What Have You Done Today to Make you Feel Proud...

June is Pride Month...

In 1969 the seeds behind pride month were planted, this year marked the 40th anniversary of the birth of pride and was also important to me because of what happened to me since last year. Pride is not just about the parties, it is so much more. Pride is about equality, it is about our fight for our rights, our fight to be able to get married, our fight to be treated the same as any other human being, and our right to live our lives without fearing for our safety.

June was officially named gay pride month in the year 2000 by former President Bill Clinton. June was chosen to honor the Stonewall riots in 1969. The Stonewall riots were the beginning of the gay movement in the United States. In 1969 there was a police raid at the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan. The police raided the because it was a gay bar. People started rioting after the horrific event and the start of the gay rights movement.

June is supposed to be the month people are welcomed regardless of sexual orientation, although what we are fighting for is to be welcomed every day of the year. While we use this month to host parties and parades to celebrate who we are we also need to use this time to educate and break the stigmas.

What has changed since 1969? While I know that change is something that happens slowly and you can never expect things to change immediately in 40 years we would all hope that we have moved closer to equal rights, yet there is still a great amount of violence against gays, I am not the only person attacked simply because of how I identify myself. As a matter of fact there has been an upswing in violent crimes against gays and lesbians in the past two years. We have Hate Crime laws, but as I learned they aren't always followed by the judges in these cases. And just this past Sunday a bar in Fort Worth Texas was raided and patrons injured by police, and they raided the bar with reasoning very similar to Stonewall. Much has been said about all of these things.

We have a long way to go until we have full equality, and even still people are still going to hate. We have a long way to go until the Doctor and I can get married and have it recognized in all 50 states. We are still waiting for the Matthew Shepherd Hate Crimes Laws to be passed nationally, and even when this is passed we will need judges to uphold these law.

The point of this post is not to whine, and not to preach. My point here is to ask everybody, man or woman, gay or straight... what does pride mean to you... what have you done to make you feel proud, what do you think others should be proud of?

This year I have a lot to be proud of. I am very proud of my friends who are willing to stand up and speak out when they see things that are wrong in this world. I am proud of myself for finding the strength from within myself to stand up and speak out about what happened to me. I am proud of my relationship with the Doctor, and I am proud that one day we will be getting married. I am proud of the fact that our marriage will be recognized in more and more states. I am proud that I can say to reporters that I am a gay man in a real relationship and I will not accept the injustices over the past year.

I am proud of how far I have come in five years, some of my best friends will say that they would have never expected this much. Five years ago I was scared of what people would think. Five years ago I was living up to the prejudices. Now I am stronger, now I accept myself and I expect others to accept me for who I am. I am proud of my community.

We have a very long way to go until we are truly equal, we have a lot of fighting to do and we have a lot of speaking out. Unfortunately there will be more violence, and more injustices. Every day I will do what I can to speak out, to be strong, and to be proud. Look back... what have you done today, this month, this year to make you feel proud!

Take pride in yourself, remember that Pride is not just a month and that Pride month is not just about the parties and parades. Remember we have fought for much, but we must continue fighting!

DYM-SUM Article

A very good new friend of mine spent two hours on the phone with me about a week after the trial. David helped me write my statement for the protest that is included in his article here and he wrote a fantastic article about why we need to keep up the fight. Please follow the link, and continuously visit www.dym-sum.com.


Please enjoy and think carefully about the words and the message.

JCH's Statement: Fabio Brandao Case

Last week I posted my statement that was read at the protest. Today JCH's statement was posted on another site and I am sharing it here. I was obviously involved in what happened and experienced all that JCH is discussing, however, I cried when I read it.

It is touching, and shows how an attack like this can impact people... please read and also visit www.dym-sum.com

It was a night that was meant to be a celebration of friendships. But it turned into a night of horror; and four friends would never be the same again.

It was our last weekend together before some of my dearest friends would be moving out of Boston and we wanted to make it memorable. Unfortunately, four random men, three of whom have never been caught, decided to make our memories an unforgettable nightmare.

I will never forget the screams coming from behind me. “You fucking faggots!” was the first sign that something was wrong. I turned, and there was my best girlfriend Jenna being punched in the face and falling to the ground. I ran back to them as fast I could but I was too late to prevent the attack. All the while I was screaming, and tears were welling up in my eyes as I heard them scream, “Die faggot die!”

I made it back. And there was my best friend Jon motionless on the ground after receiving one final kick of many to the head. They had been stomping on him. He was unconscious. I thought he was dead.

The men fled to their car. Jenna and I chased them. We were screaming the license plate number of the getaway car into our cell phones as they drove off. The 911 operators were telling us to calm down. It was not possible for us to calm down. There was nothing calm about what had just happened and we knew that the license plate would help find out who had attacked us.

After the car fled, Jenna and I went back to Jon who was still motionless in the middle of the street. A car had stopped in front of him so nobody would run him over. The driver later telling us she saw them jumping on his skull as she drove down Columbus Avenue. Scott was gone. I thought he had been kidnapped. But a police officer would later be shocked when they found him with a deep laceration on his head, blood soaking his clothing, and completely disoriented.

After providing the police with the basic details necessary, Jenna and I rushed to the hospital to be by our friends’ side. I spent the night crying with a bunch of strangers outside Beth Israel. Their brother had just tried to kill himself. My friends had just been almost murdered. In between visiting hospital rooms to be with my friends, making phone calls to loved ones, and throwing up in the bathroom – I thought to myself. What just happened? Why? Why us? It sunk in. It was because we’re different. We’re despised by some. We’re gay.

I was foolish to think that living in Massachusetts, the birthplace of gay marriage, that I’d not only be tolerated or accepted, but safe. How foolish of me.

I also thought that by living in Massachusetts, a progressive proponent of gay rights, that I’d be protected under the law. How foolish of me.

Here I am a little less than a year later and Fabio Brandao is walking free after being found guilty of 9 charges. Assault, assault with a deadly weapon, and civil rights violations. Yet he is walking free. He almost killed my friends. He could have killed me had I not found myself further ahead of the group. I was lucky physically, but not emotionally. The emotional scars of witnessing the attacks seem as bad if not worse than the physical scars my friends endured.

Trouble sleeping. Trouble eating. Trouble focusing. Trouble being in public. Trouble being alone. I found myself crying on friends’ couches and taking lorazepam to just walk outside or ride public transportation. One day I was at work, and I broke down in tears at my desk and was called into the Human Resources office. I was sent home.

And there’s Fabio. Free to walk. Free to live his life. Without any guilt or understanding of the epic trauma he has caused on not only four innocent people, but also an innocent community who live their lives with a sexual preference that is different.

Ted Kennedy compares hate crimes to a form of domestic terrorism because they are acts, “that target whole communities, not just individuals.” And he’s right. Would we let terrorists walk free after being found guilty of a crime? I think not. Yet Massachusetts did.

And I’ve recently come to discover that even the District Attorney’s office, our victim’s advocate to be more specific, had the audacity to say she thought we were acting inappropriate for victims. Bad victims? We’re bad victims? What does that even mean? I guess it was because when I’m uncomfortable and scared, I try to be funny. I make jokes. I try to lighten the situation. Every person deals with traumatic events and stress differently. I use humor to deal. I was reliving the trauma in the court house, and I needed to escape. Unfortunately, trying to cheer my friends up makes me a bad victim.

I would like to extend my thanks to Detective Lee. He went above and beyond making sure this case was solved. And I would like to extend my criticism to the state of Massachusetts. You let a terrorist walk free. You made the victims think they did something wrong. You make as if this was no big deal.

No big deal. Yet here I sit behind the comfort of my computer. Typing a statement to be read on my behalf because I’m too afraid to show the world what I look like. There are plenty of crazy gay haters out there, but there would be four fewer attackers on the street had justice been served. And here I am again, hiding behind my screen. Because there are people like these monsters who wait around at gay night clubs to hunt for victims. I’ve refused to publish my last name and reveal what I look like. Because I’m still here. In my city. In my neighborhood. Where I watched my friends almost die. And I could be next.

I will close my statement with my realization that the only thing worse than being attacked for being gay, is to be treated like what happened to you wasn’t that serious and being criticized for reacting in the manner I did. Fabio Brandao made me a victim first, and the state of Massachusetts made me one again.

Articles About Fabio Brandao and Protest

Below are a few links to some of the articles that have been published about the protest and the attack. The more we talk about things the more we can change things.







BAY WINDOWS ARTICLE... read down for Brandao information but the new case is just as important.


And thank you to everybody who has show support. The comments and concern is all appreciated. I am doing very well and I want things to change so that nobody has to ever live through this again!

Pride in Baltimore

Saturday after work was my day to decompress, obviously last week was a very stressful week while I prepared my statement for the protest, the Blade article came out and I gave about three interviews regarding the attack, and the Fabio Brandao case. The case was all consuming last week, and I had to work at the store all week and Saturday.

So when I got home from work on Saturday, the Doctor was already in Baltimore with a few of his friends. I hopped in bed took an hour nap, woke up got dressed and was off to Baltimore. I was looking forward to Baltimore pride as a way to decompress from the week. Tracy Young was going to be playing at the Hippo and it was a good chance to go out and dance. Tracy Young is the Doctor's favorite DJ and I enjoy her because she plays a lot of the old classic dance songs which are fun to dance too and have a good time.

True to form Tracy played lots of Deborah Cox, Madonna, and all sorts of great old dance songs (including Vogue). She threw in some new songs including Lady Gaga! It was exactly what I needed. I felt revived and ready to face another crazy week. I was so glad I went all the way to Baltimore for a night out.

Oh yeah and on the way back we found our way to Wendy's... I do love my spicy chicken sandwich at 4am.

My Life on The D-List

I rarely watch Kathy Griffin on Bravo, however last night we just happened to stop on the show while we were waiting to watch Weeds, and I am so glad we did...

Last night Kathy and her clan were visiting Paula Deen at her house in Tenessee. Besides Kathy hitting Paula in the face with a switch, and Paula calling Kathy and her assistants serving at her sons restaurant a circle j#rk, there was Paula's assistant who was gay and drunk.

The whole experience was priceless, Paula Deen is a hilarious older woman, drunk assistant was hysterical, and of course Kathy Griffin who I don't always appreciate was soooooo funny.

This was definately an escape, and an accident that was well worth it. If you haven't seen the show, find it online and laugh your butt off!

My Statement That Was Read At the Protest

First off I want to thank everybody who has supported me and the community over the past weeks and months. Secondly, I owe a great deal of gratitude to four people who helped me write the statement below. First off, obviously the Doctor has been a huge support, secondly Mr. NG helped with my first draft. And new found friends Bradley Reichard and David Mailloux helped me finalize this statement that I am very proud of.

From Innocence to Experience

He screamed “die faggot die,” as he kicked my head into the pavement. He ran off with his friends to his car, driving away, leaving me unconscious in the middle of the street. A witness pulled up, making sure on-coming cars wouldn’t run me over. My friends watched, tears welling up, as they loaded me into the ambulance. I don’t remember anything.

I woke up in the hospital. I turned to see my friend in the other bed, also a victim of this hate, still bleeding from his scalp. My own head was throbbing.

Even as the world came into focus, I was still confused.

Blind Justice

Months later, I sat in the courtroom, finally seeing the face of the man whose violent attack sent me to the emergency room. I watched and listened as he admitted his guilt and his hatred. He was guilty on all nine counts including four counts of civil rights violations.

My head was spinning and my legs were trembling as I approached the microphone to deliver my statement. I described what the attacks had done to me. How I awoke every night at 2:44 AM reliving the nightmare and how I could never look at my “home” of Boston the same again.

Returning to the bench, I was comforted by my boyfriend and another of the victims. We squeezed hands, knowing that we were all lucky to be alive. It was a surreal experience I felt like I was watching and listening to Judge Horgan hand down a two year suspended sentence from outside of my own body. This man, who took my security away, who could have taken my life as well wasn’t going to jail.

Mr. Brandao’s hate-filled rage caused him to inflict these injuries; hate crimes laws dictated that he would be eligible for a fifteen year sentence in state prison. But with Judge Horgan’s sentence, the world once again fell out of focus. This time, it was not at the hand of an assailant: it was at the hand of justice, the spirit of which seemed to be completely blind to my circumstances.

Focus on Today

Since the trial I have been asked many questions. Many ask how I am doing, and many more ask about my response to the sentence. While answering them, I realized that I possessed an inner strength I never knew I had– I refuse to lie down and be the victim. While my experience frustrates me, I can see the big picture.

I want us all to see what this ruling has brought into focus: there is still hate in this world, and we must be vigilant to protect ourselves. And not only is there still hate in this world, but we also must realize that there are figures of authority - including a judge right here in the courthouse behind you - who allowed people to get away with hate. We cannot sit idly and watch this happen. That is why we are all here today.

This case is about all of us – people in our community, people of all different genders, race, and religions- everyone standing here and those who are not. This case is about freedom and safety - the freedom and safety we are guaranteed, by the very laws so many before us have struggled to pass. This case should remind us that the courts have failed us once again.

The sentence in this case sends the message that our hate crime laws are ignorable and that hate of first time offenders is tolerable. Now it is our chance to stand up and fight to make a change. Fabio Brandao walking freely away from this courthouse sets precedence for this tolerance of hate - the next attacker may also walk away from committing a violent act of hate this easily unless we stand up and demand change.

A Clear Vision for the Future

You all – we all – send the message that hatred towards any group is absolutely intolerable. We will not remain quiet when injustice is served. We will stand up and tell our Judges what seems obvious to all of us standing here- that anger management classes do not stop hatred. The Judges of Massachusetts must recognize that the laws and sentencing guidelines for hate crimes have been put in place for a reason, and we need to follow them.

The tide is changing in this country with a Democrat-controlled Congress and a President who has indicated his support for the Matthew Shepard Act that may be passed as early as this week. However, the passage of this Act will only be beneficial to our community and others if judges are willing to uphold the law.

What happened to me is evidence that the Judges of Massachusetts are out of step with the discussions happening on Capitol Hill as recently as two days ago. Hate crimes are not to be dismissed because trials require resources. Hate crime laws are in place to protect people like me.

It is not just today, but everyday that we need to stand up and speak our minds. Attacks like the one that my friends and I experienced must never happen again. We must make it known that we will not accept this sentence as justice. This blatant failure of the court is simply intolerable. We must demand change in the attitude of Judge Horgan and his peers. The District Attorney’s Office must demand these longer sentences, and the judges must echo our message – we do not stand idle as hate takes hold of our communities.

Moving Forward with Clarity

As I move forward with my life, I look back and I worry.

I worry about the next person walking home in Massachusetts. It could be anyone of us. It could happen on Columbus Avenue again, or on Massachusetts Avenue, or somewhere else, anywhere else, when a car pulls up. They scream words of hate, obscenities – against gays – blacks – Latinos – Jews – Muslims… They scream words of hate at you.

They hate you.

They hate you because you belong to a different group than they do. Running out of their car, they punch you, kick you, and beat you into the pavement. Within two minutes, it’s over. There’s one man left in the street, standing over his friend who is lying unconscious in front of him. There world has changed as they have just felt the pain of unimaginable hate.

Now, imagine you were the one left in the street, dripping blood, your friend crying, trying to find help. That was me, lying there in the street. Many people would be able to tell similar stories, but they were not as lucky as I was.

We must send the message that our land’s law does not tolerate hate-fueled violence. We must hold justices accountable to upholding the law, ensuring due process is not thrown aside out of convenience. And we must tell the haters that their hatred is not tolerated - not by us and not by our judicial system – we must show that violent acts have grave consequences under the law.

Not in Boston? Still Interested

For those of you that aren't in Boston and are still interested in the statement that I have prepared for the protest tomorrow... I will release it here tomorrow around 4:30pm!

Rules For Running an Adult Kickball League

1) Ensure you get permits so that you can play on the fields PRIOR to the start of the season. One can not play kickball without a field. Playing kickball in busy streets is dangerous.

2) At the beginning of the season make sure you provide your players and coaches with all the materials necessary in order to have a successful season.

3) Rule 3 piggybacks on rule 2- Make sure all of the players have a team t-shirt by the start of the season- it helps when the players know what team they are on when playing. Lack of t-shirts leads to balls being thrown at teammates heads (not good)

4) When your players provide you with their credit card information to pay for the most expensive tshirts in the world (and registration fee) charge them within a respectable amount of time. Do not wait until 3 months later to charge a credit card, that's disrespectful and ILLEGAL!!

5) Another piggybacking rule- Once you have charged them the insane amount for a t-shirt, don't try to charge them again three months later. Once again that is an unethical practice.

6) When players have a question or concern you must answer them in a timely manner. Don't wait 3 weeks to return an email.

7) Be respectful of your players- it is never a good idea to be rude and unkind to your players. If you are rude to too many players your league will fall apart because you can't have a kickball team without players.

8) This is the most important rule... Don't mess with the queens... They will get bitchy and ruin your day! As soon as the queens start to rebel you league is destined to fail. They talk and the news of a poorly run league will spread like wildfire.

Following these rules will help you have a successful year, good luck, and remember don't miss the ball when trying to kick it, your teammates will laugh.

Wait? How Did we Get Here

Yesterday was an interesting day at work to top off a crazy week. Myself and my boss whom I have known for about 8 years had to go out to one of our offsite stores for a meeting with the coordinators. I swear the store is so far out in Virgina it feels like the middle of nowhere. The meeting went fine and we introduced our new manager. We walked the store and gave them a few tips and then moved some stuff into the car to bring back to the main store.

On the last trip I was wheeling a large chair out of the store and getting it into the car when I had the weard feeling of how did we get here? Not like man I was so out of it and how did I get to this place, but how do I end up working with my friend when 8 years we went out seperate ways in Boston and while we kept in touch how am I working for her now in Virginia.

I load the chair into the back of the car and sit down in the front seat. My Boss looks at me and says... " I just had that moment watching you bring the chair out, how weird is it that we are both working together again?"

After everything the world works in mysterious ways!

Protest Judge’s Decision to Free Convicted Gaybasher—No Jail Time!

On Thursday, June 18th, at 4pm, Join the Impact MA and the Anti-Violence Project will protest a shocking miscarriage of justice in the case of an admitted gaybasher who left two victims lying in the street with brain injuries. The protest will take place on the sidewalks outside the Boston Municipal Court in downtown Boston/North End, at the corner of New Chardon and Merrimac Streets, near Haymarket Station on the Orange Line.

On May 27, 2009, Framingham resident Fabio Brandao pled guilty to the brutal homophobic beating of three gay men and their female companion that occurred in Boston’s South End last August. Throughout the attack the victims were cursed as “fucking faggots.” Brandao was convicted on nine counts including criminal violations of civil rights and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. He did not cooperate with authorities to identify his three fellow assailants.

Brandao will serve no jail time despite having left two victims lying in the street with brain injuries. He received a suspended sentence from Judge Thomas Horgan of the Boston Municipal Court. He will undergo “anger management” counseling, as though that could cure his violent homophobia. The victims were traumatized all over again by the insensitivity Judge Horgan displayed to their suffering.

The Brandao sentence is symptomatic of a larger problem that still persists 40 years after Stonewall. Violence against LGBT people is treated less seriously by the authorities than violence against straights. In an eerie parallel from 1988, Boston resident Jim Brinning was brutally attacked as he left a gay bar on Huntington Avenue, with his assailants beating him up and taunting him as a “faggot.” He was beaten so badly that his face “looked like the inside of a watermelon,” as one newspaper columnist described it. Two perpetrators were caught, but, like Brandao, they got off in Boston Municipal Court.

The injustice in Jim Brinning’s case helped generate a change in the law, so that hate crimes resulting in bodily injury to victims are now eligible for fifteen year sentences to state prison. Hate crimes are marked for enhanced punishment, because, as the United State Supreme Court has explained, “bias-motivated crimes are more likely to provoke retaliatory crimes, inflict distinct emotional harms on their victims, and incite community unrest.” See Wisconsin v. Mitchell, 508 476, 488 (1993). Hate crimes are like terrorism, because they seek to intimidate a whole group of people as they go about their daily lives. Hate crimes must be punished, lest violent bigots sense open season to targeting group they hate.

The change in the law made no difference to Judge Horgan. He ignored the legislative intent for stiffened penalties for hate crimes, in a brazen act of judicial nullification. Instead of the legally prescribed punishment he administered a mere slap on the wrist for a henious crime of violence. Judge Horgan’s indulgence toward a brutal gaybasher leaves all LGBT people in Greater Boston less safe. This blatant failure of justice is intolerable.

Join our peaceful protest on Thursday, 18 June 2009, at 4 PM, on the sidewalks outside the Boston Municipal Court, at the corner of New Chardon and Merrimac Streets downtown (near Haymarket Station.) Come and add your voice to the outrage over Brandao being a free man, while his victims suffer from lasting trauma and scars. For more information, please contact Don Gorton at dgorton@verizon.net.

SOURCE: http://www.jointheimpactma.com/

The Doctor

I have been holding off on this post for a while because the Good Doctor and his mother both read my blog, and I don't want to embarass the Doctor but with everything going on, I think its important that I write this post. For those of you that vomit at the sign or even mention of sappy sweetness, I don't reccomend reading on. For others feel free to read and enjoy (or make fun of me).

Obviously, if you have been reading my blog you are aware of the fact that this has been a rough month or so. The Fabio Brandao trial has drained me, and then the flu saw an opportunity and knocked me on my ass for a couple of days. But through all of this and the many month of dealing with things before I have been the luckiest person to have the best boyfriend in the world.

The Doctor has stood by my side, holding my hand in court, pushing me to do the right thing, getting the word out about what is happening in the media, and acting as an overall press secretary for the past few weeks. The Doctor was the first one to see me in the hospital after the attack, as he raced down from the Cape when he heard what happened. Then he kidnapped me and took me away for a couple of days and made sure that I was able to recover. And he has been by my side ever since. Without the Doctor's support I would not be as strong as I am right now. Without the Doctor's support I would not have had the courage to do all that I am doing now.

A few months ago when the date of the trial was announced I had a breakdown, it was the first time since the end of the nightmares that I really thought about the attack. I was scared. Suddenly I knew I was going to have to face my attacker and deal with what had happened to me. I knew deep down that this moment was coming.

I was crying after I had been startled awake by the nightmare that I always had at 2:44am following the attack. I knew I had woken the Doctor up. He looked at me and he knew why I was in a panic. I had tears running down my face and he was immediately awake.

As any psycologist knows, the only way to handle your work is to leave it at work. This helps us in our relationship because he listens for a living and I talk for a living, and at home he can talk and I can listen. But he knew that he needed to take some of his job home at this moment and help me work through what was going on and why I was feeling the way I was feeling. It was clear that the Post Tramatic Stress from the attack was remanifesting itself because of the impending trial. And I was scared of what had happened to me and what I was going to have to get through. A hug worked wonders and I knew that he was going to be there for me, but then he went further and we talked. He knew what I needed to do and how I should handle it. He listened to my concerns and helped me come to a decision on what I needed to do without telling me what I needed to do. Just getting the words out... "I'm scared" helped immensly and knowing that he would be there for me allowed me to get through all of the feeling and concerns, and stand up and do what needed to be done.

Since I met the Doctor almost two years ago, I knew that there was something special between us... for me it was an immediate connection... maybe not love at first sight.. especially since he had that boyfriend (who I actually really liked as a person) but I knew that no matter what we would be close friends for a very very long time. And now as I tell him... I have never been happier.

Sure I have all of these things going on in my life, but with the Doctor I am happy. I have never been this happy. Even my family who knows I am a notoriously grumpy person see that I am happy when I am with him, and when I am away from him now I miss him. I need him standing by me every day during the good times and the bad because it makes me a stronger and better person. We complement each other very well and while we have some fights of course we have a very stable relationship. I love him for who he is and what he does for me and he loves me despite my bitchiness.

So the moral of this post is I am very greatful to have the Doctor by my side through the entire Fabio Brandao ordeal, and I look forward to having him by my side for many more years... just hopefully not having to go through quite the ordeal of this month.

A Day In Bed

Yesterday was my day in bed, it wasn't exactly the enjoyable kind of day in bed as I have the flu, but I think it is what was necessary. After everything that has been going on involving the Fabio Brandao case, and trial, and sentence, and press, and protest! Then you add on work and traveling and I was exhausted. No wonder I got the flu.

When I woke up I felt like hell, I reached over, turned off the blaring alarm that was sending shock waves through my skull, texted my boss, and curled back up wrapping the blankets around me twice to try to fight the chills. Granted this left the poor Doctor without any blankets but he had to get up for work in an hour anyway so he would survive. His alarm started blaring... once again shock waves... and I pushed him out of bed so that I could snag his pillows and place them over my head.

I had told my boss that I would take some medicine and I should be in later that afternoon, as the morning marched on however, I kept feeling worse so I knew there would be no way I was going to make it in. I set the alarm for noon so that I could call my boss and let her know the situation. Before the alarm had a chance to ring Annie (our dog) had jumped on top of me and was doing her I really need to pee dance and whine.

I got up out of bed, threw on sweatpants and a sweatshirt (even though it was 75 degrees out) and grabbed her leash. I almost forgot to attach her lease to her collar but quickly recovered and then walked her. I returned to the house gave her a treat, and then called my boss. After sounding like hell and freezing my ass off because I was out from under the covers I returned to bed with some rations, my laptop, and my cell phone. I was set for the rest of the day if I could only find my remote.

Once the remote was discovered underneath my pile of pillows I was set for the day. I turned on the TV and proceeded to watch about 7 episodes of the West Wing that I had DVR'd (I do love Allison Janney err CJ). During my marathon of West Wing between naps I also went online and discovered that Bay Windows had actually published my letter to the editor under the headline "South End gay bashing victim responds to attacker's light sentence." I was shocked but pleased and made sure I posted it to facebook to continue getting the word out. The task of reading exhausted me and I put my head down on the pillow and was asleep for another hour.

When I woke I was starving, and I couldn't remember the old adage... feed a cold stare a fever? Feed a fever? Starve a cold? What about the flu? Since I was craving pizza I decided to pop a frozen pizza in the oven and have some. Once the pizza was done I wasn't sure if I was still hungry but I put a slice on my plate and returned to my cocoon on the bed. I took a bite and realized I needed some fluids, I put the plate down on the bed, where Annie promptly licked my pizza and devoured, and then got a glass of water (and obviously another slice).

After eating I was tired once again, I put on an old episode of Will and Grace and was once again sleeping in minutes. When I awoke the Doctor was home and eating my remaining pizza. I had apparently slept the entire day away, but I guess it is what my body needed.

Back at work today, although my body is not happy about it.

Backlash to Fabio Brandao Sentence

And here is the article run in Bay Windows regarding the Backlash to the Fabio Brandao sentence.


My Response Published in Bay Windows

My response to the Fabio Brandao sentence was published today in Bay Windows.


What If You Were Next?

Over the past week I have been bombarded with comments and concerns regarding the Fabio Brandao case. I have found it hard to keep up with all of the messages. Facebook is really an amazing outreach tool and people have “friended” me from all over the country from all walks of life. Most people want to let me know that they stand with me, that they support the “cause” or that they have been attacked themselves and appreciate all that I am doing to get the word out.

I have been asked for comments from newspapers and bloggers, some want to know how I am doing (perfectly fine) and others want to know why I am speaking out about the sentence. My response in this case is always the same… “This case is bigger than me.”

Today somebody commented on my Facebook wall, a good friend of mine actually, saying “Put it to bed,” implying that I needed to give up the fight. If this fight was just about me, I would have given up fighting the day that Brandao was sentenced. Sure I am upset that he isn’t serving any time in jail, but I have since moved to DC and I will never see this man again so, why do I care? I am sometimes lazy to a fault in my personal life, so why would I be going through all of this if I was the only one affected.

The reason I care is because THIS CASE IS BIGGER THAN ME! This case sends a message that hate is okay, feel free to hate a group of people because of who they are. Feel free to attack men and women on the street because they are different than you. Feel free to stomp on their heads, and punch people in the face.

I am speaking out because of the message the sentence sends, and I am speaking out because I am worried about the next person who may be attacked. The next group of friends walking home one night, celebrating friendship, enjoying each others company… when suddenly a friend is punched, and another is attacked from behind, the attackers scream out obscenities and refer to the man they are kicking in the head as a “fucking faggot.” The man lying in the street is surrounded by his friends as the car drives off and life has changed for this group of people.

What I have to say to my friend is picture yourself as the man laying unconscious in the middle of the street next time. Picture yourself waking up in the hospital not remembering anything. Imagine how your friends feel seeing you knocked out in the middle of Columbus Avenue simply because you are gay. If Fabio Brandao and his friends had you on the list next, would you be fine with me “putting the issue to bed?”

Post 300- And Its Time for A Funny Story

After several posts in a row regarding my role in the Fabio Brandao case I think it is time for a good ole fashion bookstore story!

A couple of weeks ago I was resetting one side of my sales floor, and the Bookstore Gods were very mad at me. It happens sometimes when nothing is really going your way, you drop things, the angry customers all come to you... in retail its normal! I guess in every profession there is a little bit of this... the Doctor always says the therapy gods are either with him or against him.

That day I had the angry customer, a ladder fall on my head and while I was moving the shelves I ripped the back of my pants opened. Of course it was the day the regional manager was coming so I couldn't run home and change, so I had to untuck my shirt and look like a slob. And then of course so I didn't look like a total mess I had to explain to my regional manager what happened. Gotta love when the gods are against you.

Well since then there have been 5 other wardrobe malfunctions. These malfunctions include but are not limited to busted bras, broken heels, split shirts, flying sandals, and today another pair of ripped pants caused by the same shelving units that attacked me.

At least the bookstore gods aren't only against me!

Back to Work After Fabio Brandao Trial

Today is my first day back to work after the trial, and I am looking forward to the return to a little bit of normalcy. That does not mean, however, that I am forgetting about Fabio Brandao. Many of my employees knew that I was returning to Boston last week for the trial. Most of them did not know all of the details of the trial but they asked me how it went when they saw me walk in today.

When they asked I honestly explained that Fabio Brandao was found guilty on all nine charges. They seem happy with that and then asked how long he would be going to jail for!

Once again I answered honestly, and since its my place of employment I made sure that I was level headed in my response. Then these young college kids who are my employees expressed a great deal of outrage. I was happy to see this outrage from these students, not for my sake but because I hope it means that they will support a call for change in the sentencing rules.

For those of you that are in Boston still, a protest is being planned by the Anti Violence Project and www.jointheimpactma.com. This protest will take place on Thursday June 18, 2009 outside of the Boston Municipal Court. I hope that as many of you as possible attend this protest and show that we can make a difference. Please get out and support the change that is necessary.

Today I will also continue answering questions about the attack and my response to the sentence as the Washington Blade has asked me to answer some questions for them. I hope that this is just a continuation of the outcry for change.

Please remember that we can all make a difference!

(For those of you wondering, yes I will continue to post some fun bookstore stories or other things in my life in the near future. This is just my top priority at this point.)