Month: March 2015

The World Continues to Change, Part V…


I happen to be a lover of watching television.

When I was younger, I would be referred to as a “tvholic.”  However, as someone who has met addicts, both in recovery, and those who need to be in recovery, I no longer use such terms loosely.

Nonetheless, I happen to love watching the television series Empire.

Now, given that I AM forty-five years-of-age, and I was highly enamored of a prime-time soap opera entitled Dynasty, I can see some similarities.

Particularly, in the character of Jamal, a modern-day Steven, whose father, Lucious (a modern-day Blake) has problems with him being a Gay Man.

And we all know Cookie is ALEXIS!  Ha!

Seriously, it is interesting to see how, in Empire, being Gay is NOT a bad thing, as it was for Blake, and for many people in the 1980s, which is when Dynasty ran.

Recently, Jussie Smollett, the actor who portrays Jamal, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.  Which is another testament to this changing world; an openly Lesbian woman, in the entertainment industry.

The world is, indeed, changing.

Before I close, I wish to acknowledge my newest blog followers.  They are: Brenda Ann Babinksi, J. Alfred Prufrock,  and, last but not least, “tobiascorner.”  Thank you, one and all, for honoring who you are and what you do.  May you receive great insight and great PRIDE from following “This Gay Man’s Life…”

And for those of you already following or reading, without following “This Gay Man’s Life…” may you continue to move forward and reach the next level of your Peace, your Health, and your Plenty.jussiesmolletthrctattoo

Pride Celebrations: March, 2015, Part I…


Here is what is happening in the United States of American to celebrate LGBT Pride:

 

Wednesday, March 4-Monday, March 9, 2015–“Winter Party Festival” (South Beach, Miami, Florida)

http://www.winterparty.com/

 

Thursday, March 12-Sunday, March 15, 2015–“Texas Bear Roundup” (Dallas, Texas)

http://tbru.org/

 

Wednesday, March 18-Sunday, March 22, 2015–“Elevation: Mammoth: 13th Annual Mammoth Gay Ski Week” (Mammoth Lakes, California)

http://www.mammothgayski.com/#_

 

Saturday, March 21, 2015–“2nd Annual Manatee Pride” (Bradenton/Manatee, Florida)

http://manateepride.com/

 

Saturday, March 21, 2015–“NYC: The Black Party” (Manhattan, New York City, New York)

http://www.blackpartyexpo.com/

 

Sunday, March 22-Sunday, March 29, 2015–“Los Angeles Leather Pride” (Los Angeles, California)

http://laleatherpride.com/

 

Thursday, March 26-Sunday, March 29, 2015–“Acadiana Pride” (Lafayette, Louisiana)

http://www.acadianapride.org/

 

Thursday, March 26-Sunday, March 29, 2015–“Bears, Bikers & Mayhem 5” (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania)

http://www.bearsbikersandmayhem.com/event/

 

Friday, March 27-Sunday, March 29, 2015–“Backwoods Bears Grizzly Fest” (Dade City, Florida)

http://backwoodsbears.org/

 

Saturday, March 28, 2015–“Tampa Pride” (Tampa, Florida)

http://www.tampapride.org/

 

Saturday, March 28-Sunday, March 29, 2015–“22nd Annual Pridefest” (Lake Worth, Florida)

http://www.compassglcc.com/pf.html

 

Tuesday, March 31, 2015–“Transgender Day of Visibility” (various locations, both nationally and internationally)

http://www.hrc.org/topics/transgender

 

Before I close, I wish to acknowledge my newest blog follower, Brenda Ann Babinski.  May you receive great insight and great PRIDE from following “This Gay Man’s Life…”

And for those of you already following or reading this blog, thank you for honoring who you are and what you do.

Thank you, and good night.hangingrainbowflagonbuilding

Selected Excerpts from “Lavender Reflections…”


This morning, I woke up early, to engage in reading and writing Spiritually Uplifting words.

As I was reading passages from the two “page-a-day” books with which I AM working this year, Affirmations for the Inner Child, by Rokelle Lerner, and Lavender Reflections: Affirmations for Lesbians & Gay Men, by Eleanor Ruth Wagner, photographs by Victor Arimondi, I was Divinely Guided to share some of these passages with all of you.

Here we go…

 

January 8

Self-Liberation

The laws of God, the laws of man

He may keep that will and can

Not I: let God and man decree

Laws for themselves and not for me;

And if my ways are not as theirs

Let them mind their own affairs.

Their deeds I judge and much condemn,

Yet when did I make laws for them?

“Last Poems, XII,” from The Collected Poems of A. E. Housman

 

February 10

Anger

My anger is an important part of me.

Anger is a sane response to the reality of my life.  Dealing with the homophobic world, I feel angry.  I get furious at the world that tells me I am bad and sick and defective.  I am enraged when people try to change me or decide for me whether I should be in or out of the closet.  I am angry with myself for not consistently standing up to the world proudly or for not always loving myself just the way I am.

Often I try to hide or deny my feelings.  Today I acknowledge my anger and choose new ways of dealing with it that do not destroy myself or others.  I seek people who can support me in all my emotions and places where I can express hostility safely.  In certain circumstances it is inappropriate or unwise to express my anger, but I need a way to deal with all those angry feelings, and I can structure ways of doing that.

Being angry doesn’t have to mean being out of control.  Sometimes I need to shout my anger, but I can also be angry in a soft voice.  I can find safe physical ways of dealing with strong feelings, and sometimes simply talking or crying helps me work them through.

As I deal with my anger, I am finding there is less of it, and I can live without a constant chip on my shoulder.  I am being healthy in my anger.

 

March 8

Healing from Abuse

I heal from sexual abuse.

Many people, heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual, male and female, have suffered sexual abuse.  Even if I have not experienced such abuse myself, someone close to me may be a survivor of abuse, and I choose to participate in the collective healing of a sick society that has allowed this violence to occur.

I need to be patient and impatient–letting myself know that the healing will take a long time while working to find the help I need to speed the healing process.  Trusting my inner voice, I do whatever is necessary to take care of myself.  I did not deserve this abuse.  I do deserve to heal.

I realize that my sexual orientation is a positive aspect of my selfhood, not the negative after-effect of past trauma.  I affirm that no one can make me homosexual or heterosexual.  If I am bisexual, my life experiences may affect which gender I choose for my relationships, but when it is a choice, I am in control of that choice.  As I find more joy in my same-sex loving, I refuse to give any perpetrator of evil credit for what is good in my nature.  I am who I am, and I am healing with each new day.

 

May these Life-Affirming words empower you, heal you, strengthen you.

Thank you for honoring who you are and what you do.9781886360020_p0_v1_s114x166

“Gay Men and The New Way Forward…”


In both of my WordPress Blogs, I have either written posts about or referenced in them Gay Men of Wisdom, the beautiful organization founded by Ray Rigoglioso, also known as Raymond L. Rigoglioso.

Last night, Friday, March 6, 2015 (although that is also when I began this blog post, but I digress), I had the honor and pleasure of attending his book reading event for his brand new (and, if I AM not mistaken, first published book), Gay Men and The New Way Forward.

This book reading and signing event took place at the Bureau of General Services-Queer Division, which to quote its Website, “is a queer cultural center, bookstore, and event space.”

In other words, Manhattan, NYC, has a Queer, LGBT bookstore again!

That, however, deserves its own post,and I shall most certainly write it, but not right now.

Right now, I want to write about Ray and his brand new book (talk about hot off the presses!  This book was published on Monday, March 2, 2015, exactly FIVE DAYS AGO!), Gay Men and The New Gay Forward.

From the first moment I met Ray, I loved his Energy.  And I still do.

His veneration vision for Gay Men is that we, as Gay Men, have so much to offer the world.  That we can and do make a big difference, perhaps bigger than we may realize.

I must admit, given the big Sci-Fi fan that I AM, at one point, while he was reading from his book, I thought of a variation of a slogan that those of us that still long for the return of the television series Heroes could easily understand: “SAVE GAY MEN, WHO ARE SAVING THE WORLD!”

Before I go any further, I wish to acknowledge something that Ray said that I found immensely impressive.

During one of the various question and answer periods throughout the night, someone asked Ray if, perhaps this “new way forward” did not exclusively apply to Gay Men, but also to Lesbians, Bisexuals, and Transgendered people, as well as straight people, as well.

One of Ray’s replies to this attendee was that he felt that it would be disrespectful for him to speak on behalf of Lesbian women, as he is not a Lesbian woman himself.

Truly, he raised a valid point.

As a Gay Man, Ray (and myself, a fellow Gay Man, for that matter) can truly speak to what we have experienced as Gay Men.  Both the challenges, and the victories.  Although we can understand or sympathize with what other members of the LGBT communities have experienced, as Gay Men, we can honestly say we know what a certain experience is like, feels like, etc.

On a personal note, as much as I want “This Gay Man’s Life…” to be completely inclusive of the LGBTQIA communities, I AM not a Lesbian woman, a Bisexual man, a Transgendered man, a Questioning man, an Intersex man, and certainly not an Asexual man.

I AM a Gay Man, and as a Gay Man, there are certain things that I innately understand and with which I empathize more so, because I AM a Gay Man.

I can certainly understand certain challenges, and even certain victories that a Lesbian woman, or a Bisexual man (or even Bisexual woman) or a Transgendered person has experienced, or is experiencing now.  However, ultimately, I shall fully understand what a Gay Man’s challenges are, and what a Gay Man’s victories are, too.

Before the evening’s festivities began, I noticed that one of the volunteers had continued to set up chairs.  And then, I saw there were no more chairs to set up.  There were between 50-60 people in attendance, and it seemed as though more were on the way!

Towards the end of the night, there were three people who asked questions, and it seemed as though there was resistance in their voices.  In other words, as though this was a pipe dream, that Gay Men could bring so much good into the world.

In fact, to quote one questioner, “Do you see or perhaps foresee any reality in the hetero-normative world that is paying comparable attention to this, in the way that, like, that people in one culture may find books or materials in another culture…”  Ray replied with that he did not know, but he did state that this is a new model.

In other words, he said that this changes our (as in, we Gay Men) argument to “We deserve equal rights, because we’re just like you, and we are just like you, but we’re different.”  And saying that these differences bring something to fellow Gay Men and non-Gay Men.

Perhaps I AM hearing something that was not there, but I felt that many of the Gay Men, especially the ones in attendance, would be more open and receptive to the possibility of being fully empowered Gay Men, and empowering other fellow Gay Men, as well.

And, I do want to be compassionate; there are Gay Men that have given up on many things: Love, Prosperity, Success, Peace, Protection, etc.  And yes, that could apply to many people, not just Gay Men.

It was beautiful, and powerful about how Ray spoke about the breaking down of patriarchy, and to hear published author Will Fellows (who,with Helen P. Branson co-wrote Gay Bar: The Fabulous, True Story of a Daring Woman and Her Boys in the 1950s), and to hear Ray’s life partner, Mr. Keith D. Pettey, talk about how groundbreaking this book is.

In addition, it was so fascinating to listen to Ray talk about the similarities and differences among Gay Men.  How there are Gay Men that are drawn to more traditionally “masculine” pursuits, such as sports and athletics, and the ones that are drawn to more “feminine” pursuits, such as reading and writing.

It was a truly wonderful night, and I was so happy that I attended.  And there were some surprises for those who did.

I was so happy to have successfully surprised Ray (and given that he has no idea that I AM writing this blog post about last night, he probably shall be surprised again).

I was also happy to receive a copy of Gay Bar, by Will Fellows and Helen P. Branson, that one received when purchasing a copy of Ray’s book, and for free, with the purchase of Ray’s book, too!

If you are a Gay Man, or if you love someone who happens to be a Gay Man, I wholeheartedly encourage you to purchase a copy of Gay Men and The New Way Forward. 

Please visit:

http://www.gaymenofwisdom.com/

To find out how to do so.

Thank you, and good night.cover6_wbleed

 

Pride Celebrations: February, 2015, Part II…


And here we go…

 

Monday, February 2-Sunday, February 8, 2015–“Festival des images aux mots” (Festival of Images for Words,” Toulouse, France).  Also, from Wednesday, February 11-Friday, March 6, 2015 in Région Midi-Pyrénées, France.

http://www.des-images-aux-mots.fr/

 

Saturday, February 7, 2015–“Gay Pride March Victoria” (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia)

http://www.onlymelbourne.com.au/

 

Saturday, February 7-Sunday, March 1, 2015–“Auckland Pride” (Auckland, New Zealand)

http://www.aucklandpridefestival.org.nz/auckland-pride-festival/

 

Thursday, February 12-Wednesday, February 18, 2015–“Cologne: Karneval” (Cologne, Germany)

http://www.cologne-tourism.com/whats-on/carnival/dates.html

 

Friday, February 13, 2015–“Teddy Award at the International Film Festival in Berlin (Berlin, Germany)”

http://news.teddyaward.tv/

 

Friday, February 13-Wednesday, February 18, 2015–“Rio De Janeiro: Carnaval” (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)

http://www.rio.com/rio-carnival

 

Sunday, February 15, 2015–“Fairday 2015” (Perth, Western Australia, Australia)

http://www.weekendnotes.com/fairday-perth/

 

Sunday, February 15-Sunday, February 22, 2015–“2015 Arno’s Bear Cruise” (San Juan, Puerto Rico)

http://www.bearcruiseusa.com/

PLEASE NOTE: I AM aware that Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States of America.  However, for some strange reason, I sometimes find it easier to list LGBT-related events taking place in or around Puerto Rico in the International LGBT Pride Celebrations posts (which is always a “Part II” post, in the “Pride Celebrations” Series of blog posts).

 

Thursday, February 19-Thursday, March 5, 2015–“22nd Annual Mardi Gras Film Festival: QueerScreen” (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)

http://queerscreen.org.au/

Friday, February 20-Saturday, February 28, 2015–“Cape Town Pride” (Cape Town, South Africa)

http://www.capetownpride.org/

 

Friday, February 20-Sunday, March 1, 2015–“Fetish Pride Italy” (Rome, Italy)

http://www.fetishpride.it/

 

Wednesday, February 25-Sunday, March 8, 2015–“Bear Essentials 19: Fifty Shades of Bears” (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)

http://www.bearessentials.com.au/

 

Saturday, February 28, 2015–“Carnival: Gran Canaria” (Gran Canaria, Canary Islands, Spain)

http://carnavalinternacionaldemaspalomas2015.blogspot.com.es/

 

And there you have it!

May you always have great PRIDE for yourself, for your life, and for your world.rainbowflagvertical