Wednesday, June 21, 2006

You are Not the Only One

This year’s Los Angeles Pride festival has come and gone. For that one weekend each year, we get to celebrate our culture and heritage. Walking down Santa Monica Blvd, a smile crosses my face and this feeling of pride, love, and acceptance creeps into my being. At first, it is small, but with every step I take, it grows stronger. I look around me, it is early morning and the boulevard is quite only a few people walking burry eyed to and from the local Starbucks.

The air is electric and calm all at the same time. It is very surreal, on this the first day of pride, the first day of a celebration that allows me to feel that I am not the only one. But part of a broader community, that has a heart and soul that has been wounded and ripped open by AIDS in the 80’s and 90’s and now fights for the right to have our relationships legally acknowledged and the same basic rights every straight person takes for granted.

Such as the right to visit our partner in hospital, adopt or have our own children without fear of loosing them. The right to walk down a street holding the hand of our loved one without fear of harassment or physical assault. The right to love our partner and not have our love diminished and ridiculed as “not real”. Love is love, it knows no bounds and does not base whom it affects on sex or religion.

On this, one weekend in June our community comes together and celebrates those, we have lost, those we have found, and what it means to be GAY. We are a community of untold compassion and giving. Many gay services run on the power of volunteerism, even the Pride festival itself is run by a large contingent of volunteers. These people give tirlessly of their time to help those in our community who would otherwise have nowhere to turn. All to often you hear about how the gay community is full of promiscuous, crystal meth taking ravers. What the news never reports is how much the gay community gives back to itself and the greater community known as humanity.

Therefore, for two whole days I get to revel in the wonder that is this community and family, I am proud to be apart of and who has given me a home. One day I will celebrate like this 365 days a year and not just 2 days a year.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"I'm not ready to make nice, I'm not ready to back down, I'm still mad as hell and I don't have time to go round and round." - Dixie Chicks.

I have just been listening to this song and it rings true for how I feel. It amazes me that after all the horrific things we as human beings have afflicted on one another ( like the holocaust) we still do not learn. We still think we have the right to tell someone how to live their lives and who to love.
It is 2006, the new millennium and still gay men and women can not get married, we still have to fight for the same civil rights everyone else has just because they are straight. Mothers and fathers will teach a child to hate a perfect stranger and people will threaten to take the life of someone just because of who they love, just last year in Iran two teenage boys (17 & 18 yrs. old) were hung for being GAY.
I'm mad as hell that kids live in fear of telling the most important people in their lives that they are GAY. Afraid that if they do they will be disowned or worse physically hurt. I'm mad as hell that people still teach that being Gay is something that needs to be "cured", that it is a choice. Why would anyone choose to swim against the world. Why would you chose to be hated, feared and despised.
Being Gay is not a choice, it is who you are. It is only one small piece of the wonderful whole that makes you up. It is a blessing to be gay, to have a community that will stand beside you and hold you up to be loved for you are. To be Gay is to truly have PRIDE in who you are. As this PRIDE season approaches, remember all the LGBT men and women that have gone before you and PROUDLY waved the flag so you can walk down the street holding the hand of the one you love. There is still much to do, so lets do it like we always have with PRIDE.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Who taught you to love?

It is a lazy Sunday for me today. I'm enjoying my free time and catching up on long neglected emails. While checking my friendster profile and updating it, I came across a profile blog that posed the question :
"Who taught you to love?"

At first I said my parents and family. Then as I thought more about it, I realized that while they played a part, they did not teach me to love, so to speak (I love my parents and would not change them). I remember them loving me, as they still do. But they did not sit me down and teach me to love. So who taught me? How did I learn to love?

My answer is LOVE. Love taught me to love.

What you say. How did love teach you to love? Easily, love opens us up to another and lays us naked and vulnerable at their feet. When we give love we become caught in the paradox of vulnerability and power. Love makes us vulnerable, yet it also makes us powerful. When we give love we make ourselves vulnerable to negative reactions (rejection, ridicule etc), it is this vulnerability that makes us powerful. That power comes from the selfless act of loving someone and expecting nothing in return. This connects our heart to our mind (a powerful combination) and overrides our ego (that part of us that tells us we are not worthy and that people will laugh at us if we do this, it is the source of all our fears and insecurities). Once free of our egos' fears, we are free to give and receive love. We become powerful, and the more powerful we become, the more readily we can give love without any expectations.

Sometimes that love is not returned, but most of the time it is....and not always in a the way we think. So as you see love teaches us to love, the more we give it the more we learn about it and receive it. In order to learn something we have to do it. In order to learn about love or be taught to love, we have to do it, we have to love. Love uses our families and friends to teach us, because they love us without expecting anything in return. From them we learn to receive love and in turn give love. So I believe LOVE taught me to love, through the selfless love of my family and friends.

When I'm made vulnerable by love, I'm at my most powerful.