Relationships, part 15

Family

So earlier today, myself and someone close to me were having a heart to heart about family and what that meant to both of us.  If you go to Google and ask it for a definition, you will of course get the traditional definition of ‘parents and children’ and ‘things that are appropriate for both parents and children’ but neither of us were speaking in these narrow terms.

At one point in the conversation, he says to me “I’m at the point where some of these new gay friends I’ve been making feel more like family than my actual family, know what I mean?”  I certainly knew exactly what he meant.  I was overcome with emotion at some of the thoughts I was having after I read his text and was also reminded what mom said to me one day during lunch.  She said that more often than not in her own experience, family wasn’t always someone that was blood.  Family was whoever was there when the chips were down and still had your back.  I agreed with her wholeheartedly.

To me, family is a lot more than a mom, a dad and children.  Family is who’s got your back.  Family is who helps you when you need it no matter what the cost is.  Family is who still loves you at the end of the day no matter what you’ve done or who you are.

After reading his text, I was reminded of one episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, season 5, where Roxxxy Andrews has her breakdown on stage.  Ru is wearing that weird green dress with one sleeve when she says to Roxxxy “We as gay people, we get to choose our family.”  I can’t even type that sentence without getting choked up.  I didn’t realize it until that moment, but that’s exactly what I’d done.  I had chosen my family since my own family didn’t really want anything to do with me anymore after my parents died.  Ru really hit the nail on the head and hit me right in the emotional breadbasket.  When I watch the show, it makes me feel better to know there are people out there that have gone through the same emotional stuff I have.  It makes me feel closer to the people on the show, hearing about their lives before they got on and what it’s been like for them.  I don’t just watch the show for the fashion and the cat fights, that stuff is just a bonus.  I choose who I let in my family.

We also spoke of having support when coming out.  That was another point at which I was awash with emotion.  I didn’t really have much in the way of support when I came out, at least it didn’t feel like support to me.  Some teasing and definitely some changes in attitude from everyone I knew.  In all the years I’ve talked to other gay men about their life experiences, it’s usually one of three scenarios: your biological family just straight up turns its collective back on you; your biological family already knows and they’re just waiting for you to tell them or your biological family doesn’t care and loves you anyway.  I try to be supportive when I hear that someone is coming out or is on the verge of making the announcement because I remember how alone I felt afterward, how I needed someone to just tell me things were going to be ok.  Support can make all the difference in the world.

Gay people, gay families, are more than just a label.  We’re people with hopes, dreams, fears, needs and wants just like everyone else.  We fear persecution and hatred, we need love and a place of peace to live in, we dream and hope for a better tomorrow and want our voices heard.  We tend to look out for each other more than our hetero counterparts do.  We know the struggle, the hardships we face, and we don’t want anyone else to fall victim to that.  I’d like to think that my chosen family can count on me, that I’m definitely the type that has your back when the chips are down. When it seems like the world is against you, I’ll be your sword and shield.  I’m not afraid to make more enemies, even if that means making an enemy out of a blood relation.

After all, there’s a reason we refer to each other as ‘family’

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Relationships, part 13

So it’s been about 3 weeks since the election results and I’m still not sure how to take it.  I still don’t know how anyone could have willingly voted for him.  I still don’t know how I’m supposed to work with people that I know voted for him without blowing up and biting their heads off.  I’ve been successful, so far, in simply not talking to them and avoiding them as much as I can.

I just want to wake up and have this nightmare be over, but I fear that it’s going to a 4 year descent into darkness that there won’t be any coming back from.  Once this is over with, you still have to share space with those people.  Still have to (either willingly or unwillingly) interact with them.  I don’t know.  I’m of the mindset at the moment to simply cut the ones that voted for him completely out of my life, or in the case of total strangers just dismiss them entirely.  I certainly don’t think I can help anyone that voted for him with a clear conscience.  I just don’t do second chances.  It’s like giving someone another bullet for their gun because they missed you with the first one.

People are angry, people are upset, people are afraid.  Battle lines are being drawn left and right and I really don’t know who I can and can’t count on anymore.  I really think that Tess Rafferty really hit the nail on the head:

I am so damn tired of trying to see it from the other side. I’m trying to discuss nuance while they paint us and our candidates with the broadest of hateful brushes.

I’m tired of pretending that it’s somehow reasonable to teach creationism in public schools with my tax dollars, while you tell me that two same sex people who love each other, getting married, somehow threatens your marriage.

You voted for Trump – I am tired of trying to see things your way while you sit in your holier-than-thou churches/white power meetups, refusing to see things mine. Did I just lump you in with white supremacists? No, you did that to yourselves. You voted for the same candidate as the KKK. You voted for a candidate endorsed by the KKK. For the rest of your life, you have to know that you voted the same way as the KKK. Does that feel good to you? Here’s a hint – it really shouldn’t, especially if you call yourself a Christian.

I’m tired of pussy footing around what offends your morals while couching what offends mine, because racism, misogyny, homophobia, and xenophobia offend mine.

Let me say it right here – if you voted for Trump, I do think you are a racist. I do think you’re homophobic. I do think you’re a misogynist. Racism, and homophobia, and misogyny are all a spectrum, and you’re on it.

Don’t like getting painted with the broad brush of racism? Now you know what it feels like when you get told that you want to rip a baby out of a mother’s womb at nine months when that’s not what happens. That’s NEVER, what happens.

I tried to be polite, but now I just don’t give a damn, because let’s be honest, we don’t live in polite America anymore. We live in ‘grab ‘em by the pussy America now. So thank you for that, being polite was exhausting.

And don’t come at me with how you just didn’t like Hillary, this was bigger than Hillary. This wasn’t your standard “I just want lower taxes and smaller government” Republican – we had Germans warning us that this guy was scary. And still you cried – emails and Benghazi or “that voice.” And still there’s been mountains of evidence proving that nothing that you think Hillary did was that big of a deal or even true. Some of the finest minds in the world have drawn you graphs and charts proving that no crimes were actually committed, and you were either too dumb or willfully ignorant to care.

And if you really cared about crimes, you’d care about any of the three pending against your candidate. Take your pick. I’d start with the rape of a thirteen-year-old girl, but if you voted for Trump, you probably don’t care much what happens to women. Doesn’t matter anyway, she received so many death threats from your political peers that she dropped the charges. But ask me again why more women don’t come forward.

And speaking of smaller government and lower taxes, enjoy not getting mine. If Trump actually does what he says he’s going to do, then your petty backwards state and your small angry town can pay for your own school to not educate your children. I live in California, the largest economy in the United States, and the sixth largest in the world. We’ll be fine. But have fun affording all those children your health insurance won’t pay for your birth control to prevent. I’m just kidding – you’re not going to have insurance. Won’t that be just great again!

The truth is, that for those of us on this side, there is no ‘when all this is over.’ Things are just getting started. We think last Wednesday was bad – we don’t know what bad is yet. This isn’t something you get over, this is something you endure. We’re going to face a tax on every right we fought the last sixty years to gain. The deck is so stacked against us that we may not win. The best we can hope for is gridlock. And that’s just nationally. Internationally, who the fuck knows what this lunatic is going to do. And the scarier thought, is that the only thing worse than this guy, is the guy who’s one angry tweet away from the Presidency – Mike Pence – advocate for gay conversion therapy and mandatory funerals for fetuses.

So now’s the time you might want to see things from my side. Because, if we’re all going to have to be friends after this, imagine me having to be polite and having to respect your vote to take away my rights and freedoms and those of my friends, while we fight desperately to try to hang onto them, because that is what you did.

I honestly just don’t think that I can be friends with anyone that voted for him.  I know I’m pretty upset at the people that voted third party and the people that simply chose not to vote.  My anger toward them is such that I created a new Facebook account and added them all to it while simultaneously kicking them off my main account, just so I don’t have to interact with them again if I don’t want to.

I know that everyone is one this whole “we need to unite and come together” kick right now, but this is personal.  If I can find a way out of this country to Canada, then I’m leaving as soon as possible.  “Do you think that even if you go there, you won’t be affected?”  Of course I know I’ll be affected if I go there!  I’m not dumb, but I am tired of my tax dollars going toward a country that apparently hates my guts even though they don’t even know me.  You want this country to yourselves?  Fine.  I just wouldn’t bother asking me for help if the need ever arises, because I’ll willfully stand by and watch you drown in your own blood and I won’t lift a finger to help.  Maybe humanity as a whole is the scum of the Earth and deserves to be wiped out.  Right now I just feel like we’re beyond any sort of redemption or reconciliation.

Make no mistake, you’ve definitely made yourselves an enemy.  And I don’t mean just myself.  Marsha P Johnson started this fight and it’s not going to stop, not anytime soon.

The Beast Within

Rage.

Pure, unbridled, unadulterated rage.

I want to find the ones responsible and jam my thumbs in their eye sockets until their brains explode like that sodding bastard on Game of Thrones.  Nothing less than that would bring me satisfaction at this point.

Just like I figured, just like I knew would happen, Jason wasn’t even mentioned at all in Ivey’s obituary.  Only his biological family.  I don’t know why I even bothered to hope for a different outcome.  I don’t even know what the fuck it was I expected.  It all just seems hopeless.  Hopeless hopeless hopeless.  I mean, what in the actual fuck is wrong with people?!?!  Besides work this was the other reason I didn’t attend Ivey’s funeral, because I knew if I saw them treat Jason the way that Chad was treated at Max’s funeral I would likely have assault charges against me for something.

I mean, really, why do you think that our love is wrong?  Because some old book says so?  That’s your argument?  Because some mythical god that you’e never seem, heard, touched or talked to told you to hate me?  Please.  Are you so ashamed of yourselves and the lives you’ve led that you have to make everyone else miserable so you feel better by comparison?  Or are you just afraid to face the truth that maybe, just maybe, there’s really nothing wrong with our love after all and you’ve been duped your whole life into believing lies?  How does that idea make you feel?

There are two types of people that I can’t stand: religious hypocrites and people that don’t think for themselves, and they’re usually one and the same.

It gives me a certain sense of satisfaction to see that atheism is on the rise, because in my opinion, religion is pretty fucking useless.  You people don’t spread love or understanding or joy or anything like that.  All you spread is discord and hate and bigotry.  I reject your teachings, your beliefs, your temples, your worship, your structure, your scriptures.  I reject all of it.  You cannot accept me and mine, then I cannot accept you and yours.

I hate that Jason is feeling the way he is feeling now and not being able to do anything about it, but I hate the people that made him feel this way even more.  I’m so angry I can’t even bring myself to cry about any of it.


It’s the glare from the reflection
Making patterns in your eyes
It’s the looking back in anger
With every second slipping by
Undertow has come to take me
Got it by the blazing sun
Look at everything around us
And look at everything we’ve done


Relationships, part 4

The last couple of days have been an emotional whirlwind.

Actually, the last three days have been an emotional whirlwind.  It started Friday night at work.  The day after bitching about my conversation with one of the potentials, he decides to tell me Friday night at work that he loves me.  I was totally shocked when I read that message; so much emotion washed over me in waves.  Excitement, joy, fear, happiness…I started to tear up a little.  I’m not quite sure that he meant it in the way I took it, so I decided to cool it even though I gladly said it back to him in return.  We’re planning on meeting during my next vacation week next week.  I was so excited after we made the plan that I felt, and still feel, damn near invincible.

But life saw fit to pull the rug right out from under me the next morning.

My closest friend, Jason, had a partner named Ivey.  Ivey collapsed at work a week ago today and was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery.  It seemed that everything was going to be ok, except that Ivey just never woke up.  After a CAT scan, it turned out that he had some damage in his frontal lobe.  By Saturday morning, the neurologist had to tell Jason that there was no hope of recovery for Ivey and keeping him on life support was futile.  Everything in his brain that made Ivey who he was, was gone.  That was the news I woke up to Saturday morning.  I tried to go about the rest of the day in my normal fashion, but Jason was all I could think about because of the sticky situation he was in.  Before being taken back for surgery, Ivey told Jason that he didn’t want his biological family involved in what was happening to him in any way.  They didn’t approve of his relationship with Jason and Jason was definitely at the bottom of their list of favorite people.  I can’t imagine that having to contact them to tell them that Ivey was dead was a pleasant experience.  Later on in the day, he finally messaged me to ask “When does it stop?” and I asked him what he meant.  “When does the pain stop?” and I told him the answer:  it never does, you just get used to it.  The hell he’s living through now, I’ve already been through many, many years ago when my biological parents died.  I wasn’t about to be one of those people that sugar coats the truth in a lie.  He’s been silent since then save for a Facebook post.  Potential #2 told me to just give him some time, which is what I was going to do anyway.  I know there’s nothing that I can do to make the hurt go away or make it hurt less.  All I can do it wait for him to contact me.


Angelica Bell: What happens when we die?
Virginia Woolf: What happens?
[pause]
Virginia Woolf: We return to the place that we came from.
Angelica Bell: I don’t remember where I came from.
Virginia Woolf: Nor do I.


To continue the emotional roller coaster, while I was out having my weekly lunch with my friends, Potential #1 messaged me on Facebook and definitely brought some sunshine to a gloomy day:  he said that Canada passed a law where the Métis people were being given native status which meant he could move to the States without a green card if he wanted.  Uuuuuuuhhhhhhh…….whaaaaaaaat?!?!?!  Ok, from the beginning of the conversation between me and this gorgeous man I’ve dreamed about having him here and in my life and now you’re telling me that I might, for the first time in my freaking life, have the relationship I want?  This sounded too good to be true, but I hope for it still.  Wait…what about Potential #2?  So in a matter of minutes that day, I went from the pits of despair, to the heights of ecstasy to slamming face first into a wall of sorrow at the though of having to let one of them down easy.  Then after the high wore off was when the reality of the situation set in:  if he did move here, would he like it?  Was I the reason that he brought it up in the first place?  Did he want to move here to be with me?  Questions, questions, too many questions.  Panic also set in due to the current social climate in my area.  Bile began to rise in my throat and my blood boiled at the idea of the inbred, web footed retards in this place doing anything to hurt him.  I’d kill someone if they did.  I realize he’s a grown ass man, but I care about his well being and future even if it has nothing to do with me.  He deserves a good life and I’d be honored if I was the one he chose to settle with.  Hopefully we’ll get to talk more about it tonight.  We didn’t get to Saturday night because he had to work early Sunday morning and I slept and worked all of Sunday.

Fuck, I don’t know what to do on that front.  What if I meet Potential #2 next week and we really hit it off?  What if Potential #1 decides to stay in Canada?  What if neither of them like me?  That’ll probably be my luck.  Either that or I’ll have to let one of them down gently, which doesn’t sit well with me either.  I’m certainly not going to convince them that we should be in a triad because I really can’t be bothered to do that.  I only want one unlike some guys out there, but to each his own.

Everyone Dies on Someone’s Birthday

I don’t even know where to start.

So today was my adopted mother’s 58th birthday.  I took her out to lunch, and while we were driving to the restaurant I checked my Facebook feed to see if the few people there that I care to follow had posted anything.  My closest friend had posted that he was on his way to the hospital because his partner had collapsed at work.  I was worried, of course, but very little I could do about any of it.  The waiting game began.  I chose not to say anything about it to mom since it was her birthday after all.  I tried to keep the conversation going at lunch from topic to topic as usual, though in the back of my mind it was all I could think about.

Was he being treated fairly at the emergency room?  Did they let my friend in to see his partner?  Was there fighting between my friend and his partner’s estranged family?  That last one was definitely the one that I couldn’t bear the thought of.  I didn’t want my friend to deal with the horrors that some people have in the past where they weren’t included or mentioned anywhere in anything at any time.  It makes me angry thinking about things like that.

 


“Then someone should teach them.”

“You?”

“No.  Someone wise.”


It just makes me want to grab people and shake the crap out of them and MAKE them realize what kind of harm they’re doing to others when they act like that.  You’re trying to keep two people that care about each other separated and for what?  What kind of satisfaction do you get out of that?  Hurting others for your own selfishness because you’re so blind you can’t see what you’re doing.

Hours have passed and I have finally heard from my friend.  It turns out that I was completely over reacting in my head, as usual, and they allowed him in to see his partner without any fuss.  He suffered a type A aortic dissection and nearly died, but after an emergency surgery he made it and is in stable condition in ICU.

The thoughts of having to deal with situations like that when I finally find Mr. Right terrify me to no end, but it’s something that I’m just going to have to accept if it happens.  Everyone dies on someone’s birthday, I’m just glad that it didn’t happen today for me and mine.