Some of my Best Friends are Gay!

Subtitled “I’m on the Pro-Gay Bandwagon… are you?”

I’m going to begin this with a bit of poignant humour, this is a clip of Nathan Lane on the Ellen show, it’s his response to a group of closed minded homophobes who tried to have Ellen DeGeneres removed as the spokesperson for JCPenny, and how JCPenny not only stood by their choice, and didn’t give in to petty threats, but Ellen’s response of humour, grace, class and confidence, as she says “My haters are my motivators”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2YNXikPtknM

I work in an industry that has such a diverse group of people, all races, ages, religions, sexual orientations, etc. and we all just… get along! It’s like in the park, when you see someone feeding the birds, pigeons, chickadees, crows… they all hang out together and eat in peace… sure every once in awhile a big bully of a seagull swoops down trying with all his might to take all the food, but the tightly knit group bands together, defends themselves, and actually invites the seagull to join them, sharing their feast… sometimes the seagull does in fact settle down and joins in, and sometimes he flies off to find another weaker group to take over… In one shift, during the course of an 8 hour event, I have witnessed this… the group, defending their territory, with love, compassion, humour and kindness, have won over the bully, and by the end of those 8 hours, we were all nibbling on stale rolls together… It warmed my heart to be a part of that progress, I felt proud to be in the company of such fine birds!

So, like the title says, “Some of my best friends are Gay”, and they are! And so what? Why does it matter? How does the fact my saying they are gay change the fact that they are some of my closet friends. Being gay doesn’t take away from the person they are, it doesn’t make them less of a person, it doesn’t make them non-human… Every time I sign a petition, read an article, or hear a story about a gay couple not being allowed to marry, or offered basic human rights such as being allowed to roam the streets freely are stripped from the gay community, or people being imprisoned or beaten and even put to death for being gay, a little piece of me dies inside.

“An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for the law.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

If I were, at random, to choose 5 straight friends and 5 gay friends and simply wrote one page each about them, about their life, about their choices, about their dreams, about their values and handed you those 10 sheets of paper you wouldn’t be able to tell me that these 5 are the gay 5 and these 5 are the straight 5. They are just 10 stellar human beings, doing good things in this world, seeking the same things we all seek, love, friendship, acceptance, joy, beauty, etc.

How can a nation, as ‘forward thinking’ as the United States of America think their government has the right to deny their own citizens the right to marry one another? Their own Pledge of Allegiance states: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

How can we sit by while innocent people are being imprisoned for simply uttering the word “Gay”? While our brothers and sisters are being sent to re-education sessions to ‘fix’ them? While they are being put to death for the simple act of being true to who they are? Silence and inaction isn’t the answer…

“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies,

but the silence of our friends.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I know this post is long, it’s all over the place, has no real form to it, and probably not my most eloquent piece and for this I sincerely apologise… However, I believe that is because I am at a loss for what is happening in this world. I’ve tried numerous times to write this, put my inner most feelings out there for the world to read… I’ve rewritten it dozens of times and finally decided to just vent, and pray my message is heard.

I tried to write this post from a place of compassion, a desire for change, and I pray my rage doesn’t come through. To, one last time, quote the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (snippets from his brilliant and beautiful speech ‘I have a dream’ while based on the equality of the race all mankind, I truly believe his intention was for worldwide equality of all mankind in its entirety, race, religion, sexual orientation, body type, etc) :

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:

‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.’”

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Peace & Love

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My Goals for the Near and Far Future…

Add more music to my life…

Learn to play the Guitar…

Play my flute… (get my flute back from my brother lol!)

Sing and dance… In the car, in the shower, in the stores, SING my heart out and DANCE my ass off!

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” Lao Tzu

Paint…

Write…

Laugh more…

Cry more…

“Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.” Mark Twain

Spend more time with friends…

Spend time alone…

Listen more…

Interrupt less…

“So when you are listening to somebody, completely, attentively, then you are listening not only to the words, but also to the feeling of what is being conveyed, to the whole of it, not part of it.” Jiddu Krishnamurti  

Work smarter…

Work better…

Stop bitching…

Start doing….

Take action…

Worry less….

Vision more…

 Fight for what’s right… on more than just Facebook…

“Stand up for what you believe in even if it means standing alone” Unknown

Smile more…

Be more kind…

Love more…

Love more…

Love more…

Love more…

Love more…

…Love…

“A loving heart is the beginning of all knowledge.” Thomas Carlyle

Thoughts vs. Action…

In order to get my point across I felt the need to be as open as I can about the feelings I have surrounding a situation of the past… this is the only reason I am being as open as I am… I am not looking for pity, or sympathy, just that you understand me fully… Having said that, this is my story…

Today I was driving in my old hood, Don Mills and Steeles and I REALLY had to ahem… use the facilities so I drove into the Mall, Shops on Steeles, completed my business there and went to my car. As I was pulling out of my parking spot I saw my ex-boyfriend… the one who used to enjoy hitting me, burning me and emotionally terrorizing me… After I left him he would call me all the time, sit in his car outside my home and wait to follow me… he would show up at my work place… it took years before he would leave me alone…  

I haven’t seen him in quite a few years, the last time I ran into him at a variety store, the look in his eyes brought me back to that terrified little 24 year old girl, but that little girl was smarter… I went up to two BIG guys in the parking lot and told them the situation and one walked me to my car, waited till I locked the doors and pulled out… The other went up to my ex and stood in his face and every time the ex moved he would follow… Thank God for Giant, Gentle Angels… 

Anyway… back to my story… I was backing out of my spot and saw him walking up towards the mall and I panicked, simultaneously my heart stopped and almost beat itself out of my chest… My first thought, honestly was “If I hit him with my car and killed him I could finally find peace, a little bit of me is always looking over my shoulder and I wouldn’t have the fear of running into him ever again”.

My friends, in the moment, ever so briefly, this was a real and true possibility for me.

Then reality set in, and I realised that even though I have so much fear and a wee bit of residual anger towards him, I am not that person. He didn’t notice me, I wasn’t about to announce my presence to him, so I just let him pass, gave him the finger under the dash and drove away, shaking, crying, but kinda proud I didn’t kill him.

Then I started thinking about Thoughts vs. Actions… We all hear about the “power of positive thinking”, the Laws of Attraction” and so on. So does my having a thought like that affect my Karma? And believe me, that’s not the only dark thought I have ever had… I have them all the time… While I don’t act on them, they mull around my brain like a Japanese Fighting Fish swimming in circles in its tiny bowl, isolated, but if given company… WATCH OUT!

I tend to think I am a good person, I try to show compassion, be kind, and love in the face of hatred… I stress the ‘try’ as I am constantly f’ing it up… but I don’t stop trying.

The Zoroastrian religion, in which I was raised, has a simple, yet very difficult premise, “Good thoughts, Good words and Good deeds” The last two are soooooo much easier than the first… Why is this? And again I ask, do my negative, angry, dark thoughts affect my Karma???

 God I hope not, but just in case, I am going to keep on trucking in the pursuit of those elusive good thoughts….

 Wish me luck!

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