Saturday, October 9, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Homosexuals have adopted a rainbow colored flag to represent their position of diversity and acceptance. As a gay man, I'm here to tell you that the umbrella of inclusiveness is total horseshit. In society there is a mix of racial and ethnic backgrounds, and in the gay culture it's broken down even further by type. There are many different types of gays. The whole reason I'm writing this is because of a seminar that Jed and I attended a few months ago put on by Equality Texas that was supposed to be about gay parenting in the media. In my opinion, the seminar was anything but.
One of the presenters of this seminar was a member of ALLGRO here in Austin, which is basically a social network for gay and lesbian Latino/Latina business people...I THINK. Note the use of "Latino/Latina", not Mexican, not Hispanic. This will be very important in a few minutes. The seminar ended up being very divisive and pointed out some flaws within the gay community itself. You see, we, the gay community, can't even get along with ourselves. There was a dear sweet woman from PFLAG at this seminar who was chastised by the presenters for daring use the word Hispanic. Apparently it’s no longer P.C. to use this term. Now they want to be labeled Latino/Latina. This is the problem with labels. Nobody hands out a memo that says, "Uh, hey. You can't call us that any more. Now you must call us (fill in the blank)."
I get crap all the time for calling myself a faggot. You know what? Fuck you. I'll call myself what I want. To me, calling myself a faggot has the same effect that black people learned a long time ago. It takes away the power from the word and makes it less offensive. However I'm not sure what you’re supposed to call black people any more. We all know to stay away from the dreadful "N". But now when I say African American I get chastised by friends and am told that's not correct any longer, because they aren't African. Part of the problem with society in general is that nobody can make up their minds what THEY want to be called. Pick a label and stick with it. But don't get offended if I call you something that I’ve been programmed to call you. I don't call somebody something to intentionally be offensive, but if I've called you a particular label, it's because at some point in my process of learning, this is what I've been told by one of your people that this is what you want to be called. When I first realized my gayness back in the early 80s, our community was called GLT or Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered. A few years later the bisexuals (don't EVEN get me started) pitched a fit because they didn't fit into any of those categories, so it was changed to GLBT. I found out a few months ago at this seminar that it’s now called GLBTQQ, because the people who hadn't decided what the fuck they were wanted to be included so the wanted "queer questioning" added to it. This, in and of itself is contradictory, because are we gay, or queer? So who are we?
Leather Daddies/S&M Queens/Bears: You've all seen them. These are the folks that the media opts to choose to portray every time there’s a gay pride parade in your neighborhood. These are the fags that parade around in chaps, leather harnesses, stylish leather caps, and lead their partners around by a leash. These are the people that the media would like you to believe we all are. I have news for you readers. Freddy has never accepted anyone's fist into his anus. We are not all, nor are all leather daddies, freaks like that. Yes, they're out there. But their numbers are small. I have never led Jed around by a leash. I have never strapped him down in 4 point restraints and placed a ball gag in his mouth. And as far as I know, he has never worn a leather hood with a zipper over his mouth.
Drag Queens/Cross-Dressers/Entertainers: This is the second largest group of people who hog the media attention at the parades. If middle-America doesn't already believe that every homo is a leather stud, then they think we all put on a dress so we can look like Celine Dion and lip sync to bad music. Freddy, again, has never worn a dress or make-up. I have, however sang along to Madonna and a few other female singers. This does not make me an entertainer, this just makes me a Karaoke whore. Don't make the mistake of assuming or calling DQs Trannies, because this is a whole separate category.
Trannies/Transexuals/Transgendered: These are the folks that feel that they were born the wrong gender and choose to do something about it. My heart goes out to these people. I've met some wonderful trannies in my life and they have all of my respect. What I don't get are the sub-culture of trannies that undergo so much to become the opposite sex, and THEN decide to become a homosexual. Yes. There are men who have become women only to become a lesbian. WTF?
Gym Bunny/Steroid Queens: These are the queers that try their bestest to look like mainstream America, pumping iron in the gym 6 hours/day, 9 days/week. We all know the truth about these queers, the only reason they spend so much time at the gym is they have the personality of a lettuce leaf, and the gym is the best place to look at half-naked men (or fully naked men if they're hanging out in the shower...no pun intended). Tragically, these men look FABULOUS from a distance, but then they speak and a purse falls out of their mouth. Must be the steroids.
Abercrombie/Pretty Boys: This is actually representative of the largest segment of our population. Who doesn't want to look good, smell good, taste good? Me. That's who. I’m an Old Navy kind of queer. I hate ironing, and I enjoy feeling comfortable. I am the anti-Abercrombie. I'm the queer that Abercrombie queers take on as their "ugly friend". Eyebrow waxing is painful to me. I just want to be me.
Effeminant/Flamboyant Queers: Everybody has an idea of what these people are. It's Robin Williams in The Birdcage; it's that queer in the pink shirt that was on Deal or No Deal this last Tuesday night. I've got a news flash for you people. I can't arrange flowers. I'm not exactly sure what Flan is. Yeah, I can cook, and yes, I do own Caphalon, but I am NOT a effeminate man. I change my own oil. I change my own tire. I've never had a mani/pedi (though I do know what they are). I drink shitty beer from a can. I can burn meat on the grill like nobody’s business.
"A" Gays: These guys are just assholes and not even worth talking about. They're the ones who think they're better than everyone else and are the lowest form of homosexual you can imagine.
What's my point? I don’t know that I've got one. I'll be the first to admit that I don't have any friends in any of the sub-categories I've mentioned above. It's not that I don't like these people. Call me "gayicst" if you will. I just don't find that I have anything in common with any of them. I don't think dick is enough of a commonality for me to want to hang out with these people on a regular basis. However, I fully realize that in order for us to gain acceptance with the general population, we must first work on organizing and appreciating the differences that make us unique. In that regard, I'm going to start opening up my mind to my own people. Only when we can accept our own group will we find acceptance with everyone else. It's going to take all of us working together to make a change. Just please, for the love of God, don't add any more letters to what we want to be called. It's confusing enough as it is. Everyone out there can call me what they wish. Queer, fag, faggot, gay, homo. I don't really care. As long as you just call me, you can even call me (F)reddy.
Friday, April 9, 2010
Today marks an important anniversary for us. It was 5 years ago today that Adrian was born into our lives. Five years ago today we created our forever family. For those of you who have been stalking me since my MySpace days, I forgive the repost below. The story that follows is not necessarily all about the very day Adrian came into our hearts, rather the entire process of making him a part of our family. The picture, below, is the very first picture we took of our sweet, sweet boy. It was taken, literally, the second the social worker brought him into our house and handed him to Jed. It is my all time favorite picture of Adrian (with the exception of his picture with his first bout of pink eye!)
Today closed the last chapter in a long story of our quest to become parents, and starts a whole new sequel to the story that has yet to unfolded. My baby daddy officially inked his adoption of our son today making it official that Adrian now has TWO daddies. I mentioned a few days ago that I would talk about the process, and now that he's done, I can tell the story. Some details will have to wait 16 years to come out, because most of the story is his to tell. But this, my readers, is our story.
There is a television station here in Austin called News 8 Austin. It's one of those CNNesque television news stations that repeats the daily news in an endless loop 24 hours a day. On Sundays they run a segment called Forever Families which showcases "hard-to-place" children available in the Texas CPS system. One Sunday in about August of 2004 they showcased a sibling group of three adorable little African American girls ages 2, 8, and 14. They were about to sever the child group because it was too difficult to not only place three children together, much less when one of them was a teenager. It broke my heart to know that these three girls; whom had already lost their parents were about to be split up. Having wanted children myself since my 20s, and also wanted to have had them by the time I turned 35, I told Jed, Now is the time. I want these kids.
We contacted CPS in September and attended their orientation meeting that is required of all new prospective foster/adoptive parents. In the meeting they talked about the "damaged children" they had available and how it was almost impossible to ever get these kids to bond with adoptive parents. They were all physically abuse, sexually abused, chemically abused, or emotionally abused. Almost all of them had learning disabilities or some time of physical abnormality due to abuse and neglect. Jed and I decided to forge forward. We were told almost immediately that the chances of the sisters being available by the time we completed the process would be slim to none. We were also told that a majority of people who start the process rarely finish, and some of those would never have children placed with them. We decided to take our chances and do it anyway.
From the second we started the process, our families, while for adopting children, were against adopting children from CPS. Many of them cited the same difficulties of parenting a child in the child welfare system as the agency itself did. We got many offers from relatives to give us money to go to another country to adopt a child from another place, but we stood our ground. Jed and I firmly believed that a child in our own backyard, one that had no family of his or her own was just as deserving of a home as a child in Russia or Guatemala. We decided to take a chance and see where we landed.
We got home from the meeting on the first Tuesday in September and filled out the 20 page application to enter the program. Unlike any "normal" couple that can get drunk and fuck in the back of a Chevy pickup truck and have a happy accident, we had to fill out questions about our family, our health, our prior sexual experiences, and our reasons for wanting children in the first place. What normally should have taken a week to fill out and mail back in, took as about 5 hours to fill out into the wee hours of the morning. We weren't about to delay the process any longer. I mailed the forms the following morning and waited just a few weeks before getting a letter stating that we were approved to start the mandatory 30 hours of parenting classes in October.
Mid-October we started attending weekly 3-hour classes to learn how to parent a child that was in protective custody. In all honesty, these classes taught nothing about parenting. Rather each week focused on a different type of abusive situation that would normally land a child in CPS custody and the unique circumstances with which to deal with them. "How to teach your 3 year old to cope with gonorrhea" or "How to tell your 5 year old that no means no" were some of the delightful topics covered. It was, at times, mind-numbing and discouraging to say the least. We completed the classes a week before Christmas and were told, "Congratulations, you've completed the classes and we'll be in touch with you soon to let you know if you've been approved". The entire time I had been under the false impression that just by being accepted into the program and completing the classes that we were, in fact, already approved. I couldn't have been more wrong.
Towards the end of January we were contacted by a social worker who needed to meet with us to start our interview process. We each needed to meet with her separately to answer identical questions. We each had to draft a 20 page biography answering many very intrusive questions about our families mental, emotional, physical status; our own sexual histories including names, addresses and phone numbers of everyone we have had sex with; our own current mental state of mind; our desires to become parents fully explained. None of the things, mind you, that "normal" people have to do. As if writing these things down for anonymous strangers wasn't bad enough, we actually had to sit in front of a woman we had never met before and give a partner-by-partner run down of every person we had been with sexually, why it didn't work out; and whether or not we were still in contact. We had to basically regurgitate verbally everything that we had written down. We had to discuss hypothetical scenarios about how we would each parent, discipline, raise a child. We had to, without having the benefit of discussing it together, match our answers to be sure we were on the same page. Fortunately, Jed and I know each other well enough that we may as well have been sitting next to each other the whole time.
After the verbal quizzing, we had to complete a round of home inspections. We had to have a home health/safety inspection, wherein the city health department came in and inspected multiple aspects of our home. We had to have a city fire marshal come to the house for a fire safety inspection ensuring there were smoke detectors in every room of the house. He also wanted to see a documented fire escape route, which I spent HOURS doing a power point presentation on (that he never bothered to look at). We had to have full physicals completed by our family physician to determine whether or not we were healthy enough to raise children. We had to have THE DOGS inspected by a veterinarian to determine whether or not they were suitable to be around children. We had to have criminal background checks completed by both the local authorities AND the FBI. We had to sit down and discuss with our social worker what types of children we were interested in; what types of physical, emotional, sexual dysfunctions we would be willing to parent; chose a race, gender, and age of a child we would be willing to accept. We had to create a family photo album of pictures of ourselves, our home, our family, and our friends to be given to any potential child and/or child social worker to show them what type of home environment that child would be going to. In short, we were put under a microscope, stripped naked, and taken through an emotional ringer. AND, after all this was done, we were told ONCE AGAIN, that we would soon be notified whether or not we had been approved by the agency.
Around the first week of March our social worker called us to let us know that we were OFFICIALLY LICENSED Foster/Adoptive parents. Yes, I can proudly say, I AM A LICENSED PARENT MOTHER FUCKER. She then told us that she was going to start looking for a child for us and to not contact her, she would contact us when she found a child. Towards the end of March I started losing my patience. I pretty much told Jed that I was over the whole process and wanted to call our Social Worker and tell her to just withdraw us as potential parents. Jed encouraged me to be patient and not to worry about it.
April 7, 2005 my phone rang at 1030 pm. Anybody who knows me knows that if you would like to maintain a healthy friendship with me you should not bother calling me after 9. Knowing that some member of my immediate family or close friend must be in dire straights, I answered the phone. It was our social worker and she was calling to give us the real birthing experience. She had just located the perfect child for us. His name was Adrian; he was 9 months old; he had been in foster care since he was 2 months old; he had food allergies, but was otherwise in good health; he had black hair and "fat cheeks". This was all the information we were given. We were told to think about it, discuss it, and call her back in the morning if we were interested in this child. We couldn't sleep. We called our parents and told them the same tiny bits of information about the child that we had received. We talked it over between the two of us, and we decided to jump on this chance. We conference called her the next morning and told her we were interested in taking Adrian, and she immediately forwarded a picture of our sweet little boy via email and said, well then let me introduce you to your new son. He had the sweetest little face and we both fell in love with him immediately. We were to spend the afternoon with him on Saturday and Sunday, and then placement was to occur on Monday. I sent the word around my office to tell them effective immediately I would be on maternity leave and took the next 8 weeks off. Saturday came, our social worker brought Adrian to the house. He immediately nestled into Jed's arms and looked like he had been there for the previous 9 months. It's still one of my favorite pictures of him. The way things turned out, we didn't even have to wait until Monday for the official placement, Adrian came to live with us the following afternoon.
We knew going into placement with Adrian that he was a legal risk placement. Meaning that his mother had already terminated her parental rights, but they were trying to locate the father to terminate his. There was a slim chance that he would be reunited with his biological father. We had three months to wait before we would be in the clear. It was a very anxious time trying to bond with a loving child, yet trying not to get to attached because of the possibility that he may be removed at any moment. Our three months passed and we were given the green light to transition from a foster placement to an adoptive placement. Our families, who had once been so dead set against adopting a child from CPS, instantly fell in love with this beautiful, perfect child. To hear my older sister tell it, my parents don't even realize they already have 7 other grand-kids.
November 17, 2005 the three of us took a trip to the Courthouse to participate in National Adoption Day. As the primary adoptive parent, I was getting my day in court to finalize our "Forever Family", giving Adrian the loving family that every child deserves to have. It was a bitter sweet day for me personally. While I was able to fulfill my dream of having a child, I was sad for Jed because he was essentially treated like a bystander through the entire process, even though he had been a fully participating active parent in Adrian's life. It was a wonderful day for me and Adrian knowing that he would forever be tangled in my web of life. Since fags cant marry in Texas, nor can they adopt as a couple (unlike married couples), we had to make other arrangements for Jed's parental rights. It has been a long legal struggle for us to complete this. I immediately consulted with an attorney and updated my Will to name Jed successor to myself in the event of my death. We also started the wheels in motion to petition the court for second parent adoption for Jed to be legally named a parent of Adrian. While we couldnt adopt together, or on the same day, we could name Jed as a second parent legally. It just took a little effort.
So today, May 2, 2006, my child officially has two parents. My child finally has his complete forever family. My partner has the same legal rights under the law as I do to care for our child; enroll our child in school; take our child to the doctor; and travel about the country with our child. Society has made it so completely difficult for us to be a family, but we have persevered and like it or not, WE ARE A FAMILY.
Whether a child has one mother and one father; or two mothers; or two fathers; or one loving parent, or two separated parents, a family is a family. What makes the family is the love that is shared between the parties, and not the gender make up of the family. You can bet that none of the repugnants out there that are trying to ban gay parent adoptions have gone through a quarter of the battle that Jed and I, and so many other gay families, have had to go through just to be loving parents to a very deserving child. To everyone out there that thinks my family is sick, all I have to say is Thank you. I thank you for having the children that continuously get lost in our system so that we can show them what real love is all about. If it wasn't for sick bastards like you; beating your children; sexually abusing them; cutting off their limbs; drowning them in the trunks of your car; setting them on fire; and every other sick thing you people can think to do with your children, we wouldn't have the opportunities to set the world straight. Absolutely no pun intended.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
I decided last night to start a brand-spanking-new self-imposed challenge. I have decided I’m going to cut “chain food” cold turkey for an entire year. I’m tired of the squirts, yo. For real. But then practical thinking Walt had to throw in some questions about the “rules” of my chain-food ban. I hadn’t thought such a ban would need rules. But, alas, he was right.
Like, for example, he knows of Jed’s addiction to Starbuck’s and Sonic beverages (which he get 3-4 of each, each week). So he wanted to know if Sonic was included in the ban. For me, this is a simple “yes”, cuz I’m not much of a beverage man anyway, unless the beverage makes me loopy. I’m just not a huge fan of the sodas. But Jed, on the other hand, may die if he doesn’t get his two Sonic Route 44 drinks/day. So since I said “chain-food”, I’m going to allow my boo to continue rotting his gut with artificial sweeteners, I’ll just abstain. I cut that fucking whore, Starbuck’s, out of my life almost two years ago, so this won’t be an issue for me. I will, however, have to insist that Jed get his coffee beverages from other sources, because there’s plenty of other coffee shops along the way to his office.
What about LOCAL “chains”? For you in the know, Austin has a great little sammich shop, “Thundercloud Subs”. BUT, Thundercloud has SEVERAL DOZEN locations in the Austin area. Amy’s Ice Cream…also another Austin favorite, BUT with multiple Austin locations AND NOW they’re branching into other Texas markets. County Line BBQ, yes folks, it started here, but everyone and their dog has one in their location now. Where do I draw the line with LOCAL CHAIN-FOOD? This is simple for me. Thundercloud, not a chain. Amy’s, not a chain. County Line, shitty chain. I will allow for “local chains” as long as they don’t cross state lines. PLEASE.DON’T.ANYONE.TELL.ME.THEY.HAVE.AMY’S.IN.ANOTHER.STATE.
The obvious chains, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, CiCi’s (vomit) will be easy for me to avoid. There are so many better local alternatives. I’m also going to insist that the ban on chain-food expand to while traveling. This will put a huge dent in our rush-to-get-out-of-town grabbing a bite to eat in the car…but, I’m serious about supporting my local merchants and eating better (tasting) food.
So all y’all bitches reading this outside of Austin (and Texas, for that matter), shoot me off some of your local favorites. You never know when I may pop in for a visit.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Folks, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.
So…after my amazing 40 pound weight loss, I took a wee bit of a break. Okay, I’ve taken a month and a half off. I haven’t Wii’d since January 6th. Feeling a bit lethargic lately, I told Jed that I wanted to get back into it on Friday. “Why Friday,” he asked? I said, “Because that’d give me Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to really get back into it.”
But what game to play next? EA Sports Active completely reshaped my body, mind, and spirit. I had energy. I had dropped down 6 inches in my pants (no pun intended). What would I do? My choices: EA Sports Active, More Workouts; The Biggest Loser; Jillian Michaels: Ultimate Fitness 2010 (and something else I can’t see from the couch right now).
I decided on The Biggest Loser. It makes me feel good when I watch it on TV. Bob makes me want to snuggle with him and lick his spleen. Jillian wants me to teach her how to tuck her wee wee properly as to not be quite so bitchy. (Being friends with drag queens, I’ve learned a little over the years.)
So I bust out my Wii Fitness Board, pop in The Biggest Loser, erase my previously stored profile and start afresh. And I’ll be go to mother fucking hell if I hadn’t gained SEVEN POINT THREE POUNDS in the last 6 weeks! WHAT.THE.FUCK!?! Tell me, honestly. Are enchiladas really THAT bad?
I reset my profile to start the program over…okay, I’ll be honest. I reset my profile to start the program. And it was hard, yo. Seriously, at one point Jed asked me if I wanted him to call a bambulance. (And I would have let him if my new insurance paid for it!).
By the end of the 30-minute session I was crying. I had to Windex my television because I, not once, but thrice, shat on the screen while doing lunge-squat-pelvic-thrusts.
(And as I’m typing this, Jed’s doing his first 30 minute program since the first week of December AND he’s crying and…hold on…he just shit on the tv. I gotta run.)
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I got a wee bit excited when I checked my email yesterday. I had gotten an email from Disneyworld touting their most current “promotional deal” that, at first glance, caused me to instantly change our plans of waiting to take the boys to the land of Dis until they were a bit older. We’ve discussed waiting at least another year, until the boys were old enough to *get* it, but this deal was so shitastic that I would be a fool to pass it up.
The *deal* included airfare, hotel, multi-day ‘park-hopper’ tickets for each person to all Disney properties AND (THE BEST PART) “a $750 Disney Giftcard” that could be used for Disney merchandise and/or food at any Disney property and/or merchant. HELLS YEAH, I’ll sell my soul to Uncle Walt (not to be confused with the boys’ UNCLE WALT!) for a free $750.
I log onto SWA’s website to book my travel. And I notice, in the fine print, that in order to get *the deal*, you must book a room that is clearly marked “sale” or “Free $750 Gift Card Promotion” in order to secure *the deal*.
If you’ve ever tried to book a vacation package on Southwest Airline’s website, or any other travel site’s website, you already know that finding the specific items you need to book in order to get *the deal* takes a PHD in bullshit and linguistics. I was able to book any room at any Disney property, but none of the rooms were marked “sale” or “Free $750 Gift Card Promotion”. It took me a good hour and fully-charged battery before I FINALLY figured out that you had to first book the resort you wanted and then choose “upgrade room” to find the rooms that were marked as directed to actually get *the deal*. Imagine my shock when I learned that the “sale rooms” were EIGHT HUNDRED AND FORTY THREE DOLLARS MORE than the “regularly priced rooms”. In other words, I wouldn’t be getting a “free” $750 gift card, I would actually be paying for the gift card myself, in advance, for $93 MORE than the value of the gift card.
Seriously? Do people actually do that? Do they actually fool themselves into believing they’re getting a “great deal” and book this vacation package? I’d just assume take the room/package at the regular price and pocket my own $843 cash and be able to spend the money the way (and in place I want to) rather than be forced to pre-pay merchandise/food on a Disney “gift” card. Like, I could stop by a McDonald’s on my way into a Disney property and pay $17 for a crappy breakfast for my entire family with my own money than go to a Disney buffet and pay $47/person using their “gift” card.
Honestly. I’d love to hear from someone who has purchased this *deal*!