Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Cloud Nine

It's still sinking in. From that rally in Iowa a few years ago when they won the freedom to marry to today, when it happened in my own home, I can't believe it's real.

I knew we could do it. I am still so surprised though.

Minnesota LGBTQ couples can get married to the person they love.

I am so fortunate to be Minnesotan. If I were in most other states, I could be evicted and fired because of who I am and it would be totally legal. Here, I have the right to work, and live, and love as I need to without fear of repercussion. My future is just as valid as any other person's future.

Before today, it wasn't, and I'm having trouble understanding the endless possibilities that just opened up. I won't have to adopt my own children. I won't have to get permission from my future spouses family to visit them in the hospital. This is almost unreal to me.

On the other hand, there is still a lot of work to do. Other states are terrible to their LGBTQ citizens. I will still have to be careful about who I am me around (some people wouldn't like it if I were myself around them). There is still an uphill battle for bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. people who may not want a traditional monogamous cisgender marriage, but who deserve to have a dignified and respected life based on who they are. Queers outside of the mainstream, like myself, are not who were represented in the campaign for same-sex marriage.

When telling my story to people, I usually kept it vague and used examples from my friends. Someone who is thinking of becoming a supporter wants to hear about Mitchell and Cameron from Modern Family instead of the bisexual genderqueer person who thinks marriage is a patriarchal institution that limits people into distinct gender roles unnecessarily. I definitely want a committed long term relationship, and I will probably get legally married, but I will never be a "wife" or "mother." I will be a partner and a parent.

Queer activism goes beyond having what the straight people have. It's about being accepted and affirmed as a queer person, and not someone who is "just like you, only gay." It's opening up a whole spectrum of identity and opportunity for everyone, including straight cisgender people. My success measure is having people understand what I mean when I say "My preferred pronouns are Ze and Hir," and not having people get angry with me for asking that they acknowledge that I am not a cisgender person.

Even though it is not by any means the end all of LGBTQ activism in Minnesota, this is a huge milestone, and I am really proud of my state. I have cried about 6 times in the past week just from pure excitement and happiness. This is real.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Rode my bike!

I rode my bike to work twice this week (3 times tomorrow!). I really like it. I don't have to wait for a bus to come by. I get some exercise in. I get to enjoy a nice, safe path along the river. And my new bike is so awesome, I don't even have any trouble getting up the giant hill at the end! On my old bike, I definitely would have walked it.

And I haven't gotten very sweaty yet, but it's been rather chilly. And here I went to Thrifty Outfitters and got some wicking/quick dry shirts (not sure expensive because they were "samples" sent to the store. All size medium!), and I don't sweat that much. Or maybe I'm not sweaty because of the shirts?

All the same, this bike is a million times easier to peddle than the old bike. I'll have to take it on a really long ride to see how it goes. Maybe I'll bike to Roseville or something.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I want to ride my bicycle!

I had part of the day off today. After a quick meal and a quick nap, I went to go get my hair cut (results: super cute, but not what I asked for. She was really nice, but I hate when hairstylists think what will look better is more important than what I want).

After that, I headed along Lake Street to check out a few different places to buy a bike. I am finally giving up on my old school Magna that I bought at Target in middle school. Only 2 of the gears work, and it's rusty and heavy and impossible to bike uphill. Literally, impossible. Even slight inclines I usually end up getting off and pushing it up most of the way.

So, I ended up at the Hub Bike Co-op (after a few different stops where everyone was really nice but the bike selections were a little out of my price range). It's a cooperatively owned chain of shops in Minneapolis (there's one right by my house, but I went to one farther away that has a larger used and clearance selection).

They were just a friendly as everyone else at the other bike shops, but they actually asked questions and showed me what bikes they had that were what I was looking for. Another bike shop had just sent me to the creepy basement by myself to look at what bikes were in the graveyard. Probably awesome if I had any idea what I was looking for, but this is my first time buying a bike since I was 13 and I just cared that it was purple. The guys at the Hub were very friendly and helpful and took the time to make sure I was happy. They even answered questions about the bikes with more detail than I knew was knowable.

It's like that circle of knowing that I vaguely remember from school. Inside the circle is what you know, and outside the circle is what you don't know. The circumference of the circle is what you know you don't know, basically. The more you learn, the more you know how much you don't know. So, I learned a little bit about bikes tonight, so the area of my knowledge circle grew bigger, but since the circumference (what I know I don't know) grows with what I do know, I know I don't know a lot about bikes. But I also know more about what I could know about bikes.

Anywho, they're getting my new comfortabler seat and rack put on tonight, and then it'll be mine to take home. Should I name it? It's a Giant brand, and it's black. It'll have a rack on the back, and a basket on the front. I might put the fenders on there too from my old bike. I'll think about a name.

This is going to be a breeze compared to my old bike.  I would dread riding it. Even used rental bikes were a dream to ride in comparison. I'm excited.