Tonight I’m featuring those acts of kindness that map out how lives were changed. Amazing the ripples one act of kindness can create:
Steeplejack has set out to brighten many of my days with wonderful acts of kindness, this is one of my favorites.
Why we can't stop saying gay, a story
On the first day of my senior year of high school, a new boy showed up in my AP English class.
He had transferred from a prestigious private school to my public school, and I was confused.
I asked him why he moved and he shrugged
— Rhian Beutler (@rhiankatie) April 6, 2022
I had lost most of my friends due to graduation and I decided he was going to be my new friend, and much to my excitement he seemed just as happy to be my new friend.
We decided to partner together on a project, his mom insisted that she come to my house as well
I’m first gen and he is a refugee so I didn’t think much of it. Literally thought “European parents are going to European”
My Mom sat with this other mother and spoke with her but afterwards she told me something was off but she couldn’t put her finger on it.
At this point, he and I were spending EVERY part of the school day that wasn’t in class together.
One day, with all the grace of a 17-year-old in the early 2000s who didn’t know this is inappropriate I asked him “so… you’re gay right?”
He looked at me horrified.
He asked, almost in tears, “how did you know?”
I explained that my uncle was gay and that I had grown up around queer people and that I didn’t care and that we could obviously still be friends and that I wouldn’t tell ANYONE.
Then everything clicked
I asked him “is that why you are at our school?” and he said yes and then proceeded to tell me his parents had found out he was gay, pulled him from the school, called him horrible names, abused him, and that he was MISERABLE.
He said he was scared to go home every day.
I went home and told my parents. I begged them to do something about it.
They said they would think about it, and they did.
My Mom is a green card holder so she said he couldn’t come and live with us until he was 18 because that would be considered kidnapping.
My Mom also shared his writings (he loved to write) with her friend, a social worker (my mom was a school nurse and she worked with the said social worker).
I lived in fear that he wouldn’t live to see 18.
But he did! He turned 18 and he came and lived with us.
His parents only allowed him to keep the clothes on his back. They came to our house and called him every name under the sun and my mom stood outside and said “you can’t hurt him anymore, I will not allow it”
He blossomed while living with us.
My parents and the aforementioned social worker took him shopping, made sure he had everything he needed for school and he became like my brother
I remember his excitement after his first date with another boy.
I remember how excited he was to be able to dress the way he wanted.
I remember how he came into my bedroom EVERY MORNING WITHOUT KNOCKING to ask me if he looked good in his outfits.
His joy and comfort living as his authentic self is a core memory of mine.
The store is longer but the tl;dr is he went to an Ivy, and is an immunologist literally working on curing cancer.
He is my brother and best friend. I would move mountains for him.
There are kids like him right now across the US who are SCARED with the new legislation passing.
If they thought they were safe they no longer think that.
One of my mentee’s shared that they feel like no one wants them to live.
I DO. Don’t you?
There is a LOT of anti-queer legislation being passed at the state level right now.
Queer kids need to feel safe. They deserve to feel safe.
Call your legislators at all levels. Encourage the passage of FEDERAL protection of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Queer lives matter.
Also, be a safe adult.
Be like my mom.
Every kid and every person deserves to feel safe.
Him and my friend would watch The Simpsons together while my friend did Calc.
He acted like my friend was always there. Like he had always existed as a member of our family.
Be rock steady for the LGBTQIA+ folks in your life.
— Rhian Beutler (@rhiankatie) April 6, 2022
Also engage in mutual aid, but donating locally and directly to those who need it.
And again, be the safe adult.
If you’re reading this and you have other organizations you want to encourage folks to give to that will positively impact the LGBTQIA+ community please drop them here.
(This includes gofundmes for gender affirming surgery, for folks experiencing financial difficulties, et al)
A few more things!
1)This story is about a man I know and love. He’s a real person and his whole story is not mine to tell, nor will I.
His bravery and the way he has walked through the fire of adversity is breathtaking.
2) Centering the lived experience of the LGBTQIA+ community is CRITICAL.
3) There has been an overwhelming positive response to this twitter thread. Thank you all.
Remember, you are loved. It gets better.
In solidarity always,
And this one, too:
I love you pic.twitter.com/0yCMqxAVx0
— Brent Terhune in Dayton June 17&18 (@BrentTerhune) February 24, 2022
If someone sent me this, I apologize, I bookmarked it, but didn’t include any attribution. So if it’s you, identify yourself in the comments.
That’s it for soul cleansing this week. Keep those emails coming, I’m running low.
And for those who may have missed it this morning, here is my Sous Chef. She is my constant companion these days, but especially when I’m cooking. I’m shredding lettuce here, but she does not care, I still need her help.
Willow is eight months-ish old and she has upended the household, which is saying a lot, since I also have a six month old Great Dane puppy.
Take a breath and do something nice for yourself…
When did you get a new kitty? I must have missed it.
@schrodingers_cat: In February after I lost my 19-year-old Calico
The house felt too empty.
Thanks for the uplifting stories and videos. Much needed in these times.
Willow is so….fuzzy.
Thanks so much for this post. I’m recuperating from Shingrix and Moderna on Monday so am still feeling achy, wobbly, and very sleepy – 18 hours yesterday and 15 hours, so far, today. The story of the immigrant guy shunned by his family and rescued by another is one of the best I’ve ever read. Lots of onions here now. The right wants to crush LGBTQ people so they can feel taller.
And your kitty looks wonderful and seems like my little gray one who rolled around on the floor with an ecstatic stretch when I finally crawled out of bed.
My youngest is gay and helped start the GSA student group at her high school in Texas.
We were the house that any of her friends could come to and stay no questions.
@lee: Your house, is a very very very fine house.
From Brent Terhune, a URL worth repeating: The Trevor Project, for crisis prevention specializing in LGBT assistance.
@TaMara: I am currently kittehless!
@lee: thanks for providing a safe space for the kids. I am sure they appreciate it.
The people pushing these anti-gay/trans laws are evil, full stop.
Those passively accepting these laws and maybe believing the rhetoric that teachers are actively “promoting gay lifestyle*” to young students need to be made to understand that queer children who are being abused at home need a welcoming environment elsewhere. School can provide that and will if teachers are allowed to teach basic ideas of respect. Don’t say gay laws prevent that.
*whatever that means
Speaking of LGBTQ pride, the Marsha’s Plate podcast had a great episode where they covered Baden’s speech and the numerous policy changes being made to make travel and other aspects of life safer and easier for Transgender people. Also a discussion of the Mathew Shepard/James Bird Act that doesn’t get used nearly enough when LGBTQ people are killed. They also have a long discussion about coming out, dealing with ignorant family etc. It’s a really fantastic episode. Very educational and inspiring.
Mai Naem mobile
It just feels like we are regressing on pretty much everything- womens rights, racism, gay rights, separation of church and state. This just reminds me of the 1950s Idaho senator who committed suicide because he was being threatened with disclosure of his gay son who had been caught up in one of those public bathroom stings aimed at gays. You’re just ruining lives with this don’t say gay garbage. Nothing else.
The racist and queer phobic authoritarian a-holes promoting this garbage would be happy to point out that the people hurt by these laws could live happy lives unperturbed by these laws if they just conform to the lifestyle authoritarians expect them to.
I was walking home from a doctors appointment and spotted the republicans biggest nightmare. A preschool with a trans pride flag hanging right over the entrance. I love my neighborhood.
@lee: I can’t imagine what it would have felt like to have a refuge like yours when I was a teenager. It sounds wonderful.
@prostratedragon: We should be topping off the LGBTQ organizations that work locally in the impacted states. Here is a long list of LGBTQ organizations in Florida.
The services needed are numerous and need to involve people in the impacted states and not just a hotline.
I was tearing up already after reading about the black kid finding out that there was a Spider-Man who was black like him. Practically weeping midway through the next one.
I don’t understand how these anti-gay laws are anything but an establishment of religion. There is no evidence that gays are any more likely to ‘groom’ kids than straight adults are, and plenty of evidence to the contrary. (I’m sure the same is true of trans persons, but I don’t know that that has been specifically studied.)
Given that, the motivation for these laws is clearly anti-gay sentiment, which is pretty much entirely based on the beliefs of conservative Christianists. Fuck their religion-based prejudice, and fuck their perverted notion of what it means to love their neighbor as theirselves.
@lee: Our house is also that house. Fortunately, all of Spawn the Elder’s friends’ families have been at least accepting. So far.
Spawn the Younger’s hamster passed away. She is upset, as is to be expected. We lost our cat last year and she is already saying we need to get another cat and hamster. I was looking to wait a bit.
@lowtechcyclist: Seems to me a well worded legal argument could be put through the courts which would force a stay on these laws, at least until our theocratic supreme court gets involved.
O. Felix Culpa
@schrodingers_cat: Oh, you’ve lost all your kitties? I’m so sorry to hear that. I remember when boss kitteh died and hope you can find the most excellent new kitty/kitties to join you whenever you’re ready.
@schrodingers_cat: Oh, I’m so sorry. I’m sure when you’re ready, the perfect companion will be waiting for you. ?
@Urza: Clearly all the out Christian Justices would need to recuse themselves from such a case, leaving Breyer and Kagan to decide…
@Timill: If only it worked like that.
I can’t get the last video to play. I just get a screen saying it’s unavailable.
Can someone help?
@opiejeanne: Never mind, I figured it out. Thanks.
Whoopi Goldberg tells a similar story about being a child and seeing Nichelle Nichols on the original version of Star Trek: “There’s a woman on TV that looks like me and she ain’t no maid!”
@TaMara: @O. Felix Culpa: Thanks! My ginger kitteh passed away a day before Christmas eve. She had multiple health issues, so we decided to not adopt another kitteh/s and subject her to more stress.
@schrodingers_cat: We went through a similar situation until Wilbur passed away in the summer of 2019. He was the last survivor of a group of kittens that came into our family in the 1998-2000 period, and we’d been holding off on any new pets while he was still living.
But we got new kittens Iggy and Panda from the local rescue shelter in the fall of 2019, which was fortuitous, because we really needed their company during our much greater isolation during 2020 and early 2021.
@schrodingers_cat: So I’m sure the right cat (or cats!) for you will come along soon. They always do.
Thanks for posting the positive, it helps a tremendous amount during these days of bleakness.
Kiddo is a senior at a Texas suburban high school, and it delights me how easily he and his cohort acknowledge and befriend LGBTQ kids. “Gay” isn’t a slur to these kids – which is a radical departure from my own HS period in another Texas suburb decades ago. I have hope that as they grow up and others come after this just becomes a way of life. Acceptance, friendship and understanding. The kids are ok.