Thursday, October 13, 2011

Why CA Should Get Prop 8 Back on the Ballot in 2012

Equality California (EQCA), arguably the most prominent and legislatively successful gay rights group in the state, is wrong about the ballot initiative on Proposition 8 in 2012.  Recently, they decided not to spearhead getting Prop 8 back on the ballot for repeal in the upcoming election, citing insufficient support.

While I understand their concern (that support for gay marriage still hovers around 50% in polls) and there is fear that we will narrowly lose once again, after having spent staggering amounts of money and energy on the effort, I still get the gut feeling that we would actually narrowly WIN this time around.  And here's why:

You see, I have long held that the reason that liberal states (such as California and Maine) vote to ban same-sex marriage is NOT because people think that marriage itself is a high priority, but because they have been cajoled into believing that their children are at risk (gasp!) if they allow gay marriage.  The folks at Box Turtle Bulletin back me up on this assumption.

Most reasonable people (regardless of their personal feelings on the subject of gay love) tend to recognize that there is no harm to them if gay people get married.  And these people will tend to skip ballot questions about gay marriage, or go in favor of liberty and freedom - even if they feel icky about the idea of gay sex.  Conservatives have latched onto this, and figured out that they need some fancy trick to encourage people to vote NO on gay marriage.  What better motivator than fear?  And what could be more scary than Teh Gays indoctrinating innocent children?!!  EEEEEEEEP!!

With adds like this, people who were once ambivalent on the issue suddenly find a good reason to read through that ballot question and vote a big HELLZ NO! 

So the fact that conservatives haven't been able to pull out enough signatures in California to put passage of SB 48 on the ballot is quite significant.  (SB 48 isthe recently passed legislation which requires schools to teach that Teh Gays have contributed - and do contribute - positively to society.)   I would surmise that this indicates we could win in a 2012 ballot on gay marriage.  California seems to no longer buy into the lame tale that Teh Gays are out for their children, and thus when voting time comes, California as a majority liberal state will get a liberal outcome on such a ballot initiative since "the Ambivalents" will simply skip the question.

Here's my advice to you gay Californians. Do everything you can to get signatures NOW!  Get Prop 8 put back on the ballots.  This time, I don't think you'll regret it...

Monday, August 01, 2011

When Do *I* Get To Be Affectionate?

Today, we're talking about PDA.  You know, those nauseatingly ridiculous public displays of affection that couples who are newly in love (and sometimes oldly in love) demonstrate for us poor innocent bystanders.

*Alert: hypocrisy forthcoming!*

Let me let you in on a little secret:  I detest PDA!  Other people's PDA, that is.  I'm that guy that screams in derision "get a room, for God's sake!" to the unsuspecting exhibitionists.  Let me let you in on another secret: I love PDA!  My own, that is.  I love walking down the street holding my husband's hand.  I love being able to give him a quick peck as we part, him off to the Apple store, me off to (the now bankrupt) Borders.  I even love other gay couples' PDA.  It's sweet.  It's adorable. It makes me smile and feel *warm fuzzies* all over.

The other day, I was on the last leg of my final flight back up to Vermont (at last, J will be coming home soon, and we will drive back home on Wednesday!)  There was a guy on the plane that for some reason annoyed me.  I didn't know why.  Have you ever just looked at someone and thought "geez, his face just irks me for some reason!"  I blamed it on sleep deprivation and general grumpiness.

Later during the flight though, it dawned on me as he incessantly leaned over to kiss his significant other: it was the PDA.  The thoughts running through my head ran something like this:

"Oh God.  What is that, the 3rd time he's leaned in for a kiss?  Now the 4th?  Jesus!  How the hell is she allowing this to happen to her?  Is she not peeved by his neediness?!  This is disgusting!"

And then it hit me.  I was jealous.  I was jealous that this young guy was able to so freely show natural affection and love to his lady, and vice versa.  But every time I do it, I have to wonder if I'll turn around to meet a fist to my face, or a bullet to my head.

Straight people have no idea how lucky they are to be able to express themselves without fear of reproach or violence.  They have no idea what it feels like to put up artificial walls with the ones they love so as to appear merely acquaintances when in fact you are lovers.

I hate that my society still forces me to pretend to be other than I am.  And I want to know...when do *I* get to be affectionate, dammit?!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

On Being Gay and Christian...and Published?

John Shore
John Shore, a career writer (currently on his own blog and for The Huffington Post), recently advertised that he was looking for LGBT Christians to "Tell Evangelicals (and the World) Your Story".  I stumbled upon it several weeks ago, and thought it was a good idea, but in the midst of the craziness of life decided I simply didn't have time for it.

But last week when I was vacationing in Vermont, I ran across another blogger (Misty at "More Musings on Christianity, Homosexuality, and the Bible") who mentioned that John was still looking for contributors for his upcoming book on the subject. So I shot him an email to ask if he was indeed still looking, and he quickly responded that he was.

Since I had already been chewing on "my story" for essay responses for my application to graduate counseling programs, I was able to fire off something substantive for John in only a couple of hours.  Today, John posted it to his popular blog: "Who Would Dare Argue This Gay Man Isn't Christian?" 

Thus far, the responses have been quite good...just waiting for the fuddy duddies to chime in.  (Let's pray they stay away though...I don't want anything ruining my mood!)

I know there are few of my faithful followers who identify as both gay and Christian (and some who - like me - are somewhat leery of identification with the latter)...I hope you share your stories as well!  The more the better, I say.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


About a week ago, I was hanging out with a couple from our discipleship group (T & S).  They are the other younger couple in the group along with J and I.  We've thoroughly enjoyed getting to know them over the past year or so.  In fact, the wife (S) and I have quite a bit in common, from temperament, to anxieties, to interests in counseling.  As such, she's been great about making sure I know I feel welcome to chill with them since my hubby and I have been separated for the summer.  So I took them up on their offer Sunday before last; I grabbed up the doggy, and they brought along their reluctant toddler, and we all went for a walk on the local trail.

It was nice just to be out of my brooding shell for a bit, and to chit-chat with dear friends.  But near the end of the talk, T asked me a random question: "do you feel like you're middle-aged?"  To which I retorted: "are you trying to get beat up?!"  WTF?

Turns out, he wasn't asking if I felt as old as I looked :)  He was just relaying a scientific fact that he'd recently been pondering: as we get older, our perception of time increases, which presumably means that "middle-age" may feel a lot sooner than it numerically is.  (My guess is that he shared this because we share a deep appreciation for science and mathematics).

After my sarcastic response, I did admit that I indeed felt middle-aged.  Moreover, it's actually been somewhat difficult to deal with being a post-30 male.  As they pressed for details, I began to share with them how I had some significant dreams growing up.

When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be an actor.
But my dad told me "acting is lying, and Christians don't do that" (no joke), so I abandoned that dream.  To this day, I still sorta wish I had been a philosophy/theater double major in college.  Instead, I was a biochemistry major (Spanish minor).

During junior year, I took a Sociology class, and loved it so much, that I seriously contemplated dropping biochemistry, and being a sociology major.  Similarly, half-way through pharmacy school, I contemplated dropping out and going off to get a counseling degree.  I can't say that I regret sticking it out (there's something to be said for finishing something) and going the psychopharmacology route.  No doubt, this will serve me well in the future.  (I've recently taken the GRE, and am now all set to apply to counseling programs!)

After spilling my guts about grieving the loss of some of those dreams, I began to talk about my biggest difficulty with being 30: I feel incredibly "ORDINARY".  Intellectually, there's nothing wrong with this.  Yet, I've always felt like I would be someone great.  At first I thought I would be a famous actor, and then in college, the plan was to get a PhD in genetics and go on to earn a Nobel Prize.  And with each passing year, it's as if the proverbial bar got set lower and lower, until I was stuck in the land of ordinary.

And here I am now, nearly 32.  Let's face it: it ain't gettin' much more spectacular.  Every day that passes, more decisions get made.  The more decisions get made, the more alternative decisions become impossible.  The world is filled with fewer possibilities; our dreams get crowded out by reality.  Extra-ordinary cannot be attained.

When I finished speaking, T & S began to commiserate with me about these things.  It was astonishing!  Up until that point, I had only ever articulated these fears and frustrations with J - who is still in his late 20's, and I think perhaps cannot fully relate.  T & S have both hit the big 3-0 though, and it was refreshing to know I wasn't some solitary freak dealing with this!

At the end of that conversation, I went home and reflected on it more.  It seems as though I can sum up early life's great struggles in this way: the mid-to-late 20's seem to be about discovering who you truly are (feel free to access my old Xanga blog if you want to know more about the existential angst of that process for me!)  By extension then, it seems natural that the 30's are about coming to terms with who you're not.

And viewed from that perspective, maybe being "ordinary" isn't so bad.  After all, when you're ordinary, you're not alone...

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rising From the Ashes...

Wow.  It's hard to believe it's been over four months since my last post.  How exactly did my life get so busy?  So busy that the thought of banging out a few keys for public consumption felt like dreadful work?  Please forgive me, blogging buddies and faithful followers, for abandoning you.

I've abandoned quite a few people lately, actually.  I feel like my world has gotten very small.  So much so that when J went off to VT a few weeks ago, it took me several days to figure out who I could actually talk to or hang out with.  In my bachelor days, whenever I found myself feeling lonely and needing some company, I would always call Diem (pharmacy school days), or Christy.  Man...I had some good times with those ladies :D  I miss them terribly.

Don't get me wrong.  It's not like I don't have friends around here.  But what made Diem and Christy so special was that they both knew me so intimately, that I felt free to be my total, miserable, lonely self around them.  But it takes so much damn time to establish that kind of intimacy with another human being, and when you're simply don't have that kind of time to invest in other people.

And then of course, there's the typical D.C. busy factor.  When I wasn't reverting to my natural, introverted, leave-me-alone-so-I-can-brood-in-peace self, I had to face the fact that some of the people I wanted to hang out with were at events, or with their own significant others, etc.

So I suppose it's been a rough few weeks.  And it has seriously fucked with my head.  I've had all kinds of amazing, wonderful thoughts and feelings.  But I've also entertained some horrifying, ghastly thoughts and been to the Valley of the Shadow of Death a few times.  (And NO, that is not a reference to feeling desperately suicidal!  It's just my figurative way of talking about going to that scariest part of my psyche that I usually am able to avoid by focusing on work, my husband, church, helping others, and all manner of other "distractions".)

Also, since last I wrote, I've (in some cases we've) managed to:

1.) Employ a late wedding gift given to me by a phenomenal psychologist friend: Relieve Anxiety with Medical Hypnosis... it's actually been very helpful.
2.) Start a new prescription: buspirone (for anxiety as well)
3.) Shave my head

4.) Buy a townhouse
5.) Move into said townhouse within 24 hours of settlement
6.) Drive J up to VT for the summer 48 hours after moving into said townhouse
7.) Take the GRE (Quantitative: great; Verbal: meh; Writing: TBD)
8.) Start looking into counseling programs I'm going to apply to (so far it's the MS/PhD in Pastoral Counseling at Loyola University Maryland and the PhD in Counseling Psychology at University of Maryland)

And last but not least, I've begun to emerge.  I've been making contacts with friends I haven't had a soulful conversation with in months...even years.  I kinda forgot how much I missed them.  I suppose being alone for a bit doesn't have to be the very worst thing that ever did happen to a person. Not fully anyway.  We've still got a long way to go.  At some point I'll need to address the myriad mindfucks that have recently accumulated...

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


It's a bit of a misnomer for me, I think, because I do not feel all that well on Wellbutrin.  There is this depressing, self-deprecating voice looming in the recesses of my brain.  Perhaps this is because Rite-Aid switched up on the generic version of Wellbutrin they've been using, and it's not quite as effective.  It's doubtful though, because I feel like this has been creeping up on me since prior to picking up my last refill.  Maybe it's time to increase the dose?  Or maybe it's not the meds at all.  Maybe the meds were only able to help me escape my personal demons temporarily.  Maybe it's just time to face these imps head on.  All I know for sure is that what I hear inside me - what I feel inside me - is very, very familiar.  It's the stench of hating myself because I am convinced in some deep area of my soul that I am not enough, that I am ugly, that I will be utterly alone and destitute because something is wrong with me.  What is wrong with me, I don't know - I've never known.  But I know that something is, because right now I feel very, very alone. 

At work, I am surrounded by people, but I feel so alone.  No one really gives a shit about me here.  My voice means nothing.  I've just taken to becoming a yes man.  I do whatever I'm told without question.  God forbid I try to explain why something makes me unhappy, because I'm dismissed as being "negative" and "complaining too much."  So I don't make suggestions anymore (I am, thankfully, not the only employee who has consigned themselves to accepting the status quo - so at least I know I'm not crazy here).  I turn my lights out, close my door, and do my work.  I can't even bare to be here sometimes.  The solitariness is utterly dispiriting.

I wish I could just leave this place, and go home to a place where I can be in communion.  But even at home, I feel alone.  I can't even tell you why that is.  It seems like an ever-widening gap between me and the whole world.  I fall deeper into myself, increasingly feeling the need to erect the walls and keep unsafe humanity at bay.  And then I'm left with the myriad voices in my own head: the quiet optimist, the boisterous pessimist, the reserved speaker of good self-esteem, the obnoxious speaker of self-hatred, the "you-can-do-it!" promulgator, the "why-the-hell-bother?" projector.  And somewhere in the mix...the voice of God?  Or the devil?  Or is it all just me?  Is it all just the God of my imagination, and the devil of my creation?

I want to not be here... like this... anymore...

I can only hope that this is all for my good.  Maybe it's time to go back and visit Lance for a bit.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

I am not a pharmacist.

This is the image of a pharmacist.  This picture says "I am a pharmacist: I love my job, and I love what I do."  But I am not this I do not love my job.  I do not love what I do.  I am not a pharmacist.

Yesterday, I completed my 2nd day of interviewing at the College of Notre Dame of Maryland School of Pharmacy for an Assistant Professor of psychiatric pharmacy practice in the Department of Clinical and Administrative Services.  (The first day of interviewing was interrupted by the snow storm we had last Wednesday and Thursday).  What I can tell you for sure is that this pharmacy school is amazing!  I love the program, I love the emphasis on service (I would even describe it as "the Kingdom of God here on earth"), and I thought the faculty that I met were an amazing group of people.

 And yet, I would say that the interviews I had with the faculty were just "so-so".  I didn't feel like I really represented myself, or put my best foot forward.  I didn't feel like this was a home-run, which is odd because I ordinarily interview exceptionally well.  After my final interview with the Dean yesterday evening (which itself was luke-warm, largely due to both of us having hella long days, I would imagine), I thought about how this so-so interview felt familiar.  It's the same way I felt after my interview with my current job.  And it's the same way I felt after my interview with a government job I applied for (and ultimately did not get).  I put the pieces together, and was suddenly aware that my interviews have been "just OK" because I don't feel free to put my real self out there.  I can't put my real self out there, because it would require using heart terms, not head terms - terms which are altogether foreign to the grand majority of pharmacists.

While the Chair of the Department to which I'm applying is herself an ENFP (to my INFP), and while we have an amazing connection, and I think I would thoroughly enjoy working with her, I am cognizant of something about this group as a whole: they are dedicated to pharmacy.  They are dedicated to this institution, to its mission, to their students, to their patients, and - most significantly - to their careers as pharmacists.  Yes, these are career pharmacists.

That is not me.  I am not a career pharmacist.  The stark contrast between what I am willing to sacrifice, and what these people have sacrificed - and continually do sacrifice - could not underscore this point with more vigor.  I am not a pharmacist.  I am not sold out to this as a career.  As such, how could I accept this position (if it was offered to me)?  I honestly do not think I am ready to throw my whole self into this institution - as I feel they deserve - and thereby forgo my own goal to go back to school and become a counselor.

I want to teach.  I want to teach very badly!  I would cherish the opportunity to be faculty at a really great institution like Notre Dame.  But I do not want pharmacy to be my career.  I am not a pharmacist.  I am a counselor - trained and skilled in the ways of the heart.  That is what I do well, and into that, I can throw my whole self.
I am not a pharmacist.  And I am grieving this today . . .