Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘relationships’

Meet ‘The Fosters’

What constitutes family? Is it your biological family, is it the people you live with and love? A little show on ABC Family (“The Fosters”) is attempting to answer the question in their own way. And it is refreshing that the show is being met with very little fanfare or protests.The Fosters

The show was created by Peter Paige (Queer as Folk) and Brad Bredeweg, along with executive producer Jennifer Lopez. We get to meet Lena and Stefanie, an interracial lesbian couple raising, 3 kids: 1 biological, and 2 adopted. Plus they are fostering another 2 kids too — so that brings their brood to 5.

As Lopez sees it, “The Fosters” stands for what she’s learned “are the important things in life, which are family equals love. It’s a place where you go for unconditional love, to be accepted, to feel safe. And at the end of the day, that there’s no real ‘normal.’ That there’s no set thing of what a family is at this moment in time in our lives.”

The show premiered on June 3, 2013 and ran 10 episodes this past summer. The show is scheduled to return for the 2nd half of season 1 on January 13, 2014. The show was recently picked up for a second season too.

So, who are “The Fosters”? Read on for who’s who and what’s gone down on the show:

Stef Foster (Teri Polo): One half of the lesbian couple; she is a police officer who works with her ex-husband and biological father of her oldest son.

Lena Foster (Sherri Saum): The other half of the lesbian couple; she is a vice principal at the school that the kids attend.

Brandon Foster (David Lambert): The oldest child and the only biological child in the house. He loves music and is studying piano with a high-paid instructor.

Jesus Foster (Jake T. Austin): The male sibling of the twins that Lena and Stef adopted. They are of Hispanic descent.

Mariana Foster (Cierra Ramirez): The female sibling of the twins

Callie Jacob Foster (Maia Mitchell): The troubled foster child that is added to the family.

Jude Jacob Foster (Hayden Byerly): Callie’s biological brother

Mike Foster (Danny Nucci): Stef’s ex-husband and current partner at the police station. He also has a drinking problem.

The first half of Season 1 was filled with drama. A lot of it centered on Callie and how she fit into the family and the school. But the other siblings had their share of drama too: sexuality, drugs, violence, peer pressure and much more. The last episode aired showed the marriage of Stef and Lena at their home.  Stef’s father was not supportive and did not show up for it.

It is refreshing to see a show like this on the air. I hope that you check it out when it comes back on January 13th on ABC Family.

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.

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The Exes

A lot of people only know me with my current partner, Rasheed. The reality is that I had a few boyfriends before him. It was long time ago now, considering that we have been together for almost 25 years.  So let me fill you in on who these men were:TheExes

Kevin
Kevin was a handsome, African American man. He was the first guy I ever dated. He was the life of the party — everyone knew him and loved him. He was just a fun person to be around. He was definitely an original. Very confident, a little fem. I was a little surprised that he would be interested in me. Here I was the shy, quiet guy who had only come out recently. And here was Kevin — totally out. He had an apartment with some roommates. He had even done some modeling for Benetton.

I remember talking to my therapist at the time about him. I told him that Kevin was not the type of guy I would usually go for. I had dreamed about an all-American surfer boy type. Kevin was anything but. I am glad I gave him a chance. He definitely opened my eyes to the beauty of a black man.

I was glad that I got to know the private Kevin. The guy who was more complex and vulnerable than he came across at the rap groups. I remember going to a concert with him to see Adam Ant. We had a great time. Kevin had made a sign requesting one song, and sure enough Adam played it for us. I remember spending the night with him at my parents house in my bed, when they were on vacation. Another time, I remember spending all day with him and some friends playing games and having snacks at his place. I pissed my parents off because I didn’t make it to church that day.

We only went out about 6 months. I was still living at home at the time. I can’t say I ever loved him as a  lover (but only as a friend). The gay life was so new to me, he was ready for more. I don’t think that I was. We lost touch, and I didn’t see him anymore. Soon enough, we heard it through the grapevine that he had died of AIDS. He was definitely gone too soon.

Al
Al (Kimo to some of his friends) was a cute, Asian/Pacific Islander from Hawaii. We met at Rage nightclub in West Hollywood. We danced some, and he got my number. He called me later that week, I went to see him and we slept together that night. We sort of rolled into a relationship from that point on. I consider him my first real boyfriend. I fell hard for him. I loved him (or at least I thought I did at the time).

He was a free-spirited individual. He loved music and dancing. Plus drinking and smoking too. (So compared to me, he was a bit of a wild child.) He worked for an aquarium place in the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood.

I remember working with him some at his aquarium job. We did a job at a hotel in Pismo Beach, setting up an aquarium there in their lobby. Plus we got to stay overnight in the hotel. But Al was never one to be satisfied. He ended up quitting that job because he was convinced his boss wanted him. Also, he was an artist too, and felt that he wasn’t living up to his potential in his career. He ended up getting a job at a carpet place next — so much for making money at art.

Al could be sweet, carefree and cuddly… but as time went on I also found him to be manipulative, cold and demanding. After our first anniversary, there was even talk of us moving in together. I remember going to see a few apartments with him and some of his other friends who were going to be roommates.

The warning signs kept popping up for me. He had friends who did drugs. I remember visiting one friend of his, and they were doing cocaine in the living room. He had trouble keeping a steady job, or a steady living situation. He was arrested for a DUI. At one point he was basically homeless and rooming with some prostitutes.

I actually read about him in my journal recently and got very depressed (why? For stuff that happened 28 years ago!). I can’t believe I let myself be used like that. He had me being his ride, meal ticket and cash machine too. We finally broke up about 1.5 years after we first started going out — outside of the Bally’s Holiday Spa in Hollywood. I told him it was over and had been for some time. I cared about him. But didn’t feel that he cared or even loved me. I remember some guy even hit on me that day after the breakup.

I ran into him a few times after the breakup. Once about six months after, and we talked in the park. And then again on Halloween in West Hollywood. Other than that, I haven’t seen or talked to him since. I don’t know if he is even alive. I still have one of his precious painting in my home now. I kept it for collateral — if he ever paid me back what I lent him, he could have it back.

I am thankful these guys prepared me for the relationship I am in now. I had to go through some very trying times, but I came out of it OK. I am a survivor. God had something better in store for me soon — and his name was Rasheed.

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.

Finding the Celebration in Everyday Life

I am approaching middle age. Hey, it happens! I appreciate that I have a sense of humor about myself and try to laugh every day at life’s craziness. There are plenty of bad, sad, and tragic happenings in the world. If you listened to all the news reports, I don’t see how you could get out of bed in the morning. For me though, there are tons of great things in life that keep my smiling and dancing as I enjoy my journey on planet Earth.shutterstock_100190123

 

See beauty wherever you go. Appreciate the landscape where you live. I am talking about natural beauty like trees, mountains and oceans. As well as man-made beauty like architecture, paintings and bridges. And don’t forget animals too, even insects can be interesting and beautiful at times.

Don’t forget people too. Yes, of course, it is nice to see good looking people. But not everyone is Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. But maybe they have a great smile, a charming personality or a contagious laugh. Beauty is more than skin deep. When you love yourself, others will love you too.

 

Music is one of my life’s joy. I can’t imagine a life without it. Everything from that catchy top 40 hit to a symphony by Beethoven. I appreciate the artistry and talent involved in making a record, singing a song or playing an instrument.

 

I also appreciate all of life’s everyday sounds too: The chirping of my pet birds, the snores of my life partner laying next to me, and rain on the rooftops.

 

Value your relationships. I appreciate everyone who is in my life. From the checker at the grocery store who gets me through the line quickly, to my next door neighbor who comes over for a visit, to my coworkers, family, friends, email pals, aquaintences and on & on.

 

Be thankful for all your blessings. From the job you go to, to having food in your kitchen and gas in your car. There are so many things to be grateful for. Celebrate the fact that you are alive and have a positive attitude as you go about your day.

 

I hope you celebrate your life — every day of your life. If you do, you are sure to spread your inner joy wherever you go.

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.

 

Why We Deserve To Be Married

It seems fitting that I publish this post this week, given what is happening with the Supreme Court. It was originally written for the Courage Campaign, in response to why we deserve marriage equality.

My partner and I am have been together for 24 years. It hasn’t always been easy, but we love each other and are committed to our relationship.  We still make each other laugh, and we enjoy each other’s company. We are each other’s best friend.Dan & Rasheed

We came together in the age of AIDS and watched as friends died off. We have seen societal changes in gay acceptance… from people being afraid of gays and wishing they could change — to today, when it is seen as just something that is and not something that needs to be fixed or cured. Not everyone is straight and that is OK.

We shop together, go to the movies, go on hikes, do all the normal stuff that all couples do. We recently had a scary episode where my partner passed out at a friend’s place… we ended up in the emergency room that night. I was able to sit by his bedside as they tried to find out what was wrong. I was glad that I could be there for him and not out waiting in the lobby.

This incident just confirmed what I already know. I love this man, he is my life partner. I don’t want to live my life without him.

Our relationship is special and I would love to marry my partner. We missed our chance to get married when it was legal in 2008… I never thought it would be taken away so easily. I long for the day when we can make it legal in the state of California. And to celebrate that special day with family and friends.

Sincerely,

Daniel LaVenture

Spice69man 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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What Family Means to Me

I have been blessed with a wonderful family. I am not just talking about my blood relatives. I am talking about my friends too. My blood relatives include my Mom, Dad, 2 brothers and a sister, plus their spouses and children too.Me and my siblings

I grew up in Monterey Park, CA. My parents are still living in the house I was raised in. I was the baby of the family, the 4th of 4 children. My Dad owned his own business with his brother, a moving company. He worked long hours so that we would have food on the table and be able to go to private schools. My mom was a stay-at-home Mom by the time that I came around.

Were my parents expecting a gay kid? Doubtful. They did the best they could. I am sorry that I took so long to come out to them. But they were very religious and I was afraid that I would lose them. I was quite late with telling them, only about 10 years ago. This was after I was living with my “roommate” Rasheed for 10 years.

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Celebrating Pride Time

This is the time of year we celebrate gay pride…Here are some thoughts on some memorable gay prides for me.

June 1985: First gay pride ever! Like the saying goes, there’s nothing like the first time. I remember telling my family I was going to the beach or Disneyland or something…for 2 days. This was when I was in the closet with them. I went with some friends that I had met at the L.A. Gay Center. It was like nothing I had experienced before. Thousands and thousands of gay people of all ages, races and sizes. Who knew there were so many of us? I certainly never thought so back in my bedroom in Monterey Park. We walked and walked the grounds many, many times that day, not to mention had fun dancing, and checking out the entertainers. One of my favorite memories I had was a hugging booth… where I was able to hug a hunk for $1. I went back there several times. Amazingly I was gone the whole day there… and came back the next day to see the parade too.

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