Please Rescue Me From My Homosexuality!

UPDATE: Take a moment and report her Facebook page as hate speech, including her posts. Maybe Facebook will remove her. Hate doesn’t belong on social media when so many children use it and will be affected by it.

https://www.facebook.com/theactivistmommy/

The other day a petition came across my Facebook feed about this woman who goes by the name Activist Mommy who has a facebook page where she spews her sugary coated hate. Her name really should be the Anti-Mommy or the Anti-Christ Mommy. Seems more fitting than to be labeled an activist. She’s also anti a lot of things including science, abortion, etc. She’s all things ridiculous.

I signed the petition and moved on. Then today I discovered the new rainbow reaction on Facebook and I thought I should find her page again to share some rainbows with her. There is something about trolling bigots posts with rainbows that tickles me. You won’t ever reach these kind of people and usually it’s best to just ignore them but sometimes you just gotta stand against that kind of hate. Kill them with rainbows, I mean kindness as they say.

Then I read her post about the Columbus Pride parade advertising that she was going to save some homosexuals by saying that she’s “looking forward to interviewing many of my homosexual friends in Columbus, Ohio.” In the post she further states that she’s going to interview and befriend all the homosexuals. I wonder if she will be like Kirk Cameron and bring a camera crew? She loves homosexuals and doesn’t care if she makes some enemies (from the people she says she will become friends with) that they need to hear the truth she thinks she’s speaking.

6days

This woman has mastered passive aggressiveness. Someone should give her a PhD in it. The Anti-Christ, I mean the Activist Mommy insists she loves us gays. I mean why else would she use the term homosexual to describe us? No ally in the history of queer allies has ever called their friends homosexual. Only people who feel uncomfortable by gay people or even worse are bigoted.

She doesn’t understand why she’s getting trolled with so much hate. All she’s trying to do is Jesus duty to save us from eternal damnation. I mean how could anyone think that had anything but a loving touch to it.

Anti-Mommy… gosh I’m having a hard time using Artistic Mommy… does the typical compare homosexuals to sex addicts, the fornicators, the adulterers, the porn addicts, etc.

We’re the petty, small-minded ones because we’re calling out her sugary bullshit. How dare we imply that she hates homosexuals. Why else would she troll us at the pride parade telling us what we need to hear.

Honestly I’d rather have someone call me a faggot to my face because at least they’re honest about it. They don’t hide behind a sugary coverup. You can pour a dumptruck full of sugar onto an ounce full of shit but you can smell the stank.

The stink they’re trying to cover up has nothing to do with homosexuality. It has everything to do with their own fears, insecurities and hate. To keep all of that negativity at bay they anchor themselves to a false idea of what God and Jesus is. The only way they will feel good about that choice is by convincing everyone else that their way is the right and only way.

I know all of this because I lived it for so many years. I grew up in a family full of people like this. People who felt it was their god given duty to save me. My father is one of these people. He’d go up to strangers telling them that they needed to accept Jesus Christ in their life or they’d go to hell. It didn’t matter the situation either. One time at a funeral he cornered my sister’s friend trying to save her.

That kind of hate destroys, including the sugary coated kind. I grew up hating myself because I was brainwashed in believing that I was going to hell for being gay. It almost destroyed me. You just don’t get over having your own father tell you over and over that you’re going to hell. While strangers and other family could escape his wrath, I couldn’t.

Children, teens and even adults kill themselves over this kind of hate. The age of Trump has brought out all the bigots. He is their king and now they feel even more justified in spreading their hate like shit on crackers. So I’m torn. I believe in free speech. I don’t know what the appropriate action is for someone like this lady. Ultimately she deserves love and she needs it. She’s lost and delusional. She has two young children and I can’t imagine what they’re having to endure.

Yes people like this are a dime a dozen. I think what upsets me about people like this isn’t about the hate they spread but the damage it does. I know countless people are enduring the pain I did. It breaks my heart that I can’t rescue them. They are the ones who need saving and I don’t mean by berating them.

Some will say to just ignore people like this and for the most part I do. There’s the argument that while her speech is vile it is still free speech. I believe in free speech but I also believe in standing up. If you’re going to spread your hate in a public forum expect that others will stand against you. There are consequences to hate. Now while I think speech should be speech that doesn’t mean I believe we should give them the stage like some universities have done for people like Ann Coulter or Milo what’s his name.

At what point does silence turn into acceptance and tolerance. When you stand up to people like this woman you’re standing up for those who can’t do it themselves. When she shares her sugary hate on social media it will eventually show up in the feeds of teens who are struggling and getting bullied. How many children have to die from bullying both from other children or adults before people wake up.

Did you know that suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24? Here are some other facts about teen suicide.

• Suicide attempts by LGB youth and questioning youth are 4 to 6 times more likely to result in injury, poisoning, or overdose that requires treatment from a doctor or nurse, compared to their straight peers. [2]

• In a national study, 40% of transgender adults reported having made a suicide attempt. 92% of these individuals reported having attempted suicide before the age of 25. [3]

• LGB youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to have attempted suicide as LGB peers who reported no or low levels of family rejection. [4]

• 1 out of 6 students nationwide (grades 9-12) seriously considered suicide in the past year. [5]

• Each episode of LGBT victimization, such as physical or verbal harassment or abuse, increases the likelihood of self-harming behavior by 2.5 times on average. [6]

So that’s where I draw the line. I refuse to sit by and let this hate destroy others. Having to grow up in this kind of hate doesn’t ever leave you. So while many survive these horrific situations they grow into adults who struggle greatly. It’s taken me twenty years to heal and I’m still processing layers.

I’ve struggled to cope as an adult. It was easier for me to literally escape from that hate including my father. All these years I knew the hate that was out there in this world. I didn’t need to look any farther than my own family. I thought I escaped it but in reality I’m still living in parts of that house still. I was reminded this the night that Trump took the election. I was devastated. I knew what was at stake and the lives that would be lost from his hate.

It was surreal seeing all the people go through what I did for so many years. People not realizing the kind of hate that’s out there. It’s one thing to know your family is filled for of bigots but it’s another thing to know there are millions of them. It almost scared me into the hospital from suicidal thoughts. It was this gigantic flashback.

For the next two months I was paralyzed by my fear. I wasn’t just reliving that night but all the nights from when I was a teen. I live in a rural area and I would find myself questioning (in my head) others who I would encounter in public. Is this someone who voted my rights away? If they find out I’m gay will they verbally chastise me or worse attack me? I’m 6ft, 400lbs and have a big beard and even I feared being found out. I didn’t hide like so many years, well after a while.

Another dangerous aspect of hate speech is that it’s usually attached to some belief of discrimination. It’s one thing to believe whatever you want to but another thing to vote away my rights… or take them away… or deny service to me… So hate speech is a double edged sword.

Most in our country were awoken to the level of hate out there in our world. There was some relief to that fact knowing that you weren’t alone. It’s so easy to think that is all that’s out there. When you grow up surrounded by hate you get tunnel vision. If the people who are suppose to protect you and become the ones who hurt you how else is a child supposed to know anything but that.

You get to a point where you don’t trust anyone. It’s this weird state of living between the world of a victim and survivor. Which is why something like gay pride is so important. There is safety in numbers. It’s not just to have a good time. I still to this day find myself weary in places where heterosexual men are like sports bars. Instantly I become that scared child having to endure my father’s hate. So it was just easier for me to stick with people I knew were open minded.

I saw time and again people posting about removing facebook friends because of Trump and his army of hate. I didn’t delete one person. I had weaned these kind of people out of my life long ago. Maybe I’m missing out by not being as open to different ideas but it’s how I stay safe. It’s easier said than done to be accepting of all ideas when those words are stones to you. I also don’t think it applies to ignorance or hate. People are literally scared for their life and many have died because of this hate. There are those of us who don’t have the luxury of taking these risks.

So I think there is nothing wrong with eliminating people in your life like this or limiting your time with them. Sometimes you have to love people from afar.

I’m a strong believer that good things can come from bad things. It can be extremely tough to see this, especially if you’re living it. After I got over the shock of Trump I started to see all the wonderful supportive people coming out of the woodworks. There were way more of the lovers, than the haters. Just recently I saw a picture of a pride section at the Kroger in a conservative small town. That’s progress. You don’t know what that does to a person who has grown up hating themselves. It’s a bright light in a dark world. To many it’s just cardboard and paper, and others an abomination.

I’ve always lived life with the philosophy of doing good. You can be the person who lifts someone up. I’ve always been open with my struggles. Some have questioned why I’ve shared so openly. I don’t do it for them. At the end of the day if my struggles can be a lighthouse to someone else I will feel better. If I can save one person I know my life will have been meant for more than all that hate, misery, tears, blood and pain.

I won’t lie I’ve not got my life figured out. It’s a lifelong battle. I’ve struggled with dark days of depression. I fight daily with these demons. People like the activist mommy are not my demons, nor do they affect me. I’ve given people like her power for so long. They’ve rented space in my mind for most of my life.

The activist mommy speaks of freedom. To read her posts and the comments supporting here reminds me just how free I am. That I can read her posts and not feel any pain. I’ve had a lot of practice and I still get caught up occasionally.

For so many years it was easier to hate my father and be angry. It wasn’t until my Mom died five years ago that I realized how much destruction the anger has caused and how much he still controlled me. I say past tense because recently I cut those ties after some realizations. The grief softened the anger and I discovered a world of hurt. Through that hurt I wished for the father I always wanted and deserved. I even thought he had changed. Years ago he apologized for how he stated, the way he approached Jesus to me.

My mom was my lifeforce. She was my rock and when she died I went floating into outer space… so I grabbed onto the closest life force I was born with. I had my heart broken all over again recently. I had seen his posts on facebook about all things alt right. Anti this, anti that. A total trump lover… So it started to wake me up again. It was directed at me this time but it still stung. Still I thought maybe he wouldn’t turn on me this time. Maybe this time would be different.

Since my Mom died in 2012 I’ve struggled to survive. It’s been nearly five years and I’m not even 1/4 back to where I was before. In the last year I’ve almost been homeless three times. Through it all I fought through the grief and I’m finally on the outside looking in. For someone with PTSD that is extremely difficult to do. While I might not be emotionally unstable all the time I still struggle daily.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to live in a world where I no longer have the one person who was there for me. The world seemed to dark and scary for me. I had a lifetime of pain, suffering and misery that I almost ended it all in 2013. I didn’t really want to die, I just wanted relief and didn’t think I would ever get it.

It’s so much easier to judge someone else than it is to have empathy for what the person has endured. I think that’s what bothers me the most about this kind of hate is it reminds me of the kindness I wished I had more of. Often times I feel like a fuck up. The person who can’t be stable. Some days I don’t hate myself and those days are wonderful. I’m starting to have more of those happy days but I have enough of the others to mess with my mind.

I’m the end result of this hate. So many grow up into flawed adults who’ve never had the chance to heal and cope with the pain they’ve endured. It’s been twenty years and I still can hear my father’s voice yelling that I was going to hell and telling me that I was going to die alone in the hospital of AIDS. Those are words you never get rid of. You learn to detach the power cord but they’re still there.

Sometimes I just want to yell bloody murder. Will someone see me for who I am? and not the person they want me to be. For too long I didn’t think I deserved anything good, including love. So while I might still hate parts of myself I now know that I deserve wonderful things including kindness and love. I still struggle with believing I will find it but that’s just another thing I’m dealing with.

I wish people like the activist mommy could see our pain. See all our tears. I have to leave the situation knowing that they’re flawed and can’t see anything but their fears.

How do you combat someone like the activist mommy? Say what you want to her. Troll her with rainbow reactions but do something more than that. Reach out to someone you love who is struggling or even not. Someone in your life who is lgbtqai. They’ve probably just as scared as I am with the world we live in and could use the support. Just a simple I love you and I’m there will do. That’s what pride really is about. It’s celebrating our freedom from this hate and celebrating what being gay is all about… love and fabulousness.

I’ve never really questioned whether I was gay or not. For the most part I have loved being gay, it’s what makes me special. Though I’ve not always seen it as a gift. There was a time I tried to hide my fabulousness. I had guys make me less because of my femininity saying things to me like you’re too much like a girl, like that was a bad thing. So I tried to fit in. It was easy to do in the bear community with my size and facial hair. It wasn’t until I dressed in drag that I finally felt in touch with the person I was born to be. It was the first time that I had ever felt beautiful. Honestly I feel more like a woman than I do as a man. I recently have been describing myself as queer. It’s been rather liberating.

I’m learning to embrace who I am. So if you’re reading this and you’re going through something similar… hang on… weather out the storm. There are kind people out there. When you see people like the activist mommy remember like Glinda the good witch says, they have no power over you. If you’re living in this hell reach out to someone at school, a friend… A great resource is the Trevor Project if you can’t find anyone locally. They will help anyone including adults. You can always send me a message here as well too.

I’m with you and some many of us are. I will fight for you until I die. I’m learning to fight for myself but I will always have time for you. We’re worth it.

So activist mommy you have no power over me and others like me,  so be gone… <throws a proverbial bucket of glitter>

Huggs

SOURCES:
[1] CDC, NCIPC. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2010) {2013 Aug. 1}.  Available from:www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisqars.

[2] CDC. (2016). Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9-12: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

[3] James, S. E., Herman, J. L., Rankin, S., Keisling, M., Mottet, L., & Anafi, M. (2016). The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. Washington, DC: National Center for Transgender Equality.

[4] Family Acceptance Project™. (2009). Family rejection as a predictor of negative health outcomes in white and Latino lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults. Pediatrics. 123(1), 346-52.

[5] CDC. (2016). Sexual Identity, Sex of Sexual Contacts, and Health-Risk Behaviors Among Students in Grades 9-12: Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

[6] IMPACT. (2010). Mental health disorders, psychological distress, and suicidality in a diverse sample of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youths. American Journal of Public Health. 100(12), 2426-32.

 

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The Fear is Real

If you’re on facebook or any other social media the days after Trump won (not fairly) the election you saw your fears come to life. If you were half of America (or at least those who voted for Hillary) you knew what was at stake. That’s why so many of us were shocked because we couldn’t believe in a world where such a hateful person could become President. So when Trump kept winning states you saw your fear grow. For me, it grew to the point where I was in the middle of a massive panic attack… full meltdown mode.

Having lived in a world full of hate growing up I knew what was at stake and what it would mean if Trump was elected. I had first hand knowledge what that kind of hate does to your soul. It rips you apart like a forest fire. That kind of hate leaves nothing behind but a blackened skeleton. That’s what many of us are fearing from a Trump Presidency.

The day after the election it was very clear that our fears were justified as the news of people already being at the end of hate from the supporters of Trump. From swastikas spray painted on buildings in NYC to actual physical altercations with Trump supporters. On Wednesday,  a female student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was beaten, robbed and had her hijab ripped off by two men. Trump winning has given his supporters validation that their racist, discriminatory beliefs are just and apart of making America great again.

It’s only four days and we have enough examples of hate in action to fill up a book. Gay people are being harassed more. Anyone who might look hispanic is told to go back to Mexico. Disabled people are being called the R word. Muslims are being targeted, so are African-Americans. Anyone who doesn’t look like a Trump supporter is a target. Trump winning gave them an excuse to remind everyone that they’re going to make America great by going back to a time where black people were segregated, women belonged in a kitchen and gay people were forced to stay in the closet. How far back do they want to go? Back before women could vote or to the days of slavery.

We live in a time that’s more progressive but this election is proof that there are millions of people stuck in the 50s. They feel they’ve been left behind when in reality the one one to blame for being stuck is themselves. Change is a part of life and if you don’t move with it you’ll get left behind. Those who want to make America great again have felt out of control seeing all the changes that they don’t approve of, that go against their God/religion. Marriage equality was the last straw for these people. So of course the only choice was to vote for the man who’d save them. They’ll quickly learn that Trump was never on their side, he just used them. What will they do when they find out that he’s not going to build a wall or doesn’t reverse marriage equality?

It goes much deeper than fearing for our safety and lives because a Trump presidency will make our lives much harder. We might be safe for now but the laws that Trump passes will make many people miserable including his supporters. I know a lot of people are saying that not everyone who voted for Trump are bad and that’s probably true but the fact remains that millions of people voted for Trump in spite of all the bad things he’s said and done. They were so willing to look past all the bad and what it would mean to minorities in order to not change their world. When in reality Trump isn’t the savior they’re looking for. Trump is like the dragon version of Republicans. He was loud and fiery but he wasn’t much different than most Republican politicians. Trump was created by the Republicans he’s the effect.

Trumps followers were led by fear like the pied piper. I know what it’s like to be led by fear. I grew up in a Southern Baptist family which was all fire and brimstone. Being gay was an abomination. During my teenage years I had this reoccurring nightmare of the end of the world and my name would never get called to go to heaven. This is what fear based teachings do, they brainwash you into believing whatever is told to you. So if you grow up in that world it’s hard to overcome it especially if you’re one of the black sheeps.

Fears are based on falsehoods. The longer you hold the fear, the larger it grows until you become the monster. My family is full of them. They have this way of thinking where the path to heaven is only for the few and if you don’t live life the right way you will burn in flames forever. Talk about being scared out of your mind as a child. The bigger the fear the person has the more they try to convince everyone else that they’re right. My father is a prime example. Growing up he would use to corner people trying to preach the word of God to them. It didn’t matter what the function was he’d go out of his way to save someone. At my cousin’s funeral he preached at my sister’s best friend. Yet if you looked inward to his own life you’d see that he wasn’t living by example.

Still to this day he’s the same way. He’s the typical Trump supporter. His facebook wall is full of hate. I recently had thought of giving him another chance. He even apologized to me a few years ago about how he approached Jesus with me. I was foolish to think he had changed. Seeing how he went on about Trump just reminded me why I stayed away from him. He’s toxic and it only means pain for me. He’s just one of many in my family. The election this year has been extremely triggering for me because the people Trump spoke to was my family. Family is suppose to protect you and lift you up, not vote against your rights and safety.

The greatest satisfaction has been knowing that I was able to get away from that hateful world. I have worked hard the past twenty years to get away from it and it hasn’t been easy. During my darkest days I had to remind myself that I had gotten away from that bad place. So to have it come crashing back around me when Trump won the electoral votes just devastated me. It felt like the ultimate defeat that hate won. The world became very scary knowing that millions of voters didn’t care if I had my rights and safety taken away. It’s bad enough when strangers do that to you but when it’s your own family it’s especially devastating. So not only did I grow up in a family full of hate I now had it validated by Trump’s supporters.

As scared as I am and stunned that I live in a world where he could be our President I can’t let that get in the way of my fight. The difference between now and then is that now I have this inner strength that I didn’t realize I had. I’ve had so much taken away that I’m willing to give anything else away anymore. I have this fire in me and I will fight anyone who tries to take away my rights and the others around me.

So bring it on Trump and his army of hate. I’m ready and so are the rest of us. If you think you’ll have it easy you will learn very quickly that you shouldn’t have messed with us. If we don’t fight for what’s right they will really win and we just can’t let that happen. America is already great because of the diverse population.

Just because when they go low, we go high it doesn’t mean that we won’t fight for our rights. So my brothers and sisters the time is now to prepare for January. Keep on letting your voice be heard. I know so many are wondering how they can help. One way you can help is by attaching yourself with the organizations that will come at risk during a Trump presidency like the ACLU, Sierra Club, NAACP, etc. by volunteering and donating to them. They’re going to need all the help they can get.

We need to keep up the protesting. My hope is that they will grow and take over more cities. We need to send a clear message to the world and the haters. A lot of people are scared including the rest of the world. Trump will be bad for everyone but the rich. If there isn’t a protest in your city/town form one. All it takes is a group of people gathering in public. We can’t give up now. The fight has just began. It’s going to be a long four years.

There are protests being held all over the country including overseas. A lot of them are organic and just happen at the spur of the moment. I’ve created a website to help mobilize the movement. To find protests visit:

http://www.lovealwaystrumpshate.org

https://www.facebook.com/lovealwaystrumpsh8/

If you know of a protest that’s not listed please let me know and I will add them. Hang in there everyone. Love will always prevail. While we might have lost the battle we will win the war. We have love and light on our side. Don’t ever forget that!

Huggs

Wear Pink This Friday June 14th and Take A Stand Against Gay Violence and Hate

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UPDATE: If you don’t have anything planned for tonight, consider protesting the recent hate crimes by walking the streets of Columbus in PINK! People are meeting at Southbend Tavern (where one of the crimes was committed) at 6pm tonight and will be walking to all the places hate crimes happened recently.

Here is the link to the facebook event for the Southbend Event! Please share it with everyone you know in Columbus! 6PM tonight at Southbend Tavern (126 East Moler, Columbus, Ohio 43207)

The LGBTQA Community in Columbus is rallying their support for the three men who were involved in the latest hate crimes to hit the Columbus area the past week, by wearing pink this Friday. During a span of less than a week these three separate attacks occurred. Ironically Chris Kratavil, one of the three victims, was wearing a pink shirt when he was attacked as he was walking home.

Chris Kratavil

A picture of Chris Kratavil after his attack. Taken from the Outlook Media Facebook page.

Kratavil was punched from behind, knocked down and kicked repeatedly, said Sam Schisler, the marketing manager for Union and Axis Nightclub and a friend who accompanied the 32-year-old to OSU Medical Center later Monday. When a second man joined the attack and the two didn’t let up, the trained black-belt knew to protect his head and face, he told friends. (Outlook Media)

Hearing Chris scream for help thankfully a friend came to his rescue, causing the attackers to flee the scene. As shown in the picture (left) Kratavil suffered cuts, bruises and fractures around his eye.

Taken from David Conley’s facebook

Earlier that Monday, in an unrelated hate crime, David Conley was also attacked by a group of men in the Old Town area of Columbus.

Frightened by the three men who were walking behind him he called 911 but that didn’t stop the three men, who used vulgar language during the attack that indicating an anti-gay bias, from attacking Conley.

The three men were arrested after the Columbus Police arrived quickly.

Chris Ashcraft shown during an interview with WCPO ABC 9 Cincinnati.

Chris Ashcraft shown during an interview with WCPO ABC 9 Cincinnati.

Earlier that week, Christopher Ashcraft (visiting from Kentucky) was also attacked by men asking Ashcraft to jump-start their car. Ashcraft stated that the assailants kicked him in the face, until he was unconscious. The attackers left him unconscious in an alley outside the Southbend Tavern in Merion Village.

“It was a hate crime,” Ashcraft said. “I was hanging out at a gay bar. It’s Pride Month,” he told a reporter for a local Cincinnati ABC station.

With Pride in Columbus (June 21-22) approaching, Gloria McCauley, executive director of The Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) states, “We’re so out and proud in June, and people are out there who don’t like it.” BRAVO is an important link to survivor advocacy and assistance regarding hate crimes, discrimination, domestic violence, and sexual assault. They do a great service for the LGBT Community in Ohio.

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Bravo regularly offers self-defense classes for the LGBT Community, free of charge. Outlook Columbus reports that BRAVO will conduct safety workshops for any group that asks for free of charge as well. McCauley also stated that the local LGBT establishments have really rallied behind helping to promote safety.

Including Wall Street Nightclub which has scheduled a safety workshop for employees of LGBT bars and clubs on Monday July 15th at 7pm, conducted by BRAVO. In an article posted by Outlook Columbus the owner of Wall Street Nightclub, Scot Hafler, said employees will get tips for their own safety as well as the safety of their customers. The article goes on to state that local bars and clubs have been telling their patrons and employees that they’ll walk them to their vehicles to ensure their safety.

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Skreened, a Columbus business, that creates custom apparel has stepped forward and offered the donation of 500 t-shirts to help those who don’t own a pink shirt. The founder of Skreened, Daniel Fox has graciously offered up the service of his company to provide shirts for Friday to help those take a stand against gay violence.

Skreened will be giving away pink shirts at Outlook Columbus Magazine at 11:30 am this Friday June 14 at 815 N High St, Ste Q, Columbus, Oh 43215. The shirts will be first come, first served. Donations accepted will go to BRAVO (Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization).

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Alison Rose wants to do their part to support the GLBT community. So they will have a few of our most popular designs printed on pink tees! 100% of the proceeds will be donated to BRAVO (Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Association).

Look for them in the shop (3039 Indianola), Thursday evening and all day Friday.

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Nina West, a local well known celebrity who is well loved by Columbus, created a facebook page encouraging GLBTQ people and their allies to wear pink this Friday to show solidarity with the three men. So far the event page has over 25,000 invites, with over 3,000 confirmed that they will be wearing pink on Friday.

I encourage you to change your profile and cover photo (at the bottom of this post) on facebook to help promote this worthy cause and spread the awareness of hate crimes, as well share the Facebook event page with everyone you know. The key to prevention is awareness and empowerment. Something good can come out of these senseless tragic events. These three courageous men need all the support and love they can get.

I have also wrote an article on my blog that gives individuals in the LGBT community tips on how to stay safe when in the public. These events have confirmed that we still need to be cautious of our surroundings.

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If you live in the Ohio area and have been a victim of a hate crime contact Bravo, 866-862-7286. BRAVO also has a helpline available for resources at the number above. Their helpline is staffed weekdays from 10AM to 4PM, and Sunday through Thursday from 6PM to 10PM. As I mentioned previously BRAVO also has self-defense classes available at various times. If you are interested in taking a class or having a safety workshop for your local group (whether its a euchre group, softball league or any other group) contact BRAVO. Services provided at BRAVO are free of charge.

You don’t have to live in Columbus or even Ohio to take a stand against gay violence. Even recently cities like New York City has seen an increase in their hate crimes as well. We are all in solidarity and together we can stand up against hate. I strongly believe that love will always conquer and defeat hate. A voice is a terrible thing to waste and for a survivor something they can struggle with as they recover and heal from the experience. Take a stand and help amplify their voice by wearing pink this Friday in support of the three men attacked in Columbus, as well as all the other survivors of hate crimes.

We will keep wearing pink, until we don’t need to. This conversation is one that will need to go further than Friday. Diligence is going to be key in helping to prevent another one of these senseless acts. The time has come for us to take care of each other, watch each others backs. Offer support and a helping hand when someone is in need, for we are all brothers and sisters. What makes our community so wonderful is the diversity, love and acceptance we share, as well as we all come together during a tragic event. We have a responsibility and no longer have the luxury of sitting on the sidelines because these hate crimes can happen to any of us. Until these crimes hit home, do we see how close they really are to us. Make a difference and be the change you want to see.

Lastly be alert and aware of your surroundings, travel in groups when possible especially during pride and at night. Always remember if you experience violence it isn’t your fault at all.

Join in the movement and help unite the LGBTQA community against hate and anti-gay violence. Continue this conversation well past Friday because hate won’t take a day off and neither will we!!!

To make a donation online directly to BRAVO you can do so here via the Network For Change.

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Why do bad things happen to innocent people?

As I woke up to read about yesterday’s tragedy on my Facebook feed I could help but swear out loud in my room. I did it loudly enough that my nine year old nephew came into my room to make sure I was alright… I was so angry I felt like punching the wall, which I didn’t. For the next thirty minutes the only words that came to my mind were fuck, fuck, fuck…

Oh and why??? why??? why??? I couldn’t make any sense of what had happened and the fact that this monster took his his psychotic issues out on poor defenseless little children!!! Now with losing my Mama I was already at a breaking point of anger and wondering why, so this just put me right over the edge.

20 children. 20 pure souls. GONE!!! Just like that…

Obviously this monster had an insurmountable amount of issues but why take the lives of others. If you hate life that bad just kill yourself. Why do you have to bring others down with you, especially those you don’t even know??? I know these are all rational questions for an insane person.

It is ironic that this happens on the same day I write about the END OF THE WORLD… Well when something tragic like this happens it makes me question are we at the brink of something? It is scary to think of.

For my brain to wrap around that we live in a world where nut jobs will take multiple guns into public places and start playing their own version of a shooting game. It makes me want to pack things up and go into hiding. My heart can’t take that there is that much evil out in this world.

Then you see the various responses to the tragedy mostly sympathetic and heart breaking.  There are those who feel that this tragedy happened because God is punishing us. I saw a picture floating around that says this:

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It is hard for me to believe that there are those that believe 20 children were killed because the USA won’t allow school prayer??? Like seriously are you arguing that the blood of these poor innocent children were because God was trying to teach us a lesson? It goes back to this idea that some believe that God is only available to the few select. If you aren’t white, christian, heterosexual and are literate then you don’t get to go to heaven? In a world filled full of multi-cultured human beings why would go create a vision that was so narrow and restricting???

If anything that this world needs is love. Even atheists who don’t believe in God believe in love. That is universal. Look how we treat each other. Let’s start with that.

Then you have the other extreme who put down those who are praying for the victims and families, etc. Here is picture I found on facebook related to that:

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Then you have those who are so desensitized by violence that they don’t see the connections and just move on like nothing happened. One of the businesses that I have liked on facebook posted this item available for sale on the same day of this tragedy:

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Personally I didn’t think it was very sensitive to post something like that on a day where 20 children today. Well the person running the Facebook page didn’t see it my way and proceeded to let me have it for saying he was disrespectful. Another person defended him by saying  “the Freddy Krueger statue is a statue of a fictional character nothing more.”

Yesterday was a day when fiction came reality. They just didn’t get the symbolism of this statue.  Sure I get that Freddy is a fictional character but the fact is that violent acts like this one only prove that these characters do exist and the fact that he is holding a supposed doll just in my eyes represents the victims in this case. Violent acts like this are nightmare’s come true. This businesses Facebook page never once offered any support or condolences over this tragedy. Posting a product on a day like this is not only insensitive but very disrespectful to the victims and families, whether the owner wants to see it or not. The country is in mourning, as well as this is a reminder of those survivors of other mass shootings.

Then you start talking about gun control and people really start arguing. People are worried about others taking their guns away.

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In Michigan alone our legislators just approved a measure that would allow concealed guns in our schools and churches. Granted I know if a crazy person wants to kill people they will but why make it so easy for them? Why are assault weapons available to the public? Another picture on facebook said that you can take away weapons but you won’t disarm evil. Sure that might be try but there are things we can do to better protect ourselves.

Like why aren’t schools locked? Granted I live in a small town but I know for a fact that the doors are not locked. Anyone from the outside can come in and out whenever they please.

Sure gun control won’t fix everything but it is a start.

The ultimate goal should be to protect and keep our children safe. We are failing at this and I am not just talking about this tragedy.

Public shootings are becoming a common occurrence. Just this week we have had two of them.

The children and staff who survived will be forever changed. It is the end of the world as they knew it.

I think the polarization of the different sides only causes more harm than good. You have the liberals vs. the conservatives and the believers vs. the non believers. Even in the believer group the various religions are against each other. This is a message of anything but love and acceptance…

Trust me as someone who had religion crammed down his throat as a child and teenager I get how so many people are turned off in regards to prayer and God, but why do to them what so many have done to us. A lot of people are grieving. You don’t have to know any one involved to be connected and feel loss. It is about caring about your fellow brothers and sisters. We might not can agree on much but most everyone believes in love.

Essentially that is what a prayer is… The energy behind it is love.

I struggle to with all these questions. Is there a God out there. Why does he/she allow things like this to happen? Look at Holocaust? Over 1 million children were killed during the Holocaust. With over 6 million Jews being killed during WWII. So I can see why some would stop believing in God. I know I have struggled with my faith.

Then I start to think where do these monsters come from? Are they born that way or are they groomed into the monsters they are today? It is scary of me to think that some people could be born evil. I would like to think of monsters like Hitler were born that why but then that only confirms that true evil does exist. So either people are born evil or life turns them evil, either way isn’t good.

The fact of the matter we need more people to let their own light shine. We are suppose to be the country of the free but look at all we do to take away peoples rights. People are against making healthcare available to everyone. How many people die because they can’t afford to see a doctor? or fear of the cost associated with it. If my Mother would have survived she would have had a medical bill of over 1 million dollars. We aren’t a country that takes care of our people, we are a country of the haves and have nots. You don’t think that doesn’t affect children negatively? Look at our political landscape and elections, all that negativity that is thrown back and force. Plus all the laws being passed taking away the rights of others in regards to women, gay people, etc.

For example the states that don’t allow gay people to adopt or those that do make it nearly impossible to adopt. In a world where so many children go without many things especially love would you restrict two people based on their sexual orientation??? Two Dads or two Moms are better than one, or none… Many children grow up in households that don’t get the love they deserve.

I guess my point in all of this is that we do a lot in this country that represents the opposite of love. We let people know loud and clear what we are against.

Look at our school systems. Bullying has gotten worse. Kids are killing themselves. Many of these children don’t have the support and love they need at home. So what about those who endure the pain and don’t kill themselves? It is logical to think that some might turn the guns on others.

Obviously something is going on.

Sure we can’t protect our children one hundred percent but I believe that we are failing so far. Granted the country is mourning but we need to start to take responsibility for our actions and do what is necessary to protect ourselves.

Fighting will only get more fighting. You get more with love, than you do hate…

We have to come together for our children. We it owe it to them. We owe it to the victims of this tragic massacre, especially the 20 angels who had only started to live their lives. Put aside your petty arguments and think about them. Think about the future we are building for our children.

 

Yes WE Can!!!

This has been a very tough year for me. I have been shaken to my core. I have questioned everything about not just myself but the world around me, even God and the universe.

Tonight I must admit that I was more nervous that I wanted to be about Obama winning the election. With the year I had, I don’t know if I could take anymore bad news. My fears tried to take over but I quietly checked them at bay. I was reminded once again the importance of faith. I knew that I not only had to have faith that Obama would win but that everything would work out. It  just like want President Obama said in his acceptance speech about hope. I don’t know the exact quote but it was something about being in a dark place and holding onto hope that something good was beyond the horizon. That is what hope is. Believing in the unbelievable, that is hope.

So just like my Mama, I believed in our President. I believed that enough people would vote with their hearts. I believed that love would conquer hate. Sure I was scared but I not only faced that fear but I stood strongly and pushed through. I knew what it would mean for my community to have Mitt Romney as President and I couldn’t see anything good coming from that. For me that is why it was so important to vote and encourage others to do so.

I wanted to do more. I really did. But I have to realize that even if I touched one person’s life that I have made a difference. That is what it all boils down to.

Watching the elections results was tortuous at times. Even when lost a battle, I still kept moving forward. As the night endured, I started to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can remember this tingling sensation that came over me when I heard that Obama was re-elected. Though no one was with me when I watched the results, I was not alone. The triumph of love was overflowing.

As happy as I was with the results I have to admit it felt a little bitter sweet to realize how divided our country is. Honestly I am troubled with how many people could vote for Romney. I mean look at the candidate in Indiana who has crazy views on legitimate rape… Over 700k people voted for him.

I also saw with the success of Obama, all the hatred come out in regards to his success. One of my facebook friends, a fellow classmate, posted that our country was doomed. Through a  facebook conversation with him and all his friend, I found out that he believed in the whole being gay is a sin… My initial response was to argue with their idiocracies. I was quickly transported to so many other people who so feverishly tried to make me feel less for being gay. Thankfully I quickly realized that I was only fueling their flames and it was time to get out of dodge, as I had no place there.

I have come to realize that there are some people in this world who will just never get it and it isn’t my place to help them find it. I have a message and I need to bring it to people who not only need it, want it.

I have also come to learn that not everyone embraces love and the universal truths. When you stand strong and let your love shine, it causes those who live in the darkness (fear) to panic. The light is very blinding to those who stay in the dark. So they will do whatever it takes to extinguish that light. Their fears have turned into truths and realities, and now they have to convince the world in order to believe it as well. It is also how they get control of the storm within them by turning it outward onto the world. They project their hatred in the name of God.

They don’t realize the damage they do to themselves, nor do they realize the damage they do to others. It becomes especially dangerous when it comes to passing laws in regards to religious beliefs. Each act of hatred just chips away at the collective self esteem of the gay community. I have never understood why some people try to limit God’s love to a very narrowed audience???

These people who are fanatic in their religious views just don’t get it… I have learned you have to just move on. Drive through as a friend once told me. It is so easy to get caught up in their commotion. I started to do that tonight as well.

The more progress we see, the more these fanatics will come out of the woodworks. Progress and change causes great risk to their security. Their majority starts to shrink until they become the minority. Whether they want to admit it or not, views on Marriage Equality are changing. People are seeing equality more than just gay rights, a basic civil right.

Which reminded me of something that I brought up in this debate earlier tonight. Wasn’t Jesus osterized, tortured and murdered because of who he loved and what he believed in… So in reality those who persecute gay people are no better than those who persecuted Jesus. They are one in the same and they don’t even realize it.

That is why it is so important for those who do get it, stand up and let their voices be heard.

I think about where the LGBT community was in 2008 when Prop 8 was passed and how devastating that was to our community. Who would have thought four years later we would see the first President to come out in support of Marriage Equality get re-elected with that as a platform? Not to mention the four states that passed some sort of Marriage Equality proposal. Plus if all of that wasn’t enough of TKO sign of change, seeing Tammy Baldwin get elected as the first openly gay senator is.

Sure we have a long ways to go, and the fight isn’t over but tonight we have a lot to celebrate and be proud of. Our work is never done because there will always be those who oppose us.

I also realize there is this fine balance of those who oppose us and those who just don’t have all the information. These are the people who are open minded to our cause. Also at what point do you decide to rock the boat or just go along for the ride? How do you get to those people who are overtly homophobic but haven’t quite seen our perspective?

Take for example straight people who voted for Romney. I understand that not everyone has all the information. So many people still see equality as a belief system and not a civil right… How do you open their minds to see the importance for equality? Take it past a belief system and show them how these injustices affect our lives on a daily basis.

My first thought is just to delete everyone on facebook who voted for Romney but I also realize that in some cases I might be missing out on a chance to create change. Then what about the people who I know outside of facebook? My first gut reaction is just to push everyone away but I am trying to give people the benefit of the doubt. Which was what I was trying to do with the fellow classmate, in which I quickly learned wasn’t possible. Now there are some people who just won’t get it, but there are some who are decent people that just don’t realize how it affects others.

Sure everyone has beliefs and stances on the issues. People vote for those who closely align with their own belief systems. I saw a straight person post that there are more important issues. I have also seen there are other issues. I have also heard people say well I support gay people and marriage equality, then vote for a candidate that is against it. Actions speak louder than words.

Candidates like Romney threaten the security of the gay community. Think about the gay families with children and how fearful they were of Romney getting into office. These inequalities cause great harm to the community. As a family one of the most important roles as a parent is to protection but how is that possible if we don’t have all the rights as everyone else. In many states gay people still can get fired for being gay and lose their housing just for being gay. Then you have those who will cause physical harm to someone just for being gay. These are just a few of the many injustices we have to live with on a daily basis. All based on who we love…

So when it comes to voting, it really becomes a matter of security. A matter of life or death in some cases. That is why many have issue with some putting their financial gain over their civil rights. The economy is a key issue for most  but at what cost is it worth if you are taking away rights from a minority?

At what point do you stand up and take responsibility of your surroundings. The reality that when you vote, you are also effecting other people. That is why it is so important to be informed.

Do you want to be someone that builds a person up or someone who tears them down? Sure you might not directly be doing it but by voting for candidates who are anti gay you indirectly are tearing them down. In a world where so many try to tear us down, be courageous and take a stand. That is how real change happens.

Injustice and inequalities should never be tolerated. There comes a point where it is important to stand up for what is right, even if it means rocking the boat. Yes we have to work together but doesn’t mean we can’t be strong and take a stand.

If you know someone who is gay and you know all of this, and you still vote for a candidate who is for taking away our rights… You are saying your issues are more important than my civil rights. Personally that wouldn’t make me feel good about our relationship.

I think that is why when I hear our President so openly show support to the LGBT community, I am overwhelmed with warmth… Here was someone who did the the unthinkable and did what was right, even if that meant not getting elected. He values our role in America. Obama has become our champion, one of our biggest allies.

Hearing his speech tonight I couldn’t help be be inspired. Seeing him face the opposition with such strength, care and compassion really opened my heart and mind to many different things. I hope he realizes the impact he has had on me and so many others in the gay community. During a time where people tell us we are going to hell and God hates us, here is our President lifting us up. I can’t help but feel wonderful.

I struggle with being seen and letting my voice be heard on a daily basis. Being in the presence of such a caring and wonderful leader gives me the opportunity to muster up the courage to venture out into the world and make it a better place. He embodies the true essence of love and service.

and Obama has reminded me that YES I CAN, and so can you!!!

Take a Stand and Let Your Voice/Vote Be Heard!

With Election Day upon us I am reminded the importance of letting your voice be heard. I also am sadden that so many people feel like not only does their voice matter but that it doesn’t count. I can relate to this as I have felt this at various times in my life. A person’s voice is a gift that no one truly can take away. Though in the world we live in, it is easy for that voice to be taken away. I have heard countless time in response to voting, my one voice will not make a difference… Or it is just one vote… Sure if you look at the grand scheme of thing it might be easy to justify that but I don’t think people realize how much impact one person can have. Not to mention how many other people in the world are saying the exact same things??? You add up all those votes, and that is A LOT of votes that don’t get counted!!!

As a survivor of sexual abuse, my voice has been something I have always struggled with. I still struggle with it on a daily basis. The world tells you that you can’t, and you start believing it… Well I am here to tell you that you CAN!!! If you look for it, there will always be someone trying to bring you down. That is how they get power, by living off the fears of others. In this world we live in today that is why it is so important to vote because there will always be someone trying to take away what is rightfully yours. Especially with corporations being able to throw unlimited amounts of money at campaigns it is ever so important for every VOTE to be heard. When you don’t vote, not only our you hurting yourself but the rest of the country and future generations. If everyone voted that could, can you imagine how different the face of politics would be???

Which reminds me of something… One common thing I hear via facebook is people talking about how tired they are hearing about politics and/or that they stay out of politics as a whole. I wonder if any of these people think about a time in our country when women couldn’t vote, as well as black people. Look what these brave people had to endure just to get the rights others had taken from them! When I hear someone complain I just want to let them have it by telling them how they have taken this right for-granted!!! Part of me understands, really I do… but there comes a point in life where you just have to STAND UP!!! The alternative is letting people bulldoze your rights, and they won’t think two seconds about doing it. If you don’t think that is possible you really need to do some research. Just look at some Republicans views on legitimate rape. Who would have thought in 2012 we would have candidates that still believed in that craziness??? That is what happens when you don’t vote. Craziness gets elected into office. Vice President candidate Ryan believes in a lot of this malarkey. When the cares of a belief system are put way above humans, that is when you have a major problem. There is nothing godly about that.

Which brings me to gay rights. Some people just don’t get what the commotion is about and why we are so against Romney. They choose to see their beliefs as free speech and gay rights as a platform. It is fine to believe in whatever you want, it is when you begin to vote on laws that take away rights of that said group that it becomes a real problem. Our country has a history of taking away rights from a minority. How can we ever be a land of the free, if we vote on rights of a minority??? Sure if it isn’t in your backyard, you might not understand the severity of an injustice until it starts to creep onto your door step. I wish for once these people, who are against gay rights, could see the damage their votes have on our community.

Say what you want about Obama but he has made leaps and bounds in regards to gay rights. Just because we have made progress it doesn’t mean that we can stop the momentum… because there will be those who will try to take away those rights we should have had from the start. Rights like being able serve our country openly… Having hate crime laws in place to protect us… Having a leader who sees that gay rights is a human right, not a platform. A leader that is willing to stand up in support of gay marriage, knowing the heat he would get from the opposition. Whether you are gay or not, these are all signs of a true leader. Romney has made it clear where he stands on gay rights, as clear as Romney gets… and he is not on our side.

He has made a public declaration:

Even Mitt Romney is dumbfounded that their are gay families. I am sure that is how he sleeps easier at night, by creating a world where there are no gay families that will be affected by the rights he takes away. Am I the only one who sees these declarations as being as dangerous as they really are??? Especially the part of creating a presidential commission on religious liberty!!! It reminds me of the McCarthy hearings.

This message of this blog entry ran loud and clear this morning. I was up late writing this post and saved it as a draft to finish in the morning… As I was on facebook, as I always am, I noticed a post that a facebook friend (who happens to be gay) of mine was tagged in… It was a voting guide on the issues for Obama and Romney…

With the image below, was this:

For those of u still on the fence, this helped me a lot, found it at the tanning salon, not endorsed by either party!

As I looked closer I noticed this was published by the Family Research Council… My intent was to educate others so that they were informed who was sharing this information that wasn’t all factual or unbiased… So I commented on the post to advise that this was published by the FRC which is a very anti-gay organization that has spent a lot of money against the LGBT community… I also stated that in 2010 the FRC spent $25,000 lobbying Congress to not condemn the Uganda “Kill The Gay’s” bill.

This above picture was tagged with at least eight other facebook friends. Think about how many people saw this picture?

Obviously my attempts to educate were not seen as that, and I was osterized for posting my comments. One person even went as far as saying I came there with my agenda? Eventually all the comments were removed in regards and all the people tagged were also removed… This person also said that she had very close friends who were gay, that she supported fully… Which I never debated…

She took it personal and her response really made it clear how she truly felt… Anyone that is a champion of a gay person wouldn’t keep something like that up on their facebook… knowing who was behind it… But that is another story…

After she removed all my comments she posted this:

“Hopefully this takes care of stupid ppl! Please just read and think for yourselves about what issues apply to your beliefs and who sides closest with those!”

In this propaganda just a few of the blatant inaccuracies:

ENDA is listed as being based on sexual behavior

They label DADT as Military Social Engineering

This is an example of the importance of standing up and letting your voice be heard… This is what happens when you don’t. When you don’t take a stand, you allow those who belong to the FRC to lobby rights away from others… Taking a stand can be as simple as not voting for a candidate who is anti gay… Or posting your thoughts on facebook, etc…

People in office who believe in crazy things like legitimate rape, get in office because they are voted in office… As goes with people who are homophobic. During the times we live in, we need every vote we can get that will stand up to this craziness… Without the voice of the people, laws and politicians are voted in by a select few…

A majority should never be allowed to vote on rights of a minority but it happens all the time. That is why it is so important to let your voice be heard and take a stand! If you wait to long, your votes might be voted away and that will be a very scary day… Trust me, I have been there and it isn’t a good day at all…

So I encourage everyone to take a stand and vote with their hearts, thinking about how their vote will effect the world around them. Be the champion for someone today.