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I promise I’m happy for you, it’s just that…

Oh, look. Another photo album has been shared.

Wedding pictures? How nice.

Your newborn child is all dressed up for Easter? Adorable.

I’m happy for you, I really am.

But those things?

That ceremony. That baby. And all the pictures.

I want those things.

I want those things so badly that it hurts.

When I look at the things I want in my future, there are two things that stand above everything else.

I want to get married to Ryan, and I want to be a father.

I want those things so badly that I feel an irrational anger well up inside me.

Because those are things that are easy and automatic for you, and you don’t even realize it. I’m not talking about the difficulty of planning a wedding or taking care of a child. I’m talking about how difficult it is to get to the point where you’re faced with that difficulty.

I know that I could have a party, and we could call it a wedding. We could even drive to Iowa, or fly to New York (or Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, DC or New Hampshire). But after the music has faded and the food has gone cold and we’ve returned home, we’ll be exactly where we were before.

Because in Kansas, it means nothing. That piece of paper that we’d have signed in the presence of some official is only worth the paper it’s printed on.

And while standing in front of my family and friends (and I do hope most of you would want to be there, because it will be a fabulous event) is important, it’s the other part that’s more important to me.

It’s about the legal protections that come from being a married couple. It’s about hospital visitation and tax returns. It’s about health insurance and Social Security benefits. It’s about Family leave and survivor benefits. It’s about not listing Ryan as ‘cohabitant’ on a form as if we’re just two roommates. And it’s about being equal. That the two of us are just as equal as my brother and his wife, and my cousin and her husband, and my parents.

It seems that last week conspired to remind me over and over again of the diffficulties that Ryan and I can face because the State of Kansas has decided that we’re not allowed to be married. There were a series of tv shows that we regularly watch that featured situtations that could easily happen to us in an emergency situation. And then there was this video, telling a true story:

Oh, and that adorable baby you keep posting pictures of? It’s precious, but only reminds me how much harder I’m going to have to work to become a father. There’s the fact that both surrogacy and adoption are expensive, and we’re not in a place where it’s feasible and there are no “happy accidents” for us. Then, we’ll have the added problems caused by the ambiguous laws in our home state regarding adoption by two men, that could leave my potential parenthood in the hands of judge who hardly knows me.

So excuse me, if I just don’t seem that excited about your good news.

I don’t begrudge your happiness, and part of me is really and truly happy for you.

It’s just that it reminds me of what’s beyond my grasp.

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Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Back with a mission

I need to speak up.

Some of you didn’t know of this blog’s existence before now, because I’ve kept Facebook separated from my larger presence on the internet. No longer.

So from now on, the posts that appear here will be cross-posted to Facebook for all my old high school friends, college acquaintances, current/former co-workers and family to see.

If you’ve landed here for the first time, please go back, read past posts, and welcome.

 
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Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Challenger

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster. Someone shared the story of one of the astronaut’s whose life was cut short on that morning. And I wanted to pass it along.

Astronaut’s Brother Recalls A Man Who Dreamed Big

McNair was only the second African-American to visit space. He’d been there once before, aboard a Challenger mission in 1984. On that trip, he played his saxophone while in orbit.

As his older brother, Carl, recalls, McNair started dreaming about space in South Carolina, where he grew up. And he wanted to study science. But first, he needed to get his hands on some advanced books. And that was a problem.

“When he was 9 years old, Ron, without my parents or myself knowing his whereabouts, decided to take a mile walk from our home down to the library,” Carl tells his friend Vernon Skipper.

The library was public, Carl says — “but not so public for black folks, when you’re talking about 1959.”

I’ve always believed the NASA and space exploration are as much about hope and inspiration as scientific discovery. Stories like this one are why we must keep looking beyond our horizons. Because when we accept that Earth is just a small part of a larger universe, it might just make us see past what makes us different and focus on moving forward together.

 

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Asking, Telling

A piece from the Washington Blade interviewing gay servicemembers and how they’ll handle the impending end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

The co-director of OutServe, a global network of LGBT service members, who goes by the alias J.D. Smith to avoid being outed under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” said he’s already seeing an “interesting trend” of gay service members starting to come out to their families and others with whom they’re close.

“I think the process is people are coming out to people in their units,” Smith said. “People are coming out to their close friends that they trust because they know that it’s about to happen, so I think the coming out process in general has begun even with the law still in effect.”

Smith said he knows gay service members who for the first time brought home their significant others over the holidays to introduce them to their families as a result of Obama signing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal.

 Equality marches on.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Marriage

Funny how it seems even more absurd when presented in this format.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

What is enough?

What I fear will happen in the wake of Tucson: Nothing.

Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial and Tucson Shooting Memories – Esquire.

This moment should have been transformational. This should have been a moment of diamond-tipped truth. This is part of who we are. This is a part of our politics. This is something to look at, honestly, and admit to ourselves that, pushed by our own dread and anger, whether or not they are skillfully stoked by demagoguery or not, this is what we can do to each other. This is what we will do to each other.

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Second-Class

Larry Kramer: AIDS is a plague allowed to happen

I won’t say that I agree with all of this piece, but it did make me pause to reflect. And then I read the comments on the article and the vitriol that was spewed behind the anonymity of the internet.

Most striking is the following quote from his article:

— They also tell us we can’t get legally married.

— They also tell us that we cannot legally adopt children.

— They also tell us religions will not recognize us.

— They also tell us we can’t serve our country yet.

— They also tell us our real history cannot be taught in schools.

— They also tell us that gay students cannot organize in schools.

— They also tell us that people who murder us are not committing hate crimes.

— They also tell us we cannot insure our partners.

— They also tell us our partners are not legal.

— They also tell us we cannot have equal opportunities.

— They also tell us we can’t kiss each other or hold each other’s hands in public.

— They also tell us that our Supreme Court doesn’t want to know about any of this, doesn’t want to make us free and equal, doesn’t want to honor the Bill of Rights.

If you want to know why AIDS is a plague, I have just told you why.

Welcome to Second-class America.

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2011 in Uncategorized