Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Human of the Year

This week was a big week for the LGBT community, I'll spare you the repetitive recap of the supreme court oral arguments.  I will stick with my thoughts and local involvement.  As far as I can see, Marriage Equality will be here sooner than I had originally thought. With luck in time for the best wedding of summer 2014.  With a 57% approval of marriage equality in America means practically here.  Time magizene said it right, we already won.

On Tuesday one of the Osmond brothers organized a pro "traditional" family thing in the capitol.  Then the Marriage Equality crew organized a protest.  We had the numbers.  It was fantastic seeing so much red... everywhere! The crowd that was ready to proclaim the importance of keeping marriage between one man and one woman were certainly defensive.

At one point when I was trying to catch the attention of my friend I apparently got to close to his equipment. The guy watching it, put his hand on my back to get my attention and then with attitude said "would you mind getting away from my equipment?' His tone said "nasty bitch, get away from my shit." I never touched anything, I didn't even know what the stuff was, just that it was in my way, and was respectful not to bother it.  So I responded to bitch with bitch.  I told him "Sure I will stay away as long as you do not touch me." Then he said "I don't want to touch you, sorry, but that's disgusting "  I rolled my eyes and said good.  However, I wish I was a little more bitchy and said "you were the one touching the gay man." However, he was just defensive just like the rest of 'em.

That experience, as well as being called a girl, fucking faggot, and told to be a real man pushes me to intolerant of the intolerance. You see I have been really empathetic to my family and friends about this big change in my life.  I have methodically moved into myself into the blissful life I enjoy now.  I am tired of being sympathetic for others discomfort of my homosexuality and of Kevin.  I feel like a cancer patient that the doctor is looking to for comfort for learning about my cancer.

I don't give one fuck, two fucks, or three fucks if the opposers accept my relationship as good, right, just or whatever.  It is not their relationship to define. I want the rights that the heteros take for granted. Despite what you may think, there is not one civil union that equates to the rights that a legal marriage brings.  Marriage Equality isn't about acceptance or relationship validation, its about equality of legal rights. Its about being able to pursue my definition of happiness.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dug My Way Out Blood and Fire

After a very nice message from an old friend form a time long ago when I was 'straight.' Take a moment to thank the supreme being you worship or don't worship that phase is over.  Shout out John Nelson!

Today I am going to come out again... but not as gay. I think the state of BYU and beyond already know that.  I wanted to come out on a different subject. I first started to realize something was wrong in my head when I was serving a mission.  I learned some information that was shocking and appalling. I ignored that and moved on.  Then later as I realized I was not truly happy, my joy was a fleeting joy. I started to question what I considered as fact or true.

If you haven't guessed it, I do not believe the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints is the only true church on this planet or any of the others for that matter.  When I learned that blacks couldn't have the priesthood I was shocked and appalled.  Like I said I ignored that, along with my experience in the temple.

Later in 2008 to be specific, I started to really question policies with in the LDS church, such as banning a race from full participation.  I could no longer accept the answers that I was given.  I had started down the path many mormons do when they cannot reconcile what they feel and are taught. As I finally concluded that racism was at the root.   I accepted that.

Then there were more things that I struggled reconciling, such as the temple.  I have never liked the temple, I pretended due to peer pressure.  In fact, I started to have anxiety attacks while attending.  Over and over I was displeased with something involving the LDS church.  Proposition 8 was a big one! Or politics in general, I am a democrat and realized that a long time ago.

Then the gay begin to publicly manifest as a part of me.  Or at least I was admitting it.  I struggled with the council given, the treatment of my kind, and self hatred that ensued.  I worked with others to reconcile my inherited faith.  I came up with ideas, loop holes, etc.  I wanted to hold on so bad.  I didn't want to give up the stability and comfort of the LDS faith.

Then I realized, it was not comfortable, it was not stable, it complicated my life greatly! I started to do things that made sense for me.  I started kissing dudes, and I loved it.  I started drinking, I still love it. In fact, I only follow parts of the word of wisdom that most mormons ignore.  I went clubbing with my fellow beautiful gays.

I would still go to church when I felt like it.  I still loved or love spirituality and improving my self.  I did start noticing that the more I would distance my self from the LDS faith the happier I became.  My joy was less and less fleeting! Then I started dating Kevin.

I have now come to realize that not only am I not a believer of the LDS faith, I don't know what I believe.  I feel good about that.  I cannot see God nor do I know that he exists.  I do however have faith that he does, I feel like there is an aspect of human existence that separates us from other creatures.  That leads me to believe that God exists, but it doesn't give me the knowledge that he/she does.  Same goes with Christ being my savior. Then there is questioning the after life.  If God does exist why wouldn't he be more understanding of my doubt than a human, he is God.  If he doesn't exist the concept of a god becomes a mute point.

I am perfectly ok with knowing, it gives me more peace.  Ever since then true happiness doesn't fleet.  I feel content with who I am, but not so content that I do not work to improve myself.  I my friends am agnostic.  A proud agnostic at that.  I get question ALL possibilities and not feel obligated to keep my theories in line with a religion.  Honestly the idea of reincarnation is the most appealing, and eternal life in which I continually work on being a better person.  Or always finding the same soul life after life.  Maybe that soul is female one life and male the next.  But again I don't really believe in fate.

Thats what I want to do with my spirituality, focus on self improvement. learn to better love, and yes wonder.  If I am to be honest, I really want to say "FUCK YOU MORMON FAITH!" However that is childish and unproductive.  While I did just say it, that feeling fleets just like my joy did.  I am working through the pain I endured during my activity.  Someday I will be able to move on and not care.  After all, there are many valuable lessons I learned in the Mormon context.

For those of you worried about my salvation, don't its my salvation not yours.  I have never been happier.  After experience you straight people so liberally get to feel, I can never go back.  I am in love for the first time.  My soul sings those cheesy, but so romantic love songs.  Those of you who know what I am talking about, imagine never being able to be in love with your partner.  I imagine it and would rather die than to be working on a connection such as the one I have with Kevin.  You see, in the case of an existence of a God, my salvation is looking better now than it did in 2008 when I was still very dedicated to the LDS faith.  I know this because of the same way you may feel about your faith, I experience true joy and happiness.

PS-I'm not editing this, I am way too lazy and suck way too much at grammer.  I value honesty and personality way more than what society dictate as correct.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cause I Need this Hole Gone

I love Rihanna's new album so much.  The following lyrics is a song from that album.  This song has been going through my mind all week.  After the past few days it has become a song that reminds me of my abusive relationship with the LDS church. Much like my relationship with my father it will always exist I have to learn to forgive and move on without falling into the victim role of the abuse. 
The orange section is the one that speaks the most to me. Any way enjoy this song, I do... over and over again.

A cold sweat hot-headed believer
I threw my hands in the air and said show me something
He said, if you dare come a little closer
Round and around and around and around we go
Ohhh now tell me now tell me now tell me now you know

Not really sure how to feel about it
Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can't live without you
And it takes me all the way
I want you to stay

It's not much of a life you're living
It's not just something you take, it's given
Round and around and around and around we go
Ohhh now tell me now tell me now tell me now you know

Not really sure how to feel about it
Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can't live without you
And it takes me all the way
And I want you to stay

Ohhh the reason I hold on
Ohhh cause I need this hole gone
Funny you're the broken one but I'm the only one who needed saving
Cause when you never see the light it's hard to know which one of us is caving

Not really sure how to feel about it
Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can't live without you
And it takes me all the way
I want you to stay, stay
I want you to stay, ohhh

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yeah, I'll Tell You Something. I Think You'll Understand.

This morning when I woke up I was homicidal. As most of you know and not unique to myself, I hate mornings.  Ask Misty... Mary... Tommy... Mat... anyone I've lived with.  Thinks did not go my way so naturally I was pouty.  As the day went on I worked to get myself into a better mood.  I succeeded.  Then a co worker of mine told me to never get married after complaining about going dress shopping with his wife.  I replied with my usual response.  "I can't, its illegal."

A couple things bothered me about my response the first being that it is ilegal.  The second was that my response, while funny and sad, was pointing out my sexuality.  I noticed that it comes up a lot for me, especially in jokes. A good friend and co worker of mine asked me if I was going to be one of those gays that through their sexuality in everyones face.  I reassured him that was not my style.  While It wasn't then, it is now apparently. 

I feel bad always bringing it up to people, talking excessively about my boyfriend.  It's not like I consciously work it into conversations, I am merely conversing.  I have though about why I have become the gay that talks about being gay.  I have a few hypothesis to why that is.

Being gay is huge part of my life, especially right now.  I've only been out for a one and half years.  I only have been comfortable with my sexuality for 6 months.  Its on my mind a lot not just because it's new but also because it comes with complications.  These complications make it something very conscious in my mind.  For example, people are on a spectrum of acceptance.  The demographic causes the population to lean to the less pleasurable side of that spectrum.  Then there is the fact that LGBTQ individuals are not legally protected and denied rights and privileges.  I have to worry about how people take it.  I have to be sensitive to others about what I can and can not do infront of them.  Before you say that its no different than your heterosexual relationship... STOP.  It is not, I will not go into detail... but trust me it is not the same. 

Then there is the fact that the default sexuality is heterosexuality... which means people automatically assume you are heterosexual.  I have learned to love this aspect of myself.  I won't say I wouldn't have it any other way... because that is stupid.  We always take the easy way when we have the choice.  Any way I was born with this sexuality and learned to love being gay.  After years of hating my sexual orientation  I am able to not just love it, but also experience it.  

I tend to talk about things I care about. Sue me, but you'll loose.  We live in a heterosexual world (and right handed ;) world.  So if it feels like the gays are being overbearing with our sexuality.  Ask yourself what it'd be like if you where in our situation.  We are abnormal, statistically  therefore we are noticed.  Heterosexuality is the opposite.  Tell me what you think?  Should I be more apologetic? What is your hypothetical story if you were in my situation?  Please comment. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Shine Bright Like a Dimond

Usually, this time of year consist people being annoyed by the early onset of zealous Christmas cheer.  I am annoyed with other's annoyance of me and the Thanksgiving Christmas cheer block.  Last year I was all scroogy.  I hated life and didn't have much hope.  I wanted my Thanksgiving to be completely void of people and Christmas could involve people as long as Misty was one of them.

This year is different, in the fact that I am not a scrooge.  In spite of my control of Christmas cheer, I may annoy people with my Christmas tree, or music.  However, those differences are a result of the change that has happened over the past year.  It is really hard to think that just a year ago I was hanging on to life.  The change really happened this spring, continued through the summer, and still continues with less acceleration.

I have a lot to be thankful for and it feels good.

First I would have to thank my sister Misty.  You'd never know that 4 years ago she indirectly and deeply insulted me.  If forgiveness required some sort of payment, she would have paid it off and the 100% intrest it would accumulate.  She has helped me become okay with myself, she has helped my family become ok with who I am, and she has helped others reconcile their understanding of homosexuality.  But the time when I needed her the most... she was there.  When my parents came to visit me that labor day I was felt like I lost my mother and all hope of a father.  Misty kept me in school.  We came up with a plan, she held me accountable for that.  She called me every morning to make sure I woke up to work out.  She called and/or texted through out the day.  All this and more even though she is typical soccer mom of four very active children.  Misty supported me through the darkest time of my life.  Misty literally saved my life.

Like Misty, my counselors deserve respect and gratitude.  They brought the professional help that I needed and Misty could not provide while working through the events, thoughts, and emotions.  I include all the group members in counseling as well.  I needed profesional help and I found it in the BYU counseling center.

Next Kendall and USGA.  USGA was a place that I could go and learn.  At first I just observed others with limited interaction.  I was still very confused and unsure about who I wanted for myself.  After the filming but before the release of the it gets better video.  I had some significant talks with Kendall.  That helped me understand myself and my parents.  Kendall will love this next statement.  I learned what empathy really is and developed methods to use this tool to help my family come to terms with my sexuality.  My understanding and acceptance has been greatly aided by these individuals.  There are specific people from USGA who have reached out to me. I'm talking to you Bridey, Derek, Ellen, Erich, Brent, and more.

Lastly, I have Kevin to thank.  Even though I don't understand it, he liked me.  He liked me enough to accept my invitations.  Prior to us become a couple, I felt incapable of having a romantic relationship.  I felt too broken, too hurt, and unrepairable.  Kevin proved me wrong.  He loves me, even though I get bitchy when I'm hungry.  He supports me when I am hating myself, for whatever reason, but its usually my appearance.  When I am hurting he comforts me.  Before you think its all bad. He dances dirty with me. Kevin will out in the cold snow to enjoy the city.  Kevin laughs at my funny jokes, he watches 30 Rock with me.  Warms me up when I'm cold.  He proved my hopelessness to be a farse.

I am grateful for many others, including my family.  Yes my parents, while they are still struggling with the reality of my life, they are honestly trying to understand it.  I am grateful for that stupid video that made me a minor local celebrity among the LDS gays.  Although, these things just didn't happen, I worked hard to gain the emotional health I have obtained, I am lucky that it worked.  The years of therapy, meditation, medication (including the exercise and diet), difficult talks, stupid vulnerability  and over all work has finally seemed worth the effort.  This Thanksgiving, I have hope.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Same Fight that Lead People to Walk-Outs and Sit-Ins

You can barf now Becca
I am happy that I am with Kevin, check that, I am ecstatic that I get to date Kevin.  I have never been full of this much joy.  I worked hard for the happiness, I earned it.  Despite that fact that I have never been happier, it doesn't mean I don't have sad times.  I want to share some sad times and frustrations.  Remember how I'm good at that.

Kevin and I have had hateful words directed toward us.  We ignore the offenders. We have been sensitive to other people who are uncomfortable with our relationship and limiting our PDA to be non existant in some cases.  We love each other and we want to do the same, appropriate PDA other couples do with out the negative effects.  However that is not the world we live in.

I am frustrated with apologizing for my happiness.  I shouldn't have to defend my happiness because someone seeing my relationship as a sin.  I am tired of dismissing the hurtful words directed at me personally and at my fellow LGBT community.  I am tired of being denied validation for my personal definition of happiness.  I am tired of contemplating if I'll come out to someone at work by simply having a conversation about my weekend. I am tired of hearing people use the word gay as a synonym for stupid.

Today at work during the anti discrimination training I was reminded of progress that needs to be made.  I heard the word gay used negatively, as a slur, among other language expressing discrimination toward the G of the LGBT.  I would like to point out that this occurred during a briefing about how an employee is protected from discrimination.

I love Kevin, I enjoy his company and especially his love.  Surprisingly enough I love kissing him as well, holding his hand walking to Harmon's to get gelato.  I love being my authentic self.  Now that I know more of who I am and accept that, I just want to pursue my happiness just like every other American.  I want to share my joy of being in love for the first time.  I'm in love for the first time at 29, I may be late to the game but I am here. I deserve to participate equally.

Monday, October 1, 2012

And if you don't wanna be down with me You don't wanna pick from my appletree.

Romney vs. Obama.  Here in Utah it feels like ROMNEY vs. Obama.  I thought I'd share my views on:

1. How I choose who to vote for.
2. What is most important to me in this election.
3. Who I will be voting for (even though you probably know).

How I choose who to vote for.

First a little government lesson.  There are three branches of government.  The executive, judicial and legislative. The legislative (the House and Congress) makes the laws.  The executive (the President and cabinet)  branch enforces the law. Judicial system ensures the other branches are doing their job within the confines of the Constitution.  

That information is important because I see the president is in office as primarily a leader. NOT a lawmaker. I recognize that a president does push for laws to be made.  Pushing his/her political agenda is part of the process, but remember congress passes the law, including the budget.  The President promotes what he/she would like to see become law.  Ideology is important for a President to have.  When I listen to a leader I want to feel inspired, I want to be moved to action, etc.  So it is important to me for the President to be idealistic. 

Because the President is a leader and the face of America.  The President needs to be a good diplomat and I must like their foreign policy.  So I need a President to be able to interact with the other world leaders in fashion that promotes progress.  A President that can not be a good representation of America, while being respectful. Recap, I want an idealistic President, who inspires me and other nations.

What is most important for this election in choosing a President?

The ideal that I try to live by is equal opportunity.  While that is two simple words what it means to me is providing everyone the opportunity to pursue their individualized happiness.  There are many things that make opportunity unequal. Some of the issues that are preventing many from achieving their pursuit of happiness are: money, education, health and discrimination.  

Money provides more opportunity than all of the others listed because money help correct the other issues.  Education helps a person get a good job so he or she can provide for his or her family.  Education requires money. Less financial problems promote good health.  Good healthcare benefits usually come from good jobs. Good jobs come from good education and education requires money. Discrimination is prevalent with race, sex and yes you guessed it, sexuality.  Obviously, one of those categories is more pertinent to my life.  

To be more specific I want this President to push for an economic plan that will help all American's be successful in pursuing their happiness.  I want the President to continue to find solutions for our health care system (we have the knowledge, but many do not have the access).  I want anti discrimination laws put in place, in regards to the LGBT community.  That means legalizing gay marriage, removing laws prohibiting homosexual couples from adopting, and all the other ways that the LGBT community is discriminated against (like being fired or evicted based on sexual orientation). LGBT rights are the most important issue this election.  While some may feel it shouldn't be, they are probably not gay. 

Who will I vote for?

I think the answer was obvious before I answered the other two questions.  However if you haven't figured it out by now I question your intellect. I will be voting for President Obama.  President Obama is inspiring when he speaks, he is well liked by many countries, he is pushing economic plans that have worked in the past (Pres. Clinton).  He is more quick to talk it out, rather than fight it out.  He supports LGBT rights.

Romney, has upset most of the countries he has visited.  His economic plan is vague and what I understand it involves cutting taxes and "entitlement programs." While less taxes for me are awesome, less taxes for someone like Romney is not awesome.  Entitlement programs are there to help provide opportunity, I support reforming them, not completely cutting them. I don't feel inspired when Romney speaks, but that may be due to my presumptions  Lastly, Romney is will not help to promote LGBT rights, he is against many.  Their are other reasons I don't want him as my president, however, I don't need to expand.  

I felt the need to share because I am tired of the hateful Facebook posts.  I loose respect for people when they say that people who will still support Obama after reading whatever they posted.  Or people saying voting for Obama means that I'm ignorant. There are many who will be voting for Obama because of sound and valid logic.  I may not be a fan of Romney, but I do not believe he is evil.  I do believe he is a man who wants what is best for his country.  I just don't agree with his ideals.  So please, just because you don't understand why someone is voting different from you it doesn't mean they are uninformed or unintelligent.  So please try to understand their position before attacking them.