30 June 2011


I have always been the type of person who reaches for an apology first.  Whether the situation calls for it or not, I'm apologizing.  Whether it was my fault or not, I'm apologizing.  I don't know what it is that makes me over-apologize, but I do.

When I think about my family, the first thing I feel is a need to apologize.  I want to tell them that I'm sorry.

Sometimes I think it's ridiculous.  They don't apologize to me for being who they are.  They just are.  I don't think they think about it at all.  But they also fit with the other people in the family.  And they fit so neatly too.

Sometimes I can hear a part of me arguing that if I feel like apologizing, it must be because I feel guilty, and if I feel guilty, I must be doing something wrong.  But in trying to analyze that situation, I've realized that I don't want to apologize because of what I'm doing or how I'm living.  I want to apologize only because I feel like they expect something from me that I cannot give.  I'm sorry that I can't meet that expectation.  I'm sorry that I don't fit like everyone else does.  I'm sorry that I feel like I have an amazing life that I can't share with them.  I'm sorry that they don't understand.

But I'm not sorry for who I am.

I've found the peace I needed to accept myself and to be okay with who I am.  I have to live with myself every day, and if I've done the self-hated thing before.  I'm over it.  I'd rather not go back.  And I can live with who I am.  More than that, I love it.  I love being happy.  I love it when I'm around friends and I can relax and be who I am.  I love not having walls and barriers up, being able to have an unguarded conversation, not being nervous about the topics that will come up.  And I love the people who love me enough to give me that safe space.  It's a much needed space and I appreciate it so much.

Now I just need to learn to stop apologizing when I don't need to.  I don't know what it will take to get over that urge to say I'm sorry, especially to my family, but I hope one day I can.

27 June 2011

Hope For Marriage

I am divorced.  It wasn't how I planned it, but it is what it is.

My girlfriend is divorced.  Not how she planned it either.

I know four couples who are currently getting divorced.

I know others who have been there and done that.  I can't really speak as to what their plans were.

Sometimes, especially lately, I find myself wondering what's been happening to marriage.  As a person who also happens to be gay, I have heard that I somehow have something to do with the disintegration of marriage in this society.

I don't think so.

In the case of my friends who are going through divorces, their decisions to end their marriages has nothing to do with anyone who is gay.  It has to do with a lack of commitment, a lot of selfishness in the one case (but to spare you from a moment of epic profanity, I won't go into it further), and variables that I have no knowledge of.  Rightfully so.  What happens in someone else's marriage is really none of my business.

Most of you are aware that New York just voted in favor of marriage equality.  In listening to Governor Cuomo's comments on Anderson Cooper, I was really impressed with him.  He said something about marriage equality that I thought was especially true:

"Marriage Equality.  I said to the legislators, 'you look at the first word, marriage.  It's really about the second word, equality.'"

I would bet most people only focus on the first word.  They're so intent on keeping marriage between a man and a woman.  But I would think that if they were really wanting to preserve traditional marriage, maybe they could teach that man and that woman that divorce shouldn't be your first response when things don't progress in a fairytale-like manner.

I thought that once I got married, I would always be married.  I was wrong in the case of my ex-husband.  I admit that I am better off not being married to him.  I know he's better off not being married to me.  And I know that there are circumstances where the benefits of separating outweigh the complications of staying together.  I wish my ex the best.  I really hope he's happy now.

If I was to get married again, that would be it.  There would never be another option.  I would be married, I would be committed, I would work to keep my marriage as happy, wholesome, and strong as I possibly could.  I'm not as young as I was when I was first married, which is probably why I would also make sure that I was ready to be a wife again.

As of this moment, I know that I'm not ready to be married again.  Neither is my girlfriend.  But it's sure nice to know that if there ever comes a day when we are, there's one more place we can go that will accept us and our love just as we are.  That gives me hope.  Most human beings want the same thing when it comes to love.  We want the chance to find that one special person.  We want to have that relationship that is so amazing, we never want to see it end.  We want to keep it and nurture it and help it grow.  We want to love and be loved.

Some say that gay marriage can't work.  These days, it seems like straight marriages aren't working either.  But still, I have hope for marriage, marriage of any kind.  I hope that one day it will be an option for me that won't inspire such a rowdy debate.  I hope that the current divorce rate starts getting lower instead of higher.  Marriage does and should mean something.  In my opinion, it shouldn't be something that you just cast aside.

On the day that New York voted yes, I had a table at work that came to celebrate their 58th wedding anniversary.  They hadn't run out of things to talk about.  They held hands across the table.  I could see that each of them was looking at the person who was most important to them.  I thought that was pretty awesome.

In August, my girlfriend and I will be celebrating two amazing years together.  My biggest hope is that we make it to 58...or more.

25 June 2011


It's nearly four in the afternoon.  I have to be to work by five.  I should probably start to get ready or something.  But I'd rather just sit here.

It's a warm day outside.  The sun in shining and the boys are doing yardwork.  It's a good day to sit on the porch and swap stories.  I know that in an hour, I will be stuck in a hot restaurant until long after the sun goes down.  So for now, I'd rather just sit here.

I'm comfortable, just lounging.  And from where I sit, I can see my girlfriend.  I can hear the music she's playing as she puts on her makeup.  She has the same routine and I can tell you what she's probably doing without actually seeing what she's doing.  Soon she'll be doing her hair.  Then she'll finish the rest of her makeup.  Then she'll ask me how she looks.  She says hi to me when she catches me looking at her.  She's adorable.

As I sit here, and I think about her, as I watch her and feel the love I have for her, it just makes sense.  I love her.  It's that simple.  So I'd rather just sit here.

21 June 2011

Walking A Mile...

...or trying to, at least.

I think one of the most frustrating things about coming out is the way some people will treat you like you're a completely different person.  It's been difficult for me to understand why this happens but I've been giving it more thought lately.

From my perspective, I haven't really changed.  I'm still the same person.  I just don't struggle as much as I used to.  I've come to terms with the fact that I'm gay.  I've found acceptance and I can say that I'm happy with myself and with my life these days.  I'm a much happier me.  I would think that this would be seen as a great thing, but we all know that just depends on who you're talking to.

What is it like from someone else's perspective?

Honestly, I can't say.  I've tried to imagine though.  I've tried to imagine what it must be like for my dad.  He doesn't act the same towards me anymore.  He doesn't hug me like he used to.  He doesn't always talk to me like he used to.  Sometimes I feel like he doesn't want to be around me.

But why?  I know that I'm not that different than I used to be.  So what has changed?

I think it's the idea of me that has changed.  I don't know what it's like to be a parent, but I imagine that you make plans for your kids.  You have ideas about how their lives will turn out, you have hopes and dreams for them, you want them to succeed and do well in society.  Because just like us, our parents have been taught and conditioned to what is "right" and what is "wrong" and what "normal" should look like.

I was once that "normal" daughter.  I was given a path to follow and I followed it.

Then I got divorced.  Well gee, that's not something a parent can be proud of.  That's not how it's supposed to work out, and no one wants to talk about it.  Everyone knows that if you're married in the temple, you're supposed to live happily ever after.  I didn't have any kids, so no grandkids to put pictures of on the fridge or in the wallet.  But still, as disappointing as that is, it's not horrible.  You can still answer honestly and without embarrassment when your friends ask "and how's Amy doing?"

I don't think that's the case anymore.

And now that I've "decided" to be gay, there won't be another marriage...at least, not one to invite family and friends to, not one to send announcements out about, not one to hold a reception for and have people share in the happiness of.  There won't be grandkids...there might be a grand-puppy, but there will be no proud "look at my grandkids" moment, not from me anyway.  There won't be another son-in-law to golf with, barbecue with, have guy talk with.  The idea of that, and the happiness that would surely come along with it, is gone.

No matter what I do, what I say, how long my girlfriend and I are together and happy together, we can never replace that.  We don't fit the definition of "normal" as my parents understand it.  And we never will.

So I haven't changed.  But the idea of who I was, and who I was supposed to be, has.  Combine that with gay and lesbian stereotypes, the AIDS epidemic, the club scenes, and that's definitely a recipe for awkwardness.

I wish I could tell them that they are great parents, and they haven't failed because I'm not going to end up with another man.  I wish I could tell them that they raised me well, and I'm proud of my morals and values and the person they helped me become.  I wish they felt like they didn't have to be ashamed of who I am.

But maybe if I keep trying to put myself in their shoes, one day, they'll also try to put themselves in mine.

14 June 2011

"You're So..."

I feel the need to rant.  And this felt like the perfect place to do it.

I admit that I am a sensitive person.  I always have been.  And maybe this rant is a result of me being overly sensitive.  I've thought about it and tried to convince myself that it isn't a big deal, or at least, there's no point in making it a big deal because it won't do any good.  And I've told myself that I should let it go.  But I'm still bothered by it, which means that it isn't just something I need to let go and get over.

So I would just like everyone to know that I am not now, nor have I ever been stupid, lame, or not worth it.  I really try my best to not be unpleasant or to resemble something completely unfortunate.  And I am really sick and tired lately of social slang implying that I am anything less than a fortunate, happy, lovable human being.

Yes, I am referring to the ever popular and ever homophobic "that's so gay" statement.  Or anything like unto it.

I get that it happens.  I get that this small blog posting will not make waves and change this really ignorant behavior.  And I get that it makes you sound "cool" or "macho" or "in."  But it also makes you sound like an intolerant jerk in my opinion, ESPECIALLY when you call yourself my friend.  That makes it really difficult to brush it off and not take it personal.

I am somebody.  I didn't always think I was important or that my feelings mattered one bit compared to everyone else's.  But that has changed.  And the fact that this has me so upset could be considered a good sign as far as my opinion of myself goes.  It means that I care enough about myself to get offended and get upset, to say something and not let it walk all over me, to put something out there publicly that says I'm not okay with it.

That's right, I'm not okay with it.

I know that you have the right to have your opinions and to say what you want based on said opinions.  Freedom of speech.  But as much as the government wants to deny me, I have rights too.  I have the right to disagree with your opinion.  I have the right to state my own.  And I have the right to tell you to go to hell if you're not treating me the way I expect a friend would.

So take your "that's so gay" and your other thoughtless comments that I won't mention here (which have me more upset that your "that's so gay" affection), take your hypocrisy and your self-righteousness, and be gone.  I don't need you.  I am important, I am lovable, I matter for crying out loud, and I have good, honest friends who treat me that way.

---End Rant---

10 June 2011

Great Expectations

I feel like I'm in a weird place lately when it comes to blogging.  I haven't been blogging very much, haven't really felt like blogging lately.  It's not that I don't want to.  But I feel like there's something in me that is stopping me from sitting down and taking the time to punch out a post.  So I'm going to try something here that might be a little different than what I normally do.  I haven't really thought about this post very much.  I'm just going to spill a little bit and write as it comes to me.  If it happens to be fragmented and strange, oh well.

Sometimes I feel like I don't have a lot of freedom on my blogs.  I know that some readers of this blog are people who have known me for years out in the "real world" and sometimes that scares me.  Sometimes that hinders what I would like to say.  I find that I am censoring myself.

But more than that, I find that the expectations I have for myself bring me to not write things that I probably could.  I want to write something profound, something that can bring people into my experiences, something that can help others if they need it.  I want to learn from what I share because I know that when I stand next to it and look at it in a real, raw sort of way, it makes more sense to me.

But I don't always have something brilliant and profound to share.

Some of the people I work with have recently started blogging.  I've been reading their posts and I love the feel of it.  They just write.  They take their thoughts, no matter what they are, and they aren't afraid to put them out there.  It doesn't matter what someone else says or comments about.  It's their blog and they say what they want because it's their space to say what they want.  And I admire them for that.  It seems like they don't have restrictions.

But that's because they don't give themselves the restrictions.

I'm really good at putting up walls and barriers and building myself a nice little nest of nothingness.  All it does is keep me in one spot, doesn't let me see the scenery or open up and explore the world around me.  I get scared, I get nervous, I get anxious, and I let that be bigger than what I really want.  I'm working on it.  And I'm getting better.  But it's a conscious effort, and sometimes I get tired.

Knowing is half the battle though.

So I think I'm moving into a different place when it comes to this blog.  I make no promises, but I'd like to try and come back to the blogging world.  I want to find that freedom that I think I used to have.  I want it to feel real again, instead of just a product of what I'm "expected" to write.  That's what school is for.

The only expectations that should worry me are my own.  And I'd like to try giving myself a bit of a break.  It is summer vacation, after all.

My name is Amy, and this is my blog.  I'm going to make it mine again.

05 June 2011

Make Your Own PFLAG

My mom's family has a saying that is near and dear to our hearts:

Family Is Where It's At.

Being raised in an LDS home, this probably doesn't sound surprising.  It's like a theme built upon another established theme, perhaps you've heard it once or twice:

Families Are Forever.

So when you hear about gay youth being kicked out of their homes for being gay, or when families turn their backs on their brother, son, daughter, cousin, aunt, uncle, sister when they come out, it's heartbreaking.  I guess there's an hidden asterisks attached: families are forever, unless of course, one of them is gay.  I can speak from experience when I say that even the thought of losing your family is a terrifying agony.  So many people delay coming out to their family because even the possibility of being utterly rejected is too real, and should it actually become reality, it would be horribly devastating.

My own family has been more amazing than I probably give them credit for.  I know they struggle.  I know that where I am now was never in the grand plans that my parents had for me.  But all in all, they still love me.  My parents haven't abandoned me.  My sisters still want to see me.  I still get to be an aunt to my nieces and nephew, and a chew toy for the nephew-dog.

I know I'm lucky.  I have a family who tries.  They don't understand it, I know they don't.  But they try.

For all their awesomeness though, they will probably always be separate from the parts of my life that lead me to Pride.  I would be willing to bet that neither you nor I will catch them marching in a Pride Parade.  They've probably never heard of PFLAG.  I wonder if they'd ever really be "proud of my daughter and her wife," like one of the signs in the parade today proclaimed.

In the Pride Parade, the PFLAG group always makes me cry.  The signs they make, the smiles they wear, the honest love they express...it's beautiful.  But it's also difficult to watch.  It makes me cry.

But as I walked the Festival with my girlfriend and our straight friends who were with us, I realized that I do have my own PFLAG.  Maybe my parents aren't members, maybe my sisters aren't, but maybe they will be one day.  Until then, I've got some really amazing friends who love and support me no matter what.  My awesome friend Greg said to me today, "as long as you're happy, I'm happy."  And our other friends feel the same way.  I know they've got my back.  And that's a great feeling.

PFLAG is an organization that is built upon themes much like the ones mentioned in the beginning of this post.  They seem to understand that family is where it's at, and no one is any less important because of where their life takes them.  I can definitely get on board with people like that.

So thanks to the people that are my PFLAG.  Your support means more than you know.  Your love and friendship help to get me through the cloudy days, and help me smile more on the sunny days.  You are my family too.

Indeed, family is where it's at.  And I am so lucky to have mine.

03 June 2011


What is success?

Success: favorable outcome
Succeed: attain a desired object or end

You can look "success" up in the dictionary and it will give you a definition.  But what success truly might mean to you is not something you can find in a book.  The words of Merriam-Webster won't describe what success will look like in universal terms.

Here in this community, there are many different versions of success.  For some, their favorable outcome is to stay active in the LDS Church.  Embracing religion and living it with all their mind, body, and soul gives them that feeling of succeeding.  For others, success could be rising above the religion of their youth and embracing themselves.  For others, it's finding a balance that they can be happy with.

But that's the point.  Success is about finding an outcome that you can be happy with.

I don't live your life and you don't live mine.  That will never change.  You get one life and you can't live anyone else's.

My success has been in overcoming.  There were nights where I didn't want to live to see the dawn.  My success has been to put that misery behind me and embrace the happiness that comes from being true to myself.  My success has been to take the weight of Pretending off my shoulders.  My success has been to find a deeper level of spirituality than I ever found within the four walls of a church building.  My success has been to allow myself to love someone and truly learn what "unconditionally" means.

My success is to give myself the opportunity to be a work in progress.

No matter who you are, I know you have success too.  What does it look like for you?