Bedside Yammer

Sorry for the silence- it’s been a long 26 hours.

I was in Bozeman last night facilitating the men’s process group, when I got a message: Sars has had a really bad nosebleed (dangerous for a man on a lot of blood thinners) and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. He’s going to be there overnight, so don’t worry.

Right.

To top it all off, we had the mother of all Spring blizzards last night, so a drive that usually takes me a little over an hour took almost two- whiteout conditions included. I arrived frazzled about 11 pm (too late to visit the hospital) and slept (badly). This morning I got to the hospital to see my friend looking weak and frail- even after receiving two pints of blood. I’m not really sure I’ve seen him like this before. He’s always been sickly, but his eyes always twinkled, and his smile came easily. Not today. Reality is starting to grab me by the belt loops and say “Here I am. Deal with me.”

Ugh.

After conferring with the doctor it was decided that we would keep him there another night, because, as the doctor said “At eighty-five, it would do him some good to rest and recover a bit- and you need to take a break. It’s not going to be any easier from here.” Yeah, I guess.

But the house is very quiet without him.

Young Men’s Retreat

I’m off in a bit to Lubrecht Forest to be a Den Mother for the Montana Young Men’s Health Retreat.

I look forward to it every year, because these kids (is that demeaning?) guys have so much to offer and always, at some point, make me glad to have lived to see well-adjusted kids grow up in the state of Montana- because, as many of you know, my generation had very few.

So, peace. Back Sunday night.

Sin Or Crime?

Andrew Sullivan has an excellent piece today about the psychosexual (arrested) development of clerical culture in the Catholic Church, entitled Sin Or Crime?

I agree with many of his points, especially from personal experience. Sublimation is one of the first steps toward total denial- and denial is a cornerstone of catholic sexual teaching.

What a mess.

More Than Just A Crate & Barrel Wedding

I posted about Gregory and Jonathan’s  Crate and Barrel wedding dreams a few days ago, but I had no idea of the powerful backstory. From my post on Bilerico:

Same-sex partners are getting married in greater numbers than before in this country, but total acceptance seems a long way off. Surprisingly, Gregory Jones and Jonathan Howard are currently in second place in Crate & Barrel’s Ultimate Wedding Contest. The DC area men, active for years in LGBT causes, decided to enter on a whim. I talked to Gregory (right) today.25937_1344804052669_1008271949_1032521_1916847_s.jpg

“We got engaged in October, and historically parents save for their daughters to get married, but they don’t really save for their sons, so the wedding was just going to be what we could afford. And in February, we opened a monthly customer email from Crate & Barrel advertising the contest. We just thought, ‘why not?’. We didn’t think it could hurt, and we might even win.”

The couple were already well-known because of Jonathan’s survival of a high-profile hate-crime in Boston in 2008.

“We had a lot of support from people from that and now it’s turned into something way bigger than just us. Because I wasn’t family or married to him, (the hospital staff) wouldn’t let me see him right away- and we don’t want anyone else to have to go through this.We tried to take this nightmare and turn it into a fairy tale for us.”

It’s become much more than just a contest to win a fabulous wedding.

“There are so many ways people can be an activist, some high profile, some just saying ‘look at all these people who support us’. It all works together to create change. It’s become an amazing vehicle for equality- the fabric of society is changing and hopefully we can be a force for social change and the acceptance of same-sex marriage.”

And they’ve changed some minds and hearts in the process.

“So many people came out of the woodwork to support us- including a guy who bullied me in middle school. He saw the posts mutual friends posted. He apologized to me and is now supporting us.”

Here’s hoping they change some more. Vote for them here.

Greg and Jonathan’s Crate and Barrel Wedding

No, I’m not getting married- another Greg is marrying Jonathan, and they’re finalists in Crate and Barrel’s Ultimate Wedding Contest-

“Boy meets boy, boy falls for boy, and boys get engaged. The pure existence of our love is not always accepted. We had to deal with hatred from outsiders and support one another in recovery. Our love story involves the evolution of the meaning of love and the perseverance that allowed two people such as us to openly experience happiness. We knew that we were right for each other from the start, we knew that we would always be by one another’s sides and that as best friends we could truly experience our love openly.”

Who couldn’t support that? Sigh….  Vote for them here. I did…

CPG

I spent the last few days in Helena with the State of Montana Community Planning Group for the prevention of HIV (CPG). We spent a lot of time with data, planning and discussing the rising infection rates among MSM in the state. I think my concerns about the epidemic becoming very large here in the next few years was heard, and I hammered home the new CDC prioritization of MSM as THE population in most dire need of outreach, education, prevention and treatment efforts. There’s more Montana-specific information here.

So many good people there. I really love to be there and learn from so many others’ experiences. I really know nothing about prisons, intravenous drug use, gynecological issues, Hep C- but there are people there who are experts, and they take the time to teach me and answer my questions.

There’s hope folks….

Blogswarm- Rights are Right!

The Bilerico folks (of which I’m one) are blogswarming today about The Employment Non-Descrimination Act (ENDA). The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, first introduced in 1994, would prohibit job discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. But LGBT people have never been able to achieve the enactment of the bill, known by the acronym of “ENDA”.

Read Dr Jillian Weiss’ article here. Then, my friends, do something to help. Repost this. Call Pelosi. Pray. It all helps.

Thanks.