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Joan, those are interesting questions. I suppose I could ask you the same.
As for support, it would be Ning. We are pretty mutually supporting, but also give each other space. He can be over-assertive - part of Chinese macho, I think - but he knows my limits, and is pretty much live and let live. He doesn't understand some of my values but accepts that is who I am, and I do him as well.
I feel fully accepted on Nexus. No other venue. Never. Is anyone ever fully accepted in a particular venue? There are some individuals who accept and respect me, and it's mutual. But that is the individuals, not the venue.
I don't know about people giving support. I try to think of myself as an adult, and I shouldn't need support. Obviously, that's not true, everyone needs a hand. We all do. But I try to be the strongest one in the room, emotionally, and give support to people who need it more. If I am conscious when I die, my thought will be to tell the person I care about the most, go on and have a good life, thank you for being so good and so kind, you really did do your best and I'm grateful.
Is anyone comfortable being who they are? As what part? As a gay man - relevant in this group - almost never. As someone who is over-intellectual - almost never. In my profession - almost never. Are we supposed to be comfortable? :-) Probably saying too much there...... :-)
I don't know about what principles anyone could tease from my experiences that would be helpful to others! The golden rule applies. Stop and really listen to people whenever possible. Nobody is perfect. Ingersol's lines about happiness apply more than any other.
You have never offended me or caused discomfort. Never. Thank you.
Daniel, where do you get your best support?
In what venue do you feel fully accepted?
Who are the people or groups who give you the support you need?
When are you most comfortable being who you are?
What principles can we tease out of your experiences that we can be helpful to others?
How do I/we offend you or cause others discomfort?
I must say that Payson is a nice little town; I spent 2 weeks there dog-sitting for Al and his partner a few years ago, and met a lot of nice people. It's at 5,000 ft, so the summer climate is usually mild, and they get some snow in the winter. It's becoming a popular retirement area...certainly a LOT less expensive than California! Many of the homes are factory-manufactured, but you can't tell just by looking at them. Very sensible. And comfortable.
My cousins live in Winslow (as did my favorite aunt who died a few months ago...dammitall!); some of them bitch about the large number of Navajos that come into town from the reservation, but...good grief! The Navajos were there first!
NOTHING makes me angrier than bigotry and injustice! I just don't know what I can do to stop it...feeling helpless also makes me mad. All I can do is write letters to editors, and sit here hissing and spitting.
The big question is how the *bleep* do bigots tell who is gay, or whatever, unless they advertize what they are? What if two (or any number of) businessmen go to a "working lunch" together; do they somehow have to prove they aren't gay before they can be seated and served? How are they supposed to do that?
The whole thing is stupid.
I remember when Jesse Helms was carrying on about "family values" and anti-gay everything...he had NO idea how many gay and lesbian voters lived in North Carolina, or any other state. Quite a few, actually...I know some of them....
All these idiots focus on is the syllable "SEX" in "homosexual" or "transsexual"...religious people are obsessed with everyone else's sex lives. Fundies are today's version of puritans:
Felaine, your story, and the one you shared with us through the film reveals a dark and ugly USA past, which sadly goes on. You are quite correct in the national hatred of atheist, non-believers of any stripe, and religions that don't stand upon the pedestal of Abraham. Hatred, bigotry, dogmatism, narrow-mindedness, all play their part in holding us back from the next leap forward in the human evolutionary journey.
We are, without a doubt, at a cutting edge in history. A lot rides on the outcome, even life as we know it on Earth. If we remain shy, or afraid of being called names or having dirty tricks played on us, then we lose, automatically. The only way humanity can progress is for individuals who share a vision of justice and peace stand together in coalition. One person alone can submit to fear; a whole community caught in the talons of dominators means maintaining and perpetuating the status quo.
Standing up before family, friends, the community and stating, "I am a nonbeliever; I do not see evidence of a god!" isn't really all that difficult ... long term. What is difficult is living under the shroud of any theism.
I have friends and relatives in central and northern Arizona. I sent the link to that story to a couple (been together 40+ years) in Payson (geographical center of the state...) This was their reply:
My VERY long reply:
It's going to cost the taxpayers an arm and a leg, and maybe a few hips, to fight it in the courts. Definitely unconstitutional. D'you think the Gov. is hateful enough to sign it? Or let it lapse into law?This kind of nastiness makes me sick, even though it doesn't affect me personally; sort of like the first time I travelled with Holiday in the South in 1957, and saw separate waiting rooms, separate water fountains, signs by the seats in buses, and black people buying fast food burgers from kitchen doors instead of at the counters out front like everyone else. I'd read about that kind of thing, but actually seeing it, and living with it was something else altogether.I also still fume about what Mabel Fairbanks had to go through to become a professional skater in the 1940s and '50s....she had to put together her own shows and play places like Cuba and South America. she also had to resort to subterfuge to get her students admitted to the USFSA in the late 1960s (!) so they could compete....something she was never allowed to do. She trained champions, but was not inducted into the USFSA Hall of Fame till 1997. A bit of an afterthought IMO.This video made me cry a bit...I love Atoy, I'm glad he put this together.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k-kW4bSdx2oI often wonder which group is going to be next. I belong to THE most hated minority in the USA...atheists. We are now close to 20% of the population, but no politician (since Pete Stark) can get elected dog-catcher if she or he admits to being non-religious.Oh, this pi$$es me off so much I can hardly think! I hope Gov. Brewer develops a brain instead of her usual cerebral tentacle, and vetoes the bill. Even if she agrees with it, she must be aware of how much the fight is going to cost the state.Felaine <snarling>
Considering the level of Bigotry pervading Arizona, I would boycot them. The problem is, I have never gone there, I don't plan to, and I'm not aware of buying anything from there. Not much left to boycot. Kind of like Alabama, same thing.
Arizona has long endeavored to be "The Alabama of the Southwest". I don't know why. Well, yes I do. Arizona is one of the major "White flight" states, as reactionary white people left California and other states in reaction to the presence of more people of color.
I know a fair number of "snowbirds" - retirees who migrate to Arizona in the winter, and back to the Northwest in the summer. Some of them, you can't even chit chat with, without their bigotry coming to the front. "How was the winter there this year?" "The sunshine was great. But too many Mexicans."
I didn't to research on statistic there. I don't feel like becoming worked up and upset. My impression is, recent anti-immigrant (more accurately, "Anti-Mexican", since they won't pull people over for looking Canadian) laws have resulted in people of Mexican heritage leaving the state. Alabama, too. When I am in a better mood I might check on that. Might not.
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