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Yourstory - It IS important

By March 27, 2013

I was born behind the "Orange Curtain" in one of histories most notorious US Cities, surf city, Huntington Beach. I grew up with my mother, in Corona, CA, on the "wrong side of the tracks" and thank god for that small favor.  The summer before my senior year I returned to the Orange Curtain County to live with my father. The summer of 1992 saw the beach riots, skin-heads ruled main street and white affluent surfers and republicans ruled the sand and streets elsewhere in the city.  I spent my teen years in my family's auto repair business fighting the "awe, you're a girl what could you knows". I spent my early 20's helping LDS Young Adult Ward Members as the Ward Emergency Preparedness Co-President, a position I was MORE than capable of holding without a man by my side.  "What could you know about helping these people out, this costs money? After all you're just a young woman, and he's got an MBA from BYU Idaho. Work with him. Let him guide you."  All the while, I watch him prepare 72 hour packs that cost thousands of dollars, while our public goal was to teach preparedness on $5 a week, and how to easily build small space storage solutions for apartment and roommate situations. Which I, sans my partner successfully did while he worked against me showing off his, all be them useful, toys from REI and Eddie Bauer.

My mid and late 20's found me fighting the realization that my father was (is?) a bigot, when the black man I loved drove a 6-month wedge between what was finally our blossoming father-daughter relationship (we still have yet I fear to fully recover).  I walked beside my best friend (at the time) when she was excommunicated for "failing to repent of her thoughts of impurity regarding members of the same sex", even though she had never acted upon them.  She sought help from the men who were entrusted with her eternal soul, and in-turn one at a time pushed her from the flock, the only flock she had ever known.  My following her that day, started my own descent from the Church, NOT the only flock I had ever known.  I was not raised in The Church, but I found my religion, and began my real relationship with God, at a time when I desperately needed it.  I also left, when my relationship with God became strained because of the Men who ran it and their beliefs.  The nail in the churches coffin was my boyfriend at the time, telling me that I was broken, read not a virgin, and that he had received revelation that being with me would leave his soul in damnation.  The conversation we were having was over a non-carnal power game that we played once in a while (a VERY mild BDSM trip...that was wonderful and an outlet for my non-virginal soul).

I have fought battles within myself drumming up the courage, embarrassingly calling up two friends one afternoon - I was terrified of asking out this girl...the advice was simple. "What do you want to do with her?" April asked. Then chuckling continued, "on this date".

"Take her to dinner, a movie, the dungeon, I don't know.  Fuck fuck fuck, what the hell is wrong with me?" I sobbed, hysterically, into the phone blocks from this girls house. "Some big bad dom I am huh?" I continued, nervously chuckling into the phone.

"It's just asking her out. What's the worst that could happen?” was her calm, yet oh so not simple (in my mind) response.  Christ I could feel her and her girlfriend looking at each other with such incredulity over my rising hysteria.

What was I thinking? I can't fall in love with a girl! My father will disown me.  I thought back to the distress it had caused him when I brought Michael, a handsome, educated, well off and strong black man to dinner years before.  I am a 31-year-old woman, fuck him I thought. And in that moment, I knew I would be fine.  I started my car, smiled looking at my speakerphone, so very glad that April and Jamie could not see me.  I was "Miss Vonn uber dom" and they, until that moment, well the truth is I don't know what they thought about me, but they now knew me a little better now, still I hesitated.  "There has to be more than that woman" I gripped the wheel with my left hand, hysteria rising steadily again, my right shaking the phone, as if to elicit some, some magic lesbionic password from the handsome dyke on the other end of the phone, "girls are not that easy, I know...I am..."

I felt a twinge in my heart, my voice trailing as my own conscious kicked me in the side of the head whispering, ok yelling, "hey dumbass if you know so much why are YOU calling HER?" In an instant, the angel on the other shoulder cooed soothingly into my ear "cause you needed to know you'd be loved anyway".   I smiled, looked in the mirror cursed my red eyes, sobbed my thanks to April for the advice, now mildly embarrassed at my hysteria. I put the car in drive, and pulled around the corner, to pick up this woman and ask her out.

I have questioned my sexuality many, many times, who hasn't.   I have watched good people be torn from those they love, watched their family members lose positions in church and the workplace because of their child’s sexual orientation.  They lost everything (cars, home, college fund savings) but their family first attitude has since helped them recover financially (that girl my old friend, graduated with NO Debt from ASU 10 years ago, and now works for the California Governors Office).  I have grown and changed since then too. A wise young man, who I am still very much in love with, and I sat for months during an very poignant point in our own relationship discussing the ability of languages to evolve and evolution of societies and man. Neither side won that particular battle. But I feel he eventually won the war, because my mind was opened to the one last barrier that remained grasping to that which I had known to be the one truth in my life until that point.  I would marry a man, and live happily ever after.

I am relating these bits of my life to you today, because I want you to know me. I want readers to understand part of who I am, that they may read my stories and know they come from a place of admiration for what some might think are insignificant moments in our lives. However, I see every individual that I write about as courageous and strong, and it is this strength to be who they are, that deserves to be recorded.  We report on what some of our readers see as everyday benign occurrences.  But each and every one of them has a rich story, that has made them who they are today, champions of human rights. They are warriors for a cause, some things as simple to us today say as the right to dance with your boyfriend in a bar.

I am lucky enough to know some of these amazing individuals whom have been around since before the modern civil rights movement began, Alexi Romanoff, Rio Boreno, Ces Williams and of course Dave I am honored to know you, to be able to talk with you when our paths cross as friends.  We live in a moment, that these folks (and millions of others) have worked LONG and HARD for, living, hiding, enduring through god only truly knows the whole story. I mourn the loss of champions like Madame Wong, Mr. Marcus and Harvey, all on this eve of major victory. Though I am sure they are now sitting waited with baited breath their shining spirits seated beside some handsome young men, with a wide joyous grins watching with baited breath with the rest of their loved ones.

I want to record these stories, for it's important to me, history, herstory whatever you choose to call it, it deserves to be recorded and preserved and told.  Some lessons need to be shouted from the mountaintops so that the lessons of the past, and the lessons of RIGHT NOW not lost or diluted with complacency (as some lessons have apparently become) for those who come after us.  You know, that whole, one day I’m going to tell my grandson that I lived before cell phones story that we joke about. Well what about those who lived before television, radio, telephones, electricity...bathroom, work-place, marriage and “plain old” equal treatment under constitutional law.  

I may love two men and date a third, each of those men having their own stories.  I may fall in love with a woman in the future, I don't know what the future holds for me.  But I know, as long as Dave lets me I'll be here telling youstory dear reader.

Oh, that girl?  Shut me down, one sentence, eight words, "I know, not happening, glad that's over, finally."