Who Am I?

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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


As most of my loyal readers have probably noticed, most of my postings for the month of June have been LGBT related. June is designated as Pride Month, and it was my way of commemorating the event.

Now, as just Michael Watts, the person and no one else, I have no stake in LGBT Rights. I am not gay. I am your stereotypical Caucasian, red blooded, American male.

However (comma) there are people that I know that are LGBT. They are very close to me and I care about them, not because they are LGBT, but they are fellow human beings. I have worked alongside some of these people because we shared a common bond: “We want to make this a better world.”

That is why I have an investment in LGBT Rights: the people I care about.

Who are they? I cannot reveal that information here because I try to be a man of integrity. It would blatantly violate two rules I have:

1. The people I care about have the same right to privacy that I have.

2. No gossiping. You want to gossip, this is the wrong place for that. (Now… hypocrites, like George Rekers: game on!)

A good friend shared this information with me about their relationship with their significant other:

“[This person is] my best friend ever. I really never believed in ‘soul mates’ until [this person]. [This person] makes the world a better place.”

How can I can be against that? The world is a very Hobbesian and I would even support the argument that it can be a Machiavellian experience. As I stated in a previous entry, I think Jesus would be more concerned about how we treat our Brothers and Sisters, than two consenting adults celebrating their love and compassion for each other.

That is what we are fighting about: Love?! It is just as irrational as π (pi) or e (Euler’s number = 2.71828…) (Math major, remember); you can’t explain it, there are many different ways to discuss it, and once you think you have it figured out, there’s more. 

Someone has found someone that makes their “world a better place.” There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! After all is that not what we are all looking for: that someone or even something that makes our little corner of the world a better place? For me, it is my political involvement, this blog, and my family (both biological and close friends I have made). No one is coming down on me for doing what I enjoy, and no one should do that to my LGBT Brothers and Sisters.

These ideas were best expressed in Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment about the Prop 8 Election that took place in November 2008.

Laws such as California’s Proposition 8 and Texas’ Constitutional Marriage Amendment are in a direct violation the principles that founded this nation. Specifically, this portion of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
-Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776

So… I have all this knowledge and I have people I care about. Why do I speak out?

The following quotes can provide the explanation why I speak out.

“Michael, God gave you a good brain and He told you to use it.”
-My mom when I was a child

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.

The Simpsons’ line provides humor, but it makes you think. No one listens to what Lisa and Grampa have to say, but everyone listens to Homer and his (stupid) ideas. It sucks when no one is the voice for your issues.

The line from my mom is true. The Good Lord blessed me with a lot of talents (mathematical ability, social skills, the quest for knowledge, tact, passion) and I should use those talents for good.

Finally, the NATO article talks about my loyalty: You go after the rights of the people I care about… STAND BY.

No one tells me who I can marry… well if I was living in the early 1960s, I would have been limited on who I could marry. (Loving v. Virginia 1967) Why the people I care about should be told they can’t marry the person they care about? Once again, drives me crazy!

“There is one great thing you men will all be able to say when you go home. You may thank God for it, thank God that at least 30 years from now - when you're sitting around the fireside with your grandson on your knees, and he asks you what you did in the great war - you won't have to cough and say, ‘I shoveled shit in Louisiana.’”
-General George S. Patton, The Speech, Addressed to troops before D-Day

That quote from Patton (movie and the person) sticks with me. If I am going to “talk the talk” then I better be ready to “walk the walk.” I want to be able to tell people that I was a part of something. Hell, I had a hand in getting my ship back out to sea. When the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was conducting relief efforts off the coast of Haiti earlier this year, I saw the results of all the work I put into it. Even though at the time when I was there I didn’t see it, but I witnessed the results and I was proud. I want to be a part of something and be able to take some credit without having to tell my kids, “I shoveled shit in Louisiana.”

I also don’t want to have to answer this question to my LGBT friends, “Michael, you SAY you are in favor of our rights and concerns, BUT what have you done for us?” I do not want to look in their eyes and not have an answer.

Talk is cheap in my book. You know who you are if all you are doing is talking, but not showing anything for it. As I said before, Hypocrites: Game on!

Consider this a warning shot across your bow.

In closing, I am putting on my Veteran’s hat. (Wait, it’s already on? I must have put it on while I was talking about General Patton…)

I’ve had my LGBT Activist friend Stacey and various members of the LGBT community tell me thank you. In fact, there are talks of the LGBT Community claiming me; they’ll make their decision at their next get together.

They shouldn’t be thanking me; I should be thanking them.

Why you ask?

For 6 years (2002-08), various people from all backgrounds have supported me. You didn’t know me personally but you supported my fellow service members and me while we stood the watch. You may have disagreed with the policies, but you knew that there were people like me that were willing to put their lives in great risk in service to OUR country because we believed in a cause just like my LGBT Brothers and Sisters do. We both believed in standing up for something: I believe in the defense of this country and its ideals; you have fought to make sure that this country is living up to those ideals and moving us towards “a more perfect Union.”

You prayed/chanted/sent out positive energy/whatever your belief system dictated to make sure that we came home safely. In fact you probably know someone that has served and/or currently serving right now and your care for them is on the same level that I have for my LGBT Brothers and Sisters.

Interesting, we are not all that different when you break it down. 

Anyways, for what you have done for my fellow service members and me: THANK YOU.

I am permanently in their debt, and I am in the service of repaying that debt by supporting my LGBT Brothers and Sisters in their cause.

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