Thursday, July 02, 2015

Same-Sex Marriage: 'Too Silenced' or 'Too In Your Face'?

To tell you the truth, even I'm sick of this legalization of same-sex marriage. It's not because I'm against it -- I mean, how can I be? I'm married to a woman. But it's the back and forth conversations (or arguments) of those who are for it and those who are against it. I'm pretty much over it, mainly because of all of the ugliness I have seen out there. I have heard outrageous arguments -- anything from, "Well wut' next? Yew gonna marry yer' brother or sister now? Yew gonna wanna hook up with your uncle? How 'bout yer' pet," to "It's a sin and you're going straight to hell in a handbasket!" (I never understood why they would place a handbasket in the mix.) For one, not every gay or lesbian out there is a Christian. Some may happen to be Atheists. That's just for starters. And two: comparing incest and bestiality to being gay or lesbian is just ignorant. And thirdly, as you've seen plenty of my arguments on this blog -- being gay is not a sin. Reference here if you need to see where I stand on that through Biblical scripture, because I'm too tired to write it all out again.

It's no longer same-sex marriage, gay marriage --- it's just good ol' marriage now. The most awful thing to see is one of your closest friends or even perhaps a family member comment on a public post on same-sex marriage legalization, to find that they are totally against it. Listen: not everybody is going to agree that this is "right" or this is "wrong" and that's OK. Live your life the way you want to. Your personal convictions and relationship with God or lack thereof is your own business. Let people see their true colors by the way they treat others either on social media or in person. I have seen quite a few antigay slurs being used like, "Don't support these fags" as well as encouraging violent acts by saying things like, "Go kill yourselves!" Oddly enough, they all came from self-proclaimed Christians. Way to bring people closer to God.

But then there's the silence.

It's the silence of those who you thought supported you, but didn't have the balls to show their support because they don't agree with your lifestyle perhaps didn't congratulate you on the legalization of your union with your partner for whatever reason. Silence definitely speaks volumes. Or maybe, is the silence just a symbol of, 'I really couldn't give a rat's ass because it should've been legal all along'? Nah. I have been reading many posts that are complaining over the silence of this new law that's been passed. They are whining over who didn't "congratulate them". They're accusing their own family members of not approving of same-sex marriage because of the silence. They're insinuating that the silence alone may be the root of bigotry.

Nope.

Wrong.

Here's a little story I'm going to share with you, so take it for what it's worth. And I'm not sharing this story in order to shame anyone or accuse anyone of not being supportive. I'm just making a point. Back in October of 2008, I was walking down the 'sandy aisle' of Provincetown's beach to greet my wife so that we could get married in front of family and friends who had joined us. All year we prepared this quaint little wedding on our favorite beach next to our favorite restaurant, to which we had the reception dinner afterwards. Given the fact that Provincetown, MA is about five plus hours away, I didn't expect many people to come. It's hard to drive that far and to take time off from work. So needless to say, not one family member of mine were present. Madelene's mother and her new husband were there to support us, as well as my closest friends.

This shot right here is me trying to get my heels out of the sand to stand next to my to-be-wife. I remember what I was thinking at that very moment. It was all I could do to hide the tears. I will admit, it did sort of distract me from the present moment, but I pulled it together. The thoughts of my beautiful sisters and my parents watching on would have been the best thing ever. But that didn't happen for me and it wasn't because they didn't love me and my wife -- it was because life isn't always favoring. Let's just say they didn't attend my wedding because they had reservations about supporting same-sex marriage. Suck it up and live your life. Who cares. Let it go. I don't support a lot of things certain heterosexual marriages do -- but it's none of my business. If people are uncomfortable attending an event that they're not supportive of -- don't force them to do it just because you feel it's being "discriminatory". There are some people who happen to have strong convictions about this which sucks big time to which you just have to accept.  I guess it's the same for business owners who would refuse baking a cake for you. For me, I would just walk out and go to another baker who would be more than happy to cater for my event. Simple. Is it discrimination? Well, with freedom of religion, this is their right.  As much as we don't like that law, they have the right to not like the new law of legalizing same-sex marriages.

Please don't confuse this with being weak or that I have given up on taking a stance on what the true biblical scriptures tell me about "sin", and how I interpret them to be because homosexuality is not a sin. Please never think I have stopped being an advocate for the LGBT community -- I will always be supportive. But when does it come to the point where we just have to say, "OK, they don't agree and that's that?" It's not "giving up" -- it's living your life without the need for anyone's approval. Fight for your rights (as we have done), but to the right people. And look how far we've come. As old as the hashtag #LoveWins is -- how true, how true! Love really does win. When people get a law passed that is not only sincere and genuine, but more about human rights than anything else -- it'll always win. Laws based on hatred and bigotry, like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act will always have problems because of the nature of the beast. When the agenda is to discriminate show their religious freedom, then their true colors rises up to the surface to show 'Merica how "tolerant" they are.

Now go get married -- do whatever you want. I don't care. Neither should anyone else.

Just be happy.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Same-Sex Marriage Legal Nationwide

Just Married 2008 in MA.
What a huge day for the United States! What an amazing accomplishment we have worked so hard for! I never use this many exclamation marks, but today is different! The U.S. Supreme Court now recognizes that the Fourteenth Amendment requires states to license marriages between two people of the same sex. Back in 2008, my wife and I were married in Massachusetts, because New York didn't recognize same-sex marriage. We waited 14 years before we could actually marry one another, not only in the eyes of God, but in the eyes of the legal system as well. It was the same time California was going through some growing pains between legalizing it, and then Proposition 8 slapping it back down.

Legalizing same-sex marriage is not going to be an easy transition for many conservatives who feel that same-sex marriage is ruining their "sanctity" of traditional marriage. I think many "traditional marriages" ruined their own sanctity by just looking at the divorce rate alone. Religion has been the cause of the "preservation" of traditional marriage, but not everyone is religious nor follows a particular set faith. And as you know, as a Christian myself, I truly believe it is not a sin to be gay or lesbian. All scriptures, including Sodom and Gomorrah refer to promiscuity, reckless sex and rape -- not love between two people of the same gender. All references to Leviticus is a historical reference in the Old Testament, to which Christians do not follow. The Old Law was abolished once Jesus died on the cross for us.

No one will ever be saved by “obeying the law” — as it says in the scriptures... 

Galatians 2:15-16 —"You and I are Jews by birth, not 'sinners' like the gentiles. And yet we Jewish Christians know that we became right with God, not by doing what the law commands, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be accepted by God because of our faith in Christ - and not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be saved by obeying the law."

Conservatives have taken the biblical scriptures and twisted them in order to keep a "moral society" while hiding under their religious blanket of bigotry. They even condemn those who don't even follow Christianity. They wanted to instill antigay laws, like "Freedom of Religion" which they can utilize in order to turn gays and lesbians down if they happen to stumble across their businesses. This also includes having the "religious freedom" for EMTs and medical crews to have the right to turn down a homosexual patient. It's hatred at its finest. "Just let them die -- they're gay. We can turn the other cheek."

So congratulations, LGBT USA! I am so elated by this news. Finally, we are seen as human beings. We are seen as people who can love one another. We are seen as people who can finally say, "I do," to the person we want to grow old with. We don't have to worry about not being able to see our loved ones in the hospital because we aren't considered a "family member". And with that, we can begin to start families and show "traditional marriage" that we are equal, and that we are traditional because we've been here all along.

Nothing can stop us now.

Congratulations!

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Do You Really Believe the Confederate Flag Only Symbolizes "Heritage" and "Southern Pride"?

There has been so much chatter on social media about the Confederate battle flag. After the Civil War ended, the Confederate flag symbolized Southern pride and served as a memorial for the soldiers who had died in battle. But we cannot ignore the reason why this flag -- why the Civil War started in the first place. South Carolina was the first to secede from the Union in December of 1860 shortly after Abraham Lincoln, from the anti-slavery Republican Party was elected president. An article in the U.S. History's website states this: "Defenders of slavery argued that the sudden end to the slave economy would have had a profound and killing economic impact in the South where reliance on slave labor was the foundation of their economy. The cotton economy would collapse. The tobacco crop would dry in the fields. Rice would cease being profitable. Defenders of slavery argued that if all the slaves were freed, there would be widespread unemployment and chaos. This would lead to uprisings, bloodshed, and anarchy. They pointed to the mob's "rule of terror" during the French Revolution and argued for the continuation of the status quo, which was providing for affluence and stability for the slaveholding class and for all free people who enjoyed the bounty of the slave society."

And even with "Southern pride and heritage and a reminder of their fallen soldiers" -- this flag stands for much more than that. It stands for everything we've worked so hard to overcome. It symbolizes slavery, white supremacy hate groups and racism. There are many people who still live in the past, holding up their Confederate battle flag or throwing one up on the back of their old pick up truck. It absolutely is imperative to remove this flag from governmental buildings and in public places in general. But it is also equally important to preserve this time in history for learning and education. Some say the Confederate battle flag should only be seen in museums, and I wholeheartedly agree with that.

Let me ask you something...

When you think of "good fortune" and "well-being", what comes to mind?

The definition of those descriptions were all of what symbolized the swastika 5,000 years before Adolf Hitler designed the Nazi flag. In the United States Holocaust Museum, it states this: "The motif (a hooked cross) appears to have first been used in Neolithic Eurasia, perhaps representing the movement of the sun through the sky. To this day it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism. It is a common sight on temples or houses in India or Indonesia. Swastikas also have an ancient history in Europe, appearing on artifacts from pre-Christian European cultures. The symbol experienced a resurgence in the late nineteenth century, following extensive archeological work such as that of the famous archeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Schliemann discovered the hooked cross on the site of ancient Troy. He connected it with similar shapes found on pottery in Germany and speculated that it was a 'significant religious symbol of our remote ancestors.' In the beginning of the twentieth century the swastika was widely used in Europe. It had numerous meanings, the most common being a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness. However, the work of Schliemann soon was taken up by völkisch movements, for whom the swastika was a symbol of “Aryan identity” and German nationalist pride."

I guess you can see where I'm going with this.

The swastika was a positive symbol historically speaking. It is also a symbol of the most horrifying act that has ever took place: the Holocaust. It symbolizes antisemitism, hatred and murder. There is zero tolerance for a swastika to be placed anywhere. So why are some people so adamant about placing the Confederate battle flag up in public? This should have been removed years ago. Unfortunately, it took one heinous crime to open the eyes of many people who were immune to the meaning of this flag -- the real meaning of what it really stands for. I doubt you would ever see an African-American holding this flag up. Hey, it's part of their history too, but it's a grim reminder of what the South initially wanted: slavery.

I usually don't dabble in these types of politics, but wha struck me was the tolerance of the racist flag that's been held up for so long. What really upsets me are people who actively stand behind the Confederate battle flag, saying it was just about preserving their heritage and remembering fallen soldiers -- that's all. They want to forget because deep down, they are aware of the atrocities that have taken place. They are aware, that somewhere underneath it all of their excuses, there is some level of bigotry and hatred without having to say it. What type of people do you typically see holding up the flag or has one up on their house, truck or even their lawn? Think. Who held up this flag before shooting innocent black people in a church? Dylan Roof had no qualms about his "Southern pride" and burning up the American flag.

I think as much as we would like to "preserve heritage" -- we also have to preserve respect for one another and realize that there are people who feel hurt when looking at these symbols, and rightfully so.

What do you think?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Womanhood: Earning Your Tigress Stripes

Every year my wife and I take two types of vacations: one is either a trip to a beach house 'wherever' we choose and the other one is just a good ol' fashioned "staycation", where we get to stay home and take little day trips wherever we want. Staycations are great though. We get to fully enjoy our home with no stressors about money or questions about if our dog can come tag along with us or not. From BBQs and hanging out with the family, to going around our hometown discovering new places to visit or dine. So now on our first day back to status "norm" -- the happy face you see on my pup has turned to a sad look of, "Well what happened? Why aren't we going bye bye today?" And I'm trying to incorporate a two mile walk every day in the park with her so that we both don't get depressed. Wouldn't hurt to lose a few pounds anyway.

Of course as a writer, I had a lot of things on my mind. Since I was in pain for much of the end part of my time off, I couldn't help but think of something.

I remember an article I read about a transgender woman named, "Chelsea Attonley" who wanted to return as a man and reuse his original name, "Matthew". One of the biggest debates of this was that his welfare benefits paid for this option, and now he wanted the taxpayers to also pay for the return of being a man once again.

But that is not the issue I want to talk about. It's what was said.

"I feel like I am living a lie," 30-year-old Matthew "Chelsea" Attonley told the Mirror. "I have always longed to be a woman, but no amount of surgery can give me an actual female body."

"It is exhausting putting on make-up and wearing heels all the time. Even then I don't feel I look like a proper woman," he complained, adding that "I suffered from depression and anxiety as a result of the [female] hormones, too. I can't work at the moment because I am too upset after what I have been through. I have realized it would be easier to stop fighting the way I look naturally and accept that I was born a man physically," he said.

Now, as a transgender advocate, I must say that this person was not truly a transgender woman. But why do some transgender women feel the need to exaggerate their femininity to prove that they're now a "real" woman? I remember a transgender friend of mine asked, "Hey Deb, would you mind if I just came over in jeans and no makeup?" I'll never forget that question. I mean -- doesn't every single woman out there love to just go casual once in a while? So I said, "Umm, would I mind? Isn't that what every girl does when she's hanging out with her friends? Who cares?" Do they feel they would be less feminine -- less "woman-like" if they went all natural once in a while? And I believe that's the fear -- to possibly appear as a "man".

I sometimes joke around saying, "I want to have my reassignment surgery now," because it is absolutely, excruciatingly painful to be a woman. In fact, I am having surgery to remove all of my womanhood (partial hysterectomy) so that I can live a normal life. I have what's called, dysmenorrhea. It's excessive menstraul pain that interferes daily activities. It disrupts. life. entirely. There've been times when I was at work sitting at my desk, when the next moment, I was waking up in some conference room with my manager pouring water over my head screaming, "Deb! Wake up!" Shortly after, I would be carried out on a gurney and into the ambulance with all of my coworkers watching out of their cubical windows.

There were quite a few times when I would carry a small bottle of blackberry brandy so it could relieve my pain. Only blackberry brandy would work. It's an old fashion Italian remedy for menstraul cramps. One day while sitting at my desk, I had to leave and take a swig of my brandy in the ladies' room just to try and take the pain away. The 800 mg of Motrin stopped working. I had been taking 800 mg of Motrin since I was 12 years old. Not only did it rip a hole in my stomach, but it left me without any pain relievers to take. At that point, I was admitted to the hospital for pain management. The staff could not believe that 2 Percocets didn't even touch the surface of my pain, to where they had to administer Demerol intravenously.

I stopped working conventional types of jobs because no company would ever allow a woman to take off 2-3 days a month. I am debilitated for the length of 2-3 days -- cannot. function. at. all. I am doubled over rocking back and forth in pain, sometimes crying, sometimes screaming. My doctor has diagnosed me with dysmenorrhea with an "overactive uterus". So now, at the age of 41, I have chosen to remove my uterus and Fallopian tubes. All sorts of mental destress goes into this big decision because it crushes my dreams to ever have a biological baby of my own, even though I would probably adopt anyway. It's the concept of having a choice -- having that option of "I can" if I ever wanted to. Now that has been taken away from me and as a woman, that wreaks havoc on the female brain -- it destroys those little girl dreams of being a mama one day. It really (for a lack of better words) fucks with your head.

And you thought I was crazy now...
But it doesn't stop there. I am also entering my first phases of perimenopause, which isn't fun at all. Some nights I wake up with wet hair. I seriously thought that Madelene had poured a cup of water on me. I then realize, my shirt is drenched as well. So, I have to get up, clean myself off and change. Sometimes right in the middle of the day I'll catch a major hot flash and nothing other than turning the A/C down to 60 degrees will slightly help the situation. Shortly after, the mood swing will hit. That's when you see people running. Between the heart palpitations, anxiety, depression, dizzy spells, migraines, weight gain, insomnia and generalized body aches, it's enough to sit out on a ledge somewhere.

Do you want to know what it feels like being me?

Picture someone holding up a voodoo doll and placing pins on each side of the breasts as an indicator that "Aunt Flo" is about to arrive. Then the pins penetrate the ovaries, letting you know ovulation has set in. And once you are finally in the midst of Flo's visit -- there are days when you cannot leave the bathroom because you are hemorrhaging so badly. The entire restroom looks like a crime scene. It's all you can do to clean up because the lack of blood has you exasperated from the lack of iron.  It's also amazing how brave you can be and decide to go shopping or do something normal when all of the sudden, you have to stop in the middle of an aisle to have your 'pseudo baby' (and that's what it feels like). The blood clots are so large that it almost looks like an aborted fetus. And that's the most disgusting description of what it's like to be a woman. Too much info? Not for someone who goes through it -- they'll completely nod in agreement that this is helluva' curse, or perhaps earned stripes of being a woman.

You're lucky I can't go into the details of child bearing, because I have never had an opportunity to have a child of my own. But I'm sure that's a whole other can-o-beans to endure.

So, to any transgender female thinking about being a full-time woman -- it has little to do with hair and makeup. It hardly identifies you in a flowery dress or nice jewelry. But you do get to experience the emotional ups and downs as a woman with the hormonal therapy. That estrogen can be a real kick in the ass, and if you can stand it -- then you are indeed, quite the woman. You don't need to have gone through the extreme pain that I have endured all my life, because some women never experience that level of intense agony. The hard part isn't about the the makeup, the hair, the nails or dress -- it's about what womanhood penalizes you with emotionally and sometimes physically, so that you can earn your stripes of being a woman and hearing yourself roar.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Caitlyn Jenner: Be a Hero and Decline the Arthur Ashe Courage Award

There are many things in life that require courage, strength and bravery. In fact, I believe every single person on this planet faces some sort of adversity, struggle and cross to bear that requires faith and of course, determination. And without that determination to press on and crush the obstacles ahead of you, then it's all just meaningless. We live in a time when being gay, lesbian or transgender is much more accepted than it was back in the eighties. "Coming out" isn't such a huge shocker anymore, unless your family and friends' "gaydar" was struck by lightening. But even so, family, friends and maybe even coworkers sometimes seem oblivious to someone's 'hint' of homosexuality or transgenderism, merely passing it off as "soft-spoken" (for a male) or a little "rough-around-the-edges" (if it's a woman). Or as my wife puts it, "femme with an edge". Gotta love the LGBT's terminology.

I can only speak from my own experience that "coming out" to my friends and family did not take courage. Well, coming out to Dad meant the possibility of being dropped into the Hudson River with two cement blocks tied around my ankles, so that's a bit different. Ironically, he was the most accepting of all. Being that I was the fourth child, anything was accepted really. It was more like, "Ok, ok ok -- I give up!" I mean, my entire family were all incredibly accepting, but they wanted me to have a "good life" and be "taken care of" -- in the traditional old fashioned sense, which was normal back then. Mom wanted me to marry a Jewish doctor and I wanted to marry a Puerto Rican woman. So, there's that.

Where was I?

Coming out for me wasn't hard at all. In fact, the process of keeping my sexual orientation a secret tore me apart more so. I'm sure it's the same for the transgender community too. On many levels, yes it takes a certain amount of courage to tell the people you love, "Hey, this is me and I'm not going to change." The courage in that is mostly about losing your relationships with family and friends. You definitely see who truly loves you after hearing the big news. It can be the scariest thing to tell your parents that you're gay or transgender. It's also scary to be a young girl telling mom and dad that you're pregnant when you have a few years left of school to finish. So my question would be: is it "courageous" to come out, or is it more about overcoming fear? Or is it the same thing? I honestly can't decide.

When I heard about ESPN's decision to give Caitlyn Jenner the Arthur Ashe Courage Award, I shook my head in disbelief muttering, "No-no-no-no-no-no --- this is not the same." Here you have this ex-athlete who displays her life on a trashy reality TV show probably making millions each episode. (I'll get to my point.) Caitlyn has the capacity and the means to "hide" if she wants to. She can duck past the paparazzi, dive into her luxury car and make her way over to her huge Malibu beach pad. But what about if Caitlyn didn't have the money nor the career history of an ex-athlete and reality TV star? What if she was just an average Jane living in a studio apartment in NYC or LA? Or how about somewhere in the midwest? Do you think the treatment would be the same?

"Oh she looks so beautiful."

Of course she does. Do you know how much money you have to spend in order to achieve a 'well assimilated transition' as she did? (Let's not mention good lighting, photography and photoshop.) Between the years of hormonal therapy, ongoing reconstructive cosmetic surgery, as well as her future (if she chooses) sexual reassignment surgery -- the average person would be in debt for a lifetime. I'm not saying it's the easy way out -- but it sure makes things a lot easier when you can have everything at the tip of your fingers. She isn't going to get beat up in the streets or tortured by her coworkers while pick-packing in some factory because no one will hire her. The struggles for a transgender woman to achieve a career or to just maintain one is devastating.

So in my opinion, the "average transgender woman" has more courage to come out as who she is than say, Caitlyn Jenner. It's the courage to transition and not be protected by body guards and a huge entourage. It's the courage to quit your day job to become 'who you are'. It's the bravery to come back to work and show up as another gender with a whole other name. It's the courage to have to explain to ignorant society that "this is who you are" and that's that. But for Caitlyn -- even the amount of "Christian hatred" that's been spewed all over social media as well as a few TV networks is just the tip of the iceberg of what someone goes through who lives an ordinary life. Yes, it's okay to call Caitlyn a "hero" and look up to her because you're transitioning yourself, and maybe that gives you some sort of hope for our future, but are we taking this too far?

Does she really deserve the Arthur Ashe Courage Award?
Beth Gebbia (left) asks her niece Janet Pruneau, 5, if she wants to wear a wig made from Janet's own hair before leaving St. Louis Children's Hospital on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014. Janet finished chemotherapy treatment Sunday after having a rare brain tumor removed.
I don't think she does. I don't think she deserves this award before our own average LGBT community who faces their struggles face-to-face and not behind their body guards. I think about wounded soldiers who do more in life than the average person, or determined athletes with no limbs -- people who overcome physical obstacles while some of us call into work for a sore throat. I know -- not the same "courage" and "bravery" -- but some of the most bravest people were never offered a courage award or even acknowledged for being such a -- "hero".  There are many (in my opinion) that should stand before Caitlyn Jenner for this award. There are people with financial and physical, health-related hardships that should have been more acknowledged -- more celebrated -- more appreciated and more "outed". It's harder to become someone you never wanted to be. To transition from a healthy person to a cancer patient has to be one of the most courageous things anyone can do without having this an "option". Yes, you were born with an identity, just as I feel I was born a lesbian, but but but...

I don't know, maybe it's just me. But if I was Caitlyn, I would graciously decline the award and hand it over to one of our wounded soldiers or someone who is battling cancer.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Is Rachel Dolezal Transracial?

This is the first time I have really been quite confused over something -- well maybe the second, third or fourth time -- but I can't help but wonder what the true issue is. I read the story about Rachel Dolezal. She is the NAACP, civil rights activist in Spokane, Washington who lied about being black. Yup -- read it again. From Jan Brady to Macy Gray -- Rachel has really transformed her entire look, image and overall self. They're calling it "transracial" now. I have never in my life heard of this term before. Part of me feels like a hypocrite for being a transgender advocate due to this story being such a hard pill to swallow. But it is so very different: one is genetically derived from birth while the other is purely environmentally driven and clearly "chosen". During an interview with Jeff Humphrey from KXLY4, she was presented with a photo of her father who was clearly caucasian. They asked, "Is this your father?" She could. not. answer. They even asked if her father was black and she basically said, "I don't understand the question," and then zip lined out of the frame. The look in her eyes after being asked if she was African American spoke volumes. It screamed humiliation. It screamed out all of the people who she falsely represented.

Or did she falsely represent them? 

She falsely represented herself.

According to Rachel's mother, she is Czech, Swedish, German with some Native American heritage. I can understand if she's an advocate for civil rights, but do not claim to be apart of the heritage and history of African-American people. There's a huge difference. I have a big problem with anyone calling this 'transracial' -- this only makes it worse in arguments used to fight for transgender rights. Transgender people are wired much differently from birth. Being transgender is not an environmentally influenced "choice" -- but claiming to be black when you are clearly white is a choice as well as a lie. She has not only betrayed the people she supports, but she has made a false illusion of herself -- a false identity to which she mutters out words such as "we" and "our" while defending black America. And there are some black people who are very appreciative of her support, regardless of her disguise. 

So should we all be upset over this? 

Would this be called "racial dysphoria" or some sort of personality disorder that went unnoticed? I remember back in high school we had a lot of white people who assimilated quite well to the hip-hop culture, wearing clothing that were mostly worn by black people. Some of the white students were harsh and even called them "wiggers" -- putting the letter "W" in place of the "N". And these days, the "N" word doesn't seem to be a "bad thing"-- unless you are of another culture spewing this bullshit out. It's not only offensive, but it's demeaning to your own character to even have said them in the first place. Anyway, back to the "transracial folk" in my day: their lingo and language were all part of what you would hear in a poverty-stricken ghetto, just to be seen as "cool".  These ignorant kids thought it was cool because it was the "style" to do that, without even having the background, the knowledge, the pain, or the suffering of what it was like to have lived in a poverty-stricken environment. You have no right to act the part, especially when your parents just bought you a new BMW. 

But should we care? She has done more good than harm for the black community. But there was a reason to her madness. Without a doubt in my mind, this stems from not only being a huge advocacy for the African-American community, but also to conform to an image -- a person with the historical background and experience for the four African-American siblings her parents had adopted. Many people have a hard time with white parents adopting black children due to not fully understanding their heritage and background. Maybe she was doing this purely out of a loving and genuine motive to prove that she was knowledgeable and educated on black history. And she is.

But but but...

She identifies as a black women in this article below. 

There are a lot of people who are angry over her misrepresentation and there are also people who really don't care, stating that she has done more good than harm. And honestly, I cannot tell you where I stand on this issue. Let's face it, lying is bad, but what if your lies become your "truth"? Sometimes people who lie for so long actually believe it after some time. It doesn't make it right, but we also have to question her motives as well take into consideration that this may have been a psychological issue.

So with that being said, should this really be an issue? Has she truly betrayed the people she supports? She is an academic expert on African-American culture and teaches over at the Eastern Washington University. 

And should people be flinging the word "transracial" around? 

Thoughts? 

Would love to hear your opinion. If you'd like to respond, please join me here

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Polyamorous Guy Threatens Rape?

Yesterday was interesting after I had posted my article about polyamorists wanting to add the "P" into the "LGBT". Of course I got the 'what about pansexuals' and that LGBT stands for all people if you put a plus sign after it. I had a slew of opposing comments that opened my eyes to another world that I honestly thought was more rare than it is. They even call it a "lifestyle" and develop families out of multiple lovers joining in one home. And yet, as much as it was explained to me, the more I sort of stood even stronger in my stance that this is something that is not apart of the LGBT community. I was called a "hypocrite" and a "bigot".  Funny thing is, I raised the same arguments that say a Christian fundamentalist would raise about me and my own lifestyle. But is it the same as being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender? Doesn't this lifestyle take it to a whole new level? In the same breath, while it doesn't affect me at all of what other people do with their lives, I just wonder how healthy is this for anyone involved, especially their children. I guess people can say the same about me being a lesbian living with my lifetime partner. But not the same...not the same.

I noticed something very interesting that sort of left a common theme in the tracks of the comments of my post that you can read here. At the risk of sounding very judgmental, yet more of an observation, many of the commenters were young, tattooed, pierced (that's not the bad part) and most of them had a demonic overtone to their photos and profiles. I guess you can say most were 'goth' and had a dark vibe to them. I have never seen this kind of crowd swarm onto one of my articles. They cursed and resorted to name calling. The gentleman who was in that trio poly relationship named, Shaun Stoecker who goes under the Facebook name, Shaun GoPackers, said this below to another commenter who disagreed with him.  Crystal Stoecker is his wife who brought a new boyfriend into her marriage. She must've been bored or unsatisfied. He explained who he was and pointed out the other two people who were in the photo with him.
Shaun is the one on the left. 

These people are very scary. To even insinuate "rape" tells me that they are absolute sex fiends who borderline a mentality that we know nothing about. Shaun was not only aggressive, but he showed a lack of respect toward women which is frightening to see in today's society. We have a rape culture that needs to cease and desist. Even in jest, you never, ever, should reference to rape---ever. He quickly removed it once the commenter stated that she reported it. In fact, many of the threats that were being made were deleted. I have collected quite a few of them with screen shots.

That's not even a fraction of the dark side I have seen with these polyamorists. With that being said, maybe only a fraction came over to my page to defend themselves, but wow -- they certainly showed their true colors. Do we truly want to see this kind of society within our LGBT community? Disrespectful, promiscuous, aggressive and also threatens rape? Not me. I will never welcome this group into our community. This is why it is taking so damn long to establish our equal rights as gays, lesbians and transgenders -- to have the ability to marry who we love -- not who we just wanna go to bed with.

So with all of that came harassing emails from Shaun Stoecker threatening to sue me for using an "unauthorized photo" of them. But they seem to forget about the legalities of it all.

#1. I have taken screen shots off from the LGBT News page on Facebook.
#2. I took a screen shot of his very own words.

With that, I can only say one thing: eat crow my friend.


In my opinion, these people I mentioned represented the entire polyamorous community. This will be the last post I will write about this topic.

Moving on...

UPDATE: Due to the harassment, Shaun Stoecker was reported and notified by Facebook that his actions were against their guidelines.  Shaun was removed from the thread of the argument. Shaun and Crystal Stoecker have both deleted their Facebook accounts or have had it removed by Facebook. 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!