Jun 20, 2008
Happy Birthday, Jami!
Today is my very dear friend's 60th birthday. 60. Can you believe that shit? Wow. I mean 60. I thought it was a big deal when I turned 50 (ONLY 3 years ago!) but she is SIXTY!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAMI!
If you have a moment, stop on over at her place (but, don't take her word for it -- she really is THAT different!) and send your
condolences best wishes for a wonderful year. She truly deserves it.
Jun 16, 2008
Congratulations to the people of the State of California on this historic day! How cool is it that Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin get to be at the head of the line? 55 years together. In their 80s. Legally married. Damn. How often have I heard people say "I know it's inevitable, justice always is; but I doubt it'll happen in my lifetime"? I'm so happy for them. And, truly, for all of us.
It really is a step toward that inevitable justice.
Jun 15, 2008
Happy Father's Day!!
Today is a special day for me! It's Father's day! I am -- as nearly anyone who knows me surely understands -- unabashedly proud of my three daughters, and I (often) bore people as I regale them with stories of my children and their accomplishments. But, today! Today, I can revel in them without fear of reproach. Without them, I would not BE a father.
As an aside -- I know, with certainty, that not all trans-women with children identify as fathers. I honor their choice. I really do. But, for several reasons, I have never recoiled from that appellation (not even in public ... OK, OK, yes I know you all know that I asked my girls to not call me 'Daddy' in the ladies' room. Fine.). Had our circumstances been different, maybe they would have opted to call me "mamma" or some variation thereof, so as to differentiate from "Mom" or "Mommie"-- revered names reserved for the woman who birthed them. But, such was not our circumstance. And, consequently, I swell with pride at being "Daddy".
I have done a lot of the typical daddy things -- I taught them to ride bicycles, and to whistle. I tried (unsuccessfully, for the most part) to embarrass them by dancing in public places, like supermarkets and parking lots; instead, they danced with me. I would grab them and hold them in "inescapable traps", which of course, were always escapable -- bringing them much glee. I joined TaeKwonDo because they were studying it and I wanted to be a part of what they were doing. I attended their performances in school -- whether it was theater or piano recitals or chorus, or whether it was taking off work an hour and half early to drive 60 miles south to a special camp they had attended to watch their grand finale. I even argued with their step-mother over their right to live in their own messy rooms. And, I tried to help them with the expenses of school, with cash and cars. All typical daddy stuff.
But, I have also been an unusual daddy, and imperfect. I challenged their notions of masculinity and femininity. I certainly destroyed any comfort zone they had with introducing me as their father -- at least for a while; I was thrilled and honored when Amanda introduced me proudly as her "Dad" to her most beloved professor when she graduated from grad school this past May. As a result of my gender identity, the perfect nuclear family they were being raised in was abruptly, and painfully for all involved, ended. And, of course most tragic of all, I allowed my preoccupation with myself to deafen me to the needs of my eldest daughter at a time when she most needed me and I've lost her as a result.
But, I am nonetheless, a father -- warts and all. And, I'm enormously proud of that. I love my children more than the beat of my heart. Nothing brings a smile to my face sooner than the idea that I'll get to spend time with them, or hear their voices, or get a card or letter from them. For that reason, first and foremost, I LOVE Facebook. I can look upon recent photos of my kids and still play games with them and get their latest news, every day. I am still thrilled and proud every time Melody beats me in chess -- despite it happening more often than not. I am not sure I ever understood the need of my mother to constantly hear from me, to read my blog as if it were a religion until I moved away from my kids. Now, I completely get it! :)
They are all three grown, intelligent, well educated, successful and, yes, beautiful young women. I am their father. I am so proud of that.
If you identify as a father, then to you also I say -- HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!
Jun 03, 2008
Obama for President!
Barack Obama sealed up the nomination tonight. I am inspired by him and excited about the possiblity of seeing him in the White House. Now, I just have to figure out how I can best support his candidacy and get him into the Presidency and keep
Bush McCain out.
Oddly, I am also saddened today at the end of Hillary Clinton's campaign. No matter how you slice it today is an historic day. I would have been proud to support her for the Presidency. I *am* proud to support Obama!
Let's win in November!
Jun 02, 2008
Yesterday was June 1, the beginning of Pride month here in the U.S. and the day of Motor City Pride held each year in Ferndale (and sponsored by Triangle Foundation).
Rainbow Law Center had its first booth at Motor City Pride this year. We tried not to make it too elaborate. Instead we wanted to offer real help to clients and potential clients. Consequently, we did not offer give-aways and we did not attempt to collect names and contact information in order to build a mailing list.
What we did, instead, was offer free 15 minute legal consultations to whomever asked. We helped out a half-dozen individuals or couples with real-life problems, free of charge.
In addition, we developed some marketing-oriented handouts which we hoped would also be educational and we handed out over 50 packets of information to people. That seems like a small number when you think about 30,000 attendees, but it was very good from our perspective. Copies of our handouts are here:
We wish all our LGBT family a happy Pride Month!