For four years now, FlameCon, the premier LGBTQ Comic Con has been happening, and gaining momentum and fans. It has become the world’s largest Queer Comic Con, too.
Intersetingly enough, for the first time in FlameCon’s history, it is being held in Manhattan, as opposed to Brooklyn. For those of you who are unfamiliar with New York City, it is composed of five Boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx (or, as the locals call it, “the Bronx”), and Staten Island. Long Island is often referred to as the Sixth NYC Borough, but it is not actually a Borough of NYC.
Now, I shall admit, when I learned that this year’s FlameCon shall be held in Manhattan, I was shocked! As most of you know, I AM one of Catland’s in-store Readers, so I AM in Brooklyn, fairly often, and truly, no stranger to the MTA’s Transit system; taking buses and trains fairly often, usually every week, and sometimes, as many as four to five days a week.
Nonetheless, I happily took a bus into Midtown Manhattan, then a subway train to Brooklyn, and specifically, to the subway stop closest to where FlameCon was being held.
However, the Manhattan location this year means I do not need to take any additional mass transit. I can simply travel into Midtown Manhattan, NYC, then walk a few blocks to the hotel where FlameCon is being held.
Alas, because I have a previous engagement this month, I shall not be able to attend FlameCon 2018.
In the vast and ever-increasing diversity of the LGBTQIA+ Community, there is a group of Gay Men called “bears.” Bears are men who are hairy and husky, and usually above the age of thirty (and yes, I AM a Bear).
Of course, there are variations on the theme. Slim, younger men, particular under the age of thirty who are hairy are often referred to as “otters,” Slim and muscular, as in corded muscle who are above the age of forty are usually referred to as “wolves.”
Men under thirty who are hairy and husky are usually referred to as “cubs,” and then, of course, there are other variations on the theme. For example, black men, or men of African descent who are hairy and husky are sometimes called “black bears.” Men who are hairy and husky and of Asian descent are referred to as “pandas.” Not sure if this also includes Pacific Islanders, but I digress.
Truly, the list tends to go on.
Now, there are events that are made for the Bear Community and they are usually called “bear runs.
Some of the more well-known bear runs in the United States are Texas Bear Round Up (or, TBRU, for short), which had its 23rd Annual Event this past March, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. Another well-known one in the United Statse is Provincetown Bear Week in Provincetown, Massachusetts, usually in July.
Internationally, there is “Bears on Ice” in Reykjavik, Iceland, which is usually the last weekend in August to the first few days of September, and then, we have probably one of THE most well-known of International Bear Runs, “International Bears Sitges Week,” in Sitges (near Barcelona), Spain, usually taking place the first full week of September.
“Bear Your Soul” is not a typical Bear Run. It takes place, twice a year at Easton Mountain, in Greenwich, New York. I often refer to it as a Spiritually-oriented bear run.
I have participated in a “Bear Your Soul” retreat previously; specifically, “Bear Your Soul: Winter Hibernation” in January, 2017.
However, this shall be my very first “Summer Camp” edition, and I AM looking forward to it.
It is clear to me that I could go on and on about “Bear Your Soul,” but I want to keep this post relatively short and sweet, especially as it is my first post on my personal, LGBTQIA+ oriented WordPress Blog, “This Gay Man’s Life…” since October, 2017. In the meantime, to find out more about “Bear Your Soul” as well as Freddy Freeman, who created “Bear Your Soul” you can visit the following:
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:
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:
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:
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 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.
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.”
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:
Shortly after 2 AM on Sunday, June 12, 2016, a man who was named Omar Mateen unleashed a tirade of bullets in the Pulse Dance Club in Orlando, Florida. As a result, at least according to various news reports, 49 people were killed, and 53 were injured.
Also, several news sources have been referred to this as the “worst mass shooting in American History.”
Since that time, I have felt a great deal of emotions: anger, sadness, despair, frustration, hope, disgust, and more. In fact, because of these conflicting emotions, and my professional schedule, it has taken me more than two weeks to write this particular blog post.
I felt sucked in to politics, and those that truly know me know that I AM very anti-politics.
However, I felt led to write something in a brand new notebook I purchased at the Rizzoli Bookstore in Manhattan, NYC.
This is what I wrote on Monday, June 13, 2016, 12:31AM:
“I have come to realize that the massacre/blood bath/tragedy at the Pulse Dance Club in Orlando, Florida is living proof that ‘marriage equality’ is not the cure-all that a lot of my fellow LGBTQIA+ Community members thought it would be.”
I was also led to make a YouTube video about my feelings about the attack, which you can watch by clicking on:
At this point, it has been more than three weeks since the attack, and in many States in the United States, and many countries around the world, June is the premier LGBTQIA+ Pride Month.
Nonetheless, I AM crystal clear that there is more to this story, more to this incident, and more going on, behind the scenes.
Ultimately, now more than ever, anyone who preaches hatred, racism, prejudice, racial profiling, misdirection, incitement, etc., is going to find that their support is being destroyed.
There is no shortage of additional information available regarding this incident. Which also makes me a bit sad, but I digress.
Now more than ever, ALL the world has seen the price ALL of us pay for bigotry, hatred, prejudice, racial profiling, ignorance, mindlessness, unkindness, insensitivity, indifference, absolutes, blame, “he said/she said/they are,” etc.
I also wish to acknowledge my newest blog follower, “Senna.” Thank you for who you are and for what you give the world.
Finally, let me also share the following posts from “BosGuy.” They are:
While the tide of public opinion has changed in recent years, there remains a strong and vocal group who see that acceptance as a direct and personal threat to their way of life. It is easy to disregard these groups but that would be a mistake. Rachel Lauren Clark, a member of the Pride Toronto […]
people, and our straight allies, and a Happy Thursday to all of you!
Right now, I AM on the patio at Rainbow Mountain Resort, in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, basking in having the patio all to myself. A little while ago, I saw the sexy pool cleaner getting the pool ready for tomorrow, as well as the weekend’s Memorial Day festivities.
My vacation has been lovely, thus far. In fact, last night, was “couples night!” My life partner and I visited one of my clients, and her wife, and we had a lovely dinner that my client cooked. It was wonderful; which having sampled her cooking in the past, was fantastic.
It felt good to spend time with another couple, for a change of pace. Altogether, it was a Lesbian couple, a Gay Male couple, the daughter of the Lesbian couple, a dog, and several cats, not to mention inchworms, trees, rocks, birds, spiders, and plenty of Celestial Beings. (after all, the Lesbians, their daughter, my life partner and I are also Witches, so plenty of Magick was in attendance, as well).
Today is going to be a fun-filled day, and my life partner and I certainly want to enjoy the rest of the day, and having the place all to ourselves, although some other guests have already begun arriving. The Mountain’s “Cherry House” has been occupied for the past two days or so.
For those of you who have yet to have the Rainbow Mountain Experience, I cannot over-recommend it. This is my fifth time, my life partner’s second time, and our first time here for a week.
Yes, this post is quite late, but the since I returned from my beautiful vacation at Rainbow Mountain Resort, I have been, as one of my clients would say, “mega busy.”
However, I wanted to finish writing about my recent experiences at Rainbow Mountain Resort, especially as it was my third time there, although my first time visiting by myself.
It was an especially rainy day on Saturday, September 12, 2015. It rained heavily, then lightly, then heavily again.
Personally, I had no issue with it, although it did lead me to change the Magickal plans I had that evening.
The staff member who had availed himself of a private, one-hour Reading with me the day before, agreed to take me to a nearby Metaphysical store. Of course, “nearby” is a relative term. In a mountainous region like East Stroudsburg/Mount Pocono, down the road means a few miles away!
When I arrived, I discovered that the store was not a Metaphysical store, but a botanica!
A botanica is a store that could be described as a Latin-American Metaphysical store (what some commonly call “New Age” stores) but with herbs, as in “botanicals.”
Also, this was the first time that I was in this part of Pennsylvania and heard Spanish spoken. I AM accustomed to hearing Spanish being spoken in my area, as well as in NYC, but in mountainous Pennsylvania, not at all!
It was a lovely surprise, and I was also happy to learn the owners are Puerto Rican. Although I AM Cuban and not Puerto Rican, I AM aware of a lovely Latin American song that refers to Cuba and Puerto Rico as “the wings of the same bird.”
Well, I was so happy to meet the lovely owners, and find some wonderful products, such as incense, pendants, and the like.
What fascinated me was a product (you can call it a potion, if you wish) that was a vibrant red color with some flower petals in it. I instinctively knew it was a “love potion,” but was surprised that Goddess (or, Spirit, if you prefer) was Divinely Guiding me to purchase it. I very rarely use such products, even when I was longing for romantic love, and certainly nothing that smelled so sweet.
However, I was being obedient to the Divine Guidance that I received, and as such, I purchased it.
Of course, I was also very happy to be Re-Minded that so many people, including Latin Americans are moving to Pennsylvania. Indeed, the prices of real estate is much lower than, say, Manhattan, although, if you forget something at the grocery store, you know you shall need to get into your car and drive a good twenty minutes (on a good day) or half-an-hour to forty-five minutes (on a not-so-good day), but I digress.
After I returned to my room at Rainbow Mountain Resort, I spent some time enjoying my Goddess-Graced Goodies, and relaxed. Offhand, I do not recall if this was before dinner or after dinner, but I think it was before dinner. And I was especially thankful to the staff member who had not only availed himself of my Psychic Services, but told me about this place during his Reading with me.
I enjoyed the rest of my evening, and then, something happened…
I shall share that in “Back at the Mountain, Day 4…”
Before I close, I wish to acknowledge my newest blog followers. They are: “Violet Black” and “scrappy1205.” Thank you for honoring who you are and what you do, and for contributing to others. May you receive great insight and great PRIDE in following “This Gay Man’s Life…”
And for those of you already following or reading (without following ) “This Gay Man’s Life…” thank you for honoring who you are and what you do, and for honoring who I AM and what I do, too.
My second day at Rainbow Mountain Resort was this past Friday, September 11, 2015.
Before I go any further, let me Lovingly Re-Mind all of you that in spite of being a very Divinely Protected person, I know better than to tax my Psychic Shields. Being in NYC, especially Manhattan, particularly Lower Manhattan on September 11 is an opportunity for any Empathic individual to become catatonic.
And frankly, there are too many people who count on this Psychic Witch to be grounded, centered, balanced, focused and, MENTALLY WHOLE.
That was the very reason I left for Rainbow Mountain Resort on Thursday, September 10, as opposed to Friday, September 11, 2015.
My second day back at “the Mountain” was Divinely Restorative. I knew that I wanted to have a nature walk after I woke up (well, you know, woke up, showered, got dressed, etc.), which was a wonderful one. My doctor would be very happy with how much walking I did.
After that, I took a sauna, which in spite of being here twice before, I had yet to use the sauna. I had used a sauna once or twice before, but it had been a few years. If felt good and felt very cleansing, both physically and emotionally.
Then, I availed myself of the hot tub. I love the hot tub here. It is big, and very comfortable. And although there was a party of one (yes, I had it all to myself) it was no less relaxing.
After that, I went back to my room, showered, dressed for dinner, then spent time with some good books and my journals. I think I took a nap, too.
And, it was exactly what I needed. Although I was quite far from NYC on September 11, I was not oblivious to what people were going through.
As always, for those of you who want to inquire about staying at Rainbow Mountain Resort, please visit: