Sunday, November 28
by Sue on Sun 28 Nov 2010 08:24 AM EST
Just when I think I'm pretty accepted in mainstream society, I get a humbling reminder of my second class citizenship.
I can't be very specific, but I was asked to hide my identity as a lesbian in a certain situation.
That never feels good. I told you when my sister-in-law asked me to take down my blog logo from Facebook b/c she was afraid her teen cousins would start asking questions. That hurt because I just don't think lesbian is a dirty word. I also don't think teens are unfamiliar with lesbians.
These little moments happen all of the time and some of them are self-imposed. Each one chips away at our comfort and should remind us that we are second-class citizens in this nation. It doesn't have to erode our confidence or self-respect, especially when we comply willingly, but it hopefully galvanizes us to take action.
I told my sister in law "no" and she unfriended me for awhile. I went on weeks/months later to begin changing my avatar anyway so it wasn't a big deal when she came back (she asked me, though!). In other scenarios, I acquiesce to keep the peace, avoid the argument or simply out of respect.
But I feel it and if possible, I try to explain that to the other person. They may not hear me or agree with me, but I give it a try. The trouble is that to most people it doesn't seem like a big deal. It seems "easy" because I simply don't need to bring it up. Until they ask me if I'm married, etc. Then I have to lie. The sticking point for me, however, is Ledcat. To deny her role in my life is hard to swallow. She's the most amazing woman of all time and I want to sing to the heavens about the fact that she loves me. So that's really tough.
The other tough thing is acquiescing to the words "lesbian" or "gay" being negative.
I'm a public person. I'm coming up on five years of blogging, three years of tweeting and so forth. Being a lesbian is a very prominent part of my identity. I can play straight if necessary and there are times I'll sacrifice for what I define as a greater good.
The request was reasonable and I understood the rational. I just wish it weren't necessary. I wish things were further along. I think that's something Democrats need to understand ... these quiet moments of discrimination are directly tied to the public messages surrounding the gay community. If we don't have heroes outside of Hollywood and Broadway ... we just continue to sit in the corner and wait for our turn.
At least, we used to until brave men and women repeatedly chained themselves to the White House fence. If nothing else, they gave us real heroes -- active heroes -- to remind us that we can offset these little moments if we are brave, too.
by Sue on Sun 28 Nov 2010 07:47 AM EST
The PG has the story.
We are all waiting for the Defense Department report on Tuesday regarding the repeal of DADT. Recent court decisions and increasing pressure from the LGBT community that President Obama keep his promise to repeal have spurred our legislators to repeal under their own terms, instead of judicial terms.
Good? Bad? We'll see, but one can only admire how this issue has galvanized the community. We are no longer merely Gay, Inc sitting on the sidelines shoveling out the cash in exchange for empty promises. Activism is en vogue, at least on a national level.
Stay tuned ... this week could be very telling.
Friday, November 26
by Sue on Fri 26 Nov 2010 09:35 AM EST
Complacency about HIV and AIDS will prove deadly.
Wednesday December 1 is World AIDS Day and Pittsburgh groups are banding together to ensure the region does not take a sigh of relief on this issue. People are still dying. People are living with medical advancements, but face barriers to the lives we take for granted. People are engaging in risky behavior because of stigmas, stereotypes, and social pressure.
One interesting event is the film screening of TAPOLOGO by New Voices Pittsburgh.
Here's a message from PERSAD Executive Director, Betty Hill. She speaks to the issue with eloquence ...
Here's a list of other local activities.
Press Conference with Mayor Luke Ravenstahl
Wednesday ? December 1, 2010 ? 11am-1pm
Rivers Club, One-Oxford Centre
Starts at CMU, down
23rd Annual World AIDS Day Memorial Service
Wednesday ? December 1, 2010 ? 7pm
Heinz Memorial Chapel
See you might expect me to make a comment about Luke's participation. I think he should be doing things like this more frequently. I can't attend because I have 8 million work meetings this week, but I'm glad so many groups are coalescing around this moment in the holiday calendar, this moment to remember. For those of us who don't remember, we need to stop and realize what is happening around us today.
by Sue on Fri 26 Nov 2010 09:05 AM EST
Our Thanksgiving is pretty nice. We all have small families so we all gather together (my parents, Ledcat's mother, her brother and his family, our sister-in-law's mother) wherever dinner might be. This year, we headed north to Mercer County.
There's no real huge lesbian element to the holiday. We've been together for 7 years so no drama about us related to being gay.
Except ... we are interchangeable aunts and I bet most heterosexual couples can't say that. When our niece was younger (she's almost 5 now), she would confuse our names but we just rolled with it. If she's looking at you, she's talking to you sort of thing. Yesterday, Jack (two and a half) called us both Aunt Sue for awhile until he switched to Aunt Sue and Aunt Yaya (his way of saying Ledcat) which cracked us up. It doesn't matter in the least because we love them to pieces. I got another chuckle when Ava said "Miss Aunt Sue" because she's so used to calling adult women Miss Something. I guess from the perspective of a child "Aunt" is part of your name, not a title.
A close friend told me her six year old recently asked what being partners meant, referencing us whom she's known since birth. Amy told her what it meant and she had no trouble grasping the concept, but wanted to know if we were going to get married (you know 6 year old and brides -- here was a chance to have 2 of us). Amy explained that we couldn't get married because of the law. Her daughter thought about that and pronounced it "stupid." She's not allowed to use that word, but this one time Amy said "yes, it is stupid." How about that? That's a future voter, Joe Markosek. Watch out.
So we came home and watched tv for a few hours, then we went to bed feeling very thankful for so many things. Especially for being aunties. Now I've got to go on ebay and order stickers.
Monday, November 22
by Sue on Mon 22 Nov 2010 09:59 PM EST
I'm going back to anonymous comments because it is a bit cumbersome to register and post a comment.
Let's try to act with some maturity. You can still use your real name. There are two or three people who post repeatedly and it is obvious who they are. Don't ruin it for everyone. Say what you will, but if you are going to go to the hatefest, have the decency to put your name on the comment.
Plus, when those offers of free trials + prizes for readers come in ... if you are anonymous, it won't work!
Come on, Dozen Bakeshop, ... now is the time to get a glorious pre-xmas review. :-)
by Sue on Mon 22 Nov 2010 09:54 PM EST
It really sucks when someone bluntly tells you that you aren't part of the group. I had this happen yesterday when someone didn't like a piece I wrote and told me that I was not part of their group because I didn't participate enough, nothing personal. Ha.
That person clearly doesn't read my blog, because I write about "their" issues quite a bit. I promote their specific group as well as the larger issues. I ferret out pertinent legislation and advocacy information which I then pass along. I try to stay on top of these issues, even when they aren't sexy enough to hit the radar of the advocacy groups. I participate in blog swarms on their issues because I believe in them and I believe they are undervalued in our community.
I do my part and I resent being isolated because I'm a non-traditional member.
Guess what? If we want the mainstream heteronormative society to accept "us" then we need to do a better job accepting each other.
I'm waiting for the apology.
Sunday, November 21
by Sue on Sun 21 Nov 2010 08:25 PM EST
Thanks for 92.9 and 100.7 for making sure this hits the airwaves during most of morning commutes. :-)
by Sue on Sun 21 Nov 2010 04:54 PM EST
Bram was sharing his Sonoma Grill adventures (restaurant review in return for a gift card to raffle off to readers).
It occurs to me that I am really ripe for some opportunities to burst the illusion of noble blogger. Beyond lesbianism, I've lost nearly 50 pounds in 8 months. Think of all the opportunities ...
So, I will sell my blogger street cred to find a good sports bra or nutritious cupcake. Just putting it out there.
That's not a bad deal, is it? Just contact me sue @ sitnscoop.com and let's get the sell out started ...
by Sue on Sun 21 Nov 2010 02:52 PM EST
Just had coffee with Bram from The Pittsburgh Comet. It was nice to stretch blogging and political muscles that have been a little cramped lately.
So, the diet and exercise regimen continues. I am closing in on the 50 lb mark which is pretty awesome. That is not my final goal, but I certainly intend to savor it as much as possible.
I'm still having a massive clothing struggle. I'm firmly between sizes so even the thrift store wasn't much help. I'm just going to have to alternate skirts with looking frumpy for awhile. Annoying. But a good problem to have.
Sparkpeople.com is a wonderful tool. I was offline for a few days, but I was able to make mostly good choices even without consulting my nutrition tracker. I wrote everything down and when I plugged it in, got high marks so I feel a little more confident that I'll keep this up even after I lose all the weight. I say that now. We'll see a year from now.
Otherwise, life has just been busy. I haven't even kept up with the local section in the paper which is appalling. In fact, i'm going to wrap this up and go read the Sunday paper so I can start being interesting again instead of just obsessing about how much a cup of fruit salad looks like in a take out container. See what I mean?
Sunday, November 7
by Sue on Sun 07 Nov 2010 11:32 AM EST
The PG has a good piece on the spread of poverty into the suburbs.
A critical issue is getting the word out to folks that there are programs to help them now, not after their straights are even more dire.
In significant LGBT news, Gene Robinson, the first only gay Episcopal Bishop will retire in 2013.
One can only imagine the toll this has taken on everyone. While the world has not ended, hate mongerers like Archbishop Peter Akinola and Pittsburgh's own Bishop Duncan have used this to enhance their power and status at what appears to be great cost to the very people they profess to serve. How sad.
No excerpts because it makes my head spin.
I haven't heard a lot from the local LGBT politicos since they were thrashed last week. We were thrashed, I should say, because I was in that mix.
Ah well ... I did read today that Senator-Elect Toomey is going to align with the Tea Party. I believe Jason Altmore and Mark Critz are financing 2012 with Nancy Pelosi pin cushion dolls (not endorsed by Christine ODonnell).
Sigh. I'm going for a walk.