Reflections of GLBT Ally

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I met Rich In 1973, he was my first gay friend and I enjoyed 26 years of close friendship with him until his death in 1999. Rich wasn’t an occasional friend who frequently visited the family, no at a point in time he became a member of my family and later lived with us; he was ‘uncle’ to my children and  I was his sister. Where the family went – Rich went, what we did, he did as well. He was a gentle, sweet man. In those days ‘gay people’ lived in tightly locked closets but over the years as our friendship evolved, as I moved from being a friend-to sister-confidant I learned of his early struggles; I heard his pain.  Many times Rich and I cried together, oh yes, many, many times. In 2003 I finally met my nephew and his husband and in time they also shared their memories and stories with me; I saw and felt their pain; and we also cried together. We are family and we do family things together, we watch TV, we go out to eat, go on picnics … eat ice cream cones and walk on the beach, we tell family stories – we laugh and giggle and we also mourn for the family members we’ve lost.  We do what all families do; we simply enjoy each other’s company.  I’m not their ‘straight aunt’ who comes to visit them. I am Aunt Rachel and they are G and B my family, period.     

Coming out as an ally I was unprepared; the 26 years of friendship and the family stories gave me an overview of the LGBT world. Three years ago I didn’t know or understand the perverse pulpit predators, prejudicial legislative bullies or religious terrorism. I came out as an ally with an open heart and with so much ignorance. No; I knew absolutely nothing about LGBT rights and issues, I thought I did but I discovered there was still so much for me to learn, to understand.  When Joe Knudson introduced himself to me and then to the Let’s Reach One Million People campaign I knew I was home: I knew the moment I met Joe that he was my brother and I didn’t just cry – I howled; thankfully my husband wasn’t home; he wouldn’t have understood my emotions, but I was home and Joe was my brother and the universe needed to hear my voice. I bawled like a baby for an hour.     

Three years later I am immersed in the LGBT community however I am viewed by many as an outsider but I am deeply aware of the intensity of everyone’s personal struggles. I read the news feed, I hear the anger- the pain. Yes, I fully understand that just staying alive is a daily struggle, and that protecting one’s privacy means survival and the ability to define one’s own destiny is vital. I know that staying mentally – emotionally healthy is another subject entirely. I’ve learned about sexuality and gender non conformity, about self-identity and Interconnectedness.

I’ve learned so much and realize there is still more for me to understand. Today I understand Equality, the Equal Rights movement, and I understand the heavy burdens of personal issues and what I know today was not in my head three years ago, then it was general knowledge.

 The personal horror stories deeply, deeply touch my heart; I read heartbreaking stories of betrayal and rejection; childhood violations, lack of support, disappointment and fear; cruelty and lack of nurturing. Yes my heart was always fully engaged, yes I knew of these wounds but I did not understand the depth and breadth of the wounds nor did I understand the extent of the deep pockets and long arms of the religious right or their vicious tenacity; their depravity.

Christianity is not the Christianity I knew either. Three years ago I read a story of a young man and his homophobic mother. Mother took her young son out in the woods and tied him to a tree and put a rifle to his genitals and told him that if she ever found out he was gay she would shoot his ‘balls off.’ This is a Christian? This is a Mother?  This horror story was my introduction to homophobia.  I was horrified.

Today I read horror stories and each one tries to destroy my innocence but I will not let this happen. I am absolutely outraged and horrified but I cannot let this turn into sourness and bitterness, this is a price I am not willing to pay. But I can’t read LGBT news without my heart responding. I read other peoples reports and the comments of the news. I read the news-feed on my page and read the comments; oh yes I hear the anger- the rage the pain. But I am locked out; ‘friends’ after three years and I’m still locked out; I’m still an outsider to so many, ‘straights’ cannot feel their pain I’m told and I will honor those who feel that way but I will also say that I have been honored by a few who have opened themselves to me and shared their anger, their sorrow, their bitter tears; their pain.  

It’s true, I’ve never been bullied, beaten or discriminated against but no one can tell me that I cannot understand feelings. I understand abandonment, emptiness, grief, loss, loneliness, rejection, sadness, sorrow just as I understand the terms equal rights movement; human rights, homophobes and homophobia. I guess they don’t think that I read with horror and pain of the perversity of the violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice but I do. I know for certain that I understand the Equal Rights movement because I fully understand the needs.   The Equal Rights Movement isn’t a party and being gay isn’t a lifestyle a fad or a sickness. Equality opponents talk about Gay and sin and salvation and speak of ridiculous absurdities that I won’t bother to list.  

The Equal Rights Movement is about LGBT people being acknowledged as human beings – warm – wonderful people of quality and worth and deserving  to be acknowledged; to be seen and recognized as warm – wonderful people and should be treated with all courtesy, dignity and respect and have every right to expect and enjoy legal freedoms, liberties and rights as granted when born: The truth is that each of us can say “I was born whole and complete and I am still that child:” Yes, equal rights are civil – human rights and yes they are for everyone.  

A family pet is lavished with attention and care while a senator creates a bill to support bullying. This senator chooses to make light of LGBT safety and security issues such as assault, eviction, harassment, homelessness, loss of relationships and society chooses to stand by and accept and condone this just as they accept the absurdities told by pulpit predators. A vicious bible bashing radio personality said that ‘gays are not human’ and other hateful ‘pseudo religious’ personalities tell hateful lies and myths with such ease and listeners absorb their unholy gospel and sit back and allow human beings to be persecuted and tormented. They allow young people to be bullied; they allow men and women to be beaten and yet they shake their heads and do not understand why a seven year old child takes his life. They sit in church and listen and nod and accept absurdities spoken by their pastor; they listen to news of legislators convening to call for the deaths of LGBT in another country.  I have no doubts about who the monsters really are.    

The International Human Rights Council condemns violence, harassment, discrimination, exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity that undermine personal integrity and dignity. But the question must be asked, where is the public outcry, why does society accept and condone the absurdities told by the pulpit predators, why accept the violence against LGBT? LGBT rights are human rights and civil rights: Human Rights are universal – they apply to me as well as they apply to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.

Of Homophobes and the homophobic: Everyone has a right to be seen and their voice heard, their presence known. As a news contributor to various Facebook pages I read extensively about homophobia and homophobes, I don’t understand them or their extreme hate but I know they hate with an unholy passion. I read their lies and remember what a friend states in his blog; ‘lies told in the name of God are still lies’ and I’ll add that persecution and torment done in the name of God is not only hypocritical this is  blasphemous.  I see how their vicious prejudice undermines democracy and makes a mockery of freedom of speech. LGBT are not the enemies of religious liberty as portrayed by the Frigidly Religious nor are they tools of the devil and certainly not God’s adversaries. Yes, I see so much hate in action; I’m mortified and outraged at the outrageous absurdities.

Homophobes teach intolerance. Homophobes create a climate of fear, homophobes create and spread endless lies and push racism.  Homophobia is responsible for the worldwide humiliation persecution, torment; suicide and murder of LGBT people.  Homophobia puts children at risk: LGBT persecution and ridicule by the Frigidly Religious is unfounded and persecution and tormenting of people is not a spiritual value so I question – where is the caring society?  

Members of a caring society protect children from homophobic bullying. A caring society protests homophobic activity: They protest it in their community, on their street and in their public schools. Members of a caring society write letters to their local and state representatives, they stand up and speak out; they let their powerful voices be heard.

Gender: Today I understand that gender is exclusive to everyone but a punishing society cannot or will not accept the fact that it is alright for the school prom to accept a queen with a penis or a king with a vagina. A punishing society says that two men or two women can’t raise a ‘healthy child.’  

Today I understand Pride – even though I went to Pride event years ago I went not fully understanding Pride or Gay Pride now I understand Pride and Gay Pride and better understand the challenges of achieving full equality. I can say with honesty that I fully understand the need for educating and enlightening society and I know we need good PR – we need desperately need funds for PSA’s to overcome the deep pockets of the Rigidly Religious. We need to find a legal way to counteract those unholy ‘Pulpit Predators’ and their vile messages. Educating  mainstream society is a necessity, they need to understand the worldwide violence, harassment, discrimination exclusion, stigmatization, and prejudice that is based on sexual orientation and gender identity; yes, oh yes I understand that hate is man’s doing and his undoing.

Today I speak as ‘we’ because I am not a separate entity. I speak in unity; I understand personal integrity and dignity. To ask another to lock up a part of their being and pressuring another to live a lie is cruel. Again, where is the caring society, where is the care and kindness?

Because it is so cruel and heinous to all mankind no society should never accept, embrace, endorse, condone or promote homophobia yet many do: Today members of churches are afraid to speak up regarding equality and equal rights and this is morally evil! No one should ask another to keep silent about the most intimate part of what makes us who we are.  A justice court states “Sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic… fundamental to one’s identity.” • Immutable means – absolute – unchallengeable – not able to be changed.

Inclusiveness is the center point of my journey as an ally, and though my friends list numbers 160 to the majority I still believe that I am just another name and very few have an interest in me as a friend but some do and I am thankful for this. My friends know who they are: they are warm, witty and wise, and utterly wonderful. When I have a question of a personal nature I ask my witty and wise friends with whom I can talk with about intimate things. At 70 I’m not embarrassed to ask questions [well maybe I do have to think about it a bit] but If my friends are embarrassed at my questions they hide it well but I’m confident enough that they would let me know. This is friendship at its finest.

The democratic process is slow and tedious but I believe that LGBT worldwide equality will be achieved [in time] through proper channels and peaceful means. This does not mean the end of persecution and torment by bigots but I believe that worldwide equality will be achieved.

As long as I am able to think, plan and do I will always be a part of the Equal Rights Movement, my voice of support will always be heard.

Rachel. 

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Rocks, Rivers and Trees

ImageTwo men – with feet of clay stand upon my back to facing the day and destiny; their faces lifted tearfully heaven – each looks for Deity; one tearfully begs for help and mercy; the other whispers thanks for health and mercy.

“Earth is where rocks lie silent, rivers run wild and trees grow as they will.”

The Ancients understood why the seasons changed, why the shadows faded as night descended and why the rooster crowed before the sunlight washed over my back.

They understood the seasons;  that Spring meant singing birds; colorful blossoms  and butterflies: green buds, growth and greening; they knew the long glorious warm days of summer would slowly ripened grains and grasses; they watched the lush green leaves change as Autumn dropped her fiery brilliance to the ground. They woke to tiny drops of dew sparkling like diamonds on the vines and grasses as they harvested the crops – which must be in before the winter snow – they waited for winter. Yes the Ancients understood and withstood the seasons and cycles – the upheavals and tempests of nature. 

For some this is a materialistic place: A netherworld where dark and wicked men lie and live dark and tortured secret lives and the sacred is a place where men torture and torment others with hate filled and hurtful words, and rocks are still used as weapons where rivers run dark and bloody and wild forests are gobbled up by greedy men only to go up in flames.  Sacred teachings are given but Man refuses to stand up and stare down bias and bigotry and hate. Intolerance for others abides and a wife is left behind to have a baby while her man is armed for slaughter walks the streets and calls for deaths at home and in faraway lands. This is cruel, immoral, and unethical and the rocks the rivers and the trees call for all men to put down their arms and rest once again.

Men must again see the rivers as they were when the ancients wandered across my back when they heard the earth sing; when they heard my heartbeat. When they ancients understood the cycle of the sun the moon and stars, they drank fresh clear-clean water and freely ate the grains and fruits and were thankful for the bounty of the earth.  The rock, the river, the tree, care not about the color of skin, of gender, or if a Deity is worshiped or how or when.

Don’t hide! Come out of your hiding places it does not matter what land you call home that place is where your heart is that is your sense of place: There is your rock, river and tree – be proud of it, be so proud that you will stand up for what is right, be so proud that you will not go into the street armed leaving your family behind! The very rock and river and trees of your country weep. Enough do not do this again.

As the rock, the river and the trees are free; enjoy the heritage of ‘freedom of your own conscience.’  Look – look at the blood in the sand at that child’s sandal drying in the mud; smell the garbage in the dump, now go and pick up the broken boards and bricks; repair the broken fences. Soothe those broken hearts and help rebuild a broken life.

Hear the new song of the rock the river and the trees; go and arm yourself for joy and peace – please do not bomb my body again, no- not ever again.  Enough is enough! War no more. You and I – the rocks, the river and the trees are one; we are connected and inter-connected to each other do you feel it that connection? Our hearts are intertwined, as I am in you, you are in me. 

The heart is where we connect -interconnect, and inner connect, it’s the meeting place of all of us.

Rachel

Love is a wonderful gift

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A victory today for my family member and my GLBT FAMILY of friends! HUZZAH!!! Married gay and lesbian couples are entitled to federal benefits, the Supreme Court ruled in a major victory for the gay rights movement.  
 This victory is all about love. The courts may not see it this way but for my family member and family of friends… this is all about love and love needs to be celebrated.  For the next seven days lets celebrate love. I am, I’m going to restrain my impulse to post negative comments for the next seven days, I’m going to rejoice these next few days with only words of love…  
Rachel 

Seven Days

  1. “Love is a wonderful gift. It’s a present so precious words can barely begin to describe it.
  2. Love is a feeling, the deepest and sweetest of all. It’s incredibly strong and amazingly gentle at the very same time. It is a blessing that should be counted every day. It is nourishment for the soul. It is devotion, constantly letting each person know how supportive its certainty can be.
  3. Love is a heart filled with affection for the most important person in your life.
  4. Love is looking at the special someone who makes your world go around and absolutely loving what you see.
  5. Love gives meaning to one’s world and magic to a million hopes and dreams. It makes the morning shine more brightly and each season seem like it’s the nicest one anyone ever had.
  6. Love is an invaluable bond that enriches every good thing in life. It gives each hug a tenderness, each heart a happiness, each spirit a steady lift.
  7. Love is an invisible connection that is exquisitely felt by those who know the joy, feel the warmth, share the sweetness, and celebrate the gift! ”
    – 
    Seven Days: By Douglas Pagels 

Stones for Soup

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The Teacher fished with his men and broke bread and fed the multitude and enlightened the people. The world hungered again but the Church gave the multitude death and stones instead and thus this is the legacy of a perverted divinity. The Teacher spoke of our interconnectedness, and united humanity in love. The world hurts yet the Church arms others. 

The Church fails to think kindly of the innocent, fails to respect women; no the Church is to busy probing for personhood. How many people has the Church condemned, criticized, murdered and neglected! How many futures are being stolen or never known because of the Churches’ perverted divinity? How many lives are being stolen because of the uncompromising devotion to fanaticism and fixations?  

In this day and age a priest tells a mother her child is possessed by demons. Because the child said he is gay.  This is OUTRAGEOUS! This is UNFATHOMABLE! A moral evil that this thinking still exists. This is the Common Era – not the year 1113. This excessive conservatism is obsessive and perverted.

HIV/Aids: What about the sanctity of life? A condom saves lives, yet the Church decreed this was wrong and men and women died – children died. The Church ‘rallied for life’ by working to end planned-parenthood and violated women’s rights when it forced legislation on a doctor to probe for life. The excessive conservatism is obsessive and perverted. The world hungers and thirsts for something greater. You offer stones- the Church could sell the gold and silver and give from the heart. 

Every voice must protest the violence in our community, our home, schools and we must protest loudly to those who standby and tolerate bias and bigotry. The world hurts and you and the Church could have alleviated pain yet the Church endorses and incites and promotes bias and bigotry.

 
The Teachings spoke of our desires to live in a compassionate, understanding and kind world and to love our neighbors. 

The Church is no longer a church – no, it is a hollow shell a building only- it is not a sacred place. It is not a safe haven. How can it be if one is not welcome then no one is. If one is harmed everyone is. 

Humanity hungers and thirsts for something greater and you could sell the gold and silver and give from your heart as the Teacher asked. The Teacher brought people together his teachings were simple, they were based on compassion and mercy but the Church has corrupted them. 

Where is the enthusiasm and excitement that took place on that great gathering on the hillside? Today everything is too complex; men and women are kept preoccupied on sins and forgiveness and reciting memorized prayers; there is no joy in being forever on virtual knees begging for clemency and mercy. 

The Teacher didn’t mention divisionism in his parables; there is no record of this teaching in the Book of Goodness. He didn’t mention convening and conniving with others to kill men and women to persecute and torture or to ridicule and mock them because they loved differently, no there was no mention of preoccupation to women’s reproductive systems.

So this must be the decision of the ‘HOLY SEE’ and just what do the ah-hem ‘holy see’? The Teacher said nothing about men and women being Gay, so whatever they ‘see’ must be by men’s eye’s and ruled by man’s Law. The Teacher said nothing, nothing at all about GLBT. If nothing was mentioned in the simplest teaching about it then the HOLY SEE should say nothing either.

The Church sits in silence when entire Countries hurt: The Church could alleviate the pain yet it doesn’t It can’t since the Church helped design and endorse and helped incite and promote bias and bigotry! 

The Church should speak about the meeting place of the heart; the place of connection; the Church should do more to unite hurting countries, uniting people, bringing people together as the Teacher did. The Church should remind everyone of our common humanity. Yes, oh, yes the Church should remind everyone to love one another.

Oh the evil these men do: Everyone in the HOLY SEE suddenly took temporary vows of silence when Legislation called for death in UGANDA but all that was heard was Silence, silence so eloquent that told a tale of culpability.

The Palace of Malice: a failing entity no longer a leader of peace. Humanity is faced with anger and despair and as a leader the Church should have helped humanity dare to believe and dream. Humanity is faced with anger and hate and the Church Should have helped humanity find comfort and hope. The Church should have shown humanity the way: the way to express concern and compassion, instead the Church demonstrated prejudice and violence when the Teacher would have spoken of connectedness and reminded us of our common bonds.

Life is a struggle from birth to death and the role model by the Church is not acceptable and cannot continue. There is no excuse good enough; it simply will not be tolerated. We must give the humanity more than fruitless ideals. Our children must have solid roots deep in the earth yet we must also teach them to dream and reach for the sky. Earth is our home; we are one people of many colors: we must teach love; we must teach humanity not what to think but how to think mindfully and rationally and to listen to the heart.

This is the Common Era, not 1113, we cannot offer stones for soup when there is abundance around us: come, let’s break bread together and let’s shower the earth with love and sow seeds of care and compassion – for love will stand when all else fails. 

 
Rachel Wolff

 Oh Becky, you and David and your clique

 

ImageOh Becky, you and David and your clique of necromancers and your sordid passion with the macabre.  I see that you’ve put death back on your “I must do list.”  You just can’t wait for people to die; first you wanted to give death as a ‘Christmas gift; now it’s on the table in time for Valentines. Now isn’t that just fine and dandy! Lady, you are just… we’ll lets’ say not sweet; you’re one sordid witch, but then you do consort with the famous Pedophile Protector, the icon of Anti-Gay movement: that poisonous penal pope … who is hell bent for leather to destroy the very essence of the human creature.  –  You and the Pope should make plans to wed. You would become the icons of a virgin marriage; a ghastly modern day version; Phallus and Vagina: the mating that never was.  – Nurse Becky even though you and dr. David were cuddling and cooing in the ER writing prescriptions mandating murder hubby bubby will forgive you, just step into the closet, closet; isn’t that where the…. Hmm?        Image