Category Archives: gender

My Grandmother

Upon hearing that my wife and I are splitting up, and that I might possibly someday want to consider going back to school to become a Rabbi. She said, “K will always be apart of our family, because you loved her and because we love her.” I know Grandma. I love her too, we just can’t be together. She said “Of course you can be a Rabbi, this is not such a crazy idea.”

So we talk. Then last night a few hours after our lunch, she sends me two emails, with one link in each email, no other text the first one is this:
http://www.reformjudaism.org/blog/2013/07/15/profiling-first-generation-transgender-rabbis
and the second one is this:
http://www.reformjudaism.org/blog/2013/07/19/fight-equality-life-changing-experience-alabama

Now, I don’t know if my grandmother ever knew that I thought for a time I might be trans, or if she just knows Queer Judaism are as intertwined into my soul as anything. She’s not one for big heart-to-hearts but she is my liberal southern Grandma and I love her with all my heart.

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Filed under Divorce?, family, gender, Politics is Personal, Religion

Being Jewish and…

I think I’ve come to realize that for Jewish families the only thing important is that you remain Jewish and remain a family. Little else can shock the family. For instance, when I came out to my father, who is studying to be a Rabbi, we were sitting in the driveway of his house, the Jeep Grand Cherokee probably still running, or maybe turned off in the middle of an awkward sentence like we do when we suddenly realize this may be a longer conversation that originally planned. You see I hadn’t planned on telling him I was gay, actually I don’t think I did. I think I had just finished telling him that the guy he really wanted me to spend the rest of my life with was actually no longer my boyfriend because I really actually had a crush on this girl with pink streaks in her hair and that I was confused and that it might be possible that I might be gay… And this is what he told me after a long pause “Honey I will always love you no matter what but I think I would rather you marry a Jewish woman than a non-Jewish man.” Of course it is years later and I happen to have met and fell in love with a non-religious definitely not Jewish woman and again my father and I had to have a conversation which went something like this… I really really love her Papa and I think she may be the one… “Is she Jewish?” Well no, but she supports me and loves me. “Oh… Would she be willing to convert?” Well actually Papa I have no interest in asking her to convert she is spiritual and participates in Jewish ritual with me and loves learning…. This conversation was not actually one conversation but many over the space of at least a year and will probably continue to take place especially because he will be performing the ceremony but the next part of the conversation, months later, after I proposed, went something like this: “You know I love the home that you and Kacie have created together, you’re really good together. Will you raise your children Jewish at least? Can you promise me that?” And I told him that we would, but that it would be our version of Judaism, because he always told me to question authority, to argue with God and to find my own meaning in Jewish teachings.

And if you’re reading this you may think, well that is just your story, why are you insinuating that’s everyone else’s experience? Well of course I am not trying to do any such thing but it seems to be a popular theme. I’m currently reading Aaron Raz Link’s book “What Becomes You” and I just finished reading the section in which he tells the very first family member, his cousin, that his name is now Aaron and at first the cousin thinks that Aaron meant Erin as in Irish or Catholic or something and he freaks out, but then reason that it’s A a r o n, sighs with relief and understanding and says, well as long as you’re still Jewish.

It’s all about our Jewish identity and passing along the Jewish story to the next generation that matters. Who you are, who you love, even having tattoos, can all be forgiven as long as you remember the people who came before you and the Jewish story, remember that you are Jewish even if it’s not a religious practice for you anymore, it’s your culture, your history, your people.

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Filed under Engaged Life, family, gender, growing up, Politics is Personal, Reading, Religion

Tired

Maryland’s Marriage Equality Bill was just recommitted to committee… I didn’t understand what that meant either so don’t feel bad. Basically it means we didn’t get enough votes to get marriage and that it’ll probably be another year before anything happens. So unless DOMA is repealed and the federal government says gay marriage is legal we won’t be legally getting married in Maryland Summer 2012. Maybe I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up, maybe I shouldn’t have started picturing what our wedding at Wye Island or Swallow Falls or Tuckahoe or Deep Creek could look like, but I did. I know that our wedding will be everything that we want it to be no matter where it is, but we really, really want it to be legal. And it’s not. Marriage for us is not legal in either of our home states and that makes me really angry and hurt and torn up inside. And I’m tired.

I’m tired of having to know the legal mumbo-jumbo and what this vote means or that ruling means or where it has to go next. I’m tired of knowing that all of you support and love us but we can’t get married in either of our home states. I’m tired of being excited and let down. I’m tired of having to protest and call and email for such basic rights.

We’re all just really tired. I’m almost twenty-two and most of you have been fighting for equal protections for decades and I know you’re tired too. We’re tired of fighting to keep our jobs or get jobs, we’re tired of fighting to be included in protection bills and housing legislation. We’re tired of fighting for marriage rights and immigration rights. We’re tired of being excluded. We’re tired of explaining and tired of arguing and tired of reading about statistics and tired of dying and tired of being persecuted. We’re tired.

I don’t have any quick fixes or long-term fixes. I know eventually the arc of the moral universe bends towards justice but I want my rights now. I want our family to be protected. The entire Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transsexual Transgender 2Spirit Queer Questioning Intersex Ally family.

We’re just people. We’re really just people.

As a Maryland Delegate in the LGBT Caucus said today: “God said to me… I made you in my image.” We are all God’s creatures. Whichever God/Goddess/Energy/Ball of light You believe in. We are all holy.

Days like today are why we need Pride parades and parties and Gay Bars and LGBT centers and resource groups and school clubs and chat rooms and special websites dedicated to how awesome our weddings can be, blogs about LGBT families and raising children and fighting back against everything society taught you. We still need these resources because we’re still discriminated against, because we’re not equally represented in society. I don’t want to call my mom out, but she’s asked me before why I feel it’s so important to have these separate spaces. These special spaces. Why do I feel it’s important to have friends that are LGBT? This is why. Because we need to be able to be there for each other for celebrations of new relationships, of new legal ground, of a good day.

And we really, really need to be able to celebrate who we are when there are so many people who want to tell us it’s not okay to be who we are. That it’s not okay to celebrate our love. Well it is okay, in fact it’s a beautiful love.

Days like today are why I smile when I see rainbow stickers and queer couples in the streets, going about their day. Days like today are why I smile when I see someone who you know is queer from a mile away and smile when I see someone who doesn’t “look queer” in a queer relationship. We’re in this together. For the long-as-fuck hall.

 

I love you.

 

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Filed under Engaged Life, family, gender, Politics is Personal

Blogging Goals

I notice I am not very good at updating regularly. I wish I would, a lot of times I have things I want to say to a blank page or sometimes scream, but most of the time I don’t. I’m going to attempt another 30 day meme and I’m hoping to actually write every day, we’ll see where that takes us. I like that this one isn’t as one subject based and will probably allow for more of my day-to-day experiences to come through. So for now here are the questions and DAY I:

Day 1 – A photo of yourself and a description of how your day was.
Day 2 – A photo of something you ate today.
Day 3 – Your idea of the perfect first date.
Day 4 – Your favorite photograph of your best friend.
Day 5 – A photo of yourself two years ago.
Day 6 – A photo of an animal you’d love to keep as a pet.
Day 7 – Your dream wedding.
Day 8 – A song to match your mood.
Day 9 – A photo of the item you last purchased.
Day 10 – A photo of our favorite place to eat.
Day 11 – What’s in your makeup bag?
Day 12 – A photograph of the town you live in.
Day 13 – Your favorite musician and why?
Day 14 – A TV show you’re currently addicted to.
Day 15 – Something you don’t leave the house without.
Day 16 – Your celebrity crush.
Day 17 – A photo of you and your family.
Day 18 – Something you crave a lot.
Day 19 – Another picture of yourself.
Day 20 – The meaning behind your blog name.
Day 21 – A photo of something that makes you happy.
Day 22 – A letter to someone who has hurt you recently.
Day 23 – 15 facts about you.
Day 24 – A photo of something that means a lot to you.
Day 25 – What’s in your purse?
Day 26 – A photo of somewhere you’ve been to.
Day 27 – A picture of you last year and now and how have you changed since then?
Day 28 – Your favorite movie.
Day 29 – Something you could never get tired of doing.
Day 30 – A photograph of yourself today + three good things that have happened in the past 30 days.

 

Day 1:

Well Facebook’s new photo layout has boggled my tired brain and therefore you get this picture which was taken over the summer instead of anything more recent. I’d like to think I’m in better shape now, but maybe not so much…

Today was stressful. As I mentioned last night my mother and her boyfriend were visiting from California and as my father said when I spoke to him this evening, “guests are like fish, after three days they stink.” I Love my mother I really do, but her boyfriend… Oh just read the previous post. He’s nice, he really is and I am so glad that she is happy but honestly, I am still processing. My stepbrother and I were both living out-of-state when our parents separated and after fifteen years of being a family they’re not together anymore? We need more time to process.

So today was hard, but it was also really good. Fiancee called her parents and for the first time discussed wedding planning with them which felt really good to me, even though I was only hearing one side of the conversation. I’m wondering though if anyone else has to discuss with family how they refer to significant others in conversations with people outside the family. Such as: said mom’s boyfriend was on the phone with his daughter last night and called fiancée my “friend” no explanation, nothing. This lead to me feeling angry, and fiancée’s call to her parents because we were curious, how do our families talk about us to their friends? Do they say when asked about fiancée’s life “Oh she’s doing great, her and her fiancée are living in Olympia, the two girls love it there…” Or do they avoid mentioning me? Do they talk about me as a roommate/friend or do they feel like they’re outing the family every time we come up? We had a mixed bag of answers from the five family members we asked but my favorite was my father, the almost Rabbi, who says that when asked about his daughter he says simply “She’s happy, living in the northwest, she recently got engaged…” and then they inevitably ask “Oh and what does her boyfriend do/is he a nice man?” Wonderful Papa that my father is. he says something like “She is very nice, she works in childcare and just applied for a graduate school program…” PAUSE and then the conversation moves on. SO SIMPLE! Exactly how it should be. Not a big deal at all.

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Filed under 30 Day Meme, Engaged Life, family, gender, Politics is Personal

butch/femme somewhere else?

Day 19 – Butch or Femme?

Soft butch? I’ve gone over this in greater details in previous posts. That’s all I’ll say for now.

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Filed under 30 Day Meme, gender

What’s with all the fighting?! Day 18

Day 18 – Something about the LGBTQ community you don’t understand or have a question about

This one is going to be short and sweet. Or full of a short rant?

We’re all different, we have differing opinions. But in the end we all want LGBT2QIA people to have the same equal protections that everyone else has right? Fighting amongst ourselves does little to help our cause and just lets the bigots run all over us. That’s my rant for the day.

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Filed under 30 Day Meme, gender, Politics is Personal

Day 17

Day 17 – Your first experience with an LGBT organization or event (Day of Silence, Pride, etc

Before I was a loud, proud, engaged, civil rights fighting, gender questioning semi-adult, I was a very quiet teenager. Okay that’s a lie, but I was shy, sometimes. My first experience you say? Well we had a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) at my high school but I never went, of course to be fair I was only there for a year… Probably my first major event was my hometown pride festival, a normally totally family friendly event but gf at the time was completely wasted. Then later after I came to my senses I became the co-chair of the Queer & Ally Club at the community college for a year, spoke at protests, marched in Los Angeles, went to protests in Fresno and San Francisco, and got an equality tattoo on the back of my neck.

I know, I just scream dyke. I’m okay with that.

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Filed under 30 Day Meme, family, gender, growing up, Politics is Personal