By: Karen J.
Co-Publisher, On the
November 4th, the citizens of Maine seemingly voted to
return gays and lesbians to second class citizenship
status. It hurt my feelings when they did it in
California last year and it hurt them all over again this
always believed that I handle situations like this well.
When something or someone tramples on my feelings, my
immediate reaction is to curl up in the corner and do
some serious wound licking. My internal dialogue usually
starts with “who needs them anyway?” and progresses to
something really mature like paraphrasing everyone’s
favorite role model “you won’t have me to kick around
anymore because, straight world, this is my last time
caring what you think”.
okay, I pout. Maybe I’m not all that proud of it, but I’m
getting way too old to go fiddling with my coping
mechanisms. It works for me. And it’s not like I get to
stay there. I’ll have just worked up a good snit and some
email will arrive in my inbox from HRC or The Task Force,
meant to rally the troops to keep fighting the good fight
--- use the defeats to fuel commitment to the cause ---
lots of talk about the progress that’s been made and that
setbacks are inevitable. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Heard it
all before. I’m still miffed.
I get an email from a friend. Charleston has never had a
Pride celebration and she’s decided to change that. Now.
She’s applied for the permits and needs help. Help? Good
grief! Does she have any idea what she’s taking on?
Actually, I’m sure she does. But my friend is from New
York and it has been my experience that when a New York
woman makes up her mind to do something, you have two
choices --- either you get in line to help or you get out
of the way!
I’ll be attending my first Pride Charleston meeting in a
couple weeks. I’m sure there will be more than enough
“chiefs” to head the committees and be in charge of
things. I have vigorously avoided leadership roles my
entire life. I got a peek into a past life once where I
was in charge and managed to get my entire village wiped
out. No, thank you! I will happily be a little worker bee
type --- there are never enough of those to go
as I allowed myself to reengage, my hurt feelings started
to dissipate, and I found myself thinking about this
struggle that we’re in. Many of the leaders of our
community are reexamining strategies and considering
whether we’ve been going about this in the best
of the main issues, I believe, is something I alluded to
in the very beginning --- “citizens of Maine seemingly
voted”. The citizens of Maine didn’t vote. Polls
indicated that the majority favored letting marriage
equality stand. What actually happened --- what happens
over and over all over the country --- is that the
radical fringe is motivated to show up and vote and the
fair-minded folks stay home.
is that? Why is something so significant to a segment of
fellow Americans not important enough to their neighbors
to do something as simple as vote?
me. I’ve been asking myself this same question for years.
I still have my doubts that people I know --- friends and
family, people who I know love me and unconditionally
supported my relationship with my partner --- would
actually go vote. Would they take an hour off of work? Or
miss one of their kid’s school or sport events? I’d like
to think they would but…..
where do we go from here? Do we keep racing from state to
state, trying to outspend the defense of marriage
crusaders? It doesn’t seem to be working --- even though
most of the people in this country say they believe we
deserve equal rights. Do we pressure a supportive, but
extremely beleaguered, president to engage in a battle
that, in all likelihood, he can not win? Not yet,
really easy to be swept away by the blatant injustice.
Our rights should not be subjected to a popular vote. Our
president made a lot of promises during the campaign.
We’re very tired of waiting.
true. But I think it’s important that we keep our eye on
the ball. Do we want to be right or do we want to finally
secure our rights?
marriage is like waving a red flag in front of a bull.
Just like abortion, there will always be those who will
go to any lengths to defeat it. It is a waste of time,
energy and resources to try to change the minds of the
anti-gay crowd. It simply isn’t going to happen. And,
let’s face it; even our friends are dragging their feet.
They claim to be supportive, and I believe they want to
be, but when they pull that curtain and reach for
the lever, I think they’re still struggling. That is,
if they go to the polls.
enough already. I think it’s time we give them the word
“marriage” and take our civil rights in the form of
domestic partnership and go on about our lives. It’s an
incredibly flawed institution with an appalling failure
rate anyway. Let the churches romanticize it as being
blessed by whatever deity they are chartered under and
let the government administer the business of legal
it were all up to me, I’d do away with the whole thing.
There are reasons why the divorce rate is so high and
that doesn’t even take into account all the really
miserable people who stay married. Allowing the state and
the church to bind you to another person has never made
sense to me. There is contract law to take care of all
the property issues and, of course, there should be
liability for children. But why would you want your
relationship with another to be governed by anything but
your feelings? Totally beyond my poor powers of
comprehension. Fortunately, no one is ever going to put
me in charge, so I guess it’s a moot
for those hurt feelings I started off with. When it comes
to genuine equality --- the kind that really counts ---
no referendum, legislative body, court, church,
synagogue, mosque or less than fully supportive friend
has any effect whatsoever on equality. Everyone being up
to speed has never been a prerequisite for
By: Karen J.
Co-Publisher, On the
More often than not, when one of us mentions our “children”,
we are talking about the four-legged members of our household.
We may not know what to expect from the world when we venture
out, but we can always count on totally unconditional love when
we get home. Well, unless we have cats. With cats, there
are conditions. But, they do love us. I’m pretty sure
In return for all they give us, we try to keep them healthy
and happy. Sometimes, though, things we do that we believe are
making them happy are actually putting them at risk. We all
know that we really shouldn’t be feeding our pets anything
other than what comes off the shelf at PetsMart but sometimes
we give in and toss them a little treat. How bad can a couple
nuts be? Or one little M&M? Surely a nice healthy grape
couldn’t hurt and they’re so cute chasing it across the
Well, those nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting,
tremors and hypothermia. That M&M comes with a list of
warnings longer than I want to type and includes death. And if
they eat that grape after playing with it, that little one that
comes alive when you walk in the door can end up with kidney
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. Maybe that’s
true. But I’d like to think that I’m not too old to learn. My
track record with regard to this is pretty awful. Fortunately,
there’s a lot of helpful information out there that we can take
advantage of. If you would like a good list of things to avoid
giving to “the children”, here’s a great link for the ASPCA.
And while you’re there, I can’t think of anything more worthy
of a donation.
ASPCA - People Food to Avoid Feeding
"The World's Tastiest Brussel
? Here's another healthy
recipe from Ann-Marie that actually sounds good ---
and pretty easy. I had to Google "sugar pumpkins" cause I
didn't have a clue there was more than the
regular Halloween kind but you all are probably way
ahead of me. If you try this, email us
and let us know what you
Co-Publisher, On the Gay
me, cooler weather means it's time for
roasting. Especially veggies. Having the oven
on warms the house like a hearth and slips a fantastic
aroma into your world.
1 small sugar pumpkin
Peel the sugar pumpkin with a potato
peeler. Quarter it. Put it on an oiled or buttered
pan. Sprinkle with a bit of cinnamon and even less
sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 minutes.
Eat with a spoon.