May 22, 2014
commented on Two Reader Responses to My Trigger Warning Post and One Sensible Defense of Trigger Warnings
I am a survivor of longterm childhood sexual abuse. I have PTSD and am in therapy where I work on it. I have a certain amount of sympathy for people who want trigger warnings. This stuff is hard and it feels like the world should try to level the playing field.
However, as others have mentioned, beyond the obvious discussions of child abuse and other sexual assaults, it would take a wizard to know what is going to trigger a PTSD episode for me.
Right now, its my partner leaning over to kiss me goodnight on the side of our bed. But, that's new. Should she never do that again or should we negotiate how I handle it? Any kind of yelling or screaming or make aggression towards females sends me into a panic.
It's hardly ever reading something. I have control over reading. I can pick it up or put it down and no one is harmed in the process.
I'm not speaking for anyone but me, though. I don't know anyone else's experience well enough to speak for them.
Jun 6, 2013
commented on SL Letter of the Day: I'm Gay and Being Bullied By My Hyper-Religious Parents—What Do I Do?
I am a lesbian woman and the proud mother of three children: two straight adults and a 16 year old gay son ( by the way, he's incredibly cute and smart and funny and kind. Maybe I could introduce you two!).
My heart breaks for you. No one should have to go through this. Someday, I think soon, these kind of coming out stories will be rare and all of society will have great judgment on parents who do this to their children. That might not seem helpful but I mean it this way: things ARE getting better and your bravery is a piece in all of it getting better. Maybe your parents won't change quickly and maybe they won't change fully, but recent history shows us that it is by our own actions, our bravery, that we have changed the world.
And, by "we" I mean the great big, vibrant gay world that is just waiting to enfold and welcome you. YOU and others like my son are the reason that so many of us have lived out lives. Now, you have to help us. Stay alive, stay strong. It probably seems like this is a forever thing but its not. They will change a tiny bit at a time and you will be leaving so soon on your very own adventure.
In the meantime, in addition to all the other great suggestions, consider getting either the book or the movie "Prayers for Bobby". It's the true story of a mother who loved her gay son very much and who translated that love into a fear of him going to hell for being gay. Eventually he was driven to suicide. His mother, Mary Griffifth, is able to use her guilt in a positive way and became a tremendous advocate for gay kids. The movie isn't perfect but it might speak to your parents.
If you want to speak to me or to a sympathetic and very out 16 year old, I'd be happy to do that through Dan. Be brave, be strong. Look out for you, not your parents. They are adults and completely responsible for being adults. Breathe. Breathing is very good.
I will end this by sending all of the motherly love I have available. And my admiration and respect.
May 19, 2012
commented on SL Letter of the Day: Show This Woman Some Love
I know that you are saying that money is not an issue but sometimes money is what the rest of us have to offer to our new baby brother. Please allow us to help you in that way. Let us help him. Let us give him the concrete gift of a good start.
If someone would set this up, I think many of us would like to donate to his college fund. Or his "go to Europe and meet cute boys" fund.
May 18, 2012
commented on SL Letter of the Day: Show This Woman Some Love
I do believe in God. I believe in a god of love and light. I also believe that every hurt your family has caused you will now become the fire that you use to raise your very fortunate nephew.
I do not, however, believe in your birth family. No loving god created such hateful people. However, they are living the hell they created and my experience tells me that your reward is not having to be part of that hell.
I am a lesbian who is raising the last of my three children. He is an exuberant, happy and loving gay boy. So, it is with so much love that I tell you that both of you are in for an amazing ride and, rather than making me sad, this letter has made the sun shine a little brighter, the day a little more glorious. What a great gift each of you have received. What you are doing is a gift beyond price.
May 10, 2012
commented on SL Letter of the Day: Make Your Own Family
I don't think people should cut themselves off from their families if the reason they are doing it is to get their families to change their behavior or belief.
Cut them off because you don't need a message that you are a bad or less than equal person. Cut them off Iif it is doing damage to your relationship with your partner.
But, you can only issue an ultimatum, if you are willing to live with the result no matter what that result is. Plenty of families have happily let go of their gay and lesbian children. That's a hard place to be.
I agree that parents have a right to decide who sleeps where in their house. I do think that if you would. E married if it were legal, you should point that out.
I can't imagine adults spending that kind of money on a wedding. Wow. My partner and I got married in front of SF City Hall during the short legal window. Our adult children were there. And the rest of our family - the people who know us, who care for us, the community of people we have made who want us to succeed as a couple. The all held up the chuppa that we stood under. That's my family.
Jan 23, 2012
commented on If You Know Your Gay Kid Is Being Brutally Bullied At His School...
I think this is coming dangerously close to blaming two people who, as far as I know, loved their son for who he was, stood up for him in public amd tried to protect him. Two people who are having the nightmare that every parent dreads.
I say this as a lesbian and the mother of a 15 year old out gay son.
These parents were in Tennesee. They seem to have tried very hard. I understand that Dan is speaking to other parents but, today, my heart weeps not just for their boy but for them. Two people doing what we as parents try to do. The best with what we have.
Jun 29, 2011
commented on SL Letter of the Day: Get Out Now
I was married to a man for 14 years. We had two children. While I knew that something wasn't right, it took falling in love with a woman to make the pieces fall into place. I don't know about men, but it happens to women.
I think that "The Other Side of the Closet" is by Amity Buxton is a useful book. It may be a little dated now but pain and heartbreak pretty much feel the same no matter what decade it is.
Jun 7, 2011
commented on Savage Love
I totally disagree with Dan's advice to ATTW. For the sake of everyone involved, he should get out now.
An infant without one parent is far better off than a five year old whose parent leaves.
And, this guy is going to leave. His child has just been born and already he is looking for solutions that allow him to be unfaithful. Or, considering the option of leaving his child. There is some serious growing up to be done here and his wife and child shouldn't continue to pay an emotional price waiting to see if it happens.
Apr 6, 2011
commented on Heckling Billy Collins
Sorry, but I love Billy Collins. He writes in images that stay in my head and with me. He made my 14 year old son "get poetry".
"You can't just give the public what you think the public wants when it comes to arts; you have to challenge them, and make them want to rise to meet your challenge."
This phrase is literary snobbishness. First, you are assigning the author motives and a method for what he writes. I would challenge you to show us how you know that his intention is to give the public what they want? Secondly, that sentence reads as if you have a certain contempt for the poetry reading public is they aren't "rising" to your level of acceptability.
Secondly, why is accessibility a bad thing? Is it possible to love a poem that you have to "rise" to and also love a poem whose language draws you easily in but whose ideas make you look at the world just a little differently than we did before? Or, are we only allowed to admire something that is dense and difficult? Should I measure poetry by that standard? The more inaccessable, the better is it?
I realize that this was not an actual review, simply some off the cuff statements by a man I admire about a poet that I also admire. But, it was a little too simplistic, a little too dismissive for my taste.