P:S 566- Declared Human

Below is a transcript of the episode.


Hello everybody, and welcome Project: Shadow, episode number 566, "Declared Human." My name is Eric, and if you don't know I am a sci-fi fantasy writer from Poplar Bluff, Missouri, and I am gay.

I've been gay for long time. In fact, most of my life, if not all my life. I mean my first memories of not being like the other kids came in second grade, when I realized I was more interested in this one kid on the playground, and the other boys were interested in the girls. It was a weird sensation.

I learned to lie. I learned to tell people, oh, you know I don't have a crush on him. I have a crush on his sister, his cousin.  I got really good at lying and that is a terrible, terrible thing.

I decided with this episode just to be a little bit more open in format and not really cover much in the news other than: last week, last week on Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States of America, the Supreme Court of the country that I've lived in my entire life, finally declared me a full and complete citizen of the country that I live in.

I read the entire decision that Justice Kennedy wrote and it's beautiful.  And it's so much more important than what people are taking it to mean.  Yes, he legalize marriage in all 50 states.  And Brian and I are now working on trying to figure out how we want to do this.  We kind of want to make our wedding on our anniversary which is in January, so we don't have a lot of time to figure things out.  But, yeah, we can get married here in Missouri.

But the ruling went so much further then just giving us marriage rights.  And when I say unless I don't just mean the LGBT community, I mean we as a civilization, we as a country, we as a culture.  It was breathtaking in the way Justice Kennedy described not only love, but rights.  And that our rights are things that cannot be denied us by a majority, by a vote, by the decision of the populace.  Our rights are ours no matter what anybody else thinks, says, believes.  That is important.  That is the heart of the matter.

We are a nation that is built on the idea on unalienable rights, not inalienable right, unalienable rights.  These are rights that cannot be denied to you by anyone at any time.  And anyone who tries to do that is violating the conscience and the soul of the country.  That's the idea that we're founded on.  That's the idea that this nation was built.  And here we are now in 2015, having the Supreme Court of the United States finally announce to the country: you don't get to vote on minority rights.

I think that part of the decision is almost more important then this whole idea of gay marriage, because if we can get that applied over and over again, in various other ways.  In the voting rights act, getting it brought back.  If we can get that applied to transgender issues, to adoption issues, to issues around the country.  To being able to use a freaking bathroom that that matches your gender, that would be a huge thing.  That would be an amazing thing, and that is something I don't have a lot of people saw in the ruling and it's one thing to just stepped out to me.  It just stood out to me.

The majority can only... I don't know... I don't know what to say.  I've been flabbergasted for three days, and you guys know me.  I'm not like that.  It is hard for me to find words to describe how this feels.  You know.  

I know how much of my own personal story I've shared on the show.  I know I've shared a lot, and over shared a lot, but, you know, I grew up as someone who I was bullied in school.  And I know I'm not alone in that, a lot of people have been.  I remember getting beat up especially there is this one time in fifth grade I remember getting beat up really badly, and sitting there in the principal's office and having the principal tell me,  "They're just trying to make a real man out you, boy." A real man.

Yeah, see that was the problem. I wasn't a "real" man.  I thought all the people punching and kicking me, you know, that's what it takes to be a real man. It was from things like that I learned how to hate myself, and a lot of people still learn how to hate themselves.

I don't want to go through the whole sad story of my life.  I mean, it hasn't been all bad, don't get me wrong, but I remember losing my job once.  I had a really, really good job.  I was managing a store and making more money than I ever should've.  And getting fired because my manager found out I was gay.  I actually remember talking to her on the phone, and her asking me, "Eric, are you a faggot?"   I thought about lying. I really did.  I thought about lying. But at that point in my life, I'd been out to most of my friends, well, to all my friends, and the parts my family. It just felt wrong staying in the closet, so I said, "Yes, I am."  And she fired me right there on the spot.  I can't rememver the exact name of the group, but I called the Maryland, what is it, equal opportunity border, or whatever.  The person that I talked on the phone just laughed, and said what did you think was going to happen.  Like it was my fault.  Like  I deserved getting fired simply because of the people I love, because of who I love, because of who I am, I deserved to be fired.

I have a lot of experiences like that throughout my life, and I honestly never, ever, thought that in this country, I would ever see a day like we saw last week.  I never thought it would happen.  I really never did.  I hoped. I hoped.  I dreamed. I prayed.  I wanted it to happen, but I just didn't think that it would.

I had experienced so many bad things.  In living here, you know, it doesn't get much better.  We run a business in twon.  We run a restaurant in town and people boycott us because we are a queer owned business.  Yeah, in 2015.  It's not like  we have rainbow flags hanging up outside or anything.  We're not running a gay bar.  We're running a regular restaurant, for goodness sake.  But that hatred is so ingrained in our culture and in our society, I never thought I'd be sitting here in this state realizing that I can get married.  Realizing that the law says, they can't treat many different because of who I am.  

I'm sure there's a lot of people in the state especially in this city that are going to try to find ways to fight this. I do not look forward to the day, Brain and I decided to actually go in and pick up our marriage license, because... hopefully that will go smoothly because by then, it will all have kind of have washed over, but honestly I'm not expecting it to be a smooth thing.  I'm not expecting it to be a good thing, an easy thing.  Maybe it will be, i don't know.

The weirdest thing and it's something I wanted to talk to you guys about today.  The strangest thing for me and all of this was at the end of the day, what I got out of the decision on Friday, what I got out of it was for the first time in my life, I felt like in the eyes of my country, I had been declared human.  Worthy of the same dignity as anyone else.  

I can't say that that's the reaction I expected. I can't, I cannot say that that's how I thought I would feel when this happened.

I spent a lot of time contemplating, you know, what is it gonna mean if this is one way or the other.  All of the things I thought about, everything that went through my mind about how I would process a decision pro or con, that was not one of the possibilities.  That... that was... of course I'm human.  Of course, I am valuable.  It took me a long time to get to that point.  It took me a long time to fight within my own psyche to feel that way, but I got there.  But it there's something about these five people in black robes saying that I have equal dignity in my own country.  It made me feel human. It was like this weight was just ripped off me, and I just started crying.  All day I was in... tears kept streaming down my face and I kept laughing.  The two just mingled together and dance together and I just didn't know how to process it.  I still don't.

I'm sitting here, trying to talk to you guys about it.  I thought about doing the scripts of my thoughts would be much more linear and easier to follow, but, you know, we has such a good relationship that I thought it would be better just to be honest.  

To feel human is something that no one should be deprived of.  No one, for any reason whatsoever.  And I had never realized that it wasn't that I felt lesser, or that I felt unequal.  It was that I felt that they were trying to say that I was not a legitimate part of the species.  That's something to try to wrap your mind around.  I don't know how many of you guys had a similar experience.   I mean, I know I have a lot of LGBT listeners and it would be fascinating to know if any of you guys have had the same experience with this.

It felt like something changed. It really did.  And I know this isn't the end.  This isn't where it's all going to end up.  We still have to worry about adoption rights, and things of that nature.  I think that's every one of the more interesting things.  Brain and I have talked for a long time about having kids.  I still don't think we are financially in a place where I would feel comfortable bringings kid into it.  Its mainly just because, well, as the child I grew up with a lot of financial instability and I don't want to do that to another child.  Though I do feel that having a home would be better than not having home.  That's a whole other discussion, you know what I'm saying?

To be honest, I really don't know how to move forward from this. I know that sounds like such a strange thing to say, but I don't know.  That's one the reasons why I just want to record this as it was.  I just wanted to... I put out some of my thoughts on Friday over at the blog, over at  ProjectShadow.com and they were a jumbled mess then and my thoughts are still a jumbled mess today.  

I've been trying to get some work done, trying to do this, that, or the other, working on story and what have you, but really do feel like my world got flip turned upside down.

I'm so grateful that this decision happened.  

I guess I should talk a little bit about what's been going on with me, other than my sheer surprise over the gay rights decision, and some of my intentions on what to do with this podcast going forward.

So, let me gather myself together to be able to discuss things in a businesslike state.  So okay.  

So everybody, this podcast is been off and on for a while, and it's not because I don't want to do it.  It's because I felt that I had trapped myself in a certain format and I was very concerned about breaking it.  As you can see with today's episode, I broke it, and I don't care.  And I think that is the state that I needed to get to, to be able to move forward with this. Previously, I had spent a lot of time on this podcast talking about sci-fi movies and TV shows and music and things like that.   I still intend to do that.  I still intend to spend time on the show talking about stuff like that, and making episodes about TV shows and movies and what not that I really like and enjoy and want to share with you guys, or feel that we can go deeper into and really pull our some really cool and hidden stuff.   I do want to do that, but now as I said in previous podcast, it's been really hard for me to deal with the snark in the press, to spend the time to go in and find the movie news and whatnot and I've been trying to find workarounds.  I've found some sites that are better for news and what have you. I think I'm getting there.  I think I've found a way to start doing that.  

But I also want to just make this a much more personal podcast.  I mean, that is one of the things that has always amazed me about you guys, is that, you know, I've always been open and honest with you, and we have this kind of weird pseudo-friendship over the podcast and it really shows in person when I get to meet you.  When we are at the conventions and whatnot and it's like we've known each other forever because a lot of you guys have very similar stories to mine.  We meet and we hang out all weekend and its great.  It's so much fun.  By the way were going to be going to Shore Leave this year, so get ready for that.  That's going to be awesome.  I'm really excited.  I hope we can hit a couple other conventions as well, but only time will tell about those.  I'll let you know as soon as I have information about that.

We have such a conversational tone that I kind of wanted to show to be less programmed, and more conversational, and more kind of what's going on in life, in the world.  I'm not can be bringing politics in like I used to way back in the day, for anyone who remembers that far back.  A lot of the earlier episodes were much more political in nature and I'm not playing on going back to that or anything.  Talkng about books that I'm reading, and current events, and what's going on,  and what I've been learning.

I think that's more than anything, what I want this podcast to be.  What I have been reading, what I've been enjoying, and what I've been learning.  And kind of sharing that with you guys and have you guys share that with us.  whether it be through the Reddit that nobody uses, or over Project: Shadow Agenda, which I need to get better at putting posts over there for you is to just add all your, "here maybe we should talk about this," and what have you.  

I'm still ishy about opening registration up over there.  I did try that and a bunch of spammers immediately jumped on, and because it's a Known site there's not a lot of spam filter software for it. I had to kill them all by hand.  So I had to take down all their post by hand and then go back and get rid of the accounts and it was it made it a lot more work.  So I'm probably not point to where I would you be doing open registration but if you are interested in registering for that site to be able to share and post, and use it him to help build the community, let me know.  Send me an email.  If you go to ProjectShadow.com and go to the bottom of the page, you'll see you can either use the ask me anything link.  I will need your email address, who you are, and why you want to be a member of the site, or you get on to the very bottom of the page and you'll see an email icon that you can click and send me an mail that way.

It's a really cool service that will actually not just be looking at another social network that you have to deal with, but... the way Known works, and what I like about it, is when you post there it gives you the option to push those posts to Facebook, to Twitter, LinkedIn, Sound Cloud, and Flickr.  They are working on other plug-ins to be able to offer Google plus and Tumblr and stuff like that too.  It is not like the old Ning site, where you posted on our site and you had to go and repost elsewhere for other things you wanted to do it.  You can actually push your posts to other services and that's really cool.

I'd like to get the community site back up and running so if anybody would like to have a seat in there to start sharing and good conversation rolling let me know.  I actually doing this better than the Facebook group.  I like the Facebook group, but I hate Facebook.  I really don't want to have to deal with him.  It's the same thing with everything going on over at Google plus.  I love Google plus but I am the only one.  Nobody uses the group over there.  It's not so easy to just have people now go over there, migrate over there.  I've been trying that for years and nobody has.  

What I like about this is it is something that I own and operate.  I don't have to worry about Facebook changing the way that it works, or Google plus changing the way that it works.  It is what it is.  It is something that I own and operate, so it is a home base for us.  That's over at ProjectShadowAgenda.com.  If you're curious about being a contributor of there, let me know.  It would be wonderful. I would really like that.

As far as my writing goes, I've still been working on stories. Got a couple that will hopefully be out soon.  Doing a lot more writing, particularly for Medium.  I really like Medium.com as a place to put out my short stories.  The only issue that I have is that they are not monetize over there, and I do need to make a living.  But I also think that for the most part, my fiction should be free.  So for anybody who wants to support my fiction, my podcasting, and everything that I'm doing, please check out my Patreon page. It's at Patreon.com/CEDorsett or you can go to ProjectShadow.com and right there on the front page, you'll see "a become my patron," and you click over there.  

If you can afford to do a donation, you don't have so please don't feel pressured, but if you can afford to do the donation, it does help free up my time, so I can think less about doing projects that bring in money and do more stuff just to make you guys happy.

If you don't like any of the reward listed over there, I'm actually think about redoing the rewards that are over there.  If you like the rewards available over there, let me know what kinds of rewards you would want, and I will do what I can to make that a reality.

If you can find it in your heart to go over there to Patreon.com/CEDorset and help me out.  You do it for as little as a dollar a month.  If you can afford more that would be great, but you anything that you can contribute it'll helpme get to the conventions better.  It'll help me in place a focus on the fiction and the podcasting and everything, and not have to do so much else.

Al righty, well, I've rambled on for over 20 minutes. I do promise next time I do one of there, I will have a more comprehensive topic and hopefully I will get back to doing this daily.   I miss talking to you guys and I missed the response.  I missed the community.  So I'm going to try to get back and doing his daily.  I think by breaking the format and just making a conversational thing like we're doing now will get over some anxiety that I felt about recording the show.

You guys are the greatest, and I wouldn't keep pushing forward and fighting as hard as I am to keep all this going if it wasn't for you guys and I just wanted to say thank you.  You're the best fans in the world.  You mean everything to me. You really do.  I hate to use the word fans because in so many ways, I feel like we're friends.  Especially when we do the meet ups at the conventions and everything. Anywho, I will talk to y'all later.  Have the fun. bye.

My name is C.E. Dorsett, and I am a scifi/fantasy writer. I have written the books Shine Like Thunder and The Chain, just to name a couple.  I am really a builder of worlds from the wuxia inspired, scifi setting Our Solemn Hour to the dark fantasy of Dragons of Night.  My writing is influenced by writers like H. P. Lovecraft, Charlaine Harris, Alice Hoffman, Armistead Maupin, Frank Herbert, E E Doc Smith and Robert E Howard. I love to tell stories and talk with my readers.