Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Shopping: The Opera!

Don't you wish life was like the movies, where people just burst into song for no apparent reason?

Oh. Wait a minute. Life is just like that! Here is a little guerrilla art, for your enjoyment.

I love this stuff.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Checking my motives, damn it.

Time for a pop quiz. Multiple choice, of course:
This past weekend I attended a recovery-related function out of town, because I’m the representative for my organization. The host hotel was a fancy new Marriott, and my home group was perfectly happy to pay for a room there. I stayed at the Red Roof Inn instead. Why?

(a) I didn’t see the point in making my organization pay $100 a night when I could be perfectly comfortable for $50.
(b) To prove how wonderful I am.
(c) Because I have a death wish.
(d) Because I consider martyrdom a character asset.
(e) Because I didn’t want to be around all those recovering fools.
(f) All of the above.
I thought it was (a). Then someone pointed out how fabulously wonderful I am for saving my organization the money. That’s when I realized I wasn’t so wonderful after all. In about one second flat, I went from being Mother Teresa to Ann Coulter. (I don't know. She's just the most evil female I could think of.)

In fact, the correct answers are (a), (b), and (d). My motives were bad. And good. And, well, all over the place.

Surprisingly, (e) didn’t play into it at all. I like all those recovering fools. Okay. Most of them.

I’m no more wonderful – and no less wonderful, either – than anyone else. I like accolades but I also don’t mind a little pity now and then. All right, a lot of pity. Bring it on, honey.

The reason I am writing this post, of course, is because I want the world (all six of you!) to see how wise and well I am. And because it’s important to my recovery. And because I’m in denial about being self-centered. And because I like the attention I get when I say I have a blog. And…

Like I said.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ways to help the people of Haiti

As the death toll continues to mount in Haiti, it's hard not to feel helpless and overwhelmed. But there are ways to help. No doubt you've already heard how to donate $10 to the Red Cross via texting. But there are other venues you may not have heard about. TakePart has put together a nice list that includes Doctors Without Borders, CARE, UNICEF, and much more. Hat tip to Good.is.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

For Mark, on his Birthday

What a night! Even hours later, I still feel a bit overwhelmed. What a pleasure to experience the outpouring of love we all have for you (which of course was no surprise, but it was still breathtaking to witness). I’m so very grateful that you allowed me to be a part of it.

The evening verified what I’ve suspected all along – that you have had just as profound an effect on other people as you have had on me. Did you know that your “modest little show,” and your loving stewardship of it, was a turning point for so many?

Over the past year, you have altered the trajectory of people’s lives. You’ve done it by staying sober a day at a time; by embracing your many gifts with infectious and unbounded enthusiasm; by living life on life’s terms; and by following your heart even into the scary places. In short, you’ve done it by just becoming Mark in all of his sequined, sincere, and courageously imperfect glory and brilliance. You allowed God to work through you to help others; and because you did, some rivers now flow a different course. That’s a very powerful thing.

Thank you, Mark, thank you so much for being exactly who you are. I love you.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Here We Go Again...

Well, thank goodness Georgia's federal legislators are keeping an eagle eye out for loose morals in the District of Columbia:

Phil Gingrey joins fight against gay marriage in D.C.

The comments, by the way, are fun, too. Jim Galloway gets some pretty, ummm, opinionated readers.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

Equality, Special Rights, and Gay Marriage

Today, let's take a brief look at a favorite conservative argument against gay marriage: that allowing same-sex marriage would result in special rights for the LGBT community.

The gist of the argument is this: Everybody already has the same marriage rights. After all, gay people and straight people alike can marry people of the opposite sex. Allowing same-sex marriage, then, would grant special rights to homosexuals. We'd have MORE rights than straight people and that's just not fair.

This argument might make some sense if same-sex marriage would be permitted only within the queer community. However, I have yet to see any proposed legislation that would prohibit straight people from marrying same-sex partners.

Thus, just as gays are free now to marry someone of the opposite sex, straights would be just as free to marry someone of the same sex. Same-sex marriage, then, would not implicate special rights for anyone. On the contrary, it would expand the rights of everyone.

Conservatives might well counter-argue that the right to marry someone of the same sex means nothing to them, because they have no interest in forming such a union.

We get that. In fact, that's exactly our point. The right to marry someone of the opposite sex means nothing to us, either. You can't make one argument without addressing the other.

Still, when you come right down to it, conservatives are correct in identifying same-sex marriage as a special-rights issue, because it is: it's about the special rights of those in power to deny fundamental constitutional rights to a particular minority. It's the special right to discriminate against a select demographic.

And that, I think, is just about as American as Joe McCarthy.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

2009 Transgender News Stories

Dr. Jillian T. Weiss at Bilerico has assembled a nice timeline of trans news items for 2009 with links to articles. A couple of notable step forward:
The expansion of the federal hate crimes act to cover crimes against LGBT and disabled people.
Election of the first openly transgender mayor in the US, compliments of Silverton, Oregon
Missing from her list, but covered in a separate post, is Obama's appointment of Amanda Simpson, a transgendered woman, to the post of Senior Technical Advisor at the Department of Commerce.

As one might expect, not all the news was good last year. But one day at a time, one heart at a time, one court and one legislature at a time, the transgendered, gay, lesbian, and bisexual communities continue to move forward.

Here's to more progress in 2010 for all of us.

Friday, January 01, 2010