Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving, folks! I'm stuffed with turkey, potatoes, and pie, so I'm taking the day off. I'll be back next week with more rants, ramblings, and revelations.

Be thankful to be yourself and be thankful for all the progress we've made this year in the struggle for equality.

-Walter Beck

Wants and Desires really do come true


I have to say, I've been shocked by the findings of what's happened this week.

I keep a list, a specific list...that allows me the ways of channeling and reminding myself of what I truly want. I update it constantly, and write it both in my blog along with a printed out copy I leave on my doorstep. This ensures two things: 1) That I'm constantly reevaluating what it is I want every day, and (2) I see it everyday I wake up and just before I go to bed. If you want, you can view it at this link here.

This is what I do. This is who I am. And this is why I keep at it. But I wasn't sure if I was actually ready for it.

You see, I recently discovered this list just a few weeks ago as I was preparing on writing my blog today. As I reviewed it, I checked and found that there were some parts of me that were missing, some parts that I didn't have resolved. Some parts of me that I still wanted to ensure were going forward and not going through.

Then I found this. I had made this December 2012, hoping that I may get this far in my life within maybe 5 years. The fact of the matter is, though, that I actually had started and even completed most of these within that same year! I was shocked.

 I created my own graphic design business. I wanted to be a motivational speaker to those who wanted to know about my HIV and such. I wanted to also have a great job and close relationship with my family. And I had been studying more in relation to my language, doing work, and going back to school, which I am in the process of doing next year.

What it comes down to is that the importance of self-reliance, trust, and pushing yourself to do more in your life is really what makes you an important person and a great member of society! And it all comes in how you view yourself .That's really what matters. What you truly desire and want in your life can become yours.

And the way to get there is by doing things like this. I just don't see how things can be done any other way because of that knowledge. I work toward everything I truly want in life...because that's the basis of agency.

I will expound on this as I go to my next blog, how the LDS church has helped me as a gay male. I hope this inspires those who read it :)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Appreciating July. (I'm Gonna Be 500 Miles-Sleeping At Last)

     I first want to apologize for not posting this on sunday. My laptop was being nothing less an irritating and for some reason I could not connect to the internet on it. Please forgive the delay :(

     When I was a child I distinctly remember my worries being carefree. As a child my brain was constantly running, constantly imagining things. My worries were not of love, or money, or family, or school, or work. My smiles did not hide pain, or lies, or secrets. My life was simple. My worry held fear of the monster beneath my bed and the thought of somebody stealing my rusty red bike. I stressed over who I was going to play with that day and a bad time was from the shadow cast by the silence of boredom. Every day that passed my childhood was placed behind me with no regards to the innocence held by my childhood. With each passing day the understanding of real stress and worry became all to familiar. Every second that clicked my innocent brain was replaced by the understanding that my happiness was in my hands. That in the end, I was going to be the one to write my own story....and with that understanding the stress, unhappiness, and worry only piled up like the snow that gathers knee high with each dropping snowflake. 
     At the age of 25 I have seen that sad pile of stress, unhappiness, and worry melt away. I have seen it dissolve into hope, happiness, joy, and child like smiles. But just like each winter brings more snow there is always a time in my life that the snowflakes of stress, unhappiness, and worry begins to accumulate in my life....every time with different significance. The past couple of weeks my mind has focused on one particular apprehension.   LOVE  
     I keep trying to pin point at what point in my life I started stressing about falling in love. And the more I think about it the more I realize it wasn't so much a time as an event. I remember the first time I truly fell in love. The moment I looked into their eyes and saw nothing but comfort and happiness. The feeling that I was flying....That I could accomplish anything. My smile held secrets and lies hidden deep in my past....but after falling in love....after having my heart smile did not hold pain. Everybody feels love differently.... I felt it like I was up to my head in stress filled snow....and my love....their love.....was my July. Unfortunately, though I hope I am one day proven wrong, nothing good last forever. As much happiness that was brought on by falling in love just as much pain was emptied into my heart from watching them fall out of love with me. That was the point....the event that changed my whole out look on love and life. Before falling in love I never knew what pure happiness was. I had always been happy and content with in myself but having somebody to share everything with...having somebody that knew every dark secret hidden in my pathetic past, and still loved me was a miracle in my eyes. And every day I search for that miracle...I search for that happiness that somebody else out in the world holds in their hands. I'm patient....I'm not worried or forcing anything. I want my next love to come to need me. I'm patient because I know without the snow.....I could never truly appreciate July.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

When I Came Out By E

Five months ago today I was sitting across the table from my mom at our favorite restaurant.  It was my birthday lunch and I was super nervous because today I was going to tell her why I broke up with the guy she wanted me to marry, a guy I had been with for two and half years, a guy I loved.  This guy and I broke up because I decided that I liked women.  The following are the reactions of my family members after I came out them.

Agnostic Mom: Am I supposed to be surprised?
Blonde Sister: You’re an ally, not one of them! *tears*
Mormon Brother: *high five* Was that everything?
Red-headed Sister: Can I get back to my movie?
Mormon Dad: Nothing can change how much I love you.

The only adverse reaction I’ve gotten from the members of my family was from Blonde Sister.  She hates the idea that I like women because for my entire life she’s seen me as one way, liking only men, and now she has to see me in a different way.  I have wondered of the last few months why me liking girls is such an issue for her, even if it is because she has to see me differently.  I don’t know if I’ll ever understand why it bugs her so much. I wish I could talk to my sister about things, like girls I have crushes on and such.  Maybe one day… I hope.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Acceptance of Oneself

I relate to three very distinct identities, and I’ll go over each one-at-a-time. The first one, being LDS/Mormon, has been deeply engrained in me as a kid and stuck with me, even during a period of time where I didn’t consider myself one. The values and morals I learned came strongly from my family and extended family, most all of them being LDS in some degree. So I guess you could say that particular others played a strong role in how I viewed myself that way.

It wasn’t always this way, however. Because I also am a member of the GLBT community, I viewed myself when I first came out to my family and friends as not involved in any way with the LDS religion. But as time progressed, I realized that I wasn’t happy with not having religion in my life, and it was my constant feeling as time progressed. Religion was what I based my life on, gay or not, and it gave me happiness in a way that couldn’t be found in any other way.  Secondly, I consider myself musically gifted, as I mentioned.

I’ve taken piano for 9 years and played for about 15 years now, and enjoy expressing myself through this medium. This is important to me because of both the particular other (my family and friends) and the generalized other in mix. The first one is obvious: I enjoy being able to touch my close friends’ lives through music, a medium that I understand and can use. However, I also want to influence society at large, and society can be taught so many great norms that I can do through music. Some of these include temperance, love, devotion, happiness, and so forth. It isn’t about attention for me but rather what I can communicate through music that I cannot otherwise.

Finally, I consider myself somewhat of a geek. This was engrained on me since childhood, as I was considered very smart and into new things. I constantly wanted to be challenged, and even some of my old teachers mentioned that I would get bored easily because I felt like I wasn’t being challenged enough. Plus, I found I love using technology, namely computers and so forth. I’ve worked in technical support for a major wireless company, which I loved doing and could fix virtually any problem that was presented to me. At first, I considered it a negative label because I didn’t have many friends and was constantly teased as a kid. But as time went on, I accepted this as part of who I am, and quite frankly, I love knowing that much more than some of my peers. It’s an identity which I love to show out there.  Moving on, there were many identities that I have that have changed over time, such as being a Democrat/Liberal, open-minded, humorous, and pro-gay.

I will elaborate on being open-minded, for I wasn’t there for a time. It was a difficult change for me because in the LDS religion, you’re taught to view things of a negative nature as bad and to not explore them for fear of temptation to do evil or sin. I’m sure this is how it is with many religions, but it is strongly expressed in this religion.  Well, I did because I knew I was gay, something that completely contradicted the church, and so I ventured out into that aspect of myself. These experiences made me realize that I need to accept things objectively. Great and awesome ideas come from those outside of the church while at the same time hurtful and detrimental ideas also come, which made me inquisitive into how everyone works out to be. It’s simple really: I can be exposed to anything I would like but don’t have to take it at face-value. I can, for myself, decide whether something is of worth to involve myself with or to shun out based on my personality and beliefs.

Being involved with the LGBT community has taught me that. Now I’m happy to be open-minded to anything and everything and not take a side until I understand both sides.  Finally, on the activity of those who gave me traits, I was pretty surprised at what people view me to be. I consider myself very shy just because I don’t have many friends and don’t like talking one-on-one with people. I get intimidated and scrambling for things to say because I don’t usually stand out in a crowd. Why I mention this is because I had nearly half the class say I have an outspoken or outgoing personality. I do definitely in class because I’m passionate about learning (always have been), so in that respect, I can see why people would see this in me.  I will admit, however: I would love to be known as outspoken in real life. I guess it’s my past that changed how I viewed myself. I was always shy as a small kid, and I guess it carried over into the person I am today. Maybe I should get out more and enjoy life and talk to people. I’m sure they can’t hurt me, right?

(Excerpt from my Thinkpiece III assignment- COMM 1010)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

We Got Your Back

Dedicated to Brother Phoenix, who lit a fire under me.

Yesterday was Transgender Day of Remembrance, where we gathered in cities, towns, and online to remember our brothers and sisters in the Trans* community who were brutally murdered this year. We made a pledge to honor the fallen and work towards a better day where there is no more innocent blood spilled. It was a beautiful moment of solidarity across states and across nations.

But such solidarity is rarely seen throughout the rest of the year.

It has been one hell of a year on the front, no doubt, more and more states are passing marriage equality, the Supreme Court ruled in our favor in the DOMA cases, and ENDA passed the Senate for the first time in its nearly twenty year history. The opposition seems to be on the run as they lose one battle after another, 2013 seems like it could be the beginning of the end of our long fight for equality and liberty.

Hold on, not so fast. The opposition isn’t giving up so easy; they’re just turning their sights on a new target.

While we’re celebrating our wedding vows, our brothers and sisters in the Trans community are facing more fundamental fights, the fight to use the bathroom in peace, the fight to be able to go to school without fear of harassment, the fight to be recognized as real human beings who deserve respect. And the opposition is zeroing in on them.

In California, Governor Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1266, which protects the rights of Trans* students in California public schools, it allows them to participate in classes, extra-curricular activities, and sports with respect to their gender identity. The bill has been widely celebrated as the first of its kind to protect Trans* students in public schools. Naturally, the Right went completely apeshit.

The Pacific Justice Institute was the first to strike, spreading false stories about a Trans* student in Colorado who was allegedly “harassing” other students in the bathroom. The backlash against the student (known as “Jane Doe”) was harsh and violent, with people openly calling for her mutilation and threatening to kill her. The school Jane Doe attends said there had been no harassment. But that didn’t stop PJI from stating that her very existence was tantamount to harassment.

Privacy for All Students was the next group to get in on the fight, supposedly a grassroots movement against Gov. Brown’s bill, the group claims to have gotten enough signatures to challenge the bill in a ballot vote. As far as what they plan to do to protect Trans* students if the bill is repealed, they told activist Jeremy Hooper, “Finding a ‘solution’ is above our pay grade.”

Oh and just in case you forgot about them, NOM decided to get in on this fight as well, I guess because being solely against gay marriage isn’t paying the bills anymore.

So what is the LGB community doing to defend the T in all this? Well sadly it doesn’t seem like much, there doesn’t seem to be the powerhouse organizations in the corner of our brothers and sisters in the Trans* community. And the sad part is, that seems almost par for the course, a lot of mainstream gay rights groups shy away from the Trans* community, HRC is notorious for throwing Trans* people under the bus when it’s politically convenient and in 2007, HRC endorsed a version of ENDA which did not include gender identity protections. I suppose in their minds, half a loaf was better than no loaf at all.

Well maybe we don’t need them; I’m here to talk to you, dear reader, not them. You can stand up, you can do something to help our Trans* brothers and sisters. You don’t need a big checkbook and you don’t need a congressman in your pocket, you just need yourself and the belief that they are your brothers and sisters in this fight.

I wasn’t always such an advocate for the Trans* community, it took some brothers out in Arizona to light a fire under my ass. It was back in April, I was on assignment with Polari to cover the fight against Arizona’s bathroom bill, which would have made it a crime for a Trans* person to use a public restroom. Frankly, I thought we had already decided that it was a fundamental right to take a piss here in America; I thought we established that back in 60’s. But I was mistaken.

I talked to a group of Trans* people who were fighting for their basic right to go when you gotta go. I saw what the opposition was saying about them, I saw how they were being portrayed as monsters and criminals, I heard their stories, I reported what was going on out in Arizona. I went in as a half-crazed journalist and left the story a fierce fighter, ready to stand tall and strong with our brothers and sisters unto the Gates of Hell if that’s what it took.

That’s what I’m asking you to do, don’t perpetrate the divide of our community. Those in the Trans* community are your brothers and sisters and they need us now. We all remember when the opposition zeroed in on us, are we going to abandon them now that they’re the ones being targeted?

You don’t have to move heaven and earth, just stand with your brothers and sisters, tell them you’re on their side, tell them we together are united and strong and show them that if we stand together, no force the opposition can muster will tear us apart and no force can stop us from being free and equal together.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What am I? By E

I know Carrie isn’t gay, but sometimes I wonder if this is my life.
I like girls. A lot. I want a girlfriend someday.
I like boys. I like to have sex with them, and to look at them.

Am I shallow? Am I a bitch? Am I bi or gay or straight or hasbian or wanna-lez? I hate labels, being called things I am not, or things I think I am not.  But sometimes it’s nice to know what I am and right now, when it comes to my sexuality, I don’t know what I am.

My mom just told me that I'm lucky, I'm lucky because it seems like I'm bi, and that means I get the chance to love freely and choose freely. She said, "I have had girl friends that I've loved, but could never be with because I'm straight, but for you it's different."

What and who am I? Does it matter that I don’t know? Do I have to know right now?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oh The Places I'll Go ("The Fighter"- Gym Class Heroes)


     When I was younger I was very chubby and had a bowl cut and dressed like a boy. I was often asked by my peers if I was a boy or a girl. I always had friends and I was never the target of excessive bullying, but I was often brought down by my own thoughts. I was a myself. In elementary school I don't ever remember my "difference" holding me back... I don't ever remember it enabling me from being social or hanging out with my friends. In middle school however the fact that I was different started to be more noticeable. Maybe not so much to my peers but more so to me. I specifically remember being in elementary when the thought that I could be gay started to creep into my mind. However being so young I didn't know much on the topic and it was easy to convince myself that I was just going through a phase and that next year I would be more girly and like boys more. In middle school.....well that was a little harder to do. My feelings towards girls were not as easily ignored. I had crushes...multiple crushes that I hid within friendships. I started to separate myself emotionally and physically from people, scared that if I got too close they would start to see who I was......A monster. I started to tell myself I was a nobody.....that I was a mistake. In high school the depression started to creep in like a plague. I alienated myself from my close friends because they were all dating and having the boyfriends....and, well, I wasn't. Growing up in the mormon church my thoughts were often led to temple marriage and eternal families and it was like I had unconsciously made a decision that I could never be happy. That I would never be normal. I felt like a failure all the time. After struggling through high school and putting on a brave face I graduated, excited of what my future had to hold. I had unknowingly planted these dreams and expectations of what "real" life was. I speculated that once I graduated things would magically change and I would be happy. I. Was. Wrong.
     I struggled all through my college years trying to find out who I was. If you've read my last post you'll understand when I say I "hit rock bottom". Once you hit rock bottom you don't automatically pop out on top. You have to fight to get there. So this last week that's what I've been doing..... Fighting. I have spent my whole life telling myself I was a monster, a nobody, that I was worthless and a mistake. I have spent  my whole life tearing myself down....being my own bully that now.....Well.....its hard to tell myself I'm not. I have been searching the past couple of weeks for strength to keep fighting this war going on within myself...... And then while at work I was reading to one of my disabled students a book that changed my life.

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss (I've highlighted my favorite parts)

Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away! 
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go. 
You'll look up and down streets. Look 'em over with care. About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there." With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet, you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street. 
And you may not find any you'll want to go down. In that case, of course, you'll head straight out of town. 
It's opener there in the wide open air. 
Out there things can happen and frequently do to people as brainy and footsy as you. 
And when things start to happen, don't worry. Don't stew. Just go right along. You'll start happening too. 
You'll be on your way up! You'll be seeing great sights! You'll join the high fliers who soar to high heights. 
You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed. You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead. Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best. Wherever you go, you will top all the rest. 
Except when you don' t Because, sometimes, you won't. 
I'm sorry to say so but, sadly, it's true and Hang-ups can happen to you. 
You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch. And your gang will fly on. You'll be left in a Lurch. 
You'll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you'll be in a Slump. 
And when you're in a Slump, you're not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done. 
You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win? 
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right... or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite? Or go around back and sneak in from behind? Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find, for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind. 
You can get so confused that you'll start in to race down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place... 
...for people just waiting. Waiting for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or a No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting. 
Waiting for the fish to bite or waiting for wind to fly a kite or waiting around for Friday night or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake or a pot to boil, or a Better Break or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants or a wig with curls, or Another Chance. Everyone is just waiting. 
NO! That's not for you! 
Somehow you'll escape all that waiting and staying. You'll find the bright places where Boom Bands are playing. 
With banner flip-flapping, once more you'll ride high! Ready for anything under the sky. Ready because you're that kind of a guy! 
Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. there are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV. 
Except when they don't. Because, sometimes, they won't. 
I'm afraid that some times you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you. 
All Alone! Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you'll be quite a lot. 
And when you're alone, there's a very good chance you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won't want to go on. 
But on you will go though the weather be foul On you will go though your enemies prowl On you will go though the Hakken-Kraks howl Onward up many a frightening creek, though your arms may get sore and your sneakers may leak. 
On and on you will hike and I know you'll hike far and face up to your problems whatever they are. 
You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left. 
And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.) 
So... be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, you're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way! 

     Right in the middle of reading this book I paused and struggled to hold back tears. I realized through this silly Dr. Seuss book that all those years of putting myself down had only led to to where I was now. On Top. I finally realized that I had made it. That I was on top of my mountain. But I'm not stopping there. I know life is full of ups and downs and thats okay because there are so many other mountains to climb....and to keep climbing them at one point I'll have to slide down. So though I may be on top now...I'm NOT going to stop fighting. I'm going to fight for happiness, for peace, for love, for equality, for whats right and against wrong, for the handicapped, for the sad, for the lost and the down, and for me. There is so much that awaits me! So many adventures and places to see. My expectations are high, my smile is big, and my desires and huge. The sky is my limit! All I need is the strength....and I'll fight for it, cause I'm a Fighter....and Oh The Places I'll Go.


Guest Post: On Silence

Hi, everyone! I'm your Saturday guest blogger, though I used to be a writer here so I'm not technically a guest, and probably I won't publish this until Saturday night because I'm the slowest, laziest person. Anyway, my name is Kylie, and I used to be the bisexual Sunday blogger until I unexpectedly stopped writing without telling anyone why. So this is my make-up post to explain and apologize, and hopefully reach some helpful conclusions about what led to my silence.

First of all, I stopped writing when I got engaged over the summer. For one thing, planning a wedding is time-consuming and stressful, even when you're think that you're not that into weddings so it won't be time-consuming and stressful. Sadly for everyone, that mentality never pans out, which was disappointing. Also, I'm a woman who got engaged to a straight man, so I had all those anxieties bisexual people have about being invisible and being judged by the lgbtq community for appearing to be in a traditionally straight marriage and doing traditional things like planning a wedding which is rude because most members of the lgbtq community can't do so. So that was the first anxiety.

The second anxiety related to my parents, who started reading my blog. In a way, that was good to know, because really all my blog posts in some way related to my anxieties about my parents, and really I guess I was secretly hoping they'd be reading it all along, since I couldn't talk to them in person about all the things I wanted them to hear from me anyway. But then I got worried that I'd been being mean to them, and I felt too insecure to come back and write knowing my more specific audience that I could visualize and cared about and whose feelings I really didn't want to be hurt.

The third anxiety is the one I'm actually going to write about a little bit, because I'm still not sure what to do about the first and second ones. This one relates to my then-bishop, who, I should clarify, was a very nice, very sincere person who, I think, really, really, really wanted to help me. So I told him I was bisexual, and he did a little digging on me, and found this blog. I'm not surprised, and I've always written this blog with a BYU/LDS audience in mind, since those are the communities I belong to, and I hadn't tried to hide anything I'd written or been ashamed or embarrassed about it. But suddenly, this man I hadn't known until a few months earlier had read every single one of my blog posts, and this led to him asking me if I'd ever had sex with a woman in spite of me telling him that I'd been in a committed relationship with the same man for four years and telling him already that I obeyed and always had obeyed the Mormon law of chastity, i.e. no premarital sex with anyone. He sent me to meet with the stake president, or the person higher up in him than authority. I met with this man too, and continued to be very uncomfortable being asked questions about my sexuality and if I'd ever had sex with a woman (because heterosexual people don't know they're heterosexual until they sleep with a member of the opposite sex and know with absolute certainty they're super, really, definitely straight), and so on and so forth.

Again, I really believe that both men were doing what they thought was best for me (and doing what you feel is best without consulting the person you're trying to help, even when you really, really, really believe you're helping and being so kind and so nice, is an entirely different issue that I could go on and on about). And the problem might not lie so much with them as with the overall establishment's need to figure out how to proceed with people like me who, say, want a temple recommend but are comfortable being bisexual. The end result is: I became embarrassed and ashamed of what I had written here, and in attempt to appear more worthy to the people who felt responsible for judging and questioning my worthiness instead of letting me be responsible for my own worthiness or accept my own answers about it as true, I let them kind of take over, and stopped writing on the blog without telling anyone why.

So. That's the long story made short, eliminating the many sleepless nights of crying and crying about how these older men had asked me these really specific questions about my sexuality that I didn't feel like they had any right to ask and that made me feel awful, being a rather quiet and prudish person to begin with, and that made me feel embarrassed and ashamed of who I was, and that led to me unintentionally deciding that the easiest course of action was silence and inaction over anything else.

The issue is that I didn't actually feel unworthy, and it's that I'm not actually ashamed of anything I've put on this blog. I put my real thoughts and feelings here, and I don't think there's anything here to be embarrassed of. I'm sometimes rash, and what I put here doesn't convey what I always think 100% of the time, and my opinions on things are likely to change. But a depressed, bisexual adult woman in a committed relationship should be allowed to say what she wants on a website created by a BYU student specifically to "break the silence" without being questioned on her worthiness as a human being or as a spiritual person.

Anyway, I'm a little bit scared to post this because that whole weird thing happened in May and it was just a wretched, wretched experience that made me feel horrible, which is kind of a terrible way to feel when you get engaged in May and just want to be excited about being with the person you're with. I also don't want to make my parents sad, and I don't want to make the bishop or stake president feel bad, because they really were doing what they thought was best, even though it ended up being so horrible and traumatic and the worst. So. There's that. But even though I'm kind of scared and putting this out here makes me feel vulnerable all over again, I wanted to put my experience here because every once in a while, I remember it, and instead of feeling like crying, I feel like I want to do something about it. I'm an anxious person as it is, and if there's anything I can do to alleviate that anxiety and be less anxious, I'd like to do that thing. So my final thought after this whole long rambling thing is that sometimes you let other people silence you, and, as my therapist would say, sometimes it's okay to ride that silence and not to fight that battle right now, and leave it for later when you're more equipped to deal with it. And sometimes it's time to be loud and make your voice heart and talk about the ways you got hurt, especially so the system can know about it and try to deal with that, so that's kind of what I'm doing now, even though it's in a long, rambling kind of way.

Anyway, thanks for letting me share this here. I'm really excited about all these new bloggers and to see what you guys are talking about here, because it's valuable and good. I'm going to go finish watching Love Actually and probably cry myself to sleep, mostly because it's cute and not because I'm sad. Which is nice.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Blues, Booze, Romance, and Revolution: From the Poetry Notebooks

After my first story about a drunken gig, I got a demand from TA Demings to put some poetry up here. Not all of them are pretty, but they’re all honest. If you dig it, let me know, I always got plenty more in the notebooks.

Rainbow in June
(By Walter Beck)

Pt. I: Day (Scales Falling)
Where were my brothers?
Where was the righteous anger
I spent many nights drinking deeply of?
Where were the scarred eyes
That could blaze across a thousand headlines
At a moment’s notice?

Who were these plastic young men
Strutting around shirtless
With shaved, chiseled chests?

Swimming around
In complimentary Coors Light beads,
Weaving in and out
To a synthetic dancing rhythm.

The only glimpse of any fire
I saw
Was someone busking for donations
With complimentary gifts
To pay off their lobbyists.

I had finally made the pilgrimage;
And saw that our fathers’ house
Had been turned into a den of thieves.

Pt. II: Night (Heart of Salvation)
At the stroke of midnight
As I stood outside the gates to the Freaks’ Mass;

I saw a short, stout young man,
With a nipple ring
Flashing in the moonlight.

He had eyes that said
He had walked with the kings,
He had seen the mountaintops.

He had eyes that said
“Walk with me in madness.”

He had eyes that said,
“I can show you to love flesh to flesh.”

He had eyes that said…

No ID Piss Break Blues
(By Walter Beck)
There ain’t no right
To drop a deuce,
To drain the lizard,
Down in Phoenix way.

There ain’t no liberty
To take a squat,
To have a slash,
Down in Phoenix way.

There ain’t no guarantee
To piss in peace,
To take a dump without being asked
To see your papers please,
Down in Phoenix way.

The old side is still too crippled with fear
To let our people go,
Too invested in rumors of crimes
Of strange rapists and perverts,
To let our people go
Down in Phoenix way.

Our brothers are marching in the street,
Calling their reps,
And emailing their senators,
All for the right to go when you gotta go,
Down in Phoenix way.

Oh down in Phoenix way,
Pissing is still a crime
In the land of the free.

It’s Like Giving Roses for a Writer
(By Walter Beck)
Walking off the stage;
After the longest set of my career,
Forty-five minutes,
Spitting romance and revolution
To half a dozen people,
Plus the sound guy.

But it doesn’t matter;
It was new ground broken
And I still felt alive.

I ran into you
After I walked off stage,
Still high from the performance
And about a dozen beers.

You only heard part of my diatribe on stage
Because you were getting ready
For your own show;
Holy Christ, you were beautiful
To my boozy poetic eyes.

I gave you my set-list
So you could read it for yourself;

It was the closest thing
To a romantic gesture
I’ve ever really done.

No More Martyrs Blues Pt. III
(By Walter Beck)
The headlines keep screaming
Again and again.
State fourteen rings the bells
And fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen
Seem lined up at the gate.

But the backlash is brewing.

After ten years of riding high
In the highest courts of the land,
And in main street America,
Riding the crest of public favor
And the wave is getting ready to crash.

The backlash is brewing.

It’s brewing,
Under the glare of knife points
Flashed on a digital screen.
It’s brewing,
When messages flash
Still calling for us to be locked up in camps.
It’s brewing,
When the homegrown hate
Crosses international borders.

The backlash is brewing.

It’s brewing,
While we’re falling asleep at the wheel,
While we turn our demands on autopilot,
So sure of the mountaintops we’ll see.
It’s brewing,
While we turn over our hopes and dreams
To the professionals,
To let them sort out all this mess.

The backlash is brewing,
And I still wonder

How much innocent blood must be spilled

Before our last bridge is crossed?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Mistakes

I don't think there's anything wrong with mistakes.
Well, to an extent anyway. I'm realizing more and more that success can't be measured in terms of what you have accomplished or the level of wealth one has obtained or even by the mass amounts of happiness you have. It's seriously by what you have done in your life and what you know.
I told myself when I was 18 that I was going to be a quad-zillionaire, very successful, didn't bat an eye to the way I viewed myself then and knew my dejection in high school was just a blip in the continuum of time I had. Well...that didn't happen. In fact, most who view my life probably would see me as a stalemate right now. I still haven't finished my degree. I was diagnosed with HIV at a very young age, I was a persistent drug and alcohol abuser, and I'm still doing the whole two-job thing I was doing back in college during my very early 20's. And yes, high student loan debt with very few personal possessions.
That's not the point though.
Have you ever wondered what does happen to the person when they admit defeat, when they give up? When it seems like no further reason exists for continuing? Easy. They die. They die either a mental or a physical death. Or both. They turn to depression, anxiety, anguish, hatred, and a bitter way of living life. And no I'm not talking about those who have mental health problems with these issues (trust me, I'm one of them).
What it is, instead, is persistent and long-lasting depression and so forth from feeling like an utter failure that never heals itself because that person is consistently in a ball of rolling hatred toward the world! So much, in fact, they shut down on the inside. Negativity attracts that lifestyle.
I refuse to be that person.
Why? Because I know the amazing and even Godlike possibilities of the human mind and how it can change your life.
The phrase goes, "As a man thinketh, so is he."
It's probably the only scripture I've held dearest to my heart, and I still do so today. Once I realized I knew what I wanted in life and how to do it, I instantly started to see change. Not drastic, but rather a small change that grew every day. And it made me into the best human being I could possibly be! And it's making me so much better.
The secret? My thought process. Anything you so desire can only be achieved by starting to think about how to get it. As a result, action enfolds and brings you closer to your goals. Simple, yet so farfetched in this world. My goal was to be a motivational speaker, to better the lives of people by sharing experiences of my personal self and being an entertainer through my music.
Now? That's exactly what I'm doing. I'm talking to high school kids, playing at the hospital, etc.and I love it. It never seemed to be something that I ever thought I would get to...but after realizing that I control literally EVERYTHING that happens in my life, why shouldn't I? My health has grown because of my understanding that I can fight off anything. My education is becoming brighter because I now want to learn this time and wish to finish my degree. I have goals now to date, to actually settle down, and refuse to sleep around with random people just to find the right guy for me. I envision ideas of becoming successful in my career, and even becoming known as the person who will change the course of the world. (Well, maybe not to THAT extreme, but I definitely plan on making a mark.) And now even going and becoming a great gym guy and trying to increase my strength because of seeing and feeling how it affects me and my personal well-being. ALL of this coming from one simple thing: how I view myself in my mind.
It was the hardest day of my life to look at myself in the mirror and say OUT LOUD, "I am happy with myself exactly how I am now." It took me a good half hour to really come to terms with that idea. But now? I feel that exact same statement every day when I get ready. I make time to get ready, to do my hair, to pick out the best outfit that everyone sees me in, to have a smile on my face, to push myself farther and farther into the person of whom I want to be.
But what I've also learned is sometimes it's okay to take things in strides and give people, things, and ideas a chance as well! Some people I've recently met have made me realize that there can be value in anything and anyone; it simply is your attitude in how you approach the situation and how it turns out. I was skeptical in sometimes giving new people and guys a chance because I've been burned in the past. But recently...I'm seeing that people as a whole are generally good people. They may not be the brightest, but in some light or another, they're just like you and me and should be treated with respect.
Now? I'm in a good mindset. :) I have a loving family, great friends, awesome jobs, and a great life ahead of me. And I hope, one day, that life makes itself into a better way that I am able to continue to grow and continue my life even more. All because of how I think and view myself as a person.
I am TRULY happy for who I am. I'm sexy. Yes, I'm gay (sorry ladies). I'm amazing. And quite the catch who loves Italian food, good conversation, and a genuine smile and eyes from people. And trust WANT to get to know me! As a man, as a friend, as a lover (I want a man in my life), whatever you think or want ;) Because I will better your life for having me in it.