I AM…..

I am FORGIVENESS

I am COMPASSIONATE

I am SILLY

I am FUNNY

I am HOMOSEXUAL

I am in love with the EARTH

I am an activist for ANIMALS

I am VEGAN

I am not PERFECT

I am a good FRIEND

I am AUTHENTIC

I am LIGHT

I am NATURE

I am TRUTHFUL

I am an ARTIST

I am a LOVER

I am COMFORTABLE

I am CONTENT

I am POSITIVE

I am HOPEFUL

I am LOVE

I am GOD

Don’t allow the negative perceptions of others determine how you see yourself.  Once you are comfortable in your own skin, it will not matter how others see yourself as long as you know how much you shine!

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RELIGIOUS FREEDOM LEGISLATION

According to a 2014 poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News, 50 percent of Americans say that the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection gives gays the right to marry – outside of the constitutional question, 59 percent say they support same-sex marriage.  With all this support and acceptance, why is it that some feel it is okay to discriminate against a group of people based on religious freedom?

Indiana Senate Bill 101, titled the Religions Freedom Restoration Act, is a law in the U.S. state of Indiana, which allows individuals and companies to assert that their exercise of religion has been, or is likely to be, substantially burdened as a defense in legal proceedings.  This allows businesses to refuse potential customers based on their religious beliefs.  Personally, I believe that an individuals right to practice religion should not impede on that individuals choice to service the public.  That individual made a decision to be a business owner not a preacher, minister or pastor.  Their religious beliefs should not give them a right to discriminate against anyone.

This type of legislation is dangerous and is reminiscent of the days before the civil rights movement when people of colour couldn’t use the same rest rooms as white people.  Whose to say that the discrimination will end with gays and lesbians?  What if someone is uncomfortable doing business with someone who belongs to another religion?  Legislation like this protects individuals who have a certain belief system and there are so many people who don’t fit into that category.  Do atheist business owners deny business to those who belong to individuals that prescribe to religious ideologies?  Do Catholic business owners serve only Catholics?

By signing this bill into law, Governor Mike Pence, has created something I believe to be good.  Firstly, he has opened the eyes of many that discrimination is alive and well in the United States of America.  It’s quite unsettling that those who believe their religious freedoms are being threatened are exercising their God-given right to fundamentally go against the basic teachings of Jesus Christ or God.  Doesn’t that seem hypocritical to you?  Secondly, this legislation is creating dialogue.  People are talking about this and bringing to light the simple notion that religion is a choice and should not determine legislation.  Ask yourself – who really is the victim, the business or the people who have gone to that specific business to buy their service or product only to be denied that service or product?

I was brought up in a Catholic household.  My parents then decided to ‘test drive’  a new religious ideology by practicing the Jehovah’s Witness religion – which my siblings and I had to go along with.  My high school was composed of mostly kids from a Jewish faith.  So what did I learn from religion?  Confusion, anger, depression, fear, anxiety, hypocrisy and hate.  I learned that most religions don’t accept you if you are born gay.  You are not as appreciated if you are a woman.  Slavery is okay.  Killing is okay.  I learned that there is much more violence and separation of people in religion than there is love. 

For me, religious freedom legislation isn’t something that brings people together.  It creates more negativity and divides people.  Religious freedom legislation doesn’t serve the benefits of all, it only serves the benefits of a few and that does not create positive change in our world.

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

DO YOU BELIEVE IN FATE?

Lately, I don’t really take much time to assess why certain things have happened in my life.  I just assume that whatever happens is what is meant to happen.  I don’t over analyze, I don’t take too much time to question or debate why things have/have not happened.  Instead of asking myself, “Why didn’t I get that job?” or “Why is this person treating me this way?” – I make the determination that these events are supposed to happen as they are because I am supposed to get a better job or I was supposed to learn something about that person.  Sure we can do things in order to achieve certain results but there are many things that we don’t have control over.

I remember an incident in which my spouse’s friend was slightly unhappy in her job.  I suggested that she take the experience she received from her current job and apply for a position where I worked.  She not only got the job – her life changed.  She met someone she fell in love with, they got married and had two beautiful children.  According to many of her Facebook posts, she seems to be happy and is enjoying her life.  Where we meant to connect so that these events could take place in her life?

It is only normal to ask ourselves, “What if I hadn’t decided to move here?” or “I wonder what would my life have been like if I didn’t meet (insert name here)?”  These questions remind me of a movie called, Sliding Doors, starring Gwenyth Paltrow.  The movie takes a look at a life of a woman in two different situations.  She is rushing to make a train and the first scenario is how her life turned out by catching the train.  The second scenario is a look at her life had she not caught that same train.  It was an entertaining movie that had the same outcome – things are supposed to happen as they should.

When we do look back at our lives, we shouldn’t look back with regret.  The past should be looked at as learning experiences that have made us the people we are today.  Live in the current moment and don’t stress too much about the ‘what if’s’ or ‘I should have…’  If we are present and fully aware of the now, we will not miss anything.  We should also not spend too much time thinking of the future – you can’t determine what will happen tomorrow, next week or a year from now so why bother worrying about it?

By being aware of the now – the things that are happening to you in real-time, you will be in a much better capacity to deal with anything that happens.  Allow yourself to do the things that you want to do now.  If you apply on a job, do your best and thank the universe for the opportunity – if the job is supposed to be yours, it will happen.  If you are debating whether you should move to a different part of your town, city or another part of the world – trust in the universe (or fate) to provide you with your solution.  Things happen as they should.  If you are struggling too much with a certain situation, take a deep breath, send your inquiries into the universe, remove yourself from the stressful issue and trust that fate will take care of the rest.  By trusting in yourself and in the universe or higher power – you allow yourself to connect to source, the power of creation and the never-ending force of love.  Trust in that love and all will be well in your world.

Path To Love

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

 

THE CONNECTION BETWEEN ASTROLOGY and RELIGION

Spring is a time of renewal, rebirth and the resurrection of our mother earth.  This time of year is also known (to many Christians) as the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  My views on religion have changed significantly since I was a kid – my beliefs are more agnostic, I know that there is something much bigger than all of us but I don’t think that it is the traditional Christian belief of what God is.  I don’t have anything against the choices people make in regards to their religion, as long as their religion doesn’t infringe on the rights of those who don’t have the same beliefs.

I wrote a blog a few years ago about the relationship between astrology and religion and the similarities of some of the most well-known prophets, here are the highlights:

Horus (Egyptian Sun God) 3000B.C.

  • Born on December 25th of the virgin Isis-Meri
  • Birth accompanied by a star in the east, which 3 kings followed
  • At 12, Horus was a prodigal child teacher
  • At 30, he was baptized by a figure known as Anup and began his ministry
  • Horus was also known by other names such as; The Truth, The Light, God’s Anointed Son, The Good Shepard, The Lamb of God, etc.
  • 12 disciples
  • Was betrayed by Typhon
  • Crucified
  • Buried for 3 days and then resurrected
  • Performed miracles (healed the sick, the blind, cast out demons and walked on water)

Mithra (Persian God Of Mithra) 1200B.C.

  • Born if virgin on December 25th
  • Known as; The Lamb, The Way, The Truth and The Light
  • Performed miracles
  • Resurrected on the 3rd day

Attis (Greece) 1200B.C.

  • Born of a virgin on December 25th
  • Crucified
  • Dead for 3 days
  • Resurrected

Krishna (Second person of the Hindu Trinity) 1000B.C.

  • Born of a virgin on December 25th
  • Called ‘God’ and ‘The Son of God’
  • Was a carpenter
  • Baptized in a river
  • Upon his death, he was resurrected

Dionysus (Greece) 500B.C.

  • Born of virgin on December 25th
  • Performed miracles
  • Known as; The King of Kings, Alpha and Omega
  • Resurrected upon death

And finally – the most recent of the solar Messiah’s…..

Jesus Christ

  • Also known as Yeshua of Nazareth
  • “Christ” is not his last name; it is simply the Greek word for “Messiah” or “Anointed One”
  • Born on December 25th of the virgin Mary in Bethlehem
  • Birth announced by a star in the east which 3 kings followed
  • Was a child teacher at 12
  • Was baptized by ‘John the Baptist’ at 30 thus beginning his ministry
  • Also knows as; King of Kings, Son of God, Light of The World, Alpha and Omega, Lamb of God etc.
  • Betrayed by his disciple Judas
  • Was crucified and placed in a tomb
  • Resurrected after 3 days and ascended to Heaven

Jesus is a plagiarized version of the Egyptian Sun-God, Horus.  All these saviours have derived from the ancient civilizations belief and worship of the sun.  Like all other Pagan gods, Jesus was simply a mythical figure however, it was the Roman political establishment that sought to give life to the Jesus figure for social control:  The Roman emperor, Constantine convened the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.) at which the Christian Doctrines were established and thus began a long history of Christian bloodshed and spiritual fraud.

The birth sequence of Jesus and other religious saviours is completely astrological.  The star in the east (Sirius) is the brightest star in the night sky.  On December 24th it aligns with the 3 brightest stars in Orion’s belt – which are called ‘The Three Kings’.  All point to the place of sunrise on December 25th, the birth of “God’s Sun” at winter solstice.  The sun is personified as the unseen creator or God, God’s son, The Light of The World, The Saviour of Human Kind.  The 12 constellations represented the places of travel for God’s sun.  The sun stops moving south (at least it seems to stop) for 3 days and during this 3-day pause, the sun resides in the vicinity of the Southern Cross Constellation (Crux).  After this time, on December 25th, the sun moves one degree north foreshadowing longer days, warmth and spring – a rebirth.  This is precisely the same sequence s the various ‘Saviours’ (Jesus, Krishna, Mithra, Dionysus, Attis, Horus).

The celebration of the sun’s resurrection wasn’t celebrated until Easter or the Spring Equinox – when the sun overpowers the night with longer days and the revitalization that spring brings.

What are people celebrating at this time of year (Easter) – is it the resurrection of their God, is it the Easter Bunny (the connection between the Easter Bunny and religion is unknown to me) or is it the celebration of chocolate.  What is the significance of this time of year?  As I said in my old blog post:

So what is it that we are celebrating during this time of year?  Are we celebrating the birth of  these mythical characters,  the spiritual fraud and Christian bloodshed, astrology or are we celebrating the beginnings of social control?  Does anyone even really care or is the modern-day commercialization of Christmas/Easter just another attempt to keep all of us distracted.  A distracted civilization is an ignorant civilization and the more distracted and ignorant we become, the more controllable we are.

What makes one religion the authority of all?  Shouldn’t we just instill compassion and love into our world?  Should we not be helping those who need help the most?  Should we not be proactive in healing our planet and having compassion for all that live within in?  Isn’t that what people did since the beginning of civilization?  We didn’t worship a God – we worshipped the planet.  The planet is what gives us the air to breathe, the water we drink and the food that we eat.  It keeps us alive and how do we repay the earth’s generosity?  We deplete its resources by cutting down the trees of our forests – that help give us the air we breathe, we poison the lakes that provide us with clean drinking water and we instill cruelty on animals that fear and try to avoid us.

LOVE should be our religion and with LOVE, we can create so much positive change in the world. 

 

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

 

I DECLARE….

I declare the following and stand strongly behind these declarations as they come from a positive place and they come from LOVE:

  • A person’s CHOICE to believe in religion should not impede on the rights of those who don’t follow any religious doctrine.
  • MARRIAGE is just a word – the process of being or becoming married is NOT solely based and afforded to heterosexual couples.  Individuals who are in loving and in committed same-sex relationships also have the right to be married and call it a marriage because that is what it is!
  • There is no difference between physical abuse towards an animal or a person.  Abuse is abuse.  All sentient beings should be treated with respect, compassion and love.
  • Don’t ever apologize for wanting to spread love and positive energy into the world.  Stand behind what you believe with conviction and with passion and people will respect your views.
  • Religious beliefs SHOULD NEVER influence legislation – religious views are choices people make in what they believe and should never be used to deny civil liberties of others.  Leave religion OUT of politics.
  • Money should never influence a decision for a person, organization or government to do something that will have a positive impact on society.  Isn’t the positive impact worth the money?  Example:  Climate Change – spending money to make our planet more sustainable and moving towards more renewable sources of energy is a good thing whether or not you believe that climate change is happening.
  • LOVE is my religion – I know that I am here on this planet to create positive change in the world.
  • Finally…if you believe in “GOD” – He/She/It made us in His/Her/Their own image.  We are a reflection of Him/Her/It.  So ‘GOD’ is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, black, white, yellow, red, Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Christian, man, woman, child.  GOD is everyone and everything so when you are judging someone else, you are judging GOD.

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

WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE GAY

I have known that there was something wonderful and different about me.  This wonderful thing wasn’t something I reacted to – it was something that was embedded within me.  I didn’t learn it because it was something I just didn’t turn on – it was always there since my birth.  The only time I started doubting my authenticity was when I realized how others viewed those who were born with this ‘uniqueness’.  I was gay, I was me, I was authentic but I now had to deny my authenticity because others were uncomfortable with it.  So I did, until I was 21 and tired of living a lie and trying to please and garner respect from others who had no respect for me. 

So what was it like to be gay?  I can answer this question based on various stages and ages:

From my birth to the age of 12Like I mentioned above, it wasn’t until I understood how people felt about those who were different, that I decided to keep my authenticity to myself.  I remember how ridiculed, belittled, verbally and physically abused and harassed gay people were by those who didn’t tolerate it and only because of this, I decided to live a closeted life.

Between the ages of 13 and 20I understood I was different, I understood I wasn’t really interested in a sexual relationship with those of the opposite sex but alas, society, peers, religion and family enforced their distaste for homosexuals.  I wasn’t encouraged to live an authentic life, so I continued living a life for others and not for myself.  This lie caused much inner-turmoil and created self-hatred and internal homophobia.

Between the ages of 21 and 30I was finally free.  I was in my first long-term relationship and felt I couldn’t live my life filled with lies, deception and without being true to myself.  I came to terms with the fact that I couldn’t change who I was – I was born like this.  I was happy with who I was and the problem didn’t lie with me, it lied with those who were ignorant and biased against me and others who were born like me.  These people justified their hate and ignorance behind their religious beliefs and the stereotypes they knew to be true about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gendered community.  I had enough.

Between the ages of 31 and nowI became more and more comfortable in living my authentic life.  The weight of the world was lifted from my shoulders.  If any of my friends of family had issues with who I was, I was comfortable enough to remove them from my life and allow them to deal with their own prejudices.  Mostly, there weren’t any issues about my sexuality amongst my friends or family that became evident.  If anyone had issues, they were never brought to my attention.  I am who I am.  For those who believe in religious doctrine – I am who God made me to be and if we are all products of The Maker, than the maker is gay, straight, bisexual, black or white.  We DO NOT choose the colour of our skin or our eyes but we do choose what we believe.

So, what is it like to be gay?  Simply, the same as it is to be straight.  If being gay is a choice, then being straight must also be a choice.  I am not defined by my “gayness”, I am defined by my character.  I believe that my character CHOOSES to create positive change in the world, to help people who are down, to encourage people to be kind, loving, compassionate and caring – those are choices, and I would rather choose love and kindness over hate and ignorance.

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

 

I DONT HATE RELIGIOUS PEOPLE but THEY MAY HATE ME.

Many believe me to be very harsh against people who have Christian beliefs and values.  I don’t.  What I am against is what some religions teach.

Many of us have been told that God is always watching and that we should fear him.  Why fear a God that apparently loves and ALL of His children?  Is God a voyeur?  If he is always watching, how come he hasn’t interfered in helping the homeless or punishing the greedy?  Many people have claimed that God caused many of the environmental catastrophe’s today because of gay marriage.  To them, I say:  “Why is God only interested in causing devastation in order to drive YOUR point?” These “rule’s” weren’t God’s rules, they were the rules of men who felt uncomfortable or threatened by things they didn’t understand or fear.

In my world, women can practice religion, they can vote, they can decide not to be with their spouses without any recourse of death, they can drive cars, they can voice their opinions if they disagree with their spouses and they can do whatever they want with their bodies without feeling shamed or ridiculed.

In my world, people who are struggling to buy food, eat healthy, get an education and have access to health care should not be told that it is their own fault they are in this predicament.  They should be supported and given a chance to create a better life for themselves and their children.

In my world, people should not be denied to love someone of the same-sex.  Shouldn’t we be encouraging love to flourish and grow so that society can flourish and grow.

In my world, wars would not be a means of showing my disagreement with policies of another country.  I would engage in conversation and dialogue not wave my military might around in order to instil my own countries beliefs.

So what has religion taught me?  It has taught me that there are many people who are puppets and who are afraid to ask questions.  Religion has taught me that there are many followers.  Religion has taught me that there are those who use it to secure their place in the world through politics.  Religion has taught me that you only win through violence and obedience.  Religion has taught me that there is much hate in the world.  Religion has taught me that there is much ignorance in the world.  Religion has taught me that there is much divide and separation in the world.  Where is the love?  Where is the compassion?  Where is the tolerance?

All of the above sounds very anti-love and anti-religion, doesn’t it?  To that I say, “Why is it that what you believe outweigh what I believe?”  I may not believe in what is written in a ‘holy book’.  I certainly do not believe what religious doctrine has preached as the word of whatever God or prophet or idol others believe in but this doesn’t make me any better than those who believe this.

What if there was a religion that made no judgements on others?  It’s okay to be a woman and have a voice.  It’s okay to help others.  It’s okay to be different.  It’s okay that you have a tattoo.  It’s okay that you are Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Christian, Rastafarian, pagan, atheist or whatever.  What is not okay is to judge, oppress, divide, conquer and hate.

So I ask, which world would you rather live in?  A world that dictates everything you should believe or a world that allows you to ask questions and not be a follower?

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

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE – THE DOWNFALL of CIVILIZATION….

I have heard many religious leaders indicating that allowing same-sex couples to marry would be the downfall of civilizations.  People have even gone as far as blaming environment catastrophe’s due to states grating same-sex marriage.  Okay….let’s look at some statistics and facts surrounding the implementation and recognition of same-sex marriages around the world, here are some timelines: 

  • Netherlands was the first country to extend marriage laws to include same-sex couples.  A same-sex marriage bill passed the House of Representatives and the Senate in 2000, taking effect on 1 April, 2001.
  • Belgium became the second country in the world to legally recognize same-sex marriages.
  • The provinces of Ontario and British Columbia in Canada legally recognized same-sex marriages in 2003 – Ontario (June) and British Columbia (July).
  • In 2004 – The Canadian provinces of Quebec (March),  Yukon (July), Manitoba (September), Nova Scotia (September), Saskatchewan (November) and Newfoundland (December) legally recognized same-sex marriages.  Nationally, Canada (July) legally recognized same-sex marriage as of July 20, 2005 – becoming the 4th country to do so.  Sandoval County, New Mexico, USA (February; discontinued, reinstated by statewide legalization in December), New Paltz, New York, USA (February; discontinued, reinstated by statewide legalization in July, 2011), Massachusetts, USA (May)
  • On July 3, 2005 – Spain became the 3rd country to officially recognize same-sex marriage legally.
  • 2006 – South Africa (November) recognizes same-sex marriage.
  • 2008 – California, USA (June, discontinued November and reinstated June (2013) and Connecticut, USA (November) recognize same-sex marriage.
  • 2009 – Norway (January) and Sweden (May) and in the USA, Iowa (January) and Vermont (September).
  • 2010 – The US States of New Hampshire (January) and District of Columbia (March) along with Portugal (June), Iceland (June) and Argentina (July) begin recognizing same-sex marriage. 
  • 2011 – New York, statewide (July).
  • 2012 – Denmark (June) and the US states of Washington (December) and Maine (December).
  • 2013 – The US states of Maryland (January), Delaware (July), Minnesota (August), Rhode Island (August), New Jersey (October), Hawaii (December), New Mexico (statewide) (December) and Utah (December, discontinued in January and reinstated in October, 2014) along with the countries; Brazil (May), France (May), Uruguay (August) and New Zealand (August).
  • 2014 – In the USA; Oregon (May), Pennsylvania (May), Illinois (statewide) (June), Wisconsin (June, discontinued 13 June and reinstated October), Indiana (June, discontinued 27 June and reinstated in October), Oklahoma (October), Virginia (October), Colorado (October), West Virginia (October), Nevada (October), North Carolina (October), Alaska (October), Idaho (October), Arizona (October), Wyoming (October), Montana (November), South Carolina (November) along with England of Wales (March) and Scotland (December).
  • 2015 – Luxembourg (January) and the US States; Florida (January) and Alabama (February).

So what has happened since the all these countries and many states have legalizes same-sex marriages?  Have economies collapsed?  Did civil war break out in these countries and states?  For those who are religious and God-fearing – has God caused biblical floods of epic proportions or burned cities to the ground for granting same-sex marriages?  I can confidently say – that, with the introduction of same-sex marriages, unions, partnerships (whatever you want to call them), nothing drastic has changed for any heterosexuals couple that have opposed this in the past.  The only thing that has changed is for those individuals in same-sex unions.  Same-sex couples have the same benefits and rights that are afforded to heterosexual married couples and are treated equally under the law.

Let’s look at Canada – Canada has been grating same-sex marriages since 2003 (in 2 provinces – Ontario and British Columbia).  Ontario is my home province and nothing significant has happened in the province since allowing same-sex marriages.  As a matter-of-fact, nothing has happened anywhere in which same-sex marriages have been granted.  Same-sex unions/marriages are not to blame for the huge spikes in the divorce rates between heterosexual couples.  Instead of focusing their dissent on couples who are in loving  and committed relationships, why don’t those who are so opposed to same-sex marriages focus their rage and dissention on the increasing divorce rates, homelessness, poverty, violence towards women, and other more pressing social issues?

My spouse and I have been together for over 20 years and married for 7….our relationship or marriage hasn’t infringed on the rights and responsibilities of anyone we know.  We made the decision to marry to ensure we were treated equally in the eyes of the law (not to mention the fact that we love one another).  My marriage is as equally meaningful as my parents, my sisters or my brother’s marriage.  That is all.

As I mentioned above, if people would just focus their energies on the real social issues that need our attention, this world would be a much brighter and positive one!  Let’s make that happen.

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

 

“COMING OUT” IS FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE WHO “COME OUT”

How many times have I heard the following statements?  “Why do gay people have to come out?” or “Straight people to come out.”  Those individuals who complain the most about any man or women that are finally able to embrace their gender/sexual identity and live authentic lives are the ones that protest the loudest.  As a gay male – who hasn’t really officially ‘come out’ explain why this process is a process that many in the LGBT community need to allow to happen naturally:

First, here is the reason that people in the LGBT community must ‘come out’……(using my own personal experience, which is very similar for so many people)….I have always known that I was attracted to men, it wasn’t confusing – I was attracted to men.  I didn’t wake up one morning and decide, “I think I’ll begin an emotional and physical attraction to men today” – that just doesn’t happen.  

There are many reasons that I didn’t decide to share my feelings in regards to being attracted to men, the most pressing was societies lack of acceptance towards people in same-sex relationships due to their religious beliefs.  Many so-called “religious people” who identify as Christian and God-fearing, justify their hate through their interpretation of the Bible.  They impose their religious ideologies and outright condemn homosexuals due to those religious ideologies and beliefs.  What if you don’t buy into those religious ideologies?  How do you justify not accepting a group of individuals as equal to everyone else?  Sounds very similar to what many black activists demanded during the civil rights movement, doesn’t it?  

I heard the many negative stories of people being kicked out of their homes and being disowned by family and friends after coming out.  I saw the harassment and bullying that many ‘out’ kids received in school.  Many were verbally, emotionally and physically assaulted – not only by their peers but by the school officials.  I wasn’t even out and was called, “faggot”, “queer”, “pussy”, “fairy” and so many other names that reinforced the lack of acceptance of people who were attracted to the same-sex.  This mistreatment wasn’t only experienced in public places – it was present in the home.  My uncle was gay – he has since passed but I remember that my mother loved him very much but no-one talked about his lifestyle.  It was kept secret and was a taboo topic of discussion because he was gay.  If family frowned and looked negatively upon my uncle’s homosexual identity – why would I make the decision to come out and open myself to further emotional turmoil?

There came a period in my life where I wanted nothing more than to find a partner and finally be free of living a double life.  But I knew that if that day came, my life would be an open book. 

I had many internal struggles and luckily found a community of people I could be myself with.  Many people like me – outcasts, freaks of nature, sexual deviants and predators as we were commonly referred to by those making the judgements.  I finally realized that my sexual identity didn’t define me and that I just happened to be a man who had attractions to other men.  There was nothing wrong with me.  On a warm night in Toronto’s gay community – I walked and pondered how my friends and family would react when I finally ‘came out’?  As I pondered this – a van squealed by and I heard several guys calling out to me; “hey faggot, wanna suck some cock”, “come and get it fairy” and eventually “die, faggot”  I had never been a victim of gay-bashing but I certainly came close that night – one of the guys in the van threw a beer bottle in my direction – missing me by inches, they then sped off.  This incident enraged me.  I was physically attacked because of where I was and for who I was even though these bullies didn’t know I was gay.

I was lucky – I finally made the decision to come out but only to myself.  I had to address and remove all the internal homophobia I had within.  I learned to love myself and I learned to deal with all the anger within me.  I met some wonderful people who looked death in the face but decided not to look at the world with hate and anger.  These people showed me that we had to stand strong and that we should not be treated as sexual predators or deviants.  We were brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, sons and daughters.  They showed me that we were teachers, policemen and women, doctors, lawyers, government employees, bank tellers, janitors or scientists – we were like everyone else.

I came out alright – but, I came out for the person it meant the most to – ME!  My ‘coming out’ wasn’t for anyone else.  It wasn’t for my father, mother, brothers, sisters or friends – if they didn’t accept me, I wasn’t going to take on their ignorance.  In ‘coming out’ – I made a decision that my life was going to be better for it.  Coming out would allow me to live authentically and positively.  So many of us in the LGBT community, want and need to be accepted by friends and family but, I learned that the only person that mattered in this process was me.  Coming out didn’t change the person I was.  I was the same Rob and this realization allowed me to see the ignorance in other people.  

The worst thing I hear from people now is – “I respect and love you but I don’t accept your lifestyle choice, it’s wrong” – I don’t accept that.  If you love and respect me as I love and respect you – there are no stipulations to that love and respect.  Imagine if I turned to a friend and said, “I love and respect you but your heterosexuality disgusts me.” It sounds just as ridiculous as, “I love and respect you but I don’t accept your lifestyle choice, it’s wrong.” 

Lifestyle choice….these words suggest that I made the choice to become gay.  That being said – if I can make the choice to be gay – then everyone can.  So, to all of you God-fearing people out there who are quick to reference the Bible on homosexuality, I dare you to make the same choice I did and become gay. 

We must thank those people who hold no judgements on others because of the colour of their skin, their gender, sexual identity, nationality or any other attributes that make them unique and different.  We must embrace individual diversities and allow people to live authentically so that we can all have a safe, inclusive and positive environment.

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

 

 

HANG ON!

We all have moments in life where we feel like we just want to give up.  Sometimes we feel hopeless and have no desire to do or accomplish anything.  These moments are when we really need someone to motivate us into action.  So what do I do to get out of this draining and negative energy?  As I am always in the state of learning and growing, recognizing my feelings when I’m in any kind of ‘static’, is the first step to removing that ‘static’.  I then remind myself, that I still have breath left in me and that I am alive.  I then take a few deep breaths and quietly meditate for health, peace of mind and strength – then I begin my day.

Here are some great ways to help remove negative energy and to pick yourself up from feeling blue:

  • learn something new (cooking class, tai chi, special interest, etc.)
  • exercise and get your blood flowing (yoga, weight training, cardio)
  • go for a long walk in nature and appreciate the life that is around you
  • write in a journal or start a journal – releasing some pent-up feelings make help alleviate your ‘low energy feelings’
  • turn off the television – I find that television (especially news) tends to promote anxiety, fear and perpetuates negative feelings
  • stay away from things that heighten your ‘low energy feelings’ like drugs and alcohol
  • put on some of your favourite high energy songs – songs that make you happy
  • meditate – if you don’t know how, pick up some meditation instructional books or cds, check out Hay House www.hayhouse.com – founder, Louise Hay, has some great tools and books that will help you alleviate your ‘low level feelings’

For me, I find that music is the best source for me to remove negative and any ‘low level feelings’ that I may have, especially music that has positive and uplifting messages.  I used to blog a ‘song of the week’ every Thursday – sharing songs that I found had profound and positive messages, I stopped as I figured I would just complete these types of blogs when I really felt I needed to.  Today, is one of those days.  Here are lyrics to a song that has kept me in great spirits and motivated me to HANG ON!

Singer/songwriter, Tiffany Lee Arbuckle notes that “Hang On” was written about finding hope when you feel hopeless.  The song is performed by Plumb, here are the lyrics followed by the lyric video:

HANG ON
(Derek Murphy, Tiffany Arbuckle Lee, Jaclyn Rose Schutrop, William Dixon, Luke Harry Sheets Walker)

I’m so stubborn, it’s how I got here
So alone, feels like forever
Wanna swim away and breathe the open air
But I feel so afraid, then I hear you say

Hang on when the water is rising
Hang on when the waves are crashing
Hang on, just don’t ever let go

I’m so hungry, how can I stay here?
Starving for what I hold so dear
Like a hurricane it takes everything from me
Wake me from this dream

Hang on when the water is rising
Hang on when the waves are crashing
Hang on, just don’t ever let go

Hang on when you are barely breathing
Hang on when your heart’s still beating
Hang on, just don’t ever let go

Three days, thirty years
So hopeless, doesn’t matter
Don’t say it’s too late if you blink your eyes
The sun is rising, the sun is rising, oh

Hang on when the water is rising
Hang on when the waves are crashing
Hang on, just don’t ever let go

Hang on when you’re barely breathing
Hang on when your heart’s still beating
Hang on, just don’t ever let go

Artist – Plumb
 
You can purchase any of Plumb’s singles/albums via the iTunes store.
 

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