(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.
Today, my heart was broken. I was sitting in my family room, spending time with my kids and checking my e-mails. The windows were open since it's an absolutely gorgeous day here in my little NE Ohio city, and I happened to notice 3 teenage boys walking down an alley that separates my yard from the neighbor's property. People often use this as a shortcut while driving, but I don't usually see people on foot here. It's a very quiet area.
I asked my teenage son if he knew the boys. He looked out the window and confirmed that he did. He goes to school with them, but never really interacts with them. I just shrugged and went about my business.
Kyle, however, continued to watch, and then said "MOM....They're touching Dan's truck!"
I headed over to the French doors that lead to our deck, and sure enough, these 3 boys were by our truck, doing something...I couldn't tell what from that distance. I COULD hear what they were saying, though, since the windows were open, and I heard the word "Faggot" at least 3 times. As well as plenty of laughter. That was ALL I needed to hear, so I grabbed my phone and headed outside as they ran down the alley.
This is what I found. They egged our vehicle, in broad daylight, simply because they knew this was Kyle's house, and they don't like him because he's gay.
One egg was laying on the hood of our truck, and another on the ground right next to it. That means that these kids had a plan, and executed it. I am fairly certain they don't just walk around with eggs in their pockets. They would have had to either go home or to the store, get eggs, and then come to my house. This was a completely intentional act of hate.
I yelled after the kids, letting them know I caught them in the act. I took a photo as they walked down the street, as well as pictures of our truck. Unfortunately, the photo of the kids was from far away, and is pretty useless. I will not post that here because they are minors.
Then I wrote this note and taped it to the truck, just in case they wandered past my home again I wanted them to KNOW they had been seen, and that we know who they are. .
Luckily for the boys, I am a law abiding citizen and know I couldn't just chase them down and unleash a can of whoop-ass on them. When you mess with my CHILD, my Mama Bear Claws come out. I am absolutely and completely furious, and sad that this even happened in 2015.
I did choose to post these photos in local Facebook groups. (Not the photos of the kids, the photos of the truck and eggs.) My community is incredibly tight-knit, and people look out for one another. Seriously, I could never call another place home.
I have to be honest. I was a little worried about getting more homophobia there. After all, we haven't lived here very long, and my social anxiety makes it hard for me to meet new people and make new friends. I didn't know if anyone would even care what had happened, let alone help to ID these kids so we could report it. (I knew 2 first names and no last names.)
What I encountered was absolutely touching and amazing. While I was worrying about receiving hateful comments, SO many people in my city voiced their support. There were tons of kind words for me, as well as for Kyle. Tons of people that I don't even know were coming forth with kindness, and even offered to help in any way they could. I was absolutely amazed, and I am incredibly grateful to call this small town my home.
Anyway, after being 100% certain we could ID 2 out of 3 boys, I called the school and left a message, and I called my husband, who promptly came home from work. When Dan got home, we called our local police department.
An officer was dispatched, and saw the damage to our vehicle. We talked to him and gave all the info we could, and he assured us that this would not be taken lightly, and that this isn't just a slap on the wrist. The most likely charges will be Criminal Mischief and Menacing, both misdemeanors. The most likely result? Well, that is yet to be determined. Apparently the Resource Officer at the high school is going to be contacted, and if any of the boys are known for being a disciplinary problem, it could lead to harsher penalties.
Now don't get me wrong here. I know that kids can be kids, and that teenagers often make bad decisions. I get that. I just happened to be the Teen from Hell, so I know all too well the trouble that kids can wind up in.
I don't want to ruin these kids' lives. I want them to have bright futures, but learn from their mistake. They came to MY home. They egged MY vehicle. All because they have a problem with the fact that Kyle is gay. This is completely and totally unacceptable, in my opinion, and if we chose to ignore it, it wouldn't fix the root of the problem: Intolerance and hate. If no one speaks out, the world, and our hearts, will never change. So, once again, I am choosing to speak. And, we WILL be pressing charges, and these boys WILL be held accountable for their actions.
I have faith that the police will take care of this promptly. I also have faith that these boys' parents will address the problem as well.
The fact is, this simply should not have happened. My child doesn't deserve to be a target simply because he is comfortable in his own skin. He deserves to feel safe and be accepted for the kind and caring person he is. The fact that he's gay is truly no one's business, and shouldn't matter the slightest bit.
Being the mom of a gay kid can be tough. Not because my son is gay, of course. That is 100% fine with me, and I wouldn't change him if I could. Being Kyle's mom is hard because I know that no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to protect him from everything. There is so much ignorance and bigotry in the world, and sadly, we are a target. I understand that we will encounter these things on occasion.
But no matter how prepared I think I am, I just can't seem to get used to random acts of hate.
Well. I will warn you all in advance, this is a bit of a rant post. You see, I am more than a little bit shocked and offended by something that has happened, and I simply cannot remain quiet about it. This is an ongoing problem in our society today, and if people don't speak up, nothing will ever change. I am choosing to speak up.
Recently, in one of my local Facebook groups, I asked for some ideas for charitable giving posts I will be doing here on the blog. I am teaming up with some amazing brands, and have a couple of projects in line that will make a difference in the lives of people in my community. I am very excited about these opportunities, and feel blessed that I am able to do my part to brighten someone's day. In this case, it will actually be a LOT of someones.
Anyway, I was asking seasoned locals for suggestions on how and where I should make these donations. My community is very community service and family oriented, so I knew that I would get some fabulous ideas. (And of course, I did.) Some people were curious about blogging, so they asked that I leave a link to my blog. I gladly provided the link and thought absolutely nothing of it.
My son Kyle came home from school today, and his feelings were very hurt. Apparently, one of his friend's parents came to check out my blog, and quickly figured out that my teen is gay. Apparently, this is a problem for them, and they don't approve of their child being friends with my child. Simply because he is gay.
Kyle is out and proud, and I am not ashamed of him. I don't hide the fact that he is gay, nor do I tip-toe around it or avoid mentioning it. Why would I? As his parent, I am his biggest cheerleader. I support him for who he is, 100%. Even if it means being just fine with the fact that he is not heterosexual. Gasp! The horror! (Please note the dripping sarcasm here.)
So this woman has a problem with my son, solely because he is gay and quite comfortable in his own skin. This absolutely breaks my heart. I have some things to say to her, and to other parents like her, who teach their kids to hate, whether it's intentional or not.
Dear Mother Who Apparently Disapproves of My Gay Teen,
Today, I received the news that you don't approve of your daughter being around my son. Is this because my child gets into trouble, is a bad influence, or is just a little asshole? Nope. You want to keep your child away simply because of my son's sexual orientation.
Sure, Kyle is gay. But that's not ALL he is. Here are some facts about this "horrible, immoral child" that is apparently unfit to be around YOUR perfect, untainted child:
So, hateful parent....Now that you know a bit about who my child is, aside from the fact that he is gay, do you feel differently about the hateful message you gave to your child?
Are you proud of yourself for hurting MY child's feelings? And mine?
Are you proud of the fact that whether intentional or not, you are teaching intolerance and discrimination to your children?
Also, I am curious.....How does someone's sexual orientation affect your life in the slightest? Gay people live much like we straight people do. They go to work, pay bills, are active in their communities, and they raise loving families. Many of them, my son included, also have a strong faith in the same God that you're likely hiding behind to justify your hateful words and actions.
So what's the problem? How are gay people a threat to you? What someone does in the privacy of their home or bedroom is no one else's concern. And frankly, it's really no one's business.
Perhaps you should take a closer look at some of the widely believed gay stereotypes, and you'll see how false they actually are. Gay people are not all promiscuous or "dirty". They are not all pedophiles. Oh, and here's a good one: Gayness is not contagious. My son is not going to sprinkle some "Rainbow Fairy Dust" onto your daughter and magically turn her into a lesbian. (But if she WERE a lesbian, would you disapprove of her so passionately, too?)
My son simply wants what everyone wants. What everyone deserves. Yes, even the awful gays. (Insert eye roll) He wants to live his life happily. He wants to contribute to society, and make the world a better place. He also wants to be able to exist without fear or hateful words and actions being thrown his way. He wants to be able to exist in peace. He wants to be allowed to be who he is, with no shame. Is that really too much to ask? Isn't that something that all human beings deserve?
I don't know what your reasoning is for such ugly, hateful behavior.
Maybe your parents or grandparents taught you to discriminate against those who fit into certain categories. People who were brought up in different eras lived in a time where sadly, it was acceptable to hate. That doesn't make it okay. It doesn't make it right. As parents, it's our responsibility to raise a kinder, gentler generation of kids. The world would be a much better place if people learned to love each other, and be tolerant of those who might not have the same exact lifestyle that they do.
Maybe it's your religion that drives these feelings. It's sad to me that some of the most hateful people also claim to be the most devout and pious. Before I say anything else, please let me say that I DO believe in God. I just believe that we, as flawed human beings, have it all wrong. Keep in mind, the Bible was written by several, flawed human beings over hundreds of years. There is a lot of personal bias and interpretation that has gone into those texts.
If you're going to allow this book that was created by man to dictate the entirety of your beliefs, please keep these things in mind:
While being gay is "wrong", so is wearing mixed fabrics. If you're wearing a pair of cotton pants and a rayon blouse, guess what? According to your own, flawed logic, you are pissing God off.
Oh, your brother is making you mad, or you don't agree with his lifestyle? Okay. Go kill him. Just like Cain and Abel. Go for it.
Ever talk back to your parents growing up? Uh oh.....Go take a look at what the Bible allows as punishment, should you take it all so very literally.
Ever been divorced? Well, apparently, you are a heathen in the eyes of God, and can never have a "real marriage" other than the one you dissolved. It doesn't matter if there was abuse or infidelity. Divorce is divorce, so you're going to burn in the flames of Hell for all eternity if you've had one, right?
Are you starting to feel just a wee bit ridiculous for spewing your hate now? If you live by the Bible alone, chances are, YOU are not in the favor of God, either.
I hope that in the future, you will think before you speak. I have said it before, don't be your child's first bully. You never know if your child just might be gay or bi, themselves. You cannot assume that just because you have a certain lifestyle or belief system that your kids are "safe from the gay". It doesn't work that way.
So while you raise an eyebrow and discriminate against my child, please keep in mind that you may be sending a very dangerous message to your own children. Suicide among LGBT youth is at an all-time high. One of the main reasons that so many innocent, young lives are being lost? They couldn't find acceptance in their own homes. From the people who are supposed to love and accept them the most.
My kid was gay. I didn't choose that, and neither did he. As his mother, I am teaching him that he has NOTHING to be ashamed about. He is a kind and decent human being, and that's what's most important, in the whole scheme of things.
Please. Take a look in the mirror. Look at your children. Think about this with an open mind, but leave your bigotry on the doorstep.
Help break the cycle of hate. Don't continue to be what's wrong with the world today. Choose to teach love and kindness. Because that gay kid that isn't worth your time? Well, he wouldn't hesitate to put his own life on the line to save YOURS, because that's the kind of person he is.
Maybe it's not religion. Maybe it's not what you were taught growing up. Maybe you're just a miserable bitch that takes pleasure in putting people down, whether or not you even know them.
If that's the case, I pity you. And I will pray to a God that loves ALL of his children, even the GAY ones, that your heart of stone can be softened.
Okay, so first, let me say I know I will get a lot of flack for what I am about to say. I know that the "50 Shades of Grey" series has somewhat of a cult following, and I know that it will supposedly be the cause of the next big Baby Boom. Or perhaps it will be this insane, Arctic blast that has a chokehold over a good part of the country. With the timing of both, who knows?
First let me say, while I have read excerpts of the books, I have NOT read them in their entirety. I have not, and more than likely will not see the movie. That's right. I won't be buying into the 50 Shades hype. And for good reason.
No, I am not on some moral high horse, protesting the strong sexual themes, either. While I try my best to keep it classy online, I am the furthest thing in the world from being a prude, and almost nothing shocks me. If you're turned on by kinky sex, that's fantastic. As long as it's between consenting adults, and no one gets hurt, anything goes. Grab the cuffs, the riding crop, and bang away to your heart's content. I'm not going to judge. Heck, I have a toy box of my own. A big one. Creativity in the bedroom is a fantastic way to keep a relationship exciting. Exploring one's sexuality with someone who makes you feel loved and safe can be truly liberating.
I am not here to hate on the books, or on the movie. I won't even tell you not to watch/read them. I would like to give a slightly different perspective, though. The perspective of a woman who survived nearly a decade with a twisted, sadistic, depraved man.
The reason I am troubled by this film and series of books is because I think it sends a potentially dangerous message to women. A very dangerous one.
Hear me out, now.....And really think about it. No, I am not about to go on some irate, feminist rant. I am going to speak from experience. From the heart. This isn't easy for me to talk about, but I feel that it's necessary, especially in a culture where the entertainment industry influences so much in our everyday lives. Don't believe me? How many times have YOU watched "The Notebook" and longed for a love like Noah and Allie's? Be honest! I know I have done this about 4,295,123 times. Much to my husband's irritation. Seriously. I, like most women, can appreciate a good love story.
When I first learned about "50 Shades of Grey", of course the emphasis was on the taboo sex. Then, I began hearing from friends all over how this is a "love story", and how Christian Grey had a bad childhood, and didn't know how to love....Somehow, after meeting and carrying on an abusive, sadistic relationship with Anastasia, he miraculously learns to love, and becomes a "nice guy."
See that chick with crazy, ombre looking hair? (Really, I just needed my roots done DESPERATELY,lol) That's me. I am 33 years old, happily married to a man I have known literally most of my life, and I have 3 absolutely wonderful children. I bought a great old house in my little Ohio hometown, which is the only place that has ever felt like home, and I did so in cash. (Hooray for no mortgage!) I have a ton of blessings, and I do not take them for granted. I am thankful every single day for all of the good things in my life.
Lately, I have been in a funk, and not the Uptown kind. Of course if my Bruno wants to come sing me Uptown Funk, I am more than game....I absolutely adore that man. That is another post entirely, though.
Wait. Who am I kidding? This is more than a funk. A funk is something found on my preschoolers' clothing, that can be washed away with a quick trip to the washing machine. A funk is usually blessedly temporary, however unpleasant it may be.
I can't lie. This is no simple funk. My depression has come back, in full force, and has been emotionally and physically draining me for the past 6 months or so. I cry every single day, sometimes multiple times. I can't sleep worth a damn, and I have become even more introverted, if that's even possible. Just accomplishing simple things like cooking meals or cleaning the house has become incredibly difficult for me lately. I have literally zero motivation to do anything, really. I feel tired. Worn out. Sad. Worthless. Unwanted. Unappreciated. Ugly. And I don't know how to shake it.
People ask me a lot, "Why are you depressed? What happened?"
Well, the answer to that isn't so simple. Nothing really happened, per-se. Other than stressing a bit more about money issues, things have been pretty routine.
Routine. Hmm....Maybe that is the problem, exactly. Things have become entirely too routine.
You see, although I technically have my "Happily Ever After", sometimes I'm not very happy at all. It's no one's fault. Life just happens, you know?
First, I'd like to apologize if my thoughts seem a bit scattered. This morning, I learned about Leelah Alcorn, a LGBT teen here in Ohio who chose to end her own life because her parents didn't accept her.
So I would like to share a coming out story of my own, and how being the mom of a gay child has changed my life for the better.
This is my son, Kyle. He is about to turn 15, and is a Freshman in high school. He is kind, has loads of friends, and is incredibly creative. Seriously. This kid has some serious artistic talent. (It must have skipped a generation, since I can't even draw aesthetically pleasing stick figures!) Kyle gets good grades, is very involved in school activities, and is always the first in line when someone needs help. In fact, he walks his best friend home from school DAILY, just to make sure she gets there safely. We live in a very safe city, so this probably isn't necessary, but I LOVE the fact that his heart is so big that he wants to do it, anyway. I think his BFF appreciates it, too.
Kyle is also very openly gay.
Kyle came out to me a few years ago, while he was still in elementary school. We were watching a documentary about serial killers, and they made mention that killers like Gacy and Dahmer were closet homosexuals, and that their hidden orientation helped fuel their murderous rage. Kyle disappeared for a bit, and then he came downstairs and asked if he could talk to me. He was in tears, and said, "Mom, I think I might be gay."
I know that for a lot of parents, this would feel like the end of the world. Or at least the end of the hopes they may have had for their child. People envision planning weddings, having grandbabies, and their kids leading a "normal" life. No one ever plans to have a gay child. I didn't plan on having a gay child.
Before Kyle was born, I was a right-wing, super-conservative woman. I was married to the World's Biggest Redneck, so I had to go along with HIS beliefs. God forbid I had thoughts or opinions of my own. (No offense to you country folk out there...I LOVE the country life, and my definition of redneck does not include the vast majority of southern folks!) I believed that everything in the Bible HAD to be 100% right, and the idea of gay marriage didn't seem right to me. After all, it's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, right?
Before I became a mother, I am ashamed to admit it, but I was a bigot. I was afraid of things that I didn't understand, therefore it was easier to condemn alternate lifestyles than to open my heart and mind to accept them. It was easier to think as I was told to think, and to believe all of the misguided stereotypes.
Then, I gave birth to a 7lb 13oz baby boy. He instantly became my everything. My ex-husband was an abusive prick, so it was literally me and my son against the world. We were a team. His smile and laughter made my life worth living, and probably prevented me from attempting suicide on more than one occasion. When you feel trapped in an abusive relationship, this sometimes seems like the only way out. But looking at my sweet, blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy made the idea of suicide seem insane. He NEEDED me. And I needed HIM, in more ways than I knew at the time. My son taught me the meaning of unconditional love, and he also taught me how to be a stronger woman and break free of the abusive chokehold I had been in for years.
Being Kyle's mom saved my life, both literally and figuratively.
As Kyle grew, I noticed pretty quickly that he was "different". Rather than wanting to go hunting or fishing with his Dad, he wanted to try on my high heels and make-up. Instead of wanting to tinker around with vehicles, he wanted to design dresses.
I think it's safe to say, I have known my son was gay since he was about 4 years old.
And you know what? It has always been completely and totally okay with me. From the moment I realized I was the mother of a gay child, I was completely at peace with this, and it simply did not matter.
After all, this was the same child who I rocked to sleep, whose boo-boo's I kissed better, and who I nursed through illness. This was my child. No matter who or what he would grow up to be, he would always be my baby, and that love is nothing short of unconditional.
I knew Kyle was gay even before HE did. Having a gay child has changed my mind about a lot of things, and it has changed my heart, too. I am more tolerant, more accepting, and more gentle in general. I am passionate about everyone having the right to love and happiness, and I will be PROUD to give my son away to his future husband one day.
So on that night, when Kyle came to me in tears, telling me he was gay....
"I know. Want to go watch the rest of the movie?"
He suddenly stopped crying, and he smiled. He said, "You mean you don't hate me now? I think God made me wrong, and I just can't make myself change."
This broke my heart. Literally. To see my beautiful, sweet child feel shame for something he didn't choose tore me apart inside. I told him that the God I know doesn't make mistakes, and that he is exactly who he's meant to be. I also told him that we would be there to love him and support him for who he is, and that we were not ashamed of him in the slightest.
We have gone to great lengths to show our 100% support to our son. We left Virginia, in good part because the bullying was out of control and the schools didn't do anything to stop it. When we saw that Kyle was going through Hell every day and had become depressed, we moved to my hometown in Ohio to give him a fresh start. Thankfully, Kyle is not bullied here, and he has a ton of friends. He is like a totally new kid, in the best way possible. Mostly, he is able to freely be himself, without fear of being beaten up or tormented.
I have always been Kyle's biggest cheerleader, and I always will be. The fact that he's gay is just a part of who he is, like his gorgeous blue eyes or his amazing artistic ability. Being gay is part of my son, but it doesn't define him. His worth has nothing to do with his sexuality. His worth comes from being the kind, compassionate, empathetic kid that he is. He will be an amazing man soon, and we couldn't be any more proud.
I guess the reason I am telling out "Coming Out" story is because I wanted to address the fact that before having a gay child of my own, I was very closed-minded. Never in a million years would I have thought my child would be gay. I would have never supported Marriage Equality and equal rights for LGBT people. Never. I had been taught, incorrectly, that these things were dirty and sinful. And while I hate to admit it, these things came out of my mouth on many occasions. I am ashamed that I was ever so ignorant.
But the fact is, my son is gay. Kyle is gay, and he is fabulous, just the way he is. If someone had a magic wand and could magically make Kyle straight? Well, I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't want to change the amazing, wonderful person that he is. Being gay is part of who he is. Accepting and loving him has been the easiest thing in the world. As easy as breathing, in fact.
Today, I fully support Marriage Equality. I support equal rights. I pray every single day that my son will be able to marry the man of his dreams one day, and that his marriage will be respected, honored, and LEGAL. My son deserves to have the same happiness that I do....All of our kids do...Gay? Straight? It doesn't matter. When it all comes down to it, we're all human beings, and we all deserve to be loved, in whatever form that happens to come.
So please, before you utter words of hate or judgement, please keep in mind, your children hear you. They hear every single word. For a child who may be struggling with their own sense of worth due to their sexuality, these words can literally mean the difference between life and death.
Just the other day here in Ohio, a Transgendered teen named Leelah Alcorn took her life, largely because her parents wouldn't accept her for who she is.
This broke my heart.
Please, please realize, the little child whose diaper you're changing...Whose boo-boo's you kiss better, and who you lovingly tuck into bed every night...Well, that child might be gay.
Don't be your child's first bully. Teach them love, tolerance, and acceptance from an early age.
And most of all, love your kids for who they are. Not who you hoped they might be.
No child should ever feel so ashamed of who they are that they end their own lives. Help me battle hate by choosing to love unconditionally.
Being the mom of a gay teen changed my life. Actually, it saved my life.
RIP Leelah, and all the other kids who didn't have the support they needed from family.
Wow, I can't believe that Christmas is just a couple of short days away. This year has truly flown by! While we're all hoping for the material things on our wish lists, I want to tell you about a dear friend of mine. I will not go into great detail about the scientific mumbo-jumbo surrounding her condition, and I will not mention her name, out of respect for her privacy. I will simply call her Marie in this post. I also have to apologize in advance if my thoughts seem scattered. I am crying as I write this, but I feel that this post NEEDS to be written. If it changes ONE person's mind about becoming an organ donor, I will be absolutely thrilled.
This year, rather than that fancy new Coach bag or shiny bling, my friend has a much bigger Christmas wish. My friend wants a chance at life.
You see, I have known Marie since we were about 12 years old. We met in middle school, and the first thing I noticed about this beautiful, shy girl was her warm smile and timid nature. Marie was used to being "different". She was born with a series of serious congenital heart defects, so her life, from birth, has been that of a warrior. She has been fighting to live with every single breath she's ever taken.
She has had multiple open heart surgeries and procedures, many of which were performed before the medical community even knew how to treat her specific disorder. At the time, doctors didn't know what to do to effectively treat infants and children with serious heart malformations. Marie, in many ways, has helped the medical community learn how to treat other kids, just like her. That, to me, is pretty amazing.
Of course her life has been full of fear, as well as uncertainty.
Picture a tiny little girl on an operating room table, putting on her brave face as doctors tried to fix what was "broken". There were no guarantees. Picture her terrified parents in the waiting room, not knowing if their baby would survive these complicated procedures. Back in the 80's, there was a lot of guesswork involved, and by the grace of God, with the help of a skilled medical team, she survived.
About a year ago, Marie learned that the procedure that literally saved her life many years ago, called a Fontan, has actually been slowly killing her. This procedure helped her heart to operate well enough to keep her alive, but it also increased the pressures in her body, which began to destroy her liver.
She has now been diagnosed with both congestive heart failure and late stage Cardiac Cirrhosis. This was something that the medical community didn't know would happen with CHD patients who received the Fontan procedure, and they are just now beginning to see the long-term effects for patients like my friend, Marie. She is actually very lucky that these conditions were even caught in time to plan for treatment of any kind.
So what does this mean for Marie?
It breaks MY heart to say this, but right now, Marie is getting ready to head out of state to meet with a transplant team at a top medical facility. Yes. In order to survive, she will likely need a new heart and a new liver. Both organs will be needed for her to have hopes for a healthy life. She can't receive a healthy "new" liver and keep her heart, because then the new liver would inevitably be destroyed, much like her current liver is.
Pardon my language, but this scares the shit out of me. I hate thinking about the fear my friend and her family are facing, and I hate knowing that while the need for donor organs continues to grow, donations have grown stagnant. I recently looked up some information on organ donation, and what I found was pretty sobering.
Pretty awful to think about, isn't it? SO many peoples' lives can be saved and changed forever through the selfless act of organ donation. Why then, are these organs so difficult to procure for people like Marie, who are in dire need of them? Why is my lifelong friend having to think about the possibility of her own death at the young age of 32? Will she receive the organs she will need to live her life free of illness and disability? Or will her wait simply be too long?
Choosing to be an organ donor is a big decision. I admit, it can be scary to even think about. Choosing to be a donor means that we are acknowledging out own mortality, and no one wants to think about their own death. I have a HUGE fear of death in general, so I can totally understand why some may be apprehensive.
But then, when I think of my friend, Marie, I no longer think of organ donation as a scary thing. I view it as a priceless gift....There are countless people out there right now waiting for someone to give them the chance to LIVE. To finally be able to run that marathon...To be able to have a child of their own, or even adopt. To wake up every day and not have to wonder if the time bomb inside their body was going to detonate. These are things everyone deserves to experience. Marie DESERVES this.
So while you're enjoying the Season of Giving, please consider becoming an organ and tissue donor. This selfless gift can be the difference between life and death for millions in need of healthy organs, including my friend, Marie.
So this Christmas, my biggest wish isn't for that new DSLR camera I want ever so badly. It's not for anything material. I just want someone I love to have the chance to grow old like most of us will. One day, I hope me and Marie can be crochety old ladies sipping iced tea on a porch swing, knitting doilies and talking about our grandchildren. This Christmas, all I want is for my amazing friend to have a real chance at survival.
You can learn more about organ and tissue donation at UNOS.org
Are you an organ donor? Why or why not? I'd love to welcome any discussion on this very important topic. There truly needs to be more awareness of how great this need truly is.
Thanks for listening, and Happy Holidays!
RANT. Sorry, I just HAVE to say something, because what just happened is ridiculous!
Wow. Just wow. Someone I've been friendly with for quite a long time just went off on me...For what, you might ask? Being white. Apparently, they thought I was Latina, but now that they know I am caucasian, I am "evil" and that "all white people need to go back to Hell where they came from."
I have no idea where that came from...I am not a racist, AT ALL, and I don't spew hate online. Nor do I teach my kids to hate. You won't ever find me discriminating against anyone, or condoning it when someone else does. The only people I have any problems with are those that are mean and hateful...And that comes in ALL colors. It's not an issue of race. It's about who someone is as a person that matters to me.
Skin color doesn't matter. Religion doesn't matter. Sexual preference doesn't matter. NONE of that should matter. We're all people. We all have hopes and dreams, and just want to raise good, loving families. And of course, we all want our kids to grow up in a world that is safe for everyone. SAFE for EVERYONE.
There is plenty of ignorance in the world...Ignorance is color-blind, though, and can come from all races, genders, religions, etc. I know plenty of ignorant white people....Plenty. I will be the first to admit that my race is not perfect. No race is. Why? Because races are made up of human beings, and human beings are not perfect. Period.
I am just really upset. I haven't said or done anything to deserve that kind of outburst....I have remained silent when it comes to recent news events. I have not made jokes, made insensitive, screwed up comments, NOTHING. The ONLY thing I have said is that the entire situation is heartbreaking, and that I hope everyone who is in pain, on either side of the fence, finds peace and healing.
That's all I really CAN say, since I do not have all the facts. I was not there. I am not condoning loss of life, nor am I condoning police brutality. Which, let's face it, is a very real problem in today's world. Since I don't know exactly what happened, I choose to just be sad and angry in general, without taking any sides. No matter how the story played out, or who was in the wrong, this just shouldn't have happened. Period.
Is it so wrong to pray for everyone who is suffering pain, heartbreak, rage, and sorrow? No matter what their race is? Doesn't everyone deserve to be treated like a human being, and with compassion?
I don't know what actually happened...I wasn't there...I won't pass judgement. Does it anger me? Yes. Of course it does. No matter how the events really played out, there is a lot to be upset about. There are no winners here. The fact is, someone lost their child. A mother is grieving for her baby. A police officer has to now live with what he has done, legal and justified or not-(I wasn't there so I cannot say how it went down), and look in the mirror every day. There is very real pain for everyone involved. That's just a fact. And those in pain deserve compassion.
I refuse to subscribe to all the hate. I refuse to pretend that I know what it feels like to be a minority, and to be persecuted for simply existing. I suppose that's because I am a white person, and to some extent, have enjoyed "white privilege." I don't deny that. At all. I have never walked into a store and been eye-balled and watched closely because of my race. I have never experienced being overlooked for a job because of my skin color or name. It makes me angry and sad that anyone should EVER have to experience these things. It simply should not happen. As a society, we should be beyond that, and value each and every human being for their merits. Race should not play a part. Neither should religion, sexual orientation, or how wealthy a person is.
At the same time, I also refuse to completely bash law enforcement as a whole. Sure, like most people, I don't like cops. I have no criminal record, and have never even gotten a speeding ticket. But still, I have a certain level of fear, since there ARE officers that abuse their power. That needs to stop, before we find ourselves living under martial law. But I do believe there are cops out there who truly care and try their best to do good for their communities, too. There are BAD people from all walks of life, and in all professions. But, there are good people from all walks of life, too. I try to focus on the good, especially when there are so many stories about the bad in the world.
I refuse to lump everyone into a category, whether it's because of their race or because of their job. I would much rather form an opinion of another person based on their character. How they treat others. By the good in their hearts.
Is This is the first time I have experienced...Shoot...What would you even CALL it?! Reverse racism? It just makes me sad. I try and teach my children to love and accept everyone, regardless of their differences. I teach them that every single person has value. No one should be hated for something they didn't choose. No one chooses their race...I certainly didn't get to choose mine! Just like my son, who I am incredibly proud of and would never want to change, didn't choose to be gay. But apparently, none of that even matters because I am white.
What on Earth is the world coming to?! Why can't people stop generalizing and hating based on nothing more than which box a person checks off when they complete a US Census? Why can't we all try and accept and HELP each other? I think if there were more love and acceptance in the world, then true healing and progress could be made. As long as people carry so much hate in their hearts, we, as human beings, are screwed.
Sorry for the rant, I am just in absolute shock that someone would call me the "devil" simply because I am white. Not all whites are racist, just like not all blacks are "thugs" and all Muslims are not "terrorists".
The hate needs to stop. For the sake of my children and yours, let's raise them to be kinder, gentler people than we are. Hate starts in the home...With what kids hear every day. Before ranting and raving about race, sexual orientation, and other "touchy" topics, please remember that a child may be listening. If we want a more peaceful and tolerant world, we need to rise up and be better examples for future generations.
This is my house. It was built in 1924, and is located in a very quiet little town in NE Ohio. While many people wouldn't like having a home quite this old, we prefer it. In fact, we focused mainly on older homes when we were house-hunting a few years ago. They tend to have more character, as well as history.
Our home was owned by a well-known local family for many, many years before we bought it. One of the family members is actually in a band called Devo. You may remember their song, "Whip It", that was very popular in the 1980's.
Don't remember it? Here you go:
You know you were butt-dancing in your seat. That's okay...I was, too!
Anyway. The woman who lived here was a fixture in the community. She was a school teacher, and was also very involved in city happenings throughout her life.
Sadly, she passed away a few years ago, leaving her much-loved home vacant. We bought it from her sons for an amazing price. Of course the home needs tons of updating. Some of the wallpaper and flooring is far too dated for our tastes. It's on our mile-long to-do list.
Today, my husband was off. He took advantage of the nice weather and decided to do some yard work. As he was mowing the grass, a man stopped to talk to him. It was the previous owner's son, and he had actually grown up in this house!
He told Dan some pretty interesting things. For one, we learned that there is a 20+ year old time capsule located in a corner brick where our addition was laid. Pretty cool, right?
He also asked if we had noticed anything strange happening in our home...It turns out that someone has been lingering here for decades...someone no longer living. She has been seen, in full-bodied, apparition form, many, many times over the years. He and his siblings had seen her growing up, his wife had seen her, and the previous owner had seen her often, too.
Where did 99% of all this strange activity take place? Well, he said that when you head up the stairs, it was in the first bedroom on the right. That is my 4 year old daughter's room.
Now I have to admit, Sophie doesn't sleep in her room. At all. I am one of "those weird co-sleeping moms" that allows my 3 and 4 year olds to sleep in the room with my husband and me. Right now, Sophie's bedroom is nothing more than a big, giant closet. We have TONS of clothing to sort to either put into storage or donate. (We really need to get to this, because Sophie has a LOT of clothing. A LOT.)
In addition to seeing a female entity, they suspected there was a male energy as well, since randomly, there would be the strong odor of pipe tobacco that would hit and then dissipate within seconds. Cold spots would always accompany this phenomenon.
We actually spend very little time upstairs, since we sleep on the main level of our house. My son, Kyle, is the one who spends the most time on the upper level of our home. He lives in his room, which is right next door to Sophie's.
I posted something on my personal Facebook page about what we learned, and a woman I met in a local group, who just happened to be the previous owner's close friend while she was living, confirmed this rumor. She, too, was aware that my house is haunted. She was told this by the previous owner, and apparently, it was common knowledge.
When Kyle returned from school today, I filled him in on this interesting news. I said, "Kyle, guess what? Today we found out we might have a GHOST in the house." In typical teenage fashion, he rolled his eyes and said, "I know that."
He said that he had felt cold spots, seen a figure out of the corner of his eye, and that doors would open on their own. (He had told me this before, but I always figured this was the cats playing tricks on him.)
The one thing I have noticed is that for some reason, the light in Sophie's room is on at odd times. Like I said, we spend VERY little time upstairs. The only time we even go into her room is to grab clothing, and we always turn the light off. Still, pretty much every time I go upstairs, usually to shower, her light is on. I had always blamed Kyle, and even yelled at him for it a few times, and he always denied it.
I wonder if it's the spirit I was told about today, if there is, in fact, some sort of entity here....
I know some people would pack up and leave if they learned their home might be shared by something other-worldly. I personally think it's pretty cool. I have always been interested in all things paranormal, so I am going to be paying closer attention to the happenings upstairs from now on. The reports from both our gentleman caller and the former owner's friend say that the spirit is definitely not a "bad one" and has never been threatening or menacing in any way. Maybe one day I will get to catch a glimpse of this activity, myself!
If anything, it makes for a fun Halloween story!
Have YOU ever seen or felt a spirit? I'd love to hear about it!
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