Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The Big Gay Prom

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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May 9th, 2010

I know, I know, it’s a bit of a flashy name. I’ve heard of this event over the past couple of years, sponsored by my city’s Gay Alliance Youth Project, but I didn’t think much about it until they sent out a call for volunteer chaperones a couple of weeks ago. I signed up.

Of course, imagines of my own prom at McQuaid back in 1984 surfaced (themed to the song “All Night Long” by Lionel Richie…happy to spend the evening with my friend Sue…longing to spend the evening with my friend Bob…longing for something that I dared not talk about with anyone except God. It would be another seven years before I actually came out and verbalized those feelings at 25. What wasted time and energy.

So I showed up for my volunteer chaperone shift at The Big Gay Prom not knowing what to expect.

Holy cow. HUNDREDS of kids. Dancing. Holding hands. Eating pizza. Having fun. And most importantly, being themselves.

I wish there had been something like this in 1984. I’m not sure I would have had the courage to attend, but just knowing that it was there…that it might be *okay* to be gay…that would meant something to me back then.

I’m proud that our city and our Gay Alliance continues their efforts to inform, educate, and support the gay community — especially gay youth!

For fun, I post my stuff at www.gregorygerard.net.
For serious, I post my stuff at
www.JupitersShadow.com.
I invite you to visit my stuff.

April 11th, 2010

When you first wake up…I mean just when you’re coming out of that drowsy, half-sleepy, half-still-in-a-dream state, and the day is just beginning, and you start to think about getting up, WHAT DO YOU REACH FOR FIRST?

Is it a book, to spend a few minutes reading the next chapter in a mystery that you were too tired to finish the night before?

If you’re sleeping with someone else, is it your other half, to give a hearty hug (and maybe something else)? If you’re sleeping alone, is it a hug for yourself (and maybe something else)?

Is it a rosary, bible, or some religious object, to greet God as you greet the day?

Is it a candy bar that you keep stowed (possibly secretly) in your nightstand drawer, maybe Snickers or Twix?

It’s not my intention to pass judgement on any of these items. I have something else in mind. Just like the theme of my memoir/mystery, IN JUPITER’S SHADOW, I think it’s important to be self-aware. Knowing ourselves is the first step in evaluating our life balance, our passions, our addictions, our faith, and our “core.”

For me, it’s my Palm Treo PDA. That’s what I reach for first. I want to see if anyone’s emailed me since last night. And I want to check Facebook to see what’s happening with my friends.

It started to bother me how strong the desire to ‘grab the Treo’ has become. Here’s an example: if I’m tent camping and don’t have a place to plug the Treo in, I almost have angst that it’s not there. I remember once hearing a Dr. Laura comment that having angst about the absence of something was one way to evaluate addiction.

So, for me, I’ve made a little rule (in the series of little rules I make for me) that God and I talk first in the morning, before anything. Just to say hi. To center myself, my life, my thoughts, my day.

THEN I catch up with everybody else through the Treo. It just feels a little more in balance that way.

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For fun, I post my stuff at www.gregorygerard.net.
For serious, I post my stuff at
www.JupitersShadow.com.
I invite you to visit my stuff.

Close Enough to Taste

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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March 10th, 2010

While walking the dog (aka Cooper, featured in blog post Everybody Needs A Husky) this morning, I spotted the first flock of geese flying northward!

If the geese think spring is close…I’m willing to believe it.

————–

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For fun, I post my stuff at www.gregorygerard.net.
For serious, I post my stuff at
www.JupitersShadow.com.
I invite you to visit my stuff.

The Squeak in the Bed

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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March 7th, 2010

This is just the passing-on of some wisdom I’ve learned in 43 years: It’s worthwhile to keep a pad, notebook, or, in my case, PDA (Palm Treo) close to your bed. Some of the best ideas come at night.

I love the time when I’m just waking and my mind drifts between dreams and daytime. Something about the freedom, unshackled from the “processing” that we do the rest of the day, allows me to be at my most creative. I often work out a plot line in a story I’m writing, or I work out a solution to a personal issue that’s been bothering me, or I simply enjoy the feeling of whatever dream I was having.

But to help enable that free thought, I need a helper. The PDA. I keep it right there charging on my nightstand. And it’s there, like a notepad, when I have an idea that I want to remember.

Sometimes it’s the name of a character I want to add to a short story. Sometimes it’s a recount of a particularly powerful dream. And sometimes it’s a reminder to do something later that day.

Case in point: My bed developed an ANNOYING squeak about three months ago. It’s loud enough to wake me when I’m turning over in bed. I turn over, hear it, and think, “I need to figure out what’s causing that.” But then I fall back off to sleep and the next day I never think about it. Until the next time it wakes me from sleep.

Finally, last night, the squeak woke me — and I remembered to take a minute in the dark to light the PDA screen and make a quick note ‘fix bed sqeak’ for noon today — with an alarm to remind me. Sure enough, at 11:55 this morning, the reminder came up and I pulled the bed out. After three months, it took less than five minutes to fix it (the metal frame was scraping against the ceramic border at the base of the wall). I never would have remembered if I hadn’t had my Treo available to make the note. And that squeak would probably have been keeping me awake for another three months.

So whether it’s the idea for your next bestseller or simply a reminder to pick up dog food, I recommend everybody keep a notebook or PDA on the nightstand. Let it do the remembering…and leave your mind free to explore new unshackled places.

To subscribe to (or comment on) Jupiter’s Blog, REGISTER HERE.

For fun, I post my stuff at www.gregorygerard.net.
For serious, I post my stuff at
www.JupitersShadow.com.
I invite you to visit my stuff.

Everybody Needs a Husky

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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February 28th, 2010

Okay, I appreciate that the days are getting longer now…so this is a little less critical. Without harping too, too (too) much on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Rochester’s gray, gray (gray) days, I’d love to let you know about a wonderful product I discovered this winter at Home Depot.

It’s a little contractor’s lamp, in the ‘Husky’ brand line. It has three settings: 200 watts, 500 watts, 700 watts. It only cost $20. And it’s the brightest darned little light I’ve ever encountered.

I bought mine during the depressive shroud of early January. I put it in my bedroom on a timer. It comes at 5:30 a.m. The oh-so-warm brilliance now floods my mornings and wakes me to hope. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

And, for the record, the other kind of husky is a pretty nice companion during winter depression as well.

                       

To subscribe to (or comment on) Jupiter’s Blog, REGISTER HERE.

For fun, I post my stuff at www.gregorygerard.net.
For serious, I post my stuff at
www.JupitersShadow.com.
I invite you to visit my stuff.

The Pink Review

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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February 22nd, 2010

So I’m on a work meeting phone conference the other day and one of the guys says that we need a dry run of our presentation. Or, as he says it’s called, a ‘pink review.’

But then he goes on to say that ‘I wish they didn’t call it the pink review. Ya know, couldn’t it just be another color?’

I chuckled, and the other team member chuckled…but I thought about it a little more later in the day and I felt a little sad.

Am I being too sensitive? The implication was obvious…that my teammate didn’t want to participate in a review called a ‘pink review’ because the name was too effeminate.

It’s tough to get a strong take on this. I respect that men in the corporate world don’t want to be perceived as effeminate. But I can’t help but realize that there’s an implication for the other side of the coin…that a pink review is something that’s reserved for homosexual men. And that being homosexual is less than desired.

Again, I may be reading too much into this. My colleagues are good guys. I don’t think they meant any harm with these comments. And I chuckled along with them. But a part of me still feels a little sad. Sad for the next generation of gay kids who hear these messages…and think less of themselves as a result.

They don’t deserve to feel anything but equal.

For fun, I post my stuff at www.gregorygerard.net.
For serious, I post my stuff at
www.JupitersShadow.com.
I invite you to visit my stuff.

116 Hours

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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January 7th, 2010

Rochester news reports 116 consecutive hours of snowfall!

Can anyone say ‘vokda?’ (If you’re not seeing the connection here, you must not be from Rochester…)

For FUN, I put my stuff at www.GregoryGerard.net.
For SERIOUS, I put my stuff at www.JupitersShadow.com.
I invite you to visit my stuff.

The Darkest Day

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
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December 20th, 2009

So today, December 20, is one of the darkest days of the year. A time of year when the cold chills deep and comfort foods beckon: chocolate, deeply cheesy pizza, and vodka (does that count as a food?)

As a person who can get pretty dragged down by the darkness (you’ve all heard of SAD, of course) I have just two things to share:

One, if you suffer from SAD, what has helped me immensely is the introduction of light (lots and lots of light!) into my December/January/February months. 100 watt “Reveal” brand bulbs have been a blessing. I am also occasionally known to visit the lighting display section of Home Depot. Hard to believe how quickly my whole mood perks up.

Two, if the darkness tends to drag you down, remember this: starting tomorrow, the days just get progressively brighter.

I’ve found that to be a very comforting thought to get me through a lot of situations in life.

For fun, I post my stuff at www.gregorygerard.net.
For serious, I post my stuff at
www.JupitersShadow.com.
I invite you to visit my stuff.

Good News

Posted: August 17, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

December 5th, 2009

It is Christmastime and I long to be wrapped in the excitement of the season — the anticipation of parties and friends and family and church and that wonderful speech by Linus. The challenge: I am somewhere between discouraged and outraged with recent news headlines:

– New York State Senate rules against marriage equality 38-24 (with a report that said Senator Jim Alesi, the first Republican to vote, “hung his head in his hands and said, ‘so many people have called in from my district opposed to marriage equity.’ ” I have to wonder if a majority of people had called in opposing interracial marriage (a reasonable parallel), if this would preclude our representatives from doing what’s right. But I digress…)

–The Manhattan Doctrine, signed by a number of Christian leaders, including some Catholic bishops, with words like this, directed at those (like me) who have same-gender attraction:

We stand with them, even when they falter. We, no less than they, are sinners who have fallen short of God’s intention for our lives. We, no less than they, are in constant need of God’s patience, love and forgiveness. We call on the entire Christian community to resist sexual immorality, and at the same time refrain from disdainful condemnation of those who yield to it

So many big words that, on the surface, try to appear loving but firm. Now that I am old enough to discern, I clearly read condescension and bigotry. They are just not getting it. I get so charged up thinking about faithful adolescents who this very day are strugging in silence — and who are reading official pronouncements like these and feeling condemned as ‘immoral.’ I remember being in that situation. I remember that NOTHING good I read about homosexuality would sink in…because THE CHURCH said my romantic feelings, if recognized, were immoral. That my romantic life was destined to be about sacrifice, not fulfillment. That was a sad, sad time. I’m glad God pulled me through to a broader discernment in the silence of my heart. I pray that those struggling faithful adolescents today are more open to hearing messages of the positive, affirming, loving, spiritual, and God-blessed celebration of same-gender attraction. But I’m still digressing…

To counter those headlines, I’ve decided to make up a few of my own. Add yours, if you like. Maybe it’s not overly productive, but I’m a firm believer that our attitude is a powerful force in this world. And it’s kinda fun.

–WORLD EXPERIENCES OVERWHELMING SENSE OF HEAVENLY WARMTH THIS HOLIDAY SEASON; CRIME DOWN, LOVE UP

–GAY MARRIAGE AGREEMENT REACHED BY GOVERNMENT AND RELIGIONS ALIKE; ‘GOD IS LOVE,’ SAY TOP CHURCH OFFICIALS. ‘WE FINALLY GET IT.’

–WAR SUSPENDED; TROOPS SENT HOME; MILITARY LEADERS AFFIRM ‘THERE’S A   BETTER WAY.’

November 21st, 2009

I’m here in D.C. for two readings/speakings/booksignings for In Jupiter’s Shadow. Both events were wonderful — signing books at Lambda Rising Bookstore and sharing my testimony for the Allied in Pride group at George Washington University. That’s been a very uplifting experience.

The less-uplifting (would that be down-drafting?) part of this trip occurred when I learned that the U.S. Catholic bishops did move forward to ratify a pastoral letter on marriage that contains this text:

The legal recognition of same-sex unions poses a multifaceted threat to the very fabric of society, striking at the source from which society and culture come and which they are meant to serve. Such recognition affects all people, married and non-married: not only at the fundamental levels of the good of the spouses, the good of children, the intrinsic dignity of every human person, and the common good, but also at the levels of education, cultural imagination and influence, and religious freedom.

I think about my own experience — how I struggled during adolescence with feelings of same-sex attraction in silence. How I didn’t have the hope for a blessed union with a spouse in my life. How these types of statements, put forth by my own church and indicate a legal recognition of my loving commitment to my partner Jeff is a threat to the ‘very fabric of society’ and that such recognition affects ‘the intrinsic dignity of every human person’ are so discouraging.

When I was 23, after ten years of silent prayer, research, and loneliness, I considered taking my own life by jumping off the 11th floor of a resort hotel in Ocean   City, MD. At that time, I felt that God would hate the ‘sin’ of suicide less than the ‘sin’ of me loving another man. Prayerful self-preservation finally kicked in and I didn’t make the leap.

I’m very GRATEFUL that I’m here today to write these words. I’m very BLESSED to share my life with a loving male spouse for more than 12 years now. I’m very CONCERNED about the next generation of faithful kids like me who are out there today, researching (in silence) documents like the recent pastoral letter on marriage. I’m very CLEAR that God intended me to be with Jeff and that, though I’m out here on a Christian limb, I know God is right out here with me.

Ultimately, I remain very HOPEFUL for a brighter future, when all human respect and dignity, including the rights and romances of same-sex partners, is celebrated the planet over.