Friday, July 25, 2008

Home again

Back from the beach. Fun time. No sunburn (yeah!)

Even though I was supposed to be off the rest of this week, it is not to be. Some untimely demands (something that happens in my work) mean I have to be on the job. It's OK, I'll get time off later and do something sans enfants, that might be lots of fun!

Still unsure about job prospects for elsewhere. Things here seem good for now.

Nothing burning or brewing for me, right now. I'm looking forward to August and the beginning of more return schedules.

Shalom & Cheers to all.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Sunday, I'm off to the beach! My daughters and their mom have been there for the week. Mom will come home, and I'll be with them for the next few days, then bring them home. It's an arrangement that has worked for us.

The girls have taken my coming out well, in general. But as more settles in, they are a bit unsettled. My youngest is troubled by it all, but won't talk about "it" much with her mom and not at all with me. But I am glad that she still does want to talk to me, just not about "it".

I can live with this, but it is tough when "it" is me. We will get there. I know. I hope. With time they will see that I am not so different. It's just now they know.

The weather has been great (albeit too dry) and I've had a bad cold, gone to bronchitis. Much of this week I've slept. Ugh. Feeling much better.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

On Religious Abuse

Exodus International is a group that calls itself “Christian” and purports to help people choose NOT to be gay. They are having a big conference at a church center near the city where I live. A local counselor published an opinion piece in the local newspaper that was quite excellent. I commend it to you.

Here is a small excerpt.

In my work as a pastoral psychotherapist and spiritual director I often
work with people who are struggling to understand their sexuality in light of
their faith. Regardless of orientation, faithful human beings want to grow in
spiritual discernment. They also want to name the truth about who they are, and
to know that their love and their sexual expression of it is blessed by God, and
that they can live as whole beings in a committed, spiritually grounded
partnership. We all have much to learn about sexuality and spirituality but this
is a process that requires prayer and discernment, not ideology. For Exodus
International, ideology trumps discernment and “Exodus” becomes enslavement to
the views of those who presume to speak for God.

Of the many powerful narratives in Scripture, the Exodus story is perhaps
one of the richest in its imagery of the journey from enslavement to freedom. As
such it offers unlimited possibilities for spiritual practice. It is truly a
sacred narrative precisely because it comes alive again and again whenever
someone turns to God in prayer. It is therefore a sacrilege, literally a theft
of the sacred, to force this narrative into the service of an ideology. That
which is holy is desecrated, abused and distorted when we reduce God to the
measure of our fears. Inviting others to participate in such desecration,
offering “healing” in the name of ideology, and standing as gatekeeper to the
sacred, is to distort the spiritual journey and to use sacred narrative as bait
for entrapment. It is, frankly, abusive.

Like other forms of abuse, spiritual abuse is often delivered with warmth,
kindness and in the name of love. Exodus International will offer hugs,
celebration, Eucharist. There will be pastoral prayers, hymns and the joyful
embrace of community. Nor will any of this be offered with any evil intent.
Indeed, it will be offered in all innocence, with the best of intentions and
good will, with heartfelt conviction and genuine desire — all in the name of
ideology. However innocently offered, it is still spiritual abuse.

Daniel O. Snyder, PhD, is in clinical practice in Black Mountain, and is
an active member of Swannanoa Valley Friends Meeting (Quaker). He lives in Black
published July 11, 2008 in the Asheville Citizen-Times

Friday, July 11, 2008

Life is too short not to dance.

As I've said before, I live in the most amazing small city. After a visit to Atlanta PRIDE and being in a Really Big City, I am more and more impressed with what we've got going on here.

Every Friday evening, the Drum Circle forms in a small downtown park. I don't know that there is any particular organization or leadership, though there may be. All I know is it just seems to happen. It goes own for hours. All kinds of percussion, and then the dancing begins. I love to go and just move to the beat.

I make no promises about "knowing" how to dance. I don't really care. I just do it. Often I tell my children, "Life is too short not to dance."

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


What a week. My youngest teenager has migraines. The doctor prescribed a new medication to try. Bad news. "A very adverse reaction."
Didn't help the pain, loss of muscle control, shakes, tightening of the chest and throat, sent he into a major panic attack (which is not like her). Off to the ER.
That was Monday night. Got home Tuesday morning about 7.30 am. She is alright, but still not great. Ugh.
I have suffered from migraines, but only very occasionally. It is like a spike in the head. I wonder what is tension and anxiety from our family stress, and what may be hormonal/chemical/physiological? Probably a combination. Wish I could make them go away for her.
The PA is doing fine. Still a little sore, needing soaking a few times a day. Getting better. Still proud. I'll write later about my experience of PRIDE in Atlanta.

Monday, July 07, 2008


I know this may be too much information for some, but I am proud of it. I had my PA redone while in Atlanta. Knowing I was going for a morning business meeting, and having the afternoon free, I called Kolo Piercing on the recommendation of an acquaintance. Kolo has (in stock) lots of sizes, etc., of titanium jewelry.

My last attempt at a PA didn't go so well because of an apparent allergy to the stainless steel ring. So, I took that one out and the hole closed up. No problem. But I missed it.

So, unsure of the best size and gauge, it was a bit difficult to order something and then take it to a local piercer. Kolo has it all in stock! Gigi, was very professional, extremely careful, and followed all safety and health guidelines to a T. She was great!

Piercing into the old scar tissue and then fitting a new and larger gauge through it was painful. Way painful. OMG painful. this was much worse than the first time, but only because of the scarring. But I'm a big boy with a high tolerance. After everything was "through", it was fine.

Why do this? It was not done on whimsy or while intoxicated. I've thought about it a long time, much more than I had before. Coming out involves mourning and rejoicing. Grief over what has been lost, celebrating what is gained. That's why I've done it. The tears have flowed over the grief, this symbol on my body celebrates, reclaims, and marks a new awareness of me. A new beginning.

The journey goes on, with a 6 gauge circular barbell, in titanium.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


I didn't know. Really. I am the clueless type, you know. I had a business meeting in Atlanta on Thursday morning. In talking with a friend about it, he tells me, "Well, you know this is Pride weekend in Atlanta." What?!? OMG.

SO, I was able to arrange to stay over till Saturday. Never have I been to a Pride, anywhere. I was in heaven! And not at all the way you think. I'll write more about my adventures. It was a great experience for me. What a fab weekend!