A History Of Pride
Gay Pride festivities are normally traced-back to the historic 1969 event, right here in NYC, when the gay community, fed-up with the abuse and disrespect of the authorities decided to fight back and establish their freedom from their oppressors. Just 15 years later I had a similar epiphany. My battle to live my truth – as a gay man – landed me on the streets of NYC with just a desire to do good and a back-pack full of miscellaneous clothes to hold me over. It was a high price to pay for having pride, but I was willing to shell-out whatever was necessary to be me. I went to school, worked full-time and bounced around, headstrong in my belief that I would be okay. There were moments when I found myself in the home of some stranger and would get out of their bed and sit on their bathroom floor and quietly cry at the thought that I missed my family and that my sexual orientation could have brought me such isolation. My tears soon turned into a steely resolve and I adapted to life on the go. I remember doing things, that as I look back on today, I can only shake my head and give thanks that I’m still here. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Throughout those tough years I held on to my pride as a man and someone who was the same as my peers, but obviously different enough to warrant the extrication by my family and some of my friends Years later, I forgave – my family for their ignorance, the adults who took advantage of my innocence along the way and even myself for allowing my pride to place me in life-threatening situations. The one thing that remains the same as the day I walked out of my home at 15 is my pride. I’m proud to be a gay man who is respected by my peers, my colleagues and most people I come across on a daily basis. As I celebrate 23 years of being fully out (in every way imaginable) I notice that this Gay Pride is a sentimental one for me. I recognize the remarkable ability for life to come full circle with new opportunities for growth. I am in a new apartment, with a changing circle of friends and wonderful romantic interests. I have the acceptance of my friends and family. This Pride I celebrate the now; the beauty that is feeling peace and love. Most of all I sit back with a smile at the reality that through it all I’m here, I’m queer and like all my years passed, I’m proud of who I am.
Rapidly Fraying Rope; Ring the Alarm!
Today’s edition of Rapidly Fraying Rope addresses an issue that is fast-becoming a gnawing annoyance for me. You would think we don’t need to talk about this, but maybe there are those that are out of the loop on what the protocol is. So here goes… Phone Etiquette
1. When calling ANYONE you should leave a short and concise message that addresses what the call pertains to. If the person you are calling is not a close friend or not someone you speak with frequently, you should also leave the number where you would like to be called.
2. Unless your call is of an urgent nature or a serious emergency, you should not repeat the call on the same day. You should assume the person being called is extremely busy and will call you back. Realistically, if this is a TRUE emergency you should call the authorities OR someone who is available to take your call.
3. If you are following up your call with a text message, you should only leave one text message that contains basically the same information left on your voice-mail. Repeated text messaging is as annoying as calling someone and hanging-up before the voice mail answers.
4. Calls to individuals who are not returning your calls should not exceed three (3) calls total in a 7 day period. Following your third (3) call you should retain some of your dignity and not dial the number again. Be sure to follow step 1 with each new call.
5. Anytime you call someone – and I do this frequently – and choose not to leave a message, it is assumed that you have nothing important to say and are probably just trying to stay in touch. You should assume that your call may or may not be returned, since it doesn’t appear to require a return call and none was requested.
6. If someone is gracious enough to answer your call and mentions that they are busy, but will call you back, DO NOT move forward with your conversation as though you can get everything you need to say in the quick moment before the call is disconnected. Promptly thank the person for answering and say, “Super. Please call me back.”
7. Outside of dire emergencies, calls requiring someone’s undivided attention should not be made from/to someone’s workplace. Discussions surrounding relationships, friendships or other personal issues should not be addressed at the workplace.
8. Outside of your children, ill parents, missing friend, etc., you should NEVER answer a call while on a date, a meeting or where your phone distraction will be construed as rude or disrespectful.
9. Do not have casual phone conversations in enclosed places – public transportation, elevators, church, etc.
10. Modern phones pick-up a remarkable amount of sound. Your “inside” voice is easily heard via a phone. Do not yell while speaking on your phone in public. If you MUST raise your voice to be heard, the conversation should be moved to a quieter location. Excuse yourself and handle your business.
What do you believe is the biggest generalization, stereotype or misconception about gay men?
Keep passin’ the open windows…