Category: LGBT Empowerment

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

 

Reflections on Orlando…


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.”

 

Indeed.

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:

 

What LGBTQ hate mail feels like

 

Love Wins: One Orlando brunch fundraiser

I saw this on Sunday, June 26, 2016, and it truly touched my heart. Thank you, Grace Church Van Horst, in Jersey City, New Jersey.
I saw this on Sunday, June 26, 2016, and it truly touched my heart. Thank you, Grace Church Van Vorst, in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Here is some additional information about Grace Church Van Horst in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Here is some additional information about Grace Church Van Vorst in Jersey City, New Jersey.
It is amazing to me that people in Perth, Australia held a candlelight vigil for those slain in the targeted massacre at the Pulse Dance Club in Orlando, Florida, United States. For more info about the event, you can visit: http://www.outinperth.com/perth-candlelight-vigil-orlando-wednesday/
It is amazing to me that people in Perth, Australia held a candlelight vigil for those slain in the targeted massacre at the Pulse Dance Club in Orlando, Florida, United States. For more info about the event, you can visit: http://www.outinperth.com/perth-candlelight-vigil-orlando-wednesday/

Bureau of General Services–Queer Division…


In the last few months, I have written blog posts on “This Gay Man’s Life…” about events that I have attended at the Bureau of General Services–Queer Division (or, the Bureau, for short).  I have stated in said blog posts that I need to write an actual blog post about the Bureau.

After attending a recent (as well as lovely, or rather, another lovely event) at the Bureau, not to mention telling both of its co-founders, Donnie Jochum and Greg Newton, how much I love their space (very much, in fact!) and then mentioning this WordPress Blog, I knew the time had come for me to finally sit my ass down and write this blog post.

And yes, my beautiful followers and readers, you can say it (or, in this case, write it).  In fact, I shall happily start you off: “Robert, it is about FUCKING TIME you wrote a blog post about the Bureau!”

So here it is.

The Bureau brings back a Queer bookstore, art and cultural space to Manhattan, NYC.

Those of us who live in or near NYC and are at least twenty-five years of age may recall that Manhattan had two LGBTQ bookstores: A Different Light and the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop.  As you also know, they closed up their respective shops many years ago.

The Bureau was originally located in the Strange Loop Gallery, located on Orchard Street, in the Lower East Side section of Manhattan, NYC from November, 2012, until August, 2013.  From there, it moved to Hester Street, also in the Lower East Side, and was there from September, 2013, until September, 2014.

I vaguely recall when it was located at Strange Loop Gallery, but was very happy that I discovered it in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Community Center, located on West 13th Street in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan.

Although I AM a happy Gay Man, I was happy to have attended a Bisexual Book Club meeting, as my very first Bureau experience.  In addition, I happen to have a dear friend who is a fellow professional Lightworker (specifically, an Energy Healing Practitioner) and who is also Bisexual, and he accompanied me to the book club meeting.

Frankly, I was happy to introduce someone else to the Bureau, so soon after learning about its existence.

Since then, I have been to about four or five other events at the Bureau, and looking forward to attending others.  By the way, did you know, the Bureau hosted 171 events in 2014?

For more information about the Bureau of General Services–Queer Division, as well as upcoming events, offering to volunteer, or arranging to make donations (because really, Manhattan has already had two queer bookstores close, having another one would simply not do!), you can visit their Website:

 

http://bgsqd.com/

 

I AM most thankful to both Donny and Greg for co-founding the Bureau, and for all they do there, and make no mistake, they do a lot!

Before I close, I wish to acknowledge my newest blog follower, “thescalesofapisces.”  Thank you for honoring who you are and what you do.  May you receive great information and great PRIDE from following “This Gay Man’s Life…”

And to those of you already following or reading “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.BGSQDlogo

Still Processing…


Unless you have been avoiding the Internet for the last two days, and/or do not know anyone who is a member of the LGBTQIA communities, you may not have heard that now, in the United States of America, Gay Marriage is legally allowable.

In other words, Gay Men and Lesbians can now legally get married and, according to the Supreme Court, is it OK for us to do that.

I can honestly say I never thought this day would come.

Again, still processing.

Am I happy about this decision?  Why yes, I AM happy about this decision.

And, I would be much happier if there were people who were not assaulted because they are either Gay Men, Lesbians, Transgendered, black, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, etc., but I digress.

I look forward to the next few days and fully processing and accepting what happened.

And if you are wondering, thoughts of getting married right now are the furthest thing from my Mind.  Those of you who know me know I do not do things spontaneously.

Before I close, let me acknowledge my newest blog follower, “gooddixx22.”  Thank you for honoring who you are and what you do.  May following “This Gay Man’s Life…” bring you great insight and great PRIDE.

And to those of you who already follow or read “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.rainbowusaflag