Archive | March 15, 2013

A salute Senator Portman and his son

It’s amazing how having your kid come out can change a conservative’s viewpoint and I never understand why they can’t get there without their kid making them think. Gay children come from straight parents. Why is that so hard for some people to grasp? Now Senator Rob Portman’s kid has made him change his views. Well good for him.

The same thing happened in our family after Mom and Dad finally figured out my brother and I were gay. They were registered Republicans and after several years of adjustment and finally accepting we weren’t doing it to be obnoxious or to hurt them figured out that maybe church, the bible and society might be wrong. When they lost a friend to AIDS in the early 80’s, a friend from church choir no less, it got real. At the time Ron Reagan was saying it was a punishment from God and refused to allocate any money to research treatment or to meet anyone in the White House who had it. If he hadn’t been so all fired stupid there might have been a cure sooner and no epidemic.

When the penny finally dropped and Mom got tired of hearing nastiness from the Republicans she started voting Democratic but stayed a registered Republican. Mom decided she could no longer vote for people who wanted to hurt her children. It took her years to get there but she did and I suspect that’s where Sen Portman came to stand.

The fact is that if you have a heart and think it through and you know who your children are, a parent changes their mind and comes out too.

If they are honest they realize their child didn’t wake up one morning and decide to make life difficult for the parent. The child is honestly being who they were born to be. At that point their child not being able to get married, get a good job, visit their partner in the hospital or simply walk down the street without being harassed becomes important.

How many times does it have to be said – Gay children come from straight parents. Parents raise you to be straight because they assume that is what you are going to be. That fact that we buck the programming that our parents and society surround us with says a great deal about how strong the impulse to be true to ourselves is. Heterosexism is every where. We can’t avoid it. It’s in movies and tv and books and advertising and house of worship and school and we still come out. Doesn’t that say how deeply entrenched our sexuality is?

I salute Sen Portman for his brave choice. He may lose the next election but he has a proud son.

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I bought a new extension of myself

I’m feeling guilty in some ways and elated in others. I spent part of my first tax refund in years on a new camera. I paid all the bills first but still… My poor old Sony was getting cranky and not always opening it’s lens fully so I had to tap it to wake up and one of my expensive back up batteries would no longer recharge. It was the latest thing when I bought it 6 years ago but I’ve taken so many pictures with it. I’ve uploaded over 11,000 pictures on Facebook alone. I had to get an external hard drive for all of my photos. In short, I take a lot of pictures.

I ‘m getting a last year’s model Sony, Sony DSC-H200 Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD. It’s a bit bigger but it no longer takes an expensive only available from Sony battery. It takes AAs which I can get a charger for and if I’m out and about I can buy a battery if one goes flat. This Sony is also programmable and not totally automatic which I hate. The meters always are too hot to suit me on automatic. Hot = no vivid colour only washed out pictures. I hate that. I wanted it for this weekend but I didn’t get the state refund in time so I’m hoping for the best at the Getty tomorrow. I think I’ll cope.

I’m really looking forward to the longer zoom capabilities without having to go back to having a huge long, heavy telephoto lens.

Way back when I was getting my degree as a Naturalist I also had ambitions to be the next great Nat Geo wildlife photographer and ended up with one of my 6 minors in Photography. All I really did was get myself into a big hole of debt because film photography was incredibly expensive by the time you have bought camera, film, film reloader, film developer, paper, camera accessories etc. I got a really good portfolio out of it and placed in a Kodak Student film contest with all three of my pics my prof entered but I just couldn’t afford to try to make a living that way and it didn’t help that R Reagan put a hiring freeze on both the EPA, Park Service and the Forest Service right after I graduated. I was number 3 on the hiring list for all the good it did me. By the time it came off the Park Service was no longer run by Naturalists and had switched its focus to hiring people with law enforcement degrees and I had no interest in being a police officer. So I never got my deeply desired Smoky the Bear hat.

This is how I eventually ended up in insurance land and not in a forest except on days off. I even stopped taking pictures for many years, almost 15 years and then I broke down and got my first digital camera and discovered my love again. I’m still pretty much a purest when it comes to camera work. I don’t like doing tricks or corrections in Photoshop. I use it mainly for slideshows. But I still love the art of seeing and the delight in the moment of capturing exactly what I wanted and I love the occasional surprise that shows up when I get home.