28 May 2009

Why Marriage?

Why is marriage equality so important? Why can't we just "settle for civil unions" and leave it at that? Why does it matter if it's called something different if the benefits are really the same?

I remember when The Family: A Proclamation to the World was issued in 1995. I was twelve years old and had no idea that I was gay. I remember my parents talking to me and my sisters about it and explaining that it was so important because "the family had come under attack" by people who were confused and troubled by sin, people who thought that they could only love others of the same gender. This was wrong and unacceptable, and the leaders of our Church had made the commendable decision to make a stand in this immoral, Last Days World.

I think about the day that I first wondered if I might be a lesbian. I was a nineteen year old college student. The thought scared me so much that I threw it away. I buried it. It filled me with shame and dread. I didn't want to be wrong and unacceptable. I think about the last year, when I really dared to look myself in the eye and see the truth that was always there. Those feelings of shame and dread are still with me, because the thought still exists for me that if I feel attracted to other women, I am confused, troubled by sin, and caught in the snare of the Adversary.

My whole life has been a preparation for the day when I would grow up, get married, and start a family of my own. How many times do you think you hear that as an LDS kid? I'd guess a whole kriffing lot. It got drilled into my head pretty well. I used to wonder about it, think about it, dream about it. I wanted to live that dream.

Fast forward to the day when I look at myself with that ice cold eye and really acknowledge that I am gay. All those dreams suddenly disappear, go up in smoke, because not only have I gotten the message at home that I'm terrible for feeling this way, now society is telling me that any love I could honestly give or receive from a woman is not good enough. It reinforces the idea that I am terrible and very "less than" and that I will never be as privileged as someone who can honestly love someone of the opposite gender.

Keep in mind that I was married once. I'm a part of those devastating divorce statistics. And trust me, it's not a fun thing to go through. It nearly tore me apart. Because of that, I know with every fiber of my being that if I ever find myself in a relationship that is serious enough to consider taking that marriage step, it's going to mean a great deal to me. I imagine that it's going to be the best thing that ever happens to me. So how is that different from the love that my parents share? Or my sisters with their husbands? How is it less important? Does it seem fair that my marriage to my husband (which failed miserably) is considered more valid than a marriage to a woman (which I'm fairly confident I would give all my heart and love to) would be?

To borrow from Waking Up (robtish), marriage equality means that we support opposite sex marriage just as much as same sex marriage. No one is trying to take away the rights that traditional marriages already have and enjoy. What we're asking for is a right that half our society already has. We want marriage to be legally (not necessarily religiously) defined in a way that includes everyone.

So often when I'm feeling down and terrible about being a lesbian, someone who supports me will remind me that my sexuality is only a small part of who I am. And yet that small part disqualifies me from something that is a big deal to me. If it's such a small part, if it doesn't make me a terrible person, why is it such a huge thing to share one word?

I have a niece and a nephew that I love very much. They are absolute beacons of light in my life. As I've thought about why "marriage" matters so much, I found myself thinking of them. What if one day, one of them looks at their reflection and sees that ice cold truth in their own eyes? What if one of them is gay? What would I want for them in that moment?

It's simple: I'd want them to not be afraid or ashamed. I'd want them to know that being gay doesn't mean that they aren't good enough for simple civil rights and for the joy that comes from being married and having a family of your own. I'd want them to know that their government recognizes their unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

A life alone is not really living. Having different rules and laws for people in the same country is not liberty. And getting married is something you do in pursuit of happiness.

These are my thoughts and I'll own all of them. Perhaps some of my reasons are the same for other people, perhaps those very same reasons are ones that others don't agree with. Still, this is why it's important to me.

I told you it would be serious. :)


So I pretty much guarantee that my next post is bound to be all sorts of serious. THEREFORE, this one is not. :)

Here's another Amy fact: I am super excited for Air Force week, which starts in SLC on Monday, June 1. The airshow is Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7 at Hill Air Force Base. Even if you're not a jethead like me, they're lots o' fun! The Thunderbirds always put on a good show, and they're very photogenic in their F-16's. :)

26 May 2009

Blog Rally

I've been watching the news, which I really don't like to do. In about ten minutes, a rally will start at the state capitol building to protest California's ruling on Proposition 8. This means I'll be watching the news again at ten to find out how that went. As it's kind of a big deal to a lot of us, I thought I'd share some of my thoughts.

First, I am feeling kind of gloomy about it. It's not because I had hopes of getting married in California someday, because I didn't. It's because I know it's causing sadness for a lot of people tonight.

Second, I'm glad that the courts at least decided that those who did take the opportunity to get married are still recognized as married. Those couples made that commitment to each other and they deserve to have that stand. That made me happy.

Third, I wonder about what repercussions this will have for me, or someone like me, who lives and has always lived in Utah, is LDS, and is still in the closet. The LDS Church already issued their statement, and I don't think anyone is surprised by their response. They are pleased with the courts ruling. Really? Shocking!

I believe that freedom of religion and freedom of marriage are two separate things. I believe that churches should be allowed to decide who they will and won't marry. If Catholics or Mormons or Protestants or whoever wants to say "we won't marry two people of the same gender," that's their call, and they should have the freedom to make that call. But that doesn't mean that marriage and the rights that are given to married people by the government should be exclusively decided by churches. It shouldn't be a constitutional issue. I believe everyone should have the right and the opportunity to get married. All men (and women, I might add) are created equal, which means that there shouldn't be different rules based on the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. That seems pretty simple to me, but that's just me, I guess.

Did I say that in a way that makes sense? I hope so.

So I'm not standing on the steps of my state's capitol. I haven't made signs that state my opinions. I don't even own a rainbow flag. But I understand why people are there, with their signs and their flags and their courage and their convictions, because I support marriage equality too.

One day, I hope gay marriage rallies won't be needed at all, because there won't be "straight marriage" and "gay marriage," there will just be MARRIAGE: the uniting of two people in a commitment of love.

A Few Amy Facts

  • I am the oldest of three girls
  • jet noise makes me so very happy
  • I would snowboard every day if I had the time and money (and of course, year-round snow)
  • I love Star Wars
  • I like to name inanimate objects...for instance, the ice machine at work is Oliver, my bookcase is Jasper, and my car is Caedus. I don't know why I do it, I just do.
  • I have an xbox 360 but I'm not mad into video games
  • I am a diehard Utah Jazz fan and have been for as long as I can remember
  • I rarely remember my dreams
  • I am grateful every single day that I do not have kids...
  • ...but I'd really like to become a parent someday with someone that I truly and deeply love...
  • ...and if that doesn't work out, I'll give all my love to my nieces and nephews

23 May 2009

Center Stage

My coming out story is still in the process of being written. I don't want to be afraid anymore. I don't want to worry so much about what's going to happen when people find out. As I become more comfortable with the knowledge of who I truly am, I become more uncomfortable with having to hide that from other people.

Being honest with myself has changed me so much. I have friends who tell me that I'm not the same person I was a year ago, and they've noticed that I'm happier and more outgoing and they like being around me. I feel better about who I am and I guess it really shows.

So I've been thinking about doing this for a couple weeks.

I created the name "drakames" about four years ago as an online identity. "Drak" comes from one of my favorite literary characters, Dracula. I adopted a quote from him in high school. He said, "I love the shade and the shadow and would be alone with my thoughts when I may." "Ames" is my nickname. So I put the two together and change the pronounciation a little bit, and allow myself to speak my personal truth from within a protective shadow.

Allow me to step into the light.

My name is Amy.

I hope to be able to share more about me in coming posts. I want you to know me for who I really am.

22 May 2009


Did anyone else get a chance to check out "Glee" on Tuesday? It was the pilot episode but Fox aired it as a sneak peek. It doesn't actually start airing until the fall. But based on the pilot, I think it could become one of my new favorite shows.

The pilot is available on Fox's website through the summer, so you can check it out here. Or I've still got it on my DVR if you want a tv night. Or if you want to see a preview first, click here.

Pretty much it's about a high school Glee club and the teacher that is trying to save it, get the kids excited, and make it into an outstanding organization again. The club is mostly misfits, and the high school quarterback. Ah, high school memories. Much better when you can look back on them. :)

I think the cheerleading coach is my favorite. Let's be honest, sarcasm is my favorite type of humor. It just about kills me. Both my sisters were cheerleaders in junior high and high school and I think I would have gotten more into it if they would have had a coach like this.

Oh, and I thought this was pretty cool: the main female lead, Rachel Berry (besides being pretty cute), has two dads. Do I sense a hint of progress?

"Don't Stop Believin'!" Check out Glee!

18 May 2009


"You are fully capable of deciding your own destiny.
The question is, which path will you choose?"
(Sarek to Spock, Star Trek)

Like some of the other bloggers out there, when I saw Star Trek, I found something profound and familiar about Spock being "a child of two worlds." I feel like I have many worlds these days, between my online identity and my real name, being LDS and gay, having some people who know the truth while most others don't, and/or between what I think and what I can "safely" say. Duality, by nature, is dividing, and divided is how I feel.

I saw a video on Clark's blog (the Stripping Warrior) about an event that took place in Singapore over the weekend. It's called pink dot, where a bunch of people who support gay rights gathered at a park to form an actual pink dot. The video is on pink dot's website and is about 4:25 in length if you want to take the time to check it out. Their position is this : Gay people will always be a part of our lives, whether we know it or not. Show them it doesn't make any different. Show them that you support their freedom to love.

One of the people on the video was a spiritual leader, and what he said really had an affect on me..."As they come to me and talk about their problems, I find that they get more understanding themselves about their sexuality, and a little bit better understanding of the Christian faith which will allow them to overcome their own guilt of being a gay person."

Hearing that was an "aha moment" at its finest.

I feel guilty for my feelings because I've been taught that they are wrong to have. This is the LDS line in the sand, and I stand on a different side. Therefore, my biggest struggle has been to reconcile my feelings with my religion. I've heard the notion that church can help you overcome your gay feelings. I don't buy into the "pray the gay away" approach, but I've heard of it. And I kind of assume that I might hear it firsthand at some point. But maybe that is an effort that is not really worth my time and not the perspective to take. I think instead, I need to allow my faith the bridge the gap. Instead, maybe I should pray for the strength to be as I am...pray for the strength to be gay.

As long as man exists in this imperfect state, there will be imperfections in any religion. And while some things that my church says and does are hurtful and cause feelings of guilt to stir within my heart, there are good things that I have learned by being a member.

I believe in Jesus Christ. He's the perfect big brother, and even though I sometimes want to believe that I am strong enough to make it without Him, I know that I'm not. He offers to look out for me, to stand by me, to protect me, to love me, simply because He's my brother. He knows me for all of me and I know that He won't turn His back on me.

My feelings exist. They are very real. And I'm starting to see that it's not about overcoming them, and it shouldn't be about overcoming them, because I don't think it's possible to overcome homosexuality. However, I do think it's possible to overcome the guilt. It's going to take a lot of acceptance, re-learning, and hard work, and I think that my faith in and my view of Jesus Christ will help me in that regard.

Being a child of two worlds isn't easy. But I'm also a child of God, who is in all worlds. So maybe my choice isn't about being LDS or being gay. Maybe it's about choosing how to acknowledge who I am. I can't be something I'm not. I can only be me.

07 May 2009

I'm About To Be A Wildcat

After five years off, I've decided that it's time to go back to school. I'm going to take a couple classes this fall and work towards getting my Associate.

I'm kind of nervous about it! I've been out of school for awhile and I've had SO MUCH STUFF happen to me in these five years. And I'm excited too! I want to feel like I'm actually doing something with my life, like I'm moving instead of being stuck in a rut.

Now if only I could figure out what I want to be when I grow up...

06 May 2009

Something You Should Know

I just wanted to clarify a couple of things about me. Please know that I'm not mad or upset when I write this. My feelings are pretty neutral at the moment, and I just want to make sure that this part of me is understood. So when you read it, please don't put negative inflections to these words.

First of all, I'm SO not a label person. I'm all about being who you are and not what you are. I know that being gay, straight, black, brown, white, green, LDS, Catholic, jock, prep, goth, or whatever can certainly have an influence on who you are, because it's a part of who you are, but it's not all of you. I know that I don't want to be labeled, so I am not going to label you.

Second, I don't always know the "right" way to say things. I tend to be a very emotionally intense and sensitive person, so a lot of the time, I'm just trying to figure out exactly what I'm feeling by spitting it out on this blog or paper or Facebook or something like that. I try to think things through before I send them out into the universe. I think about stuff a lot. That can sometimes get me into trouble, because all I've got is my own head. Again though, that's where I'm trying to decipher what's going on for me through writing it down.

And last, my intention with this blog is just to put this piece of me out there. I just want to be me. I just want there to be a chance for the real me to come through.

So far, this has been really great for me, and I hope it will continue to be. These are just things on my mind, and things about me that I thought I'd like to make sure you knew.

04 May 2009

Out On The Town

Nights like tonight make me think more about coming out to the public at large.

I had a blast today with a bunch of people, the majority of whom I did not know when I woke up this morning. I think Mark is the only one I had even talked to before tonight. I am usually not that socially brave! I spent probably about six hours hanging out with these guys--Mark, Michael, and Michael. They're "family" and I hope that now they are also friends. We met for lunch, hung out in SLC and Provo, and went to the Matis fireside.

It took me a little bit of time to get used to being with these three guys who are out and at ease with being out. I don't really have anyone in my daily social circle who is gay, and I am SO not out, so it took some adjusting for me at first. As it became more comfortable to talk about being gay and get used to them asking me questions about what it's like from a female perspective, I really enjoyed it! It was a really good experience to be with friends and know that I was okay how I was and I didn't have to hide or make excuses.

I met and talked with a lot of people at the fireside and afterward at the Matis' house. It was amazing to be there and be welcomed by strangers, and feel a connection with them because of our struggles. I am really glad that I got to spend time with them.

Also, Brother and Sister Matis spent a few minutes talking with me about getting more women to come to the firesides. Girls are few and far between there, and I did notice the feeling of being an anomaly, surrounded by all these boys. They invited me to come to their home any time or call them any time. They said they felt like they understood more about what it's like for guys than for girls, and they wanted to get my opinion and my perspective, to potentially get more women to come. I don't know that I'm really the best one for that job, but I can definitely tell that Brother and Sister Matis are very sincere and genuine in their desire to reach out and help members of the LDS Church who are gay. They are supportive and caring. They want us to know that we're not alone.

And I appreciate that, so much.

So, if you're a woman, or if you know a woman who is struggling with same-gender attraction (to use the LDS friendly terminology), take a look at going to one of the Matis firesides. It would be awesome to get some more girls there.

It seems like there is so much out there for gay men and not a lot for women. But homosexuality is not just specific to men, and I know that I've found it personally frustrating at times to want support and look for support, to want to know that I'm not the only one. So also if you're a woman, or if you know a woman, I don't know if I can do any good or reach you from this blog, but I think I'd like to try. Maybe that's something I'm supposed to do.

And I'm going to give some more thought to possibly opening my closet doors a little more. It was nice to feel free. Thanks Mark, and Michael, and Michael! I like hanging out with gay friends! :)

01 May 2009

Someone Please Remind Me...

...that my family has been and is directly influenced by the Utah Bubble.

...that they do not know that I'm gay.

...that when I decide to tell them, I do not want it to be an emotional outburst that I will regret later.