Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day

Ug, I'm being a bad blogger. I've been so busy with work and then we left town for a week of relaxation in Provincetown. Now I'm backed up on work and I just can't keep up.

I'll post just a couple pictures (facebook friends can see the rest); it was great to relax with the family and even more comfortable to be legally married again, if only for a week.

Anyway, I merely want to say, Happy Father's Day to all you dads.

May you feel ridiculously fortunate in life to be a father this day and everyday too.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Utah Pride, 2009

Sure, the parade for GLBT Utahns was rained on in more ways than one this year, with many of our extended family's tithe money, if not their direct support, going to pass Proposition 8 and the loss of all bills in Utah's legislature that would have given our families a sliver of equal legal treatment. But even as we set off walking the route in a downpour, everywhere you looked there were friendly smiles (Well, a couple protesters aside).

I was surprised at how many people did ignore the weather and come to Pride.
We were there again with a bunch of family: nieces, a sister, and so on.
My wonderful parents:
Sometimes I fear my mom was disappointed when I came out, not because I'm gay but because she got a gay son who doesn't care about fancy clothes. Cruel irony; I'm just a drab sciencey guy. I mean, just look at those colors on her.

Maybe this sort of style would have been more her speed :-):
I think she may have that pink hat.

She, of course, was the one to get these sun glasses (and suckers) for the twins:
I thought this was cute too: Brian took one of grandma's bracelets and used it for a necklace for Wolfey (The favored stuffed animal since birth--you can tell by the poor thing's cataracts).
Anyway, another fun, though wet, pride parade, and here's to hoping the storm clouds break here with the coming year.

On a side, my dad always tells the story, when Senator Buttars comes up in conversation, about how he first met the guy when Buttars ran the Boy's Ranch and was asking my dad for a donation, long before my dad had any idea his son was gay or that Buttars was... well... you know. My dad left the meeting at the boys ranch appalled by what he witnessed and disgusted with Buttars and sure to find a better "charity" than that. At Pride those who had experienced the "therapy" of the Boy's Ranch first hand had a booth and my dad talked with them for a while. I think some of their accounts and goals deserved attention:

You can see their site here

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Littlest Things are the Hardest to Dodge

As part of the new responsibility that has me so busy I had to fill out a bunch of paperwork. One bit was a new W-4 form.
Here, that's kind of small. Let me blow up what grabbed my gut:

Then, at the end of the form it reads:
"Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this certificate and to the best of my knowledge and belief, it is true, correct, and complete."
Well, to the "best of my knowledge", I am not legally married in Utah or federally for purposes of employment or taxes. 16 years of paired dedication, love, and interdependence, raising children together, promising to love honor and cherish, forsaking all others.... They call that "single" here, if you're anatomy ain't what they like. So yeah, I know, I'm supposed to check "single", legally.

But I also know, as clearly and as certain as I know anything, this form is not "true" "correct" or "complete" with me being classified as "single". I am nothing if not a husband and a father; I'd be a stranger to myself to be single.

(Anyone know what the legal consequences of checking the "Married, but withhold at higher Single rate" might be, even though I'm not legally married in this jurisdiction? Would I still be guilty of perjury if not tax fraud?)

Even without the practical tax implications in the above, there would still be these little cuts. Those fighting against marriage for our families don't seem to see how they harm real people in practical ways, but so clearly demeaning, in the abstract, the best aspects in what they claim to be the defenders of is also baffling. Maybe if I lost a beauty pageant and someone said something mean about me on a blog, we'd get them to notice :-).

Regardless, I'm in a Catch-22 for now. To work in the US and keep from legal punishment, I am required to, myself, debase the most important role I'll ever have in life, second only to being a father. They make me, by threat of law, sign my name to a lie, that I am "single". A husband of 14 years, dedicated to the person I've been with for 16 years, the only person I've ever been with, the person I'm a parent with.... I'm forced to call that "single". I may as well sign on to the claim that I'm a walrus.

That coerced, signed dishonesty gets to me, even though, I know, it's a small thing. I was taught as a kid and it is an obsession to see my signature as a sacred guarantee of honesty, but it can't be, on this form, without legal harm. Maybe if I were a better gay rights activist I'd just mark the truth and wait for the audit or other punishment, but I've got our kids and a homemaker to take care of...

I just wish I could get everyone who pushed and voted for Utah's Amendment 3, those who hoped to annul our legal marriage with Proposition 8, all those church leaders, and those single gays who think marriage for gay couples is nothing to fight for to just get a taste of what that feels like. For a man who cares for nothing more than his family to check that "single" box, in order to be able to work for his family without threat of law... frankly, it sucks.