Monday, December 12, 2011

Forget Wall Street, Occupy This

I must admit, after all this time, I’m still clueless as to what the Occupy Wall Street movement is all about or what these pedestrian protesters wish to gain. But I do give them props for planting a seed in my mind, and although I’m not about to pitch a tent and sleep outside – hello, its winter – I have decided to join their movement and add my own little twist. So, here’s a list of locations I feel we should really be protesting.

Occupy J. Crew:

This chic prepster retailer has long been a favorite of mine, ever since I placed my first catalogue order at the age of 15, but as our economy has crashed, J. Crew’s price points have increased. This summer I could not find a single pair of shorts at J. Crew for less than $65. And their winter collection is out of control, a men’s half zip cashmere sweater for $285? Give me a break. I refuse to spend more than half a week’s unemployment check on over priced cashmere. My limit is $150. Okay, $200 max. Anyway, it’s time to Occupy J. Crew and demand more affordable fashion immediately.

Occupy ABC Daytime:

Talk about a daytime dilemma. First the grand dame of daytime, Queen Oprah retired. Then daytime diva Erica Kane was forced to flee Pine Valley when All My Children got cancelled. Then Regis walked over a salary squabble, and now One Life To Live will take its last breath in January. What is going on at ABC Daytime? Dr. Oz is no Oprah; The Chew leaves a bad taste in my mouth and The Revolution will certainly cause me to revolt. Could General Hospital be the next causality?

No! I literally grew up watching General Hospital. This show was a major part of my childhood. Scotty Baldwin became my first crush. I learned what sanatorium, quarantine, and adultery meant. I watched Luke rape Laura at the local disco and then marry her. This show can't die, we must save GH and Occupy ABC Daytime today before it’s too late.

Occupy the Kardashians:

Thanks to Ryan Seacrest, these ladies with large asses have taken over television, pop culture, and almost every professional sport in America and wreaked havoc on all. The Kard-ass-ians contribute absolutely nothing to the world, society or the institute of marriage. My gays can’t get married, but a third of the KKK can marry, make millions and then divorce 72 days later. These bitches need to go back to wherever they came from and give pop culture back to the reality stars that have actually earned and deserve our attention, like those little monsters on Toddlers & Tiaras. (Go Maddy!) Let's Occupy the Kardashains and eliminate them once and for all from our lexicon.

So who's gonna join me in my Occupy movement?

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Step Up to the Bar Boys, The Ballet Bar

According to a recent article in Details magazine, the way to achieve that perfect male underwear model physique is the latest women’s workout craze called the bar method.

Think of the handrail used in a ballet class, and you’ve apparently discovered the key to a tight, toned body. The method, or workout, focuses on plenty of core exercises, including squats, lunges, and the occasional plie.

Always seeking another way to annihilate that extra inch of flab wrapped around my abs, I took full advantage of a special deal and signed up with my friend Jason for ten classes at Cardio Barre in Beverly Hills. We set out last Saturday for our first “beginners” class. The studio consists of one large carpeted room, with ballet bars on either side and two additional bars in the center of the room. As you might imagine, we were the only men in a class consisting of about 30 participants, but we were warmly welcomed and greeted with more eye catching cleavage than at a Hooters restaurant.

Class kicked off fast and furious with a series of squats, leg lifts, kicks, plies, and plenty of pointed toes. Within fifteen minutes, Jason and I were both sweating and already exhausted. My ass and calves have never been worked so much in my life. Next was a series of light weight lifts and curls, before we hit the floor for a few crunches and then an extensive series of inner thigh lifts, tucks and stretches. There were muscles in my body I never knew existed or ever flexed before. What I initially believed to be a core exercise class, quickly felt like the Vagina Monologues Workout, and let me just say, my vagina has a first name and it’s P-E-N-I-S. Ouch!

This was one intense workout, and the results seemed instant. After class, my ass, calves and thighs were as tight as Joan Rivers face. My backside literally rose about two inches and didn’t drop for days. If I keep this up, my ass will be in a whole new class, and more than ready for a close-up in my Calvins.

Monday, August 22, 2011

More Than Just "The Help"

It’s not often a novel effects me emotionally, but after reading Kathryn Stockett’s beautifully written debut novel The Help,
(now a perfectly adapted major motion picture starring Emma Stone and Viola Davis) I couldn’t stop thinking about one person inparticuliar.

Growing up in a middle class section of Queens, New York during the 1970’s, my neighborhood was exclusively white. The only black people I had exposure to either worked at the local warehouse or appeared on TV, and the only maid I ever knew was Florence on The Jeffersons. But after my grandmother, my father’s mother, suffered a stroke and became paralyzed, she needed a nurse to help care for her - enter Mrs. Green.

I was four years old when I met Mrs. Green. She was the first black person I intimately knew and instantly took a liking to her. Mrs. Green was always perfectly put together in her crisp, clean, starched white nursing uniform. She spoke in a soft velvety voice, always presented an engaging smile and thanks to an endless supply of Vaseline Intensive Care hand lotion, had hands as soft as silk. Hands that I became far too familiar with, because whenever I visited my grandmother, Mrs. Green would greet me by squeezing my cheeks and calling me Smiley.

My grandmother passed away when I was eight years old, and just like that Mrs. Green was gone as well. I didn’t see her again until several years later at another family members’ funeral.

As soon as my father informed me of Mrs. Green’s arrival, I swiftly made my way through the throngs of relatives at the funeral home to say hello. She recognized me instantly, and once again greeted me by squeezing my now thirteen year old cheeks as she joyfully declared, “Smiley.” Her welcome felt like an old favorite sweater; warm and comfortable. Instantly, I wrapped my arms around her and engulfed her with a great big hug and kiss.

As I said goodbye, one of my cousins grabbed me and in a rather derogatory tone asked me why I would kiss a black woman. Perplexed, I quickly explained, “That was Mrs. Green.” But still, I was met with disapproving eyes. I was absolutely stunned and in hindsight, now realize that was the moment I first experienced the ignorance and horror of racism.

Mrs. Green had cared for my grandmother for four years, five days a week, providing a much needed service that no family member was capable of or skilled to carry out. She was dedicated, respectful, kind and generous. She ate meals with my family, became a part of our conversations, and was always present during my weekly visits with my grandmother.

I’m not sure if Mrs. Green knew it, and honestly, until becoming enthralled in the pages of The Help, I never gave it much thought myself, but it was Mrs. Green who taught me one of life’s most valuable lessons. Thanks to Kathryn Stocketts’ thought provoking novel, I realized it was Mrs. Green who taught me to see beyond the color of a person’s skin and to accept everyone as equal.

I have no clue where Mrs. Green is today or if she’s even still alive, but I would be terribly remiss if I didn’t thank her for demonstrating that powerful lesson to me. So wherever you are Mrs. Green, I want you to know that I will forever remember your kindness, your affection and your incredibly soft hands with much adoration and always with a smile.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Eyeball Meet Dodgeball

This is some serious stuff – the Weho Dodgeball League is fast, fun and fierce in more ways than one. These boys (and a handful of girls) bring it in their hot little short shorts and barely there bedazzled tank tops. It seems as if half of West Hollywood plays in this league, from muscle boys to geeks to twinks and certainly more than a few who put the “jock” in their jockstraps.

As a newbie to the sport, I arrived early for my first game to scope out the situation and of course, cruise the crowd. As I stood on the sidelines, I thought, “What the hell did I get myself into?” I hadn’t played dodgeball since the fourth grade, and that was decades ago. Sports and I don’t normally go hand and hand. But I had heard so many good things about this league, that it was fun, easy and a great way to meet people, so I figured why not? What did I have to lose?

The gym was much smaller than expected; with a net separating the two courts so that four teams could play at once. Lady Gaga was blasting from the stage, refs were blowing whistles, players were yelling, running, jumping – a few dancing – while balls were being thrown in rapid succession and with surprising speed. It was total chaos.

Once on the court, it was indeed non-stop action - something I’ve never been opposed to – and surprisingly, not as intimidating as originally anticipated. During the first game, my approach was to lay low, but I quickly realized everyone gets picked off sooner than later, even the most experienced players. So, I promptly jumped in to action and by my third game, the adrenaline was pumping at full speed as we were up 2 games to none. I quickly started dodging balls, slid across the floor to fetch another and found the balls to throw, literally. By the sixth game, I felt fierce and invincible, especially since one of my fellow newbies kept praising me for my prowess on the court.

With this boost to my confidence, I was all over the place and having a blast. Picking out members of the opposing team I wanted to nail with the ball, including a guy I actually once nailed. It was totally fun and I even managed to take out my former trick. But let me tell ya, karma is a bitch.

With 2 minutes left in the hour of play, I found myself in the back corner internally patting myself on the back for a game well played, when suddenly the dude in front of me ducked and a ball smacked me directly in the right eye. That shit came so hard and so fast; it dropped me to my knees and literally knocked out my contact lens.

Today, I’m a little battered and bruised with a bloody eye, but I must admit, it was great fun and well worth it - we won. And let's face it, that bruised eye totally ups my butch quotient. Now let’s just hope next week I can keep my eye on the ball instead of my former tricks.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Farewell My Dear Friend Oprah

After a quarter of a century, Oprah Winfrey will cease production of her eponymous talk show this week. Twenty-five years ago no one even knew who or what an Oprah was, but today the entire world knows the meaning of that now ubiquitous name.

Talk show host. Producer. Television pioneer. Philanthropist. Entrepreneur. The titles one could bestow upon Oprah Winfrey are endless. To her viewing audience she has become our friend, our mentor, and the person we most want to spend our afternoons with. Her weekly chat fest reached 40 million homes in the U.S. alone, and was broadcast in 145 countries around the world. That’s quite a sizable audience that has been entertained, educated and influenced by the words and actions of one iconic figure.

In twenty five years, Oprah has not only changed the face of television, but the lives of the millions who tuned in to watch. She introduced us to “a-ha” moments, encouraged us to “live our best lives”, motivated us to read with her enormously successful book club selections, and even went as far as educating us about our poop. She’s enriched and enlivened our lives with her words of wisdom, her warmth and grace, and let’s not forget her litany of favorite things.

As a television viewing audience, we’ve seen Oprah struggle with her weight, fluctuating from high to low and back again. Who doesn’t remember a triumphant Oprah in her size 10 Calvin Klein jeans rolling out a wheelbarrel containing 67 pounds of fat, symbolic of the weight she lost?

But we never judged her when she put the weight back on; we only loved her even more for demonstrating her humanity.

Over the years, Oprah has introduced us to our idols, the rising stars of tomorrow, and brought back our favorite stars of yesteryear. She even introduced us to her family, while becoming a part of our own. We met her best friend, Gayle King, who instantly became ours as well. We met the love of Oprah’s life, Steadman Graham, their menagerie of dogs, and most recently even her long lost half-sister Pat.

She’s generously gifted entire studio audiences with brand new cars, trips to Australia and a plethora of the latest and greatest gizmos and gadgets during her highly anticipated holiday editions. But Oprah has given us more than just a-ha moments and things, she’s given us hope and restored our faith in the notion that anything is possible; after all, she’s the ultimate example.

And just like Oprah, who ends her magazine each month with a column titled What I Know For Sure, I think it’s safe to say what we all know for sure is that when the lights go dark on The Oprah Winfrey Show, there will be an enormous void left not only in television, but also in the lives of the millions of us who tuned in day after day to watch the woman we so loving called our friend

Sunday, May 01, 2011

A Wedding Worth Remembering

As far as weddings go, I was not impressed with this weekend’s Royal Wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Sure, I thought Kate looked absolutely stunning and expertly elegant. And yes, William was clearly in love with his new bride (unlike his father’s first time down the royal aisle). Pippa was picture perfect, while Fergie’s daughters deserve a smack down for their hideous hat selection. And as for the other prince - Harry, well, he was indeed the “best man,” not to mention a hot piece of ass.

But where was the wow factor? The bouquet was small and understated; the train of the bride’s gown – modest; the ceremony - simple. Even the guest list was dull, although David Beckham does clean up very well. But where was the glitz? The glamour? You’re royalty people. Rub it in our faces; show off your wealth; make us all feel common and jealous. We want to escape into the fantasy world; we want an over-the-top experience, just like we had with Luke and Laura. Now that was a royal wedding.

Yes, I’m talking about Luke and Laura, the star-crossed lovers of the hit ABC soap opera General Hospital. Back on November 16, 1981 – 30 million people tuned it to see Laura Webber Baldwin marry her former rapist Luke Spencer. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

The ceremony was held in the backyard of a mansion set in the fictitious town of Port Charles, New York. (Viewers easily overlooked the fact that it was sunny and 75 in northern New York State in November – thanks to a California location shoot - to relish in this fantasy world.)

Laura’s dress was stunning, her veil elaborate, her bouquet bountiful. Luke wore an ascot and tux with tails. The guest list included Academy Award winning actress Elizabeth Taylor – on daytime TV! The event stretched out over two one-hour episodes. It’s was magical, elegant, heartwarming, and dramatic.

Shortly after the tear jerking “I dos,” Luke and Laura, much like royalty, were perched high atop a terrace of the mansion to address the throngs of wedding guests. Looking down upon their guests, they kissed for all to see. Then turning her back to the crowd, Laura tossed her elaborate bouquet over her shoulders only to be caught be her ex-husband, the adorable but now very angry Scotty Baldwin. (Clearly, Scotty had crashed the festivities, but as a viewer, I was thrilled by his return.) In a rage, Luke leapt over the edge of the terrace, scaling the wall in a furry to fight Scotty. As the men rolled around in the grass throwing punches, family and friends tried prying them apart in hopes of salvaging this most memorable wedding day. Now that’s a royal wedding I will never forget!

Friday, April 15, 2011

A Blast From The Past - Journal Entries circa 2000 - Part I

I’ve never been a diligent journal keeper, although over the years I’ve made several half-hearted attempts. I kept travel journals during trips, started a gratitude journal at Oprah’s insistence, which was short lived due to the fact I had far too much attitude and not enough gratitude, (that has since changed, thank God) but once I actually managed to keep a journal for an entire year. Enter 2000.

Recently, I stumbled upon this journal while cleaning out my closet, which lead to an evening of laughter, cringe inducing moments and a little reflection. The passages run the gamut from hysterical to heart-felt, raw to ridiculous. Every topic is covered from family and friends, to my coming out process, to ramblings about feeling lost and lonely, to career dreams and desires, to dating or the lack there of. The first page I flipped to - February 5th, 2000.

This particular entry features names of men I barely know – like No-Chin Craig (obviously a nickname) and Don, simply described as “an old queen.” I have no clue who the later is, but according to my journal we only spoke on the phone. (I remember all my tricks, thank you very much!)

Then I reveal how devastated I felt after giving my phone number to Matthew, an adorable check-out boy at Pavilions, and then never hearing from him. Now, Matthew I remember well. We would cruise each other like crazy every time I was grocery shopping. We’d flash a few coy smiles, occasionally make small talk, and totally flirt – it was totally fun. And according to my journal, I was totally obsessed:

“I so wanted him to call me, and obsessed over it for days. Everyday coming home and checking the answering machine. Every time the phone rang, my heart skipped a beat – why? For a boy I barely know who works in the grocery store? I thought for sure he would call, and now that he didn’t I feel like a complete ass.”

I was 28 years-old then, I guess it comes with the territory. Matthew was adorable, but also a douche for not calling. After that, I never used his check-out aisle again. And now, I can’t stop laughing at how absurd it is that I once thought I could find love at the check-out stand.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Fix It Yourself. Um, No Thanks.

I’ve never been very handy. When it comes to home repairs or assembling gadgets and electronics, I’m not your go-to guy. Some men truly enjoy getting their hands dirty, digging in and accomplishing a task. They get a thrill from the challenge and a sense of accomplishment when the task is completed. Not me. I’d much rather pay someone else to do it for me.
For some reason, I never acquired the desire to learn how to replace a shower head, repair a broken light switch, hang shelves, set up an entertainment system or even replace a light bulb. To this day, I still have to remind myself “lefty loosey, righty tighty” whenever changing a bulb.

My best friend, who will tackle any home repair, task, or challenge and who has completed plenty for me in the past, can’t seem understand why I have absolutely zero desire to learn a new skill or challenge myself. It’s just not part of my DNA, what can I say? But feeling guilty, I recently decided to challenge myself and attempted a few home repairs myself. I settled on two tasks, re-caulk my bathtub and replace the nozzle on my bathroom faucet.

First task, the tub. After asking three people for advice, I finally settled on a razor blade and a screwdriver to peel and pry away the old caulk, then scrubbed the tile down with Tilex and a sponge, let it dry for a few hours and then squeezed the new caulk into the cracks. I used my index finger to even it out, and after about an hour – the task was completed. (I know, the use of an index finger is probably not the professional way of doing things, but it’s fully sealed, clean and looks great.)

Next, the bathroom sink. Getting the nozzle off was the most difficult part, but once I purchased a pair of pliers at the 99 Cent Store, viola. Then it was off to my local hardware store for the replacement part. Thank God I brought the old nozzle with me; there were more options offered than at Baskin Robbins. I quickly tracked down a salesman and had him locate the proper nozzle for me. (I know, you think that’s cheating, but I see it as being resourceful.) Two dollars and thirty-five cents later, I was back home screwing in the new nozzle. Done.

Now, I must admit - both tasks were easier than I originally anticipated, and not very time consuming, if you don’t count the three trips to the store for caulk, pliers and a nozzle. But did I experience an overwhelming sense of accomplishment upon completing these tasks? Certainly not. Did I have a sense of pride in my work? Maybe just a little. Did I enjoy the process? No, not really. Will I conduct future home improvements? Hell no!

So what does get me excited or make me feel like I’ve accomplished something? Knowing I put a smile on someone’s face, making their day brighter, or making someone laugh, cry or think twice about a story I told or an essay I wrote. That’s what makes me feel proud, not a freshly caulked bathtub. Lesson learned - paying someone else to accomplish a task for me - priceless.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Inspiration Comes In Many Forms

In an attempt to kick start my writing, a friend recently emailed me an article on best-selling author David Sedaris. This wasn’t the first, and I’m sure it won’t be the last time Sedaris and his words offered some much needed inspiration.

I was first introduced to David Sedaris by my ex boyfriend, Eric. He was my first love and seemed to fulfill all my boyfriend requirements - blue eyes, a great smile, mid-west upbringing, creative, passionate, oh and let’s not forget - a cheater. (That last quality I was neither seeking nor aware of at the time.)

Anyway, on the ride back from Pismo Beach to Los Angeles, I guess my gift of gab became a bit much, as Eric suggested we listen to a book on tape.

“A book on tape?” I mockingly inquired. “What are we eighty years old?”

This was the most ridiculous suggestion I’d ever heard. I had never listened to a book on tape before. Talk about a snore fest. What were we supposed to do, drive in complete silence and just listen to a book?

Eric said it was his favorite author, David Sedaris, whom he discovered on NPR. Again, I asked with a hint of annoyance, “NPR?” When Eric informed me it stood for National Public Radio, I rolled my eyes thinking dear God; I’d fallen in love with my father – a man who liked boring talk radio. How the hell did that happen?

Immediately I began dreading the two hour drive, although the title of the book did at least pique my interest – Naked. As Sedaris’s monotone yet infections voice engulfed the car and our ears, I instantly became captivated. Within mere minutes, I was laughing out loud, taking pure pleasure in listening to his antics and true tales. By the end of the first chapter, I realized, this is what I wanted to do. I wanted to tell stories, to make people laugh; I wanted to be a famous storyteller.

That was 1997. Ten years later, I finally found the courage to enroll in my first writing class. During the first class, the instructor offered numerous examples of personal essay, which thanks to Sedaris, is now one of the most popular forms of literature. As class was ending, the instructor asked who would like to present their work during the next class. Determined to get my money’s worth, I immediately rasied my hand. Besides, I already had a few stories written, and figured I was way ahead of everyone else.

The following week, there were three of us prepared to present; one female student, another male student and myself. Being perfect gentlemen, we allowed the lady to go first. Well, not only was her work eloquently read, but also impeccably written. She used words I’d never even heard before or understood. Suddenly, I had flashbacks to all those SAT words I wished I had learned. Her essay was so good; I swore this bitch tore it directly from the pages of the New Yorker.

As sweat began dripping down my spine, I gave the other guy a glance that said, “No way in hell am I following her.” He took the hint and presented his essay next - a short story about the pressures of living up to the standards set by his alma mater, Harvard University. Now, I was even more distraught. First a New Yorker linguist, followed by an Ivy League graduate, followed by my dumb ass.

As it came time to present my essay, I offered a disclaimer to all not to judge my third grade writing abilities, and then began reading my essay - a piece about my jaunt to the batting cages as an adult and encountering an overly intimidating team of Little Leaguers. The more I read, the more the other students laughed. When I finished, I looked up to find a room full of smiling faces and promptly felt relieved. It may not have been the best written piece, but it certainly received the best response.

Eight weeks later, when the course ended, the teacher pulled me aside and gave me some life altering advice. She told me to stop worrying about whether or not my writing was smart enough and start submitting my work. With that advice in mind, I sold my first essay a few months later and was officially a published writer.

Today, I still struggle with what to put on the page, and although I am years away (hopefully) from the stature of David Sedaris, I would not be writing if it weren’t for him, the advice of my writing teacher, and that cheating ex of mine who changed my life with a book on tape.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Forty days til 40!?!?!?

In 40 days, I’ll be 40-years-old. I remember my mother’s 40th birthday like it was yesterday. I was 10 at the time. There were balloons, cards and signs everywhere that read “Over the Hill.” I thought she was so old. Well now I say, to hell with that – 40 is the new 25.

Forty? How can that be? Age is just a number, a state of mind. That’s what I’ve always told myself and strongly believed, but that belief system is now being majorly tested as this milestone quickly approaches.

Forty. It just sounds so mature. So established. So set-in-your-ways. Yet, I’m none of those things.

When my father was 40, he had an established career, owned a home, and was married with four kids. My career – well, let’s just say it’s currently in a transitional phase, shifting slightly, but with great potential. I still rent. I’m single, not married. And as for kids, well, let’s face it – inside I’m still just a kid myself.

Is this where I imagined myself at 40? I don’t really know. Truthfully, I never gave it much thought. But these days, the clock and calendar constantly nag at my thoughts, wondering what I’ve done with forty years of life. Contemplating the choices I’ve made and reevaluating their outcomes. No wonder I’m developing gray hair.

I guess you could say I’ve taken the road less traveled. I’m a dreamer, a trait which has greatly influenced my life. Over the years, my dreams may have changed slightly, but they are still very much on the horizon. It’s never too late. Dreams do come true. Life can change in an instant. Those are sentiments I still firmly believe in.

Am I content with turning 40? Hardly. Do I have any regrets? Honestly, no - not really. Other than not having sex in college, that I definitely regret. (I was a late bloomer.)

Could I compile a list of all the things I think I should have achieved or obtained by now? Certainly. Like a million dollars in the bank. Or that Pierre Koenig case study home in the hills. Or a successful relationship with the man of my dreams. Or becoming a Carrington. (I told you I was a dreamer.) Maybe I haven’t achieved much in forty years? Or maybe those should be my goals for the next forty years?

Do I wish I had accomplished more and achieved more? Absolutely! But what I have achieved during these first forty years of my life, are truly the things that matter. Like an honest, loving, deeply-connected relationship with my family. A supportive, nurturing, caring circle of friends. Fulfilling my passion project – launching my one-man show Becoming Butch. And living my life openly and honestly, without shame or regret. To me, that’s what spells success.

And when I think of the moments that define my life, the moments I’m most fond of – they never have anything to do with money or material possessions. They are the look of unconditional love on my parents' faces when I informed them that I was gay. The smile on my niece’s faces as we sang and danced together to Beauty and the Beast when they were kids, and now to Lady Gaga as adults. The drive cross-country with my cousin. The adventures shared with my best friend in Italy, Greece and here at home. Officiating my friend's wedding as she married the man of her dreams. The first time I fell in love. The first time I heard my writing made a difference in someone else's life. Those are the moments that define a rich and successful life.

My first forty years have been pretty spectacular; the next forty are going to be even better.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

2010 - A Great Year!

Before I set my goals for the New Year, here’s a look back at the Top 10 moments/events that shaped my life in 2010.

10. “A goal a month” was my goal for the year. January – I vowed to not wear the same outfit twice and discovered I have way too many clothes, not to mention 40 pairs of underwear. February was credit card free and really didn’t bother me; April was alcohol free – I think I succeeded, and May marked another run of my one-man show Becoming Butch.

9. P90X – my latest workout adventure - 12 weeks, 6 days a week – it was absolutely brutal. I lost about 10 pounds, but only lasted about 8 weeks. (Maybe I’ll revisit in 2011 – God help me.)

8. Oprah & I celebrated my birthday together at the Kodak Theatre. Well, she was on stage with the 2010 Academy Award winners, while I was sandwiched between a bunch of desperate housewives in the mezzanine section, but at least we were in the same room.

7. “Whatchoo talkin’ bout Willis?” – Poor Gary Coleman – my childhood hero passed away. It was a sad day.

6. “Baby, I’m a firework” – with lyrics like, “Do you know that there’s still a chance for you, cause there’s a spark in you” and “Maybe your reason why all the doors are closed, so you can open one that leads to the perfect road” Katy Perry’s Firework officially became my theme song.

5. It Gets Better – with the tragic loss of so many young lives this year, the It Gets Better campaign rasied awareness about the struggles gay youth continue to face and urged many of us to come forward offering advice and hope.

4. Pushing the envelope – my latest personal essay, published by ENR – Engineering News-Record - was a short story about my relationship with my father and our differences. Who knew the word “gay” would stir up so much attention and cause quite the controversy in this rather conservative magazine?

3. Becoming Butch 2010 – my one-man show had another successful run at the Celebration Theatre (thanks to all who attended) in May of 2010, and even earned me the title of Outstanding Solo Performance by StageSceneLA.

2. Setting Sail – After that successful run, I was asked to perform Becoming Butch aboard the Celebrity Equinox cruise ship for Atlantis Events. 17 days at sea, 13 cities, 6 performances, and countless memories. It was the opportunity of a lifetime!

1. Family & Friends – None of my goals would ever be achieved if it weren’t for the love and support of my family and friends. One of the year’s biggest highlights was performing my show while my mother, sisters and nieces were in the audience watching and supporting me. I’ve been blessed with a supportive and loving family and an amazing group of friends, who are now part of my extended family. Thank you all for your continued love and support – I couldn’t do it without you.