Sunday, November 30, 2008

Book Review: 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find Real Love

10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find Real Love 10 Smart Things Gay Men Can Do to Find Real Love by Joe Kort

My review

An excellent book! Kort discusses all the big and small ways we're affected by homophobia and how it can leave parts of our personalities shut down and how to reassert our inner kings, warriors, lovers, and magicians. He also illustrates the main stages of adult relationships, what to expect and how to work through them. He explains that after the first bloom of euhporia wears off there is a power struggle, but if you're willing to work through that and face your own issues then you can fully enjoy an adult romantic relationship. Kort advises that it's in a relationship that we're held accountable and presented with the issues we need to work on and it's relationships that provide the best opportunity to grow as a person. So much for my recent desire to sit on the sidelines.

He also makes the observation that each of us is at the same level of evolution as those we date. As much of a wound as this is to my pride I have to agree that, intellectually, it makes sense. No more taking comfort in feeling superior to all those immature ex's. Let's have a big Homer Simpson “D’oh” on that one!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Proud of My People

I’m still glowing with pride at how well the international Marriage Equality Protest went on Saturday, especially my 25,000 San Diego peeps who made ours one of the biggest. Now, I can take no actual credit for any of it. I didn't even make the sign I carried. All I did was show up. But that was all I needed to do, better minds than mine did the rest.

And the way they did it is being called a paradigm shift in gay activism. Without going through any of the national gay organizations, the protest was put together through websites and online word of mouth. For a complete explanation of what happened and what it means read Rex Wockner’s excellent post by clicking here.

Since Saturday I’ve been thinking of all the gay people who lived and worked in neighborhoods full of Yes on 8 signs and people who supported it. I heard some of their stories and they were feeling truly beat up by the experience. I pray that Saturday they felt a big weight lift off of their shoulders when folks across the country, in towns big and small, even across the border in Canada, in all kinds of weather, all got out to show their support at the same time.

My new hero is kccat in Cleveland who roped her husband into making signs and going to the protest with her. Click here to read her story and see pictures of them bundled up in full-on winter parkas with hoods and umbrellas to protect them from the freezing rain. Not gay. Not Californian. Bad weather. Out there anyway!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Public Service Announcement: Recognizing a Stroke

This email was forwarded at work and I thought it worth sharing:


Remember The 1st Three Letters.... S.T.R.

S * Ask the individual to SMILE.
T * Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently) (i.e. It is sunny out today)
R * Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

New Sign of a Stroke: Stick out Your Tongue. Ask the person to stick out their tongue. If the tongue is crooked, if it goes to one side or the other , that is also an indication of a stroke.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

March for Marriage Equality

Just before 10am on this bright, clear, warm Saturday morning I met Brian, Christian, and Scott (left to right in the top picutre) at 6th and University in Hillcrest where we joined all the people moving towards 6th & Upas and the start of the March for Marriage Equality. The crowd gathered in Balboa Park while we waited for the start. There I also saw Allan and Terry (2nd pic). Kermit the Frog also came to show his support. Carol shows her pride and her dimple. The bottom photo shows some of the crowd and their signs.

Protest across the country all happened at the same time; so while we were gathering from Seattle to San Diego at 10am on the West Coast, in New York City they were marching at 1pm Eastern Time.

Since the election I have been amazed and heartened by the human and geographic diversity of the outrage against Prop 8. Straight allies have been very loud in their support and were very much a part of the march today. And also across the country and around the world people have been strongly affected by what happened in California. It helps to heal the hurt to know that we’re not alone in this; folks everywhere are appalled by the hate and the lies. They know we’re all connected, we’re all one, and we all deserve the right to control our lives.

The top picture is looking back up 6th Avenue. Balboa Park is on the right. Chris, Christian, and Carol enjoy marching and protection from the strong sun. The bottom picture is looking down 6th as the march enters downtown.

The crowd was estimated to be 20,000 - 25,000, which is huge in a town that rarely turns out to protest in large numbers. I only saw 3-4 people carrying Yes on 8 signs; I thought “is that all you got!” One of the marchers started to get into a heated exchange with a counter-protester and 2 of the volunteers tackled him and encouraged him to march on. The protest remained peaceful throughout. The volunteers were excellent and the police did a great job keeping everyone safe.

While walking along I thought of the part in the New Testament where Jesus is asked to tell the crowd to be quiet and He responds: “if every voice were stilled the rocks and stones themselves would start to sing.”

When we arrived at the County Building we found some shade to rest in. Chris (red t-shirt) massaged Christian’s feet. Journalist Rex Wocker ( a link to his excellent blog is over on the right) surveys the crowd from the top of a truck. The woman speaking is the attorney who successfully argued the case for marriage equality in front of the California Supreme Court.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thoughts on 8

This week I received an email from my dear friend Steve in Virginia asking: “How awful is it to feel the weight of voters on gay marriage?”

I responded: “My feelings about the passing of Prop 8 in California are still developing and fluctuate daily, sometimes hourly; much like the 4 stages of dying. I don’t think I’m to acceptance yet. Going to bed election night the exits polls were so promising. How could this happen? I know Virginia has been much worse, but this was the first one I experienced first hand and I don’t like it at all. It’s as if the teacher finally gave our homework an A+, but out in the schoolyard the bullies grabbed it out of our hand, tore it up and knocked us to the ground. And after election night they’ve kept kicking us while we’re down and crying to the teacher when we expressed normal anger. The hate flying around since the election has been horrible. Bastards!”

To that I would add: Deepak Chopra wrote; “...all people are doing the best they can from their own level of conciousness.” I understand that. I get that. I agree with that. But come on people; some of you aren't even trying!

This issue illuminates the double-edged sword that is America’s legacy of religious freedom. Our favorite thing to do with our hard won freedom is to oppress others even worse. The Pilgrims did not flee religious persecution in England in order to establish a free and open society in the new world; they came here to set up their own brand of persecution.

A good thing that has happened since election night is the uproar of outrage at how people could have voted for 8. Among all the voices 2 stood out for me: Jake in Chicago wrote in his blog of his very personal experience with marriage inequality. And Keith Olbermann's direct address to those who voted yes on 8 conveys his human experience best.