Saturday, March 26, 2011


I really can't even decide what to say in this post. I am literally close to speechless and feel tears rolling down my face as I write this. I just finished watching Conviction, a film about Betty Ann Waters and her fight to free her brother from a life sentence in jail after being wrongly convicted of 1st Degree Murder. She managed to get a degree and then a law degree so that she could fight the system herself to free her brother after 18 years serving time in prison for a crime he did not commit.

It's an incredibly difficult and complex story to watch unfold onscreen and also merely to process as I sit here. I have so much rolling around in my head. How does this happen? How do we as a society forgive ourselves for allowing something like this to occur? How can we ever give this man back any of the time that was stolen from him? He missed watching his child and his nieces and nephews grow up. Betty Ann's fight ruined her marriage and took 18 years of stress and struggle and incredibly hard work, which is so incredibly admirable, but also sort of tragic in that she was caught in that sense of imprisonment as well. She was locked in a fight that changed her entire life as well. How do they get that time back? How do they deal with that now? How does someone find the strength and courage to fight like that? It's truly incredible.

I guess it's just hard to wrap my head around something like that. And, of course, the system is not perfect. We know that. But, I still can't help but think that something must be done. There must be a way to prevent this sort of thing from happening. There must be some way to repay them. It's horrifying and heartbreaking and I just can't stop reeling from it.

There's no real moral or end to this post. I just had to get some of those questions out. How does someone love so deeply? It's truly amazing and awe-inspiring. I am going back to speechless now. Carry on.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


I'm angry. There, I said it. I'm angry. I'm angry that I have so little time. I'm angry that I have so little money. I'm angry that people unapologetically step on my toes and pull the rug out from under me. I'm angry because I'm lonely. I'm angry because I'm not more educated. I'm angry that once a day someone asks me where they can hear me sing and I have to tell them "nowhere". I'm angry that I feel like I am called to do something bigger and greater and more important and I don't know what that is or how to go about doing it. I'm angry that my dreams are eluding me. I'm angry that people I believed in are letting me down.

But, all these angers are selfish. They are about me and they are things that I have to let out and let go of. Because anger is destructive. It takes the beauty in our hearts and turns it black. But it's there and it's valid and it's meaningful. If we didn't have anger, we wouldn't feel so wonderful when we resolved it and found joy and peace. Anger is an important emotion and I think that sweeping it under the rug, as it were, does not resolve it, but makes it collect and fester and grow, so I won't hide it. I am angry and I am dealing with it and that is ok.

And, in the interest of doing that, I have to tell you that I am angry at people who use religion and the bible as justification for being nasty to other people. For taking a tragedy and celebrating it as a "fulfillment of prophecy" or some kind of lesson being taught to the world about how they should love god or else.

I'm sorry... wait, no I'm not. I won't apologize for what I'm about to say, because I believe it fervently. I cannot believe that there are people in this world who justify cruelty and bigotry and hate with the Bible. John 13:34-35 reads: "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." God calls us to love as he loved and his love is perfect. God's word is that we are to love one another. To me, that is what God is. He is not this vindictive Creator who punishes us for our shortcomings because he made us in his image and we are imperfect. If he had wanted us to be perfect beings, he would've created us as such. But he created us, he saw it and decided that it was good and he gave us free will so that we could choose the manner in which we lived and served and believed in him. I can't fathom a God, that extolls love and kindness and mercy would want people to suffer. I just refuse to believe that. My God is love. And I, as an extension of God, am love. And, so as a person who embodies love and the love of God, I have to reflect love on the world and I believe that of all people, so when I hear people preaching hate and vengeance and that some people are lesser than others because of their religion or ethnicity or whatever(!), it makes my blood boil.

And that's my challenge. Yes, I am angry at these people. Yes, I want to change the hardened, cruel hearts of these people. I want to hate these people. But, wait. That defeats my argument. My work becomes squelching anger and intolerance toward the angry and intolerant by fighting back with love. Loving even those who have no love for me. Loving people that I will never understand or feel naturally kind toward. Loving in spite of a boiling anger. That is my work.

I encourage you all to find love in your hearts, both for those you fervently believe deserve all the love you can give, but also for those you fervently believe do not. Because, honestly, those are the people who need our love the most.

I love you all and I hope that the work of our deep, god-reflecting love continues and the light in our eyes can begin to be reflected in the hardened hearts of those who have extinguished that light in themselves.

And I hope to resolve my anger soon. And I will.

I love you all. More than I can say.

Friday, March 4, 2011

We. Are. Human. Period.

As many of you know, I am currently in a production of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later at Grace Episcopal Church. This powerful show is about the horrific murder of Matthew Shephard and the impact in the community of Laramie, Wyoming ten years after the hate crime occurred. Obviously, with a show this difficult, there are a lot of thoughts running through my head, none more-so than how we treat people and why people are drawn toward hating one another.

I have never understood how a person can so easily hate another person, especially a person they know nothing about, save one particular facet of their being, i.e. their sexuality, race, gender, etc. I believe that we are called to love one another no matter what. It is our obligation as human beings to love and respect one another despite our differences.

Tonight, we held a talkback after the show and there was a lot of talk about how we make a bigger impact; a louder voice; reach beyond our community to the nation at large. I heard a lot of "we, as gay people" or "we as Christians" and I kept thinking to myself "why do 'we' have to define ourselves in those terms to make a stand?" Why do we always want to define ourselves so narrowly. I like to think that I am a sum of all my various, unique parts and that I am not defined by: woman, caucasian, heterosexual, blonde, actor, singer, yogini, etc. I am all of those things and therefore I define myself as human. I am a human being, with flaws and individuality and I should be an advocate for other humans with flaws and individuality. I should stand up for the rights of all people, because they are human and I am human. Period. Just because you are gay, or you are a man, or your skin is dark, or your eyes are blue or whatever, doesn't mean that you are a totally different person from me and I can't relate to you so I shouldn't stand up for you. I can relate to everyone because they are human and I am human, and we have that shared connection. So, I should stand up for your rights just as I would my own, because we are brothers and sisters in humanity if nothing else.

God calls us to love our neighbors. He does not place conditions on this love, so why do we give ourselves permission to do so? We should fight for equality here on Earth because we are all equal in the eyes of God. And God made us who we are, in his image, and He is perfect, so we are perfect in his eyes, no matter our sexuality, gender, race, creed, religion. I think we would do well to remember that. God loves us, so we reflect his love. Let us love one another. Because it is what we are born to do.

I love you all.
Sleep well.