“Spirit of the Bear…”


This weekend, I have the opportunity to return to Rainbow Mountain Resort, a year-round, LGBTQ resort, located in the Pocono mountains, in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.

I have the opportunity to participate in “Spirit of the Bear” a healing, transformative workshop co-created by the collaboration of PawedNYC and Bear Your Soul of Easton Mountain.

“Spirit of the Bear” is an opportunity for Gay Bears and their admirers to participate in various workshops designed to help us remember that we are meant to be happy, vibrant, and light, as opposed to miserable, tired, and overloaded with drama (or, as I like to call it, drama/trauma/melodrama, or DTM, for short).

From massage to cuddle parties, and more, but feel free to visit the Websites below for more info on these amazing events.

And yes, there is so much more that I could write about this, but to learn more, you can visit:

https://pawednyc.com/

http://www.eastonmountain.org/

https://rainbowmountain.net/

Also, here is a video I just recorded.  I talk a little bit about what I AM intending:

 

May you remember how beautiful, powerful, and Sacred you are, and may you always know the power of the LGBTQIA+ Community.

 

 

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FlameCon 2017, Part I…


This was the third year for FlameCon, the premier LGBTQ Comic Con in NYC, taking place in the Borough of Brooklyn in NYC every time.

In 2015, its first year, it was held at the Grand Prospect Hall.  I remember seeing commercials for this place when I was a boy.  And to think that I was actually going to the Grand Prospect Hall!

Keep in mind, when I a boy, I had no idea of the concept of being a Gay Man, or a homosexual, so when I would watch commercials for this place, I always found it fascinating.

Of course, as I grew older, then came out of the closet, it never occurred to me that I would ever go there, as I never considered Gay Men going to straight weddings.  The times they have a-changed!

However, last year and this year, 2016 and 2017, respectively, FlameCon was held at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge.  And this year, I would swear there were more attendees than last year.

Personally, although I AM not fond of crowds, I do prefer living and being in a city, and I love going to FlameCon, although what thing I did not love was saying “excuse me” and “pardon me” so many times on the first day, but I got over it.

Now, before I continue, I wish to share something with all of us.

Part of me had considered not going.  Frankly, my professional Psychic Practice has become more involved, and my side position of employment more demanding, and both as of this year.  Also, I have had more professional and personal expenses.

However, I had purchased the tickets (a VIP Package, in fact) about two to three months ago, and I have attended the first two FlameCon events, so attending this year’s FlameCon, also known as FlameCon2017.

And I AM so happy I did!!

Although this post, and its “Part II” shall have links to articles about this year’s FlameCon that features tons of photographs of the cosplayers, I want to focus on one of my personal favorite aspects of FlameCon and that is the panel discussions.

To give the reader a better idea, the first day of FlameCon (also known as FlameCon2017) was Saturday, August 19, 2017, 12-8PM; the second and last day was on Sunday, August 20, 2017, 12-6PM.

On the first day, Saturday, August 19, 2017, the first Panel Discussion I attended was “ComicsVerse Podcast: Celebrating Minority and LGBTQ Superheroes.”

It was a learning experience, especially since I AM still quite a newbie in the world of Queer Comics.

In the world of the Sacred Tarot, I AM a Master Level tour guide, but in the world of Queer Comics, well, they need to create a term for the level of inexperience I have!  Ha!

If memory serves, ComicsVerse has been one of FlameCon’s sponsors since its very first year, 2015.  Feel free to visit their Website, and show them some love:

 

https://comicsverse.com

 

The second panel discussion I attended was “Buffering the Vampire Slayer Podcast.”  It is hard to believe that yours truly, forgot that this year is the 20th Anniversary of the debut of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” Oh, well, I know now!

Here is what was written about this podcast event on the Thomson Reuters app for FlameCon2017:

 

“Buffering the Vampire Slayer is a podcast where, you guessed it, discussions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer abound!  In addition to their weekly episodic discussions, hosts Jenny Owen Youngs and Kristin Russo (who also happen to be married to each other!) write an original song recapping every episode of the beloved television series!  Join Kristin, Jenny, and friends for a live taping of a very special episode!”

 

As someone who attended this live podcast taping, and who was immensely thankful to have been able to gain entry (the lines for some of these panel discussions and events can be quite long, and there are safety issues to consider, such as too many people in a room can be a safety hazard, but I digress), it was definitely a very special taping.

I need to listen to it, because there is one section where one could clearly hear me say, “Yes, it’s funny.” We were talking about a First Season episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in which in one scene, everyone is talking about planning a party and Cordelia says, “I’m the dip girl.”

Kristin Russo said that it really was not that funny; all of us Lovingly disagreed with her, and I distinctly said “Yes, it’s funny” and I think I was loud enough to be recorded, but I shall let you know officially in Part II of this post.

In any event, do visit their Website, and check out the rest of their social media presence by visiting:

 

https://www.bufferingthevampireslayer.com/

 

And finally, to conclude the evening, all of us who purchased the VIP Package, were entitled to dinner the Hill Country Barbecue restaurant.  It was called Camp Fire; which makes sense, given the first part of this comic convention is FLAME.

We had brisket, collard greens, macaroni and cheese (and in spite of being Mister Literal, I continued calling it macaroni and cheese, although it was made with penne, which is how I make it, but I digress). And if you love margaritas, well, let me simply state I knew that, had I not eaten as much that particular day, I think I would have needed to have a cab take me all the way from the Boerum Hill section of Brooklyn to my home in New Jersey!  Ha!

For dessert, there were some super delicious s’mores cupcakes, and entertainment, which included a sing-along of the Pokemon song (I truly had no idea!), and a few other relevant ditties, including the “Rainbow Connection.”

That song touches my heart so deeply every time I hear it, sing it, etc., I always cry.  I kept channeling my Inner American Idol superstar contestant, by refraining from allowing the song to affect my singing, but I kept sounding very off-key, or “pitchy,”  It really was off-key.  Very.

So, I simply allowed myself to stop singing and cry.  Yes, the song moves me that much.

 

Before I begin to close and complete this post, I wanted to share with you some of the various articles I found online which showcases one of the more popular aspects of FlameCon: the COSPLAY (and other things, too)!

And here we go…

 

http://www.newnownext.com/flame-con-2017-cosplay/08/2017/

 

https://www.bleedingcool.com/2017/08/28/love-panel-flame-con-2017-video/

 

http://namesakecomic.com/comic/flame-con-2017/

 

https://www.timeout.com/newyork/lgbt/flame-con-2017

 

https://geeksout.org/blogs/moralfuzzi/geeks-out-podcast-fanning-flame-con

 

https://unicornbooty.com/flame-con-2017-cosplays/

 

And now, before I conclude this post, I wish to acknowledge my newest subscribers to this, my personal, LGBTQIA+-oriented WordPress Blog, “This Gay Man’s Life…”  They are: “meganwalt” and “ijustcookedthis.”  Thank you both for celebrating your diversity and your ongoing PRIDE by subscribing to “This Gay Man’s Life…”

And for those of you who already subscribe to “This Gay Man’s Life…” or read without subscribing, continuing shining your Diversity and PRIDEful Light into the world, casting out all that and those who cause all of us harm.

Here I AM, looking super cute, wearing the official FlameCon2017 t-shirt.

Rainbow Book Fair 2017…


On Saturday, April 29, 2017 (exactly three weeks as of this writing), 12-6 PM, I have the honor and pleasure of attending the Ninth Annual Rainbow Book Fair.

This shall be the second year the Rainbow Book Fair shall take place at John Jay College has been hosting the Rainbow Book Fair since 2015, and shall do so again, in exactly three weeks.

Before that, the Rainbow Book Fair was held at a Holiday Inn, and prior to that, the LGBT Center in Manhattan, NYC.

I had the honor of attending the Rainbow Book Fair during its last year at The Holiday Inn, and have been attending ever since.

Every year there are so many wonderful things to see, and great people to meet at the Rainbow Book Fair, and this year’s Rainbow Book Fair is no exception.

Although I could write more about the Rainbow Book Fair, today, I feel led to keep this post short and sweet.

However, I invite you to visit the Rainbow Book Fair’s own WordPress Blog Site:

 

Rainbow Book Fair

 

 

And feel free to check out their Instagram account as well:

 

https://www.instagram.com/rainbowbookfair/

 

I do not think I need to tell you of the importance of the Rainbow Book Fair for the greater LGBTQIA+ Community.

If you can attend and support this endeavor, then great!  If not, then I invite you to become a Friend or Sponsor of the Rainbow Book Fair.  When you visit their Website, click the tab that reads “Support Us” for more info.

Before I close, let me acknowledge my newest followers to “This Gay Man’s Life…”  They are: “Chuck L,” “recipesbydaniel,” “warrenisaac,” and “amygrif.”

Also, I wish to acknowledge these other followers to “This Gay Man’s Life…”  They are:”missymichaels452,” “DRCBCN08009,” “Jon,” “Man of many thoughts,” “AdultXXPO,” “uchechioma,” “scrappy1205,” “What’s your story?,” “donaldgeorgeherman,” “KRC62,” “reuserecyclerelove,” “Senna,” “Chuck,” and “lesouchef.”

To all of you whom I have acknowledged, thank you for your Love, your Light, and your PRIDE.  May you always be beautiful, powerful, and sacred in all you do, and in all the ways you make a difference in the lives of those you serve.

And to all of you who already follow or read without following “This Gay Man’s Life…” may your Love and Light, bring you and all you serve, or shall begin serving, Empowerment, Freedom, Prosperity, and Peace.

I look forward to seeing you, in exactly three weeks, at the Rainbow Book Fair!!

Since 2015, John Jay College in Manhattan, NYC, has been the physical location of the Rainbow Book Fair.

 

FlameCon2, Part II…


Exactly seven days ago, on Sunday, August 28, 2016, I had the honor and pleasure of attending the second and final day of FlameCon2, which was the second annual Queer Comic Con.

You can read my blog post about the very first FlameCon by visiting:

 

 

https://thisgaymanslife.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/flamecon/

 

 

And so, I was on my way to Manhattan, to go to Brooklyn.  Specifically, the New York Marriott at The Brooklyn Bridge.  In the meantime, in spite of being a fanatic for punctuality, I was late.  Well, I did not need to be there at a certain time, per se, but the hours for the last day were from 11:30AM-4PM, so it was not like I was going to be there for several hours.

Last Saturday night, I began chatting with someone on the Growlr app, and he told me that THE Chris Claremont was going to be part of a panel discussion entitled “PRIDE and the X-Men,” and when I had learned that he wrote Uncanny X-Men for seventeen years, I knew that was a panel discussion to attend.

And I would have, except that I arrived after 2PM (did I mention the panel discussion was from 2-3PM?), and by the time I arrived, the room was closed.

Actually, I do not recall the exact phrasing the volunteer used, but she said that I would be unable to enter; I eventually learned that any additional people in Room B might be a safety hazard.  Now, that I can certainly understand, especially as someone who used to work in supermarkets.

It certainly gave me the opportunity to catch my breath, wipe the sweat from my forehead, and have a light breakfast and certainly sitting down!

After catching my breath, eating, and relaxing, I looked at the Thomson Reuters Convene app, that FlameCon/GeeksOUT! recommended downloading on one’s smartphone (which was a very good recommendation, by the way), and saw a great panel discussion entitled “Agism in the Geekosphere & Fandoms That Span Generations.”

 

 

App

 

 

Little did I realize that attending this panel discussion would make the entire con for me!  And I cannot deny, I LOVED the fact that I was first in line to attend this particular panel discussion.

Originally, the panelists consisted of:

 

 

Mags Visaggio

https://www.tumblr.com/search/mags%20visaggio

Laura Antoniou

http://lantoniou.com/

Nayland Blake

Matthew Waterhouse

http://www.matthewwaterhouse.com/

Cecilia Tan

http://www.ceciliatan.com/

 

 

However, Nayland Blake announced early on that Mags Visaggio had an emergency and was unable to be a part of the panel discussion, as originally scheduled.  I must confess, I have not followed up to see if she is OK, but I hope and pray that she is OK.

In the meantime, as much as I enjoyed all the panelists, it was listening to THE Laura Antoniou talk about her growing up, sharing her anecdotes, and her treasures of old ‘zines and scripts that touched my heart and moved me to tears.  What she shared moved me to feeling nostalgic, in spite of the fact that the experiences she shared when she was younger were not experiences that I had experienced when I was younger, but they touched my heart, all the same.

Every panelist, from Nayland Blake, to Laura Antoniou, to Matthew Waterhouse, to THE Cecilia Tan, were a joy.  Truly, I received more than double my money’s worth with that one panel discussion.  I was also happy to discover that all the attendees of this panel discussion received a ten per cent discount on any purchase at the Circlet Press table.  Circlet Press, “Erotica for Geeks” was founded by THE Cecilia Tan.

I must acknowledge that, although I took notes during this panel discussion, as well, I have not looked at them.  Then again, my penmanship when I participate in panel discussions and workshops seems akin to Ancient Sumerian, these days!

I was truly very happy and floating on a cloud peace and light-heartedness after attending this particular panel discussion, and was looking forward to going to the Circlet Press table, and as I was about to leave said table, I had the opportunity to meet and speak personally with THE Laura Antoniou!

Once I finish up some of the books that I AM reading (as well as rereading), I shall begin reading her novel, The Killer Wore Leather.  Yes, I AM very excited to read it.  It has been a while since I have read some good LGBT books; of course, I only read good or very good LGBT books, but I digress!

In closing, here is a video that I made and uploaded a few moments ago, where I show off the programme for FlameCon2:

 

 

 

 

 

And I love how in the background you can see THE Terry Blas’s venerated vision of Buffy Summers, and yes, she DOES fight like a girl!

You can also view the Facebook Event page by visiting:

https://www.facebook.com/events/315671141941358/

Also, you can learn more about FlameCon by visiting their Website:

Home

And you can learn more about GeeksOUT! by visiting their Website:

http://geeksout.org/

Thank you, FlameCon.  Thank you, GeeksOUT!  And good night!

 

 

FlameCon2, Part I…


Exactly seven days ago, on Saturday, August 20, 2016, I had the opportunity to attend the first day of the second annual FlameCon, the NYC area’s first LGBT comic con.

After finding out about the very first FlameCon, I knew that I would be attending FlameCon2.

For those of you who may have missed it previously, you can click here:

 

https://thisgaymanslife.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/flamecon/

 

to read about my experience at the very first FlameCon.

This year’s FlameCon (or, FlameCon2, as the case may be) was not held at The Grand Prospect Hall in Brooklyn, but was held at the Brooklyn.

However, it was still held in the Beautiful Borough of Brooklyn, NYC.  Specifically, the New York Marriott at The Brooklyn Bridge.

Once again, as I have been stating lately, especially online, Brooklyn is doing a very good job of taking very good care of me.

When I first became a professional Psychic, Manhattan and Queens were the NYC Boroughs treating me very well, but especially since last year, Brooklyn has been doing a better (and more frequently!) job of taking good care of “Robert Alvarez, the Psychic Witch” than Manhattan and Queens, COMBINED!

The first day of FlameCon2 was last Saturday, August 20, 2016, and was from 1-7PM.  I must acknowledge that I was already looking forward to purchasing comic books, graphic novels, original art work, and some other fun stuff, so I went right into the Main Ballroom for a bit of a shopping trip.

In fact, it soon became apparent that I needed a big shopping bag.  I was walking by one of the tables, specifically, the one for Prism Comics, and found a big, purple tote bag with the words “homo superior” written on it.

It also reads, “A nonprofit organization supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender comics, creators and readers.”  That enormous tote bag helped me enormously.

For more info about Prism Comics, you can visit their Website:

 

HOME

 

I went on to go to a few other tables and buy some more things, mainly books (of course!), but I also wanted to attend at least one of the panel discussions, and I did!

I decided to attend “Breaking the Mold: Diversity in Comics” which was held from 4-5PM in Room B.

A few moments ago, I briefly read (or, rather, attempted to read) the notes I took during that panel discussion.  I AM Re-Minded that I truly would benefit from learning shorthand.

In the meantime, let me list the individuals who were a part of the panel:

 

Amy Reeder

http://amyreeder.tumblr.com/

Sophie Campbell

http://mooncalfe-art.tumblr.com/

Heather Hogan

http://heatherannehogan.tumblr.com/

Terry Blas

http://terryblas.com/

Steve Orlando

http://thesteveorlando.blogspot.com/

Greg Pak

http://gregpak.com/

 

Heather Hogan moderated the panel discussion, and she did a lovely job.  I must confess, I knew very little about Ms. Hogan, but after spending some time devouring her Tumblr page, I feel like nominating her for President of the United States (can I do that?  Please?!).

I enjoyed all the panelists, but shall not deny that I felt a greater affinity for two of them.  First, Sophie Campbell, a comic writer and artist known for her indie comics Wet Moon and Shadoweyes, as well as the artist for a new Jem and the Holograms Series.

When Ms. Campbell said that she was in a grouchy mood, I could not help but feel this amazing affinity with her.  Granted, I was in a great mood, and was so happy to attend that panel discussion (although I would have loved to have sat in a chair, as opposed to standing, but I digress), and I know what it is like to feel grouchy!

And then, Mr. Terry Blas.  When he mentioned that he is half-Mexican, and was a Mormon from Boise, Idaho, I was like, “WHAT?!”

Of course, once he mentioned how much he enjoyed watching the complete series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer after he was no longer a Mormon, well, I felt as though I was looking at yet another brother from yet another mother.

It was a very informative and insightful panel discussion, and yes, I was able to have a seat, about a minute before the conclusion of this panel discussion.

After the panel discussion, I was certainly going to Mr. Blas’s table, and when I arrived (surprise, surprise!) there were several people there, and I must admit, I was truly digging watching the others talk to him, interact with him, ask him questions, buy his publications and art, etc.

Little did I know that I was experiencing a live, somewhat Psychic form of “foreshadowing.”

After about seven or eight people talked to Mr. Blas, made purchases and whatnot, he started greeting someone, and I had no idea that he was talking to ME!  And yes, I realized this after I started looking around to see to whom he was speaking; when the people I saw around me looked at me, I quickly realized that Terry Blas was talking to ME!

Being Cuban, I was able to have a great conversation about being Latino, growing up Latino, and of course, I could get away with telling him to take another bite of his sandwich!  People gotta eat, you know.

I enjoyed our Latino-themed bochinche and then purchased several items.  And, of course, he autographed all of them.  Thank you, again, Terry Blas!

There is more, but I shall leave the rest for tomorrow, Sunday, August 28, 2016, when I write and publish “FlameCon2, Part 2…”

But in the meantime,feel free to visit the following Websites:

 

Home

 

http://geeksout.org/

 

In the meantime, thank you, all for all you do for so many.  I look forward to reading and replying to your comments on this post.

Thank you, and good night!

The "power purple" homo superior tote bag from Prism Comics. They also had a golden yellow and a blazing pink, as well.
The “power purple” homo superior tote bag from Prism Comics. They also had a golden yellow and a blazing pink, as well.

 

Changing the World, via #DeadSilentProtest…


In this WordPress Blog, “This Gay Man’s Life…” I have written posts about the world changing, and recently wrote a post as to whether or not the world is actually changing (SEE:

Nonetheless, there is a way the world can change, and a way that we as members of the LGBTQIA+ Community, and our straight allies, can help the world change: #DeadSilentProtest

For one day, this Saturday, July 16, 2016, #DeadSilentProtest everyone is encouraged to refrain from engaging in social media.

You can learn more by visiting:

 

 

http://allevents.in/events/dead-silent-protest/588984011279383

 

 

In the meantime, here is my social media breakdown:

 

Facebook: Tomorrow, Friday, July 15, 2016, at 11:50PM, I shall deactivate my Facebook page; I shall reactivate it sometime between 1AM-12PM, Sunday, July 17, 2016;

Twitter, LinkedIn, SnapChat: if I can figure out how to temporarily deactivate those social media, I shall do so.  If not, then I shall simply refrain from using them this Saturday;

Instagram, Swarm: Truth be told, I uninstalled those apps from my smartphone about two months ago.  I have not missed them, and feel OK about it.  I felt led to reclaim some mystery when out and about (no pun intended);

YouTube: I shall not use YouTube at all this Saturday, July 16, 2016, during #DeadSilentProtest

WordPress: I shall not use WordPress at all this Saturday, July 16, 2016, during #DeadSilentProtest

 

I shall spend the day engaging in some of my personal favorite Spiritual Practices: Prayer, Meditation, Visualization, Journal Writing.  In addition, I shall catch up on some household tasks.  And reading books, too.

It is ironic; so many of us in the LGBTQIA+ Community are encouraged to make our voices heard, and our presences felt.  However, for #DeadSilentProtest, the opposite shall have the most impact.

We are strong.  We are powerful.  We are beautiful.  And we are LOVED.

Perhaps not by everybody, but by more than enough.

You can also watch the YouTube video I created about #DeadSilentProtest by visiting:

Thank you for all you are, and all you do.  And for honoring your Beauty, your Power, your Sacredness, your deserving of Love.DeadSilentProtestBird

 

Let me know if you are doing this, too, or if you are not, and why.

Your comments are strongly encouraged.

Thank you, and many Blessings.

 

Is the World Really Changing?


Between the massacre at the Pulse Dance Club in Orlando, Florida, and the murders of both Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, it could certainly make one wonder if the world is truly changing for the better, especially for those of us who are members of the LGBTQIA+ Community.

However, in spite of recent events, I truly believe that the world, or, rather, the Planet Earth, is changing for the better.

For example, here is this post from the Daily Kos (PLEASE NOTE: I converted this to a Tiny URL, since the original Weblink consisted of 530 characters):

 

http://tinyurl.com/jms75ke

 

In addition, many celebrities are continuing to show their support for the massacre at the Pulse Dance Club in Orlando, Florida:

 

http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/news/a60896/demi-lovato-nick-jonas-pulse-nightclub-employee-tickets/?mag=cos&list=nl_chg_news&src=nl&date=070116

 

However, one organization that has been helping many of us in the LGBTQIA+ Community create and maintain change is “GLAAD,” the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.  Here is a statement GLAAD issued last Friday, July 8, 2016:

 

http://www.glaad.org/blog/glaad-responds-wave-violence-across-dallas-baton-rouge-and-falcon-heights

 

And, I AM Re-Minded that sometimes, things need to get worse, before they can begin to get better.

In the meantime, I made a YouTube video that you can watch, to give you some additional insight into what has been happening and how I AM dealing with all of it, by visiting:

 

Do what you can do.  Do everything you can to be safe and secure in your world.  Do everything you can to be beautiful, powerful, and sacred.  Do what you are going to do to help others and yourselves to be happy, empowered and whole.

I look forward to your comments, both on this WordPress Blog post, and this linked YouTube video, as well.

Thank you, and good day.Changing-World