The home we share together was the result of a gift from some very special friends of ours. The Peace family (my in-laws) have been generous to a fault to my partner and I and we are forever in their debt. I constantly hear people talk about how generosity and kindess no longer exist. Well I'm here to tell you that there are people in this world that still have big hearts. There are people in this world that still do the right thing. And there are people in this world that will still give you the shirt off their back. I know some of those people.
This year I witnessed my mom turn 60 years old. I flew home and my brother and I organized a surprise party for her. Not only was I able to witness her celebration first hand, I was also able to reconnect with some members of my family that I haven't seen in years. I have a huge family. My mama is one of 16 kids and I still to this day don't know how my grandma kept a sane mind with that many kids running around the house. But I love them all - uncles, aunts, cousins, and 2nd cousins. And I won't even pretend like I know them all cause when you have 15 aunts and uncles it is very easy for you to lose track of how many cousins you actually have.
This year I also saw the completion of my first book - The ABCs of Coming Out. This was a big deal for me. I have several books I have been working on that have been floating about in my head over the past few years. However, since procrastination is my middle name, none of these projects ever came to past. Don't ask me how this one finally made it to paper but I'm extremely proud of it.
In an interesting turn of events I re-connected with my ex this year. Finding people from your past is one of the most powerful things about social networks. For some odd reason I decided to look him up on Facebook. We have not spoken to each other in over sixteen years and then suddenly there he was. I gave him a phone call and I'll be the first to admit this - the conversation was very surreal. I've only had two loves in my life and I've been with the second one for about fifteen years now. And although initally I was very nervous about speaking to him and several times had to question my motive for even making the contact, I am now happy that I did. The relationship did not end on good terms but the phone call was me extending the olive branch. I'm happy that the branch was accepted.
Unfortunately there are some moments of 2010 that I wish I could take back. I lost two friends this year. My friend Ted passed away this year. I met Ted through a really good friend Bernard. Ted was a beautiful man with a beautiful spirit. He was always laughing and he always had some kind words to share when you saw him. Although we lost him I know heaven gained another angel and I know he is dancing and laughing and smiling down on us right now.
Ivan was one of the very first members of my men's group UGIMA. Ivan was brilliant. He was one of those people you turned to when you needed answers to something. He was a wealth of resources and he did not mind sharing what he knew with anyone. There is an old proverb that basically says each death is like a library falling. As we say goodbye to Ivan I realize we've lost another library.
Also this year it seemed that LGBT suicides seemed to skyrocket. I honestly don't know if the numbers increased or if this is the first time the media actually gave us the information of the true numbers of kids that take their own lives. Whatever the case I was moved to tears to learn of the many individuals who are victims of bullying and violence. We will never know the burden these kids had to endure. I wrote this poem after reading one of the articles . .
Now I lay me down to die,
I pray the Lord my mom don't cry,
Should she find me when she awakes
but another day I could not take.
Now I lay this one last night,
Though some might say that this ain't right,
But I could not go another day,
Being beaten up because I'm gay.
My heart goes out to the family of all these kids. I won't pretend like I know what you're going through but I will say my heart and my prayers are with you.
I'm excited to look out at another year. I can't wait to experience the people, places and things that are revealed to me as the new year unfolds. What other faces from the past will I reconnect with? What amazing things will I personally accomplish this year? What's coming for my friends and family? I don't know about you but I am claiming peace, love and prosperity for 2011. Blessings to you and may your 2011 be all you want it to be.