Category Archives: Marriage

A Father, a Son and a Fighting Chance: One Father Speaks of his Love for his Son and Their Journey

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By DOMINICK ZARRILLO
Published: June 14, 2012

The New York Times:

WHEN my son Jeff was little, he was a pain in the neck about eating. On one drive to Huntsville, Ala., he sobbed for 70 minutes (I know because I timed it) about how we were starving him to death.

We stopped at a diner and ordered him a meal, and he proceeded to eat about four bites before claiming he was full.

You might think I would lose my temper, but this had happened before, so I was prepared with a well-planned response. I reached over and started eating his food. Bite by bite, I finished everything on his plate, figuring that would teach him to mind his dinner.

Unfortunately, the plan had a different effect. Everywhere we went after that, Jeff expected me to finish his meals. It got so I would only order him meals I liked, knowing how it would go.

And at home, forget about it. I was a workaholic back then, two jobs, out of the house at dawn and not back until 8 or 9. A lot of those nights, Jeff wouldn’t eat his dinner. His mother would get so angry, but what could she do? How do you force someone to eat? The best she could do was the tried-and-true route, telling him that if he didn’t eat dinner, he wouldn’t get dessert.

I would walk into his room when I got home, and he would be lying there, wishing he had eaten dinner so he could have a snack before bed.

“You hungry?” I would whisper, and he would nod, big eyes gleaming in the light from the hall. I would sneak him something, our little secret. Sometimes we would eat it together.

When Jeff was in middle school, my wife noticed he was getting home late from school, sometimes a little dusted up. It turned out some neighborhood boys were picking on him, waiting for him along the path they all took, making his life miserable. It made me furious, probably because I felt guilty for working so much and not being around to protect him.

People didn’t make a big deal out of bullying back then the way they do now, but I had to do something. Jeff was a small, sweet child who never hurt anyone. He just wanted to take the path home and feel safe doing it, but these kids kept singling him out.

I went to see the ringleader’s father. He was a big man in town, a city planner. When I got there, he made me stand out on the porch as if I were trying to sell him something. I told him the story, and he looked agitated and said: “When I was young, this never would have happened. We had some pride. We fought our own battles.”

I told him a one-on-one fight would be fine, but it wasn’t one on one. His son was fronting a gang of bullies, taking away my son’s right to come home happy and safe.

“Five against one?” I asked him. “Is that something to be proud of?”

He grumbled and shut the door in my face.

When I was young, my uncle said to me: “You’re small and you’re Italian, so it’s going to be tough. You can either blend in or fight. Trust me, it’s better to blend.”

The first time I walked onto a Navy ship (at 17 years old and 130 pounds), someone yelled out, “Another wop?”

I smiled and said, “Yep,” and kept smiling no matter what else they said.

My uncle was right; I got along fine. I told Jeff that story, and asked him to get along the best he could.

After Jeff finished college, we would travel cross-country from New Jersey to visit him in California. A few times we would run into his best friend, Paul, whom we liked a lot.

Jeff would fly to visit us, too, and when I would take him back to the airport, I would sit with him until his flight boarded, just the two of us. Every time, I could tell there was something he wasn’t saying, something knotted in his belly.

Finally, he sat us down and said he had something to tell us. We told him that we already knew, and that we really liked Paul, and that we were happy for him. We laughed about how scared he had been to tell us, and after that it was Jeff and Paul, Paul and Jeff. We visited them; they visited us. We took vacations together.

A couple of times the subject of grandchildren came up, and they always said the same thing: they wanted to marry first, and they wanted it to be legal. Jeff wanted a family, a home, like the one he grew up in, and part of that was being married like his parents.

My wife and I went to dinner one night with another couple, some people we knew pretty well, and the subject of Jeff and Paul came up. The guy said: “I don’t believe in gay marriage. I think it’s wrong.”

That’s all he said, but I almost lost my mind. I wanted to smash my dinner plate in his face. My vision dimmed while long-buried emotions rushed back: my little son, all alone, being picked on by bullies, being told he couldn’t walk the same path home because they said so.

Why couldn’t people just treat him with respect? I’m sure this guy isn’t a bad person, and no one would consider him a creep or a bully, but I stood up and left that table and have not spoken to him since.

For our next trip with Jeff and Paul, we went to Hawaii. The boys talked my wife and me into taking a long boat ride in a little rubber dingy. I was dubious from the start, and rightly so.

The weather turned ugly and the waves got huge, three times higher than the boat. We all thought we were going to capsize. I held my wife’s hand, drawing on the strength of our love and our years together, knowing no matter what happened it would be O.K. because we were together. Across the boat, I saw Jeff holding Paul’s hand in exactly the same way.

That night at dinner, we laughed and drank too much and toasted our narrow escape. At one point Jeff’s face was pure happiness as he looked at Paul sitting next to him. Paul wasn’t returning the look, though; his eyes were focused downward to where he was quietly, carefully finishing Jeff’s dinner.

I realized then that I was crying instead of laughing. I couldn’t explain it except to say there is nothing more overwhelming than seeing your child experience true love.

Not every day will be that happy. Paul and Jeff want to marry and have a family, yet they know there will be more bullying, more ganging up against them, in their effort to seek that. There will be more groups of people telling Jeff that he shouldn’t be allowed to marry the person he loves, that it would be wrong for the two of them to have a family together.

ONE of the worst days in my son’s life was in November 2008, when a majority of Californians voted in favor of Proposition 8, a ballot measure to change California law in a way that bans marriage for same-sex couples. None of us could believe something like that would pass in California. When it did, I wondered if Jeff and Paul would move from the place they loved and had called home for so long.

They didn’t, though. Nor did they accept the new law and try to blend in as I told Jeff to do all those years ago. Instead, they did something that’s made me as proud as I’ve ever been: they fought back.

Jeff and Paul and two women challenged the law in court, and in a landmark decision two years later, they won: Proposition 8 was declared unconstitutional by a judge in San Francisco. The proponents of Proposition 8 appealed, and Jeff and Paul won that, too.

The United States Court of Appeals recently declined to take up the case before a larger panel, which opened the door for it to head to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Jeff and Paul still can’t legally marry.

As this Father’s Day approached, all I could think about was how much I want my son to experience the joys of being a father, how much I want him to marry the person he loves and to raise a family.

For now, he is still waiting, and fighting. I see how much the struggle costs him, how discouraging it is that despite his strength and patience and faith in the system, the ultimate decision rests in the hands of those who have yet to act.

One day soon, though, the powers that be are going to do the right thing. I’m his father, and it’s Father’s Day, so let me believe it. One day soon they’re going to let my brave, beautiful boy walk the same path we all get to take home.

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[VIDEO] Startling Footage Filmed by the Pregnant Man Show Alcoholic Wife Abusing Him, Manhandling the Children, and Acting Strangely

Nancy, Susan Austin, Thomas and Jensen Beatie

Thomas Beatie, known as The Pregnant Man, has recently released footage of his estranged wife attacking him, manhandling their children, and destroying the computer. Beatie is a transgender man who gave birth to the couple’s three children before following through with the gender reassignment surgery and is most likely planning to use this video in their upcoming court battle.

The video was taken before the couple had become estranged and show the condition that Nancy was found in when Beatie entered the playroom, in their house in Arizona.

According to Beatie, Nancy had been a violent alcoholic and use to beat him in the middle of the night often, and had even punched him in the crotch while the children were present. He also stated in divorce papers that in February Nancy was ‘visibly intoxicated’ while he tried to stop her from taking the children to daycare, which then led to her swearing at him as well as pushing him around.

There is obviously more to each side of this story, but the video is pretty damaging to Nancy’s claims that Beatie was in fact the one who was physically and emotionally abusive. More will be determined this Wednesday as the couple goes to court to decide custody and child support arrangements.

Mr Beatie was born as a woman, Tracy Lagondino, in Hawaii in 1974, but says he always felt like he wanted to be a man.

When he was in his 20s he began having testosterone injections, giving him facial hair, a lower voice and altering his sexual organs.

It seems as though this man has had enough to endure in his life, and this problem can be resolved sooner than later.

SOURCE

 

 

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[VIDEO] A Man With Unconditional Love and No Rights

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YouTube: It has been said that sharing personal stories is one of the most effective ways to change people’s hearts and minds. This is my story and I hope you are inspired to share it with others.
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http://www.Twitter.com/ShaneBitney
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“Beautiful Boy” Coleen McMahon
http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/beautiful-boy-single/id524418205
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CONTACT: EqualLoveEqualRights@gmail.com

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[AUDIO] North Carolina Pastor Sean Harris: Parents Should ‘Punch’ Their Gay-Acting Children

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Clip provided by:  Jeremy Hooper of the blog Good as You

I am disgusted by this man, the people who can be heard saying “Amen!” and frankly, anyone who views feminine boys and masculine girls as flawed and in need of abuse to stop them from behaving how they have naturally developed.

Sean Harris, senior pastor of Berean Baptist Church in Fayettesville, NC, made this anti-gay speech to his congregation and it has since made its way to the ears of many. As someone who’s representing ‘God‘ and suppose to instill good morals within those he preaches too, you’d think he’d be less ignorant, hateful, cruel, belittling and the list could go on and on.

The reason this issue was even something he chose to speak about is because he supports North Carolina’s proposed Amendment 1, which would outlaw same-sex marriage. I hope that this ridiculous audio recording will hope voters see why they shouldn’t support Amendment 1 and instead allow homosexuals, like myself, the right to be able and choose if we’d like to get married. If we were to preach such hateful things about this man and his congregation and try to stop them from getting married, all hell would raise. Ironically, he’s the one who says things I could never say to someone: beat your children if they act in a way that strays from the original idea of how boys and girls should act.

Notes Harris:

“So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, ‘Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,’ you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.

Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male. And when your daughter starts acting too butch, you reign her in. And you say, ‘Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.’”

 SOURCE

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[VIDEO] It’s time. End marriage discrimination.

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This is a beautiful video that shows just how “normal” homosexuality is and how we deserve the right to get married just like any other “normal” couple. Being gay is something that people in every country have to deal with; How that country deals with homosexuality varies. Our concern of ending discrimination shouldn’t just be taking place in our own countries, but also those around us that have a fighting chance of making a change.

I love my girlfriend. It’s an honest, loyal, respectful relationship and I want to show the child(ren) we plan to have that we are no different from anyone else. We are loving parents who would do anything for them, regardless of the fact that our country, who should be taking care of us, has refused to do so. We are strong-willed people who will not stop fighting for our freedom. End the fight and allow us the freedoms, not privileges, that other people get without question.

YouTube: Please share this with friends and loved ones.
donate to put on Australian tv: http://tiny.cc/gkuwp
sign petition: http://www.getup.org.au/marriagematters

music: Oliver Tank – Last Night I Heard Everything in Slow Motion 

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[VIDEO] Mormon’s Going Soft in Regards To LGBT

Gay Activists Gather At Mormon Temple For "Kiss In"

The Mormon church has continuously changed it’s views on political issues throughout the years; Polygamy is no longer acceptable and hasn’t been since 1890, whereas ordaining black men to the priesthood was banned from holding a priesthood until 1978. In fact, people of African descent were considered to be “cursed”. Funny how now that it’s not socially acceptable to discriminate the church openly allows black and white men to be ordained and makes no mention of the black men being cursed. So it makes sense for many participating Mormon‘s to change their stance considering we are obtaining more and more rights and have more of a voice.

Above is former Mormon Bishop Kevin Kloosterman, and not only does he show his support, he extends an apology during this conference in November of 2011.

“I came out and basically made a personal apology to [LGBT] folks for really not understanding their issues, not really taking the time to understand their lives and really not doing my homework,” said Kloosterman. 

I’d like to think that there was nothing behind this sudden kindness to the LGBT community, but unfortunately, with everything that has occurred with Prop 8 (which is closely tied to the Mormon church), I can’t say that I’m too sure. I do feel that the younger generation has more open-minded, free-thinkers and that as a whole, the church is growing friendlier, but I don’t feel those in charge are simply remorseful. And, I’m not the only person who feels this way.

“The church’s image is still heavily associated with the 2008 Prop. 8 campaign in California, and even though many Republicans oppose gay marriage, it’s not helpful for the Mormons to be tied to such a politically-charged issue at a time when it’s about to be under a lot of election-season media scrutiny,” wrote Commentary Magazine’s Alana Goodman, after noting that the CNN story felt like “part of some sort of Mormon church rebranding campaign.”

SOURCE

 

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[VIDEO] Child Celebrities Opposing Kirk Cameron: Funny Or Die Exclusive

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[VIDEO] “8″: A Play about the Fight for Marriage Equality

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I wish I could have been here to watch this play LIVE, but fortunately I am able to see it online and share it with all of you.

YouTube:

Streamed live on Mar 3, 2012 by 

Featuring an all-star cast including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Martin Sheen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Lynch, Kevin Bacon and others, “8″ is a play written by Academy Award winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black and directed by acclaimed actor and director Rob Reiner. It is a powerful account of the case filed by the American Federation for Equal Rights (AFER ) in the U.S. District Court in 2010 to overturn Proposition 8 [LINK], a constitutional amendment that eliminated the rights of same-sex couples to marry in the state of California. Framed around the trial’s historic closing arguments in June 2010, 8 provides an intimate look what unfolded when the issue of same-sex marriage was on trial.

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[VIDEO] I Want To Know What It’s Like

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This is an incredibly moving video that sheds light on homophobia and how it affects the homosexual community. be aware that what you say and how you act affects others. Know, that just because you think you’re superior, doesn’t mean you are. This video is an emotional one that reminds me of the issues that not only I, but many of my friends, have had to deal with. It’s an unfair society where homosexual people are looked at as sinners, mistakes, flaws in humanity, and worthless. Although this isn’t true in many cases today (thanks to the understanding of good, moral people), it still does exist and because of that, no matter how accepted we are, we still feel like less than normal. This, is pathetic because it’s not true.

YouTube

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If you are currently being discriminated against & would like to be considered as a subject for the documentary, please email me: ryanyezak(at)gmail(dot)com

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I WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT’S LIKE

I want to know what it’s like…
To be normal. To be accepted. To be human. To be equal. To be free.

I want to know what it’s like…
To be open. To be heard. To be loved. To be happy. To be me.

I want to know what it’s like… 
To feel like I belong. 
To feel like I am strong. 
That who I am isn’t wrong. 
I want to know what it’s like… 
To know that I am here. 
That Iʼll make it through the year. 
To know I wonʼt disappear.

I want to know what it’s like… 
To not have to fight. 
To see an end in sight. 
To make what is wrong right. 
I want to know what it’s like… 
To be able to believe. 
In a higher power that doesn’t see. 
Me as sin or sodomy.

I want to know what it’s like… 
To have liberty & justice for all 
To break down this dividing wall 
To remove homophobia from the law 
I want to know what itʼs like…
To have a feeling that isn’t sad. 
To have something that I’ve never had. 
To have a child call me dad.

I want to know what it’s like… 
To not feel like Iʼm a freak 
To not feel like I am weak 
To not be silenced when I speak 
I want to know what it’s like… 
To live beyond a closet door. 
To see my father once more. 
To show him I’m not who I was before.

I want to know what itʼs like… 
To donate the blood from my vein 
But because Iʼm gay I must refrain. 
Why does my sexuality pertain?! 
I want to know what itʼs like… 
To not BE expelled from school 
To not be made to look like a fool. 
How is homosexuality breaking a rule?!

I want to know what it’s like… 
To undo what’s been done to me. 
To give sight to those who cannot see. 
That I am no lesser of a human being
I want to know what itʼs like… 
To not be considered a disease. 
To not have a majority I have to please. 
To freely express my individualiTY.

I want to know what itʼs like… 
To live in a land truly of the free. 
Not a land that excludes me. 
This is not how itʼs supposed to be! 
I want to know what itʼs like… 
To not be the target of bigotry 
To not have you question my sanity 
To not succumb to your superiority!

I want to know what it’s like… 
To overcome all of my fears. 
To uncry these countless tears. 
That have been shed over the years. 
I want to know what it’s like… 
To learn about gay leaders of the past. 
In my high school history class. 
Can somebody please tell me what is so wrong with that?!

I want to know what it’s like… 
To have pride. 
To not have to hide. 
To not have to lie my whole life. 
To not have my sexuality be denied. 
I want to know what it’s like… 
To not have to feel this hurt inside. 
To not think these thoughts in my mind. 
To not contemplate suicide.

I want to know what it’s like… 
To have this pain in me subside. 
To heal this wound that bleeds inside. 
To get back the tears that I’ve cried. 
To take back the years that Iʼve tried. 
To bring back the life that has died. 
To unite this world’s divide. 
To make change with stride. 
To not stand below, but beside.

I want to know what it’s like… 
To have this choice you say is mine. 
To have science & religion intertwine. 
To have love be redefined. 
I want to know what it’s like… 
To have a government that won’t instate 
Unfair laws that provoke hate 
For fear society will disintegrate

I want to know what itʼs like…. 
To live in a world without hate. 
A world that does not discriminate. 
A world in which I can feel safe. 
Whether I am gay bi or straight. 
This is the world we must create!!! 
These are the decisions we must make. 
These are the actions we must take. 
The time is now we cannot, we must not, we will not wait.

I want to know what itʼs like… 
To have equal opportunity. 
To know the feeling of full equality. 
To be one collective humanity.

I want to know what it’s like… 
To be treated equally by my peers. 
To stand alongside every queer… 
On the edge of a new frontier.

A frontier that no one will dictate. 
A frontier where there will be no debate. 
A frontier in which everyone can relate. 
A frontier made up of love and not hate.

I want to know what it’s like… 
To open your eyes so you can see. 
The way this world is supposed to be. 
We arenʼt so different, you & me.

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‘Gendarmes Bust Ring of Suspected Lesbians’

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An old co-worker of mine showed me this article and thought I might want to share it with other people. Not only is it absolutely disgusting, but it sheds light on how much progress we have made here in America with gaining equal rights as homosexual citizens in this country. I am in no way condoning or accepting what rights we have now, because until same-sex marriage is legal throughout the country, there is still a prejudice that exists. But, we do need to be happy with the strides we have taken and stand up and help those fighting for their rights, whether they live here in the U.S. or outside of this country. We can’t expect that things change here and then care nothing about other people’s situations changing, like those in Cameroon.

Cameroon Postline:

By Divine Ntaryike Jr

Some 10 women accused of indulging in same sex practices have been taken into pre-trial confinement at Ambam, a locality in Cameroon’s administrative South Region.  Gendarmes swooped down on the suspects with a wave of arrests launched on February 14, the local public prosecutor’s office reported late Wednesday.

The state-owned Cameroon Radio and Television, CRTV narrated in a radio newscast Wednesday that the “scandal” was triggered following the expression of jealousy by a jilted lesbian.  Esther Afan, 39, had tended a secret homosexual relationship with Matilde Essono, 26, for several years.

A couple of months ago, however, Matilde dumped her older lover for another woman.  Unable to cope with the feeling of having been so unceremoniously ditched, Esther tactfully sought revenge by confiding in Matilde’s spouse, Martin Essono.  He tipped him off about his spouse’s “unorthodox” sexual inclination and her new homosexual relationship.

The intrigued Essono immediately rushed to report the matter to local gendarmes who straightaway launched a probe.  For several days, they tailed the unsuspecting Matilde, especially recording her appointments and venues with other women.  Once satisfied with their database, they began pouncing on the suspects.

Among the nabbed suspects are women residing as far off as Kye-Ossi, a border town linking Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.  Reports indicate homosexuality is skyrocketing at the border intersection town. Homosexuality is illegal in Cameroon and convicts face sentences of between six months and five years as well as fines that can stretch up to a maximum 200,000 CFA francs (about US$400).

Gay rights defender and founder of the founded the Association for the Defense of Homosexuals, Alice Nkom says detainees are frequently tortured in police stations to force them confess. Nkom says homophobia is currently spreading like bush fire in Cameroon.  “It’s getting worse.  These laws are illegal – the declaration of human rights is part of our constitution – but the judges still apply them.

People accused of homosexuality are put in jail straight away,” she told reporters in November last year after three men were each sentenced to five years in prison for homosexual acts. International rights defenders including Amnesty International have frequently lambasted Cameroon’s homosexuality law, rating it draconian and discriminatory and demanding its abolition.  But the authorities have stubbornly turned a deaf ear to such requests.

Last year, the government demanded and successfully obtained the withdrawal of grants allocated the Association for the Defense of Homosexuals by the European Union.  Nkom says she has received numerous death threats from fellow lawyers and Cameroonians, as well as a threat from the Ministry of Justice to dismiss her from the country’s roster of legal practitioners.

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