There are many things that I choose on a daily basis, here are some examples:

I choose…..

  • who I want to become friends with.
  • what to read.
  • what to eat.
  • where to go shop.
  • how I do my hair.
  • what I wear.
  • what to watch on television.
  • what music to listen to.
  • where to go for dinner.
  • what websites to visit.
  • when I go for a walk.
  • when I go to bed.
  • when to relax and unwind.
  • when to have a cup of coffee, tea or alcoholic beverage.
  • when to be a listener and when to be a talker.
  • what religious ideologies to believe.
  • to become vegan.
  • to practice saving the lives of animals by becoming vegan.
  • the place in which I live.
  • the job that I do.
  • the day I decided to live my authentic life.

The one thing that many people believe that I chose – was my sexuality.  THAT IS SOMETHING I DID NOT CHOOSE – that specific ‘thing’ about me, was something I was born with.  I didn’t, one day, suddenly decide to choose that I liked people of the same-sex.  I don’t believe the writings of any religious denomination and what was written.  Therefor – you can’t preach what YOU believe onto me.  If you believe there is a God – and you have an issue with my sexuality – blame HIM, not me.

People need to STOP projecting their religious beliefs (or choices) onto others.  Nothing good comes from telling others that the way they live their lives and how they were born is wrong.  Most importantly – your religious CHOICES should not have any impact on civil rights.  There should always be a separation of what you choose to believe religiously and government policies.

When YOU project your beliefs onto your children – it only hinders them and may potentially kill them.  Instead encourage your children to explore and to have different viewpoints, thoughts and to be their own individual.

My heart goes out to Tyrone Unsworth, from Brisbane, Australia and so many others who have taken their own lives due to bullying because of their sexuality.


Together, we can make the world a more positive one!


Today, information from around the world is almost instantaneous.  We receive images from events taking place all around the world and the world is able to respond.  Not all information is generally good in fact, most of it is to ask for assistance in spreading word of injustices happening to people and places all over the world.  We have seen and heard about some of these injustices such as; the right for women to receive proper education, equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans gendered people, equality for minority groups, protection of sensitive geographical locations on the earth and so on.

When you receive a petition, do you generally dismiss it or are you more than likely to sign them in order to create positive change in the world?  And by signing, do you feel that a particular petition will make a difference?  After some careful research, I believe they do.  Here are some examples of some successful petitions:

  • Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, Environment America and other organizations started a petition to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s Standards for limiting carbon pollution from power plants.

OUTCOME:  In the first 10 weeks over 1.4 million signatures were received.  According to Change.org: “By utilizing promoted sponsored campaigns on Change.org, these organizations increased the number of people voicing public support for the Carbon Pollution Standard to the EPA by 300% for a total of 2.1 million comments.  This is the largest number of signatures and comments submitted to any federal regulation in the U.S. history.”

  • Avaaz.org, 350.org and 1,700 other organizations decided to deliver the largest mobilization on climate change in history.  Avaaz Executive Director, Ricken Patel presented a 2 million strong petition to UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon on the march in New York, calling for 100% clean energy worldwide.

OUTCOME:  The marches let to many leaders at the following UN summit acknowledging the pressure coming from the streets.  The pressure is working – less than two months after the march, the US and China signed a landmark agreement, including new targets for carbon emission reductions by the US and a first-ever commitment by China to stop its emissions from growing by 2030.

  • Michigan high school student Katy Butler, 17, and Change.org organizer Mark Anthony Dingbaum delivered petitions with over 300,000 signatures to the Motion Picture Association of America in Los Angeles on March 7, 2012, asking the group to change the R rating on the anti-bullying documentary Bully.

OUTCOME:  In April, the Weinstein Company came to an agreement with the MPAA.  After toning the profanity, the film received a new rating of PG-13 (for intense thematic material, disturbing content and some strong language – all involving kids), which meant that children of all ages could watch the movie without and adult.  The Weinstein Company subsequently announced that the PG-13 rated version of Bully would be released nationwide.

  • Greenpeace’s ‘SAVE THE ARCTIC’ campaign from SHELL has gathered over 7.3 million signatures to date.  Their goal is to reach 10 million signatures and stop Shell and the Russian oil and gas giant, Gazprom to access the Arctic through Russia.

OUTCOME: Pending.

Petitions are important and vital to a campaign because the people or companies that the specific petition is written for tend to receive their message loud and clear.  If the countries or companies in question don’t listen – they end up losing votes or losing money and that speaks loud and clear.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!


I have blogged about the amazing challenges the Lizzie Velasquez has faced and continues to face.  I have also created a Facebook page entitled – We Love Lizzie Velasquez, to share her story and to ask people to help her share her story on the Ellen Degeneres show.  (Please visit and join the Facebook page).

Today, I want to help create awareness for a project entitled The Lizzie Project by Sara Bordo.  The project – which is seeking funding on Kickstarter, aims to bring Lizzie’s story to life in a feature documentary.  This project can’t happen without our voices and without our generosity. 

Lizzie’s story relates to all who have been victimized by bullies regardless of age, sex, gender, colour, size and sexual orientation.  Also, bullying is not always face-to-face – cyber-bullying has become a new way of tormenting individuals.  Some of us have been fortunate enough to overcome the physical and emotional torture of our tormentors – others have not been as fortunate.  Matthew Shepard, Tyler Clementi, Charlotte Dawson, Jamey Rodemeyer, Megan Meirer, Amanda Todd, Rehtaeh Parsons, Audrie Pott, Ryan Halligan, Jonathan Hewitt and so many others to great in numbers to mention.

Lizzie’s story is important – it’s a message of tolerance and a clear message to those who bully that we will tolerate it no longer!  Too many have died for nothing more than who they love, what they look like, the colour of their skin, their weight, for being a woman, transgendered, poor and so many other reasons.

Let’s make Lizzie’s story happen and let’s send the world a message – hate and ignorance is not okay, judgements against others are not okay.  We must treat each other with love, compassion and kindness.

Here is Lizzie’s YouTube video for this campaign: 

For more information and to help support The Lizzie Project, please visit the official website on Kickstarter:


 If you are a victim of bullying – STAND STRONG and know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE – others, like you, have overcome their bullying and WE ALL stand behind you.  Should you need help – here are a list of resources:

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!



FAT, UGLY, BITCH, SLUT, WHORE, FAGGOT, STUPID, DUMBASS, DYKE, LOSER, NIGGER, PAKI, CHINK, etc….. – I’m sure many of us remember what it feels like to be called one or more of these names.  Many people used these names to degrade us and to make us feel like we don’t belong.  Many of these words are used today to make so many people feel like they don’t belong.  If you are one of those people who are being called any of these names and you don’t feel like confronting the person/people who are calling you these names – know that it will stop.  Don’t let the word deflate the beautiful person you really are – allow the word to empower you to act with love and compassion to others who may be in the same situation.  Don’t let someone’s ignorance define you by how and what they call you.  Don’t let someone else’s negative energy get the better of you.  Like I said, if you don’t feel like confronting the person/people who are calling you these names – you don’t have to.  Instead, create a support group with other people who are in the same situation as you.  Create something positive from those who are instilling their ignorance, hate and negativity onto you.

For those of you who witness this type of bullying and ignorance – STAND UP and put an end to it.  Stopping ignorance, bigotry and hate doesn’t have to be surrounded in conflict or violence.  We all have the right to ask someone not to be mean or to stop treating others with disrespect – it is our duty!  We are responsible for lifting people up and making them feel worthy not destroy their confidence.

Just over a year ago – my partner shared a story about a young lady who was being harassed on YouTube.  People made horrible and hateful comments on a video she posted and went as far as saying that she should be killed.  This extraordinary women is Lizzie Velasquez.  Instead of becoming overwhelmed with the hateful comments – Lizzie fought back and became a worldwide inspiration for many.  Today, Lizzie motivates people around the world with her inspirational speeches.  You can read her story in the book, Lizzie Beautiful:  The Lizzie Velasquez Story written by Lizzie and her mother, Rita.  You can also be inspired by reading her first book entitled, Be Beautiful Be You.  Both books are available via www.amazon.com

For more information about Lizzie – you can visit her website via www.aboutlizzie.com

Lizzie’s story motivated my partner and I to create a Facebook page and a Care2 petition.  You can join/like the Facebook page and send Lizzie comments, the page is called:  WE LOVE LIZZIE VELASQUEZ.  The petition was created to have Lizzie share her story on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, which was a dream for Lizzie.  (I don’t watch television too often so I don’t know if this happened or not).  To sign and share the petition – please visit the following site:  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/773/181/761/we-love-lizzie-velasquez-and-would-love-to-see-her-on-the-ellen-degeneres-show/

Here is Lizzie speaking at the TEDx Women of Austin event.

These are the stories we should be sharing with our friends and our families.  Someone you may know is potentially being bullied right now – your son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father or friend.  I am sure you wouldn’t want them to feel so bad about themselves.  We have seen or heard the stories of so many teens taking their own lives because of how others made them feel.  Let’s make sure we don’t allow this to continue.

We have all made mistakes and have used some of the words above in order to describe someone.  Maybe out of anger, resentment, ignorance or fear – whatever the reason, there is no excuse.   The best thing to do is to apologize and ask for forgiveness from the person we hurt with those words.  We can also think before we speak – words hurt and ultimately they words you speak are saying something not only of the person you are speaking about, they also say so much about yourself.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!


I am so tired of many Christian-American’s hiding their ignorance, racism, hate and intolerance behind their religious beliefs and freedom of speech.  I have read and seen many debates indicating that we should NOT infringe on people’s right to say what they want.  You can think whatever you want to think but when you spew hate in a public forum you should reap what you sow.

There is much controversy about a comment that Phil Robertson (of Duck Dynasty fame) made in reference to homosexuals.  Here is his quote from an interview with GQ:

GQ – What, in your mind, is sinful?

Phil Robertson – “Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there.  Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.”

First, let me say this.  If he made a statement like this about a minority group like people of colour – the discussion would end.  Why?  Because as we have learned from the past – many celebrities who have been caught making racist comments destroy their careers because of their hateful words, i.e., Mel Gibson, Michael Richards and most recently, Paula Deen.

So why am I not a defender of ‘freedom of speech’?  Well – here are some reasons:  Adolf Hitler (Germany), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe), Kim Jong-Il (North Korea), Idi Amin Dada (Uganda), Saddam Hussein (Iraq), Nicholas II (Russia), Josef Stalin (Russia), Mao Zedong (China), Bashar al-Assad (Syria).  These ‘leaders’ were responsible for mass genocide for varying reasons such as political affiliation, dissident, race, gender and religious beliefs.  These dictators made people believe what they thought was right and justified their beliefs behind ‘hate speech’.  Today – we see world leaders pass laws that infringe on the rights of certain groups – The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin, is standing behind his government imposing a nationwide law banning distribution of “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relations”.  Under this statute, it is effectively illegal to hold any gay pride events, speak in defense of gay rights, or say that gay relationships are equal to heterosexual relationships.   What has happened in Russia since?  Neo-nazi groups are preying on young men and luring them to ‘secret locations’ and then video taping them being tortured and beaten.  Uganda’s government wanted to pass a bill entitled “Kill the Gays” (which had much support from Conservative groups in America) – I don’t think I need to elaborate regarding what this bill entails….

When individuals make such offensive, racist and ignorant remarks – they directly (or indirectly) incite violence on those they are speaking of.  Not so long ago in America – people of colour could not attend the same schools as white people and were treated like second class citizens.  People of colour and those who supported civil rights, were often threatened with violence and many were even killed for wanting equal rights.  Today, people are making statements about homosexuals and are citing the bible as the reason why they can make their hateful and ignorant statements.  To those people, I ask “What makes what you believe to be the truth?”  I have never heard any argument that will satisfy or explain any story written in the bible.  Is my belief any more outrageous than those who believe in religious doctrine?  The difference between what I believe and what many of those who believe in religious doctrine is that I don’t incite hate towards others in my beliefs.  I don’t condemn a group of people because of the colour of their skin, their gender, their right to believe in religion or because they were born heterosexual.

When Phil Robertson made his comments – he may have just as well handed the torches to those religious fanatics who believe it is okay to beat or kill someone because they are gay.  Phil Robertson should sit with the families that lost their sons or daughters to bullies who felt that same way.  Would he blatantly tell these families that their kids are in hell because they were born gay?  What would he say to the parents of Matthew Sheppard, Tyler Clementi, Brandon McInerney, Philip Parker and the countless kids who are no longer with us because they were bullied or killed?  It is irresponsible to hide your ignorance behind religion.  I know many religious people who believe otherwise – they come from a religious belief system that is hopeful, inclusive, nurturing and most of all, loving.

So many Christian Conservatives are offended by those who are calling for the cancellation of the A&E show – Duck Dynasty.  Sarah Palin said the following on Facebook, “Free speech is an endangered species.  Those ‘intolerants’ hat in’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us.”  Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said, “Phil Robertson and his family are great citizens of the State of Louisiana.  The politically correct crowd is tolerant of all viewpoints, except those they disagree with.  I don’t agree with quite a bit of stuff I read in magazine interviews or see on TV.  In fact, come to think of it, I find a good bit of it offensive.  But I also acknowledge that this is a free country and everyone is entitled to express their views.  In fact, I remember when TV networks believed in the First Amendment.  It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”  Many Christian Conservatives say that it is the liberals who are infringing on their religious beliefs but what they don’t see is that many of their beliefs are inciting hate against others.

I don’t watch Duck Dynasty but I know of it now and I’m glad.  If this was a publicity stunt – then it worked, people are talking about it.  But more importantly – people know.  If you want to support ignorance and hate – you will stand behind Phil Robertson but not every one of us prescribes to the same religious beliefs as those who stand behind Phil Robertson.  I think more people are inclined to be kind, compassionate, loving and supportive.  I am no God – I can’t make statements based on a book that has no factual evidence.  What I can say is that I am willing to give everyone a chance – even Phil Robertson.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!


Firemen/women – don’t receive enough credit.  They risk their lives in order to save the lives of others – including animals, this video is amazing and, the fireman who brought this kitten back from deaths door is a hero in my eyes!  The video is heart-wrenching.

Here is a video from an inspiring comedian and educator – Michael Pritchard, giving a funny, yet very serious presentation about bullying….EXCEPTIONAL!

For me, it is videos like these that inspire me to continue to spread positive change and love into the world.  I find these videos are much more important than celebrities having nervous breakdowns or celebrity sex tapes….Our society has their priorities wrong and most of us are so addicted to media sensationalism, violence and irrelevant and worthless gossip.  Gossip is not good for our souls, violence is not good for our souls, getting enjoyment from other people’s disappointments is not good for our souls, so we need to stop this cycle of negativity and hate.

Let us learn from the above videos – how did you feel after watching them?  Didn’t these videos make your heart swell and give you a greater sense of hope?  Keep that feeling alive and, instead of spreading gossip, hate, violence and negative energy – spread love, compassion and positive energy into the world.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!



I am so proud of our police force for creating this video!  Thank you for standing up for all those who are/have been bullied throughout their lives.  Having the support of the Toronto Police is a true testament to how far society has come in support of the LGBT community.  Watch this great video from the Toronto Police:

The Toronto Metropolitan Police has always ensured the safety of the LGBT community and their allies during Gay Pride Parades past and present in Toronto. 

Thank you for your support!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one.





I came across this YouTube video a few days ago and so many emotions and thoughts went through my head – I also was empathetic with this young boy because I to was in the exact place that he was in. 

Before I discuss the subject matter of the video….please watch:

This is blog is written for Austin Gates and for all others who are struggling with living their authentic true lives:

There is no reason to feel ashamed and guilty in being gay!  You came into the world as you were supposed to, like everyone else.  Some of us happen to be gay, others are heterosexual, black, hispanic, blue-eyed, brunette etc….we can’t help it, so embrace it, own it and LOVE IT!  Many LGBTQ youth/men and women need to embrace their authenticity otherwise they will only be robbing themselves of living lives that reflect who they truly were meant to be – trust me, I know as I lived a lie for so many years.

Austin, your mother obviously has some issues she needs to deal with.  Don’t carry the burdens she passed on to you.  Seek counselling and get therapy for the physical and emotional abuse she has put you through.  IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!  THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU!!!  There is no excuse for senseless violence – for any reason!  A mother should be loving, nurturing and supportive.  I to was a victim of physical and emotional abuse and I will tell you that IT DOES GET BETTER!

The road for recovery for me began with forgiveness.  I thought I would never be able to forgive my father for the physical and emotional hurt he caused me.  I thought it would be so hard to get passed that emotional pain.  But I did.  I have never forgotten what my father did to me, but I did forgive him.  I put myself in his shoes and thought about the kind of life he had and all the physical and emotional abuse he faced as a boy and young man.  When I did this, I felt pain for my dad because he wasn’t able to resolve and reconcile any of the emotional and physical abuse he faced by the hands of his father or mother.

Playing with barbies doesn’t make you gay, just like playing with trucks and baseball bats doesn’t make you straight.  Those are stereotypes and generalizations people have made about others to make them feel good about themselves.  I know many gay men who didn’t play with barbies when they were young and I also know some ‘straight’ men who did.  Let go of that notion as it is not an important thing to hang onto. 

So many teens are kicked out of their homes because their parents can’t deal with a homosexual son or daughter – These parents need to understand that NOTHING is wrong with their child and that their irrational decisions may lead to that child’s dependency on drugs and alcohol.  It may also lead to suicide.  The issue isn’t with the child – the issue is with the parent.  Parents usually think “oh what did I do wrong”, “how can my son/daughter be gay”, “what will family/friends think”, etc.  These are the same thoughts that the child has and instead of being told that all will be fine – these children are usually abandoned.  What is it that allows a mother and father to abandon their children like this?  Many people claim that homosexuality goes against their religious beliefs and quote random passages in the bible.  This is not true and without getting into a huge religious debate – if God does exist, I don’t believe He/She/It would want His/Her/Their word to be ones filled with hate and judgement.  

Austin – feel comfortable in your skin and know that you are as you should be.  Stay in control, deal with your pain through therapy.  Seeing a good therapist and talking about the abuse you went through will help you.  Atlanta has a very supportive gay community that can help you with this!  FORGIVE – your mother has issues that she needs to work through – hopefully she will. 

Where ever you are now – I hope that you live with someone who is supportive, compassionate and loves you for being your authentic and true-self.   Remember, you are not alone.  There are so many resourceful places that you can go to for support and guidance.  Here are some helpful resources in the Atlanta area:


http://www.pflagatl.org/ (PFLAG Atlanta)






Together, we can make the world a more positive one


Brian Fischer – Leader of the American Family Association is spewing his hate and made-up statistics about homosexuals.

Mr. Fischer is up-in-arms about the Boy Scouts of America’s potential move to drop its policy against gay scouts and scout leaders.  He denounces the Boy Scouts calling them ‘suicidal’ should they drop its policy.  He continues to say “from this day forward there is not one loving father in America that ever, ever, ever oughta entrust his son to the Boy Scouts of America”.  Mr. Fischer is claims “male homosexuals offend against children at roughly 10 times the rate at which heterosexuals offend” indicating that dropping the policy against gay scouts and leaders is an open invitation to pedophiles.

Many people ask me why I continue to post videos and information on ‘hate groups’ and why do I even bother to give them an outlet to release such bigotry.  My answer is simple.  In order to create positivity and love in the world, we must continue to fight those who continuely demonize others and use religion, God and the Bible as reference to justify this bigotry.  Using the ‘religious card’ is completely hypocritical – and if you believe ‘the word of God’, God created all of us in His own image.  Being a gay male, I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to change my sexuality and be gay.  I was born this way as He made me.  God is love – therefore if anyone shouldn’t be entrusting their sons or daughters to any organization – it should be organizations like the American Family Association who continue to perpetuate hate all in the name of archaic religious ideologies.

Here is a video of Brian Fischer spewing his hate:

We are all better than people like this…..and I have so much more faith that the majority of those who believe in God are inclusive, loving, compassionate and supportive human beings.  I am grateful for those who are like that and  hope they continue to spread their love in the world!

Together we can make the world a more positive one.


Sometimes life becomes very overwhelming and we may ask ourselves how much more can we go through without becoming emotionally detached.

Most of my life, I was emotionally detached with myself and desperately trying to fit in and be accepted.  I wasn’t thrilled about my home life and during most of my teens – I would do everything it would take to get out of the house.  There was much fear, anger and sadness at home and I could not deal with those things as I was trying so hard to figure out who I was and how to deal with my own internal battles.

Eventually, I finally discovered who I was and then had to confront my next battle – overcoming my internal homophobia.  Can you imagine?  I finally came to understand that I was born homosexual only to find I had to learn how to remove all the negative stereotypes associated to the gay lifestyle that family, friends, society and even the gay community instilled into my brain.  Gay people were dirty, promiscuous, always drinking and partying, doing drugs and having un-safe sex – that was what I was always being told and believed until I became part of the gay community.

After many years of dealing with my own internal homophobia – I learned that I loved who I was and was not ever going to apologize for being born this way.  The anger and confusion from all the things I was taught were right by family, friends, religion and society was finally beginning to wear off – I was finally free to act how I wanted to act and to say what I wanted to say.  I finally felt free!

I may have made choices in my life that I was not proud of – but I have no regrets because had I not made those choices, I would not be the strong person I am today.  Many people ask me why I decided to come out or what was it like living a double life?  The only way I could answer that was by using this analogy:

Imagine a world where everyone in it is gay or lesbian….you turn on the television and it was all same-sex couples, you open the newspaper or magazines and everyone were same-sex couples, the billboards on the streets, everything around you is “normal” and same-sex.  You knew there is something different within you and it does not fall in line with everything around you….you know you are attracted to the opposite sex but you can’t do anything about it because it is not “normal” according to everything around you – your family, friends, society, religion – all of it goes against what you feel inside.  Then you meet someone and you fall in love – you want to share everything with that person and you want to share that love you have with that person with everyone in your life, BUT YOU CAN’T because it goes against the laws of that same-sex society.  How would you feel and what would you do?

That was my struggle and that continues to be the struggle of countless children who are not encouraged to be whom they were born to be.  We ask ourselves ‘how can these kids who kill themselves succumb to those who are bullying them?  One reason is because, right from the start – these children are being told that they are not equals to what society deems to be ‘normal’.

I am happy to live my life with someone I love and care for more than anyone else in this world….my husband Jason.  I feel that our love continues to grow because of our similar past and the struggles we faced as homosexual men.  I also feel that it is our duty to inform our friends and family that we are no different from them – except that they were born heterosexuals.

As I said above – life is too difficult already and I don’t feel like a debate is necessary on whether or not my homosexuality was a choice that I made – all you have to do is ask me and I can tell you that I did not choose my lifestyle of ridicule, harassment, hate, threats of violence, inequality and segregation – that is what society put upon me! I can also tell you, that if I made a conscious decision to be homosexual wouldn’t you be able to make the same choice?

My point is that, life is too short to worry about the things that should not even be an issue.  We should be worried about helping those in need;  the hungry, the sick, the poor and unhealthy.  We need to focus on love, life and healing this planet.

I love life – I love this planet and all I want for anyone who lives on this earth is to respect one another, respect mother nature and forge a life where all you give to the universe is goodness.  There is too much anger, hate and greed – we don’t need to focus on those things because those are not the things that will make your life content.

Live from love and compassion and that will be all that you know.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!