Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Adventures of the Rainbow Family-Part One

So I had a dream two nights ago and it made my therapist laugh so hard that she was gasping for breath. (In Dorothy voice) and you were there, and you were there and you were there. *Snickers*
Anyway, it is now being referred to as my “Superhero Dream,” because it was very Captain America and the Justice League…but like the GLBTQ version.
So I thought I’d share it with you all to make you smile and laugh and let you see that even if you weren’t prominently mentioned, in my head you’re all superheroes.
So the dream began at a house with a layout much like the one that Cherie and I have right now, but bigger and different, although the placement was the same. The house was much, much bigger. So big that it was able to fit the entire family, aunts, uncles, cousins, dad, moms, brothers, sisters, etc (the kids were sitting at another table, except one baby-mine and Daniel’s-who was sitting in her high chair between us) at the dining table. So we’re all sitting at the table and I remember cataloguing random new people. Tay-Tay’s new man, Cherie’s new man, Damon’s husband was there, Dad was there with his man, Mama NJ was there with her husband, Daniel was with me and we had three children (yes, Daniel, three). So sitting across from Daniel and I was Damon and his husband and Damon goes to lift his fork of food to his mouth to eat when he pauses and says “There’s a disturbance in the atmosphere” with one eyebrow quirked and everything.
So I look at him, all confused like, and say “What?” And he looks around like he’s hiding something and says “Nothing. But I need to go….” Then he gets up and leaves the table.
Tay-Tay jumps up right after and she puts her hands on her hips like a superhero and says, “I MUST…go…to the bathroom,” and she takes off.
Then Cherie jumps up from her chair so fast that the chair slid across the room and slammed into the wall and she raises one finger and says, “I NEED…to go downstairs and check on my car.”
So by this point I’m really confused and I say, “What’s going on?” and Daniel leans over and pats my arm and says, “Don’t worry about it honey.”
Then Dad stands up, real calm like and he’s like, “I need to go downstairs and have a smoke,” and I look at him leaving, with Heidi right behind and I say, “But Dad, you don’t smoke!”
Then Mama NJ stands up and says, “You bunch of wankers, I’m going outside to see what’s going on.” So I’m looking around the table, very confused and saying, “What the hell is going on?” When Daniel stands up and says, “I need to go too.”
So I look at him and I say, “Go where? You didn’t ask me if you could go anywhere.” So Daniel looks at me with this exasperated look and says, “You told me I don’t have to ask you to use the bathroom.” And I say, “Oh! Yeah, yeah, sure. Go ahead.” So he nods at me and (and this is the gross part) leans over to me and says, “And I need to take a shit so I might be a while.”
So I tell him to go but I notice that he’s not heading towards the bathrooms, he’s headed outside. I’m just about to question again when I hear:
“You there! Stop right there! This instant!”
So I run towards the windows with the kids behind me and jerk it open. I look outside and down to the street and I see the biologicals, in full on evil villain attire (grey tights, black space boots, shredded black capes, black masks on their faces, black gloves like Batman) faced off with all of you.
So as I look down into the street I start pointing out who I see down in the street. "That's Damon!" "And that's Cherie!" "Is that...Daniel?!" I'm all confused and I say "What the hell is going on?" Then I hear from behind me, "Uncle Vic, I think it would be best if you move from in front of the window, I'm running a little late and I don't want you to get hurt." I turn around and there's the Nieceling, Cherie's daughter, standing there in her superhero costume. Space boots (purple) over teal tights, with a white checkered pair of shorts on over that, with a orange and beige skirt on over that. Then she had on a t-shirt, a buttoned down shirt over that, with a little black vest on over that with a long purple cape on it (if you ever met her you'd know this is classic clothing for her). I'm so confused by this point I step out of the way and watch as she just sort of flies out of the window.
Damon's superhero costume was purple, yellow and green. Tay-Tay's costume was red, white, blue. Cherie's costume was red, orange and yellow. Dad's costume was blue, green and grey. Mama NJ's costume color was the entire rainbow. Daniel's costume color was purple, red and black. Heidi's costume color was pink, red and grey. The women all looked like Wonder Woman and the men all had costumes like Superman (complete with muscles).
So the biologicals say, "We've come for Vic!" and Lisa,the youngest biological sister blew her breath (which from the dream was hot and very stinky) and everyone just sort of stepped back. Then Tanya (the biological mother) started reading Scripture from the Bible she held in her hands and the words from the page came up off of the page and Dad yelled out "Asshole!" and threw a lightning bolt that cut through the words and made them fall to the ground. Then the word asshole was tattooed on Tanya's forehead in German. Dad continued to say words and throw lightning bolts and they were all being tattooed on the biologicals in German. Then Damon threw his hands up in the air and said, "Leave my little brother alone" and all of this purple glitter came out of nowhere and landed on the biologicals (at this point in the dream I remember that I laughed and said, "Really Damon? Glitter?") but then I saw that the glitter was being embedded in the skin of the biologicals and sort of burning them. Then Tanya tried the Scripture thing again and Shontina (the younger biological sister) kept pointing her finger and saying, "Stop it! Stop that right now" and everyone sort of looked at her and laughed. Then Tay-Tay started throwing legal briefs at all of them, but the legal briefs were like ninja stars and slicing through their clothes and stuff. Then Cherie stepped forward and said, "Vic is MY baby bro, now leave him alone!" and stuck her finger in the air and all of the biologicals's sex changed. If they started off being female they were changed to male and vice versa. They all screamed and everyone laughed. Then Daniel stepped forward and said, "You silly Americans! You're all speaking improper English! And Vic is mine!" and then proper English words started falling from the sky on top of the biologicals head like hail (words like doughnuts, coloured, flavoured, cosy).
Then Mama NJ stepped forward and said, "You will leave my dear Son alone! Right now!" and these kangaroos came out of nowhere and picked the biologicals up and stuck them in their pouches.
Then Heidi stepped forward and she was crying (I will admit that in the dream at this time I was like, "Oh Heidi, c'mon! You're crying?! You're in the middle of a battle! There's no crying!") and she said, "Can't you see how amazing he is? Leave my little brother alone." Then I noticed that there was a hurricane and a tornado coming straight for the biologicals. The more upset that Heidi became the more it stormed and the worst it got.
When Heidi stopped crying the biologicals were gone but the city looked devastated. Then the Nieceling stepped forward and said, with her arms folded together like she was praying, "Vic is as he always was, a man. Let the Earth be healed." And the entire city was cleansed. The sky was bluer, the grass was greener, the streets were clean. It was pretty awesome.
Then everyone started shaking hands and patting each other on the back congratulating each other (Daniel kept saying, "Good show!"). Then I yelled down, "What the FUCK!? You guys are all superheroes and NO ONE told me?!" Then Dad looked up at me and smiled sheepishly before waving, "Hi Vic." Then everyone else waved and said "Hi Vic." I yelled down and said, "Don't hey Vic, me! What the fuck is going on?!" Then the Nieceling looked at me and said, "Uncle Vic! Language!" and Daniel said, "Honey, not in front of the kids." So I turned and saw my two eldest children, both boys, standing next to me, so I said, "Cover your ears," and they went to cover their ears and said, "He always makes us cover our ears."
After they do that, I turn back to the window and look out and say, "Now how long have you guys been fucking superheroes and not told me? And how can we market this and make some money?"
And then I woke up.

LOL. Just thought I'd share that with you guys. Especially since I've been told to take "The Rainbow Family" and turn it into a comic book. *Snickers* (I've already got one starring LC, MJ, Piper and Xakara in mind. LOL)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I'm Not An Innocent

So over the last few years I've heard that I'm "adorable" a lot.

Over the past few months it's become almost like a mantra. That I'm adorable and sweet and cute.

I always blush and splutter when I hear these things, because while everyone sees the man who struggled with his identity and sexuality, the man who once lived in the delusional mindset that he could live his life as a woman to satisfy people that couldn't really care less if he was happy and sane or not, I always see the man who screwed up a lot.

I see the young teenager who was a hardcore drug addict by the time he was thirteen, the one who was an alcoholic by the time he was twelve.

I see the young teenager who was raped, repeatedly over the course of his life, who suffered trauma at the age of 4.

I see the young teenager who lied, stole, got in fights constantly.

I see the young man who turned off his emotions years ago when his fiance died and is only just now turning them back on.

I see the teenager who skipped school, who got high and who had to drink in excess just to make it through the day sometimes.

I see the broken young man who is only now becoming whole again.

I don't think that makes me "adorable" or "sweet." I'm a patchwork human being. Broken, but not destroyed. Pieced together. Fused into one functioning person, with scars displayed quite prominently.

I'm not innocent, I'm me.

So, while I don't begrudge people looking at me and seeing the humble, adorable "young" man (c'mon peeps, shocking as it is, I'm almost 30), who, for some reason, either makes people want to sub for him or protect him, I also don't understand why they don't understand why I look at them crazy when they do so.

Can't they see the wounds? The scars? The gashes? The ones that are slowly healing but aren't completely healed just yet? Should I be offended that they can't or should I keep smiling and saying thank you when they call me adorable?

-Vicktor Aleksandr B.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

You Can't Love God and Be Transgender & Gay

I just got an email from someone, an old friend of mine who had heard about my "struggle with my true identity and the one that the devil is trying to give me."

I shit you not, that's what she said to me.

Now, it's been a few years since I went to seminary school, but I do remember attending and more than that I remember being at the top of my class...getting higher grades than this "friend" of mine, so I do know a thing or two about the Bible and the Torah.

I was raised in a home that practiced both Christianity and Judaism. I pretty much grew up referring to myself as a Messianic Jew, which means that I studied the Torah, celebrated Chanukah (Hanukkah for you Gentiles-LOL), celebrated the different Jewish holidays, and believed that Jesus is the son of God, sent down to the Earth to die for the sins of the world to give us access back to the Father (YHVH). I speak a little bit of Hebrew, can say some Hebrew prayers, listened to Christian music...

I was one confused, but extremely devout...something.

When I got older, one of the things that I always, always, always struggled with was the amount of judging and condemning that went on in the two different religions: Christianity and Judaism. These were the two religions that weren't supposed to be judging people. The God that they served (YHVH) was a God of forgiveness, second-chances, acceptance and most importantly LOVE. Like seriously, as I grew up I wondered how the God I served, and the God that my biologicals served could be so glaringly different.

My God said to "bless those who curse you and spitefully use you." Their God said "I will curse those who curse you." My God said "Love your neighbor as yourself." Their God said "Vengeance is Mine saith the Lord."

My God said "Judge NOT lest ye be judged." Their God said "And all liars, prostitutes, gamblers, those who practiced witchcraft, deceivers, adulterers, those who burned in lust, murderers, thieves, blasphemers...all burned in the lake of fire for all eternity."

And yes I know that all of these verses are in the Bible...I studied it...thoroughly and I began to notice how some things contradicted with other things. It was almost as if God changed his mind about some things and said "Okay, this wasn't as bad as I thought," and then on others said "OH! Wait! Nope, changed my mind, you see this? THIS is going to send you to hell...forever." Being a seminary student attending school to become a pastor and having been raised in the home that I was I accepted a lot of what I'd been told without question...for the most part.

However, when I'd get alone I'd study different words and realize that the truth of the Scriptures had been completely lost in translation.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Well this is a verse of Scripture that the biologicals used to say to me and the other kids so that we would have a healthy "fear" of God. I grew up thinking that if I screwed up, God was going to strike me with a lightning bolt. Upon further study I found out that that "fear" was actually "awe".

Yeah, makes that verse of Scripture take on a whole new meaning huh?

And the verse of Scripture "Spare the rod, spoil the child," that my parents used to justify whipping us with a belt or a switch when we'd misbehaved (really all of the adults in my family used it-even the ones who didn't believe in God), has also been wildly mistranslated. The "rod" that's being referred to in that Scripture is not an instrument of discipline, it's the Torah. Yes, the roll of Scriptures, or book of Scriptures, known as the Torah, is referred to as "the rod." So in essence that verse of Scripture is "If you don't teach your child the Torah, they will grow up disrespectful, spoiled and rebellious."

So I said all of this to this "friend" of mine. Pointed out to her that there was no way she could use any Scripture to justify her statements to me, that Romans 1:26-27 had been wildly mistranslated, that there were 6 times as many Scriptures, cautions, and chastisements in the Bible for "religious, saved, Christian heterosexuals" as there were for "heathenistic homosexuals" and that she should really study her Bible a whole lot more than she did when we were in seminary school if she was going to tell me that my lifestyle "choice" was wrong.

Then I pointed out to her that there's not one verse of Scripture in the Bible that speaks about transgenders.

Not one.

I don't think I'll be hearing back from her. Especially since at the end of my reply I told her that she'd broken more "laws" of the Bible and had committed more acts of sin by emailing me, than I have by living my truth and loving my man.

So while she told me that I can't "love God and be transgender and gay," I'm very happy to tell you that that's not true. YHVH (God, Jesus, the whole gang) and I are good friends. I love Him and He loves me and I am an OUT AND PROUD, transgender male homosexual who knows for a fact that I'll get into Heaven.

Thank you very much.

-Vicktor Aleksandr B

*My name is Vicktor and I approve this blog post*

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King - I Have A Dream Speech - August 28, 1963

I remember memorizing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's "I Have A Dream" speech when I was a kid just for the hell of it. Now that I'm older, I actually understand what I memorized as a kid. A country where neither race, religion, sexuality, gender, profession, or education stopped you from receiving basic human rights. A country where no one was a second-class citizen. A country where we lived our pledge: "With liberty and justice FOR ALL." Yes, Dr. King had a dream and it was a marvelous one and I share it with him.

Here are two of Dr. King's speeches. "I Have A Dream" and "I've Been To The Mountaintop"

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds." But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check — a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
Martin Luther King, Jr., delivering his 'I Have a Dream' speech from the steps of Lincoln Memorial. (photo: National Park Service)
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair.
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

I've Been To The Mountaintop

Thank you very kindly, my friends. As I listened to Ralph Abernathy and his eloquent and generous introduction and then thought about myself, I wondered who he was talking about. It's always good to have your closest friend and associate to say something good about you. And Ralph Abernathy is the best friend that I have in the world. I'm delighted to see each of you here tonight in spite of a storm warning. You reveal that you are determined to go on anyhow.

Something is happening in Memphis; something is happening in our world. And you know, if I were standing at the beginning of time, with the possibility of taking a kind of general and panoramic view of the whole of human history up to now, and the Almighty said to me, "Martin Luther King, which age would you like to live in?" I would take my mental flight by Egypt and I would watch God's children in their magnificent trek from the dark dungeons of Egypt through, or rather across the Red Sea, through the wilderness on toward the promised land. And in spite of its magnificence, I wouldn't stop there.

I would move on by Greece and take my mind to Mount Olympus. And I would see Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Euripides and Aristophanes assembled around the Parthenon. And I would watch them around the Parthenon as they discussed the great and eternal issues of reality. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would go on, even to the great heyday of the Roman Empire. And I would see developments around there, through various emperors and leaders. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would even come up to the day of the Renaissance, and get a quick picture of all that the Renaissance did for the cultural and aesthetic life of man. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would even go by the way that the man for whom I am named had his habitat. And I would watch Martin Luther as he tacked his ninety-five theses on the door at the church of Wittenberg. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would come on up even to 1863, and watch a vacillating President by the name of Abraham Lincoln finally come to the conclusion that he had to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. But I wouldn't stop there.

I would even come up to the early thirties, and see a man grappling with the problems of the bankruptcy of his nation. And come with an eloquent cry that we have nothing to fear but "fear itself." But I wouldn't stop there.

Strangely enough, I would turn to the Almighty, and say, "If you allow me to live just a few years in the second half of the 20th century, I will be happy."

Now that's a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up. The nation is sick. Trouble is in the land; confusion all around. That's a strange statement. But I know, somehow, that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars. And I see God working in this period of the twentieth century in a way that men, in some strange way, are responding.

Something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee -- the cry is always the same: "We want to be free."

And another reason that I'm happy to live in this period is that we have been forced to a point where we are going to have to grapple with the problems that men have been trying to grapple with through history, but the demands didn't force them to do it. Survival demands that we grapple with them. Men, for years now, have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can they just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence in this world; it's nonviolence or nonexistence. That is where we are today.

And also in the human rights revolution, if something isn't done, and done in a hurry, to bring the colored peoples of the world out of their long years of poverty, their long years of hurt and neglect, the whole world is doomed. Now, I'm just happy that God has allowed me to live in this period to see what is unfolding. And I'm happy that He's allowed me to be in Memphis.

I can remember -- I can remember when Negroes were just going around as Ralph has said, so often, scratching where they didn't itch, and laughing when they were not tickled. But that day is all over. We mean business now, and we are determined to gain our rightful place in God's world.

And that's all this whole thing is about. We aren't engaged in any negative protest and in any negative arguments with anybody. We are saying that we are determined to be men. We are determined to be people. We are saying -- We are saying that we are God's children. And that we are God's children, we don't have to live like we are forced to live.

Now, what does all of this mean in this great period of history? It means that we've got to stay together. We've got to stay together and maintain unity. You know, whenever Pharaoh wanted to prolong the period of slavery in Egypt, he had a favorite, favorite formula for doing it. What was that? He kept the slaves fighting among themselves. But whenever the slaves get together, something happens in Pharaoh's court, and he cannot hold the slaves in slavery. When the slaves get together, that's the beginning of getting out of slavery. Now let us maintain unity.

Secondly, let us keep the issues where they are. The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal of Memphis to be fair and honest in its dealings with its public servants, who happen to be sanitation workers. Now, we've got to keep attention on that. That's always the problem with a little violence. You know what happened the other day, and the press dealt only with the window-breaking. I read the articles. They very seldom got around to mentioning the fact that one thousand, three hundred sanitation workers are on strike, and that Memphis is not being fair to them, and that Mayor Loeb is in dire need of a doctor. They didn't get around to that.

Now we're going to march again, and we've got to march again, in order to put the issue where it is supposed to be -- and force everybody to see that there are thirteen hundred of God's children here suffering, sometimes going hungry, going through dark and dreary nights wondering how this thing is going to come out. That's the issue. And we've got to say to the nation: We know how it's coming out. For when people get caught up with that which is right and they are willing to sacrifice for it, there is no stopping point short of victory.

We aren't going to let any mace stop us. We are masters in our nonviolent movement in disarming police forces; they don't know what to do. I've seen them so often. I remember in Birmingham, Alabama, when we were in that majestic struggle there, we would move out of the 16th Street Baptist Church day after day; by the hundreds we would move out. And Bull Connor would tell them to send the dogs forth, and they did come; but we just went before the dogs singing, "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around."

Bull Connor next would say, "Turn the fire hoses on." And as I said to you the other night, Bull Connor didn't know history. He knew a kind of physics that somehow didn't relate to the transphysics that we knew about. And that was the fact that there was a certain kind of fire that no water could put out. And we went before the fire hoses; we had known water. If we were Baptist or some other denominations, we had been immersed. If we were Methodist, and some others, we had been sprinkled, but we knew water. That couldn't stop us.

And we just went on before the dogs and we would look at them; and we'd go on before the water hoses and we would look at it, and we'd just go on singing "Over my head I see freedom in the air." And then we would be thrown in the paddy wagons, and sometimes we were stacked in there like sardines in a can. And they would throw us in, and old Bull would say, "Take 'em off," and they did; and we would just go in the paddy wagon singing, "We Shall Overcome." And every now and then we'd get in jail, and we'd see the jailers looking through the windows being moved by our prayers, and being moved by our words and our songs. And there was a power there which Bull Connor couldn't adjust to; and so we ended up transforming Bull into a steer, and we won our struggle in Birmingham. Now we've got to go on in Memphis just like that. I call upon you to be with us when we go out Monday.

Now about injunctions: We have an injunction and we're going into court tomorrow morning to fight this illegal, unconstitutional injunction. All we say to America is, "Be true to what you said on paper." If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand some of these illegal injunctions. Maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. And so just as I say, we aren't going to let dogs or water hoses turn us around, we aren't going to let any injunction turn us around. We are going on.

We need all of you. And you know what's beautiful to me is to see all of these ministers of the Gospel. It's a marvelous picture. Who is it that is supposed to articulate the longings and aspirations of the people more than the preacher? Somehow the preacher must have a kind of fire shut up in his bones. And whenever injustice is around he tell it. Somehow the preacher must be an Amos, and saith, "When God speaks who can but prophesy?" Again with Amos, "Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." Somehow the preacher must say with Jesus, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me," and he's anointed me to deal with the problems of the poor."

And I want to commend the preachers, under the leadership of these noble men: James Lawson, one who has been in this struggle for many years; he's been to jail for struggling; he's been kicked out of Vanderbilt University for this struggle, but he's still going on, fighting for the rights of his people. Reverend Ralph Jackson, Billy Kiles; I could just go right on down the list, but time will not permit. But I want to thank all of them. And I want you to thank them, because so often, preachers aren't concerned about anything but themselves. And I'm always happy to see a relevant ministry.
It's all right to talk about "long white robes over yonder," in all of its symbolism. But ultimately people want some suits and dresses and shoes to wear down here! It's all right to talk about "streets flowing with milk and honey," but God has commanded us to be concerned about the slums down here, and his children who can't eat three square meals a day. It's all right to talk about the new Jerusalem, but one day, God's preacher must talk about the new New York, the new Atlanta, the new Philadelphia, the new Los Angeles, the new Memphis, Tennessee. This is what we have to do.
Now the other thing we'll have to do is this: Always anchor our external direct action with the power of economic withdrawal. Now, we are poor people. Individually, we are poor when you compare us with white society in America. We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively -- that means all of us together -- collectively we are richer than all the nations in the world, with the exception of nine. Did you ever think about that? After you leave the United States, Soviet Russia, Great Britain, West Germany, France, and I could name the others, the American Negro collectively is richer than most nations of the world. We have an annual income of more than thirty billion dollars a year, which is more than all of the exports of the United States, and more than the national budget of Canada. Did you know that? That's power right there, if we know how to pool it.
We don't have to argue with anybody. We don't have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don't need any bricks and bottles. We don't need any Molotov cocktails. We just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, "God sent us by here, to say to you that you're not treating his children right. And we've come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God's children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you."
And so, as a result of this, we are asking you tonight, to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy -- what is the other bread? -- Wonder Bread. And what is the other bread company, Jesse? Tell them not to buy Hart's bread. As Jesse Jackson has said, up to now, only the garbage men have been feeling pain; now we must kind of redistribute the pain. We are choosing these companies because they haven't been fair in their hiring policies; and we are choosing them because they can begin the process of saying they are going to support the needs and the rights of these men who are on strike. And then they can move on town -- downtown and tell Mayor Loeb to do what is right.
But not only that, we've got to strengthen black institutions. I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State Bank. We want a "bank-in" movement in Memphis. Go by the savings and loan association. I'm not asking you something that we don't do ourselves at SCLC. Judge Hooks and others will tell you that we have an account here in the savings and loan association from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. We are telling you to follow what we are doing. Put your money there. You have six or seven black insurance companies here in the city of Memphis. Take out your insurance there. We want to have an "insurance-in."
Now these are some practical things that we can do. We begin the process of building a greater economic base. And at the same time, we are putting pressure where it really hurts. I ask you to follow through here.

Now, let me say as I move to my conclusion that we've got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end. Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We've got to see it through. And when we have our march, you need to be there. If it means leaving work, if it means leaving school -- be there. Be concerned about your brother. You may not be on strike. But either we go up together, or we go down together.

Let us develop a kind of dangerous unselfishness. One day a man came to Jesus, and he wanted to raise some questions about some vital matters of life. At points he wanted to trick Jesus, and show him that he knew a little more than Jesus knew and throw him off base....

Now that question could have easily ended up in a philosophical and theological debate. But Jesus immediately pulled that question from mid-air, and placed it on a dangerous curve between Jerusalem and Jericho. And he talked about a certain man, who fell among thieves. You remember that a Levite and a priest passed by on the other side. They didn't stop to help him. And finally a man of another race came by. He got down from his beast, decided not to be compassionate by proxy. But he got down with him, administered first aid, and helped the man in need. Jesus ended up saying, this was the good man, this was the great man, because he had the capacity to project the "I" into the "thou," and to be concerned about his brother.

Now you know, we use our imagination a great deal to try to determine why the priest and the Levite didn't stop. At times we say they were busy going to a church meeting, an ecclesiastical gathering, and they had to get on down to Jerusalem so they wouldn't be late for their meeting. At other times we would speculate that there was a religious law that "One who was engaged in religious ceremonials was not to touch a human body twenty-four hours before the ceremony." And every now and then we begin to wonder whether maybe they were not going down to Jerusalem -- or down to Jericho, rather to organize a "Jericho Road Improvement Association." That's a possibility. Maybe they felt that it was better to deal with the problem from the causal root, rather than to get bogged down with an individual effect.

But I'm going to tell you what my imagination tells me. It's possible that those men were afraid. You see, the Jericho road is a dangerous road. I remember when Mrs. King and I were first in Jerusalem. We rented a car and drove from Jerusalem down to Jericho. And as soon as we got on that road, I said to my wife, "I can see why Jesus used this as the setting for his parable." It's a winding, meandering road. It's really conducive for ambushing. You start out in Jerusalem, which is about 1200 miles -- or rather 1200 feet above sea level. And by the time you get down to Jericho, fifteen or twenty minutes later, you're about 2200 feet below sea level. That's a dangerous road. In the days of Jesus it came to be known as the "Bloody Pass." And you know, it's possible that the priest and the Levite looked over that man on the ground and wondered if the robbers were still around. Or it's possible that they felt that the man on the ground was merely faking. And he was acting like he had been robbed and hurt, in order to seize them over there, lure them there for quick and easy seizure. And so the first question that the priest asked -- the first question that the Levite asked was, "If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?" But then the Good Samaritan came by. And he reversed the question: "If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?"

That's the question before you tonight. Not, "If I stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to my job. Not, "If I stop to help the sanitation workers what will happen to all of the hours that I usually spend in my office every day and every week as a pastor?" The question is not, "If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?" The question is, "If I do not stop to help the sanitation workers, what will happen to them?" That's the question.

Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation. And I want to thank God, once more, for allowing me to be here with you.

You know, several years ago, I was in New York City autographing the first book that I had written. And while sitting there autographing books, a demented black woman came up. The only question I heard from her was, "Are you Martin Luther King?" And I was looking down writing, and I said, "Yes." And the next minute I felt something beating on my chest. Before I knew it I had been stabbed by this demented woman. I was rushed to Harlem Hospital. It was a dark Saturday afternoon. And that blade had gone through, and the X-rays revealed that the tip of the blade was on the edge of my aorta, the main artery. And once that's punctured, your drowned in your own blood -- that's the end of you.

It came out in the New York Times the next morning, that if I had merely sneezed, I would have died. Well, about four days later, they allowed me, after the operation, after my chest had been opened, and the blade had been taken out, to move around in the wheel chair in the hospital. They allowed me to read some of the mail that came in, and from all over the states and the world, kind letters came in. I read a few, but one of them I will never forget. I had received one from the President and the Vice-President. I've forgotten what those telegrams said. I'd received a visit and a letter from the Governor of New York, but I've forgotten what that letter said. But there was another letter that came from a little girl, a young girl who was a student at the White Plains High School. And I looked at that letter, and I'll never forget it. It said simply,

Dear Dr. King,

I am a ninth-grade student at the White Plains High School."

And she said,

While it should not matter, I would like to mention that I'm a white girl. I read in the paper of your misfortune, and of your suffering. And I read that if you had sneezed, you would have died. And I'm simply writing you to say that I'm so happy that you didn't sneeze.

And I want to say tonight -- I want to say tonight that I too am happy that I didn't sneeze. Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting-in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream, and taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy which were dug deep by the Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1961, when we decided to take a ride for freedom and ended segregation in inter-state travel.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been around here in 1962, when Negroes in Albany, Georgia, decided to straighten their backs up. And whenever men and women straighten their backs up, they are going somewhere, because a man can't ride your back unless it is bent.

If I had sneezed -- If I had sneezed I wouldn't have been here in 1963, when the black people of Birmingham, Alabama, aroused the conscience of this nation, and brought into being the Civil Rights Bill.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have had a chance later that year, in August, to try to tell America about a dream that I had had.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been down in Selma, Alabama, to see the great Movement there.

If I had sneezed, I wouldn't have been in Memphis to see a community rally around those brothers and sisters who are suffering.

I'm so happy that I didn't sneeze.

And they were telling me --. Now, it doesn't matter, now. It really doesn't matter what happens now. I left Atlanta this morning, and as we got started on the plane, there were six of us. The pilot said over the public address system, "We are sorry for the delay, but we have Dr. Martin Luther King on the plane. And to be sure that all of the bags were checked, and to be sure that nothing would be wrong with on the plane, we had to check out everything carefully. And we've had the plane protected and guarded all night."

And then I got into Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

Well, I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn't matter with me now, because I've been to the mountaintop.

And I don't mind.

Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I'm happy, tonight.

I'm not worried about anything.

I'm not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

There Once Was A Young Girl...A Young Boy...

There once was a young girl
Who knew she was a young boy
Named Vee.

She struggled to be a girl
And ignore the boy inside of her
Named Vic.

Vic screamed inside of her
Pushing, clawing, desperately hoping
Trying to break free.

But fear of rejection, fear of loss
Fear of being disowned and death
Made Vee a whole lot stronger than him.

So Vic waited patiently for Vee to weaken
He waited for the danger to pass, for acceptance
He waited for Vee to realize that she was wrong.

Vic was not the wrong one, he was the true one.
Vic had been there from the beginning.
Vic was the truth, he was the reality.

Vee was the mask, the persona that Vic wore
She was who he pretended to be for love
She was the persona that he wore for the world.

But Vic didn't want to pretend any longer
Vic wanted to show the world, his family, himself
That he was alive, that he was there and that he was truth.

Regardless of the fear, the danger, the hatred
Regardless of the death threats and the insults
Vic was determined to live.
Vic was determined to be.

Because there once was a young girl
Who was really a young boy
Had always been a young boy.

Named Vic.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why I Dislike Chocolate

I was six the first time I can remember going on a chocolate binge.

My school was selling "World's Finest Chocolate" and my biological mom was in love with the chocolate bars.

I didn't understand her obsession.

Skittles? Yes. M&M's? Yes. Now & Later's? Yes. But just chocolate? No, hard candy shell?


That's what I thought until I tried a piece of that first candy bar.

Oh man...*shivers* I knew why they were titled "World's Finest Chocolate" because it was fracking incredible (I'm using fracking instead of fucking.....sometimes).

That night when the biologicals had gone to bed, I ate every. Single. Candy bar.

There were like 25 in the box. My biologicals had only bought 5. So I ate 20 chocolate bars. $20 worth.

I took the whipping (more often termed beating, spanking, etc) to my ass with a wide, chocolate grin on my face. I didn't even get sick the next day.

But my love affair with obsession with it, had begun.

I went to school everyday with a bag of peanut M&Ms, a Snickers bar, a Butterfinger, a Kit-Kat bar, and a Crunch bar.

Every day.

When I turned 19, I was living in Pensacola and attending seminary school (yes, I attended seminary-I'm actually an ordained pastor-I bet that school wishes they could take that back) and still obsessed with chocolate. I was engaged to be married to a deuschebag (although at the time I didn't know he was one) and I weight 115 pounds and I was 5'8".

Yeah, I was uber skinny.

Anyway, my friend Esther and I were talking and as we talked I ate bag after bag, candy bar after candy bar of chocolate. The conversation was about how I didn't know where all of my money was going.

Smart, right?

Esther looked at me then at the chocolate then back at me. And then said "Vee...babe, I think you need to cut down on the chocolate."

I looked at her in shock, dismay, horror and then suspicion. She just wanted all of the chocolate for herself!


That was my response. She looked at me and then went and grabbed all of my chocolate that she could find and then we sat down and calculated how much chocolate I ate every day and how much I spent every month on chocolate.

I shit you not when I tell you I was spending about $200 a month on chocolate.

Just on chocolate people.

I knew I had a problem then and there was no "Chocoholics Anonymous," so Esther did the next best thing.

She sort of became my "Chocolate Dom." She told me that I couldn't have chocolate for a while. When I asked her when I could have chocolate again she said "I'll tell you when." That was it. No clue as to the length or anything.

So I went on a chocolate fast. No chocolate whatsoever. No chocolate sundaes, no chocolate ice cream, no chocolate milkshakes, no chocolate whatsoever.

Then two months later she told me I could have chocolate again and gave me a Snickers crunch bar. I stared at it and said "no thank you."

I was an addict cured and I didn't want chocolate after that. Not even a little bit. it got to the point where I would have it, maybe once a month, and that was it, but even that was rare. I didn't even like the taste of chocolate in my mouth.

So of course it's funny to me that I am engaged to a man who loves chocolate. And of course my body would start to remind me of the joy of eating chocolate, but I will not give in. Not even a little bit.

Daniel can have the chocolate and I can have Daniel.

That's a good compromise in my book.

Love Across The Big Pond #5: It's Getting Harder

Dear Daniel,

It's getting harder to say goodnight to you. Goodnight really means good-bye. It means that you're going to be over in England and I have hours before I inevitably give into the urge to sleep myself.

It means that you're not here.

And each time, my fingers hesitate over the keys. Each time I have to say goodnight to you, tell you to go to bed, because I know that you'll try to stay up reading or writing or playing games for as long as you can unless I make you go to bed, each time I have to do that, I feel another piece of my heart break. You aren't here. I'm not there. We should be together so that when it's bed time, we're going there...together.

The Alpha wolf inside of me is pacing back and forth angrily, he wants his mate, his other half. He wants to claim what's his, mark it and keep it by his side.

It's what I want as well.

But I have to press the keys that say goodnight. Press the keys and hope that they convey to you how much I love you, hope that you can feel even a fraction of how much my heart beats for you. You are my first thought every morning and my last thought every night. And saying goodnight to you, when you're not in my arms is getting harder and harder to do. But I'll keep doing it because I'd rather deal with the ache in my chest, the temporary emptiness in my arms, the longing for you that I feel every day, every hour, every minute, if it means that in 8 weeks, I get to make up for loss time.

I get two weeks of heaven with you, two weeks of bliss and love and complete surrender to the overwhelming surge of powerful emotion that I have for you. And yes, you're leaving again after that and we'll have a few more months of IMs, emails, tweets, letters, cards, gifts, texts, Skypes until we see each other again, but it's worth it. Those two weeks will get me through those next few months.

Because I'd rather miss you and know that you're mine than give you up and never truly feel like I can breathe again.

So yes, I miss you and yes it's getting harder to say goodnight, but soon, love, very soon, when I say goodnight, you'll be in my arms where you're supposed to be.

Lovdorish you always and forever.



Monday, January 9, 2012

Stop Being So Humble

I don't think I've ever had someone tell me that I should stop being so humble.

I've had people ask me to get some self-esteem.

I did...for the most part.

I've had people ask me to stick up for myself.

I did...for the most part.

I don't think I've ever had someone tell me that I should stop being so humble though....until now.

Apparently my humility. My realization that while I am talented, smart, creative, generous, etc. I couldn't and wouldn't be where I am today without other people and I am so unbelievable grateful for those people is apparently very upsetting for some people.

When I looked up humble this is what I found:


not proud or arrogant; modest: to be humble althoughsuccessful.
having a feeling of insignificance, inferiority, subservience,etc.: In the presence of so many world-famous writers I feltvery humble.
low in rank, importance, status, quality, etc.; lowly: ofhumble origin; a humble home.
courteously respectful: In my humble opinion you are wrong.
low in height, level, etc.; small in size: a humble member ofthe galaxy.

Humility is described as:


the quality or condition of being humble modest opinion orestimate of one's own importance, rank, etc.

So I noticed while I was looking these words up that the word: modest seemed to come up....a lot. So I decided to look it up as well:


having or showing a moderate or humble estimate of one's merits, importance, etc.; free from vanity, egotism,boastfulness, or great pretensions.
free from ostentation or showy extravagance: a modesthouse.
having or showing regard for the decencies of behavior,speech, dress, etc.; decent: a modest neckline on a dress.
limited or moderate in amount, extent, etc.: a modestincrease in salary.

Then I saw some synonyms for modest (I am putting the bold emphasis on certain words):

1.  retiring, unassuming. 1, 2.  unpretentious, unobtrusive. 3. pure, virtuous. Modest, demure, prudish  imply conformity topropriety and decorum, and a distaste for anything coarse or loud.Modest  implies a becoming shyness, sobriety, and proper behavior: a modest, self-respecting person. Demure  implies abashful, quiet simplicity, staidness, and decorum; but can alsoindicate an assumed or affected modesty: a demure young chorusgirl. Prudish  suggests an exaggeratedly self-conscious modestyor propriety in behavior or conversation of one who wishes to bethought of as easily shocked and who often is intolerant: a prudishobjection to a harmless remark. 

As I sat and read these definitions, I was a little horrified and then also a little confused.

People don't want me to be modest? To be free of pretension and arrogance? They want me to be a prick?

(I said be a prick not have a prick-although there are those out there who don't want me to have that either)

I didn't know how to explain myself to my friend or to my sister, Cherie, later when we sat and talked about it, so I can only hope that I will be able to explain myself to you all a little better.

I love to write. I love to sing, draw, sketch, paint, design, build, dance, make people laugh, make people think, help people, change situations for people for the better, help teens, love on Daniel, love on and encourage my family and friends, play sports. And for the most part, I think I do these things fairly well. I may not be amazing, but I don't stink at them either. I don't walk around telling people how amazing I am at them and I actually get a little flustered when people start to gush over my talents, not because I think they're lying or at any sense of false modesty because in my head I'm always thinking of the person or persons I know who can do it so much better.

So while others see it as humility and see it as something annoying and something that intimidates them ("how the hell can someone like you stay so fucking humble all the goddamn time and people love you more for it and hate me for telling the truth? I don't get it! No one can live up to your fucking example Vic!"), I see it as truth.

It's easy to be humble when you only see the genius, the beauty, the brilliance in others.

That isn't to say that I don't see the bad, there are people who insisted to show me how evil and corrupt and vicious, vile and hateful they could be and those people give me a really hard challenge finding something, anything positive and good about them...around people like that I have a hard time remaining humble, because how am I supposed to feel as if I'm not superior to them that they don't deserve to kiss my boots when they persist on being vile and hateful and nasty?

But that is neither here nor there. For the most part, I stay humble because I know that there's someone out there that can do everything I can do and probably do it better, so I give it my all, give it my best shot and it people agree and love it, that's awesome, if not, that's fine too, because I've done my best, stayed nice with others, helped others at the end of my life if the can only put one word on my grave I don't want it to be Dom, or Sexy, or Writer, or Son, or Husband, or Brother, or Friend, or Father, or Giving...I'd want it to say: Humble, because when you're humble you make an amazing Dom, writer, husband, brother, friend, father, son, philanthropist, world savior, etc.

It all starts with humility.

-Vicktor Aleksandr B