Friday, October 31, 2008

Gary

Today is Halloween which means it is my birthday. It is also Gary McMillin's birthday. Gary and I were born on the same day and the same year. But Gary died years ago in the horrible years of AIDS. So now on our birthdays, I still buy him a gross birthday card and put it on my altar in front of the picture of him and his partner Chet. I am sitting at my desk with his bottle of ashes, well not all his ashes but a little bit of him is here.

I cried tears of loss and sadness, with the hole in my heart never to be healed. But I promised him before he died that I would be his witness. Gary McMillin lived, loved and was loved. I miss him more today than ever. It is a love that will have forever.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

No on Prop 8

I wrote this for the local Dem Latino newsletter.

Familia, family. It is the core of our culture as Latinos. We always have our core of the family, whether it is our grandparents, a favorite aunt or uncle, our many cousins who we have all grown up with and love dearly.

But some of those family members live a little differently. We have a partner of the same gender, so uncle Jorge is always with uncle Dylan. And aunt Maria is always with Aunt Teresa, how come?

There are Latinos who are gay and lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

And their rights to be with and marry the person they love is going to be voted on by the people of California.

As much as any people, we Latinos know discrimination. We have relatives who could not marry in some states because they were different from each other. Some of our parents went to a school with only Mexican kids and couldn’t go into some restaurants, swimming pools, and hotels because we are brown. We carry the scars of discrimination and seek justice for the hurts of our grandparents, great grandparents, all who came before us.

Proposition 8 will make California the first state to change its constitution to single out a groups of people to take away their rights. Prop 8 will not make churches lose their non-profit status, will not force sex education on small children and will not force churches to marry people if they do not believe in marriage for same sex couple.

Proposition 8 will take away the legal rights and coverage for same sex couples. It will instill prejudice against your favorite tios and tias in the state constitution. It will treat some people differently under the law. Many of our elders were placed behind a tortilla curtain and treated differently, less than equal.

This is our chance to show the Latino community understands and does not support for this bill. We want all of our families together. We want all of us to be able to be with the person they love. We want equality for all.

Vote NO on Prop 8.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Hope


Here is a sign that there is hope for the future. My sister's sister-in-law live in North Carolina. Their yard sign was stolen. So this is what the kids did. Took some action, whoohoo. Mary and Vivek you are doing a splendid job, keep up the parenting job and these two will change the world. They already have.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Del's memorial


Last Wednesday was Del Martin's memorial service in San Francisco. What an amazing event. I wish it wasn't because she has left us but it truly honored both Del and Phyllis.

City Hall in San Francisco looks like the state capitol, a large dome, marble everywhere and gilded balconies. The memorial was held in the rotunda and was filled to capacity both on the main floor and every single balcony. The program was just the right amount of sorrow mixed with reverence, stories of Del's decades-long commitment to social justice and the testimony to her love of Phyllis, and the doors she pushed open for so many of us.

I have been laboring with this post for days now. How do I express my joy of having known Del Martin? How do I adequately tell what it was like to sit in their living room and hear stories, discuss the latest political gossip or just to be able to share a laugh. I don't know that I will find the words, ever. But one thing I know for sure, my life is infinitely better because I knew Del Martin.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Remembering Del

This week, Oct 1, will be Del Martin's memorial service. It will take place in the rotunda at San Francisco City Hall, a grand and glorious building and surely a place to honor and celebrate a woman of stature.

But I will step back a bit to the first night I met Phyllis and Del. I was in the process of moving back to California from New Mexico with my dear friend Kathleen Look. We were headed for California so I could start my new job as the Executive Director of Lyon-Martin Women's Health Services. As we were driving through Arizona, I got a call from my future boss that there would be a huge benefit for Lyon-Martin, featuring three stars of the "L Word". Whoa, I was going to get to meet some Hollywood typesmy first day back!

But what was even more important, I was going to get to meet Phyllis and Del. I literally sat at their feet, asking to come visit them at home so I could get to know them better. Phyllis, as usual said "Sure dear, call and you can come over." From that moment on my life was never the same. I had long conversations about them, the history of the movement, the interactions between them and Harvey Milk, their personal histories, interactions with local politicos and even more fun, talking politics.

I loved hearing Phyllis's laugh as she described the long haired Jewish guy from New York who had found his paradise in San Francisco. Phyllis and Del were still wearing skirts and blouses while Harvey never seemed to find a barber. Diametrically opposed in many political ways of the City, Harvey liked to stop traffic with his lines of men holding his signs. Phyllis and Del were a bit quieter, they had just bought their house together which was quite the sin for two lesbian lovers of the day to be so blatant.

Anyway, I had just driven in to California, dropped off my stuff at my mom's house in Santa Clara and kept right on going up to the City. Good lord if we could have bottled all the estrogen in the hall that night, I would never forget another word ever again. I got to meet cast members and sheesh was it packed. Phyllis and Del were there, and I presumed them to be holding court. This was such a bad presumption, I was way off the mark. As I said before, Phyllis was very welcoming. Del,while just as welcoming, was on the quieter side.

I would take them to events every once in a while. Howard Dean was in the City once, using the lgbt community as an ATM. I brought Phyllis and Del. This was just after their first wedding so a lot of people came to say hello and offer congratulations. When the talking started, of course everyone tried to say something to Dean. After a while I had to inject myself and say "Will you people let Phyllis and Del say something?" Boobs, everyone has a good idea but I would rather hear from people who have a good idea with actions to back them up.

Del talked about the need to follow the actions of many who have gone before us. They were both great fans of Eleanor Roosevelt so she talked about Madam Eleanor and the conferences she convened for women and why couldn't the DNC do something like that?

At the end of the evening I walked them to the car. This was four years ago and Del was already showing a lot of frailty. I offered my arm but she only want Phyllis to help her. Phyllis said, "But Del, Gloria is a lot stronger than me." (Moi!?) But, no, she only wanted Phyllis. What a moment to be able to witness. Pure, sweet love and trust.

Their wedding was such a joy, packed, but a real joy. I feel so blessed to have been there. At one point I was standing next to singer Margie Adam who will be singing today at the service. She said "Listen to the beauty of this, all these women's voices." It was a wonderful contrast to all the hate mongers outside.

Phyllis told me later that while they were waiting for the ceremony in Gavin's office, Del was like a little kid. "Is it time yet, is it time yet?" Can you imagine being on the verge of making history, reaching a goal?

So despite all the kerfuffle about who was married first, a couple of 55 years, women in their 80's were the first to cross the line, leading as always. To hear the homophobes I wonder what damage Phyllis and Del have done to marriages all around the country. These two, so in love for all these years, have caused the downfall of western civilization. Wow, they are powerful.

Today we go to say goodbye, to honor a life well lived. When I first went to their house, I started crying. It is as true today as it was that day in May - I owe them for my life. I can be who I am, out and proud because Del Martin and Phyllis Martin were not afraid to be who they were in the 1950's. And they never looked back.

Thank you, my sister, for being such a warrior. I promise to always remember you and tell everyone I ever meet that Del Martin was my sister.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Back on the horse

So much has happened since I took a break from blogging I was trying to figure out how to catch up. So I am going to just post stuff about all these adventures, news, events, and everything from the last few months and try to go in depth on some of these things like I got married on August 30, one of my sheroes, Del Martin, died, what is going on with Proposition 8 here in California which is the campaign I am working on and what ever else enters my little brain while at the key board.

But tonight I had to share the story about Prop 8. I am working/volunteering all day every day on Prop 8. I am at the DeFrank Center in San Jose, giving out yard signs, sending out email blasts, organizing phone banks, all the stuff involved in a campaign except walking door-to-door.

The opposition, led by the Mormon church, was supposed to do this big roll out yesterday putting a million yard signs up all over the state. So yesterday I looked across the street at our neighbor's house because they are Mormons and I know the man of the house has been going to the local meetings. No sign. I was so relieved because I really like the woman of the house and adore their twin girls.

I started asking around and it turns out that God wants us to win. The Mormons ordered from someone who had the signs made in China. So the signs are still stuck in China. Heeheee. I made sure Ms Marinucci knew about it so I am hoping for some bigger coverage in the Chronicle and to embarrass their asses for buying Chinese. That will help their support a lot. The latest polling showed us up by a lot, like 17 points. I hope to be dancing on their yard signs come November 5. Theirs and John McCain's yard signs.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Slip 'n' slide

The world has certainly changed here in California. I have had two experiences with family members which have shown what a difference a court decision makes.

A few weeks ago, we were hanging out at my cousin's house. We had asked him to be in our wedding right after the court decision came down. We had also asked for his daughter to be a flower girl.

So we were chit chatting about nothing in particular and then he confessed to us - he was having a hard time with us getting married. The word was where he got stuck. But he told us that he had spent a lot of time thinking about this. He totally loves us, honors and respects the relationship. So he really was stuck until he realized that he had never had to deal with the discrimination we deal with all the time. He had never been told no, your relationship isn't valuable or respected. He had to get to our side of the bridge, "Walk a mile in our shoes" as he explained to have the light bubl go on and see that we weren't different. In fact our lives were much harder because of the prejudice we faced.

He also felt he needed to put all his cards on the table and tell us how he felt. So he was now very relieved, to be able to be joyously part of the wedding. Bring on the Hawaiian shirts, he was ready for the festivities!

Yesterday, I got to hang out with my cousin's two kids. I had asked for a kid loaner to spend time with kids on a summer day. Jo had bought a slip 'n' slide a few weeks ago so that we would have it for our wedding day for the kids to play on. My dad would never let us have one cus it would ruin the grass. Well $12 later, we are the proud owners of one.

Anyway, while we were out front trying to set up that thing, the kids starting asking questions:

  • "Who proposed?"
  • "How is the aisle going to be set up?"
  • "Is it a priest marrying you?"
  • "If it's not a priest, who is it?"
  • "What will she say at the end, are you bride and bride?"
  • "OH, partners for life, I like that."
By the end of the day, they had slid many times on the lawn, had hot dogs, 50/50 ice cream for the first time and had a new aquarium, a fish for each of them, and as Hazel said, one of the best days of her life.

Me too. The world has changed. It will never be the same.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A new day

I am having an emotional hangover today. So much happiness, so many tears, so much history and just pure joy.

It seems to me though that what happened here in California was that the dam broke. We have been treated badly by our national government for the last eight years. Our needs have not been met, people have become more poor, struggled more, became sicker and hopeless. Now whether it is because we now have had a spirited debate in the Democratic party talking about change and hope or whether love won out this week I don't have the answer. Either way, the humanity of our state that has repressed and mocked for eight years burst through like a magnificent sunrise filled with love, hope and the promise of not just a new day but a new life.

Ministers in Kern county where the county clerk refused to marry people met people in front of the county building to marry members of our community denied their rights by those who want to live in darkness and judgment. Santa Cruz county workers watched the live streaming of the weddings and cried at their desks with joy. One of the Santa Cruz city council members, the lovely Emily Reilly, broke down in tears as she was officiating a marriage at city hall. A staff member of gay Assemblyman John Laird told me how overwhelmed he was with wave after wave of couples. It is one thing to go to a wedding, it was another, he said to see so many couples and to see so much hope for everyone. He was just overwhelmed.

Me, too. I am overwhelmed with hope in our humanity. I feel that relief like when ya stopping hitting your head with a hammer. I feel joy with every breath and liberation in every moment. When Bush and his thugs leave, it won't just be the joke of the Bush countdown clock. It will be a return to our humanity.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A letter to my teacher


Dear Obi Wan-

When we were last hanging out together, you had the great news that marriage had been legalized here. Now it has become real.

Yesterday Jo and I went to Del and Phyllis' wedding at City Hall. Today we got our license. I have been crying non-stop with a break for a nap today. This has been so emotional, I cannot believe it. We went to Santa Cruz today to get our license and the diversity of our community and the sheer joy of this day blended together to create a true moment in time.

We had some friends who were married by two lesbian zen teachers. There were children and nieces and nephews, parents and siblings all joined by the miracle this day brought. One friend of ours said that there was a sense of home in Santa Cruz we had all come home to get married. WE have all been crying, joyous in our relationships and the liberation of this day, this moment in time.

The stories are many. The marriages were being streamed all day at Santa Cruz county into the county building. We heard that the employees were watching the streaming all day and just crying non-stop with us. An acquaintance said it was just overwhelming to see wave after wave after wave of people come in to get married. It is one thing to go to a wedding, it was altogether different to see so many people finally reaching our goal, to be free and equal citizens of California.

All the newspapers are covering this and the homophobes have no message but hate and fear. And old roommate said she felt sorry for those people because their god must be so small. Amen sister.

Today the tears are joy. I will not forget Del and Phyllis, a couple of 80 year old women who were the first and certainly not the last to be married History is made in small steps and lots of tears.

I am so blessed to I have seen this moment in our history.

And this is us getting our marriage license, issued by the state of California, county of Santa Cruz and not one marriage ended today because of this.

Monday, June 16, 2008

snippets


I am sure I will remember other pieces of today's moment in time. Meanwhile I will just share a couple of snippets:

As we were walking up, we followed behind Jewelle Gomez. Encountering some of the more vocal homophobes, she never broke stride and just said "Fuck you" as they tried to get in her face. I, of course, howled.

There was a shit load of media there. When the elevator door opened, I just said "Holy shit!" seeing the sheer numbers. All this for a couple of 80 something women.

What an honor to see such a moment in time. Not a person in the room didn't realize the history being made not to mention the love in the room. Phyllis keeps telling me I don't have to cry but it is so nice to win a battle and share the love at the same time.

Due to my continued feet problems I worse sensible lesbian tennis shoes today. One of my friends made a crack about those shoes after seeing me on TV. Fashion simply has to be pushed to the side sometimes.

Del and Phyllis wore the same outfits as when they were married last time. As I said, fashion must be pushed to the side sometimes. Especially when the priority is sentiment.

the first marriage










Here are some of my pics from inside Del and Phyllis' wedding.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This is what equality feels like

Tomorrow I wake up as an (almost) fully equal citizen of California.

Today at San Jose Pride, the excitement was so palpable. There were many more people interested in our Stonewall booth, asking how to get involved, where can they sign up, give me that Obama sticker and we are getting married on Tuesday. You have no idea what it was like to look in the faces of our sisters and brothers and feel the pure joy, unleashed into the world and our community. We have arrived at the wedding chapel door and are about to be let in.

At one point I was talking with a group of women about my age. We have known little bars in shady parts of town, the only places where we could dance together, use the right pronouns and put our arm around a woman without fear. We had to hide who we were from our families, our co-workers the world. Everyone except our softball team, of course.

But tomorrow is different. Del and Phyllis will make it real. They will get married in San Francisco City Hall, in the Mayor's office, in the daylight with joy and tears (that's my part) starting a new chapter of our history. It is a new day for all of us. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Monday bliss

We have been invited to Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon's wedding on Monday. Gavin will be doing the honors in City Hall. They will be the only couple allowed to be married on Monday in City Hall.

I get so overwhelmed with them, I just cry and cry. I called and talked to Phyllis the other day and she said we were invited. Then I just started crying, I am so happy for them. I never thought we would see it happen for them. But both of them told me and they are saying it in the paper that it is not about them but all of us.

Oh no, my godmothers, this is for you. There is not one door I have gone through that you haven't opened in some way. Thank you so much for your strength, vision, and bravery for all of us.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

It's all Obama now

So now that Senator Clinton has gracefully bowed out of the Presidential campaign, we can look forward to the general election in November. I am so afraid, though, that we will see how racist this country really is. At least certain generations continue to hold on to that racism that has kept them on top of the heap.

I went to a party today and had a short discussion with some people there. One of the comments was that people will not vote for a black man. I cannot tell you how sad I am that we, as a nation, have not evolved past this statement being allowed to be expressed. I said that the country could not survive a McCain presidency which they of course found absurd. We had survived Bush after all. But McCain, after 8 years of Bush will be the tipping point. And many of us will not survive a government that doesn't believe in helping its citizens. They will give up hope and wither away in the richest country in the world.

So while many of us will no doubt survive, we as a country that prides its self on its freedoms, on its alleged fair playing field, on the opportunities available to all will not elect a man because he is black. And people will do this in the privacy of the voting booth while all the time proclaiming their lack of prejudice. In fact I would be they would say that they have black friends and gay friends and Latino friends hence they could not be prejudiced. Oh I wish I had a dollar for every time I have heard that!

So while the lgbt community struggles away trying to get our equal marriage rights in order some of my own community will, I am sure not vote for a black man. And then we wonder why nothing changes and why people are prejudice?
Evolution is slow and scary and requires many people to give up their prejudices, all of them. Know what is else is even scarier? Having compassion for the pain that those who will vote for McCain because he is white.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

We have a date for the nuptials to start

The sound you may be hearing from California is shouts of glee and jubilation, we can start getting married June 17. Or it may be the panties of the fundies getting suck up into a bunch.

State: Gay marriage will begin on June 17 in California


By LISA LEFF - Associated Press Writer
Published 2:04 pm PDT Wednesday, May 28, 2008

California counties can issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples beginning June 17, the state said in a directive to court clerks issued Wednesday.

The state Office of Vital Records said it chose June 17 because the state Supreme Court has until the close of business on June 16 to decide whether to grant a stay of its ruling legalizing gay marriage.

Gay rights advocates and some clerks initially thought couples would be able to wed as early as Saturday, June 14 - exactly 30 days after the court's May 15 ruling. Supreme Court rulings typically become final after 30 days.

But a group opposed to gay marriage has asked the court to stay its decision until after the November election, when voters are likely to face a ballot initiative that would amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Passage of the initiative would overrule the Supreme Court.

Under the court's regular rules of procedure, justices have until the end of the day on June 16 to rule on the stay request, according to the memo sent by e-mail to the state's 58 county clerks. Lawyers involved in the marriage case have said the court could grant itself an extra 60 days to consider the stay.

The guidelines from Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health, also contain copies of new marriage forms that have lines for "Party A" and "Party B" where bride and groom used to be. The gender-neutral nomenclature was developed in consultation with county clerks, according to the memo.

"Effective June 17, 2008, only the enclosed new forms may be issued for the issuance of marriage licenses in California," the directive reads.

The amended forms also contain a change to accommodate same-sex couples who already have registered as domestic partners, a category created in 2003 that bestowed the legal rights and benefits of marriage to gay men and lesbians without the title.

The previous marriage license applications stated that people in domestic partnerships were barred from getting married, a prohibition based on the fact that same-sex couples could not legally wed. The new forms say domestic partners don't have to dissolve their partnerships if they are marrying the same person.

The guidelines were sent out on the same day a poll was published showing that more California voters now support allowing same-sex marriage than oppose it.

The results marked the first time in over three decades of Field Poll surveys that a majority of voters approved of extending marriage to gay couples than have disapproved, said Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo.

"I would say this is a historic turning point or milestone," DiCamillo said.

The poll found that 51 percent of respondents backed legalizing same-sex marriage and 42 percent opposed it, DiCamillo said.

In 2006, when participants were asked, "Do you approve or disapprove of California allowing homosexuals to marry members of their own sex?" 44 percent said they approved and 50 percent objected. In 1977, the first year Field Poll posted the question to voters, 28 percent approved and 59 percent were opposed.

Field Poll surveyed 1,052 registered voters over the phone from May 17-26, in the days after the Supreme Court handed down its historic ruling. A smaller percentage of respondants- 48 percent - said they agreed with the court's decision and 46 percent disagreed.

DiCamillo said the jump in support for same-sex marriage indicates that voters were "influenced in some way by the judgment of the high court."

Voters were similarly divided on the subject of the proposed ballot initiative to put a gay marriage ban in the state constitution. Field Poll asked respondents about it two ways: once referencing the specific measure a group is seeking to get on the November ballot and once talking about a marriage amendment more generally.

Fifty-four percent opposed the amendment when presented with the issue generally, a figure that dropped to 51 percent when respondents were told they might have the chance to vote on a specific measure in November. Support for the amendment stood at 40 percent and 43 percent, respectively.

The Field Poll's findings conflict with a Los Angeles Times/KTLA poll of 705 voters released last week that found 54 percent backed the proposed gay marriage ban and 35 percent opposed it. The Field Poll survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points on the general amendment question, and plus or minus 5 percentage points on the more specific question.

Andrew Pugno, legal adviser for the coalition of religious and social conservative groups sponsoring the measure, said the Times poll is more consistent with his group's internal polling.

"We could acknowledge there has been increasing acceptance of the idea of gay relationships over the last 10 or 20 years, but we think when it comes to marriage there is still a solid majority who want to see it reserved for a man and a woman," Pugno said.

Friday, May 23, 2008

An answer somewhere

I just spent a week in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It wasn't a pleasant week but it wasn't really bad, either. there are a number of people there who I really love, Julie Endresen is at the top of that list. She took care me, to the point of sending me to her therapist because I couldn't stop crying while I was there.

I finally figured it out, why all the tears. I had been suffering there. The altitude, the weather, the sadness so prevalent in New Mexico washed over me and I drowned in all of it. I lived for ten years and made some major contributions to the welfare of the state. Transgender people are completely protected by law now even though I had to fight through the prejudices of the many gay and lesbian people. We were both ostracized and treated as outcasts for sticking to our principles and making sure everyone in our communities arrived together at the finish line.

The suffering I was feeling was for the life I had lost. The "community" which was really an illusion in the high desert, the friendships, the sense of home all evaporated in a very short time. I tried to see an old friend and the conversation turned ugly right away. I decided to skip any attempt at reunion.

When I told my Buddhist teacher about the exchange he said, "Oh she is suffering." At that moment my vision of the world opened up. People are cruel because they are suffering. People say mean things because they are suffering. Friends stop being friends because they suffer.

This is the essence of Buddhism, to end suffering for all sentient beings. But I must start with myself.

How do I end my suffering of ending my portion of my life in New Mexico? How do I end the suffering caused by my physical pain in my feet? How do I end my suffering? I don't have an answer yet but I hope to find a clue soon.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Here come the brides

Things are falling into place! We have almost all the people who will be our witnesses agree to be there for us. Got the flower girls and ring bearer. We are going tomorrow to the county to get a wedding appointment, hopefully, June 20th. A reception will be held the next day at the Municipal Rose Garden, hopefully. Actually it will be a good ol' fashion lesbian potluck. I have asked our supervisor to wed us. Then we can prove to all the bigots who don't even know us that we have not ruined their lives nor their marriages.

But of course the rat bastards have asked for a stay until their constitutional amendment goes up to a vote. See the Chronicle article here. The Alliance Defense Fund must have their panties in a collective knot. Gas is $4 a gallon here, more soldiers die in Iraq every day, this administration has broken everything possible not just in this country but around the world and they are worried about us making the four dogs and two cats legitimate children. OH wait, that goes to their wild eyed tales of beastiality and polygamy. I couldn't help but notice that the real polygamists live in Texas and Arizona. Maybe they will see an opening and settle here in California. The polygamists certainly do not threaten my relationship so do they bother the Alliance Defense Fund?

Heehee, we're gonna be June brides! Bring on the lemon poppy seed cake!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mary Tillman

I finally got to meet Mary Tillman tonight. I have been reading her book about her son Pat Tillman. It is called "Boots on the Ground by Dusk-My Tribute to pat Tillman" When I was flying home from New Mexico on Monday I was reading it and doing my best not to sob out loud.

I have written about this story before. I still find it disgusting the way the military has treated her and her family. I find the story vile and the behavior of those in charge of our soldiers to nothing less than traitorous and corrupt.

To recap briefly, Pat Tillman was a star football player here in San Jose. He then became a star football player at Arizon State, drafted by the Arizona Cardinals. After 9/11, he and his younger brother Kevin enlisted in the Army and were stationed in Afghanistan where they believed the real war should be fought in response to the events of 9/11. Pat Tillman was shot and killed in Afghanistan. The initial stroy to the family was that he died a hero's death, making up some frigging story about charging up a hill to save his comrades in arms.

Turns out this was another lie told to all of us by the Bush administration. But first they told the Tillman family this fantasy. Several weeks later the rat bastards finally confessed what was known by many in the military, while Pat Tillman died a hero, he was shot by his own men. American troops shot him multiple times.

During the question and answer period tonight, I asked mary Tillman if they had ever determined the distance between the other Americans and Pat. She replied that they have finally figured out that they were about 35 meters apart. So let's see, about the length of a football field. These highly trained soldiers could not make out one of their own.

There are so many horrible facts surrounding this story, it is really important for us as Americans to never let people like this ever rule this country again. Pat Tillman, his family deserved so much better than what they got. A silver star doesn't bring him back. The lies don't bring him back. But voting these disgraceful people out will honor Pat Tillman. We all deserve that.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I am equal

The impossible has happened. And, as usual, I missed it.

I am in Santa Fe, New Mexico right now and today in California, where I live and where I grew up, the state Supreme court declared that not allowing same sex couples to wed makes us second class citizens.WOW!, this is impossible. I saw Kate Kendall from the National Center for Lesbian Rights pronounce that this is a new day. Amen, sister.

Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin can get married in their lifetimes. Damn near impossible they had told me. Apparently not, my godmothers, apparently not. You had better be the first ones to get married in SF.

Jo went tot he gathering in San Jose tonight and said she was very verklempt. It is emotional for me to think that we could get married in California, go to the Rose Garden and have a picnic with all our friends and family there. I am equal today even if I am in New Mexico. I a an equal human being, a full citizen of the United States with the right to marry my partner. Time to go cry with joy.

Friday, May 02, 2008

SHARKS!!!!!!


In years past, I have always looked forward to October. My birthday is that month, the baseball playoffs and World Series are played then so there is loads of sports on the toob. But the Bay area baseball and football teams have become so awful I gave up on them. Now October is the start of the long hockey season. And now is the Stanley Cup. My Sharks are killing me. They are playing total Sybil hockey, tired and listless for the first part of the game and then they come alive suddenly. They have two personalities. We are now in the second round playing against Dallas. We lost the first three games and are still on the verge of elimination. Lose one more game and we are done. But the last two games we have won in total heart stopping fashion. I almost can't stand it. People on the Sharks blog are reaching for heart medication. I will confess, I gave up, walked off in the middle of the second period, behind 2-0. But my cousin Steve always reminds me that anything can happen in the third period. Tonight we scored two in the second period to tie the game. My friend Winnie Lee texted me from LA to scream about the game and I wasn't even watching. BAD FAN!!! We win it in overtime, 80 seconds into OT. I can't stand it. So now we go back to Dallas for a game on Sunday. If we win, we come back here for the 7th game. I can't stand it. I am sure there is a political analogy in there somewhere but I don't care, we won! This is a picture with Jeremy Roenick, the old man of the Sharks. I love JR, he brings passion to the game always give every bit of effort for the team. I was a bit of Sharks groupie during this layoff and would go to their practices once in a while. I would come home with sticks, autographs and pictures like this. WE won, my foot is feeling a bit better, it is sunny in California, I am going to Santa Fe in about 10 days and get to see my best friend, have my feet worked on, eat green chile and watch the Sharks in a sports bar. Life is grand.

GO SHARKS!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Not again!!!!!

The Sharks are breaking my heart again. How a team can go from second best in the league to out in the second round again is beyond me. I feel like I am hooked in a horrible bad date sequence again. Luckily, it is just a game and my bad dates ended 20 years ago.

So then I am thinking, what do I with myself now? As if I can't garden, read, chill, work on a campaign, hang out with my mom, catch up with friends, visit with my neighbors, write, do a web page, watch tv, sit outside, make cards, make a movie, learn imovie, go give a talk at my old high school on the lgbt movement, and whatever else I can do when a person is not hockey saturated.

Oh wait, I get to go to Santa Fe in a couple of weeks and purge the ghosts of legislative sessions past. What an opportunity to see good friends so that my memories are of the people I like and not those who chased us out of town. But the laws we got passed are still on the books and the state of New Mexico is better because we were there and we contributed to our communities.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

media whore

The funniest thing, I get my cast off and my brain starts working again. Somewhat anyway. Today I am the SF Chronicle talking about that waste of human plasma, Rush Limbaugh. I am so thoughtful, here's my opening remark.
"I hate him."
Yup, I'm a regular rocket scientist.

Anyway, I guess I am paying a little attention to the more than the Stanley Cup playoffs. Not much more but some. But now I must spend time reading the NY Times before running of to...the Stanley Cup playoffs. We need a win tonight. And for Rush Limpbaugh to shut the hell up.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Something new


My new pink cast with glitters. It is my inner Brittany with underwear on.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

A sign


My birthday is on Halloween. I have always had some ability to connect with the other side, you know talk to dead people. During the horrible days of the AIDS pandemic when I was sitting at the bed sides of dying friends, I knew they would be part of my army of angels to help me and guide me.

So with this current physical problem I am really struggling. I can cry easily, I am in pain, I am powerless, I am uncomfortable, restless, yada yada.

This afternoon, I was laying in bed crying. Just frustrated all to hell with my state. Then I looked at my great grandmother's picture in front of me and decided I had to do something, anything. So I got dressed. And in the process of getting dressed, I sat in front of my altar and spoke to my angels and reminded them "I was there for all of you when you were dying. I need your help. Do something to help me."

The phone rang. It was my cousin's five year old, Riley. She was so sweet, "Glo, I'm so sorry you are in a cast. But can I come over and see you? Can we bring you lunch?"

I love the answers when I ask for help, I never know which way it will come. But this one came through a precious 5 year old and am I ever glad.

This is Riley and Ruby having an afternoon love fest.

Friday, April 04, 2008

post surgery


Well I made it out of surgery yesterday. I was terrified going in to this because, you know, that going unconscious thing. I was crying all day yesterday post surgery due to the drugs. That vulnerability from the drugs just is so unexpected.

To add to that, the post-op nurse was nice but said something so ridiculous we had to laugh. Of course my sister was there to add to the laugh lines.

I have a cast on my foot, pictured here. The nurse came by to offered some words of warning: If your feet start to black or blue, come back to the hospital. Your cast could be too tight and it will make your toes fall off.

My sister then chimes in : well we'll have to go to Wendy's then.

Me: For some chili with toes.

Now that I have slept a lot, I feel almost human again. And the prize tonight for being almost human, watching Olberman with guest goddess, Rachel Maddow, subbing for Keith O.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

California convention pics


On the left here (as it should be) a poster at one of the booths honoring the father of the farmworker labor movement. My beloved esposa just told me a story last night about doing a long walk with the UFW and Cesar. I didn't think I could love her anymore but, lo and behold, there was another corner of my heart filled with Jo love.










From my first Obama rally, the signs, the people, the hope.






















And what is a convention without famous politicians? Boring! So here we have the fabulous Kamala Harris the City attorney for San Francisco. Go on girl, tell me about our man Obama.








Cesar always advocated for equality for all. He understood social justice didn't mean equality for farmworkers but the gay, lesbian, Latino, transgendered , poor person who had lost hope, lost their family and lost hope they would find someone to share their life with.

But with Barack Obama as president, all of this is possible and more. The nightmare is almost over.

Si se puede, yes we can.
And we will!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Democratic convention Calif style

I spent the majority of the weekend at the California Democratic convention. Here are just a few snapshots of what I saw and heard there.

  • The LGBT caucus was very well attended. Cecilia Chung of San Francisco did a great job of organizing and giving candidates a chance to speak for a nanosecond to the crowd. I didn't go in since I was working at the front desk to get everyone paid up and into the room. And I had a chair which will always be a priority. Nice to see lots of folks from around the state and the crowd was evenly divided between Obama and Hillay. What a surprise.
  • The big race between Mark Leno and Carole Migden for state Senate got very wild this weekend. Well actually I believe that Migden proved that she has gone nuts. At the women's caucus on Friday night she just went crazy. She was screaming, insulting the Obama staff, saying very ugly things about them. Like calling them ugly and fat! People who were there were so shocked and it became the talk of the convention. When she entered the LGBT caucus, it w as staged to look like the queen of all was entering the room. People were in front and in back of her, carrying Migden signs on sticks so she looked like she had an entourage. I thought it was kind of gross myself.
  • I went to my first Obama rally. Great fun and great energy. My friend from New Mexico, Raul Alvillar, is Obama's western field director. He was the MC of the rally and introduced Steve Westly, a former gubernatorial candidate. He also had on hand the new speaker of the house, Karen Bass, SF city attorney Kamala Harris. What a hottie she is! Anyway, it was wonderful to b on board with all of this.
  • I am now officially looped in as the national Latino LGBT co-chair with Andres Duque. That will be rolled out this week. then they are hooking me up with the Latino outreach group too. I will be on the national conference calls from here on out. Yeah baby! I am so excited and hopeful. But even more important, I get to work on this campaign to change this country. The end of the nightmare is coming soon.
  • Why are the Larouche people always at Democratic events? They are nuts but they sing well. I got sucked in to the their booth because they had, what I thought, was an interesting name, something Roosevelt club. So I wandered up and some guy was on a rant, just talking to hear himself. He was saying he is against abortion so I said, "Well don't have one" and walked away from those two.
  • I really get people overload at these things. Especially at an event like this where everyone thinks they are very important. So no one looks where they are going, have no grasp of the fact they are blocking entire throughways, I don;t care who they are talking to on the phone despite how loud they talk and when I say excuse me, I really mean get the fuck out of my way.
  • I skipped seeing Bill Clinton today. One of Jo's colleagues came over this afternoon after the speech and said he fell asleep during Clinton's speech. I gave my pass to my neighbor so he could take pics and see the big ma up close. He was thrilled and I was happy open the door for him.
That's it for now. When I remember more I will post more. Pictures will be up tomorrow.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Every week

Every week the Blade comes out there is a new disclosure about the DNC, and the deteriorating relationships within. When you read this and please do, remember that Donna Brazile is a lesbian. Claire Lucas has gobs of money because her grandfather or someone in her family invented the overhead projector. But she was fired for slapping someone, I think I hear the Dynasty theme playing in the background. Oh whoops, there go Krystal and Alexis flying by on their way to a slap fight in the swimming pool. And let us never forget that Dr Dean did lie to the lgbt caucus and now can't remember while his current flunkies make up some inane training that say is for people of color but are really for black folks. There is a difference folks!

And in this week's BAR, there is an article about the very genteel Carole Migden getting slapped with a $9 million suit for breaking so many election laws. But my favorite was the blog at the Chron describing the Senator in every way possible as nothing short of devil spawn. The responses targeted her hair her attitude, her New Yorkness. It wasn't pretty but I sure did laugh my ass off. I can hardly wait to see her tomorrow at the California Democratic Convention. I will be blogging here from home after my time down the street at the convention.

If I was a real Democrat, I would ride my bike.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Gone

Sister dove left this morning. No more pain and suffering. WE will bury her in the back under the St.Francis statue.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Taking in a survivor

I have a guest here. I found her in the grasp of my yorkie this afternoon in the backyard. It is a morning dove.

She has lost an eye. I thought she was dead when I got her away from Gus. But then I started petting her head and she turned her one good to me, just a little. Then she blinked. I kept talking to her and petting her, trying to figure out what to do.

After calling around to rescue places which had either closed or were not willing to take in a bird from San Jose, Jo had looked up some stuff online so I followed the directions. Put some water and sunflower seeds in the cage she was resting in, heated up the thingie in the freezer to get some heat in there and then turned off the lights in the garage.

I have checked on her a couple of times and she has gone from laying sideways in the cage to sitting as if she was nesting. She continues to let me pet her and responds (oh sure) to when I talk to her. She turns her eye to me and blinks when I visit.

Tomorrow morning I hope to give her a new lease and take her to the rescue center. Happy Easter my sister dove.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The speech

I know there has been a chingon of response to Obama's speech. But I haven't had time to watch it. That is because, as I have said over and over here, I am unemployed with no job in sight. The economy is crashing, I am a lesbian of color who is now on disability and I am struggling because life can really suck in the richest country in the world.

And as a woman of color, I have lived a lot of what my candidate is talking about. It is no surprise to me that white folks are shocked at the experiences of people of color. How many times have we heard the question, "Why are you so angry?" Because, folks, this American system of ours is racist, mysogynistic, homophobic and classist, to name a few. So what am I supposed to do as I struggle along, trying to find a way to pay the bills, deal with chronic pain and find a job. Oh wait, I am not looking for job, I am going to have surgery. Anyway, I look forward to the day when this conversation can continue and shed light for the millions of people living in the dark who think we live on a level playing field and everyone has the same chances to get ahead.

Walk in my sore little feet some time for a real shock and then tell me how well we all are doing. Maybe the light will go on.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

An end to chronicity

I see sitting in a chair for long periods of time in my future. My podiatrist is going to stick tiny cameras in my right foot soon, then put me in a cast for a week and hopefully when it is all done, I will be pain free on one side. I can;t believe how horrible it is to be in chronic pain.

What does that mean in real life? I will be on crutches, I will not be able to take a big girl shower for a week, going to bathroom at night will be a big bummer and I will have to be really organized because when I sit down, I won't be able to just get up and do something easily. But I will also be able to focus more on say blogging. Read some more, watch my Netflix flix and sit in the sun and watch the flowers grow. There are worse things to do like work in the Bush White House or something.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Bush humor

Because I apparently can't make my own jokes, here is a set of stolen ones. Perfect for the subject.

The George W. Bush Presidential Library is now in the planning stages. You'll want to be the first to make a contribution to this great man's legacy.
The Library will include:

1. The Hurricane Katrina Room, which is still under construction.
2. The Alberto Gonzales Room, where you can't remember anything.
3. The Texas Air National Guard Room, where you don't have to even show up.
4. The Walter Reed Hospital Room, where they don't let you in.
5. The Guantanamo Bay Room, where they don't let you out.
6. The Weapons of Mass Destruction Room (which no one has been able to find).
7. The Iraq War Room. After you complete your first tour, they make you go back for a second, third, fourth, and sometimes fifth tour.
8. The Dick Cheney Room, in the famous undisclosed location, complete with shooting gallery.
Plans also include:
9. The K-Street Project Gift Shop - where you can buy (or just steal) an election.
10. The Airport Men's Room, where you can meet some of your favorite Republican senators.
11. Last, but not least, there will be an entire floor devoted to a 7/8 scale model of the President's ego.
To highlight the President's accomplishments, the museum will have an electron microscope to help you locate them.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More Obama supporters

I am happy to note that the lovely Mrs Miss Wild Thing is listed in the endorsements below.

CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCES LGBT ENDORSEMENTS
Equal rights activists from around nation announce support for Obama


CHICAGO, IL – The Obama for America campaign today announced the endorsement of LGBT activists from around the nation. The activists include state and municipal elected officials, the leadership of the AFL-CIO's Pride at Work initiative, and prominent equal rights activists from states holding upcoming primary contests.

"In order for America to make progress toward social and economic justice, we need a president who does not mock, but rather embraces bold change, and who advances the vision of the beloved community. Our movements for equality, for healthy families and excellent schools, for workers' rights and shared prosperity, for veterans' care, fairness in the courts, and a safer environment have more than a friend in Barack Obama. We have a champion equal to the challenges we face and able to lead us forward together," said Hans Johnson, President, Progressive Victory.

"The finger-pointing and polarization in politics have become a threat to our well-being as a nation. I support Barack Obama because his compassion, respect for even those who oppose him, and inclusive values can build a new kind of national unity across the many lines that have previously divided us," said Missouri State Representative Jeanette Mott Oxford.

"We're building a coalition that includes Americans with diverse ideologies from all regions of the country to bring the change we desperately need," said Senator Obama. "That's the type of coalition we'll need to build to achieve equal rights for all Americans. I'm grateful for the endorsements of these prominent activists who fight every day for the principles of equality and justice." The full list of LGBT activists announcing their support for Obama today are below:

Jeanette Mott Oxford, Missouri State Representative, District 59-St. Louis City

Wilson Cruz, Actor, Los Angeles, CA

Kevin Jennings, Founder and Executive Director, Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN)

Donna Rose, Former Board Member of the Human Rights Campaign; Former member of the Hillary Clinton for President LGBT Steering Committee; Transgender Activist

Jeremy Bishop, Executive Director, Pride at Work (AFL-CIO)

Ian Palmquist, Executive Director, Equality North Carolina; Immediate Past Chair, Equality Federation

Jo Kenny, Development Director, Pride at Work (AFL-CIO)

Stephen Glassman, Chairman, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission

Hans Johnson, President of Progressive Victory

Craig Bowman, Former Executive Director of National Youth Advocacy Coalition

Donna Cartwright, Communications Director, Pride at Work (AFL-CIO)

Perry Nelson, Founder, Gateway Stonewall Democrats (St. Louis, MO)

Ben Turner, Co-Founder and Former Co-Chair of the Capital Region Stonewall Democrats (Harrisburg, PA)

Robert Perez, Public Relations Executive and Former WA Press Secretary for Kerry-Edwards

Judy Chambers, Co-Founder and Former Co-Chair of the Capital Region Stonewall Democrats (Harrisburg, PA)

Conrado Terrazas, Political Field Director for SEIU 1000 (CA)

Lisa Hazirjian, Visiting Professor, Carnegie Mellon University (PA)

Gregg Gallo, National Stonewall Democrats Board Member (WA)

Anita Latch, Washington State Stonewall Democrats President

Jenny Durkan, Washington John Edwards for President State Chair (2004 & 2008)

Krista Strothmann, Baltimore Chapter of Pride at Work (AFL-CIO)

John Klenert, Campaign Board of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and Member of Board of Directors for DC Vote

Marti Abernathy, Transgender Advocate (Indiana)

Joe Darby, Vice President, Pride at Work (AFL-CIO), Lansing, Michigan

Randall Ellis, Former Executive Director of Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas

Andrés Duque, LGBT activist (NY)

Gary Fitzsimmons, Dallas County District Clerk (TX)

Tim Downing, Member of Board of Directors for Human Rights Campaign (OH)

Christina Ocasio, Transgender activist; 2004 delegate to the DNC Convention (TX)

Dyshaun Muhammad, Former GLBT Caucus Chair, Young Democrats of America; Former Political Chair of Twin Cities HRC Steering Committee (MN)

Pauline Park, Chair, New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy

Glen Maxey, Former Texas State Representative (first openly gay member)

Marti Bier, Former Field Director for PFLAG

Doug Lakey, Director of West Coast Office of Alliance for Justice; former Development Director for the Human Rights Campaign

Terry Penrod, Member of Board of Directors for Human Rights Campaign (OH)

David Peña, Jr., Executive Director, National Hispanic Business Association

John McClelland, President, Denton County Stonewall Democrats (TX)

Joe Lacey, Dayton (OH) Board of Education Member

Tony Ballis, President, Dayton (OH) Stonewall Democrats

Noel Alicea, LGBT activist (NY)

*Organizations listed for identification purposes only.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Odd 'n' ends


I am about to be kicked off the lesbian team. Why? I think the L Word is horrible. I fast forward through the sex scenes and think that I would rather read something than watch that stupid show.

But then I may be back on the lesbian team since I have been asked to be one of the co-chairs of the Latino LGBT campaign for Obama. But that will be the whole team not just the lesbo section.

Tonight I finished my first successful hockey season. No goals but loads of new friends, LOTS of exercise and way too much fun.

Plus this weekend I put an ad on Craig's list to be a garden coach. You know, help people out with their gardens, give fabulous advice on how to grow, what they can grow and help them on the path to the garden of their dreams. I am now "Over the Fence Garden Coach." I had to do something since I was, once again, the #2 finisher for my latest attempt at employment. So if an environmentalist ever says we want to bring in more people of color, my head will blow off as I scream at them about their country club mentality. Yes, I was trying for a job at environmental organizations. For one place, I was interviewed for over five hours. They left a message on my voice mail telling me I didn't get the job. I later found out they gave it to a guy who had never been and E.D before. Nice. At the next place, I went to guess how many interviews????? Five!!!! Only to be told, thanks but no thanks. This job hunting thing blows.

So if you want your yard to look like the picture at the top, email me. And vote for Obama.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hope

I am not happy with the results tonight but yet there is a glimpse of hope. I hope to never see Mike Huckabee's wife on tv again. My gawd her head is big!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

An open letter to the Latino LGBT community


More names added to the list!

CONTACTS:

Gloria Nieto & Andres Duque
lgbt.latinos4obama@gmail.com

Thursday, February 28, 2008

An Open Letter to the Latino LGBT community:

Like many of you out there, we are thrilled at the opportunity to bring meaningful and lasting change to the White House by exercising our right to vote during this historic presidential election.

As LGBT Latinos and Latinas who happen to be immigrants or descendants from immigrant families we are sick and tired of seeing our lives and values be misrepresented by those who seek to drive wedges in our communities as a means to split our vote and gain power through division.

We saw it when the right wing used same-sex marriage to rile up the conservative vote for President George W. Bush and we are seeing it again with immigration being blamed as the source for all the nation's ills.

We know that these are the politics of fear and that those same politics only served to elect one of the worst presidents in US history.

This is why we believe that, in this presidential election, there is one clear choice.

BARACK OBAMA

On the LGBT community: Senator Obama continues to include us in his speeches without prompting or regardless of his audience. He has spoken of his desire to lead all Americans - and has specifically mentioned the LGBT community as being part of his vision of America - during the televised primary debates as well as during presentations in African-American churches as well as Latino gatherings in California.

Senator Obama has said that he supports gender inclusion in a federal bill that would ban discrimination against our communities (as has Senator Hillary Clinton), but, unlike Clinton, he has also said he would do away with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), signed into law by President Bill Clinton, which allows states to discriminate against same-sex couples by only recognizing partnerships between a man and a woman (Clinton has said that she would only repeal part of the bill).

On immigration: At a time when even "respected" news media such as CNN use immigration bashing in order to drive up ratings and the Republican presidential candidates try to outdo each other in anti-immigrant fervor, we have been moved by Senator Obama's consistent overtures to immigrant communities, his rejection of using immigrants as a scapegoat and his efforts to shatter stereotypes that African-American communities won't stand up for immigrants or that Latinos will not vote for a black presidential candidate.

Economic tensions do exist between different communities of color, particularly at a time when the economy seems to be heading into a recession which might disproportionally affect our communities. But we need a president that will do his or her best to address the issues that are driving down this economy and not a president that will take advantage of those tensions for political gain.

We believe that the right person for the job is Senator Obama.

He offers a true vision of hope. A vision that values every single person who lives in the United States and not just an elite few.

A vote for Senator Obama provides an opportunity to change our country's values and embrace our strengths and diversity - and to turn back the onslaught of hate and discrimination we have seen over the last eight years.

For that reason, we would like to ask you to ad your signature to this letter and to simply say:

"We step forward to claim our voice as LGBT Latinos in support of Barack Obama for United States President."

En comunidad,

(List in formation: If you would like to add your name to this statement please send your name, city and state of residence to lgbt.latinos4obama@gmail.com)

• Chris Aguilar Garcia, Los Angeles, CA
• Noel Alicea, New York, NY
• Miguel Ayala, Washington, DC
• Geo Bustamante, Associate Editor, Gaysofla.com, Miami, FL
• W. Brandon Lacy Campos, Minneapolis, MN
• Pedro Chavez, Los Angeles, CA
• Wilson Cruz, Los Angeles, CA
• Andres Duque, Queens, NY
• Gael Guevara, New York, NY
• Lorenzo Herrera y Lozano, Austin, TX
• Jorge Irizarry, J.D., Bronx, NY
• Wilfred Labiosa, Boston, MA
• Roberto Martinez,Brooklyn, NY
• Gloria Nieto, San Jose, CA
• Felicia A. Ramos, Chicago, IL
• Martha Ramos Duffer, Psy.D., Austin, TX
• Omar Robinson-Rodriquez, Atlanta, GA
• Juan Ortíz, Raleigh, NC
• Annette Marie Rodriguez, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I got lost

Yes, I got lost in the blogosphere. My sister Virginia at least emailed to check up on me to make sure I was ok. I got caught up in the problems with my feet, my doctor being out of town, taking care of my cousin Riley, working on the Obama campaign, blah blah blah.

I am going to write, very soon, my history as a superdelegate. Just to try to give folks a peek into that world of rarified politics and knives.

But the sun is out, I tulips blooming and must return to the great outdoors.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I was a superdelegate pt.1

In my previous life, I was a DNC super delegate. During the eight years I was on the DNC, there was never a battle for delegates like we are seeing now. bummer for me, I always wanted a phone call from Chelsea Clinton. Ok, maybe not. That is no disrespect for Ms Chelsea. But when I was first asked to be on the DNC I some how had a different vision of what participation in the national level would look like and feel like. I wasn't even close.

My first meeting was in DC. As I came to find out, it either rains, snows or makes one sweat in DC. You have to pay for everything, plane tickets, hotels, meals and cabs. I have never made lots of money in this lifetime. Working at non-profits may make the soul feel good but it does not pay for $200 a night hotels in DC. I learned how to crash at friend's pads and eat at less expensive places in DC like Union Station. I digress, my first meeting was in the middle of a DC rainstorm. I had to stand out in traffic to try and get a cab to the hotel. By the time I managed this, I was drenched and came in looking, um, wet.

Everyone seemed to know each other and I knew no one. This is good time to point out that I was soaking wet and not feeling very confident. Did I say I was wet? I got to the lgbt meeting. Oh wait. It is a gay and lesbian meeting. Back in those days there was no lgbt. I still don't think it is lgbt but then again I never hear anything about the caucus so I don't know.

This actually brings up an interesting question. What has the caucus done for you and me lately? I know through Garry Shays' efforts the number of gay and lesbian delegates at the convention will be bigger. But the caucus has not grown in size and despite the bragging about appointed delegates, I still don't see any major improvements in the states or clubs. Well call me bitter but it is like going to a bar I have been tossed out of, I don't see anything good happening for us unless my man Barack gets the party on a progressive path.

More to come about my experiences at the DNC.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Barbara Zusman

It is a glorious California morning. I have been sitting on the front porch, watching Ruby stalk the bees in the lavender bush. But I have also been crying in the California sun. A kind woman I knew in New Mexico has died and I was feeling the sadness of that loss.

Barbara Zusman was one of a kind. There are moments of time etched in my memory of times with her.

She collected rocks. Not just any rocks but heart rocks, rocks that had been etched in nature into the form of a heart.

The girl loved to shop. One time at Creating Change in Pittsburgh her wife, Rachel Rosen, had done something to upset her. Barbara came sailing into the hotel with her cab driver in tow and both were carrying packages and bags with names like Bloomingdales and some other high end stores emblazoned on them. I turned to Jo and said, "Oh man, Rachel must have done something really bad."

At another Creating Change in San Diego, she and I took off and went to Tijuana. Now getting across the border is not the tidiest process in the world. This time was no exception, we had to wait and wait and then wait some more. She just said to me "This is a disaster." I just cracked up. I explained it was just typical. We had a great time and could talk about our Mexican adventure.

One time when my mother was visiting in Santa Fe, we had lunch with Barbara and Rachel at the Plaza restaurant. They were both so kind and funny with my mom. Then Barbara asked my mother if she was dating anyone. They bonded over that moment. After that they cruised up Canyon Road and spent the afternoon together. It was priceless.

Rachel and Barbara's wedding was such a beautiful day, a true testimony to love. Barbara hand made every single card given out to the guests. We were lavished with incredible food, , breathtaking flowers, little silver plates with their names and dates on them. After everything was over, many folks were running around picking up those plates off tables. During the Jewish service, there is a time when the couple circles each other three times. As it was described later, when Rachel and Barbara did this, there wasn't a dry seat in the house. We were all joyful, seeing two women obviously in love and proclaiming that love in front of friends and family.

At the reception, I still remember the sheer exuberance of the everyone on the dance floor with the two brides hoisted in the air in their chairs. The dykes took over holding the chairs aloft and I remember seeing Libby Atkins cowboy hat between Rachel's legs while holding her chair through the dance. It was priceless.

There are other stories but I will say that Barbara was an incredible artist. She had this really wonderful picture that she had hand colored of three women in undergarments in one of their extra rooms. Whenever I went over to their house, I would make a beeline for that picture and then talk to Barbara about it. She offered to let me pay her in payments for one of her pieces so that I could give it to my mom. I could never make it happen but I really appreciated her generosity.

She once ventured to Egypt on a tour by herself. I was really in awe that she would go to see the wonders of the world on her own. I would call her when tv shows about Egypt were on the History Channel. She was always appreciative of my little gestures like that, to share our love of ancient Egyptian culture and art.

Barbara had a real ability to grow sweet peas in the high desert. She showed me her sweet pea places in the yard. I was, again, in awe. My life has been a little bit better because I knew a little bit of Barbara Zusman. I planted sweet peas this week in her honor. I cried a tear or two for her too. When the plants bloom and bring fragrance to my yard, I will think about my times with her, thank her for the memories and enjoy the sweet gift of her flowers.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Bad call, very bad call

Someone has a really bad list. Mitt Romney has a really bad list because I have gotten two robocalls from his campaign. One from the Mittster and the other, here it is, wait, here it comes, was from Rick Santorum telling me how awful John McCain is. Why McCain is not a real conservative, didn't ya know, because he doesn't support a constitutional amendment to make marriage between a man and a woman. OH MY GAWD!

Then I got a polling call asking me which Republican I was voting for. I was so happy pressing the buttons for Ron Paul and Mike Huckabee. Heehee, then I got to vote for "traditional values" as the most important factor in my decision. I feel like I am getting to peek over the fence and see naked mud wrestling.

Friday, February 01, 2008

In California



Today I went to a press conference featuring out Assembly member John Laird of Santa Cruz. He has been working really hard to get people to vote yes for Prop 93 here in California. Why? Because under current law, he will be termed out at the end of the year. That would be really bad for the lgbt community but also the whole state of California.

Why? You may be asking why would this matter to the whole state. Well, John is also the chair of the Assembly budget committee. He negotiates with the Governator over things like money for schools, money for HIV programs, money for everything. This state has the fifth largest economy in the world! This is not just any job and it affects millions of people.

John also made the point that a number of legislators who are pro-marriage would also be termed out. That number could be as high as 25 legislators we would lose to term limits. So we would have to start all over again, educating people, working on campaigns to make sure we had friends who will vote the right way for us. If our friends stay in office we can focus on getting others to vote the right way. Or left way.

Any way, voting yes on Prop 93 will be very important to the whole lgbt community. My friend Clark would disagree but I think keeping John Laird in office is one of the most important things we could do for ourselves in California.


That's me next to John's left arm.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Update

The back seat of my car is the microcosm of my life. It has in it a hockey stick, yard signs for "yes on prop 93" and the banner for the Silicon Valley LGBT Dem club. Oh and empty water bottles waiting to be recycled. I am playing hockey again on Sunday so I will just leave the stick there. I may run into some protesters I need to whack.

Tuesday night was the club's Presidential forum. WE had reps from the Clinton, Obama, and Edwards campaign answering three questions we gave them in advance and then questions from the audience. We had over 40 people in attendance. Final results of the straw poll:

Obama 41%
Edwards 28
Clinton 25%
undecided 6%

Interesting, huh?

The election is less than a week away and I still can't decide who I am going to vote for in the California primary. I found it interesting that the campaigns were taking swings at each other, "Hillary did this, Obama said this." I just didn't expect that. Maybe because I have kept my distance and tried to look at the candidates pragmatically and the campaign people were more emotional.

I am having a hard time getting past my issues with Obama. I hated the way he was so condescending with Hillary at the NH debate. I really have a problem with his supporters acting like 5 year olds and saying we won't vote if Obama is not the candidate.

Four years ago when Howard Dean was running for DNC chair, I got lots of emails and letters asking me to vote for Dean. I answered all the emails politely saying I hadn't made up my mind but that for sharing your thoughts on voting for Dean. I got one particularly memorable letter. "If you don't vote for Dean, we will come after you with torches and pitchforks." Democracy doesn't thrive on those kind of threats. So when I hear the other threats, I wonder how mature this movement is, to take up the mantle of leadership and give full inclusion to all of us.

With Hillary I am struggling too. Everyone my age if supporting her. I like someone who knows and understands policy and what effect that ahs on the state of the union. But, I don't know, there is something missing, a connect that I can't say what it is so how can I ask the campaign to give me something I don't even know what I want. My friend Jorge Mursuli says you can't know what you don't know.

Time for me to figure it out. I'll let you know when I get there.

Friday, January 18, 2008

SATC

Did you ever see the episode of Sex and the City when Carrie's boyfriend broke up with her with a post-it? Well that's what happened last night with the latest almost job. I got a friggin voice mail saying we decided to hire the other person.

Needless to say, I was devastated. I continue to be devastated, feeling hopeless about ever getting a job again. I am working so hard at this and nothin'. Close but no cigar. No dice. I'm #2.

I could get lost in a sea of self-pity but I think I will just crawl into bed with Allegra and enjoy my heated throw and my dog. OK that was pretty good self-pity.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

I can't make this up

Here is the latest installment of the Donald vs the DNC. In this episode, Claire Lucas is accused of perjury. She apparently helped the DNC write a blast at Donald.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Pushing the envelope

Here is the latest drivel from the DNC. It trumpets the inclusion of a whopping eight members of the LGBT communities to the upcoming convention this summer.

I have highlighted the more hilarious parts.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2008

DNC ELECTS RECORD NUMBER OF LGBT MEMBERS TO 2008 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION STANDING COMMITTEES

Appointments Reflect Strength, Diversity and Energy of Democratic Party

DENVER - The Executive Committee of the Democratic National Committee
(DNC) unanimously elected DNC Chairman Howard Dean's nominations for the

Chairs and members of the 2008 Democratic National Convention Standing
Committees, including a record number of openly LGBT members. Dean's
LGBT appointments include Dr. Marjorie Hill of the Gay Men's Health Crisis organization in New York, Diego Sanchez from AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, State Representative Patricia Todd of
Alabama, and Ingrid Duran of Virginia to serve on the Platform Committee, along with Claire Lucas and Evan Low of California to the Rules Committee and Bob Rogan of Vermont to the Credentials Committee.
In addition to appointing a record number of LGBT standing committee members, Dean was also the first DNC chair to appoint a member of the transgender community to a Convention committee.

The Standing Committees of the Convention are responsible for reviewing Convention business and formulating recommendations for consideration by Convention delegates. The Executive Committee's vote took place during the panel's recent meeting in Denver, site of the four-day Convention in August.

"The record turnout and enthusiasm we've seen for our Democratic candidates is a clear sign that Americans trust Democrats to bring much needed change to our country," said Governor Dean. "These outstanding leaders reflect the great strength, diversity and energy of the Democratic Party, and I'm confident their efforts will ensure our
Convention in Denver is reflective of our shared values and our nominee's vision for America."

The elections included the Chairs and 25 Party Leader and Elected
Official (PLEO) members of the three Convention Standing Committees:

Credentials, Platform and Rules. Each committee has a total of 186 members. An additional 161 members elected by each of the states' and territories' Convention delegations will join Governor Dean's appointments to the committees later this spring.

So let us do the math. 186 member of committees times three makes 558 members of committees. Out of that 8 people will be either LGB or T. That is less than 10% so this is supposed to be reflective of the Democratic party? Wow, I am in awe.

And if I recall the latest news reports, one of those appointees, Clare Lucas, is about an inch away from contempt of court in the Donald Hitchcock suit against the DNC. Also I would like to point out that identifying people's non-profit place of employment with a political party jeopardizes the non-profit's status.

Makes me proud to be a Democrat.

Cross posted at Pam's House Blend

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bad dates

Here I am again at the beginning of the year without a job. Every week I get turned down by another agency and this is beginning, not it is a string of many bad dates.

I get all dressed up nice, wear shoes that hurt my feet. Sit with people I have just met and then get judged by them. Lovely. I think I have done well and things could work out but then comes the email or phone call or letter with my name misspelled saying thanks but we are going to move on without you.

Many mornings I wake up feeling nearly hysterical because the money is about to run out in unemployment and I am sitting here waiting for the phone to ring with some good news.

During this time I have been recruited for jobs but then nothing. That really aggravates me. Like don't lead me on if there is not going to be a job offer. I am irritated beyond belief and frustrated, feeling very bad about myself. I know I am not my job but it is very difficult to feel good after all these rejections.

It would be nice for the phone to ring with a job. This week.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sheesh

A lot of folks dropped by here because I was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle today. My quote was in a story written by Ms Marinucci about why the NH polls were so off. Here is my quote:

Where does (MSNBC host) Chris Matthews or any of these guys come off treating her like that?" said Nieto on Wednesday. "It was played out in high-definition in front of everybody how shrill, over the top and condescending they were. It was a frat boy party - and as women, we weren't liking it. And we spoke out yesterday - just look at the numbers."

I say pinhead pundits should not be allowed on unless they can talk about the statistics model they used to analyze the data.

WORD!


I'll take hockey

I have now figured out that I need to watch hockey instead of MSNBC. At least hockey is honest, men without teeth, banging into each other, pummeling each other bare fisted. It is not everyone's cup of tea, I admit, but it is true to life.

I was naive enough to give MSNBC another shot last night after the NH returns. Stupid me, it was a visit again to Mathews giving every excuse in the world for him being wrong. The voters are liars is a new one. Amazing that anyone would lie to a pollster, I guess to him anyway. And he continued on his merry woman hating way having a woman analyst from NH on and then proceeded to ask questions and then talk over her answers.

Any women out there ever have that happen? I thought so. Yeah, I'm sick of it too. Time to switch channels, work on someone's campaign so your voice is heard and leave the charter members of the women haters club in the rear view mirror.

Back to the hockey now.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Adios

Well Big Bill Richardson is waving adios from the New Mexican high desert to his chances of becoming President in this election cycle. I am sorry to see him go since his candidacy brought a Latino perspective to the Democratic race. During my time in New Mexico, I helped his campaign and he helped me with a gubernatorial appointment to the health policy commission and tickets to the Democratic convention for all my family.

He is indeed a rare politician who keeps his word. When he was first running for Governor, he met with small groups of "special interests". I was in the lesbian and gay meeting where we asked for a hate crimes law, a non-discrimination law and appointments to all the different state commissions. Not only did we get all of those requests filled but he added domestic partner benefits to all state employees. Promises made and promises kept.

Now we have to see what he does next. I don't think we have seen the last of Big bill on the national stage. I would bet my last dollar on that.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

NH

I didn't know that I didn't care for Obama until he won in Iowa. Then I got really irritated with all the blatant sexism from all the boy talking heads. And now the analysis from the boy talking heads is this "Democratic insiders are concerned that this could turn into a gender war." Do these guys get paid to be this stupid?

All of them are a just plain old stupid if they just now realize there is a gender gap. Duh, let's go over this slowly. We make less money. There has never been a woman president. How many women are elected compared to men? This is what a gender gap looks like! And now we see what democracy looks like.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Gotta love this

IN the Chronicle today, there was a story posted about the legal victory for Dykes on Bikes. Here in the year of our Lard, 2008, some people don't understand this. There are some slow pokes still in the Bay Area.

And this from the comments is too perfect:
"piedcanard wrote:...and as far as lesbians go, they want very little to do with men. ..."------Ya know, everything is not always about men.... I would venture to guess that most lesbians have zero problem with men, they just don't want to have sex with them.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Part 2

In the sunny California area where I live, gardening is one of the biggest hobbies around. As I have posted both with pictures and in writing I spend as much time as possible in the yard, ending to flowers, veggies and herbs. I am a gardener in every way possible.

This means I have hope, Hope for my seeds, then seedlings. Hope for all the little pieces of garlic that I plant that they will re-emerge as a full bulb of garlic, spreading lots of flavor in my kitchen. This is also the reason I am involved politically because I have hope that my community, state and country will be better through working with like minded people to leave things better than how we found it.

Now we are really in campaign season for a shit load of offices. I cannot make my mind up on who I would like to be the next President. I know it must be a Democrat but who, I don't know who I prefer. And now that the white white white white white population of Iowa has spoken and the same demographics in New Hampshire will speak soon, the conversations are changing, folks have dropped out and it is getting time to decide.

Here's the thing for me, there is a candidate who talk all about hope but I don't know if he is for me. I just don't know. Change will happen no matter what, that horse's butt Bush will be out in just over a year.

The only thing I know for sure is that I will continue to hope the Sharks will figure out a way to win at home and that a Democrat will win in November. I'll just go back to reading seed catalogues and hope for the spring to bring new leaves and hope for change.

Poor thing

Someone help this child! And her children! Britney loses her mind and custody.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Part 1

Today my house was without electricity for almost 12 hours. But I am prepared. I have one handy unit, a crank flashlight that has a radio, a compass, a flashing light and siren all rolled into one easy to carry around package. I thought I should check the news to see if there were floods or other disasters nearby.

So I cranked up the radio and listened to... Gwen Ifill, David Brooks and Mark something on NPR. This is not about checking the news but being a political junkie. I had no access to news about Iowa or New Hampshire! So I listened to Bobo and Mark discuss caucki and primaries. They talked about things I had neither seen nor heard, Obama's speech last night (hockey was on) and Hillary's speech (hockey still on) and I found out something very important. It didn;t matter if I heard those speeches because there would still be a vote on Tuesday and that speech won't really matter on Tuesday nor will Bobo or Mark. They won't matter because other people, mostly white white white white white people will be voting on Tuesday.

I thought this lineup was going to get changed and some people of color were going to get a vote early in the process. Apparently my brown vote will get thrown into the mix on Super Duper Tuesday.

OMG it is after midnight, the ambien will be working soon and I will be saying all kinds of hateful things about the DNC, Howard Dean and all those people I have interviewed with who didn't give me a job. I'll get back to you in the morning.
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