Monday, November 24, 2008

"Out" and about

There’s too much to do before the long Thanksgiving holiday weekend is coming up. George and I will spend the weekend in Los Angeles, where we’ll be staying with Rover and Cal at their wonderful place for a couple of days. Hopefully, after we come back we’ll have more to share with you. There are still plenty of Walt Disney World photos to show and stories to tell.

We know, y'all will be holding your breath for that.

In the meantime, here a few snippets of things that happened since the beginning of November. On November 1st we visited my parents grave at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, just outside of Las Vegas. Right next to the cemetery is a nice park with a fishing lake. It was a pleasant Saturday afternoon.

November 15th marked the day of National Day Of Protest Against Marriage Discrimination. Las Vegas is not known for political rallies. Gay or straight. Imagine our surprise when approximately 1,000 people showed up. There’s still hope yet for the LGBT community and their rights in this town. Some gave really good speeches and it was peaceful with a fun atmosphere. And Wanda Sykes officially “outed” herself. Was that really a surprise? Uh...duh. We liked what she had to say though.

I took the following pictures of our backyard this past weekend. Our backyard is rather tiny but it’s our little paradise. The lower temperatures right now allows us to actually enjoy the outdoors again. Unlike in the middle of summer, where we have to fear to completely burst into flames like a vampire in the harsh desert sun.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

On a bailout for the automakers

You know who should bail them out, is the oil companies... the reason for their companies' decline is their allegiance to the oil companies.

– Ashton Kutcher on "Real Time with Bill Maher," aired November 14th, 2008 on HBO

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Las Vegas for Equal Rights

The people in the LGBT community want the same rights like any other people. This means equal rights, not special rights. This Saturday marks the National Day Of Protest Against Marriage Discrimination. Las Vegas will join other cities across the nation to fight for our basic rights. Please come and make our voices heard. Help achieve equality for every single person. This is not just about the right to marry alone. There is so much more at stake here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Change only for the Straight?

We received an anonymous and interesting comment in response to my last entry and regarding Proposition 8 in California.

Los Angeles Times

We think it’s a bit unfair to say that gay activists let us down. There were more than enough LGBT organizations out there to inform us about what was going on regarding Proposition 8 ever since it succeeded to be put on the voting ballot. We’ve been following the print and television news for months and also read countless articles, opinions, blogs, comments and strategic plans how to combat this unfair proposition.

Additionally, there were numerous organizations and groups where people could join or donate either money or personal time as a volunteer to help spread the news how to defeat this measure.
Of course, this also meant that people had to be making a personal effort to actually do some research and seek out this types of groups and activities. Either on the internet or by calling or visiting their offices in person. In doing so, an interested reader and potential voter would have gathered enough information about the issues, the pros and cons presented by supporters and their opponents, and the opportunities to get involved or to visit meetings and rallies.

And here lies the problem. It takes effort to do these things. YOU have to make this happen. You cannot solely rely on the news or those organizations to come to you. They can only do so much and only succeed if you let them. America has become a society of convenience. If something requires the slightest effort on someone’s part, then no one will even attempt to make an effort. And if the subject matter is not interesting enough or presented all neatly and flashy, people tend to loose attention very quickly. Even if the issue at stake would greatly improve their own rights or benefits.

So, to say that gay activists let us down is not quite true. There were...and still are...more than enough outlets to inform and get informed on what happened. Besides mainstream media, there were many web sites and blogs. Some web sites were just recently created for the purpose to get the latest news out to the people and call for their involvement. If people are truly interested to get the latest news or facts about issues, then they’ll get them. They’ll make an effort to find the information. Eventually, the information will find them somehow. We live in Nevada, but we knew that it didn’t look too good for our side in California. Or Arizona. Or Florida. We even knew that the Swedish government is split on the gay marriage issue in that country.

We saw the news that Proposition 8 had a good chance of passing. So did many others, on both sides. Many people stepped up their efforts even more to do whatever they deemed necessary to either help or defeat this measure. The gay activists did everything they could to help us all achieve equal rights. And for that we thank them from the bottom of our hearts. Unfortunately, our opponents had more money, manpower and help from the outside to misconstrue perceptions and spread false information about the LGBT community.

However, we do agree on one thing. The apathy of many people when it comes to the right to vote, or politics in general. This is not a particular gay or straight quality. But gay people seem to be particularly indifferent when it comes to their own civil rights. If something is not exciting enough they couldn’t be bothered with it. We hate to admit this, but the majority of the gay community is indeed superficial and doesn’t take gay rights and issues very serious. When important issues are discussed then most gays will scream: “Boring.” While this certainly does not apply to everyone, that wide-spread gay stereotype however is for the most part very much true.

That’s why George and I aren’t part of the so-called gay scene. Whatever that means. We don’t fit their criteria and quite frankly...we don’t want to. If we do happen to attend a gay social gathering or go to a gay bar, others wouldn’t give us the time of day. Even if we just try to start a friendly, harmless small-talk with some people, hoping to break some ice. Most are too consumed with certain looks, appearances or some hierarchical ranking. It is next to impossible to be integrated into that clique if one doesn’t fit the expected label.

They can have that all nonsense. We already gave up on the notion to make even one decent friend and have come to the conclusion that there really is no gay community. Not in the sense of camaraderie or helping to make a difference for the good of the many. Gay...or straight, for that matter. At least not in Las Vegas. Our society has become very pretentious, suspicious and angry, but oblivious to everything else at the same time.

If we sound bitter, we’re not. It’s somewhat sad that it seems so difficult to make any friends. But that’s okay. It‘s their loss, not ours. George and I have each other. Besides, we have some friends, although they’re all living out-of-state. And if we get to see them every once in a blue moon, so be it.

Yet I’m still giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. Yes, even the gays. Despite the many dissapointments. Maybe one day they too will realize that fighting for people’s rights and the community’s well-being...or just giving someone the time of far more rewarding than hearing the latest gossip of so-and-so or be up-to-date with the newest trends.

The people here in the United States just elected it’s first black president. Progress has been made. So there’s still hope yet. Maybe this is the kick in the butt that America, or Americans, needed to finally start shedding some of the prejudice and that fear of the unknown. Maybe the promised change will indeed come and help to open minds and hearts again down the road. Who knows? Time will tell.

Maybe we’ll see the first female president. The first gay president.

Like I concluded in my previous steps.

Small little baby steps.

By the activists alert! November 15th, 2008 is National Day Of Protest Against Marriage Discrimination. So make your voice heard. Find more info on this web site: We’re positive that there are many more web sites like this out there.

Make an effort, be involved, help change minds for the better.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change is coming...finally

What an incredible day this election day turned out to be. I would have never thought that Barack Obama would actually win the presidential bid. Of course, George and I were hoping that he would become our next president.

Frankly, we thought that America was just not ready yet. After months and months of watching the opposing side throwing all the nastiness, accusations and threats at Barack and the Democrats, we just gave up on the common sense of the American people.

And then just before 9 p.m. yesterday we happened to check our e-mails and there was that headline starring at us from the computer screen. We couldn’t believe it. We turned on the TV just in time for Obama’s acceptance speech. The first African-American president-elect gave an amazing speech. Although it was uplifting, it was also a very soberly speech.

Come January 20th, 2009, the day Barack Obama will be inaugurated as the President of the United States, he has to start to deliver. He has to succeed in keeping his promises. He must produce results. But he can’t do it all by himself. Each and every one of us has to pitch in. Barack needs our help.

Yes, people, that means you and I have to change our way of thinking and living. It means giving up a little something and giving back for the good of the many. For a better and more humane society, a healthy environment and a more peaceful world.
We have to start sometime. Let’s finally do it. Now!

George and I are disappointed however. Greatly disappointed in California. The majority of voters there did vote for inequality and injustice. While not official as of yet, Proposition 8, a ban on same-sex marriage will likely pass. We thought that California was more progressive than that. What a surprise to find that most Californians are indeed very much backwards in their way of thinking. Not quite as liberal as the world makes them out to be.

But America... Americans learn slowly. Very slowly. How long did it take to free the slaves, give women the right to vote, allow inter-racial marriage? Now the United States has elected its first black president. We seem to be moving in the right direction again.

However small these steps may be and however long it may still take, the day of full equality for every single person, regardless of gender, race, religion...and yes, sexual orientation...will come eventually. It’ll take just a little longer. We should be grateful for what we have achieved yesterday. We are getting the country on the right track again. We are heading in the right direction.

Baby steps. Small little baby steps.