Eight Years, 2922 days, of continuous uninterrupted reality. It’s still a good ride, a really good ride.
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.
This is a disco tune that went past my teenage radar back during my youth and that great era of disco. It’s a tune I found later in life when reliving that bygone era. I fell in love with this tune.
Needless to say that the very first time I heard this tune the lyrics of the headline above stopped me in my tracks.
What the fuck? No Blacks, No Jews and No Gays?
Then I really listened to the message given through such a moving beat. A message that needs to be heard, must be heard.
Now all these years later I’m like “What the fuck?” This tune needs to be heard again? Does nothing ever fucking change?
Ok, ok , ok yes I’m on a soap box, but dammit people… We are not White, Black, Jew, Gay, Muslim, Mexican or PURPLE for that matter. We are human and we must care for each other, live together and care for our planet plus the creatures on it, or else we are fucked. Fucked.
Please click play, please feel the beat and move your tush. Please be kind to someone today that they may pass the kindness and understanding onto another. We have to start somewhere and dammit I start by saying I love you, care for you and wish to lift you higher.
There but for the grace of god, there go I – Machine – 1979
Wow just wow. This guy is phenomenal. Even more phenomenal than just that beard. Brought me to tears.
Chris Klafford – Imagine – 2019 – America’s Got Talent
It has now been just over 50 years since the raid of The Stonewall Inn.
We’ve come a long way.
Now isn’t the time to turn back.
Live, love, hope and vote like your life depends on it. Because? Because your life and freedoms actually do depend on your participation, on your vote.
Happy San Diego Pride Y’all!
Amy McGrath is running for senate.
She has our support!
Congrats to US Women’s National Soccer Team.
They have something to say. Nike is helping them be heard. We here at Fearsomebeard wish to help them be heard as well.
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.
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.
While Stonewall is commemorated as the flash point into LGBTQI activism and equality, LGBTQI history is diverse and lengthy.
This short documentary gives a glimpse into the life and movement out here on the west coast prior to, during and after Stonewall.
We have come a long way, yet we have a long way ahead of us as well.
This is a wonderful video of someone sharing their own story about the experience of being there at the Stonewall uprising.
Fearsome highly recommends everyone clicking play.
Jay, Thank You for sharing your story and for walking the path leading us all to better and lifting us as a community. You are an inspiration.
Respect, understanding, empathy, character.
”This is what we lived with at that time.”
I just want to be there.
1989 was the year the film Longtime Companion was released. 1989 was the height of the AIDS crisis. My friends, and lovers, were being diagnosed left and right. My friends, and lovers, were dying left and right.
Needless to say this movie was a timely written timeline of the short decade that proceeded it. The short decade that was my coming of age as a gay man. I came out while in high school in 1980. Almost, not all, of my early friends and lovers in the gay community at the least became infected, or died. At the time this movie was released I was but one of very few I knew who remained HIV negative.
It wasn’t if I would succumb, it was when. Somehow I remain, thankfully, uninfected.
When this final scene came up on the big screen in front of me and my friends with which I sat, we began to cry. Sobbing with ugly tears. Tears of grief, loss and yet hope. Hope that one day our nightmare would end. Hope that one day we might once again see, hold, love and kiss those we once knew. Hope that at the least we wouldn’t loose any more loved ones to this horrible disease.
Time passed, infection rates dropped. We learned and eventually treatments improved.
Today there isn’t yet a cure but there is prevention. With science and research, particularly STEM CELL RESEARCH, a cure may one day become reality. Remember that your vote counts, your future vote may be needed to not only ensure the necessary research we now have but to restore it.
It’s pride month. Be proud of who you are. Respect others for being who they are. Understand those who are different. Love your sister and your brother. Vote for progress. Strive to be better.
(This Post is dedicated to Jerry Smoot who was my first friend, and occasional lover, I lost to AIDS. At a young 38 years, he was just coming into his prime. Jerry, when the scene came on the screen I envisioned you running onto that beach to hug me, kiss me and hold me.)
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.
The accuracy of many varying accounts of exactly what happened at the Stonewall Inn the night of June 28, 1969 are often debated. The story below offers several first hand recollections laying to rest several myths as well as confirming other truths.
What we do know is that it was a chaotic scene which resulted in a movement. A movement which simply asked for respect.
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.
Yes he did!
It’s official. He made history.
Mayor Pete really makes sense. He has our support.
Pete Buttigieg 2020
Text PETE to 25859 to show your support and to get involved. We did.