Sunday, October 31, 2010

What's Morally Wrong with Homosexuality?

Is homosexuality unnatural? Does it threaten society? Are gays and lesbians "born that way"--and does it matter either way? In this provocative program, Dr. John Corvino tackles these questions and more. Combining philosophical rigor with sensitivity and humor, Corvino examines the most common arguments against same-sex relationships - including those based on nature, harm, and religion. In the process, he invites people on all sides to rethink easy assumptions about homosexuality and morality.  What's Morally Wrong with Homosexuality is a DVD I highly recommend! 

What's Morally Wrong with Homosexuality

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Bombshell!

It’s official and I won’t keep anyone in suspense any longer. Hubby and I have decided to have a baby. There, now it’s been said out load and this is for real. We have been mulling on this for quite some time now, but only recently vocalized our desire to be parents. It’s a huge decision to make, a gigantic step to take and an enormous responsibility which will last a life time. Being gay, wanting a baby and having one, unfortunately is not simple. But we have set sail and this is how our journey starts.
Never have I once thought I’d even utter the words “I want a baby”. I’m not the maternal type and I always said I didn’t want children. But life is queer and has a peculiar sense of irony. You see all of this have changed and the urge to have a child now burns deep inside me. I think my husband describes it best: The urge to have children is like a deep primordial drive that unceremoniously gets triggered by an almost extrasensory calling from the abyss – the calling of a child, a child that is destined to be yours.

At first I ignored this strange longing feeling. I mean I am happy with my life just the way it is. My life is my own and I am only responsible for one. Then my dreams got flooded with paternalistic symbolism and the crevices of my subconscious mind determined to ignite my latent caregiver instinct into a flame that burns brighter each day. Coincidently, the same was happening to my husband only he was quicker to see. Denial is a tool I wield with great comfort, but even denial is not strong enough to fight this.

So last week, hubby and I had a heart-to-heart chat, late at night. You know that time of night where you are too tired not to be honest with yourself and my denial lost its grip and I could see clearly. We both wanted a child. Being the practical one, analytical one and devil’s advocate in our marriage, I took us through the gauntlet of pros and cons of trying to have and eventually having a child. The changes and challenges we will face are vast. But having considered all the implications and practicalities, we both concurred this is what we wanted.
Being gay, I think, the reasons I wanted to convince myself that children would not be destined for me is the fact that society still have a long way to go towards acceptance and tolerance. There will always be pockets of society that will not condone gays having children. Many stigmas still exisits when a child have same sex parents, the stigma that we cannot raise healthy children, the stigma that we aren’t good parents and the stigma that children raised in a gay families sexual identities will be influenced negatively.

Moreover, I feared that if we ever wanted a child our friends and families would not approve and we would lose their support. Boy was I wrong. Hubby and I decided that before we even start looking into our options, we would ask for his parents’ blessing. My father-in-law didn’t approve of our marriage and it took him years to come to terms with and accept it. Now, we were about to tell him he may become a grandfather. Admittedly we were nervous as hell! So during Sunday lunch we dropped a bombshell and expected a prolonged uncomfortable silence. But what followed was amazingly touching. Instead of berating our decision, we received their sincere blessing. My sister, brother-in-law and close friends followed all of whom showed us overwhelming support.

With the blessings and support of those we care for and care for us, we have begun our journey. We will start looking into our options – adoption or surrogacy! Neither hubby nor I are very keen on the adoption route. I know it may sound selfish but we both strongly feel we want a child that’s ours. Surrogacy is no simpler than adoption and most certainly not cheaper either. But I am sure there is a woman out there somewhere, a woman who will perform the most unselfish act of all, a woman who will give us the greatest gift life has to offer – a child of our own. Not many people out there will look past the fact that we are a gay married couple, and I am sure some of our efforts to find a suitable surrogate will be negatively influenced by this. But hey, a baby is a miracle and I do believe in miracles.
There is quite a journey ahead of us, and as I realized this week there are still a lot of mountains to climb and prejudice to concur, but we will do this. We will persevere and we will find our child who has been calling for us. It may not happen next week or next month or even next year, but it will and I am looking forward for my life no longer to be my own.

Till next time.

The View: Gay Adoption

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fabulous Queen of the Month Award

This month's winner is Heather Leigh.
Heather was a brave and beautiful young woman, fellow blogger and supporter of gay rights.  She was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (Desmoplastic small round cell tumor) but instead of giving up, she decided to battle her illness and fight for her life.  She documented her journey on her blog My Life Substance and took us all on the journey with her - the good times, the bad times and the hopeful times.

Sadly, Heather didn't win her battle with cancer and she passed away earlier this year.  She will be missed, but with her blog she touched countless people's lives, gave many hope and taught me to live my life to the fullest. 

Perfectly Done - Shawn Mcdonald

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

DECLINED – It Brings Out the Bitch in Me!

I love travelling! Seeing new places, meeting new people and experiencing different cultures is an education in humanity – an education you can’t obtain from any University and can’t be entirely conveyed in any books you read. Next month I will be travelling to Kenya, and as my life goes this year, it will again be for business and not for pleasure. The last few days I have been preoccupied with finalizing my travel arrangements, transferring funds from Italy, booking flights, and as my good friend Murphy would have it, none of this has been smooth sailing. Technology has elevated the phrase “red tape” to a whole different dimension and left me wondering, is the technological substitution of computers over humans in business transactions really making our lives easier or has it in fact made it worse?  Either way both can make me behave like quite the bitch!
Sure shopping online is convenient, after all you can do it sitting in your boxers, while eating ice cream and smoking a cigarette, even burp or fart out load and no one will be the wiser. You can pretty much buy and sell anything online, from second hand sex toys to brand new Russian Brides. In many ways technology has made our lives easier, more convenient and to a certain degree cocooned us from the harsh reality of dealing with real sales people.

You see I prefer to book flights and pay for stuff online. Probably because I hate standing in lines, are too lazy to drive to certain places, having to first look for parking and then search for the company and/or shop I need to be at. Once you finally arrived at the place, you have to stand in a queue for a further 20 minutes, then when you finally reach the front of the queue you also have to deal with the sales person’s personality and whatever their mood is like that day. Dealing with websites seems faster, easier and far less frustrating. Websites don’t have queues, don’t have moods, don’t have an attitude problem and they hardly ever bring out the bitch in me. Well, that is until something goes wrong!

Yesterday the funds I needed for my flights to Nairobi finally got transferred and, as usual, the bank had a hundred and one questions before they finally released it. I was questioned like a terrorist or drug smuggler laundering money from Italy, but after a prolonged Q & A the bank was finally satisfied that I wasn’t militant or criminal and the cash was deposited. With money in my account I decided not to procrastinate and book and pay for my flights. So I went onto Kenya Airways’ website and what followed proved my theory on websites completely and utterly flawed.
Everything was going flawlessly. I managed to secure my preferred seats in Business class, earn my Flying Blue miles and then it came to the payment. I selected trusty old VISA, punched in my numbers and pressed confirm payment. PAYMENT DECLINE! “What?!!!!” The first time the website said this I was sure it was a glitch on their system. The third time those nasty words displayed, I was starting to doubt, and after the fifth time I actually went and checked my credit card balance to make sure there were sufficient funds and there was!

Quite irate at that point I decided it was time to deal with a call centre, so I dialled the number and an automated voice advised me they were closed and I should try again during business hours the next day. After consulting with my sister-in-law who’s a travel agent (which a whole blog post on its own) I contacted the call centre the next morning. “Kenyan Airways, Orbit speaking, how may I help you?” the voice said (I kid you not the guy’s name was really Orbit!) “Orbit, your website is broken! I tried to pay for my flights and your website declined my VISA! Declinnned it!!!” Orbit told me to call the airline’s website’s office, but the catch was it was in Nairobi “The call could be quite expensive if you call from South Africa” Orbit added. “Duh dude!” I thought as I vividly remember the nasty surprises I received in the mail, from my service provider, after my trips to Egypt, Madagascar and Luxembourg. So clearly phoning the “website fucker uppers” was out of the question.

Orbit, I need to book these flights, give me options!” Orbit responded with options I didn’t approve off. I could book them telephonically but then there’s an additional charge. I can book them over the counter but then I have to drive to the Airport. I can book them through a travel agent but then they could be twice as expensive. “Orbit... Honey... listen to me very carefully. Give me online options, options that I can do from my laptop!” Orbit paused and then he said “Well... you can book your ticket online and choose cash payment instead of VISA, and then just do an Internet transfer of the funds into our account within 48 hours” “Isn’t that almost the same as paying by credit card anyway?” I asked quite confused. “Yes sir it is, but seeing as our credit card payment options is broken and Declinnned your VISA, this is the only remaining alternative left to suit your requirements, I do apologize for the inconvenience” he politely responded.
Orbit ended up being very sweat and helpful, and made me feel bad for being somewhat of a irate bitch at the beginning of our interaction. It took me a full 90 minutes from the first phone call to actually having my flights reserved, paid and finally confirmed. Orbit even dealt with the one thing that always causes arguments with staff at the Airport – my hand luggage. On 16 November, for the first time in my flying history, not only I, but my hand luggage too will be expected by both the ground crew and cabin crew and I was promised I will not have any hassles, and the same goes for my return flight on the 18th. Now that’s service for you! I hope this really will be the case as I don’t travel light. If they say the limit is 40KG’s I’ll pack 40 KG’s!! You never know what kind of trouble a Queen can get into while travelling and for that I need options of outfits and shoes!

Yes, in many ways technology, computers and websites have made our lives easier, more convenient and save us from dealing with rude people even though we can be quite rude ourselves. But sometimes technology fails us, declines us and all round just frustrates us. With my experience today, dealing with an actual human with a strangely appropriate name for his profession, I must say dealing with people isn’t always that bad. Sometimes you are lucky and they are friendly, helpful and competent. Kudos to you Kenya Airways for training your call centre staff well, and at the same time, shame on you for having a broken VISA payment page on your website – DECLINED, I mean really?

Till next time.

SHERRY VINE! - Forbidden Love

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gossip Queen Perez Hilton Apologizes

The celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton can easily be described as the most hated blogger in Hollywood.  Having outed many gay celebrities, calling others less than flattering nicknames and hanging celebrities' dirty laundry out on the Internet, it is understandable that he was being viewed as a bully!  But in light of the spate of recent gay teen suicides due to bullying he professes to have had an epiphany and now wants to change.  He recently went on the Ellen show to apologize.  Now the question on everybody's lips is - Can a leopard really change its spots?  Watch his interview on Ellen and his Youtube video that he posted to Demi Moore's Twitter account and decide for yourself.

Perez Hilton on the Ellen DeGeneres show (Full Interview)

Perez Hilton - I'm Going To Be Doing Things Differently

Monday, October 11, 2010

Techno Addiction, Do You Have It?

Finally I am the proud owner of a brand spanking new BlackBerry. Once more technology has found a new way to infiltrate my human existence and suck me further into the scripts, codes, numbers and programs of the virtual oblivion that is technology. Technology is advancing at lightning speed and new tools are being developed everyday all to help make our lives easier. Technology are also becoming more and more integrated into our lives and instead of making life simpler, in many respects, it’s making it more complicated. This led me to wonder, are we becoming unwittingly addicted to technology and its by-products?
We live in the information age where with the touch a button we can share our inner most thoughts with thousands of people, check up on what our friends and family are doing, keep abreast on current events or even learn how to make an atomic bomb, if you’re into that kind of thing. Now we can do all of this anywhere, anytime and as often as we like. Technology has made the world smaller, people smarter and information more accessible. But technology also has a flip side – as much as it has landed the world at our finger tips it has also made us more accessible to the world. And frankly, I am finding this exhausting and my BlackBerry is making matters worse!

You see there was a time when I had to be in front of my laptop or my PC to share my mind meanderings with the world, learn about the state of the gay planet and fan my flames of fagotry, but not anymore. Now the world lives inside my BlackBerry! The world follows me around, knows where I am, knows what I am doing and knows what I am thinking. The world is staking me and is insistent on updating me twenty four hours of the day, seven days a week and 365 days of the year. Whether I am in the bathroom making a number two, having sexy time with my husband or naked sun bathing my e-mails will reach me, strangers will poke me and CNN will Tweet me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that I will never miss a single thing. My trusty BlackBerry is sure to update me when Lindsay Lohan has her inevitable relapse, when my friends shocks the world by changing their Facebook relationships status from married to single and when Twitter wants me to know that Vigharthur from Iceland mentioned me in one of his titanic rants. Sure I can turn off these updates if they irritate me, sure I can switch my phone to bedside mode, sure I can cancel my Facebook and Twitter feeds, but I don’t because BlackBerry is evil!
When I do switch off my updates something terrible happens – I end up missing them! The absence of the chimes followed by the red flickering light indicating I have an update leaves me feeling desolate. It feels like the world has forgotten me. I know this must sound pretty pathetic, and it probably is, but the allure to be connected is a wicket curse perpetuated by my natural curiosity, and this frailty of mine is fully exploited by my obnoxious mini portal to the universe that is my phone. So, is this a curse, will my little minicomputer communicator consume my soul, destroy my actual social skills and render me void of free will?

There are many BlackBerry owners, some I know personally, whose social skills have suffered since they acquired their handheld windows to the world. They are unable to make eye contact during conversations as their eyes are firmly fixed on their phone’s screens, they are incapable of completing full sentences as they are constantly distracted, and if the date and time of an appointment is not loaded on their calendars or IM’d, Blue Toothed, SMS’d, MMS’d or E-mailed the appointment simply doesn’t exist. Some people’s entire life is loaded to their phones and the day a fatal system error occurs and the phone and SIM memory fails the world comes crumbling down, along with a complete and total shutdown of that person’s central nervous system upon the realization that their phone was last backed up more than a week ago.

And then there is BlackBerry Messenger, another “social” network devoted entirely to the BlackBerry elite, the people that shirked off IPhone. As if Facebook, MySpace and Twitter aren’t enough now there’s another network to divide your attention and some people spent every free moment chatting, or rather typing on it. It’s only a matter of time before they actually incorporate OMG, LMAO, LOL and WTF into an actual face-to-face conversation. Luckily I am not quite that far gone yet, but I fear I might be closer to the point of no return than I thought.
I’m teetering on the precipice of the matrix of avatars, profiles, screen names and Internet handles. My BlackBerry is gently coaxing me down a high-speed broadband path to complete and total connectivity, a virtual world that never sleeps, a world that’s constantly busy changing and a virtual world that doesn’t shut the fuck up! No one person is meant to be this up to speed with everything and nothing all at the same time. Information overload will one day kill us all unless we can stand up and say “Hi my name is Pierre and I refuse to be a techno addict!

With all said and done, I still love my BlackBerry but I am aware of its potential dangers. After all it comes with a manufacturing warning that reads “If you’re BlackBerry causes you any physical discomfort, please refrain from using it for a couple of hours”. Technology is changing the way we live, communicate, make friends, connect and work. It is making our lives easier, but we can easily over complicate our own lives with our useful, over used and shiny gadgets and once you cross that virtual line you will become a techno addict – an addict whose drug of choice is mostly useless information and whose quick fix is an e-mail. The Betty Ford Clinic currently has no rehabilitation programs for this kind of addiction, so user beware! Don’t become a techno addict and please make an effort to, every so often, speak face-to-face with an actual human being and not just with the ones that lives inside your BlackBerry.

Till next time.

Cher Talks About "Burlesque"

Friday, October 8, 2010

Hate Crimes: We Give A Damn

Hate Crimes.
Get Informed.
Get Involved.
Give a Damn!

Join "We Give A Damn" and visit their websiteat to learn more!

Follow on Twitter
Join  on Facebook

This month, Ricky Martin, Elton John, Idina Menzel, Rachael Harris and Wanda Sykes speak out about why they give a damn about hate crimes and to say enough is enough. We will not tolerate hate any longer!


Super Surprise Party

Some people love surprise parties a little too much!  I saw this video on Youtube and it made my Friday. Naturally I had to share it.

Mental Constipation!

It was bound to happen sometime, and I have been fearing its arrival.  But it finally came and it's dreadful! I have writer's block, or as I like to call it - Mental Constipation!  I know creative ideas are stuck in my brain somewhere, but dislodging from my grey matter they are not.  So in the next few days I'll take a virtual laxative and if that does not work, a dreaded virtual enema! Let's keep our fingers crossed - I want my mojo back!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It Will Get Better!

Nine out of ten gay teenagers experience bullying or harassment in school. Gay teenagers are also four times likelier to commit suicide. The statistics are shocking, but I too was part of this statistic once. You see I too experienced bullying and harassment in school, and I write this blog post for all those gay kids out there who feel isolated, misunderstood, scared and alone. I write this for you to tell you it will get better and you are not alone.
There are many gay teens out there in the world who is struggling to come to terms with their sexual orientations. Too many times they have to hear homosexuality is wrong, it is a sin to be gay or even that being gay is an abomination. They are called faggots, queers and are made to feel less than human. I know, because I once also was that teen who had to listen to this intolerance and hate. I too had to endure the teasing, the name calling, the endless bullying and yes, I too was made to feel like I was broken. I was made to feel like there was something wrong with me, something that should be fixed and if only I had the will power, I too could change and be normal, be normal like my friends.

You see no one chooses to be gay. I didn’t wake up one morning and decided I wanted to be different. I was born this way, this is what I was meant to be and yet the world wanted me to change. For a long time I kept my thoughts and feelings hidden away from my friends and family, it was my secret and if it were to come out I feared I would be rejected. I feared that I would no longer be loved.
For the longest time I felt like I was the only gay person in the world. The only thing I yearned for was to see and talk to other gay people as I had so many questions. I wanted to know whether things would be OK, I wanted to know what I could expect from live, will it be worth it, could I be gay and be happy and have a normal life, will I be able to fall in love with a man, get married, have children and I also had allot of question about sex and AIDS.

Little did I know that even in my own school there were others that were just like me – confused, scared and also carrying the burden of a secret with them like a cross on their backs that no one saw. Then the bullying started. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” simply isn’t true! Words hurt more than people know and words can also kill. I was not the only kid to suffer at the hands of bullies, but I was targeted because I was gay. Other kids were targeted because they wore glasses, had red hair, and were scrawny or fat. We all suffered, some suffered more than others.

Many days I went home from school and spend hours alone in my room thinking. I would be angry because I was different, I was angry at God because why did he make me the way he did. I would also be sad and many times I envied my straight friends. I envied them because society didn’t discriminate against them. I envied them because they were “normal”. It was a difficult time, a lonely time and I had nobody with whom I could share my anguish, talk to about my feelings or a shoulder to cry on, because I was scared and I didn’t feel like I could trust anybody, because what would happen if they learned my secret?
At that time I didn’t know that there were organizations I could contact who could help me make sense of my life and make sense of my feelings. Places I could go where there were people just like me, people who have experienced all I was going through and could give me valuable advice. So I went through it alone. But you don’t have to because you are not alone.

I survived high school, I survived the teasing, and the bullying and I survived the name calling. I survived not because I am stronger than you and not because I’m lucky, I survived because I knew deep down in my heart that things would get better one day, and it did and I am alive and blessed to be able to tell this to you today.

Today I am a happy gay man. I have married the man of my dreams and I am living a normal and fulfilled live, as normal as any of my straight friends. My husband and I have been together for 12 years and both our families have accepted us and our relationship. It wasn’t always easy for them but their hearts and minds did change. My husband and I have our ups and downs in our relationship like any other couple, but we love each other. I have a career where I am openly gay and I am not discriminated against in my work place but instead I am respected by my peers. I have come a long way since high school and I have no reason to fear admitting that I am gay - instead I am proud of it. It did get better and it is worth it!
No matter what they call you, what they say behind your back or write on your locker, you should never be ashamed of yourself. No matter how bad it seems right now, just know it will get better. There are thousands of other kids just like you and thousands more who will love you and accept you for who and what you are. You are not alone. You are special and precious and the world needs you. When times get tough and you feel like you had enough, please pick up the phone and call one of our many gay community centres. Your gay brothers and sisters are out there and we do want to help, because we love you just the way you are.  So please remember that you're not alone and it will get better!

Till next time.

This is especially for all the bullies and homophobes out there.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Homophobia Kills Again

The last two weeks were sad as tragedy struck the gay community once again. Homophobia has taken two young lives, two lives that were taken too soon, two young men with so much potential that now will never be fulfilled.

Both young men took their own lives, but it’s the people’s hate and intolerance that pulled the trigger and pushed the other off a bridge. It’s heart breaking, but GAY = DEATH once more. These two tragedies serves to remind us of how vulnerable our gay youths are and I hope it impresses in all our minds the urgency there is to protect them, rid the world of homophobia and educate the ignorant whose actions are killing us.

Asher Brown (13) from Houston, America shot himself in the head last week after being "bullied to death” because of his religious beliefs, for being small and for being gay.

Asher took his own life with his stepfather's 9 mm Beretta, which was "stored on one of the closet's shelves." There was no suicide note. His stepfather David found his body, lifeless, after coming home from work. "I thought he was laying there reading a book or something" he says. "My son put a gun to his head because he couldn't take what he was hearing and the constant teasing."

His mother Amy came home to police sirens and yellow tape at her house. "They called him different names for being homosexual," she says. "He just had enough."

Tyler Clementi (18) a freshman from Rutgers University walked onto the George Washington Bridge the night of 22 Sept and jumped over the edge, after two of his roommates secretly filmed him having sex with another man then posted it on the Internet thereby outing him as homosexual.

His last words, posted on Facebook about 10 minutes before he died, were brief and to the point: "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry." The comment gave no hint of the torment and mortification that lay behind the decision of gifted 18-year-old violinist to kill himself.

In a statement, his family said that "Tyler was a fine young man, and a distinguished musician. The family is heartbroken beyond words."


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