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Posts Tagged ‘LGBT Community’

Hello world.  It’s so nice to be back.  It has been so hectic at work I’ve been unable to blog appropriately to you all.  Things have been going good!  It feels so good to sit down and get to typing and seeing what has been going on in the blogging universe.  Let’s catch you up with the happenings in Erie.

 

Frank and I have been seeing each other for just about three months.  It has been great; he is a very nice guys and I enjoy the time we spend together.  With that said dating hasn’t come without some rough patches.  I’ve learned a whole bunch about juggling time between work, friends, family, and dating.  It becomes even more difficult when Frank started meeting my friends.  Our age difference still makes it awkward, at least for me, but what can I do.  I can’t stop enjoying the company of my friends just because Frank is older than me/us.  It has been a definite balancing act though.  I try to spend specific days with Frank and specific days with friends…then toss in 8 hours of work and day to day errands and it gets a little exhausting.  But all in all the dating is going well.

 

I just finished my summer schedule and literally every weekend this summer is filled.  I have five weddings 3 of which I’m in and a variety of rehearsals dinners, ball games, and a cottage vacation with Lauren and her family.  I’m burned out just thinking about it considering it begins the last weekend of this month.

 

Next Tuesday my Sister and I have tickets to go see Bruce Springsteen!!!!! I’m uber excited for it and going with my Sister.  We are going to go early and try and get into the pit.  I’m all about waiting in line for seven hours!!!!!!!  Plus I have a half day of work on Monday then I head home to stay with my parents.  It is going to be a great weekend!

 

Now for the really good stuff!  Gay Marriage!!!!  For those who haven’t been keeping up recent political movements Maine has legalized gay marriage!  It is great step in our battle for equal rights.  Not far behind Maine is New Hampshire.  There are hammering out the fine details but I’ve heard that New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch would sign the bill if the churches had some security measures against legal recourse if they refuse to marry gay couples.  Also on the march for rights is New York.  Its own gay marriage bill has passed the house and will go to the Senate.  This isn’t the first time New York has tried to pass a gay marriage bill (check the bottom of the link for the details). 

 

But with all this great movement for our right to be married we do have to remember a couple things.  First, we still have many, many states to see gay marriage bills passed.  Including those states with mini-DOMA’s.  Now is not the time to be complacent we need to still fight for our rights.  Just because several states understand the idea behind progressing the rights others deserve there are many more that would like to keep marriage a purely hetersexual right.  We Must Keep Fighting.  Secondly, we cannot foreget other aspect of our fight for rights.  We have to remember our transgendered community as well.  Also we have to remember we can’t just fight for gay marriage we have to fight for all rights for our LGBT Community.  I stumbled upon this article a few weeks ago and it is importantthat it be read.  It notes the struggles that gay, binational couples/married couples have.  You see while we hae some states that allow us to marry, federally we are not recognized as being married.  Whcih means binational coules cannot recieive their green cards and live ina country that recognizes their marriage.  This is an example of the differences between state and federally recognized rights.  This leads me to my final thing to remember.  These fights have been done at the state level not the federal level.  At some point in time we will have to hold Obama, his Administration, and the current Congress to their promises of equalit and pass rights at the federal level.  Otherwise our rights will memain a mishmas  of gine and with-held rights.  We deserve the full benefits of living in a country; this includes all rights provided by citizens and not just a buffet of rights.

 

Finally, last Thursday was my 1 year blog birthday.  I want to thank all those of you out there that take the time to read my rants and raves.  I love blogging and being part of such a wonderful and creative community.  I especially want to give my blogroll a shout out!  They help inspire and keep going.  I love the discourse we have with one another.  Everyone should check out those who are on my blogroll because they are awesome!!!! Woot woot!!!!!!!

 

Thank you bloggers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Hello ladies and gentlemen; I hope you all have had a lovely weekend.  Mine was jammed packed and I am paying for it this exhausting Monday afternoon.

 

You know the saying “when it rains it pours” well that seems to apply adequately enough to my dating/love life.  We know about my search for Price Charming has led me currently to Brad…who doesn’t seem to working out as I thought it would (which I’ll explain in a bit)…well wouldn’t you know I go our Friday evening and I meet someone.  Let us not get to excited yet there are some terms and conditions that come with this one.  As I have mentioned I have been doing some LGBT activism work and though it I’ve met a ton of people (most of whom I can’t remember their names because it’s such a fast introduction and then work)…while I was out on Friday with Steve I end up running into one of the guys we had met.  His name is Frank.  He’s there with a couple of his friends and we all start chatting…I’m eyeing up one of his friends that I’m thinking I will end up on the dance floor with when Frank begins to pay some attention to me.  He comments on my glasses and calls them sexy….not a compliment I usually receive…and he strikes up a conversation with me.  I’m drinking not heavily but enough to enjoy the evening and I can’t help but flirt back…I can’t help myself when I get some booze in my system.  It’s really nice we chat with each other around the bar, the conversation is not forced, I’m enjoying his presence, in general he seems like a nice guy.  He buys me a drink, and I make an innocuous comment that he is trying to get me drunk to get in my pants…he laughs and says maybe…would I try to stop him if he tried to get in my pants….probably not.  Why not?  Because while even though I tell everyone that I want to some traditional dating I am still a man who likes attention and sex (perhaps shallow but true).   All of a sudden “Sexual Healing” (how ironic) (the Shaggy version which I coincidentally love) comes on…what do I do…slug back the rest of my beer, throw my arms around Frank and tell him to take me out on the dance floor to dance with me….wouldn’t you do that.  So there we are, I’m in a semi-boozy haze, with a man that seems to be attracted to me enjoying one of my favorite songs; Frank is doing all the right things putting his hands on my hips, sliding his fingertips just into the tops of my pockets, or giving a slight tug on my belt loops…just enough to be coy and sexual without being to overly aggressive or creepy…I am enjoying myself…we keep dancing for a bit.  Eventually, we move off the dance floor, he is getting ready to leave we exchange numbers….I have ulterior motives obviously at this point….who doesn’t want to make out with someone on a Friday night when it just so happens your roommate is out of town and you have your apartment to yourself.  We exchange goodbyes a quick peck on the lips and he is gone…I text him to come over…he tells me that he didn’t want to because I was to nice and special to do that (good answer) I tell him that the offer still stands, he says it might be moving to fast for him (another good answer even though I do want to make out with him), he texts me back telling me he is already regretting not coming over (the Russian judges give him a 10 out 10 for that all star text) and eventually we say good night to each other.  We spend the rest of the weekend texting each other.  Some of the texts are fun, some flirty, others just texts.  We’ve been hashing out a date possibly this week which is good.  All in all I’m pretty excited, but there is one problem……he is 20 years older than me!!!!!! Eep.

 

So I don’t know what to do.  He seems really nice, said all the right things, wants to take things slow and be more traditional in terms of going on dates (which for all intensive purposes doesn’t mean a commitment), but I don’t know what to think about the age thing.  I mean I don’t know if I want to date someone who is 20 years older than me…but on the other hand everyone who’s around my age (who’ve I’ve tried hitting on, asking out, etc.) has never really given me the time of day.  Take Brad for example, we talked on Thursday and had open ended plans to maybe go out on Monday (to get to know each other).  I don’t call until Sunday leave a message and he still has yet to call me back.  Of course I am over analyzing the whole thing with Frank.  But, he has shown me more interest than other guys and I don’t want to not take that with a grain of salt.  I’m going to call Frank tonight see if he does want to go out on Wednesday for dinner…and see where it goes from there.  Who ever said dating was fun must have been married…or on a lot of acid/cocaine.  Okay I’m freaked out a little and just ranting wildly on my blog.  I’m done…maybe…thanks for listening….you will hear more…perhaps even today :/  Okay moving on!

 

I watched the Oscars (Frank and I texted all night though them sorry I’m done now) and I enjoyed the format this year.  I loved the idea that they created a 1940’s bandstand etc.  Let’s take a moment and enjoy Hugh Jackman and how delicious he was…the dresses were flawless.  It was just a great Oscar’s night…especially when “Milk” took home two prizes.  Sean Penn deserved the Oscar and I loved his speech especially when he lampooned those who voted for Prop. 8.  But, I think the best was when Dustin Lance Black won Best Original Screen play!!!!!!!  His speech brought me to tears….I’ll admit it.  When he told all those young “boys and girls that they were beautiful creatures and that god loves them”…it was beautiful.  I don’t know if he will realize that telling these young gay men and women that they were full of worth and value was an important and validating thing for many of them(us).  In a world of hate and marginalization Black spoke beautifully and poignantly about the value of human life even if that life is gay…what he said had more of an impact on me than any religion or religious person has said to me in a long time. 

 

 

Of course I was rooting for “Milk” to win best picture but I knew deep down inside when “Slumdog Millionaire” won at the SAG awards Best Picture it would take home the Oscar’s Best Picture.  I was so excited that Kate Winslet finally won an Oscar…and I loved all the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress nominees.  I think they are great and that they will have long careers ahead of them.

 

On a final note I not only worked all weekend I also drove to Buffalo to go to a wedding with Lauren (she was in the bridal party and looked flawless).  Yes, Frank and I texted during the entire reception…now I’m done.  The wedding was beautiful and the reception was a blast.

 

Okay I’m done for now, I’m sorry for the long post and it’s randomness and obvious lack of form.  We will discuss my neurosis a little more once I find out if I am going out to dinner with Frank. 

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Heeellloooo Lovers I hope this finds you well and enjoying the post inaugural bliss.  I wanted to touch base with you lovely people and see how you are doing.  Things are well in Erie except for the snow.  Yesterday we were getting two inches of snow every hour…in the end it was announced on the new that this winter will be the 10th heaviest snowfall in Erie history….I can attest to this since I spent 20 some good minutes pushing fellow apartment residents out of our snow congested parking lot (I reek of car exhaust at the moment)….update I just heard we are at the 7th place spot for most snow during a winter season in Erie…perfect.

 

Updates, updates, updates…first, my meeting with one of our State Reps. went very well.  We all presented out respective pieces on DOMA, DADT, ENDA, and anti-hate laws.  I ended up sitting between our congress woman and one of her staff members….it made me nervous.  It was such a great meeting and great day because I ended up going out to lunch with a couple older gay men (and Steve) who gave us a nice history regarding gay right in Erie and PA.   Then we ended up going back to the office of the Congress woman to see the opening of her office (I’m not sure this sentence makes sense).  I ended up running into a friend (who is a political activist) and eventually had to tell her I was gay and that’s why I was at the office opening and had the meeting earlier that day.  Then she introduced me to one of her friends.  I’m not sure if he’s gay or not but he was uber cute.  Black hair, dark eyes…he had a very Italian complexion, little bit of facial hair skinny….needless to say I was smitten.  I hope I run into him again.  Then the week got better from there.

 

I went out and visited some bars and just got to hang around Erie, it has been so hectic that it was nice to just cool my jets for the weekend.  We had game night; I managed to see some people that were visiting from out of town all in all just a lovely weekend.  But I think the best part was Monday night.

 

Ever since I’ve stopped seeing my older gentlemen friend John (I had to stop myself) I’ve been feeling a little off my game recently….in a bit of a funk if you will.  So a couple of us went to the gay bar on Monday and it was fun.  There was your typical drag show going on but what was untypical was the fact the bar was packed with a ton of people…some of them very good looking.  So me and a friend go back to a bar (Monday’s are coincidentally college ID…what like you’ve never been to one) and we were getting drinks.  Just down the bar from me is this cute tall dark haired boy.  He looked to be about 22-23 (he had to be over 21 because he was buying booze) and I don’t know what came over me…I ended up telling the bar tender to put his drink on my tab.  As I signed off on my tab I heard the guy say something about paying and being surprised….he walks over and goes to thank my friend Missy…who then says don’t thank me thank him in fact give him your phone number and name.  That’s when I got bashful, he shakes my hand and we exchange quick pleasantries and it was over.  He was gone and I was on my way to the dance floor.  So we dance and there it’s about 2 am and as I am turning around on the dance floor low and behold they guy is standing right behind me…he leans forward and whispers in my ear that his name is Henry and that no one has ever bought him a drink before.   He then gives me a peck on cheek and tells me he is leaving with his friends and that he would be there next weekend.  I stammer out something and the next thing I know he is moving towards the exit.  I was pretty pleased with the whole thing and now I know what I am doing Monday night.  I will defiantly let you guys know how things pan out.  Also, when he was whispering into my ear I detected a hint of a British accent….sexy.  But it didn’t stop there.

 

On Tuesday night, after trivia I ended up making friends from an opposing team who has the cutest curly haired guy on the team.  At the end of trivia they have a free round where you can answer individually and win prizes.  The first question I manage to get right and win a hat…as it turns out curly haired guy had his hand up to and I stole the question from him…I ended up giving him the hat instead (one because I look awful in hats and two so I could talk to him)….his name is Paul and he looked good in the hat.

 

Now the far part of the past week!  I took a page out of my friend Romi’s play book and her site Year of the Chick and signed up for a dating service.  Like I’ve said I want to keep putting myself out there well I really did it this time.  So I open my account (it was free) and I come up with a witty and honest profile of myself.  Well I had a few surprises in my account all ready…I usually set my profile to a 50 mile radius…I don’t want to date some one way far away…I get a message one day later from a man from Virginia stating he was in Erie for a few day and he thought we should meet…the subject line of said email….hey sexy.  Now don’t get me wrong I don’t mind having my ego stroked a little (or other things) but this was ridiculously forward and frankly I’m not looking for one night stands.  To top it off not only was his profile a mess (and a grammatical nightmare) and didn’t say anything about him other than his graduate study work (which I don’t believe he’s doing)he listed himself as being straight.  Ugh…please I don’t care if you are in the closet but if you think you are going to open a dating account, list  yourself as being straight, go to another town for gay sex, and then expect me to drop to my knees when you have that gay inclination you’ve got the wrong idea.  My friend Lucy, who is also on the dating site, was telling me how she judges people’s profiles and won’t message them based on their grammar abilities she will be pleased to hear I now know what she is talking about after this Virginia Casanova’s profile.  I did message someone but they didn’t message me back, which makes me sad but it is understandable.  I did have one more fun experience.  I had a young man going to college in Ohio message me.  We were using the systems IM system and it was a decent chat.  He lived  over a hundred miles away which was the first problem and the second after checking out his profile I could tell I wasn’t interested in him.  But, that wouldn’t stop me from making a new friend; I’m all about new friends.  So he compliments me and tells me I’m cute (ego boost) and I tell him he’s cute.  At this point in time I try to disarm the situation because I can see that he is going to want to meet and I tell him he will make someone at his college really happy….I was trying to throw him off…then he messages me “u know u want me”  proceeded quickly by, “lol,”  “j/k.”  Way to forward….also along the IMing (I was doing this during my lunch hour) he messages me that he wants meat.  He was also willing to give me his cell phone number so we could text each other.  Needless to say this is going to be a big problem…a small price to pay to have my ego stroked.

 

All in all it has been a pretty decent week. I have some more political activism meetings coming up so I’m pretty pumped and Monday night is going to be a blast I’m really excited to see if Price Charming (yes of course I’d give him that name because he is potentially British) shows up at the gay bar.  Well that’s about it.  I hope things are going well with all of you as well!

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So I’ve been mulling over my feelings this past week regarding gay issues.  I’ve been reading up on gay marriages, civil unions, anti-hate laws, and most recently the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.  The policy was enacted by Bill Clinton in 1993.  I find it a tough pill to swallow.  I’ve always been proud of my country.  I admire the fact that men and women are willing to put their lives out on the line for a place that they believe to be good.  What makes this policy so unacceptable (other than Clinton saying he would work to allow gay to be out and open in the military) is that it is basically our top governmental officials saying they aren’t accepting of us.  And by us I mean gay men and women who also dedicate their lives to honoring our country in times of need and war.  The other despicable aspect of this policy is that it forced men and women to be closeted.  Being in the closet is, in my opinion, a personal choice.  It’s a personal choice that shouldn’t be forced into policy by the government. 

 

As I was looking over the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy I found some fun and exiting verbage that seem appropriate to visit.

 

“Sexual orientation will not be a bar to service unless manifested by homosexual conduct. The military will discharge members who engage in homosexual conduct, which is defined as a homosexual act, a statement that the member is homosexual or bisexual, or a marriage or attempted marriage to someone of the same gender.”

 

 

quoted in “The Pentagon’s New Policy Guidelines on Homosexuals in the Military”, The New York Times (July 20, 1993), p.A14.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Ask_Don%27t_Tell)

 

I don’t know if straight people realize the tight line gay men and women have to walk in regards to this statement.  We gays are not allowed to even breathe a word of our sexuality otherwise they are discharged.  Now far be it from me to judge, but I have to theorize there are plenty of men in the military that have no problem at all talking about their wives, their girlfriend/lovers etc. and what they do to them on a daily basis or what they are going to do to them when they get home from active duty.  A little one sided wouldn’t you say.  If straight military men and women can’t listen to gay men and women talk about our sexual conquests then why should we have to listen to theirs?  Of course our government could never think of limiting straights discussing their sexual rendezvous that would be a freedom of speech issue…right?  Basically our freedom to be who we are is limited because we “freak” out military personnel.  Speaking of which lets read the reasons given to why DADT needed to be enacted.

 

 

 

“…would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability.”

 

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don%27t_Ask_Don%27t_Tell)

 

Jesus christ, I never realized my homosexuality could bring down an entire military unit.  That’s a lot of power my sexuality yields!  You know what I have to say about that….your in the fucking military.  Grow a set and give the homophobia a rest.  I believe you probably have bigger fish to worry about, say the enemy shooting at you, instead of my homosexuality.  Really if you can make it though boot camp you would think these people would have some semblance to get over their fear of the gays.  Aaaahhh yes my being gay destroys the high morale of group of people who shoots other people…perfect logic.  In fact I would like to take a moment to discuss the military not being able to tolerate homosexuality.  If military people can’t tolerate something like my being gay how can they tolerate an entirely different culture and way of life.  I mean if the military needs a policy to keep me from talking about sleeping with men because it makes them uncomfortable how will they ever adjust to the lives and cultures in Iraq, Afghanistan, or other places in the world that will take soldiers out of their comfort zone.  I’m just asking!

Recently we’ve had another winner who has been talking about the gays demoralizing the troops.  In a recent Washington Times Article, by Stephen Dinan, Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, has been quoted as saying “It’s a matter of judgment, and I think that would be very poor judgment on the part of the commander in chief,…It would be very demoralizing to the troops.” 

Elaine Donnelly

Donnelly is speaking about the recent rumors that William White, the chief operating officer of the Intrepid Museum Foundation, might be selected for the position of the Secretary of the Navy.  Oh one last thing he’s gay and out!!!! 

William White

 

Heaven forbid we ever put a good, gay role model into a position of leadership to exemplify what it can be like with gays in the military.  That would demoralize the troops…?  It’s unfortunate people like Elaine Donnelly like to use their voices to perpetuate a negative view of gay men and women.  But, there is silver lining to Donnelly’s cloud of hate, the Secretary of the Navy is a civilian position meaning William White is eligible for the position even though he is out in the public eye.  You see, DADT cannot be applied to people civilians (I guess it’s that whole taking away the freedom of speech from them and making forcing them to remain in the closet that keeps it from being applied to all of us).  Because of his civilian status William White is safe to be gay and be elected to this position if Obama taps him for it…which I hope he does.  We will see.

 

Below is the Stephen Dinan article from the Washington Times and a second article regarding DADT.

 

 

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/dec/18/gay-man-backed-for-navy-secretary/

http://www.newsweek.com/id/177723?GT1=43002

 

 

 

 

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So today I fully intended a happy fun Christmassy like post then I made the mistake of surfing over to CNN.  I just read the article regarding Obama’s choice for the inaugural invocation.  He has chosen Rick Warren.  Please read the article, the link is below:

 

 http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/17/obama.warren/index.html

 

God damn it.  I am thoroughly offended by this!  It’s a slap in the face really.  So Linda Douglass is quoted in the article saying, “”“The president-elect certainly disagrees with him on [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] issues,” Douglass said. “But it has always been his goal to find common ground with people with whom you may disagree on some issues.”” Obviously, he doesn’t disagree with him enough to find his opposition to gay marriage offensive.  It very well may be true, regarding finding common ground with people who disagree on some issues but I’m not some issue nor are my rights.

What people fail to recognize is that my rights are not a bargaining chip.  It isn’t common ground that should be disagreed on, Obama should be championing for our rights.  I’ve come terms with the concept that gay rights are not number one on the agenda (and I hate to admit it because in my mind gay rights should be a high priority unfortunately it’s not shaping up to be that way).  Fine, let’s fix the economy, let’s get out of this war, but remember there were a ton of gay men and women who voted to put Obama into office then he goes off and makes this kind of choice for invocation.  It’s like a big F*** You!

I love the fact that Linda Douglass defends the choice to saying, ““This is going to be the most inclusive, open, accessible inauguration in American history.””  Please, really?  Do you really believe that, as a gay man, I want to go to the inauguration of our President who chose a man, who does not support gay marriage or gay rights, to do the invocation.  Does anyone else see something wrong with this picture?  It shows a disconnect with the gay community.

What people don’t understand is the symbolism that his choice holds.  It is symbolic acquiescence to the religious right.  Remember when I posted several months ago and said that I wanted someone in office that would champion rights 100%, this choice shows me Obama’s not the person for it.  I can’t have someone with a luke warm attitude towards my rights in office, and this just shows me that my rights are part of a political agenda.  Instead of standing up for us gays (who many touted with rainbow colored pins with his logo) he chose to try and united political parties, which in my mind was a political move (plain and simple as that).  If Obama can’t see what it means to have this man swear him into office then my biggest fears are being recognized. 

 It just pisses me off to think that Obama chose a man who not only opens supports Prop. 8 but also champions pro-life (for all you ladies out there that are pro choice). 

 

I decided to take a little spin around Obama’s website and found the following quote from Obama,

While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.”

 

“Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us…” well I feel exploited.   

 

What upsets me is that fact that all my friends were all over Obama.  He had a heavy college aged constituency and I happen to hang out with a lot of college aged people.  I hate the fact that they were upset over the fact that I liked Clinton.  They were stunned that I didn’t jump onto the Obama bandwagon.  But I don’t think they fully understand what its like to compromise your rights for a politician or a political agenda.  I hate the fact that I had a friend tell me Obama was the best that I had at the moment and that I had to look at the greater good for the U.S.  (She meant this in a good way meaning one more advocate in office is better than no advocate at all…ahem McCain/Palin).  Greater good my ass…you see where the greater good is getting me right now.  I’m upset that the gay community was so quick to support Obama.  He was championed so quickly by our community to deliver on gay rights and civil unions (which should be marriages) that now instead of delivering he is more apt. to unite political parties.  It isn’t the fact that the LGBT community supported him that upsets me, it’s the possibility that we could be disappointed by him.  I view my rights as not a political stepping stone.  So when he says he wants to deliver on “equality by treating all citizens with dignity and respect” perhaps he shouldn’t have picked Rick Warren to do the invocation.

 

 

 

 

I’d like to post script this by saying I can’t fault the gay community for supporting Obama.  It is exciting to think that we might have someone in office that is a champion of gay rights (even though gay rights include marriage and not civil unions).  What I think, though, is that we have to ask a lot of our political people we chose to support.  We can’t just support someone when they say they support gay rights, we need to expect them to follow though.  The reason for this is so that those newspapers, gay community supporters, etc. that endorse, endorse, endorse aren’t shocked when something like this happens.

 

I’d like to close with this quote from Andrew Sullivan in the article, “[It’s] shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now.””  It’s a scary quote and I hope he’s wrong, but I have to question is this the start of something, beginning with Rick Warren, that will only serve to disappoint the gay community later down the line?

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