Life keeps going.

memes lifeMajor life update incoming.

I’ve had a rough time the last 2 years. With knee surgery behind me over a year ago I began another life challenge that’s taken some time to work through. In September, while on a motorcycle trip with my dad and brother, I was hit head on by a car who came into my lane. I survived, thankfully, with a few issues that are still causing me problems today. Continue reading

An exercise in empathy

I recently wrote this on my Facebook when I got some push back from people of a comic I shared. This prompted me to go down the rabbit hole of empathy and try to relate to my neighbors. I find it so sad that violent acts have happened to cops. It doesn’t change the fact or make me feel less sad for the growing list of people killed at the hands of cops for routine traffic stops. The last one, someone who worked at a school, is the most egregious death yet. Anyways, here’s my attempt to put words to my feelings and assure people I don’t challenge things out of disrespect for the police, but I do it because I care. It’s what we should ALL be doing.

An exercise in empathy…

Imagine you’re a gay person who considers gay bars, as many LGBT people do, as a community center type home. Imagine a bar hosting Latin night like that, being attacked during the worst massacre in the US since 9/11. You’d be scared, sad, upset, and angry. Wouldn’t you?
Imagine your a police officer who feels called to protect and serve. Imagine your brothers and sisters in arms were attacked and hurt/killed in Dallas. You’d be scared, sad, upset, and angry. Wouldn’t you?

Imagine you’re a young person of color who hears DAILY that someone like you has been killed from altercations started by events like broken tail lights, no drivers license, jay walking, no front license plate. You’d be scared, sad, upset, and angry too. Wouldn’t you?

This isn’t a competition for who deserves grief more. This isn’t a new reality show called “America’s Next Top Victim”. We can be sad for the police victims (AS WE SHOULD), just as we can be sad for the victims of what seems to be a trend of overreaction by cops. There also seems to be more deaths of people of color than white people at the hands of police for like infractions. Maybe some of the shootings were justified, according to the court system they are… but every. single. one?

It’s important to question and challenge systems that don’t work. We see it everyday. People challenge their government officials on their policies, procedures, and stances all the time. People challenge their workplaces, churches, friends, family on their points of view as well. Questioning the police is not an act of disrespect, it’s an act of “can’t we do better than this?” Don’t take my posts as disrespectful to police. It’s not about disrespect, it’s because I care. All lives do matter. Blue lives, black lives. And that’s why we question and challenge. Otherwise nothing changes, and that’s unacceptable.

 

The Pulse of Louisville Pride

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I woke up to the news with my parents that there had been a shooting at a gay club in Orlando. We turned on the television and I started watching and feeling my insides churn. I went through the motions of church numb. I barely sang. I barely talked. When I left to get to church at 8:00am it was just at 20 people and my heart was already heavy. There was no mention of the attack at the 2 services I served as a deacon in, but I guess that’s how breaking news works. I couldn’t hear the sermon, I was lost in my thoughts.

 

At Sunday school I brought it up as a prayer request and as soon as I started talking my eyes started to fill with tears. I knew I was on the verge of breaking. Our discussion centered on “What is a Christian?” I sketched the discussion to do my best and stay focused on the moment.

 

What makes us a Christian?

What makes us a Christian?

 

Once I left church, I found the death toll of 50. It was now the worst attack since 9/11. It felt like my insides turned to glass and shattered.
My thoughts rested solely on those in Orlando. I went home for a nap, but instead ended up falling asleep to CNN about the attack. I woke up feeling worse, but determined to do something. My husband and I were going to get up and go be with our LGBT brothers/sisters today. They were the only people I could imagine being with at that moment.

 

For many that might not know, a gay bar is a sanctuary, and many gay men remember their first time walking into one. It’s like a little kid experiencing the Magic Kingdom for the first time. You can be yourself, your WHOLE self without fear of discrimination or shame. So we ended up at a gay bar that hosts one of my favorite events “Showtunes singalong”. There also happened to be a cookout that was already there for another group within the community. It was packed.

 

On the surface, you’d think it was just another awesome Sunday… but you could feel the air was thick with emotion. We chatted a little, sang a little, and there was this strong sense of love and community present. This was my church today. At 6pm, bars across the nation joined together for a moment of silence. One of the community leaders took to the microphone and started to speak about it and we all started openly grieving together. We claimed our strength of community, our love of each other, and traded many hugs (just like passing peace at church). We cried some more. Then we had our moment of silence.

 

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Afterwards, we left there and went to the candlelight vigil being put on by some other community partners (including the Fairness Campaign, the Strange Fruit podcast team, and many other community leaders including our Mayor). We met at the base of the Big Four Bridge (our walking bridge) and had words, held hands/elbows, and marched in solidarity as a greater community to the center of the bridge where we met our Indiana brothers/sisters. We were lead in song by the Louisville Gay Men’s Chorus to “We shall overcome” and declared and decried that the acts will not silence us.

 

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Through all of this my insides began the process of putting itself back into place. My heart is still broken. Orlando is still on my mind and will be for a long time, but I have no doubt we shall overcome. Louisville is a special community, and as we openly continue to grieve as we enter our own Pride week, I know this community is here for each other. We are all connected through our love, our human experience, and it’s what gives me hope for the future. We are Orlando. We are Orlando. Orlando is us. My thoughts and prayers to everyone in Orlando. We stand with you here in Louisville.

 

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The death of a parent

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Roger Hampton (12/18/1964-12/16/2015)

This isn’t something I think many millennials think about until the unthinkable happens. My stepdad died on December 16th, just a little over two weeks ago. He was supposed to turn 51 on December 18th.

At first it was the shock from the first phone call relayed to me by my brother letting me know he had received a frantic call from mom that 9-1-1 was called and he was heading to their house. I was at the doctor’s office getting a follow-up for my knee surgery I had two months prior. The next was the text I received from him as I walked out to my car that my stepdad was dead. Continue reading

Millennials & Savings

Recently stumbled upon The Majority of Millennials Have $1,000 or Less in Savings via Howmuch.net. The graphic above definitely shows the impact of a variety of things including poor financial decisions, school loans, underemployment, and many other issues that seem to plague many Millennials. To me, being financially stable is incredibly important and if this doesn’t scare someone, it should! Millennials are the future and many of them are putting off major life decisions in lieu of their finances.

Continue reading

Happy 1st Birthday Millennial Geek!

So a year ago I started this blog with Opportunity. When I created this blog, I wanted to cover things from my millennial perspective in both my career and life. Through the year, and my main goal being to post at least once a month has been incredibly positive, so here’s to the next year! This past year has been challenging both professionally and personally, but I’m here to keep documenting my journey. Continue reading

I’m going to get gay married!

So, I’ve been engaged for a while and it happened about a year ago while on vacation with my now fiance, Steven. We got engaged weeks after DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) was overturned. It was fun, he couldn’t believe it, and I was nervous because it’s such a profound moment of PDA that it took all of my strength to do it. We did it next to the reflection pool with the Abraham Lincoln statue looming in the distance, as well as the Washington  monument in the photo (below). That wasn’t the beginning of our marriage journey though, the beginning of this journey started 1.5 years before that in January of 2012. We sat down with our Pastor at Highland Baptist Church and said… “We want to get married in this church.” For a straight couple, they wouldn’t have needed to meet with the Pastor, they would have just had to fill out an application, agree to the rules, and pay their deposit and find a date. Not us though, we’re gay, and our church had never done that kind of thing before. So we had to start the process to get this talked about by the church so that we could eventually get married in OUR church. Continue reading

A Grateful 7 Years in Louisville.

mandy3Seven years ago (almost to the day), I moved to Louisville with a little 10 year old dog named Mandy. She had been the family dog for a decade at that point, raised from an itty bitty puppy that could fit in your hands to the 15lb sassy little lady many of us came to love. I was there almost 18 years ago when we picked Mandy out. We had just moved to our new home in the suburbs, and she was the 5th member of our family. Mandy endured and survived my brother’s and my teenage years, and somehow kept loving us. When it came to me moving away 7 years ago, I asked if I could take her with me so I wouldn’t be so alone in a new city. My mother agreed and said Mandy couldn’t live with anyone else. Continue reading

Millennial Panel at Church!

Millennial Panel at HBC!

I attended a Millennial Panel at Highland Baptist Church tonight (my church home). I wanted to talk about a few things that I found interesting… and a little silly.. but are all true enough! I wasn’t on the panel, but my friends (in order of the photo above) Bryan, Megan, fiance Steven, and Laura were! It was being hosted by our Young Adult Minister Emily and church friend Alecia. Over the last few weeks they’ve been exploring the different generations. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend all of them, but I was able to go to the one for the Millennials (Priorities…!). Continue reading

New year and new milestones

Happy Birthday

In my last post I wrote about gratitude. 2013 was mostly a good year with a few hiccups (as expected). With every new year, my personal holidays continue because January brings a bit more than just a new year for me. Being a Capricorn, my birthday is tomorrow (born on the 6th), but not just that, it’s also my work anniversary (the big 5 year)! So I thought I would reflect on a few things as I enter the last year of my 20’s, and continue with my current company. Continue reading