June 29, 2007

Shared Thoughts

I read this over at TJ's blog (who got it from here) and thought "how appropriate" to end Pride Month with a collection of thoughts from our gay brothers and sisters. I've read the entries several times and have found more than a handful that apply or have applied to me. I know it's long, but take the time to read through them, especially if you are NOT gay!
Imagine you have a deep dark secret. It can be anything, it doesn't matter. Now imagine that if you told people this secret you would be ridiculed, hated, looked at like you are a freak. Imagine how badly you want to tell someone your secret. Imagine your fear of a persons reaction if you tell them your secret. Imagine you tell someone the secret, but it leaks out and soon everyone knows. Imagine people whispering and pointing at you as you walk down the hall. Imagine people staring at you as if your a freak, as if there is something wrong with you. Imagine people throwing their lunches at you or spitting on you as you walk across the courtyard at lunch. Imagine people taunting you with names that hurt you like a bullet.
Now open your eyes. Gays go through this every day. We don’t have to imagine. For us, its reality.
I’m a bi who wishes she was straight because i’m sick of hiding, sick of the heartache and i’m tired of not knowing what will happen what friends i’ll lose next what words i’ll let slip and what questions i have to avoid answering.
I am the boy who never finished high school, because I got called a fag everyday.
I am the girl kicked out of her home because I confided in my mother that I am a lesbian.
I am the prostitute working the streets because nobody will hire a transsexual woman.
I am the sister who holds her gay brother tight through the painful, tear-filled nights.
We are the parents who buried our daughter long before her time.
I am the man who died alone in the hospital because they would not let my partner of twenty-seven years into the room.
I am the gay teenager who cant tell his school who he really is, because he is afraid of what they will do to him.
I am the gay athlete who wants to use the locker room, but hears the ridicule of homosexuality just outside the door.
I am the gay friend that only has a few people who actually care, but hardly get to see.
I am the gay boy that wants to cry when he hears fag, gay, or homo in a way that makes me feel less human.
I am the foster child who wakes up with nightmares of being taken away from the two fathers who are the only loving family I have ever had… I wish they could adopt me.
I am not one of the lucky ones. I killed myself just weeks before graduating high school. It was simply too much to bear.
I’m the girl who was scoffed at by her teacher when she confided in her she might have a crush on a girl.
We are the couple who had the realtor hang up on us when she found out we wanted to rent a one-bedroom for two men.
I am the person who never knows which bathroom I should use if I want to avoid getting the management called on me.
I am the mother who is not allowed to even visit the children I bore, nursed, and raised. The court says I am an unfit mother because I now live with another woman.
I am the girl who hides under lies just to feel that she belongs.
I am the girl that lost her two best friends because they were gay as well.
I am the girl that spent heart breaking nights holding her gay cousin until he cried himself to sleep.
I am the girl who lost her best friend because she found out she had a crush on her.
I am the kid whose own parents told her that she was going to hell.
I am the girl who gets in trouble with her parents for wearing a rainbow colored belt and hanging a poster of Freddie Mercury on her wall.
I am the domestic-violence survivor who found the support system grow suddenly cold and distant when they found out my abusive partner is also a woman.
I am the domestic-violence survivor who has no support system to turn to because I am male.
I am the father who has never hugged his son because I grew up afraid to show affection to other men.
I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didn’t have to always deal with society hating me.
I am the home-economics teacher who always wanted to teach gym until someone told me that only lesbians do that.
I am the woman who died when the EMT’s stopped treating me as soon as they realized I was transsexual.
I am the person who feels guilty because I think I could be a much better person if I didn’t have to always deal with society hating me.
I am the man who stopped attending church, not because I don’t believe, but because they closed their doors to my kind.
I am the person who has to hide what this world needs most… LOVE!
I am the person ashamed to tell my own friends that I am a lesbian, because they constantly make fun of them.
I am the boy tied to a fence, beaten to a bloody pulp and left to die because two straight men wanted to “teach me a lesson”.
Over and "Out" from Toano, VA.

June 19, 2007

While I was OUT

The Outer Banks, specifically Corolla, were/was awesome... We arrived Sunday the 10th at around 4:00pm, after stopping by the new store to see the progress, get an update, and pick up our digital camera (I had left it in my desk when we were asked to leave so hastily). This is what greeted us in Corolla:

The house was beautiful and just down the street from the beach. The Corolla Lighthouse can be seen in the background on the right...

I'm not sure if any of you have heard the Joan Rivers bit, where she talks about "Beach People" and "Pool People", well I am most definitely a "Pool Person" (perhaps a result of spending most of my childhood around the ocean, bathing in salt water, washing dishes in salt water, etc... on the boats I grew up on). Here's another reason being a "Pool Person" for the week was not necessarily a bad thing:

We only had one day without sun, which we used to explore the shops and other sights in Corolla and nearby Duck.

At times it was hard to believe there were 14 other people staying here with us. We had a great group, including Jim's brother's family, and other friends from the Pittsburgh area. The only time we were all pretty much together was for the meals. Oh... the meals were grand! Rather than dining out, we opted to prepare almost all of them at home. Jim and I made a Costco run the week before and picked up steaks, burgers, chicken, and pork for the many grilling nights we had. The rest of the "fixins" were picked up at the local Food Lion. I think I gained about 5 pounds over the week....

And now it's back to the grind for both of us... The new store opened last week while I was away and had their Grand Opening this past weekend. I am looking forward to going in to work today, even though I wouldn't mind another day lounging in the sun. I did manage to finally get some color on my lily white body... The picture below is of Jim (3rd from right), his brother's family, and me, right before leaving:

That's it for now... Over and "Out" from Toano, VA
(Oh, and happy belated Father's Day too)!

June 9, 2007

9.000 Visits

Just a note to thank you all for visiting, reading, and coming back to the trials and tribulations of "My New Life". I hit 9,000 on my sitemeter on June 9, 2007!

Not Quite Ready

Well, it didn't happen... We were originally supposed to open the new store up on 6/7... That got changed to 6/9 (today) and now it looks like it will open while I am on vacation down in Corolla (the Outer Banks) possibly on Wednesday. All through no fault of our own.
The contractor handling the demolition and reconstruction of the building apparently neglected to get the permit to install the fire system. They did the work thinking the permit had been pulled and then realized it hadn't, and when the city came for a periodic inspection, the inspector had a cow when he found out... That was just part of the delay... The Value City set-up crew (including the new store's management team) started taking trailers of floor samples on Friday of last week, all through the weekend and all week long, with the last delivery yesterday. The entire floor is set up, tagged and accessorized, and ready for opening... But there are too many things unfinished with the building.
By Thursday, the contractor was starting to sweat... The new store management was asked to leave the building until completion. I guess the contractor felt the pressure and didn't want any conflicting directions being communicated to his people... I had been working 14 days straight by then, so I welcomed the down time.
Yesterday afternoon I received the call that we would not be opening today. I really wanted to be a part of the "Hoop-La" on grand opening day, but guess I will miss it... It will all be there when I get back next Sunday...
I am hoping we have wireless service in the house down on the beach, if so I will post with some pictures of the beach, pool, and parties!!
Over and "Out" for now, from Toano, VA

June 1, 2007

2007 Pride Challenge

This photo is from my friend Kelly Stern's blog. He took the picture and, like last year, asks everyone to pass it around in hopes of spreading the idea of diversity.
"It may not be as pretty as last years" says Kelly on his website, "but it is more of the point I am trying to make. This is a rainbow created by different forces in nature (a little sunshine, water and wind). Last year there were over 100 of you who participated in my challenge and this year I want more. As I find the picture on sites, I will link to that site".
"This challenge is not just about being accepted as a gay man, but it is about societies around the world learning to accept people for being themselves... diversity. Gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, skinny or fat... we need to be a little more accepting these days. The world is a mean place, let's work to make it a little nicer by showing this colorful rainbow that formed thanks to the right angle of the sun and a slight breeze across the pond. Mother natures way of saying she approves of this challenge... shouldn't we all".
Happy Pride Month 2007!
Over and "Out" from Toano, VA