Friday, May 16, 2008

A Victory For Rational People...And Their Constitution

Like most rational people, I am elated that the state of California actually read their constitution and concluded that banning same sex marriage is, indeed, unconstitutional. California becomes only the second state in the union (Massachusetts) to actually deliver on the promise of America, that we are all created equal.

But, oh boy, have the critics come out...no pun intended.

I watched Washington Journal this morning on CSPAN, where one of the guests was Lara Schwartz, Legal Director of the Human Rights Campaign.

I think she did outstanding, especially listening to the ridiculous comments of some of the callers.

One caller said that gays and lesbians cannot continue their bloodline through biological children. Read: Adoptive children are less than biological children.

Another caller said, "This opens up for a father to marry his daughter, because they looooooovvvve each other."

I give Ms. Schwartz a lot of credit. It's not easy to be bombarded with such obvious ignorance and still maintain a sense of professionalism. No way I could have.

I love Ms. Schwartz's responses. Quoting a Law professor Jamie Raskin in response to a Bible-thumping Senator: "Senator, when you took your oath of office, you placed your hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution. You did not place your hand on the Constitution and swear to uphold the Bible."

As Mastercard would say...Priceless

I applaud all of you who kept fighting for your rights. Hopefully, one day, a family can stay a family no matter which state line they cross.

Friday, May 9, 2008

What's Eating You?

Most addicts can pinpoint the day they found their drug of choice.
I came out of my mother knowing mine.
She said she had to stop breastfeeding me because I always wanted to eat. Everytime I look at her and her size As, I feel guilty.
This is about my eating.
I’ve stolen money to eat. I’ve stolen food to eat.
I’ve read almost every about overeating. I overeat because I was abuse. I overeat because I have a chemical addiction. I overeat because I didn’t get enough hugs. I’m waiting for the book that says I overeat because I love food!
Eating is a very sexual experience.

If there is any doubt whether my eating is a true addiction, this puts it to rest: I know when the fear of death from overeating isn’t strong enough for me to stop overeating, I know I am addicted. It’s not like alcohol or drugs. I cannot live without food. If, at the end of the day, I tell my boss I’m going home and drinking a six-pack, eyes will be raised. But if I say I’m going home to eat some pizza, no questions will be asked, not unless the question of toppings comes up.
My mom gave me money for my Brownie troop. I spent it on extra pizza at lunch.

She told me my guilt got the best of me, and I came forward and confessed. Apparently, I don’t remember.

I often wish something horrendous happened that caused my eating to be addicting. At least I’d have a starting point. I then could start therapy at that point in history and work backwards. But where there is no beginning, I’m afraid there won’t be an end.

Aisles upon aisles of shelves in Border’s are full of The Only Diet Book You’ll Ever Need. It’s ironic, really.

I know my eating is out of control when even the fear or threat of death is not strong enough to keep me from overeating. I know diabetes is rampant, and 1 in 2 people will develop cardiovascular disease—all conditions that can be prevented or at least managed with a healthy diet. But I know I’m addicted because the pain of not overeating, not stuffing myself is much greater than anything death can do to me.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Semantics

Even the word obese sounds fat. The first letter, O, looks like a fat person, so large she needs to lean to stand. There are only two syllables, yet the word itself makes a fat sound. Sounding the long O, you could be saying, “Oh my God, look how fat she is.” The bese rhymes with grease, and sounds like beast. Is that what I am? A greasy beast?

Spiral

I don’t want to stand here. An hour ago, I was in class hyperventilating because I had to stand here. My prof was cool, though. I told her about standing here, and she let me give my speech while in class. I talked, but I kept losing my breath, as if I just ran a mile across campus and attempted to relate my trip.
When I finished, the shame I kept denying for years came out. I prayed I was dreaming. But my classmates were in awe. And only one guy chuckled when I said blowjob. Still, I wanted to run down the hall and cover my ears with my hands and scream “la la la la la la la la,” drowning the voices in my head admonishing me, “How dare you say such things?”
I am in an altered state. I probably won’t remember what I say here. I’m scared. I learned in Women’s Studies, though, it’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to feel fear and anger and shame and all that other crap we’re taught to stuff down and deny.
For a long time, I couldn’t be angry. I didn’t know how. I didn’t get angry when my neighbor rubbed my leg and asked me for a blowjob. Instead, I would jump off the school bus, run up my yard, plow through the front door, and drop the cinderblock I carried on my back all day. I would grab the blue Tupperware dish of Kraft from my mom, and sit down cross-legged to watch Kate & Allie.
I would sing along with the theme song. Just when you think you’re alone, you’re not. Sometimes I didn’t finish with the song, though. I was already chewing the pasta, sucking the lumpy cheese of the rotini macaroni. I would fantasize about living either with Kate McCardle or Allie Lowell. They were the major characters in their lives. They took care of themselves, each other. If there was a problem, they solved it themselves. The men in their lives were minor characters. Extras sans an opening credit.
Most of the time, I would be waving my right hand in front of my mouth. A pathetic attempt to cool the cheese and macaroni I shoveled in.
There’s a science to making macaroni and cheese. Boiling water and adding macaroni, pretty basic. But adding the powder, that’s where you can experiment. If you want the cheese to be dry, just mix it slightly with the pasta. But by adding milk, not only do you have cheesy noodles, but you can also slurp the orange milk after the pasta has long left your throat, much like you can with the chocomilk remnants of a bowl of Cocoa Puffs.
I learned to be angry. Papers lined the wall of our Women’s Studies class, our first academic experience with sexism. Discrimination. As I crossed the room, and I continued to read, I found anger. My anger. My friend I parted with years ago because she wasn’t accepted in my house. My world.
When my paper was read, something glorious happened.
Nothing.
No rolling eyes.
No rationalizations.
This stuff just never happened before the nineties.


All kids go through it.
Just ignore him. He’ll stop.
Should I add milk this time?
Women’s Studies found my friend. Reunited. And it feels so good.
And we’ve made a pact never to split again.
It’s a way of life. Standing up for one’s self, speaking out for the voiceless, it all seems so basic, so instinctual, it’s amazing we need to reminded of such things.
I can now look in the mirror and not shudder when I see myself.
My life has become unmanageable.
And I admit that I am powerless over food.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Who Am I? Rhetorical, of course

Who am I? Who do I want to be? I want to be a man, a simple man. A man who works with his hands. A man who wants to kiss the ground the woman he loves walks on. That’s who I am. I want to be a man.

I have too much. Hollow me out. Take my eggs. I don’t need them for my purposes.
I am not gay. I am a man.
Put my eggs in another’s basket.

I am a man. A simple man.

I read books, and most of them make no sense to me. I don’t feel human. Is that a human trait? Not feeling human? My breasts hide me. They protect me from harassment in the restroom.

My own private bodyguards.

I read fiction, and its like I am reading about people from another planet. My eggs are expiring. I feel bad for them. They are here for a purpose. Just not my purpose.

What is my truth? My truth is I am a transgendered American.
Where is my history? Where is my God?
Where is my transgendered God?

All these people through history writing. I’m not good enough for that. Sure I write down what’s on my mind…but these people made history. Who am I? I am almost 30. Leaving grad school because I’m not happy. I want to be a man. I want to work with my hands. That is my truth. I read…no, I scan through these books at Border’s about people who’ve been in war-torn countries or who’ve been through tremendous ordeals. Who am I to write my story? Who will read it? Who will care? They will find out I am an imposter. “Here is this nobody pretending s/he is a somebody. What a fool.”
“What a freak.”

I am a nobody. Just a statistic in the Census. Not even a percentage. Not important enough to even beat the margin of error.

I wonder lots of times if I am human. Sure, I have the physiology of a human. But is that all it is? I have empathy. I care. But I read about things, and they seem so foreign to me. I am not a writer. I am an imposter. I am wearing a costume. Why did I pick a fat woman’s suit? Must have been on sale.

I feel hollow inside, like I have nothing to offer. Except my expiring eggs.
My eggs are cracking up. I don’t want the eggs. But I want the basket.
I am a fool.

I have to sum up my life experience. What is my personal truth? I am a man stuck. A man stuck. That would make a great title.
How can I express who I am? What metaphors or images can I bring? I feel like I am at a permanent Halloween party. I don’t know anyone else in his costume. My costume is so unlike me. Big breasts. A vagina. A round belly. Where did I get this costume? Were we supposed to come as opposites to our soul? Where is my penis? Did I lose it somewhere between here and home? I must have.
What the fuck? I must be crazy. What else would a crazy person say…

Who am I to think I can be a writer? Who am I to think that someone in his or her right mind would waste time reading this shit when they could be actually taking a shit?

What is your personal truth?

Short memoir of a social phobic

On the morning of my high school graduation, I tried driving my parent’s blue station wagon into an oak tree six times. It was a day I was dreading for years. For most people, graduation’s a day for celebration, a congratulatory gesture of a job well done.
It’s a day that everyone who’s ever been in high school looks forward to.
For me, it would be the day I vomit in front of at least 2,000 people, including 150 of my classmates.
That image coursed through my brain at least a thousand times during my senior year.
The only time I mentioned it was to a psychotherapist, two months before graduation. My doctor put me on Buspar, and he wanted me to see a therapist so I could learn coping skills. I was also desperate to stop the obsessive thoughts.
The therapist worked in my doctor’s building. His name was John. He wore bifocals and those argyle sweaters therapists often wear.
“Have you ever vomited in public?” he asked as he rocked on his faux leather chair. His grin revealed yellow teeth.
I nodded side to side while I stared at a plastic plant against beige walls. I tucked my hands under my thighs.
“Have you ever tried?” he said. Still rocking. Still grinning. Only this time, his hands lay folded in his lap.
Before his question leaped across my neuron synapses, he interjected.
“My son and I still laugh about the time we were at a McDonald’s and he threw up all over our table,” he snickered. “You need to throw up in front of a group of people, and you will see there’s nothing to be afraid of. Then you won’t worry about it,” he said.
For weeks leading up to graduation, I thought of any excuse to avoid the ceremony.
I begged my mom to let me to skip it. “It isn’t that important, anyway,” I’d say. “All that matters is my diploma.”
My mom, who lived life as a housebound agoraphobic, chastised me for not wanting to go.
“You’re gonna go,” she said. “I don’t know why you’re acting this way. We’ll videotape it so you can watch it over and over again. It’ll be fun.”
The thought of vomiting in front of all those people—parents, teachers, and classmates—tortured me. And it would be videotaped.
Although I always dreaded the ceremony, vomiting didn’t occur to me until the previous November.
As a stood at my locker one morning, a rush of nausea assaulted the back of my throat, teasing my gag reflex. My uvula quivered. I sprinted to the nurse’s office, and I was sent home. I figured I’d sleep it off.
The gagging continued. As the months passed, the sensation got worse. I quit my job as a CVS cashier because I kept heaving in front of the customers.
I chugged Maalox. I visited gastroenterologists. Tests showed nothing.
The gagging forced me to leave school for a month. Not only was it worsening, but I now feared leaving my house as well. I imagined vomiting in the grocery store. Or the post office. Or the neighbor’s house.
Two teachers dropped by each week delivering my homework. I hid in my room, fearing I would vomit in front of them.
After four weeks, though, I needed to return to school.
For those without social phobia, the idea of vomiting in front of people seems silly. And rationally, I know it is. Many people have had the unfortunate luck of vomiting in front of others, and they can laugh it off.
But for those of us with social phobias, we know the fears of being humiliated, of being embarrassed. Some of us can’t sign our names in public, for fear of others seeing our trembling hands. Some of us dread making left-hand turns on the road. We fear the scrutiny of those behind us, imagining their impatience and frustration. Some of us can’t use public restrooms. And for those of us who can, we hold in our urge because we don’t want others hearing the sounds our bodies make. The sound of our own urination or defecation is shaming.
In fact, the fears strike us deep down in our core. It’s an assault on our sense of being. It hits us in our solar plexus. Sometimes it’s so intense, we lose our identity. The shame becomes us.
Graduation came. I didn’t vomit. Oddly, the ceremony bored me. But the gagging and obsessive thoughts continued. I couldn’t start college because I couldn’t stop gagging when I packed to leave for the dorm.
I couldn’t go to my father’s funeral because I couldn’t stop retching.
I couldn’t work.
One particular day in October after I graduate, I swallowed six Xanax. I didn’t want to die. I wanted the thoughts to stop. And for those eight hours of unconsciousness, they did.
The hospital, while the safest place to be, didn’t really help. But that’s probably my fault. I was too ashamed to mention my secret fear, so I couldn’t be honest with the doctors. They prescribed different meds, but none of them helped. I left the hospital. I figured I’d live with the anguish. Plus, I had stayed about 3 weeks, and my mom’s insurance wouldn’t cover any more.
After leaving the hospital, I decided to work on my education again. I signed up for a math course at Penn State. But because I feared vomiting in College Algebra, I dropped the class.
The next semester, I earned six credits by distance studying and some very understanding professors. I couldn’t take the rest of my classes through distance learning, however. I had to withdraw from the college.
After a few years, my doctor prescribed an SSRI med that finally muted the obsessive thoughts and lessened my anxiety. It also relaxed my guttural unrest.
Slowly, I left the house. I started taking college-at-home courses through a community college. As time went by, and the medication started working full-strength, I began taking courses at campus.
Eventually I earned my associate’s degree, and I then transferred to a four-year college, where I earned my bachelor’s. I didn’t attend either graduation ceremony. Graduations still terrify me, even with the medicine. I lie to others, saying I just don’t care about ceremonies. I do. But the fear is still too great.
I have social phobia. And I’ve accepted it. I will never be comfortable around people. I abhor malls, carnivals, and any large gathering of people. Restaurants are hard, especially because of eating. What if I started to choke and everyone looks at me?
I graduated high school ten years ago this past June. When I look back on my senior year, I regret I couldn’t enjoy what should have been a fabulous and fun time. But I feel okay about it.
For the first time, I’m able to talk about my social anxieties and not feel ashamed.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Purpose of MyHomosexualAgenda

I created this blog so we can talk about what it means to be spiritual and gay.
But this blog welcomes everyone!

If you are straight, bisexual, gay/lesbian, transgendered, asexual...you are welcomed here.
If you are religious, spiritual, spiritual but not religious, atheist, agnostic, humanistic, Christian, Jewish...you are welcomed here.

What is not welcomed here is hate. Ignorance is welcomed, as it is the first step to gaining wisdom. What is the difference? Hate is being ignorant and not caring. Ignorance is knowing we don't know everything, but are open to learn.

My goal is to create value on this site for you, dear visitor.
Please let me know if I do.