Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!


From Lorrie and I, to all of you, Merry Christmas and the most wonderful of  New Years! 
I hope you each get everything you want and need this year.  I know I will on the first, when Darling Lorrie is here for 5 days. 
Take care of yourselves and the ones you love because that is the best we can ever do. 
Again, we wish an amazing and Merry Christmas to all!!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Simply Live........



''Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, and let go of what you can't change. Kiss slowly, play hard, forgive quickly, and take chances, give everything and have no regrets. Life's too short to be anything…but happy.''

Friday, December 4, 2009

Messy Closets....

Being in the closet is messy. It's hard to keep track of things and to know where you have placed things.  Important things too, like love, feelings, friendship and honesty.  Again, it is just what Barney Frank said "the effort required to live a clandestine emotional/sexual life involves an all-consuming strangulation of one’s fundamental identity....It leads to cracked judgments—particularly those involving people—since one’s ability to see others clearly is spavined by emotional chaos in order to successfully live the lie."

I personally know 5 married women in real life who are lesbians and are still in the closet in varying degrees. Still married to their husbands, usually because kids are involved.  One is childless but prefers her social standing within the straight world.  Each is holding out as long as they can, but even with those whose husbands know it is still messy.  I am in love with just such a woman.  Some husbands know and accept it because of the children, some know and don't accept it and are making their wives and themselves miserable until she finally decides to leave.   The children in the end aren't happy either.  The parents are not giving a very good example of love to them.  The tensions are still felt by the kids no matter how hard you try not to let them.

She will leave eventually, oh yes, she will.  Just how much damage is done by that leaving is up to the husband and even the wife.  Maybe you can think of it this way: The Soviet Union manged to keep their unarmed populace under control by fear and intimidation for 60 years.  Then the people simply said "we've had enough".  The Soviet Union had guns and laws and nuclear weapons.  The people did not.  The unarmed people who decided they had enough brought the Soviet Union down.  The nuclear arsenal of the United States did not. Fear gets tiresome after a while, you can get so tired of being afraid that even nuclear weapons wont keep you where you don't want to be. Again, there are some husbands who do not know, nor should they ever.  They are abusive enough already.  And then there are some women who know they are lesbians but haven't acted on it and are waiting until the children are grown, or until they meet the right woman.  Some women have lovers and get together with their girlfriends when they can but don't plan on leaving their husbands, ever.

I know probably 30 more through this blog who have emailed me or left comments, they are all lesbians but each is in a different stage in dealing with it.  Some are out, some are out and divorced, some still married and some are still married but haven't acted on their feelings.  I know of one who has simply fallen in love with a woman.  But does not identify as lesbian.  Love comes in many forms.  But it is no less love than what I feel for Lorrie, no less valid. 

There are hundreds of blogs by women like us that I have visited at one time or another.  The numbers are probably in the thousands though.  I know of a few more who have joined the Late in Life Lesbians network.  I have met 3 more on Twitter, on twitter I have also met a woman whose mother came out when she was still a child.   I personally know two men who are gay, who are married to women and are still in the closet.  I know of one more with an interesting arrangement, the straight wife gets one million dollars if she stays with him until their child is grown so he can remain in his closet.  All closets are emotionally expensive to be in.  That one just happens to also be financially expensive, hopefully he keeps his bargain with her.  Right now she is sticking to it, but the emotional cost, again, this is my opinion only, is hardly worth it.  Most men don't want to date married women contrary to popular belief.  Most men who will date married women are either married themselves or are just looking for a no strings attached arrangement.  I have often thought how lonely that life is for the straight partner.  How lonely it can be for the gay spouse as well. 

From what I have read at the Straight Spouses Network, more women that are married to gay men know their husbands are gay than men know their wives are gay.  It is my opinion though, that the only reason it is true is because we women can hide our emotions better and fake it much more easily than men.  It is easy for us to have sex when we are not aroused, it is much, much harder for a man.  I know a lot of us also worry that our husbands reactions will be very negative and possibly hurtful when they find out.  Their desire to hurt as much as they have been hurt can often overrule their feelings to protect the children from harm by speaking out against their wives.  One of the first things that the Straight Spouses Network tries to get across to the straight spouse is that speaking negatively about your gay spouse to your children, only hurts the children, and it will hurt their relationship with the child when they discover for themselves that all those those things they said about you are lies. 

In the United States it is estimated that there are an equal number of gay men and women closeted as out.  That is a number in the millions.  Millions, not thousands.  The percent of the population that is out, open and free, is approximately 4%.  Approximately 12,000,000 people are out, approximately 12,000,000 are living "under cover" or "in the closet."  The term for a woman married to a gay man is a beard.  I don't know what the term for a man married to a lesbian is, chastity belt? mask? beardette?  Does anyone know?  A gay and lesbian married to each other to provide cover for both is called a lavender marriage.   You know if there is a term for it, then it is much more common than anyone wants to admit.

I can't really speak for the gay men in these situations, nor can I truly speak for the other women. I can only speak from my own experience and heart.  I knew I was attracted to women from about age 6 or 7.  I grew up in the 60's.  I was indoctrinated to believe that a girl grew up, married a man and had children.  You lived happily ever after and your husband was your prince charming and your children were wonderful and that life fulfilled every desire.  Sex with your husband was to be amazing, or something you bared, depending on who was telling you about it.  But either way, we were led to believe it was a man whom you would fall in love with.  At least today with this subject openly talked about there will hopefully be fewer people living in messy closets in the near future.

Meredith Baxter Birney just came out, she pretty much said the same thing a lot of us have said.  We don't always know because we didn't know that there could be another way.  I knew, I knew there was another way, I was always an inquiring kid, I saw movies, I read books.  I just didn't have the guts to live my life authentically.  I misunderstood what God was trying to show me because my religion was all about the laws of an ancient theocracy and nothing about simply worshiping an amazing, creative, multi-faceted God.

I am reminded of when my mother-in-law was dying.  She had been raised staunch Southern Baptist.  After two years of painful cancer, on her death bed, she wrote a letter to her children.  In it, she said something about that she had learned that God was not at all like we had been taught.  To love God with all your heart is all that is necessary, and to love God means to love others, to treat others, as you wish to be treated, no matter how they treat you, this is all that is required.  I wrote a multi-part piece about the process of my reconciling my religion with my gayness, but I really just needed to write this one thing: you have to come to reject religion as man defines what is true in order to understand your own self, I think this is true of all humans, not just the gay ones, the non gay ones just have an easier time of living with the man made rules.  You have to listen to God for yourself.  He shows us everyday the truth, we just need to pay attention.

Messy closets.  That is all living in one brings.  No room to breath, no room to grow.  Staying in it you and those around you just end up stunted. The husband paying his wife one million dollars so he can remain in the closet is really fooling himself.  He isn't able to enjoy his life anymore that the wife who has agreed to stay with him.   Fear keeps him in, fear keeps us all in.  Fear of society's expectations, fear of what others will think, fear of being attacked for who you are, fear of our own feelings, fear of hurting the kids, fear. Fear.  Fear.  People, it is time to get sick and tired of fear. 

What is it going to take to empty all the closets?  People who know they know someone who is gay are about 80% in favor of our receiving full and equal treatment under the law.  (We already are guaranteed those rights by the Constitution, we just aren't treated equally by those in power who are supposed to carry out those laws.) Everyone on earth knows someone who is gay, problem is, most of the people don't know they know because there are so many in the closet.  It is just this simple.  Until the closets are emptied and cleaned out, we are and always will be emotional cripples, liars and damaged as humans.  We will continue to hurt those closest to us and we will never know all that life really has to offer.

Update: just ran across this article with insight from straight spouses and why they support our rights, from the Washington Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/06/AR2009110602953.html

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Brokeback Marriage

Way to go Baby! You blogged!!!

I'm not going to be as good as you and actually write a blog but just attach a link to this article that I'm sure most of us can relate to from the Dec. issue of the Philadelphia magazine:

http://www.phillymag.com/articles/sex_brokeback_marriage/page1



Oh...and 31 Days from now I will be in Reno with My Baby!

Friday, November 27, 2009

OK, I think I just have to dive in and just write what I have thought about in the past few months!!!


Hello again my friends!!! You know I have been having a hell of a time with writers block, and frankly I am tired of talking and thinking about it right now, so I guess I just need to just write my thoughts and we can all sort out any confusion in the comments section!  I have missed you all terribly and have a few times tried to put something up, but every time my mind drew a blank and I would just turn off the computer and say I'll do it tomorrow.  I think enough tomorrows have gone by don't you?

I think I want to start by saying I read a biography a couple of months ago called Barney Frank: The Story of America’s Only Left-Handed, Gay, Jewish Congressman by Stuart Weisberg. Weisberg writes that Frank “found Abraham Lincoln’s aphorism to be as relevant to an individual as to a country. ‘I could not live half slave and half free, privately free to be a gay man but publicly a slave to the prejudice that would not allow me to acknowledge it,’"

Now probably the most mind blowing thing that I read in this book was the following statement, because until we came out of the closet, (even if we aren't a public figure) we knew this is true, even if we didn't have the words to express it and it is why it is so very damn important that every closet be at long last emptied: Being in the closet is a culturally induced mental disease. For a public figure, the effort required to live a clandestine emotional/sexual life involves an all-consuming strangulation of one’s fundamental identity. It is psychologically, emotionally and mentally exhausting, all the more so if one is in a prominent political office, in which image is all-determinant. It leads to cracked judgments—particularly those involving people—since one’s ability to see others clearly is spavined by emotional chaos in order to successfully live the lie.

There is no way to be a complete, whole or especially not an authentic human being until we stop living the lie.  No ifs, no buts about it.

With that in mind, I read this month's Advocate magazine, and the letter from the editor was about how he is a man, who just happens to be gay. It struck a chord with me, because really when I have to think of my identity for what ever reason, lesbian is not the first thing that comes to my mind. Honestly, Mom is. Then Lorrie's lover and then the rest of all the things that make up the sum of my parts.  That wasn't true when I first came out, LESBIAN was who I WAS.  And it felt like it was ALL I was.  I think that coming to the realization that I am who I always have been but I just happen to be a lesbian was something that came with my finally knowing I am whole and complete as a woman.

At the same time me being a lesbian does influence the whole of me in a large way. It just isn't all I am. It isn't all any of us are. I am finally comfortable with who I am, finally comfortable in the knowledge that I am also a lesbian. Comfortable in my own skin, warts, bumps and all.  Well, OK, some of those warts gotta go though.  And the bumps need to get smaller, or at least firmer!!

Let's see, probably the most pressing news you all want is to know is that I will be moving to the Philadelphia area next summer, come hell or high water.  Lorrie and I have absolutely had it with the long distance crap!!!
I will graduate next Spring!  I CAN'T WAIT!!!!  It has been over three years now, three years of longing and patience and frustration and emails and phone calls and of course the best of all times every three months when we can get together but enough is enough already! :D

So, I already told you I quit my job, OK, you know that.  I don't have a part time job as planned but my former husband is living with us again because of the accident he was in a couple of months ago, so he is helping with the expenses and I help take care of him. It hasn't been all that bad at all, he and the boys are spending a lot of time talking together and watching movies and he and I get along, we have of course, since he realized that I had to be who I am and that it wasn't his fault, lol.  His sobering up last winter has been the biggest part of letting things get right in the end. 


And now for your Christmas and everyday shopping pleasure: my last post was about Jay's "Everyone's a freak to someone"....well, I haven't been totally MIA, because I helped him set up a Cafe Press store to sell some items with his catch phrase on them :) Here is the link to it, and let us know if there is something you think we should add to the line up, I mean if you are going to buy it and all!  He he he he.   http://www.cafepress.com/everyonesafreak  Come on over and get your freak on!!!

OK, that wasn't so hard after all :) and I was going to talk about Facebook, LOL but I think that is going to have to be another post, all to itself!

Take care everyone, I do hope you had a great Thanksgiving if you live in the U.S. and a great weekend for everyone in the whole world!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Everyone's a freak to someone, National Coming Out Day, and other thoughts.


Today is National Coming Out Day!  It is also, I just realized, the One Year Anniversary of this blog!  I cannot believe it has been a whole year.


The past two months have been very topsy turvey around here.  Things are beginning to settle down and you all should be able to receive much more frequent updates to this blog.  It is after all dedicated to those of us who come out later on in life, many of us having lived in the closet for years, many have married and also have children.  We know that our experiences are different from perhaps someone who came out at a younger age, or never married.  I sure hope to get this back on track as a forum to help each other get through it as best we can. 

I know you may be looking at that interesting graphic there about freaks, and maybe even thinking "Rebecca, I am sooooo not a freak!!"  LMAO.  That's funny, my first thought was HELL YES!!!  We all have SOMETHING about us that would seem absolutely freaky to at least one other person on this earth.  Even if it is as simple as eating fried bologna (love it, personally).  Now I know I have some other freaky habits (so not sharing those), Lorrie might even know of a couple that I don't even realize she thinks are freaky.  Anyway, Jay, over at the ever fabulous, always entertaining and sometimes too thought provoking Jaysays.com, had a post up that if you wrote your freaky thing to him, he would send you a bumpersticker of the graphic above.  I have one, he actually generously sent two, one of which was claimed by one of Kevin's buddies.  He spoke first, he got it, I wasn't giving up mine, NO WAY!  From the reaction I got from Kevin's friends, I think he is really on to something there.  It sure makes you think while you are laughing to yourself!


OK, so back to National Coming Out Day.....it was also the National Equality March in Washington D.C.  From the time I saw a post about this through "Join the Impact" I really wanted to go.  I couldn't, I knew I had school, my job wouldn't let me have the days off, I didn't know until last week that I was quitting my job though........LOL.  Yeah, in this economy.  A lot of stress lately has been coming from my job, my new supervisor decided that school was not important to me and decided that I should now work 10-12 hours a day and every Saturday.  I don't think she realized I am on a time table to finish in May, July at the latest........I have a country to move across damn it!!!  Sorry, but the job lost.  I can make it finding a part time job, and that shouldn't be too hard as Christmas season is closing in on us.

OOPS!   I got off track, (hate when I ramble) I was talking about the National Equality March in Washington D.C.  There are some great stories on it, and was much more successful than most media and politicians thought it would be, and even more successful than even the organizers may have imagined.  Here are some links to several news stories and the Google of the events:

Leah McElrath Renna from the Huffington Post

Towleroad

LGBT Q News

National Equality March Web Site Slideshow

Goombah's Rainbow

Google Search

Take care all and keep coming out of those prisons AKA "The Closet"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fall is Here

Wow, it’s been a long time! I feel like I have been on the roller coaster called life and sitting in the front seat for the last two months. Actually for one fun filled night with my daughter this is exactly what we did; went to a local amusement park and rode all the rollercoasters in the front seat. It took me so long to comb my hair the next day that I contemplated just cutting it, lol (Don’t worry Baby I won’t!).

I started my ride with my trip out to Reno to see my love! (We have blogged about this before so you can read about it in the archives if you want.) I was home for about a week and a half; and the time immediately after coming home from a visit with Rebecca is always so hard, missing her so much; so maybe it was good that I hopped back on a plane and flew to Vegas with one of my good friends for a 4 day visit to Sin City. As visits to Vegas go, I’m sure this one would be considered saintly, lol…we walked, shopped, went to shows, toured the Red Rock Canyon, ate a lot and drank a little (unless you count the daiquiri I had in the Eiffel tower replica!). After 3 days, I had had enough of Vegas.

I got back to my regular Mom duties and job duties for a few weeks. Did the normal back to school shopping with the kids, too many times; wouldn’t it be nice if you could just go back to school shopping once, but I guess that’s not possible when you have a teenage daughter! Luckily, the teenage daughter now has a job so I set a spending limit and she was responsible for anything over that. Took a day or two off to do some end of summer fun things with the kids, riding go karts and going to an amusement park.
I had to come back and edit this in because I just realized I never blogged about it. The end of August I came out to my 15 year old daughter! It turns out that she knew for a while; we had a good conversation about it and a couple since then. If anything, I think she is closer to me now than ever. It is such a wonderful thing to not hold this secret from her anymore!
Then it was back to school time.

But my summer of moving around wasn’t quite over yet. I had an “exciting” pharmaceutical meeting to attend in Boston the second week of September. LOL, it was actually fun except for the meetings! I had a good time going out to eat with the two coworkers I went with; they were pretty fun even if they were men, lol. We even went to a Red Sox game; my first time at Fenway Park.

The last few days of my summer were spent in the Outer Banks attending my nephews wedding. He was married on the sand dunes of Corolla. It was a beautiful ceremony and I am so glad I made the trip. The kids and I stayed a few days after and went to the beach, biked, played tennis (or tried), played racquetball (again tried) and did a lot of relaxing and too much eating.

So now I am home again. It was a very active summer. The fall season is here. My life will be a little tamer for awhile…or at least I hope so..I’m a little tired.

But…you know….a chance to spend some time with Rebecca would get me right back on a plane again. But in the meantime, hopefully I will have more time to blog.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It sure is quiet over here........Where the hell is she?

Hey folks, I need to apologize for not writing, or even not writing to tell you why I am not writing!  There are a few reasons, but the number one reason has been pretty simple, I don't have any story ideas........lol.  Gone, blank, zero, zilch and nada!  I know there is tons to write about, but it isn't flowing right now.  I had this problem before and know that once the dam breaks I won't be able to stop, and will write drafts to post later so I don't do 10 in one day, LOL.

Another reason has been other things popping up, like school starting again, but I have the same blockages there as I do here this semester and that is really not good.

Also the boys dad was in a head on collision three weeks ago, it was very much touch and go for about a week until he had another one of his miraculous recoveries.  He is home (in California) now, and doing well.  He broke his sternum and several vertebrae so will be wearing a shell for many months.  The accident inflamed his chronic pulmonary edema, and that was what made it touch and go.  It subsided finally and they put a pacemaker in on Monday.  He is feeling good and has a positive outlook. The boys are delighted he is doing so well and we will be driving to California tomorrow so they can visit with him. 

Well, before I disappear again, I want to let you all know about a blog that was brought to my attention via Twitter.  It is called:  D.M. SOLIS, AUTHOR'S FORMAL BLOG.  D.M is a freelance columnist, poet and fiction writer, she blogs about creativity, social justice and relationships.  She writes poetry and lyrics as well.  I have really been enjoying reading all of her posts.  Especially the post entitled "How Do We Find Our Life's Passions?"  While I wait for my creative dam to burst, or Lorrie to post something, I know you will enjoy reading hers!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Changing Focus

"All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned, someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself." ~ Ralph Ellison

Like Mr. Ellison, I too was late coming to this realization. But thank God I did!!!
It seems as if most of what I hear and stumble upon reading these days is something along these lines or it points to the profound impact our experiences of just who we are, can have on others around us.  Yes, no matter what others say, no matter what others believe about us, it is our own lives that speak the loudest truth.  Our living authentically is our best defense.


I want to spend some more time speaking these truths.  I am not talking about the film clips of the families together or years long relationships.  Though those have their place.  I am talking about our own knowledge that we are gay.  Not confused, not questioning, but simply gay.  No book, no opinion, no faked out, trumped up studies can change the truth of our own lives and inner knowledge of this. 

Also, I have decided not to continue with the original track of Blogging for Truth because what the Anti Gay Industry says about us is not valid, but what we have to say about who we are is.  And it is more powerful than their biggest lies.


All religions tell us to think on those things that are good and pure and wise.  Hundreds of self help gurus promise riches and happiness if you just imagine the things you want.  While some of them go a bit far with the imagining, there is, I believe a universal truth at work in all of these beliefs.  If we focus our attention on attaining that we expect, then we act in ways that will achieve the things we expect. While bad things happen to everyone in life, studies do show optimists tend to have good things happen to them more often than not, and pessimists more frequently have negative things happen.  We tend to get what we expect, not always what we want.

With that, and because things are still rolling around in the ole brain, I will leave you with one last quote to arm yourself with when the nay sayers are harping at or even in your head:



"Rabbi Zusya said that on the Day of Judgment, God would ask him, not why he had not been Moses, but why he had not been Zusya." ~Walter Kaufmann 

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Sharing Moment!

This morning I received these lovely flowers from My Love just because!!!  What a wonderful way to start my day!

Sorry girls, she is ALL MINE, lol........

Sunday, August 23, 2009

An artist Scott Terry, and his Prop 8 Sculpture

"Art is not made to decorate apartments. It's an offensive and defensive weapon against the enemy." - Pablo Picasso

Quite a few weeks ago, I was introduced to a freelance writer and artist on Twitter, named Scott Terry. He paints watercolors of American pastoral scenes. I am not an art critic, but I find his work beautiful and inspired. I grew up in the farm country of California and his works invoke the peace and beauty that is often overlooked in the rural areas of that state. Scott is an artist first and formost, not an activist, but he was offended by the words of hate used by those supporting Prop H8 in that state. After it passed he was inspired to create a sculpture that he ultimately called "Words of the Stiffnecked People" from Exodus 32:9 (And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people)
Scott describes his piece on his website:

This piece is comprised of 250 wooden blocks, some wrapped with Yes on 8 propaganda and others wrapped in biblical text. They are arranged in a chronological and topographical order, beginning with a miniature Bible in the center and yellow blocks rising out of the chaos and winding their way through a sea of scripture.

I took the words of the fundamentalists and re-printed them on Yes on 8 yard signs and bumper stickers. I gathered the quotes, statistics, history, and headlines and re-arranged them on yellow and blue Protect Marriage material...and then wrapped the remaining blocks with selected pages torn from the Bible and Book of Mormon.

The sculpture is receiving quite a bit of attention since it was first exhibited at the Sacramento Gay Pride event on June 20th, courtesy of the YesOnGayMarriage organization.

It is headed to the California State Employee's convention in Los Angeles over Labor Day, courtesy of the SEIU Human and Civil Rights committee.
It's worth heading over to Scott's site and checking out the pictures of the sculpture and the poster made to go along with it if you can't make the event in LA:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

On Facebook......LOL

So, I signed up for Facebook a while back, you know, just to promote the blogs, but I have gotten some big surprises out of it. I am reconnecting with a number of old friends. Jr. High and High School friends actually. One of the friends you can meet on Late in Life Lesbians, that's Robbie, we went to High School together and always had a lot in common, just how much in common, I never knew, LMAO! Others I have not seen in 20 + years and it is fun getting to know them again.
I am going to pimp one of them, because she has a business now. Tammy and I go way back to Jr. High School and was my very bestest friend until I moved away the year before graduation. Turns out she makes wire jewelry and is pretty good at it too, and her prices are way too low! Check it out at Spirals and Spice
OK, I am not going to make a habit of pimping other people's businesses, so don't ask......
Anyway, I am gearing up to start classes again in a week! I have five this time, each semester before I have limited myself to four because I work full time too......we shall see how it works, but I am impatient to get moving on with a whole new career and life! I think Lorrie is impatient too......LOL

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Seeing Clearly Now......

I guess I should start off by saying that Lorrie and I are NOT breaking up! We have definitely resolved some of the issues that had come up between us with me moving there and what each of us expects when that happens. I know that we won't make the same mistake again of not talking about the things that worry us. Obviously Don't Ask, Don't Tell does not work at all in any situation....that policy is over now in our relationship forever!

For now anyway, Lor said she wanted a break from the blog, but she should still be lurking around the Late In Life Lesbians Network, LOL.

I love this song, and Lorrie mentioned this morning that it was going through her head, lol, thought I would share it with all of you because you have all been so patient of late:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Can All The Anti-Gay Industry Just Go Away Now?

In other words........stop misleading people, stop lying to them, stop the hate AND STOP KICKING YOUR KIDS OUT OF THE HOUSE and/or shipping them to these houses of horror and let them become truly who they were created to be as human beings!

August 5, 2009 -

APA PRESS RELEASE

August 5, 2009
Contact: Kim Mills
(202) 336-6048 until Aug. 5
(416) 585-3800 – Aug. 5-9


INSUFFICIENT EVIDENCE THAT SEXUAL ORIENTATION CHANGE EFFORTS WORK, SAYS APA

Practitioners Should Avoid Telling Clients They Can Change from Gay to Straight


TORONTO—The American Psychological Association adopted a resolution Wednesday stating that mental health professionals should avoid telling clients that they can change their sexual orientation through therapy or other treatments.

The "Resolution on Appropriate Affirmative Responses to Sexual Orientation Distress and Change Efforts" also advises that parents, guardians, young people and their families avoid sexual orientation treatments that portray homosexuality as a mental illness or developmental disorder and instead seek psychotherapy, social support and educational services "that provide accurate information on sexual orientation and sexuality, increase family and school support and reduce rejection of sexual minority youth."

The approval, by APA's governing Council of Representatives, came at APA's annual convention, during which a task force presented a report that in part examined the efficacy of so-called "reparative therapy," or sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE).

"Contrary to claims of sexual orientation change advocates and practitioners, there is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation," said Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, chair of the task force. "Scientifically rigorous older studies in this area found that sexual orientation was unlikely to change due to efforts designed for this purpose. Contrary to the claims of SOCE practitioners and advocates, recent research studies do not provide evidence of sexual orientation change as the research methods are inadequate to determine the effectiveness of these interventions." Glassgold added: "At most, certain studies suggested that some individuals learned how to ignore or not act on their homosexual attractions. Yet, these studies did not indicate for whom this was possible, how long it lasted or its long-term mental health effects. Also, this result was much less likely to be true for people who started out only attracted to people of the same sex."

Based on this review, the task force recommended that mental health professionals avoid misrepresenting the efficacy of sexual orientation change efforts when providing assistance to people distressed about their own or others' sexual orientation.

APA appointed the six-member Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation in 2007 to review and update APA's 1997 resolution, "Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation," and to generate a report. APA was concerned about ongoing efforts to promote the notion that sexual orientation can be changed through psychotherapy or approaches that mischaracterize homosexuality as a mental disorder.

The task force examined the peer-reviewed journal articles in English from 1960 to 2007, which included 83 studies. Most of the studies were conducted before 1978, and only a few had been conducted in the last 10 years. The group also reviewed the recent literature on the psychology of sexual orientation.

"Unfortunately, much of the research in the area of sexual orientation change contains serious design flaws," Glassgold said. "Few studies could be considered methodologically sound and none systematically evaluated potential harms."

As to the issue of possible harm, the task force was unable to reach any conclusion regarding the efficacy or safety of any of the recent studies of SOCE: "There are no methodologically sound studies of recent SOCE that would enable the task force to make a definitive statement about whether or not recent SOCE is safe or harmful and for whom," according to the report.

"Without such information, psychologists cannot predict the impact of these treatments and need to be very cautious, given that some qualitative research suggests the potential for harm," Glassgold said. "Practitioners can assist clients through therapies that do not attempt to change sexual orientation, but rather involve acceptance, support and identity exploration and development without imposing a specific identity outcome."

As part of its report, the task force identified that some clients seeking to change their sexual orientation may be in distress because of a conflict between their sexual orientation and religious beliefs. The task force recommended that licensed mental health care providers treating such clients help them "explore possible life paths that address the reality of their sexual orientation, reduce the stigma associated with homosexuality, respect the client's religious beliefs, and consider possibilities for a religiously and spiritually meaningful and rewarding life."

"In other words," Glassgold said, "we recommend that psychologists be completely honest about the likelihood of sexual orientation change, and that they help clients explore their assumptions and goals with respect to both religion and sexuality."

A copy of the task force report may be obtained from APA's Public Affairs Office or at http://www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/publications/therapeutic-response.pdf.

Members of the APA Task Force on Appropriate Therapeutic Responses to Sexual Orientation:

Judith M. Glassgold, PsyD, Rutgers University – Chair
Lee Beckstead, PhD
Jack Drescher, MD
Beverly Greene, PhD, St. John's University
Robin Lin Miller, PhD, Michigan State University
Roger L. Worthington, PhD, University of Missouri

The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States and is the world's largest association of psychologists. APA's membership includes more than 150,000 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance psychology as a science, as a profession and as a means of promoting health, education and human welfare.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Because some of you believe some of this, and we need to stop doing that if we are to be whole......

Paul Cameron is the man responsible for the "legitimization" of many, many anti gay beliefs held by the American public. His debunked science is quoted by many unknowing Churches, politicians and even the public at large, and by the Anti Gay Industry who do know better who is behind them and what his agenda truly is. It is the ultimate agenda of this man to "exterminate" all "unrepentant" LGBT persons. "At the 1985 Conservative Political Action Conference, Cameron announced to the attendees, 'Unless we get medically lucky, in three or four years, one of the options discussed will be the extermination of homosexuals.' According to an interview with former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, Cameron was recommending the extermination option as early as 1983." - Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995.

Paul Cameron, received his doctorate in psychology at the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1966, He co-founded the Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality in 1983 after being dropped from the membership of the American Psychological Association . That organization eventually turned into The Family Research Institute. The Southern Law Poverty Center, our nations hate group authority, has officially designated The Family Research Institute a hate group. The FBI uses the SLPC data in it's hate group watch list. Cameron uses The Family Research Institute as a vehicle to publish reports saying homosexuals were more likely than heterosexuals to commit crimes and to molest children as well as most of the false statements made towards the LGBT community. Have you ever wondered what kind of mind would create two groups with the sole purpose of spreading lies about the LGBT community? From Paul Cameron's own words, you can get a pretty good idea.

Though he was kicked out of the American Psychological Association for ethical violations in 1983 (he was alleged to have used unsound methods and misrepresented the work of others, a practice his organization as well as others like his, still employ today, please visit: Respect My Research.org) — and then, after pawning himself off as a sociologist, declared "not a sociologist" by the American Sociological Association — his studies alleging every evil under the sun as coming from gays frequently cited by not only others in the Anti-Gay industry but Churches and the general public include:

"Homosexuality is a crime against humanity."- Paul Cameron's pamphlet "Criminality, Social Disruption and Homosexuality" quoted by Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995. (Outrageous opinion held by many in the Anti Gay Industry)

In a 1981 debate, Cameron claimed a 4-year-old boy had been sexually mutilated in a Lincoln, Neb., mall rest room as part of a "homosexual act" — but police in Lincoln said no such crime had occurred. (Out right lie, there were no newspaper reports or any calls to the police regarding this)

Causes of homosexuality include: "sex with animals"- http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron3.html, What Causes Homosexual Desire and Can It Be Changed?, By Paul Cameron, Ph. D. (Outrageous lie held by many in the Anti Gay Industry)

"At least twice Cameron has advocated the tattooing of AIDS patients on the face, so that people would know when they were meeting with an infected person. The penalty for trying to hide the tattoo would be banishment to the Hawaiian island of Molokai, a former leper colony. In the event that a vaccine were developed to prevent AIDS, Cameron has proposed that homosexuals be castrated to prevent them from 'cheating' on nature." - Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995. (Outrageous opinions held by many in the Anti Gay Industry)

"I think that actually AIDS is a guardian. That is I think it was sent, if you would, about forty years ago, to destroy Western civilization unless we change our sexual ways. So it's really a Godsend." - Cameron quoted by Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995. (Outrageous opinion held by many in the Anti Gay Industry)

"33% [of gays surveyed] ingested feces via anal/oral contact"-Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron2.html (Made up, not based on fact)

"a large minority of gays engage in torture for sexual fun. Sex with minors 25% of white gays admitted to sex with boys 16 or younger as adults"-Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron2.html (Made up, not based on fact)

"Cameron also views AIDS as being such a large threat to 'innocents' that he has proposed nationwide testing for HIV and the forcible quarantine of all those testing positive, either by confinement to their homes or in regional detention centers." - Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995. (C. Everett Koop scolded Cameron for this suggestion)

"He has also advocated the outlawing of homosexuality and the forcible closing of all Gay bars; homosexuals would be required to register with government authorities and have their movements tracked." - Mark E. Pietrzyk, News-Telegraph, March 10, 1995. (Outrageous opinion held by many in the Anti Gay Industry)

"Older homosexuals often approach the young" - http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron3.html, What Causes Homosexual Desire and Can It Be Changed?, By Paul Cameron, Ph. D. (Opinion while held by many is just not based on fact)

"There is evidence that homosexuality, like drug use is 'handed down' from older individuals. The first homosexual encounter is usually initiated by an older person."- http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron3.html, What Causes Homosexual Desire and Can It Be Changed?, By Paul Cameron, Ph.D. (Again, opinion, not based on fact)

"A quarter of homosexuals have admitted to sex with children and underaged teens"- http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron3.html, What Causes Homosexual Desire and Can It Be Changed?, By Paul Cameron, Ph. D. (Outrageous opinion, not based on fact, the facts are, all studies show Gays and Lesbians to have much much lower rates of child preditory behaviors than practicing heterosexuals, the latest show 1/2 the rate)

"Cameron also presented data that homosexuals are disproportionately child molesters. This research was also based on newspaper stories, which he said prove homosexuals are perpetrators in 40 percent of all molestation cases." - The Minnesota Daily, August 22, 1997 (as above, proven false)

"gays who practice oral sex verge on consuming raw human blood"- Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron2.html (Opinion, not based on fact) "gays average somewhere between 106 and 1105 different partners/year"-Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron2.html (Made up, not based on fact)

Gays have sex with "bottles, carrots, even gerbils"-Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron2.html (Opinion, not based on fact. Here is the source of all the gerbil jokes by the way)

"The typical life-span of homosexuals suggests that their activities are more destructive than smoking and as dangerous as drugs."-Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron2.html (Opinion, not based on fact, very poor research methods used)

"Those who treat AIDS patients are at great risk"-Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron2.html (Opinion, facts show otherwise)

"The typical sexual practices of homosexuals are a medical horror story --imagine exchanging saliva, feces, semen and/or blood with dozens of different men each year. Imagine drinking urine, ingesting feces and experiencing rectal trauma on a regular basis. Often these encounters occur while the participants are drunk, high, and/or in an orgy setting. Further, many of them occur in extremely unsanitary places"-Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron2.html (Made up, not based on fact or even an attempt at research)

"Homosexuals are sexually troubled people engaging in dangerous activities"-Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron2.html (Opinion, not based on fact)

"Homosexual coupling undermines its participants' health, has the highest rate of domestic violence, shortens life, and is a poor environment in which to raise children."- Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron1.html (Made up, not based on fact)

"homosexual couples have higher rates of domestic violence than do heterosexual couples, especially among lesbians"- Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron1.html (Made up, not based on fact)

"The largest study, and the only one based on a random sample, estimated that less than half of a percent of Americans have had a homosexual parent. Those who did were more likely to: report having had sex with a parent….be sexually molested"-Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron1.html (Not only made up nor based on fact, but this outrageous lie, hurts real victims of child abuse and prevents LGBT persons from becoming foster or adoptive parents in many states.)

"Homosexual unions are not built around lifetime commitments"-Paul Cameron quoted at http://www.biblebelievers.com/Cameron1.html (Guess he didn't talk to the hundreds of thousands, if not millions of couples who are in relationships lasting 10 years or more)

"Thomas Jefferson said that homosexuality ‘should be punished, if a man, by castration, if a woman, by cutting through the cartilage of her nose a hole of one-half inch in diameter as least.’ " Paul Cameron - Medical Consequences of What Homosexuals Do. (It is true that he proposed this legislation. The problem with the argument though is that it drops the context of the times and intent of Jefferson’s proposal. At this time the punishment for these "crimes" was death (so those that say that Jefferson’s position was too extreme are, in effect, saying that they believe they should have continued to execute homosexuals). Jefferson sought to make the punishment less severe. He did not propose castration out of the blue where no law had existed before.)

The American Psychological Association quickly launched an investigation into Cameron’s methodology after receiving complaints from some of its members. The association sent Cameron a letter in December 1983, saying it had decided to ”drop you from membership” because he had not cooperated with the investigation. Asked if the association still has concerns about Cameron, a spokeswoman, Rhea Faberman, said: ”We are concerned about Dr. Cameron because we do believe that his methodology is weak.”

In 1984, the Nebraska Psychological Association issued a statement saying it ”formally dissociates itself from the representations and interpretations of scientific literature offered by Dr. Paul Cameron.”

The American Sociological Association issued a resolution saying: ”Cameron has consistently misinterpreted and misrepresented sociological research on sexuality, homosexuality, and lesbianism.”

“I’m amazed that he is able to continue to be published,” said Perrin, a professor of pediatrics at the Floating Hospital for Children, Tufts-New England Medical Center. Perrin emphasized that her concern is not just about Cameron, but also about the way his research is quoted by others to justify restrictions on adoption by same-sex couples.

Gregory M. Herek, professor of psychology at the University of California at Davis, who has followed Cameron’s career, said: ”Most members of the public assume that a paper published in an academic journal is a legitimate scientific study. They don’t understand that journals vary widely in their quality and in the rigor of their review process. Cameron’s work is methodologically weak and in many cases the conclusions he draws from his data are not valid.”

Most recently, Cameron has said that “the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has suppressed a new study that concludes homosexuals are involved in criminality more than their heterosexual counterparts.” But Karen Hunter, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the government agency has “never conducted a study of criminal activity among homosexuals versus heterosexuals. If we have never done a study, we would not be able to suppress it.” Cameron responded that his data came from a government drug-abuse survey, but the agency that collected the data said it could not replicate Cameron’s findings.

Cameron’s publisher, Psychological Reports, said it does not reject an article on grounds that it has received a negative review from peers, although it often asks for revisions. As Ammons, the editor, put it, “No opinion of a reviewer will ever veto, by itself, an article . . . We just simply invite them to comment. If they disagree with some aspect, they are free to submit a comment.” “People want to anoint something published in a scientific journal as ‘The Truth.’ It isn’t and it can’t be,” Ammons said. He added that his publication does not have a political agenda, and he said he personally disagrees with much of what Cameron has written but believes he should be
published.

According to The Family Research Institutes own statement: “Those of us at FRI are determined to do our best to oppose these death activists.[what these "scientists" call LGBT persons] As you see, the Internet has given us far more clout than our limited budget and effortscould otherwise hope for.”

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center described Paul Cameron’s theories on homosexuality this way: "Of all the vices," Cameron concluded in one pamphlet, "only homosexuality constitutes a conspiracy against society." Cameron's "science" echoes Nazi Germany in that these disparaging descriptions of homosexuals are reminiscent of themes found in the ugly history of anti-Semitism, where Jews were historically associated with disease, filth, and child stealing. Cameron has been thrown out of legitimate professional organizations for his crackpot and inhuman science.

According to FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin/March 1, 2003 By John R. Schafer, MA and Joe Navarro, MA The seven-stage hate model: The psychopathology of hate groups, the Definition of Hate is a complex subject, divides into two general categories: rational and irrational. Unjust acts inspire rational hate. Hatred of a person based on race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or national origin constitutes irrational hate.

Both rational and irrational hate mask personal insecurities. Everyone experiences personal insecurities in varying degrees throughout their lives. The more insecure a person feels, the larger the hate mask. Most people concentrate on the important issues in life, such as earning a living, rearing a family, and achieving personal goals. These pursuits give meaning and value to life. Nonetheless, irrational hate bleeds through day-to-day activities.... Not all insecure people are haters, but all haters are insecure people.

On the "Journals" he publishes his reports in:

Psychological Reports et al. Instead of publishing in highly-respected, scientifically rigorous, and highly influential psychological journals (such as those in the top half of the Journal Citation Reports rankings), most of the Cameron group's research reports have appeared in Psychological Reports. Psychological Reports consistently ranks near the bottom of the list for impact. Other approaches to ranking the prestige and significance of journals have similarly ranked Psychological Reports at a low level in comparison to other psychology journals.

Psychological Reports publishes a larger number of articles and has a lower rejection rate than is typical for psychology journals. According to Journal Citation Reports in 1994 and 1995, for example, Psychological Reports was the third largest journal for which statistics were collected, publishing 510 articles in 1994 and 504 articles in 1995.

Psychological Reports is also different from the vast majority of psychology and social science journals in that it requires contributing authors to pay a fee (in recent years, $27.50 per page). The practice of charging a per-page fee or requiring purchase of preprinted copies of the article is rare in psychological and social science journals. Such per-page fees are not charged by the high-prestige psychology journals (e.g., those published by the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science).

As with Psychological Reports, the other journals in which the Cameron group has published have had consistently low rankings over time. Using 1977 SSCI impact ratings to rank 99 psychology journals, for example, Buffardi and Nichols (1981) ranked Adolescence, which Cameron himself once labeled as obscure, 98th out of 99. Another Cameron outlet, the Journal of Psychology, was ranked 79th.

Thus, the Cameron group has published its empirical research in academic journals with low prestige and, at least in the case of Psychological Reports, with a low rejection rate and a publication fee required from authors.

From Queer Science by Mark E. Pietrzyk
Mark E. Pietrzyk holds a Ph.D in political science from the George Washington University. He has been an instructor at DePaul University, a Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution, and a researcher for the Heritage Foundation and National Defense University. His articles have appeared in The New Republic, Terra Nova, International Affairs Review, and The American Spectator.


Until 1980 Cameron was an instructor of psychology at the University of Nebraska. When his teaching contract was not renewed, he devoted himself fulltime to a think tank he founded called the Institute for the Scientific Investigation of Sexuality (ISIS),where he touted himself as an expert on sexuality, particularly on the societal consequences of homosexuality. During the 1980s he published hysterical pamphlets alleging that gays were disproportionately responsible for serial killings, child molestation and other heinous crimes.

Shortly after Cameron made these claims, several psychologists whose work he had referenced -- including Dr. A. Nicholas Groth, director of the Sex Offender Program at the Connecticut Department of Corrections -- charged Cameron with distorting their findings in order to promote his antigay agenda. When the American Psychological Association (APA) investigated Cameron, it found that he not only misrepresented the work of others but also used unsound methods in his own studies. For this ethical breach, the APA expelled Cameron in December 1983. (Although Cameron claims he resigned, APA bylaws prohibit members from resigning while under investigation.)

Unfortunately, the misrepresentations persist. Distortions and sloppy methods continue to shape Cameron's studies. As anyone who has taken a statistics class knows, a survey is valid only if the sample it uses is representative of the whole population. Sex surveys pose a particular problem, since many people who normally would be included in a representative sample are loath to discuss their private lives. That, however, hasn't deterred Cameron from his work.

Consider, for instance, his 1983 ISIS study, a survey of the sexual and social behavior of 4,340 adults in five American cities. Although thousands of heterosexuals allegedly responded to his survey, Cameron could get only forty-one gay men and twenty-four lesbians to respond. The extremely small sample size should have invalidated any conclusions about the sexual behavior of the gay population. In any case, the skewed results of the survey show that Cameron did not get an adequate random sample of heterosexuals either. He claims to have found that 52 percent of male heterosexuals have shoplifted; that 34 percent have committed a crime without being caught; and that 12 percent have either committed or attempted to commit murder. Most people would toss out such a survey but Cameron published the results in several pamphlets and in “Effect of Homosexuality upon Public Health and Social Order, an article in Psychological Reports.

In one pamphlet, Murder, Violence and Homosexuality, Cameron asserts that you are fifteen times more apt to be killed by a homosexual than by a heterosexual during a sexual murder spree; that homosexuals have committed the most sexual conspiracy murders; and that half of all sex murderers are homosexuals. Cameron based these conclusions on a sample of thirty-four serial killers he selected from the years 1966 to 1983. He stacked the deck not only by including phony figures (he counts in his sample the claims of Henry Lee Lucas, who subsequently recanted his boast that he murdered hundreds of people) but by examining only those serial killers with an apparent sexual motive. This allowed him to include John Wayne Gacy and his victims but to exclude the great majority of serial killers who are heterosexual, according to sociologist Jack Levin, the author of Mass Murder: America's Growing Menace.

In Cameron's writings on child molestation, the pamphlet Child Molestation and Homosexuality and two published articles, “Homosexual Molestation of Children/Sexual Interaction of Teacher and Pupil and “Child Molestation and Homosexuality'" he concludes that gays have perpetrated between one-third and one-half of all child molestations; that homosexual teachers have committed between one-quarter and four-fifths of all molestations of pupils; and that gays are ten to twenty times more apt to molest children than are heterosexuals.

These figures are said to be based on the content of other child molestation studies, yet Cameron has distorted those studies to get the results he wants. For example, he defines all adult male molestation of male children as molestations committed by homosexuals, a definition rejected by the very experts Cameron cites.

Groth, among other experts, has explicitly said that most molesters of boys are in fact men who are heterosexual in their adult relationships. These men are attracted to boys, he says, largely because of the feminine characteristics of prepubescents, such as a lack of body hair. (They also had more access to young boys than girls. In child molestation, the perpetrators choose who they are allowed to be alone with, the gender of the child has nothing to do with it.)

Cameron also has provided anti-gay organizations with research indicating absurdly high rates of extreme sex practices and venereal diseases among gays and lesbians. In his pamphlets on these subjects, Cameron has claimed, for instance, that 29 percent of gay men practice “urine sex" and that 37 percent of gay men have sadomasochistic sex.

Gay men, he says, are fourteen times more apt to have syphilis than heterosexual men and are three times more apt to have had lice. Lesbians are said to be nineteen times more apt to have syphilis than straight women and are four times more apt to have had scabies. (the opposite is true) Cameron's findings, however, are based on two sources: his discredited 1983 ISIS survey and other studies that ignore random sampling techniques. Several studies Cameron cites to support his conclusions rely on the responses of gay men who were recruited entirely from V.D. clinics.

A Cameron study that has received perhaps the most attention is “The Lifespan of Homosexuals." It concludes that less than 2 percent of gay men survive to old age; that lesbians have a median age of death of 45 that gays are 116 times more apt to be murdered than straight men and twenty-four times more apt to commit suicide, etc. The source of this material? A comparison of obituaries from gay newspapers with a sample from regular newspapers?a method that would be laughed at by any reputable scholar.

Obituaries in gay papers do not accurately portray deaths in the gay population as a whole. They are not meant to provide a public record of deaths of all gays but to allow members of the urban gay community to express mourning for their peers, particularly those whose lives have been cut short by illness or accident. Gays who die outside these communities or who die of natural causes are much less likely to be written up in a gay paper.

I no longer believe Paul Cameron or his "studies." All I know is that I believe my own life experience, I believe the life experience and witness of my LGBT peers and my own experiences as people who have tried but could not change who we are, who come from every nation and background, every religious community and non religious community, we come from every walk of life and every profession known. From the earliest days we have existed. Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum were ancient Egyptian royal servants. They shared the title of Overseer of the Manicurists in the Palace of King Niuserre during the Fifth Dynasty of Egyptian pharaohs, circa 2400 B.C., and are listed as "royal confidants" in their joint tomb. They are speculated to be the first recorded same-sex couple in recorded history. Surely they were not just the first.

We have brought art, science, beauty and love to the places we have graced and lived. Though the people of the Anti-Gay Industry try to dehumanize us and deny us civil rights and ultimately our lives, they will never succeed because truth and love are always in the end stronger than lies and hate.

Cross posted from The Lesbian Said What? and Blogging For Truth

The Trip To Reno


We really had a great time last week. On Thursday we finally got out and went to a Reno Aces ballgame which they won! This is their inaugural year and our first AAA ball team in a beautiful new stadium. We had front row, third base seats right behind Brett Butler who is the manager. The Aces started out blowing away the Portland Beavers (OMG we could not have attended a more appropriate game) but then the Beavers made a game of it for a while, it was very exciting to see. Oh and I found this video on YouTube that gives you an idea how fun it is there. Though we missed the ball head singing Take Me Out To The Ball Game because we were following the Aces Girls in front of us..........

On Saturday we attended the monthly Reno Beer Crawl but we stopped crawling once we hit The Men's Club, one of our truly finer strip clubs, Lorrie had never been to one and we both had a blast even though Lorrie wouldn't let me buy her a lap dance. She did manage some boob in the face action however so not all was lost!!! Later that night we went to the Journey/Heart Concert, it was fantastic, especially Heart! OMG Annie and Nancy sure do still have it all! The new lead singer for Journey was wonderful and energetic and sounds an awful lot like Steve Perry.

On Sunday we drove to California and toured Napa Valley where I got rather tipsy from the tastings, we stayed the night in Kelseyville, LMAO. (it was founded by some ancestor of mine) Not an exciting town and we pissed off the pizza place dude because we didn't know they closed at 9 and we got there 10 minutes before. He even had the gall to ask us when we were leaving if we knew he closed at 9, LOL. (they had no hours of operation posted by the way, we looked) If we had we would have stayed longer because he spent the whole time our pizza was cooking banging things around and harumphing like a 4 year old. After that we picked up James because he spent the week with his dad in Loch Lomond near Clear Lake.

It may have seemed this took a while to get posted. Since coming home, Lorrie and I have been working on communicating better with each other. We learned it really does take more than phone calls, emails and visits to keep a relationship whole. And not just a long distance one. It takes real communication and trust, of feelings and thoughts and goals and dreams and especially our fears. Honestly and openly with out letting the fear get in the way. We discovered neither one of us has been doing much of that with each other over the past six months. After spending most of our lives hiding those things from the rest of the world, we discovered we don't always exactly know how to be open with each other when it comes to this stuff.

I think we are beginning to learn. I know we both want to.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Honored as Bridge Builders

Hello again everyone! We had a great time last week and thank you all for your good wishes and encouraging words. I know I need to get busy blogging again.


When I logged in the other day I discovered that Wendy from Burning Or Building Bridges In The Community? had chosen to award me with her Bridge Builder Award that is for "a blogger or web writer who, in their connections with others, really has a heart for building bridges between all different types of people. Someone who leaves you with a little more hope, humor, humility, happiness.
"

She also let me know there are two rules for this award: The first rule is to write 3 ways you build bridges between yourself and others. The second is to nominate 3 of your favorite blogs/writers for this award. The nominating part is easy of course, I read three writers that do the above four things very well:

SisterFriends Together SisterFriends Together is an outreach ministry of Grace Unfolding Ministries, and was created to provide a safe and welcoming online faith community for lesbian, bisexual, questioning and transgender women. It’s a place where women can share fears and ask questions in their journey to reconcile and integrate their sexuality and faith.

Jude, (geekgirl) our inexhaustible ally from LGBT Latest Science and who also has the LGBT Lessons for Straight People Category at Jaysays. She is also responsible for turning our allies blue on Twitter!

And Hugh, another straight ally from Meet Adam and Steve, because we should all be as enthusiastic about our full equal rights as he is!

I guess two of the ways I try to offer hope and reach out to build bridges between different types of people is of course this blog and the Blogging For Truth site.

While we tend to talk about many different things on T & L After 40, it's main mission is to share the coming out process later in life, how you must be sure you can handle things, that you must be ready, that it is scary, and that yes, friends will be lost, that your family relations will be strained.

When first coming out, most sites made it sound like if you just follow some formula everything will be OK, here are the steps now go for it, but it isn't easy at all. It is scary, We know it because it was scary for us too, still is sometimes, but as scary as it can be, it is really so much better to no longer live the lie. I think it would have been nice if someone had been there to tell me how really hard it is, though it wouldn't have stopped me. I would have just been better prepared. We try to be as honest about it as possible to help others be better prepared as well. The private network Late In Life Lesbians is an offshoot of this blog to further help each other in our daily lives.

Blogging for Truth's mission is to get as many facts out to counter the lies that the Anti-Gay Industry has spent the last 30-40 years spreading to the general public. Lies that have seeped into every aspect of our lives, from books, news, movies and even into our own subconscious. Through that site I hope to fight not only public perception, but our own internalized belief system that is not based on truth. Since becoming an activist for our rights, I sometimes wonder who it is harder to convince that we are not freaks, but simply human beings in every sense of that word, the public at large, or our own community.

The third way is something I have tried to do most of my life, though not so much online but in everyday interactions with people. That has been my lifelong fight against bigotry in all forms, especially between ethnic groups. My grandmother, Louise Shaw, was biracial who hid her African American heritage all her life. (Yes, I do see the irony in the way I hid my sexuality.) She lived a very hard lie though she was one of the most amazing women ever to have graced this earth, the self hatred based on lies and fear, never allowed her to fully enjoy her truly amazing life because she always feared discovery. One of the greatest accomplishments of genetic research in my opinion has been the realization at last, that there is no such thing as different races, only different shades of skin color. We as human beings are 99% the same, the other 1% accounts for our individuality and the diseases we may have, the more we learn the truth of what this means, maybe someday, hate based on lies anyway, will disappear from the earth.

Thank you Wendy for this award, and thank you for always building bridges yourself.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Together again!

I know we have been bad about blogging this past week or more, but as you can see, when it gets close to the time when we are to be together, we get one track minds, LOL. Anyway, look at it as our summer vacation and we will be back to blogging sometime next week.
Take care everyone! Enjoy your own vacation!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

ONE DAY!!!!!!!

I just have to make it through this one day of work, come home and get everything that I need (which isn't much!) packed, try to get a few hours of sleep (because I won't get much the rest of the week!), get myself to the airport early in the morning and a little over ONE DAY from now I will be landing in Reno in Rebecca's arms!!!!!!!!!!
WOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Continuing Saga...over 2000 phone calls and counting

Lorrie and I met and have maintained a long distance relationship for nearly three years now, this is our story. It wasn't supposed to be this long, but just like our relationship, you can't always foresee what the future will bring! You may catch up with 3000 emails - 2000 phone calls by clicking on Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV

It was a long plane ride home. My head was swirling and my heart was crying. The first thing I did when I got in my van at the airport in Philly was call Rebecca. I told her what an amazing time I had; I wanted to tell her that she had touched a part of me that had never been touched before. I made some stupid comment about "finding a place to put her"...but I knew there was no way I could put her away; I just wanted her besides me...always!


The first thing I did when I got home was send an email to Lorrie, letting her know how amazing she was and how much I enjoyed my time with her, I meant it to be goodbye, forever. I went back to bed to try and sleep, but I couldn't, all I could do was think of Lorrie on the plane headed away from Reno and my life.

I couldn't believe it when Lorrie called me, from her van, right off the plane, I was so glad to hear her voice again. When Lorrie said she was finding a place to put me, I just wanted to tell her just don't put me away forever, but I felt like it would be best for both of us if she did. The next morning she emailed me back letting me know that she was the soccer mom and wife once more.

Two days after she left we had sent each other 13 emails trying to let go of each other but neither one of us could. Each one revealing more of what we were feeling while she was here and coming to the realization finally that it had been the same in depth and intensity for each of us.

So....I think from that point forward we have talked on the phone at least once a day and if there were days we missed, we made up for them by emailing more often or texting! It took us one month of seeing how high our phone bills were before we realized we both needed to be on the same network, LOL! We sure burned up our minutes in a hurry. Lorrie was calling me every morning on her way to work as well as sometimes on her way home and at lunch.

It took us both a couple of months to figure out in our heads and our hearts what was happening between us. They were a crazy couple of months. There were days when I expected to see Rebecca on my front door steps or to be calling me from the airport and saying "I'm here!" There were many days instead of making that right turn toward my work I really really really wanted to make the left toward the airport!

Lorrie and I would joke that I should move there. I was not tied to a job really and was divorced. There were days when I was very tempted just to move to Philadelphia, not even waiting to ask Lorrie if it was really OK. Just get the craziness over, spend more time with her and see if what we were feeling was real. The only thing that did keep me in Reno at that time were my kids.

We talked and talked and talked. We replayed every moment of our wonderful 4 nights together over and over and over. We both expressed to each other what a connection we had to one another. But that L word...that took us a while to get to. I knew I felt more in love with Rebecca than I ever had with my H; but I was married with kids, the big suburban house, a good job, busy living my very heterosexual life...how could I tell this woman that I love her, that I am in love with her??

I knew I was in love with Lorrie, but I was afraid of saying it for fear of scaring her away. I didn't think she was in love with me, or no more than a crush, or even out of love with her husband. Talk of seeing each other again would be tempered with worries about somebody finding out, or her kids and she did not want to leave her husband and I certainly did not want her to leave her husband for me, I also felt very strongly that she should continue to do what she thought best for her kids.

During those months I made more than a few attempts to break it off. I knew it was driving Lorrie crazy and I knew I was going crazy thinking about her and I knew I could never be with her for longer than a few days every now and then at best. I saw no future for us really, though we always seemed to talk about one in each of our phone calls and emails.


I needed to see Rebecca again; I could think of nothing else! It is really amazing that I didn't get fired or at least reprimanded during that time as I was not doing a very good job of doing my job. The other amazing thing is that I told my H I wanted to go out and see Rebecca again and he agreed to it (of course he thought this was just something more that was needed to get this out of my system, lol).

I couldn't believe Lorrie really wanted to see me again so soon. At first I was to go to Philadelphia, but I couldn't get the time off from my new job, when I knew I couldn't go there, I was very relieved that Lorrie said she could fly here instead. We both agreed that this would give us a chance to see if it was just a crush, or something much more.

So....I made plans to go see Rebecca again the weekend before Thanksgiving; approximately 9 weeks after I had left her in September. Hence, the first of many countdowns began!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Shameless Vanity and The Boys I Love (other than my sons)

I was very honored that Hugh, creator of Meet Adam and Steve, and all around sweetheart, asked me yesterday if they could feature me on their blog. It is a site created to introduce the LGBT community to the rest of the world one face at a time. I really loved reading everyone's stories on there after discovering it through twitter. You should check it out, and if you wish to be featured you can contact Hugh and let him know.

While I was writing this little vanity piece, I thought that it might be nice to introduce you to some other men I follow and who also follow us back. I know Lorrie was curious as to why men were following, and maybe some of you are too. I let her know that they are also activists in one way or another and/or online friends. Besides, I don't think our issues are all that different from theirs. Most are gay, though not all, so no, they aren't here to watch, just read.

One of the first LGBT news blogs I followed after starting this one was Nelson's NGblog, he is from NY and posts commentary and headlines about our community. He is not afraid to speak out and updates quite frequently.

There is also Goombah, from Goombah's Rainbow, which stands for Gay Old Obstinate Man Bitching and Hoping, LOL. He posts commentary with a dash of cynicism thrown it. He also runs The Rap Pack, an online forum dedicated to LGBT issues and Richard Simmons (LOL, not really about Richard Simmons, Goombah does not like Richard Simmons I have learned) Besides, I always have had a soft spot for the crumudgeons of the world.

Texas Cowboy has a blog called America For Purchase and his articles are always rational, reasoned and well researched, this man knows his three r's. He comes from a progressive point of view and his topics are on the full range of political subjects.

John Abuzz has a blog called John abuzz and it is just that, abuzz with enthusiasm with personal ramblings, issues he cares about and his daily life. He is also a passionate amateur photographer.

Gunnar is from Germany but lives in Sicily and his blog, Travel and Enjoy Sicily is dedicated to that beautiful island. He is a photographer and scuba diving instructor. I would love to scuba dive with Lorrie some day. I met Gunnar on Blog Catalog.

I met Shayan Arshad on Blog Catalog and Bloggers Unite, he sells discount eyewear on his site, Eyewear4eye, and I wear glasses.

I don't know who Shoki is. He dosen't have a blog link...........But hey, welcome!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Haven't forgetten about our story......

LOL
I am cleaning up the last of my past life, and it is taking a lot out of me for some reason. No big deal, it's just when I came out, I came out without forethought, and some things were not taken care of at the time, finally getting to it after 3+ years.
Will be back to it soon, we promise!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Forgiving Those Around Us

When we come out, or are coming out, we often need to work through becoming a whole person. Part of what we need to do to become the person we were created to be is not to just forgive ourselves for our own past mistakes, but we need to learn how to forgive others as well. Sometimes, a lot of others. Accepting that we must do this and learning how will serve us well the rest of our out and proud lives. When we don't forgive we are simply re-living the pain and anger daily.

Forgiveness is an essential ingredient to releasing and letting go of the past and eliminating the need to re-create pain in our life, which is reflected in our relationships with others.
Forgiveness does not mean ‘letting another person off the hook’. It means 'regaining' ourselves and being free to create the life we want, which includes love, success and happiness. When we don’t forgive, we make someone else’s behavior "about us". We carry their dysfunctions and make them our own. We also take a great deal of this person’s negative karma for them. - Melanie Evans

Forgiveness is, as G. de Purucker says, “one of the steps to divine love. True forgiveness is the refusing to bear resentment, nourish a grudge, cultivate hatred; and forgiveness means also to cleanse your heart of these degrading impulses.” Forgiveness is then an active condition, one we choose to do. It might be easier to forgive if, when wronged, we take a step back from our own anger and hurt, and ask: What is going on in their lives and past experiences that could have made them act that way? We don't do this to excuse their behavior but to try to understand it. It seems when we can try to understand others, it becomes easier for us to truly forgive.

Love, when it comes to forgiveness is about the love of others and love of self necessary to bring true acceptance, repentance and forgiveness for wrong doings and also leads to freeing ourselves to be the person we were meant to be. Self love battles victimization and can lead a person from shame or pity to forgive themselves as well as others.

The following seven stages were swiped right out of The Feeling Soul: A Roadmap to Healing and Living:

Stage 1- Admit You Are Angry!

Many of us will echo the thoughts “What? I’m not supposed to get angry! I’ve done all this healing work!” I’ve learned that it is harmful to get angry but it is more harmful to be angry and not admit it! The way to check if you are angry is to observe your inner dialogue about how you are relating to yourself and others. Are you finding yourself being negative, critical or frustrated? Do you find yourself being impatient with people and critical of how things are done? Are you constantly blaming others for your troubles, wishing that others would change? If so, then it is likely you are angry. Try to recognize what you are angry about. It may not be the little things, but something that happened months ago. Look back in time to what might have triggered your anger and where your expression has been blocked. Bitterness is anger with no outlet to be heard or feeling that you can not change anything. It is a form of helplessness. Try to discover what you are bitter about. Make a list of resentments. Don’t hold back or edit your thoughts. Being honest with yourself is the first step in healing anger.

Stage 2- Acknowledge the Loss and Consequences

In order to fully forgive, you need to look at the consequences of the event. By consequences, I do not mean just emotional pain. Look at the past and the present, and honestly note any changes. Were you physically injured? Were you emotionally hurt? Did you suffer financial loss? What other types of losses occurred? Was there harm to other relationships? To achieve lasting forgiveness it is important to acknowledge all the losses, otherwise forgiveness will have to be revisited. When listing the losses and consequences, try to look objectively at the incident without investing in the emotions around the losses at this time.

Stage 3 - Submit to a Feeling of Vulnerability

The next stage in forgiveness is to open your self up to change and dissonance. You can not spread butter when it is hard and cold. Forgiveness does not come easily when your ideas, thoughts of revenge or justice are hardened. You must retreat and re-examine your approach. Just like a pound of butter, if you want to forgive and heal, you need to let your ideas thaw and be molded into a new perspective, combined with other ideas and views. You need to admit that to harbor anger and resentments violates the laws of kindness and compassion both for yourself and other people. You must realize that in not forgiving, you are now betraying the person at whom you are angry. This is not an easy step. It can be painful to realize that it is you who needs to change, and that it is you who has the poison of anger and resentment. It is easy to build up a wall of justification around your thoughts, actions and feelings regarding the harm done to you. In order to heal and forgive, you need to break through the wall and tear it down completely!

This stage of forgiveness also requires you look at whether there was any responsibility on your part. In some cases there was none, in some cases, you may have taken action which contributed to the decision. In this case, it may be hard for you to admit that you caused part of your own suffering as it is easier to blame others than to take any responsibility. This stage requires an honest, fearless, kind and moral inventory of your own actions and behavior. Sometimes you may not like what you find, but facing your shadow can be one of the most powerful healing experiences. See if you can find some common ground.

Stage 4 – Stop Punishing

One of the common behaviors of people is to try to punish those who have harmed us. Most studies have shown that punishment rarely teaches anything other than to resent the person doing the punishing! Some of the ways you may punish are by withholding companionship, giving someone the silent treatment, or even giving compliments but then taking it back with an insult. You may try to go further with legal action, or you may try to damage things that the other person prizes. Another method of punishment is gossiping about the other person. In order to truly forgive, you need to give up the expectation that the other person will be punished. You can ask that the other person make amends for their harm, but if they refuse or are unable to make amends, then releasing them from the idea of punishment frees you from lingering resentment.

There is great wisdom in the following Buddhist teaching – “Should one person ignorantly do wrong, and another ignorantly becomes angry with him, who would be at fault? And who would be without fault?” It is far better to try to forgive, and reintegrate your friends back into community than to ostracize and alienate them through punishment. Try to practice compassion, work at developing a deeper understanding of how and why people behave. It seems that we prefer a simple explanation of things, yet you need to understand that human beings and the relationships between each other are complex. Understanding the ways of the world and the people in the world requires wisdom and self control. Use the opportunity to forgive as a means of growth!

Stage 5 – Identify Some Good in the Other Person

This step, finding some good in the other person is probably the most crucial step in bringing about lasting forgiveness. It can also be the hardest depending on the severity of the event you are trying to forgive.

According to Francis Bacon, the key to forgiveness is in “not expecting the other to change, to give love, to be kind and develop the ability to see that in everyone else’s eyes and heart there is some good.” In forgiving, you try not to think of yourself as being good and the other person bad. You can find it easier to forgive if you can understand that the other person has difficulties too, or was harmed in the past.

If you do not practice this step, then forgiveness will be futile because it will be done with a sense of contempt for the other person. If you can not find good in the other person, then at least pray for them. A wonderful technique for developing your vision of good in another is to imagine a seed of goodness in their heart, and in prayer imagine that both you and God are watering it to make it grow stronger. Better yet is to image that each person already has this great flower of goodness in them already. Admit that it has been obscured from your view because of your anger, resentment and justifications. Learn to look for the good. At first, like developing any skill, it is challenging. You will become better at it with practice!

Stage 6 – Develop Genuine Neutrality

Hopefully in the process of forgiveness you will come to resolve any negative emotions and thoughts about yourself and the other person or organization. To do so requires that you do not expect or demand any payment or restitution after forgiveness. You must assume that there is no debt owed to you. Mother Theresa once said “it is between God and myself, it was never between me and them anyway.” This must be practiced daily. It is easy to slip into anger and resentment if you do not cultivate a practice of neutrality. Depending on the severity of the event, you may choose to not have any further contact with the person, but if you meet them by chance, you want to have a sense of neutrality and a sense of calmness instead of avoidance.

Stage 7 – Stay in the Present

“Bury the hatchet” is a phrase you may have heard many times. There is wisdom to this phrase if you understand its original meaning. The phrase comes from spiritual traditions of North American Indians who would put all weapons out of site while smoking a peace pipe. For your own forgiveness work, you must keep the original wound out of sight, or out of present mind. It is necessary to acknowledge what happened, to not forget it, but also not drag it up again as a fresh wound. Resurrecting the event and bringing it up again with the person who harmed you will cause you to feel the associated feelings again. Balance your memory of the event with your memory of the forgiveness work you have done. Practice loving those you don’t feel warmth towards.

All of your forgiveness work can be undone, and the resentment rekindled if you begin to dwell on the event again. If you begin to rerun your mind’s movie of the harm, then you may find yourself in an angry and hurt state again. It is the nature of your mind to ruminate, and therefore you must develop self-discipline and remind yourself that you have completed forgiveness work around this issue. Thank your mind for the intrusive thought, and send it off into the far reaches of the universe! Refuse to bring the past into the present again, as it will re-trigger you back into hurt and anger. Continually rise above the injury! Practice compassion and unconditional love towards all people!

And lastly, remember what forgiveness is not:
  • Letting wrongdoers off the hook,
  • Failing to hold people accountable for their actions,
  • Forgetting, denying, ignoring, or overlooking the wrongs that have occurred,
  • Repressing genuine feelings of hurt, anger, or hate.
  • Condoning, excusing, or justifying bad behavior, unkindness, or abuse or becoming complicit in continuing it,
  • Denying, minimizing, or excusing your hurt or your feelings,
  • Condemning the offender, demonstrating they deserve to know they are wrong, or that you are morally superior.
  • Contingent on seeking justice or compensation. It is not a bi-lateral transaction; it is a unilateral act of generosity.
  • Placation or simply calming down. While equanimity is valuable, forgiveness requires more than a superficial tranquility.
  • Insincere, thoughtless, casual, often easy, or a sign of weakness.
  • Equivalent to trust. Forgiveness can be given, but trust must be earned.
  • Contingent on religious beliefs.
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