Monthly Archives: December 2012

Growing Love

Love Bench

Brendon and I had another day together yesterday. He took me out to Rockne’s. We enjoyed each other and had fun. I had not been there since the one where I live opened. He also had mentioned wanting to take me there on one of our first times we hung out. Since I do not go out to eat much, I thought I would leave a nice tip for the waitress that was serving us. At first Brendon was hesitant at my idea of giving her $20 as a tip but as the meal went on he agreed. It is always good to make someone else’s day when you can.

In looking back at yesterday, I just start tearing up. I cannot think of a better time that I have had with another person. It was just a really great night. We went back to his place to play some games with Erin – Uno and Clue. I have not played Clue in a long time but I enjoyed just it as much – maybe even more that Brendon was playing with us. For dinner we made Chicken Parmesan. We brought back dessert from Rockne’s to have. To just lay together, cuddle, and kiss one another was everything I hoped and dreamed for in finding a boyfriend. To finish the night off, we watched a couple episodes of Glee. We are halfway through the first season. I really want to get to the part where Kurt and Blaine’s story starts but we will get there eventually.

In cuddling, I told him I was ready to marry him. It took a while for me to say it but it came. I do not see me being with anyone else. We both have our flaws but I could devote the rest of my life to Brendon. Every time I see him I grow a little more love for him. Though we are not ready to get married and our state does not currently support gay marriage, I just wanted him to know how special he is.

We have little problems that come up but we easily fix them. All in all, we just make a great team. I honestly think we were meant for each other. As the new year approaches, I look forward to being with a boyfriend for a whole year. It is definitely going to be a new experience. My previous relationship only lasted 9 days and right now Brendon and I have only been officially together 6 days. I am looking forward to being with him and what the future holds for us. There is hope.

-Josh

(Photo Courtesy of Pablo Needs Amused via Timblr)


Business in the 21st Century

2wink Australia

Over the years, more and more facets have been added when it comes to customers choosing the products they buy. Personally, I support companies that strive to do their best and do not cut corners simply to save money. After I learned that the majority of clothes sold in the United States are not made in the United States, I stopped supporting Abercrombie and Fitch and other mainstream mall stores. Only 2% of clothes are made in the United States. This is because we have better labor laws than other countries. The majority of clothing companies in the United States outsource their clothing to other countries to be made for a minimal amount to turn around and charge customers of the United States as much as they think they can get for it. This causes for the greatest amount of profit but is it ethical? I do not support it because I will not support unfair labor laws of other countries. In not buying their product, I say to those companies’ workers “I see your struggle and I take a bit of that burden off of you.”

I used to believe that I needed to buy all American-made products but our economy work in an interesting way. Even if I buy products from a company outside of the United States, I still use American dollars. There is still an exchange rate and strength to how much the dollar is. My American dollars never disappear. They just get exchanged from one person to the next. If I see a company striving to do their best, I am going to reward them with my support and money as a customer no matter what country they happen to be in.

For example, I did not care for some of the gay men’s clothing companies of the United States. Their focus seems to be on selling sex alongside their clothing. Now that I have a boyfriend, I want to be faithful to him. Part of that is not going around and see all of these other guys and I would also include ads as well. I found a company that I like called 2wink Australia that produces underwear and swimwear for men. The focus is not on sex and they seem to have a strong, successful product. I have been waiting to purchase when I got the money and put an order in today for a couple of pairs of underwear. Hopefully I will be able to review the product and continue to promote a solid company. With less than 16,000 likes on Facebook, they have not come to their full potential but are moving in the right direction. If you have had any contact with 2wink Australia before, feel free to share your thoughts. If you are a guy who is interested in buying some underwear or swimsuits, please check them out and give them a chance. In looking for any posts about 2wink Australia, there was only one that I saw. As a customer, I have no problem spreading the word when it comes to a company that does business right and has a product that is everything it says it is. For more information: http://www.2wink.com.au/

I wish there was a easier way to keep companies accountable for the choices they make. As a customer, we have the power in choosing what companies succeed and what companies fail. We vote by how we spend our money. Let us reward those who work hard and give a nudge to others that they need to get back on track.

Two things that I hugely dislike about where I work is that they are not honest with their customers about their product. There are two candles stores: The main store which has the best quality of candles and the Outlet which has a lesser quality of candles. The company has decided to rename the Outlet candles a different name than the Main Store candles when they are the same wax and fragrance. The only difference is the quality. They want customers to assume it is a different candle and buy it. Also, when we change what fragrance of candle we are running, we put 12 “color change jars” through the machine. This gets all of the wax from the previous fragrance out of the machine and makes sure the next fragrance is ready to pour. They have decided to sell the “color change jars” in the Outlet as regular candles when they are not regular candles. They are a mixture of two fragrances. Also there are specific wicks that work best with each fragrance so the candles burn the best they can. The “color change jars” just have a wick in them. What wick the color change jars have does not matter though the regular candles do causing the candle to be sub-par from the regular candles. If a customer knew this was going on, they would not buy those candles but it happens. The company allows it to happen so that they can sell more product though the quality is way less than it should be.

I am appalled at what people will do to get more money and we need to be real and honest with people. When it comes to products and services, lying only hurts the company and its customers.

Many people just buy the product that are most easily available. I do not judge for that. It is convenient and it works. I just take buying products to the next level and ask myself and others if a specific company and product is ethical. It helps me make a more educated decision and further makes a difference in the world.

-Josh


Official

Laughable

Brendon and I officially became boyfriends yesterday, 12/24/12. I planned for us to go to Earth Fare to show him around, get lunch, and buy our becoming official present. As soon as we saw each other, Brendon let me know that his brother Ethan was in the hospital again. (For those of you who do not know Ethan has AIDS which he received from having sex with a guy that gave it to him on purpose.) He wanted our time to be special and to forget about the hard parts of his life. Usually he would be there for Ethan in the hospital but he let him know what was going on and he planned on going to see him later in the day.

We ate lunch at the store. The store sells a line of candles that my company and I specifically help make. I have vowed never to buy any candle from my company so that I will not add to the corruption that is going on all throughout it. There was a candle from another company that I really liked ever since I saw it. Not bad in price and it was Macintosh Apple. It smells better than the company’s Apple Harvest that I help make. It even had personal significance to me. Brendon burns the free candles he gets from work all the time in his apartment so I knew he would enjoy it. Growing up, my favorite color was red and it had a red box. I really wanted to get a candle because that is where we first meet (at work) and in lighting our candle it symbolizes the start of our relationship and journey together. We kissed too after I gave it to him. When we got back to his apartment, we lit the candle and he loved how wonderful it looks in his centerpiece on his dinning room table.

This Christmas is different for me in many ways. I do not feel joyful. The Candlelight Service my family attended tonight was wonderful as always with the usual Christmas songs, Christmas story, and lighting candles. My candle reminded me of mine and Brendon’s candle. It reminded me that Jesus is the light of the world and that together Brendon and I can bring hope to others. That because we are together we are stronger. I want to be a light and make a difference in the world. Hopefully my up and coming company will be that avenue to achieve my goal. It is just not the same knowing that Brendon is not having as joyous of a Christmas as he could have. My heart goes out to both Brendon and Ethan. Ethan will be in the hospital for Christmas so Brendon will be there with him. No matter what I would feel for Brendon and Ethan but it just seems a bigger deal to me now that I am Brendon’s boyfriend. I am his other half. Now I am signed up to go through the loss of Ethan to Brendon and his whole family. Brendon asked me if I wanted to go with him to the hospital and I said not right now. I have meet Ethan once but do not want to see him like that. In the future, I know I will need to go and support Brendon. It is something I should do. Today was special because we both knew we were becoming official and it was last minute. I have not even meet any of his family other than Ethan and I would feel put on the spot. I would like to take it slow.

Where things are is Brendon can and has told people he knows that we are official. My parents do not know. I would rather have them meet Brendon and take things slow. It is hard to be closeted to a degree but I will deal with it. I do talk to my mom about Brendon about things that are going on with him and life in general. I hope they come around. The only thing I can really do now is keep communication open and hope for the best.

I still have doubts but I am taking one brick off the wall at a time. If we never take risks in life, we will never get anywhere and life will fail to be anything worth living. Being with Brendon is a risk I am willing to take. I want to be there with him and be all that I can be, give all I can give. This is a new chapter of my life and one I pursue with determination and strength. I am not afraid of the problems we face together knowing that God is with us and there is nothing to worry about. Things will be okay no matter what we face.

-Josh

(Photo Courtesy of Pablo Needs Amused via Tumblr)


Man 2 Man Clothing Company

Holding Hands

I started a website so I could fundraise money for the company that I will be starting. Please feel free to check it out and if you are led to give, you can send me a comment with your email address where I will send you a request and you can complete your donation. There is much work to do before Man 2 Man Clothing Company becomes a company but I am looking forward to the journey that God has given me the opportunity to go down. If you are unable to give, thoughts and prayers are always appreciated. As well, please spread the word about my new upcoming company. Hopefully we can have success in both making gay men look and feel good but also helping gay men in need.

http://man2manclothingcompany.weebly.com/index.html

God Bless,

Josh


Doubt Creeps In

Hands

I had a good time again with Brendon. It was a little awkward at first to hang out with both Brendon and Erin, his ex-finance, but we made it work and all had a good time. We watched movies and played games.

I had feelings of doubt throughout the night. We cuddled as we watched a movie and it was nice but I did not feel like I needed it or enjoyed it. When Erin went to work we watched Glee and cuddled. Again I felt the same thing. I have always told myself from when I first accepted who I was that I just wanted to happy. I do not feel that God would want me to be in pain and hurt my whole life over the issue of my sexuality. Every time I say that things go okay for a while and then I hit a wall. Last night, I hit a wall again. I love Brendon and I want to love him. If it is best for us to be together for the rest of our lives, I want to be able to share that with him. I let him know I am having these doubts. Never will I repeat what Aaron did to me in just breaking up with me when he had doubts about us but did not tell me and made me feel that it was my fault that we were breaking up. I just want to rip my heart out so I do not have any feelings. It is either really good feelings or really bad ones.

If we ever are to move forward in our relationship, I need to trust him more. I cannot come out and say my deepest darkest secrets with him. I have to force myself to say them. I still get nervous wondering what he is going to think about what I tell him. Confrontation is another area I need to work on in our relationship. There could be things that I could say to help him be a better man but I do not say them. I do not want to feel like I am changing him into what I want him to be.

I just wanted to use this post to be real and honest about what is going on. Life and love is not always a cake walk. It hurts me so much that I have the feelings I do and it makes me cry. I think it is hard for me that we are not official. That is killing me. Maybe I should go to my parents again. It is also different now that Brendon has Erin living with him. It is obvious that Erin gets on Brendon’s nerves but he is trying his best to help her out. Erin likes me and approves of us being together. I just want her to like me no matter what I am to Brendon. Be the best person I can be. Soon it will not be a problem as Brendon is moving so we will not have a third wheel all the time. Having her there though is a good thing as well because we are not so focused on the physical and we just do things together and have fun. We are going to see each other again on Christmas Eve so hopefully that goes well.

God Bless,

Josh

(Photo Courtesy of Pablo Needs Amused via Tumblr)


Gay Catholic Priests

There has always been this stereotype that male Catholic priests have sex with young boys. Some people ask what is wrong with these men that they would do this to innocent boys. As I thought about it more, I understood the situation better. The Catholic Church does not support homosexuality. Men who are gay feel that they cannot be themselves because they are taught that gay is wrong. They use becoming priests to reconcile themselves back with God, to try to be good enough to go to Heaven. They try to beat themselves into shape but they are still gay. They are also sexual frustrated. In their frustration, they act out and this is how this stereotype has started.

Above all, I am saddened for the pain and turmoil that these men feel they need to go through. It is pain caused by the Catholic church itself. I do not blame the priests themselves but the oppressive environment that they live under. It suffocates them and hinders them from being real and honest with themselves.

Being a priest is not going to make a person any better off. We all have our own individual relationships with God no matter who a person is. No matter what, God made you gay for a reason. I know it is hard. We all have our own stories and battles we have to face. We also know that God uses everything for good. Being gay is not something to be ashamed of but something that sets me apart from everyone else. My difference is my individuality, my strength. I would not be the same person if I was not gay. I would not see the world the way I see it if I was not gay. God has provided me with a difference lens into seeing Him and the world. I see gay men and women hurting and I want to do something about it.

I write this post today to spark thought into the stereotype of child molesting priests that maybe there is a bigger issue lurking in the shadows.

-Josh


Letting Him Love Me

Cuddle

Brendon and I had a wonderful time on Sunday. He started off by telling me that his ex-finance Erin is living with him for a couple weeks because she was not put on the lease for where she was going to live. He is doing a good deed and helping her out in her time of need. I understand and I trust him. The reason they broke up is she cheated on him but he still feels that he should help her even though his love for her was gone a long time ago. I got to meet her. It was not as awkward for me as it was for her. I am always a a little nervous when I meet people that I have not meet before. The reason that she comes around though is probably because she still likes Brendon even though he has moved on. It was awkward for her to see me with Brendon. Another reason why Brendon is helping her out is because she is pregnant. How it looks now is Brendon is going to move into a one bedroom where he lives now and Erin and the baby’s dad will take his old apartment. Drama follows Brendon everywhere he goes but there is nothing I can really do about this. I am just trying to give Brendon the best advice I can and make sure everything is well for those involved.

We got Blizzards from Dairy Queen. I got my Raspberry Truffle that I usually get. He got the Candy Cane Chill. Brendon has a thing for minty foods. We also went to the store and made breakfast for dinner. French toast, sausage, and cinnamon rolls. He had wanted to make eggs too but somehow some of his eggs were missing so we only had a enough for the french toast.

He suggested a movie that he liked that we watched it but I was too focused on him to watch it so I missed key parts of what was going on. We also watched some Glee. There was plenty of time to cuddle as well. I love being in his arms.

From this time together my love has grown for him. A key part of this happening was I needed to let him love me. I was so concerned on if it was right or not but I needed to just feel the love he has for me.

I have justified the use of Romans 13:8-9 to support loving same sex relationships. “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These—and other such commandments—are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (NLT). Honestly, I do not know what the phrase “God’s law” is referring to here but I would think it would be the law that God gave to the Israelites which included the Ten Commandments. This would also include Leviticus where we find two verses on homosexuality. This verse for me says love is never wrong. Love fulfills all. If we love and our motives are pure and right, we are doing  nothing wrong. I love Brendon like I would want to be loved. That is what it is about.

-Josh