Tag Archives: Sexuality

of chickens and pickles

I have yet to post anything about the anti-gay Chik-Fil-A controversy. Over the past two weeks, I think we’ve all seen more fast-food fury than we would like. People are up in arms. And while it may seem a little overboard, and I’m getting tired of the FB status updates like anyone else, what can’t be ignored is the anger and fear expressed on both sides. People are making a big stink about this because it is a big issue in our country today. Perhaps the biggest social issue.

I find Chik-Fil-A’s stance on homosexuality to be hateful and biblically misleading. The president of the company certainly has the right to say what he did and to spend the company’s money as he chooses. I make choices with my money too. I choose to buy our produce from a local farmer every Monday because I believe it supports my community. I chose to buy products from environmentally responsible companies because I believe it benefits our planet. And I choose not to buy chicken and pickle sandwiches at Chik-Fil-A because I believe the company’s stance on humanity is detrimental to our society.

It’s not that I think Chik-Fil-A can’t have an opinion, it’s just that I too am entitled to my own opinion. And I can use my purchasing power just like they can (albeit on a much smaller scale).

Am I in favor of vandalizing property in response? No. Do I think they should be outlawed from cities? Not unless they discriminate in their hiring process (which is legal in more than half the US). And I am certainly as disappointed with hate on the left as I am with hate on the right.

Here’s the deal. Marriage equality isn’t going away. We are going to find new ways to debate this topic every day. And each debate can be an opportunity to learn more about each other.

As a liberal follower of Christ and lover of God’s diversity manifested in creation, I pray that we can respond in a way that points to Truth and Light.

I hope more chicken franchises will put pickles on their chicken sandwiches. I’m gonna miss those pickles. And I hope my more conservative friends making biblical arguments will read up on their Source. Mostly I believe Love can win and is winning–despite our hate.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5.

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pride and pampering

It’s Gay Pride month, and this weekend is the culmination of all things GAY in NYC.  There’s a lot to celebrate in NYC (marriage equality was legalized this past year) and there is need to celebrate too.  I think celebration leads to awareness, learning and togetherness–it’s why we celebrate birthdays every year and Eucharist every week (or every day in some cases)!

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post-race recovery snack with gay sprinkles

In any case, I ran the 5-mile PRIDE race put on by the Front Runners (LGBT running club) and sponsored by Urban Athletics (the store Jay runs for and the team I’ll be joining shortly).  The course is said to be a fast one because the Harlem Hills are in the first mile so you get the worst out of the way early on.  Yesterday our friend/teammate Tanya offered to run with me.  Tanya is way faster than I am, but she was scheduled to do 50 minutes “easy” so it was a perfect match.  I took her up on her offer.

Before the start I told Tanya I was shooting for 8:05 to 8:10 pace.  I had run a 4-mile race with Tanya, her boyfriend Josh and Jay at 8:03 pace 2 weeks prior.  While I had two more weeks of training under my belt, this course was 1 mile longer.  8:05 seemed reasonable.

Just as we were about to cross the start mats, I looked at my Garmin to press start, but my screen changed at that very moment–I’d have to reconnect to satellites, etc.  Shoot.  Tanya said we’d just go by her watch instead, and she had set her “virtual partner” to 8:00 pace.  This was actually a God-send as I couldn’t keep checking my pace and instead had to go by feel and trust Tanya’s coaching.

Let me just say, Tanya is a rock star.  I learned so much running with her today.  In the first few minutes, she told me not to waste my energy weaving through runners trying to get ahead.  “You’ll make up time when it thins out and you’re running faster than you realize anyway.”  When it was time to weave some, she’d run ahead of me to clear the way.  She set goals for me, “See that rock?  That’s half way up the hill.”  She coached me on breathing, telling me not to work so hard on the down hills, but to let gravity do its job while I just concentrated on slower breathing to bring my heart-rate down.  She ran ahead of me at water stops to bring me water.  I was totally spoiled.  Add to that encouraging remarks along the way, as well as when to slow up a bit so I’d have gas in the tank for the end, when to pick it up in the last half mile, and when to go all out.  The end result was a perfect race at 7:54 pace and a sub-40 minute finish.  We were both pretty pumped.

Sadly, Jay missed my finish.  We were just too fast.

After the race, Jay and I discussed my ongoing training as we walked to the West side of Central Park.  My next race is a 5k at Sodus Point on July 4th.  It’s a Holder family tradition.  I confessed it would be hard to push myself on my own after being pampered with coaching and pacing help the past two races.  It’s a hot and hilly course.  But obviously Jay’s coaching (with help from friends) is paying off, so I’ll just keep rolling with it.  This is the most fun stage of training because you can see the results from week to week.  Soon I’ll plateau on speed and the excitement will be about reaching new mileage goals instead.  At least I hope that stage will be an exciting one!

For now, I’m a proud LGBT advocate and a pampered runner.

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gay soap

i’m flirting with a new soap box… can’t decide if i’m ready to actually “get on” it yet, i think i’ve been growing into the idea for years now.

it’s the gay soap box.

here’s the thing. i have these really amazing friends, and they are all really good people, and sometimes they say things that hurt my feelings, not because they are mean or bad, but because they are unaware. does that translate into an opportunity for awareness? maybe.

friends of lau, let it be known, talking about gay people as if they are a different species, or using the term “gay” in a negative way, hurts lau’s feelings.

chalk it up to me being over-sensitive if you like. shoot, i feel over-sensitive every time someone says something is “gay”… like… “a guy with shaved legs is gay.” (that might sound odd to you, but it comes up a lot in the cycling/swimming community…) really? gay? because my dad is gay, and he definitely doesn’t shave his legs. in fact, i’m pretty sure that a much higher percentage of male swimmers or male cyclists shave their legs than do male homosexuals. so why is that “gay”??

and why do my male friends, when they want to assert their own manliness as being greater than another’s manliness, do they say the other man is “gay”? are gay men not manly?

can you fix a car? fix things around the house? build things? work on a farm? be a good father? because my dad can. he may wear designer jeans and tight black t-shirts, but he’s also one of the manliest men i know.

so last night i was hanging out with some friends, and they started making fun of another friend, who was at a gay party. lots of “gay” banter went back and forth, not all of it negative, but i felt uncomfortable. and again, i realize i could be over-sensitive about gay-talk, but i’m kinda the opposite of sensitive most of the time, so it’s hard to know how to deal. i usually just remove myself from the situation, and that’s what i did last night. i told my friends goodnight, and left the gathering, trying to wrap my head around my own emotions. i texted one of my friends to let him know why i left, fearing my exit was too abrupt, at which point he texted back, “oh gosh… VERY VERY sorry. we definitely didn’t mean anything by it! more just ripping on “so-and-so”… we’re a pretty open-minded group.” now, i love this friend, and i know that he really did feel so bad about the situation, yet his response only frustrated me more. why is suggesting someone is gay the same as “ripping” on them? why does “gay” always imply something negative? furthermore, what my friend perceives as “open-minded,” i perceive as my “new norm.” it’s not thinking outside the box, it’s real life. it’s not liberal, it just is.

and yet, it’s not totally my “new norm” but one i’m still growing into. it’s taking time. and by no means do i expect the world to “normalize” according to my reality. but i do think my friends love me. and i don’t think they hurt my feelings on purpose. and i do think these situations create opportunities to increase awareness, respect, dignity and truth. so here i go, opening my big mouth, hoping you know it comes from my big heart, and i’m grateful for everyone and everything that has brought me to this moment BIG TIME.

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warning: this blog entry contains "adult" material not suitable for children

one of the pros of taking time of blogging: only the die hard readers remain. and i think that pool of people can probably handle the following.

as you might know, one of the highlights of my work in youth ministry is talking to kids about sex. i mean that. i’ve never left a sex talk thinking, ‘that was boring…’ or, ‘i wish i spent more time at my desk, preferably wearing a suit and heals.’ no, sex talks are always challenging, always enlightening, and always very real. and i get to wear a t-shirt and flip-flops. can’t beat that.

the 9th grade sex talks were especially good this year. i think we just got off on the right foot… there was a power outage at our first meeting, so we had the entire discussion about “angels and animals” by candlelight. mmmm hmmm. way to set the mood.

but the last 9th grade talk is what assured me that we had accomplished at least one of our objectives: letting kids know that church is a safe place to talk about sex.

here’s what happened…

we were talking about ways to take care of ourselves spiritually, emotionally and physically in relationships.

“how do we stay physically healthy?”

“eat right and exercise.”

“ok… and in relationships? and sexual relationships?

one guy raises his hand, “uh, use contraceptives?”

“actually, contraceptives just keep you from getting pregnant… they don’t actually keep you from getting sick. the birth control pill is one example of a contraceptive. can somebody give me another?”

same guy says, “pulling out?”

“huh, well, yeah, there’s that. definitely NOT the most reliable method…”

another guy interrupts, “wait… what exactly is the pull out method? i mean, i can kinda use my imagination, but…”

“sure. no worries. it’s when the guy pulls his penis out of the woman’s vagina before he ejaculates. really not a good method AT ALL.”

“that’s pretty much what i imagined.”

see what i mean? mission accomplished. i promise there were much more meaningful learning moments throughout the night… and year, really… but this at least shows the kids are comfortable. whew. time to start planning next year.

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it’s not what you think, but it is funny

my recent facebook status states that i’m bored out of my gourd. a true statement, but somewhat silly, given all that i could be doing. running, swimming, biking, paying taxes, baking a cake… but it’s a long weekend… i don’t want to take care of the mundane. i want adventure! why didn’t i make plans to leave town? go camping? *sigh*

so, as my girlfriend crissy suggested, i’ll update my blog.

in my previous post about bubba buffalo, “s” notes in her comment that i seem occupied since new years… she seems to suggest i’m preoccupied with, i dunno, a boy.

no, dear readers, it just ain’t so. as much as i’d love to report that i’m in the throws of love in all its radiance… that i’m all aglow with a spring in my step and a song in my heart… nnnno. the only body that keeps me warm at night is my teddy bear and my new dog pepper (who i’ll write about later… she is my best source of unconditional love and wet kisses, for sure).

that said, i have entered the dating scene. it seems impossible not to when many of your friends are married. rule of thumb: couples like other couples. and if you’re not a couple, and you’re friends with other couples, you can bet they’ll try to make you a couple real quick. not that i mind… i am definitely not complaining.

so here’s a set up story i’ll share, because it is so entertaining, and because i know the implicated parties would not object. at least i don’t think they would.

two married friends, andré and julia, asked if they could set me up with guillermo weeks ago. at first i objected (as did he, i’m told), but finally did succumb to their excited suggestions. guillermo and i had never met, though i facebook stalked him thoroughly, since he had no security on his profile page. a given.

the four of us met for dinner. super great time… easy conversation… lots of laughing… and then i said something about my dad being an interior designer.

“and yes,” i added, “he’s gay.”

“no way!” exclaimed guillermo, “my dad is too!”

“i’m not being funny!” i retorted, “my dad really IS gay!”

“no, it IS funny,” guillermo insisted, “because my dad really IS gay too… AND he’s a gynecologist!”

well that did it. i finally met a man who could one up me. we may have to start a club.

happy crissy? 🙂

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PENIS!

one of the privileges i have as a youth minister is to talk to kids about sex and sexuality and how it pertains to their faith. i spent a lot of time this summer developing a sex curriculum with lots of help from various books, experts and friends (the friend conversations were definitely the funniest).

so we had a sex talk with 11th and 12th graders a few weeks ago, and the whole first half of it was pretty painfully awkward. finally one kid said, “it’s not that this isn’t relevant to us. it’s definitely relevant. we just don’t want to talk about it.”

last night we talked with 10th graders and decided to squish all the awkwardness into the first 5 minutes. john started by saying, “we’re going to play a game you all know and love… a game you probably played in the middle school lunchroom…” one girl raised her hand and said, “the penis game???” YES! the very one.

for those of you that don’t know, the penis game goes a little something like this.

one person whispers “penis.”

the next says “PEnis” a little louder.

then “PENIS” and “PEENNIISSS!!!!!!”

kids find this especially entertaining in public spaces… like lunchrooms or during spanish class. each person that says “penis” is basically daring the next to say it louder. i totally grew up playing this game. sometimes even in sunday school… the mother of all dares.

next time you’ve got to talk to kids about sex, try out the penis game, if it’s age appropriate. definitely breaks the ice.

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fall fashion

so, bachelor numero dos responded to the “thoughtful” (thanks suzz) question regarding homosexuality, and his response was not only reasonable… he could relate. seems “esteban” (as we’ll call him) has a gay brother. go figure.

it’s the latest accessory.

esteban is a bit of a paradox to me. some things he says make me think, ‘this guy is real and has lived and i think we could be friends.’ other things make me think, ‘are you brainwashed?’ so we’ll see what’s behind door number 2, i suppose.

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