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Seeing the stories about the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the Space Shuttle Columbia reminded me of an anniversary in my own life. Ten years ago was the first weekend I really went out and opened up my life to be a part of the bear community, the gay community. A big player in this was Live Journal.

While I was out to my sister, and to my fraternity brothers and sisters, I really hadn't made that next step. I knew a few people from college who were gay, but I never really sought them out to help me find my way. I was still deathly afraid of gay bars. I was working in one of my best jobs and was living alone in Houston, still trying to hold on to my college life as my friends were getting married, having children and moving on.

I found Live Journal through a now defunct porn web site in 2002. It was a site that a guy just put up pics of good-looking guys, bears and jocks. Something that would have been easily done on Tumblr now actually took work then. The site owner had a link to his LJ on the site. He's been long gone from LJ now.

I had known about about Bears for a while thanks to many copies of Bear Magazine (back in the non- photoshopped, black and white days). Confession, I still have many issues hidden away in a porn suitcase. I really don't use it anymore, thanks to the internet. It must be so much easier for young men today being able to ramble through Tumblr rather than an embarrassing adult bookstore.

So I joined LJ back in 2002 and started finding people - most of them outside Houston. It was interesting seeing people actually talking about their out lives, talking about guys, their relationships or dating, getting to understand what the real world for these men was like.

I was getting ready to take a new step in my life.

Towards the end of January I decided i would head over to watch a rugby game in Houston. Houston had a gay team at the time, the Roughnecks, and they were going to play the Dallas Diablos. Before I got to do that, [ profile] lostncove asked if I wanted to come up to Austin for the weekend to meet him, [ profile] mattycub and their friend [ profile] cristalskye. I decided to accept. (I'm out of practice on the tags!)

When I woke up on Saturday, February 1st, 2003 I watched the news about the Columbia which had broken up over East Texas, near where my family lived when I was in elementary school. This became a point of discussion when I met the three at the Magnolia Cafe in Austin.

So there I was meeting my first real-live LJ'ers. More than that was meeting the first two gay men outside of the people I knew from school. They were gracious, freindly, and not scary. I came out late due to my own fears, fears of being a large guy in a world that feels gays are twinks. Late due to Texas attitudes and small mindedness. Late due to being scared of AIDS which had changed in the 90's from a death sentence to something that could be lived with.

I stayed overnight seeing a production of Randy's play, Said and Meant. Matt and Randy showed me some of Austin's quirkiness before I drove back home. While I don't talk to Matt or Randy much anymore, (and am bad with getting together with the much more local Skye) that weekend left a powerful impact on my life. A connection I don't think I would have had if it wasn't for early social media.

I brought up the rugby game because another new LJ friend, Chris, decided to come to that game to meet me, and I wasn't there. It would be a few days more before my first meeting with the man who would become my husband.

I did love the year of 2003. I started changing my life, meeting more LJ'ers at my first TBRU and off to Chicago where I enjoyed a baseball game, but also meeting more folks. That time in my life was exciting and I'm glad I finally jumped in to the pool.

Ten years later I'm much more settled. The gay thing is now not a point of discovery. Where I was bold then, I lament that I'm probably not as open now, not as open to new people or new adventures. I need to find out how to find that again.

One last difference between this weekend and that one ten years ago? The Superbowl. Back then they didn't have an off week and then have the game. Also, the Dallas Cowboys are nowhere near this one, and that's a good thing.
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Today is Valentine’s Day, and while many may be happy to express their love, or shun the day, for most of my years Valentine’s Day meant one thing, my sister’s birthday.

Laura would have been turning 37 today and it breaks my heart today that she isn’t here to celebrate. There hasn’t been a day since she passed in July that I haven’t thought about her, wishing I could just tell her something or get an architecture question answered. While the strong emotions are fading a little, I know today will be a difficult day for me.

Laura was a beautiful, smart accomplished woman. We had gone from sibling rivals to good friends. She had a career that was successful, and growing. I think she left a good mark on hospitals around the country and I’m sad that there will not be more buildings that she’s designed.

I had the opportunity to speak at Laura’s memorial service. I tried to say a few words about our relationship as brother and sister and bring a little bit of life into the service as the pastor didn’t really know anything more than what was written about her. It was interesting to try to bring some levity to the service as well. It’s tough to try to sum up someone’s impact on you like that. Just a precious few moments, or a few sentences.

If you don’t mind I’d like to tell a few of those stories about my wonderful sister whom I miss very much.

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Sometimes, since she lived far away from me for the last few years it just feels like we haven’t been in touch for the last few months, but right now, when I’d love to call her to wish her a happy birthday, to tell her that she’ll love 37 as much as I did.

It’s been a lonelier world with out her, and make for a very blue valentine for me today. I love you my talented and smart sister, my Belgium Idiot, Laura.
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What are you doing now?, originally uploaded by eggwards.

Some Chocolate Cheerios in the morning.

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Laura was only 36. It’s a seemingly ridiculous age to die.

I guess the bad thing about being young is you don’t often give a lot of thought to your health. From the best we know, Laura hadn’t learned that she had cancer until it was too late, and certainly didn’t know how far it had spread. I had thought she went for a checkup last winter, but now I’m not so sure.

Two months ago she began having back pains, and went to an urgent care facility that gave her ibuprofen. I’m guessing they didn’t check her kidneys. After a couple of weeks later she decided to go to a gynecologist who ordered an MRI, then promptly went on vacation scheduling the follow up for August 7th. The gynecologist didn’t tell her that prognosis, nor did he refer her to another doctor who could have followed up while he was on vacation.

Laura was waiting for the follow up and was getting progressively weaker until she finally called my mother to come up to Alexandria Virginia, where she had recently moved. She had gotten so weak that she had gone on short term leave from her firm. Mom found that she was having difficulty just crossing the small apartment Laura had, and encouraged her not to wait, and to get to a hospital. Mom called the paramedics and Laura took her last ride.

What I can’t understand is why Laura wasn’t more aggressive about getting treatment and learning more. Laura may be like me, not liking to go to the doctor and not always following doctor’s orders, but if she was in pain, and feeling week, it’s surprising that she didn’t try to work with the gynecologist’s staff to get more information and get another doctor. This isn’t like Laura, and leads me to believe that the gynecologist didn’t share the diagnosis with her.

My father is looking to file a complaint against the gynecologist. I’m surprised he’s not suing.

Laura went to the hospital unresponsive. She perked up and was conscious and talking on Thursday July 22, but was unresponsive again on Friday. I learned that Laura was ill the weekend before when I went down to my parent’s house to pick up the old lawnmower and found Mom had left. Dad didn’t know there was more than some weakness at the time. I got a call from Mom on Thursday and things seemed to be bad, but not dire. Dad was going to visit over the weekend.

That changed on Friday when during work I received a text from Mom (via the fingers of Laura’s new boyfriend Josh) stating that she was dying and I needed to come to see her as soon as possible.

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I may write a little bit about Laura’s life as a whole, but for now she was a wonderful sister, a great architect and a wonderful friend. Little things have been reminding me of her all week, and it’s been hard reconciling everything now that I’m back at home. The memorial service in Conroe Texas won’t be for a couple of weeks more, so there’s more to do. Still, I can’t think of how I could ever forget her.
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I know I haven't said much about this on LiveJournal, but I wanted to get the news out...Beloved Daughter, Sister, Girlfriend and Friend, Laura Edwards passed away from cancer on 7/25/10 at 8:37pm in Alexandria Va. She will be missed.


I will have more later.
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Some spoilers below:

Hello everyone. I had to take a few moments to put down some thoughts about the TV show LOST before it all goes away. I watched the finale with a large group and I enjoyed it very much. That didn't seem to be the consensus of the room around me, and it actually made me a little mad feeling like I had to defend my like of the finale, and the season, and series as a whole.

I think the big conflict depends on how you saw the show. If you saw it as a science fiction show featuring a mysterious island that had strange properties and although it was isolated had an effect on the world. Sure there were miraculous forces and strange groups that wanted to harness it's power, but in the end, the show wasn't about that, that was just a backdrop and a catalyst, so those who looked there would not find what they wanted in "The End."

Even from the start the show was a character show. The show started with the characteristic flashbacks right away, and took a little bit of a twist of the disaster movie. Instead of spending most of the movie learning about the characters before the doomed plane takes off, or the earthquake/asteroid/tsunami hits, we get right to the disaster, then learn about our characters.

And learn about them we did, for three seasons. If the show was about the Island and not the characters, then we would have been able to drop all of the flashbacks and strictly deal with the island storyline. The brilliant part of LOST's storytelling is that the island story isn't everything, but the audience is revealed bits and pieces of information as we go along. Heck, we didn't even know Locke was in a wheelchair for a few episodes, but how much did that affect his character and his actions?

It seems obvious to me that the depth of character, and the connections between the characters is what was the core of the show was about. Sure, the island was a character in itself, but only in the sense that it helped generate conflict, strife and plot.

A side note, LOST's brilliance is how they used the plot device of flashback in a way no other show has. Flashbacks are nothing new, but to make it such a large part of the storytelling was a risk. i'm often annoyed by episodes of regular shows that start with the ending, and then show you how they got there, but Lost didn't do that. lost used the flashback, and later other devices to really tell one linear story of the characters on the island, and then flashed to stories off the island. Even when characters had left the island in flash forwards, the story on the island continued in a continuous line (one could make a mention of season five, where instead of flash backs or flash forwards it was the characters following a linear story, but in different timelines. Still Sun and Locke stayed in a fixed, present day island timeline).

if you think about it, from Jack opening his eye on the island at the beginning to closing it at the end there was one timeline to the entire show, just there were lots of branches from there that explored more about the characters, their flaws, choices and actions, many of them that affected their time on the island.

I see the whole show has one overarching theme, and that's best expressed by the episode title "Man of Science, Man of Faith." Jack starts as a doctor, a man of science and needs empirical evidence and reasons for what is happening on the island. He comes into conflict with Locke who is the man of faith, who believes in the islands mysteries and embraces them. Locke dies, and is replaces by the Man in Black, a being who was a man of science, and the opposite of Jacob, the man of faith. As the show comes to an end, Jack must become a man of faith to save the people he cares about and eventually takes Jacob's place, and embraces the island's need for him.

Still, our castaways are flawed, Jacob even tells some of them that he chose them to come to the island because they were flawed. Since 80% of the characters died on or near the island in this show, the "flash sideways" was a fine way to have these characters, living or dead in the regular storyline, come together, come to grips with their flaws, reconcile relationships, and eventually move on. It was a nice plot device to provide a relatively happy ending. they did this because they had the time to do it. If they were never given that ending date by ABC, it couldn't have worked out like this.

I know many people said that the writers had no idea where they were going, and in some ways, especially in the third season, I agree with them. but I think the final season was well thought out. How would the show seem if the ending was Jack dying on the island, Hurley the island caretaker and Kate and Sawyer flying away and that's it? It would have been a very empty ending. The show would have felt more like Flash Forward where you gave up on the characters because it was all about the events and the causes, not about the people working together.

Looking back at the little changes in the "sideways" world, you see how things were designed to make some resolutions for the characters, Kate was needing to prove her innocence, Locke had to accept help from Science, and Jack had to heal Locke when he couldn't help on the island but also had to reconcile his father issues (and worked through them by having a son, as well).

Most shows would have had the reboot after the bomb in season 5 be the rest of the season, and like Dallas, would have made the whole previous 5 seasons be a dream, but not LOST, the time spend, the connections and relationships made while on the island did matter, and continued until Jack's (and each other character's death. But then those actions and connections affected the core characters in death too, and they needed to work out those issues, and recreate those connections before moving on.

It was a fitting tribute to those characters and a nice reward to those of us who enjoyed them.

I can understand the frustration for those who came looking for a different resolution, I guess for those who were men of science, but I feel as if I read a great novel that still allows you to debate it and speculate about it, and that's why I loved it.

P.S. I do agree with the people who are upset that the whole "Walt is special" thing never worked itself out. That was a production problem when the actor went through puberty when he would have only aged a few days on the island, so there was no good way to reconcile his character. By the time we come to the "sideways world Michael and Walt weren't involved enough with the core group to make them a pert of the congregation (one could say Shannon and Boone were gone even earlier, but i think that was more for the fans). I't the one big question I think would have been nice to have a real resolution.

P.P.S. I do kind of wonder what the show would have been like if Jack would have died in the pilot as was originally planned. Would Boone been the counterpoint to Locke instead? Boone's character seemed rather unnecessary after a while, and then he was killed. Someone would have had to been the sceptic and the leader. Would the show have been nearly as good?
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Bear-a-day Mar 13/2010, originally uploaded by fuzzbelly.

Matt (aka Fuzzbelly) did a nice pencil drawing of me. I look all sporty.

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A couple of years ago when [ profile] jamesbeary passed away I went to his funeral, and helped [ profile] urso find the church, the graveyard, etc. I had known James from here on LJ, had met him in real life and spoken to him on occasion, but when it came down to it I felt (and even said in this journal) that I din't know him that well, and wish that I had done more.

I felt odd at the funeral as Urso, Chris and I seemed to be representing the LJ/Bear community at his funeral, and here were people from his family, from the Deaf community and all that I had never met. I knew there were many more people in the LJ/Bear community who knew him better, and I wished they were there.

Come last night and I get word that [ profile] daveomatic had passed. Davo was one of the fist people I had met in the flesh from LJ, as he still lived in Houston at the time. He got up and moved to Canada, where he got married. I remember writing about how remarkable I thought it was that he had gotten married. To a man! Crazyness (but in a good way)! I think that was 2005, if I remember. I wish I could find that post right now.

I wish I could say I knew him better. At least in my view he was always a bit mysterious and guarded. Friendly, but only to a point. There was something, I'm not sure whether to call it a sadness or darkness behind the smile that i couldn't put my finger on, and Davo wasn't offering up.

Davo had an old journal, one that perhaps told stories that would have led me to understand more, but he closed that one. Then he closed off the one I had the pleasure of reading, and dropped off the grid. A few months ago I saw that he had made contact with Alex [ profile] darke, and it seemed that he was already in poor health, so i guess it wasn't that much of a surprise to hear that he was gone (unlike James which was a big surprise).

I wish he had stayed in touch, told us what was going on, perhaps had asked for more assistance.

Again I'm sitting here wishing that i knew him better, and could eulogize him better than I cam able. For some reason I feel compelled to write about him, but yet have so little to say.

So here's to you Davo, may you be at peace.
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Well Hello.

I know, it's been a bit, as far as posting goes, but I haven't been completely lost to Twitter and Facebook. Still, it seems that 140 characters is about enough for the fluff I've wanted to put out publicly for a while.

Still, it is March...

So if you'd like, go ahead, ask me anything. Perhaps it's "What's been going on?" or "How's the job?" or "What's Curling like?" or "Why do you like Taco Bell's Chili Cheese Burritos so much? You know, the important questions.

Maybe it will get me back it to contributing to this community again. Who knows?

Comments are screened, and let me know if you want to remain anonymous.
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Something from the Prop 8 trial today triggered a recent memory. One of the Plaintiffs stated the difficulties of having to have people understand what your partner means to you, especially in some casual encounters, like saving a seat for them on a plane, or at a theater.

When Chris and I were headed out to San Diego last month we were some of the last to board the second flight headed to California. Our connection had come in a little late and the flight out was three terminals away.

We already had our boarding passes with our seats together. We got to nearly the back of the plane and there in the three-seat row were two people. Some guy who was sitting next to the window and some sheepish looking woman.

At first she didn't acknowledge us. He didn't even look our way. As I fumbled with the boarding passes and started to ask out loud in my usual I'm-getting-frustrated way about that there should be two seats she took about a minute and then finally told us, "Oh, I thought it would be alright to sit here, my seat is just up there."

She pointed to the middle seat three aisles ahead with no intention to get up and go to it.

Again after another pause, she finally said, "I just wanted to sit here with my husband, that's OK, right?"

No, it's not OK. He's not even in his correct seat, which is the aisle. Chris can tell I'm getting pissed and I really want to tell her to move.

Heck, what I really want to tell her, was "I want to sit next to my husband, too!"

Chris just gives a look and heads towards the seat a few aisles ahead. I guess it didn't really make sense to go into the whole thing, having to explain that we're a couple, and we are traveling together, and at least we had the boarding passes for where we wanted to be. No, the flight was finishing boarding and we just wanted to get on with our trip, so we let it be.

I never spoke to the woman. I think she tried to say a meager "thanks", but as soon as I could turn on the iPod and leave her behind, the better. She didn't even really talk to her husband from what I can remember.

Still, it's that difficulty with explaining your relationship. If I was married to a woman, people would just suspect the woman with me would be my wife, or at least my girlfriend. It takes more effort to describe my relationship to Chris, and it's one that I don't always want to go into the full story about with just anyone.

I wish it was simpler. Sometimes when someone asks, looking at my ring, if I'm married, I say yes. Then if they start asking more, then it's the though, am I coy? Do I just say it? Do I go into the whole California marriage thing? Why can't this be easier?

I love the whole "I'm married in selected states" thing, but having to explain it gets tiresome. You never feel like yours is a relationship equal to those that straight folks can jump into so easily, so carelessly. And when they come down the aisle in some plane, you think, well, they could be a couple. Us? I don't know what they think.

Sure, violence and more obvious discrimination like firing or in refusal of service is one thing, but just that little thing of being considered unworthy of an institution, well that's a deep discrimination that really gets to feeling a resentment and being labeled less than worthy. Boy did Prop 8 do that in spades.

Given that a similar scenario came up when one of the plaintiff was asked about the equality of their relationship, they way they feel discriminated against, or at least find things more difficult by the simple act of having marriage denied them, well it just makes me that much more interested in how this case is going to go.

And if you see the two of us coming, yes, I do ant to sit next to my husband, and not the back of the bus thank you.
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So 2009 has been quite a ride of a year. It started out a lot better than it is finishing, that's for sure, but now I'm happy to try to dust some of this off and get going again in 2010.

You know, it's hard not to write out the year without hitting zero twice. i don't know how many times at work I've tried typing 20010. That's just not going to work.

One of the best memories of the year was on the cruise that seems so long ago. I met some great people on the cruise to Mexico. Really, the cruise could have gone just about anywhere, that didn't really matter. We did so little about seeing things off the ship.

Personally, I think if I go on a cruise that isn't all gay it would just be weird. The all-gay cruise is just such a unique little bubble of non-reality. It's great.

I just remember being on this large ship, on the 12th floor above the Pacific Ocean as another cruise ship was going the other way and I wondered if there was someone on the top deck of that ship, up late at 2 in the morning, watching our ship going by. There's seemed rather quiet, moving through the sea, while ours was alive with lights of all colors and DJ Rotten Robbie spinning the then new Po-po-poker Face single into the dark night.

It was a rather surreal moment. Sometimes you wish life could always be like that...minus the sea-sickness!

I know most people would say the worst moment was when they were fired, but that just doesn't seem like it to me. I guess I was able to keep my spirits going for a little bit as I had hope that I would find something new.

I'm not sure what was the worst moment. It might have been the moment when I realized that the new job was not only a start at the bottom, but not the opportunity that I was hoping it would be, and I felt a bit stuck. That or it might have been the moment where a little white lie was caught (trying to fudge that I was fired, not just laid off) and the prospect of a better paying job was yanked away from me. It was that moment when I realized that getting back to a job that used my experience and would give me some return to a better salary was going to be a lot harder than I had thought.

So the cusp of 2010 leaves me in a quandary. Do I start looking for a job again, or do I try to tough it out for a while in a job I don't like? Can I make the current employer better? Will I have the ability to make a difference here, or is the corporate culture too hard to move, especially from the bottom of the totem pole?

And if we are looking towards something new, what is it? I don't know if I can easily go back to financial services, and I bitched enough about it before, is that really what I want to return to? The money can be good, and it's nice to keep valuable licenses active, but ... Let's face it, I don't know what I'm really good at, and I don't really know what to look for. I think some more thought is needed here.

Since I haven't written in a while, I just wanted to say Chris and I had a great time in San Diego a few weeks back, and my love affair with California continues. The people of San Diego were friendly, the place beautiful even despite the cool and rainy weather. loved the zoo and Balboa Park and the Hole. I want to go back, and hopefully catch a ball game. Great meeting up with Dave, Mike, Brian, Justin, JP, Henry, Hadrian and many other great people. It was also fun seeing Shannon and Luke there on their first weekend as new residents. Maybe Chris and I will join you some day.

Speaking of baseball, the ball game at Dodger Stadium with Paul and Bobaloo back in April was the only baseball game I saw all year. I had hoped to see another game last summer, but having no cash flow kind of killed it. Here's hoping I'll get an opportunity this summer to catch a game or to and keep up my quest to see all of the stadiums before I'm 50. I've got about 15 to go, so I need to get on it!

Lastly, by sister has been here the last couple of days and it's been nice to have here here. It felt a little nicer to share Christmas this year with a little family of Chris, Laura and of course Joey.

Well, here's hoping that 2010 (or 20010) brings some good things to all of us and new doors will open. After this last half a year, I could use a lottery win in some form or another.
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So I'm reading the posts made by several people on the new "Bear Magazine" kerfluffle (the whole "what is a bear?" thing with them siding that the fatter guys are ruining it for the musclebears) and thought I'd throw something out there.

First thing, Bear Magazine today says I'm a fat chub, and not a bear, despite my hairiness. Funny, 15 years ago the old magazine would say I was maybe just a little larger than the target for being one of their models. I'm probably just right for what used to be "American Grizzly."

I know that I resist the term "chub" when I self-identify. Just not a label I like for myself, despite being in a weight class that totally fits it. Just not my thing. As for being attracted to bears or chubs or whatever, a lot of times it depends on the person. I could say that I like cubs and like bears (my definition of them anyway) and I'm not as big on chasers or chubs, but it just depends. I can't say that I rule out someone just because of a label and I can't really blanket one group with a yes or no. It's better to be a case-by-case guy.

Here's the big thing, the kind of guys that the new Bear Magazine is trying to feature - most of them totally get my crank working. I like muscle and it's better with some hair too. Remember "Carl Hardwick" from Colt Studios? OMG! Love it. Know I can never get it, but still love it.

Frankly, my love of the "musclebear" type puts me in a bad position because these guys aren't very friendly to me. We have a group of them in Dallas that at best might say hello and ignore me, at worst, will sneer at me. Most of them date within their small gene pool, and I can only look. I don't get invited to their pool parties because I don't look like them and I don't do the drugs that many of them do.

Surprisingly, I go to the gym, somewhat regularly, but that doesn't get me anywhere.

(Side story - I loved the moment at TBRU last spring where one of the nicer ones was chatting with me in the lobby and totally did a head turn when MSNMark came in. He said, "Who is that?" I said, "Oh that's Mark." I could see that he wanted to go put the moves on Mark but I said to him, "You needn't bother because he's not into you." "Oh, what's he like?" "Oh, he likes guys like me." This threw him for a loop. I could see he was shocked. I even introduced him to Mark...and nothing, no chemistry there, but Mark had a twinkle in his eyes for me. I loved that moment so much!)

Let's face it, Bear Films and Cyberbears and other sites survive because they found a niche and they serve it, just like the original Bear Magazine did. The new Bear is just going over territory already covered by many others like 100% Beef, Raging Stallion, Colt, Hot House, Titan and many others. The buff, some chest-haired guy is accessible in many different places. I'm wondering how well the new Bear will do in the marketplace.

One thing that Bear shouldn't do is piss off the people who know the brand and possibly came out to it like I did. Bear Magazine for a lot of us was that "Ahh Ha" moment when we learned we could be gay and ourselves because there were others out there like us.

Lets face it, Bear Magazine, I am your target audience now, the guy who likes the musclebears for spank material but really isn't in their dating pool. Those who already look like your models can probably get your models in real life. those of us out on the edges of what you define as handsome, those of us on the outside looking in are the ones most likely to be your subscribers, looking for access. It's not good to alienate your audience.

Luckily access to BigMuscelbears is still free - thanks Bill and Andy!

(Oh, and I'm looking forward to bear night here in San Diego where I'm taking a small vacation. Lets see what bear group shows up!)
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A year ago I remember writing about getting married and that it was valid in selected states. Well, it's still valid in most of those selected states, and now a couple of new ones, but still it's an odd little relic in California after the passing of Prop 8.

Still, that limited edition license has been a good thing, a decision that I'm awful proud of and pleased to shout about my anniversary all over the internets today! It's been a strange year, one of good, and more than my share of bad, but one I'm glad to have Chris around for.

Chris, I love you and am proud to continue to call you husband.
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Happy birthday to my husband, Chris! Glad we could go to Schlitterbahn to enjoy it!

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Green Shirt Thursday, originally uploaded by eggwards.

Skye finally brought over my Bears on the Run T-Shirt from their east coast tour.

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As I was sitting around the house either filling out job applications on line, or watching the Price Is Right on the couch, I thought, you know, I ought to share some of the junk I'm learning, or relearning about looking for a job. this was especially true today at a job fair (ugh) when I was talking to a couple of other bears about their job search and what they go out of todays activities.

So lo and behold I found an outlet for it. Shannon [ profile] plaghs is looking to take the website in a new direction and is looking to add different voices and experiences (a sort of This Bear-merican Life, if you will - my pun, not his.) I asked if I could blog about my job search there. He said he liked the idea. My first article just went up. Go and see if I'm on the right track, OK?
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Not that I'm one to replay tweets here, but this morning I decided to post a little note about the 40th Anniversary of Stonewall. I did so not only to commemorate the brave men and women who stood up and decided to push back against being targeted by the police. It was a win for dignity. Sure, it wasn't anything to new to most but on Twitter I have some college friends and others who aren't as aware of gay-bear-world, so it was a good thing to mention there.

Now not more than an hour after I post that, I see a notice from the Dallas Voice that the Ft. Worth police along with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC - the states licensers of bars and has an enforcement wing) descended on the week-old Rainbow Lounge last night. They brought a paddy wagon, so they were definitely there expecting to arrest people and make a big splashy raid of the bar.

While I could say that it is possible that the Ft Worth police could be unaware of Stonewall and all that. It's not exactly taught in school. Still, here's a bar that's only been around a week, and you say that there's been enough complaints that it would warrant a raid. It seems awfully strange to me, and naturally my thoughts tend to go to the idea that the police wanted to make a statement, and not a very good one.

It's just one of those things on a day like today you want to say look how far we've come, and all the progress, even if there's still a lot more to be done. Then something comes along and takes it all back.

With Stonewall, there's always the theory that the patrons were mad that it was hot and Judy Garland had died just days before, but I really think that having to hide, and having to be afraid of the police and their raids were the real problem. The fact that getting caught could ruin your life was a factor for a big backlash. Raids were a normal thing then.

While it's an interesting thought that the people at the Rainbow lounge were getting out of the heat, and they were lamenting the deaths of Farrah Faucett and Michael Jackson, but frankly they didn't really make much of a fuss about the raid, and the police did cuff and take people out of the bar so they could charge them with being drunk in public.

Really, I don't think a riot was warranted. Today we should be able to go through the right channels to get answers and we are still waiting for the Ft. Worth police and the TBAC to give us a good reason why the bar was targeted, and why this particular weekend. We have a voice now, where as 40 years ago we didn't, and we need to get answers. If we don't get answers, then it's time to get angry.

Something's fishy here, but let's see what the full picture is, and if it's just the police trying to make a "point" they better be able to defend that point. I doubt that there's really much to stand on for them.

So 40 years from Stonewall we still have to fight and struggle for freedom from discrimination, for dignity, and for the equal rights that we are promised in the constitution. Things are much better, and I'm happy that I can live out and openly, but I know that openness can only go so far as there are not the full protections of the government for me, protections in the workplace, respect for my relationship, and the e ability to pursue happiness just like any other American.

I'm thankful for the people who threw shoes and talked back, I'm happy they got the ball rolling and made it so I could live a better life, but we need to honor them by continuing to push back and strive for true equality.
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chrisandmichael2.jpg, originally uploaded by Bobaloo Rox.

Courtesy of [ profile] bobaloo here's a picture of Chris and I back from 2004, I think. Ahh, we were so young then, and I still had my hair...wait.


Jun. 2nd, 2009 11:42 pm
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Unruly, originally uploaded by eggwards.

My hair isn't particularly thick, strand by strand, but there is a lot of it, and after it grows for a while, it just gets a mind of it's own. Some of it lays down, more of it sticks up, and trying to gel it all gives me more of a Kip's Big Boy look, sadly. I so need a haircut. Still, the creeping grey hasn't started showing up in the photos.


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February 2013



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