Posts Tagged ‘blog’
Posted by jos76 on April 27, 2008
Dac and I spent the weekend away at a retreat. There is group of people in our church (an open and affirming congregation of the United Church of Christ) who were looking for a way to get together to talk about their spirituality and to engage in fellowship. I’m always a little hesitant with the word “fellowship.” I guess it is because I always think of old ladies sitting around drinking tea or some kind of tent revival situation. The only other time I hear this word is when we talk about the “fellowship hour” that follows our Sunday morning worship services. And, I must say, there are lots of older ladies sitting around drinking tea.
But, I got a very different perspective on the idea this weekend. We all formed a very interesting group. It ended up being five couples and our minister. We went to the Deering Center. Written on the sign, as you approach it on the winding New Hampshire road, is “Christian Family Camping, Conference and Retreat Center.” For most gay people, it would be a scary concept to even consider pulling in. However, Dac and I went in the fall with another group and we found that it is a very peaceful place and every person who works there (and volunteers there) embodies true Christian values.
Among our group were three gay couples (two female and Dac and I), and two straight couples, both couples are parents and one even has several grandchildren. We were all welcomed with open arms and had a great experience. I had a short conversation with the owner before leaving and told him how much we love going there. He said he was happy that we had such a great experience and told me that he wants to make sure that everyone feels welcome, regardless of where they are on their Christian Journey.
Dac and I are sad to hear how most people automatically assume that Christian=dislike of gay people. We understand why this is since so many fundamentalist groups do in fact disagree with our relationship, but we strive to also let people know that there is a place in the Christian Church for everyone. We have an Ichthus (the Christian fish symbol) on our car and I’m sure that when people see it they think, “they are gay haters.” If they only knew!
Posted in Faith, Friends | Tagged: blog, Christian, Deering, Gay, gay marriage, gay wedding, Ichthus, lgbt, relationship, Retreat | 5 Comments »
Posted by jos76 on February 27, 2008
I have had a good friend for about three years who is a Republican. We worked together for two years and she is really the only person from my old job with whom I have stayed in regular contact since I began my new job about six months ago. We get along really well and we both have very similar senses of humor. This has been great. I love having a friend that totally gets my sense of humor.
It’s an election year and Massachusetts held it’s primaries on Super Tuesday along many other states. Dac and I both voted Democrat. We actually believe in many of the Republican fundamentals (like limited government, low taxes, and individual responsibility), but our relationship and certainly our marriage is not supported or respected by the Republican party. We vote Democrat because on a social level, we want to eventually have access to the over 1,000 rights that are granted only to straight married couples. The Republicans would never go for this.
Back to my friend and former co-worker. We had dinner the other night and, as usual, we had a great time. We laughed, we joked, we talked about everything from financial advisers to job interviews. At the very end of the evening, as I was driving her home, I asked, “So who did you vote for?” She told me Romney. I’m never quite sure what to do with this sort of information. She is clearly supportive of me personally, but she votes for candidates that are completely opposed to allowing me and Dac access to the tax dollars that we pay to the government (in the form of marriage credits and Social Security). When I think about it, I guess that there are people who vote for Republicans for their own personal reasons, but may differ on social issues. I can only hope that she would in fact vote to legalize gay marriage if given the opportunity, even is she votes Republican in Presidential elections.
When I tell my gay friends and colleagues that I have Republican friends, they are shocked. I wonder if Republicans get the same reaction when they tell their fellow-Republicans that they have gay friends.
Posted in Friends, Politics | Tagged: blog, democrat, friendship, Gay, gay blog, gay marriage, gay wedding, lgbt, marriage, Massachusetts, relationship, republican | 13 Comments »
Posted by jos76 on February 23, 2008
Are there any new people living in your building?
ARE THERE ANY NEW PEOPLE LIVING IN YOUR BUILDING?
A-R-E T-H-E-R-E A-N-Y N-E-W P-E-O-P-L-E L-I-V-I-N-G I-N Y-O-U-R B-U-I-L-D-I-N-G ?
Welcome to an evening out with my grandmother. For years she has been saying that she doesn’t need a hearing aid. No matter how many times we tell her that she can’t hear anything that we are saying and she needs to get a hearing aid, she tells us something along the lines of, “I don’t need eyeglasses!”
I love Alice, crazy as she is, but Dac and I began to dread taking her out for lunch or dinner because the entire restaurant would have to be in on our conversations.
DO YOU WANT MASHED POTATOES OR FRENCH FRIES?….MASHED POTATOES OR FRENCH FRIES?…POTATOES OR FRIES?…She’ll have the mashed potatoes.
But this past weekend, during our monthly trek to grandmother’s house, we got a wonderful surprise. There was a little brown machine in her ear…just the right side…baby steps. We only had to say things twice at the most.
Soup or salad?….SOUP OR SALAD?
I won’t keep you guessing any longer. There are three new people in her building, she got the mashed potatoes, and a salad. Exciting stuff, huh?
Posted in Family, Fun | Tagged: blog, Gay, gay marriage, gay wedding, grandmother, grandson, hear-aid, hearing aid, lgbt, restaurant | Leave a Comment »
Posted by jos76 on January 30, 2008
In case you have been wondering why the blog title is Jos76, it is because I was born in 1976, when Gerald Ford was president (I just had to look that up. Do you know who was president when you born?) and disco was all the rage (that I knew). If you haven’t done the math yet, I’ll save you some time, I’m currently 31 (as of the writing of this post). This means that last year I had to turn 30. I didn’t see it coming. One day I realized that my 30th birthday was coming up in about four months. I decided that I wouldn’t talk about it much in hopes that no one would realize it. But, wouldn’t you know it, Dac and our families were well aware of my up-coming birthday and wouldn’t let it go by unnoticed.
It came. I turned 30. Nothing changed. I had already seen my brother turn 30. I attended a few 30th birthday parties prior to my initiation. Dac’s brother and his wife both had big parties and yelled their age from the rooftops. I figured that if they could do it, so could I. I was just not going to gather people to make sure that they knew. I was fine reaching the third decade of my life, but if others wanted to be informed they were going to have to figure it out on their own.
Dac is heading toward his initiation into the third-decade-of-your-life club in a few months and he is not yet sure if he wants to celebrate it or mourn it. We both work full-time professional jobs, pay a mortgage, vacation about once a year, contribute to our retirement funds, and stock-up at Costco. I’m not sure what wild and crazy 20-something lifestyle Dac is trying to hold on to, but I say that we pull him over the line with dignity and grace, whether he wants to come or not.
Posted in Family, Friends, Fun, The Past, What's Ahead | Tagged: 20, 20th, 30, 30th, birthday, blog, celebrate, Costco, Disco, Gay, gay marriage, gay wedding, Gerald Ford, lgbt, retirement | 5 Comments »
Posted by jos76 on January 26, 2008
So here’s a phrase that you don’t hear a gay guy say too often…I love my church. Better yet, here’s a phrase that you don’t hear Christians saying too often…we love our gay members. Ok, maybe we do hear some churches saying that they love their gay members and all gay people, but it is usually followed by something like..but we hate their sin and their lifestyle. This is the reputation that most mainline Christians churches have because of the media and many of the current political candidates.
However, this not really the ideology and theology of many Christians churches. Our church, an Open and Affirmation congregation of the United Church of Christ, is not at all what people might think. To get a better idea, watch this video of a UCC commercial that aired a few years back to get a better idea:
Dac and I have really found a church home in the UCC. In our particular congregation, there are about four or five gay and lesbian couples. Other than that, most of the congregation is made up of many multi-generational familes, including one man who was the first child baptized in the church close to 80 years ago. It is exciting to be part of a diverse group of people who respect us both individually and as a couple.
You can search for a congregation in your area on the UCC web site (the link is to the right). Be sure to look for an Open and Affirming (OnA) congregation as some UCC churches have not elected to follow this theology, though the vast majority has.
Posted in Faith, Friends | Tagged: acceptance, blog, Christian, Church, congregation, Gay, gay marriage, lgbt, OnA, Open and Affirming, religion, UCC, United Chuch of Christ | 2 Comments »
Posted by jos76 on January 23, 2008
A new sandwich shop recently opened up in my neighborhood. We moved into this neighborhood about three years ago and it is in a “rebuilding” phase. That is why we like to contribute to new businesses that open up occasionally. Some stand the test of time, while others have not. The Big Belly Deli looked promising, so we tried it out one Saturday afternoon.
While waiting for our Roman sandwiches, a man behind the counter (I’m guessing that he is the one after whom the place was named) asked Dac and me, “So, where are you guys watching the game tomorrow?” Dac and I looked at each other and Dac told him that we would not be watching the game. I was proud of him for being honest. I have to say that I usually go along with it in these situations and give the person an answer that he expects or wants to hear. In response to Dac’s answer, Mr. Big Belly said, “Oh, you have to work.” I said that “yes,” we had to work. I lied. Why do I feel that I have to do that.
The interesting thing is that for Mr. Big Belly, the only possible reason why two 30ish men would not watch “the game” is because they couldn’t because of something like work. And I played right into it and let him believe that this was in fact the case. I am a confident person and I am comfortable with who I am and the life that I lead. Yet, there are still situations in which I feel that I have to play the role that people expect. Honestly, sometimes it’s just easier. Dac is much better at giving an honest, “No, I don’t have to work. I just don’t like football.”
So, I’m working on it. If we let everyone think that there are only professional-sports-loving people in their world, then they will never know. I mean, for the most part we just blend in with the rest of the crowd, except for what we do behind closed doors. If we “choose” a lifestyle that finds us watching reruns of the Golden Girls instead of the Pats game, we should be able to do that. I think that next time, I will tell Mr. Big Belly the truth. I can hear his response now, “That’s fine if that is the lifestyle that you choose as long as you don’t try to force it on me. But hey, I understand…I had an uncle who wasn’t into the Pats, so I’m pretty comfortable with people like you.”
Look at that. I knew that Mr. Big Belly was talking about a football game and I was able to name a team off the top of my head. Dac, on the other hand, is still wondering who Pat is.
Posted in Friends, Fun | Tagged: blog, Deli, football, gay marriage, gay wedding, Golden Girls, lie, patriots, truth | 4 Comments »
Posted by jos76 on January 19, 2008
I truly believe that our healthy gay marriage/relationship/existence has a lot to do with our parents. Once they clearly expressed their feelings of acceptance, others followed their lead, especially given their respected roles in the family. I understand that not every gay person has this privilege. However, I can’t underestimate how important it has been for us to have parents who take their parenting responsibilities seriously and support Dac and me in our mutually-supportive relationship
A great example of this came about one day a few years back when I went to meet Dac’s father at his office. I went into the large engineering firm, went up to the receptionist in the lobby and asked her to call up and let Dac’s dad know that I was there. She asked who she should say was here. I said, “his son-in-law.” She called, got his assistant and let him know to pass on the message.
My father-in-law told me when he came down that his young male assistant said to him, “Your son-in-law is downstairs. I thought you had three sons. I didn’t know you had a daughter.” To which he replied without a second thought, “I don’t have a daughter, but I do have a son-in-law.”
Another unsuspecting person unwittingly influenced by those who support us the most. And if the boss says it’s okay, it’s okay.
Posted in Family, Friends, The Past | Tagged: blog, daughter, Family, father-in-law, Gay, gay marriage, parents, responsibility, role, son, son-in law | 4 Comments »