Posts Tagged ‘queerlife’

I find I’m pretty much constantly outraged these days.  Let me clarify, I’m pretty much outraged at the state of Virginia there days.

It’s not good here in the Commonwealth.  It hasn’t ever been good, that’s true, but it’s certainly getting worse than it has been.  I don’t usually get all twisted up in the machinations of politicians.  They do good and bad but they also come and go.  Whether or not that’s the right perspective, it’s the perspective I find most allows me to recognize that it isn’t the person making these godforsaken decisions, it’s the politics.  The “not the person” part is important to me, but it’s getting more challenging by the day.

The Governor of Virginia removed the protections for gays put into place by the previous governor.  I consoled myself with the idea that the Virginia Senate passed an anti-discrimination discrimination bill.  A bill that reportedly will not pass the House.  But let’s not be negative.  At least, not until we hear from Virginia Representative Bob Marshall (and I might as well just quote here) who said, “I think there first should be some finding that homosexuals, as a class, are being discriminated against.  In all of my experience and reading, gay individuals seem to have more income, to attend more cultural events, to take more vacations than the rest of us. Show me where this discrimination is going on.’’  You can see that here, at the end of the article.

I’ll let you take a moment to consider that.  While I take a vacation and go to a cultural event.  Not to be outdone, Ken Cuchinelli, the State’s Attorney General opted to chime with an outrageously unreasonable roar that condones discrimination against gays. You can read the letter he sent to state schools here (it’s a PDF – so if you don’t want to open it, take my word that he’s an asshole).

Understandably, there was an outcry (this particular outcry comes from individuals at the university where I work).  And honestly, I can’t believe we got to this point so quickly.  I sat at my desk yesterday thinking about the chilling effect such changes have.   I am already facing a delicate balance with my pregnant wife and soon-to-be-no-legal-relationship-to-me child.  I had a moment where I wondered if it would be better to be closeted.  And then another when I realized how many people would stay closeted because of this.  If nothing else, It’s been a pretty bad March.

There was a moment of hope late this afternoon as the Governor appeared to distance himself from the AG.  The local paper is running a ticker saying that he has reversed his original executive order.  But really, I can’t believe I live somewhere that allows these shenanigans to go on.  Yes, I could move, but I shouldn’t have to.  It’s hard to blame the politics when the people do things like this.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus but he’s got nothing but coal for your sorry ass.

Backwards

Posted: 29 December 2009 in observations
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Last night I dreamed I was applying to rejoin the Foreign Service.  I took a multiple choice exam and wrote an essay (in longhand, no less) and Dana Carvey graded it on the spot.  He had several comments on my essay, including several word changes.  These are common in the Foreign Service, changing things like glad to happy and back again, sometimes simply to show your mark.  Dana Carvey handed back first my essay (on which I got the ambiguous 4) and I wasn’t sure if I’d passed or not.  Then he handed back the multiple choice test and I passed with flying colors.  In my dream, I was thrilled at the chance to try for the Foreign Service again, and fairly certain I would pass the next phases of interviews.  When I woke up, I was alarmed that I would even think such a thing, asleep or not.

Since I haven’t ever thought about returning, I let my mind run over the scenario in the shower.  There have been changes, perhaps my partner and child wouldn’t be shut out of so many things.  But also, there’s my irrational fear of the language testers.  The mistreatment of officers doing management work.  The overall poor supervisory skills and the age-old customs that make this a continuing problem.  I pictured myself greeting another Head of State and the glamorous bits and pieces of traveling the world, showing my child and wife new and fantastic things, and having a salary that defies logic (for me).  I wondered if the program continued that would let me back in at my former status.  I wondered if I would care if it didn’t.

And then I got soap in my eye.  At least, something made my eyes water.

I’ve made a choice – an excellent one – and I don’t regret it one bit.  But I’d never let my mind wander like that before, to consider the very possible what-ifs.  And as much as I’ll miss the chance to give my family the world, I’m so so happy to be able to give them me.  And they wouldn’t have gotten that otherwise.

Well, well, well.  Times have changed, haven’t they?  I’d say I didn’t know what caused it, but I do.  It’s all this pure countryside living.  Either that or the fertility clinic we went to this summer.  I know, I didn’t tell you it was coming.  Think of it this way, we didn’t really tell anyone.  Not even our parents.  Okay, ESPECIALLY not our parents. And now we’re in trouble, knocked up, in a delicate condition, pregnant.

D, in particular is pregnant, but isn’t that what you say?  We’re pregnant?  It’s amazing how early a woman’s body quickly belongs to the collective once she’s bearing a child.  I give myself a good mental smack every time I think it in an effort to psychologically give her her body back, but I’m thwarted at every turn.  For example, several people took the liberty of hugging us today when shared the news.  This is work folks, we are colleagues, we don’t hug.  Don’t even get me started on the way many pregnancy books manage to marginalize both the mother and any partner she has that isn’t her straight, American, husband.  Like I said, don’t get me started.

You might have questions.  How, in fact, did two hot, sexy women such as yourselves manage to conceive the miracle of life? We selected sperm from a bank, we shipped it to a doctor, he injected it into her uterus twice (once in August and once in September), she got pregnant.  Here’s what we didn’t do: we did not tell our other “trying” friends the number of our donor (I’ve heard that occurs), we did not take any fertility drugs and we did not tell people we were attempting to fertilize an egg.

Honestly, we’re still a little queasy about the idea of thwarting evolution at all, but have opted to become glassy-eyed with baby thoughts instead of considering the damage we’ve done to the human race by electing to use artificial means of conception.  Well, she’s queasy for entirely different reasons.  So, details: she’s 13 weeks, due in late June, we’re not going to find out the sex, and I won’t be numbing your eyes with baby chat here.

Two things – check out the page at the top titled “Plus One”.  If baby talk is your thing you can find me at Counting Chickens.  That’s it for this pregnancy public service announcement.

Points for not shunning me.

It seems a little unreal that domestic partners employed by the federal government will have some benefits.  I have confidence that, eventually, it will as illegal to discriminate against gay individuals as it is to discriminate based on age or gender.  There’s no perfect world and discrimination still happens to all kinds of people all the time, but I look forward to the day when it isn’t sanctioned by the government.

For a second, I thought I might regret leaving the State Department in light of this change and the almost certain extension of more benefits by the Secretary of State.  But I don’t.  I don’t regret leaving for a second.  It was no longer the right job and the limited benefits wouldn’t make up for that.  Unfortunately, I’m confident that the good state of Virginia is unlikely to get on the progressive bandwagon anytime soon.

The whole thing leaves me feeling a little hopeless and unsettled.  It seems like no one is able to make change.  The President says it’s beyond his ability to change and if left to the general public, I’m afraid a vote would be to maintain the status quo.

At Capital Pride Sunday I watched a man my age walking with his pretty wife, their young baby and the baby’s grandmother tell his family that they could not use the restrooms in the area because (hushed whisper) “Look at that sign” (pointing to Pride banner) “we can’t go over there”.  I couldn’t tell if he was afraid they might catch something, sheer discrimination, or fear that we might tar and feather them.  Seperate toilets.  Great.

Already you’re thinking this is a gay post, but it isn’t!   I just used the cleverly deceptive title to fool you!  Ha ha!  Do you feel fooled?  Extra points, dear reader, if you didn’t sigh at yet one more post cleverly trying to fool you into thinking it was gay when – gasp – it wasn’t!

While I could regale you with stories about my own coming out (uneventful, I assure you, unlike the time I left the vibrator out in the middle of the living room.  Which was, of course, all in the same week.  My poor parents) I will instead delight and awe you with the tale of my blog coming out.  You don’t have to look so disappointed.

We were at a party this weekend with a passel (like how I used that word there?) of lesbians that D. knows but I don’t.  It was delightful actually, homemade wings and nachos, football, tons of yummy beer and easy conversation.  Apparently, I enjoyed myself so much that I casually mentioned having a blog.  Unlike the way I’d envisioned it, the conversation didn’t stop, no one eagerly demanded my url, waiting with bated breath to jot it on a napkin, no one even looked surprised.  Of course, I had my eyes closed, wondering why I would say such an appalling thing.   I’m delighted that I was able to come out while not having to actually share anything.  Now, as long as I don’t go and leave the vibrator on the footstool, no one will even remember.

Points for your own coming out story.

Prideful

Posted: 19 June 2006 in DC, joy, observations, queerlife
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It was hot and humid and sticky in Baltimore this weekend.  It was the type of day when dirt clings to your skin just by being near the ground.  Gnats and flies don’t even land on you for fear of getting stuck in the layer of humid grime on your ankles and behind your knees.  Although I’ve been to celebrations in DC, San Francisco, San Diego, Sao Paulo and even Tucson, until today we hadn’t been to Pride in Baltimore.  I’m always amazed at the individual character of every event – all of them have been different and Baltimore seemed very family-oriented and geared toward a slightly older crowd.  It was a pleasant change from the leather and chains, tiny butch girl paradise of DC Pride.  We actually missed DC this year as we were recovering from West of the Mississippi jetlag and I didn’t realize how much I missed the one time each year that D. and I could kiss freely in public (more than pecks) and hold hands (more than fleetingly) and generally feel comfortable being in a world, for a moment, where we weren’t in the minority.  D. performed at the event, a short set but tight, well-sung and very professional.  I felt proud to be watching her, to listen to her, to sing along with her (which I clearly can’t do in bars or our living room!), to watch other people listening to her voice and watching her sing.  I felt so flattered when she came out from backstage and kissed me (!) over all of the other people she could have been there with.  I remember everyday how much I love her, but I forget how proud I am to be with her.

Stirrups, please.

Posted: 20 April 2006 in queerlife, therapy
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Caution: Icky medical drama ahead…

Do you love going to the gynocologist? Because I don’t, and I could use some of that love over here. My last doctor, quite probably scarred by my tears, general panic and faint-inducing anxiety suggested that as a fairly healthy, fairly young person, I could wait three years between visits. As you expected, the three years have come and gone and I dragged myself off to the new doc today. I rationalized it by telling myself that the woman was reputedly lesbian friendly (and her entire office was), a new diagnosis of PCOS demanded some more specialized attention to my delinquent ovaries and that if D and I were planning to have a baby…ever…I was going to have to get used to someone in between my legs.

I did it with a minimum of tears (applause here) but not without considerable panicking, fidgeting, grimacing and blood pressure rocketing. D held my hand (helping matters tremendously), setting a precedent for every future visit so that I don’t have to take that horrid, poking awfulness alone. The doctor said she’d see me next year (thank goodness she wants to keep me) and I’m not completely turned off at the idea of sex for the next six months (which is what happened last time one of us went to the doc).

You’d think being a dyke would make it easier for me to throw my feet up there and slide down just so and lay quietly while some woman sticks gigantic baseball bats into me. Frankly, I’d let D stick just about anything up there with the appropriate amount of fiddling elsewhere. But just so you straight folks know, being a lesbian doesn’t give me an edge. I still really, really hate it.

You might ask why I’d put this out there for the Internet to read. Partly because I’m proud of myself for not turning into a blubbering wreck and partly because I can’t seem to find anyone else out there as scarred by this experience as I am. All of you scarred people can coome over here. It’s fun! We’re a party!