It’s been a rough day.
We all have ‘em once in a while.
When having such a day, I like to listen to a tune that makes me feel good.
Today I need this tune.
Happy Together – The Turtles – 1967
It’s been a rough day.
We all have ‘em once in a while.
When having such a day, I like to listen to a tune that makes me feel good.
Today I need this tune.
Happy Together – The Turtles – 1967
Act with integrity.
Respect your neighbor.
Help those in need.
Growing up in Appalachia , this tune is one I know from childhood.
I consider life a gift from a power, essence or spirit that I don’t understand. Part of that gift is that I don’t have to understand where the gift comes from. I get to experience the love and beauty without ever feeling in debt to do or return anything.
As I wasn’t here before my life, I will not be here after it. I will physically be gone from here and now, but not necessarily gone from what we understand to be a universe. I don’t need to know anything more than that.
When I die I wish to be cremated. I wish for my ashes to be discretely dropped on a specific hillside above the sea on a nearby Southern California Island known as Catalina. No one is to know, but the couple of close loved ones who accidentally drop my ashes there, exactly where this spot is. As my ashes are dropped, they will start to fly out over the land and the sea. Those that find the land their home will continue to both blow into the wind as well as meld into the earth eventually eroding their way into air and the nearby sea as well.
Therefore my body and my spirit shall fly away, wash away and float away. I’ll still be here and there. I’ll be wherever I’m supposed to be.
Rising Appalachia – I’ll Fly Away – traditional live – 2012
Simple and beautiful, enjoy.
Note: If those whom I love and love me wish to gather for any type of memorial after I am gone, they are free to do so in any fashion just as long as it’s fun, celebratory, simple and this traditional Appalachian folk tune is played.
Often the illusion is that the easier path for dealing with problems is to run away from them, avoid them or ignore them.
In my experience avoidance is my default. I have found that I must remind myself daily that the true easier path is to acknowledge my problem, feel that emotions surrounding my problem and then to face the problem and walk through it. Not all problems are easily resolved. However I’ve found that the only way they are ever resolved is to deal with them head on. No matter how hard issues appear, resolution is always easier and better than running away.
Lil Nas X , Fearsome’s favorite out and proud rapper, dropped this new tune this morning. I found it’s message helpful in many ways.
Lil Nas X – Panini – Official Video – 2019
Visualize what you want. Say what you want. Move toward what you want.
Let’s just say I was called out today in the comments section of another blog to be an Internet Troll. It turned into quite the Kerfuffle. Thankfully many other commenters in that wonderful community came to my defense. I greatly appreciate them. I don’t like to point fingers by calling out someone by name, so therefore I will not do that. I will however say it was wretched, simply wretched.
I commented on another’s comment with a quick one liner that was supportive of the commenters comment, on topic and in keeping with the nature of the comments for the blog. I know the nature of the blog as I’ve been a daily reader for most of said blogs 15 year existence. I rarely comment but do on rare occasion should something come to mind that fits and I’m in the mood to.
My reprimand wasn’t from the person for whom I commented with support, but out of left field from someone who wasn’t even previously even in the conversation. I was told to “go away” because I apparently didn’t have enough previous comments recorded in my records to be there or have an opinion. I was called both an “Internet Troll” and a “sock puppet.”
So being the contemplative Beard that Fearsome is, he asked me to google the definition of Internet Troll. On Wikipedia we found this definition:
In Internet slang, a troll is a person who starts quarrels or upsets people on the Internet to distract and sow discord by posting inflammatory and digressive, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into displaying emotional responses and normalizing tangential discussion, whether for the troll’s amusement or a specific gain.
Hmmmm. Fearsome then started to wonder what defined Sock puppet, Wikipedia defines it as:
A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception. The term, a reference to the manipulation of a simple hand puppet made from a sock, originally referred to a false identity assumed by a member of an Internet community who spoke to, or about, themselves while pretending to be another person.[
Lets then look at what happened. I commented on topic, in keeping with the nature and in support of the commenter to which I commented. Out of left field someone aggressively tries to upset and distract from the comment thread by making an unfounded off topic inflammatory name calling statement, directed at me simply because I didn’t have enough comments in my history to satisfy their personal minimum threshold.
Looking at this honestly, who would actually fit the definition of Internet Troll here?
As far as sock puppet, I had never ever heard that term but let’s again look at this. On Disqus you can click on the user and see their profile. If you click on mine it’s open for all to see. One can read all my comments and even click a link to this here blog thingy, and this here blog thingy leads directly to me as I have nothing to hide. If you click on said user that did the name calling their Disqus profile is labeled “Private” and one cannot see their past comments nor anything about them.
Looking at this honestly, which profile might better fit that of a sock puppet?
I’ve found in life that an aggressive accuser is often guilty of the very indiscretions to which he/she is falsely accusing another. I was brought up in the south and we had a little saying there that seems to fit. That saying is simply “Glass Houses”.
James Corden made this video when the stirrings of the threat to oust our Trans brothers and sisters from the military. Unfortunately that then threat is now real.
Unfortunately the threat deepens as that “administration” has decided to push the discrimination further by now attempting to sway the SCOTUS to rule that title VII does not extend to sexual identity therefore enshrining discrimination via precedent. In other words the executive branch pressuring the judicial branch to interpret that anyone can discriminate against and fire (or deny housing to, or, or, or…) someone for simply being transgender. Anyone or any entity.
Please stand with your fellow human beings, in our very communities, who are simply living their lives, living them to the best of their abilities. What’s in between anyone’s legs is between them and their god or non-god. Period.
Oh, and mark my words, they aren’t planning on stopping here.
“First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
I am exhausted.
I pause to take a good look into the mirror and examine why.
Why have a stopped reading my blogs? I read only the news these days.
Why am I usually feeling angst, anger, frustration and fear? I read only the news these days.
Why am I tired and distracted? I read only the news these days.
Why have I started feeling defeated and depressed? I read only the news these days.
Why do I only read the news these days? Because I’ve allowed the fear and alarm that is being spewed every single moment to enter into my psyche and alter my thoughts, dreams and values.
I have a choice. I can choose to continue down the slope I’m on and into a bad spiral, or I can choose to make another choice.
This morning for the first morning in recent memory, I chose to start my day by starting a book I’ve been wanting to read. I got my coffee, spinach smoothie and plain oatmeal and read as I consumed my daily breakfast. By no coincidence the book I started today is appropriately named The Choice by Dr. Edith Eva Egar.
My day started better. I read, I thought and I felt better. I blog to share, but I also blog to reinforce. Reinforce, inside of me, the better choice I just made.
I am better equipped to help myself, my family, my friends, my community, my country and my world if I put my oxygen mask on first. My oxygen is positivity and the good that still really does surround me. Through that I can find light.
A repost of a previous video? Yes because I need reminders. -However the accompanying contemplation is new for this reposting.-
This is a clip I turn to anytime I need sanity. If I’m uncomfortable it’s is most likely because I either have done something wrong or am considering doing something wrong.
I have a choice. I can decide to do what’s right, or if I’ve already made the bad choice I can make a new choice to correct a wrong. I can do right and I can make right.
It’s easier, at least for me, to do right to begin with so will I strive to do my best and to try to do right, if at all possible, all the time in the future. If I slip and make a mistake, I will strive to correct and make it right.
“Doing right gives you the kind of protection even body guards can’t give you.” -Maya Angelou
Doing right enriches my soul. Doing right brings me peace.
In my opinion we need more Mr. Rogers in our lives.
Fred Rogers was a HUGE part of my childhood. For him I will forever be grateful.
Watch and see how he uses kindness and respect to overcome adversity in this short 6 minute clip.
I remind myself the inspirational words of a certain Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that”
I choose to be kind today. I choose to share love today. I choose to respect today.
Dance parties often start with an easy intro. You know, a tune that starts a crescendo that will serve as a foundation on which an incredible dance party experience builds.
I’ve posted this tune more than once before. By now Fearsome Beard regulars will realize it is one of my all time favorites. I post it today specifically in honor of all of those before me who dared to love the love they deeply understood, the true love they felt, even though society told them that dare not.
I dedicate this incredibly beautiful anthem those who inspire us today to be who we are and to stand not only for ourselves but those who will follow us. I dedicate it to them because they were never Being Boring, they were just finally being themselves.
Pet Shop Boys – Being Boring – 1990
To those courageous people who finally said “Oh, Hell No!” …Thank you!
All of us are part of history.
We each have our own story.
Our stories affect others, thus we affect a greater society.
Sometimes the smallest action creates massive change.
What’s your story?
I came out in high school. As a young freshman in 1979 after having been beaten by a group of bullies, this “queer faggot” was suspended from school. The rules were that no matter who or what caused a fight, if you were involved you were suspended. After a trip to the hospital and many facial stitches I faced a choice. Move to a private school or return and face my oppressors.
I chose to return and face my oppressors. After walking back into school with the swelling and bruises still apparent, I walked past them. This time when I was called faggot instead of denying it, ignoring it or hiding from it I took it as my own and replied “So what if I am?”
The bullying changed. I won’t say it stopped completely, but I will say it stopped having power over me.
I found that some started to accept me and over time the bullying practically disappeared. Yeah there was a comment now and then from an insecure asshole, but it was no longer aggressively oppressing. I had the power now because I took my power back by accepting and saying “I am gay, I am a faggot, queer or whatever.” High school turned out pretty good after all. Not perfect, but pretty damn good.
The change I see is this:
I changed my world by accepting who and what I was. I changed other’s worlds by allowing them to see, know and be friends with an out gay man. I also allowed others who were gay to follow me into their own truth.
Many attribute the uprising of Stonewall to the drag queens and transgender present the night of the raid 50 years ago. Today much of our leadership is inspired by those same members of our diverse community.
Diversity and acceptance are character qualities I support, admire and strive toward. I applaud those who step up and out, to lead us through living their own truth. It is through their vulnerability that courage and strength are born.
Thank you to Peppermint, Lady Bunny and Sasha Velour for your inspiration and leadership.
While the video’s title didn’t thrill me by starting with the words “Old Gays”, I was interested to see what insight the video held. My takeaway is when the one immediately responds that the significance of Stonewall is what happened afterwards and that is still unfolding.
As pride month continues in its 50th year after Stonewall let us continue the significance of this humble rebellion and it’s aftermath. Happy Pride.
Being the 50th anniversary of Stonewall I search daily for a new video that resonates. Some days the videos just pop into my YouTube suggestions, some days I run into them on another blog and still other days I take the time to search. Today I searched and I learned, I found growth…growth in my understanding.
I’ll never be able to fully understand the plight of those born into the wrong body, but I can try to empathize through understanding from pieces of my own personal experiences. Even though I was born into an exterior male body that matches my inner gay male persona, I can understand this new term I learned today, Shapeshifting. While I didn’t have to act as a different sex, I did have to lie and act as if I was attracted to the opposite sex in order to hide who I really was. I can still catch myself shapeshifting as it was something engrained deeply in me early in my life.
I cannot claim to understand the complete experience of transgender. I can love, accept, embrace and support to the best of my own empathy and understanding.
Vulnerability = Courage
Growing up in the 1960s and 1970s I remember a time where what I felt and who I was attracted to was a secret. I learned early that I had a secret and a secret it would remain.
Therefore today when I run across a video such as this one in which a famous young gay man lives behind his secret I can empathize.
Don’t get me wrong, I wish Elton and others had been out and able to lead thus showing me that I was ok. However, I understand. I understand now that for them the safety of the curtain allowed them to live two lives. One life in front of the curtain out on stage and another in secret behind it. Society actually demanded the separation.
Stars of the past who tried to live their truth found their careers ruined and were ostracized, rejected into oblivion.
Today Elton is able to live as an out gay man. He is married and has two children. After all those years in hiding, today he can live as an example. Unfortunately Billy Haines never made it to see the day where his lifelong relationship would be validated much less that he could live and work as an out gay man.
What Billy Haines chose isn’t lost on me though. He chose to live his truth and to live as an out gay man, but it lost him his career. In his own way he blazed a trail by refusing to live a double life, or in other words he refused to live a lie.
Elton chose to live the lie until eventually his truth started to be too obvious, yet fortunately for him the times had changed to acceptance. But I don’t fault Elton. He had much to contribute, and contribute he did through his work and art. He was fortunate that thankfully times finally changed.
Societal “norms” keep people from fully expressing and living their truths.
Isn’t it time we appreciate differences and continue to challenge societal norms? Isn’t it time we actually question gender stereotypes? Isn’t it possible that the actual organ isn’t the actual sex? Isn’t it possible that sex, or sexuality, doesn’t even fucking matter?
Peppermint & Cazwell’s video Blend has appeared here before. It’s worth a re-post.
If we all do not understand, empathize, love, accept, support, forgive and STAND UP for each other then who will?
Let’s celebrate each other. Let’s celebrate life.
Growing up gay ain’t easy. Growing up gay the first things I learned is that I was wrong.
I was wrong for being scared the ball would hit me. I was wrong for twirling the baton. I was wrong for wanting to take dance lessons. I was wrong for having a knack for color and redecorating my room over and over. I was wrong for being in the band and wanting to be the drum major …right up front. I was wrong for knowing the answers and being a good student. I was wrong for crushing on boys. I was wrong for just wanting to hang out with girls playing mystery date and gossiping. I was wrong for simply being me.
I learned to hate myself. I learned to hide myself. I learned to lie. I learned to loathe, loathe myself. I learned that I should try to be something I wasn’t.
Luckily I found a way to appreciate who and what I was. Luckily I learned it was ok to be gay. Luckily I got on my feet before I harmed myself in any permanent way.
However the scars remain.
It was those individuals before me that took a stand and they cleared a path. A path that I could follow to live better. I could learn to accept myself and one day love myself. I could learn and allow those scars to become strength.
However it isn’t easy.
It doesn’t have to be easy. I just must remember to keep moving forward and to love myself. To keep moving forward and broaden the path for others behind me.
Pride month isn’t about flagrant narcissistic pride. Pride month is about loving yourself and loving others. Loving yourself for being simply who you are and loving others for simply being who they are.
Oh…and I must remember that I am enough.
It was late June 1969, a few pissed off queens had finally had enough.
This is a transcript of the above article below:
The New York Daily News, July 6, 1969
By JERRY LISKER
She sat there with her legs crossed, the lashes of her mascara-coated eyes beating like the wings of a hummingbird. She was angry. She was so upset she hadn’t bothered to shave. A day old stubble was beginning to push through the pancake makeup. She was a he. A queen of Christopher Street.
Last weekend the queens had turned commandos and stood bra strap to bra strap against an invasion of the helmeted Tactical Patrol Force. The elite police squad had shut down one of their private gay clubs, the Stonewall Inn at 57 Christopher St., in the heart of a three-block homosexual community in Greenwich Village. Queen Power reared its bleached blonde head in revolt. New York City experienced its first homosexual riot. “We may have lost the battle, sweets, but the war is far from over,” lisped an unofficial lady-in-waiting from the court of the Queens.
“We’ve had all we can take from the Gestapo,” the spokesman, or spokeswoman, continued. “We’re putting our foot down once and for all.” The foot wore a spiked heel. According to reports, the Stonewall Inn, a two-story structure with a sand painted brick and opaque glass facade, was a mecca for the homosexual element in the village who wanted nothing but a private little place where they could congregate, drink, dance and do whatever little girls do when they get together.
The thick glass shut out the outside world of the street. Inside, the Stonewall bathed in wild, bright psychedelic lights, while the patrons writhed to the sounds of a juke box on a square dance floor surrounded by booths and tables. The bar did a good business and the waiters, or waitresses, were always kept busy, as they snaked their way around the dancing customers to the booths and tables. For nearly two years, peace and tranquility reigned supreme for the Alice in Wonderland clientele.
The Raid Last Friday
Last Friday the privacy of the Stonewall was invaded by police from the First Division. It was a raid. They had a warrant. After two years, police said they had been informed that liquor was being served on the premises. Since the Stonewall was without a license, the place was being closed. It was the law.
All hell broke loose when the police entered the Stonewall. The girls instinctively reached for each other. Others stood frozen, locked in an embrace of fear.
Only a handful of police were on hand for the initial landing in the homosexual beachhead. They ushered the patrons out onto Christopher Street, just off Sheridan Square. A crowd had formed in front of the Stonewall and the customers were greeted with cheers of encouragement from the gallery.
The whole proceeding took on the aura of a homosexual Academy Awards Night. The Queens pranced out to the street blowing kisses and waving to the crowd. A beauty of a specimen named Stella wailed uncontrollably while being led to the sidewalk in front of the Stonewall by a cop. She later confessed that she didn’t protest the manhandling by the officer, it was just that her hair was in curlers and she was afraid her new beau might be in the crowd and spot her. She didn’t want him to see her this way, she wept.
The crowd began to get out of hand, eye witnesses said. Then, without warning, Queen Power exploded with all the fury of a gay atomic bomb. Queens, princesses and ladies-in-waiting began hurling anything they could get their polished, manicured fingernails on. Bobby pins, compacts, curlers, lipstick tubes and other femme fatale missiles were flying in the direction of the cops. The war was on. The lilies of the valley had become carnivorous jungle plants.
Urged on by cries of “C’mon girls, lets go get’em,” the defenders of Stonewall launched an attack. The cops called for assistance. To the rescue came the Tactical Patrol Force.
Flushed with the excitement of battle, a fellow called Gloria pranced around like Wonder Woman, while several Florence Nightingales administered first aid to the fallen warriors. There were some assorted scratches and bruises, but nothing serious was suffered by the honeys turned Madwoman of Chaillot.
Official reports listed four injured policemen with 13 arrests. The War of the Roses lasted about 2 hours from about midnight to 2 a.m. There was a return bout Wednesday night.
Two veterans recently recalled the battle and issued a warning to the cops. “If they close up all the gay joints in this area, there is going to be all out war.”
Bruce and Nan
Both said they were refugees from Indiana and had come to New York where they could live together happily ever after. They were in their early 20’s. They preferred to be called by their married names, Bruce and Nan.
“I don’t like your paper,” Nan lisped matter-of-factly. “It’s anti-fag and pro-cop.”
“I’ll bet you didn’t see what they did to the Stonewall. Did the pigs tell you that they smashed everything in sight? Did you ask them why they stole money out of the cash register and then smashed it with a sledge hammer? Did you ask them why it took them two years to discover that the Stonewall didn’t have a liquor license.”
Bruce nodded in agreement and reached over for Nan’s trembling hands.
“Calm down, doll,” he said. “Your face is getting all flushed.”
Nan wiped her face with a tissue.
“This would have to happen right before the wedding. The reception was going to be held at the Stonewall, too,” Nan said, tossing her ashen-tinted hair over her shoulder.
“What wedding?,” the bystander asked.
Nan frowned with a how-could-anybody-be-so-stupid look. “Eric and Jack’s wedding, of course. They’re finally tieing the knot. I thought they’d never get together.”
“We’ll have to find another place, that’s all there is to it,” Bruce sighed. “But every time we start a place, the cops break it up sooner or later.”
“They let us operate just as long as the payoff is regular,” Nan said bitterly. “I believe they closed up the Stonewall because there was some trouble with the payoff to the cops. I think that’s the real reason. It’s a shame. It was such a lovely place. We never bothered anybody. Why couldn’t they leave us alone?”
Shirley Evans, a neighbor with two children, agrees that the Stonewall was not a rowdy place and the persons who frequented the club were never troublesome. She lives at 45 Christopher St.
“Up until the night of the police raid there was never any trouble there,” she said. “The homosexuals minded their own business and never bothered a soul. There were never any fights or hollering, or anything like that. They just wanted to be left alone. I don’t know what they did inside, but that’s their business. I was never in there myself. It was just awful when the police came. It was like a swarm of hornets attacking a bunch of butterflies.”
A reporter visited the now closed Stonewall and it indeed looked like a cyclone had struck the premisses.
Police said there were over 200 people in the Stonewall when they entered with a warrant. The crowd outside was estimated at 500 to 1,000. According to police, the Stonewall had been under observation for some time. Being a private club, plain clothesmen were refused entrance to the inside when they periodically tried to check the place. “They had the tightest security in the Village,” a First Division officer said, “We could never get near the place without a warrant.”
The men of the First Division were unable to find any humor in the situation, despite the comical overtones of the raid.
“They were throwing more than lace hankies,” one inspector said. “I was almost decapitated by a slab of thick glass. It was thrown like a discus and just missed my throat by inches. The beer can didn’t miss, though, “it hit me right above the temple.”
Police also believe the club was operated by Mafia connected owners. The police did confiscate the Stonewall’s cash register as proceeds from an illegal operation. The receipts were counted and are on file at the division headquarters. The warrant was served and the establishment closed on the grounds it was an illegal membership club with no license, and no license to serve liquor.
The police are sure of one thing. They haven’t heard the last from the Girls of Christopher Street.
“We May have lost the battle, but the war is far from over”.
Fifty years later, thanks to some courageous individuals, the world is a better place. I salute them with deep gratitude. Today, because of their lead, many battles have been won …but the war is far from over.
Connection enriches life. Life connects us. We are sharing a common experience right now. We learn, love, teach, understand, support, share, laugh, cry, hold, grow and feel.
I pause to feel. I pause to experience. I pause to connect. I pause to…
Wow, just beautifully fucking powerful wow.
May I learn to fly today, today right where I am.
…and may I have a sense of humor that I might not take myself too seriously…
Life, let’s live it …and together may we have a fabulous day.
Life comes at you.
Don’t get me wrong, life is good…good overall, but damn it can come at you.
I’ve had so many wonderful things happen to me in the past month, and I’ve had some confusing and bewildering things happen as well. I sure haven’t posted much and I have some great things to post about (such as an in person meeting with not one but three dear blogger friends…hint…it was in Philly). Overwhelm describes my loss of words, organization and time to actually sit and post. I need to post for me and my mental health so I start here.
I need love today. I went in search of inspirational video to perhaps jar me into some sort of clarity. Below is the video that appeared when I clicked over to you tube. The message of love, of peace and of hope is exactly what I needed.
Lighthouses serve both as a warning for hidden hazards laying just beneath a surface and as an indicator that a safe harbor awaits beyond.
Throughout life I have noticed beacons which helped me avoid the unseen, yet often due to various circumstances I overlooked a warning and found myself stranded on the rocks.
I am human, I am fallible.
However in each unfortunate circumstance when I have missed the warnings, or ignored them, I have found a safe harbor nearby.
In that safe harbor I can pause, reflect, heal, learn and grow.
Often it’s nothing specific that causes me to loose sight of the beacon ahead.
Life is. Life is busy. Life is distracting. Life is confusing. Life is exhilarating. Life is overwhelming. Life is fun. Life is troubling. Life is good. Life is hard. Life is sad. Life is hilarious. Life is love. Life is experience. Life is rewarding. Life is disappointing. Life is experiences. Life is unexpected. Life is unexplainable. Life is laughter. Life is imperfect. Life is. Life is. Life is.
My dear 17 year old Mitzi, our 5 pound chihuahua/poodle mix, is facing her next horizon. A horizon in which I can no longer watch her nor protect her. Each day with her has been a blessing from a power of love beyond any power that I can create. Each moment left is a treasure that I am grateful for. When her moment of transition arrives, I pray that I can set her free feeling the love that she, and her creator, blessed me with for all these years and continue to feel her love that will be with me always.
There are many hazards in the waters surrounding me at this time I my life. Some I am aware of, others I am/was blind to. I commit to learning to first forgive myself for my shortcomings and to open my eyes to the blessings, the beacons, the love, the gift of my life.
I commit to heal, to learn, to grow and to accept my imperfections.