Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Exhibit



The above picture has to do with a tiny part of our exhibit. The exhibit opens today. We will have an opening reception with dignitaries from the university in attendance. As for the picture above, I cropped out the part that showed the actual "short arm inspection." The guy in the middle is quite handsome in my opinion.

The outbreaks in World War II in 1939 brought interest in the sex education by the Public and the government. During this time period military maneuvers and activities, sexual hygiene and conduct had proven to be a major problem for the Worlds’ Armies, and WW2 proved to be no different. Soldiers and Sailors on assignment overseas were often lonely, had time to spare, got homesick, or were just looking for female companionship. Due to this many men started to have multiple sex partners and as a result sexually transmitted diseases were again another major health concern. During the Great War, Venereal diseases had caused the Army to lose the services of 18,000 servicemen per day. Although by 1944 this number had been reduced 30-fold, there were still around 606 servicemen incapacitated by V.D. every day. This drop in numbers was partly because of the Army’s effort to raise awareness about the dangers faced by servicemen through poor sexual hygiene, but also because of the important developments in medicine in the area of treatment of the disease. In late 1943 a case of gonorrhea required a hospital treatment of 30 days, and curing Syphilis remained a 6-month ordeal – by mid-1944, the average case of gonorrhea was reduced to 5 days, and in many cases the patient remained on duty status while being treated.




Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Nothing Twice



Nothing Twice 
by Wislawa Szymborska (1923 - 2012)

Nothing can ever happen twice.
In consequence, the sorry fact is
that we arrive here improvised
and leave without the chance to practice. 

Even if there is no one dumber,
if you’re the planet’s biggest dunce,
you can’t repeat the class in summer:
this course is only offered once. 

No day copies yesterday,
no two nights will teach what bliss is
in precisely the same way,
with precisely the same kisses. 

One day, perhaps some idle tongue
mentions your name by accident:
I feel as if a rose were flung
into the room, all hue and scent. 

The next day, though you’re here with me,
I can’t help looking at the clock:
A rose? A rose? What could that be?
Is it a flower or a rock? 

Why do we treat the fleeting day
with so much needless fear and sorrow?
It’s in its nature not to stay:
Today is always gone tomorrow.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Lazy Weekend



There is not a lot to write today. I spent a lazy weekend binging on episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and eating takeout Chinese food. Honestly, there isn't much more to report. Isabella and I just lazed around. It was a good weekend after a very busy week. This week will also be busy. I have two receptions to attend (I may only go to one of them), and I'm sure there is still more to do to get our new exhibit ready for the opening.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Community



I received an email the other day about getting together a group of gay Church of Christ members or former members. I know that some of you have found my blog through my posts on being gay in the Church of Christ, and so I know that some of you grew up in the church or are still in the church and might be struggling with being gay and a member. Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” I've always advocated a regular group of gay Church of Christ members but have found little interest, though I still think it is worthwhile. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

If you are interested in being in such a group, please contact me and I will put you in contact with the person who emailed me.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Work



I may have been a bit blue the last few nights, but I have honestly been enjoying work. I’ve been busy, which is not something that I can usually say. Often I am waiting for people to interview, trying to find people to interview, and contacting people about interviews, which is the hardest parts of my job.  The easy part comes when I am being used as a historian as opposed to an oral historian. I love being an oral historian, I love interviewing the people, when I can find someone to interview. However, our new exhibit is something on which I am considered an expert (although I don't always feel like one even with a master's degree in the subject).
I have been doing a lot of writing for the exhibit. You may not think about it, but all of the labels telling about stuff in an exhibit have to be written by someone. For this exhibit, I have done much of the writing and what I haven’t written, I have edited. To say that I love doing this would be an understatement. I wish that this was my job. It has been discussed that education coordinator be added to my job title. If that was the case, and it may become a possibility, then I would be writing curriculum to go with the exhibits, plus I would be putting together educational programs, like the reading and discussion group that I am already coordinating.
If they ever get the museum studies program going, I would also be a faculty member, which is what I really went to graduate school to do, though it didn’t work out. There are lots of possibilities with my job, and the busier I am the more I like it. I know that can’t be said for a lot of jobs, but I like to stay busy when I am at work. One thing about when I was teaching, there was no down time. Yes, I had a free period, but that was spent working to get things graded and making out assignments and tests. If it hadn’t been for the students, I would have loved teaching, but the students were just too rowdy and out of control.  I hated discipline. Now, I don’t have to worry about that. It’s just a matter of doing my job and helping where and when I can.

It’s nice when your boss and your coworkers tell you on a regular basis that they are so glad that I came to work there. However, just being appreciated has not been enough to bring me out of my depression. I wish it was, but I miss home, I miss my friend I lost, and I miss being nearer to family.  I don’t mind living away from my family, in fact, I prefer it, but I wish I was at least within driving distance. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Blue



For some reason, I felt a bit blue last night. I don't know what it was, but I had been feeling down since I left work. Work went well today, so I know that's not the problem. I was really missing my friends and family last night. I wish it knew what triggered these episodes. It's like a feeling of great sadness and longing. I hate the way I look. I hate the way I feel. I hate everything about myself. It's a pity party, and I know it. I'll be all right, I know, but the only solution for last night was to go to bed early and wake up hoping today is a better day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Fell Asleep


I fell asleep last night before I could get a post written.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I Don't Believe You




I don’t believe you.
When you tell me something must be wrong with you, 
that you feel broken or less than good enough,
and that you are the reason you are alone.
I don’t believe you.
You see yourself through the cracked lenses,
of another persons life and some how expect me
to see you the same way they did.
You don’t believe me,
when i say you’re everything you should be
and that all the things and all the pieces
are in all the right proportions.
You don’t believe me.
I see you with my own eyes, 
unclouded by the self doubt you feel
and what i see is clear:
You’re beautiful. 
A wonder.
A treasure that could never be replaced.
You, yes you, just as you are.
You are someone I wish to know. 
You are someone I place value in. 
YOU are someone that a person like me,
would love to call my own.
You don’t believe me when I tell you these things,
and I will never believe those things about you.

Unknown Author 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Isabella



Isabella is a classic beauty. I was looking at her face this weekend and it is such perfectly proportioned. There is no doubt she is female, because she has soft beautiful features. As she gets older, I can now tell that she is not all black, but has white hairs here and there. It just adds to her charm.

Isabella is also a wonderful companion. She's never more than a few feet away from me. She follows me from room to room. She is insistent that I tell her goodbye when I leave or she begins to cry quite loudly. I'm not sure what she does when I am not home, but I suspect she sleeps because that is what she does when I'm home during the day.

While she likes to be near me, she doesn't like to snuggle. She's not big on being held either. However, when I lay on the bed, she is never more than a foot away. When I turn out the lights to go to bed though, she sleeps either under the covers or under the bed. She does do a little roaming at night. Occasionally making lots of noise. She is an early riser too. She likes to wake up between 5 am and 6 am, while I tend to sleep until at least 7 am.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Lesbians and the Bible




For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Romans 1:26-27

While some biblical interpretations of the Bible condemn gay sex between men, it nowhere condemns being a lesbian. Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 mention men having sex with other men, but say nothing of women having sex with other women. In the Sodom and Gomorrah account in Genesis 19, the men of the cities wanted to gang rape other men. First Corinthians 6:9 mentions effeminate men but does not mention lesbians. While the above passages are often taken out of context to condemn male homosexuality, they in no way do so, but that is a post for a different time. This post is to address love between women. It was a request I received in an email.

Only one verse in the Bible refers to women being with women: Romans 1:26. However, this passage discusses pagan temple prostitution, not lesbians having sex. In The Message's translation of Romans 1:26-27, it puts it this way:

Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

While Leviticus can be used to condemn homosexuality (and the Old Testament is just that old and outdated by the New Testament), the Bible does not mention lesbians. Why doesn't Leviticus mention lesbians? Most likely because these passages are not talking about homosexuality as much as same sex lust. Same sex love is far different. One might argue that it did not seem important because women were not important during ancient times, but we know of female rulers of the ancient Hebrew, so that argument becomes invalid. Women were as important as men in Hebrew tradition.

The truth is that the Bible does not condemn homosexual love, whether it be between men or women. The concept of homosexuality as it is today was foreign to the writers of the Bible.  Lesbian and gay relationships are not godless or loveless, but filled with God and Love. Homosexual sex only becomes a problem when it is godless and loveless.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Nothing/Everything


There were a thousand different things I could talk about, but honestly, I have nothing to say. I could give an update on Isabella, who's doing great by the way and is rarely more than three feet from me. I could talk about my depression because I was feeling a bit low last night. I could talk about how busy I have been at work which is fantastic and I love every second of it. I could talk about the dinner I had with a wonderful and lonely older lady, we talked and laughed and had a grand time. I could talk about any of these things but I'm just not in the mood to make a full post of them.

So instead, this is what I will do. If you have a question for me, ask it. I will do my best to either answer it in a comment or it will be my Monday post. Ask me anything you want, and you are quite likely to get an answer.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Day Off


I'm taking a day off from blogging.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

A Little Less Homophobia?



There's a saying in Rio that goes something like this: “Romance is always in the air in Rio, but only until the wind changes, and then…comes more romance.” And while NBC Sports may be homophobic, NBC Nightly News is a bit less so. Last night the final story was about Olympic athletes getting engaged at the Olympic Games. It's seems everyone wants to get married.

Will Claye did. The American triple jumper claimed a silver medal in his event on Tuesday, but topped the podium in affairs of the heart. Moments after securing his medal, he rushed to the stands and popped the question to his girlfriend, hurdler Queen Harrison. Naturally, she said yes, prompting Claye to pump his fist with delight.

Marjorie Enya did. A volunteer stadium manager at the rugby venue in Deodoro, Enya proposed to her girlfriend, Brazil women’s national team player Isadora Cerullo, on the playing field at the completion of the women’s competition, and got the answer she wanted.

Qin Kai and He Zi do. Qin, a Chinese diver who won bronze earlier in the Games, got down on bended knee with ring in hand as He stepped off the podium after winning silver in the women’s 3-meter springboard final on Sunday.

Charlotte Dujardin and Dean Goulding do too. Dujardin, who won gold for Britain in the team dressage equestrian event on Monday, was cheered on by her partner Goulding from the stands. After clinching the title, she spotted Goulding holding up a sign: “Can we get married now?”

Romance returned to Rio on Monday with the engagement of Team GB walker Tom Bosworth and partner Harry Dineley. The three-time British record holder, who set a new national mark as he finished sixth in the 20 kilometers, popped the question on Copacabana beach.

Of the four couples featured on NBC Nightly News, two were heterosexual and two were homosexual. NBC Sports doesn't seem to want to cover gay athletes or even acknowledge them, but NBC News featured the two gay couples like it was another romantic gesture, like any other engagement, just as it should have been.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

To An Athlete Dying Young



To An Athlete Dying Young
A. E. Housman, 1859 - 1936

The time you won your town the race   
We chaired you through the market-place;   
Man and boy stood cheering by,   
And home we brought you shoulder-high.   
   
To-day, the road all runners come,     
Shoulder-high we bring you home,   
And set you at your threshold down,   
Townsman of a stiller town.   
   
Smart lad, to slip betimes away   
From fields where glory does not stay,  
And early though the laurel grows   
It withers quicker than the rose.   
   
Eyes the shady night has shut   
Cannot see the record cut,   
And silence sounds no worse than cheers  
After earth has stopped the ears:   
   
Now you will not swell the rout   
Of lads that wore their honours out,   
Runners whom renown outran   
And the name died before the man.  
   
So set, before its echoes fade,   
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,   
And hold to the low lintel up   
The still-defended challenge-cup.   
   
And round that early-laurelled head 
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,   
And find unwithered on its curls   
The garland briefer than a girl’s.

Chris Mears (pictured above) suffered a ruptured spleen in January 2009 while he was training in Sydney for the Youth Olympic Festival. He was suffering from glandular fever but was not displaying the usual symptoms. His organs were squeezed by swelling, and further aggravated by the impact of his dives. This caused his spleen to rupture. After losing two litres of blood and being given a 5% chance of survival by doctors upon admission to the hospital, he was told it was likely he would never dive again. For several days he was kept alive by medical intervention and his platelet count was at 2. Upon discharge, Mears remained in Australia until fit to fly. However his family returned to their hotel room one morning to find him having a seizure on the floor. Mears suffered a 7-hour seizure in total which led to a three-day coma. Usually someone suffering something of this scale would be expected to have suffered irretrievable brain-damage and physical disabilities. He later described arguing with the doctors telling him it was Thursday, that he was certain it was still Monday. Despite being told that he would never dive again, Mears made a slow introduction back into diving, and went on to compete eighteen months later at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. He does however still to this day have a trademark 30-cm scar down the middle of his abdomen, curtailing his abdominal movement. At this year's Olympics, Mears showed just how well he could dive with the best by winning gold in the men's synchronized 3m springboard.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Neurologist



I have another doctor's appointment today. This time it is with a neurologist. It's been many years since I've seen a neurologist. I've had tests run for my cluster headaches, but nothing ever came of them. Over the course of my life, I have been to many doctors and many specialists for my headaches, none of them have offered relief. The only relief I've ever gotten is with the medicine that my old doctor prescribed to help prevent the cluster cycles. While it greatly lessens the intensity of the cluster headaches, they haven't completely gone away. There is still rarely a moment when I don't have a headache. Luckily, they are no longer debilitating, but they are manageable. I wish I could be headache free, but I've come to the point that I doubt it will ever happen. At this point it seems to be more about managing the pain, which I've mostly learned to do, and not to concentrate on ending the pain, which I'm not sure is possible at this point. I've suffered with them for so long, I don't know how I'd deal with being pain free.

I'm sure the headaches are also spurred on by my depression. I'm still waiting on a referral to a therapist. I've resigned to go, but I'm not thrilled about it. The last experience with therapy was not good, but maybe I can find one that will help.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

For the Love of God



For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:38-39

There are those out there who would say that by being gay, we are separated from God. They say that we cannot be loved by God for what they perceive as sin. Yet, the above verses refute that. Think about this, neither death nor life can separate us from God. The New International Version says neither angels nor demons. Rulers, whoever they may be, cannot separate us from God. Our past nor our future can keep us away from God. As Diana Ross sang, "there ain't no mountain high enough, ain't no valley low enough, ain't no river wide enough." God is there for us. Nothing in all creation can keep us away from God's love.

Even if we dismiss those people who say that we are separated from God's love because of our sexuality, these are two powerful verses. I found this verse as I was looking for some biblical inspiration about depression. With depression, you can feel separated from God. In fact you can feel as if you've been forsaken by God. It's a feeling that He no longer loves you. To me that was the lowest point of my depression. I've come to terms with some of my issues causing my depression, but realizing that God still loved me no matter what was extremely important in getting me through the worst of my depression.

So no matter who low you feel or how hard life gets, remember that nothin in all creation is able to separate us from the love of God.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Moment of Zen: American Divers

Steele Johnson
David Boudia
Michael Hixon
Kristian Ipsen



Friday, August 12, 2016

Homophobia and Sexism on an Olympic Level



The U.K. Daily Mail implied/claimed that the above enthusiastic and joyous hug was unmanly. NBC sports refused to recognize Tom Daley's fiancé Dustin Lance Black during their coverage of the 10 M Synchronized Platform Diving competition. A straight reporter used Grindr to out Olympic athletes. Then NBC didn't even cover men's gymnastics team competition and barely covered the individual all-around, relegating it to late at night.

If you were watching NBC prim time coverage you would not have seen the above hug because they did not show the 3 M Synchronized Springboard Diving competition. It was relegated to on demand coverage only, with what I think was Australian announcers, even though the Americans miraculously won silver while Chris Mears and Jack Laugher won gold against the best of odds. Bronze medalist China was expected to win gold, but Mears and Laugher outperformed the Chinese. So let’s move on from this outdated, ridiculous and homophobic notion that a man-on-man hug, or crying happy or sad tears, is somehow emasculating, or should call into question someone’s sexuality. As Chris Mears and Jack Laugher showed in that beautiful, instantaneous moment, there’s nothing quite as masculine as really knowing yourself, being truly comfortable in your own skin and not giving a stuff about what anyone else might think.

When Australian diver Matthew Mitcham won gold in the 10-meter platform in Beijing, NBC Sports, the perennial broadcaster in the United States of the Olympic Games, failed to mention Mitcham's partner in the stands despite highlighting the partners of other straight athletes. Even worse, the network failed to mention that Mitcham was the only publicly out gay-male athlete at the Games.  Eight years later, nothing has changed at NBC. NBC failed to recognize Daley's fiancé during the 10 M Synchronized Platform Diving finals. Not boyfriend, not long-time friend... fiancé. And an Oscar-winning fiancé at that (read: public interest). They are, arguably, one of the "it" couple of the gay community, yet NBC didn't mention a word.

The Daily Beast is feeling the heat after publishing an article in which one of its heterosexual writers used Grindr, among other dating apps, to examine the dating and sex habits of Olympic athletes. Many were specifically concerned that Hines’s piece was outing athletes, especially those from countries like Russia and Jamaica where it’s dangerous for people to be openly LGBT.

Then there is the sexism.  They don’t make as much money as their counterparts of the opposite sex. They don’t receive as much TV airtime or media coverage. They don’t attract as many fans to arenas or as many followers on social media. This sounds like a typical gender inequality story in American sports except for one thing: In gymnastics, the men are less popular than the women. The thing is, I still want to see it. I still want to see our men compete, but maybe gymnastics for men isn't manly enough, but take one look at any of these gymnasts and tell me they don't have the body of a man. It takes tremendous strength and skill to compete in men's gymnastics. They are our boys and we should support them and NBC should cover more of their competitions.

Luckily, I live in a state that borders Canada, so I can watch the Olympics on CBC as an alternative to NBC. I'll have to watch more CBC and let you know if they are any better. Canada itself seems more open about sexuality and equality. Hopefully, CBC follows how the rest of the nation is.




Thursday, August 11, 2016

Swoon



You may already know that Colton Haynes is on the cover of Out Magazine this month. You know I can't let that go by without commenting about the article. There are three things about the article that I want to comment on. 

First, Colton says that he discovered that his ex-boyfriend was a serial cheater. Let me just say, Colten's ex must be a true dumbass. If Colton was my boyfriend, I'd do anything and everything possible to keep him. Colton is sweet and delectable, who wouldn't want him? 

Second, Colton says that he was told that his father committed suicide after finding out that Colton had come out at age 14. That is a lot for a 14 year old to deal with, whether it was true or not. When my own mother found out I was gay, she basically lost her will to live and has suffered from depression since then. Now she just lives in denial. I don't know what I would have done if my mother had committed suicide, which she has often contemplated. 

Finally, Colton talks more about his depression and anxiety, as well as his therapist. My new doctor has convinced me to see another therapist, since my depression has not gotten much better and my anxiety level has gotten worse.

I may be overweight, ten years older, and not a celebrity, but in many ways I can identify with Colton's struggles. As a teacher at a private academy in the south, I too had to go back in the closet after being out for a number of years. While I had to switch professions and move to come out again, I'm glad Colton was able to come out and be such an inspiration. He shows that depression and anxiety are real issues for real people, and I admire him for discussing it publicly. I can't help it, I just love and admire Colton Haynes.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Nathan Adrian



You've got to love Nathan Adrian, the American competitive swimmer and four-time Olympic gold medalist who currently holds the American record in the long course 50-meter freestyle event. In the finals of the 100 free at the 2012 Indianapolis Grand Prix, Nathan Adrian’s Speedo FS3 suit split right down the crack showing off his beautiful round butt. Adrian just laughed it off, saying it happened when he was on the block and he couldn't think about it because he had a race to swim.

Adrian was born in Bremerton, Washington in 1988. He is the son of James and Cecilia Adrian; his mother Cecilia is Chinese from Hong Kong. Cecilia is a nurse for the Bremerton school district, and his father James is a retired nuclear engineer for the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Adrian has an older sister, Donella, who swam at Arizona State University, and an older brother, Justin, who swam at the University of Washington. Adrian started swimming at the age of five because of the influence of his siblings. He graduated in 2006 from Bremerton High School, where he swam for the school team. Adrian matriculated at the University of California, Berkeley in fall 2006, where he majored in public health. He eventually graduated with honors in the spring of 2012. At Cal, Adrian was a five-time individual NCAA champion: Winning the 50-yard freestyle in 2009 and 2011 and the 100-yard freestyle in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

At the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Adrian won his fourth gold medal as the anchor for the US Men's 4 × 100 meter freestyle relay alongside lead-off leg Caeleb Dressel, second leg Michael Phelps, and third leg Ryan Held. The Americans, with Dressel and Held as first-time Olympic competitors, finished with a time of 3:09.92, followed by France and Australia. Adrian's final leg was 46.97 seconds, the fastest of the field.

While he has a beautiful body, I love Adrian's ever present smile.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

It Couldn't Be Done



It Couldn’t Be Done
Edgar Guest, 1881 - 1959

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
     But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
     Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
     On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
     That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
     At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
     And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
     Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
     That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
     There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
     The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
     Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
     That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games are taking place from August 5 to August 21 in Rio de Janeiro, with a long roster of events from archery, fencing, and sailing to basketball, boxing, soccer, and tennis. Get in the spirit by reading a poem on the triumph of the human spirit. We all know some of these athletes were told that they could never make it to the Olympics but they did. Take the 41 year old gymnast from Uzbekistan who was told she was too old, but is competing in her 7th Olympics. Don't let anyone tell you that something cannot be done, because with perseverance, it can be done.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Are You?



Are you watching the Olympics? I stayed up and watched the Opening ceremony on Friday night. It was worth it just to see the Tonga flag bearer. My favorite events to watch are men's diving and men's gymnastics. What are your favorite events?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Great Physician


Christ the Great Physician.

"They that are whole have no need of a physician; but they that are sick. I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance" (Luke v.31, 32).
"For this people's heart is waxed gross,
And their ears are dull of hearing,
And their eyes they have closed;
Lest haply they should perceive with their eyes,
And hear with their ears,
And understand with their heart,
And should turn again,
And I should heal them" (Matt. xiii.15).

"He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted" (Luke iv.18).

As you know, I went to the doctor on Friday. My appointment went well enough. I mostly like my new doctor and I think it will work out to be a good relationship. I wasn't happy with everything he said, but that's with all doctors. With the exception of one. Several times, either directly or indirectly, Christ alludes to Himself as a physician. In this character He is worthy of careful study.

The first thing in order to appreciate a physician, is to realize that one is sick. The Savior says the well need not a physician. It is equally true that the well care not for a physician. Sin is the disease of which Christ, as a physician, is the healer. The disease is deadly and can be fatal to our immortal souls. The Great Physician alone can heal it. There is no other remedy. When a man is once affected, however much he may keep it under control, and prevent its increase, there is never a reduction of the disease till the remedy of the Great Physician is applied.

In order that we appreciate a physician, and avail ourselves of the benefits of his skill, we must have faith in him. Without faith that his skill is superior to ours, and that he can help us, we will not call upon him. If we have faith in him we will do as he directs. The highest evidence of faith in a physician, and the surest way of being benefited by his skill, is in going precisely by his directions.

This devotional is partially adapted from a sermon by Frank G. Allen.

Late


This morning's post will be posted later. I woke in the middle of the night realizing that I'd gone to sleep without writing it, so stay tuned.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Doctor's Appointment



After months of waiting, I finally get to see my new doctor today. There are a lot of things I want to talk to him about. I need to discuss my depression. While it has gotten better, I still have more depressed days than happy days. I also have some side effects of my antidepressants that I need to discuss with him. In addition to this, I need to fill him in on my headaches and how I have cluster headaches and migraines. Furthermore, I have been having a lot of back pain in the recent months, and I want to know his suggestions. Then there is always my hypertension and cholesterol.

I am excited about seeing my new doctor. His picture looks quite sexy (no that is not him above). Sexiness aside, I have questions though that I really want answered or at least discussed. This appointment is a "get to know me" appointment and not a physical. I expect to go back for a physical and to get some blood work done. It has been quite a while since I've been tested for STDs/STIs (whatever they call them these days). While I don't believe I have anything, I do want to be tested and have a clean bill of health on that front. As a gay man, I believe it is important to be regularly tested and it is something I haven't always done.

This will be the first doctor that is not connected to family. I did have one doctor in graduate school, but I rarely went to him. This will be the first time in my life that I am going to a doctor for regular health maintenance that either did not work with a family member or that my family did not go to also. It's a new experience for me, and I hope it allows me to be freer and more open with this new doctor. I no longer have to worry that any private health issues would get back to my family. Not that healthcare laws allow that, but it's always been a concern of mine.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Colby Melvin Talks About Depression


I've always been a fan of Colby Melvin, both as a model and an activist. He has a lot of southern charm. Originally from Louisiana, Colby has a degree from Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL in Psychology and lived and went to school there for 4 years, then worked there for a year.  Colby worked for the BP oil spill as a project manager in the command center. This position landed him a job for a maritime holding company that he lost when his boss found out he way gay. So he moved to Houston. It was in Houston that he began modeling.

I've written about Colby before, but it's been a few years. You’ve probably seen Colby Melvin’s sexy photos, or sexy bathing suits, or sexy everything else he does. But you may not have seen his latest video where he talks about coping with depression. Many LGBT people deal with anxiety and depression. I do and Colby is no exception either.

“It’s taken me a lot of emotional strength to talk about some of these things,” he says, but adds that he’s gotten messages from other people going through hard times and wanted to be more honest. “I show you the fun parts of my life… I like to share the fun parts with you,” he said. But that’s not all of his life. “I have a platform to speak to over a million people and I sort of feel like it’s my responsibility to share this message. You might’ve noticed over the past couple months I’ve been kinda quiet. I’ve had a really rough summer.”

Apparently some scammer posed as a photographer and stole a ton of stuff from him, which is awful. But messages from fans got him through the tough time. But later in the video he got real: “Since as long as I can remember, I have personally struggled with mental health issues.” That’s why he participated in the Obamacare campaign a few years ago to get people enrolled with health care. “I’ve struggled with anxiety, ADHD and depression,” he said. “I know I’m not alone.”

From there, he explained that the fancy happy photos that he tends to post aren’t a true portrait of his life. “It’s very hard for me to say this but if I don’t then I might not be able to help someone else,” he said. “I have struggled with suicidal depression for a long time. It’s been really hard.”

Getting emotional, he moved into the familiar “It Gets Better” comforts, about how there’s help out there and you’re not alone and it’s not your fault. Hopefully he’s feeling better after his rough summer and has some nice folks around him who keep his spirits up. And hopefully you have that too.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A Single Paragraph


From Mark Joseph Stern, a writer for Slate. He covers the law and LGBTQ issues.

Mississippi’s viciously anti-LGBTQ Christian supremacist “religious liberty” law—which would legalize discrimination against LGBTQ people in housing, employment, public accommodations, schooling, marriage licensing, and health care—is brazenly unconstitutional. That, at least, was U.S. District Judge Carlton Reeves’ conclusion when he blocked the law from taking effect in June, holding that it violated both the Establishment and Equal Protection Clauses of the Constitution. But even after Reeves delivered his bench-slap to the state, Mississippi Republican Gov. Phil Bryant returned to court to ask the judge to let the law take effect while he appealed Reeves’ decision to a higher court.

 On Monday, Reeves gave Bryant his answer. It wasn’t pretty. First, Reeves criticized Bryant and his attorneys for botching basic facts about the case, noting pointedly that the errors “may be because, even though the record has been prepared, the appellants did not attend the two-day evidentiary hearing, and are now represented by different counsel who also did not attend the hearing.” Then Reeves castigated Bryant for comparing the Mississippi law—and, in particular, a provision that allows clerks to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples—to statutes that “permit persons to opt-out of going to war or performing abortions.” Issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple, Reeves wrote, “is not like being forced into armed combat or to assist with an abortion.”

Matters of life and death are sui generis. If movants truly believe that providing services to LGBT citizens forces them to “tinker with the machinery of death,” their animus exceeds anything seen in Romer, Windsor, or the marriage equality cases.

This reprimand is brutal but necessary, and it brilliantly cuts to the core of Mississippi’s wildly flawed arguments. The state insists that its citizens must have the religious freedom to discriminate against LGBTQ people, elevating bigoted acts to a form of legally protected liberty. Reeves concisely explains why this theory is so wrong: Under the Constitution, states are legally barred from passing laws motivated by animus toward gay people and cannot explicitly license individuals to inflict their personal prejudices on others. That’s doubly true for agents of the state, like clerks, who in fact have a duty to follow the Constitution’s commands—a duty that cannot be trumped by a claim of religious animosity. Bryant and Mississippi, Reeves essentially writes, have the very notion of liberty fundamentally backward.

Robert McDuff, who is litigating the case for the Mississippi Center for Justice, told me the ruling was “no surprise”: “Judge Reeves’ original opinion made it clear that this law should not be allowed to go into effect,” he said. “He was right then and he was right yesterday. Now, we await the Fifth Circuit. As Judge Reeves said in yesterday’s order, ‘the baton is now passed.’ ”

I also asked Roberta Kaplan, who is helping to litigate the case and argued against the Mississippi law in Reeves’ courtroom, what she thought of Reeves’ scalding rebuke.

“It’s poetry,” she told me.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

He would not stay for me, and who can wonder



He would not stay for me, and who can wonder
A. E. Housman, 1859 - 1936

 He would not stay for me, and who can wonder?
  He would not stay for me to stand and gaze.
I shook his hand, and tore my heart in sunder,
  And went with half my life about my ways.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Better



My cold finally seems to be getting better. I went yesterday and got some Allegra D, and I can now breath easier. I was feeling well enough to go to the movies. I went to see Star Trek Beyond. I was very impressed with the movie. It was full of suspense and excitement. I knew some of the elements of the movie, but I really didn't know how things would turn out. It was a really cool movie.

As for Sulu being gay, I thought it was handled subtlety and with a great amount of class.