Thursday, August 9, 2012

10 Things Thursday

1.  I don't like to get political on this blog.  That said, I'm going to, so I'm warning you in advance.  Please feel free to skip this number if you like - no hard feelings... 

I live in Texas.  I'm in a same-sex marriage, though Texas does not recognize it (we were married in D.C.). 

My neighbor has a Chick-Fil-A bag taped to the antenna of his truck.

I don't care if you eat at Chick-Fil-A.  I honestly don't.  My ex-bff used to work in their corporate headquarters, so I've known all about their beliefs and business practices for years (and I used to have access to (and take advantage of) an unlimited supply of spicy chicken sandwiches).  I support a privately-held company's right to do whatever they please and promote whatever they want.  I'm a card-carrying member of the ACLU, for crying outloud - free speech for everyone, even if I don't personally agree with you.  Even if the things you say with your free speech are hateful and bigoted.  You still have a right to say them.  And I'll be the first to admit that Chick-Fil-A is super tasty.  I don't take any issue with Chick-Fil-A as a company, with the Cathy family or with anyone who eats there.

I have a problem with the Chick-Fil-A bag taped to my neighbor's truck antenna.  To me, it says way more than "I support a company's right to its own business practices."  To me, it says, "I hate gays."

Even then, I don't really care.  Again, free speech.  I don't care if you hate puppies, kittens and sad-eyed bunnies.  I'll fight for your right to say whatever you want.  No, the thing that bothers me about the Chick-Fil-A bag taped to my neighbor's antenna is that I don't feel like I have the freedom to say something back.  I know I have my own right to free speech, and I know that I could just as easily put a rainbow flag up next to my mailbox to show that not everyone on my street, in my town, in this godforsaken state, agrees with him. 

But just having a right to do so isn't enough.  Putting up that flag, even though my right to do so is protected by the US Constitution, could subject me and my family to a heaping helping of hate and violence.  It could get my house vandalized.  It could endanger my pets, my belongings, my wife and me. 

But him taping that Chick-Fil-A bag to his car antenna, that subjects him to nothing.  That doesn't endanger him.  He can show off his bigotry and stupidity and hatred and the consequences don't terrify him.  Nothing will happen to him.  There's no need for him to fear.

I can't even hold my wife's hand as we walk down the street.  I have a lot of fear.

And that's what bothers me.  He can say, "I hate you and everything you stand for," and I remain silent out of fear.

2.  That was heavy.  Let's lighten it up, okay? 

I broke a nail in the shower this morning and spent the next five minutes trying to untangle the broken nail from my hair.  Lovely!

3.  I'm *so* looking forward to going to Vegas.  I need a vacation.  A vacation that involves slot machines and limo rides, yesssss.

4.  What are your favorite non-carbonated (preferably low-calorie) cocktails?  I'm not a drinker, except in Las Vegas.  I used to be a vodka tonic or vodka soda drinker.  I'm thinking about switching to vodka water and just bringing along a couple of Mios to squirt in for flavor.

5.  My thighs hurt.  A lot.  Two-a-days are kicking my ass.  Yesterday at bootcamp we did a bunch of team relays and then a bunch of "ladder" upper body exercises.  I die.

6.  The pool is (I think) almost fixed.  Maybe I'll get to use it before the summer ends.  Argh.

7.  My parents live back east.  I'm an only child.  Last year, I went home for Thanksgiving and they drove (my father doesn't like to fly during the holidays) to Texas for Christmas.  My mother says they're not coming here this year.  I told her I'm not going back east twice, so they could pick one holiday. Is that wrong?  I just don't feel like I should be the only one making the effort...  Does that make me a bad person?

8.  I feel like I sleep so much better these days.  My wife says I don't snore anymore.

9.  In my morning haze, I got a little too vigorous with my after-shower Q-Tip this morning.  My ear hurts a bit now.

10.  Is it Friday yet?

13 comments:

  1. I think alot of people in Texas are alot more tolerant than you might think. We're not all bigoted cowboys/girls. I say hold your wife's hand. (Obviously, not if you feel unsafe. Just my personal opinion.) I hate that you have to deal with people like that. What do they think, you and your wife are just roommates? (Not that that's unheard of, but seriously. Sigh.)

    When I drink, I usually have vodka and diets, only like 60 calories (from the vodka) and zero carbs. It is the perfect beverage, in my opinion.

    And I don't think you're a bad person. That's alot of traveling. They should make the effort, too... unless they're old and grouchy like my grandparents are.

    ALSO, yay for not snoring anymore. I stopped, too. It was a beautiful thing. Not scared to sleep with my guy anymore. :)

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    1. I certainly don't mean to imply that everyone in Texas is bigoted - I know that's not the case, as I met many wonderful people during my weight loss surgery journey who didn't bat an eyelash when I introduced my wife. And there were areas in my own hometown, just as there are in every city in the world, where I would have been uncomfortable holding my wife's hand.

      On the whole, however, I do find FW to be a hell of a lot more neo-con than where I come from (and what I'm used to). As a gay person, I do feel less safe here. I do feel more defensive. I do worry about violence and gay bashing more here than I ever did in any other place I've lived. I can't really say why I feel that way - maybe it's the gun culture here, maybe it's who the elected officials are, maybe it's the bumper stickers on the trucks, I dunno...

      And yes, a lot of people think that my wife and I are roommates. Or sisters, we get that a lot too. "Y'all sisters? Y'all have a resemblance." Even though she's a foot shorter than me and a pale blond with brown eyes, where I'm a very tan brunette with green eyes. But whatever. On the whole, I let people think whatever they want to think.

      My parents are very active, but also kind of old (mid-60s) and they do tend toward the grouchy.

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  2. Chick-fil-a is anti-gay? How does that work? All chicks are poked with sausages before cooking? Am I missing something cause I'm British? Here was me thinking some idiot had taped the bag to his car as a prank and he couldn't get it off without damaging the paint.
    I'm sorry you don't feel safe. I can't really imagine what that's like but I can understand the predicament you describe. Some people are just ignorant but I think you probably have more support around than you realise. xx

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    1. LOL, I love the mental image of poking chicks with sausages.

      Basically, Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-Fil-A, told a religious publication, that he supports "the biblical definition of the family unit." And then everyone everywhere turned it into this big drama-rama about gays and marriage and free speech and protests and whatnot. In fairness, Chick-Fil-A is and always has been a very conservative organization (when my ex-friend worked there, they had devotion every Monday morning that was "non-mandatory" but you were questioned as to your whereabouts if you skipped). So honestly, I don't find Cathy's statements to be surprising or even really newsworthy. It's all of the kerfuffle that's happened in the wake of those statements that has been silly.

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  3. I'm sorry to hear this story about your neighbor :( There's a HUGE difference in standing for what you believe in and being filled with hate. I feel sad for people who are so small minded that they use religion as an excuse to be hateful. The God I believe in doesn't care who you love as long as you love. *hugs*

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    1. The God I believe in doesn't care who you love as long as you love.

      That's beautiful.

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  4. I hate that you have to look at the bag on that antenna every day. I hate that you don't feel safe enough to tape a rainbow ribbon on your antenna.

    I say you sneak over and tie a rainbow around his bag.

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    1. I do sometimes think about sneaking a rainbow magnet onto his bumper. I wonder how long it would take him to notice...

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  5. I have to admit that when I see people supporting chick filet and standing on line to eat that garbage to prove a point I think they are ignorant fucks. I'm sorry but it makes them look like backward rednecks. Sending you love and the strength not to leave a bag of flaming dog poo on your neighbors porch - but if you want I'll come down there and TP his house - with rainbow toilet paper of course!

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    1. There is something kind of "Huh?" about the whole "I'm going to stuff my face with MSG to prove I hate gays!" attitude.

      LOL at the image of rainbow toilet paper. Love it!

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  6. Riding around with a fast food flyin in the wind is just stupid. My mother is gay and we had to "hide" it (it was the 70's and 80's) when I was growing up. It was such a horrible feeling thinking someone may judge you, or even worse harm you, just because of who you loved. I guess I have been living with rose colored glasses on because until this whole thing with Chik Fil A I really thought things had come a long way since the days of my childhood. Seeing some of the things that people post on fb, or hearing some people talk about supporting them have made me realize we haven't come as far as I thought. Maybe I just thought we had come so far because in my real life I surround myself with people who have similar values as myself.

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  7. We should TP your neighbors house in colored paper. We might get shot at though?"

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  8. Makes me sad about your No. 1 .... It's funny that when I first discovered your blog, I was in awe of your writing style. I am a former newspaper reporter and I am always on the "look out" for great writing and story telling ... which again, I found on your blog. Immediately, (and please take no offense to this) I thought, you were a man .. and I thought 'how cool is this, that this guy is so out there writing so strongly about his feelings, etc... ' ... then I found the post when you talked about your wedding.

    You had described your wife's dress for the special day and here I was reading along thinking you'd say you wore a tux ...and here you wrote something about wearing a jersey dress. And boy did I ever get a chuckle out of that. Again, not in a mean spirited way but in a awe struck way. If that makes any sense. I was like "rock on" sistah's... :)

    I've always said out loud and proud: I do not care if you are short, tall, fat, blind, stick-thin, Muslim, Indian, Baptist, teeth or no teeth, no religion, crippled, gay, or your color of your skin. If you find me interesting enough to hang around, then I'll find something interesting about you. Remember it is all about kindness!

    A little over 20 years ago I was a nanny in Massachusetts. My nanny parents were Canadian Buddhist hippies and both were doctors. In their spare time, they ran an AIDS clinic. We always had gays in our house getting treatments for their AIDS and I was from a sheltered very very Catholic upbringing... that year was the best year of my entire life. I still have fond memories of that experience too.

    When I got home after that incredible year, everything changed for me in how I perceive people, etc ... and I've been on that spiritual journey ever sense.

    I pray and HOPE that one day, we all can live as ONE.

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