An ultimate Lesbian Day

Today is going to be an ultimate lesbian day for me. We have the Daytona 500 followed by the Oscars! I’m almost giddy writing this. To make it even better, it is quite windy outside, so no yard work for me. So, perfect excuse to be lazy. I’m sitting here typing with a hot mocha, laptop on my lap, big screen TV on. My wife is next to me with both her smart phone and tablet on. I just love hanging out with her.

OK, I know NASCAR isn’t the most popular thing, but hang with me. Butch me loves the loud cars. They have this new “gyroscopic camera” in the cars that lets you see just how steep the banking is in the turns. That’s actually pretty cool. The lead up and driver’s stories are as good as a soap opera. We have the first ever woman on the pole.
danica patrick And, she’s the very hot Danica Patrick. And she’s dating some other rookie driver. Drama baby. After the first few pit stops, I’ll do my very favorite “napping to NASCAR” (BEST naps ever), then wake up in time to watch the last 50 laps or so. So, I get the most exciting parts of the race and a good nap all rolled into one.

Then, a little break to exercise, do some cooking (dinner plus some pre-cooking for the week) then I settle in for the red-carpet.  Race around getting everything done for the week ahead.

PHOTO CREDIT: LESTER COHEN/WIREIMAGE

By then, my total girly-girl daughter will be home. That will allow my inner-femme to come out and we can get some serious bonding in. We will analyze the hell out of the women and their dresses. I’ll put up with her commentary on that boy from the Hunger Games she’s still in love with.

There are lots of other activities that could make for a great day, and in the grand scheme, this will never be the greatest day.  But, hot damn, I’m looking forward to enjoying today.  Maybe even more than Super Bowl Sunday.

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Love doesn’t guarantee friendship

I was re-reading some Star Trek Voyager fan-fiction by Fletcher DeLancey (her stories are awesome) and came across the line “Kathryn [Janeway] had learned long ago that love didn’t guarantee friendship.”  This is a concept that is all too familiar to those of us in the LGBT+ community.  We love our families, but that doesn’t mean that we are accepted for being who we are.  As a result, the friendship aspect of those relationships wane.

For a long time, I thought I was mostly immune.  There are several members of my family that are gay.  Many years ago, my brother described his thoughts on the matter as, “I know what the Bible says and I believe in the Bible.  But, I also love every single member of my family.”  When he said that, he was not just referring to me, but to 3 different people in his immediate family.  In retrospect, I viewed that statement with more optimism than was really there.

My brother is conservative.  I wouldn’t say totally far right, but he’s more right than not.  It used to be a game to argue politics with each other.  To get heated on the topics we were polar opposites on and see where we actually came close to one another.  All of that came to a crashing end when we started discussing marriage equality.

I was shocked to learn he was against it.  He says that he believes gays should have all the rights associated with marriage, but it shouldn’t be called a marriage.  Because it goes against the Bible.  This from a man who hasn’t stepped foot in a church in around 30 years.  He doesn’t talk about religion, prayer or show any other indication of belief.  Yet, he firmly believes that marriage is defined by god and is therefore between one man and one woman.  And when we argued about it, he said I was too sensitive about this issue.  That I was blowing things out of proportion.

This conversation was about 2 years ago.  We’ve moved to a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” stance on politics.  Not just marriage equality, but all politics.  I love my brother.  I always will.  I used to think of him as the member of my family that I was closest to.  But, I don’t consider him a friend anymore.

I think we all know how much it hurts when our family members reject us for being LGBT+.  Yet, they think that they are doing the “right” thing.  They don’t seem to understand that EVERY SINGLE DAY we see images, hear comments, or jokes, that imply that LGBT+ are less than everyone else.  The messages are everywhere.  We don’t need to hear it from our family.  For our own mental health, we simply can’t afford to let someone so against us be close to us.

When we are young, to a great extent, our family is all we have.  But, as we get older, we start to develop a “family of choice.”  We build up the group of people that we spend our time with and we don’t include those people that make us feel bad… No matter how much we may love them.  I don’t think that it is a conscious choice.  We simply surround ourselves with people who love and accept us for who we truly are.  I wonder if my brother even realizes what he lost.

I want Judy Gold’s Frustrations

I just read this Huffington Post blog by Judy Gold.  Right after feeling her frustrations, I thought, it would be nice to have them.  HUH?  Well, I live in a state that doesn’t recognize my marriage.  So, when my wife or I are asked some version of “who’s the real mom?”  It is generally followed up by, “sign here please.”

Don’t get me wrong, Judy is fighting the good fight.  She is taking on an inequity that directly impacts her and is doing something positive about it.  There are probably countless NY LGBT parents that have tried before.  But, Judy was able to leverage her celebrity status into action on the part of the hospital in question.  And hopefully that will trickle down to all the doctors offices, dental clinics, schools, etc. that all parents interact with.

But, for me, dealing with that level of the same frustrations would mean that my marriage was actually legally recognized in this supremely red state.  Earlier this week, my step-daughter came down with…  something.  She has no symptoms other than a high-fever (102.2).  Among her parents (mom, dad, and myself) and our working situations, I was the one who could most easily extract myself to take her to the doctor.  Except, I couldn’t.  In legal terms, I’m just some stranger allowing some woman and her daughter to live in my house.  That is a horribly inaccurate depiction of my relationship to the child I’ve helped raise since she was 5 years old.  My wife deserves full respect and honor for giving birth to her.  Her father deserves full respect for his part, including staying a very active father after the divorce.  But, she will always be my baby girl too.

I am stuck in a sort of limbo.  When out in public together, people actually assume I’m the bio mom because we look more alike than she and her mother does.  She has my wicked sense of humor.  Depending on her mood, she will refer to me as her “step-mom”, “evil step-mother”, or the “best evil step-mother ever.”  Yet, legally, I am nothing.

Am I Gay or gay?

I’m stealing a convention from the deaf world.  It is my understanding that in the Deaf World, they use the little “d” deaf to refer to a person who is deaf, but big “D” Deaf to refer to a person who is deaf AND actively involved in the deaf community.  One doesn’t necessarily equal the other.

pride flag

So, for my purposes little “g” gay is an LGBT+ person and big “G” Gay is a person involved in the  gay community.  I’d like to be big “G” Gay.  I’m totally out, loud and proud.  If you ask, I tell.  If you don’t ask, but talk about your family, I’ll talk about mine and I have a wife, so, that pretty much shouts LESBIAN.  I do draw the line at going around wearing rainbow colors.  But, I also live in a small community.  We are not large enough to sustain a gay bar, much less Gay groups like, choirs, community theater, or even a “family” owned coffee house, or other meeting place.  I do go to bigger cities for pride events, but there is more to life than that.

Also, I’m a parent.  So, after work, the majority of my time revolves around the daughter that still lives at home.  I must admit, that’s a lot of fun.  Being a parent is a weirdly awesome thing for this woman who previously ran from the line where biological clocks were installed.  And, now that she’s at the age were one’s sexuality starts coming front and center (no pun intended), it is interesting to meet parents dealing with learning their child isn’t straight.  It is almost like they seek us out.  Well, the ones cool with their children’s sexuality do.  The other ones probably run in the other direction.  Thus far, I’ve seen no stampedes.

Anyway, gay if there is no community to speak of, is it possible to be big “G” gay or am I doomed to little “g” status?

My Daughter is Going Vegetarian

A few weeks ago, my 14 y.o. daughter announced that she was going vegetarian. She tried this before, but didn’t make it through one week because, “My dad made pot-roast.” For me, that’s the catch. If she wants to be a vegetarian, so be it. And, maybe this is a phase. That girl loves steak, chicken, and turkey. So, that makes her decision a bit confusing for me. But, so far, it’s been 3 weeks and no cheating. I’ve been surprised by 3 things since she started: how easy it was for the rest of the family to adapt, how strongly anti-vegetarian people are, and how committed she is to the change.

Let’s start with her commitment. She is 14 and a freshman in high school. For most kids her age, if they have even started dating yet, a relationship lasts about a week. So, she’s been into it for 3 whole weeks. I’m impressed. Before this, her typical lunch at school was a bag of “baked flaming hot Cheetos” and a Gatorade. She would refuse to eat the hot lunches and only go to the snack bar. Very few attempts to get her to take a better lunch worked. Time was the main issue. But, every day, she has managed to pack a lunch. Generally, a salad, small bag of nuts, and other finger foods. Even when we go out to her favorite restaurants, she has picked vegetarian meals. In fairness, she does eat eggs and dairy, which makes things easier, but still… She’s doing it. I even tried to give her a bit of an out, while she was starting. I said, “why not work your way up to vegetarian and eat meat, if you want it, a couple of times a week.” But, she seems gung ho and almost seems proud to take on the label “Vegetarian.”

On more than one occasion, BabyGirl has come home and said, “Wow, everyone is shocked that I’m a vegetarian.” She’s talking about her friends. And when we get right down to it how much does other 14 y.o. kids know about nutrition. So, you know they are getting their attitudes from their parents. I guess I’m surprised by how little the general public knows about vegetarianism and nutrition. Yes, there are extra things that vegetarians need to pay attention to ensure optimum nutrition that might be easier for an omnivore. But, really, how much do we all know/follow when it comes to healthy nutrition anyway? I know I could use improvements too. BabyGirl’s main reason for going vegetarian is to be more healthy. And, in watching her, and just from her lunches alone, she’s achieving it.

Having one member of the family a vegetarian does call for some adjustments in the whole family. But, for the most part, these have been minor and simple to do. Due to busy schedules, we often have to make our own dinners rather than a family meal. But, recent family meals have included chili and hamburgers. Well, I just bought the soy crumbles instead of ground turkey. No other changes to the recipe. Didn’t really notice a difference. My daughter didn’t really like hamburgers anyway, but she did try the black bean patties and likes those better. So, my wife and I get our beef and BabyGirl gets her alternative and we’re all happy. We try to subtly monitor her eating. We do want to ensure she’s getting the variety she needs, but keep her sense of control and responsibility. I will suggest foods and recommend ideas for nutritional research on items that she may be missing by not eating meat. And, she’s done so. From there, it is her responsibility to add to the shopping list what she wants. Other than that, we’ve had to buy more containers for her to take her lunches. Big whoop. We wanted her taking her lunch anyway.

Jeri Ryan is Awesome

Jeri Ryan is absolutely awesome!  I’m a little bit embarrassed to be a middle aged woman gushing like a teenager over a celebrity, but I do.  No stalking jokes.  She’s had more than one real one and one was pretty damn scary.  Google it, if you really want details, but I refuse to post a link.  Because It’s my blog, I’m going to call her Jeri, like I actually know her.  My blog my rules.  While it is on my mind, can I just say that the internet has more detailed information than anyone really needs to know about a person (jumping off the soapbox now).

Jeri is beautiful.  In my opinion she has improved with age
Leverage modeling 2

Seven of Nine.  I have always been a fan of Star Trek.  It is a tough pick between TNG and Voyager, but the character Seven of Nine tips the scales to Voyager.   Jeri is proud of the role and doesn’t try to pretend like it didn’t happen. I don’t remember whether she was a fan before the role, but she has embraced the legacy of her Seven of Nine role.  Yet, Jeri doesn’t let that define her.  This clip is one of my favorites.  It shows her in a totally different “character” than the normally stoic seven.  She is the muse for a ton of fanfic authors.  Many of them are even great (shout out to G L Dartt).

She TWEETS!  Yes, I follow @jerilryan on twitter (google + too, but she’s on twitter more).  She tweets often and really seems to enjoy doing so.    Jeri isn’t just doing the minimum to promote her show and/or career.  She even comes across as a “real” person  talking about her family, gardening, food, science, sci-fi.   Smack me upside the head, I almost forgot to mention her “Daily Cute”. 
She is funny.  In the interview below, she must have had a few drinks on the way to the red carpet.  She definitely has her happy on.  Yet, when the interviewer stumbles into “worlds dumbest question” land (1:30 – 2:10), she handles it with humor and great facial expressions.

Speaking of facial expressions…  *sigh* That quirk of the eyebrow, smile and head turn combination gets me every time.

She kicked ass as Sonya Blade

Mortal_Kombat_Jeri_Ryan_Sonya_Blade

This top.  After all the professional looking publicity shots, Jeri flat out looks awesome in this blouse.

Actors Elyes Gabel, Jeri Ryan and Mark Valley take part in a panel discussion of ABC's series "Body of Proof" during the 2013 Winter Press Tour for the Television Critics Association in Pasadena, California
She supports marriage equality.  As a lesbian, that probably should have made the list higher, but, I’m just going with the order I thought this stuff up.

Jeri Ryan NOH8

Have you noticed her smile?  I love Jeri’s big, gregarious smile.

for rina 

My wife prefers the smaller smirk.

for tymmi

Oh, and she has a Borg alcove in her house!

Borg alcove

How cool is that?  If I ever was in her house, you’d find me standing in it.  OK, at least until I saw the next shiny, sparkly thing or until the cops arrive.  Damn, I wasn’t going to joke about that.  Forgive me Ms. Ryan.  I promise to keep my fanaticism in the public realm, where it belongs.

PS:  I may as well plug her show Body of Proof (with the also awesome Dana Delaney):  Season 3 premiere February 19th.  Please watch it, I’d like there to be a Season 4.

body of proof