Monday, February 29, 2016

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Love Makes The World Go Round... Live Fearlessly"

"We Were Always There..."

"We knew our love was why we chose this frame..."

"The Whisper Of Truth..."

The Whisper app allows users in anonymity to share secrets.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"A True Love Story..."

I was in Boston, standing on a freezing street corner, and he was unsuccessfully trying to hail a cab. We ended up sharing one and talking all night long, discovering that his old boss was one of my high school teachers. Fast forward a few months later and he ends up on my doorstep in the pouring rain, just like you see in the movies. Like an idiot, I let him leave. The next morning, I called him and apologized for making a huge mistake and asked if we could take things slow. That only lasted a few weeks before we both agreed to be all in.

The Way We Met  Modern day fairy tales // Love stories in all variations // Send submissions to // Spread the love

"The Truth About Love..."

Mother love is the most powerful, the most irrational force on earth, even more powerful than sexual love. However, one does lead to the other, so best not to spurn the former.

- Rita Mae Brown

"It's Black History Month..."

Segregation At The Lincoln Memorial


Today's selection -- from Washington by Tom Lewis. At the dedication of Washington, D.C.'s spectacular Lincoln Memorial in 1922, the few blacks that were invited were required to sit in a roped-off, segregated 'colored' section:

"At last, all was ready for the dedication, which, appropriately enough, took place on Memorial Day 1922. Breaking his vow to steer clear of sitting presidents, Robert Todd Lincoln, the sixteenth presi­dent's oldest son, sat on the dais as an honored guest. Robert had come to think of himself as a bad omen for presidents, for a tragedy occurred whenever he was near them. He had been in Washington in 1865 when his father was shot, at the train station in 1881 when James Garfield was shot, and at Buffalo's Pan-American Exposition in 1901 when William McKinley was shot. Robert always cleared his travel plans with the White House so as never to be in the same city as the president. But the invitation to attend from Chief Justice William [and former president] Howard Taft, who had continued to chair the Lincoln Memorial Commission after his presi­dential defeat in 1912, had been too enticing.

"Robert Todd Lincoln listened as the poet Edwin Markham, famous for celebrating the cause of the laborer, read lines commemorat­ing his father's life. ... He listened as Taft called Lincoln 'the Nation's savior.' ... And he heard Warren G. Harding laud the sixteenth presi­dent's 'heroic patience' in reestablishing the 'union and security.'

Crowd Attending the Dedication of the Lincoln Memorial

"The day's lone black speaker, Robert Russa Moton, the Virginia-­born son of former slaves and the president of the Tuskegee Institute, delivered an opening address. ... Moton had been a late addition to the program, brought in only after the commissioners belatedly realized their failure to include a sin­gle black at the dedication. He was a safe choice, for he espoused Booker T. Washington's conservative vision of race relations: that through high morals and hard work, blacks would gradually bring down the barriers of segregation and earn their rightful place in American society. Never­theless, Taft and the Memorial Commission were clearly worried about what Moton might say. When they vetted his speech two weeks before the dedication, they had asked him to delete about a quarter of his remarks, including a passage in which Moton cited Lincoln's warning that 'this nation cannot endure half slave and half free: it will become all one thing or all the other.' Moton also agreed to remove, 'With equal truth, it can be said today: no more can the nation endure half privileged and half repressed; half educated and half uneducated; half protected and half unprotected; half prosperous and half in poverty; half in health and half in sickness; half content and half in discontent; yes, half free and half yet in bondage.'

"Partly in response to Moton, Harding said Lincoln 'would have compromised with the slavery that existed, if he could have halted its extension,' while Chief Justice Taft never uttered the words 'slavery' or 'emancipation.' Although he was far too accommodating to betray his feelings, Moton must have found it an especially discordant moment. He had just published The Negro of Today: Remarkable Growth of Fifty Years.

"The treatment of blacks on that dedication day laid bare a deep flaw in the nation's character that was apparent to all who cared to see and hear it in the District of Columbia. At the dedication they could see it in the roped-off, segregated 'colored' section, reserved for the few blacks who had been invited. They could hear it when a white-gloved Marine reportedly commanded 'Niggers over here' to those forced to sit behind the rope. No one had seemed to object when Colonel Clar­ence O. Sherrill, commissioner of public buildings and parks, and mil­itary aide to President Harding, had created the special enclosure for blacks. 'The venomous snake of segregation reared its head at the ded­ication,' wrote a reporter for the Chicago Defender, adding, 'what a change since Appomattox! The conquered have become victorious.' "


President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Abe visit the Lincoln Memorial together in 2015

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 2283"

"All Love Is Equal..."

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.

"Adam and Andy..."

I love James Asal's "Adam and Andy" strip
Married life really is like this.

"The Artist's Corner..."

"A Married Couple"
Oil on canvas
Kenney Mencher

Sunday, February 28, 2016

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Love Is Beautiful... Live Fearlessly"

"The Whisper Of Truth..."

The Whisper app allows users in anonymity to share secrets.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"This Is A Love Story..."

When He Saw His Son Kiss A Boy, I Thought He'd Be Mad. He Completely Surprised Me.
Benjamin O'Keefe
February 22, 2016

You know those moments that just seem like something out of a movie?

You know the ones — when you're expecting an uplifting song to start playing right at the climax of a tearjerking scene, which you happen to be seeing live before your eyes? Well, I just witnessed an Oscar-worthy performance.

This weekend as I sat in Starbucks, writing — I know, it doesn't get much more cliché than that — I noticed a man and his son walk into the coffee shop. My gaydar immediately informed me that I was in the presence of my own kind.

The boy was very handsome: With a Gaga shirt and rolled-up jeans, he looked to be around 16. A man who appeared to be his father — who could only be described as a man's man — accompanied him. Large and intimidating in stature, his father wore a camouflaged shirt and some rather dirty jeans.

A moment later, another young boy about the same age came into the shop. He walked over to the first boy and gave him a loving hug.

The father sternly nodded his head at the boy in a rather macho display of a greeting.

"Uh oh," I thought. This didn't look to be the kind of guy that would be incredibly happy about having an openly gay son.

The boys walked up to the counter to order their overpriced lattes, and the father stepped in to pay.

After getting their drinks and sitting down, the father said to the boys, "You guys be good" and gave them both handshakes (I told you he was a man's man). He told his son to call him when he was ready to be picked up, and walked out of the store. Facing the front door, I saw the father stop at the window of the storefront. With their backs turned to the door, unaware that dad was still watching, the boys leaned in for a kiss.

To my surprise, the father's reaction was that of a beaming smile. His son was in love, and it didn't matter that it happened to be with a boy.

Inside, I was a basket case. I held it together in public, but I really wanted to cry at the beautiful moment I had just witnessed.

But then it hit me: I had just judged someone. I had instantly assumed that because this man fit a certain stereotype, he was against equality and there was no way he could possibly approve of his son's sexuality.

It's easy to become cynical and jaded, especially when it seems that we are all too often faced with devastating stories like that of Leelah Alcorn, who took her life because of the rejection she faced from her parents after coming out as trans.
We can't forget that there are people doing better than we sometimes give them credit for.
I myself was met with rejection from much of my conservative family because of my sexuality, which has taken me years to overcome. But it occurred to me that for a group that often faces so much judgment, people in the LGBT community can be quite judgmental ourselves. We can sometimes jump to the assumption that people hate us for our identity — and many people certainly do — but we can't forget that there are people doing better than we sometimes give them credit for.
For every story of a person writing "faggot" on the door of a gay couple, there is one of a father smiling while watching his gay teen son openly embrace a boy he cares for.
For every horrible coming-out story, there is the story of a family that meets their loved ones with support and acceptance.

We certainly shouldn't undermine the struggles our community faces. We shouldn't only show the good and ignore the bad. We shouldn't stop fighting for equity just because we've received it for some.

But now, on those bad days when it seems like the odds are stacked against us, I can think back on the scene I witnessed at Starbucks — a scene of love and acceptance from an unexpected source — and have a reason to smile.

"It's Black History Month..."

Written Behind Bars, This 1850s Memoir Links Prisons To Plantations
Austin Reed was an indentured servant who set fire to his employer's farmhouse after he was whipped for "idleness." Reed was sent to The House of Refuge, the nation's first juvenile reformatory, and later sentenced to serve in New York's Auburn State Prison (above) in 1840.
Lynn Neary
February 26, 2016

At an estate sale in Rochester, N.Y., in 2009, a rare book seller came upon a curious literary artifact. As it turned out, it was a memoir written in the 1850s by Austin Reed, a black man who spent most of his life in prison. It's the earliest known prison memoir by an African-American writer, and it has now been published as The Life and the Adventures of a Haunted Convict.

The Haunted Convict, dated 1858, is the earliest known prison memoir by an African-American writer. Reed learned to read and write during his time in prison.
Courtesy of Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

When Reed's memoir found its way to Yale University, librarians and scholars were eager to get a look at it. Robert Stepto, a professor of African-American studies, has spent a lifetime studying slave narratives.

"My immediate interest was just to begin to compare what I knew about slave narratives to this prison narrative," Stepto says.

But Reed was never a slave. He was born into a free black family in Rochester around 1823. But his memoir nonetheless has its roots in the plantation, says Yale English professor Caleb Smith, who edited Reed's memoir.
He sees the system taking shape that will allow the prison to become the inheritor of the plantation. 
- Caleb Smith, English professor at Yale
"We sometimes tell the story of where our own racialized system of mass incarceration came from, as a story that begins in the plantation and ends in the prison," says Smith. "What Reed sees is the way the prison was prepared to serve that purpose even before emancipation. So he sees the system taking shape that will allow the prison to become the inheritor of the plantation."

Reed's story begins when his father dies. His mother couldn't support the family, so when her young son got into trouble, she sent him out as an indentured servant to a local farmer. Reed was 6 years old. There's a parallel here to the slave experience, says Stepto.

"Frederick Douglass famously said all slaves are orphans," Stepto explains. "Austin Reed is telling a story of being orphaned, if you will. Part of the story is how he is removed from family; his father is dead, his mother is not in the picture."

In prison, Reed endured brutal punishment, including "the showering bath," an early version of waterboarding. It was initially considered more "humane" than whipping, but when an inmate died after being punished in the showering bath, prisoners rioted.
Courtesy of Penguin Random House

Things did not go well at the farm. Reed felt that being an indentured servant was like being a slave, Smith says: "Especially at this moment in which the farmer decides to whip him for his idleness. Reed completely associates that with the dishonor, with the stigma of being whipped, he says, 'like a slave.' And this provokes in him a kind of crime of revenge that lands him in the House of Refuge."

The House of Refuge was the first juvenile reformatory in the United States. Reed may have wanted to escape the whip, but instead he encountered it many times at the House of Refuge and later at Auburn State Prison in upstate New York. During his years in prison, Reed endured many forms of brutal punishment, including an early version of waterboarding. But Smith says nothing provoked Reed as much as the whip, which he continued to view as an icon of slavery.

"His main response to seeing the whip seems to be to want to light a fire," Smith says. "His first crime was attempting to burn down the farmer's house. And inside the state prison there are multiple occasions in which he himself tried to burn down a workshop or tried to persuade another inmate to light a fire. This was his form of rebellion, this was his way of answering the lash, was with the flame."

Reed's intense anger alternates with feelings of extreme remorse. His descriptions of prison life are vivid and painful. He ends the memoir with this warning:

The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict
by Austin Reed, Caleb Smith, David W. Blight and Robert B. Stepto

"All is dark, cold, chilly, and dismal. Reader, be careful and take warning from one who has passed through the iron gates of sorrow and trouble. Take warning, lest you also come to this place of torment and become the inmate of a dark and a gloomy prison."

The book fits in with other prison and crime memoirs of the era, says Smith, but it also has a unique style of its own.

"You find temperance sermons, you find outlaw ballads, you find very novelistic passages," he says. "He was a promiscuous reader and he learned these forms and he cobbled them together into something strange and new."

Prison may have deprived Reed of his freedom, but it was in prison that he learned to read and write. And that, says Stepto, was his salvation.

"There's no doubt in my mind that his spending time in the 1850s writing this memoir was a way of creating himself and a way of somehow or another being at peace with his situation and having hope for the future."

Reed was released from prison in 1863 and was later pardoned by the governor of New York.

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 2282"

"Love, Marriage And Taxes..."

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 Sunday Thought To Ponder..."

"The Truth About Who We Are..."

photo by Kevin TruongAnderson, Social Worker, Brasilia, Brazil

by thegaymenproject

photos by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Anderson, in his own words: "Ser gay significa ser gente. Ser gay não pode ser maior que nada na vida de uma pessoa. Assim como sou gay, sou branco, sou gaúcho, sou brasileiro, sou estudante, sou trabalhador, sou assistente social, sou ateu. Algumas características podem se findar, outras, como ser gay, não. Mas não podemos colocar a categoria gay como algo acima de qualquer outra coisa. Hoje, eu tenho muito orgulho de ser gay, apesar de não discutir gênero e movimentos LGBT. Mas vou para as ruas quando preciso for para defender nossas causas, não pela militância gay, mas pelo entendimento e comprometimento que tenho com a luta das minorias, assim faria com qualquer outro movimento social, como os indígenas e os negros. Além disso, ser gay, significa ser especial, me sinto especial por ser gay, me sinto especial pode entender na pele o que é o preconceito, o sofrimento, e a dor por sermos aquilo que não tivemos opção de escolher. Não é uma sentimento de pena, ou mágoa, mas sim, uma razão que me faz olhar o outro diferente, com um olhar muito mais aguçado. Consigo não só compreender o gay, mas a todos que passam pela inúmeras formas de preconceito, e isso implica até ao preconceito que ocorre dentro do próprio mundo LGBT. Não tenho então qualquer sentimento ou pensando do que eu seria se não fosse gay, sou gay, e sou feliz e adoraria ser gay se felizmente outra vida existisse...quem sabe em um mundo de mais liberdade.

O primeiro desafio era sair de de casa. Como sair de casa, menor de idade e sem dinheiro? Não tive muitas opções, a alternativa foi estudar e ir morar fora devido ao ingresso no ensino superior. Acho que esse é a primeira vitória. Não escolhi o conforto e o comodismo de casa, escolhi ser independente, pagando o preço que for. Entrei no curso de Serviço Social, e isso é algo que transformou minha vida. Iniciei um processo teórico de discussão sobre política, sociedade, Estado, e que consequentemente irá perpassar por família, conservadorismo, gênero, movimentos sociais e minorias. Durante a graduação em Serviço Social ocorrem dois fatos muito importantes e que mudam minha vida. Primeiro é me aceitar e contar para minha família sobre ser gay, e segundo é começar um namoro que durou seis anos, e confesso, foram bons seis anos, apesar do término. No Serviço Social tive a nítida certeza que pertencia ao grupo de estudantes certo, e sabia que somente através do trabalho eu iria ter a liberdade tal almejada. No ano seguinte após o término do curso de graduação fui aprovado em um concurso público federal, fui trabalhar interior do centro-oeste brasileiro com comunidades de agricultura familiar e indígenas. Ser gay assumido em uma pequena cidade não é fácil, mas confesso, com o namorado assumindo isso, ficou muito mais fácil, tanto para mim quanto para ele, e ressalto, nunca passamos por problema algum quanto a isso. Em 2013 já solteiro sou transferido para Brasília, coloco isso como uma grande conquista no campo profissional, de fato, ser gay não teve implicações, como disse, é só uma característica, assim como minha cor. Nesse mesmo ano me torno coordenador de um curso de graduação em Serviço Social em uma instituição de ensino superior de Brasília, de origem neopentecostal, ou seja, ou fato de eu ser assumidamente gay, não é um problema para assumir cargo e executar meu trabalho, porém, concordo que é um grande avanço na instituição onde atuo. Em 2014 entro no Programa de Pós Graduação em Política Social da Universidade de Brasília no Distrito Federal, e esse é outro ponto que marca uma conquista importante, o ingresso em uma universidade pública e em um programa de estudos reconhecidos internacionalmente. Mais uma vez, minha discussão não entra no campo do gênero, prefiro discutir os movimentos sociais na era da internet, mas tendo ter o mínimo de acompanhamento do que anda ocorrendo nessas temáticas. Em 2014 ainda assumo a gestão do Conselho Regional de Serviço Social do Distrito Federal. E isso marca um posicionamento e a participação em um grupo crítico que trabalha na defesa dos direitos humanos, o que inclui as questões LGBT. Entendo que apesar dos meus 28 anos, já consegui muita coisa, mas o caminhada não para. Não quero o acúmulo, quero o suficiente para uma vida legal, com qualidade e com alegria quero somente ser feliz, e isso inclui a vida mental, sentimental, profissional e familiar. Continuo atrás da felicidade, e de novos desafios, sei que posso ser melhor sempre!
Eu tinha 18 anos de idade. Tinha saído de casa para estudar Serviço Social na Universidade de Passo Fundo no Rio Grande do Sul. Minha família foi me visitar, e minha irmã acabou mexendo no meu celular por curiosidade do aparelho mesmo. Enfim, viu algumas mensagens. Contei para a família que gostava de pessoas do mesmo sexo, e que não iria mudar, que não era uma questão de escolha, eu era assim e pronto. Aos 18 anos decidi que deveria ser feliz, independente da família ou de qualquer pessoa. O primeiro dia, foi horrível, mas também foi a certeza que não tinha mais que esconder nada, chorei muito, pensei que dali para frente, seria eu comigo mesmo, seria a vida longe de casa, sem ter para onde voltar. No dia seguinte, minha irmã e minha mãe me pediram desculpas, e disseram que tinha algo mais importante, que era o amor entre nós, isso foi crucial para eu entender o significava família. Dias depois recebi ligações de vários familiares para me dar apoio e dizer que nada mudava, e o que importava era eu estar bem e feliz. Foi a certeza que eu tive que poderia contar com todos. A sexualidade e a orientação sexual passaram a ser algo cotidiano dentro da minha família, sem discussões relevantes. Depois e mim, vieram outros, e hoje somos m três gays, três primos homens, e confesso que isso ajuda muito. Somos mais que primos, somos amigos todos podemos contar com uma família que nos apóia e que torce por nós. Hoje, se deixar, qualquer tia minha, me arruma um namorado, tenho que cuidar kkkkk.
Brasília é diferente em todos os sentidos, tanto para os gays quanto para os não gays. Brasília é uma cidade moderna, com boa infra-estrutura, e que atende o público gay de todas as tribos. Nunca presenciei nem um ato homofóbico em Brasília, mas é claro que isso também existe, afinal o conservadorismo esta no mundo todo. Mas Brasília vale a pena. Minha escolha por viver em Brasília deve-se muito ao fato da receptividade ao público gay, a aceitação e as possibilidades que temos aqui de andar mais livremente e expressarmos de fato o que somos. Acredito na liberdade, na livre expressão. Não sou um adepto de beijos e carícias ao ar livre, mas também não os nego e não os condeno, expressar algo de bom quando temos vontade é sempre a melhor coisa, por isso digo que é bom viver o amor, os passageiros ou os duradouros em Brasília,

Eu falaria, "guri, o mundo é maior do que você pensa, vá viver, conheça tudo e todos, aproveite e experimente tudo em todos os sentidos, viva a liberdade do ser". Além disso, diria para o Anderson, guri do interior do Rio Grande do Sul, que ele pode e deve ser feliz. Que ele é gente, que ele pode sorrir, que não deve ser culpar por nada e nem achar desculpas, que que deve aproveitar a vida, diria para ele acreditar mais em si mesmo, ter mais autoconfiança, menos medos, viver sua adolescência como todos adolescentes."
In English:
"Being gay means to be us. Being gay can not be greater than anything in the life of a person. As I'm gay, I'm white, I'm Gaucho, I am Brazilian, I am a student, I am working, I am a social worker, I am an atheist. Some features may be ended, others, such as being gay, not. But we can not put the gay category as something above anything else. Today, I am very proud to be gay, though not to discuss gender and LGBT movements. But to go to the streets when needed to defend our causes, not by gay militancy, but by understanding and commitment I have with the struggle of minorities, as with any other social movement, such as indigenous and black movements. Also, being gay means being special, I feel special for being gay, I feel special and that I can understand firsthand what it is to experience prejudice, suffering, and pain because of who we are. There is a feeling of pity, or hurt, but it is one reason that makes me look different than others, with a much sharper look. I can not not understand what it is to be gay but to also pass by numerous forms of prejudice, and that means the bias that occurs within the LGBT community. I cannot imagine how it would be if I was not gay, I'm gay, and I'm happy and would love to be gay, it is fortunately another life there ... maybe in a world of more freedom.

The first challenge was leaving home. Like leaving home, being a minor and having no money. I did not have many options, the alternative was to study and go live out to enter higher education. I think this is the first victory. I did not choose the comfort and the home of indulgence, I chose to be independent, paying the price for that. I entered the course of Social Services, and this is something that changed my life. I started a process of theoretical discussion about politics, society, state, that consequently will pervade each family, conservatism, gender, social movements and minorities. During my graduation in Social Work occurred two very important facts changing my life. First was me telling my family about being gay, and second was to get a courtship that lasted six years, and I confess, they were a good six years, despite the end. Social Work had a distinction that belonged to a group of certain students, and I knew that only through this work I would be free as desired. The following year, after the undergraduate program was approved in a federal public contest, I went to work inside central-western Brazil with family and indigenous farming communities. Being openly gay in a small town is not easy, but I confess, with my boyfriend assuming this, it became much easier, both for me and for him, to shoulder upon, and we never went through any problem with that. In 2013 already I was single and transferred to Brasilia, I put it as a great achievement in my professional field, in fact, being gay had no implications, as I said, it's just a characteristic, as well as my color. That same year I become coordinator of an undergraduate degree in Social Work at a higher education institution in Brasilia, of Pentecostal origin, that is, that I am openly gay, is not a problem to take charge and do my work, however, I agree that is a major advance in the institution where I work. In 2014 I entered the Graduate Program in Social Policy at the University of Brasilia in the Federal District, and this is another point which marks an important achievement, enrollment at a public university and a program of internationally recognized studies. Again, my discussion does not go on gender issues, I'd rather discuss the social movements of the Internet age, but having to have the minimum follow-up of walking occurring in these themes. In 2014 I am still assuming the management of the Regional Council of Social Service of the Federal District. And that brand positioning and participation in a critical group working to defend human rights, including LGBT issues. I understand that despite my 28 years, I have gone through a lot, but not to walk. I do not want to accumulate, want enough for a legal life, with quality and with joy I only want to be happy, and that includes mental, emotional, professional and family life. I continue after happiness, and new challenges, I know I can always be better!
(With regards to coming out) I was 18 years old. I had left home to study Social Work at the University of Passo Fundo in Rio Grande do Sul. My family came to visit me, and my sister working on my mobile device, saw some messages. I told the family that I liked persons of the same sex, and that would not change, it was not a matter of choice, and I was ready. At 18 I decided I should be happy, regardless of family or anyone. The first day was horrible, but I no longer had to hide anything, I cried a lot, I thought that from then on, I would be myself, life would be away from home, without being able to return. The next day, my sister and my mother asked me excuses, and said they had something more important, it was the love between us, it was crucial for me to understand the meaning of family. Days later I received calls from several family to support me and say that nothing changed, and what mattered was I be well and happy. I was sure that I had all I could count on. Sexuality and sexual orientation became an everyday thing in my family, without relevant discussions. After me came others, and today we are three gays, three cousins, men, and I confess that it helps a lot. We are more than cousins, we're friends and can all have a family that supports us and roots for us. Today, if you leave any of my aunts, get me a boyfriend, I have to take care kkkkk.

Brasilia is different in every way, both gays and for those not gay. Brasilia is a modern city with good infrastructure, and serving the gay community of all the tribes. I never witnessed a homophobic act in Brasilia, but of course it also exists, after all there is conservatism worldwide. But Brasilia is worth it. My choice to live in Brasilia owes much to the fact that receptivity to the gay public acceptance and the possibilities we have here to walk more freely and express the fact that we are gay. I believe in freedom, free expression. I'm not a fan of kisses and caresses outdoors, but do not deny them and condemn them, I express something good when I feel it is always the best thing, so I say it is good to live love, passengers or lasting in Brasilia.

(If I could give advice to my younger self) I would say, "kid, the world is bigger than you think, go live, know everything and everyone, enjoy and experience everything in every way, live the freedom of being." In addition, I would say to Anderson, kid in the interior of Rio Grande do Sul, you can and should be happy. You are a person, you can smile, not to be blamed for anything or find excuses, that you should enjoy life, tell yourself to believe more in yourself, have more confidence, less fears, live your adolescence as all teens."

"The Truth About Love..."

Love ... must come suddenly, with great thunderclaps and bolts of lightning -- a hurricane from heaven that drops down on your life, overturns it, tears away your will like a leaf, and carries your whole heart off with it into the abyss.

- Gustave Flaubert

"The Artist's Corner..."

"Studio Nude Blue From Behind"
Oil on canvas
Ron Griswold

Saturday, February 27, 2016

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Love Doesn't Care What Anybody Thinks... Live Fearlessly"

"The Things That Love Says..."

I would rather have eyes that cannot see, ears that cannot hear, lips that cannot speak, than a heart that cannot love.

- Roberrt Tizon

"The Views To Love..."

Love and marriage...

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

"We Were Always There..."

"Our photo captured the stark truth of our love in 1966..."

"The Whisper Of Truth..."

The Whisper app allows users in anonymity to share secrets.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"A Political Thought To Ponder..."

While we're busy creating and then failing to solve disasters around the world, what about the disasters we've created right here at home...?

"The Strange Truth About Wedding Photos..."

A Photographer And His Husband Challenge Wedding Photo Stereotypes
Photographer John Paul Evans is celebrating unconventional love with beautiful, haunting images.

Maddie Crum
The Huffington Post

Although they’d been in a relationship for over 25 years, John Paul Evans and his partner Peter had scarcely taken a picture together.

“I was critical of the way that photography is used to reinforce concepts of the family and normality,” Evans said in an email to The Huffington Post. As both an artist and a scholar, he’s interested in the formal ways marriage and partnerships have been captured over time, beginning with perhaps the most famous depiction of a union, Jan van Eyck’s "Arnolfini Portrait."

In van Eyck's painting, man and a woman stand stiffly and chastely apart, hands interlocked. Their room is littered with stuff: a mirror, a decadent light fixture, an adorable dog. All that’s missing is a white-picket fence. The pair looks both distant and at ease -- a standard we’ve come to expect from long-married couples.

In his photo series “till death do us part,” Evans hoped to mirror -- and question -- these rigid standards we apply to marriage. The project was conceived of in 2013, when gay marriage was finally on the brink of legal approval in England, where Evans lives.

"As someone who had grown up in a world of intolerance toward homosexuals, it struck me that once you scratch the surface with an issue like gay marriage, these values re-emerge in certain sectors,” Evans said.

In his portraits, Evans and his then-partner, now-husband, play various domestic roles, posing in aprons in a stark kitchen, holding hands while seated at a table, taking a bath together. They assume the parts stiffly, acknowledging that from society’s perspective, they still don’t quite fit in.

“I am aware that Peter and I are not what would be considered as an ideal couple by mainstream media,” Evans said. “There is a 27-year age difference and in real life we have sometimes been confused as father and son. But that is the reality of my lived experience, and on one level I see these works as a personal memoir of two people at different stages in their personal chronology, exploring ideas of space, place and time.”

One way Evans and his partner celebrate otherness within the series is by photographing themselves as outsiders peering into their own domestic space. They stand lurking beside windows, their faces obscured by fractured glass.

“If gay marriage for some people is a perceived nightmare, then making images where the couple seem like intruders has its comic aspects,” Evans said, adding that the choice contributed to the project’s uncanny vibe.

“I hope that the images will convey an unsettling feeling which I would interpret as darkly comic,” Evans said. “It’s a reflection on life and death and the passing of time.”

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