I AM...

I am whatever YOU think I am until YOU get to KNOW me. This is true for everyone else too, of course.. so don't make assumptions about anyone or pass judgment; ask questions. You might just make a new friend.


Friday, January 2, 2015


It's a new year, which means it's also resolution time. I have to say, I'm not completely on board with making life changes once a year and all at once, for that matter. Change is hard, particularly big life changes. Saving the opportunity to do something different for yourself or those around you during the holiday hangover lessens the chance of success. Once the buzz of motivation wears off in the grey months of February and March, keeping pace with a load of goals is difficult at best. 

I find greater success happens when every day is treated as a potential new start and new year. When you begin each day as an opportunity for growth, goals become a part of life and not just a novelty in the beginning of the new year. Spacing out goals, such as losing weight or tanking the cigarettes, gives the opportunity to adjust to the change and enjoy the success. Then the little victories can become motivation for new to-do's on the list.
More than likely you already have a few goals in mind. Just in case, here's a list that can help you get started. 

1.  Ged Rid of the Shame and Guilt
Our lives are a mirror of what we feel inside. Often we attract the people, things and situations that reflect how we view ourselves. Why is this important?

For many of us, shame and guilt are a regular part of our lives. Some of this negativity could come from previous religious experiences, but for gay men in particular shame and guilt are byproducts of being in the closet. Often when we come out it is full steam ahead with living our lives in the open.

However, few of us take the time get rid of the shame and guilt associated with being gay in environments that tell us that it's unnatural or wrong to be who we are. They are sometimes subtle and other times overwhelmingly blatant. What's important is not where it comes from, but making sure that if there is an residual feelings about being gay, having same sex relationships or sex, that enough time is devoted to ridding your life of any negative feelings that may be holding you back.

Besides ridding ourselves of seemingly perpetual drama and negative experiences, committing to taking care of our "inside" is an addictive experience that brings more good will and better times to our lives.

2.  Share Some Courage
Whether you welcome the end of 2013 or are mourning its end, look back on the things you've overcome or the lessons you've learned and share them with others. Sure, you could become a serial poster of Facebook feel good quotes. But it's a better idea to take a look around you and share a helping hand or story of courage with someone who might not be in a good place at the moment. 
Also, sharing your experiences, no matter how vulnerable it makes you feel, could be exactly the hope someone needs even if they don't say it out loud.

3.  Volunteer
Along these lines, why let your life lessons go to waste when you can also help guide a young LGBT person? There are more out pop culture figures than ever, but nothing beats an in-person role model. Career guidance to life coaching, there are many ways you can help LGBT youth. Start by volunteering for a youth group at your local gay community center.

4.  Wave Your Flag
There's a lot going on in gay politics right now, and you don't have to be a politician to make a difference. Most of the news is surrounding same sex marriage which is available in more places around the world and states than ever before. Still, there are plenty of issues that affect all LGBT people, like immigration rights, adoption and financial equality.

You can make a difference by taking advantage of the many opportunities to joint he fight for equal rights. Here are 10 ways you can help.

5.  Get Tested
The anxiety of getting an HIV test and the fear of a life-changing result is overwhelming, but the freedom that comes along with knowing your status is worth the tension. Why leave your health up to chance? Understand HIV/AIDS and read the top reasons to get an HIV test.

6.  Come Out
Coming out is a process that unfolds at your own pace. This may be the year for you to be free! The first step to understanding your sexuality is self-reflection. Don't skip this important step on your way out of the closet. Get to know yourself this New Year and create the life you desire. Follow these steps to coming out.

7.  Kick The Habit
Bad influences come in many forms: drug and alcohol addictionsex addiction or even that cute guy who tells you he can't have sex while wearing a condom. You don't have to be a victim. Besides, doing drugs and barebacking is so last year! Create a brand new you in a brand new year by kicking an old habit and knowing your boundaries. Recognize your own addictions and test your safe sex practices.

8.  Get Fit

While some vow they will finally get a gym membership this upcoming year, other veteran gym bunnies resolve that they will actually work out at the gym instead of cruising boys and talking to their friends. Lift a bar bell or two and work on that V. Just make sure you do it for you and not because you want to join the parade of shirtless guys at the club. Also, read about gay men and Body Dysmorphic Disorder.




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