The Chick-Fil-A debate from a lesbo outsider

It appears I have managed to start a “shit storm” by posting my opinions of the whole Chick-Fil-A debate on my Facebook.

I am gay. I live, happily, with my partner and our 5 at home kids.

We have a home, bills, jobs (thankfully I can now say that), arguments, pets and all the other things that go along with having a family.

Regardless of what anyone else thinks, we are a family!

But, my opinion of Mr. Cathy and his restaurant is not what most would think it is.

I like Chick-Fil-A. Yes, you heard me right. I like Chick-Fil-A.

I’ve never been denied service, my food has been of the quality if expect from a fast food restaurant and I’ve never been made to feel uncomfortable while dining there.

People in the gay community are in an uproar because Mr. Cathy announced that yes, his company is run on biblical principals and in his opinion that means marriage consists of one man and one woman. (he actually said that a man married to his first wife. But you don’t hear polygamists in an uproar)

I heard a saying when I was in the Army that has since stuck with me.

“Freedom of speech was not given to you by a newspaper. Freedom of religion was not given to you by a priest. Freedom to assemble was not given to you by a protester. It was given to you by the same soldiers, who will die to protect your right to burn the very flag that will one day be draped across their casket.”

We all hear phrases thrown around like freedom of speech, freedom of the press, etc.

And yes, in the U.S.A. those are the very fundamental ideals that our country is based on.

So, is it any more important that a group of gay protesters be heard than a religious group?

Is it less valid when a priest speaks his thoughts than a drag queen?

These may seem like ridiculous questions but that’s how I feel the gay community is acting.

Would I want a straight couple to stand on my front lawn, kissing and fondling each other because I’m not heterosexual? No. But I wouldn’t want a gay couple doing it either.

Just as I wouldn’t want that straight couple there, their actions won’t make me change my mind.

I doubt that Chick-Fil-A will change their stance either.

We live in a world where people believe they have to be loud, militant types to have their side heard. The truth is, when you are behaving in the way that reinforces their belief that you are wrong, you only damage your own credibility.

We demand respect, but aren’t willing to give it. We demand equal rights, but protest when another exercises theirs.

How can we be taken seriously as a valid, productive group in society when the most visual are the ones that aren’t?

I told Jenny the other day, “I wave at the people who walk down our street, not because I know them. But because I’d rather be known as that friendly lesbian couple down the street, rather than those mean dykes.”

It’s all about perception. And the image you portray today is the one that will stick for many years to come.

Will I see equal rights for gays and lesbians in my lifetime? I don’t know.

What I do know is that until we stop acting as though we deserve special rights, we’ll never be treated equally.

A mundane Monday.

Well folks, my extended “vacation” is about to end.

After my grueling 2 hour physical and drug screen, which mainly consisted of me being shuffled from one room to wait until I was shuffled to another, I’m now in the wait for the results to get back stage.

As anyone who’s ever dealt with a government agency knows, there’s a lot of hurry up and wait. Luckily, since I’m a former employee, I qualify for rapid hire.

My old friends from TxDot in various offices have texted and called to say, “Yay! You’re back!!” while Jenny and I are saying, “Yay, it’s a job!”

Yesterday I was busy. Jenny had a spell of mild vertigo which kept her on the couch for most of the day. Everytime she’d try to lay down or move around, she would get dizzy and feel nauseous. So, I handled some of the chores and took care of lunch and dinner.

My intentions for today were to go to my new office and turn in some paperwork and come home to knock out a few more things on my “to do” list.

But as I’m sitting here, I’m thinking a nap would be the best course of action.

Jenny is meeting with her dad. Apparently he sent her a “cryptic” text that just said, “I need to meet with you this morning.” No real explanation, but she went.

All the kids are still asleep. The boys haven’t been up yet, and the two oldest girls got home from a sleepover around 7 am and went back to bed.

Even the cats are conked out in their respective sleeping spots. (Toula on our bed, Thumbelina on the dogs bed)

The only stirring around the house is me and my bestie, Riley.

So, while I’m waiting for my Jenny to get home, I think I’m going to enjoy the last afternoon nap I’ll get for a while.

It feels so good to be back at the game after being gone so long!

Realization

One thing I’ve noticed about being unemployed is the feeling of helplessness.

As a 39 y/o who has never been without a job for more than a month since I was 14, being out of work for almost 7 months really took its toll on me.

I have always been busy. I always had a “purpose”.

I’d get up, go to work, do my job, come home, take care of my family and start it all over again.

I had a routine. I had a means to provide for my family.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have been getting a check ever since I got laid off. There hasn’t been a time when Jenny and I couldn’t pay a bill. But not knowing how long I’d be able to “pull my weight” had started to wear on me.

So much so, that I’d learned to dread the mundane. Things that I took for granted before.

Mowing the lawn, maintaining a garden, cooking breakfast on Saturday morning, cleaning the cars and my truck.

Things that I used to enjoy doing because I had a sense of pride in taking care of the things I could call mine.

As time went on, I’d come to hate doing those things. Not because I didn’t feel that same sense of pride, but because I started to see those as chores to simply keep me busy.

I love our house. It’s roomy and comfortable. It’s clean and usually tidy. A place for everyone and everything.

I love my lawn. It’s well manicured and nice. Yes, I’d venture to say its one of the nicest on the block. We have Jenny’s roses, a big magnolia tree, several smaller trees, a neat and conservative flower bed and a small garden.

In my old life, I could be found on any given Saturday or Sunday morning working diligently to keep all of it looking it’s best.

This time of year, I’d be plotting out the best way to decorate for Halloween and be in full swing getting ready for school to start.

This year, though, it seemed like everything was something to dread instead of look forward to. Halloween decorations cost money, FFA meetings cost money, school clothes and supplies, yes, they cost money.

Again, I have money coming in. It’s not as much as I was getting, but it’s enough to get us by and be comfortable. But I almost felt like I hadn’t earned it so it wasn’t the same.

Is this silly? Of course it is. But I was raised by a woman who instilled upon me the notion that “if you are healthy, educated and able bodied, you get up and go to work everyday.”

I wasn’t able to do that. I wanted to. I longed to. I hoped and prayed everyday to be given that opportunity.

Today I woke up at 7:30. Got dressed, made my coffee, fed the dog, and walked outside to begin working on my lawn.

In my mind I started to make my mental to do list.

1. Weed the flower bed
2. Plant the second crop of squash
3. Clean out the truck and van
4. Water the back yard

Yesterday Jenny and I sat down to make our grocery list. Something we haven’t done in a long time.

It too had become one of those busy work chores and I think I almost resented doing it.

Finally getting a job after all this time has made me realize that those little chores were something I actually looked forward to doing. They gave me the validation that I was contributing to the comfort of my family.

I’m renewed and excited.

Yes, this job is less money than I’d hoped for. But as my oldest daughter, Dewey, stated “Mom, when you were at TxDot before, you were miserable. You worked nights, your phone rang every 5 minutes and you always had someone expecting you to make the right call.”

This time I’m starting out a few steps below where I was. I’m ok with that.

I’ll be doing the job that I used to train others to do. I’ve been calling it a no brainer position.

And I’m looking forward to it.

I look forward to being that “new guy” that my boss doesn’t have to train. The one that he can send on site, knowing that I’ll do the job right and without any guidance. And I won’t have to shoulder the responsibility of being the boss.

I’m not naive enough to think that this will resolve all our problems. But the knowledge that I’m out there again. Being productive and useful. Doing what I do best and getting paid to do it, made getting up this morning a whole lot easier!

I hate

I hate that this blog is censored.

I hate that I sometimes need to vent, bitch, whine, scream and I’m not allowed to because of what others might think.

I hate that I’m forced to stuff my frustration and anger down so deep inside me that I think I’m going to explode.

Is hate a strong word? Yes. But very appropriate right now.

Finally!

Well folks, it finally happened. I got a job.

I interviewed for a position with my former employer about a month ago. Since I hadn’t heard anything back, I assumed I didn’t get the job.

Well, this morning the Area Engineer told me that he wants me for the position and he took so long because he was trying to get me a larger salary. (which he did)

So, while its not as high paying as the position I interviewed for on Wednesday with a private firm, it is stable and familiar. And above all else, it’s what I love to do.

Being laid off for 6 months has given me a new appreciation for less money but more stability.

Starting August 1, I go back to work at the Texas Department of Transportation. And yes, I’m thrilled to once again have a reason to get up every day!!!

Woohooo!!

Karma

Well folks, let’s take a stroll down memory lane.

Remember my old boss? Asshat? Yes, I still harbor ill feelings for this moral sewer.

This morning I got a call. One of my technicians at the firm I worked at called and left a voice message.

“Lee. I just got a call from B-;36:/. He said that Asshats office has been cleaned out and there are cops standing outside of it.”

As soon as I heard this, I sprang into action.

See, this technician could pass for a lesbian. He has a flare for drama that even the most hard core dyke would think was over the top.

So, before jumping up and down with joy, that the universe had finally woke up, I called my old office manager.

When the secretary answered, I was told that the office manager had quit. As had the other supervisor and 3 of my technicians.

When I was there, I was the buffer between the “essential” personnel and Asshat. After I left, everyone became fair game. Because of that, they all left. Everyone except MY secretary.

See, she had been unemployed for a year when she landed that job so she refuses to go anywhere unless she has something else lined up. Hell, I can’t blame her.

The front desk secretary (yes, this firm still calls them secretaries, not receptionists) directed my call to my old secretary.

“OMG! How are you? What are you doing? PLEASE come back!!”

That wasn’t the response I was hoping for, but it did make me feel pretty good.

I’ve always tried to be the type of boss that is strict but fair. I try to take care of my people because I used to be one of them. I started at the bottom and learned first hand what loyalty would be given if a little human decency and professional courtesy was extended.

I explained to her the message I got and asked for clarification.

Apparently, Asshat is “still employed” but that is “pending a criminal investigation.”

Remember that moral grey area I said he lived in? Well, apparently, when the other supervisor and I left, he felt as though the company was his personal bank account.

The rumor is that over 1 million disappeared in less than a year. WOW!!

That’s a lot of greed.

Does this surprise me?

Not really. What surprises me is that it took corporate this long to catch on.

After a brief conversation, I discovered that only 2 of the original crew is still there. My secretary and the front desk secretary. Neither have a college degree. But, because they are all that’s left, my girl is actually running the whole show now!

Good for her!!

But wait. There’s more.

Apparently, the vice president is coming down from corporate tomorrow to assess the damage. Then Monday, the executive VP of CMT is coming in to take over in the interim.

What’s CMT, you ask? Construction materials testing. That was me. What I did/do.

Note, I said “interim

Apparently, the guy that hired me (senior VP guy) is looking to put his ship back together.

So…. My name was thrown out there and I may be hearing from him early next week.

As you’ll recall, I loved my job. Loved what I do. Even enjoyed the company I worked for.

It was Asshat that made the environment toxic.

So, we’ll wait and see.

Jenny commented that, “Maybe this is why God has taken so long. He had to wait until Asshat got caught.”

Whatever the outcome…. I get my job back or not, at least I know Karma is watching.

Because the Bible tells me so

For the last several days, my beloved Jenny has been dealing with an individual on her blog who is less than tolerant of her lifestyle.

The part that I’m having trouble understanding, is why this person feels the need to confront her.

In her comments (we assume it’s a female) she makes remarks about how Jenny couldn’t really be gay because she was married for so long.

Even in this day and age, it blows my mind how some people just don’t realize how difficult a decision it is to come out.

A month ago 2 young women were attacked in a small Texas town. One was killed, the other was critically wounded when an unknown assailant shot them. They didn’t know their attacker and he didn’t know them. He just knew they were gay and to him that was unacceptable.

A more widely publicized story is that of Matthew Shepard. This young man was left to die from exposure because a group of bigots saw him as less than human.

Stories like these happen everyday.

Even more common, are the stories you don’t hear about.

The teenager who hangs himself because the kids at school tease and bully him.

The man who loses his job because his boss is homophobic.

The girl who tries to overcome her sexuality by sleeping with as many boys/men as possible. After all, she can change if she really wants to and if she tries hard enough.

Then there’s my Jenny. She is sweet and sensitive. Forgiving and loving. She will look and look until she finds that one small sliver of goodness in a person. Any person. But that gentle spirit still didn’t protect her from being banished from her family when she came out.

When she came out to her family, she was still married. Wasn’t involved with a woman. Hadn’t been outed by anyone. She was simply tired of living a life that wasn’t hers to live. She was tired of fighting who she was. And she knew that she would only hurt the people who cared about her if she continued.

The person attacking my Jenny claims you can’t reconcile faith and homosexuality. I assume she means religion and homosexuality because faith is too broad a term.

As I’ve stated here, in the past, religion is man made. Religion is a choice.

Yes, I believe in God. And I think he believes in ME. That alone is faith.

The comfort and knowledge in something or someone without proof.

But that’s not religion. Religion is following a set of rules laid out in a book or set of books written thousands of years ago. Those same books have been modified, translated, and picked apart until they read in such a way that any person, on any given day, can find a passage to suit their situation or belief.

True faith means that you believe what you believe. It means that you don’t have to have proof. And above all else, you don’t have to fight to keep believing the things that matter to you.

It also means that you don’t have to fight with another to make them follow your beliefs. You simply try, then smile and walk away. Comfortable in the knowledge that you put forth the effort and their beliefs differed from yours too much for them to change.

It’s not giving up. It’s knowing when to say when and not pushing your agenda on someone who’s heart isn’t in the same place as yours.

Back to my Jenny, though.

In her blog, she has engaged with this individual. She has been polite, understanding and accepting. This is obvious from the mere fact that she approved the comment from this person, to start with.

Yet, this individual continues to be confrontational.

Others (including myself) have attempted to come to her defense. Explaining that the reader must not have read her blog in its entirety to be making such claims. Describing just how difficult a decision she had when coming out. One person was kinda blunt, but it was what we were all thinking so Jenny even allowed that comment to stay.

The poster referred to me as Ms. Burly . Funny, considering my original comment to her was sarcastic, but not mean. Afterall, my first inclination was to call her a self richeous bitch that was shoving her ideals down our throat before educating herself.

But I didn’t. Nor did I say anything foul or vulgar in my follow up comment to her.

I did what I thought Jenny would be ok with. I tried to laugh it off, then attempted to be informative.

Will it work? Probably not. Just like straight people can’t convince me to be straight, I can’t make intolerant straight people understanding.

But I will say this. Having Jenny in my life has made me change. And in a very good way. I still have fuck it moments, but they are few and far between.

While at the parade, I thought another group had hit my truck with their float. A year ago, I would have gone racing over there, screaming obscenities and “flipping out”. Instead, I knew I’d react that way so I asked Jenny to assess the damage.

Although I’m getting better, I’m still not quite there. Maybe next year I’ll be the type of person who can stroll over to the group, look at my vehicle and politely exchange insurance information and I won’t need my Jenny filter.

I guess the bottom line in what I’m trying to say, is this…..

Give me an argument about how being gay is wrong that doesn’t start with “The Bible says” or “It destroys family values”

Because neither of those arguments hold water.

We’ve discussed what the Bible does and does not say.

As for “family values”? Show me a gay couple that has adopted a child, and I’ll show you a family that chose to raise a child out of love. Not just because a condom broke. Show me a straight marriage that fell apart because a gay couple ruined the sanctity, and I’ll show you a marriage that wasn’t based on mutual love and respect to start with.

Are there homosexuals out there who have little regard for other peoples relationships? Of course. But plenty of straight people cheat every day.

Are there homosexuals that drink too much, use drugs and are sexually inappropriate? Absolutely. But, I’ve seen rehabs full of straight people and women with 4 or 5 kids by 4 or 5 different dads.

Give me a legitimate argument. Hell, tell me “being gay is icky!” At least that I can understand.

But don’t tell me we can’t be gay because we were married, had kids, slept with a guy or because the bible tells me so.

Those are just crutches. Not thoughts based on reason.