Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus

Well, if this don’t get my rubber tit’s all a-twitter-pated! Barrack has grown opposable thumbs, completed his evolution (I think), and has finally said that same-sex couples “should get married.”

This excerpt from his interview this morning on Good Morning America…

President Obama with ABC’s Robin Roberts

Honestly, Mommie Dammit is dumb-struck. Now if he matches action to words I will finally feel like I didn’t have to hold my nose as I voted for him in 2008.  Y’all have to excuse Mommie Dammit for a moment… this deserves a hefty shot of Stoli in celebration and reflection. I’m so amazed at the suddenness of this move on the President’s part, it actually took me four attempts to spell “opposable” correctly.

Now get your little furry butts over to the White House web site and tell the President – and the Vice President, too! – just how happy you are to finally hear those words!

Knuckle-draggers, indeed…

Yesterday I read something that gave Mommie Dammit a really bad case of gas – the double-you-over-cramping-till-your-forehead-slams-the-floor variety…

Misery dammit! Missouri has a “Don’t-Say-Gay” bill advancing through the state House. My thanks to Think Progress for tipping me off to this latest in a long string of legislative turds coming out of Jefferson City.

The bill, HB 2051, states:

170.370. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no instruction, material, or extracurricular activity sponsored by a public school that discusses sexual orientation other than in scientific instruction concerning human reproduction shall be provided in any public school.

*emphasis mine*

Not only would this ban any discussion in our schools of LGBT sexuality and sexual health, it could likely ban GSA’s and could prohibit student’s voluntary participation in the National Day of Silence. This would also effectively bar teachers and administration from speaking out against anti-gay bullying and violence, and tie the hands of school counselors in similar situations.

According to Igor Volsky’s article

The bill is sponsored by Rep. Stanley Cookson (R) and has attracted 19 GOP co-sponsors, “including the two most powerful leaders in the House, Speaker Steve Tilley and Majority Leader Tim Jones (yes, the same Tim Jones who is a plaintiff in Orly Taitz’ birther lawsuits).”

One thing I expect all my poor, abused, neglected children to do (as in I’ll hunt you down if you don’t) is take your sorry ass immediately to the PROMO website, and sign their petition against this bill.

PROMO executive director, A.J. Bockelman, called the introduction of HB 2051

“a desperate tactic by frightened, bigoted, cynical individuals who are terrified at the advancement the LGBT community has made in breaking down the barriers to full and equal treatment under the law.”

I couldn’t agree with Bockelman more, though I’d be a bit less prosaic in my descriptors… somehow the term “moving targets” or “proofs that central Missouri needs an enema” come to my lips faster than frightened, cynical bigots. But whatever epithets your bowels cramp up and deliver when you think about our state legislature, get your ass busy and contact your local representatives and tell them that Mommie Dammit is on the war path and you don’t like it either!

First, go to the USPS website and find your full 9-digit zip code here. Now, go HERE, and find your elected representatives. Click on your state senator’s and state representative’s name and it will take you to their homepage where you can get their contact information. Write, call, email, send smoke signals, drum messages, pigeon droppings… whatever! Just let them know that you oppose this latest attempt to drag Misery dammit! Missouri into the slime of bigotry. We have enough reason for the rest of the nation to laugh at us – we don’t need this added to the list!

A note of apology… I’m busy, dammit!

Apologies for the dirth of posts over the past two weeks. Mommie Dammit has just started a new daytime job at an exciting start-up company… read that as “there’s a butt-load of stuff I need to learn, and we’re just getting out of the gate… damn I’m tired!” I’ve been coming home exhausted from the neck up, and there’s just not enough Stoli left in Mommie Dammit’s 4 remaining brain cells to come here and blow a fuse bestow my wisdom upon you. Frankly, after a full day at the office, about all I can manage is to feed the cats, bring in the dog so she’ll quit harassing the neighborhood, and collapse onto the nearest horizontal surface.

But things are improving! I am, all at once, excited, overwhelmed, amazed, supremely gratified, frustrated, and exceedingly grateful to be back to work after 10 long months of unemployment. To find myself in a position that matches my edumacation and skills is incredible, and with a brand-spankin’-new company that breeds excitement and challenge is more than I could ask for. So along with my newly hatched company, Mommie Dammit is now a newly-hatched (or is it “booby-hatched”) Systems Administrator for an Internet/VOIP/IPfax provider.

OY VEY!

Each day is a new adventure in figuring out what got broke, arguing with the boss, figuring out what the new client’s want, arguing with the boss, juggling and sharing tasks with my coworkers, arguing with the boss (cuz he LIKES it!)  and trying very hard not to be too much of a drama queen. After all, I’ve only been there for three weeks. Don’t wanna scare the hell out of ‘em right off the bat, ya know. Gotta let ‘em get all comfy with me first. heh-heh-heh…

So, now that I have a 3-day weekend for the Holidays, I’m attempting to make up for lost time. This post is in the middle of a shitstorm string of vitriolic rants discussions concerning all the stoopid shit crossing my path lately, and one or two happy thoughts just so you don’t get to thinking that Mommie Dammit is a Scrooge er sumpthin’.

A much belated congratulations… and sympathies.

A recent posting on YouTube gave us a delightful sample of the upcoming shitstorm rash of grandparent-ism amongst the LGBT community. These darling gentlemen are far from the first, and will certainly NOT be the last Gay couple to find out that they are about to become… wait for it… GRANDPA’S!!!

While Mommie Dammit has been busily re-raising other people’s children for decades, and have occasionally been blessed with a handful of “drag-grandchildren” there’s something to be cherished in the reactions of these men. One overcome with joy and excitement, the other standing back and quietly absorbing the bombshell news before embracing his children. My own reaction the first time was a mixture of both and several others… yeah, OK. So I’m a drama queen. But one doesn’t take the news of impending grandparenthood at the age of 38 y.o. very lightly.

Lots of love for you, Gentlemen. Enjoy your Grandpa job. Just remember – all the “some assembly required” noisy-assed toys you can afford, loads of pizza and sugar, and at least 3 Disney movies before you return the heathens to their rightful owners.

O’ My Children…

There are several reasons why I earned the moniker of Mommie Dammit; chief among them is the fact that I have no patience with stupidity and will strike like lightning to yank my offending child up by the short ‘n’ curlies. My poor, suffering drag-children stuck me with it long ago and it has grown on me until I now wear it as a badge of honor. But I sometimes think that the unknowing observer would mistake it as a sign that I’m some kind of sadist, or fallaciously think that I don’t like children. Nothing could be further from the truth. Mommie Dammit loves children – all children, big and small – for they are crunchy and go well with asparagus and brie. No, seriously! A little cornmeal breading, dipped in egg white and roast at 425 degrees for … Gawds, you are so gullible.

To be honest, my “parenting” track record could be traced back to when I was very little and would rock my much younger cousin to sleep (thought I’d forgotten that, di’ntya Craigers), to be followed shortly thereafter by changing my little brother’s diapers and protecting him from our mother’s insanity. Remember the crayon mural on the bedroom wall, Matt? I do, and for all the wrong reasons. Later I became Godfather to two little girls, only to become their father-by-default when their biological father died from cancer. He was a good man, a terrific father, and a good friend – and I still miss you, Chuck. Now that my “heathens in hair-ribbons” are grown, they’ve made Chuck and I into avô five times over. From my teens to the present I have loved, supported, nurtured, counseled, disciplined, nagged, fed, diapered, bathed, bandaged, tutored, worried over, and gained far too many white hairs and whiskers for dozens of children. Most of my adult life I’ve been blessed (?) with re-raising other peoples’ kids… hence, “Mommie Dammit.” I’ve fed them when they couldn’t feed themselves, taken them into my home when either circumstances or their own family has thrown them on the street, sat vigil at their bedside while AIDS prepared its final blow, held them in my arms while they cried, and stood at their side to celebrate their union with another. All of it done not so that I could blow my own horn now, on these pages, but because that’s what a mother does. I learned it from the best example anyone could have – my Gram.

Gram taught me how to cook (and I’m damned good at it), keep house (good at it when I want to be), garden – although Gram FARMED, as that’s the only accurate description for that 6 acre monstrosity she nurtured – and I still think it’s the best “therapy” you could ask for, and she taught me a multitude of other things that have all stood me in good stead. She also taught me the immeasurable depth of love in a mother’s heart, and I have tried – with both success and failure – to honor that love by giving it back to others throughout my life. Throughout my adulthood, I’ve had dozens of what I call my “A.W.P.” kids (adopted without papers). From toddlers to teenagers, and not a few in their twenties and thirties… it just didn’t matter to me how young or old they might be, didn’t matter if they were boys or girls, didn’t matter if they were straight or gay, didn’t matter what color they were or if they had ten toes or twelve. They needed a mom, and I “adopted” them. They’re my kids, and – wherever they are now – I love each and every knot-headed one. Yes, even you, Barry. And Beth, too, especially now that she’s stuck with you. Ahem.

So what’s all this long-winded drivel about, you ask… Yes, Mommie Dammit, what’s it all about? Tell us! … it’s about the fact that November is National Adoption Month, and that there are thousands of same-sex couples in this country of ours who have opened their hearts and homes to foster and adopt children… the kind with papers. These couples – and let’s not forget those brave souls who have done so all by their lonesome as single parents – are real heroes in Mommie Dammit’s eyes. They have waged a private war against unjust laws, bigoted bureaucrats and prejudiced judges because they had that same immeasurable depth of love in their hearts and they wanted a child to give it to.

This is no easy feat. With adoption laws, and fostering regulations, changing from state to state – even in some cases, county to county – there is no single, viable course of action for those who choose to take a child into their lives. As LGBT parents, we know that we face near-insurmountable obstacles – both before and after the judge signs-off on the paperwork. This is why Mommie Dammit sometimes thinks that our children are just that little bit more precious to us, as LGBT parents, than to our heterosexual differently-sexed counterparts – our children never happen by “accident.”

While November has been ticking all-too-rapidly by, and I begin preparations for my first Thanksgiving alone in more than a decade, I’ve been thinking a lot about my kids and grand-kids… splattered all over the country, and too far away for me to bring home for fattening. In the midst of all this maundering I’ve come across a handful of articles that bring home the difficulties that face single and coupled LGBT parents. Not that there’s anything in them that’s “news” to Mommie Dammit, nor should any of it surprise you – if you’ve been paying attention. But each shines a close, personal light on the injustices and inequality facing us – trials that our heterosexual counterparts never face, and things that they take for granted that we must fight (often fruitlessly) to achieve.

In “The Economics of Same-Sex Parenting”, by Yimou Lee, the difficulties of same-sex couples with children in Texas are illustrated by two families that Lee interviewed for his article. One family faces enormous financial difficulties brought to them by their battle with cancer, the other … well, I’ll let them tell you…

Because they are denied the 1,138 legal protections that come with marriage — like property rights, social security benefits and taxation — the Lutes-Stein family bought some of the most basic rights, among them, will filing, which costs $720 for both parents; directions for disposition of remains, $180; and designation of guardian before need, another $180. They spent $1,325 on legal costs associated with obtaining partner documents to gain the power of attorney, health care decision-making and inheritance rights granted through legal marriage.

“All the rights we bought come with a $50 marriage license,” Lutes said.

like I said, nothing new to me there. I’ve known this kind of inequity exists for years, and have seen it play out for many couples in my former position with one of the world’s largest tax services companies. Until DOMA is repealed and the IRS regulations are changed to recognize legal same-sex marriages, LGBT married couples are forced to file separately for federal income taxes even when their state revenue service allows them to file jointly. I’ve witnessed where this has cost some couples additional tens to hundreds of dollars just to file – this doesn’t even take into account the hundreds or thousands of dollars in federal income taxes they end up paying that our heterosexual married counterparts never will. And if there are children/dependents involved, the tally goes up considerably. To Mommie Dammit’s eyes, however, these inequities – though daunting – come in a distant second to the risks foisted upon our children.

One of my most-favoritest sites to visit in the morning, while hosing down my first gallons of coffee, is Mombian, which labels itself “A resource for lesbian moms…” OK, so I’m a drag queen and not a lesbian – but as the marvelous woman at Mombian’s helm, Dana Rudolph, states this site is a resource for all LGBT parents, and I thank her for it. So, my urchins and waifs, get off your butt – go there – and learn sumthin’. It’s good for ya. Mommie Dammit will spank if you don’t, and the pervy amongst you won’t like it.

Recently Dana has produced two articles that illustrate exactly what I’m talking about. The first, “New Birth Certificate Suit in Iowa” redirects you to the original article on the Keen News Service. It details the legal fight Heather Martin Gartner and Melissa Gartner are waging to have Melissa listed on their two year old daughter’s birth certificate as co-parent. The fact that Melissa was not originally included on the birth certificate has already put their daughter in jeopardy because Melissa, as the stay-at-home parent had no legal rights to make decisions on behalf of their daughter’s health. Iowa statutes use gender-specific terminology regarding parents listed on a child’s birth certificate, and because of this Melissa’s name could not be recorded at the time the certificate was issued. Lambda Legal has taken the case before the Iowa courts and expects a ruling in a few months, but expects that – whatever the ruling may be – the losing side will appeal.

The second article Dana brings us, “Blogging for Adoption: There Are No ‘Alternative’ Families” gives us links to a couple of recent additions to the resources available for LGBT families. It also outlines the statistics facing both LGBT adoptive families, and those of children still waiting for loving homes. Over 115,000 of them in the United States, hundreds of children here in my state of Missouri alone – poor, shriveled, blackened thing that it is, these numbers make my heart bleed. And yet, as Dana points out, over two million LGB people are interested in adopting. Dana and I both presume that this applies to Trans-persons as well, but the statistical research just isn’t there to indicate it.

While I consider myself as one of those two million, and even as I look out over the dozens that I’ve already “re-raised” over the past 25 years, there is one statement that Dana made in this article that I agree with wholeheartedly – “…I firmly believe that there are no “alternative” families. If it’s the family you embrace, there is no alternative.”

Amen, Dana. Amen.

Suffer the Children, Indeed…

I’ve held off on posting this article because there are points that I must raise that are painful for me, and yet there is no other way I can go about this without them.

I’m angry – no, furious at Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the Reich Wing media who follow in his slime trail. Far more so now than I have ever been in the past. Two weeks ago, during his daily bilge-fest, Limbaugh dropped the “other shoe” on the Penn State scandal that I’ve been dreading but knew it was inevitable that some sorry jackass would go there. It (Limbaugh) said, “we’re always told that homosexuals are not pedophiles, but in this case, he sure was… Sandusky has to be — he’s a gay guy. Nobody’s mentioning that aspect, because it’s just too dangerous.” My first reaction was, “…I knew it. Somehow I knew it had to be this asshole to throw that lie out there.” My next reaction was one of rage, and I desperately wanted to hit something – preferably it, but since it wasn’t in the room and flat screen monitors are expensive I did my best to put a hole in my desktop. I say “it” because I cannot equate that noxious excrement known as Rush Limbaugh with anything resembling a human being, let alone a man and thereby deserving of “him.”

Rush made its implication of Sandusky being gay with no evidence, whatsoever, to support it. In fact, Sandusky has been married to a woman for decades and has children by her. As to the parallel between homosexuality and child molestation, it is a heinous and intentional lie on Limbaugh’s part. It knows, as well as you and I do, that over 70% of child abuse and molestation cases are perpetrated by a member of the child’s own family.(1) Sandusky is representative of one particular subset of perpetrators in that he used his position as an educator to gain access to his victims. In U.S. Schools, perpetrators ranging in age from 21 to 75 (with a median age of 28) included (in order of prevalence) teachers, coaches, substitute teachers, bus drivers and teacher’s aides – accounting for 69% of the offenders.(2) And now Sandusky joins their ranks – and in Mommie Dammit’s eyes you can throw Paterno and McQuearry in with him for their refusal to do anything to stop the monster destroying these boys’ lives.

I know well the pain and hardship these boys, now becoming young men, can, will, and have faced. I’ve faced them myself as a survivor of child abuse and molestation. At the hands of my own mother, her 2nd cousin, and her step-father I lost my innocence, my ability to trust, my ability to make friends of my own age, or to form normal, healthy relationships with my elders. I learned to fear those who should have protected and nurtured me. I learned to lie and hide from those who actually did love me, and to distrust that love.

It was only through the unconditional, undying love, patience, and support of my paternal grandparents that I live today. Yet even their god-like hearts could not prevent me from attempting to end my life and my pain, nor from the inevitable emotional collapse that resulted in my commitment to a mental institution at the age of 14. At the time I was convinced that being committed to the (former) Nebraska Psychiatric Institute was a sign that I was unlovable, that I had indeed been found worthless and that my life was over. But within those halls I began to discover the truth, and I found the seed of healing. Today I look back at that time, over 35 years ago, and I bless those doctors and nurses for opening my eyes and giving me the tools to heal my wounds. There have been many incredible people who have lent me their wisdom, love, and strength over the decades – my Gram and Grampa not the least among them – but it is to those doctors and nurses (bless you eternally, Nurse Rose) to whom I owe the beginning of a new and whole life. A life I would never have lost, nor ever had to go to such tortuous lengths to reclaim, had it not been for three HETEROSEXUAL members of my immediate family.

Yet, as if this wasn’t enough to make Mommie Dammit start searching on E-Bay for deals on a flame-thrower, IT didn’t stop the lies and bullshit there. Noooooooo… We had to go to another whole, new depth of disgusting with it making insinuations that Sandusky was also a pimp: “…there are some people alleging that Sandusky was pimping them out to donors, to big-time Penn State donors. That is a story that’s out there. Now, you’re — I haven’t mentioned it because … it comes from fringe elements of media.”

Fringe elements…” Nice of it to recognize its place in the media food-chain, but still bullshit nonetheless. Mommie Dammit sees the tabloids at the grocery store and the gas station just as often as you do, O’ my children, and far more often than it does. And until it slung this piece of putrescence out there, I hadn’t seen anyone else making the accusation. So the only “fringe” media whore, til that time, who was making the insinuation was you, Limbaugh. You’re the one who put the “gorilla in the room”, you’re the one perpetuating the lie, and you’re one of the many who I will forever hold guilty for the pain these young men, and the millions like them the world over, are forced to endure.

  1. Courtois, Christine A. (1988). Healing the incest wound: adult survivors in therapy. New York: Norton. p. 208. ISBN 0-393-31356-5.
  2. Shakeshaft, C, “Educator Sexual Misconduct: A Synthesis of the Literature“, U.S. Department of Education, 2004, p.24-25. (.pdf)