wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)
LGBT and suspected LGBT young people have been completing suicide in astounding numbers in the past few weeks. They were driven to that extreme step after being systematically bullied, humiliated, and assaulted by their peers. Where did their peers learn it was okay to bully people based on their (actual or perceived) sexual orientation? There are a few answers to that question.

They learned it from you family members and friends of family they heard mocking LGBT people.

They learned it from you ministers who claim being LGBT is "sinful" or "an abomination".

They learned it from you politicians and community organizers who successfully pass discriminatory legislation that denies same-sex couples the right to legally marry.

They learned it from you federal legislators who do not recognize sexual orientation as a protected status in laws against hate crimes.

They learned it from you military people who force LGBT women and men to choose between openly acknowledging the person they love and serving and protecting the country they love.

You may not mean for your participation in any of these activities to be taken as a license to humiliate, assault, and murder LGBT people. You may say you do not have a problem with the LGBT person as a fellow human being, just with their sexual orientation being "sinful", "an abomination", or "unnatural". But the kids who bullied, humiliated, and assaulted their peers are not able to make that distinction. They hear you say those things, pass those laws, and preach those sermons, and they feel validated in bullying, humiliating, and assaulting whatever peers they perceive as LGBT. In their minds, if who the LGBT person is warrants your words and actions, who the LGBT person is warrants their abuse. They know their behavior is nothing more than the physical manifestation of your words and laws.

Why don't you?

Those mocking statements, those sermons, those laws, those federal silences all have nurtured an environment where LGBT youth are not safe to live their lives in peace and with all of the respect due to a fellow human being.

So, what are you going to do to put to rest the monster you created?

I'll tell you what I've done. Because, I am ashamed to say, I helped create that monster in years past, too.

I repented of the many times in my youth when I participated in mocking conversations about my fellow human beings who were or were thought to be LGBT.

I no longer affiliate myself with organizations, religious or otherwise, that are not open and affirming to all people, regardless of their sexual orientation.

I support marriage equality for same-sex couples.

I support the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, so all military personnel and their families can have their humanity AND their dedication to our country acknowledged and respected.

I respectfully speak up when I hear people mock and use slurs in reference to LGBT people.

Whenever possible, I support organizations such as GLSEN: the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (www.glsen.org), to affect positive change in schools.

Your turn.
wlotus: (Happy)

I saw Janelle Monáe, LIVE!!!!! I can go to sleep a happy woman.

wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)
I'm glad to see LiveJournal will remove the ability to cross-post comments from protected entries. That's an improvement, though it doesn't help protect the identities of people who post publicly from anonymous blogs. I applaud the improvement, though.

That doesn't change my mind about preferring to blog in my own domain.

Also, folks who snort and say we are upset over nothing have probably never dealt with being emotionally (let alone physically) abused, the power that comes from finally being able to go public with your words (even anonymously), and the fear that comes from realizing you could again become a target of such abuse.
wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)
I would be very surprised, if LJ fails. The people who say they and their friends leaving will send the service into a freefall towards oblivion are either naive or they have made themselves out to be legends in their own minds. LJ is far bigger than us and our friends/connections. It will more than survive people like me leaving the service; it will thrive. The investors will make sure of it, or they will sell it to another investor who will find a way to make it so.

Whether those of us who leave would want to be a part of what LJ is becoming in the process of continuing to thrive is another story. I've decided I don't want to be a part of it. That is why I have moved my blogging to my own domain, not because I fantasize that my leaving will cause any kind of ripple in the force.
wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)
Until the Facebook/Twitter cross-posting feature was released, I did not bother to go to DW to comment, even if comments were only accepted on the person's DW blog. Now, though, I use my LJ identity via OpenID to read and comment on DW.

I changed my mind after the new cross-posting feature finally convinced me to set up a Wordpress blog in my own domain. I figure that if I am going to pay to blog publicly, I may as well do it in my own domain, on my own terms. I intend to have all of my blogging migrated to that blog by the time my paid account expires in January. But I will keep my LJ account here just for reading/commenting on blogs that aren't anywhere else.

If you have a Dreamwidth blog you want me to subscribe to, let me know.

Uncle

Sep. 3rd, 2010 08:56 pm
wlotus: (Sad Angel)
Dear Uncle Alvan,

You name has popped up several times today on Facebook. I was just editing my email contact list, and your name popped up there. Each time I saw your name I felt shocked.

You aren't supposed to be dead.

I feel like I should put "dead" in quotes, because I don't feel like your essence has been snuffed out of all existence. I don't have concrete evidence I can present in a court of law to prove you are still in existence somewhere (just not here). But the idea of your essence no longer existing is as ridiculous to me as the idea that my parents are not really my parents: while I am sure there is some statistical probability of it being true, that probability is very, very small.

Anyway, I am thinking of you. I am horrified by the way your body was discovered...though, to be honest, I think I would have been more horrified had you slowly wasted away in a hospital. I am shocked by the empty space in my family that you used to occupy. We didn't talk or email often. We rarely saw one another. But I knew you were out there in the flesh, and that was good enough for me. I am still having trouble grasping the fact that you no longer are.

I hope you are at peace. I tend to believe you are; the idea that you would not be also seems ridiculous to me.

Thanks for the record collection. I know you didn't give it to me or explicitly leave it for me, but I feel like I ought to thank you anyway, because your care of it over the years is why I am able to enjoy it, now. I've nearly alphabetized the entire thing. I'm pretty sure you had the albums alphabetized, too, but I am also sure you understand why it was more important to get them out of there as quickly as possible than to worry about keeping them in order. I've listened to a lot of them, though nowhere near half of them. I've been saying, "I didn't know XYZ is the one who recorded this!" and, "I had no idea the version I first heard in the 90s/00s was originally done by XYZ!" a lot. I haven't listened to any albums in a couple of weeks, though. I've been avoiding them. I've been overwhelmed by the reason I have them in the first place. But don't worry: I'll eventually get back to listening to them. I just need some time.

And hey, I got your message that day. You know the one. I really needed to hear that. I don't do it, anymore. I know you'd be pleased.

Love,
Me
wlotus: (Princess)
Sometimes I wonder if men who prefer "their" women in dangerously high heels and platforms have secret (or not-so-secret) control issues. After all, a woman in shoes like that isn't likely to be able to outrun you when you're being a jerk.
wlotus: (Headache)
Someone has created a poll asking people's input on the FB/Twitter link feature.

http://community.livejournal.com/thequestionclub/86168785.html

From what I understand, the LJ staff is aware of and watching this poll, so feel free to add your input to it.


ETA: Yesterday evening LJ staff member [livejournal.com profile] bluemeringue posted this comment in response to the overwhelming number of requests to get rid of (or at least allow blog owners to opt their blogs out of) the Facebook/Twitter cross-posting:

We understand and appreciate your wish for privacy. Most of us would not want our LiveJournal usernames, FO comments, etc., published on Facebook or Twitter either (to the extent we even use them). We hear you. We are doing our very best to respond.

Which makes me wonder, then, why it was done in the first place. I suspect LJ staff had nothing to do with this change. It probably came from the owners up above.
wlotus: (Princess)
[livejournal.com profile] docjeff has shared with [livejournal.com profile] sunfell a Custom CSS fix that will disable the cross-posting checkboxes for many LJ styles. This fix will remove the boxes from your blog for anyone who views it.

I've tried it. It seems to work. If it does not work (if you can still see the checkboxes when commenting on my blog), please let me know.
wlotus: (Nope)
Of course you are free to share your personal thoughts without referencing my identity or blog on your Facebook or Twitter. But referencing my identity, specific situation, and protected blog entry on your Facebook or Twitter? HELL to the N-izz-AW! I hope LJ allows people to disable this feature for their blog and for all screened comments, rather than leaving it up to commenters to enable or disable the feature for their comments. Not everyone is reasonable and rational. Some people are drama-llamas. This is why privacy protections exist: to protect the rest of us from such people.

LJ Frequently Asked Question #279: How do I update my Facebook or Twitter when I post to LiveJournal?

You can choose to update your Facebook Wall through the Facebook Connect feature any time you post a public entry to LiveJournal using the Post an Entry page, or any time you post a comment to any entry, regardless of the security level of the post itself....

For comments, the Facebook update will say "[Your name] posted a new comment to 'wlotus' at LiveJournal.", and will contain the subject and text of the comment, as well as a link to the entry....

Please note that you can choose to have comments posted to protected entries cross-posted to Facebook and/or Twitter, and the text of those comments will appear to all your followers on those sites, but clicking the link will not show the full entry to anyone who does not have access to view it. The cross-posting options will automatically be unchecked when commenting to a Friends Only or Private post, so that no protected comments are sent to Facebook or Twitter by accident.


Let us get something straight, dear readers. If I catch you linking comments to my locked posts to Facebook or Twitter, you will be removed and banned from my blog without explanation or apology. This is your only warning. Heed it.

Comments are disabled for this post and may be disabled for all locked posts in the future, until this is fixed to my liking.
wlotus: (Doodlebug)
Originally posted to [livejournal.com profile] fortysomething...

When I was in ninth grade, I cashed in a $50 savings bond to do Christmas shopping and was dismayed to receive just over $25 for it. (I'd only had it a year and didn't understand how savings bonds worked.) When I told my dad and told him the name of the banker who had "cheated" me out of my $50, he took the money and said he'd take care of it. The next day he handed me $50. I imagined him confronting the banker for "cheating" his daughter. He was my hero.

Years later, when I understood how savings bonds worked, I realized he had simply given me $50 of his own money to make up for sending me to the bank unaware the savings bond was only worth just over $25. Again, he was my hero.

Years after that, someone who knew about the incident (but didn't know I'd long figured out what Dad had done) scoffed, "You thought your father was a hero, but he just gave you his own money to make up for it. He didn't do anything big." Their statement made me feel sorry for them. That person must have been horribly unhappy and bitter in their own heart to try to destroy a daughter's admiration for her own father.
wlotus: (Tending the Flame)
I believe it is quite normal to question things and re-examine one's path at pivotal stages of life. The forty-something years are one of those stages. I am getting close to the age where I will not have as many years in front of me as I have behind me. Right now i can still double my age and see living to that number of years. That won't be the case, before I know it.

The other day I realized that the first 18 years of my life were a mistake on many levels. To make matters worse, I perpetuated many of those mistakes for another twelve years, not realizing there was another way to be. I have only been 11 years on the other side of the decision to seek other, healthier ways to be, so I don't feel as though I've entirely made up for the three "lost" decades at the beginning of my life. What a waste. As a result, I regularly find people far, far younger than me who have far more wisdom and freedom to be themselves in certain ways than I had at their age. Janelle Monáe is one of those people, which is why I admire her creativity as deeply as I do. I don't know much about who she is as an everyday person, but I like her creative vision, and I admire her gumption to put that vision out there in her own way for others to be inspired by. After I saw her perform last week, I wished I could be 24 years old and have that same belief in myself to put my own creative vision out there so young, when I had that kind of energy. She has been believing in and working on that vision for a few years, already. She started young.

I did not. I am 41 and just starting that creative journey. Well...that's not entirely fair to myself: I am not JUST starting. I've been inching along on this journey of self-realization all of my life, every time I kicked against the voices outside of me that said I had to suppress myself and live out their vision for my life, instead. It's just that compared to where I envisioned I would be at 41, it feels like I am just starting. Anyway, being where I am at 41 isn't a bad thing. It's far older than I would have preferred to be making the realizations I have recently been making about life, but that's just how my life worked out. I am not dead, so I can still make progress on my journey.

I try not to dwell on the what ifs. Instead, I am learning to acknowledge them (as I am doing in this post) and keep on moving. My paper journal gets them a lot. I figured I'd share these here, for a change.
wlotus: (Happy)
Yesterday Ms. T was working on her laptop, so I brought her lap desk to her. "Would you like your mouse?" I asked her. When she answered in the affirmative, I brought that to her, too.

She just wasn't expecting it to be a brand new wireless mouse, still in the packaging.

This morning I told her I would take care of breakfast. She fell asleep while I was in the bathroom. I woke her up 20 minutes later...after I'd snuck to the corner store for a cup of her favorite coffee and to the bagel shoppe for her favorite breakfast sandwich. The keepers of the shoppe where I bought the coffee were tickled that I managed to sneak out of the house without waking her. They even sent a box of her favorite licorice with their birthday greetings to her.

I've had fun surprising her, today.
wlotus: (Blackberry)
I was thinking too much about something. Now I am not.

IMG00619-20100828-1233.jpg

wlotus: (Blackberry)
Bryant Park on a hump night. The summer film series is over, so they've dismantled the screen. It's nice to see the view without the screen in the way.

IMG00614-20100825-2043.jpg

wlotus: (Blackberry)
Don't I look devious...I mean, STUDIOUS? I'm leaving school.

IMG00612-20100825-2033.jpg

wlotus: (Default)
  1. Vacuuming and mopping the hardwood floors.

  2. Washing all of our dirty laundry.

  3. Including The Teen in the housekeeping by having him sweep and scrub the kitchen floor.

  4. Keeping the dishes out of the sink.

  5. Sketching.

  6. Writing in my paper journal.

  7. Grocery shopping.

  8. Listening to good music.

  9. Accomplishing a new job-related task.

  10. Organizing my work files.

  11. Organizing my email accounts.

  12. Syncing and using my 160GB iPod, which FINALLY arrived on Monday.


None of this is big, but all of it makes for a content [livejournal.com profile] wlotus.

I've had a restful weekend and am looking forward to the new week.
wlotus: (Default)
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Watching this mix video of surprise soldier homecomings made me cry in a good way.

wlotus: (Fountain Pen)

My Godsister


#2 pencil. Sketched from a photograph. 20 August 2010.
wlotus: (Eyes Wide Open)
Listen as Keith Olbermann debunks the myths surrounding the community center planned for 45 Park Place, NYC (2-4 blocks away from Ground Zero, depending on how you count "blocks"): the building which has been incorrectly labeled by much of the media and its opponents as "The Ground Zero Mosque".



"There is no training ground for terrorists. There is no insult to the victims of 9-11. There is no tribute to medieval Muslim subjugation of the west. There is, in fact, no 'Ground Zero Mosque'. It isn't a mosque....What is planned for 45 Park Place, NYC is a community center. It's supposed to include a basketball court and a culinary school. It is to be 13 stories tall and the top two stories will be a Muslim prayer space. What a cauldron of terrorism that will be: terrorist chefs and terrorist point guards. [Keith Olbermann]"

My fellow Americans are embarrassing me...again.

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