19 November 2015

Sometimes a blogging calendar is just a suggestion

I was going to post last week about Veterans' Day and what it means to me to be the daughter of a veteran. I was going to post this week about the wifey's birthday.

But very very early Tuesday morning last week, my dad called me to tell me my grandfather died, and that kind of derailed things. On top of it, I wasn't able to go up north for the funeral.

So I haven't been blogging the way I intended to last week and this week.

My grandpa was a good guy.

He was from an older generation with old ideals and values. He was born in Kentucky and, as an adult, was a member of a conservative, fundamental Baptist church (that kicked his son out for getting remarried after divorce). He had certain ideas about faith and life and people that made me decide not to come out to him.

Now that he's gone, I don't regret my decision. I wish we lived in a world where it wouldn't have mattered to him that I was gay. And maybe, had I come out to him, it wouldn't have mattered. But judging his reaction to his nephew's relationship with another man all those years ago*, he wouldn't have taken it well.

Now that he's gone, I'm letting myself think about the good memories. I have to, at least for now. So I remember the time I sneaked across the deck so I could dump a bucket of water on him during a water fight. I remember him telling us kids that if we could get his wedding ring off his finger, we could keep it. (My sister got it off once, too!) I remember helping him feed the beagles he bred as hunting dogs for his friends that he let hunt deer and rabbits on his property.

I remember my grandpa fondly. And I will say goodbye in my own way in my own time.

I miss you, Grampy. I carry your memory with me.

*That's a blog post for another day.

07 November 2015

If I had been a son....

When I came out to my dad (about three years ago), one of the things he said to me was that he would not have taken the news as well if it had come from one of my brothers.

I didn't say anything at the time, but since then I think about that statement from time to time.

My dad was raised in a highly patriarchal, conservative Christian family. And when I came out to him, he was raising his stepdaughters in the same environment. So, in giving him the benefit of the doubt, I can try and justify to myself that what he meant by that comment had to do with pride of sons and carrying on the family name and all that kind of thing.

But I know it's not true.

What really emerged in that comment from my father was a testament to this dramatic disparity in the perceptions of same-sex relationships in our society, most notably brought on by the gross glamorized sexualization of lesbians thanks to the porn industry.

Society has made lesbians sexy. Guys want to watch lesbians or "turn them" or join in or whatever, making lesbianism more acceptable than male homosexuality.

It was more okay for my dad that I cam out versus either of my brothers because lesbians are hot and gay guys are gross.

Straight, white, cis male privilege at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

What it comes down to is that, in our society, straight cis males have determined the "norm" for what is sexually acceptable. Since these men are sexually aroused by women (and more so by women with other women), lesbians are hot. But because these men are not only not aroused but often disgusted by gay men, the result is that homosexual males are not acceptable in society. Gay guys are gross, according to the heteronormative perspective.

So in that one comment, which my dad really intended as a twisted way of showing his support for me coming out to him (read: "I'm not disowning you. But things would be different if you were a boy"), the whole of society was encapsulated.

I was more acceptable because I am a woman. Well, because I am a sexualized object.

It's infuriating, really, to know that the only basis for this acceptance is the sexualization of lesbians for the gratification of straight men. It has nothing to do with who I am as a lesbian, or the desire for equality in society. Instead, it's just that society says lesbians are hot. I, as a sexual object, am acceptable.

But the moment you focus on the humanity of lesbians, we're back to it being sinful and unacceptable. And since men can't objectify other men's bodies the way they do women's bodies, gay men are unacceptable under all circumstances.

And, unfortunately, as long as we live in a society in which women are continually sexualized and objectified, this won't change. It's not about the people who happen to be lesbians, it's about the bodies and what they do with other (female) bodies in their intimate relationships.

Because if I had been a son, I probably would have been disowned in that first conversation.

03 November 2015

After a month of marriage....

Bo and I have been married for one month today. There's been a lot going on in our lives, and it has made the month seem to pass more quickly. So here we are, a month after the magical day, and I haven't even written about it.

A. Harris Photography
We held our ceremony at a beautiful outdoor location that is connected to a public golf course. The reception was held in the venue's banquet room.

A. Harris Photography

The weather was perfect: nice, but not hot, and not too bright that we needed sunglasses. And yes, I did wear blue suede t-strap heels with my dress.

A. Harris Photography

We wrote our own vows, and Bo's sister, who is a notary public, performed our ceremony. I'm glad it was someone we knew who could speak to our relationship instead of someone whose ceremony would have been far more generic.

A. Harris Photography

Afterward, we had a beautiful reception indoors. With all the food you could imagine, and our simply delicious cake. The top layer was Boston creme pie (mostly for the kids), and the bottom layer was pumpkin spice with cream cheese filling.

A. Harris Photography

Oh, yeah. We also had a s'more station. It was the kids' favorite. Kind of mine, too.

A. Harris Photography

It was a beautiful day, and I don't think it could have gone any better than it did. After all, what could be better than your very own princess at your wedding? We have memories to last a lifetime, and amazing pictures as evidence.

And now, one month later, we have settled into our routine, and life is good.

Happy, monthiversary, my Bo. I love you.

02 November 2015

The things I don't say

When I started this blog in 2008 (I can hardly believe it's been that long!), it was my intention to have it be strictly a writing/reading blog.

Since then, the blog has changed quite a bit. For a while, I wrote about family, my (former) faith, then back to writing and professional topics.

Lately, there's been quite a bit of family on the blog, along with topics that are important to me, like LGBTQ issues, atheism, and living a compassionate, holistic lifestyle.

But there are other things I wish I could blog about that I can't. Don't. Can't. Some of these topics are off-limits because of who they involve. Other topics are off-limits because of what they involve.

But there are ways I can talk about some of things, and so I'm going to start incorporating some of those topics into my blog regularly. I know it will make me feel better to talk about them, and I hope others will read them and find comfort or connection or whatever they need.

Because some topics shouldn't have to be off-limits.