In the theme of my previous “Bias” rant, I’m been making some changes to my social media accounts. I’m becoming much more selective about who I follow. It doesn’t have to be rocket science but I ask myself, am I really going to follow or care about this person’s ramblings? It doens’t have to mean they are any more/less important than my own.

On FB, rather than unfriending folks and causing a whole new level of butt-hurt drama, I’ve started unfollowing many ‘friends’. Wow, what a difference it has made. The toxicity level has dropped significantly AND I really do pay attention to what the folks I do follow are saying. Who knew, right?! lol

On twitter, I embraced ‘lists’. Now I move right into my lists vs my regular feed. I absolutely loathe the ‘friends liked this’ posts. Not that I use twitter much anymore anyway. What started as my favorite social media tool has turned into advertising engine. It doesn’t much feel social at all anymore.

My poor Google+ app I mostly just ignore. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am Plus did not take off. I blame it for being too simple. People didn’t understand the more subtle nuances of leaving private comments vs public. It felt featureless for many people. It has also become an sp#m engine for p0rn.

I’m sad to say it but IG is my go-to social account these days. What a sad world when a picture book app is your primary social account? I enjoy IG for gym motivation. I try to follow regular guys that aren’t professional (or wanna be) bodybuilders. I prefer to follow guys like myself that struggle or focus on getting to the gym and staying fit.1  I also get a pure kick out of the seriousness some people invest in their IG shots. The level of obsession is staggering sometimes but oddly addictive to watch.2  Several blog readers have asked me why I don’t have more followers? I’d assume the same reason I don’t have a ton of comments on my blog. I don’t cultivate a “follow” crowd. If you follow me, it is because you are genuinely interested in moi, not because I post p0rn, glamour shots, and/or daily ‘inspirational quotes’ to cover up one’s own narssicism. *giggle* While I do love selfies from time to time, they aren’t my life and I rarely spend more than a few seconds ‘posing’ for one.

Snapchat is an utter disaster and I barely even open the app. The newest update is just another glaringly ad-in-your-face view. No thanks.

So far I’ve noticed a significant difference in how I view and respond to my social accounts. I find myself a little more engaging and willing to interact. I actually open FB more than once a day now. One could say it’s quality over quantity but that would be crazy, right!?

  1. I would TOTALLY be lying if I said a few hotties, just because, haven’t snuck into my feed! []
  2. Another sad testament to our times. []


One of the main reasons I’ve grown to loathe Facebook most days is the growing bias. Selective bias is slowly replacing our idea of logical reasoning. Just pick practically any topic and scroll thru your own friends list. You might be surprised it is closer to home than you think.

When social media came along, I just knew it was going to be a unifying force in the world. I was so excited and hopeful. Sadly, all it has done is allow folks to selectively reinforce their own biases. More and more every day you see people who favor bias over truth, honesty, or any sense of integrity. Talk about an unexpected outcome. hehehe In the past, the rules (and manners) of social interactions helped curb outrageous ideas, conspiracies, and all round nutjobs. they were confined to the fringe where they belong. Now can reach out to others that with like ideas with just the click of a button. This has emboldened them and we see many ideas and concepts considered absolutely insane break into the national consciousness.1

I don’t blame social media so much as our own failings. Our technology has outpaced our ethical ability to keep up with it. Our social media outlets have changed the world, just not necessarily for the better IMO. Oh don’t get me wrong, they do some good. You see fundraisers, goFundMe pages, outreach, etc. Local tragedies can grab national even global attention at times. But I find myself pondering whether the good it does outshines the harm? Sadly, I am beginning to think it doesn’t. The level of vitriol and toxicity is so very disheartening. After all my attempts to ditch FB in the past, this is the one that is slowly pushing me further and further away.

I wish I could say it was mainstream stuff and not local communities. Sadly, no. Be it NextDoor, FB, twitter, etc. It is all becoming one toxic hole of spite, triggers, and/or attempts to shame each other. It gives new meaning to the idea of mob-mentality. People are tried and convicted based on click-bait articles, regardless of the lack of details. We are seeing the fallout even within our own LGBTI umbrella. We find allies fighting each other over the tiniest slights or misunderstandings. Conversations are polarizing discussions of who is right or ‘more wrong’.

There are times where I just kick myself for even bothering to try to point out distinctions. Our biases and indifference to others are forcing us into a sort of devolution of sorts. For myself, I can only control my actions. I continue to strive to bring things into my life that enrich it and avoid those that stain it. Social media is falling into the latter category more and more lately.

  1. Flat-Earthers, Anti-vaxxers, Holocust deniers, etc []


I’m officially 5 years older than the meaning of life and everything! As I move into my 47th year, I don’t really feel 47. Or more astutely, my mindset doesn’t feel 47. Three years away from being officially ‘ancient’ in gay terms. (I’m totally kidding)  It’s an odd juxtaposition; in some ways I feel my age and others I still feel like I’m in my 30’s. I know, I’m a weirdo, what’s new? hehehe

So what pearls of wisdom can I share having made it this far? Just be the best you you can be. Don’t put expectations from others on yourself. Don’t live for others, live for yourself. Accept your failings while striving to overcome them, whatever that might be.

Shawn and I were actually flying home on my birthday. Shawn had to go to Nashville for work so I took the opportunity to tag along to see my brother. He is about 3 hours south of Nashville. Sadly, I didn’t get any time to sneak over to meet Large Tony.1  The trip went as smoothly as one could expect. The flights on Virgin America (while it still exists) were very comfy and on time. Not a single complaint. Other than being freezing cold in TN, the trip went off without any major problems as well. It was good seeing my little brother and my nephews/nieces.

I’m Southern but they sure do like their boots in Nashville. There was a boot store practically every 20 feet in the business district.  Anyway, we flew home on my birthday but we celebrated with my brother and his family the night before. They all got to meet Shawn for the first time. Of course, they liked him.

Shawn got me VIP tickets to see the Bianca Del Rio comedy show coming up in March. She is by far my favorite from Drag Race. She has gone on to do bigger and better things and is funny as hell! I found out by following her on IG we have several of the same idols from childhood. I’m definitely excited to see her show in person.

So now what? I’ll keep being me. Not much has changed. I appreciate the wisdom age brings but I still don’t feel it. Maybe when I’m 50?

  1. One of these days… []

Don’t Give Up

One of the sadder parts of my job this time of year is the increase in suicides. People get extra lonely and/or their demons ramp up because of the apparent isolation of the holiday season. I’ve been there myself so I always take these calls to heart. I’m not currently on the dispatch floor; however, I had to pull one for court recently. It made me so sad to hear the person feeling so alone. He was straight but it didn’t matter. His pain was once my pain and it touched me to my core. *I’m feeling a bit long-winded today. Grab some caffeine!*

I’m sad to say it but many of these wounds are often self-inflicted. And I say that not as a judgement. Much of my pain from back in the day was my own doing. And while you’d never have known it to see me, holidays were absolute torture. And I inflicted it upon myself over and over again every year. I wouldn’t wish that sort of pain on my worst enemy. It is my hope that my sharing struggles and how I survived it will help others.


When I put myself on my journey to discover myself, I developed a few axioms to live my life by. Psychologists often teach us to put reminders in our daily lives to overcome our personal conflicts. For me, it turned into blogging. My blog became my therapy. And thru it, I posted my new found axioms (at the time) in the ‘about’ section here for many years as a daily reminder to myself.

  • What you think of me is really none of my business.
  • No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.
  • Be the type of man you’d like to date.
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated.

These are still a big part of my life. They are the foundation of much of my personal growth over the last 25 years. If you are feeling down, sad, worthless, or unloved, these apply to you. Dear soul, you are not alone. So many of us go thru it. Some of us overcome it, some of us avoid it by maintaining unhealthy relationships or setting standards so high no one can ever measure up, some of us deny it, and some of us just suffer thru it. Regardless of where you are, know that I understand 100%. I’ve been there.

It took many years of working on myself to overcome it. Here is my best advice to help you overcome it. But, and it is a very big but1 to overcome. You have to face yourself and be brutally honest. This simple step will stop everything if you can’t do it. If you can then:

What you think of my is none of my business. It takes a bit of time to wrap your head around this one. Many of our internalized insecurities we inflict upon ourselves. Primarily because of how we think others see us or how we think others want to see us. We twist ourselves into pretzels trying to avoid negative views or stereotypes. The reality is you have to let go of that. Modeling your image after what you think others want you to be will just make you miserable. And you’ll never live up to it because this idea is different from person to person. Or, you will mold yourself into an image so constrained by the view of others you will be even less happy. This is a dangerous path to go down. Instead, just let it go. Focus on what you think. Your opinions, ideas, and thoughts matter. You matter. Don’t worry if someone doesn’t like xyz-thing about you. Focus on making yourself happy. Focus on what you think and believe. This all might sound kind of trite but it will bring power to your struggle, and with power comes confidence!

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. Happiness within is something only you have control over. If someone tries to put you down, shame you, or otherwise be negative, you have to agree or ‘let them’ make you feel a certain way. If you didn’t believe it yourself, it wouldn’t matter. When you reach a point where you are happy within, this one becomes much easier. You find other people’s projections onto you roll away. Stop focusing on what others think of you and focus on what YOU think of you.

I was fortunate enough to realize I wasn’t happy with myself in my late 20’s. I was even more fortunate to realize I didn’t hate myself so much as I didn’t love myself. I felt woefully inadequate and insecure. Childhood mental/physical traumas left me feeling utterly worthless and undeserving of love. This drove me to believe love was all I needed in my life to “fix” me. I desperately wanted to be loved so being loved would fix everything right? Wrong.  I could post several novels worth of text from my old written journal of me lamenting this.

And when things didn’t work out with someone, I always felt something was wrong with me. Anytime someone rebuffed or ignored my interest it was back to being unworthy in my mind. I stayed in unhealthy relationships out of fear of being alone. These were and are self-inflicted wounds. And they don’t just go away. They become set pathways in our brains. We have to fight to overcome and change them daily. Examine the moments that make you sad when engaging with others, be it in person, online, etc. Find you trigger and examine why you think that way and then work on changing it. It is a slow painful process. It will bring up even more self-loathing until you finally break the cycle.

Listen to my words. Stop focusing on what you need from someone else and start focusing on yourself. It took me years of continual effort changing small behaviors and examining my triggers to do it. Honestly, I didn’t even realize I had until well after the fact. It just sort of snuck up on me. And even then, some of my new found “adulting” made me an enabler for others. I had to then break thru that as well. It isn’t an easy process but it is beyond words worth it.

Be the man (or woman) you’d like to date. I know for many of us in the LGBT umbrella, loneliness and a sense of belonging are severely lacking.2  Ironically, it dawned on me once while a previous boyfriend who I’d remained friends with was at dinner with me ranting and railing about ‘where have all the good men have gone‘.  I finally got so annoyed I just blurted out, “why don’t you focus on being a good man first!”  He wasn’t amused to say the least. However, that moment was more of an epiphany for me than him. I felt many of the things he wined about. At least he was detoxing by getting it all out.

As part of the struggle to actually be a man you’d like to date, you will discover you become a better man. Until you let go of the idea that someone or something else is needed to ‘fix’ you, you will never over come this. You will continually get into codependent relationships that feed on your insecurities. I know from experience! I spent so many years torturing myself with ‘if onlys’. If only I could find a man to love me. If only I could be more masculine. If only I could be more attractive. If only, if only, if only, if only…  It never ends!

When you finally start living for you, not for what’s missing, you’ll find the better man is less of a focus and that yearning for a ‘fix’ will dissipate. You might still want a partner in crime and then again you might not. Either way, the idea will shift from being unhealthy and painful to a healthy pursuit of a life goal.

You might also be pleasantly surprised that more men will be into you. We are innately drawn to confidence in others, romantic or platonic. When you tackle this and overcome it, your natural confidence will increase and I guarantee you others will notice.

Treat others the way you like to be treated. This is routinely known as the golden rule. And it is. How you treat others should be more important to you than how others treat you. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to imply you should let people treat you poorly. However, when this becomes a mantra, you find it reinforces the first one above. You cannot control the actions of others. You can control YOUR actions. Being a better man doesn’t mean always being right. This is a painful lesson in the gay community. A big one for me revolved around the sexual conquest that is so much a part of being male. In our carnal or romantic pursuits, we tend to value others we see as less-attractive less. This lends to treating them poorly or as unworthy. This is one of many examples. I mention it because it touched me personally. Your struggle here might be different.


These four little phrases drastically changed my life. I still strive to live by them. And I don’t always succeed. But like any goal, it is the struggle to get there that gives it meaning. You are struggling this year, reach out to those closest to you. Even if they don’t understand, they can listen. They can help YOU get it off your chest. Just the act of admitting it out loud can be therapeutic. It doesn’t have to be family, it can be a friend, a coworker, or an old booty call you connected with. If not, call a local hotline. A quick Google+ search will give you help. Don’t let it beat you. You are worthy.  If this once utterly broken soul can do it, so can you.

If you made it thru my rant, I wish you love, warmth and happiness.

And as always, hope springs eternal….

  1. hardy har-har. pun intended. []
  2. And let us not forget the folks who deliberately feel alienated by the stereotypical view of our community. This angst is also self-inflicted. []

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I am completely shocked that Moore did not win in Alabama! I fully expected he would win. The bias we see in news and social media these days is sadly getting worse and worse.

While Moore’s loss renewed my hope in the decency of people, when you delve into the numbers, we clearly have a lot of work to do. People of color turned out in much higher numbers and they saved us all from this incredibly hypocritical religious nut. A profound thank you to all who exercised their right to vote. Voting matters and it matters more and more every day now. Moore lost by the tiniest margin.

Reports came in that Alabama saw much larger than usual voter turn out. Historically, this is always of benefit to the Democrats. However, I don’t care what part you vote, just perform your civil duty and vote. It was good to see many “republicans” calling out the party line approach and either not voting or voting against Moore. If more of them had spoken up I think the party in general would not have embraced Moore as they did. Party should never come before what is right or moral.

The increase of “you agree with me or else” approach is increasing the divide between us IMO. I’m a little guilty of this myself. So many things in the public eye right now affect our very way of life. Of course, we take it personal! However, when you delve past the crazies, you find that most people often vote their conscience not out of malice but out of self-preservation. We all need to be better at recognizing that and be more willing to extend an olive branch to others.

Tangent/ Some of you know our mayor here in SF passed away yesterday. Mr. Lee wasn’t a friend to me or my department. He recently back-tracked on his statements to help us. I personally felt very let down by his actions. However, even in my frustration with the man, I am saddened by his death. People who knew him well all agree he wasn’t malicious and tried to be ‘real.’  It doesn’t matter whether I agree with him politically or not. I can give my personal bias and issues a rest for a few days out of respect to allow his friends and family to mourn his death. And yet, immediately online you see people trashing him or using his death to trash SF politics in general. Even the Chronicle posted a piece on the day of his death discussing how it “complicated” politics in SF!  The day of his death!  /tangent

The fallout got me to thinking about how the divide between us is growing. Even within our own umbrella there is so much more in-fighting and vitriol toward each other. This is not how we solve problems. This is not how we overcome our mutual enemies either. Isolating ourselves in our individual groups or identities will not allow us to overcome the inequalities we all face.

So for myself, I plan to work on how I view those I disagree with. I will continue to avoid those who rely solely on deceit and lies. For the rest, I hope I can offer, thru example, the type of respect we all deserve.

Judgey Much?

I get a lot of requests about my thoughts on political subjects.1  I tend to avoid them or at the very least discuss in private. My reasoning has always been people have a right to their opinions, even the ones I don’t like. However, you do not have the right to tell me how to live or enforce your beliefs on me. I draw the line at bigotry. The intersection of these two fundamental principles is entirely up for discussion which is what brings me to my post today.

One of my far away readers, all the way from Sydney, wanted to know my thoughts on the right of a baker or florist to not provide service to me for a same-sex wedding. And as always, I’m all about distinctions so I have sort of a split take on it. There is always that ‘gut’ part of me that says, “why would I want to do business with anyone who doesn’t want my business to start off with?”  I mean you can always choose someone else, right? Then my logic kicks in and I start rationalizing it out.

The problem I have with these so called moral-objectors is their outright hypocrisy. In several of the high-profile cases hitting the news, several of them flat out admitted they don’t particularly question most of their clients. More still when questioned specifically hem and haw over it and until they finally admit the truth. A couple of them even went so far as to admit they don’t really care about the “sins” of most of their clients as long as they weren’t gay.  Therein lies the distinction. Most of these folks regularly make no inquiry into their clientele’s beliefs. If you’re that devoutly religious then you would think they screen all of their customers to avoid violating their beliefs, right? It is no secret I have less and less use for religion as I age. The dissent and destruction is causes far outweighs the benefit IMO. However, I can’t deny it represents a powerful foundation for many people. And if I found a person who truly walked the walk then I’d honestly be more supportive of their freedoms. I can still disagree with most of religion and accept your right to believe and walk your path. Tangent: Ironic how I can accept them but they can’t accept me?

It isn’t really about belief. It is about enforcing their morals on you. In other words, bigotry. These people disapprove of your choices and by refusing they are telling you,  “Your ‘lifestyle’ is not OK with me; I am going to punish you by refusing to provide you a service I provide to everyone else without question.” That is really what it boils down to. So no, it isn’t really about their beliefs. It is about their ability to discriminate against you.  That I have a problem with. I can’t support these people’s so called freedoms because they are liars and frauds.

As for myself, I don’t think I’d sue. One, I don’t have the financial resources for that. Two, I don’t work in a job where I could just miss sh*t-tons of work for the never-ending court appearances, hearings, etc. I’d probably make a big stink, share it with as many people as I could and move on to someone else who wanted my business. However, I applaud those who stand up and won’t back down. I applaud those who can sue and take on the fight for everyone to be treated equally.


  1. Mostly, from my 20-30 crazy but exceptionally loyal readers. hehehe []

Only Fans?

No, I will not “follow” your Onlyfans page. No, I will not spend money to see you naked. I don’t even pay for porn and you think I’m gonna pay $8-15 a month to see one person naked or doing various other naughty things? Nope.

Have you heard of it? Liar! lol  Ok, if you haven’t heard of it, basically it is a website where you create a page people have to pay to see. As you can imagine, much of the content is of the x-rated variety. From what I gather, you can host pics, vids, and/or a live stream. I discovered it after seeing it pop in my IG feed a few times. Ironically, it does not seem to have impacted my snapchat feed much. Granted, I don’t follow near as many people on snapchat. “Viewers” register for your page and by doing so sign up for a monthly fee. So basically, a new take on the web-cam model idea.

The self-advertising has gotten so bad on IG I’ve had to remove a large chunk of folks I follow due to the never ending requests to “follow their page.” Granted, many of the folks I follow are out of purely narcissistic reasons. They are inspiration to get my fat ass to the gym on a consistent basis. However, when your feed feels like an ad campaign I tend to lose interest, regardless of the inspiration. And when you throw shade about it…NEXT!

I guess I can’t be too surprised people have turned to making a profit. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning them. I don’t see anything wrong with using your talents (physical in this case) to make a living. I’ve just become annoyed at the voracity and the attitude. I’ve seen several folks display no small amount of indignation when someone challenges the notion of pay-per-view in their IG comments. Gurl, please! Ain’t nobody got time for that. Sell yo business but don’t get it twisted. You are a commodity in such a forum.

Maybe I should call it the Kardashian effect? (I’m not even sure I spelled that right. I soooo can’t be bothered to even look.)  Maybe someone already coined the phrase?



Old Gay & the Gym

Someone asked me the other day1 if I thought going to gym was a waste of time since I “clearly wasn’t ripped” and I’m getting older. I originally thought the person was just trying to get in a jab out of some misplaced shortcomings. Then I got to wondering if other gay guys really think that way.

First, I don’t go to the gym to get ripped. I go to keep myself in shape. And while I tend to fall off the wagon from time to time, I don’t see that as a failure. I don’t live for the gym. It isn’t my sole focus. And my own shortcomings, be it laziness or my schedule, are part of the equation. I don’t have an expectation I always have to be at my fittest or that others have to constantly validate my attendance with compliments. If you’re going to the gym for any of those reasons, you’re doing it wrong! I gave that up in my mid 20’s.

To answer the main question, I do not feel going to the gym is ‘wasted’ because I’m not ripped. I don’t want to be ripped. That has never been my goal. I like to eat way too much to ever get to that level. I’m ok with that. I go to the gym, regardless of my current weight set, to stay in shape. I get lazy, complacent, or just willful at times and don’t go. I always seem to gravitate back though. I like how I feel after a hard workout. And as much as a bitch and moan about cardio, I’m getting used to it. I like feeling in shape and fit.

As for my age, I don’t see that as a deterrent.  If anything, it motivates me more. Study after study after study has shown that working out prolongs your health and life into old age. Is it a silver bullet? Of course not. However, if it helps me stay active and healthy longer, I’m all for it.

On a totally narcissistic view, I hate droopy skin. Lawd baby jeebus help me stave it off as long as possible! I’m not kicking anyone as it eventually comes to us all, but I hope to avoid it as long as I can. Call it one of my few vanities.2  And don’t even get me started on the flabby booty. Oh, hell naw!

Joking aside, I hope no one reading this thinks they are too old to go to the gym or that it isn’t worth it because they can’t achieve perfection.


  1. rather sarcastically I might add []
  2. I have no idea if I’m using that word right, but I’m too lazy to look it up right now. []

Old Man

In the last year I’ve had several interactions either in person or online with younger guys behaving poorly when I didn’t return their affections/advances. Many of their not so nice replies often revolved around my age or lack of hair when they didn’t get the answer they were hoping for. As it either of those things would injure me in any way. 

One particular guy online started adding  “old man” to the end of all his comments, as if I was somehow hurt or injured by it. Of course, the less I got upset the more intense he became. I finally took pity on him and asked if he thought he was accomplishing anything. He ignored my question and kept at it until I started sending him random old man shots from the web.1  Every time he said it, I sent him another picture. He got upset and told me to stop, yet he kept adding “old man” each time. And he continued to get another pic. Realizing he wasn’t going to bait me into an argument, he gave up.

Weeks go by and I get another reply from him. This time he is polite and asked, “what’s wrong with me?”  Since he appeared to be trying to make amends I took the time to reply:

Let me first say, there is nothing wrong with you. Nada, zero, zip. You are a nice looking young man. The fact I am not personally attracted to you for nookie doesn’t negate any of your positive qualities. We are just not a match. I am literally old enough to be your father. That doesn’t work for me. But honestly, the reason(s) shouldn’t matter. You should never assume something is ‘wrong with you” over a lack of interest. Not everyone can be your type and as such, you can’t be everyone’s type. Rejection is a part of life and learning how to handle it will make you stronger as a person. 

He went on to apologize more earnestly and thanked me for offering wisdom. Normally, I would have just blocked him but I get in a mood at times where I am not to be tested. Since I’m not actually angry at the other person, I routinely ‘win’ these little battles as I can have the patience of a saint when I don’t really mind no “winning.” 

I kinda figured fewer young guys would go thru it now that we have more visibility. I guess I was wrong. I must admit I don’t understand it. Ok, well maybe I do. I mean I understand it stems from insecurity over being rejected. I get that part, but when has lashing out at said interest every worked to lure them back?  I won’t say with 100% certainity I never did that, but I honestly don’t ever remember having behaved that way. And we all know what a f**ked up mess I was back then. I do remember getting my feelings hurt quite often for many of the same reasons. I internalized  it and made it about me self-worth vs just attraction. Over the years as learned to value my self-worth differently, the anger, hurt, and pain went away. 

As for guys my age I think a lot of them struggle at this point. They aren’t the youngest or prettiest anymore and it’s intimidating. Interactions they took for granted no longer present themselves so readily. It can sting for sure. I’ve seen it play out for years. I’m grateful I’ve come far enough to avoid such trappings. It only services to make you sad and/or bitter. I’m grateful my self-worth and confidence are no longer based on how much attention I get. And if you find yourself in that category, learn from your mistakes. If you value your self-worth based on attraction, you’re doing it all wrong. Or, as the saying goes, “that’s not how this works…that’s not how any of this works!.” 

  1. They were of the biblical sense. I figured I’d return his generosity. []

Pride & Prejudice

So as usual, there is in-fighting amongst all the letters in our glorious alphabet of communities. This year seems to have taken a new twist as people are losing their sh*t over changes to the rainbow flag in PA. Apparently, some folks have decided to add extra stripes to denote the inclusion of race.

For my part, I don’t really care either way. If you want to add some stripes to represent the inclusion of race on the flag be my guest. The rainbow flag is just a symbol. It doesn’t define me or my life so modifying it doesn’t really affect me one way or the other. Symbols are meant to represent us, not define us.

On the one side, racism is just as prevalent in the gay community as it is in the straight world. What harm is there in adding reflections of race to show inclusion? Even though the flag wasn’t meant to reflect race, so what if some people want to include a variation that includes it. I’ve seen so many personal variations of the rainbow flag for years. Where is the outrage on all those variations? No one owns a symbol anymore than they own an idea. Let us all stop acting like changing a recognized symbol will end all our hard earned rights.  

On the other side, I also don’t really think it helps anything. Many of our racial tensions are tied to various socioeconomic issues. Until we work thru these, changing a symbol does absolutely nothing IMO. Actions are stronger than words. How about we stop using disrespectful terms to refer to other races? How about we stop acting like every unflattering joke or mention of race/gender is an attack? Even better, how about we stop marginalizing everyone because of the actions of a few? Instead, let us accept that others suffer differently than you. Be willing to look outside your sphere of existence to see thru another’s eyes.These actions and attitudes are much more effective at stopping hate, mistrust, and fear.

This whole pissing match is a reflection of the deeper issues within our umbrella. These ever growing trends of attacking and/or shaming anyone who disagrees, even in the slightest, are doing the work of our enemies for them. We are destroying our communities from within. Our umbrella of people rarely agree on any given topic. Why must we make enemies of each other over different view points like this? The level of vitriol and disgusting behavior I’ve seen on both sides has been deeply disturbing. This is not how we should be treating each other.We can disagree with our allies w/o labeling them as enemies. We can be patient and show understanding as we try to educate those around us who thru privilege or ignorance don’t understand a given viewpoint. Shock value and strong-arm tactics might sometimes work against our enemies but when we use them on our allies we only further the divide between us.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have all the answers, but I still support equality and freedom for all. That makes me an ally even though I’m a person who won’t be shouted down just because I don’t always see eye to eye with everyone else. When we silence the voices of our allies over internal squabbles, what is their motivation to speak for us when we need them? And don’t even get me started on the growing tide of small groups who decide they can’t compromise even a little. They demand to have their way or else. If you refuse, they do everything possible to obstruct or shut down the process. How is that productive? You don’t win hearts and minds that way.

While the LGBTI movement has taken some significant large steps recently, it took decades to get this far. We gained many of our rights slowly one at time. We still have more to accomplish. Many of these new found rights are under renewed attack. We need to be unified now more than ever.