It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. September 29, 2014.

I love my HMO, Kaiser Permanente. My new primary care doc is a smart young woman who spent an hour with me today. Full systems check: good guts, flu shot, osteoporosis (thank you, Prednisone, when I had to take you as a kid with colitis…NOT!), weight still down, so is blood pressure. I’m deeply grateful for my body and my health. It is good, indeed, to be 67!

I do have an issue with which I need to deal. Bummer. Life is usually so easy so I develop mild resentment when these “issues” arise. I hate like hell to admit it but there are racists in my family and it makes me sad. Even worse, they don’t think they’re racists, just patriotic. OY!!! Really????? But I learned a long time ago that you can’t argue with bigots. It’s like arguing with a two-year old. You can’t win. But it makes me sad that the bigots are my beloved family members, and even more sad that the non-bigots aren’t speaking out with me.

I can’t keep silent because silence is consent and I do not consent. I see my friends of color in my mind’s eye and in my heart….and I cannot let it go. I don’t like arguing with my family but I’m grateful that my heart is open enough to embrace and honor those who are different from myself.

My meditation today from Woman’s Spirit: It is the long stretch of time that gives us our viewpoint. I remember some difficult periods that benefited me. If something troubles me today, perhaps I could trust that it, too, is for my good.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect): 1926 – The Captive, a melodrama about a young woman seduced by an older woman (her “shadow”), creates a sensation on Broadway for its lesbian undertones; 1991 – California Governor Pete Wilson vetoes AB 101, a gay and lesbian employment rights bill, inciting what some call Stonewall II, a month of marches and angry protests across the state.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. September 28, 2014.

I made it back to Ventura by 1:00 PM today. It’s taken all day just to unpack and get squared away. I must admit that I packed for Florida in the process. It was easier to pack again than to put my suitcases away and start all over on Wednesday. I guess that’s how I roll.

These next few days will be so crazy busy. I need to prepare for speaking engagements in November since I’ll be traveling all of October and out of the country for half of it.

I finished my four-month on-line business program and bit the bullet to sign up for round two. It starts tomorrow with both a one-on-one coaching call and then the webinar.

In my need for self-care, I’ve got to get to the gym tomorrow. My body will be far more effective in doing all my other work when I have that gym after-glow.

For tonight, I’m exhausted…and grateful to be back in Ventura with the family. I do miss Sequim, though…

My meditation today from Woman’s Spirit: I will not be given anything I can’t handle today if I let God help me.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect): 1292 – In Ghent (in present-day Belgium): John, a knife maker, is sentenced to be burned at the stake for having sex with another man. This is the first documented execution for sodomy in Western Europe; 1973 – W.H. Auden dies in Vienna at age 63; 2011 – The European Parliament in Strasburg passes a resolution against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. September 27, 2014.

We got to Palm Springs around 2:00 PM today. The ride and these past couple of days down I-5 felt quick and easy. The afternoon was spend unpacking and getting squared away. We went to Palm Greens, one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants, for dinner then to the movies. We saw This is Where I Leave You. I laughed so hard that I ached by the time the film finished… Hilarious!!! However, it was interesting watching the dynamics of that crazy family. There was so much love with so much angst intertwined…and isn’t that the way families tend to be? I must say, though, that as adults, I’m deeply grateful for all my sisters and brothers. Good people and great fiends.

And I don’t feel quite so fat today. For that I’m also grateful!

My meditation today from Woman’s Spirit: I alone can do it but I can’t do it alone. I seek the support I need from friends and God today. My day is good because of this.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect): 1970 – Chicago Gay Alliance separates from the local Gay Liberation Front (GLF), declaring in a position statement that GLFs political agenda is too broad to be effective in the struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s Good to be 67…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. September 26, 2014

We made it all the way down to Santa Nella near Merced. The reason to even get off the freeway at Santa Nella is Pea soup Anderson’s. I love that place whether here or in Buellton on the 101 near Santa Barbara. We’ll spend the night here then hit the road in the morning. WE should be in Palm Springs by mid-afternoon tomorrow.

I feel fat! FAT! I snacked the entire way. Chewing keeps me from getting sleepy. Gum is good and I had plenty, but I also had a gracious big stash of crackers and other munchies. I didn’t drive the entire way, of course. Kelly and I traded off, but I drove long enough to feel way overloaded! Ugh! Oh well…the munchies made for safe travels so I guess it’s worth it.

I’m grateful for safe travels, good company, and a restful night.

My meditation today from Woman’s Spirit: I prefer joy but i will acknowledge every feeling that surfaces today. My feelings mirror my thoughts.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect): 1965 – In San Francisco, thirty people picketed Grace Cathedral to protest punitive actions taken against Rev. Canon Robert Cromey for his involvement in the Council on Religion and the Homosexual, an alliance between LGBT people and religious leaders; 1970 – In Los Angeles, Gay Liberation Front demonstrators persuade bar owners to allow gay patrons to hold hands.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

 

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. September 25, 2014.

Goodbye, Sequim… we left today and started our trek south to Palm Springs and Ventura. We drove as far as Eugene, OR, about hours down I-5, and spent the night in Creswell.

We could have driven another hour or two but my friend Kirk Koenig always cooks for us whenever we drive through Eugene. I met Kirk at a conference a few years ago and it was love at first sight. What a lovely, kind man and an outstanding cook.

In addition to making a wonderful meal with a freshly caught tuna, Kirk gave us some cooking lessons. He taught me how to efficiently de-seed a pomegranate, how to peel garlic using two metal mixing bowls, and how to make stuffed avocados, then shared a very easy but seriously delicious recipe for potatoes.

Tonight is Rosh Hashanah Shabbat. Kirk had honey and apples and challah on the table. I shared histories, stories, and significance of the prayers that are associated with this day and that food. This was truly a wonderful evening filed with friends, food, and lots of fun.

I’m deeply grateful for the precious friends in my life….

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect): 1791 – In France, the new law code, enacted as part of the French Revolution, effectively decriminalizes sodomy by including no mention of sex between consenting adults; 2004 – California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signs “AB 2900,” a bill to unify all state anti-discrimination codes to match the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

 

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

 

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. September 24, 2014.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown tonight. For Jews, for my family, it’s a time to reflect on life, and to eat apples and honey to ensure a sweet new year.

I had been doing my 12-step CoDA work for a couple of years. I attended synagogue for Rosh Hashanah and Yon Kippur as I do most years. About three years into my program, I was struck that the High Holidays are almost synonymous with my 12-step program. Here’s how as described by http://www.aish.com/sp/pg/Judaism__the_12_Steps.html

Step #1: We admitted that we were powerless over (whatever the personal addiction – alcohol, people, drugs, sex, etc.) — that our lives had become unmanageable.

Step #2: Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. This is essentially the Talmudic statement (Kedushin 30b) that one’s yetzer hara (evil inclination) increases in strength every day, and were it not for the help of God, one would not be able to withstand it. In other words, without the help of God, we are powerless over the yetzer hara. Only a Power greater than oneself (can prevent the insane behavior.

Step #3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood God. The phrase “God as we understood God” has been a source of confusion. It was meant to avoid reference to the deity of any religion. The Jewish person could say, “Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of Hashem.” This step expresses two Torah concepts. (1) Set aside your own will in favor of the will of Hashem (Ethics of the Parents 2:4) and (2) “Cast upon God your burden, and God will sustain you” (Psalms 55:23).

Step #4: Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Classic Jewish literature repeatedly stresses the importance of chesbon hanefesh, a personal accounting which could not be expressed any better than “a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” This must indeed be fearless because it takes great courage to honestly search oneself and confront parts of our character and personality whose existence we may be reluctant to acknowledge. In doing a moral inventory, we must list our assets as well as our liabilities, our merits as well as our faults, because only this way can we achieve a true self-awareness. If one is unaware of one’s faults, hoe doesn’t know what must be correct. However, one who is unaware of one’s character strengths is even in a more sorry state, because there is then a lack of awareness of the tools one has to live a proper life.

Step #5: Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. This step has been misconstrued as being the Catholic confession. This is not so. A person should avail oneself of a trusted friend, to whom one can admit everything that has done, even the objectionable thoughts and desires one has harbored. Verbalizing these breaks the hold of the yetzer hara, the evil inclination.

Step #6: Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

Step #7: Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.  We generally can control our behavior, but we may have little or no control over some of our feelings. It is evident from the Talmud that we are born with some character traits, some of which we can sublimate and redirect to positive goals. We may not, by our own efforts, be able to extirpate some undesirable traits. Obviously, we must do our homework to rid ourselves of objectionable traits, and this is how one becomes “ready to have God remove all these defects of character.” Once one has done whatever is within one’s power, one can then “ask God to remove our shortcomings.”

Step #8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

Step #9: Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. The Talmud says that whereas a person’s sins are forgiven on Yom Kippur, this does not apply to offenses committed against another person. Divine forgiveness is granted only if one has genuinely sought forgiveness from the person one harmed or offended.

Step #10: Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it. One cannot emphasize strongly enough “when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.” The natural tendency is to defend a mistake and rationalize it. One will have much better results if one overcomes the tendency to defend a mistake, and admit it promptly.

Step #11: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious with God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry it out.  Classic Jewish literature is replete with this principle.

Step #12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to alcoholics (and/or other addicts), and to practice these principles in all our affairs. We are required to practice the principles of Torah “in all our affairs.”

May you and all of yours be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good and sweet year! L’shanah tova!

My Meditation today (from Women’s Spirit): Time spent attempting to change others affords little time for personal change. I enhance my growth today by letting others be who they are as I work on myself.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect): 1992 – The Kentucky Supreme Court invalidated the state’s sodomy law as unconstitutional; 2004 -Nova Scotia becomes the sixth of Canada’s provinces or territories to have legal same-sex marriage.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

 

 

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. September 23, 2014.

Today is National Bisexual Day. You may read more about it at http://www.bisexualweek.com. Shouting out good things to all my bi friends.

Today Kelly and I had brunch with Ruth Silver and her partner Jean. Ruth was born in 1919 in New York and came out as a lesbian at the age of 15. She did marry a man along the way and have children but returned to women after some time. She and her former partner Shevy founded OLOC – Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, http://www.oloc.org – in 1989. They traveled around the country and brought older lesbians together in many cities. OLOC makes life better for old Lesbians through support networks and by confronting ageism in both in the LGBT communities and the country through education and public discourse as primary tools.

Ruth shared so many of her stories. In fact, we all did. The morning was filled with delicious food – thank you, Kelly – and sweet conversation. At 95, Ruth is sharp and vibrant and great fun. She laughs at herself easily, and enjoys hearing the stories of others. I felt as if I were at the feet of royalty. I’m so honored to have met this woman who is so important to lesbian herstory.

Such wonderful women in my life…and I am grateful.

My Meditation today (from Women’s Spirit): Life has lessons to teach. We can remember them and share them with others, or we can forget them and have to learn them again.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect): 1970 – On the CBS Television series Medical Center, a medical researcher announces, “I am a homosexual.” Although his “condition” is portrayed as unfortunate, the program is acclaimed as the first sympathetic treatment of a gay man in an American TV drama.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

 

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. September 22, 2014.

The day started out so dreary, raining, overcast, and 59 degrees. It ended at 74 degrees with bright sunshine. I loved watching the day change so dramatically. It kept drawing my attention as I was trying to work. And one of the local eagle’s stayed on the snag in the back yard for a very long time.

Great workout at the gym this morning and a good walk this afternoon. Between the work I accomplished today (managed to put finished books in the hands of three different clients!) and my physical activity, the day was darned near perfect!

Kelly and I are having guests for brunch tomorrow. Kelly made her incredibly delicious egg/mushroom/spinach/cheese strata. I could eat it all right now!

We’re getting ready to head back down south. We’ll spend the next few days getting both the house and the cabin closed up for the winter and will leave here on Thursday.

I’m excited about the coming couple of months. The film screens in Tampa, Seattle, and Provincetown over the next three weeks, and then I go on the Mediterranean/Rome trip with Mom and Bebe and Hal.

There is so much for which I’m grateful…life is so darned good!

My Meditation today (from Women’s Spirit): I have a friend in my Higher Power. We’re together throughout each day.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect): 1676 – Governor Edmond Andros of New York issues an order extending the 1665 sodomy law of New York into what is now Pennsylvania and Delaware; 1928 – the Chicago Defender, one of the pre-eminent African American newspapers, runs an ad for a new record by Ma Rainey, Prove It on Me Blues. The lyrics are unmistakably about women-loving-women; 1975 – Oliver Sipple, a gay man and former Marine and Vietnam veteran, prevented a gun shot fired by Sara Jane Moore from hitting President Gerald Ford, in San Francisco.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. September 21, 2014.

LGBT history is so important. If we don’t share what we know as well as share our own stories, our history will be lost. Will Kohler wrote this piece on Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. Rather than write about myself today, I want to share this impart lesbian herstory. Happy Fall!

September 21, 1995: The Daughters of Bilitis Is Founded By Pioneer Lesbian Activists Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon

On September 21st, 1955, Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon had been together as lovers for three years when they complained to a gay male couple that they did not know any other lesbians. The gay couple introduced Martin and Lyon to another lesbian couple, one of whom suggested they create a social club.  And thus the first ever social, civil. and political rights organization in the United States the Daughters of Bilitis was born

In October 1955, eight women — four couples — met to provide each other with a social outlet. One of their priorities was to have a place to dance, as dancing with the same sex in a public place was illegal. Martin and Lyon recalled later, “Women needed privacy…not only from the watchful eye of the police, but from gaping tourists in the bars and from inquisitive parents and families.” Although unsure of how exactly to proceed with the group, they began to meet regularly, realized they should be organized, and quickly elected Martin as president. From the start they had a clear focus to educate other women about lesbians, and reduce their self-loathing brought on by the socially repressive times.

The name of the newfound club which was chosen in its second meeting was Bilitis  which is the name given to a fictional lesbian contemporary of Sappho, by the French poet Pierre Louÿs in his 1894 work The Songs of Bilitis in which Bilitis lived on the Isle of Lesbos alongside Sappho.  “Daughters” was meant to evoke association with other American social associations such as the Daughters of the American Revolution. They also designed a pin to wear to be able to identify with others.  The organization filed a charter for non-profit corporation status in 1957, writing a description so vague, Phyllis Lyon remembered, “it could have been a charter for a cat-raising club.”

By 1959 there were chapters of the DOB in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Rhode Island along with the original chapter in San Francisco.

Soon after forming, the DOB wrote a mission statement that addressed the most significant problem Martin and Lyon had faced as a couple: the complete lack of information about female homosexuality in what historian Martin Meeker termed, “the most fundamental journey a lesbian has to make. When the club realized they were not allowed to advertise their meetings in the local newspaper, Lyon and Martin, who both had backgrounds in journalism, began to print a newsletter to distribute to as many women as the group knew. In October 1956 it became The Ladder, the first nationally distributed lesbian publication in the U.S. and one of the first to publish statistics on lesbians, when they mailed surveys to their readers in 1958 and 1964. Martin was the first president and Lyon became the editor of The Ladder.

The DOB advertised itself as “A Woman’s Organization for the purpose of Promoting the Integration of the Homosexual into Society.” The statement was composed of four parts that prioritized the purpose of the organization, and it was printed on the inside of the cover of every issue of The Ladder until 1970:

  1. Education of the variant…to enable her to understand herself and make her adjustment to society…this to be accomplished by establishing…a library…on the sex deviant theme; by sponsoring public discussions…to be conducted by leading members of the legal psychiatric, religious and other professions; by advocating a mode of behavior and dress acceptable to society.
  2. Education of the public…leading to an eventual breakdown of erroneous taboos and prejudices…
  3. Participation in research projects by duly authorized and responsible psychologists, sociologists, and other such experts directed towards further knowledge of the homosexual.
  4. Investigation of the penal code as it pertain to the homosexual, proposal of changes,…and promotion of these changes through the due process of law in the state legislatures.”

Del Martin had written that the Daughters of Bilitis was a feminist organization from the beginning, focusing on the problems of women as well as problems of the female homosexual; however, in the mid-1960s feminism became a much higher priority to many of the women in the organization. In 1966, Del Martin and Lyons joined the National Organization for Women,

A November 1966 essay by DOB president Shirley Willer pointed out the differences in problems faced by gay men and lesbians: gay men dealt more with police harassment, entrapment, solicitation, sex in public places, and until recently few women were being arrested for cross-dressing. Willer pointed out the problems specific to lesbians were job security and advancement, and family relationships, child custody, and visitation.  Feeling as if their issues were not being addressed by gay organizations.

The Daughters were also affected by the changing times. Younger members did not share the concerns with older members; they were more moved by revolutionary tactics. Problems in the organization of the national governing board were becoming increasingly worse when local chapters were unable to take action on issues important to them without the approval of the national board.  Members became disillusioned and left, and younger lesbians were more attracted to join feminist organizations. By the time the 1968 convention was held in Denver, less than two dozen women attended

The Daughters of Bilitis, which had taken a conservative approach to helping lesbians deal with society, disbanded in 1970 due to the rise of more radical activism.

Both Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon went on to form the Council on Religion and the Homosexual (CRH) in northern California to persuade ministers to accept homosexuals into churches, and used their influence to decriminalize homosexuality in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They became politically active in San Francisco’s first gay political organization, the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, which influenced Dianne Feinstein to sponsor a citywide bill to outlaw employment discrimination for gays and lesbians. Both served in the White House Conference on Aging in 1995.

They were married on Feb. 12, 2004, in the first same-sex wedding to take place in San Francisco after Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered the city clerk to begin providing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but that marriage was voided by the California Supreme Court on August 12, 2004. They married again on June 16, 2008, in the first same-sex wedding to take place in San Francisco after the California Supreme Court’s decision in In re Marriage Cases legalized same-sex marriage in California.

Del Martin passed away two months later on August 27, 2008  She is survived by her wife Phyllis Ann Lyon

* The complete surviving organizational records of the national office and the San Francisco Chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis are available to researchers as part of the Phyllis Lyon and Del Martin Papers at the GLBT Historical Society, a nonprofit archives and research center in San Francisco. 

_____________

My Meditation today (from Women’s Spirit): I am where I need to be. My friends and associates need me as I need them. We are moving and growing in concert.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect): 1982 – The Oklahoma Supreme Court awards custody of two boys to their divorced gay father, declaring homosexuality isn’t in itself grounds for ruling a parent unfit.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. September 20, 2014.

My very first newsletter for my writing seminars went out today. We’re off and running!

Dooney and I left Diamond Point early this morning to meet my sister-in-law Carole for the soccer game of her 9-year old grandniece Belle. Belle’s team had eight girls in matching tee shirts (very cute). The opposition had 20 girls in fancy jerseys. (They were way over-supported!) Every 15 minutes the opposition put a whole new team of girls on the field while every member on Belle’s team played the entire game. Parents were screaming and hollering and prancing back and forth as the little girls busted their butts on what looked like a really big field. Is there special therapy for soccer moms and dads? There should be!

We left the soccer field, drove to Woodinville, and visited with Carole’s lifelong friend Harvey and his 90 year old mother at their house adjacent to their corn field, just over the ditch from Chateau St. Michelle winery. I ate an ear of corn right off the stalk….so incredibly sweet! Yummmmm…

And now I’m enjoying an evening alone with little Dooney and giant Kodi dog, Len and Carole’s Bernese Mountain dog, while Len and Carole are out. They’ll be home soon and I’ll be in the arms of family once again.

This was an easy, pleasant, interesting day, with no stress (except for those soccer beasts!). Sharing time with family makes me feel very happy. It almost feels like a vacation…and I’m very grateful.

My Meditation today (from Women’s Spirit): Sharing is healing. I’ll make sure I’m not keeping something to myself today that’s causing me pain. Whoever I share it with will be helped too.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect): 1958 – In New York City, lesbians, including Barbara Gittings, hold the first Daughters of Bilitis New York meeting at the offices of the Mattachine Society of New York. The chapter is the first lesbian organization on the East Coast; 1973 – In Houston, Billie Jean King defeats “male chauvinist” Bobby Riggs in tennis’ “Battle of the Sexes”; 2011 – Don’t’ Ask Don’t Tell officially repealed; 2013 –Cassidy Lynn Campbell, 16, becomes the first transgender public school homecoming queen in the US.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni