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This page features a list of the top 25 Rainbow Ark-related communities on LiveJournal, with links to each one.

21 November 2016 @ 12:39 pm
I'm sorry for the presentation of my recent entries here, in terms of whole articles presented with little or no commentary. With the recent developments of the empowerment of previously dormant white nationalism in this country, and with so much happening out there right now, more than ever I feel it's necessary to keep all of my friends here informed about what's going on—which is really only a fraction of the articles I'm sharing on Twitter as @Rainbow_Ark if you'd like to follow me there.

I'm keeping up with a large amount of information especially now since I can read better after my recent eye surgery. I'm trying to keep the political stuff here to an absolute minimum except where it seems the most pertinent to our interests. The intent is not to add to your stress of events over the last several weeks and months, but to try to distill it all into something that is hopefully helpful and informative, without causing overload. No one has actually contacted me in private about this, but I just felt like an explanation was in order since my recent delving into a more political arena.

To tell you the truth, before November 9th, I thought 2017 would be the year for me to begin to wrap things up here with Rainbow Ark. We seemed to do what we had set out to do. The safe spaces which were once rare, are now numerous. Both laws and public opinion has shifted toward equality and it seemed like we were about ready to come into port. I was going to close the lj and probably re-purpose the website.

Now, there are suddenly uncertainties. We don't know how everything is going to shake out. But one thing is certain - We Will All Get Through This! Stay strong. Don't give in to fear. Rainbow Ark isn't going anywhere.
To brine or not to brine the turkey used to be the hot-button topic that divided families on Thanksgiving. Not this year, especially for many in the LGBT community, who are trying to decide whether to break bread with their family members who supported President-elect Donald Trump. That’s because Trump and some of his closest advisers are widely seen as racist, anti-Semitic, misogynist and homophobic. This year the tough questions are: To boycott or not to boycott? And if you decide to sit down together, how do you protect yourself from any gloating or vitriol?

“I’m not so much scared to go home as I am dreading it,” said Dustin Miller, a 29-year old gay man who messaged me this week when I asked Facebook readers for their holiday survival strategies in the wake of the election results.

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The link
19 November 2016 @ 08:33 am
It is a Sunday afternoon in a provincial town in France. Two men meet at a cafe. One of them, Berenger, is half-drunk. He is being berated by his companion, Jean. All of the sudden, they hear a great noise. When they and other townspeople crane their necks to figure out what’s going on, they see a large animal thundering down one of the streets, stamping and snorting all the way. A rhinoceros! Not long after, there’s another. They are startled. It’s outrageous. Something must be done. What they begin to do is argue heatedly about whether the second rhino was the first one going past a second time or a different one, and then about whether the rhinos are African or Asiatic.

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Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/11/magazine/a-time-for-refusal.html
18 November 2016 @ 10:29 am
For Old Timey Day, instead of the usual choir, my church had a Bluegrass Gospel group made up of church members perform. They called themselves Highway 416 after the two lane state highway the church is on. The music begins near the beginning and goes to about the 28 minute mark followed by a sermon
16 November 2016 @ 08:42 pm

...In the subject of safety pins and being an ally to a variety of all different minorities which could be most affected by the aftermath of the Trump election.
11 November 2016 @ 05:11 am
09 November 2016 @ 10:10 pm
I am heartbroken today. Not because of the outcome itself, because given the overall climate in the country leading up to the election, it is not altogether unexpected. The GOP played the hate- and fearmongering game masterfully and it succeeded.

No, I am heartbroken that instead of electing the first woman President, this country has elected a misogynist who believes women should be punished for having an abortion, who openly jokes to little girls that he'll be dating them soon, and who brags about grabbing women by the pussy. I am sorry for all the women who will now live in even greater fear, and for the girls who will grow up in a presidency that has legitimized rape culture.

I am heartbroken that in a country where one of most treasured principles is freedom of religion, an entire people must now live in fear simply because they are Muslim. I am sorry that we don't learn from our history, because in what is still living memory for some, the last time a political leader used hate and fear to rouse the masses against a group because of their religion, we had the Holocaust. The German people thought it could never happen, too.

I am heartbroken that millions of people of color must now live in a country that has elected a man who is so openly racist, when he spotted a Black man at one of his rallies, he immediately called him a thug and had him ejected, even though the man was there as a Trump supporter. I am sorry that is has taken the rest of us so very long to wake up and acknowledge the reality of being a POC in America.

I am heartbroken that instead of building bridges internationally, we have a President intent on building walls that will divide not only countries, but families and friends as well. I am sorry that millions of Hispanic and Latino citizens will have to deal with even more harassment by angry racists who are emboldened by their angry racist President.

I am heartbroken that millions of LGBTQIA citizens, including myself, will now have a President who has pledged to overturn the Supreme Court's decision that struck down state bans on gay marriage. I am sorry for all the queer kids who were just starting to feel brave, who were just starting to feel accepted, and who were just starting to feel safe. And I desperately hope, seeing a Presidency, a Senate, a House, and soon a Supreme Court that are all against them, that none of these kids will decide suicide is their only way out. The Trevor Project is there for you at 866-488-7386. I am here for you. Let's talk.

I fell apart crying several times today; I just couldn't stop thinking about the friends and family I know who voted for Trump--a man who has pledged to roll back the LGBT rights we've fought so hard for--and with their vote, voted against my marriage to the man I love. I just don't know how to process that yet. I am still in shock. I'm having a hard time thinking about tomorrow, when I am still figuring out how to get through today. And in so many ways, I don't know if things are ever going to be okay again.

But I also resolve to not lose hope. The sun still rises today, and there is much work to be done. Where before, I would have never thought racism and bigotry would have such a widespread voice in this country, I realize that now we have a long, long road ahead of us. I thought we as a country were better than this. I hoped we were. And I still hope we can be.

I resolve to get much more involved in future elections, from the ground up. I resolve to confront and counter racism, sexism, and bigotry when and where I see it. And, even though right now I am heartsick to think that every time family and friends voted for Trump, it was a vote against the legitimacy of my own marriage, I resolve to try to move beyond that and try to move toward reconciliation. We can be a better country. We need to be a better country. And it has to start with me.
Current Mood: disappointeddisappointed
06 November 2016 @ 10:44 am
Pumpkin is safe, barely five minutes after my last post as I was on my way out the door for Sunday School, he came in
06 November 2016 @ 09:19 am
Pumpkin is missing. He wasn't seen sleeping in the house last night like he usually does and has yet to come in this morning. Please pray that he'll return safely
03 November 2016 @ 03:43 pm
On the one side we have the LGBTQ person, and on the other there is the long-established religious doctrine, and it often seems like never the twain shall meet. This is the struggle that I've tried to put on display in our resource known as Crossing Paths.

We of course know of instances where they do meet, but it's often from the work of an outlier, or an incremental progressive shift in a historically stodgy and patriarchal system--the belief that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, so therefore our doctrine should not evolve, or that the mere suggestion that it needs to evolve is akin to being apostate. This of course presupposes that the doctrine was flawless from the beginning--a notion that quickly unravels with any knowledge of church history and what church leaders used to believe, and what we now know to be the atrocities some of them committed in full support of their "holy" doctrine of the time.

The fact is, doctrine HAS changed, or at least has allowed for some space between the ancient words for a measure of wiggle room.

But even when there is acceptance for LGBTQ people, the acceptance is nearly always limited and tenuous. When the acceptance goes too far, the one offering the liberty to them, is often cut off from the rest of the body like a hangnail, or they're at least chastised by the self-appointed keepers of the doctrine.

How often have same-sex couples been denied Communion, as if it was the church's right to deny that which Jesus taught should be shared freely? After all, it is symbolic for His body and blood, not that of the church's.

For us individually, we seemingly have to search and find that sweet spot between not denying our orientations and identities, yet trying to stay connected to the faith that has given us so much comfort. The church leaders would often have us choose between one or the other. They say if we just believe enough, then Jesus can make us right. We go through therapy, some of us, and we pray --real hard-- and believe. some of us spend thousands on programs that are supposed to make us cis straight people so that we can be useful vessels in God's ministry. Nothing works. Our attractions and feelings are too integral.

So now we're faced with two choices: life of self-hatred to be true to the faith, or letting go of the destructive faith and being ourselves. There's a third choice of course, that maybe the doctrine is not infallible, and we can find a balance that doesn't offend the faith.

In my own instance, I left the faith and am now agnostic. I've been so since June of this year. In my case this had little to do with the church's often imperceptibly slow moves toward showing compassion toward LGBTQ people because I've never equated the doctrine or the religion, with God. I can keep the two separated in my head. I can see the latter as perfect, and the former as our continued struggle to try to know.

In my case, my departure had more to do with no longer being able to abide with the circular reasoning which kept anything and everything from being questioned.

That said, I completely support others' beliefs and faiths they have. I don't see myself ever becoming hostile toward any belief system but fully support the path that anyone finds themselves on, as valid as the one where my life and experiences have brought me. But if someone finds themselves in a situation between accepting themselves, or rejecting their sexuality or gender identity to stay true to their faith, I'm more apt than ever to tell them to ditch their faith if it is what has them denying their reality. Because when it comes down to it, you have empirical evidence, and you have faith. Faith, as sincere as it may be, can be misplaced.

So while we're all observing the twists and turns of major religions' acceptance or denial of LGBTQ people, their gifts, and their rights, let not those outcomes dictate how you conduct yourself as the unique individual you are.