Shanghai – The First Few Days

Justin and I are a few days in on our China 2011 trip.  While this trip is the first for both of us to get to visit Shanghai, the main purpose of this trip is two-fold.  One, it has been three years since he was able to visit his family so it’s time to reconnect and visit with some of his friends.  Second, and pretty importantly, he is coming out to his mom and dad and by extension (and inevitable gossip) – the rest of his family.

Well, two days ago – the day after we arrived and the same day his mom arrived in Shanghai – he came out to his mom.  It actually went great and significantly better than it would have for most Chinese guys.  Typically the families are very set in their ways and would usually think about how it’s bad for the family’s face or possibly that they would not have anyone to take care of them when they’re older.  His mom however is very forward-thinking about was great with the news.  She asked tons of questions such as if I was what had turned him gay.  He re-assured her I wasn’t and that he had crushes on other guys long before he met me.

Since we are all an extended family now, we have roamed around Shanghai together and with various friends.  The pictures below are from the past few days and are a small selection of the places we have been.

A Peek Into The Subconscious

© Salbjörg Rita Jónsdóttir, Flickr

The last few nights I’ve actually remembered a few dreams that I’ve had. I used to remember some of them years ago, but haven’t remembered anything after I woke up for many years now.

While I was a bit sad about that, it did give me the ability to sleep through an entire night and wake up with a fresh mind. The past two nights though have been different. Last night I had a dream that was creepy, but Tuesday night’s dream is what stands out in my mind.

In the dream, for some reason I was in a computer store to have my netbook repaired (I work on computers all the time and would very rarely ever take it in somewhere and let anyone else work on my technology). I’m not sure why exactly, but somehow it came up that I was gay and the woman at the counter refused to give me service. It’s pretty vague since it was just a dream, but she said something to another person about how she made her views clear at their last meeting. The other person tried to comfort me since I was visibly upset and I was about to cry. I think it was about then that I woke up.

While that’s pretty disjointed and lacking lots of details, it was an interesting insight into my subconscious. At least consciously I don’t consider myself to be discriminated against at least in certain areas. I definitely am by the government, but never have been by any business or by any specific person. It showed me that although I am not being actively discriminated against personally, that it is still something very much on my mind and was eye-opening.

Dreams provide us with an opportunity to let the mind run free with ideas uninhibited by moral, ethical and social constraints. They allow us to explore anything and everything that could possibly be thought of. While sometimes these can he horrifying or amazingly magical, sometimes they are instead about ideas that hold much deeper meaning and, if you’re lucky enough to remember those dreams once you’ve woken up, can show you more about yourself than you ever realized existed.

The Sanctity of Traditional Marriage

Quick post to display an infographic I found via a blog I follow.  Religious extremists like to state that allowing marriage equality (which doesn’t mean a holy marriage but rather a civil that grants all of the same rights and responsibilities) will be going against “traditional” marriage.  Let’s take a look at “traditional” marriage through the ages…