Tuesday, November 15, 2011

OUT, Part I...

Imagine you are in a confined space. Not big enough for you to lie down, or to stand up in. There's a door, but it's locked from the outside. There's a source of air, but it comes in slow and stale. You can hear, and even see everything outside, because this entire room is made of glass. It's dingy, streaked, and dirty glass, but you can make out your friends, your family, and anyone else that passes by. They speak to you, and even treat you as they always have, but don't acknowledge that you are in this space. And slowly, but surely, this space starts to shrink. First, it starts coming down from above, and then from the sides, squeezing you tighter and tighter until you are pressed up against the glass, screaming, begging for mercy.

Some call it a shrinking room, or a cell. I call it a closet. THE Closet. Yes, that closet.

On tonight's episode of Glee, the character of Santana, who has been slowly accepting that she is gay, was cruelly outed by another character, Finn, who, while he has a heart of gold, doesn't exactly have a brain to match. I saw some people on twitter cheer for Finn when he called Santana out in the hallway, saying she deserved it.


The Closet is a scary enough, lonely place without other people pulling you out before you're ready. Not to mention it's dangerous. No matter how well you think you know someone, or their situation, you don't. PERIOD. You may be able to sympathize, but there is NO WAY you could possibly know.

Last Friday was Veterans' Day, and I had the honor of meeting many Veterans and listening to their stories. As most of you know, I have many veterans in my family. I was discussing the fact that when I was a junior in high school, I took the ASVAB and scored a 97, the third highest score possible. I could have joined any branch I wanted to, and done just about anything I wanted, but I didn't. Why? Because by the time I graduated high school, i'd been out for two years, and I wasn't ready to go back in. (Obviously, if it were today, I'd be good...ten years a bit too late...)

Most people I say this too, "who cares? just don't tell them you're gay..."

My response to this is always the same: I spent fifteen years hiding what I knew to be true, and who I was, deep down inside. I thought of suicide constantly, and I was terrified that someone would find out, and I would not only be humiliated, but remember, I live in Texas, and being queer in Texas is both a spectator sport, and a contact sport, and not in the good, fun way. I wasn't about to go into a situation with MANY highly trained, highly aggressive, ARMED men with too much testosterone, and try to get away with HIDING, even for one hour. Wasn't gonna happen.

I don't care how mean, cruel, or degrading someone is, no one deserves the pain of being outed before they're ready. If it's an honest accident, that's one thing. But if it's intentional, and you consider yourself GLBT friendly, or an ALLY, then you need to stop and look at yourself again, because no true friend would thrust someone into a situation they're not prepared for. Not unless you plan on going down that same road, the ENTIRE TIME, by their side, without fail. And no matter how good of a friend you are, that just can't be possible.

Take it from someone who knows. If you read one of my previous posts, you'll know that I had the misfortune of having private letters of mine stolen, copied, and posted all over school in my sophomore year in high school. It was literally a page from hollywood. Not even two months earlier, THAT EXACT THING happened on Dawson's Creek. It is embarrassing, humiliating, degrading, and depressing. It can do a lot more than knock someone's ego down a notch. It can cause serious pain, anguish, hurt, and it can lead them to take drastic measures, whether against themselves, or others.

IF you think Outing is right, then you are no true friend to a GLBT person. If you think Outing is fair to mean people, then you are just stooping to their level.

Also in tonight's episode, all the student body presidential candidates went negative against the others, EXCEPT FOR KURT. He stood up against bullying, against EVERYONE. He didn't say "except for those who hurt others already."

Last week, when he ran into his tormenter/bully/gay stalker Karofsky, Karofsky apologized, and Kurt did what he does best: he shows his humanity and compassion. HE FORGAVE HIM. He even made a point to tell him that he would never have told anyone that Karofsky was gay. EVER.

This is a guy who pushed him into lockers, who bullied him, teased him, threatened to MURDER HIM, and yet, Kurt forgave him. Forgiveness isn't just for Jesus, or God. It was created for humans, too. If you're holding a grudge...let it go. I know it's hard, and I'll be honest, there are even a couple I'm still holding for something horrible someone's done to me and my family or friends, but I hope to one day be able to say that all is well, and all is forgiven.

LOVE. It's not just a noun. It's a verb, too. Meaning (for those who are not grammatically inclined), it's not just a concept. It's an action. You have to love people, NO MATTER WHAT.

Wouldn't you want someone to love you NO MATTER WHAT? I know I would, and I'm lucky, because I do (thanks, Mom and Dad).

So please, if it's on your mind, don't out someone. Instead, REACH OUT. Be a friend. You can never have too many friends. Except on myspace.



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friendship, Part I...

I have had the fortune to have some of the best friends who have ever existed in my life. I would like to take the time now to say some things about some of those friends.

Tyler-- I can't believe we met ten years ago. With the exception of your mountain man beard, you look the same as the day I met you--skinny and adorable. You have always had the greats humility about you, as well as a sense of humor that makes me weep to the point of crying from laughing so hard. I think back sometimes to some of our struggles, and wonder what it'd be like if that never happened.

And every time I do, I decide that it's a good thing. Not the struggles themselves, but what came from it. A deeper, stronger friendship between us that I wouldn't change for the world. Everyone who knows me knows that you are my most cherished friend, and that there's almost no one else in the world I'd do absolutely anything for. And it's true.

Sometimes I get sad that I don't get to see you as often as I'd like, but then I realize it makes every time I DO see you that much more special. I love the fact that no matter how far apart we are, or how long it's been, we can just start where we left off last time. And that's something that I think not a lot of people have. Sometimes, I compare my other friendships to ours, and then I remember that that's ridiculous, because each friendship is unique, and each friend is unique.

I remember when Spring Awakening came to Dallas, and I wasn't sure you were gonna get to see it, so I made sure to get you an autographed picture of the actor who played Moritz (who you later said was amazing, because he was, when you got to see him). When I asked him to sign it to Tyler, he asked why I didn't want one for myself. I said I did have another one for myself, but I wanted your's signed first. He said "your friend Tyler must be someone special." Even he could tell, without having met you, just by how I talked about you, how much you meant to me. And how much you always will.

Thank you for the brief Tyler time I had on my birthday, because it was the best time I'd had in a long time. A birthday without you is like writing without paper and pen. It's possible, but it's so much more rewarding when you're there.

Thank you.


I thought about writing this mainly for you, since you're the one who's gonna be going away for so long, and so far away. First of all, I had a great time with you Thursday, and it was one of the best nights of my life. I'd forgotten how much fun it was just to hang out, and not have any worries for a few hours. I also thought a lot about what you said to me before I left, and I will cherish those words. It meant a lot to me. You couldn't see it, because it was so dark, and you were freezing, but I was blushing. Just a bit.

It's funny. Right after I left your street, I turned on the radio, and Matchbox 20's song "If you're Gone" came on. One of my favorites, and as I sang along, I thought about you, and how we first met, and I remembered New Years Eve of 2007, when you came to my house for my party, that NO ONE ELSE showed up to, and even though you had plans in Dallas, you made a point to stop by and see me for a bit. That meant a lot to me.

I also remember all the text conversations we've had, and after I told you I had something important I wanted to tell you, how I asked you not to get upset by it. And you went and got upset. Not because of what I had to tell you, but at the idea that I would think you would get upset. You said, "that's not fair. i'm your friend and you ask me to hear you out, but you act like i might get mad at what you said," or something along those lines. Basically, you chewed me out for not trusting you. And you were right to do so. As soon as you'd said that, I knew I'd made the right choice, not only in telling you what I'd wanted to tell you, but in my choice of friends. And if that wasn't enough, every day since then that I've spoken/texted/emailed/chatted with you, has confirmed it a hundredfold.

I am happy for you in your new venture, though I may still want you to stay in Texas. It's only natural. I'm told...

But I'm also so very proud of you. I learned a lot about cooking when I worked at Holiday Inn, and also while working at El guapo's and Applebee's. I've learned to pay attention, and every time I set out to cook, especially Italian food, I ask myself, "What would Mario do?" and "would mario like this?" and "it's Ri-C(g)OTE-A" not "Ri-COTT-A."

I wouldn't necessarily call what we have a bromance, but I would call it special. you're the most unique person I've ever met, what with your sense of humor, your loyalty to your friends, and your understanding of me and my eccentricities. I don't really pray all that much, or thank God for much...but when I do, I really mean it. I thank God for you (and you, too, Tyler!) because without you (both!) my life would me a depressing vacuum of suck.

So fare thee well, my liege, and don't forget us little folk. Especially when this little folk will be knocking on your door in philly saying "where's the beef(steak)?" and "i'm hungry, what are you cooking?"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

For Those Who Have Considered Suicide...

This Thursday, October 20, is National Spirit Day, in which LGBT people and their allies show their support of youth by wearing purple, in remembrance of those LGBT youth who struggled so much and could find no release, and took the ultimate measure and committed suicide.

This, as you may imagine, is a very personal issue for me. Being a gay man, especially one who grew up in the South (and still lives there), it wasn't just hard. It was EXCRUCIATING.

Every time I read about a teen who killed themselves because of bullying, it breaks my heart over and over again. This is truly the most devastating thing a family could experience. The most devastating thing a parent, a sibling, could ever imagine.

I am no psychic, nor a psychologist, but I can imagine the anguish and agony that one feels after someone kills him/herself, and the constant wondering "did i miss it?" or "what could i have done to prevent it?"

What I'm about to write, I have only shared with a VERY select few. Literally, no more than a handful of people in the last twelve years.

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was more depressed than I'd ever been, and never having really understood it up to that point, I, of course, thought that it would last forever. I did not have the foresight to believe that it would just go away eventually. That time would ease my pain, and that things would get SO MUCH BETTER.

People will tell you it doesn't always get better, and unfortunately, that can be true. Cause sometimes it does get better, then it gets worse, but guess what? it can also get better again.

This time in my life, as a sophomore in high school, I had a lot of acquaintances, but only a few TRUE, CLOSE friends.

I had said something (I forget what) that clued them in on my depression, and they understood it to mean that I was ready to harm myself. And they were right. I was ready to go home and do something drastic that I could never change afterward. I was ready to kill myself.

Was it due to bullying? Somewhat. More than anything, though, it was due to shame. My own shame. For who I was, for who I wasn't, and for who I never thought I could be.

At the time, my mother had me seeing a shrink, who was nice enough, but I just didn't think he could help. In fact, that day, I had an appointment, but I was planning on blowing it off and going home and doing the deed without telling anyone. I wasn't even sure if I was going to leave a note.

Thank all that is holy and sacred that I had two VERY TRUE FRIENDS who could see what was bothering me, and who'd told me they were gonna tell my mother exactly what I was planning, so if I even STILL went through with it, they knew I'd feel guilty for her knowing and not being able to stop it.

I hear about people who kill themselves, or plan to, who suddenly feel so calm once they've made the decision, both how to, and when to do it. I couldn't believe how calm I felt that day. I was truly prepared to end everything, and nothing else could bother me. Not even when people called me fag in the hallway, or told me they were gonna beat me up because I looked at them in a "gay way."

But something...strange...happened. Something...miraculous. This calm I felt? I could see through it and realize that despite everything I'd been feeling for months, I could finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. And that light is what guided me through the rest of the day, and ever since then, the whole of my life.

I'm not saying this light was God, or anything such as that. I DON'T KNOW what it was. Maybe it was the look on my friends' Michael and Michelle's faces that day as I walked toward my mother's car to go to my appointment, but right then and there, I decided not to go through with it.

Suicide is the easy way out. There is no other way to say it. I know it sounds harsh for those who have committed suicide, and I do not mean it as such. But it's the truth. Life is hard. Life is REALLY FUCKING HARD. Those who live it, and continue to live it, and try to make it better, those are the people I admire. Those who end it early? Those are the ones I feel for. Not pity. Those are the ones I empathize with.

A lot of people say they understand, or they may "know" how someone feels when they want to commit suicide. I don't believe anyone truly understands, or knows, how another may feel, unless they've been in those shoes. So when I tell you I know, or I understand, believe me, I DO.

Reading this week about Jamie Hubley, in Canada, and last month, about Jamey Rodemeyer, both of whom killed themselves due to bullying and depression, and both of whom who had posted their troubles online in videos, and tried to beat them, but failed, really made me thing back to that fateful day in sophomore year.

I can't, for the life of me, ever show my ETERNAL GRATITUDE to those two friends, Michael Mohler, and Michelle Moreno (Avila). Thank you, so much, for seeing in me what I couldn't, and believing in me.

These days, I'm a college graduate, with dreams of making it big in New York. I've found, throughout the years, full of both depression and elation, that having a goal is what truly makes a difference, for me. That, and role models, both old and young, who have shown me that I can not only see that IT GETS BETTER, but also that I can MAKE IT BETTER MYSELF.

A special thanks goes out to those who have made IT GETS BETTER videos, and promises, but I would like to specifically site a few...

Zachary Quinto, who just this weekend, revealed that he was gay, had a very powerful video...

Matt Doyle, a favorite of mine, and a true inspiration, every single day...

Chris Colfer...who, if you've read any of my blog before, you know how much I admire and adore...

And because I mentioned him earlier, and it is important to see that even the strongest of us can face such unseen obstacles of pain and torment, Jamey Rodemeyer...

PLEASE, if you are thinking of hurting yourself, please DON'T. Please, for the love of humanity, God, and all that is good in this world (because there is STILL PLENTY OF GOOD), call the trevor Project.

1-866-4U TREVOR

I promise you, it's worth it. I'm not longer considered a GLBT youth, but I've called the number before, just a few short years ago. They can help you. They can guide you. They can show you IT GETS BETTER.

Please...we've lost too many young people who could have made such a difference in this world.

And, please, don't ever forget those we have lost...

Billy Lucas, 15
Seth Walsh, 13
Tyler Clementi, 16
Jamey Rodemeyer, 14
Jamie Hubley, 15
Aiyisha Hassan, 19
Asher Brown, 13
Justin Aaberg, 15
Raymond Chase, 19
Cody J. Barker, 17
Zachary Harrington, 19
Lance Lundsten, 18

A list too long already, but not even close to everyone who should be honored...

Please, wear purple on Thursday, October 20, and don't just wait for people to ask...tell them why...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


please watch this first...

Today is October 11. This day is very important to me for a couple of reasons. First, is known, in the LGBT community, as National Coming Out Day. It is the day we have decided to embrace everyone in our community, and make our voices heard, our presence known, and our hearts open. Why October 11? It is the anniversary of the March On Washington for Gay Rights, on Oct. 11, 1987, where almost a million people marched on the Washington Mall for recognition of gay rights, including marriage, military service, and other issues.

Well, it's been 24 years, and we've done...okay, so far. Marriage is legal in six states now, including my dream home of New York City, and if I so chose, tomorrow I could go to a recruiting office, sign up, and serve my country.

This is important to me because I recognize that there is no ONE person who can make a difference...not without a ton of help. We are called a COMMUNITY because we share common things. Traits, sure. Politics? Sometimes. Desires? Well...not always. And goals? Depends on who you ask.

So what is that we share? An identity? Not necessarily that, either. Plenty of people who are attracted to the same sex don't call themselves gay, lesbian, or what have you, and that is perfectly within their right.

What most people don't understand about labels is that it is not what OTHERS call me in how I define myself. It is what I CALL MYSELF.

And what I CALL MYSELF is not just gay, not just an actor, or a writer, or a lover of musicals, or GLEE.


That is my name, and I like my name. In fact, I have the greatest name in the world. Besides being the most popular name in America for a VERY long time (I believe I read somewhere it was 45 years running at one point...), it means, in Hebrew, "He Who Is Like God."

Yeah, I know. Ego trip, right?

But more than that, it is the name I was given by the people who brought me into this world.

I also have a middle name. Roy. I don't always tell people my middle name, not because I'm embarrassed, but because it's kind of hard to talk about sometimes. My middle name is from my paternal grandfather, Roy Wayne Stratton, who died long before I was born. I never met him. I wish I had. I've heard stories over the years, stories which have made me proud, but I really wish I'd gotten a chance to meet him and get to know him myself.

So, there's that.

But...I said this day is important for a couple of reasons. It is the second reason which touches me deeper, and more emotionally, than anything ever has, or ever will. My last post was about 9/11, and how that affected me, and that is still such a great tragedy, and I would never poke fun or make light of it.

But to me, personally, the greater tragedy than thousands of lives taken...is the one taken, targeted, by hate.

I am referring to Matthew Shepard, the gay University of Wyoming student who was beaten, tied to a fence, and left for dead. He never woke from his coma, and he died in the early morning hours of October 11, 1998.

I was not even 16 yet, a Sophomore in high school, not much younger than Matt himself. And certainly not completely out. Only a handful of people knew, including my best (and oldest) friend, a couple other schoolmates (not exactly friends, anymore, anyway), and my parents, who knew in their hearts, even though they'd had the decency to go along with my "God told me not to be gay, so I'm not" phase. (Thanks, mom and dad, btw...)

I remember reading the paper (as I did every morning. I'm STILL a news junkie...) about how he'd been found, never regained conciousness, and how his mother and father stayed by his bedside every moment till after he was gone. I thought, if I could do ONE THING, other than going back in time and making it never happen, it would be to reach out to Matthew's mother, and give her the biggest hug I could muster.

Alas, I was unable to.

This haunted me for weeks, until finally, I broke down, and I confessed, again, to my parents, the truth. That I was gay, and there was nothing that could change it. I was pretty surly, if I remember correctly, and I'm pretty sure my attitude was something like "if you don't like it, then fuck you."

Fortunately, my parents were (and ARE) totally awesome, and they told me they loved me. And THIS TIME, I didn't take it back. ;O

Five years later, I'm a sophomore in college. I'm a theatre major, and I have the brilliant fortune to be cast in a production of The Laramie Project, a play that was written directly in response to Matthew's murder, and which to this day, evokes a gut wrenching sob every time I read it or think too hard and long about it.

I couldn't believe my luck. I wanted to tell this story more than anything, especially in the face of protesters with their disgusting signs of GOD HATES FAGS and MATT IN HELL and THANK GOD FOR AIDS.

Oh, what I wouldn't have given to knock some sense into those bastards...

Luckily, my brethren at Bruce Hall did it for me, all without violence, and with quite a bit of humor and charm.

But the best was yet to come.

A mere week after we finished our production, there was a very special guest speaker on campus. A woman by the name of Judy Shepard. Matthew's mother, who still travels to tell her story, and to fight homophobia all over the country.

After her speech, the audience (of which our entire cast had been invited to), was asked for questions. Being me, I sprang up out of my seat, and had the honor of asking the first question. After thanking her for taking the time to come to our little campus, I asked her what she thought her son would think of the protesters, and how he would react to them. I also asked what she would want to tell him if he were alive, and what she thought he would want to tell us.

She seemed to smile (as best as I could tell. I was at least thirty yards away while she was onstage).

She told me she'd tell him she loved him, and that he would probably ignore the protesters, or make a joke, and go about his business, because he was a peaceful person.

I was happy enough to be in the same room with this incredible woman, nevertheless get an answer from a question I had asked.

But the best was yet to come.

Thanks to a dear friend of mine (David Warner, I'm talking about you!) our cast was invited to lunch with Judy, through the campus group GLAD (Gay and Lesbian Association of Denton).

It is there I met her in person, shook her hand, told her how inspiring she was, and I finally, after five years, got to do what I'd promised I would. I gave her the biggest hug I could muster.

Tears were in my eyes, and I don't know if she cried, too, but she seemed grateful, and for that, so am I.

I left that lunch that day with a renewed sense of purpose, and a renewed energy towards fighting for equality, and fighting for what I believe in.

October 11 is a very special day in my life, and I will always remember what it means to me, and to others.

Thank you, Matthew.

Thank you, Judy Shepard.

Thank you, Mom and Dad.

And thank you to all the people out there who have fought for equality.

And to all those who struggle with their identity, and struggle to be who they are, and more than anything, to be honest with themselves, and their loved ones...IT GETS BETTER.

It might suck now. It might suck for a while. BUT IT GETS BETTER.



Friday, September 9, 2011

Ten Years Later...

For Americans, this coming Sunday is a somber day. It is the day we look back and we remember those who fell, and pray, or hope, that no more need fall for our safety, our liberty, or our freedom.

Growing up, I've always been a history buff. Especially when it comes to presidents. I read everything I could about the Kennedy assassination, and heard my parents tell stories about that day. I'd always read that "everyone remembers where they were when they heard Kennedy had died." I never thought there'd be a moment in my life where that would be true for me.

I'm sorry to say I was wrong.

Ten years ago, on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, I was in a college math class, full of people, with a teacher who was from the middle east. Mr. Arthur was his name. This was before cell phones were so common like today, and text messages were unheard of. (At least, for me). Class started at 8:00 am, and I was amazed that I had made it to class, but it being only the third week or so of college, I'm sure I was eager to please and not ready to be a slacker yet.

So I was in class, attempting to learn something I never would, until about 9:20. My next class was only three doors down and ten minutes later. I walked into class, where some had already gathered, and sat down amid hushed whispers. I didn't know what was going on, nor did I really care, because they weren't talking to me. Then someone came in and burst out with the news. I was confused. Was it an accident? How could this have happened? How many people were hurt?

The next thing I knew, our professor, himself a New Yorker, came in with a look of sheer horror on his face. He said, "go home. call your families. Class is cancelled. Go now."

He didn't even say what happened, just...left. I walked back to my dorm with a bit of a hurried pace, looking around campus, trying to discern what had really happened from everyone, but no one was paying any attention. Everyone that had a cell phone was on it. I pulled my new cell phone out and called my mother. I couldn't get through. I thought of calling my dad, but knew he'd be asleep, as he works nights. So I ran the rest of the way to the dorm, where in the lobby, they'd already wheeled in a television, and a crowd had already gathered around. The towers had already fallen by this time, but I didn't know that. So I watched with shock, horror, and so many other emotions I can't even name them, as the news replayed the falling of the second tower.

I hadn't been to church in a while by this time. Over a year and a half, I think. But I found some friends, and we decided to go to church. We found a catholic church (one of the friends was catholic), and I watched as he made his way to the front of the church, knelt and crossed himself, and lit a candle. The thing that surprised me the most was that besides the priest and the three of us...it was empty.

Even now, I think back, and realize more people were in panic and disarray then were looking for comfort. Of course, there are people who seek comfort alone, rather than in a building with others, but I never thought about it at the time.

As the hours, and then the days, went on, there was a flurry of activity. A friend of mine helped organize an emergency blood drive from our dorm, which was able to collect a lot of blood to aide in sending to victims in New York.

We held a vigil the next evening at the Eagle statue on campus, and it was clear it was a non-denominational gathering. We simply spoke of peace, and love, and hope, and sent positive thoughts, and those who believed prayed for the victims, and survivors.

Then one young man, older than me, stepped forward, and clutching a Bible in his hand, spoke of the sins of our nation, and our people, and how we, as Americans, and as sinners and decriers of God, had brought this upon ourselves. That THIS was OUR FAULT.

Immediately, people clamored to shout him down, saying this is not the time, nor the place, for a discussion on religion, and that anyone saying such things would be asked to leave. This was a time for peace, and a time for hope, and we did not need that negative attitude at our gathering.

The group then dispersed, but this young man stayed, repeating his claim, while another friend of mine (My RA, actually, and still a good friend), countered his argument with a lecture on love and peace.

It's funny how you forget things over the years, only to remember them so vividly much, much later. I usually forget about the vigil and this young man when I remember this tragedy. But now that I think about it today, it makes me angry.

Yes, our country isn't perfect. Yes, we've made plenty of mistakes. But does that, or does ANYTHING, justify the murder of 3,000+ innocent civilians?

I didn't personally know any of the victims (that I'm aware of), but today, I still find people affected by this tragedy.

I still see this kind of ignorance today, and I will go so far as to call it bigotry. I remember, within a week, people were all talking about Muslims destroying our country, and how we should attack Muslims. I even remember a friend calling me in the middle of class (though I had to wait to hear the message), that some idiots had firebombed a mosque in retaliation.

I mentioned earlier that my teacher was from the Middle East. His name was Mr. Arthur (which I learned later was an Americanization of his birth name), and yes, he had an accent. The thing I don't get, is that two days after, on Thursday, when classes had resumed, we were in my math class, and several of the students were giving Mr. Arthur an evil look, having hushed conversations behind his back. I remember hearing the word "towelhead."

I made it a point to call this person out, and when he responded that it was his people that caused the tragedy, I not so politely reminded him that he was there, in class, with us, at the time, and that I sincerely doubted that any of "his" people were to blame. I'm pretty sure the use of the "f" word, as well as "dumbass" were used...by me.

The thing that upsets me most, and makes me angrier than anything, is injustice. Whether it is criminal or legal, or in this case, prejudice. I am sick and I am tired of people hating other people because of what they look like, how they act, and who they love. I am so very sick and tired of people who think they are better because they were born different, or "normal."

Let me tell you something, to those people who choose to believe that and act this way: you are not better. you are the same. We are ALL HUMAN.

Yes, there are people, including the people who committed this atrocious act, who don't believe that we are equal. But all you are doing is sinking to their level.

Yes, I've gotten mad and called a girl a bitch. I've called a gay person a faggot. I've even called a black person a nigger. Does that make me a bigot? Unfortunately, yes. Does it make me hateful? In those moments, yes. Does it mean I don't regret it? NO.

Everytime a thought like that enters my mind, all I have to do is remember that I don't like being called any name, and that I don't like being treated as less than human.

But that's what we are. Human. Humanity. It's not just a concept, folks. It's a real, viable thing. It is the act of charity in the moment of tragedy. It is the belief that all people are created equal, and should be treated as such. It is the ten year old schoolboy who refuses to say the pledge of allegiance until ALL American Citizens are considered equal by the law. It is the middle aged black woman who has worked all day, and refuses to give up her seat on the bus to a white man, because she is tired of standing, and she is tired of prejudice. It is the Christian who says to the Muslim, I may not agree with you, but I respect you and your beliefs, and will not condemn you for them.

But most importantly, it is US. It is ALL OF US. And it is time that we share it with the world.

Take a moment, the next time one arises, to say an extra thank you, and REALLY mean it. Take a moment, and allow someone else that spot in line when they have one or two items, and you have a basketful. Take a moment, and truly appreciate ALL the people in your life, who have made you who you are today. Because believe it or not, that includes the ones you didn't agree with, or get along with, or particularly like. Because we're all here, folks, and we're all gonna be here for a while, God willing. So we might as well get along with each other.

And, more personally, thank you, to every policeman, fireman, medic, EMT, civilian, and HUMAN who aided in the rescue effort of those trapped in the towers. I would like to say thank you, 2,819 times, but even that wouldn't be enough. Thank you to those who helped donate to the relief. Thank you to those who lost their lives on that day, and the days since, both at home and abroad, for our freedom, for our safety, for our liberty. May God bless you, and keep you, forever. Amen.


Michael R. Stratton

Friday, September 2, 2011


Lawrence King is dead. He has been for about two years, now. How, you may ask?

Well, if you've been living under a rock for two years, or simply don't read any news coming out of California, he was killed by Brandon McInerney, who came up behind him, shot him not once, but TWICE, in the back of the head.

Allegedly from McInerney's defense lawyer, he was spurred by a flirtatious come on by King, who was also known to wear high heels, and makeup, in an effort to express himself.

This BOTHERED Brandon.

Well, Brandon, I got news for you...


Does that mean I'm gonna come up to you and shoot you in the back of the head? not once, but twice?

Well...NO. Don't get me wrong, the thought has crossed my mind. But seeing as i am a NORMAL, INTELLIGENT, MORAL person, I DON'T GO AROUND KILLING PEOPLE THAT BOTHER ME.

Instead, I tweet, I blog, I facebook. And that gets me in plenty of trouble itself.

And, hypothetically speaking, if I were to resort to YOUR tactics, I would at least have the balls to face you, instead of having your back turned, because I AM NOT A COWARD. YOU ARE A SNIVELING, PIECE OF SHIT COWARD.

I don't care if you were abused. I don't care if you were mistreated. I don't care if you were scared of a gay kid half your fucking size. You took a life. You deserve to rot in fucking prison, and then you'll see what a REAL flirtatious come on is like.

I can't wait to hear that you will spend the rest of your miserable fucking life in prison, getting raped by a gang of men twice, or three times your age, and size, making you scream and cry and beg for your mommy.

you're lucky they didn't ask for the fucking death penalty, you miserable, scumsucking piece of garbage. rot in fucking hell.

you were 14 years old at the time of the murder, and if you tell me you didn't know what you were doing, that is the biggest crock of shit this side of the world. you knew what you were doing. you TOLD people you were gonna do it. then you went home, where you could have cooled off, and took a gun to school the next day. where you could have gone to a teacher, or a counselor, or even a police officer, and told them you felt uncomfortable because another boy winked at you. (ALLEGEDLY--there's been NO PROOF).

that is how REAL PEOPLE handle their problems. instead, you took to being a coward, and a piece of...i don't know if there's even a word to describe what you are.

and to the jury of the TRIAL---


He TOLD people he was gonna kill him! He went home and PREPARED to kill him! he brought a gun to school, INTENDING to kill him!


So get your head out of your asses, you fucking morons! i swear to god, if there's another mistrial, i will hope and pray that someone, somewhere, makes you pay.

justice has failed again, AMERICA. you got it wrong with oj. don't you dare fucking get it wrong here again.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm Ready! Ready for the big ride....baby!

Ahem. Please click links below, then come back and read.






I am so sick and tired of conservatives, Republicans, Fundamentalist Christians, and so-called commentators ramrodding the bible, or jesus, or god, down the public's throat. I have to admit, they're good at it, but I'm so sick and tired of it.


Now, to my christian friends, I must apologize in advance, because while this diatribe may seem directed towards you, it is, in fact, not. It is only directed towards those in the public/political eye who appear to claim self righteousness as a God-fearing Christian, when really all they're spouting is their own personal hatred and bigotry.

I haven't been REALLY involved in politics since the election of 2004, when I was campaigning for Howard Dean, and then John Kerry, when he won the nomination. Even in 2008, while I voted for Obama, and spoke highly of him and respected both him and Hillary Clinton, I stayed in the background.

Well, the vacation's over. Because I have NEVER been spurred into action more than by the candidacy of Rick Perry.

I am a PROUD Texan, born and raised. I LOVE MY STATE. I LOVE MOST PEOPLE IN MY STATE. But don't even think I'm gonna let some bumfuck redneck with a great coif of hair prove every Texas-hating and Texas-bashing moron that he speaks for ALL OF US. Because, Governor Perry, YOU DON'T SPEAK FOR ME.

The above links are articles and opinions on Rick Perry, and others in the GOP who feel that verbally bashing gay people (and I'm including EVERYONE that could possibly fit into our nice little alphabet soup) is okay because "it's what I believe" or "it says in the bible..."

Well, guess what. I believe in a few things, too. Like...The US Constitution. Which says you can say whatever you want, whenever you want, and the GOVERNMENT can do nothing to you (albeit notwithstanding a few court cases to amend the first amendment), but remember, that means I CAN SAY WHAT I WANT, TOO.

And here it is...

Rick Perry...you are the sick, diseases pustule on the asscrack of American Bigots.

You may preach your biblical views, and you may espouse your hatred and bigotry, but don't think for a minute I will stand for it without putting up a fight.

You are the saddest excuse for a governor, or a leader of any kind, that I have ever had the displeasure of living under. And that includes your predecessor as both governor, and president.

You are a hypocrite, a bigot, and worst of all, an ASSHOLE.

These Republicans, conservatives, far right wingers continue to abuse and neglect not just gay people, but their own constituents, their own voting public.

I am not naive to think that there's ever been a completely honest politician. What I am is an optimist that someone, somewhere, down the road, if not today, will stand up for what is right, and what is truly sacred in this country---FREEDOM.

You, Mr. Perry, have spoken openly before about wanting to secede from the union. And now you want to run this same union? This makes no sense to me.

It's time the Democrats, or liberals, or anyone opposing the Republicans, take a lesson from their book. GET IN PEOPLE'S FACES. TEAR THEM APART.

This ain't the kindergarten playground anymore. This is the BIG BOY'S CLUB.

So, President Obama, you had better go and find your balls, wherever John Boehner and whoever have put them in a jar, because everything Rick Perry says are what we here in Texas refer to as "fightin' words."



You may wonder why I'm so vocal and adamant now. It's simple. I'm tired of being treated like shit. I'm tired of being asked out on a date by the popular jock, who I believed never knew I existed, who then proceeds to feel up my dress and rip off my panties all the while i'm screaming "NO!"

THIS IS AMERICA, AND THIS IS MY HOME, TOO. And I will not let you take it over with your legions of misguided, and yes, sometimes stupid and ignorant CULT that feels the need to defend their bigotry and racism and homophobia with lies and half truths and complete and utter BULLSHIT.

So let this be a lesson to you, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachman, Rick Santorum, and others...

I WILL FIGHT. And while I may not win...I'm a Texan. I sure as FUCK won't give up.



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Civility, part I

The other day, I was at work at an unnamed Video Store (so as to keep my job), when a couple who come in regularly approached me and asked me for some recommendations. I pointed out a few and then excitedly told them about I Love You, Phillip Morris, starring Jim Carrey.

If you're unaware of this movie, it stars Carrey as a con-man who falls in love with Ewan McGregor's character (the Phillip Morris of the title), and while always trying to escape prison, continues to try to help him get out as well. I described one scene (having hardly anything GAY to do with it), when the girl of the couple stopped me and said "Oh, I don't like watching gay people. I don't like them."

I was...stunned, to say the least. I didn't know if she knew I'm gay, although I think not, hence her comment. I asked her why, and she said "they're gross, and it's just sick."

Now, I expected some religious talk, living in Texas, and being used to it, but nothing as plain as "it's just sick."

Now, I'm all for one speaking their opinion (hence the reason I created this blog), but can someone explain to me when and where people just stopped being polite and started being RUDE?

this, of course, is only one example, but if you'd like, i'll give you another. when i'm helping or checking out a customer and another customer walks up and starts asking me questions (when i'm OBVIOUSLY in the middle of a conversation), and demands that I answer her, and I politely say "I'll be with you in a moment..." and then she gets mad AT ME for BEING RUDE?

"I was just gonna axe a question, you don't need to be rude, muthafucka!"

Oh, excuse me. I was doing my job. You? You were being a bitch. Oh, and don't cuss in front of the kids, if you don't mind. This is a FAMILY store. BITCH.

(this being the thought in my head, NOT the words out of my mouth).

I find some comfort when she (and all customers) leave, and my manager says "man, she was a bitch! surprised you didn't slam her down on the curb!"--they know me so well, don't they?

But in general, it really pisses me off when people are just. plain. rude.

Now, when I'm NOT at work, NOT on the clock, and NOT in uniform, believe me, I do consider going off on rude people. I've even done it once.

I was at best buy, simply there to ask a question about a purchase I'd already bought, when the man in front of me started griping at a young associate, who was explaining why she couldn't sell him one of the three computers that they had in stock that were similar to his, BECAUSE THEY WERE ALREADY RESERVED AND PAID FOR BY OTHER PEOPLE.

He called her a racist bitch (they were BOTH black), and a few other choice names. I'd had a pretty lousy day, so I stepped up and pulled him back and told him a thing or two. Mainly, that he was being rude and selfish, while she was being perfectly professional, and if he called her a bitch again, I'd be happy to escort him outside myself, whether he liked or not. And also, the rules about people paying for stuff and how he can't just take them.

But seriously, it's not just my unnamed video store job. It's also my unnamed restaurant job. people are ruder to servers than they are to the IRS! or debt collectors!

excuse me for asking how you would like your food prepared, or what sides you would like. I'm sorry it offends you to your very core where you have to call me stupid because I CAN'T READ YOUR FUCKING MIND!!

So...to those who read this, please...remember to be polite. If at all possible, even if it's just for the karma. Because believe me, being a bitch/asshole/fuckwad twat will come back to bite you. Especially if you catch me outside of work.

That being said,

have a terrific. fucking. day.

So...there's that...

Tuesday, July 5, 2011



Ahem. Explain this to me...

A young boy goes home one day after school. He believes that another boy might have a crush on him, or he may even KNOW that the other boy has a crush on him. And he gets a gun. And he takes it with him to school the next day, stands directly behind the other boy, and fires not one, but TWO shots, into his head. The other boy dies hours later after being on life support for some time.

Where, in all of this, does manslaughter come into play? Manslaughter is reserved for cases such as drunk driving deaths (which are just as horrible as murders, because they can be prevented, among other reasons), but this kid displays the TEXTBOOK DEFINITION of premeditation. He thought about it. It's not like there was a loaded gun sitting around and he just picked it up and it accidentally went off. This is an open and shut case, if you follow the law.

The article says the defense claims that the killer was humiliated by the alleged advances of his victim, Lawrence King. Well, you know what? SO THE FUCK WHAT?!

I'm humiliated by people all the freaking time! People make fun of me, but you don't see me going home, getting my dad's gun, and shooting someone in the back of the head?

This even further proves the killer to be a coward. He couldn't even face his alleged humiliator, who, let's remember, did nothing wrong or evil, or against any rules. All he did was allegedly express an interest. Something he probably would've have gotten over in the coming months as he learned his crush was straight, and not available. It happens to every gay boy at that age.

So explain to me why this killer should get any different sentence than a grown man who commits a similar murder should?

He shouldn't. Yes, I know he was 14, and maybe, developmentally speaking, he wasn't completely aware of the ramifications. But that doesn't mean he didn't know the kid would die. Or that he'd get into serious fucking trouble.

I respect and admire the law a great deal. I even wanted to be a lawyer at one point (mainly so I could get paid to argue with people, hahaha), but because it's simple. IT IS THE LAW.

People complain about technicalities, such as, for instance, OJ's hand didn't fit the glove, and the cop planted it. "It's just a technicality."

NO. IT IS NOT. IT IS THE FUCKING LAW. If a cop (or anyone, for that matter) is discovered to have planted evidence, that is BREAKING THE LAW. Does that mean I think OJ is innocent? Hell no. I think he did it and I think he got away with it. He was acquitted, and we can never try him for the same crime again, thanks to that pesky little document called THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.

The Constitution says, to some beliefs, that we have a right to own guns. I don't particularly like guns, but am I gonna tell someone he can't have him?

Well...I might try. I might try to change the law, or to make it clearer, or make strict laws concerning the types of guns people can have. But I still respect the Constitution, and that American's right to own a gun. I just hope and pray that he'll have sense enough to teach his kids (if he has any), or anyone in that house, for that matter, how to properly use it when necessary, and how to respect and cherish all life, be it human or animal.

What happened to Lawrence King was a tragedy, and yes, some people will think I'm only angry because he was gay. Well, yes, I am. I'm angry that some punk ass kid thought it'd be okay to kill a gay kid. But I'm angry more because someone is dead who doesn't deserve to be dead. I'd feel the same way if it was a straight kid who was dead, and yes, even if the killer had been gay.

LIFE IS SACRED, PEOPLE. Life is what happens. Life. Is. Life.

If you have a problem, talk it out. At most, go and smoke a joint and relax. But do not, under any circumstances, come under the delusion that taking someone's life will make things right. Please, be good to yourself, and to everyone around you.

So...there's that...

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Being from Texas, I have a lot to be proud of. The Texas Rangers, always. The Cowboys...only marginally these days. The Mavs...sure. But I'm not a sports guy. I'm a theatre guy, and to most people in texas (read, most STRAIGHT people), that doesn't fly. Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but sports isn't everything.

I am a proud and out homosexual. I am now 28 years old, less than six months from turning 29. And I have been out to my family and my friends, and pretty much everyone, since I was 16 years old. That's twelve long years. Not quite half my life, but long enough. I've seen ups and downs and sideways and no ways, but through it all, I have always known who I truly am, deep inside.

Some of my friends chastise me regularly on how much I talk about, or care about, gay issues. I have one friend in particular, who, several years ago, during a presidential election race, called me a "one trick pony," because he thought all I cared about was same-sex marriage.

Let me be clear...there has never been, and never will be, only ONE issue I care about. I do, however, consider it a VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE. And why not?

The thing that a lot of heterosexuals don't understand, and they take for granted is, they can marry pretty much whomever they want (as long as that other person consents). Meaning, no one can tell them what to do. This is a BASIC FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHT. And they've been doing it so long, that they can't recognize it when the exact opposite is true for others.

My friend tells me I can marry whomever I want...as long as it's a woman. Well, NEWSFLASH, I DON'T WANT TO MARRY A WOMAN!!

It pains me, TO THE CORE, to think that someone can legally do something that I am not allowed. I just don't understand how someone can't see the difference. Those who argue that same-sex marriage will bring about the downfall of American society are just ignorant, biased, and bigoted. Yes, I said bigoted.

Every single person who has ever said something against gay marriage in this way, just look at their track record. Not a single one of them has ever supported gay rights, as far as I can tell. Pat Robertson? One of the biggest homophobes ever. Same for Jerry Falwell. This is a guy who actually blamed 9/11 on gays and lesbians, and people who have had abortions.

Um...correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't we discern that the perpetrators of 9/11 were fundamentalist Jihad Muslims under the direction of Osama bin Laden? Who is absolutely AGAINST gays and abortion? I mean...come on!

My point is simple. Leave us be. Just let me and my friends and my loved ones enjoy the SAME RIGHTS as you do. Not SPECIAL RIGHTS. Because while marriage may be SPECIAL in the eyes of its partakers, it is NOT A SPECIAL RIGHT. It is an EQUAL RIGHT.

I rejoice with my gay brothers and lesbian sisters in New York today with the news that same-sex marriage is legal in that state. This brings the number of gay American citizens who can marry to double the number it was before yesterday. So, six states, plus the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C., for those unaware), can now offer full marriage benefits to all human couples. Notice I said couples, not groups of one man and several women, or one woman and several men. Notice I said human, not animal, seeing as the most an animal can decide is where or where not to shit, and not sign a legal document.

Notice I said EQUAL, not SPECIAL, and most of all, notice this America...the time is here. The time is now. EQUALITY WILL REIGN.


God bless you, New York, and God bless EVERYONE, NO MATTER who they love.



Friday, June 17, 2011

Revenge of the Nerds, part I


Ahem. Let me just say...wow. This kid is going places. And good for him.

In my experience, too much emphasis has been placed on athletics. (That's what you get for living in Texas).

I am overjoyed to see such a young person not only take an interest in science, but to excel in it. I mean, seriously, could any of US ever have imagined inventing such a device when we were that age? I doubt it.

Look, I've got a great imagination, and I think up things all the time. But I am the first to admit that I lack the superior intellect to create a transporter a la Star Trek, or even a frikking light saber. But damned if this kid not only thought it up, but went and built the damn thing.

So, Mr. Taylor Wilson, I applaud you and your ingenuity and perseverance, and your intellect. Never let anyone tell you that you can't do anything. Because this goes to show you can, and you must. BRAVO, Sir.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Read First:


So...I have a confession to make. I'm in love. MADLY IN LOVE. With Chris Colfer. Not only is his portrayal of Kurt Hummel on Glee the most spellbounding and heartwarming portrayal of gay youth I've ever seen, but it's honest, and he's so humble.

Yes, he's very dramatic on a comedy show. (Hello?! High school is full of drama!)

And I hope and pray that the TV gods will not only nominate him for yet another Emmy, but grant him the win this year. Why?

Easy. Go Watch "Grilled Cheesus," the Glee episode in which Kurt's dad has a heart attack. If Chris doesn't make you cry, break your heart, and then make you cheer, all in the same hour, then YOU. OFFICIALLY. HAVE. NO. SOUL.

In other words, douchebag Republicans need not apply.

(only kidding...)

(only slightly...)

I know people claim that Kurt is too stereotypical, but so the fuck what? Listen...stereotypes exist for a reason. Yes, sometimes they're cruel and mean, depending on who is portraying them, but sometimes, just sometimes, they exist because PEOPLE LIKE THAT EXIST.

I've known people like Kurt Hummel, and I am PROUD to know them. I don't have a problem with flamboyant, over the top gays. Because I am secure in my own identity, and am proud that these people I know are secure in their own identity.

The only people who have a problem with "flaming gays," in my experience, anyway, are those who have a problem with themselves. Not necessarily that they're gay, just that they have their own issues they should be worrying about before they start telling someone else how to act.

So, let it be, folks. Just...let it be. If you don't like it, leave the room, but don't you dare tell someone else to. THAT is not your right. Stand up to intolerance. Stand up to bigotry. Stand up to indifference. Whatever you do, just...STAND UP.

But don't stand against expression. Don't stand for discrimination. Don't stand for low self esteem, simply because YOU don't care for it.

So, there's that...