“LGBT allies are politically active, even when they themselves won’t be affected by any hurtful legislation that gets passed. They put in the work on behalf of others instead of it being a personal defense mechanism. But it goes so much farther than activism. Allies have many advantages, one of those being an ability to be present in conversations where LGBT people are absent and thus able to hear people’s “real” feelings. Real allies have the courage to tell someone that their offensive joke is offensive. Allies are willing to disassociate with those who spout harmful rhetoric. These are actions that make people uncomfortable, that disrupt situations and create tension. Our natural instincts are to avoid such scenarios, and when it’s not your rights or safety on the line it can be really easy to just keep your mouth shut and let things play out.”

via Why People Think They’re Allies But They’re Really Not


The World Will Split Open



In the poem, Kathe Kollwitz, Muriel Rukeyser wrote:

What would happen if one woman told the truth about
        her life?
     The world would split open.
With the publication this week of Hillary Clinton’s book, What Happened, we see that Muriel Rukeyser was right.
     One of the perpetual criticisms of Hillary Clinton has been that she’s “inauthentic.”  The implication is that she’s presenting a front, that she’s not really the polite, sensible, pragmatic, public servant who’s devoted her life to improving conditions for women and families all over the world.  No, she must be faking it.  Underneath the practiced demeanor, she’s really scheming, too ambitious, too cut-throat.  Why, even her marriage must be “political,” and that explains why she didn’t leave her husband after he had an affair.  When she smiles or stays calm under pressure, that’s just an act.  If you knew the “real”…

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She had me at “hello.”


Congratulations. You have woken the witch that lives deep inside me. You have removed the slumber chains from the giant of old. You have handed me a box of matches and no chaperone And a wor…


Oh, the Week We’ve Seen

To say this has been a difficult week is perhaps the greatest understatement since, “Wow, the Civil War was messy.”

The days following the election of (oh, I can barely stand to write it) Donald J. Trump to the office of U.S. President have been some of the worse of my life. Hell, November 8 was the worst day of my life. Hands down. Even worse than the day I swallowed an entire bottle of prescription drugs and spent the night in the ER drinking charcoal and Sprite to empty my stomach. Worse than 2005, when my mother-in-law had a heart attack, Hurricane Katrina decimated the Gulf Coast (including the city of my birth, New Orleans), and my gross income was $2500!  Yes, November 8, 2016, was worse for me than all of those horrible things combined.

“Oh, come on,” you might say. “You’re over-reacting. It’s not that bad.”

And to this platitude, the angel over my right shoulder says, “Yes, dear, it really is that bad. I understand you’re trying to help. I understand that, from your viewpoint, not much is going to change. But things are different here in the real world.” Read more

Repost: Margaret and Helen

Margaret, maybe we have this all wrong. Maybe the big news didn’t happen on Tuesday. Maybe it was Wednesday. They say Trump woke a sleeping giant, but maybe that giant didn’t wake up before the election. Maybe it woke after the election when we all finally realized that everything we hold true and dear about […]

via You get knocked down and you get up again, wipe the orange stain from your clothes and then what? — Margaret and Helen

Silencing the Noise

A million years ago, I was hanging out in a hotel room in Rome with a woman named Ann. It was the end  of one of those 28-day, “if it’s Tuesday, this must be Belgium” college trips to Europe and I’d holed up in Ann’s room because my actual roommate was driving me to distraction.  I was 19, it was Rome, and I was depressed.  Ann was older, weird, and to my eyes, a worldly guide to life beyond my sophomore year of college.

I remember her telling me about her trip to New York and her glowing review of the Broadway play, “Sunday in the Park with George” (which would later become a large influence in my life, but that’s another story.) We talked for hours about theater, writing, and music. She insisted that she didn’t listen to music, and when I asked her why, she said something that would stick with me for the next 30 years: “If you fill your head with other people’s music, how in the hell are you ever going to hear your own?”

Read more