Category: New York

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.

 

“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

 

Sharing an important experience…


I love being a professional Psychic.

There are times when I would enjoy participating in various events, especially ones that are Spiritually Uplifting.  However, I do not have a “fixed” schedule, nor do I have traditional “work hours.”

In addition, because I have finally learned the Prospering Power of budgeting, there are times when my monies need to go elsewhere, and do not have the option of participating in an event.  And, as much as I love the thought of paying my rent with Readings, that remains a (lovely) fantasy for me.

Nonetheless, I have heard wonderful things (and only wonderful things) about “Bear Your Soul,” which is a workshop (or, as one of my favorite authors would say, “playshop”) that took place last month.

Although I have only heard of the person presenting it, it took place at Easton Mountain (http://www.eastonmountain.org) and the fact that someone I do know personally was a part of the workshop tells me that it was a truly powerful and beautiful experience.

I was led to share with you one participant’s experience.  And you can read it by visiting

 

http://bearworldmagazine.com/?p=2567

 

PLEASE NOTE: It does not matter if you are a “bear” or not, to benefit from reading the article.  My Sense is that anyone reading the article shall benefit from doing so.

In the meantime, to learn more about Freddy Freeman, please visit his Websites:

 

http://www.bearapalooza.com/

and

http://freddyfreeman.blogspot.com/

 

Thank you, one and all, for honoring who you are and what you do: for yourselves, for your loved ones, for your communities, and for the world.IMG_2334cropped-600x400

“Being the Love…”


Lesbians, my fellow Gay Men, Transgendered folks, Bisexuals, and our straight allies (not to mention an assortment of gender benders, drag queens, drag kings and all kinds of performers, too): lend me your eyes!  I simply do not get tired of paraphrasing Shakespeare in this manner.

It is my pleasure to announce that THE Rev. Yolanda and her “Old Time Gospel Hour-Chapter II: BE THE LOVE,” is returning to The Duplex in Manhattan, NYC one more time, next Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 6:30PM.

Here is a some additional info about this event, in Rev. Yolanda’s own words:

 

“I always look forward to this time of year.  Many faiths and traditions celebrate new years, new beginnings, and the bounties of the harvest during this season.  My husband Rev. Glen and I celebrate the anniversary of our relationship.  We actually met on Thanksgiving Day 2004 and got married on Halloween 2011 in the NYC Halloween Parade.  We tend to celebrate from October clean through to New Year’s Day…lolol…

“Anyway…we are having our 10 anniversary celebration by doing one more live show of Rev. Yolanda’s Old Time Gospel Hour Chapter 2: BE THE LOVE at The Duplex on October 15, 6:30pm, $20 cover 2 drink minimum $10 for MAC, OUTVOICE and GAY GUITARIST members.  Just say who you are at the door.  Please make reservations at http://www.yolanda.net or call

The Duplex 212 255 5438.”

 

Although my plans have changed a few times these last few months, this one I AM NOT missing.

Frankly, I have been enjoying Rev. Yolanda’s Old Time Gospel Hour for more than a year now, and probably closer to two or three years, and every time has been a joy for me.

To be able to see Rev. Yolanda perform at The Duplex, one last time shall be a great joy for me.

If you are in the NYC area next Wednesday, October 15, 2014 and want to have a great night with great music, great Energy, and lots of “Love, love, love, luuhhh-vvv,” then you know what to do.

In the meantime, feel free to check out the following Web links, too:

 

http://www.yolanda.net/wwwalankaplanphotographycom/

http://www.alankaplanphotography.com/

http://www.yolanda.net/rev_yolanda_the_movie/

 

I have blogged about Rev. Yolanda previously on “This Gay Man’s Life…” but it pales in comparison to the LIVE experience of Rev. Yolanda on stage.

Do this with me, but only if you want to have fun, laugh, be moved to tears and “BE THE LOVE.”

A fabulous image of Rev. Yolanda, taken by the international photography icon Alan Kaplan.  http://www.alankaplanphotography.com
A fabulous image of Rev. Yolanda, taken by the international photography icon Alan Kaplan. http://www.alankaplanphotography.com

Returning to Pagan Pride…


It is interesting, to say the least, how the Universe works.

For the last two months, I have thought about creating a blog post about the LGBT community (and specifically, Gay Men) with regards to Spirituality.  And specifically, a post about the Pagan Festivals for Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered men.  My intention is to debut this post in January, 2015.

In the meantime, I AM looking forward to giving Readings tomorrow, Saturday, September 27, 2014 (ONLY from 12-3PM), at the Pagan Pride Festival in Manhattan, NYC.

For those of you that shall be in the area, and want to have a Reading (or want to explore your Witchy side), the Pagan Pride Festival shall be held at Washington Square Park.  For more information, you can visit either one or both of the following links:

 

http://www.paganpride.org/where/united-states/new-york-new-york-city

http://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/washington-square-park

 

The actual event hours are 11AM-5PM, and as I stated previously, I shall only from 12-3PM.  The fees for Readings is $20 for fifteen minutes.

I shall be in a white tent, with the windows of the tent down, and there shall be some butterflies on the tent.  No, not real butterflies, but butterfly designs, such as decals.  Also, there shall be signage and possibly a banner.  My contact person, Trinity Rose, may also have some autumn leaves and vines and flowers around the tent.

It shall be beautifully decorated, and shall have great Energy.

Thank you for honoring who you are and what you docustomLogo.

 

Meeting “Mommy Man…”


This past Monday, June 16, 2014 (the day after Father’s Day this year), I had the honor and pleasure of going to the Barnes & Noble Booksellers store on West 82nd Street and Broadway in the Upper West Side section of Manhattan to see Jerry Mahoney, yet another WordPress-blogger-turned-published-author, read from his new book, Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad.

Now, for the record (especially in case some of you were wondering), I love children.  For years, I have been told that I would make a wonderful father.  And my Sun-Sign is Capricorn, which is the Sign of the Father (human and Divine).

Nonetheless, the thing that I love most about children, is that I can say to them, “OK, it’s time for you to go back to your Mommy (or Daddy).  There she/he is!  GO!  YAY!”

If they are my children, I do not have that option.

Nonetheless, I commend Mr. Mahoney, and all the other Gay Men and Lesbians, as well as Transgendered folks and Bisexuals, too, who wish to have children, as well as the ones who are already raising them and doing so wonderfully.

Given that I AM a fanatic for punctuality, and given that Mercury is Retrograding, I not only wanted to be early, but I wanted to make doubly sure I was early as possible.  Not only was I early, but I had enough time to go to the Starbucks inside this Barnes & Noble store for a coffee.  With coffee in hand, I made my way to the upper level for the event.

Interestingly enough, the last time I was in this Barnes & Noble store (which was also my first time in that particular store) I was there for another book signing and book reading event with a Gay Male author.  Two actually (SEE “Tom and Trebor: Rimming, a Horse, and a Faun” by visiting http://thetarotman.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/tom-and-trebor-rimming-a-horse-and-a-faun/).

I immediately found Mr. Mahoney quite endearing and adorable (and those of you that know me, you know I rarely, if ever, refer to another man as “adorable”).  He was funny, and when I learned that he has won awards for his comedy writing, I was not surprised.

Also, there were so many passages that Mr. Mahoney read that came very close to moving me to tears.  And yet, as soon as I began to feel the tears well, he would read something that he had written that was very funny!

Personally, I think I was Sensing how spectacularly loved this man is.  Not only was THE Susie there, but so was his boyfriend/partner, Drew, and one of his best friends (Greg, if I remember correctly).  There was so much Love in that room, that it could not help my Healed Heart and me be moved to tears.

Towards the end of the event, Mr. Mahoney asked if anyone had any questions.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, blog followers and blog readers, Lesbians, my fellow Gay Men, Transgendered folks, Bisexuals, and our straight allies, for many years, I have attended events and/or participated in classes and courses, and when the floor is opened for questions, I AM usually the first one to raise a hand.

When Mr. Mahoney said that if anyone has any questions, I was about to raise my hand, and then I thought, “Well, let me break up the monotony and let someone else raise his or her hand first.”  No one did.  Alas, I was unsuccessful (again) in breaking up that monotony.  I guess I AM more of a “maverick” than I realize (Mr. Mahoney knows exactly what I mean about that!  Ha!)!

So, I raised my hand and asked what advice he would give to a blogger (I managed to refrain from adding “WordPress,” but my fellow WordPress bloggers, you know I meant us!) who wants to become a published author.  He said to keep blogging, build a following, and have a story or high concept in Mind, as publishing houses are not necessarily inclined to read someone’s meanderings.

The only other attendee question that I enjoyed hearing (and that I remembered; I really need to learn shorthand!) Mr. Mahoney answer was the one about which content Drew objected to having included.  Jerry stated that there was nothing that Drew asked be included or omitted.  As if I need to be Re-Minded what a great guy Drew is!

I invite you to purchase your own copy of Mommy Man: How I Went from Mild-Mannered Geek to Gay Superdad, by Jerry Mahoney (Copyright 2014, Taylor Trade Publishing, an Imprint of Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland), as well as visit his WordPress blog, http://jerry-mahoney.com.

For now, thank you, one and all, for honoring who you are and what you do.9781589799226_p0_v1_s260x420