How does Phoenix rank for LGBTQA Experience?

survey-checkbox-istock-580

I have to admit it, right now my experiences in other cities dealing with the LGBTQA thing hasn’t been super good. Philadelphia was good, Denver kind of sucked, Atlanta really sucked, so coming to Phoenix I was pretty sure it would be the same.

It wasn’t, overall it was a good experience, barring one funny negative experience that really wasn’t negative.

Our arrival in Phoenix was marked by a rare homophobic event. We were in line at Alamo Car Rental, and ahead of us we watched a couple get harassed by an Alamo agent. He was pushing the “walk away” insurance, and all the extra things. He was pushing it hard enough that it made the rest of the line nervous.

clueless-alamo-rollin-with-the-homies-in-an-alamo-rental-car

It was our turn, as we stepped up I braced for the selling pitch. He began a long spiel of why we needed the walk away insurance, that Arizona law lets them claim for lost days if the car was damaged, etc etc. It was then my wonderful husband spoke up and asked me a question, but used the term “sweetie” for me.

The guy froze, his head went back and forth between us, and without any further mention he has me sign off the contract and we walk away without him saying a word. So while it sucked he obviously had a problem that two guys were together, it worked in our favor and the spiel stopped.

i-hate-the-word-homophobia

Our next encounter was at the Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. Once again most of the staff were older people, so we were prepared to get a hard time. When our tour guide Judith arrived to give the tour, my fears blossomed. She was an older, conservative appearing woman.

However, she realized fairly soon into the tour (followed by a second tour for a different subject) that the hubby and I were together. Instead of any homophobia, she just talked to us even more. She seemed overjoyed that we liked listening to the tour, and wanted to know the history. It was definitely a great experience, and Judith is a great lady.

Dr. Meltzer’s office of course is super accepting, so we don’t need to go into that, but the Greenbaum surgical center was an unknown. However we arrived there and ALL of the staff were great, accepting of me arriving at any time day or not to visit the hubby. At no point did I not feel welcomed. It was impressive.

The rest of the time there was spent mostly in the hotel room, so the only other people we really saw were the hotel staff and they didn’t blink an eye at us. I don’t know if they were ok with us, but they kept their professional cool if they did.

That means Phoenix ranks a close second behind Philadelphia in my experience in accepting LGBTQA. I am not addressing the governmental/legal standpoint of transgender people here, just my experience with individuals

Of course I am posting this Sunday, a day early from our trip ending, hopefully that won’t change in the next day.

Surgery Trip: Day 6, 7 and 8

I am posting this as a combined post for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That is because all we are doing is huddling in the hotel room, hubby is sleeping a lot and we are just waiting for the healing.

I did end up going out to get him food in the 105 degree heat, yes that is how much I love him :).

So all I really have are a few pictures to share.

Friday Morning, someone is sleeping.
Panera bread, so different looking, still so tasty.
More Panera
Friday night was rough for ghost
Saturday quest for food for hubby.
the heat sucked
Saturday night is still not good for Ghost.
Sunday morning

There we go, that was the boring three days. More to come

Surgery Trip: Day 5

Day 5 was relegated to just a few things due to the hubby getting out of the surgical center.

I woke up fairly early and was tired but happy. I was excited to bring him back with me today. I wasn’t up very long before the hubby was chatting at me on iMessage. We both have been missing each other so I wanted to get into the hospital early to talk and hang with him until he checked out.

IMG_5756
I found the hotel pretty this morning, but I couldn’t tell you what color that is. So here is a color photo for you!

On my way to the surgical center I decided I wanted to try a local coffee shop, I asked Wolsey if he wanted some and he said no. It looked a lot like a coffee shop in Seattle. The name was Echo Coffee, and while I won’t say it “wowed” me with the coffee, it was acceptable (if not quite hot enough).

fullsizeoutput_1856.jpeg
God I am a coffee snob.

When I got to the surgical center I found the hubby gossiping to the nurse. He was telling the nurse about the incident that occurred in Philadelphia, between me and a “barista”. It wasn’t bad, but it was pretty funny.

When I was in Philadelphia for work training,  I went to this small bodega (really small) that sold coffee. I asked for a large cup of black coffee and they handed it to me. I took a sip, and before I could even think about it I had said “NOPE!” and in one motion handed it back to the cashier. It had to have been on the burner for hours.

It was a horrible burnt coffee. I feel I wasn’t being picky, it was just foul. The cashier seemed confused on why I didn’t like the coffee. Before I could say a word, one of the other people in my training in Philadelphia said without prompting, “Oh he is from Seattle” as if that was all that was needed.

The weird thing is the cashier gave me my money back, apologized and when I came in later that morning had fresh coffee. I still felt bad I had said nope and handed it back to them before I had even consciously registered it.

I met with the hubby and he was in his normal good spirits again.

fullsizeoutput_1848.jpeg
When I say good spirits, that means in his mode of “fuck you for taking a picture” look 🙂

The rest of the day consisted of me going back home, because they weren’t ready to release him, then coming back to the hospital and talking to the doc. He was less interested in talking about the hubby’s surgery and more about bicycling in Phoenix 105 degree weather. That is a good sign that the hubby is doing great.

We eventually got checked out of the surgical center, grabbed some fast food and the hubby waddled into the room and crawled in bed. I eventually ended up joining him, and for the first time in a very long 56 hours, I got to lay beside the most important person in the world.

fullsizeoutput_1854.jpeg
Yep, that is him on the left, me on the right. I am just happy to be there.

The rest of the day and evening consisted of hanging around the room. The next few days will probably not have much happen as he lays down and heals.

I am so damn happy to have him back. I don’t think I could explain enough.

Surgery Trip: Day 4

Day 4 has come and gone and it was less exciting then other days.

The morning started out bright, sunny and warm. I believe it was 79 degrees when I went to visit the hubby in the morning around 6am. I know it was pretty, and I can tell there should be color there, but unfortunately for me it is pretty grey. However, for your enjoyment the photo is color.

At 79 degrees, too damn warm at 6am.

Today was fantastic. The hubby was rested up a bit more, he was feeling pretty good and was more talkative. He still occasionally drifted off, but we spent a lot of time on and off. I ended up going over I think it was four times. I would stay for an hour or two, come back to the hotel room. I would have stayed longer but I think I was having heat issues, it is too damn hot.

He was in pretty good spirits, must still be sick 😉

I went and picked up some lunch/dinner between third and fourth visit. Wolsey had mentioned people don’t buy ice cream and go home with it when they eat out, that it melts too soon. I will be honest, I thought that was bullshit, so I went and ordered two cheeseburgers and a small shake from McDonalds. I was in an air conditioned car (that was chilly), went through drive through and went straight home. The shake was in good shape when I stopped at the hotel. I got out and walked about 40 feet to the door to inside the hotel, then another 100 feet, I  got back to the hotel room and it was completely melted. I had been proven wrong, and hubby was completely right.

Torie did feed Ghost tonight as well, she sent a picture, evidently tonight was not as good. We have five more nights to go, but he will be ok, probably just a little feral. I am grateful that Torie is doing this, he would have been so much worse in a kennel.

So damn fragile.

I collapsed in bed and napped a little. Then went back and visited him for the final time. I got back and was anxious that he wasn’t there so I did some Order of Battle let’s play (military strategy game). I then crawled in bed and was completely exhausted.

Oh, and I was awoken by HBO playing Crimson Peaks, and one of the spirits was screaming, ya that wasn’t fun.

Surgery Trip: Day 3

Today is S-Day, Surgery Day. Wolsey and I didn’t sleep much at all overnight, between his surgery prep and general anxiety we both were a bit on edge. Oh, did I forget to mention that at 1am our fire alarm began beeping, signaling it was out of battery. Fortunately Wolsey took the lead and fixed it by taking the alarm down (after contacting the desk).

We were up at 0415 and nope, we weren’t feeling any better than 1am. We gathered our clothes together, got dressed and headed out to Greenbaum Surgery Center at 0500. It was completely empty outside. If this was Seattle the roads would already be busy, but everything was empty.

He is not happy this morning.
On our way to surgery.

We arrived to the dark surgery center and sat there watching conservative local news for about 20 minutes. It was then that Wolsey checked in, signed off the paperwork and got ready for surgery. I have to say the receptionist was absolutely the most supportive receptionist I have seen. It was very reassuring.

waiting in the dark.
Checking in to surgery.

We sat for awhile, watching horrible news, surfing the net, until they came out and asked Wolsey back. He disappeared for about 30 minutes when they came out and got me to come back. I sat with him for awhile, got to see Dr. Webb, and Wolsey’s anesthesiologist (sorry I don’t remember his name). Finally I got to meet Wolsey’s nurse, a great older man who was joking about his husband (I believe his name was Jeff).

There he is waiting for surgery.

I left, went home and ate breakfast. Eventually I was heading out to go see a movie at 10am when I got a call from Jeff saying Wolsey had successfully made it through the hysterectomy, oophorectomy, and vaginectomy with no problems at all. All that was left was medioplasty. This meant he might be out before the movie was over, so instead I swung by Arizona Territory, a souvenir store and picked him up an Arizona souvenir spoon and an Arizona Ranger badge.

It was hours of waiting for him to get out of surgery. Eventually I got a call that he was out and in recovery. Instead of going directly there (well I went there and found he couldn’t have visitors) I went and had a nice lunch at the local Denny’s. I haven’t been in a Denny’s in years, and the last two times sucked, but this was like the Denny’s from my teen years and was worth it.

I finally got back to the hospital and he was in his room. He was incredibly smiley, still drugged but happy to see me. He was in great shape and between falling asleep he would chat with me. After about an hour and a half I left him so he could fully sleep. I went back to the hotel and laid in bed waiting to fall asleep, I would go into see him as soon as I was up and moving. Damn even one night away from him is hard, tomorrow night will be twice as hard.

Hubby and his signature hand move.

Oh, and Ghost had eaten his food yesterday so when our friend came over she found him again not too keen on her being there. I feel bad for him.

Such a fragile creature

SaveSave

Surgery Trip: Day 1

Our first day of surgery was fairly exciting and long both at the same time.

We arrived at the airport at 5:00am. Surprisingly both the hubby and I were both fairly good mood. We were pretty excited because this is the first time we had ever flown first class (was done because he doesn’t need to be in coach when he flies back post surgery). The airport security line was short and we were in and getting our coffee before we knew it.

We sat and waited for the plane, and when it arrived we found out it was an Embaer 175. I have never flown a non-Boeing plane before so it was a new thing for me. It turns out the plane itself is some sort of commuter type plane, about half the size of a 747. Even so when we sat down in first class it was pretty good. The seats were bigger than I had sat in, and it was the first time I could sit by the window (my legs are too long and shoulders too wide to fit in coach that way).

Way more leg room.

We were amazed at the difference of treatment between First class and coach. I am not used to an attendant focused on us. She talked with us regularly (enough so I was uncomfortable), and kept asking if she could get us stuff (also enough to make me uncomfortable). She did seems slightly annoyed we didn’t have our food trays out, until she realized we had never sat in first class before and then she was happy to tell us how to do it.

We got off the plane and went over to the Alamo rental car kiosk. We sat in line for awhile and listened to the sales rep try to talk this family in front of us into extra insurance, satellite, etc. Seriously made me cringe because it was excessive and long winded. I did not look forward to dealing with it.

When we got in, he started in on the same diatribe. Telling us how Arizona is a pay while its out of action state and we need to consider paying the $25 a day walk away insurance. The rough part is we are only paying $45 or so a day as it is, I don’t want to almost double my cost for an extra $250. However, the hubby did something wonderful, when we were talking he referenced me as “sweetie” and the representative immediately looked at us, stopped any excessive sale and barely said a word as we finished up. It is the first time that homophobia worked out for me that I can tell. He just wanted us away.

On our way out, we ended up going to the Papago Park, located in Phoenix. First I need to say it was too damn hot. The dryness I think is better than Atlanta humidity, but I still couldn’t live here. We saw bicyclists (and it was almost 100 degrees) and I was in awe. So the hubby and I wandered around for about 15 minutes, then we called it good.

Oh and evidently there are “active bees” in the area, what the fuck are active bees?

WTF is an “active bees” area? Is this an AZ thing?

We then went to the Scottsdale Museum of the West, just follow the link for that write up. Although I will say you should go.

After the museum we went to Lo-Lo’s Chicken and Waffles. I have avoided eating chicken and waffles up to this time. I am very glad I relented. I had my first chicken and waffles ever, and it was pretty darn good. Of course I paid for it with indigestion later, but it was definitely worth it.

Best damn chicken and waffles.

The rest of the night we planted ourselves in the hotel room, ran to the grocery store, and watched Shark Tank marathon.

 

Scottsdale Museum of the West (5/28/17)

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
http://scottsdalemuseumwest.org

We arrived down in Phoenix on 5/28/17 to set up for the hubby’s surgery. We decided on a whim that we wanted to go see “Scottsdale’s Museum of the West”. It was new (2015), it had a fancy building and we figured why not. We needed to blow a couple of hours and I figured this would give us 30-60 minutes of entertainment before we found lunch.

Wolsey hanging in front of Museum

three hours later I was really glad we went. It was informative, with Judith being the best tour guide I have ever been with. We stayed long enough to go through two different tours. One was for John Coleman, “Past/Present/Future” exhibit. A tremendous sculpture who I primarily photographed.

There was a second tour that dealt with a lot of the artwork in the upper floors of early American West, but since it was mostly paintings/drawings I didn’t feel it was appropriate to photograph it. Plus, we were so lost in Judith’s narration of the old west that I didn’t even think of it most of the time.

I was a little worried, noticing how paternal, or downright conservative some people were here that the tour would be very “cowboy centric”. I was wrong, while there was still a little bit of unexamined paternalism, Judith and the museum both were very clear to the hardships, pain and horror caused by the anglos to the natives. Judith even when into a bit on current day topics such as treatment of sovereign native land.

I was really impressed and I urge everyone to go to the museum if they can.