Sat Sri Akal! I promised DrKhalsa I'd explain my name. I'll do that later. First, the long and winding story of how a 42 YO lesbian living in San Francisco became a Sikh. I'm sure all of you know the story of Balbir Singh Sodhi. He lived in Phoenix but he originally immigrated to the Bay Area. When I heard his story and how he was murdered it stupefied me. By all accounts he was a great guy, and his murder was one of the most ignorant, senseless act in a day full of ignorant, senseless acts, and it made me want to learn something about Sikhism. Fast forward to late 2004, and me and my partner of 12 years have had the most hellish year of our lives. Her brother, who we both loved dearly, had advanced cancer and was dying. She had lost her job. Among many of the other hurts was losing one of our cats suddenly to liver failure, me coming down with herpes zoster and the both of us struggling with severe relationship problems that we were struggling to work through. I was depressed, on medications and suicidal. Late one horrible night I was reading through some old links that I had collected because of Singh's murder, and I encountered the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Now mind you, I've read the Bible, Koran, a good chunk of the Vedas, plus plenty of Buddhist and Neopagan writings. However, the SGGS was the first religious work that brought me to tears, and I mean hardcore tears. At the time I could not forgive myself for falling for someone else and hurting my partner. I never cheated on her physically, but even simply wanting to can hurt your partner badly. At the time she had already forgiven me, the person I was attracted to had forgiven me (and fortunately for her, had moved on with her life), my friends forgave me, but I could not. I hated myself. When I read the SGGS that night, reading as much as I could, I could feel... something... forgive me. I never cried harder than I did that night. For the first time in a long time I could love myself again due to the Guru's grace. For the first time EVER I realized that the True God existed and that s/he loved me beyond compare. From that moment on I have been a Sikh. I have not been a very good Sikh at times, but I am becoming better at it. There is still nothing that can move me to tears the way the SGGS can, and there is nothing that hits me harder than the infinitesmal glimpses of naam I get during meditation. By the Guru's grace... Akal has me for life. I am Akal's servant forever. I joined a Unitarian-Universalist congregation for the simple reason that I knew that they would support me in being a Sikh and, among other things, being a lesbian in a committed relationship. I do plan to attend a Gurdwara here, and I do continue to read the SGGS plus any other literature I can get my hands on. I just recently finished Guninder Kaur's incredible essay _The Guru Granth Sahib: Its Physics and Metaphysics_. Beautiful stuff. I do wear the 5Ks when I feel worthy of them and I've let my hair grow out, although it looks horrible now. I'll let the Guru tell me when I am ready to take Amrit. For now I am content to be a student of Sikhism and to get to that point on Waheguruji's schedule, not mine. Now for my name: Jogindar means "establishing union with God." I did a hukamnama for myself and got the Gurmukhi letter "Jujja". Jogindar just felt right. I feel that I am still such a novice at this, that I am still "establishing" a relationship with God, and that this will always be a path without end as long as I am in this particular life. Now why "Singh Kaur"? For some very personal reasons related to what I went through in 2004, I feel I needed to integrate both my male and female sides. Therefore I took the Singh as my middle name and, because I *am* biologically female, Kaur as my last name. I know this is unusual if not downright strange, but it fits and it feels right to me. Thank you for this website! I have read many threads with great interest, and I am very much looking forward to being an active participant.