Last of November

It’s that last day of November, wow has this month flown by!  It feels like just yesterday it was early September.  It’s raining here in Maine and it’s cold.  I am just thankful that it’s not snowing!  I know that snow is inevitable but the longer we go without it the happier I am.  

I’m off from work today and not positive of what my day has in store just yet.  It’s very early and I just got up about an hour ago.  Yes, I am a very early riser!  My body just won’t allow me to sleep past 5am. Sleep is overrated in my opinion anyway.  I feel like I am wasting time if I sleep too long in the mornings.

I have been watching the news reports of Trumpy’s cabinet choices and nominations.  It’s been a virtual who’s who of straight white men parading across his golden carpet.  Sickening  to think that the alt-right is going to gain so much MORE power in our country.  It angers me and makes me want to find a group of like minded people around my area to gather and discuss strategies for us all to be of support to each other and to react to the outrage I am sure is yet to come.  I feel the real need to be prepared to protect myself and others from things I can only imagine are in store for us all.  

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day 2016 around the globe.  The theme this year is Hands Up for #HIVPrevention. I was reading that the new push for self-testing will help to give people better access to testing and information on accessing treatment and prevention.  I don’t know about self testing…mitt seems to me that having a test done by someone who understands the ramifications should that person test positive.  And taking someone with you when you get test results is a good idea.  I went alone 25 years ago.  I remember it like it was outlast week.  It was the day I felt like I had an expiration date stamped on my forehead.  I didn’t hear mush after the woman who told me I was positive told me.  I started immediately to think of how I was going to ever tell my girlfriend and my loved ones. And I asked for a retest on the spot.  I had to make sure that there was no mistake. But there was no mistake and I have been living with this virus in my blood for over 25 years now. In the first few years I did a lot of outreach and prevention work trying to get others to not make my mistake and to protect themselves.  Nowadays I keep up on thing and concentrate on keeping myself healthy and happy with my second chance at life.   Before the availability of the medications that I take every day to stay healthy and virtually HIV free, I lost a lot of friends to AIDS.  At the height of the epidemic there was no good  oh gmail like there is today. If only we had moved faster when this started they might all still be alive.  I’m one of the lucky ones. I managed to stay alive, suffer through many failed treatment options and live to see this day where we now have the potent drugs needed to sustain a healthy life living with HIV.  

SO…I am truly thankful for my life and for all of the support I have in it. I feel like I am certainly blessed in so many ways.  Tomorrow I will pause to remember those who weren’t so lucky and those who we have lost, but I will also remember that this fight isn’t over until we find a cure and make it accessible to all of those who need it.  I shall light a candle of remembrance.  And I will thank God for giving me a second chance and a chance to make a difference in the world.  

Thanksgiving and Politics

I am becoming more alarmed as the days tick by…soon enough Trump will be sworn in as POTUS and I fear that day.  He’s surrounding himself with white nationalists, known racists and Nazi sympathizers.  As I heard today ” they’ve gone from wearing white hoods to business suits.”.  Which is exactly what I am seeing.  Emboldened by their new “leader” these outspoken haters are poised to basically take over in January.  I am very concerned and worried about what this means for all Americans; for civil rights, women’s rights, the LGBTQ fight for equality as well as just for living in the US at all.  I’m seriously afraid that our country will be commandeered by the alt right and a truly hate filled agenda.  How can I not be afraid of this when every days events happening around Trump are so bluntly indicating that this is the direction that he is determined to take us?

My best friend is sick of hearing about it.  She says she’s tired of watching it on the news.  She’s a straight white woman in working class America who’s upbringing was southern based.  She obviously sees this a bit different from me. It upsets me that she feels so overwhelmed by it all that she wants to play ostrich and keep her head in the sand.  But she is entitled to think for herself and to do what’s best for her.  Personally I need to KNOW what is going on so that I am semi-prepared for what is to come.  I watch the news and various commentary to stay well informed.   Because I think it’s important to be well informed.

I am going to meet later today with a couple of people from the LGBTQ community who are trying to organize groups around the country of people to sort of gather, support each other, to speak out and to fight for what we believe in .  The idea is in its infancy but i believe it’s a great idea and want to be involved.  I hope we can build a community that transcends the brewing hatred and bigotry and becomes a force with a voice.

The holiday is on Thursday this week and I am — like many others out there — trying to plan my personal strategy for dealing with my family if politics comes up, which I am most certain it will.  There are Trump supporters in the mix and they know I am a liberal and hate the man.  If things go as they have in the past someone will start making little snide wise cracks about the “tree hugging liberals” and I will begin to silently fume.  I have tried to educate in the past to no avail.  I am preparing myself for what could be a very aggravating day.  My only hope would be if my Mom declares it a politics free zone…even then they will gloat.  I know other people will have it even more rough.  One woman on Facebook was saying her parents told her she could not park her car at their house with the HTC sticker on it on Thanks giving because they believe that sodomy is an abomination and they won’t have it at their house.  She’s an ally, and the parents are evangelical in nature.  Yup, it will be a hard day for many I am sure.

I hope that YOU have a wonderful holiday.  I’m going to try to make most of mine enjoyable by focusing on love and tolerance.  Are you going to be dining with people of opposite views this Thanksgiving?  How do you handle it if a controversial subject comes up?  Does your family try to understand your views?

Much thanks to you, my dear readers.  May the force be with you .  Peace.  –MB

It’s Official. We are Screwed.

I am completely shell shocked.  How could this happen???  Somehow the Republican party has commandeered our country.  I fear we are in deep trouble on so many fronts.

I got up this morning –after staying up til 1 am watching election coverage on TV.  I rose to a feeling of complete disgust at the news that Trump had won the election somehow.  And to know that he did NOT win by majority vote, but by electoral vote just drives me mad!  Why doesn’t majority vote count?  I don’t get it.

I am a very out and around Butch.  This won’t be a good thing for me or people like me.  Females, queers, LGBT, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims and many other marginalized poplations will be rife for discrimination from the Trump administration. With roughly 50% of my country aligning with his asshole it’s like half of America has white supremacist views.  Either that or they don’t see how racist this guy really is.

What do we do now that this hate filled man of many temperamental attitudes is going to try to lead our country?  I know many said they would move out of the country and it seems that the Canadian immigration website went down because of overload last night.  But that isn’t the answer.  Moving would only bleed the good people from our borders.  Somehow we have to band together and work tirelessly to make sure that our voices are not silenced by this.  We must mobilize for the fights that will come.

I grieve for all that was truly lost last night.  I am afraid of what is to come.  I fear this man will single handedly wreck all that is good.  I’m afraid of all of the people who voted for him.  I fear what it’s going to be like for such an out Butch lesbian to walk thru a Trump ruled country after he is done eliminating all of the rights I and other fought so hard to get.  If this isn’t a reason to stay in the closet I don’t know what is!!!

I steered clear of voicing my political views here for the most part up until this blog post.  I was stressed out by the whole election fearing just this outcome.  Now I think it’s time to speak out and to prepare ourselves for some long hard fights that will certainly be coming to us soon enough.  This loss was the hardest ever in my political lifetime.  I just hope and pray that it’s only a 4 year thing and it doesn’t destroy what 240 years has built up.

Call me what you will.  But I cannot call him MY President.

I worked this morning and it occurred to me that most likely 50% of my customers probably voted for Trump….disturbing and very unsafe feeling.

Hatred or Terror?

I have been simmering over the Orlando nightclub massacre; still trying to make some sense or come to how I really feel about it – other than very sad for those people and their families and very angry…although I am not sure just who I am the angriest at.  The shooter, his wife, failed intelligence, gun control….

One of my facebook friends asked the question yesterday, and I paraphrase here “Was Orlando a hate crime or a terror attack?”  That question has been stuck in my head.

Really.  Which was it?  We know only what we are being told by other people that he hated gays and was angered by seeing 2 men kissing, but then other little weird things are coming to light like the one woman in his apartment building says that he would hang out in one of the apartments with the gay men that occupied them. Maybe he was questioning his sexuality…?

The whole shebang is very complicated and we will probably never know the real reason.

His apartment showed little connection to ISIS or radicals.  He had scoped out other locations to do this dastardly deed, even went to the Pulse himself a few times – scoping for this or for a date?

Now his wife has acknowledged that she had known full well what this man was going to do.  THIS angers me to the core.  She should be prosecuted for premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder just to start with, in my opinion, which is based on what the news media is reporting.

I could get into all of the little angles, facts, alleged happenings and the such here, but the point that is stuck so hard for me is the question of did he do this because he hated gays or because he wanted to instill terror in the hearts of Americans.  What was his primary motive?  We all know he was a certified lunatic and very evil.   Did he kill because he hated gays or because he wanted to be a terrorist and wanted a location rich with targets, that he knew already.

I could talk about all of the missed chances the FBI and other homeland security operations dropped the proverbial ball on this as well.  Could they have stopped it before it happened?  I think they could have made it more difficult for him at the very least.

There are so many questions surrounding this horrible tragic and needless killing of so many innocent people who were just out to have a fun night with friends.

Hate or Terror?

Maybe the guy did “hate gays” as reported.

I doubt he had much – if any – direction or connection to ISIS and radicals.  They (ISIS) claims he was one of theirs, but they would do that anyway, it’s their way from the pattern I’ve noticed since 2011….if it is a terrifying act against the US then they’ll claim they ordered it and take responsibility for it, like getting another notch in your belt kind of thinking.

Orlando was a senseless loss for the LGBT community.  Particularly the Hispanic part of our community .  I don’t think we will ever be able to comprehend the multiple ways in which this brought such loss to our country.

As part of the LGBT community, I don’t feel that this was a hate crime against us.  I think it was a hate crime against America.  AND it also could be a terror attack that could have been aimed against any one of the multiple groups that man claimed to hate.

So, what, dear reader, do YOU think?  Was this a direct assault against the gay community or a terror attack against American values?  Or both?  I’d love to hear your comments, or perhaps a blog of your own on it.

Be Safe.   Peace to ALL   ~MB