Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Losing Hope and Feeling Scared

It's so specific.  My mind immediately and easily goes directly to that imagery.  I gasp over and over as one doesn't even need to close their eyes to envision a person hanging from a tree simply because the moral majority dislikes the existence of others.

Nothing about the President making a joke that the Vice President wants to hang all the gays is subtle. It's not a general we wish gay people didn't exist hateful statement.  It's also not a general we don't believe people are really gay twisted belief.  Or the current favorite mentality that my religious beliefs prevent me from selling you, a gay person or a black person or a Jewish person or a something different than me person, a slice of pizza.

It's specifically wishing human beings to be violently killed.  And then thinking that's a funny one liner.

It's disgusting and has left me feeling nauseous for the past day and a half.  It feels personal because it was intended to feel personal.  It's at best, wishful thinking on the part of our President and Vice President.  And at worst, it is a rallying cry that will no doubt trickle down, with more weight than ever before as it started at the very top of the pyramid.

It's wrong.  It's sickening.  But it's not at all a surprise.

These two men have shown this behavior over and over again towards not just LGBTQ+ people, but also towards women, black and brown people, poor people, disabled people, immigrant people, and everyone in between.  It's their jam.  It's their joy.  It's their goal.  And it replays itself every day in a new and more horrifying way.

That image though, is just rocking me to my core right now.  I can feel the tightening in my throat and around my neck, and imagine the terror rushing through a person as they are tortured and tied up.  Of all the rational and irrational fears running through my head, never ever has hanging been one of them. Until now.  

Everything about it is evil and pure hate.

I wish so badly I could conjure up a little Glennon or Brene or Jen wisdom right now.  I wish I could tell you how I have learned to be a better or more active person in the past 24 hours from marinating on this news story.  I wish I could offer up a profound call to action to help make the world kinder and more welcoming.

But damnit, I am not those writer heroes of mine.  Right now I have no more wisdom than to tell you I feel scared.  On a personal level but more than that, for everyone who falls into an other category.  I am nervous for the others in small communities, as well as in big corporations.  I'm sitting here wondering where this will impact society the most and when people will finally start caring that fellow humans are being harmed.  

Killing people, attempting to kill people, fantasizing about killing people, and joking about killing people should never be acceptable.  Condemnation should be neither political nor religious.  But it seems we have gone so far back in time {presumably this is the great part we heard so much about} that few even bat an eyelash these days at our President and Vice President wishing all non straight people to be hanged to death.  I became complacent and assumed we would never in my lifetime have people serving in the two highest offices in the land promoting murder.  But I was wrong.  In my 39th year of life, I was dead wrong.

For as inspired as I have been over the past nine months watching the uprising of peaceful warriors not just chant, but take positive action on #BlackLivesMatter and #MyBodyMyBusiness and #HeathcareIsAHumanRight and #ScienceIsReal and #OneLove and #ImmigrantsMakeAmericaGreat and #TakeAKnee and #MeToo...I'm still scared every single day that the next shoe is about to drop.  We're not even a full year into this madness.  And we're all exhausted.  But there's no time to sleep on the job of keeping humanity afloat!

I wish I knew action items to take on to feel like I was contributing towards positive changes.  But I spin my wheels and don't know where to turn. I'm losing hope.  And without hope...what exactly do we have left?


Friday, October 13, 2017

Best Brownie Banana Bread Recipe

Y'all...this recipe is insane.  It's the best of banana bread and a fudge brownie.  It's delicious.  And so easy to make.

Pin this or save it or share it with a friend.  Trust me...it's one you want to bake up!  

Brownie Banana Bread

* 1 box of chocolate brownies
* 3 eggs
* 1/3 cup vegetable oil
* 1 cup mashed up, very ripe bananas
* 1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup chocolate chips

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

* Mix together the dry brownie mix, eggs, oil, bananas, and 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

* Line loaf pan with parchment paper.  Spritz with cooking spray.

* Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan.  Sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips.

* Bake at 350 degrees for 60-80 minutes.  It took me 80 minutes to get my knife to come out clean-ish from the center.  But start checking yours at 55 minutes and gauge from there.

* Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes.  Then remove from pan using parchment paper and cool on rack for at least an hour.  {but let's be honest...no one is ever going to do that without taking a little nibble!}

Let me know if you try this!  It's not a health food, despite having about three bananas in it.  But we all need treats in life.  Enjoy!!


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

National Coming Out Day: Proud To Be Bisexual

It's 2017 and time to stop allowing people I'll never meet and beliefs to which I do not subscribe to play a role in my personal life.  They no longer get to factor into my self worth or my ability to feel comfortable living truthfully.  It's exhausting and humiliating and demoralizing to try to pretend for the sake of strangers.  And as one woman once upon a grainy camera phone so eloquently put it, "Ain't nobody got time for that!"

I've written and re-written this post at least 20 times over the past several years.  In the end though, I deleted every last word.  For a million rational and irrational reasons, it just never felt right.

I've also recorded several videos for Instagram and YouTube, thinking that might be a better fit.  Which it definitely wasn't.  So those never saw the light of day.

I'm honestly not sure if now feels right either.  The world has taken a dark turn over the past year.  Hate is rampant and rights are fading away.

But I am out in my normal life and it just feels all kinds of wrong to be in on this blog.  I hate that I feel like I have to hide.  I hate that I feel like I am not good enough.  I don't want to feel like I have to filter myself.

Many moons ago, this blog was well read, but these days, it's more of a tight-knit community.  So if that's the case, let's cozy up on the sofa, shoes off, beverage of choice in hand, phones down.  Let's really get intimate and honest.  Let's drop the facade and be vulnerable. 

I'm definitely not straight.

I'm also definitely not gay.

I'm in the giant pool of fabulous humans somewhere in between the two.  On a spectrum.  

If you were sitting in front of me, I would tell you I am Bisexual.  Because that gets me to the end of the always awkward and nerve wracking conversation faster.  

If you were a bit more versed on LGBTQ+ topics, I would tell you that I am Pansexual.  Because if I do have to pick a label, that one feels like it fits the best.

But because we are shoes off and two glasses of bourbon into this conversation, I'll be honest and say none of those feel right.  I'm just me.  Gender isn't a deciding factor in attraction for me.  Many, many of other things are.  Because just like you, regardless of how you identify, I have plenty of preferences.  I'm definitely not attracted to every single person I meet.  What a ridiculous notion!  My specific likes and dislikes just don't include any specific gender.  That's not on my list.  If it's on yours, great.  For me though, I can have an attraction to more than one gender.  

It took me a long time to come to terms with who I am though.

I've read story after story and watched video after video of people who knew at very young age that they were different.  But I never knew that.  Or who felt an attraction to a best friend in their teen years. But I never did.  Or felt tortured as a teen trying to force something that wasn't there.  But I never experienced that either.  My only real clue that I brushed off as meaningless has been my few and far between dream life.  I've not had many dreams about being married but since I was young, every dream I have had of that nature {maybe a single handful}, has been me marrying a woman. 

I never struggled to understand being gay because for me, it was the same as being straight in that you were attracted to a specific gender.  This always made sense to me as a kid.  I knew though, that I wasn't gay.  Because I had attractions to the opposite gender.  

I was in college before I learned that one could be bisexual.  And I will be honest that it took a while to grasp that it wasn't a...wait for it...choice.  It has nothing to do with picking a side.  We don't choose to feel attracted.  There's nothing to be chosen.  It is just as valid and real as any other sexuality.  Attraction is about so much more than any single aspect of a human. 

That said, it still took me most of my 20's to figure out who I was and how any of this applied to me.  And then painfully, slowly, one by one, I found the courage to come out to friends and family.

Every time I look back on coming out talks, which will happen forever until I die so it's a good thing I am a lot less fussy about it these days, I am so relieved.  To date, not a single important person in my life has walked away from me.  Not one.  I've surprised 100% of the people I've told, but every single one has given me nothing but love.

Can you believe that?  

I don't want to casually come out without acknowledging the heavy role this played in my life for an incredibly long time.  It was an enormous struggle to accept myself when I lived in fear of losing everything around me.  It was a tough road and a long process.  And then another huge struggle to feel safe enough to come out, especially living here in a rather conservative land.  When I transferred from the DC chapter of the JL to the one I joined up here, I was told that I couldn't participate in things because I lived in the wrong town, wasn't married, didn't have kids, and was too old.  I was told point blank by the person who took over for me after I walked away that there was no room for gay people in that chapter and the one suspected member should keep quiet or quit.  All the while, I knew I was nothing but wrong according to this organization.  It ate at me and played the biggest role in me keeping my secret longer.

Fear of being hated is real and rational.  All you have to do is watch the news to see it play out every single day in large and small ways.  And that fear turns into an internal toxic muck.  It eats at a human who is trying so hard to be right on the outside while hiding what they are told by society is wrong on the inside.

I carry a lot of shame for not knowing sooner.  I carry a lot of shame for not coming out sooner.  I carry a lot shame that I could feel so free to vocalize my general support of the LGBTQ+ community but didn't include myself in that dialogue.  

Today though, that ends.  I'm the B.  I'm part of the bigger picture.  I'm on team rainbow.  And it's pretty awesome!  

So if you're wondering how this will change my blog...it probably won't.  Because I'm the same KK who has been rambling on and on for over a decade.  But I might be more gender specific with dating stories.  Or not.  Hard to say as I am pretty proud at how good I've become over the years at using gender neutral pronouns without anyone noticing.  

I wanted to grow my blog up and this was exactly what I had in mind.  If we're going to be friends, we need to be real friends.  And real friends know that I've dated both men and women.  Real friends know that and don't love me anyway, rather they just love me.  As I love them.  

Happy National Coming Out Day!  This day shall set me free!


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Tundra Besties: Five Years and Counting

Five years ago today, you walked into a chaotic, poorly run {as they all were} meeting.  I immediately spotted you, waved you over, and invited you to sit next to me.  I knew you were coming to the meeting but we had never before met.  Something told me we would get along well.

You were very pregnant with my soon to be baby bestie, H, and wearing a cute orange blanket scarf.  I'm not a clothing person so the fact that I remember as much is a bit amusing to me.

We skipped all the awkward bits and went straight to dear friendship.  

Exactly as it should be.

Yesterday I mentioned that I often know when a friendship moves from casual to life-long.  And while I don't know the date {I could probably look it up...but that seems tedious}, I do know you called me as we were both in our cars driving home from yet another insane meeting.  I'm not a big phone talker so your call took me by surprise.  But in minutes, we spilled our guts on that evening and then in short order, everything else.  For me, that was the moment when we moved into Tundra Bestie phase.  

You trusted me with your newborn baby {in great part, likely, because I am a baby thief and just took him out of your arms and got fussy when anyone else had the nerve to do as much...he was my baby bestie H from day one} and made me part of your family.  

As it would turn out, we had mutual friends and experiences and organizations in common from our DC days.  We spoke the same language and rolled our eyes at the same nonsense.  We became allies and rocks during hard times and sources of levity and giggles during harder times.  

I can't believe it's been five full years since we sat together in that meeting.  Actually...as long as we are talking about what we can't believe....I can't believe we are both still here.  I can't believe everything that has happened over the half decade that we've been friends.  And I can't believe my stroke of luck in meeting my tundra bestie under all those insane circumstances.  The universe put us together for a reason and I am ever so grateful!

Happy five year friend-iversary, District!  And a big thank you to Mr.District for moving you here against your will.  I mean, I know that was torture.  But I'm a fun friend so it hasn't been all bad...right?!



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