Showing posts with label Out. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Out. Show all posts

November 2, 2016

Be Proud of The Out 100





 
I hope you feel both inspired and proud by the Out 100 list of this year.  Out.com publishes the list every year and you can click or paste on your browser the following link and take a look at this year’s  list. 

http://www.out.com/out100-2016/2016/10/31/out100-2016


There are more than 100 well known LGBT people in our world community and they belong to all different social spheres.  Some bring us shame but most of them make us proud. Just like in any other community we have the scientists and the space cadets covering magazines and newspapers as well as blogs as this one all over the world.  

Sometimes I wonder how can we have homophobes and bigots in our out community since we know discrimination first hand but we are only human and a product of our environment. We are however special in the courage that it takes to come out and stay out. Some have come out to later on say they didn’t mean it and that’s why the coming out is a process not just one event, a race to the finish yet  not a sprint. We have to come out many times in our lives from our families to our friends.

We take every day as it comes but most of us once decided we need to be ourselves and we are tired of lying and living someone else's lives we obtain a peace of mind and growth of spirituality, the kind that has nothing to do with religion but from the peace and relief we acquire when we know who we are.  We might not know why we are here and sometimes where are we going but is so important to know who we are so we can take advantages of our attributes and control our shortcomings.

March 11, 2016

Homophobic Hollywood have Some Brave Actors That are Out and Thriving



For as homophobic as Hollywood can be there are also many honest brave actors that have come out and still they thrive in their careers. Once gay marriage was made legal in this country it changed everything. It is a platform LGBT can stand with dignity and shame the detractors by reminding them that wether single or married the gay haters are the ones that should be ashamed. They are the ones that are going against the legal laws in the country and the history pathways that makes discrimination out of form with the human experience.

I will like to show 15 actors, many you know and some you night not but they are out and thriving in Hollywood. Many came out a long time ago but others are young belonging to a generation of people that does not understand why they should hide from who they are.
                                                                           

October 17, 2015

Only Out Jamaican Writer Describes Growing Up in a Homophobic Country


                                                                         
Out gay Jamaican writer Marlon James


Marlon James has become the first Jamaican to win the Man Booker fiction prize for “A Brief History of Seven Killings.”
James, 35, said he had to leave his homeland just to be able to do simple things: “You might want to walk down the street and hold somebody’s hand one day. When you grow up in a homophobic country, you’re sitting on a time bomb.”
Before coming to the States and taking a job at Macalaster College in Minnesota in 2007, he recalls living in fear. 
“I was so convinced that my voice outed me as a fag that I had stopped speaking to people I didn’t know,” he wrote in an essay in the New York Times. “The silence left a mark, threw my whole body into a slouch, with a concave chest, as if trying to absorb impact.”
“I bought myself protection by cursing, locking my lisp behind gritted teeth, folding away my limp wrist and drawing 36-double-D girls for art class. I took a copy of Penthouse to school to score cool points, but the other boys called me ‘batty boy’ anyway — every day, five days a week. To save my older, cooler brother, I pretended we weren’t related.”
In addition to Seven Killings, James is the author of John Crow’s Devil and The Book of Night Women
He hopes the award will draw attention to the robust literary scene in his homeland.
“There’s this whole universe of really spunky creativity that’s happening,” he said. “I hope it brings more attention to what’s coming out of Jamaica and the Caribbean.”
The novel is based on an imagined oral history of a 1976 attempt to kill reggae singer Bob Marley. It focuses on a group of young men who burst into Marley’s home with automatic weapons before a peace concert — an event Marley survived.
The 668-page book deftly captures the language and life of the Caribbean, and James says he hopes more Caribbean writers will follow in his footsteps.

“Jamaica has a really really rich literary tradition, it is kind of surreal being the first and I hope I’m not the last and I don’t think I will be,” James said.
The openly gay writer has spoken at length about growing up in a homophobic country, a topic he also included in the book.
“It was very important to me that there were gay characters in the book – to reflect the gayness and hypocrisy in Jamaica,” he told The Independent.
Although it’s clear the 44-year-old author holds his country in esteem, he now lives in Minneapolis.

“You might want to walk down the street and hold somebody’s hand one day. When you grow up in a homophobic country, you’re sitting on a timebomb,” he said.
Jamaica still has anti-sodomy laws on the books, dating back to 1864. The country’s “Offenses Against the Person Act” make such actions punishable by imprisonment or 10 years hard labor. In a 2014 report by Human Rights Watch, more than half of LGBT people surveyed had been the victim of a violent crime.
James said his father inspired him to begin writing, although he did give it up for a time after one book was rejected more than 70 times.

The 47-year-old prize has previously gone to writers Salman Rushdie, Hilary Mantel, Margaret Atwood and J.M. Coetzee. It comes with a $76,000 reward.
“A Brief History of Seven Killings” is his third novel.

November 15, 2013

If You Are Young, Educated and Out Gay You Have a Job on Wall St

 Wall Street

 Nick Maddock used to assume that being gay could only limit him on Wall Street. Instead, it opened a door.
“I want to break that mold, the stereotype of what gay people want to be,” said Maddock, 22, a senior at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, during a reception at theOut for Undergraduate Business Conference at JPMorgan Chase & Co. headquarters in New York.
The OUBC organization covered Maddock’s travel and lodging expenses, putting him in contact with recruiters in the industries where he’s aiming for a job.
Wall Street is paying special attention to young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) applicants during the hiring process for college seniors. Beyond embracing gay rights, the country’s largest banks, brokerages and consulting firms are vying to retire their conservative image and try to improve profits along with diversity.
“The perception of Wall Street, historically, was that it’s very macho and doesn’t necessarily have space for difference,” said Todd Sears, 37, a former investment and private banker who now consults on LGBT business opportunities. “Companies are realizing that diversity is a smart business choice.”
Last week the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would prohibit firings based on sexual orientation, which currently isn’t outlawed in 29 states. The bill’s future is less certain in the Republican-controlled House, where Speaker John Boehner of Ohio has expressed opposition to the measure. 
Virtually all of Wall Street has extended protections to LGBT workers and benefits to their partners. Companies such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are among those that have supported changes in state laws that bar same-sex marriage.
“LGBT equality is not only a civil rights issue, it is also a business issue,” said Goldman Sachs Chief Executive OfficerLloyd C. Blankfein in April while speaking at the Out on the Street summit founded by Sears. “To be successful, we must attract, retain and promote from the broadest pool of talent available.”
The buying power of LGBT Americans is estimated at $830 billion this year, according to Washington-based marketer Witeck Communications Inc. That’s up from $790 billion in 2012 and compares with about $12.4 trillion in total spending power of U.S. consumers, said Bob Witeck, who has been advising corporations on LGBT consumers since 1993.
“By hiring gay people, a financial services company may recognize they have a chance” to expand their share of LGBT clients, Witeck said. Gay financial counselors “will probably have a lot more sensitivity” in connecting with that market, he said, because “they have some affinity for their needs and issues.”

Perfect Score

Of 688 large U.S. companies rated on their inclusive treatment of LGBT workers, 33 in the banking and financial services sector received a perfect score in the 2013 Corporate Equality Index, compared with one bank when the survey began in 2002. The survey is conducted by the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for lesbian and gay Americans. Part of a company’s score hinges on best practices, including gay-focused recruitment.
Appealing to that population is a “particular passion” for Brian Rolfes, the director of global recruiting at McKinsey & Co., who is gay. The consulting firm “looks for the same attributes in all the candidates we hire,” according to Rolfes.
“We will reach out to various communities to encourage folks to consider us,” he said. “Today, a lot of our competitors are also targeting LGBT talent, as they should be.”

Donations Increase

As part of their outreach, financial services companies are donating to conferences like OUBC. Bloomberg LP is one of the sponsors. In 2011, OUBC reported $279,500 in contributions, up from $166,000 the previous year.
“By having a more diverse workforce, you’re better reflecting your clients,” said Baylee Feore, the executive director of OUBC, which just had its 10th conference. Attendees “have more chances to make a good impression, but when you go to the interview, you fail or succeed on your own merits.”
Many of OUBC’s 30 sponsors also hold their own LGBT networking receptions at top-ranked schools like Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, according to their directors of career services.
The “Big Three” consulting firms -- McKinseyBain & Co. and Boston Consulting Group Inc. -- will match self-declared lesbian and gay students requesting support with employees who volunteer to help prepare them for an interview.

Business Career

One such volunteer is Marco Chan in the Washington office of Bain. The Harvard graduate, 25, said he probably would’ve shied away from a business career if not for OUBC.
Chan said he views his sexual orientation as an asset in his career, providing a network of mentors and friends. “I’m very deliberate in sharing parts of my LGBT life,” said Chan, who attaches a rainbow pin to the bag he takes on client visits. “It feels less transactional when you come out to your clients and involve them in your LGBT identity.”
Henry Orzynski, 24, an analyst with JPMorgan, said being openly gay has helped him earn the trust of clients and the respect of his managers. In his year-end review, Orzynski said he was praised for displaying his boyfriend’s picture on his desk, a reaction he didn’t expect.
“That was actually brought up as evidence of character, so it’s definitely a comfortable environment,” he said. “To be a person that’s open about everything is an advantage when dealing” with clients.

Internal Network

At Ernst & Young LLP, Jorgan von Stiening is co-chairman of the company’s internal LGBT network, “Beyond.” The network pointed von Stiening to an opening in the real estate division, he said, allowing him to change tracks.
Now in his seventh year at Ernst & Young, von Stiening, 29, is working to turn the affinity network into a platform that’s “actually something quantifiable for the firm in terms of getting business.”
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has an advisory board of 10 LGBT partners at a time, said Jennifer Allyn, managing director of PwC’s office of diversity. The group focuses on providing mentorship much more than attracting outside clients, Allyn said, though it has a business development subcommittee.
“We have certain advisers who spend a little more time in the LGBT community than others,” said Kelly Coffey, deputy CEO at the JPMorgan U.S. Private Bank. “But we don’t centralize that in any way.”

Foreign Clients

While Coffey hasn’t observed any American clients hesitate to work with an openly gay adviser, she said, foreign clients might be less willing to -- a concern echoed by Chan, the Bain consultant, who hasn’t had a negative interaction so far.
“Laws are the way they are in the Middle East and Singapore,” Chan said. “The reality is that our firm does everything it can to be supportive, but people still go outside the office.”
Not every path on Wall Street has opened up to LGBT workers, according to Brian McNaught, a sensitivity trainer based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, whose clients have included Goldman Sachs and Citigroup Inc. While McNaught has seen progress in corporate policies, he still hears about casual slurs on trading floors.
“The traders will make fun of you for any difference,” he said. “They know they’re the golden boys, the ones who bring in the money. It’s very different from being in a back office.”

‘Naïve Approach’

Wall Street’s LGBT outreach seems like “a well-intentioned but naïve approach, with little impact,” said John Sullivan, a management professor at San Francisco State University who assesses recruiting strategies. Banks and consulting firms aren’t necessarily tracking whether lesbian and gay workers are represented across segments, or promoted with the same frequency, he said.
“You don’t try to measure those things if you’re afraid of what you’re going to find,” Sullivan said.
Feore, the head of OUBC, said there’s still a “mirroring problem” in many corporate workplaces, where minorities become dispirited and may quit if they don’t see people like them in senior positions.
Back in Missouri and busy with job applications, Maddock said in a phone interview that OUBC was an “eye-opener” about his employment potential in finance or consulting. He plans on contacting the recruiters he met to help get interviews.
“The world is changing to a more LGBT-accommodating view,” he said. “You see these front-runners in business who are right there on top of this.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Schenkel in Washington atbschenkel@bloomberg.net

September 2, 2013

Julie Chen is getting a rude awakening about her racist remarks within the Big Brother house -- and then some.


Julie Chen confronted Aaryn Gries about racist commentsAs the latest evicted houseguest from Big Brother 15, Aaryn Gries was confronted by Julie Chen about her racist remarks within the Big Brother house during her exit interviewCredit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Sonja Flemming/CBS
Aaryn Gries is in for a rude awakening. As the latest contestant of Big Brother Season 15 to get voted out of the house on Thursday, Aug. 29, the Texan native was immediately confronted by host Julie Chen about her racist remarks within the Big Brother house -- and then some.
"Being Southern, it is a stereotype and I have said some things that have been taken completely out of context and wrong. I do not mean to ever come off racist," she said defending herself. "That is not me and I apologize to anyone I have offended for that."
In probably the first time in BB history, Gries, 22, was welcomed by several loud boos in the audience once exiting the house. Chen, 43, remained professional, simply reading off direct quotes from what Gries has specifically said during her first few weeks on the CBS show.
"Be careful what you say in the dark, you might not be able to see the b-tch," Gries previously said, referring to African-American contestantCandice Stewart; "Shut up, go make some rice," she said about Asian player Helen Kim; and "Nobody is going to vote for whoever that queer puts up," commenting on gay contestant, Andy Herren.
"I really feel bad that this is how it has been seen and how I've come across to people," Gries said before saying goodbye. "I don't want to seem like that person and I really do respect everyone in this game, although we have had some really hard times because we’re all fighting for our lives in the game."
Chen replied: "I hope after you watch the footage, you have a new perspective on things."
Indeed, Gries -- though headed to the jury house for now -- will be in for quite the shock once leaving the game after the show's season finale in late September. Unbeknownst to her, the reality star has been fired from her modeling agency job due to her racist and homophobic remarks, and her mother has even hired a publicist to help control the situa

October 27, 2012

Out Actor Max Von Essen Shares Letter to Friend Backing Romney

 'I'm so tired of knowing I have friends on here who will vote for someone who will keep me a second class citizen for my entire lifetime’ 

 BY GREG HERNANDEZ
gaystarnews.com

 

Actor Max Von Essen, currently starring on Broadway in the musical Evita, is sharing a letter he wrote to a Facebook friend planning to vote for Mitt Romney for president of the US.
The 38-year-old actor, who is openly gay, details the reasons why he does not want Romney and running mare Paul Ryan to be elected on 6 November.
'I know people are suffering and the economy has not improved at a rate we all wish it would,' he writes. 'Yes, people are suffering but the gay and lesbian community has been suffering for hundreds of years and I am so tired of it. So tired of feeling that I am less than. So tired of knowing I have friends on here who will vote for someone who will keep me a second class citizen for my entire lifetime.'
Von Essen points out that the Republican candidates are against gay marriage and favor a amendment to the US constitution that would prevent them from being recognized on a federal level. Romney has also stated that he thinks hospital visitation should be left up to states to decide.
'They also believe that being at your partner’s side when he/she is dying is a benefit, not a civil right,' he writes. 'They could keep me from my partner dying in a hospital. Could you even imagine something like that in your own life? Being separated from your wife on her death bed? Could you imagine your marriage never being recognized and being told that your family is not a family and you do not deserve any federal rights that comes with marriage. Over 1100 rights.Did you know that? 1100.'
The actor makes clear that anyone who doesn't think LGBT equality is important should remove him from their friends list.
He writes: 'I need people in my life who love me and consider me 100% equal.'

October 16, 2012

Now Out Gold Medalist Selmone Augustus Now Fighting For Gay Rights

Image (fromt left to right): LaTaya Varner & Minnesota Lynx player Seimone Augustus (© Jim Mone/Associated Press)
Seimone Augustus has always preferred to stay out of the public eye even as her basketball career has taken her to the heights of an Olympic gold medal and a WNBA championship.
With her adopted home state of Minnesota considering a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, the Lynx star is now becoming a vocal proponent of equal rights for gays.
After all, she has her own wedding coming up, to longtime girlfriend LaTaya Varner.
''I felt like it was the perfect time for me, being on a platform where I can make a change with my voice and my situation,'' Augustus told The Associated Press. ''Maybe inspire someone else to come out and be comfortable with themselves. Or maybe someone else's parents will see my parents saying that it's OK to be with your child and love your child unconditionally regardless of your sexual preference.''
Augustus came out to supportive parents when she was still in high school and has never hidden the fact that she's a lesbian. But it wasn't until she proposed to Varner on Miami Beach that she started feeling comfortable with the idea of taking things public.
''I told her it's a very huge step,'' Varner said. ''Not everybody can do it. ... It's a major move when anybody can take those next steps.''
Down 1-0 to Indiana in the best-of-five WNBA Finals, the Lynx are looking to become the league's first repeat champions in 10 years. Augustus also is fresh off a gold medal at the London Olympics, so she's hoping to take advantage of her increased national profile to help influence the vote.
Augustus and Varner plan to be married in May, and they have dreamed of a celebration at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Varner is doing most of the planning, aside from the dessert on the menu and the shoes on Augustus' feet.
''That's the only thing I want,'' Augustus said. ''Red velvet cake and Chuck Taylors.''
Regardless of what happens with the November vote, an official marriage in Minnesota almost certainly won't happen. State law already makes gay marriage illegal, and the couple has discussed traveling a few hours south to Iowa for the official exchanging of vows.
But a constitutional ban on gay marriage would signal to them that the dream of marriage equality in Varner's home state is nowhere near as close to a reality as they hoped.
''I just never understood why someone else's love life and who they love and who they choose to be with affects so many other people's lives,'' Augustus said. ''Is it a scare of, `Gay people are going to be running around and everyone's going to turn gay?'''
''I never understood the whole point of opposing or hating someone else's happiness.''
Varner says she expects gay marriage will eventually be legal in the state, and a ''No'' vote victory in November would be a sign that times are changing.
''It's not just me and Seimone that are living our lives the way they are,'' she said. ''There are so many other people besides someone who is in the limelight.''
Leaders of Minnesota for Marriage, the group pushing for the constitutional ban, have said they're not trying to keep loving couples apart. Instead, they say they want the strongest possible legal protection for what they call traditional marriage, between a man and a woman.
Some high-profile athletes have taken their side: Matt Birk, a center for the Baltimore Ravens and formerly the Minnesota Vikings, wrote a newspaper op-ed and appeared in an online advertisement in favor of the ban.
''Augustus is free to love anyone she wants, but she doesn't have the right to force same-sex marriage on all Minnesotans without a vote,'' said Chuck Darrell, spokesman for Minnesota for Marriage.
Augustus credits the happiness she's found with Varner for the fact that she's playing the best basketball of her life. The Lynx missed the playoffs in Augustus' first five seasons and she also had a serious knee injury and a scary bout with tumors in her abdomen in 2010. Varner was there to help her through both rehabilitations, and Augustus has rebounded with a vengeance.
She averaged 22 points a game in the playoffs last season to lead the Lynx to the franchise's first title, then won gold in London this summer before helping Minnesota reach the WNBA finals for a second straight year.
''No way. It's totally coincidence,'' Augustus said, playfully nudging Varner. ''When you find happiness outside of basketball, when your personal life is intact, of course your career is going to fall into place and it has been like that for me.
''Everything at home has been wonderful and now everything on the basketball side is there. And the great thing about it is she's been there with me. She was here when the Lynx were 0-10 (in 2007) and she was here when we went on that championship run.''
Augustus' decision to take a more public role in advocating for gay rights is drawing some applause from an athletic scene that has never been particularly welcoming to gay athletes. No active male athlete in the four major pro sports - football, baseball, basketball or hockey - has come out publicly as gay, according to the gay-oriented sports website Outsports.com.
''I think it's awesome because it shows that she's comfortable being who she is and she feels she has the support and people won't treat her differently just because of her sexuality,'' said Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, a straight athlete who has been outspoken in his support of gay marriage. ''It shouldn't affect who you are on the basketball court or football field or even as a human being because of who you love. That's not what makes you a person.''
Augustus is wearing one of Kluwe's ''Sparklepony'' T-shirts - a phrase Kluwe used in an aggressive response to a Maryland state legislator's efforts to quiet Baltimore Ravens player Brendon Ayanbedejo's public support of gay marriage - during interviews at the WNBA Finals to raise awareness. Her teammates, coaches and the Lynx front office have fully supported Augustus' efforts.
''The easier route would be to stay closeted because it isn't as accepted as we hope it would be,'' Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. ''I'm really proud of her for being out in the forefront.''
Augustus said she never once felt concerned about how her teammates and coaches would react, but acknowledged that would not be the case for any male athlete considering doing the same thing.
''For the most part, to be honest, everyone thinks that the WNBA is one big lesbo-party anyway,'' Augustus said. ''So the coming out process isn't as tough for us because people are already expecting it.
''For the men's side, because it's like alpha male ego, for a guy to come out and be an active player, not a retired player, it would definitely blow up in the media spotlight.''
She calls the perception that the WNBA caters primarily to lesbians ''baloney.''"It's just hard to deal with at times because that's all people talk about, not really the quality of basketball in this league and how we've grown,'' Augustus said. ''But when you go on blogs they talk about how masculine you look or how aggressive you look.''
''I've never seen a basketball player that looks like a beauty pageant winner. We go out here, we work hard, we sweat, we have our hair all over. It's a very physical sport. We have to have a certain body type in order to play this game.''
Augustus said she's had several gay athletes reach out to her since she started speaking publicly about her relationship with Varner, and the once-camera shy star is warming up to the spotlight.
''Trailblazing,'' she said with a wide smile. ''I'm trailblazing. It feels great.’’
FOXSports.com 

Now Out NFL Wade Davis Talks About The Process of Coming Out

  
by Wade Davis II.


Former NFL player Wade Davis talks for National Coming Out Day about coming out to his mother.
Though I can remember almost everything about the day I came out to my mother – from her facial expression to her subtle physical responses – only recently have I tried to understand her reactions and consider her feelings throughout my “coming out” process.
James Baldwin said it best: “Everybody’s journey is individual.” That was definitely true when I decided to “come out” to my mother. Inviting others into your personal life and no longer rendering one’s sexuality invisible is important and can momentarily leave one incapable of understanding what anyone else is experiencing. And justifiably so.
My only focus at the time was the need to understand my attraction to men. I spent hours – days – thinking about what that meant and how it would change everything around me. I was my only focus.
What I neglected to consider were my mother’s life experiences that would shape her reaction to my news – and her eventual acceptance. The typical narrative crossed my mind about how she was groomed in a southern Baptist church.
Yet in reality, how could I ever fully understand what that must have been like?  So I became incensed when she rejected my sexual identity, and even more enraged when she rejected me even after she promised to make an effort. From my vantage point, I could not see her effort. That was the heart of our problem: We were both blinded by our own viewpoints. My viewpoint: a search for my own identity. My mother’s: the vision she had for her only son.
Though I believe her past experiences had an influence, I now wonder if there were other factors affecting her reaction beyond that. I wonder about her contexts, how growing up Black/woman/poor in the patriarchal Jim Crow South might have shaped the way she views the world. I can only recreate a vague portrait of how hard it was to raise a Black daughter and son in the South. And I blindly muse about the ways being a divorced single Black woman may have impacted her life.
When I proclaimed I was gay – her second comment was, “you’re already Black.” Immediately I understood what that meant. As a Black man, I was born into the world with one unerasable strike.  And the idea that her supposedly strong Black son would “intentionally” add another was unimaginable to her.
My mother grew up as a young Black female in the South, meaning she witnessed the manifestation of hatred directed towards a particular group of people.  Segregation, hatred, and quite possibly death were the results.  She was raised with and helped raise four brothers, so I can only imagine she observed, firsthand, that which the world had in store for a Black man. Maybe she understood that raising a Black son meant teaching him one of his most important lessons: How to stay alive.  Though oftentimes I perceived our relationship as defined by favoritism, it was actually something much deeper. My mother kept me close in order to save my life.
My life was in her hands in more ways than I had the knowledge to understand then. And what mother wants to tell her son, “this world hates you,” or that you were never meant to survive.  I can only attempt to envision what she may have been thinking. Actually how could I fully understand? I can’t visualize living as a Black woman, being perceived as a “welfare queen” during the Reagan years; Or the family-destroying matriarch while Black women existed as the lowest-paid wage earners (as it still exists now); Or being objectified and caged into the myopic imaginations of others.  All the while watching husbands, uncles, and brothers die or be treated as savages.
Then birthing a son.
Being a parent is inherently arduous, but to live in the U.S. as a parent raising a Black son is to live in constant fear, to live in a constant state of anxiety for what the world might throw at him every time he is out of your sight.
So how could I understand? Why would I imagine her history, when it was not mine? I can’t. But I’m trying. Mostly, I’m trying to understand why and how my choice of whom to love could rock her to the core and unravel a relationship that I thought was stronger than the Rock of Gibraltar.
The announcement of my sexuality was my effort to help her see me as an adult – an extension of her – and not the little boy whom she worked so tirelessly to save and protect.  The generosity of her love was the sustenance that I lived off of as a child, and that I continue to use as I strive to define success for myself today.
I will persist to remove the space that still exists between us, which has been caused by years of uncertainty and heartache.
Now that she has accepted me, all of me, I can rest. Thankfully we allowed each other the space to cope with the external forces that shaped our interactions with each other. But I can rest only for a moment because we must continue to remove the space created by our perceived differences and replace it with love.
That’s been my big lesson in all of this: Love removes the space that causes our fears, insecurities, and inhibitions to keep us a part. Love is freedom.  We can finally see each other for who we really are, as individuals who must now and forever do the work to understand the other person’s perspective, and respect – as opposed to inspect – every choice the other one makes. We must practice the art of viewing EVERYONE through the lens of love.
Our world will look vastly different when we do.

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