Tuesday, June 29, 2010

G is for Gay!

Salt in the City. What it's like to be a Gay-Thirty-Something in Salt Lake City. Seems only natural that "G" should be for Gay after an opening like that!
As humans, we label. We label everything! It's what we do. And we do it very well. Nothing sneaks by us before we can slap a tag on it, price it, and exploit it. It's one way to ensure that we are the ones in control. It becomes "ours" after we name it. It becomes limited and controlled. Nothing left to question. Defined and permanent. But what happens once everything in creation has been labeled? Well, thank the universe that there is one thing that man kind will never be able to achieve. Mankind will never be able to label it all. In this ever-changing and diverse world, there will always be something new and undefined. We create and change. Ensuring that nothing is ever constant. As hard as we as humans try to perfect our world, the world changes in the blink if an eye. Leaving only one thing that we can and always be able to do. Question!

When my nephew first learned of his "Gay" uncle he asked his parents if it was a good or bad thing. He believed that if something/someone was labeled as "Gay" that it meant it or they was stupid, dumb or simply not "cool". If there was a kid at school not good at sports, he was "Gay". If there was a T.V. show that was boring, it was "Gay". If there were a musician that girls loved and boys hated, he was "Gay". Like.... the Jonas Brothers! So GAY!!!! Anyhow, the fact that my nephew thought his Uncle was gay meant that I was something "not good". I believe my brother and his wife told him that being "Gay" meant that I was different. Not good or bad. Just different. But what would the alternative to "Different" be? Normal? Does this still put a negative connotation on being "Gay"?

In our ever-changing and label loving society I am learning that even my definition of "Gay" has changed. Previously, I thought being "Gay" meant that I simply preferred sex with the same gender. My nephews definition of "Gay" is proof that the term has evolved. It now explains that I have adopted the mannerisms and lifestyle commonly associated with people attracted to the same gender. In other words, being "Gay" now gives me a personality distinction. It's no longer about sexual preference.

I also find it fascinating that while being a part of a minority that is ever fighting the negative connotations of our labels. "Gays", are also very eager to label ourselves in other ways. Being Gay or Lesbian is not all that we are or want to be. We also want to be labeled as "Equal", "American", "Family" and "Married". Finding a label that fits maybe the only way that each and everyone of us, gay or straight, can except the fact the labels will exist whether we like it or not.

Just the other night while dining with friends we were discussing the different ways to label ourselves as gays. *Note to all of the "Straights" reading this post, yes, we are not just "Gay". We are Lipsticks, Bears, Bull Dykes, Bull Daggers, Twinks, Trannies, Cubs, Divas, Diesels, Otters, Queens, Princesses, Wolves, etc. My friend Becky was telling us that she has never labeled herself as Gay, Bi, Straight, or Lesbian. There wasn't a label that she felt defined her. She believed that labels are limiting. That was until she heard for the first time a label that fit! CHAPSTICK LESBIAN! It hit home for Becky! It was like looking in the mirror for the first time and seeing her true self.

Chapstick Lesbian: lez-bee-uhn)A chapstick lesbian is also known as a soft butch or androgynous. She usually dresses quite casually and does not wear make-up. See also Ellen.

Now I would be the first to tell Becky that being a "Chapstick Lesbian" is a very small part of who she really is. But this got me thinking... What kind of a "Gay" am I? How would I define myself? Better yet, how would I define the "Gays"? I do believe in labeling. I believe in judging too! I am after all human. And if it's what humans do, than I want to be the best! Now I would never want to offend anyone to their face. I prefer to do that privately with other judger's and gossipers! I'd like to spend the rest of our blog time educating and teaching my own "Types of Gays". Let's label away!

First we explore the 3 types of Closet Cases.
The Latter-Gay-Saint:
Here in Utah we have several Latter Gay Saints. The L.G.S.'s are members of the Mormon Church that have not "Come Out" due to fear of religious persecution. L.G.S.'s have it easy though. What other religion gives you a "Companion" for a minimum of two years! L.G.S.'s although not "out" are great homemakers and cooks. If you ever want to date an L.G.S., be ready to be referred to as the "Best Friend" or "Roommate" for the duration of the relationship. If he can play the Piano, cook potatoes more than 10 ways, and knows the name of every contestant on American Idol before they get to the Top 20, he's probably a Latter Gay Saint. I pray that these L.G.S.'s one day see the light!

The Jock Strap:
The Jock Strap is a closeted Gay that loves playing sports. The best part of the game for a "Jock Strap" isn't the 4th quarter or the last inning. "Jock Straps" live for the end of the game when they can slap the butt of their teammates and say, "Err uh, good game.....bro!" Like an old worn-out stinky jock strap, "Jock Straps" prefer to stay in the closet with the other sporting equipment. Jock Straps may appear masculine and tough, but probably take as much time in the bathroom as most women. And as talented and athletic as they appear, they can equally and as talentedly strut the runway in a pair of pumps.

The G.I. Gay:
Gay and in the military. Don't ask, don't tell. These gays are the gays that gays are made of. These gays fight for a country that probably wouldn't fight for them. G.I. Gays are closeted for the right reasons but hopefully not for much longer. I have respect for the G.I. Gay. For all the G.I. Gays I say, "Let them come home and let them come out!"
On to the Gays!

The Lisssthper!
Sssut up! Are you Thhserious? The Lisssthper, the easssiest to pick out for obviousss reasonsss. Just assth the Lisssthper how many "S's" are in the word Fabulousss and they'll tell you "Ssssssseven!"

The Soul Seller:
Oh you know who you are! You are the "Gay's" that sold your souls to the devil for great hair, chiseled faces and bodies of god's. You are the "Gay's" that turn the heads of even straight men lesbian women. You are vain, stuck up, cliquey, muscley, beautiful and perfect! If you see the devil again, tell him I am ready to strike a deal!!!

The guy from I-da-ho:
Who da ho? I-da ho! Idaho's are the sluts of the bunch. Like an Idaho potato, they'd like to be mashed, stuffed, peeled, diced, and Julianne'd! Also known as "Midnight Texters" or "24-7's". It's also a fine line between an "Idaho" and a "Tranny Mess".

Tranny Mess:Tranny Messes', are typically drunk and go to the bars and clubs 6-7 nights a week. "Trannies" and "Idaho's" if not one in the same, usually flock together. Either can text 1,000,000 words a minute. And can tell you what club or bar is best to go to each night of the week. "Idaho's" also have their value too. They can tell you where the closest bathrooms are no matter where you are at. Never turn your back on the "Tranny Mess", she is clever and sneaky. Nothing will come between the "Tranny Mess" and her "Good time". Same can be said for the "Idaho".

The Bobcat: (Yes, this is me)...The Bobcat is an attractive man in his 30's or 40's who is on the hunt once again. He may be found in the usual hunting grounds: nightclubs, bars, beaches, etc. until he has secured a mate for life. He will not play the usual B.S. games that men in their early twenties participate in. However, in the end, he will be going for the kill. The Bobcat is the gay version of a "Cougar". "Cougars" and "Bobcats" are compatible. They can be seen shopping or at brunch together and often become facebook friends. However, the Bobcat and Cougar are territorial. Beware the "Metro-sexual". "Metro's" can easily come between the Cougar and her best Gay Bobcat friend. After all, nothing comes between a Bitch and her prey. And I'm not just talking about the Cougar.

My lists go on and on... but i think i have already proved a point. We are all human and imperfect. In the great pull-down-box of life, eventually we all fall into a category. As long as we are alive and thinking, we will label. We will label till we die. And then.... we will be labeled by the great labeler himself/herself/gayself...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

F is for the Future, Foretelling, and my Fellow 11:11'ers

So I have a secret obsession with "the End of Days", "End of the World", 2012, "The New Era", etc.. Call it what you want, but I find future predictions and New Age philosophies fascinating! And the research I have done specifically for this blog entry has peaked my curiosity even more!

Before we dive into what the future holds. I'd like to begin with the past. A past culture to be more specific. The Maya! Mayans were a bunch of Math Nerds and Star Gazers that eventually met their demise because of overpopulation, the Spanish invaders, environmental disaster, epidemic disease, and climate change. (Sound like anything we are experiencing now?) Anyhow, the Maya developed a very advanced astrological Calendar using 3 different dating systems. One of the systems, known as The Long Count, tracks long periods of time. Researchers have figured out the the Long Count Calendar started on August 11, 3114 BC. And is believed to end on December 21st, 2012 at 11:11:11 a.m.. Which means the end could come to us all 911 days from today!
First, let's talk about the coincidences, or as I like to believe, the synchronicity of the 11's. August 11 , 3114, 11:11:11 a.m., AND 911 days from today. That's a lot of 11's! And if you add 12+21+2012= 2045, 20+45=65, 6+5=11!!! AND, the Mayan Calendar beginning date, 8+11+3114=3133, 31+33=11! AND, if you spell "End of the World" backward you get "Dlrow eht fo dne"! And I honestly don't know what that could even mean! WOW!

*side note on 11:11
The number 11 is a “master number” in numerology because of its doubling of the same digit. This doubling intensifies the power of the vibrational frequency of the prime number. The attributes of the number one, the number of new beginnings, are therefore doubled.Moreover, the number 11 also carries the frequency of balance, specifically between the male and female. Eleven are messages of balance, a “metaphorical gateway” towards the “integration of the duality or opposition inherent in human nature.” If man’s ultimate purpose on earth is to discover the invisible realm of which he is a part, seeing 11:11 and its variants serves as a reminder that he is not flesh alone, and that his purpose here on earth is to access the technologies of psychic integration.
Synchronicity, Time Prompt and Symbolic Duality by Mary Desaulniers

In a nut shell, if you are an "11:11 person", someone that sees 11:11 every time you look at the clock. Or you see 11's often in phone numbers, price tags, page numbers, etc.. Than you may feel like you have something more in life to figure out. Almost like having a special purpose. Well, that's because you do! Being an "11:11 person" means you need to have a wake up call. See the light! Our world is in chaos right now. "11:11'ers" are the ones meant to fix it! Make things right, one person at a time, beginning with yourself. 11:11 is also a sign that you have angels on your side and that you are in the right place at the right moment do exactly what you need to be doing! There is an entire science and philosophy that surrounds the 11:11 phenomenon.

Now, I don't want anyone to think that I am some 2010-End-of-the-World fanatic. (Really I am!) But, just for the sake of argument. What if you, we, only had 911 days left? Is that enough for you to accomplish everything you want in life? What are the things you wanted to achieve, but haven't even begun? How can you impact the world in just 911 days?

I read somewhere that when you die you'll be asked 2 questions before you are accepted into the after life/reincarnation/heaven or hell:

1. Have you found joy in life?

2. Has your life brought joy to others?

I believe I can answer yes to both. But I am not done either! Many believe that December 21st, 2012 is not the end of days per say. But a time when things will change. The world will find it's self in a more peaceful state. So, by the act of believing that we only have 911 days of life left, perhaps if we all begin to make changes to become better, the world really will find itself healed and renewed.

As an 11:11'er, I challenge anyone reading this blog to create a list of things to do within 911 days that will not only make you a better person but also affect the world in a positive light! I guess you could call it a Bucket List, or as the Mayan would call it a "K'push List"...

Andrew's K'Push List: (still in progress)

1. Learn to play a musical instrument. At this point, I am leaning towards the Harmonica. Also known as the Mouth Organ. No further comment...
2. Teach Art to Children.
3. Run a 5k (completed), Run a 10K, Run a 15K, Run a half marathon, Run a marathon.
4. Commit my love 100%.
5. Sell my art at an Arts Festival.
6. Touch ground on all 7 continents, (2 down 5 to go).
7. Hold a monkey.
8. Loose 15 lbs, and see my ab's for the first time!
9. Sing in front of a large group of people.
10. Learn to make wine. And actually make it.
11. Save a life! (I haven't forgotten that this has already happened, you know who you are.) I'd like a second chance at this one...
12. Swim in a lake of Jelly fish!

There you have it, the K'Push list! And just in case you got freaked out by the End-of-the-World chatter, most scientist believe that the end of the Mayan Calendar is much the same as a VCR counter. It will simply reset it self when it gets to 99999 and start over. Other New Age philosophies believe that it won't be the destruction and death of the planet, but a rebirth to a new age and new consciousness. The age we are living in now has been focused on Time and Money. Ego and Materialism. Perhaps the next 25,627 years will be focused on life and spirit!

The last thing I want to share is that last week I found some old rings and necklaces in my old keep-sake chest. I have been wearing one of the rings for the last few days. I just noticed today that the decoration on the ring isn't just a decoration. It's the freakin' Mayan calendar! Now that is a coincidence.

Friday, June 18, 2010

E is for Elfi

Elfi, my grandmother! "THE" light of my life! I miss her! I still think of her daily although she has been gone for 12 years. There has been no one that I have learned more from than anyone else in my life. Even today I learn something more from her.Elfi passed away just as I was coming into adulthood. She developed a cancer in her stomach. I was just out of my teen years when it happened. I feel cheated that I didn't have an opportunity to know my grandmother as an adult. I could have benefited so much more from her wisdom. The lessons I learned from her were all learned as a young adult and child. Regardless, I am thankful that she was my grandmother, and that I chance to know and love her the way I did. And that she has left such a lasting impression on me.
When she became ill I instinctively began to distance myself from her. When I should have been spending every minute with her. It was out of fear. I was so terrified of what it would be like without her. I guess backing away was my natural instinct to deal with her death. I honestly thought that if she were to die I may as well die with her because I wouldn't know how to live without her.
Life surprises you. Her death was actually a very beautiful death. Just like her life, perfect and sweet. She must have known that her time was limited. She called all of the family into her room, one by one, she had something special to say to everyone.
There were several things that my grandma and I spoke about that day in her room. Most of which have nearly been forgotten except for one thing. Over the past 12 years since her death, one message has stood out more than the rest. And I have felt a tremendous amount of pressure to fulfill this specific duty given to me from my grandmother. Maybe I misinterpreted her request. But I have felt such an obligation. Something for me to take care of in her absence. Something that no one else in the family was given or asked to do. The task was to take care of my mother and to watch over her because my grandmother hated my mother being alone. And honestly, for the past 12 years I have done a damn good job. But as perfect as I thought my grandmother to be, this task wasn't for me to take on. The task should have been given directly to my mother.
I love both my grandmother and my mother very deeply. But I have learned that no one is perfect. And no one should have to parent or take responsibility for someone else faults or shortcomings. Everyone has the opportunity to make decisions for themselves. I shouldn't be the one responsible for anyone else' happiness. My life is my own, and I sure as hell wouldn't want someone else in control of it!
Today, I respectfully lay my grandmothers burden to rest. And I stand up for myself. And simply love my family for who they are. There lives are there own and not for me to worry about or control. I am simply going to love.Without the burden of feeling guilty, pressured, or obligation. The other messages that my grandmother shared with me, the ones that have early been forgotten. I remember them now. Thank you Grandma, I am proud of me too!
My mother has always been a strong woman. And I know that she is in full control of her own destiny! Mom, you are a beautiful woman, whose generosity and love for her family is greater than her own love of self! I hope that one day you can see how amazing you are, with nothing left to prove or accomplish, being you is the best thing you could ever do for anyone else. Especially yourself!
My light is mine, mine to keep and mine to share. Respectfully!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

D is for Drive, Dedication, Determination and most importantly DONE!

Congratulations Jason! My love of almost 3 years has finally graduation from Paul Mitchell! He is DONE! It will be so nice to have him home in the evenings. Rather than waiting till 10:00 pm every night to have dinner and try to spend quality time together. In fact, last night was his first official night off of school and he had dinner ready and waiting for me! I could get used to this!

I am extremely proud of Jason for his Drive! There have been many challenges that could have very easily swayed Jason away from doing hair. But because of his determination, he pushed through it all. And I learned something from Jason while I watched him over come these obstacles. I learned that patience can be a valuable tool for overcoming obstacles. Sometimes you simply just need to take a step back and let time do its thing. No need to rush it. Just let it be. So, while some people would say that it took a long time for Jason to get through school, I think he did it in his time and it's what worked for him. So what if he has a Doctorate in Hair now. At least he has graduated!

I am certain that Jason will do very well with his new trade! His dedication to always doing the best job will bring much success! Just you wait and see.

Jason, your energy and skill will attract many people to you! Like a lighthouse drawing boats in to a safe harbor. Your light is warm and welcoming! Thank you for making me feel safe with you!

Friday, June 4, 2010

C is for Cuppy Cake!

Yesterday was a bad day! It all started with a speeding ticket and ended with a restless night of sleep. Everything in between was icing on the cake. Just an all around bad day. But rather than concentrate on the negative I am going to strive for the positive.

Here is what can happen when you redirect your negative thinking into happy thoughts! I woke up and visited for a bit with my Dad and Step Mom, here for the weekend. A nice way to start the day. Then as I was ironing a pair of pants for work, I found $10 in the pocket! YES!!! AND THEN... I had a very sweet gift from my best friend Tiffany on my back porch... AND THEN...when I got to work, the cute little gals in the kitchen made Fried Breakfast Scones! So delicious. If you could record on film what my heart is feeling right now... this is what it would look like:

The Cuppycake Song, sung by "A Real Life Cabbage Patch Kid"
You're my Honeybunch, Sugarplum, Pumpy-umpy-umpkin.
You're my Sweetie Pie.
You're my Cuppycake, Gumdrop, Snoogums-Boogums.
You're the Apple of My Eye.
And I love you so and I want you to know, that I'll always be right here.
And I love to sing sweet songs to you because you are so dear.

I have watched this video like 20 times already. It just makes me squeel with delight! Usually I would be the first to make a smart ass remark about such a person like the Real Life Cabbage Patch Kid. But today I have only goodness in my heart. Tomorrow may be a different story! Which reminds me of my new motto: " It's not prejudice if it's funny!" Anyhow, back to my new friend "Cabbage". I think he is sooo freaking cute. I just want to squeeze the "cute" right outta his pudgy little face! I want to knock on his door and surprise him with the worlds biggest cuppy cake and watch his adorable little eyebrows twinge with excitement! I want to laugh and play with him all day as we both devour the cuppy cake!

So today's post is meant to lighten your heart! Put a smile on your face! And may you dream of the Cabbage Patch Kid and Cuppy Cakes all night long!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

B is for Becky!

B is for Becky
B is for Back in Salt Lake City
B is for my Best Friend

“But if you break down
I'll drive out and find you
If you forget my love
I'll try to remind you
And stay by you when it don't come easy”
-Patty Griffin

Eight years ago, half of my heart decided to move to New Orleans. The other half stayed in Salt Lake City. After five years the following letter was sent to me from Becky...

April 5th, 2007
i miss our little apartment in the gingerbread house.
i miss our house with tiffers.
i miss our trading spaces marathons.
i miss our weekend gayclub hoppings.
i miss our house i only lived at briefly. (you there
i miss wednesday night cafe rio.

ah, geez. why'd we have to go and grow up to be
adults? i hate it sometimes, even though I am so proud
of our hard work, too.

thanks for being my angel- so many times, through so
many things.

hope we get to talk soon.

i love you.

Three years later, my heart has returned. Becky, you are home! You are in a place of love, healing and inspiration! You may not be here forever. But I will cherish the memories and good times we have yet to create. Special times that we will both look back on one day and miss. I am your heart as you are mine. No matter how far or for how long, a piece of me is always with you!

I remember the day Becky told me that she was moving to New Orleans. Honestly, I didn’t believe her. There was such a close knit circle of friends here in Salt Lake. And both Becky and I were extremely close to our families. Why would she want to leave that? Most importantly, why would she want to leave ME? Insecurity set in quickly and I was devastated that I was losing a friend. I knew I would never see her again. Sure we said that we would visit each other and that it wasn't the end of our friendship. But back then, I couldn’t be 100% certain that our friendship would remain. Who knew if and when we would see each other again. Everything that Becky and I did up until her departure seemed even more precious and special. Maybe because we both feared it would be the last time we would be doing our favorite things together. Like the last time we ate pizza and drank wine while watch Sex and the City in my bed. It may have been the last supper!

After Becky left, I remember the world looking different. It was a lot like losing your left arm. Still functional, but limited. There was one thing that helped get through Becky’s absence. Charles! I had just met Charles Peterson. See post, (Thelma and Louise Go to Hurricane Utah). Love preoccupied my mind. Thank God! I really don’t know what I would have done without him. The funny thing now is that Becky comes back to Utah just in time to help me through Charles leaving the country. One friend returns, and another leaves. By and by, I know that I will remain friends with Charles. Like Becky and I, we will have the opportunity to strengthen our friendship. Yet another lesson I have learned from Becky… NOTHING IS FOREVER, EXCEPT LOVE! There are just some people that were meant to stay in our lives no matter what. Distance nor time could separate the bond.

Only a true friend can continue to challenge and teach you more about yourself than you could have learned or experienced on your own. Becky has been a wonderful teacher of “ME”. Becky doesn’t know this, until now of course. But I’ve been thinking I would write a book about our friendship. The book would be called, “The Friend Commandments”. The book would cover all the life-lessons I’ve learned from her about friendship. So far, I have the first three chapters outlined. Chapter One, “Thou Shall Not Eat the Last Banana”. Chapter Two, “Keep it Real Ricki”. And Chapter Three, “OMG, so do I!”. Anyone that has been subjected to Becky and I reminiscing about our history together would have the stories of the Last Banana, Ricki Lake and Becky having something in common with every person on Earth. And if you haven’t heard the stories….you’ll have to by the book.

B for Becky has been one of the best on-going chapters of my life. Becky is a story that will never end. She is a light that went away - but never faded. I love you Beckers!