Category: New York

FlameCon 2018


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.

This is the reason why:

 

 

https://thisgaymanslife.wordpress.com/2018/08/02/bear-your-soul-summer-camp-august-2018/

 

 

In any event, if you have the opportunity to attend FlameCon this year, or next year, I cannot over-recommend attending.

You can obtain additional information about FlameCon by visiting their Website:

 

 

https://www.flamecon.org/

 

 

You can also visit the Geeks Out Website and YouTube Channel:

 

 

https://www.geeksout.org/

https://www.youtube.com/user/GeeksOUT

 

 

I recorded a video about this year’s FlameCon, in which I AM wearing the t-shirt for FlameCon 2017; I rarely wear printed t-shirts, but this one is my personal favorite!

Anyway, here is the video:

 

 

 

 

Remember you are beautiful, you are powerful, and you are sacred.

And good night!

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“Bear Your Soul: Summer Camp,” August, 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:

For Freddy Freeman and Bear Your Soul:

https://www.bearyoursoul.org/

https://www.instagram.com/acousticub/ (Instagram; “Bear Your Soul” has no Instagram account, at this time)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC__Wb0oOUaWJu-mw8pZK_uA (The “Bear Your Soul” YouTube Channel)

https://www.facebook.com/FreddyGoldenheartFreeman

https://www.facebook.com/bearyoursoulorg/

For Easton Mountain:

https://www.instagram.com/eastonmountain/

https://www.facebook.com/eastonmountain/

 

 

Finally, here is the YouTube video I recorded about “Bear Your Soul,” and specifically, for my upcoming participation in “Bear Your Soul” Summer Camp:”

 

 

 

 

Thank you to all of you who follow this, my personal, LGBTQIA+ oriented WordPress Blog, “This Gay Man’s Life…” and/or my professional, Metphysically-oriented WordPress Blog, “This Is Who I AM.”

Always radiate your Light, no matter what, for the world is much in need of it.  And may your Light bring you and others Deep and Powerful Healing.

Image courtesy of the Easton Mountain Website.

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