What Matters Most

I was sitting here behind the desk doing some work. Nothing important and nothing which required a lot of thought. You know the kind of tasks where you mind can and often does wander? I was thinking about life’s blessings and how the things I thought were going to make me happy were actually the things which in some ways matter the least to me.

As a young man I thought more than anything I wanted to work in the theater. The theater was the place were I was going to find complete fulfillment. Now don’t get me wrong you can find fulfillment in the theater, but you learn very quickly when money comes into play it just kind of sucks the fun and the life right out of it. Theater as a business is a complete different animal than theater for simply the sake of theater and art.

As life continued I thought I would like to do television. In my mind television was where I was going to find the answers to my dreams. I have done a whole lot of television at this point of my life and I can tell you that very little satisfaction ever came from being on a show. Kind of difficult to watch your life being dramatized and portrayed, only in the next moment to be interrupted by tampon and erectile dysfunction commercials.

Then I thought I was going to find everything I needed by doing a film. A movie would bring me everything I wanted in life. I would not only be in film but I would also write for it as well. I was lucky enough to do a few films but in the end I did not find the satisfaction I desired at all in film. In fact. I learned a whole lot about the ugly side of life from working in film and what that ugliness can and will do to people.

So, I became an author and I have to tell you I do get some satisfaction from writing.However, I do not get any satisfaction from working with publishers. Again, once money enters the equation it has a tendency of sucking the life and creativity out of art. Did you know my favorite book I wrote is the only book I self published? Crazy A Prayer for the Dead is by far my favorite of my books. This is why I have made a serious decision to self publish from here on out. Besides, I am married to a perfect artist and editor which helps a whole lot.

I have worked for SyFy, Discovery, CW, Destination America, Warner Brothers, CNN, NBC Universal, Chiller, The Travel Channel and more. I have been featured in newspapers and magazines around the world including Entertainment Weekly, Variety, The New York Post, and The Sun to name just a few. I have done just about every major radio show in the United States, Canada, and the world which has included everything from Man Cow to Coast 2 Coast. I am in the Library of Congress in at least three different places with multiple pieces of work. Are you impressed yet? You really shouldn’t be if you are. Often the things you will be remembered for in life are not the things where you found happiness.

After chasing and achieving all of these dreams in the end do you know where I found satisfaction? I found it in the easiness and simplicity of the love I have for my husband. I found it in all five of our children and the loves of their lives. We get more excited and proud of their accomplishments than anything we ever accomplished on our own. Our three granddaughters who continue to teach make us happier than anything else in life and they continue to teach us about not only acceptance but unconditional love. My mother and father who taught me it was okay to tell people my truth because no matter what you will still have those who will still love you. These are truly the riches found in life and all of that other stuff which might impress some in the end does not matter all of that much.

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My Soul is Worth More than Silence

There was a time when I did not say much publicly about politics. That was before it was no longer just political bickering and it became a fight for ALL OF US living the life that we choose and with whom. That was before we were in a fight for the ideals of what the United States is suppose to be about and the country which so many gave their lives to preserve. The greatest generation understood that.

When I first started being vocal with my rage against Trump and the GOP someone said to me, “You really should not take sides since you are an author and you want people to buy your books.” It obviously was a veiled threat. That was the first of many times and each time I would say to them, “I would rather go to my grave penniless than to support hate.”

You know I saw Dolly Parton say something completely the opposite the other day about not saying anything because she did not want to offend anyone. Well that may have been true when you could have peddled this off as a political point of view, but you see Dolly it changed when it became moral. Babies are being put in cages, laws are being passed to legally hate and you are worried someone will not buy a fucking record. You’re right Dolly. Someone will not buy another record or buy another concert ticket of yours because I can guarantee you I fucking won’t.

So for anyone out there that thinks I will stand by and watch the destruction of this country quietly because I will lose book sales, well then you do not know me and you obviously have never truly read one of my books in the first damn place. I don’t care. I will not be quiet and I will not be silent. I just might write a book about it all in the end because that is who I am and many people should write the truth about these dark days.

So for those of you out there who have said, “God bless Dolly for not getting involved,” I have and will continue to block you because Dolly is not doing God’s work by remaining silent while babies are being held in cages. Dolly is not doing God’s work while old men are being beat in the street for being a different color. Dolly is not doing Gods work as another gay couple is beat for holding hands. Dolly is being greedy and Dolly is being a coward. End of story.

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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!

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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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.

Putting History in its Proper Place

In Germany you will not find statues glorifying Hitler or the Nazi’s. They teach the history to their youth without glorifying it or paying homage to it with statues and the like. You will not find a Hitler street in Berlin. Now you might be saying to yourself this is not the same thing at all, but the truth is that it is. Both of these groups enslaved people. Both of these groups believed that their race was superior to others. And yes both of these groups committed violence against others in the name of race or belief.

The KKK and White Nationalist carry the confederate flag in their rallies because they know what it means. They fight against the removal of these statue’s because they know what it means. There is a difference in remembering and teaching mistakes in history to make sure they never happen again. There is a huge difference when those images, people, or flags are glorified.

There is not room for hate or the glorification of hate in this country. We need to correct these wrongs and put our history for better or worse in its proper place.