Thursday, May 31, 2012

"This Made Me Smile..."


"I live in Detroit and unfortunately, this is sad, true and still funny..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Love Prevails Against All Odds..."


"The Artist's Corner..."

"Building Sand Castles"
Acrylic on canvas
Steven Clayton Corry

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 994"


"Live And Love Fearlessly..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"A Sign Of Truth..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Artist's Corner..."

"A Summer Place"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker

"The Truth About Love..."


"The heart is the place where we live our passions. It is frail and easily broken, but wonderfully resilient. There is no point in trying to deceive the heart. It depends upon our honesty for its survival." 
~  Leo Buscaglia

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 993"


"It's Only Love..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"The Artist's Corner..."

"Rooftop"
Watercolor
Unknown

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 992"


"Love Makes Every Morning Special..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Monday, May 28, 2012

"Memorial Day 2012"

This will be the only post today in honor of the fallen men and women who gave the fullest measure of devotion to their country... 

While my husband and I will do the things most of us will on this day (BBQ & celebrate the arrival of summer), we'll also pause in remembrance of the countless GLBT men and women who served their country in silence and yet were called upon to give even more than that... With their whole stories untold, they also gave their lives to give the most precious of all gifts to those left behind - freedom.  As I routinely point out to people, the price of freedom is not free, it has always been purchased with blood, sweat and tears, and eventually the greatest sacrifice, the lives of some of our brothers and sisters.

Learn about the history of this holiday here: Wikipedia



"Fear Eats the Soul"






Sunday, May 27, 2012

"The Things That Love Says..."


I'd like to run away 
From you, 
But if you didn't come 
And find me ... 
I would die. 
Shirley Bassey 

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 991"


"Marriage Is The Celebration of Life And Love..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"Reflections On Married Life..."

"I Like Being Married"

Marriage is a promise made in the sight of God years ago and only yesterday. It is a promise kept day in, day out, for years and years, while two individuals become different people than when they first met, yet remain the same, until one of them takes their last breath. Before and after children, with and without children, even because of the children, marriage means they work together at everything from maximizing sexual joy to making the mortgage payments. They work hard at everything from doing the laundry to bringing home flowers in the middle of winter, whether the winter is seasonal or emotional. They make a promise, and marriage is a promise kept. Marriage is a couple who discovers a little bit more each day, to their surprise and delight and sometimes shock and chagrin, that in their togetherness and individuality they have an ongoing experience of intimacy with God. A God who is Love, and who inspires each of them to become much more than they are.
- Mitch Finley

Saturday, May 26, 2012

"Unintentionally Gay...?"

Arod said, "You know we look good together!"

"The Artist's Corner..."

"Rob and David"
Oil on canvas
Katherine Merideth

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 990"


"Love... It's The Best Road Trip Of All"


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Friday, May 25, 2012

"In The News Today..."

Sadly, the tragedy of bullying is still alive and well despite all the attention it's received in the last year or so.

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that a 7 year old boy took his own life yesterday after enduring what ultimately became unbearable... at this point, we don't know why he was being bullied, but that we allow the cruelty of children to drive any child to this unthinkable act is very telling of how much more we have to do.

7-year-old's suicide shocks Detroit community


Peering through the keyhole of a locked door in her family's home near Detroit's New Center, a 14-year-old girl saw the unthinkable: her 7-year-old brother hanging from a bunk bed with a belt around his neck, a police report says.
The girl alerted her mother and called 911. The mother and a neighbor forced their way into the room, took the boy down, and called 911, too.
The 7-year-old, whom the Free Press is not naming, had been depressed about being bullied by other kids at school and in his neighborhood, and about his parents' recent separation, the boy's mother told police, according to the report.
Read more here: Detroit Free Press

*********

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 989"


"Love Makes Every Moment Together Sweet..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"A Sign Of Truth..."



"Unintentionally Gay...?"


"Now that's what I call 'Team Spirit'!"

"The Artist's Corner..."


"Alec and David"
Oil on canvas
Katherine Merideth

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"The Truth About Love..."


"There are no guarantees. 
From the viewpoint of fear, 
None are strong enough. 
From the viewpoint of love, 
None are necessary. "
Anonymous

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 988"


"Love Makes For A Happy Home Life..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

"The Artist Corner..."


"Bill and Mike"
(from the series: "Partners")
Oil on canvas
Katherine Meredith

From the artist statement:

I am a professional portrait painter and am currently working on a series of portraits of same sex couples. The portraits shown here are the first in this project entitled, "Partners".


Throughout history, portraits have been used to honor career achievement, position in society, and celebrate family and loved ones.


My aim is to portray gay couples in the time-honored medium of classic oil portraits in the hopes that it will promote thought and reflection on a subject that is at the front of our national consciousness. Portraying gay couples in this medium strips away "otherness" and we see real people, loving couples and happy families. I believe that when people see these portraits they will be inclined to examine their own feelings about marriage equality and tolerance.


Read more about the artist and her amazing work here







"In The News Today..."



Today, I ran across a very telling, encouraging and insightful article in the least likely of places...

“Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs. And what’s wrong with that?” -- Paul McCartney

Twenty years ago my colleague Frank and I were having a smoke on the fire escape of our Crossroad offices in midtown Manhattan. Frank was challenging the arguments of churchmen who were fuming at the new phenomenon of gay couples trying to adopt children. “What’s so bad about that?” he wanted to know. “Why can’t gays have families like everybody else?”

“I don’t know,” I said. “But don’t you think it’s better for a kid to have a mother and father when they’re growing up?”

Frank flicked an ash over the railing. “You straights have been getting divorced and screwing up kids for centuries,” he said. “What makes you think we could do any worse?”

I had no answer.

********

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"And The Truth Shall Set You Free..."

"Haters gonna hate..." Not a phrase I'd often use, but very appropriate to my thoughts after reading an article on "The Blaze" which attacks an ad being broadcast abroad to promote tourism.  The small minded article berates and belittles every detail of the minute long ad and in so doing, proves it is little more than a racist, homophobic and xenophobic rant about the reality and truth of America today.  Clearly, for some in our society, these positive changes in our culture are hard to accept and so they choose instead to lash out at the truth in mean-spirited and demeaning ways.  I'm proud of our diversity and ability to live with one another in relative peace and harmony.

Watch the video first, then read the article here and see if you saw what only a warped mind could see in this.



******

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 987"


"It's Only Love... And Love Is Enough"


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"The Artist Corner..."

"Silence"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker

"Unintentionally Gay...?"

The coach said, "Ride 'em hard!"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 986"


"The Joy Of Love Is Like A Golden Sunset..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Monday, May 21, 2012

"The Truth About Love..."



When you love someone - you'll do anything 
You'll do all the crazy things that you can't explain 
You'll shoot the moon - put out the sun 
When you love someone 

You'll deny the truth - believe a lie 
There'll be times that you'll believe you can really fly 
But your lonely nights - have just begun 
When you love someone 

When you love someone - you'll feel it deep inside 
And nothin else can ever change your mind 
When you want someone - when you need someone 
When you need someone... 

When you love someone - you'll sacrifice 
You'd give it everything you got and you won't think twice 
You'd risk it all - no matter what may come 
When you love someone 
You'll shoot the moon - put out the sun 
When you love someone 


*****

Lyrics from "When You Love Someone"
Written by Bryan Adams, Gretchen Peters and Michael Kamen 1997

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 985"


"Love Brings Joy To Your Life..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

"The Truth Is In The Scriptures..."




Harvard scholar, Matthew Vines speaks on the theological debate regarding the Bible and the role of gay Christians in the church. Delivered at College Hill United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas on March 8, 2012.  Transcript: http://matthewvines.tumblr.com.

Read the story of this incredible young man here: 



"And The Truth Shall Set You Free..."





RESOLVED: The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the “political, education, social and economic equality” of all people. Therefore, the NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens. We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Further, we strongly affirm the religious freedoms of all people as protected by the First Amendment.


**********


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 984"


"Sundays Are For Time Together At Home..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"The Truth About Love..."



"Accept the things 
To which fate binds you and 
Love the people with whom fate 
Brings you together 
But do so with all your heart." 

Marcus Aurelius

"A Thought To Ponder..."


"To deny one’s own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one’s own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul."
- Oscar Wilde

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 983"


"A Kiss Is The Seal Upon Love's Promise..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Friday, May 18, 2012

"The Truth About Love..."



"In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love.
"

- Marc Chagall

"The Things That Love Says..."



"Same Gender Loving People - No. 982"


"Love And Happiness Are The Same..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"A Sign Of Truth..."


"The Truth About Love..."



"You may only be one person to the world 
But you may also be the world to one person." 
~ Anonymous 

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 981"


"The Beauty Of Youth Is Found In Love..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"I Was Born Again..."

Today is an anniversary of sorts... It was on this date in 2004, a few short weeks before my 40th birthday that I came out - Not to my family or friends, but to myself and to my own heart... 

In actuality, I'd begun the process of coming out to myself about 2 years beforehand.  Around 2002, in those relatively early days of the Internet.  I discovered the online dating sites Yahoo Personals and Match.com and both of those sites allowed and featured profiles for people seeking someone of the same sex (not unusual now, but quite new 10 years ago).  Although I was very deep in a very dark closet of self-denial and self-loathing, as I was rapidly approaching midlife, I began to wonder if I would really be alone for the rest of my life.  And so I would read the profiles of men seeking men and I slowly began to wonder if romantic love was possible between two people of the same gender (for my entire life, in school and church, and even from what little I'd observed, I was led to believe it could not be so).

I remember spending countless hours perusing the profiles and looking at photos of men who "looked like me" but who spoke of things that I found both shocking and intriguing. And the more I looked, the more I wondered about myself and what I had always known about the truth of my heart.  I remember having a decided preference for the profiles that spoke of romance and of finding something real and something more than just sex.  At first, I rationalized that what I was doing was just an innocent pastime... "After all, I'm not gay, if I've never acted on it..." is what I'd tell myself.  And yet, after a while, I began to save the photos of the men who's words seemed to mesh with my own understanding of what life and love are about.  Yet, even so, a part of me, the self-hating part, loathed and detested the feelings of desire and affection that these men on the screen stirred deep within me.

More than once, while realizing that what I was looking at and reading was what my true heart desired, I was driven to the brink of suicide as I considered the implications of overcoming my fears and breaking my promise to my mother, the one I'd kept in secret since I was 5 years old.  But I looked on anyway, and at times it soothed the painfulness of being quite literally alone in the world, starved for affection, companionship, and love.  When I wasn't at work, or care giving for my ill mother, the little time that I devoted to myself was spent fantasizing about a life I was far too afraid to try to live.

After months of silently looking at what in many profiles seemed to me to be the promise of a real life that I was nonetheless afraid of, I had a good idea of what my heart wanted... it longed for another heart like mine, a man's heart - gentle yet strong and true... it wanted to know what love was, it wanted to know what it felt like not to be alone in the world.  Then, when in the early months of 2004, my mother began her departure from the mortal life, my depression and fear of being truly alone drove me to the brink of brave desperation.  I finally filled out my own profile thinking that perhaps someday, I'd be brave enough to "unhide" it and let the world know that I was indeed possessed of a human heart and a desire to love and be loved, albeit by a man.

My mother passed away on the 30th of April 2004, and on May 6th I "unhid" my profile and I reached out to the one man who's profile I had read many times over and over.  Today, I'll call him John (although that's not his real name).  Although John and I seemingly had nothing in common, reading between the lines, we both seemed to have similar hearts.  I felt safe, in that he was hundreds of miles away in another city and though he was from another culture very different from my own (he was born and raised in Nigeria), from reading what he'd written in his profile, it seemed he wanted the same thing I did - the chance not to be alone in the world.  He replied to my first email and we struck up a friendly banter in emails to one another as we shared and learned about each other's histories, hopes and dreams... I felt happy.

Fate is a fearfully wonderful thing... just 8 days later, business would take me to the city he lived in for nearly a week.  At first, I was afraid to tell him it would be possible for us to meet.  But before I left Detroit, I did tell him in an email, and promised if I could, I'd try to meet him while I was there.  I remember on the flight, I sat with my eyes closed and played out in my mind's eye the consequences of all the fears that had possessed and paralyzed me for my entire adult life.  I recall making up my mind as the pilot announced our decent, that I would only allow myself to befriend John, and nothing more... And this was after having only seen one picture of him, and having talked through emails for a little more than a week.  But with the arrival of his photo and with every email I read,  I felt a very strange and unfamiliar stirring in my heart - an inexplicable affection and desire to know this man who was so much like me and yet so very different as well.

When I arrived at my hotel, even before I unpacked my bags, I logged into Yahoo Personals on the room's webtv system and sent John an email, saying I'd arrived and giving him the phone number of the hotel and inviting him to call so that we might talk and decide when during the week we would meet.  A short time later, the phone in my room rang and it was him... Listening through his African accent, his voice sounded as happy as mine.  We talked about work and everything else and in the end we agreed that we'd meet for dinner the next night.

The next morning, I woke up and I looked at myself in the mirror, I realized how I looked both happy and afraid at the same time.  As I shook off my dread of the unknown, I dressed and met my colleagues for breakfast and for the rest of the day, through my meetings, I daydreamed about allowing myself to listen to my heart and to live for at least a day without fear of what I knew to be true in my heart.

My work day ended with a cocktail reception at the hotel and as I hurriedly worked my way around the room so that I could make my departure, I felt my courage building.  I remember thinking, "He may not like you in person or you him for that matter... But today may be the first day of a new life... I will not fear my own heart!"  As I walked to the elevator, I felt nervous and happy, confident and glad... like a school boy (though in a few weeks I'd be 40) going on his first date ever. On the ride up to my floor, I realized "I was going on my first date," the first date that was not a pretense, not merely acting to keep up appearances, but rather spending time with someone I really felt something for and who I wanted to get to know... My first date with a man.

When I arrived at my room, I called John to let him know that I was free and he said he'd be at the hotel shortly.  I told him to call me from the lobby and I'd come down to meet him.  I remember going through rituals that seemed so unusual for me... I brushed my teeth, put on cologne, combed my hair (I still had hair then) and sat by the phone nervously waiting for a call from the lobby from John.  When the phone did finally ring, for just a moment I was gripped by the fear that had held my heart captive for nearly 35 years.  Then I answered and his voice seemed nervous too as he said, "Christopher, I'm in the lobby."  I said, "I'll be right down" and with that hung up, leaped to my feet and headed to the elevators.

When I stepped out of the elevator, I scanned the lobby for John and I spotted him sitting facing away from me.  I nervously walked towards him and when I got within speaking distance, I called his name and he stood up and turned around and I was shocked at how tall he was.  He was as handsome as the photo he'd sent me and although we both nervously looked down a lot, we managed a handshake and a warm smile and we sat in the lobby for a few minutes to talk.  Finally, our hunger reminded us that we were supposed to be going out for dinner.  Since he lived there, I suggested that he should choose where we went.  He explained that he didn't eat out often and wasn't sure what I'd like.  Thankfully, I did have a suggestion... at my meetings many people were talking about a new 4 star french restaurant that had opened in a restored train station now a museum and it was only just a block or so away.

John was driving and we rode in his car for the short distance from my hotel to the restaurant.  There was a nervousness in the air between us that disappeared as he spoke softly and opened doors for me and deferred to my every whim.  The more we talked, the more comfortable we both became...  I remember the meal was excellent and as we talked more and more, we didn't realize that although the restaurant had been very busy when we arrived, we were eventually the last table still seated.  John and I were lost in a world of our own where we both felt free to be who we were... free to share our hopes and dreams and our desires for a life where the truth of our hearts need not be hidden.  Finally, our waiter summoned up the courage to ask us for the umpteenth time if there was anything else he could get us, gingerly pointing out that the kitchen staff was preparing to depart and that we were the last diners in the restaurant.  I hurriedly paid the check and left a generous tip for the inconvenience we'd caused the staff.

It was well past midnight as we left the restaurant.  As we walked back to the car, I told John that my meetings were starting early the next day and that I'd better get back to the hotel.  Again he opened the door for me and when he got in, he looked at me with eyes that seemed to see right through me - he thanked me for dinner and asked, "Will I see you again while you're here?"  I said, "Yes, I really enjoyed your company... I really like you, John"  Then, less than a minute later we were back at my hotel, and as we pulled into the drive, I said, "You can just drop me at the door."  He took my hand, and said, "Thank you for a lovely evening, Mr. Flournoy" and I responded, "The pleasure was mine."  As I stepped out of the car, I leaned back in and asked, "Are you free tomorrow - maybe we can have dinner again?" He said, "Yes, I'd like that... you can call me when you are done with your day."  And with that, I strode into the hotel feeling for the first time in my life, like a whole person... I'd been true to my heart - what I was feeling for him was unlike anything else I'd ever experienced.

The date was May 16th 2004, and I was happy... and I was born again.


********

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 980"


"Life Begins With Love..."


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.

"It's About Civil Rights..."


In case you missed it... The President on "The View"

"It's Only Love..."





Speaking in support of President Obama's declaration regarding marriage equality...


“If anybody can find someone to love them and to help them through this difficult thing that we call life, I support that in any shape or form.”



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