Category: show the love

sotd: City and Colour – Lover Come Back (acoustic)

Good God, I love this man. His voice is so pure and unflinchingly beautiful, it hits to the very core of my being when I hear him sing. This is a song off of his upcoming album, If I Should Go Before You, which, needless to say, I am greatly anticipating. I have read, and after hearing the first four songs, that he is going in a bit of a different, more hardened direction, where there are less acoustically driven songs, but I love everything that I have heard so far, and I know it will be like the rest of his stuff… simply amazing. I am excited for whatever direction Dallas takes us in… wherever we are going, I am there!

I’m coming out… I want the world to know…

Today is National Coming Out day! Today is a great day in which we look to our fellow gay community to celebrate being who you are, and letting everyone know how proud you are to be who you are. Coming out is the best way to not only be yourself, but also to bring visibility to the gay community as a whole; people get to see just how many of us there are among them. Coming out is a celebration, and a giant step in the life of any gay man, lesbian woman, trans individual, bisexual person, or questioning person.

Let’s not forget, however, that coming out is an intensely powerful statement, not only to oneself, but also to those around them. Coming out to yourself is a monumental step for every single LGBTQ person, and it is one that often takes years of struggle, soul searching, and coming to terms with your own identity. There are those of us that find it easy to come out, and there are those of us that struggle for years, even a lifetime, to either come out to ourselves, or to those around us (or both). Some people struggle with this more than others, and remember, especially on days like this, that they deserve our love and support, because they are grappling with understanding and embracing their very fundamental being.

I write about this so that people who have not come out, and thus cannot fully and truly understand the powerful ramifications coming out has to a queer person, can better grasp the magnitude of such a statement. I also write about this, so that we can share in understanding just how much of a celebration this day should be; and anyone’s coming out day, for that matter.

I. Am. Gay. While it’s something that seems so small and innocent, it is in fact something that is not only hard to say, but it can be almost impossible to accept for oneself, as well as for those around them.

Honor those that speak loudly about who they are, and be proud of those that represent us in the public eye. Applaud and celebrate those that find themselves, and are out and proud as gay, lesbian, trans, bi, and queer individuals; I can assure you that they did not come to this place lightly, and being who you are takes a ton of courage. This is something that should be celebrated when it happens for anyone, because it marks a monumental phase in someone’s life; the moment when they are finally free to be who they are. Never let yourself fall into the space of questioning why someone has not come out if you believe them to be LGBTQ, because coming out isn’t as easy for everyone; trust me, it took me quite a while to get here myself.

So let’s celebrate today for what it is; a statement, a purpose, an understanding that someone finally get’s to be themselves. There really is no better feeling than the moment when you can finally say to yourself, and to the world…

I’m gay and proud, damn it!

…AND, I want everyone to know!! Happy Coming Out day, everyone!

10 years

Back in 2003, I had this friend. He and I were pretty close, but little did I know, we were about to get closer. He was sort of “tricked” into confessing that he liked me more than a friend, and with this information, I decided to see where it might go. We were worried that it had the potential to ruin an amazing friendship, but sometimes, the risk is worth it.

This time it paid off.

10 years

Yesterday, September 14, 2013, James and I celebrated our 10th anniversary. We have been through some amazing times and some not so amazing times, but I couldn’t imagine a better partner to have at my side than him. He makes me laugh, he consoles me when I cry, he has stood by my side, and has been there with me through some pretty hard times. We have been on this journey for 10 years, and while there have been ups and downs, the journey has been amazing. I truly hope that this is the beginning of a lifetime together.

I love you James. You are the best partner that anyone could ever hope to have in life; and I am lucky enough to call you mine.

Duane Moody, RN

I just found out today that I am a registered nurse. I took the NCLEX yesterday, which is the board certification test for becoming a RN, and even though I haven’t received the results yet, the Georgia Board of Nursing has already posted my status as an active registered nurse with a license number and everything (this must really bug the company that provides the NCLEX, because they require you to pay $8 to find out your results 48 hours after the test… which is apparently now unnecessary if you can find out that you are an RN, because obviously if so, then you passed it). I was a bit freaked out, because it was HARD. I had the minimum number of questions (75), and when it shut off, I felt my heart sink; did I pass or fail? Well, it looks like I did fine!

To describe how I feel in one word, it would be surreal. This has been a long, frustrating, trying, and completely exhausting journey. I never thought I would do this. There was a time I never thought I’d actually get into nursing school, and then I did. There was a time I never thought I’d graduate from nursing school, because of how fucking hard it was, and then I did. There was a time when I prepared, not so long ago, for the monster that is the NCLEX, and I was worried I wouldn’t pass it, and then I did. There was a time when I wanted to be a nurse, and now, I am one.

Duane Moody, RN.

Like I said, it’s all a bit surreal. An almost 5 year journey is complete. As I sit here, excited to take the next steps and get a job as a RN, I can only reflect on just what I have gone through to get to today. Let me tell you, it was A LOT. Those that listened to me complain about nursing school; THANK YOU for listening. I can’t tell you how much appreciate all of your friendships and your patience. To James, who put up with more than anyone, I thank you the most; after all, I know I was more than hard to deal with for more than a little while now. I love you, and appreciate all of the patience and loving support you have shown me during this very difficult journey.

It’s finally all done, and yet, this is a beginning at the same time; and I am ready to move forward. Excited, even! Let’s go nurse something!

tonight, I finish with nursing school…

Tonight, I am going to my pinning ceremony for nursing school. I think that it is pretty amazing that this is also the same date as Florence Nightingale’s birthday; as she is the woman who pioneered modern nursing. This is the ceremonial passing of the torch to us, transitioning us from nursing students, into nurses. Being an anthropologist, I respect the rites of passage and need for ritual in culture, so I look forward to participating in my own rite of passage this evening.

With that being said, this has been one HELL of a journey. I started taking pre-requisites back in 2007 (!) when I made the decision that I wanted to leave my job and become a nurse. Many classes, and OH SO MUCH frustration later, I am about to walk across the stage and be pinned as a graduate nurse. I can’t say as it has sunk in that much for me yet, because I keep finding myself going and checking grades for this final semester just to be sure that this is indeed real, and that yes, we are finally done.

This has been an intense, very long journey, and I have been so long ready for today. Now, I can’t wait to go and take my board exam, get my RN license and finally become a registered nurse. People keep telling me congratulations and how my hard work will pay off, and I honestly can’t wait to see that happen; all in good time, right?

Thanks for all the support everyone has thrown my way; it means a lot.

5SF: november 13

First up today, let’s take a look at a truly inspiring story from what I can only describe as a true example of what our nation’s youth should aspire to be like. That kid has some courage. I wish there were more like him; maybe someday he will be the majority, and we can all share in equal civil rights in this country. Here’s hoping! Thanks Will! You rock!

Now, I have some AMAZING songs for you today. One of them, I have literally been clamoring FOR WEEKS to get to post about! Without further adieu, here we go!

Will Young – Hopes and Fears
It’s time for some well placed gushing ladies and gents! This song is completely, utterly, and fantastically amazing. This is the new single from Will’s upcoming release, The Hits, and it is definitely one of his best songs ever; how fitting that it would be recorded for his first greatest hits compilation. Will nearly took the top spot in my best of CD countdown last year, and my love for everything Will Young certainly hasn’t diminished in the slightest. So I guess you can imagine my excitement when I heard that he would be releasing new material this year; even if it was only going to be a little bit of new stuff for a greatest hits compilation. Well, one listen of his new single, and it seems my excitement was well placed. From Will’s consistently beautiful vocals, to the absolutely amazing arrangement, to the clever video (what time would have more Hopes and Fears attached to it than being pregnant?! Brilliant!), this song is the whole package. After the first listen, I knew that I loved this song, and I am more than excited to feature it this week. This song has been on major repeat for me, and I just cannot get enough of it; it is amazing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I certainly do!!

Lady GaGa – Bad Romance
I was torn about posting a Lady GaGa song this week (since by now, everyone and their mother is sure to have heard it), but given the video’s release this week, and how good this track is, I couldn’t ignore it. When I started talking about her, it didn’t seem like many people cared, but slowly, everyone seemed to come into the Haus of GaGa. A little over a year later, and she is a bona fide pop sensation that seems to somehow be picking up even MORE steam. As I hinted at above, this week, the internet has been all a flutter because of the release of her AMAZING video for Bad Romance, the new single off of her (not a reissue after all!) new, upcoming album, The Fame Monster. Lady GaGa took me by storm when I first heard Just Dance, and I am glad to see that she is still working her ass off in bringing the true quality goods of pop music to the table. Not only does she nail it with her innovative take on pop, but she kills it with fashion and the video as well (I would personally like to shake Mr. Alexander McQueen’s hand for those ridiculously AMAZING shoes in the video too; dude, you are a genius of fashion. Those shoes at 3:30 make me want to be a lady JUST so I can wear them. Amazing). Lady GaGa is a pop phenomenon, and if you weren’t paying attention by now, I have to ask, “what is wrong with you?”; the Haus of GaGa has certainly set up permanent residence, and pop music is all the better for it.

JLS – Everybody In Love
It should come as no surprise to my regular readers of the 5SF that I love British pop music, and after hearing this song in BBC Radio 1, I was reminded of just why I love it so much. This song is incredibly catchy, and the chorus will be stuck in your head for hours after hearing it. I only heard of JLS a few weeks ago; apparently, I missed out on their first single, Beat Again, when it was released a few months back. However, with the release of this new single (which is an official UK number one!) that coincided with the release of their self-titled debut last week, it seems that I couldn’t ignore them any longer. While the jury is still out on the rest of the album, this song is getting constant play on my ipod. This song reminds me A LOT of the great pop ballad-type anthems made popular by the Backstreet Boys back in their hay-day (I’m thinking of perhaps their biggest song, I Want It That Way). JLS may have come in second on last year’s X-Factor, but by the sound of things, they are doing quite well for themselves post-X-factor in 2009.

Biffy Clyro – The Captain
This has been a good year for finding rock bands from the UK (Band of Skulls, Glasvegas and, White Lies to name a few). When I first heard this song, I thought it was Snow Patrol, because the lead singer’s vocals in this song have a very similar sound to the lead singer of Snow Patrol. To my surprise, it was actually Biffy Clyro (who’s lead singer is Scottish), who I have heard of, but I had actually never heard anything by before. My interest was peaked, because I have had some experience with Biffy Clyro, because the lead singer is a part of a side project called Marmaduke Duke; whom I posted about in a previous 5SF back in April, after falling in love with their AMAZING single Rubber Lover. While I unfortunately didn’t fall for Marmaduke Duke’s album as much as I did for Rubber Lover, I have found a new found interest in Biffy Clyro with this song, and subsequently, their new release Only Revolutions (which is quite good throughout!). This is a great, very catchy single, and I am glad that it got me into a band that I doubt I would have ever paid attention to, had it not been for this great song.

The Swell Season – Paper Cup
To say that I was excited for the release of the new album by The Swell Season would be quite an understatement. However, and somewhat unfortunately, the hype must have gotten to me, because I have had a difficult time really getting into it since it was released a few weeks ago. That being said, this song was an instant stand out, mostly because of the beautiful arrangement, and the intricacy with which they weave the melody throughout the chorus. The gentle guitar picking, and the beautiful deep bass, all overlain with the distorted keyboard, comes together to create something truly gorgeous. Add to that the sweet and sensitive vocals of Glen Handsard, and what’s not to love? Nothing, I tell you. This is definitely one of the best tracks off their new album; and perhaps shining some attention on it this week will motivate me to keep trying to get into the rest of Strict Joy (which is good, but I think I hyped it up so high that there was no way I wouldn’t be let down at least a little).

Well, there’s your 5 song Friday for this week; what did you think? As always, let me know not only what you thought of this week’s selection, but also what you are listening to. If there is something that I am missing out on that is a must hear, please, do share!

a (queer) monday menagerie

Pride in Atlanta is this weekend, and I am kind of excited about being able to celebrate Pride weekend without the heat of June, and hopefully, without the torrential downpours that usually came along with it. Anyone going besides me?

This blog post about the (possibly diminished) potentiality of Adam Lambert’s success in the American conservative driven music market is a great read. When a queer artist doesn’t make it in the US music market, it’s difficult not to tie that to the fact that they are gay; especially when they can only be described as stellar (like him or not, Adam can really sing). If you look at artists like Will Young, Scissor Sisters, Mika, Westlife, and other queer artists that are hugely famous overseas that never get radio play here in the states, it gets even harder to not draw those same conclusions. While it was pretty clear that Adam lost American Idol because he was gay, as middle America was probably risking burning their houses down from all the rotary dialing in order to prevent that queer from beating the little straight guy, I hope that his sexuality doesn’t ruin his music career before it even starts. The boy is extremely talented, and I hope that he finds the success he deserves. Even more so, I wish American’s had more brains than they do drive to stamp out things they don’t understand, or things they equate to different, and therefore wrong.

This makes me want to puke. Seriously? Censoring a children’s book because a character has two moms? What the fuck is offensive about SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE? Seriously, people that believe that this type of scenario is in any way offensive or “harming to them” needs to walk over and tell me in person so I can slap in the face like the fools they are. Seriously people, gay people and gay families are normal. Deal with it. If you want to “shelter” your child and your family from it, kindly pick up and go live in a shack in the woods where you won’t bother the rest of society, okay? (h/t to the the amazing jacksonpearce)

– Kind of related to the children’s book mentioned above, Towleroad reported about a gay family that made a video, acting out a book that is also getting a lot of negative attention because two princes get married and live happily ever after. This book is being slandered to spread hate in the Yes on One anti-gay marriage campaign in Maine. Here’s their video:

Not only was this video incredibly adorable, but they have made many more, using their family as a beautiful example of what is normal about gay families. I want to personally applaud those guys for what they are doing. Gay families are normal families, and the people behind these horrible campaigns like Prop 8, and now Prop 1 in Maine, should really take a look and see who’s lives they are messing with. The hypocrisy behind anyone saying they are anti-gay marriage because of “family values”, “morality”, and “protection of marriage” when everything they are doing against gay marriage is in spite of those very things, drives me insane. When will people learn to just butt out of our lives, and stop seeing who we are as offensive to them; especially when it has NO IMPACT on them in any way?

must watch: Modern Family

Initially, it seems that it always takes me a while to get into anything that gets a lot of hype, and because of the pre-season buzz, Modern Family was no exception. However, thankfully, I saw the light early on in this case, and after last night’s hilarious episode, I can definitely say that the hype was right in this case; there is something truly wonderful about this show. The characters are all funny, they are developing them well on the show, and they all play off of one another as an ensemble masterfully. This show doesn’t feel like a “new show” at all.

I almost don’t want to compare it to anything, but I would definitely say that Modern Family bears many similarities to another great show, Arrested Development; perhaps most obviously in the way that it uses a hybrid mocumentary filming style in the story development (not to mention the laugh out loud hilarity found in each show). Shows and movies that use that form of story telling usually draw me in (Best in Show and Drop Dead Gorgeous are all time favorite movies of mine), and Modern Family is no exception. When you add that to the witty writing, and laugh out loud gags, I am confident in saying that that I have found a new must watch show of the fall 2009 season. It’s also extremely refreshing that there is a gay couple on the show, and that they are not just background characters, or stereotypical punchlines/token go-to’s for a laugh. I actually really like their characters, and I like even more that they are portrayed as normal; which, importantly, is what gay people are. Perhaps their characters will help further educate the people in America that still see us as “other” and “different” that we’re just normal people with normal lives; and that we might be the funniest ones around, too. ABC is getting all kinds of plus marks and gold stars from me in their portrayal of gay characters on prime time shows.

I’ve really enjoyed every episode of Modern Family that I’ve seen thus far, and I am excited to see what this show has in store for us. Wednesday nights at 9 just keep getting better and better.

third time’s a charm

Britney’s lastest single, the total earworm 3 will in fact debut at number 1 on the hot 100. Love her or hate her, you have to admit, this has been a pretty impressive comeback; one that only seems to keep gaining momentum! Major congrats to Ms. Spears who snags only her third number one hit song with 3 (how appropriate)! Personally, I have been loving the song from the first listen (even though the lyrics are just ridiculous; but you have to admit, catchy is catchy!), but what do you think? I can definitely say that if this is any indication of the future of Britney Spears, she clearly has a lot left to give to pop music, and I couldn’t be more happy about it. Keep up the great work, Britney!

madonna and me (too)

After reading Rich‘s excellent blog post, Madonna and Me, about his life-long experiences regarding Madonna, I felt compelled to share it (go read it!! It’s excellent!), and say something (well, a lot of somethings) about how it eerily mirrors my own feelings, and the reasons behind those feelings, about her.

I have always had a “thing” against Madonna, which is noticeably strange for someone who loves pop music as much as I do (seriously… two words: Britney Spears). I find it interesting, that it wasn’t until I read his post, that I put two and two together, and realize that I think at least a portion of my history of “hate” for Madonna comes from not wanting to like her because of who she is and what she represents.

For one, Madonna, like it or not, has a strong affiliation with the “idea” of being gay. I remember school when I was younger, and it was pretty much a given that on any day, I was going to be called a faggot/ sissy/ girl/ pussy/ fag at some point by someone; regardless of whether or not I was “queeny”, “faggy”, “girly”, or overtly “homosexual” in the slightest. It was just the way it was. It was my reality from pretty much the first day of elementary school, on up through the end of high school (even though it continued in college, it was noticeably changed). As a result, I tried really, really hard to stay away from anything that would further label me as what I was; and unfortunately, exactly what I didn’t want to be in any way, shape, or form. When those kids were calling me whatever their chosen gay-indicative expletive of the day was, they were labeling me as gay, and at the same time, indicating that being gay was not only “not okay”, but that it was really, really bad. As such, being gay was the last thing on the planet I wanted to be, even though I was; talk about inner conflict.

I remember when I was in middle school, and the song Vogue became popular, and a friend of mine named Nikki did the entire dance routine for our gym class during “dance week” (whoever thought that was a good idea should be tortured, because I got teased incessantly because of my even being preset that week). I remember loving the song, and really liking her performance, but I found myself cowardly wanting to shun Nikki for doing her dance, and in effect, distance myself from liking anything about it. I honestly think that this moment really shaped how I would feel about Madonna up until this very moment.

There is a part of me that definitely, whether I want to admit it or not, STILL has a shred of disdain for the fact that I am gay. Now, that is not to say that I “don’t like who I am”, or that I “hate myself for being gay”, because those vastly overstep the boundary of this disdain of which I speak. I’m saying that there is a part of me that dislikes the fact that I am the very thing that many people out there consider to be bad, wrong, and love to express their hatred for; which comes from growing up with people berating me with this very sentiment day in and day out. When I am riding in my car with the widows down, and I am playing something especially “gay”, I still always turn it down when someone pulls up next to me. There is something in me that will always remain guarded, and as such, I try to hide the fact that I am gay to random strangers sometimes. It sounds completely stupid when I say it out loud, but this is an example of the part of me that wants to hide the fact that I am gay, because of that disdain I have for it; which again, stems from being made fun of and judged as a child. The shitty part, is that I always find myself doing it again, because that disdain (however small it may be) lives on.

I realize now, that I have written off my feelings about Madonna as “hatred”, because other gay men seemingly follow her every foot step, and hang on her every word, and that disdain in me made me want to distance myself from anything that would paint me as so overtly gay. As I read Rich’s post, I found myself back in that auditorium, watching Nikki bravely perform to Vogue, wishing I could be as brave as she, but cowardly wishing that no one would see me enjoying her performance, for fear that I would be further berated for being a fag.

I hate that I let myself think this way, and I hate even more that this disdain exists within me, but at least I realize that I cannot let it make judgments about things such as liking Madonna for the rest of my life. Even though this is a small step towards totally making the aforementioned realization a reality, today I have identified the fact that my disdain for Madonna represents (at least in part) my personal turmoil with being gay, and the conflict I have had with it for as long as I can remember. I disliked her, openly hated her, and even mocked her because of what she represents and who she is. Yet the fact still remainded that Madonna is a woman who can do what she wants, and doesn’t get called a faggot because she takes dance classes, and enjoys extremely “gay”, poptastic music. She is a woman who has constantly put herself out there as a symbol of something “gay”, and while other gay men have lopped up everything she offered, I realize that I have shunned her because of what it would mean if I grabbed my spoon and joined the feast. Instead of hating her music, or disliking her as a person, I have been disliking what “liking her” would mean all of these years.

I have to say, that I didn’t expect a blog post about Madonna to open my eyes to something this deep, but I guess it goes to show that you never know who is going to turn a mirror on you, and show you who you really are inside. I hope that I can work on eliminating all final shreds of disdain for who I am someday; because I think that I would be a much happier person as a result. Now, one thing is for sure, I am going to go and enjoy some fucking Madonna; because save Ray of Light, she made had some great music, and it is high time I get caught up!

Finally, I want to extend a huge thank you to Rich for his post; great work all around.