One fund raiser is an "acceptance ring" that looks like a wedding ring, but has a 2mm gap to symbolize that not everyone can get married.
There is more info, and some heart wrenching stories here.
FWIW, I've created a dreamwidth account, and I'll try to find people there. I've also got a G+ account under my actual name (gasp!).
Don't get me wrong: I knew that I didn't see colors as well as others. That had been obvious for most of my life, when they would not understand which car I meant when I said the dark brown car. But, that just led to me using different terminology to discuss things. For example, I would never refer to something by color, but rather by location or size or whatever. But I never would have imagined that someone would think I wouldn't be able to tell a red traffic light from a green traffic light!
My color deficiency bothered me quite a bit for many years, but over time, I've come to terms with it, and even embrace it in much the same way that being gay means that I'm subjected to discrimination and hate, but it also brings with it some real joys. I'm not talking about Mark here (although that is one of the nice side-benefits of being gay). I'm talking about really understanding that folks are different. When I was a straight white middle class male, I was part of the privileged majority. I took a lot of things for granted. Coming out and being hated just for being gay taught me a small portion of what other minority folks have felt for years. I still have no idea of what it must feel like to be a woman trying to make it in a computer company where some people will discount her work simply because she's a woman, or how it really feels to be a young black man targeted by the cops. But, I do know the fear of walking down a street not knowing if the car slowing down is full of people ready to jump out and beat me up or just to ask directions, or the knowledge that some people hate me and would be happy if that carload of people did jump out and assault me. That's something my brothers or male cousins have no knowledge of. It's easier for me to empathize with minorities because of being gay and what I've gone through.
Similarly, I've known most of my life that I see things differently in a real physical sense. This has made me more aware that others also probably see the world differently from each other. And knowing that people see things differently in a purely physical sense makes it easier to really believe that people "see" the world differently because of different perceptions or expectations or background. I think that it is all too easy for those who are "normal" to believe that others perceive/see/think the way that they do.
All this has come up recently because I just learned about a company that makes expensive sunglasses that purportedly help "colorblind" people better distinguish colors. And now I find myself very torn about whether or not I should spend that money. I wonder if this is how deaf people feel when thinking about cochlear implants: is missing out on colors really so important that I should spend money on it? Is this just a way to make money by making people feel like they are missing out? I've lived my life seeing things the way that I do, and basically doing just fine. Would my life be substantially enhanced by seeing more colors when outside (they are talking about also doing indoor glasses, but for now, it's mostly just for outdoors)? Is being closer to normal really something that I want to strive for?
I do think that if I were much younger, then I would get the sunglasses; I would probably enjoy seeing colors for many years (and yes, I do see the irony of saying that it was good to really understand that everyone sees things differently when wearing such glasses as a child might have kept me from learning that). But, at my age? Will my life really be enhanced by seeing a red flag waving 100 yards away, when now it only jumps out at me when I get closer?
In case you aren't sure, I'll answer the subject question for you: No, you don't see what I see. And you probably don't see what anyone else sees, either.
I know I'm in the minority as I actually listen to song lyrics (really, Mom? You think Tennessee Waltz is a sweet song??), but I did find some of the songs played during a recent wedding reception I attended as a bit inappropriate.
Here are a couple that I remember being played:
"I knew the bride when she used to rock & roll", which is comes across as a sad story about how a fun woman has chosen a boring life giving up on fun and contains lines like:
Well, take a look at the bridegroom smilin' pleased as pie
Shakin' hands all around with a glassy look in his eye
He got a real good job and his shirt and tie is nice
But I remember a time when she never would have looked at him twice
And "Need you now" which is basically a drunk dialing song:
Another shot of whiskey, can't stop looking at the door.
Wishing you'd come sweeping in the way you did before.
And I wonder if I ever cross your mind?
For me it happens all the time.
Don't get me wrong. I actually like those songs, I just don't think that they're appropriate during a wedding reception.
When we did finally get to the County Recorder's office, practically the first words from the nice people there were "Did you get everything signed?". And the next words were "Congratulations".
These people could have all stuck to the letter of the law and to their strict job descriptions, but they actually put effort into trying to help us and wish us well. It's the small things they did that really helped make this a great experience for us, and I'm grateful to the kind folks of Yreka.
So far, the only real difference I've noticed is that I used to refer to Mark's parents as my "mother-out-law" and my "father-out-law", but now I have to remember to say "in-law". That may take a while to get used to. They've been my out-laws for a long time!
Example 1: at what age does someone decide that wearing sweat pants out in public (to a restaurant!) is OK? Older people do this all the time. These are the same folks who wouldn't wear jeans and who would wear a tie (or other nice clothes) to work all the time. But at some age, they decide that it's OK to wear sweat pants to a public place.
Example 2: at what age does someone decide that it's more important to them to be seen walking than to use a wheelchair in an airport, when it takes said person more time than a typical lay-over to get from arrival gate to departure gate? One person in particular has used glasses all his life, and using that "tool" is fine. But somehow using a wheelchair isn't?
I'm really curious about this stuff, because it really seems that people in their 70s start making really bad decisions that they wouldn't have made when they were in their 50s. How many more years do I have left before I start making these bad decisions?
In my day, people generally put some effort into their work, at least trying to do a good job, attempting to make the body of the email look like it was from some official bank -- with words and a fake .sig and stuff like that to encourage the receiver to believe that there was some problem and therefore really should click on the link to resolve the problem. Apparently some people have just given up and are OK with just doing a crap job. That just makes me sad.
As time goes on, some of the things I use to describe myself are still true, but they aren't the things that I want to emphasize anymore. Some of them, though, just aren't true anymore because I've left that part of my life behind (really, I'm not still 4, and if I were, I wouldn't admit it because you have to be older than that to have an account on most social sites).
I've been thinking a lot about whether a few of the ways that I identify myself are part of the things that I'm just not emphasizing right now, and which are things that belong in my past. Working with emergency responders via CERT has been a focus of mine for a while, but for several reasons, I'm just not as involved with it as I used to be. Square dancing was an important part of my life for many years, but it's nearly impossible to keep at it with my current situation. Should I relegate those identities to the past? Are they "things that are true that I no longer emphasize", or are they "things that were once true, but not anymore"?
I think this is the first non-PBS show that I'm making an effort to watch since I gave up CSI about 5 years ago.
All this has left me with the opposite of schadenfreude -- I'm feeling a bit of sadness at the good fortune that he has right now. I'm not jealous and certainly don't want him to be unhappy or to refrain from broadcasting his joy to the world (the world needs more joy). I'm just feeling a bit sad that I can't easily get a marriage license, and that even if I went through the efforts to get a marriage license, I'd have to deal with a large number of complications (some of which I have to deal with anyway) because some organizations would recognize my marriage and others wouldn't.
I keep reminding myself that I've been lucky enough to be with someone I love who loves and supports me, and that has been going on for 25 years. This is his third marriage. I wouldn't dream of trading places with him.
He gazed intensely at a sheet of paper, breath suspended, a word on the quivering point of his pen poised and ready to fall. [...] He forced the pen in his tight grip a hairsbreadth closer to the paper so that the word stubbornly clinging to it might yield finally, flow onto the vast emptiness. Point and paper met. Kissed. Froze.
* Version 1 (EA Sports Active) has a "30 day" program.
* Version 2 (EA Sports More Workouts) has a "6 week" program.
* Version 3 (EA Sports Active 2) has a "90 day" program.
A few more versions, and they'll have to up the ante to the "lifetime" program.