Bring ROYGBIV to the Holidays

Dear Hobby Lobby,

Some friends of mine are throwing a “Holla-Gay” party and stopped by your massive store to purchase a few tchotchke’s for the table. I am well aware that holiday festivities colors are traditionally red, green, silver, and gold, but we wanted a little something more, uh, GAY, which we all know at Christmas means “happy”. So I spent no less than 2 hours walking in a zombie state-of-mind past all the shiny things looking for rainbow ANYTHING. I did find “Quilling paper” that had rainbow-colored 1/8″ paper strips. If I was not dizzy and dehydrated from walking around I would have Googled what the hell “Quilling” is, but I didn’t have the strength.

The lack of items containing ROYGBIV made me positive that you must employ people to separate all the red things from the orange things, and the yellow things from the green things, and the blue things from the purple things. Sure there were funny fake Santa beards, and cute elf children that sit on shelves, but when it came to rainbow celebrations- NADA. I know that you think iridescent and tye dye count, but it doesn’t! Yes glitter counts, but everyone knows that.

You are missing out of some very festive shoppers coming to your stores and spending hard earned gay (happy) dollars on your stuff. Let me explain it to you in a way your bean counters might understand. There are 4.6% of Americans that identify as LGBTQ . There are LOTS more that don’t get counted. Half of those who were counted might be in the mood to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus by decorating the house with some rainbow colored baubles. That means 2.3%, or 7,491,100 people want to hang some rainbow ornaments on their tree, or wrap their gay (happy) present with some gay (happy) looking fabulous paper. If every one of those creative people spent a measly $50 (national average is $86, but the LGBTQ population is  underpaid) that would be $374,555,000 extra dollars to make y’all holla!

Here’s my advice for next season. GO BIG! Bring in the Fab 5 to do a Queer Makeover for the Store. Reds and yellows, greens and blues, pinks and purples, ebony and ivory, are all together in perfect harmony.  Hang a disco ball above that sad bell ringer out front and  have some Drag Queens practice “death drops”. They can lip sync all the classics and the lyric, “Don we now our Gay Apparel” will finally make sense!!

BAM.

BLOGGLE, BLOGGLE, Happy Turkey Day

baked pie
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

When I was young, Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday. It was one of those few occasions when as a young girl I could eat as much as I wanted and nobody judged me or made snide remarks about my weight. I was actually encouraged to “save room for pie!”. The day was my kind of day. It wasn’t that I was a “fat kid”, but there was one time where I was wearing a black and white print shirt and my grandmother said, “don’t wear that shirt ever again- you look like a cow”. The irony was that she was my favorite one in the family and usually never said a mean word to anyone. For her to say that to me must have meant that I REALLY needed to hear that.

Now that I’m a grown man, Thanksgiving has different meanings to me. It’s a day where we actually are all on the same page about life and that gratitude is something that we should not take for granted. It’s still a great time to eat as much as I want without someone telling me to “slow down”. Don’t get me wrong, my wife still has to ask me every year why I need to have a piece of every pie, but that’s only because she doesn’t want to die of a massive heart attack. I love her for that, but I’m still gonna eat all the pie I want.

I miss my mothers stuffing the most (that’s what we Yankees call dressing). She passed a few years back but Thanksgiving always reminds me of her. She would always cook too much and then complain that there was not enough food for everyone. She would wake up at 5 am and start cooking a 16 pound turkey and then when it was time to eat would say “she was too tired to eat”. She would never just cook a turkey. One year she made a turkey, a ham, and a lasagna. I asked her why and she said “she didn’t know what everyone wanted”. I said “mom, its Thanksgiving, we want turkey.” She would take a long drag off her cigarette and say” its too late the lasagna is in the oven”.

My grandmother would always make sure there was “color” on her plate which I never understood until many years later. I thought it was some adult code for something I wasn’t supposed to understand. My sister explained to me that it meant “vegetables”. I wonder why she never just said that? My grandfather would bring his  “special drink” which was Metaxa. I think the 39% (78 proof) alcohol helped him cope with the demands of having to wait all day until the women fed him. He was not missed after he was gone.

My father had left us when I was 16, so I don’t really remember him at Thanksgiving. The times when I did visit him on the holiday, he would ask everyone at the table if they wanted a roll “with or without”. Of course all the friends who were there for dinner would have no idea what he was talking about and say “with!”. My father then would grab a roll and stick his stubby finger through it and say “here’s your roll WITH a hole in it!” and everyone would laugh. Of course someone would invariable say “what if I said “without?”. He would grab a roll and stick his stubby finger through it and say “here’s your roll WITHOUT the center!”. Everyone would laugh and laugh and tell us they couldn’t wait to do it to their friends next year. I though it was hilarious the first time, and funny the second time, but a little overdone the 3rd and 4th time. I do admit that from time to time I will do it to an unsuspecting friend, but it really doesn’t go over as well as it did with my father. He’s 74 now, so that’ s a lot of fingers through a lot of rolls.

On this Thanksgiving, our grown children are learning the recipes from our childhood so that maybe next year they will cook for us. We will all say how grateful we are to be together, and I will make sure there is plenty of color on my plate. This will make my wife happy. There will be no ham, and no lasagna, but plenty of rolls.

I will make sure that they are “without” so I have room for pie.

BAM!

 

 

Come out, come out, wherever you are!

The University I work for is situated  somewhere in Oklahoma. For obvious reasons I will not name the University. For the three years I have worked here, I have noticed that this school is color blind. They see, and report black and white just fine, its the colors of the rainbow that they cannot see.

In the 2016, a 62 page Diversity Report was published by the University Community department. The acronym LGBTQIA+  is seen less than 4 times. There are “candid” photos of laughing, smiling black and white faces on the cover and this stat is posted on page 29.

  • Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty, for _____ _______ Campus
    9.6% Asian
    2.4% African American
    2.3% Hispanic or Latino
    1.8% American Indian
    83.4% White
    8% Multiracial
    11% Other

Notice something missing?

To wholly represent a culturally diversity population, statics should include race, ethnicity, age, ability, language, nationality, socioeconomic status, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity. My University refuses to acknowledge that there are non cis-gendered, non straight people employed here. Those that are employed (you know who you are!), for some reason or another choose not to self identify. Why? If not now, when? Visibility is all that stands between us being accepted and us being forgotten and left out.

I am asking all the transsexuals, gays, lesbians, non-binary, queer, gender non-conforming, bisexual,and inter sexed people to come out! PLEASE.

Let them know that we deserve to be counted. BAM!

 

A 1,000 TINY CUTS

hi haters scrabble tiles on white surface
Photo by Shamia Casiano on Pexels.com

Hate is all around us and none of us are exempt.

There was song  a few years back that said “the first cut is the deepest”. What they forgot to tell you is that the first “cut” is also the one that leaves the biggest scar. That “cut” I’m describing is the first time you are verbally attacked for being different. I know this is true because it happened to me.

I unfortunately can remember it very clearly. It was the early 90’s and I was around 27. I was still a woman and had just gotten married and was not at all thinking I would be a target of discrimination. I looked like every other woman with short hair, cargo shorts and a baseball cap. As I was walking into a supermarket, a guy walked by me and said “dyke”, and kept on walking. It stopped me in my tracks. I didn’t know why, but it felt like a slap across the face. At the time I didn’t feel anything but shock. In hindsight I’m sure I was shaken by this because I was called out for what I really was. I knew something was “wrong” with me, but I didn’t know it was THAT .What really sucked was that some crack-head, big chain wallet wearin’ , Asshole felt it necessary to tell me something that I could not tell myself. As a matter-of-fact, I think I have never told anyone that until now.

Over the years more “cuts” or “jabs” were inflicted. I was told that I would burn in hell, never get to heaven, and one day regret “being this way”. The little jabs were always just that – little. Small enough to put a band aid on it and move on. No worries, I thought- right? Wrong.

It has taken me years, and dozens of flashbacks of that asshole to realize that those small cuts have never healed. They my be invisible, but stay raw and hurt like hell when another stab takes place. Years ago, it felt like you could hide from these knife wielders by staying home or frequenting safe places with your friends, but now social media has armed millions with invisible knives taking stabs at you. You can’t avoid it no matter how hard you try. The hate scrolls across the bottom of your TV , it pops up on your Twitter feed, and it takes form on Facebook posts with lots of people jumping in to stab a little more. Politicians stab at you, Evangelicals stab at you. Hate groups stab at you. Hell, even Uber drivers want to tell you kissing your same sex husband or wife is not acceptable and they stab you both before you get out of their car.

I know I will never forget the Asshole that said that to me some 20 years ago, even though I never saw his face. I didn’t have the nerve, or the power, or the insight to say or do anything at that time. If it happened an hour ago, things might have gone differently. I think I would still be shocked, but I wouldn’t stay silent. I would tell him that words cut and I already have a million cuts, and I don’t need any cuts from some mullet-head who probably still lives at home with his Mommy (sorry, still bitter). I would have also told his that the joke’s on him because I wasn’t a dyke at all,  I was really a man!  Wow, that would have blown his Trump lovin’ mind. I’m sure it would have earned me a punch in the face, but it would be worth it because standing up for yourself is the only way those cuts have any chance of closing up and going away.

I do wonder about the Asshole sometimes, but I am sure he has made peace with his homophobia and he and his husband are doing just fine.