I will not stay silent…

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I have seen some pretty good memes on Facebook over the years, and a lot of them have related to my situation, but I never really talk about how they related to me because honestly, who cares right? But this one relates to me in many ways throughout my entire life. Let me explain.

When I came out of the closet, all I heard from people was “Why do people have to know you are gay? Why can’t you just stay in the closet? Why do you have to have a boyfriend? Why can’t you just pretend you are straight and get married to a woman and just shut up about being gay?” It was this and so much more.

Why should I lie to everyone and cheat myself out of a happy normal life just because you are uncomfortable? For someone to say those things to me, you really are showing me how you really feel about me as a person, not just a gay person, but as a person in general. And if you think that your level of comfortable is more important than my own personal happiness, then I hate to tell you this pumpkin, but you are not that special. If you think I should live the life that YOU think I should live, then perhaps this friendship should end.

The other way this particular meme related to me is because I wrote my book Diary of a Gay Nerd and my sister sent her friend to Goodreads and to Amazon to attack me. Not write a negative review of my book, but to attack my character, then she herself created an account with the McDonald last name to attack my character. So I’m not going to stay silent just because you aren’t comfortable with the truth. And girl, it’s not even about you, get over yourself. Gurl bye!

Anyway, so this meme really related to me.

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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.

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

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 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!

New Front Page Design

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frames

The first page of a website is the first thing that people see, and first impressions are everything.  After all, we all judge a book by its cover, and this page is for my book Diary of a Gay Nerd, so I have to make sure the front page is pleasant to look at.

I liked my other image, but it has been on the website for over a year and I thought it was time for a change.  So here is the new image with icons.  I thought about adding some more pages like my other website, but I honestly don’t know what to add that isn’t already on the blog, so I think I will just keep it the way it is for now.

I would like to blog more, but I spend way too much time on Facebook which is where most of my audience is, so I don’t really know what to blog about that isn’t already on Facebook.  I don’t know if it’s writers block, or if I have just said all that needed to be said with the book.

I didn’t make the frame, I got that from an app on my phone called Picsart.  I did however create the images inside the frames as well as created all new icons so they all matched.  I hope it’s nice to look at.

Please buy the paperback at Amazon as well as the ebook for the Kindle, the ebook for the Nook and help support LGBT businesses by buying the ebook at Rainbow eBooks (the .mobi file works for the Kindle and the .epub file works for the Nook as well as iBooks for the iPhone/iPod/iPad and Aldiko for the Android) and they always have sales.  Make sure to add it to Goodreads and please give me a review and rate my book.  I really appreciate that.  Also make sure you visit me on Facebook and say hey on Twitter too.

I donate 30% of all profits to 3 charities (they each get 10%) which are PFLAG Bakersfield, The Bakersfield Gay & Lesbian Center as well as the Bakersfield AIDS Project: Ricky’s Retreat.

I really appreciate all the support I have received since I published my book and I thank you all for reading and listening.