Tag Archives: LGBT

Follow, Lead, do both Or ….

We can all follow behind someone and still not meet everyone or do everything that the person we are following has done or met.  Calling those experiences, made for us, my reflection is about what causes us to see ourselves as followers and not leaders.

All Things Father related

  • Could it be that we are seeking to be the proverbial “father” that has been defined to us as a savior, hero, or prophet?
  • Does this make it a Male portrayed role?
  • Does this make it defined by only one person?
  • Does this require that we see, do, or believe only one thing?

Constantly reminded of how much religion seems to get away with missing information.  For example, a great many of Jesus and other prophets are missing written reflections of their lives.  Entire segments of their existence are not known or written about.  When they are written about it is a considerable amount of time later.  Religious text are often written more in biographical form rather than auto biographical form.  There is a growing and often very different nature about questioning or challenging what is known.  

Thinking about my experience of a woman named Pat, and attending her funeral, it may be easy to relate to how our stories get told.  Are we direct without fear? Are we direct to a fault? Is it easier to accept or laugh about when it is told by someone else?  Leading to a question I have always asked

How come Jesus didn’t just write the story himself and be direct?

What is the purpose of text written in Parables? 

When I met Pat, a women who inspired me, with her direct approach to answers, she wasn’t in a traditional church.  As I had known churches up to that point this was a very untraditional kind of worship.  She shared with me parts of her life story.  I didn’t know if she shared them with anyone else.  Thinking about what she shared and now after a couple of years have gone by, what affect they had on me. Two things keep me asking challenging questions:

How come Pat’s experience inspired me?

Years later what makes it important for me to share her story?

Let me share a short story about some of what seems inconsistent and indirect.  Using a challenging issue for today’s time:

Growing Up Gay

Standing in the book store it is amazing how many books there are and how many, that are not even on the shelves, that exist without being seen as much.  To stand in the LGBT section is in itself a huge thing.  Someone may ask, How come? A very valid question.  When asked sincerely with an open mind and heart.  A person may hear it answered:

It takes courage.

To be seen looking at what people have judged so cruelly and with such malice.  Could be similar to being seen holding a naked child in the middle of a public place.  Would it matter that this emotion be too much for some people to experience?  Would it matter how this experience was handled?  Would it matter what questions were asked or even if questions were asked?  

Sexual orientation has mattered and my question remains, How come?  Thousands, hundreds of thousands of books have been written and speak of the very same things as LGBT books address. It remains a mystery to me exactly why a majority of people when asked a question about LGBT acceptance respond with answers associated to sex and how some book or person has defined sex.  My thought remains, How come?  Who exactly has that power? Who has given it to them and how come if a definition of sex is so defined an overwhelming majority of people violate the very act of behavior they seem to define?  What also comes to mind is how many people find themselves in fear or shame about sex.  Does this fear and shame have an affect on the # of violent acts of assault or abuse?

These questions won’t all be answered in a blog or by one person.  They probably won’t be answered in my lifetime. However, I can ask and I am confident that when I do I will hear what people really fear about LGBT issues.  Considering that it wields a mighty sword and comes with some big implications of values, ethics, and morale’s my reasonable reflection is that sex drives people to do things and act in ways that are beyond what someone is really willing to define.

Is it who we follow, what we lead, or both?  Is it more about being ‘right’ or being judged?  Where does the impact occur most and what is not being addressed in those instances?  

Questions continue and considering an expanding portal of people and opportunities to engage in sexual behavior it could be a good guess to think that it will continue to be an issue.

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A Woman Named Pat

[Photo not available due to putting people at risk for retaliation or unwanted exposure. Sad.]

 

What I laugh and learn is how easy it becomes for anyone to take something and run with it. The title of this blog brings to mind a few things for me.  First, a woman named Pat, I think, was similar to a T.V. show based on a character that was named Pat.  She was an androgynous comedy character that everyone seemed to be enamored with at the time. Second, it brings to mind a person I respect and has shared many times and treasures with me. Finally, it reminds me of a woman who inspired me even though I knew her for such a short time.

What will I write about? What will this blog actually contain?

Answer: A true story of a woman named Pat who inspired me even though I only knew her for such a short time.

Pat was a founder, if you will accept that title, of what is now known as The Zebra Coalition here in Central Florida.  I met her briefly at a church I was attending.  At the time The Zebra Coalition was just a project that she was working on.  Here is what inspires me to support The Zebra Coalition now that it is completed.

I had the privilege of meeting Pat at breakfast after service one morning.  Our interaction was brief, I asked her why she decided to write the Church newsletter each week.  Her answer was: “Someone has to do it.”  Plain and simple.  No unwrapping required in that statement.  Was what it was.  I laughed and we shared a smile.  Then I sat with Pat at a diversity development meeting.  One of the many ways church goers can become involved in a project to serve the community.  Being a large woman and very experienced it was easy to see how Pat would be found in a room from anyone attending a meeting.  As we began discussing how things were progressing in diversity development, Pat chimed up with a statement (almost exact to) “There were only two people who showed up on Saturday to assist with the clean-up at The Zebra house.”  This was my first meeting so I really didn’t have anything to say, although, I could tell there were a lot of mixed emotions at the table from that statement.  Someone asked who they were and someone asked what time they were suppose to be there and when it was posted to the congregation.  Someone else asked some questions about if so and so or so and so contacted her.  There were statements based on what happened.  Pat remained as steady as an arrow.  Answering each question with a very direct answer.  I sat quietly thinking there is some part of Pat that is in all of us.  There was one other conversation between Pat and I before she passed away.  It was a short interlude of exchanging where we had been and what life had given us as we were.  Pat shared a few bits of her life and to this day I don’t know if she shared them with anyone else.  I learned a fraction of Pat’s life story.  Pieces that she was willing to share and statements that made me laugh and made an impression on me for life.  Pat passed away a short time later.  Before The Zebra Coalition was completed.  It was her ‘pet’ project, yet she never got to see it finished.  It came as a surprise to everyone I met at her funeral.  Hearing people reflect on her life and their experience with her was moving.  She was consistent about direct answers.  There was no cover-up with Pat.  She would tell you just how she felt.  To a fault, in some peoples jokes.  However, that was Pat they would all say laughing through the tears.

The Zebra coalition is open now.  LGBT youth are welcomed to drop in and they are asked to fill out some questions.  They are given support in ways that can be provided by who is available to them depending on needs.  In addition, there is a place now where LGBT youth between a certain age can spend the day, get a ride, do their laundry, or even take a shower.  These are important things for a community.  This was the first LGBT youth location, it is a needed service.  Typically when LGBT youth have a challenging time in life it is because they have been removed from a situation.  They are in struggle and need support in basic care giving ways.  The Zebra Coalition offers them a place to begin.  A place to find something they may not have had before, an adult who says “It doesn’t matter who you are you deserve to have support.”

Pat didn’t get to see her project come to completion.  Although somehow I think she probably hangs out there most of the time, lol.  What I know in my heart is how come that project meant something to Pat.  She shared with me her very direct answer when I asked her what was so important about The Zebra House.  She said, “Someone has to do it.”

In memory of Pat I am more inspired by that statement and agree wholeheartedly that Pat was very clearly saying “Someone has to do it” and I take that challenge with me.

A woman named Pat gave me more reasons to do what has to be done.