I have a confession to make. This isn't easy, but I am done allowing my shame to control my life.
I have basically been living in shame for a decade.
10 YEARS of hiding, isolating myself from the world, and basically hating myself.
I've been afraid to meet new people, make new friends, and I've even felt horribly uncomfortable around family. Yes, I avoid my own family out of fear of judgement. I still show up to Holidays and family functions, but I always hide in a corner, clinging to my husband, and pray that no one speaks to me.
I have repeatedly turned down press trips and amazing paid opportunities, simply because I couldn't bring myself to face the world.
I'm done hiding now. I'm done allowing my own fears and insecurities rob me of truly LIVING.
So....Here it goes....
If you are a friend on Facebook, you probably know that I'm an extreme introvert. Most people, until very recently, didn't know WHY.
And now, I find myself in a very scary situation that could literally mean the difference between life or death. I am facing something that could literally end up killing me, and I am very, very afraid.
Here's some back story to bring everyone up to date with how this need came about, and why it's so urgent for me.
First, let me say I TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MESS I AM IN.
A lot of it is beyond my control, but some is because of choices that I have made.
I CHOSE to act in a way that created an eating disorder. I didn't choose to allow it to take over my life and damage my body, but I DID choose to make the initial jump into that destructive behavior. For that, I take full responsibility.
I CHOSE to get married way too young and stayed far too long with a man who wasn't good to me. I was a child, and didn't have the ability to see that this was an AWFUL decision. For that, I take full responsibility.
I CHOSE to put my own needs on the backburner to make sure my kids had food in their bellies and a roof over their heads. While this is not a choice I regret, I realize that putting my own needs to the side allowed things to get progressively worse, landing me in the scary situation I'm in now. For that, I take full responsibility.
Still, allow me to explain how things got this bad.
In order to escape a less than ideal home environment, I got married WAY too young to a man who ended up being very controlling and abusive. He basically told me I was ugly, worthless, and disgusting on a daily basis, which ultimately led to an eating disorder in hopes of finally being "good enough". During the years I was married to him, I also lacked in proper medical and dental care. You see, his father is a doctor, so if anyone got sick, he would just write a prescription, no visits needed.
In some ways, this was a good thing...Any sinus infections, strep, etc were treated quickly and very affordably. In other areas, such as dental care, it ended up being very bad...This wasn't his area of expertise, so any dental needs were put on the backburner.
Eventually I found the courage to leave my abusive relationship. At the time, I had a small child, and his needs came before my own. My mounting issues were getting worse, but there wasn't anything I could do about it. I had a child to care for, so I was never able to save up to take care of myself.
I remarried a wonderful man, and have been married to him for 8 years now. During that time, we've welcomed 2 more children to our family. We couldn't be happier, and I am so grateful every day that I'm finally in a healthy relationship and environment.
While I am happy with my marriage and my family, I'd be lying if I said we don't struggle. Like many American families, we live paycheck to paycheck, and often struggle to make ends meet.
We're also stuck in a very awful place as far as medical insurance goes...One I am sure a lot of folks can relate to. While we both work, we do not make enough to afford even the crappiest plans in the ACA. The premiums and deductibles would kill us, and we wouldn't be able to afford to put food on the table. (This is why I am a HUGE advocate for a Single Payer Healthcare system.)
The kids are covered by Medicaid. Here in Ohio, getting coverage for children is easy. For adults? That's another story. We make JUST BARELY too much to qualify for any assistance for my husband or myself. That means that if anything happens to US, we're basically screwed.
Whew...Okay...Deep breath...Here's the embarrassing part for me...I get to explain what's wrong, and what I need to do to fix it.
I have very serious dental issues. This came from lack of dental care for many years, abuse and neglect, as well as several years of being Bulimic. I have beaten the Bulimia, thank God, but the damage has been done, and there's nothing I can do to take it back. Believe me, I wish I could.
I have had fillings come out, leaving my teeth very weak. I didn't have the money or insurance to cover root canals or crowns, so several teeth ended up literally just shattering. Of course once this happens, there's a domino effect, and the surrounding teeth also get weak and end up becoming damaged.
So now, I am left in a very bad place. I am in constant pain, and my teeth are just getting worse and worse. Most of my molars are either cracked or broken all the way to the gumline, with the root still exposed. The ones that aren't that severe are also showing signs of damage. It's just a matter of time before they end up like the others.
The damage in my molars has become so severe that now my front teeth are also showing signs of weakness. It hurts to eat. Sometimes it feels like certain teeth are starting to come loose. I try my best to "baby" them, but there's only so much I can do when there's so much damage already there.
Anyone who knows what a severe toothache feels like knows that the pain is absolutely excruciating. In my case, it's not one tooth causing the pain, it's several. My pain gets so severe that I cannot function. Just the other day, I was shaking uncontrollably, sobbing, and I even blacked out because it was simply too much to handle.
After that episode, my husband was very worried. He went back to the Medicaid office to try again to qualify, and we got rejected, once again.
A secondary, but far less important issue that relates to this is that it affects my confidence greatly. I am so embarrassed that I have become somewhat of a hermit. I am afraid to meet new people, and even afraid to be around extended family in fear of being judged. This has held me back in so many ways, both personally and professionally.
I have had to turn down a lot of opportunities out of the desire to remain "invisible".
One of my biggest dreams is to run for some kind of office. I am an Activist, and care very much about humanity and the awful state we're in right now. I have the knowledge and the passion, as well as the desire to do good and help create REAL CHANGE....But the fear of opening my mouth to speak trumps all of that. No pun intended. One of my biggest hopes is to help the cause for universal healthcare, so people like me and many others don't have to suffer. No one's life should be at risk because they don't have a few thousand dollars. Human life is worth so much more than that!
I am really starting to get scared. I know that poor dental health is life-threatening, and can cause some extremely serious health problems. People can and DO die from this. I am only 35, and I don't want to die prematurely simply because I don't have the money to fix this problem, once and for all. My overall health is already suffering, and I would love to be able to stop it before this ends up taking my life.
There are a lot of options out there, but I am seeking the most cost-effective one. While I'd love to get veneers, crowns, and single dental implants, that would be insanely expensive, and will never happen.
I have basically resigned myself to the fact that the damage is so severe that it's easier and cheaper to get dentures.
God, I hate even typing that...It's humiliating beyond belief...Seriously, just typing this fact makes me cry, and feel absolutely and completely humiliated.
But honestly, it's the most attainable and realistic solution. The last time I saw a dentist, which happened to be for an emergency extraction, he even said the same thing...I just wasn't ready to accept it, and continued to put it off. I didn't have the money, and I didn't want to accept that the damage was THAT severe. Well, I accept it now. With the amount of pain I am in on a daily basis, I have no choice.
This is something that I have kept hidden for YEARS. No one knew about my pain, or the struggles I am facing. The other day, another tooth broke, making it very hard to eat. I came to the realization that I can no longer ignore this, and that I have to stop hiding. It's time that I take my life back, and the first step of that is opening up, being honest, and being willing to talk about this.
It took all the courage I could muster, but I opened up to my Facebook friends about this problem. I was so afraid....I seriously thought that no one would want to speak to me anymore, or that people would judge me very harshly. When someone tells you you're ugly, worthless, and that no one could ever really care about you...When it's drilled into your head for years...Well, you start to believe it. This is what my ex did, and while I thought I had moved past those issues, I am realizing that he still has some fucked up level of control over my thinking. Abuse, especially emotional abuse, is something that is very hard to just get over.
I've heard everything.....There are SO many stereotypes about people with bad teeth....I have had people make unfair assumptions that I am on drugs. (I'm not. I've never touched hard drugs in my life, and am afraid to even take prescription painkillers because I've seen the things addiction can do.) I have had people think I must be "nasty" or "dirty", and that's not the case, either. I brush. Always have. But when damage starts, it's hard to keep it at bay, especially when you can't afford to go to the dentist.
So anyway...I was so scared to finally tell the truth. So, so scared....But I did it.
I poured my heart out, and was brutally honest about what I am going through. I was ready to be laughed at, ridiculed, and basically made the butt of many jokes...
But you know what? Much to my amazement, that didn't happen. I've found nothing but love and support.
I've even had several friends, who I never even knew wear dentures, tell me about their experiences and struggles. They told me stories about their own shame, their own journey, and how there IS a light at the end of the tunnel, and a new life waiting for me, should I work hard to make it a reality.
I realized that I am not alone, and that I shouldn't allow this deep shame to control my life anymore.
The first step to healing my own emotional scars and fears is to be open. To be honest. So I'm doing just that.
If my story can help someone....ANYONE...It will be worth it. Particularly women or girls who have struggled with an eating disorder. I know firsthand how secretive in nature eating disorders are...I know how they begin...You think you're gaining control, when in reality, the disorder takes over completely.
My struggles with Bulimia are a large part of the reason my teeth are in such horrible condition. Please, realize that even though you WILL lose weight, eating disorders are deadly and can have very negative effects on the body...From internal organ damage to digestive issues to severe dental problems like mine. Or...even worse...They can be fatal.
I was lucky. I fought the Bulimia Dragon and won...But I am still dealing with the consequences of that, and even years later, the quality of my life suffers immensely. For 10 YEARS I have hidden from the world. I have isolated myself out of extreme shame and embarrassment. Life in a "bubble" has been my reality.
I have decided that I'm no longer accepting this, and I am going to work hard to take my life back, once and for all.
Yes, it's going to take some time to save the money for my dentures. Yes, I will likely have to get a part time job on top of my blogging and homeschooling. Yes, I will likely have to run myself ragged and work 3rd shift at a gas station, IF they will even hire me with awful teeth...But I am willing to do whatever I need to do to reclaim my life. I deserve it, and more importantly, my kids deserve it. I don't want to die prematurely when it is preventable.
This is step one. Sharing my story. Speaking openly about not only my dental problems, but also about my battle with Bulimia.
If I can prevent just ONE person from heading down the road I took, it will all be worth it.
And if you're in the same boat as I am, please know that I am always here to listen, and that you are not alone.
Thanks for "listening". And please, keep any comments positive. I am very emotional right now, and really can't take any cruelty or bullying. My goal is to finally feel BETTER and build confidence, not feel worse. I am determined, and I am finally optimistic for the first time in many years.
From the Ashes We Bern GREEN: The Revolution Continues with Dr. Jill Stein #JillStein #JillNotHill #Revolution
It's no secret that for the past year, I've been Feeling the Bern. BIG TIME.
In fact, not only did I Feel the Bern, I spent countless hours phonebanking, donated a good amount of money to Bernie Sanders and several down-ticket "Berniecrats", and I attended as many rallies and watch-parties as my schedule would allow. I would talk about Bernie to anyone and everyone who would listen.
You see, Bernie Sanders awakened the masses to the many problems we face as a nation that our lovely MSM fails to report upon: Income and racial inequality...the looming climate crisis...the unintended consequences of war....And of course, the impact that big money interests have had on our political process, thanks to the Citizens United SCOTUS ruling.
Bernie lit a fire in millions of people, and made us actually start CARING about what happens behind closed doors in our government. He made us see just how badly we're being screwed over. He made us crave REAL change, and he made us stand up and FIGHT for this change.
Bernie said a Revolution was needed, and a Revolution is exactly what he got. There were HUGE marches all around the nation for Bernie...The rallies he held attracted TENS of thousands of people. There has never been this much support for any candidate in our recent history.
Sadly, due to the obscene levels of fuckery within the DNC, Bernie Sanders did not gain the nomination for President. He SHOULD have...HE was who the PEOPLE wanted...But as WikiLeaks has proven, the system was rigged. No matter what we wanted as a collective, Bernie never had a chance. And now, our hero has fallen on his own sword for US...He has been silenced...I have my own theories about this, but that's a different post entirely.
The moral of the story? You can't have a Revolution inside a counter-revolutionary party.
Many news stories are claiming that 90% of Sanders supporters are now supporting Hillary. I'm sorry, but I am calling bullshit here. As a member of countless activist groups who sees a LOT of political discussion, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that these numbers are GROSSLY inflated. In fact, the vast majority of Berners that I have come across are now supporting the ONLY candidate that shares Bernie's vision and his values.
Berners are rallying behind Dr. Jill Stein.
Recently, we got the opportunity to attend a Jill Stein Rally here in my little hometown in Ohio. We were SO excited to see Jill in person, since we've spent the past few months getting to know her through YouTube videos and lots of research online. Jill Stein's platform is nearly identical to Bernie Sanders', so shifting to the Green Party was seamless, painless, and a no-brainer for us.
Jill is the ONLY candidate with whom we can continue fighting for the things that matter most to the American people, such as health care and education as a right, an aggressive plan to combat climate change, and creating 20 million new jobs right here in the US.
In preparation for the rally, we made a few signs, and even went and bought Jill some roses and a card, just to say THANK YOU for being a light in all of this darkness. Sophie, my 6 year old, even got green streaks in her hair to further show support.
When we arrived at the rally, we found our seats and patiently waited. Of course this is always tricky with small kids. Someone ALWAYS seems to have to go to the bathroom. This time, it was Sophie. I grabbed her and headed to locate a restroom....We entered a lobby area, and just as we did, JILL STEIN was entering the building! What AMAZING timing!
Sophie ran up to Jill and gave her the flowers and card. She also said "Thank you for caring about my future." Jill then gave Sophie a nice, big hug and took the time to talk to her for a few minutes. She actually knelt down and got to my daughter's level, which to me, spoke volumes.
I was a nervous wreck since this meeting was completely unexpected, but I did get a few pictures. I apologize for the fuzziness, but my hands were shaky! Some women turn into gushing fangirls for Channing whats-his-name... I become a gushing fangirl for people who inspire me, like Jill Stein.
We then went back into the conference area and waited for the event to start. I live in a small town, that happens to be largely Republican. Still, Jill was able to attract around 300 people, which with very little media attention, is pretty darn impressive!
When it was finally time for Jill to speak, the room was packed. We were lucky, and had seats right up front.
Jill spoke about so many things that matter....
Addressing the vast racial inequality in our nation, and fixing a for profit criminal justice system that disproportionately incarcerates people of color....
Addressing the Green New Deal that would not only aggressively combat climate change, but also create 20 MILLION new jobs in clean energy....
Switching over to a single-payer healthcare system that would allow medical care as a human right for ALL of us, regardless of income....
Investing in education by offering tuition-free higher education, and also canceling student debt using a "magic trick" called quantitative easing...
Offering a PEACE OFFENSIVE to fight terrorism. Rather than continuing to bomb other nations into oblivion and kill countless civilians, we should STARVE terrorism by cutting off funding and weapons deals for countries that violate international human rights laws. (Because bombing people hasn't made us safer...It's made us LESS SAFE!)
And of course, Jill Stein is all for ending the disaster that is Citizens United, reinstating Glass-Steagall, and getting big money influence out of our political process once and for all.
Jill wants our government to serve US....The PEOPLE...Not the corporations whose greed has gotten us into the mess we're in.
Jill also addressed the many smear campaigns that are trying to damage her credibility.
NO, Jill Stein is NOT anti-vaxx.
Jill just supports ongoing scientific research to ensure that any and ALL medications or vaccines are safe. She also wants to remove the influence of big pharma and food corporations when determining safety. This is SO crucial, considering these very corporations have knowingly harmed people in the name of profit. (Look up what happened with Vioxx. This drug was causing heart problems, and the FDA KNEW about it, and sat on that info while more and more people got sicker.)
Jill also addressed the rumors that she is against the use of WiFi. This is SILLY, and is completely untrue. Jill is a firm believer in freedom of information, and supports the use of the internet to educate people. It's a very valuable tool, and Dr. Stein knows this.
As far as WiFi goes, she has said in the past that she supports further research to see IF there are any negative effects regarding long-term WiFi use.
Jill is a self-proclaimed "Science Geek", and like any scientist, she is in favor of always asking questions, as well as continued research.
You can read her own responses to Science questions HERE.
Jill also talked a lot about how we need to unite rather than divide. We need to shun the idea that race, religion, income, or ethnicity divide us. We need to embrace these differences, learn more about each other, and find common ground to work for the greater good.
She also pointed out that it's time we reject the Politics of Fear and vote for our values. That's the ONLY way we can defeat the 2-party system that's screwing us all.
After all, the Democrats and Republicans are wings of the same bird, and largely serve the same corporate masters. It's time we said ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, and supported the ONLY candidate who isn't tainted by Super PACS, corporate influence, or the greed on Wall St.
Sure, Donald Trump is an asshat. He says awful, terrible, shocking things....
But Hillary? She has a track record of quietly DOING the awful things we fear so much from a Trump Presidency.
Jill is calling out the hypocrisy, and standing up for the values that are worth fighting for. The things the American people WANT and NEED to ensure we leave a better world to our children and their children.
Now that's a message I can stand behind.
You can learn more about Jill Stein on her website.
If you missed the Green Party Town Hall, DEFINITELY check it out. This is 90 minutes of the things they normally don't let anyone say on TV!
You can also follow Jill on Facebook and on twitter.
I HIGHLY recommend checking out her twitter feed. She's not only the ONLY candidate with a conscience, she's also not afraid to take off her gloves and call out corruption when she sees it.
Do some research...Get involved!
If you loved Bernie Sanders, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by just how awesome Jill Stein is!
The Revolution continues....
From the ashes, WE BERN GREEN! It's in OUR hands.
Why Falling Into Line Isn’t Playing It Safe and What We Need to Do Now #StillSanders #SeeYouInPhilly
SUPER LONG RANT: Unless you're into politics, skip it. I am also not going to engage any arguing. I am simply stating my own thoughts and feelings on my own page, which I have every right to do. I don't comment or fight when I see things I don't agree with. I keep scrolling. I won't tell YOU how to think, don't tell ME how to think. There is room in the world for more than one set of beliefs, even if mine may differ from yours, and vice-versa.
Wow. It's really sad when a person gets crucified for sticking by their convictions rather than "playing it safe", or "falling into line." I have had SO many people criticize me and even call me names because I am not jumping on the Hillary train.
There's a reason people aren't doing this...Many reasons, actually. The main reason? Well, we can't simply give up and support someone that represents everything we've been fighting against. We've done our research, as HRC herself requested, and we did not like what we have learned. I'm not talking e-mails or Benghazi or Republican rhetoric. I'm talking bad decisions, over and over, that prove not only intent, but poor judgement, time and time again. We want a leader who can be counted on to make the RIGHT decision the FIRST time, when it matters most. Not someone who has to constantly apologize for "mistakes" or "mis-speaking". Mistakes can be disastrous, especially in an increasingly global society, so there's no room for constant, costly errors.
We're taught from the time we're children to always fight for what we believe in...We're taught that good should always prevail over evil...We're taught that nothing worth having ever comes easily...That if something is worth fighting for, we should never, ever give up.
Is this no longer the case?
Should people stop fighting, stop caring, simply because the deck is stacked against them? Should hope be abandoned when it's needed the most?
David beat Goliath...Daniel went into the Lion's Den...You don't give up at the 2 minute warning. FDR walked out of a Contested Convention as the Democratic Nominee, even though he was not expected to do so. Games are changed in the last moments of the 4th quarter. Underdogs can emerge as victors in the last seconds of the game.
What if "playing it safe" isn't safe AT ALL? What if your so-called "safe" option will bring very negative things, like a no-fly zone over Syria that will likely result in military conflict with Russia....Do we REALLY need to elect someone that will guarantee more war? Who views war as a "business opportunity"? Can we really afford more wars when we have bridges and roads in disrepair, children and vets homeless and hungry, and an increasingly unstable social climate because people are lacking hope, education, and opportunity? If we can afford more interventionist wars, we can surely afford to fix our very broken system here at home, right? Oh. Wait. There's no immediate profit in this. The profit comes from war. Right. (eye roll)
What if your "safe" option will clear the way for the TPP, which will likely have devastating effects on the American people? Sure, your "safe" option claims to be against the TPP...But she hasn't always. She called it the "Gold standard" not very long ago...Now she's suddenly against it. This is lip service, folks. Please note, in the current democratic platform, they are not opposing the TPP, and there is no language that expresses an anti-TPP sentiment. None. If your "nominee" was truly against this, wouldn't that be included in the party platform? Hmm....Something to think about.
What if your "safe" option will advocate for worldwide fracking? Again, while some climate related issues were addressed in the party platform, it continues to support fracking, which has been proven to have devastating effects on the environment. Why is this? Well, follow the money. It's not hard to see who has donated to which candidate, whether as a campaign contribution, speaking fee, or a donation to a "foundation", and where this money originates from. Thanks to Citizens United, this money shapes the decisions made, and this is blatantly obvious when looking at the democratic platform that is being put into place.
What if your "safe" option has a history of saying one thing and doing something entirely different?
Saying someone supports minorities while calling them "super-predators" and supporting a for-profit prison system that targets POC isn't support...I don't care what kind of hot sauce is in your purse. Your record, words, and treatment of others says something completely different. The smug refusal to address such issues when confronted with them speaks volumes, too.
What if this "safe" option is willing to say whatever is needed to a particular audience, and then change their tune when they meet with a different demographic of voters? Whether it's talk about the tragedy in Flint, the plights of WV coal miners, or the claims of carrying hot sauce in a handbag, it's all pandering, and none of it means a damn thing.
The biggest farce, in my opinion, is this: We are told to fear Trump. Yes, Trump is an AWFUL, HORRIBLE, DESPICABLE human being. There's no argument there. He has absolutely no business holding a power position. I will NEVER vote for Trump. We can all agree on this. But is a vote for Clinton REALLY that different than a vote for Trump? I don't think so, for several reasons.
For one, and this is the most obvious reason, we are fighting against the damage that unprecedented corporate greed has done to our nation. So why then should we choose between someone who works for the corporations and someone who IS the corporation? Why should we accept this, when both of our choices serve the same master, the almighty dollar, with little regard to what happens to ordinary, working class citizens?
Not to mention, Trump and the Clintons have a LONG and friendly relationship. They have been to social functions together...Play golf together...Donald and the Clintons even share a physical address in Delaware for the sole purpose of avoiding taxes. Sure, Trump says his "Crooked Hillary" stuff, but it's all part of the game. Once this is over and done with, they'll be back to being buddy-buddy again, as they have been for decades.
Yes, Clinton claims to be LGBTQ friendly...but that's only in the past few years. Since 2013, I believe. Is that really a lifetime commitment to equality? I don't think so. As the proud parent of a gay teen, this bothers me. I'd rather stick with the guy who has fought for our LGBTQ community his entire life, not just when it became "cool" or politically expedient.
Yes, Clinton may be better for women's issues than Trump. That's not hard to do, and I suspect even my crazy neighbor who walks around his yard naked treats women better than Trump. We can do better than this, folks.
Yes, I understand that SCOTUS seats will likely be up for grabs...Do I really think Trump should have that responsibility? Nope. Of course not. Am I optimistic that Hillary will seat any true Progressives? Nope. Not at all. That would betray the interests of her corporate owners, now wouldn't it?
YES, Trump is loud, obnoxious, vocal, and spews absolute bullshit. We're afraid that Trump will lead us into more war...We're worried that Trump will treat minorities like garbage...We're worried that Trump will serve the rich while hanging the rest of us out to dry. These are legitimate fears....
But don't you see? All of the things we fear about Donald Trump are things Hillary already has quite the record of doing. She's not as loud...She's not as blatant...But her record speaks for itself. She supports war for profit, prisons for profit, and she serves her corporate donors rather than the middle class. Do your research. You'll see that this is fact. I can provide a wealth of links, if you'd like, including links to her leaked e-mails and other Ghostbin and Pastebin files you won't see in MSM.
There is a REASON the corporate owned media, in collusion with the DNC, has been shoving Clinton down our throats. There's a REASON Bernie Sanders has been attacked, and has basically been part of a media blackout. There's a REASON they hate him so....A GOOD reason...He is working for US...Not for THEM. And it scares the shit out of them.
Also, there is increasing evidence that Clinton CANNOT beat Trump. Her numbers continue to plummet, even with Bernie's "endorsement". Which let's face it, was clearly a chess move and not sincere. Otherwise, he would have conceded or suspended his campaign, which he did NOT. He's merely protecting his position at the convention, and had to do something I'm sure he was sick over.
Do I LIKE the fact that Bernie “endorsed” Clinton? No. It make me sick. Physically ill. I cried my eyes out. For about an hour, I felt betrayed. Then I thought about it...Bernie did what he HAD to do to protect US. He fell on his own sword for the sake of the PEOPLE. He did what he had to do, even though it was clear he was very uncomfortable. He had to do it to stay in the race and play by the rules. This man has no ego. It’s not about HIM, it’s about US. You simply don’t get more selfless than that.
Polls are showing Clinton either TIED with Trump, or Trump BEATING Clinton by a margin of about 5 points. These same polls still show that BERNIE can beat Trump, and beat him quite comfortably. (10+ points) This is clearly the year of "anti-establishment" politics...So why would anyone expect that we close our eyes to a corrupt and broken system and support an establishment that's been screwing us all? We're NOT going back to sleep. We won't give them the complacency they were counting on. It matters far too much.
The DNC seems so confused by this...I find it funny. Did they REALLY expect Bernie's supporters, who have done their research, to fall into line and flock to Hillary, one of the least trusted politicians in recent history? After insulting us, suppressing our votes, and committing rampant election fraud, did they really expect us to turn a blind eye and support her? ESPECIALLY when there are still multiple lawsuits and investigations taking place? No, you may not hear much about them on MSM, and that's intentional. But they are happening, and the results could be damning.
No, we're NOT flocking to Clinton. We're #StillSanders until he's officially out of the race. We believe in Bernie, and know that he's got the wisdom and foresight to play the game and make the best decisions for US. Every bad decision we've made in the past 20-30 years, there's a video somewhere showing Bernie trying to prevent it...Even when he stood alone to do so. He's not alone anymore. Bernie Sanders will NEVER be alone again.
In the meantime, some interesting things are taking place. Bernie is still playing by the rules, so he isn't at liberty to say much as far as his intentions go. But here are some interesting facts that may help us understand what's happening and where we need to go from here:
-While Bernie endorsed, he did NOT suspend or concede, and he's calling for ALL of his 1900 delegates to show up in Philly to vote for HIM. He's also encouraging people to show up in Philly en masse. He has a plan, and that plan likely depends on US. They can ignore Bernie...He's just one man...But can they ignore the collective voices of MILLIONS? I don't think so.
- Jill Stein of the Green Party has offered the top spot on the Green ticket to Bernie. Should he NOT emerge the Democratic nominee, he has an option to be on the ballot, anyway. The Green Party platform is VERY similar to Bernie's, with the exception of positions on drones and student debt. Bernie wants people to be able to refinance debt at lower rates, and Stein wants to cancel them out completely. Jill Stein has wonderful ideas, and I think a Sanders/Stein ticket could be a very successful and VIABLE one.
-Staying on the topic of Jill Stein, Sanders supporters are flocking to HER rather than Hillary. Jill's donations have increased by 1,000%+, and her social media following has exploded in just a few days. I actually donated to Stein, myself, although I am still with Bernie. People are arguing that a vote for Stein is equal to a vote for Trump....But is it really? Bernie started out in this race polling at a mere 3%. Jill Stein is above that, and continues to grow her support. Millions of disenfranchised voters are unhappy with the choices they're being given. Why choose between 2 great evils when you don't HAVE to? Both Clinton and Trump are quite hated, and this gives Stein the potential to become a VIABLE candidate, and quickly. The people are demanding better, and they're not sticking with a 2-party system that is failing us all. Jill Stein COULD actually become a threat here, and I look forward to seeing it happen.
-More about Stein. Sorry, this is relevant to Bernie, I promise! Jill Stein recently received an endorsement from Bernie's right hand man, Dr. Cornel West. This happened BEFORE the convention for a REASON. Bernie cannot speak to us plainly at the moment. Perhaps he's using his surrogates, such as Cornel West, to get a message to us about the direction we should be heading. SO many of us have given our support to Stein, and this puts pressure on the DNC and backs them into a corner during the convention. Their plan backfired. They assumed we'd support Hillary if Bernie endorsed her. Well, that's not happening. As Bernie has said himself, Hillary will need to EARN our votes...She has not done so. People are seeking out different options, and the DNC is put in a very bad spot. So please, LIKE Jill Stein...Send her a few dollars...These small actions make a HUGE statement.
-Jill Stein is arriving in Burlington, VT today, and will be staying in the state for 6 days. She has 2 events, one today, and one next Thursday. Why stay in Bernie's home state for 6 WHOLE DAYS, right before the DNC? Hmm....Maybe there are some meetings going on that we're not privy to at the moment.
- Nina Turner and Jill Stein will be participating in the same event in Philly right before the convention. Yes. You read that correctly. NINA TURNER, a STRONG Bernie supporter,and my Senator from the great state of Ohio, will be holding an event with JILL STEIN in Philly. The next day, Bernie will have his own, non-Hillary rally. Hmmm.....
Basically, folks, this is the part of the Revolution when Bernie needs US to carry him. He needs OUR voices, OUR actions, to send a clear message to the Democratic party. He needs us to show the following things:
We will NOT settle for the lesser of 2 evils.
We will NOT follow him to Hillary. It's not about party, it's about voting for what's RIGHT.
Hillary is NOT the strongest candidate to defeat Trump. She never has been, and this still rings true.
We are NOT afraid to jump ship and support a 3rd party candidate who represents US rather than corporate greed.
How can we make our voices heard in time for the DNC?
-Donate to Bernie's Delegates and make sure they can get to Philly.
-Donate to Jill Stein and "LIKE" her on social media.
-Write to/call Superdelegates and demand that they listen to our concerns. Make them understand that Bernie is their BEST chance at a Dem victory, and anything less will amount to political suicide. Also remind them that they CAN and WILL be voted out of their held offices, where applicable. This is easy, and can be done here:
-Support Progressive Tim Canova, who is running against DWS for the DNC Chair.
-Spread and share REAL info, not MSM spin, but REAL info. This is NOT over! Some good sources include:
British: BBC News (http://www.bbc.com/)
-If you're able, GO TO PHILLY AND PROTEST AT THE DNC. Keep it calm...Keep it peaceful...But Bernie needs NUMBERS, folks. Show the DNC that we have NOT abandoned Bernie!
There are plenty of resources available in regards to transportation and places to stay. Check them out here:
Most of all, don't lose hope. We're all in this together, and we can make a difference.
Bernie has stood for us for decades. NOW IT’S TIME FOR US TO STAND UP FOR HIM.
"First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they fight you. Then you WIN."
We can do this.
#NotMeUs #StillSanders #SeeYouInPhilly
Dear Super Delegates,
My name is Brandy Nelson, and I am a resident of the great state of Ohio. I am the proud parent of 3 wonderful kids, including a gay teen. I am a blogger, an activist, and someone who is greatly concerned about the country we are shaping for future generations of Americans....No, scratch that...I am concerned about the WORLD we are leaving our children and grandchildren.
You see I, like millions around the world and in the US, am watching this election very closely. We understand that we are part of a world in great peril, both environmentally and economically. The current social and political climate leaves a lot to be desired, and we want nothing more than to improve this. We are doing our research on the choices available to us, and I have to be honest....We are horrified by the options we’re being given.
I’m sure you agree that we cannot allow a Trump presidency. To do so would not only make us the laughing-stocks of the planet, it would also set our society back by decades, and possibly even make our already dwindling Middle Class struggle more.
A Trump presidency would mean that rights would be stripped from many....Women, minorities, and even members of the LGBTQ community, like my son. As a mother, this breaks my heart.
A Trump presidency would ensure that the division we’re seeing among our citizens would only increase, leading to more senseless violence and laws that allow further discrimination against our fellow human beings.
I absolutely, 100% agree that Trump MUST be defeated this November. Our country’s future depends on it.
However, I do not think that Hillary Clinton is the best bet for defeating the Orange Fuhrer. The facts, no matter how uncomfortable they may be for someone in your important position, support my statement.
FACT: Election fraud, voter suppression, and downright trickery were rampant during the Democratic Primaries. People had their registrations changed without their knowledge, they were turned away at the polls or given Provisional ballots that were not counted, and the number of polling places was drastically reduced. Add to that the use of hackable voting machines, such as the machines that Clinton Curtis, a computer programmer, testified about in a Florida court. (See his testimony here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXy...) We feel this election was literally STOLEN from us, and there is ample evidence of this. There are lawsuits pending and being filed, lawyers are heading to the DNC, and the truth of the situation WILL come out. In the day of social media, We the People cannot be fooled when the proof is right there, on video, in front of our faces. We watched in horror and disbelief as each state cast their votes, and we saw countless videos from disenfranchised voters showing how this fraud was being blatantly and openly committed. The Primaries were RIGGED, in collusion with the DNC and DWS, and we KNOW it.
FACT: Clinton is currently under great scrutiny, and we feel she cannot be trusted. No, I am not referring to the e-mails, though they DO matter, and I am not talking about Benghazi. I am speaking about perjury, using the Clinton Foundation to orchestrate weapons deals, and general dishonesty over the course of her political career. We need a leader we can count on to make the best decisions the FIRST time, not someone who constantly needs to apologize for mistakes and mis-speaking. As POTUS, there are decisions that will need to be made rather quickly. We need a leader who has the wisdom and foresight to make the right decisions, driven by the desire to do GOOD in the world, not just line the pockets of their corporate donors. We need someone who will actually think about the unintended consequences that are far-reaching, long after the decisions have been made. I, along with millions of other Americans, do not have faith that Clinton will possess these qualities.
FACT: A vote for Clinton is a vote for inevitable war, global fracking, and disastrous trade deals. A simple look at Clinton’s voting record supports this, and it’s a chance we simply can’t afford to take. Sure, Hillary claims she’s now against the TPP, but nowhere in the current Democratic platform is this stated, and there’s absolutely no anti-TPP language. A vote for the TPP will cause absolute devastation not only to the American middle class, but also to the environment and the world. We’re also sick and tired of interventionist military actions. Clinton supported the mess in Libya, and she has stated she would enact a no-fly zone in Syria, which would lead to probable military conflict with Russia. She wants to continue to allow Palestinians to be killed. She referred to the Iraq War as a “business opportunity.” Since when is slaughtering human beings a business opportunity? Donald Trump shouldn’t have control over nuclear weapons, but neither should Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s choices have directly contributed to the horribly unstable conditions in the world, along with the rise of ISIS. The American people realize this. We’re not blind to this fact. You shouldn’t be, either.
FACT: A vote for Clinton will further oppress minorities. She likes to claim to be all for equality, but she helped put a private prison system in place that incarcerates for profit. This has led to countless people, often of color, to be jailed for minor, non-violent offenses. We have a current situation where POC are victims of police brutality, and citizens are taking it upon themselves to attack and kill Law Enforcement. Without our current failures in our Criminal Justice system, chances are, these incidences would be far less common. People are fed up. We are angry. We feel helpless. The violence MUST end, on BOTH sides of the coin. We have more people in prison than any other country in the world. Lives are being destroyed. Futures are being destroyed. All in the name of the almighty dollar? This HAS to change. We’re Incarceration Nation, and Hillary Clinton shares responsibility for this.
FACT: Even with “endorsements” from Warren and Sanders, Clinton’s numbers keep plummeting. You see, we’re not going to be fooled here. Clinton represents everything we’ve been fighting against. She’s got a long history of pandering to corporations, and accepting HUGE amounts of money in exchange for her influence. Yes, I realize that she’s not alone, and that this practice is perfectly legal, thanks to Citizens United. But does legality really make it right? Is choosing corporations over people in exchange for a hefty payout really keeping the best interests of the American people at the forefront of the agenda? I didn’t think so. Yes, Warren and Sanders have reluctantly “endorsed” Clinton. That means absolutely nothing, and isn’t enough to sway the American people. We demand better!
FACT: As Clinton’s approval rating and popularity fall, Trump’s popularity is gaining. Scary, isn’t it? In fact, several polls are showing that Trump is now BEATING Clinton in many cases by about 5 points, including in important Swing States, and is tied with her in other states. Tied. Is that a gamble you’re willing to take? These same polls, however, show Sanders defeating Trump by very comfortable margins of 10+ points. The choice should be clear if avoiding a Trump presidency is truly important to you. The uncomfortable reality is this: If you don’t want to risk Trump, you MUST nominate Sanders. There’s really no better option.
FACT: The DNC was counting on Bernie Sanders supporters to “fall into line” and “vote blue no matter who”. If the e-mails sent by the Democratic Party, desperate for donations, are any indication, this is not what is happening. The DNC seems genuinely confused about the fact that we’re not hopping on the Hillary train and showing our support. Is it really that confusing? The media has been relentlessly shoving Hillary down our throats, and we’re not biting. We have learned that we cannot rely on a corporate owned MSM for accurate news, so we have been doing our research. Our research shows us that NEITHER of the front-runners are acceptable choices. We want and deserve better than what we’re being offered. As a result, Green Party’s Jill Stein’s donations have increased by 1000+%, her social media likes have skyrocketed, and she is quickly becoming a viable candidate. This isn’t about party. It’s about POLICY. We will support a candidate that has OUR best interests in mind, not more of the same system that put us in this mess!
-FACT: Did Hillary “win”? Well, that depends on who you ask. Without the rigging, I do not think she would have won the majority of Delegates. We will allow the various lawsuits to sort that out, though. That being said, the vast majority of Hillary’s “wins” occurred in RED STATES. These states DO NOT VOTE BLUE during the General Election. Sanders did FAR better in states that are actually likely to vote blue, including swing states. This is an important fact to consider, and I hope you will.
Many Democrats have already changed their affiliation to Green or Independent. Some of us, myself included, won’t be changing until AFTER the Convention in Philly. We’re holding out hope that you will choose to do the right thing and nominate Bernie Sanders to run for POTUS.
The reasons to consider this are clear:
-Bernie Sanders has a proven track record of being consistently on the right side of history. He has fought his entire life for ALL of us, even when it hasn’t been politically expedient to do so. He never cared about how “cool” he was, or how much money he could rake in from your Corporate Gods...He cared about US. He fought for US, despite great pressures to do otherwise. Bernie stood alone for a long, long time. He will NEVER stand alone again.
-Bernie Sanders inspires people to be better. He’s inspired us to dream bigger, to be more compassionate, and to care about more than our own personal bubbles. As he has so eloquently stated, “We’re all in this together. When you hurt, I hurt.” As a result, we Bernie supporters have started becoming active in trying to better our own communities. We’re beautifying our cities, checking in on elderly neighbors, helping the sick, the homeless, the destitute. Bernie also said “The measure of a great nation isn’t how much wealth is at the top. The measure of a great nation can be found in how the most vulnerable members of society are treated.” We agree. That’s why we believe that education and health care should be basic human rights, and not privileges. A vote for Bernie Sanders is a vote to amplify what’s beautiful about humanity while squashing the things that make us ugly, such as racism, classism, xenophobia, and bigotry. A vote for Bernie is a vote for compassion and empathy. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s important.
-Bernie Sanders is met with great enthusiasm from the people. His rallies have attracted crowds in the TENS of thousands. I have been to his events, and they were truly inspiring. People of all ages, races, faiths, sexual orientations, and backgrounds come together at his rallies, and there is nothing but LOVE and HOPE. People WORLDWIDE have supported Sanders. People have come to the US from countries like India, Ireland, the UK, Denmark, Finland, and Canada to help with Bernie’s campaign. There are people phone-banking from nations like Australia. The rest of the world sees the importance of a Sanders victory....Why can’t YOU?
Does Hillary inspire people? No. Does Hillary attract such crowds? No. Does Hillary make people enthusiastic? No. Even with a half-hearted Sanders “endorsement”, we still can’t get excited about the Presumptive Nominee. This will be a great challenge come November, and one I fear the Democratic party won’t be able to overcome. Again, do you really want to risk a Trump presidency by continuing to shove Hillary down our throats? We won’t swallow that pill, and I think that deep down, you realize that.
-We the People are worried about MORE than just the election for POTUS. We are dedicated to bringing new, Progressive blood into every level of government, from the ground on up. We are running for the School Boards and City Council...We have people running for Mayor...For Congress...For the Senate. This IS a Revolution, and Revolutions start from the bottom on up. Many of you hold seats you were elected into. We’re paying attention to the choices you make now. We’re watching very, very closely. Please don’t think that if you make the wrong choices, you can’t be voted out of your office. You can be, and you WILL be. The people are ready for REAL change, and our votes from now on will hold our politicians accountable. A vote for Sanders is the best way, in my opinion, to ensure re-election.
-Again, the ONLY candidate that can beat Trump is Bernie Sanders. I know this is uncomfortable to think about, but it’s true. Poll after poll has shown this, and the voices of the people have stated this, loudly and clearly. When we said we were #StillSanders, we meant it. We’re not willing to choose between the lesser of 2 evils, because in this case, we can choose someone with a proven track record of honesty, integrity, and compassion. These are qualities that have been missing in our political system for far too long. A vote for Sanders will restore the faith of the American people...A vote for Sanders will improve the quality of life for ALL of us, not just those at the top...A vote for Sanders WILL prevent a Donald Trump presidency, and the SCOTUS seats that will come along with it.
“The problems we face, did not come down from the heavens. They are made by bad human decisions, and good human decisions can change them.”
-Senator Bernie Sanders
We, the American People, are counting on YOU to make a GOOD HUMAN DECISION at the DNC. We deserve a world and a nation that we can be proud of. Our children deserve this. A vote for Bernie ensures we’re on the right track. A vote for Clinton will surely be the suicide of the Democratic Party.
Please don’t let us down.
Thank you for your consideration.
Dear Senator Sanders…Or can I just call you Bernie?
You see, over the past year or more, I feel that the American people have finally gotten to know you. We have grown to love you, not only for the beautiful man that you are, but for the man you’ve always been….even when you’ve stood alone.
For decades, you have been a constant force for good, even when the world around us is becoming increasingly batshit crazy.
You have always been on the right side of history, even if you’ve been mocked and brushed off as a consequence for daring to speak out against the establishment that cares nothing about US and caters to the whims of corporate donors.
Every bad decision we've made as a nation over the past few decades, you've tried to prevent. Thank you for having the wisdom and foresight to try your best, even when you failed. No one was listening. We hear you now! We're with you. We're all still with you.
You have been our voice, long before many of us even knew who you were.
You have been a voice for peace. You had the wisdom to foresee the unintended consequences of regime change wars that exist solely for profit and political gains.
You have been a voice for our brave men and women who serve in the military. Too often, these folks who sacrifice everything come home to substandard care and little support. Too many of these folks are wounded not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. They end up homeless…Addicted…Jobless…They deserve so much more. YOU see that, and you have fought to improve treatment of our vets and service members.
Thank you for that.
You have warned against disastrous trade bills that have taken jobs out of the US, and helped to destroy the middle class while the super rich only become richer….No one listened to you….Many of these bills passed, and you were right. They are hurting us, and need to be changed. Thank you for caring enough about the dwindling middle class and poor to fight for us, despite the enormous pressures from corporate America to do otherwise.
You have been a voice against institutional racism, private prisons, and a failed war on drugs. You see the oppression within a very flawed system, and you fight on the side of the oppressed. You don’t care what their skin color, ethnicity, religion or race may be…You see human beings being treated unjustly, and you are compassionate enough to stand up against it. This takes a strong sense of morality, integrity, and empathy. Sadly, too many don’t possess these increasingly rare traits these days. Apathy and greed have taken over our society, yet you have remained rooted in your deeply held beliefs. You care about right and wrong, and act accordingly. That takes courage, and I admire you greatly for it.
You are a voice for the environment. You are screaming loudly and clearly that we are destroying the Earth…the only planet we’re given to live on. As we, out of a desire for money, sap the Earth of her natural resources, pollute her waters and make the air unbreathable, and destroy entire species, you have been loud and clear about the peril we’re in. You have stood against special interests with money and power, and have been an advocate for the planet we’re leaving our children and future generations. You understand that once the water and air are toxic, the trees are all gone, and the world’s food supplies dwindle, money doesn’t matter. The way we act NOW, however, does. Thank you for acknowledging the very real threats of climate change. My children thank you, too.
Thank you for being an ally of the LGBTQ community. I am the proud parent of a gay teen, and I so appreciate that you have been on the side of people like my son long before it was “acceptable”. You saw these people not for their sexual orientation, but for their humanity. They are your brothers and sisters, and you have always been quick to fight for and defend them. Sometimes I feel fear…In the world we’re living in today, LGBTQ people are becoming targets for violence and other hate crimes. I fear for my child’s safety, and it breaks my heart that I cannot protect him from everything. Thank you for being an advocate of love and equality. Your voice is so important. Hearts can be changed, one voice at a time.
Thank you for being not only a true champion for the people….ALL people….But also for being the kind of person that inspires others to be better. You have inspired acts of kindness all over the world, and it’s spreading. From pizzas being sent to voters and delegates to people funding trips to Philly, and even Random Acts of Bernie, the message is spreading like wildfire. Kindness is spreading, too. Thank you for being the spark that started it all.
The Revolution is REAL, and it’s a Revolution of LOVE. Love for our fellow man, no matter what differences we may have…Love for our planet…Love for our country. You have given us so much hope….You’ve ignited a flame within the hearts and souls of many.
Never once has your passion wavered. Your message has always remained the same. It never mattered what anyone thought of you. You have a beautiful soul, integrity, and the heart of an Activist.
You were alone for a long time….You’ll never be alone again, Bernie. We’ve got your back. We ARE Bernie Sanders.
We love you, Bernie! Please don’t give up! No matter what it takes, we will FIGHT for you. You are our President, and I truly have faith that you’ll be heading to the White House.
One does not just concede a Revolution.
Over the past day or so, I posted these photos to Instagram. One is a shirt I bought for myself, and the other is a T-shirt that I bought on Amazon for my teenage son, Kyle.
Since posting, I have received a few e-mails and Facebook messages jokingly asking if I do, in fact, "endorse" Bernie Sanders to be the Democratic nominee for the 2016 Presidential race.
I have to be honest, this made me laugh. I mean, formal endorsements typically come from people in high places. Robert Reich, Nina Turner,Tulsi Gabbard, Killer Mike, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Alan Grayson....These people make endorsements, and their endorsements matter. They have loud, strong voices. Voices that are heard far and wide.
I am just a blogger. A mom. A wife. No one knows my name, for the most part, and I am fairly certain that most people don't give a damn what Brandy Nelson in the Cleveland, OH area thinks.
However....After giving it some thought, I decided I WOULD formally endorse Senator Bernie Sanders to be our next Commander In Chief.
That's right. I said it. We're Feelin' the Bern over here, and have been for several months. We supported Bernie long before most people even knew who he was. I even have a Facebook page, Moms4Bernie, where I post all of my political news. This was done solely to avoid conflict with those who may not be able to have a difference of opinion without getting nasty. I am a pacifist. I don't want to fight with anyone, especially for simply having a difference of opinion.
Why am I wasting my time writing an endorsement that carries absolutely no weight in the political arena? Why should I even bother, since my opinion won't sway anything?
Well, I am writing this because this campaign is different. It matters. The Bernie Sanders campaign is fighting against the establishment, and has suffered massive, massive obstruction.
The corporate-owned, biased media has not offered substantial coverage of Bernie's stances on the issues, and they like to throw around the words "Democratic Socialism" like it's something to fear. The media is counting on the American people to blindly believe what the media tells everyone, and they don't count on anyone doing any real research.
Bernie is counting on US, ordinary citizens, to help fuel this Revolution. Our voices MATTER.
WE, THE PEOPLE, ARE BERNIE'S MEDIA.
So let's be real here. Let's talk about Democratic Socialism.
Democratic Socialism can be summed up in words we should all be familiar with as Americans: By the People, FOR the People. Democratic Socialism would NOT eliminate Capitalism, and it would not cause everyone to magically become poor. The government would NOT control means of production, it would simply close the legal loopholes that allow the rich to become richer while the middle class all but disappears. It would NOT raise taxes substantially for the vast majority of Americans. In fact, most of us would SAVE money if we expanded upon already existing Socialist programs that we know and love here in the USA. Yep. We already have plenty of Socialism, and we enjoy its benefits every single day.
Here's a fantastic video that explains this in more detail:
I personally believe that every American has the RIGHT to a decent standard of living, regardless of things like background, race, orientation, or economic circumstance.
There is no reason why, in the richest country in the world, anyone busting their ass 40+ hours a week should be living in poverty.
There's no reason any of our seniors should have to choose between electricity or food and the medications they need to survive.
There's no reason why a child with a brilliant mind and passion for knowledge should be forced to limit themselves simply because their parents can't afford to send them to college.
There's no reason that the brave men and women who serve in our military should return home from duty and receive poor care. If we can't afford to care for those who protect our freedoms, perhaps we should stay out of corporate-driven, greed-motivated, regime-change wars.
Bernie Sanders understands the true cost of war. He understands the unintended consequences that come with it. Sanders opposed the Iraq war, and voiced concern about what our involvement in the Middle East could mean. Unfortunately, his predictions were correct, and we are dealing with that mess RIGHT NOW.
Can Bernie's plans work? Can we afford these grand plans without breaking the backs of the American people? Yes. We can. Over 170 respected economists, including Robert Reich, agree.
On Social Justice and Equality for ALL :
I am an activist. Yes, I attend protests. I wear a certain mask that the media likes to unfairly demonize. I hold signs and march against corruption. I feed the homeless. I collect signatures for various causes. I try my best to help heal the broken every single day.
I am, truly, a hippie at heart, and I feel very passionately about justice for ALL.
I am also the proud parent of a gay teen, and I will fight for his rights until my dying breath. I will fight for the rights of everyone, actually. Color, religion, ethnicity, orientation....None of that matters because we're all HUMAN.
Bernie Sanders has been fighting for ALL of us for DECADES, even before it was "cool" or politically expedient to do so. Sanders has fought for LGBTQ rights, the rights of African Americans, the rights of women, of Muslims, of refugees and immigrants...Bernie supports equal rights and pay for EVERYONE.
Here are a few very impressive videos that show Bernie's view on these important social issues:
Here's Bernie, speaking over a 30 year span. As you can see, his message has remained passionate and consistent. This is a must-watch, in my humble opinion.
This interview with Killer Mike is long, but worth every single minute. This is one of my favorites, and it shows why Bernie Sanders can and does appeal to people from ALL walks of life. Bernie is a HUMANIST. An Activist. A HERO.
ON RELIGION AND MORALITY :
Now this is a touchy subject. Religion is something a lot of people have very deep feelings about. I am personally NOT subscribed to any organized religion, although I do believe that God exists.
You see, I think that people have it all wrong when it comes to God. I don't think God really cares which church, if any, one attends. I don't think ONE way is necessarily the ONLY way. While I think every religion offers something valuable to the world and to human-kind, I do not think that one is somehow better than another, and that God would condemn BILLIONS of people to fire and brimstone for choosing the wrong path to worship.
I think God is far more concerned with how we live our lives here on this Earth. Were we thoughtful? Were we kind? Did we have empathy and compassion for others, or did we turn a blind eye to suffering? What did we do to help? I think these are the things that truly matter.
That's just MY opinion, though, and I have absolutely no problem with anyone who feels differently. That's part of the beauty of America. We are free to practice any religion we choose.
Anyway, Bernie Sanders is a Jew. He's not even a particularly devout Jew. His wife, Jane, is Catholic. However, Bernie Sanders is incredibly Christ-like in both his core beliefs and his actions.
Check out this amazing speech given at Liberty University, a religious college located in VA. As he states: It's easy to talk to people who agree with us, but it's harder to talk to those who disagree. We may disagree on abortion and gay marriage, but let's see what common ground CAN be found. This is brilliance. Absolute brilliance. It's also proof that Bernie Sanders' message can reach people from ALL walks of life.
This is my favorite Sanders video right this moment, as it is beautifully and powerfully made. Here, Bernie answers questions about his own personal, religious beliefs.
And, of course, there's the issue of integrity.
Bernie Sanders is the epitome of integrity. In addition to being a forward-thinking, consistent progressive that is on the side of the common man, he's also a genuinely decent human being. This is evident both in his words and his actions.
Bernie once said that he didn't get into politics because he wanted to be President. He got into politics because he gave a damn, and wanted to make a difference to help people in even the weakest segments of society.
When asked to give one word he'd like people to think of when they remember a possible Sanders presidency, his answer was COMPASSION.
Whether it's chaining himself to a black woman in protest of segregation back in the 60's, standing up for gays in the military at the US House of Representatives, fighting for pay equity for ALL workers, or marching on Washington with MLK, Sanders has never, ever wavered in his vision for our future.
Can we say the same about the other Democratic candidate? Check out the video below and you tell me.
No, I'm not anyone important. I am a 34 year old blogger living in the Cleveland, OH area. I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a hippie at heart, and I am an activist.
No one knows my name. No one knows my face, other than the rare person who recognizes me from the blog. I have no political pull, and when I am gone, I won't go down in history as anyone important.
However, I believe in free-thinking. I believe in questioning the establishment when the current system is horribly, undeniably broken. I believe in accountability. I believe in ending big money in politics so the needs of the 99% are HEARD by our government. Until we end rigged elections and "bought" politicians, our voices will not count!
I also believe in a better future for my children and their children. I believe in equality for ALL. I believe in taking care of those who are vulnerable. I believe in promoting opportunity and education rather than a society of mass incarceration. I believe in preserving our precious resources so we don't destroy the one planet we were given.
We have ONE SHOT here, folks. ONE CHANCE to vote for REAL change. Bernie Sanders has been fighting the good fight, often while standing alone. He's been mocked and ridiculed along the way.
Bernie kept on fighting, anyway.
Well, Bernie. You're no longer alone. You have your revolution, and it's getting stronger by the day.
These are just a few reasons why I will be voting for the Activist rather than the Corporatist.
Want to join me?
As I watch my children play, my heart is simply breaking,
You see, their innocence makes them blissfully unaware of the poor choices society is making.
Human beings divided and indoctrinated with hate,
Turning a blind eye while our neighbor struggles to buy food to fill up their plate.
We live in a world where we have more waste than most of us see,
More vacant homes than homeless, more food than we could ever possibly eat.
A world where the color of one's skin predetermines their path,
Where racism exists, the shedding of innocent blood too often the aftermath.
Education is a commodity denied to those who lack the ability to pay,
Future generations suffer, the inequality is simply too great.
Shaming single mothers who may need a helping hand
to get back on her feet without the help of a man.
Everything is driven by power and greed,
We're conditioned to discriminate against those who are in need.
We live in a world where religion has turned cruel,
Where you're condemned to Hell if you don't follow some antiquated rules.
Striving for a Christ-like existence is a slippery slope,
Caring for the less fortunate is ridiculed, just look at Bernie or the Pope.
If you're gay, you're less than human, you don't deserve equal rights,
Even though love won, my son's safety is still at risk if he walks alone at night.
Our food is being poisoned, our health is declining,
Simply to line the pockets of corporate bigwigs who delight in their lying.
A child can be prescribed opiates, which lead to heroin and death,
But a harmless plant with many benefits is denied to them. Where is the sense?!
Our natural resources depleting, we're destroying our planet,
Big money wins, sustainability fails at the ballots.
They keep us divided, distract us with pointless fluff,
Keep us entertained, and no one says "Enough is enough!"
All the while, the state of humanity continues to silently shatter, ,
Apathy wins out over things that truly matter.
As a mother this scares me, this brings fear and sorrow.
If we ignore all these problems, how can we offer a better tomorrow?
It's going to take the voices of many to create a real solution,
Who's going to join me? We need a revolution.
In a world where free-thinking is frowned upon, I've finally learned
to challenge a system that's broken. I'm feeling the Bern.
You died yesterday.
I still cannot quite wrap my head around this. It doesn't feel real. I talked to you the day before you passed..... You were so full of joy....full of hope...full of life. You talked to me about your new job. You talked to me about music. About fighting against injustice. You talked about all of the things that you were passionate about, and just about all of the beauty life has to offer in general.
We talked about the fact that the love of your life had given you another chance, and that you were optimistic about your future together, because she's just always been "The One". Wow, your joy and love just seemed to radiate through each and every word you spoke about her. I was so happy for you....
We talked about marriage....You wanted to get married one day....Quite possibly to your high school sweetheart who you'd finally been given another chance with. We joked about how funny life can be. My husband was MY high school sweetheart, and you were just reunited with yours.
We talked about children. About how amazing and awe-inspiring they are. About how you wanted to be a Daddy one day in the not too distant future...Boy, you were excited about that thought. You just had a few things you needed to square away personally before you were ready for parenthood.
After all, you were only 22. You had all the time in the world. You were so optimistic about the future.
You would have been such an amazing father, James.
And now you're gone. In the blink of an eye. Lost forever, thanks to the epidemic that is heroin addiction. 6 people have died in the past week from this horrible disease in our little city alone.....It broke my heart to learn you were one of these lives so tragically lost.
You had gotten clean, and were doing an amazing job. You didn't allow the challenges you faced to kill your spirit or your hope. You always had the most beautiful, positive attitude. It was infectious. Your kindness and compassion for others was infectious. You made our town a brighter place to live, and you touched the lives of everyone you met. You made people see the good in the world, and made them strive to be the best person they could be. You got people excited about making a positive difference in the world.
You had such a promising future ahead of you, but for reasons no one who hasn't ever suffered from addiction could ever understand, something lured you back to the demon you had warded off so well.
Maybe you were depressed, and hid it behind your contagious smile. Often, those who have the kindest, gentlest souls are suffering in silence. They aim to spread hope and love to everyone around them because it helps take away from the emptiness they feel inside, if only for a moment. They choose to love, because they know what it feels like to feel alone, unloved, or forgotten.
Or maybe it was meant to be one last ride.....For old time's sake. Maybe you thought you had this under control and that it wouldn't control you again. Maybe you thought you could handle it, just once more...Maybe the promise of an escape was too much to ignore this time.
No one will ever know the answers. No one will ever know why your life had to be cut short so tragically and unexpectedly.
One thing I DO know is that this is not fair. You didn't deserve this fate.
You had so much left to do. So much more life left to live. You should have had the opportunity to gaze lovingly at your bride as she walked down the aisle towards you.....
You should have known the immediate and incomparable love a parent feels when they first hold their child in their arms.....
You should have been the Daddy teaching his children to swim or ride their bikes....
You should have been a grandpa one day, telling stories to his wide-eyed grandbabies on a front porch swing somewhere.....
But these things won't ever happen now. And it breaks my heart completely. I mourn for the wonderful young man that you were, as well as for the man you surely would become one day.
Heroin is a thief. It robs so many of their joy. Of their hope. Of their lives. Heroin has stolen you, my friend, from so many who loved you. Parents lost their child. Siblings lost their brother. Your beautiful girlfriend lost the man she loves. And I, like so many others, lost my friend yesterday.
It's not fair. This never should have happened to you, James. I wish there was something I could have said or done to change things. I wish I could have helped you, whether it be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or even support while you went to rehab.
But I didn't know. No one did. And now you're gone.
It breaks my heart that you're no longer with us, but I hope that beautiful soul of yours is finally at peace. They always say the brightest lights burn out the quickest, and now I understand why. Your soul was too good for this world, apparently, so you were called back home to watch over us all.
Thank you for being a light of kindness in my life and in the lives of countless others. Please watch over us and comfort us as we grieve. This is hard, man. It's really, really hard.
Rest easy, James. I am glad that you were someone I considered a friend. You will be missed.
(Unfortunately) I have a NECESSARY RANT. This is probably going to be super-long, but I feel it needs to be said after what I woke up to this morning. (This is taken from my personal Facebook page.)
Well. Leave it to Facebook to ruin someone's day as soon as it starts.
Yesterday, I respectfully asked that no one say anything nasty to me regarding the #SCOTUS ruling. This ruling DOES affect my life, as I am the parent of a gay teen. In our home, we are celebrating the fact that our child can do something that all of us take for granted. Not now, of course, but when the time comes. My son, like all other LGBT folks, is a human being. He matters. His life matters. His future matters. His happiness matters. He deserves to have every chance at a happy, fulfilling life. We ALL do.
I have witnessed my son get bullied, ridiculed, and persecuted for simply existing. Yes, he is gay. Yes, he is comfortable in his own skin. We teach him to be proud of who he is, and to never be ashamed. We teach him that his "gayness" is only a tiny part of who he is, and that it does not define him. We teach him that no matter what anyone says or does to him, it's a reflection of their fears, insecurities, or lack of understanding. We teach him to treat these folks, and everyone else, with kindness. My son cares about other people. He stands up for other people. He doesn't judge based on race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability. We teach our kids that we are ALL human beings, and that we are ALL deserving of respect and kindness.
Yes, I understand not everyone is happy about this ruling, and that is your right. I won't tell you you're wrong for having different beliefs. I won't tell you how to live your life. Your beliefs are just that, and I do not have to agree with them to like or respect you. I have plenty of friends with VERY different beliefs than mine, and it has never been a problem...
You see, I am an adult, and I realize that not everyone is going to agree on everything 100% of the time. I am completely and totally okay with that. In fact, I respect the differences I have with people, and try to take them as an opportunity to learn something new, or at least have a broader understanding of life and people in general. Having an open mind and caring for people from all walks of life has allowed me to become a kinder, more compassionate person. I am grateful for that. If I only talked to people who were "like me", I would be missing out on a lot. I like learning from others, or at least broadening my own perspective in ways I wouldn't have considered otherwise.
When I see something posted that I might not agree with personally, I don't freak out....I don't respond with hate...And I don't tell anyone that they are wrong. If I don't have something nice to say, I simply don't say anything. I do not have to agree with you to like, respect, or care about you.
This morning, I woke up to several inbox messages that really hurt me. Some from people I don't even know. I would like to publicly address some of the things that were said to me. Not because I want to "fight" with anyone...Simply because I would really like people to understand what it's like to be in MY shoes, as the mom of a gay kid. It's not always easy. Loving and supporting my son is the easiest thing in the world...It comes as easily as breathing....
What's NOT easy is knowing that because my son is gay, he will be hated. Put down. Discriminated against. Bullied. Hit. Threatened. Shamed...And I cannot protect him from it all. THAT is the hard part. When I see adults participating in such activities, it breaks this mother's heart.
So here are some of the things I have been told, as well as my response to them:
"Why do you allow your kid to be gay?"
Well. What exactly do you mean by "allow"? We didn't have a family meeting one day and decide "Hey, it would be really fun if Kyle decided he likes dudes. Kyle, your job is to be as relentlessly gay as possible from this day forward."
No. It doesn't work that way. My son was born this way. He didn't choose it. No one encouraged it. It simply IS. And it's okay.
I have known or at least strongly suspected my son was gay from the time he was very, very young. I have had time to "prepare" for this. By the time he came out to us, I already knew....When your child comes to you in tears because they are truly afraid they won't be loved anymore, it's gut-wrenching. Sadly, a lot of LGBT kids don't have understanding and acceptance at home. This often ends in tragedy. I do NOT want my son to end up a sad statistic.
We didn't choose Kyle's orientation, but we did choose to handle it with love.
We didn't shame him or tell him he needed to try and be something he's not. We didn't try to pray the gay away, because we believe God doesn't make mistakes, and the God I know loves ALL of us. So did we "allow" him to be gay? No. We simply allow him to be who he is, who he has always been...No hiding...No shame. No judgement. We love our child, just as we've always loved him. I cannot, as a mother, turn my back on a child I carried for 9 months, whose diapers I changed and boo-boo's I kissed, simply because he is gay. I can't do it. This is still my baby, and I wouldn't change a single thing about him, even if I could. His "gayness" is a part of him, and in my eyes, he is beautiful. Just the way he is.
"You are going to Hell for encouraging your kid to be gay."
Oh boy. First of all, I don't encourage Kyle to be gay. I encourage him to be the best version of himself that he can be. He just happens to be gay. IT JUST IS. And we accept him for who he is, rainbows and unicorns included.
What we DO encourage from our son is that he act with kindness. That he never judges anyone for something they have no control over, even though he himself sees such judgement on a daily basis. When he sees someone being picked on, we encourage him to step in and be a friend to the person being bullied. We teach him that no matter a person's color, religion, disability, or orientation, we all have value and that every single person he meets has something valuable to contribute to the world. We teach him to treat everyone the way that he would like to be treated.
We encourage him to be honest. To be brave. To be compassionate. To have empathy. To help others. To love. Being gay is just part of who he is...Not ALL that he is. And we think he's a pretty amazing kid.
As far as going to Hell? Well, obviously, I am not the final judge. I don't know for sure what eternity has in store for me, for Kyle, or for anyone, for that matter. NO ONE KNOWS THIS.
Do I believe that a God who loves ALL of His children would condemn a rather large population of folks to fire and brimstone simply for existing? For something they did not choose?
No. I don't. I'm sorry, I just don't.
Jesus commands us to love. Not to judge. Not to hate. To be humble. To be kind. I think God is FAR more concerned with the goodness inside of us and how we treat others than whether or not someone was born gay. God wants us to make the best choices in this life, and being gay is not a choice. So do I think that when my son receives his "Final Report Card" he will be condemned or penalized for loving another man, even if he lived his life as a kind and giving person? No. I don't. I can't. That goes against everything I believe in my heart about God.
"You can't believe in God and support gayness."
Sigh. This is sad. While I may not subscribe to one single organized religion, I DO believe in God. Very strongly, actually. The reason we don't attend church? Well, unfortunately, a lot of churches aren't very welcoming to my family. We have been told we wouldn't "fit in" because of my son's sexuality and the fact that we support him 100%, without apology.
This is going to get me a lot of shit for saying it, but I truly believe that people have got certain things all wrong....The Bible is a wonderful tool...It gives a lot of good advice about how to live life. It was also written thousands of years ago, and it was written by MAN. Actually, several men. And according to God, man is flawed.
Maybe it's time to revisit or reinterpret the scriptures for more modern times. We don't think the world is flat anymore...We don't burn suspected witches on the stake or in cages...We don't condemn mentally ill or disabled people to rot away in institutions for decades with very little care...Why don't we do these things anymore? Because we know better.
Yes, the Bible states certain things about homosexuality. It also states things about planting crops next to each other, wearing mixed fabrics, touching pig skin without gloves, divorce, sex before marriage, adorning one's self with gold, tattoos, killing your own brother, selling your children off as slaves, and justifiable rape. Just to mention a few things. (Yes, I have actually read the Bible, in its entirety, more than once.I am not pulling this info out of my ass.)
I wonder if the people sending such hateful messages are guilty of any of those things...Have they been divorced? Do they have tattoos? Do they eat pork or shellfish? Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp, perhaps? There's a double-whammy of a sin! Have they played football or any other sport that involves touching a ball made from pig skin with their bare hands? Do they wear jeans with a rayon or polyester top? Or maybe their tomatoes are planted right next to their carrots. Oh, and better take off that golden wedding ring. We are not to adorn ourselves with gold!
After all, these things are ALL sins according to the Bible, and according to God, all sin is the same.
When did it become okay to cherry pick which parts of the Bible someone wants to follow? Isn't that hypocritical? Do you really think God would approve of this? Why take one part of the Bible and get SO worked up over it while ignoring TONS of other Biblical instruction because it doesn't suit you?
In the words of Jesus Himself, who actually NEVER spoke about homosexuality, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone."
We are not here to judge. We are not here to condemn. We are not here to hate.
As a matter of fact, if Jesus were here among us, chances are, many so-called Christians wouldn't accept Him, either. Back in Biblical times, Jesus was an outlaw...A rebel. He did not conform, and he actually hated religion. He spent his time with drunkards, whores, and the "low-lives" of society. He loved them and accepted them, and faced tons of hatred for doing so. Ultimately, he lost his life at the hands of those who feared things that were different...Things that they did not understand.
So if Jesus showed up at your church or doorstep, would you actually let Him in? Chances are, you wouldn't.
Jesus loved EVERYONE. The underdog included. And that is what Christians are called on to do. To love. To forgive. Not to hate. Not to judge. Not to condemn or hurt others. Just to love, and to be the best people we can be.
So do I believe that I can live a life that God would be proud of, even though I support my son and others like him? Yes. Yes, I do. In the words of Ghandi: "I like your Christ. I like your Christ very much. I don't like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ."
And finally...This one is the worst....
"I hope your son gets AIDS and dies. The world needs less fags. Our country is going to Hell because of people like HIM."
Well. I don't even know what to say to this one. I am in tears as I type this, because I am just so shocked that someone would wish death on my child, who has never hurt anyone in his life.
Obviously, I DON'T wish these things for my son. I don't want him to get AIDS and die. Last time I checked, AIDS is NOT just a "gay disease", by the way.
AIDS is spread through any kind of sexual contact, whether it's straight, bi, gay....It doesn't discriminate. AIDS also doesn't make a person "bad" or "dirty". There are many people who have gotten AIDS or HIV during their FIRST sexual encounter. Or through a blood transfusion...Or a needle...Or they could have even been BORN with it.
I will not judge someone because they have a horrible disease. I do not assume they are awful, worthless, immoral human beings who "deserve what they got". Yes, choices we make could end up giving diseases like AIDS. Choices are not the only factor here, though, and to lump everyone who suffers from HIV or AIDS into some glittery, rainbow colored box is insulting, ignorant, and wrong. My son does not deserve a fatal disease simply because he is gay. Just like the baby born HIV+ doesn't deserve it, either. No one does.
Speaking of choices, which gayness is not, my son makes amazing choices for a teen. He actually TALKS to his parents, and about everything...Even the "tough stuff". We have an open line of communication, and because we treat him with unconditional love and acceptance, he feels comfortable enough to come to us for guidance. How many teens do this? I know I sure didn't! And because of that, as a teen, I made HORRIBLE choices because I lacked parental guidance and support at home.
Kyle is also an honor roll student. Studying doesn't come easily to him, either. He struggles to learn. He works hard. He devotes a lot of time and energy to his studies. He cares about his future. A lot of kids would get discouraged and just give up. It's easier to do so. What's easy isn't always right, though, and my son understands that at just 15. He works his ass off to ensure he has a bright future. We are very proud.
Kyle also stays away from drugs and alcohol, and is NOT sexually active, even though he has several friends who drink, smoke, do drugs, and have sex. Peer pressure is very hard to deal with at his age, but he consistently makes wise choices. He understands that substance abuse won't do him any favors in life, and would get in the way of reaching his goals. He understands that while his body might seem ready for sex, his heart and mind are not.
WHY does he realize these things and base his actions accordingly? Because he can come and talk to us without fear of judgement. We talk about these things, openly and honestly, and we allow him to make his own decisions, within reason, of course.
As far as teenagers go, my son is an angel. No, he's not perfect. None of us are. But he tries his best in everything he does, and most importantly, he always tries to do the RIGHT thing. He makes GOOD choices. Sound choices. Choices that will serve him very well as he heads into adulthood. He will certainly be a valuable member of society one day.
We are PROUD of who he is. We are PROUD to be his family. We are PROUD of the wonderful person he is turning out to be. We are proud....Even if he is gay. It simply does not matter to us.
I am a better, kinder, more compassionate person because of my son. In many ways, being his Mom saved MY life.
So again, I beg of you, please don't flood my inbox with hate. Please don't tell me what God thinks of my family or my child. You don't know that info...You're judging and speculating, and doing everything that I know in my heart God would not approve of. Don't send me messages saying my child deserves to die simply for existing. Don't call me a bad mother because I accept him for who he is. Don't tell me how screwed our world is simply because my child can marry whomever he chooses. Don't. Please. Just don't. It is hurtful. It is wrong. Berating a CHILD is not something a real Christian would do.
Please. I am tired of crying. I am tired of feeling like people hate us for celebrating something that will allow our child a happier, more fulfilling life. I am tired of being called names, or more importantly, my son being called names, especially by grown adults. Please. Stop. Please. I feel SO alone sometimes because of the hateful words we hear on a regular basis.
Maybe people are hoping I stop vocally supporting my son? I don't know. That won't ever happen, though. When I told my son I am behind him, 100%, I meant it. Even if that means I am putting myself in the line of fire by doing so. I will gladly do that, if that is what it takes to be there for my kid. When I love, I love completely. I am my son's biggest cheerleader, and no one's hateful words will ever change that, nor will they silence me.
Anyone who knows me on most any level is well aware of the fact that I treat everyone with respect. I don't hate. I try my best to accept everyone, and I teach my kids to do the same. In my home, we are color-blind, we embrace people from all races, religions, etc. We see the value in everyone.
If someone makes choices that I might not make myself? Okay, great! It's not my place to make decisions in anyone's life but my own. For example: I HATE abortion. Hate it. However, if a friend had to make that very difficult decision to end a pregnancy, I would go with her and hold her hand the whole time. I wouldn't bombard her with all the reasons I believe it's wrong. I wouldn't shame her. I wouldn't stop caring about her. I would be there to offer my support as a friend during a difficult time.
It's not up to me to make choices for anyone else, or to tell them they're wrong simply because I wouldn't make the same choices in my life. I wish people would extend the same courtesy when it comes to my support of my fabulously gay son.
I don't judge people based on their appearance, their race or ethnicity, their religion, or even the morals that they have. What I DO judge people on is whether or not they're an asshole.
Who knew that #GayMarriage and #Equality would bring out so many assholes?
Yesterday, a message was sent to our nation, loud and clear, that#LoveWins Please, for the sake of my son and other kids like him, keep your hate to yourself.
I don't demand that everyone agree with this ruling, as everyone is entitled to their own beliefs. I respect that.
What I AM asking for is some compassion. Some understanding. We can disagree without resorting to hateful words and actions. We can disagree and still be kind, even if that means simply saying nothing at all.
What if it were YOUR child? I have a feeling you might see things differently in that case. And you know what? It MIGHT be your child....Gayness is not a choice. No family is immune, no matter how much preaching is involved or what kind of upbringing you have. ANYONE can have a gay child. ANYONE. That includes YOU.
Please, before saying hurtful, hateful things out of anger, realize that that child who you just tucked into bed and kissed goodnight might be gay, too. Kids see and hear everything that we say and do. When you rant about how awful "fags" are, it could be your own child you are hurting. They may be struggling with their own sexuality, or will one day, and hearing these things in the home can cause depression, self-loathing, and even suicide. Many of these sad things happen largely due to lack of support from those who are supposed to be the most loving and supportive: Parents and family.
Please, don't be your child's first bully. Don't allow your hate and disapproval to harden your heart.
And please don't continue to tell me that my son deserves to be bullied, ridiculed, or worse. Allow us to be happy right now. Allow us to be hopeful for our child's future in a world that can be incredibly cold. Allow us to rejoice at a very small victory in the fight against discrimination. There's a lot of hate in the world, and a lot that needs to change in peoples' minds and hearts. The fact that my son can get a legal piece of paper and marry who he wants one day? It won't get rid of the hate or the lack of understanding, but it's a damn good place to start.
Thanks for "listening", even though I wrote this mainly for ME so I could vent and not be upset all day long. Sometimes getting it out helps a lot!
Anyway, carry on......But please do so with kindness. The world needs more of that!
I have always been very vocal about supporting my son, Kyle. I make absolutely no apologies for doing so, either. Sure, I understand that not everyone agrees with gay rights, and I also understand that my willingness to shout from the rooftops how much I love my gay son may be offensive to some.
I am 100% okay with people having differing beliefs. That's cool. I get it. Not everyone agrees with how I choose to parent my gay son. They may not agree with the fact that I encourage self-expression within reason, and that I am not going to force him to fit some mold society says he should fit into.
Not everyone agrees with the fact that rather than being hush-hush about it, I will openly talk about it and support him in every way I can. The way I see it, yes, being vocal might make some people uncomfortable. That's unfortunate, and it is not my intention. I won't stop, though, because when I told Kyle I am his biggest cheerleader, I meant it. If I were to keep quiet and not raise hell when something happens to him, I wouldn't be keeping my promise to HIM, and it could lead to him being ashamed of himself.
Plus, it's going to take people being brave enough to be vocal to make real changes in the world. If I can help ANYONE, whether it's a gay kid or a parent who may not know what to do, all the negativity is worth it.
Yes, it hurts...Yes, I get angry...Yes, there are occasions that I wish I could just throat-punch people for the incredibly hurtful things that they say. I am only human, and my rage comes from a very sacred thing: A mother's unwavering love for her child.
I would be failing my son if I didn't do everything I can to make his existence a little bit easier. Suicide rates among LGBT kids are heartbreaking, and many of these happen because these poor kids are made to feel shame. My son will NOT be a statistic. I won't allow that to happen. He has all the love and support in the world from his family, and that will never, ever change.
Anyway, when I learned that we would be attending the upcoming Taylor Swift concert in Cleveland, I thought it would be a cool idea to see if I could make enough noise on social media to get a tweet from her. Kyle absolutely adores her, and this will be his first concert. Sure, it's a long-shot, but I love my kid enough to try, especially considering all of the bullying and hate he has had to endure.
Well, no word from Taylor, and I don't really expect one. She's a busy lady, and I know that my tweets get buried in millions of others from countless adoring fans.
While Taylor has not spoken, many of YOU have. I have to say, I am blown away by the overwhelming support for my son. I have gotten so many kind words, and have even been defended when haters decide to throw hate our way. I truly appreciate this, and it really makes my heart happy.
Sadly, I have also encountered some awful, mean-spirited people. I would be lying if I said I haven't been in tears over the past couple of days. So, I have decided to write a post addressing the things no one should EVER say to the parent of a gay child. Like, EVER. Disagreeing is one thing, but when those feelings turn into hurtful words and actions, it's a problem. A poison in our society that will not change until peoples' hearts change.
5 things to NEVER say to the parent of a gay child:
5. It's just a phase. He/she will outgrow it and be "normal" eventually.
No, it's not a phase. To imply such is insulting, not just to the parents of a gay teen, but to the child, too. Teenage years are confusing enough thanks to all the glorious hormones, etc. If a child is brave enough to "come out", chances are, they are 100% sure of their orientation. It takes a TON of courage to do this. Many kids are flat out disowned by their families for being gay. If a child says they are gay, by golly, they mean it. Their bravery should not be minimized by saying it's temporary, or that they will outrow it. Nor should it be implied that a gay teen is "abnormal" in any way. Being gay is completely normal. It's our normal. My child's normal. It is who he is. Which leads me to the next one.....
4. Why would you let him/her choose to be gay?
It is not a choice. I repeat, IT IS NOT A CHOICE. I have known my son was gay LONG before he did. This was pretty obvious from the time he was a very small child....No, he didn't even know what sex was....No small child should....But it was apparent when he had absolutely no interest in "boy stuff" like action figures, violent video games, or sports. Instead, he wanted to dance, create art, and act. He was very colorful from a very early age, and it was pretty clear he was gay to everyone who knew him. So while some may truly believe that this is something that is a conscious decision, I have to respectfully disagree there. My son, and other kids like him, did not choose this. In fact, my son has told me that if it were actually a choice, he never would have chosen something that would cause him to be hated and bullied, simply for existing. He was born this way, and we love him unconditionally for who he is....Who he has always been.
3. Do you worry that he will molest your youngest son? (Or any other children)
Yes, this is something I have actually been asked, more than once. No, I do not fear that my son will become a pedophile simply because he is gay. This is an absurd thing to say on so many different levels. For one, most gay people are not pedophiles, just like most straight people are not pedophiles. Pedophilia is the attraction to children. This is something that is horrifying, but it is no more common among gays than it is among heterosexuals. In fact, most people I know that were abused as children were abused by someone of the OPPOSITE sex. My son is not into little kids and never will be. He much prefers grown men, such as Adam Lambert or Channing Tatum. Gay does not equal evil pervert who victimizes innocent children. Period.
2. You need to go to Jesus and pray the gay away.God doesn't approve!
Okay. Again, this is wrong on SO many levels. SO MANY LEVELS. For one, the God I know loves ALL of his children, and doesn't make mistakes. (And YES, we DO believe in God here.) So if God created each of us in His image, that would include those of us who are gay.
Not to mention, Jesus never once uttered a word about homosexuality. Not once. Don't believe me? Well, grab your Bible and go check it out. Homosexuality IS mentioned in the book of Leviticus, which is part of the Old Testament. Pre-Jesus, folks. While the book of Leviticus frowns on homosexuality, it also forbids eating bacon or shellfish, wearing jeans with a rayon top AKA mixing fabrics, adorning oneself with gold, or even getting a tattoo. So basically, if a person is screaming about the horrible gays, they need to take off their wedding ring, have their tattoos removed, and put down their bacon cheeseburger. Oh, and of course, every element of their wardrobe must be made from the same fabric or else God will become very, very angry. Why? Because the book of Leviticus says so.
Another thing to take into account is that while the Bible is a valuable teaching tool, it cannot be taken too literally. For one, it was not written by God. It was written by several different men over the course of hundreds of years. That's right....MEN....And man, according to the scriptures, is flawed. It is very hard for me to believe that each author's personal biases and opinions were not included in the texts.
Also, it was written in VERY different times when there wasn't as much understanding about the world, or people, in general. People had very different views throughout history, and we live in a time where we simply know better. We don't burn witches at the stake anymore. We don't put cocaine in our cough syrup anymore. We don't think the world is flat anymore. We don't send everyone off to institutions to rot because they are mentally ill. These views are uneducated and antiquated. We know better about so many things....Shouldn't our views on gays be updated, too?
Think about it. Do you REALLY think God approves of the way so-called Christians treat gays? I don't. In fact, I wouldn't consider hateful people who use God as an excuse to hate to be real Christians. There is nothing Christ-like about hate. There just isn't.
1. Teach your son that he should be proud of being male from birth.
Yes, someone actually had the audacity to say exactly this very recently. I have a HUGE problem with this statement.
First, my son is GAY, not TRANSGENDERED. They are two very different things. Not even in the same stratosphere as one another. Not even remotely.
Transgendered people don't identify with the gender they were assigned at birth. They may have one set of "plumbing", but in their heart and soul, they feel like they should have been born the opposite gender. Imagine being stuck in a body that felt foreign to you, and there's nothing you can do about it. Imagine how painful that must be on a daily basis. That is what transgendered people go through every day of their lives. It is heartbreaking in itself, but completely irrelevant to my home and our situation.
Gay people are just....well....Gay. My son may like experimenting with his hair or even wearing eyeliner on the rare occasion, but that does not mean he has any desire to be female. He doesn't. He's quite happy being male, and doesn't have any wishes to change that. Implying that his "gayness" means he's trying to be something he's not is offensive, mean, and wrong.
Saying that my child should be taught to be "proud to be male from birth" is like saying that everyone should be a conformist and individuality should be frowned upon. No, not everyone wants to wear flannel shirts, sports jerseys, and rock a crew cut. Sorry. It's just the truth. We encourage Kyle to express himself and be comfortable in his own skin. If that means he wants blue hair, pink hair, or even perfectly winged eyeliner, so be it. More power to him. He is comfortable enough with himself to be out and proud, and because of that, he is my hero.
So, there you have it. 5 things you should never, ever say to the parent of a gay child. Like I said, I have no problem with different beliefs. Everyone is entitled to believe whatever they would like. What I DO have a problem with is when those beliefs turn into hateful, discriminatory words or actions. Sometimes it's more important to be kind than to be right. Everyone, my child included, deserves kindness and respect.
BE the change you want to see in the world. That's exactly what I intend to keep trying to do.
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