Homeless Man “You think you’re better than me?”

Standard

Whenever I go to the grocery store I see a homeless person sitting on the bench in front of the store and/or walking around the parking lot.  They always ask me if I can spare some change and sometimes they have a speech that they have said so many times that they repeat it over and over again verbatim.

This one time I went to the store, as I was coming out a homeless man came up to me and asked me for change and I used my same excuse that I use every time “I’m sorry, I used a debit card for my groceries” which is actually true, so it’s not just an excuse.  Well, that pissed him off so much that he started yelling at me and saying that I thought I was better than he was.  Well, that made me feel bad, but at the same time I didn’t have any money to give him so his guilt wasn’t going to do him any good.

I walked over to him and I looked him in the face and I told him that I don’t think that I am better than he is.  I told him that I knew what he was going through because I was homeless when I was a teenager.  If anyone has ever walked a mile in anyone’s shoes it’s me because I went through the same exact thing.  He apologized to me and we stood there talking for a few minutes about what he had said to me.

I wanted to make it clear to him that I don’t think that I am better than he is because I am also poor.  Yes I have a roof over my head, but every dime that I get every month goes to keeping that roof over my head and it also pays for groceries.  I told him that I don’t think that anyone is better than anyone else because we are all the same.  Some are more privileged than others because they were born with money while others were born in a poor family, yet the two are still the same.  They all bleed the same, they all put their pants on one leg at a time, they are all born the same and they all die the same.  We are all but specks in the big picture so who am I to say that I am better than he is just because I have a bag for groceries and he doesn’t have anywhere to sleep?

We talked about the homeless shelter and he told me that it’s usually full.  I told him that there has to be some system for him to get back on his feet, perhaps a place where he can shower and shave and get some clean clothes so he can apply for a job, but he told me he didn’t want to work.  Well, then that’s his problem.

When I was homeless I lived in a shelter and I was damn lucky that they had a shelter for me to live in.  I also had a job so that I could save the money to get a place to live, unfortunately my boyfriend at the time was saving it for me, but he was really spending it as I was giving it to him so that didn’t work out, but I did eventually get out of the homeless shelter and got back on my feet.  If it weren’t for that drive to not want to be homeless, I’d probably still be homeless to this day.

I am very thankful for what I have and I will never in my life think that I am better than anyone else.

Just Words T-Shirt

Standard

My friend Alyce sent me this t-shirt in, I want to say 2002, but I could be wrong, it was around that area.  Anyway, she was at a thrift store and she saw it she said that it screamed BUY ME FOR MIKE! so she did.  She and I were in a conversation via AOL instant message and she told me she bought me a t-shirt, but she wasn’t sure if I would wear it because of where I lived.  Whenever anyone thinks of Bakersfield, they always think redneck, republican and homophobia.  I waited for her gift and when it arrived I was more than thrilled.

I wore that shirt all the time.  Sometimes I would wear it two days in a row just because I loved its message.  I wore it every week no matter if I was going to the mall or the grocery store.  I didn’t care because I’m here, I’m queer, get used to it!  Besides, I really didn’t think anyone would even understand what it meant, I mean besides it having rainbow colors, I knew people would think it was a gay t-shirt, but I didn’t think they would get its meaning or what statement I was making.

It simply says “JUST WORDS” in random colors with lines of words all mixed together into 1 long sentence in rainbow colors.  The words behind JUST WORDS are simple words like milk, tree, bed, nipple, cock, breast, fag…. you know, your typical average every day words.  There are some that were so offensive that I was afraid that those words would stand out only to those who they offended, but nobody really got it so I felt comfortable wearing it out in public.

I was standing in the express lane at the grocery store one day and this woman glanced at my shirt and looked away, then glanced back at it a couple more times then said to me “I like your shirt” and I so wasn’t expecting to hear that.  I was expecting to hear “You got some nerve…. yadda yadda yadda” but it was quite the opposite.  Then another person, and another and another and it made me feel confident every time I wore it.  Of course some people needed an explanation, so I had to point out a few choice words and explain that the whole message that no matter what word you see on this shirt, it’s just a word, fag has no more meaning to me than the word cigarette which in fact is what they refer to it in the UK.  I don’t get offended when someone calls me a cigarette, so why would I get offended when someone calls me a fag?  It’s just a stupid insignificant word that means nothing to me.

I wore that shirt for so many years that it got so faded and now you can’t read anything because it has been washed so many times that the colors are fading and the words are cracking, so you can’t really read it at all.

A few years ago I decided that I wanted another one, but more in my current size since I had gained weight since the last time I wore my shirt.  I put the shirt on my desk and I just started typing those words out.  Of course I had to add some, delete some and change some because it was so difficult to read behind the big words that I just had to improvise.  I  came up with something that looks nearly the same as the very original, and I think I did a great job if I do say so myself.

So here is the image, if you like it then grab it so you can print it on your own shirt and wear it with pride.

Of course, I encourage anyone who wants to duplicate this to just go into gimp or photo shop and just start typing words and making it any way you want, or you can just click the image above and save it to your computer and print it (backwards) on iron-on paper and print it as is.   This is a replica of the above shirt but with a few modifications.

Enjoy, and let me know if you printed it and wore it somewhere.  Take a picture of you wearing it so I can see and share it with me on TwitterFacebook and Google+.  I’d be very curious to see how you look in it and what your friends and family had to say about it, whether they loved it or hated it lol.

UPDATE: LOL I had to make a few corrections…

“V” (Book Excerpt)

Standard

V was a show that originally aired in 1983, but we didn’t see it until NBC re-aired the mini series in 1984 before they aired the new weekly series.  This show is what gave me my  relationship with my mother, even if it was only for one hour a week.  Here is an excerpt from my book “Diary of a Gay Nerd: Life After Child Abuse, It Gets Better.”

“This one show came on TV which was a mini series called V about these aliens who came to earth to get help, but they really wanted to help themselves to humans. I thought that was really cool. It lasted for a few days and then it turned into a weekly TV show. My aunt didn’t want to watch it, but my mom and I liked it so we would watch it together in her room. My mother and I weren’t friendly with each other; we were always fighting because I was always being accused of doing things that I didn’t do and this show brought us together every week. I would lay down on her bed with her and watch TV and it made me feel closer to her.

“It was funny that everyone in the house was refusing to watch V because they thought it was cheesy, but they would sit and watch Dynasty, as if that wasn’t cheesy. I think that was what made V more special for me because the one person I wanted to get along with actually wanted to watch it with me. It became our thing.

“I had trouble reading and comprehending books so it was very rare that you would ever see me read. Whenever I would try to read my school books, I would forget what I was reading almost immediately. It was like the memory of the words were disappearing just as fast as I could read them, so I didn’t think I could read a novel. My mother, Aunt Sherri and sister Sarah were always reading novels by V.C. Andrews and Stephen King and I envied them all because I really wanted to read too, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to.

“We were at the grocery store and I saw the novel for V written by A.C. Crispin. I asked my mom if she would buy it for me and she gave me a look as if to say that I wasn’t smart enough, but she humored me and bought it for me anyway. I was so happy because I remember being told “the book is better than the movie” about everything and I figured if I could read the book, then I would get a better understanding of the show. Not that I needed a better understanding, I just wanted to get more out of it.

“I tried to read the V novel. I think I read half of the book and then stopped reading it because my brain just couldn’t handle it. I wanted to keep trying to read it because I really loved that show. I liked to read it because I had the image of every actor in the show in my head. My favorite part in the book was also in the mini series when Diana was eating a guinea pig and her jaw unhinged while Mike Donovan was in the air shaft watching her. I even had the bad special effect images of her jaw unhinging in my head and that made me laugh.

“Every so often, I would get the book out and try to go back to where I left off, but when I started reading, I would forget what I had already read before that. I think I read that book from the beginning about five or six times, but I never got past the middle.”

I talked about a scene where Diana unhinged her jaw, well, I mean did she really have a jaw to unhinge?  She was a lizard.  Anyway, here is a visual of what I was talking about.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VObQfWMgmIM

I was so beyond thrilled when ABC brought “V” back as a reboot.  Although the story was the same, everything was different.  I’ve seen the original many times so I wasn’t really looking for an exact duplicate so I was happy that they gave it a whole new spin.  Not everyone felt the same way and so the show didn’t last very long.

When the second season came and I heard that Jane Badler was going to be in it, I had to follow her on Twitter so I could see what she was saying about the show.  I tweeted her to show my enthusiasm for the show and she actually tweeted me back.  She has actually tweeted me back on several occasions.  That is the coolest thing about Twitter.

Unfortunately the show came to an end and Diana was killed by Anna.  Nobody has any idea how bad that made me feel.  I know it’s just a show, but that show represented something for me.  It represented my mother and I getting along for one hour a week and seeing Diana get killed like that seemed to finalize everything for me.

I will always have the memory of Diana in the original V and I will never forget her for her change in attitude in the new series.  She was a villain in the 80’s, but she became my queen in 2011.  I will never forget her.  Long live the queen!

OK that just sounded cheesy lol.