Why we can’t be friends and it’s not “Just Politics”

I’m going to say it again for the people in the back.

If you voted for #45 we are not friends.

There are a few reasons for this.

  1. You may have noticed I’m married to a woman. By voting for #45 you voted knowingly for possibly the most homophobic administration in modern times. Example: 2004 Mike Pence voted AGAINST the employment non-discrimination act. 2014: Supported and lobbied for a bill adding a ban of gay marriage to the constitution of Indiana. 2012: He refused to go on record stating he would support a child be raised by a homosexual couple. 2010 he voted against repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. He spoke in 2018 (the first sitting VP to do so) at Values Voter Summit which has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This Summit had speakers who believe being transgender is a sin, and who preach for conversion therapy. Trump banned transgender individuals from the military. In a tweet.
    1. Within two HOURS of #45 taking office all mention of the LGBTQ community was removed from the white house website.
    2. They have nominated two of the most anti-LGBTQ justices to serve on the Supreme Court.
  2. I am a woman. Also hoping you’ve noticed this. See here and here for how I feel about this.
  3. I am a small business owner. And no. Not one portion of his tax laws helped small businesses. It helped large corporations.
  4. I am a mental health nurse practitioner. See here.
  5. I am the descendant of immigrants. And for Christ’s sake. He’s married to one.
  6. I don’t believe that sexual assault should be normalized. I don’t believe we should have a sitting president who doesn’t believe in climate change. I believe in an educated America.
  7. I am pro-cop. That may be the only spot we agree on.
  8. I am not pro-guns. In fact I think they should be banned. All of them.
  9. I am not ashamed if you call me a snowflake. Because it only takes one snowflake to start an avalanche.

This does not mean I won’t be friendly. I will. Most likely. But that does not mean we are friends.

Because you have managed to put in office people who can and want to do damage to my family. They want to strip anti-discrimination laws from our books. That is not okay with me. I am a minority. I can now be discriminated against more freely, more openly, and that jeopardizes my safety but more importantly it jeopardizes the safety of my children.

I may have been able to look past this before kids. But I can’t now. Because they are my everything and when some one messes with them, even indirectly, I can’t move past it.

I know who you are. I know by the way you maybe avert your eyes when I make an anti-#45 statement. I know because you post memes about every one getting along in the wake of a horrible election. I know because you whine about “But I didn’t like Obama, so you should be fine too…”

Obama was never trying to strip rights from any one. He was trying to expand them.

#45 is trying to strip the rights of my immediate family and my extended Queer family. He is trying to normalize discrimination and hate.

I know you. I see you. And no. The meme’s won’t work. Unapologetically no. This goes beyond politics. Politics shape policies and laws. Laws are used as weapons against minorities. I am a minority. You have endangered me and mine. Own it.

 

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.

 

Why Passive Queers and Queer Allies Irritate Me.

When I was visiting my cousins this past weekend I went off on an angry tangent about Ellen Degeneres’ special Relatable. I stopped myself mid-sentence and channeled some Hannah Gadsby, “I’m angry. Little bit lesbian happening right now.” We all laughed but I kept thinking about it. Why did her special piss me off?

Then I figured it out.

She interviewed Ellen Paige and talked about how she admired Ellen P.’s activism and that she (Ellen D.) basically tries to keep her head down. Which is extremely evident in her Netflix special. She references being fired and having her sitcom end and that’s about it. She then acknowledges publicly that she’s trying to keep her head down.

I’m not down with that. Here’s why.

I own a business. It’s my livelihood. It pays my mortgage and feeds my family (not literally, I get taxed, calm it down). If my business goes under my family would be in trouble. I have a business partner and we are in it together for sure. But I market myself as a Queer provider. I’ve put it out there that I am gay that the business is owned by a lesbian and that I want to help the Queer community.

I risk homophobia affecting the business I bring in because I put it out there loud and clear who and what I am. I do this for a reason. I do this because individuals within the Queer community feel comfortable knowing I am one of them.

Because the first few times long term Queer clients found out I had a wife they were pissed I hadn’t told them sooner and relieved that they were truly in a safe space. They knew that even if I had not walked in their shoes I could identify with their narratives.

When they tell me about their parents disowning them I can truly understand that pain as I’ve born witness to it with my wife for eleven years. When I tell them I won’t let them be homeless if their parents kick them out, they believe me, because they know I would give them the shirt off my back if needed.

They know that because I risk my family’s stability by out-ing myself as Queer within my business. They know that because I’ve treated Queer individuals at wicked reduced rates, even pro-bono, and when a transgender or non-binary client calls for an intake I make it happen. I stay late, come early, give up my lunch break, because I make them my priority.

And guess what. I’m not the only one. I know of several Queer provider’s who put it out there and who have faced harassment because of it. I know I have lost clients over the years when they’ve found out I am gay. But I keep going. Because the look of relief and comfort on my Queer client’s faces when they realize I’m one of them…it’s just too good too gut wrenching to give that up just so I can “keep my head down”.

Why do I get pissed about Queer individuals and allies who say they are allies or Queer but then put their heads down? Because our opponents have their heads up. They have their heads up and they are yelling loudly. They are working very publicly against us.

I know the vulnerability and fear that comes with coming out as a business owner and practitioner. I get it. I do it anyway. Because it’s the right thing to do. It’s the right thing to do to make myself vulnerable in order to help advance my community. Because it makes my business not just women owned and operated, but also lesbian owned and operated.

Any Queer owned business is a step forward for our community. It cements us in the tapestry of towns and cities and people’s lives. Any Queer individual not using their platform to advance our community…I don’t have time for that. Yes it’s scary. Yes it’s dangerous. But silence is more dangerous. With silence comes complacency. With complacency we get #45 and the most homophobic transphobic administration of my lifetime.

So step it up Queers and Queer allies. We need your voices. Your talent. We need you to take a stand. We need those equality stickers in your windows. We need the pride flags out front of your businesses. Take a stand.

Because by keeping your heads down you are complicit.