Homeless on Thanksgiving

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Aron

I have so much holiday guilt right now. We met this guy named Aron at the doctor’s office on Friday. I didn’t know he was homeless until I asked him if he was. I went over to talk with him to let him know that I understand what it’s like to be homeless, because I was homeless as a teenager. The only difference is that he’s 35 years old and he is homeless now.

I don’t know what he is going through because when I was homeless back in 1987/88, I lived in the park for 1 or 2 weeks, then I was couching it from September to December of 1987 and in a homeless shelter in Simi Valley in 1988 from January to May. He is living on the streets, like literally homeless. No couches, no homeless shelter, literally on the streets in a much more dangerous time. To say that I know or understand what he is going through is to say I understand what it’s like to be missing a limb. I have no clue what he’s going through.

Before we left the doctor’s office, I told him about Martin’s Meats on Q and 20th in Bakersfield. They have this thing called a “Suspended Sandwich” which means that people donate money, and they give a free sandwich to a homeless person who asks for a suspended sandwich. We also gave him $7. One of the employees of the clinic gave him a piece of paper with resources for getting help, like the homeless shelter and what not. I didn’t see the paper. He also kindly asked him to leave.

We went down in the elevator with him and he walked with us out to the front. We got in the car, and he put his bag of whatever he had in a shopping cart and began walking away. He kept waving to us and with every wave, he tugged our heart strings. My partner asked if we should give him a ride to Martin’s Meats and I said we should, so we gave him a ride.

I went into Martin’s Meats ahead of him to tell Audrey, Bakersfield’s very own Mother Teresa, that I was bringing in someone for a suspended sandwich. He was getting out of the car and I waited for him in the store, but as he was getting out of the car, my partner told him not to forget his things. He told him that he wished he could come home with us. Ugh! My heart!

He ordered his suspended sandwich and Audrey wanted to take our picture for Facebook. She takes everyone’s picture, especially those who get a suspended sandwich, mainly to show people that this is where their money is going and to ask people to continue donating money to help her feed the homeless.

I hugged him as I was leaving and I told him to be safe and to be very careful and I wished him well. In my mind I was saying “God I wish we could do more, I wish we could bring you home with us and help you because you don’t deserve this.” Unfortunately, we can’t do that.

The look on my face in the picture is saying “Yay! We helped someone. We gave him money and food and we gave him an umbrella to keep him dry.” The look on his face is “They gave me $7 and brought me here for a free sandwich, but I’m still homeless.”

The look on my face right now is “I feel so bad that we couldn’t bring him home.”

After we left him at Martin’s Meats, we went to Ricky’s Retreat which is Bakersfield AIDS Project for their annual Thanksgiving dinner that they hold for their clients who have no family. I wish we thought to bring him to that dinner. He could have actually had a Thanksgiving dinner. Now I really feel like shit. At the dinner, a woman shouted for anyone who was listening to say in 1 word how thankful they are, and a few people said “Food” and I said “Roof” and she looked at me a little funny. I got up and walked over to her and told her that I was homeless as a teenager and that I am thankful every day for the roof over my head because that means I am not homeless. Meeting Aron really gave me perspective. I will never take anything for granted again.

I really wish my book did better, because if it did, I would use the money to help more homeless people get out of the situation they are in. I would love to buy a building and turn it into a homeless shelter. We already have one, but they really push religion down your throat. They are also full, so mine would be for their overflow. My dream was to build one for gay homeless kids, but I really want to help everyone. I know, I can’t save the world, but if I had the money, at least I could try to give shelter to those who need it.

Wallet Affirmations

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Wallet Affirmations

Some people don’t need affirmations, because they are confident and nothing bothers them. I am not one of those people.

The two on the top have been in my wallet for years, but they were so faded that I had to remake them. They are probably too difficult to read, but this is what they say.

“Do you know what happens when you decide to stop worrying about what other people might think of you? You get to dance. You get to sing. You get to laugh loudly, paint, write, and create. You get to be yourself. And you know what? Some people won’t like you. Some will laugh or mock or point out flaws… but it just won’t bother you all that much.

Doe Zantamata

That is the one with the beach image. I got the quote on Facebook several years ago, but when I decided to put the text on a business card for my wallet, I thought it needed a picture. I found a nice beach picture. That one was so faded that you couldn’t even see a beach anymore.

The camouflage one is very difficult to read. This card also had a beach background, but I changed it to camo, and when you read the last line you will know why I changed it.

We’re all broken and damaged, and we aren’t quite fixed yet.

A lot of us have gone through hell, but you know what? We came back. We came back stronger.

You know why? Because we are warriors, and warriors fight.

Tonight I found a new quote on Facebook and decided this one HAS to go in my wallet. I’ve been confronted by people who are hell bent on trying to prove me wrong, and nothing I say or do will ever convince them that I am not as bad as they insist I am. And the more they try to trip me up, the more I trip up. That’s why I have to keep this card in my wallet to read when I am confronted by them.

“Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.”

The last one is actually on my fridge. I printed it several years ago on 4×6 photo paper, and I figured while I am remaking these cards and adding that last one, I may as well add this one to my wallet.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

-Dr. Seuss

I printed these cards on a full size sheet of photo paper and cut them out and laminated them so they don’t fade out again. Believe me, it’s worth it.

Mormon rule changes aimed at gay church members

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PhotoMormon church issues rules aimed at gay members, their kids

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mormon church officials have issued a rule change that says members in same-sex marriages can be kicked out and their children must wait until they’re 18 and disavow homosexual relationships to be baptized.

The revisions triggered a wave of anger, confusion and sadness for a growing faction of LGBT-supportive Mormons who were buoyed in recent years by church leaders’ calls for more compassion and understanding for LGBT members.

“It feels like they are extending an olive branch and hitting you with it,” said Wendy Montgomery, who is Mormon and has a 17-year-old gay son. “It’s like this emotional whiplash.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints disseminated the handbook changes this week to local church leaders around the world. The goal was to provide clarity to lay leaders who run congregations, church spokesman Eric Hawkins said. He noted the church has long been on record as opposing same-sex marriages.

“While it respects the law of the land, and acknowledges the right of others to think and act differently, it does not perform or accept same-sex marriage within its membership,” Hawkins said in a statement.

Montgomery said Friday the news left her son sobbing and forced her and her husband to consider leaving a religion they’ve belonged to for generations. The couple has been trying desperately to stay in the church despite a harsh reception to their son coming out.

Montgomery also echoed a response shared by many on social media: She can somewhat understand the hard stance on same-sex marriage, but she can’t comprehend singling out gay couple’s children.

“We just put a scarlet letter on these kids,” Montgomery said. “This isn’t my church. I don’t see God in it. I don’t see divinity it. It just feels evil.”

I was a Mormon once upon a time, but I’m not even a Christian anymore, and with good reason. Christian churches hate gay people. Remember in the last couple of years when the Mormon church announced they are accepting gay people? Well, now they’ve slapped all those gay people in the face with this new rule saying they will be kicking out all gay members, and children of said gay people will not be allowed to be baptised or even attend church until they are 18, and they have to move out of their family home and disavow homosexuality, and that includes disavowing their parents.

Tell me how that is fair to a child? Tell me how that is fair to a family, like the Montgomery family who have been Mormons their entire lives. They used to live in Bakersfield and the church here gave them such a hard time, so much so that their son Jordan stopped going to church altogether. They were so excited to leave Bakersfield and move to a whole new city in a new state to be in a new community with a huge gay/gay friendly Mormon population, only to now be told that Jordan can’t attend church anymore because of this new rule.

Do the Mormons realize what they are doing? They are alienating not only gay people, but also the friends and families of gay people. It’s really no wonder why people are becoming atheists every day. This is exactly why I turned into an atheist.

When I was 17 and came out of the closet to my mother, all she could do was tell me “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve” and that I was going to hell, and she called me a faggot. My own mother. My boyfriends mother called me a faggot and she also told me that she wanted to know where we lived so when God caused an earthquake, she’d know where to dig for her son’s corpse. Then when I was no longer homeless, my sister found me and invited me to live with her, and she started telling me how I was going to hell too. I went from being a born again Christian, to Atheist in less than a year. I had been told at least 100 times in 10 months that I was going to hell, and there was nothing I could do to change it. So yeah, I said screw that, I’m done with religion.

Look, I’m not going to tell people what to do with their lives. You can be a Mormon, you can be a Christian, or you can choose what religion you want to practice, but there is one thing you cannot choose, and that is to be gay. No one chooses to be gay. We don’t just wake up one morning and say “I think I might like to suck a dick today.” We may decide today is the day I will come out of the closet to my parents/family/friends, but we’ve always been gay. We came out of the womb gay, and we will die gay. You cannot change that fact. And I don’t care what anyone says, it’s not a choice. Deal with it.

If I ever decided to go to church, which will happen when hell freezes over, you can believe that I won’t give a crap what they think about my sexuality because it’s none of their business. I don’t think they should worry about who is gay and who is straight. They shouldn’t be focusing so much on hating gay people, because Jesus is not about hate. Jesus never said one thing about gay people, so why is the church so focused on hating gay people? Isn’t the church supposed to be all about love? I mean, that’s what I used to think. Now it seems the church is pure evil. If I wanted to go to an evil church, I’d choose the church of Satan. And you know what? I heard that the actual church of Satan actually accepts anyone, and they give food to the homeless and they donate money to charity. The church of Satan actually does a lot more good for society than the church of God. What does that tell you?

Anyway, I’m getting off my cross, er um I mean my soapbox. I’m sick of this subject. I wish all religions would just go away.

Be Kind To One Another

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Ellen DeGeneres says “Be kind to one another” at the end of her show every day. I’m not sure if people are actually listening to her, because I see people being mean every damn day.

What irritates me the most is when I see adults being mean to children, and they are perfect strangers. I have seen adults who have bully children, and instead of teaching their child to not be a bully, they are encouraging it and are also bullying the children their children are bullying. How would they feel if they were on the other end of that? I’m sure they wouldn’t like it, but I have a feeling that they are like that because they were also bullied, and they probably think that they will get bullied more if they show weakness by being nice.

Don’t take being nice for weakness. I make it a point to smile at every person I pass no matter where I am. I could be in the gym walking on the treadmill and someone walks by and makes eye contact with me, I’ll smile and they usually smile back. Or I might be riding my bicycle on the way to the store and someone is walking on the sidewalk and I smile at them. A smile doesn’t cost anything, well, maybe a few more wrinkles. I’d gladly have more wrinkles if it means I made someone else smile.

Being nice to other people doesn’t just make me feel good, it makes them feel good that someone was nice to them. I mean think about it. There might be someone who has just had the day from hell, and what if they were about to go home and just swallow a bottle full of pills because everyone is mean to them and they just can’t catch a break. What if your smile is that one thing that made them feel good about themselves and made them stop and think that this world does have good people? Not only have you made someone smile, but you saved someone’s life. Maybe, who knows, but that’s the thing, you never know.

If you are constantly yelling at people for something stupid, something that they had no control over in the first place, what does that say about you? What are those sayings? “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” “Don’t cry over spilled milk.” I’ve literally seen people yell and scream after spilling their drink. It’s a drink, clean it up and pour another one.

Have you ever rubbed your dogs nose in their own pee? Let me ask this, is your dog potty trained and yet they peed in the house? If the dog knows that they have to go outside, and yet they peed in the house anyway, is it really their fault? Did they tell you they had to go outside and you ignored them because you were watching your favorite show and didn’t want to miss anything? Just imagine that you are the dog. They don’t know what a show is, and they really don’t care because they are dogs. Dogs don’t have shows. If the dog says hey man, take me outside, and you tell them to wait, but they’ve already been holding it for a long time, is it really their fault? No, it’s your fault. So you can’t blame the dog, you only have yourself to blame.

All I’m saying is be nice to people and your pets. And being nice isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign that you are a nice person.

Family is not about blood

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They say blood is thicker than water. Well, if that is true, why are so many parents kicking their LGBT children out of the house? Why are so many siblings burning their bridges over something trivial? Blood may be thicker than water, but you don’t have to be blood related to be family.

I was homeless when I was 15 and again when I was 17, and neither time was by choice. No one chooses to be homeless. There are children on the streets because their family gave up on them when they came out of the closet. Children are selling their bodies for sex so they can eat and have a roof over their heads. They are getting hooked on drugs, being raped and in most cases getting murdered because they are LGBT. Why is that, because they were gay? No, because their BLOOD tossed them into the streets to fend for themselves. Some are killing themselves because of the rejection.

Trust me when I say that blood is not thicker than water. Not just anyone can be your family, but that all depends on who YOU consider to be family. I have friends who I consider family more than my sisters and one cousin. I have a friend from when we lived in Van Nuys who I haven’t seen since 1981, but we are Facebook friends and I consider him more of a brother than I ever considered either of my sisters and my cousin. I have friends here in the Bakersfield gay community who I consider family. There is a family who just recently moved to Arizona who I barely got to know, and I consider them family more than my sisters and my cousin.

So just know that if you treat your own blood like crap, you may think that you are not replaceable, but trust me honey, you are. You need them more than they need you, so don’t treat your gay children, siblings or cousins like crap. If you never hear from them again, maybe think next time before you tell them they are going to hell, or in my cousins case, think before you tell them that you are voting for Prop 8 because he doesn’t think your relationship is worth a piece of paper.

Moving DiaryofaGayNerd.com to WordPress.com

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When I published my book Diary of a Gay Nerd on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, I bought a website and added the domain to the book. My reason for wanting a website was so that I could blog about child abuse issues, issues of LGBT discrimination and book excerpts. Unfortunately I didn’t do as much of that as I had hoped I would. I tried, but it just didn’t work out.

My problem now is that it is almost 4 years since I published my book, and I have been paying for hosting for a website that I hardly ever blog with, and a website that no one hardly ever visits. I actually don’t even know if anyone visits my website.

The solution is simple. I have another website at http://www.xanapus.com and I decided to get rid of my hosting and import all of my blog posts on WordPress.com and map my domain to that blog, so I will do the same with this one.

I have already imported everything, that includes all posts, pages, media and comments to diaryofagaynerd.wordpress.com, so all that’s left is to get rid of my hosting and map my domain. Oh and of course I also have to decorate this new blog so it looks awesome. I would also like to dedicate more time to blogging.

When the domain has been mapped to this new blog, I will blog about it.

Facebook Rehab

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One week ago I blogged that I had an addiction with Facebook and it was causing me some trouble. I said that I would limit myself to 1 hour a day on my regular Facebook, and I would change my Facebook on my phone to another account which is a role play character from EverQuest, which I did.

So how do I think I’ve handled myself in the last week? I think I’ve done pretty good. During my 1 hour a day on my regular Facebook I try to just read the news feed and not respond, although there were a couple I did respond to, but I stayed on topic and I didn’t try to joke around which would make people yell at me. Just yesterday someone asked if there was a place he could get his hair cut without having to hear religious greetings. My response apparently showed how old I am because I was laughed at, but you know what? I honestly don’t care.

I actually had more fun on my role play Facebook than I have had in a very long time. My character is a gnome wizard, and I would see people post things and I would respond as if I were speaking for my gnome in EverQuest, and it made people laugh, in a good way. They were laughing with me, not at me.

Speaking of EverQuest, I logged into the game and saw that no one in my guild was playing, but someone left a message of the day saying “email me”, and so I did, and it was someone I haven’t seen in EverQuest in ages. So it was nice to reconnect, even for a minute. Someone else who I am Facebook friends with said he still plays EverQuest and asked if I had any Misty Thicket Picnics, which is food for our characters, and naturally I had 129 stacks. Stacks have 20, so I literally have 2,580 Misty Thicket Picnics heh. I also have 22 stacks of Qeynos Afternoon Tea’s, which is 440. Not bad. Sometimes it’s good to be a hoarder since I can give people things they can actually use.

Other things I have done during my week. I’ve played The Sims FreePlay and I started to play a game called Hay Day. I’ve only been playing it for maybe 4 days and I’m already level 16.

I have also been reading more. I am currently reading a book called Pathfinder Tales: Liar’s Blade. There are a LOT of books in the Pathfinder Tales series, based on a tabletop RPG game similar to Dungeons & Dragons. I also bought the Pathfinder Beginner Box from Amazon and I should get it in a week or 2.  It was only $25 and it has a lot more than the D&D starter set had. I don’t have anyone to play with, but I plan on eventually getting a group together to play at the Bakersfield Gay & Lesbian Center. I don’t know how to play though. If I can find someone who has experience and can be the Dungeon Master then great, I can learn through them, if not then I’ll have to learn as much as I can so I can be the DM and we can all learn together.

I am doing my best to focus on other things, because there is so much more to life than Facebook. Remember a time before social media when people used to actually call each other, or they used to go to their friends houses and interact? Remember when we used our cell phones to actually make calls? Yeah, me neither.

Anyway, I am considering getting a gym membership. Planet Fitness has a special right now that expires on September 15th, that is no money down and $20 a month for a 12 month commitment and $39 a year fee. I don’t really have the money right now, so hopefully they will have another special again in the future because I really want to go to the gym. I need to exercise and get out of the house a little more. It’s a 21 minute bike ride from the house, but if their membership has unlimited guest passes, then both of us can benefit from my membership. I’d love to get in shape for the upcoming AIDS walk in October. The gym gives you unlimited use of their hydromassage and massage chairs and those are something I really could use because I am in agony every day. That would be a real big help.

Let’s see how things go from here. Until next time…

Facebook Rehab

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facebook rehabI have a bit of a problem. I am addicted to Facebook. The problem is that I am on Facebook for literally 16 hours a day. I can’t stop looking at Facebook on my phone, my Nook HD+ and my computer, and sometimes all 3 at the same time. If that is not an addiction, I don’t know what is.

The problem is that I have an addictive personality. When I start something, I have a hard time quitting. When I got my first Windows computer in 1997, I would wake up in the morning and go straight to the living room and sit down and get on AOL and read email and sit in chat rooms all day long.

When I played EverQuest from 2002 to 2007, I was literally on my computer from the minute I woke up until the minute I went to bed.  Of course I had a few shows on each week, so I would watch my shows. When Facebook came out, I was on it from time to time, but not as much time because I started playing Lord of the Rings Online and EverQuest 2 and I had my PSP games.

The Facebook addiction came gradually. When I started writing my book in 2010,  I was on Twitter more than I was on Facebook, but by the time I finished writing and editing and after I published my book I started paying more attention to Facebook.

When I created the Facebook page for my book and my blog, they were both supposed to be a platform for both advertising my book and for posting articles with child abuse stories, but the more research I did, the more depressed I became about my childhood. The book was supposed to help me release all that pain, so that’s why I didn’t post or blog about child abuse issues and instead started posting and writing about LGBT issues. It just so happened that a lot of the issues was about equality.

At any rate, my Facebook addiction has taken a bad turn for me. On my personal Facebook profile, I like to post funny stories that friends post. I also crack jokes in the comments on other people’s posts. Unfortunately I started saying things that didn’t make sense and I started saying things that were off topic and many times people have yelled at me.

One person in particular recently told me that she disagreed with me. Ok, that’s fine, we’re all individuals with our own opinions, but you don’t see me telling you how much I disagree with you because I’m not that kind of person. If I see that someone has their own opinion about something, I respect it and move on. I don’t call them on it. I mean, who does that? I got really upset, not that she disagreed with me, but because she made it a point to tell me she disagreed with me. Lady, I don’t know you and I honestly don’t care if you agree with me or not.  Aren’t I allowed to have my own opinions?

Anyway, this whole thing has just taught me that I have been spending way too much time on Facebook. I stopped playing video games and I stopped reading. I was trying to learn to write fiction because that has been my dream since I was a child, but I stopped reading the books that I bought called Write Great Fiction because of Facebook. I bought all this D&D stuff to learn to play, but instead I kept looking at Facebook.

Of course I don’t blame Facebook. I don’t blame video games or computers or my cell phone for my addictions, I blame myself. So it’s not you Facebook, it’s me.

So this is what I have decided. I switched to a role playing character that I have on Facebook, which happens to be a character I played in EverQuest and will be the star in my fiction books if I ever start writing them. That way I can still post things on my book page, which I will spend 1 hour a day doing. If I can’t access my regular Facebook page then I won’t be tempted to sit on it all day. I will turn on my computer once a day to check for messages on my regular Facebook page, but I won’t read anyone’s posts or respond to any comments. I’ll look, but don’t touch. The rest of my free time will consist of me reading books and playing video games. It’s a vacation that I have needed for several years.

So as of right now, I am in Facebook rehab. Chat with you when I feel that I can space my time between reading, writing, playing video games and using Facebook and Twitter and whatever other social media outlets there are.

Read My Book for Free

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Diary of a Gay Nerd on AmazonDo you have Amazon Prime and a Kindle? If you answered yes to both of those questions, you are eligible to read my book for FREE! Amazon Prime is this awesome membership that allows you to get free 2-day shipping on everything you buy, unlimited music, movies, TV shows and books among many other features all for just $99 a year after your 30 day trial.

When I first published my book in 2012, I wanted to publish it for the Nook, the Kindle and Rainbow eBooks as well as have the paperback version available on Amazon. Kindle has this option for authors who are self publishing to make more money, but only if you sell your digital copy through them. I didn’t want to give people one choice because I don’t believe in the monopoly. Well, after a few years I’ve decided to just go ahead with the deal. This is a great deal for you and me, it’s literally a win/win situation

This is your chance to finally read my book if you haven’t already. You can also tell your friends and family to read it for free if they also have a Kindle with Amazon Prime.

Of course if you do want to own my book, you still have the option of buying the paperback or Kindle copy. You won’t be able to buy the Nook copy, for now. It will be back eventually, I’m sure, but for now, read it on your Kindle.

I am told this does not work on the Kindle app for phones or tablets, it only works if you have a Kindle. Luckily the Kindle is cheaper than ever. You can buy a Kindle, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers for only $79. It’s a great price, and it’s an awesome new Kindle.

So start your one month free trial of Amazon Prime (One Year Membership) so you can start reading my book Diary of a Gay Nerd: Life after Child Abuse, It Gets Better! What are you waiting for? An engraved invitation?

No More Gender Labels for Toys

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target gender labels I saw a post for an article on Facebook earlier today about a guy named Mike Melgaard who changed his Facebook avatar to a Target logo and changed his name to Ask ForHelp and was responding to people who were voicing their outrage about a new policy at Target to remove gender labels from the toy aisles. His responses were hilarious, and I have not laughed so hard in such a long time.

There were many hundreds of posts today made by people outraged by the news on Fox and Friends, but that’s what they do over at Fox News, they exaggerate and tell lies to make people mad enough to go over to the Target Facebook page and tell them they are boycotting.

This is what people who have been leaving comments think. They are saying it’s for political correctness. They think that Target is pandering to transgender children or parents or the gay and lesbian “agenda”, but that is simply not true. This is what they actually did. They removed the sign that says “Boys toys” and “Girls toys” and just have signs that say like, and this is just a guess, “Lego’s” and “Dolls” and “Barbie” and so on. All the boys and girls Lego’s are all in the same aisle. That’s it. I mean, how simple is that? They did the same with children’s bedding.

More than a few people have jumped from toys to bathrooms. They think that this has to do with transgender people, so they think Target is going to make the bathrooms gender neutral for transgender people. What does removing the words “boys” and “girls” from signs have to do with bathrooms? People, get your minds out of the gutter! Toys and toilets aren’t even in the same hemisphere. It’s not that slippery of a slope.

People say they are going to Walmart, well, here is some news for you, Walmart doesn’t have gender labels on their toy aisles, and neither does Toys R Us. That’s what the response has been from most everyone who has responded to these people. So by saying you are going to start shopping for toys at Walmart instead, well, I have some bad news for you.

Here’s the thing, children have their own sense of what kind of toys THEY want to play with. If you bring your child to Target and tell them to pick out a toy, the toy they choose is the toy that THEY want to play with. It’s that simple. I mean, I honestly don’t know how much more simple it can get.

If your son wants a Easy Bake Oven, are you going to say no, that’s for girls only, what is that telling your son? That cooking is only for girls? Ask Gordon Ramsey how he feels about that. My uncle does a lot of the cooking and my aunt works on the car. Are you going to tell my aunt and uncle that they have to switch gender roles?

When I was a kid, I had my own toys and my sister had her own toys, but I wanted to play with her toys because they seemed more fun. She had this one toy that was called Fashion Plates. It was a toy where you open the lid and place 3 plates in, 1 for the head, 1 for the torso and 1 for the legs. It could be a dress top with pant legs, or a blouse with a skirt. Here is a commercial I found on YouTube, but their description said Hasbro made these from 1989, but that’s wrong because my sister had her fashion plates in the 1970’s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH-E27Iyzxg

I loved to color, but I wasn’t very good at drawing, so it was nice to have something to make the pattern for me to color if I didn’t have any new coloring books. I colored a lot, and all of my coloring books were filled in. They didn’t have a boy version at that time, so I had to work with what my sister had.

My sister also had Donnie and Marie dolls complete with a TV studio set with cameras, microphones and outfits as well as the Cher dolls with the TV studio set and MANY outfits.

I had some cool toys too like Lego’s and I had a lot of Matchbox cars with a case and tracks. Oh and I had one of those electric racetracks that you have wired remote controls and you can press the button to make the cars go. Fun times. Oh, but I digress…

Look, kids want what kids want, and you can’t tell a child that they cannot play with a toy simply because it doesn’t match their genitalia. I mean, you’re the parent, you can raise your child however you want, but I’m telling you that if your child wants to play with toy X and you give them toy Z, be prepared for a lifetime of resentment and therapy. You can like what you like, but you aren’t the one who is going to reject a toy because that’s not what they wanted. It’s your money, throw it in the trash if you want to, I don’t care.

I had hours of fun playing with my Light Bright, Lego’s and Spirograph, which are gender neutral toys. I even had hours of fun playing with Donnie and Marie, which in my opinion should have been gender neutral toys, but because they were dolls, they were targeted to girls.

If you are boycotting Target because of this decision because you think this is a LGBT issue, let me give you some news. That computer, tablet or cell phone you are using right now was the invention of a gay person named Alan Turing. You will also be disappointed to know that Target is a gay friendly company. They sell gay pride clothing. Oh and Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple and Google (who owns Android) are all gay friendly companies. So next time you are using a computer, tablet or phone, just remember that you are using something invented by a gay person.

Alan-Turing