HRC Names Sally Field “Ally of the Year”

This is a powerful speech by a mother about celebrating her sons, gay and straight both.  She says it best, some kids are gay “So the fuck what!”

 

It Gets Better – Dave

“It doesn’t just get better, it gets amazing… Don’t miss out!”

It Gets Better – Marcos

httpV://youtu.be/9-uU3Ym1tlw

Marcos from Brasil posted this video.  His English is halting at times, but his message is clear… “My family, they not like it much, but they are my family.  They have to accept me for who I am.”

 

 

Wonderful Video by Joseph, and why he lived.

A beautiful video by Joseph, a 16 year old gay kid from Tennessee.   Its six minuets of him talking… you don’t want to miss it.  Bring your hankie.

“One day I want to be a dad and a husband”.  What a nice goal!

It Gets Better Video – Dan Savage and His Husband Terry

this is the video that started the It Gets Better Project:

It Gets Better: Austin Police Department

My Biases Almost Made Me Miss Something So Good

I was going through some of the blogs I follow this morning.  Its been one of those busy weeks and I am a bit behind on everything, so I was racing through the headlines from The Advocate.  I usually like to take my time and at least skim each article, but I was in a hurry – I almost passed up the post titled Gay Police Officers Have a Message for Texas and LGBT Youth - Why?  Because I am prejudiced against Texas.  I know I am wrong, but whenever I hear the name of that state the words that pop up in my head are, bigotry, christianists, backward, ignorant, spiteful, and the worst thought of all, George W. Bush.  I try not to go there, but most items I see about the state are about hate, homophobia, anti-science, pro gun, pro capital punishment…. so I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, to look for something good from our largest state, because I know it is full of good meaning, kind and thoughtful people.  So I clicked on the article, and was pleasantly surprised.

It Gets Better Project

Most of you probably know or have at least heard of the It Gets Better Project – a series of videos inspired by Dan Savage and his husband, Terry Miller.  After a rash of gay teens took their own lives, Dan and Terry shared a video about their own experiences as teens, and how, after high school, things got better… much better.  The movement started and thousands of gays, lesbians, bisexual, transgendered and straight people began to post videos – some famous and some just average folks – all sending the message that each person is wonderful and sticking around is worth it, because live does get better.

I followed the videos for a while – Most were very powerful.  Some were sad.  Some were sweet.  All were worth my time.  Its been awhile since I’ve seen one, and the one above did one so many of the videos I’ve seen before did.  It made me cry.  I cried because it reminded me of my own pain as I came to terms with my sexuality as well as the relief and happiness I found after I came out and began showing the world – and myself – that being gay is not a bad thing.  That being me is not a bad thing.  I decided I’d like to share some of these videos here on this blog.  I hope if you haven’t seen them, you will enjoy them and pass them along.  And if you have seen them, maybe taking a second look will rekindle your interest in this amazing project that has helped so many people have hope.

A good reminder

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Am I Better Off Now? – Post two

Last week I posted about whether I was better off now than I was four years ago as a gay man.  You can read that post here.  The answer was an absolute “yes”.  Now I need to really look at my live from a financial standpoint and ask the same question.

Am I better off now financially than I was 4 years ago?

The first area to look at is income.  I am a private practice speech-language pathologist working with disabled children in their homes.  I have recently started a greeting card business, but that is still in the start-up phase, so we’ll take that out of the equation.

My income is approximately the same.  I got divorced in 2010, but I was paying my ex-wife the same alimony and child support as I was in 2008, when we were legally separated.  So although my taxable income is less since my ex-wife and I no longer file jointly, the overall income between the two of us is the same.  My husband’s income from his part-time job is about the same as well.  As a foreign student here from Canada on a student visa, he is only allowed to work 20 hours, which works out well since he is in school full-time.

Tax rates have not changed, thanks to President Obama fighting to keep taxes low until the economy has improved.

My outflow has increased because my daughter has started college, but my child growing up cannot be blamed on any political party.  My husband’s tuition has increased, but that tends to happen regardless of the economy.  So my outflow is more, but not because of any one policy.

Taxes – Here’s where I have an issue.  Before 2011, I filed jointly with my ex-wife.  Now, because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a law the  Obama administration has refused to defend because it is unconstitutional (as has been found by numerous federal judges), I am not allowed to file jointly with my lawfully wedded husband.  I understand that, since there is a constitutional amendment in Colorado, my marriage cannot be recognized here, but state taxes impact me far less than federal taxes.  Because we cannot file jointly, I miss out on many deductions afforded straight married couples, including claiming Michael’s tuition and medical expenses (he had a serious surgery in 2011 which has been a huge out of pocket expense).  I cannot even claim him as a dependent.  Basically, even though we have a valid marriage license from the state of New York, we are treated by the government as complete strangers.

The impact on my personal taxes in 2011 was huge.  Can I blame Obama for that?  No.  Who can I blame?  John Boehner and the other GOP leaders who are using large sums of tax payer money to defend a law that is, according to liberal and conservative justices alike, based solely on animus toward the LGBT community.

So I guess overall I am not better off than I was four years ago, but be sure I will never vote for someone who not only does not recognize my rights as an American citizen, but has pledged to the religious right that he will do everything in his power to make sure that those rights are denied by a Constitutional Amendment.  Do we really need a leader who wants to right discrimination into our constitution?  I sure don’t.

Telling It Like It Is – A Mother worries about what she’ll need to tell her gay son

This article by Amelia from Huffington Post’s Gay Voices should be required reading for every American.  Although written from a parent’s point of view, it beautifully illustrates not only the hardships of growing up  gay in American, but highlights the many ways gays are discriminated against in this country.  This wonderful mother has celebrated her son’s coming out at age 6 (when he told her he was “just like” Blain and Kurt on Glee) and she has been an advocate for gay children ever since.  But being a realist, she has discussed the problems she knows he’ll face in a bigoted world.

I am always amazed at how little my friends know about the inequalities the LGBT community face… but before I came out 5 years ago, I was nearly as ignorant as they are.  Please read this article and pass it on to everyone you know!  As more people understand the challenges we face everyday, the sooner those challenges will begin to fade.  Little by little, the wall of injustice and misunderstanding will be knocked down.

Click here for the entire article

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