Coworker Says No to Gay Parents Adopting

At work today, the topic of children was broached. I mentioned that I want kids one day, and the newbie to our team asked me if I was serious. I explained to her that I do want kids; however, the want is something I don’t see myself feeling 100% until 8 to 10 years down the road. She commented that some places don’t let gay people about because “they might come out that way.” That way— I have already told this coworker that it offends and bothers me when she uses that way instead of gay/homosexual/lesbian/etc.

I brought up a great Dateline segment I watched years ago as a high school student. The segment tackled the subject of gay couples adopting or having children and how studies show that the majority of children with gay parents are heterosexual. Mentioning the segment made me remember a gay couple in Florida who are foster parents. I can’t remember how many children are in there home, but I want to say it is around 6 or 7……. all of the children are HIV positive. One foster parent is a registered nurse and stays home with the children, and the other foster parent works a “traditional” job. The foster parents would love to adopt the children, but the brilliant state of Florida will not hear of such a thing as gays adopting. My coworker then says, “Well, they shouldn’t be able to adopt the children. They probably just want to take life insurance out on the kids.” I had to remain silent, take a deep breath because I thought I was going to call her stupid or strangle her. Another coworker looked really uncomfortable; I knew she thought I was going to attack.

This coworker then proceeds to tell me, “My aunt does it. She has more kids so she can get more money from the government.” I respond, “Well, just because your aunt does that doesn’t mean that EVERYONE else is doing the same. I know that people do such horrendous things; however, you can’t use your aunt as marker to judge everyone else. You can’t use one single person as a marker to judge the character of others.”

Her last comment was something to the effect that it is her opinion that gay people shouldn’t adopt. I ended by saying, “Sadly, it’s because of people with your mentality that thousands and thousands of kids in this country out of loving home.”

Honestly, I feel sad for my coworker, but even more than sad there is an overwhelming disappointment in her. This coworker has talked about being discriminated against because she is a black female, yet the obstacles she has overcome have apparently taught her nothing. People need to wake up; learn from your life experiences. THINK hard before you speak on topics, especially “touchy” topics.

Tomorrow, I am going to once more address the issue of my coworker using that way to describe gay peeps. If it happens again it goes to HR… no ifs, ands, or buts.

"The Year of Held Breath" ~ Veronica Patterson

I read poem below in the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of the GSU REVIEW and fell in love with it.
The Year of Held Breath
~ Veronica Patterson ~

It was the year of tufted grasses. It was the year of questions. It was the year of fog
over the vineyard. The year you started falling. A damaged year. It was the year
of sails in the distance and knots here. It was the year without refuge. It was the
year of bog orchids, early runoff, unaccountable swelling. It was the year of sweet
peppers in August and patience, a year without diagnosis. It was the year of storms
on both sides of the window, of your pain. It was a year without skin. A year of
testing. It came without warning or instructions. It was the year of swallows caked
under the bridge, of difficulty swallowing. It was the year of small foxes, white
pelicans, one brown pelican far from its coast. Outside, the war deepened but we
couldn’t turn our faces to it. It was a year of drought. It was a year without syntax
or punctuation. It was the year of disarray. It was the year of mountains looking
away, seeming to look away.

Father Jonathan on Kathy Griffin

I couldn’t resist posting this Youtube clip that Paul and I watched a few minutes ago:

My first comment to Paul was, “The Fox reporters realize Father Jonathan is gay, right?” Since Fox has been great at censoring — Sally Field was another victim— they decided to cut Father Jonathan’s three snaps in a Z formation at the end of speech.

I hope Kathy saw or sees the clip because it will make great material for some stand-up.

MATCHBOOK Launch Party!

I am excited to announce that on Friday, September 21, 2007, Beth Gylys is having a launch party for her new chapbook titled MATCHBOOK. It is with ease that I can praise Beth Gylys. As a former student I can attest to the fact she is an amazing professor who has a genuine love of what she does in the classroom. (If that isn’t the case she needs an Oscar for her performance!) She is an amazing poet; feel free to read her first chapbook BALLOON HEART or her two full length collections, BODIES THAT HUM and SPOT IN THE DARK, for evidence of her wit, humor, intelligence, and brilliant craft.

I must brag on Beth a little more before I get back to the exciting topic at hand. I keep Beth’s BODIES THAT HUM on my desk when writing. It is one of the books I keep in my satchel when I attend conferences. Yes, the book is that good! The Boston Review published a few of Beth’s villanelles that can be found in BODIES THAT HUM and David Lehman had this to say about those villanelles:

Beth Gylys has been writing a series of villanelles that test this arduous form
as a vehicle for writing about love, romance, and contemporary life in the
American idiom. She has written more than twenty of these poems to date, and
they are breathtakingly successful in exploring the limits of the form and
applying it to the demands of her own experience. Some of the villanelles are
funny; others are tender, sensual, and filled with high romance; many combine
wit and humor and urban speed in new and exciting ways. In “My Savior in the
Form of a Bus” and “Hard Luck” the apparatus of the villanelle is used toward a
narrative end. “Do Not Dive Head-First” rises beyond the immediate task of
parodying Dylan Thomas, while “Personal” must be the first and only villanelle
on record to combine the qualities of a classified ad with what Norman Mailer
called an “advertisement for myself.” Read and enjoy

I digress no more.

MATCHBOOK is a collection of personals written in sonnet form. (Hats off for a collection of sonnets– I try not to touch a sonnet with a ten foot pen.) Beth delves into all personalities and lifestyles: straight men and women, gay men, lesbians. As if it wouldn’t be interesting enough, Beth has spiced up the evening by variety of people reading her poems— I’m thrilled to be one of the people reading!

Mark your calendar, program it in your PDA, you need to attend the launch party for Beth Gylys’s new creation, MATCHBOOK, on 9/21/07 at 7:30pm in the Troy Memorial Library, which is located on the GSU campus.

Attend and see which personal speaks to you. MATCHBOOK has someone for everyone.

Dolly Night at Grass Roots Institute

Last night, Paul and I attended a fundraiser at Grass Roots Institute , which is the location of the poetry reading I hosted last month. I’m excited that this fundraiser was born from one of my ideas——It was a Dolly movie night. I supplied Ms. Aida, Grass Roots Founder and Director, with a lot of my wonderful Dolly to serve as decor for the evening. A $20 donation to Grass Roots enabled a donor to have wine, a meal, watch 9 TO 5 on the big screen, and coffee + dessert.
Aida and I decided this will be an annual event. We have not scheduled a date for 2008; however, we know it will be held in April before the season opening of Dollywood. I’ve already started planning the event because I hope to have a lovely surprise up my sleeve for Dolly Night 2008.
Here are some pics from last night– ignore my weight gain, thanks!

Entrance to GRI…

Silent auction table.

Ms. Aida as Dolly!

Me + “Dolly” + Paul

Margaret Atwood: Faith & Reason

Today, I read a post written by Charles Jensen on Margaret Atwood’s THE HANDMAID’S TALE. His post reminded me of two things: (1) When I was a Livejournal user, for a few months I had “Margaret Mondays”– I posted an Atwood poem each Monday. (2) There are fantastic youtube clips of an Atwood interview discussing religion. The interview is split into three videoes (which you can find below). If you’ve read any Atwood work, you know she’s a literary genius; if you haven’t read her work, the youtube clips will give you a taste of her genius.

1 of 3:

2 of 3:

3 of 3: