Presidential

LBJ

LBJ led this country through a turbulent time helping us to become a higher, better society. May we find inspiration in those who strive for justice, compassion and equality. May our society again soon recognize the value of true leaders, leaders who challenge us to grow, improve, serve, understand and respect.

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“Bigotry or White supremacy, in any form, is blasphemy against the American creed” …George W. Bush

Fearsome and I hereby express our gratitude to our 43rd President for standing up and speaking out. It’s about time that leaders, current and past, of our country say something. There is a point of silence at which they become complicit and will therefore be just as guilty as the perpetrators of the crime.

Kudos George W. Bush for speaking out today. May his inspiration lead others to step in line behind true American values. The moral ground of our democracy is at stake.

If you haven’t watched or heard this speech do yourself a favor and hit play. It’s worth your time no matter what your political affiliation.

National Coming Out Day October 11, 2017

Today is National Coming Out Day. Given that due to the threats on the first amendment to the US Constitution by a certain current administration I understand and felt the need to post Eminem’s political statement, I must balance him with a proper Dianna Ross classic as well.

Eminem has a sordid history with the gay community of which I belong. His tainted past of somewhat homophobic lyrics has been offensive at times, to say yes very least. I am in no way defending those lyrics. His intensely strong message posted here today defends all of us in our right to free speech. Without Amendment 1, National Coming Out Day might very well be silenced.

What am I saying?

I am saying at times we must stand with those whom we have had differences and focus on our commonalities to strive towards a greater good. In the process we may also change minds, create better understanding and grow stronger bonds.

Happy Coming Out Day! Let us celebrate our individuality while finding our similarities and standing together for our common good.

Eminem

….. intense

First Amendment to the Contitution of the United States of America 1789: 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.

Amendment 1 stands today. Protect it.

Saturday reflection

Emotions, feelings, anger, dismay and confusion swirl. What a week.

Monday morning. Dammit, not again.

Tuesday. What the fuck?

Wednesday. Talk about it now. Not later, now.

Thursday. Fatigue sets in.

Friday afternoon. Fuck you. No, seriously Fuck You!

You see in light of all the serious matters needing the attention of our government this week, the  elf in charge of the department of justice issued a sweeping federal directive stating that it is perfectly ok for anyone to discriminate against me if they claim a deeply held religious belief. Oh, and let us not miss that fact that Thursday availability of contraception took a hit. A big hit.

The women and the fags both got hit in wake of Puerto Rico and Las Vegas.

Ok, it’s true that most of my life I’ve already been subject to discrimination. I’m kind of used to it. I’m a fag and have been for more than 50 years. I’ve been taunted, teased, bullied and beaten as long as I can remember for being different. A sissy, fag, queer, gay, unfit, pervert, girly boy, dirty, disgusting, nellie, queen, cock sucker, fairy, fruit, pansy, faggot, homosexual, sodomite, poofter, light in the loafers, homo. A real non-entity. Hell I’m even a loud proud real non-entity.

So a directive, directed square at me. I’m not surprised. Weasels (read cowards) always wait until everyone is distracted to do their dirty work.

Women need access to contraception. Faggots deserve equality. Seems as if neither of us have either. Women are as equal to white straight men as us queers are, and that means they ain’t.

This queen stands with Latinos, emigrants, blacks, Jews, women, Muslims, queers, disabled, transsexuals, Asians, Africans, native Americans, middle eastern, atheist, pastafarians, documented, un-documented, dreamers, poor, forgotten, addicted, needy, sick, unemployed. I stand with our planet, our environment.

The question is do all y’all stand with me?

Directives that discriminate against me? Seen them, lived them and will stand up to and against them. I’ve already been around this block numerous times.

Discrimination in the name of a religion destroys a society. We had made good progress. We can make more. Don’t become complacent nor complicit. Say something. Stand for your morals and your ethics. Stand for your truth.

The Stonewall Inn circa 1969, the calm before the storm.

Hero

Carmen Yulín Cruz, Mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico (United States of America for those who skipped class during geography and American History.)

The Oxford English Dictionary defines Hero as:

noun:  A person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities.

Carmen Yulín Cruz is a Hero. Carmen Yulín Cruz is a leader. Fearsome applauds her for taking ownership of the title given to her by a certain President.

Toe Tappin’ Tune

This’ll get our weekend started!

1984 Jocelyn Brown Somebody Else’s Guy

1984…I couldn’t even legally buy liquor. My friend Kiki kept asking me to shave off young Fearsome because she liked my chin. I could be found every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening on the dance floor at my local gay disco, The Park. I was in an on and off again relationship with my first lover (usually off was with “somebody’s else’s” guy…sometimes the “somebody else” was another guy and sometimes a woman). I was an aerobics instructor and I made my first ever trip to Ft. Lauderdale Florida.

While criusing the A1A along the beach in Ft Lauderdale and listening to this very tune, in a black T-Top Trans Am mind you, I remember looking at the ocean front condo buildings thinking “My, those people must be rich”. Today we own a couple of those very condos.

Dreams, they really do come true.

The tune still makes me dance. Enjoy!

Living

However blissful the daydream we entertain, we must wake from it sometimes and struggle with the hard conditions of real living.”  …Dorothea Brande

Dreaming is good and daydreaming an escape. However reality is, that life is real. I need the dream to help me see outside of my reality. My dreams help me set goals. I can’t live nor make a life by sitting in a dreamland state. I must work, experience, grow, strive, move, produce, contact, connect, learn and if I fall I must get back up.

No one can live for me. I can only live my life.

Life is fun, but life is work.

Today I contemplate the joy of life that is known as work, struggle, reality and accomplishment.

Dark Tunnels

It happens.

The tunnel, it surrounds.

Many years ago it was overwhelming and I couldn’t deal with it. The tunnel would encompass my being, my consciousness and shut my life down.

These days it’s passing, fleeting. I feel it. It’s like pressure surrounding my head. Vision impairs and I can’t hold my head up. Then it passes as quickly as it came over me.

I don’t know exactly how I switched it a number of years ago. I do remember the year, 2006. I woke up and realized that it had been gone for awhile and without my anti-depressants as I had forgetten to take them. It just wasn’t there. I was ok and I was of meds. I somehow had switched.

Since the the darkness of the tunnel has re-appeared, as it has today, but fleetingly. I’m glad it’s no longer paralyzing.

I know that in 2006 I decided to live for the future and not wallow in the past. I believe that’s what helped facilitate my change.

Today I hold my head up.

Argent – Hold Your Head Up – The Midnight Special 1973

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.

Home

A young single parent trapped with no money and no job grabs their child and leaves their home for another place. A place where they know no one. A place where they don’t know the language, culture or customs. However it’s a place with hope. Hope that they may work and raise their child with a brighter future.

That child is raised lovingly with a parent who struggles and works hard contributing in this foreign land. This foreign land is only foreign to their parent for this land is all the child knows. For the child this land is home.

A home where the child knows the language, customs and culture. A home where this child has been educated, played sports, made friends and is part of the community fabric. Both the parent and the child have shared, worked and contributed toward betterment in the community in which they landed. The child knows nothing else.

Today that child is a college educated responsible young adult. They not only hold a good job with a bright future, they create other jobs through their contributions to the community which is their home. Today this child is often called a Dreamer.

Until yesterday their future was bright, secure and full of possibilities just as their parent had dreamed. Unfortunately today there is a cloud hanging over those who stepped forward, were honest and were within the law.

What can I do to help lift that cloud and bring the light of hope back to those who know  this as their only home?

I can speak up.

I can contact my SENATOR.

I can contact my CONGRESSPERSON.

I can contact The White HOUSE.

I can contact my GOVERNOR.

I can speak out, be visible, attend protests and support Candidates who represent good solid true American values of progress and equality.

I can donate to organizations that will stand up and legally challenge those politicians with tiny closed minds who represent greed and hate. Organizations like ACLU, SPLC and Lambda Legal.

I can support and subscribe to news organizations that have real reporters investigating and calling out not only unethical behaviors but possible criminal activity thus reporting real news. News organizations such as The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. 

Please feel free to use these short cuts as all of the highlighted words are links to the very webpages they state…or find your own. Please join Fearsome and I in standing up for righteousness, justice, equality, respect, hope, love and the American dream.

Love. Please don’t let love die.

On Death, Dying and Responsibility

I will die. Fearsome will die with me.

We do not know when but we will. It’s the cycle of life.

You know what? You will die too.

Morbid? No, not actually. Death is part of our life. Yes it’s as much part of yours as it is mine.

We cannot plan when we die or how we die. However we can plan for death.

We, the Better Half and I, wrote our original trust back in 2004. In 2004 gay men couldn’t get married in California, nor did the federal government recognize our relationship. We had an attorney draw up a trust mainly to protect us should one of us die. As it turns out a trust goes far beyond protecting two unmarried individuals that have built a life and many assets together.

We are way past due to update our trust and are in the middle of that update this week. Wow, have things changed in the past 13 years. Not only are we married in California but our marriage is recognized federally. In review it turns out our assets have more than doubled since creating the original trust. Not only has its value changed but our values and priorities have changed.

A trust gives direction to our survivors, maintains our assets, minimizes taxes, protects our pets, covers healthcare concerns, includes our charities, prevents post death disputes, contains our will and plans our funeral. Our trust will provide not only security but peace of mind.

With the updating of the trust comes contemplation of death. Contemplating death is movement toward acceptance. Planning for death helps bring peace of mind. Death is not something to fear, but something to embrace as part of life.

I am grateful for having the life I have. I choose to respect my life by planning for death.

Have you planned for yours?

“Let death be what takes us, not lack of imagination.” … BJ Miller

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.

Mindset

Mindset is defined as the established set of attitudes held by someone. Mindset can also be defined as an attitude, disposition, mood, intention or inclination.

Mindset is a choice. I choose to choose a good one. It often takes work to not only make that good choice, but to stick to it. Often the choice of a better mindset runs counter to our culture thus the challenge. However the challenge of a good mindset is worth the effort and I believe with practice gets easier.

Values

These days our corporations have had to take the lead on values, morals and respect.

At this moment I’m grateful for Walmart.

I never thought I’d ever write those words. I feel at this moment in history I need to.

Somewhere in the southern Caribbean

Many a moon ago aboard Dolphin Cruise Line’s SS Sea Breeze we found ourselves anchored just off the coast of Aruba. Fearsome was in remission at the time as I had developed a bad habit called shaving, but he was there in spirit as he always is. It was an early morning under the searing southern Caribbean sun and not a good morning for the hangover from last evenings heavy drinking dance floor adventures.

We found ourselves amongst  many other bleary eyed hungover gay men searching for that perfect spot on deck of this RSVP cruise from which to observe that days total solar eclipse. We were anchored just off the coast of Aruba for a reason, we were in the path of totality in a spot calculated to have the longest time in actual totality, about 3 minutes 40 seconds to my recollection. That sun was hot and all I wanted was a place to sit down, drink my coffee and nurse this hangover. A friend handed me a Bloody Mary. Life was suddenly better.

A passenger affectionately known as The Chicken Lady passed by pouring creme in anyone’s coffee who needed it. She was carrying her trademark chicken purse and the creme flowed on demand into awaiting coffee cups out of an artificial breast that she wore under her bikini top. The Chicken Lady wasn’t known to be reserved nor inhibited in any way imaginable.

The ship’s crew worked feverishly to make sure all 800 passengers were well taken care of and comfortable. They made sure we all had our beverages of choice as well as our solar eclipse viewers. Morning cocktial music played, we laughed, the scent of sunscreen permeated the air and we waited.

The searing heat of the tropical sun started to diminish. A quick check with the solar eclipse glasses confirms that the moon has begun it’s journey between us and our sun. It seemed as if someone had found both the dimmer and the thermostat as not only was the light becoming more appropriate for a party, but the heat had been turned down a notch. We continued our wait laughing with our friends, checking the moon’s progress through the viewers and ordering more cocktails.

Suddenly it all changed.

I had experienced partial eclipses before. No. Big. Deal.

This was different.

In the distance it appears as if a very dark storm had formed. It was black out there. It was moving. It was moving fast and it was headed toward us. However there were no clouds but just darkness. Not just darker but black. This shadow was moving and there was no escaping it. That shadow of black was coming for us and fast. We adorned the viewers and looked up to find just a tiny pierce of the sun left and then it was gone. Nothing left but a faint corona and then a voice from the crowd, all on their feet at this moment, screamed “It’s safe now, take off your glasses!”

Our photos from Aruba’s total eclipse

Nighttime. Nighttime with all the stars out yet a faint light of dawn 360 degrees around us just at the lip of horizon. The birds, the songs of the birds as if it were daybreak. The lights, all the streetlights and lighted signs on the tiny island of Aruba had lit up. It was nighttime but it wasn’t. The horizon was beautiful. The colors of sunrise 360 degrees around us with all the stars out and this black circle above us. Tiny black, very black circle with a moving light shimmering around it.

Surreal.

Ouch! The light! Someone screams”Glasses on!”

The moon had moved on and the first pierce of intense light had broken through. The sun was back, although just a tiny corner. We looked down to realize that we were no longer in the dark shadow as a faint light of sun had encompassed us. The shadow was moving again. The darkness had left us and it was moving again, moving away from us. Moving away fast. We could see it’s circular edge moving across the sea as the light replaced the darkness in the water. The great storm of darkness moved on and so fast that we couldn’t follow it.

We watched as the wonderment of that total eclipse moved on for others to experience that day.

Then we danced.

Today I sit in awe and gratitude for all the gifts I have been blessed with thus far in my wonderful life. Thus far!

Happy Eclipse!

I love

In order to live as a human among humans I must learn to accept.

I must learn to accept that we are different. I must learn that we are the same. I must learn we share. I must learn I will not like everything. I must learn that not everyone will like me. I must learn that many times it’s better to focus on similarities rather than differences. I must learn that not all human aspects are good. I must learn to forgive.

In order to live a life that I myself can feel good about, I must, and will, stand up for righteousness.

I will lead by example. I will do good. I will be kind. I will speak justly. I will convey honesty. I will practice equality. I will appreciate diversity. I will look for commonality. I will share. I will understand. I will give. I will grow. I will listen. I will strive for betterment. I will serve. I will teach. I will encourage. I will compliment. I will support. I will practice. I will be vulnerable. I will gain courage. I will laugh. I will cry. I will accept. I will stand. I will love.