LOVE DEFEATS BULLYING

Imagine a world in which being homosexual is “normal” and being straight is a “sin.”

When we take HATE and IGNORANCE (and RELIGION) out of the equation; gay, straight, black, white, Mexican, Swedish, skinny or fat would be moot issues because in the end – LOVE WINS!

No-one should be bullied for something they can’t choose.  Here is an example, which I have blogged about before on the topic of homosexuality:

Be cognizant in how you treat others and what type of language you use to describe others.  If we want to end bullying, prejudice, racism, sexism, ageism and so many other negative things, it must begin with YOU!

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

MARRIAGE MOMENTS OF THE PAST – NOBODY’S MEMORIES

This was published on YouTube on April 24, 2015.  Here is the caption from the PFLAGCanada channel:

This is our tribute to all those in the past who were never allowed to marry by law – and to everyone who is still denied the right today.  Share your love stories, wedding photos and videos on Instagram and Twitter with #lovemadelegal and let’s make gay marriage legal everywhere.

Thank you PFLAG Canada for this wonderful video:

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!

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!

 

 

GAY IS NORMAL…AS NORMAL AS STRAIGHT.

We all know that there are many religious ‘wing nuts’ that vilify homosexuality by saying that “it’s a choice” and that “if God didn’t want homosexuals, he wouldn’t create them.”  Well – I can tell you (as a homosexual man), I did not make the choice to be gay, I have always known I was attracted to the same-sex and (if there is a God), I am proof that He did want homosexuals because I exist.

Let’s take a look at some quotes made by those who hide their bigotry and hate against gays behind their religion:

“We will see a breakdown of the family and family values if we decide to approve same-sex marriage, and if we decide to establish homosexuality as an acceptable alternative lifestyle with all the benefits that go with equating it with the heterosexual lifestyle.” – Jerry Falwell
 
“Homosexuality is against nature.  Sexual expression is permitted only within marriage, between man and woman, male and female.  Anything else is an abnormality and is against nature.” – Pope Shenouda III
 
“I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option – it isn’t.” – Carl Paladino
 
“But the Bible speaks against it, and because the Bible speaks against it, we allow rampant sin including homosexuality and lying, and to me lying is just as bad as homosexuality, and we’ve allowed this sin to run rampant in our nation.” – Reggie White
 
“You know, those who are homosexual will die out because they don’t reproduce. You know, you have to have heterosexual sex to reproduce. Same thing with that church, it’s doomed, it’s going to die out because it’s the most nonsensical thing I’ve heard in a long time.” – Pat Robertson

“In fact, it’s the greatest threat to liberty of all kinds, whether it is freedom of religion, whether it is freedom of speech, whether it is freedom of the press, whether it is freedom of association, all of the rights that are enshrined in the First Amendment are threatened by the active, aggressive homosexual lobby and the homosexual agenda.” – Bryan Fischer

Now, let’s take a look a some quotes that are not exclusive, biased and filled with hate and fear.  These are sensible (and sometimes funny) and intellectual quotes regarding homosexuality:

“Like a majority of Americans in recent years, I came to understand that fear of homosexuality was leading our governments – including the one I ran as Governor of Mississippi – to deny the equal rights to an entire segment of our population that are afforded all of us under the Constitution.” – Ronnie Musgrove
 
“I think people feel threatened by homosexuality.  The problem isn’t about gay people, the problem is about the attitude towards gay people.  People think that all gays are Hannibal Lecters.  But gay people are sons and daughters, politicians and doctors, American heroes and daughters of American heroes.” – Hollis Stacy
 
“I don’t think homosexuality is a choice.  Society forces you to think it’s a choice, but in fact, it’s in one’s nature.  The choice is whether one expresses one’s nature truthfully or spends the rest of one’s life lying about it.” – Marlo Thomas
 
“Jesus never said a word about homosexuality.  In all of his teachings about multiple things – he never said that gay people should be condemned.  I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married.” – Jimmy Carter
 
“Homosexuality in Russia is a crime and the punishment is seven years in prison, locked up with the other men.  There is a three-year waiting list.” – Yakov Smirnoff
 
“What do you mean you don’t believe in homosexuality?  It’s not like the Easter Bunny, your belief isn’t necessary.” – Lea DeLaria
 
“Homosexuality is like the weather.  It just is.” – Andrew Sullivan
 
“I have no problem with it (homosexuality).  I don’t look on homosexuality as an aberration.  It’s just the way they’re born, and how could any relationship between two people in a committed relationship be wrong, regardless of gender?” – Andrea Thompson
 
“Heterosexuality is not normal, it’s just common.” – Dorothy Parker
 
“If religion is against homosexuality, then it is against the will and happiness of people.” – M. F. Moonzajer
 
That last quote is very profound because it suggests that many who believe the religious assertion about homosexuality is against their happiness as they were created that way in the eyes of God.  How can you condemn someone from birth?  You can’t judge someone based on their genetic make-up – it would be like condemning someone for being born with blue eyes, darker skin or without eyesight.  People need to stop interpreting religious doctrine to serve their own hateful and judgemental purposes.  They also need to stop trying to divide people based on their unique differences and accept people for those differences.
 

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

 
 

WHY MY MARRIAGE WILL NOT AFFECT YOURS

I don’t understand why so many people are freaking out about ‘gay’ marriage – first of all, it is NOT a ‘gay’ marriage – it is a marriage between two people of the same-sex.  Traditionally speaking, the definition of marriage is a union between one man and one women.  For me, this definition is based on suppression and the lack of acceptance of two people in love and this suppression and lack of acceptance is rooted mainly on religious beliefs. 

If two people of the same-sex and in love threaten the sanctity of ‘traditional marriage’ – why are divorce rates around the world on the uprise?  Isn’t divorce a religious faux pas?  Let’s take at look at some marriage statistics:

United States of America

Men and women are marrying later in life than they were in 1960:

  • 1960 Men – Age 23
  • 2012 Men – Age 28
  • 1960 Women – Age 20
  • 2012 Women – Age 25 

Marriage continues to decline – Between 1970 and 2010, marriage has declined by 50%

Divorce rates is twice as much as it was in 1960.  Current estimates, suggest that 40-50% of recent marriages will end in separation or divorce.

Lowest Divorce Rates

  1. India (1.1%)
  2. Sri Lanka (1.5%)
  3. Japan (1.9%)
  4. Republic of Macedonia (5%)
  5. Bosnia and Herzegovina (5%)

Highest Divorce Rates

  1. Sweden (54.9%)
  2. United States (54.8%)
  3. Belarus (52.9%)
  4. Finland (51.2%)
  5. Luxembourg (47.4%)

The United Kingdom placed 35th (42.6%), Germany was 31st (39.4%), France placed 29th (38.3%), Canada placed 26th (37%) and Spain placed 13th (15.2%).

I have been with my partner for 20 years – we are celebrating our 20th year at the end of October 2014.  We didn’t have a huge desire to get married – but we did.  In 2005, Canada became the 4th country in the world, the 1st outside of Europe, to legalize same-sex marriage.  In March of 2007, my partner and I married.  Since then, there hasn’t been catastrophic earthquakes and fire hasn’t rained from the sky in protest.  My marriage hasn’t destroyed the marriages of so many of my heterosexual friends marriages.  Nothing major has happened as a result of me marrying my same-sex partner.

So, I ask again, what is the problem of two people in love marrying each other?  Why are so many, usually religious fanatics, so concerned about same-sex marriages when they should be more concerned with the increasing heterosexual divorce rates?  Marriage licences come from the state and not from religious institutions.  Under the law, we should all be treated equally and reap the same benefits as heterosexual couples do.  It is for this reason (and because we love each other very much) that my partner and I married.  I find that religion, for many people, is a justification for their fear, bigotry and sometimes hate.  I am not religious and consider myself more agnostic (there is no proof that God does/doesn’t exist) but I do know that anytime religion is thrown into any social or political issues – there seems to be much more violence and intolerance regarding those social or political issues.  Religion doesn’t and should never dictate laws.  I have no problem with the religious beliefs of individuals but those beliefs should be justification to exclude the rights and civil liberties of a few.

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

 

I HIT SEND/MODERN MELTDOWN

I’m always looking for articles and videos that are inspiring, positive and invoke emotion.  Most of the images, articles or videos I share tend to be of the subject matter that is closest to my heart such as; the environment, the treatment of animals and issues relating to the LGBT (lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender) movement.

Today, I am sharing a video that was both touching and funny.  It is entitled, I Hit Send or Modern Meltdown.  Please note, there is harsh language.

Thanks to Steve Boyle. who shared such a personal and amazing poem and video!

LOVE is powerful and love belongs to everyone.

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

YOU, BEING STRAIGHT…IS TOO MUCH FOR ME TO HANDLE.

I am so tired of people saying, “he’s too gay” or  “that’s so gay”.  This automatically suggests that there is something wrong or negative about the word or being gay.  I am also tired of people becoming frustrated or complaining that there is too much gay news everywhere.  Yeah right, too much gay news of bullied teens committing suicide or states denying the LGBT community some fundamental basic rights.

I knew I was gay for a long time, as far as I can remember, but I also knew that the time was not right for me to ‘come out’, as a matter-of-fact, I feared that it wasn’t safe for me to come out.  During the time that I lived as a shadow of who I was supposed to be I felt despair, anxiety, depression, anger, hate, confusion and the isolated.  I could relate to the oppression women or how people of colour felt and no-one should be made to feel so unloved or unwanted.

I could understand how activists become aggressive in their fight for equality especially after you have been oppressed and even put to death for fighting for equality.  There was a time when people of colour were not allowed to be in the same spaces as white people  – not very long ago either.  There was a time when women couldn’t vote.  Today, homosexuality is still punishable by death in many countries.  Yet, I am told that I can’t have a gay pride parade because straight people don’t have straight pride. 

I have heard people saying that it is too much for them to handle people ‘gayness’ – like it’s a bad habit such a smoking or drinking too much – I wonder how offended they would get if I told them (with all my GAY PROUDNESS) how offended I am with their straightness?  Well, you would never hear that from me because it is not conducive to creating good energy.

For all those gay people who are struggling with their sexuality and authenticity – I am here to tell you.  ALL WILL BE BETTER, just embrace and love who you are.  You will be surprised of all the allies you will have both straight and gay.  People who only see you as the loving and beautiful person you are.  There is nothing wrong with you because you are a reflection of who created you!

Here are some great and POSITIVE quotes regarding homosexuality from some people you may or may not know…..they will surprise you:

“If a bullet should ever enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door.”Harvey Milk

“The only queer people are those who don’t love anybody.”Rita Mae Brown

 “We are sick of hearing people say, “That band is so gay,” or “Those guys are fags.”  Gay is not a synonym for shitty.  If you wanna say something’s shitty, say it’s shitty.  Stop being such homophobic assholes.” – Pete Wentz

“Anybody can be unhappy.  We can all be hurt.  You don’t have to be poor to need something or somebody.  Rednecks, hippies, misfits – we’re all the same.  Gay or straight?  So what?  It doesn’t matter to me.  We have to be concerned about other people, regardless.”Willie Nelson

“Some people think I am gay, which I think is awesome.”Daniel Radcliffe

“My thoughts on gay marriage are that everyone has the right to love and to be loved, and that’s the position I take.”Nick Jonas

“The poetry you read has been written for you, each of you – black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight.”Maya Angelou

“From a religious point of view, if God had thought homosexuality is a sin, he would not have created gay people.”Howard Dean

“Tell me:  When God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?…It is necessary to accompany them with mercy.”Pope Francis

“I could be wrong, but I think heterosexual marriage is threatened more by heterosexuals.  I don’t know why gay marriage challenges my marriage in any way.”Elizabeth Edwards

“My life has been immensely enriched by gay mentors, colleagues and friends, any discrimination and persecution of gay people is unacceptable.”Mikhail Baryshnikov

“By large in this country the issue of gay rights and equality should be past the point of debate.  Really, there should be no debate anymore.”Scott Fujita

“Just being out you’re doing your part.  It’s like recycling.  You’re doing your part for the environment if you recycle; you’re doing your part for the gay movement if you’re out.” – Martina Navratilova

“It should never be a crime to be gay.”Hillary Clinton

“Gay people are born everyday.  You will never legislate that away.”Melissa Etheridge

“I have some good friends of my own who happen to be gay, and when it comes to gay, straight or whatever, I’m for anything life-affirmative.  I’m for gay power, straight power, male power, female power; everybody should feel empowered without oppressing anyone who’s different.”Matthew McConaughey

“I kind of cheer the presence of any gay characters at all – I think the more we can saturate television with any gay character or lesbian character or transgender character, I think that’s a really great thing.  We’re kind of getting past the fact that they’re the punchline or that they’re the novelty.”Jesse Tyler Ferguson

“Yeah, I had gay friends.  The first thing I realized was that everybody’s different, and it becomes obvious that all of the gay stereotypes are ridiculous.”Bruce Springsteen

“Americans know as much about Canada as straight people do about gays.  Americans arrive at the border with skis in July, and straight people think that being gay is just a phase.  A very long phase.”Scott Thompson

“I’m for all kinds of gay rights.  I’m almost like a gay man myself.”NeNe Leakes

“Even in high school, I had friends that I didn’t know were gay until years later.  I’d find out on Facebook or something and be like, ‘Oh, that explains some things,’ or ‘Wow, no wonder they were so cool.”Kellan Lutz

“Gay men in a very real way created my career.”Marianne Williamson

“I know gay – gay people who aren’t married who are better parents than some, you know, straight people I know who are married.”Dennis Leary

“I did a woman’s movie, and I’m not a woman.  I did a gay movie, and I’m not gay.  I learned as I went along.”Ang Lee

“People were saying that David Geffen and I had gotten married and it just blew me away.  Not that they thought I was gay, but that they thought I could land a guy that hot.”Keanu Reeves

And the most important quote of all (joking)……

“My sexuality doesn’t define who I am as a person – it is the way that I treat others that defines me.”Robert Pavao

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

I AM GAY and I LOVE IT!!!

In celebration of the beginning of Gay Pride festivities around the world and Gay Pride month, I thought I would reflect on how society viewed me as a gay male and how I felt I had to oppress my feelings towards other men – ultimately oppressing my true authentic self.  First – let me say this:  I don’t remember choosing my sexuality, I just remember always being attracted to the same-sex. 

Here are some questions that people have asked me about my sexuality or comments people have made after I revealed that I was gay:

When did you realized you were gay?

I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I knew that I was attracted to the same-sex.  I always knew that I was.  I enjoyed being around girls – but I didn’t feel the same way as I did when I was around the same-sex.

If you knew you were gay, why did you date girls?

Wanting to be accepted is very difficult.  Today – that concept doesn’t even matter to me but as a child, teenager and young adult, who didn’t want to be accepted and fit in?  I dated girls because I witnessed first hand how our society treated homosexuals – they were teased, bullied, mocked, threatened with violence and even threatened with death.  I didn’t want any of that to happen to me – so I thought, my best choice would be to blend in and do what everyone else was doing.  I didn’t have the strength and self-confidence I needed to be myself.  I dated girls in hopes to suppress who I truly was because society was telling me that what I was feeling was against everything.

Why didn’t you ‘come out’?

See above.  Also – coming out meant possibly losing your friends and family.  What would I do?  Where would I go?  How would I take care of myself?  

When did you decide to ‘come out’?

High school was tough.  I wasn’t unpopular but I wasn’t exactly the football jock either.  There were many guys who called me “faggot”, “homo”, “cocksucker”, “butt muncher” and “fairy” – just to name a few.  They didn’t call me those names because I was ‘out’ but because the majority of my friends consisted of girls.  I was envious of the kids who were comfortable enough to be ‘out’ and took my frustrations out on them by doing the exact same thing to them as what others were doing to me.

I suppressed my feelings and turned to alcohol – I was meeting guys secretly and became very withdrawn.  I discovered our gay community and started frequenting gay bars and began to meet other gay people.  I dated a few guys (secretly) and had “boyfriends” but I would always go back to my ‘straight’  and ‘fake’ lifestyle so that people would not discover my truth. 

I was at a bar one night and ran into a girl I used to date – I girl I thought I loved for all the wrong reasons only to realized that I love her for all the right reasons.  (It wasn’t a sexual thing but a very emotional one).  I ran into her at a very popular bar – I saw her throughout the night but didn’t want to approach her.  What would she think?  How will she react to seeing me at a gay bar?  We eventually connected and the issue wasn’t as difficult as I believed it to be.  Being truthful to someone else was great but it was even more exhilarating being truthful to myself.  This was the push I needed to begin living my true authentic life.

I met my first real boyfriend and decided to leave home and moved in with him at 21.  I never looked back.

How does it feel to be gay?

The same way it feels to be straight – I have to wake-up, go to work, pay bills, etc.  I sometimes fight with my significant other about the struggles of daily life.  I go to the bathroom the same way straight people do, I bleed the same way, I have the same feelings, dreams and goals. 

Homosexuality is a sin and an abomination.

I guess that I will wait to be judged by God.  That was my old answer.  Today, I simply allow people to believe what they want.  They can hide their ignorance behind religion and what men wrote in the Bible.  To me – God isn’t judgemental, He/She/It – isn’t hateful.  He/She/It encourages love and compassion.  I don’t answer to ‘heresay’ – I answer to how I want to live and how I want to treat others – to me that is God therefore I AM GOD, YOU ARE GOD, WE ARE ALL GOD.  So don’t hate yourself – embrace and love yourself because, loving yourself ensures you love everyone.

Why does there have to be a Gay Pride Parade – there isn’t straight pride?

Gay people – like African-Americans, didn’t have the same civil liberties as their peers.  Homosexuality is continues to be a death sentence in many countries.  Gays, lesbians, transgendered and bisexual individuals are still fighting for the right not to be discriminated against in the place they work, the right to benefit from marriage and to be deemed equals in the eyes of the law as to their straight counter-parts.  We don’t want to continue to be suppressed and oppressed – we want the right to live and to love, just like everyone else.

Gay Pride has become a corporate event.  It gives businesses the opportunity to make money and boost the local economy.  It increases tourism.  It is fun and is a party.  Gay Pride is also an opportunity to remember all those who have paved the way for those of us who are benefiting from their activism.  A time to reflect on the bath house raids of Stonewall in New York City and Toronto.  It is a time to reflect on the politicians who wanted equality and paid the price with their lives (thank you Harvey Milk).  It is a time to see mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and friends unite and celebrate each others diversity.  Gay Pride is a time of year to celebrate your sexuality and not be ashamed of it or your body.  It is a time to celebrate gay fathers, policemen, politicians, teachers, bus drivers, business men and women, and so many others living their authentic lives.

GAY PRIDE is inclusive and inspiring.  It allows others to see that we are the same as everyone else.  GAY PRIDE also gives those who are living a life that I previous lived – a life of oppression, suppression, hurt and pain and make them realize that they are not alone. 

HAPPY GAY PRIDE MONTH!

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