As both a gay American and public educator I always found it baffling – a travesty really – that gay history is not taught in schools.  We teach on so many cultures/communities but never the contributions the gay community has, and continues to, contribute (and there are countless).  The mere fact that you are reading this on some type of computer device is from the contributions of a gay person (Alan Turing).

I found this short clip (Pentecostal preacher throwing down some education/”Pentecation”) to be refreshing.  From a community still struggling on their journey to celebrate their gay brothers and sisters I am pleased to see this brave man of God courageously stand for righteousness 

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June 26, 2015 was a momentous day.  The day the United States Supreme court ruled that all Americans were equal under the law.

Sadly, however, the internet was quickly saturated with hatred.  It was remarkably clear that not only are the majority unschooled on our history/tremendous contributions but sadly many are unaware of our suffering – past and present.
After reading far too many heart-wrenching posts from the gay community (simply defending who they are and who they love), I decided to create a post to offer hope and inspiration to a someone somewhere who may need it.


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Just because I am for traditional marriage doesn’t mean I am anti-gay


I created the post above as a parallel of how ridiculous this argument is.  As a Christian not only are we to follow all earthly laws (Romans 13) 1 “Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. 2 So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow” but we should want our brothers and sisters to enjoy love equally, as we do “Do to others as you would have them do to you 6:31.” Of course, everyone is going to cherry-pick to suit their beliefs.

It’s equally important to understand marriage and it’s origination Lastly if your interpretation of your particular denomination is against gay marriage don’t marry someone who is gay, and certainly don’t get gay married.


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Father’s/Fathers’ Day 2015


While bonding with my son over brownies it occurred to me that I know very little about fatherhood.  Aren’t we all just tall children trying to rid ourselves from the demons of our youth imparted from our parents who raised us while fighting their own?  As parents we do our best to undo all the extremism we were taught ultimately swinging the pendulum and leaving our children, and grandchildren etc., the same impossible task.

The responsibility of fatherhood is overwhelming.  After all my son must first see in me the God I am so earnestly teaching him to lean on and trust – now that’s a tall order!   I have, and will continue to, fail far more than succeed.  Maybe the best gift I can keep giving our son is simply me – renewed every morning.  After all isn’t one of the greatest presents we can give our children is…. our presence?!? Happy Happy Father’s/Fathers’ Day dads, and to all who take on this immeasurable responsibility.


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CNY Flag Raising

  Every year our hometown raises the Pride flag  with tremendous support from our community, the media, our mayor and members of the CNY Pride committee (of which I am a member).  In this short clip you can hear the mayor speaking, and see our little man on my shoulders  :)

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Cancer Need Not Be Cancerous

ShellyReview I read, and reviewed, a friend’s book on her amazing, painful and brilliant cancer-diagnosis-journey.  I cannot recommend her book enough if you, or anyone you know is/has been affected by cancer or simply want to read a powerful and biographical piece of art.  Here is her story, and my review

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To Bleed Or Not To Bleed


Two days after I turned seventeen I visited our local American Red Cross to donate my first unit of blood.  I remember feeling pretty heroic that day knowing I was doing a great public service.  I was nervous but knew my rare blood would help someone in great need.  I stepped into the anonymous cubicle where the nurse proceeded to run protocol prior to my donation.

All went smoothly until I was completely caught off guard with the question, “Have you had intimate contact with another male, even once?”  Stunned and confused I quickly uttered “no.”  Why would it matter, I thought?  At seventeen I was completely unaware of any “gay blood ban.”  Not to mention I was newly out and not prepared for such a private question from a complete stranger.  I went on to donate that day, and for a few years thereafter.

During one particular donation visit the supervisor met me in the waiting room.  He asked if I would come into his office for a quick chat.  Running endless scenarios in my mind I nervously sat down.  Soon, however, my mind was at ease when the supervisor shared he had good news.  He proceeded tell me that upon completion of this visit I would receive my three gallon (24 donations) pin.  The pin came with a big thank you and congratulations.  What an indescribable feeling.  I was helping save the lives of countless people during their most life-threatening moments.  I was elated and remember having to look down at cloud nine the entire day.

I placed the pin on my dresser where it proudly displayed.  One night, while getting ready for bed, I looked at my pin.  The heroic feeling I usually felt however wasn’t there.  Instead a feeling of deceit and despair overcame me.  It was at that moment my entire blood donating journey would change.  It hit me like a ton of bricks that the very pin I proudly displayed was given to me based on years of lying.  I no longer felt proud but ashamed, and saddened.  The lying haunted me even prompting a dream that night that I was “found out” while trying to donate blood.

The next morning I called the National Red Cross hotline to ask a few anonymous questions.  The first question I asked was in regards to the tests and type of testing that were administered after each donation.  I do not recall the litany of medical tests and procedures she responded with (though they include; Chagas disease , Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C virus , Human Immunodeficiency Viruses, Types 1 and 2, Human T-Lymphotropic virus, Syphilis, West Nile virus just to name a few)  but she ensured me that every donation was thoroughly and rigorously tested with strict guidelines.  I asked if two people of the same gender were in a long-term monogamous relationship completely drug and disease free would they be banned from donating? Her response was astounding.  “No, a donation could still be made but if the answer regarding same-gender intimacy was answered yes the unit would be tagged and immediately destroyed.” That day I made a vow that I could no longer in good conscience lie.  That was the day I stopped donating.

Fast forward twenty years I am still in a long-term monogamous relationship – married in fact.  I am still young, healthy, fit, completely drug and disease free and yet still unable to donate to the blood shortage so profound here in America.

The following facts were taken directly from the “Facts and statistics” page of the American Red Cross;

  • 4.5 million Americans would die each year without life-saving blood transfusions.
  • More than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day in the United States.
  • Every three seconds someone needs blood.
  • One out of every 10 people entering a hospital needs blood.
  • Just one pint of donated blood can help save as many as three people’s lives.

 –  Fourteen tests, 11 of which are for infectious diseases, are performed on each unit of donated blood. All donated blood is tested for HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis and other infectious diseases.

  • There is no substitute for human blood.
  • More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
  • In the days following the September 11 attacks, a half a million people donated blood. Side note: if any of those donors were gay they would have had to lie to help during this nationwide devastation – how sad.

 If a dear family member were on their death bed and needed emergency blood to survive would it matter to you who the person loved while donating? If this disgraceful ban were lifted there could potentially be 1.8 million lives saved annually.  How many senseless deaths must occur due to this absurd and cruel ban?

Allow me a few eye-brow raising points regarding this needless ban

  • The ban was instituted in 1983 in the early days of the AIDS crisis, when HIV testing was still rudimentary. It has not been altered or updated since.
  • Gay people are banned for life from donating blood. Even with a clean bill of health gay men are considered more of a risk than straight ones who were treated for chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, venereal warts, genital herpes, or who pays for sex (including knowingly has sex with an HIV positive woman).   If any (or all of these) apply, a straight man only has to wait one year before donating blood.
  • The other blatant life-long ban is for Intravenous drug users. Basically gay persons are in the same group as druggies.
  • Lesbians can contract HIV sexually (exposure to vaginal or other body fluids, blood from menstruation etc.) however they are not disqualified from donating. In fact unlike men their orientation is not even questioned.
  • Gay people are allowed to donate organs. Yes you read that correctly. We are allowed to donate our organs, just not our blood.  Huh?!?!
  • The ban stigmatizes gay men. There has never been an emergency where anyone asked, “Is this gay blood?”
  • MANY countries have already learned this ban is not medically necessary and lifted their ban. Countries such as Italy, Chile, Mexico, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Uruguay, Spain etc.  no longer exclude gay men.  Countless others; Australia, Brazil, Japan, Finland, Argentina, U.K. etc., defer one year from sexual contact.  Albeit it is still a work in progress, with some minor restrictions, Canada lifted their lifetime ban several years ago.
  • Current blood tests can detect even the slightest contamination of any kind. (This begs the question if ALL donations are tested then why not let anyone who wishes to donate do so)? The H in HIV stands for ‘Human’– not homosexual.

If you are as irritated over this as I am regardless if you can, cannot, or choose not to (for whatever reason) donate I ask that you take a stand and not only sign this petition but send it to friends and family to help end this egregious, discriminatory and senseless ban once and for all.  Thank you

*Update.  I just heard that the ban was in fact amended (gay men can donate if they have not had sex in a year). While this is a GREAT start it still precludes tens of thousands like myself who are married and monogamous. I shouldn’t have to be celibate for a year to save a life. We have a way to go, please sign and share.

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