Thursday, September 27, 2007

And then I cried...

This JUST in: the US Senate just passed the Matthew Shepard Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The House passed it with an overwhelming majority on May 3rd. It's not a done deal, and still has to go to Bush's desk...but I'm so happy all I can do is cry. It's been almost 9 years. See...there is hope!

Click here to see more info from the Matthew Shepard Foundation's press release.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

My Big Gay Interview

The questions come compliments of Nerdy Girl.

1. What stereotype about "teh Gays" sets your Queen heart a flamin' with righteous indignation the worst? (And while that might sound like I'm asking about heartburn, I'm not...)
Yikes, that's a tough one, as any of them can up the fuego on my already-stoked pilot light. I suppose that what gets me most is the assumption that we have some sort of unified agenda to destroy family values and obtain "special rights." I just want the same thing to which my straight friends are entitled - putting my partner on my health insurance, the visiting them in the hospital, the ability to leave my estate to a partner without higher taxes, the right to live "miserably ever after," to have kids, etc. The list is not short, but full equality under the law sure would fix that. And how does participating in an institution like marriage, family (values), etc. a plot to destroy it?

2. Ninjas vs. Pirates. Who are you rooting for and why?
When I was a kid I always dreamed about being a ninja. I'd watch movies like The Karate Kid or anything with Chuck Norris, largely because I wanted the skills to smack down the bullies I lived with throughout school. I even wore a ninja costume one year for Halloween. That being said, today I still enjoy a hot muscled man using his best moves to block, punch, and kick their way to victory...but pirates are MUCH hotter these days. ;)

3. What do you think is an under-appreciated / under-discussed challenge for the queer community to address?
Something I call "The Oppression Olympics." It's the systemic way in which minority groups are often pitted against one another under the excuse of "limited resources." "If your group wants to have a speaker or event, you must compete against this group AND that group for money and support." What if the three of us pooled our energy and found common ground, then an event or speaker that worked for all of us. Suddenly, we not only have more power and influence to get two or three events, we also heal a rift between groups. We also start to gain as much power as the majority, and that's why we're supposed to fight between ourselves: so we don't see all that we could do together.

4. You have been given six million dollars, with the condition that you must not spend it on yourself. What do you do with it?
Like I haven't been planning this for a while. ;) Buy a plane, hire Jace as a personal pilot. Then my friends would all have debt paid off, houses and cars paid for, and travel around the world doing and seeing new things. If they HAPPENED to bring along their generous benefactor, that would be okay too. After all, how I can say no to what my friends want, when the point is to make them happy!

5. How's the firespinning coming along?
Well enough that I bought a set of actual fire poi! I've recently injured my back and haven't been able to spin for a while, but I believe I'm good enough to light 'em up once I'm back in shape (and have had several others say the same). I have to watch the fire safety video and train a support crew. I have to find a reasonably safe venue so I don't set half the world on fire. I have to find someone with a video camera. But soon...soon there shall be video of actual fire.

If you'd like me to ask you 5 questions for your blog, let me know in my comments.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Shine, bitches! ;)

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? [...] And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." - Marianne Williamson

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Where will you be five years ago?

In an unplanned twist of continuity with my last post, I found myself thinking back. I was at the groundbreaking ceremony for the new IT building on campus. The rain clouds threatened to turn the groundbreaking into a mud wrestling match, but the familiar Wyoming wind was working overtime to blow it away. Our VP of IT was giving a little speech about where we were with technology just five or ten years ago. He said sometihng to the effect of "I'm sure none of us would have seen ourselves where we are today."

And he was right...about technology and more. But it made me realize we usually ask ourselves where will I 5, 10, etc. years. How often do we stop to think about where we were...5, 10, etc. years ago? 5 years ago I was starting the semester after spending the summer going back and forth to clear the house and close Mom's estate. Really? Five years ago? 10 years ago I was a junior in college, a member of the student group, and had found a group of amazing Bohemian friends...largely because I had been out for almost two years.

Then I thought about what I didn't know was right around the corner at each of those moments. When I was out for two years, I thought I'd be teaching English somewhere in Wyoming. I didn't know I was about to take over the student group and be thrust in front of a sea of cameras and into a lifetime of activism. When I was talking to my mother after the first press conference, I didn't know that I would lose her sooner than I'd ever feared.

Where were you on September 10th? I was at the hospital visiting Laurel, who had just given birth to her first of two (so far) daughters. I certainly didn't know what the next morning would mean to the rest of my life. We have plans, but never know when something will happen to someone we know, or something happens that changes everyone. We can't plan for everything, of course, and obsessing over what is around the corner could drive you mad.

My hyper-gay, Broadway-soaked brain sends me to Rent, singing "No Day But Today" and cherishing the created families and memories embodied in 525,600 minutes...decade after decade. I've flown into Laramie on the same plane as Anthony Rapp, for pity's sake! I've met people, been places, and done things I've never dreamed of. And though there are things I might wish were different, I have to say on the's been a helluva ride!

And that's when it hits 29 (for the 4th time), I've got a LONG way to go. Oh the places we'll go! When I'm 60, what will I be looking back on? Not where will I be, but where will I have been? It's an exciting thought!

So...where WERE you? Back then, where did you think you'd be? What didn't you see coming?