Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yawns, stretches, mmmm that was a nice nap

I have been so lax about my blogging. If I tried really hard I could justify it with some feel good stories or an anecdote of being too busy "finding who I am" or some other bullshit. But I'm lazy so I won't. To catch you up at least, here's what I've been up to during my break.

- Been to NYC twice (and thus had my heart broken and stomped on twice-that city has an abusive husband hold on me)
- Found my calling in graphic design (not that you could tell from my shitty looking blog)
- Found my other calling in art, specifically sculpture
- Been to the dentist a total of 6 times, my own personal holocaust
- Discovered who my friends really are and who in my family actually cares about me thanks to Prop. 8
- Made some killer quinoa and chicken and dumplings at least once
- Been accused of looking "too gay" because i was wearing my sparkley starred Chucks
- Got to be in a video with some fancy people - much love [title of show]!
- Made homemade puzzles with my nieces and nephew - cool uncle strikes again
- And many other fascinating adventures

So I'm not gonna promise I'll be better at posting. I can't make that promise BUT I can promise that I'll be here more frequently so that all 6 of you who have read my blog can read it again. Future installments will include: mandatory rant on Prop 8, being gay in lynchburg and art, art and more art.

Here's that fancy person video, I'm Please-


Jackie said...

Love the video! And I'm glad you have a new post FINALLY!
I do have a question though... my lovely Jake... Because your family and some of you friends support Prop 8 does it really mean they don't care about you? Seriously, honestly, really? (I know they basically mean the same thing but I'm gonna go with it.) If that were true, wouldn't it in turn mean that you don't care about them because they do support Prop 8?

Jake said...

From my point of view it means that they love their religion and prophets more than me. Most mormon proponents for it believe that Prop 8 (the limiting of marriage for heterosexuals only) is necessary to protect families and heterosexual marriage because that's what their leaders tell them. That my being married to another man, and calling it marriage, would inherently be detrimental to society. Therefore their commitment to someone else is more important than mine. That my love to another person is not as needed to society as theirs is. They want a law that says I can pretend to be married (civil unions)but it's not worth as much as what real married people have. And that stance hits me very very hard. At it's core is the idea that I am not as valuable as they are.

In short, they don't want me to be married. The thing that they say brings them the most joy, the most happiness, they do not want for me. All politics are personal. It isn't just some legal exercise or a test of mormon faith. This affects real people and their children.

Of course I haven't stopped caring about them because they support Prop 8! I love them so much that I would NEVER EVER support a law that called for mormon marriages not to be recognized; for a limiting of federal marriage rights just because they are mormons. Because I respect them and love them and think that they are just as important as me. My equals. It just breaks my heart to know that even if Prop 8 doesn't pass, that they don't think the same.

Jackie said...

Ultimately, as you well know, the LDS church encourages and challenges it's members to gain a true knowledge of the doctrines of the gospel of Jesus Christ on their own. This is accomplished through sincere prayer.
I am super bothered when people act like members of the LDS church can't or don't think for themselves. Or elude to the tune that we are blind followers of our Prophet and leaders in the church. That is completely untrue.
What I believe, what your family believes, what a lot of your old friends believe... that marriage is a sacred union between a man and woman for the purpose of creating children... is not something that has been force fed to us and like chumps we swallowed. We know it is true through a personal answer we received. Nothing changes that. Just because you have chosen to "come out" (for lack of a better phrase) doesn't mean we can alter what we know to be true.
Of course we love you, Jake. Of course we want you to experience ultimate happiness. Is that going to be best accomplished by redefining the word marriage? No. Why does a word stand in the way of your happiness?

Jake said...

Oh god, I wish I thought that you were blindly following. That would make it much easier on me. But I know that most mormons have prayed about it and thought about it. And trust me, that hurts worse.

One word doesn't stand in the way of my happiness. Any no one, not my family, not you or anyone else can make me happy. I'm much happier now than I ever was in the church. But all mormons in my life want me to be "happy" and what that really means is by being a mormon. Being celibate and alone in the church. I have no desire to be a mormon. I was in an environment where I had to hide all the very best parts of myself. You guys want me to be like you but I can't. I was literally going crazy. I was suicidal. A human being can not survive without emotional and physical intimacy.

Frankly, I think it is greedy of all proponents of Prop 8 to keep legal recognition of marriage to themselves. Tradition just for tradition's sake isn't a good enough reason. Slavery was a tradition. Monarchies were traditions. Feudalism was a tradition. Foot binding was a tradition. But the world moves on and gradually becomes a fairer, more equal place. Don't legislate your mormon worldview on me. I don't want to abstain from coffee or alcohol or sex either. I want to be equal under the law. Do you know that I can be fired from my job in Virginia just for being gay? There is no law against discrimination of sexual orientation here. And trust me, discrimination just cause you're gay is tradition too.

Jessica McKenzie Boden said...

Hi Jake! I noticed that my sister has been commenting on your blog, and I thought I would say a couple things as well. You may not know that I live in California right now. I specifically registered to vote in California (instead of absentee voting for Utah) so that I could vote on Prop 8. I voted Yes and let me tell you why.

The decision to support prop 8 was not easy at first. I thought of the friends that I've had in life that were gay when I knew them, or came out later on. I love them (and you) and have always been ok with their decision to live a homosexual lifestyle. If it weren't for my religious convictions I MIGHT not support prop 8. Luckily, after years of making poor decisions, thinking that I was searching for happiness, I did find happiness. That happiness not only comes from my little family, but largly from the church. I don't blindly follow a prophet because I've been told I have to. I follow the prophet because I know that he is God's servant. I know that the twelve apostles were called by God. I know that this is God's church. I know that by listening to and following the prophet and by having a testimony of Jesus Christ, I will be resurrected and have eternal life. I also know that the devil is cunning and clever. I know the power that he can have over you. I know that he can never immitate true happiness. I know that his only plan is to bring souls to destruction. I know I don't need to explain to you why God sent us to earth and why families are central to Gods' eternal plan. That is why your family supports Prop 8. They love you, but they also have a firm testimony in Jesus Christ and his teaching. Those teachings and those beliefs are far more important than a "civil rights" issue. When the church (that doesn't support any particular party and doesn't make it's members vote a certain way) comes out and publicly supports an issue, knowing what they have to lose, it shows me how important it is. It reminds me that the prophet is God's messenger, and God's plan for happiness and families is more important than the liberal agenda. I can love my fellow man, and still not support a lifestyle that I believe is against God's plan.

One of the other reasons I have for supporting Prop 8 doesn't have to do with church. It has to do with the education of children. The "No on 8" camp has constantly accused us of lying when we say that our children will be educated about homosexual relationships. Sorry to tell you this, but No on 8 camp is being very untruthful. 96% of California schools are already giving children a full blown "education" on homosexuality. Chidren as young Kindergarteners are "celebrating" Gay & Lesbian Pride Day, National Coming-out Week, and Gay Ally Week.
The schools worked very hard to keep those events unannounced. The parents weren't notified before hand, and none of those events were placed on the online school calendar available for parents. The parents didn't find out about it until after the fact. The State Superintendant of schools approved a fieldtrip to send children to a Gay, Lesbian & Transgender Festival that not only displayed Gay "paraphenilia", but all things pertaining to S&M, and Gay Pornography. Don't you think that is a little bit out of control Jake? Prop 8 goes so much deeper than just allowing same-sex couples to marry. I'm sorry, but my tolerance of homosexuality stops when someone wants to educate my small children on the modern joys of gay sex.

Another reason that I am against same-sex marriage.....I would like to keep my freedom of religion. Canada is a country that has legalized same-sex marriage. A man in Canada that ran a family values website has already been sued. What did he get sued for? For saying that homosexuality was wrong in God's eyes. He has been sued, and subsequently bankrupted because of homosexual activists demanding that he stop saying that he believes their lifestyle is wrong. A pastor was also sued, fined 5000 dollars and forced to issue a public apolagy and denounce is belief that homosexuality is wrong. The Freedom of Religion and Freedom of the Press is already threatened in Canada, and it's already starting in the US. Eventually all of our First Ammendment Rights will be threatened because of the Tyranny of Tolerance.

Heterosexual relationships and homosexual relationships are different. Domestic Parterships give same-sex couples all the same rights under the law. If it's all about love then why do you care what it's called? If you care about your family, then cut them some slack. You demand that they be accepting of you and your choices, but you're not accepting of their choices. God's law is the most important thing. Returning to him is the most important thing.

meredith said...

Wow. I can't believe I just read this statement: "Those teachings and those beliefs are far more important than a "civil rights" issue."

You're kidding right? If it weren't for those "civil rights" you wouldn't even be able to (sadly) vote yes for Prop 8. Civil rights allows you, as a female, to vote. It allows you not to be discriminated against because of your religion. It allows you to have the respect and freedom to be who you want to be without discrimination. Civil rights are human rights.

And your religion is already protected. Also, The U.S. first amendment rights are not the same as Canada's rights of freedom of expression. Also, being a Mormon is a "lifestyle" choice. Homosexuality isn't.

And if you want to bring Jesus into all of this, well, I think you've got some work to do. Jesus clearly says to work on yourself before you work on others. And if I'm reading all of this correctly, your vote for Prop 8 is a selfish one. It's all about you and your religion and how it will affect YOU. You aren't considering the other person. Only what you think is good for you and your particular sect...and maybe what YOU think is good for someone else (those trouble gays and their bothersome tyranny of tolerance they've brought upon the world).

You want Jake to think of his parents and friends and religion, all the while never considering Jake. And once you have considered Jake YOU are determining what's best for him. How's that work? Did Jake tell you how and who to marry? Did check tell you how many babies to have? Did Jake tell you it's ok for you to practice your brand of religion? What if you had to get permission from Jake everytime you wanted to make a decision about your life? You've decided that being a Mormon is good for you. Thank goodness there was a law already in place to protect you from discrimination. Thank goodness no one has tried adding a law to the books to say that being a Mormon isn't a valid religion and that it's considered disruptive to other churches (Catholic, Lutheran, Evangelical, Baptist, Episcopalian). Thank goodness for you because without you we wouldn't be able to have this discussion on how silly it is not to allow someone to marry the person they love.

And it's not just about words. "Civil Union". Do you want to know why it makes a difference in having the validity of the word marriage? Because marriage IS the ONE word in this country that allows two people to be married and have all of their joint rights protected...AND...validates them equally as a citizen. A civil union is great for the time being, but actually treats people like a second class citizen. It's about equality. Civil Unions are not equal. If it was, it would be called "Marriage".

Separate but equal does not work in ths country. Remember how ridiculous white water fountains and "colored" water fountains became? Who's allowed to ride at the front of a bus and who's ordered to sit in the back?

Jake has accepted his family's choice of religion. Jake has accepted the fact that HIS OWN FAMILY does not support him. Does he like it? No. Who would? Everyone wants their family's support. Not tolerance. That's false support. That's like saying you can forgive, but never forget. That's not real forgiveness. That's harboring something. That's not being able to let go. Jake made the ultimate sacrifice to his family by giving up on himself for them and their religion. But thank goodness he was strong enough to find himself and his heart. A heart that, in accordance to you, was given to him by a higher power and in essence a second chance. Maybe Jake was sent to YOU as a test by your faith. To see if you can take someone very different from yourself and walk in their shoes. To see if you can respect them as you respect yourself. To see if their life is as worthy as yours. To see how you judge your fellow man, not condem him. Maybe this is your "cast the first stone" test.

When you vote yes for prop 8, you are voting against yourself and your protection under the law in this country. What happens when Christians propose that Mormonism should be banned because they believe Joseph Smith to be a false prophet? Then you've become the minority. Why should someone defend you? Because you believe that you are right. That you are above their teachings. That only you and your religion have the correct answer. You can't be wrong. But, they'll win. There's more of them. But, you know what? I forget. You'll be ok. Because you'll still be one man, one woman, married in the eyes of God and church. And thankfully for you, they agree with you on that one. Whew. You have nothing to worry about. You're protected, even if they think you'll burn in hell for what they consider false teachings.

kind of scary to read all of this right? Seems like I'm might be judging you and your religion. Well, I'm not. I'm more open minded than that. I wouldn't dream of taking away your rights. I wouldn't dream of condeming you for your beliefs. I wouldn't ever think to tell you that your life is any less valid than mine. Why? Because I don't think God made me better than you or gave me a better rank in this world to make decisions concerning your life. So please, don't decide Jake's life for him. And PLEASE don't say Jake decided for himself by walking away from the church. That's such a cop-out.

Jake, you are my friend and I love you. Unconditionally. Except when you make that stinky brand of coffee. Then I dislike you for about 5 seconds. And then it's back to loving you. I'm lucky that you came into my life when you did. I'm so glad that I have you in this world. Your humor, you self expression, your ideas, your creativity, your laugh, your opinions, your honesty, your visible pain when I try to give a summary of ANY, in summary, I appreciate ALL of YOU! My love doesn't end in buts and commas and propositions. It ends with a song. I'd like to sing it...for you now.


Oh and BTW, it was nice tree.

meredith :)

Jackie said...

Jake, It's been a long time. I hope some day we can talk in person. Not to debate, or for anyone to prove themselves. Just to catch up with who we are now and what's going on in our lives.
I can't wait til this whole election period is OVER! Luckily it will be tonight.

[kɹeɪ̯ɡ̊] said...

Nice to have you back. I know what it's like to have family and "friends" decide you're aren't their equal. It makes no sense to me either.

Meredith, I'm glad you're an actual friend to Jake.