Monday, March 28, 2005

In all things, balance

So in the midst of a very difficult week, the Universe decided to provide the balance that is essential, and ever-present (even if we don't care to notice it). Some wonderful friends came into my life from San Diego. Five of them, to be exact. And this is a happy thing. Certainly not a replacement for those already in my life, but something new to add to the tapestry. And can one ever have TOO MANY friends? Today's lesson: even in the midst of the pain, the Universe will provide balance, we just have to pay attention to it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Bump, Set, Spike

It has already been a VERY long week for The Grand High Poobah of Gayness, for reasons I'm not yet at liberty to discuss. And so it is with great pleasure I announce that my volleyball league is again starting up for the Spring. Tuesday and Thursday nights I will be doing a poor imitation of Sporty Gay Spice at the Rec Center. Fans and cheerleaders are always welcome, contact me for a definite schedule (which we hope to have tonight). While I mourn the loss of Thursday night TV (though there will no doubt be some weeks where our team doesn't have a Thursday night game), I am very glad for the return to additional activity, and one of the few sports where I have some skill or talent. A happy thing is much needed, too. So if I'm tired or irritable for a bit, please bear with me. While I can't explain now (and appreciate you not asking), please know it's nothing personal.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

It's made from what?!

Paper! That's right. Today I purchased a real book. Made from paper even. Contrary to popular belief, they are still produced, and not just in the textbook variety. For example, today I purchased "The Chronicles of Narnia." Somehow, I never managed to actually read it when I was younger. And since there is a major motion picture in the works based on said tome, I thought it important to read it before I see a film version. And I realized, it's been a while since I was so excited over a book. The latest Harry Potter book, I'm certain. And so my advice to everyone is to go out and buy a new book. Or borrow one from a friend. Or visit the library. Find something that isn't for class, a research paper, or work. Find something fun, and READ. Now I must continue this trend, and go reserve a copy of the new Harry Potter, due out this summer. Exercise your brains folks!

Friday, March 11, 2005

This, Mr. Falwell, is why

I received a phone call yesterday. A friend needed advice, as one of his employees had come out to him. And was suicidal. Very suicidal. He had changed his bank account to his parents names, showing planning and forethought. He asked my friend "Please don't ever tell my parents, no matter what." Needless to say, my friend - who is remarkably open and well-trained on GLBT issues - was a bit shaken. He was making the requisite referrals and phone calls to the Counseling Center, but wanted to know more about specific issues with GLBT individuals and suicide. So we went over coming out, the suicide info I have wedged in my brain, and specific strategies for coping and triggers to watch out for. I had forgotten how draining a 30 minute phone call could be.

When I hung up, I stepped out of crisis intervention mode...and the tidal wave of emotions hit me. I was defeated, as this was someone who had been through a panel discussion in the past. I worried about what I could have said differently...what more I could have done to let this kid know he's okay. I felt hope, because in some ways, the system worked. My friend knew the signs to watch out for, knew how to talk to the kid, and knew where to turn for more help. I felt proud, because my friend felt he could call me and trust me to have something helpful for him. But mostly, I was pained, as I know what it's like to hate yourself so much you want nothing more than for your life to end. And I never want anyone to experience that again. And that's where the anger began.

Anger at a society and culture that allows messages about the low self-worth of GLBT people to go unchallenged. Anger at religious leaders who either remain silent, or rail against the sinful evilness of human beings with beautiful souls. Souls with only one "crime" on their record: loving someone a dogma says is the "wrong" person. So this person, Mr. Falwell, is why I believe you are dangerous. This young person, ready to end his own life, is why I stand up against you so vehemently, Mr. Phelps. This struggling soul is why I speak out, speak up, and will continue to do so until death silences me, Mr. Bush. Your intolerance and ignorance is killing him, and thousands like him. STOP YOUR LETHAL CAMPAIGN OF HATRED AND DENEGRATION. As the tears form in my eyes, my fists also clench in rage.