How the Right Thinks We are Being Manipulated by the Left. And Why I’m Fine With That.

I got into a spirited discussion with someone online regarding the Kavanaugh hearings. I actually watched the hearings. He didn’t. I read the transcripts. He didn’t. I’m a lesbian. He’s a cis-hetero white male. He emphatically stated that Dr. Ford was a liar. I emphatically stated that ultimately I could give two craps whether she’s lying or not. It comes down to blocking Kavanaugh from the SCOTUS. Because I watched his performance and I was less than impressed. He did not comport himself with dignity, grace, humility, non-partisanship or neutrality. I personally feel these are all needed to serve on SCOTUS. So if Dr. Ford’s allegations stop him from serving. Then go on with your bad self.

This online troll then accused me of being okay with lies as every Leftist is, as long as we get our way, and that the legalization of homophobia wouldn’t possibly change the treatment my family receives from our society.

I gracefully exited this debate with a have a nice day, and until next time. There were a few statements he made that angered me. I didn’t like that he would presume to know what would happen to my family should legalization of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity occur federally. Because that’s what we are facing from this administration.

In case any one hasn’t figured that out yet.

It’s a thing. It’s part of their agenda. It’s already legal in several states in the South and midwest and I know personal stories of individuals and families in these states who have been victim to these laws.

No offense to white dudes. But you have no idea what it is like to live in fear. Fear for my safety. Fear of discrimination. Fear of losing my job. My house. My friends. My family. All because I’m married to a woman. These fears are NOT unfounded. My wife’s family has no contact with us because we are gay. We have been called dykes. We have left bars because we felt unsafe. We will never vacation in Alabama. Or Louisiana. Because those states have legalized discrimination.

So if the democratic party is “manipulating” public opinion to oppose K. I say it’s about time and thank-you Dem’s for finally taking a stand.

I will also say to any Republican out there. That lying is not unique to the Democratic party. Um….Chris Collins, Russia, Scott Taylor, Duncan Hunter, Rod Blum, the Iraqi invasion, and for real do I even need to say Nixon? Lying is not owned by the Left. It’s actually likely present equally on both sides. And quite honestly whatever protects my family…affords us safety and allows us to continue to live as Americans in our home. I’m down with.

At least I’m honest about it. Unlike trolls who act like all R’s are these self righteous God fearing non-lying individuals. Ha. That would be unreal.

So to the Right. Yes the Left lies. You do to. The opposing argument would be that your just trying to protect your family, just as much as I’m trying to protect mine. Here’s the thing. In protecting mine I’m not taking away your rights. Your rights stay the same. By protecting my family and by not legalizing homophobia all you white straight “normal” families are still legal too and still not able to be discriminated against. Me standing for mine doesn’t hurt yours. But you standing for yours…could destroy mine. Could endanger mine.

We, the Queer community, already live in fear. So yes, I would beg, borrow, lie, and steal to protect my family. If Dr. Ford is lying that’s not good. But if K is lying. And he lands on the SCOTUS. We should all be living in fear.

There are people who’s minds will never change. Just as mine won’t. Do I think the Left is fiscally responsible? No. Do I think they are the pillar of morality and values? No. But do I think that the majority of them will stand for my family. Will fight for our protection and not our disintegration. Yes.

And that is why I take the bad with the good. I choose to stand by people who yes have lied. Just as the Right stands with some one who publicly stated sexual assault of women is okay and who surrounded himself with people being investigated for treason and collusion with Russia. Our not-friend. We could trade barbs all day.

But at the end of the day I still will stand for those who stand for my family. Nothing will change that.

 

I used a picture of my boys. Because K. kept  bringing up his daughter. Well these are my sons. These are the victims of homophobia and discrimination. This is bigger than K and his family. This is about so many families so many children. Mine included. Don’t lose sight of that. I wish no harm on any one’s child.

Raising Boys and Toxic Masculinity

I was watching this show on Netflix with Tony Danza. I’m a Tony fan. There was this scene though that made me turn it off. Tony’s out at a bar with a group of friends. A beautiful model walks in and sits at a booth alone. Tony gets up and struts over to her, and sits down in the booth. He then propositions her. She says No. The scene goes on far too long with Tony continuously asking her to give him a shot, making sexual innuendo’s, and the girl continuously saying No, trying to avoid eye contact, wishing he would leave. He eventually gets up and struts back to his table and says something like, “She’s not my type,” and everyone laughs.

I don’t think it’s funny. That to me is toxic masculinity. Because he’s a man, and she’s an attractive female, he has the right to make her uncomfortable by asking and propositioning multiple times instead of walking away the first time she said no. It was supposed to be funny. I felt my stomach churning and my skin crawling.

I’ve been that girl. Not a beautiful model unfortunately, but the girl being asked by a guy and being told No, and then being asked and asked until I have to be rude and then I’m called a bitch or whatever. When really it’s on the dude.

Walk away when a girl says No. Respect the No.

My wife and I have been harassed and hit on at bars together, and we’ve told men we are married, we have no interest, and they continuously have approached us. To the point I took a swing at one guy (Back when I was young and impulsive and way before being a Mom, because I would never advocate violence!!). But his disrespect of my No’s repeatedly, following me around the bar, blocking my path from the bathroom when I didn’t know he followed me there. These are all times that my No has not been respected and the man who I’m saying No to gets angry, defensive, and even more vulgar instead of just walking away.

Tony Danza was possibly the most unattractive man I have ever seen in that scene. I will never watch another episode of that show. Toxic masculinity is a term I don’t like. Because I want my sons to have positive masculinity. I want them to embrace the aspects of themselves that are masculine. But if they ever disrespect the first No from a girl. I will kick their ass.

Part of being masculine is being able to walk away with grace. Positive masculinity is respecting a woman’s No and smiling, and saying, Have a good night, and walking away. Not pursuing and pursuing and devolving into a defensive ass.

Raising a man is complicated. Masculinity can be carrying oneself with confidence but not being aggressive. Standing up for oneself and protecting others, but not demeaning others or protecting some one who doesn’t want or need protection. It’s being honest but not rude.

Our society wants a man to have the dominance of John Wayne, the mystery of Johnny Depp, the beauty and humor of George Clooney, and the dignity and intelligence of Barack Obama. We have set up these impossible standards while also demeaning masculinity by putting the word toxic in front of it. Without actually thinking about how as a society we actually prize masculinity just not when it crosses into sexual harassment and sometimes even when it crosses into perhaps what’s considered demeaning of feminism. It’s freaking complicated. And a lot as a Mom of boys to consider.

I’ve always considered myself a feminist. I marched in the ProChoice rally when Bush was President. Rode overnight on a bus from upstate NY with no one I knew. I saw it on a  bulletin board, and I called the number and they came and picked me up. One of maybe thirty-five liberals in upstate NY. I’ve stood for girls and women personally and professionally. I’ve had my job threatened when I brought light to the rampant sexism at a hospital I worked at. I take a stand when needed, and always hope to shine light into the darkness.

So color me surprised when I popped out twin boys. What the hell was I supposed to do with them? Turns out I fell in love with them. They force me to re-examine my beliefs about masculinity. They force me to question the term Toxic M. and their very existence challenges me to do better. What I’m learning and exploring is not a battle between men and women but just an embracing of healthy femininity and healthy masculinity in whatever form that takes for people.

I will foster confidence and intelligence in my sons. But I will also instill in them respect and consent and the beauty of a man who can walk away with grace from rejection. I won’t teach them that all masculinity is toxic. Because I disagree. But I will help them explore masculinity that can pair with femininity and not squash or diminish it.

It’s a tall order. But I’ve always been up for a challenge. And if in forty or fifty years they are up for a nomination to the Supreme Court. I’ll sleep easy knowing there will be no skeletons in their closets because they were taught better. No means No. Start it young.

I am lucky to have examples of positive masculinity in my life over the years. The bad have left scars but the good, well they give me hope for my sons. There are positive masculine men out there. I am related to some, treat some as clients, and know some as friends and colleagues. To the positive masculine role models out there. Thank-you. Just as we need strong women; we need strong men. Because they will help set the example for our young boys. Examples we desperately need in this reign of toxic men.

 

 

**** the picture was five years ago. My Dad is a Vietnam Veteran who was MIA and experienced and witnessed the horror of war. He then spent his career in the army National Guard. My Dad would essentially walk through fire for me if I asked. That’s something I always knew. I sort of thought all men would be as respectful, caring, and protective like my Dad. Unfortunately I was wrong, but I can say he is an example who is part of our lives of a great man for my sons and I.

Humiliating Mom Moment #1001…

The boys have started figuring out who are boys and who are girls. About 50% of the time they get it right. They’ve essentially got it that Mama and Mommy and girls, and that they are boys.

So we are at the playground today. Just the three of us, my two little white toddlers and I. It’s attached to a soccer field. A car pulls up and an African American gentleman gets out and starts to do laps around the soccer field. He has headphones in, and we waved at each other when he got there, as we are in a small town, and it seemed polite to do.

My boys started playing on the bleachers, and as he rounded the field again they started waving and saying “Hi Boy!” “Hi Boy!” They were thrilled that they recognized that he was a boy.

Major freaking facepalm and my jaw literally fell open.

My Uncle had been over the previous weekend and we had gendered him and my Aunt as boys and girls. I never even thought to then educate about the appropriateness or not of referring to people as boys and girls. Because it just never entered my head to prepare for that particular situation.

He had headphones in, and as I was running frantically toward the boys on the bleachers to say we don’t say “hi boy” we say “hi sir,” he just waved and smiled good-naturedly, I’m not sure/I pray that he did not hear the “hi Boy”. Because holy shit it was like my worst nightmare came true. I was raising two racist white boys.

So then I had to explain to two two-year olds why we don’t say Hi Boy. Without saying, we specifically don’t say Hi Boy to a Black man because of the degrading and racist connotation that it carries.

“Baby, we say Hi Sir, okay? No Hi Boy.” Declan- “but he’s boy” Me- “Yes I know he’s a boy, but he’s a grown-up, so we say Hi Sir,  Hi boy is not nice.” Dec- “Hi Boy not nice?!” he looked totally incredulous. I at this point am getting sweaty and my heart is racing and I realize I’m getting nervous explaining this. This Mom-ming thing is hard. “That’s right, Hi Boy not nice. Hi Sir is what we say.” He stares at me. Jackson has already lost interest and is back to banging on the bleachers.

The man rounds the field again, and I’m like good God could the boys just go on the damn slides way over there? Why do they want to clonk around on the bleachers? He runs by and the boys look up and say “Hi Guy,” “Hi Guy,” they both look at me for approval. I just shake my head and thank God he has headphones in. “Guy” was never part of the conversation. We will be practicing “Hi Sir,” a lot.

These are the moments that define us as Moms. It’s not how big the birthday party is or how many presents they get on Christmas. It’s handling a total shit moment with grace and explaining and being honest without being mean. It’s not their fault they didn’t know you can’t say Hi Boy. It was mine. It’s something that you just know right? No. Actually some one had to teach it to you at some point. It’s making a human instinctively show others respect and know their history and it’s hard…and downright humiliating at times.

 

 

Those Moments When You Mom Judge the Hell Out of Yourself…

This morning the boys were driving me insane. I mean that literally. I locked myself in the bathroom to take a minute, look in the mirror, remind myself I am a living breathing human being and try not to cry.

For those tuning in for the first time I have two and a half year old twin boys. It’s just my wife and I. I am home alone with them every morning, and she is home with them in the evenings. Some mornings are fine. They can be charming and sweet and loving. They lull me into this false sense of security. Then a morning like this morning happens. It reminds me there is actually a living breathing monster in both of them. These monsters’ sole purpose in life is to make me lose my mind.

I’m not being dramatic. They drove me to my limits. But I emerged from the bathroom thinking I could make it. I walked back into the kitchen and sat with my one son Jackson while he finished his cereal. I heard my other son Declan making noise in the other room, and I thought he was climbing the stairs after I had explicitly told him No, multiple times, to his request to go upstairs.

I essentially lost control and yelled, “GET OFF THE STAIRS” as I quickly rounded the corner. I mean picture crazy bloodshot eyes, claw growing out of my hands, and my hair suddenly shooting out sparks of electricity….I came into our foyer only to see my little man standing, not on the stairs, but in front of the toy chest. Being good. His bottom lip jutted out at the exact moment my hands flew to my mouth and I was horrified by my insane yelling and stomping that he didn’t deserve.

I ran over to him, plopped myself on the floor and opened my arms. He came over to me, and hugged me tight, and I rubbed my head against his, and said “I’m so sorry baby,” as he breathed heavy and held back tears. I’m holding back my own tears at this point and laying kisses all over his head. He still clung to me, and we just sat there on the floor in our entryway holding each other.

I yell sometimes. But that yell was the Mama’s pissed yell. It was the I’ve reached the end of my utterly frayed rope yell. He knew it. He knew it was a different sort of yell. He’s only two and a half, he doesn’t sit still for thirty seconds, let alone hug me and let me hug him for at least two minutes.

There are these moments as a Mom that make me hate myself. That was one of them. I could see in his face in that moment as I rounded the corner that I hurt his feelings. He could see on my face that I was angry and then horrified at my own mistake.

These are uncomfortable moments. We all want to be Facebook happy smiling mom’s with perfect kids and families. I hear it all the time from clients. Mom’s who feel guilty for yelling or losing it. I don’t lose it every day. My kids are certainly not scared of me.

I always tell them I love them. I give them hugs and kisses whenever they are within arm’s distance. And tonight, after we put them to bed, he started crying and he wanted his “Mama” that’s me, Mommy is my wife. I held him and he told me what was wrong, and I kissed him and put him back to bed.

My sons make me better. They make me stronger. They make me more sensitive and a little more crazy. They make me feel like the worst human in the world, and in the same day, they make me feel like the most worthy and best Mama alive.

I’m not a perfect Mama. But I love my kids, and they know it. Try having two two-year olds. Then try not ever yelling. Seriously. I’m learning to lighten up on myself. That all Mom’s need to lighten up on themselves. If your kids are loved then cut yourself some slack. We are allowed to lose it sometimes. Because kids are rough stuff. So is Mommy-ing.

 

 

BDSM, Polyamory, and Kink and the Sex Positive Nurse.

Our society is rather conservative sexually. I mean did we really not know that women had clitoris’ until the 1970’s? I was born in the 80’s so I can’t speak to life before that. But for real. The United States is rather shaming around sex. To this day.

I probably was no different. I didn’t understand polyamory and I sure didn’t think I’d ever be spending the majority of my days seeing clients who identify as poly or kinky or who practice BDSM on the regular.

But I do. And it’s amazing.

If I look at the clients who are drawn to me and who I have the most success in treating and connecting with it’s usually individuals who identify as part of a minority. I’m drawn to the most vulnerable populations. I see many individuals who are L G B and/or T. I also see many teenagers who are bullied and don’t “fit in”. And for the last year or two my kinky client load has been building. Word got out that there’s a prescriber who is kink friendly. They are finding me. I didn’t go looking for them, I just treated them respectfully when they came to see me, which unfortunately was a different experience than with other healthcare providers.

Treating the kink community and polyamory individuals has been educational to say the least and beyond rewarding. They have generally been shamed by healthcare providers in the past for whatever their kink is or if they are poly. They have never felt comfortable being open about their sexual practices and therefore have never truly discussed sexual health.

I had to get a solid poker face fast. I did. And now, it would take a lot to get me to raise an eyebrow. I mean A LOT. I also educated myself about BDSM and what those relationships can look like. Polyamory and the multiple definitions there are to many different people. I learned we don’t mention 50 Shades of Grey. Genuine Kinksters find this insulting due to it’s many inaccuracies and poor portrayal of BDSM. I’ve learned not to assume that polyamory individuals are into kink and vice versa.

I learned about dominant/submissive relationships and how those can be different and/or similar to sadist/masochist relationships. I learned what a munch is (google it). I’ve learned a ton of vocabulary: sub-drop, sub-space, flails vs. floggers vs. whips, dom-drop, micro-consent, fetlife.com, consensual non-consent play (CNC), play partners, “littles” and Daddydom’s, Little space, and the many many kinks that exist for people.

I’ve gotten so many clients and the sex certified therapists in the area are always full, so I was at a networking event with other therapists and asked who’d be interested in these referrals should they need a therapist. I got a bunch of blank stares and then nervous giggles. I was like, dudes. You seriously wouldn’t take them? They all kinda shied away. And I was like damn. This is the problem. People are ashamed or they have some feelings about sexuality and kinks and fetishes already and are insecure talking to someone else about them.

This is a problem. We as a society need to do better. Why do we marginalize any one who has different ideas or thoughts or desires or needs than mainstream? Why is it we elected someone to the white house who openly discusses sexually assaulting women as his right because of his wealth and position but we shy away from discussing consensual sexual practices with rational adults seeking help in a “safe space”? This makes no sense.

Healthy BDSM sexual practices often contain more discussion especially around consent prior to two people actually engaging in a sexual relationship than a “Vanilla” relationship. We are more comfortable with sexual assault than we are with consensual kink and BDSM. I don’t get it.

I will continue growing my practice with kinky, LGBT, Queer individuals, bullied teenagers, and those young men and women that you know have greatness in them but just don’t fit into the cookie cutter white suburbia life that they are growing up in.

My job is awesome. I get to talk about kinky sex, gender not-normal stuff, and I watch young people who are “weird” grow into these amazing individuals who change our world.

I never wake up and regret taking on clients who don’t fit into the box the world created for them. To all you kinky folks out there, keep on keepin’ on with your kinky self, you’re beautiful as you are. There’s at least one nurse who’s got your back.

Celebrating Birthday’s LGBT Style…

I was recently visiting my best friend and we had a lot of fun…as lesbians tend to do. One straight dude that was with us that night said, “Lesbian’s are fun, I should hang out with them more often!” And I’m like, yeah we are pretty fun…all Gru style from Despicable Me 2 (he has a Russian accent and it’s all throaty and cool).

I haven’t blogged for a little while because I’ve been cranky. See here for the reason for my sleepless nights recently…freaking two and a half year olds able to run out in the hallway at all hours for all reasons…but it’s more than the lack of sleep due to twinning. It took a glass of wine, a free 50″ tv (I won a raffle hell yeah), my Fall decorations on the mantle, and another viewing of Nanette to get me to acknowledge why.

My wife and I have both been cranky. For the whole week leading up to her birthday. If you haven’t read my blog before, her family doesn’t speak to us because we are gay and they have religious beliefs that are at odds with the gay thing. She was homeless. Lots of therapy. Lots of birthdays. Lots of Christmas’. And every time we wait. We wait for them to contact her or not. Either way is going to lead to something painful.

We both get irritable leading up to her birthday because it’s painful to not spend your birthday with people who gave birth to you. It’s painful to have the people who created you cut off contact because they are in disagreement with their own creation.

So yes, lesbians have fun. Because we know horrific pain. We have been through so much to be who we are. So when we have a night to let loose. We do. In a big way. We have been brought down to our knees so we literally have nothing to lose.

My wife and I have had fun times on our birthdays. But hers specifically are overshadowed by something deeper. A pain so deep I can’t even describe it.

So yes, I’m sorry to my co-workers who had to deal with me this week. I was cranky putting it mildly. And when I step back and think about it, it’s not because I was sleep deprived…well mostly…it was because I was worried about my wife’s birthday because it’s never a truly happy occasion. There’s an undercurrent because we both know what’s missing.

I have so many LGBT clients in the same situation. They have made their own families with partners and friends after being disowned by their own blood. It’s a common story unfortunately. It’s our story.

So my theory is yeah, gay clubs and the LGBT community is always more fun. But it’s because we know more pain. We have lower lows, we have deeper wounds, which allows us to experience and seek out higher high’s. It allows us to seek ways to forget the pain for just one night or one hour. It’s similar to nurses. My nurse friends are freaking fun. It’s because we see people die. We know how tenuous life is first hand so we party hard in order to feel alive.

To live among the LGBT community is to know some one who has committed suicide, perhaps even to have been the one to find them. To live among the LGBT community is to know at least one but likely multiple, people who have no contact with their families. To live among the LGBT community is to seek acceptance among the only people who will “get” your experience because heterosexual’s and gender normals just will never understand. And it is beyond frustrating to watch them continuously take for granted their privilege.

Perhaps it’s a sign of our maturity, or perhaps it’s because we were freaking tired, but this year we went to our favorite brewery had good food and a couple drinks, and came home and went to bed. Not a night to write home about, but a night together, celebrating her life. Because her life matters to me.

If you love any one in the LGBT community, let them know their life matters to you. Because too many of our lives are lost due to feeling the pain of being alone.

Love you babe and Happy Birthday.

Toddlers and Their Multiple Freaking Milestones

People who haven’t had toddlers think these little humans just magically evolve from cribs to beds, diapers to underwear, being dressed to dressing themselves, being fed to feeding themselves, not talking to talking, having zero empathy to discovering other people have feelings…the list literally goes on.

The amount of growing physically and emotionally that happens between the ages of 12 months and four years if freaking crazy. I mean if you really think about it…totally nuts. They go from almost 100% dependency to maybe 25 or 50% dependency. That’s a lot!

So I try not to lose my mind on a daily basis when they are just trying to grow and do that thing they are supposed to do…assert their independence and become little humans. But toddler mom to toddler mom- this shit is real.

We recently took the sides off their cribs. They are two and a half, sharing a room. I mean come on. You know this is going to be just a nightmare. By the way we did it maybe two weeks after we took away their pacifiers. Don’t mom judge me. Yes we waited until they were two and a half. They were for nighttime only. Move on.

So the first night we had to go in maybe four times to settle them into their “new bed” per my kids. And we took bets on who would fall out. I said Jackson. I was right. Around twelve thirty AM I heard a thud. But no crying. I waited. A couple minutes later the crying started. I went in, and there was my little Jack-man on the floor, (the crib is only about six inches off the carpeted floor, he was fine) crying softly, and he clung to me as I lifted him back into his new bed.

Thus far we are on night two. Nap time today we were outside by the pool and we see two little heads at the window banging the glass. They know how to tell us they are up, that’s for damn sure. Tonight Jack-man decided he wanted Declan’s shirt. After we laid them down. There was a debacle which included Declan coming out of the room shirtless and Jackson coming out holding two shirts, both crying. This new found freedom is just too much for them. And us.

In the midst of all this losing the pacifiers and “new beds” daycare asks us to put them in underwear. These are the boys who have actually never peed in a potty at home. They pee in the potty at daycare. Little shits. I say with love. They also are able to get out of the pool and pee on the grass because they know they shouldn’t pee in the pool. But they won’t pee on the damn potty in the house. Nope. So that’s cool.

Then there’s the testing boundaries, “Declan don’t touch that,” I say calmly and totally Mama Brady-ish- “Declan don’t touch that” more strained, “DECLAN DON’T TOUCH THAT.” Then he cries and I’m all hugging him, and telling him it’s okay, but seriously don’t freaking touch that, then Jackson is crying, then Jackson headbutts me accidentally as they are both trying to get onto my lap and they are both huge, now I’m plugging my nose because I think it’s going to bleed, and I’m trying not to swear, “Fudgernuggets, Shishkabobs,” Then two worried little boy voices, “Mama okay? Mama okay? Mama boo-boo?” “I see Mama’s booboo, I see,” And they are both fighting over seeing my possibly bleeding nose.

Yeah, that’s how we roll in our house. We make it through a day with no blood and no bruises. That’s a good day. We make it through a night with no one falling out of the crib. That will be good. We make it through the next six months while we figure out how to bribe them onto the freaking toilets in our house…yeah I’ll be happy to survive that.

It’s like the newborn horrible-ness is a blur. I think that’s how it will be with the toddler stage. We will survive. We will end up with potty using, empathic, functional humans who can feed themselves, sleep on a bed, walk down a flight of stairs, and know instinctively not to touch a hot stove. But damn. The day to day journey to get there is rough.

The good part…saying Good-bye and I love you, and that first time when I heard a little, “Wuv you” right back to me. I burst into tears and was late for my yoga class because I was all “wuving” up on them.