I know I said this week I wanted you to hear from voices of my LGBTQ friends and their parents, that my thoughts and feelings needed to wait, but sometimes my thoughts and feelings consume me until I can express them. Last night I couldn’t sleep so I posted the following to FaceBook. Many friends asked if they could share and I’m more comfortable sharing it this way than making my post public. So, stay tuned and I will continue adding stories from friends this week, but first, I had to get something off of my chest:
It’s 3:40am. I’ve been awake since 1:30am. My mind can’t rest. I toss and turn in bed and think, “What can I do? How can I help?”
Straight friends, I know many of you don’t understand why the shooting in Orlando was such a big deal to me and LGBTQ people outside of Orlando. Even my husband didn’t quite understand at first, bless him. When I told him I would be postponing my plans to go shopping on Sunday so I could check on my friends and take care of what I consider to be MY community, every bit as much as my church community is MY community, he gently asked me why we would be so devastated and physically distraught when it didn’t happen here. I knew empathy is not his strongest point and sometimes he has to have feelings explained, so I gently looked at him with tears brimming and said, “It could have been them. It could have been me. It could have been here.” Continue reading It Could Have Been Us
Dear Kansas Friends,
People need your help. I’m begging for your help (and I don’t often beg). At the end of this post I will give you some concrete ways that you can help, but first, let me explain:
I awoke from a dream this weekend in which I was crying hot, angry, frustrated tears. In the dream my face was drenched in them and I couldn’t wipe them all away. In the dream I felt completely and utterly defeated because despite my every attempt to advocate for people, many of my own friends didn’t see many of my other friends as people who deserved the same rights and freedoms that they themselves took for granted. I was beyond frustrated that I didn’t know how to help move more people toward action. Then I woke up and I was still heartbroken and frustrated, because it wasn’t just a dream.
Today I have great news, though! News that makes me hopeful! There is a chance for you to show love and take action right now! Continue reading Show Love, Take Action!
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Continue reading Thanks, Martin Luther King, Jr!
With so many reminders to “Never Forget” today, I’ve spent some time considering the things that I want to remember. I think as with any anniversary of death, loss, trauma, that there is a process that one must go through to be able to remember what’s worth remembering. When you’ve been terrorized, it’s natural to feel like a victim. Crushed, defeated, sad beyond words, broken. That is no place to stay, though. It’s terrifying and lonely. So it’s the moments when you rally and move from victim to survivor that are worth remembering. Continue reading Rising Out of the Ashes
I first saw hate up close and personal in my early teens. I intervened when a couple of guys from school decided it was a good day to beat up one of my best friends because they perceived him as being gay. Did you get that? They didn’t know, they just assumed, and they deemed him worthy of a beating because of it.
Something in me broke that day. I felt it snap, and as I jogged around the cemetery near my house that evening to shed the remaining adrenaline and anger from the fight, I lashed out at God. Yep. That’s right. Little ol’ teenage me was furious with God. Please let me explain. Continue reading Let’s Make it Not About Being Right or Wrong, but About Being Love
I received quite the string of compliments last night from a woman I respect, who I think is strong and capable, but then she had a question for me that was hard to answer. She wanted to know what made me such a strong woman. I know she desperately wanted a real answer, but I think I gave her the wide-eyed owl blink/stare and then a laugh (okay, perhaps more of a guffaw) and told her whatever she saw was all a facade! I know. Totally helpful, right?! Continue reading Strong Enough
I have a confession. I occasionally struggle with anger and resentment. I know! For some of you this is a shocking thing to read! Many of my friends and family tell me my usual posts (which haven’t made it to my blog yet) are inspiring, uplifting, encouraging and generally positive. I’m here to tell you that just because I want to put positive vibes out into a world that’s already overflowing with negativity doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes deal with negative thoughts and feelings. Even we annoyingly positive people still live in the real world and deal with real problems and pain. Continue reading When Insult Meets Injury…Do Something
Ricardo at GLSEN headquarters recently asked me to write a blog post about how GLSEN Greater Wichita got its start and to give some pointers to other people interested in starting a GLSEN Chapter in their area. I agreed to do it, and through this experience I learned that writing for a deadline is hard, y’all. Props to you real writers out there who can get inspired words to strike on demand. Anyhoo, I found it incredibly difficult to tell the story in a concise and coherent post! Someday I’d like to write up the whole, long, messy and inspired story about how GLSEN Greater Wichita came to be, but for now if you’d like to know more about it, you’ll have to check it out here.