GingerSass

adding ginger to your sass

GingerSass - adding ginger to your sass

What…?!

Initially, I started writing a post on how today being the first day for gay marriages in New Jersey to be legal was bologna, and how I wasn’t holding my breath. I intended to politely continue writing about how Chris Christie views me as someone absolutely not worthy of his time, and to list all the different ways Chris Christie has dehumanized me over the past few years, as well as how I imagined he would continue to dehumanize and bully me over the next few months.

All of my plans and thoughts came to a sudden halt when one of the most unexpected things in the world happened today:

Gov. Chris Christie has announced that he will drop his legal challenge to same-sex marriage.

A spokesperson for the governor issued a note, saying,

“Although the governor strongly disagrees with the court substituting its judgment for the constitutional process of the elected branches or a vote of the people, the court has now spoken clearly as to their view of the New Jersey Constitution and, therefore, same-sex marriage is the law. The governor will do his constitutional duty and ensure his administration enforces the law as dictated by the New Jersey Supreme Court.”

I’m still in a state of shock right now. I’ve had tears in my eyes all afternoon since I heard the news on my lunch break. I’ve been struggling with coming up with a metaphor to describe the shock I’m feeling, but I cannot put into words the mixture of emotions. I’m relieved. I feel like a rug has been pulled out of my feet. I’m shaking. I feel like an actual member of society. I feel dehumanized for having to feel this way to begin with. I feel happy. I feel sad. I feel slightly (okay, more than slightly) freaked out that I’m in a committed relationship that could actually end up in an actual marriage, not a commitment ceremony, domestic partnership, civil union, or “roommates” on census papers.

I never thought I’d say the following words in a context outside of Hurricane Sandy, but I have so much respect for Gov. Chris Christie right now. (Notice how I’m even writing about him with his official title– that hasn’t happened in ages!)

As a human being, he is doing the right thing.

He may not like me as a teacher/gay/registered Democrat/middle class worker, but I think I have the right to be treated with the respect and politeness I was raised to treat others, like himself, with.

He has the right to disagree with gay marriage, just like I have the right to disagree with his stance on public education and unions.

We’re allowed to disagree, but, as my rule in my classroom states, we should do so respectfully.

I appreciate that Gov. Christie is stepping aside to let the people of New Jersey do the talking, even if he doesn’t agree with what they’re saying.

So, Gov. Christie, I thank you. I thank you for keeping my homestate a state I can love, and for showing that, even if you don’t love the idea of same-sex marriage, you love the people of your state enough to listen to them. I thank you for making me feel like a human being, not a freak of nature. I thank you for opening conversations, and I thank you for getting individuals, like yourself, who I’d never envision listening to a different opinion to listen to what others have to say.

I thank you for having a love for New Jersey because your love of the Garden State is allowing me to love my love in a place we both love.

Thank you, Gov. Christie, for making a tough decision and going against your own beliefs for “the right thing.” I appreciate it.

Love is love.

Love is love.

I’m freaked out that I can get married.

Soooo on Thursday night, one of my best friends got engaged. (Congrats J & R!) She’s the 3rd person I love dearly to get engaged or hitched in the past year, and I was beyond excited for her…. and beyond freaked out. By ways of reasoning, I was the only person left in my close-knit circle of friends in a serious relationship. I actually breathed a sigh of relief that I was gay and didn’t have the right to marry yet, which meant that even if I did get engaged, I would be able to take it slowly and not have to deal with being an adult right away.

Yesterday it was announced that gay marriage will be legal in NJ starting October 21st.

Shit.

It’s not that I don’t want to spend the rest of my life loving the woman of my dreams. I’m just waiting for my wonderful governor to veto this decision.

heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy-no-gay-marriage-for-you

 

When I was a baby dyke, around 19, marriage equality was a big issue in New Jersey. My then girlfriend asked me to go to Garden State Equality meetings with her, and I did, but I was ambivalent about the whole thing. Maybe it was because I knew in my heart she wouldn’t be the one I would be “gay marrying,” or maybe it was because I was just a kid trying to get through her sophomore year of college and declare a major, but when the NJ Senate rejected the legalization of gay marriage in January 2010, I was sort of relieved. I wasn’t out to my family yet. I didn’t see marriage in my immediate future. Heck, I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to get married one day. For a while, I was a closeted gay supporter of the lack of marriage equality.

A year and a half later, in June of 2011, same-sex marriage became legal in New York. I was excited that I could potentially get married one day “only one state over.” However, once again, I was ambivalent. I had just gotten out of a bad relationship. Marriage wasn’t in my immediate future. I started day dreaming of meeting my dream girl one day, but I didn’t want to envision a marriage. It just didn’t seem possible to me.

Another year passed, and I volunteered with the NOH8 campaign. I was about to graduate from college, and the whole marriage thing seemed a little more important. I suddenly saw my peers getting engaged, and it frustrated me that, even if I wasn’t in a relationship at the time, I couldn’t get married, even if I wanted to.

NOH8

 

Now, in 2013, I can legally get married in my home state.

I’m going to let that sentence sink in for a minute because it’s a sentence most of America doesn’t have to worrying about saying with awe and disbelief.

I don’t believe this is real. I’m waiting for someone, especially Chris Christie, to tell me that this isn’t real. I’m waiting for the idea of getting married to be ripped out from under me and thrown away. I’m waiting to be told that my life is unconstitutional, and that I don’t deserve to declare my love to one person for the rest of my life.

I’m not ready to be allowed to get married because I’m in denial that I have a Masters degree, that I have a full-time teaching job with benefits, and that I am in a committed relationship filled with love, respect, and happiness. I’m in denial that I’m adult because, if I let myself believe that I can get married in New Jersey, I’m going to act like a child and throw  a temper tantrum when that right is taken away from me.

A month into dating V, I knew she made my eyes sparkle.

A month into dating V, I knew she made my eyes sparkle.

2012: A Year in Review

Tonight is the last Friday night of 2012, exactly one week after the world was supposed to end. A lot has happened in 2012, and I decided to highlight everything significant that happened to me this year, month by month.

gs2012

It’s been one heck of a year at GingerSass.

January

Not much happened in January. I turned 22, which was actually a better birthday than my 21st. My friend convinced the bartender at a local bar that I should be given a free bottle of champagne because my 21st coincided with a blizzard and I didn’t get to celebrate. I received a stuffed unicorn and zebra print seat covers from my parents. I, once again, pleaded to Ellen as to why we should celebrate our birthday together and she ignored me. Ya know, the usual.

February

I made it onto PostSecret for the first time. Whitney Houston died and I was devastated so I wrote a poem. Ryan Murphy pissed me off so I wrote him an angry tumblr post turned into a letter, which he never responded to.

March

March was a very important month for me– I STARTED GINGERSASS! (All of the posts posted before March 25th were transferred from my tumblr site.) Fun fact– GingerSass was started because I was pretending to be an investigative reporter at the Sex, Love, and Dating Conference. Also, Adrienne Rich died, which devastated me. A lot.

April

April freaking rocked. Highlights of the month include:

volunteering with NOH8 and later being featured on their website
meeting Frank Warren at my first PostSecret event
saw an opera and a concert in one week
my Poefy (poetry-wifey) was fantabulous in The Vagina Monologues and I wrote about it

May

May was a good month for me. Obama came out in support of gay marriage. I won an award. I graduated college. Life was pretty awesome to me in May.

June

June was an interesting month. I started it out writing about suicide after finding out that the partner of my friend who had committed suicide also committed suicide. I wrote a bunch of 10 Minute Musings for a grad class and reconnected with myself. I came out to my family as a blogger, with the support of Cady McClain, aka Dixie from All My Children. I even inspired her alter-ego, Suzy F*cking Homemaker, to create an internet meme. Suzy also encouraged me to write a post on why I want to be a celesbian…so I did. I also  booked and performed my first paid poetry gig, which was pretty darn awesome.

July

July started off with a roadtrip to Massachusetts with Poefy to the wedding of Taylor and Mike. I basked in the glory of cheeseball goodness. (This post is still one of my most-visited posts, btw.) I fell in love with my job over the summer. I also figured out What Obama Taught Me. I indulged in Restaurant Week. Then I got serious about my blog, invested in an actually site host, got free magnets, and was overwhelmed by the idea of going to BlogHer. I also posted about teacher dress codes, which is also one of my most-visited posts of all time.

August

August started off with me going to BlogHer’12 and MY LIFE CHANGING FOREVER. I made so many blogging friends through BlogHer, and I’m going to (eventually) categorize them on her so you can so who I’m reading. I also won a happy hour party in August and celebrated with wings and food at a local bar with my friends. Woohoo! To top August off, I started my new job, got an apartment to go along with it, and ruminated on why Res Life will always be a part of me.

September

September was an emotional, crazy month. I had an awesome first week of September. I was a national runner up to be the next Verizon Ultimate Insider, mentioned on AfterEllen, and yogurt was on sale. I made it through the one year deathaversary of my friend’s suicide, and I participated in yet another walk for dead people. September was emotional, tough, and trying, but I got through it.

October

October started off with me reflecting on how much I love my car. I also met Jack Hanna, which was a childhood dream come true. I had a kickass lesson on bullying on National Coming Out Day and fell even more in love with teaching. I went to the Dodge Poetry Festival for the first time as an educator, and I helped my students fall in love with poetry. I met Geena Davis and she told me, “You’re changing the world to be a place I want to be in. Keep up the good work.” I saw Melissa Etheridge in concert. I survived Hurricane Sandy, was really upset that Sandy canceled Halloween, and was upset by the whole Sandy experience.

November

November feels like such a long time ago. I participated in NaBloPoMo for the first time and wrote about how I’m a Jersey girl, how Sandy domesticated me, and what Obama’s win meant to me. I also talked about bacon, ghosts, and just how important it was that I found my voice again by going to poetry open mics. I cut my hair, took silly webcam pics, and thought about my future. I ended my first NaBloPoMo experience by being grateful for stickers, and really having peace in knowing that I’m on the right track for what I want to do with my life.

December

December flew by. I think the biggest thing that happened to me this month, right before my student teaching internship ended, was that I realized why I want to teach. I arranged for an assembly for my Creative Writing students, and  it really changed my relationship with them forever. It taught one student to not be afraid to be who she is, and this, in return, encouraged me to come out to her. She then wrote me a note and made me cry. Then the Newtown, Connecticut shooting happened and it hit really close to home, as it was the first school shooting that has happened since I began student teaching. My students asked me if I would take a bullet for them, and I was able to respond honestly and say yes. Student teaching ended, and I managed to make it to the parking lot after school before crying. I got creeped out by the whole Elf on a Shelf phenomenon, but secretly loved my creepy little elf.

2012 was a year of growth. I rediscovered my writing identity, and GingerSass became a very large part of who I am. I’m grateful for the opportunities blogging has given me this past year, and I cannot wait to see what 2013 holds.

Happy New Year, folks! What are you looking forward to in 2013?

PS I’m not sure if I’ll be able to attend or not, but if you’ll be at home this NYE, consider joining in on #Tweetin13. There are prizes, fun people, and it’s hosted by two of my favorite ladies. Get on it!