Dog Pile

Someone messaged me today.

They said, “…and I don’t know you from Adam but I see you going through it and you seem to maintain such positivity. And I need that.”  Here’s the truth and I’ll be super blunt.

Just yesterday I wanted to eat a bullet.

My heart bleeds, man. I have a beautiful daughter and I could NEVER leave her.  I love her so much that I would never want to hurt her but that thought kept creeping in…and to top things off, it was National Suicide Awareness Day….I mean…(insert eye roll here).

Things were consuming me and I’m tired and I want a break. I want MORE than a break.  I want life and I want to thrive.

A bullet won’t give me any of these things…and more importantly, a bullet would take away any chance of ever living and thriving.

So I texted someone. I texted a short text that ended with “I won’t do anything to myself but I am not sure why I am even alive.”

She called me. We spoke on the phone for over an hour and a half.  She countered lies that my mind was telling me.  She countered lies that others have told me.

She spent her time building me up and encouraging me.  The conversation started off with me sobbing uncontrollably and ended with me laughing and cracking jokes.

My point…”Your words are so powerful that they will kill or give life…” – Proverbs 18:21.

I have a propensity to be optimistic. I was born this way. I am usually a super positive person and spend a major part of my day verbalizing my gratitude for whatever comes to mind.

HOWEVER… Let me paint you a picture:

When I was younger…much younger, I remember playing in the front yard of my grandma’s house. A bunch of my cousins where there. We were playing football, American football…tackle.  I was probably between 8-11 years old. I was somewhere in the middle of all my cousins.  There were a lot of older cousins and a lot of younger cousins.  I remember getting the football and running hard towards the end zone.  We were laughing and having so much fun.

And then I was tackled.

That tackle turned into the biggest dog pile. When I landed, my head had rolled where my chin was on my chest. I was on my stomach with the ball under me. I felt a pull in my neck and back. My face was smashed into the ground and I couldn’t breathe.  My cousins kept piling on. No one was being malicious. We were playing. I remember, for the first time in my life, a fear that I was in real trouble.  I was trying to scream but I had no air in my lungs.  My mouth was filled with dirt and grass; my body was crushed under the weight of my cousins.  And it kept going.

I couldn’t move and was trying desperately to let someone know that I needed help. I remember closing my eyes and hearing my cousins screaming and laughing.

I started going dim.

Finally, someone else got hurt and was able to communicate that with a bellowing scream. People started rolling and climbing off.  At this point, I remember thinking that it didn’t matter. I could feel some relief but it wasn’t going to be in time. The final kid rolled off and I couldn’t move. Someone grabbed me and rolled me over. I remember having tears but not being able to cry out. One of my older cousins slapped me so hard in the face to try and get me to take a breath in and it worked.

I cried.  I cried hard.

When you’re overwhelmed, it’s like being at the bottom of that dog pile. And it keeps going. It’s stress, it’s lies, it’s lack, it’s a broken heart…and everyone around you is still living.  You’re in the middle of it and everyone is still having fun…but you’re dying.

 “…and I don’t know you from Adam but I see you going through it and you seem to maintain such positivity. And I need that.”  Well…I have shit days. BUT, I learned that words, MY words, YOUR words, can destroy or build. SO...when I “seem to maintain such positivity”, it’s because I am building. I am building something for me to lean on. I am building something to shelter me. I am building something that is healthy. Sometimes, it’s a slap in the face that forces me to take a breath and sometimes it’s a meme that is SO freaking funny that I can’t help but crack up laughing.  Social Media is just one of those places that allows me to share good, uplifting, positive words.  SO, no, my life is not perfect. Just like everyone else, I’ve been on the top of the dog pile and I’ve been breathless at the bottom.  We all have shit days. I choose to do my best to speak life and speak hope into our lives.

We are powerful creatures. Our words are powerful. The tongue can speak words that bring life or death. Those who love to talk must be ready to accept what it brings.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11


John Legend Saves The Day.

So...maybe it's me getting older. Grandma Adams

I have always seen myself as a hopeless romantic.  A believer in storybook romance and star-crossed lovers. 40, not so much.

I think it exists.  But it exists in the ways that people are born into extreme wealth or geniuses or prodigies.  It's not for all of us AND it's rare.

For most of us we have to bust our asses just to keep our existence together.  Life's curve balls are more like sucker punches to the groin.  You must become a champion of quality time and you fight. You fight for your spouse.

Photo by Nathan Rouse

One of the most difficult things to watch is my friends and family go through a break up or a divorce.  It's hard to watch the relationship deteriorate.  It's hard to watch one spouse harden their heart or not believe that the sucker punches are hitting while the other spouse quietly grieves the death of their relationship.

Watching someone close grieve the loss of their spouse is gut-wrenching.  It's one of the loneliest things I have even seen.  The one person they had to rely on, to lean on during such an intimate loss is the one who is "gone".

Today while sitting at my desk I was listening to some random playlist on Spotify.  John Legend's All of Me started playing.

What sappy lyrics.

Here's the chorus:

Cause all of me Loves all of you Love your curves and all your edges All your perfect imperfections Give your all to me I'll give my all to you You're my end and my beginning Even when I lose I'm winning Cause I give you all of me And you give me all of you.

But here's the's a beautiful song.  I've heard it a million times probably.  Today I HEARD the lyrics.  And as silly as it may seem, I am falling back into love with the idea that romance exists.

So...if you're struggling with the belief that romance exists here's John Legend and his song All of Me.  Someone somewhere felt these words enough to write this song.  Someone. Somewhere.

How my Strength caused My Paralysis.

We all want to be strong. Right? Am I right for thinking this way? quote-strength-persistIt seems that we all have a desire to be physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually strong.  Most of us anyway.  For me, it has always been important to "have a good head on my shoulders".  I have modeled my life around being as diplomatic to situations as I can possibly be...sharing multiple points of views and relating to many sides of the story.  I grew up this way. I was the first born child in my household and had a very strongly opinionated and hard working mother. It became necessary to understand that there were more sides than just 2 to any given story at any given time. I had to take on the task of being "momma" while Momma was at work and also act as liaison and advocate for my siblings once Momma came home because ultimately she was the final authority in all things.

Momma taught us that we were leaders. Momma taught us that we were strong.

What happens when it all backfires?

I've shared before that we were exceptionally poor. Growing up in a house that had only one room...just a box that we played in, slept in, and ate in. No electricity or running water.  I know that all we wanted was to escape.  For a couple of my siblings, their escape was writing.  For me, my escape was physical and the moment that I met someone who told me I could do it...I did it.  I left.

I was ushered into a life of travel and I LOVED it.  I also loved the idea of helping people. I had already "roughed it" most of my life so to travel to 3rd world countries to help build sewer systems or water towers to help others seemed like a dream.  I was introduced to an organization that honed in on my eagerness to lead and my desire for traveling.  At this point, I knew what it was that I wanted to do for the rest of my life.  What I didn't know was the power that had tapped into me.

It was January of 1993. I had been groomed to attend what was called a Discipleship Training School.  To most Christians, the title of the school seems harmless enough and looking back on most of my training, it was really an amazing school.  We learned about diplomacy, public speaking, travel, working and living communally. We learned about humility and was a very hippy-esque school but I liked it and this lifestyle liked me too.

Here's the rub.  See, in all of this, we were getting ingrained to learn a school of thought about chain of command. I had already gotten a good grasp of this while living at home but here at the school, I was one of the younger and newest recruits.  I had MANY people to answer to and many voices to obey.

Head down...don't ask questions.

It's so weird to type this out.  My memories of this time in my life carry a desperation and it's hard to know that I was so easily paralyzed.

We lived a very strict life.  We couldn't do much without the consent of our leaders. We couldn't go home to visit family, we couldn't choose the jobs we wanted, we couldn't date, we really couldn't do much of anything...unless we had the approval of our leadership. To this day, it's still hard for me to see that this WASN'T ok.

I was considered one of the "rebellious" ones. Not so much because I rebelled but because I followed questionable orders with a grimace on my face.  Trust me, I get protocol.  I get the need for a chain of command.  However, I didn't understand why I needed to be told what to wear, how to wear my hair, who I could date, what I could do with my leisure time, who I could and couldn't be friends with, when or if I could leave the base to visit my family...and on and on and on.

We weren't a military base.  We were a Christian organization of missionaries and our leadership had overstepped it's boundaries from leading to controlling and I had been brainwashed.

I had been brainwashed.  I had been brainwashed.  I had been brainwashed.

Here's the deal.  Before I left for missionary school, I had been treated for homosexuality.  That's right, I was gay and had been put through a gay to straight program.  I was told that in order to fulfill my "life calling" I could never act on my homosexual tendencies and in order to learn to be straight, I had to listen to and do everything I was told or I WOULD FAIL.  I would fail at life, fail my family, fail my God, fail at being a leader, fail at being strong.  So... I did what I was told.  I obeyed.

After living in this cult type atmosphere I started to test the waters. I had climbed the ranks in the organization, so to speak, and decided to act on an attraction I had towards another girl in the organization. After a few weeks, our relationship was exposed to the leadership and after 2 years of blindly following their every dictation, including a humiliating "outing" to the entire organization, we were sent home packing.

Photo Credit: Yannick Bouchard

Have you ever witnessed someone experiencing drug withdrawals or someone grieving?  Writhing in pain, unable to think, unable to breathe, unable to sleep, unable to bear being alive.  This is what it was like for me.  Everything that I had built my life around and for was taken away.  And it was easy for them to do so.  I thought at this moment that I had forever ended the life I was meant to live.  I was back to square one.

The very thing that I had strived to leave behind...the very thing I had desired to escape became me, once again. I was an outcast.

And still I longed for the escape. I longed to travel and to help people and I longed for the only way that I had learned to do so.

After being relieved of my position, I agreed to complete another gay to straight program in fear that I would never fulfill the purpose God had for my life.  And really, when you're in that situation, your only thought is do what you're told or give up living all together.

So...I did it again. I obeyed.

It's been over 20 years since that journey began.  And since then, I have battled the resentment, the failures, the damage, the brokeness.  Sadly, it wasn't until today that I realized how much of my life has been affected by what happened during that time in my life.  I still struggle with confidence and standing up for myself.  How do I recover when the desire to be strong backfires? How do you trust yourself to have the ability to make good decisions?  How do you trust yourself to trust the right people?

I have recently stepped back into my career of public speaking. It has been nearly 10 years since I stood in front of a crowd and shared my heart.  I was all but banished from the arena of public speaking in the way that I have always known it. But today, I refuse to count myself out.  I refuse to give up my dreams.  I refuse to be told that I am broken.  I refuse to believe that I have nothing to offer.  My story may not line up with yours. You may not give two cents about anyone who is gay or their journey.  You may have never been so low in your life that you allowed someone from the outside to paralyze you.  I don't know. But what I do know is that there is someone out there who needs to hear that someone else knows what they are going through.

I will be your someone else.

I have decided that I will be vulnerable by my own volition. I will share my heart again and I will help people again.

I speak on these very topics of Shame, Guilt, Vulnerability, Poverty, and Overcoming Gay Reparative Therapy.  If you have an event that would benefit from these talks or an event that would welcome these discussions, please contact me at Angel Adams Media Services.  And please share this with others...My heart is that no one be paralyzed by someone else's doing.  We are supposed to be free. We are supposed to be different.  We are supposed to be strong.

You are welcome to follow Angel on this journey.

Be strong, my friends.

ANGEL'S HALL OF FAME: My ever growing list of kindness.

Here it is...the announcement of the day.  Hold on to your's a doozey.

I'm not perfect.

There it all its glory.  Announcement #2?  I don't know how to spell "doozey" but...well...hopefully, you get what I'm trying to say.

I have been reminded everyday how blessed I am despite my awkward existence.  Last week I was reading posts about one of my unwitting music mentors, Amy Grant, releasing a new album next month ("How Mercy Looks From Here" will be available May 14).  This of course, reminded me about the time my sweet friend, Eric worked diligently with my friend Lionel to arrange a meeting with Amy.  A meeting that was so surreal and meaningful to me that even today, I can not be reminded of it without having to wipe a "happy" tear from my eye.  I am so grateful for the thought and work it took to make that moment happen.  I thought about Amy and her music.  Her strength...that pulled me out of dark and sad times during my childhood.  I know that I've said this before but to see a woman so young writing and commanding a changed my life.  It changed my direction.

straight ahead

straight ahead

I will be ever in debt to my friend Angela Calhoun for introducing me to "Angels Watching Over Me" and the Straight Ahead album. :)

This led me on a two week course of gratefulness and reflection.  Something that I have spent hours a day on as of late.  The more I got to thinking about how blessed I am, the more faces I could see.  People who have impacted me in such great ways.  People who pushed me to be better and raised the bar of compassion, intellect, thoughtfulness, and encouragement, the list is infinite.

From arranging lifetime meetings, buying cribs, car seats and stollers, replacing stolen Christmas money so I could buy my daughter's first Christmas gifts, hugs and laughs, unexpected letters of encouragement, kicks in the ass that I really need, a surprise coffee, smiles galore at just the right time, a look in the eye that says, "you can do it", a job, Facebook messages that say, "you're better than that.", teachers who make leaving my daughter every day just a little bit easier, French lessons just because, to cleaning my backyard because it looks like a ghetto zoo exhibit <<<yes, that's true, and did I mention laughs?  Your random and not so random acts of kindness and genuine love for me and my family have built a better human being.  Not quite a bionic Jaime Sommers but SUPER close.

And do you know what I love about these people?  If any of them were to read this, they would ask themselves how they got on this list.  These are the humans that act out of goodness.  They show selflessness and without a thought of what anyone else may think,  they just do because they can.

hall of fame

hall of fame

Vicki Peters, Steve and Lori Nance, Michelle Davis, Eric Himan and Ryan Nichols, Erika Hardin and Natalee Pendergraft, Julie Nikel, Lionel Vargas, Stephanie and Joe Christiansen, Cheryl Lawson, Michael and Catherine Ray, Barb Hauxwell, Joel and Kelly Russell, Stacy Acord, CC Lawhon, Kristi Perryman, Virginie Gill Dejour, Staci Walkup, Michael Shoopman, Travis Jackson, Howard Stump, Jessica Butchko, Billy Sauerland, Steven Nix, Kimi Hann and Chris Lieberman, Miranda and Phil Kaiser, Missy Wilson, Chrystal Kelly, Betsy Chase, Courtney and Casey Nichols, Michael and Amanda Mitchell, Janice Sawatsky Sahr, John and Jane Ray, Rebecca Smith, Deke Coop, Stephanie Schrepel, Caleb Taylor, and Jennifer Jako.

To my Hall of Fame:  You have been rocks to lean on and hands to pull me up.  You have been a crutch, a counselor, a clock, a mirror, a party, an icepack, a rope, a map, a compass, a hope, and my teacher.  I have been changed forever (for the good) for knowing you.

Thank you all for your compassion, kindness, and grace. You give me courage and I will never be able to adequately thank you...but it's a start.

Words For My Eulogy

There’s a guy in Tulsa, Oklahoma who is one of our city’s nicest.  His name is Jeremy CharlesImage I don’t get to spend a lot of time with Jeremy now that he’s nearly super famous and now that my band no longer exists but, he is still someone that I treasure.  I spend a lot of my social media time creeping his photographs and catch myself grinning at the mere fact that one of the good guys are being treated so well in this universe.  He’s one of those creatives that keep me on my toes to do better…to be better.

Yesterday, while getting caught up on my Twitter, I caught a picture taken by Jeremy at the recent KISS/Motley Crew concert at our beloved BOK Center.  As are most of Jeremy’s photos, this was extraordinary.  However, it wasn’t his photo that caused me to stare into empty space for the next 5 minutes, it was his words.  On two separate occasions, he used words that changed my guts, or what my mom calls my “knower”.  You know that place that exists in you where you “know that you know that you know that you know”?  Yeah, that place lit up…like it was on fire.

I started thinking about the greatness of these words and I realized that if I want these words to be mine…if I want these words to ever be used to describe me then I had better start fitting inside their definitions.  In this case, it was used for KISS and them being titans of rock and their empire of success.

To be known as a titan of anything or be equated to having anything remotely connected to the word empire…can you imagine that?  My mind started racing…the kind of racing where I’m certain you could hear whistles and clacks of train tracks.

I think that I’ll start writing my eulogy and once I get it, it should be a piece of cake…right?  Working backwards from the answer in math was a flawless long as you freaking understood math.  Let’s pretend that I’ve got my mind wrapped around this universe and go from there.

What do I want for my life, my legacy, and how do I get it?  It only makes sense to start conforming to the words I want people to use to describe me.  Today is the day.  However, it's not just "the day" for is for you as well.  And I'm curious...what are the words you want in your eulogy?


To those of you who know me, You know that I am generally always laughing.  I typically sit back and watch things happen, watch people and giggle at how we tend to view and handle things.  After all, the things that are usually going on in our lives are tiny in comparison to the big picture and the world view of broken countries and humanity as a whole.  I’m learning as I watch Americans, that justice is most of what we rely on to keep our sanity…to keep our society running.  When things start breaking down, it seems that it’s because someone somewhere feels threatened and hasn’t been taken care of “justly”.   For the LGBT community, for Christians, for Muslims, for African Americans, for Veterans, for the poor, the rich, the educated, the uneducated, the sick, the well, the list goes on and on…when we feel threatened or treated without fairness, integrity, and impartiality, we enter a survival mode and instantly try to reclaim what every human being craves and deserves.  Impartial Justice.  The sad part is we expect it but we are not always willing to give it. I was recently taken out for my birthday to see a movie.  I really enjoy the horror genre and I really enjoy history so it was a no brainer for me to choose to see Abraham Lincoln the Vampire Hunter.  Of course the idea of the movie and even the title of the movie makes me giggle but I went to see it anyway and was quite surprised at the “mark” it left on me.  I thoroughly loved the spin they did to the Civil War.  Strangely though…I couldn’t shake what it did to me.

Thanks to Facebook, I have had the opportunity to see all of the rants and raves from friends and family on both sides of the current civil issue of Gay Marriage and it's ugly. I live in a red state.  A very conservative state.  When I walk outside, whether alone or with my family, I walk with eyes wide open and short breaths ready to defend myself and my family from what may be lurking near me.  WHY? Why do I do that? Because I'm not safe. Certainly those on FB who vehemently oppose my point of view are capable of doing harm...their posts alone can be terrifying. I can't imagine what would happen if we met on the street.

We are breaking down.  We are failing to be Americans.

I’ve been struggling a lot lately about the Civil unrest that is splitting our country.  I have a tendency to research the heck out of something that I’m trying to understand….after all “knowing is half the battle”, right?  I went back to America’s Civil War.  Studying it all over again made me ask so many questions.  I wondered at what point in time was Lincoln told he was on the “wrong side of history” when he pursued the idea of emancipation for slaves.  I wondered at what point in time were families torn apart for their personal stances on what they believed to be right, wrong, or biblical.  I wondered how many of my own family died because of this war…I wondered about which side they died for…

I started thinking about one of the next great Civil movements and was flooded with memories as I revisited a trip I took while I was in college to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.  I can still recall standing there with so many generations of different colors of people learning about their struggles and seeing the very site where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot.  I couldn’t take my eyes off of that balcony.  I remember tears welling up in my eyes…I remember turning and looking across the way to where the shooter allegedly took his shot through a bathroom window.  My stomach was sick.

I feel that I must say that I have never experienced tragedy or discrimination as a person of color…well...because I’m not a person of color. I have no personal frame of reference to compare what it’s like to live in that world.  What I do have is the life I’ve lived as a gay woman.

I found it incredibly interesting that a part of the exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum shares this:

Protest (1940-1955)

Protest (1940-1955): The aftermath of the 1954 murder of 14 year- old Emmett Till and numerous lynchings sparked protests. African-Americans began economic boycotts, sought legal redress against segregated educational facilities, planned a demonstration march on the nation’s capitol, organized voter registration drives and sit-ins, attended grassroots organizing workshops and sought an end to military discrimination.

Is any of this starting to sound familiar?

Freedom Rides (1961)

Freedom Rides (1961): Segregated interstate bus and train travel was illegal by 1961, as well as segregating travelers in bus and railway station terminals. The Freedom Rides were planned to expose the continued practice of discrimination despite federal laws. <<<<< Did you catch that last part??  Even now I hear the echoes of history in the voices of our state leaders.

When you get a chance, watch the's so incredibly moving.  The picture below shows the aftermath of how the mob forced the crippled bus to stop several miles outside of town and then firebombed it.  As the bus burned, the mob held the doors shut, intending to burn the riders to death.  I watched with tears covering my face.  I just don't understand.

SO…thanks to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, I started thinking about a new Civil War.  People are vicious and the violence is turning towards the new civil issue.

When I came out of the closet at 17 years old, I was forced into a gay to straight program.  Not physically forced but when you grow up in middle America and you want to be a missionary for the rest of your life, being gay is a death sentence.  Not only did I have to attend and flourish in this program in order to be a missionary with my church, I was also fighting to stay out of hell.

When I went away to Missionary School and Bible College, I was outed by church leaders and was “forced” to attend another gay to straight program or would be kicked out of the organization.  I did attend and worked my ass off so I could stay, only the leaders were so mystified as to what to do with me, they kicked me out anyway.  And it wasn't just a "sweep it under the rug" scenario either.  I had to stand before the staff and entire student body and confess to being gay and confess to misleading everyone I knew there at the school.  I was humiliated.  It was the point in my life that I realized that I was about to lose everything that I had worked for...since I was 14 years old...I worked as a missionary and planned on doing that for the rest of my life.

This is when I broke.  Not because I was gay…but because the church considered me useless and broken.  I was sent home.

Upon my arrival, I was told that if I ever wanted to work in the ministry again or be a missionary again, I had to complete yet another gay to straight program.  I had one more chance but I was near exhaustion and this one was vowed to be more intense (3 programs rolled into one long journey with curriculum from Exodus International, Purity with a Purpose, and Restoration Outreach) and completely stripping me of all ability to think on my own.  I was removed from my parent’s home and placed with a church family who, while they loved me very much, had no real idea of what I was going through.  I was completely alone.   I was spiritually, socially and mentally beaten to nothing.  Nothing.  Do you understand what I am saying?  I had no ability to make decisions on my own.  I couldn’t think past my next breath.  I did nothing but live eat and drink this program.  I poured every part of my being into the only stable thing I had…and that was my God.  And even so...I was dying.

Not only did I attend these programs, I did so well, that I became a spokesperson for them.  I spoke on many panels to many universities about what life is like as an “ex-gay”…all the while still being gay.  So…let’s talk about the here and now.  Why THIS post?

How do all of these things add up and what do they have to do with me now?  I watch all of the strife and conflict happening to my community and my brothers and sisters, Christians and Gays and once again, my stomach is sick.  It’s caused me to think about what would happen if we had another Civil War.  The country would split North and South.  My family would also split…some fighting for Gay Rights and others fighting against.  My little family and I would have to pack up and leave Oklahoma…we might even have to escape.  Another “underground railroad” of sorts.  We would lose everything.  What a sad thing to think about.

Here’s what it’s like to be gay for me:

The tragedy, discrimination, and fear that I’ve lived with for 20 years…

According to church and my most of my friends and family from there, I am going to hell.  I am broken.  I will never be a whole and healthy person because of this “choice” I’ve made.  I will never be allowed to be a missionary or minister again with the organizations I grew up with.  They choose to look away and not acknowledge that after all that I went through throughout these programs, after having nothing but God, I did not choose this.  I am this.

I was reading a friends FB page and she said some things that I will incorporate here.  I will be married someday BUT for now, I worry about what a nightmare health insurance coverage is for my family...has anyone who’s not gay read what we have to go through just to get coverage?  And that’s just if your particular state feels like offering it to you…which in my case, does not.  I worry about if we should bring our advanced medical directives and the guardianship papers for our daughter everywhere we go “just in case something happens.”  I want to not have to carry outrageous sums of life insurance so that my partner or I would have enough money to pay estate taxes on the house we own, and pay for together.  I want to be able to file taxes as one family unit.  I don’t want to be told by our attorney that if a family member contests either of our wills in court after our passing, that “due to the political climate” that my partner or I would lose and must be prepared to potentially face that issue. I would like to be honest about my marital status on forms I fill out, because I haven’t been single in 6 years. Most of all, I want, my partner to be able to adopt, without me dying, our daughter that we have raised together.  I want to be able to walk beside my partner while out in public without the fear of being yelled at or physically attacked.  I want to never be afraid of losing my job just because I’m gay…or be denied service at a restaurant or spit at while I’m walking through a hospital.  I will not sit quietly and act like I have never been treated grotesquely for being gay.

I worry about RIGHTS a lot.

For those who don’t recall, Civil rights include the ensuring of peoples' physical and mental integrity, life and safety; protection from discrimination on grounds such as physical or mental disability, gender, religion, race, national origin, age, status as a member of the uniformed services, sexual orientation, or gender identity;[1][2][3] and individual rights such as privacy, the freedoms of thought and conscience, speech and expression, religion, the press, and movement.

You know...I've only had 2 church friends ask me about my life...what I went through and what struggles I've had after coming out.  One is someone I met while working in the Philippines.  She just recently contacted me on FB and was the most gentle and kind person I have come in contact with in a long time. And the other is from the missionary school I attended and She has always been by my side.  Sadly, most of the rest have just said, "well, you know how I feel about your lifestyle...".  Well, you know how I feel when you say that?  You don't?  That's right...because you've never asked me.  A straight friend of mine who is trying to wrap her mind around all of it said this, "Would you feel loved by somebody if they included rules, context, and/or explanations about your lifestyle every time they spoke about how much they don’t hate you? Only when talking about gay people do Christians feel the need to preface their “love” or “non-hate” with some variation of “I don’t agree with your lifestyle, but…” Christians don’t talk about any other group of people like that–only gay people.

So, I want to believe Christians when they say “I don’t hate gay people.” But sometimes proof of that is necessary."

For those of my friends who are so frustrated with me using my recently found voice to stand up to what I've suffered, I have earned my place.  I have more than just scars...they are my stripes.  It was unintentional but I have become a voice.  By all means, it was determined to be squashed out of me but I am still alive.   I will speak and I will speak loudly.

Dear God...what have I done.

Seriously, this is the third time that I have started typing a post...what was supposed to be the first post of my life.  I feel like I've been flushing a toilet in a rickety twin engine airplane and this tiny hole (a vacuum, if you will) covered with an off-white cracked plastic flap opens and sucks the words right off my screen and into this waste that seems to disappear into thin, crappy, air. Nonetheless, I have done it. I have succumbed to this...the writing of a blog.  I'm thinking about the fact that there aren't many folks out there who are interested in reading about the life and times of Angel Adams but I am aware that there are a few around who might be...and for you, I invite you into my heart and head for a journey that I hope we all can see ourselves a part of .  And by the by, I'm not worried about grammar or spelling...well, I'm a little worried about spelling. But for the most part, the words typed in this small window will be spilling out in the form of my thoughts and not so much in the form of my Sr. High English paper as annotated by Mrs. James.  So...suck it. we are.  The road ahead seems like a long unchartered mess (and that's my "cup is half full" version) and the road behind is full of potholes that are full of mire and dung (also "half full").  BUT, don't let that mislead you into thinking that this is a wah-wah downer of a life story blog.  It is the contrary.  The fun part is that it's my amazing and incredible "how did I get here" life.  I have trials and triumphs and super tall hurdles that this shorty of a  5'4" frame finds hugely uninviting but as I type I also hope that you see my every moment is focused on making those hurdles my bitch.

Other than that...I merely take every day as the miracle it is, good and bad. And believe me, there's a lot of both.  We're effin human for crying out loud.  Most of the time, I'm just looking around trying to figure out how I got here.  Whether you believe in a higher power or not, you gotta wonder sometimes.  I'm certain that I had no super powers in my possession that could get me to where I am today.  This is my equivalent of "it wasn't me".  Take that as you will.