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Human Rights Campaign

Make a list of things you’d like to change. Expand one or all of the point into a post. How do they inform one another? What connects them? What does that say about you?

cruise memere 2 copy

This photo was taken many years ago, I was a young twenty something, and the woman I loved more than life itself was still alive. My Memere …

This was a dream vacation we got to take together because I had a really great job and the ability to take friends and family aboard the ships on the odd occasion. There was no better way to repay her but with a trip to the Bahamas.

Oh by the way, this post is brought to you by Plinky.

It is Christmas. My 45th Christmas. Imagine, I lived to see 45 Christmases.

What would I like to change ???

I saw Sally Field on Oprah last night, speaking about her Human Rights Campaign Award for the Ally for Equality. And in her speech she spoke about her son, Sam. And how much she loved her son and that “God created him” so he’s gay, (then continued … Who the F*ck cares ???”)

And she said about the f bomb, that sometimes it is useful.

The holidays are really hit and miss for me. I love the holidays, and I hate them just the same. I find solace in doing for others on the holiday then reliving the knowledge that my family wants nothing to do with me.

I would change lots of things. I would love to see past resentments finally get rid of in my family. Instead of the way things are. Nobody speaking to each other, however I am in contact with my aunt in Florida. And my cousin in B.C.

Being gay is strike one on me. Being HIV+ is the second strike, and living abroad is the third strike. So what, I made life decisions for myself. It was all about me and not them. However I used them to get where I am today. Just luck my mother was still a citizen when I was born which afforded me a birthright.

I’ve been on the persona non grata list for more than a decade. And I wonder when do we stop punishing each other for growing up and making decisions  in our lives. And when do we move from Resentment into Acceptance ???

It’s not all about Me – or all about You. It’s all about Us …

I sent out 25 Christmas cards today. That two boxes of cards, and postage came to more than $50.00 … A nominal expense, but I enjoy cards. Sending them and getting them.

I wrote out one card to my family, in the states. Just my signature and sealed and set it on the pile. Last night I got balsy and tore up that card and wrote out a second card. With an invitation to dialogue.

You know, I am 45 years old. I am past middle age, when it comes to HIV. I am living on borrowed time, as they say. What would you give to hear your mother say that she loves you? Or your father the same. Or your brother say that he was interested in dialogue after more than decades of silence.

I’ve earned every minute of my life. I am a big man. And though my family lived on tit for tat backstabbing, we all played a part in where we are today. Everybody is guilty, for things we did or said, and for things we failed to say and do.

If I could change some things in the past, like knowing what I should have done when my grandparents had their strokes – they might have lived longer and our family would not have self imploded like it did.

My Memere lived a long life. The regret of my life, is not going to her funeral. That is another sore spot, because my mother did not want her infected fag son to be seen by the family. So she barred me from the funeral and burial. What was I going to say, “f*ck you, I’m going anyways???”

People who believe in the bible so hard, they loose sight of what is really the meaning of life, and what the words in the Bible really mean. How can you espouse the bible and never set foot in a church? Did Vatican authority really force you to think, believe and say the things you all said?

Like Holy Mother Church was in the next room !!!

In sobriety we work our steps. And I have been through my steps. I made my lists and spoke to my resentments and pain. Some items on that step 4 list never get removed for good. There is still bitterness and anger. But what can I do, I am powerless over people, places and things.

I know better than to get my hopes up. My 11th sober anniversary is on Sunday and what a sober gift it would be to reconnect.

All you gotta do is Google me. And there I am. I am not hard to find.

What does this say about me? Family is everything, when you have none. No gay boy or girl, should ever be sent away or forced out of their family just for being gay. No way, No how, No argument. No gay adult should feel less than because members of their own family deny they exist because they are gay.

Time is a precious commodity, once wasted it can Never be regained. We all live on borrowed time, we are all going to die, and would you rather go to your grave with resentments in your life, or a clear conscience, surrounded by family?

Shit, I have a great friend in the sphere and on twitter who gave birth to a gay teenager (well he is a gay teenager today) and the second son is (Gender Queer) and son three is still too young to present. And she loves her boys. So does her husband Adam. I would kill to have a mom like Sam.

Times have changed, and You owe me at least respect.

The bible says “Honor thy father and mother.”

I find it hard to honor a human/humans who do not honor me. Love skipped a generation when it came to my parents. It seems they did not get the memo from the grandparents. They all died too soon to impart the message.

And I don’t know if I can teach an old dog new tricks.


It Gets Better …

Found on: Inch at a Time – Susan Russell – I can’t post the video but if you click on the hotlink – you can go watch the message.

It’s called the “It Gets Better” project and it’s a YouTube based campaign in support of youth facing homophobic bullying, harassment and thoughts of suicide. Saturday I got this email:

Faith voices – clergy in particular – are strongly encouraged to get involved in this campaign to illustrate the love that is available to the LGBTQ teens from the affirming religious community.

And so on Sunday I recorded this message — which is still finding its way to YouTube: (stay tuned for “film at eleven” — and do consider adding your voice to this important “cloud of witnesses!”))

I’m the Reverend Susan Russell, a priest and pastor from Pasadena, California and I’m here to tell you that “It gets better.“

There are lots of voices out there right now bringing that same message and if you are a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning teen I hope you are hearing them and I hope you know that no matter how alone you might feel, you are NOT alone and there is a community that wants to support you in the tough times and celebrate with you in the good times.

And as a priest and pastor I want you to know that anybody who tells you that God condemns you is wrong.

And if anybody says to you “But the Bible says …” I want you to remember this: God gave us the Bible as a tool for us to live our lives — not as a weapon to beat up other people – and history is full of people who were wrong about what the Bible says … using it to support slavery, to oppress women and to condemn Galileo for discovering that the earth revolved around the sun instead other way around.

And it turns out that the same people who were wrong about what the Bible said about slavery, about women’s equality and about astronomy are wrong about what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Jesus said love your neighbor – not love you neighbor unless your neighbor is gay.

Homosexuality doesn’t grieve the heart of God – homophobia does. Bullying does. Violence against any beloved child of God does.

And you are a beloved child of God. Created in God’s image exactly as God intended you to be.
God who doesn’t just want your life to get better – God wants your life to get fabulous. And I didn’t always know that.

Growing up trying to figure out who I was supposed to be and what I was supposed to do wasn’t easy and I didn’t always get it right. But it got better. And now I’m married to a wonderful woman who is the love of my life, I am a priest and pastor in an amazing church and my life didn’t just get better — it got fabulous. And so can yours.

If you need help believing that, reach out. To the Trevor Project. To a Believe Out Loud church. To my church — All Saints Church in Pasadena. And remember that God loves you beyond your wildest imaginings and wants you to be exactly who God created you to be.

Believe that promise. Know that God loves you and we are here for you – and grow up to be the best “you” you can be. It DOES get better! God bless!


October 11 National Coming Out Day

Human Right Campaign Website here

The day has come, let us mark it with pride and respect. For all that is wrong with the world today, and with all the violence we have seen meted out on LGBTQ kids we must stand and acclaim with one voice that “We are here – We are Queer – Get used to it.”

The National Coming out day is a yearly tradition to bring a message of hope and support to those people who still live in the closet, or in secret. It is a day for us to open the door for many LGBTQ kids to come into community, where they will be loved into the men and women that they were meant to be.

There are so many things in life to experience and there has been so much death and crime perpetrated on people just because they were gay or suspected to be gay.

Hate still exists in this world. And we must stand up and say that YOU will be counted by God on that final day. You who shame us and speak such slander and injustice upon us. You believe that God will allow you to abuse us and to use such language with us, that goes against everything that God stands for. God will deal with you on your last day, I am assured that, as I stand here.

Coming out is a monumental time in a young persons life. And those of us who are here should stand up and be ready to welcome them into life. Coming Out is monumental in any persons life, no matter what age you or where you come from. We are here for you. And we love you just the same. God created you, he loved you into existence.

Therefore let us celebrate the lives of LGBTQ kids today. Let us celebrate all of us in this vast community of LGBTQ people. If you are pondering coming out, there are people out here who will help and guide you.

Let us speak with one voice for Equality. The time has come for LGBTQ people around the world to be given equal rights under the law. We deserve every ounce of support that we can get in turning the tables in the U.S. and in many places of the world, that still see us as second class citizens. We MUST have equal rights. Laws MUST be changed. The light of change has come, and it begins with me, and it begins with You. We are not second class citizens. We are just like you, humans, created by God, we deserve every ounce of respect and dignity that you have yourselves.

Make it a good day for you.  Bring your friends, bring your families, bring your significant others.

Just come and BE with all of us.

Courtesy: BoysBe