Friday, February 28, 2014

My response to Well Behaved Mormon Woman

Dear Cora,

I'm not sure if your name is actually Cora. I'm just imagining it's Cora, and I want to call you by your imagined first name because I know that you're not just some pixelated words on a computer screen. You are a real person with real feelings. I'm a blogger myself, and I know how hard it is to have people talk about something you have put out into the world with good intentions and in good faith in a negative or controversy-filled way. I want you to know that I am writing you this open letter from a place of respect and understanding.

The reason I don't know your first name is because I haven't read your blog post yet. Honestly, I've been avoiding it. I saw a lot of the ruckus online, and read a couple of indirect responses to your post by friends of mine (like this one and this one). I also saw the response your daughter wrote because it was posted in some online forum that I'm magically a part of on Facebook even though I never signed up for it (thankyouverymuch Facebook). I know the post's general premise, but I haven't read the actual post. I've been scared to. I'm scared it will hurt me and make me feel sad and frustrated. I'm scared of the feelings it will evoke in me, and I'm scared of the helplessness I might experience knowing that whatever it is you said is probably emblematic of how many people think about me and people like me.

As it turns out,

Friday, February 21, 2014

FFAQ poll + I think I'm back?


So, today is FFAQ (which stands for "Friday's Frequently Asked Question."

The fact that I'm doing FFAQ today says a couple of things.

First, I am happy to report that I am truly feeling more comfortable in my skin. As you could probably imagine, based on the threat to my family I shared in this post, I was seriously contemplating whether or not blogging in a public forum is worth it--if it can come to a threat to my family, is this a risk I'm willing to take? Before posting that horrific exchange, I didn't know what to think. I was confused, in some denial, and frustrated. Once I hit "publish" though and got that man's words out there for all the world to see, I immediately felt more powerful and in control. And then the comments started flooding in and when so many of you came (as has happened in the past) to support me and my family, I was buoyed up. It helped me see that even though there are very real risks and consequences to putting one's voice out there, there is also great value in doing so. There is so much that is beautiful in this community and so much support here, for myself and for others. I find myself saying thank you a lot on this blog, and I really mean it. It was very, very helpful to see so much support and so much appalled horror at what happened to me and my family because of this blog. Thanks for helping me remember why I'm doing this.

Second, alongside all of that, the last month saw an interesting thing happen with my coming out post. It somehow went viral again (on a smaller scale) and was read by thousands upon thousands of new people. I have no idea how this happened--like seriously, it felt totally and completely random and I couldn't identify a source other than Facebook (thank you Facebook!)--but this means that there are a lot of new people here that might have questions.

And that's what FFAQ is for, friends old and new!

So here's how this thing goes down.

If you have a question--about anything at all, could be gay-related or just about my life or perhaps about quantum physics--leave it in the comments. If you see a question that you like, reply to that question with a comment that says "ditto." The question with the most dittoes at the end of the day is the one I answer the next Friday, and so on and so forth, into perpetuity. Please only one ditto per question (you can ditto more than once). Please don't cheat. It's not a sophisticated or complex process, but it has worked well.

Tips: questions asked earlier in the day have a better chance at winning (for obvious reasons). Also, questions that win tend to be focused, pretty concise, and genuine.

Are you ready for this?

All righty then.


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tessa's smile

I'd like to show you a recent picture of Tessa, our three-year-old.

I know, let's make this into a guessing game!

What is wrong with Tessa's face?

Monday, February 3, 2014

The trauma of cyberbullying

Guys, I'm not sure if you've noticed, but I've been struggling as a blogger. I've been erratic in my responses to comments--hyper sensitive and strange. Very defensive. I've also felt afraid to post. I avoid coming here. It fills me with anxiety.  I feel fear posting even the most innocuous of posts.

I realized yesterday what is actually going on, like a photograph coming into sharp focus.

I'm having a trauma response to something horrible that happened a couple of months ago. I'll tell you more about it below.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Winners! + Go Hawks!

All right, I just got an email from Sally DeFord, and I'm ready to announce the competition winners. I was really sad when the online poll didn't work out last week, but the truth is, I think it made the selection of winners cleaner and more fair. I had a panel of judges with many music degrees and tens of thousands of hours of musical experience between them. They judged the contestants based on five criteria (pitch, tone quality, expression/style, uniqueness of voice, and overall performance/effort). I did not participate in the judging. Sally's deliberations ended up dovetailing exactly with the final judging outcome after all the marks were added up, which I think means we have some very solid results.

So, without further ado, here are the winners:

First Place: Joshua Watson

Second Place: Cecily Jorgensen

Third Place: Franchesca Retford

Congratulations to all three who placed! I will contact you directly to get your address so I can send your prize.

And thank you to all who submitted and made this song their own. I will be featuring each contestant (winners and non-winners alike) in an interview along with their version of the song once a month during the year 2014.


In other news, I'm not sure if you heard, but there's this thing happening tomorrow. Like, a sports game. Two teams are playing football. It's kind of a big deal, especially since I live in Seattle where the entire city is covered in blue and green.

So, I'm not really into sports. BUT, I have kind of felt swept up in the momentum of this one. I was really, really proud last night when we were out with some friends and I knew more about what is happening tomorrow than Lolly. This was a triumph for me.

Lolly: So, wait, who is #12? Why do I keep seeing his jersey everywhere?

Josh: Sweetie, the #12 is not for a player, it refers to us as fans. Like, something about if a player got injured, we would join in? *voice trails off in insecurity*

Friend: That's right Josh! Good work! You knew a thing about sports!

Lolly: Oh, that's funny! I thought it was one of the players. I thought it might be that Crabtree guy.

Josh: ...Oh, I know all about this because I am obsessed with reading news on the internet! Lolly, Crabtree is not a Seahawk. He's... on that other team that they played recently. And that Sherman guy had all the drama with him when he disrespected him in an interview or something, and then he spent the week going on shows using big words to show he went to Stanford and knows how to speak proper English. See how I know things? I know about sports! It's like I'm a real sports fan or something!

Lolly: I've never been more turned on by you.

Josh and Lolly start making out.

Friend: You guys are gross.

In conclusion:

GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!

Photo credit here