Dear Homophobes

Dear Homophobes,
You can cheer on court cases which say you do not have to serve us a cake or whatever other discriminatory hate you can come up with. Truth is, if you are one of these discriminating businesses I do not want to give you my money anyway. I have spent years boycotting Chick-fil-a, Hobby Lobby, and Tommy Hilfiger just to name a few due to their associations and practices. Trust me there are enough LGBTQ in the community and allies out here to buy goods and services from that we truly do not need to beg you to take our money. I beg no one to take my money.

Secondly, I do not care if you do not approve of my marriage. I simply do not because it is truly none of your business who I am married to. The highest court in the land can say it is not a legitimate marriage and that would be okay. You know why? Because my marriage is between myself and my husband and no one else. I do not and have never needed a piece of paper to say it is real. Seriously fuck you and your reality.

Third, all of this in the end is going to hurt you a lot more than it is going to hurt us. You see we came of age in a world who hated and scorned us. We grew up watching you proclaiming AIDS was God’s wrath upon us. We grew up with Anita Bryant and the Westboro Baptist Church on the news nightly and more hate than you could ever imagine for just being born this way. So you need to understand there is not a lot you can do to us. We will survive because we have always survived the worst you have been able to throw at us and we are still here. So legislate and get your court rulings because the truth is we are queer and we are here and there is nothing and I mean nothing you can do about it. Now can I get an Amen up in here?

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No Hate Allowed

“NO GAYS ALLOWED.” This is a picture of a very real sign with very real anger and hate in its meaning. It is not a made up sign but a very real sign which is today hanging in a store window and in other windows like it across this country. This is where we truly are, at this moment in history.

You know I have tried to be understanding with the Trump voter. Why would our family and friends vote for an agenda that would hate us? It was very hard when I found out I had actual family and friends who voted for this monster of hate and division. I was shocked they would support an agenda so clearly designed to hurt not only LGBTQ people but all sorts of different kinds of people. I would never do that to people who I loved and supported. I would not do that to those whose corner I was truly in. So, I forgave them because there were a lot of things being said at that point which seemed impossible and untrue. Sure, some of it was denial. Those who are supposed to care for us surely would not support hatred against us. For me this thought went against all logic and reason. I was brought up to believe family and friends were to love and support each other. It was with utter shock that I saw people I should have trusted turn their backs upon the well-being of myself and others for who they are, where they came from, and the color of their skin. A lot of water has gone under that bridge. That was then and this now.

NOW, I am way past understanding. If family and friends are still supporting Trump and/or his agenda then it is obvious I cared way too much for those family members and friends because it is now brutally obvious they did not care about me or my family in the way we cared about them. You cannot support hate and then, in return, expect the hated to understand. I don’t understand and I know there are a whole lot more like me who also just do not understand it. How can a person, who you would have trusted your children with, support an agenda that hates you and also has no problem ripping children away from their families and caging them? No exaggeration. These things are happening. And at this point,  ALL of the haters just need to move on because we cannot be family or friends anymore. True family and friends do not support hate against each other. And I will not support anyone who supports harming a child. It really is that simple and something I have struggled with over the past couple of years. Hard to believe but this is where things are at. Time to make some hard choices, but I have no problem making those choices because I have had a whole lot of family and friends make those choices for me.

Trump is evil – and those who support him are part of that evil as well. Trump hates my family and those who support him hate my family as well. Why would I open our house and life to those who support hate against us? Why would I trust people around my grandchildren who have no problem caging the children of another?  These are people I can no longer trust and they are people I sure no longer need in or around my life. And the sad thing is, these are only a few aspects of his hate agenda that they support. There is really much, much more. THEY have made my choice to move on and away from them quite simple and easy.

Thank you for letting me vent. This truly how I feel. If you support the hate that hates us or others, you then become responsible for that hate because you gave it and are still giving it power. If that is the case, I have no use for that hate or you in my life. I can’t because I cannot support those who support hate. It just does not make sense. So I am proverbially hanging up my own sign and my sign says, “NO HATE ALLOWED.”

 

Stand Up Be Heard

I have said from the start of this Trump hate filled nightmare that love will continue to Trump hate and the hate carried in the hearts of his followers.

This year I celebrate Pride in a new city and country which has opened its arms to accept myself and my husband as new residents despite the horrible behavior of the illegitimate President residing in the White House. He was put there by Russian influence and not a majority of the people of the USA. He is not our President and never will be.

Love Trumps hate and it always will. He and his hate will come to an eventual end. We LGBTQ have been here all along and we will be here long after the Orange Hitler is gone.

Stand tall. Stand Proud. And remember Silence=Death and we will not go into any type of future quietly. Not today. Not tomorrow. Raise your voices and be heard! I love you all!

No Holiday Police

Years ago after the death of my sister I went with my mother and my Aunt Toy to a grief management seminar. I learned a lot of things during that day which helped me and my family. I also gained many tools to be able to cope with the loss of someone who was so important in my life.

One of the topics of the seminar was how to cope with holiday stress and the growing intensity of grief during those holidays. I thought I would share this with you because over the past few weeks I have seen many of your trying to cope with holiday stress.

There is only one rule and here it is. “DO NOT DO ANYTHING YOU DO NOT FEEL LIKE DOING.” No one says there is mandatory holiday participation. As Rick would say, “There is no holiday police.” lol Do what you are comfortable with doing and nothing more. Once you can take this attitude trust me the holiday will then become much easier to handle. You do not want to cook a big dinner then don’t. You don’t want to bake then don’t. You want to put presents into bags instead of wrapping or you do not want to shop at all then don’t. The point is there is nothing required of you to do. You only have to do what you feel like doing and nothing more.

You know sometimes we put ourselves under such pressure during this time of year when we really shouldn’t. Just because you use to do things one way as a tradition does not mean you cannot throw those old traditions out and start all over again. Remember there is no holiday police who is going to arrest you because you decided not to put up a tree or to bake a ham. Trust me on this. You will not be a bad person for choosing to keep it simple.

This is a gift for everyone if they would decide to apply it to their lives. Nothing is required and everything is optional.

Blessings to you and special blessings to those who are hurting, but please know you are not alone.

 

Today I Married the Love of My Life.

I am not always a romantic sort of person. In the past, I had tried to convince myself I was a realist in order to justify to myself that I did not need or deserve love. Then I met my soul mate and the love of my life and my whole world changed and how I viewed that world changed as well. I went from a fatalist into a romantic.

It was not an easy transition. Nancy, my dear adoptive sister, would tell me year after year,”The love of your life is on the way. He will have red hair and you will travel the world and live happily ever after.” Every time she would say this I would laugh and say. “We will see.”

I came back to St. Louis to live and I was one of the healdliners at the first ever Ghost Tours at the Fox Theater. I did not want to do it and Nancy told me, “You need to go bro. I wasn’t going to tell you this but the red haired man who will be the love of your life will be there. Tonight is the night you meet him.” I reluctantly agreed to go because the whole tour thing had been a nightmare up to that point and had been a bad situation.

That was the night which turned out to be the night I met Rick. It would be not until the following June when we first went on our first date but it was that October night when we met. Nancy was right he would turn out to be everything I was looking for and much much more.

Today I got to marry the love of my life and the best friend I have ever had. Thank you to everyone for your best thoughts and best wishes. And for those of you who have not yet found love I promise you that you must not give up. They will come when the time is right. Good night. Sweet dreams.

As for me?  I am healed, loved, and finally complete. Love you all.

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NO MORE SEXUAL ABUSE

Sexual harassment and abuse happens in all walks of life. I have personally distanced myself before from people who beat their significant other and I have also distanced myself quite publicly from someone in entertainment who I know who roofied, abused, and raped a woman. I have kept it quiet for quite some time now because I never felt it was something I should tell because coming from me at this point it was just hearsay which could and would obviously be denied.

Not all sexual abuse goes reported. There is a shame and the fear of not being believed which keeps victims from coming forward. It has always bothered me that I knew of the abusive behavior of these two men and I could never stand up and say it publicly in order to prevent it from happening to someone else. The only thing you can do in the end it to distance yourself from them as much as you can and pray for those who might come in contact with them. And also pray that someday one or more of their victims will stand up and publicly tell their story.

Hopefully all of the attention which has been placed upon this very serious issue lately will cause more victims to stand up and point out their abusers and hopefully the abusers in this world will think twice from harming someone else.

Thoughts on this National Coming Out Day

Every single day I log into social media to catch up with friends and family. To share the good things in life and also to share the difficult times. There is a lot to be said about the continuing conversation we collectively all have through Facebook and other things like it. But there is an ugly side to it as well.

Every single day as a gay man I have to sort through my newsfeeds and there, every single day, I am confronted with hate speech from things as simple as gay jokes which people think are harmless to articles which call LGBTQ people everything from an abomination to satanic. We have are continually exposed to lawmakers who want to make laws to hurt us and those who even want to kill us. When we decide to stand up and say something we are often told we are over reacting or we are making something out of nothing. Well it is not an overreaction and our words and disdain are justified.

Today is National Coming Out Day. Coming Out is not a thing which LGBTQ people do one time in their lives. I have spent most of my life coming out in different ways to different people. For the longest time I reserved that personal knowledge to those who were closest to me and come to find out even in those cases I did not do a very good job of sharing it. Regardless of what you may think, it was not that is was something I was hiding at all. It was however, something I considered very personal. It was my business. However, over the past few years I have become very open about my life and my choice in a partner. I would never have wanted to hide the most important person and relationship in my life. Over these past few years I have discovered that I am always in the process of Coming Out. I come out every single day with every single person I meet and in every single thing I do. I am in a sense, Coming Out right now while I am sharing these thoughts with you because there is someone out there who will invariably read this who did not know. You know I even lost friends when I shared with everyone I was marrying my long time partner? It’s true. It happened.

Keep in mind, there is someone in your life right now who is LGBTQ that has not told you and has not come out. So when your share a harmless gay joke or share an anti LGBTQ article you are hurting someone you love and someone who is close to you. It could be a friend, a co-worker, a son or a daughter, and in some cases even a mother or a father. Sexuality is not always black and white and for most of us there is a whole lot of gray area. So choose your words wisely. I, unfriend people on a daily basis for homophobic hate speech and in some ways just by supporting this current President and his administration you are harming LGBTQ people and of course being one, you are harming me.

It is a shame that on this Coming Out day we have to turn our attention to those LGBTQ people in MIssissippi where a new law has been put into place to make it okay to discriminate against them. It is not okay and they should be angry and defiant. I know I am feeling that way for them because you see if you hurt one of us you hurt all of us.

So for the sake of those you know and those you care about it is time to choose your words wisely. And if someone cares enough to share their most intimate and important aspect of who they truly are be loving and be supportive. I am very lucky in this life to have so many family and friends who support me for who I am. Do the same for someone else today it is one of the most important things you can do for them. Being LGBTQ is not a choice and God made us in his image in the same way he made you. This is who we are and with God’s grace we can pray someday there will no longer be a need for this thing called National Coming Out Day.