Friday, March 16, 2012

An all too familiar story

"So, mom, I've been asked to stand up for my friend at her wedding."
"Oh honey, that's wonderful!"
"Did I mention that my friend is a lesbian and she's marrying another woman?"


"So, it's been getting warmer down here. Your dad and I are thinking of joining the bridge club...."

"Well, aren't you happy for them? They are in love and want me to be a part of the most special day of each of their lives."

"I'm sorry dear, bad connection. Seems that the neighbor is using his electric pruning shears outside our window again. Besides, we really need to go to that Bridge club tournament. I'll call you...later... ok?"
...... and so it goes. If you can't join 'em, ignore 'em. If you can't beat 'em, judge 'em.

The story is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the judgemental. Oh, and the bridge club thing is an example of retirement living.

This week I was asked to preside over the wedding of a very good, dear friend and her partner. Why, yes, I say, I am an ordained, card-carrying minister with the Universal Life Church Monastery and am able to not only conduct weddings but also conduct same-sex weddings, perform last rites and, *gasp* preside over funerals. Go figure, right?
What makes this request so special is that the woman who wants me to actually perform the ceremony once looked upon me as a speck of dust on a dried donkey turd in the desert in a land of monkey nuts. In other words, I wasn't her favorite person.
My, how things change. Yet, this post isn't about my agreeing to perform the ceremony or the participants view of me and my past behaviors, etc.

This post has to do with an outdated mode of thinking that, well, quite frankly, chaps my lily-white ass into a blend of reds and pinks.
Go back to the fabricated conversation that started this post. In one fashion or another, this is a conversation that takes place in every state, in every country, across the world.

My world, your world. Wherever religion rears it's ugly head, hypocrisy and judgementalism soon follow.

Do you know what the Bible is? I'm sure you think you do. And you know what? When I tell you, you're going to tell me I'm wrong, throw stones at me and condemn me to eternal damnation. Know what else? I'm already familiar with eternal damnation so what the hell do I care what you wanna do to me? Nada.

The Bible is a MAN-WRITTEN book of stories made up of lessons that would help appease a population, garner control of the population and reap rewards, read, 'money'', from the population hundreds of years ago. Funny thing is, it's still being used as such a tool to day... a club to beat the shit out of the masses who need a book to tell them who they are and who they ought to be.
We see it every day within the news, in our neighborhoods, workplaces and churches. "Be like us". "Join us" "Easier to get thru the eye of a needle than to get into the kingdom of heaven". Hell, that's even if you DO believe that Jesus is the son of the big Guy.

Imagine what it's like to be different in society... say, oh, gay, or lesbian, and want to be a child of the Universe. Yeah, I say "Child of the Universe" because we are all made up of the same cosmic material, DNA, atoms and energy. My gay and lesbian brothers and sisters are no different than I. And I'll throw another curveball your way, I'll go as far as to say that every one of us, whether we like to accept it or not, is bisexual. That's right. We each have X and Y chromosomes zooming around through our scrotums and elsewhere... Ponder that thought for a moment.

I think the scribes of old knew this but who was going to throw a thought like that out to the masses? It would be total chaos... robes and chastity belts flying in all directions with nary a bit of control for the Pontiff or other religious leaders to grasp. Hence, the Bible is born and control is granted, and order is placed upon it's throne in the universe.


I am happily performing a wedding for a couple who is in love. Love transcends any religion, any mindset, any control and any boundaries. To be asked to bring two individuals together who are in love is an honor. To be asked to bring two individuals of the same sex together for a lifetime commitment is the ultimate honor. It's not what any 'god' wants, it's what the universe expects of us... to come together as one, or two and exude love and devotion.

So, back to the silence at the beginning conversation. That silence isn't silent. That silence screams judgementalism. That silence screams hypocrisy. No amount of sermons pertaining to acceptance and a 'god' of love can ever silence the hypocrisy in that silent pause.

Sing with your hands to the air all you want, your feet are still stuck in the mud. Allelujah.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Yelps from the Closet: A Year Within Three Days

Yelps from the Closet: A Year Within Three Days: I'm not an overly-sensitive man. Really, I'm not. Sure, I shed a tear during emotional moments of House Hunters on HGTV and occasionally whe...

A Year Within Three Days

I'm not an overly-sensitive man. Really, I'm not. Sure, I shed a tear during emotional moments of House Hunters on HGTV and occasionally when a cat is rescued from a litter of 20, but other than that, I'm pretty steeled to the absurdities of life. It's not how I was born, it's how I've been molded.

I don't give credit to anyone in my life for having shaped me. I am who I am. I made myself who I am. I am the product of my own mistakes and successes.

Now, let me elaborate and perjure myself.

I nearly lost all that matters in life, at least to me, this week. I won't elaborate on the appointed court appearance that I leveled against my ex-wife in order to gain more time with my son. I won't elaborate on the near-loss of the love of my life over having settled that court appearance for a slim if none chance at having a relationship with my son. That's my elaboration.

I won't elaborate on the near-instant mindshift of career-change when the woman who believed in me and hired me left her position due to being overworked and underappreciated.

I won't elaborate on the unconditional love and acceptance of a mother, father, sister and wife who, despite my faults, continue to accept a bouncy bi-polar man into their lives without judgement.. Ok, so maybe that is worth elaboration..

I won't elaborate on a cold-hearted ex-wife who sees my attempts to regain a relationship with my children as an attempt to tarnish her gold-plated exterior image.

What I will expound upon is my gratitude for everything that I've just mentioned. This week has been the epitome of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. And, I appreciate it.

Why Jeff? Why would you say such things?

Well, garsh dangit,, because I'm now a stronger person. I don't need to curse to show I'm a strong person. I've done enough of that for an army of fuckin' afghans in a poppy field under friendly fire... No, I'm stronger because I made choices that made me stronger even though those choices showed weakness. I'm stronger because I won. I won my inner war, Not the war with an ex. Not the war with ungrateful children. Not the war with anyone other than myself. I won the war within myself. I finally beat the cancer which is fear and uncertainty.

No one will understand this, but I won the war that is me. I won myself back. I'm my own Guam.. It took too much money and too many arguments and a few too many tears but I'm me again. Despite my bi-polar mind, I'm me and I'm proud of being me and no one can take that from me.

By now you're asking, "Where's the funny part?" I always have a funny part. It's where it's always been. Just ask my wife.

I win again.