Kids playing at the park today.
Kids playing at the park today.
Pride Events for the year are gearing up. I’ve honestly never been, but have plans to attend a few events over the summer with friends. More or less planning on being Den mommy to a pack of crazy wild boys, and their more sedate other halves. We shall see how it goes, and I’m sure I’ll be writing a CRAZY blog post to go along with my travels. 🙂 But lets talk about Pride (not the events but the feeling)
pride n.1. A sense of one’s own proper dignity or value; self-respect.
2. Pleasure or satisfaction taken in an achievement, possession, or association: parental pride.3. Arrogant or disdainful conduct or treatment; haughtiness.
4.a. A cause or source of pleasure or satisfaction; the best of a group or class: These soldiers were their country’s pride.b. The most successful or thriving condition; prime: the pride of youth.
Pride, something that maybe our LGBTQ doesn’t have enough of. A sense of one’s own proper dignity or value. We need to teach our children to be proud of their differences to take pride in who they are instead of teaching them the hateful rhetoric that comes from an arrogant, disdainful society. Granted, it’s gotten better in recent years. It’s certainly different from 15 years ago when I graduated high school, and I’m grateful. Desperately hopeful that MY children should they be in the LGBT spectrum, never have to deal with some of the attitudes I did while growing up.
O is for Organization:
There are many LGBT friendly Organizations out there. These organizations make it possible to get our voices heard both socially and politically. In order to gain the rights that we deserve, these organizations serve a vital role.
Organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, Freedom to Marry, Outserve/SDLN , Lambda Legal, Family Equality Council, GLSEN, GLAAD, Equality Federation, GLAD, GLMA, PFLAG, The Trevor Project, Transgender Law Center, among many more national organizations help our voices be heard nationally here in the US. There are many more state and Local organizations that make everyday differences in our communities.
Some of my favorite organizations that I donate to include:
PROMO (the organization here in Missouri that promotes and lobbies equality at a state level)
Matthew Shepard Foundation
Lost N Found Youth (Atlanta)
Ali Forney Center (NYC)
N is for No:
An important part of anyone’s life is learning to say no. For an LGBT person learning to say no is vitally important to your mental health. There will be people, negative ones, that will try to monopolize you with their demands. These demands will lower your self worth, and eventually break something inside you. People that love you and accept you will not ask you for one moment to be less than what you are. Not less gay, not more straight. They will not ask you to become something else just because you finally reveal yourself to them. You will have to learn that just because you share blood with people, it doesn’t give them the right to tell you, you are less. You deserve kindness and forethought. You are allowed to tell these people NO, you will not be treated that way. Allies, you are allowed to say NO too. When others are saying derogatory things, please don’t be afraid to stand up to them. Don’t put yourself in danger though. Sometimes we have to realize too that we have to fight another day. We cannot win every battle, but we also cannot give up.
M is for Muse:
Late post, sorry.. I’m trying to play catch up all the way to S or T.. ugh.. So, a lot of posts in a short amount of time. Sorry followers. I took several days off because quite frankly I needed to have a few days to grieve where all of my mental garbage wasn’t going to spew onto this page. Like how angry I am that life isn’t fair that a woman who wasn’t even forty yet died of a brain aneurysm, and now her kids are going to have to grow up without her. Or the fact that last week my mom was given a more than a great likelihood of having uterine cancer… So yes I’ve been away because no one needs to hear me work through things.
So back to the topic at hand, I’m stepping away from LGBT issues for a moment and focusing on a writing issue. The muse. That little voice inside of you that inspires you to do something, to create something bigger than yourself. For me that it writing or poetry (which is also writing but in a different way). I do freelance graphic design as well, and believe me sometimes a muse is NECESSARY to get through some of those projects. Usually my muse takes on the form of whatever character I am trying to channel. Sometimes it gets obsessive. I start dreaming of the character, and wake up feeling the absolute need to get things down on paper. (or computer screen, whatever!) However, the muse is fickle, and only plays when it feels like it. Sometimes I can go months or years without getting that inspiration, where every word feels like it is being carved from my soul because I have to struggle to get it down.
Your relationship with your Muse is important, because often when you are producing without her to inspire you, then whatever you produce feels unsatisfying, even though it may not be. Honestly writing is not a hobby. It’s a calling that if left to stagnate would drive me absolutely mad. I speak from the experience of being a writer that didn’t write much other than a handful of poems for the duration of a 10 year period, that left me almost agoraphobic and riddled with anxiety attacks. Since I’ve started writing again, I’m much healthier mentally. I’m trying to become a more disciplined writer, rather than a haphazard one that only tries to squeeze in time to practice my craft. I’ve also committed myself to this compulsion I have. Hopefully this will be enough to draw the muse to me.
L is for Love:
Please forgive the Lateness of this post. Today I found out that a friend of many many years passed away. She was still in her 30’s and has 3 teenage boys. It was sudden and came as a complete and total shock to all of. It’s nothing that could be prepared for. She just was gone so quickly.
It kind of drives home, to me anyway, that so many people fight so hard against love. Who should love Whom. Whether or not those people should be allowed to be together, or be married, or live if they are attracted to each other. Love is love and it’s rare and deserves to be cherished and respected, whether it’s between two men, two women, a man and a woman, a polyamorous relationship, between a transman and a woman.. or a transman and a man or a transwoman and a man, or transwoman and a woman… or two transpeople. It shouldn’t matter to anyone else who someone loves, based on that type of criteria. All that should matter is that they love.
Life is too short to be anything other than yourself. Sometimes I think that people that take chance after chance after chance on love are some of the bravest people there are. I, myself, am not really that way. I’m cautious and fearful of letting people in. Yes, those people that seem to “fail” at love get hurt. Sometimes, a lot, but they have this wonderful HOPE that something wonderful is out there waiting for them. I envy that. I envy that hope.
And for those out there getting ready to thump your bible. Please remember that the man that you purport to follow believed in love and forgiveness, and extending that love to everyone, even those others felt were taboo and undesirable. Maybe instead of concentrating so hard on how these people are different, then we should concentrate on why they are the same. No matter what your Color, ethnic background, religion, gender, or sexuality… we are all human beings, we all need to food, water, shelter and LOVE to truly thrive in this world. How is it going to hurt you to allow someone the same courtesy that you are afforded. No one is attacking your religion. We just don’t want it ruling our lives.
Keep love people. Keep living. Keep your heads UP and your hearts OPEN.
So I guess what I’m saying is
Photo Blog: Kisses
K is for Kissing
I own none of these photos, if any belong to you, please message me and I will happily attribute or remove (whichever you’d like) I think kissing is amazing. It’s beautiful and it doesn’t matter the genders of those doing it. 🙂 That’s probably why my review blog is Smocher’s Voice. HA!
J is for Joy:
This is non-lgbt related. This is life related, and it’s going to be extremely short.
Too many times we forget to take joy from our lives. We get so busy with deadlines and what needs to be done that we forget why wer are doing it. So I’m going to post some happy videos and if any made you smile feel free to comment. 🙂 Wishing you JOY today.!!
I is for Ignorance and Intolerance:
Ignorance is no longer a valid excuse for being a hateful human being. If you can access the internet, you have, at your fingertips, almost unlimited information. Choose to educate yourself, especially on topics you are afraid of, on topics that make you angry or uncomfortable. Knowledge is power. As much as it annoys me to listen to some uneducated prick prattle on about what his “GOD” has to say about what I do or do not do in my bedroom, I try not to let his ignorance cause me to have a violent or vitriolic reaction. Because me reacting to his ignorance and intolerance towards me would cause people to say I was being intolerant of his religious beliefs.
Let me explain something to you. When you are using your religion as a weapon to destroy and demean other people then you are the one who suffers. Eventually, we will evolve past the need to whack people over the head with biblical texts, that are taken out of context to begin with. Intolerance and ignorance is UGLY and Hateful, and if you belief so much in the God you purport to, then it is you that might be surprised when you get to Judgment Day.. That, of course, being said isn’t what I truly believe.
Ask yourself if holding on to your beliefs so hard makes you a better person. Does it? Does it make me LESS of a person that the next person? (Hint: the answer to the second question is HELL NO) Your beliefs take nothing away from me as a human being. Just like my ability to marry my girlfriend, or for my friend to marry his boyfriend takes NOTHING away from your beliefs. As evidenced, the world is changing, becoming more accepting. Someday you will have been standing on the wrong side of history.
H is for Health:
Let’s face it. Many LGBT people are either uninsured or under-insured. A scary prospect when in our community we are at higher risk for some things. Yes, HIV/AIDS is on the list but that’s not all. We are at higher risk for depression, anxiety disorders, alcoholism and drug addiction. All of these things can lead to other diseases and addictions.
How many people in the LGBT community DON’T have some sort of baggage. Not many. I’m not going to get into statistics, or details. You can check out the CDC website for all sorts of pertinent information about risks etc. The thing is that we have take care of ourselves, because believe it or not, that younger generation is watching what we do.
Let’s briefly talk about sexual health. I don’t know how many times, how many ways I can SCREAM this from the rooftops. PROTECT YOURSELF!! Don’t rely on someone else to take the initiative when it comes to your sexual health. Carry your own condoms, even if you aren’t the one using them. USE THEM.. Make sure your sexual partner uses them. Ladies.. Seriously Condoms on the toys, Dental Dams. Latex gloves. and for EVERYBODY: Know your status. Get tested regularly for HIV and STI’s. No seriously, your life could depend on it.
My Transgender women.. You are at the HIGHEST rate and risk for HIV. Protect yourselves ladies, you are worth it.
And if you get infected: please seek treatment.
Okay onto Depression: There is no shame in seeking help. Some burdens are far too heavy to carry on your own. Having depression and getting treatment doesn’t make you weak. It makes you damned smart. If you feel like harming yourself please, please, please call 1-800-273-8255 (the National Suicide Prevention Hotline) or you can access their website here http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ You are needed and wanted, please don’t snuff your light out too soon.
Alcohol and Drug addiction: Oh this subject hits close to home for me. I am an alcoholic. It is something I struggle with daily, even almost 10 years past the last time I was fall on my ass crazy drunk. I’m a happy drunk. I was a functioning one, but I decided that I didn’t want to live my life at the bottom of a bottle, I got help and I got sober. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. You have to want it. You have to want it for yourself. It’s not something you can do for anyone else. You have to wake up EACH DAY even ten years later and decide that you are going to get through it clean and sober. If you can’t do it a day at a time, You do it hours, minutes, seconds at a time until you are strong enough. Addiction is sneaky. It creeps up on you. Especially if you are doing well. The moment that you let your guard down there it is whispering in your ear ready to slip back in like it never left. Many of us use substances to numb ourselves to our inner pain. Let me tell you, as soon as you are sober, that pain will be there waiting for you. You have to face your demons and rip them out of your soul if you have to. Often times though especially if you are dealing with trauma, you have to learn to accept yourself as you are. to love yourself AS YOU ARE, flaws and all. You have to learn to love the skin you’re in because if you can’t love yourself, You can’t love anyone else.
I think I’ve gotten a little off track, but you get the point, I hope. I love you all. You are beautiful. You are worth it. You are amazing. ❤