Friday, June 22, 2007

Morning Edition - 6/22/07

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.

On Blast
What do you believe is the biggest generalization, stereotype or misconception about gay men?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

14 comments:

yet another black guy said...

i have to say that this is one of the most moving posts i've EVER read. this is the epitome of PRIDE. i can only hope to get to that level of self freedom.

i would say the most generalized statement of gay men is that they are extremely promiscuous.

Adam said...

I'd have to agree with "yet another..." on both points.

Gay men ARE generalized, as is everyone else. But the big one is that we are too promiscuous. I don't think, though, that it bothers a lot of gay men, as many choose to perpetuate this generalization.

One generalization that I've grown to like is the one that involves our gay dollars becoming more valuable and sought after. This one causes peole to want us around. : - )

I also have a few of my own. Gay men (AND women) are:

Tasteful
Sharp Witted
Strong
Determined
Creative/Talented
Resourceful
Fun Loving
Forever Young
The list goes on : - )

Darius T. Williams said...

Yea - so this phone deal...your advice is pretty hilarious...true, but hilarious.

That Dude Right There said...

I agree, the thought that we are promiscuous is the first thing that comes to mind. But in addition, the thought that we want to have sex with EVERY straight man in the world.

That Dude Right There said...

I agree, the thought that we are promiscuous is the first thing that comes to mind. But in addition, the thought that we want to have sex with EVERY straight man in the world.

lala said...

Hector...that was beautiful! I really admire you for standing up for what you believe in even when the world was against you. I admire you even more for being able to forgive those who hurt you and turned their backs on you. We can all look back on situations and decisions that we made and wonder how we made it through. You have one of the biggest hearts I have ever seen in a human being. I will always love you no matter what!

life said...

lol @ etiquette

Kensilo said...

The biggest generalization for me is Gays are always about sex and not about relationships. Which is NOT (always)true.

WOW... you have a past there. Thanks you for sharing. It was very meaningful.

Ok, the phone thing... Is someone stalking u???? LOL. I agree totally with what u posted there.

WiseYoungMan said...

when i read what you wrote about pride, i was incredibly moved by your story, your struggle and triumph. When I think about all the trials that so many GLBT people went through, and continual to go through just to be able to say "I'M HERE" it really shows both the strength and beauty within our souls, even at the hands of those who would hurt us.
As far as your phone etiquette, YOU SHITED FOR THAT LIST. I was reading it like wow this is really informative, it makes sense, and is incredibly useful. I think you channeled the spirit of Emily Post in that blog.
Now as far as stereotypes of gay men, I think the most pervasive one is that we want to be women.

Dayne Avery said...

Amen at phone etiquette. I thought it had become extinct. One of my pet peeves is the dreaded repeat caller. When someone calls back to back or more than a few times a day without hearing from me that should mean I’m not available right? Why don’t some people understand that?

On a side note Hey Cocoa!

Valentino said...

oh if only I'd had this to read as a younger boy...I would love to reach ur level of pride one day.

I'm on the bandwagon with the generalization that all we do is have sex with any and every man we can.

Anonymous said...

An on time Question...

Just this weekend several friends, gay, straight, women and men had this very enlightening conversation.

The consensus was that gay men have a bad rap. Men are no more promiscuous than any other group of people. We have, what I was raised to call them, people with white liver's in every group. Those that need a lot of sexual attention. We have the conservative and very conservative people who believe that sexual intercourse is reserved for a meaningful relationship only. Then you those that don't need it often but at times, they do and they satiate that need or desire. I say, we have to relate this back to images we see from the media. We don't see a variety of gay men and or woman in the media, ie the macho man or the feminine woman. An on time Question...

Just this weekend several friends, gay, straight, women and men had this very enlightening conversation.

The consensus was that gay men have a bad rap. Men are no more promiscuous than any other group of people. We have, what I was raised to call them, people with white liver's in every group. Those that need a lot of sexual attention. We have the conservative and very conservative people who believe that sexual intercourse is reserved for a meaningful relationship only. Then you those that don't need it often but at times, they do and they satiate that need or desire. I say, we have to relate this back to images we see from the media. We don't see a variety of gay men and or woman in the media, i.e. the macho man or the femine woman and these images affect our youth in their thinking of how they should act.

Cocoa Rican said...

I agree folks... the #1 stereotype for gay men appears to be that we're promiscuous... not me of course...LOL... the one that tends to bug me the most is that we want to be female... that generalization could not be further from the truth for me. I love being a man!

Anonymous said...

ok....so let me get this straight....
gay men do not want to be women....but some are very feminine....is that to attract males?

educate moi, por favor, merci beaucoup