Tag Archives: LGBT

Those People Who Sit Outside the Polls

I voted today. I’ve voted in every primary and election since I turned 18–except one. (I missed a special millage vote that happened in May one year. May elections are rare in these parts, and the postcard from the school asking for the tax increase came two days after the special election. I still feel bad about missing it.)

Voting is not only a privilege, but a civic responsibility. If you don’t vote, I question whether you deserve citizenship. (I also an in favor of automatic registration and removing impediments that interfere with people finding time to vote. The system should work FOR people.)

Every time I vote, there are people standing outside that 100-yard perimeter handing out pamphlets for candidates. I’ve done this myself, mostly in school board elections and when Wife ran for Township Supervisor.

Today, there was a “pro-life” advocate. Normally I’d ignore those people, but today the pair of women got under my skin. Two white, over-50 women who, from the way they were dressed, do not have the slightest clue what it’s like to scramble for a meal, stood there, smiling and making snide comments. (My main issue with “pro-life” people is that they abandon the child/family as soon as the kid is born. Also, my cousin’s wife was forced to carry a dead fetus from the 7th to the 9th month because of a ban on late-term abortions. Put yourself in her shoes for a day and let that horror sink in.)

In their “discussion” as Wife and I left, they made negative comments about candidates who were not vehemently “pro-life”–and then they started bitching about the gays being allowed to marry.

I did not punch anyone.

I did turn around and say, wide-eyed, “Oh, no! Not the gays!” I would have said more, but Wife pulled me away. Seriously–they’re upset about marriage equality. I spent the next two hours fuming. I hate that I let these bigots get under my skin. Hate it.

And that is my voting adventure for today.

Kissing Bandits Guest Blogger: JW Troemner #homelessness #markofthedragon

Kissing Bandits Welcomes JW Troemmer

NBTM_TourBanner_MarkOfTheDragon

Thank you so much for the opportunity to be here today!

Today I’d like to do something a little bit different and talk about one of the issues that I wound up learning a lot about while writing this book.

If you’ve had a chance to read Mark of the Dragon, you’ll know that our protagonists Rosario and Arkay start out homeless and living on the streets of Indianapolis. They’re fortunate enough to have a supernatural advantage, but the other homeless characters in the series (and real homeless individuals) aren’t so lucky.

Stereotypes paint homeless people as being “crazy” or dangerous, but the sad reality is that they’re in far more danger of being attacked or killed by people who have homes themselves. Those who escape violence from strangers are often in danger of getting ill from exposure to the elements; because they’re constantly being shooed out of the places where they bunker down, these people never get the chance to rest and get better, and healthcare can be nigh unattainable.

Homeless shelters are often underfunded and overcrowded, and because they’re most often run by religious organizations, LGBT+ individuals (like Arkay and Rosario) are often barred entry. Sometimes homeless individuals will form camps where they can have a relatively safe space to sleep and create a meeting point for organizations who want to offer assistance, but they can also inspire vitriol in the surrounding neighborhoods. The Valley in Urban Dragon is based on one of these, specifically the Irish Hill homeless camp in Indianapolis, which was bulldozed by local authorities in August of 2013.

There are plenty of guides on ways you can help the homeless (here are some ideas), but the best way to know what homeless people in your area need is to go up to them, start a conversation, and ask them how you can help. They’ll know what they need more than I can tell you.

 Mark of the Dragon

GENRE: Urban Fantasy

BLURB:

MediaKit_BookCover_UrbanDragonRosario Hernandez doesn’t ask for much. She’d like to sleep on a bed instead of a sidewalk, to know where her next meal is coming from, and maybe, if she’s really feeling optimistic, to get a girlfriend. More than anything, though, she wants her best friend Arkay to not murder anyone— because Arkay is a dragon, claws and all, and she has a penchant for vigilante justice. When Arkay’s latest escapade goes sour, Rosario gets stuck with a stolen van and a cooler full of human organs. Now they’re on the run, and it’s not just the cops who want answers. The owner of the cooler is still out there, and they want to replace what they’ve lost— by any means necessary.

 

Excerpt:

At the Precinct:

At least a dozen police officers had gathered in the hallway, their weapons drawn. Another half dozen moved along the walls of the interrogation room like a pack of wolves, watching for an opening in Arkay’s defenses.

My dragon crouched in the corner, snarling like an animal. The interrogation table had been torn into pieces and hurled through the one-way mirror. The ground was strewn with pulverized cinderblock and silvery crumbles of broken glass. Arkay’s handcuffs had been ripped apart, and the broken metal cut into her skin. Blood poured from her wrists, staining the twisted metal bar she brandished like a club.

One of the officers, a six-foot white guy who looked like he could bench press a horse, charged forward. She rushed forward to meet him, bending low to grab him by a thigh that was nearly as thick around as her waist. So fast I could barely follow it, she yanked him up and over her back, using his own momentum to hurl him into a wall.  Blood darkened the fabric around his leg. I couldn’t tell if it was hers or his.

She snarled, and I ran past the last line of police into the tiny room. I stumbled between her and the fallen man, my hands outstretched.

“Arkay, it’s me!” I inched closer. She angled her body toward me, but her eyes kept darting to the officers around her.  “See? They let me in. Everything’s okay now.”

She grabbed me by the wrist and yanked me into the corner behind her with a snarl.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_UrbanDragonJW Troemner was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States, where she lives with her partner in a house full of pets. Most days she can be found gazing longingly at sinkholes and abandoned buildings.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30642161-mark-of-the-dragon

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjwtroemner/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JWTroemner

Website: http://jwtroemner.com/

Mailing list: http://eepurl.com/bRaRF5

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01H8GI5HS

There’s a giveaway. Here’s how to enter:

JW Troemner will be awarding $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour and enter more than once.

More Wedding Day Observations

As I’m hearing/reading comments, I feel I need to share a few observations. Since this isn’t my strong suit, I’m pleased I noticed this stuff at all!

1. There were NO protesters. And yes, there was time to organize something for people who felt strong opposition. We encountered people passing out flyers for the Gay Wedding Expo, photographers, ministers ready to perform for anybody from their congregations, reporters, supporters, even someone from the Democratic Party with petitions to get names on the ballot for the primary. (She was very happy to be the second witness to our wedding.) There were even people there just to hand out roses and convey congratulations.

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From people who were happy for everybody.

These are roses (in bloom on my messy counter) we were given on the way out. They gave one to every single person, including our officiant, maid-of-honor, and the twins. (One twin was given two by accident, and the lady just smiled and told her to keep it.) The roses didn’t come with a flyer or any kind of advertisement, so I don’t know who gave them out, but thank you! We appreciate your support and blessings.

2. Not everybody there got married right away. The couple in front of us had been together for 33 years. They wanted to wait until Sunday morning, when the pastor of their church would gladly perform the ceremony. The couple behind us (the guys who want to adopt kids) wanted to wait, but like us, they didn’t trust the government to not foul it up somehow. They got married by the County Clerk (Lisa Brown), though they plan to have the priest of their church perform another ceremony. I don’t know how many couples wanted to wait for another day, but weddings happened all over the grounds of the county courthouse. I hope the stay is lifted soon so that everybody who wanted to wait to have family and friends to witness their big day get the chance for their dreams to come true.

3. We’re not sure if/when Suzy will be able to get health care benefits through my work (like all other married couples.) I wrote our union president yesterday, and he’s looking into it today. Keep your fingers crossed!

With Love, Michele