How dare you…..

Today I was told that no cares about my sexuality and that it does not matter. While I wish that was a true statement nothing could be further from the truth. In the state I live in can be fired based off my sexuality, other states are discriminating in the use of bathrooms, one of the vice presidential  candidates whats to unfund HIV/AIDS research and treatment and put that money into conversion therapy. One of your presidential nominees has said that he will do what ever he can to get gay marriage over turned, so yes it matters its still matters very much. As a middle to upper class straight white male you have no right to say that no one cares you dont care maybe cause it does not effect you or someone you care about. While walking through the mall last night I was openly called a fag, so yes people do care and it matters.

I wish we lived in a world where a boy could bring home a boy and introduce him as his boyfriend and that be it like you would with your straight boy or girlfriend. The fact that “coming out” is even a thing shows that it matters. We should not have to live in fear of rejection, mental or physical harm but the reality is we do. Tonight I am going to be speaking to a group young people about why church important and why specifically my church is my church. Its boils down to acceptance.  Do all the members of my church understand or even agree with life…..Not at all but we agree to disagree and move past it with the love of Christ. Love is the end game in all parts of life and if we truly show love to everyone we meet then we are living life right. Showing love at times might just mean being quite when we really want to scream our thoughts, it might me taking a few extra when helping a lady clean up from a flood to hose off a back patio off because she saw a news story about dogs getting sick from the mud and her dog was her life he was the one that truly showed her love in the most real way, or maybe just a smile when you when you are walking to post office to a little old lady walking into the bank. We can never know the life experiences of other people, so dont ever tell it does not matter because it does in a big way or maybe just a small one but it matters.

LOVE GOD, LOVE EACH OTHER, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!

Real Talk

This is real talk, the thought that Donald Trump has any chance of being the next president of United States scares the living total hell out of me. I take pride in being free to be the person I meant to be, and part of the is me is a gay man. The stances that are taken from the republican party for this election cycle should scare the hell out and one in the LGBTQ community or if you have someone love in it or even just someone you know that you dont want harmed and hated. This is going to go way past marriage or a pizza, our potential vice president has openly said that he would defund HIV/AIDS research and treatment and take that money to and use it for conversion therapy. Conversion therapy is brutal and often times flat out child abuse, it takes us back to the times of shock therapy.

I am not worried for myself I can handle what life brings, but I who I am worried for is are high school boys who try to come out to there parents and are told they are not gay and to just get a girl friend. These boys and girls are the ones I am terrified for ones who parents are so worried that someone will find them wrong because they have gay kid. Being gay was illegal for most of the worlds history and still is in many places. We claim to be the land of free and home of brave……..trying to dictate anyone life because you dont understand the life they live is not free traumatizing a young boy who is already struggling to figure out who they are where you fit in the world is not brave it might be the most chicken shit move ever. I am proud to be AMERICAN, myself I am gay baptist from Appalachia, this is me does that make anyone else life less then, not even a little bit. American was created for the freedom to be who our found fathers and mothers wanted to be. And thats all we still want.

LOVE GOD, LOVE EACH OTHER, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!

Stonework

According to Pokemon Go Fifth Avenue Baptist Church is a mainstay in the area and has nice stone work, both of these are very true statements. I dont think that Pokemon really meant how I have taken this. I have been asked to tell a group a youth of why Fifth Ave. is important to me, the stonework might be it. Yes the building has amazing masonry and I even talk about it during my art classes I teach at the university but its so much more then that. The people of the church is so much more important then the building which is housed. The church I grew up in still means so much to me, but I know God lead me from there for a reason.Being a gay baptist is kind of a crazy thought for most people, but I dont want to be anything else.

There are so many people who have changed my life is so many positive ways and have held me up when I was ready to crash or at least helped my pick of the pieces after the fall. What makes FAB so special is that we might not all agree of things but we can agree to disagree on things and work to build not crush. We have very liberal people and ultra conservative some old school thoughts and modern thinkers. No matter where you come from we are ready to welcome to everyone. Its hard to really find a group that will hold you and help you grow, even though you might be in a very dark place they will shine the light till you are ready to see it. The stone work that these people have laid in my heart is something that no matter how my heart might be hurt by other people I know that I have a support system with the mortar ready to patch the cracks might have been created.  A broken born is stronger at the point of the break after it heals, even though the crack might sill be visible its these cracks that make us who we are. But the most important thing in life is not only finding people who will love you are your best, but even more important is finding people who will love at your lowest darkest points.

LOVE GOD, LOVE EACH OTHER, NOTHING ELES MATTERS!!

Helpington

Today I spent some time coming together with people from different walks of faiths and life to help some people in our community even if only in a very small way after a major flash flood that happened this week. There was 75+ people wearing a lovely shade orange over taking the neighborhood.  We did everything from helping to clear mud off driveway to help literally take someones whole life out of a house most of which was not able to be saved. Its so great to see people come together to help in your own community, we go around the world to help and often forget right in our own back yard.

But, its amazing how perspective changes over time and memories that be brought back. As we moved everything out of this ladies home I had a realization that I am so glad I if I was ever going to have to deal with a major loss of things like that I am blessed mine was fire. It was hard 100% but the reality was there was very little that could be saved and what could not be saved was burnt so I did not have to go through the emotional stress of see things that I had loved to had been important or not even important at all be taken to the curb to be thrown way. Watching the emotions of watching the lady deal with this loss really made me think about the sense of loss and how you start questioning your whole identity what does life mean when you dont have visual evidence of your past. I pray she finds peace in loss (which takes time).

As life moves forward we have no idea how much our lives can change in just a few minutes. But in the end at the darkest moments I truly believe that everything happens to take us to the points in our lives that we need to be move forward. Forward momentum is something is hard to do at times, pushing yourself forward needs help. Other times we dont even see the how lost in time we are and that we need to go somewhere great.

LOVE GOD, LOVE EACH OTHER, NOTHING ELES MATTERS!!!

A month out….

Its hard to believe that it has been a month since the Orlando Tragedy, but has anything changed? I know locally West Virginia has been hit with so much locally that the talk as almost totally stopped. This scares the hell out of me, without keeping talking nothing changes these conversations have to keep going.   We live in a instant society, do we need to come together to help the flood victims and morn the death of policeman as well the victims of different policemen.  I went to my first gay club since the shoot a week or so ago and I will totally admit I was even more on guard then normal. Something has to change this environmentx354-q80 of hate we live in has to go. Our comfort zones are scary places to live.  How often do you interact with people of your peer group? your race? Your sexual orientation? your religion?  Its hard to fight to come out of the comfortable places we will live.  We all need to figure out what we need to do change our little part of the world, that might be going to help someone clean up there house from the flood, writing a letter to your congressman demanding change in gun laws, it could be as easy as going out of your way to stop and say hi to someone you normally would not interact with. John 10:10 tells us the thief comes to steal kill and destroy but I have come so you many have life and have to the full. And I truly believe a full life is one lived well out of comfort zones.

LOVE GOD. LOVE EACH OTHER, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!!

Privilege

Yesterday on the Facebook I took how privileged are you quiz.  From this quizzes perspective I am not very privileged, even with being a white male American.  There is part of what it said that I think was right other parts…..not so much. Being born in the USA automatically makes your privileged. Have I had hardships to deal with that other people haven’t for sure, but those hardships are what makes me the guy am so I would not want to change them. From the outward perspective I grew up in pretty typical upper middle class upbringing, the reality was far from that. I had a very ill mother who did her best but was not able to do what most mothers did, for the most part I had a abstinent father who really was only around when other people saw it. The reality of my life was I have done my own laundry since I was 11, been cooking my own meals equally as long. The house we lived in growing up belonged to my grandparents or we could have never lived in the neighborhood we did. All four of grandparents did everything they could for us and understood our ques that we need food or something. From the time I was 5 till 18 I spent every summer in Maryland at my grandparents which I loved, but looking back realize how odd that really was.

Then there is the gay thing, yes I have been almost beaten up and called fag more times then I could count. I have been rejected by groups of people claiming the love of Christ……

I am very lucky and privileged to have the life I have. As i said before without all of the thing that made me rank really low on the privilege scale where would I be? I have two college degrees, I have the privilege of not only have one job but three. There are people all over the world that would love to have 1/8 or less of what I have. Are there injustices in this country? Yep of course but as an American we all need to check our privilege at the border and realize how great we do have it.

LOVE GOD, LOVE EACH OTHER, NOTHING ELSE MATTER!

 

Pray for Me

[Verse 1]
Here is where the road divides
Here is where we realize
The sculpting of the Father’s great design
Thru’ time you’ve been a friend to me
But time is now the enemy
I wish we didn’t have to say goodbye
But I know the road he chose for me
Is not the road he chose for you
So as we chase the dreams we’re after

[Verse 1]
Here is where the road divides
Here is where we realize
The sculpting of the Father’s great design
Thru’ time you’ve been a friend to me
But time is now the enemy
I wish we didn’t have to say goodbye
But I know the road he chose for me
Is not the road he chose for you
So as we chase the dreams we’re after

[Chorus:]
Pray for me and I’ll pray for you
Pray that we will keep the common ground
Won’t you pray for me and I’ll pray for you
And one day love will bring us back around
Again

[Verse 2]
Painted on a tapestry
We see the way it has to be
Weaving through the laughter and the tears
But love will be the tie that binds us
To the time we leave behind us
Memories will be our souvenirs
And I know that through it all
The hardest part of love is letting go
But there’s a greater love that holds us

[Chorus:]
Pray for me and I’ll pray for you
Pray that we will keep the common ground
Won’t you pray for me and I’ll pray for you
And one day love will bring us back around
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Won’t you pray for me and I’ll pray for you
Pray that we will keep the common ground
Won’t you pray for me and I’ll pray for you
And one day love will bring us back around
Oh, I know that love will bring us back around
Again

[Chorus:]
Pray for me and I’ll pray for you
Pray that we will keep the common ground
Won’t you pray for me and I’ll pray for you
And one day love will bring us back around
Again

[Verse 2]
Painted on a tapestry
We see the way it has to be
Weaving through the laughter and the tears
But love will be the tie that binds us
To the time we leave behind us
Memories will be our souvenirs
And I know that through it all
The hardest part of love is letting go
But there’s a greater love that holds us

[Chorus:]
Pray for me and I’ll pray for you
Pray that we will keep the common ground
Won’t you pray for me and I’ll pray for you
And one day love will bring us back around
Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

Won’t you pray for me and I’ll pray for you
Pray that we will keep the common ground
Won’t you pray for me and I’ll pray for you
And one day love will bring us back around
Oh, I know that love will bring us back around
Again

I spent a lot of time recently trying to figure out what relationships really mean. Why so end, and others keep going. I have friends that I might only talk to once or twice a year but its like we see each other everyday when we do connect. I have other friends who I used to talk to everyday and now it always ends up being really odd when we do talk. I know some people are in our lives for  a minute and others a life time but its hard to understand sometimes why someone who’s story is intertwined with mine that parts of our hearts are forever connected but we still can’t seem to find our way back to the true friendship. They always say time heals all wounds which I have long believed is a load of crap, the wound might heal and other times we just grow accustomed to them and just almost forget they are there.
I pray that we can all find common ground, Gay, Straight, Black, White, Catholic, Protestant, Muslim one day we can all just live as people who are trying to live our lives the best we can. I know this is prolly wishful thinking cause if we cant repair wounds from people we truly love is it realistic to think that we can do that with people we dont even know?
Here is where the road divides
Here is where we realize
The sculpting of the Father’s great design
Thru’ time you’ve been a friend to me
But time is now the enemy
I wish we didn’t have to say goodbye
But I know the road he chose for me
Is not the road he chose for you
So as we chase the dreams we’re after
Even though our roads might have divined and for sure I am on a much different path then you, know that if I ever cared about you I still do. I am loyal to fault often to my own detriment. Loyalty I something I prize above most anything in life, if you have earned a spot in my heart I will fight for you, you can be sure of that.
LOVE GOD, LOVE EACH OTHER, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!

Our reactions…..

In life there is not a lot we can really control, but our reactions are normally one thing we can. For some violence in a natural reaction for others this is just not true. The reaction toward violence only brings more violence. When you are attacked it hard to not want to attack back. I remember once I was out with a friend walking down 4th avenue and someone yell fag out the a car window and the friend I was with was ready to attack I literally had to grab them to stop the reaction. If I would have let them would have changed the situation or how that person felt? Not at all it would have just lead to more negativity. It all comes back to love, love black lives, love gay lives, love Muslim lives, love Jewish lives, love white lives, love all lives cause love it the only thing that will change hate, violence just make hate stronger and bruised but love and truly conquer it all. 

LOVE GOD, LOVE EACH OTHER, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!!!!

Mid Summer Blues

It seems that every summer about the start of July I end up in a almost depressed funk. I have never really been able to pin point exactly what causes it but its still there. Part of it I know is the heat, I hate being hot. Last summer my life totally changed for the actions of other people, at first it seemed like a bad change but I think it honestly ended up being a good path for most of us involved. My two nephews came to live with me a about six months. Talk about a culture shock from being a single guy living alone to my dad and both nephews in a what always seemed like a small house but it became much smaller. Its amazing how much stuff a 9 and 10 year old have.  My life became not my own at all, if I was not at work I was doing something for the boy, dad, or my grandmother. Luckily at first I was only working one job for the first month or so (normally I have at least two jobs if not three). But we found a somewhat dysfunctional routine that worked, with a few meltdowns on all sides but in the end it worked out much better then I ever dreamed it.

I will admit that I was forced into it and it was not something I did at first willingly. Yet in the end I know that it was the right choice and best thing that could have happened. I have often been told how great it was that I had stepped up to take care of the boys and all, but in the end I just did what I had to do. Life often throws stuff at that we dont want to handle or dont think we can handle but almost always we can and do.

This July has started of really Blah, with heat and rain. My nephews are moving half way across the country at the end of week (which I am cautiously optimistic is going to be a good move). The state of WV is a mess in so many ways physically, economically, politically ect. Its hard to see the positive, for those of you that know me well I have been saying for years that its time for me to move. Move where most people ask? I honestly have no idea at all but I really do not have much keeping me here anymore. As I explore in the next months to see what my life is really going to look like we will see what happens. I just hope and pray that everything is happening works out for the best like it always in the end seems to.

LOVE GOD, LOVE EACH OTHER, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!

#Straightpride :?

My guess is that most people dont understand the history of gay pride month. Most gay people prolly dont. Pride was born out of having to fight to freedom to be. The thing is that I would love for there to be no reason for gay pride parades and festivals. In 1969 at the stonewall inn in NYC a small group of gays including mostly drag queens fought back as they where targeted and raided for being a gay club. Pride is the one day a year where many people feel free to be themselves 100% in public. Straight people dont think about holding hands or a quick good bye kiss as they leave there significant  other. This is just not the reality in most place the LGBTQ community. There a many many stories of Trans people that pride is the first time they have gone out in public and their authentic selves.  Pride comes from a place that no one should have ever have to experience. So just be thankful that you really dont need a straight pride. And alot of groups have festival and things that celebrate there heritage. It might be Italian, German, in my town the Greek fest is a major weekend celebrate who you are not matter what that is. But you dont have to hate of someone just because you might not lamb or baklava. I am proud to part of a heritage drag queen ass kickers who stood up and said enough in enough, and fought for the freedom that we are promised as Americans.

The real moral of the story is dont piss of Drag Queens 😛

LOVE GOD, LOVE EACH OTHER, NOTHING ELSE MATTERS!!!