Orlando Massacre Victims at 49, not 50

I’m still seeing postings from social media users who are saying that fifty (50) men and women were killed in last Sunday’s massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Perhaps it’s insignificant but I think details and facts – no matter how minute, are important in situations like this.

Unless any one of the other 53+ people who were wounded or injured in that incident happen to die from their wounds – and I certainly hope each of them survive and has a healthy recovery – although reports say there are a few in that number who remain on the hospital critical condition watch list, the official death count of human victims in that massacre is still at forty-nine (49), not 50!
Orlando massacre victims (49) (14JUN 2016)
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies do not consider the perpetrator or antagonist killed in any crime a victim in their death count. This is why they [the FBI] do not – and neither should we – consider Orlando assassin and domestic terrorist Omar Mateen, a victim in that incident. I say this so that in our social media postings and social discussions we can correctly state the true number of people killed in that massacre.

Now, click here  or click the photo above to link to an interactive website slide of the still photo from the New York Daily News. The slide shows the name, photo and profile of each of the persons who were murdered Sunday June 12, 2016. Lest there being any misunderstanding, the photo and slide show photos of people; human beings of flesh and blood who, regardless of their sexual orientation, had been living members of our society. They were people who had simply been having a good time; enjoying the American freedom of having a good time with friends, acquaintances and strangers… until their lives were suddenly snatch away needlessly and tragically by… a bullet.

– RobFather X

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© RobFather X! Productions

‘National Coming Out Day’ Message

NCOD_Should never need this day (Robz Edit)Today, October 11, many of us observe the annual National Coming Out Day (NCOD). Here’s a happy National Coming Out Day to everyone who revealed, plan to reveal or intend to soon reveal their non-heterosexual orientation (aka “coming out”) to people in their lives. It’s always been my hope that one day the world will never need to have or observe such a day for non-heterosexual people; that all people will simply be respected for being who their are and [to borrow and modify a phrase from the late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] that people will be judged by the content of their character and never, ever by their ethnicity or their sexual orientation.

Each year that National Coming Out Day is observed, I remind people who are not “out” with their sexuality [to family members, friends and acquaintances] that they are never under any obligation to reveal their sexual orientation (aka “come out”) on this particular day nor make some major announcement to that affect. I think a person should only reveal his/her non-heterosexuality to those whom he/she knows, can trust, can feel safe with and safe being around. I advise all to follow their instinct when making such an important decision. Each person must carefully consider the pros and cons which such a revelation might have on his/her life and particular livelihood. This especially applies to young teens or young adults who still live at home with parents or guardians who are non-supportive/non-accepting of LGBT people, especially if those parents or guardians provide housing and/or financial support. Do not base a decision to “come out” on what you heard or learned happened to someone else when that person “came out”. There are many good ‘coming out’ stories but are also many bad ‘coming out’ stories! You can watch and listen to a number of them on YouTube. I further advise to never let any person, organization, social media network (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, et al) or public message (and that includes any LGBT organization public message) try to guilt, push or pull you out of “the closet”. There’s nothing wrong with keeping your sexual orientation a secret or made known only to a few selected persons if you so choose. You have your reasons for doing that; just make sure they are good reasons.

Happy-National-Coming-Out-Day-2I can’t argue that in many instances it’s sometimes better (often for many reasons), if people know your sexuality orientation. Sadly though, that is the world we live in because for various reasons, some people just like knowing something sexual about someone else. Being out with your non-heterosexuality means never having to live in misery or shame. It means never having to sneak around and/or hide what you say or do or with whom. It means never having to explain where you go (or came from), who you date or with whom you simply hang around. It means you’re much freer to be the ‘you’ that you were always meant to be. You’ll find that some people won’t give a fuck about your sexuality (a good thing) while others will do all they can to try to change you or to convince you of how “immoral” you are and how “sinful” and/or “disgusting” your life is if it is anything but heterosexual (a bad thing).

Depending on where you live and where you work, public knowledge of your non-heterosexual orientation to certain people or to everyone at your place of employment may affect your job position and/or overall employment with that company. That’s why I warned earlier to be discreet and take care to whom you reveal your sexual orientation. People at your place of employment do not need to know nor do they have to know such personal information about you. No one at the job has a right to ask you about it. Logically, one’s sexual orientation should have no impact on one’s occupation…unless of course, that occupation is working as an actor or producer in the porn industry. Unfortunately, there are people who feel otherwise. Yes, the haters of non-heterosexual conformity are still out there, folks. Live your life, live in your truth but use good judgment. Be with and around people who make you happy. Trust, discretion and use of positive logic and good sense in what you tell/reveal to people are important where this is concerned.
TRUTH & LGBTFinally, contrary to what some people say, one can indeed be “out” sexually and still live a happy and sexually discreet life. I do it as a bisexual man and am still doing it. I’m living in my truth on a discreet level for reasons which are my own. Lots of people are doing the same thing because frankly, there’s never any need or purpose to wear one’s sexual orientation as a sticky label or neon sign on the forehead or arm. There’s a huge difference in one being “in the closet” and one being sexually discreet.
NOH8 (2)
Anyway…you’ll know when it’s time for you to tell certain people in your life – without any shame or with much hesitation that you’re not heterosexual or straight; that you’re gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, “sexually fluid” or perhaps wish to transgender to satisfy your life-long desire to become and to live your life as a man or woman.

Be you, baby! Happy National Coming Out Day.

(Click here to read my previous article on NCOD.)

Keepin’ It…REAL!

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness DAY 2015

National Black HIV-AIDS Awareness Day (Feb 7, 2015)Today (February 7) is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.
Read more about National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day at the links below.

PLEASE NOTE: While HIV/AIDS information and prevention knowledge is important for everyone, regardless of ethnicity, statistics have always shown that Black people – and other people of color, tend to rate among the highest in world society who are infected with HIV, who don’t normally get tested and who go untreated.

This annual campaign is designed and promoted to encourage sexually active men and women of color to learn more – as in the FACTS about the virus, to get tested for HIV regularly, to learn and to know one’s personal health status where HIV – or any STD/STI virus for that matter, is concerned, to practice safe sex and to insist that one’s sexual partner do the same.

Here are the links to check out:
http://nationalblackaidsday.org/
http://gettested.cdc.gov/
http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2015/02/07/op-ed-how-do-we-stop-hiv-crisis-among-gay-black-men

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Same-Sex Marriage: The Keystone State Becomes No. 19!

HRC poster - PA same-sex banYES! YES! YES!
My home state – The Commonwealth of PENNSYLVANIA, aka the keystone state, has today – Tuesday, May 20, 2014, become the 19th state in the Union to allow same-sex marriage!! I was covered in goose bumps and tears came to my eyes upon hearing and confirming this fantastic news…especially because it happened in my home state! YES! YES! YES! Click here and here to links to the news stories! 

Congratulations to all same-sex partner/couples living in Pennsylvania who now can get married and live their lives openly as a legally married couple if they so choose!

A most special and hearty congratulations to my friends W. Ted Weeks and his fiancé Zachary Webster who live in my hometown Philadelphia! Ted and Zak met this month thirteen years ago so this news is a very special one for them as they celebrate their anniversary! What a gift!Zachary Webster & W_Ted Weeks-3b

I don’t need to speak further on this history-making event in Pennsylvania because I’ve often stated my feelings in support for same-sex marriage in various articles on this blog. In spite of that, let’s not forget that as of today, there remain 31 more states in America that have yet to make it legal – or completely legal for same-sex couples to marry and/or for those same states to recognize (and respect!) the marriages of married same-sex couples from other states in this great country.

I simply want to share with readers my excitement and joy as a former Pennsylvanian for this great and wonderful news. Once again, congratulations to all same-sex couples in the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as well as to those living in the great state of Mr & Mr Pillows casesOregon, which yesterday (19 May) became the 18th state to allow same-sex marriagethus joining other states and the District of Columbia in this great nation which have already fully legalized same-sex marriage. Click here for a good informative website called ProCon.org to help keep track.

A special THANK YOU to those civil groups, individuals and attorneys who may not necessarily be gay themselves but who are simply LGBT-friendly or allies.Gay Marriage-advocates-Pennsylvania Their efforts should not be overlooked. They have been ever supportive and/or hard at work in the fight to ensure the right of LGBT people or same-sex partners to marry and live as a married unit – complete with the same rights, privileges and responsibilities as any heterosexual married couple in America.

The fight for social equality in America – and the respect and recognition of that equality, continues!

Keepin’ It…REAL!