Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Go Ahead ‘N Ask: the Stork Cometh - By King Daevid MacKenzie

The New Year of 2009 has let me know I’m not a kid anymore. Knowledge with a vengeance, in fact. First indication was that, at almost 48 years of age (I lose the “almost” on the 9th of February), I’m about to be older than the President of the United States of America, provided Bush and Cheney don’t pull an achtung deal before the 20th or blow the planet up after all. They still have a week to do either one, or both, you know. But now comes word of a new twig on the family tree, as my daughter Miranda gave birth on the 10th of January to a daughter, Damara, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. So y’all can knock off calling me the Old Queer Hippie. I’m now laying claim to being The Groovy Grandpa.

But the news hasn’t brought an overwhelming sense of joy, either. (Oh really, Daev? Coulda fooled me.) Just ask any physician about the dangers of reopening old wounds. There’s a 15-year old one here that just got reopened. In 1994, my marriage was dissolved. My former wife, who had become a drug addict towards the end of our marriage, had been arrested the previous Easter (during our separation) for severe neglect of our three daughters. My father made available the house he then owned in Oshkosh for me to raise those daughters. But Dane County (Madison) refused and placed my daughters in foster care instead. Why?

I was (and continue to be) an openly Bisexual man. That was all. I made the mistake of taking the anti-discrimination laws in Dane County and the State of Wisconsin as what they said they were. My then attorney, a Madison character named Bryon Walker, had told me that if anything happened to my daughters while in Dane County foster care, he’d file suit against Dane County within the next 24 hours. My daughters were physically assaulted by their first “foster parents” to the point where their teachers in a Sun Prairie school reported the bruises to the police. At almost the same time, one of my daughters was reported to me by Dane County Human Services as having been sexually assaulted.

What did Walker do? Skipped town for a couple of months and refused to appear at my custody hearings in Madison. As a result of my attorney’s disappearance, the “foster parents” announced their plan to have my parental rights stripped from me and adopting my youngest daughter. Why? Again, I was (and continue to be) an openly Bisexual man. That’s all. My ex-wife couldn’t care less, having moved to Iowa (I guess they have better speed and cocaine there than in Madison). She gave her rights up without a battle. What did my mother, their grandmother, do? Hide behind her “church” (she had converted from Episcopalianism to Mormonism 25 or so years earlier) and kissed Dane County’s collective ass so that she could make sure her rights of access to the granddaughters weren’t cut off. To Hell with mine, I was the “Gay son” of a Mormon. I didn’t count.

And Dane County cut off my rights to my youngest daughter. (And what a coincidence, the ink wasn’t dry on the papers before Bryon Walker showed up in Madison again, with a new office on the Isthmus to boot.) Thank God for MySpace. (I never thought I’d say anything remotely resembling that relating to one of Rupert Murdoch’s media properties, but there you have it.) My youngest daughter, a couple of years ago, finally tracked me down outside of the oversight of her ultra-Fundie “parents” and soon after started posting heartbreaking poetry on her blog proclaiming her anguish over having been forcibly separated from me and her grandfather, my father, when she was 7 years old. (Her grandfather never saw her again, which I have no doubt led to the depression that dogged him for his last five years.) She turns 18 in November and will finally have no restrictions on whoever she chooses to associate with.

If La Crosse County tries anything against my daughter even remotely resembling the same thing that Dane County pulled against me, I’m going to braid the judge’s reproductive organs. And I don’t give a damn who knows it, either. And some folks wonder why I left Wisconsin. ...

An unrelated note – I’ve just donated by old VHS of the British documentary DAMNED IN THE U.S.A. to the collection at Wingspan. DAMNED IN THE U.S.A., you may recall, is about the censorship campaign waged by Jesse Helms, Al D’Amato and Donald Wildmon, among other pseudoChristians, against Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano, Annie Sprinkle and other artists – many of whom turned out to be gay or Bisexual, now isn’t THAT special? – in the days of Bush I. Check it out. Watch it. If need be, make a copy of it if you can’t find one to purchase online. But USE IT. The First Amendment rights you neglect may be your own someday soon…

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