Sunday, July 5, 2015

Is the world ending?

  • SCOTUS ruling on LGBT marriage. 
  • We descended slowly into Hell Phoenix. 
  • BKP did not live forever like I thought that bastard would and kicked the bucket two days ago. 
It was a really great week. We were packing the U-Haul and found out about the SCOTUS ruling when we started getting texts from friends and family. We collapsed sobbing in an an echo-y apartment.  Such an emotional moment.

LGBT marriage to me is not simply about marriage. It is about being protected. It is about legitimacy. I am starting to get emotional just thinking about it right now in the early morning hours but I honestly didn't think it would happen so fast. I had this fear that courts would come back with some sort of ruling that would prolong or even potentially set back marriage in the United States.

Jindal made Louisiana look stupid again though. Actually, at this point I think that Jindal has become so notorious that people don't necessarily think Louisiana is stupid when Jindal does stupid things. Louisiana was last to get the marriage party going. I hate that though I moved away I will still hear about this pitiful man since he makes the national news regularly with his circus show.

I LOVE Phoenix so far. LOVE. 

Other pitiful men... BKP died! I secretly thought through sheer will he would outlive Monson. I secretly thought he would ascend the throne to the seat of the Prophet. It certainly would not have been good for the church.

I watched a strange thread unfold on a Facebook ex-Mormon group where some woman got on there and berated people for "celebrating" the death of BKP. She said something to the effect that as an atheist all life was precious... My troll-o-meter started going off. Saying all life is precious starts to sound a little bit too much like religious ideas that everyone is "born with the light of Christ", or everyone is born good, or  everyone can change.

I think there are big fat assholes in the world that the world is better off without. Thinking that the world is better off without BKP vilifying anyone who ever had a stray sexual thought or *gasp* masturbated, or is gay does not mean I am "celebrating". Though I never met the man I view him as an abuser who used his power to control, demean, and ultimately harm others. He did not teach love.

I have been personally harmed by his words. They induced enough self-loathing and shame to really hurt me.

I try to imagine what growing up in the church would have been like sans BKP's teachings alone. It would have been a much kinder, gentler, and truly more Christlike church... Am I going to far in saying that there would have been less apostasy? (There was still Kimball and his masterwork of self-loathing inducing literature, The Miracle of Forgiveness...)

Maybe I am looking at this all wrong. I should mourn the death of that dickhead because he was such a source of dissonance and pain that he drove people out of the church. Had he taken the reins I think inactivity would have gone up even more... Which apostle will step up now and fill the asshole shoes.

I am really past wishing for the demise of the church and was ALMOST indifferent enough to not even blog about it. But I woke up early, and had some time... 

Celebrate his death? No. I don't. But I do feel like there is one less sadistic cult leader out there now. One less closeted gay that has spread his own self-loathing to others too. Maybe there will be less sources of pain for LGBT members and youth now.

Friday, June 19, 2015

I am only two weeks away from hiking as much as I want

I've been steadily getting back into shape over the last year. Even before we decided to move I had visions of hiking in Utah this summer.

Phoenix may end up being the best place for me! Phoenix has so many little trails. I am so excited to be moving to a place where there is so much hiking minutes away.The heatwave there has me thinking that the only hiking I'll be doing in July is going to be super early morning hiking but I realized that with no snow or ice hiking year round in Phoenix was probably a possibility. Will I be able to finally earn my Mountain Goat Card back again?

I am so over packing and cleaning yet there is still so much to do. We are a week away from the move.

We almost have an address in Phoenix. Housing is in the final stages of approval and we will hear about it today or tomorrow.

I got two job offers this week and accepted one of them pending verification of employment. It is not as much of a pay cut as I thought. It sounds like a pretty nice teaching set up. I'm getting a giant classroom! I've never had a giant classroom. Oh the spaces I will be able to create.

If things keep falling into place this is going to be a somewhat smooth transition.

I connected online with an open Mormon/ex-mo group in the Phoenix area. I am really excited about that. There is not really an ex-mo community here in New Orleans. There are a few of us that see each other once in awhile but there are no monthly poker nights, comedy club meet-ups, and get-togethers like seem to go on in Phoenix. I've even met one of them face to face in Utah a few summers ago.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Last Day... I'm dehydrated.

I am dehydrated from crying all day long...

I have been at my school for three years now. A large majority of my students I had for two years and some of them for all three years. (I taught them to read in Spanish in first grade. Then I moved to second and taught them to read in English.) I was bawling like a baby as I hugged so many of them good-bye. Sobbing parents. Sobbing students. Sobbing teacher. Leaving sucks.

I had been toying with the idea of not being a teacher when I got to Phoenix but if this is the sum emotional impact on me, my students, and their families it is probably not the right move. I am probably sort of good at this job if it hurts this much to leave it. DAMMIT. Arizona teachers make less than Louisiana teachers. I am going to have to live with the fucking pay cut.

There was a Mormon on staff at this school. She knew I went to BYU. She knew that I was Mormon but am in a lesbian relationship. (As I just think of it "the relationship".) She was always nice to me. Today she really touched my heart. She said she wished me and my fiance well in Phoenix. That God would bless us. Maybe she is some sort of nomish Mormon and I never knew it but it warmed my heart.  (nomish = New Order Mormon)

We are down to about three week until the move.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Moving West

In just a few short weeks we will be moving west!

  • The apartment is full of boxes in various stages of being packed. 
  • Bags and bags and bags of things have been taken to Goodwill.
  • The Mormon in me wants to use up every random can of food in the cupboard rather than throw them out... 
  • There are nearly daily trips to the dumpster to get rid of trash. 
  • Transcripts, documents, all sorts of papers have been ordered to start the process of getting certified to teach in Arizona. 
  • Phones calls and email inquiries abound trying to find a place to live for a month or two while we hunt for something really good. 
Getting very excited. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Last times...

When I moved away from Utah to Louisiana seven years ago there was not really a sense of loss. I was excited to leave. I was excited to go somewhere new and different. My family is all in Utah and I intended to move back after my two years with Teach For America were over. I go back and visit family at least once a year so there was no sense of finality.

We have started throwing stuff away, donating things to Goodwill, and collecting boxes. In less than a month we will be in Phoenix. As we go about our daily lives here in Louisiana there is this realization that this is the last time I am going to see this or that friend, this is the last time I will attend this annual event at school, this is probably the last time I will eat at this particular restaurant, the last time I will see this particular student, etc. I have very few ties to Louisiana once I am gone. I don't love Louisiana culture so I will not miss drunken romps through the French Quarter or hearing about all of the crime or living the dysfunction that is Louisiana's education system. Why am I feeling a bit sad?!

The truth is that Louisiana was the place of my rebirth. It is the place where I had the space to leave behind harmful beliefs. It is the place where I finally shed sadness and depression. It is the place where I was able to come out and begin living a real and authentic life. In some ways this makes Louisiana my true home. It feels more like home than Utah does now because anytime I return to Utah the old Mormon Kiley sort of shows her face again. Being in old familiar places and spaces brings back old thought patterns and habits. I am glad that the jobs Leigh applied for in Salt Lake did not come through. It would not have been healthy for me. So despite its issues Louisiana has meant freedom to me.

Maybe the real place of "last times" was Utah and not these last few weeks in Louisiana. The things I have gained, and the growth I have made here in the south will travel with me. The nice thing is that Phoenix is new and it will be a place to continue the new good things I have gained here in Louisiana but fresh and different enough to grow even more.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

We are renting the Uhaul (not a lesbian joke this time)

We got word yesterday about jobs. We are moving to Phoenix! I am so excited. We will be there in about a month.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Leaving NOLA

The time has come to move. I am tired of living in the path of hurricanes here in Louisiana. We are looking in Texas and in Denver, Colorado. Leigh even applied for a job in Salt Lake City, Utah. I am actually pretty ok with that if she gets it. I MISS the mountains and there would be a lot of cool ex-mo's to hang out with. Plus we could actually get married.

Louisiana's marriage case is being heard by SCOTUS on April 28th. It may not be too long before we can get married here too... But again hurricanes. Terrible economy. Lack of mountains. Corruption abounding. I am ready to leave New Orleans.

I hate the unknown. I can pretty much get a job anywhere but Leigh's profession is tougher. Moving up in her job requires us to live in very specific big cities so before I can do my own job hunt I have to wait on her to get something first.

I am so excited to get to go somewhere different. Hopefully by summer we will be packing up the moving truck and moving to the west side of the Mississippi river...