What Now for the Gay Community?

The only part of my body that seems to agree with a Trump presidency is my waistline. My waist is finally doing what I’ve been struggling to get the darn thing to do for months now. It’s getting smaller.  But it’s not happening the way I had planned. I’m not exercising more than usual, nor am I restricting myself from high-calorie foods that aren’t healthy.

The pounds are peeling off because since Wednesday morning I don’t have much of an appetite.

I went to bed on election night before the final results were tallied, but the writing was on the wall. I woke up to texts asking how I was doing. And then the frantic calls came in from friends concerned what a Trump presidency means, not only for gay and lesbian people, but people of color, Muslims, women, the sick, and the poor. I just finished reading an article about how Republicans want to get rid of Medicaid and replace it with vouchers, not to mention their desire to privatize Social Security and Medicare. What could possible go wrong?

I am scared for all people who are not rich, have health conditions, or fit into a minority group because those are the ones who are most vulnerable to a Trump presidency. The protests in the streets following Trump’s election night win aren’t a bunch of babies acting out because their side lost. They’re out there because they’re afraid that hate won Tuesday night. (I’m not defending those who caused property damage and spray painted A’s all over buildings. You are anarchists and most likely didn’t even vote. You are NOT what the heart of these protests are about.)

The protesters are afraid of the divisive and hateful rhetoric Trump’s campaign was built around. And the fear is real, and it is valid. If any other Republican from the party’s long list of candidates had won, there may have been frustration, but not this kind of fear. People wouldn’t have taken to the streets, in the thousands, to protests across the country if John Kasich had become the president-elect.

But he didn’t win. Donald Trump did, and now many groups across the country are wondering what this means for them.  I’m a lesbian. And I’m wondering what this means for me.

On the morning after the election, I was lying in bed, reading an article about gay rights and a Trump/Pence presidency. It wasn’t pretty.

Here is a link to that article:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2016/11/09/here-is-what-president-trump-means-for-lgbt-rights/

Below is a quote from the above article:

“His running mate Mike Pence has confirmed a plan to dismantle Barack Obama’s protections for LGBT people, as part of an ‘immediate’ review of executive orders issued by President Obama…Also significantly, President-elect Trump has pledged to sign the Republican-backed First Amendment Defence Act, a law that would permit forms of anti-LGBT discrimination on the grounds of religion.”

Is it any wonder that when my mother saw me that morning, and was about to gloat how Trump had won, that I burst into tears so uncontrollably that I couldn’t even talk? There is nothing subtle or more frightening than to hear words, so blatantly filled with hate, directed right at you.

Now is the time for every community threatened by a Donald Trump presidency to come together. History tells us we have been through much worse. We must do all we can to not go back there ever again.  In the meantime, call a trusted friend. Surround yourself with people who make you feel protected.

We’ll get through this together.

 

 

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Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

 

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This Election is Different

I drove to the ballot boxes yesterday to cast my early vote. My mother beside me. Her for Trump, me reciting out loud the words “Madame President.” The car ride lasted about ten minutes, with each of us making our last arguments. Neither did it to try to change the mind of the other, we’ve both come too far for that.  Rather, I suppose, just to get under the other’s skin a bit. A little heckling before the big game.

I know that’s the reason I ran my mouth, because ever since I was a little girl, nothing amused me more than to aggravate my mother enough to get her to drop the F-bomb. And she did.

Mission accomplished.

Flashback four years ago. My mother and I were having a very different kind of car ride. We were driving to one of my niece’s softball games. The election between President Obama and Mitt Romney was fast approaching. My mother is mostly conservative. She had spent most of that campaign talking up Romney and regurgitating every email and posts her like-minded Republican friends shared on Facebook.

If you recall, it was that election when the president came out in support of gay marriage. I’m gay. My mother knows this.

So four years ago, I was driving with my mother when she turned to me and said, “I want you to have equal rights. I want the law to protect you as much as it protects me. So, for you, I’m voting for Obama…but don’t tell anyone.”

And with that I almost drove the car into someone’s front lawn.

It was wonderful to have had my mother’s support. I know I still do today, just not in her vote because this is a different election.

Way different.

I can’t say for sure that if Trump’s campaign promised to not only take away all gay rights, but to chop off the feet of every gay person in the process, just because, would be enough for my mother to select the X beside Hillary Clinton’s name.

“Rights are over-rated,” she’d say. “And they do such wonders with prosthetics these days. You’ll be fine.”

Not to mention that the Vice President candidate on Trump’s ticket, Mike Pence, signed a bill last year as Governor of Indiana that would have allowed businesses to refuse service to gay people based on “religious” convictions.

“It’s a nice day out,” my mother would say. “It won’t hurt you to eat in the car.”

Yep. This election is way different.

It’s uglier. And talks of election day violence should Hillary win (which seems likely) brings out the worst of this country.

The world is watching.

Vote this election. But vote in peace.

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Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Looking for Someone Other Than My Wife.

On March 26, Indiana Governor, Mike Pence, signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) into law. There was no secret that this bill was being voted on in the Republican-controlled Indiana House of Representatives. The only question was whether Gov. Pence would sign it.

And the answer is, “Yes. Yes, he would.” And he did. And then the $hit hit the fan.

Pence attempted to extinguish the outpouring screams of bigotry by stating that this was the same bill President Bill Clinton passed in 1993. No, Gov. Pence. It is not. Under the law Clinton signed, a “person” doesn’t include a business or a corporation, whose rights of religious freedom are protected from being oppressed and thus, can use the law to protect itself while denying service to a customer based on religious beliefs.

The intent of the RFRA Clinton signed was clearly to protect REAL people, the ones with a pulse, from being religiously burdened by the government. This act specifically targeted “Native American religions that are burdened by increasing expansion of government projects onto sacred land. In Native American religion, the land they worship on is very important.” (Wikipedia)

Only in Indiana did the law state a business is a person.

Most people saw this law for what it really was — a legal way to discriminate against the LGBT community. I need to point out that in all states that have passed a RFRA, all of them offer legal protections to gays and lesbians. Indiana does not, and Pence stated only days before he signed this bill that adding legal protection to the LGBT community was “not on his agenda.” So he signed a bill into law that would leave a group of people vulnerable to discrimination. And when the public, including CEO’s of major corporations, let him know how they felt about it, he promptly called for revisions to the law. He remarked that he was surprised the law created such an outrage, but what I believe he really meant is that he was surprised so many people cared about the rights of gays and lesbians — people Pence clearly has no concern for.

The revised law now denies businesses the right to refuse service to anyone based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but the act of discriminating against the LGBT community in other areas like Housing is still legal in Indiana, which is both sad and scary.

During this debacle, one of the owners of a pizzeria in Indiana called, Memories Pizza, announced she wouldn’t deliver pizzas to a gay wedding. The publish backlash was so bad, the company had to temporarily shut its doors. A fund was started by those empathetic to the establishment, and collected over 800,000 dollars in donations.

Obviously, there are many strong opinions on this subject from both sides.

I wasn’t going to write a blog about this law, despite how much it infuriated me. If I had intended to, I would have written one weeks ago when the subject was headline news. But a few nights ago, I was at a friend’s house and a commercial came on. A bunch of really happy guys were singing a song with overly, creepy smiles on their faces. My friend (who is married) sighed and commented how much she hated this commercial.

“What’s it for?” I asked.

“Ashley Madison,” she responded.

“What’s that?” I innocently asked.

“You’ve never heard of it? It’s a website for men to cheat on their wives.”

No, I hadn’t heard of it and the line these men were gaily singing was “Looking for someone other than my wife.” I couldn’t make out the second line, but I don’t think it really matters. It’s $hit like this that really pisses me off. Websites for cheating spouses, casual marriages (Britney Spears, Kim Kardashian), and shows like “How to Marry a Millionaire” take a big dump on the sanctity of marriage, yet, I don’t hear the outcries from people, concerned about preserving the purity and holiness of marriage, screaming about this as loud as they do when the words “gay marriage” are uttered.

The entire fiasco of the Indiana law really came down to businesses not wanting to be forced to provide services for gay weddings. Whether that be in the form of catering, providing flowers, baking a wedding cake, or designing a dress. Businesses wanted to be able to use religion and the Bible to turn these “sinners” away. How do these self-righteous companies feel about serving adulterers? I don’t know because I haven’t heard a peep about it. Crickets.

I have yet to read a passage in the bible that states clearly the way God viewed gays, but I sure know how he felt about adultery. THAT was pretty darn clear. The act made it into the list of Ten Commandments of what “thou shalt not do.” Nothing about being gay made it onto that Biblical list, yet, it seems people are willing to push this aside because NOT committing adultery doesn’t fit today’s lifestyle (for some people).

Times have changed, I guess. When the Bible was written, there were a lot less people in the world. There weren’t as many options as there are now. Men today are tempted in a way Adam never was. An apple? That’s child’s play.

Maybe God will understand the dilemma today’s man finds himself in. Women don’t look the way they did in Biblical times. They wear make-up, short skirts, stiletto heels. They get boob-jobs and tummy-tucks, liposuction and lip injections. All of this, to look sexy and appealing to men.

Come on, God. Change the rules for these guys, will ya? It’s tough out there for a married fella. Serpents are everywhere!

I’m being sarcastic, of course, but for whatever reason, committing adultery doesn’t come with the same stigma it once did. But I don’t see how one sin that was clearly written as a sin gets a pass, when a sexual orientation that was never clearly deemed a sin, creates so much hate that people have killed over this bigotry, and others have killed themselves because of this bigotry.

Today, the company Ashley Madison announced it wants to go public.The company declared it has over 34 million members worldwide. I’ll buy that stock and probably make a lot of money because it’s obvious straight people aren’t so perfect after all, no matter how much they (some of them) love to judge others.

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P.S I know women cheat, too, but men were the only people used in this commercial. Also, I know that not all people in marriages cheat. This post was not meant to generalize one group of people.

Photo Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net