Tag Archives: society

Jumping Back Into Theatre

Theatre

In trying to find my next step, I will be getting into local theatre. I have currently been a part of six different productions throughout my high school and college career. There is a theatre organization that will be putting on two different shows this summer that I hope to be a part of. Many pieces will have to fall into place though. Currently working second shift at my job creates a problem when it comes to attending rehearsals. My supervisor did say that they would be willing to talk about a shift change if something did come up. If everything did work out, it would be beneficial in more ways than one. I would be able to do something that I enjoy and be able to attend rehearsals but it would also allow me to work the same hours as Brendon. As always when doing a show there is pretty much no free time but it would allow me to see Brendon more than I currently would working different shifts. I have got in contact as well with my previous vocal coach and she is open to working with me again. She is definitely an inspiration; a wonder to work with.

As I looked out on my college life being a Elementary Education and Theatre Performance double major I found myself to be unhappy in more ways than I wanted to be. The biggest part was I did not want to spend so much time on a show that I simply did not care about though my major required me to be. It was also a hard balancing act when it came to acting class, shows, and other classes not at all dealing with theatre. College was an emotional and metaphorical suicide. I feel like I can give more now that I do not have as many different areas of my life starving to get my attention.

Before I dropped out of college for financial reasons, I had a wonderful semester in Beginning Acting. I felt that I was actually getting somewhere. To define me as a great actor would be untrue but I am working on it and would like to become better. The biggest hurdle that theatre wanted me to overcome was to accept my sexuality. Theatre requires transparency and vulnerability from its actors. I could not be vulnerable in a role until I became vulnerable in my own life. I see this time as different. Theatre helped me to deal and grow through the situations I had and now I want to further embrace them so that others can be inspired to make a difference in their own life and/or in others lives.

Plunging myself into theatre will gain me the confidence that I desperately need. I find myself unhappy and ashamed with where I am in life and yet wondering where to go and what path I should take for the future. I want to help people and make a difference. This is one way to do that. Making candles in a factory is not something I want to be doing for the rest of life. As I look around, I see the trouble the economy is having and the lack of jobs.  Realistically there just is not much out there. I know I have much potential waiting to bloom and thrive. The problem comes with what environment, what career, would best cultivate it. I feel that I have been given too many gifts and talents to honor them all. Where do I fit in? I could do pretty much anything. What is a career that combines my gifts and talents but yet also satisfy me? I am on a journey to find it and I have theatre by my side to help me out.

Please wish me the best as I embark on this new chapter of my life.

God Bless,

Josh

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Married (Unofficially)

Gay Marriage

Brendon and I have officially married each other yesterday and made the decision that we want to spend the rest of our lives together. Though there has been no ceremony or rings, we are thinking of using the rings we have for now for a while. Hopefully we can get the ring that Brendon got me as a promise ring resized so I can wear it and he has a ring with The Lord’s Prayer on it that he got from WalMart. With money being tight for both of us, we will do what we can but I do not need anything. I am just happy to be with my man.

Brendon has been respectful of me as I will not buy anything from WalMart because of their anti-gay stance or the misinformation that WalMart holds an anti-gay stance. Even if WalMart is not anti-gay, I would rather be safe than sorry. I will not hinder people from shopping there and people need their jobs to make a living. Personally I just choose not to buy anything from there.

I wish that all of these did not have to be so messy. The both of us know we are married yet no one else knows. I have not told my parents that Brendon and I are even together. Being an organized person, I do not like the lack of structure in our relationship but we are two men and society is society. It could be better but what matters is that Brendon and I are together. It is amazing how similar we are and yet we still have our own personalities and differences.

Right now we are both have debt that we need of pay off. Once I get my college loans payed off I would like to move in and help him out the best I can. I just want to see him succeed and be the best he can be.

I really love that we are both very focused on helping other people better their lives. Brendon has tossed around the idea of providing affordable living for people; inspired from his search to find a place in my town.

I know I have a lot of potential and could do pretty much anything. I just have too many ideas that I do not know what to do. I want to be successful and help other people in the process but I do not know what that is yet. Maybe it is the clothing company I dreamed about or maybe it is something else.

I just strive to be the best person I can be and take everything one day at a time.

God Bless,

Josh

Photo Courtesy of VanityFair.com


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


New Series: Deeper Discussion

I saw a video of Dan Savage promoting his new television show, American Savage, on Facebook. His message is for the Christian Left to be bolder and let the Christian Right know that there are people who are Christians and support gay rights. I would like the opportunity to have my own take on this.

There are posts on WordPress that do oppose gay people and gay rights and I would like to start writing posts addressing those. I do not write these posts to get at the original writers but to show both sides when it comes to the topic of gay people and subtopics under that. From my perspective, I think some people are anti-gay because they have been fed lies about gay people and have had scare tactics set on them so that they will be afraid of gay people and not accept them. I would like to shine light on these false truths as a gay Christian man doing his best to live his life to the fullest and honor God. Hopefully others will be touched by these posts.

For those that are searching for answers and want to understand how or what to do when it comes to such a hot button topic, I want to provide a solution. Maybe it will not be the answers that they need but I feel led to share my side of the story. I want to show people how gay men see it and get rid of the lies that hinder people for being unified. If someone believes that gay is wrong and bases it on their faith or religion, I respect that. I would just hate to see people basing their beliefs on false truths.

All of these new posts will be under the “Deeper Discussion” category on my blog as well. I will still be writing about my life and Brendon but thought I would branch out more and take the opportunity to make a bigger difference. This is only one blog out of many and I am only one person but hopefully I can make a positive impact. I thank all of the readers for commenting and liking my posts. It is truly a privilege to share my life and my story as it happens. Thank you for listening and for this opportunity to share my thoughts, convictions, and passions.

God Bless,

Josh


Experience and Discussion

Quote

I had the opportunity of talking with a coworker about gay people and the Bible. He happened to be working in my area as his machine was getting maintenance done on it and we got into talking. He was about the same age as I am. He talked about girls and if I had a girlfriend and I ignored it at first. He is the second youngest of nine kids and also a Christian.

The whole discussion started with him asking if I read the Bible. In going into the discussion, I felt very heard. He told me that he did not want to offend me and I told him I would not take it that way. He could not wrap his mind around the fact that I was not attracted to women. Though I do not have attractions for women, I can understand and respect men who do. He came out and told me that he had had premarital sex with his girlfriend. I was a sinner for being gay and he had sinned by having sex with his girlfriend before marriage. I think he was trying to build a bridge and say we were the same and I would agree with that. Everyone has sinned and falls short. During the conversation, he asked me if I knew what the Bible said. I told him I did and he repeated the question. I repeated my response. He brought up 1 Corinthians as condemning homosexuality. He did not remember what it said but remembered that, in his opinion, it condemns homosexuality (as we know it today). The discussion definitely sparked him to look deeper into the topic and that is why I fought so hard within me to bring it up. I needed to be real about myself and to share my experiences with a fellow Christian. He told me he would look into what 1 Corinthians said about homosexuality.

The thing that hit me the hardest was the point that he told me not to tell anyone what he believed and that he could not get fired because he needed the job. I am saddened by this. In being in the middle of the gay community and the Christians, I do not promote harming people for their beliefs. It is wrong that the gay community is punishing people for having a different opinion. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and there should be no negative consequence no matter what they believe. It just proves the point that we need to continue dialogue with Christians and being honest and open about our lives with them. The Gay Debate is a issue in the 21st Century. To punish people for their beliefs is to respond with hate back. As a gay man, I extend love to all people. Though I do not agree with this man that I was talking to, I can respect him and his life experiences. I do not have to be angry and hostile. As Joyce Meyer said, “Hurting people hurt people.” There is so much truth to this quote. As the gay community, we are hurt by others who disagree with us and try to keep us down – hinder us from being equal. It should not be our goal though to fight back in anger but to overcome with love. Using power to keep people down will only last for so long until the people are liberated. Love does not keep anyone down and freely liberates.

I am glad I had the courage to come out to this man that I had never talked to before and to have a conversation about sexuality and God at work. He also told me that his brother was gay. I hope that maybe my discussion with him could bring liberation to that relationship and the family’s relationship with his brother. As always it is not my job to change people’s hearts and minds. My job is just to be open and honest about my life and the rest will fall into place.

-Josh

(Photo Courtesy of Welcome to the New Age via Tumblr)


Brian Brown and Marriage Equality

Recently, there was a political phone call from Brian Brown, president of National Organization for Marriage (NOM), on my family’s answering machine urging my parents and I not to vote for certain candidates because they support same sex marriage. As I heard the message, all I could hear from Brian Brown is that he is an angry man. This drove me to look up some of his interviews this year on YouTube. I see the same thing over and over. Letting gay people marry makes Brian Brown angry. We see that he definitely has a conviction to uphold marriage being between one man and one woman. It is a religious conviction. I do not say that he is angry to put a label on him but, in my perspective, he comes across as angry. In many of the interviews he has participated in, he interrupts the person on the opposing side and has no evidence to back up his position. All I see is a strong conviction with no evidence to uphold it so he comes across as an angry man fighting for what he believes in.

He brings up the position of if same sex marriage is legalized then children will be educated about gay people and that it is harmful for children. Already, there have been books that have been optional reading on a child having two moms or two dads. It is something that does come up in our world and something that children should be taught about. Eliminating even talk or teaching on this is trying to cover up that there are even gay people in the world. Not being educated on it will force children to react however they will when experience and reality collides. There are gay people in the world and there always will be gay people in the world whether a person likes it or not. Brian Brown is trying to make gay people invisible and this will only make problems worse. When it comes to health and talking about two men or two women having sex, make that part of class optional. It should be talked about but there should be an alternate assignment. Give students and parents the right to choose if they want to participate in that class discussion. I think it would benefit young gay people and their health if sex was talked about more so young gay people could be more educated on the topic.

My heart goes out to Brian Brown. I strive to never be a man that is controlled by my anger. I hope and pray that he would look deeply into himself and find out why he wants to hurt a minority of people and why he is so strongly for marriage between one man and one woman. I think there is something deeper within him that drives him to act a certain way. May he learn to work that out within himself.

Though I do not agree with Brian Brown or the National Organization for Marriage, I allow them to have a voice. Everyone in the United States is allowed and should have a say. There is a difference between saying something out of opinion and saying something to directly hurt someone or a group of people. Brian Brown supports the Family Research Council calling gay people pedophiles. The Family Research Council has been called a hate group because of such speech. It all comes down to a matter of who are gay people and what are they like. It calls for more people to be open and honest about their sexuality. Some gay people have committed sexual crimes against other people. There is a stigma with Catholic Priests that they will have sex with boys. When a gay person is told that there is not a place for them in the world, that their sexual orientation is a sin, they dedicate themselves to God for their own good and salvation. They try to change and be pure but see no results. I would not put all the blame on the gay priests because they have been trapped to a life of bondage within the church. The church has not let them deal with their sexuality so they fall and have sex with young boys out of sexual frustration and trying to understand. It is not always that they are bad people, they are oppressed and in great need of resources and help because of their sexual orientation. I am saddened when I hear of a gay man raping another. I have a friend who was molested by his leader from church. It is not that these are bad people but it is because they have all of this inner turmoil and it comes out in a negative way. It just continues to show me that I need to be there for the gay men that are hurting and wrestling with their sexuality.

I also found out that Support Freedom to Marry Ohio is planning to have same sex marriage on the ballot for Ohio in 2013. There are different ways to help out . I am honestly considering volunteering to be a part of this movement. It is definitely a step in the right direction and I would love to see marriage equality in my own home state.

I do not write this post to disrespect or downgrade Brian Brown and I honestly respect him as a man and person. He is a man who has drive and determination, good qualities for any man or woman to have. As humans, we are all fallible in one way or another. I am not a perfect man nor will I ever be. I make mistakes just like everyone else. I write this post to be honest about who I am as a man and my world around me. There are people who are uncomfortable with gay people marrying because it is different and there is much debate on it. I totally understand that but please do not write lies about people you do not know and do not like. Please take the time to sit down with a gay man or gay woman and honestly talk with them. Leave all of your preconceived thoughts and notions out of it and truly listen to them. See for yourself a face of the gay community. Let yourself be confronted with reality.

-Josh

(Image Courtesy of Welcome to the New Age via Tumblr)


Respect

As any gay man, I read articles from gay magazines online. Occasionally, I will glance at the comments to see what others think about a certain topic. Usually I find many comments full of name calling from the gay community in opposition to someone who disagrees with them. This truly saddens me. Though we may not agree on sexual orientation and how that plays out within people’s lives, the least we can do is respect them as a person. We are all trying to live our lives to the best of our abilities. When we are disrespectful to people who do not share the same views, we are giving them a reason to not support us. No matter what other people do, may we never stoop down to name calling. I see the word “bigot” even being used so much that it is becoming just another word the gay community uses to name call.

There are many double standards within the gay community. Hopefully over time these will go away. Let us not be people who do not respect those who do not support us when it comes to our sexual orientation. Everyone has to wrestle with the topic of people being gay. For some it is easier than others but we should not judge people who are still on their journey to accepting gay people. Realistically, some people will never accept gay people but that should not discourage us. We need to be a positive example to those who are still wrestling with the topic and/or do not know of anyone personally who is gay. Let the world see that we are good moral citizens just like anyone else but name calling is not going to get us there or anywhere close. It will only close doors.

I encourage us all to be gay men who strive to be the best people we can be. To show respect to those who do not respect us. To be the better man at the end of the day. Though it is tough, those trials will build in us character that we can use for the rest of our lives.

Have a great rest of your week!

-Josh