Capital Treasures

As we sit boarding our stopover flight in Denver, memories of the past week of travels fill Fearsome’s brain. He asked that I post a few pics to document a few of his favorites.

Easter at the National Cathedral

Spring gardens at Dumbarton Oaks

Cezanne 

Pollack

Nickson

Warhol

Hopper

A Leader

An Inspiration

A Cause

May we never forget the cause. May we pick up the baton and continue forward.

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Courageous Leader

…who inspires courageous leaders of our future.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas (April 7, 1890 – May 14, 1998)

A dream

As a young teenage boy I dreamed. I also feared.

I feared that my dream of being able to be part of the late 1970s Castro Street Gay Scene in San Fransisco wouldn’t ever come to fruition. Still I dreamed and I hoped I would be part of it one day.

The 1980s came and I came out, graduated from high school then started college. I still dreamed. Then an epidemic spread and gay men were dying. Not only dying but dropping like flies of horrific painful deaths. The AIDS epidemic had started in San Fransisco and New York. My dream dimmed, flickered and died out.

Gay society, as it had evolved, died along with the casualties of 100’s of thousands of men in the prime of their life. Or so it seemed.

Life in my hometown isolated away from the gay epicenters became safe. California was far away. I had never been and thus made no plans to go.

Later on life would take another path and California would become my home. San Fransisco and L.A would become my playgrounds just north of my San Diego home. However this post isn’t about that turn of events and eventual blessings. This post is about a lifestyle from a part of history.

My understanding of it is that in the late 1960s, before my childhood memory kicks into consistency, San Fransisco became a social experiment. It became a place of refuge, expression, dissonance, art, rebellion, experimentation and change. Born of this era the later 1970’s sexual revolution would allow gay lifestyle to flourish, especially in San Fransisco. It was this 1960s era in this enlightened place that would change minds and broaden the potential of a society that was to come.

Today I stumbled upon this historical clip. At this moment I pause, reflect and feel gratitude for those who expressed themselves. Expressed themselves not only so they could live an open honest authentic life, but that others may follow their newly emblazoned path.

Their path helped us get to where we are today. May their path also help us to continue and go to many new, better and brighter places in our future.

Never loose sight. Never stop dreaming. Don’t ever loose hope. Start by enlightening yourself, then those around yourself.

MLK

“We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jet-like speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.” But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society; when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six-year-old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people; when you have to concoct an answer for a five-year-old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”; when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” — then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.”

…Martin Luther King Jr  …April 1963

Thank you Edith

Edith Windsor 6/20/1929-9/12/2017

Edith is a hero of mine. Edith will be missed but never forgotten. It was her Supreme Court Case that struck down the Defense of Marriage act in 2013 thus causing the federal government to recognize my legal marriage in California from 2008.

I read that a quote of hers was “Don’t Postpone Joy”. I haven’t been able to personally verify this quote as hers, but I think it fitting.

Thank you Edith for helping humanity get just a little better one step at a time.

And what of my identity?

Am I fully who I am?

Or am I still hiding part of me?

As a gay man born of the 1960s, reaching puberty in the 1970s and coming out in the 1980s I faced my share of mis-understanding, repression and discrimination. Have I fully stepped out of that self preserving shadow? Could I be more? Am I gay enough?

Something to contemplate in this age of assimilation. This video has stirred me to take a deeper look.

A copy of my e mail

I sent a version of this letter below to all of my elected officials. I included in this previous POST an easy set click links where you can find and e mail some of yours. Feel free to copy and use my letter if you wish. I simply modified it as needed to each one.

Dear Governor Brown,
As you are quite aware someone has announced that Transgender persons are no longer welcome to serve our country. Then while the media is having a firestorm over that sudden announcement and as the senate -g o p- are dramatically playing out their “take the healthcare away from the poor and give the money to the rich” scheme, it seems the Department of Justice decides to submit an amicus brief stating that all LGBT Americans simply aren’t covered under the 1964 civil rights act because of who we are and who we love.
Whew, what a day of drama and side shows. I know that you and all of our governors, senators and representatives on the right side of history have your hands full. I want to personally thank you all for working toward a just, fair and equal society. I ask that you keep fighting for us and all of our rights as equal citizens no matter our sex, religion, race, sexual orientation, skin color, beliefs, age, pre-existing condition, income, social status and I think you know what I mean. Keep it up for us, for you, for the children and for our country. We need you.

What happens when we turn a blind eye to injustice

First of all Fearsome asks that you please notice the change in the wording of our header above.

Fearsome will continue his quest of inner growth, increased knowledge and expansion of his understanding and empathy as before, however he must take a stand. When the rights of any one innocent person is tread upon by the injustice of unwarranted discrimination, our society is assaulted. When we stand by tacit as others are treated unfairly we will become just as guilty as the bullies themselves.

Let us review just what happens when a society allows injustice, keep in mind history can repeat itself.

Slavery

The Holocaust

Segregation

Japanese Camps

The genocides of Armenia, Rwanda, Cambodia, Bosnia, Darfur just to name a few recent ones.

Colonial genocide against native Americans

And let us not forget a few of the current injust societies amoung us today such as North Korea, Venezuela and Syria.

Inequality is injustice. Ignorance and fear breed such nonsense.

Will all earthly societies ever become perfect and just? Most likely not.

Can all earthly societies try to move towards perfection and justice? Yes, yes we can always improve, learn, grow, respect, understand, encourage, support and care.

Take a stand. Spread knowledge. Teach understanding. Lead by example. Grow yourself. Show you care. Help others. Speak kindly. Give freely.

Capital Treasures 4

After our enjoyable visit at the National Gallery it was time for our appointment at The African American History Museum.

National Museum of African-American History & Culture

Definately an amazing museum and wonderful addition to the Smithsonian, this museum is worth the visit. Still being the new kid on The Mall it was packed and tickets hard to come by. We enjoyed it immensely, but we will make a point to come back at a later date when it isn’t so crowded and can be enjoyed as a Museum of its caliber should be. I know they have a lot of people waiting to get in and that tickets are limited in number, but I think they could do better limiting the number of tickets issued to an even smaller number.

Contemplative Court Waterfall Fountain

The Contemplative Court Waterfall Fountain was worth the trip itself alone. Overwhelming. Fearsome had some tears to catch as I began to sob. Cleansing.

Jackie Robinson #42

Fearsome had more tears to catch as I choked up over Jackie’s jersey. One can see the faint reflection of Fearsome’s San Diego Padres hat in the glass just above the shoulder to the right of the Jackie’s face.

Jackie Robinson is truly an inspirational man of honor. Integrating baseball was not an easy task. Jackies strength was in his own personal restraint and self discipline. Fearsome highly recommends the movie about Jackie’s life. The movie is simply “42”. Jackie is one of Fearsome’s heroes.

‘Tis Spring!

Spring Equinox at Chichen Itza

Do you see the serpent?

In the many travels I’ve been blessed with in this lifetime, I’ve visited Chichen Itza twice. The first time was back in the days when one could climb the pyramid, which I did. The second trip into that dense jungle was on a spring equinox during which I observed the brief appearance of the serpent. The serpent only appears twice a year to mark each equinox which signals either planting or harvest. Like most civilizations, both are celebrations for the Maya.

The pyramid, officially known as the Temple of Kukulcan, is a wonder of  construction, precision and magnificence. One can precisely tell the time and day of the year simply by the position of the sun and the shadows upon it.

I love Mexico.

Happy spring!

The first

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Inclusive

As seen today entering my neighborhood in front of an historic 101 year old Methodist church just eight blocks from my home:

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I love my neighborhood.

During my last trip to Florida I wore one of these on the pocket of my shirt:

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The significance is that all are safe with me. The TSA agent greeted me on the other side of the body scanner with a big smile saying “I see you wear a safety pin”. He obviously knew it’s significance and agreed with my views.

I’ve posted this notable quote below before and I think it’s time I posted it again to remind me of my values and to remind me that while silence might often be prudent, it isn’t always.

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