Open Sexuality; Open Mind
Mrs. AP and I have had many an interesting, sometimes frustrating conversation over the past few years regarding politics in the United States. When she first met me — and indeed for some time thereafter — I as very staunchly holding to the views I developed from being raised in a Southern, Military, Lutheran household. While not entirely on the right of the political spectrum, and in fact testing as a conservative-leaning Libertarian, I found myself more often identifying with the Republican Party than the Democratic Party on matters of spending, defense, and social programs. Where I vehemently disagreed was in matters regarding sexual and identity freedom, but thought that by tending to the GOP priorities first the road would more easily open for the social changes required for sex, gender, and orientation equality. I realize now that this view was misguided, a product of a misinformed youth and an ignorant, naive approach to life. Like many others, I find I can no longer balance the iniquities of the Republican Party against the good I assumed they could do. What changed in me that I can no longer, in good conscience, align myself with the ideologies of my yesteryears? In short, I finally matured.
When I began writing this blog one of the first things I did was begin taking the 30 Days of Truth challenge; I found the list in various places and wanted to use the prompts to force me into taking a hard honest brutal look at myself. The deep introspection in those posts helped establish both my focus and my mentality when formulating my writings. The process of creating an update has since become a form of working zazen; my mind opens to thoughts and ideas I may not otherwise process. In these moments I find growth and understanding that I sought but could not otherwise find. Additionally, speaking of the ideas running around in my head after creating these posts allows Mrs. AP to help me refine my thoughts into ideas of coherency; she is the best sounding board I have ever had.
As I have grown and gained greater understanding of both myself and the world around me, I have also been experiencing the partially painful process of handling the every day necessities of life. Mrs. AP and I have gained greater personal freedom by excising some of the more negative people in our lives, but in the process we have been forced into a situation of less financial stability, if only temporary. Our housing situation is neither as luxurious nor as spacious as we would like; we are, in fact, rather sparse at crowded at the moment. We have, however, laid the foundation for improving our positions and providing for our family better every year.
These transitions and struggles have shown me first-hand just how broken many of the policies have been. Without the kinds of social assistance programs the Republicans want to demolish Mrs. AP, our family, and I would be struggling to eat. Our children would not be able to receive the immunizations they need to attempt school. Our daughter would not be able to receive the glasses she needs to be able to read her homework, nor would our youngest son receive the extra attention he needs at school. We are relying on assistance just to get by, for now, but as President Clinton so graciously phrased it during his speech at the most recent Democrat Convention, “we’re all in this together sounds better than you’re on your own.” He’s right, and when viewed from that perspective, it makes me proud to be able to help myself and others, in even the smallest of ways, every time I pay into a government program.
Additionally, as I’ve explored my feelings and understandings and acceptance of my own personality and read the wonderful stories of every person who updates a blog found on the right in my blogroll, I become more deeply entrenched in the stance that until equality includes all people, regardless of sex, gender, orientation, or any other private sexual practice, then there is no equality. President Obama’s open endorsement of equal marriage rights secured my support of both him and the Democratic Party as a whole. Even in the office of the President taking that position was a great political risk. I’m willing to fight for a President who is willing to take that kind of risk in the pursuit of proper civil rights. I simply cannot stand idly by and claim myself a member of the LGBTQ community while others take risks. Thus, I lend my voice to those crying out that we will not be silenced nor denied.
As I read more of the wonderful stories all of you provide; as I read more notes on FetLife exploring the fantastic variety present within the world of BDSM; as I read more news articles on emerging freedoms and confidence of members withing the LGBTQ community, I find myself also growing more bold, more confident, and more left-of-center in my stance. Equality does not exist if we do not treat each other all as equals, just as tolerance does not exist if we do not embrace those different from ourselves. Progress is not made by simply waiting for the elected officials to decide to adjust legislation. Progress is instead made by movement of individual people, people who work and suffer and struggle and keep rising time after time to pursue what is right and good. My eyes have been opened to those struggles, those fights, and in that opening I can only pursue one course.
Come change the world with me, one mind at a time.
Stay SINful, friends.