Tag Archives: gay

Susanne Atanus: “Everybody knows that God controls weather […] God is super angry[.]”

I didn’t think it was possible that a woman of such extremism her own GOP opponent regarded her with an extended expression of disbelief during their “debate.” Because how do you have a debate with someone who just repeats, “God is angry.” I know, because I tried, but more on that in a minute.

So, if this last winter has been “God…super angry,” what’s he like when he’s really pissed off? Sounds like we’re talking old testament God here. The one before sharknadoes and…rats, I forget the other one. We’re having a heck of a time with moths right now, so let’s just combine the two and call it a mothzilla. Or was it a grizzard?

I haven’t had any personal conversations with God lately, nor am I in any specially ordained position in a church, temple, or bakery (sorry, that’s Jesus, chip off the old block?) or, apparently, congressional candidates to receive the word of God. Normally when people hear the voice of God, he tells them to go out and build a big boat and collect things (like Pokemon), take their child to the top of a tall hill and kill them, or turns people to pillars of salt. Now, I take that one personally, as someone with a chronic kidney condition. That’s just not funny. (snerk) But I’m still not going to blame God personally for the fact I do. I just do. It’s not progressive. Hopefully. And that’s it.

God also isn’t responsible for my having severe depression, a generalized anxiety disorder, a slight cognitive disorder (fish oil helps a lot for that, but it was Jesus with the loaves and the fishes–see, something helpful?), or mild ADD. Nope. I was just born that way. God didn’t decide to make people who are gay the instruments of all demonic evil and destruction. People who are gay were born that way too. People with autism were born that way. Ask an adult with autism if they would change the way they are. It’s not easy. It’s not easy for anyone who is different. But ask them if they would completely change who they are.

And hear this, Susanne Atanus, if you are saying that there is something intrinsically wrong with people with disabilities, will you please explain to them what that is? Because some of the best, most honest, most loving, and most caring people I have ever met in my 45 years on this planet have had disabilities, from mild to severe, and if you tell me any of these people have a problem I would really like to hear what you have to say. Officially I have mental disabilities, and I will tell you without a shred of doubt in my mind I certainly didn’t get this way because of the existence of gay people in the world. Oh, I’d like to hear what you have to say to the parents of these people with disabilities as well. And the young woman I worked with in a Life Skills Special Education Classroom in high school, now in her early twenties, who is now living on her own and doing a kick-ass job of it (you go, girl!). Is God angry about that too? I don’t think so. I am incredibly proud of her, and so is everyone I know who ever worked with her. I feel honored to have worked with her for a year, to have been a little part of her life.

The weather is messed up because careless human beings have screwed it up. That’s not something you want to own up to, is it? It’s easier to blame it on God. I don’t think he’s sitting around melting the ice caps. I’ll tell you who’s super angry. Penguins. Polar Bears. Seals. They’re pissed. We’re destroying their home. And I tell you, when these Penguins decide to do recon, it’s not going to be the happy little “Smile and wave” Penguins from “Madagascar.” Since the Industrial Revolution we’ve been fouling up the air with coal smoke. Nasty stuff. If you don’t believe me, look at the reconstruction they’re having to do in high coal-use cities in Europe and even older cities here, the ones where statues and buildings are coated with it and black. That wasn’t God. Unless God told us where the coal was because he was already angry at all of us, and since the boat didn’t work the first time, he decided to get the ball rolling on a nice big weather disaster again. The Titanic didn’t work either.

There is no reasoning with you because everything you say is a circular cycle of blame leading back to “God is angry.” That isn’t an argument. That’s your personal belief. Which you are clearly entitled to have. It is not however, a political platform. I think we had this conversation. Church, state, two different things.

At this point, I would like to relate what I mean by trying to have a reasonable conversation. This is an email conversation with Susanne Atunus at the time she was a declared candidate for office, and I emailed her at that address, asking her questions about her position which anyone could have asked her. I do not see an problem posting them here, as I have not altered a word either of us wrote. I did not actually think she would continue a conversation with me, so I was surprised she continued it as long as she did. She thinks it’s okay for our security that the NSA monitor email. I think it’s okay for our security that everyone have access to this email. At that point, I also had no idea she would actually win the candidacy. I thought people might be more reasonable. This is not a libelous statement, as the words she wrote are her own. My words are my own. I have removed email addresses. Anyone wishing to contact Ms. Atanus can look up the candidates for the 9th Congressional District of Illinois.
———————————————————————————————-
Wendy Clements

Jan 26
Dear Ms. Atanus,

I believe that when our forefather created this country, they had several things in mind. One of the primary and most critical was the separation of church and state. This means, that as a representative of the 9th District, you do not represent God, you represent your constituents and keep your personal views regarding religion to yourself.

You have to make a decision which is most important, religion or politics, because they are supposed to remain separate matters entirely, one never entering the floor of Congress whatsoever. If that is an impossibility, then I would trust where your true passions lie and serve either church or state, but not both, as that is not only violates the constitution, but treads on morally and ethically shaky ground.

I do believe in global warming, and that it is caused by all humans, not just a select few chosen as targets. Zealots do not belong in congress, but there is a home for them in the church. Love thy neighbor, and practice Christianity as it was meant to be practiced. I haven’t seen any bolts of lightening striking anyone down, so I don’t think God has any issues.

There is a revolution in the Ukraine. There is a crisis in Syria. There are crises in the education and economic systems of our own country. Congress needs to pay attention to these matters and stop playing a shell game of distraction.

Thank you for your attention,
Wendy Clements

 

[From Susanne Atanus]

Jan 27

to me

Freedom of speech. We have exteeemeeely cold weather today. God is angry and I cannot look the other way. How can you?

 

From: Wendy Clements
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 1:37 AM
Subject: Congressional 9th District Seat

Jan 27

to Susanne
Which God? In war, how is God always on both sides, both sides believing with equal fervor that God supports their cause. God has better things to do than care about whether two men or two women marry, or love each other. Love thy neighbor, be unto others as you would unto yourself, the golden rule, people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. That one isn’t in the bible–that one is let the one without sin throw the first stone. What is religion without self-examination? Self-righteousness, bitter hatred, claiming to speak in God’s name, setting yourself on a pedestal above all others, those are things God wouldn’t approve of. There is no place in a secular position for a person who acts in the name of God–freedom of speech does not mean church and state should mix.

I would concern myself about whether or not the constituents are angry, about the economy, with the employment rates, and the unemployment rates. With the dismal conditions our schools are in, and lack of funding to both education and social services, to programs that serve Veterans who have fought for this country, in the name of God, and are now homeless and having their benefits cut. Stop using trivial matters such as same sex marriage to try to divert people from the true, serious issues at hand that impact everyone in a very real, very tangible way.

Sincerely,
W. Clements

 

Susanne Atanus
Jan 27

to me
I am running for daily positive returns on stocks; with more income and gov’t. revenue we will purchase more goods and services, and this will create more jobs; all this without raising taxes! I did not use the word punishment I cannot ignore we have extreemeely cold days and 24 tornadoes in 2 hours that hit 3 counties in IL on a Sunday afternoon around noon that was catastrophic, horrible with lots of damage.

God is angry and provoked with sin including gay and abortions. Please pray for cures for newer diseases, too. Please pray that God will heal our land.

 

From: Wendy Clements
To: Susanne Atanus
Sent: Monday, January 27, 2014 6:07 PM
Subject: Re: Congressional 9th District Seat

Jan 28

to Susanne
Where does the money for these stocks come from, and how can you guarantee a daily positive return? The budget is being cut, not increased, how can you count on more government revenue? I assume the more income is from the stocks? I don’t see how more goods and services will be purchased from that, thereby creating more jobs, with no other source of income other than daily returns from stocks (which would have to be high risk stocks to give you daily returns). The foundations for the fiscal support system for your whole district would be based solely on income from stocks? I don’t know if a financial adviser would recommend that for one persona, unless they had money invested elsewhere, but for an entire congressional district? Good luck.

It is extremely cold because not only are we experiencing global warming, weather tends to occur in patterns. Around here we hear a lot of older people saying it hasn’t been this cold since 1972. That sounds about right. Every 30-40 years the weather pattern changes. If you look Illinois up in Wikipedia, it has had the most weather extremes of any state in the nation, due not to God but because of its “length and mid-continental placement.” Also, according to the same source, the deadliest tornado on record in the United States was mostly in Illinois (in the tri-state area) and killed, Wiki reports, 613 people. That was in 1925. Nature is nature, and prone to do unexpected things.

Nothing to do with God. All normally occurring things. Which newer diseases are you referring to? The ones that people have been refusing to get their children vaccinated against? Those are the old diseases making a comeback and causing small epidemics. That’s human ignorance. Our land has been destroyed by us. We have strip mined it, logged it, polluted and poisoned it with toxic pollutants from corporations being dumped into the water, and biohazardous waste being dumped where it shouldn’t be. There are all things humans have done to the earth. Why should some greater entity be expected to come in and fix the mistakes we continue to make? Look at the sides of our roads–littered with garbage from fast foot restaurants, food that is making the people of our nation overweight and susceptible to heart disease and chronic kidney disease. Did God come up with those recipes? No. Humans did, from companies with CEOs who are billionaires while their workers struggle to get by on a day to day basis.

Will those daily positives returns on stocks help those people? The ones who have to work double shifts and still don’t make enough money to support their families? They’re not being lazy by any means. Give them the dignity they deserve by paying them what they deserve.

We need to heal our own land, instead of waiting for God to fix everything for us, because it isn’t going to happen.

Do you personally know anyone who is gay? Have a friend who is? Because you know what, they are just like everyone else. Do you know about Alan Turing, whom Queen Elizabeth just gave a Royal Pardon to years too late, far after his death? He was imprisoned for being homosexual. He was also a brilliant man who more than likely saved the Allies during World War II. He was a mathematician and code breaker, and managed to break the Nazi’s code. He is also one of the fathers of modern computing.

When you don’t know people, out of ignorance or fear, how can you, personally, make any judgment on them. We have brains because we’re supposed to use them. Do we really want to act like little Hitlers in the United States, persecuting people simply because of their orientation, which, truthfully, is none of our business anyway?

This is what bothers me the most, is when people simply say, God says to do this, God says to do that, Jesus said I can discriminate–wait just a minute. That’s just simply not the sort of thing Jesus would either condone or do. He preached love and acceptance. When people follow religion to the point they are blinded by reality and the ability to think for themselves. I think if God were to be angry, it would be at how unevenly wealth is distributed in this country, how greedy the rich are while so many people live at the poverty level while resources to help them are cut. After all, the way you can really tell the nature of a country is in how it treats its poor, its disabled, its elderly, the ill, and its animals. There is a complete lack of communication between many of the millionaire congress and it’s constituents. These are the things people are concerned with. Will they get enough time on the dialysis machine when they go in? Why do the rich kids get away with driving onto the sidewalk drunk whereas if it were a poor kid they’d be going to jail. The gap is growing, and so is the disconnect.

I’d be more worried about the people being angry. The ones who can’t afford to buy enough food or pay their heating bills. The ones with disabilities who are having trouble paying doctors bills. God is not angry and causing more children to be born with disabilities, for any reason other than we’ve poisoned our environment and pregnant women don’t get the neonatal care they need. Enough of that rhetoric. Life happens.

Building a future on stocks is a risky proposition at best. I think it might be good to have a couple of back up plans.

 

Susanne Atanus

Jan 28

to me
Publicly traded corporations and large banks have billions and Chase Bank has five trillion in assets, and does not have a “down” day. I am running to fix the economy with daily positive returns on stocks so the l% will not get richer and richer. With more income, we will purchase more goods and services and this will create more jobs-the Greatest Economic Stimulus! It will also generate more gov’t. revenue so we don’t see higher taxes-a very important agenda.

I never used the word punishment. We need to pray for diseases, and newer diseases. Sin angers God including abortions and gay. I am concerned with newer and more diseases, aren’t you? If we pray and humble ourselves, God will heal our land.

I cannot ignore our severe winter. God is angry at many people. I never said diseases were punishment. But, God controls health and the weather. Don’t take it personally. It needs to be discussed in the public. Sickness is in every family.

 

From: Wendy Clements
To: Susanne Atanus
Sent: Tuesday, January 28, 2014 9:59 AM

Jan 28

to Susanne
I never used the word punishment in either of the cases where it sounds like you’re correcting me. You came up with that yourself. So, you must be thinking of punishment, as this is the first time I’ve said it. You’re even twisting what I say to your own benefit. I don’t see why God has to be so angry and malevolent. That’s your interpretation of the bible. Just like you somehow managed to get punishment out of my email.

Don’t you think that if it were that easy to fix the economy, someone would have done it already?

I’m more concerned with current belief systems that people follow blindly and preach hatred toward our fellow humans. There is no reasoning with someone who has a message in their brain on a loop: “God is angry, God is angry.” I’m sorry you have to live that way. I take nothing you say personally, because I do not prescribe to your beliefs. I believe in love. I believe there is nothing wrong with loving someone of the same sex. Love is love. I believe in a woman’s right to choose what to do with her own body. I am not concerned with newer and more diseases, I am concerned with people who think we can pollute the planet and God will make it all better. Sickness is where you find it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with people who are gay. Some of them are the best people I have ever known are gay or lesbian or trans*. Frankly, you’re completely ignorant of your subject, so you don’t know what you’re talking about. God is about compassion and forgiveness. Who are you to say “God is angry at many people?” Personal telegram?

You never said diseases were a punishment, but Got controls health? It sure sounds like you think they are, as well as the weather. It’s pointless to try to reason or use logic with people like you, because you don’t listen.

How do you know God isn’t telling you the exact opposite of what you’re doing? Turn the other cheek. What harm is anyone doing you? Psychologists would say you create your own issues, such as believing that God is angry.

When people first came over to the Americas in the 1600s from England, it was to escape people like you. I’m thinking we may have been better off if we’d just stayed under the Monarchy in the first place and had a more dignified Parliament.

 

Susanne Atanus

Jan 28

to me
Pray and repent.
—————————————————————————————————————-

So there we have it. Pray and repent. I’ve not really taken that too seriously. Also, by no means did I mean the matter of gay marriage is trivial in and of itself, I simply feel that it is such a no-brainer of a decision that lawmakers should have made it legal years ago and all of this now is ridiculous. It isn’t anyone else’s business and there really are serious things going on around the world–congress should be discussing Putin and just make gay marriage legal in the whole US and tell everyone to stop fussing about it. What do they want more, to fight same sex marriage or possibly have a Third World War? I mention Hitler in one of my communications with Ms. Atanus, ironic since I also mentioned the similarity of what Putin is doing, even more so now than back when I wrote the posts, to what Hitler did before the beginning of WWII. By distracting people with the issue of same sex marriage, which is right here in the US and thus more noticeable, politicians keep attention away from Europe (I don’t watch TV, so I have to confess I don’t know how the news is covering it). But this isn’t about Putin.

Or maybe in a way it is. It’s about keeping people like Ms. Atanus out of office, the ones who want to drag the country backward. That’s what has happened in Russia. Putin still thinks it’s the USSR and the Cold War is still in full play. He’s also very good at circular arguments and deflecting blame elsewhere.

I wasn’t planning on writing a post tonight. I just saw the headline that Ms. Atanus had won the candidacy and was a little in shock. But we do have our answers to the worlds’ problems: ‘pray and repent.” Catchy, but you can’t really dance to it.

Holocaust Memorial Day

January 27th, 2014

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lgf.org.uk

lgf.org.uk

holcaust Memorial Day

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holocaust_6838362923cf60A group of children in striped concentration camp uniforms behind barbed wire fencing at Auschwitz

Survivor Stella Knobel's Teddy Bear www.foxnews.com

Survivor Stella Knobel’s Teddy Bear
http://www.foxnews.com

neveragain

martins_holocaust_rememberance_rotator

Speak up

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Montage

Moldava Holocaust Remembrance www.washingtonpost.com

Moldava Holocaust Remembrance
http://www.washingtonpost.com

Holocaust Memorial craftchaos.blogspot.com

Holocaust Memorial
craftchaos.blogspot.com

Burning candle

I would like to add that blaming all the people of Germany for this atrocity is wrong. Some people might have known, some people probably did, some people didn’t. Not all of those people hated Jews, or people who were gay, or people who had disabilities; but they did know what happened to the people who spoke out against the Nazi regime. They disappeared. And it probably wasn’t too difficult to guess where. It is an easy judgement to make from the safety of distance. I have seen the pictures of townspeople the allied troops forced to tour the camps that were so close to them. It is a herculean question, how could people let it happen? People have spent decades trying to figure that out. Read my previous post, and the article that was on page 10 in The New York Times. We, in the United Stated, let it happen too. Only we didn’t have to worry about disappearing if we spoke out, what would happen to our families. I wasn’t going to say anything, actually, in this post. I’m not sure how many people even actually blame the German people any more.

The reason I bring this up is because of the topic of the last post. It is not the fault of the general majority, I hope, that what is happening in Russia is happening. When Russia was still the USSR, no laws resembling these anti-homosexual laws were in effect. It is the people who are in charge and street thugs, along with the Southern Orthodox Church, who are controlling what is happening. Again, I had no idea the church was so active–since it wasn’t under the rulers during the Cold War (I thought) I didn’t think it was now. I was very wrong. In some ways it’s not unlike what is happening in the United States, only much, much harsher and, under Putin, it is hard to tell what direction events will take.  He has already insulted athletes and visitors who are gay or lesbian, equating them with pedophiles. Now he wants to “clean the country of homosexuals.” When will this occur? During the Olympics? After? Safety is definitely an issue. I’m not entirely sure for whom. I still feel very, very strongly that even holding the Olympics this year is a terrible idea. That we are supporting a man fully capable of bringing about another genocide. Just because one is paranoid doesn’t mean one is necessarily wrong.

Remembrance Day lynndove.com

Remembrance Day
lynndove.com

(My apologies to Lynn Dove–Remembrance day was started in Europe for those who had died in WWI, and the poppy was the flower used; some people call it “Poppy Day.” Now it’s used to honor all who have died in wars, veterans. It was in with the pictures for the Holocaust when I did a search and I thought it spoke to the other side of what happens–not only are innocent lives lost in genocide, but those of soldiers who fight to rescue them).

Enough is Enough: Silence is Acquiescence. So is Attendance.

There comes a time when people need to stop and think about the larger picture. Not about how something effects simply them as an individual, but how it effects an entire group of people and the possibility of what could happen to those people. Not surround ourselves in little bubbles of calm with the attitude that an issue doesn’t concern them and it effects other people, not them–it’s more important to stay calm and happy than be angry and upset, to actually feel passionate about a cause because it does effect people other than them. People they may never meet and may never know, but whose lives are just as precious as their own.

The Olympics were originally held in times of peace. We are not at war, but we are not at peace, either. It is not peace when the country chosen to hold the Olympics passes a law, unanimously, banning same sex relationships. A country with an active Neo-Nazi population. Where the stakes keep getting ratcheted up higher and higher. To where they are now.

What Vladmir Putin has said, and what a couple of others have said, are now so well known they’ve become common enough no one even needs to cite the sources. Minor comments leading up to the head of Telecommunications announcing that hearts of people who are gay are “unsuitable” for life. The pop star who said he’d burn gays, all of them, until they were all dead.

I had my own thoughts about this one and wasn’t sure when it would be addressed: no one is to talk to children about homosexuals. My question, what if they see someone they think might be? And they have a question?

Non-violent protests always ended up with someone getting hurt–never the police or whichever group had decided to attack them–and get away with it.

Homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to adopt children, or keep their own, because as parents they are evil.

So far, all of this is okay because some GOP Senator’s wife thinks Putin looks hot with his shirt off. Excuse me? And this is newsworthy because…?

Joachim Gauk, President of Germany, was the first person in a public position to announce he was not going to Sochi. Finally, someone with a conscience. He was followed by an EU official and the French Government. Others have declined. President Obama, Michelle Obama, and the Vice President and his wife will not be attending, but the US is sending a delegations containing representatives who are LBGT.

Putin has upped the ante. Now he has equated anyone of a different orientation as pedophiles. To paraphrase, “You’re welcome here, but leave our children alone.” Or maybe that isn’t paraphrasing. Games of peace.

15 Articles on Situation in Russia:   http://pridemedia.net/142/

Op-Ed Piece:   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/28/opinion/life-under-russias-gay-propaganda-ban.html

This is a headline from “Aljazeera America” from January 19th, 2014: Putin: Russia must ‘cleanse’ itself of gays, but they shouldn’t fear Sochi. In the article, Putin states that: “Population growth is vital for Russia’s development and “anything that gets in the way of that we should clean up,” he said, using a word usually reserved for military operations.”

I’m going to stop writing here in a minute. Does that sound familiar to anyone? Does anyone remember the concept that we study history to learn from our mistakes? The definition, one of them, of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. Well, are we going to learn? I don’t think my guesses as to what could happen are out of the realm of the impossible or even the implausible. It’s been done before.

I think, considering Putin’s most recent statement, every single person, political official, judge, every single athlete, coach, journalist, reporter, announcer, should seriously think about whether or not the Winter Olympics at Sochi are worth it this year. Hold them somewhere else next year. I wasn’t sure about a boycott before. Now I am. Attending the Olympics in a country with a leader making statements such as this is wrong, from every standpoint. Ethically, morally, and as a violation of civil and basic rights. A certain soft drink company couldn’t make the right decision because capitalism won out over humanitarianism. Others planning on going don’t have to make the same decision.

Russia must ‘cleanse’ itself of gays

Some people may not want to go further than this. Some of the material is very disturbing, but so is ignorance.

Some pictures not suitable for children.

Continue reading

Can Everyone Just Stop Talking, Please

There are times in my life when I feel so frustrated, so small, so unheard, so forgotten as a citizen that I want to stand on the tallest building I can find and just scream until someone pays attention to what I am saying. How are people, little people like me, heard in this country of Freedom of Speech, the right to arm bears (a much better choice, if you ask me–give those bears in Alaska a chance against Sarah Palin and her helicopters), the conservative right who literally make absolutely no sense. I don’t mean that they’re just illogical, the words that they string together to form sentences do not answer questions, they give no answers–they are a Möbius strip. I’m really not just saying this–look for this article on The New Civil Rights Movement’s web site: Sarah Palin: Atheists Are Suing Private Citizens Over Nativity Scenes ‘On Somebody’s Law.’

Why, I ask myself, do she and other people like her end up being heard? Because they’re stupid? I know I’m not the one with all the answers. I know I can’t solve all the problems. I know things can’t be fixed overnight. I used to want to work in International Relations when I was a kid, because I wanted to make the world a better place. I’m so glad I didn’t follow that path, because I would have ended up a disillusioned puddle of an adult. I don’t know what is wrong with the world. But today for the first time in a long time, because there’s a part of me that’s hardened to the daily horror that is the world, if one is paying attention–today I had to stop because I started to cry. I simply could not take any more. Any more illness. Any more famine. Any more war. Any more oppression. Any more GOPs smearing Nelson Mandela’s name and comparing the American national debt to apartheid. What? Any more of Syria, the Ukraine, Iraq, North Korea, Afghanistan, Turkey, Israel, Palestine, and whoever else I left out.

And the white elephant has turned into an animal of a different color, a giant brown bear.

I do not hate or hold grudges against any country for what happened in their past. If you do that, you end up like Israel and Palestine, or Ireland and Northern Ireland, fighting wars that have been going on for far too long. The point is that what happened has already happened. I am not religious, but nor do I believe the “sins of the fathers are visited upon the sons.” We have been told, over and over, that the point of history is to learn from the past. Well, we’re all doing a pretty damn poor job of it. We haven’t learned a blessed thing. People are more interested in political maneuvering, the next election–I speak for the US, the only country I have experience to speak on. The usual rounds of mudslinging and defamation. And hatred, true hatred, growing against the LGBT community within our love thy neighbor religious institutions, the lovely christian right.

When I was growing up in the 1970’s, I had nightmares about nuclear war, the utter and complete devastation of the world. It seems many of the writers of dystopian young adult fiction didn’t grow up under that shadow–many of them are half my age. Maybe that’s why dystopian, apocalyptic fiction doesn’t appeal to me; for me, growing up, that was a true possibility (not that it isn’t completely out of the question now, but it doesn’t hang over us everyday like fog). My nightmares are changing. And again, they emanate from the same source; the bear is up and busy these days, passing some terrifying laws, one in particular. In my nightmares, it’s as if there’s a curtain and we can’t be sure what really is going on in Russia. We know they run propaganda–oh, wait, news, every two hours with their head of telecommunications telling millions of Russian citizens that people who are gay have “unsuitable hearts for living.” It’s pretty clear what the implication is. Whatever the means, they should die. But he quickly added that he has gay friends. Not anymore, I would imagine. I think “Who needs enemies when you have friends like that,” applies here. I don’t believe the bulk of the Russian people feel this way. Again, it’s the loud, brash, I-can-talk-over-everyone-else people who run the show. Whoever runs the media holds the power. What are they doing? I ask myself. Is this just the beginning? What do they intend to do? I don’t want to look at their past. There’s a history of many, many people ending up dead. And this scares me. Very much.

And the timing, with the Olympics. There’s the rub. What to do about the Olympics. Have countries boycott them, and the athletes who have been training all this time not compete? But tell me–what is worth more; precious metal on a ribbon around your neck, or knowing that you have made a difference, you have made a mark far bigger than a name that goes into Wiki with what place you won. You have made a statement about not just humanity, but the fact what is happening is not moral, it is not ethical, and it should not be condoned. Right now no one is to talk to children about people who are gay–how long before they actually start disappearing so the children don’t see them either? That is my fear, that is my nightmare; the mere possibility that could happen to someone I love.

And out of the darkness there is a small bright light.  A political figurehead who supposedly has no power in the political system. President Joachim Gauck of Germany announced he will not be attending the Olympics in Sochi next year. A politician with a conscience. Are there any others? The goliath that is Coca-Cola folded under one of the seven deadly sins. What I would ask, if I could shout and yell until people listened, is will the politicians around the world make a stand and follow President Gauck’s example, or will they crumple?

And after that I would dearly appreciate it if someone would bring me a glass of water.

Sleep well.

An Interesting Question — NSFW

All of my interesting things are coming from other places lately. My additional question, which will make more sense once one reads the snippet below, is, is something I read on a post somewhere else. Is it because there are so many allies involved in the movement, that, for better or worse, we’re possibly taken for granted? The post I read said there were more straight people involved at some event than gay people–that is one person’s opinion, and he may or may not have been correct in his assumption. I don’t know what event it was.

That is just as this man’s words below are his opinion, although he has examples to back him up. I just found it interesting. I don’t know how many gay men pay attention to that end of politics, the idiotic politicians who think that women’s bodies are “designed to shut down during rape” so women don’t become pregnant because of a rape, therefore abortion isn’t an issue in that case. That’s the one I remember most clearly, because it was the most insane, but it was said, on national TV, along with a plethora of other things proving that these men knew nothing about female anatomy or how it worked. Yet they were going to make decisions that effected our lives and bodies? I don’t think so. But they are. I read an interesting story about a 14 year old girl whose parents support her involvement in politcs, and go over what’s happening and how it could effect her. They’ve taken her to see how the political process works on the local and state level (she’s from Texas).  Her picture, with her dad, in front of the capital pretty much sums the religious aspect of it up for me, even though I’m not religious.

Reblogged from Queer Tips:

“LGBT history overflows with stories of women who have come to the aide of gay men: the concerned mother who founded PFLAG, the doctor who proved that homosexuality was not a pathological illness, the popular 1960s communist who wrote that gays and lesbians were born that way and should be true to themselves in order to find happiness, and the countless number of lesbians who, after years of feeling excluded from the gay liberation movement by their gay brothers, put aside their frustrations to care for them at the height of the AIDS epidemic when hospitals wouldn’t.These are just a handful of the famous examples. It leaves out the sisters who defended us against bullies, the best girlfriends we came out to and took to the prom, and the mothers who handled our fathers who didn’t always know the right way to say they love us.This history begs a question that nobody seems to be asking: If women have stood and fought alongside gay men in some of our darkest, toughest, hardest won battles, why are most gay men paying so little attention to the vicious war currently being waged against women: the attack on their constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion?

Let’s Be Strong Men Who Stand Up For Women (Patrick Hinds for The Advocate)

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Billy and Tuesday Cain outside the Texas Capitol (Credit: Billy Cain)

Kiss That Frog–I Dare You. No, I Double-Dare You! Review: Oil & Water by Goesta Struve-Dencher

Oil & Water

by Goesta Struve-Dencher
ebook, 74 pages, FREE
Published June 18th 2013 by M/M Romance Group @ goodreads

Oil and Water Cover

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This is the tale of a nerdy young man, Enzo, and a man who would make the Gods proud, Jericho. Enzo lusts after Jericho, who is a straight and mermaid conquering man as any other…straight and mermaid conquering man. They both have special powers which make them extremely special men. There is a description of the story on Goodreads which explains the situation much more succinctly than I can, given my tendency to go on and on and digress.

Commencement of Review-ish Observations and Comments

While I was confused in a few places as to whose mind I was in, I realized that in some ways it didn’t really matter–Enzo and Jericho were experiencing a sense of twinning of identities so they were literally melded together. Those are the places where it’s important to know that it’s Jericho’s mind that is the dominant mind.

The amusing part is that Enzo is presented as the “puppy dog”– a clumsy, get-in-your-way, adorable, ball of wriggling fur (without the fur–no shifters here) with melty chocolate eyes–innocent and adolescent in his fawning over Jericho. His lust for Jericho is obvious. Jericho is, after all, Neptune risen from the sea, strong, bold, and a conqueror of women. It’s that last bit that causes the problem for Enzo.

Just what does define sexuality? Preference of the sex of the object of your desire? Whom one is invariably attracted to? Women, men, both, neither, trans*? That’s vague, but just use however you define your own sexuality in reading that.

Jericho, while exuding masculinity, is a gentle soul with the power to heal through his touch (darn it, Platters, return from whence you came). He is indubitably (uh-oh, watch out, I used an adverb) straight, and finds it difficult to give Enzo his treatments knowing Enzo is very up for them and finds them quite relieving. Jericho is extremely patient with this.

I’m just giving a summary, this isn’t a review. Okay, to get the ball rolling again, Enzo is not quite the innocent he looks to be. Behind those puppy-dog melty browns are the calculating eyes of a Jack Russell Terror (okay, maybe terriers are known more for their tenaciousness than for their intelligence–that works too). Tenacious is actually more apt. In a blissed out moment, Enzo kisses Jericho, and sparks fly. Literally.

Jericho discovers he’s not quite as straight as he thought. At least, in this story, not with Enzo. In seeing Enzo’s true essence, his “Enzo-ness,” Jericho sees himself as well, his sexual identity, and realizes he loves Enzo as well; Jericho’s true essence that Jericho has been unable to see in himself despite his ability to see it in others.

The reference to the frog prince is very clever, reversed to suit the sexuality of the story–taking an old, familiar tale and turning it on its head. Ribbet, indeed.

A kiss still has power, the power to transform, the power to bring to the surface what is hidden. After all, how many fairy tales involve kissing? So go ahead. Next time you see one, kiss that frog.

Frog PrinceImage from: http://fairytalesbytempleton.blogspot.com

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Stonewall Riots

The early hours of June 28th, 2013, mark the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which occurred outside the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Central Greenwich Village, New York City. David Carter calls these “the riots that sparked the gay revolution.” I knew nothing about them until recently. They occurred the year I was born, which makes me very happy that some other good things came out of 1969 and that it can be remembered for other things than Nixon being sworn in as President for the second time. Not an auspicious day to be born on. I could argue I was born in the Philippines and I actually missed that whole debacle entirely, I suppose.

But that’s not the point of this post. These riots were a remarkable step in gay rights. Here’s the Wiki link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonewall_riots

If anyone has a better one, or a link they think would add more information, put it in the comments.

I was wondering how I could follow up the news of Lief getting a new heart, then I started to think about what that actualized symbolized. I’m big on symbolism. Basically, because you can examine something, say what you think it interprets, and while people can disagree, they can’t outright tell you it’s wrong. Who is anyone else to tell you what you see in something is wrong, just because they don’t see it?

This is what I was thinking. Someone’s family lost a loved one, someone precious to them who will always be missed, and then allowed his or her heart to be donated so Lief could live and continue on, given everything goes well, with his little ten year old life and all the expectations he had before he was stuck in a hospital bed for five months. That heart is starting over, beating in a new body. Giving Lief new life.

So, on this anniversary that will always be the same age as me, an anniversary for a life changing event for so, so many people, this is what I have decided.

I am going to let the past go, as hard as it is to do, because there is still pain and there are many things left unresolved. At this point, however, I don’t think they will ever be resolved. It is ironic that the person I discussed the Stonewall Riots with the most is one of the entities I am leaving behind. I am done with subterfuge, mind games, sly cunning, psychological mischief, and emotional abuse. Done. I am done with pretenders who take the game too far and continue to reel people in like fish on a hook for their own personal enjoyment. It’s sick and it’s twisted.

The first discussion I had with the person who I ended up talking to about the Stonewall Riots was very big on pride in being gay. I said there was nothing wrong with being proud, but it might cause a distancing effect from other people who didn’t understand, and maybe it was better to try to bridge the gap with understanding so that rights were just as important as pride. We sort of went around on that one for a while. But, for someone who is so proud of being gay, look how you’ve treated the people who supported you. Look back at the situation and tell me you can’t understand why myself and some others reacted the way we did. For myself, I don’t even know you exist other than the occasional postings and lamenting on the board. If you’re reading this, did you read the first half of this paragraph? Did you read the part about pride? You want to complain about people leaving so you can act sad and say, “Last person out shut off the lights.” Is this a self-pity party? Imagine how different things would have been if the three of you had handled things differently. You had an active say in the way the outcome could have been determined. Couldn’t you tell I was trying to help? Did you even give me a chance, listen? No. You both disappeared. For things being “private,” they were awfully quickly dispersed, don’t you think? So if pride in being gay is more important than kindness to fellow humans, if pride is more important than friends, if you hold your pride so close to your heart you don’t let anything else in, then tell me, what is the use of pride? Isolation? Lack of morals? Lack of values? Bad judgement? There are still ways open, it’s your choice to take them or not. Just remember, pride cometh before a fall.

Aren’t you glad that no one came along and deleted Stonewall out of history the way the entity so easily deleted the life out of our group? The winners are supposed to write the history. What if the winners are really the losers? The heart is gone, donated elsewhere, and the group will never be the same. Why don’t you both just leave? Do something more worthwhile? Start a group about something more worthy. Gay rights in literature. You’re both smart, if sometimes similar.

I think I’ve said what I needed to, at least what I’m willing to post to my millions of readers. lol But, you think you’ve figured everything out. You haven’t. I’m a little surprised, actually. I’m a little disgusted at what you’ve left up, yet my posts are offensive? You need to sit down and do some serious self examination, which is what I’ve been doing. That’s why, with this anniversary of Stonewall, I still support the cause it stands for as strongly and wholeheartedly as ever, but you are in my past, a regrettable mistake. It wasn’t until the early hours of June 28th, but you won’t have read this since you don’t speak to me at all. I truly am a non-entity to you, but you do have your pride to wrap yourself in.

One of my online friends, who is not much older but is incredibly wiser, which I think is unfair, and I have discussed this, and I’ve known all along he was right and putting it in the past was the right thing to do, it was just so hard to do. Then I was standing there at the sink, sorting out the dishes–I hate washing dishes and am very OCD about the order in which things need to be washed–thinking about everything, and Lief, and the David Carter book, and the friend I have who’s homeless because her asshole of a boyfriend kicked her out when she started showing some independence and who spent the night with us last night and may be back tonight because there was a mistake and the spot she was given at the shelter was given to someone else before she got there. She’s in severe pain because of her back–she’s going to need to have surgery, it’s so bad, and I thought about how strong she is, and how strong Lief is, and how brave the patrons of the Stonewall Inn were, not even knowing what they were starting or the effects it would have on gay history and gay rights. And I thought, yes, I’m in pain right now, but it will fade, and I have better things to do with my life. I have a new editing job. I have things with voc rehab that need to be done. I need to get my health insurance straightened out. So why am I feeling down about a friendship with someone who could obviously care less if I were breathing or not? Why waste the time? Why bother feeling things for people who make no effort to communicate with you? That’s ridiculous. I might as well try to have a conversation about nebulas with the broom.

It’s time to move on, from immature hurtful people to somewhere else where people are more respectful and kind. I learned an important lesson, and unfortunately it took this to teach it to me. Just because I am who I am online doesn’t mean other people are. I’ve been too gullible. People don’t trust that I am who I am because they aren’t who they are, for the most part. I need to stop trusting people I don’t know so easily, because all that does is make myself vulnerable to people pretending to be something they aren’t. Sometimes it’s something little that doesn’t matter so much. Sometimes it’s something malicious and malevolent. I also have people online now that I trust quite a bit. I don’t know if I could ever develop a persona. Probably not. I was never a good actor, I just need to be more careful.

I’m tired of trying, this post is the end of that trying. I’m stubborn, yes, ornery, yes, but there’s no dealing with lack of conscience or emotion in another person. The fact that I am those two things mean that I have feelings, care about things. So, people got hurt. On both sides. It didn’t have to be a war where someone “wins.” Game of Thrones is fiction. That’s part of the problem, though, isn’t it, fiction vs. reality? But och, even then there’s that pride again. Pesky thing. Even Mr. Darcy wasn’t this bad. I’m proud I’m finally moving on (really, this time, anyone who knows me knows it takes at least a few false starts, or ends, I should probably say, before I actually do manage it).

On to something bigger, better, with no regrets. Everything is a lesson. I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe people meet the people they do at the times they do for a reason, for however long. I wouldn’t have met some of the people whose friendship I value if this hadn’t happened, and that’s my future.

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What about Straight Pride?

This came up in group I’m in and a member kindly posted this link:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/13/opinion/granderson-straight-pride/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

I looked at some of the comments following the article, which is always a dangerous thing, because that’s where all the interesting people start climbing out of the woodwork. I should mention the post before this one was one talking about “religious bigots raising their children to hate everyone, such as gays, and perpetuating their irrational christian beliefs.” Normally I stay out of religious arguments completely. I’m not religious. I come from a family (stopping at my parents) of Southern Baptists. I see the kind of “love” they preach. Love everyone unless they’re different. Love everyone who follows all our rules. Put on a good show in public, but in private it’s not so important. I truly don’t understand the comment below, and I don’t understand how someone could be so ignorant of the world around them. I find it hard to believe that anyone could make the statement in the second sentence and truly believe it–I think I can fairly safely say that it isn’t an accusation but a matter of fact that bible centered churches have and actively do preach hatred and the denial of rights toward individuals who are gay, and that many christian groups have taken a strong negative stance against gays and gay rights.

“What Christian organization are you speaking of? Because NO Jesus centered and Bible centered Church that I have attended has EVER preached hate or the denyl of rights. What it DOES teach is love and acceptance. I may not agree with their life choices but that doesn’t mean I hate them. What they choose to do has nothing to do with me. I may not agree but I still love. Just as Jesus did for me. The people who you are speaking of would be ignorant, hateful, and practice bigotry whether they were “Christians” or not. Just because they call themselves a Christian doesn’t make them one. I can call my self a Muslim but if I dont follow the teachings of the Koran and Muhammad I am not a Muslim.

Edit: I took out a section of this post in which I used a more extreme example of hate and violence to try to “win” this “argument” I apologize and retract the former. Homosexuals that experience hate and violence are no less important because some other groups may experience more.  Eric Truman 

My response:

“Have you taken a look around and read the news lately? Why is it the religious groups that believe that reparative therapy is possible? I’m afraid that there are more religious groups against equal rights for people who are LBGTQ than for them. 

For those of you who believe it’s a life choice, think again. People are born the way they are, already oriented the way they are. This makes them no less equal, no less worth loving, gives them no less right to chose who they want to love, than any of the rest of us. 

Who are the groups who are keeping them from having the rights they should already unquestioningly have? Religion, and the government. Two groups who should have no voice in a persons’ sexuality or who they love. 

Anyone who says that religious groups only teach love and acceptance are looking at the world through rose-colored glasses, and seeing what they want to see. 

God made everyone in his image, correct? Does God make mistakes? I don’t think so. Would a religious person agree to that? God made people who are straight, who are gay, who are lesbian, who are all gamuts of that spectrum. They are not aberrations. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them. They are perfect the way they are. 

Step out of your box and truly look at the world around you. Say hello to someone with a disability who uses a wheelchair. Use tolerance. Practice patience. Love. Treat others as you would want others to treat you.”

The thing that I think stands out most jarringly to me is the statement in the “Edit” section of Mr. Truman’s post–he mentions “winning” the “argument.” I’m not sure if he’s retracting that as well or if he still means it. Equality isn’t about winning an argument. This is a fight for rights, yes, but only because the rights which are duly owed haven’t already been given as they should have been.

While not religious, I still think the above postulation does make sense. I also believe that religious groups and politicians should mind their own business, once they’ve straightened out this mess and given equal rights, legally, to everyone who should have have. Not deserve to have them, although they do, but should have them as human beings just like anyone else. As a basic and fundamental right. We’re past the days (I thought) where children had to be protected under animal abuse laws because there were no laws protecting children from abuse. Aren’t we?

This country, in it’s attempts to escape oppression for freedom, has done a fine job emulating that oppression. Oppression against people of different races, beliefs, women, LBGTQ individuals, children, people with disabilities…

I went to my SO’s daughter’s 8th grade graduation last night. She had been attending a Charter School loosely based on Waldorf principles, which emphasis creativity, individuality, the ability to work together (they don’t adhere so strictly to the Waldorfian principles because, quite frankly, they were written over a hundred years ago and they haven’t changed with the times). These children, approximately twenty of them altogether, have grown up together. They’ve had the same teachers, the same classes. All of them gave short speeches. For those children who entered later on, in say, 5th grade like my SO’s daughter did, they were suspicious of the methods of the school and the curriculum because it was so radically different from those of a regular public school. (This school has a waiting list, we were lucky she got in). But these children gave the wisest, funniest, most heartfelt speeches. Some of them said they’d hated school until they went there. For some of them, it was their last chance school, they’d tried every school in the district and been unsuccessful. They all mentioned the school being like a family to them. These kids have it together, and are much more mature than I was when I was fourteen. They’ll need it, because now they’re going on to public high schools around the district, and she’s going to the biggest high school in Eugene, but is also a very good school. They have values and ethics some adults are lacking. Her mother is lesbian, with a partner who’s known her since she was 5, so she’s grown up used to differences. I’ve known her since she was 8. She has changed so much, and I know that she will be a kid who won’t bully other kids in high school. She’ll help them. It’s in her nature. I am incredibly proud of her and her tenacity for standing up for what she believes in. I hope there are more young adults like her, or who will follow her example, and help fight against bullying and prejudice. I’ve talked to her about it. She’s very receptive–unlike many fourteen-year-olds, you can have conversations with her about pretty heavy things.

So, in a way I suppose it will be a fight, although I think it’s sad that someone who isn’t gay thinks it’s something that needs to be won. To me, it’s not a matter of winning or losing, it’s a matter of long deserved reparation that should never have had to be asked for, and should never have been withheld–basic human rights.

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Review: Bear, Otter, and the Kid

Bear, Otter, and the Kid, eBook   by TJ Klune
Dreamspinner Press    Release Date: August 12, 2011

I have to admit that I’m torn about this book. I did something with it that I normally don’t ever do. Usually, as soon as a derogatory term against the disabled community appears in a book I stop reading it, mark where I am, what the term was, and write up a quick note on Goodreads, Amazon, and my blog about it. The worse offenders are YA novels, which is really disturbing. The term in this case was “retarded,” one that seems to be on the upswing these days, sadly, as it had been slowing down for a while. The fact that it’s appearing in so many YA novels is really disturbing, I think, because it’s showing a whole new generation it’s ok to say those things. It’s being incorporated into their culture.

It’s something I think editors need to be aware of, possibly more important than a misplaced comma or a maligned semicolon.

It shocked me to see it in a m/m romance book, though. I hadn’t seen anything of that nature, that I remember, out of everything I’ve read so far. I contacted Mr. Klune, but haven’t heard back from him. What I think is truly ironic, however, it that it’s someone from one marginalized group demeaning another group that’s marginalized.

Just to take a quick side-step here, and forgive me, because my memory’s not always that great and it’s been awhile since I’ve taken these classes. Brown vs Board of Education was a groundbreaking case for more than just, at least in the eyes of the law, the judgment that separate educational facilities were NOT equal, starting the beginning of desegregation. This is important because it had a ripple effect, it was the beginning of civil rights movements for many groups, including gay rights and rights for people with disabilities, among many others. Both groups had to fight, and both groups still face countless challenges. Politicians and religious groups turn sexual orientation into something they have no business in, people with autism are refused heart transplants because the doctors don’t know how they will react in a hospital. Illegal restraints are used on children with disabilities who are nonverbal, and they can’t tell anyone because they don’t have a communication system and people who know are either too afraid to speak up or punished if they do. Gay men are attacked simply because they’re gay. WTF? I meant to keep this more positive, but I feel this deeply, because I’ve advocated for people with disabilities who can’t speak, who people don’t listen to if they can speak, and who people treat as “retarded” just because they’re nonverbal. Just because they’re nonverbal doesn’t mean they don’t understand exactly what you’re saying. Just because a man is gay doesn’t mean he can’t love just as deeply or truly as any other human being. Feel passion any less.

So what do I do? I finished the book–I liked it, other than the fact that “retarded” was used three more times. So now I feel conflicted and upset, the more I think about it.

I advocate for the right to love and marry whoever you want to, to have or adopt children if you want to, and I advocate for people with disabilities to have their rights respected. What do you do when two things you feel so passionately about conflict?

To everyone else this may seem like no big deal. It’s just a word. There are no such things as “just words.” Words influence, they hurt, and they bully, because there are people behind those words who are capable of inflicting pain, whether it’s physical, or mental or both.

This isn’t intended as an attack on Mr. Klune, and I’m sorry if it’s taken or seen that way. It’s more built up frustration. For anyone who writes and uses terms that are derogatory. The fact that I feel like people snicker at me–“oh, it’s that crazy lady who gets all worked up about people with disabilities.” I have a lot of reasons to get worked up, I won’t go into them here.

I just wish I could have read the book and enjoyed it without knowing those words were there, because they really ticked me off. And I really would have liked it so much more if they hadn’t been.

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