Born This Way

I have always been gay. Looking back at my childhood I can see those moments which clearly stand out. I can look at myself as a child and know that being gay was not something I ever chose to be. It was something I just was. The only choice it seems I made in life was when I chose to follow a straight life and completely deny the person I truly was. That was a seriously bad choice. It was the worst choice and the wrong choice, which almost destroyed me completely.

I was talking to a family member recently who I had not spoken to in a very long time. They told me although they did not approve of the choice I have made in my life they were glad to see me happy. Once again from someone the ugly word “choice” reared its ugly head and even though this family member had the best of intentions it still stung with the fact they had no clue or understanding what they had just said or the person I truly was.

I think about my early years. I could have fallen into every single gay stereotype you could imagine. The Wizard of Oz was hands down my favorite film and I cried the day my sister told me Judy Garland was dead. At five years old I was a huge fan of the non-intentional campy film The Valley of Dolls. In my opinion, what five year did not want to grow up like the tragic Patty Duke character Nealy O’Hara? Hey let’s remember she was living with that hottie Ted Casablanca. I wanted desperately to be a Jet and dance through the streets of New York just like in West Side story. You could often find me dancing in front of my house replaying scenes and musical numbers.  I knew the complete Streisand songbook by heart and would sing it completely if provoked. And most of all I had a huge attraction to Tom Jones and the Greatest American Hero. Yes I was a weird kid. A very weird kid but I was also gay even before I knew anything about sex or sexuality. I just was.

Times have changed and growing up gay is much different than in the seventies and eighties. There is much more acceptance now than ever before even though the world as a whole has a long way to go. So why do we have to still hear heterosexual people tell us they either approve or disapprove of what they believe is our choice? It is a ridiculous statement considering we never in return stated the obvious if I chose to be gay then they must have chosen to be straight. Of course that is ridiculous statement. It is ridiculous no matter who you are. So why do straight people like to parade it out constantly? Is it a fear that if it is not a choice a family member or even their own child could be gay? Is it their way of handling their own prejudice and behavior concerning gay people? Does it make them feel superior or more Christian to state and believe it is a choice? Is it guilt? I think it must be a combination of all these things and more. In some way it is being supportive without truly having to say I give you my support for being a homosexual and I understand it is a completely normal way of being. It almost an easy way out so no one ever will point a finger at them concerning their own sexuality. Like I told someone years ago,”Sexuality is not black or white. Sexuality is a series of grays.”

For most of us being gay is something we did not choose. It was not something we became because it is fashionable. It is not something we chose to rebel against societal norms. It is not something we became in order to hurt family members or to cause them shame. It is just how we were created. It is in every fiber of who we are as people. The damage comes when you make the serious mistake of telling someone they can choose to be or not to be gay because that is a complete lie. It is a lie which often leads to unhappiness and suicide for those who believe they can choose and try to hide their true self. What do you think conversion therapy is all about?

So please be supportive and please never say to a gay person that you support their choice. Believe me when I tell you that is was not a choice for us in the same way it was not a choice for you to be straight. We were born this way and so were you.

The Proper Way to Explain Hate to a Child

What do you tell a child who might be experiencing hate at the hands of others in this life? Tell your child the meaning of life is loving. It does not matter who you love, or what they look like or even what sex they are. People who hate them are hating something within themselves and trust me it has nothing to do with those of us they hate.

Sometimes they are gay and frightened themselves. Sometimes they are jealous of something we might have. Sometimes they just hate themselves so much that they have to find someone else to project it upon. Same goes for the racists and the homophobes in this world.

We are never going to cure stupid in this life but we can live our best lives in the most amazing ways and trust me when I tell you that is exactly what drives them crazy. Why? Because we just do not care what they think anymore other than you cannot fix stupid. You don’t have time for stupid when you are living authentically and happy.

That is the proper way to explain hate to a child.

The Time is Now

What would your reaction be if I told you that you were going to die in a year? No seriously what if you only had a year to live? What would you do if it was true? Who would you want to see? Where you want to travel? What would you want to do you have not done yet? What is on your bucket list? Do have a list are you living by the seat of your pants?

The fact is you are going to die. We are all going to die. It is the one absolute that without a doubt I can promise you. Every single moment you are inching closer and closer to your final breath, the final beat of your heart, your ultimate demise. The truth is this could be your last year, month, week, day, hour or even minute of living. Someone just died while I was typing this.  So just what in the hell are you waiting for? A bucket list is something you put in the drawer somewhere and forget. A bucket list is for dreaming and quite frankly the clock is ticking and you do not have time for dreams. You need to plan for now and actually do.

Live. Do the things you want now and stop acting like you are going to live forever because you are not. Now is the time to dance in the moonlight. Now is the time to swim naked in the ocean. Now is the time to jump out of a plane or ride in a ballon. Now is the time to do and see everything you possibly can. Do it now because next year is not guaranteed.

This is the one thing I can promise you. You only get one single time limited life. There are no guarantees. Live like you are going to die tomorrow because you never know when your time going to run out. Take this from a guy who has already died once. It can all be gone in an instant.

So live now.

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.

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!