Friday, June 17, 2005


Hi All,

I am taking a hiatus, a leave of absence...could be a few days, maybe more - I don't know. Some turn of events and major changes have reared their heads and I gotta work it out and focus on myself for a bit.

Take care of yourselves and be well.

~ epi

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Not a Kind(er) Surprise

I generally enjoy surprises, or unexpected gifts. I'm not talking about the Kinder Surprise variety. Don't even get me started on the crap factor with those. Whoever decided that a crappy sticker or joke on a piece of cardboard was a cool surprise should be shot.

Kinder Cardboard Toy...WTF?

I'm talking about the totally unexpected. You know the kind, when you take a different route home and bump into a friend or see a cool site? It's a satisfying and fullfilling turn of events that just makes you smile. It may even hang around for a few days, reminding you of the moment, bringing a smile to your face.

Well, a few days ago, as I walked home in the sweltering heat I decided to take a side street to look at a few of the Victorian homes and their gardens. I have this passion for architecture and especially for gardens, so it was a nice change to walk under the cool graceful shadows of the elms and maples.

As I was walking and thinking about how pretty things were, I suddenly felt an overwhelming urge that just completely overtook me. I had been gasey all day, and attributed the feeling to the spicy Korean food the night before. But, as I turned onto Church street I let out a series of tiny innocuous farts. I walked a little further, and had a look around to ensure no one was watching, then patted my ass just to ensure any remnants of gas would dissipate so that if someone walked behind me, they wouldn't catch wind of it. Classy I know, but you know me, always thinking of my fellow man/woman.

Anyhow, I walked merrily on my way and decided to stop at my brothers house to see if the deck sealant had dried properly, from my job over the weekend. By the time I had gotten through his door, I was already sticky with perspiration. The sweat had run down my back and unfortunately, my butt cheeks felt kinda sweaty too, so I decided to go to the bathroom to freshen up and dry off.

I wasn't quite prepared for the my 'unexpected' surprise. It seems that my fart wasn't quite as innocuous as thought. It was more on par to peanut butter between bread, but I digress. I cleaned up with haste and went home and tossed my undies into the garbage and had a good long shower. I hate it when this happens, because I invariably always wear expensive underwear on days like this. There wasn't a mark on them, but I wasn't about to keep them either. I do have standards you know!

Anyhow, the Moral of the Story my friends is that this was a Kinder Surprise. And like ALL Kinder Surprises, they suck shit. They aren't satisfying, and definitely not fullfilling, and you always end up throwing them out.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Taking A Step & Getting Involved

The last post and all the associated comments got me thinking about our community as a whole and the issues that affect them. We often write or kvetch about them, but I began wondering what we could do to possibly make a change. The written word, the pen and our voices are stronger than we think, and can be incredibly powerful in gathering momentum to make change. Nobody has to take a giant leap into it, but small steps are often all that is required. I am suggesting that whoever feels up for it, to post or paste a link to issues or causes that we consider important or dear to us. They obviously don't have to be Queercentric, but whatever you post should have some information and a link to the organisation etc. It could be about anything. It will be a learning experience for all of us.

So, since I was going on about Queer Youth and Religion, here are a few links for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgendered Youth Lines in Canada and the U.S. When I first came out at the age of 14-15, I used this community line, and found that it helped remind me that there were others out there who were going through the same things. Though I eventually pulled away from the group, and have certain reservations about some of them, I still offer them here as a resource for others. you just never know who it might help.

In Canada, there are a number of Resources for Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Transgendered Kids. Click on the image link above to guide you there!

Youthco - a non-profit organisation working to involve youth between ages 15-29 from all communities in addressing AIDS/HIV, Hep C and other related issues, based out of British Columbia (thanks to Snooze for this one!)

In the U.S, this link seems to be the most popular, so click on the image link above to guide you there!

If you are interested in volunteering for the LGBT Youth Line, click this image link above.

I am not familiar with all the groups listed here as I took this from another online resource, but many of these links and AIDS/HIV organisations are quite dear to me and I have put some time into volunteering or supporting them. Feel free to share or use them as you wish.

Additional Info Resources - Metrolopitan Toronto Community Church. For those who find faith and religion a central part in their lives, go to this site. I have been to the Church before and it is quite something. Very welcoming to all. - Provides a database of services and community groups across Canada. You can also search the database using this form. – Queer Resource Directory – Search! - Planned Parenthood of Toronto’s (PPT) site for teens. - COLAGE: Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere. Has links to international chapters. – “The Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) is devoted to systemic change to end shame, secrecy, and unwanted genital surgeries for people born with an anatomy that someone decided is not standard for male or female.” - Bodies Like Ours: Peer Support and Information for people born with a body that is different. - The Androphile Project: Documenting the world history of Male Love - The Lesbian History Research Site - Global Resource for LGBT Youth - Gender-Bending Web Zine - Out Proud: The National Coalition for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Youth.

AIDS Resources - ACT: The AIDS Committee of Toronto. – POY: Positive Youth Outreach is for youth aged 13 and 29 years old who are HIV-positive or have AIDS. This is a program of Toronto AIDS Committee (ACT). – Canadian Foundation For AIDS Research - the National charitable foundation created to raise awareness in order to generate funds for research into all aspects of HIV infection and AIDS. – ACAS: Asian Community AIDS Services is a “charitable, non-profit, community-based organization that provides HIV/AIDS education, prevention and support to the East and Southeast Asian Canadian communities.” Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE)- an independent, non-profit community based organization. It offers services across Canada through the HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Network, a project that includes a free 1-800 number phone service and Internet service. CATIE relies on the communities of people living with HIV and AIDS for their insight and direction in shaping the services. – CAS: Canadian AIDS Society. Has info in English and French. – An AIDS and HIV Information Resource. - PWA: Toronto People With AIDS Foundation “exists to promote the health and well-being of all people living with HIV/AIDS by providing accessible, direct, and practical support services.” – The AIDS Committee of London. - PHAN: Peel HIV/AIDS Network. - “Hassle Free Clinic provides free medical and counselling services in many areas of sexual health. We are located in downtown Toronto.” Provides anonymous HIV testing! - OAN: The Ontario AIDS Network is a province-wide coalition of diverse community-based organizations. - High 5 Youth Canada Network: A site designed by and for HIV + youth, featuring information on being newly diagnosed, treatment info, help finding a Doctor, and other useful info about positive living.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

This Should Be Illegal

I just read Normlr's post This Should Be Illegal and believe everyone should go take a look at the hate that this organisation is inciting and the type of mis-inforamtion they are disseminating in the name of Christianity and God. They are also known as exodus and essentially believe that gays/lesbians are immoral, misguided people who require the love of god to reform them. They fail to mention that this organisation uses methods akin to brainwashing and deprivation to get into the heads of their "clientelle". I am somewhat familiar with them as I have met them here in Toronto when I came out at 15. It's sickening.

I took a gander at the site and decided to go to their contact area and sent them a messag. No needto leave personal information. I just wrote the message and sent it off. It really ticks me off when I see people twist and manipulate history and text to suit their vision and propogate hate and fear.

Enough said about them. I might end up smashing my screen with my gay pink rage, and my not-so limp wrist/fist.
This is what I wrote to them:
"I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive goodwill will proclaim the rule of the land.

"And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid."

I still believe that we shall overcome. This faith can give us courage to face the uncertainties of the future. It will give our tired feet new strength as we continue our forward stride toward the city of freedom. When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds and our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, we will know that we are living in the creative turmoil of a genuine civilization struggling to be born."

This was a famous speech by Nobel Prize winner and martyr, Martin Luther King. His vision of the world was that we would have unconditional love for one another. I am deeply perturbed by your referencial use of God and the Holy scriptures to promote the mis-guided hate and misinformation about gays/lesbians. You state that your ministry follows 3 foundational Truths, but in reality, they are assumptions and suppositions. The only judge can be God, not you or anyone in your ministry. Additionally, for those who are not Christian, your theories and foundational truths are not applicable. How do you approach this? Will you, like so many other Catholic and Christian missionaries take on the historical aproach of invade and conquer and convert? I am sure you believe what you do, for reasons of your own (fear, hatred, sadness, weakness of faith or heart), but I pray for your souls as well. Either one of us could be wrong, but the fact remains that if God does truly exist it is God who shall do the judging upon the final day, not you. Do not be so arrogant to think that your work in the eyes of God, are what God wants. I am open to discussion and empirical information about your mission, but will continue at this point to spread the word that what your organisation does, is hurtful and destructive to the human spirit and to God's will.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Toronto Blog Meet was great!

We met, drank and talked as though we had known each other for ages. The actual fact is that we do know so much about each other. We have shared lots of stories, advice and anectodes, but had never met until last night. As I walked up to the pub, I knew who they were even before anything had been said. It was obvious to me. Maybe a weird connection.

Thanks to all for a great evening! Rib Breaker and I had an awesome time and I hope to do it again without the wifey next time (wink wink).

Oops, I should add an addendum here to my 'wifey' comment, and just clear the confusion. When I said 'without the wifey' I meant my wifey Rib Breaker, not St. Dickeybird' wifey, who is also Nursie, whom I have not met, but if I did meet Nursie wifey, who is St. Dickeybirds wifey I am sure I would love her. That should settle it.

Toronto Blog Meet & Greet Pics

Blog Group - For those wondering, they do not have blackened faces. I have covered them as they have requested it so. However, just let me know and I would be happy to forward the pictures privately to your email.

Awww....Couple of Lovelies

Dickeybird & Mainja - Could you ask for anything more cute? Oh and nice tats...wanted to ask to see, but will wait till we know each other a bit more. :)

Ummm, whats with the hand NOAU?

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Photo Album updated.

So I finally was able to post my China Pictures from 2004...I know it's late, but feel free to have a look through that and the other albums, just to your right, titled "Photos".

Monday, June 6, 2005

Fashion Cares - But does anyone else?

The deep rhythm and beat of a drum, and the sharp echo of a satyr filled the rooms with music. Accompanying the Bhangra beats were flashes of bright coloured saris and silks piercing the gala night at Fashion Cares (Saturday June 04, 2005). The theme this year was Bollywood Cowboy, a sort of West meets East (South east) idea that sent people scurrying through Gerrard Little India for fabrics and ideas. Cowboy hats, kerchiefs and silks also mixed into the dress code and decor. An interesting mix.

The dining room, boutiques and staged areas were setup to the Nines. Beautiful people with their fresh spray-on tans, manicures and pedicures filled the rooms. People were social, merry and having an all out great time. The highlights of the after-dinner show were Pamela Anderson as the Viva Glam (MAC) representative, addressing the crowds, and Jann Arden singing as well as a surprise appearance by Erasure.

Over the years, Fashion Cares has become a monster of an event in comparison to the early days when it was truly a collaboration and tribute to those in fashion art and those affected by HIV and AIDS. When Fashion Cares started 19 years ago, it was still the 80's when people were still sick, and dying. The Fashion Art community was devastated by the AIDS epidemic, which has not shown any reduction in infection over the years. These days, HIV infection has risen among women and children. These statistics are a slap in the face of modernity and change, and remind us that the pan-epidemic cannot be brushed under the carpet. Attention needs to be paid if ever more so vigilant.

This is where my dilemma and sense of dissappointment comes to play with this event. Every year at Fashion Cares the corporate sponsorships get bigger and more lavish, and the crowds gets bigger and more glamourous. I have been volunteering for this event for the last 5 years and each year I wonder how many of these people would truly be here to sponsor or donate if the event itself was not so glamourous. AIDS and HIV my dear readers, are NOT glamorous. It is a disease that has ravaged the world, but with new medical breakthroughs and cocktails patients can live normal lives, never succumbing to the deathly, cadaverous-like symptoms like wasting syndrome, pneumonia, or Kaposi sarcoma. The face of AIDS is changing and the fact that we do not see sick people dying from AIDS does not mean it has gone away.

I can admit it, Beauty sells, and I understand that sores and rotting flesh will not mix well with a $375.00 ticketed chicken dinner, but makeup and hair and clothes can only do so much to mask this disease. I volunteer because HIV and AIDS has affected my life and those of my friends in ways that only we can know. It has ripped into our hearts and our souls and stolen from us something very precious. When I see people at these events I want to ask them why they are here, or who in their lives have been affected by this, not as an accusatory question, but to remind them that there is a 'cause' here. I am not saying that those who have no ties to the cause should not be there, but some honour or tribute should be given to the people who have died and to those who helped support and care for them. I had hoped that there would have been a moment of silence, but like every year the quest for glamour and beauty doesn't have a place for the morbid minute of silence.

Don't get me wrong, Fashion Cares is a beautiful event, and it puts AIDS and the cause on the map. I am thankful for that. I will still continue to volunteer and support the cause in any way I can. I myself had a few drinks, mingled with different people, but I am also accutely aware of the corporate reach it has, but sadly I am unsure about its emotional and personal reach.

Friday, June 3, 2005

Rib Breaker Moments - getting back to (ab)normality

As some of you know, RB and I have been working things out. I had an all-out open discussion with him a week and a half ago, telling him what I was willing to put into the relationship and what I expected from him in return and vice versa. It wasn't much, other than that he be open and communicate with me. It obviously hit home with him and he has done a 360 turnaround...well, more like 280, but I am good with that.

Anyhow, things are settling back into our normal idiotic routines. Some examples:

  1. Last Sunday, after moving RB's mattress up 4 flights of stairs to his place I asked for a drink. He pours me a juice and I thirstily begin to drink it. He then looks at the carton and starts to laugh and asks that I don't kill him. After a quick wrestle (where I won, as usual), I find myself looking at a carton that expired on Jan 05. The bastard.
  2. This past Tuesday, RB invited me over to his ex's place for a wine tasting. It was cool and a lot of fun, but I was reamed out for apparently making RB fatter than he was with the Ex. I reminded the Ex that RB had disappeared for sometime from my life and any fattening incurred would have been on RB's part. I also pointed out that he could easily stop shovelling the food down his trap. It's not my fault that I cook well.
  3. In a related topic, yesterday as we joked around and chatted, I told RB not to leave any visible marks on me on account of it being Pride month (it's all very vain isn't it?). His response was that it was his way of ensuring I wouldn't get fucked by anyone else. I retorted by asking "Then, how am I supposed to keep you from fucking anyone else?" His quick response was "You already have! you've made me fat!". I lost my drink and it almost spewed across the room.

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Open Forums & Open Discussions.

It appears that my last blog post generated a very interesting discussion that I just could not leave alone. Let me first preface this discussion with the reminder that we are all entitled to our opinions, but that we cannot be so arrogant as to believe that our opinion is right or always accepted by everyone else. That is logic. That is fair, and it is the way we learn. Those who hold their opinions as the only option available are a difficult challenge for me and are often ones that I can get easily frustrated at, but I always love a challenge (personally speaking of course). I have posted about past racial experiences (here & here) and believe that the forum that I and many of my fellow bloggers supply is a friendly atmosphere to exchange views and opinions on the World and world experiences.

Anyhow, this topic spilled into a gathering last night I had with some friends during a wine tasting. The people present included the son of the father who had passed, who I told the experience to. He tells me that the lady across the street has been a bit of a pain in the ass, as she walked into the home during an Open House tis week and demanded that they remove the car, lest she call the police. She apparently knows that the father died, but has had little empathy that the family has to empty the house of belongings and deal emotionally with the loss of the father and the home. It seems she just isn't a nice person at all and speaks to many people in the same fashion. She obviously learned little from our interaction.

Anyhow, we had a fantastic discussion last night about religion and about what our idea of multiculturalism and tolerance was. Like I said in a previous post,

In our current age, the idea of multi-culturalism is almost a day-to-day word that apparently defines our society as "including people who have many different customs and beliefs". Note, that this does not mean acceptance, nor does it mean tolerance. That kind of understanding and knowledge are things we actively learn or seek, based on our need to understand the world around us. An individual who is willing to learn and who does not form an opinion about things, is likely to learn from their experiences. They are the types of people who will re-evaluate and think about their opinions and the nature in which they structure their beliefs....I am of the belief that education does not equal intelligence, and intelligence doesn't necessarily foster tolerance or acceptance. Additionally, the idea of multiculturalism does not equal tolerance.
None of comes to any opinion without some prejudice or stereotype. Its the same impossibility of not knowing everything in the Universe. Even a connosieur or sommelier of wine will not have all the knowledge in the world regarding the art of vino. It is simply arrogant to believe that. And like wine, we all have our own tastes and our own views of what is good on the palate. For some people, discussions about religion, faith, nationality, ethnicity or politics is a road they would rather not cross. I thoroughly enjoy it and I love the opportunity of learning what others have to say about my views or their own.

Its an open discussion, so grab your wine glasses for a toast to good conversation and drink up.