Pride Month and the Rainbow Flag. F*&$-ing #45.

I feel I’ve been inundated with articles about the protests and scares at Pride events. The assaults on lesbians and gays and transgender individuals are mounting. The President tweeted something ridiculous and hollow for Pride month yet his administration won’t fly a rainbow flag. So I wonder why our citizens who are homophobic feel empowered? It’s not rocket science.

I actually know gay and lesbian individuals who voted for #45 and it boggles my mind. I’ve written many blog posts about this homophobic administration. I’ve written many blog posts about being discriminated against in my personal life.

Never have I questioned attending a Pride event in the past. Never did I feel my safety would be at risk until this administration.

It’s a constant grind to be among a minority. There are emotions and energy invested in it that I’m not even aware of sometimes.

Let me explain why the administration of shitheads refusing to hang the rainbow flag is a big deal.

I went to hot yoga tonight and I was driving home and the little city my yoga studio is in is having it’s first Pride event this weekend. There were rainbow flags lining Main Street. Then I got to the end of Main St and I turn right, and at the stoplight directly in front of me is a church I’ve driven past hundreds of times. On their wall they had two huge rainbow flags, one just a flag, one with a saying of acceptance and love.

I smiled all the way down Main Street and the car behind me honked when I creeped by the church trying to read the sign and smiling like an idiot.

Because the rainbow flag is a signal. It’s a signal that I’m safe. It’s like a Christian seeing a church as sanctuary. I see the rainbow flag and I know I’m in a safe space. I know my family is accepted and loved and I can be myself and if any one tries to mess with us I know there are people here who will have our back.

It’s so much more than just a flag. It’s a beacon of light in the dark. I see a rainbow flag and I’m at ease. So to have the administration refuse to fly them sends me the signal that they do not have my back. They are not a safe space for myself or my family. If they are not with us they are against us and that immediately causes me to have my guard up at all times with anyone who voted for this very homophobic administration.

To anyone who is not a minority you will not get this. You will not understand walking around with a pit in your stomach because you know you’re in a conservative area and you fear for your safety merely because you are walking with your spouse.

You will never know what it’s like in that moment to see a rainbow flag however big or small and feel a wave of relief because you found an ally.

To walk in the shoes of a minority is to walk with fear. Always.

To truly be an ally is to take away that fear even if just for a moment.

To all of the Queer community I see you. You are beautiful. Rock it for Pride month.

 

Twin Three Year Olds, Two Moms, and One Dentist

My wife had to work. So it was up to me to manhandle the boys at their cleanings by myself. It started out okay. Declan was very compliant laying on top of me and while nervous at times with all the poking and prodding he basically did a good job. Jackson sat calmly, occasionally saying “I not get my teeth cleaned Mama!” clearly disgruntled about having to go next.

He clung to a stuffed dinosaur and oversized toothbrush and would clean the dinosaur at times.

Then we switched. Declan cannot handle the freedom of an open room with shiny appliances and Jackson cannot handle anxiety.

I turned on my phone and played Netflix for him. Declan cried that I hadn’t played it for him and in his attempt to watch stood on the chair behind me. I did not see this otherwise I would have told him to get down.

Well he got down on his own. Loudly crashing to the floor and our dental hygienist was not amused. Neither was I. Nor Declan. He’s sobbing. I still have Jackson on top of me calmly waiting for the cleaning to finish. Finally calm while Declan’s screaming.

Declan was then instructed to sit and not move from the chair. He didn’t technically. But his feet were swinging as he tried to get the wires. I mean just picture the worst mess you possibly can imagine in a dental hygienists space. That’s what was happening in that moment. I was trapped under Jackson and our perky dental hygienist was trying her best to stay perky.

When the dentist came to check them she mentioned something about Declan’s teeth. When she walked away I wanted to clarify, and the hygienist asked me, not terribly nicely, “Um who are you?”

Excuse me? “I’m their Mom…” I said puzzled. I mean what other human being on the planet would subject themselves to a dentist visit with twin toddlers? I’d have to be related to them.

“Well they keep talking about telling Mommy, so I’m just confused,” she said.

“There are two Moms,” I replied. At this point I was perhaps glaring at her, because I was annoyed at this entire line of questioning. And our two normal hygienists know me and know my wife and know the boys. So I know that it wasn’t her fault that she didn’t know we were a two mom family.

But once I said that, “There are two Moms,” there was an awkward silence and she didn’t apologize. She did the lip pursing thing that I am familiar with. It’s the “Oh shit it’s one of them,” looks.

I suddenly wanted to be out of that chair. Fast.

Some people reading this will immediately think I’m overreacting. You’ll think, well maybe she just didn’t know how to react.

I’m not. And she didn’t know how to react true. But she didn’t react the way accepting non-homophobic people react. There would normally be an awkward laugh, and then, “Oh okay I’m so sorry, they just kept talking about their other Mommy, so I was confused,” or something similar. It’s happened before. Several times.

It’s also happened this way. Where some one makes it known. With an upturn of their eyes and a downturn of their mouth and no smiling or awkwardness. Just understanding of what I am and not liking it.

It seems fitting that during Pride month the dentist office I’ve gone to for the last nine years and never felt a smidge of homophobia should suddenly become a place that may not be okay for us.

This is one of those things that lesbian moms deal with. Do we just not go back at all? The boys really liked her, do I swallow it down and bring them back to her because they really liked her and she had a nice way with them? Do I call and say something? Do I let it slide because it’s once every six months we go there? It wasn’t overt so what would I even say if I called…”She made a face and didn’t smile about me having a wife”?

That last paragraph is the crux of what makes being a lesbian mom different. It’s why I feel best in my facebook group Lesbian Moms. It’s why I feel safest in a room full of gay.

It’s the decisions we have to make and the questions we have to answer that heterosexual people don’t have any clue about. It’s why we get a month. Not just a day. Because what terrifies me the most is the thought of the boys older, wiser, and aware of the lip pursing look. The look that says I’m not down with what you are.

When will the first time they notice it be? Who will it be? What do I want them to see me do? I am setting the example for them and I don’t want to let things slide but I don’t want to make a situation worse for them. No one told me about these decisions before I had kids. I’m undecided currently. I’ll keep you posted.

 

But Why do the Queers Get a Month? (Said in a super whiney entitled voice)

Sometimes I read the comments on Pride posts. Mistake. I know. People are mean and hateful and discriminatory. For real though could they come up with anything different from “Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve”??? It’s so outdated and used up. Y’all need some fresh homophobic material.

One comment on facebook I read asked why we don’t have a month for Veteran’s Day, only a day. I thought that was a valid question. As I respect Veteran’s seeing as my Dad was one.

Here’s my response. I did some research so pay attention.

First off the last time the draft was enacted was Vietnam. Roughly 25% (648,500) made up the number of soldiers drafted who actually set foot in Vietnam. Roughly two million were drafted in total but of those only 648,500 set foot in Vietnam. Draftees accounted for  30% of deaths roughly 17,700.

Those are bad statistics. Because really no one should die fighting for a cause they were involved with involuntarily.

I promise you that 100% of individuals who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, genderqueer, etc. identify this way UNWILLINGLY. Yes the Queer is not something any of us would choose to be.

In 2016 it was estimated roughly 4-5% of the population identify as Queer. That’s over ten million people. Other estimates are as high as 9% of the population. The Colorodoan ran a story in 2018 based off a review of hate crimes they did separate from the FBI’s statistics (which are incredibly low). Transgender and non-binary individuals made up more than 45% of the deaths in those files starting in 1998 through 2018.

Gender not normals are not safe in the United States. Their total projection was that over 600 LGBTQ individuals have been killed in the last two decades in the the United States.

We are not in a time of war. We are living our lives, with families, jobs, and homes. We are unsafe in our own backyards though.

Secondly for the traumas that Veterans have endured, which are many, they have an entire healthcare entity dedicated to Veterans health located in every state. Accessible to all Veterans. Is it a perfect system? No. But it exists.

The LGBTQ community often delays care due to fear of discrimination. They have higher rates of suicide, mental illness, and untreated medical illnesses due to lack of access to care.

Veterans are now held up high in our society. I for one have only seen them treated with respect if wearing their uniform in public and we as a society have thankfully changed our attitudes toward them so they are accepted and not blamed for wars that they have no control over.

The Queer community hides in fear. We were slowly emerging from the shadows when our country voted in one of the most openly homophobic administrations in recent history.

We live next door to neighbors with #45 signs. We know what that means. That we are not welcome there.

We know people who have been assaulted, spit on, fired, and not hired for jobs due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

Veterans don’t have a month because they can live safely if they are heterosexual.

We have a month because we have been disowned, kicked down, told we are going to Hell, told we can’t have children, told we can’t get married, told our spouse has no legal standing to the child we have born and raised together, told that we are less than, that we are freaks, that we are deserving of the rape, torture, and murders we face.

We have a month because even in this month we are killed. Because Pulse happened in 2016. Remember Pulse? The deadliest shooting in our history and specifically targeting the Queers.

Because it took until 2003 for the United States Supreme Court to rule that sodomy could no longer be used to charge people for crimes (a case that shockingly originated in Texas). Because it took until 2015 until we could marry and even that does not protect our partner’s parental rights when we have children.

We have a month because we are still fighting to just exist.

Until that day; when we can exist without fear, on that day, then you can take the month back and give us a day.

Google “LGBTQ deaths in America”. Then ask me why we have a month.