I have to say I was a little appalled. I couldn’t understand what it was my Diva was trying to accomplish. As I thought about the artistic implications it was a comedian holding a fake head of a president. What I came to believe was the statement the photographer was trying to make was that she would verbally behead this dude, because that it what she does to all public figures. I say “public figures” because you’re allowed to say and do whatever you want toward a person with that title because it is part of the first amendment.

Should she have done it? Probably not. I don’t know why she didn’t foresee the backlash from the photo. Yes, most of America does seem to hate him, or so the polls tell us so. (However these were the same mother fuckers that said Hillary was going to win, so take that how you will.) There is also the fact she is a comedian known for saying whatever she wants and being ruthless. That is the reason so many adore her. So for her to do it is really par for the course.

The reaction though… Is harsh but probably deserving. I have formulated a test for myself to see how I should respond to such things. I just replace Trump with Obama (I do in so many situations because sometimes it’s the only way to get through the day) and gauge my reaction. If a comedian had done the same… I would have felt precisely how I do now that it was in poor taste and shouldn’t have been done. To think she was trying to awake some kind of sleeper cell to take retribution against the president is the real joke. (I mean, who is she awakening? The gays and women? We’re dangerous but not known for being gun toting nuts that accost people in the supermarket or subway.)

One of my favorite of the comments posted on Twitter the day the photo premiered (I don’t know how else to word that reveal) was that it was a “Satanic ISIS” ritual. There are quite a few things wrong with that statement. First and foremost, ritual? It was a photo. Unless you saw her doing some sort of voodoo and chanting about his headless corpse, I don’t see how it’s even a ritual. All she did was hold it up. Second, satanic? Even the satanic church tweeted out that they had nothing to do with the photo. You know why? The satanic faith is all about the self and no one else. Third, ISIS? Yeah… that’s who ISIS wants. The Islamic based terrorist group wants a white woman without even a hijab to make a statement. And finally, Satanic ISIS? Those are two very opposite ideas of theology that have nothing in common at all, except in the mind of the nut job reading conspiracy theories all day who sees them as a threat to their white “christianess.”

What she’s going through is rough. I can’t imagine the horrible messages she’s receiving from the other side of the fence about it. She’s said she’s been getting death threats, which is no surprise. To that I hope she takes legal action, because, like she has said before in one of her stand-ups, threatening someone’s life is a crime.

Whatever may come next I know she will pull through. She is a fighter and this too will pass. She’s apologized for the photo, she had the photographer take it down, I don’t know what else she could do. At this point it is a waiting game. If Ted Nugent, who literally threatened Obama at one of his shows, can get an invite into the White House I imagine the same could be said of her.

Stay strong, Diva. Just know, some dude you don’t know is in your corner and will always be a fan.

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Faithful Musings

I know that I will not offer up any new insight into religion. More than likely most of my views have been gathered by others around me. What I can say in regards to religion is from my own perspective of having grown up in a deeply religious household, in addition to attending Christian school from pre-k to 8th grade. 

Through all that time I can tell you that religion does not make people good. On the contrary most of the people I have encountered in the faith are cold, cruel, and heartless unless it directly benefits them. There have been a few that exhibited what it is to be a “Christian” but they are few and far between. Primarily what I witnessed was “oh you’re not in our faith? You don’t go to our church? Then sorry. Not my problem.” Also, if someone wasn’t attractive or thin they weren’t wanted. 

My worst nightmares from church were the moments when the pastor had everyone in the congregation stand up and greet their neighbor. I hated it because most people didn’t say anything to my parents or myself. No one was ever friendly. They were doing it because the man in the suit told them too. Which is hilarious because that is the summation of what faith is. 

At one point faith was created as a way to explain the things that didn’t have a basic answer. It was man trying to understand all that was around them. Science has done away with the mystical powers. That’s why any scientific thought was considered heracy. It made man begin to question the world around them and as one of my heroes, Jim Jefferies, says is nothing is more toxic to religion than questions. 

With science the reason for even having faith, other than getting sky cake when we die (thanks Patton Oswalt), was to tell people how to be good and not be sinners. The strangest part about that is I have seen more hatred in the name of faith than anything else. At least if an atheist does something cruel we all just know he’s an asshole. When someone of faith does it they rationalize it and try to justify their actions with this made up bull shit from their respective texts. 

A couple weeks ago a gay couple in Indonesia were sentenced to a public caning for having sex. Now, they were discovered by accident but their punishment was deliberate. A news organization that covered this event interviewed the attendees to see their reaction and one woman, with her head scarf, said that she was glad they did it. That way no one would do it in the future. That statement shows her ignorance like someone would just choose to have sex with someone of the same sex, without any attraction. That’s not how sex works. Or just attraction. If there’s no spark nothing’s happening, you know?

I have gotten to the point where I want all faiths to go away. They really don’t offer anything to society except a reason to be a dick without being labeled one. And my thought is if you have to have some “higher being” tell you to be nice, you’re just not a good person and no amount of prayer will save you. 

When I was younger I prayed every night for god to take away the gay. I didn’t want to be at all. Yet as I got older I realized it wasn’t me that was broken, it was the thought behind that prayer. If god doesn’t make any mistakes then me being gay isn’t one of them. However the faithful work around is that it’s the devil trying to corrupt me. Okay, sure, Mary Beth. I think the real evil was if I had forced myself into a Hererosexual relationship with a woman to please god while all the while having no real attraction for her and lying. More than likely I would not be able to fight the “urges” and I would meet up with a stranger and thus have committed adultery. Then the lying gets stronger. It seems like I’m doing more sinning pretending to be straight than I am just being gay. 

Which brings me to the strangest of my week. I encountered a conservativel, Christian, gay man. The first two statements make sense but the gay part is the one that doesn’t fit. Out of the three that is the one I think is the most honest. The other two need to go because it’s him trying to live up to a standard or expectation that is inauthentic to who he is. And because he’s forcing himself into a mold he does not fit he is a RAGING alcoholic. This dude got so wasted at our game night I couldn’t believe he didn’t pass out. (Not to mention he used the n-word in the way it was originally intended. And that is NOT okay.) 

Religion is truly a harmful thing and is used to control the masses. Anything that forces you to not question anything and expects everyone to follow their faith is a cult. 

Always with the gender identity

I have a playlist called “Gay Shit!” and on it resides the songs that one would think lived up to the title. I forced my husband and roommate to listen to it on our way back from a day trip to San Jose. (We saw Bianca Del Rio’s stand-up show.) Now, I say forced because my husband doesn’t like a single song on the list. He’s more of a country and 80-90’s rock kind of beast; our roommate couldn’t have given two shits, as long as it wasn’t more country.

As I raced along I-5 in the middle of the night, we bumped the usual kind of club beats. As it reached the end I felt a pang of guilt for subjecting them to my “poor taste.” So, I readied up my next favorite playlist called “The 90’s.” I didn’t, however, tell them that I was doing that and after about eight or nine songs into it our roommate said, “Damn, this is all on ‘Gay Shit.’ I like all these songs.”

I quickly corrected him and changed the subject.

After harmlessly rolling over his statement it occurred to me, even if these songs he liked were on my “Gay Shit” playlist what would that have meant? That he is somehow ‘gay’ for liking them? It should be noted, that our roommate is the gayest heterosexual I have ever encountered. It is this detail that gives me the confidence to say that he meant nothing by his statement. But it definitely got me thinking.

For instance, why did I even feel the need to label the playlist “gay shit” in the first place? Couldn’t it just be “fun favorites?” Just because a song happens to be attracted to a sub-group of society doesn’t mean that it should just be bulked with them.

I get that this is just me being over analytical about a mundane statement. No matter what way I cut it. My title was just me being cute for the sake of myself. But is there a level of shame from both of us in what we said and did?

For me I concluded that it goes back to the idea of gender identity and what is and isn’t masculine and “appropriate” for a man to do. Society is so hung up on what is meant for one sex to do over another. If a man goes outside of the usual tropes they’re seen as a sissy or less than a man. Because of these deeply ingrained ideas we keep ourselves from enjoying things without some sort of baggage or label attached to them.

God, I hate people. We can never let someone just enjoy something. Even I am super guilty of that. I made catty and bitchy comments about this dude at the Bianca Del Rio show.

First off, this queen was GOING OFF. He was standing, waving his finger until it was just a blur above his knuckles, shouting “YAS QUEEN,” and snapping like he was at some sort of slam poetry. It was relentless. It got to a point where this dude, just enjoying himself, was distracting me from the show and I was having a horrible time. I couldn’t stop watching. (Plus it didn’t help that some fag-stag’s head was in my way of viewing Bianca Del Rio so I was forced to see only this queen.)

Now, I’d like to think that I hated this stranger because he was being super obnoxious. However, I’m afraid that it’s because of the bullshit male stereotypes I found his overabundant “faggotry” to be offensive and thus ruin my time. Although he was having a blast. Well, until Bianca turned on him and told him to kill himself. The entire theatre erupted in cheers and the bitch rushed from the theatre in shame.

So maybe it was just that he was annoying as fuck.

A man of no land

Today I am no longer an American. The ideals of the president elect do not reflect how I feel is the American ideal. He and his ilk represent the selfish bigotry of the dark side of humanity. I hate everyone that voted for him and I despise any person who voted for a third party and are upset with the results. You brought this on yourself.  

I have resigned to the fact that I am here because I was born on the wrong continent. I have no attachment to the people or place that I am. It is not my home nor will it ever be again. The very site of the American flag disgusts me. It represents hyprocrisy and lies. I piss on it. I spit on it. Fuck that fucking flag. 

This is truly a turning point in my life. I have so much anger and hatred in my heart that I will never be the same. At one point I felt love for my fellow man and now not a speck remains. 

I will be told I’m a poor loser and I don’t care. I truly don’t. I have sat through 8 years of these people bitching about Obama and the bull shit republicans have pulled only to pass the entire government into their hands. Of course the government was broken because they threw the fucking wrench into the gears. They broke it. They were why nothing got done and the things that they did were in spite of them. They were nothing but obstructions. They should be hanged for their crimes against the government. 

I have resigned to never stand for the pledge or anthem, nor will I applaud or show any semblance of respect for the armed forces. Fuck them. They’re nothing but a bunch of uneducated hicks that had no other options available to them BUT to go into the army. 

I will forever refer to any and all that voted for orange face douche bag as racist misogynists because that is what they are. 

I know without little doubt I will once again be demoted to a second class citizen being a gay man. The ideals asshat sold on the campaign trail was more devisiveness and derision. It did not speak of community and togetherness. It spoke of white male christian privilege. 

I cannot wait for the day when they are no longer the majority. And imagine how obnoxious they’ll be as a minority. It’ll be the temper tantrum antics from the last eight years. 

Sure call what I’m doing now a temper tantrum. It is. But it’s also resigning myself to being nothing and realizing I hate everyone and everything. I have no respect for authority or my elders. I no longer show respect to those I do not feel have earned it. 

My American dream ended this election. My very Americanness has ceased to be. I am no longer a citizen of this ridiculous country. I hope this truly is the beginning of the end. And I hope it all goes in a blaze of glory. I don’t want to limp away from the wreckage. 

I choose all the doors

At this juncture I have entirely too many choices set before and I haven’t the slightest clue what to choose. 

Since starting college (for real this time) I have earned solid A scores from each of the classes I’ve taken. When I originally set out my plan was to hopefully transfer to a CSU, thinking that they would be more open to applicants. Since I have far exceeded my grade expectations at the start, I have decided that since I could graduate Summa Cum Laude that I will branch out my choice of schools where I send applications. Possibly even well known and highly respected collegiate establishments. 

My first go to is Berkley. The husband jokes that I only have brought that into the equation since we went to see Kerry Eleveld speak at a PFLAG meeting. However he is only partially right. The meeting merely brought up memories from Saved By the Bell when Jesse Spano had dreams of going there. In reality I’m basing my choices on a dated children’s show. 

After a few searches listing the top collegiate journalism programs I narrowed it down to three that made multiple lists: USC, San Francisco State, and Berkley. The others are out of state and out of the realm of possibility. So at least I have that cut to a manageable size. But, with two of them (assuming I’m accepted) I would have to move away from my friends and family. The other I could realistically commute. It’d be exhausting but it’d be feasible. 

Now, in three years time I will want to have children. I will not physically able to, seeing as how I am unfortunately lacking a working uterus, and my husband does not have one either. That leaves surrogacy or adoption. I would prefer the first, but that option is far outside my budget. So it is left to the second. I’d prefer an infant but I’m not picky. 

The problem is that my significant other does not want to raise a family in the very conservative community in which we reside. I don’t blame him. He’s uncomfortable with having to explain to people the situation and risk their judgement and shame. I get it. That is not something that bothers me but it takes two to tango and I need my dancing partner if I’m going to cut a rug. 

Yet since this conversation has been the argument du jour in our household he has also agreed that moving away would also cut off our potential children from having a large and loving family; which is something he himself says he loves about his life. 

So the question is, do I stay or do I go? In the end, the decision won’t be made until I have graduated with higher distinctions and after having been accepted to my institution of choice. Even that is hinged on whether I got my appraiser’s license, AND if I’m comfortable moving and leaving the boss that sees great potential in me and have paid for my education. 

Ugh! Life!

High school sweethearts

Today my husband encountered something that shocked and astounded me. 

He’s taking the photojournalism class I took last semester and today they did the assignment for “portrait.” One of the volunteer models was this 15 year old boy. 

My husband said that this boy had brought another along with him and they were being playful with each other in a way that gave him the impression that they were together. They were lightly touching the others waist or arms. Nothing that screamed “hey! We got a gay here!”

All of the students in the class grabbed a model and disappeared to do the assignment, other than my husband and this boy. He went up and asked him to be his model and they took pictures.

As they were walking my husband asked if he and the boy were together and the boy said “how could you tell?” 

It turns out that this 15 year old boy and his boyfriend are engaged to be married in a year. A year. He’ll be sixteen. His fiancé is 18. 

What I find so shocking is that in my conservative, bible buckle of the Bible Belt, town that not only do this boy’s parents accept him as a gay man BUT also have given permission for the two to be married. That’s insane!

I shouldn’t be this amazed, my mother alone is testament to the power of love and acceptance, but I think this a testament to change. Real change. 

While I wish the best for these two, part of me thinks that they won’t make it very long. Teenage romance has it tough already, the fact that they’re also gay men doesn’t really add to the potential success rate of this relationship. 

Pessimism aside, the fact that I even have this story to tell brings me so much joy. 

A Gay ‘ol Anniversary

It’s strange to think that I’ve been out of the closet for the past 12 years.  It’s really not that long, but looking at how much I struggled with my sexuality prior to my admission it is astounding that I ever came out at all.  I guess all it took was a pretty face.

In retrospect the face I thought was “handsome” was in fact not at all.  Looking at the pictures now I have NO IDEA what I was thinking at the time.  The dude is hideous.  But in that moment I was smitten and only two days after telling my friend, at her bowling birthday party, that I liked guys and her friend, I went on my first date.

The friend I had made my admission to was someone I had at once had a “crush on.”  She was a buxom 12 year old with a mouth like a sailor.  We could make each other laugh.  I think we went on one “date” that comprised of us walking the length of the mall.  Our relationship was a flash in the pan.  After that we never spoke again until her 17th birthday when I told her a part of myself no one in the world (and in reality myself) knew. It’s a strange bit of kismet when I think back on it now.

I had originally left my friend Becky’s birthday without saying a word.  I had no intention of telling anyone, in fact.  But when I went out to my car the battery was cold dead.  I don’t know if it just bit the dust cause it had run it’s last or because I left the lights on.  Either way, while waiting for AAA to give me a jump or a tow, I went back inside and told her.

The thought has crossed my mind so many times before, what if I had gone out to my car and it had worked.  Where would I be?  Would I have driven home and never-ever-ever made that admission to anyone? Would I have married some poor girl and forced myself into a life I didn’t want at all?  Or would I have told someone some day… At this point it’s all speculation.

Like I said, I don’t’ even know how I admitted it to her.  Seriously.  I was still struggling with myself.  Even the day after I had I mentally berated myself for saying anything.  How could I!?  I’m not gay!

Whatever caused that spur of courage I am grateful for it every day.  My life has turned out wonderfully because of it.  Even though it ultimately resulted in a ton of heartbreak, I eventually met the man I’ve spent the last 11 years with and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.