Wednesday, July 25, 2012

TV Ad to Air THIS FRIDAY during the Opening Ceremonies!

THIS FRIDAY, during the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics (!!!!!) you're gonna see this ad! (if you live in Maine...) 7:30PM, NBC.

Not sure if extending marriage to same-sex couples is the right thing to do?

Watch this, then let me know how you feel:

video
video courtesy of GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders)

p.s. how amazingly awesome are my grandparents?!

Friday, July 6, 2012

We Keep Marchin' On

I'm so proud to be from Washington County today. This last week of late night sign-painting, nervous energy wondering if ANYONE would show up to march with us, pacing back and forth in anticipation for the Moosabec float to arrive in Machias (all the way from Eastport!)... well, it turned out to all be worth it - and then some.

These people who came out to march with us in Jonesport, Eastport and Machias are some of the bravest folks I know. Marching down the street in your hometown, when you know that only 35% of folks on the sidelines are on your side, well - it's downright scary. On Saturday, I drove from Bangor to Jonesport to march in the first parade. I'll admit, I was nervous. Here I was, going to Jonesport, Maine to march down the street with a rainbow flag as a cape. *GULP* But, you know what? I arrived and was greeted with a troupe of smiling, waving, happy, supportive people - people that had come out to march with us. And, one of the most beautiful (and high-tech!) floats -- streaming THIS:



Here they are.. the Carver clan, who were the brains (& muscles) behind the Moosabec float:
And, they created THIS:



Pictures don't really do it justice. If you were one of the lucky few hundred people that were standing on the side of the road for a 4th of July parade Downeast, you got to see it first hand. Reactions from the crowd were mixed, but there was overwhelming support wherever we marched, and also - a few tears. (go back and watch that video if you haven't... I'm serious... push the play button and keep reading, and try not to cry... I dare you)

At the same time the Carvers were creating their masterpiece in Jonesport, we were working on a little project of our own here in Machias...


My sister Kelsey, proudly representing with flags in hand, and my absolutely wonderful grandparents.

So, we marched together in Jonesport. Then, a few days later we marched together in Eastport AND Machias (on the same day... frantically ripping down the Moosabec float in Eastport in the rain, blasting a hour down the road to Machias and putting it all back together in 20 minutes). Our families were there to march with us. Our friends came to march with us. People joined us from the sidelines to march with us.

We smiled, waved, and handed out rainbow flags and threw candy, and we watched to see what the spectators would do. (nervously, at first...) And, you know what they did? Some people stood up and clapped for us, and some people jumped up and hollered words of encouragement and support, and some people smiled -- big, toothy, contagious smiles... and, some people cried. I heard things like, 'It's about TIME!', and 'Thank you', and... 'Good for you'... there was overwhelming support wherever we went. I mean, honestly - who could resist us? We're just... so CUTE, and HAPPY!

(And yeah, at every parade we saw people stare at us disapprovingly, and at every parade there were some bad comments yelled from the sidelines, but -- you know what? Those folks were the minority, and we just kept on smiling, and people yelled and clapped and cheered to drown them out -- and, we just kept marchin' on...)

My cheeks have never hurt so much from so much smiling. I'm serious. STILL. My cheeks STILL hurt. (and, I'm still smiling...)

Here's a ton of pictures (a mix of all three parades) to try to give you a glimpse:



















So, there's a sprinkling of pictures (mostly taken by other folks, like Suzanne Carver) from the parades. I wish everyone, at least once in their lifetime gets to experience the joy that comes with marching down the road to support a cause they passionately believe in, because it's one of the best feelings in the world. And, if it can be a cause that is so emotionally charged as equal rights, all the better. My 'family' grew ten-fold this past week, and I'll never, ever forget each and every person who walked beside us, or stood up from the sidewalk to clap as we were marching by. Thank you.

We appreciate your love, kindness & support. Please don't be silent on this issue. Please have conversations with your friends and neighbors about equal marriage - about what it means to our families and the people we love. (if any of them would like to join in on a family meal to get to know us better, our door is always open...)

We need your help to ensure that marriage passes in November in the state of Maine. It's time. It's long past time.




Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Come, march with us...

You know that feeling when you are so charged with energy and excitement that it just overtakes you? I've got it. I'm holding onto it right now, and it's consuming me.

The last time the gay marriage referendum made the ballot, only 35% of Washington County voters supported the freedom to marry for all loving couples. 35 bleeping percent. It was not surprising to me, having grown up in 'good-ole-boy-conservative-land'... but, it still hurt. I couldn't IMAGINE that my community, the place that I love -- where I spent my childhood, could vote against me and my family.. that my community could prevent me from marrying the woman who I love. It just... killed me.

Incidentally, I got married anyway -- at a beautiful ceremony surrounded by my family and friends in one of the most gorgeous places on the planet... see for yourself:



So, the vote failed. The people of Maine voted against same-sex marriage. It was like a bad, bad dream. It hurt. There was no explanation. Well, except this: I was convinced that the people of Maine didn't really understand what they were voting against on that day. Clearly, they didn't know our family, or our friends. That was the only explanation. Because... well, quite frankly -- my family rocks. And, the other gay families I know out there, well - they rock, too. I mean, look at them:


These folks are some of the most wonderful people on the planet. You'll just have to take my word on that. But, trust me. They are. They're just a bunch of peace-loving, granola-eating, vegatarian-eating hippies. ;o) And probably the most generous, loving folks out there. Go ahead. Call them. They'll do anything for you. They are some of the best people I know.

They deserve the right to be married. Period.

So, here's a call out to Washington County --
Come, join us and march to support the freedom to marry for ALL loving couples. For the first time (I believe EVER) there will be a representation of gay pride in THREE -- yup, count 'em, THREE -- Washington County 4th of July parades...
If you believe that I deserve the right to be married to the person that I love, please consider walking with us. Bring your family. Bring your friends. Spread the word. Let's show Washington County that 35% just isn't good enough. And if you, or anyone you know disagrees that I shouldn't have the right to marry -- to marry the person that I love and raise a family, please, PLEASE have them ask me why I believe otherwise. I'd love to talk to them.

Please, consider marching with us:

In Jonesport --- On June 30th. Meet at Sawyer's Square (Jonesport Marina) at 5:30pm sharp. Parade starts at 6pm. Also, there will be a booth to support marriage equality at the corner of Main & Bridge St. from 9am on. For more information, contact Suzanne Carver at 557-7930.

In Eastport ---- On July 4th. We'll be walking with the Washington County Democrats. The starting point for the parade is the fire station. Be there by 1 p.m. The parade begins at 2. The fire station is on County Road, just at Deep Cove Road. As you are coming in to Eastport, as the road curves slightly to the left it turns into Washington Street. Instead, go straight (!) on County Road. The fire station is on the right, just past Deep Cove Road. When you get there, ask where the Democrats are gathering. Your contact person is Ann Cornelison, and if you have questions, her number is 853-2633.

In Machias ---- On July 4th. Meet at Machias Memorial High School at 5pm sharp. MMHS is located on Court St. in Machias. Please wear a colored shirt (red, orange, yellow, green, blue or purple) if you can. Contact person is me, and if you have any questions email me at khkurz@gmail.com.

We're gonna rock Washington County this 4th of July. Please, if you believe in the freedom to marry for ALL loving couples, march with us. Spread the word. I want to march beside you next week, and I want Washington County to vote with us on November 6th because it's the right thing to do.



Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Equal Marriage... for Mother's Day!

This past weekend we celebrated Mother's Day. It wasn't unlike many other family events in our house -- good food, great laughs. Lots of smiling, happy people - and, well - a camera crew. (of which, I got ZERO pictures of, unfortunately!)

I've got one-of-a-kind grandparents. (maybe you are lucky enough to have these kind of people in your lives, too - but, I doubt it ;o) Gram & Gramp have been, well - 'Gram & Gramp' to an army of 'grandkids' over the years that extend well beyond our biological family. They have housed all of us at various times over the years, always with open arms. So say they are active and supportive grandparents doesn't even come close. They were in the stands at every game, every concert, chaperoned field trips -- you name it. (Once, in high school I hosted a 'sleepover' party for the entire softball team and we camped out in their barn... early Sunday morning a construction company just down the road a piece started crashing and banging equipment in the wee hours of the morning and Gram marched down there and asked if they could 'hold off on that racket' until a decent hour - she had a house full of teenage girls up the road sleeping!) We have shared meal, after meal, after meal around their kitchen table... we've played dominoes into the late-night hours, and we've talked about everything under the sun together. Under their wings, my siblings and I have learned about all the important qualities in life - to be truthful, honest, dependable - and maybe the most important thing, to always be kind to other people.

My grandparents have been tireless supporters of equal rights for all people their entire lives. When I 'came out' to them, this wasn't a process for them to work through - there was no hesitation in their voices when they replied, 'well, that's no surprise to us! we've known for years!'
They have written supportive letters to the editor, they've marched in parades -- and, this past Sunday they were interviewed by a film crew from the Maine Freedom To Marry campaign. Let me tell you, for those two hours - there wasn't a dry eye in that room. They spoke eloquently, passionately, and respectfully about being 'kind' to all people. Gramp spoke of the war (WWII) and how he didn't understand how anyone who had gone to war could ever be cruel to another human being ever again - and, that's what denying marriage rights to all people is - cruel. Gram spoke about marriage, about their marriage of 59 years - and how they felt that ALL of their grandkids should have the same right to marry, because it's the 'right thing to do'. They spoke about love, and our family - and, I've never ever been prouder. They spoke about Alex and I, and Mikayla.. and how they believe we're some of the 'best parents out there', and - that gay parents are some of the best parents because they have to work so hard to have families that they don't take that for granted.
Gramp has told me many times over the years that he believes I'm one of the 'bravest people he knows'. That it takes courage to stand up for what you believe in. Well, let me tell you - there aren't many people out there any braver than my grandparents. With any luck they will appear in a tv ad this fall for the Equal Marriage campaign, and if that happens -- let me tell you, there's no possible way we'll lose this election in November. My grandparents represent a generation of folks who haven't been all that supportive to gay people -- the elderly. But there's no possible way people won't take their message of love & kindness with them to the polls this November. No. Possible. Way.

I mean, just look at these two:

Our wedding ceremony, Aug. 22, 2010

Monday, April 30, 2012

I'm back!

It's been...a really, really, ridiculously long time since I've posted to my blog! Sadness!

Some major things have happened in the last 8 months or so, and posting to this blog became increasingly difficult. But, I'm going to take another crack at it. (confession - i was never good at keeping up with it even when i was 'keeping up with it so we'll see!) It's just that I have such interesting things to share with you all (my 4 followers) that it would be a crying shame to make you wait a second longer. ;o)
So - major things:
- I moved BACK to Machias! Which - is the very reason keeping up with this blog became so difficult. I took a new (old) job back at UMM and I am so busy every second of every day that I forget to eat and pee, and things like that. BUT - it's a totally 'good' busy, not a 'i-want-to-jab-my-eyeballs-out-every-second' type of busy, so all is well on that front.

- I don't have the internet at home! Shocking, I know. This makes it incredibly difficult to post at convenient times, but I'm working on that and I'm going to try to carve out some blog-time at least once a week.

- That might be it. I also might be slightly dramatic, but the new job, big move home, so-busy-every-second thing has been overwhelming! Hollah!

Last night I picked up a good friend as I was arriving back in town from being in Hampden for the weekend and we went to watch the sunset at the end of the road in Roque Bluffs. It was amazing, see for yourself:





Since I've been back home I've had this completely overwhelming awareness of just how flipping gorgeous this place is and how lucky I am that not only can I call this 'home', but I see it every single day driving TO WORK. Like, how many people see this on their way to work?! So, so lucky. Some things about living in such a remote place are hard on people, and Downeast Maine has it's fair share of problems...but, this isn't one of them. I mean, doesn't looking at these pictures just make you feel AWESOME?!

And.......one more for good measure:


Monday, July 4, 2011

Oh my...Cod? (Eastport's 4th of July!)

We had an absolutely action-packed weekend this time 'round! The long weekend gave us an extra day to cram in more good food, gorgeous weather, beaches, friends & family, and then - add to that the festivities surrounding the 4th of July holiday! I might sleep for 48 hours straight...(yeah, right!)

Eastport, ME - July 3rd, 2011

So, this fisherman statue was given to the city of Eastport by a film company who  came to town a few years back to shoot a murder-mystery show. The program was a complete flop, but - they renovated a few buildings downtown before they left, and also deposited this super corny monument! (alright, it's not toooo bad, right?)
Mkay & I, standing in front of the Navy vessel.

I've got a big, bad blog coming outlining all of the glorious weekend events, but - these Cod Fish Relay photos couldn't wait another second to be posted.

The story? Well, Eastport, Maine hosts a absolutely kickin' 4th of July weekend full of fun and excitement for the whole family every year. One of the events of the weekend is the annual 'Cod Fish Relay', which was the brain-child of my super best friend Penny's dad years ago. I'd actually never even witnessed this grand event, let alone participated - until this year.

So, while we were hanging out at Penny & Kara's house Friday night, Penny says to me, "So - we might be one person short on our Cod Fish Relay team...you interested?"
me - "HELL YES".
I was slightly enthused to be participating in this event. Typical 'relay' race rules apply - teams of 4 run from point A to point B, stopping at each point to strip off rubber boots, fisherman's pants and jacket, and deposit the vegetable oil-soaked Cod into a bait bucket.

Feast your eyes on THESE:

fish faces - our pre game. (don't ask me why I can't make a fish face...)

slickin' up the Cod

i'm so pumped right now

Penny's on! 

(she's a PRO - look at that GRIP!)

I'm ON!

there are no words, really...



the strip-down!

DONE. (gear has to come off for the clock to stop!)


yes. this is for real.

And, just in case the pictures aren't enough for you, Mkay got VIDEO: