A Bag of Apples, Pears and the Orange

Based on a true story.

A woman walks into a local grocer to purchase apples for an apple. It’s her daughter’s birthday and she loves  mom’s Granny Smith apple pie. Anna likes all kinds of pies but today she wants the apple pie. Mom grabs a cart and happily strolls the isles for all the things she needs for the pies. flour, sugar,  butter, Cinnamon and other tasty ingredients are plucked from the shelves and carefully placed in mom’s cart. She checks her list and heads off to the fruit and vegetable section to get some apples.

Mom walks up to the bins containing all sorts of fruits. Boxes and bins of newly delivered produce are stacked on the floor.  She smiles and her own excitement rises thinking about her daughter’s special day. So many wonderful, colors and aromatic fruits are on display. But the apples are all in bags. No worries she says to herself and skips over to the island of apples. They are all beautiful and fresh. A flash of bright green catches her eye and mom know’s she has found exactly what she is looking for. The sign above reading “Fresh Granny Smith Apples”, “$2.00 a dozen”. Mom is pleased and picks through the bags of Granny Smith apples A puzzled look replaces her smile, something is wrong.

A stock boy walks buy and with  she says to him: “Excuse me I am looking for Granny Smith apples. I seem to have found them but all these bags contain 6 Granny Smith apples, 5 pears and an orange. I see you have lots of bags of Gala apples, oranges, cherries and pears. But the Granny Smiths are in mixed bags.”

“Yes, ma’am but they are all fruit so deal with it. ”

The woman is a bit dismayed at the stock boy’s response. But she is  not one to judge so quickly thinking to herself, maybe he is having a bad day.  She politely speaks to him again. “I’m sorry, I really only want Granny Smith apples today is it possible to get a dozen Granny Smiths?”.

“What you don’t like all that fruit or something. What’s wrong with you lady?. Those pears are green too and that orange is just as much a fruit as the apples. This is a grocery store and we sell fruit in this section.”

The woman is deeply disturbed by this young stock boy’s attitude. She wonders what she has done wrong to deserve such a rude reception. She simply wants Granny Smith apples today. No sooner does she count to 10 and gain her composure when another stock person, a older woman, comes over noticing the discussion. The woman explains her situation as other customers filter into the fruit section. The older woman talks to the stock boy and turns to the mother and asks her what her problem is?

“This is all fruit and these bags are Granny Smith apples. Take the apples and make your pie.”  the older woman proclaims and storms off to the back of the store.”

The other customers in the area are shocked by what they just herd. And come to the mother’s side. They talk amongst themselves wondering why they cannot purchase just a bag of Granny Smith apples. The stock boy hovers near by and berates  the group of customers for for their discussion. Several of the men and she wants Granny Smith apples and you are chastising her for this? What kind of customer service is this?”

A handful of mangers come over. The older stock woman obviously in tow.

One of the managers immediate blurts out. “Fuck you lady and the horse you road in on. We will hear nothing of this. I am going to report you to the police if you don’t shut up right now.”

Another manager chimes in. “What are you some kind of world class chef and think you are better than all of us? You are obviously a bad person and we are sick of you coming into our store and complaining about all f out fruit. You come in here to our store and attack our business and our employees. You are a mean and spiteful person who obviously does not know how to cook or what an apple is.”

The customers and the mother are in utter shock. What have they done? This women only wants to buy a dozen apples. A dozen Granny Smith apples in fact.  And another customer then three speak out saying the same thing. They only wanted to purchase Granny Smith apples at this time. The are fine with the other fruit but that is not what they want or need right now.

Several of the customers again speak out an turn to other customers and other passing managers. There voice is the same. Why can we not purchase Granny Smith apples? Why are they being attacked by these manager and even some other customers who drop in and drop out just as fast as they came. Never knowing or understanding the situation, some of the other customers chastise the mother and call her things she is not.

One customer speaks up proclaiming that she will just take her business elsewhere if that is how they all feel. A group of managers and customers descend on this women like wolves ready to devour her. Calling her crazy, a liar, an elitist even making threats against her. “We will find you and we will destroy you.”

One manager manages to speak out one last stab as more customers come to the aid of the mother who simply wanted to Purchase Granny Smith apples.”Lady this is all fruit. You make you pie with it and be happy about it. Tell your daughter its all the same anyway there is no need for her to know there are pears in her apple pie. She doen not need to know there is any difference between different kinds of fruit.”

The mother did not need or want pears or the orange. She loves oranges and she loves pears. She buys them often for her family. But apparently in this store you cannot buy just Granny Smith apples. The customers talk amongst themselves wondering what terrible crime they have done. And why they are being called names an accused of things they have not done. They wonder why they are attacked by the store and other customers for even asking why they cannot purchase just the one kind of apple without getting all the other fruit too.

Yes the pears are green and they look very similar to the Granny Smith apples. Yes the Orange is a fruit but they are not the same. The store is advertising all kinds of fruit and they are all yummy in their own right and have beautiful qualities that make them different but equally as good. But as far as the store and some of the customers are concerned it’s all fruit and you cannot cannot buy just Granny Smith apples. In fact too even talk about selling bags of Granny Smith apples will earn you the label of being a bad customer and even a hater of other fruit.

As I said this is in fact based on a true story. A very disturbing story of sometimes militant reverse activism in the LGBT community. It is why certain portions of the LGBT community are so divided. They all proclaim their support of each other publicly for the most part and profess all inclusion. This is fine. Its great. There is strength in numbers when we can all work together at the right time.  With the diversity in all things in nature so is true of human kind. We are not all the same even though we do all deserve equality and protections under the law. But to form coalitions or even discussions around these differences is a crime. Yes a crime where you will be attacked and discredited for even mentioning that the Granny Smith Apples though fruit are not Pears or Oranges. This is not an attempt of discluding anyone as some would have you believe.  We tell our kids what the difference between an apple and an orange is and that they are both good. Why can we not do the same with people?

Cali: Fairytales and Make Believe

I am wondering. Did Cinderella actually dance in those glass slippers? Or is the glass slipper really a metaphor for the endless possibilities in life if you just believe it in your heart? I have been living this fairytale of sorts for the past 2 years now. But the fairytale is real. I never thought the glass slipper would fit but it does and I am dancing my life into each new day.

As many of my friends know by now. I am moving back to the land of make believe. California. Where we have a govenator instead of a governor. Where we pretend the state’s financial crisis will one day be resolved. Where Boys will be boys and girls. Where  H8 is legalized thought out of state religious contributions. Where us white folks are not the majority. And where the potential for fire and earthquakes so powerful is so great Arizona will one day be waterfront property. Yes my beloved, fake as a silicone boob, tree-hugging wannabe state where the cost of a living is so high fairytales turn tricks too make a living. God I love California. I lived there for the last 10 years after having moved out there sight unseen. I said I would never leave. But I did.

I left California for several personal reasons. And I traveled all of 5 hours east to stay with some wonderful friends, Michael and Lillian, who welcomed me into their home while I took care of business. Well that much needed time of reflection and metamorphosis has come to an end. I did what I had come here to do. Though I though I might stay longer, the freaks and geeks of my land of plenty beckon. Neptune has managed to hurl his overcompensating dinner fork against the brutal Santa Anna winds and struck me in the heart yet again. I am a Pisces and therefore unable to hide form my master’s reach.

I must be near the ocean. I will sacrifice unimaginable amounts of income and broken heels too walk along the Pacific shores at will. I will brave the innumerable great restaurants and state parks to satisfy my soul. But I will not do it without loss. I will leave behind a wonderful group of friends as I did when I left San Diego in September last year. Trish who I have gotten to know so well over mass texting and one night of sushi. Angel who I met online and then several times for dinner and nights out at local lesbian clubs. Both women I will miss. Both are beautiful souls who I hope will stay friends for ever.  And all my other friends here who I should have driven to visit but never seemed to find the time. I hate that about myself. But will always be your friend. Alyssa I never got to jam with you. And Joseph I hope I can one day visit you in Sedona. A beautiful place of enormous, natural healing energy.

I am very grateful for all the love and support I have received here in my temporary home in Arizona. I have a special thanks for Addy Jensen. If you had not invited me to the 4th of July party last year none of this might have ever happened. Whether you realize it or not you opened a huge door in y life that when I walked through set in motion so many things I am to thankful for.

In one week I pack some of what I own and will travel nearly 12 hours north to Sacramento to stay with my sexy wonderful friend Rebecca in Sacramento while I look for a job in San Francisco and the surrounding area. I look forward to spending more time with my Becca. 😉 I look forward to exploring more of NorCal. I will be closer to to some good friends. And I will certainly make more as I settle in my new life in Northern California. I will make it work. And I will be more fabulouser. I love California despite ll the craziness. Maybe that is why I love it. There is an energy there that owns my heart and soul like no other place I have ever been. It feels like home.

So onward Cinderella. Follow your heart and follow your dreams back to the land of make believe and all the crazy wonderful things the come with being a California Girl.

Totally!

Gender Identity in the Gay and Lesbian Community

I am so glad to see a video like this done by a lesbian couple on a mainstream LGBT web site like AfterEllen. I think this is a very important topic even outside of the transgender community. Please watch it and see the comments being posted on the website. My comment is also posted after the video.
Lesbian Love: Gender Identity (Episode 12)
by Trish Bendix
This week, Lacey and Jessica discuss how we as women choose to define ourselves within the LGBT community and to the wider world — and whether it is a desirable thing to do.

Lesbian Love ep 112 Gender Identity from lacey stone on Vimeo.

This is really a great video for a several reasons. As a femme lesbian I find it frustrating and a challenge at times that people automatically assume I a straight. I don’t fit the stereotypes. I like to be a tomboy some days. I like to be very feminine on other days. It just depends on my mood and if I have not done laundry in a week. I am an amazon, tall and strong but gentle when I want to be. I like motorcycles and fast cars. I also love to get all dressed up in heels and a slinky dress and be pampered at the spa.

Stereotypes really do more harm than good in the entire LGBT community. Gender identity is especially difficult because our society has done everything possible to enforce a gender binary. The rules are changing but in general you are either a boy or a girl and there can be no middle ground. I think this not only applies to the transgender community and the struggles they face, but it also greatly affects the gay and lesbian community just as harshly.

Gender and gender identity is very fluid. And sexuality has nothing to do with your gender identity. The stereotypical butch lesbian fitting in all the male roles. They hyper-femme gay man fitting in to more female stereotypes. Throw in the transsexual male or female and you quickly see all these gender and sexual stereotypes vaporize. Yes a more femme woman can be a lesbian. And they do “fit” into society more because you cannot look at her and say oh she is a lesbian. She is not testing the boundaries of typically conservative society and the stereotypes we have all been taught all our lives as she appears to fit a certain gender binary.

The underlying point your video makes on purpose or not is that many of the stereotypical ideas society has tried to enforce about gender, being masculine or feminine are simply not valid. they are not valid in nature so why should humankind be exempt? There is a spectrum of being masculine or feminine that goes way beyond what society has taught us in the past.  Men do like sports and fast cars and drinking beer with their buds. So do women. This dose not make them gay. And Men love fashion and art and pretty things. But this does not make them gay. A transsexual woman may be very femme and pass through society unquestioned. But this does not mean she likes men. The same is true for TransMen. Stereotypes just do not fit in the LGBT community and in the rest of society to many degrees.

We are all beautifully unique and it is OK to be different. It is OK to live outside the box. Yeah that little tiny colorless box that some people try to fit all of humanity into. You know the one where there is only man and woman and they can only love each other and act like a man or a woman and only do the things that a man or a woman “should” do. It’s all so preposterous.

I live outside that box in a life of full color. And I am very happy to do so. Exploring and evolving your gender or even sexual identity is natural. It is a good and healthy thing. As we mature we hold on to bits a pieces of what we learn and like about being male or female or any number of infinite pieces of both. It is what makes us who we are and makes us such amazing creatures.