Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘marriage’

Exactly How are You Harmed?

Now that same sex marriage is spreading across the country, I am reading more and more articles about how people that have strong religious objections to it are being marginalized. Like suddenly they are the victims now — worrying about being discriminated against. Boo hoo!Christmas 2010

Are these people serious? One of the great things about this country is freedom of speech, and the ability to speak your mind. I have no problem with people saying they don’t get or understand my life. I don’t get yours! I was brought up to believe that we are all equal. And that God was for everyone. He doesn’t discriminate.

You can hate the fact that I can marry my partner of 25 years, but that doesn’t give you the right to pass laws saying that I can’t. You can hold up protest signs outside churches that allow same sex marriages, and “All Fags Go to Hell” signs during gay pride. I have no problem with either. It’s your life, and you can do with it as you like.

What I don’t get is why continue to focus on a losing battle? What do you achieve by putting out so much negative energy about something that disturbs you? Don’t you have a life, or a family/community that you could spend some positive energy on?

Are there hungry and poor people in your community that you could help? Are there people who have lost their jobs or homes that you could lend a hand to? Is someone facing a terminal illness that can use some serious prayers? What about a married couple who is going through a rough patch and could use some counseling? These are all worthy causes for so-called religious people to get involved with.

From what I get — the people that are so damned upset, probably don’t even know a gay person, or would cut a gay person out of their lives if someone came out to them. They don’t want to know us, be our friends, or be our neighbors. Again, the feeling is mutual.

How exactly are you being harmed by same sex marriage now? Inquiring minds want to know. Maybe it’s the fact that you are now a social outcast for your beliefs. You used to be invited to all the best parties and such, but now that word has gotten out, you are not being invited anymore. Maybe you are jealous of the fact that the gay couple down the street appears more in love than you do with your spouse of 10 years. Stuff like this may be happening. Oh well! You don’t have to believe everything your church preaches. You have free will.

I pray for you, and hope that one day you will see what really matters in life. At the end of the day it’s two people in love getting married and that’s it. And couldn’t we all use more love in the world.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Speedos lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Why Are People So Afraid of Gay Couples?

Recently Michigan ruled in favor of marriage equality. But like many other states, the ruling has been stayed pending an appeal. But before the weddings were stopped, several hundred same-sex couples were able to get married. And from everything I see, the first ones getting married were long-term couples.

Partners 2013

Partners 2013

So why does it seem that people are afraid of this? Marriage equality will one day be the norm in this country. It is only a matter of when. So instead of being on the right side of history, these states have decided to waste their taxpayer’s dollars on appeals to stop gay marriage from happening. At best, these states are just delaying things. They are not going to win.

What I see — when I see all these same-sex couples lined up for marriage licenses is — LOVE. I see happy people, wanting to commit to their partners. I see families that are being strengthened. I see joy, excitement and huge smiles. I see a segment of society that has been marginalized for far too long, getting some respect. Just like straight people, gays and lesbians are celebrating their love by getting married when they are able to. I see myself here.

While some celebrate, another segment of society is scared and afraid of this development. I just don’t get it. Who are you to deny someone else’s happiness? Who made you judge and jury? And the moral compass for all society?

Again, I want to know how these haters are being harmed by someone they don’t know getting married to a person of the same sex? I get that people have their religious objections to same-sex marriage. But wouldn’t your time be better spent praying for these people than by passing/trying to hold on to outdated laws/rules?

Maybe these people are stuck in bad straight marriages, and want to deny other people happiness, because they are not happy in their own lives. Maybe they are secretly gay themselves, and not yet accepting of their inclination. Maybe it makes them feel superior over others that they don’t understand.

I live my life as an open book. And when people find out that I have been in a relationship for over 25 years with the same man, people are shocked. You see, gay people can and do have long-term relationships. I wish I knew that when I was coming out, but I didn’t. I had the impression that I was going to be living a lonely life filled with a bunch of meaningless hook-ups. Boy, was I gladly wrong! I have found someone to share my life with, and we are as strong as we ever were.

We are looking forward to our wedding in the near future.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Christmas Parties

It’s that time of year for Holiday/Christmas parties. Everything from a big banquet to an intimate holiday party.  Here are some memories from holiday parties through the years:

Christmas outfit2

Christmas outfit2

Work Parties
I have been lucky enough to work for companies that treat their employees to a Holiday Party.  When I worked for an insurance company, I was treated to dinners at country clubs and hotels. When I worked for a 2-person design firm, the boss and his wife would take me and my partner out for a meal and a show. We saw magicians, Cirque Du Soleil and mystery dinner theatre. At my current job, we have big celebrations at hotels and country clubs too, plus there are drawings for prizes too like TVs, DVD players and more. I have been lucky and won both a DVD player and a digital camera too through the years.

What has changed through the years is how open I have been about being gay. Those early holiday parties I didn’t feel comfortable enough to take my partner to them, and I went by myself. I definitely regret that now. But I had some growing up to do, and had to get comfortable in my own skin.

I am thinking about going to this year’s company party dressed in my dress kilt. I am out now to all, and my partner has come with me the past several years. I know I would totally rock it.

Friends Parties
Our friends love to throw parties too… most years we are busy every weekend in December until the holiday. Lots of great food, along with socializing with old friends and meeting new ones. Some of the parties have had gift exchanges, toy or canned food drives and Christmas carol sing-alongs. We also usually fit in going to 2 different church groups too for their parties.

Family Parties
On Christmas Eve, my family tradition is to gather at my parent’s house. Some of us go to the early Mass, then we come back home for dinner. We usually have ham, scalloped potatoes, salads, and of course pumpkin pie. The family members there include my parents, siblings, grandkids and great grand kids plus neighbors too.

Then after dinner, we have our time for caroling. My Mom has song sheets made up…. But at this point, I pretty much know all the songs by heart since I have been singing them for so long. We will sing everything from Frosty the Snowman to Silent Night to White Christmas. We usually end by singing 12 Days of Christmas… with each of us taking a different part by picking a card out of bowl. Everyone wants to get “Five Golden Rings”, since that is the showiest part to sing.

We will then usually go to a few neighbor’s houses to sing some carols for them. Then it is back to the house to open the gifts. I act as Santa Claus (by donning my Santa hat) and distribute the gifts to my family members.

Our Party
We love to entertain. Our party is usually on the last Saturday before Christmas. The latest we have had it is December 23rd. I guess we are the only crazy ones to do that! The house will be decorated with a ton of lights and candles, plus a large Noble fir tree. We usually make a turkey or ham, plus plenty of side dishes and desserts too  like sweet potato cheesecake. There will be a good mix of Christmas music and party tunes playing in the background. And Christmas videos on the TV.

This year, we have decided to not have a party — since we are planning our wedding soon. What a good reason to not have a holiday party! I look forward to resuming our holiday tradition of hosting a party as a married couple in 2014.

Whatever your traditions are, I hope you have a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. Best wishes for the New Year! And thanks for reading this blog.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Assumptions

People love to make assumptions about other people. They love to judge a book by it’s cover. They assume, you are a certain way — but in reality it couldn’t be further from the truth. Here are a few assumptions that myself and friends have encountered in my life:

You wear Speedos, you must be gay.Two guys in red Speedos
Only in America would you get this one I think. In Europe, Australia and South America, Speedos have been much more acceptable for guys. But I hear that is changing sadly. I remember the incident from my teen years with the hunks on the beach wearing them, and they were definitely straight. For swimming and sunning, they are still the way to go over baggy board shorts. I remember some straight guys sunning themselves at the apartment pool, and trying to hike up their board shorts to get a tan, it looked ridiculous.

You wear a kilt, you are gay.
Just cause someone likes to be different doesn’t make them gay. I have plenty of kilt friends on the net that are straight and wear kilts all the time. Their spouses love the look on their men. These guys are confident in themselves and don’t give a damn.

You are married, you must want kids.
Reality is not everyone wants kids. I know a couple of straight couples who just didn’t want them. So they didn’t have them. This was a conscious decision on their part. Kids are a drain on your time, not to mention your wallet.

You are single, you must be lonely.
Not everyone wants to have a significant other. A lot of people enjoy their freedom and their own space, so they have no interest in getting married or having a live-in lover. Their family and friends are enough for them.

You are gay, you must not want kids.
This is so not true for me. I have always wanted them. And I am looking forward to being a parent some day. I know it will be a life-changing experience, but I know that I have love to give and that I am a kind, caring and nurturing person.

You are gay, so you must be promiscuous.
The conservatives love to say this about the gay community. Like straight people don’t fool around, and have anonymous sex too. I know plenty of committed gay couples, but these are not the ones who get the media attention (but this is changing with more people seeing and hearing about gay marriages).

You are a guy, you must be good at sports.
So not true for me. I always gravitated to more artistic endevours than playing sports. Funny thing is I am considering training for some Highland Games — you know the sporting events at Scottish Festivals. I am willing to learn.

You are a woman, you know how to cook.
I think we have those 50’s housewives to blame for this one. That was back in the day when the woman stayed home and raised the kids, while the husband was in the working world. With today’s busy world, more often both spouses work, and often they don’t have the time to fix a good meal.

You are a guy, you know how to fix things.
I am talking about fixing cars and things around the house. Cars I am still lost on. I am OK handy around the house. I could do some plumbing and light fixtures… but I learned those as an apartment manager, and not from my Dad who is not handy!

People think you are stuck-up, but reality is you are shy.
This one hits home for me. For years, I struggled with social anxiety disorder. It wasn’t like I didn’t want to talk to people, it was just that I felt that I couldn’t do it. It was too much pain to try. So I would go home and cry, and ask myself why aren’t people talking to me? Then someone told me, they thought I was stuck-up. Now I know that meeting new people is not easy for a lot of people, and it isn’t just me. Plus I know that I can’t please everyone too. I have to be me.

Did I forget any? What assumptions do people make about you, that you prove wrong with your life? I would love to hear from you.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

‘Real World’ Issues

The latest season of MTV’s The Real World just ended. This is the ground-breaking reality show that takes seven strangers, puts them in a house, and let’s us watch as things get ‘real.’ The latest installment was filmed in Portland, Oregon. There were a few issues raised this season that I wanted to comment on.Real World Portland

• Open Marriage
The roommates like to party and are often seen out at local bars/clubs. On the first episode of the season, Jordan met a cute girl at a club. She then proceeded to introduce him to her husband of 1 week. Fine enough, but did I mention that the girl was looking to hook-up and that the husband was fine with it? Woah — Way to honor your marriage commitment. These are probably the same people who would deny me the right to marry my partner.

• Gay Sex
Sex is another favorite topic in the household. Somehow the topic of anal sex came up. Marlon, a good-looking masculine black guy, admitted to having anal sex with a man. What was his role, top or bottom — it wasn’t said. He identifies as straight and I applaud him for his honesty. The other guys seemed cool with his answer. Women have always been more open about bisexual experiences, but with men it is still taboo to mention in many circles. I hope we are coming to a place where an admission like this is no big deal.

• Purity Ring
One girl in the house, Jessica, started to date a cute, tall guy named Tyler. They seemed to be getting closer, but then Jessica sacred him off by putting up a bunch of photos of the two of them around her room. After the sad breakup via email, Jessica decided to buy a purity ring for herself, and made a big announcement to her roomies. While I applaud her for realizing she doesn’t need a man to make her happy, I don’t get the whole announcing it to the roommates. Her celibacy is between her and God — we don’t need to know. To me, there is something to be said for not hopping into bed with the next person you meet. Waiting can be a good thing.

• Self Esteem
One roommate, Jordan, was born with a birth defect on one arm. He doesn’t have a full hand, but just some nubs there. He has been very hard to get along with sometimes, and one roommate insists it is because he supposedly has a small penis. But Jordan had a good confessional moment, and admitted that he didn’t like himself very much, and he didn’t know how to change. I think we have all been there with this one! I know I had low self-esteem in my late teens and early 20’s. I hope he comes to love himself.

So what issues will come up on the next season of the show? We will have to stay tuned to find out.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Thank You Mom and Dad

The following article was written for my parent’s 60th anniversary on 2/23/2012.

What my parents have achieved is almost unheard of today. They have showed the world around them that not only is this possible, but that when 2 people love and respect one another, they can overcome all the obstacles that reality throws at them.

My parents have raised 4 children, including myself, all very different, unique and talented individuals. I remember having a good childhood, a house filled with a lot of laughs and love. We were all encouraged to follow our dreams and be the best that we could be. We had memorable family vacations, as well as big holiday, birthday and neighborhood get-togethers.Mom and Dad

One of their greatest accomplishments was instilling the importance of faith, family, and friends in our lives. These things have helped them in their lives and their relationship is as strong today as it ever was because of them. These are not 2 people who are together ‘just because’ or two people who just tolerate each other. They are an inspiration to all that know them.

We were raised knowing that God was on our side. That he was our friend, and when times were tough he would always be there for us. We were raised to be thankful, grateful and kind to all. We make it a point to pray every time we break bread together.

I remember going to so many different family functions through the years at my grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins homes. Celebrating everything from marriages to new life to celebrations of life. I remember visiting the cemetery, looking at old photos and videos and talking about family history and the people that were important to their lives.

My parents are very giving, and love opening their home to their friends. They have had friendships that have lasted as long as they have been together. Some they went to school with, some are neighbors, some are from the church they go to. They are more than friends to them, they are family.

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Why I hate “The Bachelor/Bachelorette”

I’ve stayed quiet on this long enough. It is time for “The Bachelor” franchise to be retired. Does anyone really think they can meet their soulmate on reality TV? ABC is currently bringing us another round of “The Bachelorette” starring Ashley Hebert as the girl looking for love on reality TV. She was one of the girls who was in love with Bachelor Brad last season only to have her heart broken. Give me a break! Give her a few years and she will be on on “Dancing with the Stars” or “Celebrity Rehab.”

They try to sell it as romance and true love and in reality it’s just a bunch of pretty people having their 15 minutes of fame. What really pisses me off, is that so many of the seasons end with a marriage proposal! The track record of the franchise is 1 marriage, and technically that was from “The Bachelorette” not “The Bachelor”. The people that love this show are the same people who would deny me my RIGHT to marry my life partner of 22 years. One season they even had a Bachelor who was a single dad. Oh yeah, let me find a woman on a reality show to be the surrogate mother to my child! Talk about family values. Are these people for real or what? It is disgusting… and a disgrace to those people who actually have to work on their marriages and know how hard it is to balance life, work, kids, responsibilities, etc. Relationships are hard and are much more complex and rewarding than an hour long TV show would suggest.

Back to the gay issue… My relationship is beautiful, loving, caring, something special to cherish. It is NOT sick, twisted, perverted or disgusting. It is REAL! Not some producer’s silly fantasy of what a relationship should be orchestrated for drama for the sake of TV ratings. I hope the backlash that met Bachelor Brad last time, causes people to tune out this season. Let’s send a clear message to the powers that be, we’ve had enough and don’t want to take it anymore!

Gay marriage is not going away as an issue… and the courts and public opinion are increasingly on our side. Maybe if it was a gay couple I would watch… but I still bet that it wouldn’t last!

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