Friday, November 1, 2013

A New Point of View

First, let me state the obvious:

Sometimes things happen to you that change your perspective on other things. For example, when you're acting in a play, you have a different concept of the tech process than when you're designing a play. (Ok, that was a pretty narrow metaphor. Sue me.)

In July 2012, Becca and I parted ways (not as cordially as one could have hoped) and since then, I find my perspective on things has changed. Shortly after we got married, I legally changed my name to take her last name. Since we split up, I've gone back to using "Wecker", but, technically, "Fischer" is still my legal last name. This makes things like getting a job somewhat complicated. Then remember that I'm working primarily as a freelance sound designer, so, on average, I pick up between two and three jobs a month and you see how this can be excessively complicated.


So, lately, I've been thinking about how to simplify this aspect of my life. The most straightforward option would seem to be to get an actual divorce. Straightforward, maybe, but also a complicated process. Complicated because we were married in Canada. Complicated because in the entire life of our marriage, we only lived briefly in a state that recognized our marriage. Complicated because the federal government is wishy-washy at best and a cluster-fuck at worst. Complicated because laws are often unnecessarily complicated.

The second, and potentially simpler, option would be to get a legal name change. This doesn't clear up all the confusion, but it probably takes care of enough of it to get by until such time as she or I start thinking about getting married again. (A situation that I have firmly sworn off, for now.) I haven't researched the intricacies of this process in the great state of Illinois (where I currently reside), but in Utah, you had to have been living in the state for at least a year before you could apply for a legal name change. I've only been in Chicago since August, and can only prove my residency since September. If that same one year rule is true here, then I have several months to go before I can even begin the process.

And then there's the waiting and hoop jumping and headache that begins after you have the official legal paperwork indicating that your old name is your new name again. My passport expired. It was the only thing I didn't update when I changed my name the last time. I can't renew it until this gets sorted out because I sure don't want to renew it to Fischer and then have to turn around and change it to Wecker (expensive! Unnecessarily complicated!) I'll have to get a new driver license and social security card. I'll have to contact every financial institution I've ever interacted with and update their information. Jobs. Subscriptions. All the things. Ugh.


But...perspective! The Illinois congress is seriously talking about legalizing gay marriage in the state. How awesome is that? That's awesome. As it turns out, I'm very pro gay marriage. But, where two years ago the thought of a state legalizing gay marriage just made me feel all warm and squishy for days, now my first thought is, "I wonder if that will make it easier to get a divorce."

Maybe not the response I was expecting, but there it is...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Minnesota

Today Minnesota became the 12th state of the 50 United States of America to "legalize gay" (as the t-shirts so eloquently put it.)

That's really cool. And that gets us to nearly a 1/4 of the states in the country. That's huge.

Things are happening. I can't wait to see what the Supreme Court does with DOMA. I hope that is a really cool day too.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sticking My Nose In

I'm probably about to upset a lot of my friends and family, and while I accept that as a potential side-effect of this post, it is by no means the intention of it.

Last week was really awesome in my little world. Starting about Tuesday, every time I glanced at Facebook I was overwhelmed by the waves of support and love coming from my peeps because my entire newsfeed looked like this:


Every little red equal sign (or variation thereof) just made me grin from ear to ear. I was impressed not only with the willingness of my (particularly straight, particularly Mormon) friends to publicly stand up with me and so many others to show support for marriage equality, but also the amazing creativity and humor and love that was flowing freely through the interwebs.

Love. It's a thing. And kind of an important one, if you ask me.

Before I get to my point, let me state a few things for the record: First, I haven't considered myself "Mormon" for years. I stopped attending church nearly a decade ago and it's been at least that long since I've watched or listened to or paid even a smidgen of attention to a General Conference address. I was annoyed that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints put so much of their time and resources and funding into the Prop 8 battle that happened in California a few years ago, but it wasn't *my* tithing money, so I mostly kept my mouth shut. Usually when I hear about LDS Church leaders encouraging members to "love the sinner, not the sin" or skirting the "gay" issue by suggesting that same sex attraction is not a sin but acting on it is, I roll my eyes and go on my merry way. Not my church. Not my problem.

I grew up in Utah. I was raised LDS. Many of my friends and family are Mormon. Yesterday, when it was announced that a Mormon temple will be opened in Cedar City, UT, as far as my Facebook newsfeed was concerned, it was bigger than Grumpy Cat and George Takei combined. ("Did you hear Halle Berry's pregnant?" "Halle who? Who cares? They're opening a TEMPLE IN CEDAR CITY!!" "Hasn't there been a temple in St. George for years?" "Well, yeah, but that's, like, 45 whole minutes away...") Which is to say, whether I'm paying direct attention or not, I hear about stuff that happens during General Conference. (My mom texted me to tell me about the Cedar City temple. It made me giggle. She very rarely texts and when she does, the messages are often monosyllabic. I therefore surmised it was a big deal to her and appreciated her thoughtfulness in keeping me in the loop.)

So, today, between clever memes and witty observations and the occasional "things I'm doing today" post, I came across this article in the Salt Lake Tribune:
Just because the nation may change its laws to "tolerate legalized acts of immorality" does not make those acts any less spiritually damaging, senior apostle Boyd K. Packer said Saturday morning at the LDS Church’s 183rd Annual General Conference.
"The permissiveness afforded by the weakening of the laws of the land to tolerate legalized acts of immorality," Packer said, "does not reduce the serious spiritual consequences that result from the violation of God’s law of chastity." 
"Tolerance is a virtue, but, like all virtues, when exaggerated it transforms itself into a vice," said the 88-year-old Packer, speaking from his chair rather than from the pulpit. "We need to be careful of the ‘tolerance trap’ so that we are not swallowed up in it."

The article is careful to note that he did not directly mention gay marriage or homosexuality. Because, you know, after Wednesday and Thursday of this week, no one is going to have any idea what he meant by "weakening of the laws of the land".

But the part that really stood out in my mind was the notion that tolerance can ever possibly be a vice. I'm not going to get all tied up in why "tolerance" isn't all that great anyway...

(but here's a video of someone explaining it pretty well)

...but rather I want to chat for a minute about how a man who many of my loved ones believe to be an apostle and mouthpiece of God can stand up in front of a group of Christians and say (essentially), "Love thy neighbor, but make sure you're not loving them too much."

Huh?

I must have missed the part in the scriptures (and I'm going to go ahead and include the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price when I say "scriptures") where it says, "love everyone, but not too much. Because, as you know, too much virtue can be a vice."


First, tolerance isn't all that much of a virtue to begin with (see video above), but it's something. It's maybe enough to get you to not punch someone who doesn't share your belief system. But to insinuate that it could potentially be a trap? What happened to "love thy neighbor as thyself"? Isn't the parable about the Good Samaritan about a bunch of people who were "tolerant" and one guy who probably would have changed his profile picture last week? (And I don't know about you, but I was taught that we should emulate the Samaritan.)

President Packer, growing up, I remember enjoying your talks. Overall, I liked this one too. Your poem was cute. I liked the way you tied in the story about the snakes and the finches and related it to the necessity of a strong family as the best way to protect children. It distresses me that you would rather some family units were not afforded the same governmental protections that your own family has enjoyed for decades because the composition of that family doesn't jive with your narrow definition of "family". And, quite honestly, I think the suggestion that one can be "too tolerant" to the point where tolerance is a "trap" is deplorable.

I rather prefer to live in my little world of love, hoping that someday tolerance will bubble over into outright acceptance. That someday, the laws of the land will encourage families of every flavor without infringing on the rights of any person to make fun of marriages like those of Brittany Spears and Kim Kardashian. That down the road, when I have a family of my own, my kids won't be pitied because they don't have a traditional "dad" around to teach them things like how to throw a ball or put the toilet seat down, but rather envied because their moms love them to pieces and taught them how to throw a ball anyway.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Pleasant Side Effect

I spent some time over The Holidays at my aunt's house in Long Beach, helping her and my cousin take care of my grandpa and lending a hand around the house. One of the projects she wanted completed while I was there was to have some bookshelves put up in her bedroom.

Enter the...gaggle? Mess? Rafter? Oh, no. That one is for turkeys. You know what? Let's go with "rafter"...rafter of frat boys that often descends on my aunt's house. Somewhere between five and nine 20-somethings, including my cousin and the sub-letter.

"Who better to hang shelves," I think to myself, "than a bunch of drunk kids with power tools?" So, I give them the rundown of what needs to happen (two shelves, two walls, go!) and let them have at it.

First Funny: my dad has a saying (which is apparently a Chinese proverb) "One boy is a boy. Two boys is half a boy. Three boys is no boy at all." The meaning of this proverb was instantly apparent as these young men started hanging the shelves. My aunt's bedroom is small-ish. Certainly, not room enough for all half-dozen frat boys to accumulate, so they took turns - usually in twos and threes. If there were two boys in the room, the work would be slow, but progressing. As soon as a third boy entered, work would grind to a halt and stay stopped until a) an independent party (myself) intervened or b) one of the boys left the room, allowing the two remaining boys to continue. Sometimes the only way to get work re-started was to shoo one of the boys out of the room. (See? My dad and the Chinese were right!)

Which leads me to the point of this post.

My cousin and I are standing, observing this phenomenon with varying degrees of amusement when he turns to me and says, "Now I understand why you're a lesbian."

Which made me laugh like this: 

video

But, amusing as his statement was, it was also false.

It's true that not having to put up with the collective incompetence of males, particularly large groups of young males, is a pleasant side effect of my sexual orientation, however:

I'm a lesbian because I'm attracted to women.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Grateful

This morning I was scrolling through Facebook (like ya do when you don't have to be to work until 12:30) and I came across this picture:



Now, that, in and of itself, isn't unexpected. My friends post pictures like this all the time because my friends are awesome. Here's what was cool about this picture: I came across it on my grandma's timeline.

My fantastic Grandma Artman, in all her sassy, wonderful glory, shared this photo on her Facebook timeline. She is epic.

And so this time, instead of giggling at what was an otherwise adorable and humorous picture, I burst into tears. I am so grateful for the way my family has accepted everything about me. I realize not everyone has been as lucky as I've been. I know people who were cast out by their families, or were subjected to "treatment", or who have to make an active effort to hide a part of themselves when they're home for Christmas - if they go home for Christmas. I am proud and overwhelmed with gratitude to say that this is not my story. From my nieces and nephews to my grandparents and everywhere in between, my family has been loving and accepting and supportive and wonderful and I couldn't be more grateful.

I love you, Grandma. I love you, grandparents and aunts and uncles and parents and cousins and brothers and sisters-in-laws and nieces and nephews. I love you, my wonderful, incredible, fantastic family. Thank you.