Posts Tagged ‘relationships

11
Dec
12

Help me get my beard cleared for my 40th Birthday (at the end of the world)

Shelter from the rainRecently a couple of very good friends of mine decided to start an online fundraising campaign to help me raise money to finally, finally have the procedure I have been waiting all these years to have.  A campaign called, “Friend Lorelei Feeling Fabulous At Forty”.  I am frankly in awe of the wonderfulness of my friends.  I realize I am a very lucky woman.

But, as the saying goes, “The Lord (substitute here: Friends On The Internet) helps those who help themselves.”  So I thought it was only proper to tell you all a little bit about why I’ve wanted this procedure so badly.  As well as the slightly extraordinary coincidence coinciding with my, gulp, 40th Birthday.

I’ll start with this procedure my good friends are helping to raise money for and which perhaps you, dear reader, would consider helping with.  As you have probably figured out by now by your careful powers of deduction, I am in fact a transgender woman.  And as a transgender woman, I know there’s one question I get asked more than any other.  “Have you had ‘the surgery’ yet?”  Or, as it’s sadly more often phrased, “Have you, ummmm, cut it off?”  Which I presume to be referring to SRS (or GRS or GCS or whatever the current vogue for the surgical procedure once known as a “Sex Change Operation” happens to be).

The funny thing is, realistically, this is the least of my concerns.  Very few people actually get intimate enough with me for the state of my genitalia to be a concern.  And those who do are pretty much already going to be hip enough to deal well with what they find.  And frankly, though I may get that surgery someday, it’s so far out of my reach as an independent artist and writer, that I resigned myself to the fact that it may never happen when I decided to start my transition.  Honestly too, I’m reasonably comfortable with my body.  The hormones have done wonderful things to it and everything, even my genitalia, works in exciting new ways.  I feel like a woman, I’m shaped like a woman and when I look in the mirror, I see myself now.  And I know I AM a woman.

But there is one thing.  One loathsome wretched thing that reminds me everyday that I have not always been gendered thus.  That reminds me of all those years spent trying to pretend I was a boy.  That can still knock me down and pull me out when I am feeling good about being the woman I knew myself to be.

I still have to shave everyday.

And I hate it.  Everyday I wake up and reach a hand to my face to wipe the sleep from my eyes and I feel stubble.  Scratchy stubble.

The hormones have even reduced the once fairly thick hair that covered my body to almost nothing.  Requiring increasingly less maintenance every year.  Not a lot more than any woman.  But my beard is unfazed.  I’m not even lucky enough to have alight beard.  No, it’s thick and it grows fast.  Back when I used to occasionally let it have it’s way, I could practically sneeze and find a full beard.  In all seriousness I could grow a thick, mountain man beard in around two weeks.

I was 6’4” with a full beard by the time I was a sophomore in High School.  I hated it.  When other boys were pretending to shave still-clean chins, I was trying to simply ignore the hair sprouting all over my face.  I had that first beard for at least a year and I can still remember the first time I shaved it off.  My face had physically changed in that year of rampant, testosterone-fueled puberty.  When I looked in the mirror after removing all that hair, I saw a stranger.  I literally did not recognize the face looking back at me.  It was radically different from the last time I saw it.  Though I knew reasonably that it was my own reflection, I would not connect with it again, I would not see myself again until I began my transition years later.

This pain, I share with you.

Much is rebalanced now.  I see myself in that brutal mirror.  The woman I am.  But that woman still has to spend 20 minutes everyday just scraping the fresh hair off of her face with a never-ending series of increasingly dull and unjustifiably expensive razor blades.  And it hurts like hell.

Simply LoreleiNot just emotionally either.  It is physically very painful..  Not only do I have a very heavy beard, but I have very, very sensitive skin.  And I shave much, much closer than an average man would ever bother doing.  I have to shave twice in fact to get smooth enough and invisible enough to pass muster and not have to worry about too much returning stubble by evening.  I shave first with the grain, and then re-lather to shave again, against the grain.

It is, as I said, intensely painful.  Like dragging fire across my face to begin everyday.  And there is always blood.  Often lots of it

After years of experimentation, I have discovered that I have to shave before I shower if I’m to go on with the day not looking like an extra in a zombie movie.  The only thing that stops all the blood and soothes my blazing face somewhat is a good warm shower and my face in the spray for at last a few minutes.

If I’m lucky, my face will not be too red and irritated looking when I get out.  If I’m really lucky, there won’t be some nick or cut that keeps bleeding all day.  Drying up into an ugly scab only to start bleeding again while I’m out and about.  Prompting strangers to tell me I have blood pouring down my face.  Always fun.

In point of fact, this routine adds a solid 3 hours to every morning of everyday for me.  2 hours if there’s an emergency….  I have to wait at least an hour after I wake up for the sleep swelling of my face to subside enough for me to be able to get that really clean shave I mentioned.  Shave too soon and there’s stubble half way through the day!

Then there’s the razors.  Really the only one that does the trick well enough with not too much blood and irritation is the Gillette Mach 3.  But the blades are crazy expensive!  $15 minimum for a 5 pack!  And if I use a blade more than twice, the quality degrades fast, while the pain and blood amps right up.  Gods forbid I get cocky and use a cheap disposable thing in an emergency.  We’re talking real horrorshow blood oh my droogies.

This need to shave everyday seeps into every aspect of my life.  I rarely date, because I’m afraid to go home with a man.  I’m terrified of waking up in the morning covered in stubble in a strange bed.  Or worse of having to exit quickly in the dress I had on, with an unshaven mug on the bus.

Jungle LoreleiIf I’m out at night I feel like Cinderella.  I have to get home before the stubble pokes through my makeup and I turn into a pumpkin.  Even worse, for someone who loves saying yes to adventures.  My need to shave and have a hot shower afterwards severely limits my ability to just go!  I must make sure, no matter where I rest my head, that there are shaving and showering facilities available in the morning.

Still not done though.  Because my beard is so heavy, there is a “beard blue” hue to my face that can only be hidden by careful and fairly thick makeup.  I can never just throw on a little lipstick and mascara and be done.  I have found that a little makeup, with out the beard cover and foundation, makes me look, for lack of a better description, like a bad crossdresser.

So it’s lots of makeup or none at all.  And none at all has it’s own consequences.  With none at all, you can see the slight redness and irritation from shaving and that hint of “beard blue” under the skin.  And at 6’4”, well, it’s a good thing I’m okay with being Out as trans….

And not that “passing” is all that important to me.  I know I can be a beautiful woman without having to “pass”.  But there are some days where I would like to blend in a little bit better.  When I’d like to just be read as an average, if very tall girl, out and about.

So, while GRS might be the end all and be all for other transwomen to be able to feel truly like a woman (and I do get that), for me, not having to shave, not having that daily and painful reminder would be a huge step to being able to just be me.  To be the woman I am, doing the things I do, with a lot more time to do them!

So, this is why my friends, who have heard this all first hand at one point or another, have launched this campaign to raise funds for me to finally afford to have laser clearance done on my face.  It’s not that much really if all the people I have affected with my work and my activism can pitch in a couple of bucks.  I would really appreciate it.  And it would indeed help me to do even more of what I do!  Saving the world with a clean face!!

As for saving the world….  Well, that’s why my friends have timed this around my 40th Birthday.  You see, the day I turn Forty (shudder) is December 21st, 2012.  Just a couple of weeks from now.  And as it happens, it’s also the day the Mayans predicted would be the end of the world.

And hey, maybe it is.  Or maybe it’s just the start of a new chapter.  One in which Lorelei finally gets to feel as fabulous as people often tell me I am!

So please, if you are able to, click through the link to the fundraising page below.  Spread it around to your own contacts if you feel so inclined.  It just takes a minute or two and a few dollars each from everyone who reads this to help me reach the goal of $4000.  And save my world.

I love you all!

Slainte Chugat!!!

Friend Lorelei Feeling Fabulous at Forty

02
Feb
11

Just Lorelei

Looking back at the latest posts on this here blog, I was noticing that things were getting kind of heavily political.  Which is all well and good, but is not the primary focus of this here Transproviser.  This was always meant to be a blog about a little bit of everything.

Some politics sure, and some music and if I ever get around to it, some of my thoughts on improvisation, especially as it applies to being transgender.

At it’s heart though, this is a personal blog.  A way for me to share a little bit of who I am and what I think with the world.

Today is a snow day for me.  The second in a row in fact.  So I am presented with the rare opportunity to take some of the thoughts that roll around in my head in the wee morning hours and get them down in black and white.  Turn those nagging electrical/chemical impulses into words on the page.

So if you don’t mind, I’ll just jump right into it.

You probably have figured out by now that I’m a transgender woman.  I know you’re surprised, but it’s true.  And when it comes right down to it, I’m really more specifically a transsexual woman.  It’s a little embarrassing to my radical sensibilities, but I really don’t consider myself to be genderqueer or any of those other nifty and boundary pushing identities.  I think of myself as a woman.  Simply and entirely.

I am also trans and proud of it.  It’s a valuable part of who I am and my journey in the world.  I ID as transgender to show solidarity with my brothers, sisters and others who fall all along the gender variant spectrum.  Also because I am not overly fond of the phrase “Pre-op” transsexual.

I consider myself transsexual because I am in the process of medically transitioning to my “true” gender.  I have been on HRT for several years and my body and mind have changed dramatically and wonderfully!  However, I have not yet had any surgeries and frankly don’t know if I ever will.

Certainly there are surgeries I would like to have.  I am aiming at a number of them.  I may eventually even choose to get the full “gender confirmation surgery”.

The main reason I have not gotten any of these surgeries is less radical and more pedestrian than I would like to admit.  I am an artist.  An actor and a writer and explorer of places and ideas.  Consequently I am not terribly wealthy.  These are only profitable professions for a small minority.  The rest of us do it because we have to, we are compelled.  And maybe, hopefully, someday, I will make money doing what I do.  Just not now.

So I work day jobs.  I do what I have to do to pay the rent and keep food on my table and live life as fully as I am able.

I made a choice when I decided to transition that I was going to simply let myself be the woman I had always been.  I would live as myself and take what steps I could to conform my body to that reality.

More though, I refused to wait any longer.  I would not wait for some long off day where I could afford to have all the surgeries and such that we are told are the requirement to be a “real transsexual”, “a true woman”.

I AM a woman.  I AM a transsexual.  Surgical status be damned.

So here I am.  This is why I identify as both transgender and transsexual.  I am NOT pre-op thank you very much.  I am not pre-anything.  I try as best I can to live my life in the moment.  To do and be what I can in the now.

Life for me is a journey in which the present is just as important as the destination.

So I take baby steps and make attainable goals.

And I try to pay attention to the details along the way so I can better share them with you.  Because I feel if I can share my own experience, the broad strokes as well as the little details, I can enrich the body of what is known about us.  De-mystify our trans identity a little so that other folks may realize we are not so very different.  We are people, same as anyone else, with similar loves, hates and everyday troubles and triumphs.

The same dichotomy of identities even.

I am both Lorelei Erisis, the larger than life celebrity who loves to stand on the stage and work the energy of the crowd and Lorelei who has to keep kicking her elderly orange cat off the table and trudge out in the snow to go pay the rent.

Often what you see here is Lorelei the celebrity or Lorelei the politician.

It’s Lorelei the woman that I want to talk about today.

And of course the idea of identities.

HRT has brought for me a tremendous number of changes.  It’s essentially a second puberty so that ought to be unsurprising.  But it still manages to be so.

One of the really radical changes for me has been in my sexuality.

When I was a teenager I assumed I was going to be the “gay one” in my circle of friends.  It was a lot of years before I would accept my repressed gender identity, so I took the dressing up and other side-effects of that repression as well as the fact that I was a pretty snappy dresser and a little overly fond of showtunes to mean I must be gay!

Imagine my surprise when it turned out I was really attracted to women and not so much to men!  As it turned out in fact, the only one in my little geeky-nerdy group of friends who always had a girlfriend and went through almost the entire, fairly small circle of available girls in our clique, was the “gay one”.  If only he could have come out earlier, some of the rest of us might have been able to get a date!

Eventually though I settled into an identity as bi-sexual.  But really it was more that I was particularly open-minded than that I was actually attracted to men.

I never had a lot of trouble meeting women and had a bad habit of falling passionately in love pretty easily and regularly.  Even when I began experimenting with gender pretty openly, I never had a lot of trouble.  Despite my childhood fears that my gender variance would mean I was going to end up alone and unwanted, I found quite the opposite to be true.  Quite a number of the women I dated very much liked the fact that I would do “drag” occasionally.  I even met several of them while out “en-femme” as they say.

Flash forward and I have accepted my gender variance and allowed myself to finally be myself.  Realized that the “drag” I was wearing was not the dresses and makeup, but the suits and ties!

And flooded with hormones a funny thing has happened to me.  I have fairly suddenly and a bit unexpectedly gone from theoretically attracted to men in a “yes I find that to be an attractive man” way, to “holy crap that guy is hot!” teenage-girl boy-crazy!!

Additionally, I have had the wonderful occasion in the work I do to meet a great many beautiful people with all sorts of gender identities.  Some extremely hot ones in fact!!  So I adjusted my sexual identity accordingly to consider myself to be pan-sexual.  I am attracted to people simply because I find them attractive, regardless of gender or any other factors.  And I try not to worry about it.

This has meant that socially and personally I identify as Queer.  It is an identity I am comfortable with and proud to proclaim.

But, this is a journey and so I have come to something of a crisis of identity lately.  Though I continue to identify as Queer and find myself attracted somewhat to women and others.  I find that what I want, what truly gets my heart racing, what gets me all hot and bothered, is men!  And yet, despite  my revolutionary pose, or perhaps because of it, this makes me oddly uncomfortable.  I find myself having to adjust to the idea that despite my Queer & Kinky identities, I am much more of a straight-girl than I am completely comfortable with admitting.

And I haven’t the faintest idea what to do about it.

As an Out, kink friendly transwoman, I have I can assure you, any number of men who would like to do all kinds of unmentionable things with me.  But gods forbid I should be able to find a guy who will take me out to dinner or a movie and maybe if we hit it off, go back to his place and fool around a little on the couch over a nightcap.

I haven’t even the faintest idea where to find a nice, cute guy who might be into me too.  Gay bars aren’t really any good.  Mostly they’re filled with gay boys who just want other really hot gay boys!  There simply aren’t any “tranny bars” close enough to justify a night out.  And straight bars are a tease.  I find most guys I might meet there are simply too afraid to approach a 6’4” Out transwoman in public.  Even a damned pageant queen!!  And the ones who are into me are too afraid to admit to it publically.  They’ll fuck me, but they won’t be seen with me.  Fun as that is, I just can’t get into that.

Just Lorelei

Don’t get me wrong, I love hot, dirty sex as much as the next girl.  Heck, given that I spent 5 years in a long-term relationship with a famous and notoriously dirty dominatrix, I’ve had experiences and done things that most people will only ever read or fantasize about.

But I’d really like a little vanilla-ish romance now!  I want it so badly it hurts.  I’d like to let go of being Lorelei Erisis, trans-activist for a few minutes and just fall into the arms of a beautiful, strong man.  Ideally one who is tall enough to not be dwarfed by me.  Who can see me as simply the beautiful woman I am.  Whose self-identity is strong enough to be seen with me.

I have no idea where to find him.  He’s not popped up on any of the dating sites I’ve put profiles on and if I’ve met him in real life, he hasn’t had the cojones to speak up yet.

I hope I meet him soon though because I’m ready and anxious to explore what it means to be a straight girl.  Even if it is an Out, Queer, Trans one.

06
May
10

Raw

I was going to write about some drama, some politics that have been going on in  the trans community recently.  But honestly, I’m a little tired of trans politics right now.  It’s spring and I’m much more interested in human life and love and everyday things like waiting for a boy to call or figuring out what your heart is saying.  What MY heart is saying.

After all, that’s why this blog is called “transproviser”.  It’s about all things trans, but it’s about life and improvising as I go along too.  I want people to see when they read this blog, that as fabulous as I can be, as big as my public image may seem sometimes, I’m a real person.  Just like any of you.  I drive myself crazy hoping the cute boy will call.  I worry about the people I love.  I question myself and cry and sometimes drink too much when I’m alone.

And this is why I even do the things I do anyway.  Why I fight for “trans rights”.  It’s not about semantics to me.  Offensive words and flickering media.  It’s about everyday life.  Having a roof over my head and food in my pantry.  A job that’ll pay the bills so I can take my girl out every so often.  So I can have cab fare home if the cute boy turns out to be a douche.  It’s about taking care of my family and taking care of my self.  And about every single other person on the planet, trans, black, white, Hispanic, muslim, geeky, poor, hungry, being able to do these same things themselves.  Take care of themselves and take care of their families.  However they may define family.

It really and truly bothers me when anyone is hurting.  When I meet a homeless man who asks me “what was the most painful experience of my life?”  I stop and think.  This is honesty.  If I take it seriously, this is a moment of real connection.  So I tell him in order for him to tell me.  I share my pain so he can share his.  At a personal level, while looking into the eyes of another human being.  It’s an intense moment.  Like all moments it passes and we both retreat back to our roles.  But for a second it was there.  That is why I fight.  That is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

I’m scared.  Jumping tracks into what I really mean to say.  Steering away from the abstract.  I’m scared.  I’m just beginning to find who I am.  To find the new me.

I have been afraid to completely step away from the old me though.  I don’t really know how.

The writing flowed like an opened vein until that moment.  Just here.  Now I am at truth and my fingers suddenly are typing through mud.  The past is threatening to revisit my now.  To come from the then to where I am in the moment.  Can I even handle that?  I deal in all these abstracts, what happens when I have to live with the reality of my ideas?  I claim to be sex-positive and kinky and poly and pan and all of these things.  I have legitimately had adventures well beyond the experience of many I meet.  Whether vanilla or kinky.  You would think I’d be free.  But still, when someone touches me I freeze.  My breathing stops.  I talk and talk and talk and you would think by my words and my confidence I was immune from the same insecurities that plague all human hearts.  But I’m here to tell you I am not.

I am just as starved for human touch.  I am just as insecure.  I am just as afraid of rejection and heartache.  I am terrified of hurting someone else.  Of causing another pain.

In sexual terms, I have been looking to find a top to whom I can bottom.  But I have recently discovered a sadistic side in myself.  I think it is a reaction to my fear of causing pain.  It’s a pretty extreme reaction too.  It’s a pretty intense fear.

Again though, I dance around the truth, whirling in the abstract.  Why is it so hard to simply say what I mean?

Or am I?  Can you see beyond my words into the truth of what I’m feeling?  Can you see that these are not abstracts?  That this is not just a dance but an actual example of my fear?  My fear for instance of hurting another human being manifested by my careful avoidance of names and specifics.

Well if that’s what you guessed you win the zero-dollar prize.

And the worst part of it?  The worst part for me the writer and for you the reader?  This is actual life.  Not semantics or politics or polemics.   Or even good fiction.  This is a glance inside of me.  And there is not going to be a tidy ending.  There is not a solution which through this writing will miraculously and stylishly present itself.  It is life, wonderful and painful and messy and now.  There is no summation.  No wrapping up statement that’s going to happen.  My difficulties will still be that real and present as will yours.  But maybe by my opening my wound for you we can share a moment for a second.  A bit of truth a bit of connection before this, doesn’t end so much, as simply stops.

08
Mar
10

Saturday Night At The Club

Really needed a little loud music tonight. Beautiful people sway and sweat. Youth doing what youth do. Blithely unconcerned just dancing, grinding, drinking. I seek solace myself in the overwhelming numbness of the beat, the bass. I am pushed to extremes and my mind races.  I see old solutions in new places.  Try and find myself in who I was.  The writer in the dark. I’m not much for dancing tonight just need to be washed in the energy of the crowd. I want to be recognized and remain anonymous. The writer in the night.  I wonder why I never meet cute boys at the gay bar. They’re not here to meet me they’re here to meet themselves. I’m a woman! But where do I meet a boy who can sweep me off my feet. Accept me, be attracted to me for who I am. It never seems to happen at the nightclub but that’s where I go anyway. Where is the boy who can appreciate me, not be afraid of me?

So I’m talking to a cute boy at the bar. Dangerous hot and teaches Latin!!  I’m maybe making way managing small talk forcing myself to not be shy. Then some girl takes a slow dive to the floor in front of us. Next thing I know hot boy is helping her up and he’s gone.

All I can think is, “bitch”.

I wish I knew some smooth lines or could make myself not be so fucking shy. Maybe have a few less stupid morals. Pain in the ass standards.

I just want to get fucked. Why should that be so hard?

Oh I see, not giving a fuck is apparently the trick!! Just don’t try, don’t care and maybe I’ll hook up.

The cute boy is back “whenare yougonna buy me a drink” in a hot east Boston accent.  Demanding in charge and dangerous.

I buy the drink I don’t hesitate even. Captain and Coke.

Like I said hot boy. Big muscles not short either. He asks what I do. I tell him pageant queen writer. He says he writes poetry. I ask him his favorite Latin poet. Catullus. I’ve heard of him and all the other Latin poets he names. Fave non Latin poet? Elizabeth Browning. Holy shit umm I’m floored. Like I said dangerous hot looking like the kind of Boston guy that might follow me into an alley. Masshole bent Sox cap even. Camo tshirt. But smart and forward as fuck. He asks if I want to come back to his place with the girl who’s been puppydogging him around the club. I decline. I’m feeling a little self-conscious about my body tonight. Didn’t bother with any shaving so I have a fine fuzz on my chest. Plus I’m in no mood to share this one with some little alt girl. I want this boy all to myself if I’m going to fuck him.

Let him think about me for a while. Take out my card occasionally. Think about calling me.

He drifts away into other convos and I dance with some friend’s friends. Two beautiful girls. Mocha and milk chocolate. I joke about being too hot. They encourage me to take off my sweater so I show them my new tits. Little perky and sensitve when mocha beautiful tests their tweak!  I dance and abandon.

Life is good. Apparently the only thing I need to do is simply not give fuck. Simply stop trying. Stop caring.

Huh. Whatever works.

27
May
09

An Open Letter To California (And All Americans) About Gay Marriage

Lorelei At City Hall

Hellooo California!!!  Are you there!?!?  Because I’ve got some things to say about this whole Gay Marriage issue.

Forgive me while I resort to internet slang but, OMG, WTF!!!!

Where is the liberal bastion of free thinking and human rights that I used to admire?!?!

What happened to the gleaming Camelot of the West Coast that seemed so open-minded and accepting to me when I was desperate to escape the Midwest 8 years ago?!

What kind of topsy-turvy, bizarro world do we live in where Gay Marriage is legalized in Iowa and Maine, but not California?!?!?!!?!

Seriously, you’re going to make me break the “!” and the “?” buttons on my keyboard if you keep this up Cali!!!

Somehow, I fail to grasp the logic of your Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Prop 8 but also allow to stand the 18,000 Gay Marriages that were performed during the minute and a half that all marriages were considered legal and sacred in your state.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want to be the one to have to tell Mister Sulu that he can’t be married to the man he loves either.  I’ve seen that guy wield a sword.

But you just can’t say that a certain group does not deserve the same rights as everyone else, except these folks who managed to cash in on our “Short time limited offer!”  If I had known that Equal Marriage Rights were simply an infomercial offer, I would have encouraged my marriage oriented Gay friends to send in their $19.95 +S&H, tout suite!!!  Maybe they could have gotten a Popeil Pocket Fisherman along with their marriage license.  Or a set of Ginsu Knives as a wedding gift from the State of California!!!

I’m not saying I don’t think these folks don’t deserve to be married.  They Do!!!!  I’m just saying that the law shouldn’t be allowed to be seen as a “sometimes, if it’s convenient, or if we mess up it’s okay” kind of thing!!!

I just don’t see how your Supreme Court’s decision makes any logical sense California!

Of course I don’t really understand how we could have fought to assure equal marriage rights for all Californians (I was one of you at that time;  a proud Angeleno!!), on a constitutional basis no less, only to have what was declared to be a Basic Human Right taken away by a so called “popular vote”!!  Huh!?!?  I thought Basic Human Rights, especially ones protected by writ of Constitution, were not open to the whims of “popular opinion”.  Isn’t it the job of the courts to protect the Constitution from things like this?

Please forgive all the quotation marks I’m using here.  I simply don’t believe that Proposition 8 had anything to do with popular opinion at all.  I actually believe, foolish though I may be, that most Californians, most Americans in fact, are pretty open-minded and fair people.  This is a country founded upon virtues of Tolerance and Respect.
It is my well-researched opinion that Proposition 8 is the result of a well-financed and bigoted campaign of hate and intolerance by a relatively small minority.  I won’t name names here.  I’ll just say “But isn’t that wrong Davey?”
But I digress.  Allow me to reign in the sarcasm here and ask you all a question I have asked before.

Shouldn’t all Americans enjoy the same equal rights?  Is there some thing that I’m missing that somehow makes homosexuals fundamentally undeserving of the same privileges that heterosexuals enjoy?

I have never understood the mindset that believes gay people are undermining basic family values whilst at the same time denying them the ability to support those very same values!!!

In the past few months I have heard many arguments for and against the issue of Gay Marriage.  Even from people whose inclination would be to support our brothers and sisters in their fight.  One argument along these lines that I’ve heard a lot of is that Gay People should leave “Marriage” alone as a strictly Christian Sacrament and settle for civil unions.  I disagree.

First and foremost is the fact that our Government treats marriage and civil unions as different entities.  With civil unions being a distinctly lower grade with fewer rights.  I was “Married” once myself and believe me, whether or not the priest performed the ceremony didn’t amount to a hill of beans without the proper government forms and consents. I know when I did it, I had to get permission and approval from the great State of Illinois, as well as pay a fee.  I’m pretty sure that makes it squarely an issue of “The State”.  As in that which is separated from “The Church”.

I was somehow under the impression that one of the things that makes this a great democracy is our separation of church and state.  I believe marriage is a civic issue.  Marriage, although also a religious ceremony, is primarily a civic issue in this country.  And we’re supposed to have a separation of church and state.  So a civic issue, and I believe, a civil right it is.

It’s not so long ago that the same bigots who oppose Gay Marriage were calling interracial marriages unnatural and wrong.  And calling the couples who dared to defy that sentiment perverts.

As for marriage being a Christian sacrament.  Yes it is.  But the idea and the label for it, long predates Christianity.

In the interest of full disclosure I should mention here that I am in fact an Ordained Minister and Student of Theology, among other things.

I’ve done a bit of digging about this, because I wanted to have something intelligent to say to the 500 people I spoke to at a rally in Northampton, MA back in November when Proposition 8 was first passed.  A brief perusal of the history of marriage reveals that our concept of it has changed radically over the last couple thousand years. most noticeably and dramatically in the last century or two.

Arranged Marriages for instance are no longer common in the Western World.  In fact this whole idea of marrying the person we love is really new!  Women are no longer expected to maintain the home and bear a good crop of chilluns’.  Men can no longer summarily dismiss their wives if they feel they have grown tired of her or she is somehow unclean.

And they certainly aren’t allowed to sell their daughters.

Why shouldn’t we allow Gay People to get married?  Doesn’t that support the good moral values that religious nuts are always accusing homosexuals of undermining?

I’ll spare you the specific bible quotes.  But trust me, for every piece of scripture I hear denigrating homosexuals, I could quote you ten other completely ridiculous scriptural laws forbidding all kinds of things that no Christian I know pays any attention to.

For one thing, The Lord is really effing serious about this whole “Not working on The Sabbath” thing.  Violators are supposed to be stoned to death.  By contrast, homosexuals are briefly mentioned as not being allowed to be part of His church.

To take this all a step further, Christ Himself was the one who turned all of that Old Testament nonsense on it’s ear and pretty much said we should all love each other and leave the judging up to Him.  Presumably he was talking about Gay Folks as well as Sabbath Breakers and Menstruating Women.

To conclude, I believe that it is not Gay People trying to make a religious issue into a civil matter.  Nor is it mainstream Christian folks trying to make a civil matter into a religious one.

It’s a few powerful bigots making a mockery of the teachings of Christianity and the Values of Good Americans to support their own closed minded and hateful beliefs.

Please.  If you believe in this country.  If you believe that all people should be allowed to lead lives of dignity and respect.  If you believe that we should judge not, lest we be judged.  If you believe in the ability of humanity to rise above our petty differences and move forward into the new Millennia.  I urge you to support our Brothers and Sisters in California and around the country in their fight for equal rights and the chance to legally Marry the person they Love.
This is not just an issue for Californians, or for the LGBT Community.  It is an issue for all of us.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Slainte Chugat!!!
Reverend Lorelei Erisis

01
Apr
09

This Is My America

I wrote this shortly after I moved to Los Angeles.
I was living in a closet in North Hollywood in the apartment of an old friend of mine named Dug.  I knew Dug from my time as a club kid in Boston.  We both worked at Venus DeMilo on Landsdowne Street.  He was a DJ, one of the best that I have ever known.  I ran the lights. We were both Cage Dancers.
He also lived on my floor for a while and we had some crazy adventures.  Most of which I am not currently drunk and/or foolish enough to relate.
We had stayed in touch over the years and when he movcd to L.A. to pursue a standup comedy career, he decided to repay my friendship by moving me out there and giving me a place to stay.  Literally, in a closet under the stairs.  Like Harry Potter.
I had no job, knew no one in L.A. besides Dug and his girlfriend, and had very little money.
So very often the highlight of my day was to scrape enough change together to buy a cup of bottomless coffee and maybe a piece of apple pie at the 24-hour greasy spoon down the street, where I would sit for as long as I could get away with and write or read a cheap, used book.  This piece was written on one of those long, lonely nights.

This is my America!
24 hour NoHo diner.
too impatient to sugar my coffee.
I want to write
and feel
And feel
and write.
A thousand miles from anywhere.
Everybody’s here.
This is what I know.
Chicken Fried Steak
and Mashed Potatoes.
A bottomless cup
out of a steel pot.
This is what I know.
This is who I am.
Today.
Yesterday.
I think of late Chicago nights.
Too high to order.
Trying not to laugh.
Too hard.
Borrowing money from M—.
G—— borrows too.
“I’ll pay you back on Saturday…”
elaborate,
unnecessary,
explanations of debt.
Midnight Whately Diner,
in that other valley.
“Showers are three dollars.”
Or was it five?
Stainless steel,
jet-fuel coffee.
Weirdo kids
and hunkered truckers.
The swirling cream
catches my attention.
Always does.
I take a second to stir too long.
Remember that line,
stirring up memories.
I remember M—.
She liked it too.
P—— telling me,
in another greasy spoon.
Lunchtime breakup.
Biked home crying.
I just couldn’t do
a Gothic picket fence.
Settled down with a kid named Vlad,
and a dog named Cujo.
Fucking terrier, small dog.
So I got married.
Just to contradict myself.
This is my America.
In Cambridge, after Man-Ray.
It was slices of greasy pizza
then the long drunk walk home.
Up Mass. Ave.
To Porter Square.
Another time,
in the same place.
The Tasty,
Closet Cafeteria.
With N—-,
On Acid.
After dancing.
Met Magic Eye inventor,
bummy old man millionaire.
Absolutely true.
Middle of the night N—-
screaming.
“Get the fuck off of me!!!”
When I wasn’t.
Startled awake.
Scared as hell.
Sleeping in the crevice,
between the wall and
the bed.
Another time.
J—-, drunk too much.
“Who are you?” really not knowing.
Her husband.
She should know.
I’m disturbed that she doesn’t.
Garrett’s in the other room.
With a woman and a sunset.
She keeps trying to look.
I pull the door closed.
This is my America.
Never able to say no
to another cup of coffee.
IHOP in Hyannis.
Matt’s a bastard, again.
We fight about a woman.
She wasn’t even worth it really.
So many midnight diners.
And all night greasy spoons.
Chicago New Years Eve.
Another Golden Something Diner.
Happier times.
Bittersweet.
M— and G—— and J—-
and J— and Me.
And M— and J—-.
And Me.
At the start of a new century.
And the end of a Mistaken Marriage.
I remember so many nights.
And so much coffee.
This is my America.




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