Jos76’s Blog

Thoughts and musings on life in a gay marriage.

Archive for the ‘What’s Ahead’ Category

Working from the Inside

Posted by jos76 on June 7, 2008

Now that Obama is the Democratic nominee for President in the November election, I have begun to compare McCain and Obama on “the issues.” I have not yet decided who to vote for. I never thought that I would be in a position to actually vote Republican. I guess that I have been a single issue voter in the past and voted for the the Democrat because he was also more pro-gay, regardless of his stance on other issues facing the country.

I’ve become quit interested in the Log Cabin Republicans recently and I am impressed with the work that they do. The Log Cabin Republicans are the nation’s only organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans.

As I have looked into this group further, I discovered that they are working to change the Republican party ideology so that it remains fiscally conservative instead of socially conservative, which has nothing to do with the origins of the Republican Party. The name goes back to Lincoln’s presidency, thus the reference to the log cabin. The work that they do rivals that of GLAAD, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the HRC. The difference is that the LCR work from within the party, rather than from the outside. This is bold and brave work in my opinion.

Many might see this as self-hating or internalized homophobia, but I do not. This is a group that believes in the fundamentals of the Republican Party, such as individual responsibility, lower taxes, a strong national defense, limited government, free markets, and individual liberty. When you take the (new) socially conservative ideology out of the picture, this makes sense…at least to me. The LCR works from the inside, using the language of the party.

Log Cabin Commercial with Cheney

Log Cabin Commercial with Reagan

This does not mean that McCain will get my vote because he does not have a great record of supporting gay people (actually, he has a bad record). Civil Unions are the way to go in my opinion and McCain may have indicated that he is supportive, but it is unsure. I’m just thankful that the LCR is helping to make this a non-issue when voting. They are working to see to it that one day all Americans will be able to vote based on the quality of the candidate rather than on whether he/she (the voter) will lose or gain rights as a result of the election.

Jos76

Posted in Politics, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Some of my best friends

Posted by jos76 on May 31, 2008

About seven years a go, there was a new sitcom called Some of My Best Friends.  The title comes from the familiar phrase that I heard so many times in college, “Some of my best friends are gay.”  My read when hearing this was, “You don’t scare me.  I know people like you.”  The TV show starred Jason Bateman and Danny Nucci.  Jason Bateman played a character named Warren who is a twenty-something writer living in New York.  He is a writer who has just ended a relationship with his boyfriend.  While looking for a roommate, he comes across a straight, Italian guy from Brooklyn and he decides to move in.  The comedy and mayhem ensue.

The character of Warren is a normal guy for the most part, even a bit conservative.  He has a friend (played by Alec Mapa) who is his more flamboyant side-kick.  I have seen all seven (yes, seven) episodes of this sitcom.  It only lasted a few weeks.  Compared to Will and Grace, it is much better written and funnier.  So, why did Will and Grace last several years while this show was cancelled after only seven episodes?  My guess is that it is because the characters of Will and Jack represent what people think gay men are like and they believe the over-the-top, flamboyant, promiscuous lives that these characters lead.

The character of Warren, in my opinion, much more closely represents regular gay men who are looking for, or are in, a relationship.  But, people may not be ready to accept the normalcy of a gay relationship and still choose to look at gay people as a source of comic relief.  Don’t get me wrong, I think Jack and Karen are funny (the show should have been named Jack and Karen instead of Will and Grace), but this representation of gay people does not help our cause.  Unfortunately, this is all that the viewing public is ready for.  Maybe in a few years we can get another show about a “regular” gay character that lasts more than seven episodes.

Scene with Jack from Will and Grace

 Scene from Some of My Best Friends

Posted in Friends, Fun, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Not the most popular kids in school

Posted by jos76 on May 10, 2008

Family is so important.  Growing up and dealing with teenage angst can be near impossible without the help and support of friends and, most importantly, family.  Dac and I have been lucky.   I do think that it is important, though,  that we all understand that it is not always so easy for the young gay kid growing up in a difficult situation.  These statistics are from Lamda Legal (A National Civil Rights Organization) and GLSEN (Educators Network):                     

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  • Gay youth are 4.5 times more likely than non-gay peers to skip school because they feel unsafe.
  • 31% of gay students had missed at least an entire day of school in the past month because they felt unsafe based on their sexual orientation.
  • Nearly one-third of LGBT students drop out of high school to escape the violence, harassment, and isolation they face there – a dropout rate nearly three times the national average.
  • Gay youth are 4 times as likely than their non-gay counterparts to have attempted suicide.
  • 84% personally had been verbally harassed at school (that is, called names or threatened) because of their sexual orientation.
  • 39.1% had been physically harassed (by being shoved or pushed) and 17% had been assaulted.

As supported as Dac and I are now, we look back at our school days and unfortunately identify with many of these statistics.  I’m sure that any parents would not want this for their child.  This, however, does not stop many extreme-right socially conservative politicians (Huck, Mitt, Bush, …to name a few) from working toward a school system that excludes any positive recognition of gay people. 

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I’m sorry if you came hoping to get something a bit lighter this week, but I saw Bill O’Reilly on TV today saying we should not “teach kids about being gay in school,” and I had to use this opportunity to show how misinformed he (and FOX news) really are.

Jos76

 

Posted in Faith, Friends, Politics, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

What’s the Dividend on a 1st Grader?

Posted by jos76 on April 12, 2008

I consider myself lucky because I like my job. I have been teaching for 11 years in both public and independent schools. Dac had a conversation with a friend recently about ideal jobs and job satisfaction. Dac is a musician by passion and “works” in a hospital. He definitely gets passionate about particular events, but if he had his way, he would be involved in music all the time.

Their conversation turned hypothetical and Dac and Jessy (an amazing musician as well) discussed what they would do if salary were no object and they could do whatever they wanted. Dac would be an instrument maker and Jessy would most like buy the instruments that he makes. Me, well, this is interesting. Dac told Jessy that if I had my choice, and salary was in no way important because I would be independently wealthy, I would still get up tomorrow and be a teacher. I have to agree with that.

Sometimes I think about other careers, like finance. Dac thinks I’m crazy because I enjoy checking stocks, calculating interest, and forecasting dividends. I love watching Mad Money and Suze Orman. What can I say, I’m fascinated by the stuff. I’m not ready to drop the lesson plans and become a day trader tomorrow, but it might be fun to try someday.

Suze Orman

Suze Orman

Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, EFTs, options, 403(b)s, limit orders, and market orders…what fun! My 1st graders are fun too, but the dividends are much different, maybe a few cool drawings and an occasional “you’re bald like my dad!” Priceless.

Jos76

Posted in Friends, Fun, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Single Issue Voter

Posted by jos76 on March 26, 2008

I’ve been more invested and interested in politics during this election than I have every been. Maybe it is because I’m a bit older, or maybe it is more interesting. Dac and I often talk about what we want in a candidate (and eventually President) and we revisit who we support more each time we hear the Democratic candidates speak.

I initially thought that I would vote for the candidate who supported gay rights more, but in the past few years I have realized that I am not a single issue voter. It seems also that I am not alone on this. The Washington Blade recently reported on a Human Rights Campaign survey that reported that about 25 percent of the gay. lesbian, and bisexual voters that responded said that the economy and jobs are the most important issues. Another 24 percent said that health care was the most important and 18 percent put Iraq as their top concern. Others voters chose taxes and government spending or the environment and global warming as their biggest concern. Only 21 percent of respondents made gay rights/marriage their top issue.

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Unfortunately, the conservative right is not being as liberal in their voting issues of preference. NPR had an interview with Richard Land, who holds an influential position in the Southern Baptist Convention, which claims more than 16 million churchgoers. Land said that he is working to convince evangelicals that they should prioritize “the sanctity of human life (abortion) and … the sanctity of marriage” when voting.

That sounds like single issue voting for me and if that is the ideology of the socially conservative right-wing, I’ll just have to call myself a liberal.

Jos76

Posted in Politics, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Paris, je t’aime

Posted by jos76 on March 12, 2008

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During my sophomore and junior years in college I lived in France.  I originally intended to live in Paris and to attend one of the universities, but I realized after a few weeks that it was too expensive for an American student to live there, so I packed up and went to Rouen, in Normandy.  This was a much smaller city about an hour west of Paris. I enrolled in the University there and took a position as an English Teaching Assistant in a high school.

I lived in a little suburb of the city called Bois-Guilliame (William’s Woods) in a small apartment above the garage of a professor at the university.  We became great friends and had almost every meal together.  She was much older than me and had just divorced before I moved in.  She needed someone to talk to and I wanted to talk as much as possible in order to practice my Parisian French (I had a French-Canadian/Quebecois accent when I got there), so we were a perfect match.  It was kind of like a Harold and Maude situation, but the updated gay version.  Each night when we would set the table, there were the required elements like plates and utensils, but I learned to add a dictionary (which we would always seem to need) and Brigitte’s cigarettes (Marlboro Box), a lighter, and the ashtray.  It was France after all.

I am  a French teacher so I have been back to France many times since college, but it has always been with 20-40 students in tow.  I have enjoyed traveling with students, but student travel companies are not known for choosing the best hotels and restaurants.  This Friday, Dac and I are leaving for Paris.  It will be the first time since college that I have been without a group of students.  It will also be Dac’s first time there as well.  I’m very excited to show him around and experience this amazing city again.

Cheese, cafe, croissant, baguette, oh my!

Jos76

Posted in Friends, Fun, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

There are Liberals in Texas

Posted by jos76 on March 5, 2008

One of the reasons that I wanted to start this blog was to show people in other states (and perhaps even other countries around the world) that life in a legal gay marriage is nothing out of the ordinary. Sure we have to deal with politicians dismissing our relationship and contributions to our community and economy, but for the most part we lead lives that are not very different from our straight friends and family. It has been several years since gay couples were granted the right to legally marry in Massachusetts and you can ask anyone in this state..nothing has changed.

The great thing about the Internet is that you can easily reach people far away and close to home. If you read through some of the comments, you will see comments from a man in Saskatchewan, Canada (on the About page) and from a guy who lives in the same county where I live (Bandittalks). There are also comments from both my mom and Dac’s mom.

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One of the best and most surprising outcomes of these posts has been recognition from a blog in Texas called Texas Liberal. This blogger wrote about my blog so that other Liberals (and non-Liberals) in Texas could see how normal and respectful gay marriage can actually be. You can see his post HERE.

It’s great to connect with the world.

Jos76

Posted in Faith, Family, Friends, Politics, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Studies have (not) shown…

Posted by jos76 on February 13, 2008

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I have two siblings, a younger sister in her twenties and a brother in his mid-thirties. The three of us could not be leading lives that are more different, yet somehow we grew up in the same house with the same parents. My brother is married (to a woman of all things) and has five children. My sister is still finding her way in life and is pretty adept at dating. I usually get the update from my mother as to who we should ask her about. Then there’s me, the well-adjusted middle child, no longer dating, no children

Dac, my partner, has two brothers, both older, both married, both with two children. Well, as of the writing of this post one of the wives is pregnant, so they have about 1.3 children. Then there’s Dac, the youngest child of the three brothers, married, no children.

Given that we have somewhat different sibling situations and that I was in the middle and Dac was the youngest, I can’t help but laugh at claims that relationships with parents (male or female) in any way contribute to “making” a kid gay. I grew up with a male and a female sibling who both grew up to be straight. Dac’s brothers grew up to marry women and soon became parents.

Both sets of our parents are very supportive of our marriage and no one (especially our parents themselves) think that our upbringing had anything to do with our sexual orientation. How could it have? We would have to actually accept the possibility that our parents had specifically different relationships with each of their children, so different that it influenced their sexual orientations. For anyone who understands the demands and time commitment required to parent even one child, he/she would clearly understand how ridiculous it would be to even try to do it two or three different ways. Who would have time to make sure that their kid is gay?

Jos76

Posted in Family, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »