Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I Love Being Gay

Hello again dear readers. A few of you may know that I have become involved in a new vlogging collab channel with four other youtubers who's work I both respect and enjoy. Together with Dan (explorationB), Blair (Dirblair), Josh (joshrimer), and Paul(gaycomicgeek), we have combined our talents and differing perspectives to create one super powered channel called....wait for it....A Gay Collab! Yup, I's catchy. This project is a huge departure from anything Jay and I have done in Gay Family Values. Here, we get to be a little more fun and perhaps a little more adult than may be appropriate for our family oriented channel. So far, I have made two videos for the collab and had great fun doing it. The only down side is that I only get four minutes to get my point across and anyone who has ever read this blog knows that I can't even say "hello" in under a 100 words. Additionally some topics are so multifaceted that I often don't get to say some very important things.

This weeks viewer question hit one of those very topics. We were asked if "there was any person or incident in our lives that helped us love being gay and/or what would be the biggest loss to your life if you were forced to be strait?"...a good question and one that takes the notion of self acceptance one step further. It's a topic that I have often thought about but never discussed online before. Yet...when I was thinking about making my video response to the topic I found that I couldn't fit it all into a two minute blurb. Did I love being gay?.....Hell yes!...but why?

Friday, June 24, 2011

New York Won Same-Sex Marriage!!!!!

Holy smoke people I am so excited I can barely contain myself. This was a cliff hanger vote that literally wound the clock down to the last second. Talk about your dramatic finishes!

The final vote was tallied at 33-29 with 32 needed to pass. This would not have happened if not for the hard work of New Yorks progressive senators and the handful of republicans who frankly shocked us all with their support. In a act of swiftness uncharacteristic of any government...Governor Cuomo has already signed the bill into law and it goes into effect in 30 days. So buy your rings, your cakes, and get your registry on because your getting married New York! Congratulations!

New York Same-Sex Marriage Vote Tonight...Watch The Livestream here!

Watch live streaming video from nysenate at

O.K....two days of footdragging, political gamesmanship, and outright stalling, Senate leaders claim a vote will happen tonight. Tune in and lets see if they stay true to their word.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Legacy of Mark Bingham

This weekend we had the honor of attending a cocktail release party and very first showing of "With You: The Mark Bingham Story". For those of you who may not be familiar with who Mark Bingham is, he was one of the individuals believed responsible for storming the cockpit of flight 93 and bringing it down in an empty field rather than allow it to reach the destination that the Al-Qaida hijackers had intended. After the plane had been taken over, several of the passengers had cell phone conversations with loved ones on the ground. It was Marks Mother Alice who informed him that other planes had been used to destroy the world trade center and that they should do all they could to regain control of the plane....and so they fought back. Even though all aboard the flight were killed, countless more lives were saved due to their bravery.

Mark was among those who led the charge. So it was with no small surprise that the world also discovered that he was gay. It was a fact that many new programs would not mention. But even though it often got glossed wasn't lost on those of us who share that trait with him. It made me proud to know that one of the people responsible for saving so many lives was also someone that most of the world would not expect. Pre or post 9/11 we just didn't talk about gay heroes. Yet beyond the title of "hero" it was Marks life and the man who he much as his sacrifice...that made him remarkable.

 One of Marks very close friends and mentor states in the movie that the national experience of the events of 9/11 are not the same as the experience of those who lost someone on that day...they are just not the same. Yet this movie endeavored to share of piece of what it was to know Mark Bingham and to understand the impact he had on those around him. It was the sharing of that experience that made this movie so much more than a retelling of the events of Flight 93. People may have known that Mark was gay, they knew he was a hero...but they may not have known the man who lived, how his abiding love of his family, his friends, and his passion for rugby shaped his life...or the ripples that his passing continues to create.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

On Loving...

I'm not sure that many of us were aware that the 41rst anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark case that ruled it unconstitutional to ban interracial marriage, passed just days ago on the 12th of this month. For Mildred and Richard Loving I'm sure that day must have felt like it was a long time in coming. Authorities had broken into their home and arrested them for the crime of merely being of different races and wanting to be married to each other...the year was 1958. After being tried and convicted of breaking Virginia law...again, merely for being married. They were sentenced to 25 years in jail, a sentence that would be postponed if the Lovings agreed to leave the state and leave they did. They returned to the District of Columbia, where they had been married, and began a lawsuit that would change the face of marriage for the entire nation. It took nine long years of court battles that took the long road from state courts to the U.S. Supreme Court...but they won.

In California, everyone expected marriage equality to be a no brainer and yet it has turned into a national courtroom drama that doesn't appear to have any end in sight. Yesterday a federal court gave its decision on whether or not Judge Vaughn Walkers decision on Prop 8 should be invalidated because Judge Walker happens to be gay. In a rather sharply worded decision from Judge James Ware, that answer was "no". However, the very fact that we had to endure yet another trial about a trail (and one that again attacks the integrity of gay men and women), makes think how long the road can seem when you can't see it's end....and how nine years must have felt for Richard and Mildred Loving.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What Does Pride Month Mean To You?

When you ask someone to think of a gay pride imagine it in there mind...Chances are this is what will pop up:

It's a testament to the power of these images that even someone who has never been to a parade will have some familiarity with them. They paint a collective picture of one giant Mardi Gras-like party stocked with shirtless go-go bois on floats, Scantily clad  lesbians on loud motorcycles, Drag queens in two story tall heels, and rainbows and glitter flying everywhere.

Now...everyone will have their own opinions about what pride celebrations mean. For some, it is simply a celebration. For others it may be a mind blowing first peak at a gay life. And there are those who have criticised it as being more about selling high priced alcoholic beverages and rainbow covered swag than about promoting gay rights. Some see it as a sideshow complete with rainbow colored clowns... and we all know about the crowd that condemn it as an act of "celebrating sin" and view it as an example of "the homosexual lifestyle" if we run around in speedo's and balloon costumes everyday.

 Since it is Pride Month...or Gay History Month more accurately...I have been taking some time to reflect on what it all means to me. "Gay Pride" can be a phrase that has become so loaded with cliches and judgments that it can be hard to find the meaning. What does Pride Month mean  to me?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sean Chapins..The (Don't Say) Gay Song

For those of you who may not be aware of the Ruckus out of Tennessee, lawmakers want to make it illegal for Teachers and grade schoolers in grades K-8 talk about the fact that some people are gay. You just can't talk about all. It's as if they think not talking about us will prevent kids from knowing we exist. I imagine that this will  make certain history lessons problematic(enola gay?)...but that's right, we don't teach history here in America anymore...silly me..

The response to this ridiculous bill has been to point out it's obvious logic flaws and's utter ridiculousness. In this spirit our good friend Sean Chapin has worked his magic to put together and awesome music video in a parody of Bruno Mars "The Lazy Song". Our family got to be a part of making the video along with Sean who was Director extraordinaire,  Justin Taylor as the disapproving principle, Maureen de Nieva as the Teacher. Long time viewers may recognize Maureen as the Pretty Pink Princess who falls in love with the Page from Sean's take on the banned children's book "King and King"...another of Seans productions we were honored to take part in.

This Shoot was alot of fun and allowed us all to feel like actors for a day. The kids had a great time and took direction from Sean a BILLION times better than they ever would take it from me. Sean could have asked them to jump through flaming hoops and they would have done it with a smile and I can't even get them to pick up their toys off the floor without having to use "the voice". We literally filmed all day and in nearly every room of our house. Both Jay and I we asked to do a few things that made us deeply self conscious and we honestly feared for what the final product would be...not because of Sean mind you, but because of us. When he told us there would be dancing involved, it took everything we had not to bolt out the door. But when I saw that he has finally uploaded the video on his channel, I called the kids together and we all watched it with no small amount of trepidation. What happened is that we laughed our asses off...What Sean pulled together from the tons of scenes we filmed that day is amazing and totally made us forget that it was us doing those things. After it's all said and done we were all very proud to have been a part of such a fun video and we hope that it will make you laugh and maybe think a little bit too.

please take a moment to drop by Sean Chapins YouTube Channel and let him know what an awesome job he did. And if you enjoyed this please share it with your friends!

Until next time Dear readers....

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's Time...The OCD Post

Well dear readers one thing I have always tried to be with you is honest. This blog...while being an outlet for sharing information about gay rights and marriage equality, is also about the personal lives of our family and lately you may have noticed that the posts are becoming farther and farther apart. In part, this has been due to the fact that we lead rather busy lives but...I have also been suffering from a prolonged period of writers block. While I have always agonized over my writings, I have never before had such a hard time looking out at the world and finding inspiration to talk about...I just can't feel the fire.  This is because there is something in my mind that has literally dominated my thoughts for a couple of months now that pushes everything else out of my mind...and something I have only just begun to deal with....I have OCD. Circumstances have become such that I feel I need to talk about much for myself as for those who may need to hear this.

Bear with me...this going to be a long one..