Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Loss of Sarah

Some things put me on a soapbox. I have to remember that a soapbox is not always the best place to be when these things happen -- but I'm outraged, nonetheless! Below I've copied a letter word for word from the Executive Director of the Family Pride Coalition so we can all get a clear idea of this tragedy. She does it so much better than me.

The Family Pride Coalition according to their mission "has for 25 years been the only national non-profit organization solely dedicated to equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) parents and their families. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., FPC supports nearly 200 membership-based LGBT parenting groups nationwide with a base of 35,000 supporters."

The Family Pride Coalition deputy executive director, Corri Plank, and her partner, Diane Hardy Garcia have dedicated themselves to being foster parents. Last April their first foster daughter was removed from their home and returned to her aunt and uncle due to a referree of the court's decision that this was the best thing for the child -- even though Sarah's aunt and uncle had been suspected of abusing her. In October, Sarah was beaten to death (according to prosecutors) by that same aunt and uncle.

Do I need say anything more? Oh. I will say one thing more. You too can become a member of The Family Pride Coalition .


Dear Families,

I am writing to you today to share with you the news about a horrific story that has very personally and deeply impacted one of our Family Pride staff members and her family.

Many of you know Corri Planck, our deputy executive director, and her work on behalf of Family Pride over the past four years. Recently, she and her partner, Dianne Hardy-Garcia, lost their first child in a tragic and violent way that continues to shock so many of us.

Yesterday, the story of what happened to their first foster daughter, Sarah, appeared on the front page of the Los Angeles Times.,0,7728594.story?coll=la-headlines-california

Corri and Dianne have worked tirelessly with Los Angeles County and child welfare officials to ensure that the truth of what happened to Sarah was revealed. Even today, they continue to push the system to look at every institution that failed Sarah along the way – the courts, the hospitals and the Department of Children and Family Services. Because of their work, I know that qualified people will continue to find places in their hearts and homes for these wonderful children who so desperately need safe, stable and loving homes and that the system will be better able to protect these children.

Today, I ask you to share this story with as many people as possible – to show the world what we already know as LGBT parents – that what is best for a child is a safe, loving, stable environment. And most importantly, I ask you to share this story so that Sarah’s memory may live on, so that we shed light on social service systems that fail our most vulnerable, and so that something good might come from something so tragic.

I also ask you to hold Corri and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Executive Director
Family Pride

Family Pride is the only national non-profit organization exclusively dedicated to securing equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents and their families.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It's A Great Day For A Love Story

When I met the Sexy Beast, she was seeing someone, and I had been in a relationship with my ex for about seven years when the SB and I were introduced. She and my ex were playing softball on a team together -- and after a game we ventured out to dinner at Guero's. I was hardly a jock then and still am not -- so the Sexy Beast saw me at the game, book in hand, likely a script, reading rather than watching what I'm sure was, given the kind of computer geek women on the team, a very sad softball practice.

After dinner, the Sexy Beast and I talked in the parking lot. Here's where I confess to the now public knowledge that the Sexy Beast was cute, but, because she was in a relationship that was a little rocky, I perceived that she was, well... a mess.

Fast forward a month. My ex goes to visit family and friends in California. While she is away a couple of things happen... neither of which entails any guilty behavior on the part of the Sexy Beast nor I, so don't get your hopes up...

1. The Sexy Beast calls me, just to chat, HONEST, and she's down about her current love situation. I tell her she needs to go buy a party hat. I don't remember this -- but she did go out and buy a party hat. Since then, the Sexy Beast gets a new party hat every 4th of July.

2. Meanwhile, the ex is in California. She has determined that she is in love with her best friend there, and that the best path for her life is to move back to California from Texas.

Now, I digress at this point to clarify that I have few hard feelings any more for my ex. As we've all heard, not forgiving someone is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die. And if you haven't heard it, now you have. Nonetheless, I did know my ex well enough to figure out something was up that Sunday night when I called to talk to her -- and this left her with no choice but to break her news to me over the phone. After seven years... There is really no good way to do it -- and there might have been better ways but I had her. I could tell something was up and she is honest so don't hold it against her.

I went off the deep end. There were many people worried about me -- but, obviously, I came out of it.

In the meantime the Sexy Beast and the ex keep in touch and hang out in a purely platonic way. The Sexy Beast, who can sleep through the loudest THX battle scene in any given movie theatre, was told once by my ex, when they were hanging out late one night, that she needed to eat some CornNuts -- they'd keep her awake. You might guess the mileage we get out of that one everytime we see CornNuts. I myself have other methods of keeping her awake. Get your mind out of the gutter...I snore! That keeps everyone in the HOUSE awake. The Sexy Beast even recorded me snoring last week!

But back to my story.

Fast forward a couple of months again. I have come out of my funk. It's my birthday and I'm having a big fun party. A friend of the Sexy Beast's and mine, who we found out that night was mutual, dragged the Sexy Beast to my party -- and we "met again."

I uncharacteristically kissed her under the streetlight across the street from my house at 4am after everyone but my sister had left, and the minute I set foot on the turf of my yard I was embarrassed. She must think my ex and I are (Corn) nuts! She must think I'm an idiot. I went to far. I.. I... I...

called her the next morning as soon as was humanly appropriate -- worried, and apologetic.

She said: "It was the best appetizer I had all night."

I'll save you the details of the next few months, but our first Valentine's Day together was spent at the wedding of that friend who brought The Sexy Beast to my party. We wore red dresses and through no fault of our own looked like Twinkies. Unbeknownst to each other, we both bought each other dinner rings adorned with garnets.

We've had, eight, or is it nine? Valentine's Days since then, all of them worth every moment.

Today I wrote a private haiku for her.

I don't remember it, so I will write another.

You are blessed light.
A partner for all time.
You embrace my snore.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Sexy Beast Thinks!

Today the Sexy Beast was feeling blue. I, in my inimitable Virgo fashion, asked her what she was thinking about, since of course, that can often cause that oh so delightful "just want to cry" feeling.

Her thoughts were so good, I share them with her permission and a few edits to help me keep my job. ;-)

The Sexy Beast is so cute even after all these years!

lots of stuff....

work - new system. wanting adequate training. overwhelmed.

house - messy. my mom wants me to send an email to dad telling him the house will probably be ready to rent/buy in a year.... just a hint

you - want a date - QUIET ONE. emphasize QUIIIIIIET!!!

boys - graduation... westwood - - - being a fine arts academy kid....

carly - pee head

price - b*stard

pizza - what it tasted like ...'cuz the boys ate it before I got home last p.m.

exercise - not . should.

chocolate - want some

head- slight ache / ears full / equilibrium slightly off

vacation - ever again?

church - would like to be able to offer more .

filling myself - what would help? (besides beer)

beer - too bad can't have it at work

friends - miss some of them . bet they miss me too! I'M STILL ALIVE!!!

family - miss them . wonder if they miss me.

restroom - so far from my desk .... .... and need to pee

That's about it...