Archive for November, 2009

The joy of snowball…..sampling that is.

November 19, 2009

I don’t like snow and I don’t like cold, so you may be wondering about the title of this post…. It’s a call to action.

Calling all babydykes, mohos and transy –

doesn’t matter if your butchy, femmey, or a pansy –

If you’re gay and between the ages of eighteen and twenty-eight

Whether or not you have a mate (or even a date)

The closet doesn’t matter, whether your “out” or “in.”

She won’t tell your school, your church, nor your kin

She wants your story.  She thinks it will be fun.

But most of all, I want her to be done.

Kim just got IRB approval to start her research and they approved a “snowball sample” method which means that Kim is posting her “call for participants” on Facebook and e-mailing folks and essentially trying to get the word out.  The best part…… Once she sends it, I can do with it what I want.  I can also Facebook it.  Blog it.  Turn it into a bad rhyming poem.  Shout it from the rooftops! Whatever.

So here goes.  Since I really want to Kim to be done with school in May so I can go forth and prosper in law school, I figure it is in my best interest to facilitate her completion the best I can.  And since, I am in no way equipped to write a dissertation, I will do the next best thing, give her free advertising.

So if you are LGBTQ 18 – 28 years old, grew up in and currently live in Utah, Kim would love to have you as a participant.  And I would consider it a personal favor.  If interested/qualified…read on.

From Kim:

I am trying to learn more about the relationship between mentoring and social networks for LGBT/Queer youth who grew up and came out in Utah. I am writing to you to extend an invitation to participate in this study and also in hopes that you can refer other possible participants who would be willing to contribute to this research. (You might be too old?  But even if you are, I’m sure you know people who aren’t.) I am pulling together a group of 10-12 LGBT/Queer people between the ages of 18-28 who grew up, and still live, in Utah. The members of this group will participate in a series of four focus group sessions that will last about 2 hours each.  I will also meet with each group member for an hour-long individual interview after the focus group sessions are completed.

I hope to share the information I gain through this research project with people and organizations dedicated to working with, supporting, and advocating for LGBT/Queer youth.  My goal is to provide information about the experiences LGBT/Queer youth in Utah have had with mentors and social networks, especially in regard to coming out and developing LGBT/Queer identities.  In doing so, I will provide suggestions for better meeting the needs and wants of LGBT/Queer youth in Utah through formal and informal mentoring and social networks.

If you think you might be interested you can either call me at 801-879-6209, respond to this email, or email me off of facebook and we can discuss questions you might have and details regarding the process of the study and your schedule so that I can begin to schedule the focus group sessions.  In the meantime, if you have any questions for me about the study, or my background please feel free to contact me by leaving a comment or by calling me at 801-879-6209.

The study will be done primarily through focus groups and will be interactive and pretty fun – lots of story telling! I graduate in May so it’s my goal to get as much data collected before the new year as possible. I know this time of year can be hectic, but I am confident that participating will be worth the time, and I’ll work with all of the participants to schedule our four focus group sessions at the time that works the best for them as a group.

I’m looking forward to talking with you, and learning from your experiences and ideas.  If you know people who you think would like to contribute to this study, please share this information with them and encourage them to contact me.  Thank you.

In peace ~ Kim

Inclusive Non-Discrimination Ordinance Passed in SLC

November 11, 2009

I had a friend – a former bishop and active member of the LDS Church send me an e-mail this morning.   He wrote:

Also, to help me understand the significance (or lack thereof) of this development, I would appreciate your comments.

http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13758070

Below is what I wrote him back.  I thought it was probably worth sharing.

My response isn’t  sugar coated and I hope he didn’t take offense as  it reflects my honest feelings about this new non-discrimination ordinance.  I am thrilled to have it.  But perhaps I’ve been shoved into the ground so much by this organization that there isn’t a whole lot of trust.  I guess time will tell.

Dear Friend,

I am happy to share my comments about the non-discrimination ordinance. My feeling is that the Mormon church had to do something to save face. During Prop 8, high ranking Mormon officials routinely said that this wasn’t about gay people/this was about marriage.

From Equality Utah’s Website…..

During and following California’s Proposition 8 campaign, the LDS Church declared it is not “anti-gay” and “does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, or probate rights.” On November 5th, Elder L. Whitney Clayton stated the LDS Church does not oppose “civil unions or domestic partnerships.”

Yet after Prop 8, Equality Utah came out with the Common Ground Initiative and there was a solid wall of silence from the church. Add in the public relations nightmare of the Main Street Plaza arrests and the subsequent Kiss-ins that made National news and it seemed that the Mormon Church’s hypocrisy on this issue was completely exposed. I also think that this is a very personal and painful issue to many in the church. For a Church that touts the importance of the family, there are so many families being torn apart because of the gay son or daughter, niece, nephew etc.

So I am not entirely sure that the “motives” are completely pure. Yet, I am not positive the motives were pure in the 1970s when African Americans were finally allowed to hold the priesthood. Still, the political and personal change within the church since then has been astronomical. I truly believe that this (like the priesthood issue) is the start of a shift in the rhetoric and policies of the church. Are we on our way to same-sex marriage? No. Obviously. And I’m glad we’re not. Without Amendment 3, I don’t think the Church ever would have felt comfortable endorsing any civil rights for gays while the thought might be that it will lead to marriage. But in a post-Amendment 3 era, it just looks mean-spirited to not allow anything while marriage is so protected in this state. For so long, the “talk” hasn’t matched the “walk.” And this brings it more in line.

The Church in Utah is a major shaper of public policy and so, yes. This is huge. And the impact on individual gay and lesbians cannot be understated. Especially in a recession like this one, the fact that we cannot be fired or denied housing in SLC protects many of us. Truth is we need these protections statewide (Discrimination is more likely to occur in Roosevelt than Salt Lake anyway in my view.) And we still need to address the co-parent adoption issue.

The people who are making a big stink for “marriage” are in places fully protected like Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York etc. They have the privilege to want “full” equality. Here, I’m happy to take the scraps because it is so much more than has ever been allowed to me before. And, on a more personal note, Riley heard this on the radio today and almost wept with happiness (he is a drama queen). To him, this symbolizes safety. He knows his moms won’t lose our jobs or we won’t lose our house. Were we at risk of that? No, but he doesn’t know that and many of the most vulnerable in society (targeted by multiple issues of oppression) are at a much greater risk of facing this discrimination. When I was at EU, I got the numbers each month from the Labor Commission of who tried to file a discrimination claim based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and the numbers were always shocking. And each number represented a life that was so unfairly impacted and the Labor Commission could do nothing to fend off this discrimination or even provide recourse once it had happened.

It is huge. And the church statement says that they are trying to follow what Jesus Christ taught. I’m all for that.

Boobs

November 7, 2009

I just had to name this post “Boobs” mainly because whenever I use the word at all, my stats go up astronomically with all the google searches for boobs that must occur daily.  I love the ego boost.  And then there’s this side of me that smirks at the thought of some internet porn junkie sitting down with his search terms all ready and then getting all pissed off when he gets to my blog instead of his porno site – because Dammit, this blog doesn’t even have pictures!

Actually, it is rather unfair of me to be posting about this news now, as the drama is all over.  But now that it is over, I realize just how worried I have been this week.

So the news is I don’t have cancer.  And I knew I didn’t have cancer.  But I also knew that Riley was a little girl at 15 weeks pregnant so I’m not so successful on the oracle front.

Just over a year ago I found a breast lump.  Actually, I found a lump the summer of 2006 and had it biopsied and it wasn’t cancer so we just left it – all biopsied and non-cancerous right there just above the areola on my right breast.  But then last summer I noticed a new lump right next to the old lump.   I went to the Dr. to get it removed but insurance gave me grief.  First they said they wouldn’t pay for surgery because they believed that it was the former 2006 breast lump I wanted removed.  So the radiologist took a new ultrasound and showed that there were 2 lumps in there.  Then, insurance said that they’d pay to remove the 2008 lump but not the 2006 lump.  But at that point, the Dr. wanted the 2006 lump – though biopsied and non-cancerous to be removed at the same time as the 2008 lump.  Insurance called it a pre-existing condition and wouldn’t do it until I had the insurance for a year.  Shortly after that I ended up leaving my job which meant that I lost insurance.  I got new job/ new insurance in January and intended to get the lump out right away but then was informed that my new policy had – that’s right – a pre-existing clause to it as well.  So I waited the required six months and then made an appointment with an AMAZING breast surgeon who agreed that we needed to get both lumps out.  She also said that I needed to have a mammogram and another ultrasound as a “Baseline” so that in the years ahead of me, we’d have films that would show what these babies looked like when I was 35.  Well, mammography showed 5 (yes 5!) breast lumps, not just the 2 that I knew about.  And because of my age, and the look of the lumps, the doc wanted to remove all 5 lumps, so on Monday that is just what I did.

I thought the news that I had 5 lumps might swing in my favor as I asked hopefully, “Can’t you just chop ’em off?  I’m done nursing my babies.  Let’s just get ’em both and end this once and for all.”

The doc insisted that there was no need for “extreme measures.”

Extreme Measures.  I can’t even count the number of people I know who have suddenly had a double D package where a mere B existed before and no doc is saying, “I’m sorry.  I can’t perform that procedure.  There is no need for “Extreme Measures.”

So, Monday morning I went under general anesthesia and had 3 lumps removed from my right breast and 2 removed from my left, and I was told that the pathologist would biopsy the lumps and I’d hear in about a week whether they were benign or not.

The surgery went well and they sent me home with the same pain pills I got after my C-Section.  I thought it seemed pretty excessive, but by Monday night, I was happy for the pills.  I’ve been healing fine though and have had a lot of visits and help from friends since Kim is out of town at a conference.

Then, on Thursday night the phone rang.  The woman identified herself as being from the cancer hospital and my stomach immediately lunged into my chest.

“Why would the hospital call late on Thursday night?” I asked myself.

“Because you’re dying of cancer.” I answered myself.

I squeaked some sort of greeting then she informed me that all of the lumps were benign and how she wanted to call me right away so I didn’t have to keep worrying about it.

Worrying about it.  Worrying about it.  I realized that I had been worrying about it.  But no more, these uneven, dented, bruised, stitched, and scarred puppies are cancer free.

Pumpkin’ Chuckin’

November 4, 2009

Moab – where redneck meets tree hugger.  And it doesn’t sound like it’d be a very good marriage, but here they are years later recycling their ziplock bags filled with deer jerky.  You don’t have to know what I’m talking about.  My sister knows.

My family spent this last weekend in Moab and we had a blast. My sis splurged so we could have a motel room and Kim was even able to go.  She also bought us tickets to the local Pumpkin’ Chuckin’ festival, and while I wasn’t too excited at first, it didn’t take long to get warmed up to the idea of full grown men in tights launching pumpkins from their catapults, trebuchets, and cannons.  It was quite a sight that I can’t quite put into words, but 2010 – Moab – Pumpkin Chuckin’.  Be there.

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For us, the day was more about the other festivities than the pumpkin chuckin’.  I enjoyed my first pie eating contest.  As did Riley.  As did Casey.  It was homemade organic Youth Garden Project Pumpkin Pie so I was content to lose the competition and savor every last bite of that pie.  Casey was adorable trying to eat the pie without his hands.  He felt like such a big kid being called up for the competition.

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Riley was a little too close to his neighbor’s hair, but I think he protected his pie the best he could.

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Casey gingerly nibbled his pie.  He didn’t win, but the age groups weren’t set up in his favor (14 and under.)

Did I mention that Riley’s Halloween costume was “White and Nerdy.”  If you haven’t seen the Weird Al video then you’ll have no idea who he is.  Casey was Bob the Builder.  After the festival, they did a little bit of trick or treating and overall halloween was a blast.

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