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Coming Out: now and then

30 Jun

 2015

The first production of  the Jacksonville Coming Out Monologues opened at Kent Campus of Florida State College on June 29, 2012. 

Being part of this community-grown project was truly a life changing experience for me and for many others. Happily, the show in 2012 was only the beginning. I have been honored and inspired to have been a part of this remarkable project, both on stage and behind the scenes, for four years now.

The Coming Out Monologues 2015 was performed this past weekend. Opening a show like the Coming Out Monologues on the same day the Supreme Court made their historic ruling making same sex marriage the law of the land, was serendipitous to infinity. And what an amazing cast of storytellers! I am so happy to have met each and every one of them and am so blessed to have them as friends. 

For a taste of what the 2015 COM was all about, check out Kyle’s blog: My Coming Out Monologue. Kyle is both witty and wise, so you owe it to yourself to click the link and check his wonderful monologue. 

2012

All of this COM love sent me on a rainbow walk down memory lane to the very first Coming Out Monologues, at Florida State College Kent Campus.

Although I have written about COM in previous blogs, I have never shared my monologue from that first show. I’d like to remedy that today–the 4th anniversary of the final performance of the first production of Jacksonville Coming Out Monologue. And here it is:

August 1958: I came into the world 12 days after the birth of Madonna.

That may be the gayest sentence I have ever said out loud in my life.

Like most children of my generation, I learned early that homosexuals were terrible, scary people.  I just wanted to be loved, so, there was no way I could ever be one of “them.”

There may have been gay liberation somewhere, but I grew up in Jacksonville. I’m pretty sure the Stonewall riots weren’t covered by the Times-Union.

My father died when I was six. So, when it came time to teach me the facts of life, my mother gave me a book: David Reuben’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex but Were Afraid to Ask.  I raced to my bedroom, closed the door and immediately turned to the chapter on homosexuality.

The book said gay men live loveless lives spent in public restrooms, writing notes on toilet paper and “playing footsie” under the stall. Dr. Reuben said a homosexual has to get his fun where he finds it since Mother Nature didn’t see fit to give him a vagina.

            By then I knew I was attracted to other boys but I definitely didn’t have vagina envy, so I was clearly not a homosexual.

In high school, I began keeping a journal. Even though I recorded my most intimate thoughts, my desire for other boys was the love that dare not write its name. I knew what I felt, but I refused to admit what it meant. I wrote in my journal about girls I told myself I wanted and expressed frustration that whenever I got close to a girl, we always wound up being “just friends.”

I also wrote about boys—guys who triggered desire I wouldn’t accept, so I channeled the feelings into an emotion I could process–jealousy. I was jealous because more than anything, I wanted to be like other boys who I thought were normal in ways that I feared I would never be.

I was a virgin when I left for college and during the next 2 years I went on exactly one date with a girl.  While I was writing frantic journal entries, pining for a girlfriend, I was engaging in activities I didn’t dare document—furtive, random hook-ups with other men that left me feeling empty and even more alone.

Since I really didn’t enjoy these trysts, I couldn’t really be gay.

I’ve never been particularly athletic, but I am a Gold Medal winner in the sport of mental gymnastics.

In 1977 Anita Bryant went on national television and said, “If gays are granted rights, next we’ll have to give rights to prostitutes and to people who sleep with St. Bernards and to nail biters.” I have no idea what Anita had against nail biters, but Anita was yet another warning that I had better keep this whole gay thing under wraps.

While I was busy keeping secrets in my own head, I made a secret deal with myself.  I couldn’t and wouldn’t decide if I was really gay, until I experienced sex with a woman.

Fall 1978, I took a class on The Novel and in that class was a woman I couldn’t take my eyes off of. She looked like a Cuban Carly Simon. For the sake of the story, I’ll call her H. I plotted excuses to strike up a conversation with her. I even had a pre-rehearsed line:  “I’ve never read Virginia Woolf before, so Orlando is a real revelation to me.”

Note to anyone who wants to woo a girl who’s an English major with a Women’s Studies minor–this line works like a charm!

After class we walked together and talked about literature and life. The fact that we were both left handed Virgos seemed to take on cosmic meaning.

Besides astrology, H was also into Tarot cards and she insisted on giving me a reading. She laid out the cards and then predicted that I would soon meet someone who would change my life. I was beginning to think I already had.

November 27, 1978–I lost my virginity (heterosexually speaking.) Afterwards, H said, “Are you going to write about this in your journal?” and we both laughed.

And then I went back to my dorm and wrote about it my journal.

 H consulted her astrologer about me. The astrologer warned H that a high percentage of Virgo males, born in 1958, were gay.  Really? I blame Madonna.

Spring break 1979, H stayed in Tallahassee while I came home to Jacksonville. During the break, feeling lonely and horny, on a whim I visited a gay club. I was bored as soon as I got there and I nearly left, but then I saw him. His name was Ray and he was different from any of the other men I had met.

I spent the rest of Spring break being wooed by Ray–we went out for Chinese food; we went to the movies; and spent time at the beach, where we found an abandoned kite.

When I returned to Tallahassee after the break, I had no idea what I was going to do.  Ray and I had not made any commitments. I wasn’t even sure I’d ever see him again, but I knew everything was different now.

Just like the Tarot reading said, I had met someone who had changed my life.

What was I going to tell H?

I called her. H sounded odd and declined an invitation to have dinner. When I called her, the next day, she cut me off in the middle of a sentence. She said she was listening to a Lou Reed album and wanted to hear ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ so she had to go. Two hours later, she called to wish my roommate a Happy Birthday, and when he asked her if she wanted to speak to me, she said, “Not really.”

Did she suspect? How could she know? Was it that damned astrologer?! I still blame Madonna!

After two days of silence, I ran into H on campus. She looked me in the eye and said the four scariest words in the English language: “We have to talk.”

We sat down and I waited for her to say something. By now, I was prepared for the worst.

Finally, she spoke: “I’m having an affair,” she said, “with a woman.

This is how I described the next moment, when I wrote about it in my journal:

I told H that her confession had made it much easier for me to confess something I needed to tell her: I have been having an affair with a man. (My God, I’ve actually written it!)

After all of the mental gymnastics and then finally meeting a man I thought I might love—it still had to come down to this. The moment I wrote it in my journal was the moment that I truly, finally came out to myself.

H told me not to label myself but to be open to this new love. And I was.

I did see Ray again. In fact, today, decades later, Ray and I are still together. I’m still keeping a journal too, but thanks to H and Ray, I’ve stopped keeping secrets from myself.

I guess I had always known it would take the love of a good woman to teach me to accept the good love of a man.

Let’s Get Married!

5 Jan

gay rights more

If you are familiar with the works of Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and numerous other works about creativity and how to get in touch with your inner artist, you may also be familiar with one of the primary tools she recommends: Morning Pages. I borrowed this idea from Ms. Cameron (and I actually met her once, so perhaps I am not out of line if I just call her Julia) although my method is not exactly what Julia prescribes.

Julia recommends writing by hand in a journal you do not share with anyone else, nor should you even bother to go back and reread.

I, instead, am typing a blog for publication.

Actually, the only thing my blogging version of Morning Pages has in common with Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages is that the end product is stream of consciousness and it is unedited.

That’s right–I am blogging by the seat of my pants! (And loving it!)

Writing Morning Pages blogs used to be a regular part of my daily ritual. Rather than provide a mountain of excuses for why that may have changed, I will say, instead, I am glad to be returning to this practice.

Happy 2015.

It is the Monday following New Year’s Day, This is the day that students return to school, vacationers return to work and traffic resumes its normal congested pattern. It will be harder to find a parking place at work, AND, everyone will be back at the office and work will resume apace.

For me, this is represents the BIG let down after “The Holidays.” I may not recover until the Spring thaw.

Besides today, this dreaded day of days, this week promises to be very interesting.

Florida’s ban on same sex marriage has danced its way through the courts. Our valiant Attorney General Pam Bondi has argued and fought for the sanctity of marriage in every courtroom that would have her.

Ms. Bondi should know a little something about the sanctity of marriage–she has had at least 2 of them–and maybe even a third one. (She may or may not have wed her current live-in boyfriend, ophthalmologist Greg Henderson__Google it if you are interested.)

Not that I am judging–it is just that Pam’s main bone of contention about letting “the gays” marry in Florida will “cause significant public harm.” To whom? WTF does that mean?

How come Pam Bondi gets to be the arbiter of which marriages are good for the state and which are not?

She might respond, “Well, I have been married twice–maybe 3 times—you don’t know! YOU DON’T KNOW ME!!!”

All I can say to that is, accruing frequent flier miles does not make you a pilot. Just sayin’…

Leave the navigation to the folks with their eyes (and their hearts) wide open.

And so, to the surprise of no one, Pam Bondi has been rebuffed by every judge she blathered her blather before and now, legally, she has shot her wad.

So to speak.

Ahem…

At long last, the courts have run out of silly excuses for why two tax paying consenting adults cannot enter into a marriage contract that affords them the same protections as other consenting adults who happen to be of the opposite sex.

In other words, in the state of Florida, as of this week, gay marriage is “a thing.”

I have to admit, I am still blinking over the news.

Back in the day, when I came out, a lot of heterosexuals were eschewing marriage and “living in sin” seemed like a perfectly valid option. For the LGBT community, marriage was not even in the cards. Or on the radar. Or, whatever. We wanted job protection. We wanted to be able to find a decent place to live. We wanted people to stop beating us up just because we were gay.

You know, the fundamentals.

Now, as I enter the twilight of my life (No, I am not pretending to be a vampire–different twilight, OK?) it is finally legal for me to get married to another gay person of the same gender.

Even though I didn’t see this coming back when, I did see it coming more recently and yet, I am still amazed.

Which is really a lot of pressure! My significant other and I have only known each other for 36 years–we don’t want to rush into anything! Marriage–that’s a big step!

We don’t want to marry just because we can. It isn’t like one of those punch cards you get in some sandwich shop–after so many purchases you get to get married. Not just married–gay married.

So we are still kicking the idea around.

In the meantime, this weekend there will be a mass wedding in Hemming Park here in Jacksonville.

Hemming Park/Plaza (it has been called both and has been reconfigured many times over the years) is in the center of downtown.

My earliest memory of Hemming Park is from the early 1960s. My mother and I were in the park and I wanted a drink of water. Before I could get a drink, my mother hastily grabbed me and steered me toward another water fountain–the one that had a sign reading “Whites Only”–and away from the “Colored Only” drinking fountain I for which I had originally reached.

In my mother’s defense (may God rest her soul) she was terrified of ALL public drinking fountains. I am pretty sure she wasn’t any more enchanted by the idea of me drinking after white people. I just think she wanted to avoid a public spectacle.

More recently–I guess it was 2008, there was a demonstration in Hemming Plaza demanding marriage equality for gays and lesbians. It was heartening to see so many people step out and step up to say, gays and lesbians are loving and caring partners and parents–they deserve the same rights as any other citizens of this city and state.

And now it is going to happen.

No–I will not be getting married this weekend, but I am volunteering to help with the logistics of the event.

Although I am not quite ready to commit to a wedding of my own–I am ecstatically happy for the people who are not only ready to marry, but are finally allowed to marry.

Not a “separate but equal” domestic partnership, but a same as all of the other consenting adults in Florida, for real, legal marriage.

The “Heteros Only” sign has been taken down. God bless.

I am definitely looking forward to this Saturday.

But until then….for now, I have to get on my bike and ride to work.

The first Monday of 2015 looms…

Until tomorrow–have a great day!
.

Happy Monday!

Adventures in Mass Transit

29 Nov

Our local transit system is going to make some radical changes as of December 1, 2014. So I felt the urge to go back and revisit this blog from a few years ago.

Cat Zen Space

Because of car problems, two weeks ago I began taking the bus to work. Despite the inconvenience of not having a functional car, I feel real pleasure in knowing that I am doing my part for the environment.

On my first day back in the mass transit groove, the bus is late. It finally arrives and as soon as I get on I can tell this driver is going to be trouble.

“So, did you watch the game yesterday?” she asks in a voice that can only be described as “chipper.”
I am of the belief that chipper is for chipper/shredders, not for human beings.
I am a morning person. Shoot me, but I am. Still, I don’t want to make small talk with strangers in the morning and I sure as heck don’t want to talk about a subject I know nothing about whether it is the gross domestic…

View original post 1,354 more words

Mother’s Day

8 May

Bill's mom

 

Happy Thursday before Mother’s Day–because it is never too early, or too late, to wish our mothers well.

I hope all of the Moms out there have a special Mother’s Day this Sunday. As I often do, I will spend a portion of Mother’s Day remembering my own mother.

She passed away 34 years ago this month. That means I’ve spent more years on Earth without my mother than with her. She was 51 when she died, so that means I have now lived 4 years longer than she did.

I don’t write a lot about my mother because I am still a loyal son. My mother was an alcoholic and my childhood was a jumble of the craziness and the sorrow that comes from living in an alcoholic home. Children who live in that sort of environment learn to cover at a young age: “Everything is fine.” “Mom is taking a nap, she’s just tired.”

The time without my mother has taught me some important lessons. Life isn’t easy and people make choices and then have to muddle through the best they can based on the choices they’ve made. My mother was no exception and neither am I.

I know many people have their parents in their lives up until they are a ripe old age. That situation comes with joys, pain and lessons of its own.

Since my father died when I was 6, and then my mother passed away when I was 21, I was, as I graduated from college and headed out into the big, bad, world, an orphan. I use that term for dramatic effect–I had other family members in my life, I was not truly alone in the world. But to focus on my point, (which is not easy at 5:30am, when I am typing this) I was parent-less at a young age.

Sometimes I think the opportunity to take on adulthood and make your way on your own is a little gift the Universe gives us to help us learn to better understand and ultimately forgive our parents. Some folks have it all together when they sally forth into the world.

Good for those folks!

Three cheers for those folks!

I hate those folks!

Well, not really, but I do envy those folks because I was not, to say the least, one of them. I screwed up.

No, I didn’t pursue a life of crime or drug abuse and wind up in jail, but I screwed up plenty of times. Yet I somehow got back up, brushed myself off, and kept on going. In the screwing up and the false starts and the regrets that come with them, I learned to appreciate the challenges that my parents had to wrestle with.

My mother was a single mother, with a young boy in tow. I can only imagine how difficult and challenging that must have been. There was a certain sense of “you and me against the world” sometimes, which created a bond that survives to this day. My mother was fiercely protective of me and I learned to be protective of her. I also felt a responsibility to be “a good boy.”

Frankly, I wasn’t always as well supervised as a child should be, but I stayed out of trouble, for the most part, because of my loyalty to my mother. I didn’t want to cause her any grief.

I said all that to say this (circling back to point…) my parents did the best they could with what they had to work with. They made choices and then had to work with the consequences of the choices they made; sometimes they were just dealt a bad hand through no fault of their own. I can so relate to both of those experiences.

My parents were human–this admission completely destroys my childhood fantasy that I was actually an alien from another planet, but I will just have to live with that.

I completely get that being human is an imperfect state of being. Life is funny and difficult and sometimes amazing. My mother was those things too.

I had a funny memory recently, which on the surface isn’t funny. My mother died two months after I met my significant other, Ray. My mother met him once, but I never had the opportunity to come out to her.

Whatever my other relatives may have thought about my “friendship” with Ray at that point in time, it must have been obvious to them how much he loved me when he attended my mother’s funeral. While my mother’s siblings and nieces and nephews and I did a pretty good job of holding it together, Ray wept like a baby.

When he came through the receiving line, Ray couldn’t speak, he was so choked up. Tears were running down his face. He just hugged me close, smearing tears and a bit of snot on the shoulder of my suit coat.

Remembering that moment after all of these years, I am moved to realize how loving that was–Ray’s sorrow was that awful pain one feels when someone you love is in distress and you can’t “fix things” no matter how much you wish you could.

OK, but it was still kind of funny. I think my family was thinking, “what is with this guy, anyway? He hardly knew the woman!” It was sweet. And funny. So was my mother, and so is life.

My love to all the moms out there. Happy Thursday.

 

flower glow

Final thoughts before I leave the ground again

29 Jun

I am slightly amazed by how much time has passed since last I wrote. I shouldn’t be amazed because I have known for a while that my sense of time is all out of whack. That wackiness only get worse, it seems, with–um, time.

So here I am. Writing a morning pages blog on the morning I am leaving, again, for Paris. I should be finishing up my packing, but that just seems too practical. I will be losing most of this day riding in airplanes, so perhaps this is my final grounding moment before I leave the–um, ground.

When I returned from Paris last year, I found it difficult to write. I was drawn to visual projects and took and played with a lot of pictures. In short, Paris f*cked me up. I guess the best solution is to go back and let Paris f*ck me up some more.

On my birthday, last August, I wrote a blog about a sense of wonder and purpose that had enveloped me while I was contemplating having completed yet another year on the Earth. We always consider a birthday the day you reach a certain age. On my last birthday, I reached 54. But what fascinated me was not that I was 54, but that I was beginning my 55th revolution around the sun. It seemed like an especially meaningful event and I looked at it as a new beginning. Oh, baby–it was like New Year’s Day in my head! I made resolutions, I set goals, I laid out some plans!

And then I blinked.

And then it was this morning. 2 months before I end my 55th revolution around the sun and begin my 56th. It wasn’t a bad trip, but it wasn’t the year of achievement, character building and clarification that I had resolved it was going to be.

Why?

Because I blinked and it was this morning. Because, as interminable as some days can feel, a year is but a whisper and if you don’t listen closely, you’ll miss the whole damn thing.

Still, my 55th revolution has not yet been completed. I have 2 months before the 56th begins. There is still plenty of time to achieve at least some of the things I said I was determined to do, back when I was determined, just 10 months ago. Unless I blink.

F*ck me, I am hanging my hat on Paris.

Happy Weekend.

The Gay Agenda

12 Jun

 

The political season is upon us. Never mind that it has started obscenely early this go round, the bottom line is–it is upon us.

As politics begin to heat up, I am sure you will be hearing someone blathering on about “The Gay Agenda.”

The great gay 80’s duo, Romanovsky and Phillips joked about the Gay Agenda: “As if gay people could agree on anything for one moment.”

They speculated that there were gay people across the country with memo boards with a list labeled “Queer things to do today!”

They were, of course, joking.

Perhaps those of you who are not gay have wondered, does this Gay Agenda actually exist?

In fact, it does.

When I first came out in the late 70’s, the Gay Agenda was slipped under your door while you slept. It was printed on a mimeograph machine—white paper with purple letters.

You’re showing your age if you can remember the pleasure of that fresh mimeograph smell…

Some people think the association of gays and lesbians with the color lavender came from the combination of the colors usually associated with the genders—pink and blue, being mixed to make purple.

Common misconception. It was those early mimeographed Gay Agendas that are the real reason.

In the early 70’s celebrities like Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly broadcast the Gay Agenda in code on game shows. I remember watching Hollywood Squares and Match Game when I was in high school and thinking, “there’s more going on here than meets the eye,” but I couldn’t be sure.


Now I watch old clips of those shows and think, “but of course!”

I don’t know how people got the Agenda before that. You’ll have to ask someone who is both gay and older than me.

Like, maybe, Plato.

The first Gay Agenda I ever read was simple and reflective of the times:

  • End job discrimination
  • Don’t let them say you’re crazy or sick
  • Fight Anita Bryant
  • Make love often

About that last bullet point—what can I say? It was the hedonistic 70’s. Gays weren’t the only ones making a lot of love, believe you me.

The 70’s also gave rise to the Feminist movement and Lesbians were right on board with that one. I remember reading The Gay Agenda one morning with its references to “sisterhood” and “equality” and thinking, “Where would we be without the lesbians?”

None of the men minded the mention of “sisterhood.” Gender bending terminology was common in the gay subculture of the time. This carried over from more closeted times when gay people changed the pronouns when speaking in polite company to protect themselves. A man might say, “I went out with her and she’s a catch,” when his date was really another man. It seems kind of pathetic now but remember when this started people could be arrested for dancing with someone of the same gender.

Imagine the penalty for those same two people having sex with each other…

In the early 80’s the mimeographed pages were replaced for awhile by copy machine print outs. I heard someone high up had Xerox stock. I can’t prove that, so don’t repeat it. I just know I missed the smell of the freshly mimeographed page.

There’s nothing like that new mimeograph smell.

One day an unmarked box arrived at my door. I knew it had something to do with The Gay Agenda.

Sure enough. There was a fax machine inside. That’s when The Gay Agenda started arriving via morning fax.

Those were heady times.

The Gay Agenda of the mid-80’s was reflective of the dominant issues of the day:

  • Take care of each other
  • Fight Jerry Falwell
  • Play safe
  • Cuddle often

Cuddling was real big in the 80’s. Some men wore stuffed teddy bears in the back pocket of their jeans as code to indicate they were into cuddling.

It was sometime in the mid-80’s that certain religious and political leaders got wind of the Gay Agenda. I don’t know how it happened. Maybe one of the faxes went astray, maybe there was a spy somewhere. While they began to squawk about the existence of the Agenda, they never seemed to get the content of it right.

It seemed to be their agenda to misrepresent our agenda.

Their version:

  • Indoctrinate the young
  • Force public schools to teach the homosexual lifestyle
  • Take over Hollywood so all TV programs and movies are just homosexual propaganda

Our version:

  • Convince gay teens not to commit suicide
  • End gay bashing in schools
  • “Dynasty” rules!

What can I say? It was the 80’s.

The Gay Agenda was delivered by fax until the advent of the Internet. (Goddess bless you, Al Gore.)

Daily emails soon replaced daily faxes. It was also around this time that something startling began to appear on the agenda:

  • Legalize Gay Marriage.

For an old timer like me, this was quite revolutionary.

When I was in college I joined a gay rights march on the capital building in Tallahassee,FL.


A group of gay men marching on a phallus shaped building (complete with testicles) is an irony that was not lost on me.

All we wanted back then was an end to discrimination in the work place, so we wouldn’t get fired from a job just for being gay.

Actually, I think we’re still working on that one…

It never occurred to me we would be pushing for the right to marry in my lifetime.

The Agenda I received this morning looked kind of familiar.

That’s not surprising. While it is true that the Gay Agenda does exist, the truth is, the heart of it doesn’t really change much:

  • Take care of each other
  • Play safe
  • Cuddle often

The final bullet point:

  • Check the batteries in the smoke detectors

Well. that’s just good advice for anyone.

 

The Coming Out Monologues

4 Jun

Welcome to the first blog of June.

It has been a few days since I posted. After my blog about the rain, inspired by Tropical Storm Beryl, I sort of lost the call to blog. It wasn’t so much that I was resting on my laurels. It was more like after I posted Riffs on the Rain, I didn’t have anything else to say.

Now, June is bursting out all over and I am back. Nothing like a nice weekend to get you going again.

On Saturday morning, I went for a bike ride. Good to be back in the saddle after several rainy days. I planned to do my usual “ride and write”–ride my bike, sit down somewhere with a cup of coffee and my journal. I rode to Chamblin’s Uptown, a combination used bookstore, coffee shop, eatery and cafe. A perfect spot to enjoy coffee and a bagel, crack open the journal and write away.

There turned out to be a slight flaw in my plan–a major oversight on my part, I had forgotten to bring a pen. This sounds minor, but in my world, it is unheard of.

One of the reasons I keep on keeping a journal, frankly, is because I have a thing for blank books and pens. I truly own, and usually carry around in my backpack, dozens (if not hundreds) of pens–all colors and styles. Sometimes when I sit down somewhere to have coffee and write and start digging out the pens, sort through them to find the one that is just right (or just write) for this moment, I am sure the folks at the next table must wonder if I am about to embark on a project the size of the Sistine Chapel; or perhaps they just think I am some sort of pen fetishist. Which, in truth, I may be.

So there I was, journal at the ready, blank page hungry for some ink, and me without a pen. I took it as a sign that I should read instead. Or just sit and watch the world go by while I ate my bagel and sipped my coffee. So that is what I did.

I’ve been stepping out of my comfort zone a lot lately. This is enormously healthy, I know, but not like me at all. Of course, if it was like me, then stepping outside of my comfort zone wouldn’t be the slightest bit remarkable, would it?

I know some people are up for anything. I am not that guy. I sometimes say I’m that guy, but whenever I say something like, “I am up for anything!” I am most likely either bluffing or just being passive aggressive.

One of the big things going on in my life right now is my participation in a local community theatrical production called The Coming Out Monologues. It is, as the title suggests, a series of personal stories, told by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people from our community.

My participation began when I responded to a call for personal stories and has continued as I agreed to perform my monologue as part of the show. Although it has been years (some would say decades, which, though true, I do not appreciate being reminded of, so you’re a bitch for bringing it up…) I have been involved in theater in the past.

I was in plays when I was a teenager, took Drama in high school (and I still didn’t know I was gay?!) and minored in Theater in college. So, being involved in a stage production is not foreign to me.

I have been “on the boards” but I have before never been involved in a production that is being created, truly, from the grassroots up.

These monologues are moving, sad, funny, surprising, beautiful and true–in the truest sense of the word. The workshop process we’re all investing in, getting this show up and running, is in itself a hugely rewarding experience.

No matter what your sexual orientation, I believe everyone can relate to the coming out experience–coming out is not just “a gay thing.”

“To thine own self be true,” Shakespeare wrote, and that is what coming out is truly about.

Life lived deeply is a series of coming out experiences: daring to tell someone else, “I love you”; bringing yourself to reveal to a parent that you cannot be true to yourself and follow the career path your family has always wanted for you; telling your spouse or partner that you have decided you must leave–these are the kind of moments that happen to everyone. Coming out takes many forms, but few of us go through life without living defining moments such as these, because coming out is about revealing a deeply personal part of yourself, often at the risk of being rejected or hurting someone you care about, but ultimately it is about bringing yourself to a deeper level of love and self-acceptance.

Each of the stories in The Coming Out Monologues is unique, but surprisingly universal.

One of the true gifts of my involvement in this production is that I have met such an amazing group of creative, caring, people.  I am definitely richer for knowing each and every one of them.

The show is June 29th and June 30th.  The proceeds from the production will benefit JASMYN and PFLAG, two very worthy groups. I urge you to click the respective links and check them out.

You can find out more about The Coming Out Monologues, by checking out our Facebook page: Coming Out Monologues 2012 , where you’ll catch a glimpse of some of the beautiful people involved in this project. Be sure and press “Like” while you’re there.

So, this is one way I am stepping out of my comfort zone lately.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about Paris.

Happy Monday!

Faerie Visions

A podcast by Max Gibson

Broken Castles

Shattered long ago...

Fiddlbarb's Blog

Ramblings and Musings From My Heart

Founder Zen

Before founding, chop wood, carry water....after founding, chop a lot of wood, carry a lot of water

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Brian Marggraf, Author of Dream Brother: A Novel, Independent publishing advocate, New York City dweller

bunny slippers

complete nonesense

Margaret's Miscellany

(in which I catalog my travels and a random assortment of likes and dislikes)

Angelart Star

The beautiful picture of angels makes you happy.

Urkai Community

pedaling towards a sustainable world

just bad timing

this is not a love story.

for the love of nike

for the love of nike

joeseeberblog

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

Spiritual Foodie

The integration of spirit and food

Rcooley123's Blog

Rick Cooley's Blog

keithgarrettpoetry

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever