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equal rights

Today We Bury A US President

Can We Also Bury Anger With Him?

I remember the years after Ronald Reagan very well. My parents were still alive, I was young, and times were different. Times were very different then. There wasn’t access to the news at the spur of the moment because smart phones had not been invented. If you wanted to read the news, you went out and got a newspaper. You put your quarter in the machine on the corner and walked back home, past the telephone booth. In my neighborhood, you waved at the local hooker and gave a head nod to the guy across the street who you knew was selling drugs out of his house. You kept your head down and you stayed out of trouble. 

The Early Nineties

The year was 1991 and I had just moved to St Pete, FL. I was working as a waitress in a place that still required me to wear a dress and pantyhose each day. I walked to work or rode a bicycle. I had a car and it was broken down more than it ran. It stayed parked most of the time. It was a brand new Dodge and to this day I won’t own another one. 

I had moved to the coast because my parents lived in Ocala. I had not been very wild about the fact that they sold their house and followed me to FL in 1987. I considered it my mother’s final attempt at ruining my life and continuing her efforts at manipulating everything she could. Of course, she wasn’t all bad. As an adult now, I can admit this. At that time, however, I had just come out as gay and she and I were not getting along at all. 

The AIDS crisis was in full swing. Being a young lesbian, I was aware of it and was fearful of contracting it myself. Even though it predominantly was an issue that affected gay men, women were not totally safe. I read “And the Band Played On” from cover to cover and was somewhat horrified. It would be many years before that made it to the big screen. Gay people knew. We were living in it, neck deep. 

The Real Reagan Legacy

Ronald Reagan didn’t acknowledge the epidemic for what it was. It was never funded. It was, to be blunt, completely ignored. Gay men were dying at astronomical numbers. These deaths were long and painful. Most of the people I personally knew who died passed away from breathing complications – typically pneumonia. I remember one friend the most. His name was Christopher Gomez. Chris was a wonderful person. There were times that he’d see me walking home after work, or on the way to work. He would do a big U-turn in the middle of crazy 4th Street North, stopping traffic in the process, in order to pull-over and yell, “Get in, I’ll drive you!”

He was a nice person. He had dark hair, brown eyes, a pale complexion, and he was short. Chris probably didn’t stand over five feet, six inches tall. He worked as a waiter and he made good money. Like most of us in those days, he spent more on beer and having fun than anything else. We lived in neighborhoods that were seemingly small in the middle of a large city.

I had several  friends, a different life back then than the one I live now. I was more social and could more easily deal with loudness and chaotic situations. As I’ve grown older, my spectrum disorder has become increasingly a challenge. I don’t react well to intrusions into my quiet time, I do not socialize outside of the home much because the recovery time for me is lengthier than it used to be. I get grumpy if I feel intruded upon too much. It unnerves me. I do look back on those times fondly, in part because I was able to be social. People don’t realize that those on the spectrum want to be social. We just cannot be social all the time

George Herbert Walker Bush was our president in 1991. I do not remember ever hating him back then. I disliked his policies and I disliked the fact that we were at war in Iraq. The Middle East has never seemed like a place for American soldiers, in my opinion. Those people don’t like each other, and I don’t think they ever will. Why we have to get in the middle of it all the time is truly beyond me. I am 28 years older now than I was then, and I still don’t understand our constant involvement in the Middle East. It seems a never-ending circle of death for American soldiers to me. 

Times Were Hard

My mind still goes back to a time when I held the hands of dying friends, like Christopher, with tears in their eyes, knowing there was absolutely nothing that could be done. Watching someone die, resigned to their fate, is a very difficult thing to when that person hasn’t led a full life. You mourn the years that should have been.You wonder whose lives they should have touched, the loves they should have had. . . 

What was extremely troubling, and has haunted the legacy of President GHW Bush, was his continuation of the Reagan administration’s neglect of the AIDS crisis. So many in the LGBTQ community hold them personally responsible for the deaths of countless people in our community. As recently as a year ago I was accused of being a single-issue voter, which I’m not and never have been. The accusation was because of my concern over gay rights issues. That just happens to be a life or death thing for me! As is healthcare. As is social security being there when I am 67 years old one day. As is the housing crisis. As is gerrymandering and voting problems, lobbying, term limits, and a nauseating list I don’t want to focus on at this moment.

I digress. The AIDS crisis is still held against the senior Bush. I have recently seen many people bring this up the last two days. I’ve seen some very hateful things said and shared on social media. I’d be a liar if I said that it didn’t make me sad because it makes me weep for the society we have become. We are just very hateful now! 

Human beings are imperfect. Our special qualities have always been in our ability to forgive, to love, and to understand that none of us is perfect. We all struggle with our demons and we all make mistakes. Some of us make bigger mistakes than others. What I base my judgements of people on is whether or not they intended to harm others. I also look at whether or not the individual has done anything to redeem themselves. 

Should Four Years Determine Your Legacy?

The patriarch of the Bush family has left behind a legacy of charity work that most of us will never achieve. George HW Bush worked in every way he could to do bipartisan work with Bill Clinton, to bring humanitarian aid to others. He supported and founded the Bush Clinton Coastal Recovery Fund. He also supported the following charities: Covenant House, FC Harlem, Heifer International, Save the Children, Smile Train, United Nations Development Program, and the Vijay Amritraj Foundation.

President Bush was a man who could reach across aisles and do what he thought was best for the country. He lied about his age so that he could fight for his country. He is guilty of imperfection. Aren’t we all? Has he fully made up for the lives lost to AIDS? I’m not sure that he could ever have done that. Is it so hard to believe that in the early days of AIDS many people made bad decisions? They did. It caused a loss of life greater than what it probably should have been. Is the man responsible or was it the era that we lived in? We have learned more and we have moved on. Have we not?

I can tell you that Christopher would say that ‘the guy did a lot of great things the rest of his life. He made his peace with his own God.’ Forgiveness is the only way forward. Today, I’m making the choice to forgive him and move on. While we shouldn’t use our current administration to normalize anything, I do believe that it certainly must be a basis for clarity.

We can say a lot of good things about the senior Bush. We can say that he was a man who made mistakes but tried to do much that was right with is life. We can say that he was a sensitive man, a family man who loved his children and his grandchildren. He was one of the last truly moderate Republicans who could listen and work with democrats. He was from an era that wasn’t all that bad, even though it wasn’t totally good. 

The older I get, the more I want peace. I have learned to pick and choose my battles and I’ve learned when to forgive. This is a case that I will choose the latter and show my respect to a man who gave most of his life in service to his country. An honorable member of the armed forces, he never shirked his duties. He knew what decorum meant. Even in death, there is a calm, quiet dignity that we are not accustomed to anymore. I can welcome this return to tradition and values today, with my hand over my heart. 

“Thank-you for your service, Mr. President.”

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Categories: aging, American government, death, equal rights, gay lesbian, lesbian, life lessons, love, Politics | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Is Transitioning Becoming Too Easy?

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I realize that this may be a touchy subject, so I’m going to make it clear right away that I mean no disrespect to anyone.  It isn’t really my style to purposely hurt anyone or to judge anyone. My intention right now is to delve into a topic of discussion that I’ve had recently with a few people close to me.

As a butch woman, I have to deal with a great deal of prejudice from a lot of people. The direction from which this prejudice comes is sometimes astonishing to me. Other lesbians who are more of a feminine persuasion and are attracted to the same type of feminine woman have a tendency to talk to me like I’m dirt sometimes. They do not understand me and often go out of their way to say things like, “you are just trying to be a man” or “if I wanted to be with a man, I’d choose a man” and so on and so on. I’m not going to get into all the things that being butch means, but it certainly does not mean that I want to be a man. I consider myself to be a combination of masculine and feminine energy that compliment each other in ways that bless me in my life. I feel that I’m lucky to be me.

I’ve grown to believe that sexuality is a very fluid thing.  I believe that we are all capable of loving men or women, regardless of who we are. We may never act on it, but I honestly believe that many people would if they hadn’t already been taught by society that it is somehow “wrong” to do so. I also believe that this early programming has seriously affected lesbians in many ways. Sexuality simply cannot be placed into a box of choice.

I believe that many years ago, lesbians thought that they had to give-up their femininity in order to be gay. It was almost expected that women act more masculine in those days because they were a lesbian; society had a vision of what a lesbian was and that was anything but feminine. Many women felt they had to give-up dreams of having children or families in order to live up to some sort of ideal. Only in the last twenty to thirty years are we realizing that we don’t have to choose one or the other. We can be lesbians and be parents. We can paint our nails, wear heels or we can wear jeans and a ball cap. We truly can have it all.

As we (lesbians) have evolved, there seems to have become some sort of a split with many sub-groups. There are now so many labels that I personally cannot keep up with them and I certainly imagine that heterosexuals are confused as well. Being butch, I’m noticing that more and more butch women are gravitating towards transitioning from female to male in larger numbers than ever. I notice that there is a rise in interest in binding, top surgery and a desire to even mimic male behavior patterns more so than ever before. I’m a little puzzled by this because I’ve always been proud to be lesbian and even more proud to be butch. I’ve always felt that I was better than men because I could embrace the masculine while having the brains to know better behavior. I am comfortable with my masculine nature but I am also very comfortable to be a woman underneath it all. I embrace my softer side; the part of me that enjoys cuddling and having a good cry from time to time. I feel that I have managed to take the best of both worlds – male and female – and make them uniquely my own. I believe in respecting women, holding the door for them, getting the chair for them and holding them in only the way a butch woman can. I also believe that it’s okay for me to cry, be soft and enjoy putting my head on someone’s shoulder sometimes and showing my vulnerability. This makes me feel whole.

My concern is that because transitioning is so easy to do now (and so common) that it may just be too easy. Just like Botox and boob jobs, people now think nothing of taking “T” and growing a beard. Honestly, I’m concerned that someone in their twenties is not fully equipped to make this decision. Before some of you get your boxers in a bunch and tell me that the difference is that you see yourself as a guy in the mirror, let me cut you off and tell you that there was a time that I did too.

You see, when I was much younger I considered whether or not that the choice to transition would be right for me. I didn’t take it lightly and I went through a phase where I probably had “penis envy” in a way. I used to think that I was in the wrong body but not because I truly felt that way on my own – society was making me feel that way. I am saying that I was slowly conditioned to look at myself the way others did…I had short hair and I had big hands and feet. People assumed I was a man and still do. I’m often called “sir” out in public. The fact is that it doesn’t bother me. I am secretly pleased to know I am a female underneath it all. By the time I was in my thirties I had come to a point where I learned to like myself exactly as I was.

I think all human beings go through this phase, but because it has become so popular to blame our sexuality for unhappiness, many butch lesbians think that transitioning will make them happy or whole. I’m not entirely convinced that this is the case for most. That said, there are people who honestly do need to transition in order to live a whole life;  they are truly mentally the opposite sex. I’m not disavowing anyone here. I just wonder if it has gotten too easy, like taking Xanax instead learning to deal with your life? Has transitioning become the latest plastic surgery fad and is it being done because doctors see it as a way to make a lot of money? Are we making it too “cool” to do?

I worry that fewer and fewer women live as butch because they don’t see that as a viable option anymore. Pressure from society and from those we might hear referred to as “lipstick lesbians” make us feel unwanted by our own community at times. Is this what makes us feel that the only option is to conform to what the world thinks we should be? I wonder where are the proud butch women now? It seems they are being replaced by a younger generations of “bois” and female to males in transition. I’m concerned if this is because we are placing too much pressure on young butches, making them feel that they need to be something other than what they are. I’d love to hear comments from others on this.

Again, I stress that I am not in any way trying to talk bad about those who choose to transition. I’ve always been very supportive and have friends who are in transition and are fully transitioned. I just feel that this is a valid argument that needs to be discussed and I wonder if we need to be having this discussion more openly rather than just automatically telling our friends to go ahead and transition?

A friend of mine has a friend who is in the hospital right now, possibly dying from an infection that is the result of a compromised immune system – a side effect of transition and hormone replacement therapy. This happens in some cases, as well as other medical complications. There are also many other things to consider, such as never being able to afford bottom surgery – which is also not perfected yet. Someone may start the transition and never fully complete it for many reasons. Personally, I could not handle being in this sort of sexual limbo or giving up sexual satisfaction…which is the case most of the time. I’d really like to hear the opinions of my readers on this. Please, keep it respectful as people from all walks of life read this blog. Thanks!

Categories: equal rights, gay lesbian, lesbian | Tags: , , , , | 30 Comments

Everybody Look! What’s Going Down??

My day started-off having some fun with a fella who thinks he knows everything. Let’s put this into perspective for you…let me set the scene, so to speak. A couple of days ago, I posted a link for a book I was giving away free for a few days. Other Amazon authors can back me on this and I’m sure they will. When you publish a book on Amazon, you get five days each quarter that you may give this book away for free on their site. Does this put any money in your pocket? No!

Some people argue that it improves your book’s ranking…and it may…but only for a couple of days. The biggest thing that we get out of it is the exposure to new people who may not otherwise read our books. That is it; nothing else to be gained and certainly nothing financially. Sometimes, I’ll see a short increase in sales of my other books. That just tells me that they enjoyed my book and may like to try another. Great…but I’m still not getting rich by selling a few more books in comparison to the loss you take in the books you give away. I have away 192 copies of this book, this time. That is about 400 copies of that book alone, this year.

So…this fella comments on the link, “so in other words..you want the cash.” Now, I rarely use the word stupid…but I think it! After a few comments back and forth, I let him know that I’m really just trying to get the book in the hands of suicidal people or people who KNOW suicidal people. It comes out the he is an accountant. Wow…really? You are an accountant and couldn’t figure out that FREE equated to $0 and that 192 multiplied by $0 is …ummm ZERO? I imagine that he is online so much because business is slow?

The fact is that I don’t care what this guy thinks of me. I am not concerned with the people who do not care about the things going on in the world. I am not going to waste my time trying to change a shallow mind. What I am seeking are those who have an open mind. Are you troubled with the world the way it is? Do you question your own existence and your purpose? Do you want to know what the meaning behind your life is or why you are constantly besieged by challenges that seem completely overwhelming? Do you question pain? Do you feel like giving up but just know that there is a reason that you don’t – even when you can’t explain it? YOU are the person I am reaching out to!

We cannot change everything over night, but we can make a difference. It takes one step at a time and the first BIG step is to realize that we are all connected. You are a miracle. Look at yourself in the mirror. Your body completely replaces every SINGLE cell every three years. Your skin is completely replaced every few weeks. At the very molecular core of your being, you are unique and you are a miracle. Everything had to happen in completely unique and random order so that you were conceived to begin with. Do you have any idea HOW MANY random things had to happen just for you to be conceived? To be who you are? Your entire life is a movie that plays out with multiple plot twists, all based on the decisions that you make and the roll of the dice. You spend your entire life being prepared for your destiny!! I do not care who you are or how bad things have gotten … you my friend, are amazing and you deserve to be here.

It is said that when you remain quiet, that you take the side of the oppressor in any situation. I used to be silent. It wasn’t until I found my voice that I began to feel free. The more I told people about my own situations, the easier it became to accept and sort through those things in my life. I realize that I’m lucky. I realize that I am the end result of a billion different possibilities that ‘could have been.’ You are no longer a “could have” you have become a “you are” and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you will realize your own potential.

What do you choose to do with this knowledge? This is truly a personal decision and I don’t knock what anyone chooses. I WILL say that when you have the opportunity to touch others and you choose not to, I feel it is a sad waste. That’s my personal feeling and has become my personal decision. That isn’t a judgment at all, so please do not see it that way. It’s just that there is so much beauty to be gained in reaching out to others. I refer to humility all the time. I think when we have learned true humility, that we become more selfless. I don’t see it as a bad place to be. That’s my personal take. Yours may be different and so be it. You won’t hear my messages or my voice.

I’ve committed myself to a few causes and they all are about human interests. One of my pet projects is the “Shadows In Your Face” project. I’ve decided to take the next year doing research, filming and even staying in shelters and even a few nights actually on the street. I will be doing my best to expose the way that the homeless are treated like cattle, herded into facilities out of view and how they are often pushed out of the way and not really helped by the very organizations that claim to be helping. City governments work to appease the wealthy by ‘getting them out of view’ and shuffling them to other cities and locations off the beaten path, where they are often forgotten. The system isn’t designed to help these people and their civil rights are often tromped on, while they are treated as a problem and not treated as people.

This video was shot with my cell phone, in the dark – so it’s not fantastic quality. This is just a glimpse of the world that is there in front of your face. There are MANY people living in parking lots in their campers. Many more of them are sleeping the cars that you see parked here and there, in between the campers. It’s a whole ‘underworld’ of people who have been hit hard by the economy.

It is important for me to point out that when the documentary is made for sale to the public, that every penny will go to aid the homeless in some way, whether with clothing, food, shelter or much needed medication. I hope to make a difference, even if it is just for a few people. To me, this will make the entire year worth it. I’m not doing this for myself in any way at all. I’m doing this to put the issue – the people who live in the shadows – right in your face. For the last year, I’ve met many homeless people and I’ve done my best to pass on their stories here. Now, for one year, I will make it my focus. I’m attempting to raise money right now, for the things that I’ll need to make this happen. I need cameras, some editing software and a little money to cover the few expenses that will surely arise. I’ve set the goal at $10k but I know this is lofty. I plan to go forward with the project no matter how much I raise and I do have other fundraiser in the works.

I am seeking fiscal sponsorship to help control the funds of the money from the project. I’ll be picky, but hope to find a non-profit that will help me handle the funds in a way that sees to it that the money is spent in the best ways possible and ensure that 100% of the funds go to the people who need them and not to administration costs.

I’m asking that you take a look at the project and try to see the potential good that could come from it. If you have anything to offer at all…used equipment, assistance in spreading the message, connections with other homeless person projects, etc…get in touch with me. Maybe you are someone who just has time and can help to spread the word somehow? I’m open to all suggestions. One way or the other, this project IS going to happen and I will not be deterred.

Categories: American government, equal rights, Homeless people, life lessons, love, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shadows In Your Face

 

Far too old to be living like this, but don't tell him that. He's happy. He sleeps in his truck in parking lots all over North Florida.

Far too old to be living like this, but don’t tell him that. He’s happy. He sleeps in his truck in parking lots all over North Florida.

 

Many of you have followed my excursions for a good year now. You know that I try to keep things as real as possible. I’ve shown you all some of the good things about life and some of the things that truly stink sometimes too. In the end, I’ve always tried to keep my messages positive. I do believe that life is what you make of it.

That said, when I went through my horrible year last year, I was reminded of how much we all depend on each other and how hard like can be. I felt that God himself had spoken to me and I came to an immediate realization – an epiphany – that I’d wasted a great deal of time that I hadn’t put to good use. I made a promise to myself and to the Universe that I was going to work harder to help others. My purpose is now to do what I can to help others and speak for those who have no voice of their own.

I’d like to tell you about my latest project. This is in alignment with my goals and my passions. I’ve decided to put my author skills to work on a project of almost epic proportions. I’m going to re-enter my life as a homeless person, in order to tell the story from their point of view. How can you tell someone about being hungry if you have never truly been hungry? How can you describe the fear of having no roof over your head if you have never known this fear yourself?

Not only am I going to do a book, but also a documentary while I am living in the life. When I am finished, there will be a book, a documentary and a photo book complete. ALL PROCEEDS FROM THE DOCUMENTARY AND BOOK WILL GO TO THE HOMELESS. The money will go to organizations that help to feed, clothe and provide medication to those who are homeless. I will be very selective over who gets funds; making sure that 100% of the money goes to the people that it is meant for. If not, then I shall set-up a separate charity entirely for this purpose.

I’m currently working on some products for sale to help raise money for the documentary. I’ll be opening a Cafe Press store to the public in a few days. I’m working on product designs at the moment. I have an IndieGoGo campaign set-up to take donations at the above link. I implore you to consider helping this project come to fruition. Not only will it bring to light some of the issues happening with the homeless community, but it will also help to set in place some programs that can offer more assistance to these people. Too many are falling through the cracks because they can’t qualify for help. Some can’t even seek traditional help because of mental issues that prevent them from even trying, much less even being aware that there is help available for them.

Today, I simply ask you to take a look at the campaign page and to do one of two things: 1)Donate if you can or 2) pass it along to others who may be able to help.

Thanks for your time and, as always, thanks for reading!

 

DONATE HERE

Categories: equal rights, life lessons, love, Politics, self-help | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

If I Told You That I Loved You

 

HEarts777

 

I wonder if I looked into your eyes if I’d see admiration, kindness and love?

Would you make me feel there’s nothing I couldn’t rise above?

When you look back at me, are the thoughts clearly written here upon my face?

Is it so very out in the open, the way I’ve felt this fall from grace?

If I told you that I loved you would it make you stop to change direction?

Would loving you make each day make it worth sharing a connection?

Should I put all my faith in you and trust that you are strong?

Or am I such a stranger to you that the feelings are all gone?

Today I choose to follow the path to making this world much clearer,

So I’ll look again and smile joyfully, saying “I love you” into a mirror.

~ Jesse MacGregor-Jones

 

This is for all of you who forget that the most important person in the world that needs your love is YOU! Always be kind to yourself, knowing you’ll make mistakes. Life is about learning and growing, for none of us was born perfect! Today, look at yourself in the mirror and find one thing to love, even if it is simply the fact that you had the courage to look yourself in the eyes.

Categories: equal rights, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Faith – What It Is To Me

 

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I want to try to clarify some things about my life and my perspective for all of you. Many people write to me and want to “cheer me up” and give me pep talks when I talk about moving on, breaking up or things from my past. When I tell people that I’m fine, they don’t seem to believe me sometimes. In fact, I’ve been told by some that they do not understand how quickly I bounce back nor how I can move on and remain so positive. Well … let me try to explain it to you. I’m not really sure if I can, but I am going to try.

For starters, let me say that faith does not have to be centered around God if you are not comfortable with that. I believe that it is so much more than just God! It is about being connected to everything around you in a way that is spiritual but can be proven scientifically also, for those of you who are skeptics. Everything around us is made up of microscopic particles. Neutrons, electrons and ions surround you and ARE you. There is no such thing as a straight line. Anything under a microscope shows that lines are blurred. Why? Because molecules are moving, cells are not perfect shapes and everything is constantly changing, replicating and evolving before your very eyes. Nothing stays the same and everything is made up of the same particles.

When you consume food, you consume cells and these microscopic particles that have already been charged with energy of some sort. This is basic science from elementary school. Dig deeper, think harder, feel more…. you’ll realize the implications that everything on this planet and in the universe is connected. Right this moment, I’m surrounded by carbon dioxide that has been expelled by billions of other people. Quite possibly, I’m breathing oxygen that was created by a house plant somewhere in London. It is possible. We’re all breathing the same air, sharing the same sky, the same planet and the same solar system. We are mere pieces of an astronomically large puzzle, my friends.

Doesn’t it make sense if were all were to just get along that we’d all be healthier? Scale it down. If cells in your own body begin to fight against each other, what do you have? Sickness, illness … cancer and other things. So when harmony is removed and other things are allowed to take over, bad things happen. Right? When the body no longer maintains homeostasis ( balance and the ability to maintain itself correctly ) then the body becomes ill. The same thing happens with society, with the planet and with the entire universe. It isn’t such a big jump to understand that every single thing that you do in your life will touch the entire world. No matter how insignificant that you think you are, you are very important! The carbon dioxide that you expel is helping a plant somewhere on this planet. In your lifetime, you’ll be responsible for keep many of them alive. It’s symbiotic. They need you and you need them. Therefore, we all need you! You are part of the puzzle of life.

Even when you die, your body doesn’t disappear on a molecular level. Your molecules are changed, but they carry on. Part of you is here forever and can be carried on into water supplies, rain, in the soil that will grow vegetables for someone else – even a million years from now. So you see…it’s all bigger than just you … yet it is all about you.

My entire life I have realized that I was a deeper thinker than most people. I also realize that I’m very intuitive and more ‘spiritually connected’ than a lot of people are. There’s a side of me that I frankly cannot explain to you. I’m very perceptive of my environment, nature, people’s feelings and the way EVERYTHING is connected. Everything I explained before … its almost as if I can see the connections in bright colors all around me at times.

We are all connected to each other. We are all part of a greater ‘whole’ that most never feel. Either because of your life or your beliefs, you have shut it out. As children, we were all open to it. Do you ever remember having dreams of flying? My friends, this is because your soul certainly does. As we grow up, society and our so called civilization teach us that these things aren’t possible. We learn things like judging each other, hate, anger and we lose our belief in the things that would mend the wounds that are caused by this world. People are taught to lose their faith, hope and dreams by the world around them, yet time and time again they are shown how to come back to it….but many never do.

Last year, in the month of August, I was given a chance to look at my life through a new set of eyes. I call it ‘my epiphany’ and I’ve been inclined to tell people that I heard the voice of God. Here’s the thing…I heard something. Whether it was voice inside of me, a voice outside of me … or something from the matrix, it changed me forever. I’m not the same person and I never will be again. I don’t want to be!

In the time it took to blink my eyes, my life came fully into view and perspective. In one small moment in time, I realized that time is not linear and that my life had shown me opportunity after opportunity that I’d not taken advantage of. I saw the ways in which I could touch other people. Things flashed in front of me as I stood there. Everything became suddenly as clear as a crystal and I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that I wasn’t living my life for me! This is so much bigger than just me! I realized that I will receive true happiness and growth by helping others and by giving what I can to this world. In being alive, I take daily. I take oxygen, food and resources from this planet. It is necessary that I give back. One act of kindness can create thousands more in the people that it touches. It’s part of the spiritual pact we make with the universe for being here. Whether you want to be a part of it all or not, you are – there’s no choice in this. You’re only real choice is how much you choose to participate in this life and be the best that you can be. Happiness isn’t a destination! Happiness is the journey. Faith is about knowing what it takes to be happy and understanding that it isn’t truly about you.

When someone does something to me that I should be angry about, I choose not to get angry anymore. I remove them from my world and/or my space. I might try to teach them, but part of the wisdom that you acquire from life is to help you understand that you cannot always make someone understand something. Their path requires that they learn lessons on their own and when they are ready. You can’t force it. Learn to know when to walk away. This is best for YOU and best for maintaining that homeostasis that we talked about – both for you and the planet. When you realize that nothing is meant to personally harm you, but only to teach you and make you better, it becomes very hard to hold onto anger. For me, it is easier to just say to myself, “okay … lesson learned.” Then I move on. I shed no tears anymore over these things.

Do I have bad days? Why certainly! I don’t think I’d be human or have a soul if I didn’t cry sometimes. My tears are merely different now. I don’t cry because I feel sorry for myself or because I want anything different than I have. I cry from exhaustion sometimes and I cry when I’m confused about decisions I need. I cry when I feel hurt, because regardless of the things I’ve pointed out in the last 1364 words, as a human being I will get down and I will feel hurt from time to time. I’m not perfect by any means. I’m evolving and my cells are changing this very moment.

The wonderful part about faith is that I am able to put it all into perspective quickly. I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I am where I’m supposed to be, learning what I’m supposed to be learning and doing things that will affect other people on this planet for hundreds of thousands of years. That’s a pretty huge responsibility. Perhaps if more people realized this, they’d be better people? Then again, they are learning their lessons, the way they are supposed to and in the time frame that they are given. I’m okay with that. Faith makes me okay with things. Again, perhaps I’ve made zero sense to you at all tonight but I hope that I’ve at least given you some things to think about?

It truly is all about perspective. Try looking at your life from a different perspective and put yourself in the shoes of other people too. Be a little kinder and in the end you may find that you are stronger for it. In learning about others, you’ll realize that you grow to know yourself. We are truly all in this together and love really is the answer.

Categories: equal rights, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , | 15 Comments

Falling Into The Abyss

I wanted to take the time to remind everyone that my latest book is out. “Falling Into the Abyss” deals with child abuse and how it can touch your life forever, if you let it. Even when you think you are a survivor, something may just come along and remind you that you have things you haven’t truly dealt with.

 

 

“A tale of child abuse, suicide and survival. An account of surviving the worst things life can throw at you and coming out on the side, changed for the better and able to look at life with new eyes and a new perspective. This is my story. I’ll take you from the the time 

I’ve shared my life and my journey with thousands of fans through my blog at butchramblings.com and now I tell the whole story, with all the background. See how I came out and got to where I am today. Learn why I advocate for those who have no voice.”

 

Set to launch October 17th.

Set to launch October 17th.

Categories: abuse, ADHD, Adoption, child abuse, death, equal rights, gay lesbian, lesbian, life lessons, love, Politics, self-help | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Butch On Tap – Why I Hate TSA

Please, follow this link to the story by my friend Butch Jaxon.  This is very typical of the treatment that butch women and transitioning people go through. Being publicly humiliated is NOT cool. I’ve been through it in many places and situations. read  on to see why Butch Jaxon “hates TSA” – excerpt below.  ~ Jesse MacGregor-Jones

 

 

WHY I HATE TSA

Why am I ranting today?

You may remember that a few days ago the gay flight attendant called me sir. Right, duh. Anyway, whatever. Indeed, today as I am writing this on a different plane, the flight attendant called me sir, and didn’t even acknowledge me when I corrected her. Dumb people suck. But, the reason for my rant today is TSA. I am going to tell you why I hate them. [Hate is a very strong word and I never use it casually. Indeed, it’s a bad word in my house and the kids can’t use it either. So, I use it here today to really convey the depth of my anger…]

On at least 3 other occasions, I have gone through the body scanner at security and had to wait a moment longer, or be rescanned. I know that this is because they thought I was a guy, but my naked body scan showed a body other than what they expected – boobs and no penis, to be specific. Waiting in the security line, when there is a body scan has become quite anxiety producing for me. Will they get it today? Will they ask themselves while looking at the scan, “Where is that guy’s penis?” Or, “Why does he have boobs?” Ugh. How embarrassed will I be?

 

…for the rest of this story, please follow the link to ButchOnTap.

http://butchontap.com/2013/02/13/why-i-hate-tsa/

Categories: abuse, equal rights, lesbian, life lessons, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Why I Live Like I Do – Blown By the Wind

Great live version!

 

All My Dreams Pass Before My Eyes of Curiosity

Nothing lasts forever, but the earth and sky….no truer words were ever spoken. My philosophy on life, the actual process of living and the purpose for our existence, is far removed from that which most people feel. Firstly, I don’t believe that this is our only ride on the pony. I believe that we come back many times to this earthly realm and we learn more and more as we progress up a ladder, so to speak. In all honesty, I think it a little bold to believe that you could learn all there is to know from living only one lifetime.

I have nearly died a few times. I’ve known others in the same place. All of my life I have been very intuitive and after my parents passed it became very strong and I had to work with a woman to help teach me how to ‘turn it down’ when I needed to. I feel emotions far more deeply than many others do for this reason. I also tend to know when I am being lied to. What makes me different than most people is that I’ll forgive the lies and try to get straight to the root of the thing that is causing you to tell the lies. I am not like most people. Some might call me crazy…that’s okay. I can take it. I forgive them too. I am actually very quick to forgive, but I don’t necessarily let everyone back in. I weigh the circumstances and I wonder whether or not I can help them…or if there is another lesson for me at hand. This determines my decisions.

My belief is that before we are born, we actually plan this life out to a large degree…like an outline. You are still free to write the story the way you wish, but the general outline will guide you. I believe that we choose the battles that we are going to be facing, based on the lessons that we need to learn this time around. I was told by a psychic in 2007/08 that this was my last time to be reincarnated and that I had asked to make this lifetime to be a very big challenge. In her words, “You really wanted everything possible thrown at you so that you could really go out with a bang this time. You wanted to experience it ALL.”

To be perfectly honest….at that time, I thought she was little bit full of shit. She knows it because I sort of told her that. She’s still on my Facebook friends list and she’s honestly really good. As it turns out, I believe her now. It took me a while – it was a slow progression and almost like a game…to see what else could possibly happen and what would I survive. You see, I have complete faith now that I’m SUPPOSED to just keep going through more shit and that I will survive. I also know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that I have a reward of some sort coming. I know that God is going to give me peace and rest, love and somewhere to put down roots. I can feel it moving towards me. Faith. This is my only explanation. I’ve survived many things that should have killed me. I know that I am SUPPOSED to be here, sitting in this booth right now, writing this. Someone out there is being moved by every word and their life is beginning to make more sense to them as they read on. YOU! You may be that person I am supposed to be helping right now. Have some faith and know that you are not alone. I’m aware of your pain and many others are too. You can and will survive, my friend.

My days are spent attempting to touch people with a dose of reality and trying to show others that humility is a good thing. Yes, I get confused and I get scared. You see, while my soul knows the outline I am following, I have no memory of it. For now, I’m just a human being that is also making mistakes and getting by through much trial and error. I’m simply trying to trust that I’m being shown opportunities to grow and given chances to rise above. I’m challenged and tested each and every day. We all are! Some just don’t understand it.

Same Old Song…Just a Drop of Water In An Endless Sea

I’ve risen above homelessness, hunger, my father’s suicide, near death experiences, child abuse from my mother, being cheated on by at least two people that I loved, lied to by people that I trusted with my life and being put in harm’s way, having no family in my life at all…I’m a complete loner, being diagnosed with diabetes in 2005, put on psychotropic drugs that actually caused me to lose my mind for a long time, watching someone die in my arms, being beaten half to death by three grown men just because I was a lesbian, having an older brother come to live with me and take me for money, hit me and break everything I owned for going on two years, having a younger brother go to work at the job I helped him get and tell everyone that as far as he was concerned he didn’t have a sister as long as I was gay, living in a cabin in the winter of 2011 with no running water, no heat, no electricity and surviving by letting the dogs sleep on top of me on those nights when ice formed on the inside of the walls. I’ve tried to help a lot of people who burned me badly. I’ve had people tell lies about me and others judge me. I have been diagnosed with ADHD/ADD and auditory processing disorder, anxiety, agoraphobia and a few other things. All of those issues come and go. I had a panic attack last night and my chest hurt. I knew that it would pass.

In the last month, I came to IL to help someone. She told me she loved me and she tried to hide a lot from me…but I already knew she was lying to me. Again, like I ALWAYS do…I forgave her. It just isn’t worth being angry anymore. I let go of all my anger last summer. God showed me that my life was my own and that He had honestly given me every possible chance to turn things around. This is when I realized that my purpose…my TRUE purpose in life was to help other people. Even if it is a kind word and nothing else…I feel that I can touch people in a way that can change their life. This is what I try to do each and every day now. I don’t hold onto anger and I don’t let things keep me down. Yes, I get down because I’m human, but I quickly recover and remember that I have a purpose and a meaning to my life. I move on.

These days, I’m being tried and challenged with each breath that I take. I’m single and it looks like it’s going to stay that way. You cannot help someone who refuses to be helped because their path has not yet led them to have any faith in themselves or in the world around them. I weep for her, not because she’s hurt me…but because I could not help her. I have still offered to be here and be her friend, but one thing I have become very good at – turning my feelings for someone off. If I choose not to let you in, then you are done. I only resort to this when I feel that the damage I am incurring is greater than I can heal. One of my very first lessons in life was how to save myself, even when it was very traumatic. Honestly, that trauma has followed me for many years and only recently I believe that I was forgiven for it in a way that was meant to help me move on from this current experience faster as well.

I don’t tend to regret much, as I know it is a learning experience. I do regret when I can’t help someone…but it is time for me to move on. It is time to let the wind blow me again. I place it in God’s hands and where I end-up, I trust I am supposed to be there.

~ all we are is dust in the wind….

 

Categories: abuse, ADHD, child abuse, death, equal rights, gay lesbian, lesbian, life lessons, love, self-help | Tags: , , , , , | 7 Comments

I Dare You To Move

Kindness is contagious!

Kindness is contagious!

 

 

I believe that everything happens for a reason. Life truly amazes me and I find the irony hard to swallow at times. I also find that the  way things are right there when I need them to be a little bit more uncanny than just coincidence sometimes. I truly feel that I am watched over and blessed. Could this be something that my mind makes up, just to make me feel better? Perhaps … anything is possible … but they DO say that ignorance is bliss. I’m a blissful person these days.

This morning I woke up thinking about the girl I am trying to get home to see. Never in my entire life have I felt more accepted and understood by someone. She accepts all my little quirks, my writing and she even tells me that she feels so connected and moved by my writing. That word that she said was stuck in my head … she felt moved. This was going around and around in my head this morning and I pondered things. I thought about the things that had moved me, in days gone by and in my present. I remembered a guy I had known named Lance.

Lance was very short. He’d been born with a congenital heart defect and while growing up, he’d had to have many surgeries as he grew, to accommodate for the growth in his heart. The doctor’s would go in and make repairs so that he could live. Lance told me one time, over a few beers, that he had died five times on the operating table. He told me that each time he had out of body experiences that he couldn’t explain. Lance told me unbelievable details of the light, looking down on his body, meeting with peers on the other side that were his mentors. He recalled in detail the conversations that they’d had. He remembered that there were five of them, he swears we all have five people on the other side who act on our behalf at all times. He explained to me that our lives were a road map that we had taken a part in planning before we were born.

Lance told me that we all chose the things were supposed to learn in this life, before we were born into it. He told me that we chose the hardships, knowing that when it happened to us, our soul would not remember our planning. It was meant to purify us and teach us. It was the chance to grow from experiences and become greater than we were. It is all in the name of education. He dramatically recalled his ‘conference’ with his mentors and how they told him where he’d made progress and where he needed more work. Then he described how he felt himself sucked back into the body and would wake in recovery. It happened to him each time that his heart had ceased to beat, while hooked to bypass for the repairs he would need to continue living.

I highly doubt that Lance knows that the conversations we had almost 20 years ago would shape me the way that they do now.  Especially considering the fact that I would often get so drunk with Lance that I’d need to be driven home. I was very close to being an alcoholic. I think I was trying to dull the pains that I felt over being gay, crushing on straight women and always thinking that there was no one out there for me. I truly believed that I was going to live a solitary life.

All these years later, I’ve come to learn that none of us are solitary. We are all touched by the world around us at all times. The repercussions of my conversation with Lance, from the year 1989, to the man who asked me to help him with his computer last night, to the gentleman who offered me advice on where to get tires this morning. We all touch each other. It wasn’t until this morning that I made the connection of this song and daring someone to “move” – realizing that you don’t just move yourself….you move EVERYTHING with every move you make.

Your movement moves the air around you, molecules pass around the planet because of the breeze you create. I don’t care who you are and how insignificant you think you may be. You touch thousands of people, even with just intentions. Molecules can carry charges, positive or negative. Thoughts are electrical impulses, traveling along molecules. People can catch a ‘vibe’ because it really is a thing! I’ve come to realize that every good thought I put out there is coming back to me, tenfold. I’m happy. I am happy in a way that I have never felt happiness before.

DJ said to me that she was happy for me that I’d found this happiness and resolved myself with my life and come to terms with my past. She gets it! How can she possibly be so wise? She’s amazing … but she really gets it all and she gets me. This just makes my happiness and my amazement with life feel as if it may overflow. Then it hits me … it is supposed to. How many of you feel better when you read this? Can you carry this mood to the next person in some way?? Imagine a world where your thoughts can attract similar things to you. This is the world in which you live!!

Surround yourself with happiness and happy people. When you see someone who is sad, reach out to them and do something that makes them happy. Spread joy and love and plant the seeds of love wherever you can. Tend to this garden each day and watch it grow in your life.  I dare you to make your life and the world a better place. You will reap what you sow. I may be one person, but I realize that this one person is reaching thousands of others and if you all reach thousands, then that turns into millions in no time. We can make the world a happier place. My friends,  today I dare you to move by moving others!

 

http://www.randomactsofkindness.org/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/27/random-acts-of-kindness-believe-in-the-human-race_n_1680813.html

http://now.msn.com/random-acts-of-kindness-photo-gallery

http://www.givesmehope.com/category/8/Random+acts+of+kindness

 

Categories: equal rights, life lessons, love, Politics, self-help | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

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