Daily Archives: October 11, 2010

>National Coming Out Day

>

Well, I’m out.

Everywhere. Work, friends, family, the neighbors. The checkers at Kroger. I don’t think I keep it a secret at all.

Now, of course, that doesn’t mean it‘s easy, nor that it’s been easy. I struggled with coming out when I was younger like almost gay person struggled. I remember specifically the day my mother asked if I was gay. Well, I wasn’t ready to say Yes, so I almost shouted No, and then left my parent’s home. I didn’t come back for a few months because I was angry and hurt and ashamed.

I had no idea what they would think or say or do, but I was ashamed that I hadn’t said Yes that day. I was angry that my mother had to ask; I was hurt that I couldn’t be honest.

So, why couldn’t I have said Yes that day? 

Simply put, I wasn’t ready. And you–and I’m talking to you–need to come out when you’re damned good and ready. But when you do, and it will take time coming out to everyone, you will feel the weight lifted. You will feel like you should have done it long ago.

Yes, even if your friends turn their backs. You’ll find new friends.

And, yes, even if your family turns their backs. That can be hard, feeling your family pull away. But then you can create your own, new family. Gay people often create their own families–if their biological ones aren’t quite so accepting, so open–and you’ll get to make the family of your dreams, who will love you, and better still, like you, for simply being you.

It does get better. And it gets easier.

And the more of us that are out, the less afraid people will be.

I remember when Carlos and I first moved to Smallville. I was worried about small town South Carolina because I’d lived in Miami and California before that, and it was easiER, not easy, to come out in places where there are more liberal thinkers.

So, when someone asked why I had moved to Smallville from Miami, I jokingly asked, Have you ever been to Miami? Then I muttered something about hurricanes causing me–I didn’t say us–to move, and that was partly true. But I felt that same old sense of shame creeping over me again, whenever i would say me instead of we; and I didn’t want to go back to that, no matter how small the town.

So, the next time someone asked what brought me to South Carolina, I simply said, My partner got a job offer up here and we were ready to move away from hurricanes.

Imagine my surprise, when the next thing I heard was: Oh, what does he do?

It’s simple. I was out again.

And it does make things easier. There isn’t that pause before you answer, so you can form a non-gender-specific response. It’s still Carlos and I. There isn’t that awkward moment when someone asks what your wife does, and I say, Well, my husband works for…..

It does get better. It does get easier.

So, if you aren’t out, come out. If you’re ready. If you aren’t ready, that’s okay, but I can guarantee you that it’s fine to be gay.

in fact, it’s downright fabulous.

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Filed under Bob, Carlos, Coming Out, Family, LGBT

>That’s Our Nikki: Loose With The Truth

>It was just a few weeks ago that I posted about Nikki Haley’s job as a fundraiser for a Lexington County hospital, and how the job was created for her although she had no experience as a fundraiser, and how the hospital board was not allowed to vote on her being offered the $110,000-a-year position.

But when Nikki Haley left that job as a hospital fundraiser last April, the explanation given was that she wanted to work full time on running for governor.

Not quite accurate, apparently.
It seems that it all wasn’t so nice and easy when Nikki Haley “left” that job. Records obtained by The Associated Press reveal emails between Nikki Haley and her former employers show that she did not want to leave or take a hiatus, as the hospital offered. But, after a negotiation between attorneys, Nikki Haley did, in fact, leave, with $35,000 in severance and “a promise from hospital administrators they would say nothing to embarrass her or question her integrity.”

Nikki Haley worked just eight months in that job,m and when she left, she was given three months severance pays, as well as $8,000 in unused vacation pay. Both her campaign, and a hospital spokesperson, said Nikki Haley left voluntarily.
But then there are those emails.
It seems that foundation director, Tim James, emailed hospital CEO Mike Biediger–the man who created the job for Nikki Haley and gave it to her without a vote from the board–that he was having trouble arranging a meeting with Haley:
“Despite my constant efforts to have Nikki come in over the past three days, she has failed to come in to meet with me. To me, this exemplifies that fact that a leave of absence is warranted.”
Haley and James did meet on March 15th–according to a March 30 e-mail–and James accused Haley of not working during the previous two weeks. He wrote she was being put on annual leave until the issue was resolved, unless she wanted to return to work according to her written duties–which included spending at least 10 hours weekly in the office and attending various meetings.
Nikki Haley responded by saying, “I do not choose to take annual leave, nor do I consent to ‘being placed on annual leave.’”
Nikki Haley also denied ever stopping work, and accused Tim James of changing staff meeting days.
She then referred the issue to attorneys.
So much for leaving amicably.
And then, as she began her run for governor, Nikki Haley painted an entirely different picture of her work for the foundation. She said she was proud of her work with the foundation; she said she was not asked to leave the hospital for political or other reasons.
Nikki Haley: “No, no. When you work at something, you want to give everything. We were getting to the point where I knew it was time to walk away out of fairness to them and fairness to me. I had the really big event, and it was a successful event. I finished it and thought once that project was over, then it would be irresponsible for me to stay on when I knew that I had a governor’s race to focus on.”
Two stories. Who to believe?
Not Nikki Haley.
Once again, we have a Nikki Haley version, and another version backed up by emails contradicting her. It seems Nikki Haley took a job knowing she’d be running for governor; it seems she had trouble meeting with her boss, while working just ten hours a week; it seems Nikki has one story about why she left, and the hospital has another.
Nikki Haley was paid nearly a years salary, of $110,000, plus an additional $8,000, for working less than eight months.
That is not what South Carolina needs as governor.
Nikki Haley is wrong for South Carolina.

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Filed under Florida Family Policy Council, Nikki Haley, Republican, South Carolina