Wednesday, March 30, 2011

This month Aiden and I were asked to be guest speakers at the Asian Pacific Islander Equality LA meeting.  As usual, I spent a few days writing out a speech and practicing it . . . preparation makes me more comfortable.  And as usual Aiden showed up ready to "wing" it.  Sigh . . . .I wish I had that talent!  My husband, who is my greatest supporter, offered to take me to the meeting. Thrilled, I saw two benefits . . . I wouldn't have to maneuver the dark streets of LA alone at night and Tad could see Aiden speak.  What I didn't anticipate was how the evening unfolded.

After dinner and updates, Aiden and I began our speeches.  I turned to my husband and invited him to chime in with any thoughts.  He smiled, nodded his head up and down, but I knew he would probably not say a word. Twenty minutes later, speeches over, the floor opened up for questions.  Unexpectedly, one member directed a question to both my husband and I regarding our feelings about Aiden's transition.  I don't recall a word I said, because Tad's words became all that I remember.  In a voice which quivered with emotion he spoke his feelings, "I loved my daughter so much . . . . .but I love my son even more.  And I am so proud of my son."  My eyes filled with tears and my heart felt as if it would burst open with love. Aiden's father, reserved and ever so private, publicly shared his love and admiration for his son in front of twenty-five people he barely knew. In spite of the challenging times our family has faced, moments such as this have become a symbol of the extraordinary love that has defined our journey.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Food for the Soul. . . .

Hidden behind some tall hedges in Santa Barbara is a place I go to find gentleness, space to listen to the voices of my heart and breathe in peace. With my best friend, we languish over breakfast under a gazebo within this secret garden, sit by a crackling warm fireplace to keep warm and talk about our dreams.  This time serves not as a luxury for me, but necessary moments of tranquility that fill up my heart and spirit, so I can return to do the work I so passionately love with those that mean the most to me . .  . my family, my friends and the young people of the LGBT community.

What are you doing to take care of yourself, so that you can be the best spouse, parent, son/daughter, sister/brother, employee, friend or member of the community?  Simpson House is where I replenish my soul.  Where do you replenish yours?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

As a scared and uncertain mother when my oldest child first came out to me, I was assured at a PFLAG,(Parents, Family and Friends for Lesbians and Gays support group), event that this LGBT & Straight Ally Community I was entering would be there for me and my family.  Since that day that support has never left our side.  And now, once again this community came together to support us in Arcadia as we asked for love and acceptance for all families.
About 100 people stood as one to make a statement of support for the countless LGBT families and individuals not only in Arcadia, but in neighboring cities.  Chanting and singing filled the morning air.  Big and small rainbow flags fluttered in the wind.  And there were signs questioning the Arcadia Mayor and his decision.  But most of all there were handmade posters of love and acceptance raised up high for all to see.
My son’s courage inspires me each day to be courageous.  And what I saw in the early morning in the city I call my home, were other brave individuals standing up for love, speaking out for those who may not be able to speak yet, and showing those in the LGBT community that they do not have to walk this path alone.  I understood on a very deep level why the LGBT community has chosen the word PRIDE to represent their cause.  Yesterday my heart swelled with pride as from near and far, as LGBT individuals and straight allies we linked arms to ask Arcadia to accept who we are and love all families including our own.