Making It Up As We Go Along
By: Karen J.
Co-Publisher, On the
generation, those of us with the foresight to gather our ducks
and try to put them in rows have faced the challenge of
defining and structuring our relationships, followed by the
equally daunting task of seeking or creating the paperwork to
make everything legal. We didn't have many choices.
Often we weren't sure what we
today, as our options change from day to day, and from state to
state, we have a lot more to consider. We
can have domestic partnerships, civil unions, and the legal
mother lode itself: gay
November election will bring is unclear.
Some reduction in our options? Some
expansion of our options? Some
streamlining? Some unity?
Who knows? The short story
is: we cannot count on the federal or state
governments at this point.
Right You Must Protect
right we must legally protect is our right to die in the manner
we wish, often referred to as a living will, a medical
directive or a directive to
briefly shared in the introductory newsletter that I lost my
life partner very unexpectedly due to complications from
emergency heart surgery. But she didn't die
during surgery. She had a massive stroke immediately following
the surgery and died several weeks later.
Because she never spoke again, her medical
directives governed the following months and the decision to
honor what she wanted --- not what the hospital or the doctors
horrible as that experience was for the both of us, I will go
to my grave knowing that it would have been far worse without
that simple piece of paper. (Not to mention that I might well
be writing this from prison, because I would have honored what
I knew were her wishes, no matter what.) The directive
didn't make it perfect --- some doctors were resistant to her
wishes. And, although I was allowed to pay her medical bills, I
was not allowed to pick up her ashes. But, in the end,
her values and the person she was, were both honored. And
that was what mattered most to me.
How Prepared Are You?
have this particular duck lined up? Don't
wait to make your wishes or your partner's wishes
known. Don't ask your loved ones to shoulder
that burden. Make your wishes legal and
binding by having medical and financial directives
executed. Make an appointment with your
attorney today or check out the sites
be the most loving thing you ever do.
Advance Directives from Rainbow Law This is a
gay-owned business and even offers a free service for
Medical Powers of Attorney & Living Wills
from NOLO Press
This site provides
affordable, plain-English books, forms and software on a wide
range of legal issues, including products for the gay
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Running From Your Center
On the Gay
aligned with what you're doing?
practice ChiRunning. One of its principles
is to bring everything to our center and point it in the
direction we're moving.
for a moment how important that is.
from point A to point B, it's most efficient if everything
moves toward the goal. If our move is business-oriented,
that means our plan must align with our direction. Our
employees. Our finances. Our advertising. Our
move is health-oriented, we need to align our desire with our
actions. Our pantry with our goal. Our attitude
with our dream. Our schedule with our
everything is centered --- aligned --- success happens.
The path becomes friction-less --- the path of least
resistance, like a current, surging forward.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
Singled Out --- Single Again?
I write this, the room I am in is lit by my
Itty-Bitty-Book-Light. So, basically, I'm sitting in the
dark. Life hasn't been the same since Hurricane Ike
roared through here a week and a half ago. Up until
yesterday, I had power. I lost it the night of the storm
but had it restored after a few days. I was so happy when
I heard the hum of my refrigerator and felt cool air
coming from the AC vents!
All of a sudden I could do so many things that I
hadn't been able to --- it was wonderful! Then, in a
flicker, it was gone. And somehow this is far worse. It's
just my neighborhood this time, not everyone. So, it
feels personal. Almost as if we were singled
Of course, my loss of electricity is not
personal. As they fix one area they are creating problems
in others. Our power will be restored in
What is happening in California with Proposition
8, however, is about as personal as it gets. And, not
merely personal --- it goes against those things that are
supposed to be most dear to us.
violates the very principle upon which this country was
"We hold these truths to be
self-evident: That all men are created equal; that they
are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable
rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the
pursuit of happiness..."
violates the scriptures that Proposition 8 backers claim to
live by. Jesus taught that right after loving God, the most
important commandment is:
"Thou shall love thy neighbor as
And it's just plain mean-spirited. No matter
what you feel about gay marriage, how could anyone not be
moved by the happiness in the faces of those thousands of
couples who were finally able to step forward and have
their love and commitment to each other
How much damage will be done if that is taken
away? How would the women in this country feel if we took
a vote and their right to vote was taken away? How would
African-Americans feel if we took a vote and tomorrow on
the way to work they had to once again sit at the back of
When any one of us is made to feel "less than"
it diminishes us all. It is simply
So, what do we do?
If you live in California, you vote --- you vote
early and you vote often! If you know someone in
California, you make sure they understand just what is at
stake. You write letters to the media. You volunteer with
the organizations that are working so hard on behalf of
And, if you can not do any of those things, make
a donation through an organization like the
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
that is specifically targeted to defeating
Protect the Freedom to Marry in
Because if they lose in