What is going on in the world today? There's a bishop of a mega church clinching America and his fellowship by the balls because he doesn't see why he should make any statements regarding his homosexual relationships with count them F-O-U-R young men, all the while a college student takes it upon himself to "out" his gay roommate by streaming a webcam to everyone possible. In return, we get unlimited jokes cracked about homosexuality and homosexuals, nonstop media coverage of a man who can't seem to give his followers what they deserve (which is an answer), and a young man who hasn't experienced life yet, dead from suicide.
I begin to question: Will we learn anything from this? In one month, the same amount of men who stepped up against the bishop, is the same amount who have killed themselves in one month from humiliation and pressure from their family, peers and much of society for loving someone who is JUST like them. Even a young man at the age of 15. And what's the excuse for the hate? The only "logical", if you will, explanation is because it's written. But what else? Some find it gross to see two men engaging in PDA, but in the blink of an eye is turned on by watching two women kiss. Figure out which part of the actual sin you're against and it still won't matter. God also wrote to love others and that love sees no hate.
Understand that no one lives in the same world as one another. We all lead separate lives and love who we love out of our own reasons. Who are we to question who someone loves? Who are you to take it upon yourself and broadcast what someone held close to them for the obvious reason in that was the outcome? You don't understand because you can't. You can't understand because you won't. You won't understand because you are afraid. But, you're not afraid to throw stones at a human being.
Dan Savage, a journalist and blogger of Savage Love, has started the "It Gets Better" campaign to encourage members of the LGBT community and supporters to assist in promoting a healthy and comfortable lifestyle, when the you feel the world around you hates you for loving for who love. It can only get better.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
As a new season approaches, most of us clean out our closets. Out with the old and in with the new! Switching our sundresses out for sweaters and boots. I took my fall cleaning to the max this past week by completely parting with garments I have either never worn or worn once. I figured if I didn't wear it within the last 2 seasons, I never was going to wear it. After sifting through the unwanted, I decided to take my clothes to the "buy-sell-trade" consignment shops to barter for some change. I really just wanted enough to purchase a new pair of boots or a pair of jeans. Or both. For those of you not familiar with the consignment shops, I'll explain. These shops will allow you to "sell" your new or gently used garments and they will either give you a percentage of the price by cash or through a trade if you see something in the store you like.
First stop: Plato's Closet. Teeny bopper central. I don't know why I thought to stop here (first). Half the items already in the store where half my size and looks absolutely nothing like the clothes I brought to sell. While they critiqued every stitch and button on each one of my clothes and shoes, I shopped around. I found a few pairs of jeans to try on and happily found a pair of Paper Cloth & Denim brand jeans, which are one of my favorite brands. After they tallied up what was good enough to have in their store, they gave me my grand total. Thirty-eight freaking dollars. What? In all, they took a pair of Paper Cloth & Denim and Levi's jeans, a pair of suede boots from Wild Pair that I paid $150 in 2006 and only wore TWICE, a Bebe dress, Charles David shoes, a red python clutch, and an Abercrombie & Fitch sweater and all you give me is $38? Here was the outcome:
Trade Total: $38.15
20% Coupon: $14.40
I walked out with: $23.75 and these jeans...
Second stop was Buffalo Exchange. This is more like it. Hip and trendy, Buffalo Exchange has a little bit of something for everybody! More designer brands and accommodates to the twenty-something crowd. I carried my leftovers into the store and let the queens do their work. I picked around, tried on a cute French Connection dress (which I had too much body for) and even tried on some nice shades until they were done. This time I had nothing to trade for so, I opted for cash. My outcome was far better:
Retail Value: $202.70
Trade In Value: $170.23
Not much of a win, but I did manage to get some cash and a nice pair of jeans out of somethings that were just collecting dust.
Monday, September 27, 2010
(Yes. I had to.)
Here we have Bishop Eddie Long. A prosperous man who leads a mega church of 25,000 members. Keyword: MAN. In the past week, 4 men have stepped up, accusing Long of carrying on sexual affairs with them throughout his career as Bishop. What's wrong here? Nothing really, except for Bishop Long is married to a woman and an adversary of homosexuality, condemning those who chose to love someone of the same sex as "against God". Not to mention, the accusers state they were only 16 when the relationships had taken place, but in Georgia, it's no biggie. Under Georgia law, the age of consent is 16. On the other hand, Catholic Priests have been accused of sexual molestation for boys UNDER the age of consent. My thoughts? BULL. SHIT.
Biblically speaking, each man are guilty of the same sin. However, MAN allows LAW to override the Bible by writing rules to govern, in this case, who is of age to consent to sex. This is where it gets fucked up. Many are arguing that age is not the issue ONLY because the accusers in Bishop Long's case were of age to consent. They are right, partially. Justifiying Long's sin by law is underminding the Bible. If what is preached and taught from the Bible, sex is only to be between a married man and woman. I mean, that's what they say is written. It shouldn't matter that they were of age, which technically they were still children and of the same sex. Man has allowed children to make decisions that only a sound adult should be able to make. The same 16 year old boy is still in high school, still living with mommy and/or daddy and probably can't drive. Which is the exact same circumstances as a child under the age of 16.
People are allowing MAN to govern what we do in our daily lives, but won't acknowledge this "anointed figure" in church as the same MAN. If we would start acknowledging these figures that we have learned to listen to, admire, and adhere to their word, we should also acknowledge that this man is not God. He is not perfect and without sin. But, before us, this man should be able to acknowledge this first. A man made law should not justify sin. If homosexuality is morally wrong and condemned in church as a sin, and a homosexual is forever labeled a sinner, the circumstances regarding law should not matter. Can we say the same as a thief, or a murderer, or an adulterer? Just because I have had the same boyfriend for 8 years makes it okay for me to engage in premarital sex? The Bible says "No." The Bible has no stipulations or grants a trial to discuss how you came about this sin. A sin is a sin is a sin. And ultimately the judge is God, not a woman sitting on the front pew, and not a man with a badge or dressed in a black robe.
I don't believe this boils down to a race issue as far as the media is concerned. Majority of the Catholic Priests involved in the molestation allegations are white. It does fall into the "I never thought it could happen to me" denial. I do believe it's finally shedding light on how southern churches tear each other apart with their segregation and prejudice of religions (sometimes within the same religion), and the unfortunate becoming that more churches are now businesses. When I use the term "church", I am not only speaking on the physical church itself, but members included. I have experienced first hand criticism and antagonism against my religion and church from the choices the men (priests) have made from other religions and churches. When we all in fact, worship the same God and read from the same book and practice the same principles everyday. Times like this pastors, bishops, priests, and clergymen should recognize that under the cloaks, suits, ties and the Cross, that they are all MEN and imperfect.
I am an avid supporter of the LGBT community. I do not support those who condemn and commit to the same. Judging those for the sin you commit is nothing more than pure hypocrisy.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Who decides who picks up the tab? For instance, when there is more than one man at a dinner table, bar, or club, should women be excluded from picking up or contributing to the tab? It could be that I am old fashioned, or that I may be spoiled. Hell, it may be the company that I keep, that has me believing that this is a norm. I mean, I haven't associated with THAT many millionaires or "ballers" for "gold digging" or, if you will, mooching to be the reason why I say this to be true. It may be that I keep company who has the same principles as I, with the exception of one or two. In my opinion, I believe it all boils down to principle, reciprocity, and downright courtesy. However, I am not speaking "date" wise, or relationship wise, I am speaking on a more cordial setting. This stands for having dinner with a group of friends, be it all female or all male. I get that every ones checkbooks may not bounce in the right or same direction, but for the one who does, what's so hard about treating someone to a good meal? You would never go hungry. Not that you should be expecting it.
Dinner: What a turn off (whether I like you or not), for a man to sit at a dinner table amongst other men, requesting split tabs and the women digging in their wallets to contribute. Or am I expecting some kind of chivalry from someone who is not "for" or "with" me? It's different when its a couple thing, you know, each couple pays. But, if you are a group of mutual friends or even a third wheel of a couple, is it too much to believe the couple should pay? In my eyes, the couple should pay. On the other hand, I don't see an issue treating your "favorite" couple to an evening either. If your pockets may allow.
Special Occasions: I had one of my associates tell me that she didn't feel "comfortable" with inviting people to celebrate her birthday at a restaurant if they had to pay for their own food. Girl, WHAT?! I immediately replied with "that is how every one I have been to was unless I was eating off of someones stove or they were a millionaire." And anyhow, it's YOUR damn birthday. Celebrants are to NEVER have to pay for anything. You should be able to celebrate where you chose and not worry about how your guests will pay their bill.
Drive Thru Windows/ Take Out: My pet peeve is pulling up to a drive thru and the person in the back seat yelling, "SEPARATE TICKETS!!" into the speaker. First of all, hoe, get out of my ear with all that *motions hands in circle* hollering and two, you're really gonna separate your $2.17 ticket from my $5.35, have us sit an extra 5 minutes at this window, trying to figure out whose meal is whose. Girl, DIE!! It's as simple as "You (or I) get me next time." A $3 or $10 difference should not break my bank and shouldn't break yours or you should be fine dining on a pack of Ramen. The biggest dispute is when the parties have different forms of payment as to why you cannot split the tab. Most restaurants can easily split the tab according to how you wish to pay. However, if your company insists on giving you the cash, or in some cases, ask you for your cash, kindly oblige and move on.
Club/ Bar/ Lounge: In the event of stepping out to a bar, it's much easier to pick up the tab on a round of drinks for your friends and then relaying the message to those trying to hand you money, "Just get my next one." Easier on the bartender and a time saver. Some think its a form of "pity" when they have someone who steps up, with no discussion and pays the tab. I had a friend tell me "I aint that poor. I have drink money." Well, I definitely wasn't trying to offend her, at the time I had some extra cash on me to take care of the costs for the night. It is common courtesy, err, common sense that if your friend has picked up the parking or entry fee, you return the gesture of purchasing the first drink.
Do not invite OR accept an invitation to dinner if all you are going to do the entire time is dread the moment the waiter places the ticket on the table. If you are attending a celebration for an individual, be sure to chip in to pay for their meal or portion of the celebrant's tab. If you are wary of your funds, offer a toast and purchase a drink on your dime. Regardless if none of the other party attendants are willing, you should always be willing.
Definitely not trying to count anyones pockets, I thinks it's only fair. Maybe I am thinking of what's more convenient at the moment to enjoy, than thinking of mine or someone else's debit card.
Friday, September 10, 2010
I did say without a husband and not a man, right? OK, cool. Being that I have been dating the same man for the past 5 years, pretty much everyone who knows us asks when will we be taking that walk to the alter. Just for shits and giggles I may say "Not anytime soon!!", however I am beginning to feel as though I mean that. I am starting to believe that I am the only 26 year old in a serious relationship that isn't thinking of being a wife right now. Blame it on circumstances, I guess.
Marriage is never an argument between us, for I know and so does he, that we will eventually form a union under God. He speaks about it more than me, and don't get me wrong I want it as well. It wasn't 'til recently I expressed my discernment for nuptials. In return, I got utter disbelief and somber understanding. I needed to explain that of course, it has absolutely nothing to do with not wanting to marry him but everything to do with who will not be there to celebrate my happiness.
I am sure everyone knows who that is, but let me give you some explanation. See, I am thinking of the day that he will pop the question and put a ring on it. *hand motions* Immediately following a super dramatic cunt fallout (like I didn't know what was coming), I'd reach for my phone and realize I wont have anyone to call. Sure, there is my dad who hopefully I'll catch him before he reaches is 3rd fifth of Taaka vodka. There are my grandparents that I love dearly, there are my aunts and uncles and plenty cousins. But, there is no mommy. There is no doubt in my mind that these people won't be as happy for me as the next, but there rejoice can't hold a candle to the excitement and joviality my mother would share with me in my moment. I am probably coming off a little trivial for my unwillingness to others whose love is just as deep for me as it ever were before.
To some it may seem as if my life circulates around the death of my mother. It damn sure does. A lot of me has changed because of that. The things I wanted before, I no longer seek and who I was before, I no longer am. The one thing that my brother and sister have that I don't and never will was to share their moment of happiness with her. Having a baby and getting married without her was something that I took for granted. Having her here was taken for granted. Not in vain to say that she always be there, just in a sense that she wouldn't die before we had our moment. Looking for a dress, making sure I invite everyone and everything moving, to having her at my side when I am taking that step to becoming the woman she raised me to be. Many might agree that I am allowing it to hold me back in life. Or perhaps, I am taking my mourning of her passing out on my current relationship. In some ways I can admit that the power of grief is overwhelming and can be considerably heavy on my daily life in general. I am just doing the best I can.
I may be reaching a bit much. I know my mother would never hold me back from my happiness. She set the bar high for being a wife and living up to that standard is like setting myself up for failure. I may be associating my future with letting go of my past. If i choose to marry without her at my side, I am forgetting about her and the dreams I cherish to have with her. It may have absolutely nothing to do with my mother, but possibly my fear of commitment. The feeling of being with one person for the rest of my life without breaking a promise not only to my husband but God as well. There are things I have to ponder on and at this point I have enough time to do so. Or do I? Will he stay if if my beliefs remain the same? Could I live for the rest of my life that way? Maybe when the time comes I will be ready.