Long time…no post

My apologies to everybody who has been regularly following my blog content. I have taken a few weeks off from blogging to focus on my mental health.

On that topic, I want to touch on the importance of mental health. For me, I am working in a field where it is mentally taxing. Adding COVID-19 onto that has been mentally tough on me. I have also been working hard on the first draft of my second novel. With trying to put my life experiences into these works, I had to dig deep into a place where I had to relive the trauma I dealt with, challenging all on its own. As much as I’ve forgiven the people who have caused this pain from these experiences, it is still tough to relive it. It feels as though you take the healed wound and cut right back into the place that was hurting the most and inflicting pain on the area you spent so much time and energy into healing. With all of this, plus seasonal depression and trying my best, I struggle to make time for myself and a consistent time to write my books.

After much reflection, I will still be posting my movie beatdowns regularly. However, my content that is intended to be educational will no longer be posted every Sunday. Instead, it will be posted when a post develops. I need to dedicate my time to what matters, which is taking time for myself and continuing to work on my novels. I have been dealing with a lot of writer’s block. Not because I have no ideas on where to take the story further. I am just feeling unmotivated due to my hectic day job and my inability to go outside and exercise/take in the fresh air.

Mental health is essential to me, and I will be discussing it further in a future post, I’m sure of it. I just want you all to know that I am so blessed and grateful to have a fanbase full of readers who appreciate my mission to put the gay in horror. I will continue to do that, but I will be doing it in a way where I’m not biting off more than I can chew. My main goal is to write books so that I could eventually make a career out of it so that I can develop the time to post weekly content for you all and provide educational and informative content to this blog continuously. I do apologize if this comes as a disappointment to you, if you look forward to my more serious content on Sundays. I hope you at least understand that it is more about my mental health, and less about neglecting you all.

Thank you all for the love and support! Your letters of encouragement and support have meant so much to me. More than anybody will understand. I promise that my movie beatdowns will keep you all entertained and hopefully laugh in these challenging times. I will continue to work my butt off!

Stay safe, and have a great week!

Also, my debut novel “Cardinal Rules” is out for preorder! Go to the Books tab, and order your copy for my release in March 12th…which is coming up soon! I will let you know that when I decided to start writing my novels, I made a commitment to highlight the true horrors of society and twist it with the classic slasher elements. “Cardinal Rules” will briefly include the topic of racism in this story, so preorder your copy today!

Cardinal Rules

Image ISN’T Everything-Part 2

Hello everyone! Today we will be tackling another aspect of the topic of image issues within the LGBT community. Last week, we tackled body shaming. This week, we will dig deep into a worse problem, Racism. I am well aware that I am a white male and recognize my privilege because I have been through a lot of crap in my life. It would be much worse if I were a queer person of color. My heart breaks for every person that has experienced Racism. It’s wrong, and it needs to end.

Believe it or not, Racism exists from the civil rights movements in the sixties and seventies to the most recent unfortunate events with Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. And what is more shocking is that within a community that is begging for acceptance throughout society, there is Racism within our community also. In the United States, ethnic minority LGBT individuals may find themselves in a double minority, in which they are neither entirely accepted nor understood by mainly white LGBT communities, nor are they fully taken by their ethnic group. Many people experience Racism in the dominant LGBT community in which racial stereotypes merge with gender stereotypes; for example, Asian-American LGBT people are often stereotyped by Westerners as more passive and feminine, while African-American LGBT people are stereotyped as more aggressive. 

EDITORIAL: Recognizing discrimination can help end violence against trans  people – The Columbia Chronicle

One of the most common phrases that are said throughout the community, particularly on dating apps, is “No Fats, No Fems, No Asians.” Coming from the era when this phrase became mainstream, it was disheartening that gay people didn’t give anybody within the Asian community a chance to even have a simple conversation. I met a man at a party once when I was in college. He was a gay, Asian male. I prodded a little further and asked him how he felt when he would see or hear that comment. I remember the one comment that resonated in my head ten years later. “Being Asian within our community, I get judged right away for being feminine. They diminish my manhood before they even try to know my name.” Hearing that was upsetting. Many people complain about being judged before they get to know them, but there is so much demasculinization that occurs based on the color of somebody’s skin. I know white gay men complained about their upbringing when being categorized as a “fairy” or “one of the girls”, but these types of people are guilty of committing the same social crime.

Bay Area Reporter :: LGBT Asians mobilize in face of coronavirus-related  racism
Our Values - GAPIMNY

In the black community, there are a lot of stereotypes that still exist. One of them is standard amongst straights. Of course, they are often looked at as “thugs” or “gangsters,” which is entirely wrong. I’m going to say this right here and now…evil has no color. I have been beaten and robbed once before in my life. The person who committed that crime…white! Stop assuming that somebody is the wrong person based on the color of their skin. The other stereotype that happens within the gay community is the assumption that black people are more likely to spread HIV, which is ridiculous! Again, the disease spreads from irresponsibility…not because of a particular skin color!

Are white LGBT people really less racist than their cisgender, straight  counterparts?

The last group that I’m going to touch upon which isn’t looked at as a critical issue compared to other races is the black transgender community. Transgender POC also are particularly vulnerable to health disparities. The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey looked at the experiences of over 28,000 transgender people in the United States, but the survey also broke down the experiences for transgender people of color. Black transgender individuals were more likely than their black cisgender counterparts to experience unemployment (20% vs. 10%) and poverty (38% vs. 24%). They were more likely to experience homelessness compared with the overall transgender sample (42% vs. 30%) and more likely to have been sexually assaulted in their lives (53% vs. 47%). Understandably, 67% of black transgender respondents said they would feel somewhat or very uncomfortable asking the police for help. The reality of the situation with transgender individuals is rotten, and it needed to end yesterday along with all of the racism! It’s 2021 for goodness sake!

All Black Lives Matter: a march for LGBTQ and racial justice - Los Angeles  Times

There are many more racial minorities that experienced Racism within our community. I could probably list something with every race that is known to the world.

My message for you all is simple…cut the crap! We need to face the fact that Racism exists even in our community. We need to be supportive of everybody, not just the people that you want to support! We need to make our judgments of people based on who they are with the qualities of their character instead of what they are with what you see on the outside.

Survey on acceptance in Indonesia gives hopes to LGBT community - National  - The Jakarta Post

I also want to point out one more frustration that I hear many times when Racism happens. People are called out for a comment or opinion made about a person or a situation that happened to their community. That person then responds with the stupid comment of “I’m not racist. I have a friend who is black!” Just because you know somebody with skin color opposite to yours and you had a short conversation or two with them doesn’t make you their “friend.” I don’t care if you have a friend that has a different skin color than you! In this day and age, if you are not racist, you claim not to be, you need to be an advocate. You need to stop Racism if it happens in front of you. It would help if you educated the ignorant.

Once we can uplift every single person(and I do mean everybody), then we will be much stronger with fighting for the one thing we all deserve from society at the minimum…our dignity!

Thank you all for taking the time to read this post. This topic means a lot to me because I’m just completely sick to death of all the hypocrisy within our community. This may be an uncomfortable topic to acknowledge, but these types of conversations NEED to happen so that we can point out our flaws and hopefully change for a better tomorrow. Not just for you, or me, but everybody.

Next Sunday, we will continue this series of image and I will dig into another aspect of this issue.

Also, my debut novel “Cardinal Rules” is out for preorder! Go to the Books tab, and order your copy for my release in March! I will let you know that when I decided to start writing my novels, I made a commitment to highlight the true horrors of society and twist it with the classic slasher elements. “Cardinal Rules” will briefly include the topic of racism in this story, so preorder your copy today!

Cardinal Rules

Image ISN’T Everything-Part 1

Hello everybody!

Today will be a sensitive topic that everybody is guilty of at one time in their lives, regardless if you identify as LGBTQIA+. For the community’s focus, I will only talk about it within my community, more specifically with gay men. We have all, at one point in our lives, made a judgment of a person based on what they looked like. I am not talking about race in this situation, even though that is an issue I will touch on later. These judgments are based on what you see right in front of you. I’m going to dig more specifically on the issue of weight.

Do you notice in most Pride celebrations or even gay bars, some groups usually have the same look. Either being skinny, muscley, attractive, etc… At times, you feel like you are back in high school as these groups observe every ounce of your appearance.

hot-guys-of-coachella | The Authentic Gay

Did you know that with all of the population of individuals who have checked into a rehab facility for eating disorders, 5% are male? Of that 5%, 42% of those men identify as LGBT. Gay men are seven times more likely to report binging and twelve times more likely to report purging than heterosexual males. Why are these numbers so high?

Gay and Bisexual Men Have Higher Rates of Disordered Eating | The Fenway  Institute - Center for Population Research in LGBT Health

According to the same statistics, the most common reason these gay men admit to eating disorders is community standards.

Well, coming from experience, as much as the LGBTQIA community begs for acceptance and love from society, we have a long way to go with accepting each other. I had had my fair share of comments made to me about my appearance. My weight was one of them. It’s funny because I was very skinny in my early twenties when I actually gave a shit about what people thought of me. I stayed skinny due to some genetics, excessive drinking, and skipping a lot of meals. I cared so much about what people thought of me because I just wanted to be accepted, even loved. I would do whatever it took to make that happen as far as appearance is concerned.

Back when I was single, you would look at dating profiles, like Grindr. This was the only social outlet when it first came out that was also used to find friends (not too often, since there is one main motive on this app.), and on this app, there would be profiles that would literally say, No FATS! I understand that everybody has a sexual type, but why promote it? Why put it front and center on the profile to lock anybody out of a general conversation?

Gay Body Image: Evaluating the Emotional Connection Between Body Image and  Gay Men

The sad reality is this: The community bases their interactions with people based on if they are physically attractive more than their character qualities. Even though they may or may not have a future with them sexually, they base the opinions on that. Trust me; I have had my share of conversations with these people back in the day openly admitted to these statements. I am aware that not everyone has these mentalities. This is more frequent in the young adult categories and slowly fades with age but never completely. Some may disagree with that statement because the older we get, our ability to give a damn about other people’s perceptions fade. It’s not noticed as much.

Now, I’m not saying that I am a saint with this either. I made my share of judgments when I was in my early twenties for the same reason, but only for dating purposes. I shorty realized soon after that the people you cast judgment on have feelings too and struggle to survive in this harsh world we live in to feel loved for who they are. We all have our moments of ignorance and immaturity. After all…we are human!

Let’s not put down people based on being overweight, forcing them to be crushed and feel unwelcome and potentially causing them to make the poor decision to have an eating disorder. You are not only looking like a complete jerk, but you are endangering the victim’s life. Yes, it’s the choice of the individual to go on this dangerous path. But you are essentially pulling the trigger! Causing somebody to skip a meal or purge not only validates their destructive choices but causes long-term problems with their health. Why can’t we make friends for who they are instead of what they are? Can’t we make friends with people who aren’t fit, have a great time with them, and let them go home and eat whatever they want to when it’s all over?

I compare many what the younger community handles conversations with each other like “Mean Girls.” There are cliques that don’t respect each other. They belittle people based on small, unnecessary qualities that shouldn’t matter. There are more qualities that the community judges each other apart from the size, which I will be tackling little by little with each new post in the coming weeks.

Here’s another fun fact! Gay men who feel connected to other gay men have a lower eating disorder rate, suggesting that having a sense of belonging to a community has a “protective effect.” So, let me make a suggestion…make everybody feel welcome despite their appearance and drop the immature shallowness that our community keeps shedding!

This Underwear Line Just Launched a Body-Positive, Trans-Inclusive Campaign  (Photos) | Hornet, the Gay Social Network

We need to normalize body positivity and only allow individuals to choose to lose weight for health reasons and not because of societal standards. Every person in this world has a quality of character that is essential for you to learn from, both positive and negative. So cut the crap!

Next Sunday, I will tackle another part of the image subject that gets discriminated against in our community. Stay tuned!

Also, my debut novel “Cardinal Rules” is out for preorder! Go to the Books tab, and order your copy for my release in March!

Cardinal Rules

Take care!

How Brady got his groove back…financially!

Hello everybody!

Today’s topic will not be about anything LGBTQIA. The only thing relating to the subject is the person this is about. Me. My apologies if this disappoints you.

This week, I did something that ended a chapter of my life that I have been struggling with for many years…I paid off my student loans. As excited and satisfied as I am to put such a damaging experience behind me, I wanted to take a moment and briefly stroll down memory lane and explain to you why this has been an experience that I will never want to endure again.

I was a senior in high school and still needed to solidify a path that I wanted to take with my life. I grew up in a generation where our educators and elders had drilled it into our heads that “If you don’t go to college, you will not be successful,” or “You will end up flipping burgers for the rest of your life if you don’t go to college!”. Falling into the pressures of society, and for personal accomplishment, I was dedicated to getting a college degree. I struggled with the idea of either writing, teaching, or fashion design. After many sleepless nights, I went with my heart and decided to go for fashion design. The next step after that was to figure out where I was going to go. Growing up in a small town that, at the time, did not embrace a slightly feminine and creative person like me. I’m not going to go into full details of the torment I experienced since that is not the topic’s focus. But, I wanted to get as far away as I could. However, I am very close to my mother and siblings; I couldn’t leave them behind and go to another side of the country. I didn’t think that it would be a healthy transition for them or myself. I decided to go to school at a university that was roughly three and a half hours away. Being far away from my hometown to start fresh, but close enough to come home if I’m needed or if I needed them.

I had a great first year of school, especially since this was the year I finally came out of the closet and chose to live my fullest life as my authentic self. I was enjoying my classes and met some fantastic people that I valued deeply. But, of course, with every experience comes the fine print of the contract. That, I’m talking about student loans. Being an out of state student that was minutes from the border in a state that didn’t offer reciprocity, I was responsible for paying roughly $30,000 in tuition and costs.

Luckily(to some extent), I had work-study that paid for a decent chunk of the costs where I worked at a bowling alley on campus, which was tons of fun! I also had over half of my tuition covered by grants. I still had my fair share of federal student loans though. One loan that I had that was my demise was a parent PLUS loan that my mother had to sign for me to finish off my costs. My mom signed the first year of the loans, which I believe equaled to about $4,000. I’m not sure of the charges since it was the first loan that I decided to pay off many years ago. My mom was apprehensive to sign the loan, to begin with, with her credit being affected and unable to make payments while I was in school. She ended up signing for it to help cover the remainder of my costs.

In the second year of college, I was eager to get back. I dealt with a traumatizing summer living back in my hometown where, long story short, I was treated even worse than I ever had been as an out gay person. I packed all of my belongings and canceled my dorm contract for the year, and just signed a lease with a friend for an apartment so that I could stay yearly. My sophomore year was not the best year for me. I had more challenging classes that I managed to pass by the skin of my teeth. I was sick the entire first semester and was burned out and stressed trying to figure out how to adapt to a fully responsible life in renting an apartment for the first time. By the time it was a couple of weeks before finals, I had noticed that I was still short $8,000 on my tuition bill. Being too distracted with my semester of 21 credits and working while sick, I didn’t realize it. I looked up the loan issue and found out that my mother didn’t want to sign for another year of student loans, especially with an amount that practically doubled in cost for one semester alone. After discussing with her, she didn’t feel comfortable adding that amount of debt to her credit and wanted to stop signing the loan and adding more money to her debt.

Am I upset? Not in the least. I understand that loans are a huge undertaking, and trusting in somebody else to pay them off for you would make me apprehensive. If the shoe was on the other foot, I would have the same reservations. To this date, I never held that against my mother.

Unfortunately, I had two weeks to find somebody to cosign this loan. Of course, nobody wanted to. I also didn’t know the other options at the time, being only nineteen and not aware of the financial end of college. Due to the inability to fund my spring semester, I had no other choice but to drop out of college and move back to my hometown.

I was devastated that my educational journey was pulled away from me. I come from a humble, blue-collared family, where we work very hard for everything. I busted my butt in college and was even on track to graduate a year early. Some classmates took their experience for granted and partied the entire time, and didn’t care about failing classes since their parents were paying for it. With my frustration towards myself and these ungrateful people I knew, I fell into a deep depression. I became irresponsible with saving the money I earned working a minimum wage job at the place I worked at in high school. I wasn’t paying my bills and eventually started couch surfing until I moved back to my college town since there were more employment options, and I knew the area well. I also didn’t want to deal with daily ridicule from the closed minded comments I heard every day. Yes, you read that right…I moved from my hometown to my college town three times! I knew it was a crazy idea, but it was the only shot I had at the time.

I lived in my college town for an additional three years. I worked more minimum wage jobs in foodservice and retail while couch surfing for the first year until I had my own apartment with a friend. Through that experience, I met some fantastic people in my jobs that I still consider as family. I didn’t have a car or a driver’s license, so I spent all but a week or two with these people. I couldn’t make it home for the holidays, so I spent it with them. I felt like I had the social experience that I couldn’t allow myself to have in college. I would party and have a good time with people who fully embraced me as who I am. Unfortunately, there was a price for this.

As much fun as I had with my friends, my depression dug me deeper into a point of no return. Partying turned into excessive drug usage and drinking. I also was receiving threatening phone calls multiple times a day from debt collectors, where they yelled and threatened me, even at work. On top of it, I was still not paying a dime on my loans. I would only send the bare minimum to my mother on her loan if I had any leftovers from my habits on my minimum wage salary. I also wasn’t paying my rent on time and relied on the kindness of others to carry me through the expenses. Long story short, my drug habits got me into deep trouble. I ended up eventually homeless, to the point where I slept in a park for a couple of days. Let me tell you, nothing is more diminishing than sleeping in a slide to protect yourself from the cold rain.

Eventually, I saw myself for who I was—a leech. Feeling ashamed for the habits that I allowed myself to integrate into my life, I decided to move back home. My mom picked me up and moved me back. At this point, I had very little to my name and was physically emaciated from eating little and sleeping minimally. I only stayed with her for a short period to rest and eat up before moving to a bigger town conveniently closer to family, but had options for employment. I chose to move out of home quickly to prove to myself that I could do this, this time without roommates or friends to carry me. I needed the redemption in knowing that I could be the responsible person I was before I allowed myself to become complacent and develop horrible habits. I worked in retail, sometimes even a second job, finally started chipping away at my mom’s loan, eventually paying it off within two or so years. I was glad to pay her loan off and no longer burden her with my debt that I was irresponsible with managing. Shortly after, I received a final notice in the mail. My $8,000 that was supposed to be signed by my mom was turned into unpaid tuition that eventually went into collections, and over the past six years with interest has grown into $15,000. Not knowing my rights as a borrower and still allowing them to take advantage of me, I made arrangements for a payment plan. It was a ridiculously high amount, but at this time, I was living with my husband, and I didn’t feel like I was alone with the bills. I also found a better job that paid much more and it wasn’t in retail. I also enlisted the help of a credit counselor who assisted with breaking down finances and my rights as a borrower, so I knew what the debt collectors could and couldn’t get away with. I was able to be knowledgeable with how they can talk to me, and stopped them from the harassment once and for all. I paid the minimum amount and saved every penny, paying off that debt off within two years. I celebrated that victory by getting our cat. That celebration was short-lived since I had received yet, another notice about all of the other loans that I had taken out that I haven’t even started paying. It was another $11,000. Luckily, with my taxes being garnished for the past nine years, I had it whittled down to $7,000. I worked hard at paying that amount off next.

And that’s where I stand here today!

The reason why I wanted to bring this topic up is for a few reasons. Yes, it’s a harsh burden on everybody when they take out loans. These loans almost killed me at some point. As much as I take full responsibility for my actions with my addictions, I think my journey wouldn’t have spiraled as far out of control with them threatening me every day. I have been off drugs for many years and haven’t had a drop of alcohol for two years, so to finally detoxify the one thing from my twenties held me back is a very gratifying experience.

I also want to express gratitude for everybody who has put up with my irresponsible self. In particular, my mom is one hell of a lady for tolerating my moving as I struggled and my neglect for paying her loan off. The one thing that I appreciate in my mom and something that most parents should have is the ability to love their child unconditionally, no matter how much she may have not agreed with my decisions. Not only did she do that, but she motivated me to be better. She didn’t hold my hand and enable my habits. She was tough when she needed to be and supportive when she had to. It was a perfect balance so that I didn’t take advantage of her, and she didn’t leave me completely in the dark. She didn’t have to be supportive…she chose it. And, for that, I am forever thankful. We may disagree on certain aspects of life, and we may argue. But by the end of the day, I love and value the qualities she expressed during my dark times. I am also grateful for my husband, who believed in me through this process even when I didn’t believe in myself at times.

I also want to send a message to any kids that are reading this and are considering college. Even if you want to pack up and get away to a faraway place, weigh out your financial options. Go to a community college to cheapen your bills and not take out an arm and a leg for your general education credits, and THEN transfer to where you want to go and pay the big bucks for the credits toward your major. Also, if you don’t know what you want to do with your life, don’t go to college right away then! The cost of college has sky rocketed even since I went to college twelve years ago. Don’t waste your money on something that your heart is not fully invested in. I also support the idea of going to college later in life. You have some time to find yourself and figure out what you want to do, and financially you are more aware of the risks of failing a class. Thus, taking college more seriously. You are also more knowledge in reading the fine print of student loans, instead of blindly signing the contract at eighteen not knowing a damn thing about it. Also, don’t listen to society’s standards for advancing your education. Only do it if you want to or if the career path you want requires it.

If you are struggling with your finances, just know that there will be a day that the misery will end. Your hard work will pay off if you work hard and believe that you can do it. I’m not saying that it will be easy. It will be worth it when you look back and realize that you just climbed one of the biggest and most challenging mountains of your life! Don’t be overwhelmed like I was and neglect it either. It will only make you fall into a deeper hole that will only be a worse situation to overcome.

I am very proud of the journey that I took that got me here. Based on my story that you just read, you would assume that I would have regrets…but I don’t. I wouldn’t be as wise as I am and as resilient as I have become without these extremely tough moments. It really does take for somebody to hit rock bottom to motivate them to become the best version of themselves. Losing everything makes you know how far you’ve come and where you never want to end up again. Just remember that in most challenges you face in your life, you are your own problem…and your solution.

Whose the man? I’m the man!

Happy Sunday!
Today, I will briefly talk about a question that I’ve received since I came out over ten years ago that still gets asked regularly and hasn’t irritated me any less.
“So, are you the man or the woman?”
This question has many different meanings behind it. It derives typically from people who identify as straight, and additionally not aware of the LGBTQIA+ community. I always take a peaceful approach to the situation, as I am aware that some people don’t know the boundaries of what is okay to ask somebody like me. Here is my short answer:
“I’m a man.”
Usually, when this question is asked, it’s related to bedroom talk. Who is giving/who is receiving. The first point of my answer is what I would also tell people. It’s none of their business. What I choose to do behind my private life’s closed doors is only the business of myself and the person I choose to be with. People would then assume that if there were feminine qualities in a gay person, they would be considered the “woman” in their eyes. Again, most people are wrong.
It may come as a surprise to you, but gender has no right or wrong definition. Even the most butch or masculine people may be a little more on the submissive side. And even the more feminine individuals may have a preference to be more of the dominating type. I don’t want to go too much into detail since this is a conversation that can be had more personally, and I do have a lot of allies that I don’t want to make anybody feel uncomfortable with forcing bedroom talk.
Even in regards to just relationship structure, you may be surprised that what you assume their qualities would be translatable in how they handle themselves in a relationship. Don’t assume.
What I will leave with you is this. I am a man. I identify as one. I have male parts. I prefer he/him preferences. Who gives a hoot what my choice is. Just because they are not your idea of “normal,” meaning a straight couple, doesn’t make me less of a man. If you see somebody with a different gender identity or preferences, it doesn’t make them less of who they want to be. So I am going to cut to the chase and tell you an even shorter answer if you have any curiosity to this question if you know of somebody who identifies as LGBTQIA+:
“It’s none of your business. Stop asking.”

On a different subject, my debut novel, Cardinal Rules will be making its debut on March 12th. There will be an upcoming post with a summary of the plot and cover.
Keep yourself in tune with my blog by joining me every(sometimes every other) Thursday for my Horror Movie Beatdown, where I will be breaking down movies. I will summarize, humorize, and maybe even crystalize(not really) a select film from my gay point of view. Trust me. It will be a lot of fun!
Also, if you have any topics you want me to discuss on my Sunday posts, which tend to be on the more serious side of LGBTQIA+ issues, reach out to me in the “Contact” section of my website and drop an email on what you would like for me to talk about. I try not to go too deep into the talks…I’m just getting you all warmed up!
Stay horrific!