The Reviews Are In!

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I love hearing what people think about my book and was pleasantly surprised to get this private message on Facebook today.  Of course I asked for her permission to post this and she gave me the okie dokie.

Hello there!

I just finished your book. Wow. I will review on Amazon later but wanted to just tell you a few things.

First and foremost, if I ever wrote a book, it would be probably in the same style as you wrote yours. I will admit it took me a bit to get into that style and be able to read it. Once I figured out where you were coming from it went so much smoother.

I believe you. I believe all of what you wrote. Why? Because of how you told your story. No glitz, no fancy editing. Almost like we spent the afternoon together chatting. I also believe you because of my childhood. It was no where near as traumatic as yours, I should be thankful, but strangely, I am not.

At times, I actually cringed for the choices you made and yelled at you for making them. I may even have cursed you a few times. Okay, a lot of times. Most of my thoughts were “Why would you do that?”! At some points I had to step back and realize at what age you were making those decision. I found myself judging you over and over again. I based what you were doing on my 48 years of living. Not if I would of done something similar at the same age you were. So, as humbling as it is, I realized that I still have a lot to learn about respect and empathy. Thank you for that.

Now, I didn’t realize that you had tested positive for HIV. That broke my heart. I know I have talked about (name omitted) before to you…. He tested positive about 8 years ago. It has been a long road for us, so I am glad to see that you are still doing well after all these years. (name omitted) is mentally tired of it all and there are days that I am in fear of him taking his life. I am going to see him in a few weeks, so will attempt to get him to read this book. Not sure I want to live without my Kindle that long, but if it helps him, then it would be a small price to pay.

Reading your book, I realized we actually had parallel lives. I am not gay, never really suffered from being stigmatized for that, but I still know the pain of being bullied, abused, moving every few years and having a family that I did not feel a part of. I admire you, I respect you and most of all, I am glad you lived to tell your story.

I am happy you have someone in your life that completes you, that is your soul mate. I am so happy for the two of you and wish you nothing but the best that life has to offer.

If you ever make it to Michigan, for publicity or whatnot, let me know… I would love to actually have a chat with you over coffee someday. I am pretty sure there is yet another book in you, let me know once you decide to write it, I will be one of your biggest cheerleaders!

I have to agree with you, I also wish that I had made different choices in my life, but you don’t learn lessons unless you make bad choices, right? I do regret many things, but I wouldn’t take anything back. I basically wrote the same way that I would be telling it to someone in person because I figured it would probably be easier to read for most people who don’t normally like to read. But also, it’s just the only way I know how to tell a story.

There were TONS of things I left out because A they were irrelevant and B because they were TMI LOL. I really wished that I could have added those things, but I was told the masturbation story was too much information, and that was about as TMI as I think it got. I was told to leave it out, but I mean come on, who doesn’t do that, right? I wanted to show that I was human lol.

I probably won’t be able to do a publicity tour since I self published and I don’t have any marketing. Facebook is my only marketing strategy.

Anyway, thank you for your email, I really appreciate the feedback.

Michel McDonald

Patrick Stewart on violence against women

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I am a huge fan of Patrick Stuart from his role on Star Trek: The Next Generation as well as many movies he has been in like X-Men and cartoons like American Dad.  I had heard that his mother was a victim of domestic violence when he was as young as 5-years-old, but this is the first time seeing a video of him talking about it.

Watching him talk about it makes me very sad, but this is the reality of so many people, and people don’t talk about it at all because of the backlash from their family.  I know that backlash because my sister stopped talking to me when she found out about my book and she’s telling people the whole book is filled with lies.  I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m guessing that’s one of the reasons he has waited to talk about it this long.

Domestic violence is a sad reality that so many face everyday and I know it’s difficult to talk about it, but I think it’s important that we do.  Talking about it is part of the healing process.  If we don’t talk about it and get the conversation out there, then people are just going to keep thinking that it doesn’t happen as often as they think and  call the victims liars just as I have been called.

Anyway, I love Patrick Stewart and I wish him well and I am sorry that he and his mother had to go through such an awful thing.  Nobody should have to live in fear for their or other people’s lives.

Pedophilia is not something to joke about

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Image from CBSNews.com - http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20043871-504083.html

I know that pedophilia is not a new issue, it has been happening probably since the dawn of time, but it has always been something that has been hidden in the shadows because people know it’s wrong.  Nobody proudly says they molest children out of fear of getting arrested.  To me it is not something that I want to A) hear about and B) see people joking about.  It’s not funny.

As I was going about my day of the usual scrolling on the Facebook home page to look at who is posting what, I came across one post from a page called “United Against RIP Trolls and Cyberbullies” asking people to report a page called “Damon the pedophile canadian.”  Without hesitation I clicked the page and read the page description and looked through some of the posts.  The description says it’s comedy and that the page owner is not a real pedophile, but I honestly don’t see anything funny about that.  I was not amused.

Naturally I wanted to report the page.  I clicked the option “I just don’t like it” and it gave me the opportunity to message the admin to ask them to remove the page.  Of course I misunderstood that and checked it and typed out a little message.  I didn’t read where it said I was messaging them, I just (again without hesitation) clicked the check box and hit continue.  Within a minute, literally a minute lol, I got a message back from the page.  Here is the email.

I wasn’t expecting to get a response because I thought I was typing that to the Facebook admin, but in a way I am glad that the email got sent to him (assuming the page owner is a male)  and that he knew that someone out there was unhappy about his page.

I didn’t go into any detail about what happened to me in that regard, but I shouldn’t have to.  All he needs to know is that his page is upsetting to people like me.  Although, I was never actually molested, it was an attempt that I managed to escape.  I wrote about it in my book in Chapter 18 “Why is everyone doing drugs?”

This is what happened to me.  It was my mothers so-called “best friend” who was a prostitute in the 1960’s and 70’s.  We had moved into her and her husbands house in 1986 near the end of the school year temporarily because we had nowhere else to go.  I went to the kitchen to get a glass of tea and she grabbed me by the crotch and she held onto my balls with a tight grip for at least 5 minutes straight before taking me to the couch and face raping me.  She was trying to take off my clothes and that was when I started thinking “have a seizure, have a seizure, for god sake, HAVE A SEIZURE!”  I managed to fake one and she put me to bed and then she went to her bed, and I could hear her crying.  I was crying too, but she didn’t hear me.

I had grand mal and petit mal seizures as a baby and during most of my childhood and I was having them more during the school year of 1985/86.  I was in special ed and had seen other people having seizures, so I knew what to do.  I was 15 years old at the time, but I was still a child.

Facebook really needs to clean house.  They are allowing people to make pages without needing approval based on the page name and description.  Anyone could make a page about anything for any reason and nobody checks to make sure they are being good.  It’s all up to us, the community, to keep these pages in line by reporting them to Facebook.

As a page owner, I have to adhere to a strict criteria.  I abide by all of the rules and regulations (that I know about), but I also try to abide by common sense, and that means to be a good little boy.  Although, as an atheist, I have posted images that are anti-religion, but only because they are exposing how anti-gay certain religious people are.  But even if I were a Christian, I would still post those to let people see how anti-gay people are in the religion.  It’s basically standing up for myself and my community.  What that guy is doing is he is making fun of people who are or were molested as children and it’s not right and we, as in people with common sense, shouldn’t have to put up with those kinds of pages clogging up the Facebook hard drives when there could be more positive role models clogging up their hard drives.

Look, this world is dark enough as it is with all the bullying, senseless suicides of our gay children who were bullied, school and movie theater shootings and with people murdering their families or children (tot mom – allegedly).  We need to stop being so negative as a society and start being positive role models.  There needs to be more accountability and positivity coming out of the internet inspiring people to be good, instead of inspiring them to commit crimes.

Sorry for rambling.  This was my 2 cents lol.  Stepping off my soapbox now.

Please follow United Against RIP Trolls and Cyberbullies on Facebook so you can start seeing their posts to report people.  There are many more pages that tell people to report pages and when I see them, I usually share the post on my facebook page and ask people to report them as well.

Image Credit: CBSNews.com

Getting Ready For A Speech

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I was asked to speak at a PFLAG meeting here in Bakersfield in March because I will be donating a percentage of all profits from my book to them and to the Bakersfield Gay & Lesbian center.  When I told the guy who asked me to speak that I had a fear of public speaking, he mentioned that there would be a class February 15th and 16th at the Bakersfield AIDS Project.  I was actually looking forward to that, unfortunately I’m sick right now and I don’t want to pass my germs to anyone who might be in that class.

I don’t know what date I will be speaking so I have at least a few weeks to prepare my speech.  Writing a speech is a cake walk considering I blog all the time and because I wrote a 408 page book.  The writing isn’t my concern, it’s standing in front of a very large group of people all looking at ME!

My problem is, when I am talking to a few people at a party, I know that I have people looking at me, it’s when the conversation stops in the party and everyone is listening and watching me, that’s when my brain stops functioning.  All of a sudden my conversation is public and everyone is paying attention and I get nervous and start sweating and shaking.

I remember standing up in front of the class when I was in school and all eyes were on me as I was reading from the piece of paper that I wrote my report on and feeling uncomfortable.  Suddenly I’m having a difficult time pronouncing words that I wrote down as if I had never seen the words before and I’m just learning how to read.  It’s embarrassing as hell.

So, what I have to do is finish my speech, like yesterday, so I can start memorizing the words so I can just stand there and act as if I am speaking to one person in a conversation.  I can do that.  I was a telemarketer when I was in my early 20’s.  I had read the spiel so many times that I had the whole thing memorized and I sounded as if I were having a regular conversation.  All I have to do is read the speech 1000 times in the next few weeks so the words are burned into my brain.  Of course I will bring cards with my speech printed on them just in case I get nervous and forget what I was saying.  Let’s hope that isn’t the case.

I won’t be able to attend the class so let’s hope that I can overcome my fear of public speaking when I do it, just like I overcame my fear of heights the first time I traveled in an airplane in 2005.  I can do it!  I just have to convince myself of that.

Update: LOL I didn’t notice the subject was “Getting Reader For A Speech” because it was obviously supposed to be “Ready” so I fixed it minus the link.