Art in Berlin, Germany

Over the holidays we traveled to Europe and spent a lot of time in Berlin, Germany. First of all, if you have never been to Berlin it has to go immediately on your bucket list of places to visit. What an amazing and inviting city. I cannot say enough great things about the people, the sights, the food, and the entertainment this world class city offers.

One of the most amazing aspects of Berlin is the amount of art you can find not only in museums, but also simply by walking down the street. We spent an entire day just looking at art. This is some of what we saw.

The Berlin Wall – The Berlin Wall once stood as a barrier to the outside world and self expression. It separated East from West and family from families. Today it stands as a memory and also a mile gallery of self expression through urban art. Here is a just a glimpse of some of it.

dsc01121dsc01129DSC01148.JPGdsc01153DSC01146.JPGDSC01160.JPG

Art is in abundance in this city. From the Museum Island to the streets themselves there is something interesting and creative to look at every where you turn.

Keith Haring, Berlin Sculpture

 

Andy Warhol, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum of Contemporary Art, Berlin

Erich Marx, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum of Contemporary Art, Berlindsc01192

The Streets of Berlin

Various Art and Artists, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum of Contemporary Art, Berlin

 

Berlin houses so much art that it is literally mind blowing. Hope you enjoyed seeing some of the sights from our day of art in Berlin, Germany.

 

Advertisements

The Truth About Honesty

I was on social media the other day and I read something where Speaker Paul Ryan stated that it really doesn’t matter if Donald Trump lies on Twitter. The story went on further with more from Speaker Ryan saying something to the fact that we should not take Donald Trump’s words literally. I had to stop for a moment and think about what I had just read. We are not suppose to take the President Elect seriously or literally? When you stop and think about it on those terms it not only is a  truly disturbing statement, but also has disturbing implications which should matter to us all on varied levels.

I remember when I was a single parent raising my children. The number one family rule in our house was always be honest. I would always tell my children,”There is nothing you can do we can not find a solution for, but the one thing we cannot fix is a lie.” This is a lesson parents all over the world are teaching their children. There is a value in your words and the honesty of those words. When I decided to write my first book at 40 I remember my mother saying to me, “Speak your truth. Do not make it any more or less and do not change it to make someone else feel more comfortable. As long as you are truthful and write from your heart people will respect that above all.”  You know what?  She was right. There is something inherently powerful about your truth and people will always eventually see through dishonesty. It is a remedial lesson and one which is one of the first things we are taught a very young ages.

Now I could quote to you numerous historical figures speaking about truth. In fact, one of the first history lessons all children are taught is the idea of Honest Abe which of course refers to President Abraham Lincoln. The point being, we are taught the value of a person’s  worth in this world is not measured through money or things, but the value of a person’s words and the veracity of the truth behind those words are the true measure of a person’s character. Then why does Speaker Ryan believe it is okay for the most powerful leader in the world to be dishonest? What kind of message does that statement send to our youth?

We are living through some very strange times in not only this country but the world as a whole. Social media, which at one time was considered to be the great social experiment, is failing all of us on so many levels. I find it disturbing at the amount of falsehoods which are being peddled on a daily basis and the fact people are actually buying into these untruths without an ounce of personal responsibility into their peddling.  It is not unusual nowadays to have to question absolutely every single thing we read. In fact, a whole election in this country was fought and run on the back of the most horrible lies. Shortly after the election was over we began to hear about how the winning side used lies and made up stories to win the election. We actually had those bragging about how their lies helped one candidate to victory over another through good old fashioned fabrication. We are currently sitting on the front lines watching as the lies told to win are now being walked back and the promises made to the voters are being broken.

Truth does matter and the results from all of this dishonesty is going to come back to bite every single person in this country. We simply cannot and should not believe those whom we have elected to office. The current state of dishonesty is on a scale which has never before historically been witnessed before. The fact, Speaker Ryan has the nerve to tell the American people that the President Elects lies are okay is not only frightening to us as Americans but also throughout the world as well. The world is looking at our country with a deflated sense of trust. How do you trust a leader who will lie for self gain, votes, vendettas, and for nothing more than just to hear himself speak or write? These are not the values this country is built upon.

How do you look a child in the eyes and tell them the President Elect is someone they need to admire and respect knowing that his word means very little? We are currently teaching a whole generation it is okay to lie and lying is an acceptable tool to use to get ahead in this country. It would seem to me there is some irreparable damage being done not only to the current state of things, but our future and the future of generations to come. We have to stop and remember that our children learn from our actions. You can tell your children and grandchildren that lying is wrong, but when they see you supporting a liar the message then falls onto deaf ears.

The lack of truth in this country is currently the biggest threat and detriment for all of us. For Speaker Ryan to state, for us as a country, to ignore the lies is a threat not only to each of our families but it also a severe and serious threat to our National Security and our standing within the world. This is truly a crisis of national and international importance. So what can you do? Well first, research before you post a story on social media. If the article quotes the Wall Street Journal then go to the Wall Street Journal and look for the quote. If it does not exist do not post it. It really is that simple. If you see a story which might seem outrageous research it and see if there is some type of reputable evidence to support it. If there is not then do not share it. Tell your children that it is not okay for our leaders to be lying. Tell them how disappointed you are in these lies. Understand the eyes of the children of this world are watching us and this is the test which will ultimately mold the adults they become in the future.

I saw a blatantly false new story someone shared the other night. In fact, they not only shared the ridiculous story but then they rubbed salt into the proverbial wound by praising God for the lie and praised the liar himself. Is this the type of message you want to give your children or grandchildren? It was one of those moments which I not only found disturbing but sad as well. One of those moments when I was sure if there is a God watching all of this happening right now he surely has to be crying. God is not the Father of Lies, at least not the God I was taught about from a very young age. The actual Father of Lies is something completely different from a loving God and when you stop to think about it, if religion tells us the Father of Lies is Satan then what should we be calling one of our leaders who rarely states the truth? Seems to me that has nothing to do with praising God at all. It is important to remember we need to be the solution we want to see to the problems in this world. So why would it ever be okay or acceptable to ignore or accept the lies of our leaders? Seems to me it is a serious question for these very serious times we are living within.

So Speaker Ryan it is not acceptable for this country to accept or ignore the lies based on the whims of the President Elect. We deserve honesty from our elected officials and that means we also deserve honesty from you as well. When you tell this country to ignore the lies you are telling this country to not only to ignore Donald Trump’s lies, but you are also telling us to turn the other way when you and your colleagues lie to us as well. That is not now or never will acceptable request to ask of us no matter what side of the aisle you are on. In fact, you will find the majority of Americans find it insulting.

Today We Remember

Today is World Aids Day. This is one of the most somber and reflective days of the year for those of us who are LBGTQ. It is hard not to think of all the people we lost through the years to this horrible scourge and plague.

It was not easy coming of age in the early years of the plague. There was a sense of anger at the world which would turn their heads away and those who used the disease as an excuse to further their agendas of hate against us. I can remember feeling as if some way I was not as valuable as my straight counterparts. I found myself being afraid to love and awfully guilty at those times when I did.  I can remember standing and watching in horror as my friends died one by one for nothing more than doing what was natural and what they were wired to do and be.

Working in the entertainment industry at the time it felt as if I was standing within the epicenter of death. There was this sense we had all been given a death sentence as we watched those close to us die one by one. It is hard to relive those memories. We witnessed the death of a whole generation of gay men from the front lines. I can remember hugging someone and feeling the heat radiating from their bodies and you just knew at that moment something horrible was brewing within them. I can remember looking at a very close friend and seeing the large purple mark they were trying to hide which was forming on their thigh. I understood what that mark meant because I had seen it many times before. I watched as a friend of mine wasted away in high school. A high school kid who at one moment who was healthy and happy. Very quickly that changed and I watched as they withered away to nothing and died.

It was hard not to feel some type of survivor’s guilt at the time. It was no different than feeling guilty for being the one to survive  some type of disaster. The guilt of survival and the nagging question of why you were surviving and they were not ate slowly away at your soul. I had a friend dying of Aids once tell me, “It is true that I am dying, but the person I feel the most sorry for is you. I don’t feel sorry for myself at all. But you, I feel sorry for you because your curse is going to be standing by and watching all of us die. You are the one cursed for outliving us all.” The honesty and the horror of the statement still haunts me and on this day it haunts me even more when I remember all of those young beautiful people who are no longer with us for doing nothing more than loving one another.

The other day, I had posted something about Aids on my social media. Like with anything on social media you are subjected to the thoughts of others even when they differ from your own. It is a heavy price at times to pay for participation and at times it is helps your own ideas grow. However, someone decided to post something which disgusted me completely. Once again it reminded me of the ignorance and discrimination which still, after all of these years, continues to revolve around HIV. They said, “Aids was not real. It was nothing more than a made up story to further a gay political agenda.” I was furious when I saw it because for something which was supposedly fabricated that fabrication took a whole lot of my friends way before their time. I found not only the ignorance of the statement unbelievable but it also struck me just how dangerous this thinking was. I have to tell you that it felt like an attack. It amazes me that still this type of thinking is out there. The idea that it is not real or just a gay thing. Dammit is not just a gay thing. HIV is one thing which has never discriminated. It is a mutually transmitted disease among all races and sexual preferences.

Can you imagine what it was like in those early years hearing every time you turned on the television and radio the one thing you could not control was a damnation from God? I use to think how was it possible for my God to damn me for being who I was and just wanting to find someone to love and to be loved in return? Day after day we were told by the world we were not worth the concern and this was nature’s way of eliminating our sinful souls. I can remember watching in horror as people in our government stated the most vile and hateful things about us. I would secretly hide in the bathroom searching for any sign of the plague getting ready to end my sinful existence because I just watched a new horrifying report on television depicting the dying. They would refuse to bury us when we died.   We would walk into our clubs and you would see the infected hiding in the dark corners because we were even afraid of those like us. To see them up close meant we had to deal with the reality that it could actually happen to each of us. Those were truly the nightmare days. Those days were riddled with fear and this feeling like any moment it all was going to fall apart on a very personal level.

This past week, I saw an article stating there might finally be a vaccine which would put the final nail in the HIV coffin. The memory of the final scene of the film, Longtime Companion, came to mind. The scene was a fantasy scene depicting a time when a cure was found and the characters basically were able to walk away hand in hand leaving the disease and death behind them. If the human actually worked that way. I would love to live to see the day where there is no more HIV in this world, but the horrors of it will always be part of our hearts and memories. Nothing will erase that sadness.  Until the cure finally happens, we must continue to march on to fight this together. No one can really explain why some  of us survived while others didn’t.  However,  the one thing which remains is we have a right and responsibility to those we lost. We must tell their stories and to continue this fight in their memory. Their strength and bravery is something which should never be lost or forgotten.

Today I remember them and I would hope you would do the same. I miss them and I loved them all.

Should There Be a Recount?

So do they recount or not? I think that is the question many are asking this morning. I believe they should and not for the reason you might think. I think for the sole purpose of securing the faith of the American people in our election process the recount is essential.

Now keep in mind, the Clinton campaign has not said a word on this at this point which would point to interest in a recount to be waning. However, there are serious questions about this election which should be addressed.

First, this morning it was reported that Clinton’s lead had actually exceeded the 2 million mark in the popular vote. This is clearly unprecedented in the history of our elections.

Second, we have to remember it was actually Donald Trump himself which brought the question of the possibility of voter fraud in our election before voting had even begun.

Third, there are the reports of hacking into some voting systems and the emails of the DNC which were believed to be Russian in origin.

Fourth, it seems strange that Donald Trump would win just exactly what he needed to win in just the exact regions of the country he needed by the same percentage points in each of these areas.

Fifth, there are clearly some numeric inconsistencies found by scholars who spend their entire careers studying nothing but this exact thing.

For the peace of mind for ALL of this country a recount is needed. It would be a painful process for everyone and in the end it would either prove to the American people our election process is sound and fair or we have some serious problems which need to be addressed. Either way this comes down to a question about the National Security of our country. It is actually a bigger question than questions about either of these candidates. There seems to be clear merit and need for a recount.

You can read more at:
The Guardian

Today is my Heart Birthday

Five years ago today I went through a life changing and prolonging open heart surgery. At the point when they did the surgery, I could feel the blood actually gurgle from the restriction as it flowed through my heart. I had prepared myself for the worst and was willing to accept the final outcome whatever it may be.

I had a total of five artery grafts in my heart. One of the minor grafts collapsed last year, but it was by and far the least important and does not hurt the overall health of the heart at all. However, the other four major grafts are extremely healthy and are working great. Five years later and I am in better health than I have been in for a very long time. I live a very active and full life. I consider today a birthday of sorts. In some very literal ways, I was reborn on this day back in 2011. 

If you are currently experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling of feet and/or hands, nausea and more, this is your body telling you something is wrong and you need to get it checked out. For example, when I was first diagnosed I thought I had pneumonia. However, many times heart disease is a silent killer without much warning so a check up with a stress test is always a great idea. For women read about the warning signs because many times your symptoms will be very different from men.

The point is, there have been great advances in diet, medication, and surgery to deal with heart disease. It no longer needs to be the death sentence it once was considered. All it requires from you is to be proactive about your health. If you are having unexplained symptoms or just not feeling well overall get it checked out. For those without symptoms get your checkups, eat low fat and carb diets, quit smoking if you smoke, limit your alcohol consumption, and most importantly keep that heart pumping with exercise. Ride a bike, walk, or do what I do which is a combination of things. I row, walk, and ride a bike four days a week. It works. Currently, I see my cardiologist once every three months. I see him not because I am doing badly, but because my positive life changes and choices have caused the need to slowly reduce the amount of medication it takes to keep me living a healthy, happy life. That is the best reason to see the doctor. Trust me.

The Sell Out of the Frankenstein Generation

I was born in 1965, which is the final year of the Baby Boom Generation and on the cusp of the birth of Generation X. My generation has seen the largest amount of changes, advances, and yes, challenges of any generation before it. The year I was born saw the first American combat troops arrive in Vietnam. Dr. King and 2600 of his followers were arrested in Selma, Alabama for protesting against voter registration rules. The Watts riots exploded in Los Angeles, 34 dead, over 1,000 injured, nearly 4,000 arrested. Malcolm X, was shot to death at a Harlem rally in New York City. 1965 was not only a year of racial upheaval it was also the death and the fall of imaginary innocence, which was on the surface of the 1950’s in America.

Shortly after 1965, we would begin to see people tune in and drop out thanks to Timothy Leary and the oncoming hippie movement. Protests against the “conflict” in Vietnam began to rise. It was an interesting and frightening time in this country, but it was a time when people stood proudly to have their voices heard. My generation marched headfirst into Kent State, Woodstock, Haight-Ashbury, the Computer Age and much more. But something happened to us in the eighties, which I will never quite understand.

How did a generation who believed in love, protest and freedom turn into one of the largest driving forces behind the Reagan era? Everything we thought we were going to change in the world we gave over and sold out to the most selfish of ideas and purposes. In return, we were given the shameful, ugly tag of the “Me Generation.” Life for us went from fighting for others into the largest exercise in self-gratification and social masturbation this world has seen since the Roman Empire. Why should it surprise me now my generation would go even one step further by being one of the driving forces which helped to bring fascism to this country?

Make no mistake, the baby boomers stood by and voted for their eighties poster boy of greed and hate, Donald Trump. All you had to do was listen to one of his campaign speeches to hear him spout nothing more than a string of hate-driven messages sprinkled with every bad business saying from those tacky eagle and landscape pictures from Successories. “There’s no I in team” or “You climb a mountain one step at a time” or the now iconic and confusing, “Make America great again.” I thought we were already great.

It amazes me how some of the most horrible things of the last generation either surrounded or had something to do with the baby boomers at the helm. How can one generation of people turn so completely against the morality and values that they once held onto so firmly? In the end, this generation has become more conservative and politically destructive than any other of the previous generations before it. What is even more sickening it was all in the name of the self, without regard to the whole of humanity. Seems funny, because young adulthood for the baby boomer was all about fighting the system and the generation gap between us and them. It seems to me we should give it a new name because the Me Generation tag is way too nice for what they have done – something along the lines of Generation Sell-Out. Even The Frankenstein Generation would be a better descriptive tag. One of these two names would more precisely portray the puzzling loss of ideology and hope, which has now black-marked this generation’s place in history.

We started out loving each other and we ended up hating each other, those different from us, those we fear, and, most importantly, the majority hate themselves. Not easy to like yourself with this type of blood on your hands, they know where they participated. Do not let them fool you. It is way too late for the baby boomers to change and redeem themselves as a whole. This generation is going to have to be satisfied with those particular individuals who stand out and remain steadfast to the values the baby boomers once held onto so tightly and passionately. Boomers are coming to the end of their run on this planet and the door is slowly closing on us.

With the closing of one door another opens and we can only pray and hope it will be onto something better. A generation who will learn from the baby boomers mistakes and pave the way for something brighter and more stable. In consolation over the past week I have seen a small flame of hope from the Millennial Generation, which has already replaced the boomers in its size and very soon will be leading in its economic strength. I have seen them take to the streets, walk out of classes and stand next to those who are being targeted. It is with the youth of this country that I once again see a glimmer of hope for our future.

My hope is this love and activism in their hearts will grow. My hope is they will learn from the mistakes of the boomer generation and not be willing to take the same selfish, me motivated paths which were its obvious downfalls. There is, after all, hope for them and this world. Right now this might be the only thing we have to hope for, but for right now it just might be enough.

What Now?

It has been just over a week since the election. Seems like it was a lot longer. I know many of you, like myself, have given the reality of this situation time to fully set in and accept that it is indeed happening. We have all reacted in very human ways. We are grieving not the loss of the election, but we are collectively grieving the loss of hope for a better future for this country for everyone. The key word be everyone. Some of us have felt betrayed by those who would vote for an agenda which would so clearly harm and marginalize so many of us. We sit and wonder if there is actually a place left in the American dream for all of us, or will the highest offices in this country roll back all of the Civil Rights and Climate Change advances we have made in the last fifty years? Important to notice I included Climate Change, a problem that would not only affect all Americans, but also the world as a whole. Actions do speak louder than words and in just a little over one week, the monstrous message is starting to solidify and become crystal clear. So I find myself, like many of you, sitting here at my desk wondering what we do now.

First,what we need to discuss is those who voted for this backward-thinking and hateful group of elected and appointed officials. Many of you have expressed your feelings of betrayal and it is true, in a very real essence you have been betrayed. It is clear and essential that we show our despair and disappointment in those who have decided to turn against their neighbors and family with their vote. Of course they do not see it that way. In truth, many people will vote for completely uneducated reasons which are much more gut reactions than a decision based in actual truth. They will cast a vote for something they are fundamentally against, simply as a protest against the other candidate. They will also vote for just one issue only. This makes it very easy for politicians to sell a load of goods to the people, which is actually against not only their moral foundations but also many against their own belief structures.

Most importantly, and I believe most likely, they vote out of fear. That is why we have seen, throughout history, horrible monsters come to power by playing into the fear of the masses. Fear sells and people will go to great lengths in order to include ideologies which would actually harm them in the name of being afraid. It is all in the name of fear. Fear is a stronger emotion, by far, than love. Fear triggers the switch in each us for personal survival. Let’s not forget the Americans lining up to give away certain privacies and rights in the wake of 9/11. We now know the Weapons of Mass Destruction were devised to convince all of us it was essential we go to war in Iraq. It was playing to our fears and the American people bought into it hook, line and sinker. It seems we would have learned from that lesson, but it is very hard to fight against the falsehoods, bogus news stories, and promises which were created for the sole purpose of feeding defeat.

The majority of American’s who voted for this horrible ideology did so because they were afraid. That is why, when you try to tell them their vote was against you, they get so upset. In their minds they did not vote against you at all. It was much more personal than that. They voted against their own fear. Sure, there are those in groups who jumped to the call, but you need to understand even though the KKK and Alt Right are based solidly in hate, the overwhelming reason they exist is fear. History tells us, the most dangerous among us have been motivated by nothing more than fear. So it is imperative that we stop crucifying our fellow Americans for their human reaction to their own fear and we begin to understand why they did what they did, even if they don’t.

We must first, understand they believe fully in the untruths they are being told. Their social media feeds and news feeds are being geared to control them through fear and to paint those of us who actively protest it as the boogeyman. A great example of this is a news story which was being circulated this week. It described several men as Anti-Trump agitators, setting a car on fire. The story was completely untrue, as a matter of fact, the picture was from 2012 and not even from this country. But I can promise you when the Trump voters see this they believe it completely. In a sense, it also feeds into their fears even though the real truth is that the majority of protests are peaceful. The ones, in reality, who are being harmed at the moment, are those suffering from an unprecedented rise in hate crimes since the election. For these people to understand they were part of and endorsed such hate would mean they would have to turn the mirror onto themselves. It took years for Germany to grasp the horrors done in their name by the Third Reich. Most will tell you, they had no idea about the horrors which were happening in the concentration camps right under their noses and it was essential to show them these horrors in order for them to accept and believe it.

I am not by any means telling you to be quiet for one moment. The best way to deal with this is not to condemn but to educate. Once again, fill your social media feeds with truth. Show the pictures and the stories about our minorities being harmed and threatened. Fill your news feeds with true stories about what is happening out there. Do not engage the Trump voter. They are not ready for you to discuss the truth with them at this moment. In much the same way we feel betrayed, they are feeling the need to justify their actions. For most of these voters, they do not believe they voted for a hate agenda. History will show the truth as long as we continue to in return offer the availability of that truth without engagement. Ignore their taunts. If you are met with violence there are still laws in this country against hate crimes. It is imperative that you get loud and demand justice if you are a victim of a hate crime. The message of the unacceptability of hate is very important. We can fight them but we need to be smarter than they are in this fight. So yes, go to social media and share the truth, but do not engage. Trust me, I know this is easier said than done.

Get into the streets and continue to protest. The various marches on Washington in January are very important. We need the largest numbers of people possible to gather in order to send a clear message that we are not going to sit down and take this quietly. It is also a very important message we need to send to the other nations of world who at this moment are scratching their heads. In the words of a German family to their son here in the States, “America has fallen. Get out.” The only way we can counter this world attitude is to show them that the majority of Americans do not subscribe to this monstrous Administration and their actions.

Keep in mind, they are not speaking for the majority of Americans and they know it is something we can use against them. The reason your news feeds are being filled with false stories about Trump winning the popular vote is a well thought-out battle against us, using the majority argument. He clearly did not win the popular vote, but once again you need to remember his followers believe the falsehoods completely and totally. This fight is not going to be without sacrifice. They will call our peaceful protests riots. They are going to try to paint us out as non-voters who only participate in violence. The goal is to continue to paint us out as the boogeyman at the door in order to control, not only us, but those who already voted for him. It is a continued fear-inducing technique using US as the thing to fear.

Understand the media is not our friend. They are completely in on this. During the election our media had people on their payrolls who were actually being paid by the Trump campaign. There was no such thing as fair reporting and you need to understand this. This was a coup carried out with lies and fear. So be prepared when they continue to come at us, it is for the sole purpose to silence us and in return induce fear within us. Do not let them get away with it. Understand that protests do not and should not end in January. Protesting is now a way of life for all of us and should continue because this fight as just begun.

The next thing you should expect is some sort of attack being orchestrated by those in power to further their agenda and continue the demonization of those who are opposing them. History does repeat itself. Hitler was a master at the technique of fear mongering in order to control the German people. Also, outside terrorists might also use this time to further their agendas by an attack. But if something along these lines happens you must not let it silence your voices. Understand this is just one of the weapons that is going to be used against us. So stay present and in the world, protesting.

The battle is not only being fought in the streets. We need to prepare to fight it legally in order to protect our rights as well as the Constitution. They are going to try to peddle the idea that this country was built upon Christianity. Of course that is not true, but all you have to do is see the things they are attempting to do in the name of God to understand this is clearly a weapon they plan on using. The Constitution is our protective device and it is going to become essential that we fund those legal and activist organizations who are going to fight this battle. Donate, if you are able, to the ACLU and the Human Rights Campaign Fund. These two organizations will be on the legal front lines and they need our support in order to protect the Constitution and our rights. Come on people – we have done this before! We know this battle plan inside and out. Find out what organizations are currently lobbying and leading the legal fight for minority rights in your state. Here in the Missouri, one good suggestion would be to support PROMO.

Make a personal assessment of what you can personally do and offer to the fight ahead. I will give you a personal example, I am a trained speaker and traveled this country for years speaking to large and small crowds, inspiring and teaching. I am going to turn my lecture skills into a skill for activism. I am also a respected author. I going to make sure everything I write from now on points into a direction of understanding and inclusion. Entertainment is a very powerful tool to use within activism. Much of the LGBTQ and other minority advances were made through the arts. It is important that we understand whatever our strengths are individually and offer them up in order to fight further oppression. Whatever your personal assessment is, you will be welcomed and there is room for your talents to participate and make a difference.

There are those of us who are the most vulnerable. There has been a large amount of hate rhetoric directed toward the elderly and the disabled. They are going to need us to help them through the rough times ahead and the trials we are all facing. Did you know 38% of the homeless teens in America are LGBTQ and over half of them have been abused? There are numerous organizations out there like Covenant House and your local LGBTQ centers which are currently on the front lines of this battle and need your support. These are kids who have been rejected and discarded by those who should have protected and loved them but they were cast aside for nothing more than being different. These numbers are going to rise within all minorities and the crimes against them will continue to rise because there are those in this country who feel they have been given the right through this election to show the worst behavior possible. Right now, there are minority children out there in schools who are being terrorized by their peers. We must do everything we can do in order to protect our youth, the elderly, and the sick within the current climate in this country. Their attitude is, if they are sick, let them die. If they are hungry, let them starve. If they are different, control them or simply just make them disappear. Make no mistake – this is what we are fighting against. The lost, sick, different and helpless are going to need us even more now than ever.

I wish I could tell you everything was going to be okay. Unfortunately, I cannot do that at this time because we simply do not know how far this going to go. However, I can offer you some solace in understanding we have been fighting these exact battles for years. This war is from over. We have the ability and the knowledge on how to fight these things. Fighting is exactly what we are going to do. We will refuse to let them marginalize or normalize us for their will. We are much stronger than they are because they have given us this incredible strength through their hate. If you combine the numbers of all minorities in the country you find we are actually the majority. There extreme power in the majority voice of the people.

The best way to handle things is to understand who the enemy is, how they think, how to change them, and yes of course, how to defeat them. We need to be ready to bring them into our fold when they begin to understand they have been sold a load of false goods. There are those we are fighting at the moment who will turn to us, in the end, to join us. We need to be willing to accept them when that happens. At this moment in history they do not understand how their current decision is going to adversely affect their world. We must be the bigger people and accept them when the impact of their actions becomes clear to them. Then, of course, there are going to be those who will never wake from their fear-induced fantasies. For those, they will always be lost.