Saturday, November 26, 2011


These past few weeks have been littered with story after story of
still more teens killing themselves in response to bullying at school
and online, as well as general depression about their sexuality.


Sorry, but the empathy has left the building.
I will honor no dead because the attention seems to be convincing
some that attention after-the-fact is worth killing yourself over.
With all the resources and all the available people, there's no

Yes, life is hard. Better well jolly cotton up to that shit and let's all
bloody well fucking move on to the main feature, shall we?

Instead of creating a world where we abolish the taunters and teasers--
which is, by the way, never going to happen--why don't we all get industrious
and do some real damned good? Like making our youth stronger.

We can't change what others will do, and I don't mean to say give up on
holding them responsible. But no one can be passive in life and survive,
and a lot of these kids are ill-equipped for reality because 'being gay'
to them is all about the aesthetic, the idea, the quaint "while in your room
talking to your sympathetic friends and watching 'Will & Grace' re-runs"
un-reality of being gay in a fantasy world.

But this world is not that. It's another beast all together.

People are rude, and cruel, and hurtful.
But they can only win if you care about what they say....
if you show that they have sway over you...
if you aren't able to fight back.
They only win when you stop trying and give up.

It isn't about size or strength or being butch or becoming a bully
yourself. Plenty of drag queens and trans folks and petite women
know all about being Fierce not because it is innate, but because it
is necessary in order to survive! You have to be able to adapt.

Survival is key, and you have to evolve to survive.

It's time to train ourselves in how to be better fighters, promoters
of self, and egotists. It's time for confidence-building and speaking
up and training and not taking shit.

So you're afraid? Good, acknowledge it and move on.
Everybody's scared of life. Anyone that tells you otherwise is a
lying sack of shit. You only get courageous by facing fear, not giving
in to it.

And yes, life does get better, but only with WORK. You have to do
your part, not give in and give up. You can't wait for a hero, honey
chiles. You have to BECOME your own god-damned hero.
And that's the facts, Jack.

Stop hurting yourselves.
Stop allowing the enemy to win.
Stop thinking of yourselves as weak or less than.
Stop striking in when you should be striking out.

You are all fierce and fabulous and beautiful, my gay and lesbian
and conflicted and bi and trans and queer and unlabeled and straight
outcasts, and I love you dearly. At any age. In any place. Of any race.
Of any size.

For the love of creation and the unique and gorgeous life that
you are...stop hurting yourself...and do whatever it takes to
find your voice, fight back, and live life loud and proud.

Be strong.
Be courageous.
It is within you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Remembering artist & activist Keith Haring

Since it seems so much of the LGBT history is not known
in this younger, more self-sufficient age, I thought looking
back on our shared past and some of our greats
would be a good means of introduction.

Haring was a young gay man who used art to reach
audiences in everyday settings. He was interested in
education, creating unity, and eliminating the divide
between classes (and overcoming people's aversion to art.)

Finding new avenues for expression and utilizing
simple but bold designs, color, and imagery was
enticing and approachable. His interests included
fighting Apartheid, AIDS, and the crack epidemic.

From humble beginnings (subway chalk drawings,
graffiti art, mixed media) he grew a worldwide empire
based in social consciousness in a time when being
openly gay was still anathema and conservatism
was in swing.

Haring only lived to be 31, but his influence
and impact were tremendous. (He inspires and influences
me personally to this day!) His art is still
used as the icon for the annual
"National Coming Out Day" celebration,
among many other events.


Friday, November 11, 2011

A Powerful Point on Bullying

Here's a great piece from a friend in PFLAG,
illustrating a major oversight in how many cases
of bullying are handled.


D. Michael Cavalier

A teacher in New York was teaching her class about bullying.
She gave them the following exercise to perform: They were
asked to take a piece of paper and crumple it up, stomp on it,
and really mess it up - not rip it.
Then she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look
at how scarred and dirty it was. She then asked them to tell it
they’re sorry.
Although they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper,
she pointed out all the scars that they left behind, and that
those scars will never go away no matter how hard they tried
to fix it. That is what happens when someone bullies a child;
they may say they’re sorry, but the scars are there forever.
The looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told
her the message hit home.
Pass it on.