Showing posts from 2016

The Trump Effect

Over the last few weeks I have been watching the worst of humanity come out of my country's shadows, emboldened by a Trump victory.  Hate crimes in this country have risen to epic proportions in the few short weeks since the election.  The white nationalists, neo-Nazis and the KKK have declared that Trump's the President that gives them legitimacy.  Sadly, they are right.  Instead of denouncing these deplorable groups, by name, in the strongest terms possible Trump has taken to Twitter to denounce the cast of "Hamilton" for a respectable message to Mike Pence. Before that it was the protestors who became the focus of his rage.  Trump is not a man, he is a child who wants to sit at the grown-ups table, yet he has no idea how to use a fork and knife yet!  He throws temper tantrums that would be funny if they weren't so pathetic.  He even uses his surrogates to issue stern warnings to anyone who may speak out against him (Bring it on, Trump!).  This is the person w…

Postmortem - An Open Letter to Donald Trump

Dear Mr. Trump,

You won the election.  Congratulations.

I would like to let you know upfront that I did not vote for you. I do not agree with you. In fact, I generally dislike you. These things are rights afforded to me by the Constitution of the United States. I cherish my 1st Amendment rights just as much, if not more so, than your supporters cherish their 2nd Amendment rights.  Over the next 4 years, I will exercise my 1st Amendment rights at every possible opportunity.

During the course of your campaign you made extremely hyperbolic claims about yourself, your wealth, your intelligence, even your genitalia (something that was a true low point for American politics).  You blatantly lied at every single press conference and rally.  Your lies were to the point that no one really knows if there was anything truthful that came out of your mouth during the last 18 months.  Sure, your constituents bought it hook, line and sinker, but the rest of us saw through your lies.  When we calle…

We Cannot Let This Happen!

Here in the United States we are just days away from election day.  On November 8th we will be deciding whether to elect the first female President of these United States (something that is long overdue, since men, with very few exceptions, have been fucking things up since the dawn of the Republic) or are we going to elect a tangerine nightmare of a lunatic with the maturity of a toddler, the ethics of Bernie Madoff, and is, at best, a racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, pathetic excuse of a man and is, at worst, a racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, pathetic excuse of a man who is also a sexual predator who would rather destabilize the very foundation of our democracy than concede he lost the election.  In short, it is a choice between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump.  People around the world are looking in at my country and wondering if we are all either a.) insane; b.) trying to pull off the…

28 Days Left until Election Day 2016 (Also known as The Countdown to Either a Great Day in Our History or the End of the World as We Know It)

If you live outside of the United States, and are paying any attention to our Presidential election campaigns, you may be thinking, "What the fuck is wrong with them over there?" or "They aren't really going to elect Donald Trump, are they?"  You may be looking in on us and feel terrified that Donald Trump, an intentionally tangerine colored man with an IQ lower than that of an amoeba, may be close to having the nuclear codes. You may listen to Trump and think, "Wow! He can't tell the truth to save his soul.  He can't take any kind of criticism. He acts like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum from hell.  He brags about the ways in which he sexually assaults women.  He conveniently has a selective memory when it comes to his own words or actions even when there is documentation that he said/did these things. Dear God, those crazy Americans can't be that crazy!"

I would like to assure anyone who is reading this that we, the Americans who …

The Bad with the Good

The Bad

The last few weeks have been a bit crazy.  I will be having surgery, hopefully sooner than later, that will, hopefully, once and for all, get rid of this chronic breast infection that has ruled my life for the last five years. The surgery is terrifying to me, but at this point it is completely necessary.  I have been a lot sicker than I have let pretty much everyone know and I can't take it anymore.  So, I will be getting an MRI done on Friday, remain on a strong antibiotic, and based on the results of the test, the surgical plan will be set up.  It will either be a smaller surgery than expected to try and clean out the infected tissue and then possible do the larger surgery a bit later, or if the MRI gives the doctors the info the need and it all looks good, they will go ahead and do the bigger surgery. Neither course of action makes me happy because I hate surgery.

Surgery causes a massive autoimmune flare, during which, as I experienced in past surgeries, leave me in s…

A Realization and a Step Forward

I came to a realization very late the other night.  To most of you it will sound silly, ridiculous even, but for me it is huge.

I used to wear clothes that let my personality shine through.  I wore clothes that fit my body perfectly and showed off my curves.  After the first rape I started to wear clothes dark enough and baggy enough that I went unnoticed. I spent years simply trying to blend into the background.  Once I got my legs under me again, I started dressing in clothes that made me feel OK.  Not great, just OK. Then the second rape happened, followed by the miscarriage, and I just gave up.  I wear baggy clothes that are pretty, but don't make me feel like me.

The other night, I started scrolling through this clothing site that I got a shirt from back in March.  It was the first thing that I put on in years that made me feel beautiful and sexy and like me.  I was just looking through the shirts and soon found myself adding items to a wishlist that made me feel like my fu…

What a Wonderful World

Sometimes you get to be a part of something so beautiful, so amazing, that it changes your perspective on life and love. It awakens the part of your heart that makes it want to allow the possibility of finding love back into your life. About a week ago, I got to be a part of something this extraordinary.  On July 16, 2016, I was witness to the renewal of marriage vows between my best friend/sister, Catie, and her amazing wife, Beth.

Catie is not my sister by blood.  She is my sister, though, by an extraordinary friendship.  We became fast friends through an almost instant connection, like kindred spirits.  I joke that we were separated at birth, albeit 7 years apart. Blood relationships don't always keep, so you create your family from those closest to you.  In this respect, Catie is my sister in every possible way that matters most.

Beth is truly a wonderful person.  She is Catie's perfect compliment.  Her spirit is bright and her heart is enormous.  We bonded over our mut…

Dear Emily Doe - An Open Letter to the Survivor of the Stanford Rapist

Dear Emily Doe,

I don't know, yet I am you.  I did not survive your experience, but I survived my own horrific morning 16 years ago and another horrific night 3 and a half years ago. I don't know what it is like to be you or to live inside your forever changed mind, but I know what it is like to be terrified of your own thoughts and body.  I know what it feels like to live in a skin you desperately need to take off because it feels dirty and just plain wrong.

Emily, that horrible night you became part of a club that every woman prays she will never join. You joined a club whose membership was violently forced upon you.  You joined a club in which each member is a statistic.  Yet, in joining this terrible club you earned a new label: Survivor.  While membership in this club is the loneliest experience in the world, please know, Emily, that you are far from alone.  You are a part of a group of the strongest women in the world.  We are women who have experienced the worst of hum…


My heart hurts. I wish I could write something beautiful and eloquent to explain what it feels like to know that my LGBT friends and family are terrified and there is nothing I can do about it.   I keep trying to find the right words, but I can't find them. So I am simply going to use the words of another:
"Hope will never be silent." - Harvey Milk
The victims of this senseless tragedy are numerous, but each person's name and life deserves to be known better than that of the monster who did the taking. Click here to learn about and remember the victims.

("Gabriel" by SoulArtPhotography)
There is a GoFundMe page set up by Florida Equality to help the victims and their families.  Here is the link: The above photo "Gabriel" is an original work from my own collection of photos.  If anyone would like a print, I will be charging $26.00.  $16.00 of the total cost will go toward printing and shipping the 8x10 photo, t…

Dearly Beloved

The world is full of talented people, artists whose talent resonates with people around the world. Their art touches you in ways you never knew a work of art could.  It speaks to depths of your soul. It makes your heart beat along with its melody.  Its colors explode into your spirit, ricocheting off each surface within you in an overwhelming and violent collision of beauty that fills you up completely. Such is the power of the art Prince created.
Prince turned a chord into poetry.  He made exquisite art each time he picked up a guitar, sat down at the piano, or picked up one of the other 20+ instruments he knew and started to play.  He was a genius in the purest sense of the word. He created the most extraordinary music and was happy to share it all with his fans.  
Prince was not the typical celebrity. He didn't need the spotlight to make him happy.  He wasn't obsessed with self promotion.  Even when he played the Super Bowl Halftime Show, the ultimate performance on the bigg…

I Stand with Brussels

When the worst of humanity attacks, the best of humanity is revealed.  This is why terrorists will never win.

I stand with Brussels.

Bittersweet Dreams

I had a fitful night’s sleep.  I kept waking up, turning my light on and looking for people that I was talking to in my dreams: Gram, Papa, and you, my dearest Gabriel.   I saw you as clear as day.  Your wavy black hair, warmly colored skin, your big brown doe eyes, your bright smile and your giggles all made me want to hold on to you with every bit of energy I had within me. You were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, and you were mine.  For those brief moments, you were my baby boy.  I got to see you, hold you, and wish that I could live in that moment forever.  I don’t know if it was a dream, or if you were coming to visit me so I could see both that you were doing ok and what a beautiful little boy my baby was growing into without me. In this dream, Gram brought you to me.  I watched you hold her hand as you walked toward me.  I saw her bend down to your ear, whisper something and point to me.  Then you took off running to me. You were wearing black corduroy pants, an olive …


Two weeks ago, I turned 36 years old. That means 40 is fast approaching. I have spent a lot of the last few years allowing fear dictate my life.  I have let my past rule my present. I decided that I have given enough of my life to allowing crappy people, and the things they did to me, keep me in a dark place. I can't allow myself to remain in a place of constant sadness because of the pieces of myself that I have lost.  I have come to the understanding that the remainder of my life is worth fighting for again. I need to embrace it instead of fear it.  I need to live it like my son is watching.  If I am ever going to do something, then now is the time. So, here's to saving for photography trips (Alaska, Iceland and the UK, I am looking at you!), venturing out into the world, and being unapologetic for being myself! Here's to drinking more wine, eating more chocolate and loving my body, curvy imperfections and all! Here's to fighting for the life I was meant to live and …