We have a lot of acronyms, letters, new words and letters that we use or are likely to use. And you can feel kind of stupid for not knowing. It's almost like another language - and not just a language for those under the age of eighteen.
The other day, I read that Kobe Bryant was the G.O.A.T.
I'll be honest, I had to google what that meant. If you're curious, it means Greatest Of All Time.
I'm proudly who I am, and, as my website says, have always loved being involved in LGBTQ+ events and ceremonies. But what is LGBTQ+? What does it mean? What is it short for? What difference does it make, anyway?
LGBTQ is short for "Lesbian, Gay, Bi (Sexual and/or Gender), Trans (Sexual and/or Gender) and Queer or Questioning". The "+" varies and depends on geography, context and who you ask.
Some common terms are Twin Spirited, lntersex, Binary/Non-Binary, Pansexual, Asexual, Ally, Cis-gendered, just to name a few.
So, over the next few posts, let's break some of that down.
Even if we know what the letter stands for, what if we don't know what the word itself means? We may even be a part of the big acronym and not even know it! Maybe you're a cis-gen and haven't been told!
And, while we're working to understand other people, maybe there are other things to learn. Other questions we could ask ourselves, or other ways to think, new things to learn and, maybe even learn something new about ourselves.
And, of course, this is a great attitude! Not just when it comes to sexuality and romance, although we ARE talking about weddings, here, lol (another acronym - Laugh Out Loud!), but when it comes to learning about each other and the people around us.
More to come!
And, as always, at your service,
Rev. Poppy Lynn
P.S. (Post Scriptum, Latin for "Written After". We're learning all sorts of things today!) - here's my groundhog nose!
Because last Groundhog Day, 2019, I was at a cold but beautiful, fun, crazy wedding on the edge of Niagara Falls!
I never thought I’d enjoy cold weather, but this wedding took everything I thought I felt about winter and cold and showed me otherwise (at least for the day)!
The awesome couple had everyone in their party, from grandparents to flower girls (to officiants), wearing home made groundhog noses, attached by elastic around our heads.
For those that haven’t been to Niagara Falls (New York or Ontario – there are two!) it is always misty. Like a heavy, thick, moving fog. It can be extremely cold, with icicles hanging from lamp posts and branches or a welcome relief from the heat and humidity of summertime. In February, you’re likely to get ice. And lots of it.
The water never stops going over Niagara Falls- an average of 3,160 tons of water goes over the American and Canadian falls every day, all day.
During the wedding, a small piece of heavy equipment was consistently trying to move slabs of snow and frozen ice out of the way of tourists and wedding photos. Visitors from everywhere in the world were the background members of both the wedding and the pictures.
The sound of the Falls was in the background while we wore our groundhog noses, stayed warm and huddled around the exuberant bride and groom as they exchanged their vows and enjoyed the moment.
It didn’t matter if they were cold or not, wet or dry, on ice or not, at that moment, at that exact time, with strangers in the background and a beautiful mist and ice that covered everything, including our groundhog noses, everything was perfect. They looked at each other with love and warmth, respect and fun and total openness, rubbed noses, kissed and enjoyed the moment and marveled at all the moments to come.
And, as a Canadian, I have always looked forward to Groundhog Day, but it was in THAT moment, in 2019, that I began to LOVE Groundhog Day.
Now, just over a year later, and more than 1,500 miles to the south, my homemade groundhog nose has gone thousands of miles with me (and, often my dog) and is still wrapped around my rearview mirror to remind me to stay in the moment.
At your service,
It’s Groundhog Day!
To those of you lucky enough to live in an area like Central Texas where you just seem to enjoy different levels of beautiful all year 'round, another six weeks of winter may not be such a big deal, so you may not know or care about the details of Groundhog Day. (Other than possibly being aware of a Bill Murray movie from the 90’s!)
Please allow me!
Up north, a lot of people are eager for Groundhog Day.
Even though the smart part of our brain kinda sorta knows that a rodent isn't likely to be able to tell us if winter is going to last for another six weeks, the passionate, (or frozen) part of us REALLY wants to believe! And why not?
Now, remember, I can only speak for Western New York (pretty close to Pennsylvania) and Ontario, Canada, but please remember, by February, we’ve endured months… endless weeks… nearly a quarter of the YEAR… of snow, of sub zero temperatures, scraping ice off our windshields once or twice a day, shoveling feet of snow and wearing an extra 10 pounds of clothing in order to stay moderately dry and not cold, but not necessarily warm.
Maybe our foreparents knew something that science forgot. Many of us still read the Farmers' Almanac (admittedly, often in line at the supermarket), or even look at horoscopes, fortune cookies or have "lucky numbers".
So why not believe in Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania's famous groundhog or even Wiarton Willie, the famous Canadian counterpart, that lives an even colder 400 miles to the north west?
As the legend goes, Punxsutawney Phil is a groundhog (also known as a woodchuck) that lives in Gobblers Knob, (you can't make that up), just outside of Punxsatawney, Pennsylvania. Similarly, Willie lives in Wiarton, Ontario, Canada.
On February 2 each year, Phil and Willie come out of their respective hibernation to greet the world around them!
Hold on, Central Texans, we’re getting to the exciting part!
If Phil/or Willie see their shadow, they get frightened and run back into their hole. And we, as cold humans are pretty upset about it, unless we're into snowmobiling or ice fishing. If Phil/Willie doesn’t see his shadow, we’re having an early spring!!!!
Hooray! Let's celebrate! Yahoo! Fabulous!
Willie and Phil have always been 100% correct.
Unfortunately, they each have an official group of handlers, and the handlers have been known to misinterpret what they were told by the Phil or Willie.
If spring comes early, or if the two groundhogs don’t agree, the humans have misinterpreted.
Therefore, Willie and Phil and 100% accurate. Humans, not so much.
That said, we’re still desperate and bone-chilled. If a sleepy groundhog is giving us hope, so be it. We’re there, and we’re cold.
This year, both Willie and Phil (who live about 400 miles apart, but in two different countries. Both cold. Did I mention the black ice and the endless grey, cloudy sky?) enjoyed a cloudy February 2nd.
Which means an early spring!
And even though now I’ve been adopted by this beautiful area and the people that live here, I can’t help but be excited about Groundhog day!
Now, why am I telling you this, and what does it have to do with weddings?