Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hope

What a word: Hope. In 2002 for a speaking engagement I asked people all around the world to define HOPE.
Here's a few “To me, hope is knowing that something good is to come even when I don’t know exactly what it is. It is waiting in anticipation.  Sure, things don’t always happen as I've hoped for but sometimes, hope is all there is to hold onto.”
-
“HOPE… is the feeling that makes people wake up the feeling giving the world peace (eventually) the feeling that drives people to take another step forward.”
-
“Hope… it is the light which illuminates our way… all through our lives… sometimes the light is dim, sometimes it’s bright… but the intensity of the light does not matter.
It’s always there… we embrace all transient and sometimes uncertain realities of HOPE, but it’s always there.”

I could go on but my blogs are short so I'll ad as a person who's LIVING with HIV for 26 years and sober for 16 I've found HOPE fills my days; my dreams; my future

You, each reader, are MY HOPE - My POSITIVE EXPECTATION of a good/God filled future.

The last submitted definition is  still my favorite though“Hope… it is the light which illuminates our way… all through our lives… sometimes the light is dim, sometimes it’s bright… but the intensity of the light does not matter.
It’s always there… we embrace all transient and sometimes uncertain realities of HOPE, but it’s always there.”

What's YOUR Hope?  How do YOU define or live it?







Monday, July 30, 2012

Believe in YOU


Believe in YOU. You can escape all the negative aspects of your life by doing everything to CHANGE for the BETTER. Just want it bad enough... and DO IT !!!!


There's already enough people trying to put you down: it's when I know I can, feel I can that I grow & know more

Leaving a large city surrounded by friends to move to a smaller one where I hardly knew anyone took believing in ME to make it happen.  Let's "be all that we can be" and move onward, upward into a new space


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Touch Me

In Rocky Horror Picture Show there's a song "Touch Me"   Well this blog is not about that, sort of

I know I liked to be touched, like a cat or dog or most mammals like to be caressed

Leo Busgacglia wrote about "Hug Therapy" and gosh darn it works.  Endorphin's are released too


http://tinyurl.com/hugmore



Give it a whirl, give it a try and reach out & touch some one



Saturday, July 28, 2012


I think Abe Lincoln once said, "I do not like that man. I must get to know him better."

What sage words even if "Honest Abe" didn't say them. 

How often have I come across someone and thought "I don't like..." only to find a new friend. 

By choosing to know what drives someone else, I can mirror that in me or not: at least I took the time to look.

How have you seen that in others today?


Olympics v Gay Games

So now it's official, the Olympics are now open!!  $42 million for this spectacular event & a Queen jumping from helicopter with James Bond ;)  


This brought back memories of when I competed in the Gay Games 2006. 


"What, a Gay Games and not a Gay Olympics?" you say. Well, yes. Though there are many LGBT athletes in these games back in 1982 when Dr. Tom Waddell announced the Gay Games, the Olympic committee sued the Gay Games for name use saying they alone can use the name "Olympics" 


No such law suit hit the Special Olympics,  the Police Olympics and such so Gay Games it was


We, as an LGBT people get challenged every day in some way. We persevere.  


When you're put down,  find a way to change some thing: YOUR point of view or someone else's and move on & wear OUR rainbow rings
















Friday, July 27, 2012

Home

Big city of Washington DC; siren of dreams - maker of kings; oh the hustle & bustle each big city shares
I miss it already though I literally JUST landed in Ft Lauderdale (9:40pm July 27)

Making new friends, sharing stories of the Quilt are all good but in the long run, it's home where I belong

Simon & Garfunkel wrote it best


Homeward bound 
I wish I was 
Homeward bound 
Home, where my thought's escaping 
Home, where my music's playing 
Home, where my love lies waiting 
Silently for me 

My small home in Ft Lauderdale doesn't have a lot of furniture or fancy art on the walls but it's home to me,
Dylan and for a while, Alberto. 

Beyond that though, I also know my heart is with my family and friends, so where ever we meet: lets call it HOME




Thursday, July 26, 2012

YOU

One of many things I noticed at the Quilt and the International AIDS Conference is how much we are NOT alike.  Age, size, ethnicity, gender, style of dress, etc.

Who knew I'd quickly become good friends with a goth, older uber feminist Lesbian (OK those who really know me would say "in a heart beat!!"")?

I celebrate what makes YOU different and say "keep on not being anyone else"

Queer, gay, fag, str8, trans, Positive or not: whomever: It's our desire for that Purple Grass that makes YOU fabulous


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hands

I recall as a small child (yes, even I was small!!) at school when we'd have to cross a street or went on a field trip, even with my family: we'd hold hands. Not because we were connecting emotionally or spiritually but for safety and basically, it's how we'd make sure our friends, classmates, siblings stayed together.

Working in Keyna, as it is in many countries, men would hold hands of friends to build or hold bonds of trust.

When was the last time you took a hold of a friends hand, or small group of friends and affirmed that bond, hoping to keep them all together ?


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Be Bold

I saw a man flagging at the Names Project Quilt. He was by himself using one flag, carefully looking at panels while moving with what seemed to be a sense of purpose.

A facebook comment said "how sad" while I thought "HOW BOLD,  how touching, how caring"

He used an art form he knew & could do well to show respect as he walked around.

I found it touching that his flag was in rainbow colors, too since the sky Monday was a tad overcast it added flair and brightness to the day.

For me, I couldn't flag if my life depended on it. Chew gum and blog at the same time? Ride my bike from Miami to Key West to raise money? Sure!!

As a Queer man who's boldly open about living with HIV I find this touchingAs a Queer man who's boldly open about living with HIV I find this touching

Let's honor what makes YOU bold and live it, claim it and shout out "I am what I am"




Monday, July 23, 2012

Legalize Love

While at MCC DC Sunday I saw a man wearing this shirt
It made me think, and not if it's about "gay marriage" or same gender love acceptance but it stuck me as a rallying call: we, LGBTi people have come so far and yet there's people who still don't get it.

My relationship with Dylan wont affect anyone's marriage, traditional (what ever the heck that means) or not

I say not just love but accept, fully approve and embrace LOVE in all its ways

Sandy Patti wrote it best in her song "Love in Any Language"

Je t'aime
Te amo
Ya ti-bya lyu blyu
Ani o hev ot cha
I love you

The sounds are all as different
As the lands from which they came
And though the words are all unique
Our hearts are still the same

Love in any language
Straight from the heart
Pulls us all together
Never apart
And once we learn to speak it
All the world will hear
Love in any language
Fluently spoken here

We teach the young our differences
Yet look how we're the same
We love to laugh, to dream our dreams
We know the sting of pain

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rain Delay

While I'm in Washington DC working with the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt this year, due to the rain the Quilt wasn't out on the Mall. The main stage hosted the usual reading of names while four panels were carefully placed on plastic for people to see "Hands on"

What started out as about 200 people, many where volunteering helped bring out a few blocks for those assembled to see.

As time went on, the crowed dissipated

My self and a man named John stood guard over the few panels in fronnt of the stage, making sure no liquids would hit the Quilt.

There was a special solice in seeing one person touched by our small 'rain delay" display

She stood there in the rain reading each panel


what motives you to be fully committed?   I know I am planing an HIV/AIDS free future

This November I'm riding from Miami to Key West to raise money for agencies that help people with HIV/AIDS
SMART Ride 9  Rider #223
 




Saturday, July 21, 2012

Tears

Martha Stevens wrote a touching song. "For Those Tears I Died" & here's the refrain
"I know you are thirsty, you won't be denied;
I felt ev'ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I
died."

There's no way I'll discuss the theology of this song, it's just one that was in my head today as I walked on The Mall where the Names Project Quilt will be layed out this weekend. 

Feeling both sadness for those I lost and anticipation for the flood of emotion I know I'll feel when  the Quilt is out, in the sun for all to see, tears will flow.

I call on you  friend or casual reader to remember our family members, friends, co workers and strangers no longer able to see a new sunrise, debate strong points, share a story  or a meal. Whether it's some one whose name is on this Quilt or some one else who's "stepped over the rainbow" so to speak

Remember, Celebrate and Live OUR lives


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Choices


If my choices do not bring forth the best in myself and others, I am free to choose again.

What was one of the hardest choices YOU made & how did the result turn out?

There are no good choices; no bad choices - 


I choose to do what won't harm myself or others - Can you choose to do so, too?

Epic


Epic is the story of your life. Thrive even when we may feel like giving in. 

We must choose to RISE. When you wanna shutdown, think twice, remember your beautiful family & friends, and let's not forget to recall our very own special gifts to the world. 

Prepare yourself, continue to share your shine. 

Believe in your reasons why.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

YOU Can So Do It

You've gotten this far in my blog so it's easy to see I'm a 'Sure you can' kinda person.  Trust me, I've had a share of hardships, from HIV, substance abuse, esteem issues, broken bones, income (low income that is)
but that's a past and I LIVE for both NOW and our future.

Note I said "OUR" future: no one can live this life alone.  We all need people to help or do their jobs.

Your job, our job, role is to accept help, offer it, be kind and INSPIRE.

In my work in the LGBTQI community, trust me I hear stories of how life has more downs than ups.
The sheer number of homeless youth frightens me, mainly due to most of them have been 'discarded' by families of birth.

Now I ask, how can WE inspire others and ourselves?  That good friend is up to you: use your talents,skills and experience.

That little train said "I think I can" and sure enough, the hill was climbed - challange met.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

It's Yours, Claim It

A good friend of mine changed careers from hospitality to real estate right when the market took a MAJOR down turn.

Here's what he said about that "I’ve found a niche for myself in short sales. i like helping people and when most are running away from them, I’m going towards them, with help, and a legal team with me to help them"         - Bryan Hixson

Kudos for not just making a change but making a tough one work.

I know I'm not working in the field I went to university for but I'm able to use skills I learned there and I'll toot my own horn about it, I'm good at what I do helping people create healthy life changes.

Both Bryan and I learned, it's seeing what CAN  be and making it happen: lets add you name to this list.

That fits in work, locations and even relationships.


What can YOU/WE do to find our niche and make it our passion?  Just put your heart into it!!!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Goodness Me/Goodness You

In the movie "Cider House Rules" the children are sent to  bed with this saying

Goodnight, you princes of Maine, you kings of New England

 No, there was no hope of either but saying so sure can help build dreams

Another  quote I like comes from an organization that played a big part in my childhood and developed me 
 to be the person I am.
 Paraphrased it goes "Have I kept my honor bright? Can I guiltless sleep tonight? Have I done and have I dared, everything to be prepared?"  - Lord Baydon Powell

I'll admit to times of being selfish and all it got me was no where. Now I give what  I can, when I can and as much as I can.

"Share your cheerished ideas with those who will also cherish them"- Alan Cohen


 

This November I'm riding by bicycle from Miami to Key West to raise money for agencies that help people with HIV/AIDS

SMART Ride 9   Rider R. J. Hadley #223


The Good Son - Usually

Forgive me for not being original tonight but this, written by one of my dearest friends & fellow activist speaks about me too.

Gracias Emmanuel for  saying what  I'm feeling/thinking


"Every day I aim to be a better son, brother, grandson, friend, member of my community. I don't always accomplish it - but I wake up every single day with that purpose. ♥"
 
 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Control

I learned this years ago while attending Loyola Universtity

Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty,
my memory, my understanding and my whole will.
All that I am and all that I possess You have given me.
I surrender it all to You
to be disposed of according to Your will.
Give me only Your love and Your grace;
with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more.


-----------------------


There's so much in giving up control just as when my step father died.  
I'm over 1000 miles away and not a doctor: but I can feel

Though I am a "Type A" personality, I've learned to listen to others and learn what I can from them.

We don't have to go through ANYTHING alone so I'm giving up control and learning more


Friday, July 13, 2012

No Good Words

I'm not going to write some pithy upbeat message right now.  At 8pm my step father died.
We'll spare details on how & why since that not the point.

A WWII veteran, Father, Grandfather, Husband, and man to be respected for an eternity, a man to be considered a mentor and example to how a true man should be in all aspects of life, by any child or adult that had the pleasure to be graced by his presence. While not my biological father, I am proud to have called him family and will miss him deeply.

Sure I'll write more after emotions settle but I'll always honor how he & my mom celebrated EACH wedding anniversary each month with a flower for her. 


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Not ME!?

As I'm watching PBS' Black AIDS in America I'm taken back to 1988 when Vito Russo said (among other things)
"
And it's worse than a war, because during a war people are united in a shared experience. This war has not united us, it's divided us. It's separated those of us with AIDS and those of us who fight for people with AIDS from the rest of the population.

Two and a half years ago, I picked up Life Magazine, and I read an editorial which said, "it's time to pay attention, because this disease is now beginning to strike the rest of us." It was as if I wasn't the one holding the magazine in my hand. And since then, nothing has changed to alter the perception that AIDS is not happening to the real people in this country.

It's not happening to us in the United States, it's happening to them -- to the disposable populations of fags and junkies who deserve what they get. The media tells them that they don't have to care, because the people who really matter are not in danger. Twice, three times, four times -- The New York Times has published editorials saying, don't panic yet, over AIDS -- it still hasn't entered the general population, and until it does, we don't have to give a shit."

       Well, I give a shit and most of my friends on Facebook do too.

When one person has cancer, we all do. When one person has diabities, we all do.
When one person has HIV, we all do

 
 
SMART Ride 9   Rider R. J. Hadley #223