For the last two years I’ve concentrated on being true to myself, true to others and generally happy. Part of that growth has been built around being truly happy for the people in my life that I care about. What I’ve realized is that although most of my dreams and aspirations have not come to fruition, I’m sincerely enjoying a genuine happiness that comes from the success stories and realized dreams of my friends. Having a good friend land a plum position, an ex finding someone he’s crazy about and a new-found confidant completing an engaging and groundbreaking novel, all have contributed to my enjoying a vicarious happiness. It is the most unselfish feeling I think I’ve felt in my life. So last night I sat myself down and thought it all through. Here I was on the eve of a HUGE speech before my colleagues and the CEO of my firm and the most satisfying and comforting feeling to calm my jitters was my feeling fulfilled by the successes of my friends. Today, as I stand in front of a crowd of folks picking me apart and analyzing my every word, I don’t need to picture the crowd in their underwear, I only need to bask in the afterglow of the achievements of people that are important to me. I’m vicariously happy…and for the first time in my life I feel like the front and center seat is as important as the spotlight.
Fight or Flight?
As late as 2004, the FBI, under the Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990, reported that 16% of all hate crimes were motivated by sexual orientation bias. Yet it appears that lately gay bashings have been on the rise. Most recently, Michael Sandy, a 28-year old man from NYC was beaten and struck by a car on a major highway in what authorities believe to be a bias crime. The gay interior designer is believed to have been at the area near the roadway to meet with someone for a sexual tryst. The area has been identified as a meeting place for gay men. The greater issue here is what now? Are we doing enough to stop such attacks? Is it time for gay men to take a stand and reverse the meaning of gay bashing to mean the gay men bashing their predators? One of the final episodes in the LOGO channel Noah’s Arc series highlighted an incidence of gay bashing and showed one of the protagonists, Wade, returning to the attackers and inflicting an equal physical assault. We’re still men. We still have heart. Do we adopt the principles of Martin Luther King, Jr. to incite change through non-violence or do we begin to prove that we are formidable opponents in the war on gay bashing?
What course of action would you take if faced with the nightmare of being physically assaulted for your race or sexual orientation? Will you trust our legal system to delve-out the appropriate punishment to your attackers or will you take matters into your own hands in self-defense?
Keep passin’ the open windows…