Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I tell my story because.....part 1

So, this account will come in sections. I just returned from the Anti-heterosexism conference in west palm beach florida. I arrived on Thursday night so I could be there for the pre-conference day of A gathering for "ex-gay" survivors. This of course, is near and dear to my heart. I'll address the conference theme in part 2.
On Friday morning I went down to breakfast, and met two new best frliends...Lisa and Lisa from Florida. I was reminded once more of the importance to speaking to survivors. There are hundreds of folks, who, to done degree or another, have experienced harm from being told they are not quite worthy to be accepted as a child of God, and need to change. I wish I could say that the past 30 years have changed that message, but here it is 2009 and we are still hearing it.
I went to the meeting room, and met with Christine, Jim, Jallen, and a host of new friends with the old story.
We had introductions, then Christine prepared to lead the chalk talk. This is a powerful way to allow expression, some for the first time, of the harm that has been done to individuals, and to our community at large.
Jim, led a separate discussion on ex-gay history and messages that are still going out world wide. I went to that discussion. I was touched by the degree of research that was shared by Jim(Box Turtle Bulletin) and Christine Robinson, PhD from James Madison University. They revealed past and present harmful messages, and I realized that in my time as an ex-gay director of Paraklete Ministries, I had stood along side of so many of those hateful voices. Lou Shelton; and Paul Cameron are just two of those named, who have carried forth a hateful message. At the time, I didn't reallize their harm or my own in delivering the "testamony" of choice and change. I was grateful to once again, have the opportunity to speak forth my truth of deeper understanding of God's grace and affirm my position as a lesbian, and a Christian. Many of the speakers and attendees would not identify with the Christian position, but I realized that my voice at the table, was an important one.
At noon, we had a press conference, and I was honored to be one of the presentors who would share the apology that Former Exodus Leaders, Michael Bussee, and Jeremy Marks and I presented in 2007 in Los Angeles. that Apology is as follows.

As former leaders of ex-gay ministries, we apologize to those individuals and families who believed our message that there is something inherently wrong with being gay,lesbian,bisexual or transgender. Some who heard our message were compelled to try to change an integral part of themselves, bringing harm to themselves and their families. Although we acred in good faith, we have since witnessed the isolation, shame,fear and loss of faith that this message creates. We apologize for our part in the message of broken truth we spoke on behalf of Exodus and other organizations.
We call on other former ex-gay leaders to join the healing and reconciliation process by adding their names to this apology.(Over 100 ministries world wide have been encouraged to sign on with us!)
We encourage current leaders of ex-gay programs to have the courage to evaluate the fruit of their programs. We ask them to consider the long term effects of their ministry.

This time, I made it through without tears, but as I looked around the room there were many who were visibably moved. We heard from others who had gone through Reparative therapy and ex-gay ministries and were harmed spiritually and emotionally from the experlience. This was just 4 hours into a 3 day conference. Men and women came up to share their stories...and as I listened, I realized, this is why i tell my story. It helps others to tell theirs.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Holloween plus other news

Thought I'd share a picture of the cake that Becky made, with candy corn and frosting on a cake base. It was so good. We were going to share it with others, but you know how that goes! It's been awhile since I've popped into my blog and I guess it's about time.

I'm working on my new book, interviewing older lesbians who will share their stories with me. My working title is "Guardians of the Flame, Older Lesbians share their stories" We're going to southern Calif. for a couple of interviews.

I'm also working on new quilting projects.
Becky and I made a quilt ladder to display our quilts.
Now we can show off 5 at a time! I bolted it to the wall so it is a permanent fixture in our home. She is hard at work on two or three at a time.
The other news, is that I'm going to West Palm Beach Fla for an anti- heterosexism conference that will also address the harm done by reparative therapy and ex-gay messages that have done so much harm. I'm happy to join with Soul Force, and Beyondexgay amongst others, as we reach out once again on a national level. I'll be reporting on it the end of November.
Whoever is out there in space and might read my blog, I hope you are all doing well.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

More quilts

So, I got to thinking that I should make a quilt for my "adopted sister" Teri. She is the woman who was Arlene's boss for 10 years, and Becky and I have officially adopted her. So, this is the quilt I made her last week. I really love this pattern and it goes together quickly.

I had scraps from the flannel back, so I made me a rag-time lap quilt.It is really soft, and my dog, littlebit loves it as much as I do. I never thought of myself enjoying quilting,, but I've discovered a creative side to me besides writing.If you've never made a rag time quilt, you sew the squares together, then clip all the little seams at quarter inch spaces to make it look puffy.
When I make a quilt for someone else, I pray for them as I sew, and I know it's not literal, but I piece together thoughts of comfort, peace, Joy, memories etc. I pray that when they are covered by the quilt, they will be covered by God's love and caring. I think that's why I love these little diversions from writing.
Becky has been making some beautiful memories with material we purchased back east on our month long vacation. She made me one of colorful falling leaves. I am blessed by her creativeness. We have found a cruise that will happen next August to Alaska, that is a quilting cruise. What do you think?
May you have peace, as you piece.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Edward Kennedy Passing

I can't believe it's been two months since I wrote on my blog! Today's announcment of Ted Kennedy's death inspired me. I met him in 2003.
Des and I had gone to Cape Cod on one of our trips. We visited several places from one end of the road to another. I wanted to stop and see the JFK Musuem. We arrived early afternoon and the woman who greeted us said, "You're in luck. The Senator is here today." I thought she was kidding at first, but we entered a room where Ted was talking to some young scholars. The clerk said he only came there a couple times a year.
I looked at Des, and said, "I'm going to introduce myself and see if he will take a picture with us. He had a couple of body guards with him.
I waited for an opportunity then said, "Hello Senator. I'm not from Massachusetts, but I did work with Bobby's campaign back in the 60's. I wonder if you would take a picture with us."
He was very cordial and said yes! I was surprised that he even had one of his attendants take the photo.
We chatted for a few minutes and Des told him she had Breast Cancer. He told us a close family member was dealing with cancer also. Then the said, "When you get that developed, send me a copy at the Senate and I'll sign it for you!"
A few days later, I did that and received a nice note back from him. He wrote, "If you ever get back to the Cape, let me know and I'll take you sailing. "
I framed the photo and it has been a prized possession for several years. I took delight in showing my Republican friends that I had met a Kennedy...and took pride in being a Democrat!
I was surprised at how friendly he was, and approachable. I'm not famous, or a politian, but I am honored to have that snapshot

Monday, June 1, 2009


Ok, so where were you on Nov. 22,l963? (If you were alive then.) How about 9-11-2001? Those are anniversarys that many of us have in common. June 2,2009 is a more personal one for me, and one that I share with a handful of people. It is the 1 year anniversary of my twin sister's death from lung cancer gone wild! The day will pass with most folks not remembering it's importance, even if they do remember that my sister died last year. I've always had an uncanny knack for remembering dates, and numbers. I won't bore you with how much trivia floats through my brain! I worked for AAA for 36 years and still remember most of my agents numbers that identified who they were! Anyway, one of the persons who remembers Arlene's departure is her former boss, Teri. We have adopted her as a sister now, and keep in touch via email. So this is the note I received yesterday:
Hi my Sisters; I am surely thinking of you and hope you're okay. I wanted to share how we are remembering Arlene on the 2nd; we are putting on lipstick and eating ice cream at 8:00am, in her memory. I am not sure you know all the history about that and the significance. Arlene loved ice cream, often between classes we would make an ice cream run and then "hide" hers under something so we could sneak it past the afternoon class kids as we went through the classroom. She said only get her a small chocolate dipped cone-but we always went for bigger and bigger is better with ice cream! We had some funny things happen trying to sneak in a chocolate dipped cone! Secondly, even when Arlene felt crappy, she would put on her make-up and her lipstick. We always admired her for putting on a happy face. So, if you care to join us, 8am is the time. I just wanted you to know how we are planning our day and how very much she is missed.
I have a picture that sits on my desk of Teri;Debbie;Becky and me holding glass bottles. Last year on a visit home to Washington, we got together, wrote good-bye notes and memories of Arlene, sealed them in the bottles, and Teri and her daughter threw them in the ocean along the coast. It was to bring closure-and yet we all still remember.
So tomorrow morning, June 2nd, at 8:AM, we will have an ice-cream cone to celebrate Arlene and the anniversary. If you know me at all, you will know that I'll skip the lipstick! I used to watch Arlene putting on her make up and told her it was a "paint-by-number" process.
You have to be old to remember that, also. So, that's it for this first anniversary!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Prop 8 ruling today.

Well, in less than an hour, the courts will decide whether our marriage is still legal, and whether other same sex couples will be able to have equal rights! It's a bit scary. It is a human right decision and there are so many lives that will be changed.
Becky and I are just one of 18,000 couples who were legally married, and it is a bit insane that we could be declared divorced by the court. I know if we lose, it will go back to the ballot, but there is so much at stake here. One thing I know, no matter what is decided, our love is sactioned by God and we are married in His sight.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thoughts on Memorial Day

I was overwhelmed with "memorial"day thoughts. Not of just the military lives that have been lost over the years defending our freedoms, but of those in my blood line who have passed from this life to the next. I didn't travel to grave sites around the country, I just looked at pictures on my walls, and items acquired from loved ones upon their passing. Everything in my home has a story and a history. I have a Last supper painting from my Aunt Max; a childhood picture from my Aunt Grace, an antique bottle and photo plate from Arlene, A family picture from Star with all his children, a bottle from my mother, a vase from my father that he gave to my mother, a letter from my brother, a stuffed animal from Des, and the list goes on.
I was reminded this morning as I looked around the house that all these memories are crammed into one small brain...because for the most part, no one knows their importance or history besides me! And, it's so true of everyone who reads this blog. There are memories, trinkets and items of great emotional investments known only to you...and to our Creator. I was sitting in my chair with a hot cup of coffee Talking to Jesus about people I miss, and people who are still in my life and I realized He is the one person who knows all the stories and even all the things I've forgotten. I treasure the home where Becky and I share our love, and God's presence, and even tho she thinks I have too many collections, She is so much a part of my walk down memory lane this memorial Day. Some of my most special Turtles are gifts from Becky and I'm blessed that she is a part of my life and can share the memories.
That's all for now.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

April showers just bring more rain!

Cheristy and Goofy are on the left! Becky is on the far left, and Cheristy and I are in the middle of the Birthday photo!
Well, I don't know where the last month went. My neice Cheristy arrived and we celebrated her 12th Birthday! Becky baked her a special cake, and several friends came to help her celebrate! I wanted this to be special, since she has so recently lost her dad, her grandpa, and her grandma(my twin sister) I think it's my nature to try and make the world a better place and create new memories.Now, on to comments about Disneyland!
I have decided that the idea of going to Disneyland is more entertaining than the reality, when you are my age! It was fun, however those rides, and my body were at odds with one another for two days! Cheristy and her mom loved them. I think choosing spring break to go was a bit much.
So, what else am I up to these days? I'm trying to sort out everything I need to do for soon being eligible for medicare! Who would have believed I would still be alive this long? I got new glasses so I can pass my eye test; had my hearing checked and I'm good there. Found out I have Arthritis in my back, as well as my knees and shoulders, and for all my complaining, I really do have a fracture in my tailbone! (I've fallen several times in the past two years) But the good news is that I'm in great shape for the shape I'm in! God has really blessed us with good friends, and a pretty healthy attitude about life. I'm working on a new quilt for my neice Deanna, and the next post will show the results. Hope everyone is looking forward to those May flowers!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A family Visit & Disneyland

Today is a good day. My great niece, Cheristy, is coming from Washington on her Spring break. She will turn 12 years old while she is here, and Becky and I will go with her and her mother to Disneyland. Cheristy, for the first time, and we are returning after many previous visits. I am excited and happy to share some happiness with her after so many losses this past year or so. It's funny how Disneyland can be such a catalyst for happy memories. I know Arlene would be happy to know we are making good memories for our family.
I will know a lot more about her after a 7 hour, three day trip to the Southland. I'm excited about that aspect of a family visit. I'm sure I'll have pictures with Mickey Mouse to add to this post upon our return.
Thank you Lord for special times to celebrate!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The loss of my brother

He was born November 20,l942. He was my big brother. We have been estranged for more than six years, due to issues we never reconcilled. In earlier years, we shared a childhood, the same last name, and a history of abuse and neglect from my father. Yet, Jerry was there when Dad died in 74. He called me with the news. He was there in 88 when my mother died. I called him with the news. I performed his 3rd marriage. I kept in touch with all his children, who are now all adults. We had some good memories. Jerry loved Christmas- mostly because we never had happy ones as children. Jerry loved the marine corps and had a tatoo of USMC on his forearm
Jerry loved uniforms and spent time not only in the military, but in the police force.
I feel I lost my brother many years ago due to choices both of us made that drove a wedge into the childhood dedication we had for one another. I just found out today in March, that Jerry died in December. He was 66 years old. My twin died at 63 last June, and the loss of my brother in the same year leaves me with confusing emotions. I will try to let the bad memories slip away and think about some of the good times we had along the way. I didn't agree with his actions, but he was my brother, and I write this this memorial to Jerry Albert Bogle-passed on 12-22-08. I hope he was able to celebrate Christmas early!

Monday, February 9, 2009

It's February Again

Where does the year go? February is such a hard month, and those who know me know all the memories compressed into such a short month. Well, This year, we're making new memories. We have a new baby in our lives. Jordan Beck-Clark. He's not quite a month old. He is the adoptive son of Kim Clark and Luane Beck, our filmmaker friends. We were able to go meet him last weekend and I made my first Baby quilt for him! Grandma Becky is holding Jordan. He got a rocky start in life being born addicted to drugs, bur we are praying that his systen will clean out and there will be no long term damage. I've had several great neices and nephews born with drug addictions, and I know that God does work miracles. If you are reading this for the first time, please say a prayer for Jordan and that his two mommies will not run into any snags as they foster him with the intent of adoption.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

New Year~New Beginnings

I am quilting again.
Completed the Purple one last week, Just started the Antique one this week. 2009 was going to be a year of creatitivity for me, and it clears my brain to work on a new project. So many emotional things happened last year and I'm still dealing with it all.
So, This year is well under way. We have a new President; new economic stresses; new opportunities to be who we are and stand up and speak out!
We have friends who just received a new baby to care for, and hopefully adopt! Their life is filled with new Beginnings.
I have started writing a new book, which will be a coupld of years in the making. I will have new opportunities to Listen to the stories of others. I think that is my lesson this year, to listen more.
I received a phone call this morning and an Aunt passed away. My aunt Grace was my mom's last living siser. That era is passing away and new beginnings are happening for my cousins. So, it has occured to me, that every day is a new beginning and while my nature is one that likes to know what is happening before it happens...this year is a book of blank pages, to be filled in by the living.
I pray that your days are filled with Peace, Happiness, and Expectations of greater things. I will try to be more faithful on adding my thoughts this year. Peace