Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

Happy New Years everyone. I barely got the time to get on here to today to give these wishes. Jay and I have been dashing aroung getting things for Baby Boy, who made his transition back into our home with flying colors. He is doing awesome and it's like he never left. But the hectic tone of this day just underscores what 2011 was for busy. And 2012 does not look to be any less busy. But however full the new year may be I look forward to experiencing it with my family and with all of you. So no matter where you find yourself tonight, may you have a great night and an incredible new year! See you in 2012!

Until next time dear readers....

Friday, December 30, 2011

Foster Diaries: The Return of Baby Boy

Well dear readers, it seems that life is bringing me full circle again. Many of you may also watch us on YouTube, and if know that there is a new addition coming to our home. Way back in February of this year I  blogged about a little boy who was placed with us that I had dubbed "baby boy" since we can not put him in print or video. On the first day he came to be with us he had two ear infections and a whole lot of fear and neglect issues and so he cried every night....for hours. At that time, it made me wonder whether I had the chops to handle being a foster parent. But as time went on, his medical issues cleared up and became the cutest little baby I ever could have imagined. Sadly though, the time came when social services found a family member willing to care for Baby Boy while his mom could go through drug treatment and the family reunification process. We were sad...but we also knew that this would be a part of emergency foster care and we thought it was good that he would be with family......And so Baby Boy left our home to whatever the future would hold for him. All of us shed a few tears as we said our good buys.

Except....that the future that he went to wasn't as bright as we had hoped and it seems that Baby Boy is returning to our home today....

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays From Us!

Happy Holidays from all of us here at the Leffew home.

It has been one crazy holiday season and I for one am glad that Christmas is finally here so that I can just enjoy the day and forget any preparations that still may need to be done. Our gifts are purchased and wrapped, our dinner is ready to go...and Santa even made an appearance here the day before his big night. If you're on a budget this holiday season try this Overstock coupon. The store has a wide array of selection so hopefully you can pick something out for your whole family!

I know that Daniel knows the truth about Santa now...but I hope he never stops believing that magical things can happen. As he gets older, his wish list changes from video games and toys to video games and a leather jacket but I hope he and Selena always remain little kids inside. As a grown up, my Christmas wish list has changed somewhat too. I look around my life and realize that I have so much that I am grateful for, that it shrinks my list down quite a bit. But, a few things I have wished for under the evening stars are a world in which no gay person needs to fear to lose their job, their home, or their life because someone discovers their sexual orientation or gender identity. I saw a lot of violence done to friends this year and it reminds me just how far we have to go make that world more than just a wish. I'm keeping a handful of people in my prayers this year and their safety and happiness is my Christmas wish.

So I do believe in magic. It may not come with sparkles, colorful light shows, or the sound of harps, but I do believe that incredible....even impossible things happen when we hold them in our hearts and make room for them in our lives. That's just me though and I don't ever want to stop believing.

 Merry Christmas and happy holidays from Jay, Daniel, Selena, and myself....and no matter where you may find yourself this holiday season, may you be safe and warm as well as surrounded by those you love.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Meeting Randy Roberts Potts...New Friends And Old Scars

We at gay family values have been fortunate enough to meet lots of other fantastic YouTubers. The great thing about meeting these people in person is that we really get to know them as the regular people. Sean Chapin was the first YouTuber we had ever met and we had so many stars in our eyes. Also, this summer we got to meet the infamous Jim Stone and his husband and had a wonderful time hanging out together as well as eating his husbands fantastic cooking. And each "Big Gay Vacation" has brought us to YouTubers that I now count as good friends. As people often tell us that we have impacted their lives in positive ways...I don't know if you all know how much richness all of you add to ours. It's one of the big pluses of being a part of the YouTube community.

Therefor, it was with great excitement that we looked forward to meeting Randy Roberts Potts. Randy is the grandson of the legendary Evangelist Oral Roberts...a father to three awesome children...and a gay man facing his past with courage and using it to make positive change in the world. I, in particular, had a strong desire to meet Randy because of his grandfather's ministry and its ubiquitous place in my own past. I admit that I was not sure what I was hoping to find in talking to him....healing...revelation...both of those being very religiously loaded terms. But what I did find was worth so much more.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Right To Love Advanced Screening...Standing In The Spotlight

It's finally here!...."The Right To Love: An American Family" is finally finished!

... and after nearly three years I have been able to view it in it's entirety. But I can say that it was worth the wait. We were been very blessed to have the extremely talented folks of Jaye Bird Productions  take on this topic as well as and the generous efforts of the folks at Skywalker Sound take the project under their wing and donate their time to give the movie their magic touch. That ALSO meant that I got to geek out...AGAIN, by getting to see the advanced viewing held at Skywalker ranch this last Monday. After nearly three years of donating our footage, interviews with Cassie, Nena, and Christina of Jaybird productions, I couldn't believe the moment had come when I actually got to see it all come together and it was everything I  had hoped for and more. It was an emotional,.... sometimes overwhelming thing to be the focus of something like this, so I thought I would take a moment to talk about the experience that is taking our family on a whole new adventure....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Love Passes ...While The Court Dawdles On

It feels so disappointing and wrong to be writing this post on the heels of the last one. The Story of Lillian Shuziko and John Berry had it's share of tragedy...but ended in love and hope for the future. I was glad to post it. Today's story...not so much. However, I am choosing to share it because I do not think there is anything to be gained from not telling it. In fact, I think it would do a disservice to the couple it involves. There has been a slew of Prop 8 related stories this week that...when put together...paint a disturbing picture in my opinion.

This last March, an elderly couple by the names of Derence Kernek and Ed Watson had posted a YouTube video asking the Ninth Circuit court to allow Judge Vaughn Walkers decision on Prop 8 to stand because....after 40 years of being together, Ed Watson's alzheimers was progressing and the couple wanted to marry before his condition worsened. sadly, their plea fell on deaf ears and now, nine months later, Ed Watson has passed away. Meanwhile...also in the news...the Ninth circuit continues it's glacial progress to decide whether or not Prop 8 opponents even have the ability to defend the case before their bench. Also, the issue of releasing the tapes of Judge Walkers initial trial is still being fought over....and Prop 8 proponents are STILL trying to have Judge Walkers decision vacated....again. None of this is moving the Ninth circuit case forward in any's just litigation about the litigation. How silly and absurd this all seems and there just doesn't seem to be any end it sight. meanwhile...couples like Derence and Ed are still caught under the gears of justice as it's broken machine totters on.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Cost Of Love...

O.K...I began this post yesterday when it was actually in the paper, but real life kept hauling me away from the computer and preventing me from switching into "blog mode". But here it goes again. While this blog is technically a "gay blog" the story I have chosen to share with all of you is not a "gay" story. Yet I felt it was a story that any LGBT person would resonate is a story about sacrificing for love...and it touched my heart. So without further ado...lets give it one more try:

This morning....Yesterday I happened upon an article in my local paper that has touched my heart and I feel it is important to  share with all of you. During these holidays, we all need to be reminded that love is alive and can beat some pretty incredible odds and I think this one fits the bill. The article from The Press Democrat was about the passing of 87 year old Lillian Shizuko and her remarkable romance and marriage to John Berry. She, a Hawaiian born Japanese girl....Him a white American man...both of them find love together in a pre-World War II World. They were different races and from different cultures in a time that tolerated no blurring of the lines...what could go wrong?