If We Were Having Coffee // Happy Pride Month to My Fellow Queers!

Hello, dear readers! Thank you for stopping by for a bit of conversation and caffeine. I nearly forgot about our coffee date, I’ve been up doing a bit of work in the yard, around the house, and getting our new grill set up for some jalapeño cheddar burgers, corn on the cob, and grilled peaches for dessert! Please excuse the mouth-watering. It’s been a long time since we grilled anything and we are very excited.

“Current problem: The fatigue is unbearable without coffee, but coffee makes the illness worse, which makes the fatigue worse.”

sadnarwhal

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If we were having coffee, I would wish all of my LGBTQIA+ peeps a very Happy Pride Month! Denver’s parade and rally aren’t for another couple of weekends, but I’m going to try to start planning the festivities and inviting friends this week. Nothing big, there is exactly one gay club and one gay bar I like, and that’s it.

We’ll probably spend a couple of nights out with friends, then watch the parade and meet up with all the gays I know but only ever see once a year. We’ll do some shopping, go home, and be happy that we live in a country that we can love each other and get married without the threat of imprisonment and death.

We’ve come so far since I came out as a teenager. I remember I was so afraid of rejection. I was afraid something was wrong with me. I was afraid I wouldn’t get to live a “normal” life. And here we are now! We own our home, we are engaged, and we both have our loved ones with us, supporting us, proud of us, and treating us just like a normal couple, because that is what we are!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that last week was not a good writing week. I only posted here a couple of times. On Monday, about my growing fear of the world around me and how I hope to overcome it, and Tuesday I checked in with everything I am currently doing and feeling to mark the end of May. I didn’t get my newsletter out, and I didn’t keep up with posting over on Tumblr. I’m trying not to be too hard on myself over it. Things have gotten a little overwhelming, and I need to imagine a clean slate where the failures of the past aren’t weighing me down.

So, next week will be better. I hope to post twice here, get my newsletter out, and write something small every evening on Tumblr. I’m also setting a goal of 250 per day on a couple of essays for my zine project.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that part of the reason I had such a hard time getting these words out was the weather. I have been so excited for summer, and now that it is here my body has decided that heat is far too exhausting. I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open after 2 PM in the afternoon and on the weekends all I want to do is sleep.

It may not be just the heat. I have been tapering off of the steroid I’ve been on since February, and without it, my body may be struggling to cope. I’m worried about my health and energy levels going into the coming week. I took my last dose yesterday, and I’m already had headaches, and I’m more tired than ever. Thank God for coffee.

I’, also a little depressed, I think. It’s hard to tell since I’ve felt this way nearly my whole life, but there are signs I’ve learned to look for. I’m more irritable and moody than usual. I’m more critical of myself, less forgiving and more aware of my mistakes. I’m tired. I’m craving foods that are bad for me, lots of grease, and salt, and sugar. I’m sad sometimes, and I’m not as interested in the things I love as I usually am. A lot of me trying to write starts with me trying to care about writing again.

I’m really hoping it’s just the change in meds and season and not anything more serious.

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If we were having coffee, I would try my best not to bring up politics because I still don’t know where to even begin to articulate my frustration, anger, embarrassment, and hopelessness at everything that has happened these past few months.

My anxiety is at an all-time high. I dread the news every day and yet I can’t seem to pull myself away from it. Every morning there is some new scandal, some new way that this administration has found to make life a little less bearable than the day before. I fear the rest of the world is laughing at us and moving on, together, to make their world a better place. America has lost her place as leader and savior.

The future looks so bleak from here. But there has been some good. I was happy to see many states and cities recommit to the Paris Accords after our president stupidly decided to pull out for no fucking reason. I was happy to see the rest of the world come together to condemn our president’s decision as well. There has been so much community and unity found and formed since Trump took office.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that more and more I am focusing on ways to find joy and hope closer to home. This week I am seeing a couple of movies, It Comes at Night and Wonder Woman. The former looks super creepy, creepy movies are my absolute favorite, and the Wonder Woman screening will be one of the Women-only showings that have men all over the internet wound up and whining.

I’ve heard nothing, but good things about Wonder Woman and I anticipate that will be the highlight of my week. I’ll be honest, I’m a little worried about some of those angry men showing up to cause problems. There are a lot of men in the world who hate women and hate for them to have anything of their own. I’ve seen a lot of hateful comments on the internet, and it’s hard not to imagine the worst happening here.

It’s really upsetting we live in a world where I can’t go see a movie without fearing for my safety.

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that besides that, not a whole lot has been going on. I’ve spent more time that I want to admit watching TV this week. House of Cards came back, and I’ve been binging that. I paced myself the best I could and mode it just six days before finishing the 13 episodes. Luckily Orange is the New Black starts this week, so I’ll have something else to get into.

Speaking of Netflix, one of my favorite shows, Sense8, seems to have gotten the ax. If you haven’t watched Sense8 you need to stop here and go check it out. There are two seasons and a Christmas special available. The show features a very diverse and talented cast, is beautifully shot, and tackles themes of race, sexual orientation, gender, privilege, and acceptance. I’m devastated it was canceled. If you’d like to help get it back, for me or for yourself, please fill out this title request form on Netflix’s own site. Just put in “Sense8 season 3”. Thank you!

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If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it is getting very close to dinner time and I had better get going and get the grill fired up. My girlfriend already has everything prepped and my mouth is watering again smelling the jalapeños and seeing the beautiful ears of corn she brought home.

I hope you had a great week and a relaxing weekend. I hope next week will be productive a free from unhealthy amounts of stress.

Until next time (:

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If you like this post check out my weekly-ish newsletter for interesting reads + some of my own existential musings on life, love, and inevitable human suffering, or help support what I do by sharing a cup of coffee.

Written for the weekly Weekend Coffee Share link up hosted by Nerd in the Brain

Featured image via domestikate

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The Week’s End // Remembering Orlando

In the interest of raising awareness and highlighting stories from those who were affected, this week’s The Week’s End is dedicated to the victims of the Orlando Shooting, their friends and family, and the entire LGBTQ community.

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Since the shooting I have kept this page up in my browser, so I can read the updates as they come in. While a lot of the news has been sad, there are also stories of love. Stories of the victims. Read them and never forget.

The world is getting less and less safe for more and more people. Every time this happens it will touch more and more of us. We are all going to have to learn to cope in that world.

In the wake of the shooting, Democrats moved to force gun legislation. Whether or not they will get it, and whether or not it will mean anything remains to be seen.

In the meantime, we have to remember not to remain silent. Don’ you forget and don’t let anyone else forget either. Keep talking and keep fighting, every day.

Let’s go back to where it all began.

One reason this hurts so much is that for some, the club is all we have. It’s not ideal, and it isn’t always healthy, but it was a place to go to be yourself.

Some clubs are where people learn who they are and how to be themselves. What will we go now?

So many different kinds of hate came together that night, homophobia, misogyny, and racism. We have to fight all three.

What we haven’t talked much about is what kind of world we are creating for young queer kids growing up now. The ones who are suffering the way we did in school and if nothing gets better, will suffer more than we ever did as adults.

And finally to those who are hurt by this act but not apart of our community. We know you want to help, but please help in the right ways. Do not hurt us all over again.

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If you have read or written anything that should be included in the list, please, drop a link in the comments. Happy Pride Month, stay safe out there.

P.S. If you would like to receive this list in your inbox (plus some extras) you can visit the sign-up page and enter your email. Thanks!

Monday Motivation // Address the Hate, Starting With Yourself

Hello and happy Monday to you all! I know, I know, no one likes Mondays. No one likes to leave the freedom and comfort of the weekend behind to be thrust unprepared into the monotony and boredom of the work week. But life is short and to spend our whole lives hating one entire day of the week seems like a big waste of what little time we have on this Earth. Let’s try to think about Monday’s a little differently, shall we?

I say Mondays are a time for new beginnings. I say Mondays are full of new possibilities and an exciting chance to do it all over again, and this time, get it right.

This Monday is a sad one. I am still thinking about the Orlando shooting that took place over the weekend. Besides being saddened by the news of 50 lives lost, of this being the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, by some of the messages of hatred I saw, and by how quickly people were able to blame an entire religion and move on, I am also frustrated. I hate that this keeps happening.

I don’t understand how we can keep doing the same thing — essentially nothing — and expect that anything will change. I feel like I am on the outside of a nationwide case of clear insanity. So many people are screaming that something must be done to change this country’s culture around guns, and more are screaming that they will never change.

Our love of weapons won’t be overcome overnight. So all we can do for now is start by addressing the hate.

I saw a lot of people jumping to conclusions on social media yesterday, blaming the entire Muslim religion for this attack. I don’t pretend to know what exactly was on this man’s mind, and I don’t even think that religion had nothing to do with what happened. What I do know is that this feels rooted more in homophobia than in anything else.

Homophobia spans across many religions, races, classes, and cultures. (Homophobia itself is rooted in misogyny, the hatred of what is feminine, but that’s a topic for another day.) I saw a few people choosing to use derogatory terms, blaming the victims for their deaths, and even arguing that this was “God’s will.” I know that most people do not feel this way, but the extremists are protected by the moderates who hold the same views but to a lesser degree. That is the problem I would like us to address this week.

This week let’s look at all the ways we perpetuate these ideas and inflict microaggressions on people who are different or are a part of another marginalized group—particularly gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, and other people who’s gender identities and sexualities fall outside of the norm.

Microaggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.

Microaggressions: More than Just Race, Psychology Today

You may think you do not hold any unenlightened ideas about any particular group of people. You may think that you are not racist, sexist, or homophobic. You may think that because you are a part of a marginalized group yourself that you could not possibly be part of the problem. I would tell you that most of you are wrong. Most of you have been judgmental, have thought a group of people didn’t deserve something or thought that their suffering was not real.

Have you ever told someone they should dress differently to fit in with gender norms? Maybe you said it in what you thought was a nice way, “You would look so good in a dress.” I hear this all the time. People think in some way they are complimenting me. All I hear is that I don’t look good the way I do dress. I hear that I am less of a woman because I wear baggier jeans and tennis shoes. It hurts.

Have you ever said or thought:

  • I love the person; I hate the sin
  • You’re too pretty to be a lesbian.
  • Gay people are always hitting on me!
  • This is my gay friend!
  • That’s so gay.
  • Bisexual people are just greedy
  • I’m cool with gay people as long as they aren’t, like, really gay.
  • I’m cool with gay people as long as they stay away from me, don’t look at me, don’t breathe my air.

These are just a few examples and on the surface, these don’t sound so bad, if you aren’t gay, transgender, or queer. If you are all you hear are stereotypes, homophobic stereotypes, being reinforced. You hear how you are different and other, and all you feel is singled out and demeaned.

It’s not about being too sensitive; it’s not about political correctness. It’s about not perpetuating ideas that are harmful, ideas that can be deadly.

Statements like these contribute to the collective cultural view that people belonging to the LGBTQ community are not like everyone else. People who hate gay people, who think they should be killed or jailed, they think the same thing. No one wants to think they the have anything in common with the kind of people that kill out of hatred, but you might.

This week examine all the ways you view people who are different from you. Examine the ways you may be hurting someone around you by saying these kinds of things. Take a second to educate yourself. Find blogs and social media circles where people talk about the ways they are hurt. Listen and ask questions, respectfully. Think about the ways you are hurt every day by the things people think and say. Think about the kind of person you want to be. Think about the kind of world you want to live in.

Think about the victims of the Orlando shooting and all the victims all over the world and throughout history who have been killed for being different. Remember them and try to do better. Try to make this world a place where differences are celebrated, not pointed out to be made fun of or critiqued. Try to practice acceptance, empathy, and understanding.

Above all, just try to spread some love today.

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Featured image by Ludovic Bertron from New York City, USA [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Two Different Bodies, In Love

When I look at your body I see so much to love and I see much to be jealous of.

In all the places you expand and fill out, I am small, and in all the places where you curve, I am flat. I love the way you look. I love the way you feel even more. I wonder how you must see me and how I must feel to you. My body is not as beautiful, there is much less to explore. I must bore you. I must feel ordinary.

I have always felt lucky to have a girl who looks the way you do. You remind me of an ancient Greek sculpture or one of their Amazonian warriors. You are the kind of femininity that in made for bearing children, building societies, and carrying the burdens of life. You are strong and beautiful.

What could a woman, built like that, see in a little scrawny thing who couldn’t even grow decent hips?

In the dark of night when we lay with our bodies close, we feel how different we are and you tell me you wish you looked like me too. You wish you were smaller. You wish you weren’t such a big thing in this world. I never realized that when you are tall and strong people see you wherever you go and want you to always be tall and strong for them. Small bodies can hide in the places no one looks, the places right out in the open.

In that moment, I see I am lucky. I still wish I looked like you but I wish you could look like me too. Then I could be the one to surround you when you need to hide yourself away. I could make you feel small and protected the way you have for me by default. I could be strong and tall for you. I could keep the world from hurting you.

But I can’t be you and you can’t be me.

Instead, there in the dark, we offer each other bits of ourselves to keep tucked under the skin

And every morning I have another bit of you to keep me big and strong and you leave with another bit of me to help you hide.

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Written in response to Death to Stock Writing #18: The Bodies We Meet

What Inequality Has Meant to Me

Inequality means not bothering to propose to my girlfriend of 12 years because we can’t get “real married” anyway. Inequality means following every political debate hoping to hear a candidate say they support your right to marry the person you love. Inequality means also having to listen to all the politicians who don’t support your right say horrible things about your character. In equality means hearing them compare your love to bestiality and pedophilia.

Inequality means having to pay more for health insurance because you can’t put the person you love on your policy. Inequality means wondering who will get to make your medical decisions if something happened to you. Inequality means wondering what will happen to your home and your belongings should something happen to either of you. Inequality means wondering if you could have children one day and if you both get to be a legal parent. Inequality means you get all the paperwork in place to protect yourselves but in the back of your mind you know a judge could wipe it all away in court if her family decides to sue.

Inequality means having to “come out” over and over again to new friends and coworkers and wondering how they will react. Inequality means having people tell you to your face that they don’t understand your “choices”. Inequality means having people tell you that you DO have the same rights as everyone else because “you can marry a man”. Inequality is having people tell you these things without ever having to worry about the things you have to worry about.

Inequality is being told those things while also being fetishized. Inequality is have men ask you if they “can watch” or “join in”. Inequality is being hesitant to kiss your girlfriend in public because guys are watching. Inequality is being told on a regular basis that you just haven’t “had the right man yet”. Inequality is having to deal with random men hitting on your girlfriend in front of you because they don’t respect your relationship. Inequality is seeing her uncomfortable and feeling helpless and scared when nothing you say makes him stop.

Inequality also mean getting to be apart of the change and seeing new allies come forward everyday. Inequality means celebrating with your friends when the supreme court decides not to hear appeals and suddenly marriage equality is legal in your state. Inequality is tearing up when your family tells you they are happy that you can finally marry the girl of your dreams. Inequality is being grateful that your parents didn’t disown you for loving a woman. Inequality is seeing public opinion change and being happy, but at the same time, being sad it took so long and knowing that there is so much farther left to go.

Prompt via The Daily Post: Did you know today is Blog Action Day? Join bloggers from around the world and write a post about what inequality means to you. Have you ever encountered it in your daily life?

If We Were Having…Tea!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that the cool, cloudy weather we are having today has put me in the mood for some nice warm tea instead. Some mint green tea with honey and a tiny bit of coconut oil to be specific. Yeah I know the coconut oil thing sounds kinda weird but trust me it’s good, try it!

If we were having tea I would tell you that this past week was pretty good. My day job kept me pretty busy but I did my best to keep my attitude positive and I actually had some fun. Hopefully soon my boss will be hiring on some more people to help us out and things will get easier. I did have to call in last Friday though which I actually feel really bad it. I had been up three nights in a row with a cough and I was just too tired to work. I hope things didn’t fall apart without me there. Guess I’ll find out tomorrow.

If we were having tea I would tell you that the weekend was good too. We originally had plans to do dinner with another gay couple last night. We wanted to celebrate the recent supreme court decision which made gay marriage suddenly legal here in Colorado. They had to cancle but we will celebrate next weekend. Instead we celebrated a new friend’s birthday. We had a great time and this new friend is turning out to be pretty cool. She seems mature, sweet, and drama free and I’m excited that we may have a new female friend to hang out with.

If we were having tea I’d tell you that my sister is here and she brought my niece and nephew with her. I haven’t seen them in a couple weeks and I’ve missed them a lot. I had better go and visit with them but it was nice to sit and talk with you for awhile. I’d like to know how you all are doing too, so let me know in the comments and, please, enjoy the rest of your weekend.