Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fading Away

I feel my interest in blogging on the topics on this blog fading away. I think it is because of the following reasons:

1) Life's demands call me elsewhere.

2) Could it be that I've done all the inner work I needed to do to find resolution to my internal conflicts? I think so.

3) I think gay marriage WILL inevitably be the law of the land in the United States.

4) I truly believe there is important progress being made to more fully integrate Gay LDS members into the body of the church in a more loving way.

5) My desire is to be placed into a calling some time in the future where I can be a peacemaker and or a servant on these matters within the church and my local community. There, I've written it for posterity.

6) There are just certain aspects of "being involved" in an online community that get tiring. This occurs not just in this community but others as well.

7) While I think what I've had to say is important (at least to me), I wonder how much more there really is to say? How much value is there in one single "sexually fluid" female member of the Church's experience? We cannot possibly be monolithic. As far as I know, I'm the only remotely active LDS "both sex attracted" female blogger out who was attempting to parent a coming out teenager, but all the issues surrounding those conflicts are mostly over now.

So, to my special friends (you know who you are I think), have a very Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Once in a lifetime opportunity

Tonight, I'm going to pass up a once in a lifetime opportunity that is inconvenient due to scheduling conflicts, weather, and cash flow. I hope that I get another opportunity in the future. I will probably relax and fall asleep early which is not a bad thing.

There is a part of me that says,"Quiet Song, you should do this thing." The other part of me (the intellectual) says, "You can seek out a similar opportunity later."

Rational Quiet Song who is also the very sleepy quit song, wishes one and all a good night.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Movie List

The Movies that mean a lot to me:

The Fellowship of the Ring (Peter Jackson)

The Two Tower (Peter Jackson)

The Return of the King (Peter Jackson)

The Hunt for Red October

Gone with the Wind (for its study of classic female archetypes)

The Orginal Star Wars film (which ushered in an era and brought closure to my grief over losing a friend in a car accident)

The Other Side of Heaven (Best film ever made about Mormons)

A Christmas Story (How the rest of us really live and celebrate Christmas)

Obsession (Hitchcock)

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another Question Regarding Organizations such As Evergreen and Journey into Manhood

Every so often, a letter arrives from Church Headquarters to be read over the pulpit. One of those letters was read last week and dealt with the topic of therapeutic, social service agencies/non profits that loosely claim or present themselves as having an affiliation with the church. This is the don't do it letter that seems to come out every four to five years. With the recent publicity of Journey Into Manhood's program, I could not help but wonder about the timing of this recent letter and it would seem that Journey into Manhood is exactly the kind of suspect organization doing all the same things that the other suspect programs and organizations have done in the past with a gay focus.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Two Sides of the Same Rhetorical Coin

I find myself wondering if the gay community's readiness to blame that person's family of origin and the church when a GLBT LDS person commits suicide (or dies in any way that could be suicide)isn't very much the same as the readiness within certain segments of religious communities to blame the family or the gay person (i.e. his or her parents for not providing appropriate role modeling) and the gay community (i.e. the culture, the recruiters, etc.)for a person's expression of sexual identity or acknowledgment of same sex attraction.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Colt Hansen-Updates you may not have read . . .


"#1 – The fight between Colt and his Father the night before. It was originally told to PRIDEinUtah that the fight was over the Mormon (LDS) religion. It looks like this has been disproven, and the fight was over some private family matters which I don’t think I should post here.

#2 – Was his death a suicide? This is mostly likely going to be a grey area permanently. Half of Colt’s friends (including the ones who initially spoke with PRIDEinUtah last week) are saying it was a suicide, but the other half are saying his overdose on depression and surgery medications was an accident. The simple fact is we may not ever find out which it was. We are still trying to see the coroner’s report, but we are told the cause of death is still undetermined. However, after speaking with several health professionals we have been advised that even if it was suicide, the cause of death will almost always still be listed as accidental.

#3 – The parents do not want friends to attend the funeral. This was both true and false it seems. The family initially announced that it would be a family-only affair, prompting our story on Friday. Since then however his family has come out saying that they only did that because they didn’t think anyone would come. Any friends of Colt who would like to attend will be more than welcomed by the family. However this still doesn’t change the facts of how they handled the obituary, or that they are asking for donations to the Mormon Mission Fund in Colt’s name.

When it comes down to it though folks, none of this really matters. What matters is that we have lost an incredibly wonderful person in our community. The outpouring at his memorial at Try-Angles last night was incredibly beautiful, so many of Colt’s friends and co-workers shared personal stories about how he brightened their lives. I was in tears by the end, and was reminded of what’s really important. It’s not the details of someone’s death that count. It’s remembering who they were, and renewing your personal pledge to be the best friend you can be so that hopefully one day we can end these senseless deaths.

Rest in peace Colt, you will be dearly missed and you were dearly loved."

Saturday, November 6, 2010

An Emancipation Story

Ahhh, Freedom from Oppression on the new Underground Railroad for unhappy GLBT youth. Moho Hawaii blogs about a 29 year old cousin who intends to insist his 16 year old cousin in fleeing from oppressive Utah. I must say I can't wait to hear how this one plays out(Adult gay male relative lures Utah teen from his home-wait till the homophobes seize on that one).

As a parent, I do not support this kind of meddling from well intentioned outsiders and we had quite an issue with one of our hetero kids with it. With the Kid, he also wanted to move out early and I blocked it. Kind of. But not really, because here was the deal, "Kid, you meet all the requirements the court would have, i.e. show that you are capable of managing your financial affairs, etc. and I WILL HELP you fill out the paperwork for your emanicipation petition and support you before the court in getting it."

This is an issue that pops up in my professional life from time to time. There are adults who are happy to provide other people's children a place to sleep on a couch or with their child, to have unprotected sex, drink, use drugs and not go to school. I've not seen the gay version of this, but I've certainly seen it with hetero kids. "Oh, and Mom, me and her have a paper route, and her Mom can get extra food stamps if I come live with them and extra money from the state." And, in all fairness there are others who are just willing to help otherwise mostly responsible teenagers with real or perceived problems.

In our later case, the Kid didn't like the offer to assist him in becoming emancipated. At all. And the funny thing was as eighteen neared, he was not quite so ready to go and needed some ever so gentle motherly nudging to launch from the nest. We are all happy now and he has completed high school, which he would not have if emancipated or "moved out," is furthering his education and ability to support himself, and, I think is relatively happy NOW.

GLBTQ youth NEED their parents. They need them for access to Medical Care. Does 29 year old cousin have the ability to ensure that if there is a serious organic component to depression of teen cousin, he can get treatment for that? Some more than others need them for the structure and responsiblity. Is 29 year old cousin really ready to enforce some reasonable rules or is it going to be party hardy central in his apartment day and night? Hell, is he ready and financially able to feed the typical older teenage boy? And, I could go on.

If it is really that oppressive, then the local child protection agency would be involved and placement with the cousin may indeed be an option, but, interfering with the parent child relationship when that point has not been reached is indefensible. Adult cousin should offer to help in anyway he can, but if rebuffed should stay out of state and mind his own business until cousin is eighteen.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Own It Gets Better Post

My remarks are directed at parents, particularly any other parents like myself who may have more fluid sexual identity, are devout members of the LDS church, and are dealing with the early stages of a child questioning and coming out.

It gets better.

The internal conflict you feel may be debilitating, the decisions you are called to make on how to best counsel, guide and, yes, at times discipline your LGBTQ child may be daunting, and your ability to care for your own needs may be diminished. In my own case, I fasted and prayed, not for change, but for a greater ability to love, that my child might develop a testimony, and to know how to best respond. I eventually was blessed with tremendous peace and great hope for a better future. I also had to work and walk a fine line. With gay kids and the ever present dialogue over suicide issues, its easy to slip into lower expectations for them to avoid conflict. Don't. Stand firm and require progress in school and other facets of their lives.

Surprisingly, you will also come to a greater acceptance of yourself and have more grace in dealing with the foibles of others.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Question-Believing and LGBT or same sex attracted and parenting children who are LGBT or same sex attracted?

It has recently come to my attention that there are at least two other members of the MOHO blogosphere who could be classified as "actively believing" in the "gospel" and remaining close to the church and either consider themselves LGBT and same sex attracted, and raising children who are questioning, same sex attracted or openly LGBT. Are there more of us than three?

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Resignation of Boyd K. Packer

As I listened to his talk, the best way I can put what I heard from him on the "marriage" issue was resignation that change was on its way outside of the Church. And frustration. All in all, I thought that talk covered much more than marriage and touched the vast majority of all LDS homes through the pornography issue and others. I also found Dallin H. Oaks talk interesting in light of what I know about John G-W's experiences. However, I believe each individual has to do the very best they can in light of what they experience of the Spirit. And, I know in my heart that some things will always be in conflict or be ambiguous when it comes to the gospel. Each person must seek to reconcile their own experiences in the very best way they can. Perhaps most telling was the fatigued, wearied, yet powerful gratitude of our prophet at the end of the morning session.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How I will Spend Conference Weekend

My comments are inspired by Kiley's post on General Conference.

Today I might do some grocery shopping before settling in with my computer for the Saturday morning session. I may even do the dishes and begin my preliminary 'fridgerator' purge preparatory to grocery shopping, or maybe not. I will ask Baby Song if he would like to watch a talk or two with me this morning. He may or may not, but I will not require a Saturday morning session of him. After conference on my laptop, I doubt that I will reopen a conference program until very late this evening.

Some years ago, I helped start a community event which takes place on fall conference weekend. All of us Mormons on that initial board forgot about conference and didn't raise an objection to the timing, so for years we all had to juggle our community committment with our inherent conference commitment. This afternoon, DH and I and Baby Song will attend part of that event together. Then we will go home and work on our landscape for a while. I may bake sweet treats, make jam or make soup. Mid evening I will go to another part of the community event alone.

When I get home, depending on my fatigue level, I might listen to a rebroadcast of part or all of the afternoon session.

On Sunday, I along with Baby Song will probably get dressed and go to the Sunday Morning session of conference at the local building receiving the broadcast, although I have been known to skip it and only go to the afternoon session. I will make my normal Sunday calls to loved ones. I may go alone to the Sunday Afternoon session at the local building, skip it or watch it by myself on the internet. For the next few weeks I will watch whatever parts of conference I missed online by myself.

Sunday night, I will go alone or with a friend or possibly with DH and Baby Song to the final activity of the community event.

Sometime in the next few days, I will talk with Number One Song, who did the entire conference weekend last year and had some "picks" as to what the best talks were, to see what his take was on his favorites this year (that is, if he was off from work and made it to different sessions than I did). Last year DH and Baby Song joined in that telephone call and it had a bit of a flavor of a fantasy football draft as we talked about Number One Song's "picks."

If our history is any indication of the future, we will have at least 4-5 family home evenings in the next 2-3 months where we watch talks from conference from the internet archives and discuss them.

I will probably shoehorn a nap or two in somewhere as well. I don't suppose we "celebrate" fall conference in the stereotypical way, but I think it works for us. I also would like to blog a bit and do some bookkeeping for my business.

I do like conference weekends in both Spring and Fall, but I do not think I could ever do an entire weekend with my current family configuration and I've always had a bit of morbid disbelief that some families do manage to attend or watch the whole thing, together.

I've never attended conference live. I suspect it's one of those things that is really better for some people in person, although I do not know if I'm one of them-I don't think I'd like the traffic and the huge numbers of people. I love the flexibility of the broadcasts on the internet. Each year the technology required to deliver to a worldwide audience seems to improve as well.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

All the Tea in China, part 1

Sorry for the blank blog, more to come later on the following topics:

Power (of many kinds)

Anger (of not so many kinds)

and the Chinese and their Tea.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Last but not Least, the Bettie Page Hairstyle

I have never liked her high school graduation picture. It was the bangs. I hated the bangs. It's only been in the last year or so, while looking for vintage hairstyles, that I discovered Bettie Page. Bettie was the first "bondage" model. I'll leave it at that. No photos, no links. My mother was emulating Bettie Page in High School. No, this is not an exaggeration. I'm fairly certain.

The truth is that my Drama Mama was a narcissist. She needed to be the center of attention. When she joined the Church, she became a better person, she worked hard at it and tried to control that broken inner part. But, much of the manipulative, mean, jealous and unkind behavior that goes with that particular personality disorder still bubbled just below the surface. Just as sexuality had been an outlet earlier in her life, alternative medicine and her many practitioners and vendors became the outlet for the last two thirds of her life.

Still she mostly managed to keep the most obnoxious parts of that personality disorder under wraps. That was until her brain started to go in her final illness. Then she was in and out, with all the attendant consequences and the unfortunate enabling from the three princesses.

In the end, I still love her. And, hopefully this is the end for me in chasing all the puzzle pieces down and maybe I can now move on. I do feel a certain peace in the gospel and the atonement of Christ. It's big enough for me and my Drama Mama with all her foibles.

Cheaper than Therapy?

I sometimes wonder what this blog has cost me and what it has saved me in Therapy. Last night I spoke with Uncle Doc (last survivor of Drama Mama's extended family that I knew). She had "pissed him off" which had led to him not wanting anything to do with the Church and not returning my phone calls. I had written him off, but decided I just had to have some answers to questions, so I called and left a voicemail. He has really made a good effort to get back to me and claims he wants to stay in touch, which is deadening my feelings of loss. Here's a picture of me with my Drama Mama.

We did talk last night and he answered my questions. He said that Penny was the "best woman my Mom ever knew." Right away, without hearing my further questions about their sexuality. He said it was possible that they were lesbians or had a romantic relationship, but he didn't know. He confirmed that Drama Mama left the homelands for the big city a couple states away because Penny had a job there and "invited" Drama Mama to come out to live in the same city. Here's a picture of me with my "Aunt Penny."

Like me, he remembers that there was some sort of falling out between Drama Mama and Penny, but doesn't know what it was about. I don't remember us living with Penny ever, but we all spent a lot of time together. I also remember her giving a speech to Penny which was an it's a time for you to move on speech why don't you marry our friend the beatnik (which she did).

He helped identify a couple personalities for me,and, I love his TMI moments, confessed that all had been drinking too much and he woke up one morning in bed with my biological father's former girlfriend (before Drama Mama)without knowing what had happened between them or if anything had happened at all. Any way Bio Dad's former girlfriend also appears to be a big part of my life as a baby and toddler as her name is also all over my baby book.

Finally, his memory was that Drama Mama got kicked out of nursing school (a residential program) because the Nuns thought she was a bad influence on the other women in the program. He said she was running with a very bad and well known group of "rough" people. He also confirmed that his older brother was routinely calling the school and asking, "Is this the Catholic whore house?"

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Other Mother- Penny?

I'm sorry if I've bored any readers to tears with processing the passing of my Drama Mama.

There is more than one picture in the photo album of me with "Penny." I can't help but wonder if my life would have been better if lived with my two "Mothers," instead of just my biological mother and her bad choice in LDS men. Penny predeceased Drama Mama by five years. Of course this assumes that they would have partnered, and while Drama Mama had admitted to having that experience open to her, she always claimed to have never taken that path.

I always said I was going to try to invest some time in reestablishing my relationship with Penny. Penny was never happy with her husband that she later married and they had children, at least one of whom, was a down's syndrome baby. I have so many memories of spending holidays and just good times with Penny. She died before I could really do that. Funny thing is that my DH actually had a better relationship with her in later life, just due to the coincidence of actually being around when she called and making some outbound calls regarding Drama Mama's mother's death.

In my heart of hearts, I would have liked to have a rational mother and father of opposite sexes, but I didn't get that did I? I have to say that in thinking it over, if I still could have somehow had the opportunity to have the gospel in my life, having two Moms in Penny and Drama Mama and no Dad, would have been better than wicked stepfather and Drama Mama together. I think Drama Mama would have been less strung out all the time and would have had a better life herself had she been coupled with Penny.

But that is all conjecture, nevertheless, I couldn't help but think of it as I looked at the many pictures of Penny and couldn't find the picture of Bio Dad I thought was in the album. Watch for a picture of me and Penny in a later post.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Value of Negative Space

DH is a curmudgeon. I was thinking this morning that there is probably some value in his negative outlook to his world to our relationship. Then I heard an interview on the radio of a gentleman who was explaining that there is a certain beauty in negative reality. I totally get this from every perspective. It takes a lot of confidence in every way not to fall into the traps of either end of the spectrum. But there is tremendous pressure not to dwell in reality especially when it sucks and for some people the very fact that there is negative reality is problematic. It shouldn't be though.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning-my new (old) parents

Looking over my baby book, I discovered that I have yet another also known as name. Drama Mama apparently intended at one time that I, too, go by the last name of Browning. Regular readers will recall my earlier post which described Drama Mama's psuedonym and her wedding ring. Dear readers you will also recall my post wherein I decided to look for new parents now that Drama Mama has passed.

While I was sharing the information about my new (old) birth name, DH was scratching his head and said, "you know, I think there was a famous poet or writer with that last name." Sure enough, we went to our vintage 80's encyclopedias, and therein we found Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Ms. Elizabeth Barrett, secretly married Robert Browning, another poet. Her father disowned her, but she had her own means from her work. She and Robert moved to and lived happily in Italy.

DH is fairly sure that "Penny" Drama Mama's long time "girlfriend" came up with this name because of the obvious similarities/opportunities/cover up possibilities. Given the obvious hilarity of this situation in retrospect, I'm thinking I can just make up the perfect family and pick things up where she left off. I will simply make up the siblings and parents I would like to have and pretend they are my family.

The problem is, that I'm having a real tough problem figuring out how to make up the perfect Mormon Father, Mother and Siblings for me. Any suggestions? Please help me develop the characters for Quiet Song's virtual family of perfection on earth. Also, I'm thinking about calling them something other than the Browning's or the Song's.

At this point it's pretty clear they've got to be at least intellectually LGBT friendly and have strong testimonies. Slightly on the liberal side of the political spectrum would be good too. Good conflict management skills and integrity are a must. What else?

Poets, they must be poets.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Neglected Homes and Wounded Families

I made a quick trip to retrieve the belongings left to my branch of the family tree by my Drama Mama at her passing.

Also, I went through a few of the dregs the three princesses sent home with my "good" Sister. I was surprised at how much I did want. We are minimalists at our house, and, yes, we really can use some additional rubbermaid storage containers. I think carefully before I buy things so we just don't have overflowing cupboards with things others might find mundane but essential.

I picked out a few items of her clothing that I thought I might like and a pair of shoes. By the time I arrived at my home, I realized the folly of that idea. There is no way I could bring myself to wear any of the clothing. First, it isn't me. Second, there are just too many strong emotions. The shoes maybe. We'll see.

Before leaving, I went by her house, which sits vacant, neglected, abandoned. The three princesses after so much hullabaloo to become Drama Mama's personal representatives have declined to open a probate, kept all of the valuable personal property not specifically given to someone in the will and haven't bothered to give notice to the creditors of her passing. The house is upside down. My "good" sister is still getting calls from creditors.

The house which made my Drama Mama so happy in her last years looked so forlorn with the front lawn thirty inches high and a yellowed newspaper on the walk. All the light was gone and only a dreary, sad and pathetic aura pervaded the place. Somehow it seems like an altogether too fitting metaphor for the injury to our family that will never heal.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Many Phases of My Relationship with the Lord

So, I've been asked to talk from the heart and my personal experience about my relationship with the Lord.

As I've mulled this over, I have come to the conclusion that I've experienced many phases or developmental stages in my Relationship with the Lord.

The First Whispering of the Still Small Voice

It all began with my childhood phase. Where I felt the Lord witness plainly and simply to me.


Then there was my teenage phase where I repeatedly prayed for confirmation and repeatedly got it.

The Guidance of a Patriarchial Blessing

I then had a Patriarchial Blessing phase wherein I really delved into that blessing and just about memorized it, such that when that first same sex attraction appeared later I knew that the Lord had already given me guidance on that issue. Characterized by pondering and praying.

The Resource of Institute

Then there was my Young Adult/College Student Angst phase where I sorted out all things bizarre/difficult such as Polygamy, feminism and the priesthood and who I was and returned to activity. Characterized by studying of secondary source materials (at the institute library) and some prayer.

The Sisterhood of Relief Society, a Mother's Prayers and Family Scripture Study

Then there was my young wife/young mother/resentment phase where in I realized life was not just some caricature of a happy ideal, that I too, would suffer and face difficulties. Characterized by heart rending prayer and tears, leaning heavily on my sisters in the gospel and my first really sustained effort as an adult at family scripture study. Daily appeals to the Lord on behalf of a child. The beginning of my integration into the greater body of the Church as something more than a recipient of other's acts.

The Consequences of Denial of the Holy Ghost and the Tender Mercies of the Lord

Next came my relationship with the Lord in my extremities as I failed to follow the promptings, put away my desires for the riches of the world, and do what had been revealed by the Lord to me. I suffered profound physical pain which I know could have been avoided. I came to have a deeper recognition of when the Holy Ghost was working in my life through this experience and to fully understand the consequences of not heeding the Spirit.

The Astounding Benefits of Temple Attendance and the Power of the Priesthood

After that came a period of time where I was able to attend the Temple regularly often with great difficulty. This phase culminated in my greater understanding of the Power of the Priesthood and the application of Priesthood Power in my life on behalf of my children.

In the Valley of the Shadow Wherein I Rejoiced in all the Things Past that the Lord had Done

During this time I suffered deep mental, emotional, physical and financial privations as step by step I followed extraordinary personal revelation in faith. I learned that even without an ongoing burning in my bosom, I could rely on those previous extraordinary witnesses and ordinary witnesses to carry me through a time when feeling was not so easy to come by.

Finding The Peace of the Lord through Fasting, Prayer and Scripture Study

When I first went through my huge internal turmoil regarding the Kid's coming out, Prop 8, DH and Girl Song's disaffection, and the enormous professional growth I was making,I had the opportunity to teach the scriptures at Church which necessitated deep study. This was came at a time when I had enhanced intellectual ability and an expanded ability to analyze what I read in the Schriptures. Because I was having such a hard time myself and so many members of my family were also suffering in one form or another, I decided to fast weekly. I also had the opportunity to have great personal prayer at this time on a daily basis. Finally, to this day, I'm still the primary giver of prayers in the home, although Baby Song occasionally steps in.

I learned how to love with a Christ Like love during this time and have been extremely blessed with Peace and the reduction, and finally the absence of internal conflict and a witness that the Lord is at the helm and all will be well in the end.

I Hope to Endure Valiantly

This last phase has been so amazing for me and I know that I have received exactly the kind of blessings the scriptures speak of during this last phase. I so wish that I had understood this twenty years ago, but I wasn't ready. I had to learn through not only my own adversities and failures but through the experiences of those around me as well.

I am finally at the place where I no longer fear what the Lord may send me as I know there are more things for me to learn before I leave. I expect to experience additional types of loss, disappointment, heartache, and failure. But I'm ready and I've learned to rely on the Lord and to give thanks for the opportunities and the blessings of this sweet experience here on earth.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Little Piece of Peace

This has been a bit of a calm week here in Songville. Inquiring minds want to know whether or not the Kid still has a boyfriend, we think not as he was out with a girl yesterday. Girl Song may land a job nearby, we are trying not to get our hopes up. The weather is changing but in a good way. And, so far so good for the fine month of September.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bean Counting

You've got to love it. Well, somebody needs to anyway.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

First Anniversary

It has been a year since I started blogging. I'm feeling much better about things and have resolved or found peace with most of my internal conflicts. It's over two years since I found the MOHO blogosphere and starting reading the blogs of others. Thank you all for raising your voices. We may differ greatly in our diversity of experience and viewpoints, but it has been very helpful to me both as an individual revisiting my own slightly more than straight sexuality and as a parent of a LGBT person. And, perhaps most importantly as a faithful member.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Distraction of Whales

As I was studying this morning's Gospel Doctrine lesson it occurs to me that the story of Jonah's involvement with the interior anatomy of a whale is an unfortunate distraction.

For the first time in my life, I recognize that the real miracle in this story is the reprentance and conversion of an entire town of people of perceived (in the minds of the so-called faithful)hardcore sinners who were not part of the covenant church (non-members). The second misunderstood miracle is the patience that the Lord shows to a rebellious, stubborn, biased (and probably fox news watching, well intentioned, bigot of his time) member called to minister (home teach or proselyte) to persons he considered barbaric enemies. Much to Jonah's disappointment not only does the Lord love them enough to send a messenger, but when they actually do what the Lord wants them to do, he is dissapointed that they don't metaphorically burn in hell and the Lord spares them. Jonah decides to wait on the hill to wait for hellfire and brimstone, but instead he is the one the Lord both blesses, chastises and teaches by virtue of a gourd and a worm. The worm is considerably less dramatic than being swallowed by a large sea going mammal and regurgitated.

The story of Jonah is really not about miracles, it is instead about those character defining moments of learning to love (oftentimes with some serious prodding from our heavenly father) and serve others in spite of our pride, our stubborness, our ethnic, racial, political, religious or other biases, and our simple human tendancy toward rebellion in all its forms.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Planetary Alignment and When He (She) Just Says No

Click here for interesting theories and commentaries as to Men's roles in sexless heterosexual marriages. I would have to agree that(choose your answer):

1. Sex IS a lot of work (at least until you get enough practice).

2. Partnered life has a lot of distractions.

3. A lot of expectations are placed on certain types of "performance."

4. Partners as they age and reproduce just don't look as attractive as they did at the beginning.

5. Anger and unkind words are a major turnoff.

6. Physical, mental, spiritual and emotional problems can interfere with desire.

I partially blame the movies and the media for setting us up with false expectations. Sex, in reality, has always been messy, inconvenient, dangerous and has had a lot of potential negative consequences. And, more often than not, it is a lot of work if not in the actual act, the preparation for the act. And, I've read that it is even more "work" or "sacrifice" when in a mixed orientation marriage. I acknowledge and honor that.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tony Kennedy and the Supremes

One thing I love about the Prop 8 issue being before the courts is that it is, in general, quieter. Last night, however, the junior partner of the home teaching pair raised some questions regarding what happens next. Many analysts and pundits see the whole issue being left up to Justice Anthony Kennedy as the swing vote. I shared with him, that since I have had more exposure to Tony Kennedy than the average citizen, I'm fairly certain that he will vote to uphold gay marriage.

I guess that isn't really what my guest wanted to hear. That gay marriage is now possibly on its way to becoming the law of the land.

His partner really didn't want to hear my speculation that the LDS church would eventually become a pretty gay friendly church either. What do I base this counter-intuitive perspective on? The last verse of Section 124 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the manifesto, and the 1978 priesthood revelation. Read those three together and I think you can follow my reasoning and understand that with or without a revelation, practice and policy may change. Which is not say they will go as far as sanctifying gay marriages in temples . . . .

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Better Boob Story

A very close friend of the family wished to fairwell The Kid by giving us a barbeque lunch before he departed the airport for a place distance to begin his college education. Our friend lives with two other gentleman, all of somewhat curious personality. All three are best described as eccentrics. They are all older than 65 years of age.

Upon arrival, one of the men, we shall call him E, was busy with the bbq. The first thing I noticed about E was how much I liked his new haircut, a bob. The second thing I noticed about E was that he was wearing a pair of dangling earrings. The third thing I noticed about E was that he had breasts.

So, I racked my brain (no pun intended). Did E have breasts the last time I saw him? Some men have naturally larger breasts. I couldn't remember. Had my friend mentioned that E had some sort of hormonal imbalance or illness? No. E was wearing a non form fitting t-shirt in a dark color, but I did ascertain a distinctly female curve to the breasts.

E either was in the process or had finished sex change surgery.

Ok, so onward and forward. Not so easy, because DH brought the subject up in the basement away from E who was outside manning the bbq. Yes, our friend informed us E is now a she. The Kid knew before as he had been over to visit a couple weeks before. By the end of the bbq we were all calling E by her new female name.

We all had a very good time. DH however reports feeling shocked and wishing someone had let him know before hand. I, on the other hand, feel just a little bit jealous. E is a seventy year old with perfect, beautiful breasts. I don't have perfect, beautiful breasts after five decades on the planet and four breastfed babies. The least they could have done was to give E an age appropriate droop and sag.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Cheese with my Whine

As a small business person, I AM REALLY READY for the recession to end. I am sure I am not alone . . . .

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rolling on the Floor Laughing my . . .

well you know what off. A big personality flaw of mine, laughing when others are totally serious. Irreverent. Twisted. And Wry. And laughing. And they say I have no sense of humor . . . .

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Part of the Rest of the Todd Ransom Story

Some members of the Ransom family have created a website to honor Todd's memory.

Todd's sister unequivocally states that Todd suffered from Manic Depression (Bipolar disorder) and that there were other reasons that he committed suicide other than the Church. The website is silent as to what the other reasons are, but a careful read reveals a committed intimate partner that doesn't seem to be part of the current picture. It would be interesting to know what the facts are in regards to that.

And, before you start down this path, no, I do not believe the argument flies that the family interfered with the partner's mention in the obituary or involvement in the funeral was because the family prohibited it. Why? Because the partner's family is prominently mentioned in the obituary. My guess is this person is now a former partner. More will come out on this later I supppose. People with Bipolar disorder are hell on wheels on loved ones and family members.

Go here for more a factsheet containing the following information on bipolar and suicide:

The suicide rate among individuals with bipolar disorder is the highest of any psychiatric illness. Last I heard this was not a "gay disease."

-Bipolar disorder is associated with an increased risk of suicide.
-Nearly half of all U.S. suicidal deaths each year are in patients with bipolar disorders.
-Their risk for suicide is more than 20 times that of the general population.
-Of particular concern is that attempts made by bipolar patients have about a 1-in-5 chance of being lethal, compared to a 1-in-20 chance within the general population.

And to go over plowed ground again-Handgun? Substance Abuse?

Monday, July 26, 2010

In This Corner the Bisexuals

Over the weekend, I had a conversation at a party with a couple of guys who at first glance appeared to be gay male partners. As the conversation turned toward sexuality in our little corner, one of the men, now widowed, referenced his successful long term marriage with his deceased wife. As we then discussed the very different character of their partnership, they mentioned they both still "date" women, albeit different types of women and separately as well as maintaining their "partnership."

This was a very pleasant and life affirming conversation as one partner had an LDS background and I felt very comfortable with the discussion because:

1) My religion was never disrespected and my desire to live it was totally affirmed.
2) My own and my child's sexual fluidity was totally understood.
3) There was utter respect paid to the long term Mixed Orientation Marriage of the one partner as well as the previous marital relationship of the other partner. I particularly appreciated the characterization by the widowed partner of that relationship as being a "successful marriage."

It did occur to me though, that these gentlemen are exactly what both the far ends of the the spectrum of thought fear in defining what a "gay lifestyle" is or shouldn't be, in both the gay community's portrayal of the monogamously coupled same sex partners as the new gay ideal and the one man and one woman camp. It seems to me that bisexuals or overtly bisexual behavior is something that even the gay community really doesn't want to acknowledge on a number of fronts, particularly in light of the argument that one cannot choose to be "straight." Then add in an open relationship which crosses orientations and you have something totally mind blowing for most people who raise arguments on either end of the spectrum.

If you missed the gay softball debacle in which a team was disqualified for having too many non-gays, i.e. bisexuals, click here.

And, of course, as a person of the LDS faith their choices are not what I would choose. My DH was busy trying to figure out how to pigeonhole these two into the gay marriage debate. I don't think gay marriage really relevant to them the way they have chosen to be partnered anyway. DH kept saying, but they don't act like married people, so they are not really partners. I kept saying, if they want to call themselves partners, that is their call not yours. How do you provide a marital status that reflects bisexuality and polyamory, well that's part of the long term societal problem, isn't it?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Strange Bed Fellows, Me and Steven Fales

Todd Ransom, I knew ye not. Let's see how the facts actually play out in the next few months. I couldn't find any mainstream news articles on this young man's suicide just a lot of noise in the blogosphere, especially from others who knew him not but had something to say- usually to condemn the Mormon Church. While I find it strangely disconcerting that I agree with anyone from Narcissusville in Pearsondom, Steven Fales has hit the nail on the head in his blog today as he analyzes the reaction to Mr. Ransom's suicide and his rather poetic suicide note.

Once again let me post the link to the Harvard Suicide Means Reduction website. I do not know if Mr. Ransom used a firearm to take his life, but the fact is that 60% of men who commit suicide in Utah do. Overwhelmingly, those firearms are handguns. Add in a little substance abuse with a moment of impulsivity and you've got a suicide attempt. Also, read this interesting peer reviewed medical review article regarding the protective effect of an active LDS lifestyle (i.e. no substance abuse) for Utah Men.

On a day when it's become clear that bloggers with more agenda than facts can rattle the current presidential administration of the United States with a phony reverse racism ploy, I'm waiting for the facts on the Todd Ransom suicide story. Here's a timely Op-ed piece on bloggers run amok.

As to Carolynn Pearson and her tribe, "It sure aint Christian to hate a stranger, but I don't like her" even though today I find myself partially on the same page with Mr. Fales.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Baby Song on Lady GaGa

So, in celebrating the Kid's life acheivements we were out at his favorite eatery for chicken fried steak, and the topic of Lady GaGa came up. Baby Song solemnly interjected in regards to Ms. GaGa and others that had been discussed, "their doctors should really do a better job of watching over them . . . ."

From the mouths of babes.

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Past Without a Future

Things Change. Always.

For many years, I have not hung some of my picture frames with numerous little small photos in them. Years after moving into this home, I'm finally at the place where I'm ready to hang them. One frame contains pictures of Drama Mama and the three little princesses and my sane sister. I debated whether or not I wanted to look at those pictures on a daily basis, particularly due to my very slow processing of my frustration with Drama Mama and the three little princesses. Girl Song thinks I really haven't dealt with my anger and often suggests that its normal and that I really should feel and express more anger than I've expressed thus far.

I've decided those pictures are a part of a past, and even though there is no part of a future I desire with most of the persons whose portraits are in the frame, it is ok to remember them and to memorialize them.

The Kid asked me a long time ago, if I had been a teenager now rather than then would it have affected the expression of my sexuality? Or, to put it more bluntly, would I have made more overtly gay choices? I don't know the answer to that question. It was possible, but probably not probable. The same thing that drove a lot of my choices as a defacto heterosexually identified young woman (this wasn't something I understood until much later, when it became crystal clear to me that I could have lived just as happily with a woman as a man) also would have driven my choices as a heteroflexibly identified young woman had I been aware of it. Basically, it was my testimony.

The funny thing was that even with a strong testimony, I really didn't see a temple marriage or even a standard issue "mormon" young man as part of my future, because I didn't fit the mold. Add to that, the meeting and falling in love with DH early in life. There were a lot of things that just never hit my radar screen back then at all. So, my experience as a person with a testimony has not really followed the acceptable track, partly because I didn't see myself as a person with access to that track to begin with.

So that potential past as something other than a straight woman, really just has no legs and I don't think it ever would have had a future. Similarly, I have a hard time seeing myself no matter how I have turned things over and over, of making any fundamentally different choice in the type of person I chose to settle down with. I know it is fatalistic, but that's how I see it. No other type of past choice probably means no other type of future would have occurred.

I guess that is where I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow spiritually as a person whose life hasn't fallen perfectly in line with cultural normative life trajectory we often think of in the Church. Yesterday, to my delight, a divorced, single brother was called into the bishopric in our ward. I would have thought that he had a past without a future for growth in his church service and that the fact that he is not currently married would have barred his service, but, apparently, it does not. I know this person to be a very good man who has trod a path that diverged significantly from that culturally normative life trajectory.

That Past that he had does not have a future, but his new present does because of his current choices. And, that's why I'm going to take the step of acknowledging my past and move forward with my new present and its future by making a choice that is open to a future by hanging those pictures and giving my frustration a rest.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Married a Teenage Boy and Why You Should Keep Your Opinions About MOM's and Teenage Marriages To Yourself

Disclaimer: I both mean and do not mean this title. Of course, anyone has the right to express their opinion under the constitution. As do I.

After 30 plus years of teenage marriage, I am totally fed up with hearing and reading about how teenage marriages fail. I recently went through this same calculus on a listserve I belong to. My marriage is successful, statistically speaking, because I married a teenage man as a teenage woman. There are many other reasons: we were older teenagers, he had saved quite a bit of money, he already had the equivalent of an associates degree in college credits, I had an entire year of coursework down and was living independently of my family, we were both LDS (he somewhat marginally), I was not pregnant, he was raised Catholic and had an intact family (of nine kids only one has had a breakup of their long term relationships-gay BIL was partnered to his death as well), and my DH's incredible work ethic.

While it is true that teenage brides' marriages fail at a very high rate, the same cannot be said of the marriages that teenage grooms make. In fact, A teenage man's rate of marriage failure (divorce) is considerably less for some time than those men who marry at a later age. If you look carefully at the available statistics, assuming they are reliable (there is somewhat of a debate about this, Time magazine has called them "murky"), you will also find that teenage women married at a rate of 3-5 times the rate of teenage men.

This my friends is the key to the teenage marriage failure rate. It's not the teenager to teenager marriages that are failing, its the teenage woman to adult male marriages that are failing or have failed in the past. Why? I am not a demographer, but I have researched the question of who are the fathers involved in this country's high teenage pregnancy rate. America's dirty little secret is that they are not for the most part teenage fathers. Let me drive that home for you, it is adult men having sex with teenagers.

Who are these men? Well, generally they are men who older women won't have. Men who have a history of incarceration, domestic violence, chronic underemployment, have several children already, and other difficulties. Why do teenage women gravitate to them? The common thought is that these men although damaged do compete very well for the affections of teenage women compared with inexperienced teenage boys. I would submit to you that this same group of men are also a large component of the older men marrying teenage women. And, given their track record it should be little surprise to anyone that these teenage brides experience a higher divorce rate.

There are demographic pockets within all of these statistics that don't follow the generalizations I've made above, but if teenage marriage is so bad overall, you would expect it to be equally bad for teenage men who marry, but it's not. Overall, teenage marriage is very, very rare, and it's even rarer for teenage men. It would be interesting to know more about the asian and white teenage men who marry. Are they in the military? Did their parents arrange their marriages?

Now to transition to the comparison of Teenage Marriages to Mixed Orientaton Marriages. To begin with, I think it is entirely tacky and inappropriate for anyone to talk down to any person who is of age about their desire to marry. Period. It is, frankly, none of your business to start discussing how their marriage will fail. Please tell me the last time you went to a friend who was contemplating their second or third marriage and said, "Joe, I understand your desire to get married, but I have to tell you the statistics are not in your favor . . ."

What are the divorce statistics for second and third marriages? Not Good. For a second marriage it's 60% and for a third marriage it's 73%. Now for a little equal opportunity spiteful hurt, let's just add in a speculation on my part. The rates of domestic violence are the same in the gay community as the hetero community. The rates of relationship problems regarding low libido are the same in the gay community as the hetero community. If things are really more the same than they are different, is it not possible that if you've been married before albeit to the opposite sex, that the mere fact that you have been married at all makes it very likely that even if you marry a same sex partner, if you are so fortunate to find someone even willing and or able to make that commitment to you, that you have an extraordinary high chance of divorce?

Is that really something you want to have thrown up in your face all the time? Or to be compared to the very most dysfunctional and inappropriate (funny how society only gets worked up about FLDS men marrying teenage women) marriages made in society?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Aversion Therapy-Check, Check, Check

How awful, how dreadful, how widespread, how wrong, . . . how in retrospect.

Just a few jolts off the old internet:

In the UK.

In residential schools.

In Britain in the sixties as archived by the NIH.

And Aubrey Levin from South Africa to Calgary.

Can you believe it? It was going on in places other than BYU? It still goes on. And I thought Mormons were the only ones involved in such sordid research and practice?

Any of you scientifically inclined souls care to have a run explaining the scientific community's one time fascination and embrace of Eugenics while we are at it?

Or care to at least tell the whole story in the context of the times?

I'm still waiting for the documentary evidence that BYU's "studies" occurred without informed consent.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

This Is My Church, Too

I think I've mentioned this comment before. "This is My Church, Too." It was made by a friend as an explanation as to why he became active again. It is a statement which has come to guide my navigation of a difficult time.

Not only is it my church, but it is also my gay, bi or questioning child's church, my doubting family members' church and my faithful but struggling family member's church. When we have the courage to say I or WE are different but we still belong in word and action, our actions speak more eloquently than nearly anything we could say.

Yesterday was a happy day, the Bishop handed me the Kid's seminary graduation diploma. I was expecting a fourth year certificate and was pleased that they had put it in a nice presentation folder. When I opened it, I was stunned. I asked "how?"

The Bishop explained that he didn't know why, that he had forwarded the information about the Kid's attendance, the Kid's refusal to do an exit interview and the other key information regarding the Kid and the leaders decided to award him the diploma anyway. I know there are naysayers out there who will say that this was merely the hierarchy attempting to pad their numbers, but I do not perceive it that way. I see it as priesthood leaders beyond the ward level making an effort to acknowledge the good choices and the real accomplishment of the Kid.

The Kid was also pleased that he was allowed to graduate from Seminary. I assured him that although he may never need that piece of paper, that I still occassionally liked to look at mine. I asked him not to throw it away and if he doesn't want it, I will put it in my family history documents. I think this was a small victory for one family in claiming their place in the Church.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Are You My Mother?

It occurs to me that now that my Drama Mama is dead and she did such a wonderful and profound act of severing our relationship (NOT FAIR, I KNOW SINCE I STOPPED TALKING TO HER), that I could go out seek the kind of parents I'd like to have. In my little fantasy world I thought that maybe I could find a nice older LDS couple wanting to adopt a nice fityish daughter with the possibility of a sealing to follow. Some people are seeking intimate fulfilment with a partner, I'm just looking for real parents. How am I going to find these people? I posted the equivalent of a personal ad.

I rather doubt that I would share my somewhat non standard something more than straight sexuality with them though, and that sends up a red flag. Truth be told, do I really want to take the risk on yet another potential failure as a parent? What if they look good on the outside but they are icky on the inside? What if they are more than I can handle? How do you rid the relationship of possible exploitation issues one way or another? And, how does one ever explain such a thing to their children and now grandchildren? My mother was a loser and now that she's dead and cannot do anything about it, I'm going to fire her, permanently, and eternally.

I think not, but it still makes for good fantasy.

I'm Back

More details to come later.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Un-graduate

Today is graduation week in my town. The Kid opted not to do a graduation ceremony. As part of parentally imposed course correction, he did not finish his last year in the local high school and instead took college classes and online school. He thought he would be sadder at not participating when he went to his friends' graduation, but he wasn't. In his heart of hearts, he enjoyed being in his pajamas when they were rushing through classes.

I also insisted that he continue going to Seminary although I knew he wouldn't graduate. Graduation from Seminary requires both a testimony and worthiness. Theoretically, we don't send our kids to Seminary for he certificate anyway. Although, I know that from number one song's mission, graduation from Seminary is a pretty big deal for serving in at least one overseas country.

Very soon he will be leaving to taste the freedom he has so desired. Thanks to Mom and Dad dropping the hammer on him he's got solid work experience, his high school degree, several other certificates and licenses, and his acceptance to a very highly regarded vocational educational institute. Unless you had been here and could have walked through the last half of the Junior year of high school with us you would not have believed this was the same kid.

He has matured somewhat in the last few months and I think he's minimally ready to be a productive citizen. We still worry for him, but the ball is squarely in his court now. May he play the game well, with respect for himself and others, and with grace.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Illegitmate Fathers

So, if you have been reading, you will know that I'm not thrilled with all the parental units behavior. I hold them all responsible for the havoc they have wreaked through their various and sundry self-actualizations. Drama Mama, wicked stepfather and bio dad.

A California judge said it best:

"There are no illegitimate children - only illegitimate parents" Judge Léon R. Yankwich

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Girls Gone Gay

Five active Mia Maids-as adults three are gay, two have sown their wild oats . . . what on earth happened there? Statistically possible yes, probably no. File this under things that don't compute.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Deborah's Story

As it happened the English actually arrived before the Dutch, so many English people and Europeans were contracted by the Dutch West India Company as well as Dutch from the Homeland. Our Deborah's father was a sea captain. I rather think he captained a small sloop that plied the inland rivers. He was born in England.

When he came to America he went to the Massachuesetts Bay Colony. At one time he was probably a company man, but the ability of the Dutch to manage their foreign territory was something less than Stellar. And, so we have Kit Davids embarking on his career of trading, rum and gun running, real estate investment and general rabble rousing. Having lost his first wife, who did appear to be actually Dutch, as well as subsequently mismanaging the first few of his children's inheritance after her death, he remarried. Of that marriage, more Davids children were produced including our Deborah.

As a side note, there are recorded instances of both Indian leaders and Dutch leaders begging Kit not to provide the Indians with liquor. One unfortunate incident resulted in the Indians murdering some of Kit's inlaws. There are also court records dealing with Kit beating and being beat by his servants. Kit was also known to pay fines and the like in beavers. Beavers were beaver skins. Because of his unique relationship with the Indians and his knowledge of the waterways, he was sent down river by the Dutch to request reinforcements. Curiously, he travels safely but the party of Dutch that escorts him to the river after talking to Stuyvesant are murdered on their way back but Kit escapes unscathed.

It is said that the Munsee Indians were the first Native Americans to partake of Alchol and I have no doubt that my ancestor was involved in making that first contact. The record demonstrates that they found him an ongoing source of firewater. This was the charming environment that Ms. Deborah was born into. Stuyvesant made it his business to try to clean things up, but I'm sure that great grandpa was out stirring things up as much as possible.

Deborah was married at the age of 14 to a 27 year old. The story goes that he wrote her a letter imploring her to come back and live with him but she would not, responding back by saying she was not in love with him, had never loved him and would not live with him. At 20 she had a child, but it was not with the man she was married to, although that child bore his name.

It would seem that the father of Deborah's son was the hard drinking Derek Wooden Legg who had lost his leg a year earlier when he shot himself in the leg while celebrating New Year's Eve in a tavern. Apparently, Derek had promised to marry Deborah, but then turned around and married someone else. Wooden Legg appears to be the community's nickname for him and family geneaologists believe they have identified his proper last name.

The Dutch permitted separation and there were only three known formal divorces during the years the colony was in existence. Deborah's was not one of them. There are other recorded instances of what would be considered bigamy and adultery. Some were accidental but most were just the locals coping with what was a next to non-functional government on the matters. Add to that that a recruiting trip to get a pastor from the old country is well recorded. One of the most notable illegitimacy paternity case involves a preacher's daughter who has a child with a married man.

Women were in demand in the colony and it wasn't long before Deborah "married" another man and promptly got down to reproducing like rabbits with him. Her first husband also "married" and had many children as well. She and her new husband, Derek, and her first husband all went to the same church. Their grandchildren and great-grandchildren all intermarried. So no hard feelings it seems one way or another except the bitterness that husband #1 still harbored at being rejected by Deborah and left Derek's child bearing his name a single schilling in his will.

What's the moral of the story? The more things change the more they stay the same?

Thursday, June 3, 2010


In curiosity I sought out more information on a film that was on the festival circuit in 2005 called "Three's a Heart." It was a documentary about 2 gay men who invite a woman into their committed relationship to build a family with. As far as I can tell, no two of the three are still together now. This did bring me to the concept of trigonamy which is three committed individuals in an exclusive relationship. And reading more posts on both the logistics and the loneliness of polyamory (apparently for some and not for others). I'll let you do the search.

And let us not forget the 2009 Newsweek article on Polyamory.

My next blog post will be titled "Deborah's Story." This is a true story from the Song family archives dating back 400 years to New Amsterdan and involves a wooden leg, copious quantities of Native Americans and firewater, teenage marriage, adultery, lies, bigamy and a rascally sea captain. You gotta love the Dutch.

Monday, May 31, 2010

10 favs

1. My community. I currently live in a small town and I like it. I didn't at first because I had been living right in a gritty industrial town for several years which I loved. I wish there were more brown people of all kinds here, though.

2. My home. DH and I live in a home that is really reflective of us: Funky, artsy, slightly asian inspired, cowboy and vintage. Lots of gardens and a beautiful unique landscape.

3. A rich internal life. This was a defensive, protective mechanism at one time, but it has left me with an inner world that is highly satisfying.

4. Sex. It just keeps getting better . . .

5. Studying the Scriptures. Perhaps it is sacrireligous to say so, but like Sex, the more time I spend on them the better they get . . .

6. Dogs. Messy but good.

7. Motherhood. Hard but eternally gratifying.

8. NPR. My source for classical and experimental music . . .

9. Good Food. I like to prepare, eat and grow it.

10. Friends. This goes in part with community. One of the benefits of staying in one place is being able to become friends, collegues and acquaintances with others. I also appreciate the internet for allowing me to meet people I'd never know and to solidify my real life relationships. I also need to add my DH here, who is my best and oldest friend.

My update: the people I would tag are Clark, Sneakers in Sacrament, Slp, Konrad, Just us (both), Good to be Free (both), Ty's anatomy, and Scarlet's letters.

S.E.X. 2.0

In my first S.E.X. post I dealt with the unsolicited advice my Bishop gave to me and DH as a young married couple. In this post I shall deal with the advice that my teacher, an old married, female, Cherokee professor of one of this nation's earliest Native American Studies progams at the university, gave me. I took her class becuase it was the only thing I could work into my schedule. We became friends and because of her I have from time to time been able to bless people in and from Indian Country in my community and in my profession because of the understanding she gave me of a culture not my own.

Her name was Sarah.

One day Sarah explained to me, entirely unsolicited, that it is important for women to take care of business at home. And, that sometimes women can fall into the trap of not taking care of their man's needs. She explained that she felt this was an area her own mother had failed at, but that she personally had succeeded at in her marriage. So, I have tried to be true to that underlying message which is to attempt to satisfy your partner's sexual needs.

Now that I've entered the minefield, I'll try to get through it without getting blown up!

While this is not a uniquely LDS phenomenon, I think there are large numbers of sisters who don't take care of business at home. Drama Mama was not taking care of her business at home, although I can hardly blame her for not wanting wicked stepfather, he was a mistake and icky in so many ways. I suspect however there is another part of the story.

I also remember having this conversation with another sister about how she herself and many other LDS women just don't like sex. She explained that her husband was very tender and patient with her and she was progressing in that area. Which isn't to say that there aren't LDS sisters who really enjoy sex. This same sister's aunt is also a friend and related the story of her sex life.

When she and her husband were very young and had a house full of children they established a secret code. If her husband wanted sex that night, he would leave the lid to his lunchbox open, if not the lunchbox would be closed. This gave her lots of time to organize the rest of the evening and get prepared. Guess what?

This couple had sex nearly every night of their marriage. And not because she didn't want to or didn't enjoy it. Yes, there were times after childbirth or in fatique she didn't want to, but my impression was that she also believed in "taking care of business." This couple has always had modest financial means, had some difficult to raise children in their home and other challenges, but they had a million dollar sex life and marital relationship full of very sweet intimacy.

One day after decades of marriage a group of her coworkers were comparing notes about sexual activity in their marriages and although she was not participating in the conversation she was directly questioned. Yes, she did like sex. Then they asked how often. When she told them they were astounded. One man jumped up and said, I knew you were a "real woman!" whatever that means.

Now my point is not that couples should have sex every night. Nor is my point that anyone should be forced to have sex when they don't want to. Nor do I mean to belittle or blame persons who find their partners unattractive or conversely to blame spouses who have done everything they could to be physically attractive to their spouse and that there are underlying gulfs which cannot be crossed such as profound same sex attraction. My point IS that sometimes we do or don't do things to please our spouses. And there is a benefit to that.

There is a sexual/social contract when we intimately partner in marital and marital like relationships. I fear that in an era when we as a church spend a lot of time decrying the effects of pornography, adultery and other sexual sin, we do not fill intimacy vacuums created by not taking care of business in our marital relationships. I intend no offense and do not wish to be insensitive, but if the shoe fits wear it and consider leaving the lunchbox open tonight.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Also Known As

I was doing a little blogkeeping today and adding a few blogs that I been following. It occurs to me that I follow on most Moho blogs as Pleasant Valley although I also appear on some as Quiet Song. Which brings me to aliases.

First, I had a rage-aholic moment directed at deceased Drama Mama also known at one time as "Mrs. Browning." Until I told my younger sister just below me in age, none of my other sisters had known about the fake name she adopted when I was born. Crazy. Anyway, I thought about her today, it's the Memorial Day weekend and we are supposed to remember our dead and not practice the thing or two we are going to tell them when we meet again.

I've got things I want to say on this blog but that are just too much information, because someday Quiet Song is going to let more folks know just who she is, so I don't have all the freedom I might have to blog about those TMI topics. My daughter and husband have been invited to read, but I doubt that they read often. This blog is also about our family's journey in addition to mine, so that tempers what I write as well or who I share my non-virtual reality with. Which leads me to the question of who needs to know some of this stuff anyway?

Yesterday, I was listening to a rant from an older person suffering and I didn't even bother to tell him that I am one of those dreaded idiots who votes and lives differently than him. On the other side of the spectrum, I have recently been working professionally with several prominent members of the LGBT community in my state who consider their own LGBT status part of their resume. I wonder what biases and assumptions they have made toward me based on the outer more visible shell?

Would things change if they knew I was also known as Quiet Song? Or do they already intuitively know?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quiet Song's Wishy Washy Kissy Hissy Fit

So I deleted my last two blogs because I thought they were way too personal. The first although dealing squarely with the truth seemed unkind. The second about Kissing and sex seemed too personal. What a mood I am in! So Changeable.

I think I shall do laundry now.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Daughter of a Polyamorist

Two days ago, MoHoinHawaii posted on his blog a link to a polyamorist mom's blog. I read it with interest, not only because that, I, too, am inclined towards polyamory by nature, but also because it occurs to me that both of my biological parents were polyamorists. Drama Mama had her proclivity for already married men. I may be technically incorrect on this matter, but I believe women who are in polygamous marriages but don't have sex with any one but the husband are still polygamists. My biological father sent Drama Mama roses on the day of my birth and attempted to stay in touch for several years. I briefly got to meet him when I was seven and he came to visit. Drama Mama was pretty sure he still wanted a relationship with her.

I heard Drama Mama tell Penny (her very close female friend) that my father had told her that he had children all over the United States and had finally undergone therapy for his "problem" but that nobody could fix him. He died before I could finally locate him. So was he a slut and womanizer or was he something more? This really wasn't a one night stand for him, but it being the sixties, Drama Mama wasn't quite entirely ready to be all the way out about her past, and, moreover, she did not want to be tied to this man. I have yet to ascertain whether he ever got a divorce from first wife or not. I know that when he died, he had been married to a woman for a very long time. So many questions and so few answers.

I will touch on these topics more at a later date. In today's society, it's more likely I would have known my biological father and been a part of his life depending on what the relationship was with his wife at the time. I cannot but help wonder if this way that a segment of the population has always chosen to love and colove had not been so taboo, if I would have had a better childhood than I did. And it would not be such a long road back to find out who I am ethnically and culturally. These are the facts of my existence. I am grateful to be alive, so I don't subscribe to the notion that things would have been better had I never been born.

For an interesting documentary made by the son of a polyamorist about his father, order the documentary My Architect from Netflix.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mother in Laws on the Logistics of Sex and Reproduction

Truth be told, I AM amazed that I continue to find things to blog about in MOHO blogosphere. However, the blogs of others tend to trigger other thoughts and next thing you know, she's thinking. Maybe too much. Or in the last case, giggling a lot.

Last year I became a Mother in Law, and, as such, I am finding hard not to be the stereotypical mother in law who butts in where few others dare to walk. When Girl Song had her baby, she had some internal tearing. Girl and Son in Law(SIL) had previously decided only to have a box springs and a mattress. The reason being was that, well, you know, vigorous bedroom activity can sometimes produce quite a bit of noise, especially with bedframes which are prone to squeaking and banging against walls and floors. Apparently, this was quite the problem for Girl and SIL when they lived in the high rent district and had to share digs with others.

In short I told SIL that regardless of his embarrassment due to "noise" issues, he had to go get a decent bedframe before she came home from the hospital after giving birth as she would be injured further and not be able to recover as well if she had to get up and down from that distance. I also informed him that if necessary, once, ummmm, resumed after Girl got better he could simply take the frame apart and return the box spring and mattress to the floor and then do away with the frame.

Good man that he is, he went straight away to a Habitat for Humanity resale store and scored a wonderful bed frame for 50 dollars. He had to wait a couple hours as someone else had said they would return by a certain time and was going to buy it. When I got home that evening it was all set up for Girl and the baby. Not only am I happy for his patience for his meddling Mom in Law, the man knows how to bargain shop.

Then there was my Mother in Law, who upon pondering DH's cousin's childlessness, finally decided someone had to help the guy do something more than fire blanks. She called Cuz and found out that he only wore briefs and recommended that he switch to boxers. After all DH's father had 9 kids and he only wore boxers. To drive home the point and to ensure that Cuz followed through with the suggestions, she went out and bought him several pairs of boxers which she mailed to him. This is the kind of thing family legends are made of, is it not? Cuz later adopted.

So, even though there are many things I'm just dying to know, questions I'd like to ask, and unsolicited advice I'd love to give, since I'm not your mother in law or Auntie, I won't. I'm sure we all agree that IS a good thing!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Hypers

These are they who are hyper-religious, hyper-political, hyper-vigilant and in general just cannot sit mentally still without inflicting their opinions on others in a generally acidic fashion. They think that if their torrent of words hit others hard enough and often enough, they can get a Grand Canyon's worth of change in a few days, few weeks, and few years.

Sometimes this involves playing dress up and going out in public as a jailbird or a sea turtle. Other times it is nasty rhetoric posted on line, voiced in classes or in conversation.

Hypers have a hard time finding black and white in the real world. But they crave it desperately. When squarely confronted with the reality that most things have some ambiguity, sometimes they crumble. We see this in Church. Large numbers of the "disaffected" were once "hyper-religious." One of the greatest ironies the formerly hyper-religious have to process is their former black and white views of the world and others they may have hurt in the process.

There is a hyper atheist in my life right now. I just let him run on. I think it makes him happier to carry on as he does. He certainly isn't pleasant company when in hyper mode and is pushing other people away.

DH was in hyper-liberal mode for a number of years, which devolved into near hate towards anyone slightly to the right or left of him politically. This was problematic becaus I am a conservative democrat and this makes me a political moderate. He was convinced I was missing something. Unfortunately, no means no, we had a difference of opinion.

Girl Song was once hyper religious and really gave me a run for my money as a parent for not being religious enough. Now she is a questioner and regrets being so judgmental. Young people experiment with "hyperism" in many forms as a kind of rebellion. Her rebellion was to be more "religious" than her parents. Or at least in terms of outward appearances . . . .

Unfortunately, these people tend to get hyper blinders as to the impact of their actions and cannot see the pain and harm they inflict on others. While everyone is entitled to their opinions, everyone can suffer the normal and routine consequences of being filled with bitterness and hate. And, the normal response of people just wanting to avoid you and your opinions.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

From the Streets of Denver, 2004

Comments made by men who have sex with men from a 2004 study in Denver, Colorado:

I believe that I have seen a lot of different dilemmas, difficulties, and problems faced by gay men, primarily with social stigma that still exists. Although it is not as in your face as it was 20 years ago, it is still there.

I think the gay community is ageist; it's like once you get to a certain age, then you lose anyone desiring to be with you to an extent, and that causes more isolation.

I have been in social settings were comments have been made that were disrespectful. I was at a party and the gay host made a comment like, “ now don’t you end up running down the street with my TV”. I could not believe that he had said it. I was the only African-American man there. I excused myself soon after. I cannot believe that in this day and age again that people can be so rude and ignorant.

I am racist myself. I will not have sex with a white guy. I just don’t. In Denver a lot of African-American guys like white guys, I have no idea why.

Then you have all the guys with the financial means, upper class, you’re A-list gays. They are the ones who threw all the parties for each other.

I went to a ballgame with a friend of mine and he said that two of his friends were going to come with us. Well, this guy showed up with tweezed eyebrows, carrying a purse, a little white t-shirt and one of those overalls turned into shorts. He had eyeliner left over from the night before. It was at a ballgame. I was like a teenager, walking 20 paces behind their parents, who used them for a ride and 10 dollars in shopping money. I was afraid to be identified with that.

I am not quite sure why they want gay men to practice monogamy. Monogamy after all implies choosing one woman.

I feel like gay men stall. They get wrapped up in and stall in the service industry, in the airlines, hotels, and restaurant. The service industry works well with a self-absorbed lifestyle.

I think that a lot of the gay community doesn’t perceive education as beneficial. They graduate from high school and begin working at your minimum wage level…I don’t think that the gay community is educated as a whole, and there are a lot of people working dead end jobs. I have noticed there are a lot of guys in fast food or chain restaurants, where they can work the evening shift, get off work by 10 then go out to the bar, party until 2, and not have to go to work until 4 the next afternoon.

The higher your self-esteem is the higher the chances of protecting yourself. As much as gay men take care of their bodies, they don’t take care of their brains. They might hate themselves, but they sure do look good.

I am having a hard time finding someone to hang out with, without them getting sloppy drunk. I don’t knock anyone for what they do, but there is a tendency to get too messed up with that. Last night I met someone and he wanted to do drugs. I can’t meet a guy who only drinks a little or smokes a little. They all have to be fallen down crack heads or drunk.

I think that a lot of guys are so concerned about their appearance that maybe they don’t eat right. Some guys really think they need to be slim; they won’t even eat in order to achieve that. They say you can’t be too rich or too thin. There are also guys who think that you have to be so buff. It’s beyond ageism to lookism…If you look at gay magazines, just like with women, they show models who do not look like the average person, and yet you are bombarded with those images…I think that some gay men do things that are injurious to their health…I think that Americans in general do not want to live a healthier lifestyle; they just want a pill.

We are all at someone’s house and we are all drinking, and we are putting on body glitter and we are cackling. Everything is just fun and frivolous. We stop at 7-11 and everyone gets sweets and candy. Then we are in the car, and on the way to the club someone says, “Here is your party candy”. Ecstasy. I took it and got this surge of energy. This friend says, its okay, this happens. Then, we hit the club, and I was told to eat the candy so that it would last longer. You don’t want to do it in the club because of cops, so you do it in the car. They play the music to match your mood. Right when you get there it is high energy because everyone is freshly high. Right when you are high, the bar is high because they play the right music. Then when you are about to come down, and the club is coming down they play trance, because it is come down music. The do it to get you to come back.

I know that there are several guys who, who, you know, might ask if someone plays safe, but when it gets to actually playing with that person, who knows?

I would get them drunk; I would drink just to have somebody. Get them drunk. Then you can have somebody. Get them drunk. I would drink as well, but mostly I tried to make them drink more instead of me. I didn’t want to be drunk, just them. I wanted to be able to enjoy it.

I never realized that crack cocaine is a powerful drug. I found out that if I went out to Colfax with crack, and there is a straight guy that smokes crack, a fine guy, he is going to be up in that hotel room if I have crack, and he is going to do anything that I ask him to do to get high. Crack cocaine is a very powerful drug. When I found out that I could get straight guys with crack, man that was it. I was never one to have sex for drugs; I will be the one to get the drugs to have sex. I like straight guys. Once I learned how to use it, it was easy.

I like to do a shot of dope (methamphetamine) and its wonderful. I would get paid with a shot of dope and I would hustle from one to the next. I am from the Midwest, so I repressed my interest in men and it is not something you can express, you can get hurt for it. So I got out here, I got a little wild. If you had a little dope it made the party all that more fun and more interesting and if you wanted to invite a couple of buddies in then, shit, we are all about to have a good time.

You grow up alone, this is my theory, then you get to metropolitan area, and you find your little gay bubble, and you are like, Oh. My God, I found it. You then begin experiencing sex, and I think that is what gay is. I don’t experience it as an identity, but to me gay to me is more lifestyle, and it is the bar 5 times a week, and everything is fabulous, and fashion and all that. To me that is what gay is, and I think that too many men get stuck in that.

When you first go out you don’t know who is who and what they are about. The more people that you meet in that crowd, the worse it will be. There was always sex, there was always drugs, and there was always drinking… It was everyday of the week. Each day we already knew what we were going to do. Depending on what day of the week it was, we already knew what bars had what going on different nights…Sundays was the longest. We would party all up and down Broadway.

The problem is, say you go to a gay bar for brothers. There are going to be black men there that only want black men. There are going to be black men there that are only going to want white men. There are also white men who want only black men. Once you slice and dice the pie into all of those different groups, who is available in that room is much more limited than at first glance. At first when I thought about it, I was shocked, and then I was angry. Now it just makes me sad.

Out of sight, out of mind. It (HIV) was not something that I had to worry about. The majority of the population out there is like that. It don’t matter what we come up with, with what we do, the majority of them out there probably don’t think about it. You would be surprised to hear how many people ask me if I have HIV compared to those who want to know whether I want to have sex.

These are the tamer comments. All fodder for a candid discussion with the Kid.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Maleness of Being

When dealing with wicked stepfather as a young teenager I often wished I were a boy because: 1) Maybe he would stop making his quasi-sexual advances, and 2)I could possibly be larger and stronger than him ultimately and make him pay for his verbal and emotional abuse against all the other women in the household.

At the time, I didn't want to acknowledge Drama Mama's role in all this misogyny, but I've since had to process that. As a pre-adolescent, I always felt insecure and awkward in my very tall relatively boyish body. I can remember thinking how much easier it would just be to be a boy since I was bigger than most of the boys anyway. Eventually, about a little over half the boys surpassed me in height. I still carried my awkwardness about my early height well into adulthood and wanted to be petite not slightly above average height for a woman.

In the early eighties Grace Jones came on the scene. I loved her short hair cut. I cut my hair this way and received so many compliments. During the time I wore my hair that way, and all the previous times, I'd often thought I'd make a more attractive man than I did a woman. DH did not like my hair so short because he felt like he was having sex with a man.

Thereafter, I wore my hair longer to please him. In the last decade, I've worn it very long to please me.

My body before it was injured to the point where regular weight bearing exercise is difficult, was sometimes mistaken for a man's from the rear. My shoulders and arms muscled up to sizes many men would be happy to have with the heavy work I was doing at the time. I wasn't offended by then and was very happy with my femaleness of being, especially motherhood.

I'm content being of the female gender, emotionally and physiologically. I've resolved my feelings of inadequacy regarding my gender that society imposed on my body shape, size and my own kind of beauty. I also know that being a boy may not have changed the relationship much at all with bullies, but that wicked stepfather may not have married Drama Mama but for the easy access to prepubescent females. But, if not him, then she might have found one who wanted prepubescent males and I would have been exactly in the same situaiton.

Nevertheless, I remember what it was like to question ever so slightly if God might have gotten something a little out of kilter when he sent me here to earth as a woman. Now I just think society and media culture was out of kilter.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Square Pegs in Round Holes-this atonement's for me.

Rules-There are a lot of them in my life and not just religious rules.

I was teaching a concept a few weeks ago and explained that part of the blessing of scripture study is that it helped me knock off some the areas of my life where I just hadn't been able to conform in the past. There are so many examples of square pegs who the Lord has asked to fit into round holes in the scriptures. Moses for example and also Miriam, Aaron, Zipporah and Balaam. I love really delving into Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy because the rank and file of the Israelites, like me, really had a problem with fitting into the round hole of their time.

I rejoice that I'm not being asked to live the Mosaic law and that this is in so many ways an easier, more civilized world to live in than what they had to deal with.

Sacrifice-I still have to give up some things I'd really like to do. Ahh, Roller Derby. There is talk of a league coming to my town, but it is so not good for me spiritually. Thus, I'm not going out to build Babylon locally and shall pitch my tent facing the temple in the other direction.

Not Measuring up or being unable to comply-Well I'm much more like a blob than a square peg. Some of me is outside the rules and has to be smoothed more by obedience and trials, but other parts of me are just plain not there to fill up the round hole. Filling in those missing or diminished parts has occurred through the atonement. This still leaves those parts outside the round hole that make it difficult for me to fit in. The nice thing about understanding the atonement is the peace that it gives me both when I cannot measure up and I cannot fit in the round hole. I know that all I have to do is the best that I can with what I've been given.

Role Models-Lastly, there is a brother in my current ward who was inactive for a couple of decades because of the things that others said at Church. Finally, he said to himself, "This is my Church, too." He has never looked back since then and now serves and leads us by his good example.

This is my Church, too. And, this atonement's for me and makes all the difference in the world and eternity.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Gay Heaven on Earth

So the Kid informed the Parental Units that if he did find a man to settle down with and have a passle of kids with, they would move to some other more gay friendly country to raise their kids in. Kind of a gay, family utopia where children would not be ashamed or embarassed to be raised by same sex parents. We said "good luck with that." I am jaded and cynical on a number of fronts.

1) First he's got to find Mr. Right.

2) Next, he and Mr. Right have to figure out how to acquire said children without the biological advantage of a mixed gender marriage. Just remember the adoption/fostering process is not without considerable investment of resources including but not limited to money.

3) Lastly, I do not believe he is going to find what he is looking for in terms of the perfect country. My research indicates that there are still homophobic acts occurring in Denmark, Sweden and Canada.

4) Even if he did find such a country, he and Mr. Right would have to persuade said country to let them immigrate. Easier said than done in many instances.

Is it any wonder with the sheer hassle of trying to have children in same sex marriages that gay people continue to enter and stay in mixed orientation marriages?

On another "heavenly" note, I also think that if I encounter another photo of a nude man (or a woman for that matter) in a provocative pose in angel wings while reading blogs, I'm going to puke.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A little Twilight Hypocrisy

I was not an early adopter of the Twilight series. I always found the cover pictures on the covers of the books quiet weird. I saw the movie first, then I read the books. DH read the books. I've reread the books.

I've been thinking it would be nice, as a parent, mind you, to simply have had the ability to turn off the Song Children's sexuality until they were thirty or so. This would give time for so many other types of "achievement" required to be a sound adult in our society. Getting the Kid to adulthood with confidence has been real problematic. In some odd functional ways the early quasi-coming out for the Kid, has stifled other developmental progress. This is counter-intuitive I suppose to the commonly held notion, at least in the LGBT community, that early acceptance is better for young people.

By extension, I just wish we could have taken some of the sexuality and gender issue pressures off Girl Song and certainly off myself when I was young. There is a weird societal disconnect with earlier and earlier expectations of open early sexual exploration and ever later marital commitment. I'm not saying that marriages should take place at an early age, what I am saying is that I wish the sexuality and pressures to experience and accomodate sexuality could be postponed to a much later developmental phase for children in our society.

Yet, I do enjoy the Twilight series, and it is all about teenage sexuality and the pressures and the risks that brings in the lives of young people and people in general. Given that I married as a teenager, it is even more hypocritical I suppose. But that story is in the Twilight series as well isn't it? Without the pressures that I felt and the opportunity to meet DH as a teenager how different would my life be? I don't know the answer to that. I think I might have been more financially secure, but with this crazy economy, I just laugh bitterly. But, most people would agree that my life while I have lots of problems and things to deal with, is pretty good overall.

I guess I'm in a pretty typical "developmental" phase as a parent of teenagers and young adults. Funny how life has a way of turning you into a typical parent after all.