23 And Me

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23-and-me.jpg

My life partner sent me this article last night about a 79 year old woman who took a DNA test and found her brother who then told her that her 100 year old mother was still alive.

Adopted woman, 79, meets her 100-year-old biological mom for the first time, after believing she was dead but then finding out she lives just 70 MILES away

It got me thinking, I’ve been searching for my father, but because I only had a picture and no name or social security number to go by, I really didn’t have any information to actually look for him, so I gave up. I found a picture of a man who looked like the guy in the picture that I have, but that was an obituary picture and he was much older, because obviously time has passed lol.

Anyhoo, I was thinking, what if I bought one of these DNA kits from 23 and Me that can show me if I have any living relatives that I didn’t know about? I think it is worth checking out. I will obviously have to put it on a credit card because I don’t have money, but I think I want to do it.

If I do do it, I will record video of myself through every step and put it on YouTube. It will take months of waiting for me to complete this video because first I’ll have to buy the kit on the website and it might take a week to get here, maybe a couple of days, but then it could take 4 to 6 weeks to get my results via email. But I’ve waited my whole life, what’s another 2 months eh?

I am excited and nervous at the same time. I’m excited for obvious reasons, I want to know if I have any siblings out there, and if I do, do they look like me? Or do I look like them? I’m nervous because I have many things in my life that I have been rejected by family and friends for already. My step father rejected me by telling me he wishes they would put all the, and I quote “faggots on and island and shoot them” when I was 13 years old. My mother even called me a faggot when she confronted me about being gay and told me I was going to hell. My older sister told me I was going to hell for being gay. I’ve had to quit jobs after coming out of the closet to people, and I’ve lost friends when they found out.

Other factors are the fact that I was diagnosed with HIV in 1991, and then diagnosed with AIDS in 1994. When I was diagnosed with AIDS I was advised by the doctor of the hospital to just go apply for disability because you can’t work now. Disability gives me medical insurance which helps with doctor visits since I have to see a doctor several times a year, and it pays for my HIV meds. Without medication, I will die. It’s literally the only reason I’m still alive today. I was dead in the water in 2000 when I had 50 t-cells, then the doctor at the clinic I go to now changed my meds and, well, I’m still alive.

My aunt who used to live in Simi Valley made it crystal clear to me when I visited her recently in her new home in Oregon that under no circumstances am I allowed to have a political opinion because she worked her whole life, she earned it. I skated through life on disability, so I did not earn the right to even have an opinion on anything, especially if it’s not the same opinion as hers. Basically, what I’m saying is what if they reject me for political reasons? I’m a liberal democrat, what if they are all conservative republicans and all they want to do is yell at me like my aunt?

And finally, what if I am the subject of ridicule because of the circumstances for which I was given life? My mother basically slept with a married man. The way my aunt tells the story, he was separated from his wife, and so they were in a relationship. I mean, she left that part out when she told me about him before I wrote my book, but still, what if they reject me for the very fact that my mother slept with and got pregnant by a married man? I have no judgement toward her for getting pregnant by a married man, but other people might, especially if my mother is the reason my real father and his wife were separated. They might take their anger out on me.

What if I do find my family and they don’t care about any of that and they welcome me into their family with open arms and they actually love me? That’s the dream right there. That’s the fantasy I’ve had my entire life. Finding my real father and he’s still alive and he wants me in his life and he loves me unconditionally.

I think negative about the whole thing because that’s how I’ve had to think my entire life. Expect the worst, but hope for the best. If it turns out bad then at least I tried, but if it turns out good, then at least I tried and it worked out.

I will start recording myself the day I decide to buy the DNA kit on their website and I will record myself along the way. The video isn’t going to be as exciting or good quality, but I work with what I have.

To be continued…

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New Keychains and Cheaper Shipping

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keychains on new packaging

I have been working hard making keychains over the last few months and have come up with 5 different styles of rainbow.  First there was the translucent with a clear center, when I ran out of those translucent colors I switched to another shade of translucent with a more solid red and light purple with a clear center, but then someone asked for a rainbow keychain with a black center so I made some of those.  When I ran out of those translucent rainbow colors, I switched to a new color combination which is what you see in the image above.  Rainbow C1 C2 and C3.  They are all solid colors except for the orange which is translucent, that was all they had.

The reason I am making the rainbow keychains is well, um… because I am gay and the rainbow is basically my flag, so it only makes sense, right?  Not to mention they are pretty.  Speaking of flag, I have also made some American Flag keychains for the 4th of July.  I really like both the DNA and the Crinkle Cut style.

The shipping went down from $3.20 to $2 because I was able to buy cheaper padded envelopes, so I am passing along the savings to you.

The keychains are around 6 to 6 1/2 inches long.  My earlier keychains were a bit longer and thicker, but that was because I wasn’t tightening them enough, so they seemed to be a bit loose in some spots, but I have gotten better at making them tighter so they look more uniform.  Uniformity is very important when I am making the rainbow keychains because I want them to blend evenly when I change colors.

Since DOMA has been found to be unconstitutional, you can now take 25% off your keychain order by entering the coupon code NODOMA.  That is my gift to you.  That coupon code expires on July 31st, 2013.

Thank you for reading.  I am off to go make more keychains.  Have a nice day. 🙂

I sold my first keychain on Etsy

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rainbow dna

I have been having a blast making these rainbow DNA keychains. I spent a lot of money on the materials, and I spend a couple of hours making just one keychain, not because I feel that I have to, but because it’s fun. I decided that I should probably sell them on Etsy because if I don’t, I’m going to have the biggest keychain collection of all time if I didn’t get rid of them lol.

I wasn’t sure what I should charge for them, so I browsed other people’s lanyard keychains and finally came up with $4 for the keychain and $1 for shipping, but after I shipped the first order out today, I ended up with less than $2. The reason being, the padded envelopes were $1.50 and the shipping was $1.67. That brings my profit down to $1.83. So I’m not actually getting $4 for the keychains. I decided that I’m going to keep them at $4, but just raise the shipping to $3.50 just because I want to use those profits to buy more material to make more keychains.

Of course I don’t know if anyone else will buy a keychain or if this one sale was my first and last, but I don’t care because I don’t want to stop making them. It’s too much fun for me.

I am currently still working on the rainbow keychains, I made 3 yesterday and I still have enough material to make 12 more. After that, I’m going to buy some white and blue and more of the clear so that I can make some patriotic ones. I already have a big roll of the red. July is coming and people love to be patriotic, so I figure they will probably buy the patriotic ones. Of course that’s a crap shoot, but it’s still going to be fun to make even if nobody buys them.

Who knows how long I will be able to continue making them before my hands just give up on me. After all, I do have carpel tunnel syndrome. I think that’s why I would like to get more money for them, not just the time that it takes to make them, but also for the pain that it will eventually cause me.

I would also like to make some trans colors and some bear colors. I think someone out there would like to have one of those. Of course if I have the materials, I would take requests for specific colors. I don’t just know the DNA pattern, I just love that one compared to any other I’ve seen. I hope other people do too. 🙂

June Signed Paperback Giveaway

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june giveaway

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!