...and welcome to my new followers too.
I’m sitting here looking at my languishing blog page and still not quite sure what to post. So much has happened this month that I am still processing it all while mostly trying to avoid being out in the ongoing triple digit heat in the Inland Empire. It feels like my brains have melted into a lump of goo so I think I’ll just ramble and see what drips out in no particular order - every paragraph is a different topic. The photos are recent ones of myself and some friends at Church.
Presently I am house sitting in a house that is home to 3 dogs 6 or 7 cats and at dusk the yard is taken over by a large family of raccoons all of whom bring quite an appetite. This is quite a handful to say the least and in the heat it gets crazy at times.
In my activist activities the EQIE (Equality Inland Empire) co hosted a “Leadership Summit” on the 25th with Equality California. (I will post some pictures as soon as I get them). This was a long and grueling affair in the IE heat and I think by the end of the afternoon everyone was too hot to think quite straight because we left really with no clear direction on whether to take same-sex marriage back to the polls in 2010 or 2012 and some left rather disillusioned about the whole process. I’m sad to say I am not so sure it was of any real benefit other than to learn what not to do on a very hot mid-Summer day. Of course rumor had it that the evangelicals had prayed for just such a circumstance – and I expect they did because I used to be one – so that just means we that are people of faith in the TLGBQ and allied community need to re-learn the value of uniting our hearts and also placing our cause before our Maker before we participate in such large scale undertakings; there is power in prayer and in the uniting of purposes. This is exactly what our movement needs right now: Unity on the basic issues.
Speaking of issues, as the interim Chair person of the EQIE’s Faith Issues subcommittee I, with the company of Kerry of California Faith for Equality, met with several faith leaders in the Inland Empire a week or so ago and started to get a better feel for the pulse of our local faith community. We spoke with Rev. J. Edwards of Bethel Congregational Church in Ontario – a non Open and Affirming UCC congregation, Rabbi Hillel Cohn, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Emanu El in San Bernardino and, Julius Nam – Professor of World Religions at Loma Linda University. This was the first effort of its kind that I have participated in and so these first conversations outside of my own circle of faith were very enlightening. I have high hopes that much good is going to come of these and many similar efforts in the future. We are hoping in to develop a directory of faith homes and spiritual congregations and groups that are welcoming to TLGBQ folk – all faiths and groups are being sought to participate. Our hope in this effort is to become better known and accepted in places many of us at one time thought were absolutely closed to us. I have discovered that there is a great stirring and need for just this kind of effort and many already are coming on board to help. I am very excited and hopeful!
The EQIE also has subcommittees looking into transgender issues, LGBT youth issues and many other areas we have identified as important within our community. We are building a wonderful coalition of local allies and LGBT based organizations. If you live in the Inland Empire and would like to help please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Recently I tangled with a group of very extremist TS people that operate some TS only Yahoo groups and I was shocked to see that there is such fundamentalist-like prejudice within the TG/TS part of the TLGBQ… alphabet soup. A statement was made by their representative that we, who use any terminology other than TS to describe ourselves or that associate with LGBT people and issues, are not really true transsexuals because we don’t have a “condition” like they do. My answer to that foolishness is that everyone has a "condition" - it's called the human condition. Every one of us has been given some challenges in our lives - granted, some folks got some very difficult ones, but somewhere down the road one simply has to draw the line, get over themselves and re-join the human race or else become blindly fanatic and bitter at the rest of the world as seems to be the case here. Having been a militant Evangelical Fundamentalist for a substantial part of my pseudo-man life I know firsthand how damaging such extremism can be – regardless of ideology – both to the adherents and to those they openly bash.
I was recently interviewed for an article in the San Gabriel Valley News and the photographer came out last week. I will post the link to the article when it comes out and hopefully I will have some more pictures for the blog and my Facebook page too.
This month I was blessed to finally have found some legal assistance to get my Medi-cal and another ugly snag with my Disability benefits looked into - I think there is some hope of a good outcome even though the system is in a shambles with the State budget cuts. (Those that pray please hold this area of my life up to God if you would be so kind - thanks)!
So far the results of my little survey on Transgender Marriage Survival have interesting and positive results – I am still keeping it open by the way so I don't have a final tally, but the trend seems to indicate that more than half of marriages where the TG person transitions after being married actually last! And in more than half of those the couple still remains intimate after transition. At least for me that is a very positive bit of information – it is possible to make marriage work and last!! There is hope. The survey can be taken at:
One last note in closing on a very uncomfortable issue within our part of the alphabet soup: AIDS/HIV (and other STD’s too) are still cause for taking great care should you be intimate with anyone. If you have any doubts about your own health or exposure to disease, PLEASE get yourself checked and PLEASE be truthful with your partners.
OK I guess I have beaten this ramble to death - what a month, huh?
Hugs and Blessings to you all,