Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Same-Sex Marriage in New Jersey

We interrupt this birthday celebration with the news that the New Jersey Supreme Court has today ruled that under the state constitution homosexual couples have the same rights as heterosexual couples, and New Jersey will recognize same-sex unions.

We now return you to birthday programming.

A Big One...

Today, dear readers, the Hurricane turns 35. The year between his 34th birthday and his 35th birthday is certainly the biggest of his life. To have accomplished all that he has in terms of facing a frightening truth, treating his family in a loving and considerate way while figuring out how to come out, deftly navigating the waters of homophobia and misplaced faith with grace and respect, and finishing the year by running TWENTY-SIX POINT TWO MILES is more than most of us accomplish in a lifetime.

Happy Birthday, Chris. I know I'm not the only one who is honored to be a part of your life today. You truly have a positive effect on everyone around you and you will be toasted in many cities for many years to come. And to J, who should be reading this, the thoughtfulness you put into helping Chris have a great day touched me deeply. Celebrate like only the gays can!

To everyone reading this, post a little something here about how Chris has been a part of your journey, whatever it is. Sometimes I think he forgets how many people have felt the ripple effect of the Hurricane.

Happy 35th!

With love, truly,


Monday, October 23, 2006

Chicago Marathon

Last year, about the time I came out to KK, I started running. I wanted to get into shape, and it was also a welcome distraction from the emotional upheaval that I was going through.

Somewhere along the way, I decided to run a marathon. I thought I'd train to do a race in 2007, but KK encouraged me to do it this year. So I signed up for the Chicago Marathon, which ran yesterday. Chicago was a meaningful choice. I lived there for two years with KK after we got married, and my family is nearby in Wisconsin.

Yesterday with the temperature reading a nippy 38 at race time and with drizzle in the air, I ran. Ran like I've never run before. I hoped to finish in four hours, but a tweaked knee at mile 15 slowed me down. I crossed the finish line at 4:45:21. I cried through much of the last five miles of the race and was in a full weep as I hit the finish. I was filled with a sense of accomplishment, but also felt that I had finally reached a point of closure on a difficult period in my life. My marathon was very closely tied up in the coming out process for me. I spent many solitary hours in training, listening to my iPod, and thinking about my life. The old Chris would have never run a marathon. The new Chris did, and enjoyed every moment of it, even the painful ones.

I had my own personal cheering section: KK, E, L, my mom, her boyfriend, my sister and her boyfriend. My boyfriend, J, wanted to be there and was in both spirit and in the music on my iPod that took me across the finish line. And today I can hardly walk and have some nasty blisters to show for my effort. Hard work can be painful.

Monday, October 16, 2006


Marathon on Sunday. Talk to you next week.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Growing Up Fast

A couple months ago I was on a commuter train with my older daughter, who will be 8 in November. We were waiting for the train to pull out of the station when a woman got on and announced that she was homeless, a widow, and something "really bad" had happened to her and her children that afternoon. She needed to raise $15 before the end of the day.

I have seen this woman on the subway in the city several times, and she always tells the same story. Needless to say, I wasn't buying what she was selling. But little E was completely captivated and as the story became more compelling, she looked at me with pleading blue eyes and implored me to give this woman some money. I just shook my head "no" as the woman walked past us and then off the train.

E immediately turned and looked at me disapprovingly. "Daddy! Why didn't we help her?"

"Sweetie," I said, "I've seen that lady in the subway and on the train before and she always tells the same story. She's not telling the truth."

"Oh," said E knowingly. "Alcohol?"

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

National Coming Out Day

National Coming Out Day, a project of the Human Rights Campaign, is today, October 11.

Coming out is a process, not a single event. I've learned this over and over again over the past 18 months. Even now, I am out to nearly everyone in my life but I still find myself often facing situations where I ask myself the question, "Should I tell?" Without a doubt, coming out was one of the best things I've ever done, for myself and, I believe, for those I love. If you're gay, no matter where you are in the process of coming out, to yourself or to others, let today be a day of reflection--and celebration!

Monday, October 09, 2006

When Not Seeing Is Believing

Andrew Sullivan, a gay conservative commentator, blogger and writer, has a fascinating essay in the October 9 issue of Time magazine.

A sample:

Fundamentalism is not the only valid form of faith, and to say it is, is the great lie of our time. There is also the faith that is once born and never experiences a catharsis or born-again conversion. There is the faith that treats the Bible as a moral fable as well as history and tries to live its truths in the light of comtemporary knowledge, history, science and insight. There is a faith that draws important distinctions between core beliefs and less vital ones...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Decision 2006

It's election season. After six years of George W. Bush, twelve years of a Republican Congress, and three years of a poorly planned and executed Iraq war, things could get very interesting this November. But for the incompetence and lack of vision of the national Democrats, massive GOP losses would seem a sure bet. As it is, the country once again looks to be very evenly divided.

I will be casting my ballot in one of the tightest races for the Senate this year, the New Jersey battle between Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez and Republican Tom Kean, Jr., a state senator and son of a popular former governor. I keep tabs on the Jersey race and other races across the country at Electoral Vote, a website that highlights daily and weekly polls from races around the country and keeps a running tally of the likely outcome of the race for control of Congress.

I've never been a party-line or one issue voter. I've voted for Republicans and Democrats. I voted for George W. Bush in 2000 (a source of ongoing shame for me) and John Kerry in 2004. But this year, I'm rooting hard for every Democrat on the ballot. I'll be voting for Sen. Menendez. I'll be rooting for Sheldon Whitehouse in Rhode Island, even though he's running against my favorite Republican Senator, Lincoln Chaffee. The fallout from the Mark Foley scandal has convinced me that the national GOP has become thoroughly corrupt. That, together with the Bush Administration's failures in Iraq and fiscal policy and the ongoing pandering of the Republicans to the anti-gay right, makes it clear for me. We need change of direction. Vote Democratic.