Part 5 Chapter 3

Kindergarten came and went as I was starting to feel safe in my new school surroundings and safe with the familiar faces on the play ground. I had just turned 6 years old and it was time for summer vacation and our first real family road trip.

Oliver’s aunt lived in Southern California on the coast in Morro Bay. It was his favorite aunt. Oliver did not have to pretend about anything with Aunt Nena and she loved anyone who loved her favorite nephew. Aunt Nena was excited to meet Oliver’s love and his daughter. The plan was to go to Yosemite, drive down to Morro Bay, take a day trip to Hearst Castle and then the prize …. Disneyland! Disneyland is a 6 year old dream of all dreams! To see Mickey and Minnie en vivo was more than my little temperament could handle. It would prove to be the bargaining chip that would be keep me behaved for most of the trip.

What Oliver and my dad did not have much experience with was the stamina or lack thereof as it relates to a child. Little legs, needing food, nap time, and constant snacks were something you would think after having been around a child for the last 2 years they would have picked up, but they did not and my stubbornness was not something you could calm down once it perked up. It started in Yosemite.

Recall this is 1981 and two men traveling with a 6 year old was not acceptable if they were to present themselves as a couple. At second issue was a fairly new couple still madly in love and wanting to express themselves physically, but had agreed not to express such emotions in front of me. After a very long drive where I insisted on listening to John Denver’s “Rocky Moutain High -iiiiii Colorado” over and over and over again and my dad wanting to listen to the latest George Harrison tune we arrived in Yosemite to our rented cabin. The tree’s were breath taking, the sounds completely new and the smell of pure clean was not something I will ever forget. I was already a small child, but now I felt as if I could get lost amongst all of the plant life.

They unloaded the car, fed me and we went for a short walk. I started running on the trail. I was a newly uncaged animal that had been freed. My dad being the former basketball track star knew he could catch up with me at anytime and Oliver was content with soaking in the scenery. When they caught up to me I was captivated by a squirrel in the tree but more so I was pooped. The next thing I remember was being awoken by a loud roar coming from outside our cabin. My dad peeked out of the window and screamed “Shit! It’s a bear!! What do we do?” Oliver put me in bed between them and said “nothing go back to sleep.”

Morro Bay was our next stop and a favorite stop. They make salt water taffy in Morro Bay and Aunt Nena was prepared to greet me with it. Aunt Nena was wonderful. She was my nap buddy, my eating buddy and she moved at my pace in her walker which I thought was a mini playground just for me. She cooed to me and told me stories about princesses. She told me these were the same stories she used to tell Oliver; princess stories were also his favorite. It was difficult to imagine how we could leave her, but after two days and a very tearful departure on my part we did leave.

Hearst Castle has got to be the most frustrating place for a child. Do you know they have crystal clear pools that you cannot swim in? WTF? It’s a big tease and a terrible thing to do. We had a pool at our house that I could swim in whenever my heart desired, so how are you going to tell me that this one is off limits? I got into a lot of trouble for putting my hand in the water to test out whether it was the right temperature to dive into. Security came rushing over and apparently was going to kick us out. Well, this child was in need of a nap and a snack so as soon as I was scolded the photos ops were out of the question. I insisted on being carried through the rest of the tour AND would NOT turn around for any photos. The conversation went something like this: Honey, turn around for the picture. NO! Honey, please turn around for the picture and smile. I WILL NOT!! ¬†Mickey and Minnie may not want to see you if they hear you have been a bad girl. NO! We have many photos of my burying my face in Oliver or my dad while they have a frustrated smile on their face. Folks, you must carve out nap time when taking a child on a trip. It’s just a must.

Disneyland was the last stop and the best stop. Sugar kept me going at full speed ahead and Mickey and Minnie kept me on my best behavior. Pirates of the Caribbean, The Tea Cups, Dumbo, The Jungle Book characters, it was a child’s complete dream. I wanted to stay forever, but we were kept to just one day. What I sort of noticed at Disneyland was people staring at us. I thought it was unusual that people thought Oliver was my grandfather and that my dad did not correct them. I also recall hearing people ask where my mother was. A small splinter in my heart would open up, but my two dad’s would assure me that Minnie was just around the corner and a sugary treat was sure to follow. Their small way of distracting me and healing the wound as best they could.

Quick Hello

Holy Smokes! I have been laid out with some health stuff for the last month so I apologize for the silence here, but ya gotta take care of yourself.

I am working on a new post to the Gay Life Story so stay tuned. In the mean time allow me to just exert a little energy to rant:

The Catholic Church went from being disgustingly silent on the child rape scandal to now hiding behind the ridiculous notion that gay people are to blame for child rape? Their number 2 guy behind the Pope decided it was gay people who are raping children and they have infiltrated their church. Are you kidding me? Wake up! We have known since 1981 that being gay is not a choice and we can see it in the brain (there is actually a difference in the brain that controls sexual preference) and we have also known since the 1950’s that it is white straight males who make the majority of child rapists and NOT gay men.

This is my reaction to number 2:

Screw you church!

why Maxwell, why?

I love Maxwell. I have been a supporting and adoring fan since his first album. I have seen every single one of his concerts and spent my hard earned money to get the best seats possible. I buy magazines he gives interviews for, TiVo his television appearances … get the message? I love his music! But, I find myself incredibly disappointed with him. He has teamed up with Jill Scott who if you didn’t know is a bigot. That’s right I said it, a bigot. Yes, she is incredibly talented but quite frankly she sucks. I saw her when she first hit the scene with her first album. So, me and 4 other girls went to see her. Life was fantastic at this concert until she decided to call out an interracial couple in the middle of a song. She wanted all of the black women to sing to his man, a black man, who was there with his white wife. The song: Do You Remember Me? Which as Ms. Scott explained to the audience was about black men who date women who don’t look like their “mama’s.” She sang to this man and his wife. He was visibly shaken and his wife was reduced to tears. They left. It was hateful. It divided the audience racially and apparently Ms. Scott still feels this way. Check out her interview today on CNN:
Jill Scott talks about interracial couples

I am trying to get the video to show up in the post … bare with me

Look for this movie!!

I had the pleasure of seeing this movie called Touching Home. I still cannot believe that this movie was from two first time film makers. The movie is based on a true story of the directors, writers, producers relationship with their alcoholic father and the dreams they all had.

I encourage you to see this movie on the big screen. Ed Harris stars in this touching movie with Brad Dourif and Robert Forster. Let me know what you thing and check the trailer out here!

Yes! Ashford has been booted out of the closet

Roy Ashburn has been pushed out of the closet! This man has a horrible record on gay rights. Now I know many of us are jumping up and down at his demise, but this should be his welcoming party. He has been in pain for a long time. A self inflicted pain, true, but we should embrace this man for now being true to himself. Help him see that we do not hate him the way he has hated all of us.

Former Ebay CEO called out

California Watch reports that Republican Governor hopeful, Meg Whitman, abused the Ebay corporate jet. She abused it so much and charged shareholders $3.2 million for personal use that Ebay changed how much a CEO could utilize the jet. Clearly they were not happy at the manner in which she flew herself around the country. Yes, a CEO should have some perks in gaining ranks to this position, but when you are running on fiscal responsibility this does not bode well. This is not only disingenuous of her but also shows her feelings on the environment. Oh and by the way … she has spent $39 million of her own cash on her campaign.

I say it again California. Wake up! Fight this chick from gaining office. Do not sit on your hands and watch democracy roll by you and over you.

Part 4, Chapter 4

“I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” The first time I heard this phrase was not at daycare but in the first grade of all places. I couldn’t quite understand what I was supposed to be showing or what they had that I needed to see. And, I was not really sure I wanted to.

First grade was a gateway into everything new. We were still on a half day schedule, but we now had titles: First Graders! Now, we were allowed to play on the Big Playground as opposed to our sheltered Kindergarten playground for the little people. We were now on our way to being Big Girls and Big Boys. First grade was framed with my teacher Ms. McElfresh. She was a tiny woman with big red hair and a strict personality. And, I mean like Texas big. She drove a blue 1976 Mustang (how do I know this? The license plate gave it away). She was the first teacher I recall who was actually impressed with me. She would compliment me on my out loud reading skills, my book reports and my demeanor. I, in turn, tried to impress her even more. I checked out books from the library and would read double of what I was supposed to. I wanted to be her favorite. But, this was not to be. There was a dynamic duo who had gained favoritism from kindergarten and this was Amy and Wendy. *Sigh* To a little girl desperately wanting to fit in, they were perfect. Best of friends, perfect clothes, hair, the way they laughed, smart, the lunches they brought to school and they had mothers who were involved in everything. It was impossible to live up to. They ruled the playground and I just could not understand why everyone crowded around them, or why I felt the need to be a sheep and crowd around too. They were always the stars in the school plays and the teachers could not have loved them more.

We were 6 years old. I just want you to picture this in your mind. 6 years old. One day at lunch a group of kids were headed down to the baseball diamond near where the trees lined the fence. It was an area a school yard duty may not see you. I followed with the other little sheep crowding to see what was in the middle. As we moved behind the biggest tree I could see what was going on. A very hollow and familiar pit formed in my stomach; I was uncomfortable and felt something was not right. One little girl, Katlyn, and one little boy, Mark, were in the middle of everyone. They both were giggling at each other and at the audience. One bigger child screamed at them “pull it down!” And they did. They pulled their pants down and showed each other their genitals. Katlyn reached over and poked at Mark’s; Mark reciprocated. I was horrified. I mean horrified! But, I was also very curious and could not look away. The older kid looked at me and said “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” I looked at him, I looked at my two classmates pulling up their pants and I ran. Somehow something in me knew I would be tagged with an unsavory reputation if I conceded. I ran up the small hill and sat on the tire swing by myself until the recess bell rang. I was cast aside for a few days, but I didn’t care. I even watched the kids continue to go down to the trees everyday while new sheep showed their parts.

It was the first time I recall being cast away from my peers and unfortunately it was something I would have to get used to. I joined Brownies out of pressure from the other girls mothers, but never felt apart of them. I was always more comfortable with the boys, but the boys were beginning to separate themselves from the girls. While I always found someone to pass the school time with I never had a consistent playmate at school except for my imagination. Daycare was different because we had cliques of kids and I was in one of them (probably due to my longstanding relationship with the daycare family). But, school was lonely many times as I fought to believe I was not different that the others.

Now don’t get me wrong. Hidden Valley was a place where I felt accepted. We were still quite young and had almost no filters of society. We did not care how your parents earned money; all we cared about was playing in the yard. Friends were more of a passing that a connection at this age. I relished in being a smart kid; part of the “early bird” group. And, we had our other awkward kids with learning disabilities, suffering abuse in the home, not comfortable with English – we had them all and I felt comfortable with them all. I was like Cher winning her Oscar “You love me, you really love me” … right?