Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today would have been my mother's 70th birthday had she not lost her battle with breast cancer July 4, 2002. This date doesn't usually bother me, but for some reason the round number 70 is a bit tough for me today. I'm missing her and her laugh. Her smile. Even her frustrated sigh.

Call someone you haven't spoken to in far too long to tell them how much you love them. Send a card to a relative just because. Do something fun you've been putting off. It's worth it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A month later...

So I've been in the new job for just over a month now. It's taken Tracey (my cohort in office crime) and me this long just to sort through the files, organize the paperwork, and figure out where in the hell everything is supposed to be. And what to do with it. It's been an adventure, but we're getting there.

We're starting to get serious about work on some of our new projects. Diversity training, for starters. And we're working on an announcement of a partnership with 4 of the country's Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's). I've been working on compiling information about the over 100 HBCU's for a week, and finished it up last week. I also dug in and figured out another part of the new software program we use to track EEO data. Yeah, I'm feeling like a rock star there.

Soon there will be the start of school...and a few large annual reports to the EEOC. You know, nothing major. Just an analysis of the hiring for the last year, breaking down applicant info by race and sex. By department. And the last round of academic hiring paperwork. Just in time to start sexual harassment training for supervisors. So yeah...it's gonna be a busy year at work.

But we're having fun doing it. And I'm doing my best to enjoy the summer. Jazz nights at the Cavalryman. Happy hour on Fridays with friends. A BBQ here and a concert there.

A quick list of more Jim's Good Gay News:
  • C(raig) is now officially out of the military. And gay.
  • On Independence Day, we were set free. From Jesse Helms. I don't revel in his death, but I didn't cry either. At all.
  • This week Massachusetts may repeal the 1913 law that prevented non-resident couples from getting married. This would help couples in New York and is another step toward equality.
  • Bishop Gene Robinson is going to crash the Lambeth conference...in the most polite and respectful way possible. He's taking a stand for GLBTQ people of faith. And will probably have to wear a bulletproof vest the whole time, like he did for his consecration. How's that for Christian love? But still he loves on...

Thursday, July 03, 2008

False advertising

This morning as I was driving to work, I followed a car onto the Interstate. One of their bumper stickers caught my eye, and I had to share. The sticker was a fairly plain white background with pretty rainbow lettering (hence catching my eye). It read "God chooses life." The irony washed over me, and it made me ponder how many people use words, phrases, and symbols without any realization of their meaning. I grant that we homos don't have a corner on the market when it comes to rainbows, but this particular sticker was quite the gay design. I wondered if the owner of the car would display the sticker if it read "God loves gays too." It gave me a snicker, at any rate. It also made me think about false advertising. Jesus loves you, but don't forget to check the fine print. Gay people are too promiscuous, but we don't want them get married either.

It reminded me of the many times someone has come up to me and commented on one of my bits of rainbow jewelry. "Oh how pretty! And it goes with EVERYTHING!" Often people use my jewelry as a way to identify themselves or show their support. While out having a night on the town with my new boss a few weeks ago, a girl saw my bracelet (Thanks Smith!) and simply said "Family? Me too!" Then there are the folks who have NO idea what the rainbow means. They just see it as pretty. My favorite is when they ask "Where can I get one?" I'm not saying gaydar is perfect, but I know I'm not THAT bad at spotting the cousins. My standard response is "I got this one in Denver/San Francisco/DC," which is true for most of my jewelry. Occasionally I have to explain further "at gay pride..." or "in the cutest little gay shop..." After all, I wouldn't want them advertising themselves in the wrong market. Well, maybe some of them... ;)

I'm also heading to Denver this weekend for two reasons. Squid and I are going to see the True Colors Concert at Red Rocks on Saturday. It's all about being yourself. We're also going down for C's retirement party. After 20 years in the military he can finally be himself. Yes, in a few days I will be able to post his full name without having to worry about turning him into a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" statistic. His family is going to be in town, as is his boyfriend's family. I certainly don't fault C for his own form of false advertising; it's been a necessity for him to finish his first career. I am still more than annoyed that it's even necessary, though. A threat to unit cohesion, they say. Didn't they also use that line when integrating the military too?

Who knew that a simple anti-abortion bumper sticker would connect my brain to DA:DT? Well, most who know me won't be surprised, but still...

Have a safe and fun 4th of July! And as I mention each year, cherish your loved ones. Mom died on July 4, 2002. She finally had her freedom after 2.5 years battling cancer, and my sister and I agree it couldn't have been more fitting. So tomorrow afternoon, send a little love out to the Universe in my mom's honor, and call those you love. TELL THEM!