Monday, October 15, 2012

Catharsis 2.0

There is a lot on my mind.  Generally there is, which is why I keep lists.  I always have a running list going somewhere.

At work, every day, I keep a running list of things I need to get done during the work day.  By the end of my eight-hour shift, I have created a list of things I need to accomplish when I get home that evening.  I also keep long-term lists going, too.  I always have a list of things I want to write about on this blog as well as my personal Website,  I keep a list of life goals, six-month plans, five-year objectives, business ideas, book ideas, etc.  I am always writing things down and tucking them safely away.

I don't know why or how I got in the habit but, if I don't keep my lists active and up to date, I start losing my mind and I can't accomplish the things I want and need to get done.  Truthfully, I think I'm ADD and if I don't keep track of these things, I will move on and never truly accomplish anything.  But I think that is a different thought to pursue on perhaps a different day.

Anyway, lists and lots on my mind.  A friend of mine has approached me about starting an online media business and I am thrilled and totally excited.  Another friend wants to co-author a book for teens and young adults.  Still another friend wants compile and edit a series on self worth and body image, and I am still in process of writing my own memoir AND I want to compile and edit a series of stories about coming in to oneself prior to coming out.

Plus I write for this blog and, as I mentioned, I also have a opinion/editorial Website.  Writing is a passion of mine.  I studied communications in college and I love to write now; it makes sense that it is such a huge part of my life.  But, there are only so many hours in the day so I am restructuring my life and my approach to my lists and my writing resources in an attempt to reach my goals. 

Starting next week, I am going to use this blog as a way for me to write first-draft chapters of my memoir.  I already spend time writing for this site, why not double up on my personal expectations and let "Breaking the Silence" help me break mine!

That being said, I still have my running list of things I wanted to talk about on this site so, today, I am going to purge my mind and cross things off my list of topics for this site.

Family versus Family of Choice - 

Well, as many of you know, my relationship with my immediate family is quite precarious.  At first it was killing me inside but now I am finally starting to make peace with it. Don't get me wrong, it still hurts that I am no longer acknowledged by my mother and by extension the rest of my family, but I am slowly realizing I am strong enough to carry myself independent of the approval and support of my immediate family.

The only way I am able to find the strength to move on is through many of you - my family of choice.  Having friends and adopted family members are often all that keep me going.  I rely heavily on them during the hard times and (I hope) I fill the same role for them as needed, too.

Gay Bowling -  


I joined the "Alternative Lifestyles of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Bowling League."  That is too much to try and remember so I affectionately call it "Gay Bowling."  We meet every Thursday from the beginning of September to sometime in April.  It is the longest-running league in the state of Ohio and I have never been crammed in such close quarters with so many gays and lesbians of so many diverse backgrounds.

From older biker dudes with Do Rags, tattoos, and leather vests, to lipstick lesbians and muscle twinks, the spectrum of LGBTQ diversity is pretty well represented.  I love going to the seedy bowling ally in Hickville, Kentucky, because I never, EVER sense judgement.  Even when someone doesn't like someone else, there is respect given by both parties.  It is impressive and encouraging to say the least.  It makes me want to be a better person on top of a better bowler!

Dating Apps -

In the gay dating world there are few fish in a large pond.  Conservative estimates state that approximately three percent of the human population is "gay" while some more generous estimations state that roughly seven percent identify on some level as LGBT or Q.  Either way, there are a lot more opportunities for straight people to date than me (us).

So, in today's technology age, how do we work around that problem and make finding each other easier?  Dating applications like Growlr, Grndr, Scruff, etc.  In principle, I think things like this are great.  In application, I think it can be awful.  I am so sick and tired of having messages sent to me that either ask for more than I'm willing to give or quickly volunteer way more than I want.  It's outrageous but, that being said, I'm not sure I'm willing to go back to the times folded hankies of varying colors in my back pocket.

Out Athletes, Actors, and Politicians - 


This past week we recognized National Coming Out Day.  As a result, I posted the following "dream" on my Facebook Wall:

Today is National Coming Out Day. It is my greatest hope that there comes a time in my life when a special day like this isn't necessary.

A time when we love all of our brothers and sisters regardless of gender, gender identity, race, nationality, or sexual attraction.

A time when all of God's children feel comfortable enough to be who He made them to be.

A time when a person's sexual identit
y doesn't determine his or her place in their parents' hearts or homes, in the pews of their churches, or their ability to stand (or kneel) at an alter and marry the love of their life.

A time when love supersedes hate and compassion overtakes judgement.

But, until that day, I want to thank all of the gay, lesbian, bi, trans, and queer people I know for being some of the strongest, most beautiful examples of humanity I know. Thank you for being you and thank you for influencing my life in so many wonderful ways.

Initially I received a few nice comments supporting my thoughts but I did receive one ignorant one:

"Hm so i love all my brother's and sister's regardless of all that jibber jabber doesn't mean i agree with it love ya though"

Jibber jabber, eh?  That is what all of the challenges and heartbreak and duress that being gay and loving someone means to this person.

Coming out is tough. Too tough sometimes.  As I slowly crawl out of my closet I gain an even greater appreciation for those who have the courage to come out and be their own authentic selves - regardless of how well known they are in the public eye.

I know it's not much, but in my own small way I want to thank some of the gay men and women in the public eye for their willingness to be positive examples for all of us!

 Matt Bomer and his partner and three kids

 Neil Patrick Harris and his husband

 Chris Colfer

 Jane Lynch and her wife and two step daughters
 Portia DeRossi and her wife Ellen Degeneres
 Ricky Martin and his boy friend and twin sons
 Anderson Cooper and his boyfriend
 Professional boxer and former olympian Orlando Cruz
 First openly-gay politician, Harvey Milk
 Wanda Sykes and her wife
Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham

And many, many more.  To the rest of us who aren't in the limelight, I want to thank all of you for your examples and for being you.  You all mean far more to me than you will ever know.


  1. I feel like I need a list to reply to this. :)
    First I do the list thing but with post it notes. They cover my room. List of homework for class, parts for my jeep, quotes to keep me happy and many more.
    Second I'm so excited about your book!!!!
    Third I'm sorry for your family problems. I had a bishop the other day ask me about my father and he kept pressing it and I just wanted to yell "HE DOESN'T TALK TO ME CUZ I'M GAY" But I calmly told him my parents were divorced and he wasn't part of my life. Annoying though. And I put you in my family of choice also. I read an old post that I had that you commented on and it was the sweetest thing. I think you are fantastic MJ. :)
    Fourth I wish I would have thought of something as beautiful as that to say on National Coming Out day. Some people didn't understand why there was a day but I had a friend who emailed me and came out to me. It was great.
    Fifth I love Neil Patrick Harris. And Ellen. And Wanda. And Chris. And Jane. And all of them.
    Love you as well!

    1. Thanks, dear, I really appreciate all that you said. And I love you! Family will always be family - for better or worse - but I am so grateful I can surround myself physically and emotionally with you and many others whom I truly love.

  2. "jibber jabber" - they really don't get it. They don't understand how huge and hard and life-shattering it is...

    In a world that tells you you are less than if you aren't like everyone else, it is terrifying and empowering to own yourself and your own feelings. I would like it if the people that say they love me, loved ME enough to care about my feelings and the things I care about... maybe someday.

    1. Maybe someday is better than never, right? And I hope that is truly the case. Thank you for reading and commenting and for being you!

  3. Thanks for this post, MJ. I, too, am glad there are so many openly gay people in the public eye. But I'm even more glad for the openly gay folks around me. The ones I see at the grocery. The ones I work with and play with. The ones I share thoughts and stories with. The ones like you. Thank you for your wonderful example. Much love to you!

    1. You are totally correct and I sure hope I didn't minimize the everyday folks. We all are beautiful and wonderful and all have the amazing capacity and ability to influence the world around us for good. Much love to you too, my friend.

  4. Even the gay people could have a family. They just need to find the right partner for them.