Prairie Dog

Prairie Dog
One of the survivors from the Castle Rock, CO prairie dog slaughter.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Flipping out over a birth certificate

This week in Colorado politics saw a bill in front of a state senate committee that would allow transgender Coloradans to change the gender on their birth certificate.

To me, this is a common sense matter. It's a matter that doesn't affect anyone other than the person wanting to make the change official. Right now the process is pretty close to a nightmare. including needing to get a court order.

I quickly learned that the parts of this bill that freak people out are in the details. After I sent a tweet about being disappointed that this bill did not make it out of a Republican-majority committee, I quickly received this from someone who doesn't live in Colorado:

"people w/ penises dont get to change their B.C. to female. Wanna change it? remove the boy bits, morons"

I asked her a question about the bill and about who she was referring to as a moron. Her response didn't include who the moron was but did inform me that this bill allows folks in transition to make the change.

That freaks some people out. After reading about this, I totally get why someone in transition would want to already have their birth certificate changed.  Documentation is very important when transitioning and the birth certificate is a huge part of that.

The clear issue for me is that this bill would make life easier for the one person who is transitioning. It has no affect on anyone else.

What is also clear to me after reading testimony against this bill is that some people just don't like trans people. As an article from the Colorado Independent about the bill not passing through committee exclaimed, "Transgender birth certificate bill crashes against anti-gay lobby." One of those testifying against the bill was from the Alliance Defending Freedom, an anti-gay, "religious freedom" group based in Arizona.

I hope this bill comes back next year.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

UPDATE: Surviving Castle Rock prairie dogs safe!

What a whirlwind.

About 100 prairie dogs who survived the mass positioning that killed over 1500 prairie dogs were placed at a local activist's home while awaiting relocation. Yesterday Colorado Parks and Wildlife seized them and it looked like the prairie dogs didn't have much of a chance.

A couple of weeks ago, to make space for a new mall, the town council of Castle Rock approved the slaughter of 1500+ prairie dogs.

A few days later local activists were allowed to trap the survivors for relocation. I had heard they would be relocated to somewhere in New Mexico.

That never happened.

Then yesterday I read about the Colorado Parks and Wildlife getting involved and taking the prairie dogs.

I just learned from Denver's CBS 4 that a land owner in Sedalia agreed to have the surviving prairie dogs relocated to his property! In fact, the prairie dogs are already there!

I am ecstatic. I don't know who was involved in this life-saving action, but I thank all of them.

I also have to thank the Denver Post and Denver CBS 4 for covering this story.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Whole Foods sells rabbit meat

If you like eating rabbits, this post might be informative to you.

If you do not eat rabbits, and you like living rabbits, I hope you take action after reading this post.

Meet Clover. She is a family member of one of our best friends. Family. Our friend has been educating us about Whole Foods selling rabbit meat in some stores, I think they are testing the market for rabbit meat. She has stopped shopping at Whole Foods because of this and is working to get Whole Foods to stop selling rabbit meat.

I understand where she is coming from. Whenever I see or read about chinchilla fur coats, I think of the chins who are part of our family. It hits hard. The same is for our friend seeing rabbit meat sold.

I didn't think the whole rabbit meat at Whole Foods, a place where many vegans and vegetarians and animal lovers shop, would last. It didn't make sense for them to create controversy amongst loyal customers. It's been several months now and I don't think they are considering stopping the sale of rabbit meat. In fact, they are even trying to be "cute" with the sale of rabbit meat. The picture here is of a sign in a Whole Foods above a picture of rabbits who will become rabbit meat.

This photo is a combination of two photos: top is from a Whole Foods store selling rabbit meat. Bottom is from a rabbit slaughterhouse in Iowa.
"Come hop down the bunny trail"? Seriously?

I have to say that I like Whole Foods a little less now because of this sign. I also will clarify that a rabbit is a cow is a chicken is a fish is a rat to me. I believe in being a voice for all animals. At first I thought Whole Foods was just selling another animal. But for me, rabbits are different as they are family just like chins are my family. Folks who have rabbits as part of their family don't want to see body parts of an animal that is part of their family while they grocery shop just as I don't want to see chinchilla throws while shopping.

I know Whole Foods is getting taken to the carpet by activists around the country for many reasons. Their "humane meat" promotion is ridiculous. And hurtful. Even with all of that plus the selling of rabbit meat, we still shop there. Their selection of vegan items makes shopping easier for us.

But we shop there less. And have talked about not shopping there at all.

I have read all sorts of comments around this national campaign to get Whole Foods to stop selling rabbit meat.  There are definitely a lot of opinions. Now you know mine.

If you think Whole Foods should stop selling rabbit meat, please leave a comment at your local Whole Foods. I have always believed that we have the power to make change, and I certainly believe that Whole Foods can be convinced to stop selling rabbit meat. It takes a community of people, but it can be done.

Protests will be nationwide this coming week. Here is the Facebook event page for the Boulder Whole Foods protest against the selling of rabbit meat:

We love rabbits!

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Letting the ugliness go

A few weeks ago some of my friends went to hear Janet Mock speak in southern California. I had never heard of her but instantly became interested as my friends wrote about being changed by meeting her. Janet is a trans woman and I am reading her book "Redefining Realness".

A quote on the cover says "You will be changed by the book".


I am only in the first few pages. As she discusses seeing trans women out and about (before she came out as trans) she writes "They were dismissed and dehumanized, which made an overwhelming majority of them vulnerable to the harshest treatment, exclusion, discrimination, and violence."

She is writing about trans women but those lines hit me hard.

The man I am today is not the man I have always been. While reading this I was jolted back to the days when my life was what Janet was writing about. Not as a trans woman but as a closeted gay man struggling to come out.

Experiencing unkindness and serious hatred from those in my inner circle and even family members. Not knowing how someone would react, especially when thinking that all would be OK because this person or that person loves me so much.

At 21 being in the middle of the ocean on a US Navy ship and being called faggot, with nowhere to go. The idea that people would be violent towards me was one that took me a long time to get used to. I just could not understand it. At first.

Of course the self-imposed hate and shame are the worst. Yet as I struggled through coming out, I kept being in awe about how hateful human beings could be. And at this point of my story it wasn't the hate and unkindness from strangers, but from people who knew me.

As I kept reading the words that Janet so perfectly wrote, my eyes filled with tears remembering the unkindness. Wanting so badly for my family members to just love me, regardless of what they felt about gayness. Wanting friends in the Navy who knew me so well, knew me as a good person and a good sailor, to take back the hateful words.

It took a long time to let the ugliness go.

As a gay, vegan blogger I get to experience the ugliness of hate and unkindness a lot. These days it doesn't bother me. Those who perpetuate hate and violence and unkindness towards anyone are small people, cowards actually. They are most likely dealing with their own demons. And their pathetic use of anti-gay slurs or threatened violence are sad attempts to break out of whatever crap is going on in their own lives. Don't get me wrong, I call anyone on their bullshit bigotry, but them being a bigot has much less affect on me than it did those many years ago as I was struggling.

(Except when they try to legalize their bigotry. That's a different story!)

Still reading "Redefining Realness". And today I say thank you, with a heart filled with love, gratitude, compassion and passion, to all of those who stood by me in those darkest of days and to all of those who have stood by me and loved me and been a part of my incredible journey ever since.

Thank you for reading.