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.

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Don’t Shoot The Messenger

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dont shoot the piano player

I’ve never written a book before Diary of a Gay Nerd, so when it comes to having a social media website to advertise for my book, I honestly don’t know what I’m doing. I do know that I should be advertising my book, like all day, which is the point of having a Facebook page specifically for my book, but I don’t want to shove it down people’s throats. I feel like if people are a fan of my Facebook page, they know it’s a book, so if they like me, then they will buy my book.

I didn’t write it to make money, I wrote it to get my side of the story out. So instead of it being an advertisement for my book, I share pictures and articles that hit a nerve because it may have something to do with how I was treated as a child, teen or adult, and basically to say “See! It’s happening to other people as well.”

Earlier this year I shared an image for women that was basically saying don’t hit your girlfriend or wife. It was an image for domestic violence. I also mentioned in my comment that this applies to women, children and your pets. Don’t hit anyone because no one deserves to be hit. Well, that pissed one man off who I can only assume is either a wife abuser, or the victim of domestic abuse by his female domestic partner. He called me a sexist for standing up for women. Sir, I am sorry if you were abused by a woman, but don’t hold all women accountable for your situation. If you are an abuser, then well, you know where you can go. But don’t call me a sexist for standing up for what I believe, because I think that women should be treated with dignity and respect.

A couple of months ago there was a story about a man who left his child in the car while he was at work. I simply shared the story. I gave no opinion of him as a person, I simply said how sad for the child. Someone verbally attacked me because she thought I was attacking him, and that I should give him a break because people make mistakes and he was probably thinking he dropped the kid off at day care or whatever. Then over the next couple of weeks we found out that he had lied to police and that not only did he leave his child in the car on purpose, but he Googled how long it would take for an animal to die in a car. He was also sexting with someone who was not his wife while his child was dying in the car. But I’m the asshole for sharing the story.

That brings me to yesterday when I shared a story of a man who was yelling at someone because he didn’t like gay people. He kept saying “Cause this is America!” and he used the word faggot and queer several times before kicking a man in a pink shirt in the groin, then proceeded to punch him in the face and on the head before being tackled by a group of people who were only trying to help the man who was being beat up. The whole thing was caught on tape and yet some person shared the story on their personal profile saying she did not find the article on CNN or any Dallas news websites, so it is obviously … Well, let me show you her comment so you can see.

ponce

So since they couldn’t find it on any Dallas news website, I decided to look into it, and guess what I found? Go ahead, guess.

http://crimeblog.dallasnews.com/2014/10/video-shows-passengers-police-at-dallasfort-worth-international-airport-stopping-an-anti-gay-attack-at-gate.html/

“The Dallas Morning News” blog

“When asked to confirm its authenticity, DFW spokesperson Cynthia Vega says. “Yes, it did happen, and yes, there was an arrest.” We do not know the name of the man taken into custody.Vega is not even sure when it took place: Wednesday or Thursday. We sent the videographer some questions via Facebook earlier today, and await his reply. We have also asked for the police report, and will update when it is made available.”

Sooo…

Look, I am not an expert at knowing what to do and what not to do with a Facebook page for a book, because no one is telling me what I should and should not post. I am on my own here, so if I am doing it wrong I would like to know. I’ve been doing this for almost 3 years and I’ve only had a few complaints. I think I’m doing pretty good.

If you don’t like a story, fine, but don’t shoot the messenger, because I did not write that story, I did not video record the fight or the man being arrested, and I did not stage anything. I shared the article because it hit a nerve. I’ve been yelled at and called a queer and a faggot, so that hit a nerve. I’ve been kicked in the groin by a homophobe, so that hit a nerve. I’ve been punched in the face and in the head by a homophobe, several in fact, and guess what it hit? A nerve! So yeah, I’m going to share the article without verifying it because it looked real to me, and there was no reason to think it wasn’t real.

So CNN didn’t report on this story, okay, so what. I am sure there are literally a thousand stories like this per day that they cannot report on. The local news websites probably didn’t report on it because they are waiting for the videographer to respond to them, hence their crime blog saying they “will update when it is made available.”

If you want to form an opinion of me as a person, or my book as a book, or my Facebook page as a page based on whether I share credible stories from CNN, you are going to have a hard time in life because even the most credible news sources make mistakes from time to time. Fox News reported on a story that turned out to be satire. So tell me again how it’s my responsibility to share ONLY credible news stories again.

If someone wants to stop following me, I can’t control that, but do me a favor, don’t shame me on your profile, because I did not do anything wrong. I shared the story and other credible Facebook pages shared the same story. Are you going to unfollow them too, or was I targeted because you wanted a reason to stop following me?

All I can say to any of these people who hold me accountable for other people’s actions is good luck and have a nice life.

June Signed Paperback Giveaway

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June is coming, and every year for my birthday I have given away a free signed paperback copy of my book “Diary of a Gay Nerd: Life After Child Abuse, It Gets Better!”  This year I am giving 2 books away, but one of them is not for my birthday, but to celebrate my goal of losing 63lbs.  When I get down to 200lbs, which I am very close to, I will give the book away.  I am so confident that I will make it to my estimated end date of June 2nd, that I am starting the giveaway anyway.

There are still two weeks left so you have plenty of time to sign up for the giveaway.  There will be 2 winners and all you have to do is leave a comment.  My blog will automatically pick 2 winners from the comments and when I announce who won, please be sure to send me a direct message on Facebook, or a DM on Twitter with your address so I can mail it to you.

My goal estimated end date is June 2nd, so I will make this giveaway end on June 3rd just to add a little wiggle room.  It gives me time and it gives you time to enter, so it’s really a win/win situation.

You will also get this homemade Translucent Rainbow DNA Plastic Lanyard Keychain, so please, leave a comment, or leave many comments and you might win a book.

UPDATE 2-3-2013: The winners are Karen and  Stacey!  Congrats to you both!

Personal Updates

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I haven’t been blogging much about my personal life over here because I have another blog over at Xanapus’ Lair.  So here are a few updates.

On January 5th I decided that it was time for me to go on a strict diet, but not so much a diet just to lose weight, but to change my eating habits for good.  My eating was out of control and the only way to fix that was to change everything.  I downloaded an app on my phone called “Noom” and it changed my life.  Since January 5th 2013, I have officially lost 46lbs.  Although I was at the doctor today which brings my weight loss up to 48lbs.  My weigh in days are Saturday so we will see what the number is then.

Starting this new life meant getting my bike fixed and I did, sort of.  My back wheel keeps deflating and I don’t understand why.  I bought a Co2 pump and cartridges to keep it pumped up, but it keeps deflating.  I was going to start riding 33miles a day, but some other fate stepped in and stopped me from being able to ride my bike at all.  I was in an accident on March 16th and broke my arm.  It has been 3 weeks since I broke it and it is healing, but I probably won’t be back on the bike for another month.

My weight loss goal of losing 63lbs will probably end in a month or so, right about the time that I can start riding my bike again so that’s actually a good thing.  Once I get down to 200lbs I will set another goal to get down to 170 so I will be riding the bike during that goal.  That’s actually perfect because I do plan on buying an airless tube to put in the back wheel so I never have to worry about a flat tire again.  I’ve been told that if you are over 200lbs then it will always feel like you have a flat tire, that’s why I say it’s perfect because I will be under 200lbs by then, so no worries.

I started writing another book, but it turned out that I didn’t have anything more than a few hundred words to say, so that fizzled out.  Then I started writing another book, but then broke my arm which made it impossible to type.  I can type out a regular blog post using the voice recognition of my phone, but to write a book with a phone is next to impossible, so that’s not going to work for me.  I will continue working on it though.  Just in case you are wondering what it is about, it’s sort of a diary, but not of my past.  I don’t really want to go into it too much though.

I will have a free signed paperback book giveaway to celebrate my weight loss goal as well as a free signed paperback book giveaway on my birthday in June, so I will be giving away 2 books total.  I will post the information here then.  In the past I have done giveaways with Goodreads, but I think that has left the fans of the Facebook page in the dust, so I will keep it to my blog only this time.  That will happen in late May so stay tuned for that.

So that’s pretty much it for now.  I will try to blog here more often, but it seems that I rarely have anything to say that I don’t already say on the Facebook page.  I will work on it, but I make no promises.

A conversation and a response about The Salvation Army’s anti-gay policies

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Yesterday I was happy to participate in a live web conversation via Google Plus Hangouts with the Huffington Post Live.  You can see that conversation here.  I also added the video directly to my blog here.

I was able to tell my story about what happened to me 30 years ago when I was in the 6th and 7th grade about how they excluded me from Sunday School with the other children by giving me Sunday School in a little room.  I also shared my story about what happened to me 25 years ago when I was homeless and in the Salvation Army homeless shelter and when I came out of the closet to one of the volunteers who told me to never ever speak of it because the church would kick me out of the shelter if they found out.

Today I got an email from the producer (I don’t know if she’s a producer, but happy promotion day to you lol) of the show asking for my permission to pass along my email address to a communications director for the Salvation Army who was concerned about what happened to me.  I gave my permission and it wasn’t too long before I got the email.  Here it is.

Dear Michel,

Thank you for providing your contact information. You shared some time last evening with Major George Hood on the web broadcast hosted by Huffington Post . We were concerned by your account of not receiving help from the organization.  We have made a commitment to review such circumstances. So we can research this incident and follow up as necessary, we were wondering if it would be possible for you to provide us with more details, including names of Salvation Army personnel involved, specific dates and locations surrounding the events.

We are sorry for any pain this may have caused you. Thank you for any information you can provide.

Thank you again and take care,

Jennifer

It was nice to receive an email from them wanting to resolve what had happened to me, but the wounds have healed and I have moved on with my life.  I only share my story because it happened and people sometimes need to hear the negative things that people went through in their lives, which is why I wrote my memoir.

I responded:

Dear Jennifer,

Although I did feel hurt and pain back then and over the years, the wounds have healed and I have moved on, but still thought it was helpful to share my story anyway.  

The incident that happened when I was a child happened 30 years ago.  I don’t have any names or addresses or any other information because I was just a child.  I was driven and I never paid any attention to where the church was.  So in that case I really cannot provide any information.  It happened so long ago that I’m sure those who were involved are either not living or aren’t with the church so the point is moot.

The second incident was with the Salvation Army in Simi Valley of which I again don’t have any names or dates except that it happened 25 years ago from January to May of 1988.  Again, the wounds have long since healed and I just wanted to share my story of what happened.

I don’t find it necessary to hold anyone responsible because I don’t want anyone to get into any trouble.

Susan who was also in that show needs more resolution than I do because her story was 2 years ago.  So I think if anyone should be helped it should be her and not me.

Thanks for your concern,

Michel McDonald

“Diary of a Gay Nerd: Life After Child Abuse, It Gets Better!”

She did respond again telling me that she was happy that the wounds have healed and that I have moved on.

One thing that irritated me in the show was Major Hood’s statement that gays are allowed in the church, as long as they NEVER HAVE SEX!!!  I wasn’t on there to argue with anyone or to cause a ruckus, and by the time I got to speak I had totally forgotten that he had said that.  Karel and I both had a reaction of laughter when he said that that was not seen in the show, and the reason we laughed is because it’s such a ridiculous thing for anyone to say.

You simply cannot tell someone that it is okay for them to go to their church as long as you don’t have sex.  That’s preposterous.  First of all, it’s none of the church’s business who is doing what behind closed doors, so telling someone they can’t have sex is just the dumbest thing ever.

So if you are gay and you go to their church and you tell them or they found out that you were sexually active, are they going to kick you out of the church?  Isn’t that still discrimination?  Yes it is!  So how can he say they don’t discriminate if they still kick you out for being sexually active?  Discrimination is still discrimination.

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say about that.  I want to keep my blood pressure down.  I just wanted to do a follow up of the experience and to show the conversation I had with the Salvation Army.

The experience with the show on Huffington Post Live was awesome and I would do it again in a heartbeat if asked.

By the way, I won’t tell you not to donate money to them because they do help people.  But what I would like to suggest is that if you are a member of the LGBT community and you would like to make a donation, please make it to an organization that needs your money more than a church that probably gets billions of dollars every Christmas.  I donated 30% of my books profits to 3 charities (so they each got 10%) which are the Bakersfield Gay and Lesbian Center, who by the way is hanging on by a string, they need donations desperately, way more than the Salvation Army does.  The Bakersfield AIDS Project “Ricky’s Retreat” which is a hospice run by an amazing woman Audrey Chavez.  And PFLAG Bakersfield which I encourage everyone who is LGBT and/or friendly to join.  So if you can spare some money, please donate it to a charity that actually needs the money.

Thank you for reading.

Autumn Sandeen

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Last night I attended the monthly Bakersfield PFLAG meeting where their special guest was Autumn Sandeen.  If anyone doesn’t know who she is, she handcuffed herself to the White House fence to protest the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy and was arrested for it along with a few other people including Lt. Daniel Choi.

Autumn Sandeen is a very wise and very intelligent woman.  When the Pflag meeting was over, Chip and I got to go talk with her for a few minutes.  I have learned so many things about people in the transgendered community over the years and I have come to gain a great respect for anyone who knows what their gender should be and takes the proper actions to change it for themselves.  She isn’t having an identity crisis because she knows what her identity is and that is of a human being who should have been born in a different body.  Plain and simple.

Autumn is a person who deserves my respect and has it.  She is more of an activist than I could ever hope to be because she actually goes out there and does what she says she will do.  She is doing what I wish I had the courage to do and that is what makes her a hero to me.  She is standing her ground and going to jail for her beliefs and sometimes if that is what it takes to make change happen, then that is what she must do.

I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to meet her and I look forward to the world changing because of her bravery and determination.

Autumn Sandeen writes a blog for Pam’s House Blend, you can follow her on Twitter @AutumnSandeen and subscribe to her on YouTube.

My Paper Book

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My paper book finally came today via UPS.  I wasn’t expecting it to show up until Monday so I was quite pleased that it came today.  The front, back and spine of the cover looks awesome.  I opened the book up and everything was perfect.  I took a picture, check it out.

I was very pleased with how the book looked and the color of the pages and everything about it.  I started to read it but found a few mistakes in the first chapter.  UGH!  I thought I was finished but I guess not.

I am going to start reading it all over again, but what I will do is grab some mini post-it notes and put them over all of the mistakes and write a note for myself saying what needs to be fixed with that sentence or word.

It is unfortunate that I published it in eBook format before it was truly ready. I’m hoping that if someone downloaded it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or RainboweBooks.com, they will see this and re-download the updated file when I finish.  Of course I will keep updating this blog so they will know when it is ok to download the update, that is if Amazon and B&N will allow the update.  I’m sure if you delete it, you can just download it again.  Those who downloaded from Rainbow eBooks will obviously be able to download the file again.

So back to the old mines I go lol.