Sunday, August 3, 2014

Learning to Grieve

Today I would like to talk about something many of us don't want to discuss. I want to talk about grief and learning to deal with it. Grief is a very powerful emotion and ravages us so at times. Yet regardless of LGBT or not few are ever taught how to deal with it. Yet being LGBT we seem to deal with it so much more.

Being LGBT we grieve so much but rarely see how much it affects us. We focus on the symptoms but not so much how it affects us or how we deal with it. We grieve having to hide our self, having to lie to family and friends. We grieve not being able to explore relationships as others would for fear of being hurt or persecuted. We grieve being denied the fundamental right other citizens possess. We even grieve being dismissed.

So many things in life shape and mold us. So many seemingly minor actions by others slowly chip away at us and we tend to ignore or suppress them. We don't want to deal with them for many reasons. Will we be rejected, will I lose my family or friends, will I lose my home or my life? All are valid fears.

Each is a loss. A loss of freedom, love, and life. Yet we rarely think of them as such. They are great trials of ones soul and can ravage the soul if left unchecked. But we should not fear confronting our losses. We should not fear learning to incorporate our lives, good or bad, into the fabric of who we are.

We should mourn each oppression, pain, and hurt. Don't keep it bottled up. You have to let it out or you are only creating an explosive that will rip through your life. And it will be far more destructive than the feelings you wish to avoid. It's not easy. I won't pretend to tell you it is.

Releasing that which strikes us can be a gut wrenching experience. Let those tears flow, that anger out, even tend those bruises. They are not your burdens. As much as people always try to bring the focus of pain upon you it is rarely your fault.

You did not make a law that excludes you from equality. You did not create the intolerance that made you hide who you are. You did not throw the fist that blackened your eye. You did not create you.

Existence is not an excuse to create pain or make people hate. Know that! Know also that love is not a crime. Release those emotions that weigh your down like chains oh so heavy. Release that guilt that people like to place. Release that anger for being different. Simply let it go.

Letting go of what others seek to place upon you is its own liberation. When they can not control you through fear, pain, or oppression they become the ones less relevant.

I know dealing with that which you don't want to is hard. But if we can not let go we are doomed to live in the world others have created for us. And you what? It's our life. We should be able to be masters of it. I'm not saying it won't hurt or we wont struggle to rise above. I'm saying we must move on. We must live and place that which ravages us in perspective.

All things in life can teach us something. Grieving is a powerful one. It teaches us loss, recovery, vision, and even love. Please don't fear grief. Embrace it and give it time. You will move on and things will get better. For you may learn some of the greatest secrets of all... Love and forgiveness.

Rise above! Know what and who has dealt you pain and be better for it. Resolve to live and live with grace. Realize pain can not hurt love. And know love heals anything pain can inflict.

Grieve! Embrace your life and let it flow forth. Love yourself and forgive those that which hurt. Know the most powerful person in your life is you. And when you do, you will know grief is merely the temporary pause for us to reflect and learn. And in time you may no longer be grieving for you but for those who hurt you.

Love is Never Wrong

Friday, August 1, 2014


Being LGBT we know a lot about extremism. Many of us have felt its pain or we have shed our blood to it. Still it is an entity that we still struggle with. Extremists are usually not bad people but they are people who allow fear, the unknown, and change to whip them up into a frenzy that leads them to make bad choices and create pain.

One of the greatest dilemmas we have is how to deal with those in the in the throws of this frenzy? The answer is simple but the act is not. Time, patience, and vigilant education are what change peoples minds. I know this seems a tired explanation but we must realize this is not a battle or a war. This is a struggle for liberty, freedom, and love.

The people who march under the banner of extremism did not get so overnight. Usually they are people of principle or values that have seen the erosion of teachings they have known their whole lives. Things their families, their church, or even community leaders have bestowed in them. Slowly the fabric of what they hold dear has begun to unravel and at a certain point they say no more and they take up a battle to preserve what they have left or dream of days when things were better. This is the struggle of traditionalism and liberalism. 

It is not wrong to hold on to values and traditions if they are positive and do not hurt others. There are many wonderful things to preserve but there are also many that should be changed. By all means say please and thank you, open doors for others, volunteer your time, be good to your family and friends, and lift people up in life.

Our first steps in dealing with extremism must be life, love, and respect. We are dealing with other Human beings and if we can not extend to them what we seek we have no ground for which to stand. It wont be an easy task to undo that which may have persisted a very long time. We must do so peacefully as I already mentioned its a struggle not a war.

Each connection you make in life show another who you are. It changes a view in someone of what they think something is. When it becomes tangible and personal it is no longer a threat. They may not understand and they may not agree with you but it is a step that removes a stone from their eyes and hearts.

Only in love and mutual respect can we then begin to converse and find out that each other are really not so different. We might even be surprised that we share many similar views. And in that we can return our attention to the traditions that are worth saving and do not hurt others.

I know this all sounds so easy but it is not. It takes time. We must give it time. To much to fast and we leave those who struggle with things with their heads reeling and feeling disoriented. You can disenfranchise their voices. And that is not what we want. Equality can only begin in respect and openness.

In some places those who lead the struggle may fall. It is then another needs to rise and take their place. Pick up the banner of equality and carry on. If another falls pick up the banner and carry on. It is a not a war but it is a struggle. In that, our will can burst from our hearts and we can shape the world.

Love, honor, respect, and most of all live. Be the whisper of all those wonderful values and traditions and watch the wind of our voices blow the storm clouds away so we all may dance under the rainbow and live in peace.

Love is Never Wrong