I’m Tired of Waiting But I Don’t Want to Move to Canada

“Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing, and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages (Corretta Scott King in 2004).”

It feels weird to realize this woman is talking about me. If I personalize what she said, it gets even weirder:

Doug is gay and he has a family. His family should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A law banning same-sex marriage is a form of gay bashing, and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.

FamilyPeople who are smarter than I am have spoken and written about the similarities and differences between racial civil rights and sexual orientation civil rights. I’m reluctant to emphasis the the sameness of the two because I don’t want to hijack the raw, emotional, and for many, very personal history of the racial civil rights struggle in this country. But it’s sad that I’ve grown so accustomed to the way things are that I don’t spend much time questioning them. Doesn’t that sound familiar?

I’ve lived with my partner for almost eleven years. If he or I died tomorrow, I think things would be okay, knowing our families, but I don’t know that for sure. I’m not one hundred percent sure our employers would honor our pension designations or even allow us bereavement time off. So far, when one of us has been in the emergency room, there’s been enough gay nurses around that we’ve been able to visit with no questions asked. But there’s nothing in place that guarantees that right in the future. Am I denied any other rights? I don’t even know.

Like the title says, I’m tired of waiting but I don’t want to move to Canada. Frank would love it there. But it’s too cold for me.

Pictures for Pages on Facebook

Facebook IconHere’s something to think about: Look at the thumbnail version of your page on Facebook. Is it something that friends or page fans will recognize? We love updating images of our stuff! But many of the images we see on Facebook don’t work well, especially in the thumbnail versions. And thumbnails are what it’s all about on Facebook. People come to your actual page only once to sign up or to like the page. After that, they the look for you on their newsfeed. They see your full page picture one time. They see the thumbnail version every time they go to Facebook and you have posted something that shows up in their feed.

Remember, it’s all about the thumbnail view.

People want to recognize you quickly in their newsfeeds. Often, images become so small in the thumbnail view that they’re unrecognizable. Or sometimes there just isn’t a clear spot to choose from for that thumbnail version. Also, changing the image on Facebook is great for people, but not so much for products. When people look at their newsfeeds on Facebook, they are scanning. New pictures don’t always facilitate that.
For an example of a good picture of a page, take a look at National Geographic’s profile picture and wall: http://www.facebook.com/natgeo?v=wall. Especially look at the thumbnail version on the wall.

Once you create a good thumbnail version of for your page, keep it for a good long time. Changing the image frequently on Facebook might be good for people, but it isn’t good of products.
For the true geeks among us: Facebook recommends that profile/page pictures be 200 pixels wide. For the all-important thumbnail, you can drag the image around to different parts of your picture, but you cannot expand the thumbnail selections. It’s best to allow a 12 pixel border around the most important information you want to communicate so it will appear in the thumbnail. Again, look above at what National Geographic did.

Lie About the Candlestick

“Douglas!” My father yelled, and I winced. My body tensed, but I recovered quickly and rolled my eyes. I didn’t want the other guys to see my reaction. I wanted them to see me staying cool.

“What?” I shouted back. No “Yes Sir”, no “Coming!”, no respect. I’d grown out of that quite awhile back. And he had given up demanding it.

“Come here!” He yelled.

My father was a good man. Even a great man. He worked hard, provided for his family’s needs, and, in his own way, gave a great deal of himself to others. But holy shit he was hard to live with.

BasketballWhat was so important that he had to interrupt this game of horse? He probably wanted me to help him hold something he was nailing, or measure something he was sawing, or look for something he was needing. It didn’t matter. It didn’t matter what he wanted and it didn’t matter what I was doing. It was always the same; his needs came first, at least for things like this.

It was the strangest thing; he built the basketball goal. Why wouldn’t he want me to play with it. He knew my friends rarely came to the house to play. This moment was rare. Why was he screwing it up?

I passed the ball to Pete as I turned toward the house, shaking my head. I walked through the back door and Dad shut it behind me. Index finger pointing, seething, he said, “Don’t you ever bring a black boy in this house again.”

What the hell?

I grew up in a house with its share of dysfunction. Was it more than what other kids had to face? I can’t answer that. In my house, anger flashed white and hot one minute then burned itself out and was gone the next. I was used to hearing a list of my faults and of the wrongs that I and others, by either omission or commission, had committed against my father.

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