18 February 2011

Playing Basketball

I found a link to this blog while I was blog stalking one day (yes, I still do that).  He asked his readers to help him get his blog out there, so I thought I'd help.


He's got a really great story.  He's a gay man who plays in the NBA.  I love basketball, so I find it pretty interesting.  Check it out if you like.

Lifting Silence

We had a creative writing assignment in my English class about the intangible things that we carry.  Most largely for me is the fight between my timid nature and my desire to help other people, and get the message out there that gay people are not evil, terrible people.  A gay life is not a bad life.  But sometimes my lack of a loud voice, and my lack of confidence in the voice I do have keeps me from helping spread this message in a more powerful way.

I thought about the lives the we lose because of bullying, because of stereotypes, because of judgments, from the people we often care most about.  I thought about the responsibility we have to "gay it forward" to the kids who are always listening.  I thought about don't ask, don't tell.  I thought about the fear that I still have when I meet new people and they find out that I'm gay.  We all carry things like that, I'm sure.  

So this is what I wrote, and I thought I'd share it with you.

"Lifting Silence"

I carry silence,
the fearful silence that is made of scars
and a history written
with the ink of emotion,
entertaining thoughts without a voice
while trying to find a voice.

I carry the knowledge
that silence and change
do not often meet at the same table
or shake hands in greeting.

I carry the responsibility
that is given with the discovery of truth,
to be honest when asked
and to tell those who will listen
that too many go missing in the silence,
and too many hide their voices,
and too many lose their belief
that a new day is just beyond the horizon.

I carry the conflict
between heart and mind,
between silence and voice,
knowing that if someone could listen,
a new day could be written
and even the quietest voice could be heard.

15 February 2011

Baptist Jesus Loves You

Most of us in the restaurant business are not what you would exactly call religious.  But we do come from a variety of different religious backgrounds.  Being that it is Utah, even the most unpolished of us can and often do come from LDS backgrounds, but that's not the only case.

One of the kids there is Baptist.  And he is fond of reminding my girlfriend and me that "even if Mormon Jesus doesn't love you, Baptist Jesus does."

I find it amusing and sad at the same time.

I think it is sad that this is the message that has been sent from LDS leaders and the Utah LDS community as a whole--Mormon Jesus doesn't love you.  I don't think this is necessarily the message they are hoping to send, but it is the one that is coming through the static.  I think it is also sad because I think one of the goals of religion should be to better people through spiritual messages, no matter what the religion is.

Of course, I don't think there is a Baptist Jesus and a Mormon Jesus and a Catholic Jesus.  Christ is Christ, and it's us with our small minds that make Him different for different groups of people.

Regardless, I think that if there is one thing Christian religions should agree on, it is that God and Jesus love you, no matter who you are or where you live or what your religion is.  Teach about the Bible, teach about the ten commandments, teach about consequences for the things we do in this life...or don't.  But God's love for all His children should be a staple.  But maybe it's just me and my way of thinking that believes that the knowledge that God loves everyone is a fundamental principle to any Christian religion.

At any rate, it's good to be reminded that Jesus loves me, because leaders in my own religion are often fond of trying to get me to believe otherwise.

So remember friends, no matter what Elder Oaks says, Baptist Jesus loves you.

10 February 2011

Class of 2001, part II

Still deliberating on the reunion thing, but since there isn't even a date set yet, I figure that the time to stress about it is not right now.

So in this Facebook group, it's all the rage to post what you were doing 10 years ago and what you're doing now.  I wasn't going to participate.  But then it occurred to me that this could be a useful thing to feel out the climate of the class.  I was in no way popular.  I didn't have a lot of friends.  I was just a band nerd, trying not to embarrass her cheerleader sister (which sounds pathetic, but it's the truth). 

Therefore, I thought I would share what I posted in the group.

10 years ago I…

-had a few close friends instead of a large group of friends
-was convinced that no one knew who I was
-went to class but never said much
-played saxophone in the band
-music was my life, especially loud, rowdy rock music
-drove a really monstrous car called “The Beast”
-worked at the Delta Center
-cared too much about what everyone else thought
-wasn’t interested in guys
-couldn’t wait to graduate
-was ashamed to struggle with so many things in my life

Now I…

-have quite a few amazing friends
-am going to classes and still not saying much, but learning more
-am working towards a career in aviation administration
-play the radio instead of my saxophone
-music is still my life, especially loud, rowdy rock music
-get to watch Jazz games instead of work through them
-see some of you every now and then at the restaurant where I currently work
-was married at one point but am not anymore (which is better, trust me)
-care more about what I think than what you think (no offense)
-still have no interest in guys
-am not ashamed of what I went through to get to where I am today

I tried not to be completely transparent, yet still honest.  From here, we'll see where it goes. 

03 February 2011

Class of 2001

I had someone add me to a group on Facebook having to do with the ten year high school reunion that should be happening later this year.  Yikes.  I can't believe it's been ten years already.  Weird.  That makes me seem like I should be all adult-like, and I'm just not.

We haven't had any other reunion since graduation day.  I don't know if that's typical.  Both my parents had five year reunions.  But my ten year will be my first.

I am so undecided on whether or not I will be going.  My situation now is nothing like when I was in high school.  I hope that there are many other people who can say that, but in my case, it's a little more extreme.  I was a mess in high school.  Like, completely terrible.  I hated my life and I was miserable ALL THE TIME.  I didn't have a lot of friends.  I hung out with the goth kids during my senior year just because I wanted to be left alone by everyone else.  Come on now, that doesn't sound like a lot of fun.

Secondly, my high school...I don't even know how to describe it.  We had a 95% enrollment rate in seminary.  The town is small, but not rural, and you just didn't venture further than what was expected of you...which is pretty much what the Church would expect  from you.  So, now that I'm gay and have a girlfriend, I just don't know how that's going to go over. 

Not that I really care what they think of me, because I don't.  I'm glad that high school is over and done with.  I can count on one hand the number of people from DHS that I associate with now.  But I also don't need to put myself in a situation where I'm not going to be comfortable.  That's just not necessary, right?

But another part of me thinks it might be kind of fun to go with my girlfriend.  Kind of a "ha ha, thought you knew me" sort of thing.  And it might be nice to prove that I am not miserable anymore, even if it's only to myself.

I don't know.  I'm back and forth, back and forth.  There are pros and cons, and I don't think that one outweighs the other right now.

Does anyone have any thoughts or stories about class reunions, or advice that might help me better decide?