I’m No Doctor, But Your Throat is Probably Fine


People are really super concerned about their throats lately. Specifically, they are worried about things being shoved down them. Rarely a day passes when I don’t hear about someone’s worry over their throat. It is generally worded like this:

“I get it, you’re trans; you don’t have to shove it down my throat.”
“I’m for equal rights, but don’t shove your feminist agenda down my throat.”

These statements suggest that it is perfectly okay to be whatever and whoever you are, as long as you keep it really quiet and feel ashamed about it. And don’t rock the boat.

A gay couple touching in public might be described as “shoving it down my throat.” In actuality, a gay couple holding hands is only likely to do your throat any harm if they are really tall, and they are running right at you, with their arms stretched at throat level. And they clothesline you. In the throat.

Possibly, people are being less literal than I assume.More figuratively, then, I would not define, “shoved down your throat” as being required to acknowledge that there are people who are different from you because you see an example of one. I’d describe “shoved down your throat,” as having laws made about what you can do with your body or where you can go to the bathroom, or which consenting adults are allowed to marry.

Being exposed to the issues or even the existence of a group of people who are different from you is unlikely to do any harm to your throat. In fact, it might even help it! Tolerance strengthens vocal cords and open-mindedness contains antioxidants, such as Vitamin C and riboflavin*.

*These claims have not been tested by the FDA.

So don’t worry, your throat is probably fine. If it actually hurts, though, you may want to get it checked for strep. You don’t want to mess with that shit.

Of Honor and Paper

That hotly contested piece of paper is about the good stuff — love and devotion and the future. But there are reasons it’s so important besides the good stuff. Because, inevitably in life there will be hard stuff, too. There are rights you need when the hard stuff happens.

The right to
Visit a loved one in the hospital
Make medical decisions based on what you know the person’s wishes are, because of years of devotion to and discussions with each other.
Sign papers, discuss referrals, talk with insurance companies
Advocate in the hospital
Pick up prescriptions
Receive information from doctors and nurses
Make end-of-life decisions
Celebrate the person’s life with the perfect music, words, and rituals
Stay in your home afterward to grieve in the place you lived and loved together.

These are rights that were granted to me automatically when I was caring for my sick husband, and later when I was planning his funeral. I know people whose families have interfered because a marriage license was not possible, partners who worried about being shut out of hospital rooms, who had to fight to keep their homes.

These and other rights that come with being legally married have been fought for and have now been won. There is no honor in breaking the law to prevent someone from having this tenderness, safety, and security.

Here’s what I know from this action: A god that requires such a supreme lack of compassion is not my God. A religion that celebrates that kind of “bravery” is not for me. It never will be.

Life is beautiful and diverse and really hard sometimes. Love is a necessity. Simple.

Rejoice and Plug Your Ears

Incredibly, unbelievably, FINALLY, today the U.S. Supreme Court struck down bans against same-sex marriage in all 50 states. If Facebook, where I spend all my e-time, is any indication, people are rightly freakin’ thrilled.

This means that love wins. But it means more than marriage. It means security for families. It means being able to visit and make end-of-life decisions for ill partners. It means the protections that come from being legally married are extended to all U.S. citizens. So, you know, civil rights. Equality.

I made a vow to myself today NOT to read any comments under any of the remarkable stories, beautiful pictures and triumphant posts I read. I have a tendency to do that. To look for and marvel at the ugly, to sit and stare at the nastiness with my mouth agape, while my blood pressure rises and I think, “Why?? How can you..?? Really???”

Not today. There were so many pictures of people hugging and kissing and celebrating, and I refused to give any hateful asshole a voice by reading their nastiness. It was hard not to click, but I succeeded.

However… (why has there to be a however?) I witnessed Facebook friends who are also Christians respond to, reprimand or try to talk reason to other Christians who were obviously making those comments I refused to see.

These heartfelt entreaties all read pretty much the same: What I am about to say will offend some people, but… Jesus is about love. We are called to be loving and accepting. We are meant to be examples of caring.

And then. All of them, every one, no matter how well written, hits it:


And they lose. It’s over. It doesn’t matter how reasonable and loving and caring they are trying to be. Once they say the S word, it erases every open-minded and loving thing that came before.

Yes, they say, I know it’s a sin but… I sin too. Don’t judge your neighbor.
I’m not sure how saying something (or really, someone) is a sin isn’t judging your neighbor.

Ah this one. I have heard this before:
“Love the sinner, hate the sin.”

I’m sorry, but I can’t really see anyone benefiting from that flawed, judgmental, conditional love. And I can’t see anyone being surprised by that hate.

I am very, very lucky to know what love is, and I promise you, it’s not that.

What I read in this is a kind of shaky, self-congratulatory acceptance. “It is so good of me to welcome you to our church. I want you to know I can see past your sins, even if most of us in here can’t.”

That, to me, makes the wide-open church doors seem to be spring-loaded and edged in jagged metal teeth. It does not look safe to me. It does not look comforting to me. I can’t imagine finding peace in there. If the voices speaking loudest are accurate, then the people inside those doors are hurtful and angry and confused about what love is.
I’m not saying that this is actually the case, I’m just saying that that’s what the PR says.

Outside those doors and free from that confusion, the people I love and respect and cherish have been granted the civil liberties they should have had all along. It almost seems wrong for me to celebrate, because I am disgusted that it took this long. But things are righter than they were before. I am filled with unqualified happiness for the people whose lives are more secure and filled with love than they were yesterday.

If I got to decide what God felt like, it would be how I felt when I read that ruling this morning and felt clean happiness for so many people.

Check out all this God: From Human Rights Campaign


del shores

From UpWorthy Lenny and Pearl


#ProudToLove – Celebrating Marriage Equality and LGBT Pride Month