April 10, 2015

Koreatown Apartment

I miss my apartment,
And the extended family who lived across the way.

Two floors down,
The alley diving us.

They'd have dinner at the same time every night.

I miss my neighborhood,
Not too far from downtown,
But far enough from the glitz & grime of Hollywood.

Just enough,
'Cause when I cruised down the miracle mile,
I never wanted to turn right.

I kept on driving,
Bringing me to the water in Santa Monica.

I miss my apartment,
My Koreatown apartment.

And the fire escape where I wrote in my journal,
And the room where I started my blog,
And the kitchen where I ate cheap food.

Because I was crazy, broke and happy.

I'll be back California,
Don't worry,
Maybe to Los Angeles again,
But probably not.

And there I'll be,
Writing love letters to New York,
Maybe from San Francisco,
Probably from San Francisco.

Saying how I miss my apartment back east.

April 9, 2015

I Lost 50 Pounds. Thanks, Alanis Morissette.

A lot of things in my life have been accidental.

I doubt my mother sat my father down in the summer of 1988 and said, "let's have a baby out of wedlock and see what happens!"

They claim I was planned, but some nights, I wonder if my bastard status inspired me to lead a life of homosexuality?

Just kidding. The thug life chose me, bro.

Last October, my relationship of almost a year came to an end. I spent the next day listening to music from the 1990's and feeling bad for myself, which is expected.

One can only listen to Alanis Morissette so many times before you wish you were the man at 1:12 in the song "Ironic."

I figured I might as well listen to songs while I was running, so I grabbed my gym bag and walked to New York Sports Club in Park Slope.

For an expensive and desirable neighborhood in Brooklyn, the locker room of this location is atrocious. I thought a demon was going to claw its way out of the shower drain and drag me to the deepest pit of Hell. Needless to say, I'm happy to run in Prospect Park once the weather improves.

Over the past few months, I've made changes that added up; running five to six days per week, compared to once or twice; swapping out (rare) sugary beverages for water or club soda; ordering food when I was hungry, rather than if it "looked good."

Six months ago, I was pushing 210 pounds. As an athlete for 13 years, I suppose I was able to carry it somewhat well; probably appearing around 185 pounds.

As a former high school wrestler in one of the higher weight classes, I never really felt the need to be super fit and toned. I had been comfortable with myself, and assumed I was leading a healthy life over the past few years. After I began to run consistently, I realized what a transformation it could be -- and not only for my weight.

My anxiety (and obsessive-compulsive disorder) went down drastically, my skin looked more clear, I was more productive and focused at work and ironically, I had more energy, even after running six or seven miles a day. I feel more creative and spontaneous.

As cliché as it sounds, I started to run because one day of feeling bad about yourself is more than enough.

I understand there is a lot of debate regarding access to healthy food and the cost of a gym membership, but if you're looking to make a change, please consider this:

Parks are free, moderation is free and water is typically free.

So, I'd like to thank a 90's diva (by my standards) for forcing me to leave my bedroom that day. 'Cause I've got one hand in my pocket and the other one is holding a one-liter Schweppes club soda.

And Ms. Morissette, you better believe it's sodium free.

April 8, 2015

Short Story: Buffalo 2088

Abigail wondered why it was the only thing that wasn’t overturned.

She made her way around the massive statue, circling the creature without getting too close, as if she didn’t want to intrude.

“What does this mean?” She asked Kody.

“You know that I don’t know,” he whispered, although they were in a clearing and no one was around.

“I’m not even sure what that thing is. It looks evil.”

"Evil? It does not."

She looked at Kody, and then at the statue, and tried to pull a memory from when she was younger. Was it something she was told? She couldn’t quite put her finger on it, but this thing was of importance. It must have been before the crash.

Did these things, creatures, used to exist?

Her light strawberry blonde hair almost looked white in the direct sunlight. Kody kept his eyes on their discovery, although he would rather sneak glances at the beautiful girl off to his side.

They’d been in the same tribe since the snow melted, but both youth knew that anything romantic was out of the question. The elders who looked after them would not even consider it.

“Let’s go,” Abigail said as she grabbed her bag. “Let’s make our way west so we tell the others. We’ll have to explain why we were alone, too.”

Kody let out a hearty laugh, which surprised him.

“Tell the others? Tell them what, Abigail?”

“What we found. Well, what I found.” She said with a smile on her face.

He couldn’t remember a time when a discovery meant anything good.

April 5, 2015

Short Story: 28th in Galway

“No, it’s the western side of the island,” Brennan muttered into the phone, in a tone he typically reserved for his mother.

“Shouldn’t you be the one to know?”

The café had remained steady throughout the day, but more people started to trickle in as the sun began to set. He hurried her off the phone as he got his things together.

“Love you,” he said. “And sorry. I've just been a little stressed out. I’ll give you a buzz in a few days.”

Brennan wasn’t sure why he’d chosen Galway. And he wasn’t sure why he made the impulsive decision to leave London; he had dinner plans with coworkers a few hours later.

The one-way ticket was a little more expensive than dinner at one of his typical hangouts, so he booked it quickly online and figured out the best time to grab a cab.

“Great. You’re leaving,” he heard a friendly voice say from behind. “I wanted to set up shop for a bit.”

“Oh, yes. There’s a quota on how many Americans can be in here at once,” he answered slyly, without turning around, noticing how the man spoke similar to his mother.

Was he also from New England?

He spun around, and the man seemed at odds with what to say. They both laughed, and a wave of anxiety and curiosity swept over Brennan.

“Fuck the quota,” the man said. “I’ll grab another chair?”

Brennan sat back down, and racked his brain for something interesting and smart to say. Almost instantly, Galway seemed like a bad idea.

March 26, 2015

The Silver Lining of LGBT Bigotry

Similar to many Millennials, and the generations before us, my activism kicked into full swing when I began college in 2007.

It was a glorious and interesting year: The Anaheim Ducks clinched their 1st-ever playoff berth and Volcano, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche, was released.

Wait, sorry. I think that was 1997.

My Alma mater, Canisius College, is a small, Jesuit-institution fueled with liberal and humanitarian beliefs, so I assumed I’d stumble upon a great relationship. My coming out to friends, family and classmates was relatively seamless, so in my mind, it made sense that a healthy and happy courtship was on the horizon.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

Sure, I had some nice relationships and flings, but the worst people I dated in my life were in college. And that’s a good thing. To be fair, the good people I dated were students at Canisius. And my ________ at Canisius. “Ooooops.”

I was advocating for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender rights – a lot of my pursuits based upon LGBT acceptance and legalizing gay marriage – when it hit me.

“What the fuck am I fighting for?”

It was a little surreal to fight for marriage equality in New York, and nationally, while I was dating assholes who would make terrible husbands. The more I wrote, and planned, and protested, I thought: What type of man do I want to marry? What type of person represents the ideals of a (generally) happy marriage?

And further, what type of qualities would make me a great husband? I was in my early 20’s, so needless to say, I wasn’t the ideal partner, either. Weren’t we all so awesome as college sophomores?

When I mention LGBT bigotry, I’d never like to suggest that hate crimes have a silver lining attached to them, but I suppose as an undercover minority (I’m white! I’m male! I live in Park Slope!), I’ve seen the juxtapose of initially being accepted by some people, and then ignored or disrespected. I’ve had to see the silver lining in a lot of bad situations; many, or most, outside of my identity in the LGBT community.

As a Millennial, I was raised on the cusp of the of the gay rights movement. In a weird way, I thank the political bigots who are against same-sex marriage in helping me understand what I want out of a husband, a marriage and a family.

That being said, I will never disrespect the gay activists of the past and marry an asshole.

March 9, 2015

Road Trip

It was the late 1990's,
Buffalo was back east,
The van veered,
And came to a stop,
Somewhere near the California border.

A hushed argument,
If there is such a thing,
And everything outside looked dusty.

It wasn't even time for dinner yet.

"Take half. And get out."
I'm driving, you said.
We'll figure it out ourselves, you said.

"We aren't going to Disney anymore?"

As the money was counted,
I thought to myself,
Does it cost that much to travel for two weeks?

It got a little louder, but in a short time,
The money was put back in the glove box.

"You're done, right?"

We arrived home a few weeks later,
And when I was asked about my favorite part of the trip,
I lied and said Disney.

December 18, 2014

Michelle Obama: Target Employee of the Year

There's no place for racism, sexism, homophobia or any form of discrimination in the world. 

There's also no place for talking crap about my hometown of Buffalo, but I try to let that one side.

In a recent interview with People, the Obama's opened up about racism in their own lives. While I am not undermining the terrible things that have happened to them, or the everyday racism that occurs in the United States, I found one of her quotes a little upsetting:

"I tell this story - I mean, even as the first lady - during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn't see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn't anything new."

Why is this quote upsetting? Well, she had a completely different spin on the situation a few years ago when she appeared on Late Show With David Letterman:

"I thought I was undercover. I have to tell you something about this trip though. No one knew that was me because a woman actually walked up to me, right? I was in the detergent aisle, and she said - I kid you not - she said, 'Excuse me, I just have to ask you something,' and I thought, 'Oh, cover's blown.' She said, 'Can you reach on that shelf and hand me the detergent?" I kid you not ... And the only thing she said - I reached up, 'cause she was short, and I reached up, pulled it down - she said, 'Well, you didn't have to make it look so easy.' That was my interaction. I felt so good ... She had no idea who I was. I thought, as soon as she walked up - I was with my assistant, and I said, 'This is it, it's over. We're going to have to leave.' She just needed the detergent."

You can watch the clip here.

This article is dedicated to anyone who asked me for fashion advice in 2009. Back then, I thought you were just asking a friend, but now I know what you really meant. 

You were only asking because I am gay. You homophobes.

December 10, 2014

Holly Jolly GUMBO Party at Galapagos Art Space


The GUMBO dudes, Casey Fitzpatrick & Ben Harvey, are throwing their 5th annual party at Galapagos Art Space on Friday, December 12th. I've been attending these events ever since I moved from Los Angeles three years ago, and I always have an awesome time!


Some highlights:


- Home of the original GUMBO NYC party
- DJs: Bradley Stern (MuuMuse) & Jon Ali
- Dirty Sugar photo booth holiday cards
- Free ExoFab cases for first 50 guests
- Free Underwear Expert underwear for early birds
- Free haircuts from sexy singer/stylist, L.Be
- Drink specials all-night
- To reserve a table for 10+ on the indoor lake, email gumbonyc@gmail.com


Galapagos Art Space

16 Main Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn
F to York | A to High | 1 stop into BK
$10 before midnight


Friday, December 12, 2014 

9:00pm - 2:00am

This will be their last event at Galapagos, as the space is relocating to Detroit. The GUMBO dudes had this to say regarding the move:


"Five years ago 100 gays came together to drink, dance, and mingle at a birthday party under the Brooklyn Bridge at Galapagos Art Space. That night was the beginning of a gay party in DUMBO and the inspiration for GUMBO NYC events, which now pop-out all over New York City. There have been countless special moments, but stand outs for us include the hilarious photo shoots by dirty sugar photography, the time Sky Ferreira rocked out to a sold out crowd, The House of Ninja's epic floguing performance, our signature live haircuts by the sexy L.Be, and of course our DJs who always get the night ending right with a sea of gays dancing on the Galapagos stage. We don't know what's planned for the venue, but we hope it lives on - and maybe this won't be the end of (Gay.DUMBO.Party!), but rather just a new beginning!"


You can buy advance tickets here and RSVP on Facebook.


Invite design: Made In Forest Hills

October 24, 2014

Gays And Lesbians Face Retirement Crisis


A new report from SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) finds that LGBT Americans experience more problems approaching retirement in comparison to their heterosexual elders.

SAGE, the largest group in the nation that advocates for LGBT elders, and Harris Poll surveyed 1,857 LGBT and 519 non-LGBT people between the ages of 45 t0 75.

"There is a retirement crisis for older LGBT people. They face some of the same things other older Americans face, but they're exacerbated by their particular circumstances," said Michael Adams, SAGE's executive director.

Some insight from the survey:

27% believe that volunteer or work opportunities will no longer be open to them if others know their sexual orientation or gender identity.

36% of older LGBT people (and 43% of single LGBT people) say their health care providers don't know their sexual orientation, which may lead to discrimination, if revealed.

43% of older LGBT people are very or extremely concerned they won't be able to deal with unexpected, major emergencies in retirement, compared to 30% on non-LGBT older people.

One highlight found that 14% of LGBT elders are likely to mentor others, compared to 7% of non-LGBT older people.

Please click here to read the comprehensive report.

September 3, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Allows Gay Group to March in New York City

On Wednesday, the organziers of the New York City St. Patrick's Day Parade said they will be lifting the ban on gay groups participating in the march.

Gays were allowed to march in the past, but were unable to carry anything identifying them as a group. What?

This year, Mayor Bill de Blasio had once again threatened to boycott the parade if the ban wasn't lifted. The organizers were also facing pressure from NBC Universal, which broadcasts the parade.

“Organizers have diligently worked to keep politics—of any kind—out of the Parade in order to preserve it as a single and unified cultural event,” the Parade Committee said in a statement. “Paradoxically, that ended up politicizing the Parade. This grand cultural gem has become a target for politicization that it neither seeks nor wants because some groups could join the march but not march with their own banner.

“This change of tone and expanded inclusiveness is a gesture of goodwill to the LGBT community in our continuing effort to keep the parade above politics as it moves into its 253rd year, all the while remaining loyal to church teachings and the principles that have guided the parade committee for so many decades.”

Fun fact: The acceptance rate of gay marriage in Ireland (76%) is higher than America (55%)! Well, I suppose this isn't necessarily a "fun" fact. Let me try this again.

Fun fact: The image above was taken when I visited Dublin last year!

The parade committee also announced that OUT@NBCUniversal, an LGBT support group, will be the first gay group to march in the parade on March 17, 2015.

It will be the first time a gay group will be allowed to march under its own banner in the parade's 252-year history.

Bill O'Reilly, a spokesperson for the organizers, said that other groups will be free to apply in the future.

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