Friday, December 29, 2006

Inches and inches!

Well, I at least wanted it to SOUND dirty. I'm safely holed up in Denver. Yes, there's snow. Lots of it. The drive to Denver on Thursday was fine. Didn't even see any snow until I was almost right in the city. It's not all fun and games, though. There are many inches of snow on the ground, and since we didn't want to drive all the way to downtown for cocktails last night, Jerry and I tried to go see Dreamgirls just a bit south of the condo. A quick bite of dinner first, and then to the theater...which closed 15 minutes before we got there. *sigh* We ventured out for nothing! So back home for cocktails with Mary and her boyfriend. Never let it be said snow will prevent our merry-making.

Sadly, there wasn't enough snow to keep Jerry from having to work at the post office today. So at 7:30am we were back out in it, headed for Highlands Ranch. See, my car Georgina has all-wheel drive. Half of everything is closed today. They're keeping the main roads plowed very well here, and getting there and back was no stress at all. If you have half a brain cell and don't drive like a maniac, you're fine. As long as I don't encounter a jackass who's in too big of a hurry, I'm not worried!

As cold and snowy as it is, we've been commenting on how beautiful it is. The snow is falling down, not sideways. For a Wyoming boy, that's a little odd. There's a thick blanket of white on everything. The trees are gorgeous! It's quiet and peaceful. Everything's moving at a slower pace. There's food in the fridge, booze on ice, and movies galore! I brought my crocheting, my jewelry making kit, and my stationary so there's plenty to do. I'm leaving for the store in a minute to buy cow then drive to meet Scotty and Craig. We're going to cook steak and eggs for breakfast.

The moral of today's story: there's beauty and something positive in anything. Look at it from another perspective. Rather than focusing on the cold, look at the beauty of the trees, the snow, and the chance to pause for a moment.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Happy Holly-gays!

A friend recently sent me a holiday card. I like it so much, I thought I'd share it with all my readers. Hope your holidays are a hoot, a holler, and a half!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It's my qwhat-a-mal-en-ness

You natural heat. Today, I was scheduled to play racquet/handball with some of the boys. They, however, are afraid of me. Brendon was so ashamed of his impending loss that he failed to show up. Linus went so far as to feign a stomach bug and beg off sick. He started this fabrication yesterday, so he must be sore afraid. Ben was so frightened I'm not even sure he knew we were playing today! Aaron is truly terrified, because he has yet to even face me on the court.

I realize that being such a butch and athletic homo I strike terror into the hearts of (so-called) men, but COME ON. To stand me up completely? On the up side, I did finally play a worthy opponent: myself! Apparently 30 minutes of one-on-none racquetball can work up quite a sweat. It will no doubt make me that much tougher on the court, and I might never get the boys to come back to the gym.

Yup, you guessed it. I'm calling them out! If you play racquetball or handball, bring it on! I'm here through break, and willing to whoop up on people, singles or doubles. If there's three, we can play cut-throat.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Some days you're the windshield...

(Oops! I meant to post my Xmas card to everyone before I left for Denver. I scanned and loaded the image, but didn't get it linked. I'm a doing like that!)

I am officially in the holiday spirit. I had an early Xmas, or as I like to call it the Holly-Gays, in Denver. I got to spend time with Josh, which hadn't happened in months thanks to conflicting schedules. I got to give and receive a few presents. And I got to spend time with some amazing people.

There was the Christmas party at Mark and Alan's. Tres fab! A private tour of "Blossoms of Light," the light display at the Denver Botanical Gardens. Mark designs and puts it together each year as a contract, and I know just about all of his holiday elves who help wrap strand after strand of lights. This year the display was ranked #2 in the nation by AOL City Guide. There were cocktails once or twice (ha ha ha) and some new friends made. Stories, jokes, and incriminating evidence...we had it all. I left Denver feeling pretty darned good about things. Even the weather seemed to cooperate and give me a chance for one last lunch with the boys!

Then I got on I-25. Road conditions were NOT bad. Drivers, however, were dumb. 3 accidents between Denver and Fort Collins made for some VERY slow driving. I don't like doing 20 mph on the interstate, much less 3 mph. Finally north of FoCo, I decided to avoid the truck traffic I knew would be an issue between Cheyenne and Laramie. I buzzed across Owl Canyon Road without incident, though I did go a bit slower because of snow on the road. 287 wasn't bad either, and what little traffic existed was moving along at a very safe yet respectable 45-50 mph. Just before the Wyoming border, however, a semi driver was being...well, stupid.

Please note that driving too slow for conditions is ALSO dangerous. We'd been following him for 20 minutes, and traveled only 5 miles. Laramie was 25 miles away, and I knew that the vein in forehead would burst before I could stand another full hour of driving behind this twit. I'd already been on the road for 2.5 hours, after all. Traffic began to back up, and was up to a mile long before I was able to es-ca-pe (as Dorie told Nemo's dad).

After 3 hours of high stress driving, I returned home. I dropped off some holiday cheer to some of my friends and returned to the house at about 9pm. The visits had returned me to a calm state, and I felt no desire to scream. Then I went to bed at 10:30pm. And found the downstairs toilet was stuck running, and the reserve tank (clean water, thankfully) had overflowed. So I got to mop the bathroom clean for an hour before bed.

...and some days you're the bug.

I know the universe will not give me more than I can handle. Sometimes I just wish it didn't trust me so much! - Paraphrase from Mother Teresa

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy Birthday

The universe sure is funny sometimes. I was checking on my friend Troy's blog. He's working in Antarctica. They're 18 hours ahead, so it's already the 1st of December there. My friend posted the Wikipedia entry.

For those too lazy to click and read the whole entry, the item of note is that under births, it lists "1976 - Matthew Shepard, American murder victim (d. 1998)." I was a bit surprised that his birthday is listed on the official wiki calendar.

Don't get me wrong, I had not forgotten the date. The chatter on the Matthew Shepard lists (I lurk and monitor what the crazies are saying) has been going for some time now. Dec. 1st would have been Matt's 30th birthday.

No, I'm not going to get all morose on people. I celebrate Matt's life and the good that has come from his story. My point today is just that the little coincidences in life add up. Pay attention to them.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Giving thanks

So often we focus on the things that are difficult. The challenges we've faced, the struggles yet to come, and the trouble in between. It's easy to think about loss and pain; they leave a lasting impression on us. They stir up such a wealth of emotion it's hard not to focus on the darker days. On how hard this year has been. How tough the upcoming year will be.

I've been dealing with this a lot lately. It hasn't been the easiest of semesters. Or the easiest of years, for all that matter. "If I can just make it until my trip to Canada..." "Only three days of work before the holiday break..." I find myself saying things like this to myself (and others) all too often.

But this time of year is about being thankful. Thankful for those in our lives, the things we have, and the lessons we've learned. This year has once again taught me to be thankful for every precious day of life we have. For the amazing people in our lives, and the true friends who would give or do anything for us. I am truly blessed by the friends and family in my life. Though I struggle with money, bills, etc. I realize that I own a home, a decent vehicle, and have a college education. There are so many who don't have these basic material goods.

And I am thankful for the reminders, both gentle and forceful, that the universe gives me on a daily basis. The wisdom my friends offer me, even though they don't necessarily realize they're doing it. I'm also thankful for the good days I know are yet to come. The lessons I have yet to learn. The friends I have yet to make.

I wanted to pause for a moment and thank all of you for another amazing year, full of fun and adventure. And to tell you I can't wait for another year to come. Today I received a card from a friend in Chicago, with whom I am starting out on what promises to be an amazing journey. The quote on the front struck me, and so I'll leave you with this thought:

"Tomorrow is a new day,
You shall begin it well..." - Emerson

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My feet hurt

Yes, gentle readers...I've done it again. Once again, I have channeled the Mouth from the South and embodied Ms. Martina Gras (but you can call me Marti!). The Stilettos had their most recent show in Cheyenne last Saturday. I started shaving things on Thursday.

Each time I perform "in face" as a women, I am struck by the amount of work that goes into being an "acceptable" woman. Shaving, waxing, tweezing, plucking, and moisturizing. Then there's hair to get done, makeup to apply, garments that squeeze/tuck/shape/otherwise contort, pantyhose to wrestle...and then there's the damned shoes!

Heels are, in fact, a medieval torture device designed to weaken, enfuriate, and otherwise harass anyone who wears them. I managed to catch a heel on a chair leg and roll one of my ankles. Not the most graceful thing for a drag queen to do. But I channeled my inner diva and stood right back up, righted the overturned chair, and continued with the number as though nothing had ever happened. It wasn't until after I left the room that my most fabulous dressor extraordinaire, Ms. Bryski, checked for a wound. And there was a doozie of a floor burn and run in my stocking the size of Texas. Great fun!

Though I've said it before, I think it bears repeating. Straight men: the next time you're grumpy because your wife/girlfriend/sister/friend/female whatever is "taking too long getting ready..." Shut the fuck up! Because the next time I hear a man doing so, I shall promptly put him in true drag. He shall learn that putting on a full face of makeup takes an hour when done properly. That your makeup must be retouched several times throughout the course of the evening. That whatever she is wearing is probably designed for someone built like a twig, and that she's wearing shaping garments to squeeze herself to a "more perfect" vision of loveliness. Not only is it likely uncomfortable, it probably outright hurts!

So pipe down or deal with women going out without make up or decent clothes. They'll start throwing on a hat and baggy shirt whenever they leave. And you're not allowed to bitch about how she's letting herself go. Or I'll use my glued on nails to claw out your eyes and will plant a size 14 6 inch heel in your forehead.

Friday, November 10, 2006

They made me come back

For the record, I had a ball in Canada. The hotel was nice, the mall was amazing, and the food was great! I got to catch up with friends I only see 3-4 days each year. I learned new things to bring back to work and improve my policies and procedures. I went to the indoor mini-golf course, the Asian supermarket, the dinner theater (where I was roped into dancing on stage, thanks to the aforementioned friends), and the indoor water park. I even managed to find a karaoke night and go out with my friends, who are the ones who got me hooked in the first place.

Things in Canada are a bit different than here. Everyone was dressed nicely, and the mall was chock full of high end clothing stores. The money's different, but the exchange rate isn't hard to figure out, and most places would accept US currency (for a fee). Everyone was quite nice and helpful, and the boys were PRETTY!!! Yum. Alcohol was pretty pricey, as there are several extra taxes. I'll get some of the GST (Goods and Services Tax) back, as Canada lets you send in receipts and get a refund if you don't live there. These taxes are what help pay for socialized medicine. Yup....every single person in Canada has medical care, so everyone is pretty healthy. Even the homeless (though I admittedly didn't see any hanging around the mall).

Just like my trip to Holland/Germany, it made me realize that there is a better way to do so many things. Since I'm gay, I could have claimed asylum and stayed there. The whole "I'd need a job and income" thing seemed to be a barrier to me, though. ;) I could live with higher taxes to ensure every person in the nation can see a doctor when they're sick. Besides...there are all those cute Mounties running around. *waggles eyebrows*

The trip back was long, and the weather wasn't great. I stopped in Seattle long enough to exit one plane, walk to the next concourse, and get in line for the next flight. 10 minutes from plane to plane, tops. During that time, I even managed to call NerdyGirl! I figured I couldn't very well be in her town and not call her, even if I was on the ground no more than 30 minutes. If I didn't, she'd send the Panda Army to beat me up. (Go read her blog and that comment will make more sense.)

If nothing else, it reaffirmed my belief that I learn so much when I step outside the familiar. When I embrace a new experience or a new way of looking at things. Today's homework: go somewhere new. See something different. Be adventurous. Try something you haven't before!

Friday, November 03, 2006

It's not even a real country anyway

Tomorrow morning at 4am I will leave for DIA with 3 friends/coworkers. From there, we will fly to Edmonton, Canada for our annual work conference. It travels around each year, and so far I have been to Denver, Richmond (VA), Portland, Providence, San Antonio, Baltimore, Monterrey, and now to Canada. Going to Canada is on my list of "Things to do before I die," though I had expected a visit to the International Peace Gardens or some other scenic detour. This is one more thing I'll be able to check off my list. Long time blog readers and friends may remember that I've had to expand the list in the past, as I had accomplished several of the things on the list.

I've seen a show ON Broadway (Phantom of the Opera, with my mom and sister), I've travelled somewhere that requires a passport (Holland), swam in the ocean on both coasts, and been to Germany (Kassel, to be precise). Still on my list: a trip to Hawaii, scuba diving, holding my niece, and taking a cruise. Note that several of these can be accomplished in one trip if I play my cards right. ;)

But this trip to Canada has made me realize that I have seen and done so many things in my life. Even with the pain and struggle that sometimes cloud our lives, there is a lot to experience out there. In the long run, I've had a good time of it and can't really complain. But now I have to come up with new things for my list. I'll keep you posted on the updates, but want to know: what's on your list?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Racquetball with the Rev

It's happened twice now. We both end up sweaty. He gives me a real workout. Today he left marks on my body. I know, the title sort of deflates the dirtiness, as you know I'm merely talking about playing racquetball. At the unholy hour of 6am. But of course, when the Dark Pope and the HFoC (Head Fag on Campus, much like a BMoC, only with show tunes) get together, SOMETHING must be unholy.

Neither of us can claim to be in prime physical condition. We're much older and....rounder...than most of the (college-aged) group with which we spend time. And yet, we give each other a real run for the money! We're of similar skill on the court. What I lack in speed, I make for with a large wingspan. What he lacks in speed, he makes up for with (disgustingly) trick shots and strategic placement. (I apparently can't return a ball that comes straight at me, or is served into the back left save my soul!)

We have a great time abusing each other at 6am. We laugh, we mock, we groan, we ache, and we out-swear the saltiest of sailors. Yes, nuns walking past the court would likely faint. Those who know us wouldn't really be that shocked. This morning resulted in one win for each of us. (This, incidentally was the first time I've won since taking the sport up again...and I've played against Ainsley a few times as well.) Each point was hard earned, too. Our first game, played to 21 points, took 36 minutes.

It's been nice getting a good solid workout in, though we both feel it afterwards. After our last match, the Rev commented "How do you feel? Cuz I feel like Patti LaBelle's hairstylist...I'm soooooooo tired." It's just before 11am, and my body is complaining about the vigorous pounding it took 5 hours ago. Of course, taking two shots to the body, one quite powerful and direct that missed a nipple ring by 3 inches, didn't help matters. (Rev, 5 hours later there's still a perfect red circle imprinted.) I'm feeling fairly confident that I will maintain the current level of weight loss...50 pounds, as of this morning!

But it's more than that. It's about two friends getting to spend time together. Sharing something (pain!). Pushing each other to do more, do better. We don't get mad when the other person makes an amazing kill shot...we simply "Nice shot...asshole." It's about moving and doing something. Becoming smaller versions of ourselves. Trying to make our bodies move like they did 10 years ago (har har har). Camaraderie, not competition.

Today's lesson: it's not always about winning. Sometimes it's nice to just struggle on, and to do it with someone. Even when they're your opponent.

Today's homework: find someone who can push you at something. Sports, games, cooking, conversation, thinking, puzzles, religion...anything. You'll be amazed how far you can go when you find someone you like and trust who will push back.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Warning: Blatant Sarcasm Ahead

Stolen shamelessly from a friend's myspace bulletin:
Some suggest gay marriage will merely undermine one of our most fundamental societal institutions, causing countless straight couples to get divorced because exclusion of gays was the only thing holding their marriage together. But we know better. Gay marriage killed the dinosaurs.

If we let liberal activist judges in Massachusetts and California set the course, the blood will run in rivers. Mixed with molten lava.

Top 13 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong
13. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.
12. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why our society has no single parents.
11. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.
10. Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
9. Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.
8. Gay marriage should be decided by the people and their elected representatives, not the courts. The framers checked the courts, which represent mainstream public opinion, with legislatures created to protect the rights of minorities from the tyranny of the majority. Interference by courts in this matter is inappropriate, just as it has been every time the courts have tried to hold back legislatures pushing for civil rights.
7. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
6. Civil unions providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because "separate but equal" institutions are a good way to satisfy the demands of uppity minority groups.
5. Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
4. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
3. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
2. Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

We all know that it wasn't gay marriage that killed the dinosaurs -- it was a meteor that God sent to earth to spite them because they all became gay. Gay marriage itself doesn't kill anyone; it only gives them AIDS. My pastor told me that if we let gays get married, their AIDS might mutate and become airborn, and then what, huh? Airborne AIDS! Then we'll all have to walk around wearing masks and rubber suits and that wouldn't be much fun now would it?!

Thursday, October 12, 2006


My phone rang around 5am. The University President, Phil Dubois, was calling to tell me personally. To tell me what I knew in my heart before the phone even stopped ringing. After 5 days, Matt had passed. I was sitting on the floor, braced against the wall, too groggy with sleep to do much else. I just wept for a moment, though I think it was more because I knew he was no longer suffering. Then I stood up and headed toward the shower, knowing that there would be much to do that day.

Today, 8 years later, I'm heading for the shower in a more metaphoric sense. I'm rededicating myself to making a difference. To changing the world in which I live so that it's a better place. A safer place. A more welcoming place. A world worth Matt's legacy. A world worthy of our children, be they gay or straight. Black or white. Muslim or Jewish. Male or female. Rich or poor. Young or old.

This is MY pledge. Please take a moment today and make your own pledge to make something better.

Friday, October 06, 2006

A lesson 8 years in the making

Eight years ago, on October 6th, 1998, a new friend of mine left a bar. He left with two men who told him they were gay. And he trusted them. They told him they would give him a ride home. And he trusted them. Not long after he left with them, they tied him to a fence. They hit him in the head some 18 times with the butt of a .357 Magnum pistol. They left him to die. Because he trusted them.

I miss Matt every day. The universe knows that my life is so different today because I knew him. I didn't know him enough, though. I was busy planning Gay Awareness Week on campus. Dealing with the start of semester at work. I told myself I'd get to know him better after all that was done. I'd talk to him about his family. I'd encourage him to be more involved with the group on campus, perhaps even become an officer. I missed my chance, because I put events and agendas before people.

The last few weeks have reminded me of just how precious life is. Friends. Family. A part of me will mourn Matt every year at this time. But I also know that he'd rather we celebrate life. And the good that has come in the last 8 years. That we hold each other tighter to our hearts. That we tell each other more often how we feel, and let people into our hearts. Sadness is not his legacy. Love, peace, and understanding are. Today, I celebrate him. And each of you.

You are all angels. You give me wings.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Town Without Pity

"Town Without Pity" is an old song by Gene Pitney. It talks about small towns and the gossiping that goes on. I thought when I moved from Wright to Laramie that I was leaving behind the vicious grapevine for more enlightened pastures. Or at least a place where people had the common sense and intelligence to research for passing on wild speculation. Sadly, this is not the case.

Last Friday night I learned what rumors have been traveling around town regarding Scotty's stay in the hospital. Some of the rumors simply said that a gay guy was in the hospital. Some were more detailed, and included claims of drug overdose or complications related to HIV/AIDS. Some specifically said he's positive or took some "bad stuff." Neither of these are correct, of course, but why would something so trivial as the truth matter?

Needless to say, I was PISSED. I was pissed because the assumption was that because someone's gay, they must be on drugs or sick with AIDS. (Or both.) I had hoped we were beyond that era, especially within the freaking GLBTQ community itself, where the worst rumors were floating. I was pissed because I wondered how such a nasty story could get started. I was pissed because I could think of a few people in town who would do it just to be mean, because Scotty made the "horrific" choice of becoming my friend and becoming more involved. A "rainbow fag," as we're labeled. A dirty "activist." I was most pissed because someone I care about was being slandered after spending 8 of the most difficult, painful, and vulnerable days of his life. Shouldn't the focus be on "someone's in the hospital, I hope he's okay," not "what did he do to 'deserve' being there?" So I told Scotty and his boyfriend C about it, figuring that it was best if they heard it from me and not someone being petty or nosy.

And the teacher became the student. Scotty and C laughed. "Who cares what they're saying? They're just jealous like always." I REALLY wanted to be the protective mama grizzly bear. I wanted to find out who started the rumors, and to correct all the misinformation floating out there. When I first wrote this blog post in my head, that was a primary purpose. But it's not worth it. I could expend a lot of time and energy frothing at the mouth about this. If they were saying things about me, I wouldn't think twice about it and would laugh it off as I have the nasty things they HAVE said about me before. I'm just being over-protective of those I care about. Not a bad thing to do, mind you, but still wasteful of time and energy.

Scotty pointed out that he's just going to come back from all of this better and stronger than before. With a different perspective. A stronger determination to LIVE. A commitment to spending more time with family and friends. To not sweat the small stuff, or waste his time on things that DON'T matter. Like gossip. Rude people. We're going to spend time together improving our poi and flagging skills. Working out. Watching TV together, which is really an excuse to hang out and simple be together. Taking time to stop and smell the flowers.

Monday, September 18, 2006

A new story for SafeZone sessions

The next time anyone questions whether or not being gay is about sex or love, I want them to spend time in a hospital room with a gay couple. I've spent a fair amount of time in Scotty's room this week, sitting next to his parents, brothers, and boyfriend (whom shall be named C throughout the post). You couldn't help but see the worry, concern, and agony on C's face as he watched our beloved Puppy. Every groan, every wince, every grimace was met with a new line on C's furrowed brow. His love and compassion were SO apparent, that not even the most hardened conservative or religious zealot could mistake it for lust, passion, or the other stereotypical emotions/urges ascribed to GLBTQ folks by the narrow-minded.

The nurses commented on how amazing it was to see so many people spending so much time and energy on a patient; it was rare for them to see it. The saw firsthand the tender ways C cared for Scotty. He never batted an eyelash when asked for a drink of water, help moving a pillow to just the right spot, or a scratch on the nose when Scott couldn't lift his arms high enough to do it himself. They could sense C's pain and worry, and see it in his eyes. So much so that one of the nurses broke down and cried. She was so overwhelmed at their love and the pureness of it, she was moved to tears.

I can't say as though I blame her. I, too, watched C over the course of the week. I talked with him on the phone before he was able to leave work, jump in the car, and race to Scott's side. I held his hand when Scott was incoherent and unaware of his surroundings. And I talked with him about how he wanted nothing more than to stay with him until he's better, rather than going back to his job in Colorado.

Yes, if everyone in the world today could see someone concerned about their partner in the hospital, I'm sure that we would have gay marriage tomorrow. Not civil unions. Not domestic partnerships. Marriage. We would have equality in other realms too. Love is such a shining example of the goodness and purity of the human spirit...even if that human spirit doesn't happen to be heterosexual.

Go be an example of love today, especially if you are queer.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Some news and a laugh

For those who are unaware, Scott R. (aka Puppy) was taken to the hospital on Wednesday. He's okay now, but it was very serious. High grade fevers, extreme dehydration, and two grand mal seizures. Any moment I've not been attached to my pillow (not much) or in the office has been spent at the hospital or with his family. He'll hopefully be released in another day or two. So that's what I've been up to.

I've also had fabulous friends looking after me and making sure I'm eating, getting SOME sleep, feeding puppies, etc...just as I'm doing for others. It's been yet another reminder not to take people for granted. I've been thinking about my mom a lot, and those who are far away. It's also been a reminder that everything happens for a reason. As Scott's mom said, if I had gotten the job in Denver I wouldn't have been here to tell the doctors about his flu symptoms and behavior the last few days. I wouldn't have been on campus to contact the various offices to let them know he wouldn't be in class, or the myriad other details I've been through with my mom.

One of my jobs has been to play cheerleader. To embody the phrase "laughter is the best medicine." To keep spirits high. And so I share a funny with you. My friend Olivette sent me this link, and you must go listen to the song. It does contain profanity, so choose your speaker location carefully.

I'll be back soon

Sorry for my absence of late, both from the blogosphere and real life. Some of you know why, the rest will know soon. (Please don't stress, everything is OKAY, and no Earth shattering changes are in the works...thank goodness.)

In the meantime, here's a little funny I'm blatantly stealing from the Rev. It's a commercial. With gay flight attendants. If we had ads like this in the US, I'd be more likely to fly the friendly skies, just because I can. ;)

Monday, September 11, 2006

I feel dirty

Thanks to my regularly scheduled programming being pre-empted by Shrub, I watched tonight's info-mercial for the war. I mean...presidential address. It's amazing how many times this administration can repeat the same talking points. Be scared. Terrorists are gonna get ya. War is good. Be scared. We're winning, but it will take a while. These are the reasons we can't pull out. Be scared. We have protected you for 5 years. We'll keep going, no matter how long it takes. Be scared. Support me. In short...war is good. Mmmmmmmkay?

Is this really how he chose to commemorate 9/11/01? He gave 30 second lip service to the innocent lives lost, the heroic efforts of police and firefighters in NYC, and the efforts of citizens to make a difference. Then spent the rest of his almost 20 minutes trying to tell us why the war is necessary and good? "We are rededicating ourselves to this important cause..." No...YOU are recommitting us to more years of a war few want, least of all the citizens of the country in which it's occurring.

Today the displays of red, white, and blue made me uncomfortable, as did the playing of the national anthem in the gym. I really do want to remember the innocent lives lost that morning. I've spent time this week remembering where I was when I heard, crying over the bravery of passengers on Flight 93, and remembering the everyday heroes who are no longer with us. But thanks to this administration's politicking, 9/11 has been cheapened into a reason, a rationalization, and justification. It's become a scare tatic. "If you don't support the president (yes, this is the second time I've not used an uppercase P, and it's intentional) or policy X, Y, and're forgetting the victims of..." Tonight's infomercial clarified my nausea over the misuse of a tragedy as a weapon and a tool.

The only thing that softens the blow is the knowledge that soon I will get to watch Jon Stewart's reaction. That always makes things better...

So tonight I remember the victims. And blatantly do NOT support the war. I support the troops. But NOT the administration that put and keeps them in harm's way. And I feel sick over tonight's informercial...I mean presidential address.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

For my friends...

i carry your heart with me
e. e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)

i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Funny because it's true

My thanks to the Rev for sending this little gem to me in email!
A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busy boulevard.

Suddenly the light turned yellow just in front of him. He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk even though he could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn. She screamed in frustration as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, dropping her cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.

The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.

He took her to the police station where she was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy in front of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Sunday School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. Naturally...I assumed you had stolen the car."

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I'm tired...

...of bad news. We're approaching the anniversary of 9/11. Not long after that will be the anniversary of Matt's murder. I spent time this summer on the Crisis Intervention Team for UW responding to the triple homocide/suicide in Laramie. Our troops are still in Iraq and Afghanistan. I fear for the future of our country at the hands of much of our government. I'm terrified of another two years of Shrub in office. I'm tired of having to struggle every step of the way for GLTBQ equality and rights. I don't want to hear another friend, relative, or acquaintance has died or is gravely ill. I'm tired of the bad!

But the reality is that we can't leave pain and suffering behind. I remind myself that the struggle growing up in the closet made me a much stronger person today, and that it has given me skills and perspective I rely on today. So here I sit, watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Cheesy? Perhaps. But in this episode, they're making over a home for a Hindu family who lost everything in a fire. They came to America for a better life, and have been quietly making do since losing all they had accomplished. Friends and strangers alike pulled together to make a difference. And it reminds me that I'm truly blessed.

I have a decent job. I have a good home. I have incredible friends. This weekend I met someone for the first time. I hope it goes somewhere, as he seems REALLY amazing. I'm working to make a difference. One step at a time. Left foot. Right foot.

Today's homework: Do something to make a difference. Remind yourself of something positive. It's not all doom and gloom.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

They're baaaaack!

Students, that is. In full force. And they bring with them scheduling changes, computer problems, forgotten passwords, WyoWeb trauma, or other stress-inducing drama. Yuck. I was in my office for 11 hours yesterday. 9.5 today. Today I found myself wishing for the Denver job again, so there would be a light at the end tunnel instead of over the big mountain waaaaay over there. But I have found bright spots...usually when someone I adore makes me smile, and I realize I don't have to be separated from them JUST YET. Oh, and there's my new project.

What new project, you ask? I am going to write a book. I had an epiphany. In the shower, while getting ready to go to my birthday party. It shall be fabulous, touching, informative, and provocative. I have already had a generous offer of editing from the Rev. And an echo from Mandyfish. It will be autobiographical. And commentative. Perhaps even bits of verse. So...if you don't want your real name used...speak up! ;)

Oh yeah...and I played with Adobe Illustrator tonight. What do you think of the new blog picture?

Friday, August 25, 2006

Well, at least I know now

The good news is that I don't have to try to sell the house in a month. The bad news is that I didn't get the job. :( I'm doing okay. I have a house, a job, and a family here. There will be other opportunities down the road. I think perhaps this job was the Universe's way of getting me ready and showing me that I can make it happen, and in short order if I need to. Thanks to everyone for their support and positive thoughts. It's been a wild ride, and having you all behind me has changed me in powerful ways. I've not felt something so touching since wearing wings. I love you all.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

On the edge of another birthday

I just finished watching the Daily Show. I want to marry Jon Stewart. He's nerdy hot, super smart, and funny as fuck. Scotty was here earlier. We bitched about our days, drank a glass of wine, and watched Who Wants to be a Superhero. Because it requires no thought and there's nothing else on Thursdays, that's why.

Tomorrow at 8:32am I'll be thirty-wonderful. I'm pretty okay with it, I think. Maybe I just have too much stress and chaos going on to worry about another year gone by. I don't have word on the job. I emailed her tonight. Wouldn't a job offer be a great birthday present? Students are back. Work sucks. I want to spend tomorrow having cocktails instead of changing password, changing schedules, and trying to control the fist of death. I love Dilbert.

I'm stream of consciousness-y tonight, not profound. I should have some words of wisdom on the edge of another birthday. About aging. About changing. Growing. Living. Dying. Love. Eh. I'm on break for a minute. So let's just go to karaoke on Saturday at 9pm. Library Bar. They know we're coming. We are taking over again. Tres Guerilla Bar, Laramie Style.

Big Gay Jim. Another year older. Going to bed. At 10pm. Because it's a school night. Damn I'm old. ;) And I want a job. For my birthday. It's a wish!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A chance to thank Judy Shepard

I don't usually deal in chain letter type messages. However, I think this one is well worth it and is something I feel very strongly about. Below is an email that Dennis Shepard sent to Dave O'Malley and Rob Debree (the lead investigators in Matt's murder). Judy has been nominated for the "Volvo For Life Awards," which recognizes community heroes for the work they do. Judy is a finalist for the state of Wyoming. While receiving a Volvo for life would be a wonderful way to thank Judy for her tireless efforts to erase hate across the country, there are also cash awards for charities that would no doubt be more important to her. At any rate, I encourage everyone to go to the link below and vote for Judy. I can think of nobody more deserving. And as Dennis says, please help get the word out about this (apologies to anyone who receives this multiple times/from lists). Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

From: Shepard, Dennis W
Sent: Thursday, August 17, 2006 2:33 AM
I might be jumping the gun on this but I wanted to get it out as soon as possible. I think the Foundation is going to send something out officially anyway.

Judy has been nominated for recognition representing the State of Wyoming. I'd appreciate it if you would vote for her on as many computers as you can and as often as they will let you.

Go to the address below, click on Wyoming on the US map, then click on the box next to her name before submitting your vote. I may be prejudiced but I think she deserves the recognition because of what she does, what she's fighting for, and who she's fighting for.

I'd also appreciate it if you would pass this along to your friends and ask them to vote as many times as possible.

Thanks from me for Judy.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Job hunt update

I emailed DU about the job today, and received the following response:

Jim, thanks for the message. We are meeting as a committee tomorrow to make recommendations for a final candidate. We hope to then make reference checks and make an offer by Monday or Tuesday. We will be in touch with you either way.

Now you know as much as I do. Have I mentioned I hate waiting? ;)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pins and needles

I'm not a patient person by nature. I don't wait well. And so not hearing anything about the job is...well...killing me! I understand that the hiring process is frought with delays and red tape. I know that the 14th was a "target date" to offer the position. But those who know me well understand that my brain spins around my head at highly unsafe speeds. Most people have REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. I think I have RPM sleep. No, I have not yet heard anything. Paranoia is setting in, slowly but surely. Well, maybe not so slowly. If I haven't heard anything by noon tomorrow, I shall email my prosepective supervisor and inquire about the timeline. Asking if I got the job is considered rude, and not something I want to do. Asking about the notification timeline, on the other hand, is wholly acceptable.

In the meantime, I'm trying to distract myself. Work helps a great deal, as it's that crazy-you-don't-want-to-be-around-me-I-hate-student-employees-you-really-forgot-your-password-after-one-month-paperwork-sucks time of year. (Say that 5 times fast.) And now I'm pausing to announce the birthday plans!

That's right kiddies...on Saturday, August 26th at 9pm we shall commence with karaoke to celebrate my turning thiry-wonderful. Don't year I expect to have my fourth annual 29th birthday, but since Denver Mary gave me such a cute term, I thought I'd try it out this year. We will meet at the Library Bar in Laramie, WY (sorry to Britt and all the other much-loved under-21's in my life...a little birdie suggested a night of karaoke and it seemed PERFECT). The actual date of birth is not the 26th, but Saturday is when they do the whole drunken sing-along thing. And the guy in charge said he'd love to sponsor my birthday party. ;)

Gifts are not required. Cocktails are much appreciated. For those who feel compelled to gift-ify, please contact Scott Roberts. He's agreed to coordinate donations toward two things which would make me smile. 1) A really nifty set of lighted LED poi balls that shift in color through the rainbow. They're fun. 2) Remaining donations will be used to purchase my very own karaoke machine and CD's. I spent today finding choice CD's at, and had a ball...for 10 whole minutes! If you don't know how to contact Mr. Roberts, let me know. I don't want to publish his info on the blog for fear he'll be spammed by an address-grabbing-web-crawling-bot.

So there's the fun news (and my current distraction) for the day. Please bear with me as I continue to wait for word on the job, and loathe the start-of-semester junk I'm in which I find myself immersed.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

What a difference some gays make...

...and a bisexual. And a straight guy. Once again I have proof: I have the best friends ever. Though the work on the house is far from done, yesterday was a giant leap for the outside. The back yard has been trimmed, hoed, redesigned, and cleaned up. In the front, the large juniper is now 2, and the roses can actually be seen. We trimmed up a lot of the trees, and the smaller juniper is trimmed back as well. We weeded, pruned, and whipped it back into shape.

My stress level is much lower now, as I can see someone looking at the yard and not running away screaming if they wanted to buy the house. There's still work to do on the inside, and plenty more to finish up outside. But in one day a group of amazing people helped knock out the bulk of the work outside. I freely admit it: I cried when I saw the improvement.

Today I hurt, though. We started working at about 11am. We worked in the rain, in the wind, and in the sun. We finished around 7pm. I know I worked muscles I didn't know I had, and I'm sure everyone else did as well. So if you're bored some night, let me know. There are more things to do, and help will ALWAYS be much appreciated.

And I also wanted to say thanks to everyone who sent along a desire to help even though they didn't have the ability. Intent means more, and I thank you too. Cross your fingers for me tomorrow. (Sheesh I hope they're on schedule and call tomorrow; the waiting is killing me!)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Call for help!

Since there's a chance I'll be moving south for the winter...well, within a month or so, I have started to engage in hard core productivity around the house. In small stages, of course. ;) I've cleaned out the pantry, purging more than 55 gallons (I love the big contractor trash bags!) of out dated, stale, or undesired junk. There's extra room in the pantry, and it's clean! I was truly inspired by the success, so I continued last night. I mowed the yard, sprayed some of the shrubbery in the backyard with an anti-bug treatment, and finally removed the bird's nest from the garage light (the robin's eggs didn't hatch, and she abandoned the nest). Then I cleaned out one of the bedroom closets, throwing away a lot of old socks, ripped up shirts, etc. and collecting a HUGE laundry load's worth of clothes for good will. The other closet (and maybe dresser) are on tap for tonight.

So here's the call for help! Rather than going to Denver and playing this weekend, I plan to get dirty in the yard. The flower beds need some serious weeding, digging, pruning, etc. If the weather will cooperate, I would love all the help I can get. There will be plenty to do! I'm going to try to rake the yard this week, but there will be weeds to pull, etc. I can't offer much, but I'll provide dinner for any stalwart would-be gardeners. Drop me a line if you can help. I'll likely start early, around 10am or so, in an effort to beat the heat, the bugs, and the afternoon rain! Bring trowels, etc. if you have them. Let me know if you're coming though, so I can plan accordingly. Smooches to all the bitches!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Interview update

Things went very well, I think. I met with some students from the Queer Straight Alliance, an interview committee, the Assistant Provost, and the Queer Ally Coalition. It is a brand new position on campus. I met the people I'd be working with, the people I'd be working for, and a few others in between. I really liked them all, and am excited about the position and the potential it has. They are interviewing a total of 4 people. The last interview is being done on the 10th. Johanna, the supervisor, hopes to make an offer around the 14th. Keep your fingers crossed!

And for the record...I have the best friends on the planet. Thanks to everyone for the emails, blog comments, myspace comments, and text messages of support. It means SO much to me.

Monday, July 31, 2006

The rumors are true

It never ceases to amaze me how fast news travels in small towns/communities/groups/etc. Since my boss is now aware of it, I see no reason to maintain the strict secrecy that has been in place up to now. On June 30th, I submitted a job application to Denver University for their open position: GLBTQIA Program Coordinator. The position closed on July 14th. I received a call this morning just before 10am asking me to come interview. That interview is scheduled for this Thursday (Aug 3rd) from 9am to 1:30pm. Without going into mushi-ness, I will simply say that the thought of leaving Laramie and UW is not one that has been made lightly, and would not come without a great sense of loss. However, I remind myself that Denver is only 2 hours away, and will go on the record as saying I REALLY WANT THIS JOB!!! It would be turning my passion into my profession, and would be a step in the right direct for my life at this time. I will do my best to keep you all posted on the status. Things to prepare for: if I get this job, I will have to sell my house. There is work to be done on it before that can happen, and I will not b shy about asking for help with cleaning, yardwork, painting, etc. Help will be much appreciated, and will not go unrewarded (at least in the long term...but you might have to wait until I get the proceeds from the house sale)! Please send positive thoughts my way on Thursday, even if you don't want to see me leave Laramie. I need your support and love! More to come soon, I hope...

Friday, July 21, 2006

Life update

As of 8:45pm last night, I am officially single. We're still friends. I'm doing just fine, and looking forward to a great weekend in Denver. I'd rather be single than in a relationship that isn't working. I've been single for a long time, and know I'll be okay. Besides, the last few times I've gone to Denver, I've had to literally slap hands away from me. More when I'm back from Global Dance on Tuesday.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A smile during a long, difficult week

First, a quick (and for some, cryptic) shout out to my friends. This could have been a VERY bad week for your favorite homo (shouldn't I be EVERYone's favorite 'mo?). It currently looks like we've avoided a royal mess, but I wanted to thank everyone who offered help and support without thinking twice about it. You continually remind me how blessed I am to have you all in my life.

Family Planning is in the midst of a financial crisis, thanks to the drug companies who make birth control buying up the generic brand manufacturers, and jacking up prices by up to 900% on some medications. That's going to be a very-much-so-not-fun crunch, and mean a huge upheaval at the clinic.

The personal relationship (read: boyfriend) situation is not getting much better, though I hope a conversation tonight will provide resolution one way or another.

So I found myself looking for a smile this morning. I've been reading some chatter on lists and such about a new ad campaign, targeted in Colorado Springs. Since "Focus on the Family" (insert rolling of eyes and obligatory groaning here) got all hot and bothered about it, I decided it was time to do some online research and check it out myself. Funded in part by the Gill Foundation, which I adore, features a puppy named Norman, who moos, though he doesn't know why. The commercials are running on TV while posters, banners, and busses are traveling around Colorado to spark interest. So check out the site, as it's VERY well done, and I don't say that lightly when it comes to GLBTQ-related ads. I'm VERY impressed. I recommend watching all the Norman commercials, as well as the "What people think" video. The're all excellent. Enjoy! (More updates on my life soon to come, I promise.)

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It's on the record now

So today the House failed to pass the Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. Yes, again. They were 47 votes shy of the necessary 2/3 majority. Here's the most interesting (well, as far as I'm concerned) snippet from the AP article:

But supporters said the vote will make a difference when people got to the polls in November. "The overwhelming majority of the American people support traditional marriage," said Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, a Republican from Colorado, sponsor of the amendment. "And the people have a right to know whether their elected representatives agree with them."

First of all, I question her comment about and "overwhelming majority." Every poll I've seen in the last 3 months shows it dead even. 50/50. But that point isn't even the most important.

So let me get this...pardon the pun...straight. We've spent how long debating this divisive, discriminatory amendment AGAIN in the House? Costing how much money and time? Ignoring more pressing issues and topics. Not because "it's the right thing to do." Not because they thought it could pass. Not because of "overwhelming" outcry from 80% of America. Not because it would improve the US Constitution.

No...the reason we've wasted time, money, and energy on this discriminatory piece of garbage for the umpteenth time is so that people know who to vote for in November. Marilyn Musgrave, thank you for going on the record and admitting that this was an election year ploy, and not "concern for the moral fabric of America," "protection for the oldest and most sacred institution," or any of the other bogus claims made by countless FMA supporters. Too bad it's because you're just not smart enough to realize what you said, and not because you're being an honest politician. But at least a Republican supporter...and original "author" of the FMA...finally said what we've been saying for months now.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

To tide you over...

More exciting and important posts are soon to come, I promise. In the meantime, here's a VERY poignant little commercial. It's funny, yet sad. Watch it. Trust me.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

200 Pounds of Fun

For those who were at the drag show in October, you might remember I did a little number called 200 pounds of fun, by Candye Kane. It's a fun little romp about being sexy despite being a bit...voluptuous. And if you know me in person (I'm very excited by the number of non-locals who've found the blog, welcome to all), you know that I've been working to trim down my ample frame. And that I've always been sensitive about my weight. It's the one thing people aren't allowed to tease me about.

Body image for men is something that is rarely discussed. Body image for gay men is ridiculous, and many gay men have eating disorders. Some might be surprised to learn that I had one in high school. I just plain flat didn't eat. At most, I'd have a dry lettuce salad for lunch, and would pick at my food at night. It was easy, as I usually had to reheat food anyway and wasn't at home for meals. I was also on the cross country running team at the time, and would go home after practice and pass out from exhaustion. My mother thought I was napping after a hard day at school and practice. Obviously, not a healthy weight loss plan, and not one that worked either. I didn't lose much weight, as my metabolism is funky to begin with. Not giving it food didn't help matters.

Recently I've found some combinations that work, and am losing weight in a healthy way. 27 pounds and counting, thankyouverymuch! Now that I have momentum going in the right direction and have kick started my metabolism a bit, it should only get better from here on out. This week at pride, I spent a lot of the week at the pool, without wearing a shirt...something that is decidedly new to me. My close friends have been commenting on how good I look, and how proud they were that I was shirtless. The last few months I've gotten more than a little attention at the bars in Denver. Granted, it's at the "bear" bars, but it's new to me. And I like it!!!

I will continue to go dancing in Denver. I will continue to eat as I have been recently. And I will continue to tighten the belt...and rediscover items in my closet I can wear again! But I will try to be more open about body image, eating disorders, and the hidden crisis men (gay men especially) are facing in America today to live up to impossible ideals. We've broken through a barrier of silence when it comes to women and eating disorders, body image, magazine covers, etc. There's still an epidemic of anorexia, bulimia, and other disorders for women (see the cast of Ally McBeal for examples), but at least we can talk about them as a society.

And for me personally? I rewarded myself. I have long thought about having my nipples pierced, but promised myself that I'd wait until I was skinny and they would look good. I've known a lot of guys who had it done, and I think they look hot! So, after a week of positive reinforcement from a group of friends I trust, a year of working to shed unwanted pounds, and a little ego stroking, I decided I'd done well enough that it was time. I'm sore, and am not looking forward to a couple months of healing, but I am now the proud owner of two shiny new nipple rings. (Anyone trying to play with them, tweak them, or otherwise cause pain with them while healing will suffer honest pain in return...healing must happen, so don't think it's a new game, kiddies!)

I also discovered a whole new way of dancing. This weekend, due in large part to my newfound comfort level and aforementioned positive reinforcement, I let myself go on the dance floor in ways I never had before. I borrowed a friend's glow sticks, and discovered that I can dance with them too! I can dance the way I've always wanted to, as I wished myself skinny. I had people coming up to me and asking me to dance with the glow sticks for them. (And the best part is, the new method of dancing is an even better workout, helping me lose even more weight!)

Today's lesson: we're all beautiful, even if we don't conform to the current standards of fashion, size, etc. It might be difficult to find that beauty in yourself, but chances are that the people who care about you most see it. Work to find it yourself. I don't have to lose weight because my health is at risk (my cholesterol, glucose, etc. have always been good). I don't have to lose weight because other people say I do. I don't have to lose weight because I worry nobody will want to date me unless I do. And now, most importantly, I don't have to do it because I feel like I should hate myself. I'll never be a skinny little thing. But that's okay too.

And that, boys and girls, is post #200. What better way to commemorate a blog milestone than with a personal/emotional one as well? Isn't it funny how the universe looks out for us sometimes?

Keep it gay, keep it gay, keep it gay!

Hello faithful readers! I have just returned from a full week of uber-gayness. There are several posts in the works, including Post #200, coming very soon! (It helps that I'm doing laundry, and have to stay up for a bit...and refuse to work until tomorrow.) Suffice it to say that my batteries are very much recharged. While I want to say it's good to be home, I really wish I was still in Denver! One week with only 2 moments where work interrupted my life were NICE.

Some highlights:
  • I have a much better tan. On more of my body (stayed tuned for post #200).
  • I spent a lot of time with some amazing friends. Scott, Craig, and Josh rock my world more than ever. Cory was such a trooper, and took great care of me on more than one occasion. Chuck, Jerry, and Mary are some of the most generous people I've ever met. Jess, Jessi, and Sterling kick ass, and look SO hot in 50's style garb. (End shout outs for the moment).
  • I let go of myself in new ways on the dance floor, and discovered I have a whole new way of dancing inside me. More coming in post 201 (I told much to tell you!). Preview: it involves glow sticks.
  • I must soon live in a place that has interesting things to see and do. Example: We went to a crepe restaurant this week for brunch. A restaurant. Where the bulk of the menu consisted of crepes. Healthy. Affordable. Amazingly tasty. (And the owner was a little cutie in his 20's.)
  • I went to a new gay bar this trip. The Foxhole. I bonded with 3 different lesbians who will be at Rendezvous this morning.

So much more happened this trip, and more will be revealed in short order. However, I want to share the most important lesson from the weekend. Nothing is more important than good friends/family. You can be exhausted, depressed, drunk, dancing, annoyed with your partner...and as long as you have good friends, it's all good. So to all my friends, whether you're gay or not...whether you were at Pride or not...thank you for being a part of my life. I am truly blessed for having you in my life.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Must. Not. Explode.

As most of you are aware, I have been anxiously awaiting Pride this year. I need the time off and away from work, before I go postal! I'm tired of dealing with Orientation, last minute deadlines, and complete chaos. If I don't decompress a little bit, it will not be healthy for me down the road. I'm looking forward to lounging by the pool, playing volleyball, listening to music, spending time with close friends, and relaxing. I'm looking forward to seeing my boyfriend for the first time in 3 weeks.

I have reached the point where I am counting down hours. I'm finding it hard to focus on the task at hand, regardless of what said task might be. There is packing to be done. I have an AIDS Walk meeting tonight. There's last minute laundry, dishes, etc. I'm putting finishing touches on a few mix CD's made especially for the occasion. I need to vacuum. I REALLY need to mow, but the weather has not been cooperating on days I have the time AND energy. So much to do. *sigh* At this point, I'm happy if I can keep my brain from exploding from the excitement of a week off.

So from Wednesday to Wednesday, don't expect new posts, emails, etc. I will be in a self-imposed digital bubble. I will have the cell phone. You might receive a call telling how nice it is to be drinking cocktails by the pool. At 2pm on a weekday. (Let's be can and will happen.) So here's today's lesson/homework:

GO PLAY! Find something to do with no other intrinsic value. Be lazy, decadent, and summery!

PS...we're only a post or two away from my 200th blog post. There will be some sort of appropriate merry-making here in my corner of cyberspace. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Kids are great teachers

I rarely post things I get from email, as I figure most people have seen them. This was a new one to me, and one I thought worth sharing.
Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker and they were hoping for a miracle. I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for the four-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience. The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away. The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion.

We sat together for a while after Belker's death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, "I know why." Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, "People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?" The four-year-old continued, "Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long."
Today's lesson: Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Friday, June 09, 2006

A lesson about long distance

As many of my readers know, I was expecting to have a weekend with my boyfriend this weekend. A full weekend even...not just an overnight trip from Saturday evening to Sunday morning. And I was really looking forward to it.

So the boyfriend cannot come to town this weekend after all. He has to stay in Denver and help some of his groups get ready for Pride - making floats, etc. Needless to say I was a bit...disappointed. Fortunately I have a few friends in long distance relationships, so this was not a total surprise. I've watched them struggle with last minute problems, delays, etc. So I thought I would share the pearl of wisdom that is helping me get through my displeasure.

Remember that when dealing with friends, significant others, etc. who are a distance away, stuff will happen. There will be times when the universe aligns and prevents plans. It's nobody's fault. It doesn't mean they don't WANT to be together with you. It doesn't mean "something better came along." Sometimes, life gets in the way.

I'm reminding myself (continually, until my heart believes what my head knows) that we still love each other. That this wasn't a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We're going to be together for a while, and there will be other weekends for him to come up here. More chances down the road to be together. I'm sad and he feels guilty. Neither of these is overly productive, though they are real and honest and we must accept them. Own them, if you will. As someone I once knew used to say "Bless it and release it."

And now I start thinking about mowing the lawn, washing the car, etc. on a weekend that is suddenly (and sadly) more open.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Puberty at...29 (shuddup)

So last night my boyfriend called me after work. This happens pretty much every night. After the standard hellos he said "Hey...I want you to listen to something." He then proceeded to play "Everything I Do" by Bryan Adams into the phone. Cheesy ballad from a movie about men in tights, you say? True. However, it was still one of the sweetest things anyone had ever done for me. I've never had someone play sappy love songs into the phone for me. Naturally, it made me cry. A lot.

But it also made me think of some old wisdom I wanted to share with the masses, especially those unfamiliar with gay dating. So often GLBT folks don't get a chance to go through the usual dating rituals most American teens endure at the onset of puberty. We develop crushes, feel the surge of hormones, and dream of a first kiss...just like straight people. But because of the bias against same-sex relationships, we don't usually get a chance to date. We don't learn how to ask someone out. We don't learn from rejection, because we're too afraid to ask. We don't learn how to fight with a partner, make up with a partner, or decide if the time is right to even make out with one!

We have to go through the painful, awkward dance that is "courtship" later in life than most people. Granted, as GLBT youth come out at earlier ages this is shifting somewhat; many of us couldn't come out in junior high or high school. It just wasn't safe, especially if you grew up somewhere other than an urban locale, repleat with gay clubs, community centers, and youth groups. Dating is a hard thing to learn. It's even harder when you're a decade behind the learning curve.

Today's homework: Spend some time thinking about how and when you learned to date. Think about how it would have been different if your sexual orientation were different. Discuss it with a friend. Leave a comment here on the blog. Just think. :)

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Who Am I?

I am Jim Osborn. I am a second class citizen. I am not equal - at least in the eyes of our President. Read this and then call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on the Federal Marriage Amendment!

I am an American. I am a son. I am a brother. I am an uncle. I am a gay man. I wish I had a President I could support, but I don't.

I am sad and disillusioned. The party to which Bush belongs has strayed from its core beliefs and has become a puppet of the extreme right and big money interest groups. Many Republicans believe in small government, small government spending, low taxes for all, privacy, and states rights. President Bush does not appear to believe in these.

I am thinking of my niece. I want her to grow up as a citizen of a great country that respects all of its citizens: One where not just the richest one percent get tax cuts; One where the government works for the people but doesn't invade their homes or their bedrooms; One where my President doesn't run up a record national debt that was non-existent 6 years ago; One where if my niece is gay or straight, she will have the same rights as her peers; One that is respected in the world community;

One where I am equal.

What people don't understand is that the current President of the United States made history when he called a press conference and announced that he was going to support an amendment that would make a minority group second class citizens and use the most sacred document in this country, the Constitution, to do so. No president has ever done this.

George Bush will try to do it again next week.

If he had done this for a racial minority group, he would have been impeached. This President said to the world that I am not equal.

I don't want to get married, yet. I do want the option. I also want my friends who are in loving and committed relationships to have the same rights as our straight counterparts. We are denied over 1,100 rights everyday. This also affects their children.

Your church doesn't have to support my relationship; I would never ask that. I do not consider myself a Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim, or any religion.

When we begin to deny rights to one segment of our population, where does it end? Have we not learned from history?

I know there are a lot of issues in this country: the war, our children being killed overseas for this war, poverty, health care, and many others that our President could use his influence to change, but instead he is trying to polarize the country over an issue that he thinks will keep his people in power.

My niece could live her entire life and her uncle will have never been equal.

I face living in a country where my love will never be equal.

I face living in a country where I will never be equal.

I am Jim Osborn.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Ask and ye shall receive

There are now more baby pictures (we'll get back to the gayness soon enough)! Actual close up pictures of the cutest baby ever.


Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Elizabeth Ashley Gerritsen

Meet Ella. At birth, she was 20 inches long and weighed 9 pounds 4 ounces. I'm told she's doing really well, though she does get a little crampy every now and then after she eats.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Aunt yes, parents no

Dayo's family decided not to come to the concert, so I didn't get/have to meet them. No, I don't know why for sure; I decided not to press the issue while AT the concert. I'll find out tonight, most likely. The concert was a lot of fun, and Dayo had 2 solo parts. The little imp didn't tell me about all of them so they'd be a surprise. Like a good boyfriend, I also surprised him. Don't you think everyone deserves a dozen roses after a concert? ;)

In other news, I'm officially an aunt! After a series of phone calls (some of them LATE/EARLY), I got the last call today about 11:15am MST. Elizabeth Ashley Gerritsen (Ella for short) was born at 5:45pm on May 22nd, 2006. For those doing the math, an 8 hour time difference is how my niece was born in the future. ;) I don't have any numbers on weight, length, etc. yet, as she was only about 30 minutes old and still resting in mom's arms when I got the call. I'll have more info...and pictures...available soon. Mark swore he'd be sending me an email "yet tonight" (remember the 8 hour time difference). Everyone is healthy and happy, albeit very tired. (Contractions started about 3 or 3:30pm yesterday). To quote Mark, "She's beautiful."

More soon!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Packrat Nostalgia

My mother trained me to save all papers, as they could be important some day. Last week I spoke to a few junior high students about activism, and cleaned out the "Drawer o' Gay" in my office filing cabinet. I recycled about 2 reams worth of paper that we no longer needed, but it was the uncovered (sometimes forgotten) memories that are worth commenting on:
  • An original fax from Fred Phelps to Phil Dubois about his intent to picket UW. After our "Angel Action," he sent a fax to Phil decrying his "assault" on the First Amendment. It was addressed to "Philip L. Dubois, Perfidious Pandering Poltroon."
  • A letter from Chasity Pasley (Russell Henderson's girlfriend, CAC student employee, and my friend) to the CAC staff, upset for what she felt was their abandonment of her during the trial. I also found the letter I wrote her in response one year (to the day) after Matt's attack, though I never sent it to her.
  • My concert ticket and backstage pass for the Elton John concert here in Laramie.
  • The original drawing that was chosen as the new Spectrum logo, submitted by a UW student. (We held a contest for people to suggest a new name and logo for the group.)
  • A stack of research I did on Exodus International, the largest "ex-gay" movement in the country. doesn't work in the long term, and is phsychologically damaging according to the APA and several other professional organizations who know about such things.
  • Various posters, fliers, and advertisements for Spectrum events, speakers, etc.
  • Countless news clippings and online articles (printed, of course) relating to Spectrum, interviews, events, and Matt.
  • A whole folder of info about the phone bank we organized when NBC ran their movie "The Matthew Shepard Story."
  • Gobs more stuff, steeped in history.

My point: Needless to say, some of the materials bring up a sudden tide of emotions and memories, long since rusted or forgotten. It's taken some time to get my brain wrapped around some of these things, and I've not gone through much of the materials in depth. I simply went through the drawer trying to identify items and decide if they should be kept, archived, or recycled.

My plan: Sort through the stacks in detail, and give much of the material to the American Heritage Center here on campus. They have a large archive of materials about Matt, and are always looking for more. They're also interested in documenting under-represented groups or themes, like Spectrum and GLBT people here at UW. Since the materials will be indexed, sorted, and stored in controlled environments, they should be available for many generations to come.

Today's lesson: The past, even though sometimes painful, can teach us many things. Go through your own scrap book, treasure chest, file cabinets, photo albums, etc. Dig through your past. Some items might be ready for us to "tidy" them out of lives, clearing much needed drawer/closet/storage space. Some of them can teach other people about things they've not yet encountered. And some of them...simply need to be remembered from time to time. To teach us new lessons, remind us of old ones, and keep us rooted in ourselves. We cannot escape our past, nor should we try. We should, instead, remember our mistakes and heartache, and find new joy in the happy memories.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

You want me to meet WHO!?

So the boy (Dayo) has a concert coming up the 19th and 20th. He's in Harmony, the gay and lesbian chorus in Denver. I told him I wanted to come see his show, even though his solo was cancelled. Then he told me who else would be there. The people he wants me to meet: his family. Parents. Brother. Sister-in-law. I have never had to meet family before, so I'm admittedly a little freaked. I-ve gotten some good advice from friends already:

  • "Just be yourself."
  • "You're a great person, trust in that."
  • "If they love their son, they'll love you too."
  • "Don't try too hard."
  • "Don't'll be fine."
  • "They'll probably be nervous too."

The truth is that I'm a professional worrier. I spent years apprenticing with my mother, and mastered the art long ago. I'm certain this is some sort of gay rite of passage, but it's one that has me shaking in my size 14 six-inch heels! I'm trying to convince some of my friends they want to see the concert too. It's all about a wing man...or five.

Cross your fingers...

Thursday, April 27, 2006

A little late, kids

A while back I gave into pop culture and signed up for myspace. I know...I still feel a little dirty about it, though it has helped me connect with new friends and find old friends from WAY back. (Like...back when I was straight WAY back.) Today I noticed several people were posting a video on their bulletin...a video of one of Phelps' kids on Hannity and Colmes. Yes, Fox News had her on to talk about the protests at funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq. Needless to say, the boys were none too pleased with her views, and the whole clip is pretty much name calling and shouting. So, like any other Fox News program. ;) There has been a lot of outrage at these latest flavors of protests, and several states have started passing laws restricting protests or "disorderly conduct" within a certain distance of a funeral, cemetery, etc. People are up in arms, and asking "how can you picket at a funeral?"

Watching the clip made me realize how angry I am about this sudden indignation and outrage. This is not a new tactic for him. People are shocked at the crass behavior and the impact on families. Where was their righteous indignation when Phelps protested at Matt's funeral? Or Sonny Bono (since he didn't turn his back on daughter Chastity, an out lesbian)? Or countless AIDS victims? It was okay to picket funerals then. They didn't rush to pass laws protecting mourners or worry about the family of gay people. So it's okay to do this to the dirty homos but leave our troops alone?! I'm never a fan of double standards or hypocrisy. But this really got me steamed.

In recent weeks I've heard people say "He's started protesting at funerals." No. He's been doing that for a LONG time, it's just a different group of people now. "You shouldn't be allowed to do that." I agree...but you didn't seem to care for the last decade and a half. Only when it's someone you respect or agree with. Not those silly faggots. They deserve it, even if only a little bit. GROW UP. Save your indignation for someone who hasn't been dealing with him for 8 years. Try to muster the same anger when he protests an AIDS funeral. Or a gay one. But don't pretend this is something new. Don't pretend you're just now learning about it. I know firsthand how much coverage he received in 1998 and 1999. Where were your condemnations then?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The $1000 Blister

You heard me right. AIDS Walk was Saturday. For those of you who missed it without a VERY good excuse, shame on you. So far, we've raised over $14,500 for people in Wyoming living with HIV/AIDS. We saw old friends, like Heidi and Issac, Chamblee and Alexandra, Mandy, and Rachelle! And the President pulled a dirty trick on me.

In the middle of the opening ceremonies, he called me up on stage. He said "I understand you usually spend the walk inside working the registration table." I told him that was true, and he said "the President's Office will pledge $1000 if you'll walk." How could I say no?

Since I wasn't planning to walk, I didn't have on sun screen, and got a lovely sunburn. Since I wasn't planning on walking, I was wearing $6 flip flops from Wal-Mart, and got a lovely blister. I named it "the $1000 blister." I also got to see the walk first-hand for the first time. It was amazing seeing over 400 people walking down the streets of Laramie, raising awareness and raising money. It was amazing seeing the faces of people on the street as they looked to see what the "parade" was for. It was amazing seeing the people drive past or look out of windows and cheering us on. And it was amazing to do it all with the First Lady of Wyoming, the President and his wife, and dozens of my closest friends.

Today's lesson: Be ready for surprises. You might earn a $1000 blister and a full heart.
Today's other lesson: Always wear good walking shoes to AIDS Walk, even if you don't think you're walking. ;)

Friday, April 21, 2006

A catchy little ditty

Apparently I've been living in a bubble, as I'd not heard the song Pink wrote recently. It's called "Dear Mr. President." It's GOOD. See her sing it live on YouTube:

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Little things make a difference

It's easy to feel unappreciated and tired, especially when you've been at something for a while. I've been out and active in Laramie for 11 years now, and there's still so much to do. So many changes I think need to happen. This time of year brings a sense of rushing and hurrying and stressing for everyone. Finals are approaching, AIDS Walk is this weekend, and summer is just around the corner. It's enough to make anyone's head spin. But the extra awards dinners, panel presentations, and committee meetings can mean a sense of things left undone. Goals you didn't get accomplished. Working long hours and putting extra time...and having go unnoticed.

At times like these, the little things can mean a lot. Margaret put together an AMAZING video of photos from last year's walk, to remind us all why we put in the extra time and energy. Spectrum asked me to be the closing speaker at the Day of Silence rally; they want me to speak on what's changed over the past decade or so. While conducting interviews with staff at Family Planning for the Executive Director's performance review, staff members commented how much it means to see my smiling face at the clinic, something most other board members don't do.

While I would love to have a stack of awards, certificates, and trophies to represent the work I do, I continuously remind myself that it's not about shiny objects on a shelf. more thing to dust, right? ;) It's about seeing Brittany become a force to be reckoned with. It's about watching Travis learn to let go, and growing his own replacements (a lesson that is HARD to learn, trust me). It's about watching Ainsley take risks and become more involved, despite the consequences with her family. It's about hearing of a brand new UW student, reaching out for help for the first time and finding Spectrum there waiting. Peolple are my awards. Open hearts are my trophies.

Homework: Find a way to make a little difference to someone. Say thank you to someone who means a lot to you. Don't do it for recognition. Do it because it's right. You'll be amazed how full your heart can become.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Sorry for the delay

Between trips to DC and Denver, trying to recover from a lost phone, AIDS walk being just over a week away, and trying to date someone long distance, I've been swamped! So on to the gay update:

My trip to DC was incredible. Georgetown Day School is a whole different world. A world of privilege. Money. Influence. And the students were....students. Most were very privileged as well, but students nonetheless. The assembly was optional, and was packed. I think the talk went very well. I had several students come talk to me throughout the day, and many were thinking in new ways. Some came out to me, thanking me for making their school a better place. Bear in mind that this was their second annual gay pride week at GDS. This year they did a "Day of Noise," as opposed to a Day of Silence. Music playing at the table handing out buttons made by the students. My presentation. A panel discussion that night. It was amazing.

I had lunch with some of the students. Then spoke to a class that focuses on race, ethnicity, gender, class, sexual orientation, etc. The students at both impressed me. They understood the intersections of different forms of discrimination. That racism, sexism, and homophobia are related. One student is part of a committee that plans an annual conference on racism, and might contact me to speak about racism and homophobia. Then I spoke at the faculty meeting after school, thanking the staff for their support. Making them understand why weeks like this were important, and telling them about some of my interactions with students. The principal, who had only attended the 1 hr assembly, offered me a teaching contract in front of the whole faculty. Literally. (No...I'm not taking the job, but was VERY flattered to get the offer.)

None if this is intended to be bragging. I simply want everyone to understand that we all have the power to make a difference. All I did there was tell my story. Talk to people about my opinions and thoughts. Share part of myself, and listen as others did the same thing. We ALL have the power to do this. Whether it's at a school assembly or talking to our grandmothers in the living room at home, we can do this. Here's your homework: go talk to someone about something important to you. Try to make a difference today. Then wake up tomorrow...and do it all over again. It never stops.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Lost my phone

Hey gang. I left my phone in a cab today. Yeah yeah yeah. Shuddup. My phone number is disconnected until I get the replacement phone. This also means I prolly lost your numbers. So give me a call with your number. But you'll have to wait until they turn my account back on. Sorry for the hassle. Imagine being me...on a trip. With no numbers and no ability to call anyone. Including my new boy!!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Ask and ye shall receive

So before a lynch mob forms to kick my ass, here's a picture of the boy. Dejan "Dayo" Z. Yes...the date went very well. Date #2 is next weekend in Denver. Please forgive the stupid grin on my face for a while.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Back to the zoo!

Today we will look at label whores, as we return to our examination of the many different types of homos. Label whores, closely related to the average "preppy gay," are ALWAYS found wearing only brand name clothing. Tommy, Abercrombie, Diesel, GAP, Hugo, and AX are staples. They are sometimes seen in clothing as "common" as Old Navy, though it is rare. They tend to congregate in groups, and engage in retail therapy at stores like The Buckle and Structure. Even their colorful and shiny accessories will be high-end brand name merchandise. Louis Vuitton, Fossil, Coach, and Oakley are all common acquisitions. Do not refer to shopping at retail stores such as Target, Sears, or Mervyns, as this can send a label whore into seizures. It can also trigger primal anger, especially when two or more label whores are present. On rare occasion, such packs of designer divas have been known to attack when threatened with references to Wal-Mart or any other store ending in "mart."
Many gay men place a high premium on designer, high end purchases. Material goods take on far too much importance for some people. The more extreme and absurd examples are when a person is thought to be of lesser moral or social value because they don't "dress properly." My favorite Dragapella group, The Kinsey Sicks, even have a comic song called "Wear Names." Heaven forbid you don't fit the standard body types or sizes, as you cannot find designer clothing and are therefore doomed to being a social outcast. As if personal worth can be measured by income, fashion sense, or pricey trinkets...

As a...full-figured and voluptuous creature, I loathe a true label whore. It's one thing to own a really nice shirt from A&F or Armani. It's another to own nothing but, and look down your nose at others who cannot afford or otherwise acquire "hoch couture." Maybe I'm crazy, but I just can't see judging people on the basis of how they dress. I've known some well-dressed asses, and some amazing people who couldn't put together an outfit to save their souls. I don't claim to be a fashion plate myself, but I can color coordinate, accessorize, and I do think I clean up nicely. (Proof to be shown soon, when Squid has her pics developed from the Bear Dinner.) Much like the gym bunny or body nazi, they're shallow and vain creatures...and not worth the time of any of my fabulous readers! ;)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

My heart runneth over

So it wasn't ALL about the boy, though that's a MAJOR reason to smile. Other reasons:
  • I got to see old friends, including Judy.
  • I got to sit at a table with some amazing (and fun) people...and made new friends.
  • I got to watch people meet Brittany, and be as amazed by her as we are.
  • I got to watch Brittany's eyes bug out as she took it all in...and began to realize that people are amazed by her.
  • I may have a line on an old friend of mine who used to work for GLAAD.
  • I learned that the Foundation is VERY close to having a speaker's bureau up and running...and will be talking to them more about it VERY soon.
  • I got to give my card to several influential people, and may have made some invaluable contacts.
  • I may have convinced several people from Denver to come up for AIDS Walk.
  • I didn't get to say "hi" to Freddy as planned...but Nuclia Waste was on the job, and his hate didn't go unchallenged.
  • I watched the Foundation raise $109,000...and that's before the door proceeds and online auction.
  • I got to hear Judith Light and Robert Disiderio speak...and cried at the power and conviction of their words.
  • I got to spend some time with Craig...talking very frankly and honestly.
  • I may have secured a serious chunk of money for the RRC, courtesy of the MSF...and the money from Elton John's concert.
  • I got to meet Logan (Matt's brother) finally.
  • I was reminded of why our work is so important, and that there are a lot of amazing people doing it every day.
  • I met a boy...and it looks like it's going somewhere.

I'm already looking into what it takes to be a table captain for next year's dinner. I already have 4 people who said they'd come with me. Start saving your pennies, kiddies. Tickets were $150 this year...and it's worth every penny. You'll want to be sitting at the cool kids table...MINE!

Monday, March 27, 2006

I have weekend plans

More tomorrow on the dinner and weekend in Denver. It was ALL kinds of incredible. But a quick note on the most exciting update:

His name is Dayo. He's Serbian. As in...has the cutest accent! And he's cute. We met Sunday night at the Beer Bust. Then he followed us to Charlie's so he could talk to me more. Says he was watching me from the minute I walked in and had to work up the nerve to talk to me. Are you kidding me?! He asked me if he could take me out on a date. Dinner. Movie. It'd be a first for me. So I said "Oh yeah." So he's coming up here Saturday. He works for Comcast. He's in a gay and lesbian choir. He does karaoke two nights a week. He lives with his parents, as his income pays the bills. Their place is at Monaco and Mississippi. He bowls on Wednesday nights. I talked to a friend who knows him a little. Says he's a nice guy, not a tramp, and I should go for it. I'd already decided that all for myself, but it was nice to hear it confirmed. So in short...I'm giddy!

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Guess who's coming to dinner?!

I promise there will be more posts in my series on the different flavors of gay. *cheesy grin* But we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming with a special news bulletin. I've posted a few times about going to the MS Bear dinner in Denver this weekend. In case you hadn't heard yet, an old "friend" will be there in Denver to "contribute" his own special messages on the 5th anniversary of the dinner. That's right folks...Uncle Freddie (Fred Phelps) will be there! He and his group have several protests scheduled in Denver (well, Denver, Lakewood, and Englewood) this weekend, including the bear dinner.

I am actually looking forward to seeing Uncle F again, and saying hi. I do SO hope he remembers me. If only I still had my wings on hand...but you better believe I will be wearing my halo! And I will be including the one Dawn gave me in Casper. "By your powers combined, I am Captain Angel!"

Monday, March 20, 2006

Special Bonus Post

Two in one day! I know...a rare treat. But I wanted to share comments and thoughts about my trip to Casper last weekend and the upcoming trip to Denver this weekend.

This was the 3rd staging of "The Laramie Project" I have seen now. I cried just as much. Some things were a little different, though. This staging was done "in the round," meaning that there wasn't a stage per se and the audience sat on all four sides of the open "stage." Stage III is the community theater group in Casper, and Matt was a part of it when he lived there. Many of the people in the cast knew Matt or had been in plays with him, and very few of them were "professional" actors or people with much theater experience. They had albums in the lobby with clippings and photos from all the previous shows Stage III had done. Matt was, of course, in some of those albums. The cast was about 30 people, two to three times the size of most TLP casts. The director said "I didn't want to tell people 'no, you can't be a part of this particular show.'" It was the last night of the show, and we were invited to the cast part after...which devolved into karaoke. I called it quits at 3am. ;)

It was interesting to see the different nuances of a third staging, as well as my reactions to it. I reacted more strongly to some things, and less so to others. Blocking, lighting, inflection, characterization...I notice all of these things more now that I have other shows to compare/contrast it with. All of the casts have done an exceptional job, though I think the script brings out the best in a cast and director. You don't take on TLP unless you are passionate about it and want to do the best job possible. I went with Meg, Jen, and Rob...and was glad to have company for the show again. I'm not sure I'd want to see it alone. It was WELL WORTH the trip to Casper...even with the SHITTY drive back home last night. (They closed the roads about 20-30 minutes after Margaret and I got back, and while Meg and Jen were on it. We're all home safe and sound, though.)

Denver this weekend: I can't wait to see Judy again, and I'm VERY excited to be attending the Bear dinner for the first time. I'm also VERY excited that I'll have company from UW. Woohoo Squid! It'll be a more sedate weekend, but that will be quite welcome, I think. And I'll get to go to the beer bust on Sunday, which is always a good time...and prime dating opportunity for me! Cross your fingers, kiddies!

Raver Bois

In our continuing examination of the types of gay boys, we next look at a younger subset: raver bois. In the wild, this species often remains elusive until their 21st birthday. Before that time, they are found in large groups and are attracted by bright lights and loud, bass-driven music. These groups may venture into public if there are wildlife refuges available to them, known as "underage clubs," though they will often create temporary nests in obscure locations, known to law enforcement as "raves." Raver bois often undergo a type of molting when they turn 21, and emerge from an invisible cocoon in the adult form "circuit boy" or "circuit boi." They are rarely found in long-term relationships, usually preferring a series of brief physical encounters or, in some members of the species, a series of short monogamous relationships. They are primarily focused on having fun and enjoying every last ounce of their youth and beauty. Think Peter Pan on X.

Ah, raver bois - a veritable buffet for chicken hawks (more on this species in an upcoming post). They are few and far between here in Wyoming, and are rarely seen out here. We have a shortage of underage clubs, so they will find random raves in the middle of nowhere or drive long distances to reach places like Rapid City, Billings, Denver, or Salt Lake. Club drugs are VERY popular with raver bois, including X, G, and K. Cocaine, meth, and prescription drugs like percoset, darvoset, valium, etc. are also common, often to the point of excess and serious dependence. Please understand - I'm not trying to be judgmental about drug use. I'm of the opinion that there is a fine line between recreational substance use and drug abuse/addiction.

What's interesting to me about raver bois and chemicals is that it's often used as an escape mechanism, especially here in Wyoming. The drugs aren't being used to enhance what is already going to be a good time out dancing, hanging with friends, etc. They are used AS the good time. They can only enjoy themselves if they are not sober. It's certainly not a problem unique to young gay men, or gay men in general. For raver bois (and circuit boys, too) I think it's connected to the pressures society places on conformity and heterosexuality. The substances become an excuse to escape from the stress and strain of hiding your sexuality, "toning it down" in public, or fitting into an "acceptable" role.