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It Gets Better…

October 15, 2010

A wonderful campaign has been started called the “It Gets Better” campaign that while may have some of its down falls, is an excellent campaign for young adults growing up dealing with being gay in their hometowns. Yet, it doesn’t stop there. The “It Gets Better” campaign has also helped me to be more comfortable and confident about myself even now as a 24 year old male.

Growing up I was always a little different from everyone else. My brothers and their friends will tell me now that they always knew. Started around 5th grade I was labeled as the gay kid. At the time, I really didn’t even know what it meant to be gay, but it became a part of who I am. Through middle school it continued. I really never had any self confidence. I accepted being the gay kid, the queer, the fag, the homo, etc etc and internalized those words. To me, it was as if I wasn’t valuable enough as a person to even have confidence or achieve things I wanted to achieve. If people could label me as a different or as less than them, then I must be.

High school came a long, and it all continued. In some instances it got worse. One student in particular made high school life absolutely hell for me. He was a year older and our lockers in the PE locker room were right next to each other. Every single day he would harass me about being gay. I hated going to PE because I knew that I would have to deal with him.

Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there. The “jocks” or “preps” in my grade were the same. “Fag,” “queer,” and the list goes on is what I heard on a daily basis walking through the halls. However, if they ever needed my help or were dating one of my friends, it all changed. Sadly for me, I allowed this to happen, and would do anything to help them.

It wasn’t until my senior year in high school that I decided to officially come out. I never made a school wide announcement. I only told my close friends, and to start, my mom. The daily harassment never stopped and I knew I had to get away. I still had very little to no confidence, but pushed my self to get into a good school and continue my education.

I was extremely fortunate to have a great groups of friends through high school. To be honest, there were many times were I’d come home from school and think, “Would anyone care if I wasn’t here?” These thoughts are very real thoughts for students who go through constant bullying in school. However, I’d think of my friends and my mom and know that I could not do that to them. If it were not for my high school friends, I don’t know that I would be here today.

Sadly, I knew of no faculty or staff at my high school that I could to to for support (at least the time). Growing up in small town USA is not easy or friendly to anyone who is not heterosexual, white, Christian, etc. Growing up gay in Mattoon was definitely not easy.

Yet, at the same time, I find myself believing if it were not for the horrible experiences I went through from 5th grade to 12th grade, I would not be the person I am today. I had to find myself, within myself. I had to preserver over the daily torments and hate to become a strong, independent person. As much as I despised the people who picked on my on a daily basis, is as much as I feel sorry for them (and still do). These people may never know what type of hurt, pair, or damage they may cause someone and they may never change their ways, but they merely do it out of their own insecurities and need to feel “better” about themselves.

I can stand to say that it really does get better. Those bullies will never affect me again in my life. Their hateful and close-mided views have been turned into positive drive for me. Going to college, you are free to be yourself, you are free to live your life. Having a family and group of friends who are supportive help to push me even further. The bullies may win the battle, but they will never win the war. Do not let them define you. Define yourself and live for those who love you (including yourself).

It truly does get better and everyone will eventually see that.

Keep your head up. Live for you. Take the hate and turn it into drive.

I owe everything to my family and my friends. My family has been extremely supportive (in which I am very fortunate) and all my (true) friends stood by my side, supported me, and stood up for me.

Someone loves you. Reach out to them.

Again, it does get better.

I just read an article about Gov. Quinn signing the new budget approved for the new fiscal year. This budget is not only extremely fiscally irresponsible, but it also undermines every student, teacher, and citizen in our great state. Though Quinn says this budget is to, “protect government operations that help the economy or support education, health care and public safety” this is a complete contradiction and flat out lie of what the budget actually does.

One cannot claim they are trying to support education when the budget they support and sign into law cuts an astonishing $241 million from the budget. Education should be our state’s number one concern, how can Gov. Quinn and other politicians go home each night and be proud of cutting $241 million from educating the future of Illinois when they, themselves, took a pay increase this year? At the rate our state is going, our state and federal test scores are going to drop dramatically with schools having to increase classroom sizes and cut valuable resources for the children in their districts.

Gov. Quinn should be completely ashamed of himself for signing this budget into law and should immediately repeal the decision to cut this type of money from education or discontinue his run for Gov. for the State of Illinois.

Unfortunately for the voters of Illinois, we have to extremely lousy choices for Gov. this coming election. Two people who are almost exactly the same people and do not care about the people or future of Illinois. This is why at this point, I plan to write in a random name come election day and I ask my colleagues, friends, family, and acquaintances to do the same.

Neither Quinn or Brady deserve the votes of the people in Illinois.

As a firm, strong Democrat, this news absolutely upsets me. Education is the most precious and valuable asset we have for everyone in this state. Cutting this asset is giving up on the people on Illinois, and that is not what the Democratic party stands for.

I ask Gov. Quinn to please, step down from your candidacy of Illinois Governor and ensure that someone who stands for the people and education takes your place.

Crazy times…

April 12, 2010

Things have been insanely busy lately. So much going on to end the semester, but it will get here and so will summer and things will be good.

Good things have been happening and Im very happy right now. 🙂

I promise more in-depth thought provoking posts soon!

From the iPad 2…

April 5, 2010

Well, we are on day 2 of the iPad and I absolutely love it. It’s so magically wonderful! 🙂 plus, now word press has an iPad app which is wonderful. Hopefully now I will no longer have excuses to not blog much. Just need to get this semester over with. Ugh.

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Go buy an iPad! They are fabulous! 🙂

From the ipad :)

April 3, 2010

Well, I’m doing this update from the iPad 🙂 sorry I have been lame lately with the updates. School has been insane. Only one more month left, but oh so much to do! Agh!

The Racism of Terrorism…

February 20, 2010

Just this past week, a man named Joseph Stack flew his plane into a Federal IRS building in Austin, Texas. It has come to light that Stack performed this act because he was extremely frustrated and upset with the federal government, IRS, and the tax code. Instead of acting in more responsible ways, Stack decided to act outrageously irresponsible and flew his plane into a building that some 200 people worked in. These 200 people never did anything to Mr. Stack personally, however he felt the need to endanger, hurt, and kill some of these people.
In 2001, numerous men from the middle-east flew 1 plane into a federal building, 2 planes into 2 building in NYC, and another plane that ended up in a field in Pennsylvania. These men did this because they were frustrated with the United States Government. In addition, it’s important to note that these men from 2001 were muslim and dark-skinned while Mr. Stack was wealthy, a christian, and white.

Dictionary.com defines terrorism in the following three definitions:
1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

Please note, neither one of these definitions states the person committing the act must be dark-skinned, muslim, or from another country. It does however state that terrorism is used to resist government (Stack did that) and use violence to threat or intimidate (Stack also did this).

Now, I think it’s pretty clear that this past week, Stack committed a form of terrorism. It’s pretty easy to see that’s exactly what he did. However, it seems that no one wants to declare this. In fact, law authorities in Austin actually came out to say Stack’s acts were NOT a form of terrorism. Please, explain to me how this is not so?

Also, if you listen to news reports about the incidence with Stack they media actually discuss how frustrated he was and in some ways show sympathy to Mr. Stack. It’s ridiculous. What’s even more ridiculous is that people on the right or even more, people who consider themselves as “tea party” members are actually calling Mr. Stack a hero and giving him props for sticking up to the government. So now, we have “tea party” members supporting terrorism. Great. However, not too long ago when a muslim man opened fire at a military base in Texas, people on the right criticized Obama’s administration for not calling the incident an act of terrorism. Great when people pick what’s terrorism and not.

This issue obviously shows the racism of terrorism. If you’re white and christian, your acts are just considered a suicide case. However, if you’re dark-skinned, a muslim, or non-christian you’re labeled a terrorist immediately. Interesting, eh?

I think it’s time we come out and call it like it is, Joseph Stack performed an act of terrorism by flying his plane in the IRS building in Texas. Joseph Stack is a terrorist.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20100220/us-plane-crash-terrorism/

Letter against CBS…

January 22, 2010

Below you will find my e-mail I recently sent to my local CBS affiliate asking them to urge CBS not to allow the message of hate and policy be aired during the Super Bowl.

“It has come to be known that station affiliates (aside from advertisers) have the most influence on the decisions made by the corporate network executives.
Recently, CBS has agreed to allow Focus on the Family purchase a 30 second time slot for the 2010 Super Bowl. While everyone has the right to free speech, Focus on the Family is known for their homophobic hate speech and extreme religious views. The group is set to air an anti-abortion ad during the most watched television program in the country. Five years ago, CBS rejected an ad by the United Churches of Christ, in which the ad was to explain the churches open-ness to all people. Unfortunately, CBS deemed this as too controversial and said they do not allow ads that promote any type of policy. However, their hypocrisy and homophobia is now showing. Denying the UCC the right to show their support for homosexuality because it was too controversial, yet allowing Focus on the Family to display an ad against abortion is not only hypocritical, but also a disservice to those who work for CBS and its affiliates.
If CBS allows the ad to be aired, I will be forced to not only tune out the Super Bowl this year, but also turn off CBS and find another network to watch. Sadly for me, I find WCIA to be the best news organization in central Illinois, however, sacrifices would have to be made to stand up against the hypocrisy.
Please urge CBS to not allow the ad to be played during the Super Bowl and keep their word of not allowing controversial, policy advertisements be aired.”

Also, my e-mail to CBS network:

“Recently it has came out that the homophobic, right-wing group, Focus on the Family, has bought ad time to air during the Super Bowl. The group plans to star a college football standout in an anti-abortion ad. Sadly, this is where your hypocrisy as a network shows. About five years ago, CBS denied the United Churches of Christ to buy an ad spot during the coveted Super Bowl because you stated that it was “too controversial” and that CBS does not allow advertisements of policy during the Super Bowl. An anti-abortion ad by an extremely religious, hate filled, homophobic organization is much more controversial and policy oriented than is an ad by a church advertising their openness and acceptance of all people.
Please do the right thing and stand by your policies by removing the Focus on the Family ad campaign during the Super Bowl. The Super Bowl is a family event that should not and does not need to be bogged down by a hateful message from an extremely hateful, homophobic organization. If the ad is not pulled, I, and many others, will be forced to not only skip the Super Bowl, but also find another network to enjoy in the future. I already sent my local affiliate an e-mail asking them to put pressure on CBS to not air the ad. Please take this into consideration and do the right thing.”

I did get an e-mail back from the general manager of WCIA in Champaign, IL letting me know he would pass my concerns on to the network.

Please, contact your local CBS affiliate and put pressure on them to let CBS know their hypocrisy is not acceptable.

Massachusetts Senator…

January 20, 2010

I will start off by admitting that I have not been following this race hardcore, and have really only been paying attention the past few days. However, I also feel as though the type of attention this race got from people in other states is just insane. It was as if it was a national election for what the Republicans were calling “the people’s seat” yet they wouldn’t let those people have this election on their own. Neither side would. In addition, I understand the ramifications this election has had, the Dems no long have the “magic 60.” But really, what good did that do them anyway?

I’m actually kind of happy this turned out this way for a couple reasons.
First off, this is an eye-opener to every politician out there who thinks they have it made and that campaigning isn’t really necessary for them. Coakley did very little campaigning until Brown started catching up with her. Once she started campaigning, she didn’t have the best campaign staff.
Second, I’m not a fan of this healthcare bill. The democrats have been so wimpy with the “power” that they had (lead by the President) that they got nothing they wanted into this bill. This bill is such a weak, drained out bill that is now only being passed because they want to get something passed. Well, I’m sorry, I understand the extreme importance of a healthcare bill, but I’d much rather it be a bill worth having then a bill that people just want to get passed. Though, as I said, I do understand the extreme importance of a healthcare bill, I do hope congress can work together to fix our broken system, but we need to fix it right.

Right now I’m listening to Brown’s acceptance speech and something really caught me off guard was in the beginning when the crowd was cheering, “gas up the truck.” Really? You elect someone a senator and then cheer “gas up the truck?” Hmm… wow. That’s a bit much. Way to show your intellectual side. Oh and, he’s pimping his daughters out. That’s cute. Go get ’em tigers. Maybe I’m just not getting the whole truck thing. What’s his obsession with the fact he drives a truck? Hmm… wow. Many people drive trucks.

Sadly, the one thing I don’t think Mr. Brown understands is that HE personally did not win this election. People did not vote for him. They voted against healthcare reform, the voting against the weakness of the democrats, and they voted against a poor campaign ran by Coakley. From what I’ve seen, reading people’s tweets, facebook, forums, etc. No one was like, “oh yeah, I really like this Brown guy, he’s gonna do great.” No, people were like, “Yes, 41 seats for the Republicans” “Good bye healthcare” “This is a wake up call to the dems” etc. This man is about on the same level as Sarah Palin. He has been used by the Republicans as a good looking (model who has posed nude) likable guy who can get votes. Now, let’s just hope he’s a little bit smarter than Palin.

Bottom line: Democrats need to wake up and work on some real shit. Stop pandering for votes. You’re there for what’s best for the people, not to get re-elected next year. Actually, that’s to all politicians. I’m so sick of these career politicians who don’t keep their words, don’t do anything “controversial” because they want to make sure they get re-elected. Who cares, you got elected on certain principles, now go do those.

Finally, wake up people. Once again, this is not about Brown. This is anti-healthcare reform. Everyone knows it and it’s proven in the amount of support and attention this election got nationwide. The people’s seat? Ha. That’s about a joke.

PS: One thing I do like, Brown is pro-choice.

An interesting little thing I learned today, if you don’t like Adam Lambert, you’re homophobic, in fact you’re “the biggest homophobic dick in the entire world!!!!!!!!!! Shame on you!!!!!!!!” Or at least that’s what DUNSA1234 on Twitter informed me of today.

This whole Lambert thing just really confuses me about the gay community. Here we have a guy who refused to talk about his sexuality until he was paid big bucks for an interview with a magazine, caused got the news story for about a week, then when being interviewed by a gay publication, OUT Magazine, he didn’t want to talk about gay rights issues because he didn’t want to come off as being too gay. Really? So, he doesn’t want to talk about the issues that are important to the community, yet we’re just gonna let that pass and treat him as a gay icon. Then comes along the whole AMA mess that happened, in which I completely side with ABC. ABC is well known for being one of the more accepting/open network stations with various shows having gay characters that not only have relationships, but also kiss on screen. Lambert’s ABC issues string from him being completely untrustworthy and a mess on stage.

I just don’t really understand where the gay community comes up with it’s “icons” or people to represent them. People like Lambert and Perez Hilton (that could be a completely different post) are not good for the community, nor do they have the gay community in their best interests when they speak. Whether they keep quite because they don’t want to be “too gay” or that call someone a “faggot” because it’s the most hateful word they could thing of at the time, these are NOT people who the community should be idolizing. Theses are people who should not be taken seriously.

So, since I refuse to like Lambert, I guess I’m a homophobe. Thanks for clearing that one up for.