Speak Up

Since the Day of Silence was a couple of days ago, I feel obligated to write a little something about it. I practiced the day of silence my last year of high school and if I wasn’t always out of place in my school in Oklahoma, my participation dug the nail in that coffin.

The Day of Silence has a good message, but at the same time, I think we need to step away from silence as our form of protest. If you aren’t familiar with the Day of Silence, it’s a day of symbolism about how many LGBT youth (and adults) feel they cannot speak about their sexuality and the purpose of the campaign is to end this silence.

Since I last practiced the Day of Silence, being gay or lesbian was exactly a walk in the park (not saying it’s all sunshine and rainbows today but it’s gotten better). My wife (who was my girlfriend at the time), had to keep our relationship a secret so she could get into the military and had to continue doing so until they finally repealed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. We couldn’t get married in most places and even if we did, it wouldn’t have been recognized by the military until a few years ago because of where she was stationed.

But things are different now. And they aren’t pefect but they’ve gotten better. And being LGBT isn’t the stigma that it once was, although there are a lot of haters still- but the majority of those people are probably idiots anyway, so whatever.

We need to break this silence once and for all. I refuse to go back to the person I was. I refuse to hide who I am because it isn’t what some people find acceptable.

If you’re LGBT or even not sure if you are, talk to someone. It might be your parents or a friend. There are numbers you can call, there are groups out there to help you. Struggling with it alone is never the right option. I know from personal experience and it is still affecting my ability to communicate with the people closest to me today.

And I’m not going to tell you that once you come out and accept yourself, it’ll be easy. It might not be, and that’s why you need the support from the people that will help you and not make you feel like there’s something wrong with you.

Never feel like you’re all alone in your stuggle. Never feel like taking your life away is the answer to ending the pain and stress of not being accepted. And if you feel like you have no one at all to talk to and feel you can’t reach out to external resources like hotlines and auooort groups, talk to me. I’m not a professional, no, but I would never turn down the opportunity to try and help someone.

And if you’re reading this, please share. I never ask of that, but this is something that is very important and the more people it reaches, the more it might help.

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National Coming Out Day

A little late to posting this. Today is an important day, even with so much changing for the better for the LGBQTI community. My coming out story is not a great one and came at a really crazy time in my life. But it happened and about five years later, it isn’t a decision I regret. For most of my life, I felt like I was someone else. I never felt like I belonged and I feared embracing my true feelings.

What I expected (which was worst-case scenario) was not case and I was fortunate. Some are alienated by their families, friends, communities, or worse. And I hope one day that things aren’t this way, that sexual orientation is just a piece of who we are and not a defining factor of whether someone will hire us, support us, or care about us.

Choose to love and understand. And if you don’t understand, try to or at least choose not to hate.

Am I being too overdramatic?

There’s been something bugging me this past weekend. I have tried many times to just ignore and pass it off as insignificant but I realize that maybe it isn’t insignificant and maybe I should be bothered.

Since both my wife and I work, we take our daughter to daycare. This has been the norm since April or May of last year. Overtime, Ella learned to say Mom and Momma, naturally, and she would call our daycare provider Mom, too. Okay, no big deal- she sees this woman as much as us most weeks.

For a while, Ella would also call our provider’s husband Dada, which wasn’t a big deal either because she had called me Dada in the beginning. Dada and Daddy finally phased out some months ago when she learned to differentiate between my wife and I (Momma and Mommy).

The other day I noticed Ella saying Daddy again after months of never uttering the word. I didn’t think anything of it until Friday. While we were picking up our daughter when she called our provider’s husband Daddy. This weekend alone, Ella has called my wife Daddy several times. And now I have to reintroduce Momma into her vocabulary, even though it was one of her first words.

Am I being ridiculous by being bothered by this?

I get that we’ll have to explain to our daughter one day that not all families are comprised of the same set-up of people, but I feel a little uncomfortable with my daughter calling either of us daddy if she’s old enough to know and understand who we are to her. And a part of me is feeling undermined by our provider for letting it become a thing again knowing how our family dynamic is.

How should I handle this? Or should I not be bothered by this at all?

Well, that was awkward…

I am the type of blogger that follows back bloggers who follow me. I usually glance at a person’s page before I click the follow button just in case said blogger turns out to be a spammer or something. Well, I’ve been following someone for about a year unaware of the horrible opinions this person posts about gays and gay marriage.

Yeah, what was I thinking, right?

The post I caught today was one that had some of these stong opinions, so I went through some more posts and noticed a trend on that blog. You are entitled to your opinion but I won’t follow you if you somehow make 90% of your posts a partial rant on how people choose to be gay and how transgendered people are just wrong.

I’m sorry your religion does not accept who I am. Actually, nope- not sorry.

I love who I love. It’s not about anatomy or sex, it’s about feeling complete next to someone. It’s about feeling at home in your life and in your body. I don’t think anyone is created perfect because if we were, why live, why change, why experience anything?

Love

Love is an interesting and amazing thing. Although love is always there, sometimes it catches you off-guard more or manages to take your breath away for a few seconds longer. Spending time with my daughter today, love blindsided me for a moment. She smiles every day now and very often. She even giggles sometimes, too. She loves when we act silly- it always brings out the biggest of her smiles.
Seeing her smiling and happy today, it just hit me. I fell a little bit more in love with this little girl and I couldn’t understand why anyone would not love and treasure a child. There is no way to describe being able to watch them grow and develop features and mannerisms. I love our tiny human more than life itself. And loving her makes me love my wife even more.
I never wanted children- I didn’t even want to get married. And yet, here I am, one year married and with an adorable four month old who loves me regardless of whether my blood and DNA are inside her. She already takes after me with the way she sleeps and that alone means the world to me, as odd as it sounds.
When I see her, it doesn’t matter if work was stupid or any other petty problem that might bother me. She reminds me of an optimism that I have been lacking in the past year or so- a piece of me that’s hidden away or missing.
Some days I think I need her more than she needs me. She shows me a happier side of life and proves that things might be tough but not impossible to overcome.
I love my daughter and I love my wife and I want to better myself for the both of them. And, as long as I have their love, I know I can do it and that everything will be alright.

Sara Ryan – Author

In honor of Pride Month, I decided to write a little something everyday of the inspiration people in the LGBT community, powerful allies, and a few others somewhere between those categories. These are people who have made me feel less unwanted in the world and gave me someone to relate to. These are people who have made a mark in history fighting for tolerance and equality of gays and lesbians.
The first is the author of a book I read in high school. Empress of the World told the stories of two girls becoming friends then becoming more. The main character was pretty socially awkward, which I could relate to. And her crush/best friend was a beautiful girl that seemed 100 percent unattainable- like all of my female crushes in high school.
Sara Ryan, the author, not only penned this book but a sequel as well and it is just as worth the read. I won’t spoil anything but Empress of the World and it’s sequel The Rules for Hearts are pretty quick reads. I suggest you check them out. Sara Ryan has also done some work on comics and she’s a librarian so she can probably hook you up with plethora of more great LGBT reading.

Sara Ryan’s site

Empress of the World

Thankful

I am thankful for the wife I can proudly call mine. She is a great mother and I see that fact more and more every day. She sings our daughter songs and they have bathtime together. They take naps together during the day and send me pictures when I’m stuck at work. She does some of the sweetest things for me- especially on special days. She does everything she can to keep us safe and happy.
She’s amazing.
She made breakfast this morning and chocolate-covered strawberries (although it was supposed to be me making them). She and our daughter made me a cute work of art.
I wrote her a poem and am in the or process of making her physical gift still (we had agreed to really celebrate Mother’s Day on next Wednesday) but I could have done more to make today special.
Now that I’m at work and waiting to clock in for the night, I hope she’ll go to sleep remembering her first Mother’s Day as a great one.

Mother’s Day

This weekend will be our first Mother’s Day. Although we decided to celebrate it next week when I have another off day, it will still be a special day. Hard to believe it’s only been a little over three months since the peanut’s been born. She’s gotten so much bigger and she’s almost learned to crawl. I can’t wait for all the Mother’s Day to come and what cute things the peanut will help create or do for her Moms.

Good news

http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2014/04/lesbian-couple-named-mother-and-father-on-daughters-tenn-birth-certificate/

It is always good to hear news like this. I was so happy when our daughter was born- they put me on the birth certificate without any problems. California and Tennessee are two very different places though. This is definitely proof the world is changing for the better.

The Little Things

“She has long toes just like you do.”
I guess this would not be the typical compliment but I took it as one. The woman who said this to me knew nothing of my relationship to the peanut and made the logic assumption that the baby I was holding had come from inside me.
It’s convenient that my wife and I look a little alike. Although it is plain to see she gets her cute little face from her mother (and her countless expressions), I claim some of the more obtuse features, like the toes and the chubby cheeks.
I still dread the day our daughter understands how babies are made and wants to know who gave birth to her. But the little things keep me hopeful that when the day comes when we explain to her how she came about, it won’t matter even the slightest.