Saturday, July 18, 2009
Life has been nothing short of one event after the other.
I need to rest but this is spinet to let you know that I will be back soon to give a more through update about life, love and the trials of R.Q Kidd.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Do not lose heart. We were made for these times.
I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now. It is true, one has to have strong cojones and ovarios to withstand much of what passes for "good" in our culture today. Abject disregard of what the soul finds most precious and irreplaceable and the corruption of principled ideals have become, in some large societal arenas, "the new normal," the grotesquerie of the week. It is hard to say which one of the current egregious matters has rocked people's worlds and beliefs more. Ours is a time of almost daily jaw-dropping astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.
...You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet ... I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is — we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement. I cannot tell you often enough that we are definitely the leaders we have been waiting for, and that we have been raised since childhood for this time precisely.
...I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able crafts in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind. I would like to take your hands for a moment and assure you that you are built well for these times. Despite your stints of doubt, your frustrations in arighting all that needs change right now, or even feeling you have lost the map entirely, you are not without resource, you are not alone. Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. In your deepest bones, you have always known this is so. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.
...We have been in training for a dark time such as this, since the day we assented to come to Earth. For many decades, worldwide, souls just like us have been felled and left for dead in so many ways over and over — brought down by naiveté, by lack of love, by suddenly realizing one deadly thing or another, by not realizing something else soon enough, by being ambushed and assaulted by various cultural and personal shocks in the extreme. We have a history of being gutted, and yet remember this especially ... we have also, of necessity, perfected the knack of resurrection. Over and over again we have been the living proof that that which has been exiled, lost, or foundered — can be restored to life again. This is as true and sturdy a prognosis for the destroyed worlds around us as it was for our own once mortally wounded selves.
...Though we are not invulnerable, our risibility supports us to laugh in the face of cynics who say "fat chance," and "management before mercy," and other evidences of complete absence of soul sense. This, and our having been to Hell and back on at least one momentous occasion, makes us seasoned vessels for certain. Even if you do not feel that you are, you are. Even if your puny little ego wants to contest the enormity of your soul, that smaller self can never for long subordinate the larger Self. In matters of death and rebirth, you have surpassed the benchmarks many times. Believe the evidence of any one of your past testings and trials. Here it is: Are you still standing? The answer is, Yes! (And no adverbs like "barely" are allowed here). If you are still standing, ragged flags or no, you are able. Thus, you have passed the bar. And even raised it. You are seaworthy.
...In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. Do not make yourself ill with overwhelm. There is a tendency too to fall into being weakened by perseverating on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails. We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater? You have all the resource you need to ride any wave, to surface from any trough.
...In the language of aviators and sailors, ours is to sail forward now, all balls out. Understand the paradox: If you study the physics of a waterspout, you will see that the outer vortex whirls far more quickly than the inner one. To calm the storm means to quiet the outer layer, to cause it, by whatever countervailing means, to swirl much less, to more evenly match the velocity of the inner, far less volatile core — till whatever has been lifted into such a vicious funnel falls back to Earth, lays down, is peaceable again. One of the most important steps you can take to help calm the storm is to not allow yourself to be taken in a flurry of overwrought emotion or despair — thereby accidentally contributing to the swale and the swirl. Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts — adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take "everyone on Earth" to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.
...One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires ... causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these — to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both — are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.
...There will always be times in the midst of "success right around the corner, but as yet still unseen" when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate. The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But ... that is not what great ships are built for.
...This comes with much love and prayer that you remember who you came from, and why you came to this beautiful, needful Earth,
Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D.
Friday, April 3, 2009
The human brain is amazing. It’s a ticking time bomb of info ready to explode, Ready to take charge, Ready to blow the walls down and take over anything and anyone who gets in its way. It also is one of the most fragile parts of the human body. So can something so strong be so soft? How can something with all the power in the world break so easily? I guess that is what a compromise truly is.
Webster defines compromise as “ a settlement of differences by mutual concessions; an agreement reached by adjustment of conflicting or opposing claims, principles, etc., by reciprocal modification of demands..” I will give up being indestructible as long as I am powerful. Sometimes I wonder exactly what is going in some people’s brains. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who uses clear, logical thinking. I have also been told I am a self centered sociopath with no remorse who lives only for his hedonism and himself.
Is it so wrong to strive for justice and never compromise who you are? The word comprise does not exist in my vocabulary. This is word is foreign. At least in the understanding I have of up. See I have a problem, I have to be right. I don’t mind being wrong but if I know what someone is saying is wrong, I will fight with them because I am right. I will never compromise who I am or what I stand for the sake of justice. This revolution that we are all apart of deserves its revolutionaries to live life and work for the cause without compromising who they are. I am a queer, Christian, bear, man. Queer because to me, who I fall for does not need to have a clear black/white yes/no m/f on the gender binary. Christian because I love Jesus and believe that he is all he is meant to be and more. Bear because I am large and in charge and could easily make two wigs out of my body hair. Man, simply because it’s who I am. It’s funny that as a world community we take very little pride in who and what has made us since birth but the second we find something of our own we hang on to it as if we would die if we did not have this, identity. Identities, such weird things you are.
See I have been told that my identities clash with one another and therefore I have pick and chose. Compromise like the brain does. I have told I have to comprise by Christian identity because I am queer, my queer identity because I am a bear and my male identity because I am queer. It all comes back to who and what I do in the bedroom. Why is who I sleep with such an issue? Why do people feel the need to be the self appointed sex police? Why is how I have sex anyone’s business but my partners and mine? I will tell you why, it’s because in American culture today we don’t talk about sex.
My sex education came from someone from the Ross County department of health in the 8th grade. That would have been fine and dandy, expect for the fact that it was a very hetero-normative lesson. All I heard about was what a man and woman do together. Thank God two men or two women can’t get pregnant or else I and all the other budding queer kids would be screwed. Sex education in this country has had to compromise. It has forgotten that the most recent study of adolescent youth states that there is a significant jump in youth who I identify as LGBTQ today than there was 5 years ago. So why are we not meeting the needs of the people we serve? Why continue to use the same 1980 abstinence only, safe sex if you must routine? Lucky for me I was an audacious little prick and flat out told the lady from the health department that I was gay and she needed to let me know how to be safe when I fuck. I was then asked to leave class for the rest of the period. I made my point though. I called her out on how the system had comprised and was not marginalizing a community that needed served. I called her out and was banned.
Well you know what, its time more of us get asked to leave. LGBTQ people have been around for a LONG time. Called by many different names in many different times but we have been here. It’s time we stand up, and reclaim our place in this world. Not on the side lines or behind everyone else, but right beside them. That is what not compromising is all about.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Just for the record, yes I am still alive. I know I have been quiet for a little while. However the LGBTQ circle has not. With Ted Haggard doing his public appearance, Jermaine Jakes, son of T.D Jakes, being busted in a gay sex sting, and life in Lynchburg with daily interactions of Liberty kids, it has been nothing short of interesting.
Life as we know it is at a point where things are constantly changing, shifting and growing. We are at a point in history where we are watching history be made. Opposing forces are more vocal than ever. The message now is "If you not with us, your against us."
To me, that mentality is detrimental to any movement. We need to rely on what's known as the "movable middle". These are the people who do not have an opinion either way. As a professor once told me "If you don't have an opinion on something, you can argue it either way." That is the movable middle. They are the ones who we can pull over to our side, or at least make them understand a little more than those who oppose us.
Life in Lynchburg is nothing short of an on going conversation. The second someone finds out about my past they want to either know more or pray for my soul. Overhearing Liberty students talking about faith and sexuality is astonishing. Hearing what they are taught is even more so.
One of my friends and colleges is a student at Liberty he told me that in a class of his that the professor said that one of the reasons LGBTQ people exist is because of abortion. Here is why. When a woman has an abortion she now has a mistrust in men and there fore becomes a lesbian. When a man has a baby he created aborted he feels like he can never please a woman and give her what she desires and therefore becomes gay.
Ummm. I am sorry but I am calling Liberty bullshit on that one.
LGBTQ people are because that is how God created us. He created us in his image and to quote my grandmother "God don't make junk."
It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that fundamentalist Christians will go to separate gay and trans people from their lives.
So my challenge to you is get to know people, all people for who they are. Because in reality we all have more in common than anything.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
My friends and I are all about holding people and organizations accountable for their actions and words. When it comes to social networking sites they are no different and when it comes to sites that allow LGBT people to be out on them I hold them in higher regard. However when a site makes light of a user's comment about a homophobic remark on their domain I feel that the social networking site needs to be held accountable for their words and actions or in this case lack there of.
eSpin, an online spin the bottle/social networking site has never said one way or another how they feel about LGBT issues but a recent comment from a user has made me question just how much they back the LGBT users on their site. When "spinning the bottle" eSpin comes up with bottle facts which are displayed at the bottom of the screen. The fact that a friend of mine got as a gay man stated "the 55 dudes who wrote the Constitution drank 152 bottles of booze at the after party (we really hope they did not play spin the bottle with the empties.)" When my friend brought this to their attention they responded with " it was only meant in good fun" and that "You don't have to be homophobic to think that an elderly Benjamin Franklin making out with George Washington is gross" I don't know about you guys, but since when,regardless of who is kissing, it okay to be homophobic on a site that has an LGBT population? I have included the messages and responses from eSpin as well as a screen shot of the bottle fact he received. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope you can help us shed some light on this folks.
One of you\'re bottle facts when \"spinning the bottle\" states
that you hope none of the men who wrote the constitution played spin the
bottle with the \"empties.\" For a website that is okay with
homosexuality and half-supports it, this sounds like a very anti-gay
statement. I have saved a picture of the screen on my computer in case I
need to email it to you, but I would be very happy if there weren\'t
comments like this on here because it sounds very anti-gay or
-We're sorry that you were offended by one of the "bottle facts" on the spin page. We assure you that it was only meant in good fun and doesn't represent any anti-gay feelings. I mean, think about it. You don't have to be homophobic to think that an elderly Benjamin Franklin making out with George Washington is gross (especially if you consider the wooden teeth). Thanks, eSPIN
- eSPIN, Excuse me, but if Ben Franklin wanted to make out with George Washington then that is thier topic of discussion not mine. It may have been meant to be "good fun" but something like that and your comment are both very offensive. I would not have a problem with Ben Franklin or George Washing making out if it was thier decision and to give you an example i know two "elderly" men who are in a happy and comitted relationship and I think it would be cute if I saw them kiss. So about the bottle fact, I hope it was removed because a few of my other friends have found it and are not happy either and to comment your example, do not tell me what is gross or not because your comment leads me to believe you have an age descrimination on making out. My concerns are meant to be taken seriously not lightly and I enjoy clean good fun as long as it is not at the expense of others.
**** UPDATE *****
You’re absolutely right. If Benjamin Franklin and George Washington want to make out with each other, it is completely their business and we should stay out of it. (Though they should probably check with Martha first.)
We’ve considered your suggestion and have decided to leave the bottle fact up. If you don’t think that eSPIN is a place where you want to hang out anymore, we regretfully understand.
Then to my regret and the regret of the friends I have spoken with we will be canceling our accounts. I hope that you may eventually see what a disgusting comment this is and I'm sure someone else will be mentioning this on a later date. Thank you for your time in assisting me but this suggestion was not done justice at all.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
It has been over two months now since the passing of Proposition 8 in California. Since then there have rallys, marches, protests, countless YouTube videos and even a musical number or two. As a member of the queer community I am proud and excited that my community is standing up and not taking this laying down and is using this loss as way to bring the community from coast to coast together. I am also pissed off that it took this to bring our community together for marriage equality.
Let's be real honest with ourselves for a second. It should not have taken Proposition 8 passing to make us angry and upset about the way our community is treated. We should have been angry and upset for years. We were not. We got comfortable with what we had. Our gay-borhoods of safety, youth centers, and the few states that protect us when it comes to work, housing and employment. For so long we,as a community have said, “You know, we will take this and will be okay with it.” We told America that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were okay with what we had and we were going to take it and be happy. Since we did that for so long people forgot that we are a people who still don't have the same rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as our heterosexual friends and family members. Since we were silent and complacent for so long that is why fundamentalist America is calling our marches and rallys “anarchy in the streets”. We should have been told we were “anarchists” all along.
It seems like since Stonewall in 1969 we, as a community, only get upset and pissed off every 10 years. Stonewall kicked us off into the 70's, in the 80's its was the HIV epidemic which took out a generation of LGBT people, the 90's were all about hate crimes and now it's marriage equality for all people. Why do we only get pissed off every ten years? Why do we only stand up for so long and then go back to the closets that mainstream America wants us in? I don't know about you but this queer man came out over years ago is not going back into ANY closet. I am sick and tired of being pushed to the wayside because as a young person, I am not the face of this movement. Well let's be real clear to the CEO's and board of directors of HRC, PFLAG, GLSEN, GLADD and all national, state and local LGBT rights organizations. It is us young, queer people who are the face, the sweat, the tears, the late nights of this movement. You think because you have been around the block you know how to run our movement. Well let be the first to say, YOUR DOING A FUCKING TERRIBLE JOB!
There comes a point in every movement when the young must take over and get shit done. Period. As young people in todays world we see things a hell of a lot differently than you do because we live and grew up TODAY and not 20 or 30 years ago. All we see in your ad campings are white people. Guess what, we have people of color all throughout our community. They are the face of this movement. The young kids who are coming out 13,14,and 15 in rural America they are the face of the movement. Trans people are the face of our movement. Stop trying to marginalize our community into your white point of view because in case you have not noticed, our community SO much bigger than that. We are EVERYTHING about America. We have it all. So let's use it tell our stories. Let's start going to communities and neighborhoods where it's hard, where we have never gone before and tell our stories. We need to stop preaching about these issues in our own community because let's face it, your preaching to the choir and we are not the ones that need to hear it. We know what we face day in and day out. We live it.
So what am I asking you to do reader of this blog? Don't get comfortable in your complacency. Stand up. Speak out. Take it to the streets. Hold yourself and those who are currently running this movement accountable for their actions and words. Ask those in charge why there are no people of color or trans people at the forefront of this movement. Do not let anyone, especially those in our own community silence you. WE, all of us, are the face of this movement and it's about damn time America sees that.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
From big campaigns to grass roots efforts all are important for creating the change we need and desire. For gay and trans people and our allies, the time has come for us to band together and stand as one unified front. So to kick off this new year and this new blog I am taking my cue from Queerty's 10 New Years Resolutions for the LGBT community, and putting the R.Q Kidd spin on it of course.
Build an army.
Now I know this sounds scary and militant but really an army can be as simple as a group of people who will stand and support you as well as work with you. You own army can be as simple as 5 friends that support our community by what brands they support or where you bank. Building your army means simply organizing your group of friends to do what you can to support our community and our fight for equality.
Don't fear visibility.
Visibility can mean standing on a street corner with a sign that says "Equal Right Now" with rainbows all over it. It can also mean something as simple as speaking up when you hear someone use language that is demeaning to the LGBT community. My partner works as the assistant manager at store in Virgina where we live. When ever he over hears a customer saying the word "fag" or "faggot" he asks the person to stop using the language or leave. By doing so he lets the other customers in his store where he stands and in turn becomes visible to those who are around him.
Realize that equal rights is not a popularity contest.
It seems to me that our movement has turned into a popularity contest. Whoever can be the best gay man, lesbian women, bisexual or trans person can be the face of the movement. We need to be more inclusive of all members of our community. We are all the face of the movement so let's leave the Jr. High Politics where they belong, in Jr. High.
Treat the gays just like straights.
Look, we can not get upset when our organizations come under fire. When it comes to LGBT organizations, people and communities we seek parallel and commonality because lets face it, we have a lot more in common than we think. We need to hold our own people accountable for their actions and words and when they step out of line we should be the ones to check them, not the rest of the world.
Make allies everywhere.
Remember the saying, you can never have enough friends? When comes to working for LGBT equality we so often forget our allies. Those people who have nothing to gain but to see a better world when we win. While it's great that we can get all our friends on the band wagon, we need to go into communites that are faith based and make allies. We need to go to communities of color and make allies. We need to make our own family allies. The more people we have willing to stand with us the sooner we will win.
Define the agenda.
Definition is key in any movement. We need to clearly define what we want for our community. Once we can articulately and concisely define our agenda, it will be hard for our adversaries to define it for us and us our own goals as firepower to keep us down.
Get a winning attitude.
We are winning. No doubt about it. It's slow and the win's may not be what we want right now but we need to take and hold onto the little victories and the big ones will come. Our country was founded and has a history of justice, albeit slow, the history is there so get a winning attitude, our time will come.
Hate the bigotry, love the bigot.
No, this is not like "love the sinner hate the sin". This is taking people and being patient with them. I am sure there are many people out there who have done lots of good in the world. While that is all good and well that should not keep us from calling out people's homophobia. At all times we need to remember the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
Remember that it's not all about you.
It's pretty hard to for someone to take someone else seriously if they only care about themselves. Same rule applies. Show people that as the LGBT community care about other causes such as being more environmentally friendly, Dafur or one of many other causes. Don't just say you care, do something about it!
You can have your cake *ahem* and eat it, too.
Lets embrace our communities diversity. We are the embodiment of the the American melting pot. We have every color under the rainbow, pun intended. Our community has it all, from the loud flaming queens to the conservative business men. There is no reason why we all can't be at the front of the movement, standing side by side, to get things done.
At the end of the day we need to remember that all of us are part of the movement no matter where we come from, where we pray, where we work, or how we present our selves. Its going to take the community coming together to get anything done.
Standing With You On The Front Lines,